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Feature Story July 24, 2003
Feis The Music! Buns Moons Moscow Nightclubs
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

The Insulted And The Injured

We've all been through the humiliation. Pulling up to a Moscow nightclub, you do your best to hide the ache and anger as you anticipate the shame that awaits. The shame of getting denied.

Until last Saturday night, none of us ever dreamed that vengeance could be had on the feis kontrol goons. They have all the power, the power to say yes or no -- the power to humiliate. A power they wield with little subtlety and no fear of retribution.

No city in the world takes feis kontrol as seriously as Moscow. The old Groucho Marx joke is not a joke here: no elitny club-goer would want a club card to a club that would give him a club card. Add to this the sheer abundance of grotesquely wealthy young males and obscenely beautiful dyevushki, and what you have in Moscow is the most aggressively humiliating club scene the world has ever known.

This presented the eXile and friends an interesting question: can the feis kontrol goons be fooled into treating common eXholes like VIPs?

How 2 Get Even

The plan to take Holy Vengeance on Moscow's elitny nightclubs began when Chris Karle, the English general manager of the Phlegmatic Dog, first suggested doing a Eurotrash makeover on some obviously nebbish expat, and photographing him getting past feis kontrol in his new guise.

Karle bounced it off Alex Shifrin, a 30-something Canadian who owns a local marketing firm called The Creative Factory, and from there Shifrin pushed it on me.

We decided that we couldn't think small when going up against something as daunting and inaccessible as Moscow's High 'n Hip Society. Our Trojan Horse wouldn't be just a nebbish eXpat in a nice suit. He'd have to be a star, and treated like a star, the creme de la creme at the very clubs who once chased him away from the door. We'd try to convince the club directors that our eXhole is a famous New York "nightlife clubbing figure," a controversial celebrity in the fashion/paparazzi and music world, a DJ who pioneered a new style of electronica called "Progressive Retro" and then abandoned it after a falling out with Madonna.

His name: Buns McGillicuddy. America's number one "nightlife figure." A name that everyone who's anyone knows but no one's exactly sure why or what he's done. To even try to define him would only show how uncool you were. He was Buns, and that's all you had to know.

He'd need an entourage. A serious entourage. Models, cameramen, PR manager. And a black bodyguard.

Now the only problem would be finding the actors willing to play the roles. They'd be taking a risk. After all, if things went bad, people could get hurt. People get whacked every day here for far less. Clubbing is a huge business. Our targets aren't people who enjoy self-deprecating humor and corporate roasts -- not unless their enemies are literally roasting on a spit deep in a forest.

The eXile’s summer intern: by day a mild-mannered slacker...

The eXile’s summer intern: by day a mild-mannered slacker... night, a superstar DJ spinning out of control night, a superstar DJ spinning out of control

Meet Buns

I called our summer intern and broke the news: "Jeremy, we've got a new assignment for you. You're going to play the role of Buns McGillicuddy, New York superstar." I paused, thinking he'd ask what the hell I was talking about. He didn't. "Buns is a New York nightlife snob swinging through Moscow. It's for the newspaper. You'll gain valuable experience, trust me."

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

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