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June 5, 2015 Comments Off on Sissy Boys & Hot Canadians: The New King Of Seattle Nightlife, Kirk Calvo Reveals Pride Plans For Lavender Underground Views: 3440 After Dark / After Hours, Bars & Nightclubs, DJ Dance Party, Leather/Fetish/Gear/Kink, Nightlife, Seattle Pride 2015, SGS Interviews

Sissy Boys & Hot Canadians: The New King Of Seattle Nightlife, Kirk Calvo Reveals Pride Plans For Lavender Underground

Seattle's freshest (and nicest) new gay party producer, KIRK CALVO from LAVENDER UNDERGROUND.

Seattle’s freshest (and nicest) new gay party producer, KIRK CALVO from LAVENDER UNDERGROUND.

Some were skeptical a little over a year ago when club kid/go go boy Kirk Calvo announced the creation of his own event production company, LAVENDER UNDERGROUND. “He’s too young!” “He’s a GO GO BOY!!” “WHY do we need another event producer in Gay Seattle?” were some of the catty comments.

But, Kirk quickly proved he had an talent for creating a funky, retro DIRTY night of late night adult fun that consisted of more than your usual glitter ponies standing and posing on a patio with local “gaylebrities” and their foreign born sex toys. Kirk had a mission to provide welcoming space to ALL gay/queer men regardless of age, body type, or personal aesthetic. Yes, his parties are enthused with an air of debauchery and eroticism, but that’s what male gay culture is  all about…or, at least it’s a huge and necessary component in the eyes of many.

Mr. Calvo has a HUGE line-up of events for Seattle’s June Pride month including a unique “Sissy” party at Re-bar and a massive collaboration with Ruff out of Vancouver BC at Fred Wildlife Refuge…not to mention he’s bringing back the hugely popular “DJ Mr. Smith” a beloved icon from the glory days at The Eagle before glitter balls, drag queens and “scene queens” took over. We decided it was time to have a long, juicy chat with Mr. Calvo. Enjoy!


 

SGS: When did you realize you wanted to produce HomoSpecial Events? As a wee gay baby? Were you standing around on the back patio at the Eagle one night and suddenly thought, “I could produce a sexy night of debauchery, too!!” Was there a trigger for you to create your production company Lavender Underground a little over a year ago?

Kirk Calvo: Haha! Well, I think what I do now has kind of always been in the making for me, though probably not in the form of “throwing parties”. I’ve always wanted to be a role model for our community, and once I became more familiar in my 20s with the existing problems in the gay scene surrounding femphobia, ageism, racism, etc., being a positive role model within nightlife seemed like a good fit. So I decided to start producing events in an attempt to remedy these issues.

SGS: Lavender Underground is now a bouncing baby one year old. How would you grade your first year of event production?

KC: I’d say a B… I’ve had a steep learning curve since I started what with all the great producers & diversity in our local nightlife, and I think I’ve found a way to distinguish myself quite well. I went from debuting AREA 2181 last year during Pride month, to throwing 5 different parties this Pride month, which is a pretty crazy accomplishment… and very overwhelming, to boot! But I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve done, and every single party is an opportunity to perfect the balance between giving my crowd what they want while making nightlife accessible for ALL gay men – not just some.

 

SGS: What event are you proudest of? Area 2181?

KC: This Pride, the event I’m proudest of is a tie between AREA 2181 and Sissy. AREA 2181 I’m incredibly proud of because of its success and how much its evolved and changed since it first started. RUFF PRIDE I’m proud of because it’s going to be my biggest endeavor yet, and so it’s been quite a challenge – I look forward to taking things to the next level.

SGS: Which leads me to….GURL. YOU’RE DOING FIVE DAMN EVENTS THIS MONTH.

ARE YOU CRAZY?!??!?! THAT’S A LOT OF WORK!!!

KC: LOL. I know. It’s fucking nuts. I hadn’t anticipated this at all last December – I figured I’d just be doing AREA 2181 and Black Friday Reloaded, I was like, “Meh, I’m not ready to take on Pride in only my first year.” But then things started accumulating and I partnered with Michel for RUFF in January, Eagle for Pride Sunday a couple months later, then Rebar commissioned me shortly after that… and soon enough my plate is overflowing. I guess it’s the Aries in me, biting off way more than I can chew.

SGS: Ha! You’re gonna have a mouthful this month!

Pun fully intended…

Let’s go over’em. You’re starting early with Black Friday Reloaded, happening (TONIGHT) Friday, June 5. That’s your harder edged, leather/bdsm event.

KC: Yup, so I’m kicking things off with Black Friday on June 5th – this month we’re going to be inviting guys to experiment with nipple play. We’ll have ice cubes and clothespins sitting out the entire night to use, so we encourage guys to come take their shirts off and have fun.

SGS: You went to IML this year in Chicago. Did that give you ideas for Black Friday Reloaded?

KC: IML was an incredible learning experience for me – I think it inspired all 5 of my parties, oddly enough, because it gave me a chance to really see what the best of the best could throw down. So I came back with a lot of insight on the mechanics of a great, big room party.

SGS: You’ve now done a year of your signature event Area 2181. What can we except from the anniversary party on June 20th?

KC: The anniversary party will be my way of returning to the party’s core message, which is to bring gay men together of all shapes, sizes, colors, etc. It will still retain the cruisy character that the party is known for, but I want to be able to make the crowd realize the point I’m putting across.

AxelPosterSGS

SGS: Which ties in with your new party, at Rebar, during Pride Week: Sissy: The Fempowerment Party is happening on Thurs June 25 and it’s for…well, the opposite of your typical “Eagle Bar Party”….instead of big, beefy, hairy “he-mens”, Sissy will celebrate the femme man.

Where did this idea come from and why is this important to you?

KC: I’ve always wanted to lift up fem guys because I know that I’m fem in a lot of ways myself, and I actually draw a lot of strength from that. But I didn’t feel that The Eagle was the right venue for that, obviously. So when Rebar commissioned me for a Pride party, it felt like the perfect time to branch out from the masculine-oriented parties I’m known for to a celebration of fem guys. There’s a lot of hatred and shame around being fem among gay men – I hope that Sissy will flip that on its head and make femininity as powerful, sexy, and desirable as masculinity.

SGS: I’ve actually wanted to do a similar party, and I’d call it “Nellie” and hire Alison Arngrim, Nellie from Little House on the Prairie to be the hostess!

Except, do young gays KNOW who that is?

KC: Hahaha, that would be fabulous. That’s the struggle, though, is that the young’uns don’t know their history – or, with the exception of myself and some others, don’t bother to do the research. They have so much information at their fingertips, but stop short of educating themselves.

SGS: I know there’s some young ‘mos out there who HAD to have watched “Little House”!!

KC: Totally! Or at least The Brady Bunch. Marcia was a stone-cold diva.

SGS: “Marcia, Marcia, MARCIA!” would be a great name for a party! You could probably hire Maureen McCormick to host!

Or a drag queen dressed like her….

Your next big party is a Canadian co-production.with Ruff Pride out of Vancouver BC. How did you hook up with them? What can we expect from our friends from O’Canada Land?

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KC: Haha, indeed.

I was approached by the creator of the RUFF franchise, Michel Nadeau of MN events, back in January – he had proposed to bring RUFF down to Seattle for 3 dates this month with my assistance, and I agreed to spearhead the production. The RUFF experience is a lot like AREA 2181 – it’s a bona fide gay men’s party, but I would say it’s more “Big Room” than 2181, which is intimate and cruisy. RUFF is like a circuit party without the attitude. It’s a celebration of gay men, their sexuality and their power.

SGS: Are they bringing down a bunch of hunky, uncircumcised hockey players to dance semi nekkid for us? (I hope)

We could always use some fresh go go meat!

KC: Haha, close! There will be three hunky Vancouver “MENofRUFF” coming down to perform naughty, unspeakable acts that I can’t divulge here. They’ll surely meet their match in our local Seattle “MENofRUFF” hunks. Who will come out on top? We shall see.

I agree! I’ve been pulling from Vancouver since March – they’ve got a lot of ready and willing hotties up there!

SGS: Good! BC can send us their hotties and we’ll send up some from here that we’ve worn out!

Like a cultural hotties exchange between nations!

KC: LOL, totally. I’d love to see more of an integration between gay nightlife in the northwest, and I like to think I’m helping that along with this collaboration.

SGS: Finally, you’re doing a Sunday Pride Night wrap up party at the Eagle and for those of us a bit older, you’re bringing back a beloved Seattle DJ well known for his turns at the table in the 90s and 00s, Mr. Smith. How did you lure him back?

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KC: I’ve known Tom (AKA “DJ Mr. Smith”) for a little while, so he was a natural choice for the concept of Lance’s House. He’s got such a legacy with the bar, and Lance’s House is all about legacy – it’s about reviving the “old days” of Seattle Eagle Tavern for one night… perhaps more. Tom has an enduring respect for The Eagle, so he was happy to bring back the rock ‘n’ roll edge that was the cornerstone of the bar’s vibe since its inception. The party will be an exciting resurgence of The Eagle that older men know, and younger men didn’t get a chance to know. It’s a powerful affirmation of leather/cruise bars.

SGS: I think he’s the cornerstone of that party! People adore him and his style of djing! Get word out that DJ Mr. Smith is back at the Eagle and you’ll lure lots of fans into the Eagle who might not venture out as much as they used to!

The Eagle could be FULL of hot daddies that night!

KC: Absolutely. That’s one of the goals of the event, to remind those guys that the bar is still here, and it still cares about them. We want, and expect it to be chock full of hot men that night. A big “climax” to Pride 2015.

SGS: We’ll be exhausted by then….smart Pride partygoers take that Monday off!!!

You need it to recover!

KC: Totally… I will be sleeping all day Monday, I’ll tell you that much.

SGS: And, then Tuesday, you’ll be working on your next party….

KC: Yup, no rest for the weary. Tuesday will be launching right into July’s AREA 2181, Black Friday Reloaded, and also a special collaboration with Seattle Men in Leather that is yet to be revealed.

SGS: Great! Can’t wait to hear about it….Thanks Kirk!!

KC: Thanks so much Michael!


Here’s ALL the poo on Lavender Underground’s events this month:

Friday, June 5th, 2015
The Seattle Eagle
$5 before 11, $7 after
Black Friday Reloaded: Hardwired
The Seattle Eagle’s longstanding fetish night Black Friday gets a reboot with Black Friday Reloaded, a series of parties for Seattle’s gay men’s leather and fetish community, from revelers in CBT to the voyeur who likes to throw on some gear and cruise in the dark corners.  This month, Black Friday Reloaded will visit the fetish of nipple play, a well-known and approachable kink for all men interested in BDSM.  Many men who enjoy nipple play say that their nipples are “hardwired” to their penis, meaning that their nipples are a highly erogenous zone for them.  The party will supply buckets of ice and clothespins on-site for party attendees to experiment.  DJ Kobalt Severa will play hard industrial metal to create the raw atmosphere of a fetish night.
Saturday, June 20th, 2015
The Seattle Eagle
$5 before 11, $7 after
AREA 2181: The 1st Year Anniversary Party
Lavender Underground’s first ever event celebrates its 1st birthday this month.  AREA 2181 is a twisted cruising party created for gay men from all walks of life. We wanted to make a night where all sorts of men who love men can come together and mix with each other in a discreet environment that does not allow photography, so that attendees can feel safe and comfortable to let loose.  The origin of the name is a play on “Area 51”, the top secret government research facility shrouded in extraterrestrial conspiracy theories.  It also alludes to the party’s mission to bridge the gaps that divide gay men – whether you’re 21 or 81, white or black, husky or skinny, masculine or feminine, you’re welcome at the party, and should feel confident in your own skin.  The month will have an alien theme to tip its hat to the launch party in 2014, which had the same theme.  Resident DJ Pavone and guest DJ Daddi Dario will play dark and moody techno and tech house the entire evening to set the tone.
Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Rebar
$10
Sissy: The Fempowerment Party
On Thursday of Pride Week, Lavender Underground will be producing a special event called Sissy, which is a party meant to celebrate effeminacy in gay men.  Lavender Underground’s mission is to empower those gay men who have felt marginalized or turned away from the gay community in recent decades, and so Sissy intends to present “fem” guys as sexually desirable, powerful beings.  It is a deliberate response to the femphobia that tends to run rampant in present-day gay culture.  The aesthetic of the party is high-fashion and glam, as if one were attending a Vogue magazine gala.  All fem guys, their admirers, and their friends are invited to attend this groundbreaking event.  DJ Kobalt Severa and a guest DJ will be playing a variety of fierce, powerful dance music to bring out the powerful feminine energy in all of us.
Saturday, June 27th, 2015
Fred Wildlife Refuge
$15 adv, $20 door
RUFFpride Seattle
The diamond in Lavender Underground’s Pride month lineup will be RUFFpride, undoubtedly Seattle’s largest dance party created for gay men on the Saturday of Pride weekend.  RUFFpride is a collaboration with Vancouver, B.C.-based MN Events, who founded the party and has since spread it to Victoria, B.C.  The party is a high-volume, high-profile dance party – perhaps the closest Seattle has gotten in years to a gay circuit party.  Men of all ages, races, and body types are welcome.  DJs Rob Winter (Seattle) and Adam Dreaddy (Vancouver) will be spinning the finest in tech/acid/deep house the entire night, and six “MenOfRUFF” performers will entertain the crowd with sexually-charged choreographed performances and dancing.  This is a can’t-miss event for Pride Weekend.  Ticket information can be found atwww.ruffparty.com.
Sunday, June 28th, 2015
The Seattle Eagle
$5 before 11, $7 after
Lance’s House
Lavender Underground has played a large role in The Seattle Eagle’s recent return to its roots as a sexy men’s cruising spot, so it is quite fitting that the finale party of Pride 2015 should be a declaration of the “resurgence” of the bar’s original concept.  The party will be designed to feel like the old-school Eagle, a place where men could feel like studs, mingle with each other, and find their catch for the night.  DJ Mr. Smith will make his grand return to The Eagle for the first time in over eight years.  Mr. Smith was a musical fixture at The Eagle and set the cruising mood with hard rock every Friday night in the 1990’s and 2000’s.  All men are invited to come and celebrate the “resurgence” of the venue that is so important to the Seattle gay community’s legacy.  And who knows, maybe a few of the old trappings at the bar might make a return as well.

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