Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Music Tweet O' The Day: Sondre Lerche Gets Pulled Over By a Cop

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM

What seems to be the problem, officer?
  • What seems to be the problem, officer?
Well, there's not much to add to this, as it pretty much says everything for itself in 140 characters or less. Soft-singing Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche was pulled over by a cop for speeding, and tweeted this last night:


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Could Alexander McQueen Beat Jeff Koons' Met Attendance Record?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

McQueen vs. Koons.
  • McQueen vs. Koons.

Since it opened nearly two months ago on May 4, the Metropolitan Museum's retrospective of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty, has attracted over 350,000 visitors, surpassing the scores who shuffled into a hugely popular 2005 exhibition of Van Gogh drawings, but putting the blockbuster fashion exhibition not quite on pace to beat Jeff Koons' 2008 rooftop sculpture show—at least not in terms of total attendance numbers.

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"School’s Out! Wait, Except for You. And You, and Also You."

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Nine students in the Bronx will get to continue the magical, unforgettable ride that is high school, despite not wanting to continue the magical, unforgettable ride that is high school. Thanks to a bureaucratic snafu, a bunch of really psyched seniors at Performance Conservatory High School, who had already updated their Facebooks and everything, will not be graduating as planned.

Some students were informed they were missing credits because they'd been wrongly placed in classes they'd already completed. Others were told that credits they'd earned in previous summer school sessions wouldn't count. The kicker, of course, is that the students were only told about this, at the earliest, the night before the graduation ceremony. Others didn't hear the news until that morning. So, before receiving high school diplomas and moving on to gaining fifteen pounds, posing for pictures with red plastic cups and majoring in a major that won’t make them any money, these students will have to make up their missing credits over the summer.

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Talking to Nathan Christ, Director of Winning Northside DIY Feature Echotone

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Echotone, a study of the lives of working musicians in Austin's rapidly gentrifying downtown, was the winning feature at this year's Northside DIY Film Competition; it has its encore screening on Friday at Rooftop Films, along with winning short Daud (whose director Joel Fendelman, we interviewed earlier today). Director Nathan Christ answered a couple of questions over email this week.

What was the impetus for the film?
It was a story born out of necessity. I didn’t know any of the musicians before filming, but I knew the stories they had to tell were not only reflective of Austin, but reflective of the larger music industry as well. When a dozen-plus high-rise condos began sprouting up all over Austin’s downtown music district it became clear that the livelihood of these musicians and the venues that incubated them was at stake.

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New York Philharmonic Explains Canceled Parks Performances

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Not this year, kids. Pack it up.
  • Not this year, kids. Pack it up.
When the New York Philharmonic canceled its free parks concerts across this city this year, the orchestra was roundly criticized. "Hey, New York! Think you're first string? Well, think again," read a bitter editorial in the Daily News. "As far as the New York Philharmonic is concerned, you play second fiddle." Yesterday, in back-to-back press releases, the Philharmonic announced dates for next year's parks concerts—July 11 to 17, 2012—as well as a free concert at Avery Fisher on September 10, the eve of the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.

In an interview with the Times, orchestra president Zarin Mehta explains it was problems with the parks department over this long-planned memorial gift to New York City that's really to blame for all this trouble.

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Well, Sure: Here is the Cover of the New Album by The Rapture

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM


We get confused about the extent to which you actually care about this sort of non-news item, but desperate as we are to please you, we figure we'll just play it safe and let you have it. So, yeah. There it is, the cover of the forthcoming album by The Rapture, who you may remember from back when people said "dance-punk." As far as album covers go, it's not very good. Fortunately, as far as song go, the album's first single, "How Deep is Your Love?," is quite good.

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Video Artist Conrad Ventur On Mario Montez

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Dirty Looks, a regular series spotlighting queer experimental film and video, presents a program called "Female Trouble" tomorrow night at PPOW Gallery. Alongside films like Zachary Drucker's Fish and Narcissister's Every Woman, the series includes Conrad Ventur's Mario Montez Screen Test 2010, part of Williamsburg artist Ventur's ongoing revisitation of Andy Warhol's "screen test" films. In this one, he works with Mario Montez—neé René Rivera, the Puerto Rico-born, Harlem-raised drag performer and star of films by Warhol, Jack Smith and Ron Rice as well as plays by Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company—in Montez's return to the New York art world. Ventur contributed some program notes to Dirty Looks; they're reprinted here.

In December 1977, Mario Montez, Puerto Rican drag darling of the Downtown scene, got on a bus and left New York for good. After two decades of working on stage and screen—star of Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures, Normal Love, No President; star in over a dozen Andy Warhol films; star of José Rodriguez-Soltero's Life, Death and Assumption of Lupe Vélez—he left only one friend his contact details. The instruction: to tell no one where he was going or if he would ever be back.

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Ubiquitous Subway Artist Moustache Man in Close Shave with Cops

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Moustache Man, street art

You've no doubt noticed his signature, the word "Moustache" written in curly cursive letters with a felt-tip marker on the upper lips of people in subway platform billboards, but it might be a while before Moustache Man, aka 26-year-old Patrick Waldo, draws his next 'stache. The Daily News reports that Waldo was arrested a week ago in Midtown and admitted to having written one of his trademark tags on a billboard at the Third Avenue L train stop.

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Talking to the Director of Winning Northside Short Daud

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Daud, a short film about a devout young Muslim boy sitting on the sidelines of a ballgame in Sunset Park, won the shorts division of the Northside DIY Film Competition; it'll have an encore screening along with the winning feature, Echotone, on Friday night at Rooftop Films. We emailed with director Joel Fendelman this week.

How did you find your cast—Muatasem Mishal, who plays the devout young American Muslim Daud, as well as all the neighborhood kids he encounters? How was it working with so many kids?
One of the inspirations for the making of this film was an interest to learn more about Islam. It dominated our newscasts on a daily basis at the time but usually with negative, one-dimensional perspectives. I knew there was more to it so I spent a year volunteering in Bay Ridge, predominantly a Muslim, Palestinian neighborhood. I started off teaching English to immigrant women but eventually over the summer, helped in assisting a youth group for kids of the community. Muatasem Mishal (Daud) was this ten-year-old kid from the youth group at the Arab American Association where I volunteered. He had this glowing energy to him with green eyes that were completely enveloping. He had never acted before other then some school plays but I had a feeling that film would only enhance this special quality of his.

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Robert Miller, Maverick Art Dealer and Mapplethorpe Mentor, Dead at 72

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Robert Miller

Robert Miller, the dapper art dealer who developed an eclectic taste for art’s outsiders, died aged 72 in Miami last Wednesday. A prominent art world figure for 25 years, he championed many gay and female greats. Louise Bourgeois, one of his most successful female artists, called Miller a “compulsive hunter.” In the vibrant 70s art scene he indeed captured New York’s rising stars including Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Lee Krasner and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

With Aurora Opening Wednesday, Let's All Recall Last Fall's Epic Cristi Puiu Interview

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 4:52 PM

In the current issue of The L, Nicolas Rapold reviews "two headlong studies in displacement, detachment, damage:" The Man Who Fell to Earth, currently in revival at Film Forum, and Aurora, which opens Wednesday at IFC Center. Aurora stars director Cristi Puiu (whose The Death of Mr. Lazarescu launched the Romanian New Wave) in an eerily impassive performance as a multiple murderer, over three hours of (often bizarrely) withholding long takes. Rapold recalls: "Interviewing a disarmingly insistent Puiu last fall, I couldn't help but feel that his new film—which went through four cinematographers (perhaps related to his insistence that his character's movements were not to be "anticipated"?)—feels informed by the perhaps paralyzing pressure to take a fresh step..."

Indeed, last fall's Puiu interview shows the filmmaker, completely unprompted, earnestly talking us all through his exhaustive research into his, and everyone's, dark places:

It is not a character that I am imagining. Of course I am imagining it, but I am also incarnating it. I am trying to be, not to play. Being there, using my body and my own pack of gestures, inside the story that was not mine but just pretending to be mine, trying to imagine, to understand how things are going to go in this very specific situation of a man who is killing some others.

Read the whole interview here.

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Bike and Pedestrian Infrastructure Is Better for the Economy

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Lets do more of this!
  • "Let's do more of this!"

While it's fairly self-evident that biking and walking are healthier ways to get around a city than at the wheel of a car, it may come as a surprise to certain residents of (to name a totally random Brooklyn street completely at random) Prospect Park West, to learn that building bike and pedestrian infrastructure creates more jobs than constructing regular old roads.

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Prospect Park's "Goose Genocide of 2011" Called Off

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

The geese in this 2009 photo are already dead, but their more recently arrived cousins have been granted a reprieve
  • The geese in this 2009 photo are already dead, but their more recently arrived cousins have been granted a reprieve
Last year, 1,676 geese were killed in and close to New York City by city and federal officials. This year, the department of environmental protection estimates half that number will be killed: 700 to 800. The sort-of-good news is that none of those hundreds of dead geese will come from Prospect Park: last year's slaughter of 368 geese was so effective—along with population-reduction efforts—that officials need not return this year for more. Recent estimates put the park's current goose population at less than 30.

Still, geese will be rounded-up from parks around the five boroughs, though the city won't say where. Authorities “don’t want lots of people looking around or gathering,” the Times reports. That is, they don't want activists getting in their way.

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A Plea for Another NYC Museum to Host Brooklyn Museum-Abandoned Art In The Streets

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Which New York City museum will take this show?
  • Which New York City museum will take this show?

Well this is an interesting turn of events: the New York Daily News, the very paper that ran an editorial calling for the Brooklyn Museum to cancel its planned presentation of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's (MOCA) historical survey of graffiti and street art Art in the Streets—which the Brooklyn Museum subsequently did, supposedly due to budget problems, not political pressures—has published an editorial by Kathy Grayson, former gallery director for the new MOCA director and Art In The Streets orchestrator Jeffrey Deitch, bemoaning the cancellation and asking that another New York museum step in to host the show.

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How Your Marriage Equality Sausage Gets Made

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

  • New York Times
Are we still celebrating marriage equality? Are we tired of hearing about it? I'm in Montana celebrating my brother's straight marriage, so I'm a little out of the loop. I do think that The Road to Gay Marriage in New York from Saturdays Times is fascinating. It's a long one, and worth reading, and it drives home what has been apparent to me for a long time.

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Watch Arcade Fire and Spike Jonze's Scenes from the Suburbs, Congratulate Self for Living in a City

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM

We've been hearing about it for a while now, but today Spike Jonze's 28 minute film inspired by Arcade Fire's album The Suburbs is finally available and streaming here (via Mubi). Scenes from the Suburbs is too short and too frustratingly unspecific to make a real, coherent political statement about the 'burbs, but it does do a good job of realizing that which makes us uneasy about them.

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Wilco Expands Its Brand at Mass MoCA's Solid Sound Festival 2011

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM

(All photos by Nadia Chaudhury)
  • (All photos by Nadia Chaudhury)

You see a band enough times live and it’s tough to be surprised. I’ve now attended eight Wilco shows, and can you tell exactly when Jeff Tweedy will run in place during “Hummingbird” and that he won’t sing the beginning of “Jesus, Etc.,” instead letting the crowd croon of skyscrapers scraping together. But at Solid Sound Festival, a festival curated by Wilco at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, there were enough surprises and relative obscurities to keep even those who have seen them two dozen times happy.

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Marty Golden Still Fighting Gay Marriage

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Even a staunch gay-hater like Marty Golden cant help but melt for Michael Grimms blue eyes
  • Even a staunch gay-hater like Marty Golden can't help but melt for Michael Grimm's blue eyes

While gays spent the weekend parading and planning their weddings, State Senator Marty Golden continued to express his disapproval of their right to marry. "My faith guided me, as it has throughout my political career, in deciding what is right and what is wrong, and as such, I couldn’t and didn’t vote to legalize same sex marriage,” he told the Knights of Columbus on Friday, the Brooklyn Paper reports. "We must continue to oppose this challenge to our faith and this destruction of the sacrament of marriage." Lest you think Golden—the only senator from Brooklyn to vote against the bill—only uses language like "sacrament" when speaking to a Catholic audience, the Paper reports that he "clarified" his remarks on Saturday: "For [the state senate] to think that we have the authority to redefine a Holy Sacrament, based on the pressure of well funded special interests, is a manipulation of that which we were sent here to do."

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Historic Boiler To Become Brooklyn Bridge Park Concession Stand

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The Purchase Building boiler during a recent renovation.
  • The Purchase Building boiler during a recent renovation.

In 2006 the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to demolish the historic 1936 New York City Department of Purchase Storehouse at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO, but when the stylish building came down in 2008 to make way for the expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park its modernist boiler house was left behind. Now McBrooklyn reports that the stately little brick structure with its octagonic smokestack is being turned into a concession stand for the new park.

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Theater for a New Audience Breaks Ground Near BAM

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 9:49 AM

(Courtesy H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture)
  • (Courtesy H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture)

There's been activity at the site since April, but aside from a vaguely Old Globe-esque interior view, we've had very little sense of how Theater for a New Audience's new BAM Cultural District building will look. On Friday major construction kicked off, and Curbed turned up renderings of the dramatic building, designed by Hugh Hardy of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture that will rise on Ashland Place between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street.

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