When the pages of dance music history are written and researchers try to narrow down which areas are most enriched with music milestones, New York City will certainly be high on that list. From Larry Levan and the infamous Paradise Garage to Twilo and Tunnel, the Big Apple has been one of house music's hot spots long before the national explosion. That being said, there are only a few artists around today that were entrenched in the tight knit community that was the early 'club land' and throughout time they have evolved with the changes in music trends and production technology.
New York nightlife is a volatile industry, always on the look out for the next thing. You can rave about a club one week, but it may not even exist the next. With this video, Vice releases its second video installment serializing different aspects on the NYC party scene. Here, we listen to David Byrne, Peter Gatien, Amy Sacco and other pillars of nightlife talk about their experiences and predictions on the future of nightlife. You can watch the first part of the series, here, which focuses on club design.
History is oft dictated by a few great men—great not always in character, but in their capacity to shape the world around them. As epicenter of the nightlife universe, NYC’s shadowy godfathers of the night are of particular interest. As the minds behind the most successful, exclusive, and profitable clubs of their respective eras, these pioneers have almost single-handedly revolutionized the game.
Spanning the debaucherous, gilded '20s of the Jazz Age, to the current EDM-fueled bacchanals, the men behind the curtain have conceptualized nightlife into the brand it currently is. By marketing exclusivity, affluence, popular music, and atmosphere, these 5 men elevated revelry into an art form—of which they are the maestros.
You peruse the kiosks, wondering through a maze of collared shirts, handbags and bad lingerie. Suddenly you gaze up in bewilderment. You think you were here once. A long time ago. The DJ booth was right …
Although the reign of super clubs (Twilo, Exit, Tunnel, Palladium) was over long before the Limelight Marketplace opened last year, the mall was the crown on Guiliani's long-waged coup d'état. Face it, the church-cum-nightclub-cum-mall where you used to bounce around in your best leather chaps symbolizes American society’s progress.
With city officials debating issuing liquor licenses to new clubs until only 2 am, it’s safe to say New York City isn’t the party place it used to be. But hey, the value of your 16 x 16 studio has skyrocketed, your dog’s paws are cleaner and it’s almost safe to walk the streets at night (which was why you stayed in the club til 11 am in the first place).
Below is a list of the best clubs for House music:
Check out our exclusive interview with New York's DJ Vitale. As an international nightlife sensation, Vitale has played some of the hottest rooms in the world. From The Limelight and Palladium in New York to Feria in Tokyo, DJ Vitale has become a worldwide label and spins the best sounds from city to city. DJ Vitale sat down with us to talk about where he came from and where he is now.
What is the best party you have every played?
The Dolce & Gabbana party in South Korea. I was DJing for people who had no idea what the music was in the store in Seoul.
What is the craziest thing a fan has ever asked you?
To play Shakira during a house set. Oh, and there was the time that two girls asked to make out in the DJ booth while I was spinning at The Limelight.
656 Avenue of the Americas (at 20th Street)
It began as a church. And then it became Limelight - a place synonymous with parties, music, drugs and dancing. When Limelight's doors closed, then re-opened as Avalon, and then closed again, the neo-Gothic church took on a gloomy feel. Devoid of late-night party-goers, the venue just seemed abandoned.
The formerly known Limelight, which after a series of veritable drama became Avalon, closed over a year ago and forever shed its identity as an events space. Reports have surfaced that the once legendary bridge and tunnel lounge will be trading in recreational drugs and techno for, well, bridge and tunnel fashion, by becoming a retail sight. NYmag states that the speculations “have proved true — this weekend, construction workers told us that Lounge (former Soho club wear boutique) is reopening at 660 Sixth Avenue” - the renovated church space that was once home to Limelight.
A short walk to the aforementioned location, however, failed to provide any conclusive evidence of a retail invasion.