Two Nights with Kayvon and Anna: The Best Halloween Party

Nightlife is a dude-dominated business. Sure there’s Amy Sacco, Jayma Cardoso, Susanne Bartsch, but I’d be hard pressed to use all my fingers and toes in the count. I’m not talking barkeeps and waitrons or hostesses. I’m talking meat and potato management gigs. This will Shirley change – er, surely change – especially when Hillary takes office. Today I’m talking to a woman behind a man who is storming the city with a new type of party that reminds me of the old days more than any other. Kayvon Zand’s Dorian Gray is the absolute best party. I’ve told you this but sometimes you don’t listen. Tonight and tomorrow he will define Halloween at Bowery Electric. There’s too much going on to list so just go here for info.

Anyway, the woman behind the man with his name on the flier is Anna Evans. She is completely incredible. She does the hardest thing you can do at a party she is so involved with producing: she makes it look easy. There’s nothing worse than seeing production/management types running around like chickens without heads trying to make things right. Staying cool and letting the chaos of the night play out is a gift that’s hard to teach. I asked her about her role in the best party in town and her mate Kayvon the Unstoppable.

The party just moved and is a hit at the Bowery Electric. Can you describe the crowd?

The Dorian Gray crowd is made up of progressive, sexy, open-minded individuals from all walks of life. I’ve met everyone from lawyers and scientific journalists to go-go girls and dominatrixes. They wear everything the major fashion labels will rip off for their shows next season, like latex, leather, lace, structural garments. Some people show up naked, some people show up covered from scalp to sole including facemasks. The unifying factor is that everyone loves the music, everyone dances till closing!

As this event grows the crowd will be pulled from a cross section of New Yorkers a bit apart from Kayvon’s core crowd. Is this a good thing or worrisome?

I think it’s great. More people should be pulling towards this party because it’s unique and awesome! The fewer people are heading to top 40, fist pumping, boring parties, the faster NYC will start to experience the sort of cultural revolution the enlightened Dorian Gray kids already live every day. If a movement isn’t growing, it dies out, and Kayvon is certainly leading a movement, here.

Are you the woman behind the man? And what is a Kayvon/Anna day like?

Kayvon is certainly a self-made man, but at the same time, no man is an island. I know how vital a strong support system is to an artist, and I do my best to be Super Woman and do absolutely everything. I rarely live up to my own expectations, but that only makes me work that much harder.

A day in the life of the Zands involves a lot of taking care of the “Zand zoo”-two Pomeranians, one Yorkie, one Persian cat, two white doves, and a 75-gallon marine tank. I spend so much time cleaning up after pets in expensive heels. It is a running joke. We spend a lot of time working together on the behind the scenes of Dorian Gray; I draft the biweekly newsletter, Kayvon does a lot of the Facebook promotion, and we both attend meetings. Most days, I have a burlesque performance to go to, while Kayvon records music, or composes classically inspired pieces on the piano, and cooks dinner. We like to catch up on our shows, such as Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black, and I usually fall asleep reading. I’m a total bookworm; I read several books every week!

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Why Don’t You Go As A Louis Vuitton Bag?

In case you didn’t get your fill of Halloween festivities this past weekend, since the ghoulish night falls on a Thursday the costumes and candies last almost two weeks this year. If you’re still searching for dress-up inspiration or need another transformational persona to add to your roster, look to the sittings and parties that are more fantasy than fashion. Photographers like Miles Aldridge, Steven Klein, and David LaChapelle have your back.

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Why don’t you go as a Louis Vuitton bag? Grab a stencil and some body confidence and get to work. Lil’ Kim photographed by David LaChapelle.

image-3You could always go as the creepy, pure girl. Steven Klein photographs Kate Moss as Good Kate for W.

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Bad Kate is an option as well. Here, Moss plays the demon. Pearlescent teeth, mounds of accessories, and horns should do the trick.

image-5Toss the conical bras and lace gloves and try for a different Madonna. Alana Zimmer photographed by Miles Aldridge. For her sickly look, grab the Moroccan oil and some lavender blush.

image-3Always an option: grab a couture Margiela mask and go as Kanye West.

image-4 If pretty is more your thing, go as Natalie Vodianova’s Alice as shot by Annie Leibovitz. A blue dress, some maryjanes, a headband, and a smattering of small furniture should call the adventure to mind.

image-5Reference more than a few historical figures by going as David LaChapelle’s rendering of Amanda Lepore as Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe.

image-6…Or as David LaChapelle’s Amanda Lepore as Andy Warhol’s Liz Taylor.

image-7The ultimate surrealist costume inspiration, courtesy of Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Baron Alexis de Redé at their Surrealist Ball in 1972.

BangOn!NYC: This is Halloween

Halloween is the best holiday. It’s like that movie that I’m not going to see where we Americans are allowed one day of insanity. We all embrace our inner drag, express ourselves… let it all hang out. I have always believed that people with bad or no costumes are just plain bad in bed. Then there’s that group that dress up every day of the year. Ministry said it’s “cuz everyday is Halloween.” Club kids and goths spring to mind. Halloween is the best holiday because it sort of takes over an entire week. Where New Years, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Valentines Day are sort of one- or two-day holidays, it is not unusual for Halloween parties to precede the actual day. Indeed Saturday October 26 is a big Halloween party day for the 9 to 5 set. This Saturday there will be a huge event thrown by Paper Magazine’s Nightlife Award winners for best promoters. BangOn is tossing the Warehouse of Horrors at 299 Meserole Street, Brooklyn. Thousands will attend. These people have it together with so much to see and hear that it’s best to just go to herehere, or here for enlightenment.

My pal and BangOn-er Emily Bachman hooked me up with BangOn’s three main guys, the faces behind BangOn!NYC: Timothy Monkiewicz (The Golden Pony), Gene Michael Bradley, and Brett Herman. They’ve been throwing parties together for about six or seven years and are now bigger than ever. Their stories along the way are just as good.

How did you guys meet? How did you start throwing parties together?

Tim Monkiewicz: We all met while partying. The first night I met Gene was at an Irish dive bar. We got bored and decided we wanted to cause trouble, so we stole a large fire extinguisher on the way out. We then went into a dinner, and ordered a bagel. I went into the bathroom and wrapped the bagel in a wad of toilet paper, lit it on fire, and ran out of the bathroom holding it in the air and yelling “MY BAGEL’S ON FIRE!!!!!”  Gene immediately put the extinguisher to use and doused the bagel and my entire body, effectively saving the day. Then with a mad look in his eye he proceeded to spray every customer, waitress, manager, and all their food with the acidic tasting powder, rendering every meal inedible and leaving about 45 diners completely covered in white with looks of awe on there faces.

We met Brett at an art gallery in the LES that featured free absinthe. He was dressed head to toe like a pirate, complete with a waxed curly mustache and a gold chain that featured a woman having sex with a man-goat. Before leaving, we of course swiped a bottle of absinthe, which proved to be a strong catalyst for an evening of debauchery that followed.

All three of us have been throwing house parties our entire lives. We decided to do it officially with the BangOn name after we threw a party on the roof of my loft that 500 people showed up to. The police and fire department showed up at 1 a.m. with reports of loud music and fire breathers shooting massive balls of flames into the air. When we saw them coming up the fire escape a very attractive and loyal girlfriend of ours ran down to meet them half way, and with out hesitation proceeded to remove her top and bra, which bought us another 30 minutes of partying. I must say BangOn wouldn’t exist without the help of many artists, musicians, and especially good friends!

Brett Herman: We woke up on the same floor back in 2007. We started off throwing a rooftop party with fire performers and a huge sound system that got way out of control- but fortunately some of our (topless) go-go dancers were able to convince the cops not to arrest anybody. From there we just kept trying to outdo ourselves every time, and keep raising the bar!

What is BangOn!NYC and where do you see it going?

TM: BangOn is an experience that takes you out of your everyday life for a night. We take unique venues such as multi-room warehouses, churches, construction sites, and abandoned buildings and transform them into a magical wonderland with music, art, and intrigue for an evening. As our events have grown to over 5,000 people we are expanding into larger outdoor venues, as we did with our Elements Festival, which will take place over two days next summer.

Gene Michael Bradley: You will see BangOn doing big fucking things.. We want to be number one not only in size but also in the quality and diversity of music and experience.

What makes BangOn!NYC different?

BH: Our events are essentially mini-festivals, with multiple stages, rides, slides, large-scale art installations, vendors, gourmet food… For each event, we aim to create a completely immersive experience. Our crowd has also grown organically over the years, mostly through word of mouth, so there’s a very special sense of community and energy in the crowd. And the crowd is really, really good looking.

GMB: Not being a corporate monster helps. But in a nutshell.. BangOn! throws parties for people that like to party.

Let’s talk Warehouse of Horrors and why will it be the must-go-to event of the night.

BH: For starters, our lineup will be incredible. Two indoor stages, plus an outdoor silent disco with dueling DJs atop rival art cars, plus a massive inflatable slide, a full-size haunted house with actors, trick-or-treating, trap doors, one-way mirrors, and a late-night surprise that we certainly don’t want to spoil.

What can we expect for the future and 2014?

BH: Elements is going to be the un-miss-able event in 2014. We have some major acts lined up that we can’t talk about yet, and will feature even more mind-blowing performances and production design. We’re also nominated for “best promoters” in the Paper Magazine Nightlife Awards this year as well. Even though we’re producers rather than promoters, we have a hard time saying no to awards.

GMB: Elements: You will be hearing this name a lot.We are looking good to win an award from the Paper Magazine Nightlife Awards” for “best promoter” [editor’s note: this interview was held prior to the awards ceremony, and they won.] If we do I really hope we get a massive novelty check for like five bucks or something. I would frame it.

BangOn!NYC presents Warehouse of Horrors 2013

Saturday October 26, 2013

9PM-6AM

299 Meserole Street, between Bogart and Waterbury, off the Montrose L train stop.

Get Ready for Halloween With John Carpenter’s Five Spookiest Films

Forget dressing up for Halloween parties—you’re an adult now. The appropriate course now is to sit in the dark scaring yourself silly with classic horror movies while you stuff your face with candy because no trick-or-treaters ever make it to the sixth floor of a walk-up. And while he didn’t always work inside the genre (see: Escape From New York), John Carpenter has always been a master of it, easily equal to your murderous movie marathons.

 

Halloween

Well, sure, duh, it’s got “Halloween” right in the title. But it’s well worth seeing the film that launched a million knockoff slashers, establishing all those beloved clichés about innocent virgins and un-killable psychos. These are also undoubtedly some of the most sensational stabbings since that one notable Hitchcock shower scene.  

 

Assault on Precinct 13

Nothing supernatural to fear here, not even the uncanny Michael Myers, only the relentless hate and bloodlust of our fellow human beings. Carpenter gives politically-correct inclusivity a sick twist as a gang with members of every race turns out to be more of an army, and not inclined to let themselves be ruled by the cops, who fight for their lives against an inexhaustible siege.

   

The Fog

A slow burn, but an extremely satisfying one, with some of the creepiest shots in the Carpenter repertoire: he shoots those rolling, smoky mists with an almost tender touch, and they conceal some top-notch ghouls. With an unexplained phenomenon killing people in a small northwestern town and some dire post-colonial overtones, this is the total package.  

 

They Live

The story of a man who discovers that life on earth is not what he assumed, and from there goes on a bloody rampage in order to kill every parasitic monster hiding in plain sight, They Live will make you laugh even as it unsettles and challenges your deepest beliefs; this dread is only compounded by the passing thought that wrestler Roddy Piper, who plays the tough-guy lead, has actually snapped and is just shooting innocent people.  

 

The Thing 

Indisputably one of Carpenter’s finest achievements. If Alien sets the bar for the haunted-house-in-space subgenre, The Thing is the best invasion allegory, with an extraterrestrial that can mimic any animal running loose inside an isolated Antarctic research station and the terrified occupants suddenly suspicious of one another. Claustrophobic, paranoid, desperate, you’re not going to sleep well after this one—the creature design and practical effects alone are so disgusting, so tactile and there, that you’ll wonder how anyone could prefer CGI. 

Chris Brown Ruins Halloween With Islamophobic Costume

Oh, that’s right: it’s before noon and I’ve dropped an Islamophobic bomb. But come on, you guys. Most of us didn’t get to have Halloween this year (which, granted, is small potatoes when you think of people who still don’t have power or water or, you know, a HOUSE because of hurricane damage), but I generally follow the rule that goes, "If you are given a precious gift, such as the opportunity to dress up for Halloween, don’t fuck it up for the rest of us, you stupid jag off of a human being." Yeah, I’m talking to you, Chris Brown.

That’s Chris Brown in the middle there, guns a-blazin’. Cool costume. Cool beard! Very good at Halloween, Chris Brown. I can totally see what Rihanna sees in him, you know? It’s really that compassionate, sensitive character that really draws a gal to a man, I guess. 

[Image via Hypervocal]

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Halloween Confusingly Postponed Across Mid-Atlantic Region

It’s been a rough couple Halloweens for many kids in the northeast, where the holiday was similarly disrupted by a freak snowstorm last year. It looked bad as soon as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tweeted, in the teeth of the hurricane, that he’d sign an executive order postponing observance—and indeed, this morning, he did just that, setting it for November 5. After All Saints’ Day? The ghosts are not gonna like this one bit.

And now different towns are picking different dates as they see fit. Montclair, N.J., for example, is asking trick-or-treaters to go about their sugar-seeking business from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. TRICK-OR-TREATING IN THE DAYTIME? SURELY YOU JEST. Although I guess it will also cut down on malicious mischief and vandalism—which also seems largely pointless, given the property damage already inflicted up and down the coast.

And you know who really suffers? The candy companies. All they wanted was to stuff children so full of their products that they got sick. So do them a favor today: whether you’re expecting your doorbell to ring or not, pick up some economy-size bags of fun-size chocolate bars, sit in the dark and diligently consume the lot. A sexy costume isn’t required, but it might help get you in the mood.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

   

If You Just Can’t Take Any More ‘Thriller,’ Here’s Diplo’s Radio 1 Halloween Mix

Halloween is the optimal time for a dance party, although one can only tolerate so much cliché seasonally-appropriate music. Yes, that one bro at your party with the silver glove and the zombie makeup learned the "Thriller" dance and is SO EXCITED about it, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit through it for the umpteenth time. If the idea of more "Monster Mash" makes you cringe, you may find solace in Diplo and music video director/producer System D-128’s three-hour-plus creepy, eclectic and thoroughly bumpin’ Halloween mix from the "Diplo & Friends" BBC Radio 1xtra show. From the opening strains of the thundering Godzilla theme music, Diplo goes all over the place, including Afrika Bambaataa, Rihanna, Crookers, Danny Brown, Mykki Blanco and of course, the obligatory M.I.A. remix, while System D-128 goes a bit more traditional Halloween with Haunted Dancehall, Can, Barrington Levy’s "Murderer" and some other eerie sounds.

Be sure to stick with it through the end, to System D-128’s marathon of Three Six Mafia tracks. You can check out the whole tracklist at Diplo’s SoundCloud or NME, and wherever you are this Halloween, crank it loud and get your super-scary dance on. Happy Halloween (or, to BBC listeners, Hallowe’en), y’all! 

‘The American Scream’ Documentary Captures The Halloween-Obsessed

Halloween documentaries are one of those things that I’m surprised there aren’t more of, given the ample amount of visual material. So even though I have no idea what channel the Chiller network is, I may just have to watch The American Scream on Sunday night.

The American Scream follows three Halloween-obssed families, including peeps who prepare all-year-long to decorate their homes with homemade ghosts, skeletons and tombstones they’ve fashioned from dumpster-diving. These folks seem likeable enough and a lot less weird than you might expect from people who keep spare eyeballs hanging around. I mean, at least they’re not collecting hundreds of porcelin dolls, right? They seem rather imaginative and handy with a glue gun. 

I just feel bad for their neighbors.

If you don’t have the Chiller network, additional screenings of The American Scream in brick-and-mortor movie theaters can be found here.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Happy Halloween. Now Eat and Drink Up!

No matter if you are a zombie, a binder full of women, some Marvel superhero, or a sexy what-have-you, there is no excuse not to enjoy eating and partaking in a tipple or eight during this spirit-filled holiday. We have already told you were to party, and Steve Lewis has intel on how he will spend his Halloween; now, here are some special snacks and drinks full of gore(geous) boo(ze).

First up, Richard Sandoval celebrates the dead with an all-night Halloween happy hour at his restaurant Zengo, which includes $8 cocktails, $5 small plates, and on the 31st if you wear a costume, you get a complimentary Witch’s Eye Cocktail. His midtown restaurant Pampano also gets down with the spirits, and from October 26 until November 1, you can try his Day of the Dead specials like the Chicken Tamale, Croquetas de Camote, and raise your own demons with the Flor de Muertos Margarita. Plus, on Halloween, they have $6 margaritas, wine, and mojiotos from 5pm to close. 

There is no time like the present to attend Sleep No More, the eerie, spirit-filled, interactive-play by Punchdrunk. What makes this Sleep No More performance even more enticing is the Carnival des Corbeaux, where they have added a circus bent to the festivities. Plus, starting tonight until the 31st, they have a “Yelloween” after party featuring Veuve Clicquot, an ancient and honorable champagne to go with what one day may be a classic performance. 

Starting Saturday, if you howl like a wolf at Edi & the Wolf, they will reward you with the bright red Wolf’s Blood cocktail, which is made with rye whiskey, Italian vermouth, blood orange liqueur and bitters. You can also enjoy “Tequilaween,” at Barrio 47. Here, feast on blood sausage, cow heart skewers, and sip their special Bloody Punch. DJs spin this Friday, Saturday and on the 31st. On Halloween alone, you can head to Beaumarchais for their epic party celebrating their namesake, author Pierre Beaumarchais, who wrote The Barber of Seville. Hence, they have The Demon Barber of Meatpacking feast featuring Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies and bloody drinks. 

Scared? You should be. If you managed to do all of this you will surly be one of the zombies stumbling to work on November 1, the Day of the Dead. Not that that should stop you.