11/24/15 2:36pm

Ah Black Friday, the one day per year (other than if your favorite sports team wins a championship) that rioting is not just accepted but is defended as being baked into the American tradition like so many caramelized apples in that pie you’re while eating on line for a cheap flat screen TV. Sure you could not participate in this, but missing the deals means no TV for you, so retailers kind of have you by the short and curlies. On the other hand, like this video purporting to show a kindly old man retailer being honest about the whole thing points out, you could just get cheaper stuff a few days later of by ordering online.

We’re going to refrain from going with the usual internet hyperbole about how this video “lays waste” or “destroys” Black Friday or whatever, because what’s the point? Sure well know the truth about it, and we’re told it time and time again. But no matter how many times it’s said, no matter how many goofy Tim and Eric-style product rebrandings a video will have, once the deals come, you’ll buy it. You’ll buy anything. (more…)

11/23/15 10:20am
The Way Station is one of the city's best free venues to book and has room for your giant stand up bass. via Flickr user The All-Nite Images

The Way Station is one of the city’s best free venues to book and has room for your giant stand up bass. via Flickr user The All-Nite Images

Imagine that you’re a musician in New York City, home of 8,000 bands trying to play the same venues, and someone approaches YOU on the Internet, saying they like YOUR music and want YOU to play a show. How cool is that?! Pretty cool. But you look again at the email. It’s actually a booking company that expects you to sell a certain amount of tickets. They are unclear about what will happen if you don’t sell enough tickets, but they ask that you sign an “e-contract” stating that you WILL sell tickets AND YOU’LL LIKE IT!

There are some venues in New York City that host what are known as pay-to-play gigs: a venue will say to an artist, “you can play here, but only if you agree to sell X number of tickets. Plus, you’ll be on the hook for whatever money you don’t make if you DON’T sell X number of tickets.” But there is an alternative. There are tons of places in the city where you can play a show for free. We’ve put together a list of NYC’s best venues for local musicians that won’t make you pay just to get on the stage, along with some tips on booking a show. (more…)

11/17/15 11:27am

Their specific situation? Instant party

Faces of Weed isn’t a band so much as it’s a situation. They don’t have an album, and they update their social media sporadically, but chances are, if you live in Brooklyn, you’ve heard of them. And if you haven’t, well, why haven’t you?

Masterminded by the joined  vibes of Callie Watts (whose name you may already know from her role as Editor/Writer for Bust Magazine) and Vrose Sélavy (I don’t think that’s really a name), their weedy and witchy sound is an actual instant party. I have not been so lucky as to see them perform live, because by 9pm I can usually be found at home, organizing my notebook of grievances or something, but I can only imagine. Here’s some evidence: (more…)

Spend some time with hit young Han Solo before you spend some time with old hot Han Solo

Spend some time with hit young Han Solo before you spend some time with old hot Han Solo

After all the hype and the counter-hype and the fear and the hope about what it could wind up being, we’re just one month away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A new Stars Wars movie for the first time since Revenge of the Sith  is coming, and we should all get ready for it. What’s the best way to do it? Well you could get your costume together alone in your apartment OR you could head to Halyards every Tuesday from this week until December 15 for a screening of each film in the space saga in Machete Order. What is Machete Order? Only the nerdiest out of order way to watch all of the films, including two of the prequels. (more…)

11/13/15 3:32pm

Obviously it can be good to read the best things that are going on every weekend, but sometimes you don’t have time or inclination to read. You always have the time and inclination to watch things on a screen though, so take some time out to watch us and our pal Richard Burroughs from The Brooklyn Reader talk about the fun stuff going on this weekend. You’ll also notice that we drink some drinks courtesy of a bartender from Bill Baker’s, who we shouted out in this roundup of Brooklyn’s best beer cocktails. So if you’re looking for something to drink these weekend, grab one of those. And also be sure to drink water, it’s good for you. (more…)

11/12/15 9:56am

Mitchell Kriegman, the man behind all the explaining

For a certain age range, you were raised by your parents, but it was Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Darling who explained everything from classic literature to dating to sibling rivalries to you on Clarissa Explains It All. While Clarissa’s television adventures are over, series creator Mitchell Kriegman has been looking for a way to return her to life, and has done so with the new novel that came out this week, Things I Can’t Explain. Though no longer a teenager, Clarissa is still a fast-talking, list-making heroine, although she’s a step removed from the “naive freak of nature,” people described her as in Clarissa Now, the show’s attempt at a spin off.

Taking the story from that show though, Clarissa now lives in New York City, and the book finds her in a relative rough patch in life, jobless, missing her friend Sam and drinking way too much coffee. As she looks for work, tries to navigate a budding romance with a new guy and extricate herself from an old one, she does her best to grow up, like everyone has to do. Before he shows up at a release party for the book at Videology on Friday, we talked with Kriegman about how the book came about, how it isn’t just nostalgia or fan fiction, the loneliness of the Financial District and even what Clarissa’s business-friendly younger brother Ferguson would think of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates. (more…)

11/10/15 10:43am

Some people, like Mizan K, are just lucky we guess

Mizan K is a NYC based artist whose latest EP, Dark Blue, was just released on Terrible Records – a beloved label that’s also home to LE1F, Solange, and Empress Of. Recording soulful, dark, complex music that’s nearly impossible to tune out is Mizan’s primary focus, but we were tipped off to the little known fact that she’ll also soon be modeling for a fancy brand’s lookbook. Writers tend to focus way too much on the looks of any and all female performer, so I won’t do that here, but I will say that in the case of Mizan, having beauty, smarts, pipes, and creative ambition, makes for a unfuckwithable package. There’s something classic about her that’s both old and new.

Here’s her video for “Looking For” which is the first track off of the new EP, and which she made herself, with help from str8ngecreature. (more…)

11/09/15 2:18pm

Williamsburg has been analyzed, thought pieced, picked over, developed and basically laid bare for the entire world to see over the last 20 years, so we know what you’re thinking: isn’t there some kind of reality show that can take us inside this mysterious neighborhood? Yes there is, it’s called The Bedford Stop and it’s the most incredible and important piece of New York City media of the 21st Century. Like How The Other Half Lives but for the half that lives in Williamsburg luxury apartments, The Bedford Stop puts the unblinking eye of the camera on wealth and privilege in America and dares you to come away from it unchanged. (more…)

11/03/15 11:38am
So intricate

So intricate, so vivid

Dwight from WASHA was referred to me by his friend Sven, who was formerly in the band Stranger Cat, which I wrote about at the early onset of this column. I like referrals. There’s something very intimate about them. A lot of people go through life not saying shit, and I personally prefer the people who say the shit. Even if it’s non-verbal shit saying, but the saying of shit via action or intent. Dwight from WASHA is already a winner in my mind because he reached out. He did something. He got the ball rolling, as it were.

WASHA’s latest project is called The Bright, Part II, and according to Dwight the album was heavily influenced by the intricacies of vivid colors and experiences, visual art from film director Terrence Malick, and emotional experiences in the past years from struggling with depression. He also says that his sound has been influenced by Sufjan Stevens to some extent, and the world at large already knows how much I love HIM. So this is all great. (more…)