The Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that usually appears Mondays at 12:30pm and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please send details to lauren [at] maudnewton.com by the Thursday prior to publication, with the date in the subject line.
TUESDAY, 5.29: Not long ago, I was sitting with a friend who said, “It’s amazing that people think there are no single men in New York.” I gently pointed out that we were sitting in a record store at 11:30 on a Wednesday night and the so single men out front were also so smoking pot. And probably not getting up so early if you know what I mean. Less questionable types may congregate at “The Jeffrey Leonard Invitational,” aka New York Sports Trivia Night on Tuesday evening. I specifically asked guest host Bryan Keefer [full disclosure, as always: my favorite ex-boyfriend] for a literary Ron Mexico reference but instead got, “You can say something like “I’m told there may be a question involving David Beckham’s grammatically suspect sexy texting.” And so I am. 8PM, FREE. Plus, The Reader’s Room at Mo Pitkin’s presents a special Tuesday evening edition of the always excellent series, this week with Rich Cohen (Sweet and Low) and Ian Frazier (Gone to New York). 7PM, one-drink minimum.
WEDNESDAY, 5.30: This kind of breaks my heart, but it’s a must-do: “This month will be the last How To Kick People for quite some time. After three and a half years, Bob and Todd will be taking a much-needed hiatus from the (cut-throat!) world of reading humorous things off of a page in front of people. So join us on May 30th for “Parting Advice,” the final installment in the How To Kick People Reading Series. To say goodbye, we’ll be joined by an unusually huge lineup of old friends and first-timers we’ve been dying to have on the show, including: Brian Stack (writer/actor, Late Night with Conan O’Brien), Tom Shillue (Comedy Central Presents Tom Shillue), Christian Finnegan (Best Week Ever, Comedy Central Presents Christian Finnegan), Amelie Gillette (writer, The Onion’s ‘AV Club’), Chris Deluca (former writer, The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn), and a video from Steve Burns (former host of Blue’s Clues, current musician) & Paul Ford (associate editor, Harpers.org; author, GARY BENCHLEY, ROCK STAR).” Go, or hate yourself forever. 7:30pm, $8. And, I haven’t seen it yet, but Once is getting some great buzz.
THURSDAY, 5.31: It figures that the Book Expo-related party I’m most looking forward to doesn’t even have an open bar (why else would one go?) — but it’s because all the BEST people will be there. Join members of the Lit Blog Co-op to discuss “the best of contemporary fiction, authors, and presses” and, noted per one invitation, “Discussion of books will be condoned only if you bring juicy gossip that can’t be substantiated.” Mais oui. At the Kettle of Fish, 59 Christopher St. at 7th Avenue. 8-11PM, FREE.
FRIDAY, 6.1: And, an invitation from our friends at A Public Space and Tin House, “The Brooklyn Independent Press Party With A Public Space, Akashic Books, Archipelago Books, Bomb Magazine, Cabinet Magazine, Soft Skull Press & Tin House. Hosted by powerHouse Books, MTV Books & Vice Books at the powerHouse Arena.” Warning for those with delicate sensibilities: the Misshapes are involved. 7-10PM, FREE; RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org. For those attending BEA, check out Bud Parr’s panel discussion, “Blogs: Is Their Growing Influence a Tastemakers Dilemma?” 10AM.
SATURDAY, 6.2: On Saturday at BEA, Our very own Maud converses with author Shalom Auslander. Elsewhere in New York, New Orleans big band Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship disembark at ABC No Rio for a much-anticipated show. 3PM. And if you are not at BEA, or in New York on Saturday, well then I dare you to listen to Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart It Races” just once and not relentlessly over and over again like I have been for the last hour.
SUNDAY, 6.3: Also at BEA, Maud discusses The Crisis in Newspaper Reviewing. 10AM. Elsewhere, “Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era” is on at the Whitney. Check out “the unprecedented explosion of contemporary art and popular culture brought about by the civil unrest and pervasive social change of the 1960s and early ’70s, when a new psychedelic aesthetic emerged in art, music, film, architecture, graphic design, and fashion.” Or, fast-forward a few decades and subscribe to Arthur.