Monday, January 21, 2013

Case Study: Drunk White Girls

I'm a people-watcher. I like to scrutinize everyone's quirks, mannerisms, and interaction within their environment. Ok listen, I'm a regular at the Lower East Side's Hotel Chantelle off of Delancey. I've hosted there, attended numerous functions, the whole deal. On Thursday, there are two little fêtes which I attend almost on a weekly basis. There's "POGO", a pop/disco dance club scene and "Generation Wild" which is a serious affair of heavy metal/rock n'roll debauchery. It's great because one is in the basement while the other concurrently goes on in the lobby. For someone like me who has a vast music taste (my iPod looks like the UN Summit of music genres), I can just dart back and forth. So it's like hopping between the border of two states except it's more like SHE'S MY CHERRY PIE and YOU SHOW THAT LIGHTS THAT STOP ME TURN TO STONE. 

So let's start our case study with the general demographic attending these weekly festivities. If you're like me, a regular Delancey street harlot, you're there to hang out with your friends who are hosting. So it's basically our excessively glamourous LES clique which varies week to week. And then there's the general public all sauntering throughout the venue's three floors. We already covered the first two, but there's also a third floor which is comprised of a bar and a terrace. That's mostly swanky, 1%-esque people and a designated smoking space outside on the roof. I love the upscale people on the third floor because when they see one of us from Dante's 10th circle of latex and leather hell come up, they totally judge us. BUT you know it's some broad named Barbara from Long Island who gets drunk off two wine coolers and her inner monlogue is "I can't wait to be home by 11 to watch Army Wives on LMN." Whatever.

And of course I love the characters and charming souls which grace the lobby to engage in heavy metal depravity. I especially love the older rockers who look like they haven't showered since the Berlin wall was taken down.

Anyway, let's move on to the focal point of this case study. And you know exactly who I'm talking about. The drunk white girls. You know, get drunk off of three vodka crans, squeal about how much they love everyone, buy chicken fingers, fall asleep in own vomit. Let me make it abundantly clear that I'm not talking about all caucasian females, rather focusing on a specific group. I'm talking about the Long Island and Jersey chicks who come to the city for a Sex and the City inspired night out. If you don't know who I'm talking about it's the girl crying by circa 3 AM and there's a 99% chance her name is Tiffany. Said subjects are usually observed dawning something overpriced from Forever 21 in Abusive Boyfriend Blue or an ensemble from Wet Seal. Shopping at Wet Seal is a great way to tell the world you will be having anal sex that night. Let us now meticulously list the peculiar characteristics of the drunk white girl:

First of all, everything is AWESOME. So AWESOME. And they love EVERYONE. Mao Zedong could have bottle service and it'd be oh em gee I love you. And then there's the piercing scream. I understand you're excited to see your friends but there is no reason to perpetually let out a squeal of such high pitched frequency that makes Mariah Carey green with envy. You do not need to scream so much. Why, why silly girl who cried during the verbal section of the SATs because you didn't know what the word "ubiquitious" meant, why? This usually occurs between the hours of midnight and 2 AM.

Now things get interesting between the hours of 2 AM and 4 AM . That's when I pull up a chair. I've got the popcorn going and I'm taking copious notes. EVERY song the DJ plays is their song. OH MY GOD IT'S OUR SONG in such a pitch that only a dog in Kuwait can hear. Every. damn. song. The DJ could play Sarah McLaughlin's "Like An Angel" from the animal abuse commercials and it'd be OH MY GOD IT'S OUR SONG. 

Then two things happen. The heels come off. WHY WOULD YOU EVER? Your bare feet are touching a floor glazed with SARs and Hoboken's bodily secretions. And then the hair goes up in what I lovingly refer to as the "sorority girl bun." You know that mess of hair that clumps in a ball on top of the head? And I know I'm the last one to judge ~any~ hair style, but at least my hair is organized chaos. That bun looks like you combed it with a grenade. No.

Let's wrap up this case study by reiterating my initial prognosis on the typical behavior of the drunk white girl: you are substantiating a stereotype by perpetually demonstrating the behavior which has spawned a derogatory connotation which is unfair to other girls who don't squeal, scream, and execute any other belligerent conduct. Unfortunately, this is the curse that stereotypes bear for individuals of any community that are known for certain things but don't corroborate it. So if this description resonates with any of you by virtue of your actions whilst inebriated at a venue: please don't shout and keep your shoes on.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baby You Know I Love You, But Ya Gotta Stop Bringing Me Down

On the heels of their recent single release, The Nuclears took to the stage at NYC staple venue Bowery Ballroom on Friday, December 4 to show the Lower East Side some good ol' Brooklyn rock n'roll debauchery. They opened for NYC heartthrobs The Dirty Pearls (who are leaving to go on tour with some Lady) and according to all the beer I spilled on myself while belligerently dancing I can safely say all the bands brought the house down. Besides being personal friends of mine as well as one of my favorite bands, the boys' nine song set pulverized the crowd along with their playful stage presence leaving looks of awe, enjoyment, and panic among audience members. Playing crowd favorites such as "Fast Cars and Loud Guitars" and "Eclipso," the boys also included covers of Bowie and The Doors. Briana Layon & The Boys front woman joined them on stage to perform their recent single too! If you don't know Briana Layon you should read THIS. Psst, I also heard she's cooking up some new tunes too!

Their latest single, "Baby You Know I Love You (But You Gotta Stop Bringing Me Down)"was recorded a few weeks ago when the band and their fiery red-headed manager Ky Digregorio (who also happens to my best friend) sequestered themselves to a mansion in Wingham, NY to lay down the vocals followed by mixing the track in Brooklyn (with help from fellow Bushwick band The Bottom Dollars, whose lead singer Brian Cherchiglia engineered and mastered the track). I heard the song many times before during its earliest stages of infancy, and I instantly fell in love with it. Its blues-esque vibe and infectious chorus has implanted itself in my brain until probably forever. Check it out below!

The Nuclears released 'Baby You Know I Love You (But You Gotta Stop Bringing Me Down)' as part of a split single package titled Windham Calling with The Bottom Dollars, check out the full release here.

(Also, a big congrats to my buds The Dirty Pearls for performing at all the official after parties for the Born This Way Ball! America doesn't know what's coming.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Secret Lives of Hofstra Students: Greg Mania

Happy 2013! I decided the first blog post of this year would be an article on yours truly by Maggie Urban-Waala of Hofstra University. We did an interview and she wrote an amazing article on me appearing in The Chronicle, however only a small portion of it was printed. Below is the full article. Check it out! 

The Secret Lives of Hofstra Students: Greg Mania
By: Maggie Urban-Waala

Photo credit: Ky Digregorio for PMc Magazine

Surveying the dorm room of Greg Mania, it is evident that he has a certain eccentricity about him. Looking no further than his personal appearance, it is clear that he encompasses this attitude in all aspects of his life.

The 6’1” blonde bombshell struts around campus with an additional 10 inches of hair teased to its maximum height, leaving most at least curious, if not completely puzzled by his ability to make almost anyone do a double take.

Today Mania is sporting black and white vertically striped pants and a vintage David Bowie sweater as he rushes into his room, flustered as ever, spouting on about nameless individuals he has to meet with and email immediately.

I sit at his desk taking in the room’s decorations, which leave one with a vamp-like taste in your mouth that is only heightened by the lack of natural light in the room. The shades are drawn and the main source of lighting comes from strands of Christmas lights draped along walls. While black, white and red remain the central color scheme, the single room is accented by pieces including bedazzled skulls, a disco ball, a zebra print area rug, and strewn books with titles ranging from “Psychopath Test” to “Love Janis”.

Seeing a bit more into his personal life makes it almost necessary to learn more about him and his life outside of Hofstra University.

Greg Mania is a fierce and hard-working senior at Hofstra majoring in Mass Media studies with a minor in German. The student possesses an array of skills ranging from writing in his highly esteemed blog to entertaining numerous crowds involved in the New York City nightlife.

He gracefully swings his exceptionally long legs over the edge of his bed, recalling his first few outings in NYC that took place almost three years ago.

Routinely ditching his dance lessons in the Upper West Side at 16, Mania would find himself wandering by himself in the Lower East Side against his parent’s instructions looking for gigs and watching the excitement that followed socialites in the “scene”.

The eager teen would then rush home to add the socialites on MySpace and Facebook, not realizing that they were also taking notice of him as well.

Besides gaining attention for his contagiously defiant yet playful nature in NYC, he couldn’t avoid it throughout high school as well.

“I’ve always had that in me, but I didn’t feel comfortable because every time I did something over the top the kids would look at me and say ‘What is he doing dancing on that table with his shirt off?’ but when I went downtown I realized that these people would not mind me being outrageous.”

Mania glances in the mirror, checking to be sure his blonde locks are firmly in place before he explains the confusion and popularity that has resulted due to the spelling of his last name, which coincidentally is not pronounced the way it would seem to be.

Despite this, the incorrect pronunciation of his last name stuck in his social life, and was almost too ironic considering his relatively manic personality. He began to run into an increasing amount of individuals who recognized him and praised him for living up to the name.

After doing a bit of networking, he eventually found himself tweeting back and forth with the drummer from The Dirty Pearls, a band that he viewed as “Good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. They’re not some lame band that tries to be badass.”

While experiences such as this make him noticeably glow while reminiscing, Mania explains that he understands, just like every other college student, the exhaustion of performing at his highest potential in multiple aspects of life.

Between keeping his hair at a skyscraper-esque height, networking with a range of characters in the city and attempting a normal college experience, Mania states he deals with the stress by simply “dying in between”.

Mania smirks and readjusts his position on the bed to lay on his side, resting his head on one arm as he recalls himself sitting in class in a constant state of struggle between brainstorming his next outlandish look for that night’s outing and needing to participate in a debate on Rousseau’s The Social Contract.

His packed schedule is overwhelming, but he explains that it is completely necessary because it is his natural anti-depressant to complete his responsibilities as a student and still be able to go out and cultivate his varying ensembles each night.

I ask him how and if he contains an off switch for his eccentricity in order to separate his Hofstra life from his NYC life, and he explains coolly that he is “Mania” 24/7.

He emphasizes the importance he places on staying true to himself, stating “I go to bed with my hair done all 10 feet tall, because I like to say, ‘If I die, I need to look good for the coroner.'”

Mania grew up performing in dance and theatre, which explains his laidback nature in response to the ever-present spotlight that he finds himself under at Hofstra and NYC alike.

Refusing to step out from the spotlight anytime soon, Mania struggles to recall all of the exciting new projects he is currently working on. Some of these include collaborating with reputable hair artist Chelsea Pickthorn, being hired to write a bio for up and coming NYC artist Brittany Campbell, providing comic relief and insight through his blog and Twitter accounts, and plotting new looks to sport at his favorite events.

Mania can hardly contain himself when describing a look that he plans to fashion soon which includes a mural of Lindsay Lohan spray painted on his hair from a stencil that he’s been working on.

Besides these current projects, Mania has a clear vision of his future that will include maintaining a creative environment at all times, writing and working as a creative director both in front of and behind the camera, and making sure to constantly push the envelope on gender ambiguity.

Mania expresses his desire to always remain active in the fashion world and inspire people through his wardrobe, stating, “For me, style is more valuable than fashion because style says who you are without you having to speak. It’s not about what you can afford.”

After mentioning the word style, Mania jumps up from the bed as if possessed insisting that he needs to go to the mall immediately. Once there, it is obvious that Hofstra is not the only place the icon receives blatant stares, especially after storming up to a women’s clothing rack in Express and demanding to try on a cheetah print jacket.

Although Mania clearly portrays his confidence through his style and personality, he notes that it is a struggle for some to fully embrace their own potentially unique fashion sense, explaining that although Hofstra is a very liberal community, there is always that yearning to fit in.

He proudly states his advice to those who are playing it safe, stating, “You don’t owe anyone an explanation for who you are.”