Macaulay Culkin’s iPod
(le) poisson rouge
Thursday, December 8
Better than: I would say Elijah Wood’s iPod but I don’t think that’s true.
The giddiness set in about four hours before Macaulay Culkin’s party at (le) poisson rouge’s gallery bar last night—yes, that Macaulay Culkin. Upon first hearing that the Home Alone star (and former childhood obsession of this reporter) was playing music at a party called Macaulay Culkin’s iPod, I impulsively asked him for an interview. There were so many questions: Is he an aspiring DJ now? What kind of iPod are we talking about here? What really happened with Michael? Is there a Culkin family band in the works? Where do you buy your pants? You know, the important stuff. Unfortunately, it was a no-go, as his reply was simply: “I let my iPod do the talking.” Well, OK then.
Walking into a party named after the guest celeb is uncomfortable in that there’s no avoiding the obvious voyeuristic aspect. In a way, it was a means of establishing solidarity among the crowd of awkwardly milling twentysomethings: They could be excitedly nervous for a celeb-spotting en masse. For Mack—yeah, he goes by Mack—the night seemed to be more about nostalgia. The TV screens of the bar played vintage WrestleMania matches, while Mack serenely perched next to his iPod in a roped-off corner next to the bar. The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and Cake’s “The Distance” played to a comically choreographed throw-down between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. One of the celeb’s friends noted that Mack’s iPod was not on shuffle, but that he had in fact curated a six-hour long playlist for the night. At least he had put thought into this thing, whatever it was.
People-watching was the other goal of the evening. Much of the crowd were just too young, or maybe just too uninterested, to share Mack-era remembrances. One girl had never seen My Girl or Richie Rich but did love Rory’s work in Twelve. A pair of friends hadn’t heard of the Roots before Fallon. Just about every clump of dancers, used bored shoulder-shaking as their go-to move for the night. Those that were reveling in nostalgia did eventually find each other to huddle against the bar and engage in a massive sing-a-long. The night eventually unfolded into a dance party with appearances from Culture Club, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, the Cure, Blind Melon, and Kylie Minogue—again, our youth!—and, to be honest, we were eating it up.
Now that we had seen our childhood hero, done our share of dancing, and spotted Mack’s younger brother Rory, what was left? “I did not live all these years of my life to not meet Macaulay Culkin,” said a friend when I suggested leaving. After a self pep talk and a few pints of liquid courage, she did just that. (Apparently he’s a really nice guy.)
Critical bias: MY GIRL. HOME ALONE. THE GOOD SON. RICHIE RICH. PARTY MONSTER.
Overheard: “I saw two girls get rejected at the door for fake IDs.”
Random notebook dump: “If I could go back and tell my seven-year-old self, ‘It’s going to be okay. You’re going to meet Macaulay Culkin in nineteen years,’ my life would have been a lot different.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 9, 2011