Recent Posts in NYC

October 17, 2014

by Bill Pearis

artwork for 'THE BEST OF THE BEST SHOW'
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There's a lot of news in the world of Tom Scharpling. Firstly, he announced the return of much-loved, much missed The Best Show, which ran for 13 years on WFMU until going off the air in December 2013. (Dave Hill took over his time slot.) Where is still unknown but its return starts in November with comedy co-conspirator Jon Wurster and engineer AP Mike. Scharping did just announce that the show had a new email address: BestShow2014@yahoo.com. Could this be a clue as to where The Best Show will call home?

In other news, some of Scharpling & Wurster's best Best Show bits are being compiled on a massive, 16-CD box set, which is being released by the Numero Group (!) in March. Here are all the details:

75 calls over 16 compact discs, edited by Scharpling & Wurster (over 50 of them previously unreleased or unaired), a 108-page hardcover book with cover art by Joe Matt that features essays by Patton Oswalt, Julie Klausner, Damian Abraham (lead singer of F*cked Up) and Best Show associate producer Michael Lisk (aka A.P. Mike), a definitive interview with Scharpling & Wurster by Jake Fogelnest, notes on the evolution and inspiration behind each bit written by Scharpling & Wurster, a USB drive with all of the calls plus 4 hours of bonus material, a fold-out map of Newbridge, Philly Boy Roy & Timmy von Trimble Paper Dolls, postcards, and temporary tattoos with The Best Show catch-phrases.
Also, pre-orders come with a piece of the phone Wurster used to make his first call to The Best Show ("Rock, Rot & Rule") and was smashed to bits by Wurster and Scharpling, as can be seen in a video below. When announced, demand was so high it crashed Numero Group's website!

There's a third "secret project" that Scharpling will announce soon. Meanwhile, check out the Scharpling & Wurster box set video, and a special mix Tom made for The Best Show's 14th anniversary (not for folks who don't want to hear a sampled Chris Hardwick repeatedly shout "POINTS!"), below...

Continue reading "'The Best Show' returning in November, 16-disc Scharpling & Wurster box set coming in March 2015"

October 13, 2014

photos by Chris La Putt

2014 New York Comic Con
2014 New York Comic Con
2014 New York Comic Con
2014 New York Comic Con

A record-breaking number of Spider-Men, Wonder Women and preteen titans crammed into the Javits Center for the four-day New York Comic Con -- many of them in their costumed finest.

Organizers expect the attendance to surpass 150,000 by the time the convention wraps up on Sunday.

"It's the worst day to wear body paint in the rain," Susan Li, 29, who was covered head-to-toe in pink as X-Men superhero Blink, said Saturday.

"But when you have some hardcore fan recognize you as your character, that makes the two hours of painting yourself worth it."

"It allows me to be who I am inside" Cici James, 30, who owns her own sci-fi bookstore, Singularity, in Brooklyn, said of the chance to dress up in her very form-fitting costume.

Queens resident Julian Keller, 22, spent more than 200 hours with his father to create the perfect General Zod costume, which would have made Superman do a double take. - [NY Daily News]

The 2014 NY Comic Con happened over the weekend, bringing record crowds (many of whom dressed for the occasion) to the event -- the NYC edition is finally starting to catch up to San Diego. (It's still got a long ways to go, attendance-wise. UPDATE: actually, nevermind) We've got a set of pictures from NYCC in this post, but even more and larger versions are up on BV's Facebook for those who really want to geek-out.

More (smaller ones) below...

Continue reading "pics from New York Comic Con 2014"

October 9, 2014

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Former REM frontman Michael Stipe dropped out of the University of Georgia (he was an art major) when R.E.M. took off, but has been focusing once again on art since the band split in 2011. He's back at a different college, NYU, where he's an artist and teacher in residence, and is behind a new exhibition titled NEW SIGHTS, NEW NOISE which is running at 80 WSE Gallery (80 Washington Sq. East @ W4) now through November 8, 2014. Stipe has repurposed the space as a studio, classroom, and laboratory "that will exist in a constant state of flux for the duration of the exhibition." More on those three components:

Stipe will establish a fully functioning studio in 80WSE's front gallery, where he will work for the duration of the exhibition on a series of new projects, across a wide range of media, during the hours that the gallery is closed to the public. While the gallery is open, visitors will be able to see the state in which the studio has been left after each of Stipe's work sessions, making processes that are normally private public and offering a window into his remarkably prolific, varied, and non-hierarchical way of seeing, thinking and making.

In addition, the project will expand Stipe's perspective and approach into the format of an undergraduate studio art course, which he will teach in NYU's Department of Art and Art Professions. For each of the six weeks of the exhibition Stipe, collaboratively with a guest artist or cultural figure that he has invited, will pose a question or prompt to the class. In response, each student along with Stipe and the guest will generate 100 images and gifs, both found and made, all of which will be uploaded to a private class website.

Finally, the remaining four connected gallery spaces, which constitute 80WSE, will consist of 15 independent projections, in various configurations, the content of which will be sourced from the class's website. The selection of images and gifs - their composition and layout - as well as the way they are situated via the projectors in the exhibition, will be changed throughout each day by a rotating pre-scheduled series of curators, including Stipe, each of the special guests, and the 18 students in the class.

Guest curators include Douglas Coupland, Peaches, Jefferson Hack, Dean Sameshima, Jerry Seguin, and Taryn Simon. Read more about it at REM HQ. The 80 WSE Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30AM-6PM.

October 8, 2014

subway-inn

As you may know, iconic midtown NYC dive bar Subway Inn has been fighting to stay open despite landlords who want them out. Bad news / good news: they're leaving their current space (after 77 years of slinging cheap booze), but are moving two blocks nearby, looking to stay exactly the same. The owners posted this on Subway Inn's facebook:

On December 2nd, 2014-- the Subway Inn will close at its current location on 60th and Lexington Ave. to begin its relocation and REPLICATION (EXACTLY AS IT IS NOW) less than 2 blocks away on the same side of the street --at 60th and Second Avenue. Our move and REPLICATION is expected to take approximately 10 weeks to complete.

We had requested to remain in our current home til the end of the year so that none of our family members or employees would be without a job over the holiday season. Unfortunately, the landlord denied or plea.

We are excited about this development and have put the right team in place to make certain that every piece of furniture, including our famous neon signs, the current bar, every bar stool, even the original bar booths--(that Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio sat in) will make their way a stone's throw down 60th Street and be set back up exactly as you see it today.

And, it won't just be the contents that will be the same. The space will look exactly the same. Colors, floor and all! In fact, our replication architect is hard at work making sure our new home will be nearly identical. Also, our prices will not change.

See you in your new spot in 2015, Subway Inn.

Related: Don Hill's is reopening as The Hills NYC but aiming to stay the same otherwise.

October 2, 2014

(photo via Yaffa Cafe)
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East Village / St. Marks institution Yaffa Cafe, which served veggie-friendly food "all nite" to drunk NYU students and others, officially closed yesterday after Department of Health problems and losing the permit for their backyard garden earlier this year. (Via EV Grieve.) The place, which opened in 1982, announced in September they were closing for three months for renovations. For those who loved their hummus, fries, salads, breakfast and other affordable fare, their recipes have been passed over to the Simone Martini Bar next door (same owners).

September 30, 2014

Shamir's dance-friendly set at Muchmore's during Northside (@brooklynvegan)
CMJ Flyer

Enacted in 1926, ​the New York City's ​cabaret laws were originally to put the kibosh on illegal booze. After the repeal of prohibition, the law -- which requires clubs and bars to get an expensive permit for dancing -- went largely unenforced until the Giuliani administration and his efforts to clean up the city. Williamsburg club/coffee shop/venue Muchmore's is taking a stand against cabaret laws, suing the city:

Andrew Muchmore​, owner of ​Muchmore's Cafe ​in Williamsburg, filed suit in Brooklyn federal court to challenge New York's ​cabaret laws ​- which prohibit danci​​ng ​by more than three people at one time unless the venue has a cabaret license.

In the suit, he cites the first and 14th amendments and claims the tight restrictions against patrons shaking their money makers have forced him to play ​sedate if not ​dreary tunes at his nightspot​ and coffeehouse.

The real estate attorney argues the stricture prevents him from cranking beats that might actually tempt patrons to ​want to dance ​- and thus break the law, according to his s​​uit.

To avoid any potential skirmish with code enforcement officers, Muchmore avoids hosting acts that "involve dancing or would tend to elicit dancing," the suit states.

Instead, Muchmore plays ​safe ​wallflower genres including "folk music, rock music, experimental electronic music, jazz and other forms of music that are not conducive to dancing," the suit states. - [NY Post]

!!!'s 2003 dancepunk touchstone "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)" confronted cabaret laws and NYC powers-that-be in its own funky way. Stream it below...

Continue reading "Williamsburg venue Muchmore's suing New York City, saying cabaret laws are unconstitutional"

September 26, 2014

by PSquared

NYFF

Well fall is here, and movie-lovers know what time it is -- when the heavy hitter slate of films start to roll out. Many of the most anticipated will be shown at the More exciting than all of these films is the fact that tonight begins the 52nd NY Film Festival which starts today (9/26) at Lincoln Center. Always an exciting and vibrant festival which is loaded with great films this year both large and small. For our first part of coverage, I'll give you the skinny on the films that have been shown to the press up to now. Many of the biggest films we have yet to see, so reviews of those will come later. Reminder as well, while most of the films are sold out, there are always stand by tickets day of and always people selling extras outside. You can get in!

Let's start with the films I absolutely loved. My favorite film so far and one of the best I've seen this year is '71. (Saturday, Sep. 27 @ Alice Tully Hall, 6 PM.) British TV director Yann Demange, helms his first feature and it's a doozy. A thriller set in 1971 Belfast, it stars Jack O' Connell, fresh from a starring role in the very good prison drama Starred Up. Here he plays a young British soldier who gets separated from his unit in hostile territory on some pretty mean streets. From there, he has to navigate his way out being chased by the IRA as well as secret thugs from his own side with an agenda all their own. No side is clean in this battle. With a perfect mix of tension and relief, Demange makes all the right directorial choices. The timing in some of the set pieces are so perfect, it's hard to believe this is his first feature. I noted a bunch of audible gasps during the screening and when you can get that from a jaded room of critics, well you are doing something right. Simply put, it is sensational.

We'll have more NYFF coverage to come. The trailer for '71, and capsule reviews of more films playing (including Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind, David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars and more) below...

Continue reading "NY Film Festival starts today (reviews of David Cronenberg's Hollywood satire 'Maps to the Stars' and more)"

September 24, 2014

The Roots @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
The Roots

After four years of being closed, The Rainbow Room, located on 30 Rock's 65th floor, is set to reopen next month with dining, dancing and entertainment -- all with one of the most famous views in Manhattan. As to the latter, the space is known for cabaret-type performers but will host big names in a series called First Mondays:

First Mondays will feature an intimate concert with top name entertainment from rock to opera the first Monday of each month. The following Mondays will be reserved for dinner and dancing on the revolving dance floor which overlooks New York City.
The first First Monday (October 6) will be with The Roots who'll probably be in the building already as part of The Tonight Show's house band. To go you'll need to make dinner reservations ("only be accepted at 5:30pm and 6:00pm to ensure everyone has completed eating prior to the performance which will start at 8pm") and keep in mind the Rainbow Room's pre-fix menu is "$200 per person and will vary based on entertainment. Alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity are not included in this price." Call 212.632.5000.

November's "First Mondays" show (11/3) is a little more typical Rainbow Room fare: Broadway star Christine Ebersole. There will be entertainment every Monday, though, and current Rainbow Room performance schedule is below.

Continue reading "The Rainbow Room reopening, The Roots playing first show"

September 12, 2014

artist rendering of Diamond-designed 242 Pacific St. house
Mike

While Ad Roc stays busy making music with Champagne Jerry and Bridget Everett, Beastie Boy Mike "D" Diamond is trading rhymes for blueprints. He's crafty! You may remember the New York Times story last year on his townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn -- where he lives with his wife Tamara Davis and their two kids -- that he helped design with architects John and Jill Bouratoglou. It is something else. Curbed reports that Diamond enjoyed the creative experience so much he's now offering his services to others. He and the Bouratoglous worked together on a new four-bedroom, four-bath single-family dwelling at 242 Pacific St with "a dramatic double height living room, custom built chef's kitchen, as well as a finished recreation room with twelve foot ceilings and plenty of natural light."

It's also got a garage and can be yours for a mere $4.98 million. And a quick trip to The Bell House where his old pals Luscious Jackson are playing.

August 28, 2014

(via Rosa Goldensohn)
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Roseland Ballroom shut its gates for good back in April after 56 years on 52nd St. The guts of the club are now being demolished which you can witness six seconds of via a Vine (via Gothamist) below. Do you miss Roseland?

Sad Vine video below...

Continue reading "watch a video of Roseland Ballroom being demolished"

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