Tuesday, April 04, 2006

IT'S JUST A BLOG



Last night, I had the good fortune of attending one of the five historic Gorillaz shows happening at Harlem's Apollo Theater (for a short summary/review, see Jane). When I got to the venue, I went immediately to the press check-in and picked up my tickets from the publicist. Shana and I were then escorted (fancy!) to our seats, which, I assumed, was a section reserved for press.

Moments later, a brown-haired, bespectacled girl sat next to me and, assumingly, her boyfriend, bearded and stoic, sat next to her. Initially, they didn't speak much. He opened a bag of snacks that he had snuck into the theater (shame on you for not sharing!) and thereafter picked up his phone to have a conversation. Shana and I were sitting there since 8:00 PM (as instructed) and it was already 8:40 and I was getting antsy. And when I get antsy, I make conversation with random strangers.

"So, I'm assuming you guys are press too..." I said to Glasses on my right.

She smiled, shrugged and then pointed to Beard on her right.

"Oh, cool. What does he write for?" Which I too have been asked over and over again but never have I been given this response.

"You’ll have to ask him. He's pretty private about that stuff."

And then I replay the question in my head over-and-over again. Maybe she misheard my question. Or maybe Beard is really embarrassed about the publication he writes for? Maybe he writes for Quilt Magazine and feels revealing this information would make him small in my eyes. I would tell him it's okay. As long as it pays, it's all-good. And besides, I'm sure it has a high readership. People like quilts.

I'm persistent, so I persist. Beard is still on the phone, so I try Glasses again. At this point, I don't even care who he writes for. It's the principle. Withholding information is so fourth grade and my stubbornness is, umm, admittedly third grade.

"So, are you going to tell me yet? Or is it really a big secret?" I ask half-jokingly.

"I'll have to ask him," she says again with an apologizing look in her eyes. So I think, maybe she's just his arm candy and doesn't really know. Or maybe he beats her at night for talking too much in public. I want to say to her, it's okay to leave him. You are better than that. There are people who can help you. Just take that first step. Go now. Run when the lights do down!

Beard finally gets off the phone and she leans over and begins to talk while pointing to me. They exchange whispers to one another. Beard isn't looking amenable to the information leak. I feel like I should slide a suitcase of money his way to tempt him in exchange for what he knows. I can make you rich. I can make you very, very rich. I look around me to see if I was followed.

She sits back and says nothing. All of a sudden, I no longer exist. Glasses cuts off all communication like Iraq during peace talks. I start convincing myself that I don't care anymore but eventually, I accept the fact that I'm kinda annoyed. Unless this guy is the editor-in-chief of the New York Times, and I don't think he is, this is all pretty silly.

I tell Shana about our exchange. She laughs and says, "Maybe he doesn't like Jews." I consider that. I know some people that don't like Jews. Sometimes, I don't blame them. But I also consider that maybe he's a top-secret agent hiding out at a Gorillaz show. Maybe there is a team of trained government killers looking for him as we speak and the last place they would look for him was at the Apollo Theater. How sly of Beard...how cunning.

I get up to the bathroom and run into a friend of mine, and we're making small talk and he says ever so casually, "I see you're sitting next to the Brooklyn Vegan guy."

For those not familiar, Brooklyn Vegan is not a guide to vegetarian restaurants in Brooklyn. It is, essentially, a compilation of links featuring upcoming indie rock shows and streams of upcoming releases. It will not save lives. It is not a secret weapon. It is not the New York Times. Heck, it rarely has content.

I am bummed. That's the big secret? The dude sitting next to me is a blogger? How very anti-climactic. I feel let down like I was watching M. Night's The Village all over again. Had Glasses just told me, I would have said, "cool" and leaned back into my seat and thought, eh, I never check that website any way. But why would they not tell me? Was it because Beard knew I had meatballs for dinner and that truly offended his vegan sensibilities? Was it because of my secureness in realizing that I too was merely a blogger in this crazy mixed-up world but felt free about revealing it to those who asked? Was it because he was embarrassed about his chosen URL? We would have regaled in the hilarity of our unfortunate website names (I mean, "Bring Back Sincerity"? If anyone could understand...). Another round of drinks for the two bloggers with silly blog names, bartender!

At the end of the night, after the show, I leaned over to Glasses and said with great, childish satisfaction, "I'll be sure to check out that Vegan website of his tomorrow for a review." But what I really wanted to say was, it's just a blog, dude.

34 Comments:

Anonymous Naomi said...

This might be my favorite entry of yours ever. thanks.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BV revealed to be the pretentious uptight vart everyone always suspected? Now, that is what I call content.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic that you posted this on a blog.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Brooklyn Porkatarian said...

This Brooklyn Vegan you speak of. I must locate him. He must be vanquished!

6:01 PM  
Blogger Catonia said...

Great post Arye. The funny part is that I haven't seen a review of the show on his blog yet. Yeesh!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous OHNY said...

"when I get antsy, I make conversation with random strangers"

And random strangers of the city hope you find a cure for this quick.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

Thanks, Na and Cat.

Now, Porktarian, you can probably find this Vegan at every show in New York happening ever at all times. Always.

And Overheard: if I found a cure for this, then there would be one less profound conversation to overhear. Now wouldn't that be tragic?

12:35 AM  
Blogger lindsay said...

In his defense, maybe he was just embarrassed to be a blogger? I could see not wanting to tell random people that I'm in the press section of a show because I have a blog, and I guarantee you it wouldn't be because I thought I was famous or something. This could actually be the opposite of what you assumed. But it's a funny post, either way.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous jen carlson @ gothamist said...

he is very UNpretentious. i agree with lindsay, sometimes people just don't want to say they are a blogger, or as you pointed out - name their URL.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike Neuman said...

Just because a guy didn't want to reveal any information about his life to the annoying stranger to his left, doesn't make him pretentious. You were the one who painted him as someone who you must investigate for some reason. It's not like he said "Hey, guess who I am? No, really, guess! You'll never guess! Please continue bugging me for the rest of the night!" The guy was just sitting there minding his own business. Who cares if he doesn't want to reveal the face behind the site? And holy shit, god forbid the woman he is with actually respects his privacy. Just because you are incapable of doing that, doesn't mean the whole world is.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woah. calm down mike neuman. can't people find a bit of strange behavior funny without it being so serious?

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Anonymous,

You know, you're right. I guess when I think back about it, strange behavior...such as some random guy bugging two complete strangers about their identities is kinda funny!

2:52 PM  
Blogger lindsay said...

Hey, let's all be friends here! There are definitely a lot of people who need to be told "it's just a blog, man". BV might not be one of them but the sentiment is a good one. I think this post is lighthearted.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Nouveau and Bearded BV, sitting in a tree b-l-o-g-g-i-n-g.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous sara said...

Having spent a fair amount of time in press sections and at press events, i've found that the people there are generally amenable to mingling. If they aren't, that's fine- and of course people have the right to ignore any and all interaction with people they don't want to deal with, period.

But you have to admit that once the person you're with has told someone that you're with the press and then you won't give up your name or affiliation, you're inviting curiosity, at the very least. a reporter, by nature, has the bug to figure out what's going on when there's a secret afoot. It's one of the more annoying things about hanging out with journalists (myself included).

I mean, the girl could have just said "Nope" when asked if she was press. Or given arye the evil eye. Stupid girls! (myself included)

That said, BV never seemed pretentious to me. And his blog sure is kickass for music news.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's not pretentious in the least. the exact opposite, actually.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous judi said...

I can't believe that so many people would have so much to say about a vegan, other than "he doesn't eat eggs?"

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this but Vegan was at The Stills last night, he was not at Gorillaz.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

This happened Monday night, hence the entry date (Tuesday April 4th). I was supposed to see the Stills last night but passed. How was it?

3:59 PM  
Anonymous wes said...

i definitely concur with lindsay/jen/etc. bv is quite the opposite of pretentious. some people are more private about their personal/working life than others. and that is to be respected. i wouldn've been similarly curious probably too but if they indicated they didn't feel like sharing the first time I wouldn't have pushed for it repeatedly

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of the comments make me glad i live in the south, where talking up random strangers is normal and should be expected if you are next to them for more than 2 minutes.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

I don't know the guy at all, but I'm just about positive you've totally misread his reaction. If he was going to be pretentious about it, he would have happily volunteered the info, methinks. Because believe me, I know that type, and yes, they are insufferable.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Arye said...

Thanks for writing, Ryan.

And to all: Just for the record (like, twenty days later...) I never ever used the word "pretentious" anywhere in my posting. There. I said it. Let's all move on.

1:12 PM  
Blogger burningoak.com said...

Ha... I always thought that site was run by a girl. woops lol.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the comments about espionage. hilarious.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Regardless of what you think of Brooklyn Vegan (I like his site a lot), this was a damn funny post. I'd just like to commend you on a well written, laugh-out-loud funny post. We need more of this in the music blog world.

1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how utterly snarky and radically infantile this post of your is! disparaging brooklynvegan because he didn't want to talk to YOU?!? how criminal!

your 'blog' is an embarrasment of non-riches compared to the treasure trove of information and thought that can be found at brooklynvegan.

content? what do you call what fills your webspace? i call it NOTHING.

thank heaven i was born quite a bit before this age when anyone with opposable thumbs thinks they can write and have the misguided idea that ANYONE would want to read it.

yeeeeesh!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Brooklyn Porkatarian said...

Anonymous,
I'd hate to point this out to you, but your tirade only proves that you were here reading this nothing content. But nice use of 'quotes' around 'blog,' by the way. That really shut her up.
And if you're going to blogs for treasure troves of information and thought, you might want to consider therapy.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i only ended up HERE, brooklyn PORKatarian, due to the fact i had to investigate a LINK i saw on BROOKLYN VEGAN. and all i found HERE was snarky pretensiousness.

and, yes, a treasure trove of info HAS been found at BROOKLYN VEGAN. found out about gang of four at hiro ballroom from him, hell, got arctic monkeys because of BROOKLYN VEGAN.

there are 'blogs,' and then there are BLOGS!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous JD said...

Wow. Nice use of ALLCAPS there, chief. And you found out about Arctic Monkeys from a blog? Well, shit, that deserves an award, don't it?

True fact: There are no monkey species living wild in the arctic. Perhaps Brooklyn Vegan should check his facts.

Ah, shit. I better explain to you that the above was a JOKE and that I KNOW that the ARCtic MonKEYs is actually a band that PEople LIKE.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, JD (porkarian), that was supposed to say found out about arctic monkey TICKETS. thats TICKETS in ALL CAPS.

as such, since brooklyn vegan had the down low, i got tix when they went on sale 4 days early. get it, chief?

bloggers - yeeeesh!

2:35 PM  
Anonymous JD Porkatarian said...

anonymous,
i see your point. i stand corrected and i offer my apologies.

tickets is tickets.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very noble of you to offer that jd. cheers.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Jephrey said...

You are lame! Can you imagine someone not wanting to talk to you? Maybe you should try hanging out at the special olympics or other events where everyone thinks they are SO special.

3:39 PM  

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