The First Annual L Magazine Nightlife Awards, like any attempt to honor a given community, were not easy to put together. A request for nominations was sent out to a select pool of Nightlife “experts” (no, we’re not sure exactly how one qualifies for that designation either); from those initial responses we created a short list of nominees for each category, from which the winners and runners up have been chosen by our marvelous panel of judges below. There will be a ceremony held to honor the winners on October 9, at 9pm at Lotus in conjunction with The Factory: presented weekly by Michael Formika Jones, Richie Rich and Michael T.
BEST NIGHT TO GO OUT Winner: Friday
Friday, I’m in love. The obvious choice? No, the bold choice.
Runners-Up: Tuesday, Thursday
BEST CAR SERVICE
Because nothing is worse than being drunk on a muggy subway platform.
BEST GO-GO DANCER Winner: Machine Sex
In a city where the majority of the go-go dancers look like cookie cutter cut-outs of the men’s magazine photographs found taped to walls, Machine Sex is an alt/goth/fetish dreadlock’ed ray of light who has been seen everywhere from fetish parties to fashionista parties.
Runners-Up: Amber Star, Baby Sinead
BEST RECORD LABEL Winner: Vacancy Records
A favorite with the downtown scene ever since Louise Fenton’s involvement with Shindig!, Vacancy’s recent Clean Air, Clean Stars Festival put them on the map for music- and environment-lovers alike. They represent bands like Spindrift, Silver Rockets and Xu Xu Fang.
BEST NYC NIGHTLIFE ICON Winner: Michael T.
More people have traveled to New York to attend one of Michael T.’s infamous parties (Rated X: The Panty Party, Motherfucker, The Factory) than, probably, any other DJ in the scene. His lasting power earns him an icon status.
BEST LIVING NEW YORKER Winner: Twig the Wonderkid a.k.a. Antonio
Although he is a great DJ and promother, neither of these things matters when compared to Antonio as a decent human being. A man with both stories and questions, he can hand you a drink ticket and you want to invite him to join you for that drink. One among our panel calls him “The Chairman”, which seems fitting.
BEST NEW PARTY Winner: High Voltage
A thundering mix of dance hits, Dimitry!!! and Jason Hates You really have electrified the voting population.
Runners-Up: Trainwreck, M
BEST PARTY Winner: FUN
This is host June D. and resident DJs The Bangers and Eamon Harkin’s Friday night Brooklyn-Has-It-All affair.
Runners-Up: High Voltage, TRASH!
GAY NIGHT Winner: The Factory
A gay party that welcomes everybody — where a straight i-banker can be seen dancing, topless, next to a gay trust fund boy. This party is the intersection of fashion and nightlife, at the intersection (as far as we’re concerned) of uptown and downtown.
Runner-Up: mr. black (Wednesdays, Saturdays, Tuesdays)
BEST NEWCOME (PERSON) Winner: Jason Ultra
In such a short time since he arrived on the scene, Jason Ultra has really made a name for himself. Turning from an energetic partier to a thrilling businessman, he is a host who wants to meet everyone.
Runners-Up: Dimitry!!!, Daniel Casanova, Miss Riss
BEST PROMOTER Winner: Andy Shaw
The man behind Shaw Promotions, Shaw has the foresight to see that a party could be a hit, and the follow-through to make it happen. He’s also such a good promoter he got himself on the very judges panel that confers this award! A master stroke.
Runners-Up: Dimitry!!!, The Cut Kids (Patrick and Michael), GBH
BEST DANCE FLOOR Winner: Studio B
Without a doubt, worth the trip to Brooklyn: the floor is expansive enough to lose yourself, but not so large you’ll lose your friends.
Runners-Up: Hiro Ballroom, 200 Orchard
BEST VENU-CLUB Winner: Studio B
Surrounded by industrial buildings and rocky, shifty streets, and blessed with the positively darling Georgie Seville and Justine D., no wonder it has been crowned king of New York clubs.
Runners-Up: Hiro Ballroom, Rififi BEST VENU-BAR Winner: Rififi
The renovated space is remarkable, and, because of the screen used so often for projections, manages to hold onto the venue’s history as a movie theater.
Runners-Up: 200 Orchard, Beauty Bar
BEST VENU-NEW Winner: 200 Orchard (remodel)
How many other venues are shaped like the backward P that indicates that a paragraph is needed? We could write paragraphs on the entertainingly slanted floor toward the back, and the stage/dance floor area, which is filled with music that is only a Tinnitus exam away from too loud.
Runner-Up: Highline Ballroom BEST DOOR STAFF Winner: Rififi
Luqwan on security and Brendon James with the clipboard provide safe passage through to Richie who takes the money. These guys know how to keep their patrons respectful and their sidewalk clear.
Runners-Up: Annex, Studio B
BEST BAR STAFF Winner: Rififi
Their virgin screwdrivers are almost as good as the real deal and they’ll never stiff the pour. Also, the brilliantly placed (and lovingly refilled) water jugs keep the skinny and pretty well-hydrated.
Runners-Up: 200 Orchard, Black & White
BEST CLASSIC SONG THE STILL WORKS Winner: Anything by Daft Punk
‘Homework’ is still terrific, and it seems that these guys are the only 90s-era electronic act that has managed to stay true to its electronic roots while transforming with the times to stay relevant.
Runners-Up: The Outfield ‘Your Love’, Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ BEST REMIX OF A SONG Winner: ‘Tenderoni (Guns and Bombs remix)’
Chromeo fans are wild — Not since West Side Story auditions junior year have we seen so many white kids dancing. The Guns and Bombs remix only makes it better — bottles, guns, knives and you have a coop/dance floor full of chickens dancing like their heads are cut off.
Runners-Up: ‘Heartbeats (Rex the Dog remix)’, Comic Book Fever vs. Crystal Castles-Cry Babies, ‘Umbrella (vandalism mix)’ Rihanna, ‘I’m a Flirt (krames remix)’ by R. Kelly, Dimitry’s remix of Young Love’s ‘Discotech’, Party all the time (deep dish remix)/Sharam, ‘Fiddy, Fiddy, Fiddy’ by Dunproofin, mash-up of 50 Cent and Kaiser Chiefs.
BEST NEW SONG Winner: ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ by Justice
The dance floor anthem of Summer ‘07. Get up. Do as the song commands you.
Runners-Up: ‘Gimme More’ by Britney Spears, anything by Calvin Harris
BEST NIGHTLIFE FASHION TREND Winner: The Fanny Pack
We’re excited about seeing the rest of the tourist-look hit thesartorialist.com: socks and sandals, T-shirts tucked in, visors. Oh, wait: misshapes.com.
Runner-Up: Kill Shop Kill shirts BEST SONG-TO-SONG MIX Winner: ‘Girls and Boys’ by Blur into ‘Let’s Make Love’ by CSS
Any song that name-checks the decade in which it was made is all right by us. Amazingly, girls will still be girls and boys will still be boys.
Runner-Up: Daft Punk: ‘Around the World (kildahype mix)’ to ‘Justice: D.A.N.C.E. (tittsworth remix)’
BEST ALL NIGHT TRAIN Winner: A train
The L is lovely, hip and full of beautiful people, but the A goes express from 59th to 125th! How can you beat that? (With the D train.)
Runners-Up: F train, L train
BEST SOUND SYSTEM Winner: Studio B
One of New York’s newest systems, the sound is almost always perfect.
Runners-Up: Hiro, Annex
BEST LIGHT SYSTEM Winner: Studio B
Of course, light travels faster than sound, and the light here is a pleasantly disorienting counterpoint to impeccable noise.
Runners-Up: Hiro Ballroom, Avalon
BEST DJ Winner: rekLES
It is hard enough to find someone who can (and is not afraid to) beat match, but rekLES layers about four different songs even before he starts playing with knobs.
Runners-Up: Dimitry!!!, DJ Jess, Lauren Flax BEST NIGHTLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER Winner: Nikola; ambrel.net
His photographs are consistently breathtaking, managing somehow to go beyond mere ego and exposed skin. Though we do like the exposed skin, too.
Runners-Up: Merlin Bronques; lastnightsparty.com, Jess; indierotica.com BEST POST-CLUBBING FOOD Winner: San Loco
Fast. Cheap. When you’re out of control.
Runners-Up: Odessa, Veselka