Wedding Planning & Rastafarian Vampires
September 12 - September 19
Sorry for the delay with this one, team. I’ve been leaning too hard into the ‘lifestyle’ part of lifestyle blogging.
Fashion week sucks. The whole thing feels like getting rejected from a party you weren’t trying to go to. Brings me back to college. In terms of keeping your ego on an even keel, the vibes can be a lot to make sense of.
But I’m having a good time ofc. Hope you are too : )
9/12 ~ Old Navy x NYFW
Logan’s Big Day
On the 12th, Blaketheman1000 and The Dare played Old Navy’s fashion week event at Piano’s. I was intercepted on my way there. My walk to the JMZ takes me past Rebecca’s and I happened upon Logan’s birthday celebration. Once I was there, though, I had to make it seem like I went intentionally.
In August, Logan declared the Sadurn / Horse Jumper of Love / Babehoven show at Market Hotel “the premier singles mixer event in Bushwick.” For September, I am nominating Logan’s b-day hang for the title. I don’t know who is and isn’t single, but Logan is a beautiful man who surrounds himself with cute and kind people.
BTM1K x The Dare x Old Navy X NYFW x Kevin Carpet x Piano’s
Something significant would have to change for me to start liking Piano’s.
It’s an easy target, and I think they know it. They started leaving the venue name off flyers and just writing the address. 158 Ludlow does sound cooler. One of the blog’s unpaid interns observed, “They didn’t re-brand. They just un-branded.” It’s a clever move, though, and it worked on me. I told people I was going before I realized I’d have to show up at Piano’s.
The two skinny guys in line ahead of me got turned away at the door, which bummed me out. The man calling the shots looked like an aging GI Joe action figure who retired to LA and hasn’t touched a carb in seven years. I understand that some people like to wear sunglasses when it’s dark out—I know my readership and I’m not gonna fight you on that one. But please, no gradient tint aviators. We need some shared sense of truth if we’re going to get anywhere as a society.
That’s all just to say, I didn’t like the doorman. “Those two guys looked a little too scabby,” he told the security guards.
I got in easy—I’m friends with Harrison from The Dare.
Watching that interaction was a bit of a vibe killer, and the vibe of Piano’s was also a bit of a vibe killer. I said hello to a bunch of friends I was excited to see, and decided to head home fairly quickly. Got caught in the rain talking to Marcus, Avi, Joey, and Maraya, which was cool.
On the topic of Piano’s, I’d like to loop in another one of the blog’s correspondents—a man who knows these city streets and floors like no other. Kevin Carpet once showed me this scathing review he left on the Piano’s Yelp page:
How this place has stayed open for so long puts me in disbelief…I went here for a cool party and found out the manager is extremely rude and obnoxious…Security was good no qualms there. The hip bartender was totally rude and ignoring the crowd that wanted to get drinks. He must be related to the owner.
On top of Kevin’s extensive backlog of clubbing critiques, he leaves a glowing review for a specific Chase bank location at least once a year. He’s held the streak since 2019. Kevin’s whole Yelp page is a fascinating read. Certainly a singular perspective on partying in NYC.
Again, Kevin Carpet. This time, on Bella Ciao:
I was here for an Event last night and I've got to say…I seriously felt like I was welcomed in someone's house…Delicious my mouth watering chicken parmesan had me crying in delight.
9/13 ~ Bagels x Looming Adulthood
Got bagels at Milk & Pull w members of Grumpy, Precious Human, and Katy Kirby. We talked about how much success one would need to achieve as a musician in order to be a compelling grad school applicant.
9/14 ~ Leon Bridges x Baby’s x Wrangler x NYFW
I showed up five minutes early. That’s big for me. My job was passing out free empanadas, nachos, chicken sandwiches, and burgers. One of my favorite things I’ve ever called “work.” You want to pay me to go to Baby’s All Right and approach strangers with free food? Making me the bearer of just about the best news ever? Deal.
The sliders came out early, so we (the servers) took it upon ourselves to manage the surplus. Greg caught us eating downstairs in the kitchen, but he couldn’t discipline us because we all did it. Strength in numbers. So I think we’re good unless Brandon finds out.
Wrangler gave us free t-shirts to wear. Some said, “Mr. Wrangler.” Others said, “Lady Wrangler.” I didn’t think it would be good for me to wear either of those.
Even with Leon Bridges performing, it was hardcore work-event vibes. Baby’s was all dressed up like an upscale shopping center. They had mannequins in cowboy boots and iPads mounted on stands. Nobody wanted food.
Seemed like Wrangler was trying to sell an NFT Canadian tuxedo. Whenever I get my metaverse avatar I’m keeping that dude buck ass naked—not paying real human money for digital Leon Bridges denim.
Leon Bridges sounded amazing, but the most interesting part was watching the people who visibly didn’t care that he was playing.
There were a few quasi-sightings: Someone spotted Katie Holmes’s new boyfriend. For 15 seconds, I was sure Pete Wentz had grabbed a fistful of veggie empanadas from my tray. Getty Lee was there.
9/15 ~ Sex Magazine x The Magician x Skincare
Julia Cumming from Sunflower Bean continues to be both brilliant and articulate. Her boyfriend Steele continues to talk exclusively about his tooth pain. He looks fine but he still can’t fit a fork in his mouth.
We linked at the Sex Magazine party. Also with Sal from the Taxidermists. Jake went goblin mode. Sharleen was a rabbit. That’s my boney-ass hand lighting her cig. Costume prosthetics are disconcerting but that’s the point, and I love when friends integrate different mediums in their live shows. Costume design is an especially interesting crossover because I have so few reference points. Mostly just Gwar and Slipknot. Jake has a powerful personal voice in his Sitcom lyric writing—very connected to him as a dude imo—so it was fun to see the songs performed by a wiry raging hobgoblin.
I keep finding myself in situations where people offer me free weed in exchange for my personal information. Should I be alarmed?
I walked to The Magician with Julia, Steele, and Sal. Julia got chatting to a fashion week stranger about skin care. Steele told Sal and I about getting caught on floppyknockers.com as a kid. We all made plans to get botox together.
9/15 ~ Winnie’s
A big night, so I’m splitting it in two. We walked over to Winnie’s and I planned a wedding.
Almost as soon as Caroline broke the news of her and Adam’s engagement to me, I was hired as their official wedding planner. Such an honor. We spent the rest of the night brainstorming—an unhinged meeting of the minds.
The vision is to leverage every personal connection we’ve ever made to turn this wedding into the defining independent music festival of the 2020s. Three days of peace love and music, all leading up to the most important moment in the two lovebirds’ lives. Fireworks light up the sky. The Darkness rips into “I Believe in A Thing Called Love.” Adam and Caroline kiss center stage, then zip off in a “just married” convertible with cans dragging off the back.
But that’s really just the kick-off promotional event. From there, we jumpstart a wedding planning business catering to alternative millennials. The hypothesis is that indie kids will continue to avoid thinking about marriage. Two by two, though, they’ll drag their feet through those pearly gates of love and eternal commitment. There’s bound to be an onslaught of weddings in the coming years, and I think that indie couples will do what they can to distance themselves from the stuffy institution as we know it. Somebody’s gotta be there to make these weddings actually fun.
While we were still at Winnie’s, I booked the wedding band (me, Steele, and Julia) and hired a florist (Sabina). Caroline has already asked Michèle Lamy to be the ordained minister, so it’ll probably all be styled by Rick Owens.
If anyone steals this idea without giving me a cut, please know that I will call you out on my blog. But that’s really the only recourse I have.
Crazy nights all end the same way. You hit a point when the most rock & roll thing anybody can do is go to sleep. This time, three new friends from Philly slept in my bed.
9/16 ~ Ontario Bar x CC x Rastafarian Vampire Movie x The Broadway x Barcelona
Kicked things off with Beth, Ella, Sam, and many others at Ontario Bar. I like it there. The table was a tree stump.
Disappointed to say I got to Chaos Computer late. So I missed the steel drums. But I did see one guy absolutely let loose on a djembe.
The show was booked to celebrate a movie called Nosferasta. Here’s a blurb from the Creative Capital website: “Spanning 500 years of colonial destruction, Nosferasta tells the story of Oba, a Rastafarian vampire, and Christopher Columbus, Oba’s original biter, as they spread the colonial infection throughout the ‘new world’…Nosferasta asks, how can you decolonize what’s in your blood?”
Another site calls the film, “A tale as old as time, but filtered through a cloud of smoke.” LFG.
I biked from Chaos Computer to The Broadway in hopes of catching a punk band from Barcelona that Jack said was cool. They were scheduled for 1:30 AM, but I only saw half a minute of their last song. Apparently they started on time and played for just 15 minutes—legend energy for a band that had to fly to get here.
9/17 ~ Sipper x Lazylazy x Sam Kessler
Power lunch at Tina’s with Sipper and Lazylazy. We talked ideas. Taking on big tech. Profiling bands that failed when their platform got phased out. Booking a benefit show to buy a million fake streams.
From Tina’s, to Yia Yia’s Taverna with Sam Kessler. We took a walk through Maria Hernandez and saw a band you’d probably hate. Chilly Peppers-esque raprock instrumentals backing up a singer with immaculate vocal control in an America’s Got Talent contestant kind of way. The guitarist was unabashedly shreddy, and they finished with a Led Zeppelin cover.
But truthfully, these guys hit it hard. I don’t care for the same stylistic touch-points they’re working from, but I have a lot of respect for this level of rockstar energy. I’m starting to feel that if I can’t admire people with the initiative and dedication to put together something like this, I’m probably thinking about it wrong. Every time I looked away from the singer I missed something. Can’t imagine the practice it takes to sing so powerfully while dancing so dynamically. Fuckin loved the drummer’s energy. At one point the bassist was headbanging and he stuck his tongue out like Gene Simmons. Ok ….legend.
I’m not saying this band belongs on Fresh Finds or something like that—my point is just that whack bands can be lit too.
Also, the way someone plays to an empty room says a lot about the kind of band they are. This was worse than an empty room—it was an empty park pavilion in the middle of the day. That’s a huge part of the respect I have for Lucy, Frost Children, The Dare, Blake, Catcher, and so many others. I’ve seen them play empty shows, and they approach it the same way.
Sam ate a giant Nerd made with Kava and passed out with his head on my desk. I don’t always know how to end hangs, so I’m relieved when others tap out first.
9/18 ~ Customer x Yucky Duster x The Big Man Upstairs (Alex Gleeson)
Next time you see Alex Gleeson, have him tell you everything he can do with a tuna steak. The man knows things. The most legit food I’ve had in a long time.
From the Seigel Street rooftop to Baby’s All Right.
Does Customer count as a supergroup? I think of any band as a supergroup if they have Greg Rutkin on drums. Customer sounded so put-together. It was also a uniquely good sounding night at Baby’s. Not sure who was back in the booth but hats off.
In a way, Yucky Duster is one of my favorite bands ever. I only care about 5 songs, but those songs have had an outsized impact on the kind of music I want to write. I’m obsessed with the way the hard-panned guitars play off each other. The riffs are angular and often chromatic, but always singable and poppy at their core.
At the reunion show, it was hard to believe they ever stopped playing together. A much better live band than I expected. I don’t remember being super impressed by their live videos, so I was surprised they sounded so full & locked. Each individual player really held their own.
But it did feel like a band that was popular five years ago. It’s scary to me that a vibe could get dated so quickly. I realized how much my taste/mentality has changed when they started their encore with a fake-out cover of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
9/19 ~ BNO
Sal came over. I cracked a bottle of wine and we blasted the new Taxidermists record.
It’s pretty much everything you want from the Taxidermists. The massive blown-out fuzz tones on Honesty Box are scaled back, but the new guitar sounds are scrappy and frantic. There are these aggressively layered claps throughout that collapse the implied space of the album. The guitar/drums/vox sound about as live as a band could be, but the claps are very audibly superimposed. It’s a small choice, but it reshapes the way you visualize the performance, and I think it’s a meaningful departure for the Taxidermists.
Listening through this album helped me think through what I’m looking for from guitar-based rock at this point in life. Sad we’ll have to wait for it.
I realize that my use of the word “shred” could be confusing. Sometimes, I use it as a blanket term to say that someone played well.
“The Frost Children shredded.”
Other times, I’m describing a style of playing that prioritizes flashy virtuosity over tasteful restraint and deliberate melodies.
“The guitarist was unabashedly shreddy.”
Shreddy guitar playing has been out of style for as long as I’ve been going to shows. It has felt more like a display of athleticism than a tool for making a song emotive. But recently, I’m trying to rethink what I tend to dismiss as “cheap” ways of making music interesting. If a shreddy guitar solo hits hard, it hits hard, and maybe that’s ok.
On a different note, if we’re gonna be indie-sleaze referential, can we at least vary up the branding a bit? I like the word “dirtbag.” I’m intrigued by performers who are willing to play the villain—it’s an energy that certainly would not have worked in my circles a few years ago.
More soon <3