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Rheingold Building Rises; Champs Diner Robbed

A memorial has sprouted for the teen killed by cops in Bushwick. His funeral service is today. [Bushwick Daily]

The rental building on the site of the former Rheingold brewery is halfway there. [Curbed]

The Bushwick Flea is now located at the Morgan L stop. [Bushwick Daily]

The party promoters behind the Brooklyn Mirage are making another effort to open the venue. [DNAinfo]

A fire broke out at a Williamsburg matzo factory. [DNAinfo]

Champs Diner in Williamsburg was robbed of $15K of gear. [DNAinfo]

Bushwick’s Amaranto is serving “authentic Mexican cuisine with a delicious modern twist.” [Bushwick Daily]

A history of Housing Works, a pioneer in combatting AIDS and homelessness. [Curbed]

Try the piadina (an “Italian quesadilla”) at a new Williamsburg spot, Lella Alimentari. [Greenpointers]

An “unexpected shawarma preparation” at Empellon Cocina. [Eater]

A visit to Little Tong Noodle Shop popup. [Edible Brooklyn]

Remembering the Black Arts Movement in the East Village. [Off the Grid]

The Lowline Lab closes Sunday. [Bowery Boogie]

Tenants of a Steve Croman building on Stanton Street are headed back to court. [Bowery Boogie]

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Week in Shows: a Church for PC Worship, Psychedelic Orchestras, and More

(Flyer via AdHoc)

Naomi Punk, PC Worship, Maria Chavez
Tuesday February 21, 7 pm to 11 pm at the Park Church Co-Op: $12

If this one’s news to you, throw down your laptop (yeah, like, on the ground), pick up your feet and hurry get a move on– this one starts, like, now.

Attraction numero uno is an Olympia-based band called Naomi Punk, returning from a bitty recording hiatus, presumably with an album in the works. And their name doth not betray– Punk’s stripped-down, dusty-beer-can styling tacks a refreshingly chill vibe over garage-rock tradition, which can often veer toward needless broey BS. In other words, these cats put some much-needed “punk” in garage punk.

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Don’t Pay $100 For a Supreme MetroCard, You Can Get Them in the Subway Again

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

There’s currently a news van parked outside of the Supreme store, where 80 people are lined up literally around the block. While the usual hypebeasts wait in the cold to score the new Obama hoodie, Supreme aficionados have also been pouring into the Broadway-Lafayette subway station, a couple blocks away, in order to snatch up the Supreme-branded Metrocard, which dropped Monday.

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Our Big Fat Guide to Mardi Gras and Carnival in NYC

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Carnival has already been pretty wild this year, and it hasn’t even started in earnest. Down in New Orleans last week, the satirical Krewe du Vieux and Krewe Delusion processions brought plenty of raunchy anti-Trump floats and golden shower gags, as you can see from the photos and video sprinkled below. And not even those could top the Wild West-themed Trump float spotted at an Italian carnivale. But please, folks, let’s not let our jester-in-chief ruin what should be a glorious time of indulgence. Come Fat Tuesday, you should be fully focused on snagging free booze, southern grub, and freebies– that’s right, some local spots are prepared to throw more than just beads at you. Here’s who’s letting the good times roll this year.

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Art Openings: Augmented Reality Voyeurism, Tattoo Art N’ Meatballs, + More

(flyer via Slide To Expose / Facebook)

Slide To Expose
Opening Thursday February 23 at Babycastles, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 9.

This “collaborative augmented reality installation” is created by Molly Soda, Nicole Ruggiero, and an augmented reality app called Refrakt. If you’re confused about what augmented reality is, recall Pokemon Go. Two creators known for their “net art” collaborating with a literal app sounds like a match made in heaven. And it seems to be: Slide To Expose plays on themes of digital intimacy and privacy, but does so by asking viewers to scan objects in the gallery to reveal hidden pieces of a life online, like emails or text messages.

On the one hand, art all about online expression and how technology affects our lives can seem like old hat. On the other hand, if you’re getting another chance to take a peek into how an individual person expresses themselves online specifically, you’re going to be getting a unique and different experience every time. Plus, you’re doing so through scanning stuff. When any object could contain a secret, why not give it a whirl? Keep Reading »

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Snag a Protest T-Shirt Designed By a Local Artist at This Presidents Day Party

(By Xavier Schipani)Tired of being the 20th person in your office in a FUTURE IS FEMALE shirt? Does that pink pussyhat seem so last protest? Need something to go with that NOT MY PRESIDENT harness? No worries, The Protest T-Shirt Show will offer plenty of new items for your Social Justice Warrior wardrobe.

“We asked our favorite NYC artists to design a t-shirt that captures the chaotic political climate around them,” reads the announcement from our friends over at Hester Street Fair, which is hosting the week-long show at its new Project Space at 142 Henry Street.

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Cookie Tongue Is a ‘Freaky Folky Family’ Band With a Touch of Witchiness

(image courtesy of Cookie Tongue)

(image courtesy of Cookie Tongue)

A ghostly woman covered in white moves slowly, shaking. A man with long hair wails and plucks a guitar. A harmonium drones. Puppets emerge to the tunes of a flute and the beat of a drum, and a whimsical world is created that feels like a fairytale set to song, sometimes melancholy and sometimes full of life.

This is just a typical performance from the Brooklyn band Cookie Tongue, a “freaky folky family” currently in the throes of raising funds to record their latest album, Orphan Arms.

Cookie Tongue sprang from the brain of musician and visual artist Omer Gal in 2011. Upon their East Coast rebirth about a year ago, the band is now additionally comprised of Jacquelyn Marie Shannon, Chris Carlone, Brandon Perdomo, and Liza Pavlovna. Similar to Omer, all the other members also make their own art, from Butoh dance and theater to textile art and videography.

“My first band was with an ex-girlfriend in Israel. She was really into theater and fantastical worlds,” explains Omer. “When I moved to San Francisco, I moved alone, so that mixed with being in a new place created new songs. I was doing my MFA, there was a bunch of other artists there. Through jamming with them, I started writing songs that I felt were good enough to call Cookie Tongue.”

He adds that the first Cookie Tongue included yet another ex-girlfriend, who was the group’s violinist. “I can’t play music with someone who isn’t family,” he explains.

Upon his move to New York, Omer left the woman and the former iteration of the group behind yet again, but had already met his next partner in art and life.

“I met Omer at a Cookie Tongue show in San Francisco,” said Jacquelyn. “I went to a couple of shows and [it was] a super blown-away, I can’t believe this exists kind of thing. I just remember how transportive it was. I felt like I was in a book or another world.”

Omer and Jacquelyn (image courtesy of Cookie Tongue)

Omer and Jacquelyn (image courtesy of Cookie Tongue)

Jacquelyn, who initially joined the band as a Butoh dancer and now also plays an assortment of instruments, moved to New York from San Francisco around the time Omer did to study Butoh under the instructor Vangeline. There, she met Chris Carlone and Brandon Perdomo, other core members of the band.

Omer met the band’s newest member Liza on the street selling what he calls “Shithead shirts,” hand-painted t-shirts he makes bearing grotesque (yet somehow endearing) faces. These shirts are also available as rewards for donating to the band’s Kickstarter.

The uniquely fantastical nature of Cookie Tongue allows the members, especially Omer, to bring more than just interesting instruments and surreal sounds to the project. The focus is never just on music, but creating an entire world through their performances, whether this be through puppets, storytelling, dance, animation, or something else entirely.

Omer Gal's art and some of the rewards available on their Kickstarter (image courtesy of Cookie Tongue)

Omer Gal’s art and some of the rewards available on their Kickstarter (image courtesy of Cookie Tongue)

“When I thought the music wasn’t good enough in the beginning, I added the art to it to make it feel like even though I’m not completely sure about this, I have the art, which I know is good,” Omer explains.

“We were talking about the theatrics of our shows, but how does that translate to an album? And so that’s one of the fun challenges, how we capture that theatrical experience in a soundscape,” adds Jacquelyn. “This is what we look like, this is what we feel like, and the challenge of translating that into sound. There’s a lot going on besides the music.”

Orphan Arms isn’t Cookie Tongue’s first album– that was 2014’s Biotic Rituals, a selection of songs sporting similar vibes but more indie-rock peppiness. But that was recorded with the San Francisco iteration, and they are starting fresh. Well, maybe not so fresh, per se.

“I think this album is gonna be a little more, sort of soggy dust. Gravelly, brownish, grayish texture,” Omer says when I inquire about it. “Grainy. And kind of a little bit desaturated.”

Omer and Jacquelyn explain that the “witchiness” of their surrounding community (they consider Bushwick’s Tarot Society a “home base”) has also impacted the band’s sound and image.

“I think what we’re seeing especially right now is this kind of renaissance in the idea of magic,” says Jacquelyn. “Looking for magic, looking to a fairy tale and figuring out what that means to us.”

As many bands do, they’re using Kickstarter to raise funds for their album, with a reach goal of $5,000 to record the songs and press them onto vinyl. They saw the video pitch element of crowdfunding as an opportunity to make what is essentially a short film that manifests the spirit of Cookie Tongue, feeling more like a piece of art than the familiar “here’s why you should donate” spiel.

And even that’s a bit different. Omer and Jacquelyn talk at length to me about the importance of family and community, whether in the band or beyond. Cookie Tongue’s previous iterations were more casual, Omer says, but this one truly feels like a family. He recounts seeing Devendra Banhart play a show in Tel Aviv and being affected by the band, how each member got to be in the spotlight and even the audience was invited to be a part of it.

“When I saw them walk out of the club I thought, I want a band like that,” he recalls. “I want a band that’s like a family.”

“We are really into knowing who wants to be a part of the community,” says Jacquelyn. “It’s not just donate because it’s a good thing to do, but because we want you to be part of this thing that we’re building.”

Cookie Tongue will be having a fundraiser dinner and performance at a secret location this Sunday, February 19. Find out more by contacting them through their Facebook page. Their Kickstarter concludes on February 22.

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Week in Film: 8-Bit Computer Wars, Women Do Horror, and More


Harlan County, U.S.A.
Friday February 17 through Wednesday February 22 at The Metrograph: $15

Lately we’e seen some pretty intense and protracted protest movements fighting it out against the seemingly impossible-to-topple Powers That Be, and in some cases actually succeeding in their effort (or lasting much longer than anyone could have guessed).

Flashback to 1974, Southeastern Kentucky: a group of coalminers and their families organized against the Eastover Coal Company– one of those Coal Country corporate machines that own whole towns and everything in it. If you want to hear more about what it was like to be a director embedded in such a massive strike, be sure to go tonight at 7 pm for a special Q+A with the filmmaker Barbara Kopple. Because this film takes place in Appalachia, it would be absolutely criminal to proceed without a banjo, so the night includes a live performance by Appalachian musician Jack Morris, whose father David Morris was featured in the film’s soundtrack.

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Williamsburg No Longer Millennial-Friendly; Essex Crossing Adds Affordable Housing

Astoria is the neighborhood most popular with millennial looking to move in with roommates, a study finds. Williamsburg didn’t even make the list. [DNAinfo]

The developers of Essex Street Crossing are adding more affordable housing. [Curbed]

The few day laborers who lined up at a South Williamsburg corner during yesterday’s Day Without Immigrants doubled their rates. [DNAinfo]

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Battle of the Bag Tax: Bodega Workers Have Mixed Feelings About Five-Cent Fee

Deli on Franklin Avenue in Greenpoint (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Deli on Franklin Avenue in Greenpoint (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Last week, our Seattle-bred writer told New Yorkers to stop being babies about the five-cent fee that the City Council had voted to impose for the use of plastic takeout bags. That plea fell on deaf ears, because on Tuesday, Governor Cuomo blocked implementation of the Bring Your Own Bag Law for at least a year. The Lower East Side’s own Margaret Chin was among those who dropped a W-T-F bomb, insisting that “carryout bag fees are the right policy” and that Cuomo’s move had quashed a measure that she and her colleagues in City Council had “democratically adopted” after slogging through “two years of hearings, reviewing evidence, reusable bag giveaways, and public debate.”

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