Friday, December 22, 2006

Black Velvet

Second Life is market capitalism at work, so clearly the standard SL club/casino formula is successful. I have to assume that lots of people like discos with light shows and "sploders" (devices into which you put money which periodically "explode" to shower more or less money on the participants), casinos, dancers and/or strippers, private dance booths, and escort services. There is certainly no end to variants on this theme in SL, and they do provide a lot of employment (been there).

If you look around, though, you can find places that provide alternative entertainment, places like the Lonsdale Social and the Wet Kitty. One of those alternatives is our "local." Literally—it's just a few lots down the beach from our house. The club is called The Velvet. Pushbutton Skolnik designed the club to be a place where she would want to hang out, and many of us have found our niche there as well. It looks like a somewhat-remodelled old movie theatre, complete with balcony. It retains enough of a beat-up character to let you know this is a rock club, not a disco. In fact, don't be alarmed if you find a bit of blood on the floor—hey, at least it's not vomit! Having spent many a happy night in real-life grungy rock clubs, I feel like this place is a second home.

Push and her hosts have been active promoters since the club opened in the autumn of 2006. They used to have dancers, but now the poles seem to be there mainly for whoever feels like taking a ride. In keeping with the fact that it's music that's important (to me, anyway), the focus is on the hosts and, especially, live DJs. Push has great regulars and guests, and she herself is an excellent spinner. There are also imaginative theme nights with contests, such as "Jammies Night" (right, where Patrice and I are joined by hostess cantara Boxer in an attempt to revive Destiny's Child), not just "best in red" or "sexiest couple," although those sorts of contests happen occasionally as well. There was even a night when we were all channelling Abraham Lincoln, complete with beards and top hats (I have a photo, but it's kind of embarrassing). Don't ask me what that one was about—ask Push! But it was funny and fun.

The best part of all this is that the club draws a great mix of people. I mean, how many clubs have among their regulars Elvis (the later years), a spider, a TV set, and a wide assortment of punks, anarchists, vampires, and fashionistas of various sexual orientations and persuasions? And not only is the place great for avatar watching. The conversation is pretty much always sharp and entertaining.

Obviously, the Velvet is not everyone's cup of steaming spiked tea. The abundance of thriving discos and casinos attests to that. But for anyone looking for good music in a cool place with interesting people, the Velvet is well worth checking out.

And no, Push did not pay me to say any of this. I sweahtagawd!

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