Fresh Pressed: Stand Up NYC Drag Benefit

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.

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.

You Missed It Party @ Baby’s All Right (3/4)

Back in July of 2022, brothers Jack and Joe Kerwin started the popular newsletter “You Missed It” to create a digital scrapbook of the moment, capturing the exciting things happening in the broader emerging culturing landscape. Their first event was New Year’s Eve at Baby’s All Right where Big Klit played a show while nine months pregnant. At the second show, Ernest Rareberrg performed with a cast of 15 people. For their third and most recent event, the Taxidermists played an unreleased album followed up by popular musical acts Hello Mary and Momma. They also got Channel Beads, Harry Teardrop and Julia Cumming to DJ.

Next week, You Missed It will be hosting a concert series in Austin, Texas at SXSW with two stages, one curated by Perfectly Imperfect and the other by Sunflower Bean. Stay posted with Fresh Pressed as we follow the Kerwin bros down to SXSW to cover what they do next.


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