* Summer Invitational + Two-Way Street @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. In the one gallery we get lovely, sexy paintings and mixed media works from emerging artists (Andrew Hem, Morgan Slade, Tran Nguyen, Lola etc), in the other an appropriately streetwise take from four Brazilian street artists in their NY debuts, Alexandre Tadeau Alves (Chivitz), Joao Paulo (NOVE), Marcio Penha (Presto) and Ramon Martins. Yeah, most galleries are taking a European holiday but not LeVine. Don't sleep on this one!
* SummerScreen presents "Starship Troopers" (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1997) @ McCarren Park ballfields / Bedford + N 12th St, Greenpoint (L to Bedford, G to Nassau), 6p/FREE. OK I QUITE liked this blatant satire on militarism and the sci-fi genre, and I seriously doubt I'm the only one. It's "Roughnecks" v. "Bugs"! Plus a live performance by Brooklyn sludge-rockers Grooms.
* "The Boy Friend" (dir. Ken Russell, 1971) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center at 65th St (1 to 66th St), 4:30p (part of "Russellmania!"). Easily my favorite Russell film, and impossible to find stateside (if you've any tips, let me know). Twiggy's super-cute acting debut as the lead in a riotous theatre troupe, a surreal adaptation of the Sandy Wilson musical.
* "Lisztomania" (dir. Ken Russell, 1975) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center at 65th St (1 to 66th St), 7p (part of "Russellmania!"). Oh if you thought Roger Daltrey of The Who as the mute, bare-chested lead in in Russell's psychedelic rock-opera "Tommy" was something else, you'll shriek in either delight or fear at him as the sex-addled Franz Liszt in Russell's prog-rockin' next feature. Case in point: Rick Wakeman (of Yes and the film's composer) appears as Thor and Ringo Starr is the Pope. Yes, really.
* Cacaw (Chicago) + Twin Stumps @ Shea Stadium / 20 Meadow St, Bushwick (L to Grand), 8p. I'm jazzed that Cacaw (two girls, two dudes, lots of shouty atonal rock) are in town. This is their last show before they crest back to Chicago, and they share the stage w/ local noise-men Twin Stumps. w/ GDFX
* Blank Dogs + Kurt Vile @ Galapagos Artspace / 16 Main St, DUMBO (F to York, AC to High St), 8p/FREE w/ RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org. What better place to see Captured Tracks' founder and lo-fi rocker non plus ultra Blank Dogs, along w/ fuzzed-out Kurt Vile than the floating cabaret of Galapagos? For free, if you RSVP.
* Whatever Brains + Byrds of Paradise @ Death by Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/. I should stop throwing about the "punk" term so gratuitously, b/c these guys, Raleigh's Whatever Brains (here, finally!) and local dudes Byrds of Paradise, really sound punk, at least in my born-in-the-80s mind. w/ Ex-Humans
* "The Vampire Lovers" (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1970) screening at BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 6:50/9:15p. All those "Twilight"-derived teen-vampire dramas suck (no pun) compared to this bijou about, ahem, lesbian vampires (led by Polish screen star Ingrid Pitt).
* "The Devils" (dir. Ken Russell, 1971) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center at 65th St (1 to 66th St), 4:30p (part of "Russellmania!"). Panned by critics, unavailable on DVD, w/ Vanessa Redgrave in perhaps her most controversial role (a deformed, sexually repressed Catholic nun) and Oliver Reed as a "bewitching" priest. If you thought the papal runway show in Federico Fellini's "Roma" was a takedown of the Church, wait until you see Redgrave's hallucination of Reed as a brawny, crucified Christ (let alone the denouement). Highly recommended!
* "Tommy" (dir. Ken Russell, 1975) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center at 65th St (1 to 66th St), 7p (part of "Russellmania!"). B/c if you've not seen this rock-music, starring The Who frontman Roger Daltrey as an angelic, shirtless mute running on the seashore (costarring Elton John and Tina Turner in the unforgettable roles Pinball Wizard and Acid Queen), then you've not REALLY seen a Ken Russell film.
* Reni (Japan) + Standard Fare (UK) @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer), 8p. The Sheffield cuties in Standard Fare had a brilliant stateside debut in NY last March and I can't wait to see 'em again. Jangly guitars + solid rhythm section + catchy girl/boy harmonies (sometimes trading verses in the same song) = Britpop at its most brilliant. Adding fuel to the equation is, ahem, cosplay popstar Reni Mimura.
* Lower Dens (Baltimore) + Air Waves @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (F to 2nd Ave, FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8. Tinges of Lower Dens' sonically textured debut album eerily remind me of Les Rallizes Dénudés. They're joined by locals Nicole Schneit & crew as the incredibly magnetic Air Waves.
* KI + Drummer's Corpse @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$7. A nice night of noise, anchored by the ensemble Drummer's Corpse (feat. a fleet of drummers, Brian Chase, Michael Evans, Alex Lambert etc), but I strongly suggest you show up early for KI, a sonically furious group incl. Tamio Shiraishi, the saxophonist and sometimes-vocalist of legendary Fujitsusha. MAYJAH.
* "Le Concert" (dir. Radu Mihaileanu, 2009) screenings @ Angelika NY / 18 W Houston St (BDFM to Broadway/Lafayette). A typically smart comedy (en français et le russe) about Andrei, a formerly famous Bolshoi conductor, and his rise back to stardom post-Brezhnev, which sounds sweet and all but my personal impetus to see it is the inclusion of Mélanie Laurent (HELLO) as violin phenom Anne-Marie and Andrei's key to success.
* "ODDSAC" (dir. Danny Perez, w/ Animal Collective, 2010) midnight screening @ IFC Center / 323 6th Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). If you managed to catch AC's recreation of this hour-long ocular freakout at the Guggenheim, then count yourself lucky. I'm not sure it holds up in a traditional theatre experience. Me? I'm content to watch their Jack Kubizne-directed "Brothersport" video, on repeat, at home, in the dark. ALSO SAT MIDNITE
* Boris @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$22. YES, Boris, Japan's finest stoner-rockers, have returned. My eardrums have been yearning for a good sonic thrashing, and Boris is one of the loudest live acts around — and I've seen My Bloody Valentine and attended No Fun Fest several times, so don't doubt me. Also: in the testosterone-heavy world of axe-wielders, Boris has Wata, petite and beautiful but one of the absolute fiercest guitar players EVER. She will conquer you with her riffs, and you will respect her.
* OK Prom @ Shea Stadium / 20 Meadow St, Williamsburg (L to Grand, G to Metropolitan), 8p/$10 (buy 'em here). So the rules are a bit like your high-school prom — dress up tidy, bring a date, buy tix in advance — only this is Bushwick and instead of a wack DJ-for-hire or a Muzak band we get The Beets, Slasher Risk and Terror Pigeon reinterpreting classic prom-relevant tunes (the Beatles, Motown, doo-wop etc). Plus there's a dance-off at midnight for the title of Prom Queen and King.
* Warm Up: Special Disco Version (James Murphy/Pat Mahoney) @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E to 23rd St/Ely Ave, G to Court Square), 2-9p/$15. If "Special Disco Version" of this LCD Soundsystem tag-team (drummer impresario Mahoney and lovable frontman/composer Murphy) is to my ideals, it'll be Murphy DJing/working the crowd to Mahoney's live drumming. The only thing to take THAT to another level is adding keyboardist/vocalist Nancy Whang and her stunning jumpsuits to the equation.
* "Weekend" (dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E to 5th Ave/53rd St, DF to 47-50th St), 2:30p. AKA "Week End", JLG's arguably final film from Nouvelle Vague, and it's a stunner: the typical petty bourgeoisie couple trapped in apocalyptic gridlock in the French countryside. A literal and figurative "trip".
* "Nosferatu the Vampyre" (dir. Werner Herzog, 1979) screening at BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 4:30/6:50/9:15p. Herzog's signature take on "Nosferatu", w/ frequent collaborator Klaus Kinski in the role of creepy bald guy.
* Cut Copy + Memory Tapes + Glasser @ Williamsburg Waterfront / E River State Park, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 2p/FREE. Jelly NYC's keeping it balanced this year: if you thought the Xiu Xiu/Deerhoof pairing/Joy Division reinterpretation was too 'art' or the Lightning Bolt show (moved to Brooklyn Bowl due to inclement weather, sadly) was too 'punk', this one should be way dancey, and not in a wack way. Let Glasser's Cameron Mesirow and Dayve Hawk & crew (Memory Tapes) catch you w/ their shimmering grooves before Aussie trio Cut Copy totally set your heart on fire w/ their "Lights & Music".
* "Open Studios" w/ robbinschilds @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/V to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 3-6p. Check installation/performance duo robbinschilds and their work-in-progress contribution to "Greater New York", 'I came here on my own'.
* "Soul Kitchen" (dir. Fatih Akin, 2010) preview screening @ 92Y Tribeca / 200 Hudson St (1/ACE to Canal St), 7p/$12. Akin's latest food-minded film, w/ eccentric restauranteur (Adam Bousdoukos) and culinary maniacs Moritz Bleibtreu, in classic hangdog style, and Anna Bederke (HELLO!), doesn't open at IFC until the 20th, but 92Y is being cool and screening it early, w/ Akin in attendance for a Q&A. This equals a tailor-made LIST entry.
* "Irrelevant: Local Emerging Asian Artists Who Don't Make Work About Being Asian", curated by Joann Kim and Lesley Sheng @ Arario NY / 521 W 25th St 2nd Fl. I recalled the 2007 exhibition "Making a Home" at Japan Society, which featured nearly three dozen Japanese artists living in NY, when I first heard about this multicultural, emerging artists show. Kim and Sheng culled together an even huger grouping, displaying a hotbed of young, creative artists working in none of the mnemonic, typecasting devices many critics and viewers expect of Asian artists: no manga-cartoony stuff, no renderings of Mao, no calligraphy here. As one example, take Tattfoo Tan, whose several years' worth of environmentally conscious endeavors work as a side-gallery-filling installation, from his mobile gardens to his "master composter" certificate. Mai Ueda, who opened the show w/ a performance, remains only as a glittery signature and handprint on the gallery wall). Check Kyoung Eun Kang's disquietingly messy video "HAPPY BIRTHDAY", where she pulls a vintage Paul McCarthy, Nancy Kim's and Youngna Park's enigmatic photography (the former recalling Uta Barth), Jason Tomme's cerebral "Cig Scale" assemblage, Jane V. Hsu's noirish "People Were Made to Disappear" short film, and like 40 other artists.
* "Lush Life Ch 8: "17 Plus 25 is 32", curated by Omar Lopez-Chaoud & Franklin Evans @ Scaramouche / 52 Orchard St. My favorite of the "Lush Life" lot (and a great achievement for the LES scene). Jayson Keeling's glittery-surfaced wordy canvases are beautiful and require the extra introspective necessary for this entire exhibition. Karina Aguilera Skvirsky's childhood photography from Ecuador, Melissa Gordon's multiple-POV painting and Paul Pagk's encoded abstracts round out this destination spot.
* "Other As Animal" @ Danese / 535 W 24th St 6th Fl. A whole bunch of artists render animals, from the literal (the photorealistic oil on panel robin by Diane Andrews Hall, Simen Johan's emotive lamb C-print) to the not-so-literal (Julie Heffernan's storybook scene, Ross Bleckner's cyanotype-ish oil on linen), w/ some real gems (Catherine Howe's saturated color explosion, Erick Swenson's stoic simian bust).
* Yuan Yuan "A World of Yesterday and Tomorrow" @ Chambers Fine Art / 522 W 19th St. I loved this show. I'm a big Yuan fan as it is, and the young Beijing artist's foggy, mesmerizing paintings — shown here as small-scale groupings in ceramic frames and larger diptychs — are like the soft-focus scenes from a Sofia Coppola film, only clearly from Yuan's memory.
* "The Pencil Show" @ Foxy Production / 623 W 27th St. Artists doing fun and interesting stuff w/ graphite. OK: more than two dozen artists, cutting-edge and establishment, doing crazy stuff w/ graphite (whether it's their major medium or not). And: like twice that many works, encircling the gallery perimeter and mostly of intimate scale. I suggest you do a circuit, beginning near the front desk w/ Matt Savitsky's glisteningly textured, almost crumbled iron-like works, and take it all in, Kon Trubkovich's night photograph-style, Tomoo Gokita's gathering of loose portraiture, D-L Alvarez' pixellation, Dick Evans' creative minimalism... This was a "like" show for me, overall, but I was surprised but its breadth, so unless you just completely hate pencils there's something in it for you too.