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September 30, 2008

The Dodos at Spiegelworld

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The Dodos, c/o Clarissa Roudabush


The Dodos absolutely killed it last night, putting on an enrapturing show at Spiegeltent. Fans are well acquainted with their sound and stage presence - what can start simply as a folky-country acoustic ballad can rapidly accelerate and capture more exotic elements, chattering percussion, and singer Meric Long’s lullaby-quality voice keeps up with the pace.

Spiegelworld (a colorful venue and a diamond in the rough of South Street Seaport's tourist vortex) pleasantly proved itself as an intimate and appropriate space for the group. The duo were aided with extra percussion and bells on multiple songs, and they played a vibrant selection from their two LPs, including “Men,” “The Ball,” and “Fools” – the latter with an extra-long intro. The Dodos were perfectly syncopated with each other throughout the set, which is crucial for their unique cadence and rhythms. Thus even as the set felt moderately short, nobody was left disappointed (especially when the band closed with a gorgeous new song, which was thoroughly embraced by the audience.)

And let’s not forget the opening set by innovative experimental group Au (pronounced like “A.U.,” as lead singer Luke Wyland clarified at the end of their set.) The Portland-based duo played a hefty serving of songs off their new album Verbs, and the presentation was simultaneously graceful and calamitous. Au's shimmering psychedelic semblance often interrupted itself via animalistic shrieks, brilliantly strong drum solos (courtesy of drummer Dana Vlatka - ex-Jackie-O_Motherfucker, Mustaphamond) and glass bells, a touch of xylophone, and even a melodica (!).

It was a bit of a stunner seeing two bands with only five guys total between them, exuding that level of sonorous vigor and making so much (good) noise. Au + The Dodos = well-earned total approval.

CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS......

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Au

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The Dodos

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The Dodos

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The Dodos

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The Dodos

Yuppies in Eden

Jay McInerney has a great article in the current New York. It gives a quick shout-out to FREEwilliamsburg founder, Robert Lanham's The Hipster Handbook

Hipsters believed they were the ultimate anti-yuppies. Unlike their forebears, they wanted to be known not by their job or ambition but by their self-conscious disregard for either. If anything, the cult of connoisseurship was even more exaggerated in this subgroup. Their code, enshrined in Robert Lanham’s hyperironic 2003 Hipster Handbook, was inherently elitist, defining itself in opposition to the mainstream. Hipster consumerism championed the notions of alternative and independent, rejecting the yuppie embrace of certain consumer brands in favor of their own. So it was vintage T-shirts rather than Turnbull & Asser dress shirts with spread collars, Pabst Blue Ribbon over Chardonnay. But ultimately, whether you love Starbucks or loathe it, a world in which we are defined by our choice of blue jeans and coffee beans owes more to Alex Keaton than to Abbie Hoffman.
You can read it all here.

Enough Said...

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Dead Herring Show on October 3rd

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More info. here.

The L Train Is F'D

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image via animal

I just wasted a decent portion of my morning sitting on the L train, waiting for it to lurch forward. The conductor blamed fire/smoke in the tunnel, and looking ahead you could see another train stopped at the next station. The whole line is basically closed between 8th Ave. and Myrtle. Avoid until further notice! Use your bike, or give Metro-line a call (718-388-1800) if you're headed into the city.

The People Who Run The Internets Dig Obama

September 29, 2008

Awesome DVD: Lou Reed's Berlin

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image via flickr user gazclark

Lou Reed is so fucking cool. On Friday, I got the chance to check out a copy of the new rockumentary by the Weinstein Co., Lou Reed's Berlin, shot at a show last year at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. It's the ultimate videographic culmination for one of our most influential children of New York City, and it focuses on an album largely ignored by Lou Reed's more mainstream fanbase.

If you're unaware of the cultural significance of the album, Wikipedia's got a great entry summing it all up, but to sum it up it was originally a dark yet critically acclaimed 1973 album by Lou Reed which chronicled the downward spiral of a junkie couple, set in the city of its name. The tragic and dark rock opera was essentially shelved in Lou Reed's mind for most of his career, until 2007 gave him the chance to tour for it with full support, backed by the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra and a hand-selected group of world class musicians.

In the film, Julian Schnabel injects images of Christine through dreamy sequences which expose the life of Reed's drug-addled protagonist, as shot by Schnabel's daughter Lola. It's not exactly party footage, but Reed doesn't always provide a walk on the wildside without giving a lesson in storytelling first. Julian Schnabel's Berlin comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray tomorrow, and from what I can tell, you can get it for less than $20 on Amazon.

From it's short theater run back in June, the NYPost has a review that you can check out for some more info. Below the jump, see one fan's really silly "interpretation" of Caroline Says II in Second Life.

Sarah Palin is Increasingly Adorable When Cornered

Tina Fey returned to SNL on Saturday night to give the world another incredible performance as Sarah Palin, as interviewed by Katie Couric. Incredibly, this skit isn't even originally written, they just reenact parts of the actual transcript! It's so well done, and even though Tina doesn't want to spend the next whatever of her career playing Sarah Palin, its clips like this that makes us wish she'd reconsider. We hate her too, Tina, but you're just so freaking perfect at the impersonation!

Or, watch it at NBC.

September 28, 2008

Pinback at Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Pinback

Pinback‘s music is a blend of chilled out, dusky melodies that echo and weave together gracefully with a minimalist feel. Last night was certainly mellow and sedate, as Rob Crow and Zach Smith exchanged their signature vocals and laid back stage presences.

Kylesa jumped the night off with a blistering set of death metal, complete with male/female screams, severe headbanging, finger tapping, and frequent guitar solos. The group’s dual lead singers, guitarists, and double drummers generated a booming and somewhat disorienting set.

Pinback’s execution of their material got off to a bumpy start, with some sound problems and even voices cracking. The issues were no doubt in part due to the recent departure of their keyboardist Terrin Durfey, who has unfortunately been fighting cancer (for more information or to help donate $, please click here!). In his stead was a new keyboard guy, Braden, who had only a week or so joined on.

After nearly a 1/2 hour of weaker playing, the group did tighten up and engaged some fan favorites for the audience, including “Tripoli,” “Loro,” and “Fortress” in a more potent manner. All throughout the set, a screen setup behind the musicians played a montage of video from the film “Dark Star” (from which Pinback took their name), trippy underwater scenes, and Pinback’s own music videos – and I’m convinced that the footage did a great deal to augment the set and make it somewhat less, well, boring.

All criticisms aside, Pinback played for the better part of 90 minutes, and they did an excellent job of throwing in fan favorites like “Penelope” and “Bloods on Fire.” It’s possible that the lineup problems circulating around them distracted them a bit, or maybe we’re just spoiled here in NYC and we’re used to seeing bands give 150% energy and enthusiasm for having the opportunity to play here. Whatever the case, the show was distinctively relaxed, yet also extensive in terms of Pinback’s musical catalogue and their unpretentious relationships with their fans and each other.

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Kylesa

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Kylesa

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Pinback

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Pinback

All photos c/o Elizabeth Brady

Tonight - Pissed Jeans

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Pissed Jeans, c/o KEXP

If campfires, acoustic guitar, and comedic storytelling aren’t going to suit you tonight (see our previous post about Campfire on the Canal), then we’re recommending tonight’s show at The Market Hotel. The lil’ venue under the J/M/Z train at Myrtle Avenue is hosting Pissed Jeans, a noisy punk from Allentown, PA. The boys are also playing next weekend (Oct. 4th, to be precise) at Glasslands.

With openers Crystal Stilts, we’re forecasting a brilliant night, with lots of sweat and potential tinnitus.

8 pm, $8

September 27, 2008

Tomorrow Night - Campfire on the Canal

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The Yard, c/o Yelp

New York Magazine's 40th b-day celebrations continue into the fall tomorrow night, with their Campfire on the Canal event. Jose Gonzalez and the Upright Citizens Brigade will be performing, with free booze as well!

According to the NY Mag peeps:

"No group push-ups, map making or log carving will be required for you to feel the love at this special campfire celebration. Renowned singer-songwriter José González will set the fireside mood playing a full set in what will be his last New York solo show this year, and members of the Upright Citizens Brigade will perform their favorite stories of sleepaway camp, spooky campfire tales and jokes so funny you’ll shoot bug juice out of your nose. FREE BEER will be served. A night in the wilderness (of Brooklyn) isn’t that scary after all."

Tickets (which included a 46-issue subscription to the mag) are sold out.....
Sunday, 5-9 pm
388-400 Carroll Street
www.theyard.ws

September 26, 2008

Seriously, go watch the debate!

As mentioned earlier...

KCDC is Keepin' It Real

Our world-famous Brooklyn skateshop, KCDC, is currently featured on the Mark Ecko owned Complex.com. It's spotlighted in the newest episode of "Keepin' It Real", and features KCDC owner Owner Amy Gunther as she talks about growing up in Long Island, opening KCDC around 9/11, and the ever-changing neighborhood of Williamsburg. Check it out, and here's the official description from Complex:

Amy Gunther takes us through the racks of Brooklyn-based skate shop KCDC and talks about the store's first collaborative shoe with NECKFACE.


Trumors: Apple Opening up Store in W'burg

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image via curbed

Is Steve Jobs eyeing the most picked over thrift store in the world for his new Apple store location? That's what tipsters to Gothamist think, which notes:

Our sources are telling us that Apple has purchased the building that currently houses the Salvation Army located at 176 Bedford Avenue (on the corner of Bedford and North 7th) in Williamsburg. Rumors have been floating around for a year as to where the company may set up shop in Brooklyn (with most guessing it would be Downtown), and more recently it's been rumored that it would be in the new Edge complex. In the past there have been mumblings that the Salvation Army building would become a McDonald's...so if this goes through, consider it a good thing, Williamsburg.

Discussion over at our local internet bathroom wall Williamsboard seems to think this is either A. no big deal, or B. doubtful. One user says, "Yeah, I don't buy this. I mean, apple stores aren't just ANY store, they make every opening seem like a big deal and there aren't enough people in n. brooklyn who would actually buy anything there to justify a new one." They then start to talk about how nobody cares, then one user wonders if they live in the same bedroom as another, then my head started to spin until jennytull posted, "theres some multi level shit goin on in this here thread.", reminding me that this is why I don't frequent Williamsboard in the first place.

So what's the deal, Steve? Are you bringing your iEverything into my neighborhood? I bet you are, you sneaky devil. Somebody, talk to me.

Now That Mighty Mouse Is Gonna Show Up....

Here's a list of places you can watch the debate in New York.

Rooftop Films Closing Night with Chairlift! Tonight!

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Leave work early tonight, head home, put on your prettiest dress, slacks, summer hats, and lipstick, and come on out to kiss summer goodbye at Rooftop Film's last show, taking place tonight on the roof of the Open Road Rooftop at 350 Grand Street @ Essex (Lower East Side).

To add to the building excitement, prior to the films, Sound Fix presents live music by Brooklyn based trio Chairlift! These guys are about to go on tour with Yeasayer and you might even recognize their sweet beats from the newest Apple commercial, which features "Bruises" off their debut album.

Tickets are $9 on Going, and this includes ALL-YOU-CAN-POSSIBLY-CONSUME beverages courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner.

Here's the official info:

Venue: on the roof of the Open Road Rooftop
Address: 350 Grand Street @ Essex (Lower East Side)
Directions: F/J/M/Z to Essex / Delancey
8:00: Doors Open
8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music by Chairlift
9:00 PM: Films
11:30 PM: Open bar at Fontana's with complimentary beer courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner

The War on Drugs

Here’s the video for “A Needle in Your Eye #16.” It’s one of the best songs off The War on Drugs’ Wagonwheel Blues, which is shaping up to be one of the most robust debuts from 2008. The band draws constant comparisons to both classic rock monoliths (i.e. Springsteen) notable proto/post-punk (like Sonic Youth or Half Japanese) as well as contemporary indie monoliths (Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, Animal Collective). So - basically if you like good music, you’ll like The War on Drugs.

September 25, 2008

Idiot

Untethered: A Sculpture Garden of Readymades Opens Tonight

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C/O Eyebeam

Eyebeam is New York’s premiere art and technology space. Tonight, Untethered: A Sculpture Garden Of Readymades will open from 6-8pm. To give a brief description:

Untethered is a sculpture garden of everyday objects deprogrammed of their original function, embedded with new intelligence, and transformed into surrealist and surprising readymades, including a photocopier that reads the night sky; a PDA turned guitar; and a piano that plays the Internet. The exhibition features pieces by 15 artists working at the intersection of art and technology, including current and former Eyebeam residents and fellows, as well as leading international artists.

If you can make it out to Chelsea, definitely check it out. Review to follow later.

Williamsburg is Under Attack!

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img c/o gothamist

Gothamist is reporting that a submarine is in our waters and is headed for Williamsburg. Everybody, RUN! Arm yourselves with PBR cans like you did when the Real World cast came, and get this metal tank of aquatic power off yer shores!

Perhaps submarines are always in the East River, just, you know, submerged--but we've never seen one. Until now! This one just floated through DUMBO headed in the direction of Williamsburg. So if you're a hipster wearing your "Defend Brooklyn" T-shirt, the day has come to back it up!

Send it to Queens!

Sarah Silverman: "Tell Your Racist Jewish Grandparents To Vote Obama"

"The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor."

[hat tip Radar]

One Word: Pretzel

We love that Stone included the pretzel choking incident in his second "W" trailer. This looks hilarious:

Pakistani President to Palin: "You're Hot!"

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image c/o AP

He was smitten...

On entering a room filled with several Pakistani officials this afternoon, Palin was immediately greeted by Sherry Rehman, the country's Information Minister.

"And how does one keep looking that good when one is that busy?," Rehman asked, drawing friendly laughter from the room when she complimented Palin.

"Oh, thank you," Palin said.

Pakistan's recently-elected president, Asif Ali Zardari, entered the room seconds later. Palin rose to shake his hand, saying she was “honored” to meet him.

Zardari then called her "gorgeous" and said: "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you."
"You are so nice," Palin said, smiling. "Thank you."

A handler from Zardari's entourage then told the two politicians to keep shaking hands for the cameras.
"If he's insisting, I might hug," Zardari said. Palin smiled politely.

Sounds delightfully awkward. Can we start some internet rumors fueling speculation that Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari could become the Second Dude?

Thanks, CNN!

Matt Taibbi On Sarah Palin

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As always, Taibbi nails it:

Here’s what Sarah Palin represents: being a fat fucking pig who pins “Country First” buttons on his man titties and chants “U-S-A! U-S-A!” at the top of his lungs while his kids live off credit cards and Saudis buy up all the mortgages in Kansas.
Now, go read the whole damn thing.

Don Pedro Video Fiesta!

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Also going on tonight, at 8pm, is a weirdo Mexican video party out at Don Pedros (90 Manhattan). If you like video art & punk & tacos then this could be right up your pants leg. Here's what they're showing, in order:

KORLA PANDIT - KTLA TV (195?) CHUCK BERRY - Roll Over Beethoven (French TV 1964) TAKESHI TERAUCHI - No Eleki Wakadaisho (Japan 1966) MINTY NEWPORTS - Live TV Commercial ATLANTICS - Come On And Love Me (Australia 1967) BLACK DIAMONDS - I Want, Need, Love You (Australia 1966) ANTOINE - Les Elecubrations (France 1966) The MOVE - Wild Tiger Woman (Colour Me pop 1968) SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS - Trailer (1968) WONDERLAND - Love’s A Murder (Germany 1969) GROOVIE GOOLIES - Where You Going Little Ghoul (1970) EL TOPO - Theatrical Trailer (1971) KRAFTWERK - Ruckzuck (Germany 1970) FAUST - Excerpt from German TV Show (1971) TON, STEINE & SCHERBEN - Solidaritat (Germany 1971) The HOLY MOUNTAIN - Theatrical Trailer (1974) JAQUES PERROT - Allegro Aus Der 40 Symphonie (1973) NINA HAGEN BAND - TV Glotzer (1979) The SAINTS - (I’m) Stranded • Know Your Product (1977 & 78) P-FUNK - Up For The Downstroke (promo commercial) RADIO BIRDMAN - Live & Interview (Rockturnal 1978) BABES IN TOYLAND - Theatrical Trailer (1934) DEVO & NEIL YOUNG - Hey Hey, My My (Human Highway 1983) HUNCHBACK - Heart Of Gold (Pyramid Club 2007) SAMMY DREAD - African Girl (Rock Star Bar 2007)

More event info on Going

Tonight: Himalaya @ Union Pool

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We’re recommending tonight’s show at Union Pool, starring Brooklyn’s own Himalaya. They’re known for their extraordinarily loud, dissonant live sets, in the same vein as Spaceman 3 or the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Bring yer earplugs!

8 pm, opening sets by Leopard FX and Fan-Tan.

Joy Apparel

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We've been meaning to give a shout-out to Joy Apparel who was nice enough to send us a complimentary shirt featuring the face of Roger Smith. Here's their story:

Every face on a Joy T- Shirt has been inspired by a real person. When you wear your shirt you are encouraged to think about that person and how your everyday actions can affect others and the world we live in. After you purchase a shirt you may then upload a photo of your own visage via the participate link to have your face drawn by hand and worn on the hearts of others. It is about taking an active stance against racism and discrimination while being an advocate for peace and equality... because in someway or another, we are all connected!
Our boy Roger, is from Trinidad, is 34 years-old, and enjoys Kung Fu Films, Hennessey XO, Hip Hop, Carib Lager, Caribbean Music, Movies, Video Games, Video Production, telling Jokes.

Cool concept. You can grab your own here.

Cassandra Cinemas To Open This Spring

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From Gothamist

Except for the avant-garde Ocularis screenings in the old Galapagos, North Brooklyn has been a dead zone for movie theaters for years. ... The Observer says a long-talked-about Williamsburg movie theater is inching toward reality.

And it may even open as soon as next spring! It was originally going to be called the Brooklyn Kinetiscope and open last spring, but now it's called Cassandra Cinemas (after executive director Cassandra Lozano). Located at 136 Metropolitan Avenue, the three screen theater will emphasize indie and art house titles, and also host a cabaret and cafe. ...

The good news is that program director Jamie Hook seems like a real film snob, telling the Observer he sees the venture as "a mom-and-pop theater for the 21st century. The Third Reich mentality of the hipsterdom of Williamsburg would chew alive and rip apart anything it didn't approve of.

September 24, 2008

"What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president?"

UPDATE: Craig Ferguson tore McCain a new asshole too.

CNN's Almost Lead Story

Forget McCain, let's lead with this:

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More at CNN.

McCain Suspends Debate

We thought McCain needed diapers because he's older than Mount Rushmore. Turns out he needs them because he's a big fucking baby. Surely, this has nothing to do with his failed economic policies or the fact that he's tanking in the polls.

Cafferty sums up or opinion:

Found Wall Street ATM Receipt for $97,084.23

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At least one banker on Wall Street has a rather large cushion of money to fall back on. A Consumerist reader found this receipt in an ATM at 45 Wall St. for $97,084.23, juuuust below the $100,000 FDIC insurable limit.

via Consumerist

Friendly Fires


If The Rapture, Cut Copy, and Klaxons had a weird test-tube baby, it would probably sound like Friendly Fires. They have the dancey rhythms, snappy bass, the dramatic soaring strings/synths, and the lyrical prowess of a heartbroken freshman in college (“One day we're gonna live in Paris/I promise/I'm on it………I'm gonna take you out to club showcase/We're gonna live it up/I promise……”). You’ll probably be hearing lots more about this British trio, especially when they tour with Lykke Li in the states this fall promoting their newly released self-titled LP.

Finally, Someone Says It Straight: "We shouldn't be rushed into this!"

Are you ready to send your blank check for five grand? That's what people are estimating the bailout is going to cost the average taxpayer. The only good news is this is killing McDouche's popularity, if polls are to be believed.

Pictures: Shugo Tokumaru, Mercury Lounge 9/23/08

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photos by aj cranford

Earlier tonight Shugo Tokumaru played his first NYC show, second in America, to a packed crowd at the Mercury Lounge. He was joined onstage by a multitude of talent with Jon Natchez and Perrin Cloutier of Beirut, Bryan Devendorf of The National, and Bang on a Can’s Lawson White of So Percussion. Drifting in and out of tracks from his stateside debut, Exit, Tokumaru and friends presented an orchestra of melodies from a variety of instruments and household objects (I counted two planting pots). It all somehow winds up sounding like some kind of dreamy circus parade circling around an animated world.

According to Pitchfork, he's got over 100 of the instruments scattered around his bedroom. But the thing is, he brings them in so softly and effortlessly, that you never really realize they're on stage. Shugo will be back in a month, playing the Bowery Ballroom during CMJ with Margot And The Nuclear So & So's, so make sure to get yer tickets early! Click through the jump for a few more pictures and a video for "Green Rain", off of Exit. Check your local record store for the album, or buy it from Amazon.

Click through for more photos!!!

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Thanks AJ!

September 23, 2008

I Shoot Hipsters T-Shirt

Get it while its hot, at Hoodman. If anyone can make me a "I throw PBR cans at the Real World cast members" T-shirt print pattern, I'll make you king/queen of FREEwilliamsburg for the week. Then, maybe we'll actually print it.

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Found via I Heart Cool Stuff

The Two-Headed Sarah Palin Interview

[thanks Rumproast]

David Duchovny Will Gentrify You

Why? Because he Wants To Believe in low-priced housing options and the ever-expanding "Williamsburg". This latest Poster Boy piece was spotted & shared by AndIAmNotLying!

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George Will Questions McCain's Readiness

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This is a big deal. I'm no George Will fan, but he does represent the reasonable, intellectual, fiscal conservative side of the GOP. You know, a Republican who doesn't hate gays, evaluate a VP's readiness on how many polar bears she's killed, and doesn't base his foreign policy on the book of Revelation. Here he is in today's Washington Post:

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.

Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated.

[...] Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

Say it with us out loud, all you rational conservatives out there: IT'S OK TO VOTE FOR OBAMA, GEORGE WILL SAID SO. Now, doesn't that feel better?

Shugo Tokumaru Tonight at Mercury Lounge

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image via flickr

Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru is making his NYC debut tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 23rd) at the Mercury Lounge, and will perform in a collaboration with Jon Natchez and Perrin Cloutier of Beirut, Bryan Devendorf of The National, and Bang on a Can’s Lawson White of So Percussion for a one-night-only performance. If you haven't heard Shugo quite yet, please do, he's beautiful and exciting and unique and creates music straight out of some kind of orchestrated Japanese circus wonderland.

Laugh Your Abs Off

P.S.1’s Autumn Harvest, September 30th 2008

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Public Farm 1 c/o P.S.1

Anyone who had a chance to make it out to P.S.1 this summer had to stop and be amazed at the monolithic future of urban farming aka Public Farm 1. Equal parts art/architecture installation and urban garden, Public Farm 1 was created by WORK Architecture Company as part of MoMA and P.S.1’s Young Architects Program. The project was unveiled in June and the unique structure was used to grow numerous plants, vegetables, and herbs.

Since autumn is now officially here, P.S.1 will celebrate the fruits of P.F.1’s labor with an Autumn Harvest on Sept. 30th. It’s open to the public with a limited number of tickets. Of course, there will be hors d’oeuvres served but even better will be the musical stylings of David Bruno. And if you can’t make it out, they’re streaming the show on their Art Radio broadcast here.

New Releases We Lurve

1. Passion Pit - Chunk of Change
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Chances are you’ve heard the hoopla surrounding this Massachusetts outfit, but we can’t say enough how ridiculously catchy this EP is, with its art school pop/synth/psych/ amalgamated sound. Everyone should be pumped that Frenchkiss Records has finally released it (a.k.a. you can find it on iTunes, yayyy for us lazy peeps!). Also, go see them tomorrow night at Bowery.


2. Death Vessel - Nothing is Precious Enough for Us
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Death Vessel picks up where Will Oldham or early-Bright Eyes leaves off, with an unelaborate country twang and an eclectic rotation of band members. But if you think Conor Oberst is a bit femme, just wait until you hear DV’s lead singer Joel Thibodeau – he sounds like a damn purdy lady. Regardless, shimmering songs like “Circa” and “Jitterakadie” will especially win you over.


3. Calexico – Carried to Dust
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You know when an album kicks off with a song about Chilean revolutionary musician Victor Jara, it’s going to be deep. Especially when it’s an album by Calexico, who time and time again weave together indie rock with Latin American instrumentation and lyrical sensibilities. Carried To Dust continues the group’s interdisciplinary approach, and is equally haunting, experiential, and exciting.

September 22, 2008

Mugison at Union Pool

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Mugison, c/o Mark Iantosca

Allow me to operate on a cliché for a moment, and tell you that Mugison is the next big thing to come out of Iceland, a country with a reputation for extremes and unique musical acts. In accord, Mugison’s MO incorporates booming instrumentation and howling vocals contrasted with an equal proportion of minimalist and humble ballads – and seeing him pull it off live is fantastic.

The evening kicked off with openers Bellman Barker, a DC-based 5-piece who played a universally familiar indie rock/pop set. Meanwhile, Trophy Scars transitioned into a more dominant, esoteric realm. Your average Union Pool-goer’s palette is likely less accustomed to their sound, and the audience’s eardrums were left ringing after an intense and dynamic set of tracks off their new record Bad Luck.

He’s often referred to as a one-man band routine, but last night Mugison had help from his sidekick David Þór on the keyboard, and it was an inebriated ole' time for all. The duo swilled Presidente bottles and smilingly encouraged audience members to clap and stomp their feet to the more raucous numbers, including “Jesus is a Good Name to Moan” and “Sweetest Melody.” And yes, while he is indeed a rowdy motherfucker, Mugison has a soft side too. It was shining through when he played “Deep Breathing,” with its electronic symphony and bells (even if he did “forget the words” halfway through the track).

The set remained relatively short, regardless of how lively and entertaining it was. The elated audience in the small venue (which even included Mugi’s father-in-law) begged for a second encore, but alas, the requests weren’t fulfilled. This was rationalized succinctly by Þór, who announced (as he rambunctiously removed his shirt upon exiting the stage) that it would be "more fun to drink" than to play an additional song. Drunken Scandinavians: 2 points, Drunken Hipsters: 1.


(more photos after the jump!)

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Bellman Barker

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Trophy Scars

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Mugison


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Mugison


All photos c/o Mark Iantosca.

Is Sarah Palin Qualified?

PBS wants to know... let them know what you think.

Current results: 51% think she's qualified. WTF?! Welcome to idiocracy.

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Rogue Taxidermist To Unveil E.V.E. on Halloween

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In news from Animal, rogue taxidermist and creator of smelly, roadkill art Nate Hill has announced plans to unveil his entire E.V.E. creation on Halloween at The Silent Barn. E.V.E. is the female monster, pictured above, made entirely of dead animal parts sewn together. It's the Ying to his already created Yang.... A.D.A.M (A Dead Animal Man -- image after the jump).

I sat down with Nate Hill's FAQ portion of his website and let him dictate a few questions and answers that I may or may not have had. From Stoproadkill.org's FAQ:

Why are you making E.V.E.?

I wish that I had artistic power that made people wet themselves. But right now, I think I'm just making you puke. But since I want these grand powers, I decided to idolize God because He made all this. Next logical step was to start making human beings.

Do you consider yourself a taxidermist?

Not really because I don't use any of their tradtional techniques. What I do it quite crude. I use different unpreserved raw animal parts and sew them together. Then the finished product with something as big as E.V.E., is displayed in the open air, so it is not preserved in any way, though when stored in a 30 gallon tank of rubbing alcohol. In other words, my work smells.

What is it made out of?

It's a work in progress, but since this weekend E.V.E. contains parts from buffalo, cat, coyote, dog, fish, guinea hen, lobster, octopus, ox, pig, rabbit, and squirrel. I know you're saying, "Buffalo???" I got some buffalo ribs off ebay.

How is it made?

It is sewn together with needle and thread. I use leather needles and strong button grade thread and sometimes fishing line.

How long did it take?

About 6 months.

Will E.V.E. be shown again?

Since my shows involve raw dead animal parts sewn together on the ground, my shows are very rare for obvious reasons.

For more, visit Nate Hill's website at StopRoadKill.org, and head over to the Silent Barn this Halloween to see some stinky animal art. Click below the jump to view the not-for-long bachelor, A.D.A.M.

via Animal New York, more on StopRoadKill.org

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image of A.D.A.M. c/o Nate Hill

The Brooklyn Kick Ball Promish Dance Party Thing

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image via flickr

I got all dolled up last Friday and went to the Brooklyn Kick Ball at the Warsaw over in Greenpoint. It was a beautiful, starry-eyed night under the glowing Brooklyn moon where young kickballers dressed to the nines went to become men and women, first kisses were had, and pictures were taken to last a life time.

Except not really, the whole thing was an ironic Colt-45 free Reese's Peanut Butter Cup-laced glory fest set to music by the Beatards and all sorts of crazy people. It was a kickass kickball celebration to end the season. It was also like an 8th-grade dance with a heck of a lot more booze than my middle school allowed. Gawker and the NY Press were also there, and they have their reports home up today as well.

The NY Press described the dance more or less as a bunch of sloppy kisses, while Sheila @ Gawker just got blitzed in high heels along with the rest of us. Oh, and hats off to the NY Press, who chose some kind of old Microsoft Art graphic of someone kicking a ball for their story (called of course kickball.jpg). I guess the recession is hitting the newspaper industry more than we previously thought. That graphic is below the jump, because it's just oh-so crappy I didn't want to ruin my high-class story with it.

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It's a beaut, ain't it?!

Who's The Elitist?

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[hat tip Buzzfeed and CommentCulture]

Start this week out right…..

Today, Tomorrow, and Wednesday there are some fantastique concerts that you should go check out. That is, if you have the tickets………

TONIGHT:

Cut Copy/The Presets @ Webster Hall
(Damn each one of you that have tix to this. Want to give me one?)


My Bloody Valentine @ Roseland
(They are also playing tomorrow! And it’s sold out as well. Again, I’d appreciate a free ticket. Kthnx.)

TOMORROW:

Kings of Leon @ Webster Hall
(Their shows always get mixed reviews, but they’ll surely be playing some new material from “Only By The Night,” which actually is released on Tuesday as well — special special! So yeah. if you like that “Sex on Fire” song, which I’m still debating, then here ya go.)

Shugo Tokumaru @ Mercury Lounge
(The Japanese instrumentalist is playing with a full cast of special guests from local bands like Beirut, The National, and So Percussion.)

NKOTB @ Izod Center
(Why not? They were BREATHTAKING on the View Last Week:

Where is the Izod Center, anyway? Oh — just checked, it’s in NJ, over by Giants’ Stadium. Def not worth it.)

WEDNESDAY:

French Kicks/Passion Pit/Salt + Samovar @ Bowery Ballroom
(Three awesomely talented, awesomely hyped, awesomely awesome groups all on one bill. Hit it!)

Calexico/Oakley Hall @ Webster Hall
(These two are like peas and carrots - Calexico and Oakley Hall compliment each other perfectly. Loving fans have likely seen them play together in the past, and the evening is guaranteed to please.)

Our Team Needs Some Ads Like This

September 19, 2008

Chock Full ‘o Shows

It's one busy Friday, full of options for live music. Here are three of our faves:

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c/o ATP

1. All Tomorrow's Parties NY

The British festival has finally made its way over to the East Coast for the first year ever, and takes place this weekend at Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, NY. It's a bit of a hike out of NYC, but it'll be worth the journey. Bands will be playing today, tomorrow, and Sunday—and include My Bloody Valentine, Fuck Buttons, Les Savy Fav, Mogwai, Yo La Tengo, Meat Puppets, Built to Spill, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Dinosaur Jr., amongst many many others! Get your booty upstate!

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c/o Stereogum

2. INDIAN JEWELRY

Indian Jewelry are playing at the Knitting Factory tonight, with special guests White Magic and Talk Normal. Expect to hear intense pysch/drone, and perhaps even expect to see some people have seizures as Indian Jewelry's hallucinatory strobe-lit stage act can induce some serious reactions.

8 pm tonight at The Knitting Factory


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c/o Mugison

3. MUGISON

Iceland's Mugison has been gaining notoriety for his besrerk one-man-band act – which incorporates a bluesy psych influence along with computers, screams, and pummeling percussion. He's playing two sets in our fair city this weekend:

8 pm Saturday at Mercury Lounge
8 pm Sunday at Union Pool

New Blog: Approximately As Many People as Wasilla

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via all i saw farm

A new blog has sprouted up from the seeds of Things Younger Than McCain, documenting all things in the world with approximately as many people as Wasilla, Alaska. Among them:

People Who Saw Hottie and the Nottie in Theaters
The Number of People Applying to Work at a new WalMart
The Number of People in the World's Largest Peace Sign
The Number of People Living in Dorms near Henrietta, NY
First Week Sales of Kevin Federline's Debut Album

and of course

Members in the Facebook group “A Vote For Sarah Palin is NOT a Vote for Women’s Rights.” which notes "There are 5,590 members in the Facebook group “A Vote For Sarah Palin is NOT a Vote for Women’s Rights.” She’s probably qualified to be the administrator of a group that size."

Brooklyn, as heavily populated as it is, has about 10,000 people per square mile. Meaning, Sarah Palin could probably successfully govern a little over half a square mile of Brooklyn residents.

Visit: Approximately as many people as Wasilla

Mudflats: Tiptoeing Through the Muck of Alaskan Politics

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Mudflats is an excellent blog chronicling the corruption in Alaskan politics. We love their post on the "Alaska Women Reject Palin" rally:

I attended the Welcome Home rally for Sarah Palin this morning. Hooo. It was an experience. About a thousand (maybe) hard-core Palin supporters showed up to hear her speak at the new Dena’ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. ... The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It’s probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots”, and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received many nasty, harassing and threatening messages. ...

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. ...

So, if you’ve been doing the math… Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage!

We've posted a video of the rally below. The blog is a great window into Alaskan politics so definitively check it out.

September 18, 2008

Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York

This looks great. Its out in New York on October 24. Directed by Charlie Kaufman (Academy Award-winning writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), the film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener,Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton and Hope Davis. Higher quality version here.

We Prefer The Original Dude

[hat tip Wonkette & Rumproast]

Ok, you can breathe now...

Obama's back in the lead.

The Sept. 14-16 Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows Barack Obama regaining a slight, although not statistically significant, edge over John McCain, 47% to 45%, among registered voters, marking the first time since the week of the Republican National Convention that McCain has not held at least a one percentage point margin over Obama.

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[Thanks Anna]


September 17, 2008

YACHT!


Dear YACHT,

Will you please try to tour in NYC sometime soon? You are insanely creative, your music is super unique (as are your videos), and not enough people out here know about your amazingness. It seems like you only tour in Europe now, and I can’t really blame you, but swing by here in the not-too-distant future because that would make my day.

Kthnx.

EB

Tom Cruise Tropic Thunder Scene (w/ Flo Rida)

You probably have about 5 hours to watch a balding Tom Cruise dance to Flo Rida in Tropic Thunder before this gets pulled down from YouTube. So, check it out.

One Question.....

Shouldn't a $85 $700 billion corporate bail-out, funded by taxpayers, warrant a Congressional vote? Just asking since the media hasn't. Here's some things we could do with $85 billion.

This Is What We're Dealing With.... the GOP's "Backfire Effect"

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Sure, they may not understand facts, but conservatives are kickass at chanting "USA...USA" and "drill, baby, drill." This report pretty much explains the logic behind all of McCain's campaign lies. From Huffington Post

A new study out of Yale University confirms what argumentative liberals have long-known: Offering reality-based rebuttals to conservative lies only makes conservatives cling to those lies even harder. In essence, schooling conservatives makes them more stupid. From the Washington Post article on the study, which came out yesterday:

Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

A similar "backfire effect" also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.

In a paper approaching publication, Nyhan, a PhD student at Duke University, and Reifler, at Georgia State University, suggest that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals: Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might "argue back" against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation.

Yup, Conservatives don't like to blink, even when they're wrong:

Faltering Economy Hits New Pei King on Bushwick Avenue

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I saw New Pei King, the Chinese restaurant at the corner of Powers and Bushwick Avenue get robbed last night. After parking my car somewhere in the triangle between Bushwick, Metropolitan, and Grand Ave., I was walking back towards my apartment on Ainslie when I saw a shady dude sneaking around the storefront of the restaurant. Then, suddenly, he jumped in, grabbed a HUGE bag of food sitting there for pickup/delivery, and took off on one of the delivery guy's bikes. He tore off down Bushwick Avenue headed south, passed a cop car, and disappeared around the corner.

I tried alerting the workers of New Pei King that there was a cop a block away, but the language barrier prevented that bit of crisis communication. Instead, they hopped on some reserve bikes, slammed the metal gate storefront shut, and took off in hot pursuit. I say we just blame Lehman Brothers and get on with it. Prepare yourselves, Chinese delivery aficionados of Williamsburg and Bushwick, the subprime mortgage crisis is slowly nibbling away at your egg rolls, and there just isn't enough duck sauce in Brooklyn to douse the fire.

Sam Sparro, you broke my heart!

Today’s post is saturated in doleful remorse for the fact that Mr. Sam Sparro was supposed to play tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and it was supposed to be the happiest moment of my life, because my obsession has reach all new heights.

Alas, his tour was cancelled because of “visa issues.” While some of you may have gotten over the devastation, I certainly have not. So a moment of silence please. And enjoy “Black and Gold,” and Sam doing his outrageous lil’ number dressed like a dandy in a limousine, singing about evolution.

Would You Kill It?

Sarah would, you pussy. Go play round 2 now.

Sarah Palin's Favorite Cooking Show

Squirrel Melts! [Warning.... if you're not a badass like Sarah, you may find this video disturbing.]

[Thanks Derek]

September 16, 2008

The Eleven Worst Jesusy Songs Ever

1. My Name is John Daker


[Daker begins about 30 seconds into the video]

2. Jesus Is My Friend by Sonseed [Update: Grab their full album here]

3. You spin me 'round Jesus

4. Our Promised Seed

5. Desperate Hour Of Need


[this one just makes us nauseous]

6. He Really Loves Me

7. It's Not OK To Be A Homo

8. Devil Is A Liar

[make sure you see the guitar solo by the creepy Gandolph dude]

9. O-Mazing Grace

10. Reason to Be


11. The Renewed Mind Is The Key

World's Biggest Douchebag Has Rendezvous With Karma

After reading this story, we believe in God again.

He met her in the bar of the swank hotel and invited her to his room. Once there, the woman fixed the drinks and told him to get undressed.

And that, the delegate to the Republican National Convention told police, was the last thing he remembered.

When he awoke, the woman was gone, as was more than $120,000 in money, jewelry and other belongings.

The thief's take stunned cops.

"It's very, very, very rare," Minneapolis Police Sgt. William Palmer said. "I can think of a couple of burglaries where we had that much stolen, but it's the first time I've heard of this kind of deal."

The haul included a $30,000 watch, a $20,000 ring, a necklace valued at $5,000, earrings priced at $4,000 and a Prada belt valued at $1,000, police said. The victim was identified as Gabriel Nathan Schwartz, 29, of Denver, a single attorney and a fixture in Colorado Republican politics. He was one of the state's delegates to the convention this month in St. Paul.

Now, meet Gabriel Nathan Schwartz:

[thank Kevin]

Sunset Rubdown tonight, Sunset Rubdown tomorrow

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c/o Brooklyn Vegan

Spencer Krug must be one of those self-loathing maniac workaholic types. Between his commitment to Wolf Parade (which has recently included releasing their sophomore LP At Mount Zoomer and touring earlier this summer) he still finds time to tour and record with Sunset Rubdown. SR puts on a superb live set -- they're always able to translate the ornate yet eerie vibe of their records onto the stage, and that leaves audiences fully gratified.

They're playing tonight @ 8 pm at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge....

Boycotting Northside

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Cyclists in Williamsburg are calling for a boycott of Northside Car Service after a hit and run last week at the corner of North 7th and Kent. Gowanus Lounge has the boycott email, which basically lays out the story...

Yesterday there was another bicycle accident on Kent and North 7th in Williamsburg. A hit and run. The cyclist was going straight and a Northside Car Service made an irrationally fast turn and almost hit the cyclist. The cyclist, with little time to react, had to slam on the brakes, flipped completely over the handlebars, and landed under the hood of the car. The car drove off. The cyclists was taken to the hospital with a broken elbow and collarbone - and, thankfully, no worse injuries than that.

So, who else can you use? Well, there's Metroline (718-388-1800), Java (718-383-5600), Mobile (718-383-8300), Bushwick (718-386-5002), and Song (718-821-4444) to name a few. Any others I'm missing, and/or anyone familiar with Northside care to make a statement? Contact me.

via Gothamist

"The Fundamentals of Our Economy Are Strong"

FINALLY. We have a good ad. Now, we should couple this with some ads about Palin's rape kit policy, book banning, and her desire to outlaw abortion when a woman has been raped. [hat tip Rumproast]

Would You Kill It?

Sarah would, you pussy. Go play now.

September 15, 2008

Hockey Mom Swiftboaters

Tonight: Radio Rumproast

Tune in tonight.... FREEwilliamsburg founder and author, Robert Lanham, will be discussing the Jesusyness of Sarah Palin and the Mavrickiness of McCain on BlogTalkRadio. Using Google maps, he's seen Capitol Hill from his home, so he's an expert on all things political. From Rumproast:

Check out the premiere of our BlogTalkRadio show Radio Rumproast Monday September 15th from 11PM-12:30AM ET. Our guest will be Robert Lanham, author of the The Hipster Handbook, Food Court Druids..., and The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right. We'll talk about his books, evangelicalism in politics, the general election and ferrets. We'll also feature a roundtable of bloggers, including Rumproast's poputonian, discussing the past week's events and, of course, we'll be taking your calls. Radio Rumproast: We like it well-done.

Pictures from Todd P's Back To School Party

On Saturday, Todd P threw quite the bash in an abandoned lot set under the thundering JMZ train tracks out in Bushwick. Bands included Daily Life, Krallice, Growing, and Lightning Bolt. We were there to enjoy and take a few pictures to send home. Here's the evidence, shot by aj cranford:

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September 14, 2008

If All Women Lived In Sarah Palin's America

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click for larger

Digitalism DJing tonight

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c/o panicmanual.com

What better thing to do on a Sunday night then head to Santos Party House and hear a DJ set by the crazy German duo known as Digitalism? Summer isn’t technically over yet, so don’t be a baby. Who cares that you’ll be hung over as all hell tomorrow morning, and likely still smelling like sweat and stale beer? Fuck work! Dance…….

10 pm, 100 Lafayette Street

September 13, 2008

David Foster Wallace Found Dead

Very sad.

Dr. Dooom 2 Out September 23

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We've always deified Kool Keith and are excited to hear "Dr. Dooom 2" will be released this month. The first track [below] sounds like more of the same, but that's not necessarily a bad thing since the original Dr. Dooom record is one of our favorite hip hop records. Ever. It's an underrated classic that's even better than its progeny "Dr. Octagon." Here's a tune from the upcoming "Dr. Dooom 2":


If Cheney Is Darth Vader, Palin Is The Emperor

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Holy shit fuck

One of Palin's first acts in office was to put a $150 bounty on the heads of her state's wolves... to incentivize the aerial killing of wolves, in which private hunters take a small plane and chase down wolf packs until they're exhausted and can't move any more, when they either shoot them from the air or land and execute them at point blank range. Then, they strap the wolf to a plane, cut off the wolf's left forearm, and bring it to the state Department of Fish and Game for their cash reward.
Pig in lipstick my ass. She's the devil. Plus, she hates cats and polar bears.

Back To School Party with Lightning Bolt

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image of Black Pus at Market Hotel (aka Brian Chippendale) by Aj Cranford

Todd P's throwing a backyard party today at 979 Broadway in Bushwick. Take the L to Jefferson, the JMZ to Myrtle, or the G to Myrtle-Willoughby. Doors at 3:30, with Lightning Bolt (!) going on around 7 (my guess), and featuring a special guest....which is never a let down. $10. Go get rowdy then come back to the Voter Booth to register, with beer and pizza as your reward. Info, via Todd P:

:: BACK TO SCHOOL PARTY - OUTSIDE!

:: LIGHTNING BOLT
:::: Growing
:::::: Krallice ---------> sunny black metal from Mick Barr & friends!
:::::::: Daily Life -----> new Suicide-ish project from Chris from Kites

:: really, truly, amazing special secret guests - big 'uns!

[ 979 BROADWAY BACKYARD ]
979 Broadway btwn Myrtle Ave & Ditmars St | Bushwick, Brooklyn
JMZ-Myrtle, L-Jefferson, G-Myrtle-Willoughby | doors 3:30 | $10 | all ages

RAIN OR SHINE - WE'RE GETTING TENTS &'LL MOVE IT TO MH IF IT'S TOO WET

We'll hopefully have some pictures later this weekend for ya.

Voter Booth - Tonight!

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If you still haven’t registered to vote, then you best hurry up because time is definitely running out, and as you may have heard, there is a potential shitstorm ahead for the next four years if we don’t get the right people in office.

To help coerce the politically apathetic to get registered, there is going to be a glorious pizza + beer party tonight at Crest Warehouse near the Lorimer stop. Art, music, whiskey, pizza, and patriotism – what more could you ask for? !?

7-10 pm, 546 Metropolitan Ave.

September 12, 2008

Chief Mag Rooftop Party Tonight!

Chief Mag's throwing a hoedown on a roof tonight. Location: 75 Roebling. They've got 8 DJ's and an animated GIF invite. Check that shit out.

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via Dead People.

McCain@Old.Com

Barack Obama basically LOL's at McCain and calls him old in his latest ad, "Still". My prediction: Republicans make Ageism the new Sexism next week. Oldies.

Watch it:

She Was A Mess

Of course, the media is now likely to call her nervousness "refreshing" and "endearing" and refer to her ignorance on the issues as an "outside the beltway perspective." You know, because she's a mavrick. If America thinks she's ready to be president, then they deserve her.

September 11, 2008

Under Sarah Palin, Rape Victims Forced To Pay For Own Exams

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anti-feminist, polar bear killer, cat hater

From US News via Americablog

The blogosphere is reporting that when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, in the late 1990s, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's municipal police department charged rape victims for the "rape kit" used to collect the forensic evidence necessary to convict their attackers. According to reports, this changed in 2000 when then Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles signed a bill protecting rape victims from being charged. As I wrote recently, however, the situation described in Wasilla is not unique. In all too many instances, women are still being stuck with the bill for rape kits. This despite the fact that in order to qualify for federal grants under the Violence Against Women Act, states are supposed to pick up the entire tab. If on her watch Sarah Palin allowed women to be charged for rape kits, she has some serious explaining to do.
And of course, if a rape victim were to get pregnant, she'd want to deny her the right to have an abortion too.

Test Your Knowledge on the 9/11 MSNBC Quiz

Think you remember 9/11? Take MSNBC's quiz. I scored a 60%, tying both Pareene and Moe at Gawker and beating Wonkette (who got a dismal 40%!). Be careful, some of those questions are sneaky. From MSNBC:

9/11 was one of the biggest news stories of all time, and certainly the most widely covered (including by the burgeoning Internet). But how much information were you taking in? Here’s a tougher-than-our-usual-weekly-news-quiz test of your 9/11 knowledge.

MSNBC - Know 9/11? Take a tougher-than-usual quiz

We Knew Santogold's "Lights Out" Was Missing Something

MORE COWBELL!

 Make your own at MoreCowbell.dj 

September 10, 2008

Sixpoint Brews an Obama Beer

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Brooklyn's own Sixpoint Brewery is now brewing an Obama beer. Called the Hop Obama, the ale supposedly represents Obama in a number of ways...from its Scottish yeast to his hint of spiciness. Or, as Sixpoint explains, it reminds them of Obama's grassroots campaign, in that it "positively blossoms each and every day". The ale has 5.2% alcohol by volume, and is only available in New York and Massachusetts. But, if it's got Obama juice in it, it's just gotta be delicious, right? From Sixpoint's website:

In keeping with the Illinois senator's unifying theme, the Hop Obama is an entirely unique ale that doesn't adhere to traditional style guidelines....Fused from an incredibly diverse background, the flavors are individually unique by gaining their solidarity from their invisibility. Although we do not intend this beer to be a direct Sixpoint endorsement of Obama, we believe the delicious and refreshing quality it represents reminds us of the Senator's successful grassroots campaign that positively blossoms each and every day.

Yum! I'm going to go hunt down a six pack...

update: ok its not the newest news but hot damn! its still awesome!

Sixpoint Brewery via DBTH

McCarren Park Pool Plans Finalized

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From Curbed

The $50 million makeover of McCarren Pool that would turn it from a concert venue back into a swimming pool was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday by a unanimous 7-0 vote. The vote clears the way for work on the Rogers Marvel redesign to start. The new pool will cover about 70 percent of the area of the old one. There will be a new diving pool and a "resorty" look with umbrellas and tables. There will be cafes, possibly including something up in the arch. Also ice skating in winter and indoor community space, which might allow for some concert programming. All in all, however, good thing there are many photos to fuel the memories of the Golden Hipster Era at McCarren.

Attention Media Retards Obsessed With Pigs & Lipstick: Here's A Real Story

[hat tip Rumproast]

Ghost Spotted on Camera in York, UK Pub

Can you spot the ghost?

The UK's Press reports on the mystery, saying even CCTV experts can't explain what the heck it is. It's clearly casper heading into the bowels of the bar for a pint, no doubt about it.

More from the article:

Tenant Janine Robinson, who runs the premises with her husband, Kevin, heard strange sounds coming from the downstairs hallway early in the morning on Saturday, August 23. “I put the cameras on in the office upstairs to have a look,” she said. “I saw what I thought was a man going up the stairs. I saw something else going behind it and going into the poolroom. “But when I switched to the camera in there, it was all locked up and there was nothing there.” Janine had to go downstairs to make breakfast for her guests. But later, she went back to look at footage from the camera in the downstairs hall and saw ghostly orbs floating up the stairs.

Oooohh I'm so ready for halloween! Maybe the alcoholic ghost will make a stop at Royal Oak this weekend! Get your cameras ready, let's catch this guy.

Obama Responds To McCain's Hogwash


[hat tip Rumproast]

Hipsters Winning War on The Real World

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image via gawker

Congratulations, noble tight-jeaned residents of Williamsburg. We've managed to hurt a Real World cast member's feelings! Matt Harvey from the New York Press was following around the spiky-haired bunch last night at glam rock's Semi Precious Weapons show, when Chet, the virginal mormon (pictured above), admitted that hipsters in Williamsburg are big meanies. Funniest part about this, is it's not like its the verbal abuse they get when they come to town, I guess you people are literally throwing things at them! Awesome! From the article:

When we go to Williamsburg we get harassed. The hipsters throw things at us and say ‘Why are you here? Go home! Ten years ago none of them were there either.’” He looked hurt and wondered, “Why are the hipsters so small minded?” I could only nod sympathetically but my friend, a Brooklynite, wasn’t even going to pretend, “I can understand why they don’t want you there.” Chet thought about it for a moment then nodded, “Yeah, I guess.

Keep up the defense, young Brooklyn-knights. Oh, and click here to send ol' Chet a message on Facebook.

story at nypress

Conflux 2008

This year’s Conflux Festival kicks off tomorrow in Greenwich Village and will run throughout the weekend. There will be a ton of exhibits, presentations, and activities, and nearly all of them are free. Many of you may remember last year’s Conflux, with its epicenter on Havemeyer and Metropolitan. Quite a few Williamsburg-based galleries participated in ’07 (and who could forget the infamous lock-picking tutorial booth!?!). Although they’ve switched neighborhoods this year, it still promises to be an exciting weekend.

From Conflux:

“Conflux is the annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography, the investigation of everyday urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practice. At Conflux, visual and sound artists, writers, urban adventurers and the public gather for four days to explore their urban environment……

“From architects to skateboarders, Conflux participants have an enthusiasm for the city that’s contagious. Over the course of the long weekend the sidewalks are literally transformed into a mobile laboratory for creative action. With tools ranging from traditional paper maps to high-tech mobile devices, artists present walking tours, public installations and interactive performance, as well as bike and subway expeditions, workshops, a lecture series, a film program and live music performances at night.”

The festival will take place at the Center for Architecture:

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map c/o Conflux

September 09, 2008

Live Music at Death by Audio Tonight

Tuesdays are boring aren't they. Fix that, and go check out the Todd P show at Death By Audio tonight. Info:

:: Brendan Fowler --------> formerly BARR :::: Silk Flowers ----------> members of Soiled Mattress & Car Clutch :::::: Hard Bop :::::::: City Center -------> Fred from Saturday Looks Good to Me :::::::::: Katie Eastburn --> from Young People

[ DEATH BY AUDIO ]
49 S 2nd St btwn Wythe & Kent | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, JM-Marcy, G-Metropolitan | 8pm | $7 | ALL AGES
-- MYSPACE --> http://myspace.com/deathbyaudioshows

via toddp

Ms Williamsburg is from New Jersey

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Christophe Legris for Stuff Hipsters Don't Like

While I never made it out to the Mr and Miss Williamsburg pageant last weekend, it turns out one participant is exposing the organizers and saying it was all a sham!

From SHDL:

Misha fielded our questions before we did a run through of how events would proceed. She also instructed us not to tell anyone from “the press” that the whole applicant process was rigged! Sorry, Misha. Welcome to the 21st Century where ordinary people and seasoned journalists alike can blow your cover in the blogoshpere! Also on the list of things not to talk about was the Colt 45 story (fabricated publicity stunt) and the fact that almost all of the contestants were Misha’s friends from college.

Well that isn't surprising. If you want to view a whole lot of people from New Jersey pretending to be from Williamsburg, check out Lola's photo album on Picasa, or just click through the jump for a picture of our newly crowned Ms. Williamsburg chugging a PBR while simultaneously taking her underwear off while wearing an American Apparel onesie. Whew, I feel gross just typing that. Where'd the innocence go?! Somebody, please, spray me with Ecto-Cooler and take me to church.


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The Ruby Suns!

Not nearly enough people listen to The Ruby Suns as of yet, so today we’ve posted a video for you. They’re a New Zealand-based band that plays a dazzling blend of psychedelic world music. This is the video for “Tane Mahuta,” from this year’s Sea Lion LP.

The Ruby Suns are slated for some upcoming CMJ dates in October, so make sure to keep them in mind - they put on a gorgeous live set.

Palin Hates Polar Bears and Rainbows... Scared Of Cats

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From The Raw Story

ABC News sent Lisa Fletcher to Wasilla, Alaska to speak to "the women who know her best." Fletcher interviewed four of Palin's closest friends, members of a group who jokingly call themselves "the Elite Six." ...
When asked to reveal something about Palin that no one knows, one woman offered, "She doesn't care for cats very much," and another chimed in, "Oh, yes, she's afraid of my cat." A third added, "She lives off of caffeine and chocolate."

Although the women told Fletcher that they didn't discuss politics much among themselves, one did venture that there were certain things Palin had done as governor that she didn't agree with, including "the polar bear issue." Palin has sued the federal government to stop the listing of polar bears as an endangered species

That's right, she sued the government for the right to kill polar bears. WTF? Palin may claim to be all Christiany, but shes sounds more evil than the child catcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang to us. And she's afraid of cats. Who does that remind us of? Obviously, if we elect a VP who's afraid of cats, then the terrorists win. Plus her own inner circle, the so-called "Elite Six" (arugula-eating elitists!) won't even commit to voting for this bible-thumping, book-banning, Creationism-touting, flip-flopping, rapture ready moose killer. Video after the jump.

September 08, 2008

Where Is Michel Gondry?

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Michel Gondry is missing!!! At least that's what someone wants you to believe, after they've taken to the streets to post messages of a lost Gondry (who recently moved into a house on Orient Ave. in East Williamsburg) all over town. Gothamist found a whole bunch of photos, Rex at Fimoculous saw one outside of Freemans in the LES, and the reports keep coming in. I saw the above message scrawled in red tape on North 6th by Bedford this weekend, on the plywood of the construction site across from Surf Bar. What's going on?!

From Gothamist:

Unless Michel Gondry somehow went missing without it making the news, then this is either a marketing campaign, or some crazy fan trying to make contact with the director. Signs that have popped up in Manhattan (Gondry now lives in Brooklyn) state, "Have you seen French film maker Michel Gondry? Any infos please be kind and send email" (our email to the address has yet to get a response).

See more images on Flickr.

New Anti-Obama 527 Plans Attack On "Hope" Theme

From HuffPost

Republican political strategists in California are setting up a new political organization which hopes to run television commercials undermining the central themes of Senator Obama's presidential campaign while underscoring the strengths of his Republican opponent, Senator McCain of Arizona....

The organization's slick Web site includes a 30-second video (click on "MEDIA") that shows images of war and misery around the world as an announcer gravely warns of the dangers of putting America in untested hands.

Meanwhile, the Democrats sit back and do nothing as McCain/Palin continue to rise in the polls. Where are Obama's tough ads about Palin's lack of experience, her desire to ban books and teach Creationism in public schools, the Troopergate scandal, and her opposition to abortion even when a woman has been raped? Her views are way to the right of most Americans and she is inarguably a lightweight when it comes to foreign policy. Other than Canada, Palin has only been out of the country once in her entire life, for Chrissake.

And where are the ads showing McCain's rejection of the GI Bill and his endorsement of torture? And let's not forget the "pork-cutting maverick's" role as a member of the Keating Five. He supported the invasion of Iraq before we'd even completed the job in Afghanistan, a country that is much more of a threat to our national security than Saddam Hussein ever was.

And why haven't we seen an ad about how Palin's lack of experience puts the country at risk? Do they even have phones in her bumfuck little town, should she get a 3am call? McCain 1.0 wouldn't have nominated Palin as his running mate. He would have labeled her (along with the nutjobs like James Dobson he's been courting) as an agent of intolerance.

The GOP swift-boated John Kerry and he did nothing. It would be nice if the Democrats would finally grow a pair and come out fighting before Obama's campaign of hope becomes hopeless.

Brookyn Kickball Playoffs Underway

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Brooklyn Kickball teams met throughout the afternoon Sunday as the league entered playoff season. Early games saw a bit of a delay while the fields were raked around after Saturday's torrential rains, but things got up and running in no time indeed. Players will be back next week with a few rivalry's shaping up, so head over to McCarren Park around 2 to catch the action. Above's a shot of Never Scared scoring their winning run over a mercy ruled Storm of Lazers. Below the jump is a shot of the Storm's pitcher in action, with league MVP Tiger Matt umping the festivities.

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September 07, 2008

Monotonix & Silver Jews at Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Silver Jews, c/o Synthesis Blog

The bands on the last night's bill at MHOW don’t initially seem like a natural fit: Israeli punk/metal band Monotonix and Tennessee’s Silver Jews, known for their distinctive country twang and mellow stage presence.

Monotonix have built a reputation on their wild live performances, and energy brewed as the band set up their drum kit on the floor amongst the audience. Immediately as the percussion pounded and the guitar kicked in, lead singer Ami was grabbing beers from audience members and tossing them in every direction. Throughout the set he proceeded to run the gamut of outrageousness - dumping a trashcan onto his drummer, climbing into different sections of the venue like an insane Rasputin-meets-Ted Nugent persona, as well as faux-choking fans with his mic cord.

Meanwhile, his two bandmates continually moved equipment throughout the audience, and screamed about with rowdy, sweaty fans. The level of energy and interaction was amazing. Even though their sound fits much more into the garage-metal then the punk rubric, it was basically the most punk rock thing I’ve ever fucking seen. Monotonix left the floor covered in garbage and various fluids, with the venue staff none too happy.

Although it must have been difficult to transition after the decimation provided by their openers, Silver Jews entered to a sold-out crowd who maintained an electric enthusiasm. Lead singer David Berman strutted around stage like an awkward English teacher and conversed with the audience and bandmates alike with a hilarious dry humor. Plenty of new material from their just-released Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea was played, as well as favorites from Tanglewood Numbers and even older numbers like “Trains Across the Sea.”

The oddly matched bands ended up putting on quite a show last night, so anyone who has tickets for tonight at Bowery, then get super-mega excited. I'm excited for you! Silver Jews will then play Maxwell’s in Hoboken tomorrow, and Monotix will play here in Brooklyn at Death By Audio tomorrow as well.

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c/o Monotonix

East Village Radio Music Festival Rescheduled

It's today! More information at www.eastvillageradio.com.

John McCain Gets BarackRoll'd

September 05, 2008

Delta Spirit at Mercury Lounge

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Delta Spirit, c/o Clarissa Roudabush

Harmonicas abounded last night at the Mercury Lounge, where Delta Spirit (supported by a terrific opening line-up of tri-state area bands) took the stage and generated a soulful Americana and bluesy-rock atmosphere. The San Diego-based five-some have been gaining momentum in 2008, and just appeared on the Conan O’Brien show Wednesday night. The attention is well deserved. Their LP Ode to Sunshine was just released on August 26th, and the set was reflective of that material. Songs like “Streetwalker” or “Strange Vine” would make predecessors like The Walkmen or Dr. Dog proud, whereas the more melancholy performance of “House Built for Two” illustrated a perfect example of why this group will only continue to build a following and become a big ol’ deal in the months to come.

The openers each held their own and augmented the evening. Solo-acoustic singer Peasant opened to a quiet and small audience with his heart-aching songs. Brooklyn’s own Action Painters transitioned nicely with their unique blend of jovial synth-pop melded with southern sensibilities, playing tracks from their debut Chubby Dancer. Finally, Salt & Samovar (another NYC-based band) provided plenty of sound checks, as well as an amazing high energy and interaction with the audience throughout their country rock flavor.

The four bands complimented each other perfectly and composed a worthwhile evening for all who attended. Keep an eye on all of these groups…

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Action Painters


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Salt & Samovar

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Salt & Samovar


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Delta Spirit

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Delta Spirit

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Delta Spirit

All photos by Clarissa Roudabush

The September 2008 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

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Burn After Reading

For some reason, Hollywood has decided to release fifteen movies a week (except the first week) in September.

SEPTEMBER 5

BANGKOK DANGEROUS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Nicolas Cage plays a hitman who loves his job and doesn't do anything to jeopardize it. Nah, just kidding.

WILL IT SUCK?
On the one hand, IMDB has this as the highest-rated Pang Bros. (creators of the original The Eye) film yet (it's an English-language remake, in fact, of their own eponymous film). On the other hand, it's not being screened for critics. Take a look at this NSFW clip and tell me what you think. I'm personally hoping for gloriously bad.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
It's opening against nothing, which can only mean one thing. It's the beginning of September and nobody goes to the movies. $18mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Nic Cage: Worst Hair

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EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE ITALIAN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Guy pretends to be Italian to get with a girl.

WILL IT SUCK?

Early buzz is good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Has the indie romcom audience all to itself, but not a lot of marketing. $1mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
No.

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MISTER FOE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Jamie Bell stars as the title character, a teen who falls for his stepmom, then accuses her of murder.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. From Young Adam writer/director David Mackenzie.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Young Adam couldn't get any traction, and that had Ewan McGregor (and his hammer). $1mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
If this had a higher profile, I'd say keep an eye on Jamie Bell.

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PING PONG PLAYA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Jive-talkin' Asian guy learns to love his inner ping pong player when he's forced to teach his parents' class.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good. From the writer/director of Henry Darger doc In the Realms of the Unreal.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
No stars. $500,000.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
No stars.

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A SECRET

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Guy (Mathieu Almaric) reminisces about discovering a horrible family secret while growing up in France during the Nazi occupation.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is pretty good. From writer/director Claude Miller, a name you might recognize if you're familiar with French cinema, which I am not. Based on the Phillipe Grimbert novel.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Don't think just having Almaric in the trailer will cut it. $500,000.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
With better reviews, might be on a French submission shortlist, but I doubt it.

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SEPTEMBER 12
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THE WOMEN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Remake of the 1939 Joan Crawford classic about a woman who finds out her husband is cheating on her. Witty female bonding ensues.

WILL IT SUCK?
The question isn't so much did you like the original as it is did you like Murphy Brown? That show's creator, Diane English, worked ten long years on recreating this film and is now in the writer/director's chair.

Replacing Joan Crawford and the rest of the all female cast of the original are Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith and Eva Mendes as The Skank. Not bad, but I've gotta say the lineup for Friends With Money was stronger.

As pitched, this looks like an update of Sex and the City, not a Hollywood classic.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Minus the first week, this is a very crowded September, and Women isn't even trying to capitalize off the popularity of the original. $35mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Any year other than 1939, the original would have been swimming in nods. This one, not so much.

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BURN AFTER READING

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Coen Bros. bring the funny.

WILL IT SUCK?
It's the Coen Bros. Do we really need to have this discussion? Adding fuel to the fire is the anticipation of seeing them work with John Malkovich for the first time, plus J.K. Simmons, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and David Rasche. The red band trailer is pretty hilarious.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Righteous Kill will be an issue, but for all the movies coming out this weekend, it's the Coens who've got Pitt and Clooney. $75mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Coens already done got theirs.

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TYLER PERRY'S THE FAMILY THAT PREYS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Tyler Perry sees white people.

WILL IT SUCK?
More interesting to me than Perry adding people of non-color to his palette is the fact that he's attracting Oscar winners into his troupe. Kathy Bates plays one of the leads alongside Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Latham, Robin Givens, Cole Hauser and Prison Break's Rockmon Dunbar. Will any of this actually make the movie better than any of his other efforts, none of which have received strong critical notice? In spite of a better-than-average trailer, I'm not holding my breath.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The Women will pull just a tad on the demo, but Perry's track record is pretty solid. $56mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
We're not there yet.

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RIGHTEOUS KILL

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro play cops trying to track down a serial killer who may be a cop.

WILL IT SUCK?
Remember it wasn't just the combo of De Niro and Pacino that made Heat rock. It was De Niro + Pacino + Michael Fucking Mann. Here we have De Niro + Pacino + The Guy Who Directed Fried Green Tomatoes. So I'm not as psyched. However, we also have the guy who wrote Inside Man. So, I'm interested again.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
In the De Niro/Pacino vs. Clooney/Pitt dust up, it's going to be close. $57mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
If they would, Overture would not be releasing a film with these two actors in September.

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TOWELHEAD

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Arab-American Teen

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is good, and I would expect nothing less from writer/director Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty scribe). Especially when tackling the hardcore source material by novelist Alicia Erian.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The "well-duh" controversy surrounding the title can only help sell tickets before a flood of indie product arrives the following week.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Look for newcomer Summer Bishil to stand a chance in the lead and Aaron Eckhart to sport a supporting nod in what looks to be one of his creepiest turns yet.

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SEPTEMBER 19
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LAKEVIEW TERRACE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Black cop terrorizes his white neighbor. Awesome!

WILL IT SUCK?
Sam Jackson and Patrick Wilson is strong casting. Period. And I'm curious to see what director Neil LaBute does with the material. Granted, he hasn't hit one of out of the park since In the Company of Men. But one of the screenwriters wrote Dreamscape. Dreamscape!

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Hard to see this doing better than the similarly-themed Changing Lanes. $34mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Little Children this ain't.

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MY BEST FRIEND'S GIRL

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Jason Biggs hires Dane Cook to look so bad that he looks good to Kate Hudson by comparison. It doesn't work.

WILL IT SUCK?
Back in the day, director Howard Deutch was helming the girlier selections from the John Hughes oeuvre like Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. Later he would direct sequels to movies that probably didn't need them, like Grumpier Old Men and The Whole Ten Yards. This looks more like the latter.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Is there any reason this should do better than Good Luck Chuck? Kate Hudson, you say? Fair enough. $44mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Remember when Kate Hudson was an Oscar nominee?

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IGOR

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Remember the Mad Science Fair from that one episode of The Tick? Well, this is what would happen if an assistant entered.

WILL IT SUCK?
From writer Chris McKenna, who's penned some American Dad's. I don't usually pay attention to the voice cast, but you gotta love Eddie Izzard playing a character named Dr Shadenfraude.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
It is best not to underestimate family fare in September, especially when it has no competition. $71mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
I think Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda have got that covered.

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GHOST TOWN

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Kind of like The Sixth Sense meets Always. But funny.

WILL IT SUCK?
When David Koepp writes and directs (Stir of Echoes, Secret Window), he tends to be more consistent than when he just writes (everything from Carlito's Way to The Shadow). Here he's co-writing with Zathura scribe John Kamps. So there's potential.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Can Ricky Gervais open a film? Under ideal conditions, yes. With fifty million competitors, not so much. $26mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
No. But he deserves a nod for the series finale of Extras, even though it wasn't a movie.

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THE DUCHESS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
True story of an 18th Century duchess (Keira Knightley) who ended up in a loveless marriage. I understand that happened occasionally back then.

WILL IT SUCK?
Strong cast: Along with Knightley you've got Ralph Fiennes and Charlotte Rampling. Some good scribes up in here, too. The guy who wrote Stage Beauty and Casanova joins the guy who wrote After the Wedding.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The last two times they put Knightley in an indie period piece, it worked out well. $20mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Knightley got a Best Actress nod for Pride and Prejudice and while she wasn't nominated for Atonement, the film was, seven times over including Best Picture.

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APPALOOSA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Ed Harris & Viggo Mortensen vs. Jeremy Irons, Western-style.

WILL IT SUCK?
Did I mention Ed Harris is directing, too? Yeah. It's like that.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Even in wide release, Westerns are a tough sell. $14mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Let's see. The last time Ed Harris directed a movie, Marica Gay Harden won an Oscar and he got a Best Actor nod. Oh, and this has little miss nod-bait Renee Zellwegger up in here, too.

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BATTLE IN SEATTLE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Stuart Townsend's retelling of the events of November/December 1999 when demonstrators and police clashed at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.

WILL IT SUCK?
The writing/directing debut of Townsend, whom you might know from such films as Queen of the Damned and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Or not. Early buzz is good.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The question is, do people still have an interest in this event? $6mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
If Bobby couldn't generate politicized event heat with its thousand actors, I don't see this ensemble doing any better.

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ELITE SQUAD

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Two brothers enter the Rio de Janeiro military police.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed about the latest from co-writer/director Jose Padilha. Audiences seem to think it's even better than his Onibus 174, while critics have a more mixed response. Note: One of the writers penned City of God. Let the Fernando Meirelles comparisons begin.

Took the Golden Bear at Berlin and won just about every Cinema Brazil Grand Prize category out there.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Unless these films get huge buzz, nobody sees them. $500,000.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
I think he's one or two films away from that, unless Brazil decides to submit this for Best Foreign.

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A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS

(Delayed from July)

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
The latest from Wayne Wang has a father (Henry O) visiting his daughter in the States as she goes through a divorce.

WILL IT SUCK?
Director Wayne Wang started out great guns with The Joy Luck Club and Smoke then took the express to Suckville with limp romantic comedies like Maid in Manhattan and Last Holiday. This appears to be a return to form.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I don't see how moving this to an even more crowded weekend is going to help. $250,000.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Even Smoke didn't get any Academy love.

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SEPTEMBER 26
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MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Spike Lee gets his WWII on.

WILL IT SUCK?
Suspiciously-timed criticisms of Clint Eastwood aside, Spike Lee is still one of the strongest filmmakers out there, and I'm curious to see what he does with the war genre. James McBride adapts his own novel. And Derek Luke, John Leguizamo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt should make for a powerful cast.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Well, it's not exactly going to beat Eagle Eye, but, given good word of mouth, it should be able to grind out a decent living. $34mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
That's the idea, but I'm not sure it's going to happen.

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EAGLE EYE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
B-List Enemies of the State

WILL IT SUCK?
You know what? D.J. Caruso did a good job with Disturbia and a heckuva job with Salton Sea (and, yes, I'm totally ignoring Taking Lives and Two for the Money). I actually like Shia LaBouef and am continually impressed with Michelle Monaghan so I'm happy with the casting. Writers are basically unkown, though two of them are working on the Warriors remake. I don't know if that makes me happy or sad. Probably sad.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The closest thing you'll get to an event movie in September. $69mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
No. But can we get Monaghan some retroactive love for Gone Baby Gone?

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NIGHTS IN RODANTHE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Richard Gere and Diane Lane are swallowed by a prehistoric bird. No. Wait. I'm being told that's incorrect. Actually, they fall in love at a beach house. (You can pretty much see the entire movie in trailer form here.)

WILL IT SUCK?
The director did Lackawanna Blues, which is supposed to be pretty damn good. Narnia scribe Anne Peacock is on board with Intolerable Cruelty writer John Romano. Based on a novel by Notebook author Nicholas Sparks. And that's where I tune out.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The field is not exactly void of romantic films right now, but if they keep playing that Notebook card it might help. $44mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
There's probably another Unfaithful in Diane Lane's future, but this ain't it.

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THE LUCKY ONES

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Three Iraq War vets (Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams, Michael Pena) who've just met go on a road trip.

WILL IT SUCK?
From the writer/director of The Illusionist, which didn't suck (he also directed Interview With the Assassin, which you should check out). Early buzz is good. Psyched about the cast. Trailer makes it look pretty cheesy, but for the aforementioned reasons I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Why are they releasing this wide? You don't release Iraq War films wide. That's just the way it is right now. $13mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
If I thought the Academy was comfortable with Iraq as a topic (outside of docs) and the trailer looked less cheesy, I'd say maybe.

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BLINDNESS

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
An epidemic of blindness leads to the victims being quarantined and going all Lord of the Flies on each other while Julianne Moore, who's faking blindness to stay with her stricken husband (Mark Ruffalo) er, looks on.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed, which is disappointing since this is Fernando (Constant Gardener, City of God) Meirelles we're talking about here. The writer's no slouch, either, having penned the decent-but-unseen Childstar. Gael Garcia Bernal is up in here, too, but apparently that didn't help.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Maybe pick a less crowded weekend. Maybe go limited, too. $31mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
If it had got better reviews, maybe.

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CHOKE

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
Based on a Chuck Palahniuk novel, so expect some maleness.

WILL IT SUCK?
The writing/directing debut of "Hey! It's That Guy!" stalwart Clark Gregg (the S.H.I.E.L.D. recruiter in Iron Man). Although combining Sam Rockwell and Palahniuk was all I needed to hear. Early buzz is good, including a Special Jury Prize at Sundance.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Fight Club didn't do all that well, and that had Brad Pitt. $9mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Maybe Sam Rockwell (it would be about damn time). Maybe Adapted Screenplay?

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FIREPROOF

WHAT'S THE PITCH?
"Faith-based" story about a firefighter (Kirk Cameron) with a failing marriage.

WILL IT SUCK?
In case you were wondering, "faith based" is code for "We think you should accept Jesus, okay?" From the makers of surprise we-think-you-should-accept-Jesus hit Facing the Giants.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
No reason for it not to do as well as Giants. It just won't be a surprise this time. $14mil.

WILL ANYBODY REMEMBER IT AT OSCAR TIME?
Now that would be a surprise.

Next Month: Before we elect a new president, Oliver Stone wants you to take another look at the current one.

Turbo Saturday 9000

If you think you’ve got nothing to do Saturday, then you are sorely mistaken because it is promising to be epic. In addition to the Obama fundraiser at Soundfix and the Monster Island Block Party, here are a few different options:

1. 2008 ART PARADE

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’07 Art Parade, c/o New York Times

Deitch Projects presents the 3rd annual Art Parade in SoHo, and this year is guaranteed to be more outrageous then ever. Head on over to Broadway and watch more then 900 participants exhibit their art, performance pieces, insane costumes, and more. (starts at 4 pm on West Broadway and Houston)

2. EAST VILLAGE RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL


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Poster c/o of East Village Radio

To celebrate their 5th birthday, East Village Radio will be hosting a super-mega indie-fest at South Street Seaport, which will last basically all day long (1-9 pm). Awesome Color, Vivian Girls, Boris, and Devin the Dude are just a few of the acts slated to perform. And for those of you lil’ lost puppies who don’t know how to venture down to the Seaport, EVR is even providing a free shuttle bus from their headquarters on 19 First Ave. Vamos!

Hug Anytime Goodbye

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photo via papermag

For most of the past year or so, my girlfriend worked at the American Apparel on No. 6th, meaning I got all sorts of great tshirts, pink boxers, and thigh-high socks. I'd usually go wait for her to get off on late nights, or stop by to say hi and then go grab a $1 PBR at Anytime. Once a few of those were drained, I'd head over to Hugs and play a few games of Buck Hunter, where I'd own the Elks. That, or catch some Thursday night comedy. But seriously, I had top spot on a lot of the Elk levels. If anyone finds that machine, look for Moneyries. That's my domination.

Well, as things go, Anytime's switched hands, and they're gone along with their oh-so-loved $1 PBR's and $2 well drinks. They have a new location at 20 Skillman Ave., but they only do take-out and delivery. Hugs closed up shop last month. Word is they didn't have the necessary permits, which is totally beyond me. Isn't the first thing you do when opening a new bar, before decorating, naming the beers on tap, and hiring staff, don't you get a freaking permit?! I don't get it.

But, regardless, my girlfriend's moved on, Hugs is gone, and Anytime went with it. So now, that little corner of North 6th is now nothing but a memory to me. Goodbye Hugs, Goodbye Anytime, I think I'll miss ya.

The Words They Used (At The Conventions)

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Of course, God, taxes, and business are at the top for the GOP. See the full chart here.

Speaking of the convention, it was nice to see Olbermann address the GOP's (disgusting, immoral, predictable) politicizing of September 11. Holy Christ.... that "9-11 Tribute" video was disgraceful. Here's Olbermann's response, in case you missed it

But at the end of the day THIS sums up the GOP convention best.

September 04, 2008

Obama Fundraiser At Soundfix

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image c/o Tatiana

This should be a great event for a great cause. Namely, keeping the GOP out of office. Plus, FREEwilliamsburg favorites La Strada are performing.

Join a group of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Barack Obama supporters at The Burg for Barack, a grassroots fundraising event featuring LIVE MUSIC by great Brooklyn bands: Twi and the Humble Feather, La Strada & Amber Rubarth, a bake sale, silent auction featuring local handmade jewelry, clothing, yoga sessions, massages and more at Sound Fix at 110 Bedford Ave @ N.11th St. on September 6 at 8 PM, $5 suggested donation at the door. Questions, donations, want to volunteer or bake some goodies for the sale? Contact Kelley at 917-715-8639.
More information here.

1/2 price Goldfrapp tickets

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Hello hello! Goldfrapp and Martha Wainwright are playing on Sept. 12th at Radio City, which should be spectacular given the acoustics in there. Word is that if you click right here
and enter the discount code CARAVAN, you can buy tickets for next week’s show for 50% off! Go ahead and give it a whirl, that’s definitely a price reduction worth taking advantage of...

Sarah Palin's Favorite Band


[Thanks Rockman]

Joe Klein, Via Rumproast

There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is “a task from God.” The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.
And let's not forget, this Jeebusy lightweight even opposes abortion in the case of rape. The McCain who used to call religious wackos "agents of intolerance" has clearly morphed into the type of candidate who would malign his own mother to get into office.

The Dodos!

It’s Thursday morning, and if you managed not to cry/vomit during last night’s speech(es) from the RNC, then you deserve a treat. This video from The Dodos
should do the trick – it’s their song “Fools,” off this year’s Visiter album. Their sound is a radiant and experimental blend, in the same vein as Animal Collective or Port O’Brien.

The Dodos will be playing later this month at Spiegelworld with Au (on 9/29, to be exact). Tickets are $20 and highly recommended!

The Most Important Pageant On Earth is Almost Here

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picture via nypost

Misha's little Mr and Miss Williamsburg Pageant was featured in an article in the New York Post today, titled "Sillyburg" (Cute, Post). It's the same ol' same ol', only this time we meet some contestants. And guess who's in it!! The Post ingeniously completes their article with a picture of the 3 contestants (Lola, Sarah Yoo, and Vincent Galgano), a close up of Misha, a picture of MGMT singer Andrew Vanwyngarden, and some Banksy street art. Wtf?! Is that all Williamsburg is to you people? Some hipsters, MGMT, and Banksy? Banksy's from freaking England! Oh, the multi-layers of irony just make my head spin.

Read Sillyburg, at the NY Post, and as always, our interview.

Piper Palin Licks Trig Palin's Hair Into Place

And you know she learned this from her mother, the pitbull in lipstick. Can we really rely on a potential commander-in-chief who licks her children's hair? And can we talk about her kid's names for a second? Piper. Trig. Track. Bristol. Willow. Those are names Tolkien would give to Hobbits. WTF? If those are the names she selects for her children, can we really trust her to be the decider?

September 03, 2008

Nuclear Williamsburg

Is Williamsburg radioactive?

In the not-too-distant future we may see “luxury-style” condos on top of the lot that used to host a facility for low-level radioactive waste and toxic chemicals.

Soon, Curbed will be following the construction of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new condo complex, while we all go hide in our refrigerators like Indiana Jones.

Conservatives Peggy Noonan & Mike Murphy Think Palin Choice Is "Political Bullshit"

We couldn't agree more. HuffPost has the story.

Graffiti Book's Marketing Campaign is Not Terrorism!

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photo via flickr user yzzordorex

Graffiti legend Dumar Brown (aka Nov) has been globetrotting and spreading the word of his new book, The World Screaming Nov, the way he knows best. Graffiti reading "World Screaming Nov", or to some, "World Screaming Nov 11", is just a little bit of marketing, and not to be mistaken for some grim warning of an impending attack. I found this photograph on Flickr of the message painted on a wall in Williamsburg, this one at an intersection along Kent Ave. Similar messages have also been seen throughout Brooklyn and even in Paris (via Gothamist).

The Brooklyn Paper has Brown defending himself, saying "It was just an advertisement. I didn’t have permission, but then again nobody ever asked me if it was OK that they put billboards up in my sight. I’m not a vandal."

Ask Dr. Jay: Subway Warts And Coping With Crohn's Disease

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Dear Dr. Jay,

I had these dryish, warty bumps on the inside of my fingers where I would hold a rail on the subway. Is it at all possible for me to get some sort of gross fungus thing on my fingers just by standing on the subway? Personally, I always try to sit or lean and don't even like touching the exit handle on the bathroom, but honestly I think that was the case.

—Finger Fucked

So I'm going to do my best to put this issue to rest. It's very unlikely that you'd get a fungal infection from casual contact with a subway pole or bathroom doorknob. However, the first thing we learn in medical school is never say never—damn near anything, and I mean anything, can happen and DOES happen. Fungi really like warm, moist environments like showers and locker rooms. The last time I put my hand on a subway pole, it wasn't warm nor moist. But it did feel like someone just slimed it with a slice of bologna.

So it's very unlikely you'd get a fungal infection from a subway pole or a bathroom doorknob. When was the last time I touched one of those things? Years and years and years ago. Catching something is nearly impossible, but I'm not taking any chances.

So wash your hands frequently and don't slime subway poles with bologna and we'll all be just fine.

Dear Dr. Jay,

I have Crohn's Disease—more accurately Ileitis, diagnosed ten years ago. I've largely been very lucky with it, and only get sick with bad abdominal pains and indigestion occasionally. However, I often have pain in my joints (knees, hips, back, and neck). I feel like an old person. I remember reading that this can be a symptom of my Crohn's. How can a digestive-specific disorder be connected to my skeletal system? Is there a way to treat this so I don't feel like I'm cracking all the time?

Thanks,
—Z

Thanks for writing Z.

So the specific, black & white cause of CD is unknown except for the fact that we know it's a combination of environmental triggers and genetic susceptibility that causes a problem with your immune system. Something triggers your immune system to attack your own body—in CD, it's the lining of the intestines. It causes chronic inflammation which leads to horrible pain, diarrhea, and generally feeling like shit. Normally, all these immune system cells in your blood happily float around recognizing friendly proteins that make up all your body's cells. It's trained to recognize old friends. Sometimes they see a foreign protein (like a flu virus), and when they do, they gang up on it and kill it. In CD, your immune system gangs up on your gut. But the "invader" happens to be something you need—your intestines. And when your immune system makes a mistake, it doesn't walk away, it works harder and harder trying to accomplish it's mission.

Until just a few years ago, doctors thought our body had hundreds of thousands of unique proteins in our cells. Then the Human Genome Project came along and debunked that theory. Our DNA only has about 30,000 genes. We're a highly efficient machine that makes use of relatively few building blocks. That's stunningly beautiful to think about except when you consider that, for efficiency's sake, cells use the same protein in different parts of your body. In your case, the same protein that's found in your gut, is also found (maybe in smaller amounts) in your joints. It's the doppelganger effect. So your immune system thinks that both your gut and your joints are foreign and works harder and harder to accomplish it's mission. As you know, that only causes problems. It would be a hell of a lot better if your immune system admitted its mistake and walked away. And that's what doctors are trying to do for you—figure out a way to re-train your immune system so that it realizes it's errors and leaves your gut and your joints alone. Unfortunately, with CD, we haven't yet figured out a good way to do that. We do have some medications that suppress your immune system, but with CD, we're often just chasing our tail trying to play catch-up with a very tricky disease. Hang in there.

If you need more information, one of the best resources on the internet for any health issue is Organized Wisdom.

If you have any questions for Dr. Jay, send an email to askdrjay@freewilliamsburg.com!

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90210 Billboard Doesn't Quite Fit In

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Photo c/o The Brooklyn Paper / Allison Bosworth

The Hasidic community in Williamsburg is a bit up in arms recently over the addition of this sexified 90210 billboard looming over the neighborhood and their stretch of the BQE. A local rabbi gave the reasoning to the Brooklyn Paper:

In Jewish law, it is forbidden to see any part of a lady that is not dressed — and having men and women swimming together is also not permissible, even if they are fully clothed,” said Rabbi David Niederman, president of the United Jewish Organization

Nobody's returning any phone calls. But now that the premiere's come and gone, it'll most likely be taken down quietly one night without noise nor fuss. Offensive? Or maybe just a bit of New York seeping east...

September 02, 2008

Diddy: John McCain is Bugging the F**k Out!

In this crazy hypnotizing video shot on what must be playground carousel, Diddy (Government name: Sean Combs) rants about McCain's seemingly more and more controversial choice of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Aside from openly wondering about the prevalence of black people in Alaska, Diddy wants John McCain to know that he is bugging the fuck out!

Thanks to videogum, more links at buzzfeed.

Lots Of Williamsburg Culinary News...

Via BrooklynBased:

Balthazar alum Danny Minch is opening a Blue Ribbon-style, casual fine dining restaurant in the space across from Clem’s. Minch recruited his chef from Clinton Street Baking Company, and rumor has it that Walter Foods, named after his bulldog Walter, a neighborhood fixture, will offer a slice of birthday cake on the dessert menu each evening. Mmmmm, birthday cake.
More news (and the status of Pies n Thighs) at BrooklynBased.

And You Thought Bush Was Jeebusy

Turns out Palin is one step away from handling snakes. Along with Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Benny Hinn she's a member of the Assembly of God denomination. Watch her in action, addressing her former church:

[Thanks Dufflebag, via HuffPost]

Sarah Palin, Video Blogger


[hat tip Buzzfeed]

On another note, we love that VPILF.com went live about 5 minutes after McCain announced Palin as his running mate. Looks like the site may be short-lived if Palin withdraws early.

UPDATE: Sarah Palin, Video Blogger part 2 after the jump.

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