2005_07_sarahlewitinn.gifSarah Lewitinn, writes the music blog Ultragrrrl.com. She was a former columnist and assistant editor for Spin magazine, and is one half of the D.J. duo Tarts of Pleasure.

A few for you:
D.J., music blogger, former Spin columnist, and now producer -- what have you, the music fan, learned from your myriad perspectives into the industry?
What have I learned? I learned that people who write for and edit music magazines are not getting the pay they deserve. I enjoy living on all the different sides of the fence -- it allows me to have the greener grass, which is also easy since I'm a really happy and satisfied person. You know how people with Down syndrome are really nice and happy all the time because their brains aren't developed enough to have negative emotion? I'm sort of like that, except my brain is a little more formed. Only a little.

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
I don't have any guilty pleasures -- if something makes me happy, then there's nothing to be embarrassed by. I would also never have a song on my computer or iPod that I didn't like because there are too many good songs out there that need a home, and like a little baby in a poor foreign country staring into Angelina Jolie's pillow-like lips, I want to adopt it. But for the sake of this interview, I'll say "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" by C&C Music Factory. That shit was my ringtone for a while and I used to just stand in the middle of the sidewalk/restaurant/business meeting every time my phone would ring and start doing the running man to it. So I decided to download the song so I could DJ it and bring delight to all the people on the dance floor.

You're launching a new music label! Pimp it here, sister.
Stolen Transmission Records! It started out as a singles label where I released singles by Louis XIV, the oohlas, Nightmare of You and the Spinto Band (future releases by The Five O'Clock Heroes, Saints+Lovers, and Ley Royal Scam). A few months ago I received a phone call from someone with a lot of money and manpower saying that he heard that I should have my own fully functional record label and he wanted to give that to me. I wasn't about to turn down that offer! I think people have been expecting me to find the next Killers or My Chemical Romance. I want to find the next Adam and the Ants. The song structures and drumming on those songs are insanely underrated.

Please recommend three artists whom I haven't yet heard of that you predict will soon be downloaded and blogged about endlessly.
For sure Nightmare of You and the Spinto band are two that I can think of that are relatively unknown. I also think the oohlas are pure genius and I just realized that all the bands I named are bands I've released singles by. For the record, I break even for every single I sell, so I'm not pimping them to get money. The oohlas are amazing and perfect for late nights when you've had too much to drink. They're trippy and nostalgic all at once. Nightmare of You sound like the Libertines meets the Smiths and have become a semi obsession for me along the lines of my obsession for the Killers. Me and all of my friends listen to their songs all the time and quote lines to each other, which is sort of awkward since the singer has since become one of my best friends. It's like "Yeah dude, we're quoting you... jealous? No? Oh, OK." In fact, he's here right now with a bunch of friends and I just read him my answer and he looked at me like I was out of my mind. The Spinto Band is just like, Pop Rocks and soda pop a.k.a. a good idea. There isn't one person alive that could deny the genius and beauty of their song "Oh Mandy."

Now that you no longer work for Spin, can you give us some behind-the-scenes dirt?
Our offices were really quiet.

If Interpol and the Killers got into a barroom brawl, who'd walk out of there in one piece?
Well, lets just say that Carlos D. doesn't carry around a gun holster for nothing.

OK, how about Chuck Klosterman vs. Marc Spitz?
Marc spent a night in prison once a few years ago for assaulting some dude who was harassing his friend Jennifer C (who later appeared on The Apprentice). I don't think Chuck has ever been in jail, so I'll have to go with Marc. Neither one of them would fight each other though, and I actually think I've beaten Marc up before, so I guess theoretically, the answer would be: me.

What's on Side 1 of Sarah's Awesome Mix Tape from 1991?
A lot of R.E.M. ... It's all I really listened to:

R.E.M. – "Losing My Religion," "Shiny Happy People," "Near Wild Heaven"; Pet Shop Boys – "Sin," "Opportunities"; The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band -- the album in it's entirety, with the R.E.M. and PSB songs mixed in. Also, add in Ace of Base's "The Sign" and "All that She Wants" as well as "O Fortuna" -- but the Rave 'til Dawn remix of the song.

What was the first concert you ever attended?
Not counting going with my mom to see Julio Iglesias when I was 10 'cause my dad decided at the last minute that he didn't want to go... that would be Beck at Irving Plaza, which I believe I saw on October 14th, 1994. I was 14 and I went with my friends Natalia, Dalia, Lorraine and Natalia's older sister who was chaperoning. There weren't a lot of people there, and the opening band was some group whose name escapes me, but they were fantastic and for a week, the four of us were their number one fans. Anyway, back to the show... I remembered reading in Spin or something, how to dress for a concert. So I wore comfortable shoes and clothes, layers (incase I got hot), and kept my money in my shoe. I remember some girl in the audience who looked like she was really drunk and she kept on yelling "EVERYONE'S OUT TO GET YOU, MOTHERFUCKER!!!" Until Beck finally played that song -- and then she just kept on yelling it.

MP3 blogs are constantly being hailed as a driving force in the promotion of new music. So why can't any new band (say, Bloc Party) break through without or selling out to commercials?
The importance of music blogs is to get the songs into the RIGHT hands... not ALL hands. I'd say about 25% - 50% of the people checking out MP3 blogs work for someone who is either A&R at a label or a music programmer or a DJ or something along those lines... They're the gatekeepers. MP3 blogs worked for the Killers, and I don't think that Bloc Party would've been nearly as big as they are today had it not been for music blogs.

The questionnaire:
What NYC place or thing would you declare a landmark?
My apartment.

Best celebrity sighting or encounter?
My original best celebrity sighting or encounter would be the same as Greg Lindsay's. But that's all changed. My new favorite goes like this: My friend Josh is friends with Hilary Duff. So one night she's in town and he says that he wants to take her out to some normal clubs rather than the usual shit she's probably used to. So we take her and her friend Britney to Lit. I was waiting in line for the bathroom and Josh comes up to me with Hilary and Britney and my friend's now ex-boyfriend whom I didn't know very well at the time and wasn't sure if he was shady or not. Josh says "I'm going to get some drinks for everyone, will you please keep an eye on the girls. I don't know this dude, and I don't know if I trust him or not." I tell Josh I would keep an eye on the girls. So the bathroom becomes vacant and I ask the girls if either of them would like to go ahead of me. Hilary says "Why don't we all go in together!?" I said no at first cause I'm really shy about peeing in front of others (this bathroom was just a room with a toilet and sink... no stalls), but then I started picturing the boy I didn't know offering the young girls drugs and scaring them or something and so I said sure and hopped into the bathroom with them. One by one they each took turns peeing and talking as if it was nothing, and when it came to my turn I got nervous and asked them to leave the room. Hilary found a remedy for the situation, "How about if we all turn around and face the wall and I'll sing really loud!" That seemed reasonable enough and I dropped trou and said "OK! Start singing!" All of a sudden I heard the young blond pop singer sing "If a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side..." which is from "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" by the Smiths. I'm so lucky that my pants were already down around my ankles and I was air-chairing a toilet 'cause I literally pissed myself.

Favorite bar or restaurant?
Clinton Street Baking Co. used to have THE BEST Huevos Rancheros, but they changed their recipe so it's not as good. I used to dream about that. Now, La Palapa makes the best H.R., but their service is SO TERRIBLE. On a whole though, the best restaurant in NYC is probably FriendHouse on 3rd Ave. and 12th Street. It's the only place where my entire family can go to eat and leave totally satisfied, and at least once a week my boys will ask to order from there. By the way, "my boys" are the group of boys that are at my house almost all day and all night long or out with me whenever I go out. They're a cute bunch of kids and are super sweet and keep me company cause I hate being alone. I think they also make sure I'm never alone so I'm constantly cockblocked and there for them to hang out with and feed them from places like FriendHouse. In case you're wondering, the best thing to get there is the Sesame Tofu with Broccoli. It's really remarkably good and tastes best when delivered.

Any advice for Mayor Bloomberg?
Yeah, I'd like to advise him to set me up with one of his rich, young, hot family members.