The first time I saw Love Spread, the insanely energetic musical collaboration of Ryota Machida and Narumi Iyama, their basic outline seemed sort of familiar. There was something vaguely familiar about the two figures hovering over their respective laptop and home-rigged, glitchy electronics setups, clutching old Playstation controllers and Gameboys, facing one another and glaring, at-the-ready like two Tekken fighters preparing for a brawl. But then everything I expected from an electronica set, even an experimental one, was thrown out the window.
“It wouldn’t have happened as rapidly as it happened if it weren’t for all the people that were creating culture on their own terms and making it attractive.” —Kyp Malone, TV on the Radio
“The role of the artist in New York is to make a neighborhood so desirable that artists can’t afford to live there anymore.”—Mayor Ed Koch
Goodnight Brooklyn: the Story of Death by Audio, a documentary premiering today at SXSW, is all of the things you would expect it to be: a historical look at the origins and eventual demise of the Williamsburg DIY venue, a crushing story of scruffy artists’ defeat at the hands of corporate near-sightedness, and a montage of live footage from the final evenings of shows. It’s also a really good movie.
It was bitterly cold last Thursday night, but a sandwich board outside of Sunnyvale promised: “Free shot if you prove you went to Pumps!” Aside from the strip club, some lonely looking art studios, and hot corn smells emitting from the tortilla factory, there’s not much nightlife at this industrial edge of East Williamsburg. But walking inside the multi-purpose venue that opened its doors earlier this month, I didn’t find a throng of strip club patrons clutching lap dance receipts (which they probably thought were only good for “business lunch” write-offs until now) and clamoring for oversized pours of Jose Cuervo. Thankfully.
Guido, Ritual Humor, Lover’s Touch, Rubber, Decorum
Monday January 18, 8 pm at Aviv: $8
Late notice, but we know you’re looking for something to do on what’s sure to be a cold-as-hell Monday night anyway. We’re talking something that doesn’t involve drinking a bottle of wine to the face in front of How to Make a Murderer and passing out, mid-text message while you’re attempting to convince your friend that Steven Avery did do it. Rest assured this one’s not going to be outside, but last we checked it’s a good idea to wear a lil cardi and a beanie to Aviv– industrial spaces can be tres drafty, y’all. But even if you’ve got the chills, count on em being long banished by the time the second opener, Rubber, takes the stage.
Market Hotel did a remarkable job of capturing our attention with that Sleater-Kinney show. It’s almost as if the place is run by someone who knows a thing or two about putting on a great show. Huh. But since the Liquor Man and his cohort of party poopers (er, the State Liquor Authority) had only granted a temporary license for the soft opening, we were starting to get a real bad case of nervous dry mouth at the thought that perhaps we’d be waiting a long time for the Bushwick DIY venue to officially throw open its doors at Broadway-Myrtle. After all, we’d waited about half a decade already…
Our favorite lil’ indie theater reopens tonight as a renovation project that choked up the reels for a whole month nears completion. For a brief time last year, the future of Spectacle at South 3rd Street, where it has occupied the ground floor for the last five years, looked like it was in jeopardy. Thankfully, the volunteer-run movie theater successfully raised more than $40,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to fund an overhaul that saved it from being forced out. I popped by this morning to get a peek at what’s new, fingers crossed that the theater had stayed true to its roots.
The internet never ceases to amaze us. And after failing to remember who or what broke the internet last, we decided it doesn’t matter at all because it’s been shattered into a million pieces once again. And it was the birth of the Market Hotel Pillar Twitter account (@MarketPillar) — which happened sometime after the DIY venue reopened for what was, by all accounts, a spectacular Sleater-Kinney show — that signaled the internet’s passing.
Tis the season for Macbeth y’all. For one, it seems like you’ll never stop hearing about Sleep No More, and what with having survived the weeklong bender of that tipsy Macbeth production, which took place inside a distillery, you might think we’d all be feeling pretty hungover from all of it, weary of sipping from Shakespeare’s tragic chalice any time soon. But nay, this is one of those cases where you swore off the drink, so to speak, but returned with vigor (which is to say each and every time). This week, get your Macbeth hair of the dog and head to a psycho-sexual parody of the play (because everyone knows the best cure for a hangover is…) perhaps even more transgressive than that $100 plus tourist trap.
This weekend, Stairwell Theater is staging Ubu Rex, an immersive evening of debauchery and cabaret at Aviv, and you’re invited to partake in the revelry and grime at a “post-apocalyptic dinner party.”
Last Friday, Juno — John Barclay’s stylish new restaurant, bar, and coffee spot just down the way from his raucous Bushwick dance club, Bossa Nova Civic Club — “quietly opened” its doors. When I stopped by yesterday, just a few people were sitting pretty, peering around the place (and allegedly dining too), inspecting it like a brand new spaceship had just landed off the Central Avenue stop. There was no pounding music to be heard, nor a fog machine in sight.
“We do have a DJ booth here, but it’s still quiet enough where you can have conversation,” Barclay explained. “We’ll be playing more mature stuff than my other place, for sure. Stuff that pairs well with dinner— funk, R&B, world music. It’s supposed to feel a little more romantic in here, a little more adult.”
Ever heard of a yottabyte? It’s 1,000 times the size of the internet and the amount of data the U.S. government can hold in its Utah Data Center, Jonathan Stribling-Uss, the director of Constitutional Communications, tells me.
If you haven’t seen Citizenfour yet or read any of Glenn Greenwald‘s stuff, here’s a newsflash: The U.S. government is keeping track of all your online and phone interactions, 24/7, picking up every last awkward text message to a crush or drunk phone call you’d rather forget. (Not to mention the hackers who are getting ever better at infiltrating your system.)
Whether it’s because of excessive boozing and very often drugging, lowered inhibitions or cover of night, maybe even social expectations or bro-on-bro insanity, the list goes on– people can act like total shitheads at shows, dance parties, clubs, and bars. Anuradha Golder knows this. She’s been partying for “a while now,” she laughed. “And I always thought, how can I make this better? How can I make this experience more enjoyable for myself?” Her zine, Club Etiquette, aims to answer those questions. Anuradha is dropping Issue No.4 at this dance party featuring sets by Akanbi, Divorce, and Volvox (acid house).
Read more on Club Etiquette here.
Let’s face it, this coming weekend is pretty much guaranteed to be a wash of regret and sorrow. But there’s a light at the end of this vortex of darkness (just the first in a long series of them throughout the holiday season): PC Worship‘s Basement Hysteria release party is happening at Palisades next week. We first spoke (extensively, too) with Justin Frye back in September when the band’s new release was still a fairly far-off thing. Now that the four-track EP is finally out we had some new questions for Mr. Frye. (Oh, and don’t go straight to the disappointed sighs– Basement Hysteria may be an EP, but it clocks in at over 40 minutes.)