The majority of us are stuffing our billfolds with dust bunnies and receipts for the things we need to go return. But, sometimes it's fun to play life like Warren Buffet and invest in the future, as they say -- like a glorious day far, far from now, when you might have cash to burn, and I don't mean for heat. This AirMail mighty wallet by Dynomighty expands to fit whatever you have to carry. Charmingly, it doubles as a notebook.
It's also made out of magical microfibers that are resistant to tearing or ripping, and 25 percent of its materials come from old milk and plastic containers, and it's fully recyclable.
The graffiti version is pretty rad, too.
Come to our party tomorrow, maybe. It's from 1 to 4 in the afternoon, at Mason Dixon (they have a mechanical bull!), and there'll be brunch and cheap screwdrivers and mimosas, and sets from La Strada and Royal Bangs and Army Navy. And then when it's over you'll already be on the L.E.S., where much of the remainder of CMJ is, and can maybe do something fun like, I would say, go over to Bowery Ballroom for the early show ("early" being I guess like 7:45) to see Little Jackie.
Little Jackie is a Brooklyn-based hip-hop duo (she raps, he DJs) who work off of a base of appealingly retro block-party soul samples, they basically sound the way the video for "Doo Wop (That Thing)" looks, and she, Jackie I guess, is kind of hilarious, telling us that damn right "the world should revolve around me" ("There's only one me in the galaxy, I am an endangered species"), or, especially, narrating the old-school pastiche "The Stoop," which is indeed about, as the chorus says, "sitting on the stoop in Bed-Stuy", and fun Bed-Stuy things like going to the deli for beer and getting Corona because that's all they have. (I would also have accepted: Beck's; and various flavors of Shandy Carib.) And then I suppose if you haven't seen Vivian Girls or Crystal Stilts this week then they'll probably end up like busking on the subway as you wait for your train home, because as I understand it's impossible not to seem them this CMJ.
The Brooklyn Indie Market hosts The Grand Chrono'nauts Tea this Saturday afternoon from 11am-6pm on Smith and Union Sts in Carroll Gardens. It's essentially being billed as a "Circus of the Steampunks," and for those of you unfamiliar with the anachronistic sub-cultchah, I suggest you read any of the free-to-download Steampunk Magazine essays found here for the best explanations you can find anywhere, then head over to Boing Boing's archive here, and finally enjoy blowing your DIY mind over at the Steampunk Workshop. Tomorrow's event will feature a Steampunk-themed fashion show, a Steampunk 101 reading and talk by G.D. Falksen, plus music from a saw musician, cupcakes and vintage lifestyle goods, and two Victorian photobooths! The fashion show is the centerpiece of the afternoon: we're told there'll be lots of shirtwaists, top hats, bustles, pocket watches, and brass goggles from indie designers like Sylvia Holden and Rebecca Shepard. Loves it.
Brooklyn Indie Market has plenty more info about the designers and tons of links to check.
For those of you who prefer your artsy stuff on public walls instead of on models, Gothamist's Jake Dobkin and Steph Goralnick will lead their first tour of DUMBO street art, on Sunday afternoon (note: changed from Saturday due to the rain forecast) at 3:30 pm; meet at the York St. stop. Bring your camera and explore some of the area's gorg graffiti -- you may even wind up on a rooftop. And some luckies who take the best snaps of the day will win a prize or two.
In which Jesse Hassenger joins the L's Synecdoche, New York lovefest.
harlie Kaufman's newest film, and his first as a director, opens this weekend, and the L at large seems pretty excited. One of the most interesting aspects of Synecdoche, New York is the way that it so thoroughly displays Kaufman's signatures (meta-narrative, dark humor, fumbling relationships, deadpan weirdness, melancholy, the conviction that being married to Catherine Keener would be kind of miserable) without employing his usual killer hooks, like an eight-minute pop song without a chorus. His previous work surely didn't stop with the idea of entering a portal into John Malkovich's brain or a movie about the writing of the screenplay for that movie or a service that can erase romantic memories on demand, but those killer ideas are easy invitations to Kaufman's wavelength.
Synecdoche only sounds like it has that kind of entrance when you describe what's actually a later development in the movie (go away if you want to stay completely spoiler-free): aging, morose playwright Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) builds a life-size replica of Manhattan inside of a Manhattan warehouse, in which he stages a massive, epic play based on his life (including actors playing actors playing the playwright, and so on). It's kind of like the end of The Muppet Movie, and comparably upsetting.
You might think: and so that's when it starts to get weird.
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! We're all in this together, breaking free, getting our heads in the game, etc.
Yes it is still CMJ and our magazine still has very good ideas for what then you are to do, tonight. We are correct, for instance, in highlighting Cake Shop, where you can catch the austere, ethereal Castanets, the increasingly Talking Heads-y Takka Takka, and bubblegum fuzz of Vivian Girls and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart — though whoever wrote today's picks neglected to mention the late show featuring Team Robespierre, whose completely disorganized sonic assault doesn't really fit the theme, but will keep you awake later than you might stay up otherwise, which considering the finite nature of life, to say nothing of youth, is probably a good thing.
I'd also like to piggyback on the listing for the (awesome-sounding) Mae-shi, at Knitting Factory, to point out that in various other places and times in the venue you might also see recently reformed UK post-punk act The Homosexuals (think Wire and Pavement sharing a desultory post-coital cigarette), and the spacey indie duo Helio Sequence.
And though the verdict on Jens "The Singing WTF DJ" Lekman isn't exactly heartening, you would be forgiven for wanting to experience the disappointment firsthand at Bell House — at least partly because you can also see the adorable Rosebuds and Ladybug Transistor, and the aforementioned Crystal Stilts, while you're there.
I don't consider myself a DJ or mp3 jockey expert by any means, but lordy lord I love me some Diplo: he just brings fun. I can't get enough of this video of his turn at the packed Middle East downstairs in Cambridge, MA, where one hour of homeboy's set is condensed into just under four and a half minutes. (Gosh I wish I'd been there, or at least at Webster Hall last week, oh bitter regret!) Check out the girl in the front of the stage who is literally going apeshit, and all the people swinging shirts over their heads. You can practically see the sweat in the air. It is eww and it is awesome. Can you imagine what a shower would feel like after a night like this?
In between my arrival in New York and my graduation from College, Kim's Video shuttered its (original) Avenue A location and Bleecker satellite, but there was always Mondo Kim's, or, as I preferred to call it, The Place Where I Go to Rent a Movie for Work and End Up Just Browsing Around for an Hour Mentally Tabulating a List of all the Movies I Will See Someday, and Later End Up Skipping a Chance to See Theatrically Because Hell They Have It at Kim's.
Now, the rental section is closing, for all the usual reasons — it's too hard to maintain, it's not profitable enough, if I'm not mistaken the building housing the store was recently sold. Unless, as flyers plastered up over the store (and pictured here, via here) ask, someone wants to generously adopt all the movies and allow access to them. (Anthology? Light Industry? Migrating Forms?)
Stuff is increasingly available for people who have the money to order European DVD-Rs off the internet or whatever, but as much as the future of cinephilia is on the internet... well, most of us will really miss the opportunity to borrow old Anthony Mann VHS tapes with the Turner Classic Movies logo periodically popping up in the corner of the screen. A couple of years ago, when the music department was raided for selling bootleg CDs — I didn't have to pay late fees on a couple of foreign-region Shaw Brothers discs because the store's computer system was in police custody — Reverse Shot's Nick Pinkerton paid better tribute than I could to what Kim's means for cinephilia. And now it goes the way of the Village Voice, really, most of Alphabet City — I should probably start figuring out what are the new cultural institutions future generations of transplanted New Yorkers will mourn because of how much people like me talked about them...
Horace Engdahl knew exactly what he was doing calling us all insular — it got our attention, got us all riled up to see who won the Nobel, and whetted our appetite for a French writer virtually unknown to Americans. So here he is, just weeks after his Nobel win, with a story originally published in 1978, now in a brand-new (and impressive given its swiftness, I think) translation by the New Yorker's fiction editor, Deborah Treisman, who contacted his publisher shortly after the Nobel was announced. In the magazine, the story is accompanied by a full-page photograph of hale, hearty J.M.G. striding manfully through a barren New Mexico landscape.
So, what about the story?
Yep, CMJ's still going on.picks overlap considerably with my tastes, especially the show at Pianos featuring, at 11pm and midnight respectively, labelmates CaUSE Co-motion! — who're about to put out a 14-song, 21-minute collection of their early lo-fi wall-of-sound micromelodies — and Crystal Stilts, who're druggy and bluesy (sometimes almost dirgelike), like a Jesus and Mary Chain biting a completely different strand of American music.
I learned quite a bit from this week's Observer article about "Blink Bling," that is, eyelash and eyebrow enhancement. Namely, that certain women in our fine city who go in for permanent eye-makeup tattoos don't just do it for themselves -- they do it for their new foxy boy-toys! What, oh god what, would happen if your amazing new Dude ran screaming from the bedroom, not because of the mediocre morning sex, but because you DIDN'T HAVE MASCARA ON ZOMG EEEP WHA?:
"It's a trend but also a huge convenience for women who don't want to spend most of their time in the morning making their brows look perfect or trying to apply eyeliner," Ms. Kernahan said. "One of my younger clients had a new boyfriend and she didn't want this new guy to see her in the morning without makeup, She wanted to wake up looking fresh."I understand that New York harbors a very competetive dating "scene," hah, but calling this sort of thing unecessary seems like a hysterical understatement to me. How young is this "younger client," I wonder? Because srsly, you can look "fresh" like Rachel Maddow without paying someone to squirt a needle filled with ink in a place not far from your precious cornea. Here are some excellent tips, also, just a thought, drink lots of water, don't get overly crunk the night before, pretend you are happy, etc.
The L's Nicolas Rapold sat down with Charlie Kaufman, screenwriter of every smartypants undergraudate's favorite movie, and now the writer-director of Synecdoche, New York. (You should really follow that link and read Michael Rowin's review, too; it's the most committed grappling with the movie I've read so far.) They talked about Borges and Kafka and Stanislaw Lem and Infinite Jest, and also... well:
Charlie Kaufman: I did a pilot called Ramblypants. I did a pilot called Depressed Roomies. I did a pilot called In Limbo. I did a pilot called Animals Behind Bars.
The L: What was that about?
CK: It was about animals in a zoo... I did a pilot called Astronuts. Which was a title that I was given. That was my assignment. I was in a development deal with Disney and they came to me. "We got a great idea for a show — Astronuts!" So I wrote it. They were so happy, they couldn't believe how smart they were to come up with this idea. I was like, wow, really?
The L: I guess I would end up seeing a movie called Astronuts at some point.
CK: Well, it's kind of similar to Space Chimps.
The L: That and Kung Fu Panda were two titles this summer that sounded randomly generated by a computer.
CK: I didn't see Space Chimps but I did see Kung Fu Panda. Not bad. Better than I thought. When I saw Jack Black dancing with a bunch of guys in panda suits in photographs from Cannes, I was so depressed. I was heading to Cannes the next week. I thought, I could never see this movie. Then I went to Iceland after Cannes with my family, and I was hooked up with the Icelandic distributor of this movie. And he showed us Kung Fu Panda in a special private screening before it opened. And so I saw Kung Fu Panda before anybody, when I swore I would never see it. And I kinda liked it, it made me laugh.
All that and more, here.
Each week, I compile the songs we love and hate in faux-nostalgic cassette-tape form, for your listening pleasure and pain. This week, enjoy our Election Issue and prepare for your "I Am Thrilled To Participate In The Democratic Process" dance party with the vocal stylings of Katy Perry, Girl Talk, T.I., America's Sweetheart Britney Spears, and more. Turn the volume up, Music Lovers!
Last night, Lauren Beck and I braved a construction site dust storm and unforgiving hunger pains to be the first in line (yes, we are nerds, and no, we will not apologize) at the Music Hall for Brooklyn Vegan's Officially Official CMJ Showcase, featuring Emmy the Great, the Sammies, Shearwater, Ponytail, Passion Pit, Jens Lekman and the Phenomenal Handclap Band. Door were at 6pm. We waited. "I have a pass," said one cold-looking, sharply-dressed fellow around 6:30, as he glanced at the crowd outside and flashed his Meaningless Plastic Thing at the door dude, who smiled. "SO DOES EVERYONE." Hah, hah, it's the joke of CMJ! Finally, we were ushered inside and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves (for the most part). Now we are very, very tired, so here are some lovely concert photographs taken by Robert Caputo, which we have decided to creatively caption. Oh, and if you were there, and stayed nearly to the end as we did, let us know whether you thought of Jens the "Singing DJ" Lekman, his parrot sweatshirt, his inaudible whistling, his "I'm an Airplane" impromptu dance move, and why the eff he didn't sing his own wonderful songs for gosh sakes, because man, we were baffled by his performance.
There is a hilarious story in amNewYork today about stupid people who pose as reporters to "hobnob" with "influencial New Yorkers" at exclusive fancy parties, galas, and super fantastic fundraising events. J-schoolers are so glamorous, no? It's not as if we sit at computers all day and all night, tired and hunched over and grouchy with our cups of coffee and our Thesauruses, wondering whether Media will be absorbed into the hellmouth of the Depression and take us All Down With It as we compulsively check RSS feeds. No: while the rest of the world worries about the economy and election, we're partying and saving the children. That's why everyone wants to be us, obvs:
About 24 fake journalists tried to get into a recent gala to raise money for poor children this year, compared to the usual five or so, said Claudia Stepke, head of Claudia Stepke Associates, a public-relations firm. She figures the boom of posers partially could be due to the economy.This journalistic lifestyle is so freaking amazing that in addition to making up media outlets, some people say they are working for ACTUAL REAL ONES, like, what do you know, amNewYork! A man who goes by the name Robert Miller has been posing as a reporter for the daily for years, using his faux credentials to scam his way into swanky events. Witness his balls:
The fakers also pretend to work for any of the city's real newspapers or national magazines. One person, who goes by the name of Robert Miller, has persistently made the rounds with at least five public relations firms recently, saying he works for amNewYork. Miller, described only as a man in his mid-50s, has been trying to trick event organizers for years. The fake reporter has created a phony amNewYork email address and has a partner he calls Alex Page. Miller also claims to work for other publications to sneak into other events.If you see Robert Miller at any of the fabulous MSM parties you attend with boldface byliners, point to him and yell: "Call the feds! Take this man, his digital voice recorder, his red pen, and his press card away immediately! He has not indebted himself with a Columbia degree, nor did he use his blog to become a Harper's contributor! He is an imposter and does not deserve to munch on hors d'oeuvres and kiss famous-person ass for interesting quotes!" Say all of that, but very quickly, before he scurries away into the night.
Beyond free food and wine, people who pose as journalists could be seeking a boost to their self worth, said Kristin Sommer, a Baruch College associate professor in psychology.
"[That] behavior might be dominant in people who don't have a particularly strong self worth," she said. "Their own worth is defined in terms of the kind of connections that they have."
Working at a weekly everything is likely to change a dozen times between when you start working on a feature and when it's off newsstands, so we're taking a bit of a long view and running down the fun new purple colors on the electoral map — why are Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and North Carolina joining Florida and Ohio (but not Pennsylvania or New Hampshire or Michigan) as swing states? (If this issue came out a week later we might have even done West Virginia or North Dakota...
So, we run down the old and new swingers, taking a look at the demographic changes and economic factors altering the landscape of the American electorate.
Plus, we get out the vote — contributor Musa Gurnis presents a diary of an early October Sunday spent registering voters in North Philadelphia. (And Benjamin Sutton runs down all the things you — yes, you! — can still do to make more of a difference than your vote will.
Elsewhere in the magazine, cabbies talk about Bloomberg's third term and the Conscientious Objector takes heart in the environmentally responsible decisions forced upon us by the Awesome Great New Depression.
Plus, Michael Joshua Rowin raves about the movie to end all movies, Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York; Popscene talks about naked Britney Spears and cheesy synthpop and arena rap, the former bassist for the Sugarcubes wrote a hella good book, and Harry Potter is naked and apparently quite good in Equus.
All that and complete CMJ listings, to carry around in your pocket as you hop from show to show. Pick us, please! (Up. Pick us up.)
Merry Muthafuckin' Christmas - Eazy-E is def my favorite These two dudes hanging Christmas lights…
In my defense, it works either way, & I love your stuff...
Ha - never mind, just re-read it properly for the 1st time (LOL)