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Performance Picks: Free Comedy, Burlesque, and Mud Wrestling

THURSDAY

(image via Savannah DesOrmeaux / Facebook)

Ghost Town
Thursday, July 25 at Pete’s Candy Store, 7 pm: FREE

Ghosts are probably feeling not too thrilled lately. They’ve gone from being known for being spooky spirits to being associated with the kind of people who just stop texting you out of nowhere, which I can’t imagine feels great.  Furthering this ghosting narrative (but in a fun way) is Savannah DesOrmeaux’s Ghost Town, a comedy show about dating, and of course, ghosting. It mostly functions as a typical stand-up show, but the host will also choose one comedian from the lineup to divulge their own experiences with being ghosted. This month, the candidates include Natasha Vaynblat, Chike Robinson, Jenny Gorelick, Kelsey Caine, Marie Faustin, and Shannon Coffey.

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These 15-Year-Olds Are Sweeping Brooklyn and Putting Your High School Band to Shame

If you haven’t yet heard of Brooklyn-based Control the Sound, get ready because their high-energy mix of funk, rap, and rock will have you bobbing your head and dancing while wondering, “Wait a minute, just how old are these kids?”

Elijah, Carter, Audrey, and Kai are basically all 15 (Audrey is 14 but her birthday is in October), and after seven years of jamming together, they’re winning over audiences. “We’re definitely getting more fans now than we were before,” bass player and singer Audrey Frechtman told Bedford + Bowery. 

Audrey Frechtman

After their last live show, Maplewoodstock in New Jersey, a group of kids approached the band to swoon over them and request pictures. “It felt like a moment when we truly were being recognized,” said Frechtman. “It was really nice because it hasn’t really happened before like that.”

The weekend prior to that, they didn’t let a little downpour dampen their energy during a performance at Caracas Arepa Bar in Rockaway. They’ve played venues as varied as Brooklyn Bowl (opening for DJ Questlove), Littlefield, Brooklyn Museum, Rockwood Music Hall, the Queens Night Market, and even MCU Park in Coney Island. 

As fourth graders, they were all individually into music. It was their parents who nudged them to start a band. Now, they’re “their own little friend possy,” said Steve Frechtman, Elijah’s father and the de-facto manager for Control the Sound. Steve helps organize the band and makes sure they stay focused, which is necessary because they’re, well, teenagers. 

Elijah Frechtman

They get together to practice in the basement of drummer Carter Nyhan’s home in Park Slope. They’ve made it their own little music studio; signs and posters about festivals and gun violence are plastered on the walls, and cables crisscross the sound-absorbing carpet. A motivational message scribbled on cardboard with a black sharpie catches the eye: “Anyone can be cool… but awesome takes practice, yes it does.”

The close friends are tied together in various ways. Audrey is Elijah’s cousin, and Carter and Elijah are so close Elijah drops by Carter’s house unannounced. Trumpet player Kai Blanchard is a self-described introvert who is grateful that the band has forced him to step up and be more confident. “I struggle with socializing,” he said. “I feel like I’m getting better at it.” 

Kai Blanchard

According to Elijah, who plays guitar and is the lead singer, the off-stage synergy between band members has really started to pay off this year. “I can tell when Carter is going to hit a stop just by the way he moves his arms,” he told B+B. “You just develop this connection which is almost psychic, when the band can just stop on a dime without really rehearsing it and it’s awesome. It’s so much fun.”

Asked what excites him about drumming, Carter says, “Something is very appealing about banging on sticks when you’re a little kid; it just kind of tumbled from there and I’m still playing today.”

Watch our video, above, to hear more from Control the Sound.

Photos and video by Jo Corona.

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Crawl Into A Human-Sized Nest (and More Art This Week)

Leonard Suryajaya, Good Neighbors, 2018; Courtesy of the artist, © Leonard Suryajaya (image via Aperture Foundation / Facebook)

Delirious Cities
Opening Thursday, July 25 at Aperture Foundation, 7 pm to 8:30 pm. On view through August 29.

The theme for this year’s Aperture Summer Open exhibition is all about cities, as you may have guessed, but specifically, it’s about ways to use the photographic image to illustrate the ways in which a city is diverse. Featuring 23 artists from around the world, the spread of photos predictably runs the gamut. Using their lenses and more, these photographers reveal the many types of people, religions, outfits, urban design schemes, food, and even animals that can be found in various urban centers worldwide. Hey, it’s cheaper than a plane ticket.

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Beat the Heat With These Performance Picks

FRIDAY

(image via The Nobodies / Facebook)

The Mx. Nobody Pageant Presents: NOPE
Friday, July 19 at The Vault in Brooklyn, 11 pm: $5

Descend into the dark depths of basement venue The Vault in Brooklyn (formerly known as Tilt) tonight, and you’ll find a night of merriment presented by The Nobodies, a drag collective that often dabbles in inclusive pageantry and also, wrestling. Tonight, they’re throwing a show and party with drag and burlesque acts by Emi Grate, Sweaty Eddie, Qualms Galore, plus host Ariel Italic and tunes from DJ Accident Report. Expect acts that are weird and attention-grabbing, and if the heat is making you want to stay in and veg out, know that this starts at 11 pm, a time when the cursed sun will definitely not be out. 

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Gregory Dillon’s Nostalgic Synth Pop Evokes Adolescence, Carnivals, and Love in the ‘80s

(Photo: @patrickdonovanstudios)

Gregory Dillon has the very specific ability to correctly V-step in crowded Bushwick backrooms. That’s because his mother once taught ’80s cardio step in New Hampshire, and he attended her classes in his formative years. At his show at Gold Sounds last Friday, he held the room: he has a rich, controlled baritone, and a radiating joy. The kind that pairs well with revitalized synth-pop, quirky time-capsule video projections (teased hair and silvery nylon two-pieces?), and nerdy, bygone dance moves. More →

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51Fest Brings Humorous and Heavy-Hitting Women-Led Flicks to IFC

Still from A Girl from Mogadishu

There’s no stopping the calls for women behind and in front of the camera, and one film festival has a four-day long response: a women-centered film festival. Created by Women in the World and Independent Film Center, 51Fest will feature world and New York premieres of women-led films, documentaries and television shows, all followed by conversations with select actors, producers and directors. Guests will include Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever and writer/producer Cindy Chupack. The festival kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story, a documentary on how America’s most beloved (and hated) redhead faced social exile after a photo surfaced of her holding a bloodied Trump head. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Griffin and Women in the World founder Tina Brown.  More →

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Coffee, Books, and Art Find a Nook Near the Navy Yard

(Photo: Amanda Feinman)

Head Hi is not an establishment you’re likely to stumble randomly upon on your lunch break. Unless you are one of the (ever-growing) numbers of people who work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and you take your lunch break wandering its periphery. This hybrid coffee shop/bookstore/art gallery sits on a warehouse-y side street, nestled between Flushing Avenue and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. It’s not in the Navy Yard proper, and it’s also not really in residential Fort Greene, which establishes itself just a couple blocks over. Head Hi, which opened in December of last year, is a small addition to a liminal space, a tenant between neighborhoods. And it’s at least a 15 minute walk from any subway station. More →

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Max Fish Celebrated 30 Years With a Sneaker Release and a Downtown Superband

The attendees of Adidas’ 30th Anniversary party for Max Fish (right pic) alongside Black Sabbath Cover Band Rehearsal featuring (right to left) Mick Barr, Nick Zinner, Brad Truax, Angel Deradoorian and Greg Fox, 7/14/19.


Max Fish and Adidas celebrated 30 years of art, music and skateboarding on Sunday night with the release of the Lower East Side bar’s commemorative sneaker. Already sold out by the time the party started, the shoe’s release brought out notable fans of the Fish, like skateboard legend Chad Muska, actor Leo Fitzpatrick of Kids fame, and a Black Sabbath cover band fronted by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol’s Brad Truax and former Dirty Projector vocalist Angel Deradoorian. The party was also a photo show curated by pro-skater Josh Zickert and featuring prints from Max Fish’s old location, which closed in 2013. More →

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‘Black Nerds’ Talk Horror, Time Travel, and Representation at Blerd City Con

(Photos: Mycah Hazel)

Black nerds united over the weekend for the third annual Blerd City Con, held at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. The convention is known for celebrating black lovers of sci-fi, superheroes, anime or any other art form that may have earned a black kid the side-eye growing up. This year’s theme was black horror, a fitting pick given the recent releases of the scarring (though sometimes hilarious) film Us and the cautionary tale Ma, with Octavia Spencer in the titular role. Black horror was discussed in various ways, from analyzing the cheesy greatness of 1970s films like Scream, Bacula, Scream to addressing the “horrors” of being black in modern-day America.    More →