By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
I tried to extract embarrassing stories about Shteyngart from our mutual friend, his high school pal Adrienne Day. She started to tell me a tale involving barter money, the Mafia, and Robert De Nirowhich confirmed my Guido theorybut was interrupted when his editor, Random House bigwig Daniel Menaker, read a letter from Gary proposing a book called A Million Little Da Vinci Codes of JT Leroy, adding that the new novel resembles something called Anna Karenina, in which life in Russia is Very Hard. "I stole some of that. I admit it. I stole it. I'm sorry." Busted.
The crowd was filled with serious- seeming literary types, and since I only read Gawker, Star, and my e-mail, I couldn't identify anyone who wasn't Carlos D., and had to be told. On hand: novelists Gabe Hudson and Chang-rae Lee, Slate peeps Jacob Weisberg and Megan O'Rourke, The Paris Review's Philip Gourevitch, and New York mag's David Amsden, who is on the exact opposite beat as me (he's Poor Little Rich Kids, I'm Fake-Poor Little Rich Kids). "I'm sorry I don't have anything snarky to say," apologized Amsden. (That's OK, I just took care of that.)
The next night, I went to a Tribeca Film Festival screening of Brothers of the Head, about conjoined twins fused at the lower chest who are sold into a punk band by their father. Co-directed by Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton (the duo behind the doc Lost in La Mancha), it's a pitch-perfect mockumentary of the rise and fall of a bandaudience members walk out thinking that the band, the Bang Bang, is actually real. No, no.
Yes, yes, said Pepe at the after-party thrown by Tokion at the Motor City Bar. "I hear people saying, 'I think I've got their CD at home.' " Like the makers of another recent musical mockumentary, It's All Gone Pete Tong, they've helped along the fake-real-band thing. In England, merch was for sale on eBay, white-label records were pressed up, and naturally, the band's got a MySpace page. Coupled with the sepia-toned images and the unvarnished songs written by Clive Langer, the film feels very Iggy Pop Raw Power.
Insert ill-gotten segue here: Speaking of bang bangs, Hot 97 is facing eviction by its landlords, the Carpenters Pension Fund, for a series of altercations and shootings inside or near the building. The court doc is unintentionally hilariousit explains how rappers arrive with "so-called posses or entourages," mocks 50 Cent and the Game as "two crack dealers turned 'artists' " (note the quote marks around the word artists), and actually has a section titled "Promoting 'Feuds' or 'Beefs' Between Rap Artists."
Among the "shocking allegations" (note the quotation marks, mine): Puff Daddy and his 15-strong entourage arrived at the station "noticeably smelling of marijuana" on one occasion and were "rude and disrespectful" to security on another. But any businesslet alone a radio station that's been the site of three shootings should probably move to a desert island. And to think they shut down clubs for having "illegal" dancing. (Quotes mine.) Lame, lame.