Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Has Anyone Seen Lady Gaga?

Does anyone remember that performer named Lady Gaga? Whatever happened to her?  It seems as though she's disappeared off the face of the earth.  Has she flamed-out already?  I took these pictures of her at UCF Arena when she was at the top of her game but she hasn't had a hit in at least a year now!  Thought she would remain relevant a bit longer than this. Kind of miss her. Oh well, easy come, easy go.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

PI Update: Awnings Removed

In this Blog file photo above taken just two months ago, we can see that both Pleasure Island ticket booths located at the No. 2 Bridge have yellow awnings at both ends of the former railroad cars. 
And as we can see in this fresh photo taken a few days ago by Save Pleasure Island Blog roving reporter William, the awnings have been removed!  Pleasure Island continues to get newer and bolder, just as they promised! Thanks, William....another scoop over the Orlando Sentinel.

Club Reports: Wall Street Plaza, Suite B Lounge, Vixen Bar

I generally ignore Wall Street Plaza, the collection of bars and dance clubs standing below the Wells Fargo Bank tower downtown.  I ignore it because the music is just about always Hip Hop.
But as I wandered the area last night, the music was all House, Dance, and Classic Dance.  I circled around to see who was putting out this great music at Wall Street. I was surprised to find out it was their own resident DJ Digital (Slingapours). 
LOL....I told him I had never heard him play a House set before!  If he's going to start doing this more often, I may need to add Wall Street to my list of Saturday night options!
Over to Suite B Lounge, where there is never a shortage of EDM!
Last night featuring an all female DJ line-up made up of (left to right) DJ Chan, Funkbaby & DJ Scarlett! It doesn't get much better than this!
Funkbaby, part of the locally-based NLP DJ Group was on the boards when I came in putting out Breaks.
Scarlett came on shortly thereafter with both vocal and non-vocal Breakbeats and even some Housy Breakbeats.
I missed Chan's set but she was dancing all over the club supporting the scene!
There were people throughout the club dancing but I was disappointed by the turnout.
The people there were definitely getting into the music.
Awesome outfits from the South Carolina girls!  Chan is from Columbia and Scarlett from Greenville/Spartanburg.
Vixen Bar was also competing last night for the Breakbeat crowd.
ill DJ Chris B (Electric Daisy-Orlando, Icon) was spinning over here.
As was DJ Fixx!
It was more crowded here than at Suite B.
The people were into the music here too!
Stepping onto the small dance floor carried the risk of getting mowed-over though.
Biggest roar of the night came when they played their joint-remix of Sporty O's song "International Wingman",  a song popularized via its inclusion by Baby Anne on her Babylicious album.
And a good time was had by all.
Nina in the office where I work had just this past Friday showed me these spiky shoes on the internet and I told her that no one would actually wear those things!  Didn't expect to be proven wrong this quickly!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Favorite Trance Song Right Now

Produced by DJ Gareth Emery (GB), this Trance song "Concrete Angel" has the elements that a Trance song needs to have to get a good rating from me.  Mainly, it has haunting female vocals as delivered by Christina Novelli.  Emery will be performing at club Roxy this coming Thursday night.  Enjoy!

Club Report: Why Not Lounge

The Legendary Why Not Lounge on a Friday night.  Have traditionally visited on occasional Thursday nights but I had heard that it can get pretty crowded on weekends!
Resident DJ Johnny D spinning 70's-80's-90's-00's-10's hits and somehow making it come together pretty darn well actually.
They had a live band also playing hits spanning the decades with Johnny D playing between sets and after the band finished.
The dance floor crowd ebbed and flowed.  Definitely an older crowd; cougar country, guys!  But nowhere near as elderly as what you'd find here on their Thursday night Ladies Night which is now also "Back To The 80's" Night. 
The Why Not Lounge is located in the Howard Johnson's Plaza Hotel in Altamonte Springs.  This hotel is better known as the former Holiday Inn - Altamonte Springs.  The club has been operating continuously since the 70's and thus deserves the "legendary" moniker!

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Club "Loft 55" Coming Soon

Loft 55 is the name of a new club opening soon in the 55 West Building on Church Street.  This is the replacement for recently-closed Bliss Ultra Lounge although it's in a different location and will operate with a different concept.  The concept is to have a lighter-fare restaurant during early-evenings followed by a club atmosphere later at night.  There should be DJ-driven music in this space where another newer club, Heat, started and ended fairly quickly.  We'll report on the opening date as soon as it is announced.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Weekend In Techno Town

There's always great House & Dance at Bang! Thursdays at Vintage Lounge.  I missed Baby Anne last week but got to hear DJ Marc Sparcs two weeks ago. Tonight, it's DJ's Justin Faze and Freefall doing more of the same!  Always crowded.  (FREE)

If it's the last Friday of the month then it's Lost In Trancelation night at Bikkuri Sushi Lounge featuring resident DJ's Agni, Cyberiansoundz and Robb Blak.  At this session there are visits from DJ's Inktrikit (Jeni Marie) and Ottobot!  (FREE)
Put 3 female DJ's in a room, crank-up the Breaks (with a little bit of House) and you have the first-ever Essence night at Suite B Lounge this Saturday night!  NLP DJ Funkbaby spinning along with South Carolina DJ's Scarlett and Chan. Room with a view!  (FREE until 11pm, then $5)

Also on Saturday night at Vixen Bar, the return of ill DJ Chris B and DJ Fixx for another nite of Breakbeats, House and Moomba bangers!  Small venue, small dance floor but big fun!  (FREE)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DJ's Coming To Orlando: Just Added

GARETH EMERY (GB)  Thursday, August 2nd at Roxy
DATSIK (CDN):  Thursday, September 20th at The Beacham
PRETTY LIGHTS (USA):  Wednesday, October 3rd at UCF Arena

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

PI Update: Are Mannequins & Comedy Warehouse Reopening?

The Rumors:
1.  Disney will make an announcement about the Downtown Disney Expansion plan (including news about Pleasure Island) in October.
Analysis:  This rumor is reasonable. An announcement has been promised since D23 last year so its really overdue.  The larger DTD plans are being described by insiders as "incredible" with DTD doubling and tripling in size over the course of the next decade.  So bring it on!
2. The Disney costuming department has been allocated a budget to produce new castmember costumes for Mannequins and Comedy Warehouse.
Analysis:  This is the rumor the Blog staff heard two weeks ago and have been trying to investigate ever since with limited success.  Some Disney-connected people have confirmed that they've heard this same rumor from other sources.  We have DTD castmembers saying they've heard that clubs are reopening.  We've seen two people post on internet forums that the MDP building has a new tenant. Some Comments right here on the SPI Blog have mentioned hearing that clubs were reopening.

So that's what we have.  Remember that these are just rumors; multi-sourced rumors but rumors nonetheless.  If there really is a budget for new costumes, why?  Are they needed for reopening the two clubs or are they needed for something temporary?  Maybe the costumes are needed so that Disney Hollywood Studios can run their Comedy Warehouse shows over the holidays again and possibly operate a Mannequins-themed nightly dance party there similar to elecTRONica/Mad Tea Party at DCA.  We just don't know.  But with rumors now spreading like wildfire we thought it best to publish what we've heard and invite your input.  Even if Disney is denying there are any such plans.

Monday, July 23, 2012

PI Update: Will The Pleasure Island Name Survive The Downtown Disney Expansion?

On September 28, 2008 the Pleasure Island clubs closed but it's important to differentiate that Pleasure Island itself did not.  The Island is still there and the name is still used quite prominently!  The question on many minds is whether the Pleasure Island brand name will survive whatever changes are coming?

My guess is that the name will not survive the changes. We know that when the Hyperion Wharf concept was announced that PI was done and the name was changing to HW.  Of course that thankfully fell through and we're awaiting the next set of plans known internally as the Downtown Disney Expansion.  But even before that, back when the PI club closures were first announced, AMC Pleasure Island 24 quickly changed its name to AMC Downtown Disney 24 because the name was to be dropped. So even now there is this overriding sense that the Pleasure Island name is a goner.

The Pleasure Island name remains used in many significant ways.  It remains on road signs, on Disney maps, in Disney brochures and publications.  At Downtown Disney there are references to it everywhere including that new sign added just a week or so ago.  It's a major bus stop on the Disney Transportation system. When they finally took down all the remaining club name signs last August, they didn't take down any Pleasure Island signs.  One has to assume that was deliberate.  I've estimated the cost of replacing the huge Pleasure Island sign atop Mannequins (pictured above) at more than $8M.  And how many more millions for the iconic "great sign" out on BVD?  Is that a wise use of money when there are so many pressing needs on the Island itself?  Let's not forget the Asset value of the Pleasure Island brand name itself.  It's tremendous and it does not translate over to any other name.

When the new direction for Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island are finally announced (I'm hearing in October), we'll know then if the name survived!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Technical Note

By popular request, we've returned the ability to enlarge most photos by clicking on them individually. They will no longer open all photos from the same article at one time.  In most cases you'll also be able to click on an enlarged photo a second time to enlarge further.

Club Reports: Bikkuri Lounge, Independent Bar

Bikkuri Sushi, the noodle house with a dance club upstairs!
Discovered that the third Saturday night of every month is a "vinyl only" night!  Weren't we just discussing the Vinyl vs CD vs Laptop debate recently?
DJ Jay Skinner playing off vinyl only!
Small crowd dancing to music you'd hear at the AAHZ Reunion events!
Spotted: DJ's Scarlett and Junglebot.  Scarlett plays in a don't-miss all-female DJ trio next Saturday night at Suite B Lounge!
DJ Jade taking over around midnight.
And it got a little more crowded.  If you liked the classic House heard at AAHZ, check this place out next month and help support the scene!
My fave Independent Bar on Saturday nights!
DJ Dem Rok putting out 80's New Wave.
The dance floor and entire club was wall-to-wall people!
It was hard to move about but my drink only got knocked out of my hand once so I guess it was a relatively good night!
Spotted: The Lafayette Girls with vampire Tiberius Rex!
The Lafayette Girls were hanging out all over I-Bar last night.
And a good time was had by all!