Every Monday night, the folks—led by Andrew W.K.—at Santos’ Party House in Chinatown scheme and toil to put together an underground rock party rife with super-secret performances from The Next Best Band. The names of those bands aren’t revealed until the day of the show, meaning that bands who had played big gigs over the weekend could squeeze in another, totally under-the-radar set. As it turns out, this whole setup was a little too exclusive, making Santos an itty bitty profit, so last week’s show marked the final “secret” performance. And you missed it.
The sound system at Santos’ surrounds the floor on all sides and blasts at an “11” on Spinal Tap’s scale of one to 10, making the weekly event the loudest party you’ve never been to. Last week’s show served as a birthday party for Jonathan Toubin (pictured), a frequent DJ at the club and mastermind behind New York Night Train records. Brooklyn’s Golden Triangle and Michigan’s Awesome Color performed—the latter meriting an appearance by Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore—as well as go-goer Anna Copacabana and guest DJs. Projections from The Mighty Robot AV Squad. Phew! Monday nights around here get a little hectic.
Toubin’s party was the last of the secret performances, but not to worry: The events from now on are “declassified,” which will hopefully translate into greater audience turnout and mo’ money for W.K., who must need a new pair of white jeans by now. Toubin, for one, doesn’t mind the change; he’s more interested in packing ‘em in for the DJing that’s paying his bills.
“It used to be, if people wanted to dance, the music DJs would play had to be techno or contemporary pop and hip-hop,” said Toubin, who spins rock music. “Now, a lot of people who are involved in different types of music are getting interested in dancing. It’s a really good culture change.”
Maritime Of Your Life
When the South Street Seaport was New York’s mecca of commerce and trade, the saying used to go “All streets lead to South Street.” Nowadays, the only things going to South Street are tourists who’ve just had pictures taken with the Wall Street bull and his giant balls. Seaport Past and Future, a free exhibit of the South Street Seaport redevelopment plan by General Growth Properties, opened last Tuesday night in the hopes of giving the area a much-needed makeover.
Partygoers ran the gamut from scenesters like Brooke Geahan of Accompanied Literary Society fame to curious historians and Wall Street douchebags, like Craig “I fly onto the island in my helicopter each morning” Reilly. Reilly was looking forward to going to a strip club later and didn’t seem particularly interested in the exhibition. Luckily, his friend David Goldoff, a partner at the Camelot Realty Group, had some musings on the plan.
“This neighborhood used to be prostitutes and fishmongers,” he said, somewhat ruefully. “Now it’s Bugaboos and MacLarens.”
It’s this image of the South Street Seaport that James Sanders, curator and designer of Seaport Past and Future, hopes to correct.
“The seaport today is not reflective of the rest of the city the way that it used to be,” Sanders said. “It’s like a cat with nine lives, always being reborn. So far it’s had about five or six.”
Sanders, a seaport regular since the 1970s, said the charm of the area is its ability to balance continuity and change. Apparently the neighborhood drunks agree.
“Sanders!” one man yelled as we entered a bar nearby the exhibition, the crowd subsequently breaking into applause.
“The South Street Seaport will still be for tourists,” another project coordinator whispered to me. “That’s the whole point of a new development in New York. But this [redevelopment] is an opportunity for everyday New Yorkers to also partake in the area. The South Street Seaport needs New Yorkers.”