This Weekend In New York: Theophilus London, Kurt Vile, And A Bit Of Possible Self-Parody


In Waste Of Paint, our writer/artist team of Jamie Peck and Debbie Allen will review goings-on about town in words and images.

This weekend involved lots of semi-aimless wandering around the city for Debbie and me, for which we were rewarded with one strange new friend after another. It was sort of like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, minus the copious weed smoking and cameos by Doogie Howser.

Debbie Allen

Friday night began with a trip to the Brooklyn Museum, where The L's Audiophile series had booked hip-hop/funk/rock sensation Theophilus London to play in the huge, glass lobby. Unlike last week's artsy Met performance, the show had little to do with visual art unless you counted Theophilus' badass fedora, which I can only assume he festooned with sequins in order to stay ahead of the curve. (The Sunday Styles piece that gave away his preference for Borsalinos did come out a month ago.)

This show was considerably more diverse than The L's usual events, drawing a veritable rainbow of attractive and stylish Brooklynites. Perhaps the most stylish of all was Theophilus himself, who changed out of said sparkly hat and matching shirt into a sharp brass button-adorned blazer halfway through. It's rare that an artist can sing, rap, and pull off sequins, but this Trinidad-born, Brooklyn-bred dandy is quite the triple threat. Backed by a full band, he alternately crooned like Prince and delivered rapidfire verses, even bringing Telli "Bathroom Sex" Gramz of ubiquitous Brooklyn crew Ninjasonik onstage to help him with the (somewhat ironic?) banger "Gurls, Girls, Money." ("My mom would not approve of this song," Theophilus said by way of introduction. "Everyone say 'hey, Theophilus' mom!'") As the crowd yelled and threw their hands up, he climbed on speakers, threw t-shirts (and some of his jewelry!), and gave a sweet shout out to a "special lady" named Joanne. Eventually a bunch of people climbed up onstage and the DJ dropped some classic hip-hop, turning the night into a dance party.

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