This is Fresh Pressed, in which photographer Matt Weinberger takes us inside some of the rawest moments happening in NYC and beyond. Fresh Pressed is all about encountering the juicy ideas, aesthetics and people shaping culture through the lens of the city's many creative scenes.
FCUKERS Release Party @ Baby's All Right (3/31)
FCUKERS just dropped their debut tracks: "Mothers" and "Devils Cut." FCUKERS is a three-piece band consisting of Shannon Wise on vocals, Ben Scarf on drums and Jackson Walker Lewis on the bass and keys (as well as production). The band recorded the singles at Jackson’s house, and then Ivan Berko mixed the songs at his apartment in Chinatown. They debuted their two (now-released) songs plus a few other unreleased tracks in an absolutely electric live performance, pumping up the whole room at Baby’s All Right. The heart-pounding beats of Ben’s drums and the mesmerizing, silvery voice of Shannon riled the crowd into a frenzy. Jackson — who is largely known throughout the downtown NYC scene as a talented DJ, general heartthrob and experienced party-thrower — carried the bass line and tapped the keys with the ultimate steez. Everyone seemed to be loving the whole experience. Some of the band's main influences include Fatboy Slim, early Daft Punk, French house, Todd Edwards, Madchester and '90s classic house music. FCUKERS appeared out of nowhere, but it seems like their momentum will keep on pumping.
Neverland Digital’s Medusa’s Ball (3/25)
NYC art/music house and creative agency Neverland Digital (Nora Luciano, Elsie Drew and Ester Shmulyian) hosted Medusa’s Ball at BAF Art Gallery, where guests and collaborators all came together to party like the gods. The event was thrown in honor of Medusa, with 10 visual artists tasked with creating and presenting work inspired by Medusa’s famous story. The group show featured a 30-foot glowing snake in the middle of the room, projection work, interactive pieces, photography and paintings, all created by local artists. They also presented live music, opening up with refreshing jazz by Wayne Tucker and Addison Frei, followed by Stew Jefe who rapped and hyped everyone up for Max Volante (producer, songwriter and instrumentalist) and his band. Max had some seriously great vibes and got the whole crowd feeling his soul as they swayed and danced around to the electric energy of his genre-bending performance.
We Take Manhattan Party @ Old Flings (3/22)
Organized by Allyson Camitta (aka Shallowhalo) and Charlie Baker, the We Take Manhattan party at Old Flings brought together some of the city’s most influential downtown scenesters for a night of shoulder-to -shoulder dancing and cramped but quality conversation. The event was the fourth party in the ongoing party series organized by Allyson and Charlie. The name of the party series is a reference to the Leonard Cohen song "First We Take Manhattan," which explores the idea that once one takes over Manhattan, one can take over the world.
In addition to Shallowhalo and Charlie Baker DJing, Curtis Everett Pawley, aka The Life, took to the DJ booth and played a set to the delight of the audience. Shallowhalo is on tour at the moment — they just put out a new single, "Renaissance Affair," and have a single release show on April 5 at Elsewhere Zone One where Thoom and Birthday Girl will be performing and Angel Emoji will be DJing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the lyrics ring true: first they’ll take over Manhattan, then Berlin and, in no time, the world. The next We Take Manhattan party will be at The Cock on April 26.
Stand Up NYC Drag Benefit @ 3 Dollar Bill (3/21)
Aiding the fight against the anti-trans bills that have just been passed in Tennessee, NYC drag performer Julie J sold out the Brooklyn venue 3 Dollar Bill (in one day) for a night of community and drag. The cast included RuPaul's Drag Race current contestants and alums Marcia Marcia Marcia, Olivia Lux, Luxx Noir London and Jax as well as NYC staples Marti Gould Cummings, Rify Royalty, Janelle NO.5 and so many more fabulous talents. Elaborate costumes, riveting performances, mesmerizing hair and makeup and heart-pounding dance moves filled the night as the crowd came out to support Julie J and the wonderful cast of performers that came out to "drag out the vote."
A key element of the event was to encourage everyone to register to vote so that they could have their voice heard via casting a ballot. The event felt like both a protest against anti-trans, anti-queer and homophobic legislation and a celebration of democracy. Political and community organizer Samy Nemir Olivares took the stage in between drag performances to give a speech explaining the importance of the event and why the community needs to get together and fight against harmful legislation. Proceeds from the event benefitted the ACLU of Tennessee, The Trans Formations Project and Black Trans LiberationBlack Trans Liberation.
Baby's Presents SXSW NYC Beat (3/18)
The NYC (and LA) music scene took over this little corner of Austin at the SXSW NYC Beat concert — presented by Baby's All Right — at popular downtown venue "The Cave and The Creek." The showcase featured two stages, both sporting incredible lineups of musicians. The indoor stage was curated by Sunflower Bean and featured sets by The Life, Strange Ranger, Thus Love, Malice K, Hello Mary, Model/Actriz and Sunflower Bean themselves. The energy inside was booming, with a mix of music industry professionals and seasoned concertgoers vibing out.
Things got pretty wild in the later sets, and, by the end of the night, as Sunflower Bean took the stage, the crowd was stirring up into a bountiful mosh pit of bodies smashing into one another. The outdoor stage, curated by Perfectly Imperfect, featured sets by Eera, Mgna Crrrta, Club Eat, Damon Rush, Blaketheman1000, Snow Strippers, The Helpp and Isabella Lovestory. This side of the venue was more electronic-heavy and brought out a younger demographic of fans than those inside, with bubbly fans ripping cigarettes and jumping up and down as they popped to their favorite bops. Isabella Lovestory gave a particularly compelling performance to end the night, wrapping things up with a cherry bomb bang. The Helpp is no easy act to follow but Isabella managed to go beyond holding her own, delivering what felt like the perfect storybook ending to a night filled with great performers.
Austin Rave by 1222 BY-PRODUCT With Snow Strippers, Club Eat, Eera (3/17)
The Snow Strippers may be the next big thing. The band is a duo made up of members Tatiana Schwaninger and Graham Perez. They met in Florida back in 2018 and began making music together around the end of 2021. The duo produces an electronic, icy eargasm sound, making music that makes you want to dance. This is the kind of stuff that will make you bang your head with no shame as you ride a crowded L train to work. Graham had been producing music for a number of years, while Tati had no previous experience making music before they teamed up. Despite her lack of prior experience, she has the voice of a thousand snow angels.
Their live set was a fun departure from the more refined sound you might hear when streaming their music online. In concert, Tati jumped around the stage, glitching into multiple dimensions of hype and glory, pulling the whole audience into dark recesses of happiness and fun. Alongside the Snow Strippers, Club Eat and Eera also took the stage and gave solid performances, providing the concertgoers with additional icy cold, refreshing beats to enjoy.
You Missed It's Backyard Bash (3/17)
The Kerwin Brothers have struck again, succeeding in throwing an absolutely epic party, co-organized with the Mauri sisters, Cristina and Andrea. With backyard tattoos, unlimited booze, oil wresting, free cigarettes, and a lineup that included High, The Dallas Cowboys, May Rio, Blaketheman1000, Nite Fire, Tagabow, Hotline TNT and The Frost Children, everything was in place for an incredible night to ensue. And ensue it did.
Smashing beers and taking flash pics, the crowd of mostly local college students and NY/LA weekend visitors partied harder than a school of fish during summer vacation. In NYC, it's very rare to ever get to party in a backyard, so all of the NY locals had the time of their lives. Green grass turned to mud as the crowd jumped around to the electric sets by the many talented musical acts. The Dallas Cowboys stood out for their ability to get the crowd moving, and once the crowd was going, the energy didn’t stop for the rest of the night. They say everything is bigger in Texas and that rang true for the crowd's energy. Legendary nightlife photographer Mark Hunter, aka The Cobrasnake, claimed that it was potentially in the top 10 parties he had ever been to. Yeehaw and God bless Texas!
Simone Films Oscars Watch Party @ Nine Orchard (3/12)
Simone Films, founded by filmmakers Rebekah Sherman-Myntti and KJ Rothweiler, is a New York-based independent entertainment company doing things unlike any other production company in NYC right now. It's known within the downtown scene as a pillar in shaping a certain subset of the creative community. The company has achieved some degree of a cult following via its exciting events and through curating other scene-centered activities such as hosting a popular actors' studio for up-and-coming talent with teachers such as Michael Imperioli, Alex Ross Perry, Dolly Wells and Peter Vack.
On this particular occasion, Simone Films threw a banger of a party, with drinks flowing, an abundance of popcorn and a bumping vinyl DJ set by Billy Jones, the owner of the popular music venue Baby’s All Right. The Oscars watch party was attended by actors, directors, musicians, podcasters, art shmos, indie sleaze queens, cinephiles and a slew of other creatures of the downtown scene. Some notable attendees included Bart Cortright, Makunda Angulo, Eugene Kotlyarenko, Lotfy Nathan and Marcelo Gaia. The owner of Nine Orchard, Andy Rifkin, also pulled up to the event. One thing is clear: Simone Films knows how to bring together a large group of exciting people. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a number of the attendees are at the Oscars in a few years, rather than watching it on TV.
The Twink Next Door's Party Backstage @ Dallas BBQ (3/11)
Texas-sized piña coladas, glitter and faux fur were all the rage behind the scenes at The Twink Next Door’s debut NYC runway show, unveiling his new collection as a tease of what’s to come as he plans on dropping his new clothing line, TWINK, this Friday. Inspired by icons like Julia Fox, Lady Gaga and Cruella DeVille, The Twink Next Door is bringing maximalist experimental fashion to the downtown NYC scene in stride. Throwing a fun, quirky, DIY aesthetic into the Wild West that is Dallas BBQ made for an undoubtedly memorable (albeit mildly chaotic), ultimately fabulous experience. The collection ate, and so did lots of the attendees. As far as I can tell, this BBQ stood for big, bold and queenly. Those fits were royally delicious.