Monday, July 26, 2010

Siren Festival - Photos of Friends

Unfashionably late with self-gratifying pictures of my friends at Siren Festival 2010, which had a decidedly less superstar lineup. Then again, Ted Leo disappointed somewhat with a set of non-favorites. Anywho, by the time the hot sun dried me out like Mercury, I was ready to go home and watch episodes of The First 48. I thought Earl Greyhound was bank and defined some badassery.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saved By The Bell House 7.24.10

Themed parties are almost always a good time if there's enough support and a good build (theme decor, good venue, willing participants). Even bad theme parties are kind of funny/depressing in their own way. The idea is that if you are willing to devote a night (or a weekend, or possibly weeks) to something you didn't create/nostalgia/embarrassment/letting loose, you should look out for more theme parties, especially among hipsters. Because they love a good, ironic time.

Yesterday was a Full House of activity, going to beach, getting burned, going to a great barbeque in Ozone Park, seeing a friend get harassed by two men on children's bikes, and wonton love of a show that for all intensive purposes was just cheesy (save a few moments) and had no sense of what high school was actually like: Saved By The Bell.

Don't get my wrong; I enjoy SBTB a lot. I liked it growing up, and I still enjoy watching it in the morning before work. I don't own the series like Pat Craig does, but that's ok.

The Bell House being an amazing venue was the perfect place for a Saved By The Bell dance, where 3 dollars for every ticket went to oil relief. By the time the main part of the dance was over and The Bayside Tigers wrapped up their set, there was a real dance party in the front lounge. Everything is just set up well.

I was wearing my Malibu Sands shirt thinking 8 other people would be wearing it but I was dead wrong. Half the people didn't dress up, the other half were a mix of 3 really dressed up people and 100 semi-dressed up people. Leotards, skinny suspenders, light jeans, I couldn't help but wonder if this was 1994, or people just thought it was an 80s party. Because there has to be a difference right? Reagan vs. Clinton? Shit I should have worn my chain wallet. And brought like a copy of Swingers. Or something. Empire Records by the way is one of the top 10 worst movies ever. I stand by that wholeheartedly.

Folks who bought a ticket received one free vodka lemonade drink ticket and a view of strobe lights and a huge Bayside logo where you could take your picture and feel like a has been actor. "Man in the Mirror" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and other tunes got the dance floor slightly going but everything was surprisingly pretty chill (the dance party in the front was way more solid, Union Pool-ish in a way). The Bayside Tigers played all 90s alt-rock hits; I called 3 of them (Blur, Harvey Danger, and Lit) and we sung most of them throughout. At least they played Bosstones and Blink 182 right?

There were some crazy ladies, some drunk ladies, and a wider age range than usual, probably 21 to 36. Everything was just a lot of fun, it didn't sell out, there was room to dance, I actually listened to suburban 90s alt-rock (except for godamn 3 doors down, god they suck, rembrandts, suck, gin blossoms, double suck for being catchy, eve 6, suck, all played by these bands), and you had just enough characters (yes you lady in the flower top just going batshit crazy, it's a band covering Oasis, not actually Oasis) to make the people watching interesting. When they started playing 3 Doors Down, I kid you not half the people went to go get a drink. People have spoken.

A young woman seemed to twist or land on her ankle the wrong way and I helped get her to the comfortable couch by the side of the stage. There was also a group who came up to me and asked for my picture because I looked EXACTLY (their word) like their friend from LA. I guess I'm not the only Asian with a normal haircut.

The bar moved quick, everyone was having fun, there were cupcakes out front from Robicelli's where you can find all over west Brooklyn and a couple of other locations including the new dessert shop Farmacy on Henry Street in Carroll Gardens.

All in all, a very fun experience and worth it. And btdubs, there are several other clubs in the area. And I still want to go to Canal Bar on 3rd Avenue. They are really trying to turn Gowanus into like a Brooklynized meatpacking aren't they?

Speaking of slightly cracked out neighborhoods:

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Music Slut Has Been Slutty for 5 Years!

The good friends at The Music Slut have been whoring it out for 5 years now. Keeping up with new music is no joke, and if it weren't for internet weblogs such as TMS, well I'd miss out on a possibly inconsequential generation of music right? But that's just me being a music snob. TMS is having a music show in honor of this 5 year mark, details later on.

The Music Slut is no frills music news from across the landscape and they support lots of wonderful music videos; kind of like a really indie Subterranean but in blog form. Lots of dedication on the parts of these men and women and possible minors here to cull info from all angles and give it to you straight up. You don't need Twitter when you have TMS; you get all your tasty morsels with visuals to boot, and it's quick strike. They may have started out a little wordier, but it's been honed to just the facts Jack. I've been reading their first posts, very nostalgic.

5 years is a long time coming, so congrats you guys and gals. In 2005, I was starting the last bit of college, and graduating to more hardcore shows. Alkaline Trio released Crimson (by that point I was doing the whole "I'm only going to listen up to a certain album" thing becaues I was lazy) and there are albums that I still listen to that I consider "new" but I guess 5 years can be quite a while. I'm also glad that some bands that I enjoyed albums from that year are still around and have released not one but several albums since, it gives them a real body of work and a consistency that is admirable.

Again, congrats sluts! The Music Slut will be having a 5 year anniversary show on 7/29 which you can purchase tickets for here. And guess what the kicker is? It's part of the Rocks Off Cruise series, which means you'll be drinking on a boat and being real sleazy with the bands. Like, double entendre sleazy. Tonight Catch 22 is playing. The newer one. That's been playing since before even 2005.

Speaking of sluts at that time:

And the Winner of Brooklyn's Finest DVD Giveaway Is...

Cheryl! Congrats on one copy of Brooklyn's Finest on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment, please don't assume that it's realistic by any stretch of the imagination, because well, Wesley Snipes ain't from this world at all.

Flynn, you took yourself out of the competition because it's MI-6, not MI-16. MI-16 is probably where they keep the real messed up shit.

Check back for more giveaways here on the KCB.

Wesley Snipes' game face:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Evenin' Guv'ner - Meatopia 7.11.10

Eh ra, juicy. Succulent pork. Chicken Sausage. Spicy brisket, Fizzy Lizzy. Bacon ice cream, chopped up ribs, BBQ, Bike N Roll. The fact that you wait a gazillion minutes for a 80 second boat ride to Governor's Island (we could have swam) is pretty hilarious but those Furman Street apartments have a lot going for them.

Anywho, Meatopia was going on, and it was raging within the first hour it started. It was kind of disorganized as the stations were not clearly marked (if you want to give people an easy map, you might as well put the station numbers NOT on the ground) and the lines were a mess. On top of that several stations ran out of food within an hour or two, and the whole event didn't even last to 5pm. The rain was somewhat nice, especially while biking around the island. You could definitely see a private school movie being filmed here, or something scarier like a Shutter Island or something.

The food at Meatopia was pretty awesome though; you got tasting tickets that were marked off as you went through the stations, and we tried not to overstuff ourselves and had a couple of nice picks, including the wonderful Abe & Arthur rib, complete with bawdy/edgy white-Asian racism as the chef was BBQing and the Asian dude was chopping it up. It was packed with juice and just amazing. Six Point was all over this with beer, as they seem to be with every event within striking distance of Brooklyn.

I kind of half expected someone from PETA to go undercover and then throw a huge bucket of paint to destroy stations, but that didn't happen. I also witnessed a nasty PR lady who was talking about me in front of me as if I wasn't there. She did the whole mutter under her breath like a 6 year old child. Real mature lady. You're not curing cancer. And you should concentrate on organizing a better event.

I found the island stunning. The buildings were interesting to me, abandoned but still intact. Since NYU will actually have some sort of campus by taking this place over, it's just like a nice little time capsule of a sort of Federal time, a few roads, almost no cars, and very little signs of industry (with no retail it retains a certain residential quality). We went into a gallery where there were paintings inspired by the island. Old school New York American houses, and the meat stations and whole roasting lambs and pigs added to the effect. Here are some pictures.

This guy looked pissed that well his paddle boats went around in a pond-sized area.

Maple Bacon Ice Cream from The Bent Spoon. Tasting ticket not eligible, but damn good ice cream.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park's Movies With A View Started Tonight...

I'll be watching Annie Hall in my non air-conditioned apartment thank you very much. Syfy and people at say, Time Out New York are bringing us some super awesome visuals this summer and the fun started tonight with Woody Allen's affecting comedy about being in and out of love.

The full schedule can be seen at the site
, and because I know you're lazy, let me give you my top picks:

Thursday, August 19
Feature Film: The Blues Brothers (R) – 1980, 133 min
Short: Mr. Okra by T.G. Herrington
DJ: Soulstatic

Thursday, July 29
Feature Film: Rear Window (PG) – 1954, 112 min
Short: Sketches from Great Gull by Nicholas Laviola

Now The Big Lebowski is playing too, something you might want to have a babysitter for if you have kids, but The Blues Brothers is just an ingenious pick. It's sloppy, It's funny, It's soulmatic, and I capitalize It's because It's that awesome. And John Landis is a totally underrated director. I own Into the Night on DVD. Yup.

That and the grass in the newer areas of Brooklyn Bridge Park are impeccably manicured.


Brooklyn's Finest DVD Giveaway - Another Chris Cabtion

Our resident film critic Chris Cabin probably frowns on Brooklyn's Finest. Then again, he don't live in Brooklyn, so he don't know squat.

Anywho, since this is Brooklyn based blog, I'm giving away one (1) copy of Brooklyn's Finest on DVD, standard, because we're old school. The movie concerns the 65th precinct of Brooklyn and follows 3 police officers in the usual Antoine Fuqua fashion. Now, the 65th precinct does not exist anymore in real Brooklyn, but there is a reference to it in the 73rd precinct which is located in Brownsville, which is fittingly the kind of Brooklyn that a lot of people think about when they think Brooklyn.

Anywho, it's got a killer cast (Wesley Snipes hasn't been in a theatrically released movie since WHEN) and I was just next to Lili Taylor on the train the other week. I also remember when Ethan Hawke was all over the projectionist union dispute at IFC Center when we first opened. I've never met Richard Gere, but if he has anything against the Chinese after Red Corner, I probably should stay away, no?

Here's the theatrical trailer:

We have our resident film critic Chris Cabin once again the subject of a caption contest, all you have to do is comment below for a chance to win the DVD. It doesn't even have to be that funny. Because Chris Cabin's film reviews are far from funny. Look at this picture and give it your best shot:

Yes, you can also purchase this shirt. Captions after Sunday will not be considered. For more on Brooklyn's Finest, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Things In My Neighborhood - MoneyGram Whitecastle

Remember Rounders with Matt Damon and Ed Norton? There's something very watchable about that movie in an understated way; nothing particularly original but there's a slow, observing eye about it. It almost feels 80s in a way, 80s in a Curly Sue New York kind of way. One thing that is in that movie that you don't see often is characters using check cashing services or money transfer services. In fact, you never really see that at all but they are all over the place. It seems to be part of the fabric of urban life in many areas of Brooklyn.

Nowadays banks take care of more services just because there are more people who have checking accounts, but sometimes I see a pretty sizable line at my nearest MoneyGram location about three blocks away from me. It's under the radar (and cloaked behind some construction) and the process feels under the radar too; the idea of transferring straight cash has a real old school appeal. If time equals money, and there's no other avenue to get physical cash, then taking a fee to give a needed lifeline sounds like a plan. At this point for the summer they are running a promotion where on a 50 dollar send, you pony up 5 bucks. You can check out details here.

Anywho, to my real point, which was next to the MoneyGram, say you are receiving this said 50 bucks. What do you do with it? I know exactly what you do with it on Willoughby. You walk right next door to the downright nasty Whitecastle, and you stuff yourself with sliders and those chicken ring things. It's a one two punch: moolah at MoneyGram, then poobah at Whitecastle. For the win.

And now, a word from our monsters:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Contraband Cinema at BAM: I Will Crush You, I Will Krush Groove 7/8

Two films (not Miracle at St. Anna) will be playing next week as part of BAM's current Contraband Cinema series that are toward the top of my favorites in respective categories. It just so happens, these two films are playing on July 8th. The series examines a wide range of films that are politically charged in different ways: personal, imagined, proposed, social. I'm just surprised a few more well known films such as Harlan County USA wouldn't be on here. Anywho, BAM does it again and I'm glad I'm about a 10 minute walk from it.

Sound and Fury, an extraordinary documentary about a deaf family and their internal debate about cochlear implants and deaf culture, is on the early bill on the 8th. It's heartbreaking and the frustration of the father is so incredible to witness because it comes from pureness of heart.

And for the main event of the evening, Rocky IV. Before you laugh, consider that it is the most pleasurable of the 6 films in the series (not the best, just the most touch-yourself one) and the undercurrent of 80s propaganda along with other mainstream films such as Superman IV and any Chuck Norris movie makes it an excessive and really interesting movie. It's not that it should be given a gold star for merit, but it also comes from a pure purpose it seems, even if it's subconscious. That and Sylvester Stallone slurring through an epic speech in English to a Russian audience that realistically doesn't understand him is hilarious. Those crazy Russians, just in time for all that hobknobbery about spies.

In other news, I enjoyed the new Karate Kid (I own the original on VHS).

I would give you the training montage to Rocky IV. It's insanely awesome. However, I'll just give you a scene from Gorky Park.