Here Are Some Parties to Ring in the End of the World

So the winter solstice looms large; It’s coming this coming week, on December  22). The nights are longest this time of year, which always makes me cheerful. I love the night so much, I should be cast in True Blood. I don’t actually burst into flames when struck by daylight, but the night always has me on fire. This year’s solstice is particularly intriguing because it’s rumored to be the last one before the big one. Some Mayan dudes calculated, way back when, that the world would end at the 2012 Winter Solstice. We have one more year before Armageddon. What to wear?

Although I don’t recall ever getting bad advice from a Mayan I just can’t accept "The End." I will hedge my bets and endeavor to have a great year, but just might hold back on giving my landlord next January’s rent check early.

The people over at District 36 have the right idea with a Pre-Launch party for DMFAO, which is short for Dance My F*king Ass Off. I can’t stand pre-launches and pre-openings, previews and sneak peaks. Get your shit together and let me see it. Well tonight, Mark Nelson, Michael Formika Jones, Yusef Xtravaganza, Dina Marie, and a gaggle of other fabulous folks (almost enough to fill the room) will give us early birds a look at their party. The realio dealio event is December 30th. I would think it unwise to launch anything the night before New Year’s Eve, but what do I know. I think they should have asked a smart Mayan or someone about this decision.

This end of the world stuff has me in a house-head mood. I will certainly attend the opening of Shelter at 37 Vandam. That’s the W.i.P. space that’s all the rage. This party features legendary DJ Timmy Regisford in one room and legendary DJ Junior Vasquez in another. Sometimes people introduce me as "Steve Lewis, he’s a legend." I immediately check my pulse. These guys are very much alive and kicking it. It’s a 1pm to 10pm blast with a quick turnover, clear of the room, and on to Susanne Bartsch’s and Kenny Kenny’s Blind Tiger soiree in the same space after. I’ll probably stay on for that, but I hear that I’ll have to leave and come back in as the theory is the Shelter crowd won’t mix with the Blind Tiger crowd. Again maybe a wise Mayan should have been consulted.

Speaking of smart guys, which in my day we used to call wise guys or wise asses, someone has booked me to DJ at the The Westway Hannu’Cam party. Beni Zooted and Mint & Serf (not sure if they have any Mayan in them) think it will be swell if I offer up deep punk and such at this ultra private event. My wise-as-a-Mayan princess/assistant Lindsay Maharry, put them up to it. Cam’ron and special guests are performing, and again I have no idea what to wear. The flyer dress code says "diplomatic." I wonder what Henry Kissinger would wear? I’m gonna find myself a wise Mayan and ask.

Drink Down The Election At These New York Establishments

It’s hard to believe the election is already upon us. Yes, today is the day we find out if President Barack Obama will be reelected, or if we will be stuck with a guy and his binder full of women. Eh, either way, drinking and feasting is in order and here is where to do it.

What better place to celebrate our democratic nation than in the historical building where Abraham Lincoln was photographed for the image you see on the five-dollar bill? That’s right, The Vault at Pfaff’s has organized an election viewing party from 6pm to 2am. Choose your party with the Red State or Blue State menu featuring fun cocktails, New England lobster rolls, mini Boston cream pies, and Chicago-style hot dogs.

If you bring your “I Voted” sticker to Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, they will hand you a nice cold, “Yes We Can” can of beer. Plus, in case you don’t want to bite your nails watching the election coverage, they will be hosting a variety show at 8pm, followed by the band Luego at 9:30pm.

Also in Brooklyn, hit up The Bell House for their Raging Election: 2012 Election Viewing Party that features aptly named drinks like Coke & Rumney and the Bahamobama Mama. The South African restaurant Madiba in Fort Greene also has some fun cocktails like the Obama Mama, just make sure you are an Obama fan, they make no room for others.

At Brooklyn Winery, they don’t have wisecracking beverages, but starting at 7pm they are taking $10 off bottles and carafes of their house wines, plus a special election night menu. Mission Dolores too rocks election night with a sour beer tasting and benefit for Red Hook Initiative.

Hecho en Dumbo, which is actually in Manhattan, is screening the political action on their 12-foot screen and will have happy hour pricing all night. Aside from $7 margaritas and $5 draft beers, they will also offer small bites. Bonus,100 percent of sales tonight will be donated to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund,

Vegans too can get in on food, drink, and politics at the Super Vegan election party at Fontana’s in the Lower East Side, which includes sweets from Dun-Well Doughnuts and savory nibbles by Chickpea & Olive.

Finally, at 8pm The Westway hosts the Downtown 4 Democracy party with plenty of drink specials, a jumbo screen to watch CNN coverage, and a call center so that if you get drunk and angry enough, you can start ringing swing states. Fingers crossed it doesn’t come to that.

Lessons Learned From CMJ Music Marathon

Ah, the CMJ Music Marathon. Ahead of the circus of buzzbands, open bars, and impractical swag that took over NYC last week, I made a list of goals for myself that included things like “no puking,” “no crying,” and “no professions of love or hate.” (I like planning on having dramatic public meltdowns so that I Murphy’s Law my way out of them actually happening.) I’m proud to announce that I did not do any of these things, despite the stress induced by three different good bands playing at the same time in far-flung locations and having only consumed caffeinated beverages all day (#musicbloggerproblems). In between hating Pianos and mourning the closure of Brooklyn DIY venue Delinquency, I saw everything from Philadelphia rockers Free Energy to British YouTube comedians the Midnight Beast.

Five days spent away from being hunched over my laptop and interacting with the music industry in real life meant putting a microscope on what it is, exactly, that I do. I finally met a band that I’ve written about after seeing them for the fifth time in three months, and one of them said that he was aware of me “as an internet presence.” Several days later, I still have absolutely no idea of what this means, but if I’m memorable on the internet, that theoretically means I have some distinct viability as a blogger, right? For both of our sakes, let’s hope so.

In meeting so many new people, there’s also the pressure to qualify what you like and why you like it. I’ve taken to boiling my taste down to “French dance music and internet rappers,” though obviously I listen to music that goes beyond that. I’m trying to pin down why I’m so excited about Team Spirit when I thought my garage rock phase ended years ago; they have a higher production value and stronger pop sensibilities than some of their peers, and nothing can replace genuine good energy. That being said, it was also a pleasure to catch Gallic electro-poppers like Yan Wagner, Owlle, and Housse de Racket.

Other highlights included Citizens!, Avan Lava, We Were Evergreen, Conveyor, and the amount of grievously unhealthy food that I justified consuming. Gold Fields must be a very special band, because I stayed conscious for their 2:30 a.m. set on the last night of the festival. As much fun as CMJ is, it’s also pretty exhausting, so I’m going to keep working on recovering.

Anyways, here’s to the pursuit of vibes. Maybe you’ll catch me vomiting on Ludlow Street next year.

Miscellaneous other notes:

– Why did so many people ask me if I saw Skaters? (I wasn’t able to, though they were one of my picks for the week.)
– I also did not see Foxygen, one of the more hotly tipped acts of the festival. Based on their name, I’m going to keep assuming that they’re sort of glam rock and wear a lot of neon.
– Seeing Le1f at The Westway while it was packed with drunk bros was the second most uncomfortable I have ever been at a rap show.
– If someone figures out how I can join Icona Pop if I’m not Swedish and can’t sing, please let me know.
– Spotted so many dudes with great eyebrows. Keep up the good work, boys!


Follow Katie Chow on Twitter and Tumblr.

4 Out of 5: Baker on New York

Baker is a pop singer from New York. This is his take on four places he likes, and one place he doesn’t.


Top of the Standard – "A.k.a. the Boom Boom Room. A classic. Beautiful people, beautiful space, and a great vibe."

Electric Room – "This place is beneath the Dream Downtown. It’s very different than other places because even though it’s in the super-clubby Meatpacking District, they often play alternative or punk music and make great drinks. If fist-pumping isn’t for you, this is the place to be."

Simyone Lounge – "A.k.a. SL. This club can get a little intense sometimes with security and lists, but once you’re inside, it’s a lot of fun."

The Westway – "My favorite spot. There’s always a great mix of people there, and they play the best music. I’ve never had a bad night there."


Cielo – "A club in the Meatpacking District. You’ll never see someone who lives in Manhattan inside those doors."