B-Boy Limping

Paul Banks is… Julian Plenti
September 29, 2009, 8:15 am
Filed under: Comedy, Music, New York, Reading is fun | Tags: , , , ,

Guys, did you know that Paul Banks was dating 1990s supermodel Helena Christiensen? She was in the audience last Friday for the debut Julian Plenti performance at the Guggenheim’s second “It Came From Brooklyn” night. Also performing were Eugene Mirman, authors Rivka Galchen and Hampton Fancher, and musical acts I’m In You (dirty!) and also in the audience was Carlos D. and a guy I thought was Thurston Moore, but turned out to be one of the waiters.


In case you weren’t aware, Julian Plenti is the solo side-project/alter-ego of Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol. I’ve been describing his album Julian Plenti… is Skyscraper as Interpol-lite but really, it’s difficult for Banks to distance himself from the NYC band, distinguishing voice that he has. He hit all my favorites at the Guggenheim gig: “Fly As You Might,” “Unwind,” and “Girl on the Sporting News” and that made me so happy that at first I didn’t even notice the glaring omission of “Games For Days,” the song he released and made a sexy sexy video with Emily Haines for. Weird, ’cause his catalog is rather tiny…

Anyway, this is the vid:

See for yourself if he plays it next time because Julian Plenti is currently on tour.


Punch Up Your Life, 9/22

It’s been an amazing past few days for seeing indie comedy in NYC. Last Thursday through Sunday was the second go-around of Eugene Mirman’s eponymous comedy festival, where I caught the Tearing the Veil of Maya closing night show at The Bell House. Tight sets were delivered by Mirman, Leo Allen, Todd Barry, Michael Showalter, and surprise guests Jim Gaffigan and Reggie Watts. Also, Wyatt Cenac and John Oliver checked in from the Emmys, sending pics to Mirman’s email which was sweet because They R Friendz.

Two things I wish: 1) that I’d hopped a ride in the white Hummer limo rented by Mirman to shuttle audience members back to the Atlantic Avenue subway station, and 2) that I caught the “Ten Drink Minimum” event with Marc Maron and Michael Showalter, where comedians talked about their journey to sobriety. There’s a strong re-cap here. Worth the read.

Last night the funny continued for the fall season opener of Punch Up Your Life , a comedy show hosted by Jessi Klein and Pete Holmes at the independent bookstore Housing Works. I’d always meant to check it out, but last night it was Aziz Ansari on the bill that actually brought me to the venue (he was in town for the Emmys). For some reason, while I’m a fan of Ansari, I’ve never seen him do stand-up live. So to see him for free in a bookstore was a dream situation, kind of like what it must have been before he started hanging with Kanye and being famous and shit.


Klein and Holmes, our lovely hosts for the evening.

I gotta say, though, while Ansari was the main draw, every single one of the comedians last night killed. They included up-and-comer Joe Mande (check out his wonderfully funny blog here), the ubiquitous Kumail Nanjiani (who cracked a joke about getting auditions for all the roles Ansari turned down), surprise guest (again!) Jim Gaffigan, and, of course, Ansari, who seemed hyper-aware of his new celebrity. There was a barrage of camera flashes in the beginning of his set, so much so that he had to ask the audience to stop, but not after giving us a few good poses to blog about (I had already put my camera away by that point and was too lazy to get it out again. Eh.). Later in the set he also outed a girl that was filming him with her iPhone, supposedly for YouTube. We can’t believe he was too upset about that, though, since in the beginning his career was amply helped by the site. Remember this? And this? And the whole Human Giant thing? So good.

On the internet-promotion bent–which Ansari is a master of–last night he did a great bit about a recent Twitter war he had with a random follower. The bit was him basically reading the exchange, an argument about gmail and um, hippos, out loud. You can read the exchange here at Ansari’s twitter. See Sept. 16th.

Oh, and, Padma Lakshmi and James Murphy were there last night.

The comedians:


Aziz Ansari, Joe Mande, Jim Gaffigan, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Which one should I get?
September 18, 2009, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Weird Science | Tags: , , , , ,

Guys, I need some help. I wanna get a tattoo to pay homage to my favorite celebrity, but I can’t decide which one I should choose. I thought about this one:


‘Cause I’m a big fan of that movie Blast from the Past.

But then I thought, if I’m gonna get a massive tatt, it should be something more intimidating, no? So then I considered this one:


Because if you want a list of Chuck Norris’s enemies, just check the extinct species list.

(Etc., etc.)

But guys, my intent is not to frighten little children. Which is why this one is out:


And mos def this one:


So then I thought, why not get one associated with one of my favorite childhood television shows? You know, that one with the girls and the boys and the “i’m so excited, i’m so excited, i’m so…”


But I’m torn guys. Because while being popular in high school is the shit and all, I think most of us feel like Alien Life Forms navigating this crazy planet. That’s why this one might ultimately be the one I choose:


But if you have suggestions, I’m all ears.

Daniel and I went to a weird fashion party last night
September 18, 2009, 7:43 am
Filed under: New York | Tags: ,

He fell in love with a boy, I ate all the free food, and we were bored, so we did a photo shoot.

Bye bye, fashion week.





The ‘Stache went to L.A.
September 15, 2009, 8:19 am
Filed under: 'Stache, Uncategorized | Tags: ,


This is Erin W. This weekend she and I went to a beach in Malibu.


We brought the ‘Stache along. He’d never been to California before. At first he didn’t know how to behave, but then he figured it out.


But then he tried to run away with Erin (he jumped on her head).

Oh……….. ‘Stache.

(Don’t worry, though. He came back. He always does.)

I was told “pics or it didn’t happen”
September 10, 2009, 7:39 am
Filed under: Music, New York | Tags: , , ,

So here you go, doubters.  Some shitty, shitty pics.

Allow him to re-introduce himself, his name is HOV…





Jay-Z at the DJ Hero showcase, 9/9/09, Blender Theater.

74 minutes of greatest hits bliss, and stuff off the new album.

I’d say go see him Friday at his benefit show at MSG (also the original release date for The Blueprint 3), but that shit is soollld oouutt. If you are an intrepid soul, however, and figure out a way to get in, do it. But don’t try sitting off to a corner, bobbing your head like you’re someone’s grandma. Jay’ll (Z’ll?) call you out, as he did last night to a a tired fan:

“Homeboy sitting on the steps — this ain’t a poetry reading. You fucking my whole vibe up and shit…”

Last night it was just some light jabbing amongst friends. But tomorrow the embarrassment will get real when they flash your mug up on the MSG screens or for all 19,000 or so fans to roll with.

“These great people here came to party…”

[Ben Sisaro’s NYT review]
[NYmag’s Vulture]
[Caryn Ganz for Rolling Stone (for the play-by-play)]

it’s a miracle!
September 8, 2009, 10:09 am
Filed under: New York


It’s cool, I have them all on mp3
September 6, 2009, 7:08 am
Filed under: art, New York | Tags:


Christian Marclay, 2822 Records (PS1), 1987-2009.

Happy Ending at Joe’s Pub, 9/2/09

Guys, I think I need to be friends with more graphic novelists. Because, for reals, THEY R FUN. Wednesday’s graphic novel-themed Happy Ending Music and Reading series at Joe’s Pub was probably the best one I’ve been to so far, and that’s saying something because every one of them have been above par.

What made Wednesday’s so good? I’d say a few things: 1) the visual and narrative element, 2) the fact that host/curator Amanda Stern had a few friends in the lineup and 3) that these guys didn’t give a shit and just went for it.

First up, Laurie Sandell, Glamour mag contributing editor:


She read from her graphic memoir about her sociopath father, The Imposter’s Daughter. While at times it seemed tough enough to confront the personal subject matter in front of a crowd, Sandell exposed herself one step further when, for her public risk, she read from her “incredibly pretentious” early admissions college essay to Tufts. Let’s just say… she got rejected from the college. And rightly so.

You can catch Laurie on September 22nd at KGB Bar. (And here’s her recap of the night. More pics there.)

Next up was Chip Kidd.


Oh, Chip Kidd.

Chip Kidd, if you don’t know, is one of if not the most celebrated book cover designer in the industry. He designed this and this and this among countless others and constantly has to fight off the question “So, can you judge a book by it’s cover?” But for those who are so inclined to judge, Kidd’s covers are witty, visually arresting, and strive to reflect what’s between them, both in content and tone.

Also, Chip Kidd is also a huge fan of Batman. Last year he published Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan, a collection of manga adaptations of the American Batman comic which were produced for one year in Japan about 40 years ago.

Kidd read from Bat-Manga! complete with sound effects and voices for all the characters in all his enigmatic, nerdy, and Tarantino-esque glory.

This is a panel from the comic:


Kidd’s public risk was an a capella version of Radiohead’s “Let Down” from OK Computer. Here’s Thom Yorke singing it. And oh god, I wish I had audio of Chip Kidd doing the same. I do have a pic (just fill in the audio in your head):


Last up for the writers was Brian Selznick, the author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which won the Caldecott medal in 2008.


On the left is Brian reading from Hugo Cabret and on the right is Brian doing his public risk.

Okay, his public risk.

So, when Brian walked out on stage dressed to the nines, I was instructed by my date to look at his shoes. They were amazing: beacons of silver, shiny as the stars in the sky. This guy has some style, I thought. Then later I found out why his feet glowed. Brian’s public risk was to re-create a musical number from a play he did in his East Brunswick high school called “My Name is Alice.” Brian played the Mad Hatter. What you see in the picture of the right is Brian stripping down to a resemblance of the outfit he wore at that performance in 1984, which included pink tights, sequined-boxers and yes, the awesome silver shoes. This was right before he performed the most glorious musical number and right before he did the “walk of shame” off the stage and asked “So… should I take my pants with me?”

And there you have it, the graphic novelists of Wednesday’s Happy Ending Music and Reading series. They should all be my friends. Unfortunately my camera died before I could get pics of the musical guest, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Amy Correia as she led us all in a sing-along of “Rhinestone Cowboy.” But trust me: that won’t happen next time.

The next one of these takes place on 9/13 at the Brooklyn Book Festival, the theme comedy and the guests Rakesh Satyal, Jonathan Ames & David Cross. Musical guest: Jonathan Coulton.

Be there.

Anna Ternheim
September 3, 2009, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: ,


You’ve already won a couple of Grammys in Sweden for Leaving on a Mayday. Where do you keep them?

Well, I gave them to my parents. It’s strange, prizes. All of a sudden you get a prize and you don’t know why. It’s good because it has helped me in my career over here. It’s like, you do the same thing for many years and all of a sudden you do something that people find out about and you get a prize. It’s amazing.

Does it look like the Grammy in the United States?

No, it’s a statue. They had the same prize for several years—it was a designer that did it, and you can put it on a wall. And now the past few years a female artist did it in glass. It looks like a tower. Or a phallus.