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Kay Kasparhauser Of The Prettiots On Ukuleles and Bubble-Gum Fetishists

Rachel Trachtenburg, Lulu Prat & Kay Kasparhauser. Photo: Colin Dodgson

Rachel Trachtenburg, Lulu Prat & Kay Kasparhauser. Photo: Colin Dodgson

Anyone who plays the ukulele and admits to having worn neon bathing suits in high school is fine by us, which is why we’re like, totally 100% behind Kay Kasparhauser, frontwoman of local band The Prettiots. Though Kasparhauser says she “wouldn’t be disappointed or insulted if someone underestimated us and thought we were just some kids making pop,” there’s a sense of charm and self-awareness – particularly to their lyrics – that makes The Prettiots much more than that.
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Will Fussell of Mood Rings Got His Bucket Hat Stolen By a Groupie

Zach Wolfe

Zach Wolfe

Last month I had the glorious opportunity to see Atlanta-based band Mood Rings open for Cults but I didn’t because I was too busy getting drunk or straightening my hair (or getting drunk while straightening my hair). At any rate, this is now a deeply felt regret as yesterday evening they opened for Connan Mockasin at Mercury Lounge and they were just swell — despite being down their synth player, who could not make the 14-hour drive for personal reasons. Luckily, his absence was well compensated for with generously used effects and a setlist consisting largely of songs they had written back when they were a four-piece.
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Alex Prager Used 20 Tons of Sand (and Her Sister) to Stage This Beach Scene

ALEX PRAGER Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013 archival pigment print 59.5 x 92 inches, 151.1 x 233.7 cm 60.5 x 93.56 x 2.25 inches (framed), 153.7 x 237.6 x 5.7 cm Edition of 6 Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

ALEX PRAGER Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013 archival pigment print 59.5 x 92 inches, 151.1 x 233.7 cm 60.5 x 93.56 x 2.25 inches (framed), 153.7 x 237.6 x 5.7 cm Edition of 6 Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Alex Prager is not especially intimidating. The Los Angeles-based photographer is often smiling, rather petite and generally endearing. So it’s amusing to envision her atop a cherry picker, directing hundreds of actors like some sort of omniscient being, which is precisely what she did for her latest body of work, Face in the Crowd. Shot over four days on a sound stage in LA, the project features a slew of universally relatable locations (bleachers at a sports game, the beach, an airport, a generic looking rec room) populated with Prager’s friends, family and countless extras styled in flamboyant wigs and exaggerated makeup.
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MeLo-X On Remixing the Beyoncé Album for Blue Ivy’s Birthday: ‘I Have No Limits’

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It is so freaking cold outside, we nearly forgot the gloriously momentous occasion that occurs on Jan. 7: Blue Ivy Carter’s birthday (that’s the holy spawn of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, in case you actively shun all pop culture media outlets). You know who didn’t forget Blue Ivy’s special day? Brooklyn-based rapper and remix mastermind MeLo-X, who released his remix of Beyoncé’s self-titled album, Yoncé-X, earlier today (following some carefully conceptualized teasers on Instagram, naturally).
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In Search of an Unsung East Village Photographer, Tomas Leach 'Hunted an Old Man Down'

Saul Leiter, secret genius photographer of the East Village, turned 90 this year, yet his work is just now achieving widespread recognition — most recently in the form of In No Great Hurry, a documentary playing this week at the Doc NYC Festival.
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Divine Inspiration: Jeffrey Schwartz’s New Doc on the ‘Drag Queen Who Ate Dog Shit’

Here’s the typical path from underground hero to mainstream celebrity: Gain cult following of people who are edgier and wilder than most (see: gay crowds, college kids, artists); sweat in small theaters and films for years; get the attention of a powerful tastemaker; take the edge way off your persona and appear publicly as a watered down version of your earlier self, bringing slight thrills without actually pushing any boundaries.

And while you could say this is what happened to 1970s and ’80s drag star Divine — who went from eating dog poo in the John Waters film Pink Flamingoes to playing a Baltimore housewife who’s only compulsion is ironing — the real story, told in the new documentary I Am Divine, is anything but typical.
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Carlo Mirarchi On the Roberta’s Cookbook and Bushwick’s Neighborhoodization

Robertas 3

In 2007, Bushwick favorite Roberta’s was an empty cinderblock bunker rented from an Orthodox Jewish couple, pleased that the space was being leased for a pizza place. Five years later, the bunker is an eatery with a rooftop garden, named one of Bon Appétit’s 20 Most Important Restaurants in America, with a name synonymous with a certain brand of Bushwick. Now, the guys behind Roberta’s have a cookbook, full of recipes for their pizzas, pastas, meats, and desserts, punctuated with photos and stories from the early days when chef Carlo Mirarchi cooked with a toaster oven and a butane burner. We spoke with Mirarchi about the new cookbook (in stores October 29), the restaurant’s fast ascension, and the past five years in Bushwick.
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Jay Stolar Got Beat Up For Liking Stevie Wonder and Can’t Stand Creed

PromoImageOn a recent afternoon, we met Jay Stolar at The Meatball Shop on Bedford Avenue, near his home in Williamsburg, to talk about More Than You Think, his first album since leaving Julius C, the five-man band that piqued the interest of New York’s indie circuit in 2010 with a 30-day, 30-show tour. Stolar’s new album, which lands on October 8, consists of supremely smooth, radio-ready pop songs, and the single “Like You Do” was picked up for an episode of the CW’s 90210 (the video for “Leading Me Down,” released today, is below). In August, Stolar launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of the album and ended up raising $50,000, more than three times the initial goal. With CMJ shows coming up at The Delancey on Oct. 16 and Rockwood Music Hall on Oct. 19, Stolar talked about recording the album, being inspired by Amanda Palmer, and covering Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
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James Levy of Reputante on Signing With Julian Casablancas and Playing With Zoë Kravitz

“The Cult Records thing is my fourth record deal, but it’s the coolest one for me,” James Levy told B+B on his band Reputante signing to the Julian Casablancas-owned label. “The label is an interesting community and I wanted to be a part of Julian’s vision. Everybody on it is part of the family to some degree. I was tired of signing record deals and not being excited about it.”
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Want to Hear a Sacagawea Joke? This Comic Wants to Tell You One

Mindy Tucker

(Photo: Mindy Tucker)

I first met Natalie Shure on an organized trip to Auschwitz. Sites of historical atrocity are unusual stomping grounds for a standup comedian, but Shure is no typical jokester. A tall brunette rocking horn-rimmed glasses and a flowery frock, the 27-year-old dresses like a sixties fashion icon and banters like a Russian History professor. When she’s not frequenting the city’s standup clubs or co-hosting her monthly Barely Regal standup show at the Palace Café in Greenpoint, you’re most likely to find her at the library with her head buried in a Soviet history textbook.

At NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute (where we’re both students), she takes a break from working on her thesis about drug resistant tuberculosis in the former Soviet Union and tells me, “I like dark jokes. I tell a lot of jokes about history and genocide. Those are my favorite kind of jokes.” You can hear some of them at Palace Café on Wednesday, or just go on and read the B+B Q+A.
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There Are Many Sides to Olga Bell of Dirty Projectors, Playing Solo at BAM Tonight

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Olga Bell both disrobed and dressed up for her latest music video, released Thursday from one of her experimental side projects, “nothankyou.” The Williamsburg (via Russia and Alaska) singer-songwriter appears first in the video as a bare-chested brunette, then as a demure version of herself in glasses, and finally in a blond wig. At the end, all three characters stand side by side, and it’s clear they’re all Bell.
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You’re About to Catch ‘Feelings’ For Bad Girlfriend, Playing Glasslands Tomorrow

(Photo: Candice Lawler Roth)

(Photo: Candice Lawler Roth)

We’re calling it here and now: Bad Girlfriend, an all-girl group based in and around Williamsburg, is next-big-thing material. On the verge of breaking their debut full-length, due out this winter and produced by Chairlift co-founder Aaron Pfenning and School of Seven Bells’ Benjamin Curtis, this chic quartet offers an edgier, New York Citified answer to stylistic cousins Vivian Girls and Best Coast.

Bad Girlfriend is made up of singer/guitarist Christian Owens, bassist Savannah King, drummer/singer Lyla Vander, and singer/guitarist Brianna Lance. We spoke to Lance, who’s also head designer at local It Girl fashion favorite Reformation, ahead of tomorrow night’s show at Glasslands Gallery, where Bad Girlfriend will open for fellow North Brooklynite Luke Rathborne. Read the B+B Q+A — and listen to their eponymous EP and their new single, “Feelings” — below.
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