Arts + Culture

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The Best Brooklyn Bands We Saw at CMJ

Ava Luna (Photo: Gustavo Ponce)

Ava Luna (Photo: Gustavo Ponce)

CMJ seems to have been a success this year — or at least, that’s what a handful of Brooklyn club owners said when we spoke to them earlier this week. Peter Shapiro said Steven Spielberg dropped into Brooklyn Bowl, Jake Rosenthal said Glasslands was sold out every night, and Todd P seems to have come around to the fest.
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A Couple of Pianos Bookers Have Opened Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg

Last night after our talk with four Brooklyn club operators, Zachary Mexico and Billy Jones, who attended the event, invited us over to their new club Baby’s All Right for a tour.

The bar and live music venue, located in a former plumbing supply warehouse at 146 Broadway, is now “openish,” having hosted a Brooklyn Vegan’s CMJ showcase last weekend, but it might be a couple of weeks before it’s fully open for what Mexico describes as a “nice clean lunch” during the day and “experimental bar food” at night.
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Peaches Does Herself Is an Anti-Jukebox Musical That Takes ‘Cock Rock’ Very Seriously

The film opens on a podium, where a stuffy professor lectures in un-subtitled German sprinkled with English words: “Teaches of Peaches,” “rock mainstream,” “Fatherfucker,” “clitoris.” Then he disappears, replaced by Berlin-based girl group Jolly Good, both wearing Plasmatics T-shirts and screeching “Rock Show.” It’s the first of 22 songs by the Canadian electro-clash rocker Peaches, best known for Lost in Translation’s “Fuck the Pain Away.”
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Wednesday: See Billy Leroy On the Big Screen and in Person

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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!

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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

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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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Forget Banksy, The Katz’s Pop-Up Has Hanksy… and Kenzo Minami

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A while back, we clued you into the pop-up that Katz’s Delicatessen was opening next to its longtime digs. The Space, at 203 East Houston, launches with a party at 7 p.m. tomorrow, and it turns out the deli’s taste in artists is as sharp as its pastrami blades. No, they didn’t get Banksy (he was busy hitting the Upper West Side, Staten Island and Chelsea over the weekend) but on board for the collab are self-declared “fartist” Hanksy, Baron Von Fancy (maker of the “Blow Me” balloon), Rich Tu, and Kenzo Minami.
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Monday: An Evening With the Owners of the Night

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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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Tom Wolfe Wants To Read More About Hipsters

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today, speaking at our own Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Tom Wolfe was asked what aspect of contemporary New York life he’d like to see reported on more often. To which the famed author responded, with total earnestness, “I have never seen a profile of the hipster.”

Seriously, Tom? You’ve never seen a profile of a hipster? Clearly the Man in the White Suit hasn’t met the Gray Lady, having somehow missed the The Times‘s near weekly anthropological fascination with said species (see How I Became a Hipster, Caught in the Hipster Trap, and The Hipster in the Mirror for a quick primer).
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