Tucked inside a densely industrial corner of East Williamsburg, there’s a not-so-easy to find new “cultural space” called 99 Scott. With a name like that, not even newbs, or those not yet acquainted with the neighborhood’s winding corridors and sharp triangular street-traps, should have a hard time finding the space. On a dead-end industrial street where garbage trucks and cement mixers outnumber humans, sits a newly renovated, sparkly building occupied by a swarm of new tenants–99 Scott included– who make up one of the most sophisticated and concrete examples of the push toward light-industry happening across Brooklyn.
Not too long ago, Michael Alan, the multimedia artist of Nude Thrift Shop notoriety, hosted an event at Bowery venue Teatro IATI and “really fucked up,” in his own words. “There was cake everywhere and, like, a bunch of bugs for months after,” he recalled. “I turned every person into a cake, and there was fish and garbage, for like a whole month I collected garbage. There was this infestation. They were really nice– they didn’t kick me out, they were just like, ‘Let’s take a break.’”
It’s rare when a music trend hits at all levels of the listener spectrum, but right now African music is resonating with everyone from pop junkies and passive, whatever’s-playing-at-the-club consumers to crate-diggers with eclectic collections and torrent combers with multiple hard drives devoted to the most obscure sounds they can find.
Fat White Family
Tuesday September 6, 11:59 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
If you left town this weekend, chances are your brain’s feelin’ a little fried right about now. Depending on where you went, your gait might might be a little sluggish on top of that. Understandably so, there’s always that reverse culture shock when you come back to the Big City after spending time abroad where strangers are always trying to cramp your speedy style by attempting to engage you in something called a “chat,” and where time in general seems to pass at the speed of rock formation. The quickest way to jumpstart your recovery is to get to an IRL event that throttles you back to life and reminds you why you live in this rat-infested city in the first place.
As part of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, happening in two weeks in Park Slope, comedian Eliot Glazer is taking his popular show, Haunting Renditions, to the Bell House. The Sept. 17 event is part comedy show/part karaoke show in which comedians take on the vapid, popular music hits of today with the help of a backing band and reimagine them in order to “find new, deeper meaning in otherwise lightweight compositions.”
Basically it’s like a more judgmental (and probably funnier) version of Carpool Karaoke. Joining Glazer on this installment of the show are comedians Ilana Glazer and Jon Glaser. Glazer, Glazer and Glaser will—oh jeeze. I am honestly not even sure which one the host is anymore. Wow, ok we’re gonna have to suss this whole thing out.
Pasic and Platt: The Orgy
Monday August 29, 8 p.m. at Union Hall: $5
Mo Fry Pasic and Tim Platt are two comedians who have teamed up a few times in the past to disgust, bring dread and even break up. Now, the two are moving their show to Union Hall where they’ll be taking the next logical step and hosting an orgy. Sort of. As the event description explains, they’ll be hosting this show as “a modern couple trying to organize an orgy for, undeniably, the wrong reasons.” It’ll be a show with fewer fast, ridiculous comedy scenes and more slow, serious acting around a ridiculous idea. They’re also joined by a bill packed with other great comedians and actors, including Carmen Christopher, Aaron Jackson, Betsy Kenney and Anna Drezen.
OMG You’re a Girl Drummer?!
w/ Milk Dick, Desert Sharks, Prima, Fraidycat, Rizzos
Saturday August 27, 8 pm at Sunnyvale: $8
“Girl bands.” You know the term. In fact, you’ve probably even used it a few times– I know I have. It’s easy to do, and sometimes difficult to avoid, even for people who identify as feminists. But we should really stop saying it. All of us.
It happens because the image of an “ideal” rock n’ roll band has been hammered into us from day one, starting at the moment your crazy, mustachioed Uncle Frank threw on Exile on Main Street and started whirling his tubby hips around and around, sloshing beer onto your thin, porous baby skull for the first time (whether it dripped down your tufts of hair or just sat there on top determined how the rest of your life plays out– slumped over in a dark dive bar or squatting on an exercise-ball, bushy-tailed and bright-eyed at Generic Tech Startup X).
Some of us have the distinct memory of weaving up and down the aisles of Kim’s Video– or really, any old-school place of a similar disposition with B-film and cult-movie analogue tapes galore– while an endless stream of campy horror flicks played on the junky old TV set. Did you ever feel a burning desire to run your fingers up and down the spines of those dusty VHS tapes? Then use those same gritty fingers to grab handfuls of mushy bananas and stuff them into your face?
If somehow the answer to this twisted fantasy is “yes,” then you best get over to Terra Firma tonight, because believe it or not all these things will be available to you there, coz lord knows the days of the video store (it’s kind of like Netflix, only IRL) are over and done with. This is where your people are now.
Thursday August 25, 9 pm at Union Hall: $10
Hosted by Lacey Jeka and Kristen Buckels (Between Two Bushes), this show is stacked. I mean seriously, you’re telling me that you’ve got Aparna Nancherla and Jo Firestone– who by the way also host some great shows together— and Brett Davis, the cult-obsessed audience antagonizer, plus a great young man named Gary Richardson, all on the same bill?
Also, the show is only $10? And it’s on a Thursday and at a reasonable hour? Wait, there’s a flyer for it? Uh, yes please. Like, on all accounts. This show might only last one night, but, oh man, what a summer fling it will be.
A quick hypothetical for you: if real people host film festivals with “real films,” then wouldn’t it make sense that an animated film festival should be hosted by animated people? Crazy, I know, but filmmaker Morgan Miller seems to think it’s worth a shot.
After completing an animated short starring the characters Jeff Twiller and Randy—two coarse guys who enjoy the simple things in life and “like to hang out at the dump” in a place “kind of like Queens”—Miller decided that they’d be perfect hosts for their own film festival.
There are three things that are really difficult to do in Manhattan (in ascending order): maintaining a bar, maintaining a music venue, and maintaining your weirdo energy. Impressively, Berlin, the Avenue A booze/music bunker, has been doing all three for a year now.
To celebrate, the literally underground spot— known for its musically inclined clientele— is throwing a two-night-long party complete with performances by Berlin’s owner and glammy garage rocker Jesse Malin and his friends.
The Dan + Joe + Charles Show
Tuesday August 19, 8 pm at the New York Distilling Company: FREE
Here’s a little history lesson: Dan (Licata) + Joe (Pera) + Charles (Gould) used to host this stand up showcase on a monthly basis at UCB East, but, apparently, that wasn’t enough for the people. They demanded more and more shows—one young man even self-immolated outside of the Two Boots next to UCB crying “I just want this show to be weekly!” before expiring in a flash of flames.