Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

As 2010 comes to a close, I present to you the #1 song in America according to Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 chart. This song furthers my theory that Dance music is continuing to merge with Top 40 and Hip Hop.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reminder: Party 95 Premiers New Years Day

A reminder that new Orlando-based internet radio station begins operation this Saturday, New Years Day. This is where you'll find DJ's such as Jimmy Joslin, KJ, Eskimo, Cyberian Soundz and Jennifer Marley, to name just a few in the impressive line-up. Tune In, Turn On! Good luck!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NYE Update: CityWalk

Here is what CityWalk has planned for New Years Eve. Tickets are $139.99 + tax and includes singer Bret Michaels in concert, all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine with filet mignon and jumbo shrimp and more, midnight champagne toast with confetti bursts plus of course admission to the 7 night clubs at CityWalk. CityWalk is basically walled-off unless you're attending. Bret is on the plaza stage and you'd be able to hear him but not see him because of the high walls. Loyal reader DJ Smooth (XM BPM, previously reported that he'll be spinning music somewhere inside Universal Studios but that DJ Willy (Mannequins, Motion) would be in Red Coconut Club, DJ AJ would be in Pat O'Briens and he did not know who would be working The Groove. Smooth, if you have any updates, please let us know!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PI Update: Demolition Slows For The Holidays

The week between Christmas and New Years is always a magical time at Walt Disney World, so what better place to feel that magic than beautiful Pleasure Island!
The winter storm that marched across the South this past weekend brought record cold temps to O-Town and about an inch of snow to the higher elevations. Fortunately we're moving back into the mid-70's for the rest of the week and into the New Years weekend so we should see that melt away!

Pleasure Island was packed late this afternoon with holiday visitors. Their Pleasure Island options were rather limited though so most entered the Island via one bridge and quickly departed via another!

Demolition progress has slowed to a trickle. If you compare Motion to prior photos, no real visible exterior progress is noted. The full dumpster indicates that demolition is inside.
Ditto at Rock'n'Roll Beach Club. I would expect things to pick up after the holiday crowds depart.

Construction at the Lily Pad has finally concluded and the construction walls removed. The circular concrete area is slightly raised as you move from the edges towards the center. This will serve as some sort of pedestrian traffic circle area in Hyperion Wharf with a faux-ferry terminal to one side and pedestrian walkways leading in three directions.

Monday, December 27, 2010

NYE Update: Atlantic Dance Hall

Details have now been released for the New Years Eve party at Atlantic Dance Hall and I have to say the price increase is dissappointing.  Standard admission this year will be $40.00 + tax (it was $35 including tax last year and $25 including tax the year prior) and includes access to the main dance floor with DJ Tony Z, a free champagne toast to ring in 2011 and party favors.

VIP admission includes the standard admission features above plus entrance into the 2nd Floor VIP area  which includes seating, desserts and coffee from 9pm to midnight plus access to a private 2nd floor outdoor balcony for viewing of Illuminations over at EPCOT. Tickets go on sale at ADH this Wednesday.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone has a nice holiday. Thanks for tuning-in to the Save Pleasure Island blog.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Techno Larry Update

Hello from the frozen tundra of Chicagoland. You may recall the article this past August about Techno Larry, the guy in the light-up suit that used to dance with the ladies at Pleasure Island. Following that article, I sent Larry an email and I wanted to let you know I finally did hear from him. Techno Larry is NOT in the picture above but I thought this photo might get your attention better than a photo of Larry would. Techno Larry is now a retired character, married and living in California. He wanted to let readers know that he is still living life to the fullest but he no longer wears his light suit. His latest business ventures include www.ZeroEnergy and  Pictured above: some of the fun former patrons of 8TRAX.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Club Reports: Fort Walton Beach

Holiday travel has brought me back to the Florida Panhandle and the city of Fort Walton Beach. This is where I lived for about 8 years after college. Very much a spring break and summer resort, winter is kind of bleak here with temps much cooler than Orlando and the only winter tourists are snow birds. But the town is full of memories even if most of the club names have changed. My favorite club back in the 80's was called Victor's and it now goes by the name of The Block. There is still a huge dance club in the main section while karaoke is on the menu in one of the side rooms. Of course we didn't call the music 80's back then.  Back when I was hanging out here, EVERY night turned out to be 80's Night, lol.

Fuddpuckers is one of those dive beach bars built to look like a dive beach bar. Now a chain in the panhandle, this one located on Okaloosa Island was the first one and it still packs-in beach-goers after the sun goes down. It's also a restaurant earlier in the evening. Not to be confused with Fuddruckers.
When it comes to Fort Walton Beach night clubs, no one played a larger part in their creation and variety than a guy named Cash Moore. Also located on Okaloosa Island, Cash's Faux Pas was a partying club long before I arrived in FWB and apparently is still going strong long after! 

Another favorite of mine was called Brannigan's but now goes by the name of Barley's. Located along US 98 /Miracle Strip Parkway in downtown Fort Walton Beach, the place was always jammed while the DJ played Top 40 which is now called 80's. Ladies Night on Thursday nights packed the place with tourists, especially those beautiful dark-haired Louisiana girls!  NOT PICTURED: Another club that has been around forever is called NightTown over in neighboring Destin. Didn't get to check it out but advertisements in the tourist magazines tell me they're still carrying on!  Looking for a weekend get-away this spring or next summer, you should give Fort Walton Beach some consideration. Home to two air force bases, there's always action taking place over here, especially in-season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Years Eve Options

Here is my annual NYE Options report because it's not too early to be at least thinking about your New Years Eve plans. Here are the official details for some major venues around Orlando. Visit websites for more details. We'll start downtown where most of the action is and Wall Street Plaza typically has the largest party. The NYE2011 Party starts at $20 in advance and $25 at the door. There's an outdoor dance party with DJ Digital and then 9 venues within the complex.

Around the corner on Church Street is another blocked street party put on by Church Street Bars. Admission to the clubs Antigua, Chillers, Big Belly Brewery and Lattitudes is included. Packages range from $39 admission only to $99 with all top shelf liquor included.

Just down the street and across the tracks, Bliss Ultra Lounge has its own party outside Church Street Station. The band Urban Achievers will be playing outside while DJ's will be performing inside. Admission only and liquor packages range from $25-$70. I guess the economy has improved because the same band and packages last year ranged from $20-$50!

Suite B Lounge has DJ Tooltime, Timmy Snyder and others spinning Breaks on NYE.

More breaks on Pine Street at 57 West featuring DJ Rob-E, Security, Eric Berretta and more!

Tabu Night Club is teaming with Power 95.3 for a night of Top 40 and Hip Hop with DJ Richie Rich and from the radio station, Lil Shawn from the Morning Show. (I was not able to reproduce the poster for this article.)

Moving to the Attractions, Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk Resort will have another one of their humongous NYE parties but unfortunately details are not released until right after Christmas.  I know for NYE 2008-2009 they sold out of tickets priced at $25 but last year's NYE 2009-2010 they did not sell out at their $35 price. But it was super-crowded, as you can see above and it's the only time the upstairs is open. I'll post details once they're released.
I'll be spending my NYE, weather permitting, at EPCOT watching DJ Mark Sanchez performing outside Italy and DJ Dominick Morrison (Vintage) performing outside China. We're talking huge sound systems, lighting effects and fireworks. EPCOT gets so crowded that wait times for the rides are crazy and it takes two hours to get out of the parking lot! Is it worth it? Watch some of the videos on YouTube and decide for yourself! This will be my first time checking it out.

Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk will be doing one of their Classic Albums Live performances this NYE and 8TRAX fans will be thrilled to see that it's the Saturday Night Fever album. That album defined the late 70's with numerous Bee Gees hits.
Here's something new....a dance party at Disney Quest! Their ad reads: 
Come to Downtown Disney for a cyber celebration of New Year's Eve at DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive theme park. Ring in the New Year with favorite games like Virtual Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters and CyberSpace Mountain. The party starts at 8:00 p.m. and goes until 1:00 a.m. Your night includes access to all DisneyQuest attractions and video games, a DJ Dance Party with a New Year's Eve countdown, party favors and a coupon for a personal pizza and soda at FoodQuest. Admission is $39 in advance, $45 at the door. Interesting that Disney seems willing to have a dance party right there in DTD. I read that as something encouraging.

However, there will be no pleasure this year on Pleasure Island. Mannequins and 8TRAX will be dark as will Soundstage, Motion and Rock'n'Roll Beach Club. There will be no laughing at Comedy Warehouse or Adventurers Club. I'm sure there be some live music though at Celebration Plaza as tourists wander aimlessly looking for fireworks.

I'm not going to cover Tampa but I wanted to mention that Orlando's very own DJ Baby Anne will be over at Green Iguana along with DJ Trashy. Baby Anne will be spinning many songs off her Babylicious album which in my opinion is her best record yet! Tampa radio station 93.3FLZ will be broadcasting live! (Bring back the Power Pig!)

One other Tampa happening is that the Seminole Hard Rock Casino now has a Hard Rock Cafe that replaced mega club Floyd's. They will be having a large NYE party of their own with DJ Rockstar and DJ Chris Craze (Floyd's).

Back to Orlando and Parliament House always has a huge NYE celebration. This year, Ultra Nate' is performing some of her classic dance hits. If you don't see your favorite venue listed, that does not mean they're not having a NYE party. I tried to cover the major venues though and Universal CityWalk will have its own article in a few days.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Video Killed the Radio Star

The very first song ever played on MTV when it debuted on cable television at 00:01 on 1 August 1981. This was a "one hit wonder" by The Buggles.

Club Reports: Stigma, Bliss, Vintage, Deja Vu, I-Bar

Continuing to expand my horizons, Stigma Tattoo Bar is a new club in downtown Orlando that is quite unusual. Located on Orange Avenue above a new Japanese restaurant, it's part tattoo parlor and part stripper bar but without strippers. There's a cage, shackles, numerous stripper poles and a bunch of dancing girls that work there, but they don't strip. DJ Agrocrag is playing House music and there is a lot of sofas to enjoy. The rules are posted and yes, you may dance in the cage if you're so inclined!
Bliss Ultra Lounge had a bunch of Miami DJ's performing including DJ Edgar V. (Club Space) but there wasn't much going on during my early visit so I fled.

Vintage Lounge had a good early crowd on hand for DJ Dominick Morrison's (Mannequins, EPCOT) blend of House and Top 40 including this group of dancers above. Morrison will spinning House/Techno/Dance outside China in EPCOT on New Years Eve. With the music comes incredible lighting and pyrotechnics and he says this year will be bigger than ever! That's where I'm spending my NYE this year!

Deja Vu Ultra Lounge is open for business in the space formerly occupied by Voyage'. The place is large as is the dance floor but unfortunately few know about it yet. DJ Flurk was spinning House music from his perch in the corner. They're going to have to do a better job promoting the place.

DJ Indie John was back last night at Independent Bar spinning 80's New Wave/Old Wave to a jammed club including the very first music video ever played on MTV, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. He confirms that DJ's Dave Cannalte (Mannequins, Aahz) and Kimball Collins (Aahz) will be spinning 80's music in I-Bar next Saturday night (Christmas night). I feel bad that I'm going to miss it.

Elsewhere, Crooked Bayou, a restaurant/club I was really starting to like, has closed. The space is going to be turned into a barbeque restaurant. I'm sad, but it's good for the downtown restaurant scene.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Breaking News: Comedy Warehouse Interior Shots

In the past year the Blog has obtained exclusive interior shots of closed clubs Motion, Mannequins and 8TRAX. We now add Comedy Warehouse to the collection. If you've been wondering if anything is going on in there, the answer is an unqualified NO. If the rumor is true that the upstairs is going to be turned into a store and the downstairs into a storage area, there is nothing in there to indicate that such is the plan.  The various levels of seating are exactly in place like they were on September 27, 2008. A little clean up and perhaps some lighting put back in and Lisa, Mark, Mary, Joy & John could be doing some improv in there next weekend! This could still be a very viable and family-friendly venue. I've said the same for Adventurers Club and 8TRAX. They need to reopen these as some of the entertainment options at Hyperion Wharf!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Club Report: 80's Night at The Groove

A rather slow night last night at 80's Night at The Groove. It was the third Thursday of the month so that meant the live band Switch/Nerd Ranger. Small crowd though which was not surprising since everyone is occupied with holiday shopping.