Friday, October 31, 2008

A Different Take on Tying the Knot

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 5:00 PM

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The Times's Gaza Journal today is a story on a Hamas-organized mass wedding party. The militant Islamist group acted as a matchmaker between war widows and still-single fighters.

Lovey SMS-messaging, as with any couple:

The grooms danced on the stage as a male singer extolled the virtues of married life. Ehab Adas, 25, one of the grooms, said he missed fighting but was keeping busy working as a secretary at the Interior Ministry. He pointed out his bride in the crowd, and proudly displayed the last text message he had received from her on his mobile phone. "Today is my real wedding," it read. He had replied simply, "I love you."
But there is also this:
"Marriage is the same as jihad," or holy war, said Muhammad Yousef, one recently married member of the Qassam Brigades, the Hamas underground. "With marriage, you are producing another generation that believes in resistance."

Your Weekend, So Packed with Activity You Will Look Like the Great Czech Long-Distance Runner Emik Zátopek (Pictured) by the End of It

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 4:51 PM

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Vote, first of all — the NYC Board of Elections has announced extended hours for early in-person absentee voting, until 9pm tonight (I will be voting in my Ayers costume) and during the day on Saturday and Sunday. So, there's that.

There is also: do your part to get out the vote and canvass in swing states, please.

It's also going to still sorta be Halloween tomorrow night, especially at Glasslands, where several bands will dress up as other bands, which actually means play covers (the not particularly googleable Color TV as the Jesus and Mary Chain; Kocho-Bi-Sexual as Mötley Crüe; The Library Is On Fire as Nirvana; and maybe one or two other things). And wherever you go please remember to set your clocks (that you carry around with you I guess) back an hour at 2am, so as to drink for an extra hour.

Also: it's the opera, dummy! Did you know Brooklyn has a Repertory Opera? It kinda does. And it's doing matinees of The Marriage of Figaro at the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope the next three weekends, and I think that's kinda awesome.

And lastly, the Marathon is this weekend (wheelchair races starting around 8:30; women's race at 9:10, everyone else at 9:40). Standing outside the route watching old people hand out bananas to whoever wants one is highly recommended.

Stuff I'm __ing: Ben Gibbard's 'Complicated'

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 4:00 PM

I could listen to Avril Lavigne belt her ball-busting pop-punk paens day long! But many sane individuals think this amazing singer-songwriter, married to Sum 41's spikey-haired Deryck Whibley, is quite possibly the anti-Christ! (See the effusive comments in this vintage Stereogum post.) Here, I offer you Ben Gibbard's wonderful cover of 'Complicated,' which I've been obsessively listening to for the past 48-hours. I hope it is the highlight of your Halloween-day.


"Life's like this, you" are lyrics -- and words -- to live by. The priceless thing about this cover is Gibby's flawless mimicry of Avril's Canadian accent. It happens exactly at minute 2:10, on the word "pose."

And no, it isn't all that complicated at all. It is, in fact, rather cut and dry, etc. But O God it's an awesome song.

Happy Halloween, from Janet Jackson and All of Us Here in the Rhythm Nation

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 3:00 PM

This is amazing on more levels than I'm at present prepared to articulate.

Halloween in the Time of Cholera

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM

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From Wired.com's gallery of vintage Halloween snaps:

"My theme is 'Halloween in the Time of Cholera,'" collector Steven Martin told Wired.com in an e-mail interview. "The idea being that people back then were probably on a more intimate level with death — and that would have affected the way they celebrated Halloween."

Martin, who has amassed a vast collection of vintage images through eBay, said he's using pictures from 1940 and earlier for the Flickr countdown.

The couple in front have escaped from Oz. I love them.

The Two Boots Pioneer Rides off into the Sunset

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:24 PM

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Initially tonight's midnight screening of Night of the Living Dead, at the Two Boots Pioneer, was the diehard capper the customary month's worth of Hallween-centered D.I.Y. schlock, obscure slash and occasional classic horror. Instead, it's the (really hella fitting) sayonara screening for the 99-seat venue, which is closing for all the reasons that small not-first-run theaters generally close. So, farewell, Two Boots Pioneer, where I saw midnight screenings of Donnie Darko and Primer (Primer!); like the pizza parlor and video store, you were a great thing to have just around the corner, and now you're gone.

Happy Halloween from David Lynch, Laura Palmer, Killer Bob, and All the Rest of Us Here In Beautiful Twin Peaks, Washington

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Someone Else Made This So That You Don't Have To: Attack of the Mavericks!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 12:00 PM

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Someone Else Made This So That You Don't Have To provides me with the excuse to troll the bowels of DIY marketplace Etsy.com for amazing things fashioned out of dust by by whimsical indie-rock fairy queens! The kid that eat babies.

Happy All Hallows Eve, etc! Now, do you want to master the power of giving other people goosebumps? I'm not talking the cute, R.L. Stine kind, I mean the sort of awful tinglies that spread all over your flesh after you stare at fifty clown-killer pictures, go over your tax/401K papers, and then attempt to "calm" yourself by watching an episode of Beverly Hills: 90210 the new class without once looking away.

All this can be accomplished in one easy step if you purchase the terrible yet incredible "Attack of the Mavericks" poster at right. "But careful, John McCain will clearly steal your soul..." warns seller/artist kahlaw. Indeed: note the shit-eating grin combined with the insidious light-filled pinpricks in his eyes. I feel like he might come bumbling right out of the picture, grabbing at my face and calling me MY FRIEND.

Sar-Pal looks utterly approachable, though, which may just be the scariest thing of all.

It's Halloween

Posted By on Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 9:00 AM

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To piggyback on Jesse's scary movie post from yesterday, I should mention that there's Nosferatu (the version where Klaus Kinski wears not very much makeup) at IFC Center , and the Satanic it-came-from-within queasefest Rosemary's Baby at Film Forum.

But, really now, those movies are playing through Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, and it's Halloween, so just head down to the West 4th stop, where the parade is, it's too much of a clusterfuck not too. I suppose most bars will have DJs tonight, I'm not really the person you want to ask about which ones you should go to. I will, however, mention how much I love the fact that there is a Misfits cover band playing its 5th annual Arlene's Grocery Halloween show.

If you're going to commit to doing something in a neighborhood where you can't just walk a minute to someplace else if the first place sucks, I should also mention that you will want to descend upon/avoid like the plague the remote Very Outer Williamsburg locale Silent Barn, where the artist Nate Hill, who makes people out of dead animals, will be making a person out of dead animals, and there will be free beer.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Journos Off Their Rockers, Bill Murray is the Answer

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 4:00 PM

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This is why those devious faux-journos are crashing exclusive parties instead of the campaign trail: it's a tough life! I always half-wonder how Rory Gilmore is doing, now that she's been covering the Obama campaign for two years. You know, for that political online magazine that she started working for on the very last episode of Gilmore Girls (RIP). Is she anything like CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley, who, as reported by TNR, is just really hard-up for some normal grocery store shopping and a good TiVo couch-a-thon?

"After the previous campaign, it took me a good month to stop waking up in the middle of the night in a panic that I've missed something," Crowley says.
Sounds like our Rory, although I'm sure Lorelai would tell her to get a life and go drink more.

Elsewhere, The New Yorker's Hendrick Hertzberg (<3) compares the turn this election has taken to a Bill Murray movie:
"I don't want it to end, but I always want it to be about to end," he says. "If the election were always a week away and I was feeling fairly good about it, that would be nice--sort of like Groundhog Day."
Is he always right about everything?

Steal This Economy

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 3:40 PM

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"'The solution is ridiculously simple. Instead of currency based on gold, back your currency with electrical energy.' Josh suggests another solution to the crisis is to localize food production, distribution and consumption. This could be achieved, he explains, by networking with food coops and gardens upstate to transport food on barges via the Hudson River. This was done in the old days, he points out, by mules, but suggests that this time we should 'put a whole bunch of Republicans in harness and get them to pull barges.'"

The New York Chapter of the Yippies — the Youth International Party, the activists/bohemians/dropout pranksters of the 60s and beyond — met up at the beginning of the month to talk about the economy, and what then we are to do about it. Our Street Stories correspondent Jessica Hall tagged along; you can read the rest of her report here.

Not Only, But Also: Eleventy Billion Gallery Openings

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 2:30 PM

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The L's Patricia Milder has curated some suggestions for your Thursday night gallery-crawl!

Sure, I admit gallery openings aren't the best environments for seriously considering artworks. But on nights like tonight when so many doors in Chelsea are open until at least 8pm, there's no more entertaining way to start out (or end, if you're tired as hell by Thursday, like me) your evening. And let's face it, it's the end of the month and cash is low, so zero cost for stopping by and a few free beers are more than welcome.

If you can only make it to one show tonight, I have to recommend checking out Rodney McMillian at The Kitchen. McMillian makes really fabulous, highly politically charged installations by painting on unprimed canvas, and using materials such as discarded mattresses, filing cabinets, and chairs. I'm really looking forward to seeing one of McMillian's performances (tonight at 7pm) for the first time. They are said to be something like a nonlinear, pop-culture infused revisiting of political movements from history. The inspiration for this particular show (installation, performance, and also sound art -- not music -- accompaniment) is Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel The Road. This is layered, as McMillian's work always is, with allusions to the points at which religious belief systems, politics and current events overlap: entertaining, but certainly not escapist.

I also very highly recommend getting familiar with Tomma Abts' abstract paintings and Stan Douglas' photography and video, both opening at David Zwirner.

Below is a short list of galleries all in close proximity to each other, having receptions tonight from 6pm-8pm. Go ahead, attend all six.

Rodney McMillian
Performance at 7pm
The Kitchen
512 West 19th St

Tomma Abts & Stan Douglas
David Zwirner
525 & 533 W 19th St

Enrique Metinides
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
529 West 20th St

Ali Banisadr
Leslie Tonkonow
535 West 22nd St

Stephen Westfall
Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.
514 W 25th St

Arian Huang
Walter Randel Gallery
287 Tenth Ave

Boybama: 'Battleground for Your Heart'

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 2:15 PM

I was touched -- TOUCHED! -- by this amazing piece of musical cinematography, which you need to listen to and watch immediately, whether you are woman, man, boy, girl, child, or tree. But especially if you live in a swing state. Do it now.

Literary Happenings: Books and Booze Sell in Bad Times

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 1:00 PM

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The Brooklyn Based has a nice little interview up today with Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, the current events and publicity coordinator at McNally Jackson Books and last year's winner of the Brooklyn Business Library's PowerUp! Business Plan Competition. She's getting ready to open an as-yet-unnamed bookstore in Fort Greene, and might be the first person who isn't Warren Buffet who seems genuinely upbeat about why this current economy could actually be a good time to invest -- particularly, in an indie bookstore:

There's a bit of folk wisdom that says "books and booze" are what sell in bad times — those are the luxuries that people can afford, and that give the most bang for the buck. So I think the bookstores and bars of Brooklyn will be just fine.
Keep up with Bagnulo's progress on her blog, A Bookstore in Brooklyn.

The New Yorker Reader: "The Fat Man's Race," by Louise Erdrich

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:00 PM

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Fear and desire, lust et cetera.

This story — the first one of these I've done, I believe, to be Literary Upstart-eligible at under 1,500 words — will take less time to read than most of my posts, and is much, much better, so go read it, and then come back and make the jump and let's talk about it.


Continue reading »

Thursday List: Halloween Costumes (Or Just One Costume, Actually, Sorry)

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Aside from being on a Friday, this All Hallow's Eve comes on the eve of a presidential election. This tweaks the usual default mode of "slutty" — Slutty Librarian, say — or "slutty and topical" — Slutty Daniel Plainview, or some other icon from the entertainment industry. Because politics is the biggest draw in entertainment right now, and to ignore it would seem weird and trivial. So. Though we'll be seeing plenty of hipsters drawing a backwards B on their faces at the last minute, and so many Sarah Palins you'll want to vomit (and at least one Bill Ayers), my friends, there is only Halloween costume that truly fits the bill...


Continue reading »

Scary Movies

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 9:00 AM

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October is the Horror Filmiest Month, so sayeth Jesse Hassenger (& everyone else).

You may have noticed that Halloween falls on a Friday this year, and you may also have noticed that this would be a way bigger deal if you were still in college. But you do live in New York, at least, so you can probably find something to do. If you're strapped for ideas and sure as hell don't feel like dressing up, though, there's always this year's bumper crop of horror movies. Like the ad campaign says: if it's around Halloween, it must be a melee over excitement to see Saw. Luckily, I spent last weekend sussing out most of the horror movies now playing (even more luckily, I didn't go to Times Square). Here's a quick rundown of your spooking options:


Continue reading »

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So, About That Khalidi Tape...

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 5:19 PM

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Tonight Barack Obama will make everyone forget about baseball for five fracking seconds while he chit-chats with the nation about some useful stuff. But whoa hey, look, John McCain, who thinks baseball is more important than issues and doesn't like having rallies in the rain, is pissed that the Los Angeles Times isn't releasing a tape that depicts Obama and his wife Michelle carousing at a 2003 party for Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American professor and a critic of Israel.

Whether or not Khalidi was a spokesman for the PLO doesn't change the fact that Obama has come out and said that he has very different views about Israel. It's so funny how that works, you know? Friends can sometimes have different ideas! Imagine! Does this make Obama's vision for our country any less valid? Also, guess what, McCain has ties to Khalidi, too! Why don't we go ahead and make those nasty associations public, shall we?

McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group that Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies has received more than $800,000 from an organization that McCain chairs.

[...]

Under McCain's leadership, the IRI gave at least $838,494 to Khalidi's group in 1988 and 1999, according to the IRI's tax returns.

Ohhhh, there were lots of terrible, terrible individuals at this 2003 party, huh?

On Wednesday, McCain said 1960s radical Bill Ayers had attended the same party in 2003. McCain and Palin have criticized Obama for his ties to Ayers and questioned what the videotape of the party might show.

And now let's all kowtow and vomit into our hands as Sarah Palin waxes on about how much she just adores Israel:

"Among other things, Israel was described there as the perpetrator of terrorism rather than the victim," Palin said at a rally in Ohio. "What we don't know is how Barack Obama responded to these slurs on a country that he professes to support."

This is the kind of shit you spew when you know you're in danger of losing your very own state of Arizona. Whoops, won't THAT be embarrassing. Except it will actually be amazing.

What, exactly, is so biased about this particular blasted liberal media publication McCain hates so much -- last April, the Times published a story about the banquet Khalidi and Obama attended, and described the video itself (which they can't release because they promised the source who provided the video that they wouldn't)? Does McCain even care anymore, or does he just want the opportunity to talk about Nazis and inadvertently compare Obama's associations to them?

"What if there was a tape with John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit being held by some media outlet?" McCain asked in an interview with a Cuban radio station Wednesday morning. "I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different."

You betcha! I haven't felt this sick inside over something in this campaign cycle in quite some time -- the McCain camp's attempts to stretch the truth are utterly weak sauce see-through-able. Cling-wrap, really. This is a last ditch effort to blatantly manipulate the incredibly strong emotional connection so many Jews have toward Israel, which I find heinous. And pathetic.

Can Someone Please Make An Entire Election Night Diorama with Legos?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM

Look! Via Governing.com, I found this pre-Veep announcement Wonkette post about a University of Alaska-Fairbanks student who built a Lego replica of one of the campus' buildings, which just so happens to depict foxy Governor Palin on her march to her favorite consignment shop or family values center or whatever. Can you tell her wardrobe has been updated since the spring? "She's even hotter as a freakish piece of plastic," apparently, and hopes to be so much more than that by 2012.

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More fun with politics and Legos here.


The L Magazine Mix: Save America

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Herein, I compile the songs we love and hate in faux-nostalgic cassette-tape form for your listening pleasure and pain. Procrastinate shopping for your last-minute Halloween costume with The L, along with new tracks by Ryan Adams, Deerhunter (kinda old in Interweb time, but let's play the game anyway), and more, plus my favorite song-to-play-on-repeat this week, Lykke Li's super-sexy 'Little Bit'. Turn the volume up, Music Lovers!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes
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