Weenie party

For the past eight years, Shut Eye Records President and CEO Pete Knapp has presided over his music and promotions empire. Every year, to celebrate his fortunes, the benevolent King Knapp showers his minions with appreciation by throwing a party. This year is no exception, and the generous mogul is pulling out all the stops. Free hot dogs and beer for all (21 and older) comers! Woo hoo!

Held at Encyclomedia, the multi-purpose DeKalb Avenue office building that houses the label and a slate of other businesses, the weird circus-like atmosphere of the event is enough to make anyone dizzy, even before indulging in the epicurean delights of complimentary "gourmet" hot dogs and PBR beer. In addition to music from New Jersey band Fake Gimms and an awards ceremony, there'll be an "art duel," a dollar-a-minute masseuse, race cars and drivers. What? Race cars?! Did you spike my PBR, Pete?

"Independent, unsigned bands share a plight similar to that of un-sponsored race car drivers," explains Knapp, soberly. "I am hoping to bridge the gap between racing and music. I think there's a lot of common ground here: business plans, relationships, promotions and sponsorships are very similar in the two industries. I think that there is a potential for symbiosis between racing organizations and independent artists and labels for them to increase each other's fan base and their brand loyalty and visibility. I'm hoping be part of the marriage of the two."

OK, but a masseuse?! "There's nothin' like suckin' on a hot dog and swillin' beer while receiving a refreshing massage," grins Knapp. "Kind of hedonistic, don't you think?"

Knapp describes the whole mish-mash party as a celebration of "functional hedonism." "Shut Eye is based on the philosophy that fun feeds itself," he says. "Hedonism is [defined as] 'pursuit of, or devotion to pleasure.' Combine that doctrine with a sturdy work ethic, an amazing staff and a love for music and you have the heart and soul of Shut Eye." Shut Eye Records and Agency celebrates its eighth anniversary Friday, Dec. 3 at Shut Eye Headquarters, located in the Encyclomedia Building, 1526 DeKalb Ave. 7 p.m. Free, but you must be over 21 to enter.