You’d expect someone like Brooklyn-born comedian Simeon Goodson to be straight up freaking out right about now. Depending on who you are, an impending move to Abu Dhabi could strike you as utterly terrifying or worthy of giddy anticipation. The dazzling, conservative Vegas of the Middle East is a polarizing place to say the least. But somehow Simeon’s experiencing these two extremes and managing still to take things as they come. While the United Arab Emirates is hardly the dream home for a guy who enjoys swigging glasses of Hennessy (“OD ice”) and belting out karaoke renditions of “Trap Queen,” Sim sees his impending move there less like a stint in purgatory and more an enjoyable challenge and the chance to be a transplant for once in his life.
B + B Q + A
Kids celebrated its anniversary at BAM last month, but it was actually 20 years ago today that it hit the big screen at Angelika Film Center. So it makes sense that on July 16, director Larry Clark and his star Leo Fitzpatrick reconvened at Angelika for another anniversary screening of Clark’s personal 35-mm print. This time, they were accompanied not by Chloe and Rosario, but by Hamilton Harris (you’ll remember him as the guy who taught everyone in Washington Square Park how to roll a blunt), who premiered a sizzle reel for his in-the-works documentary about the kids of Kids.
Who likes a Potty Mouth? That’s not just a line your mom says before grabbing the soap: it’s the name of one of the much buzzed about bands performing at Gigawatts Festival this Saturday. We rang up Abby Weems and Ally Einbinder to learn more about the punk-pop trio’s upcoming show and to find out if they’re ready to spring the follow-up to their well received last album, Hell Bent, released in 2013 by North Brooklyn’s own Old Flame Records. They were tight-lipped (rather than potty-mouthed) about that, but we did talk about their band crushes, translating life into lyrics, and mansplaining. Yes, they know how much that pedal costs and, yes, they know how to use it.
Multidisciplinary artist Rachel Mason’s album turned surreal rock-opera film The Lives of Hamilton Fish owes its life to coincidence. In January 1936, two men from upstate New York named Hamilton Fish — one a sadistic serial killer, the other a minor statesman — died a day apart. Decades later, while volunteering as an art teacher at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (where killer Fish was executed), Mason discovered their side-by-side obituaries in a newspaper clipping that would spark her self-admitted “obsession” with the Fish men.
Walk down Morgan Avenue, past Owen Dippie’s recent mural of Renaissance artists sporting Mutant Ninja Turtle masks, and you’ll get to ASVP’s latest, “Triple Crown.” The black-and-white painting on the side of Sugarlift gallery shows three horses, all clean lines and free-flowing manes. “It’s derived from a larger theme that we’ve incorporated into some of our recent work,” a member of the anonymous duo told us. “The concept of finding wildness.”
You’ve probably seen Damien Lemon on MTV 2’s Guy Code, or as the cabbie in one of those Spiderman movies or on Comedy Central’s The Half Hour. This month you can find him doing stand-up at The Stand. Lemon first walked onto the stage in 2005, when he performed at Sal’s Comedy Hole, and since then he’s been dishing out laid-back advice and commentary on race, sex and, yes, Uber drivers. Lemon, who also co-hosts a podcast called #InTheConversation and co-anchors MTV 2’s Not Exactly News gave us insight into the comedians he most looks up to, the “two different Brooklyns,” and how he transforms “fucked up” shit into jokes that hit.
There was a flood of tears and a surge of inspiration at the New York premiere of A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. This past weekend at the Lower East Side Film Festival, the documentary took home Audience Award — to be shelved with numerous others. When we spoke to the film’s subject yesterday, she said she was “still smiling.”
If we had to pick one emoticon to describe Kid Congo Powers’ attitude about his own three decades-long career, we’d go with the shruggy guy (i.e.¯\_(ツ)_/¯). He’s surprisingly humble and when he speaks about the past, it’s with what we imagine was the same wide-eyed amazement he had way back when The Cramps asked him to come on board. By some estimations, Kid Congo’s been a part of at least 420 bands over his three decades-long career, including legendary acts like The Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and this writer’s personal favorite, The Gun Club, of which Powers was a founding member.
While you slept soundly last night, a computer sat in the corner of the Denny Gallery on the Lower East Side, silently uploading the entire contents of Wikipedia onto Lulu.com, a print-on-demand website. The process is estimated to take the next two weeks. Why, you ask? As a “poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data,” reads the press statement from the exhibit “From Aaaaa! to ZZZap!”, a performance of the upload of Michael Mandiberg’s Print Wikipedia series. Understood another way, perhaps while passing the dutchie pon the left hand side: like, how big is the Internet, man?
Over the millennia much attention has been paid to the concept of love (a second hand emotion? a stink?), while hate tends to sit, brooding in the corner. Apparently, the line between the two is thin. A wise master once noted, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Beyond this advice for mastering your emotions (and the force), is a call for empathy. Of course, how can one forget the more fatalist flipside: “haters gonna hate.”
In 2011, Kate Bolick touched off a heated debate with her confessional Atlantic article “All the Single Ladies,” which described her experience breaking up with her “loyal, kind” boyfriend of three years, assuming someone new would come along, only to find herself still unattached at 39 and dealing with the stigma and fears that come with singledom. Her first book, Spinster, tells the story of what happened when she embraced being single. It interweaves her personal life with historical context brought to life by five single ladies who were reveling in their independence long before Beyonce wrote the anthem.