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The Skinny On ‘Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story,’ Kicking Off the LES Film Festival in June

The Schlep Sisters. (From Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story)

The 2018 Lower East Side Film Festival is announcing its opening night film, Getting Naked: A Burlesque Storywith this exclusive from Bedford + Bowery. The documentary is about the wild and ever-changing burlesque revival in New York. It premiered at the 74th Venice International Film Festival and played at DOC NYC 2017 prior to its scheduled showing at the LES Film Festival on June 7.

We chatted with the film’s director, James Lester, about burlesque in New York and the inspiration behind his feature documentary.

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We Followed the Clues to a Rooftop Storytelling Circle Hosted By Chaos Magicians

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

(Photos: Alix Piorun)

The emailed instructions, addressed to Cosmonauts of Narrative, said to look for the man in the red fez, which was easy enough, but his directions were more complex. “Take a left out of the bar and click to the next slide every half block,” participants in the night’s Constellations of Ego event were told as we were handed View-Masters and sent out of Bed Stuy’s cozy Project Parlor and into the misty evening. If correctly interpreted, the retro-formatted clues led to the side entrance of a kosher supermarket. Homemade stick-and-gauze-wrapped stars were handed out to all by an eye-patched organizer in the unremarkable entryway before we were sent skyward, the journey upwards guided by a fleet of golden lamps hung in the space between the rails. On the roof, circles formed around electric campfires and the storytellers started in.

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Marina Abramovic Caught Pussy Riot’s Tour Launch at Elsewhere

Pussy Riot and their audience during the performance of “Elections.” (Photos: Nick McManus)

Pussy Riot launched their US tour at Bushwick’s Elsewhere last Thursday night with a bold display of their actionist performance art. Summoning the energy of a protest rally, Pussy Riot’s co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova led her fellow balaclava-clad DJ and dancers through a foray of their videos and songs that were strewn with their activist goals. Opener Dorian Electra also fed that spirit; with prominent figures of equality in attendance such as artist Marina Abramovic and Bust magazine co-founder Laurie Henzel, the show became much more than a concert.

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Punk Magazine’s John Holmstrom Doesn’t Think Music Matters Much Any More

(Photo courtesy of John Holmstrom)

While binging on the new season of I’m Dying up Here, catching up on The Deuce, or even streaming A Futile and Stupid Gesture, it’s pretty easy to conclude that the ‘70s were awesome and now, “everything is the worst” (©Liz Lemon). In the ‘70s, a zine could matter, people read comics that weren’t also billion-dollar movies, and it was still kind of rebel to listen to The Ramones. And smoke weed. John Holmstrom, founder of legendary Punk magazine, is bringing all of that back—ok, maybe not The Ramones—by dropping a new zine.

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Alamo and Nitehawk Announce Their Free Outdoor Films, With a Double Dose of Space Jam

Nitehawk and Alamo Drafthouse have released their lineups of outdoor movie screenings and– awkward!– both of them include Space Jam.

Alamo announced today that it’s booking City Point/Downtown Brooklyn’s “Outer Space Outdoors” series, taking over Albee Square every Thursday in June. In keeping with the space theme, they’ll show Close Encounters of the Third Kind on June 7, Men in Black on June 14, Space Jam on June 21, and Gravity on June 28. DJ sets start at 7pm and the opening credits roll at 8pm.

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‘Radical’ Downtown Composer Glenn Branca Has Died at 69

Glenn Branca during a discussion at the Red Bull Music Academy Festival. (Maria Jose Govea/Red Bull Content Pool)

Downtown guitarist and composer Glenn Branca died last night at the age of 69. The longtime West Villager died in his sleep of throat cancer, his wife and collaborator Reg Bloor announced in a Facebook post.

“His musical output was a fraction of the ideas he had in a given day,” Bloor wrote. “His influence on the music world is incalculable.”

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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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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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Beloved Art Bookstore Printed Matter Is Expanding to the East Village

The former Chase bank building is the future home of Printed Matter. (Photo: Google Maps)

This is going to blow the minds of East Villagers who complain about banks taking over every corner: An art bookstore is moving into the former home of a Chase bank. And not just any art bookstore: Chelsea tastemaker Printed Matter will open its second shop at 38 St. Marks Place this summer. For the many who are still mourning the loss of the St. Mark’s Bookshop, this is very good news indeed.

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What to Watch at the Greenpoint Film Festival This Weekend

Image courtesy of Greenpoint Film Festival’s Website

The Tribeca Film Festival may be over, but another homegrown flicks fest is just beginning. The 7th Annual Greenpoint Film Festival will take over North Brooklyn this weekend, with four days of films and panel discussions.

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The Last Nights of Silent Barn, Bushwick’s DIY Bastion

The attendees of Silent Barn’s Last Rites goodbye concert during the show’s final hour, 4/30/18 at 3am. (Photos: Nick McManus)

After announcing its closure in March, Silent Barn said goodbye on Sunday night with a concert aptly named Last Rites. The all-night event included a line-up of house favorites and a back-room dance party where the partitioned workspaces had been demolished ahead of the collectively-run Bushwick venue’s departure. Though it survived the loss of its previous space, a fire in the new one and constant financial issues, Silent Barn had soldiered on inside its bright, muraled collection of buildings on a tiny trianglular city block. Local youth community group Educated Little Monsters, which was housed there, had hoped to take over the lease with the help of a recent fundraiser but as ELM founder Yazmine “Jazo Brooklyn” Colon told us, “the landlord would not negotiate even though were under the impression he would.”

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