Friday night after my chores and my day job and my gym, I went to Printed Matter for the issue launch party for Gay Goth Scene #3. They haven't put out an issue in over ten years, but the zine's editors Raven and Bones (a.k.a. Joel Gibb and Paul P) are right on time, in terms of giving the children what we want. Perfect Little Daniel and I went, because B0DYH1GH is absolutely a gay goth band, and we weren't disappointed. The new zine is spooky and cute, and a positively diabolically delightful addition to anyone's archive.
After the zine party we went out to eat at Taim, then I went home to change clothes watch cartoons. I headed out to the new party "GIRLS" which was the inaugural party for the new Williamsburg gay bay LOVEGUN It was produced by the rightfully legendary Frankie Sharp, and featured the line-up of all your favorite Night Club Dolls as co-hosts, DJs, performers, personalities. BIG thanks to Sam B. and Bailey S. for getting me listed and Eli for the encouragement to go to the front of the line and admit that I was on a guest list.
The party was fun and cute and really really fucking crowded. I'm surprised I didn't know more people there. I probably did, in fact, but it was just so dang crowded. A really cool space, and I'm excited to see what comes of it. I always like a new gay spot withing hobbling distance of my lair. I went out for a cigarette and texted with miss Kayla, who was around the corner so I went to go hang out with her at Jawn and Peter's house nearby. We drank Jager and watched music videos and talked about New Orleans and gentrification and pop stars and gossip. They're journalists so they're really funny and know a lot of cool things. It's their job to know those things and to tell them, that's their job. We screwed up our courage and went back to Lovegun at 3am and it was cute, way less crowded, a fun time. Dancing in the upstairs lounge with all the kids, getting down to new records. It was a very auspicious feeling. A lovely new moment.
Saturday was hard, because I was hungover. I went grocery shopping, in the rain. I went out to lunch. I saw The Material Image at Marianne Boesky uptown. It's curated Debra Singer and includes Michele Abeles, Lucas Blalock, Sam Falls, Ryan Foerster, Amy Granat, Rachel Harrison, Leslie Hewitt, John Houck, Barbara Kasten, Jason Loebs, Nick Mauss, Ken Okiishi, Arthur Ou, Anthony Pearson, Marina Pinsky, Mariah Robertson, Matt Saunders, and Chris Wiley.
I liked the show. I like all art shows that happen in Upper East Side townhouses. Maybe that's not fair. My favorite piece, the creator of which I didn't actually ever nail down (sorry!) was a window shade that had the bars of the window-frame stenciled into it, as if by having been exposed to sunlight. Then it was flipped upside down for a nifty little "Hail Satan" trick. You can see it on the right hand side of the installation shot above. No but seriously the show is sober, smart, not too pretty and not too funny. A strong if unobtrusive play on physicality, history, space. I was thinking about the idea of the "living archive" and the mechanical production of art. I was thinking, at the show, about how everything came together, how the artists and the curator must have organized their thinking about the work, the flow through the house, the colors, etc. Certainly worth seeing and definitely worth the trip uptown. At the opening, I could not for the life of me score a glass of wine, but I did see some fancy art patron ladies rocking the same Eileen Fisher harem pants I wore to great acclaim this past week in Provincetown. When I shuffled to the beach-front hotel patio for morning coffee I was the envy of everyone there.
From there, I headed downtown to see the Voir Dire*, the first U.S. solo exhibition by Cyril Duval, at Johannes Vogt Gallery. I sure did like this show a lot. It made me think about how sometimes I'm so naive. I, and I think a lot of people like me (as well as people unlike me) have a tendency to sort of gloss over or willfully refuse to see a sinister aesthetic. To me, the show was light, playful, poppy fun. Of course, spending more than two seconds looking at anything Duval has ever done would start to disabuse a body of such optimism. I'm not saying it was mean; I'm saying it was toothsome. How can I describe the show? It was like gummy candy. It was chewy, its textures surprisingly tougher than it's putative flavors. I was really into the assemblages of debatably real retail detritus. The reappropriation of McDonalds' sweeteners, songs, imagery was nice, but I feel a little inured to the electric revelation of horror below the Golden Arches. Maybe it's because I grew up in America. Maybe it's because I obsessively ate fast-food for the first half of my life, maybe it's because I became a vegetarian and haven't touched it since. I'd almost rather have seen a fictional fast food company, something a little less loud. But I suppose that's the point. The show is super gorgeous, unsettling and kind of kinky. Like dating an Earth sign. HIGHly recommended.
item idem, Super Gospel Rap 2014
In contrast to the Boesky gallery girls, the Duval opening was packed with downtown kids rocking their clubwear-inspired Designer Duds. I saw more than a few boys rocking the boots, the coats, whatever, from the Raf Simons and Sterling Ruby collection. I love both Simons and Sterling but the new collection hasn't really stirred anything in me. Certainly, though, they're clothes you could wear from the art opening to the nightclub. For that familiar journey-- they have you covered.
Went back home to recuperate a minute, then back up to the city, to Midtown no less, to meet up with my buddy Steven (Another journalist, actually. Another reporter). We went to Ladyfag's new party Holy Mountain. The trick was that if you RSVPed, you could get in for free before 11:30pm. We did so but were met with a line like I haven't seen in a while. We barely made it inside by, like 12:30, at which point we all had to pay the cover, which kind of sucked, but I get it. The party itself, the space, was MASSIVE. Multiple rooms to bounce between, dark alleyways. It felt like I was always on the stairs, like some kind of M.C. Escher painting but with house music.
After much searching and many random versions of the same drink ordered at each of the four different bars, we found the Jade Room, where Juliana Huxtable and Rizzla were DJing. I got there right as Juliana was DJaneing a rad remix of No Doubt's "Don't Speak" which was frankly fantastic.
I made out with this cute boy, it was weird. Drunk people at nightclubs think we're being so romantic but I think it probably did not seem that way to anyone looking on. I wore this old old Marc by Marc t-shirt (I know) from like... Before the recession? OLD. It looked good in the ubiquitous black lights. I saw a few people who seed to be invisible black shapes, but when they turned around the white drop-stitches on the back of their shirts, the non-logo logo of Maison Martin Margiela, glowed in the blacklights.
On our way out of the club at 3am, we found a drink ticket on the sidewalk. I kind of thought this was a sign that I was meant to go back into the club and wait in another line for another drink I surely didn't need, but instead we offered the ticket to a group of improbably young partiers, decked out in their sportswear finest, who snatched it up with nary a thank you. Harrumph.
Sunday I woke up to a literally perfect blue wonderful day. I walked over the bridge and listened, finally, to the new Blonde Redhead album, Barragan. I've been obsessed with them lately, rediscovering Penny Sparkle and Misery Is A Butterfly and just remembering how much I loved them I high school, college, forever. The new record is a little funky, but not too funky. Like... a little bit 70s, Prog? I can't really describe it. It's like a more angular less fun Mazzy Star. It sounds sort of folksy, like Goldfrapp's new record? Like an electric version of that. It's not really familiar, easy, fair or useful to try to categorize. I can only compare things to things that I know.
I went uptown to go window shopping at Barney's. I'm planning a little change to my look, and I'm in the market for a red sweater. I saw a nice Margiela one, a cotton sweatshirt, but I can't justify the $500 price tag. Sure, they have it in a darker shade and a size too big for a third of the price on Yoox, but I can't even. I think instead, I might cop a nice FANMAIL sweatshirt from their Fall 14 collection, since their new collection features this really nice red:
From the FAMNAIL A/W 14 lookbook lensed, as usual, by boy genius Milan Zrnic.
Anyway, it was a gorgeous day, I took myself to lunch at Zabar's, having my favorite, their gazpacho for probably the last time this season, I guess. Then to Sadie Benning's new solo show Patterns at Callicoon Fine Arts. The show was smart and sweet, included a luxurious green carpet, falling somewhere between AstroTurf and suburban den. From the gallery's press release: "Each work proposes a way out of prescriptive orders even while they formally articulate those orders."
Indeed! I'm always into stripes, polka dots, patterns as a way of dressing, expressing and contextualizing myself. I was inspired by Benning's use of treacly, Fimo-like materials and anxiously outdated color palettes. Look: I'm obsessed with the 70s as anyone can be that didn't live through it, but when you show a pattern of mustard yellow next to black next to burnt sienna, you're saying something about colonialism and the cosmically planned obsolescence of the EuroZone and no one can tell me differently. The patterns are about how they fail, how they grow. The patterns are like the rings inside of a tree: a tool for measurement, but a living document, an organically disruptive "order". I saw so many friends at the opening too. I spent most of the night talking with people about those Kate Bush shows in London and who we would drop that amount of money to go see. Melissa said Roxy Music, if it included Brian Eno. I said Sade, maybe? I don't know. Living in New York I'm so spoiled with getting to see the best fucking performers. Like the Raincoats. I fucking saw the god damned Raincoats. There's nothing to top that, really.
After the opening I went up to the East Village for drinks, and I ran into Xenia, looking so fab. It was one of those days where I felt so happy and lucky to live in New York, where I get to see so much cool stuff, for free, and I kept running into fantastic friends I love.
Went to Boiler Room where the jukebox is always good because they let anyone play whatever. Someone put on The Misfits' "Where Eagles Dare"
Then they put on a lot of Eminem. (Menime? Menemy.)
Got home pretty late and had a rough time waking up this morning! I'm supposed to go to a thing tonight, a journalist's birthday party tonight. I'm so tired though. I might go anyway.
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