Thursday, September 13th, 2012

The First Video That Meant Something To Me: Phoenix's "Funky Squaredance, Pts. 1-3"

Part of a series for the new Awl Music app.

The summer I turned 17, I interned at a company that represented music video and commercial directors and my assignments involved watching music videos and commercials. I think I watched a lot of videos that looked beautiful, and even a few that told great stories, but I don't remember any of those now, I guess because there's an abundance of music videos that look beautiful or tell great stories.

"Funky Squaredance, Pts. 1-3," which Roman Coppola made in 2000, isn't beautiful, and it's not exactly a story. But it's the best. It's an elaborate joke about the music [...]


DJing a New Year's Party for One of the Richest Men in America

On the train up to the Lower East Side to DJ a New Year's Eve party thrown by one of the richest men in America, K and I talk about heliskiing and make up names for gourmet-sounding fast food dishes like a 12-Piece Value Oysters or a (Wendy's) Dave's Hot 'N Juicy 1/3rd lb. Diamond Encrusted Salmon. On the platform at Jay Street, I panic about my playlists because I'm not sure if I have enough New Year's Eve-type music for a crowd invited by one of the richest men in America, so I make a supplementary On-The-Go playlist on my iPod while K types an email draft on her [...]


Tavi Gevinson's Party at the Ace Hotel

Some of my friends were going to the Tavi Gevinson fashion party, so I took the 6 uptown after work and walked over to the Ace Hotel. I was expecting a crazy line because earlier today Joe texted his little sister and asked if she wanted to go to the Tavi Gevinson fashion party and she said, "I'm already going!!!" and if word of this party had already spread to the 18-year-old little sisters, it signaled that this was probably going to be one of those parties where you stand on line outside with a thousand people for a while and then never get in, like a Vice [...]


Ken Auletta Dominates Alec Baldwin in East Hampton

On Saturday morning, me and Angelica and a reporter drive my mom's car from Brooklyn out to East Hampton for the 63rd Annual Artists vs. Writers charity softball game, which takes place in a public park next to a really upscale Hamptons strip mall. My only pre-game exposure to the game was when I went to the game's official website, where I was greeted by an unexpected embedded auto-play video of Mike Lupica speaking really loudly about the game, with a resolution too big for the frame that the video is inside so a lot of the text is cut off. The video sounds like a commercial off [...]


Julian Schnabel's Painting Encapsulates the Entire History of Painting, and Some Other Stuff Julian Schnabel Told Me In His Ex-Wife's Living Room Last Night

right now, me and mike and nate are drinking white wines at a party in the living room of Julian Schnabel's ex-wife's townhouse on 11th street and mike's chewing on a leg of lamb that he says is the manliest hors d'oeuvre he's ever eaten. there are huge pieces of art lining the walls in here, like fifteen-foot-tall paintings and sculptures, and also a tribal headdress balanced on a stand in a corner. the room is uncomfortably crammed with really beautiful people who are ready to party, mostly like 28-year-old millionairesses in wispy gowns with French accents who can look down and see the top of my head

Naomi [...]


New York City Police Commissioner Told Me He Likes Enya

i am drinking a fruity cocktail inside Cipriani, a gala hall on 42nd Street that's about the size of a football field and decorated like a palace. mike is around here somewhere, interviewing the general manager of the New York Mets. tonight we are at an event that is hosted by the Police Athletic League to honor the organization of the New York Mets, who, as the security guard at work told me today, are one of the worst teams in professional baseball despite their enormous payroll. behind me, a heavyset man with a Queens accent and a haircut from Goodfellas walks through the entrance and admires the lavish [...]


Young Manhattanite is Beacon on New York Shabbos Scene

today i worked on my movie script for four hours after work in the cafeteria at the Whole Foods in Tribeca and then when i was done i bought some sushi and took the train home and watched The Simpsons by myself in my living room and ate my sushi. i know this already sounds sad but it wasn't sad, you know, like some days you just eat dinner by yourself and it's not necessarily a sad occasion. some days there just aren't other people around to eat dinner with

anyway so while i was at Whole Foods, working on my movie script, i asked my girlfriend if i [...]


Snuck Into National Book Awards

i am at the National Book Awards at the Cipriani on Wall Street and i am standing fifteen feet away from Tina Brown. Tina Brown is sitting at her table and she just finished her dinner and i am waiting with my friends Mike and Nate to interview her to ask her how many times she has presented Tom Wolfe with an award, but right now she looks like she's having a pretty intense conversation with some old dude and if i interrupted her conversation she probably wouldn't do my interview. a cater waiter just walked by carrying some plates with slices of pie on them and the pie [...]


DJing a Halloween Loft Party in Midtown

tonight i am DJing a loft party in midtown for halloween and on the subway ride here there was a zombie sitting next to me playing solitaire on her iPod nano, a samurai trying to secure his sword to his belt by tying it up with excess fabric, and two Nicki Minajes with pink wigs and pink eyelashes dancing on those poles on subway cars that you hold on to so you don't fall down when the train lurches. right now i am in the loft setting my computer up and one of the organizers is off somewhere getting me a cable to connect my hard drive to my [...]


Went to a Literary Gala, Interviewed Jann Wenner, Jann Wenner's Son and Tom Wolfe Sang to Me

right now i am inside the restaurant Cipriani on 42nd St. in Manhattan for a gala celebrating the Norman Mailer Writers Colony and honoring some literary figures and young writers and i am standing 20 feet away from Jann Wenner, the founder and publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine, and i want to ask him some questions about the music website Pitchfork but he is talking to some other people and i don't want to interrupt him. i am standing with my friend mike who is a reporter, who brought me to this gala and who is also keeping an eye on Jann Wenner to swoop in and ask him [...]


"My God Runs New York"

after work i walk to the whole foods in tribeca where you can just walk in and go upstairs to the seating area and use two hours of free wifi, even if you don't buy any food, and i post a blog entry and then mike meets me and we eat dinner and then he brings me to an art party in Nolita, on Prince St. and either Elizabeth St. or Mott St., and when we get there i see some fashion models smoking outside and i try to comb my hair with my hand but it won't stay in the position i move it into so i put [...]


Das Racist: "We're Not Racist, We Love White People: Ford Trucks, Apple Pies, Bald Eagles"

last week Das Racist's new mixtape got a glowing review and a score of 8.7 out of 10 on pitchfork, and a coveted Best New Music designation, and then the next day i was in central park seeing Pavement and when Pavement was finished playing, i texted Himanshu, one of the rappers in Das Racist, to see if i could ask him some questions. like a month ago i did this reading that Das Racist also did, and after the reading ended everyone went outside and i talked to Himanshu and i said i wanted to write something about Das Racist and asked him if i [...]


Yeah Yeah Yeahs Get the Last Laugh at Their 10th Anniversary Show

i walk from the Bedford L stop to the venue called Secret Project Robot in the rain to go see the 10 Year Anniversary Yeah Yeah Yeahs show and by the time i get to the venue i'm soaked and i meet my friend who works for Todd P, the promoter who is putting on the show, outside the venue and i say "hi" and wipe my glasses off with my shirt and my friend says "hey, okay, let me find Todd now and he'll get us in, we're a little late"

so right now Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on Interscope Records and play venues twelve times the size [...]