Thursday, February 2
Better Than: Reading about Bon Iver on the internet today.
After attending a party called Macaulay Culkin’s iPod two months ago, during which I watched the love of my kindergarten days supervise a six-hour playlist and the twenty-somethings that were confused by it, I joked that Elijah Wood, a fellow childhood love and Culkin’s on-screen rival in The Good Son, might have better taste in music. Apparently the Internet has ears: Last night we were invited to a Bon Iver hosted party featuring a live DJ set by none other than Frodo himself. And what sane person passes up free drinks and the opportunity to tell Elijah Wood that we loved his work in North? Not us.
If you haven’t been on Twitter/Facebook/tumblr/Google+ in the past week, you may not know that Bon Iver has recently added “New Face of Bushmills Whiskey” next to “Hater of Grammys” on the confused Indie Branding section of his résumé. (Yes, that is Justin Vernon on the whiskey ad you see plastered onto the side of the building on Williamsburg’s Grand St and Bedford Avenue. And yes, larger-than-life versions of A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs looked over the block previously.) Last night, Bushmills’ “Since Way Back” event at the Wooly, a bar on the ground floor of the Woolworth building, brought Vernon out to embrace his peddling duties and mingle with the plebs.
We’ll be honest and say that these things are both fun and completely bizarre. The invite list is comprised of industry types; we’re not sure we could accurately define that demographic for you even if we’re somehow a part of it. Imagine a room of freelancing photographers, writers, label reps, marketing slaves, and their plus ones drinking Bushmills-infused cocktails out of mason jars while posing for old-timey photos, complete with fake-mustache props and a black-and-white filter. Waiters walked around the three-room venue with pulled pork sliders and honey-drizzled cheese on something that looked cute and toasted. Woodsy imagery projected onto a stage next to the booth where Elijah Wood and his DJ partner Turquoise Wisdom dug through their crates of vinyl. Yes, vinyl. And then I touched Justin Vernon.
By “touched,” I mean that he pushed by our huddle of friends to get to a tucked-away table where he and his posse were mostly left alone for the course of the evening, if only because no one knew that he was there. Mr. Wood, however, understood his role in fulfilling the fantasy of the night’s couple hundred voyeurs. Between an awesome and sometimes peculiar set—he played Daphni’s “Ye Ye” (!!!), David Bowie, Kraftwek, and Paul McCartney—the actor-turned-DJ posed in pictures with fans and chatted with the girls who fawned over him. After a round of Dare or Double-Dare, I too shook Wood’s hand under the guise of commending him for playing some record that I can’t remember now. One thing to note is that we didn’t see Vernon and Wood interact at all. Can someone tell us if they’re friends? They should definitely be friends.
Critical Bias: WILBUR
Overheard: “I think you should try negging him. Tell him he’s much shorter than he looks on-screen.”
Random Notebook Dump: Bon Iver lives in the woods and Elijah’s last name is Wood, so there’s that.