Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jazz Venue Reviews: The Elegance Ballroom


The Elegance Ballroom is one of the "New Wave" of Jazz/Ballroom venues in Second Life.  (By "New Wave", I refer to it being less than 2 years old... the "Classic" Jazz/Ballrooms are listed on the sidebar below.)  Encompassing two sims, you'll arrive in essentially the center of the sims and will be surrounded by an option of shopping locales.


Though expansive, there are numerous TPs around the sim (as shown above), which will take you directly to the ballroom.  A simple touch-and-tp puts you at the entrance of the venue.


Pros: Spacious shopping area (quite a bit swanky of selections to choose from, especially for the ladies), gracious hosts (quick to say hello and quite friendly), and the sign below of upcoming live events is a very nice touch.  As far as music is concerned, I couldn't quite identify the feed the first time I visited, but the second time I popped in, they had a live performer).  The grounds of the build itself are exceptionally well done - I did like the fountains on the build, along with the very good ice skating rink (in time for the holidays)!


Cons:  Few, if any - though I did encounter one that was a tad surprising.  While visiting during a live event, the performer was asking for support for the venue and the employees.  Quite understandable, but she came across as lecturing the customers/visitors that it was essentially their responsibility to ensure the tips were provided.  While I would believe this is limited to a singe individual, were I not here for a review, I would have simply TP'ed to another location.  Seriously, I understand that one aspect of income for music venues are tips provided by those listening, but I don't relish being lecture during my time away from RL.  Aside from this circumstance, any other quibbles fall in the realm of personal preference (e.g. no flight,  a long walk to the venue, ect...)


Would I go back?  Perhaps.  While the location was well done and the staff was courteous, the though of being told how to spend my monies (even if they are only Lindens) is a bit off-putting.  I'll return, and update as to future visits.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blog review update...



Just a quick updated to the blog, on a cold Monday afternoon!  I've been wrestling with the format and length of the previous venue reviews in SL.  Since there are an exceptionally long list of club, and I am hoping to be as comprehensive as possible, I'll be whittling down the reviews to the following format...



Description of the club: First impressions, appearance, music, and any other notable issues about a venue.
Pros: Good things about the club.
Cons: Disappointing issues that might arise about the club being covered.
Overall: This will essentially be the same, would I go back?

The focus will be on trying to cover as much as possible in the SL Jazz scene, and as the club venues tend to be where people go to dance or listen to live performances, I figured I'd focus on that.  That, and another associated project with the blog, but more on that to come in the future.  For now, my thanks for visiting the blog, and be seeing you later!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jazz Venue Reviews: The Fiume Jazz Club, SL Chicago


The Fiume Jazz Club is a classic jazz venue located on the SL Chicago sim.  As previously mentioned during the review of SL Chicago last week, there is more to SL Chicago than role play - though that is an integral part of the sim (I believe they held their first mobster trial and sentencing this week)!  But for non-rp events, the Fiume Jazz Club is the place to be!


The main stage of the Fiume Jazz Club - SL Chicago.

First Impressions - To arrive at the Fiume, one can either take a direct LM to the locale, or arrive via the SL Chicago teleportation system (red phone booths - a nice touch).  No lag when I arrived, and it is a nice place to indulge in a bit of Jazz.

Venue Appearance - The entrance to the Fiume is easy to navigate, and the build is well done.  The dance floor is large enough to hold a good number of individuals.  There are subtle notes of an older type of club (e.g. the hat check area), but nothing out of the ordinary.  One note - the sliver of land on the side of SL Chicago is non-RP, though era attire is encouraged.  Once you cross the bridge, you'll be requested to follow the sim's RP rules. 


Waiting for Breezy - thankfully, TPs are quick!

Atmosphere - Nice, quiet, and personable... as it is part of a RP sim, you'll see more people in RP, though it isn't required.  The attire is a bit more formal than average clubs (e.g. suits for gents, nice dresses for ladies), so keep this in mind... there are clothes stores just north of the club.  No 'spolder balls, no pestering for tips (though there is a tip-jar at the bar), just a nice place to dance.

Music - As its part of a Jazz-era, Dieselpunk sim, the Fiume Jazz club is most certianly a Jazz venue.  I don't recall the feed they used the last time I visited, but a subsequent visit had no music at all - an odd oversight, but I'm certain its a fluke issue.  One nice aspect is the club owner, a Mr.  Shepham Moorlord, and his partner, Miss Starla Huntress, are working attentively to attract musicians and if I recall correctly, plans are (as of this writing) to have one live performer weekly at the Fiume - as I learn of more regarding this, I promise to keep the readership informed!


Dancing at the Fiume... though my "Noir" settings are a tad darker than I'd like..
(need to work on that!)

Overall - Would I come back?... Yes.  A great location, and from the discussion I had with the owner, it has great potential to be an excellent Jazz-era venue for indugling in classic tunes.  For now, it remains a bit empty, but as time goes by, it'll be quite the hopping place, I'd wager!  To pay a visit, please go to: http://slurl.com/secondlife/rich%20island/163/236/21/

Ed. Note: It was announced in the first week of December that the second club on SL Chicago, the "Boom Boom Room" (on the RP island), was closed due RL issues.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

69 Park Avenue Jazz Club

 Greetings and Welcome to Second Life Jazz After Midnight
((above photo supplied by 69 Park Avenue))
http://69parkave.com/
This evening's  Brief Blog is on 69 Park Avenue Jazz Club
Located on SL NYC sims
 The Jazz Ballroom @ 69 Park Avenue is a sleek contemporary Build
With ease in access and virtually appealing
See their Event Calender here
http://virtual-city.org/park-ave-event-booking.php 
below some verbiage to describe what This clever build Offers to all interested in exploring
Jazz Sweetheart, Romance couple, singles ,LaCopa New York love, formals, designer jewelry ,date romantic , Mens suits events, men gentlemen club, DJ ,party, ballroom, dance ,ladies, music, fashion beach intimate live entertainment events, contests,elegant luxury suites and office rentals
 The Music Stream was an original , enjoyable and quite Refreshing collection of True Jazz Selections !!
 Of Course Toys For Tots Toy Drive caught our Eye .. Kudos to 69 Park Avenue
for supporting such a great cause in any World !!!
 Beautifully Designed Lag Free , Ah and a table for Two , Champagne included !
 http://slurl.com/secondlife/Park%20Ave%20Center/151/207/25
69 Park Avenue is perhaps one of the best... shall we say "commerical" clubs
That The good Doctor and Breezy have come upon in a while .  
Commercial being part of a larger mall build, but not the main focus of the build
Breezy was Impressed with their Men's formal ware available both in world
Having another Delightful evening ,Dancing with The Dashing Doctor Fabre !
Breezy enjoyed this venue, The Good Doctor mentioned they shall return, smiles
Do have a look and visit yourselves
The Jazz Ballroom @ 69 Park Avenue
A rather beautiful Jazz venue and an Interesting Local

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Museum to close today!


As reported on New World Notes and the Primgraph, the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum will be closing today, due to contractual issues with the RL parent company.  For more details, please visit the NWN or the Primgraph's article, at, , or use a SLurl to make a last trip to this gem, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Usonia/6/8/21/

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Seraph City Advertiser - The business paper for Seraph City


First, my apologies for being a bit behind the curve with the SL Jam - RL events have taken an odd twist, including a potential big screen blip for my main blog, the Steampunk Tribune, along with a few other odds and ends.

However, I did want to make the post that I've started a new blog (go figure) for Searph City businesses, titled the Searph City Advertiser.  This blog will highlight the businesses in Seraph City, including profiling sim businesses, new releases, upcoming social events, and much more (well, ideally much more).  Its still in its infancy, but I'll be cross posting to the SL JAM with any Dieselpunk events which take place in SC.  To take a peek at the SC Advertiser (which is still having its wrinkles smoothed out), please visit: http://seraphcity.blogspot.com/

One final note, I'll be adding a new item to the SL JAM, which will focus on SL musicians - an interivew series of sorts.  If you happen to know of SL Jazz musician / DJ who you'd like to learn more about, please drop a line to my email (rafael_fabre@yahoo.com) or just contact me inworld - thanks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Seraph City on Designing Worlds...


Seraph City was recently featured on Designing World, highlighting the unique aspects of the city!  If you haven't had the opportunity to see it yet, please do take a moment to indulge!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dieselpunk Travels: SL Chicago, Roaring 20s Mobster RP


Dieselpunk and the 1920s Jazz era have certain iconic imagery which people recognize it by – flappers, jazz musicians, G-men, and of course, gangsters.  When I opened the Empire Jazz Club, I was frequently asked if there was any gangster or mobster RP in Seraph City.  Unfortunately, RP in Seraph City is minimal, and most gangster areas tended to be along the lines of “modern gangsters” (certainly not mobsters in the classic 1920s sense).


The mean streets of Chicago

However, a while back I learnedof a new sim which not only fit the Dieselpunk genre, but had a very involved 1920s gangster role play.  This sim was SL Chicago, the Roaring Twenties.


SL Chicago's Arrival Skybox - Providing the basis for the sim

SLChicago is a sim dedicated to the 1920s gangster genre.  This being said, an emphasis is placed on genre authenticity, as one learns when they arrive at the main arrival point in the sim.  In the arrival skybox, a number of things are very apparent.  First, the four main rules for the sim are laid out, mostly involving conduct and appearance in Chicago.


The gent's and ladies' dressing rooms (with gratis treads), 
and the TP point to Chicago

Once one reads the overall guidelines of the sim, changes into era attire, obtains a HUD for RP involvement, and joins the Roaring Chicago group, one can tp down to the sim.  The sim’s TPs itself provides a number of locations one can visit, all accessible through its menu.  Additionally, once on the sim itself, the TPs are easily located in phone booths – a nice touch.


Colosimo's Cafe - the local watering hole

The SL Chicago sim itself is a recreation of 1920’s Chicago (a logical deduction from the sim’s name).  However, though the sim was not built to “spec” (e.g. a separate builder was not hired to build the sim, per se – a number of builds were from “off the shelf” items, easily obtainable from the SL Exchange), the build is well crafted for its purpose.  Notable is not only its layout a grid (akin to RL Chicago), but the adverts are era specific and generously applied throughout the sim, adding to its genre authenticity.


The USMC recruiting office - 
the devil dogs are serving even in SL!

The main appeal of Chicago is its gangster Role Play (RP).  When Seraph City (SC) first opened, I was peppered with questions regarding any potential “gangster rp” in SC, to which I had to respond that there was none.  However, Roaring Chicago has taken up the challenge.  The rp itself is still fairly new, and is developing, but the Chicago participants have been quite gracious in offering to help individuals develop personas and delve into the gangster world.



The Chicago Trolley on its route (Not sure which color line this one is)

Another enjoyable aspect of Chicago is its city streets.  I played with the environmental editor to develop a “Film Noir” background, and believe that the outcomes were successful, but certainly enhanced by the attention to detail paid to the sim’s era appearance.  The “storyline” of the events taking place in Chicago are narrated via group notifications, almost akin to a breaking news story or era radio “interruption to normal programming”.  Even if one doesn’t regularly engage in rp, you’ll be kept up to date with ongoing events in Chicago.

Care to do a bit of manly exercise?...


... a fully competitive boxing ring is available!

I've barely touched the surface of Chicago, incluiding the Boom Boom Room, the hidden speakeasys, and the lawmen's headquarters!  So if you are interested in mobster role play from the 1920s to 1930s, the 1920s Roaring Chicago is not only your only bet, but in terms of RP, your best bet!  Do consider paying them a visit, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/rich%20island/202/232/312/


Crime claims yet another victim...

Next review, I'll take a trolley to 1920s Chicago’s new Jazz club, the Fiume…


.... see you there!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The closing of the Sphynx Jazz Club...


Received a bit of bad news the other day... it appears that while serarching for a Jazz venue to visit, I discovered that the Sphynx Jazz Club has moved back to the Pharaohs, so to speak (yes, I do apologize for the pun)!  Seriously, the Sphynx Jazz Club was an outstanding build with an Egyptian theme.  Large, well built, and hosting numerous live performers, the Sphynx was a location with I enjoyed visiting with Breezy (as seen in the photos she has kindly provided).


Alas, it has been replaced with a country sim at the same coordinates, and my efforts to locate it have been unsuccessful.  As such, I have to assume the Sphynx is no longer, which is a shame, as it was an excellent Jazz venue.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jazz Venue Reviews: Charlie's Neighborhood Jazz Club


While hunting down  a locale to do a bit of dancing at, I stumbled upon Charlie's Neighborhood Jazz Club.  As the previous TPs for alternate locations were unsuccessful, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give Charlie's a try.  Turns out to have been a good choice!


First Impressions - Charlie's Neighborhood Jazz club is a two story build, with no lag, and well built, even if it has a unique layout.  It is two stories, but with the center area hollowed out, transit to the second level is quite easy.  It isn't overly busy, but it does get a fair amount of traffic based on its listing on SL's search.



Venue Appearance - Lots of posters, and a blue tiled dance floor in front of a stage are the key aspects of Charlie's build.  Plenty of additional artwork of reminiscent of Jazz performers, both in RL and SL.  I did like the tables and musical equipment, as they added to the atmosphere, as well as the bar tucked away on the side of the build.

I found s few things, such as the translator box on the middle of the dance floor a bit odd, but the dance animations were easily enough found, and there was plenty of space on the floor to dance nonetheless.  There were a couple of gaming tables (as seen below), as I believe the owner also runs a neighboring casino.


Atmosphere - Quiet and enjoyable.  No distractions, no 'sploder balls, no gimmicks - just a nice location to dance and listen to Jazz music.  There are a couple of adverts for in-world musicians, and a couple of tip-jars for the venue, but nothing imposing to interfere with your enjoyment.


Music - A key aspect that had a unique twist here.  I wasn't exactly certain of the feed to reference, but I did notice that there were SL Jazz musicians works included with the standard Jazz feeds.  A very nice touch to include "local" (e.g. SL) musicians with a good selection of Jazz music from RL - kudos!


Overall, would I come back? - Yes
A cozy build, comfortable surroundings, and an excellent selection of Jazz music make Charlie's Neighborhood Jazz club a must-visit when searching for a quiet location to enjoy good music and a bit of quiet time with you dancing partner.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jazz Venue Reviews: The Vault


The Vault is one of the more traveled era venues for the "classic" jazz route in Second Life.  Located on the Old Hollywood sim, it has a classic Art Deco build, and what nice is the surrounding area also has the era design to it (aka, yet more Art Deco).  In time I'll review the rest of the sim, but for now, The Vault is the main topic of discussion.


The interior of the Vault, including its stage

First Impressions - You'll arrive at the venue at its main revolving door, but its a phantom entrance, so you can just walk straight through.  The layout is square, with the main stage centered in the Club.  A bar is located to the left, and a shopping enterprise is directly to the right.  There are two dance areas on the upper floors as well - fairly spacious and secluded. 

Venue Appearance - The Vault has made an effort to tip its hat to the classic era of Jazz - more along the lines of the late 40's to early/mid 50s in appearance, reminding me of the Vegas clubs of the RL era.  It is spacious, nice areas to dance without being "on top" of other dancers.  The dance ball animations will take a moment to find, as they are on the back wall (one is red and sparkle-ly, but the other (couples animation) blends in somewhat with the photo of Mr. Martin).  The desisgn is a bit more on the late Diselpunk / Jazz era, I'd say it essentially abuts on the "Atomic Age" (mid to late 50s) in design.  Still, a well designed and built venue.


Dancing with Breezy at the Vault

Atmosphere - Bit of a mixed bag with this issue.  The host was cordial, and no membership offers were pushed upon me when I arrived, but as the venue appeals to a larger crowd, there is a larger cast of visitors, some a bit odd, who visit.  Regardless of my biases, the atmosphere was light-hearted, and there weren't constant requests to donate money to the venue or DJ, which was nice.  Plenty of banter, but I was able to enjoy a bit of privacy as well.  A refreshing change from the traditional larger clubs methodologies for raising money.  Though, do feel free to provide a little tip for Mr. Finchley - he's always on duty!

Music - Again, a bit of a dilemma.  When I originally arrived, the DJ was playing a set of Blues, but the selections tended to veer off from the regular music of the era.  I did become a bit annoyed at times that I switched to Pandora's Lionel Hampton feed.  However, the next DJ did play a very good, genre-accurate set of musical selections.  Still, I would have preferred more Jazz, though I assume a larger audience has to be addressed.  A listing of future performers would have been a nice touch.



More patrons during a performance at the Vault

Overall - Would I go back?  Yes.
I liked the area, atmosphere, and the early 50s look of the Vault.  I wasn't able to easily locate a notecard indicating what their future performances would be.  Still, if you are looking for a DP/Jazz era to spend a bit of time at, I would certainly recommend the Vault, though to take a peek to ensure the musical selections is what you wish to indulge in.  To pay a visit, please go to: http://slurl.com/secondlife/old%20hollywood/54/54/36/



The "Jungle Joint" in Old Hollywood - 
an excellent Streamline Moderne build

Additionally, do take a moment to step outside the Vault, and visit some of the unique Art Deco and Streamline Moderne works at the Old Hollywood sim.  Many of the stores are not from the era, but as the Chinese saying goes, "Business is Business, so you do what you have to do".  Do pay it a visit - it seems to be a work in progress, but it has very nice builds, such as the "Chat and Chew" hotdog stand, the Viva Kustoms store, and of course its iconic HOLLYWOOD sign!


Don't forget to say "Hello" to Mr. Finchley - he's a lonely fellow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hollywood links added to the blog...


A bit of inspiration struck for a future project, and such, I've added a blog listing of Classic Hollywood movies to SL Jazz After Midnight.  As such, having a link for a bit of inspiration is always a good thing!  I'll be adding the future reviews quite soon, including a new Jazz locale and a new genre sim.  Do keep in touch!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jazz Venue Reviews: The Harlow Jazz Speakeasy


I figured I'd start my reviews once again with one of my favorite Jazz era genre clubs, the Harlow Jazz Speakeasy.  Located on the same sim as the Cotton Club, it has been made to reflect the classic appearance of a Jazz club from the height of the Dieselpunk era (from about 1918 to 1939).  Located across the bridge from the main venue, the Harlow Jazz Speakeasy is, in my opinion, the real reason to visit this sim - here's why...


The entrance of the Speakeasy, where you'll likely be greeted by Miss Columbia.

First Impressions - The Harlow Jazz Speakeasy (HJS) is part of the Cuir's Cotton Club (CCC) complex, and is overshadwed by said venue.  The CCC is what one might call a "general purpose" club, with a variety of music, events, ect... - not too much in the way of Jazz music.  A bit towards the south east of the main venue, sits the Harlow Jazz Speakeasy, one of the best 1920's in Second Life.  Upon arrival you'll be facing the HJS's cigar girl, Miss Cocao Columbia, and to the right and left are ladies' clothing stores (ack)!  No lag, mostly because of the lack of traffic - which is a shame in one sense, at it is a gem, but a good thing, as one doesn't have to wade to a spot to dance.

Venue Appearance - Probably one of the best things of the HJC.  Done in a custom build, its Art Deco build is reminiscent of old Hollywood clubs.  Passing inside shows a compact but central dance floor, traditional "dinner chairs and tables" (yes, eating is academic in SL, but in the old RL 1920 I suppose they had to).  Nice lighting, a small stage with a graphic feed, and slowly rotating lights add to the jazz-era feel of the club.  The Harlow certainly has the feel of a Jazz club.


The Harlows' intimate dance floor.

Atmosphere - No gimmicks, just a nice place to enjoy classic 1920s Jazz music.  The two individuals on staff (Miss Columbia, the "cigar girl", and Mr. Valentino Oliveri, who seems to be perpetually playing the piano) never interrupt your stay, request money - they just allow you (and your companion, if one is with you) to enjoy the environs and music.

Music - The Harlow streams non-profit big band station, 891. KCEA, a California radio station that specializes in Big Band music.  They have a wide selection of choices and play excellent (and frequently unfamiliar selections) from the era.  KCEA actually takes requests (I have yet to try it, though), and their website has a listing of their specialty shows.  Interestingly enough, this station is run from the grounds of Menlo-Altherton High School, in Altherton, CA, by the local school district, which holds its FCC license since 1979.  For more information, please visit their website, at 89.1 KCEA - home of the big bands



Facing out the door, with the Champagne sofas on the wall.

Overall - Would I come back?  A vehement YES!  Though it doesn't get much traffic, it is a great place to relax, quite enough to enjoy the music and not be pestered with local chat, and usually clear of traffic, so it you (and your sweetie) wish to twist a few virtual toes, you can do so in peace.  Since discovering it, it has stayed in my top five picks for clubs.  To pay it a visit yourself, please follow this SLurl to the Harlow Jazz Speakeasy, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/atlantic%20beach/207/95/22/

So that's my sight on this Juice-Joint -I'll see you next time!