Tiana Reeves Makes ‘Money,’ Heads To London, & Talks About Sex

Tiana Reeves a fixture on the NYC scene, an imp, a problem child, has been missing. As it turns out (and we all know she can turn it out), she has been spending her time back and forth between London and Toronto. Our world has been a little darker, a little quieter, a bit boring, and definitely bland since she has been gone. Now she comes at us again with a track, a single, a song… "Money (That’s What I Want)," written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford. It was Motown’s first hit, and later was covered by many others including The Beatles and The Flying Lizards.

Tiana’s take on it is available on iTunes and it’s very good. As I listened to it last night, my house of snarky snarks commented that it was good and attributed its wonderfulness to all sorts of fabulous others before I told them it was Tiana. Tiana is, of course, fabulous and unconventional and her track reflects a thorough understanding of the meaning of "Money". I chatted with her last night.

You are spending your time between London and Toronto. Why these places… and why not much here?
Well, I’ve been in NYC for 20 years, and as much as I always will love NYC and all my friends there, I feel like i need to move on to something different. I am not the kind of person that could live in one city for the rest of their lives…..but that’s just me! I know I will go back to NYC to visit, but living in NYC that part of my life is done.

What was it like working with the amazing Amy Sacco?
Amy and I had a great relationship ….we where friends, and even tho our friendship was odd to some people, we always got each other even if people on the outside never really got the whole dynamic of it. We made it work! My time spent at Bungalow was amazing …many memories of celebrities and fun nights were left behind when the doors where closed….

You are a transexual who is found more often in the straight(er) parties and clubs. How did you find acceptance, and how do you deal with the fools who dont get it?
Well, my primary audience in Toronto is definitely gay (I love the gays), but yes, in NYC and London it is definitely more straight, and usually I am very well accepted… but for the few douche bags that don’t get it, I usually tell them to get with the fucking program. It’s 2013. Get with it, honey! for the few fools that don’t get it after that ,well…….let’s just say, they will never forget me.

Is Toronto accepting of you?
Yes, very much so! I feel that Canada is very accepting of transexuals and is very, very gay friendly and sooooo forward in their thinking, with laws toward acceptance in all aspects of gay life! Of course ,you do have this side of Toronto that is a bit backwards and set in their ways, but I always find a way to make them like me 😉

How vibrant is the scene in London?
The scene in London is very vibrant but its unlike any other …but i suppose every city has a different scene ,but London has all these nights and events that are hidden in so many nooks and crannies and also you do have to be part of the IN crowd to really experience the best of London’s night scene!

How do you use your sexuality to earn a living and get what you want? Is it easy to attract the moths to your candle?
Well being a transexual for soooo many years means that sexuality and appeal has always been a very big part of my life.  It’s helped me in getting what I want and, especially now, when getting into the music industry, your appeal is everything. So I guess all prior experiences were a crash course in what was to come!

You covered "Money." Tell me about this musical foray and why you chose that particular song? You aren’t by any means a Fying Lizard.
Well, I always loved that song, so when Ruben, my producer, asked me what I wanted to do as a musical track and genre, I said, "How about doing a remake of this song ?" and he replied with a lot of enthusiasm and was instrumental in pushing me to do this song and be confident about it. 

Also, I think that society is finally ready to see transexuals involved in the music industry. I, for one, am so ready to be part of it and am very happy to see that my single "MONEY (That’s What I Want)" is taking off so fast and has so many positive reviews! Hey, it’s finally available on iTunes and Amazon ….who knew!?

What is wrong with NY? What is right about NY?
For me, I just feel like NYC has lost its edge ….I  remember when I moved to NYC in 1989 and then worked for Peter Gatien; NYC was amazing and so edgy!  But then I saw the city becoming more and more middle America and gentrified.

On the other hand, NYC will aways be a strong, amazing city that is capable of reinventing itself. Even though its edge is no longer in your face, you will always be able to find this "je ne said quoi" about NYC and you will constantly have an influx of new "blood" that is desperate to make its mark as the new club personality or "it" factor and this …..is what makes it fabulous!

What NYC clubs do Londoners ask you about?
Well, when it comes to me, they always ask agout the clubs they know I used to be associated with, but mostly are fascinated with the legendary clubs that are now no longer such as Limelight, Tunnel, Club USA , Palladium… but recently XL has been asked about because it’s pretty much the big game in town 🙂 But now, since they know I live in Toronto part-time, they do ask a lot about the new club scene in Toronto!

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BlackBook Premiere: Azar Swan’s Taut And Filthy ‘In My Mouth’

Earlier this year, The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual proved a startling leap forward for the electronic duo but left a void where some of us would have liked to hear more spooky club bangers. But now comes goth-pop duo Azar Swan, whose first self-identity-obsessed video for “Amrika,” and new sinuous grindfest “In My Mouth" – out today as a digital 7” on Pendu Sound – has resolved that dire shortage.

If you were wondering about the title, well: Zorah Atash, who handles the spine-tingling vocals for the pair, says the song "is about not being about to fight our instincts. It’s a sort of in-the-jungle love song. A primordial love song."I’d say that about covers it. 

With a spring-coiled beat, cold synth stabs, and bells that could ring in doomsday, you’re definitely poised above an abyss, sexual or otherwise. Either way, it’s a track with extreme gravity that’ll still let you move (suggestively) on the dance floor.

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The Dodos Burn Slow With ‘Confidence’

It’s tough out there for a buzz band: one minute you’re the hottest thing going, the next you’re still going but the hipsters talk about you as if you’d retired after getting that 8.5 from Pitchfork. The Dodos were something of a revelation on Visiter, their 2007 breakout, forging a weird, new, viciously acoustic attitude on singles like “Fools.” But the follow-ups, Time To Die and No Color, didn’t have quite so much impact. What will it take to get some confidence back? Try writing a new song called “Confidence.”

Taken from forthcoming LP Carrier, “Confidence” at first has the unmistakable flavor of many other Dodos strummers: a chiming, finger-picked bit of stately bedroom pop. But here that sound functions as a Trojan Horse – let it in and the back half of the song will surprise you. You see, guitarist Meric Long decided to start over on this album due to the uncertainty of the band’s trajectory and the sudden passing of guitarist Chris Reimer (also of the underexposed band Women). The rising tide of “Confidence” seems intended to wash away whatever came before.

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A slow-burner in the truest sense of the word and, like the rest of Carrier, recorded with “no computers, no gimmicks,” the track turns into a march with gnarled electric guitar accents, then into a pounding, thunderous punk song that somehow escalates even through the last minute and a half. Welcome back, Dodos—it’s good to hear your swagger again.  

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Hallelujah! ‘Never Sleep Alone’ Returns to NYC Friday

NYC’s fuckability factor just rose 60 points – and it’s not just because you moved here. With the return this Friday of Never Sleep Alone – the hit show that helps get you laid – countless New Yorkers are now on their way to never sleeping alone every Friday night, from now until Nov. 2nd, so please plan accordingly (i.e. wash your bed sheets). And in celebration of the special opening night performance, this Friday’s 9:30pm show at Joe’s Pub is Black Tie-optional, and includes luxury limo service for the entire audience to the after-party at a very secret and sexy new club.

Just to re-cap: Never Sleep Alone is The New York Times-acclaimed show led by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller. The Dr.performs sex-infused pop songs, dispenses golden advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, and encourages mingling and on-stage make outs between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid or you’re with a date, just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold while you wish you were single again.

The details of this special opening night performance mean several things:

  1. It’s Black Tie-optional, ensuring that already hot people are going to look even hotter
  2. Free limo service from Joe’s Pub to The Very Secret and Sexy New Club ensures optimal bonding time and rendezvous in the leathered corners, and
  3. The cocktails from both the show and after-party locations make every bit of this all the easier!

So if you’re ready to share your bed and get laid in it too, buy a ticket, get dressed up, and make your way to Joe’s Pub this Friday. And if you’re not ready to do that yet then, well, you’re selfish and deserve to be alone. Forever.

The Realities and Fantasies of Finding Love With New York’s Top Matchmaker

You are not the kind of girl who would be at a place like this at this time: 6:30pm. Or maybe you are. Maybe you are the kind of girl who would sit under a massive plastic cupcake-shaped awning while waiting for matchmaker Janis Spindel to assess you. But then, what kind of girl is that?

When I walk in to Dylan’s Candy Bar for one of the famed Matchmaker’s Meet and Greets with eligible women I feel an almost frantic temptation to inform anyone manning that door that I am fine. I don’t need any help getting dates! Maybe some women do, but not me! Not me! I feel this way, because, if you are a halfway attractive woman, you are supposed to be in, approximately, the same romantic situation as Scarlet O’Hara at a barbecue—no matter that not even Vivien Leigh had that many beaux.

Besides, you know the kind of girl that you expect to see at any kind of matchmaking event.You know. Imagine them in your head. Imagine The Millionaire Matchmaker if you’re having trouble. Bleached blonde hair. Lips pumped full of collagen. Dead behind the eyes.

When I think of the women who use matchmakers, I specifically think of one of the girls on Millionaire listlessly stroking the back of her male conquest as he excitedly explained they were co-habitating. While he did so, she stared at the camera, blankly, as though she had decided her youth would be a fair price to barter for a three bedroom on 3rd Avenue.

Which is to say: I don’t think I could ever pull off bleached blonde with my coloring. Becoming utterly soulless also seems like it might be tough.

And if there’s any door guy, I want him to know that, too.

There isn’t one, of course.

There is, instead, an incredibly nice, down-to-earth group of around a dozen women waiting in the upstairs cafe. Not a single of one them seems to suffer from jelly-fish lip syndrome. They appear to range in age from their mid-twenties to late thirties, and all of them are excitedly waiting to meet Janis.

I’m shocked, mostly, I think, by the footwear. They wear sensible shoes. I realize I—ludicrously—expected everyone to be teetering around in 6-inch plastic heels.

But the women aren’t gold diggers or dilettantes or universally known “actresses/models”. They have great jobs. They make good jokes! They’re the kinds of girls you’d want to be friends with. Then I draw back and realize that this is perhaps because they are not doing this to be on television.

That might be why. So, why are they here, then, these nice, pretty, normal women in their nice, pretty, normal shoes?  They’re certainly the kind of women who can find dates on their own.

Everyone has their reasons. One woman explains that her mom met someone through Janis. Someone else says that they found an offer through Lifebooker. Someone remarks that Janis has e-mailed her to come in about 20 times (Janis proudly admits that she is relentless). And someone else points out that she read that Janis has married almost 1,000 couples (Janis is, in fact, six away). The group nods in unison. 

Ah. That’s right. They’re there to meet their husbands. 

That, perhaps, really is the appeal. In an age and a city where you’re supposed to be so fulfilled with your life that you’re perpetually “only looking for something casual”—you’re Scarlet O’Hara at a barbeque!—it’s almost taboo to be obviously looking to settle down and get married.

Even on the Internet. In spite of the fact that on online dating sites it’s perfectly acceptable to say that your interests include, say, crocodile wrestling and braiding strangers’ hair, it would still be a bit weird to lead with your desire to get married and start a family as soon as possible. But Janis assures the room that that is precisely what her male clients are looking for.

Marriage is what Janis Spindel does, and she’s fairly clear on that point. She recounts a story to the women about meeting a man who had decided he was ready to find his wife, and how a name of one of her clients instantly popped into her head. “So, I said to him, ‘Brianna,” she declares, “and he says ‘who’s Brianna?’ And I said, “well, she’s your wife.’”

Janis says this with such conviction that I imagine there’s no doubt in any listener’s mind that, a week later, Brianna and that man are now married. This, seemingly, is just how it happens with Janis. She does—as that one attendee pointed out—have nearly 1,000 couples married, and a shockingly low divorce rate.

Now, maybe it happens that way simply because she is throwing together two people with reasonably similar interests who are both very ready to settle down. But still. On some level, everyone who has ever had disappointing experiences dating probably dreams that a fairy Godmother will sweep in and say, “Here. Here is the person you are supposed to be with. Go live happily ever after now.”

And to get to skip all the stumbling about and feigning an interest in crocodile wrestling in search of that person? No wonder men pay Janis a starting fee of $100,000. And as for the women, perhaps it’s worth sitting through Janis’s intense questioning period (she asks one woman if she’d like to move to Seattle, the woman declines, and Janis replies, undeterred, “Until you meet him and fall madly in love!”) on the off-chance that your name will pop into her head and she’ll present you with true love on a platter.

We may be willing to work very hard to find love, but how wonderful it would be if, instead, it could just be presented to us so effortlessly.  As the women—these nice, normal, pretty women—leave the Meet & Greet, they do so with a sense of childlike optimism that befits the venue.

And who’s the kind of girl who would be into that? Well, maybe it’s just about all of us.

“Never Sleep Alone” Hooks People Up: We’ve Got the Transcripts to Prove It

When a show is created that is designed to hook you up, you better believe it delivers. Need some evidence? At Never Sleep Alone, patrons are given an email address and phone number to call and report their post-show and after-party hook-ups. Here, we’ve provided the scandalous, real-life transcripts of all the triumphs.

Just to re-cap: Never Sleep Alone is The New York Times-acclaimed show led by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller. The Dr. dispenses advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, performs some sex-infused pop songs, and encourages mingling (and occasionally on-stage makeouts) between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid, you can just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold. Performances are at Joe’s Pub every Friday this month at 11:30pm. This Friday, March 16th is the next one – and only three shows are left, so get your tickets now – they sell out quickly. Each ticket includes free access to NSA’s after-party, which is at a different location every time, and is always-secret and sexy. This Friday’s will be at a very exclusive downtown hotel… come to the show to find out where.
Now, onto the testimonies: 

Hi, my name is ___.  I was just calling to report what happened after the Valentine’s Day show. I decided to stay at the after-party by myself because my girlfriends were all going to work in the morning and wanted to go back home. And so, getting into the mood of the show, I decided to hang out. I ended up meeting this amazingly smoking-hot Brazilian. He took me to a late-night restaurant/lounge that served food, and after a couple of martinis, we started making out like crazy. I went back to his apartment, and the rest was history. I have to say: it was one of the most memorable nights I’ve had in a long time. God, super amazing. Just thought I would call and let you know your advice clearly works. Thanks, Dr.

WHERE did that guy ___ come from? Is he some hustler you hired, and did you put something on our champagne because, I swear to God, it was the best random hookup OF MY LIFE. Love you so much!

I am reporting TWO hook ups from Friday night: one at the show, where I kissed a girl by the coat check, and another at the after-party where I did more than a kiss 😉 I don’t have to call her, do I, Doctor? Just joking. I do want to and will see her for dinner this week, but if it doesn’t work out… I want the Doctor!

Hey Dr. Alex. The show was phantastic.  We laughed our butts off and ___ wants you to know that she did not sleep alone. She was very good at being mysterious with the guys you showed to her at after-party spot Pravda and he was thrilled with your program, too. Thanks again, I’m telling EVERYONE.

I had a fantastic time on Friday night. I had to call and say thanks.  I made about with the guy you brought on stage. After the after-party, we went to Blue Ribbon for oysters, he bought, and we did not sleep alone. What a time. I really may see him again. Thanks, Dr. Excellent time. Thank you.

Feel silly doing this, but I figure I owe it to you, Dr. I went to the Valentine’s Day show and had a really good time time. I’m 32 and work a professional job and I was just in a relationship for a while – seven years – kind of had a rough break-up.  But my buddy was like, “You gotta check out this NSA thing,” and I went and met this really fun girl that you had actually pulled on the stage, and ended up sleeping not alone ; she actually came back to my place and stayed for the next 48 hours! So, I guess I’m back in the dating scene. This is a lot of fun, and I’ve been telling everyone to check it out.

Hey, this is ___; you were just telling my friend and I to contact you if we hook up, and thanked us “’for being so handsome” (which was very kind of you but we don’t believe a word of it, heh-heh). Anyway, you were a very gracious hostess and even introduced us to two women we’re meeting for brunch on Sunday, so, cheers! 

Hi, Dr. Alex. It’s Jake. Loved meeting you last night and thanks for the good advice. I did what you said and told the girl directly that, “I want to take you to dinner tomorrow night. Would you prefer sushi or Italian?” and she laughed but said yes, so now I have to cancel on my cockblocker friend. 

Do you have a post-NSA hook-up to report? Call 917-830-3672 or email NSAshow@gmail.com.

Never Sleep Alone: A Show Designed to Hook You Up

Do you want to meet hot people? Do you want to have sex? Do you like music? Then get a front-row seat to Never Sleep Alone, the New York Times-acclaimed show designed to hook you up. 

In this appropriately named performance by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller at Joe’s Pub, the Dr. dispenses advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, performs some sex-infused pop songs, and encourages mingling (and occasionally on-stage makeouts) between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid, just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold.
“Single straight males should sit with single straight females,” says the Dr. “Hot gays with hot gays, older rich men with younger drunk women. Why sit with people you find sexually irrelevant?”
Performances begin this Friday, March 2nd at 11:30pm, and continue every Friday in March. Each ticket includes free access to a post-show after party at an always-secret and sexy location.
Note: Clean your apartment before the show –  there’s a very good chance you’ll be bringing someone back. 
Never Sleep Alone crowd