Friday, May 28, 2010

Paparazzo Punched Out By Pissed-Off Pugilist Porter

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

photog punch up
  • Dude, just stay down.
Hell of a photo, no? (Of some freshly KO'ed paparazzo outside Ponzi-schemer Kenneth Starr's building. And that would be the doorman looming over him.)

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David Byrne Sues Charlie Crist

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 3:40 PM

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Simpsons character David Byrne filed suit against Charlie Crist this week, alleging that the Florida governor used "Road to Nowhere" in a campaign commercial without permission, Billboard reported.

Byrne is being represented by the same lawyer who represented Jackson Browne in his lawsuit against John McCain for using "Running on Empty" without permission. When will Republicans, present and former, learn that they can't throw popular songs into their campaigns because musicians don't like them? [Times]

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Nadine Sierra Wins National Singin' Award

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM

nadine.jpg
Hey, it's just like that time The L told you Vampire Weekend was gonna be big and then it happened: last September, we predicted that Nadine Sierra would be the next big thing in sopranos, and she recently took one step closer to making that a reality.

Last weekend, the Florida-native picked up first prize in the 38th annual Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, a prestigious vocal competition that attracts talent from all over the country, Culture Monster reported. (We're a little late reporting it because we had to wait for the carrier pigeon to bring the news to us, and he stopped at Pedro's and ended up on a bender that lasted more than a day.) Congrats, Nadine. We feel proprietary towards you now.

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New MTA Subway Map Still Pretty Confusing

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 2:36 PM

getting lost
  • "You're gonna wanna take the F to the Q to the G."
Even lifelong New Yorkers still have to consult the subway map now and then because, well, it's a big city, with a big, confusing subway system. The problem is, though, that it can be really tough to figure out some of the more important commuting details (transfers, uptown-only stations) by squinting over a fellow passenger's shoulder on a crowded car.

It is for this reason the MTA has revisited its 1979 map (which has accumulated way too much information over the last 30 years) with an eye to simplification and clarity. And while they've taken some admirable steps (shrinking Staten Island, widening Manhattan, conjuring the long-lost City Island), the new maps (set to debut in June) are really more about little tweaks than a full redesign.

But you know what? If you're not sure, you should never be afraid to ask, as the recitation of subway directions is a ritual beloved by New Yorkers young and old, particularly when there are competing options. Seriously, I love listening to a one-act cast of total strangers work out the fastest way to get to Fort Tryon.

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Genre Writers Continue to Be Very Self-Conscious About Being Genre Writers

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 2:06 PM

maigret
  • "Merde. I am but two-thirds of a real character."
Christian Lorentzen over at the Daily Transom notes something of a challenge coming out of this week's Book Expo America. Specifically from Lee Child, author of something called the "Jack Reacher novels," who says:
If you asked a genre writer to write a book in the style of Martin Amis, anyone of us could write a good imitation of one of his books. Could he write one of our books? I don't think so.

Ok, obviously (as Mr. Lorentzen notes) Amis did write a passable imitation of a crime novel, 1999's Night Train, but that's not really the point. The idea that writing a (good) book is just some tradesman's skill, like making a chair, gets at the heart of genre fiction's inadequacy: great art has no blueprint.

Continue reading »

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We're Number One! (And By "We," I Mean the Beaches of Southampton)

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Coopers Beach
  • Yeah, that does look nice.
This is a very important news story. On the eve of Memorial Day Weekend, a very important survey revealed that Southampton's Coopers Beach is America's best beach, a result which prompted one Southampton littoralist to utter the words, "Suck it, Florida." The study was overseen by a man from Florida International University named Stephen "Dr. Beach" Leatherman, whose last name is derived from decades spent converting the Sun's rays into a chestnut-like carapace.

(I wonder if the survey included such intangibles as access to heroin...)

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Prince of Persia: Chastity in the City

Posted By and on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 1:18 PM

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Hey, it’s the return of Blockbluster, our seasonal feature in which Benjamin Sutton and Henry Stewart use time sand to find out during what sort of movies regular people all over the country are eating popcorn. This week they leap over thorny ideological spikes and evade mystical moral guardians in Mike Newell’s video game adaptation Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

BEN:
Hi Henry, it’s nice to be back for another summer of discussing the stupid, ridiculous, offensive, fun and occasionally intelligent event-movies that Hollywood will be hurling at us every week between Memorial and Labor Days (often in 3D, but not here, weirdly), and how appropriate that we’re starting the season with a film that is at various times all those things in very disparate proportions. Mike Newell’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time shifts between Ridley Scott-ian self-seriousness, classical tragedy, effects movie camp, political allegory, schizophrenic Persian-face jingoism, intermittently successful video game-like action and the laziest time travel plot in movie history.

Continue reading »

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Animator Prototypes Future Iron Man Spinoff, Iron Baby

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

The animator Patrick Boivin, formerly of Iron Man vs. Bruce Lee, has a great idea for the inevitable Iron Man franchise's first spin-off or sequel: Iron Baby. The baby, who must either be Tony Stark as a child or lil baby Stark (that's up to the screenwriting team), flies valiantly into war zones to do battle with evil men in big fuzzy bunny costumes. It's really perfect for that 4-50, male-female-rabbit-robot demographic. (DesignYouTrust)

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Enough with All the 60s Godard!

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

breathless1.jpg
I have a friend who jokes, whenever another early Godard film is playing at Film Forum, “When is that series going to be over?”—as if Film Forum were running one continuous series of Godard films from the 60s. They basically have been; a quick search shows that in the past few years Film Forum has had runs of Vivre Sa Vie, Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Made in USA, Band of Outsiders, Contempt, Masculine Feminine, A Woman is a Woman, La Chinoise, plus the longer programs Godard’s 60s and The Films of Godard—the latter also focusing on movies from the 1960s—and now the 50th anniversary restoration of Breathless. And each time the films play they greet rapturous critics and eager audiences, or audiences eager to come, if not necessarily to stay—I noticed more than a few walkouts at screenings of Two or Three Things and Masculine Feminine.

In a way, all this is great.

Continue reading »

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Man Run Over By Cop on the Beach is a Mets Fan. Obvs.

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

It's hard to imagine how shitty it must be to get run over by a cop while lying on the beach (to the tune of two broken vertebrates). It's also hard to imagine how shitty it must be to be a Mets fan.

Now try to imagine both.

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Hear Win and Will Butler Talk to NPR About the New Arcade Fire Album

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

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While freaking out about John Prine being on Letterman with Jim James and desperately trying to ignore the whole M.I.A. as petulant 9th grader thing yesterday afternoon, I managed to miss this: Win and Will Butler appeared on NPR's All Songs Considered with Bob Boilen to talk about their new album, The Suburbs. My personal favorite part is when Will says, for no apparent reason, "I mean, 'Month of May' isn't half as dumb or half as short or half as light as 90% of the songs on The White Album" and then sings "Honey Pie." My second favorite part is when he says, "When you tour Europe, you really actually start to be able to differentiate the ethnicities of white people." [via Largehearted Boy]

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IBM Animates Julie Mehretu Canvas for New Commercial

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM

When describing the work of Julie Mehretu people often argue, quite rightly, I think, that the dynamic, swirling forms in her work evoke the invisible movements of contemporary digital capitalism. This metaphor was not lost on IBM, whose recent commercial about data transportation is really seriously an animated version of Mehretu's work. Now she must know how Fischli and Weiss feel. (MAN)

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And Now a New Kanye West Single

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 10:16 AM

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A few days after Kanye treated everyone in attendance at the CV Lounge to a handful of tracks from his new album, the rest of us get our first taste. With its near-chanted vocal hook repeating throughout and its foot-stomping tribal rhythm, "Power" should be a major player on dance floors and on my headphones all summer. The rhymes are characteristically inconsistent, with one in particular that jumps out as the quintessential Ye statement: "I don't need your pussy, bitch, I'm on my own dick." Listen here.

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Lil Wayne Plays Impromptu Rooftop Concert Days Before Jail in "Da Da Da" Video

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Last night MTV premiered the first of what will reportedly be a four-video weekend for Lil Wayne, even though he's in jail! The folks at MTV are apparently calling it "Lil Tunechi Weekend" after Wayne's Twitter name. The festivities begin with Wayne doing a bit of a Beatles impression, playing an unannounced rooftop show in Miami Beach, although the crowd of curious onlookers must have been really disappointed when he launched into "Da Da Da," one of the least terrible tracks off Rebirth but by no stretch of the imagination a good song. (MissInfo)

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Topless Photos of Paramore Singer Surface on Twitter, Never Should Have Existed in the First Place

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 9:14 AM

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At some point late last night, topless photos of Paramore singer Hayley Williams surfaced on her Twitter account. They were taken down a few minutes later, and Wiliams tweeted, "well... my night just changed drastically. got hacked." Lots of people seem to think she's lying—that she wasn't hacked and that she'd actually just posted the photos herself, either by accident of for attention or something.

Either way, famous people: if you don't want a the whole world to see you naked, you shouldn't allow naked photos of yourself to be floating around. This means you shouldn't let other people photograph you naked, this means you shouldn't take naked photos of yourself to send to another person, and it means that if you want to take naked photos of yourself just to look at, then you should probably, I don't know, take the photo, look at it, then fucking delete it, then take a new naked photo of yourself every time you're struck with the desire to see yourself naked, and then delete all those too. Sheesh. This is not complicated.

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Your Weekend at the Movies Having More Sex in the Sands of Time

Posted By on Fri, May 28, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Prince of Persia Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: Look, I'm going upstate this weekend, where they have access to plentiful drive-ins. As such, I will probably be seeing the videogame-based Prince of Persia, because it's the exact kind of hopped-up drive-in fodder that studios try to pass off as major events, and I'm happy to defuse that self-importance by watching this movie outside while eating a cheeseburger that came wrapped in foil. Also, I have a ridiculous crush on Gemma Arterton, who plays the coveted role of Girl. Not ridiculous as in pronounced; ridiculous as in, really, there's no reason for this.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Garage Rockers vs. Hipsters, Part 2

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 4:03 PM

jay banerjee
  • The original Jay Banerjee, hatless.
Last Friday, L Mag music editor Mike Conklin wrote a post about a garage rock/power pop night at Southpaw (which is happening tonight) called Hipster Demolition Night. Mike took umbrage with this particular marketing strategy, and in his umbrage misidentified a photo that appeared in the original Brooklyn Paper article (mistaking the musician Paul Collins, who is playing tonight, for Jay Banerjee, the organizer of the show, also playing tonight). This led to an unholy shitstorm in the comments. By way of clarification (and a bit of conciliation), we reprint here an email Mr. Conklin sent to Mr. Banerjee, along with Mr. Banerjee's response. And though it's hard to do, we give Mr. Banerjee the last word on this. *For the record, this isn't a retraction (I stand by everything Mr. Conklin originally wrote, the stuff about Mr. Collin's hat excepted), but rather an attempt to wind down this vicious blood feud on a note of civility.

Continue reading »

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Oh No! A Missing Puppy in Bushwick (Be on the Lookout for a Corgi)

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Puppy the Corgi
It's community service time (if one of my dogs went missing, I'd lose my shit):

Bushwick’s best dog ever is missing. Please help find him. Andrea’s corgi went missing last night. His name is "Puppy." He lives in Bushwick on Central Ave between Jefferson and Troutman. If you see him or know of someone who’s seen him, please pass this along and call me. Also, please repost this if you live in NYC. It will help. 847-636-8833

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In Defense of Hipsters: Part 27 (Last One For a While, I Promise)

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Walt Whitman
  • Original Brooklyn hipster.
Ok, I promise we'll soon stop with this whole "hipsters do this, hipsters do that" navel-gazing analysis (seriously, I know, I'm obsessed), but I just got so pissed off skimming through the ridiculously self-important commenters (e.g. "I lived here before you could get good coffee!") on this ridiculously empty Gawker post about "real Brooklyn/fake Brooklyn." Until I came across a comment by a self-declared hipster calling herself Leila-Clare (if you're out there, call us!). Anyway, it goes like this:

"Hi.

I moved to New York city to be in fashion media. Guess what? I succeeded. I came from a small liberal arts college that Gawker laughs at sometimes, but left because I couldn't afford it and went to public school in Canada. I am from Chicago (Wicker Park, which was a WHOLE different world when I was young). Growing up I had a single mom with a small amount of money, but I've been stuffed to the ear holes with bourgeosie values, so I went to private school... because I got a fucking scholarship.

Continue reading »

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Suck It, Racists: New Study Finds Immigration Leads to a Drop in Crime Rates

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:23 PM

fievel!
That amazing decline in crime rates in New York in the 1990s? A University of Colorado sociologist suggests that a jump in immigration played a big part. Sure, Giuliani's police-state approach to crime probably had something to with it, as did the flourishing economy (duh), but Tim Wadsworth looked at a bunch of American cities between 1990 and 2000 and found that dropping crime rates had a direct relationship with rising immigration rates.

Of course, this makes perfect sense to anyone who lives in a big city with dense immigrant enclaves, areas that generally feel safer, cleaner and like more of a community (Bay Ridge Norwegians represent!). As Wadsworth tells the Journal:

The reality of it is that if you go into most immigrant enclaves — whether they be Italian or Mexican or any other — if there is a lot of homogeneity in terms of ethnic background, these places tend to be some with the lowest crime rates.

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