Monday, July 16, 2007


I never win anything: contests, sports, lotteries, card games, hot girlfriends--you name it. But thanks to The Onion AV Club's "The Hater" website, I won free tickets, and all I had to do was send in the most irritating photo of Eva Longoria I could find. My hatred for "Desperate Housewives" (a show I've never even seen) finally paid off! It placed me on the guest list for the New York Magazine's Bad Art Auction, featuring host Zach Galifianakis and Band of Horses.

What a great idea for an event: auctioning off truly hideous art pieces for charity. Zach Galifianakis kicked off the festivities with about 20 minutes of his unique self-deprecating comedy ("I don't need this shit, I was in Corky Romano!"), as he welcomed everyone to the Panda Express (the Hiro Ballroom was decorated in an Asian theme), a tiny room that fit only about 500 people which made for an intimate show/auction/concert/thingy.

The bearded and bitingly sarcastic Zach then served as a brutally funny and not-at-all-skillful auctioneer for the Bad Art Auction for the New York Cares charity (or "New York Who Cares?" as he put it). And man, there was some seriously shitty art sold that night. The first item up for bidding was "Girl with Ostrich Head" and went down hill from there, including a weird Elton John lookalike throwing a discus, and an original painting of Richard "Don't let the mustache fool ya, I ain't no queer" Petty, which sold for an astonishing $500. As it turned out, it wasn't original at all, because mere minutes later he sold another one (though he gave both to the girl who overpaid for the first one). "Electroindierocker" Moby was also there to contribute a complete piece of crap from his own collection: a Porky Pig painting from Mexico that had an inflatable bladder behind it that you could blow up. Really.

But little did I know that the battle of the beards was just about to begin. Band of Horses somehow crammed six bearded musicians onto the tiny stage and played for an hour to close out the evening, the most spectacularly bearded of the band being lead singer Ben Bridwell. I don't know what else to say except that they rocked, even playing a few new tunes from their upcoming album. Someone told me that they were bad live, but this tight set proved them wrong. This craptacular 30 second video I shot shows that I was so close that the speakers blew out my camera's shitty little microphone (it's "Wicked Gil" in case you can't hear it, duh).

It was a fun night and well worth the trip downtown, even though I couldn't afford to buy any shitty art for my apartment. And hey, it was free.

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