01/05/17 10:55am
Rock the f*ck out with Th

Rock the f*ck out with There Are Four Lights (#2) (pic by Sarah Wilmer)

1. Increase your literary stock for the cold winter ahead at the BYO Book Swap Party, which also features a discussion on diversity in literature and a raffle of self-published works by local woman of color. (Friday, New Women Space, $5 + a book)

2. Start pining for summer at the Punk Island Winter Benefit, with Deadname, MALLRAT, Trashy, Ex. by V., and There Are Four Lights. (Friday, Hank’s Saloon, $10)

3. Rock hard with some tireless musicians at NYC’s Hardest Working Bands of 2016 Live, based on Oh My Rockness’s calculations of who played the most shows last year. (Friday, Baby’s All Right, $10)

4. Creep yourself out at the monthly horror series Fright Fridays, tonight screening The Eyes of My Mother, which combines “an especially bloody strain of slasher pic” with “high-art sensibilities.” (Friday, Videology, $10) (more…)

12/01/16 4:15pm
Catch the surreal stylings of Cheeky Lane (#1) (pic by Steven Menendez)

Catch the surreal stylings of Cheeky Lane (#1) (pic by Steven Menendez)

1. See some strange whimsey at The Winter Wonderland Blunderland Variety Show, starring Trixie Little, The Love Show, Samantha Sterman, Cheeky Lane, Poison Eve, and more. (Friday, House of Yes, $15)

2. Laugh for strong gals at The Fempire Strikes Back, with comedy, videos, and funny songs from sketch troupe American Candy. (Friday & Saturday, Actors Fund Arts Center, $25)

3. Spread some cheer at the Bushwick Starr Holiday Party, with free drinks, free food, dancing to DJ Avg Jo, a mistletoe photobooth, and more. (Friday, Bushwick Starr, $25)

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09/19/16 3:35pm
Laugh it up with the lovely Giulia Rozzi (#1) (pic by Mindy Tucker)

Laugh it up with the lovely Giulia Rozzi (#1) (pic by Mindy Tucker)

1. Start your week off laughing at the reliably funny Side Ponytail Comedy Show, featuring Giulia Rozzi, Ryan Schutt, Ian Aber, Christi Chiello, and Nina Manni. (Monday, Over the Eight, FREE)

2. Find yourself a new boozy game at the Brooklyn Brewskee-Ball Fall Kickoff, with two hours of open bar, free skee-ball all night, a Funnest Flannel Shirt Contest, and more. (Monday, Full Circle Bar, FREE)

3. It’s sill warm enough for outdoor movies! Head to Dumbo for a screening of ’80s classic Krush Groove, starring Sheila E, Run-DMC, and more, with a dance party before the film. (Tuesday, Dumbo Archway, FREE) (more…)

07/29/16 10:29am
Video: Jon Stewart made a surprise appearance at Jessica Williams' 2 Dope Queens show last night

Jonny Stew and J Will at the Bell House last night. Via Facebook.

It has been a particularly brutal election season made even worse by the lack of Jon Stewart, who used to serve as our nightly pressure release valve who screamed back at you “I AM DUMBSTRUCK ABOUT THESE THINGS TOO YOU’RE NOT CRAZY.” He decided to quit The Daily Show last year before he had to suffer through another election of the same predictable patterns (and who can blame him), but as he left he blew his comedy dandelion into the wind, scattering seeds of smart political talent across the entertainment landscape.

He’s been popping up a few times to check in on his proteges since, with appearances on Samantha Bee’s show and a brief but welcome return to Daily Show form on Stephen Colbert’s show last week. Last night he showed up to check in on another of his former squad in our own backyard: Stewart was the surprise guest at the live taping of the 2 Dope Queens podcast from Daily Show alumna Jessica Williams and comedian Phoebe Robinson. He talked about what he’s been doing since he left the show, how he hired Williams and, like all comedians who come to the Bell House for the first time, made fun of Gowanus. (more…)

07/26/16 10:47am
Hot summer streets And the pavements are burning.

Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning.

Between the heat, the politics and the general crappiness of world news overall, summer has definitely been a cruel one. In times like these, it’s easy to give in to the temptation to stay inside, hugging your air conditioner dearly. But what we all really need sometimes is the chance to dance out our feelings. Your best chance to do that this week comes on Friday when our pals at the skint are holding their fourth annual Cruel Summer dance party that will lift you out of the problematic future and take you back to the breezy days of the 1980s, a simpler time when the tunes were cool and Pokemon weren’t around us at all times. It’s got a killer 80s cover band busting out everything from A-ha to Prince, a great DJ and more — and we’ve got a special half-price discount code just for you. (more…)

04/14/16 3:00pm
Get teased by Minxie Mimieaux (#3)

Get teased by Minxie Mimieaux (#3)

1. Expand your perception of reality at a screening of the French short film In Search of Eternity I: Paris, on a screen suspended from the roof and surrounded by photographic frescoes. (Friday, The Chimney, FREE)

2. Listen to the dulcet tones of The Witches, a fugue for five voices with performers Mikeah Jennings, Mary Neufeld, and Stephen Winter. (Friday through Sunday, Spoke the Hub, $15)

3. Bare it with Wasabassco Burlesque’s All the Way, featuring the sexy stylings of BooBess, Tess la Coil, Evelyn Vinyl, Lux La Croix, Penny Wren, Sydni Deveraux, and Minxie Mimieaux. (Friday, Way Station, $20) (more…)

04/11/16 1:00pm
Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 6.00.13 PM

A kinder, gentler talk show with Nasty Canasta & Sapphire Jones (#8)

1. Get your week started with a boozy sugar high: The Well is doing a beer & cupcake pairing with Prohibition Bakery. Mouthwatering combos include Margarita (Gose beer + tequila lime cupcakes with fleur de sel), White Russian (coffee stout + vodka, Kahlua, and espresso cupcakes), and a bunch more. (Monday, The Well, FREE)

2. We’re always excited for each new edition of the Franklin Park Reading Series, and this one is no exception. Memoir night will feature five excellent writers of nonfiction personal narrative: Heidi Julavits, Mark Leyner, Rob Roberge, Syreeta McFadden, and Jillian Steinhauer. (Monday, Franklin Park, FREE)

3. If you’re all about Ethan and Joel, you’re going to want to stay close to East Williamsburg’s new “dinner & a movie” theater this week. Syndicated kicks off seven days of Coen programming tonight with Coen Brothers Trivia, and the rest of the week they’ll be screening everything from Raising Arizona through to Inside Llewyn Davis. (Tuesday, Syndicated, $10) (more…)

04/08/16 11:00am
Not a series of margarine tubs.

Not a series of margarine tubs.

Parquet Courts are so cool, they have two names. Or rather, two spellings of the same name, one of which, I realized a few hours after reading it, refers to tubs of margarine. I catch on far more quickly most of the time, I promise.

Anyway. Parquet Courts (or Parkay Quarts, with the margarine reference), have been a Brooklyn staple for years. They’ve been highly acclaimed for the past five years, and their highly anticipated new album, Human Performance, is out today via Rough Trade Records.

Human Performance was recorded more than a year, “against a backdrop of personal and mental instability,” according to Rough Trade. I feel like that’s often when the best art is made: when everything else is going a little crazy. Or a lot crazy. My mom, a musician herself, taught me from a young age that people with easy lives often write boring songs. (more…)

03/22/16 11:25am
Kevin Allison. Photo by Gene Silvers.

Kevin Allison. Photo by Gene Silvers.

Kevin Allison is the self-described middle child of The State, the grungy 90s MTV show and the best sketch comedy troupe that has ever existed (a fact I am willing to fight anyone at any time over). He famously played the Redhead Gay and a mailman who delivered tacos instead of the mail in two bits that are among the highest comedy art ever produced. The State broke up after a failed move to CBS, and Allison fell off the hardest. While other members of the troupe went on to write movies, star in sitcoms or direct, Allison hit the bottle hard, and took a series of low-paying gigs. That included demeaning catering jobs serving the likes of Donald Trump and the Koch brothers and getting shade from Aretha Franklin, and otherwise wandering the city’s trenches of low-paying jobs before finally finding his way back to performing.

Allison is now host of Risk!, a live storytelling show and podcast he started in 2009. The show, which also tours the country, just moved its permanent home to the Bell House in Gowanus in January after years in Manhattan. In the show, storytellers tell tales they thought they’d never say in public. Allison moved to Harlem last year after fleeing bed bugs in his apartment on the Bushwick/Ridgewood border, but he’s thinking of moving back to Brooklyn soon. Some of Allison’s stories come from his long and winding job history, including a very brief stint as a prostitute and porn author. So before his show tomorrow night at the Bell House, he talked with us about all the jobs he’s ever had. (more…)

02/18/16 3:31pm
Get brass-tastic with Slavic Soul Party! (#)

Get brass-tastic with Slavic Soul Party! (#4)

1. Go brew crazy—it’s NYC Beer Week! There are dozens of tastings, pairings, demos, classes, and more, from Greenpoint to South Slope. (All weekend, various)

2. Grab your favorite youngs and head to Bushwick for Speak Ya Truth, a youth open mic for MCs, poets, artists, and activists. (Friday, Mayday Space, FREE)

3. Hear some great urban tales at Stories from the City, with raconteurs Boni Joi, Nick E. Finn, Dallas Rico, and Jennifer Harmon, plus music by the Lowliest One. (Friday, Pine Box Rock Shop, FREE) (more…)