Hip-hop Trio Das Racist Take a Hazy Stroll Through Brooklyn

Does anyone have any volumizing product?” asks Himanshu Suri, a.k.a Heems (center), returning from a quick glance in his bedroom mirror and stepping out into the living room of the messy ground-floor apartment he rents in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. So I Married an Axe Murderer is playing on a flat screen. Clouds of smoke waft through the room. After running a dollop of mousse through his hair, the 25-year-old rapper decides on a gray snapback and lights a joint, offering it to his Das Racist bandmates Victor Vazquez (left) and Ashok Kondabolu.

Last month, Das Racist released their debut album, Relax, the official follow-up to their 2010 mixtapes Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man. “Calling it an album and not a mixtape and then selling it for money will probably make people think of it as something more ‘real,’” says Vazquez. “But it’s not all that different from the music we’ve made previously.” That music, which includes the 2008 viral hit “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” and more recent singles like “hahahaha jk?” are part of Das Racist’s catalog of seemingly puerile pothead raps, which, when actually given a serious listen, tell stories from the perspective of disaffected American minorities. (Suri and Kondabolu, who went to high school together, are both of Indian descent and were born in Queens; Vazquez, a San Francisco native, is of Afro-Cuban and Italian heritage.)
 
“There are a lot of inside jokes in the music, but I think people like that—they seem to like feeling a bit confused,” says Vazquez. The title of their new album is a perfect example: “Heems and Dapwell (Kondabolu’s stage name) used to sell T-shirts at Coney Island that showed a joint smoking a cigarette, with the word ‘relax’ on them,” he says. “There was another one with a hot dog eating a hamburger and it said ‘fresh.’” Says Kondabolu, “We made 60 of each shirt, but we only sold one to a high Mexican dude from a biker gang.” Still, the joke obviously stuck, and now the image features in their cover art. It’s also become a laid-back mantra of sorts—something Kondabolu, Suri, and Vazquez proved while languorously and happily stopping in at a few of their favorite Brooklyn hangouts.
 
Das Racist 2
 
Manhattan Inn, 632 Manhattan Avenue
Greenpoint, NYC – 718-383-0885
“Our friend Brooke Baxter co-owns Glasslands, where we used to play a lot of shows, but we’ve been coming here ever since she opened this venue. It’s basically the fancy version of Glasslands, plus a lot of our friends DJ here, and it’s in the neighborhood.” —HS
“We had mussels here with one of the dudes from the Lonely Island one time. The mezcal margaritas are very good here. I’ve been on acid in this place like four times.” —VV
 
Das Racist 3
 
Brooklyn Fire Proof, 119 Ingraham Street
Bushwick, NYC – 347-223-4211
“We filmed the video for our single ‘Michael Jackson’ across the street. We needed a warehouse area, and they had a big space, so we got a Michael Jackson impersonator and we reenacted the ‘Black or White’ video. We pretty much stole shamelessly from Jackson’s video, but anyway, we came here for lunch and had the lobster roll with bacon and avocado.” —VV
 
 
Das Racist 4
 
East River Ferry, Foot of India Street
Greenpoint, NYC
“You can come here at night and smoke, if that’s what you’re into, but I’m more of a get-in-trouble-for-open-containers kind of guy. I just come and sit here, and I’ve been meaning to bring my sketchbook. I once set a mouse free by the rocks, then I saw a cat a few seconds later. But when I got home there was a mouse in the apartment, so I think he followed us back.” —HS
 
Das Racist 5
 
New China Wok, 57 4th Avenue
Boerum Hill, NYC 718-638-1898
“North Brooklyn has terrible Chinese food, plus I don’t eat meat, so I can’t fuck with a lot of stuff people generally get at Chinese food places. I’m typically stuck eating eggplant or bean curd, but this family figured that they’re close enough to Park Slope that a lot of white people would be ordering non-meat food. They do tofu incredibly well—very crispy and not oily or fried, with lots of scallions and garlic sauce.” —AK
 
Das Racist 6
 
The Brooklyn Improvement Company, 360 Third Avenue
Gowanus, NYC 
“I like this building because it looks eerie. There was a dude named Edwin C. Litchfield who owned a lot of property in Brooklyn about 150 years ago, and the offices of his Brooklyn Improvement Company were in this building, surrounded by other very old, beautiful buildings that Whole Foods destroyed when they bought the lot next door. This is the only building left on the block. Across the street there’s half of the wall from a stadium that housed the Brooklyn Superbas baseball team. They’re called the Dodgers now.” —AK
 
Photography by Phil Knot

Ryan Trecartin Is a Man of Many Mediums

Since the work of artist Ryan Trecartin is set in a parallel reality, maybe our original plan for covering him exists there too. Maybe, in some hidden corner of the universe where Paths Not Taken go to live out their destinies, Tropical Storm Irene took a hard right somewhere around Philadelphia and petered out over the Atlantic. In that reality, Trecartin made the simple, two-hour drive from upstate New York, where he had attended a wedding, and met us at MoMA PS1 in Queens at 10:00 on a Monday morning. The photographer took some great shots of him posing with the works featured in his groundbreaking show, Any Ever, a collection of movies and installations he made with collaborator Lizzie Fitch, and I got to interview him while watching a movie like K-Corea INC. K, a bewildering, energetic journey through a political landscape where all nations are presided over by a hard-charging CEO named Global Korea.

In this frustrating world, however, along came the rain and washed our big plans out. Flooding throughout the upstate area changed that two-hour drive into a ten-hour drive, PS1 was closed, and we had to settle for photographing Trecartin in a musty stairwell and interviewing him in a conference room. Reality bites. Fortunately, Trecartin doesn’t. As is often the case with artists whose work is totally out there, he seems, well, normal. He’s a thin and handsome 30 year old with brown hair, a winning smile, and a calm demeanor. A native of Webster, Texas, he’s gregarious and surprisingly humble given that the New Yorker recently described him as “the most consequential artist to have emerged since the nineteen-eighties.”

Trecartin works in many mediums, but he’s primarily known for his movies (that’s what he calls them: movies, not films), which are featured—along with carefully constructed viewing areas filled with multicolored sofas and the assorted detritus of domestic life—in some of the world’s leading contemporary art museums. Any Ever has now moved on from PS1, in expanded form, to the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, where it will debut on October 18 as the largest show of his work to date. Also this month, he’ll release Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever (Skira Rizzoli/Elizabeth Dee), his first monograph, which includes an extended illustrated section of the Any Ever series, along with essays by a trio of curators and an interview with Trecartin by artist Cindy Sherman.

About those movies: They feature stories of American life in the digital age, with Trecartin and his cast of actors portraying chaotic scenes of desire and destruction. Using elaborately twisted makeup and quotidian sets (kitchens, home offices, and backyard swimming pools are popular), his characters express their dreams and desires in hyperkinetic, stream-of-consciousness bursts of language. They don’t talk to each other as much as they talk at each other, or to the viewer, delivering their lines with unshakeable conviction. They mean what they say, even when they say things like, “She didn’t even say I love you. I respect that,” or, “I love being in places that mean nothing to me,” or, “I’m going to make my own soul, because I’m not going to wait around to find out whether I have one or not.” Trecartin’s movies are filled with lines and scenes worth pausing and rewinding, yet they themselves never stop to reflect on their own cleverness. There is only one direction in his work: forward, and at a lightning pace. Sensory overload is the baseline. It only spirals upward from there.

There’s plenty of shock value in movies such as Sibling Topics (section a), the story of abandoned quadruplet sisters engaging in romantic and self-actualizing experiences sold to them by an identity-tourism agency while playing with knives and guzzling 5-Hour Energy, but viewers tempted to define it as a gratuitous attempt to offend will come up short. To be sure, cross-dressing, sexually ambiguous characters dance, smash, and chatter throughout. (“Being abandoned is like wearing a sexy necklace. You’re free to take it off,” says Trecartin’s Ceader, who proudly flaunts the scars of a recent breast reduction.) Giuliani and his ilk, however, would never find the smoking gun to charge Trecartin with crimes against morality. While the situations seem headed in that direction, there’s no explicit sex, violence, or elephant dung. The power is contained in Trecartin’s amazing ability to provide a trenchant critique of the priorities of contemporary society through the fantastically bizarre. We have met the id, and it is us.

This becomes clear in a movie like Roamie View: History Enhancement (Re’Search Wait’S), the story of JJ (Trecartin), who hires Roamie Hood (Alison Powell) to travel back in time in a bid to alter his “future-present.” While JJ and Roamie flit about in a rapid-fire series of unsettling jumps, cuts, and altered voices, viewers are reminded of what passes for normal today through interspersed stock footage of sexy dancing girls, women in shopping centers, and business-suited men strolling down office corridors. In Trecartin’s world, it’s the perfect hair, saccharine smiles, and glee at toting home shopping bags full of stuff that’s weird. The face-painted, time-traveling JJ, who says things like, “There once was a time when cute people had to do very real things to make their situation work out,” is the one rooted in reality. “I think stock footage represents a step aside,” Trecartin says. “You know it didn’t happen—it’s a façade.”

Trecartin’s vision is singular and specific, and it’s easy to get the impression that he’ll dumb down his art for no one, but he insists that there’s no wrong interpretation. His movies mean whatever viewers get out of them. “I feel like the purpose of art is just as meaningful and open-ended and creative and nuanced as the art itself,” he says. “With the art I’m making, it’s about engaging in ideas and contributing to dialogs in collaborative ways, but there’s no agenda as to how art is supposed to function in the world.” So it’s okay if viewers don’t immediately get what’s going on? “It’s not intentionally supposed to be over people’s heads, but it’s definitely dense, networked, and intensely layered,” he says. “I think that there is an orientation period, and once viewers adjust themselves past concentrating on the surface, they hopefully feel a sense of agency and control in mediating the supplies that accumulate into the whole.”

Once you become acquainted—comfortable, even—with Trecartin’s alternate reality, things fall into place rather quickly. “A lot of the conceptual gaps are scripted to be merged and synthesized in a process of remembering,” he says. “On a second view, people tend to navigate the details, choosing certain nuanced aspects of content over others, rather than surfing the ‘ride’ of it. Even when a movie is fixed, the editorial process of reading and watching it can become game-like.” As bizarre as they seem, Trecartin’s movies have a consistent thread of sincerity, with characters sharing their desires—both deep and superficial—in a far more straightforward way than anything you’ll see at the multiplex. If that’s a game, we’re more than happy to play along.

Ryan Trecartin

Since the work of artist Ryan Trecartin is set in a parallel reality, maybe our original plan for covering him in this magazine exists there too. Maybe, in some hidden corner of the universe where Paths Not Taken go to live out their destinies, Tropical Storm Irene took a hard right somewhere around Philadelphia and petered out over the Atlantic. In that reality, Trecartin made the simple, two-hour drive from upstate New York, where he had attended a wedding, and met us at MoMA PS1 in Queens at 10:00 on a Monday morning. The photographer took some great shots of him posing with the works featured in his groundbreaking show, Any Ever, a collection of movies and installations he made with collaborator Lizzie Fitch, and I got to interview him while watching a movie like K-Corea INC. K, a bewildering, energetic journey through a political landscape where all nations are presided over by a hard-charging CEO named Global Korea.

In this frustrating world, however, along came the rain and washed our big plans out. Flooding throughout the upstate area changed that two-hour drive into a ten-hour drive, PS1 was closed, and we had to settle for photographing Trecartin in a musty stairwell and interviewing him in a conference room. Reality bites. Fortunately, Trecartin doesn’t. As is often the case with artists whose work is totally out there, he seems, well, normal. He’s a thin and handsome 30 year old with brown hair, a winning smile, and a calm demeanor. A native of Webster, Texas, he’s gregarious and surprisingly humble given that the New Yorker recently described him as “the most consequential artist to have emerged since the nineteen-eighties.”

Trecartin works in many mediums, but he’s primarily known for his movies (that’s what he calls them: movies, not films), which are featured—along with carefully constructed viewing areas filled with multicolored sofas and the assorted detritus of domestic life—in some of the world’s leading contemporary art museums. Any Ever has now moved on from PS1, in expanded form, to the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, where it will debut on October 18 as the largest show of his work to date. Also this month, he’ll release Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever (Skira Rizzoli/Elizabeth Dee), his first monograph, which includes an extended illustrated section of the Any Ever series, along with essays by a trio of curators and an interview with Trecartin by artist Cindy Sherman.

About those movies: They feature stories of American life in the digital age, with Trecartin and his cast of actors portraying chaotic scenes of desire and destruction. Using elaborately twisted makeup and quotidian sets (kitchens, home offices, and backyard swimming pools are popular), his characters express their dreams and desires in hyperkinetic, stream-of-consciousness bursts of language. They don’t talk to each other as much as they talk at each other, or to the viewer, delivering their lines with unshakeable conviction. They mean what they say, even when they say things like, “She didn’t even say I love you. I respect that,” or, “I love being in places that mean nothing to me,” or, “I’m going to make my own soul, because I’m not going to wait around to find out whether I have one or not.” Trecartin’s movies are filled with lines and scenes worth pausing and rewinding, yet they themselves never stop to reflect on their own cleverness. There is only one direction in his work: forward, and at a lightning pace. Sensory overload is the baseline. It only spirals upward from there.

There’s plenty of shock value in movies such as Sibling Topics (section a), the story of abandoned quadruplet sisters engaging in romantic and self-actualizing experiences sold to them by an identity-tourism agency while playing with knives and guzzling 5-Hour Energy, but viewers tempted to define it as a gratuitous attempt to offend will come up short. To be sure, cross-dressing, sexually ambiguous characters dance, smash, and chatter throughout. (“Being abandoned is like wearing a sexy necklace. You’re free to take it off,” says Trecartin’s Ceader, who proudly flaunts the scars of a recent breast reduction.) Giuliani and his ilk, however, would never find the smoking gun to charge Trecartin with crimes against morality. While the situations seem headed in that direction, there’s no explicit sex, violence, or elephant dung. The power is contained in Trecartin’s amazing ability to provide a trenchant critique of the priorities of contemporary society through the fantastically bizarre. We have met the id, and it is us.

This becomes clear in a movie like Roamie View: History Enhancement (Re’Search Wait’S), the story of JJ (Trecartin), who hires Roamie Hood (Alison Powell) to travel back in time in a bid to alter his “future-present.” While JJ and Roamie flit about in a rapid-fire series of unsettling jumps, cuts, and altered voices, viewers are reminded of what passes for normal today through interspersed stock footage of sexy dancing girls, women in shopping centers, and business-suited men strolling down office corridors. In Trecartin’s world, it’s the perfect hair, saccharine smiles, and glee at toting home shopping bags full of stuff that’s weird. The face-painted, time-traveling JJ, who says things like, “There once was a time when cute people had to do very real things to make their situation work out,” is the one rooted in reality. “I think stock footage represents a step aside,” Trecartin says. “You know it didn’t happen—it’s a façade.”

Trecartin’s vision is singular and specific, and it’s easy to get the impression that he’ll dumb down his art for no one, but he insists that there’s no wrong interpretation. His movies mean whatever viewers get out of them. “I feel like the purpose of art is just as meaningful and open-ended and creative and nuanced as the art itself,” he says. “With the art I’m making, it’s about engaging in ideas and contributing to dialogs in collaborative ways, but there’s no agenda as to how art is supposed to function in the world.” So it’s okay if viewers don’t immediately get what’s going on? “It’s not intentionally supposed to be over people’s heads, but it’s definitely dense, networked, and intensely layered,” he says. “I think that there is an orientation period, and once viewers adjust themselves past concentrating on the surface, they hopefully feel a sense of agency and control in mediating the supplies that accumulate into the whole.”

Once you become acquainted—comfortable, even—with Trecartin’s alternate reality, things fall into place rather quickly. “A lot of the conceptual gaps are scripted to be merged and synthesized in a process of remembering,” he says. “On a second view, people tend to navigate the details, choosing certain nuanced aspects of content over others, rather than surfing the ‘ride’ of it. Even when a movie is fixed, the editorial process of reading and watching it can become game-like.” As bizarre as they seem, Trecartin’s movies have a consistent thread of sincerity, with characters sharing their desires—both deep and superficial—in a far more straightforward way than anything you’ll see at the multiplex. If that’s a game, we’re more than happy to play along.

Juniper-Hater Patton Oswalt Gets the Gin Treatment at Stone Rose

Though he mines his curmudgeonly side for comedy gold, when he’s not performing, Patton Oswalt goes out of his way to be a nice guy. It’s nearly 9:00 p.m. and he’s just finished an arduous day of shooting a dark bromance called Scoutmasters, but the “former wedding deejay from Northern Virginia,” according to his Twitter account, is all smiles and great-to-meet-yous as he enters the elegant and futuristic Stone Rose lounge in New York, the kind of bar Jane Jetson would have frequented before settling down in Orbit City.

He’s got a galaxy’s worth of projects in the works, from a new comedy album based on his recent Showtime special, Finest Hour, to the upcoming Young Adult (out December 9), in which Oswalt plays a former high school classmate of teen lit writer Mavis Gary (played by Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) in a Diablo Cody–scripted, Jason Reitman–directed story about whether it’s possible to go home again. Still, Oswalt seems sincerely happy to have this opportunity to taste gin-based cocktails, despite his admission that gin really isn’t his thing. Fortunately, his juniper-averse palate is in the capable hands of mixologist Oana Kovacs, a Romanian beauty whose deft touch behind the bar can dress up the embattled spirit for just about any taste. Over the course of the evening, Oswalt has us all laughing at his reactions, which veer from the literal to the literary to the downright weird. For one night, at least, Gin Lane had nothing on 10 Columbus Circle.

Cocktail #1: Gin Blossom Muddle 5 slices of cucumber, 1 oz. elder ower syrup, and 1 oz. cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s Gin. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top off with club soda and garnish with a cucumber slice. “I like how it smells like the water they give you in health spas, with cucumber and lemon. Fill a pitcher with this in a spa and people would get wasted. I’d definitely give this one the thumbs up, because I cannot taste the gin at all. This is probably the last mixed drink Truman Capote had before he stopped pretending to be genteel and started drinking gin right out of the bottle. That’s all I’m going to have of that one. I am being a responsible actor. I’d like that in the article, please. I can’t show up on set with my liver hanging out of my mouth.”

Cocktail #2: Grapefruit Basil Martini Combine in an ice-filled cocktail shaker: 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin, 1 oz. grapefruit juice, ½ oz. simple syrup, 3 large basil leaves (torn). Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a basil leaf. “This just tastes like grapefruit juice and basil. The fruity taste makes it kind of stingy, which is what hides the gin, but the basil makes it seem like you’re drinking a cold aperitif. It’s almost entering boozy gazpacho territory, which is a good thing. It’s a kiddie pool full of sunshine, but at the bottom there’s a fistfight waiting. So far, boom boom. Nicely done, Stone Rose.”

Cocktail #3: Eastsider Muddle 5 mint leaves, 3 wedges of lime, and ½ oz. simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1 ¾ oz. Plymouth Gin. Shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel. “Dammit, it’s a mojito with the guhhhh taken out. Me likey. My favorite so far. The Eastsider’s great because it comes with its own trust fund and ironic T-shirt.”

Cocktail #4: Grapefruit Tonic Combine in an ice- lled highball glass: 2 oz. Tanqueray Gin, splash of grapefruit juice. Fill with tonic and float with 3 shakes of grapefruit bitters. Garnish with a grapefruit slice. “This is like that bar scene at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only instead of doing shots, we’re drinking these amazingly constructed cocktails. We’re going to drink a giant Mongolian under the table. Okay, this is the one where I can taste the gin. The grapefruit bitters and the gin are fighting to make me put it down. They’re saying, ‘You don’t want this, kid. Go back to the Eastsider.’ This is what the husband instructs the bartender to make for his trophy wife to piss her off when they’re fighting at the yachting regatta.”

Cocktail #5: Classic Negroni Combine in an ice- lled cocktail shaker: 1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin, ¾oz. Aperol, ¼ oz. Lillet. Shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist. “Too much goddamn gin. The bitters just enhance the gin for me, man. It’s like I can taste the chemical process and it bums me out. It tastes like it’s pissed off that I’m drinking it. ‘Let someone cooler drink this, not you.’”

Cocktail #6: Blackberry Bomb Muddle 3-4 blackberries and ¾ oz. simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s Gin. Shake and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top off with a splash of club soda. “I feel like I’m drinking a Russian short story. It’s very moody. It’s like, ‘I’ll get you drunk or not, but we’ll all be dead soon, so who gives a shit.’ The protagonist in an H.P. Lovecraft story would drink this. Does that make sense? No, it doesn’t.”

Our Current Crop of Favorite Android Apps: Tumblr, Google Goggles, Goings On

Goings On: The New Yorker [Free] Traditionalists might sneer as their beloved, 85-year-old weekly traverses the great smartphone divide. “Blasphemy!” they’ll cry to no one in particular, because everyone else will be out on the town, in galleries and theaters, jazz clubs and dance-halls, soaking in the finest culture New York City has to offer. And it will all be thanks to The New Yorker’s new app, a tip-top distillation of the famed magazine’s beloved “Goings On About Town” section. As a bonus, a stable of the magazine’s artists and writers will contribute their favorite in-town happenings, plus it has some distinctly smartphone-esque advantages: in-house maps and GPS, critic-guided audio tours, and zero smudging.

Google Goggles [Free] Ladies and cyborgs, the future is upon us. The latest sign that the machines are rising comes from—who else—Google. The don’t-be-evil empire’s latest innovation is their Goggles platform, an image recognition application that fills in the increasingly scarce blanks. It’s the Information Age kicked up a notch. Can’t remember the name of that big lady holding the torch? Snap a photo of her, and let Google Goggles do the rest. Searching… searching… Voila! It’s Angelina Jolie dressed up as the Statue of Liberty! Or something.

Steak Time [Free] As any self-respecting carnivore knows, cooking the perfect steak is a veritable artisan craft. It can take years of preparation and studying to achieve that perfect pinkness. Well, guess what, meat-heads: the good people of Omaha Steaks want to make sure you never ruin another ribeye, with a beefy app that covers the ins-and-outs of grilling. On top of the 100-plus recipes you can browse through, there are how-to videos, a Steak 101 section, and that precious timer, ensuring a steer will never again die in vain.

Tap Resort Party [Free] Case of the Mondays got you down? Of course it does! Your job sucks. But have no fear, faceless office drone, because we have an app for you. Tap Resort Party is the ultimate tropical getaway, where you get to play head honcho of your own island paradise. In the same vein as the everlasting Sims franchise, TRP wants you to colonize your island with happy-time attractions. Just sit back and watch the tourists flock. The happier they are, the more money you make. The more money you make, the happier you are. As Johnny Depp once said, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness. But it buys you a big enough yacht to sail right up to it.” He was totally talking about this app.

Tumblr [Free] Tumblr is still trying to carve out its niche in a social media landscape dominated by hashtags and wall posts, but their revamped app is a step in the right direction. Featuring a snazzy new look, the ability to manage multiple Tumblr accounts at once, and a user-friendly interface, it should help attract those outliers weary of devoting themselves to yet another online identity. The internet’s creative types have already caught on—Tumblr is on the forefront of the blogosphere. What are you waiting for?

Pano [$1.99] No matter how sophisticated your smartphone may be, its camera can never quite capture the perfection of the human eye. Pano, however, brings it one step closer by giving you the capability to compose seamless panoramic photos. By stitching together up to 16 shots, Pano lets you create digital vistas that can stretch up to 360 degrees, and actually eclipse what human beings, in all their biological supremacy, can see. The iPhone’s version has won mantels of awards and made best-of lists, and now you Androiders can finally see what all the fuss is about.

SoberApp [Free] Putting your life and the lives of others, for that matter—at the mercy of an app might be risky business, but that’s exactly what the creators of SoberApp expect you to do. Essentially a device that lets you know when you’re too drunk to drive, or even trickier, sober enough to try it, SoberApp tracks your Blood Alcohol Content based on your age, weight, and how many PBRs you’ve shotgunned. In the event that you’ve had enough, the app will help you locate a cab. But if it’s a serious buzz you’re chasing, it will also help pin down nearby watering holes. Depending on your neck of the woods, SoberApp will adjust its findings based on local laws. The message here: drink responsibly, sort of.

Two for One: Logan Lerman & Ray Stevenson of ‘The Three Musketeers’

On a sun-beaten afternoon atop the gleaming pool deck of the Trump Soho hotel in lower Manhattan, actors Logan Lerman and Ray Stevenson are reuniting for the first time since last November, when they wrapped The Three Musketeers, the 3-D rebirth of Alexandre Dumas’ standard-setting swashbuckler. Stevenson, a hulking, 47-year-old Irishman, clenches Lerman in a bear hug so tight it looks likely to cut off the slender 19-year-old actor’s air supply. Were Lerman’s smile not so bright, we’d be worried.

Over iced teas and lychee-tinis, the costars enthusiastically endorse their version of the classic tale of derring-do, which was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson of Resident Evil franchise fame. While the balletic swordplay and acrobatic hijinks for which the book has become known still stand in the remake, it’s been updated for the video game set with elements of steampunk futurism. (Think sci-fi weaponry, battling Victorian airships, and lots of slow-motion action sequences.) Lerman (3:10 to Yuma, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) plays the young D’Artagnan, an adventure seeking peasant who arrives in Paris only to meet the titular trio (Luke Evans’ Aramis, Matthew Macfadyen’s Athos, and Stevenson’s brash and hedonistic Porthos). Together they set off on a quest to save the kingdom of France from Cardinal Richelieu, embodied deliciously by villain-for-hire Christoph Waltz.

Lerman, who aspires to be the head of a studio one day, swears that Musketeers—which also features Anderson’s wife, Milla Jovovich, and Orlando Bloom as villains—is a can’t-miss popcorn flick. “Bottom line: If you tell me you’re not entertained when you see this film, I’ll tell you you’re lying,” he says. Believe us when we say that no one wants to be caught by Stevenson (The Punisher: War Zone, Thor, TV’s Rome) in a lie.

Hollywood studios have been getting a lot of flack for remaking old stories instead of putting together original material. Is The Three Musketeers a story that deserves retelling? LOGAN LERMAN: I don’t think we’re rehashing the same thing. RAY STEVENSON: Plus, each generation needs its own musketeers. Nobody sets out to remake Dumas’ book word for word.

It’s a story about a boy leaving home for the first time. Ray, how old were you when you first left home? RS: I was 16 and studying in Newcastle. Then I went and did some traveling, came back, and moved to London, so I think about 19 or 20 was when I finally flew the coop. LL: I still live at home, but I spend a lot of time traveling.

Logan, doesn’t your family have a connection to Germany, where you shot this film? LL: My grandfather had to leave his home in Berlin as a child during World War II. He and his family traveled through India, and he grew up in China. He only took two books with him when he left, and one of them was The Three Musketeers. That was what made me decide to do this movie. Every week, I go to my grandfather’s house for breakfast, and he’s so excited about my being a musketeer.

Paul Anderson’s movies do well commercially, but critics seem to have fun tearing them up. Is that something you’re at all worried about? RS: Are critics our target demographic? No, they certainly aren’t. We make movies for the audience. It’s like Shakespeare said: “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.” The king, in this case, is 14 years old. The Three Musketeers is never going to be Chekhov. If critics can’t step outside of their boxes and judge the film for what it is, then that’s their problem. What can you really say against it, “the buttons on the tunic weren’t properly aligned.” Bollocks!

Logan, as an aspiring filmmaker, what did you learn from working with Anderson? LL: I was lucky enough to learn about these 3-D systems hands-on, and that was my main focus. Comprehending how it works wasn’t actually as complicated as I expected it to be. RS: Logan was like a shadow on set. I’d turn around, and he’d be there, even on his days off.

Tickets to 3-D films are more expensive than tickets to regular films. Do you think people are getting ripped off? RS: When LED watches first came out, didn’t you want one? How much were they? How much are they now? The more popular 3-D films become, the less expensive they’ll eventually be to watch. LL: I don’t have a problem with 3-D, but I do have a problem with the overuse of CGI. It just looks cheesy to me. The locations aren’t digitally recreated in our film. We actually shot at these locations. image

What was most difficult about playing d’Artagnan? LL: Well, I’m not the most physical person I know. RS: Oh, come on! You’re selling yourself short. He was flying and swinging around on wires and ropes. LL: I impressed myself, that’s for sure. I was blown away. RS: Literally, by huge explosions.

You wore hair extensions, too, so there were a lot of firsts. LL: That was definitely a bitch. I tried growing my hair long, but I get a big ’fro. It turned into a mushroom. RS: Like Art Garfunkel.

What was it like having Orlando Bloom, who typically plays a hero, as the villain this time around? RS: We only saw him for a few days. We didn’t have much to do with him. LL: I had, like, one scene with him, maybe. But, you know, nice guy.

What about Christoph Waltz? LL: We were around each other a lot, but I couldn’t talk to him. I don’t know if he’s a method actor, or if he’s just really quiet. Did you get to talk to him? RS: Yeah, of course. He’s an old theater hound. LL: I think he was trying to intimidate me.

Logan, did you enjoy playing the romantic lead? LL: Romance can be awkward, but I didn’t dislike it. RS: Look at the classic example, Gigli. It should have worked, all the elements and chemistry were supposed to be there, but no—the camera doesn’t lie, mate.

Is that what ruined Gigli, the lack of chemistry between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez? RS: It was just a bad film. LL: I didn’t like it, but I’ve seen worse. It’s a glorified flop. RS: It became a punchline.

Ray, you live in Ibiza. Why? RS: Because it’s like a gypsy Island. Ibiza is like a port where you sail in on your boat, scrape the barnacles off, and take off again.

Isn’t it also where Euro-trash crowds go to listen to bad music and get wasted? RS: Most people who share that view of the island have never been. It’s got the biggest clubs in the world, sure, but you don’t have to be a part of that scene. LL: It does? I’m visiting, and I’m staying at your place!

More likely, you’d check in at a five-star resort. LL: It’s funny that there’s such an image that goes along with publicity. I’m only 19—I still have chores to do at home—but then I get shipped off to do press, and I’m put up in a nice suite, in a beautiful hotel, and doing all this shit for that image of celebrity, to sell the film.

It must feel strange that so much money is being spent on you. RS: There’s no other business on the planet where you would put $120 million into something without a 10- or 20-year business plan. LL: You can easily get stressed out and question why you deserve it, or you can embrace it, and I’ve chosen the latter.

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Photography by Alexander Wagner. Styling by Christopher Campbell.

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‘Mad Men,’ Björk & Time Machines: This Month’s Best iPhone Apps

Björk’s: Biophilia [Free] Who else but Björk Guðmundsdóttir could mutate the tap-tap familiarity of mobile apps into something that’s literally out of this world. Her app promises to explore the relationship between “musical structures and natural phenomena” (oh, Björk), functioning as a hand-held portal into the universe of the Icelandic curiosity’s seventh studio album. With a three-dimensional galaxy as your map and 10 constellations as your compass, tap on stars to unlock different experiences, including interactive art, essays, and musical notations. Björk plans to release 10 of these—one for each song on Biophilia—but you’ll have to access them through the original app. Yes, we’re just as blissfully confused as you are.

iMuscle [$1.99] Personal trainers of the world, meet your master. With cutting-edge 3-D technology and over 450 high-definition animated exercises, iMuscle threatens to put professional gym rats out of work. Users can identify and target trouble muscles by zooming in, and then proceed to rip them to sexy shreds. When your pudgy pals demand to know the secret to your success, get them to download the app, so you can share your customized routine. This multi-user option—where friends can keep track of each other’s workouts—will finally answer those age-old questions: Who is the fairest—and ttest—of them all?

AMC Mobile [Free] When you’ve got an addiction, the best thing to do is to feed it, right? Introducing AMC Mobile, your new quick fix for Walter White withdrawal. This in-depth app takes you behind the scenes of the network’s four original and wildly popular dramas—Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and The Killing—with cast interviews, sneak peeks, and inside looks. AMC Mobile also does justice to the network’s roots: the silver screen. Theatrical and DVD reviews are there for the reading, as is news on festivals and new releases that might be coming soon to a theater near you. Now you can kiss the shakes goodbye during those dreaded between-seasons hiatuses.

Video Time Machine [Free] Because not everyone can afford a DeLorean, Video Time Machine lets you obliterate the space-time continuum through a collection of more than 10,000 hand-picked videos dating all the way back to the 19th century. Unlike the digital wasteland of sneezing cats and newsroom bloopers that is YouTube, VTM is curated and organized by categories and dates, so you can pinpoint your favorite monochrome cigarette commercial, or that championship-clinching buzzer-beater. Warning: You will get sucked into a deep, dark vortex of Bogart trailers, so if you have an assignment due or a wife in labor, proceed with caution.

Seafood Watch [Free] It was only a matter of time before the sustainable food craze infiltrated the world of seafood-related mobile applications. Seafood Watch is the place to discover the source of that juicy halibut fillet splayed across your finest china. Brought to you by the fin-tastic folks over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch recommends the best places in your ’hood for ocean-friendly seafood, and rates which fish to eat and which to avoid based on how they traveled from the water to your plate. For sushi savants, a specialized guide lists fish by their Japanese names and their market names, in case you’re into that sort of thing. A built-in GPS system comes in handy when looking for your next bite.

Mad Men Cocktail Culture [$.99] Mad Men has done for the martini what Sex and the City did for the cosmo, but this app merely takes the smash series’ trademark tipple as its starting point. From there, your spiritual knowledge is put to the test in a series of bartending-based challenges centered on drinks from the 1960s. What goes into a proper Tom Collins? Which glass should one use for a Whiskey Sour? It’s a drinking game without the drinking. Share your results on Facebook, and prove once and for all that when it comes to mixing and pouring make-believe cocktails on your iPhone, Don Draper’s got nothing on you.

Drake Picks His Ten Favorite Remixes

Drake knows a good remix when he hears one. Before the Toronto-born rapper reached stadium status, he made his name on the mixtape circuit, often flowing over other artists’ tracks, most notably “Little Bit,” Lykke Li’s minimalist love ballad. “I like when people change elements of a song,” he says of the art form. “I know that’s the definition of a remix, but a lot of the time, especially in this day and age, people don’t change too much when a remix comes out—same beat, same hook, new verses. I love when a remix is a complete revamp of the song.”

Although he still finds time to lay down a verse or belt out a hook on the occasional remix, the 24-year-old musician and actor has been focusing his energies on completing Take Care, the follow-up to his masterful debut, 2010’s Thank Me Later. Like most of his peers’ sophomore albums, Take Care finds Drake considering his ascent to superstardom, but, he insists, he’ll avoid the standard woe-is-me lamentations. “On my last album, there were these glimpses of me missing my old life and blah, blah, blah,” he says. “But on this one, it’s like, Nah, it’s not going to come back. I never thought I’d be able to penetrate the industry in this way, but all of a sudden I’m a king. At this point, there’s no turning back.”

Drake and The Weeknd’s “Trust Issues (OG Ron C Mashup) .” I’ve heard the Weeknd sing a lot, so I knew he had the voice—that was never in doubt. I just didn’t know how it was going to translate live. I’ll never forget watching from the balcony at his first show. My heart was beating faster than it had at any other show I’ve ever done, even when Jay-Z brought me out. It felt like everyone else in the crowd was just as eager as I was to see what was going to happen. I’ll never forget when those curtains opened. Right away, I knew this kid was the one.

Sade featuring Jay-Z’s “The Moon And The Sky (Noah ‘40’ Shebib Remix).” My producer, 40, took a shot at a song that had a lighter, happier vibe to it. He just took it and made it super-ominous—a real 40 production. It’s incredible that Sade reached out to him to do it. It was probably one of the most exciting moments of my career, even though it had nothing to do with me.

Aaliyah featuring Tank’s “Come Over (Og Ron C’s Chopped Not Slopped Remix).” The original version is one of my favorite songs, but OG Ron C took it and pumped it up. A lot of the time when people chop and screw songs, it can sound just like that, but not OG. I ride to this at least two to three times a week. It’s my nighttime song.

Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry on Their Own (Organized Noise X Dungeon Family Remix).” The Amy Winehouse thing is obviously very sad. But from a musical standpoint, I love the fact that the Dungeon Family brought this crazy, Outkast-like sound to her song. It became this dirty, nasty, raw song, and they made her vocals sit so perfectly in the pocket. A lot of the time, when you produce a beat around a voice, there are parts of the a capella that don’t necessarily match up, but here every part of her voice was made for this beat. I actually wish that someone from Dungeon Family would have sent me that remix so that I could have done a couple of verses and put it on my album. It’s a crazy joint.

One Chance’s “Look at Her (Remix featuring Trey Songz, Lloyd, and Bobby Valentino).” This reminds me of my early days in Atlanta, when I first met Trey Songz. We did a song together [“I Invented Sex”], and he was just poppin’—it was the era of the male R&B heartthrob. I love melodies—this song has one of the best—and it has three R&B artists going at a song the way rappers do. They all try to outdo each other, and I love hearing competition in a song.

SBTRKT featuring Yukimi Nagano’s “Wildfire (Drake Remix).” Sometimes, when I think about the things I get to do, it feels like a combination of getting hit by lightning and cashing in your winning lotto ticket. I’m a big Little Dragon fan [Nagano is the band’s lead singer], and just to be able to get on the track and do my thing was amazing. I didn’t know if they were going to fuck with my verse or not, but they were just like, “Nah, this is perfect, let’s go!” It was great.

Mario’s “Crying Out for Me (Remix featuring Lil Wayne).” Not that I’m the biggest fan of this song, but it’s probably one of my top-three Lil Wayne verses of all time, so that’s why I picked it. Hearing him rap a complete phone conversation between him and a girl, a straight call and answer—I can only imagine the joy he experienced after that verse was laid down. I would go home and have a glass of wine and sit by myself and be like, I really just did that shit. That verse to me is what I strive to do every day.

R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” and Nas’ “Street Dreams (R. Kelly Remix).” R. Kelly is one of the only people who can make remixes better than their originals. That “Ignition” remix was so bouncy, that shit was just so G. That actually goes for both of these songs, because R. Kelly is the king of the remix. That’s why I put both of these on here. What R. Kelly does is very similar to what the Weeknd is doing. He’ll take a song and add elements to it that make you fall in love with it all over again.

Notorious B.I.G.’s “One More Chance (Remix).” This is what I think about when I think about remixes. It was just an amazing time for hip-hop. Bad Boy Records was a pioneer in the remix game, and this one was something that I listened to heavily.

SWV’s “Anything” (Remix featuring Wu-Tang Clan).” SWV featuring Wu-Tang—this is 40’s. I was like, Pick any remix, and I’m going to tell the interviewer that it’s your favorite. So this is 40’s pick.