My 5 Favorite Things: Star Eyes

By Jim Allen

As part of New York’s white-hot Trouble & Bass collective, which also includes the likes of Drop the Lime and AC Slater, DJ Star Eyes is known for digging into the deepest level of the beat’s bottom end, mixing bass, grime, UK funky, dubstep and more. But her mixes were moving people’s posteriors well before she even made her East coast move, when she was spinning drum ‘n’ bass as part of BASS Kru in San Francisco. She’s also operated as half of the DJ duo Syrup Girls, released her own music – which she likes to describe as “haunted house” – on the Trouble & Bass label, and added her vocals to recordings by Passions and John B.

Star Eyes’ work has taken her all around the globe, so she’s seen the inside of many a nightspot from Brooklyn to Berlin. “It would be so hard to pick my favorite club in the world,” says Star Eyes, “but naming my go-to bars in each city I visit is easier. These are spots I like to link up with friends pre-club or whip up some night-off trouble (when I should be sleeping and taking vitamins).” Here are just a few favorite haunts in places she visits regularly.

1. Pop’s, San Francisco, CA: My favorite kind of hole-in-the-wall Mission dive bar with dogs running underfoot, fights breaking out, hot dirtbags on bikes, and general debauchery all around. Cool bartenders, a rad photo booth, and stumbling distance from one of my favorite Mexican spots, El Farolito. Order a Maker’s Mark on the rocks and watch the show.

2. Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY: I am borderline addicted to eating the amazing $1 oysters (Mon.-Fri., 4pm-7pm) at this perfectly-appointed cocktail house that’s modeled after the bar at Arnaud’s, a staple of old New Orleans. Beautiful, summery drinks prepared by obsessive-compulsive bartenders in bowties, and gorgeous lighting that makes everyone look good. Get there early and don’t take my seat.

3: Last Cathedral, Berlin, Germany: Although I love Panorama Bar and Club der Visionaere, my favorite things about Berlin are hidden spots, squat parties and the like. In Berlin you can still catch a vibe of the punk ’80s that I was surrounded by growing up in L.A. but too young to really experience. There is absolutely nothing hip about this Prenzlauer Berg “horror rock” bar, and I love that about it. It’s a campy goth/industrial bar with enshrined skeletons, tombs, and ridiculously named shots, plus an East Berlin staff that keeps it real. Vampire blood and Sex Gang Children all the way.

4. Union Jack’s, Portland, Oregon: There are so many strip clubs in Portland and people go to them just like they would a normal bar. This is probably one of the better ones I’ve ever been to in the world. Decor-wise, it looks like something out of Twin Peaks, and last time I was there, the girls – themed-out alternative babes that look like they do a lot of yoga – danced to The Smiths, trance, Peter Gabriel and Aphex Twin’s “Windowlicker.” It is so fun and not creepy whatsoever. You can go eat smoked rabbit pie with hot mustard ice cream at Le Pigeon down the block and then come here and let loose. Or not.

5. Home Sweet Home, New York, NY: My best friend and former DJ partner in Syrup Girls owns this awesome basement bar near Bowery Ballroom. It’s home to WIERD, my favorite Wednesday night party in NYC, with the best DJs playing minimal wave/goth/industrial, and performances from bands like Psychic TV, Soft Moon, and Xeno & Oaklander. There is also a hidden bar upstairs, called Figure 19, in the back of Envoy Gallery. They have a rosemary whiskey drink that is simply incredible. I’ll have 10!