NIGHTVISION with Humberto Guida
Humberto Guida is a pop journalist and comedian based in Los Angeles who regularly finds himself in curious situations, as he explores the nefarious corners, people, and trends of contemporary nightlife. Follow his misadventures in clubland and run-ins with the wildest party people in the country right here on Clubplanet’s off-the-wall blog... Humberto's Nightvision.

Visions for the New Year

posted on 01.13.2011

In the waning minutes of New Year’s Eve, I was standing in the middle of a crowd watching the amusingly risqué Boulet Brothers, creators and owners of the infamous Miss Kitty’s Parlour and Cabaret at the Dragonfly in Hollywood, host a New Year’s Eve edition of their notoriously depraved electro-fetish night. I was caught up in a euphoric wave of positivity. Up on the stage was James Boulet. With a bottle of champagne in one hand and a microphone in the other, he gave one of the most momentous, uplifting sermons I’ve ever heard.

“You know I don’t do this, but as we count down the last minutes of 2010 let me say that I know it’s been a tough couple of years for a lot of us,”  James Boulet yelled to the crowd, “But I’m here to tell you it’s only gonna be better this year. We’re coming back. We’re breaking through. The most important thing is that you finally do whatever it is you really want to do. Now is the time. It’s gonna be a great year.”

I partied my ass off last New Year’s and every year before that, but I gotta admit, as I walked through the crowd and kissed random girls and high-fived random guys and even hugged a weirdo dressed as a lion, I picked up on genuinely good vibe, and it had nothing to do with the rolls I dropped. Everybody was saying it. “I feel it. This year is really going to be better.”

Now I know our country is still in a jam, a lot of us are broke, and some people are going apeshit, and shooting innocent folks. But the mood among the young, up-to-this-point jaded scenesters is getting more optimistic. I think we’ve finally put a cap in last decade’s ass and it’s time for a brighter better day, and night. Besides, weren’t the 2000s, or whatever the last decade is called, cheesy as hell? I present you with Cisco, Crocs, preppie-popped collars, Sarah Palin, Snuggies, too many celebrities famous for nothing, Ed Hardy, Tweeting about your mundane daily errands, the war on terror, the continuing war on drugs, and I’m still not sure how to feel about the comeback of skinny jeans for guys. 

So here’s what I’m laying down as hopes for better nightlife everywhere in 2011, a year that I am sure will be awesome:

    Lawmakers need to lay off the raves. For every time a kid ends up in the hospital because of drugs, you have twenty less bully beat-downs, shootings, or stabbings because while yes, kids might experiment with drugs at raves, there’s evidence to show they’re not getting into as many violent altercations at the illicit parties (kids on E are more peaceful than rowdy drunk kids, that’s just the truth).

We should improve drug awareness so these kids know how dangerous these substances are and that they can die from doing them. But at the end of the day, I’d rather have a generation of silly hippies who have somewhere to go and do the things young people do in a relatively safe controlled environment, than a bunch of kids running around on the streets looking for trouble.

2)    They should revise the federal RAVE Act which holds promoters responsible for any narcotics sold, possessed or consumed at their parties, to remove the extent of their liability, but demand they provide adequate security, water, and bathrooms for any event (more cheap, available water, and a couple of the rave incidents that have garnered attention from the authorities, especially in L.A. after the Electric Daisy Festival last year, would have been less severe).

3)    We need a market correction on the price of alcohol at nightclubs. Offer up some inexpensive alternatives to the 14 dollar cocktail. Clubs should also come up with a system that sets aside a few for VIP tables where you can buy just one bottle and have the table for two hours. Maybe one cheaper brand of vodka on the bottle menu. There needs to be a more viable option for people who want to have a good time but can’t break the bank to do it.

4)     Girls need to stop dancing in a circle with each other and start dancing with us, unless they’re into other girls and then, by all means, continue.

5)    I don’t care if you are an aficionado of a particular sound, whether it’s hip-hop, indie rock, electro, house, or some new obscure electronic music genre, variety is always good. Don’t be a beat snob.

6)    A more open attitude to open sex. If you’ve been reading this blog, you probably get the hint that I’m a freak. Now I used to be one of these kids who went out as much for the music and the scene, as I did to meet girls. But now that I’m older I realize this whole nightlife thing is built for people to let off steam and then hook up. So provide that red light feel to the club scene, it’s good for our collective libido. Parties like the aforementioned Miss Kitty’s at Dragonfly or Voyeur in L.A. or the Cathouse in Las Vegas amp up sexual atmosphere and appeal to both genders. So make it sexy time, more fetishy themes, go go dancers (girls and guys, what the hell), and people getting down in the VIP. Get liberated, but be safe, use a protection, like a whip or some furry cuffs.

7)    Celebrities need to start partying at more random places. Enough of this faux promoting for pay, just come show up somewhere and surprise everyone. They’ll like you if you’re famous.

8)    Let’s all make time to have a drink and shake our booties together. First round is on you.

I can see you… but not like, in a stalker way or anything like that.
- HG

WMC Breakdown: Pt. 1

posted on 12.06.2010

“The biggest dance event in the country, Winter Music Conference, happens here in Miami,” DJ Irie tells me over the phone before one of his gigs at South Beach’s hottest megaclub, LIV. “I just hope this year doesn’t mess things up.”

In case you haven’t heard, the marriage between the wonderful week of endless parties and electronic music mayhem known as Winter Music Conference and the epic rave known as Ultra Music Festival is over. That’s right; from what I’ve heard, the founder of WMC, Bill Kelly, and the guys behind Ultra, Alex Omes and Russell Faibisch had a falling out. Each claims their vehicles are the real reason for WMC’s success. And each wants their own week.

Now WMC will take place on March 8 – 12, while Ultra stays at the end of the month, March 25 – 27. Over its 26-year history, WMC has become known by industry insiders, audiophiles and fans alike as the pre-eminent date for merchandisers and manufacturers launching new music, technology and trends in the music business. But it wasn’t until 1999, when the Ultra Festival piggy-backed on WMC’s growth to stage (what was then, an all-day festival on the sands of South Beach) that the WMC exploded onto the global stage as the place to be for everyone and anyone involved with electronic dance music.

As Ultra grew over the subsequent years, it moved to Downtown Miami. It is now staged at Bayfront Park and attracts over 100,000 festival-goers. In 2005, WMC and Ultra joined forces, giving badge-holders entry into the festival. WMC badge sales shot through the roof. Ultra got a legitimate platform to ascend to the world’s top-tier music festivals (although compared to events like Coachella, it’s often a big disorganized mess).

It wasn’t long though, before Omes and Faibisch began to power-play their partners at WMC by signing many of Ultra’s headlining acts to exclusive contracts, barring them from playing at any other party, club, or showcase during the preceding week. This includes major artists like Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold, as well as Florida fave, Rabbit in the Moon. That has not only angered partygoers, but club owners and showcase promoters as well.

In an email sent out last week, Club Space owner, the always outspoken Louis Puig, slams Ultra’s organizers for monopolizing the DJ talent pool. "This year and once again, Ultra is trying to monopolize WMC by engaging exclusive contracts with all major DJs which will not allow them to perform at your favorite dance clubs."

Puig adds, "What this means to the consumer is that you will no longer be able to enjoy your favorite DJ for extended sets after midnight at your favorite clubs, instead you will be forced to listen to them for a one hour set before midnight in a crowded field of dust, mud and ravers."

So this is pretty much set in stone. Many of us will have to choose between a string of hotel and club events or a three-day music festival. I’m going to get more details on my favorite week of the year (plus some more reactions from DJs and event promoters to see what kind of ripples this WMC-Ultra feud will send throughout the industry and dance music scene).

At least one DJ has a bright outlook on things. Rony Seikaly, global phenom, former NBA baller, and the current hot new thing on Subliminal Records, put his hopes this way: “I hope it’s not a disaster. It definitely throws people’s schedules off, but hopefully it just expands into three straight weeks of WMC.” Agreed.

More on this next week!

I can see you… but not like, in a stalker way or anything like that.
- HG

A Fabulous Night Among The Fierce Ones Of WeHo

posted on 10.21.2010

In this installment of Nightvision, I continue the tradition established by this blog of being the #1 source for TMI in regards to my personal and social life. This week, I braved a night romping through West Hollywood’s gayest gay clubs in order to get in the good graces of my ex-girlfriend’s fabulous friends. Like any stylish woman-about-town, she has a joyously gay entourage. I’m hoping that if I impress them with my liberated attitudes towards the gay nightlife scene it will help me get back with her. That’s right, I have no problem bearing my soul and sharing my pathetic quest to win back the one that got away. At least I learned enough about gay bars to talk about them in between venting about my love life.

The night began innocently enough last Saturday at the world famous Improv in Hollywood. I performed stand-up comedy in which I alienated one particular table full of heckling Ed Hardy-wearing douchebags with their drunk douchette dates peering from under their overdone blonde extensions. I ended a joke by pointing out that the folks at this particular table probably had HPV. Ironically, it was the one joke they laughed at. Maybe it was nervous laughter. I should also mention that I followed a performance which featured the previous comedian’s friend hijacking the set to propose to his chick. I was hoping it was a gag. It wasn’t. What a downer.

In the audience that night were my ex-girlfriend, otherwise known as Pibbsie and her two fabulous gay pals, Dan the Silly Man and Adam Von Fierce. They were lively, and giddy, and color-coordinated, and they especially loved my joke about my life not going anywhere because I let “seasoned whores stick their fingers in my bum” (that may or may not be completely made up in the name of comedy). The rest of the audience was aghast at my disclosure, partly because it was Latino night, and there were many macho men in the crowd.

Speaking of macho men, in order to hang out with the Pibbs after my show I volunteered to tag along with her and the fabulousos to a place where the men are either not macho at all or so damn macho they’re busting out of their tiny t-shirts… WeHo.

There we were, Pibbsie, Dan the Silly Man, Adam Von Fierce, and myself skippity bopping down Santa Monica to Robertson. (We had to skippity bop because Dan the Silly Man swore on his brand new Diesel jeans that the West Hollywood Police would ticket us for “straight walking.”) Finally, we arrived at Here Lounge. I guess I was being eased into the gay bar scene by dipping my toes into a party that is only half gay men and the rest women who may or may not be competing for spots on the U.S. softball team. If you don’t catch my drift, this theme night called “Truck Stop” was targeting ladies and the ladies who love them. The party promotes itself as a place where you can find “hot, sassy, sexy glam rockin’ girls who aren’t afraid to throw down and have a good time” (just not with straight guys).

I can’t say it was bad. The bar was neat, all neoned out, with sleek tables and a throbbing dance floor. The only real issue I had with Here Lounge was the fact that the guy’s bathroom is one long horse trough urinal running along a hallway that is in no way constructed from the rest of the club. Wow. I really had to think about just how bad I had to go… not bad enough.

Next stop, we went next door to the world famous Abbey, which I can only describe as a sea of gay guys since we went in through the back door and I didn’t make it in very far. I didn’t fit (not that I’m bragging or anything), so we headed over to an establishment I was weary about after hearing the name… Mother Lode.

As I imagined, Mother Lode had a noticeable collection of bears – big, burly, bearded gay men often clad in tight leather. The rest were aspiring Ken dolls, along with a speckle of gals, each at the center of their own gay entourage. One of those gals was my ex, the Pibbs, who at this point was drunk thanks to my insistence she have another drink… and then another… and then another. I figured right around that time it was my cue to sashay up to her with my RuPaul two-step, compliment her new shoes (I’m picking up a thing or two from her friends) and then go in for the smooch.

“No dice,” she says. I guess we’re still just friends. To add insult to injury, after I begged her to come home with me, Adam Von Fierce stepped in and said, “Oh no, bitch, you gotta go through me.” I guess I wouldn’t be getting back with the Pibbs; but I won’t give up. I looked Adam Von Fierce right in his fake contacts and said, “You may have won the battle, but I’ll win the war.” Then I tried to dash off into the night gracefully, but I had to walk through the dance floor during a Lady Gaga song, so it was a stop and go thing as I dodged limp wrists flailing fervently in the air. I slept alone that night, with little action beyond the anonymous grabbing of my ass I endured on the way out of Mother Lode. Oh well, at least I know one thing: I’m welcome in WeHo anytime.

I can see you… but not like, in a stalker way or anything like that.
- HG

PS- Catch me talking shit on Gossip Queens, Monday Nights at 9pm/Midnight (EST) on LOGO.

The Night I Got Spanked at Miss Kitty’s Parlour…

posted on 08.16.2010

There I was. Onstage, my ass out, a tall slender, possibly transsexual MC standing to one side cat-calling into a mic, and a drop dead sexy dominatrix (actual woman, I promise) behind me, cracking me with a whip. Before we deconstruct this scenario any further, let me just say that it was a drastically delicious way to get free drinks for the night… but my cheeks still hurt.

This scene is a typical one when you attend Miss Kitty’s Parlour, L.A.’s notorious “circus disco dance party and electronic cabaret event.” Since it began, Miss Kitty’s Parlour has been described as an underground electro party, goth party, fetish party, gay party, burlesque party, even a strip club. But although it can admittedly get kinda gay, and there’s fetish sights and sounds all around, and yes, there’s even frequent stripping (by performers and patrons alike), it’s none of the above, or maybe all of the above… I’m horrible at math. I’d call it a kinky-chic, burlesquey, fetish-friendly freakfest in Hollywierd, CA. If you’ve been there, you probably have the marks to prove it.

Since its inception, the party was helmed by a dark and lovely, if quite full-figured, Mexican-American mistress named Miss Kitty. She formed The Filthy Family, which is made up of male, female, and combo male-slash-female performance artists, go-go dancers, DJs, and promoters affiliated with the party. After seven hardcore years of catering to Hollywood’s insatiable appetite for a frisky electro party—that really doesn’t get enough credit for it’s fine taste in electronic, industrial, even old school bootie hip-hop music—the event often attracts the likes of Mickey Avalon (who first performed here), Dita Von Teese, and Marilyn Manson. Miss Kitty founded the freaky fiesta with The Boulet Brothers, event promoters and the ringleaders/choreographers of one of the exotic erotic performance art troupes that take Miss Kitty’s stage every Friday night at the Dragonfly on Santa Monica Blvd. "We are sort of fine with and ready to accept any label (after bucking the system for years) but I guess I would call it a pansexual dance party and cabaret," Jaime Nine, one of the Boulet Brothers tells me.

The night I was there, a drop dead gorgeous fetish model named Masuimi Max performed.

I noticed that the crowd was composed of 20 percent trannies, transvestites, and drag queens… yes, I’ve been told there’s a difference. Another 20 percent are wacky, off-the-wall club kids decked in ridiculous outfits. Another 20 percent is, for some reason or another, really fat Chicanas in lingerie and their Mexabilly boyfriends (it’s L.A., homes). Then, another 20 percent are those sexy as hell, Suicide Girl-types, the kind I’m there to see. The last 20 percent are douchebag guys, dressed to the nines in jeans and t-shirts, who are there for those Suicide Girl-types (although some end up going home with trannies). And finally 20 percent are voyeuristic normal people who just want to check all this out. Does that add up to 100 percent? Oh, well. I do notice a lot of “street jizz,” which is what I call the kinda lowdowners who will blow someone in an alley. But there’s a lot of respectable trash, too. 

So where were we? Oh yeah, I’m getting my ass spanked in the middle of nightclub in front of 200 freaks and a handful of normal people who like to watch freaks cheering loudly. I used to consider myself part of the latter, but it appears I have freakish tendencies and my scruple is nearly non-existent when I’m plastered (like, even more than yours).

The way I end up on stage is pretty mundane. I was rapping to some tatted-up beauty with a ring through her nose, fishnets and seven-inch heels (and genuine female from what I can tell). She had been on stage earlier doing some sort of routine that involved spanking a girl who looked just like her. It was extremely hot and bothersome.

On the dancefloor, after her number, I cozy up to her. I figured on approaching Tim Burton’s wet dream like I would any other girl at a bar: I offer her a drink. She doesn’t want one. Now, with a normal girl you’d think I struck out. But most normal girls take the drink even if they have no intention of giving you the time of day (or night). This is not a normal girl. The hoop nose ring and neck-to-toe tattoos express that from a mile away. Her (stage) name. It was Danna Darling.

“I don’t drink alcohol. But if you find a joint we can go smoke it,” she says in a sly way.

What coinkidink, I have one. So we’re puffing and who comes to stand in between us but some little pink-haired gremlin of a chick. Apparently they’re girlfriends or some shit, but I was into this Darling, so I ask her if I can give a kiss. I know these types so I came up with a good reason, because she’s a “goddess” and I’m “worshipping” her. That made Darling’s pale, inked complexion blush. “Sure,” she says.

But little gremlin had to have a say. “Okay, fine, you’re okay with that right? He’s respectful? Right? Okay,” She tells Darling, who isn’t listening to a word her girlfriend is saying.

As I kiss Darling, the little pink haired gremlin tells me, “She’s my girlfriend. She does whatever I say.” Yeah right.

At one point in the night we were joined by this crazy girl who had one eyebrow completely waxed and bejeweled, and Johnny Rocket, one of the Filthy Family’s cast members. Johnny Rocket dresses like a trampy whore, in heels and spandex, but talks like a pretty normal dude, which throws me off. But this whole place throws me off, especially the tranny and/or transsexual who butted into my conversation with Darling to show off her heels. I ask her if she was Alexis Arquette. Johnny Rocket nudges me, “Don’t say that. How mean.” So I ask Johnny if he’s friends with Arquette, “cause if anyone is being insulted, it’s her.”

After a number of shots, I ask Darling if there’s anything else I can do. That’s when she tells me it’d be “really cool” if I got up on stage. So I did. And that’s how I found myself onstage getting spanked publicly for the first time in my life. Now, the dom chick must have smacked my ass as hard as she possibly could. I mean, I know she did! I didn’t hear as thunderous a clap when she smacked others.

“You hit me hardest, didn’t you?” I ask her on the way down.

Her response? In the cutest little voice you’ll ever hear she says, “No, I hit everyone that hard…,” and then she did a curtsey. I thought I’d be embarrassed when I got off stage but every person dressed as a female in the club was just smiling at me, including Darling, and her lil gremlin girlfriend. I knew then that when I got home from Miss Kitty’s, I’d need a shower… the kind that washes away sin.  

I can see you… but not like, in a stalker way or anything like that.
- HG

Why You Shouldn’t Eat or Drink Before a Night Out

posted on 01.07.2011

Eating light foods before a hard night of serious partying is usually a good idea. You should eat something. Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for a disastrous outing, but don’t eat heavy. Because if there’s anything that can ruin a fun night out it’s a bad case of the poops.

Yes, having to go #2 in the middle of cocktails and dancing just sucks. Not only do you have to wait in the long line, sometimes having to deflect conversation from random social butterflies who are too hammered to just stand there and leave you alone, but now you have to wait for the stall (if you’re a guy) and then keep the stall door from opening wide while you construct multiple paper barriers on the toilet seat and finagle your ass into a suspended squat so you can pull off a fast one before anyone in the restroom knows you unloaded yourself.

So think before eating a big, greasy meal before you hit the club. And don’t drink too much either. Sometimes the lines for the bathrooms (even the guy ones) are so long you come close to pissing yourself while you wait. Other times, you actually do. 

Once, I couldn’t wait for the long line to restroom. So I walked behind an exotic plant, pulled down my fly, and whizzed in the large vase containing said plant. As soon as I jiggled my junk, ticked it away, and turned around to vacate the area, an enormous bouncer grabbed me by the collar and dragged me into the hallway, where another equally enormous bouncer waited.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing, asshole?!” yelled one of the bouncers.

I knew I was caught with my tinkling dick in my hands so I just admitted, “Look bro, I have a small bladder. It’s a medical condition. I had to go or it was gonna burst!”

The other bouncer proceeded to make the situation worse. “The plant over there is fake,” he told me. “And now there’s a vase full of piss we gotta move.” Just then, my fate was cemented by some jerk-off bumping into the fake plant, sending it (and all my urine) across the dancefloor… and boy did I have a lot to drink. Anyway I got tossed outside on my ass and told never to come back again or I’d be arrested. I hated that club anyway.

What was the lesson? Oh yeah, don’t eat and drink too much before going out.

I can see you… but not like, in a stalker way or anything like that.
- HG

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