"Would you hold it down? I'm straddling yesterday's hangover and today's buzz"
by Matt Kalkhoff

I bet you're thinking it was Whitney "Too Rich for Crack" Houston who uttered these fabulous words, right? While I have no doubt that the drug-addled diva has surely been there on more than one occasion, this priceless gem actually comes to us courtesy of MTV. While channel surfing one night, I caught the tale end of a promo that featured a female cartoon character unabashedly revealing her precarious condition. I've yet to identify the show (MTV's website wasn't much help), but this animated series definitely sounds like it's worth checking out.

Alex, I'll Take Blond, Lesbian DJs for $500

Even more intoxicating is news that DJ Tracy Young will finally get her chance to rock the most infamous roller rink in the world when she makes her Roxy debut on Saturday, January 4. Tracy says she's honored to be spinning in the same booth where Peter Rauhofer works his magic every other weekend, and she's thrilled to take her place among the many distinguished DJs who've played the legendary venue. While the club's resident DJs are deeply appreciated, it's refreshing to see the roster mixed up once in a while. Diversity is always welcome.

Sure, it's not quite the same as playing Madonna's wedding reception in Scotland or Britney Spears' 21st birthday soiree here in New York – Tracy spun both, thank you very much – but the girl sure knows how to read a crowd and is quite adept at adapting her style to new rooms and audiences. Hence, I'm predicting a torrential downpour of hurricane-force house hits and tempestuous trance music that will force drenched revelers to cling onto each other as they ride out the melodic storm well into the morning hours.

Incidentally, I believe this will be the first time a woman has manned the turntables (no pun intended) since Susan Morabito played Roxy back in January 2001. (There's your throwaway trivia for the day.) Now let's see if we can get these gals back more than once a year, okay?
In between her many high-profile gigs, Tracy's been working on a chill-out album for Kunduru Music with her partner, Chris Crane, entitled "Living Theatre." Backed by Buddha Bar, Tracy and Chris have already completed eight original tracks (of an anticipated 13), and are planning to release the CD in April 2003. In the meantime, you can check out Tracy's latest dance compilation, "PartyGroove: White Party" (Centaur), and help support South Florida's Care Resource. Please visit DJTracyYoung.com for all this and more.

A Schoolgirl Crush

For those of you playing the Matt Home Game, you'll be happy to hear that I have an official crush on a boy (please move ahead two spaces). His name is Jonny McGovern, and you've probably seen his adorable face plastered all over every gay rag in town. Sure, he photographs well, but the 3-D version is even dreamier than I imagined -- I finally had the pleasure of meeting the infamous promoter/musician/heartthrob recently, and I can report that he is as charming as he is sexy.
Also known as the "Gay Pimp," Jonny throws raunchy parties, stages raunchy performances, and sings raunchy songs (okay, so I won't be taking him home to meet mother). He's also currently promoting a new album called "Dirty Gay Hits," and he just debuted the raunchy video for his raunchy new single, "Soccer Practice." His Sunday night "Rambles" party at the Park in Chelsea is also still going strong, and with no cover and lots of frisky boys, how can you go wrong? Visit Jonny's raunchy website at GayPimp.com.

CD Spotlight

Arguably London's most (in)famous nightclub, in just over a decade the Ministry of Sound (MoS) has proliferated to become one of the most recognizable brand names in dance music, encompassing mix compilations, radio, publishing, touring, and just about every other marketing medium available. In a recent move that may even help it infiltrate lucrative mainstream American markets, MoS has formed an alliance with MCA Records. As the MoS empire has expanded over the years, some have criticized that the music has become secondary to the business of promoting it (you mean that doesn't just happen in America?). But its new double-CD compilation, "The Annual 2003," should help change that perception.

Mixed by DJ Sammy, the label's flagship release features some of the biggest dance hits of 2002, including Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta Get Thru This," Mary J. Blige's "Family Affair," and Amber's "Yes." There's plenty of current music, too, like Mad 'House's "Like A Prayer" (yes, a Madonna cover), Who Da Funk's "Shiny Disco Balls," and, possibly my favorite track, "In My Dreams," by Tina Ann (formerly of Dynamix). Overall, the MoS folks present quite an impressive collection of artists (Kosheen, DJ Tiesto and Moby, to name a few more) with a nice balance of American, European and up-and-coming talent.
Both CDs will push those pretty equalizer lights to the limit with their relentless energy and mercifully few drop-outs or other annoying devices that don't translate very well into your living room or headphones. So if you like your vocals female and frequent, then it is with great confidence that I recommend this compilation. Explore MinistryofSound.com to learn more.

A Barrage of Garbäge

No one knows better than me just how expensive it can be to quench a hearty thirst here in Manhattan. So in the land of $10+ cocktails, is it really too much to ask for a little respect and customer appreciation? While the drink prices at Barrage - that inexplicably popular watering hole in Hell's Kitchen – aren't necessarily outrageous, the staff and management's behavior often is. So after two rather disturbing incidents of my own, I boycotted the joint about a year ago. Simple solution, right? Well, some people just have to learn for themselves, like my friend Greg (who had practically been paying the bar's light bill each month) did recently.

Matt's Incident Replay: Greg and friend stop by Barrage one night and order drinks from waiter. Both take sips and set drinks down on ledge. Extremely drunk patron approaches Greg and friend, and attempts to engage them in conversation. Said drunk loses balance, falls into ledge, and spills Greg's nearly full cocktail. Drunk stumbles away. Waiter returns with smirk and asks Greg if he would like another drink. Waiter brings replacement drink over and demands money. Baffled, Greg asks waiter why, after having seen what happened, he would be charged. Waiter responds that Greg should go after drunk to cover cost, or pay for drink himself. Argument ensues, and waiter finally tells Greg that he thinks he should leave. Greg then asks to speak with manager. Greg calmly explains situation to manager, who then reiterates waiter's suggestion: "I think you better just leave." Greg and friend depart, vowing never to return.

I'm writing about Greg's Barrage incident because stories like ours are sadly not uncommon. If you are ever treated rudely at this or any other establishment, I encourage you to please stand up for yourself and make a statement. After all, going out is supposed to be fun, right? So just remember that there are plenty of other bars in town that do appreciate your business, and they're not afraid to show it. Just say NO to drama!

New Year's Eve

If you're still not sure which disco ball you want to be under as 2002 fades away, or if you simply wish to avoid the inevitable chaos of an overcrowded nightclub, there is an intriguing alternative party called "Night of the Ninety-Ninth Mirror Ball" that might float your boat. Some of you may have attended the underground loft parties Larry Krobath and Stephen DeRose used to throw at their home on 18th Street. Now Larry is continuing the grand tradition in a new loft with a fresh series of ritualistic gatherings that offer a relaxed and comfortable dance experience in a private, intimate setting. DJ Phillip Kimball will keep you dancing until noon on Wednesday for $75 (water, soda, beer and snacks provided). Please e-mail LarryNY@aol.com for more information.

Bonus NYE party recommendation: DJs Keana and Billy Carroll at Splash with special 3am performance by Taylor Dayne. Enough said. Visit SplashBar.com for more details.

Happy New Year everyone! Back at ya in 30...

© 2002 Matt Kalkhoff

These articles appeared in NY Blade on December 27,2002.