Chuck Klosterman on the ‘Difference Between Hipsters and Retards’We admit it: We harbor a secret crush on Chuck Klosterman. He has a nerdy hotness about him not unlike what Natalie Portman must have seen in Moby. We even almost joined the Facebook group “If Chuck Klosterman spit in my face, I’d stop taking showers,” but then we promised our career counselor we wouldn’t. Er, anyway, last night we went to the Highline Ballroom for a reading of his upcoming novel, Downtown Owl (even though we found it a little hard to follow). Over the course of the next half hour, we learned a few things about our little demigod:
• Chuck used to have a few nicknames back in the day: Curtains (after a pair of unfortunate sweatpants his mom made him), Facehead (also interchangeable with Headface), and Joaquin Andujar.
• Chuck does not think that rock and roll is dead. In fact, he thinks “it is pretty good right now.”
• No one ever has sex in Chuck’s books because he identifies more with people being rejected.
• Chuck is going to be teaching in Germany for fourteen weeks and what he will miss most is his girlfriend.
We raised our hand to ask a question. So, how do nerdy guys get chicks? “Well,” Chuck said, “it’s like this. You used to be able to tell the difference between hipsters and homeless people. Now, it’s between hipsters and retards. I mean, either that guy in the corner in orange safety pants holding a protest sign and wearing a top hat is mentally disabled or he is the coolest fucking guy you will ever know.” And in that moment, nerdy Chuck Klosterman got just a little bit hotter. —Lauren Salazar
‘Gossip Girl’ Will Return Before the Summer!If you’re wondering what’s going to happen now that the strike is over, head over to Vulture’s Poststrike Encyclopedia. They have a complete roster of what shows are coming back and when and how. And as far as we’re concerned, the best news is that Gossip Girl will be back to complete its season before the summer! They still have 9 of their 22 planned episodes to go. It will be back in April and might complete all the rest of the hour-long shows going into the summer. Guess what that means? Months more coverage of the Greatest Show of Our Time! And up to nine more exhaustive episode recaps! That’s okay, take a minute to revel in your own joy. We’d write more, but we think we just blacked out.
Vulture’s Poststrike Encyclopedia: When Will My Show Be Back? [Vulture]
Jay-Z: From Marcy to Madison AvenueJay-Z has been shilling brand names in songs and commercials for his entire life. But now that he’s retired from Def Jam, he’s decided he might as well make a career of it. The Times this morning reports that the rapper-mogul formerly known as Shawn Carter is partnering in a new ad agency, Translation Advertising. An offshoot of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, overseen by Interpublic, the agency will help mainstream advertisers like Hewlett-Packard and McDonald’s be cooler about dealing with the consumers the Times alternatingly calls “minority,” “multicultural,” and “urban.” “There are people who don’t understand the culture,” Hova told the Times, referring to a cell phone commercial “that shows guys break dancing in the phone store … not something we do.” The work, Hova told the Times, is “part of the natural growth” of his career. Now, if only Fergie and Gwen Stefani would transition already.
A New Venture for Jay-Z, on Madison Avenue [NYT]
RIP Hilly Kristal
Hilly Kristal, like his legendary East Village rock club, CBGB, is dead; he succumbed to lung cancer this morning at the age of 75. But, thanks to the magic of recordings and photos and video and especially YouTube, Kristal, like CBGB, will live on. Our colleagues at Vulture dug up a YouTube clip of the Ramones at CBGB in 1977, and they present it as a tribute to Kristal, his club, and the bands he nurtured in its heyday. Take a look.
CBGB Founder Hilly Kristal Dies at 75 [Vulture]
Hilly Kristal, Founder of CBGB, Is Dead [NYT]
R. Kelly Comes to Greenwich Village, Premieres Videos, Wows Vulture
R. Kelly! Live in New York! For the official premiere of Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 13–22! Omg omg omg! Okay, yeah, so he barely said anything. And wouldn’t talk to press. And didn’t have much of a boldface-name turnout. So what? Vulture was at the IFC Center for that momentous occasion, and its minions report back.
R. Kelly Even More Awesome in Person [Vulture]
‘The Simpsons Movie’ Is Here! Woo-Hoo!The Simp-sons. Yup, today’s the day, and The Simpsons Movie is out. Over at the Times, A.O. Scott rather liked it. Over at Vulture, Dan Kois didn’t. (And over at NPR, where David Edelstein is opining because there’s no new mag next week, he didn’t much either.) There’s plenty of Simpsons Movie coverage — text! Video! IM conversations! — waiting for you at Vulture.
‘The Simpsons Movie’ coverage [Vulture]
Sex and the Big Screen
You’re as surprised as we are, no doubt. A Sex and the City movie, which we’d long thought was dead — Kim Cattrall wouldn’t play nice with the other girls, we were told, and Sarah Jessica had moved on to bigger and better things, like TV commercials — is actually, really, finally happening. This news comes from today’s Variety, which also reports that series creator Michael Patrick King will write and direct the film and that New Line Cinema — like HBO, a Time Warner unit — will produce it. We’d like to say we’re happy about this development, but we live in the West Village and we’re not looking forward to the additional influx of fanny-pack-wearing Midwesterners this movie will deliver. They’re only cupcakes, people.
Dust Off Your Manolos: ‘Sex and the City’ Heading to the Big Screen [Vulture]
Beverly Sills Has SungBeverly Sills, the Brooklyn gal born Belle Silverman, died of cancer yesterday at 78. She was a quintessentially American diva — a quin- tessentially New York diva, even — who bridged the high and low worlds of grand opera and American pop culture as a charismatic broad who could get things done. New York’s Christopher Bonanos offers an appreciation at Vulture.
Beverly Sills Dies at 78 [Vulture]
We Cannot Believe We Continue to Watch ‘Entourage’So we were sitting there around 10:30 last night, more or less hating ourselves for just having spent a half-hour of our life watching Entourage. Had it always been this obnoxious? Did we just earlier not notice because we needed the comedown from The Sopranos, needed a half-hour of self-impressed vacuousness in which we could decompress? Or was it newly, differently bad lately, specifically last night? Good thing, then, we’ve got Vulture and its Entourage Guilt/Pleasure Index. Adam Sternbergh examines last night’s installment — including, as he points out, the most unpleasant mental image ever conjured by a television show — and declares the episode almost entirely guilty. Good to know it’s not just us.
The ‘Entourage’ Guilt/Pleasure Index: Turtle Gets a What? [Vulture]
‘Simpsons’ Discriminates Against the Bespectacled (and We’re Okay With That)Okay, yeah, this is cool. Our friends at Vulture notified us that on the promotional site for the coming-soon Simpsons movie, you can create your own Simpsons character. We share Vulture’s frustration that there’s no option for eyeglasses, rendering it impossible to create our own Simpsons likeness. But, still, we just managed to kill twenty minutes with thing. Go. Have fun. Just be sure to put in your contacts.
Build Your Own ‘Simpsons’ Character [Vulture]
Simpsons Movie [Official site]
Lily Allen, at Loose in New YorkNew York’s Jada Yuan profiled Lily Allen for the current issue, checking in on the British popster’s “working holiday” in New York. It only got 600 words in the magazine, but the two gals spent all day hanging out — riding the subway, visiting Heatherette, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, scarfing down pizza. Allen sounds off on bikini waxes, L.A.’s friendly paparazzi (really!), Bloomberg, the Hamptons, and her first carbohydrates in three weeks. It’s all at Vulture.
Bikini Waxing, Lesbian Dreams, and Mayor Mike: Lily Allen, Uncut [Vulture]
How Did David Hyde Pierce Win Best Actor, and Other Unanswered Questions
HBO wasn’t the only source of unanswered questions last night. There were plenty from CBS, too. A few: Did “Being Alive” make any sense to viewers who hadn’t seen the rest of Company? Why was “Revolutionary Costume for Today” so good onstage but so lousy onscreen? How did David Hyde Pierce (whom we love, but still) beat Raúl Esparza? (Also: Esparza was sitting next to a woman, so is he straight again now? And should we be impressed that Hyde Pierce thanked his partner “of twenty-four years” or a little disgusted that he did so only at the Tonys, never at the Emmys?) Doesn’t “Please welcome Chorus Line composer Marvin Hamlisch and CSI star Marg Helgenberger” sound like a Family Guy joke? And, perhaps of the gravest concern to us, what exploded on Marcia Gay Harden, and did that explosion also blind Judd Hirsch (or somehow turn him into Richard Belzer)? We expected at least some of these questions to be answered on Vulture today. No luck. Guess The Sopranos got in the way. Tomorrow? (We do, after all, love ya, tomorrow.)
This Week Is All About TonyNo, no, silly. Not Tony Soprano. (We’ll always have TiVo.) Antoinette Perry! In the sort of brilliant marketing move that could only come from the industry that thought a Bob Dylan dance play was a good idea, Broadway’s biggest honors will be presented Sunday night, opposite Tony Soprano’s final stroll through the tomato patch. While everyone else is desperately building excitement for the HBO juggernaut, the good folks are Vulture are looking ahead toward CBS’s annual ratings flop. They’ve got Tony-award news, Tony-award drawings, and, perhaps best of all, Tony-award picks from real-life Tony voters. It’s all at Vulture.
Tony-awards coverage [Vulture]
So. That was some Sopranos last night, eh? The critic-y kids over at Vulture count a full five hits in this penultimate episode: the rat garroted by Silvio, the Ukrainian father and daughter, Bobby, Sil, and Tony’s therapy. The worst damage of all, however, is undoubtedly yet to come: There’ll be some in next week’s finale, sure, but also lots to those poor Baccalieri kids, doomed to be raised by Janice. What else caught Emily Nussbaum’s eye? Find out at Vulture.
UPDATE: Plus an obituary for Bobby Bacala, “the biggest sad-sack, nice-guy murdering mobster we’ve ever met.”
‘The Sopranos’: Melfi Whacks Tony
Book Expo: Read All About It! (Ha!)
Book Expo America — the annual, enormous books-biz tradeshow that invaded the Javits Center last Thursday — reached its final chapter yesterday. Heartbroken you missed all the excitement? Buck up, little reader: Vulture’s correspondents were there, and they brought back all sorts of goodies for you (if by “goodies,” you mean “brief dispatches”). Julianne Moore! Tina Brown! An animatronic-ish Margaret Atwood! Foreskins! Everything you ever wanted to know about Book Expo awaits at Vulture.
Book Expo [Vulture]
We Once Were Lost, But Now We’re Found
Last night’s Idol finale may have been a snooze, but Lost’s season-ender was — how to put? — freakin’ amazing. Indeed, says Phoebe Reilly on Vulture, it may have been the series’ best episode ever. So many great plot points! So many great questions! What were they? Vulture breaks it down.
‘Lost’: So Who Was That Dead Man? [Vulture]
Worshipping Idols, BlandlyA new Idol has been crowned! Long live the Idol! Yes, folks, as we all know by now, Jordin Sparks won American Idol’s sixth season. Are you thrilled and excited? Yeah, us neither. As Caryn Ganz catalogues on Vulture, nearly everyone found last night’s finale a snooze. So what was there to talk about? Find out at Vulture.
‘American Idol’ Builds Up to a Rousing, Earth-Shattering Yawn! [Vulture]
Last night was the last performance show of the American Idol season, and naturally the country is on the edge of its collective seat to find out tonight whether Blake Lewis or Jordan Sparks is the winner. Last night’s theme, according the show’s producers, was the final countdown. But Vulture’s Caryn Ganz disagrees. She says the show was all about failure. How so? Find out at Vulture.
‘American Idol’ Celebrates the Losers [Vulture]
Oh, the Absurdity!
Last night’s double-length 24 meant twice the time to finally wind up this season’s plotlines — or twice the chance for ridiculousness. Would they take the responsible route and finally let us know whether Palmer is alive or dead? Whether Logan is alive or dead? Whether Audrey will ever say anything other than “Help me, Jack, please don’t let them do this to me”? How the Russian president turned in like three hours from best buds with crazy Mrs. Logan to the guy ready to start World War III? Alas, the answers there are nope, nope, nope, and nyet. Instead, dirty old Veep Daniels absurdly led the country further down his reckless path of destruction. Over at Vulture, Ben Wasserstein runs the finale through the Absurd-o-Meter.
The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: So Long, Jack Bauer. Until We Meet Again. [Vulture]
But North Caldwell Is Not Expanding!
So maybe you think that first-season Sopranos scene, when Tony garroted the witness-relocated turncoat while taking Meadow to visit colleges, was the show’s most disturbing scene. Or maybe you were as disturbed as we were by his quick, cold asphyxiation of Christopher last week. Whatever your preference, last night’s episode — How to Clean Practically Anything! The Little Italy beating! Bogdanovich and the water bottle! A.J.(poor A.J.)! — was one of the greats. And, argues New York critic Emily Nussbaum on Vulture, A.J.’s attempted suicide ranks as the show’s single most disturbing scene yet. With only two episodes left, we hope they don’t get much more disturbing.
The Most Disturbing ‘Sopranos’ Scene Yet [Vulture]
Back to You, UpfrontsNeed to know what’s coming to your TV screen next season but can’t scare up an invite to the networks’ upfronts? Look no further than Vulture, dear viewers, where Alexandra Peers has been providing inside looks at this week’s presentation. In the latest installment, she checks in on Fox’s dog-and-pony show, which offered the Kelsey Grammer vehicle Back to You, only one Sanjaya joke, and renewals of shows you didn’t even realize were still on the air. It’s all at Vulture.
TV Upfronts: What’s New on Fox? [Vulture]
Earlier: Vulture’s coverage of the upfronts.
So Who Really Bought the Rothko?Wait a sec turns out it wasn’t a bearded guy who bought the Rothko yesterday at Sotheby’s. Silly us for trusting the Times! Our compadre Vulture has the real deal: There were four bidders, and two of them were probably Russian. The winning bid came in over the phone. And the bearded guy? That was actually David Rockefeller Jr., who was watching the auction from a skybox.
Who Actually Bought the Rothko? (Hint: The ‘Times’ Was Wrong! [Vulture]
Sunday Night Rocks!
Missed a good show last night? Chances are it’s been written up on Vulture, our sister blog. We’re not proposing these posts as a remedy they’re far more likely to piss you off further about not having been there than to allay the pain but at least you’ll be able to fake your way around another band-themed conversation. Today in Last Night’s Gigs: Polyphonic Spree, who have traded choir robes for futuristic army uniforms, and LCD Soundsystem (above), whose mastermind James Murphy was spotted channeling Andrew W.K. in a most unsavory fashion.
Polyphonic Spree Summon David Bowie
LCD Soundsystem Fans Clap Their Hands, Say ‘Yeah’ [Vulture]
Vulture Goes Tony Vulture, our culturally inclined sister-blog, may be young, but it’s got strong opinions. Today, it enters the fraught field of award prognostication: the editors have made their inaugural Tony picks (in the musical categories) ahead of the actual nominations, which will be announced May 15. The editors’ spider-sense is dictating a Grey Gardens-Spring Awakening showdown for Best Musical, and a wholly surprise-free Best Revival category; click over to see who else, in their educated opinion, will make the cut.
Tony Predictions: Song-and-Dance Division [Vulture]
Take It EasyFor no particular reason — nope, no reason at all — the good people of Vulture have compiled a list of the 32 Reasons Why the Eagles Are the Best Band in the Universe. (We particularly like No. 1: “No band is more deeply misunderstood, particularly by people who believe art should be pious.”) Go take a look.
32 Reasons Why the Eagles Are the Best Band in the Universe [Vulture]
The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter Really Needs to Freshen UpOh, 24, how hard you make it to love thee. In this week’s installment of an increasingly horribly ridiculous season, we learn that vice-presidential aide and paramour Lisa Miller is entirely incapable of excusing herself to go to the bathroom, that CTU L.A. is shockingly easy to break into, and that Jack Bauer’s mishpocheh have spent hours hanging around easily invadable CTU for no discernible reason. (All the better to capture you from, my dears?) Come on, Absurd-o- Meter, spell it out for us.
The ‘24’ Absurd-o-Meter: Easier to Get Into Than Lisa Miller’s Pants [Vulture]
The Best Employees Get Hired, and Other Lessons From ‘Top Model’There were two great life lessons to be gleaned from last night’s installment of America’s Next Top Model. One is that the best employees are the ones who have job, and the other is, as contestant Natasha helpfully pointed out, that some people have war in their countries. What’s it all mean? Vulture explains — and recaps the whole episode — in this week’s installment of Tyrade!
Tyrade!: ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Gets Phototastic! [Vulture]
The Five Faces of Tori
If you’re not up on the latest Tori Amos developments, let us clue you in: She’s apparently undergone some sort of schizophrenic break, creating no fewer than four alter egos for her new album. (They’re named Santa, Pip, Isabel, and Clyde.) There was a release party for the album, American Girl Posse, at Times Square’s truly horrid Spotlight Live last night, and Rebecca Ruiz was there for Vulture. She spoke to Amos, discussing the album, MILFs, and the other gals, though, sadly, she didn’t get to talk to the others. It’s waiting for you at Vulture.
Tori Amos: Reclaiming the M-Word? [Vulture]
Making the BandThe long national nightmare is over: Menudo, Spanish-speaking eighties boy band, is coming back. That means the producers need to round up a troupe of singing and dancing Latino teenagers, and this weekend the talent search came to New York City. Nearly 100 hopeful performers tried out at the Queens Center Mall Saturday, and Tim Murphy was there for Vulture, New York’s new arts-and-culture blog, to learn what drives kids to be aspiring Ricky Martins. Find out at Vulture.
They Want to Live La Vida Menudo [Vulture]
Vulture Goes to TribecaVoraciously hungry for Tribeca Film Festival news and information? Get thee to Vulture, then, when the good people behind New York’s culture blog spend their days circling New York’s arts for all the entertaining nuggets, newsbreaks, and criticism you need. As the festival heated up yesterday, Vulture was all over it, discussing Tribeca entrant Planet B-Boy, a doc about break-dancers around the world; filing from the “star-speckled” screening of SOS, a series of environmental short films; and introducing you to Tribeca’s shorts. There’ll be lots more today, no doubt.
First They Came for the Hot-Dog Eaters, and We Did Not Speak Out Because We Are Not Gluttonous. Then They Came for the Break-dancers [Vulture]
Pay No Attention to the VIPs Behind the Curtain [Vulture]
Watch Tribeca’s Short Films. Laugh. Cry. Eat Milk Duds. [Vulture]
We Watch TV So You Don’t Have ToOut all night last night? DVR on the fritz? No need to fret. Even if you missed all of the evening TV shows, New York’s up-to-the-minute new culture blog, Vulture, has you covered. First, there’s a look back at last night’s very special American Idol, which was supposed to be tied to the Idol Gives Back charity campaign but Vulture’s Caryn Ganz argues was really about the power of positive thinking. Then, in the Vic Mackey Doomsday Clock, Adam Sternbergh watches last night’s installment of The Shield and considers how close Vic is to finally getting busted. And, last, in Differential Diagnosis, Jordana and Sean Williams examine House the way the doctor and his team would. You’ll never have to worry about missing your favorite show again, all thanks to Vulture.
A Very Special ‘American Idol’ [Vulture]
‘The Shield’: Our Vic Mackey Doomsday Clock [Vulture]
‘House’: The Differential Diagnosis [Vulture]
This Town Is Not Big Enough for Two Arts Festivals, SurprisinglyIs there trouble a-brewin’ among the city’s springtime arts festivals? Off-and-running Vulture has word today that Robert De Niro is miffed that the newfangled and aggressively edgy High Line Festival, which starts in two weeks, is stealing some thunder from his Tribeca Film Festival, the established (if not yet old enough to be called stalwart) downtown movie extravaganza that begins tomorrow. What are they fighting over? For starters, who gets the services of Stephen Rubenstein as their press rep. (Second prize? Two weeks with Rubenstein. Hey-oh!) The whole story awaits at Vulture.
De Niro vs. Bowie. Fight! [Vulture]
‘Entourage’: Guilt or Pleasure?
Here’s a question that’s no doubt been puzzling you as much as it’s been puzzling us: Why should only 24 get its foibles dissected with our beloved Absurd-o-Meter? Truth is, we had no good answer. And now that Vulture is up and running, our friends down the hall will be introducing a whole slew of regular, series-recapping features. Up first is today’s installment of the Entourage Guilt/Pleasure Index. Adam Sternbergh rates last night’s episode more pleasurable than guilt-inducing, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of guilt. Why? Find out at Vulture.
‘Entourage’: The Guilt/Pleasure Index [Vulture]
Earlier: Introducing Vulture