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NY Magazine picks the most Influential New Yorkers

Ultragrrrl licking Leigh Lezark

The Influentials” include…..

Sarah Lewitinn, a.k.a. Ultragrrrl
Like it or not, she has more power than any print music critic. Lewitinn, who recently made waves by calling My Chemical Romance “this generation’s Nirvana,” attracts thousands of MySpace-savvy readers to her Ultragrrrl blog each day. On the strength of that audience, she landed a book deal (The Pocket DJ) and her own indie-ish label (Stolen Transmission), courtesy of Island Records. Her reach goes well beyond New York: A recent party she hosted in Austin had wannabes waiting on block-long lines and scaling fences.

Clive Davis
Chairman and CEO, BMG U.S. Label Group
In an age when traditional A&R has been all but superseded by the Internet, Davis continues to pull off an improbable one-two punch as nurturer of talent old and new. On the one hand, he plucks teenage R&B crooner Mario from American Idol; on the other, he helps Barry Manilow to his first No. 1 album in almost 30 years. Next: a plump-up for Pearl Jam, which Davis coaxed over to J Records after twelve long years at Epic.

James Murphy
Musician, producer, co-founder of DFA Records
Nobody did more to engineer the dance-punk sound that has swept New York in recent years. Murphy, who just landed British indie-dance sensation Hot Chip, is a triple threat: There’s his Grammy-nominated band, LCD Soundsystem; his remix work for everyone from the Rapture to Gorillaz; and his label, DFA Records, which we’ll look back on as a time capsule of New York music in the ’00s.

John Moore
Booker, Bowery Ballroom
Local buzz-band We Are Scientists were recently asked for the “personal highlight” of their career. The answer? Selling out that “cornerstone of the New York scene”—the Bowery Ballroom. It’s owned by Michael Swier and Michael Winsch, but the impeccable taste of booker Moore makes the venue the final stamp of approval on any indie-rock passport.

Leigh Lezark
D.J., “MisShapes”
Equal parts Louise Brooks and Kate Moss, Lezark is a downtown “It” girl–cum– marketing phenomenon. Her vampy little-girl-lost look was made for the club-scene photos at, and thanks to a never-ending stream of celebrity D.J.’s—Madonna, Hilary Duff, Hedi Slimane—her weekly “MisShapes” party at Don Hill’s continues to draw L-train mods. And so the product-placers have descended, showering the 21-year-old with freebies in the hope that she’ll propel them to the head of the class. Because where one hipster goes, another inevitably follows.

Nick Denton
Publisher, Gawker Media
Made blogs a popular—and profitable—art form, partly by paying his bloggers intern-level wages. Denton and’s original editor, Elizabeth Spiers, both jockey for credit for pioneering the now-ubiquitous form: jokey headline; snide, quippy post; links; and a willingness to run suspect info (hey, the Internet hive mind auto-corrects!). New York’s other blog baron, Weblogs, Inc., founder Jason McCabe Calacanis, has already cashed out by selling to AOL, but Denton remains on his own, bringing the Gawker formula to, among others, sports nuts (Deadspin), shoppers (The Consumerist), and Silicon Valley (Valleywag).


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