I'm not going to speculate about what
will happen to Estate. But this drama will surely play itself
interestingly than any of us could imagine.
After struggling through the long, harsh
winter, I decided to pop down to Miami for the Winter Party.
It was truly heavenly wearing shorts again, but the trip was
The heterosexualization of South Beach
may have begun several years ago, but the change in the past
12 months has been most dramatic.
Where was the overwhelming community spirit
of past circuit weekends, when thousands of gay men and women
literally engulfed the billion-dollar sandbar? In its place
tons of rowdy straight folks were blaring hip-hop and rap
music or spouting off offensive epithets.
The beach has definitely changed, and
we were clearly the minority this year. But that didn't mean
the individual parties were any less fun.
Celebrating Winter Party's 11th year with
over $900,000 raised for local gay organizations, the Gay
& Lesbian Foundation of South Florida presented more than
20 events starting on March 1. I exercised restraint and only
attended the namesake beach party on Sunday afternoon, March
9, with DJs Roland Belmares and Tracy Young; and Sabor Tropical
at Crobar with DJ Victor Calderone.
Victor turned out one of the best performances
of his career Sunday night at Crobar. Incidentally, the Crobar
marquee curiously listed New York as one of the venue's hometowns,
leading one to wonder if the Manhattan outpost is back on
track and will launch soon. Gay Pride, perhaps?
Experiencing such an amazing musical journey
as the one provided by Victor at Crobar only reminds me just
how unfortunate it is that we don't get to hear him more often
here in New York. And now that Estate @ Limelight has shut
down, who knows when we'll hear him play locally again?
The rumor mill shifted into high gear
when John Blair sent out an e-mail recently announcing the
club's temporary closure. A huge "For Sale" sign
mounted out front of the club prompted my editor to opine,
"I really don't think that when you're unloading a landmark
gothic church that has been a major NYC disco for years, you
hang a 'For Sale' sign like some two-bedroom colonial in Levittown
from a Century 21 broker. The whole thing sounds bizarre to
Bizarre indeed. While it is entirely possible
that the club, which has only been open on Sundays for the
past couple months, is simply caving in to financial difficulties
brought on by costly renovations and a crumbling economy,
it seems equally as likely that it is some sort of power ploy
amongst the club's bickering partners.
Black Party cometh
By the time this issue hits the streets,
it is quite likely that tickets for the infamous Saint At
Large Black Party at Roseland Ballroom on Saturday, March
22, will have already sold out. One of the largest and most
popular gay dance parties in North America, this year's event
features DJs Hex Hector, Victor Calderone and Susan Morabito
(appearing in that order), and marks the first time that a
woman has played this testosterone-fueled frenzy. Check your
inhibitions at the door and be prepared to experience one
of the most intense tribal gatherings in the world. Explore
your dark side at SaintAtLarge.com.
Rumblings from Rauhofer
In an effort to take advantage of the
sole remaining gay mega dance party in New York City (sad,
isn't it?), I stopped by Roxy on Saturday night to hear resident
DJ Peter Rauhofer throw down a few records. I was particularly
looking forward to hearing his freshly completed remix of
Madonna's "American Life," the forthcoming single
from her album of the same name.
He told me earlier in the day that it
was one of the most challenging songs he has ever remixed.
In fact, he was a little apprehensive to call it a song at
all, as the original is apparently far different from anything
we've heard before. There is no hook, per se, and the song
spans several disparate genres, including French house, folk
guitar and even a rap a la Missy Elliott. Unfortunately, I
arrived just after Peter played the record, so I guess I'll
have to wait a few more weeks to hear his 11-minute interpretation.
Peter is also working on a CD compilation
of chill-out/lounge music in conjunction with the Chelsea
restaurant Cafeteria called "Hear," and he'll soon
embark on a two-month, 12-city U.S. club tour with Tracy Young
celebrating the success of Showtime's "Queer As Folk"
series. The Babylon Tour kicks off in Miami on March 20, and
will include live performances by artists like Kristine W
along the way. Peter will also be mixing the next "QAF"
CD. Visit Sho.com/Queer,
for more information.
Still a thrill
Grammy winner Jody Watley is looking for
a new hit, and she might very well have found it with "Whenever,"
the first single from her new album "Midnight Lounge"
(Shinbone Alley). The double-pack maxi-single commercial release,
including remixes by Junior Vasquez, is forthcoming.
In the meantime, you can pick up the album
in stores, or enter to win one of five promotional copies
by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
(courtesy of Martha @ Fly-Life Music). Winners will be chosen
randomly on Friday, April 4. Jody will also be performing
live at Joe's Pub on Friday, April 11 at 9:30p.m. Check out