Art openings are interesting entities. They’re often more of a social event than a chance to really take in art. At the opening of MediaLounge, a refreshingly engaging exhibit of new media art at the Westbeth Gallery curated by Katherine Freer, attendees got not only the characteristic smalltalk and free wine but the chance to make electronic music, watch a film on a virtual reality device, create bursts of color with a few quick smacks, wander through a forest of light, view Star Wars in the form of one LED light and more.
Last month when we brought word that the folks at Riis Park Beach Bazaar had decided to keep slinging drinks through the winter, and that one of its vendors, WildFeast, would be continuing on as a proper restaurant, it seemed too good to be true: year-round food and drink smack dab in the middle of Jacob Riis Park? During the off-season the place is pretty much the dictionary definition of “desolate,” with howling winds that will instantly peel off whatever is left of that summer tan.
We don’t always go to midtown, but when we do, we come back with photos from the set of David Simon’s new HBO pilot about the ’70s porn industry. The Deuce has lined West 30th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, with vintage cars, and has transformed 242 West 30th into an old-school Korean restaurant. We didn’t spot the pilot’s stars, James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, but we did get an eyeful of vintage phone booths and mailboxes. We haven’t seen those since… well, Scorsese’s HBO show. All very authentic except for those ’70s-era trash piles, which upon closer inspection contained copies of this week’s newspapers. Don’t worry, Dave, we won’t tell.
Who is Janice Gunter? With handmade postings anywhere from Williamsburg to NYU advertising her strange services and conveniently-rhyming name, it would appear that this bespectacled woman is the latest to join the ranks of NYC’s colorful flyer characters. Visit Janice’s Facebook page and you’ll find nearly six month’s worth of ghost-related status updates, bad jokes, and musings about her Ma’s tendency to videotape everything they do.
Janice also has an Instagram and even a LinkedIn profile, where she explains “[g]host hunting is officially classified as a pseudoscience, but my customer service and attention to detail are more like an art form.” She also worked as a cashier at CVS for an impressive eight years before deciding to follow this ghostly path.
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“Boots and buckles, red clay and sand. My point ain’t subtle. I’m a southern man,” are the opening lines to The Cadillac Three’s song “The South,” a country-meets-rock tune you might just catch if you stop by The Shop this Saturday.
Last week we tipped you off to a few upcoming Q&As with some of our fave filmmakers (you can watch Friday night’s chat with Greta Gerwig, at Sunshine Cinema, above and on YouTube). Now you can add Alex Ross Perry to the mix, since the cat-loving director of Listen Up Philip will appear at a preview screening of his new one, Queen of Earth, as part of a retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men, who stars in the movie as a woman on the verge, will also be on hand August 25.
No need to wait for the New York Comedy Festival to roll around: the Brooklyn Comedy Festival takes place later this month, and to get you revved up there’ll be a free art show and party tomorrow night.
In his two-room art studio in Chinatown, The Sucklord toils away in his toy factory, making handcrafted action figures in the non-air conditioned swelter of a summer afternoon. Best known as one of the most memorably eccentric contestants on the 2011 season of the Bravo show “Work of Art,” he’s still at it, shipping his Suckadelic creations to fans across the country. He’ll be selling a limited edition Darth Vader Godfather action figure at the LoMan Art Festival this weekend. Get them while they’re hot, because with a video series and an upcoming podcast, The Sucklord aspires to create an empire and hightail it to L.A.
Back in May, when Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck was screening at IFC Center before its HBO release, director Brett Morgen revealed to Bedford + Bowery that an album of previously unreleased Cobain material was on the way. Now he tells Billboard a little more about it, saying that the as-yet untitled release, out in early November, will consist of everything “from thrash to ragtime and everything in between,” including audio montages and “a sketch comedy routine featuring Kurt voicing all of the characters.”
While you wait on tenterhooks for that, Morgen has a few more gifts for you. For one thing, he’ll be doing a q&a tomorrow, August 7, after a screening of Montage at IFC Center (that’s right: the film is back in theaters, and will be at IFC through August 13). Snag a ticket (still available) and ask him about the above outtake from the film, which he shared with Opie with Jim Norton today. In it, Cobain, in bed with a puke bucket, talks about his chronic stomach pain and jokes about heroin — “needles, needles, keep ’em coming!”
As if all of that isn’t enough for Cobain die-hards, a slew of recordings claiming to be Nirvana rarities surfaced online this week, including the demo that Cobain’s pre-Nirvana band Fecal Matter made in 1986 and alternate takes and demos from Nevermind and In Utero. Head over to Reddit to have a listen.
On Friday a tipster sent us this photo from the set of Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming HBO show, now titled Vinyl. As you can see, Marty meticulously recreated the legendary Max’s Kansas City on 19th Street, between Park and Broadway, just a couple of blocks from its former location on the corner of 18th and Park Avenue South (now home to a CVS). The clubhouse of Andy Warhol (who would’ve turned 87 today) was honored with a 50th anniversary reunion show at Bowery Electric in June.
Scorsese’s show about New York’s ’70s and ’80s rock and roll scene, which filmed in the East Village a couple of weeks ago, now has a teaser, below. And according to a sign we spotted at 56th Street and Seventh Avenue, it’ll be filming near that corner this Friday.
On Thursday, the evening before New York State made it legal for five organizations to grow and sell medical marijuana, a group of high-minded individuals filed into a spacious meeting room in Soho and gave their names to the perky girl at the door. They had paid $20 to attend a seminar called “Growing Cannabis,” the latest in a series of programs put on by the quickly growing High NY Meetup group.
“At what address do the Dursleys live when Harry is delivered at their doorstep?” demanded one of the guys from last year’s winning trivia team, the Remembralls. It was Saturday afternoon and they had come to host a Harry Potter trivia contest at PotterCon at The Bell House. “This is the missionary position of questions, people!”