The Rumpus: One Year Later


While it is now one month later, we’d like to thank everyone who came out for ONE YEAR LATER, the Rumpus anniversary party co-presented by The Rumpus and sister-mag HTMLGIANT at Broadway East, a charming place where Chinatown meets the Lower East Side. The party featured readings by Justin Taylor, Tao Lin, Stephen Elliott, Rivka Galchen and Deb Olin Unferth, musical guests Diane Louvel, Alina Simone and Jeffrey Lewis, DJ author Lincoln Michel and Special Guest DJ Khaela Maricich. While this celebration was not an all-out concert like the Rumpus is accustomed to having, it had an intimate, engaging and artful vibe, which I rarely experience. Following is a photographic exhibit of the night.

Listen to Jeffrey Lewis’s “Don’t Be Upset” while you browse

Before the performances began, writer Lincoln Michel DJ’d.

First off, Stephen Elliott was in New York for the event, which was special because he lives on the West Coast. I was so glad he was there. While he has so much energy, he is always very relaxed and makes everything seem easy.

Stephen got everyone to sit on the floor. I don’t know how he did it. He waved his hands and everyone sat.

Justin Taylor read first from his collection (which debuted this month) Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever. The New York Times praised the book. Justin also said some nice things about HTML GIANT and The Rumpus being sisters.

Tao Lin read next. He read from Richard Yates, which is due out from Melville House in September 2010. It might have been the first time he had read from Richard Yates, but he didn’t say. With the paper he held, he covered his face a little.

Stephen read next from The Adderall Diaries. He had recently finished a 33-city tour for the book. His book was named the Best Book of the Year by Time Out New York. The cozy feel of the space must have resembled somewhat the spaces Stephen had read in on his tour, because he didn’t do readings in bookstores but arranged to have other people host small parties for him across the country, in their living rooms.

Diane Louvel performed some beautiful songs she had written. Also, she played several Neko Case covers and is known in New York for her covers of Neko Case songs. Behind Diane you can see the “live wall.”

Jeffrey Lewis sketched Diane Louvel as she performed.

The break between sets was longish because Khaela Maricich, also known as The Blow, was our Special Guest DJ and we didn’t want her to stop playing.

A table was set up on which things were sold.

Monofonus, a multimedia organization, provided a video installation that consisted of a reel of experimental videos. Some videos had abstract geometric shapes and one had four men doing calisthenics in primary-colored outfits with headbands.

Guests enjoyed themselves.

Tao Lin, Alina Smone and Stephen Elliott surprised us before the beginning of the second set with an impromptu theatrical performance, the script being a printout of a live Facebook chat Alina had had once with a complete stranger.

Deb Olin Unferth read next. It was agreed by all that she was very good and very funny. She also had on great leg warmers.

Rivka Galchen read next.

Alina Simone did a unique performance that involved a drum and a cool looking instrument. I asked if it was a psaltery, like Hildegard von Bingen used to play in the twelfth century. Alina said that no, it was an autoharp.

Stickers covered every surface of Jeffrey Lewis’s guitar. I wonder if that orange halo is Jeffrey Lewis’s aura. Or his guardian angel. Whichever it is, that night, Jeffrey Lewis “rocked the house.”

Here he is singing a badass song, a cappella with cards, about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Many people stayed around afterward and continued to talk and drink, including Jeffrey Lewis and Jonathan Ames.

The party did go on.


For a complete set of the night’s photos see the Facebook album. You can also see a nice write-up of the event by Caitlin Colford at Scallywag & Vagabond. The comic books “Fuff” and “Guff” are by Jeffrey Lewis. Photos by Flear Vaknin.

Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →