Dirty Magazine knows how to get down

Eli Schoop went to their Issue 7 release party hosted by Chris Smalls.

Dirty Magazine Issue 7 release party. Photos by Kelli McGuire. Edit by Tyler Farmer.

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The unspoken secret of magazine writing is that 90% of the point of doing it is getting to throw a party, both to promote your work and for the sake of it. Out of the countless parties thrown every month by the dilettantes and bohemians of the New York literati, Dirty Magazine’s feel like a reprieve because of their unabashed, sexual joie de vivre. Pooh-pooh the buttoned-up n+1 and downtown lit mag startups filled with fresh Ivy League grads and their professors, come hang out with the dancers and sex workers! They can write too, y’know.

Dirty Magazine Issue 7.

Dirty Magazine’s slogan is “be what you wanna jack off to,” equal parts culture and smut and the only magazine likely to be featured on both NYLON and AVN. Nearly a year after their Spring 2023 “Music Issue,” Dirty has relaunched as a tabloid newspaper, which creative director Miles Raymer said was inspired by “Screw Magazine and other sex newspapers from pre-gentrification New York City.”

The cover star of Dirty Magazine Issue 7, Chris Smalls. Photo by Alyssa Kaye Lester.

With features in Issue 7 like a Fatboi Sharif story, Caveh Zahedi interviewing Lily Lady, and a spotlight on New York’s trans strip club scene, the magazine pulled a crowd for their release party just as varied as their content. Baby’s All Right was the venue, featuring cover star and host Chris Smalls, founder and president of the Amazon Labor Union, unsurprisingly dripped out like Cam’ron in his prime. Got there early because it was open bar the first hour, and my ears were immediately assaulted by some terrible EDM remixes of Sum 41’s “Fat Lip” and Eminem’s “Ass Like That,” plus a mash-up of “Trap Queen” and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” ☹️. But Miles Raymer was on next and she has really good taste, so crisis averted. I didn’t see any copies of the mag being sold, but looks were being given, including a girl with a birthday sash and a duo of blondes that looked like extras from The O.C. I thought those went extinct in 2009.

Mother Cell. Photo by Kelli McGuire.

By the time my hotter friends arrived, Philly eccentric Body Meat had started their set. I was pretty excited as I enjoyed Truck Music, but it came off flat, like a Body Meat cover act. Sometimes outre music sounds much better in the studio than played live. Brooklyn’s own Mother Cell was next, bringing a ton of energy. I was fucking with the combo of androgynous white person and jacked black dude, flanked by DJ who looks way too into Autechre. The music? Alright. The mixture of Death Grips, Container and electroclash had the dancefloor bumping at least. They were a perfect match for the shimmery Baby’s stage though; the bright, flickering lights naturally complemented their style.

Valley Latini. Photo by Kelli McGuire.

They were followed by Valley Latini, an aspiring pop star that seemed to have the girlies’ approval from the jump. A lesbian couple was extremely into it, grinding and making out while Valley strutted around the stage. I imagine that had to be very validating. The tracks were budget Sky Ferreira fare but still pretty decent. I don’t envy performers at these types of parties. A lot of the validation comes from an expectation of “coolness.” Playing to a discerning crowd sounds very difficult. 

The highlight of the night was undoubtedly Ize, whose freight train energy is contagious. He’s a performer that transcends the typical milieu of these parties, making drill and industrial hold hands to go atom smashing together. Dude’s a force. Clad in Army fatigues and leather pants, his demeanor was that of an old-school punk, GG Allin without all the racism. By the time Yung Caza came on, the Mamie Taylors hit event horizon on me and I made my way home. I’ve been to three Dirty Magazine events and there’s always something that made you glad you went. Just like Ize, Dirty is for the freaks and the perverts with good taste and better fashion sense.

Purchase Dirty Magazine Issue 7 here.

Dirty Magazine Issue 7 release party. Photos by Alyssa Kaye Lester.