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.
Arts + Culture
Federico García Lorca once again achieved Poet in New York status when a mural depicting the Spanish literary lion went up in Bushwick a couple of years ago. Now he’s returned to Manhattan, where he studied at Columbia in 1929 and penned “Sleepless City: Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne.” The poem is quoted in this new mural by Spanish artist Raúl Ruiz and Brooklyn’s own Cern.
After construction of Essex Crossing bumped it from its home last year, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot will relaunch just three blocks away, in a parking lot behind the Clemente Soto Velez Center. From July 9 to 26, The Drilling Company, led by Hamilton Clancy of Orange Is the New Black, will imagine “As You Like It” in a “Steampunk paradise,” and from July 30 to August 15, they’ll be doing free performances of “Macbeth.”
Last week, when creators and cast members of Kids got together at BAM for a 20th anniversary reunion, producer Carry Woods recalled showing the film to a reporter friend before its premiere at Sundance in 1995. “She loved it,” he said, “and it ended up being on the cover of New York magazine.” The hype surrounding Lynn Hirschberg’s story in the June 5, 1995 issue helped make the film a sensation. Here then, for your reading pleasure, is that story, which documents the buzzed-about premiere, the controversy that was already building around the film, and (our favorite part) Harmony Korine bopping around Soho in a wig, throwing firecrackers at everyone.
Representatives for 122 Community Center, the big 19th century building on the corner of 9th Street and First Avenue, opened its doors for a hardhat tour of its progressing renovations Tuesday afternoon, shedding light on plans for 15 artist studios, a rooftop deck, a pulsing, “breathing” light installation and, of course, three improved performance spaces.
We’re big fans of Kathleen Hanna. We’re big fans of King Buzzo. So imagine our delight last night at Santos Party House when Buzzo and the Melvins brought out Teri Gender Bender, the firebrand frontwoman of opening act Le Butcherettes, for an amped up version of “Rebel Girl.” (Grunge trivia: Kathleen Hanna is the one who wrote “Kurt smells like teen spirit” on the walls of Kurt Cobain’s apartment, spurring the song title; Buzzo, who has covered “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with Leif Garrett, recently said the Cobain documentary Montage of Heck was 90% “total bullshit.” Discuss.) Watch it above and when you’re done, check out their cover of “Moving to Florida” by the Butthole Surfers, with former band member Jeff Pinkus on bass.
Undoubtedly this past weekend was a love-filled one for Manhattan. While one fabulously feathered flock made there way down Sixth Avenue, another newly painted pair settled on the corner of Broome and Chrystie Streets. The mural was painted by acclaimed South African artist Faith47, whose work has appeared on streets and galleries around the world, in collaboration with the Little Italy Street Art (L.I.S.A) project. Completed in the early hours of Monday morning, the swans form part of the artist’s latest series, “The Psychic Power of Animals,” and aptly appear embracing in the shape of a heart.
“Ladies and gentlemen, America has changed,” David Byrne said Saturday as he introduced “I Was Changed” at the American debut of Contemporary Color at Barclays Center. And yes, what a week it was. Thoughts turned to diversity and understanding as Quebec color-guard troupe Les Eclipses formed a diagonal line and hugged one another for the opening of the song, performed by Byrne, St. Vincent and Lucius.
Everything was going rather predictably at the preview event for an upcoming arts initiative in Detroit spearheaded by Gary Wasserman, a well-known steel mogul, philanthropist, and patron of the arts in Southeast Michigan. Inside the Williamsburg studio of Markus Linnenbrink there was the requisite colorful, unprovocative artwork chosen for public display, the starchitect with an approachable design, and talk of revitalization of a bankrupt city through the arts. There were even sandwiches. But once the conversation moved into specifics about Wasserman Projects– namely, the launching of a public outreach initiative involving a modular pavilion, $250 chickens, and Zimbabwean mushrooms– that sandwich nearly fell out of my mouth.
One of skateboarding’s biggest commercial booms was in the 1980s. With their robust royalty checks and penchant for partying, many of the big name vert riders of the decade were legitimate rock stars. Unlike today, it wasn’t the contest money or shoe contracts that beefed up their bank accounts, but monthly board sales royalty checks that often exceeded 10K (put that in the inflation calculator). Sure, kids were consuming these boards because Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi were household names, but it was the actual board art that was the true marketing tool.
Heads up, indiscriminate freeloaders: next Tuesday, instead of dutifully lapping up the dregs of the coffee in your break room, you can score yourself something slightly better: free Starbucks. The folks over at Flavorpill tell us they’re teaming with the ‘bucks and Lyft to deliver free bottles of ice coffee between noon and 5pm on June 30. Just go into “SBUX” mode on your Lyft map, request a sample and it’ll be delivered in minutes (though the promotion is subject to “driver availability”).
All of those years spent perfecting your Kramer entrance are about to finally pay off. You can now manically slide your way into an exact replica of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment at Chelsea’s Milk Studios. And if that’s not enough slap bass for your face: in some sort of act of cosmic alignment, the famed Soup Nazi from Season 5 is also out and about around Manhattan today.