Fred Thomas, Kyle Forester, What Next? Wednesday March 29, 8 pm at Union Pool: $12
Back in 2007 when Saturday Looks Good to Me had found its way into CMJ, the Detroit Metro Times wondered, “Will Success Spoil Fred Thomas?” The short answer has turned out to be, no, not really. The slightly longer one is that Fred Thomas is a nice guy. So nice is Fred Thomas, that even after finding some well-deserved recognition in a fast-shrinking corner of music that is still confoundingly known as “indie rock,” he still does normal cool-dude stuff. He recently even stooped to record the lowliest trash-life punk that Detroit has to offer: the K9 Sniffies, whose members I hesitate to even call “musicians” (but who I am obligated to admit are my friends, or whatever).
Old Dude Winter took the opportunity of his last week in charge to drop a final bowel movement on us: a big ol’ pile of snow to which the city adds its own secret ingredients –mostly street juice and dog refuse– resulting in the world’s grossest Slurpee flavor. But hope may have arrived just in time with a new music video from Bigmun & Frost. Shot in July of last year, it’s a reminder of what summertime is all about in Brooklyn– and for John Bigmun it’s not just backyard kiddie pools filled with beer, it’s also the Giglio Feast that goes down every year in Williamsburg at Lady of Mount Carmel. “It’s like the most amazing thing in the world,” he said. “It’s old Brooklyn, it’s the old country.”
Getting a haircut is never as simple as it sounds, especially in this city. You’re gonna need some help, unless you have one or more of the following: a) extremely liberal views on what counts as presentable b) a steady pair of hands, and c) tremendous flexibility á la the double-jointed faction of showtime kids. Good luck with that whole finding-a-stylist thing, by the way. If you’re searching within a two-mile radius of Greenpoint alone Yelp turns up 218 hair salons. On top of that, professional hair choppin’ is a fiercely competitive scene, and yet salons still manage to be painfully expensive and, in some cases, rather uncomfortable.
Carnival has already been pretty wild this year, and it hasn’t even started in earnest. Down in New Orleans last week, the satirical Krewe du Vieux and Krewe Delusion processions brought plenty of raunchy anti-Trump floats and golden shower gags, as you can see from the photos and video sprinkled below. And not even those could top the Wild West-themed Trump float spotted at an Italian carnivale. But please, folks, let’s not let our jester-in-chief ruin what should be a glorious time of indulgence. Come Fat Tuesday, you should be fully focused on snagging free booze, southern grub, and freebies– that’s right, some local spots are prepared to throw more than just beads at you. Here’s who’s letting the good times roll this year.
Deli on Franklin Avenue in Greenpoint (Photo: Nicole Disser)
Last week, our Seattle-bred writer told New Yorkers to stop being babies about the five-cent fee that the City Council had voted to impose for the use of plastic takeout bags. That plea fell on deaf ears, because on Tuesday, Governor Cuomo blocked implementation of the Bring Your Own Bag Law for at least a year. The Lower East Side’s own Margaret Chin was among those who dropped a W-T-F bomb, insisting that “carryout bag fees are the right policy” and that Cuomo’s move had quashed a measure that she and her colleagues in City Council had “democratically adopted” after slogging through “two years of hearings, reviewing evidence, reusable bag giveaways, and public debate.”
Cassette closed (or got “mangled in the tape deck of Greenpoint,” as Eater put it in a headline) back in November, but we’re happy to report that Gowanus-based Threes Brewing is taking over the French-Catalonian spot’s handsome home for a pop-up that could just become permanent.
Detail view of suggestions made to the DCA Commissioner by members of the DIY community in late January (image via NYC Artist Coalition)
Last night, dozens gathered in Greenpoint event space Magick City to discuss the current state of DIY spaces in New York and to brainstorm ideas they could offer the Department of Cultural Affairs that would help keep DIY arts and culture spaces operating safely without being prohibitive financially to those running them.
The meeting was organized by the NYC Artist Coalition, “an emerging coalition of artists, creative organizations, community leaders, activists, policy makers, and specialists providing mutual support and advocating for informal and affordable community spaces in NYC.” The Magick City discussion was a follow-up to a packed meeting about DIY spaces two weeks ago with the commissioner of Cultural Affairs. This willingness to formally cooperate with a city that is so often seen as actively working against DIY spaces comes hot on the heels of the Ghost Ship fire tragedy in Oakland, an event that shook up the DIY community nationwide and led to increased crackdowns on other homegrown venues. Keep Reading »
New York City is saturated with coffee places, so how does one separate themselves from the pack? Well, one way is to invent your own brewing element. Extraction Lab has done just that with an original craft brewer called Steampunk. The device, which looks like a cross between a French press and a draft beer tap, is so ultra modern it’s operated by an iPad app and designed to combine all the elements of drip, French press, and espresso brewing. The whole process is like watching a coffee dance– I recommend checking the whole mesmerizing thing out here.
When Tørst opened along Manhattan Avenue back in 2013, as the official bar but not exactly brew pub of Evil Twin brewery, the brewmaster Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø attracted a lot of attention for upping his beer game even more. Known for its extensive and ever-rotating selection of beers, some rarely seen in the States, and many made by the kind of high-end microbrews that Jeppe was experienced in making himself, Tørst topped itself shortly after with the addition of an in-house restaurant.
At first glance Luksus– an extension of the bar’s overly-lit, Nordic minimalist setting– inspired a lot of gaggy, knee-jerk, and not so glowing reactions. But like frowny Nordic people themselves and, say, Ikea furniture, the restaurant grew on critics and customers, who seemed to get used to the stiff, hardened outer layer. That is, until chef Daniel Burns peaced out and Luksus abruptly closed, Michelin star and all. But, as of this week, Tørst is back in the restaurant biz, and a new chef seems to have taken notice of the initial criticism.
With the opening of Gotham Market in Fort Greene this weekend, Brooklyn gained yet another fancy food market, adding to our city’s ever-growing assortment of what are essentially upscale mall food courts catering toward fresh-obsessed gastrodorks, stoner-bro cooks, hipster foodies with mad money to blow on artisanal popsicles, and vulnerable hangover zombies. Gotham Market, for example, swaps out Sbarro for Apizza Regionale, serving brick oven pizza, “locally-sourced Italian fare,” and charcuterie. For once, this isn’t just another outpost for the Smorgasburg empire– actually, as the ground-floor tenant at The Ashland, one of the new luxury high-rise buildings sprouting all over the “Brooklyn Cultural District,” it is something else entirely.
Shortly after the jarring election of Donald J. Trump, you might’ve seen a hilarious sketch from Saturday Night Live called The Bubble where “it’s like the election never happened.” The Bubble is a magical, if not eerily insulated, “place where the unthinkable didn’t happen and life could continue for progressive Americans just as before” because it’s “a planned community of like-minded free thinkers – and no one else.” The punchline is genius: “The Bubble: It’s Brooklyn with a bubble on it.” It’s funny because it’s true – or maybe not.