Top Of The Underground: New York's Alternative Party Kings

by BILLY GRAY · August 3, 2010

New York recently profiled the tight knit boys' club behind the city's glitziest nightspots du jour. But if you can't get into, or interested in, the standard scene, you've got plenty of alternatives. And despite the peripatetic nature of NYC's underground nightlife, its leadership is firmly in place.

Jonathan Van Meter's New York piece investigated the "hotel-nightlife complex," and the unlikely migration of New Yorkers to tourist lodgings. Like a hotel, the local dance party scene is a bit of a revolving door, with a fleeting sense of place.

But the parties and their tireless organizers are here to stay, even if their locations are in flux. Here's a look at the dynamic duos behind four of the city's most dependable, if nomadic, club nights:

Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter

Parties: Mister Saturday Night, Sunday Best

Pros: Dance parties featuring an eclectic mix of genres. A valid excuse for Monday morning hangovers.

Woes: Mister Saturday Night headquarters Market Hotel has been closed since April following a police raid. Sunday Best's lovely home along the Gowanus Canal shut down, seemingly for good, in early June.

Silver lining: Both parties found temporary refuge at Brooklyn Fireproof. The Market Hotel Project aims to reopen the venue as a legitimate cultural center. It meets next on August 24th at 8pm at 957 Broadway (the Brooklyn one).

Taimur and Fahad

Party: Blkmarket Membership

Pros: Marathon parties (next Saturday's will last 12 hours). "Secret locations" bring unexpected thrills, expected impeccable DJ rosters.

Woes: "Secret locations" deliver unwelcome police visits.

Silver Lining: The occasional "secret location" hiccup keeps Taimur,right, and Fahad on their toes. It always lands somewhere, on both feet.

Bryan Kasenic (DJ Spinoza) and Eric Cloutier

Parties: Bunker, Unsound Festival

Pros: Fans can count on Bunker to deliver world class DJ talent to Public Assembly every first Friday. February's Unsound Festival (imported from Poland by Kasenic, left) made for three Bunker parties in a single month!

Woes: There aren't three Bunker parties every month. New York (and promoter Beyond Booking) recently lost Bunker mainstay Derek Plaslaiko to Berlin.

Silver Lining: All roads to Berlin are not one-way streets: Bunker introduced an exclusive, quarterly residency with Berlin's legendary Berghain/Panorama Bar earlier this year. Renowned Berghain fixture Marcel Dettmann stops by this Friday.

Zev and Gadi

Parties: Marcy Hotel

Pros: In addition to operating Marcy Hotel, New York's premiere after after after hours spot, Zev, left, and Gadi head the estimable Wolf + Lamb dance music label.

Woes: Marcy Hotel (take a nice look here) bashes don't happen often enough, perhaps thanks to a heavy W+L touring schedule...

Silver Lining:...which allows cities across the globe to get the Marcy Hotel/Wolf + Lamb experience.

[Photos via Gradient, Andrew De Francesco/WNYC Culture, Halcyon, Beyond Booking]