Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
pitchforkreviewsreviews:

I wrote a novel about three years ago and it took like two and a half years to edit. On July 22nd, it comes out in hardcover, Kindle eBook, and audiobook and you can preorder it here in any of those formats. You can also read more about it there. I don’t really know how to talk about the book, although I think I will probably be having productive conversations with a therapist about it in like 20 years. It’s my first and last book. 
When people ask what it’s about, I generally look at the floor and say, “It’s a novel,” and then if they press me, I say, “It’s a novel about being supported by your parents,” or, “It’s a novel about being supported by my parents,” or, “It’s a novel about a blog,” or, “It’s a novel about a Tumblr about a popular music reviews website.” I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but if you read the book and generate a concise and appealing description of it, email me and I’ll try to naturally work your description into situations where I have to talk about what my book is about, e.g., at my grandma’s birthday party in August, on dates, during interviews.
I suspect, if you liked this blog, you might really like the book. And if you hate-read/hate-followed this blog, I guarantee you will love the book and you should pre-order it now. The cover is above and I am the one in the black shirt. The model for the cover was this Minor Threat press photo but the cover didn’t turn out badass like the press photo.
Anyway, this has been the book’s official announcement. I hope you like the book.

Ah, god, this book comes out tomorrow! Specifically, that means you can read/download it starting at midnight tonight from here, and you can read it for free if you sign up for a 30-day free trial of Kindle Unlimited. Cheap at twice the price! I recommend getting the hardcover because it’s nice to have physical objects and because of the John Waters quote, “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
Anyway, my publisher has given me permission to publish on Tumblr three chapters from the book (it has like 74 chapters), and I thought that the following three chapters would be best. I hope you like them.
19
On an afternoon in the middle of May, Emma sounds weird on the phone and I ask her if everything is okay and she says,“Yeah, everything is fine,” in the tone where you know everything is not fine but there’s no reason to press it because the person who’s not fine isn’t going to reveal why in this conversation.
I take the Chinatown bus and then the commuter rail out to her school, and she picks me up at the train station but waits in the car instead of coming out to the platform to get me. I get into the car and NPR is playing softly, and Emma kisses me but doesn’t look me in the eye. She starts the car and we drive away from the train station and down the main road in the college’s town, and we talk about how her brassicas are growing.
We pull into the parking lot of the convenience store near her college. We get out of the car and go into the store, and she picks up a bag of honey-wheat pretzel rods and I grab some Coors Lights out of the fridge, and then we get up to the counter and she asks for a pack of Camel Lights and pays, and then I sheepishly ask for condoms and then pay for the beer and the condoms. When we step outside, I say,“I can tell that something is wrong, Emma — what’s wrong?”
She says, “Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it now. Let’s get back in the car. It’s freezing, honey.” She shivers a little and breathes and looks at her breath in the air to prove how cold it is.
We get into the car, and she starts the car and breathes hot air into her hands and rubs them together and looks upset, and I say, “Okay, something is clearly wrong. What is it?”
We drive for about thirty seconds in silence before she says anything. Then she looks at me and says, sullenly, “I got a temporary job for after graduation,” and then she looks back at the road.
I look excitedly at her and go, “Ah, that’s great. That’s amazing. What kind of job?”
She says,“Working and coordinating work on a farm.”
I think for a second and say, “So then what’s the problem? Why are you upset?”
We drive for another ten seconds and then she looks at me and says,“It’s for seven months … and it’s in California.”
“So we wouldn’t be able to see each other?”
She says, hesitantly, “You could come visit me,” and I say, “I don’t think I have the money for that,” and she says, “Could you ask your parents for the money?”
I consider that for a second and realize it’s not feasible because they’d never give me money to fly all the way across the country to visit a non-Jewish girl, and then I say, “I don’t think they’d give me it,” and she says, “Why?” and I say, “They said they’ve given me enough money already and to stop asking.”
Emma looks disappointed. I ask, “Are you sure you’re definitely going? Are there no other jobs you could find?”
She says, “Yeah, I have to go. I didn’t get any other offers after sending out a million résumés, and this one happens to pay pretty well.” We’d talked about having trouble finding jobs before, but I didn’t know she’d been applying across the country. It wasn’t nice that she didn’t tell me, but pointing that out wouldn’t accomplish anything.
I don’t know what to say so I ask,“What kind of farm is it?”
“A huge farm in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, and it’s in a beautiful valley, and they have plenty of livestock and flowers and gardens, and they grow all sorts of crops, including both brassicas and probably weed, though it didn’t say weed on the website, but it just has that sort of vibe.”
“We should go on Google Maps Street View and see if we can see any wild weed growing on the mountainsides from the road.”
“It’s so idyllic — if there is a way that you could come visit me there, I’d squeeze my hand so hard your fingers would break.” We pull into the parking lot in her dorm and she turns the car off, and we get out of the car and close the doors behind us and come around the back of the car, and I put my arms around her and we kiss for a second, and then she lays her head against my chest for about five minutes and maybe sobs softly. I think I can sort of feel it through the hood of her jacket, but I might be imagining it, but given the circumstances it seems likely. I don’t think I will visit her; I don’t want to see the men she works around and have to wonder if she’s sleeping with them. 
20
On a Sunday morning two weekends later, me and Emma sleep in Shira’s room in Camilla’s apartment again because Shira is out of town again. I wake up first and I look at Emma, and then she wakes up and looks at me and yells, almost at the top of her lungs, “Stop looking at me, swan!” like from Billy Madison. She smiles at me and breathes morning breath into my face.
I come out into the living room, and Camilla is sitting on the couch, watching TV and trying to do her homework. She looks up at me and says, “Stop looking at me, swan. I’m trying to do my homework, swan.”
“Why are you calling me ‘swan’?” She says, “Isn’t that what Emma calls you?” I say, “She was quoting Billy Madison. It’s not an all-the-time thing.” I walk over and sit down next to Camilla. I ask if she has seen Billy Madison, and she says, “Yeah,” and I say, “You don’t remember that line though? That was one of the most key lines in the film,” and she says, “It just slipped my mind.” She looks down at her homework again and crosses something out harshly with her pen.
“Is everything okay with you?” I ask, and Camilla says, “No, everything is not okay with me. Where is your roommate? He’s not picking up my calls or answering my texts. Why is it okay to date me for a year and then dump me and then fuck me whenever he feels like it and then not pick up my calls or answer my texts? I don’t understand. Where is he?”
Mike slept over at this girl Angelica’s house last night, I think, so I say, “No idea? Maybe he’s at home with his parents or maybe his phone broke. Or, like, you know he always loses it and stuff. Just give him a minute.”
“You know that’s not true. You know where he is, you’re just not telling me.”
“Hey, just relax and let’s go get brunch, and then I’m sure by the time we’re done he will have called or texted you back.” Camilla agrees to go to brunch, and so I go back into Shira’s room and put on my hoodie and pick up my BlackBerry and text Mike: “Hey man, call Camilla back and make something up about last night, I just covered for you and she seems mad.”
Me and Emma and Camilla walk to a diner on Houston Street, and on our way there Mike texts me back, “Okay I’ll call her back now.” Then Camilla gets a call from Mike and she walks out of earshot and they talk for about five minutes.
“Mike’s coming to meet us for brunch.”
 I say, unthinkingly, “Are you mad at him?” 
She looks at me suspiciously and says,“Why would I be mad at him? He just woke up. His phone died while he was sleeping … Is there something I should be mad about?” I shake my head and turn back to Emma.
21
Half an hour later in the diner, I am complaining about Pitchfork to Mike. Camilla and Emma are talking about meeting up with one of the other girls they went to boarding school with, and we are all eating different kinds of omelets.
Emma and Camilla’s conversation sort of drops off and they start listening to ours. I’m in the middle of saying, “Stewart Morrison is a buffoon. I think he’s the worst staff writer they’ve ever had.”
Mike says,“Why? I think he’s average.”
“His writing is like knee-jerk message-board style. You remember when the guy from Bon Iver went on like a two-hour Twitter rant about him?”
Emma says, with affection and exasperation, “Honey, could you stop complaining about this all the time and do something about it?”
I say, “The problem is that there’s nothing you can do about it because the site doesn’t have a comments section so there’s no way for listeners to make their opinions known to the writers. You can’t even email them because their email addresses aren’t public! That’s why I get like this.” Mike and Camilla laugh but I’m not joking, but I understand why they’re laughing.
Camilla takes a bite of her omelet and Emma says, “Why don’t you start a blog where you write reviews of their reviews? That’s what I would do if I were you. You could just write everything that you want to write about each of their reviews and get it out of your system, and then maybe other Internet music herbs like you would be really into it.” Camilla giggles at the word “herbs,” pronounced with a strong H sound.
Mike asks me to pass the ketchup so I pass it, and then as he’s pouring it I say,“Do you wanna hear a cool fact about ketchup?” Mike nods and I go, “It’s the world’s only perfect food. There are five flavors that food can have: bitter, sour, salty, sweet, and umami.” Mike gives me a quizzical look so I continue, “Umami is, like, savory. And ketchup is the only food in the world that has all five flavors. Isn’t that cool?” Mike and Camilla and Emma nod, and I look at Emma and say, “I mean, it’s perfect in one way, like obviously you wouldn’t want to eat only ketchup, but it makes sense in this particular scheme.” Emma smiles like she’s remembering the last time we talked about perfect things but doesn’t say anything.

pitchforkreviewsreviews:

I wrote a novel about three years ago and it took like two and a half years to edit. On July 22nd, it comes out in hardcover, Kindle eBook, and audiobook and you can preorder it here in any of those formats. You can also read more about it there. I don’t really know how to talk about the book, although I think I will probably be having productive conversations with a therapist about it in like 20 years. It’s my first and last book. 

When people ask what it’s about, I generally look at the floor and say, “It’s a novel,” and then if they press me, I say, “It’s a novel about being supported by your parents,” or, “It’s a novel about being supported by my parents,” or, “It’s a novel about a blog,” or, “It’s a novel about a Tumblr about a popular music reviews website.” I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but if you read the book and generate a concise and appealing description of it, email me and I’ll try to naturally work your description into situations where I have to talk about what my book is about, e.g., at my grandma’s birthday party in August, on dates, during interviews.

I suspect, if you liked this blog, you might really like the book. And if you hate-read/hate-followed this blog, I guarantee you will love the book and you should pre-order it now. The cover is above and I am the one in the black shirt. The model for the cover was this Minor Threat press photo but the cover didn’t turn out badass like the press photo.

Anyway, this has been the book’s official announcement. I hope you like the book.

Ah, god, this book comes out tomorrow! Specifically, that means you can read/download it starting at midnight tonight from here, and you can read it for free if you sign up for a 30-day free trial of Kindle Unlimited. Cheap at twice the price! I recommend getting the hardcover because it’s nice to have physical objects and because of the John Waters quote, “If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”

Anyway, my publisher has given me permission to publish on Tumblr three chapters from the book (it has like 74 chapters), and I thought that the following three chapters would be best. I hope you like them.

19

On an afternoon in the middle of May, Emma sounds weird on the phone and I ask her if everything is okay and she says,“Yeah, everything is fine,” in the tone where you know everything is not fine but there’s no reason to press it because the person who’s not fine isn’t going to reveal why in this conversation.

I take the Chinatown bus and then the commuter rail out to her school, and she picks me up at the train station but waits in the car instead of coming out to the platform to get me. I get into the car and NPR is playing softly, and Emma kisses me but doesn’t look me in the eye. She starts the car and we drive away from the train station and down the main road in the college’s town, and we talk about how her brassicas are growing.

We pull into the parking lot of the convenience store near her college. We get out of the car and go into the store, and she picks up a bag of honey-wheat pretzel rods and I grab some Coors Lights out of the fridge, and then we get up to the counter and she asks for a pack of Camel Lights and pays, and then I sheepishly ask for condoms and then pay for the beer and the condoms. When we step outside, I say,“I can tell that something is wrong, Emma — what’s wrong?”

She says, “Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it now. Let’s get back in the car. It’s freezing, honey.” She shivers a little and breathes and looks at her breath in the air to prove how cold it is.

We get into the car, and she starts the car and breathes hot air into her hands and rubs them together and looks upset, and I say, “Okay, something is clearly wrong. What is it?”

We drive for about thirty seconds in silence before she says anything. Then she looks at me and says, sullenly, “I got a temporary job for after graduation,” and then she looks back at the road.

I look excitedly at her and go, “Ah, that’s great. That’s amazing. What kind of job?”

She says,“Working and coordinating work on a farm.”

I think for a second and say, “So then what’s the problem? Why are you upset?”

We drive for another ten seconds and then she looks at me and says,“It’s for seven months … and it’s in California.”

“So we wouldn’t be able to see each other?”

She says, hesitantly, “You could come visit me,” and I say, “I don’t think I have the money for that,” and she says, “Could you ask your parents for the money?”

I consider that for a second and realize it’s not feasible because they’d never give me money to fly all the way across the country to visit a non-Jewish girl, and then I say, “I don’t think they’d give me it,” and she says, “Why?” and I say, “They said they’ve given me enough money already and to stop asking.”

Emma looks disappointed. I ask, “Are you sure you’re definitely going? Are there no other jobs you could find?”

She says, “Yeah, I have to go. I didn’t get any other offers after sending out a million résumés, and this one happens to pay pretty well.” We’d talked about having trouble finding jobs before, but I didn’t know she’d been applying across the country. It wasn’t nice that she didn’t tell me, but pointing that out wouldn’t accomplish anything.

I don’t know what to say so I ask,“What kind of farm is it?”

“A huge farm in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, and it’s in a beautiful valley, and they have plenty of livestock and flowers and gardens, and they grow all sorts of crops, including both brassicas and probably weed, though it didn’t say weed on the website, but it just has that sort of vibe.”

“We should go on Google Maps Street View and see if we can see any wild weed growing on the mountainsides from the road.”

“It’s so idyllic — if there is a way that you could come visit me there, I’d squeeze my hand so hard your fingers would break.” We pull into the parking lot in her dorm and she turns the car off, and we get out of the car and close the doors behind us and come around the back of the car, and I put my arms around her and we kiss for a second, and then she lays her head against my chest for about five minutes and maybe sobs softly. I think I can sort of feel it through the hood of her jacket, but I might be imagining it, but given the circumstances it seems likely. I don’t think I will visit her; I don’t want to see the men she works around and have to wonder if she’s sleeping with them. 

20

On a Sunday morning two weekends later, me and Emma sleep in Shira’s room in Camilla’s apartment again because Shira is out of town again. I wake up first and I look at Emma, and then she wakes up and looks at me and yells, almost at the top of her lungs, “Stop looking at me, swan!” like from Billy Madison. She smiles at me and breathes morning breath into my face.

I come out into the living room, and Camilla is sitting on the couch, watching TV and trying to do her homework. She looks up at me and says, “Stop looking at me, swan. I’m trying to do my homework, swan.”

“Why are you calling me ‘swan’?” She says, “Isn’t that what Emma calls you?” I say, “She was quoting Billy Madison. It’s not an all-the-time thing.” I walk over and sit down next to Camilla. I ask if she has seen Billy Madison, and she says, “Yeah,” and I say, “You don’t remember that line though? That was one of the most key lines in the film,” and she says, “It just slipped my mind.” She looks down at her homework again and crosses something out harshly with her pen.

“Is everything okay with you?” I ask, and Camilla says, “No, everything is not okay with me. Where is your roommate? He’s not picking up my calls or answering my texts. Why is it okay to date me for a year and then dump me and then fuck me whenever he feels like it and then not pick up my calls or answer my texts? I don’t understand. Where is he?”

Mike slept over at this girl Angelica’s house last night, I think, so I say, “No idea? Maybe he’s at home with his parents or maybe his phone broke. Or, like, you know he always loses it and stuff. Just give him a minute.”

“You know that’s not true. You know where he is, you’re just not telling me.”

“Hey, just relax and let’s go get brunch, and then I’m sure by the time we’re done he will have called or texted you back.” Camilla agrees to go to brunch, and so I go back into Shira’s room and put on my hoodie and pick up my BlackBerry and text Mike: “Hey man, call Camilla back and make something up about last night, I just covered for you and she seems mad.”

Me and Emma and Camilla walk to a diner on Houston Street, and on our way there Mike texts me back, “Okay I’ll call her back now.” Then Camilla gets a call from Mike and she walks out of earshot and they talk for about five minutes.

“Mike’s coming to meet us for brunch.”
 I say, unthinkingly, “Are you mad at him?” 
She looks at me suspiciously and says,“Why would I be mad at him? He just woke up. His phone died while he was sleeping … Is there something I should be mad about?” I shake my head and turn back to Emma.

21

Half an hour later in the diner, I am complaining about Pitchfork to Mike. Camilla and Emma are talking about meeting up with one of the other girls they went to boarding school with, and we are all eating different kinds of omelets.

Emma and Camilla’s conversation sort of drops off and they start listening to ours. I’m in the middle of saying, “Stewart Morrison is a buffoon. I think he’s the worst staff writer they’ve ever had.”

Mike says,“Why? I think he’s average.”

“His writing is like knee-jerk message-board style. You remember when the guy from Bon Iver went on like a two-hour Twitter rant about him?”

Emma says, with affection and exasperation, “Honey, could you stop complaining about this all the time and do something about it?”

I say, “The problem is that there’s nothing you can do about it because the site doesn’t have a comments section so there’s no way for listeners to make their opinions known to the writers. You can’t even email them because their email addresses aren’t public! That’s why I get like this.” Mike and Camilla laugh but I’m not joking, but I understand why they’re laughing.

Camilla takes a bite of her omelet and Emma says, “Why don’t you start a blog where you write reviews of their reviews? That’s what I would do if I were you. You could just write everything that you want to write about each of their reviews and get it out of your system, and then maybe other Internet music herbs like you would be really into it.” Camilla giggles at the word “herbs,” pronounced with a strong H sound.

Mike asks me to pass the ketchup so I pass it, and then as he’s pouring it I say,“Do you wanna hear a cool fact about ketchup?” Mike nods and I go, “It’s the world’s only perfect food. There are five flavors that food can have: bitter, sour, salty, sweet, and umami.” Mike gives me a quizzical look so I continue, “Umami is, like, savory. And ketchup is the only food in the world that has all five flavors. Isn’t that cool?” Mike and Camilla and Emma nod, and I look at Emma and say, “I mean, it’s perfect in one way, like obviously you wouldn’t want to eat only ketchup, but it makes sense in this particular scheme.” Emma smiles like she’s remembering the last time we talked about perfect things but doesn’t say anything.

My book comes out next Tuesday, July 22, and you can pre-order it here, but regardless of whether you pre-order it (although you still should, please, occasionally the publisher reminds me that part of the reason they are publishing the book is to actually sell copies of the book), you are hereby invited to the book party! It is at The POWERHOUSE Arena, a bookstore in Dumbo (37 Main St., Brooklyn, NY 11201) that is the only bookstore I’ve ever been inside that could legitimately lay claim to a name as sick as “The POWERHOUSE Arena.” Although pretty much every bookstore is sick in its own way, this one really is an arena.
The party is on Thursday, July 31from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and there will be an open bar. There will be DJ sets from Jon Caramanica (face all the way on the left), Sasha Frere-Jones (face next to his), and Tao Lin (face all the way on the right). Also, I will be “in conversation” with Jesse Cohen, one half of the band Tanlines and also the host of the podcast “No Effects.”
What I can promise is that if you come, you will have an amazing time, meet and make connections with people you will become close friends with, forge memories that will last for the rest of your life, and get trashed for free. This is all I can promise. I hope you will consider coming.

My book comes out next Tuesday, July 22, and you can pre-order it here, but regardless of whether you pre-order it (although you still should, please, occasionally the publisher reminds me that part of the reason they are publishing the book is to actually sell copies of the book), you are hereby invited to the book party! It is at The POWERHOUSE Arena, a bookstore in Dumbo (37 Main St., Brooklyn, NY 11201) that is the only bookstore I’ve ever been inside that could legitimately lay claim to a name as sick as “The POWERHOUSE Arena.” Although pretty much every bookstore is sick in its own way, this one really is an arena.

The party is on Thursday, July 31from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and there will be an open bar. There will be DJ sets from Jon Caramanica (face all the way on the left), Sasha Frere-Jones (face next to his), and Tao Lin (face all the way on the right). Also, I will be “in conversation” with Jesse Cohen, one half of the band Tanlines and also the host of the podcast “No Effects.”

What I can promise is that if you come, you will have an amazing time, meet and make connections with people you will become close friends with, forge memories that will last for the rest of your life, and get trashed for free. This is all I can promise. I hope you will consider coming.

Last Thursday, I spent some time with Yung Lean, the 17-year-old rapper from Stockholm, for this story. When we first met, he was about to play an in-store show at VFILES, and we sat outside on the side of the building next door while he drank a big Arizona iced tea. That’s Yung Lean above, wearing the Ed Hardy hat. After a few minutes, it seemed like he decided that our interview was over for the time being, so he said, “I’m going to go chill over there now,” pointed to a spot on the sidewalk like fifteen feet away, and walked over to it and stood there. I thought, “That’s a funny move.” Anyway, then I walked around for a while because I didn’t want to press him lest he not talk to me later. I talked to some of his fans who’d come to the show, including the three in the photo above, who, from left to right, are 15, 15, and 14, and thought about the LCD Soundsystem song “Losing My Edge,” except he couldn’t possibly have been talking about high school freshmen…

A few weeks ago, Emily Gould came over to a house my friend was housesitting at and we ordered Kimchi Grill and did an interview about our books at a picnic table in the backyard. There was a big picture of her on the cover of The New York Times Styles Section the day before and so she had come from The Gap, where she bought a big hat, which I thought was for her to be incognito on the subway but she said it was to protect her from the sun.

For me, it was an opportunity to ask another author the question “Do you think your book is better than mine?” For her, I think, it was a chance to ask, “Are you on drugs or are you always like this?” (that part got cut, I’m not on drugs) and probably also an opportunity to get me to stop asking her to do stuff like interviews, blurb my book, hang out with me, etc. After we were finished, my friend who was housesitting asked Emily what she thought of the interview and she said, “It was good? It was weird!” Anyway, the interview is here. I hope you like it.

Every few months, Pitchfork publishes a review so objectionable that former readers email me to ask me to review it even though this blog has been basically inactive for years. It happened on Friday with the RiFF RaFF review. But I didn’t know exactly what to say about it, other than that it hasn’t been thoroughly copyedited (“[O]ne of Diplo’s weaknesses is songwriting, so the his production…”), so I drafted a special guest Pitchfork review reviewer (above), who points to the fact, more than any particular thing wrong with the review, that the artists actually read these, and sometimes they hurt. Some reviews, at Pitchfork and elsewhere, are extraordinary distillations of movements, people, and small moments that give listeners paths to love and understand music in ways we never could have without the hours and years of thoughtful listening that the reviewers put in before we got there. Others deserve to be forgotten, and not because they hurt the artist, but because they’re careless, bloviating, and undergraduate (much like a lot of my own writing). In the winter, indoors, there’s plenty for time for reviews, but now, it’s summertime, so maybe instead of reading the Neon Icon review, you should go here, buy Neon Icon ($8.99), and blast it in the car with your friends.

Every few months, Pitchfork publishes a review so objectionable that former readers email me to ask me to review it even though this blog has been basically inactive for years. It happened on Friday with the RiFF RaFF review. But I didn’t know exactly what to say about it, other than that it hasn’t been thoroughly copyedited (“[O]ne of Diplo’s weaknesses is songwriting, so the his production…”), so I drafted a special guest Pitchfork review reviewer (above), who points to the fact, more than any particular thing wrong with the review, that the artists actually read these, and sometimes they hurt. Some reviews, at Pitchfork and elsewhere, are extraordinary distillations of movements, people, and small moments that give listeners paths to love and understand music in ways we never could have without the hours and years of thoughtful listening that the reviewers put in before we got there. Others deserve to be forgotten, and not because they hurt the artist, but because they’re careless, bloviating, and undergraduate (much like a lot of my own writing). In the winter, indoors, there’s plenty for time for reviews, but now, it’s summertime, so maybe instead of reading the Neon Icon review, you should go here, buy Neon Icon ($8.99), and blast it in the car with your friends.

I wrote a novel about three years ago and it took like two and a half years to edit. On July 22nd, it comes out in hardcover, Kindle eBook, and audiobook and you can preorder it here in any of those formats. You can also read more about it there. I don’t really know how to talk about the book, although I think I will probably be having productive conversations with a therapist about it in like 20 years. It’s my first and last book. 
When people ask what it’s about, I generally look at the floor and say, “It’s a novel,” and then if they press me, I say, “It’s a novel about being supported by your parents,” or, “It’s a novel about being supported by my parents,” or, “It’s a novel about a blog,” or, “It’s a novel about a Tumblr about a popular music reviews website.” I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but if you read the book and generate a concise and appealing description of it, email me and I’ll try to naturally work your description into situations where I have to talk about what my book is about, e.g., at my grandma’s birthday party in August, on dates, during interviews.
I suspect, if you liked this blog, you might really like the book. And if you hate-read/hate-followed this blog, I guarantee you will love the book and you should pre-order it now. The cover is above and I am the one in the black shirt. The model for the cover was this Minor Threat press photo but the cover didn’t turn out badass like the press photo.
Anyway, this has been the book’s official announcement. I hope you like the book.

I wrote a novel about three years ago and it took like two and a half years to edit. On July 22nd, it comes out in hardcover, Kindle eBook, and audiobook and you can preorder it here in any of those formats. You can also read more about it there. I don’t really know how to talk about the book, although I think I will probably be having productive conversations with a therapist about it in like 20 years. It’s my first and last book. 

When people ask what it’s about, I generally look at the floor and say, “It’s a novel,” and then if they press me, I say, “It’s a novel about being supported by your parents,” or, “It’s a novel about being supported by my parents,” or, “It’s a novel about a blog,” or, “It’s a novel about a Tumblr about a popular music reviews website.” I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but if you read the book and generate a concise and appealing description of it, email me and I’ll try to naturally work your description into situations where I have to talk about what my book is about, e.g., at my grandma’s birthday party in August, on dates, during interviews.

I suspect, if you liked this blog, you might really like the book. And if you hate-read/hate-followed this blog, I guarantee you will love the book and you should pre-order it now. The cover is above and I am the one in the black shirt. The model for the cover was this Minor Threat press photo but the cover didn’t turn out badass like the press photo.

Anyway, this has been the book’s official announcement. I hope you like the book.

Today I wrote a story about Yo., my favorite app, at The New Yorker. I love it so much. Yo me at DAVIDS2, I will Yo you back.

Today I wrote a story about Yo., my favorite app, at The New Yorker. I love it so much. Yo me at DAVIDS2, I will Yo you back.

On Tuesday, I wrote about Supreme, the men’s clothing brand/skate shop, at The New Yorker. Actually, I wrote about a store in the basement of a mall in Chinatown whose proprietor pays teenagers to wait online outside of Supreme for up to five days at a time, go in, buy as much merchandise as they can, and bring it back to the store. The store then waits (or, occasionally, doesn’t even wait) until it sells out at Supreme and then puts the merchandise the kids have purchased up for sale at their own store for a lot more money. If you want to go, the address is 15 Elizabeth St. between Canal and Bayard. Down the escalator, make a right, go all the way to the end.

On Tuesday, I wrote about Supreme, the men’s clothing brand/skate shop, at The New Yorker. Actually, I wrote about a store in the basement of a mall in Chinatown whose proprietor pays teenagers to wait online outside of Supreme for up to five days at a time, go in, buy as much merchandise as they can, and bring it back to the store. The store then waits (or, occasionally, doesn’t even wait) until it sells out at Supreme and then puts the merchandise the kids have purchased up for sale at their own store for a lot more money. If you want to go, the address is 15 Elizabeth St. between Canal and Bayard. Down the escalator, make a right, go all the way to the end.

This month in Interview Magazine (pages 38 and 120 specifically) I interviewed novelist Tao Lin whose third novel, TAIPEI, comes out today. For the interview, we talked about using heroin, teaching at Sarah Lawrence, the book, and some other stuff. We went to Resorts World Casino, an enormous casino out by JFK airport in Queens, because people become extremely forthcoming when they’re playing a slot machine. We both lost some money and then had dinner at the steakhouse in the casino. Here is the interview.
TAIPEI is an incredible and confounding book and even if you are really busy at your summer internship and don’t have much time for reading, you should still order the book so people who see you carrying it around will know that you are the kind of person they would want to get to know. They might come up to you in the subway or at a bar and be like, “How do you like that book?” and even if you haven’t started reading it, you can be like, “I haven’t started it yet but did you read the interview with him in Interview?” And they would say, “I did! What a classic interview. And I have the picture of him looking like an action movie star hanging over my bed.” And then you can take it from there. Anyway, here are some of the parts I really liked from the interview: 
SHAPIRO: What do your parents do? 
LIN: It seems like they just hang out around the house.
SHAPIRO: Professionally.
LIN: They’re retired now, but my dad was a professor at a college in Orlando. A physics professor. He also started three different companies throughout the last 20 or 30 years, related to laser-eye surgery. He invented one of the techniques for using lasers to correct nearsightedness.
SHAPIRO: Do you speak to your dad?
LIN: We email, like, once every three to five months. Usually, he’ll email me something funny and aloof. He’ll talk about the dog they have. “The dog has been eating a lot. It bites me at night.”
…
DS: Tell me about teaching your class at Sarah Lawrence. Did you like teaching? 
TL: No. The class was called The Contemporary Short Story. It was just really hard because I’m a shy, nervous person, and because I don’t like teaching with “terms.” I didn’t teach them, like, “This is first person, this is second person, this is foreshadowing,” or whatever, so no one probably felt like they were learning anything. But I feel like teaching in that way reduces the concept to a term.
SHAPIRO: How were your student evaluations?
LIN: Maybe half of them liked me.
SHAPIRO: And the other half?
LIN: Thought I was completely incompetent. There would be long silences during class that were my fault. Like, I’d be like, “All right…” and a long time would go by. And I’ll be like “This is my first time teaching,” and I just wouldn’t know what to say.
…
SHAPIRO: What would you estimate the cost of your drug use is monthly?
LIN: Right now? Let’s say the last year probably on average $300 a month. Wait, that doesn’t seem right, because for a year that would be… No, that seems right, $300 a month.
SHAPIRO: How often do you use heroin?
LIN: Let’s say… For the last two years I’ve probably used it 25 times. If I’m with a girlfriend and we want to, after using it, just sleep. That’s usually the situation. It feels good to sleep on it.
SHAPIRO: Have you had any unsettling experiences with it?
LIN: One time, three months ago maybe, someone else’s drug dealer came to my place, and he had a lot of different drugs. He said one was crystal meth, so we bought it. And it was just me and two other people, and we used it, and I was expecting to have more energy, but instead I couldn’t move and I was face down on my bed. I kept telling the other two people who seemed like they weren’t as affected that I thought I was going to die, but they didn’t believe me so I was just laying there while they did stuff, but I really felt like I was going to die. But then I was fine. I think it was ketamine. They thought I was being lazy, just laying there. And then just two times when I’ve taken too much heroin I’ve thrown for up a long time. That’s it I think.
…
SHAPIRO: Tell me more about your financial philosophy.
LIN: It seems like for the last ten years, I’ve just been investing in the future. Like, any time I get any amount of money, I take taxis and stuff. I just think, “If I take this taxi, I’ll save ten minutes.” And in 20 years from now, I’ll be able to make like $1,000 in ten minutes. Or $100. But now, it’s only going to cost me three more dollars to take a taxi than to take the subway. I just keep investing in the future, and I haven’t reached the point where I’m not doing that.

This month in Interview Magazine (pages 38 and 120 specifically) I interviewed novelist Tao Lin whose third novel, TAIPEI, comes out today. For the interview, we talked about using heroin, teaching at Sarah Lawrence, the book, and some other stuff. We went to Resorts World Casino, an enormous casino out by JFK airport in Queens, because people become extremely forthcoming when they’re playing a slot machine. We both lost some money and then had dinner at the steakhouse in the casino. Here is the interview.

TAIPEI is an incredible and confounding book and even if you are really busy at your summer internship and don’t have much time for reading, you should still order the book so people who see you carrying it around will know that you are the kind of person they would want to get to know. They might come up to you in the subway or at a bar and be like, “How do you like that book?” and even if you haven’t started reading it, you can be like, “I haven’t started it yet but did you read the interview with him in Interview?” And they would say, “I did! What a classic interview. And I have the picture of him looking like an action movie star hanging over my bed.” And then you can take it from there. Anyway, here are some of the parts I really liked from the interview: 

SHAPIRO: What do your parents do? 

LIN: It seems like they just hang out around the house.

SHAPIRO: Professionally.

LIN: They’re retired now, but my dad was a professor at a college in Orlando. A physics professor. He also started three different companies throughout the last 20 or 30 years, related to laser-eye surgery. He invented one of the techniques for using lasers to correct nearsightedness.

SHAPIRO: Do you speak to your dad?

LIN: We email, like, once every three to five months. Usually, he’ll email me something funny and aloof. He’ll talk about the dog they have. “The dog has been eating a lot. It bites me at night.”

DS: Tell me about teaching your class at Sarah Lawrence. Did you like teaching? 

TL: No. The class was called The Contemporary Short Story. It was just really hard because I’m a shy, nervous person, and because I don’t like teaching with “terms.” I didn’t teach them, like, “This is first person, this is second person, this is foreshadowing,” or whatever, so no one probably felt like they were learning anything. But I feel like teaching in that way reduces the concept to a term.

SHAPIRO: How were your student evaluations?

LIN: Maybe half of them liked me.

SHAPIRO: And the other half?

LIN: Thought I was completely incompetent. There would be long silences during class that were my fault. Like, I’d be like, “All right…” and a long time would go by. And I’ll be like “This is my first time teaching,” and I just wouldn’t know what to say.

SHAPIRO: What would you estimate the cost of your drug use is monthly?

LIN: Right now? Let’s say the last year probably on average $300 a month. Wait, that doesn’t seem right, because for a year that would be… No, that seems right, $300 a month.

SHAPIRO: How often do you use heroin?

LIN: Let’s say… For the last two years I’ve probably used it 25 times. If I’m with a girlfriend and we want to, after using it, just sleep. That’s usually the situation. It feels good to sleep on it.

SHAPIRO: Have you had any unsettling experiences with it?

LIN: One time, three months ago maybe, someone else’s drug dealer came to my place, and he had a lot of different drugs. He said one was crystal meth, so we bought it. And it was just me and two other people, and we used it, and I was expecting to have more energy, but instead I couldn’t move and I was face down on my bed. I kept telling the other two people who seemed like they weren’t as affected that I thought I was going to die, but they didn’t believe me so I was just laying there while they did stuff, but I really felt like I was going to die. But then I was fine. I think it was ketamine. They thought I was being lazy, just laying there. And then just two times when I’ve taken too much heroin I’ve thrown for up a long time. That’s it I think.

SHAPIRO: Tell me more about your financial philosophy.

LIN: It seems like for the last ten years, I’ve just been investing in the future. Like, any time I get any amount of money, I take taxis and stuff. I just think, “If I take this taxi, I’ll save ten minutes.” And in 20 years from now, I’ll be able to make like $1,000 in ten minutes. Or $100. But now, it’s only going to cost me three more dollars to take a taxi than to take the subway. I just keep investing in the future, and I haven’t reached the point where I’m not doing that.

Two weeks ago, J. Cole, whose debut album was No. 1 and who just got off tour with Drake, came with me to the American Museum of Natural History to do an interview because his second album is coming out soon and he’s lecturing at Harvard. I chose the museum for the interview because it’s just an amazing place. In this picture, we’re in the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. Even though I’ve never gotten into J. Cole’s music, I love this interview. Read it at Interview Magazine.

Two weeks ago, J. Cole, whose debut album was No. 1 and who just got off tour with Drake, came with me to the American Museum of Natural History to do an interview because his second album is coming out soon and he’s lecturing at Harvard. I chose the museum for the interview because it’s just an amazing place. In this picture, we’re in the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. Even though I’ve never gotten into J. Cole’s music, I love this interview. Read it at Interview Magazine.

In 2014, There Will Be a Pitchfork Reviews Reviews Book

At the end of the summer I left my job at the music television channel where I worked and started law school, which is where I am now (in the library). You may think that people who go to law school are the people who have completely failed professionally after college and who are suckers for paying for a worthless degree that equips you to join a profession that nobody respects with historically bad employment prospects, but I can live with that — all I want to do is be a lawyer. Anyway, so last summer I wrote a short book, and over the winter it was edited, and then two weeks ago, I went to a meeting with a publisher.

My book agent met me outside the building. (Many small bloggers have agents because bloggers want to have agents so they feel legitimate, and also so they can tell their parents they just got off the phone with their agents when their parents ask them if they’ve finished sending in their law school applications. Agents want to sign new clients because it doesn’t cost anything to sign an agency agreement, so there’s not much downside.) We took the elevator upstairs. In the elevator, my agent encouraged me to just be myself, which I have tried many times, especially during meetings with publishers, and often it hasn’t worked to my advantage.

In the meeting with the publishers, they asked me some questions about the content of the book, which is very personal. Some questions I thought I answered well, others made me wish I could get a do-over. After the meeting, in the elevator downstairs, my agent said he thought I did a good job, and I told him I thought he did a good job as an agent. On the street outside, I said, “I really liked those people, I hope they offer to buy the book.” 

And then on Wednesday morning, I was running through my Civil Procedure flashcards in the student lounge and my agent emailed me and told me that publishers had made offers on the book, and the publisher we’d just met with had made the best offer. I was very excited, so I called my parents and told them. My mom said she hoped the excitement wouldn’t take my focus off my finals, and my dad said having a book deal would look good on my resume, and then I called my grandma but I got the machine because I think she was in water aerobics class. I texted and called some friends, told three kids in my study group and one of them hugged me, and then got back to my flashcards because I’m in finals right now. But I also wanted to tell you, and say thank you for reading this blog.

So it comes out in 2014. Right now, the title is You’re Not Much Use to Anyone. I think you are going to like it.

I need one of these.

I need one of these.

Hey I got these three tickets from work for free to the Warped Tour tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum and I wanted to know if anybody wants them? If you can pick them up at a super secret location in Brooklyn (my apartment) they’re all yours.
Email pitchforkreviewsreviews@gmail.com.

Hey I got these three tickets from work for free to the Warped Tour tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum and I wanted to know if anybody wants them? If you can pick them up at a super secret location in Brooklyn (my apartment) they’re all yours.

Email pitchforkreviewsreviews@gmail.com.

On Tuesday I spent the day riding around in a press convoy with Chief Keef, the 17-year-old Chicago rapper who’s brilliantly explained here. He told me about his daughter and had me take the above picture of him. We had a nice day. I wrote about it here:
Interview Magazine

On Tuesday I spent the day riding around in a press convoy with Chief Keef, the 17-year-old Chicago rapper who’s brilliantly explained here. He told me about his daughter and had me take the above picture of him. We had a nice day. I wrote about it here:

Interview Magazine

Exclusive picture of Riff Raff with his pet python Shelly Kapowski and Diplo, in Diplo’s yellow Lamborghini, on their way to a party to celebrate Riff Raff signing to Diplo’s label.

Exclusive picture of Riff Raff with his pet python Shelly Kapowski and Diplo, in Diplo’s yellow Lamborghini, on their way to a party to celebrate Riff Raff signing to Diplo’s label.