If you know Basquiat, skip the paintings for the notebooks. If you don’t, enjoy both.

Text plays a crucial role in the work of Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, often overwhelming visual aspects with a mass of black scribbles. From his initial work as a graffiti artist in Lower Manhattan with which he announced his creative voice as SAMO©, Basquiat engaged in a discourse on race, wealth, and art in America. Had his whirlwind life been slightly different, Basquiat may well have achieved fame as a poet.

Given the importance of text to Basquiat’s work, it should come as no surprise that he kept copious notes. He preferred cheap, marble composition books, some of which you can now see on display at the Brooklyn Museum in a new exhibition “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks,” or as the exhibition’s synopsis puts it “#basquiatnotebooks.” While this much hyped exhibit offers the opportunity to see Basquiat’s famous textual artistry on a smaller, more concentrated scale, the exhibition’s mixed messages could lead some visitors astray. (more…)

04/21/15 3:31pm

90s nostalgia is as hot as ever, and if the existence of Fuller House isn’t proof that its all-consuming phoenix-like blaze will leave no piece of the 90s un-revived, we point you to the existence of the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum that exists in the hallway of a Williamsburg apartment. Roommates Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen decided to use their apartment’s hallway to hang to artifacts from the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan rivalry of the early 90s, with a side devoted to Nancy Kerrigan and a side devoted to Tonya Harding. The video tour is a comprehensive one, and shows you everything you need to know about the museum, from the media the duo collected to show the history of the two figure skaters to the art they collected and bought celebrating the most violent rivalry in figure skating history.

If a virtual tour wasn’t enough though, you can schedule a look at the museum’s artifacts by emailing Harkins and Olen. Don’t just think you can show up and waltz in, museum visits are by appointment only, probably due to the priceless nature of the art. Or more likely, because it’s literally in someone’s apartment. (more…)

04/21/15 7:00am
field mouse

Field Mouse is plagued by low balance alert texts, but they’ve learned to deal with it. via Facebook

A good percentage of any creative pursuit is eaten up by the “getting there” part. If you’re writing an article or a book, you’re gonna probably find yourself staring at the wall, doing dishes, organizing your press-on nail collection, etc. for a great deal of time until that magical switch in the brain is flipped and you’re like “okay, let’s do this.” If you’re working on an album, you have to have something to write about, so you maybe go camping in a cemetery, bare-knuckle box some donkeys in the desert, travel to a foreign land, and then you mentally arrive at “here’s this new thing I’ve done, let me sing to you about it.” And if you’re in a band and are headed out on tour, endless hours are spent looking out the window of a bus, plane, or train. Reading a book, watching a show on your laptop, or texting someone somewhere.

Brooklyn four piece Field Mouse  are headed on tour this summer (with Mewithoutyou and Foxing on the bill) and we asked lead singer Rachel Browne:

“When you’re on tour, bored during downtime waiting for sound checks, setups, etc, and your phone alerts you to the fact that you have a text message, who do you hope it’ll be from, and what do you hope it’ll say? (Or, if you’d rather, who do you hope it’s NOT from, and what do you hope it DOESN’T say?” (more…)

04/15/15 12:49pm

A couple of months ago, we alerted you to the MTA’s new, much more politically aware and judgmental PSAs. Apparently that overhaul went so well that they’re taking a much more aggressive stance in their service announcements too. So next time you’re on a train and there’s a delay, you can expect an angry lecture about how the train will eventually be moving, but the world is full of uncertainty, MTA employees have to get dead people off the tracks and if you don’t like it, just move to some other shitty city with a worse transit system. Also check out the debut of the MTA’s new courtesy campaign posters, “Don’t be a baby, you god damn babies.” (more…)

04/14/15 7:00am

Heliotropes released their debut album A Constant Sea on Manimal Records in 2013 and their video for “Everyone Else” off that release features a cameo by Brokelyn family member, Caroline Shadood, who manages the band. It’s weird to think that a city as large as Brooklyn could be a “small town” vibes wise, but it really is. Or I should say, it can be.

Day in and day out you run into the same faces waiting for the subway, walking down the street, or buying cheap 99 cent beers at the corner bodega. It’s kind of nice. Or maybe horrifying when you’re just wanting to run out unnoticed to buy a frozen pizza and a box of fungal cream or something. The video for “Everyone Else” depicts a chunk of those familiar, small town-ish moments that Brooklyn can provide in between stretches of hectic bat-shittery. (more…)

04/13/15 11:00am

As we all know, the Trash Bar is closing, with the reason being a quadrupling of the rent if they stayed in Williamsburg. It’s the same old story we’ve heard again and again, and we’ll miss it greatly. However, the ABC crime drama Forever has put forward a different reason for the club’s closing (and has also given it a curious timeline, with a character telling us that it opened before CBGB did). In the above clip unearthed by Bedford + Bowery, the reason for the Trash Bar closing is because Cuba Gooding Jr., that fiend, has bought it and is making condos out of it. Which we guess we still can’t discount happening once Trash Bar closes for good. The condo part we mean, we’re pretty confident that Cuba wouldn’t do that to us. Lucky for us, the Trash Bar is still around for at least a little while longer, so get over there while you can and see if you can’t find where the bodies are buried. (more…)

04/10/15 3:57pm

Curious what our old pal Sue Smith has been up to lately? She’s staying busy with comedy of course, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have time to go out on the road (well, to McCarren Park) and preach the gospel of the menstrual cup, for both its environmental and health benefits. As seen in a new UCB video, Sue stopped women enjoying a snowy day in McCarren and let them in on some facts about tampons (full of bleach, polluting landfills all over the world) and offered some women menstrual cups to use right there in the McCarren Park bathroom.

It’s a subject near and dear to her heart, with Sue going over it in a Brokelyn post a few years ago. If you’re unaware of the benefits of menstrual cups, give it a read, especially since they can save you $2,000 over 25 years and Sue says it’s not at all weird after just a little bit of getting used to. (more…)

04/08/15 4:00pm

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of living below anyone in this great big city of ours, you’ve probably had a lot of questions about the noises being made upstairs. Sure, you get it, we don’t have much space here and you can put up with some walking around. What the hell is that thing that sounds like a bunch of blenders filled with rocks and placed on the floor though? Why does it sound like your upstairs neighbor is just pounding on the floor with a hammer? Are they really just rolling a keg along the floor? Comedy group Above Average is here to reveal that yes, those are things that your upstairs neighbor is doing. Why, you ask? They consider it performance, and your ceiling is their stage. Keep in mind that if you lived in the McKibbin Lofts like some of us once did, this video is more of a VERY REAL documentary and less of a funny sketch. (more…)

04/07/15 2:30pm
Truscott bares (almost) all in her no-holds-barred approach to taboo comedy topics. via Shark party media

Truscott says it’s ok to bare it all, as long as you do it smartly. via Shark Party Media

Of all the subjects stand-up comedians tend to leave untouched, rape is among the most verboten. Well sure, that makes a lot of sense. Rape is not a historical event that is “too soon” until it isn’t, nor is it a cultural anomaly that is “too close to home” in some places but not in others. In short, rape is not something that anyone can or should take lightly.

New York-based comedian Adrienne Truscott has a different opinion. ”I think any topic is on the table for comedy,” Truscott says.  ”It’s whether or not you approach a topic with rigor or with laziness, that can determine whether it succeeds or not.” She’s been touring a one-woman show called Asking For It: a one-lady rape about comedy starring her pussy and little else! (more…)

04/07/15 9:18am
This man would like to meet some celebrity robots

This man would like to meet some celebrity robots

Taking a walk around Brooklyn while listening to music through headphones is one of the nicest things you can do. Not only does it provide a self-curated soundtrack to what you’re experiencing, but it also serves to block out the ubiquitous sounds of randos trying to talk at your butt.

Just like the music you choose for your walk can personalize scenery that is otherwise shared by millions of people, a musician covering a song personalizes that selection of music in a whole new way, taking something widely known and sealing it in amber. And that’s exactly what Brooklyn singer/songwriter Matt Bauer did with this cover of Fever Ray’s “Keep the Streets Empty For Me.” (more…)