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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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Make American Gay Again, Theater As Light, and More Performance To Ease The Pain

WEDNESDAY

(image via Ars Nova / Facebook)

(image via Ars Nova / Facebook)

Make America Gay Again
Wednesday, January 18 at Ars Nova, 8 pm: $15

By now, the phrase Make America Great Again pretty much seems like old hat. Which is also a pun I didn’t mean to make, but there it is. Tonight, performance artist Chris Tyler hopes to put his own ribald spin on MAGA with this spangled variety show, claiming while that America has never been particularly great or even particularly good, it has indeed been “more than a little bit gay.” Republicans are welcome to this affair, though it’s unclear what their fate shall be when they arrive. The lineup includes “drag queens, poets, and punk musicians” such as performance artist Emily Oliveira, drag queen Kelsey, local rockers Gandor Chorale, Pussy Grabs Back: The Band, writer Jess Goldschmidt, and more. Advance tickets are sold out, but a waitlist begins at the theater at 7:30.

THURSDAY

(image via What A Joke Festival)

(image via What A Joke Festival)

What A Joke Festival
January 19-21 at various locations and times: $15-40

Speaking of old hat, this nationwide comedy festival has its own red baseball cap, only it’s a lot less optimistic than what old Donald’s spouting. Yes, you can get your very own red cap sporting the phrase “WHAT A JOKE” so you can air your feelings about the state of the world without having to open your mouth. If headwear isn’t your thing, consider the comedy fest itself: the NYC chapter will be doing 3 shows in 3 days at The Stand, The Annoyance, and Rough Trade. The cheapest show ($15) is already sold out, but the other two are ripe for the buyin’. Each show features a slew of some of the city’s most delightful funny folk (such as Janeane Garofalo, Nikki Glaser, Dave Hill, and more), and not only that, but money made from the festival will go to the ACLU. If all you can do at this point is laugh, you might as well laugh for a good cause.

A Ghostlight Project participant (image via Ghostlight Project)

A Ghostlight Project participant (image via Ghostlight Project)

Ghostlight Project
Thursday, January 19 at various locations, 5:30 pm: FREE

This isn’t a performance per se, but an organized gathering of theaters and theater artists nationwide on January 19 at 5:30 pm. People will gather outside their theater of choice, whether they are directly involved with it or not, as a symbol of community and solidarity and to act as a “light for the dark times ahead.” It may seem fruitless to merely be gathering at this point in time, but sometimes all you can do is stand with each other as a reminder that despite who’s in charge, there are plenty of people around you willing to welcome you and fight for you. Participants nearby include The Public Theater, BAM, Fourth Arts Block, Abrons Arts Center, and The Bushwick Starr.

FRIDAY

(flyer via Queer Abstract / Facebook)

(flyer via Queer Abstract / Facebook)

Queer Abstract: What Gets You Free
Friday, January 20 at Starr Bar, 9 pm: FREE

On the dreaded day that the “Elect” in “President-Elect” becomes no longer, recover from your time spent either staring at or avoiding a bunch of old white people who don’t know what they’re doing by attending this late-night performance event featuring queer, trans, and POC performers. AKA: hopefully our future. A new monthly series at Mayday Space’s Starr Bar curated and hosted by Shannon Matesky, Queer Abstract showcases performers of all sorts, followed by a dance party after the show. This month includes comedian Joel Kim Booster (Conan), dancer Nicole Shante, poet Jayson P Smith, musician Jeannine Kayembe, and many more.

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Celebrate Leonard Cohen With a Tribute Concert and Film Series

The next month or so will bring many an opportunity to honor the late, great Leonard Cohen. You’re already aware that Film Forum is screening the tour documentary Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire. And you may have heard about “Sincerely, L. Cohen,” the tribute concert scheduled for January 24 at Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets went on sale today). That show will feature Joan as Policewoman, Richard Thompson, Lenny Kaye of Patti Smith Group, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Ian O’Neil of Deer Tick, and Hannah Cohen (no relation), among others. To top it all off, Anthology Film Archives has announced a film program that will pay tribute to the Canadian crooner, who died in November.

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Gowanus BBQ Joint Pig Beach Opens a Grown-Up Spot, Pig Bleecker

(Photo: Katie B. Foster)

(Photo: Katie B. Foster)

Just a couple of months after Gowanus barbecue joint Pig Beach converted itself into a seasonal burger joint, the restaurant remains on Eater’s “heat map” of the hottest restaurants in Brooklyn. Now, good news for Manhattanites: You’ll no longer have to persevere the F train to get a taste of it. Pig Beach just opened a Greenwich Village outpost.

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New One From El Cortez; Egg-Waffle Cones Hit LES

Members of the Williamsburg Montessori School community are advocating for a crossing guard, speed bump and school zone signs on Kent Avenue, where a 21-year-old man died in December after he was pulled under the wheels of a tractor-trailer. [DNA Info]

In Williamsburg’s Hasidic enclave last Tuesday, police say two Yiddish-speaking men in a van attempted to entice a 12-year-old boy and then a 10-year-old girl with a lollipop. [Patch]

On E. 2nd Street, Houston Street Beer Distributors recently encountered the wrecking ball, making way for a seven-unit residential building. [EV Grieve] Keep Reading »

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A Trump Voodoo Doll and 7 Other Highlights of the Nasty Women Show

Saturday night at "Nasty Women" (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Saturday night at “Nasty Women” (Photo: Nicole Disser)

By the time I arrived at Knockdown Center on Saturday night for day two of Nasty Women– the four-day, all-women exhibition and giant middle finger directed at Trump–the place had been all but cleaned out. All anyone could talk about was the “epic” turnout for opening night– even the shuttle bus driver sounded beat when he told me how he helped move “thousands” of people back and forth between Knockdown and the Jefferson stop.

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Last Look at Fong Inn Too, Gone After Eight Decades in Chinatown

(Photo: Nick McManus)

(Photo: Nick McManus)

One of Chinatown’s oldest businesses, Fong Inn Too, shuttered over the weekend after 82 years in business. It was thought to be the oldest family-run tofu shop in the country. Opened in 1933 by a Guangzhou immigrant, Geu Yee Eng, the Mott Street shop grew into a factory churning out about 10,000 squares of tofu per day. Still, in 2011, third-generation owner David Eng told WNYC that business was “terribly slow,” and lamented that the family’s fourth generation had no interest in taking it over.

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Jennifer Rubell, Art By Animals, and More Art Openings To Investigate

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

(flyer via The Living Gallery / Facebook)

Emergence: Emerging Artists in New York
Opening Tuesday January 17 at The Living Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. One night only. 

The term “emerging artist” has been a bit of a buzzword for quite some time now. To some, it means someone who has literally just started creating, to others, it is someone who’s been on the scene for a couple years but hasn’t won any fancy awards. And sometimes it’s somewhere in between. But this art show really owns the title in a way that’s clear: simply, Emergence is showing work by New York artists who have never shown their work in a gallery before. There will be over 20 artists covering the gallery in their work, whether it be painting and sculpture, performance, or even fashion pieces. Come one, come all, and witness the emergence.

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Browse Recipes and Laze Away the Day at Brooklyn Kitchen’s New Library

A recent cooking demo.(Photo courtesy Brooklyn Kitchen).

A recent cooking demo.(Photo courtesy Brooklyn Kitchen).

Where there once was a butcher, there now are books. Williamsburg cooking store Brooklyn Kitchen has decided to scrap (get it, scrap?) its butcher counter and has replaced it with an inviting area where customers can peruse cookbooks and food magazines, including a collection of Gourmet that dates back to 1943.

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LES Residents Are ‘Rent Burdened’; Cookie Pantsuit For Hillary

According to the real estate brokerage firm MNS, Lower East Side tenants are among the city’s most “rent burdened” because on average, household incomes are lower than many other neighborhoods. Residents paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent are considered rent burdened. [DNA Info]

Meanwhile, tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., financial and real estate professional (including notorious landlord Ben Shaoul) will participate in a talk at Landmark Sunshine Cinema called, “L.E.S. is MORE.” [Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY]

Bushwick-based photographer Delphine Diallo collaborated with Shepard Fairey on a portrait that will be used prominently in “We The People,” an Amplifier Foundation-backed social justice campaign kicking off on Inauguration Day. [Bushwick Daily]
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Prepare to Get Buzzed With a Former Child Star at All-Wise Meadery

Odin would be proud (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Odin would be proud (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

It used to be that throwback drinking meant quaffing Prohibition-era cocktails and Hemingway sippers. But these days, we’re seeing an emphasis on even older traditions, and a resurgence of traditional techniques that have long fallen out of use. Mead, the fermented honey drink that was made as early as 7000 BC in China and was drunk in North Europe during the Bronze Age, is making a comeback that started in the homebrew community and grew outward. And in just a few short months, Williamsburg will be home to one of the largest mead brewing operations in the country.

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Audio: Williamsburg’s Italians Don’t Like Being Called ‘The Leftovers’

The inevitable arrival of Lululemon is only the latest affront to Williamsburg. And nobody knows that better than the Italian community that has been there since the mid-1800s. As Leonora Russo, the “Queen of Williamsburg,” told us before she died in November, the neighborhood is “growing so fast… They started building condos, condos, and condos. It’s all we have now, condos, condos.” While longstanding traditions such as the Giglio Feast have survived that hyper-gentrification, East Williamsburg’s Italian Americans are feeling the pinch. We spoke to three life-long residents about what has changed, and what’s left today. Play the above sound file to hear their story.