Thursday (6.3.2021)

THURSDAY (6.3.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Pride Events | Full Calendar

On Point With: Bermuda

This sharp, edgy beauty has been a fixture of The Rosemont for more than a minute, and at last she now has a weekly showcase there to call her own. She’s the exotic fashionista named after a cat (sort of), Bermuda!


Thotyssey: Hello Bermuda! How was your Memorial Day Weekend?

Bermuda: Hey hey! It was chill… took some time to see my girls. Just regular stuff, lol. Took some time to start preparing for Pride Month, and whatnot.

Did you try to do any digital drag at all during the long lockdown?

I did one or two things way back when it started, but I was mainly helping my sis Magenta film a few music videos.

Nice! The Rosemont bar sisterhood is pretty tight, I imagine.

I’d say so, yeah! They’ve known me for years, and I was always welcomed and supported. Since I recently got my Thursdays there (my first weekly), I’ve had a really good turnout; part of the reason, I’d say, is because of the family / intimate connection that a lot of the regulars and staff have there. It’s always been super cute, and since my show started I’ve seen not only faces I wanted / expected to see, but new ones as well as old ones. So I’m like… yeah, there’s a sisterhood for sure, lol.

I’m gonna ask more about the new show in a bit, but first we should discuss the origin story. Are you a New York native? And, were you always into performing, music, fashion, etc?

I’m from the Bronx. I always had interests in the arts in general, so after majoring in fashion for a few years I also did a few modeling gigs for New York Fashion Week (when I was underage). When Magenta came out, she basically took me with her… and so I was immediately into the whole drag moment here in Brooklyn. But I’ve been doing drag since I was, like, fifteen.

I knew you had to be a model… you have very striking features!

Ah, thank you!

How did you choose your drag name?

It came from a stray cat that was mistakenly named “Vermuda” (obviously confusing it for “Bermuda”). And after that whole thing was laughed off, I had basically decided that “Bermuda” had enough mystery behind it to be flexible enough to match my many moods and personalities.

And it felt safe. I feel like I’m always growing, or having some sort of “rebirth” moment… and I didn’t wanna feel limited to a name. I feel like what you name yourself has potential to sort of pigeonhole you in this box that can stunt your growth, or stop you from seeing yourself as you are… if that makes any sense, lol!

Oh, absolutely! What do you want to serve the children with, as far as your looks and performances go?

I’m tryna be that girl, like the HBIC–definitely an alpha. A strong, empowering, black female with a hint of a bitchy, Regina George / “It Girl” type from all the high school movies, with exaggerated wardrobes to reflect all of these necessary emotions and reactions we all have to this world we have to live in. But in a subliminal way, I guess–in an attempt to be “relatable,” but in a rather comedic / ironic, uplifting way.

So 3 Dollar Bill and the Rosemont are in full swing, C’mon Everybody and Metropolitan have just reopened, hopefully Macri Park will soon follow suit… and now we have Pink Metal and Good Judy as two newer venues! This is an exciting time for Brooklyn drag, right?

Totally! And it feels like a new wave of girls (including myself), so I’m excited to see who’s gonna go hard. This summer feels like it’s gonna be crazy.

Yaz! Tell us more about “Chaotica,” your exciting new Thursday night affair at Rosemont that premiered last week. What’s the vibe?

It’s been super fun! The crowd has been fabulous, it’s been packed as hell each week. “Chaotica” officially started last week, but I had been at Rosie for weeks prior simmering it up. I do a lot of rap, but my music taste varies; in honor of the name being an obvious spoof off of Chromatica, I’ve done some of my favorite Gaga songs.

So honestly, each week is gonna be it’s own thing! I’m too all over the place to stick to one thing, ya know. So I’m like, one week it might be “hot girl,” the next week I might be feeling like doing Anita Baker… then the next Drake, lol! Like, I’m literally crazy; last week I did “Fade” by Kanye. My looks are just as wild, in the sense of I will literally look like a different person every week, lol!

Anything else to add?

I’m here! Lol!

You certainly are! Lastly: Drag Race All Stars 6! Whose team are you on?

Okay, so obviously Soniqueeeee. And for some reason, I feel like Trinity K and Silky are gonna give it.

Most likely! Thanks, Bermuda!


[Photo: Jay Kay]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Bermuda’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.

On Point Archives

Wednesday (6.2.2021)

WEDNESDAY (6.2.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Pride Events | Full Calendar

On Point With: AriaJae

Young rapper, drag queen, sex worker, hairdresser and brunch hostess AriaJae (aka ArrJay Robinson) is keeping the hustle alive… and winning tons of fans in the process.


Thotyssey: Thank you for chatting today, Aria! So you were recently at the new Hell’s Kitchen venue XOXO, guest performing for Jessica Rose and Virginia Thicc’s show. How did that go?

AriaJae: Bitch, it was lit! Unfortunately Virginia wasn’t able to make it, but we had Aná Valbanana with us from Chicago and we turned the show out! Jessica and her both did the thing.

How amazing is it that live performance has fully returned, and that the city is almost completely reopened and thriving again?

It’s hot! This last year was real tough for a lot of people, so I’m so glad people are finally starting to have a place to be able to go and take their minds off of everything for a while, and just have a good time.

Besides drag, you also entertain the masses via the adult content of your OnlyFans site.

Yes, I’m a Jack of all trades; I’m all about a hustle! I’ve been doing OnlyFans stuff for a while now, but took a break during the pandemic because I prefer to film with another person. But now with the vaccines and things moving back to normal, I’m starting to film more content with some hot guys. I film a lot with other NYC content creators, and often when people visit from places like Miami or Atlanta we sometimes link up for some fun.

I really enjoy the world of sex work, because sex work is real work. It’s flattering to show a whole side of yourself and be appreciated for it, whether it’s my drag or my body or my music or my hair skills. I’m lucky enough to be pretty hung, so I figured I might as well take advantage of it. I’ve gotten to meet some amazing people through filming, and it’s given me a whole other platform to be able to branch out and speak with people… and has been amazingly sexually liberating as well.

Where are you from originally, and what were your interests growing up?

So I grew up in Trenton, New Jersey until I was, like, 13… and then me and my mom and granny moved to Texas where I lived for 7.5 years. After high school, I started cosmetology school and was a licensed hairdresser in Texas working for Toni&Guy salons. I loved doing hair; I still do it by appointment.

When I moved to NYC, I didn’t like doing hair in salons here… so I started serving in Hell’s Kitchen at an old gay restaurant called Vynl. I remember being new to the city, and one of my co-workers recommended that after my shift I go see Monét X Change at Therapy for her drag show–so I started going there weekly. We had drag in Texas, but nothing like what I saw here. In Texas, drag felt so based on the look, and just girls moving around. Here in NYC I felt such a connection with the girls hosting, and an electric energy in the room during shows.

We have the best queens in NYC! How When did you beginning performing in drag yourself?

I lowkey just fell into drag. I did it once for Halloween–like all the basic gays do–and it was cute and fun; but I was done with it. It wasn’t until I met my good friend and nightlife personality Issa Woman [that I revisited drag]; she kept inviting me out to parties, and asking me to come in drag after seeing pictures. I was at one of her parties called “Puteria,” and another performer named Jayse Vegas told me that if I ever wanted to start performing, he had a stage for me.

So before the lockdown happened, I was doing drag on Wednesday nights at a bar called Offside Tavern. But during the pandemic, I took the time to practice styling wigs and makeup and concepts and ideas, and really hone in on who I wanted AriaJae to be. Now that things are starting to open up, I’m just tryna get my heel on any stage I can. Whether it’s to lip sync or to rap live, I just really enjoy the act of being in front of an audience and performing.

Wow… you rap, too!?

I sure the fuck do! I try to rap at my gigs as often as possible. I have my own original music, and I have remix covers of popular rap songs like “WAP” with my own lyrics. I open my brunch every Sunday at John Doe Bar & Restaurant with an original number. And hopefully by 2022 I’ll have my first EP dropping, so that my music will be available for streaming. But as of now, if you wanna hear these bars you gotta pull up to the gigs!

Tell us more about that brunch show at John Doe.

I used to work with one of the bartenders there when [we both tended bar] at a Mexican spot named Mexicue. The owners of John Doe were talking about doing a drag brunch, and she put us in touch. I went in and met [part owner] Donna and [general manager] Louise, and it was a done deal. They told me they wanted me there every Sunday to turn out shows.

The show is every Sunday from 12 to 3. No cover! $22 bottomless mimosas! And my brunch is all about good vibes and Thicc thighs! I just try to create a space where everyone can have fun and turn up on a Sunday. I usually book two queens each week, and try and make sure that my crowd gets to see a lot of drag. If I book a Broadway girl, maybe I’ll book a quirky queen that week with her. If I book a real hood ass vanjie queen, I’ll also try and book a cute pop princess. There’s so many different avenues of drag, and I really appreciate them all… and I think my audience does, too.

Anything else coming up for you?

I’m doing a lot of guest spots and competing right now. Sometimes I compete out at a venue in Brooklyn named Aura Cocina on Tuesdays. I try to compete at the Ritz on Friday nights for “Open Call,” [hosted by] either Holly Dae or Chelsea Piers. I’ve been lucky enough to perform with some amazing queens like Rify Royalty, Digna, Islaya and Izzy Uncut, just to name a few. So hopefully in the future, I’ll just continue to be able to book and enjoy shows with some amazingly talented artists! I’m so lucky and honored and blessed to be given every single opportunity I’ve received, and I’m so incredibly thankful.

And this just in: you’ll also be back with Jayse Vegas and his co-star Robert Garcia at 3 Dollar Bill for “Oh Wow Wednesday” on July 16th. You be guest performing with a few other queens and recording artists!

So in closing, I can see you’re an astute Drag Race fan… whose team are you on for the upcoming All-Stars 6?

I’m always so excited to see All-Stars every time it comes around, to see how the queens have evolved. It’s so interesting to see–like, I know I’m not the same queen I was a year ago, or even two months ago. They already have an idea of what to expect now, and it’s just on a whole other level as far as a completion goes. The girls come back having something to prove.

Whenever I watch All-Stars, I try and throw out any preconceived notions I may have for any queens and look at it as a whole new season. Of course I remember them, but even if a queen did horrible in her season I’ll be rooting for her episode-by-episode based off what I see. Even if you’re my favorite queen and you turn a shitty look, ima call it a flop even if I love you. I try and not let my opinions of the queens sway what I may see them showcase on the season. So… let’s see who’s gonna turn it the fuck out this year.

Very fair! Thanks, Aria!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for AriaJae / ArrJay Robinson’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and OnlyFans.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (6.1.2021)

TUESDAY (6.1.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

  • REBAR: Drink & Draw (7pm)

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

  • FEATHERS: Bingo feat. Nickie Love (10pm)

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Pride Events | Full Calendar

On Point With: Missleidy the Plant Lady

Boasting the greenest thumb in all of dragdom, Cuban-Nevadan stylist and horticulturist Missleidy is currently teaching Plant Parents around the world how to make their children grow right, while coming up roses on stages all across NYC. [Cover photo: Leeor Wild c/o PAPER Magazine]


Thotyssey: Hello Missleidy, thanks for chatting today! How was your Memorial Day Weekend?

Missleidy the Plant Lady: My weekend has been good! Busy–a lot of drag–but good! I just finished rearranging a lot of the plants as well. It feels good to have all the plants outside again!

Who’s your favorite plant right now? Don’t worry, they’re not listening… or are they?

Lol, they are! To be honest, it’s tie between a couple that are growing amazing right now: Thaumatophyllum spruceanum, Geogenanthus poeppigii, Begonia melanobullata and Monstera deliciosa.

That last one would make a great drag name!

Before we delve deeper into that soil, we better visit the origin story first! Where are you from originally, and were you always as interested in performing and fabulosity while growing up?

I grew up in Las Vegas NV, in a huge Cuban family! I was always surrounded by Cuban music, dancing and get-togethers, and to be honest I think that prepared me for performing as a queen. Every party, we would always dance–everyone would make a circle, and we danced the entire night. Literally everyone in my family knew how to dance.

And Quinceañeras… BITCH! That was showtime! I was always the chambelan–one, because I was gay AF, and was the best dancer out of all of my cousins, lol! But two, because I knew how to perform and turn it on when it was time. I always wanted a Quinceañera of my own, and to be honest I feel like I get that in drag every time I perform. Yo soy la Quinceañera!

Was your interest in plantlife always there as well?

My love for nature and plants started at the same time my grandfather raised exotic birds. Our backyard was a zoo, lol: parrots, chickens, peacocks, pigeons, ducks, goats, pigs, and even eight emus at one point! It was everything. And I was always fascinated with rainforests. So every time my grandfather would go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, I would ask him if I could buy a tree for the backyard… and I planted up the entire backyard. It became a little oasis in the middle of the Vegas desert.

What brought you to New York?

I moved from Vegas to LA when I was 21, and after living there for three years I moved to NY and fell in love! I did a short time in London, but I needed to come back to NY. This is my home! I came there six years ago.

You’re also a fashion stylist and creative director here.

Get into my work; it’s sickening! I create concepts and stories, and build looks with pieces from different designers. And on occasion, I construct some stuff myself for editorials and film. I do design, but only for Missleidy.

What’s the origin of that drag name, by the way?

“Misleidy” is actually a real name; I know of a lot of Cuban aunties with this name! And that’s what Missleidy is: a conglomerate of powerful Cuban woman who live life unapologetically, who love to have fun and dance, and who do the damn thing without asking for permission to be who they are! My big inspiration is al the woman in my life: great grandmothers, mom, aunts, cousins… all of them! The extra “s” came to be when I was getting into drag; I thought the Americans will think my name is “Miss Lady” but my Cubans / Latinos will know what’s up, lol… and Missleidy was born!

And what’s a Missleidy performance like today, for the uninitiated?

I’m gonna bring the Sazon! I love performing salsa numbers, and bringing the audience into a similar space that was my grandparents living room growing up. I always bring high energy, and the audience is gonna be dancing with me! Every show is a good time, and you’re gonna leave pumped up with a couple of new salsa songs you Shazamed while I was doing my thing!

Do you incorporate plants into your stage shows at all?

When it comes to performing Missleidy leaves the greenhouse and enters the stage! I can’t always bring the plants, but sometime I bring a tray of plants and sell them at the show. It’s a one stop [situation]–you get the show of your life, and you get to take home a couple plant babies!

You also have a plant-centric YouTube channel, where you put the Whore in horticulture!

Bahahahaha, yes! I give the girls the tips, tricks and tea on all the plants they need! I give tutorials and home tours. It’s a ki, get into it!

I’m guessing many people became more attentive Plant Parents this past year.

They did. I think people noticed they needed some life in their living spaces, and started bringing in plants to bring that life into their space!

Speaking of life, you’ll be giving us that at 3 Dollar Bill this Wednesday when you and Nicky Ottav will be the special guests for Jax and Essence’s show “It’s Bananas!”

Jax and Essence put on such an incredible show! They are fucking performers, and the energy they bring to the party is something truly special. I’m so excited to be working with them and Nicky! You are gonna want to be there; did you book your ticket yet!?

What else should the children know?

I’m selling plants! You can check what I have in stock in my highlights “Plant Shop,” and I also have reviews on there as well. So if you’re looking to green up your space, please come check out the shop and get some green babies from me!

Wonderful! Okay, here’s a cliche final question, but you actually have good authority to answer it: if you could be any tree (or plant), what would you be?

I would actually be a tradescantia pallida. These plants can be broken, stepped on and forgotten about… and they continue to grow regardless of the circumstances! I want to be a plant that is resilient and resourceful. I think that’s a running theme in my life, and I think the tradescantia pallida personifies me!

Thank you, Missleidy!


[Photo: Leeor Wild c/o PAPER Magazine]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Missleidy the Plant Lady’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

On Point Archives

Monday (6.7.2021)

MONDAY (6.7.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • CLUB CUMMING: “Broadway Video Jukebox” feat. Austin Ruffer (6pm)

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Pride Events | Full Calendar

THOTify Music Monthly – May 2021

May was was busy month for queer nightlife original music–just in time for mass re-openings of dance floors across NYC!


Aja with Dai Burger, “Horsewh!p”

The New York rapper’s massive (20 tracks!) new record Crown is already getting lots of buzz for it’s dueling aggressive and reflective vibes. This track in particular, which has the larger-than-life Drag Race alum joining forcers with fierce queer hip hop icon Dai Burger and recurring collaborator DJ Accident Report, has been a particular critical standout. With a savagely supernatural swagger, Aja and Dai call out a “fake witch” ass–and, well… I’d hate to be on this wicked pair’s shitlist with nothing but a phony spell book in my inventory.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Bobby Duron, “Mars” (Official Audio / Original Mix)

Cruise-tastic local DJ Lorant, founder of Royal Advisor Records, enlisted a cadre of producers to ride along for the cosmic voyage that is this latest label compilation, Our Music: Astral Bodies. Here’s Duron’s take on the assignment–a fellow leather bear party DJ overlord, Bobby was inspired by the recent mission to Mars with this deep house groove.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Brett Oosterhaus with Kalia Medeiros, “Are You Living” (Club Remix, Audio)

Known for weaving soaring female vocals into stomping house beats, circuit DJ Oosterhaus strikes again with this rousing new fist-pumping, wrist-bending ass-shaker.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Bright Light Bright Light, “Arms of Another”

Die hard fans of the Welsh-born, NYC indie queer music staple will recognize this track as a B-Side for Bright Light Bright Light’s 2014 single “An Open Heart.” Now the mid-tempo bop gets a rainy, sexy-sad video of its own in preparation for next month’s complete compilation of BL2x2’s career-spanning B-Side discography, So Gay. So Dramatic.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Davida Jones, “Fabulous”

Right now it’s only available on YouTube, but is there a better way to enjoy this colorful kook, aka your newly crowned Cherry Grove Homecoming Queen? Shot appropriately in Times Square by fellow Cherry’s on the Bay entertainer JizzaBella (who also appears in the clip), Davida serves the laughs alongside her signature brand of crazy, “fab-uh-luss” fun.


The Dragon Sisters, “The Vibe”

This stunning pair of vogue-tastic drag musicians emerged from that strange microverse of lockdown shows, and now are poised to basically take over (or at the very least reinvent) NYC nightlife. The fun video for their smooth lead single gives us a mere taste of what’s in store for us.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


J’royce Jata, “2CUTE”

Speaking of “vibe,” J’royce’s sound is definitely that: all the shades of “earthy,” from sunshine to thunderstorms. This particular track is a joyful breeze (we don’t have time for the bad life), and this gorgeously choreographed clip is both a labor of love and slice of cloud white heaven.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


LSDXOXO, “Sick Bitch”

Currently based in Berlin, this iconic DJ / producer / who’s graced the hottest dance floors in NYC and all over the world has fully dropped their sexy-dark EP Dedicated 2 Disrespect this month. Here’s the lead single and video, which premiered in April.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Lagoona Bloo, “Game Boy” (Official Audio)

Lagoona’s fanbase didn’t really need her to release an album to quench their thirst–her live performances and fierce online drag lookbook were enough to do that. But she did it anyway, and everyone’s lost their damn mind. The pop flow of Aqua is as fluid and pristine as its title suggests, with one immaculate well-sung bop after another care of Ms. Bloo and her producer and collaborator SixFoot 5. We can’t wait for more videos to come, but in the meantime we’ll gulp down the sugary wet singles, like this adorbs ode to video gaming with cute boys. Lagoona wants to redefine what the quality of original drag music can be, and we’re happy to ride that wave with her.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Matty Marz, “Love Fool” (Official Lyric Video)

We’re just arriving now to the space-age bubblegum party that is pop artist Matty Marz’s sonic rainbow sound. After we caught wind of Matty doing a recent gig at 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn, we look forward to hearing–and seeing–more from this iridescent Love Fool.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Rosé, “The Devil In the Details” (Lyric Video)

Another collaborator of rising queer pop producer SixFoot 5, Lagoona Bloo’s sister Rosé dropped her own soaring single that actually rings a little more heavenly than hellish. Apparently many viewers of her recent turn as a finalist on RuPaul’s Drag Race’s thirteenth season were originally put off by her polished performing perfectionism (one hilarious Twitter crusader even accused her quite poetically of “weaponizing her BFA”); even some of her fellow competitors said the same. But soon, everybody got to know what we New Yorkers already understood about this pink-haired, bright-eyed monster–she’s a good time bitch! This track is a perfect affirmation of that.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Sherry Vine, “I Love Being a Whore”

Before the invention of Drag Race, Instagram, most household appliances and penicillin, there was Sherry! Ms. Vine became an early NYC drag icon because she was too fierce and funny to be anything else, not because she was some desperate fame whore. But these days she’s apparently quite happy to embrace a more general whoredom, and we’re better off for that. Known largely for what must be hundreds of (brilliant) dick-and-fart song parodies at this point, this old school punk-drenched original is a welcome addition to Sherry’s whacky discography. And it dropped just in time for a whole new generation of fans to embrace her, care of her riotous new OUTtv vehicle The Sherry Vine Variety Show.

Apple | Spotify


Stewart Taylor, “Cover Boy”

Cute boy, cute song, cute video? Yes, please, and thank you! The New York born Stewart Taylor is apparently LA-based now, but he can be an East Coast Cover Boy any time he wants. Video Bonus: we’re here, there and anywhere for stellar New York-turned-LA dancing demigod Trevor Silva.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Vegas Valentine, “Fathoms”

Sometimes you follow a local music artist early in their career and dig their sound and their look, and wonder what that moment might look like when they create something really great that could connect with a wide audience. With this dubstep dirge and absolutely haunting video, that moment might be now for theatrical dark pop pirate Vegas Valentine, and it’s kind of thrilling. From the poetic French a cappella intro, to the strobing spectral backdrops, to the creepy-cute puppet stand-in for Vegas racing through a model nightmare city to evade a quartet of ravaging monster gods (Avant Garbage, Little Nella, Megami & Keith G. Tolbert II) on the chase… everything about this is just weird enough to fascinate without being off-putting. We can’t imagine the oceans of love, sweat and artistry that Vegas, director / puppeteer Matthew ZanFanga and all the cast crew poured into this project. “Fathoms” is early 90’s MTV at its most iconic, and we want more.

Amazon Apple | Spotify


Viva Vidalia, “Get to Know You” (Lyric Video)

Many knew our girl Viva for her fierce dance performances as a Brooklyn and West Village drag queen, but only a blessed few witnessed how talented of a music maker she was. Besides being a classically trained opera singer and multi-instrumental musician, Ms. Vidalia was also a prolific lyricist and composer. Is, not was! Viva quite recently left NYC for Texas, you see, which is our loss. But this dark, soulful, complex, slow burn of a track is everyone’s gain.

AmazonApple | Spotify


Stream all these songs on Spotify via Thotyssey’s THOTify Gaylist.

Thotify Music Monthly Archives

Sunday (5.30.2021)

SUNDAY (5.30.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

NOLITA / LITTLE ITALY

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Pride Events | Full Calendar

Saturday (5.29.2021)

SATURDAY (5.29.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST / FLATIRON

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)


BALLROOM & KIKI | BEARS | BINGO | BOAT PARTIES | BRUNCH | BURLESQUE | CABARET | CIRCUIT PARTIES | CRUISING | DANCE PARTIES | DRAG RACE STARS | DRAG SHOWS | DIVES | FETISH | GOGO BOYS | KARAOKE | LATIN | LESBIAN | LIVE MUSIC | OFF-BROADWAY | OPEN MIC | PAGEANTS & COMPETITIONS | PIANO BARS | PRIDE | SAFE SPACES | SCENE QUEENS | SPORTS BARS | TRIVIA | URBAN | WATCH DRAG RACE

Save the Date | Pride Events | Full Calendar

Friday (5.28.2021)

FRIDAY (5.28.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA / HUDSON YARDS

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Justin Cudmore

A true dancefloor disc jockey warrior with a rich history in nightlife (including membership in a few DJ supergroups), Justin Cudmore discusses the gigs that got him here, the new music that’s coming, and the reckoning of Rona Ravers.


Thotyssey: Hello Justin, thanks for talking to us today! Spring is here and live venues are slowly returning to full capacity. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you?

Justin Cudmore: I’d say I’m at a 6/7 in terms of excitement. It’s been a long and difficult 14 months since March 2020, for myself and many others in nightlife and the gig economy. The collective trauma of the pandemic is still very real, but with that is also a very real urge and readiness to gather again and heal together.

Do you have any worries or concerns?

My only concern is that we all jump back in too quickly and take it straight to 100, to pre-pandemic levels. The urge to party and celebrate is there–trust, I feel it–I have been having such a great time these last few weeks as things reopen and the energy returns. Just remember to check-in on your friends and keep a gauge on yourself. I know I will. If something isn’t feeling fun or you’re feeling worn down, especially as we get to Pride weekend, there’s nothing wrong with taking a seat or going home to chill for a bit. As someone once told me: “There’s always another party.” I’m so very grateful we can say that again!

Many DJs and other nightlifers were “cancelled” this past year for producing or participating in public and non-socially distant events in New York–even when they did it in cities that had less strict or no protocols. Should we all be forgiving and forgetting now that the worst is behind us, or is there still a need for accountability?

Well it’s tough. And there is a lot of nuance to this, as with anything. Accountability is real. Redemption is also real and necessary. And as an artist, I am acutely aware of how important revenue is for artists and promoters to stay in business, especially in New York… so that’s also very real. For example, some marginalized artists– particularly artists of color–relied on illegal gigs to make ends meet when there was no money and unemployment wasn’t working.

When people were getting sick and dying, and we were told by scientists and the government not to do a certain thing because it could harm more people, but you decided to gather anyway, unvaccinated, out of need to party and threw large, indoor events without social distancing–then, yeah, I think that was wrong. My personal motto and moral compass has always been to forgive but not forget; as they say in Game of Thrones, “The North remembers.”

[Photo: SPRKLBB]

During lockdown, several DJs had to stream digital sets to get by, or just to remain heard and expressive. Several struggled with this, but you’re an established pro at making solid digital sets since long before lockdown! This year you’ve been dropping tons of sets and mixes via New York’s The Bunker, London’s RinseFM and other streaming vehicles. What’s the secret to good streams and playlists, and does it exercise a different DJ muscle than being live on a dancefloor?

Streaming at home is an entirely different thing. There’s no crowd, no energy, no interaction… and so nothing to feed off of. At the very beginning we were using Zoom, and we’d have quite a nice crowd of friends who would all sign on and be part of the party, dancing on camera. That helped create some kind of vibe when you were playing. But eventually as the weather warmed up in Summer 2020, I think everyone collectively became “Zoomed out.”

My RinseFM show has always been a nice outlet to play new promos and old favorites. During lockdown, I found it difficult to stay on top of new music as much as I had before the pandemic–maybe I blame some lack of inspiration–so instead I dove back into my records. I was first a vinyl DJ after a brief moment with a laptop in college, so reconnecting with wax and all my records from Chicago and Detroit helped keep me inspired through the pandemic.

So let’s go over your origin story a little! You’re from a fairly conservative family within the working class Midwestern city of Springfield, Illinois. How were you exposed to art and music while growing up?

I have a good school system to thank for my obsession with music and the arts. I was able to start drumming and join Band in 4th grade. I also have an amazing group of queer friends that I became friends with in high school that I’m still friends with today. We all helped each other open our minds and feel okay being different in an otherwise conservative part of the country. I also have to thank my hippy neighbor Janis growing up. She lived next door to me and would always invite me over for tea. She’d put on some records by the Beatles or Rolling Stones, or we’d watch different films. I think she saw an imagination in me and I’m so grateful for her love over the years.

You started DJing in college, and a six month stay in Oslo afterwards had a big influence on your own music and sets. Then you lived and worked in Chicago for awhile, another big music city. Can your keen ears hear significant differences in dance music sets based on the cities and scenes they’re from?

Yes, definitely. I still have every song I’ve made since I began producing at 16. I’ll be 33 this year. And when I listen back, you can hear the changing styles that were influenced by where I was living at the time or what music I was into.

Who are some of the great DJs that have influenced you, or whom you’ve worked with or have seen come up?

Mike Servito, Kirkwood West, The Carry Nation (Nita Aviance and Will Automagic), Heartthrob, Derrick Carter, Mike Huckaby, Volvox, Lauren Flax, Erika, BMG, Derrick Plaslaiko, Wrecked, Honcho, Massimiliano Pagliara, Seth Troxler, Analog Soul, Physical Therapy, Justin Strauss, Jason Kendig and Michael Magnan.

Tell us a bit about how you came to New York and formed the DJ trio Hot Mix with Gunnar Haslam and Mike Servito!

Eight years ago, I moved with my ex-boyfriend to Brooklyn from Chicago. He got a job out here and I wanted to follow him, so I found a new job here. It was in the first year after we arrived that I started going to Mike Servito’s gigs. My friends and I would always go–if Mike was playing, we went. And Mike and I quickly became friends. We have so much in common: both from the midwest, love for dance music, love for margaritas, and love for cute boys, haha! Mike was a resident at [techno label and party production team] The Bunker.

Gunnar Haslam was attending Bunker parties before I did, and we met on the dancefloor. Gunnar and I both also used to work for a dance music site called Little White Earbuds. The three of us put out a record together for Honey Soundsystem in 2016 called Crystal. After that, we started playing out together as Hot Mix at Good Room.

Obviously your own style and tastes have changed probably several times over the years. Today, what might one expect a fully realized Justin Cudmore set to sound like?

I love longer sets. I love packed rooms with people ready to dance. I love being able to create an arch to the night if possible — starting slow and building up or going on at the peak of the party and winding it down. Since working with The Carry Nation over the last two years as Majorettes, you’re likely to hear more New York-influenced sounds. However, every party is different. I love collecting music for all occasions.

You’ve played all over the world at this point. Do you have an all-time favorite memory, party, career moment, etc.?

Getting flown to India to play the Far Out Left festival alongside fellow New Yorkers Volvox and Umfang was pretty tight. Visiting Mumbai and Bangalore, cities I never thought I would get to, was incredible. Seeing the passion and demand from ravers and partygoers there was inspiring. Very grateful to have been able to do that one.

At this point, does your reputation give you freedom to play what you want, or are venues and promoters still like “play more of this, stop playing so much of that?”

The party, the venue, and the crowd come first. Certainly I’m going to bring my style to any event, but as a DJ it’s important to read the room, no matter who you are or where you play. Getting crowds to move to music they might not have heard is always where the magic happens.

I’m re-listening to some of your original mixes care of Phonica White records, and of course they slap! When did you start producing your own compositions and original mixes, what inspires those, and what’s that process like for you?

I started making my own music in GarageBand when I was 16; I moved to Reason in college. I had a Myspace when I was 18-20 with all my music uploaded. When I was living abroad in Oslo, I met some friends on my travels because of my music. When I was 21, I transitioned to Logic and have been using that ever since. Making music for me is very improvisational. I never really know what I’m going to make until I sit down and start creating. It’s always very influenced by what I’m listening to or hearing at the time.

I have no idea how it works in the greater club music world, but does being an out gay DJ limit the types of gigs you get… or maybe narrows the types of gigs you look for?

No, I’d say being a gay DJ has given me the ability to play more shows. Because I came up playing for The Bunker, which is a predominantly more straight techno crowd, I was able to play techno shows and also do queer events, like gigs for Pride. It’s always Pride somewhere!

Is it lame when bar DJs, especially queer bar DJs, play strictly Top 40-only sets… or is there a place for this?

I think sticking to one thing and only playing that because you feel you have to or you’re supposed to is lame. Of course, there’s a place for Top 40-only sets–it’s a big world out there–but that doesn’t mean I want to be there, lol. Give me a cute remix or an edit if you gotta play those tracks.

Any thoughts on current trends of EDM or popular music?

I honestly don’t know where the musical trends are moving, since we haven’t had any parties for over a year. Before Covid, music was getting faster and moving into trance territory. I think for a lot of younger people, this has been their entry-point into the scene over the last few years.

Tell us a bit about “Balance,” your residency at BASEMENT in Brooklyn. Obviously that’s been sidetracked by lockdown, but what was the night like… and do you think it will return?

Balance is a party I kicked off at BASEMENT in 2019. It is a quarterly techno party, so before Covid ended everything I was able to produce two parties in Sept 2019 and January 2020. The third one was actually supposed to happen that fateful weekend in March 2020, but then the world ended. When I had the opportunity to curate something at BASEMENT, I jumped at the chance to do something different. I tried to book new talent that New York maybe hadn’t seen before, such as DJs that I saw play when I was on tour. Both parties were so much fun. Very excited about bringing Balance back later this year.

As you mentioned earlier, you’ve created a new production / DJ team with The Carry Nation’s Nita Aviance and Will Automagic: Majorettes. And you all recently dropped the fresh single, “Run the Trip!”

Will and Nita are dear friends. Over quarantine, we made a pact to meet in the studio every Friday to produce music. Meeting and creating music helped give some routine to our weeks, and that definitely helped keep us inspired and thinking positive! With all the tracks that were created we birthed Major Records, a home for all Majorettes’ music. Working with Will and Nita in the studio is always inspiring and fun.

What else might be in store for you in the near or distant future, or what else do the children need to know about you and your music?

I have two new records coming out soon: one with Risa Taniguci for Fort Romeau’s label Cin Cin; and another with Hiroko Yamamura on London’s queer label He.She.They. Also very excited about the next Majorettes release in June called “House Amazing” with a remix by Lady Blacktronika.

Exciting! Finally: did any new music come out this year that you enjoy?

Besides all the 90s Madonna maxi-single remixes going up on Spotify lately, I’ve been really obsessed with this band called Working Men’s Club from the UK. Check them out!

Thank you, Justin!


[Photo: yohomo.ca/]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for DJ Justin Cudmore’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, RA and Spotify.

On Point Archives

Thursday (5.27.2021)

THURSDAY (5.27.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

  • ALIBI: Legendary viewing party hosted by The Taurex (8pm)

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOW EAST

  • LIPS: “Divas Night” dinner shows feat. Jesse Volt & more (5pm)
  • TOWNHOUSE: Pianist Fed Barton (6pm)

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Bobby Duron

Known for spinning some of gay NYC’s sexiest nights, producer and DJ Bobby Duron is back at his favorite hub… along with some new music to slay the children!


Thotyssey: Hello Bobby, it’s great to gab with you!

Bobby Duron: Hi Jim. Thanks for having me this evening for some nightlife chat.

So, these are finally exciting times for nightlife after a year and a half of practically nothing. What are your thoughts and feelings about it all?

I’m excited to see where the nightlife in New York goes. For a minute, it felt like House Music wasn’t being represented as much. Over the past year I had the opportunity to listen to some of the other talent, and I think that the DJs are ready to retake the nightlife. I am excited to see all that’s in store!

I’ve heard a lot of the DJs complain before Covid and now about how they’ve felt sidelined by both drag and the whole dynamic of kids treating them like Top 40 jukeboxes. Back in the day, House DJ’s ruled the scene! Maybe now we’ll have a new age of trusting the DJs and embracing House music again.

At the end of the day, there is a lot of good music being released; when people are out partying, it’s an experience. The DJ provides the backdrop with sound. Top 40 is cool, I drop a tune here and there. But I also don’t want to go out to hear the same thing I have been hearing all day.

For awhile you were co-DJing a hard rock party in the West Village, “Rock the Rockbar.” Do you appreciate many genres of music?

Oh Yes! I’m hear for it all, House being my first Love. Disco, jazz, rock… the list could go on. I really appreciated doing all the Rockbar events. One of my DJ partners, Steven Cunningham, really opened my eyes to much of what I was missing. When DJing, I try to incorporate different genres; it could either be the original song or a remix.

You’re originally from Chicago, which of course is a very music-oriented city.

Chicago! Yes, South Side.

Is that where you began DJing?

I started in the early 80’s, right before high school. My parents brought me a DJ set; I was inspired by watching the DJ’s ability to make the crowd move. The way the songs mixed together and the sounds–it gives you goosebumps when you can make everyone go in a frenzy!

What ultimately brought you to New York, and what were your first gigs here like?

Heh! Well, I was given an ultimatum. Nothing bad, I just needed to make a decision: LA or NY, to work in the music business. I had started building roots here, so it was a no-brainer. I am more than happy I landed here.

My first gigs were off the chain. Here is where I began incorporating more genres. Each gig was unique. I was able to play to the crowd what was asked for, and be myself. Being able to do that opened many doors for me. Being one of the DJs to play at the Legendary HIRO was above an honor; that experience is one that I keep in mind whenever I play my residency at The Eagle.

When did you start at The Eagle NYC?

Around 2013–I was brought on board by Bill Coleman.

A legend! You’ve probably mixed it up with many of the great DJs over the years.

Yes I have. The opportunities to be around such great talent is a blessing. I have learned a great deal about me being a DJ, and letting that shine through. I mean, when you can stand in the booth and have fun with your heroes, what else is there?

These days, do you still get to spin vinyl at all?

I wish, but no. I use my laptop, gradually shifting back to CDJs on occasion.

Your presence at the DJ booth is generally associated with the cruisier, leather bear scene in NYC, like your nights at The Eagle, Rockbar and REBAR. Is that your tribe?

Mmm-hmm! I feel a bit at home in this scene. The music I play has a rough sexiness to it. I really love dark beats; it’s great music to fantasize about or have sex to. These guys give that energy, and I’m addicted, so to speak, to it.

I hear that! So now The Eagle has reopened, and you’re spinning there Sunday nights. How has the crowd been, with all the protocol restrictions that are now gradually lessening?

It’s been an adjustment, to say the least. I am glad to be back in the booth. The crowd has been patient, and allowing the bar to open up as protocols allow. The Eagle crowd is always supportive, and have been eager to return back. I’m sure once things are 100%, The Bird will be back popping as it was prior to Covid.

You also do a lot of your own music making and original mixing, with much of your work available online (linked at the end of this article). What’s that process like for you?

Creating an original and remixing is different with each project. My first remix was for Beyoncé. I had never made a record before; in college I studied music production, so I had a base for what to do. With each project, I take that experience and combine that with what I have learned from other producers, or trial and error.

When you’re remixing, do you have ideas right away, or do you need to do a lot of tinkering?

Sometimes I can hear the song, other times it takes a number of drafts. I think even after a song is done, producers still tinker in their minds about something in the final mix. For me, that mental tinkering pushes me to experiment with the mix on other projects.

Tell us a bit about Astral Bodies, a project spearheaded by producer and DJ Lorant!

Lorant invited me to participate in Royal Advisor Records‘ latest installment of Our Music: Astral Bodies, which is a collection of pieces from artists within the label’s family. My trax, “MARS,” was inspired by the mission to Mars. I wanted to convey my impression of what the voyage was like in the form of music. …. Is that being too deep, lol?

OMG I love that!

Any closing words or thoughts?

Well, I would like to a thank you, and give a shout out to all of your readers. I’d like to also invite everyone to come hear me turn It out every Sunday at The Eagle NYC. Be on the lookout for more music from me and a couple of my friends from Tradecraft NYC [Bobby’s collaboration with DJ Kindbud] and Haus of Oz [another Duron collaboration, this time with fellow Eagle DJ Corey Craig].

Werq! Okay, last question: if you had to have a Goofy DJ Name, what would it be?

DJ Boobie Doll.

Love it! Thanks, Bobby!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for DJ Bobby Duron’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Stream his music on SoundCloud, MixCloud and Spotify.

On Point Archives

Drag Race All-Stars 6 Cast Announced!

Congratulations to the just announced cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s All-Stars! The sixth season of the popular franchise’s spinoff will premiere Thursday, June 24th. Over the years, Thotyssey has spoken to a few of these cast members. Let’s revisit these interviews!

Wednesday (5.26.2021)

WEDNESDAY (5.26.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: James Oblak

Imagine being a gorgeous and charismatic musician who is also extremely talented, creative and disciplined enough to have released your own original album. Now stop imagining, because you’re clearly James Oblak… and the new season of your Fire Island show premieres this weekend! [Cover Photo: John Kale]


Thotyssey: Hello James! It’s a lovely day in New York City right now; are you on Fire Island yet?

James Oblak: Yes, I’m out here every weekend. Actually, I’m headed back to the city now.

It’s only been a few weeks, but how has the FI season been treating you so far?

It’s nice. This year I’ve been able to get my own place out there for the weekends, and really treat it like a working vacation. Plus, I’m super excited for my show to start at Cherrys’ on the Bay Memorial Day Weekend!

[Photo: Korey Smerk]

I see you’re from Cleveland… were you always performing in some way while growing up there?

Yeah! I grew up in Ohio, just a bit south of Cleveland. I started playing the piano at a very young age, and my first ambitions were to be a singer / songwriter. I then started getting into acting and musical theatre, and pursued that so I could get a degree and perform. The piano performance kind of came full circle when I moved to NYC and needed some performance work while I auditioned for acting gigs.

You’ve done lots of regional and touring productions of big musicals at this point: Mamma Mia, Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Hairspray… have you had an overall favorite experience on the stage as far as musicals go?

That’s tough–each show holds a special moment in my career and artistic journey. The Legally Blonde national tour was really special; I played Warner, which was a blast. But I also clicked so well the rest of the members on tour. It was a really good company.

Do you have a dream role on the stage?

Shakespeare in Something Rotten is one I am really getting into. Also, a childhood fantasy would be Fiyero in Wicked.

Your work in the piano bar scene here at venues like Uncle Charlie’s, Club Cumming and the Townhouse is always very well-received. What are your specialties on the piano? And… what’s a really annoying song that everyone always wants to hear, lol?

I love doing female pop covers. The crowd goes wild for some throwback Britney or Taylor Swift.
But I’ll also give you your piano classics like Elton John, Billy Joel and Jerry Lee Lewis.

An annoying song–that’s funny! Honestly, if somebody asks for it and I know how to play it, it’s always a win. It’s annoying when they just expect you to know everything, and they’re super insistent that you play a song that you’re not too familiar with. I’m always like, “okay I’ll play it, but you asked for it if it’s not great,” haha!

Recently a promoter posted on Facebook that he was looking for a really good-looking and talented pianist, and, like, 90 people responded with your name!

Aw, that’s sweet. Maybe the looks compensate for those annoying songs I don’t know how to play, lol!

You released a whole self-titled album in 2019.

Yes! I self-produced the album on my own; it’s all my original music, lyrically driven contemporary pop. I’ve heard it described as a mix of Gavin DeGraw, Mika, and Shawn Mendes. I’m really proud of what I did with what little I had to work with, actually. It was just me and a few friends doing it together. I think we spent two days at a studio in Pennsylvania, and just had a really good time doing it. The first day was just a dream, hearing the things in my head come to life.

I see it as an unfinished process, really. Just something to put my points of view, sound, and style out there. These things shift and change, and as you grow as an artist you listen back and think “oh wow, I totally would have done something different there.” So often, artists don’t publish because they think it’s not perfect or they didn’t produce it with enough spectacle. For me. I just wanted it out there, I kept telling myself, “just do it James, just put it out and the rest will follow.” I’m glad I took [that advice] and just did it.

[Photo: John Kale]

It’s an extraordinary achievement! Do you randomly find yourself writing music as inspiration comes, or do you have to sit down and say “okay, it’s time to brainstorm?”

Both. The music always comes to me at random; maybe it’s a melody, or some kind of hook. But then there’s always a moment where I have to tie the ideas together, and sit down and figure out structurally what’s going on. But I never force it.

Does the idea of maybe writing a whole original musical, or at least the songbook, hold any appeal to you?

That seems like a very big undertaking. But most of my songs are story-driven and work in relation to each other, so I don’t think it’s so far off.

Maybe you’ve already started writing one without realizing!

What year did you start bartending and performing at Cherry’s, and what do you most enjoy about being there?

It was a total accident that I started last year. I was supposed to be touring all year, so my apartment in NYC was sublet. So when everything shut down and I was abroad, I was like, “well dang, I don’t want to kick my friend out of the apartment during the pandemic to just not work and pay NYC rent.” So a friend of mine and I actually contacted a few bar owners on Fire Island to see if we could rent out a room in some staff housing that wasn’t being used. We moved out there super early in the season, with the thought that if things got worse we’d be safe quarantining out there. But if things got better, we could do some outdoor shows / work and also be close enough to get to NYC if we needed.

The fact that the show worked and the community really embraced me is my favorite part. Cherry Grove is such a special place, and I was so lucky that they took a chance on me and gave me a platform. People always show up and support, and to have been able to work and perform during that quarantine summer was an extreme blessing.

Cherry’s (and really all the businesses on the Grove) did very well with managing lockdown protocol last year, but there was still some much lambasted foolishness on behalf of the patrons elsewhere on the Island.

There were so many hoops to jump through to keep the place open and safe. It was an incredible feat; it relied on each person to be responsible and represent ourselves in a way that kept the community safe. Huge kudos to the small business owners of Cherry Grove for taking on the challenge and keeping nightlife performers employed.

Yes! And we’re in for a great season this summer. For one thing, your show “James Oblak on the Bay” premieres at Cherry’s this Friday at 6pm! Tell us what’s in store for us.

A lot of fun! I’m so excited to play out there again. I’ve got a lot of new songs to play, and some usual crowd pleasers. I always try to incorporate some recent Top 40, with my own spin. It actually was quite a good year for new music.

Yes! Did you have any favorite songs or albums from this year, by the way?

I adore Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, and Chromatica of course. I actually like some of the new flavors Bieber gave us this year, too. Kylie Minogue’s comeback last year was also much needed.

Good stuff all around! Okay, finally: what is an amazing trivia fact about James Oblak that the whole world should know right now?

Hmm… loves pineapple on pizza. Currently binging Ryan Murphy’s new show Halston. And I’m trying to read more, since I have these long commutes back and forth to the city. So send any recommendations my way!

Will do! Thanks, James!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for James Oblak’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Stream or download his music on Amazon, Apple, Spotify and all related platforms.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (5.25.2021)

TUESDAY (5.25.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

  • REBAR: Drink & Draw (7pm)

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

  • FEATHERS: Bingo feat. Nickie Love (10pm)

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

X-Rayed Sex: “So Many Bottoms Among Us”

By LeNair Xavier

Thotyssey presents a bi-monthly column by LeNair Xavier, a writer/poet who has worked in many levels of the sex industry, and has a lot to say about the social politics of sex, porn and sexual etiquette.


One ongoing complaint (or joke, depending how you look at it) here in NYC is how there are so many bottoms. If you look on some hook-up websites where it’s easy to check out profiles from other parts of the not just the country, but the globe, you will probably find as I have that many of those profiles are those of bottoms as well. Making me conclude that the issue of there being so many more bottoms compared to the number of tops is not just one common to New York City, but to many cities across the globe.

But why might this be the case?

With all the bottom-shaming that goes on in the gay male community, primarily through porn and bad jokes in gay nightlife events, I recently wrote an erotic poem to combat that. It is entitled “My Submission Has The Floor”.

While as I stated in my “Audio Fuck Profile” that I am versatile in action, but actually prefer bottoming, the purpose of “My Submission Has The Floor” was to go a step further in celebrating that bottoming. Having no shame in the joy I feel from being submissive when I bottom and explain what in my life makes me seek being dominated.

Well, the first stanza of the poem explains that quite well. To reiterate, it reads:

To keep my life in peace
To keep my life sane
I am the aggressor and dominator
Over my life, destiny, and domain
But in this world of chaos
I’m in that mode around the clock
So many get concerned
Am I ever free to stop?

After writing that poem, I reflected on it to do as I try to with all my poetry. Asking myself if it is possible for many readers to even subconsciously relate to what I am saying. That’s when I realized that the answer is a loud and echoing YESSSSSS.

Many males can relate to this. And not just gay males, but straight males as well. In fact, in straight males, this might explain why pegging (anally penetrating a heterosexual male) is becoming of growing interest to straight men.

For we as males regardless of age, color, ethnic background, religion, and sexual orientation have it constantly drilled in our heads to be the aggressor. To be the dominator. What has started happening is that many males are coming to realize that those displays of aggression and domination to “prove one’s manhood” need a break from time to time.

Now, considering how little individual thinking happens among us males, whether or not those displays of aggression and domination are honest to their character is another topic. So let us focus here on what has been indoctrinated in us males as to how we are to see ourselves, as opposed to what we might actually be. For it is that reason as to why many of us use being a submissive bottom as our break.

That preceding statement was not to throw shade at my fellow males. It was to state a matter of fact. One in which I will explain by detailing what provokes my own aggression and domination.

My aggression and domination shows itself in my aura. It works usually without me having to say a word, but the energy gives off a demand of how I want to be treated in my relationships. Be they platonic, romantic, or business, that energy is not considered troublesome unless the other person(s) is up to no good. And it is not considered intimidating unless a person doesn’t make the same demand for themself. Which when you think about it is most people. Hence what brings forth much of the drama you hear of in so many people’s various kinds of relationships.

Now, to continue with the main point, while I said that there are many males who admit to needing that break from aggression and domination, there are some who will not admit to it. For some of these males, they are aggressors all the time, and refuse to give up that power, even for a moment. For other such males, they probably live work lives in which they are very submissive to those over them in the workplace totem pole. Therefore, sex as an aggressive and dominating top becomes their outlet to have a dominating moment.

In either case, a number of these males go overboard. That’s why I keep total tops at a distance. Almost interviewing them like they are applying for a top-secret government position before they get to play with me. And if I do play with such a top, trust me, it will be a one-time thing at a sex party/backroom. Unless I get the chance later to pick his brain more to find out if his aggression is from a healthy place or not.

The ratio of bottoms to tops is probably not too much different than the number of straight females to straight males. After all, last I heard, there are a certain number of straight females to every single straight male. So it is quite likely that there is a nearly equal ratio of bottoms to tops. Thereby showing yet another way as to how, as much as militant gays hate to admit it, we are not too different from straight people. In any case, this pulchritude of bottoms is a sign of the societal pressure put on males. One in which the ratio won’t even out until we individually maneuver ourselves to not adhere to those pressures outside of ourselves.


LeNair Xavier can be found frequently at the Cock, and at various other exhibitionist-friendly venues. He can be followed on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. He guest blogs occasionally for Kiroo.com.

X-Rayed Sex Archives

Monday (5.24.2021)

MONDAY (5.24.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • CLUB CUMMING: “Broadway Video Jukebox” feat. Austin Ruffer (6pm)

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar