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Watch This New Show to Find Out What the Dogs of Tompkins Really Think About You

Something strange is happening in the American psyche right now. Just a few years ago, the heroes of New York City-centric comedy TV were disconnected 20-somethings with suspiciously fancy apartments who wandered the earth clueless as to why no one wanted to date their flawless Tinder profile/soulless body. Now, they’re much tinier creatures that we rarely notice IRL and if we do, we’re like gagging and pointing and screaming: “Gawwwwd, I think that rat is bubonic.”

Hot on the hoofs of Louis CK’s The Secret Life of Pets, and HBO’s Animals (which just returned for season two), a new animated feature from Brooklyn-based animation company Cartuna offers a peek at what these city-dwelling creatures see in us humans. Obviously, it ain’t pretty.

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California Invasion, Pop. 1280’s First Gig of the Year, and More Good Shows

Fred Thomas (Image via PopGun)

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).

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Stoner Punk, a Post-Twee World Order, and More Shows to See This Week

(Flyer via Alphaville)

Eames Armstrong, The New York Review of Cocksucking, Scant, Brandon Lopez, Lacanthrope, Sapphogeist
Monday March 6, 8 pm at Alphaville: $10

Is life even real anymore? Well, considering that we, fine people of this once and forever great city, now have a band named The New York Review of Cocksucking to call our very own, it’s hard to believe that reality right now is indeed real. How could it be? Especially when the official soundtrack to our lives, at least for a moment– jazzily improvised by none other than the duo Michael Foster and Richard Kamerman (who have done the right thing in choosing a moniker that sounds like a James Franco-produced lit mag)– is a truly alien form of avant-garde freakwave. Lend your ears to their looping tape noise (disintegration incarnate) and saxophone sounds easily mistook for the pleasure wales of fornicating dolphins, and discover that the finite world is overrated.

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Week in Shows: Teen Dreams Abound, Discover Digipoetics, and More

(Flyer by Alec Lambert)

(Flyer by Alec Lambert)

The Night Before: Retail, White Rope, Deli Girls
Thursday January 19, 8 pm at The Gateway:$5 in advance/ $8 at the door

Well, there’s a super compressor of shows happening this week between now and, as The Gateway calls it “the inevitable.” And we can’t think of a better way to keep your spirits up and get the ol’ body machine moving than a Retail show. You’ve probably seen retail, since they’re one of the hardest working bands in Brooklyn, a borough full of musicians who churn out records, shows and, in Retail’s case, self-replication by way of march, at a grind-till-death pace.

The question is whether that has been in the form of a sticker stuck to a dive bar bathroom door, or at an actual show— but if you know, then you know. If you don’t, you gotta go. The band’s new record Dead cranks it up by nearly every measure, with face-blasting screams that have the kind of sharpness shaped only by scar tissue. It’s majorly fast, unadulterated hardcore. In other words, total catharsis.

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Shows this Week: Icons of Noise Do the Supergroup + Knockdown Stays Nasty

(Flyer via Knockdown Center/ 'Nasty Women' & 'Stay Nasty')

(Flyer via Knockdown Center/ ‘Nasty Women’ & ‘Stay Nasty’)

Stay Nasty 
Thursday January 12 through Sunday January 15 at Knockdown Center: first night free, $10 individual, $20 all access pass

Earlier we told you about Nasty Women, the massive new exhibition bringing a whopping 1,000 pieces of art made by 700 artists (all of them women and female-identifying) to Knockdown Center this Friday. The organizers have lined up a “very diverse” group for the everything’s-for-sale exhibition (if you buy it, you get to drag it out the door with you that day), which pretty much guarantees a feeding frenzy. Sounds scary? Well, suck it up and relish in the competition because, seriously, when’s the last time you truly got excited about anything? Plus, if you can bring yourself to cough up a hundo bill–at the very most, since the art work must be priced at $100 or less (yup, that even applies to the fancy sparkly art stars involved in the show)– you can feel like a somewhat sorta decent half-human because all the proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood.

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Greenpoint’s Bar Matchless Strikes Back

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Both touring bands and local music fans (aka members of an aloof subculture that you wouldn’t understand) have probably felt a shifting tide. Over the summer, a huge wave of closings washed into Bushwick, sweeping away DIY spots like Palisades then Aviv while making its way through Greenpoint. When it finally crashed into downtown, it showed no mercy to even longtime establishments like The Stone (which plans to close in February of next year), and Cake Shop, with its perfectly legal bar and ten-year lease. Meanwhile, Market Hotel is treading water after cops conducted a “gotcha” raid in October. It might seem like from here on out the only alternatives (start going to Terminal 5? move to New Jersey?) are pretty grim, but at least one still-standing Brooklyn establishment is taking advantage of the vacuum to reimagine themselves as a venue.

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3 Ways to Lend a Small but Helping Hand to those Impacted by Oakland Fire

Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)

Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)

Whenever someone compares Brooklyn to Oakland, an angel loses its wings, and is sent plunging straight down to hell where the sexless being is reborn as an enormous phallus– imagine, like, a hedge fund manager or,  in some cases, a real-estate developer.

That’s because the observation usually has to do with the proximity of a relatively much more prosperous place like Manhattan or San Fransisco (actually those are mostly just super fancy places no matter how you slice it) and based on dumb facts like that you can take a train between the two (the BART, the MTA respectively). Oh, and there’s also that whole gentrification thing– like parts of Brooklyn, Oakland has been declared fabulously “up-and-coming” (barf).

The truth is that, aside from stupid comparisons like these–usually found in real-estate ads, or grunted between high-five’ing bros–Oakland and our beloved borough actually do have some real stuff in common.

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Week in Shows: Fresh Newgaze, Disco Misnomers, and Phish Swims Up Livestream

(Flyer via Sunnyvale)

(Flyer via Sunnyvale)

Guilty Giraffe, Disco Cream, Sooner, Yairms
Wednesday December 28, 8 pm at Sunnyvale: $10

Welcome back friends, orphans, Santa assassins, and gainfully employed. This is our time to shine. Join us in grabbing life by the tender parts while everyone else is still blubber-stuffed and belly-up on their parents’ couch, where life has little meaning, and existence sits somewhere between sleep apnea and dreams invaded by Wilford Brimley, who himself is napping, bloated and spread-eagle on a powder blue La-Z-Boy while diabetic sugar-plum fairies shimmy across his spittle-soaked mustache.

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Transgender Awareness Week: What To Do + Where to Donate

(flyer via Audre Lorde Project / Facebook)

(flyer via Audre Lorde Project / Facebook)

Life seems pretty bleak post-November 9, and even moreso when you consider that 2016 has been declared the “deadliest year on record” for transgender individuals in America, with 24 trans people– predominantly women of color– murdered so far.

This week, GLAAD’s Transgender Awareness Week continues, culminating on Sunday with the Transgender Day of Awareness. Founded in 1998 by a trans advocate in honor of trans woman Rita Hester’s memory, TDOR has been commemorated every year by vigils and other community-based events. Here are several goings-on this week, fun and solemn alike, that are either directly affiliated with Trans Awareness Week or serve to spotlight and lift up trans and queer individuals or groups.

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Killer Shows: UFO Landing, Taking Back the ‘Demon’ Inspired by Michael Brown Case

(Flyer via AdHoc)

(Flyer via AdHoc)

Trash Talk, Antwon, Black Noise
Tuesday November 1, 8 pm to 11:30 pm at Brooklyn Bazaar: $15

Here’s to hoping you made it to Aviv Monday night for the grand finale. Super sad face. Actually, the last show was more of a bittersweet bye-bye for the DIY venue since the owners have promised a triumphant return ASAP, just as soon as they find a new space. RIP for now BBs, see you on the other side and all that.

Until then, we’re facing seriously slim pickins when it comes to decent venues that don’t require you to check your soul at the door in exchange to watch your favorite bands transform into blands right before your very eyes.

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Gig Alert: Identity Tripping with Pujol, Testing the Limits of Adorable

(Image via Baby's All Right)

(Image via Baby’s All Right)

Hinds, Cold Fronts, Navy Gangs
Friday October 30, 7 pm at Baby’s All Right: $20

I’m just as averse to the term “girl band” as the next girl, but for some reason I can’t resist calling Hinds, an indie rock outfit rolling into town this week from Madrid, a babe band. Before anyone gets all riled up and loses their breakfast sandwich over the label, remember that “babe” is a gender-neutral term and, secondly, a person can qualify as a babe for a number of reasons.

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Your Near Future in Music: A Vulture Rises + Duchess Says Get Spooky

(Flyer via Duchess Says/ Shea Stadium)

(Flyer via Duchess Says/ Shea Stadium)

Duchess Says
Friday October 14, 8 pm at Shea Stadium: $8
Saturday October 15, 8 pm at Elvis Guesthouse: $10 – $12

Duchess Says is the ’80s freak-wave/post-punk band you never knew you were dying for. Hailing from Montreal, they’re out to prove that Montreal’s really gaining on NYC right now in every way. And who can resist a band that sounds a whole like like what would happen if the Cars and the Slits had two babies, both born under the darkest of stars, then those babies mated with Halloween incarnate, then all the resulting offspring started a band. Yup. Picture that one.

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