Monday, November 19, 2012

Just How Much of Our Local Media Does Rupert Murdoch Own?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 10:25 AM


News Corp. hopes to acquire a 49 percent stake in the YES Network, the cable channel that broadcasts Yankees games and Yankee-related documentaries, the Times reports. But did you know it also broadcasts the Nets games? Murdoch could eventually take a controlling interest in the network and perhaps turn it into "a more conventional, less-biased sports network." As Murdoch nears taking control over the broadcast of our local basketball team, we wondered, just how much more of our local media does the media mogul own?

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Must-See Net Arts From "Collect the WWWorld"

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Screenshot of Ashland Mines, from Ryan Trecartins W Magazine Spread
  • Screenshot of Ashland Mines, from Ryan Trecartin's W Magazine Spread

It's too bad that the 319 Scholes show Collect the WWWorld: Artist as Archivist in the Internet Age, kind of a greatest hits album of the last five years, was only open for a few weeks. Lucky for us, you can still find a lot of these treasures on the exhibition site. I've highlighted three below.

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What You Need to Know about Comics and Zine Self-Publishing

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM

From left to right: William Cardini and Josh Burggraf at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival
  • From left to right: William Cardini and Josh Burggraf at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

How do you escape the rut of going to Kinko’s to make your own zines with your own pocket change, and for the eyes of just your closest friends? I spoke with Queens-based illustrator Josh Burggraf who writes and edits Future Shock; according to the comic’s online distributor Birdcage Bottom Books, it’s an “astro-psyche-out sci-fi anthology”. It’s also a great, self-published comic featuring dozens of artists and writers in each issue. Burggraf and I spoke about how to get your comic or zine noticed and what’s better, Tumblr or Twitter.

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Taylor Swift Shares Her Theory On Indie Music Videos

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Look at this fucking hipster.
  • Look at this fucking hipster.
On the heels of that scathing, formatted-entirely-in-questions review of Guy Fieri's restaurant, the New York Times has also published a surprisingly harsh interview with Taylor Swift for this week's Sunday Magazine. Could it be that they're starting to pander to bloggers? Are they already so good at manipulating us? Imminently likely.

Anyway, aside from the usual musings about her endless breakup-inspired songs, Susan Dominus hit Taylor Swift with the exact same question that crossed just about everyone's mind when her latest video came out. Namely: "In your video for 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,' you are wearing big, heavy glasses and there are a bunch of guys in animal costumes. What is that about?"

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Whatever 4Evr: It's Been a Crazy Few Weeks. Here Are Some Photos to Prove It.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM


Remember those two weeks in 2012 when a frankenstorm left lower Manhattan without power for several days, the military was rolling through the streets, Halloween happened despite it all, Barack Obama won his second term, gay marriage and weed were legalized in a few more states, and then there was a blizzard? Oh and Grimes played? That was pretty weird.

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Weed Vending Machine Company's Stock Is Literally Too High

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

In maybe the best weed news we've heard since election day, a company that makes medical marijuana vending machines saw its stock shoot up by a full 3,000% this week after being mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article on ways to invest in legalized marijuana. As you can see, the headline for this writes itself.

Apparently, though, the jolt in share prices from $4 to $215 was actually way too much, and executives at Medbox went out of their way to temper enthusiasm, coaxing prices down to $100.

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Nashville's Real Bluebird Cafe Is Becoming More Popular, Thanks to the Fake Nashville

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM

For anyone following along to Nashville, the addictive new TV drama spearheaded by Connie Britton's likable face/uncertain singing voice, you are no doubt becoming increasingly familiar with The Bluebird Cafe, home to Deacon Claybourne's weekly residency, unrequited love, and so much more.

The Bluebird Cafe, as you may or may not have heard, is not just a set in TVLand though. Situated in a strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 100-seat space has long prided itself on being a "listening room," famously providing the songwriters who have penned chart-topping hits for other artists with the opportunity to share their other songs to a live audience, in addition to hosting an open-mic night and early career appearances by the likes of Garth Brooks, John Prine and T. Swift. It's very much a real thing, is the point, and guess what? It's being affected by the attention brought on by the make-believe Nashville.

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Your Weekend at the Movies with Leading Ladies

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I wish Twilight was about landscapes at dusk
  • I wish Twilight was about landscapes at dusk
Breaking Dawn Part Two: It's times like these, when typing out the title of the sequel to the adaptation of the fourth book in the Twilight series, that I am grateful for the concise, near-mercenary honesty of a title like Fast Five. Because let's be real: this is Twilight 5, for a story that has no more business expanding beyond two or three parts than any number of low-rent horror franchises. I held out hope that perhaps the comparably incident-packed Breaking Dawn Part One, directed by the reasonably decent Bill Condon, might inject some life into movies that generally play like a few boring mid-season episodes of a creatively stalled TV show, just as I hoped that maybe 30 Days of Night's David Slade would give the third one a bit more horror-movie style. It didn't. It didn't. It never does. The best Twilight movie is still the first one, because at least that one had an excuse to look low-budget and vaguely amateurish. Maybe the fourth one would've been more fun with the contents of this movie, which apparently include Vampire Kristen Stewart and more low-rent vampire skirmishes, were allowed to stay with it; then again, a vampire-human wedding, vampire-human honeymoon boning, a pregnancy via vampire that should be impossible, a vampire-assisted cesarean section for a human-vampire hybrid birth, and a werewolf falling in love with a baby weren't enough to gin up some energy in Breaking Dawn Part One. So: once more into the Twilight breach, expecting some giggles and enthusiastically half-embarrassed audience reactions, hoping for a movie that is better than semi-terrible.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Live: Christopher Owens Gets Over Girls

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Chris Owens, newly dapper.
  • Chris Owens, newly dapper.
When Christopher Owens, singer and songwriter for the San Fransisco pop band Girls, announced this summer that he was leaving that group, maybe, possibly, ending it for good, it was a shock. The band was in the midst of a steady upswing in popularity. If there were ambitions left unfulfilled on the band's lushly orchestrated second album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost they weren't obvious. Owens' consistent aim as a songwriter has been measuring up to oldies radio standards. He was doing that at a high level, already. What ceiling was he bumping his head against?

For his NYC solo debut, (Le) Poisson Rouge was set up like a supper club, its floor filled with reserved tables of the artist's friend and contemporaries, complete with cocktail menus and table service. A ring of limited space for ticket buyers and not-quite-VIP press filed in behind. (A table near that ring was saved specifically for "Mount Eerie", I noticed.) The room went dark, and the crowd got unusually quiet, as Owens came out with a five-piece band and two velvet-draped lady backup singers. Stripping down to bare essentials was probably not his unfulfilled desire. There was a grey-bearded flautist!

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Everyone is Talking About Petraeus, Nobody is Talking About the New Air Force Sexual Assault Report

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Yesterday, the Air Force released a report about the culture of sexual assault that had developed on Lackland Air Force Base.

The scandal at basic training in San Antonio has already cost two commanding officers their jobs, led to charges against 11 military training instructors that resulted in five convictions. One MTI was convicted of rape; others were convicted on charges involving inappropriate relationships with recruits. So far, 25 MTIs are, or have been, under investigation, and the number of possible victims has climbed to 49. [Military Times]

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Hiding In Plain Sight: New York’s Undocumented Immigrants and Hurricane Sandy

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 11:20 AM


Although it is no longer front page news, thousands of New Yorkers are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But one group of New Yorkers has gone unnoticed in the recovery: undocumented immigrants. As a former undocumented immigrant myself, this group’s plight is something that I can’t ignore like many New Yorkers seem to. Here are some facts about undocumented immigrants that many people are unaware of: they do not get financial aid for school or food stamps or free health care. They are exploited and they accept it because it is still better than what they left to come here. But their experience needs to be reflected on, because how we treat undocumented immigrants demonstrates a lot about us as a society.

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The Brooklyn Night Bazaar Kicks Off November 23

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Now in its third iteration, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar is back, and with 10 dates on the calendar for 2012, it's bigger than it's ever been. One part holiday fair, one part foodie destination, and one part concert series, this year's Bazaar is taking place every Friday and Saturday from November 23 until December 22. Amid the scores of local vendors, you can catch musical acts like Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Pictureplane, Black Dice, and more. The month-long festivities kick off on Friday, November 23 at 45 N. 5th Street between Kent and Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg, and last from 6pm til midnight. You no longer have any excuse to go without weekend plans from now until Christmas.

For general info, click here:
Find the full lineup after the jump!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Win Tickets to See Dan Deacon Tonight!

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 3:31 PM

We're giving you the chance to win tickets to see Dan Deacon tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg!

Sound good? Here's how to enter to win:

1. Follow @thelmagazine on Twitter

2. Tweet at us to let us know why you want those tickets!

3. Use the hashtag "#deaconlmag"

You have until 4:30pm today to enter, so get going! We'll announce a winner by 4:45. Good luck!

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Miscarrying Woman Dies Completely Preventable Death Because Irish Hospital Refused Her an Abortion

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM

31-year-old Savita Halappana died of septicemia on October 28th, for no medical reason other than the doctors treating her were legally unable to abort her fetus.

Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, died of septicaemia a week after presenting with back pain on 21 October at University hospital in Galway, where she was found to be miscarrying.

After the 31-year-old dentist was told that she was miscarrying, her husband reportedly said that she had asked for a medical termination a number of times over a three day period, during which she was in severe pain.

But he said these requests were denied because a foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told at one point: "This is a Catholic country." [Guardian]

When asked by the BBC if he thought his wife would still be alive if the termination had been allowed, Mr Halappanavar said: "Of course, no doubt about it."

He said Savita had been "on top of the world" before experiencing difficulties.

"It was her first baby, first pregnancy and you know she was on top of the world basically," he said.

"She was so happy and everything was going well, she was so excited.

"On the Saturday night everything changed, she started experiencing back pain so we called into the hospital, the university hospital."

He said she continued to experience pain and asked a consultant if she could be induced.

"They said unfortunately she can't because it's a Catholic country," Mr Halappanavar said.

"Savita said to her she is not Catholic, she is Hindu, and why impose the law on her. [BBC]

So even though the fetus was dying, even though she asked for an abortion, and even though not giving her one created an incredibly medically dangerous situation (this writer compares the infection risk of an open cervix to that of an open head wound), she was denied the care she needed because of the dogma of a religion she did not even share. What an awful, senseless death.

What happened to Ms. Halappanavar is horrific, and I do not mean to generalize what happened to her and her family. But her situation illustrates the absolute disregard for human life that any hard-line "pro-life" stance takes. Abortion is absolutely an essential medical tool.

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Director Patrick Wang on How to Make a Melodrama Masterpiece

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Writer-director-star Patrick Wang’s debut In the Family follows Tennessee local Joey Williams as he is drawn into a battle for custody of his son, Chip, following the untimely death of his partner, Cody. This Friday, roughly a year after its original New York release, In the Family will reopen at Cinema Village. In the time since its initial release, the film has received praise from Roger Ebert and the New York Times and The L Magazine, been nominated for Best Debut Film at the Independent Spirit Awards, and will be screening in Sao Paolo and Taiwan. We spoke to Wang about how the movie keeps winning over audiences, why he shows the back of the main character's head so much, and what family is.

The story of the movie’s progress is pretty interesting. It had a pretty rough start, didn’t it?
It was a really rough start. It kind of landed with a thud to begin with. You know festivals, distributors and even some of my collaborators weren’t that thrilled about the movie, and so it was a lonely time for about six months. Then the story changed, and it keeps changing. It’s unpredictable, and you never know if it’s going to change again over the next couple of weeks. The progress it’s made has been slow and I don’t know if we’ve had enough time that it’s going to pay off even more now that we’re back in New York. We’re returning to some other cities, too—San Francisco is one I’m very excited about.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reminder: It's Still Not Okay to Make Jokes About Having Sex With Minors Even if the Person Accused of Doing So is Elmo

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I know! It's so tempting! So many "hilarious" headlines could be made! But I'm sorry to say, it's still not okay to make jokes about an adult having sex with a minor, even if the adult in question is the voice of Elmo.

It's not entirely clear what, in fact, happened:

"New York-based Sesame Workshop said in a statement that its own inquiry concluded that the claim of underage sexual conduct was unsubstantiated, and that puppeteer Kevin Clash has denied
any wrongdoing and called the allegation "false and defamatory."

But the company said Clash, 52, was disciplined after an internal investigation showed he "exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding Internet usage." [Chicago Tribune]

Either way, just stop it. I know that it must be SO disappointing to leave that "tickle me" joke just sitting there on the shelf. But, you know, adults having sex with kids (and yes, 16 is still a kid in this country) is actually not funny at all. I know, what a buzzkill I am.

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Photos: Self-Publishing, With Dakota Kim and Lots of Whipped Cream

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM


There was titillation at Brooklyn Fire Proof on Saturday, courtesy of Lucky Charming, Sticky Ricky, Dame Cuchifritta, Plucky Charms, Matt Knife, Legs Malone, Minx Arcana, Calamity Chang and co-hosts Jiggly Caliente (from RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Horrochata, as well as performances by rockabilly monsters The Buzzards, the charming ukelele-and-melodica duo Jowy and Kristen, and hula-hoop-friendly DJ Brian Blackout. The party was a benefit to raise money for Dakota Kim's sure-to-be-classic Bombshell Bakers: A Pinup Cookbook, as well as Sandy relief. Yay sex!

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Going Guerilla With the Founder of Williamsburg's Street Museum of Art

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM


Yet another museum has arrived in Brooklyn, only this one claims to be unlike all those that came before. The Street Museum of Art (SMoA) is completely free, open at all hours and publicly curated (one might say crowdsourced). If you live or work in Williamsburg you might already have stumbled across some of the exhibition, which launched 6 weeks ago, although parts of it have already been dismantled and replaced because the streets don't have security guards. SMoA's online description has the intriguing words "guerrilla" and "illegally" in the online description, so of course we had to find out more.

The Founder and Director agreed to an interview but only via email in order to safeguard his or her anonymity.

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The Perfect Brooklyn Gift: A Subscription to Brooklyn Magazine and Brooklyn Roasting Company

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

We're partnering with our DUMBO neighbors Brooklyn Roasting Company to make your holiday shopping a little bit easier this year. This holiday, treat your friends and family (or you know, yourself) to the perfect Brooklyn gift: get a 1-year subscription to Brooklyn Magazine, plus a quarterly coffee subscription from Brooklyn Roasting Company for just $35. Yep, for a third of the cost of your monthly Metrocard, you'll get a glossy guide to the borough, plus 12 ounces of fresh, locally roasted coffee delivered to your door 4 times a year. That's a $70 value! So save yourself the headache of holiday shopping, and get yours today.

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Williamsburg's Holy Gathering: The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM


Any bird flying over Williamsburg on Saturday would have spotted a curious sight: on the corner of Havemeyer and North 8th, legions of people were pouring out of a church. Crowds were gathered for a yearly holy conference, The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. In just its third year at this location, the one-day event packed comic, zine, and graphic novel enthusiasts into two floors full of booths by small and large publishers alike.

From hand-drawn, inky doodles of sci-fi creatures, to graphic novels with doe-eyed females, the full gamut of contemporary illustration was on view. With comics, you’re often bound to find an image, turn of phrase, or a certain pacing, that seems like it’s been invented by plumbing the subconscious. Many comics revel in the weird, but the subculture’s numbers are anything but tiny. From the looks of it at The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, cartoonist culture is alive in Brooklyn, and abroad.

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