Sleep-Deprived & Heading To The Love Show’s Send-Off Gala Tonight

I’m sooo tired, my phone number should be 1-800-Mattress. I’m so tired, if I go to an airport they’ll make me check the bags under my eyes. I’ll try to tell you where I’m at but don’t expect too much of me today.

Last night I went to the celebration of Mark Kamins’ life at Santos Party House and saw people I haven’t seen in decades and might never see again. I had the honor to introduce Konk, a band of note that hadn’t performed since 1986. All around me were familiar faces from an era that I enjoyed so much. The late, great Mark Kamins would have been happy. It felt right. The music was wonderful and the love in the hearts of attendees was anchored by his memory.

While "working the room," I was continuously reminded of nights and people lost in time and space. Tall tales were told. Some stories that were horrible at the time were comical when told of again. It was 30 years ago when we all danced together, made love, and knew we were oh-so-cool. We all felt so immortal.

Mark’s passing has seemed to define our mortality as never before. The arc of our lives took us to an alternative universe where we could play with others who also felt the call to the corners. From these corners, world-renowned artists, musicians, and personalities arose and all moved on. The creatures of the night went their separate ways as misspent youths adapted to a world of adult responsibilities. It took Mark Kamins’ passing to bring us back together.

If I wasn’t so exhausted, I’d head off to see the legendary Robin Byrd, who is doing a Q&A thing tonight at 7pm at The Duplex, 61 Christopher St. I personally have a thousand questions I’d love to ask her although I suspect not all of them have answers. I must stumble over to The DL for George Wayne’s Downtown 100 List party.

If I could muster up the energy, I might check out Goldbar, where” Live Flamenco” night is happening for the early birds from 9pm to 11pm, after which DJs Jonny "The Lover" Lennon, Louie XIV, and Chino are entertaining. “Future-themed Thursdays” include doo-wop, jazz, and karaoke. As the evening progresses, rock and hip hop will prevail. They seem to be trying to have fun over at Goldbar. A concept lost on so many operators.

Although I am too burnt out to tell you all about it, I must mention that The Love Show is on its way to Tokyo to shock and awe. Tonight they will have a send-off gala at Triskelion Arts, 118 N. 11th St., 3rd floor, between Berry and Wythe in Williamsburg. Due to its proximity to my apartment, this I can attend and after sleepwalk my way to my nearby bed. Please everyone say: Goodnight Mr. Lewis.

Mark Kamins’ Greatest Legacy & My Spot On The ‘Vanity Fair’ Downtown 100 List

The celebration of Mark Kamins’ life and times culminates at Santos Party House tonight. Konk will perform for the first time since 1986. Lady Miss Kier of Dee-Lite fame, as well. Coati Mundi, Crystal Ark, and a ton of other performers will crowd both floors of the club that most resembles the old- school type clubs where most of these folks did their thing …in days of yore. A zillion DJs including Jellybean Benitez and Justin Strauss and Mike Pickering and Stretch Armstrong and Ivan Ivan and Jazzy Nice and and and…. will make musical statements about the man we and thousands of others loved. I will MC along with Jim Fouratt, Chi Chi Valenti, Michael Holman, and and and. Proceeds of the event will go to the Mark Kamins Scholarship Award in Electronic Music. Walter Durkacz is the puppeteer pulling all the strings that make this sort of thing happen. Not an easy gig.

This journey will end for all of us maybe tomorrow, maybe in 40 or 50 years. Many have preceded. Some people will say Mark’s legacy can be defined by a great record or his immense body of work. I think Mark Kamins’ legacy is the love that he instilled in the hearts of all the people who will gather tonight to remember and celebrate a life well-lived. 
For 20 years, Vanity Fair’s George Wayne has compiled his Downtown 100 List for his annual party of the Most Fabulous+Inspired+Relevant People Who Today Define Downtown. The list has often been controversial, as many who think of themselves in those terms have been snubbed, and many newbies added have gained instantaneous validation and recognition.

The order of the list seems to be irrelevant save for the first name who is always someone delicious. This year that name is Kate Upton. The list includes Solange Knowles and Vito Schnabel and Marc Jacobs and Dita Von Teese and Alan Cumming and Susanne Bartsch and, like, 94 more. I am honored to be listed as well. George is an old and extremely vibrant friend. I will join him on The DL Rooftop, 95 Delancey, tomorrow night at 10pm.

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Baz Luhrmann Gives Some Insight Into His Adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’

So far, we have been given numerous teasers, trailers, and stills from Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. We’ve always received a healthy serving of the eclectic soundtrack for the film, which is set to open the Cannes Film Festival next month. But what we haven’t get gotten a taste of is word from the man himself. With the premiere of Gatsby but a month away, whether you’re frothing at the mouth with excitement for the lavish feature or already disappointed that your favorite classic has been tarnished, there’s no denying interest in what Baz has to say on his cinematic reworking of the text.

So this past Tuesday, Vanity Fair held a party to kick off the Tribeca Film Festival, and who was their surprise guest of honor, but Baz, the man who knows how to throw one hell of an affair himself. And thanks to Vulture, we can now gain a little insight into his world and the decisions he made in bringing the film to life. Here are some highlights…

Speaking in regards to Jay-Zs scoring the film:

Actually, I made that decision because Fitzgerald puts African-American [jazz] music in his novels. It’s a fad, everyone says, but it lasted. Fitzgerald put popular culture in his books, and I wanted you to feel like you were reading the book in 1925. The idea was, jazz was African-American street music, and it suddenly informed the times. And hip-hop is the African-American street music now. If that was the jazz age, this is the hip-hop age. Bryan Ferry is also doing traditional jazz with an orchestra, and the music is very woven in. I like to think this is a coming together, a maturing of all those things.

On the wise words of Leo DiCaprio and his young cast:

Actually, Leonardo said something really beautiful, I believe. He said, "You know, Gatsby knew a certain kind of woman, but he would never know a Daisy, a hothouse flower like that." He understands Gatsby obssessing about her. But the biggest thing in the film, I think — the most visionary thing, the wildest thing, the newest thing — is the coming together of all these young actors in their prime, just standing in a room, acting a ten-page scene. Just acting. In 3-D.

You can read the rest HERE and check out the latest song released from the film, Florence and the Machine’s "Over the Love."

Jacob Bernstein to Direct HBO Documentary About His Late Mother, Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron, the brilliant journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and director, died last June after a battle with leukemia. She has been remembered fondly in recent months with a reprinting of her classic essay collections Scribble, Scribble and Crazy Salad as well as the current Broadway production of her final play, Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks. It seems appropriate that her son, Jacob Bernstein, take the reins of an HBO documentary about her life. Titled Everything is Copy, the documentary will be "an intimate portrait" of Bernstein’s mother, with Nick Hooker signed on as co-director and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter as executive producer. If you can’t wait for the finished product, check out Bernstein’s tribute to his mother in the New York Times from last month. 

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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Amy Poehler and Tina Fey Respond to Taylor Swift

I imagine that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey typically ignore the things that other people say about them, in print no less, but I suppose when a 23-year-old suggests that you’ll burn in hell, it’s time to make a statement. "Aw, I feel bad if she was upset," Poehler told The Hollywood Reporter. "I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl. That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff." Meanwhile, Fey spoke to Entertainment Tonight, and her response to Swift’s notion that she was a woman-hating monster from hell was as follows: "If anyone was going to get mad at us, I thought it would be James Cameron. I did not see that one coming. It was a joke. It was a lighthearted joke." Meanwhile, no one has bothered asking Michael J. Fox’s son how he feels.

[via THR / ET]

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Amy Poehler and Tina Fey Are Probably Laughing Into Their Copies of ‘Vanity Fair’

"There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women," Katie Couric apparently told Taylor Swift once, which Swift reveals in this month’s Vanity Fair cover story while giving a metaphoric side-eye to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. This is, of course, in response to Poehler and Fey joking about Swift’s love life at the Golden Globes back in January (when they told her to stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son). Can’t you just imagine those two fortysomething mean girls Tina and Amy calling each other this morning, giggling and scribbling over Taylor’s face in their burn books? I bet one of them will call to apologize, but the other one will be listening in on a sneaky three-way call. It’s kind of a shame, huh, that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler care so much about Taylor Swift. Ugh, they are probably JUST JEALOUS. 

[via Vanity Fair]

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Linkage: Jennifer Lawrence Thinks Acting Is Stupid, Brangelina Might Have Married

Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence is looking great on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair, and she’s taking a cue from her character’s outspokenness. "Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid… Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’” (Good luck on that second Oscar nomination, Jen!) [Vanity Fair]

Some guys care if ladies wear makeup. Some guys don’t. Here’s a tip: don’t listen to what dudes think. [The Frisky]

TV legend Jimmie Walker drops some truthbombs about the state of African-American-led films and television shows: "What has happened is that any minority character you see on a show now is always the police commissioner, the head of the hospital, the school superintendent. Those kinds of people don’t invoke followers. The people who are going to get attention are the wacky guys… who eventually become stars… You’ll never see a black Will Ferrell, You’ll never see a black Adam Sandler, because black people aren’t allowed to play those kind of roles." [Indiewire]

If you invite me to your sonogram party, friendship terminated. [Jezebel]

How many New Year’s resolutions did you make? Or should I ask, how many of your goals go unfulfilled this year? [Hypervocal]

It should come as no surprise that Hugh Hefner married a blonde woman named "Crystal." [EW]

…but did Brad Pitt and Angelina get married? Who knows! [Telegraph]

Braces are popular in Asia. BRB, going back in time to get my teenage self and then sending him to present-day Indonesia. [The Gloss]

Everyone annoyed with the rap music in the trailer for The Great Gatsby will probably just have to kill themselves now that Jay-Z will score the film. Natural progression of emotions, right? [AV Club]

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Personal Faves: Rocking the Fuck Out of 2012 With Dave Hill

Instead of ending the year with a slew of Best Of lists, BlackBook asked our contributors to share the most important moments in art, music, film, television, and fashion that took place in 2012. Here, James Ramsay writes of the big year for comedian, musician, and suit enthusiast, Dave Hill.

The writer and performer Dave Hill owns about twenty suits for myriad moods and occasions. “I mean, I have some suits for the Explosion, for when I’m flopping around on stage and stuff,” he told me last week at QP & Monty Men’s Haberdashery in the West Village. A couple months ago when I first saw The Dave Hill Explosion, his comedy and music variety hour at the UCB Theatre, he came out in a velvet blazer but wound up topless and covered in silly string ten minutes into the show. You don’t go that route with a Paul Smith three-piece.

But the other day, he was looking for something a little more flop appropriate. The proprietor Ignacio insisted that every man needs a one-piece in his wardrobe. Dave wound up going with a multi-colored, striped 1970s jumpsuit with an easy access zipper at the fly. The best part, I figured, would be the ability to wear a sport coat over top of it, so you could walk into a restaurant and it’d just look like you had on colorful pants. “But then you take of the jacket,” Dave said, “and it’s like, next level.”

This is a man who knows a thing or two about shedding clothes. His new essay collection, Tasteful Nudes, which was robbed of a 2012 Thurber Prize, begins with a story from aboard a nudist cruise off Sheepshead Bay, wherein a group of aging swingers suckered him into getting naked on the upper deck under the guise of innocent naturalism (“’I’m also a member of a polyamory group,’ the earth mother cooed at me. ‘I’m shocked,’ I deadpanned.”).

The idea for the book sort of began over ten years ago with a story in Salon about a similarly odd sexual subculture—plushophiles, and one particular guy in Erie, Pennsylvania, who had a fondness for Meeko, the raccoon in Pocahontas. “It was the first time anyone had really written about that stuff,” Dave told me. Shortly thereafter, “Pleasures of the Fur” came out in Vanity Fair, giving plushie/furry culture the profile it now holds. But Dave’s piece caught the attention of a literary agent years later, leading, eventually, to Tasteful Nudes (which doesn’t contain the story). I asked what he thought of the trend of journalists following around porn stars and sadomasochists. He grimaced.

“I just don’t get when porn stars are like, ‘I’m not a prostitute.’ I mean—I have nothing against porn stars, I have nothing against prostitutes. But it’s the same thing. It’s like, you have sex for money.”

Besides the reported piece on the nudist boat, the book is made up of personal essays in the vein of Davids Rakoff and Sedaris, but with Hill’s faux-cocky rockstar voice that makes peeing in a sink at the Chelsea Hotel seem equal parts a noble right of passage and depressing red flag. He actually holds up the cliché of “I’m pretty big in Japan” after his band Valley Lodge got approached by a Japanese record label (“’Fuck yeah, motherfucker, you can release the fuck out of that album!’ I wanted to respond before instead writing, ‘Thank you.’”). The book contains perhaps the best title of any young love story ever told: “Loving You Is Easy Because You Live Pretty Close to My Parents’ House.” And his three day stint as a Pedicab driver made for the funniest failure at street working since Ignatius J. Reilly tried running a hot dog cart.

But the thread of Dave’s work, not only in his writing but also his music and comedy, is an underlying sense of sincerity and modesty that butts up against the incessant need for an artist to self-promote (at a Valley Lodge show in July, Dave remarked on stage: “That last song was in a hot dog commercial, and now we’re millionaires.”). And while there’s no actual posturing, he also doesn’t go the route of self-deprecation, which often seems to get conflated with niceness. In one essay, he chronicles his bout with depression as a twenty something and ends it with a noble refrain: “What the person suffering from depression doesn’t deserve…is pity. Not now, not ever. Unless, of course, that pity ends up leading to sex, in which case I’m all for it.”            

After suit shopping, he insisted we stop in at Big Gay Ice Cream on Grove Street. They’re preparing to make ice cream cakes, and Dave was trying to convince the owner, Bryan Petroff, to make a cake mold of the head of Danish metal god King Diamond (I asked him later if he actually liked metal; he smirked and went, “oh yeah.”). Over a Salty Pimp, I told him about a friend of mine who’s looking to become an actor because “you can make a ton of money, dude.”

“Well, those are the people who actually do it,” Dave sighed. “The most important thing is confidence, far beyond talent or intelligence—two things you can’t control anyway. I’ve known some people who are, like, total idiots, but they’re so sure of themselves. And the whole idea of self-promotion is just…so fucking ridiculous. You can’t just say, ‘come to my show, it’s really funny.’ That doesn’t mean anything.”

When I think about the art and entertainment I’ve observed this past year, the concept of self-promotion is always the inevitable lackey. An old boss of mine at a literary agency bemoaned the fact that authors would sit back after their publication date and just expect the book to start selling. But Dave is right, you can’t just say, buy my book, come to my show, listen to my album. At this point, it’s going on everybody’s sister’s podcast and tweeting like a madman that’s part of the gig, and if you can make that part of your art, and actually have some wit about it, then it only helps the cause. So for my pick of the year, I’m saying read Dave’s book, so that for once he doesn’t have to tell you himself. And if you see that he’s performing somewhere, the least you could do is stop by. After all, the man didn’t buy a striped onesie so no one would see it.

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‘Vanity Fair’ Debuts Katie Holmes Cover With Scientology Wife-Auditioning Piece

New York magazine stabbed Katie Holmes right in the heart with its piece depicting her as a master manipulator who used Tom Cruise (and is now using Suri) to further her limp career. Vanity Fair‘s October 2012 cover takes a different tack, plastering Holmes’ gorgeous face on the cover with the sympathetic headline "What Katie Didn’t Know: Marriage, Scientology-Style."

VF‘s Maureen Orth delved into the 2004 search for a suitable wife for Cruise, which started with actresses who were already Scientologists. Women were brought in to audition for a "new training film" and asked, "What do you think of Tom Cruise?" An Iranian-British actress Nazanin Boniadi was supposedly selected and dated Cruise for three months from November 2004 until January 2005. She enjoyed a series of whirlwind dates — dinner at Nobu, renting out the skating rink at Rockefeller Center — but was repeatedly chastised for not behaving deferentially enough to Cruise and "disrespecting" Scientology chief David Miscaviage. Orth writes that Boniadi was finally dumped by a Scientology official — she was told Cruise was too busy to break up with her himself — and sent to a Scientology center in Florida for grunt work. Not surprisingly, Miscaviage and Cruise declined to participate in the article.

None of this is really new news for anyone who has been following Scientology rumors over the years or who has read Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion. What’s really most notable about the Vanity Fair piece is that its a finger right in the eye of Hollywood Scientologists. Good for newsstand sales, perhaps. But how will it affect VF‘s public relations in Tinsel Town? That annual Vanity Fair Oscars party is going to be awkward.

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