Monday, October 31, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3: Not Just Lazy—Misogynistic, Too!

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM

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Beware of spoilers!

Minimalism was the key to Paranormal Activity's success, so the sequels' bigger effects, greater number of cameras, and more convoluted narratives have only been detrimental. Paranormal Activity 3 continues to drag the series down; chronologically, it moves it farther back: this threequel, directed by the vain kids behind Catfish, is yet another prequel, this one set in 1988 and focused on the characters' childhood relationships with the demon who would continue to haunt and torment them into adulthood. This is one of the franchise's largest missteps: its increasing focus on backstory.

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Halloween Costumes That Won't Work in Williamsburg

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Sometimes it’s hard to tell, isn’t it? [Alternate headline: Costumes That You Could Pull Off Very Easily.]

An actual Canadian lumberjack:

(via)

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Live Blogging the Flaming Lips' 24-Hour Song... For 145 Minutes

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 2:46 PM

What I dont want for Christmas
  • What I don't want for Christmas
Because they can, I guess, The Flaming Lips made a 24-hour-long song, which is exactly 22 hours and 30 minutes longer than I suspect most of us ever want to listen to The Flaming Lips in one sitting, but that's besides the point. They made it, it's called "7 Skies H3," and as of midnight, it's been streaming for free at flaminglipstwentyfourhoursong.com for a maximum of 999 listeners at any one time. If you have money pouring out of your eyeballs (awesome Halloween costume!), you could forget waiting your turn and buy the song on one of the five limited-edition physical releases encased in an actual human skull dipped in chrome and fixed with an USB cable for easy uploading for just $5,000 (relax, shipping is included). Makes a perfect wedding gift!

As for us poor folk stuck with the web-based version, keep in mind there's no rewind option, no fast forward button, just a one-time listening take, so we figured we'd keep a log going for a while in case you have a grown-up important job and can't get yourself to a computer to wait in line to hear a snippet of a 24-hour-long song. Now you can just read about it later.

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Advertising Does Not Create Trafficking, Ending Advertising Will Not Stop It

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Here is the tl;dr version.
  • Here is the tl;dr version.
How many times do we have to have this conversation? More times, apparently. Last week, Groundswell.org, a multifaith social justice org, ran an ad in the New York Times asking Village Voice Media to stop publishing sex ads in Backpage.com because there have been ads advertising sex with minors or trafficked people. To quote from the ad:

We appreciate your efforts to put in place new measures attempting to screen for ads featuring minors. However, we do not believethat these measures are doing enough to adequately solve the problem, and we share the opinion of the nation’s 51 Attorneys General that the bestway to eradicate your company’s connection with the sex trafficking of minors is to shut down the Adult section of your Web site, as Craigslist did.

Just one trafficked person is too many, they argue, so the whole thing should be shut down. It was the same argument that convinced Craig Newmark to shut down the erotic services section of Craigslist last September.

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BAM Commissions Sesquicentennial Documentary

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM

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The Brooklyn Academy of Music, as you may have heard, is currently observing its 150th anniversary (it hosted its first performances in between Lincoln's election and inauguration). The celebrations will climax with the debut of the new Richard B. Fisher building, but there's also a coffee table book, and, an email from late last week reveals, a documentary portrait of the institution, commissioned by BAM, to be directed by Michael Sladek, whose last film was the art documentary Con Artist.

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Photos from Friday's Beat Nite, the Semi-Annual Bushwick Gallery Night

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Headed into the Active Space, my first stop on Beat Nite.
  • Headed into the Active Space, my first stop on Beat Nite.

Friday was Beat Nite in Bushwick, the neighborhood's semi-annual gallery night (the best in Brooklyn, we say), when most of the neighborhood's galleries and art spaces stay open late with new exhibitions, open studios, performances and parties. This time there were 12 galleries participating—up from ten last time—and embarrassingly I only made it to four, highlights from which follow.

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Occupy Wall Street in the Snow

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM

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More than shared outrage, a just cause, or the serendipity of setting up in an open-24-hours park, the prime facilitator of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been an unseasonably warm autumn. But the long-simmering tension between protesters and police shifted on Saturday, when the weather became the occupiers' chief antagonist: it was a unseasonably wet, slushy, windy and cold day, the most severe weather-challenge the movement has yet faced—and a taste of the what it'll face going forward. More than an inch of snow fell on the city, the highest October accumulation since record-keeping began in 1869; it also rained. Temperatures were at or near freezing.

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Rob Pruitt's Warhol Statue's 15 Minutes of Fame Extended Until Spring

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 10:38 AM

This Andy aint goin nowhere.
  • This Andy ain't goin' nowhere.

Back in March when Rob Pruitt's chromed Warhol statue "The Andy Monument" was unveiled outside the building that housed The Factory between 1967 and 1973 at the corner of 17th Street and Broadway, it was scheduled to be taken down on October 2nd, and we we were all like, "one hopes it might find a permanent home somewhere in Union Square, or near one of the Factory's many other locations, rather than, like, a collector's backyard." And, low and behold, not only has the statue not yet been removed, but on Saturday the Public Art Fund—which commissioned it—announced that it will remain in place at least through May 13, 2012.

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So Here Is a Halloween-Themed .jpg I Just Made for You All, You're Welcome

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 9:49 AM

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To be completely honest, I was really scared making this.

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Let's Get This Halloween Started Off Right... With a Video From Ryan Gosling's Dead Man's Bones

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I've waited a long time to post this video, thought through every conceivable occasion, and figured today makes at least a little sense seeing as the band Dead Man's Bones was originally intended to soundtrack a play about a monster falling in love with a ghost. When the project fell through, they — they being the perfect human specimen/famous actor in the video above, along with his not-bad looking friend Zach Shields — decided to shift their focus to the songs they had written for it. ANTI- put out the album two years ago; an underrated blend of saloon-style goth and imperfect Arcade Fire-like grandeur featuring the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, though this song, by far one of the band's saddest, never made it onto the album. Also, Ryan Gosling. (And his not bad-looking friend.) Happy Halloween.

Oh, ok, I'll watch more.

And live at (Le) Poisson Rouge? Twist my arm.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

What Are Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore Going to Be for Halloween? A Parting Thought Before the Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Managing editor Mike Conklin brought this video to my attention, fully aware that my guiding principle in life is What Would Mandy Moore Do? He, meanwhile, appreciates the second track on every Ryan Adams album more than is deemed acceptable by trend-chasing music critics of the day (hi, Mike!). Here's a Halloween-appropriate video that we can both enjoy, its highlights being three-fold: (1) Ryan telling the paparazzi that they'e a bunch of assholes while they hound the couple about their Halloween costumes, (2) Mandy chiming in with "Aww, it's all good!" and other chirpy sentiments throughout the exchanage, (3) Ryan and Mandy being the most underrated celebrity couple in the best-dressed, well-coifed department. In conclusion, you and your friends should be Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore for Halloween, not a bunch of assholes.

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Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner Talks About the Universality of Lyrics, Songwriting, "Holy Holy" for the A.V. Club

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM


Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak discusses and performs "Holy Holy"

One of the most disappointing moments in a music journalist's world is to interview a musician whose work has become of intimate, personal value, only to have that musician say something careless or stupid about it. For example, "Oh, those lyrics you gushed about a billion times in print? The ones that summed up the entirety of your emotional zeitgeist? Yeah, those came off the back of a cereal box." However, the opposite, though rare, holds spectacularly true: Everyone, fans, journalists, supporters of the music in any way, goes home feeling validated when the person who makes music they love says something smart and compelling about it.

That said, watch this: An interview with Jenn Wasner of Baltimore-based duo Wye Oak, whose album, Civilian was one of the most closely cradled to indie hearts in the year 2011.

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H.P. Lovecraft Adaptation Re-Animator, a Comedy, Plays This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 2:20 PM

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As the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Halloweekend series of Scary Movies continues, we look at Re-Animator, from 1985, which screens on Sunday night with director Stuart Gordon and star Jeffrey Combs on hand.

While it’s not even director Stuart Gordon’s best H.P. Lovecraft adaption, Re-Animator, his second feature after the made-for-tv comedy Bleacher Bums, remains the standard by which all of his films are judged. In Re-Animator, Gordon goes to town with the knowledge that Lovecraft’s “Herbert West, Re-Animator” story was originally supposed to be humorous. This might seem odd to anyone who’s read “Herbert West,” a story that was published in serialized installments in a comedy magazine called Home Brew. We are talking about a narrative wherein a missing girl is discovered being eaten alive by a big black zombie, her little pink arm protruding out of his gaping mouth.

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Your Rum Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 1:41 PM

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Puss in Boots: Wait, a movie called Puss in Boots starring Antonio Banderas? Didn't we just see an Almodovar movie a few weeks ago? Zing? This new cartoon seems like DreamWorks at the height of their soulless, low-craft franchise-building: spinning off a one-joke character already milked by the Shrek franchise into his own adventure. But as it happens, Puss in Boots is more fun than any Shrek movie except possibly the first (and even that one feels tainted after ten years of nonstrop Shrekking, both in that series and in any number of other DreamWorks movies). There's still plenty of cynical DreamWorks formulating (Puss is given backstory, a caring mother, and a mismatched buddy in the form of an amusingly disreputable Humpty Dumpty), but this time, they're not passing off movie clichés as canny, adult-minded satire of fairy-tale tropes, nor are they making dopey pop-culture jokes, or ending the whole thing with a big full-cast dance number... well, actually, they do that last thing. I'm pretty sure even if filmmakers refused, Jeffrey Katzenberg would personally animate such a sequence himself and paste it onto the end.

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Following Met and MoMA, Brooklyn Museum Raises (Suggested) Admission

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Itll cost you $2 more to get past these pillars. (Courtesy Brooklyn Museum.)
  • It'll cost you $2 more to get past these pillars. (Courtesy Brooklyn Museum.)

Following the leads of its fancy Manhattan cousins the Met and MoMA, both of which raised their admission to $25 earlier this year—suggested in the Met's case—the Brooklyn Museum announced this morning that, effective this morning, its suggested admission rates will increase from $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and students to $12 and $8, respectively.

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Live: Green Day & The Great American Time Warp

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:10 PM

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There are three hundred people squeezed, shoved and piled on top of each other, craning their necks to see the three four — there's a fourth guy now on guitar? — characters onstage, done up in a mixture of Beetlejuice-Joker-Nightmare Before Christmas-type makeup and Victorian goth clothing. Among us is a clean-cut gentleman in a button-down work shirt accompanied by a woman who looks like my first-grade teacher, a fellow in a crisp Ramones tee, one in a comfortably worn Bush shirt, a middle-aged woman with a thick Brooklyn accent double-fisting drinks, some frat bros, at least three mohawks of varying heights, a lot of hoodies, and more than a handful of twenty-somethings in skeleton-referencing attire undetermined to be a means of showing Halloween spirit or their preferred way of dress. Looking around The Studio annex at Webster Hall in the wee hours of the morning, it'd be difficult to tell what year it is. If there was a fire, we'd all be dead.

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Video: Friends and Ted Leo Perform Live at the Music Now Summit

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

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It was a while ago, we know, but if you'll think all the way back to the beginning of this month, October 5th to be exact, you'll remember that, with help from AT&T, we hosted an event called the Music Now Summit, where we gathered together some super smart industry folks to talk about the effects technology have had on the music world, and then invited a bunch of people who care about that sort of thing. Two things we did to make this less boring than you might think it'd be: 1) We drank a lot, and 2) We invited the now-even-buzzier local outfit Friends and the always great Ted Leo to perform. Below, videos of both.

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We Need to Talk About Game Six of the 2011 World Series

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:33 AM

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I wanted this post to be accompanied by a .gif of Nolan Ryan not blinking as his jowls sag inexorably into his shoulders at the rate of continental drift, but the art department isn't in yet, so this post will be accompanied by the chart whose bottom left quadrant explains, really, so much about last night's drop-dead amazing Game 6.

Anyway. My hope, after Game 2, was that this year's series would return to the NL park for games 6 and 7, so we could see which would happen first, Ron Washington burning through all his relief pitchers in a coke-addled arm-waving frenzy, or Tony La Russa playing righty-lefty matchups so fervently, from the third inning on, that he would have no choice in a crucial late-inning at-bat but to let the Rally Squirrel hit for himself.

The latter, apparently. From a text I sent my brother last night:

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Outrage Grows Over Scarcity of Charges Against Drivers Who Kill Cyclists

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 9:48 AM

A ghost bike for Jake McDonaugh, killed at Beverly Road and Flatbush Avenue on April 14, 2010.
  • A ghost bike for Jake McDonaugh, killed at Beverly Road and Flatbush Avenue on April 14, 2010.

Last week Canadian, Brooklyn-based artist and cyclist Mathieu Lefèvre was struck and killed by the driver of a flatbed truck at the intersection of Meserole Street and Morgan Avenue. The driver—who will not face charges for the fatal collision—did not stop, and was only found days later because the truck was parked a few blocks from the scene of the accident. On Wednesday Mathieu's mother spoke at a press conference outside One Police Plaza, bemoaning the NYPD's handling of the accident and its aftermath; and on the same day, a driver who fatally struck a cyclist in April 2010 while driving over the speed limit with a suspended license was acquitted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to ten days in prison. The two events have heightened a long-brewing debate over the NYPD's handling of cyclist fatalities.

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Another Williamsburg Gallery Leaves: Rawson Projects Moves to Greenpoint

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Rawson Projects current Bedford Avenue space.
  • Rawson Projects' current Bedford Avenue space.

Almost exactly one year to the day after Rawson Projects opened up shop in the small storefront space at 339 Bedford Avenue, between South 3rd and South 4th streets, the gallery will reopen at its new location on Franklin Street in Greenpoint. The new space at 223 Franklin Street, between Eagle and Freeman streets, will make its debut on November 12 when the gallery re-launches with an exhibition of recent aluminum panels by conceptual artist and photographer Lyndsy Welgos.

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