Buckler Soirèe, Sally Shan on the Winter Film Awards, and A Night Ending with Bereket’s Lamb Platter

I made the rounds in the Lower East Side/Nolita last night and, as usual, lingered too long at some places and therefore never got to other places. After the great Buckler soirèe at The Elsinore, I stopped at The Orchard House which was having a relaunch or preview of the new reincarnation. Scores of people I haven’t seen in a minute were making a scene. It was fun. I introduced Hotel Chantelle’s Kyle O’Brien whom I am DJing for tonight to nightlife empress Sally Shan. Sally and I used to hang, but life often pulls people who want to hang down different paths. She has made a name for herself, going from a sub-promoter drawing a dozen or so people, to throwing events for hundreds. She was with a wonderful restauranteur from San Juan, Steven Yiu. He owns the East restaurants there. We became fast friends and I promised to visit him on my next visit to the island. I told him about a super-secret, totally amazing sandwhich shop on the wrong side of the tracks. Guys like me seek out such places where time and the changing world haven’t yet corrupted. I directed him to this small spot where in-the-know locals of all classes wait in line for a half hour to try a Jerezma or seven potencias sandwhich. The place can be found behind  a Marshalls parking lot in Santurce. Steve affirmed that the hood is, well… quite hoody… and he has never heard of it but is heading there straight off. I told him to travel heavy. It’s worth it.

Sally is working on the events for the Winter Film Awards. She studied acting and directing at the very prestigious Central Academy of Drama in Beijing .She told me, "I’m really happy to organize the Winter Film Awards events. Being from the film industry, I know how much passion everyone puts into their work. Our after-parties will be able to truly celebrate and congratulate the filmmakers and actors for their accomplishments in film this year. The inaugural Winter Film Awards Festival celebrates cinema and performing arts in New York, February 9-12. The First Annual Winter Film Awards will air on American primetime television, featuring the winners for best studio film, indie film, and emerging performing artist."
 
Here is the press release about the festival:
The Winter Film Awards (WFA) is a celebration of cinema and the performing arts. The 2012 Winter Film Awards Festival will run from February 9-12 with a series of award ceremonies and special events.The star-studded launch event will take place in New York City on Thursday, February 9, 2012. The awards show will air on American Primetime Television, a new IPTV multi-platform network, distributed by Omniverse TV reaching over 45 million households.
 
“We are delighted to showcase the best of the best in film and performing arts at our festival and to have our award winners featured on APTV as part of its dynamic original programming”, says WFA President George Isaacs.”
 
As a precursor to the Oscars, the 2012 Winter Film Awards Festival will launch with the Winter Film Awards Major Studio and Latin Film Awards gala, which celebrates the outstanding film achievements of 2011, as recognized by the WFA Board of Governors. The Major Studio and Latin Film Awards will be presented on Thursday, February 9th, 2012, in NYC and will be nationally televised on APTV. On Friday, February 10th, 2012 awards will be presented for excellence in independent film to filmmakers who deliver outstanding work, but have not yet received a distribution deal. Award winners will receive national exposure on APTV. February 11th and 12th will round out the festival with the WFA Film Festival and Performing Arts showcase.
 
As part of the Competitions section of the festival, the performing arts showcase will be a forum where individuals from all areas of performing arts will compete for awards.  WFA is proud to announce its partnership with Cringe Humor for the comedy awards and live stand up competition.
 
The WFA Film festival is an IMDB-qualifying film festival.  WFA Call for Entries is officially open and filmmakers can submit their work here
 
Sally will be throwing the following events. Contact her on the world wide web for more info.
 
Fri, Feb., 10th starts 10-11PM at Hudson Terrace (w/ a one hour open bar); Sat, Feb., 11th starts 9-10PM at Sky Room (w/ one hour open bar); Sun, Feb., 12th starts 9-11PM at 1OAK (Awards Ceremony).
 
On the way home, I walked trhrough the wondrous snow with the intent to stop by Open House for a hello to Stylelikeu’s Jordan Middendorf at her pre-Fashion Week gala. Alas, as I passed Bereket, that wondrous joint of lamb kebob and late-night encounters, I was waved to by DJ Reach, with his billion dollar smile and my man Ash. I went inside and we talked for an hour, joined by a dozen or so denizens of the deep night who popped in to say hey or grab a bite. We shot the breeze and other stuff until it was too late to go anywhere but to bed in BBurg. My night’s agenda was a dozen or so "must attend" parties, but as it wound up, I just hit a few parties but reconnected with a dozen or so old friends and made a couple of new ones. I felt warm and fuzzy as I ate my delicious lamb and rice platter with Lulu and Buster. Amanda is back from a short trip today. I couldn’t sleep in her absence so I finished the first season of Heroes as the morning light told me last night was done and I could move forward with the purpose of today.

Because Size Matters: The Vegas-Style Party Launches Tonight

Whether size matters in the bedroom is still under debate, but the size of a party in a nightclub? Oh, the bigger, the better. And one party in particular is as big as it gets: Magnum Mondays. You know, like the large-sized condom company. Tonight, the party – which first began at STK Vegas by The ONE Group – is launching at its resident NY spot: STK Downtown, a restaurant in Meatpacking known for its ribeye dipped in truffle butter and creamed spinach.

Unlike the sparkler-filled brunch parties at Beaumarchais and Bagatelle, Magnum Mondays offers dinner and a party on the first day of the workweek – officially extending the weekend spirit to a three-day, DJ-filled affair. Beginning weekly at 7pm, the dinner parties start with steaks and celebrity DJs, and end with STK’s signature ménage a trios carnival dessert: a threesome of caramel corn, cotton candy, and a mini funnel cake.

Tonight kicks off with celeb DJ Ross One, who’s DJed with Jay-Z and Kanye, and continues each week after with talents like D-Nice (DJd for Stevie Wonder) and R&B, hip-hop DJ Reach.

Now if you can just recover from Sunday’s revelries and make it to tonight’s. I think you can do it.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Industry Insiders: DJ Reach, Beat Boy

Semu Namakajo, a.k.a. DJ Reach, is Manhattan’s very own household name when it comes to the world of nightclubs. Bringing his gift for musical mish-mashing to haunts across NYC, Vegas, the Hamptons, and Miami, Reach is best known for being one of the nicest dudes in the biz — just ask any club owner in town. In a city where the sincere have dwindled down to a mere few, this New York native brings nothing but the realness in his music as well as his life. That’s because the music undoubtedly is his life.

How’d you get your start DJing? I was one of those people who saw the craft and got the fever for that cool activity when you see somebody at the nucleus of the party, who is able to dictate the direction of the vibe for the night. So, whether you were coming in from having a hard day at work or celebrating the greatest day of your life, you’re at the mercy of the DJ. I thought that was so powerful. It just drew me in.

The first place you DJed? It was at a junior high school dance at the Cathedral School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and I literally had a couple of records and cassette tapes. I went back and forth from a boom box and one turntable that was my brother’s.

What about your first paying gig? I don’t really remember my first paying gig. I feel like I should. It should be like when you go to one of those bodegas and they have the dollars on the wall. I should have my first paycheck on my wall.

What’s your weekly line-up? Tuesday’s at Brother Jimmy for an after-work party followed by late night at Southside. It’s a down-low hipster spot. Wednesdays I do Avenue, which is a sceney spot and all the celebs are there. That’s my image night. Thursdays I can’t even reveal. On my Twitter, I call it the “secret spot.” So, you have to follow me on Twitter to find out about it. It might move around a bit. Fridays I jump on a plane and I go to Las Vegas to spin at Tao, which is like doing a concert every week because 2,000 people come together under one roof, and the DJ booth is right in the center of the dance floor. If I’m not in Vegas on Friday, then I’m at the Hotel on Rivington. On Saturday’s, I’m anywhere from Vegas to the Hamptons at Dune. You can catch me all over. Miami at Fontainebleau, maybe I’m in London … who knows?

Who do you look up to in the business? Because I have a marketing company as well called Big Picture Marketing Group or BPM, plus I’ve been a promoter and a DJ, on the business side I look up to Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss. They’ve been like mentors to me, as well as big brothers. I’ve worked for them for seven or eight years now since the very beginning of Marquee to the number-one grossing restaurant and nightclub in the country, which is Tao Las Vegas. On the DJ side it would be DJ Stretch Armstrong. I used to stay up way too late taping his late-night show, and then I ended up interning for him.

You also DJed on a late-night show for Carson Daly. What was that like? TV is totally different from any nightclub experience because so much is scripted and planned out, and there are retakes, and even though you’re in front of a live studio audience, there’s still a general path that your producers want you to follow. Carson is such an amazing and generous guy. He really loves music, and he gave me some creative license to play what I wanted to play as long as I stayed attuned to the general vibe and atmosphere he had going on. If it was Gwyneth Paltrow and she was talking about growing up on the Upper East Side in a townhouse and how she used to listen to the Beatles, I might play some Beatles songs and go into commercial with that.

What’s your favorite kind of music to play? I’m known for my musical palette, my repertoire, and it’s just a variety. I don’t want to use the term “mash-up” because I think it’s played out. I play the music that is representative to the soundtrack of the lives of the people who are in my generation. I play legends like Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain and Jay-Z. But it also includes anyone from The Cranberries to M.IA.

Does your line of work get you lots of ladies? It has its advantages. It’s a testament to the fact that you are in a category of performers, and if you do what you do well, you could be a rock star. You could be somebody’s hero, whether it is for just one night or for actual love.

Does it get annoying when people make requests? It opens you up to a challenge. If someone wants to hear Ritchie Valens, I have to figure out how to blend that in with Nas. I have to be like, “Okay, let’s try it.” Sometimes it’s annoying as hell.

Where do you go out? I’m such a foodie. You’ll catch me at La Esquina, Blue Ribbon Sushi. I also like hole-in-the-wall places for having beer and wings like Brother Jimmy’s.

What sort of negative trends do you see in the business? A lot of trends people tend to say are negative, I see as positive. They say, “All the DJs now use lap tops and Serato, and it takes away from the creativity and the craft of using vinyl.” I have 10,000 records in my house to this day. I’ve gone to the deepest, darkest crevices of record shops around the world. I value all of them. People think it’s limiting to have all the same music all download-able. You have to challenge yourself as an artist and as a creative thinker. You have to decide how you’re going to put it together and how you’re going to let your identity show despite the fact that everyone has access to the music.

What’s your dream project? It’s a project I’m working on right now. I’m approaching my 30th birthday, and every year I throw a huge party. All of my friends as well as celebs show up. We’ve had a thousand people come in the past. This year I’m taking 30 artists that I respect and have influenced me in some way and asking them to pick 30 songs, one per artist that has impacted them in the past 30 years. It will be a compilation of 30 artists who have influenced me and the songs that have influenced them during my lifespan.