More on Ryan Adams and Mary-Louise Parker Talk Poetry @ NYPL Live

To pick up where I left off, the Ryan Adams + Mary-Louise Parker talk at the NYPL on Friday was pretty great. Structured as a casual conversation between the two poetry lovers, NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber gave a very brief intro before handing the stage over to the old friends (for three years they were neighbors).


Much of the first half of the discussion was peppered with references to Mary-Louise’s friend, poet and Columbia University professor Mark Strand, who both credited with widening their horizons and understanding of poetry.

Ryan spoke at length about how he imagines a big gang of people with “unhappy face shirts on” just waiting to tear him down. On putting his work and himself out in the world for public consumption, Ryan commented that when something is seeing as being “too artistic” people tend to paint it as coming form a place of “self-entitlement,” for Ryan it’s more of an opportunity for pure expression, that in general he feels his work doesn’t always stimulate the intellect, but does stimulate emotion.

Mary-Louise elaborated on the discussion of the mob mentality of critics by saying that for people who are the the public eye, there is very real hurt that comes with hearing criticism. Talking about anonymous internet commentators, Mary-Louise commented that “the voice that’s going to be heard is the meanest voice in the room.”
Continue reading “More on Ryan Adams and Mary-Louise Parker Talk Poetry @ NYPL Live”

ANNOUNCED: Ryan Adams and Mary-Louise Parker @ NYPL Live

After reading that headline, did your mind explode? Well it should have, because it’s enough when musical genius Ryan Adams and actress extraordinaire Mary-Louise Parker (aka the insatiable Nancy Botwin from Weeds) are on their own — putting them together in the same room is nearly fatal to the hearts of cool hunters worldwide.


LIVE1smFor an hour and a half the two Carolina natives (Adams- North, Parker- South) will be discussing poetry and fiction, and Adams’s upcoming book HelloSunshine, at the Celeste Bartos Forum of The New York Public Library at 6PM on September 25th as part of the NYPL Live series. Tickets to this 500 person event will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Sept 9th.

I can already see myself sitting there, eyes darting back and forth, my chest beating fast, and the little neurons in my brain completely frizzling out because I’ll be unable to determine who I should be focusing on at any given moment.
Continue reading “ANNOUNCED: Ryan Adams and Mary-Louise Parker @ NYPL Live”

Are You Interested in Chicks with Sticks?

…and guitars, and basses, and microphones? Then you might find yourself clamoring for the new Nylon book called PLAY, which heavily focuses on some of the hottest, most stylish, and sometimes controversial, female figures to ever rock the music world. Interviews with people like Jenny Lewis and Peaches and homages to the style of Amy Winehouse and Beth Ditto.

Ok ok, it’s not just about chicks–dudes like Thurston Moore and Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips are in it too, throwing their two cents in about some of their favorite music and biggest influences.

Miss Meg White of the White Stripes is of course covered in the book as well. Check it out:

meg white nylon play

More photos from the book over at

Ultragrrrl’s Got a New Blog…and Book!

A little shout-out to my friend Sarah. You may know her as the top banana over at indie music label Stolen Transmission or as international arbiter of mirth and merriment, Ultragrrrl, but she’s got a new job as the blogger for a new blog called Almack’s Dance Hall (which is run by Universal records). She will be going out every night to a different show and reporting on it, which makes me simultaneously jealous and exhausted thinking about this ambitious feat.

Ah yes, there was once a time when I would go out every night, go see a band (or two… or three!), crash into my little extra long twin bed at my college dorm and then stumble in, bleary-eyed, into class only a few hours later.

Anyhoo, best of luck to Sarah in that new endeavor. Also of note, Ultra has a new book out, Pocket Karaoke, which was released last week.
Continue reading “Ultragrrrl’s Got a New Blog…and Book!”

Badly Drawn Boy and “Eat the Document” Author For Freez at B&N on March 7

In one of those perfect storm moments, Barnes & Nobel’s “Upstairs at the Square” series of free discussions with leading artists has totally hit the nail on the head with the pairing of British singer/songwriter/all around inspiring dude, Badly Drawn Boy with Dana Spiotta, the author of Eat the Document (the book, not the Bob Dylan documentary).

Another big win for this excellent event series.

Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The talkin’ starts at 7pm.

Rob Sheffield Reads from His Book, “Love Is a Mix Tape” at B&N Tonight

Check it out! One of my favorite music writers on the planet, Rob Sheffield, will be reading from his new book, Love Is a Mix Tape, tonight at 7pm at the B&N at Astor Place. If you have ever read Rob’s stuff in Rolling Stone, you know that he has a passion for music and has a unique and unfailingly truthful way of expressing his love for music and life in general.

From the Random House press release:

It was also when a shy music geek named Rob Sheffield met a hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl named Renée, who was way too cool for him but fell in love with him anyway. He was tall. She was short. He was shy. She was a social butterfly. She was the only one who laughed at his jokes when they were so bad, and they were always bad. They had nothing in common except that they both loved music. Music brought them together and kept them together. And it was music that would help Rob through a sudden, unfathomable loss.

In Love Is a Mix Tape, Rob, now a writer for Rolling Stone, uses the songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell the story of his brief time with Renée. From Elvis to Missy Elliott, the Rolling Stones to Yo La Tengo, the songs on these tapes make up the soundtrack to their lives.

Rob Sheffield isn’t a musician, he’s a writer, and Love Is a Mix Tape isn’t a love song- but it might as well be. This is Rob’s tribute to music, to the decade that shaped him, but most of all to one unforgettable woman.

Can’t make the reading? Buy the book.

Will Chase Commits Crime Against Indierockdom

As much as I love to support Broadway theater, and as much as I love the fact that Will Chase is a former cast member of RENT, I found his interview with New York magazine to be…well…upsetting. Will is going to be the lead role in the musical theater adaptation of Nick Hornby‘s uber-music geek book, High Fidelity.

Check out this embarrassing exchange between Will and writer Jada Yuan:

NY Mag: Have you studied the clerks at Other Music?

Chase: You mean, what other music do I like?

No, I meant Other Music, the store.

Oh, other music stores?

Never mind.

Will Chase is obviously not a method actor.

Live from NYC: The Reading Festival [Canceled]

Product Shop NYC presents: THE READING FESTIVAL

reading festival nyc

featuring Chuck Klosterman, Marc Spitz, Sarah “Ultragrrrl” Lewitinn”, Andy Greenwald, Caryn Ganz, and more special guests to be announced


116 Suffolk Street (corner of Rivington)

Thursday, April 27th

7PM-9PM Event, Begins Promptly at 7PM

$5 Cover

UPDATE: Rothko will not be open tonight due to “structural problems”…this event is currently looking for a new venue.

FINAL UPDATE (Email from Product Shop NYC):

Hello –

I am very sorry to announce that tonight’s THE READING FESTIVAL has been cancelled.

Unfortunately, Rothko was shut down due to structure violations and we could not secure an alternate venue in time.

Product Shop NYC would like to thank Marc Spitz, Chuck Klosterman, Caryn Ganz, Sarah Lewitinn, and Andy Greenwald. Go buy all their fabulous books! We also want to thank our surprise music guest (whom we still are not legally allowed to reveal) for offering to play an acoustic set.

We’d especially like to thank you, the nearly 200 people who rsvp’d for the event! Stay tuned to Product Shop NYC for future kicks ass events.

Hong Kong’s Next Top Author?

Elyse Sewell

Um, how psyched am I to learn that everyone’s favorite smart, yet slightly snotty, America’s Next Top Model alumn, Elyse Sewell, is releasing her very own book!?!? It comes out January 19, 2006 on SCMP Book Publishing and it’s going to be based on some of Elyse’s blog postings but also featuring some previously un-blogged material. Sadly the book will only be available in Hong Kong. My Asia-bound friends holla back!

In related news, check out this story about the making of The Shins video for “Saint Simon” (in case you weren’t aware, Elyse goes out with Marty from The Shins). The video features the guys walking through a privately-owned reserve in Mexico that serves as the winter migration home for millions of monarch butterflies. Pretty damn cool.

Who Wants to Work for Plum Sykes?

I didn’t get the memo. According to The New York Times Mondays are the new Thursdays. That’s it- next semester I’m making Wednesdays the new Mondays.

Today in French class, we had to make up an imaginary French holiday to write back to our American friend who wrote about Thanksgiving. I made up “Parisienuvus.” It’s a holiday that occurs on 1 December every year. The Parisiens dress all in black, smoke cigarrettes all day long at the cafe as they sip coffee. How is this different than any other day in Paris, you may ask? Well, on Parisienuvus they also hit Americans with baguettes. Repeatedly… and effectively. It’s kind of like when you have a pinata at your birthday party- same idea.

As sad as it might seem, Toby Young still amuses me.

My professor just e-mailed me with a forward for a job description to work for Plum Sykes. I’m laughing so hard I don’t know what to do. In the body of the text, there is an address, which I believe to be Plum’s actual HOME address… and then her e-mail address. I’m really tempted to apply. It would just be too hilarious.

But after working at several fashion-heavy publications and just hearing about Conde Nasty from other interns and in the gossips I’m leery to become a part of that whole fashion scene again. I’ve been there. Done that. And god, are those people shallow and vacuous! All about the parties and the free gifts and the yadda yadda yadda.

And Plum Sykes! Dear lord. Just the idea of having to work with one of the most well-known fashion socialites is enough to make me vomit. It’d be intense. I’ll sleep on it. Maybe I could be the next Toby Young!