Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hey Poe, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 4:12 PM


Lou Reed has developed quite an enduring literary crush on Edgar Allan Poe. In 2003, Reed released a two disc set of reworked Edgar Allan Poe pieces, collectively titled The Raven, that were set to music and read aloud. Celebrities, including David Bowie, Steve Buscemi and Willem Dafoe, contributed their vocal talents to the project. But now the year is 2011, and Reed is revisiting the album to create a graphic novel accompaniment. [via Gothamist]

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Does the New York Post Employ a Bona Fide Psychopath?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 3:22 PM

One reason Andrea Peyser wants geese to die is that they drop more than their share of unspeakable waste on lake shores. Imagine what that does to her shoes! Photo by Anne-Katrin Titze
  • One reason Andrea Peyser wants geese to die is that they "drop more than their share of unspeakable waste on lake shores." Imagine what that does to her shoes! Photo by Anne-Katrin Titze
The New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser appears mentally ill, as if she lacks the capacity for imaginative empathy. For example, she recently changed her mind and supported the rights of gays to marry, but only after her own niece gay-married. In her column, she noted minds were changing across the state. "The reason is plain," she wrote. "This is personal." As in, narcissistic? Peyser doesn't seem able to grasp anything abstract; she only understands things that affect her personally.

So imagine what she has to say about the geese of Prospect Park.

In a recent column about the ongoing goose wars, she writes, "Call me cruel. The only good goose I know is served on a plate." OK: you're cruel. No doubt about it. But that cruelty seems like merely a symptom of something deeper: psychopathy, perhaps, or narcissistic personality disorder? I'm not the first to consider this. "Andrea Peyser is...mentally ill," writes the only commenter on a New York Magazine profile, "sick on the soul."

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BAM Combines Forces with Barclays, Forms Barclays Academy of Music

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Derek Jacobi rocks the court as King Lear at the Barclays Academy of Music.
  • Derek Jacobi rocks the court as King Lear at the Barclays Academy of Music.

In an announcement this morning the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and Barclays Center of Brooklyn revealed a curatorial collaboration through which BAM will recommend "unique shows from throughout the world" to be performed in the 18,000 seat arena. The collaboration is aimed at attracting only productions that would be making their New York City debuts—otherwise we'd already have one suggestion.

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Pepper Rabbit's Xander Singh Talks to NBC After Northside, Gushes About New York and New Yorkers

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 1:42 PM

View more videos at:

NBC'S Oresti Tsonopoulos caught up with Pepper Rabbit's Xander Singh after his Northside set at the Knitting Factory, and Singh explained that it was because New Yorkers were incredibly supportive and easy to get along with that he feels drawn to the place. Wait, what? Okay! We'll take it! Actually, can we take credit for this statement and attribute to an awesome music and filming session we had with Pepper Rabbit at Lucky Dog Bar? Brooklynites: Ambassadors of goodwill.

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Shepard Fairey and JR Vying for LES Street Art Supremacy

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:57 PM

(via Bowery Boogie)
  • (via Bowery Boogie)

Yesterday two new large-scale artworks were spotted on the Lower East Side: Vandalog found Shepard Fairey putting up a huge and quite beautiful stencil (after the jump) at the corner of Bowery and Rivington on the building that houses Sue Scott Gallery—two blocks south of the new JR photo mural where Fairey's work was thoroughly defaced a couple years ago—and Bowery Boogie noticed a new JR photograph (above) covering plywood at the recently shuttered Essex Street bar Mason Dixon.

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In Which Aza Jacobs and Our Interviewer Bond Over Hallucinogens, Among Other Things

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Best known in arty zip codes in New York and LA, Azazel Jacobs is by far the most mainstream member of a staunchly unconventional family (his dad is avant-garde pioneer Ken Jacobs and his sister is video artist/performer Nisi Jacobs), with a BAM Cinématek retrospective on his resume and the second of two nationwide releases rolling out this Friday: Terri, the story of an overweight teenager and the assistant principal (John C. Reilly) who makes a project of him. But his upbringing has given him a healthy respect for people who resist the pressure to conform, a theme that keeps popping up in his films. Like his movies, Jacobs is a winning blend of hip and accessible, emitting a snark-free force field that turned a hotel room into a comfortable free-speech zone.

I didn’t see The GoodTimesKid, but I’ve seen almost all the rest of your movies. I liked them all, but I particularly connected with Nobody Needs to Know.
Really! No way. Where were you when that film came out? We got nobody. Letting that thing off the shelf and allowing it as a download was one of the best things I ever did. It was almost impossible to get into festivals, and the idea of distribution was completely impossible. So when I hear that it’s finding its way to homes, it’s just… it’s really encouraging. I get these random emails maybe like once a month, or someone on Facebook will contact me or I’ll meet somebody.

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At the New York Asian Film Festival: Selling Out, the Musical

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 11:24 AM

The New York Asian Film Festival starts tomorrow! The Film Society of Lincoln Center hosts the series again, with several of the Japanese features also showing at Japan Society's Japan Cuts, starting next week. Sell Out screens tomorrow at 6pm, and again on the 4th of July.

Every movie about young artists struggling to stay true to their ideals should have the fire-in-your-guts venom that Malaysian writer/director Yeo Joon Han invests in Sell Out, a take-no-prisoners musical comedy about being young and disillusioned in a world where selling out is inevitable, planned obsolescence is a fact of life and contradicting your boss isn’t an option.

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James Franco and Kalup Linzy's First Music Video Really Just a Kalup Linzy Video

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 10:37 AM

How many James Francos are in this image?
  • How many James Francos are in this image?

Remember when last year, singer, performance and video artist Kalup Linzy, and actor-author-essayist-journalist-performance artist James Franco promised to release their debut album as Franco and Linzy this year? Well judging by the video for "Rising," which must be their lead single, expect a reprise of sorts of Franco's lax Oscars hosting, in which his cohort does all the heavy lifting.

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Rent Raised on Rent-Regulated Apartments

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Protestors outside Cooper Union on Monday
  • Protestors outside Cooper Union on Monday
The maximum amount that landlords can increase the rent on rent-stabilized apartments almost doubled this week, after The Rent Guidelines Board voted to raise it at a meeting at Cooper Union on Monday. Landlords will be able to raise rents 3.75 percent for one-year leases and 7.25 percent for two-year leases, up from 2.25 percent and 4.5 percent last year—meaning that the rent on a $1700-a-month unit, renewed for a year, could jump $63 a month instead of $38, a difference to the renter of $300 a year.

In 2005, 43 percent of apartments in Brooklyn were rent-regulated, according to the board. But the number of rent-controlled apartments decreased citywide at a rate of 1.6 percent a year between 2005 and 2008, according to a more recent housing survey.

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Setting a Token Booth on Fire? That's So Old School!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Wherere these guys when you need em?
  • Where're these guys when you need 'em?
Two young men with bandanas on their faces walked into the Prospect Park station on the Q line at 5 a.m. yesterday morning, poured gasoline at the entrance to the token booth, and tossed a lit match onto it. The arson was likely a robbery attempt, but the worker inside, a 39-year-old women who has been with the agency 17 years, quickly put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. The perps, described as being in their late-teens or 20s, fled; the worker was taken to Methodist Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and trauma.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Documentary on the Actual Most Interesting Man in the World, George Plimpton, Now Kickstarting

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Okay, those Dos Equis commercials are good for a chuckle, but wouldn't it be nice if a man like that really once roamed the Earth? There might not have been a more interesting man than George Plimpton, who lived a life worthy of several movies. The author, editor, and bon vivant edited The Paris Review (where he interviewed Hemingway and published a young Philip Roth), establishing a new literary force in the post-war period. Meanwhile, the author found time to quarterback the Detroit Lions (pictured), join the circus and wrestle the gun away from Robert Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. He also threw many swanky parties.

And he tricked a whole lot of Mets fans, a feat not quite as impressive (sorry Mets fans).

All of that sublime nuttiness mentioned before served as material for the more than thirty books he wrote and edited, including Paper Lion, The Bogey Man and Out of My League. Plimpton, who died in 2003, believed writers should actually participate in what they write about and not simply serve as passive observers. A life filled with celebrity hobnobbing, unending media coverage and absurd exploits is built for film, and now that film is almost here.

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Could Bag Searches Make Brighton Beach Safer?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM

The only state thats safe is a police state
  • The only state that's safe is a police state
In the wake of the Brighton Beach shooting on Brooklyn-Queens Day that left one dead and four injured, locals are calling for greater police protection: including, perhaps, bag searches. At a meeting last week hosted by police, Brighton residents asked for what the Brooklyn Paper calls "post-9/11-style security initiatives," including increased police presence at subway stations, mounted police officers, and even searches of bags, containers and strollers before granting visitors admission to the beach and boardwalk. The commander of the local police precinct said he's considering the security measures.

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The Daily News' Jim Farber Judges All Contemporary Music by its Masculinity

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Not Bon Iver.
  • Not Bon Iver.
Yesterday, Stereogum pointed out some new controversial cultural criticism that appeared in the Daily News, an article written by the paper's top pop music critic, Jim Farber. The article, "Stop being so sensitive! Burly men become girly men, turning pop music into a wuss-case scenario," expressed frustration with what Farber called "wimpy" music, specifically Bon Iver and his newest album. But Farber's point was much more aggrandized than that—he used Bon Iver as a platform to launch criticism of an entire generation of people (college-age, skinny jean-sporting hipsters) and their taste in music. He also willfully ignored women, including KICK ASS, loud women, who make music. The only people who measured up to Farber's standard of cojones were The Black Keys—Farber conceded that Arcade Fire was okay too, but not without their fair share of wussiness. Now, with that said, it would have been easy to dismiss this as old man rock contrarianism, but Farber's article highlights something else, something that has to do with a more deeply embedded societal ill.

The main problem here is that Farber is pointing out an obvious trend without delivering any real music criticism. He acknowledges that the artists he uses as examples are "admirable, talented and unquestionably progressive," but whines that the "macho punch" and "swagger" is lacking. Macho? Let's get underneath this article's pretense of music criticism, and look at it for what it really is: a warped view of the world (and art) as contingent upon a really old, really stupid idea about masculinity in order to be valid.

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On Anton Perich's Long-Lost Muhammad Ali Home Movie, Friday Night at Anthology

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM

This Friday evening at Anthology Film Archives, Anton Perich presents, for the first time, a compilation of video footage of Muhammad Ali taken in the early 1970s.

Ever since brain-trauma-induced Parkinson’s slowed down his elegant body and trickster tongue, it’s hard to watch Muhammad Ali box. But that’s only because it was so exhilarating to watch as he talked, moved, and interacted with people—especially kids—in his prime.

There are some long boxing sequences in Muhammad Ali, The Long-Lost Movie, but mostly we just get to tag along as the champ goes about his daily life, training (the sight of him skipping rope is a beautiful thing), talking to people, or overseeing the workers who are realizing his vision of a country retreat that he describes with the ghost of a grin as being fit for “old Jesse James, Belle Starr—American outlaws.”

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Department of Transportation to Institute a System of "Wayfinding" Signs

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

It looks like the Department of Transportation has finally figured out that most New Yorkers aren’t junior Vasco da Gamas. In a move that is shockingly logical, the DOT has issued a request for proposals for a single integrated “wayfinding” system that will help pedestrians orient themselves. Imagine trudging from the subway, all out of breath because you’re out of shape, and finding a sign that points you south toward Chinatown. You save a few minutes walking in the correct direction.

According to the Department of Transportation, nine percent of New Yorkers and 27 percent of visitors admitted to being lost in the last week. 13 percent of local New Yorkers were not familiar with the area where they were surveyed, and many couldn’t point to north. And 86 percent of New Yorkers said they had no idea where they were, but that it didn’t mean they were lost, thank you very much.

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d.b.a.'s Ray Deter in Hospital After Bicycle Accident

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 12:07 PM


Sad news; Ray Deter, the owner of d.b.a. in the East Village and Williamsburg, is currently in the hospital following a bicycle accident. He was hit by a silver Jaguar while riding east on Canal Street towards W Broadway on Monday and apparently the accident was very bad, as Deter was rushed to Bellevue Hospital and is listed in critical condition. Deter's family has released this statement on d.b.a.'s Facebook page:

We'd like to request that you pray for & send your loving healing thoughts & energy to Ray for his recovery. And we do ask at this time that you please do NOT visit the hospital, it's too overwhelming for the family, and they request you keep sending love. Likewise please don't call the bars right now, it's too huge to comprehend, everyone is going through a lot. Your thoughts & love are most appreciated.

The family says it will write updates on Deter's status through the bar's Facebook page. We've seen Deter at quite a few craft beer events and we're praying he makes a quick and complete recovery.

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Photos from Town & Country, a Street Art Show in Midtown

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 11:20 AM

An Olek bicycle out front, a sure sign of a street art party.
  • An Olek bicycle out front, a sure sign of a street art party.

Last night at 320 Studios, an event space high atop the Garment District, curators Jason Patrick Voegele, Samson Contompasis, Keith Schweitzer and Tyler Wriston have opened their strong show of paintings and street art, Town and Country, which will only be on view until tomorrow. Check out these photos from last night's opening, and then go have a look for yourself.

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Why Franchise Directors Keep Apologizing for Their Movies, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace a Lack of Mass-Cultural Consensus

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Ill just have to try harder. I dont know. I will. I will. I will. I will.
  • "I'll just have to try harder. I don't know. I will. I will. I will. I will."
If you're reading about movies online at all, you're probably aware, whether you like it or not, that Michael Bay's third Transformers movie opens this week at a bunch of theaters, ready to annihilate second-tier box-office records, like highest gross ever on a Tuesday between the hours of 9PM and 12AM, or second-highest ever non-opening Wednesday. If you go further and are an actual fan of the Transformers movies, or just follow the pre-release gossip-hype cycle, you may have heard that as a show of good faith, Bay has even kinda-sorted apologized for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the previous film in this franchise, which many critics and presumably some fans hated for its nonsensical story, ear-and-eyesplitting action sequences, casual racism, and general Michael Bay style muchness.

Even if you're further aware of Bay's reputation as a cocksure jackass, his apology may not surprise you. The previous-installment mea culpa has become standard issue for summer blockbuster sequels.

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Macy's Plans its Third Annual Betrayal of Brooklyn for July 4

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:49 AM

What the East River will look like on 7/4/11: fireworksless.
  • What the East River will look like on 7/4/11: fireworksless.
For the third straight year, Macy's will light its Fourth of July fireworks over the Hudson River, DUMBO NYC reports, giving a heck of a show to New Jersey residents while denying it to Brooklynites. Macy's first moved the show to the Hudson in 2009, after 33 years on the east side, as part of citywide celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the voyage up the river by the man whose name the waterway would later take. Um, hey Macy's: that's all over now.

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Whopping $1.85 Million in Fines and Back Taxes for Ai Weiwei

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 8:57 AM


Ai Weiwei's retrospective of New York City photos opens at Asia Society tomorrow, but he's going to need some big commercial exhibitions—and a whole lot more sunflower seeds—if he's going to pay a ludicrous sum of fines and back taxes that the Chinese government says he owes following his recent detainment and alleged admission of tax evasion.

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