Arts + Culture

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Artist Doug Young Attempts to Elevate ‘Low’ Art to Uplifting

(Photo: Ronit Schlam)

(Photo: Ronit Schlam)

It was an oddly apropos time to be thinking about “high” art and “low” art, which is what artist Doug Young and I discussed at the Van Doren Waxter Gallery uptown just a few days before the all-consuming presidential election. I’d mentioned a New Yorker article that eschewed the line separating left and right in favor of a line dividing “up versus down”: a working class vs. a desk-ridden, urban class.

We were looking at Young’s pieces “Chains,” which are exactly that: carved wooden chains, created in what Young called a “kind of monotonous, boring, really unsatisfying use of my time. It was only satisfying at certain moments,” like when he stepped back to see the enormity of his progress.

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First He Took Manhattan: Leonard Cohen’s Breakthrough Years in NYC

(Photo: @sashaandlucca on Instagram)

(Photo: @sashaandlucca on Instagram)

We remember him well in the Chelsea Hotel, but Leonard Cohen’s New York City existence spanned beyond just the hotel where a makeshift memorial sprung up on Thursday after his death at the age of 82. Cohen came to New York City in 1966, just a year before the Summer of Love, and his breakthrough years there brought him into the orbit of Warhol and the Velvet Underground, the Beats, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix. He wrote songs for Nico and penned “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” after a night with Janis Joplin.

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Here’s Your Chance to Give Bernie Sanders an Awkward Hug

Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 12.10.55 PMHave you heard the one about the mom who decided to shake off her post-election blues by taking a walk through the woods in Chappaqua, only to bump into Bill and Hillary Clinton, walking their dog? The resulting photo has swept the internet, and offered some degree of solace to Clinton supporters. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders die-hards are probably thinking, “Boy, I wouldn’t mind running into Bernie somewhere. I bet that guy could use a hug, too.” Don’t worry, Berners– you needn’t go trekking through the woods of Vermont to make it happen. (“Oh, hi, Bernie! I was just here for some maple syrup.”) This Monday, the candidate will be at the Barnes & Noble at 555 Fifth Avenue, in Midtown, posing with fans who’ve bought a copy of his new book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.

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No Spin Zone: When Will the Cube Be Uncaged?

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

The Cube’s return to Astor Place has been glorious and all, but have we basked in the glow long enough that we can now address the elephant in Alamo Plaza? The Cube is back, yes, but the sculpture is imprisoned behind a crude cage of orange barricades. It’s downright inhumane (incubane?). It’s time to uncage the Cube and let it spin free, the way it was meant to. Keep Reading »

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Performances To Soothe The Pain: Laughs, Hopeful Open Mics, and Party People

THURSDAY

(image via Reductress / Facebook)

(image via Reductress / Facebook)

Haha, Wow! By Reductress: Hillary Clinton Won!
Thursday, November 10 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $5.

Everyone’s favorite (and maybe the only) satirical women’s magazine Reductress, fresh off the release of How To Win At Feminism (check our interview here), gears up for another edition of its monthly live show. Hosted by Reductress associate editor Nicole Silverberg, the show offers chuckles, lady power, and “tips on how to sex good,” duh. But this one’s a little different. The theme is “Hillary Clinton Won.” I’m not sure if this title was decided upon before Tuesday, but either way it’s gonna be a little painful to emerge back into the world once the show concludes. But for one hour of blissful pretending, you can “live your life like Hillary Clinton won with some of our favorite comedians.” Take it while you can. The show features Sydnee Washington, Alyssa Limperis, Shalewa Sharpe, and JANDA. Keep Reading »

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Two Trump Foes, Bill Maher and Anthony Atamanuik, Make Their Last Jabs

Anthony Atamanuik as Trump. (Photo:)

Anthony Atamanuik as Trump. (Photo:)

While the candidates continue to campaign with just hours left on the clock, two of Donald Trump’s biggest critics, Bill Maher and Anthony Atamanuik, made their final appeals to NYC voters during separate appearances at the New York Comedy Festival. Maher did his “whiny little bitch” routine to a packed house at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday and Atamanuik brought his scary-good/good-and-scary Trump impression to NYU on Thursday.

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William Vale Hotel Adds Leuca Restaurant and Outdoor Shows

(Photo: Liz Clayman for Grub Street)

(Photo: Liz Clayman)

By now you may have heard that, hot on the heels of opening Westlight on the roof of Williamsburg’s shiny new William Vale hotel, Andrew Carmellini has opened his bottom-floor restaurant, Leuca. Grub Street noted that the Italian spot is serving “New York’s most elegant sundae,” which will surprise no one who’s had the decadent, over-the-top La Fantasia di Doppio Cioccolato at one of the chef’s other spots, Locanda Verde.

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Get On Board With the Skater-Artist Who Made This Cubs Tribute Deck

@lou_sarowsky on Instagram.

@lou_sarowsky on Instagram.

In 2002, “Lurker” Lou Sarowsky moved to New York City with his longtime friend and fellow Cape Cod native Zered Bassett, into a now infamous, windowless apartment in Lower Manhattan. Sarowsky dubbed it the “Vicious Cycle” house, and his crew kept up a rigorous schedule of skateboarding all day and filming for Bassett’s indie-skate video of the same name, followed by nights of smoking, drinking, and playing pool.

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Performance Picks: Colorful Comedy, Wilderness Therapy, Taboo Poets

THURSDAY

(flyer by Chandler Moses, via Facebook)

(flyer by Chandler Moses, via Facebook)

Comedy Cunt
Thursday, November 3 at Bluestockings Bookstore, 7 pm: FREE. 

Now that this show’s title has your attention, let us give you some details. Unless you don’t want them, and wish to blindly saunter into a show called “Comedy Cunt.” That’s admirable. For the rest of you, this is a recurring show, hosted by Arti Gollapudi, where marginalized individuals harness the medium of comedy to delve into their own life experiences. This time around, they’ve got Joe Castle Baker (who recently delivered perhaps the most memorable and manic riff on infomercials I’ve seen, which is impressive, as I love work about infomercials), Ayanna Dookie, Chandler Moses, Katie Fay Behrmann, Amy Zimmer, and Mamoudou N’Diaye, who used to teach science to youngsters. Plus, a “video performance” by Amanda Justice. Might I say, justice is served? Keep Reading »

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Can a Radical Firebrand and His Strange Bedfellows Strengthen WBAI’s Signal?

(Photo: Mary Reinholz)

(Photo: Mary Reinholz)

As an aspiring stand-up comic, Randy Credico played on Las Vegas stages trod by Don Rickles and Frank Sinatra, but at age 27 he blew the opportunity of a lifetime. During what could’ve been a career-making appearance on The Tonight Show, he took aim at the Reagan administration and compared UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick to Adolph Hitler’s beloved Eva Braun.

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See Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and/or Kim Gordon in Williamsburg This Month

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 11.13.20 AMNovember is a good time to be a Sonic Youth fan, since onetime Lower East Side fixtures Kim Gordon (now based in Los Angeles) and Thurston Moore (now based in London) are coming ’round Williamsburg to make some noise.

If you’ve been meaning to check out National Sawdust, Williamsburg’s ambitious new avant-garde venue, this is a fine time to do it: Hot on the heels of her first solo song, Gordon, the artist/writer/musician/icon, is playing there with Body/Head, her moody collaboration with fellow guitarist Bill Nace. Tickets ($20) for the Nov. 12 show are available here.

On Nov. 23, Thurston is also appearing as part of a duo, teaming up with fellow downtown legend John Zorn to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rough Trade.

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