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The Lives of Hamilton Fish: A ‘Strange In-Between’ of a Rock Opera, Music Video, Art Piece

Rachel Mason (Photo: courtesy of The Lives of Hamilton Fish)

Rachel Mason (Photo: courtesy of The Lives of Hamilton Fish)

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.

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ASVP Isn’t Just Horsing Around With New Mural: ‘We’re Celebrating Our Freedom’

The mural depicts "unbridled energy." (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

The mural depicts “unbridled energy.” (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

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.”

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Comedian Damien Lemon Will ‘Get into the Deep Issues, But This Isn’t a TED Talk’

Damien Lemon.

Damien Lemon.

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.

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Lizzie Velasquez Fights a Rare Disease With a Winning Attitude

The director of 'A Brave Heart' (left) and Lizzie Velasquez (middle) at LES Film Fest. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette).

The director of ‘A Brave Heart’ (left) and Lizzie Velasquez (middle) at LES Film Fest. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette).

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.”

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Kid Congo’s Still Got the Power, the Pink Monkey Birds are Flying Our Way

Kid Congo Powers (Photo: Martina Fornace)

Kid Congo Powers (Photo: Martina Fornace)

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.¯\_()_/¯). 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.

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An Artist Explains Why He’ll Turn Wikipedia Into a 7,473-Volume Print Edition

(photo: Rob Scher)

(photo: Rob Scher)

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?

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Heems On Rachel Dolezal, Getting Political, and How Hip-Hop Is Like an Ex-Girlfriend

Heems. (Photo Credit: Shivani Gupta).

Heems. (Photo Credit: Shivani Gupta).

We caught Himanshu Suri (known by his stage name, Heems) after his performance this weekend at Northside Festival. The rapper and visual artist from Queens, formerly of the group Das Rascist, will travel across North America for his Eat Pray Thug tour — the lineup for which was just announced. Among other things, he talked to us about “Damn, Girl,” a straight-faced song off the new album, and the choreography for the recently released video. He was open and friendly during our chat, though he would say only “no comment” when asked about the criticism he received for his use of the N-word during his talk in London, “The Policing of Brown Bodies Post 9/11.” Here’s what he said before that.

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Comedian Mehran Khaghani Extracts the Venom From Hate Mail in a New Monthly Show

mehranOver 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.”

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How Kate Bolick Got Off the Conveyor Belt and Embraced Spinsterism

(Photo: Willy Somma)

(Photo: Willy Somma)

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.

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Here’s a Long Lost Mike Patton Interview, to Mark Faith No More’s Return

IMG_4299So, Faith No More’s comeback album Sol Invictus just debuted at #14 on the Billboard 200 – a hell of an accomplishment for a rock band these days, even if it isn’t quite enough for “album of the year” status (then again, FNM already has an Album of the Year). With the band set to play Madison Square Garden in August, I remembered that sometime around 1998-99, I interviewed frontman Mike Patton for a zine I was trying to put together for the old Knitting Factory, back when it was in Tribeca. The zine didn’t end up happening, so the conversation was never published, but I recently dug up the tape and gave it a listen.

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ABC No Rio Co-Founder Recalls a New Era of Hardcore in Exhibit and Screening

Freddy (Photo: Loizos Gatzaris‎)

Freddy Alva (Photo: Loizos Gatzaris‎)

Once upon a time there were things called subcultures, that managed to thrive despite promotion through “social channels” or sponsorships from energy drinks. Since 1980, 156 Rivington Street has been a subculture enclave for activists, artists, counter culturists, and assorted noisemakers, providing a non-profit space to exchange ideas and physically interact. It’s not secret that the hardcore punk scene was once a magnet for such individuals, so when the storied matinee shows at CBGB became too violent in the late-’80s, punk turned off the Bowery to Rivington Street to ABC No Rio.

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Jon Fine Talks Glory Days of Indie Rock as Recounted in Your Band Sucks

(Photo: Penguin Random House)

(Photo: Penguin Random House)

In a matter of a few years, Jon Fine, formerly of the band Bitch Magnet, went from an indie rock lifer cavorting from Williamsburg warehouse party to coke-soaked dive bar and barely making enough to make rock bottom rent on his train-side apartment to contributing on air to CNBC and writing columns for BusinessWeek. Clearly, those were different days– that same Williamsburg apartment would cost a small fortune to rent now and Fine suffers from permanent hearing loss, though he’s happily married and is the author of a new book Your Band Sucks. Fine’s memoir traces his rise to indie fame as the guitar player for Bitch Magnet to ultimately, what he calls, “the failed revolution.”

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