Monday, August 30, 2010

Director of the Brooklyn Museum, Arnold Lehman, Responds...

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

fred tomaselli
  • Fred Tomaselli, this fall at the Brooklyn Museum.
First, I want to thank The L Magazine for allowing me to comment on a recent article.

The L Magazine recently posted online a brief article about newly extended hours at the Brooklyn Museum. The article alluded to “recently released worrisome attendance figures,” that linked to a story about the Museum by Robin Pogrebin that appeared in The New York Times on June 14, 2010.

"Worrisome" to whom might be an appropriate question to ask.

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Vol. 1 Brooklyn Names 10 Musicians Who Would Probably Write Good Books

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Ezras To Do List
  • Ezra's To Do List
You would totally buy a novel written by Vampire Weekend kid Ezra Koenig, don't deny it. With his upper middle class upbringing and Upper West Side education, it might end up a "cross between Kipling, P.G. Wodehouse and Salinger," according to neighborhood lit-culture blog Vol. 1 Brooklyn, which would be awkward but also pretty awesome. He was just named among their top 10 musicians who would probably write good books, among the likes of Jeff Mangum, Kanye, Will Sheff (Okkervil River), Milo Aukerman (The Descendents) and Ted Leo, whose baby bro already beat him to the punch.

It seems strange that they bypassed Craig Finn, as his knack for serial narratives with character arcs and an obvious eye for detail lends itself nicely to a novel. And Gil Scott-Heron, "before the crack got to him," as L editor Mark Asch put it. What about Jeff Tweedy? He's a published poet. I'm going to throw Patrick Stickles in there too, as well as Jens Lekman. At the very least, he'd write a pretty decent memoir of his 20s.

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Arcade Fire Release Interactive New Video With Which I Cannot Figure Out How to Interact

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 10:27 AM

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The brand new video for Arcade Fire's standout Suburbs track "We Used to Wait" hit the web this morning, and it seems like a pretty important leap forward for the form, in that it uses all sorts of technology, like HTML 5 and Google Maps to create an interactive experience for the viewer. You visit this website and enter your childhood address, and then... then I don't know what happens. I imagine we get some sort of personalized, nostalgic look at our childhood, but I can't be sure because my computer is getting super pissed off at me and refuses to load the clip. There's even a warning on the site that says the whole thing will be taxing on your processor and that you should quit all other programs. They're not kidding. [via Stereogum]

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Breaking News: "Motownphilly" Was Exactly the 194th Best Song Released in the 90s

Posted By on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 9:02 AM

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Well, this ought to be fun. Pitchfork is using this week's relatively weak slate of new releases as an excuse to break from their normal schedule and instead count down the Top 200 Tracks of the 90s. Today we get numbers 200-151, as well as an introductory essay from the staff. Whatever uncredited writer is responsible for it points out that the 90s list is a little different than any other decade list they've published.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

And Now the Academy Can't Actually Find Jean-Luc Godard

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM

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Earlier this week we noted that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had, delightfully, announced a special Oscar for Jean-Luc Godard, to be awarded along with the year's other honorary Oscars at a November ceremony.

The prospect of Godard's Oscar acceptance speech was always, we noted, "unlikely," given Godard's long and distinguished history of ducked appearances, declined honors, and distaste for mainstream American culture (post-60s). And now, as it turns out, the Academy has been unable to contact the reclusive director to tell him about his Oscar.

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Lorin Stein Reveals Upcoming Paris Review Interviews

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 3:18 PM

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Fans of the Paris Review's Art of Fiction/Art of Poetry interview series, and its recent forays into the Arts of Nonfiction, Memoir and Comics, will note with some interest that Lorin Stein, who's still got that "new Paris Review editor smell," is currently guest-blogging at the Atlantic, and recently took the time to sing the praises of his interview inheritance. In his post about the Art of the Art of interview, he reveals that the upcoming Fall 2010 issue of the Paris Review will feature Art of Fiction interviews with Norman Rush and Michel Houellebecq.

Also currently in progress, to be published over the next couple years, are interviews with "Dave Eggers, Ann Beattie, Samuel Delaney [sic], Louise Erdrich—and, yes, Jonathan Franzen." (Will the Delany interview be about his fiction or memoir or criticism or what? And will the Eggers one be "The Art of Altruistic Cross-Platform Old-Media Entrepreneurship #1" or something?) Stein also adds that the (above-linked) web archive of the Paris Review interviews will be updated and made more accessible. (The first one you should read is the Lost Interview with Leonard Michaels.)

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Will Forte Leaving Saturday Night Live

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 2:39 PM

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Thought maybe you guys cared to know that Will Forte won't be returning to SNL this fall. After eight seasons, he's leaving amicably to "pursue new opportunities," according to Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch. We can hope that one of these opportunities won't be a film sequel to MacGruber, but with that said, he has definitely pulled his weight on the show. MTV.com and The Huffington Post have compiled some of his best sketches, which you can watch here and here. Laugh some, cry some. Speaking of fall TV, how good does that new show from the creator of Arrested Development look?! The one with Felicity and Gob Bluth?

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Have You Seen the Canadian Terror Suspect's Canadian Idol Performance?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM

This is really just incredible. The man below, singing Avril Lavigne's "Complicated," is suspected of having dangerous ties to Al-Qaeda. He's also, apparently, a hockey fan (did you know you can watch all Toronto Maple Leafs games in Punjabi? Bet you didn't.)

[via]

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LOST: Have You Seen the Remains of This Deceased Area Nonna?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 1:19 PM

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"A Court Street attorney announced Thursday that there is a $30,000 reward for the return of his grandmother’s corpse," reports the Brooklyn Eagle, going on to explain that the remains of the Italian emigre Mattia Filippazzo, who died aged 88 in 1998, were stolen from a Long Island mausoleum late Monday night of this week.

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"Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy Animated by the Taiwanese (Man, Do We Look Bad)

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Not sure if you've seen any of these bizarro Taiwanese animated treatments of world news, but they're worth a look. If you don't believe me, please enjoy their take on our very own little DOWNTOWN GROUND ZERO DEATH MOSQUE CONTROVERSY. It's sad, but true.

[via]

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Check Out the Soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's New Film Inspired by Phoenix

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 12:11 PM

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I've clearly been living under a rock, as this is news to me, but apparently Sofia Coppola in on the cusp of releasing a new movie, a movie inspired by Phoenix, that French pop band that her boyfriend sings in. Somewhere is scheduled to debut at the Venice Film Festival in a few weeks (December 22 everywhere else), and now we have news that its soundtrack will include songs from Foo Fighters, The Police, T.Rex, Sebastian Tellier, Gwen Stefani and The Strokes, whose demo "I'll Try Anything Once" can be heard in the trailer below. This comes in addition to tracks from Lost in Translation contributor William Storkson and Phoenix's "Love Like a Sunset, Part 1" and "Love Like a Sunset, Part 2" which Coppola credits as the film's driving inspiration. Full tracklist and trailer, which I've already watched six times, after the jump.

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Michael Enright: Hero-Victim of Gay Rapist? Or Liberal Patsy?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 11:34 AM

I did WHAT last night?
  • "I did WHAT last night?"
It would be easy to make Michael Enright, the "Are You Muslim?" cabbie slasher, a crazed Islamophobe, the culmination of weeks of anti-"Islamic cultural center in Tribeca" fervor. The truth, always, is more complicated.

As more information trickles out about Enright, he sounds more like a shell-shocked alcoholic (who committed a horrifying, inexcusable act) than a bigot.

Or, is he actually an avenging angel of the sexually straight? Or, a liberal fall guy meant to embarrass the righteous critics of the Islamic cultural center in Tribeca?

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Good Morning, Here's the Video for "Post Acid" by Wavves

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 11:02 AM

There's skateboarding, a hard-partying alien, and a cameo by John Norris in the new Wavves video for "Post Acid." No way! YES WAY! Wavves is playing Madison Square Garden in October. No way?

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Hear the First Single From Sufjan Stevens' Forthcoming Age of Adz

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 10:30 AM

We learned yesterday that Sufjan Stevens will release a brand new full-length, The Age of Adz, on October 12th. Today, we get the first single from the album. It's called "I Walked," and it makes good on the press release's promise that Stevens' new material is "deliberately electronic, synthesized (and occasionally danceable!)." Download it at his Bandcamp page, or stream it right here, while quietly wishing there was even the slightest hint of a banjo.

<a href="http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/the-age-of-adz">I Walked by Sufjan Stevens</a>

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Oh Man, I Have Totally Lost So Much Respect for Stone Temple Pilots Frontman Scott Weiland, Just Now Since I Found Out He Lip Synchs

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 9:38 AM

During a show at the PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati on Wednesday night, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland fell into a hole. Seriously. Dude was just cold walking across the stage, singing some shitty song, when, whoops... into a hole he went. The most embarrassing part of the whole thing wasn't even that he fell, though—-it was that even during the 40 seconds or so the crew was trying to help him up, Weiland's vocals never stop, never even falter, leading everyone to the very obvious conclusion that Weiland lip-syncs. This is disappointing, I guess but definitely not as disappointing as the fact that there were actually people in attendance at a Stone Temple Pilots show. You'll have to jump ahead to 1:25 to the good bits, by the way. I don't want you to have to listen to any more of this bullshit than absolutely necessary.

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Your Weekend at the Movies Wondering if Takers Will Be As Good As Taken

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Previously in awesome B-movies about things that are taken, and the people who take them, or take them back.
  • Previously in awesome B-movies about things that are taken, and the people who take them, or take them back.
Takers: When T.I. and Chris Brown want to produce themselves into the kind of slick gangster movie idolized by rappers everywhere, they don't mess around: they get no less than Matt Dillon and Darth Motherfucking Vader to co-star, plus the guy from Fast and the Furiouses who says "bro" in all seriousness. For actual credibility, there's Idris Elba, rocking his badass English accent as one of many expert takers of big scores. Considering how many elements of this movie feel like a vanity project—Chris Brown gets to basically do parkour and pretend he's the sensitive kind of scumbag; T.I. plays a scheming criminal just, uh, out of prison, who, different kind of uh, used to date Zoe Saldana—Takers works reasonably well as a B-team version of Heat (side discussion: aren't most of the non-Pacino-and-DeNiro actors from Heat on the B-team themselves, including, perhaps especially, at-the-time third-billed Val Kilmer?). You can read my review for more about that, including details on how T.I. is a lousy actor and why it doesn't really hurt the movie too much. On the last weekend in August, you could do a lot worse—but then, the dregs of summer is often when prime low-down genre work winds up. In retrospect, that Predators movie probably would've made more money at this time of year than in high-stakes July. Also: man, that Predators movie was pretty awesome.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tonight at Glasslands: A Bunch of Good Bands

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 4:49 PM

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Tennis, a husband-wife duo based in Denver, have been the talk of the town this week, at least in blog talk, having just sold out their 7'' EP on Underwater Peoples and playing two NY gigs. The second is tonight at Glasslands, hence the reason for this blog post. "Oh, I hear twee-ish vocals and some fuzz," I said the first time I listened. "This song 'Marathon' sounds disjointed in a way that reminds me of that other band I think is majorly underrated called WOOM. Boy, it's catchy." Then the hooks started kicking around in my head, and the melodies, lo-fi as they may be, stuck out as hard-hitting and purposeful. So, there's that.

The real selling point, though, is that the songs were recorded while the couple sailed along the Atlantic Coast, culled from material that was originally intended as merely a means of documenting their eight-month long trip at sea. So came songs like "Baltimore," "South Carolina," "Cape Dory" and "Bimini Bay," all capturing the quirkiness that you would imagine from two people who saved up enough money to buy a sailboat without any sailing experience.

Tonight, they'll be playing with a solid cast of supporting bands. Magic Bullets do a tropical-jangle thing, labelmates Family Portrait may have written the best summer jam of '09, and Cool Runnings I just like because I assume the John Candy movie of the same name means something to them. Never heard of Night Manager before, but I'm listening now, to a song called "Blackout Sex." Doors at 9pm, buy advance tickets here for $8, $10 at the door. Videos after the jump.

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Worst Column in History of Local Papers Finally Killed

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 4:19 PM

sweet smell of success
  • Now that's a columnist.
Unless it's your job to read about Brooklyn every day, I'd wager you've never read the "Smartmom" column in the Brooklyn Paper (or at least never finished an entire piece). Written by Louise Crawford, who actually does very good work at Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, the column was "about" Crawford's life in Park Slope, raising two kids, being married: it was banal, self-important, smug and read as a parody of Park Slope boomerism; basically, it was like any of the tens of thousands of unread personal blogs that litter the Internet. In that respect, I don't blame Crawford for the column, I blame Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman for giving it to her and telling her the minutiae of her daily life warranted transcription (even though she writes things like this):

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Swell Season Offers to Foot the Bill for Fans' Grief Counseling

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM

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Billboard.com reports that the Swell Season has promised to pay for four group counseling sessions, free to all of those in the audience at their California show last week where a 32-year-old man jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, landing just a few feet away from singer Glen Hansard onstage. Everything about this whole situation is so sad, though this proves the stand-up character of Hansard and Markéta Irglová and will hopefully aid in sorting through what must be an emotional, confusing time for all those involved.

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You Probably Shouldn't Read Satoshi Kon's Last Words

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Earlier this week, we noted the early death, apparently from pancreatic cancer, of the very gifted anime filmmaker Satoshi Kon. Making the rounds today is this translation of a letter Kon wrote in the last days of his life, gracefully reflecting on his impending death and recalling the personal and professional preparations one apparently makes when one is dying swiftly of pancreatic cancer in what could reasonably expect to be middle age.

It's a lovely document of a man reluctantly agreeing to relinquish the work and human relationships that meant so much to him, and as such, you should read it, provided of course you don't work in an office where public weeping is frowned upon.

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