Talking New Year’s Eve at the Dream Downtown With Jonathan Schwartz

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With Christmas finally behind us, the club world races towards its biggest payday and biggest headache: New Year’s Eve. I always looked at New Year’s Eve as an opportunity to make a statement. I always booked a big act and great DJ’s with the philosophy that I would get everyone left in town to come down and have a great party, while those who had shipped off to exotic lands would be aware of our greatness from afar. With that in mind I booked Grace Jones (often), Isaac Hayes, Eartha Kitt, Sandra Bernhardt, Debby Harry, Psychedelic Furs, Cab Calloway, and many other great acts to extend our cachet to the next year. The cold hard winter looms and revenue streams dry up. Money made during December and on the Eve will help venues get by. Most joints opt out and let a company like Joonbug handle New Year’s Eve. Joonbug and other event companies pay flat fees and sell tickets to their fan base. The worry and work of promoting the night is farmed out and a guarantee replaces the anxiety. This year I was booked early as a DJ for Marble Lane at the Dream Downtown. Jonathan Schwartz has taken over the entire joint and is hard at work filling multiple rooms. Besides little ol’ me he has the DJ duo The Chainsmokers, DJ M.O.S., Francis Mercier, and Joey Greiner. I just got word that Nas will be hosting. This sounds like fun. I caught up with Jonathan and asked him all about it.

Taking over the Dream Downtown for New Year’s Eve is ambitious. How did you come to the decision to do this?

Last year, I took over part of the Dream Downtown (the Gallery Event space and Marble Lane) and we sold it out easily and ended general admissions prices at an NYC all-time high of $1k per ticket. So we thought this year OFFER MORE, make New Year’s Eve an entire property event including: The Gallery & Marble Lane (pictured) hosted by Nas with DJ’s Steve Lewis, MOS, The Chainsmokers and more… PH-D with DJ Phresh overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and "Below the Dream," our most intimate space for 125 guests, featuring music by DJ Cameron Smalls. I figured now we have something for everybody.

Each of the rooms has an established year-round identity. Did this identity affect programming? What is going on in each venue?

Gallery is an awesome raw event space. It screams "cool" and "big room fun experience" to me. Past events here have included the Victoria’s Secret show after-party and Marc Jacobs after-party, so this was the perfect room for me to have Nas host later in the evening and let The Chainsmokers play their big room house to bring in the new year. Marble Lane is a restaurant by trade, but when transformed into a lounge for New Year’s Eve makes for an amazing set up. Marble Lane became the "it" place to hang last year at the Dream Downtown first annual New Year’s Eve event with music by Questlove and DJ Reach. This year we keep the cool with Steve Lewis, and the amazing mash-up set of MOS. PH-D is New York’s top rooftop space, boasting everyone’s favorite weekly Saturday party, "Sunset Saturdays." PH-D is one of the best rooms you could ever spend a New Year’s Eve in, with the view of New York City and the amazing hospitality they provide. Below the Dream will be for those who want to go out on New Year’s, but keep it super sexy and intimate without the big room hassle. DJ Cameron Smalls will be there with a mash-up set of hip-hop, rock, electronic music, and more, keeping this room the most private cozy spot in the building. By embracing what each room has to offer, the Dream Downtown is the #1 destination for its versatility, and this was the vision from day one. Party, sleek, intimate, rooftop views, great music, great service, is what the Dream Downtown will offer.

How do you get the right people into the right venue?

PH-D has its own ticket type, allowing tickets buyers for PH-D access only for the rooftop. Gallery and Marble Lane have their own ticket types for general admission and tables. Below the Dream has its own ticket type as well. But of course, we do have limited all-access passes available which will get you into any room on the property.

What is your role at Strategic Group?

My role has evolved over the years, handling our headlining DJ’s, promoters, VIP guests, marketing, really anything to improve the business while working with the team (Noah, Judy, Andrew, Rich, and many more) on the latest focus: gearing up as a partner for Marquee NY, coming in 2013!

Are you learning the back-of-the-house stuff, or is marketing/promotion your ambition?

My goal is to become a "360 operator" and learn more each day. Very few people in our business are 360 degrees in their understanding of both front and back-of-the-house hospitality. I’ve learned a ton about back of the house the past two years but will continue to learn more until I’m a complete 360 guy. I think I’m getting close.

What is the vibe this New Year’s Eve? Is it is escapist, celebratory, reflective, bonkers?

The vibe this year is cool and celebratory. Be in the cool NYC party with the best DJ’s, best crowd that’s in NYC on New Year’s, and hosted by Nas. New Year’s is celebratory and our lineup, promotions, and Nas is just very cool, I don’t see anyone else doing what we have created here. Seems to me its either go to a cool hotel party, or an EDM concert like Armin Van Buuren at Pier 36.

Why the hell did you hire me for New Year’s Eve except for this article?

Had to hire Steve Lewis when it got presented to me as an option by Adam Alpert of 4am DJ’s. I actually think Steve that you were The first DJ I confirmed on the event. An article is great of course, but when you have a guy like yourself who has been to about 30 New Year’s Eve events, I entrust the music in Marble Lane to you and DJ MOS.

I’m Back: New Year’s Nightlife Rumors, Openings, and Transformations

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So I’m back. Frankly, I was too pooped to write after that marathon of Halloween, Sandy, Christmas, and New Year’s. New Year’s was spent at the Dream Hotel Downtown. I DJ’d the Marble Lane restaurant and had the most fun. My DJ style is a bit pure. I mostly offer rock and roll some old soul as, after all, I am an old soul. I was smart enough to bring along a ringer, DJ Louis XIV, who is used to and embraces the commercial sounds necessary for a NYE good time. He and we rocked it…  by adding in hip-hop and R&B and other non- rock stuff. Before the crowds arrived, the staff was line-dancing to the Temptations and Bootsy Collins offerings I served up. Someone told me there were 300 people servicing the event. It was marvelous to see Strategic Group types like Jonathan Schwartz and Matt Stauss service the good time had by all. DJ MOS relieved us, and we scooted into the night.

New Year’s Eve is not as chaotic as I remember it. In Times Square, humans are herded into pens to watch the ball drop as opposed to the massive and sometimes violent chaos of decades ago. Even the clubs are adjusted. With transportation problematic, and most places farming out the night to promo groups with high ticket prices and open bars, there is less movement. People go to a place and stay there and then go home. New Year’s has become controlled and sanitized, leaving only Halloween for the madness.

I have lots of rumors and movement to talk about but am heading off to my day job. I’m designing a restaurant out in Huntington Long Island and a coffee shop uptown. Hotel Chantelle is getting a face lift, and I’ll be there tonight for the 2013 launch of BINGO with Linda Simpson and Murray Hill. Yes, I am spending a lot of time up at XL Nightclub. Contrary to many whispers, I am not involved in the spot, other than consulting on a renovation of one of the rooms. I love XL; it’s big and fun and the staff is sexy and familiar.

One other thing that pleases me to report is Frankie Sharp of Westgay at Westway Tuesdays is doing another night. He will launch Fridays (isn’t that clever) at Santos Party House come February. Santos is settling in as that one reliable club you can send your downtown types to without knowing what’s going on. There is something always going on. I took a mini tour at the new train-themed, Williamsburg bar called Passenger. It is wonderful, chic and stylish, and staffed well. I was just booked there for Sailor Jerry’s Birthday Bash next Monday. I love DJing Tattoo events. There’s so much more but I’m going to just get my feet wet today. Tomorrow, we will plunge back in.

How Birthday Boy and Strategic Group’s Jonathan Schwartz Stays On Top

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When I was king of the castle, people were always surprised that I did any "day" work for my nightlife career. They actually believed I woke up at 4pm, had a swanky brunch, went to a boutique, bought a dozen expensive looks (on the cheap), had dinner at the best place in town (on the cuff), and then showed up at work (game-face on), barked some orders, and waited for the fabulous to show up. Nightlife doesn’t just happen. The few that make it look easy are the ones that rarely sleep and are completely enveloped in their work. It’s a thousand phone calls, a million texts, tweets, tumbles, and face-to-face meetings – yes, people still do that. It’s adjustments of what ain’t working, and refining of what ain’t broke. It’s a thousand small things that add up to big bucks at the end of the year. You are never alone, but you often feel isolated and detached. My ex used to say that when I opened a club, it was as if I was its heart and I had to keep beating or it would simply not work. An old adage that I always kept close said, "It’s not just a nightclub…but a way of life.”

Jonathan Schwartz is doing it, and doing it, and doing it well for the biggest game in town: Strategic Group. He is having his birthday tonight at Lavo, naturally. A super-duper, uber-secret DJ is promised. Since I DJ on Thursdays at Hotel Chantelle, I gave Jonathan my birthday wishes. I still haven’t figured out how to be in two places at the same time.

I caught up with the young Jedi Master and asked him all about it.

First of all, happy birthday. You are celebrating at Lavo… Tell me about the reason behind that choice of venue and what I might find if I could attend.
Hey Steve, Thank you for the birthday wishes, always good catching up with the man who’s seen it all AKA MR. Lewis! Ha. Celebrating my birthday at Lavo NY tonight because I think it’s the most well-rounded venue in NYC right now, and for me, it’s my Cheers. The venue delivers on hospitality, with great service, lighting, and sound, Top DJ talent such as Avicii, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, and Nicky Romero, and international crowd, image, special effects, and much more.

With that said, I can’t think of a better place to invite my oldest and newest friends to celebrate another year as the summer approaches. Thursday night you will find NYC’s elite and, what we all know as "the industry" crowd, along with friends looking to let loose to great music and champagne.

What is your role with Strategic Group and what is a typical day/night like?
My role at Strategic Group is head of nightlife marketing and programming,
My day-to-day consists of:

10am: in the office (working on promotions, talent-buying, concepts for nights, and working with my co-workers Rich Thomas and Andrew Goldberg to help curate the venues we call home (Lavo, Avenue, Dream Downtown, Marquee, Artichoke). Anything I can do on a given day to better the overall business, that’s my goal. As of late, much of my focus has been on our DJ line-up at Lavo NY –  not only booking an act, but making sure it’s the right date is equally as important.
Noon: take a few meetings, coffee, lunch, meet with people for future business and ideas.
2pm: staff meetings
3pm: payroll (make sure promoters/DJs I am responsible for are being paid properly and on time).
4pm: outreach, touch base with people, connect, reconnect.
6pm: what am I doing tonight…make plans for a given evening. I know I’ll always be with my close crew, but who do we want to let in that night to join us?
Dinner: host a dinner and go out to our venues. My favorite nights to go out are Thursdays at Lavo, and Tuesday’s new house music night at Avenue.
12:15am: arrive to club, host important guests (could be DJs), someone looking for a BIG night out, and my friends.
4am: go home (maybe stop at Artichoke pizza on the way, ha).Go through my phone and make sure I replied to everyone for that day – both business and personal. Always try to be accessible and available.
530am: SLEEP

Tell me about the Hamptons.
For the past eight years, I’ve spent a lot of time out in the Hamptons. Last summer was a very successful summer for me personally, as well as for the team I worked with out there.

I will decide about this coming season after my birthday. The Hamptons are filled with mostly the same faces year in and year out which is what I love most about it; it’s comfortable, and you know people on a very personal level.

I’m looking forward to deciding where my Hamptons outpost will be this coming 2012 season and letting people know next week, but I do know I’ll be spending a lot of time at the Stadium Red Estate house as much as I can, as I love the events my close friends Claude and Lee throw there.

How did you get into the biz and where are you headed with it?
I got into the business on a small scale when I was a junior in college. My three best friends and I started promoting parties over the summers when we were home and on winter breaks. We simply would invite our friends, and it started to escalate quickly, from 100 people, to 300, to 800 people. They eventually went on to finance and internet marketing, and I decided to stick with the hospitality business.

Post-college, I went on to direct promotions for former venues Manor and Arena before meeting Noah Tepperberg and joining the Strategic Hospitality Group family four years ago.

Today, I focus most of my time on Strategic Group and Tao/Lavo group venues, the Hamptons, and my most recent passion: Bounce Music Festival. The Festival is a college music festival touring company that brings some of the biggest acts into college towns. The most recent show was in Bloomington, Indiana for what’s known as Little 500 weekend, featuring Tiesto, Alesso, Tim Mason, and Topher Jones. My partners, Brandon Silverstein and Jared Lyons, are juniors at Indiana University and you will be interviewing them in years to come, I am sure!

Future plans are in the works since everyday something new gets thrown my direction. I’m always moving forward, never being stagnant. The hospitality industry is about staying ahead of the curve, finding trends before they occur, and putting my personal twist on them. With that, I have some fun ideas I’m working on bringing to life that I believe people want to experience.

Jonathan Schwartz Talks South Pointe, This Summer’s Hamptons Destination

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There were a few times this winter when the summer seemed as impossibly distant as an Oscar for Tom Cruise. I still look for patches of tough snow when I walk the puppies through McCarren Park, and yet here we are, less than 2 weeks away from the summer season. The big news on the Hamptons party circuit is the redux of the Tavern space in Southampton as South Pointe. Leading the charge at South Pointe is Jonathan Schwartz, a one time promoter who has often been associated with Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, and The Strategic Group.

I (and many others), simply assumed that Jonathan was just fronting for the big guys, but I am told that is not the case at all. I asked Noah about it and he told me, “I love John and think he will be one of the future players in the Hamptons scene, but because of his sometimes affiliation with me, my partners, and our venues, we have already been linked to his venture, which I’m sure you can understand bothers us since we have nothing to do with it.”

Noah continued, saying, “After 15 years, me, Jason, Strategic Group, Lavo, Avenue, and Marquee are finally not doing anything nightlife related in the Hamptons this summer.” Noah and crew had been doing the Steve Lewis-designed space, Dune, for four years with Matt Shendell but have dissolved that partnership. Matt decided to keep the name and that has led to rumor and speculation. Noah tells me that they are “concentrating on our Vegas and NYC hotel venture.” The Dream Downtown is getting close and I am promised a tour soon, so I’ll keep you posted. Noah emphasized how much he loves and respects Jonathan and wishes him the best with this venture.

After sorting that out, I caught up with Jonathan Schwartz and asked him about South Pointe.

Tell me about South Pointe and how you become involved. I’ve spent the past four summer seasons overseeing marketing and hospitality at Dune nightclub, also in Southampton, so my experience and knowledge of Southampton nightlife is of the highest level. However, towards the end of last season at Dune, I noticed that my friends, clients, and industry peers seemed to be looking for something new, so in January when Gordon and Erik von Broock, along with Stephen Tedeschi approached me about coming on board as a partner/owner to steer the ship for South Pointe , it was time to take the next step, ownership. Can you explain the transition from being in promotions and marketing to owning a slice? It’s 1am on a Tuesday night and I’m sitting in the office gearing up for South Pointe’s Hamptons debut on Memorial Day Weekend and for my birthday party in just 2 days (to be celebrated at Lavo NYC with two of my favorite DJ’s, Steve Aoki and Jesse Marco, where I expect 1,200 to 1,500 to show up). As I sit, going through staffing, sound & lighting, graphic design, contracts, budgets, DJ line ups, celebrity calendars, and special events for South Pointe, I realize that in just ten days I will be opening the “go-to” spot in the Hamptons for summer 2011 party goers.

You seem confident. Why? The team we have developed is a “Dream Team.” With nightlife veterans Randy Scott and Jamie Hatchett running VIP operations—the top image hosts on the East Coast—and my partners the Von Broocks, Ben Greiff, David Marino, Stephen Tedeschi, this will be the freshest Hamptons experience offered in years. This is a music-driven venue, boasting the best DJs from around the world and New York City. If the DJ is king these days, then South Pointe is home, boasting the world famous DJ talents of Avicii, Calvin Harris, Max Vangeli, Funkagenda and many more while also keeping the New York State of mind with local staples such as David Berrie, Jesse Marco, Ruckus, Jus Ske, and The Chainsmokers.

How did you get involved in the hospitality business? Prior to the South Pointe venture, I spent many years coming through the ranks of the nightlife hierarchy—so to speak—to get to the Pointe where I am today (pun intended, ha). Growing up in New York and Alpine , New Jersey, I always had an interest in hospitality such as fine restaurants, nightclubs, and concerts.In college, I would do holiday parties through out the year such as Thanksgiving Eve at Serefina and Lobby. Then in the summertime, I would take over venues and throw weekly events, which my friends would attend while home over the summer months. When I graduated from college in 2005, I began working full-time on my events, taking pride in breaking sales records in different venues across the city, leaving owners impressed and wondering who this new, young entrepreneur was.I caught my first break when I was hired at Aer by Eli Jafari to help run promotions at the Meatpacking hotspot. Following our run at Aer, I also ran Manor in Meatpacking, which is where I met many of my peers. After a year, I left Manor to take on the promotional directing role at Arena in Midtown, which was new territory. The venue was a huge success, and to date, one of my fondest moments in nightlife was when we had Kanye West perform his new single at the time (“Stronger”) before it was released. People went nuts, the venue was packed, and I was responsible on that evening for the best party in New York. I realized at this moment that I was on to something special.

What was your role within The Strategic Group? My promotions had grown from my closest ten friends, to one thousand people following me per night. Arena went on to be sold which is when I found my new home where I have spent the last three years as Director of Marketing and Promotions For Noah Tepperberg, partner/owner of Hospitality power house Strategic Group, Tao Group, Lavo Group, Avenue NYC, Marquee LV and Marquee NYC. Working day in and day out with the likes of Noah has shaped me into a business man, rather than just a promoter with a work ethic extending 20 hours per day. Now, I look to take these years of experience, work, and drive back out to Southampton and create a brand in South Pointe that can hopefully be rolled out as part of a bigger picture plan.

image South Pointe exterior

A Response to ClubPlanet’s Most Hated People in Nightlife

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In an article appearing on his Clubplanet blog, Justin Ross Lee named the “Top Ten Most Hated People in New York Nightlife,” a list in which he includes himself. I like the idea of this list, specifically the idea of identifying who the biggest assholes and bullies are. I just think Justin’s list is a little too narrow. With the exception of Strategic Group honcho Noah Tepperberg, he names the puppets and not the puppeteers. I became aware of the list when promoter Sally Shan, who made the list, asked me what she should do about it. I had just written about Sally, and she told me it had reinvigorated her haters, which is odd since she is certainly not a bad person. In fact, she is hard working, moral and somewhat pleasant. Promoters like her are motivated by many things — money, glamour, excitement — but the need to feel loved is at the core of it. This is especially true for Sally, since her big heart doesn’t take criticism well.

My advice to her was not to worry. “I was on the top of lists like that for years!” I said, “If you don’t have a few haters, you’re doing it wrong. Promoters are generally people who, besides the money, seek admiration. Those going down that road will have haters throwing dirt at them. The bigger you get, the bigger the target you become. Feel sorry for those who find satisfaction in hurting others … they are merely moths to your flame since they have no light of their own. Otherwise they just live in the darkness of their own making.”

This seemed to cheer her up, and as any good promoter would do, she proceeded to publicize the mention proudly. Others on the list include Matt Lipman, a promoter who flies under my radar, so how bad can he be? Adam “The Glove” Glovsky is another promoter I can’t see harming a fly or doing anything except annoying people to come to his events. I’m sure Glovsky and the other promoters disturb people with texts and Facebook invites, but that’s part of their job. Jonathan Schwartz is harmless — unfortunately, way more harmless than he himself thinks. He is brighter than most and has risen quickly through the unwashed promotional ranks to become a promotional director. Although snarky at times, he is never malicious, and this “hated” branding is uncalled for. David Jaffee, like Adam, considers annoying an art form and is so good at it that the art form becomes fun. Mathew Assante is a puppy, not a pit bull. He is always a gentleman that travels with a polite and pretty crew, and I have never seen him do or say anything that would warrant an emotion as strong as hate.

Now as Justin Ross Lee described them, “the rope rats.” Aalex Julian and Rich Thomas stand in front of clubs that hold about a tenth of the number of people that want to enter them. Saying “no” a few thousand times a night will collect haters. To the people who know them and are deemed worthy to enter their spots, they are a pair that is loved: both are professional and both must be defined as people who have a lot more going on than standing in the cold and rejecting the Justin Ross Lees of the world. The only really big fish on this list is Noah Tepperberg. He is described by Justin as “Dr. Evil.” I’ve known Noah for over 15 years and have never seen or heard of him going back on his word. His success is undeniable, his list of friends expansive — he supports thousands of people with his vision. Noah loves what he does and has quietly been a friend to so many in need. Running an empire is not an easy task and if sometimes he seems distracted or indifferent to the small talk of people he doesn’t know, it should be forgiven.

In a business populated with real assholes, Justin Ross Lee seems to have named none except himself. Out of the 10 he lists, only he remains without my defense, which is ironic since Justin once told me that he was going to try to be the most hated man in the business. To do that one has to actually be in the business and be important enough to be noticed, which means one has to target the real players and creeps rather than point out the people who deign to kiss one’s ass. I certainly am hated by many and accept that as part of what I do. I’ve always felt that If some people “like” me then I must be failing. I like Justin a great deal — he’s smart, witty and I consider his antics a unique branding ploy. But he throws spitballs, not rocks, which doesn’t really earn him a spot on my hated list. There’s plenty of real live jerks out there who need calling out, and Justin seems to be flailing about and screaming like a three-year-old trying to get the adults’ attention. I’m an adult, Justin Ross Lee, and now you have me listening. Did you have anything important to say?

Giuseppe Cipriani & Socialista’s Extended Holiday

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imageA new generation of young professionals are making their way up the club ranks and will — in the not so distant future — be running things. Jonathan Schwartz comes to mind over at Strategic Group, as well as today’s girl on the spot Ms. Lindsay Luv. For a very long time, creative types were locked out of nightlife as the business boys broke down fun into pie charts and spreadsheets. For many, it was indeed the fun that broke down. Lindsay Luv is upwardly mobile, and as my good friend Voula would sometimes say: unstoppable. But before we get to Lindsay, I’d like to comment on a very big story that’s percolating around town — the “continuing closing” of Socialista.

On the surface, it seems like a minor violation from the Health Department, which would normally be handled quite routinely so people could be spilling Grey Goose on their Christian Louboutins in a matter of days. But it’s not happening, and that little not happening says a lot.

Now, I don’t pretend to know all that’s going on, but there are people hinting that there is a lot more to it, involving the Andrew Cuomo investigation on Giuseppe Cipriani and how he managed to get his liquor license despite the fact that he’s no longer qualified to have one. The cover story floated that it would put all these people out of work, and nobody wants that, etc. etc. But with Caroline Kennedy’s Senate bid floundering in a sea of “you knows,” Andrew Cuomo, the next guy in line, is dying for a headline. But Socialista can’t open, according to a pal who quoted the great Armin, “because Giuseppe can’t come back into the country, so the problem can’t be cleared up with the violation, and the club will remain closed.”

My source says that it’s not the government that Mr. Cipriani has the problem with, because he “played ball” with them. My guy says the people that were mentioned in these conversations between Cipriani and the government are not happy, and they very much want to “discuss” this matter with Cipriani in private — so he’s opted to stay far away. Now, people whisper things in my ear all the time, and often it just doesn’t make sense — but damned if this doesn’t sound real. It could be a cool movie depending on who writes the ending. Anyway, to Lindsay.

What do you do, Lindsay Luv? I’ve worked in marketing and the music business for about seven years since I moved to New York from Boston. My parents were both teachers, and I decided I wanted to go to New York and be a big music industry hustler and DJ and do all this crazy stuff, and they were like … “OK, just pay your bills.” So I came out here, and I originally wanted to do comedy writing on the side, so I worked on Chapelle’s Show the first season.

As a writer? No, I was in PR. I was doing my first internship at Comedy Central, and then I randomly got hooked up with the Raveonettes and their producers and so forth.

Tell me who the Raveonettes are. The Raveonettes are a big rock band. They were on Columbia for a number of years, and they’ve put out five or six albums now. They’re an amazing band — they’ve toured with Depeche Mode, they kind of sound like the White Stripes, and at the time they weren’t as big as they were. They’re playing at Webster Hall on Friday. I met their producer — who was the old producer from Blondie and the GoGo’s, Richard Gottehrer — and he kind of became my mentor. He was the reason I worked in music … he was this old school music producer, and he wrote the songs “I Want Candy” and “My Boyfriend’s Back.” He kind of took me under his wing, and we started working on the Raveonettes. I was helping with the management team for a while. That’s how I started off in the music business, and since then I’ve worked for a number of lifestyle and marketing agencies, throwing big events in New York with top talent like Chromeo, Justice and the Raveonettes. Castles was my last big show with this agency I just worked with. So the Raveonettes kind of started me off, and then I started working for marketing agencies as a business development events-planning kind of guru … booking big talent at venues all across New York for a different brand.

So now you do Tuesday nights over at Ella, one of my favorite places — designed by Carlton Varney, an old school guy, who did the green room at the Oscars last year. And I guess he’s famous because he did Joan Crawford’s house. I’m kind of doing two halves of all these clubs. On one side I’m a resident DJ at some of these places — for example, we just got hired to be the resident DJ at Cain on Wednesdays. I’m going to be doing Saturdays at Webster Hall in the Studio, and then Tuesdays at Ella, and then a lot of other gigs are falling in between. So I’m throwing two hats — one side of it is I’m DJing these parties, and I’m promoting and hosting and all that, and the other side is that I’m actually being hired by a lot of these venues to do marketing consultation, promotional things, booking of the talents. So not only DJing the nights, but also helping them run the nights, hire the talent, and really do the whole campaign.

And what has attracted you to club business — are you in it for the money, the boys, the combination of these? I think a little bit of both. I think I just really like the hustle. I love hustling, I love just moving quickly, I love the speed of the nightlife business. I’m definitely not a daytime person, I sleep until 11 o’ clock every day. But I really like the hustle and I like the idea of traveling. Nightclubs, they’re all over the world.

So where are you going with nightclubs? Where can you go? Are you going to be an owner one day? Or PR, is that something you would do? I don’t really like PR. I hate girls in PR — PR girls are just way too girly and intense, especially the fashion PR girls. They all sit around and just squawk all day. I can’t deal with that. I think I’d like to be a nightlife entrepreneur, just opening lots of nightclubs and running the show. More on the marketing and promotional side than anything else would be my ultimate goal.

And the music industry? I would want to work with venues that are really involved in music, not venues that are just there … not that this is a bad club, but like Tenjune is a little more just about selling bottles. I like the clubs that are really focused on music. I’d really want to be booking great talent, that’s why I like it at Webster Hall.

I was surprised when I first became aware of you, which about six or seven months ago. I hit it off with you, I liked your energy, and when I started talking to people about you, trying to do my research, I found out that everybody knows who you are. You’re this girl about town, and you’re branding yourself — is that something you’re very conscious of? Very very conscious. I think that perception is reality, meaning it’s important for me to just keep my face out there. Sometimes people think I’m way more fabulous than I am; they’ll call me and ask, “Can you get me Madonna tickets?”. And it’s funny to me because a lot of it is perception, and I’m OK with that, as long as it keeps moving me in the right direction. A lot of it is reality too. I have worked with some great artists and done amazing things, and some of it is me just throwing myself out there and getting my picture up all the time, and calling people like you and just hustling hard. I’m up every day taking meetings, doing interviews, scheduling photo shoots, whatever it is I have to do to keep getting to the top.

An example of this is this interview — you were non-stop. I told you that today I’m completely booked, and then I had about 15 minutes between 2:30 and 3 p.m., and you said, “Let’s do it!” No matter what, you’re unstoppable. Yea, I remember I watched Alicia Keys’ True Hollywood Story, and I don’t want to be famous like that. It’s more that I just see the people that are really driven make it the best. I’ve had at least ten really top-trained DJs saying, “Lindsay, can you manage me? How are you getting all these gigs? You’re not as good of a DJ as me.” And I said it’s because I’m up every day, I’m hustling my shit, I know people, I work my contacts. All these people, they sit around waiting for stuff to happen, and I don’t think you can wait for anything to happen. You have to really keep on people and keep yourself out there without being obnoxious and annoying. You have to be likeable, but you have to work hard.

You’re unstoppable. I have a lot of energy. I don’t sleep. I’m probably like you — I sit up all night downloading music, listening to tunes, and making music and doing weird shit. It’s like you can’t stop for a minute in this business, or you get walked right over and somebody else is taking your spot.
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