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Patti Smith Sang Some Lou Reed at a Gala For Anthology Film Archives’ Expansion

Video courtesy of Jonas Mekas

I don’t know about you, but galas are not an everyday thing around these parts– the closest this reporter’s been to a real black-tie-and-gown affair was high school prom, which didn’t even really happen because my date got arrested. So needless to say, when I was somehow allowed to crash the Anthology Film Archives gala –a fancy fundraising party and art auction held last week to raise cash for the theater’s expansion– I was just slightly out of my realm. It was made all the more surreal by a performance from Patti Smith, and seeing people like John Waters, Zosia Mamet, and Zac Posen’s eyebrows all in one room.

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Drink Like a Detective at the Burlesque-Filled Launch of This New Noir Novel

It’d be impossible for Bradley Spinelli to top the suicide-themed set that Questlove did for his debut novel, Killing Williamsburg, but the B+B contributor’s latest book launch should come close. Thursday’s party for The Painted Gun, a noir mystery published by Brooklyn’s own Akashic Books, will feature a raft of burlesque stars as well as tacos from ever-expanding Dos Toros.

It makes sense that the West Coast-inspired burrito joint is on food duty: The Painted Gun is set in the Williamsburg-based author’s former hometown of San Francisco, in the late ’90s– you know, when Yahoo! stock was booming. Its hard-bitten, hard-drinking hero is David “Itchy” Crane, a journalist-turned-PI on the hunt for the mysterious Ashley, a missing artist who has a creepy talent for painting scenes straight out of Crane’s sad-sack life. (If you want to make like Itchy during the party, suck down a half dozen Jamesons.) Don’t take it from me, since I’m his editor– Publishers Weekly says Spinelli is “definitely a talent to watch,” and his latest “deftly segues from one genre to another—from hard-boiled noir to paranoid thriller, puzzle mystery (with each and every riddle logically explained), spy caper, and ultimately to something evocative of Bogart and Bacall.”

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Watch Anne Heche and Sandra Oh Brawl in a Bushwick Tire Yard, in Catfight

When Onur Tukel unveiled Abbie Singer/Songwriter at the Brooklyn Film Festival, we noted that he’d premiered three features in two years, which pretty much made him the Woody Allen of Brooklyn. The comparison remains apt with Catfight, a metaphysical dark comedy that’s a distinctly Woodyesque meditation on karma and creativity. It opens today at Cinema Village 12th Street.

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Just Beaming: Dr. Laser Invited Us Into His Holographic Lair

Jason Sapan (Photos courtesy of Jason Sapan)

Walking along 27th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue, you’ll hit the Radio Wave Building, where electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla used to live and conduct radio wave experiments in 1896, back when the building still operated as a hotel. These days, just a few blocks away on 26th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, another man of science toils away: Jason Sapan, who transforms into Dr. Laser in the seconds it takes to throw on a white lab coat.

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Raymond Pettibon Breaks Out From Behind the Black Flag Bars, at New Museum Show

Lobby installation. (All art by Raymond Pettibon, all photos by Daniel Maurer)

Lobby installation. (All art by Raymond Pettibon, all photos by Daniel Maurer)

As he introduced the new Raymond Pettibon retrospective, New Museum artistic director Massimiliano Gioni admitted that he first became aware of the artist via his album covers for the Minutemen, Black Flag, and Sonic Youth. While we’re in confession mode: I still think of Pettibon mainly as the brother of Black Flag frontman Greg Ginn and the creator of the punk band’s iconic logo. But “A Pen of All Work,” which opens today, is further proof that the artist is far more than just a nihilistic doodler whose work has been “displayed” by skaters and punks sporting Six Pack t-shirts.

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Disco Is Ah, Ah, Ah Stayin’ Alive at Museum of Sex’s New Exhibit Cum Nightclub

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

When we popped into the Museum of Sex last night for a preview of their new exhibit on erotic outsider art, we didn’t expect to find a discotheque on the premises. But there it was: An exhibit titled “Night Fever” has brought a massive Richard Long Audio System (the type used at Studio 54 and Paradise Garage) to MoSex’s bar space, and it’s absolutely killer. Back when we visited MoSex for Kayvon Zand’s sadly short-lived weekly, the bar had a fusty library look, with couches set between bookcases. But Jason Volenec, designer of atmospheric restaurants like Miss Lily’s and Tertulia, has given it a ‘70s vibe via silver-foiled walls (a la Warhol’s factory), disco balls, and swiveling glass coffee tables.

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Jennifer Rubell, Art By Animals, and More Art Openings To Investigate

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

Emergence: Emerging Artists in New York
Opening Tuesday January 17 at The Living Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. One night only. 

The term “emerging artist” has been a bit of a buzzword for quite some time now. To some, it means someone who has literally just started creating, to others, it is someone who’s been on the scene for a couple years but hasn’t won any fancy awards. And sometimes it’s somewhere in between. But this art show really owns the title in a way that’s clear: simply, Emergence is showing work by New York artists who have never shown their work in a gallery before. There will be over 20 artists covering the gallery in their work, whether it be painting and sculpture, performance, or even fashion pieces. Come one, come all, and witness the emergence.

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Aliens and Zombies and Androids, Oh My! It’s the NY Sci-Fi Film Fest

Now that you’re done binging on Black Mirror and Westworld, it’s good to know there’s a sci-fi film fest in the not-so-distant future. The New York Science Fiction Film Festival launches next Friday, January 20, and brings an intriguing slate of films to downtown venues like the Roxy Hotel Cinema and Anthology Film Archives. The schedule promises UFO cults, zombie attacks, breath mint ads for vampires, apocalyptic viruses, murderous humanoid robots, android clones of Philip K. Dick, and Winston Churchill battling Nazis with a group of time-traveling super scientists. There’s even a 360 VR experience simulating a Bohemian Grove-esque virgin sacrifice, set to music by These Machines Are Winning. Okay, then!

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Women Getting Lit, Plexiglas Playgrounds, and More Art

Kate Hush (image via Cooler Gallery)

Kate Hush (image via Cooler Gallery)

Female Behavior
Opening Tuesday January 10 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through January 31. 

Firstly, let’s discuss this gallery’s name. Sure, it sounds sort of pompous, in a cooler-than-you kind of way, and maybe that’s what they think of themselves. But the origin of this gallery is actually, well, cool. It exists within a “repurposed industrial icebox” in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, so it really is a cooler gallery. Plus, it seeks to display work that involves elements of manufacturing, so it’s aware of its roots. But enough about the gallery, let’s get to the show: artist Kate Hush makes massive sculptures of neon light, and what she is particularly trying to capture in her solo show, Female Behavior, are women and their so-called “wicked ways.” She writes of light being produced when bonds are broken, such as the cutting of a diamond, so she has crafted female silhouettes to portray those who are seen as cruel and conniving simply for being “sharp” or for cutting ties with a man who will then call her crazy. May women burn bright and powerful as much as they can, especially now.

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Panorama Lineup: NIN, Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, Tribe, and More

image006Perhaps a mental exercise will help you cope with this frigid Monday morning: Imagine you’re on an island, in a field of grass. The summer sun is shining and water is sparkling all around you. You’re holding an ice-cream-topped egg waffle and Trent Reznor is yelling, “Slave screams!”

Snap off the icicle tears. We’re just 199 days away from that reality, because Panorama is returning to the shores of Randall’s Island on July 28. The weekend festival, which debuted last year with an epic LCD Soundsystem comeback, just announced the lineup for its second edition, and headliners include R&B crooners Frank Ocean and Solange on Friday, commonwealth acts Tame Impala and Alt-J on Saturday, and Lollapalooza throwbacks Nine Inch Nails and A Tribe Called Quest on Sunday. Others highlights include DJ Shadow, Future Islands, Belle & Sebastian, Sofi Tukker, and Cloud Nothings.

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This Queer Performance Festival Wants to Mend Our Generational ‘Disconnect’

Banjela Davis

Banjela Davis (Photo courtesy of La MaMa’s Squirts)

Nowadays, it’s common to see one generation insisting that the other will never understand them, whether its Jerry Seinfeld lamenting that college kids are “too PC,” the drag performer Lady Bunny balking at “crybabies” and new pronouns, or tweens making memes decrying the whole bootstraps thing (every Boomer’s favorite piece of outdated advice).

Given this disconnect, it’s not everyday that you see a generational cross section of people in the same room together, let alone actually listening to each other. This rings especially true for people in the queer community, who experience generational differences in even starker terms because of the gaping hole that the AIDS epidemic left behind. But bridging this gap is exactly what La MaMa’s Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance seeks to do.

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Art that is ‘Vapid and Screaming,’ Philosophical Collage, a Solo Show Duo, and More

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

(flyer via Vapid and Screaming / Facebook)

Vapid & Screaming
Opening Monday January 2, 6 pm to 9 pm at 208 Bowery. On view through January 4.

Nowadays, gallery space in Manhattan is pricey, yet art is still being created left and right. For those still clinging on to the last kernel of hope that there is hope for the island, well, there might be something there. At least, for pop-up shows.

Take 208 Bowery–a former restaurant supply shop-turned-pop-up hub which recently featured a Drake-themed event, among other art shows and will now be the site of Vapid and Screaming, a pop-up show of work by “emerging fag, femme, and queer artists.”

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