Articles on this Page
- 04/17/14--11:30: _Red Bull Music Acad...
- 04/17/14--12:00: _Actress and Produce...
- 04/17/14--14:00: _12 Must-See Art Sho...
- 04/17/14--14:05: _Chet Faker's New An...
- 04/18/14--07:30: _ICYMI: A Bunch of C...
- 04/18/14--09:30: _Artist Genevieve Be...
- 04/18/14--10:25: _6 Personal Style Tu...
- 04/18/14--13:25: _En Vogue's Freaky D...
- 04/18/14--14:30: _The Most Popular Bo...
- 04/18/14--14:45: _Rock's Den Mother T...
- 04/18/14--16:30: _The Best, Worst and...
- 04/20/14--10:30: _Top 10 Ways to Cele...
- 04/21/14--07:40: _Is This The Best Sc...
- 04/21/14--11:00: _Major Lazer ft. Pha...
- 04/21/14--13:30: _Exploring Harajuku ...
- 04/21/14--14:30: _The Lamb of Wall St...
- 04/21/14--14:30: _Tennessee Thomas On...
- 04/21/14--14:39: _Recapping the Mad M...
- 04/22/14--07:30: _Dad Baby Will Haunt...
- 04/22/14--10:30: _Confessions of a Fi...
- 04/17/14--11:30: Red Bull Music Academy Returns With Dance-a-Thon Bounce Ballroom
- 04/17/14--12:00: Actress and Producer Fallon Goodson Is On the Verge
- 04/17/14--14:00: 12 Must-See Art Shows Opening This Week
- 04/17/14--14:05: Chet Faker's New Animated Video for "1998"
- 04/18/14--09:30: Artist Genevieve Belleveau's Experiment in Urban Asceticism
- 04/18/14--10:25: 6 Personal Style Tumblrs We're Currently Obsessed With
- 04/18/14--13:25: En Vogue's Freaky Deaky Video For "Whatever"
- 04/18/14--14:30: The Most Popular Boys In the World You've Never Heard Of
- 04/18/14--16:30: The Best, Worst and Weirdest of the Week
- 04/20/14--10:30: Top 10 Ways to Celebrate 4/20
- 04/21/14--07:40: Is This The Best School Picture Ever?
- 04/21/14--14:30: The Lamb of Wall Street: Dana Giacchetto's Third Act
- 04/21/14--14:30: Tennessee Thomas On Bushwick's Best Book Shop
- 04/21/14--14:39: Recapping the Mad Men Recaps: All In a Day's Work
- 04/22/14--07:30: Dad Baby Will Haunt Your Dreams
- 04/22/14--10:30: Confessions of a Finance Guy-Turned-Brooklyn Party Promoter
More RBMA events will follow throughout the month of May including concerts, club nights, art installations, and panels and you can scope the full schedule HERE. For more info on Bounce Ballroom, the four dance styles, and how to purchase tickets, head HERE. In the meantime, check out trippy GIFs of the four dance styles that the RBMA folks were kind enough to pass along above and below.
GIFs by Yoshi Sodeoka
But though the petite blonde-haired actress might look the part (and, by her own admission, occasionally act it), Goodson is no ditz. Beneath her bubbly, self-deprecating exterior and Lafayette, Louisiana-bred Southern charm, lies a shrewd young actress/producer who's forging a promising Hollywood career.
Currently appearing in indie flick Maladies (which also stars James Franco, Catherine Keener, David Strathairn and Alan Cumming), a film she also produced, the 28-year-old actress plays Patricia, a troubled young woman who lives in a rambling house on the Rockaways with her equally-disturbed brother James (Franco) and their longtime friend Catherine (Keener). The film, set in the 1960s and directed by mononymic artist and filmmaker Carter, forgoes a straightforward narrative plot in favor of character studies; its interests lie in the ways people cope with societal pressures and expectations and what happens when these expectations conflict with a person's sense of identity.
It's never totally clear what afflictions these characters suffer from or what triggered them. Throughout the film, we get bits and pieces of James' back story. Previously a soap opera star (Franco's real-life stint on General Hospital was apparently prep for his Maladies role, Goodson says, and black-and-white clips from the soap can be seen in the film), he suffered an undisclosed mental breakdown and is out of work, living in Keener's home, and trying to make a go of it as a writer. The other characters' histories are less clear. As an artist with a cross-dressing fetish, Keener seems to be the most together of the group while Goodson's Patricia appears as the most outwardly disturbed. Bewigged and skittish, her character moves in-and-out of reality like someone suffering from schizophrenia. But, Goodson says, the point was never to diagnose any of the characters. "We didn't want to give them labels," she says. "The characters are a combination of things."
Having so convincingly portrayed a woman on the verge (or, more accurately, past the verge), it's hard to believe that Goodson almost didn't get the part. Originally attached to the project as a producer, the actress expected to have only a small role in the film. Goodson says the part of Patricia cycled through various actresses including Julianne Moore, Chloe Sevigny and Blake Lively before landing on Claire Danes. But last minute Danes pulled out ("I think that's when she got Homeland"), and a week before shooting Goodson was cast.
A scramble to prepare, the actress says she locked herself in a hotel room in the days leading up to the shoot and wrote an autobiography for Patricia. When more time permits, she says her acting prep is usually quite research-intensive ("I'm a research junkie"). It's a takeaway, she explains, from studying Broadcast Journalism as a college student at Southern Methodist University. And, while talking to her, it's clear this journalistic curiosity has helped her beyond getting ready for roles. Once a green college student who, when moving out West, Googled "How to go to L.A. and meet a manager or agent" and even paid a woman $1.99/minute for entertainment industry advice, she's now a savvy young player adept at knowing how to crack Hollywood's numerous -- and complex -- codes. She's become fluent in Tinsel Town's business speak, describing the industry's protocols and union bylaws, casually peppering our conversation with references to Taft-Hartley and SAG vouchers.
For the uninitiated who imagine Hollywood to be a place where beautiful people can still move from small towns and get discovered in drug stores, it's a reality check to hear the young actress describe the arcane rules that make it difficult for upstarts to break into the biz. She tells me that she initially found her way into producing as a way to get her SAG card, which would verify her membership in the Screen Actors Guild and allow her to audition for roles (most projects are only open to union members). "I was sitting on sets for 8 hours a time on big TV shows and they'd be like, 'Sorry, we ran out of [SAG card] vouchers.' It was just exhausting. So I got my dad to invest in a low-budget Christmas TV movie and from there on, I ended up producing. But I never really meant to be a producer." The flick, A Holiday Heist, starred Lacey Chabert (who some might know as Gretchen Wiener from Mean Girls), Chris Kattan and Vivica A. Fox. (It's not on Netflix.)
It was not long after A Holiday Heist that Maladies came her way. And now, on the heels of that film, she's got a busy schedule. She's wrapped up work on two projects directed by Franco, Black Dog, Red Dog and Child of God, the latter of which is a thriller based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name ("I'm brutally murdered in it"). She's also teaming up with director/producer Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) on an undisclosed horror movie.
It's obvious she's already got the looks of a Hitchcock blonde and she says she has an affinity for that kind of material, too. And she has no problem with gore. "I'm always like, 'Can I get on Grey's Anatomy? Can I play someone with their leg chopped off?'"
Legs intact or not, Goodson will become a more familiar presence on the screen and on movie credits in 2014. Which may make it more difficult for her to get away with a recent "blonde moment" she had while shopping at L.A.'s famous outdoor mall, The Grove.
"I had on a pair of those workout shorts where they have the built-in underwear in them. I was shopping and walking around and while I was leaving, I realized they were inside out. I was like Quailman from Doug. As I'm looking down I was like, 'I can't believe this just happened. I'm so glad no one knows who I am.'" Yet.
Styled by Eli Wasserman / Hair by Brian Magallones for Exclusive Artists / Makeup by Robert Sesnek
Photographed at Dune Studios
There's a lot to see out at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (200 Eastern Parkway) including Swoon's "Submerged Motherlands," an exhibition of early works by Judy Chicago and the official opening of Ai Weiwei's "According to What?" The Weiwei show includes over 30 works by the Chinese artist, spanning more than 20 years. The members preview is Thursday and then it opens to the public on Friday, April 18th.
Matthew Schreiber has his first New York solo show, "Sideshow," at Johannes Vogt (526 West 26th Street). That address was once the location of a nightclub called The Fun House back in the 80s and Schreiber wants to bring back that "carnival-like" experience with lasers, black lights and holograms. It is on view until May 10th.
NYU's Grey Art Gallery (100 Washington Square East) opens a new exhibition called "Energy That Is All Around: The Mission School" featuring works by Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee and Ruby Neri with a reception on Thursday, April 17th, 7 to 9 p.m. These five artists lived and worked in San Francisco's Mission District in the early 90s and all "embraced street aesthetics and lowbrow visual culture." The works are on view until July 12th.
Don't forget that La Mama's Full Moon Performance Festival honoring Tom Murrin starts April 17th and runs until the 27th with a crazy list of performances, readings, plays and more. On the 17th at 10 p.m. there's a post-modern vaudeville revue called "Aunts" at The Club (74a East 4th Street) and the finale on the 27th is a cardboard parade followed by the presentation of "The Tommy" award and the closing party at Dixon Place (161a Chrystie Street). The complete schedule of events is HERE.
Vanity Projects (99 Chrystie Street) -- the world's greatest nail salon -- is hosting a cool video/film program called "Tooth and Nail" curated by Darrin Martin. The works will explore "real and virtual bodies disrupted by cultural noise or the artifacts of their own making." Over 18 shorts will be screened at a reception on April 17th from 6 to 9 p.m. and will remain on view until May 8th.
During the last few weeks of the New Museum's (235 Bowery) exhibition of works by Pawel Althamer look for two special events. On Thursday, April 17th, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be a one-day-only showing of sixteen new sculptures created during the Polish artist's residency. These collaborations with "friends and other artists" will be on view at the museum's storefront space at 231 Bowery. Also from Wednesday, April 23rd to Sunday, April 27th, the "collective painting" project on the museum's fourth floor will be disassembled, cut up and distributed to the museum's visitors for free.
Howard Greenberg Gallery (41 East 57th Street) opens two shows by the award-winning New York City photographer Joel Meyerowitz this week. The first, "My European Trip: Photographs From the Car" includes 40 images shot between 1966 and 1967 and the second, "The Effect of France" are new still lifes shot in 2012/13. Both open on April 17th and will be up until the end of May.
On Friday, April 18th, 6 to 8 p.m., Martos Gallery (540 West 29th Street) opens a show called "Eighty Three" with new works by the New York-based artist Jory Rabinovitz.
Also on the 18th, 6 to 8 p.m., Jack Hanley Gallery (327 Broome Street) opens "The Valley of Dry Bones," their third solo show by Marie Lorenz featuring a video installation "based on a fictional narrative of exploration and revelation." Check it out before May 18th.
This track is from Mr. Faker's debut album, Built On Glass; but before we go any further, let's acknowledge that his real name is Nick Murphy, he's from Australia, he covered "No Diggity" for this Super Bowl ad and he knows who Chet Baker was. In case you don't, he was an acclaimed jazz trumpeter (and vocalist) who, sadly, was also a notorious druggie that OD'd in Amsterdam in 1988. He loved the ladies, and the ladies loved him. Anyway, we'd like to give a little shout-out to Grace Lee who did the great illustrations for Faker's new video, "1998": Nice work, Grace!
Nodfidohsdf. [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]
Denny's FTW. [via F You No F Me]
OMG kiddie CeeLo! [Twitter via Buzzfeed]
Almost 10 years ago, comedian Jeff Scherer started a project photographing fellow comedians getting their start, asking them to write their names and something about themselves (if they wanted) on a whiteboard. The results are excellent and Beautiful Person Ben Schwartz looks like such a little munchkin bro. [via Born Under Punches]
Just in time for Easter, the Cincinnati zoo held a gorilla Easter egg hunt. HEART EXPLOSION. [via YouTube]
Fuck yes, it's Friday! [via Trill Adam Clark]
Last Fall, NYC artist Genevieve Belleveau started an indie-gogo campaign to fund a project she calls the "Mobile Monastery." Bolstered by promos like this crazy telethon, the campaign raised nearly $4000 and so since January, the "St. Anal Banana Blob" (a $500 pledge won an anonymous donor the privilege of naming the vehicle) has been up and running, with Belleveau chronicling its trials and tribulations on her website. Initially planned to be stationed in New York, the RV currently resides in the Altadena neighborhood of Los Angeles. We recently got a chance to light some Frankincense with the artist (and her teacup cat Cuckoo) and get a closer look at ascetic life in the RV.
What exactly is the Mobile Monastery and what were your inspirations and foundations for the project?
The Mobile Monastery is a 19-foot RV I am currently living in as an experiment in civil disobedience, technological asceticism and reconnecting with the silence of daily life. I began thinking about this project while I was hosting an offline residency in the woods of northern Minnesota with fellow artists. I was living in a yurt, tending a garden and stacking wood and I realized that I found this type of manual labor to be more satisfying than the labor I was enacting both online and in my life in NYC. I began researching hermeticism and reading Walden for the first time, which led me to the foundational principles for the project.
How does it tie into your other work, which tends to deal with issues of communication and technology, like the Emoji Autism Facial Recognition Therapy project?
The backbone of all my work is an interest in the human desire to connect and the ways this drive is expressed through emerging technology. With the emoji piece I was looking through a psychological lens to examine the minute nuances of expression we are developing through new mediums. By submitting myself to the largely off-the-grid, relatively solitary life of the hermetic monk, I am investigating the other side of that equation; what becomes of an individual willingly cut off from the the state of constant connection we now live in? What can be gleaned from the sacred tradition of silence and meditation that we can take back to the rapidly evolving technosphere? I have been exploring the "divine online" for several years now, generally through tropes of spirituality and therapeutic healing. I role-play these various traditions in hopes of better understanding my own process of connecting, thus encouraging others to examine their own.
Your project was initially planned for NYC. Why did you end up in LA? Is the project in part a commentary on the rising cost of NYC rent? Is the rent just too damn high?
I was initially really excited to have the RV in NYC as a nose-thumb at the high rent and as a form of civil disobedience. I wouldn't have been breaking any laws, yet would have been able to live for free in virtually any neighborhood despite the accelerating cost of rent. I purchased the RV in Louisiana and ended up having mechanical and registration issues that detained me for over 2 months. During that time I was in the deepest period of silence, solitude and meditation, and out of the silence I received what I can only describe as a "Call to Adventure," in the words of Joseph Campbell. Of course, I was also looking at my weather app everyday and realized I had been overly optimistic in my initial desire to live in an RV in NYC during the coldest winter in years and what looks to be an oppressively hot summer coming up. I am definitely okay with the struggles of daily life lived in the rig but decided the weather did not need to be one of my opponents on this path. If I could have a monastery on both coasts I would; I'm still very curious what RV life in NYC would be like. Maybe someone will start a sister abbey in Bushwick or something!
You've described yourself as a "crust monk." Can you explain this term?
Crust monk is a play on the term crust punk, a counter-cultural movement of youth who are often nomadic and living in relative poverty. I started to notice similarities in the lifestyle of crusties and the tradition of degenerate drifter monks called the gyrovagues. I realized I was more a gyrovague than any other kind of monk as I follow only loosely proclaimed vows rather than the law of a specific order. Crusties live on the fringe of capitalistic culture and are often despised as parasitic. I think crust culture is one of the last bastions of counter-cultural anarchistic lifestyle and became interested in the overlaps between my own intention and that of crusts. In funding my campaign via Indie GoGo I recognized I was really no more than an organized busker and poked fun at this by staging a performance in New Orleans where I stood on a popular busking corner with a sign asking for PayPal only donations and my campaign URL. Also I think the stereotype of greasy, smelly, dirty crustie pretty much applies to me now as I have limited access to showers and my personal appearance has taken a back burner to the other necessities of daily living. I adopted this term as a precursor to my current lifestyle, as a way of humbling myself and preparing for the less glamorous aspects of the project.
What have you learned so far on your journey?
The most important experience thus far has been a submission to silence and the inherent wisdom we can access when we take the time to slow down, turn off, and be patient enough to honor our personal truth.
What kinds of reactions have you gotten to your tonsure haircut?
It's all been extremely positive and generally opens a discussion about the project with strangers and peers. I'm actually growing the tonsure out now as the lack of shower makes up-keeping the cut and color incredibly difficult and ultimately serves as a distraction from some of my higher aims. (Though I want to give a shoutout to my friend Jos McKain on being my final tonsurist!) I think the haircut has helped draw attention to this project as any online avatar has the power to do, but in the spirit of humility I've realized the haircut is its own bid for attention and I need to focus my energy on less superficial aspects of the project now.
Have you considered tonsuring Cuckoo, your teacup cat? And what's a teacup cat?
Haha, so many people have told me I should do that but I have never seriously considered it. I think it would be inordinately vain to do so, creating a little mini-me in my own image. Cuckoo is a very strong-willed cat, I wouldn't dare threaten her autonomy. She comes from a colony of outdoor country cats at my parents' house in Minnesota. They are a mixed colony of feral and tame cats. Cuckoo's mother was a feral female who mated with her own brother, which created the unique genetics that give us Cuckoo. That colony actually often breeds abnormally small cats who usually die of health problems. Cuckoo had a glimmer in her eye that told me she was going to be blessed so I brought her back to NYC with me and though she has remained unusually small she is a perfect specimen of health and cat wealth.
The illuminated manuscript you're working on is impressive. Any plans to show this work or turn the Mobile Monastery project into a formal gallery show?
Ideally the manuscript will be published as a document of this project, including both the paintings and the extensive writing I have been immersed in. I would love to find a publisher willing to go all in on it and produce a limited run with actual gold leaf or gilded accents, since that's what makes an illuminated manuscript illuminated. Another dream would be to have an institution fund my driving the RV back to NYC for a retrospective of everything created while in-residence in St. ABB, with the rig herself parked inside the gallery for the public to experience her altered state at the end of this epic adventure.
Forget about normcore. Let's face it -- selfies are just so much more fun when you can show off your individual style. Whether they're inspired by futurism or vintage pastiche, the bloggers behind our favorite fashion Tumblrs are on a wave of their own.
In between the Beyoncé GIFs, fashion blogger Celia Edell preaches personal style as body acceptance. "A body is a beautiful thing. It deserves to be dressed up and complimented as well as made comfortable and accepted in all its flaws," she writes on her blog. This stylish Canadian is not afraid to have fun with fashion. She's staged photoshoots that take their inspiration from Mean Girls and she occasionally lets her boyfriend do her makeup. Unlike Celia, he has not mastered the art of the perfect cat eye.
Hari Nef, ADULT Magazine's resident sex columnist, sums up her style in hashtags. "#ONETITTYOUT is about choice!" Nef explains, "when you've only got one out, you're in control -- not topless, but you're exposed on your very own terms. I'm uninterested in binaries of clothed/naked, masculine/femin
Finding inspiration in everything from Sarah Jessica Parker at the 1993 MTV Music Awards to a quick trip to the thrift store, Jack Torrence is Tumblr's reigning queen of vintage kitsch. Scrolling through her Tumblr, you almost expect to fall into her self-styled dream-world where unicorns actually exist.
Other than having the perfect Tumblr url, the 19-year-old blogger/model, Chloe Mackey, can also boast about being featured in Diesel's Reboot campaign. Her eyebrow game (dyed green to match her hair) is also noticeably on point.
When Dawn Robinson quit En Vogue in 1997, the group was in the middle of recording their third album. They re-worked and re-recorded many of the tracks including "Whatever" -- produced and written by Babyface -- and scored another hit when it peaked at #16 on the pop chart. The location for the wildly colorful video could be either Frankenstein's beauty parlor or Willy Wonka's plastic surgery operating room. You decide.
If you've happened to go on Twitter today, you've likely seen #RIPMagcon trending across the U.S. Magcon, for anyone born before the year 2000, is a collective of the most popular boys (and one girl) that you've never heard of. They broke up today, just so you know. Consisting of a group of fresh-faced, floppy-haired teenagers whose primary talent happens to be that they're very, very good at social media (especially Instagram and Vine) Magcon (short for "Meet and greet convention") is also a tour that brings these young online stars to meet their tween fans IRL in malls throughout the country. Their tour stops draw thousands of fans and their social media numbers rival those of their boy band counterparts. And, in a disturbing twist that should make One Direction deeply consider how and when they announce their eventual break-up one day, some Magcon fans even tweeted that they were cutting themselves over the news and, like that, #cutformagcon was trending on Twitter. Today's news of the break-up has played out on social media like the five stages of grief wrapped up in 140 characters or less. By mid-day, fans were reflecting on their favorite Magcon memories and as of now, they have united as one MagconFamilyForever.
Founded in 2013 by a Louisiana-based tech entrepreneur named Bart Bordelon, who got the idea when the son of friends told Bordelon he was meeting up with a few of his Instagram followers at a mall and a couple hundred girls turned up, Magcon is like a boy band mall tour except that rather than being famous for making albums, the baby-faced teens score fans with six-second videos of themselves goofing around with friends or playing with cats. (That being said, a few of the Magcon boys -- like a duo who go by the name Jack and Jack -- are trying to parlay their social media fame into music careers.) The tour also professes to have an anti-bullying message and on its website says many of these photogenic kids have dealt with bullying themselves.
Watching these kids' videos of themselves shirtless there's something vaguely illicit-feeling and it's easy to think that there must be some hidden exploitative agenda behind Magcon, whether a Lou Pearlman-esque scam or something grosser and more insidious. Though the music industry is no stranger to shady deals and mistreatment of young stars, at least there's a legitimate rationale behind why they're grooming the talent they work with. As for Magcon, what are those kids being appreciated for? What do they do? Their empire is built on seconds-long social media posts. Even Bieber had to busk.
By now, when the Kardashian business and fame model should basically be taught at Harvard Business School, the idea of attractive people becoming famous for nothing shouldn't be surprising. But the Kardashians at least had vague connections to Hollywood notoriety (Kim's friendship with Paris Hilton, their father's work as OJ Simpson's defense attorney, homemade porn) that were natural -- if not crass -- reasons to be fascinated. The fact that these kids are famous for doing nothing -- or doing what millions of other good-looking kids do every day online or off -- sits funny. But why should it? We grew up with Tiger Beat or TRL and, for this new generation of post-Millennials growing up in an age of Snapchat and Internet ADD, it makes perfect sense that their idols come to them via Instagram.
I predict that Lisa Robinson's There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll will be this summer's #1 beach read. For almost 50 years, Robinson's been a journalist with an all-access pass that brought her close proximity, if not professional intimacy, with the biggest names in rock history from the Stones to Led Zeppelin to the Beatles to Bowie et al. in the era when the mantra of sex, drugs and rock and roll was first coined and really meant something. An obsessive recorder and note taker, Robinson has distilled her hundreds of hours of interviews with legend after legend into bite sized-stories, through it all successfully negotiating the balancing act between fan and journalist with a circus performer's aplomb, a trick she continues as an editor at Vanity Fair. To her credit, she doesn't come off as salacious when she's recounting anecdotes; instead, her voice is more like that of a fan girl who, as she said about the Clash, happened to be there at the right place at the right time.
To give you a flavor of what to expect, here's a short quiz on some of Robinson's most tantalizing tales.
1. Who said: "There really is no reason to have women on tour, unless they've got a job to do. The only other reason is to fuck. Otherwise they get bored; they just sit around and moan. It would be different if they did everything for you like answer the phone, make breakfast, look after the clothes and the packing, see if the car was ready - and fuck."
a) Robert Plant
b) Mick Jagger
d) Lady Gaga
2. Who is described as "sitting in the dark, on a sofa in a corner suite at New York's Plaza Hotel in 1975 with a cadaverous David Bowie by his side watching the same 15 minutes of Kenneth Anger's Lucifer Rising over and over again -- snorting line after line of cocaine."
a) John Lennon
b) Jimmy Page
c) Rod Steward
d) Lou Reed
3. When invited to a performance by Leonard Cohen who said: "Lets run through it tossing Quaaludes around to liven up the place."
a) Keith Richards
b) Patti Smith
c) Robert Plant
d) David Bowie
4. Who said "Everything's kind of a joke with us. You can't take things too seriously or it doesn't pay to live.
b) Rod Stewart
c) Joey Ramone
d) Debbie Harry
5. Who was sorry to have said bad things about Elton John in interviews and told him that he/she masturbated to his records.
a) Lady Gaga
c) Patti Smith
d) Michael Jackson
6. Who said: "I can't stand all that hard driving rock, all those butch singers, screaming. I'd rather be a wimp than that. I hate them all."
a) Eddie Van Halen
b) Joe Strummer
c) Dr. Dre
7. Despite Robinson's general bonhomie, one person stands as her least favorite, someone she dislikes for being rude, crude, humorless and wanting to use music to "rule the world."
a) Lady Gaga
Best Coachella Cutie: Leonardo DiCaprio.
Most Exciting Fashion News of the Week: Alexander Wang is doing a collab with H&M!!
Best Map of the Week: The Judgmental Map of NYC by Joe Larson. "Red Lobster???' = perfect.
Best Line in Model Files' Coachella Episode: "Make a face like you're renting a big car!"
Craziest TV News of the Week: Michelle Obama is going to guest star on Nashville. What the what? That's awesome! Michelle + Connie 4 lyfe.
Well, today is awkward. Two holidays -- Easter and 4/20 -- that both call for some sort of brunch marathon, metaphysical experience and quality time with like-minded friends happen to fall on the same day, which means we've been keeping tabs on ways to satisfy munchies and enhance your "experience." Our guide to 4/20 in NYC, below.
The Smoker's Club Presents: Legalize N.Y. feat Joey Bada$$
A recent article named New York City one of the next cities to most likely legalize recreational marijuana use and Brooklyn rapper -- and Paper Beautiful Person -- Joey Bada$$ is lending his support to the cause. He'll be performing at Music Hall of Williamsburg with other members of the Pro Era hip-hop collective Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, and CJ Kid and even though the show is already sold out, we're not saying you can't score tickets somewhere (just like we're not saying there won't be a little recreational activity at the concert).
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, 8 pm. Find tickets here.
Art show Greatest Hits opens today at concept space Wallplay featuring out-of-this world smokeable glass sculptures by artists such as Banjo and Mickelsen and Ghost. We're talking gasmasks and construction trucks made out of glass. Prepare to be amazed.
Wallplay, 118 Orchard Street, 7 pm
Everyday People's monthly brunch and dance party brings sounds from guest DJ Kitty Kash and a savory buffet (think: caramelized onion and potato hash) into the same room. Good music, good food -- we're sold.
The DL, 95 Delancey St, 12:30 pm - 9 pm
Foodie smokers, this might be a little taste of heaven. For a more relaxed 4/20 -- park, view of the East River and multiple food options included -- Smorgasburg is the answer. Try some of this year's new vendors like the chocolate-dipped peanut butter meringue cookies from Girl Meets Whisk or the buttermilk fried chicken in general tso's glaze from Martha.
Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 11 am - 6pm
CCB Reggae All Stars
For a quick trip (to nowhere), Cannabis Cup Band's Reggae All Stars brings back their annual boat bash. Cruise along the East River with jerk chicken and coconut corn chowder from Dr. Marinade and tunes from Jah Culture Sound System.
Skyport Marina, E. 23rd St. & FDR Dr., 2 pm. Buy tickets here.
High Holy Day
If you have no plans of actually leaving your house, go over to Pluto.tv, a new online video hub, to watch 24 hour of 4/20 themed content. It will feature shows like The Munchies, 30 minutes of food porn, and Smoked, a show about three friends running a weed dispensary in Venice, California. Don't forget snacks, that won't be fun.
Your couch. Watch here.
Brooklyn Music Video Festival
Join Brooklyn Wildlife, 95Labs and Ohene Corenlius at Ivy House Studios for a day dedicated to watching music videos at the Brooklyn Music Festival. The festival feature works from up-and-coming directors Shan Nicholson and Steven Alexander, some live performances and, of course, food. The flyer encourages guest to bring their yoga mats and blankets to get comfy.
Ivy House Studios, 1040 Metropolitan Ave, 4:20 pm. Get tickets here.
Doomsday Secret Speakeasy
Since we're sure you'll be pretty spaced out today, why not take a trip to space? The Museum of Interesting Things hosts Space Race/Cold War, a themed party featuring original 16mm short films from the '40s/'50s/'60s of "Atomic Energy and Space Race & Doom" and some champagne. Did we mention you could try on NASA jumpsuits?
177 Prince St, 6 pm. Get tickets here.
Meanwhile over in those
Keep on your PJs, wear your slippers and head over to "Wake-n-Bacon: Inaugural 420 Brunch," with Sunday morning cartoons included. Tickets are $95 but the make your own bloody mary bar and Edible Event's famous bacons sticks might be worth the investment.
1 Broadway, Denver, CO, 11 am - 3 pm. Get tickets here.
Snoop's Wellness Retreat
This is a smoker's holy grail. Yesterday, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa took the stage in Seattle, and today the two bring "Snoop's Wellness Retreat" to Denver. Tickets are sold out, but we suggest scouting Stubhub or Craigslist. Who wouldn't want to celebrate with these two?
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Boulder, CO 6:30 pm.
Here it is: The best-ever school picture ever. It's got the works: '80s/early-'90s laser background, an adorable dog t-shirt, glasses, hands on hips, and an expression that says "well, I guess we're doing this." We love you, whoever you are. [Reddit
Dogs versus their mortal enemy, the mail. [TastefullyOffensive]
Hope everyone had a great Easter. [LaughterKey]
OG Simpsons. [PopCultureBrain]
Sadie the cockatoo has a dance-off with Jonathan the macaw to "What Is Love." Sadie was clearly out in the sun for 8 hours and popping molly before this so she's disqualified.
Here's a clip of a magician doing some crazy-ass tricks on Britain's Got Talent. At first we were like, 'yeah, yeah, yeah, this guy can pull doves out of his jacket, big deal," but then shit got REAL. [Uproxx]
You just got Cooped, son! [AfternoonSnoozeButton]
Say 1-2 times a day under your breath at work while shaking your head. Repeat. [Mlkshk
Ease into Monday with this video of a cat fishing for cat. [Dlisted]
Guess you could call this an "enhanced" lyric video since there's no sign of Diplo (aka Major Lazer) or Pharrell. There's still plenty to watch as the San Francisco-based artist Mike Giant writes at the speed of sound and brings "Aerosol Can" to life with his unique style. Pharrell has been out at Coachella performing with guest artists ranging from Jay Z to Gwen Stefani and, last weekend Diplo joined the fun for this live version.
I've come to document Japan's cultural underground for an ongoing photography project on the avant-garde around the world.
While at Tokyo Harajuku fashion party, Heavy Pop, the first thing that catches my attention is a flier the host hands to me as I enter. Alongside the names of the DJs and promoters are a detailed set of rules, the most striking of which is "Do not approach girls."
Studying the flyer, I wonder if this has something to do with the mysterious "sexless-Japanese-youth-debate" I'd read about. According to media reports, Japan's youth is suffering from a "celibacy syndrome." The statistics are startling. A third of under-30s have never been on a date, and a quarter of men and half of women say that sex just isn't for them. Over the next thirty years the population is projected to plummet by a third. When asked why they're opting out of hooking up, most claim to be too busy with work or content with their platonic friendships alone.
And then there's the most extreme example of social opting out: the hikikomori. At the beginning of the 1990s, after the economy crashed and entry-level work evaporated, scores of young people began to lock themselves in their bedrooms -- permanently. Without a job, one's place in society -- one's da -- is uncertain. As a "recluse" or "shut-away" they avoid interactions that would confer shame and so they save face by facing no one. The Japanese government estimates that 700,000 young people have shut themselves off from society and fears what will happen in 2030 when the parents of the first generation of hikikomori begin to die off. Who will support these people that have never faced the outside world?
Another night out: this time in a trendy club in the middle of Shibuya's red-light district, called the "Love Hotel Hill." A sign with a giant "X" over a man striking the Grease Lightening pose declares "NO DANCING." At first I think it's probably ironic. It's not, I'm told.
To crackdown on Tokyo's nightlife the police have resurrected an arcane 1948 anti-prostitution law that forbids dancing after midnight and popular clubs are frequently raided. One of the first to bear the brunt of this new policy was DJ Takky Ishino, who tweeted in protest "dance is not a crime." His tweet has become a slogan, seen on t-shirts sold around the city. A group called Let's Dance has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures protesting their city's transformation into a 21st-century rendition of Footloose.
Creating rules about when you can and cannot dance is not as out of place as it might seem in a country that's known for being particularly orderly. There are rules for everything. From the correct way to queue for a subway train (double file from the painted platform lines), to the polite way to exchange money with a cashier (in a designated tray, never by hand), seemingly every interaction has its own protocol.
When the stakes of every social interaction are heightened, it's easy to see how hikikomori's total seclusion and the so-called celibacy syndrome could be a reaction to all of these social guidelines. Rules can make things clear and easy, but too many just leads to confusion. When you consider that dating -- more than any other interaction -- is drenched in messy ambiguity and add to it new rules issued by nightclubs (don't hit on girls) and imposed on nightclubs (no dancing after midnight), it becomes easier to see why people might say "screw it" and throw in the towel. Some nightlife pros have found ways to circumvent the laws but their solutions are far from optimal: many clubs open as early as 5pm and get going by 7pm. For most, it's still too early to be drunk and you're not allowed to dance or talk to girls. It's not ideal if you're looking to score.
But nightlife has always been as much about creative expression as about sex. Surveying the scene at Heavy Pop, it's tempting to psychologize the counter-cultural display as some kind of momentary unleashing of repressed id. The sparkly Band-Aids the girls wear on their noses or the Christmas baubles hanging from the head of a "killer-Pierrette" definitely suggest something outside of the mainstream. And they most certainly are. But they are also firmly within the bounds of long-established archetypes -- "Lolita," "Princess," "Maid," "Goth" -- that have defined the Harajuku fashion scene for decades. Even the most outlandish outfits have an archetype: the fushigi-chan (translation: "mystery kids," whose outfits defy comprehension).
What's interesting is that for a country obsessed with technology and the Internet, online dating and dating apps are not widely used, seen by many to still hold a stigma. (Although this may be changing for a certain sub-segment of the population. Ashley Madison, the dating site for married people looking to start extra-marital affairs, recently launched in Japan and has seen astonishing growth.) Porn, too, is often censored but Japan "leads the world in selfie porn."
During our tour of the neighborhood, I notice a slightly incongruous-looking "Baby Doll" pet store. "Why is there a pet store next to a hostess bar?" I ask Maho. "Because that's where you buy the cat," she replies. It turns out that male customers who seek the most in-demand girls offer to buy them gifts to secure more of their time. Except that the girls can't ask for anything extravagant because then they'd be perceived as shallow and, apparently, undesirable. Instead, they ask for a pet cat, citing their loneliness and vulnerability to the adoring john. Conveniently, a pet store is open next-door. The john buys her the cat, she takes it home, and the next day she returns it and splits the profit with the store. Ferry enough cats home and she'll have enough money for an item she truly wants.
As we continue to walk around, I start to wonder if these customs and Japan's celibacy syndrome aren't the curious outliers that everybody assumes they are. Perhaps these are remarkably rational responses to the perils of dating and relationships and all of the rules that exist in modern courtship no matter the country. Maybe Americans and Europeans will even follow suit, as the difficult realities of dating and hooking up pale in comparison to á la carte services that take credit cards. Perhaps the Japanese are, as usual, just ahead of the curve.
Dana Giacchetto, the man convicted of fraud and misappropriating up to $10 million from celebrity clients in 2000, is back in the news. Once dubbed as "Investment Adviser to the Stars" he was a fixture in the schmoozy, '90s New York nightlife scene and best buds with Leonardo DiCaprio and other Hollywood hotshots like Tobey Maguire, Cameron Diaz, Ben Affleck, and Michael Stipe. Giacchetto served three years in prison after it was discovered his firm Cassandra was using client money to replenish other clients' accounts and to cover company and personal expenses.
Recently I received a call from an "unknown number" as I was about to go into a meeting. It was Dana, who I hadn't spoken to in years, though I knew that he was quietly rebuilding his life since his release in 2003. Barred from trading, he remains active with several business ventures and has two young children. Dana never did me wrong and we tried to reconnect when he was released from prison, but a sketchiness that was always there that I self-servingly overlooked, got in the way. I asked him to call back. He never did.
I knew Dana when he was Master of the Universe, went to parties at his Soho loft and hobnobbed with his A-list connections. I valued his advice, was in awe of his contacts, drank fine champagne at his parties and couldn't help being drawn into his orbit even as my journalist's mind kept sweeping the room for something that would help me understand how he did it. Think Nick Carroway to Giacchetto's Gatsby..
We met at an annual Christmas party thrown by an elite downtown couple, a head turning affair full of bold-face names hobnobbing in every direction you looked. Giacchetto exclaimed his admiration for PAPER and proceeded to tell me about himself and his business model, an investment firm focusing on the creative community, helping people who weren't traditionally good with money to grow their wealth. He was believable and I believed him, watching his client list grow, his indulgences escalate, his bubble burst.
Hours after I received a phone call from him, the New York Post's Page Six reported that Giacchetto was in trouble again, accused this time of identity theft and wire fraud, under the alias Stanulis. According to the Post: "Stanulis -- a former NYPD officer turned stripper who left the force in 2001, went on to appear in the off-Broadway show 'Stripped the Play' and just wrapped the movie 'Sam' by Mel Brooks' son Nicholas Brooks -- said he has known Giacchetto since 1999, when the former money manager spotted him performing at Chippendales and hired him to run security for DiCaprio."
And then again Giacchetto popped up, this time in my inbox a week ago. As I could see, he CC'd more than 300 other people with a link to an article from The Hollywood Reporter with the headline: "From Mike Ovitz to Leonardo DiCaprio: A Wall Street Criminal Recalls His Hollywood Heyday." The subhead was similarly alluring: "The real Wolf of Wall Street? Nah. Dana Giacchetto, now under investigation again, calls himself the 'Lamb of Wall Street' as he breaks his long-held silence about BFF DiCaprio, shares details of his intimate relationship with Ovitz, and asserts he had nothing to do with the suicide of CAA superstar Jay Moloney."
Obviously proud to be back in the spotlight, Giacchetto blasted the story to his contact list, making his already sad tale all the sadder. To quote: "As he consumes a prodigious amount of alcohol, he rages, sobs, brags, cackles hysterically, confesses then denies guilt for the events that sent him to prison and otherwise exudes the exuberant charm that persuaded hundreds of intelligent, worldly people to trust him with their money."
No Wolf of Wall Street or anywhere in between. Cassandra was a boutique firm with no more than a dozen people working there at its peak. I imagine there was sex, there was drugs and there was rock 'n' roll -- or as Giacchetto prefers, punk rock, a nod to his college years and later as a financial adviser who brokered the sale of Sub Pop (Nirvana's label) to Warner Brothers. But Cassandra was never a den of iniquity, though it's likely that Giacchetto himself overindulged on substances legal, illicit and pharmaceutical.
So here we were again, reliving the heady days of yesteryear, only now Giacchetto's holding on to what once was, dead to his rolodex of friends who refuse to have anything to do with him -- at least in public. A few continue to malign him, others try to forget and refuse to talk about him at all, scarred by the experience that still blisters.
I'm still somewhat on the fence, believing that Giacchetto's intentions were good and unlike Bernie Madoff, for example, he had never set out to intentionally defraud his friends who were also his investors. For a time it worked. Giacchetto's charisma, social charms and free spending ways attracting a devoted staff and a growing list of clients who were eager for him to take their money, not only to make a profit, but to be part of the moveable feast with guests that included John F. Kennedy, Jr. as well as Kate Moss, Chris Cuomo and Paul Sevigny before he had a career as a DJ.
One of my favorite memories of those days is recounted in the Hollywood Reporter story. "The night Titanic won 11 Oscars in 1998, DiCaprio skipped the ceremony; instead he and Giacchetto threw a party at the loft. 'I was king of the world,' says Giacchetto. 'We projected the Academy Awards on the wall and had every star come to New York to give the middle finger because we felt the Academy Awards were a complete f---ing sellout and anti-punk rock.'"
What the story doesn't mention is that it was a particularly difficult time for DiCaprio who had yet to emerge from his cute boy phase into an adult. And though Titanic was nominated for 11 Oscars and was then the top-grossing movie of all time, its star DiCaprio was not nominated for any award, an oversight that accounts for Giacchetto's belligerence.
Nevertheless, the party went on and there I was watching with the rest of them, chatting with Kate Moss who passed me the champagne bottle she was chugging.
"I love Molasses books," says actress and musician Tennessee Thomas of the cozy Bushwick used book store and coffee shop where Paper and Gap caught up with Thomas in her Gap Roll Sleeve Henley. (See how Thomas styled all of her looks here.) "They have awesome rare books and its all very well curated. I just got a book there on '60s subcultures."
An avid reader, Thomas is currently reading a biography on architect, design scientist and futurist Buckminster Fuller. "He came up with a lot of solutions in the '60s for issues like global warming and things we're still struggling with now likel food production and climate change. His ideas still hold true."
Thomas chalks up her interest in cultural studies and societal issues to her generation, who were raised during the more eco-conscious '80s and '90s. "A lot of my friends are often feeling very frustrated about the state of the world," says Thomas, "especially with the environment and where our food comes from. Almost everyone I know gets their groceries at the Farmers' Market. "
Thomas even hosts a composting course at her East Village store, The Deep End Club. "I think what we're seeing," says Thomas, "is a return to nature."
Head over to Styld.by for more of Tennessee's looks.
Each week PAPER helps you sort through your feelings about Mad Men
by rounding up the best and brightest of the MM recaps. Join us below,
as we slam the door shut before Don can say "I love you" back.
Don can kiss being an authority figure to Sally goodbye. Their relationship seems to have taken a permanent turn, in which daughter sees through father and has the upper hand.
Sally is an ethical person, despite lapses that seem fairly typical of boundary-testing teenagers, and she projects immense confidence here. Sally's catching Don with his mistress Sylvia a few months earlier scarred her and might account for her poise in "A Day's Work." While Sally's lies are misdemeanors, Don's are crimes. They seem not just to have damaged their relationship but transformed it, in ways that allow the daughter to see through her father. [Vulture]
Sally seems perfectly content to lord parental disappointment over his head, as she does with Betty, but when Don confronts her about his current situation, she admits that seeing her father for who he really is legitimately traumatized her (to say nothing of the fact that he was totally doin' it with the neighbor). "It's more embarrassing for me to catch you in a lie than for you to be lying," she tells him. [Time]
Their final moment in the car cements the fact that something pure that once existed between them has gone. "I love you," she says, then shuts the door and goes inside, not giving Don a chance to respond. [Vulture]
The show's lone black characters, SDCP secretaries Dawn and Shirley, finally get substantial storylines. They are, with maybe the exception of Sally, the sole voices of reason on this episode. They speak up when both of their bosses treat them terribly, and for now, appear better off for having done so.
Joan's old office ends up going to Dawn, and it's hard not to see the quasi-promotion as a reward for her speaking up. After Sally shows up in Lou's doorway while Dawn was out, Lou demands Joan reassign Dawn, but not before Dawn pipes up to say it was his own damn fault -- she was out picking up a Valentine's Day gift for his wife when Sally materialized. The outburst is, of course, what everyone who watches Mad Men has been thinking for years: How many times is some old white dude going to take his screw-ups out on somebody else before getting called out? More importantly, though, it puts Dawn -- who's been supplying Don with updates on the company's accounts -- in a better position to assist the Draper comeback that seems more likely than ever now. [Time]
In a delightful break-room exchange that goes at least a little ways toward addressing the complaint that Mad Men has been slow to address race in the era of the Civil Rights movement, Dawn and Shirley play out what's obviously a long-running gag by addressing one another with the other's first name: "Hello, Dawn," says Dawn to Shirley, and vice-versa. In fact, it's worse than Dawn and Shirley's little game lets on: It's not just that the white employees have trouble telling their two black co-workers apart; it's that, as far as at least some of their superiors are concerned, they are interchangeable, just cogs that can be swapped in and out on a whim. [RollingStone]
[Dawn] couldn't have controlled how or why she was promoted, but it happened. In the last moment, her grin could sell all the Chevys in Southern California. [NYT]
Pete is adrift and slowly realizing that his fate at SDCP will always be determined by a bunch of people who could care less about him and the work he does. His girlfriend Bonnie seems to be the first, and maybe only, woman whose opinion Pete Campbell truly respects.
Despite landing the Chevy dealerships association account, Pete finds in a conference call that nothing has changed. Those disembodied New York voices are still controlling his fate. Pete, the craven, soulless embodiment of empty corporate yearning, has lost his purpose. An accounts man in a profession built on creating need, he doesn't even know what to covet anymore. "Sometimes I think maybe I died," he says. "I don't know if I'm in heaven or hell or limbo: No one feels my existence." [NYT]
[Bonnie] gives Pete a reality check and savvy business advice: If you want something, you have to fight to take it. [Time]
Bonnie, his blond real estate broker, understands what turns him on. "You are such a big deal," she says. That exact phrase is likely all he's ever wanted to hear because it's all he's ever wanted to be. It only gets better, when Bonnie explains how she rails against the order of things, and won't be deterred, even by an "act of god" (or a house fire). Why? "We're both in sales," she explains, adding, "That's the thrill. Our fortunes are in other people's hands, and we have to take them." The anti-zen line turns on Pete so thoroughly that he delivers his creepiest come-on yet (which is also a bit mythological): "I want to chew you up and spit you out." [NYT]
Things pretty much suck for everyone on Mad Men right now.
So many characters in this episode seem to be driven by disappointment with their current circumstances and an unarticulated desire to return to the way things were before, whatever that means to them. Peggy's meltdown is all about lingering feelings for Ted. Roger seems flummoxed by the realization that he can't just tell everyone else how things will be and expect them to go along with him. Pete wishes people still listened to what he had to say, or otherwise acknowledged his existence. Don's outside of pretty much everything now, and though I think it would be a mistake to assign just one meaning to the look on his face in that final scene in the car, it seems safe to say that nostalgia (the ache from an old wound) probably plays into it. We like to say that kids grow up so fast, but we don't like to think about why that is.
Except for Joan! Joan got a promotion and no longer has to be the office manager in addition to a partner. (Though her move up will probably be a double-edged sword.)
Joan also got her job without any real say in the matter, without asking for it or even knowing it was possible. Obviously, she deserved it, but why now? Most likely, she was promoted by Jim as part of a Machiavellian maneuver to thwart or perturb Roger. On Valentine's Day, Roger gives her flowers from their son. Jim tops him by giving her an office. Joan is leaving two jobs for one that might be twice as complicated. [NYT]
... Jim Cutler ... realizes she's overworked and upgrades her office. Up until this point, Jim was the least interesting of all the partners, but Sunday's episode suggests he's not only one of the more attentive bosses (seriously, someone only just noticed that Joan hustles harder than anybody?), he's also capable of a power play -- his elevator remarks to Roger after butting heads throughout the episode sound like both an olive branch and threat. (Jim Cutler may seem like a nice guy now, but Harry Hamlin will always inhabit the character that did [redacted horrible thing] to [redacted character] on Veronica Mars, and I'll never stop being suspicious. [Time]
Peggy can't catch a break and is being the absolute worst.
This is the second episode in a row that's not at all flattering to Peggy. Mortifying as it is, I like watching her be petty ("lifting her leg" on Don/Freddy's pitch last week, then freaking out over the flower mistake with Shirley and pushing for her reassignment). It means the writers aren't pandering to Peggy fans by trying to turn the character into a saint. We can project our aspirations or issues onto her all we want, but in the end she's not a symbol, she's Peggy. [Vulture]
Sympathies for Peggy's sad-sack routine are dwindling, and her fixation on the Valentine's Day flowers she mistakes as a present from Ted felt like something out of a Tuesday night on FOX. It's one thing for Mindy Lahiri or Jess Day to misinterpret signals and treat break-ups like battles to be won, but when Peggy gestures to the roses and shouts, "Are these some symbol of how much we're loved?" it's neither adorkable, insightful, nor funny, really -- it just reveals what a mess she is. The creative team's quips about how she's not getting laid seemed cruel at first, but after observing the self-centered temper tantrum Peggy throws in this episode, it's no wonder she's the butt of their jokes. Just look at what they have to deal with on a regular basis. [Time]
No matter how much some fans project their empowerment fantasies onto her, the writers have very carefully hemmed her into her era. She seems full of despair, envying even her younger, subservient secretary. "You have a ring on," she barks at Shirley. "We all know that you're engaged. You didn't have to embarrass me. Grow up." It's obvious she craves that ring and that she is just waiting for Ted. She's stuck, waiting on her man. [NYT]
With Valentine's Day looming, her loneliness has blossomed into manic desperation, leaving her only a few frizzled hair strands away from a Cathy cartoon. [RollingStone]
Love this clip of Cooper the Poodle riding a swing with his owner as if he were a toddler. Wheeeee! [via Tastefully Offensive]
In our new series "True Life," we're tipping our hats to MTV's bingeworthy docu-show and publishing the best confessions, anecdotes, and blind item gossip unearthed from the worlds of nightlife, fashion, Hollywood and beyond. First up: a former finance guy tells us about how he became a top warehouse party promoter and recounts stories of artists snorting Sudafed, nightlife-loving fashion designers behaving badly and more.
Growing up in the former U.S.S.R., I always wanted to be a film director. I'd watch all these American movies and they would totally blow my mind. Since there was a lot of censorship during the days of the U.S.S.R., the overriding motif in all of the foreign movies that were released over there was an extreme criticism of capitalism. As a result, I had a very narrow understanding of what the West was about because the movies were basically about how terrible things were and how awful it was for the proletariats. The first time I decided I wanted to be a film director was after watching that movie Once Upon a Time In America with Robert De Niro playing a Jewish gangster. The movie made everything in America look pretty bleak. But I knew that wasn't true.
When I was 16, my family immigrated to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Everything in New York City looked really tall, really big, really dirty. I didn't really speak English but I didn't give a shit, I was so happy to be here. I finished high school in the States and went to college and studied film. After graduating, I started looking for production work and wound up being a PA on an indie movie that some rich kid from Long Island was shooting. I didn't get paid. Afterwards, I got another PA job up in Harlem and I also wasn't getting paid. I started to wonder, "What is this shit about? No one's paying me!" I was doing all these awful jobs clearing out abandoned lofts in Harlem that were full of shit. Crack houses. They needed me to clear this one house that was abandoned and was full of dog and human feces and syringes everywhere. They wouldn't even give me the money to buy a respiratory mask.
A little while later I got a job working on Analyze This. I met this girl who was Robert De Niro's assistant and had previously worked for Harvey Keitel. She had all these awful, dirty stories from the film industry, all about everyone's daily coke and prostitute habits. Everyone had herpes. Before she became an assistant, she told me about getting sexually harassed on sets, groped and grabbed by everyone. Finally she was like, "Fuck, I can't do this" and she got a job with Harvey.
I still wasn't making any money and I realized I'd probably have to put up with this shit for 10-15 years before I would. This was around the time of the dot-com boom and a friend of my mom's was starting an underground computer school in his basement in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. I enrolled and immediately after I finished, I got a job at Kaplan Testing. I got major money -- like $80/$90 per hour and I was doing nothing. I'm honestly not sure what I did back in those days. I just worked with kids, hung out, ate a bunch of steak.
Around 1999 or 2000, a headhunter told me he could get me a job at Morgan Stanley, making $150,000 a year. I immediately quit Kaplan and went to the bank where I became the Vice President of their Intranet. I was only 24 or 25 and I had my own office and assistant. It was great. At first.
The work was bullshit. I'd just show up to their office in the World Trade Center, write a tiny bit of code and then the rest of the day I really didn't have a lot to do. I'd go out during lunch and get super stoned. I'd be online all day talking to people, looking at porn, just wasting my time. I started to get really depressed.
And then 9/11 happened.
I wasn't at work yet that day because I didn't have to come in until 10-10:30am. My train didn't even leave the station. I got on it and it just stood there. Then we got off and went home. I found out later that a lot of my colleagues had died -- all of the execs. There was a really fancy restaurant up there and the execs were in it having a breakfast meeting. It was so traumatic that I quit right then and there.
With money saved up and no work, I decided to play guitar in a prog-rock band I formed with two high school friends. It didn't go anywhere so I quit and formed a new band with a bunch of guys from Berklee College of Music. We went on tour with these giant emo acts like Taking Back Sunday, The Used, My Chemical Romance. A lot of the guys in the band were excited and kept saying, "This is the future of music -- making music for 12-year-olds!" But I was upset with the direction it was going in and the whole thing fell apart in 2005.
During this time, I lived in Williamsburg and went out a lot but I didn't have any money. A friend of mine and I would always try to find places to go to that had open bars. It was an interesting time when the economy was really ratcheting up and companies would just throw marketing dollars into anything. Pretty soon, I started coming up with a list of these open bars each week and posting it to a blog I'd created. And suddenly the blog became a hit. It eventually morphed into a marketing company that worked with alcohol brands. We made a ton of money but then the recession hit and the marketing dollars dried up.
I decided at this point that I wanted to do my own independent, DIY parties with a friend. I would find really weird, off-the-grid places to host parties. I was familiar with a lot of venues from doing events with the marketing company or from booking gigs when I was still making music and so I threw all these parties at tiny bars in Bed-Stuy, basement galleries on the Lower East Side or Brooklyn warehouses. I remember throwing a party with this well-known electro-rock band and I saw one of the members getting a blowjob in the yard.
One of the best parties I did was at this place called Sugarhill in Bed-Stuy. It's this giant, unmissable soul food restaurant and club on the corner of DeKalb and Nostrand that was built in 1982. I'd walk by it for years and be like, "What is that?" Finally I went in there and it looked like it was frozen in time, the carpeted floors, mirrors on every surface and wood paneling was straight out of the late '70s/early '80s. I knew I had to throw a party in the space. But it took two years to get through to the owner. I'd go to the restaurant and try to sidle up to the owner but he was never having it. Finally one day I was like, "Fuck it" and walked in with a wad of cash and put it on the table and the owner was like, "Now we're talking! Get this guy a contract!" Then it was done.
It was also around this time that I started dating a well-known nightlife figure and eventually we started throwing our own big warehouse parties together. I remember once a world-famous, A-list designer tried to order bottle service with his credit card. The bartenders were really perplexed because this was just, like, a rager in a warehouse; I mean there was no bottle service or even credit card service. Finally my girlfriend got in there, grabbed him a bottle and threw some plastic cups over the lid, and said "Find a corner and make your own!" He loved it.
Another time, a young, New York A-list photographer snorted Sudafed instead of cocaine. One of the owners of the venue was sick and had broken up a capsule of Sudafed and crushed the tablet on a ledge in the video control room and went out and this guy was hanging out in there and just snorted it. He started screaming and I was like, "What's going on?" And he was like, "I sniffed this!" I started running around being like, "What is this? Whose is this?" The owner finally came back and was like, "That's Sudafed!" I started googling "Sudafed + is it okay to snort?"
Now I've recently started working for a creative agency and event firm but I'm still doing my thing. I'll probably do parties for Gay Pride or Fashion Week and Halloween. Right now my main job is crazy, though. I get to sit around and come up with cool shit for someone else to do. It's great.