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Comedy This Week: Amy Poehler Totally Wants to Tickle Your Funny Bone

Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh and Matt Besser at the Del Close Marathon (Photo: Francine Daveta)

Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh and Matt Besser at the Del Close Marathon (Photo: Francine Daveta)

This weekend marks the arrival of the 15th annual Del Close Marathon, the multi-day improv extravaganza hosted annually by the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, with over 420 shows on 7 stages. Expect to see UCB mainstays like Amy Poehler, Nick Kroll, Veep’s Matt Walsh, The Office’s Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods, plus a whole lot of other SNL alums, Apatow-types and familiar faces. While the main theater in Chelsea always has epic lines, there’s still plenty of fun to be had over at UCB East or on some of the smaller stages.

If you don’t feel like springing for a $30 weekend pass, tickets for some of the bigger name shows can be bought individually from the UCB website. Or, for something completely different, check out our roundup of this week’s best laugh-ins, stand-ups and make-em-ups.
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So Deck! Forget Vinyl, This Label Is Still Releasing Cassettes

Ryan Martin’s two-years-in-the-making collaboration with Italian noise composer Maurizio Bianchi, “As Strong As Death Is,” isn’t available on Spotify, or Bandcamp, or even CD. It was released today as a double cassette (yes, cassette) on his tape-centric label, Robert & Leopold.
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Is This Lena Dunham Send-Up Enough to Cure You of ‘Girls’ Withdrawl?

Did you miss “Too Many Lenas,” the loving spoof of Lena Dunham and her characters that we told you about last week? Well, then you missed two Lenas playing Chubby Bunny, a monologue rife with breakfast-themed double entendres, a human-sized cake, topless doubles ping-pong, masturbation to a Woody Allen film, and zingers like “Does curly hair make me ethnic?” But don’t worry: Bedford + Bowery has secured this clip of Sam Corbin as Self-Depicted Lena. Just a little something to tide you over until the real Lena returns to HBO.

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Learn How to Make Moonshine and Build a Treehouse at Adult Sleep-Away Camp

The first Offsite. (Photo: R.E. Jose)

The first Offsite. (Photo: R.E. Jose)

If you’ve ever found yourself at Wreck Room, feeling like it’d be nice to be surrounded by the same crowd but in considerably less stale air, then pack your bags for Offsite, a “major multi-disciplinary weekend of creative workshops and activities” — or: an adult sleep-away camp.
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Reel Psyched: Feminism, Punk Rock, Bloodshed and Free Pizza

Here’s what we’re really excited to see this week in local theaters (or, for that matter, at local bars and rooftops).

Sarah Jacobson was an independent filmmaker who believed wholeheartedly in feminism and punk rock, and fully embraced a DIY method of filmmaking. Before cancer cut her life short at age 32, she made some of the most influential underground films of the ’90s, including “I Was a Teenage Serial Killer,” “Road Movie (Or What I Learned In a Buick Station Wagon),” and a feature film, “Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore.”
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Watch This Lady Arm Wrestler Destroy Her Opponent AND a Very Large Onion

Pain (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Pain (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Ref and ringmaster (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Ref and ringmaster (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Referee (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Referee (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Team Sleaze (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Team Sleaze (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Round 2 (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Round 2 (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Sleaze vs. Killa Bee (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Sleaze vs. Killa Bee (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Taking bribes (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Taking bribes (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Killa Bee, victorious (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Killa Bee, victorious (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Recording (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Recording (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

The raffle (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

The raffle (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Mom Tattoo (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Mom Tattoo (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Vending machine (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

Vending machine (Sasha Von Oldershausen)

They’re a band of gender-bending, “gun”-toting, bona fide badasses. The women of 5 Boro Ladies Arm Wrestling gathered Saturday at 3rd Ward for their fifth brawl since the all-female group emerged in 2011.
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At Northside Festival, Wondering ‘What’s Next’ For Brooklyn

A golden light on Solange and her fans (Photos: Joshua Kristal)

A golden light on Solange and her fans (Photos: Joshua Kristal)

EDIT_NorthEndFestival_BLOG_020

EDIT_NorthEndFestival_BLOG_020

Nice skirt! (Photo: Joshua Kristal)

Dancing to Petit Noir, opener for Solange.

Dancing to Petit Noir, opener for Solange.

Fashion students Franki Phil-Ebosie and Jackie Martell at King & Grovel.

Fashion students Franki Phil-Ebosie and Jackie Martell at King & Grovel.

Besties taking selfies.

Besties taking selfies.

At the Solange concert at McCarren.

At the Solange concert at McCarren.

The crowd at South African band Petit Noir.

The crowd at South African band Petit Noir.

The Solange rooftop pre-party had Williamsburg fronting as Miami.

The Solange rooftop pre-party had Williamsburg fronting as Miami.

The Maker Twins used wheels to create electronic dub music.

The Maker Twins used wheels to create electronic dub music.

A Red Bull team confers among mountains of electronic detritus.

A Red Bull team confers among mountains of electronic detritus.

The Red Bull team from Detroit used hose spun on drills to create music.

The Red Bull team from Detroit used hose spun on drills to create music.

The Maker Twins installation was popular with the kids.

The Maker Twins installation was popular with the kids.

The Teenagers, one of the 300 bands to play at Northside.

The Teenagers, one of the 300 bands to play at Northside.

Last week, after Petit Noir’s performance during the Northside Festival, Scott Stedman was lounging poolside at Williamsburg’s King & Grove hotel. Tanned, oiled legs circled the deck. Waiters brought menus to the white-cloth umbrella tables.

“In many ways, the essential player for our entire festival is the geography and psycho-geography of Williamsburg and Greenpoint,” he said.

By psycho-geography, he meant that Williamsburg is no longer just a place — it’s a brand. And it’s safe to say Stedman’s Northside Media Group — which owns L Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine, and produces the Northside Festival — has had a lot to do with that. “The entire goal of our company is to define and showcase Brooklyn as a national adjective for ‘what’s next’ through media and large scale events like the Northside Festival,” he said.
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B+B Q+A: Suicide’s Martin Rev Doesn’t Mind Being Hated

Martin Rev (Photo: Divine Enfant)

Martin Rev (Photo: Divine Enfant)

“To hear 15,000 people booing at one time, it’s an incredible sound and it’s an incredible energy to play into.”

Martin Rev — of the proto-punk, 1970s duo Suicide – is talking about opening for the Cars, whose fans didn’t exactly care for his stripped down, repetitive synth riffs and his bandmate Alan Vega’s haunting, spoken vocals.

It’s unlikely Rev (born Martin Reverby) will get trash hurled at him when he performs solo at Bowery Electric tonight — his first New York show in five years. Suicide has influenced untold scores of synth pop, new wave, industrial dance and techno sounds, not to mention The Boss himself.
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Nightclubbing | Ballistic Kisses

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

(Photo: Emily Armstrong)

In 1980, Ronald Reagan ushered in a long cold winter of conservatism in America. But a little bit of heat was generating on the Lower East Side. Over on the Bowery, the Ballistic Kisses were in their loft, practicing. With a sound that combined post-punk and politics, they brought something new to the downtown club scene.

Michael Shore, rock critic for The Soho Weekly News recalls, “In those days we did not even have a name for electropop, synth or what they were doing. And their lead singer, Mike Parker was very intense. They were the first NYC band with genuine, serious political thought, but with an interesting difference from the Sex Pistols — they seemed to be more street level. The Ballistic Kisses had an honest, urgent, sincere political thing going on.” Keep Reading »

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Nightclubbing | Helen Wheels, 1979

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

Poster for Helen Wheels show (Armen Kachaturian)

“I could describe her to you in details, but those are just facts. She was unforgettable, and everybody who knew her, loved her.”

That was Scott Kempner of The Dictators and the Del-Lords describing Helen Wheels, a woman who to the mainstream may seem like a punk rock history footnote, but who to CBGB veterans was a beloved icon. Keep Reading »

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Nightclubbing | The Suburbs, 1980

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 6.27.02 AMNew York and London were the first cities to feel the heartbeat of punk, then bands started springing up in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Like a contagion, the new music spread and mutated from basement to garage, from Athens, Ga., to Santa Cruz.

It was thrilling for New Yorkers to hear about these regional bands and by 1980, we were finally seeing these alternative bands tour. The Suburbs arrived in New York from Minneapolis that summer. They brought the heartland to us with an urgent bounce, playing a brand of danceable new wave that was as funky and melodious as it was infectious. This video clip of their song, “Music For Boys,” captures them at Danceteria when they were at their muscular, modern rock best. Keep Reading »

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Nightclubbing | Bush Tetras, 1980

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

Ritz Furs.

“You don’t need a million to look like a million!” So went the tagline touting Ritz Furs in a ubiquitous late night commercial that ran throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Ladies were urged to sell their skins or buy them second-hand at a fraction of the price because, like the man said, “Some women ski in St. Moritz; other women just look that way.”

Cynthia Sley, lead singer of the Bush Tetras, got to live the dream. One night, she found a full-length fur coat lying on an East Village street. She picked it up, dusted it off and the next day sold it to Ritz Furs. The cash allowed her to live another month in New York, pursuing her art instead of a paycheck.
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