Art openings are interesting entities. They’re often more of a social event than a chance to really take in art. At the opening of MediaLounge, a refreshingly engaging exhibit of new media art at the Westbeth Gallery curated by Katherine Freer, attendees got not only the characteristic smalltalk and free wine but the chance to make electronic music, watch a film on a virtual reality device, create bursts of color with a few quick smacks, wander through a forest of light, view Star Wars in the form of one LED light and more.
Let’s face it, this coming weekend is pretty much guaranteed to be a wash of regret and sorrow. But there’s a light at the end of this vortex of darkness (just the first in a long series of them throughout the holiday season): PC Worship‘s Basement Hysteria release party is happening at Palisades next week. We first spoke (extensively, too) with Justin Frye back in September when the band’s new release was still a fairly far-off thing. Now that the four-track EP is finally out we had some new questions for Mr. Frye. (Oh, and don’t go straight to the disappointed sighs– Basement Hysteria may be an EP, but it clocks in at over 40 minutes.)
John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, the “Unofficial Mayor of Little Italy,” has died of cancer. The sad news comes from his friend, WOR radio host Joey Reynolds. Cha Cha was a fixture at his eponymous Mulberry Street restaurant, Cha Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo, a magical place with a back garden and a teddy-bear stuffing machine where the drinks are named after Cha Cha’s friends, like Danny Devito and Tony Danza (whose boxing career he managed), and for the stars of Goodfellas, The Sopranos, and other films in which Cha Cha appeared.
Vaginal Davis is undeniably one of the most prolific artists to come out of the ’70s punk scene. The black, inter-sex born, self-declared outsider artist is nothing short of a queer icon. And even though she’s from Los Angeles (South Central, to be precise), she has a special place in New York City, where she’s had a serious impact on contemporary underground culture– the Bushwick drag scene is particularly indebted to her, as Davis is one of the founding mothers of “terrorist drag.”
With the U.S. “reasonably certain” that a drone strike killed the much reviled Jihadi John and a wave of recent attacks boosting our worst fears about ISIS, the timing isn’t exactly great for a documentary that questions the wisdom of targeted killings. But two former drone operators who appear in Tonje Hessen Schei’s Drone are sticking to their guns.
Yesterday afternoon a 27-year-old man was stabbed multiple times near the Wilson Avenue L train station. He was hospitalized in stable condition. [NY Daily News]
Police officers, FBI agents, medics and more staged an anti-terrorism drill at the Bowery subway station yesterday, observed by Mayor de Blasio. [The Lo-Down]
Bushwick has witnessed a recent increase in gun violence, according to police. [The Brooklyn Ink]
Last night, during the latest installment of Nitehawk’s series The Deuce, James Toback revealed that there’s a reason the head-smashing scene in his debut feature looks so real. It’s because, according to the controversial director, it was real.
Hot on the heels of Levi’s, Scotch & Soda, and G-Star Raw, yet another national chain is opening up off of the Bedford stop. The Shade Store, a maker of shades, blinds, and drapery, will add a Williamsburg location to its 34 nationwide showrooms next month. Signage has gone up on the corner of North 4th and Wythe, just a block from the J.Crew and Ralph Lauren stores. The Shade Store already has showrooms in Soho, Midtown, and on the Upper East and West Sides, but now residents of the swank new luxury building at 50 North 5th— where a one-bedroom goes for $3,695 a month– can go right downstairs to buy some blinds. Which means it’s going to be way harder to watch football games through everyone’s windows.
City of Lost Souls
Friday Nov. 20th, 7:30 pm at Union Docs: $9
Juliet Jacques, the author of Trans: A Memoir, which accounts for her own experiences transitioning from male to female and her life from childhood up to her present 30-something self, will be on hand to present City of Lost Souls, a “trans musical spectacular.” Filmed in 1982, it provides an early look at identity politics and trans identity years before there was mainstream understanding of what it means to be trans. The film is such an early example of gender exploration that it’s lacking in recognizable “transgender” language– in fact, the word is never mentioned in the film (though there are instances of its use at that time).
Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui were brunching at Café Gitane in Nolita when Sophie mentioned the trouble she’d been having with a Pucci ring she’d recently bought. “It turned my finger green,” she remembers. “We realized, you know, it’s so crazy. Either you spend a fortune on fine jewelry, or you buy artificial, brass- or copper-based costume jewelry and end up with green skin!”
Last night, the legendary Mudd Club made a slight return, as Steve Mass, the owner of the ’70s and ’80s hotspot, hosted a rummage sale to benefit the Bowery Mission. Items included a beehive wig belonging to Kate Pierson of the B-52s, who performed “Roam”; a cheetah-print jumpsuit donated by Deborah Harry, who was also floating around (it was scooped up by a Jersey City vintage shop); photos by Godlis and William Coupon, also in attendance; and this piece by Kim Gordon, going for $10,000.