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11/13/12 11:20am

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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!

10/31/12 1:10pm

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As is custom around Halloween, the daredevils at the Black Label Bike Club put on the annual shit show that is the Bike Kill on Saturday, filling a Bed-Stuy alley with giant muck-soaked foam skulls, crushed beer cans, ropes, jousting poles, fake blood, real blood, the occasional firecracker, tall bikes, short bikes, surfing bikes, and of course, the photographers who head there every year in search of edgy portfolio gold. Here’s what I came back with this time.

05/24/12 3:14pm

Last night in the Sky Lounge at the New Museum, NOWNESS, the “editorially independent website of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton,” in association with powerHouse Books, hosted the launch for Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style, the book based on his successful blog about stylish older women. (Check it out if you haven’t already—these ladies know how to put an outfit together.) Many of Cohen’s subjects attended, along with some very well dressed youngsters; everyone was more than happy to pose for a few photos.

04/19/12 2:42pm

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Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, street art star Swoon, swoon-worthy actress Marisa Tomei and many well-dressed art and fashion world luminaries converged on the Brooklyn Museum for last night’s Brooklyn Artist Ball annual fundraising gala and W Magazine after-party. Awards were given, cocktails were mixed, galleries were strolled through, dinner was served and, finally, the dance floor was packed. Not bad for a Wednesday night, Brooklyn.

04/16/12 2:05pm

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Thousands of years ago, according to legend, the Rat and the Cat tricked the gullible Ox to carry them across the river in the race that would determine the order that the 12 animals would appear in the Shengxiao, the Chinese zodiac. The dirty Rat then pushed the Cat overboard and jumped off to cross the finish line first.

On Sunday night, Duke Riley, the Brooklyn-based artist who made headlines in 2007 for navigating a replica of a wooden Revolutionary War submarine within 200 feet of the Queen Mary II at the Red Hook cruise terminal, and two years later reenacted a Roman-era naval battle for the Queens Museum of Art, staged a rematch of sorts on a canal in Zhujiajiao, China, a water village on the outskirts of Shanghai. Twelve traditional gondolas, each powered by rowers from the community and carrying one of the 12 animals (with at least one stand-in: dragons are somewhat hard to come by) as well as a local opera singer performing songs praising their passenger, raced a short distance past the arches of the town’s Fangsheng Bridge.

In conjunction with the event, two live broadcast viewing parties took place in New York, one in Manhattan at the Magnan Metz Gallery and the other at the Egg & Dart Club in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. At the latter, costumed volunteers representing the 12 “contestants” strolled through the crowd before the race, convincing partygoers, encouraged to dress in their “Shanghai casino best,” to give a suggested donation in the name of their animal to support the displaced residents of the former Shanghai private zoo. There may or may not have been some unsanctioned gentlemanly wagers placed on various animals to win. Drinks with names like “Tiger’s Blood” (a Bloody Mary with homemade pepper-infused vodka) and “Rat Stew” (whiskey, birch beer and vanilla ice cream) were served.

“Think about it,” said Jason Engdahl, wearing a giant rabbit head, out on the roof deck. “The Rabbit should win. It’s all about short sprints. Sure, a dragon’s fast, but it takes a long time to get started.” Dakota Kim, representing the Dragon, disagreed. “2012 is the Year of the Dragon. This is my year.” “Pick the Goat,” someone else chimed in. “The fix is in. We have a man in Shanghai.”

The race itself, projected on a wall, was over in a flash, with the Ox and Horse neck and neck down the homestretch, and everyone in the room cheering on their favorite animal. After some deliberation, during which time a mock fight between the Goat and the Horse devolved into a dance-off (“I think the Horse is definitely winning the dance contest,” conceded the Goat), it was decided that the Horse crossed first. But with no one to confirm the outcome, attendees turned to more pressing matters. The DJ was given the nod, and all the animals and their supporters settled their differences on the dancefloor. Even the Rat.*

[*Apparently a Chinese opera song was performed by a woman in a dragon costume toward the end of the night, but this reporter was so dismayed that his animal—the snake—did not win that he left before it happened.]

Photos of the event on the page 2…

03/12/12 3:55pm

New York is crazy busy with art events lately. Just this past weekend, our art director Crystal Gwyn went to an Armory show about art and fashion, and then paid a visit to Beat Nite, Bushwick’s late-night gallery party in conjunction with the Armory Arts Weekend. Meanwhile, photographer Sam Polcer went to MoMA, where the avant-garde quartet CHERYL hosted an “interactive dance party” in conjunction with the museum’s temporary Cindy Sherman exhibit. They took lots of photos of everything.

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03/19/08 12:00am

The Kills’ cross-Atlantic tape-exchange beginnings, followed by a stunning debut album and a few years of live shows that left audiences excitedly whispering about the pair’s sexually-charged stage presence, always seemed to beg the question: What would happen if these two art-punk buddies really got to know each other?

2005’s sophomore LP, No Wow, written and recorded in a month, had the immediacy of a first meeting; a scattered, late-night conversation that ended before anyone considered what was being said. Years later, Midnight Boom sees Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart returning to the small town in Michigan where they recorded No Wow. This time, though, they’re working with SpankRock producer Alex Epton (aka Armani XXXchange), who recreates the dusty, scrapped-together feel of past releases, while justifying a glammier, catchier sound with each bass note and drum beat, allowing Hince to focus less on propelling every tune forward with his chugging, bluesy stomp. This might help explain why songs on this album sound as daring yet structured as anything the band has ever done, but Mosshart, too, has noticeably more confidence and range. Whether she’s quietly singing a simple, mournful refrain or shouting down a wall of distortion, she leaves little room for an argument that The Kills’ impossibly cool and menacing posture is an empty one.

One might accuse them of self-mythologizing, but Hince and Mosshart (aka “Hotel” and “VV,” take that) aren’t trying to hide that intention. A phone dials in slinky opening single and possible strip-club classic ‘U.R.A Fever’, hinting at their long-distance beginnings. The closing spot is reserved for a sobering denouement after 30 minutes of fever-dream confessions — a sequencing move used quite effectively on their first two albums — while other tracks have them wearing their late-70s-obsessed hearts on their sleeves. With a gritty Polaroid catch-us-if-you-can image reinforced at every turn, on record, the Kills are aware that it doesn’t much matter if you believe whether their rock’n’roll adventure is real; if they continue to have no doubt about it themselves, they’ll make it extremely tempting for others to follow along.