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Next Up at the Newsroom: Andrew WK, Dave Hill, Phantom Tollbooth and More

lectureWe’ve got just a couple of weeks left at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom and we’ve packed them with a dizzying/dazzling array of screenings, discussions, and, er, party lectures? We’ll share more about each event as the date nears, but for now here’s a proper schedule so you can mark your calendars. We’ll be livestreaming whenever possible, but your best bet is to join us in person at 155 Grand St., off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg. All events are free and start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Follow us at on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates.

Indie Publishers Press On! A talk with the founders of three small presses: Jordan McIntyre of The Crumpled Press, Rami Shamir of Underground Editions and Katelan Foisy of Knickerbocker Circus. More here.

WED., OCT. 23
A screening of Dirty Old Town followed by a talk with the film’s star Billy Leroy and filmmakers Jenner Furst, Daniel B. Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. More here.

A screening of The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations followed by a talk with director Hannah Jayanti. More here.

FRI., OCT. 25
A screening of The Domino Effect followed by a talk with the filmmakers about development in North Brooklyn.

SUN., OCT. 27
Comedy night featuring Dave Hill, Greg Barris, Sara Armour, Matteo Lane and Neal Stastny. Hosted by Natalie Shure.

MON., OCT 28
An Evening with Vice. Jason Mojica, editor-in-chief of Vice News, and Rocco Castoro, editor-in-chief of Vice Media, discuss Vice’s evolution from the fringes to the mainstream.

TUES., OCT. 29
A party lecture by Andrew W.K. featuring wisdom from the musician’s forthcoming book The Party Bible.

WEDS., OCT. 30
How to Grow a Label in Brooklyn: a talk with the founders of indie record labels Captured Tracks, Loma Vista, and Cascine.

See previous Newsroom events here, and keep checking back — we’re posting footage daily.

The Bedford + Bowery Newsroom, 155 Grand. St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Wednesday: See Billy Leroy On the Big Screen and in Person


We were devastated — really just devastated — when Billy Leroy, star of Travel Channel’s Baggage Battlestold us he had ditched plans to return to the old spot on Houston Street where he sold subway signs, skulls, and sundries out of a tent. It’s not like we ever had room to keep a stuffed coyote in our apartment, and our taste in art doesn’t really tend toward blue demons — but everyone knows Billy’s Antiques & Props was one of the last holdovers from the days before “metro-suburbanites,” as Billy likes to call them, swarmed the Bowery in flip-flops. Which is why Jim Jarmusch showed up at the closing party.

Wednesday, that green tent will live again — on the big screen — as we present Dirty Old Town at the B+B Newsroom. (The event is free: just let us know you’re coming.) This fine work of cinema verité portrays Billy as an antiques dealer — and a “leader of fools and king of gypsies” — who has 72 hours to make the rent, or his landlord will turn his junk store into a Starbucks. All the while Billy has to resist the advances of a young party vixen played by Janell Shirtcliff (it’s hard out there for a props dealer) who also has her claws in a preppy restaurateur played by Paul Sevigny of Beatrice Inn. (Sevigny’s band A.R.E Weapons contributed an ode to gentrification, “Parking Lot,” to the soundtrack.) Maybe the best part: Scott Dillin, an ex-cop who actually patrolled the mean streets of the LES back in the bad old days, plays a hard-drinking, wrong-thinking boy in blue.

Are you starting to see why Abel Ferrara presented Dirty Old Town when it premiered in Manhattan? Take it from the man himself: “This film is fucking real.”

So join us Wednesday at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg as we screen this insta-classic and then talk to the film’s star, Billy Leroy, as well as the filmmakers, Jenner Furst, Daniel B. Levin and Julia Willoughby Nason. Furst and Levin will also be taking questions about Captured, their documentary about LES photographer Clayton Patterson (who also has a part in Dirty Old Town). Stop in and have a Stumptown stubbie on us.

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Tuesday at the Newsroom: Indie Publishers Press On!


According to popular legend, the death knell tolled for print publishing years ago. But while industry insiders threw up their hands in defeat and the giant Borders crumbled to its knees, there were those in the shadows that refused to hear the bell’s call. Tomorrow at the Newsroom, we’ll talk to some local indie publishers who refused to go quietly into the digital night. Join us Tuesday, Oct. 22, as they speak to the challenges and opportunities facing independent print publishing. As always, the event is free — just let us know you’re coming.

Rami Shamir is the author of the acclaimed novel Train to Pokipse and a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award for fiction. He started Underground Editions in 2011 with partner Adam Void. The pair established a national distribution network of 40 independent booksellers while maintaining a total boycott of its titles from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. In addition to publishing Shamir’s novel, Underground Editions has released three other titles including the train-hopping travelogue from graffiti artists Droid 907 and AVOID, Live the Dream, learn to Die 2.

Katelan Foisy is a visual artist specializing in collage and mixed media painting. Her memoir, Blood and Pudding, was called The Best Book of 2010 by Words with Jam magazine. Knickerbocker Circus began in a Lower East Side café in 2009 and was designed to give artists more creative control over their own works and to embrace those artists overlooked by traditional genres.

Jordan McIntyre is the founding editor and sole owner of The Crumpled Press, which he began in 2004 to showcase new authors and provided a space for established writers to say something new. McIntrye has published two books of poetry including Crumpled Press’s inaugural publication, Still Leaves.

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Thursday: A Free Screening of The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations


When the classic children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, laudatory articles were written about it, parents named their children Milo in record numbers, and seriously devoted fans tattooed the iconic Tock the watchdog on their bodies. But lost amidst most of the celebration was the unlikely story of the book’s creation. Lucky for us, Greenpoint-based documentary filmmaker Hannah Jayanti decided to dig a little deeper, spending two years interviewing author Norton Juster, illustrator Jules Feiffer and their multi-generational legion of fans.

The result, The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations, premiered at the New Yorker Film Festival earlier this month. Tickets to the premier sold out in less than 10 minutes, but Bedford + Bowery is pleased to announce a special screening of the film on October 24 at 7 p.m. It will be followed by a Q&A with the director. (The event is free, just let us know you’re coming.)
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Monday: An Evening With the Owners of the Night


Sure, it’s fun to sit around remembering CBGB and the Mudd Club, but what about the great clubs and creative hubs of today? Join us Monday at the B+B Newsroom as five trailblazers of North Brooklyn nightlife discuss the state of play circa 2013.

John Barclay will be coming off of a win this week’s Paper Nightlife Awards, where his Bossa Nova Civic Club scored Best New Club (New York considers it the Best Dance Club, period, and gave it another shout-out in last month’s Everything Guide to Dancing).

Barclay operated 285 Kent before legendary DIY promoter Todd Patrick (aka Todd P) turned it into a nightly destination for all-ages indie rock shows. Patrick, also the founder of Showpaper, is now in the midst of reopening beloved underground spot Market Hotel as a fully licensed indie music venue; last month he announced he was also reopening the original location of Silent Barn as a yet-to-be-named artist’s studio space and an all-ages venue for avant-garde and experimental music.

Also joining us will be Peter Shapiro, who owned celebrated Tribeca club Wetlands before opening Brooklyn Bowl in 2009. A couple of months ago, the bowl-o-drome announced its expansion to London and Las Vegas. Shapiro, also the publisher of Relix magazine and a founder of the Great GoogaMooga, recently relaunched Lower East Side burlesque mecca The Slipper Room and the venerable Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.

Jify Shah will be coming off of a blockbuster week at his Williamsburg venue, Cameo, which just hosted CMJ showcases by some B+B favorites (Mexican Summer, Cascine, Wild Honey Pie, etc.). In addition to attracting some of Brooklyn’s most exciting indie-rock and electronic acts and DJs, Cameo is New York‘s Best Stand-Up spot of 2010, thanks to house fixture Max Silvestri.

In 2008, Jake Rosenthal co-founded PopGun Presents, which produces concerts, parties, festivals and events around town. He and his partner Rami Haykal began booking Glasslands — one of B+B’s favorite places to catch a show — in 2009 and assumed ownership of the Williamsburg venue last year.

We’ll get the party started Monday at 7 p.m., at 155 Grand St., off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg.

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The Author of Dealers On Weed: ‘Pump It into Public School Systems’

The Author of Dealers On Weed: ‘Pump It into Public School Systems’

Peter Madsen will be at the B+B Newsroom tomorrow to join director Will Robson-Scott in a post-screening discussion about “Chi Raq,” Robson-Scott’s documentary about Chicago gang violence. Today, we spoke to Madsen about his new book, “Dealers.”

Peter Madsen’s Dealers collects interviews with 15 New York City drug dealers including a weed-peddling bike courier who doesn’t even smoke the stuff and a coke dealer with a penchant for losing his vials and coming up short — plus a favor-granting doorman of a luxury building in Flatiron. Madsen, who lives in Williamsburg, has also compiled hundreds of man-on-the-street interviews he conducted starting in 2010 that you can check out on his blog, Word on the Street New York. Here’s the B+B Q+A.
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TONIGHT: Cycling Advocates Roll Into the Newsroom


Used to be that bike messengers were just about the only ones willing to brave the mean streets on two wheels, but we now live in an age where even dogs are riding bikes. Join us tonight and grab a free Stumptown stubbie (plus one for the road) as some spokespeople who’ve seen it all discuss the evolution of biking culture in NYC.

Keegan Stephan will have some news to share: this week the writer, activist, and co-host of “Bike Talk” (WBAI) announced the creation of Bike Yard, a pop-up for cooperative bike repair that’ll be located in Havemayer Park through next year. Stephan founded Cranked Up!, a cycle club and advocacy group, while at Sarah Lawrence and, after graduating, opened a bike shop in the South Bronx. He started volunteering — as a mechanic and eventually as an instructor, administrator, and organizer — at the legendary environmentalist non-profit Time’s Up in 2010 and went on to revitalize Right of Way, the direct-action street justice group best known for its unauthorized bike lanes.

Brendt Barbur started the Bicycle Film Festival in 2001 after he was hit by a bus while riding in New York City. The festival — along with Joyride, its affiliated art show — has since gone beyond the streets of the East Village to become a worldwide phenomenon, and has traveled to over 50 cities (it made a stop in London earlier this month and visits North Carolina next week). This year’s New York installment featured 60 screenings of bike-related films and a blowout performance by Blonde Redhead.

AJ Nichols was repairing and selling bicycles out of a basement studio — and teaching at 3rd Ward — before he took a storefront on Bushwick Avenue this past summer and opened Harvest Cyclery, a vintage and used bike shop with a focus on reclaiming underappreciated rides.

Daniel Leeb is a documentary filmmaker also known for his video installation work with artists such as Doug Aitken and avant garde musician Hisham Bharoocha. In 2003, he founded Cinecycle, a Williamsburg-based production company and boutique marketing studio that, among other things, has documented the rise of bike messenger culture in cities around the world — most notably in a short film, “Messenger,” that was commissioned by Puma in 2004.

They’ll all be coasting into the Newsroom at 7 p.m., so join us then at 155 Grand Street, off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg.

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Watch It Live: A Bushwick Writers Confab

Can’t make it to our tonight? Worry not: we’re coming at you live. Watch and listen as Brando Skyhorse, author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, reads from his forthcoming memoir, Five Fathers; Paul Rome reads from his debut novel, We All Sleep in the Same Room, out this month; and Patricia E. Gillespie reads her poems from the recently published anthology, Bushwick Poems. And then keep on watching as they chat about living and writing in the neighborhood. The stream starts around 7 p.m.

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Tonight! See These Bushwick Writers and Sip Free Stumptown


Earlier this week we got some literary types togeth to , and now we go east to Bushwick. Tonight at the Newsroom, a trio of Bushwickians will read from their recent work and talk about writing in the neighborhood. To keep you riveted, we’re giving away stubbies of Stumptown cold brew. So, yeah!, come see:

Brando SkyhorseThe LA-born author of the highly praised debut novel The Madonnas of Echo Park (winner of the PEN/Hemingway award and Sue Kaufman Prize) is a fixture at KGB‘s Sunday Night Fiction series in the East Village, but he actually makes his home in Bushwick. Tonight he’ll read from his forthcoming book, Five Fathers. The memoir of growing up with five stepfathers and being a Mexican-American who was raised as a Native American will be published in June of 2014 by Simon & Schuster.

Paul Rome: You’ve seen this guy around. He manages the Wyckoff Starr and his performance literature has packed the house at the Bushwick Starr — so he has a lot of starr power? Anyway, his debut novel, We All Sleep in the Same Room, comes out this month (see the just released book trailer). The psychological bender, about the unraveling of a Union Square labor lawyer, has already been called “a powerful symphony of melancholy and wisdom” by National Book Award finalist Howard Norman.

Patricia E. Gillespie is a professional filmmaker whose writing appears in Bushwick Poetry, a just published anthology of Bushwick poets. She teaches at the New York Film Academy.

7 p.m. at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom, 155 Grand St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg