New Year’s Eve Parties for All, and Management’s Response to the Christmas Incident at Le Souk

First of all, Happy New Year. Today will be short and sweet as BlackBook staff is cutting out to get ready for the big night. Yesterday’s article about Sam Valentine allegedly getting beat up by Le Souk management did get a response, which you will find below. As for New Year’s Eve, I, of course, will be DJing at the Dream Downtown and will be there when 2013 is rung in. Afterwards I probably will pop into Lit to say hey to that gang.

I am sending people to parties that suit them. There isn’t a be-all event for everyone. Many will love the Dream, many 1 OAK. Many will just be in heaven at The Darby while others will love Toy. For people with my view of things I’m recommending the Box and Bow.

I am heading out to 305 Ten Eyck, Brooklyn for Seva Granik’s party, BRCDBR and THV ENT. present Shanghai. Seva and Thunderhorse are producing this event and the installation, which "is going to focus around the fear, or the premonition, of China and Chinese culture taking over the U.S. So lots of  futuristic stuff like screens, lasers, smoke, etc." The DJ’s are Gavin Russom, a "legendary DFA label guy who built their synths for them and played in the now-seminal act LCD Soundsystem" and Venus X, a big deal. The New York Times just did a profile on her. The music is going to be very dancey and very unexpected. Admission is $10 and it starts at 1am. They have my vote.

On New Years Eve the biggest problem, except for the people you are surrounded by, is getting around. If you are not a public transportation kind of guy or gal I suggest hiring a local car service for some hours. Rates range from $25 to $50 an hour . Traditionally I have hired them from 1 to 7 am, sometimes splitting the cost with another. It’s great to have a driver to whisk you around safely while you party like it’s 1999. New Year’s Eve is amateur night for the club industry. Take it from a pro and prepare for all contingencies.

In life they say there are two sides to every story. In nightlife, when you add in booze , dark lights, loud music, and other factors, some stories can have multiple sides. Yesterday I ran a story about a beaten up and down story, Sam Valentine. Others who were at Le Souk on Christmas night verified that indeed owner Marcus Jacob had kicked and punched Sam. Today Le Souk responded to the allegations that Sam was attacked, bruised, and hurt to the point of hospitalization by Marcus Jacob with the help of security. Yesterday I referred to Sam as hobbit-sized, and that description is fairly accurate. He told me he was 5 foot 7 and I’ll believe him as long as he believes I’m 6’3". Sam is 5’7" standing on a phone book. He has heart but is no match for the forces that hospitalized him. 

The response from partner Lamia Funti is below. She is a partner at Le Souk and wife of Marcus Jacob. I have always respected and enjoyed her, but having read her response I cannot help but think that excessive force was brought to bear. Her version only tells of a late night argument, with promoter Sam Valentine reacting badly to not getting paid on Christmas. The amount was $200. All accounts agree that he was loud and demanding, but Sam is a lover and a promoter/DJ, not much of a physical threat to anyone.

The response attempts to justify the physical altercation. It does not explain the injuries inflicted by bonded security and an owner. Anytime a person is beaten badly and in need of hospitalization somebody screwed up. Unless weapons of mass destruction come into play security must contain the situation, and kicking and punching are not allowed.

Here is the response from Lamia:

Unfortunately, it was a small situation that escalated over nothing. Our accountant took the day off since it was Christmas so there was no one to make the checks. We let our staff know so that they do not wait for the checks in vain. Everyone was fine with it, since we never have problems with the checks.

At the end of the night, Sam Valentine comes storming downstairs, asking Marcus to give him "his fucking check now." Marcus was actually very calm, he’s really not the guy that likes to fight, he was trying to calm him down, but he was cursing out, and making a scene at the bar downstairs.

I called the security to calm him down because now he was pushing people around when they are trying to talk to him and we didn’t need a scene in front of our friends and family, while Marcus only asked him to wait til tomorrow for his check. Since it was Christmas, our friends were all there and two of my aunts that are much older in the fifties were there as well, which was embarrassing.

I went quickly to tell him to stop and he pushed me with his hands and called me a bitch, the security saw that and they tried to contain him but he wouldn’t stop fighting, we just asked him to leave, he did not want to leave, and started throwing things around and fighting with the security who was trying to escort him out. I also have several witnesses that saw that and saw him wrestling with the security.

We actually called the police, before it got out of hand, which is really unfortunate. When the police got to Le Souk, he started cursing the officers out which I’m guessing that’s why they told him they would arrest him. And the rest is history. We have been in the business long enough to be mistreating our staff or customers in any way, and we always pay on time, for someone to be acting that way after we ask him to come back the next day because its Christmas and nobody came to the office to work, but we can not tolerate having people storming at us like that while there was no wrong doing.

I guess this is the way he’s planning on getting back at us. And by the way, Ariel was at no point near the scene, he didn’t see anything at all and witnessed anything, and did not talk to the security at any time, he was upstairs the whole time.

DJ and Promoter Alleges Christmas Assault By Le Souk Owner and Staff

If nightlifers were to be cast as characters in a Lord Of The Rings flick, Samuel Valentine would be a Hobbit rather than a troll, orc, or wizard. It is therefore surprising and kind of offensive to hear that our favorite Rock and Roll DJ and promoter got his ass kicked at Le Souk the other night by what seems to be forces of evil. The end result is, from what I hear, the end to the long-running Tuesday night affair, The Wolf Party. I have been told that door person Ariel Zucker-Brull was also quitting over the incident. It was Christmas night and while most of us were snuggled up dreaming of sugar plum fairies and other club types, multiple members of Le Souk’s staff allegedly beat up our friend. By all the reports given to me, Le Souk owner Marcus Jacob was involved in the ruckus. He personally beat our humble hero Sam Valentine down. Police reports have been filed, lawyers are involved, and there is a great deal of bad-mouthing on the internet. I hear the Daily News is looking into the story and we will read about it there…tomorrow. For the record I have always enjoyed a good relationship with Le Souk and its owners. Calls for comment were not returned by press time. A source told me the News was trying to reach them as well. I did speak to people who were there and the story seems consistent with the one Sam Valentine is telling.

It was a pretty good night at Le Souk although, predictably, revenues would not be high on a huge holiday. Spending types tend to stay at home or are off in exotic places. Door person Ariel Zucker-Brull, according to someone who was there, was told by owner Marcus that "everyone would not be paid night of … instead on a different date." Marcus "instructed Ariel to tell all the promoters." Ariel went off to tell the promoters that money wasn’t coming. When Sam was told "he was pissed off. While Ariel went off to tell the other promoters Sam bolted to confront Marcus about this pay delay. Sam had been promised he would get paid that night, and although it was only a couple hundred bucks he wanted what was promised. Ariel heard there had been a fight and rushed to the scene of what may be determined to be a crime. Ariel found Sam visibly beaten up and being held by bouncers. He told the bouncers "to let go and they did right away like guilty children." None of the bouncers would tell Ariel what happened.

Sam Valentine tells it like this: "I came down from upstairs to ask for my paycheck as usual around 3:45 am. when i went down the other promoters were at the bar as well asking for their money. when i ask MARCUS JACOB the owner of the club for my check he said ‘i dont have it.’ we weren’t going to get paid. i told him i have to get paid cause i need the money and we started a heated verbal argument he was on the inside of the bar i was on the outside area. after words were exchange he pointed at a bouncer said ‘take him out.’ he grabbed me from behind to drag me out so I tried to get loose cause I wasn’t fighting anyone and just wanted my money. The bouncer was able to drag me out and Marcus came from behind the bar and walk out with bouncer. instead of taking me to the street and throwing me out they held me in the entrance between 2 doors where Marcus grab my hair put it under his shoe , put my right hand under his other shoe and started punching my face multiple times, at this point i got scared had to do something so I tried to lift my head by pulling my hair from under his shoe when a bouncer saw this he started punching my left rib cage. At this point  I just screamed that I was going to call the cops and sue them, I told them this was illegal and to just let me walk out on my own, money was not important at this point. Someone that saw the whole thing call 911 told them someone was getting beat up then I also called . The cops showed up and one approached me to get my story and as I’m giving the cop the story another cop comes out of nowhere and shoves me and says ‘when you talk to us you dont stand that close’. That was weird. I told them I wasn’t trying to start anything with the cops… I needed their help. One cop went inside to get Marcus story then came out minutes later saying they had video proof of me breaking their heating system and a Christmas tree which never happened.  I was shoved by them onto some sort of Christmas tree after they were dragging me. So the cop told me my option was we both get arrested, me and Marcus, or I have to just go home. Marcus at that point had left so I knew it be just me getting arrested so I decided to leave so I could go to the hospital and file a report against them."

What Sam described is common in clubland brawls. When police arrive at a scene there are usually two sides to the story and combatants are told that they can file cross complaints against each other with both parties going to jail and the courts left to sort out the truth. Usually parties involved fail to press charges on the scene and opt for walking into the local precinct at a later time. Sam went to the hospital got treated and released. The photos posted on Facebook and sent to me show his usual pretty face bruised and swollen. His ribs are hurting. He stands tall, determined to get justice. Witnesses back his story and hundreds of people are gathering to support his cause. Le Souk is no stranger to courts and controversy. Their Lower East Side incarnation was shuttered years ago after a long dispute.

Although I haven’t got official word that The Wolf Party is over I’m hearing it is, as by all accounts the players involved have had enough. If it moves I’m sure it will find a home as it is fabulous fun. A regular described it as a rave with club kids. It has been going on according to sources, "for a year and a half or 2" with the current promo team consisting of Markko Donto, Bless Fantastic and Michael De Guzman. It’s a dubstep party with DJ Jess, a guest that night, and resident DJ’s Monikkr and Valerie Valentine. With all these Valentines around you would think there would be more love.