“I thought a movie about a dead mom would be very appealing,” Demetri Martin, er, deadpanned after a screening of his debut feature, Dean, at Tribeca Film Festival. “Box office gold.”
Let’s face it, Cecil Taylor’s music isn’t what you put on the hifi to unwind after a long day at work— google the pianist and composer and you’ll find words like frenzied, cacophonous, and “acquired taste” used to describe his particular brand of free jazz, a genre he pioneered – along with Ornette Coleman—during late-’50s performances at the legendary Five Spot Café on the Bowery.
On Friday we heralded the return of our favorite booze boat with a post titled, “What About Bobbing? The Frying Pan Reopens Today.” Pretty much no one appreciated our hilarious What About Bob? reference, but that’s okay– we’ve already moved on, because another one of Manhattan’s great docked drinkeries has reopened for the season.
When I first hit play on A Smurf at Land’s End, the new album from Howardian, for a fraction of a second I thought I was listening to some early Flaming Lips—then there was a Talking Heads sample before it spun off into low-fi raggedy rock. I managed to catch the latest band from artist and rabble-rouser Ian Vanek at their official SXSW showcase late Saturday night in Austin.
Usually when we spot the cast of Difficult People, it’s because they’re filming on the corner of East 7th and First Avenue, but Friday evening we caught them on stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, talking to Patton Oswalt during PaleyFest. And good thing we did– they played a sizzle reel showing some highlights from season two, and then, during the q&a, proceeded to drop even more spoilers. Read ahead if you’re dying to see what’s on deck when the funniest portrayal of NYC narcissists since Seinfeld returns to Hulu in July.
In light of President Obama’s momentous meeting with Raul Castro in Cuba today, it’s worth pointing out this ghost sign on the corner of Avenue of the Americas and King Street. It’s one of the few remaining emblems of the countries of the Western Hemisphere to hang on lampposts along the avenue.
Brooklyn’s paperwhite is a “dream pop” brother and sister duo, Katie and Ben Marshall, about to drop their second EP, Escape, well-teased by the catchy and airy “Unstoppable.” More of-the-moment than some of their previous work, it makes one wonder where they might go from here—more EDM, more Ting Tings, or more Julee Cruise? While Ben’s other band, Savoir Adore, played several shows at SXSW this year, paperwhite had a single showcase at the Hilton Garden Inn on the eighteenth floor, which boasts the best view in Austin.
Every hack comedian has a De Niro impression. Question is, will Robert De Niro do his when he does standup tomorrow night? Last week the actor was spotted shooting his new film, The Comedian, outside of the Comedy Cellar, and this week his character will actually be yucking it up inside of the club’s West 3rd Street outpost at the Village Underground. His jokes were written by Comedy Cellar fixture Jeffrey Ross, so they won’t be as cheesy as the ones De Niro told in The King of Comedy. And they won’t be wasted on a bunch of extras– the club is actually inviting you to join.
Kevin Garrett is having a good year. He released his debut EP, Mellow Drama, last April, toured with X Ambassadors last fall, and with Alessia Cara this past January and February. Based in Brooklyn (previously of Philly), the singer-songwriter is clearly stretching out and finding his rhythm. I caught him at the Sidewinder in August on Thursday and found him to be considerably more self-assured than when I saw him last year at South By.
It sounds like a perfect meet cute for a teen Rom-Com: Tucker Halpern was all set to make it as a basketball player but health issues forced him to drop out, and while he was mostly hiding in his bedroom learning how to make beats, he met Sophie Hawley-Weld, a worldly, spiritual whirlwind, singing bossa nova in a warehouse. And Sofi Tukker was born.
Days after Iggy Pop dressed up for Carnegie Hall, the hallowed concert hall was slumming it in Maspeth, Queens. This past weekend, it mounted a performance of West Side Story in the sprawling former factory known as the Knockdown Center. To make the production even more unusual, the cast mixed seasoned pros like Skylar Astin (Spring Awakening) with over a dozen teenaged apprentices. A chorus made up of 200 high schoolers from across the city joined a 40-piece orchestra for songs like “One Hand, One Heart” and “Somewhere” as the Sharks and Jets had it out under Amanda Dehnert’s direction. The production ran for just three nights, but we were there to see Tony kiss a girl named Maria. Watch our video for a taste.
Video by Deganit Perez and Kasper Van Laarhoven.
Lauren Denitzio, singer/guitarist of Worriers, was easy to spot on the porch of the Eden House in Austin. She and her bandmates stood out, looking more relaxed, more confident, more—well, older—than the majority of other bands and music heads rolling in and out of the house on Rio Grande. Yes, a house—a full-on “DIY venue,” what we used to call “underground” and virtually identical to the scenes I remember playing in the early ‘90s: BYOB, kids with zits, slamming bands. Cassette tapes for sale. You enter through the kitchen, and can only get into the bathroom by crossing the “stage” in the living room between acts—stepping over the pedals and cords. And not a sponsor or logo in sight.