Monday, August 31, 2009

Chris Brown is, Like, Really Bad at, Like, Talking

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Larry King just interviewed Chris Brown for a show that's going to air on Wednesday night, but the internet, god bless it, has given us this clip a few days early. If you're unable to watch, worry not: I've transcribed the best parts for you. You should read along! It's totally fun!

Larry King: When you hear about all the things that the poilice and the reports say you did, how do you react to that?

Chris Brown: I don't... I don't... Like, I'll just look at it, like, wow, like, I'm in shock because, first of all, that's not who I am as a person, and that's not who I pride myself on being, so I, I just, when I look at, like, the police reports, or I hear about the police reports, I don't know, I don't know, what, what, what to think... I just don't know what to think. It's just, like, wow.

Larry: Do you remember doing it?

Chris: Mmm, no.

Larry: Don't remember doing it?

Chris:
I don't, I don't, It's like, it's crazy to me, like, I... I'm like, wow.

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Photos: Grizzly Bear, Beach House and Vega

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Yesterday, as you may or may not be aware, was the end of summer. How do we know? Well, it was the last of the free outdoor Jelly NYC Pool Parties on the Williamsburg waterfront, with Grizzly Bear, Beach House and Vega performing for thousands, including Senator Chuck Schulmer, Jay-Z and Beyonce (see last photograph for proof of the latter, middle of the series to see the Senator throwing his hands in the "ayer"). L Magazine photographer Adam Au captured summer's last hours so that you can draw warmth from them for the next 8 months.

Grizzly Bear, Beach House and Vega performing on the Williamsburg waterfront, photographed by Adam Au

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"My Name Is Peggy Olson and I'd Like to Smoke Some Marijuana."

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 2:50 PM

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Where to even begin with last night's episode? There was Sterling in blackface, Campbell doing the Charleston, Joan playing the accordion, Peggy smoking pot, and a menacing Grandpa Gene looking like he might child-abuse Sally. The four story lines are starkly different in an awesome way, and unlike in the previous episode they meld into each other somewhat seamlessly.

We open with the casting of the Ann Margaret look alike for the Patio ad mentioned last week, with Peggy rolling her eyes as the Mad Boys gawked. Campbell and Cosgrove come in to announce that Bacardi will be in first thing on Monday morning expecting approximately 11,000 pitches for their campaign, so while they and the rest of management are at Sterling's fancy country club soiree, Peggy, Kinsey and Smitty have to come in on a Saturday.

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$4 Painting Contains Million Dollar Original Print of the Declaration of Independence

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Nicolas Cage in National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Here's an anecdote you can trot out next time your partner, parent, best friend or imaginary antiquarian sidekick tells you that parsing through dusty goodies at neighborhood flea markets is a waste of your time and money: a man from Philadelphia found one of the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence (estimated value $800,000-$1.2 million) in the back of a painting he bought at a Lancaster County antique market (for $4). The Philadelphia Inquirer tells of the unexpected discovery two summers ago by the Philly financial analyst (right, because that's the kind of person who needs more money), a collector of old maps and historical documents, who found one of 24 known copies of the Declaration printed on July 4, 1776.

A Philadelphia printer, John Dunlap, ran off about 200 copies that night for distribution to the public, the army and the government, said David Redden, vice president of Sotheby's, who authenticated the document..

This marks the second time this millennium that the centuries-old document has been rediscovered, the first time, of course, being Nicolas Cage's (pictured) historic finding in 2007 that the Declaration of Independence was actually part of the presidential Book of Secrets.

(via ARTINFO)

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Michael McDonald Covers Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear Expects You to Pay for It?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 1:51 PM

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I've got, like, three new Jay-Z songs to listen to, so I seriously do not have time for this shit, but Grizzly Bear went and released a single for "While You Wait for the Others." It's a good song—one of the best on a very good album. The story, though, which has the internet just positively giddy, is that the b-side is the same song, as sung by noted old dude and former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald. And you thought irony was dead.

Now, if you'll excuse me...

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WTF? One in Ten New Yorkers Had Swine Flu

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Seriously? According to the head of the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 800,000 New Yorkers were actually infected with Swine Flu in the spring. So, all those nervous subway rides you took, when you got antsy about sneezy strangers? You were right to be paranoid.

BONUS GOOD NEWS: The same dude thinks we could be looking at nearly a million deaths nationwide this fall, from the Swine Plague.

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Kanye's Latest Beat Is so Futuristic That He and Jay-Z Forget How To Rap

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Jay-Z and Kanye West in concert
It wouldn't be the week before a new Jay-Z album (that would be Blueprint 3, out September 11, obvs) without a massive overload of Jigga-related news. In addition to weekend appearances on TV and in Williamsburg, today marks the release of the first track off the new album produced solely by Kanye West, "Hate," and it's really bad. Or, rather, Jay and Kanye's verses are terrible, but the beat is perfect contemporary electro-dance Kanye (as opposed to early aughts soulful Kanye, which I still prefer). With West handling about half the production on Blueprint 3, this boads well for the beats, but very poorly for the lyrics:

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Getting Iranian Artists Out of Iran

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Tehrani girls photographed by Newsha Tavakolian
The Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize, a London-Tehran venture run by cultural consultancy group Candlestar and the Magic of Persia arts charity, just announced the names of its six finalists, Farhad Ahrarnia, Mahmoud Bakhshi Moakhar, Vahid Chamani, Sahand Hesamiyan, Abbas Kowsari and Newsha Tavakolian, two of whom (Kowsari and Tavakolian, whose work is pictured) are featured in Iran Inside Out, the excellent group show that runs through Saturday at the Chelsea Art Museum. Nomination for the prize means an exhibition at the Royal College of Art, London, and an auction at Christie’s, half of the proceeds from which will go to the artists, with the other half funding their artists' residency programs.

This is the first juried prize to recognize emerging Iranian artists and help promote their travels, and if the Times review of the exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum is anything to go by, outside help is crucial to the ongoing success and freedom of expression of contemporary artists inside Iran. Though the exhibition features 35 artists based in Iran (the rest are expats), only one was able to leave the country to attend the exhibition opening. Many of those who opted to remain in Iran did so for fear of never being allowed to return home. Click here to learn more about the artists nominated for the Magic of Persia prize.

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DJ Community Pays Tribute to DJ AM

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 10:51 AM

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There's a great post over at Sound of the City about the death of DJ AM. They compiled quotes from a dozen of so members of the NYC DJ scene, and it should be more than enough to quiet anyone who found themselves wondering if AM had been anything more than the guy who almost married Nicole Richie. My favorite quote is from Diplo.

"He was a straight up Djs dj, he picked his tracks to play out and had THE STYLE that defines our whole generation like it or not ...and even if you didn't like his style (which ranged from deep top 40 to deepest old school hip hop to deepest hipster indie rock).. he would come to your party and do what you do better than you (he did it to me coupla times).

Djs have a ceiling, and Am lived on the roof. He sometimes would tell me a bit about his reservations in passing about his lifestyle and I feel like its a loveless place we all live in (DJs). But I dont think we will ever see another person built for it like AM... he was THE Michael Jackson of this shit. So it really worries me a bit that he's gone , cause he's the only that I thought understood it all... he was a sweetheart and tried his damnest to be the best at it and still be the best at being himself."

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Jay-Z on Real Time with Bill Maher: Trading Jokes and Books

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 9:27 AM

On Friday, Jay-Z went on Real Time and spoke to Bill Maher for half an hour, and though there were awkward moments, the two kept it almost too chummy. Jay made some really insightful points (including talking about how rap lyrics are "coded"), and Maher discusses rap music more intelligently and seriously than any TV personality in recent memory. (He also seems to know Jay's entire discography, which is impressive.) Mostly, though, it feels like two buddies chatting about music. Here it is in four parts:

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What a Short Film Should Be

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 8:31 AM

This four-minute short film, What Is It?, by Greek director Constantin Pilavios will make you cry at your desk. It's like a perfect short story, saying much with little. View at your own risk.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

The Recession Makes for Really Pretty Photography

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 2:08 PM

It's an accepted truism now that few things look prettier than beautiful, crisp photographs of abandoned buildings slowly falling into disrepair, and if our current economic slump has been good at providing anything, it's just such sights. Three stunning series in particular come to mind. Brian Ulrich's Dark Stores series on abandoned big box shops and malls is especially moving for eloquently communicating a form of suburban blight that, until recently, was fairly difficult to capture in one photograph.

Brian Ulrichs Dark Stores series

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To DIY For: Your Very Own Leather Miniskirt

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Leather miniskirt
It’s almost the end of summer, which is always a bittersweet time of the year. While I’ll miss the long hours of sunlight, outdoor drinking and, most of all, summer Fridays here at the office, I have to admit that I’m excited about being able to wear more than cut-offs and a tank top. I’m really looking forward to all the sartorial options that open up with cooler temperatures. This means layering and experimenting with different textures; and by far the one thing I’m most excited about is wearing leather! Tops, skirts, shorts, jackets — bring it! So this week, I'll show you how to make a leather mini-skirt!

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The Art World Version of an Underground Concert

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Specials Taco Stand
In an interesting survey of how artists and curators are exploring new ways of displaying their work to avoid the commercial gallery system (and its current crisis), Art In America looks at three projects in New York that are staging brief, nomadic exhibitions and installations in unconventional spaces. They profile Parlour, whose organizers Ciara Gilmartin and Leslie Rosa-Stumpf (formerly of Deitch Projects), curate brief exhibitions in private apartments — their seventh opens today in Manhattan.

Artists Ridley Howard and Mitchell Wright's 106 Green, in Greenpoint, is another series of exhibitions held in Wright's studio and living space. The most unusual of the indie exhibition series AiA profiles, though, is Specials (pictured), a project by Lisa Sigal and Paul Ramírez Jonas that moves locales with each new presentation, features a taco stand designed by Sigal and offers a new specially designed taco at every exhibition. I can think of a couple more alternate gallery models though.

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NASCARs and (Robert) Zombies: The Final 3D Halloween Requel

Posted By and on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM

The Final Destination and Halloween II

Hey, it’s Blockbluster, our seasonal feature in which Benjamin Sutton and Henry Stewart throw their art house inhibitions at the camera in 3D and find out during what sort of movies regular people all over the country are eating popcorn. This week they are barred from reaching their final summer destinations: screenings of The Final Destination and Halloween II, but review them anyway.

Halloween II

HENRY:
So, Ben, the end of the summer nears, which means Hollywood’s dumping its last horror movies into theaters; this week we have Halloween II and The Final Destination [IV]. (Why not wait for October with that first one?) It would have been nice to review one or both for our dear readers, but the craven studios refused to screen either for critics (like us) in advance. Because even they know their movies are terrible; they don’t have confidence in their own product. Dishearteningly, there’s been a lot of that going around: next week’s Gamer won’t be screened, and the recent G.I. Joe was shown only to sympathetic bloggers—the reliable fanboys.

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Intern Panics About End of Free Snacks

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Cartoon pirate

[Ed. Note: A while back, The L Magazine offices mistakenly received a big shipment of Pirate’s Booty, the healthy-ish, cheesy-ish snack food. We made every attempt to get the Booty to its rightful recipients, but were told more or less, “It’s cool.” The last two months have been a magical time of indiscriminate snacking. But not anymore. Intern Jon (pictured at right) may just be the most affected by the end of the Booty. Find below his pathetic open letter.]


Dear Pirate’s Booty,
I knew this day was coming.

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Your Bonus Dog-Days-of-August Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

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Labor Day falls late this year, so we get a sort of bonus weekend of the kind of niche programming studios love to do in the second half of August! Yet somehow, at no time in the next two weeks do we get a single Jason Statham Labor Day Special. I can't help but feel that the ball has been dropped.

[This week's ironic-commentating blog image brought to you by Jesse's disconcertingly thorough auteurist analysis of the Final Destination films, after the jump. -Ed.]

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Will Pedro's Outdoor Seating Ever Re-open?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Pedros Bar in DUMBO

When last we checked in, The Man had robbed our beloved Pedro’s of its outdoor seating, which serves as The L staff’s only link to nature in the summer months. It’s been 85 bleak days, and we are still unable to waste away in Margaritaville. But fear not, readers, for there is a glimmer of hope on the salt-rimmed horizon... We got the inside scoop on Pedro’s pending permit, and things are looking up… Maybe.

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Frank Bruni's 20 Harshest Restaurant Review Put-Downs

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 8:21 AM

Times food critic Frank Bruni
As you've surely heard by now (right?), Frank Bruni's five year tenure as lead food critic at the New York Times will end in October, when the position will be taken over by current Times Culture Editor Sam Sifton. In honor of Bruni's departure, Eater revisits some of his meanest moments, like this saucy criticism of both the food and the decor at Charles:

The lamb kebabs should be called tartare...The salmon, supposedly pan-seared, was more like pan-spurned...Charles is as stingy with heat as it is with light. Maybe it’s saving on utilities.

Anybody want to share their favorite Bruni bruiser?

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Idolator vs. Indie Rock: Round 1,000,000

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 5:21 PM

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I am a loyal reader of Idolator, the onetime Gakwer Media-owned music blog written now almost exclusively by Maura Johnston. It has become a populist conscience of sorts for a music-crit world that has always been in dire need of one, and the importance of the role it plays can't be overstated. I'm perfectly willing to admit that from time to time I need someone to remind me I should be listening to something other than Belle and Sebastian and Wilco, and I don't think I'm alone there. So the site's tendency to jump at every single opportunity to piss on "indie" as a genre or a sensibility or a demographic or whatever the hell else it might be is perfectly understandable—except when it's completely baseless.

In a post from earlier today about news that Death Cab For Cutie will appear on the soundtrack to the new Twilight movie, Johnston says this:

And the pandering to the indie demo doesn’t stop there! According to Billboard “music industry sources have the sound headed in a more indie-centric direction than the first “Twilight,” with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear and Muse all in the running.”

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