That’s right, This week I’ll be unveiling a brand new event: 718.187: MURDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR, a Brooklyn based party dedicated to the art of KILLING SH*T. The first one will take place at Savalas, and future editions will occur at other locations that for the moment shall remain undisclosed. I can’t think of anyone better to set it off with than NYC Club Phenom / International Jet-Setter ROXY COTTONTAIL and the insanely talented DJ / Producer ELI ESCOBAR – two people that kill everything they do. This line-up is at least a decade in the making, and on Friday we will bring things FULL CIRCLE. Also joining us are ALDER & LA PALOMA, your hosts for the evening, who may or may not show up in Police Officer stripper uniforms. I say do it!
AN EVENT 10 YEARS IN THE MAKING:
NAS ONCE SAID: “There’s some ghetto secrets I can’t rhyme in this song / There’s some missing pieces I had to leave out…”
Years ago, back when I was a young graphic design student at Pratt Institute, I received word that there was a B-Boy Showdown already in progress at the Pantas Dormitory Lounge. However, when I arrived, what I witnessed was not a battle but instead a unique cultural exchange. Some pretty blonde rockabilly freshman chick (dressed head to toe in a punk / ska-influenced ensemble, complete with pompadour, plaid pants and all) was teaching a group of Breakers how to swing dance, and in return was being taught basic footwork and how to Uprock. This blonde would soon be known to the world as ROXY. Young Rox was a curious and adventurous personality, profoundly intrigued by her strange new Brooklyn Hip-Hop surroundings. Below is a rare photo of one of my rap performances at NYU Loeb Student Center (R.I.P.) - If you look to the left, you will see a familiar face!
Other noteworthy attendees were MASTRO, DJ COMPLEX, BENNY D, BRIAN WOOD, PETER OASIS & a then unknown MARSHALL MATHERS (who approached me after the show to tell me I WAS DOPE - No Bullsh*t!) Months later he would destroy any chance I ever had of becoming the first lyrically renowned White MC, when a certain DR. DRE signed him. But I digress…
Roxy’s first roommate was a sketchy Italian Mafia Princess, but was soon replaced by a striking young party promoter named JUSTINE D. I have fond memories of hanging out at their house, and them schooling me on groups like ESG, VICE SQUAD and THE PLASMATICS. Within months, Roxy was a sub-promoter for MOTHERF*CKER, SPA and AKTION at Lit, partying citywide, interning at VICE, paying dues and taking notes. Then she disappeared for a brief period, relocating to Philadelphia. I don’t know what she was doing out there, but she must have been making some serious power moves, because when she returned she brought half of Philly with her, and proceeded to launch her own movement. The rest is history… Now, the word “tastemaker” gets thrown around a lot, but that’s precisely what Ms. Cottontail is. In one capacity or another, she is responsible for jumpstarting the careers of DIPLO & HOLLERTRONIX, SPANK ROCK, AMANDA BLANK, PLASTIC LITTLE and countless others. She was also one of the first people to champion M.I.A., KUDU, SANTI, A-TRAK, NICK CATCHDUBS (also a key tastemaker and former flyer design wizard), and the first time I saw THE RUB was at one of her events. To a certain degree (and I expect I’ll probably receive a lot of hate-mail for this comment), I would also credit her for helping to popularize Baltimore Club music outside of the B-more and Philly regions (Turntable Lab gets props for this as well.) In addition to all of this, Rox has also been throwing one of the longest running NYC weekly parties (Sway Mondays), and lately the Cottontail Empire has expanded past the realm of music and into the fashion world. Many people make the mistake of trying to size Roxy up and figure her out. Save yourself the headache and just know this: She stays ONE step ahead of the trends and TWO steps ahead of the haters. She has an uncanny instinct for predicting the next big thing, and has been at the helm of every major nightlife development in the past 6 years, so yeah - I’m kind of looking forward to her set this Friday. Witness the power of BLONDE AMBITION…
NAS ALSO ONCE SAID: “ESCOBAR SEASON BEGINS…”
ELI ESCOBAR is your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ. Don’t believe me? Go ask your fave right now. The entire convo will take less than10 seconds and should go something like this: YOU: Hey, so who’s your favorite DJ? FAVORITE DJ: Without question, my favorite DJ would have to be ARMIN VAN BUR- - SMACK!!! (the sound of an open palm across the face) YOU: Wrong answer MOTHERF*CKER, I think you mean ELI ESCOBAR… FAVORITE DJ: You’re totally right, my apologies, what I meant was ELI ESCOBAR… See? Pretty straight forward… Seriously though, anyone who doesn’t f*ck with Eli Esco can go STRAIGHT TO HELL. The dude is a genius. He’s everything a DJ can and should aspire to be. Very few people I’ve encountered in my age bracket have such an immaculate ear, such a pure and genuine appreciation for music, such a gracious, thoughtful, humble nature, and such massive cultural knowledge. Eli’s production & DJ sets perfectly reflect his musical upbringing - a sound firmly rooted in past classics yet simultaneously forward thinking - with an unmistakable NEW YORK SWAG. When people deliberate over who will go down in the history books 20 years from now as the LEVAN, KRIVIT, SIANO or MANCUSO of our generation, a lot of bearded disco types come up, but my money’s on EL. Please allow me to explain… I first met Eli (pronounced EH-LEE, not EE-LIE) when I submitted my demo tape to his homie VAZ back when they both worked at BOBBITO’S FOOTWORK (R.I.P) on East 9th St. One of them convinced Bob to put my single out, and a few weeks later, “CERTIFIED SUPERIOR” b/w “90 DEGREES A PIECE” was released on FONDLE’EM RECORDS (Also R.I.P.) Roxy has a signed and sealed copy collecting dust somewhere in her closet… Anyway, I remember young Eli being a quiet and mild-mannered aspiring DJ, obsessed with collecting rare vinyl, deeply fascinated with any and all music genres, and of course being an avid sneaker collector. He soon became Bobbito’s right hand man, running the store, guest DJing on the legenday STRETCH ARMSTRONG & BOBBITO Radio show on WCKR 89.9, spinning weekly at APT (in it’s legendary heyday) and the delicious Italian eatery Il Bagatto, starting his own radio show “NIGHT TRAIN” (also on WKCR), working at FAT BEATS, and producing records for various underground Hip-Hop artists like Ill Bill of NON PHIXION. I lost track of Eli at the end of the late 90’s. Like so many of my peers at this time I was becoming increasingly frustrated/ disillusioned with the commercial direction that rap music was going in, and the underground scene was getting cornier and more elitist by the day. I needed another creative outlet. I felt an urge to revisit the synthpop sounds of my childhood, and this in turn opened me to other categories that I missed out on / was too young to appreciate in my youth. I thought about spinning records, but knew that I didn’t want to be the typical Hip-Hop / Reggae / R&B type of DJ – there was already far too much competition in this field. I wanted to showcase more neglected types of dance music, music from a bygone era. There was a collective unconsciousness circa 2001: people seemed to have had a newfound interest in Post Punk, Goth, New Wave, Freestyle, Electro, Disco, Miami Bass, Italo, House and Techno. There were all these 80’s influenced bands getting signed, labels like DFA popping up, and strange glitchy electronic sounds coming out of Europe. Something different was in the air - I could feel it… I’m guessing that Eli must have felt it too, because I started to hear his name again about 3 or 4 years ago within the “Hipster Scene” (whatever that means). Tracks of his began circulating on the web, most notably his electro take on Cassie’s “Me & U” which got major spins at indie dance parties nationwide. More recently he did killer remix work for M.I.A. and Nacho Lovers, released a 12” Edits vinyl on Money Lotion (which contains a brilliant house interpretation of Eric B & Rakim’s “Know The Ledge”), and put out several tracks as a member of FULLY FITTED. These days, Eli spins all over the world, maintains one of the most respected music blogs, is a frequent guest on East Village Radio, and can be heard regularly at BANG!, an amazing weekly Wednesday party at 105 Rivington that he throws with the equally awesome COSMO BAKER. If you enjoy the sounds of Soulful Disco, Chicago House, 80’s Dance Magic and the like, then that would be your type of party. In conclusion, you Mofos are in for a real treat this Friday. Y’all are now rocking with the best: someone who was raised by the best, studied under the best, and continues to surround himself with the best. When Eli graces the decks, you DON’T make requests, you DON’T tell him that it’s totally your girlfriend’s birthday - you just get on the dancefloor, enjoy the journey, and feel privileged to be in the PRESENCE OF GREATNESS. Over and out…
FRIDAY THE 13TH OF MARCH
718.187 - MURDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR
BE THE WITNESS TO A KILLING… Music by:
•THE BEAT SLUTS (ALDER & LA PALOMA)
285 Bedford Avenue
(btwn S.1st + Grand Sts.)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
11PM - 4AM / NO COVER / 21+