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Take A Day Off With A-Trak and the Fool’s Gold Gang

A-Trak (Photo: A-Trak Official Facebook Page)

A-Trak (Photo: A-Trak Official Facebook Page)

Traditionally, “fool’s gold” was associated, as its name suggests, with a yellow-tinged mineral, typically mistaken for its more valuable doppelgänger. But there’s no confusion about Fool’s Gold Records.

From the label’s distinctive image to its dynamic, hard-to-pin down roster of artists, since 2007 “Fool’s Gold” has come to stand for originality and a damn good time. Having discovered Kid Cudi, re-discovered Danny Brown and introduced the delectable Duck Sauce to the world, the label’s success can largely be attributed to its musical prospectors/co-founders, Nick Catchdubs and Alain “A-Trak” Macklovitch.

In the run-up to the return of their annual Labor Day flagship party, Day Off, taking place at Brooklyn Live at the Inlet, we caught up with A-Trak to find out a bit more about what to expect from this year’s event, whether laptops killed the turntablism star and what exactly the deal is with his label’s preoccupation with ducks.

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7 Wacky Things to Do at Waku Waku, a Cavalcade of Japanese Pop Culture

Always dreamt of traveling to Japan but couldn’t face the 14-hour flight? If so, you’ll be glad to know that this weekend your biggest obstacle to experiencing all the cultural wonders of that far eastern isle will be a trip on the G train. Presenting the inaugural “Waku Waku + NYC” Japanese pop culture festival, a cornucopia of “anime, video, games, fine art, fashion, cosplay, food, music and sports” taking place at the Brooklyn Bowl, Verboten and the newly opened Brooklyn Expo Center. “Waku Waku” roughly translates to “excitement in a dream-like state.” With that in mind, we scoured the schedule in search of events likely to precipitate the most dream-worthy excitement, featured below.

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We Dodged the Selfie Sticks Inside of Soho’s Adult Ball Pit

Pearlfisher's hard at work (Photo: Rob Scher)

Pearlfishers hard at work (Photo: Rob Scher)

When I heard that an adult ball pit was opening in Soho, I jumped at the opportunity to cover it. And I wasn’t alone in my enthusiasm: 4,200 others booked half-hour slots in just a week. Maybe visitors to “Jump In!” really did want to awaken their inner child and channel the wealth of creative energy back into their day jobs. More likely, they envisioned a grown-up version of Chuck E. Cheese — a Charles Edward Cheese, if you will.

“I’m playing hooky from work,” admitted Kristin Ren as we took the elevator up to the fifth floor offices of Pearlfisher yesterday afternoon. Beside us stood an actual employee of the office, simply returning to work from a break void of reminisced childhood. “Yeah, it’s been fun,” semi-enthused the unnamed worker, his excitement understandably waning since his office took a turn toward a McDonald’s PlayPlace.

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9 Words That (Attempt To) Describe AfroPunk

Afropunk Fest 2015 (Photo: Andrew Moerdyk)

Afropunk Fest 2015 (Photo: Andrew Moerdyk)

It’s hard to fit AfroPunk into a box, which is kind of the point. The annual two-day music festival at Barry Commodore Park in Brooklyn is simply a concert, to some. For many others, though, “AfroPunk” is a noun, verb and adjective that describes the broader community and ethos this festival has come to represent over time. We caught up with a few of the thousands in attendance and asked them what exactly “AfroPunk” means to them.

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These Web Series Creators Are Willing to ‘Publicly Humiliate’ Themselves in a Juice Bar

Lauren Dortch-Crozier and Sarah Mack

Despite reaching their Kickstarter goal with one week left to go, actors Sarah Mack and Lauren Dortch-Crozier have a great deal for you. In exchange for continuing to generously support their web series “It’s Fine” (and help fund an extra episode), the two are willing to commit “several acts of public humiliation” in a Juice Generation.

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‘Chew-bacca On This’ and Other Highlights From Lightsaber Battle NYC 2015

“I’ma slice me some Jedi ass,” was the first of many threats I’d hear walking through Washington Square Park on Saturday night, as almost 2,000 people gathered to wave around glowing plastic tubes from China. In reality, there was very little in the way of actual slicing, but Lightsaber Battle NYC 2015 was not short on imaginative enthusiasm. Fandom and cosplay abounded as New Yorkers gathered in the name of the force and issued gems such as “Chew-bacca on this,” “Your force is weak, son,” and, the crowning of insulting incitations, “You suck Jar Jar Bink dick.”

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Please Don’t Tell Us There’s Another Speakeasy With a Telephone-Booth Entrance

Hell Phone's entrance (photo: Yannick Bindert)

Hell Phone’s entrance (photo: Yannick Bindert)

That was our first thought upon hearing of Hell Phone. But before we sharpened our pitchforks, it seemed worth paying a benefit-of-the-doubt-visit to the recently opened extension of the Ange Noir Café in Bushwick. Admittedly, they also had us at their offer of crepes.

The first thing to catch our eye was a chalkboard outside Ange Noir encouraging its customers to “go through the phone booth” inside. While in its modern conception the speakeasy has lost its critical need to be inconspicuous, this seemed gratuitous. But, as co-owner Anguy Pacini explained it, before you can have anonymity, you need customers.

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