Frank’s Entertainment Group Is Shutting Down Frank’s Jazz Club and the Rest of Its Locations in Second Life After 13 Years

I just learned today that one of my favourite go-to places in Second Life, Frank’s Jazz Club (a.k.a. Frank’s Place), is shutting its doors for good on November 23rd, 2019. This news comes as a bit of a surprise to me, because Frank’s was still one of more popular clubs in Second Life, with a good crowd most evenings. Frank’s was famous for insisting on a strict formal dress code (tuxedos or suits for the men and long gowns for the women); if you showed up in jeans and a T-shirt, you were quickly ushered out the door, politely but firmly, by whatever host or hostess was on duty. The name is a bit of a misnomer; Frank’s actually played much more adult contemporary and easy-listening music than actual jazz.

And not just Frank’s Jazz Club is closing, but all the enterprises operating under the umbrella of Frank’s Entertainment Group (FEG):

  • Frank’s Elite Jazz Club (a separate, members-only club)
  • Bogart’s Jazz Club (a competing club bought by FEG and operating in the Galleria shopping mall adjoining Frank’s Jazz Club)
  • Chateau d’Elite Restaurant (a roleplay high-end restaurant)
  • The Galleria shopping mall (covering two sims)

In a notecard sent out to her Frank’s Elite group members, FEG founder Nanceee Sinatra-Dante explains why she is closing up shop:

I enter into a new chapter in my life. I have found joy in real life, yes, from a relationship I made here in FEG. Eric and I are now fully together in real life and expect to marry in the coming months. We enter real life with great expectations for the future. It is a future bright in both of our minds and hearts. Because of my desire to fully experience the real life we are creating, we have decided to close FEG in the coming weeks. This has been a difficult decision for all of the reasons expressed above, but it is with a realization that there is only so much time in a day.

FEG’s last official business day will be November 23, 2019. We have en amazing 2 final days planned and hope you can join us as we go out with a “bang”.

I offer my congratulations to Nanceee on having a Second Life relationship successfully carry over into her real life! And keep your eyes peeled for announcements of wind-up events during these final two weeks of operation. A quick glance at the Second Life Map shows that all three of Frank’s Jazz Club, Bogart’s and Frank’s Elite are busy tonight!

Frank’s faithful clientele will no doubt move on to other clubs. But it does indeed mark the end of an era. (Personally, I am hoping for a few clearance sales at the stores in The Galleria shopping mall!)

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UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Monthly Midnight Madness

One of things I love about a mature, fully-evolved virtual world like Second Life is that I am constantly surprised and delighted at discovering a store on the grid that I hadn’t heard of before, or finding an event that I previously knew absolutely nothing about.

And such is the case with Monthly Midnight Madness, an event I learned about only through a recent video by SL vlogger Cassie Middles:

How Monthly Midnight Madness works is simple: participating stores will have a free item (limited to the first 1,500 avatars who slap the board), one released at midnight Pacific Time/Second Life Time (SLT), and another one released at noon SLT, twelve hours later. The purpose is to bring foot traffic into the stores (in much the same way as traditional Midnight Madness boards do), and I think it’s a great idea.

There are a couple of stipulations before you can pick up your freebies, however. First, you must join the Monthly Midnight Madness group for free. Second, your Avatar Rendering Complexity (ARC) has to be below 25,000 for you get into the stores taking part in this event, to reduce lag for everybody.

But once you have taken care of those two items, you are away to the races! Here’s one example of the lovely freebies available at midnight SLT at the Monthly Midnight Madness event, a turtleneck dress in a bold floral pattern courtesy of Belle Epoque, one of my favourite Second Life womenswear stores. The Alessandra dress comes in only one size, to fit the Maitreya Lara mesh body, but as you can see, it fits well on the Altamura Juliet mesh avatar I am wearing! (I have found that most clothing designed for the Maitreya Lara body fits Altamura mesh bodies with a minimum of fuss, although you might need to use the included alpha HUD to alpha out parts of your body like the arms and pelvis as I have done here.)

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body: Juliet by Altamura (former Valentine’s Day group gift; the Altamura group costs L$50 to join; Omega compatible with the separate Omega system kit)
  • Omega Skin Applier: Flower by 7 Deadly S[k]ins (a box of Omega skin appliers was the June 2019 group gift)
  • Hair: Kelsa by Firelight (a free Advent Calendar gift from last Christmas)
  • Dress: Alessandra dress by Belle Epoque (free gift from the Monthly Midnight Madness; group is free to join)
  • Shoes: part of a free set of women’s classic pumps by Marquesse, available from the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil on the third floor (here’s the SLURL)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: Only L$149! (L$50 to join the Altamura group and L$99 for the Altamura Omega system kit, which is available at this exact SLURL).

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: The noon SLT freebie from Belle Epoque is this beautiful Alessandra coat in orange, which fits perfectly over the earlier Alessandra dress gift:

Here is a complete list of midnight and noon freebies available at the November 2019 round of the Monthly Midnight Madness event. Happy freebie shopping!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Male Skins from DNA and Altamura

Every month, L’Homme Magazine SL, a quarterly digital magazine devoted to male avatar fashion in Second Life, offers a number of freebies to members of their in-world group, the L’Homme Magazine SL Readers Group (which is free to join). For November, I would like to focus on a couple of men’s skin gifts.

First up is a skin store that is new to me, called DNA (short for Digital Nude Art). Their generous free gift for November is nothing less than an entire Bakes on Mesh skin package for men!

There’s an unpacker HUD with four file folders, which you click on to receive the skins (there’s one set of skins designed for Signature mesh bodies and another set designed for the TMP Legacy mesh bodies; the Signature skins should work quite well on most male mesh bodies, though).

The package consists of base skin files in a wide range of 64 skin tones, plus 8 “phenotype” overlays to add more definition and realism to the base skins. There are also 8 different eyebrows and 8 different hairbases, both of which are tintable:

So 64 times 8 times 8 times 8 gives you no less than 32,768 possible combinations! That’s pretty impressive for a freebie.

Here’s just one base DNA skin/phenotype/eyebrow combination, shown on a Bakes on Mesh-enabled version of the Altamura Romeo full-body mesh avatar (please note that the hair base I used in the picture below is not a DNA one, but it is one of the ones included in the Altamura Romeo body HUD):

Please note that Altamura mesh bodies do require a couple of additions to support Bakes on Mesh:

  • A Bakes on Mesh relay for Altamura mesh bodies (which is available for free to Altamura group members at this exact SLURL in the store; please note that this relay only works with full versions of Altamura bodies, including the Romeo body which was a Valentine’s Day group gift earlier this year)
  • You do have to buy and install the Omega system kit on the body before you can use the Altamura Bakes on Mesh relay (it’s for sale for L$99 at this exact SLURL)

The November L’Homme Magazine group gift from Altamura is the Orion Ivan skin, in both Omega applier and Bakes on Mesh versions:

The skin is designed for the new Altamura Ivan full-body mesh avatar, but of course it will work well on most male mesh bodies that support Omega skin appliers, or support Bakes on Mesh. Here’s what the Omega skin applier looks like, once again on the Altamura Romeo avatar (using a hair base from the Altamura Romeo body HUD):

This avatar is also wearing the complete summer outfit which is a free group gift from Hoorenbeek (the group is free to join; more details here).

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Dollarbie Bakes on Mesh Avatars by Rule of Rose

I found out today, via the Dancing in the Square freebie fashion blog, that there is a vendor on the SL Marketplace called Rule of Rose, who is selling various custom mesh fairy avatars for only one Linden dollar each! These avatars are Bakes on Mesh only, which means you can use any system skin or BoM skin, as well as system-layer eyebrows, hairbases, tattoos, etc. The Dancing in the Square blogger used just the mesh head for her pictures, and I think it turned out well!

Picture taken from the Dancing in the Square freebie fashion blog,
showing the mesh head from the Marlot Bakes on Mesh avatar
on a different mesh avatar body

Here’s what the Marlot mesh avatar looks like, right out the box, with the loincloth and wings as a single rigged attachment. The head and the body are two separate pieces, and you can wear each separately. The included HUD allows you to you to recolour each individual fingernail and toenail, as well as adjust the glow and shine on each individual nail!

Here’s a closeup look at the head, wearing the Daydream – Cameo – Violet Love system skin from CUPCAKES (remember them?):

You can wear any combination of system skins, eyebrows, and hairbase layers on this body, but you are strongly advised by the creator not to try and adjust the body or the head using the sliders! The creator notes:

This is a character avatar, which means…although you can adjust the sliders, you really shouldn’t, Weird things happen, I made this [avatar to] really have a certain look and the fit mesh was just there for the jiggle. I hope you guys enjoy this small bust, Asian fairy inspired avatar, I had a lot of fun making her and I really hope you guys continue to send me pictures on how you jazzed her up. The dev kit is included so you can make clothes and mods and all that jazz for her.

And here’s another dollarbie Bakes on Mesh avatar from Rule of Rose, the Great Fairy-Rosé mesh avatar, which comes with exactly the same nail options as Marlot. As you can see, she is a big, bold, beautiful woman! This is what she looks like right out of the box, there’s no default skin included but I used the same CUPCAKES system skin as before. The included outfit and accessories are all one single rigged mesh attachment:

The creator states:

The head can be removed and replaced with one of your choosing. However, it is worth noting that her neck is thick and many heads [probably] wont fit on that neck, I don’t know anything about mesh heads…But don’t let that [get] you down! This body is Bento and fitmesh so you can adjust the sliders and change the face up if [you prefer]. Please keep in mind that because of the way her body is rigged, you can change the shape, but if you change it too much it’ll start looking weird.

I did play around with the sliders on Rosé, and she does seem to respond well to most adjustments. Although you can alpha out parts of the body using the alphas that come with your outfits, finding clothing to fit this wonderfully body-positive shape is still going to be somewhat of a problem! You will likely have to resort to using older, system-layers-and-prims clothing, such as this Nim fairy outfit by !Boaz!, a store that is no longer on the grid. (This is a problem common to all custom mesh avatars.)

Also, you are going to have to find an animation override suitable for plus-size women, because with most standard AOs, the arms will disappear inside the body. There are plus-size animation overrides, such as the (Almost) Still AO for Fat Girls by Voir (L$350 from the SL Marketplace). You could also try using a regular AO with the Shoulder Overrider from Ethik Nacon (L$299 on the SL Marketplace), which adjusts the shoulder joints so that the arms come away from the body.

So even though Rosé’s price is right (how can you beat one Linden dollar for a complete mesh body?), you might still decide to opt for the Piggu June mesh avatar, which has lots of clothing designed specifically for it, from a variety of different vendors (well over 600 items at last count).

There are a few other freebie and dollarbie mesh avatars available on the Rule of Rose store, so be sure to check them out! I will be adding this as an option to my ever-growing list of free and inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for female avatars.