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7 Wacky Things to Do at Waku Waku, a Cavalcade of Japanese Pop Culture

Always dreamt of traveling to Japan but couldn’t face the 14-hour flight? If so, you’ll be glad to know that this weekend your biggest obstacle to experiencing all the cultural wonders of that far eastern isle will be a trip on the G train. Presenting the inaugural “Waku Waku + NYC” Japanese pop culture festival, a cornucopia of “anime, video, games, fine art, fashion, cosplay, food, music and sports” taking place at the Brooklyn Bowl, Verboten and the newly opened Brooklyn Expo Center. “Waku Waku” roughly translates to “excitement in a dream-like state.” With that in mind, we scoured the schedule in search of events likely to precipitate the most dream-worthy excitement, featured below.

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Tap Your Inner ‘Good Ole Boy’ in Bushwick This Weekend

“Boots and buckles, red clay and sand. My point ain’t subtle. I’m a southern man,” are the opening lines to The Cadillac Three’s song “The South,” a country-meets-rock tune you might just catch if you stop by The Shop this Saturday.

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We Noah Good Stand-Up Comedy Showcase When We See One

Trevor Noah outside of Bar Matchless. (Photo: Phil Provencio)

Trevor Noah outside of Bar Matchless. (Photo: Phil Provencio)

For the last couple months, the free Monday night show Broken Comedy – in the dark and dingy back room at Bar Matchless in Greenpoint – has really been hitting its stride. Lately in particular, Broken has drawn solid crowds with consistently strong talent. That’s impressive as the show (which was created in 2011) has been re-upping with the absence of favored host Michael Che.

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See What Greenpoint’s Artists Are Up to At This Open Studios Affair

unnamedWhile you wait a year for the next Bushwick Open Studios, here’s something to tide you over. On August 22, Greenpoint’s Morgan Fine Arts Building will, for the thirteenth year, open its doors so you can explore five floors of art studios. This year’s featured artist is Jack Early, who comprised half of the provocative ’80s art duo Pruitt-Early. His partner Rob Pruitt famously went on to lay down a “cocaine buffet” on the floor of an art gallery. So, what’s Early been up to? Find out by viewing “Jack Early’s Life Story in Just Under 20 Minutes,” on display Sunday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Relive the Wild Days of Tompkins Square Park at These Two Revivals

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New York isn’t all ice cream scoops and Wes Anderson art. These two upcoming events promise to take you back to the East Village’s edgier days of yore. You don’t have to walk across a sea of crack vials to get to them — one of them is even on a boat.

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Greece Yourself Up and Dive into the Mediterranean at These Two Arts Festivals

Live Sand Art (Photo: Between the Seas Facebook page)

Live Sand Art (Photo: Between the Seas Festival Facebook page)

With Greece going through a bit of a rough patch, now seems as good a time as any to remember the days before it all went a bit pear-shaped. And what better way to do that than through the time-honored tradition of theater. Next Monday, Classic Stage Company will put the awe back in austerity as its “Greek Festival” plunges into a month of celebrated dramatic productions, workshops, readings and seminars. Speaking of plunging, the fifth annual “Between the Seas” festival is also going down in September (8th to 13th), bringing contemporary Mediterranean dance and theater to The Wild Project.

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Mad For Mac DeMarco? He’s Apparating at Baby’s All Right Tonight

mac demarco harry potterTonight’s act at Baby’s All Right is mysteriously listed as “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” but don’t expect PotterCon redux. That image of Alfred E. Neuman as the Boy the Who Lived is clearly a reference to a certain gap-toothed master of irony. And the opening band, “Another Juan,” would seem to be a play on his newly released mini-LP, Another One. You guessed it: Mac DeMarco is prone to having secret shows, and the folks at Baby’s All Right confirm that this is one of them. If you miss tonight’s all-ages affair (tickets, just $5, will be available at the doors, which open at 8:30 p.m.), feel free to say, “What, me worry?” Mac will be playing some not-so-secret shows at Bowery Ballroom on Aug. 17, Webster Hall on Aug. 18, Music Hall of Williamsburg on Aug. 19 and Warsaw on Aug. 20.

Check out our review of the new album here.

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Thurston Moore Wants to Scribble On Your Records

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Not only do Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth have shows in town this week, but today Other Music sweetened the deal by announcing that Thurston and his current bandmates Steve Shelley (who, of course, was also Sonic Youth’s drummer), Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine’s bassist), and James Sedwards will be signing “scarce recordings and ephemera and copies of their latest record.” They’ll be in-store Thursday, August 6, at 7 p.m., before they head over to Bowery Ballroom.

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Go Watch a Puppet Variety Performance Fundraiser for Matt and Nora Brooks

Next Tuesday at The Connelly Theatre puppetry meets philanthropy as some of NYC’s top puppeteers perform a “one-night only puppet variety show” in support of Matt and Nora Brooks, who some might recall lost their entire livelihoods in the March 26 gas explosion. The performers are all friends and colleagues of Matt Brooks, a former Jim Henson master puppet maker.

“They all just wanted to help out,” said organizer Craig Mingus, a seasoned fundraiser, talking with us over phone about the performance that will see all proceeds going to the Brookses. Mingus got involved after Emmy nominated Noel MacNeal and James Wojtal, both former Henson puppeteers, reached out to him for assistance. “In total we’ve got a cast and crew of around 28 people, all donating their time for free,” said Mingus.

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Throw on a Romper and Smear Mud on Your Butt, It’s Wet Hot Brooklyn Summer!

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Michelle Joni is kind of a pro when it comes to fun and games. The party and event planner is captain of the New York City Skipping Club, a counselor at Soul Camp (an “adult sleepaway camp for the soul”) and a teacher at her very own concoction, Preschool Mastermind, a preschool for… you guessed it. But her next feat will be transforming a Bushwick venue into everyone’s favorite summer camp.

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