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Grab Lunch With Parquet Courts, Playing a Noon Show at Rough Trade

For obvious reasons, “Wide Awake!” has pretty much been my daily wakeup song ever since Parquet Courts dropped the single off their forthcoming album of the same name. Not to be confused with the Katy Perry song of the same name, it’s a funky, Minutemen/Clash-esque jam that kicks your ass out of bed and gets you “movin’ and groovin’ and I ain’t ever losin’ the pace,” as the song’s posi-vibes chant goes. Other singles off the album– including the more recent “Mardi Gras Beads,” a mellow number evoking Pavement’s “Shady Lane”– are pretty great, too. But then what else would you expect from the Brooklyn band that produced the universally admired 2016 album Human Performance?

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Art This Week: Life-Size Rhinos, Lower East Side Grit, and More

(image via Gagosian / Facebook)

Things
Opening Tuesday, May 15 at Gagosian, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.

When you look into the body of work that Swiss artist Urs Fischer is created, you’ll quickly see a common theme is how the human form can be manipulated and distorted, whether that’s crafting grotesque collages of faces that once looked typical or sculpting a huge bust of Katy Perry and inviting onlookers to alter it with clay. He’s also interested in how everyday objects (a block of cheese, a gallery floor) can be broken open or picked apart until something new and surprising is created. Average objects will once again be on display in his latest show at Midtown’s Gagosian, aptly titled Things. The central “thing” of the show is a life-size rhinoceros sculpture with household items like vacuum cleaners and copiers clinging to it as if it was some sort of huge magnet for domestic chores or office tasks. And isn’t everyone, unfortunately, at some point in their lives? Keep Reading »

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‘Everybody Got Laid Here’: Williamsburg Loses Another Venue as Legion Bar Closes

Patrons outside Legion bar on its closing night, 5/13/18 at 12am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

Williamsburg’s Legion Bar closed its doors early Sunday morning for a legion of regulars. The closing was bittersweet for Merle Chornuk, who opened Legion in 2005 with the hopes of it being a busier bar than it turned out to be. “It’s the end of an era,” he told me. “I’m moving on to other things.”

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Jim Jarmusch, Rosie Perez, and Other Downtown Legends Basked in Basquiat at the Opening of ‘Zeitgeist’

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

By all appearances, downtown filmmaker Sara Driver had a pretty good weekend. On Friday night, Boom For Real, Driver’s evocative, propulsive, and genuinely moving documentary of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s late teenage years (and the late 1970s Lower East Side art scene that nurtured his extraordinary talent), had its world premiere at the IFC, following a rave review in the Times. It’s a terrific movie, functioning equally well as a we-were-there record of how Basquiat went from homeless kid spraying Samo© to instant sensation at PS1’s New York/New Wave in 1981, his first-ever public show; and as a loving portrait of a neighborhood abandoned by the rest of the city, and all craziness and creativity that ensued.

Then on Sunday evening Driver and a coterie that included the likes of her partner Jim Jarmusch, Lee Quinones, Rosie Perez, Katie Taylor Legnini, Jimmy Webb, Henry Chalfant, Jeffrey Deitch, Luc Sante, and Alexis Adler crammed into the opening of a big group exhibition at the Howl! Happening space. A line to get in formed early and extended all the way over to Bowery for much of the night.

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Sweetbitter Author and Series Creator Stephanie Danler On Being ‘Hungry’ For New York City

Stephanie Danler

Lots of television shows mythologize New York City. But few succeed in depicting the city’s magnetism and allure as precisely as Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter, adapted from her 2016 debut novel of the same name. Premiering last Sunday on Starz, the new series centers around Tess (Ella Purnell), a 22-year-old small town transplant pursuing a job as a waitress at a high-end Manhattan restaurant in 2006. Though the story is fiction, Danler — who is the series creator, writer, and executive producer — based it on her own experiences as a recent college grad navigating New York’s high cuisine scene. Nowadays, Danler spends the majority of her time in Los Angeles, but she still has a soft spot for the city — even during summer weeks like this one, when a stroll down the block can feel like “swimming in a thick soup.”

Bedford + Bowery chatted with Danler on the phone this week after the Sweetbitter premiere last Sunday. We talked city life, oysters, and how she can tell which of the season’s six episodes were directed by women.

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Union Pool’s Free Summer Thunder Shows: Sun Ra Arkastra, Songhoy Blues, Deradoorian and More

Elsewhere’s new rooftop isn’t the only outdoor spot making a summer programming announcement today. That old standby, Union Pool’s Summer Thunder series, just announced its lineup of free shows, and it’s a good one.

This year’s program, presented with the good folks over at Academy Records, leans distinctly toward jazz and African music, with some real heavy hitters in the mix: Sun Ra Arkastra on June 28, Songhoy Blues on July 7, Jemeel Moondoc on July 21, Mamadou Kelly on July 28, and Joe Bataan on Aug. 25. The Sadies will add a twang of country-western on June 30. On the obligatory indie rock front, Drag City outfit Wand will play songs off their forthcoming EP, Perfume, on June 16. And it all starts off with the eerie, mystical vocals of ex Dirty Projectors member Deradoorian on June 1.

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Three Summer Movie Fests Make Lineup Announcements

Rooftop Films Summer Series
May 19 to TBA, various locations.
Rooftop Films had already released its preliminary lineup of more than 45 outdoor screenings around the city (among the highlights: Desiree Akhavan’s gay conversion film The Miseducation of Cameron Post); and now it drops the details of its short films programs, starting with the fest’s opening night on May 19 at Green-Wood Cemetery. Of note are Michael Sugarman’s documentary about Anthology Film Archives founder Jonas Mekas; SXSW winner Charlie Tyrell’s My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, in case you missed it over at the Times; and pizza-porn film Slice Thing. Closing night will feature modern-ruins photographer Nathan Kensinger’s documentary Managed Retreat, about the city’s post-Sandy efforts to return three Staten Island coastal communities to the wild. The shorts will be presented in 10 installments, grouped by themes including “eerie existential thrillers,” dark cartoonsromancelove and lust“dangerous” documentariesNew York docsbold women, and Sundance picks. Al fresco venues include Industry City’s courtyards in Sunset Park, the roof of the New Design High School on the Lower East Side, and the roof of the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus.

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Performance Picks: Queer Anniversary, Modern Dance, This Alien Nation

WEDNESDAY

(art by Payton Turner, image via This Alien Nation / Facebook)

This Alien Nation
Wednesday, May 9 at Joe’s Pub, 7 pm: $20 advance, $25 doors

It would take a lot of willful ignorance not to see that living as an immigrant in Trump’s America (or even in Obama’s) can be an experience fraught with anxiety, fear, and a sense of disappointment in a large portion of humanity. But for all the cruel, discriminatory people out there, there are others who make a point of giving immigrants a platform to tell their own stories and maybe even get paid for it. Sofija Stefanovic’s This Alien Nation is one such show, providing a monthly space for some of their “favorite outsiders” to show an audience whatever it is they do best. This month, guest hosted by Abeer Hoque, features storyteller Mansoor Basha, poet and drag performer Wo Chan, comedian Ana Fabrega, journalist and author Aatish Taseer, performer and filmmaker Angel Yau, and musician Amalia Watty. Keep Reading »