“I guess that’s kind of my shtick in general is like punk rock gentleman. You can sound-bite that.” The Observer was chatting with talk show host, entrepreneur, and editor Elliot Aronow, who had just released the second issue of his zine, Our Show with Elliot Aronow, and was celebrating with a party in the Yard at the Soho Grand. DJs Cosmo Baker and Prince Language were spinning classic funk and hip hop. The Observer spotted MTV’s Sway, Princeton “punkademic” Samuel Goldman and about half of Das Racist’s Greedhead labelmates.
Our Show takes its name from the variety show Mr. Aronow used to host at Santos Party House with guests like James Murphy and Andrew W.K., what he calls “my weird pothead version of Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party meets Charlie Rose.” For the zine, “My idea for it was to make it a punk GQ, take all the stuff that was supposed to be kind of bourgeois and bring it down from the mountain and say, ‘Ayo, you can do this.'” Both issues contain fashion advice from Brooklyn Tailors, whose Danny Lewis was at the party and told The Observer, “It’s like Elliot’s whole world. He spreads the word. You’ll probably see some of our stuff floating around.” Indeed, Mr. Aronow was sporting bespoke pants from the Williamsburg haberdasher, plus a green-on-white paisley Thom Browne for Brooks Brothers jacket and a white t-shirt from Uniqlo, “’cause I don’t care,” he said.
Mr. Aronow got his punk cred on tour with grind-glam quartet the Locust, “experimenting with drugs and selling merch when I got around to it.” He later developed Gnarls Barkley’s marketing plan with Downtown Records (whose chairman Josh Deutsch interrupted our interview to say goodbye: “I gotta go deliver this bag of booze to my college freshman son. How do you like that? It’s like, that’s parenting right there”). Mr. Aronow started the music downloading site RCRD LBL, taking with him Downtown intern Julian Kahlon, who designs Our Show along with Vogue‘s Kori Dyer.
The current issue features fiction from Twin Shadow’s George Lewis, Jr., a discussion of the greatest mosh parts and an interview about French literature with Chromeo’s David Macklovitch, who told The Observer about his in-progress Columbia dissertation on “the pleasure of reading in 18th-century French literature.” There’s also a nude centerfold and a page called “AYO! Google This” (sample search terms: “dub housing,” “escoffier,” “edward st. aubyn”). In the next issue, Mr. Aronow plans to do “a shirt story, ’cause a lot of guys hit me up with questions like, ‘Spread collar, button-down collar, oxford, gingham? What does it all mean?'” Maybe also some good literature: Mr. Aronow just finished reading a book of Gore Vidal essays.
But he’s most excited about what he calls “Jacques,” the “men’s lifestyle movement that I’ve started with a few friends of mine.” Indeed, in his Twitter feed, he has hashtagged almost every missive with the neologism.
The movement is “kinda small right now, maybe like forty-five people in New York and in L.A. that know about it, but it’s gonna become a book soon,” Mr. Aranow said. “It’s a punk rock gentleman’s guide to life and how to live it. The book is gonna be kind of like a reverse-engineered self-help book, so we start with clothes and then work inwards. ‘Jacques’ is definitely a movement—you can put that in your article.”
On the way out, BaoHaus chef (and columnist for The Observer) Eddie Huang confirmed that Mr. Aronow is “all about this new ‘Jacques’ movement. He got the ‘Jacques’ boys going on, it’s funny. I follow everything Elz does. I rep it, you know, he’s a cool cat.”