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And Now, Watch Some Cardboard Robots Battle to the Death

The last time we were entertained by robots, they were crushing Led Zeppelin. Last Thursday, we watched them crush each other at the second annual Cardboard Robot Battle. The event took place at Standard ToyKraft, a sweatshop-turned-theater on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. Watch a cardboard WALL-E get short circuited in the video above.

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Naked Girls Gave This Man an Award and Will Read From His Book Tonight

(Photo: Kimberlee Hewitt)

It’s hard out there for a first-time novelist, but this one’s naked ambition paid off. Bradley Spinelli recently snagged the Naked Girls Reading Literary Honors for Killing Williamsburg, and tonight naked girls will read from his noir novel about a rash of mysterious deaths in early-aughts Billyburg. It’s not Questlove performing a “suicide set” but we’re sure Spinelli will take it.
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Do You Know More About The Pixies Than the Shitty Pixies Do?

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Ezra Selove, Jesse Ministero, Evan Flath, Lisha Nadkarni of The Shitty Pixies (photo: Frank Grecco)

An instrumental factor in the success of any cover band (aside from their ability to actually sound like the artists they’re emulating) is their name, and no cover band name is quite as spectacular as The Shitty Pixies. As a bonus, they’re not even shitty! The product of a Pixies obsession shared between friends Evan Flath and Ezra Selove (who take the roles of Shitty Black Francis and Shitty Joey Santiago, respectively), the group is rounded out with Lisha Nadkarni as Shitty Kim Deal and Jesse Ministero as Shitty David Lovering.
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Jerry's Newsstand Reopens; Tenement Museum Expands; Domino Refinery Gets Artsy

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(Photo: Phillip Kalantzis Cope/Flickr)

With a little help from Mayor de Blasio, Jerry Delakas is back at his Astor Place newsstand after the Department of Consumer of affairs dropped his fines from $37,000 to $9,000. [NY1, NY Times]

The House Committee on Natural Resources has approved an $8 million expansion of the Tenement Museum, two doors down from its current location. [Crain’s]

Kara Walker will create an art installation inside of the Domino Sugar refinery in May. [Gothamist]
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Max Fish Bartenders: Where Are They Now?

(Photo: Daniel Savage)

(Photo: Daniel Savage)

Many of us are still mourning the loss of Max Fish, hopelessly wandering the gentrified streets of the Lower East Side for a watering hole to call home. However, we musn’t lose sight of what made Max Fish what it was. No, it wasn’t the revolting bathrooms, the overambitious lighting or even the refreshingly affordable beverages. It was the people, and many of those people are still kicking around downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, serving drinks, playing in bands and turning up at various dive bars to grab a beer.
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The East Village Jazz Scene Remembers Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka reads the words to songs by Curtis Mayfield as William Parker and Leena Conquest perform Parker's "Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield" on the final evening of Vision Festival XIII at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in 2008. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Amiri Baraka reads the words to songs by Curtis Mayfield as William Parker and Leena Conquest perform Parker’s “Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield” on the final evening of Vision Festival at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in 2008. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

In the 1950s, before LeRoi Jones would change his name to Amiri Baraka, the poet soaked up the sounds of jazz in bars throughout the East Village. Clubs like the Five Spot Café, where Jones was a regular patron, featured jazz legends like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. Their performances helped inspire Jones to write Blues People, the 1963 groundbreaking study of African-American music.

To further honor LeRoi’s time in the East Village, we spoke to three members of the era’s jazz scene.
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