Art + Culture

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Are You Afraid of the Art? Bringing Modern Art Back to the People One Blow at a Time

Flyer via Artenol

Flyer via Artenol

Alexander Melamid speaks in sweeping terms, which is exactly how you might expect a 70-year-old Russian émigré to see the world.  “If the system sucks, everyone sucks within the system,” he boomed. “You cannot be right within the wrong system.” This can be intimidating at first. After all, Melamid is the co-founder, along with Vitaly Komar, of Sots Art, what is sometimes referred to as “Soviet Pop Art.” This is someone whose work many of us have read about in art history books, and so his declarations hold considerable weight for us comparatively smaller people.

But if it were up to Melamid, he’d have those books destroyed.

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B+B Premiere: Dig This TAOTSS Video For "Bare Bones," Before their Album Drops at the Gutter


The first email I received about the new video for The Adventures of the Silver Spaceman (TAOTSS) from frontman Zachary James Ellis said something about a “yurt” with no cell service. When I caught up with Ellis via phone, he told me he was on a retreat, writing songs in Paonia, in western Colorado. With the Rockefeller tree about to be lit, tourist crowds reaching saturation levels, the L train acting like a jilted lover, and a drizzle erasing what few hours of daylight exist at this longitude, we could all be a little jealous.
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Stop Whatever You're Doing The Bedford Stop Has a New Clip Out


Our favorite show of the millennium, The Bedford Stop has released a new clip (via Gothamist) and it’s imperative you drop whatever it is that you’re doing and see it. Because clearly, there’s nothing more “relevant” out there. As Alex told us over cocktails at Café Colette back in November, “Williamsburg is extremely relevant, the things we do are extremely relevant, and why not broadcast that if we have someone who’s willing and has the connections to do it?”
The fact that a reality show about brunching in Brooklyn now exists is clear indication that we’ve reached the Golden Age of Not-on-Television Television, which can only mean it’s all down hill from here, baby.
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Bodega Bay Member Made a 'Leather Jacket' Ode to the 60's Underground, They Read By Night

Still from "They Read By Night" (Courtesy of Joe Wakeman)

Still from “They Read By Night” (Courtesy of Joe Wakeman)

We’re only experiencing half of Joe Wakeman’s creative self when he’s belting out meta lyrics and writhing his wiry body around stage, frontman duties for his arty indie rock outfit Bodega Bay. He’s part of a network of pals in various other bands like The Yin Yangs, Heavy Birds, and Journalism. Together, they make up a bitty scene of their own within the Bushwick DIY circuit.
Joe’s managed to bring all of them together for his first feature length film, which embodies that other half of Joe Wakeman most of us have yet to see. They Read By Night is “leather jacket film” with plenty of drugs, rock n’ roll, and pulpy mayhem, all against a clever literary background. The film premieres at Gravesend Recordings next week in Bushwick. We were lucky enough to see the film in advance, but for your viewing pleasure here’s a first-look at the trailer and a bit of what we discussed about the film with Joe when we recently caught up with him at Birdy’s.
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Film: Dangle for Expanded Cinema and See Marnie's BF Looking Not So Hot


Iraqi Odyssey 
Thursday Dec. 3, 6:05 pm and 9:20 pm at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue: $14
How much do you know about Iraq, like really? Take away the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein, and our 43rd President’s awful pronunciation of the name belonging to a country that’s informed so much public discussion in the past few decades (but so little real understanding), and we’re guessing the answer is: not so much. Iraqi ex-pat filmmaker Samir takes viewers on an informative trip through his homeland’s history through a very personal lens, his family tree.
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Berlin's 'Trash Drag' Scene Invades Brooklyn Tonight

From left, Taylor

From left, Taylor di Pasquale (aka Olympia kkakkkakis) and Derek Marshall (Photo by Nicole Disser)

“It resonated with me, completely,” said Derek Marshall, owner of the underground queer bar The Club. He was recalling the first time he’d seen his friend Taylor di Pasquale perform as his “trash drag” persona, Olympia Bukkakis. “Here is this person who gets up there and is in a position of great power, but decides to empower people with collective weirdness– by telling your own, authentic story it normalizes the experience of everyone else who’s in the audience.” More →

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Week in Shows: ‘Creepy Crawlycore’ and M Lamar’s Radical, Black Metal Opera

(Flyer via Cooper Union/ Facebook)

(Flyer via Cooper Union/ Facebook)

PC Worship‘s EP release show is coming up this week at Palisades, as we trust you know from last week’s interview with Justin Frye. But there’s plenty else to get your hips poppin’ till then. Scroll your roll and see what’s in store.

An Evening with M Lamar
Monday, Nov. 30, 7 pm at Cooper Union: FREE
M Lamar is the “negro gothic devil-worshipping free black man in the blues tradition” you’ve undoubtedly been dying to see perform since we wrote about him back in September. The multi-talented, epically outspoken musician, composer, opera singer, and visual artist’s shows are enthralling not simply because M Lamar is a magnetic force all his own (just try being in a room alone with him, you’ve never feel so gazed-at in all your life, I promise), but because his operatic compositions wrestle with the deeply troubling history and harsh, continuing reality of racial injustice in this country. Lamar’s central aims are agitation and awakening, so prepare to be moved.

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The Walls Have Eyes at This Interactive Exhibit Where Tech And Art Collide

If The Walls Had Eyes by Luxloop.

If The Walls Had Eyes by LuxLoop (photo: Skye Morse-Hodgson)

Art openings are interesting entities. They’re often more of a social event than a chance to really take in art. At the opening of MediaLounge, a refreshingly engaging exhibit of new media art at the Westbeth Gallery curated by Katherine Freer, attendees got not only the characteristic smalltalk and free wine but the chance to make electronic music, watch a film on a virtual reality device, create bursts of color with a few quick smacks, wander through a forest of light, view Star Wars in the form of one LED light and more.

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PC Worship’s Basement Hysteria is Out, Justin Frye Guides Us (Partway) Through the Haze

"Basement Hysteria," PC Worship's new EP is out on Northern Spy Records (Via PC Worship/ Bandcamp)

“Basement Hysteria,” PC Worship’s new EP is out on Northern Spy Records (Via PC Worship/ Bandcamp)

Let’s face it, this coming weekend is pretty much guaranteed to be a wash of regret and sorrow. But there’s a light at the end of this vortex of darkness (just the first in a long series of them throughout the holiday season): PC Worship‘s Basement Hysteria release party is happening at Palisades next week. We first spoke (extensively, too) with Justin Frye back in September when the band’s new release was still a fairly far-off thing. Now that the four-track EP is finally out we had some new questions for Mr. Frye. (Oh, and don’t go straight to the disappointed sighs– Basement Hysteria may be an EP, but it clocks in at over 40 minutes.)

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Vaginal Davis Returns to New York, Taking on Sculpture and Mozart

Vaginal Davis (Photo by Hector, courtesy of Invisible-Exports)

Vaginal Davis (Photo by Hector, courtesy of Invisible-Exports)

Vaginal Davis is undeniably one of the most prolific artists to come out of the ’70s punk scene. The black, inter-sex born, self-declared outsider artist is nothing short of a queer icon. And even though she’s from Los Angeles (South Central, to be precise), she has a special place in New York City, where she’s had a serious impact on contemporary underground culture– the Bushwick drag scene is particularly indebted to her, as Davis is one of the founding mothers of “terrorist drag.”

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