Recent Posts in NYC - Page 5

April 7, 2014

Childers (right) with Bob Gruen, John Varvatos store 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Leee Black Childers

From Warhol through punk and the dirty alleys in between, photographer Leee Black Childers documented New York's fringes in the 1970s. After being hospitalized last month Childers died on Sunday (4/6), details forthcoming. Many of Childers' most iconic photos were collected for the 2012 book, Drag Queens, Rent Boys, Pick Pockets, Junkies, Rockstars and Punks. You can check out a short video on the NYC release of that book below.

Leee, you will be missed but you live on through your work. Rest in peace.

Continue reading "photographer Leee Black Childers, RIP"

April 6, 2014

by Klaus Kinski


The act of writing a missing person article feels like a supreme exercise in futility, especially in a city as big as New York. Conversely, being complacent when you know someone is missing and not taking advantage of the reach of the internet to seek help is inexcusably lazy. My comedy-centric Facebook profile has been alight with the sad news that former NYC comedy staple / current dental student at Columbia Jiwon Lee has been reported missing since Tuesday April 1st, 2014:

She was last seen at 8:30pm on Tuesday April 1st at her apartment on W 98th street. Please call Crime Stoppers with any information 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
Prior to basically hanging up her comedy spurs to focus on higher education and a solid career, Jiwon was a familiar face on the comedy scene for years. There was a time when I saw her name appear on so many upcoming comedy calendars it was ridiculous. A little more on her from a 2009 New Young Comedians profile:
She graced the stage of NYC's regional finals in Comedy Central's 2007 Open Mic Fights, could be seen in action on a date on AMC's Date Night, quipped with the Sklar Brothers on ESPN Classic's Cheap Seats, ranted on Air America, and regularly commented on ImaginAsian TV. Jiwon performs in NY's best comedy clubs, including Stand-up New York, Caroline's on Broadway, Comix, and the Laugh Lounge. She also enjoys doing comedy in the non-comedy club rooms of New York such as Moonwork, Invite Them Up, and her own monthly show, "Jiwon Lee's Trivial Comedy." Jiwon was a winner of NBC's 2005 Standup for Diversity, which was a nation-wide search for the top ten comedians.
Her disappearance has family, friends, and colleagues at an absolute loss. Right now it appears that the NYPD are doing everything they can, but family and friends are pooling their resources to get a private investigator on the case as well. You can donate to that cause here. There is also a Facebook page set up and the Columbia Spectator has news of the disappearance as well and is sure to keep readers updated as developments arise.

April 4, 2014

by Bill Pearis

Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters

So that mega Urban Outfitters opened today on North 6th St. in Williamsburg. The five-floor behemoth is called Space Ninetey 8 and contains all the usual UO stuff (clothes, some housewares, books), plus a decent-sized rack of records (Beach House, Janelle Monae, etc all around $20-25), a variety of Crosley turntables, a surf shop, and a pop-up Adidas shop in the basement, complete with working 7" jukebox.

The top floor is the NYC branch of trendy LA restaurant The Gorbals which is run by onetime Top Chef winner Ilan Hall. And after being denied by the community board, The Gorbals looks to be getting its liquor license though delays in that process mean they hope to have booze by May 1. The restaurant will open without it before (it was not open when I was there today).

Basically it's a mall-sized Urban Outfitters. It's right next to American Apparel and you're sure to pass by on your next visit to way to Music Hall of Williamsburg. The next time you need patterened socks, the new Black Keys album, a Joy Division t-shirt and a new shower curtain (and maybe a $15 cocktail), it's all here. On the plus side, Space Ninety 8 does feature a fair ammount of local independent clothing designers.

Williamsburg ain't what it used to be. (This is not news, of course.) A few more pics of Space Ninety 8 for the curious below.

Continue reading "Williamsburg Urban Outfitters opened, its restaurant getting liquor license after all (though not yet) (pics)"

March 27, 2014

Jay Ott

Jay Ott, a 31-year-old fashion designer who lives in the McKibbin Lofts, was last seen on video surveillance footage entering his apartment at around 10 p.m. on Saturday night. His friends say they've had no contact with him since then, and have reported him missing; they have launched extensive search efforts, and are asking anyone with information to contact them or the 90th Precinct.

"He did not come into work on Monday, which is not very typical of him. That's when we all started to get worried," Beatrice Kim, who works with Ott at fashion investment firm The Dock Group, told us. "When we all started talking to one another, that's when we realized no one had heard from him since Saturday evening, which is not usual at all." - [Gothamist]

This story was from Wednesday morning (3/26) and still no news on missing fashion designer Jay Ott. If you have any information please contact Detective Thomas Pisano at the 90th Precinct at 718-963-5368. There's also a Facebook page and an email address set up: Hopefully he'll be found soon.

An ABC 4 News story on his disappearance is below...

Continue reading "Bushwick fashion designer Jay Ott missing since Saturday"

December 19, 2013

by Bill Pearis

Al on 'Midnight Blue'

A true NYC iconoclast, Al Goldstein has died. From the NY Times obit:

Al Goldstein, the scabrous publisher whose Screw magazine pushed hard-core pornography into the cultural mainstream, died on Thursday at a nursing home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. He was 77.

The cause was believed to be renal failure, his lawyer, Charles C. DeStefano, said.

Mr. Goldstein did not invent the dirty magazine, but he was the first to present it to a wide audience without the slightest pretense of classiness or subtlety. Sex as depicted in Screw was seldom pretty, romantic or even particularly sexy. It was, primarily, a business, with consumers and suppliers like any other.

The manifesto in Screw's debut issue in 1968 was succinct. "We promise never to ink out a pubic hair or chalk out an organ," it read. "We will apologize for nothing. We will uncover the entire world of sex. We will be the Consumer Reports of sex."

Mr. Goldstein, who lived to shock and offend and was arrested more than a dozen times on obscenity charges, stuck around long enough for social mores and technology to overtake him. By the time his company went bankrupt in 2003, he was no longer a force in the $10-billion-a-year industry he pioneered. But for better or worse, his influence was undeniable.

"He clearly coarsened American sensibilities," Alan M. Dershowitz, the civil liberties advocate and Mr. Goldstein's sometime lawyer, said in 2004.

"Hefner did it with taste," Mr. Dershowitz added, referring to Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, which predated Screw by 15 years. "Goldstein's contribution is to be utterly tasteless."

While I was never a Screw reader, I will admit to watching his show Midnight Blue occasionally on MNN paid access Channel 35 when I moved to NYC in the late '90s. There really wasn't anything else like it. What I remember more than the rampant sex and nudity was Al Goldstein's epic "Fuck You!" rants which he would aim at airlines, car rental agencies, restaurants, basically anyone that pissed him off. You can watch a NSFW compilation video of some of his Midnight Blue rants, below. Rest in peace, Al.

Continue reading "'Screw' publisher Al Goldstein, RIP"

November 26, 2013

by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher

Lauryn Hill at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Lauryn Hill

A day of being grateful for what they've got, overeating and subsequent afternoon naps, Thanksgiving is the start of a long weekend for many folks, but one that usually doesn't have the most options for things to do -- or bands to see. Weather's not supposed to be so great either. Still, we've rounded up ten musical things to do in NYC during Thanksgiving Weekend. Plus one you can do anywhere with an internet connection and love of making fun of bad movies.

Read on below...

Continue reading "NYC Thanksgiving Weekend events (Lauryn Hill, Television, Dean Wareham, Phosphorescent, Ab-Soul, Joey Badass, more)"

by Bill Pearis

The counter Rough Trade (w/ Morrissey Autobiography) (more by Chris La Putt)
Rough Trade

As you may have maybe -- just maybe -- heard, UK indie record store Rough Trade opened its first-ever NYC branch yesterday (11/25). As a record lover and Williamsburg resident, I headed over to N. 9th after work last night to check it out.

The store is big and warehouse-y with plenty of space in between shelves for easy browsing, and a centralized checkout area. (It is still small compared to the late-'90s days of Virgin Megastore and Tower.) There is a mezzanine with magazines and books (like import copies of Morrissey's Autobiography) on one side of the space, and on the other there is the Guardian Green Room which is a "multi-purpose digital lounge" and an exhibition space that currently has a recreation of Donald Glover's bedroom in Community. Main Drag music has a little vestibule with cool analogue synths, and a cafe run by Five Leaves will be open soon.

Donald Glover's 'Community' bedroom at RT

The store seems more in "must open" mode than "ready to open," as the record shelves are a little sparse right now. Prices for records are on the high side -- I saw very few less than $18 -- and they don't put records "on sale." But many of their featured items do come with "Rough Trade Exclusives," usually bonus discs which do add value. There are also no used records, which seems an odd choice to me given the way all other record stores in the area operate. Though in that way they're not so much treading on other's turf? They are, however, promising to stock imports, including the entirety of their 101 Albums of 2013... but that has not happened yet. (I was ready to buy the new Suede album, too.) I did buy the Morrissey book, which at $14.99 for an import seemed a bargain. Give it a month, and we'll hopefully see what the store is like.

I showed up too late for Sky Ferreira's live set, but there was a long line of people waiting to get their records/CDs signed. I watched a little bit from the mezzanine, as bf and DIIV frontman Cole Smith showed up to say hi. One fan asked if he would sign Sky's album too. He obliged, writing a note right on the most, uh, exposed area of the LP cover. Pretty funny.

I did, however, stick around to watch Charles Bradley. The performance space at Rough Trade is really nice. Official capacity is 250 but, with a seated balcony it felt bigger than that. There were ping pong tables in the back part of the balcony last night, that I'm told won't be there during ticketed shows (but will be available during the day). Lighting was good and the sound was better. Bradley has a pretty crack band who make any room sound good but I was really impressed with the acoustics. There are lots of small rooms in Williamsburg already, but this is a nice addition to the area.

Charles Bradley sounded fantastic. His years as a James Brown tribute artist have bestowed him with killer stage moves, and the dude just oozes charisma and soul. It was a real treat to see him in such a small room and the whole crowd was grinning the whole time. NYC will have two more chances to see Bradley in January.

Today (11/26) you can catch a free show from Danny Brown which happens at 5 PM. You do need to grab a wristband first which are available at the counter. Wednesday night (11/27, 7 PM) is a free in-store with Matthew E. White. Two shows from NYC legends Television will be Rough Trade's first ticketed shows (both are sold out).

In addition to having his bedroom there, Donald Glover will perform as Childish Gambino at Rough Trade on December 6. You need to buy a copy of his new album Because of the Internet. There will be a record signing following the performance.

Did you check out Rough Trade on opening day? What did you think? Buy anything?

November 19, 2013

ARC Sale

For nearly 30 years, NYC's ARChive of Contemporary Music has been collecting, preserving and cataloging "the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world from 1950 to the present." Lovers of physical media, the ARC, David Bowie, Jerry Leiber, Youssou N'Dour, Keith Richards, Martin Scorsese and Paul Simon are among its board of advisors. The late Lou Reed was also on the board.

The ARC gets around 250,000 recordings every year. After sorting through them, they make sure they have two best copies on a record in their collection, and sell off third copies. Which leads us to its annual Holiday Record & CD sale which will happens at ARC's Tribeca HQ (54 White St.) from Saturday, Dec 7 - Sunday, Dec 15 from 11 am - 6 pm daily. Here's what they've got this year:

25,000+ recordings - all genres and formats - 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes,
books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale!

specials: This year there is an incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of Christmas LPs, more CDs than ever before... 100s of modern art, experimental + modern Classical LPs - Glass/Varese/Crumb/Carter/Satie. All recordings never offered before - we start fresh every sale.

Additionally, this year's sale also has a special Lou Reed section. Members of the ARC can attend the pre-sale party on Decmeber 5 with food, drink and early shopping. You can become a member by filling out this form (and giving a minimum $50 donation).

You can also donate materials. Do you have an out-of-control CD collection threatening to take over your apartment? Clean out your pile and give it to the ARC. Your trash could be someone else's treasure. And contributions are tax deductible.

5 Pointz before (via @scottjoyner) and after (via @Cinco_Chase)

Usually, it is the street artists who work under the cover of darkness, hoping to evade police detection as they scrawl graffiti on property that is not their own.

But before dawn on Tuesday, it was the owner of a building in Queens who used a crew of painters to work overnight and paint over graffiti on a warehouse in Long Island City, wiping clean a canvas that was used by thousands of artists over the years to transform an otherwise nondescript, abandoned brick building in a working-class neighborhood into 5Pointz, a mecca for street artists from around the world.

By morning, the work of some 1,500 artists had been wiped clean, the Brobdingnagian bubble letters and the colorful cartoons spray painted on the building's brick walls all covered in a fresh coat of white paint.

"We are supposed to be the vandals, but this is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti," said Marie Cecile Flageul, an unofficial curator for 5Pointz.

The plan to convert the three-acre site into a $400 million development project that will include two glass towers and 1,000 new luxury apartments had provoked opposition from artists and their supporters. But after months of public debate, court hearings and political maneuvering, opponents had little left in their arsenal.

In a last-ditch effort to stop the development, they were hoping to have the building designated as a landmark. That option is now likely gone as well.

"I don't know how you can erase 12 years of spectacular art," said Hans Von Rittern, a guide who arrived with a busload of tourists, only to find the building's art gone. "It's cruel." - [NY Times]

Located right by MoMA PS 1, 5Pointz was one of the most iconic buildings in Long Island City. The building is due to be torn down before the end of the year. It'll be missed.

November 14, 2013

"At the public memorial for Lou Reed in Lincoln Center, where hundreds have gathered for a listening party. Applause follows each song." - @JohnSurico

"Lou Reed's sound man spec'd out system for Lincoln Center plaza. Never thought I'd hear "Venus In Furs" rip thru the air here. #TasteTheWhip" - @WillHermes

Laurie Anderson @ Lincoln Center Lou Reed public memorial (via @aaakkmmm)

Philip Glass @ Lincoln Center Lou Reed public memorial (via @qbertplaya)

Fans gathered by The Paul Milstein Pool & Terrace at Lincoln Center this afternoon (11/14) to remember Lou Reed, who died October 27 at age 71. His wife Laurie Anderson and composer Philip Glass were among the 200 or so in attendance and, as promised, there were no speeches or live performances. Just Reed's actual music (including some of Metal Machine Music), played "incredibly loud." As it should.

A few Instagram videos below...

Continue reading "Fans paid tribute to Lou Reed at memorial at Lincoln Center "