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Akon Performs, Fans Survive!

At last night's show at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square, irascible rapper Akon (he of heckler-assaulting and fan-molesting fame) seemed inspired to do some good — still high off his “Live Earth” performance the day before, perhaps?

Kevin Smith Stars in ‘Die Lard’

Clerks director Kevin Smith isn't exactly a barbells-and-protein-shakes kind of guy, so he was a little surprised to be cast in the latest Die Hard movie. "They had to rename it Die Lard," he says.

A Scandalized Günter Grass Faces His Public

“Who is here?” a skinny, gum-snapping brunette demanded of the air, jostling her way through the serpentine line jamming the 92nd Street Y’s lobby last night. The answer, of course, was Nobel Prize–winning author Günter Grass, who was on hand to read from his new memoir, Peeling the Onion, in which he admits to serving in the Waffen-S.S. during the last year of World War II.

Overheard: ‘Sicko’ Lives Up to the Hype

Michael Moore's Sicko debuted today at Loew's Lincoln Square, and Vulture was on the scene. The crowd in attendance was diverse, as were the people who refused to answer our questions.

Take That, Splasher!

Back in town for his first local solo show in seven years, RISD-trained street-art wunderkind, and habitual “splasher” victim Shepard Fairey takes it inside for two concurrent shows, the first of which opens tonight at 81 Front Street.

‘Times’ Writes ‘JT LeRoy’’s Next Book Pitch

The Times seems to have gone into the book-proposal business today. In the Metro section, Alan Feuer — war reporter and a memoirist himself — practically pitched, wrote, and blurbed the case of JT LeRoy imposter Laura Albert, describing it as "a literary cautionary tale, the story of a writer who hid behind her own assumed identity and lost herself while reaching for the truth." Paging Nan Talese! Get Rudin on line two! Because Albert's got quite a story to tell: drugs, sexual abuse, truckers with a spanking fetish. Or does Feuer want to tell it for her? Check out some of the purplest prose we've seen since Rick Bragg left the Gray Lady: "Life at home, meanwhile, was bad enough," he writes. "Ms. Albert ran away. She landed in the punk scene, in the East Village, with the hustlers and the addicts … She was still in her early teens."

Rockers Indulge Their Malevolent Inner Critics

There's nothing like a good, mean-spirited, convention-bucking story to get you past the Thursday-morning doldrums. A riveting recent piece in the U.K.'s Guardian Unlimited asked popular musicians (New Order's Peter Hook, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, and others) to pan classically revered albums from the annals of rock, which they did with evil aplomb.