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BAMcinemaFest Unspools Lineup: Alex Ross Perry, Kumail Nanjiani, Jenny Slate and More

One of our very favorite film festivals, BAMcinemafest, returns June 14 to 25. According to the just-released lineup, there’ll be new films from Alex Ross Perry, Michael Showalter, Gillian Robespierre, and several other indie stalwarts. Tickets go on sale to BAM members on May 11 and to the general public May 18.

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Sebastian Junger’s Syria Doc, Hell on Earth, Tackles ‘The Greatest Tragedy of Our Generation’

After the premiere of Hell on Earth at the Tribeca Film Festival, an audience member asked filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested why they had chosen The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, as the subtitle has it, as the topic of their documentary.

“It’s the greatest tragedy of our generation and we had to address it,” Quested told a crowd Wednesday at Cinépolis Chelsea.

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VR Meditation, A Day to Combat Rape Culture, and More Art Affairs This Week

(flyer via Babycastles / Facebook)

Mind Portals
Opening Thursday, April 27 at Babycastles, 8 pm: $10-15 sliding scale. On view through May 12.

Babycastles has done a pretty good job framing itself as the place to be when it comes to wacky tech-driven art and indie games. This Thursday’s opening will be no exception, as they will be unveiling a host of new video games, VR experiences, and multimedia installations. You can “follow an aries goat on an herb walk” (whatever that means, I’m intrigued) in Young Ascension Hypnosis’s VR video, relax and kick back in Avalon’s sound and flower installation “The Garden,” and find yourself in a flurry of disembodied hands and techno music through Palgal’s cleverly named video game “Palmystery.”

If this opening wasn’t internet-centric enough, net artist Molly Soda will be DJ-ing for the night as well, in addition to sets by Good DJ with High Speed Music, Neo Edo, and A Pigeon Is Born. Keep Reading »

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Alt-Rock Doc Will Explain How Jonathan Lethem Got Involved in Lee Ranaldo’s Next Album

There’s such an abundance of film fests coming up that it’s hard to imagine hopping aboard the plagued NJ Transit and heading to suburban New Jersey for one– even if Stephen Colbert did do a Talking Heads cover in support of it. But this seems like a pretty good excuse to check out the Montclair Film Festival next month: a documentary about the making of Lee Ranaldo’s next album will screen May 5 and 6, with tickets going on sale Friday. Best part: The former Sonic Youth singer/guitarist himself will be on hand to play a couple of songs, and for a Q&A with filmmaker Fred Riedel.

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Sexting Festival, French Star’s Rare Show, and More Art to See

(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

Opening Tuesday April 4 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through April 22.

Camilla Engström has had an interesting history for an artist. Born in Sweden, she swiftly relocated to Shanghai to work full-time as a model, and then made her way to New York to study fashion at FIT. However, she left to focus on her art, a familiar story that surely many can relate to. Now, she exhibits her multidisciplinary work around the city, and will be bringing a series of paintings and more to Cooler Gallery, a unique space nestled a stone’s throw from the Navy Yard.

This show is new territory for her, in a way. Her practice, the gallery states, typically revolves around a Swedish cartoon Engström created named Husa, a smiling femme figure with a curvy belly. This show will feature more landscape-driven works, but ones that still retain the dreamy, playful, Candyland-esque quality of Husa. There will not just be paintings on view, but also sculptural pieces that reflect particular elements of the paintings, bringing a multi-dimensional quality to it all. Keep Reading »

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Hairy Ape in an Armory, Patriarchy Smashing, and More Performance Picks


(image via Chris Tyler / Facebook)

Not Normal: Intersection, Corporate Doubleteam, and Orangutan
Wednesday, March 22 at Irondale Ensemble Project, 8 pm: FREE

As long as politics are a hellscape, there will be artists to create work about it. Tonight, Not Normal will present a three-part evening all about the utter nonsense that seems to grow greater every day. Even the word “greater” seems tarnished now and conjures images of red hats and the pallid, fleshy faces wearing them.

In any case, the evening’s programing begins with The Intersection, an “artistic conversation about identity” spearheaded by a group of creators but open to the public. It’s dubbed a discussion “jam session” of sorts. Next is Chris Tyler’s Corporate Doubleteam, a play about how the white boys will play when the Trump is away, and by “play” I mean do a circle jerk potentially involving an intern. Haven’t we all been there? Closing out the night is Orangutan, a one-woman show written by Troy Deutsch and performed by Kristina Mueller all about the curious character of Trump’s mother. If you’re feeling generous, the show will also be accepting donations for Planned Parenthood.


(image via Knockdown Center / Facebook)

Incarnata Social Club
Thursday, March 23 at Knockdown Center, 8 pm: $10 suggested

The experimental art salon started in a basement by Kembra Pfahler and Orlando Estrada has moved on to bigger digs, taking up residency in the massive Knockdown Center this Thursday. A fittingly sizable lineup will be showing work, with a bill comprised of Social Club regulars and newcomers alike, including Nandi Loaf, Chris Cole, Whitney Vangrin, Cameron Cooper, Shawn Escarciga, and more. Anyone with a bigoted attitude will presumably be booted, as Estrada proclaims the show a “queer, femme, trans, POC, GNC safe space” and a “no shade zone.”


(flyer via New York Neo-Futurists)

The Neo Show: Smash the Patriarchy
March 24-25 at The Kraine Theater, 10:30 pm: $20

The New York Neo-Futurists have recently rebranded their recurring show, formerly known as Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, but they’re still up to the same artistic madness. Which is to say, they’re definitely still trying to do 30 short and strange plays in 60 minutes. Or, at least “a barrage” of short plays in an evening. This weekend, in a reprisal of sorts of their popular Too Many Ladies show last year, an all-female cast of Neo will be taking over the Kraine Theater to strut their stuff and dismantle some oppressive systems in the form of many feminist short plays. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for this show to include a literal smashing of the patriarchy, as the Neo-Futurists pride themselves on their unique technique of creation in which everyone plays themselves and what they are doing in the moment is true. Aside from that, they’re up for anything.


(image via Park Avenue Armory / Facebook)

The Hairy Ape
March 25-April 22 at Park Avenue Armory, various times: $30+

The glorious Park Avenue Armory will see a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s classic 1921 expressionist play The Hairy Ape, starring Tony-nominated actor Bobby Cannavale. The Armory is no stranger to elaborate theatrical productions, acting as host to such spectacles as Paul McCarthy’s grotesque and sprawling WS installation. The production, directed by Richard Jones, initially appeared at The Old Vic in London. Its subject matter is certainly relevant for American audiences, as it centers around a worker who seeks for belonging amidst a sea of the filthy rich, including those found in the money-laden areas of New York. Will capitalism ever be dismantled? Not if you spend money on this play, I guess.


(flyer via In the Works / Facebook)

In the Works
Sunday, March 26 at The Duplex, 9:30 pm: $10 advance, $15 doors plus a 2-drink minimum

Spend your Sunday taking in the musical stylings of several new composers at this edition of the In the Works series, presented by Honeck-Moss Productions. The evening will showcase a handful of composers, each presenting about 15 minutes of newer material that they are working on. This time around, you’ll hear pieces from patriotic songbird Marcus Goldhaber, edgy belter and rock opera creator Terra Warman, and “piano troubadour” Peter Trevino, who has collaborated with members of Journey and The Foo Fighters.

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LES-Born Meatball Shop Expands to Hell’s Kitchen With a Cocktail Bar

(Photo: Miachel Breton)

Dos Toros isn’t the only drunk-food chain adding a westside outpost to its downtown and Williamsburg locations. The Meatball Shop, which started on the Lower East Side six years ago, opens its seventh location in Hell’s Kitchen today. This one comes with a brighter, cleaner design and an adjacent bar. The bar as tastefully named as you’d expect from the guys whose mantra is “EAT MY BALLS” and who offer BALLS t-shirts. They’re calling the place Sidepiece.

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This Week: Art Fair Affairs, Club Kid Portraits, and Anything But Trash

(image via Volta NY)

Volta NY
Opening Wednesday March 1 at Pier 90, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through March 5.

Now is the time for art fairs aplenty, and Volta NY is just one of many. Volta stands out singularly (ha) because they focus on solo artist projects only. Though they’re all about solo stuff, by no means are they taking a minimalist route. At Pier 90 you can catch not only the water, but the work of artists from 38 nations shown by 96 galleries and art spaces across 5 continents and 36 cities. You needn’t be a math whiz to figure out that is a lot of art to place your eyes on. Only not literally, that could cause vision issues and probably a lot of side-eyeing. If you stop by on the first night, it’s free to enter, but any other day it’ll cost you $25.

This is Volta’s tenth year of existence, so you can expect they’re pulling out all the stops this time. This week you can also catch The Armory Show (ticket bundles are available, which get you into Volta and Armory) and SPRING/BREAK, in a new location in Times Square. If you wish, you can pop around the piers all weekend for a veritable art adventure. The art doesn’t stop there: the Architectural Digest Design Show will be from March 16-19, also on the pier. And we can only wonder: will The Mars Volta be at Volta NY?

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Teriyaki On a Treadmill! Conveyor-Belt Sushi Rolls Into the Flatiron

The Boston location of YO!. (Photos courtesy of YO! Sushi.)

Between London’s Wagamama, which opened on 26th Street in November, and L.A.’s Sugarfish, which opened on 20th Street around the same time, the Flatiron has seen an influx of cult sushi imports. You can add another one to the list: Another UK brand, YO!, is set to bring its conveyor-belt sushi to the suddenly happening hood next month.

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Art This Week: Colorful Constructions, Lovin’ on Planned Parenthood, and More

Denise Treizman, Gripped, 2016. Glazed ceramic, PVC pipe scrap, ink, spray paint, resin, pom-pom and bungee cord, 7 x 4 x 2 inches (image via SOHO20 Gallery)

Denise Treizman, Gripped, 2016. Glazed ceramic, PVC pipe scrap, ink, spray paint, resin, pom-pom and bungee cord, 7 x 4 x 2 inches (image via SOHO20 Gallery)

Part Is No Object
Opening Friday February 10 at SOHO20 Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through March 12. 

Denise Treizman’s colorful sculptural creations are refreshingly playful, uplifting and childlike. This solo show of her work is opening in SOHO20 Gallery’s modest +/- Project Space, a space highlighting “ephemeral” or site-specific work. For Treizman, site-specific is everywhere, as her “constructions” are made of essentially anything that crosses her path, from pom-pom puffballs to PVC pipe. She collects these “fragments,” whether they be bits and pieces found on the side of the road or broken remains of a studio project, and then puts the mismatched pieces together to create something entirely new. There will be two other openings this weekend at SOHO20 Gallery, one of paintings by Nana Olivas and one showcasing work by the gallery’s three 2016 Residency Lab artists.

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Penn Station’s Departure Board Has Left the Station

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

That’s all she wrote, folks. Penn Station’s (relatively) beloved big board has departed the building. Removal started Tuesday. Throughout the week, as you can see above, workers meticulously disassembled the iconic departure board like Dave murdering Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Below is what the scene looked like today. In lieu of flowers, please send beer money to passengers who’ve just missed their train and need to drown their sorrows at Kabooz’s Bar & Grille.

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Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore and Others Helped Us Get Through the ‘First Day in Hell’

Lee Ranaldo and Steve Gunn, front. TKTK, back.(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Lee Ranaldo and Steve Gunn, front. Georgia Hubley, back.(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

“I need a drink,” Steve Gunn said as he started into “Way Out Weather” at Rock and Roll Hotel in D.C. on Friday night. After taking a swig he added, “As I’m sure you also probably do.”

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