Whoa, far be it from us to steer you clear of our own event with Vice tonight, but our friends at Other Music have something pretty extraordinary going on: Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth is doing a guitar clinic at the record store, as you can see from this hilarious Dan Smith-style flyer. Keep in mind, this is the guy who Glenn Branca told us was “one of the most important musicians who’s ever played in my band,” which is saying a lot. So if you’ve always wondered what tuning that one b-side from that one 7″ was in, you might want to go get some knowledge dropped on ya. The event starts at 8 p.m. If you missed Ranaldo’s show at Terminal 5 over the weekend, he’ll be back supporting his new album, Last Night on Earth, at in January.
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The stories of Lou Reed’s encounters with the Bowies and Bangses of the world are the stuff of legend, but more than anything, his passing yesterday made clear just how many everyday New Yorkers treasured their random, often wordless encounters with him at East Village restaurants, movie theaters, and on the street (yep, despite his 1980s Honda scooter commercial, he often did settle for walking).
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In the wake of Lou Reed’s death yesterday, Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a Syracuse alum, dug up this amazing photo from the university’s 1964 yearbook. “Lou Reed was a student of Delmore Schwartz,” she told us. “Also friends with cheerleader Betsey Johnson (look at her here!) who went on to become the fashion designer and was briefly married to John Cale.”
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Last week, Ad Age named Vice its Publishing Company of the Year and neatly summarized the bohemian behemoth’s acid-laced ascent: “What had started in Canada as Voice of Montreal in 1994 has now morphed into a Brooklyn-based multimedia empire that can land a deal with HBO — for ‘Vice,’ the Emmy-nominated documentary ‘news magazine’ series that was renewed this summer for a second season — while also playing with the magazine-world big boys (Vice was a 2012 National Magazine Award finalist in the General Excellence category).”
Monday at the Newsroom, top editors Jason Mojica (editor-in-chief of Vice News) and Rocco Castoro (editor-in-chief of Vice Media) will stroll over from their Williamsburg headquarters to tell us how, exactly, the skate-brat rag you used to pick up at Beacon’s Closet rose to such prominence that 21st Century Fox recently bought a 5 percent stake for $70 million. (That’s right, Murdoch is IN.)
Incidentally, we’re told the company has no plans as of yet to expand next-door into the Beacon’s space, as was widely reported — but it’s expanding just about everywhere else: the magazine boasts 25 editions covering 30 countries and a global circulation of over 1 million, the record label has over 50 artists, the publishing arm has put out a dozen books, and nearly 3.5 million subscribers watch YouTube shows like “Fresh Off the Boat with Eddie Huang,” in which the East Village chef bounces from Mongolia to Detroit.
Meanwhile, Vice.com continues to probe everything from sex on the Lower East Side (by B+B contributor Taji Ameen) to Obama’s drone strikes, via long-form video and gonzo reporting that — for better or worse, depending on where you stand — delivers a Fightland-style kick to the face of conventional journalism.
Join us Monday at 7 p.m., at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Avenue, as we explore Vice’s evolution from the fringes to the front lines. The event is free but seating is limited; let us know you’re coming.
We’re watching The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations tonight at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom. Couldn’t make it? Tune in shortly after 8 p.m. as we talk to the documentary’s director, Greenpoint’s own Hannah Jayanti, about the classic children’s story. You can read more about the event here. Update: The event has passed, but you can watch the recording above.
As you can probs guess from our name, Bedford + Bowery is all about uniting the neighborhoods on either side of the Williamsburg Bridge and the L line. But East Village musician and artist Adam Green has another idea. Earlier this month, we spoke to him at the Newsroom after a screening of How to Act Bad, a documentary that follows the singer-songwriter over the course of two years of touring Europe, getting cozy with the Shining Twins and dabbling in ketamine and DMT. Green told us, “I tried this virtual reality helmet the other day. Have you ever tried this? Oculus? I feel like it’s going to bridge the divide between these two neighborhoods.” According to Green, we could all be chilling in a French chateau instead of wondering whether life is better on the other side of the bridge. “When they took the helmet off of my head, I didn’t want to go back,” he said.
Watch the rest of the discussion between Green and the documentary’s director, Dima Dubson, above.
We’re screening Dirty Old Town tonight at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom. If you can’t make it, join us online as we speak to the film’s star, Billy Leroy of Billy’s Antiques and Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, as well as filmmakers Daniel B. Levin, Jenner Furst, and Julia Willoughby Nason. More about the movie and the event here.
Join us shortly after 7 p.m. as we speak to Rami Shamir of Underground Editions, Katelan Foisy of Knickerbocker Circus, and Jordan McIntyre of The Crumpled Press. More on the panel here. Update: the event has passed, but it’s archived above for your viewing pleasure. We’ll continue to broadcast live through the end of the month. View the complete schedule here.
The bar and live music venue, located in a former plumbing supply warehouse at 146 Broadway, is now “openish,” having hosted a Brooklyn Vegan’s CMJ showcase last weekend, but it might be a couple of weeks before it’s fully open for what Mexico describes as a “nice clean lunch” during the day and “experimental bar food” at night.
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After hosting some epic events over the summer (Tiki Disco, Kim Gordon) the onetime factory that goes by the name Knockdown Center is remodeling so it can reopen as a proper arts center in the spring. In the meantime, it’s using its sprawling grounds in the best way possible: last weekend it launched a year-round flea market.
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We were devastated — really just devastated — when Billy Leroy, star of Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, told us he had ditched plans to return to the old spot on Houston Street where he sold subway signs, skulls, and sundries out of a tent. It’s not like we ever had room to keep a stuffed coyote in our apartment, and our taste in art doesn’t really tend toward blue demons — but everyone knows Billy’s Antiques & Props was one of the last holdovers from the days before “metro-suburbanites,” as Billy likes to call them, swarmed the Bowery in flip-flops. Which is why Jim Jarmusch showed up at the closing party.
Wednesday, that green tent will live again — on the big screen — as we present Dirty Old Town at the B+B Newsroom. (The event is free: just let us know you’re coming.) This fine work of cinema verité portrays Billy as an antiques dealer — and a “leader of fools and king of gypsies” — who has 72 hours to make the rent, or his landlord will turn his junk store into a Starbucks. All the while Billy has to resist the advances of a young party vixen played by Janell Shirtcliff (it’s hard out there for a props dealer) who also has her claws in a preppy restaurateur played by Paul Sevigny of Beatrice Inn. (Sevigny’s band A.R.E Weapons contributed an ode to gentrification, “Parking Lot,” to the soundtrack.) Maybe the best part: Scott Dillin, an ex-cop who actually patrolled the mean streets of the LES back in the bad old days, plays a hard-drinking, wrong-thinking boy in blue.
Are you starting to see why Abel Ferrara presented Dirty Old Town when it premiered in Manhattan? Take it from the man himself: “This film is fucking real.”
So join us Wednesday at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg as we screen this insta-classic and then talk to the film’s star, Billy Leroy, as well as the filmmakers, Jenner Furst, Daniel B. Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. Furst and Levin will also be taking questions about Captured, their documentary about LES photographer Clayton Patterson (who also has a part in Dirty Old Town). Stop in and have a Stumptown stubbie on us.
This bittersweet news really put a damper on our day. Ame Ame, the store on East Ninth Street that sells rain gear and candy, won’t live to celebrate its second anniversary. But every cloud has its silver lining: owner Teresa Soroka says she’s opening a new location across from the Ace Hotel. Here’s her closing/opening announcement.
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