Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Zero Bridge, who has a new EP out called There We Were, Now Here We Are which came out yesterday, played a fabuloso MTV Iggy party last weekend at restaurant Vermillion. Check out the video below.
MTV Iggy is basically an attempt at "global pop culture" featuring artists from across the world, although most of the homepage is made up of Canada and the US. Vermillion is an attempt at Indian and Latin American flavors, and according to the friends at Yelp, it has succeeded so far.
Add a ethnically-conscious and ethically-conscious band like Zero Bridge and it's basically a formula for cultural positivity even with MTV's presence in the mix. Is MTV even relevant anymore? I stopped watching a while except True Life episodes, but is it still regarded as a premiere destination for youth pop or is it just one in a sea of premiere outlets? Maybe I'm just out of the MTV loop.
Zero Bridge just did a stint in Morocco and played at Public Assembly in Brooklyn for CMJ.
Some video of the perf:
Monday, November 16, 2009
From McBrooklyn and the Yelp NY talk threads comes a wonderful thing: the crowning of the next Ms. G Train (Carrie Prejean antics hopefully not included). City Reliquary is giving you ladies the rest of today to apply for consideration by the only train that decided not to go into Manhattan (not that the train has a mind of it's own, unless you want to call it lazy and uncooperative when you most need to get to Long Island City).
You can apply at this email here: firstname.lastname@example.org but please take a look at the requirements first. You'll need a photo. If you don't have a camera, I would just find an approximation of you on the web and send it in.
On Nov. 19th during the daylight hours, finalists will be chosen. If you're a vampire, that's ok because the actual decision and par-tay will be in the evening at where else, the City Reliquary:
370 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
What should go into being a Ms. G Train? I have no idea, but touring the city up and down the G line would be pretty cool. It's like a Ms. G Train sighting. She could end up being a dirty hipster, but hey the G Train is full of 'em right? Or an incredibly unreliable woman. Basically a lot of cliched negative things about subways, put it to the women, and let's see what happens.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Image by Sam Posten.
I had the pleasure of working and mingling with several tech and entertainment bloggers and some agency folks at AMD's cozy and chill event to roll out their Vision line of platforms for computers and laptops. In a nutshell, the line, with three levels suiting three levels of user, is a fully capable system focusing on entertainment value and especially video capability.
It all may sound a little abstract at first but the get together was a nice way of putting the actual computers in a room and having everyone check it out. Basically what AMD does is provide the hardware for computer makers such as HP or Dell or what have you. Vision is how that hardware is packaged, sort of like saying, "I have a Dell computer running on Intel", in this case it is "I have a Dell computer running on AMD Vision hardware." Get it? Before, it was kind of like, AMD has all these parts but to package it together and make it more presentable and palatable to someone whose idea of customization is going to COMPUSA when I was 16 and thinking that I handpicked my computer when I really didn't.
It's hard to make a dent in the mainstream in their industry (AMD has been able to carve out a niche with hardcore gamers and such who spend a considerable amount on hardware to support the lifestyle), but with something like Vision, it's more clear cut in how to attack and capture a new audience. I mean, those Intel commercials, they are pretty compelling (the "rockstar" one is hilarious) and their focus on employee culture is relatable.
The basic Vision level, which has a set of standard features (listening to music, watching movies, surfing the web, operating on Windows 7) and the laptop can go for as low as 500 which is affordable. Then there is Vision Premium and Vision Ultimate, which peaks my interest in that I've never investing in a computer that really was tailored to multimedia editing (I just can't bring myself to invest in a Mac). Tempting for sure.
Anywho, sitting around chit chatting over a whiskey soda and mini cheese toasts, I got to connect with several of the good people that attended and hopefully walked away with a much clearer understanding of what AMD is trying to do this holiday season with Vision. The vibe was very low key, we had some serious gamers in the house trying out a 3 monitor set of first person shooter destruction, and I chatted with Headlight Entertainment, Paint The Town Red, Pocket Lint, Chip Chick, and journos Laurie Heifetz and Andrew Graham.
The cards say "dance to pulse-pounding music"...and who doesn't want to do that? To me, a computer can house so much of what entertains nowadays and I'm smart enough to know my options, I just need them marketed to me without any pretense or clutter as a baseline consumer. Who knows what's in store for AMD in the future as they have been unveiling a lot of new initiatives over the past year, but this is certainly a step to streamline things and provide a simple option for PC purchasing. Check out the peppy background music below:
An aria by Handel soundtracks the opening salvo of the entity henceforth to be known as Lars von Trier's Antichrist. Underneath the operatic swell, a series of slow-motion, black-and-white movements details a married couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) losing themselves in a particularly encompassing bout of pleasure while their toddler climbs up to the windowsill and falls to his death. A moment of this plainly ridiculous segment even features a close-up of genital insertion while the two are showering, catching glimmers of the bathroom light in the cascading drops of water.
Despite numerous reports that von Trier's lunatic cannonball into the void of art-horror is insufferable from frame one on, this stiff introduction counts as one of only two moments that deserve to be so harshly judged. For most of the films 100+ minutes in fact, von Trier orchestrates an effective look at grief gone mad, tucked away in a remote cabin the couple has named Eden. It is in said cabin that Dafoe's manipulative psychotherapist takes Gainsbourg's struggling PhD candidate to work out her grief and remorse through a series of exercises he has planned, including a rather fruitless attempt to figure out what she is really scared of: Husband, herself or just the plain evil of nature.
Then, as the film's now-canonical central quote pronounces, chaos reigns. A storm of acorns rattling Eden's roof and Dafoe confronting an animatronic fox eating its own intestines in the woods are fanciful lead-ins to the orgy of clitoral castration, penis-smashing and wanton mutilation that dominate the film's final quarter. As her madness begins to bellow in fits of screams and accusations, he finds a scrapbook of witches and pagan rituals performed by women that she has collected and entitled "Gynocide", which may or may not be a tip of the hand from the film's director.
The clutter is immense; noisy, showy and often times deliberately assaultive towards von Trier's (perhaps misguided) concept of inactive cinema. The Danish enfant terrible has consistently incurred bloodlust from the cinema community for his happily malevolent, wildly ambitious canon of experiments in genre mechanics. Over the years the results have swung from triumphant (Dogville, Europa, Breaking the Waves) to provocative (The Idiots, Dancer in the Dark) to imprudently polemical (Manderlay, Epidemic) but they are never films unfit for discussion or boring, for that matter.
Antichrist is no different; but for the first time in his career, von Trier's narrative diversions feel self-conscious and without meaning. The director has said that the film was birthed from a case of severe depression that he looked to excise through the filmmaking process and it's not hard to imagine his more brutal diversions (the fox, the raining acorns, a living burial) as cathartic responses to a dark psychotic state. But underneath the melee lies a tenebrous piece of traditionalist 1970s horror, something Polanski wouldn't have been completely incapable of creating in his heyday. Von
That being said, Antichrist does contain one consistent element amongst its anarchy and that is Ms. Gainsbourg. Certainly one cannot discount the reliable Dafoe, who employs his distinct intensity and snarl here with sincere discipline, but Gainsbourg's dedication to von Trier's vision -- something which has been argued as wildly anti-woman and covertly pro-feminist -- is quite simply astonishing. Whether furiously masturbating against the bare, impious roots of a tree or trembling and torturing herself in their barren apartment, Gainsbourg's physical manifestation of one woman's hell is unshakeable. The same thing cannot be said, in whole, about Antichrist whose director seems too distracted by his own demons to dedicate himself to his characters' demons.
Antichrist is playing at the IFC Center in the West Village (ah, those were the days at the Waverly bar).
Chris Cabin is our very own resident film critic. You can find his reviews mainly at AMC's FilmCritic.com.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
NYC Horror Film Festival in Tribeca Nov. 18th - 22nd kicking off with surf pop sirens Witches in Bikinis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (November 06th, 2009, New York City) – The 2009 NYC Horror Film Festival kicks off on November 18th, 2009, with the opening night party at a new venue, BLVD, located at 199 Bowery, in New York City. Doors open at 7:30 pm, with the festivities to kick off at 8:00 pm. The opening night party serves as one of the few fundraisers for the festival and a $10.00 donation is suggested.
Shorts screened at the party in between the performances include “Barbee Butcher,” “Aaragh, a Monster,” “Carved,” “The Stings of Clarity,” “Burn the Whole Place Down,” “Black Suit Youth,” “Elder Sign,” “Mascacator,” “You Better Behave,” “Close Call,” and “X-Mess Detritus.”
BLVD (http://www.blvdnyc.com/), located at 199 Bowery, adjacent to the termination of Spring Street, BLVD features a world-class restaurant, café, nightclub, event space, live music venue and recording studio, all within one bi-level complex. Noted for its stunning high-tech computer controlled creative lighting and state-of-the-art sound installations that bring both warmth and excitement to the spaces inside, each area of the complex is crafted to support the best in dining, events and entertainment. The main area of BLVD provides a comfortable and spacious lounge and ultra-premium bar where guests can meet and mingle for a pre-dinner drink, or to spend an entire evening.
At just 23 years old Hayley Griffiths (http://www.hayleygriffiths.com/) is achieving global recognition and critical acclaim for her classically trained vocal abilities. Her “stunningly pure soprano voice” (Chicago Medhill review) earned her roles as the lead singer in both “Riverdance” and Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” world tours. Along with acting accomplishments in performances for both the RSC and the BBC, Hayley is ready to pursue her career as a recording artist for the Classical Crossover market. Currently recording her debut album in collaboration with Surefire Music Group, and working with producers who have written/produced for Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Ne-Yo, Brooke Hogan, Makio, Ryan Toby and many others, Hayley’s New Age sound infuses the purity and beauty of her classical background with the solid rhythm and striking arrangements of pop and R&B music. Expect high drama, powerful lyrics and a captivating sound from Hayley’s debut EP, due out Fall 2009.
Brewed in a cauldron deep in Brooklyn, Witches In Bikinis (http://www.witchesinbikinis.com/) combines beach party movie and low-budget horror flick themes into a unique rock ‘n roll experience. Composed of stunning female vocalists and a solid three piece band, the group’s sound is reminiscent of 60’s girl groups, Rocky Horror and B-52’s. Witches In Bikinis has been featured in the NYC Halloween Parade and Fangoria Sirius Radio.
The Tarantinos NYC (http://www.tarantinosnyc.com/) play music that is total twang and severe reverb – an instrumental smorgasborg flavored by the films of Quentin Tarantino.
M-16 (www.myspace.com/m16metal) is a Latin Hardcore band that has been redefining heavy music since its inception. In the late 90's three friends and musicians emigrated from the Dominican Republic to New York in search of a wider audience for their brand of metal. Scathing, pulsing, louder than hell, M-16's music is at times bombastic and scalding yet poetic in style and nature. Unapologetic lyrics sung entirely in Spanish, scream and whisper tales of mortal disillusion, political terror, and the chaos of modern times. A band that firmly believes in substance over style, M-16 is all the angst and frustration of real people channeled through guitars, drums and bass. Currently the band is composed of original member Daniel Estrella and guitarist Marcos Medina. Ex-member Ray Reed is dominating the live drums.
The New York City Horror Film Festival (http://www.nychorrorfilmfest.com/) was established in 2001 by Festival Director Michael J. Hein. The festival is dedicated to the international genre film community. There are no restrictions on the films that are screened at the festivals. The program includes films screened both in and out of competition. The Festival jury presents awards to films in the categories of Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects, Best Actor/Actress, Best Screenplay for films showcased, and Audience Choice. The NYCHFF also presents an annual Lifetime Achievement award. Past recipients include director George A. Romero, Special Effects Artist and Director Tom Savini, Producer and Director Roger Corman, and Producer and Director Mick Garris.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I consider myself a decent singer. One time maybe 2 years ago at Botanica on Houston, I was at the bar waiting to get a drink and a girl next to me mentioned that I had a very nice singing voice. I thanked her and offered to buy her a drink. She said that she was good and didn't need one, and I joked that I could buy her a water. She didn't really think it was funny, and I joked "weeeak" and she totally called me out on the fact that I was being arrogant when she was just trying to pay a compliment.
"See those blinding lights? It's call hope. And masks the fact that they totally were picking their noses"
Edit update: My buddy went for a second night on Saturday, as GUK dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz (a Kansas nod, perhaps) and played Something to Write Home About in it's entirety, which is redonculous.