Afternoon Links: ‘Ninja Turtles’ Gets A Name Change, ‘Harry Potter’ Goes Digital

● Looks like Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be neither "Teenage" nor "Mutant" — not by title, at least. Bay announced on his blog this morning that Paramount marketing has renamed his reboot Ninja Turtles. "They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same," he assured, adding that, "yes they still act like teenagers." [EW]

● The precocious Chloe Moretz has been cast as the tormented adolescent lead in Kimberly Pierce’s upcoming Carrie remake. "I’ve never been so happy in my life," wrote Moretz on Twitter. [Deadline]

● The Harry Potter series is at last going digital, with all seven books now available for download from J.K. Rowling’s own Pottermore site. [WSJ]

● Lil B will give a #rare, #exclusive, and — although it goes without saying — #based lecture about something at NYU on April 11. "THIS WILL BE HISTORICAL AND TRULY LIFE CHANGING, HISTORY STARTS," says the Based God, and we don’t doubt it. [Pitchfork]

● 11 years, 6 million albums sold, and perhaps the best Pitchfork review of all time later, the Aussie rockers that make up Jet have decided to call it quits "to pursue separate creative endeavors." [Spinner]

● They might have lost Khloe Kardashian in the wake of the flour-bombing incident, but a new and beautiful relationship appears to be blooming between the increasingly absurdist PETA and "recently switched to a vegetarian" Courtney Stodden. Lets call it a draw. [NYDN/Gawker]

● Steven Tyler celebrated his 64th birthday with a sparkly blue pedicure, a new puka shell necklace, and a nice walk on the beach. [ONTD]

4AM DJ Tour Diary: DJ Phresh Hits Las Vegas

As a manager and partner at 4AM DJs, I’m constantly producing performances, events, and photo shoots around the world. Every day I get reports back from my DJs filled with the kind of wild adventures I rarely get to be a part of as a desk jockey. The people who flock to these stellar international events get to experience the end result of months of prep, but do they really know what a day in the life of a DJ is like? In this column, you’ll hear first-hand accounts of DJ war stories, with photos and videos from the world’s best to show for it. In this 4AM DJ Tour Diary, read about DJ Phresh‘s insane weekend in Vegas. Yours truly, Adam Alpert.

New York, Friday, March 18th, 7:14am: Vegas is a big deal for a lot of American artists and DJs, but at all I could think about was that one extra minute I had planned for on my Blackberry alarm — 7:15am is so much better than 7:14am, especially when it comes down to New York minutes. One of my managers, Arie Deutsch, was calling me in his Diddy-esque “Goin’ Back to Cali” voice to make sure I was up, and my other manager, Adam Alpert, was dually texting and emailing me to make sure I checked out a mention I got in Page Six for the previous night’s insanity. And so the day begins.

Showered, locked, and loaded, I rushed down the stairs of my apartment, Tumi and Incase bags in hand, right into my car, and proceeded to drive through the pothole run that is the route between Williamsburg and JFK Airport. With 10 minutes left before final bag check time, I pulled in at Terminal 5 only to remember that it is the terminal from hell when it comes to parking. I finally found a spot on the top floor of the structure and had to make what felt like a half-mile dash down the corridor leading to check-in. Gotta love it when they turn off the walkways in the morning! The check-in line was ridiculous, and in true New York nightlife fashion, I caught my breath, put on my best, and approached one of the female attendees, who then escorted me past the line and right up to the counter. “Please help this handsome, sweaty man catch his flight.” she said to her coworker. After the usual bag check and inspection of alien devices, later to be described as my DJ needles and equipment, I met up with Adam and Arie in the terminal and got my customary stash of snacks for the flight. After a couple minutes of safety prayers, I threw my iPad new music playlist on, and then it was heels up, and lights out.

Las Vegas, Friday, March 18th, 1:00 pm. Five animal crackers, a sandwich, a four hour nap, one remix, and twenty levels of Angry Birds later, and hello Las Vegas! There’s just something about Vegas that gets me every time. The minute I land it’s like the entire city is screaming “GO IN!”

The crew and I made our way out toward baggage claim, where our driver was waiting with his “love boat” sign. We got our bags and headed to our first stop on my Vegas Spring Break weekend, The Mirage. Light Group had me set up to spin at The Bank at the Bellagio, Jet nightclub at the Mirage, and The Bare Pool at the Mirage. Light Group is one of the major hospitality development and management companies in the States. I was introduced to them initially through Danny A., who cosigned me for my work at Upstairs.

Once we got to the Mirage, Arie and I decided to go check out the Bare Pool and see what the vibe was down there. It was 70 degrees in Vegas, which totally beats NY’s mid 40’s. When I got to Bare, I bumped into Kalika Moquin, who was running the show. She walked us right in and it was everything I expected. The music was on point, the vibe was right, and the crowd was sexy. It definitely took me a lot longer to blink than usual. After that, we decided to stop by BLT Burger and grab a bite before linking up with my homie, DJ Ikon. Ikon just opened up a sick sneaker store called Feature LV and he wanted me to check out all of the progress they had made since my last visit. Not even 5 minutes into my sneaker hunt, and I already had 3 pairs of kicks on the counter waiting for checkout. Once I wrapped up, I took a trip next door to my other good friends DJ Crooked and DJ Neva’s clothing store, KNYEW, which stands for Keeping New York Everywhere. I picked up a few shirts from some up-and-coming brands, and a couple accessories, and headed back to the Mirage for a pre-game nap. image

Friday, March 18th, 10:00 pm. After waking up and retrieving Arie from the sportsbook, we headed over to the Bellagio and had dinner at Yellowtail, one of my personal favorites. It’s also about 50 feet from The Bank. Once dinner was done, we walked over to the club, which was a total scene. It wasn’t even midnight yet, and it was already packed. We were greeted out front by Colin Comer from The Bank and a linebacker-sized security guard, who then proceeded to make an opening through the crowd toward the DJ booth. DJ Karma was opening and had the crowd nice and ready when we got there. I don’t usually drink — unless it’s with the Light Group crew, apparently. Because Jake Saady from Light Group walked into the booth with Karma in the middle of my set and it automatically became Patron time. At that point, I just went into autopilot and went in with all the hits. Vegas is a hits-only kind of town, and that’s one of the things I love about the crowds. They just want to dance. The Bank is a high-end room, and there’s no room for the too-cool-for-school mentality or wallflowers. As a DJ, it’s the perfect stage to exert your crowd motivation and party rocking skills. I stayed on until after 3am, tapped out, and passed the headphones to Karma.

Saturday, March 19th, 5:00am. In a perfect world, at this time of morning I’d be tucked under some high thread covers, dead-to-the-world-asleep, but not in Vegas. We leave The Bank and and somehow got from the Bellagio over to the a bright and modern hotel, whose name I was too drunk to remember, where we met up with some friends for some late night gambling, and then over to a friend’s two-story suite for the after-after party. The rest of this story has been redacted to protect the not-so-innocent and their fuzzy warbles. Bedtime: 10am.

Saturday, March 19th, 4:00pm. So tonight is Jet Nightclub, and a 10pm reservation at Stack. I was supposed to spin the Bare Pool earlier at 3 but the temperature dropped 15 degrees, so it’s not warm enough outside for the pool to be open. It’s a big let down because it would have been my first pool party in Vegas. But there’s always next time. Kalika and the Light Group crew were cool about it too, and let me know that they’d make up next time. So now it’s time to get productive, which means remixes.

Saturday, March 19th, 10:00 pm. I headed down to Stack Restaurant, where Light Group had us set up with an all-you-can-eat dinner for 6. The food was great. I usually don’t enjoy DJing on a full stomach, but I didn’t feel that weighed down or tired after the meal. After dinner, I ran up to the room to find myself real quick, and then came down and met up with JT and security. They took me over to the club through the secret “bat cave” entrance, which led right up to the red carpet. I had a couple shots taken, and then ran inside and hopped on with DJ Ikon.

Jet was insanely packed, and more hip-hop centered than The Bank. At around midnight, I got on with Ikon’s blessing and started to go to work. A short while later, Adam Alpert showed up with a huge crew to support me. Ikon had the “Patron Time” look in his eyes, so we went down that road again. My encore set was even more fun for me, because I actually got to spin house. New York clubs want to leave on a high-energy note, but every now and then you should smooth them out. Once the club finally closed, we decided to go meet up with my good friend and a great DJ, David Christian.

DC does the DJ booking for Light Group. We met over at this local Asian restaurant on Spring Mountain Road that all of the industry people go to. It was pretty packed for that hour of the night, and the food was remarkable. Good times were had, and I got a chance to meet some more of the local Vegas DJs. The camaraderie amongst DJs in Vegas is unrivaled. After failing miserably at downing the mountain of pad thai I ordered, I decided to call it a night and skipped past the sexting part of the night right for the pillows. Overall, the trip was successful and fun, and that’s the best you can ask for — good times with good people, and a whole lot of left-out details, because what happens in Vegas…well, you know the rest.

Vegas Club Girl: “I Was Groomed on Cocaine”

Yesterday, an anonymous former VIP nightclub waitress in Las Vegas sued her former employers, the Light Group, for creating a workplace environment fueled by sex, booze, cash, and blow. The allegations are serious if unsurprising; Jane Doe worked at Jet and Bare while in the Light Group’s alleged clutches. While employed there, she was strongly encouraged/ordered to overindulge in alcohol, “ingest” cocaine, and bang the whales who frequent the VIP sections.

The allegations about various managers and owners fondling, propositioning, ridiculing, and prostituting their nubile employees are so rotely typical of these situations as to seem almost mundane. That does not make them any less reprehensible if true, of course — particularly the euphemistically described “marketing program” where “company girls” earned rights to the richest tables and timeslots by having sex with selected patrons. But yes, apparently there was also lots and lots of cocaine, used in classic pimp fashion to both indoctrinate the girls as well as keep them skinny. Jane Doe’s ended up ODing, and she spent a good bit of time in rehab as a result. Though her complaint is relatively short on evidence, the general consensus is that the particular lawyers representing her are not known for losing bets. So if this actually goes to trial, could be some lurid details in the offing.

Industry Insiders: Jodi Myers, Sin City Bank Teller

Jodi Myers, managing partner of The Bank nightclub at the Bellagio, on where her industry pals hang out in Vegas, her love of local poker legends, and how she climbed up the Sin City nightlife ladder.

Where do you go out? Honestly, I travel for my work, so I’m definitely always going to the new places and checking out the newest things. I went to the opening of Atlantis, and it was crazy! By far, Dubai is the most liberal place in the Middle East where they can go and relax a little bit, a kind of Vegas-by-the-sea.

What are you doing tonight? Tonight I’m going out with old friends in town, and we’ll probably hit up some of the local hot spots — as every place has their “industry night,” starting off at Caramel lounge in the Bellagio, and just hop around to the rest. I’ll go to a rock bar called like Wasted Space and then to Hard Rock and the Rocks Lounge. Maybe New York, New York and then to Nori, which is just a little lounge.

How did you get your start? I started out in Minnesota where I grew up before I went to college where I actually got my start in the nightclub industry; I paid my way through school working the bar in night clubs. Right after 9/11, I graduated from school and went to Vegas — where nobody was hiring. I finally got a job as a cocktail waitress in a club and worked my way up to marketing and was a nightclub host. I opened up Jet nightclub in the Mirage, and from there, I kind of moved higher, trained doing managing and different things. They made a me a partner in the Bank nightclub in the Bellagio, so I saw everything from hiring to everything else that’s involved in opening and running a successful club. Now, because I want to be involved in all of our entities, I’m also the president of customer development.

What made you stay in the game? I’ve always loved the hospitality industry and meeting new people, so for me it was just a natural thing that I got into. I didn’t realize you could make a career out of it until I moved to Vegas. The nightclub scene out here is crazy! I just enjoy what I do. I saw the potential in the industry, so I just kept working hard and trading up.

Do you have any non-industry projects in the works? As far as charity goes, I haven’t been involved in just one cause, but in a number of them. For instance, we’ve done different events — and just did one last Sunday and donated food goods for the holidays to a number of local charities. Every week, I have arts and crafts day, something silly I do … I make pieces of art into clothing. I always think I can do it myself, but I’d say about one in ten of my attempts turn out. But it’s fun and therapeutic … it’s anything from creating clothing from works of art to painting them, and I have a whole room devoted to it.

Who are your industry icons? I would say [poker legend] Bobby Baldwin. He is an amazing story. where he came from to where he is now, and he’s such a giving, amazing person.

Who do you bounce around with? One thing about working in this industry is that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet lots of people. One night I’ll be hanging with celebrities who come to Vegas or who I meet at one of my new hotspots around the world, another night with some powerful executive, the next night I’m with friends. They’re all completely different people every night.

What’s in the future? I plan on growing with the company as I have in the past … the Light group is expanding into the hotel portion of things, and it’s growing fast.

Las Vegas: Top 5 Local & Industry Nights

imageCatch that cute server when they’re not on the clock.

1. Jet (Strip: Central) – On Mondays, this massive, three-room club invites Vegas’ huge population of waitresses and bartenders to drink, dance to hip-hop and talk about you. 2. Studio 54 (Strip: Central) – “Influence Tuesdays” is one of the city’s older industry parties, drawing all kinds of club backers and bottle flippers together under the giant disco ball. 3. Privé (Strip: Central) – “Money for Nothing” Mondays offer free admission for locals and industry folks with $5000 literally dropping from the ceiling. To try and make up for all those Europeans who don’t tip.

4. Cathouse (Strip: South) – “Madame Mondays” draws a local crowd to the bordelloesque club with guest DJs, fashion shows and industry parties. 5. Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce (Strip: South) – “Silicone Sundays.” Yup, strippers need a night to party off-duty too.

Las Vegas: Top 5 After-Hours Clubs

imageYou’ll sleep when you’re dead.

1. Drai’s (Strip: Central) – Locals and tourists, gays and straights, executives and wage slaves, all party together until 9 a.m. in this small, sophisticated, plush club. 2. Jet (Strip: Central) – Huge nightspot features three different rooms, each with a different soundtrack and atmosphere. The later it gets, the more room there is to dance. 3. Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce (Strip: South) – The transplant of Los Angeles’ famed burlesque revival club does something they’d never do in LA: stays open until 8 a.m.

4. Gipsy (Off-Strip East) – Las Vegas’ favorite gay club only gets wilder as the sun comes up. 5. Seamless (Off-Strip West) – After 4 a.m., this stripper room turns into a somewhat mookish club, but, hey, it’s open until noon.

Your ‘Fear and Loathing’ Las Vegas Weekend

Go ahead, ball out of control. This is Vegas after all.

Friday Stay. TheHotel. You need a place that’s isolated, where they won’t ask questions. A place with two exits.

3:30 p.m. Big Elvis at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon. A 500-lb. hunka hunka burnin’ love pays tribute to the King.

5:30 p.m. The Gun Store. Hit the firing range now, while your hands are still steady.

8 p.m. Trader Vic’s for dinner. Mai Tais. Giant tiki heads.

10 p.m. Bonanza Gift Shop. Eschew their more elegant offerings — vintage-repro linen postcards and T-shirts so retro-hip they’d look good under a Slimane jacket — for tacky plastic visors, Hawaiian shirts, slot machine lighters, souvenir flasks and the booze to fill them.

11 p.m. Dive Bar at The Tank. Watch the sharks. Feel free to take a dip in the Jacuzzi, but bear in mind that swimsuits are required.

12:30 a.m. Fremont Street. Watch the overhead light show, check out the motorcyclists in the “cage of death,” have a $1 tequila shot.

1:30 a.m. Wasted Space. They’re already used to the running amok at the Hard Rock’s newest bar.

3 a.m. Las Vegas Lounge. Vaguely sinister, over-the-top tranny bar. It’s the middle of the night in Vegas, and you’re exactly where you should be.

5 a.m. White Cross lunch counter. Satisfy late-night/early-morning cravings with a hubcap-sized burger or cheddar-drenched omelet.

Saturday 11 a.m. “Mini-Baja” Dune Buggy Adventure. Make sure you’re awake, dressed, hydrated, and caffeinated by the time the shuttle picks you up.

3 p.m. TheHotel. You’re back! Head for the hotel room if in need of disco nap, hotel pool if not. Either way, take a long, sand-removing shower first.

5:30 p.m. RM Seafood. All that tooling around in the desert gives one an appetite for the ocean.

7:30 p.m. Love, Cirque de Soleil’s trippy, Technicolor celebration of the Beatles is the next best thing to actually hallucinating.

9:30 p.m. “Dealertainer” Pit at the Imperial Palace. Play poker with a six-foot, 200-pound Caucasian Michael Jackson, or roulette with a more convincing Gwen Stefani. Place side bets on whether the red wig is supposed to be Wynona, Reba, or Bette.

10:30 p.m. Horse-A-Round Bar at Circus Circus. The kitschy carousel bar is usually closed, but the gates are open on Saturdays. And, if they’re not, just get a drink downstairs, hop the fence, and settle into a pink vinyl booth. (You didn’t think you were going to follow the rules all weekend, did you?)

Midnight. Jet. Large, three-room club means you’ll always have another space to try if boredom begins to settle in. Or need to flee when the tourists around you begin to resemble lizards.

3 a.m. Double Down. No tour of hedonistic Las Vegas would be complete without the hedonist’s favorite punk rock dive bar. Adventurous souls can order the late-night special: A can of Schlitz, a shot of “ass juice,” and a Slim Jim for $5.

Sunday Noon. TheHotel. Awaken with a start. Was it Fellini or Lynch who directed that dream?

1 p.m. Burger Bar. Brunch, lunch, whatever. Just make sure it has extra cheese and sweet potato fries.