Fire that killed dozens of people trapped inside the Ghost Ship, a DIY art space in Oakland December 3 2016 (Photo: Julianna Brown, via Wikipedia Commons, Flickr)
Whenever someone compares Brooklyn to Oakland, an angel loses its wings, and is sent plunging straight down to hell where the sexless being is reborn as an enormous phallus– imagine, like, a hedge fund manager or, in some cases, a real-estate developer.
That’s because the observation usually has to do with the proximity of a relatively much more prosperous place like Manhattan or San Fransisco (actually those are mostly just super fancy places no matter how you slice it) and based on dumb facts like that you can take a train between the two (the BART, the MTA respectively). Oh, and there’s also that whole gentrification thing– like parts of Brooklyn, Oakland has been declared fabulously “up-and-coming” (barf).
The truth is that, aside from stupid comparisons like these–usually found in real-estate ads, or grunted between high-five’ing bros–Oakland and our beloved borough actually do have some real stuff in common.
Guilty Giraffe, Disco Cream, Sooner, Yairms Wednesday December 28, 8 pm at Sunnyvale: $10
Welcome back friends, orphans, Santa assassins, and gainfully employed. This is our time to shine. Join us in grabbing life by the tender parts while everyone else is still blubber-stuffed and belly-up on their parents’ couch, where life has little meaning, and existence sits somewhere between sleep apnea and dreams invaded by Wilford Brimley, who himself is napping, bloated and spread-eagle on a powder blue La-Z-Boy while diabetic sugar-plum fairies shimmy across his spittle-soaked mustache.
Life seems pretty bleak post-November 9, and even moreso when you consider that 2016 has been declared the “deadliest year on record” for transgender individuals in America, with 24 trans people– predominantly women of color– murdered so far.
This week, GLAAD’s Transgender Awareness Week continues, culminating on Sunday with the Transgender Day of Awareness. Founded in 1998 by a trans advocate in honor of trans woman Rita Hester’s memory, TDOR has been commemorated every year by vigils and other community-based events. Here are several goings-on this week, fun and solemn alike, that are either directly affiliated with Trans Awareness Week or serve to spotlight and lift up trans and queer individuals or groups.
Trash Talk, Antwon, Black Noise Tuesday November 1, 8 pm to 11:30 pm at Brooklyn Bazaar: $15
Here’s to hoping you made it to Aviv Monday night for the grand finale. Super sad face. Actually, the last show was more of a bittersweet bye-bye for the DIY venue since the owners have promised a triumphant return ASAP, just as soon as they find a new space. RIP for now BBs, see you on the other side and all that.
Until then, we’re facing seriously slim pickins when it comes to decent venues that don’t require you to check your soul at the door in exchange to watch your favorite bands transform into blands right before your very eyes.
I’m just as averse to the term “girl band” as the next girl, but for some reason I can’t resist calling Hinds, anindie rock outfit rolling into town this week from Madrid, a babe band. Before anyone gets all riled up and loses their breakfast sandwich over the label, remember that “babe” is a gender-neutral term and, secondly, a person can qualify as a babe for a number of reasons.
Duchess Saysis the ’80s freak-wave/post-punk band you never knew you were dying for. Hailing from Montreal, they’re out to prove that Montreal’s really gaining on NYC right now in every way. And who can resist a band that sounds a whole like like what would happen if the Cars and the Slits had two babies, both born under the darkest of stars, then those babies mated with Halloween incarnate, then all the resulting offspring started a band. Yup. Picture that one.
Holiday Mountain, Coaches Wednesday September 28, 8 pm at Berlin: $8 in advance, $10 at the door
Even when they’re jamming an oversized banana down your throat, you might find it sorta hard to swallow Holiday Mountain‘s product. It’s almost as if that great, mushy mass they’re thrusting toward you isn’t edible at all, but something meant to linger in your cheek like a big chunk of chewing tobacco– mmm, actually let’s just go with Big League Chew, coz even though I’ve railed snuff a couple of times in my life, I’m really not sure of the mechanics of actual dip.
About a year ago, Peaches– aka Jessica Hopper, the Canadian electroclash artist best known for her transgressive, hyper-sexual, feminist dance music– broke her six-year silence with a new album, Rub, which Pitchfork declared had “arrived at a moment when the world needs Peaches most.”
That might be an even more appropriate thing to say now, as feminism, women’s rights, and the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman President of the United States have taken on a whole new feeling of urgency. Though we’ve come so far in the fight for women’s equality, we’re still knee-deep in a cesspool teeming with indignity, unequal pay, unpaid labor, obstacles to reproductive health, and widespread abuse– sexual, physical, and psychological. And we’re just talking the privileged Western world, baby.
Fat White Family Tuesday September 6, 11:59 pm at Saint Vitus: $10
If you left town this weekend, chances are your brain’s feelin’ a little fried right about now. Depending on where you went, your gait might might be a little sluggish on top of that. Understandably so, there’s always that reverse culture shock when you come back to the Big City after spending time abroad where strangers are always trying to cramp your speedy style by attempting to engage you in something called a “chat,” and where time in general seems to pass at the speed of rock formation. The quickest way to jumpstart your recovery is to get to an IRL event that throttles you back to life and reminds you why you live in this rat-infested city in the first place.
Mary Houlihan & The Yellow Dress in “This Could Be Anything” Tuesday September 6, 8 p.m. at Over the Eight: FREE.
As the name suggests this one is a bit of a mystery. It’s a musical, but who knows what about? Written by indie pop musician Dan Weiss (with his band the Yellow Dress) and comedian Mary Houlihan, whose regular show, Cartoon Monsoon, usually includes a fair amount of funny singing, it definitely has a lot going for it. Sure, “comedy musicals” don’t always end well, but I have a feeling this one is going to be good.
It’ll also feature comedians like Carmen Christopher, Susan Casey, Pat Wise, Tim Platt and Joe Rumrill. As if that’s not enough, there’ll also be songs about “friendship and bravery.” If you’re curious to know any more details, then I guess you’ll just have to go and find out for yourself on Tuesday.
(Flyer via UCBtheatre.com)
Improvised Seinfeld Friday September 9, 7:30 p.m. at UCB Chelsea: $10.
Do you ever imagine Seinfeld still on TV? It’s a pie-in-the-sky dream so long as Seinfeld is busy getting coffee and complaining about college students, but it’s nice to think about, right? If, however, that’s not enough to scratch your Seinfeldian itch, then fear not, because there’s always Improvised Seinfeld.
At this semi-regular show, former UCB Maude team, Bellevue (who wrote a pretty good new episode of Seinfeld a while ago), perform a fully improvised episode of Seinfeld based on an audience suggestion. I’ve seen the show a few times myself and it is startlingly close to the real thing—the tone, the episode structure and even the actors playing the main cast (the Elaine stand-in, Cathryn Mudon, is an especially close dead-ringer for Julia Louis Dreyfus). So if you can’t even imagine it, then stop thinking about it and see it for yourself.
(Flyer via the Annoyance Theater)
Deep Space Live! Friday September 9, 8 p.m. at the Annoyance Theater: $10.
In an effort to cope with the impenetrable loneliness of space travel, NASA scientist Sam Weiss (played by comedian Sam Weiss) has taken to hosting a weekly late night talk show. Because, honestly, what better way to deal with the existential ennui of being thousands of miles away from any other human beings than hosting a talk show?
This week also happens to be your last chance to catch Deep Space Live, which will feature guest appearances from the likes of the voices in Weiss’s head, some aliens and comedians including Sam Taggart and Ben Hosley.
(Flyer via Facebook)
The Famous Awards Sunday September 11, 6 p.m. at the Bushwick Public House: FREE.
Next Sunday, comedian Kady Ruth Ashcraft will host the first ever Famous Awards—a one-of-a-kind award show that will celebrate and crown the world’s most famous individuals. You know, those traditionally unsung heroes of this world. Selfless and brave, every one of them.
The event promises to feature “a red carpet, step and repeat, champagne toasts, and most importantly, awards celebrating the 2016 accomplishments of famous people.” The show itself is free, but also be aware that it is 100% black tie mandatory.