Nur Khan Responds to WTF Gossip, Alacran Tequila Turns Pink

Yesterday’s story, which dealt with swirling rumors, was apparently well-read as I got lots of complaints about its veracity. I though it was clear that it was only rumors from unreliable sources, but it seems to have stirred things up. The retooling of the TriBeCa Grand will not include my pal Nur Khan, who chewed my ear off for putting my foot in my mouth for things I heard with my very own big ears. Good thing I have such a handsome nose. Nur made it clear that he was extremely happy with The Electric Room. He told me "… I love the Electric. Any rumors that I am leaving are 100 percent unequivocally untrue. I have a lease. I love the space, pour my heart and soul into it…Why would I want to leave? It’s extremely successful albeit small. False rumors."

That’s from the horse’s mouth. He told me how he was completely devoted and was going to "grow the brand".

I looked up at the Empire State Building last night and it was all bathed in pink light. It took me a minute, but then I remembered it was for Breast Cancer Prevention 2012. On Facebook this morning I was tagged by liquor hawker Arty Dozortsev. The tag was for a matte pink version of the usually black Alacran Tequila bottle, in honor of breast cancer awareness. Alacran will donate money from sales of this bottle. Alacran is a superior product that I endorse because it makes statements like these for good causes.

WTF?! This Fall’s Nightlife Gossip

I remember my first date with Jeannie LoVullo like it was yesterday. She chewed a lot of gum and said "what the fuck" a lot. This weekend was like a date with Jeannie LoVullo; my movers, who were indeed shakers, were chewing gum and saying "what the fuck” a lot. They got me saying it. I didn’t have time to go out but did answer the phone and heard bits and pieces of what seems like a great game of musical chairs. I’ll get to the bottom of all this faster than you can say "wtf," but for now you will have to accept these moist and fuzzy tidbits. I hear that Nur may be leaving The Electric Room on his way to the newly remodeled TriBeCa Grand. My source who is usually unreliable swears it’s true, citing contract endings and stuff like that. I also hear that Travis Bass will also bring his special brand of whoopee yippee yay nightlife to TriBeCa. This may be a temporary thing, as he is slated to be a honcho over at the 199 Bowery space that EMM Group is developing for November. OK, OK,. I’m pausing for a WTF…

I heard that Jamie Mulholland was all set for that bank space on the corner of Houston and Essex which has, for years, been so many things to so many people. Now, this other group is there doing something irrelevant, and I’m not sure what’s going on with Jamie. He would be the perfect fit for what is an imperfect space. I’ll find out WTF is going on and tell you when the time is right.

 Also, I am told that Vala Durvett has taken over the job of putting asses in seats over at the almost new Bishops & Barons. They kicked Danny Kane and his crew out for lack of performance, according to another fairly unreliable source. Translation: they opened at a bad time, withered during the summer, and kicked their team out as the season began. Vala is a good fit for this joint as its 14th Street East location is a tough destination. Bishops is located right between the IHOP, and they just opened Bait & Hook, my pal Div Patel’s (formally of Nest) seafood joint. WTF, Vala has her work cutout for her, trying to hook people over to a hood where no man has gone before. Good thing she knows a lot of women. It can be done; Beauty Bar has been there since WTF – the last century. I’m sure I’ll get some calls to clarify, and so I will.

Moving has been one big WTF and I’m a bit frayed. I’ll be at BINGO as usual tonight to get my mojo back, and if I win I’m just gonna yel…you got it.. WTF!

Classixx’s ‘Hanging Gardens’ Is An Instant Classic

Los Angeles DJ duo Tyler Blake and Michael David, better known as Classixx, have been remixing their way into the hearts of the masses with their delightful takes on popular tracks like Phoenix’s “Lisztomania” and Gossip’s “Move in the Right Direction.” Now, with a guest star-packed debut album, Hanging Gardens, they’re stepping out on their own, and the results are similarly joyful. Synthy single “Holding On” is an instant arms-up dance-floor classic, but any of these songs would be just as perfect for a summer drive, perhaps down the 101, on your way to somewhere more exciting.

Perhaps NPR’s Otis Hart puts it best: the album “feels vibrant and vintage, unmistakably young and unnaturally nostalgic, all at the same time.” There are bits and pieces of tracks that would feel comfortable in the ‘70s and ‘80s, other that feel like long-lost drinking buddies of DFA or Hot Chip, but none of it feels stale or like a tacky homage. Hanging Gardens is, if you’ll pardon the use of a slogan, an easy, breezy, beautiful album for the summer around the corner. Listen to singles “Holding On” and “All You’re Waiting For” below, or stream the whole damn thing over at NPR before the album’s fully release next Tuesday.

Amanda Bynes Tweets Topless Photos, Insults Jenny McCarthy, Shows Off Very Shiny Gold Watch

Since Tuesday, actress Amanda Bynes has been tweeting her own topless photo album from her bathroom to her 850,000+ followers, an assortment of The Amanda Show fans and OK! Magazine subscribers. Though she poses topless in the photos – clutching her enhanced breasts, smooching for the camera, and wearing tattered stockings – of most interest is the very shiny gold watch she wears in every photo. Oreo-sized, gold-linked, and of a first-place trophy-colored variety, the watch is a sight to see, and nearly distracts from the fact that Amanda Bynes is nearly naked and sitting on a bathroom sink. 

Since the debut of her topless photos, Amanda has also made time to tell Jenny McCarthy via Twitter that she is "ugly," "an old lady," "looks 80" compared to her, and should "shut the fuck up!" 

But of course, of most interest is that shiny gold watch. It is very shiny. 

Follow Amanda Bynes & Bonnie on Twitter here.

‘Guardian’ Asks Beth Ditto What She Dislikes Most About Her Appearance

Maybe I’m just being over-sensitive. But the Guardian asking Gossip front woman Beth Ditto what she dislikes most about her appearance is kind of douchey, right?

Gossip is releasing a new album, A Joyful Noise, and the first single is Move In The Right Direction. Presumably to play up the band’s new album, Beth Ditto answered a 20-item Q&A for the Guardian web site. There are the usual questions alike "What is your greatest fear?" and "What song would you like played at your funeral?" But then they got weird with a question, "What do you dislike most about your appearance?"

To be fair, the Guardian asks this question of everyone it interviews for a Q&A. One wonders why this question needs to be asked of anyone at all, given how its somewhat rude and anti-positive body image. It would be rude and anti-positive body image it were asked of, say, stick-thin Taylor Swift, too. But its especially squicky given how Ditto is proudly plus-size and has even designed two plus-size clothing collections for the UK chain Evans. She’s always been very "whatever" about her size and encourages self-acceptance in everyone, which is what most of us love about her.

Ditto didn’t mention her weight in the questionnaire — she said she would like to change her "posture." But good job linkbaiting, chaps.

Is Lady Gaga Engaged?

Last night, famed photographer/creepy person Terry Richardson posted a photo to his Tumblr (a link to which was then automatically tweeted) of Lady Gaga wearing what appears to be an engagement ring with a caption that read, "Gaga showing off her new engagement ring!" So, is the world’s most popular pop star set to get hitched?

Nope! This, at least, according to TMZ, who reported this morning that "Despite a photo that seems to say to the contrary … Lady Gaga is NOT engaged … sources close to the singer tell TMZ."

Well, I’m glad we cleared that one up! Now, if only we could get Gaga to stop hanging out with Terry Richardson…

Study: Women Keep Secrets for 32 Minutes

Don’t tell anyone, but that secret you told barely a half hour ago to your mom, wife, or any other being with ovaries and a good dose of estrogen, is already out.

I know, I know, this certitude is almost sob-inducing depending upon your secret (what was it again? Comment below), but it is the untenable conclusion of a study of 3,000 British women by skincare company Simple.

No matter how embarrassing, confidential or personal the secret was, researchers found that 1 in 10 women just had to tell someone, most commonly their husband, relative, or best friend. Relationship problems, plastic surgery, and extramarital affairs made the top of the Gotta Squeal ASAP list. But once they squealed, they faced the consequences; 1 in 10 women lost a friend because of publicizing her private matters.

But the women studied do, in fact, have a conscience; well, at least ¼ of them. Twenty-five percent felt remorse after gossiping about others. Just when it’s too late.

With 80 percent of our conversation teeming with gossip about other peoples’ private lives, there’s only 20 percent left to discuss less meaningful matters, such as how to raise your children, if you should really marry him, and if that house is worth buying.

But what about men, huh? Those buggers talk just as much as women do (about 16,000 words a day), so some of that gibber has got to be filled with other peoples’ secrets. But with men’s propensity to talk more about sports and gadgets, and women’s to talk more about relationships, perhaps it’s best that they don’t share. 

Nathan From Gossip Talks Tumblr, Lil’ Wayne, and The Apocalypse

Everything Gossip’s Nathan Howdeshell (a.k.a. Brace Paine) says is charming. It’s not necessarily the content of his words, but that it’s all tinged with an appealing drawl, the result of his Arkansas upbringing. So it’s sweet when he says that “fuck” is his favorite curse word, or when he tells me that if he could he would eat at McDonalds every day. And it’s even sweeter when he divulges his affinity for smoking pot after a long day because, well, yeah. Nathan and his band swing through New York tonight when they take the stage for the first time at Terminal 5 with openers MEN and Apache Beat. But first, he spoke with me about his online ventures, tonight’s show, and what he has planned for the end of the world.

You’re from Searcy, Arkansas, which was apparently the inspiration for Footloose. What was your music education like growing up? Geez, whatever tapes you could buy from Wal-Mart.

I want to talk about your web activities. Besides being a musician, you’re also a visual artist, and you have a tumblr. How do you curate it? Some of the images are things I make; some are things that are just hilarious that I pull of the internet. I love tumblr because it’s to me sort of like a visual diary. It’s really fun.

How often do you update? I try to do it like every day or so. Computers are still a mystery to me, but I try to when I can. The tumblr thing is great to me; it’s kind of like an art diary. I do a lot of the design for us and all of our record covers and stuff like that. I’ve been into curating shows lately. I curated a show for Art Basel in Miami this year for Deitch Projects of new, young, Portland artists. That was really fun.

You were saying that computers are mystery to you. Is there any website you make it a point to visit? Not really. I really enjoy the tumblr thing personally because it’s visual. I look at Pitchfork every once in a while.

And also you’ve been Twittering. I try. But a part of me feels ridiculous when I Twitter. I don’t know, maybe it’s low self-esteem, but there’s part of me that’s like “would anyone really care what I’m doing right now?

People care more about what you’re doing than most of the people on there. Do you also feel pressure to come up with entertaining things to say? No, no. I just feel that’s it’s such a funny thing. Twitter and Facebook and stuff are such a huge part of culture now.

Right, and it’s the way that you guys have promoted this new album too, that’s different from the last one. You did a Twitter interview. Yeah, I’m at the label right now at the corporate office and I just got in trouble for not (in a mocking voice) posting stuff on the band website.

In addition to your band you also DJ. Who can you recommend in terms of musical artists? We’re on tour with this band called MEN, which is a hysterical name. It’s JD [Samson] from Le Tigre’s new band. They’re really cool, I really like them. I like it better than the last two Le Tigre albums, actually. JD has an interesting voice, so it’s good to hear her sing.

And MEN is opening for you at Terminal 5? Yes, I’m kind of nervous about that show because it’s a huge place. It’s weird because I love New York and I’ve played there a bunch, and I’ve never heard of this Terminal 5.

Well, it’s large. It has tiers. But it’s good for light shows. Do you do any visuals with your show? We’ve been thinking about it a little bit, but to me it’s always been like Wow, these people take a lighting guy on tour and they pay all this money just for this guy to come on and turn the lights on while they play certain songs. For some bands it’s been good, but for us it’s just about the raw energy of the show. So I think for us lights could be a little distracting. I get dizzy when strobe lights come on.

Also, some advice: a dance routine couldn’t hurt. You know what’s amazing, we just made up a dance routine for the song 8th Wonder, that repeats over and over. We were watching this Devo video and we were like, Oh fuck, they’re amazing. I mean, just because live they were just doing weird synchronized moves. So we made up a sort-of Devo dance move that we’re all gonna bust into.

Speaking of your songs, you have one on the album Music for Men called 2012, the year the world is supposed to end. Do you have plans for the year? Actually, I do. I’m trying to curate an end-of-the-world festival, actually. You know, the Mayan prophecies say that on December 21st, 2012 there’s supposed to be this radical change in the world. I’m trying to put together a festival of bands that will play on that day. And I was thinking, if it’s supposed to be the end of the world we should be somewhere with our friends and somewhere really weird, like maybe in Montana. I don’t know where it’s gonna be but it’s something that’s been on my mind.

Okay, everyone head out to Montana. Or go to Lil’ Wayne’s party. Oh my god I’m obsessed with that. How weird is it that Lil’ Wayne knows about 2012? Beth has a huge crush on him. She makes us listen to Lil’ Wayne all the time. And I didn’t get it at first—I mean I love mainstream hip hop but I couldn’t get into it. But he’s an interesting dude. And his story is very interesting.

And I hear he’s very polite. Yeah, he seems sweet. He has fucking tattoos on his eyelids. That is badass.

October Music Reviews: Islands, Gossip, La Roux

Islands, Vapours (Anti-) – Once a schizophrenic, overstuffed Montreal outfit full of potential, Islands have finally learned to edit. The result: an infectious and weird third album that was worth the wait. Lead singer Nick Thorburn, more commonly known by his stage name Nick Diamonds, and his crew have stripped away the orchestral layers and theatrical pomp that turned the band’s sophomore album, Arm’s Way, into a bloated, highfalutin’ rock opera. What’s left is masterful, refreshing synth-pop, served up pure and simple. Snappy drums drive the album’s first single “No You Don’t,” while Thorburn’s charming, spot on lyrics come through loud and clear — “Don’t buy dope from the man you don’t know.” What he said. –Alexandra Vickers

Gossip, Music For Men (Columbia) – Disappointingly, Beth Ditto and company’s follow-up to Standing in the Way of Control favors formula over originality. All the key Gossip elements — Ditto’s demanding tenor, clanking guitars, hard-kicking drums and high-hat accompaniment — are in place, but the spirit has been micromanaged: Music for Men is Gossip, tamed. This less-than-sparkling effort includes the single “Heavy Cross,” which sounds like an outtake from their more Control’d efforts (read: more Franz Ferdinand, less Aretha Franklin). — Foster Kamer

Air, Love 2 (Astralwerks) – The title of stylish Parisian duo Air’s sixth album proves typically inscrutable: while there is no Love 1, the goth prog recorded here sounds like a sequel to their 2000 soundtrack for The Virgin Suicides. Spooky minor chords, ominous ambiance and krautrock rhythms make this the perfect score for a ’70s horror film or tragic romance — or The Virgin Suicides 2. The willfully avant atmospheres may be off-putting at first, but after sufficient listens they gradually take on a powerful slow motion immediacy. — Matt Diehl

Florence + The Machine, Lungs (Universal Republic) – This much is true: lead singer Florence Welsh has some thundering pipes. Supported by backing band the Machine, Welsh’s huge voice dominates every moment of this debut and firmly establishes her as a major player among modern U.K. chanteuses. But while Florence has obviously spent her youth listening to Kate Bush (like Bat For Lashes) and Etta James (à la Adele and Amy), she has an unhinged, unpredictable streak all her own. Typical of all tracks on this album, “Kiss With A Fist,” an exuberant rockabilly meditation on domestic abuse, is perverse and undeniably powerful. — M.D.

La Roux, La Roux (Cherrytree) – La Roux has captivated the U.K. with all the speed of their rapidly paced songs, reviving the ’80s faster than you can say, “R.I.P., John Hughes.” If their sound is a bit more Human League than Breakfast Club — no detention here — at least their name is inspired by front woman Elly Jackson’s signature Ringwaldred cowlick (La Roux means “red-haired one” for those who ne parlent pas français). With songs like the reckless and emotive “I’m Not Your Toy,” “Colourless Colour” and “Tigerlily,” a new wave homage to MJ’s “Thriller,” Jackson and partner Ben Langmaid have all the ammo they need for Stateside success. — Cayte Grieve