* SummerScreen presents "Labyrinth" (dir. Jim Henson, 1986) @ McCarren Park ballfields / Bedford + N 12th St, Greenpoint (L to Bedford, G to Nassau), 6p/FREE. What, I ask you, is better than watching a hot vampiric David Bowie and a teenaged Jennifer Connelly in a surreal fantasy film, but doing all of it outdoors on a balmy summer's evening in Brooklyn? NY, I love you.
* The Beets + Air Waves + Easter Vomit @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$7. STELLAR: Two 'The Beets'-related bands here, the original plus drummer Jacob's psyched-out band Easter Vomit, plus Nichole Schneit's dreamy Air Waves. Nice in all respects.
* Julian Lynch + Family Portrait @ Pianos / 158 Ludlow St (FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8. Two of the strongest from Underwater Peoples, label founders Family Portrait and the ineffable Julian Lynch, whose nostalgia-inducing smooth anthems on "Mare" are this summer's staple (and like organic Panda Bear, if you want to take it there).
* "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'.
* "Cold Water" (dir. Olivier Assayas, 1994) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 6:50/9:15p. Wait, Virginie Ledoyen stars in it? I'M THERE! (plot hint: it's set in the '70s w/ two American rock music-listening gorgeous misfits, one of whom, obvs, is Ledoyen)
* "Drums of Tahiti" (dir. William Castle, 1953) + "The Stranger Wore a Gun" (dir. André de Toth, 1953) double-screening @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston, ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), part of "Classic 3D" series, 4:40p/8:20p. The only thing cooler than seeing one of these classic 3D films (guns pointed at YOUR face! song and dance! in full color...maybe!) is seeing two of 'em, back-to-back, for the price of one.
* Cassie Ramone + Reading Rainbow @ Don Pedro / 90 Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Montrose, JM to Lorimer), 8p/. Lo-fi and delicious. Philly's Reading Rainbow conjure a LOT of rockin' energy from the twosome, and Cassie Ramone is THAT Cassie Ramone, a la Babies and of course a la Vivian Girls, so you know she can bring it. w/ Easter Vomit + White Mystery (like the candy!), i.e. an night of rockin' duets.
* Aki Sasamoto w/ Saul Melman performance @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 2-4p. Sasamoto's cocoon-like performance last month, in the mosquito-net-draped back alcove of the boiler room, was partially a treatise on comedians and mosquitos, partially Sasamoto's Kafka-esque metamorphosis, zapping at the bug-lights with a straw, climbing and hanging from the pipes while belting out "Let It Be". It took her normally athletic lecture/performances to a whole 'nother level, and I'm excited where she takes episode two. Melman, meanwhile, stoically continues gilding the boiler. ALSO SAT (during Warm Up) and SUN, same time
* "Piranha 3D" (dir. Alexandre Aja, 2010) screenings in wide release. I remember way back earlier this summer, post-NYAFF, I said the only two domestic films I looked forward to b/w now and the NYFF were "Inception" and "Piranha 3D". And while I saw "Inception" opening night and LOVED it, I saw a few others as well ("Salt", OK; "Predators", surprisingly great; "Scott Pilgrim v. the World", very fun), I've been anxiously awaiting this Jersey Shore-slick, over-the-top violent monster movie. And it's here, baby.
* "Soul Kitchen" (dir. Fatih Akin, 2010) screenings @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). Akin's latest food-minded film, w/ eccentric restauranteur (Adam Bousdoukos) and culinary maniacs Moritz Bleibtreu, in classic hangdog style, and Anna Bederke (HELLO!) equals a tailor-made LIST entry.
* "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" (dir. Charles B. Pierce, 1977) screening @ Anthology Film Archives / 32 2nd Ave (F to 2nd St), 9:30p. A masked slasher film docudrama based on the 'Texarkana Moonlight Murders' in '46 and predating "Halloween" by a year. And just to up the contemporary scare factor several notches, the Phantom Killer looks kind of like Man in the Mask from Bryan Bertino's "The Strangers".
* "Modern Love Is Automatic" (dir. Zach Clark, 2009) screenings thru next THU @ reRun Theatre / 147 Front St, DUMBO (F to York St, AC to High St). It's shot like an extended Miles Aldridge fashion spread (candy pastels, bold primaries v. desaturation, everyone glistens slightly) and stars Melodie Sisk as a nurse by day, dominatrix by night, and roommate to an aspiring model (Maggie Ross) who works as a mattress hawker in a strip-mall. Yet another bijoux from SXSW. (showtime details + tix)
* "Blue Velvet" (dir. David Lynch, 1986) midnight screenings @ Sunshine Cinema / 143 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave). Before the creepy guy-behind-the-dumpster and the Mystery Man in Black, there was Dennis Hopper, forever burned into our retinas as the amyl nitrite-huffing sadomasochist (plus lip-syncer to Roy Orbison's "In Dreams") against a young and clueless voyeur Kyle MacLachlan and an enchanting Isabella Rossellini. Hell, even the first two minutes of this film give me the shivers. ALSO SAT
* Heavy Cream w/ Detroit Cobras @ Rock's Off Cruise / 2430 FDR Drive @ E 23rd St (6 to 23rd St), 7p sharp!/$25 on the Half Moon boat. I don't do too well on boats... I was meant to reside on land and ideally in an urban metropolitan environment. That said, I LOVE Nashville's Heavy Cream, and the fact they're performing their grungy Southern-fried punk (w/ twangy rockers Detroit Cobras) on a boat means I may need to make an exception. I sincerely hope there is lots of beer on this cruise.
* Dream Diary @ Monster Island / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford/JM to Marcy), 8p/$8. Brooklyn's Dream Diary, I like 'em. Dreamy, obvs, + w/ elements of the best things about late '80s/early '90s Brit-rock. w/ The Shining Twins + Phone Tag
* "4 Eccentrics" group show @ The Proposition / 2 Extra Place, E 1st St (Alley behind CBGB's!), no reception. I have fond memories of The Proposition in W.Chelsea and laud its reopening on the LES. Plus, any show w/ Mickalene Thomas (from her "Brawling Spitfire" series) is essential. Also: mixed metal brutalities by Paul Evans, creepy visceral fantasy watercolors by Balint Zsako + James Mont's treated industrial sculpture.
* "Doomed Love" (dir. Andrew Horn, 1983) screening @ Anthology Film Archives / 32 2nd Ave (F to 2nd St), 9:15p. An unnerving love story w/ Jim Neu-penned dialogue, organic sets by abstract artists Amy Sillman and Pamela Wilson, and Evan Lurie's soundtrack. It's verrrry noir.
* Asobi Seksu @ 383 Carroll St, Gowanus (F/G to Carroll St, M/R to Union St), 6p/$15. After BKLYN Yard was shut down earlier this summer, I worried that we wouldn't get to enjoy the promised Asobi Seksu (Brooklyn's finest shoegazers) concert. We are in LUCK: they perform across the street, amid the embers of a late summer's evening and the famous dumpster pools. Plus the Greenpoint Food Market vendors will be there, a decidedly local deliciousness to the slow-burn tunes. This is what summer's all about, people. w/ Golden Triangle
* Crystal Castles @ Terminal 5 / 610 W 56th St (1/AC/BD to 59th St), 8p/$45. OK so I'd normally be damned before I give credit to Terminal 5, let alone step foot in that acoustic monstrosity. But Crystal Castles, love 'em or not, throw a hell of a party. And guilty pleasure "Celestica", off their new album, is about as sweet as they get.
* Sunshower Orphans (album release party) + Telenovelas @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8. Telenovelas do a great J&MC thing, from the literal shoegazing to the hypnotic girl-guy vocals. And there's a hazy sunniness to Sunshower Orphans' guitar-drenched rock, as befits their name, and they've got a track called "Manic Flaneur" that should be my nickname.
* Skeletons + Dead Western @ Silent Barn / 915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood (L to Halsey, M to Myrtle/Wyckoff), 8p/$8. A solid, chill lineup for a weekend full of dope bands. Local soulful ensemble Skeletons are incroyable, a bit lounge-y, a bit Beck. Troy Mighty of Cali's Dead Western et al do a folksy turn, until he starts singing and that honeyed ageless baritone totally mesmerizes. w/ Nat Baldwin + Little Women
* Cy Amundson "Recomposes a Painting" (recommended by Dave Miko) performance @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 3p. Miko's a cool young dude and his flotilla of aluminum- and canvas-set works in PS1 are rendered site-specific by his swaths of paint over the walls housing them. Amundson comes straight off a Miko-organized group show "A Lettuce Slaughter in the Woods" at Real Fine Arts, and I trust Miko here.
+ Naama Tsabar "Double Guitar" performance at 4p. Nice, if you couldn't tell from the title, Tsabar is an installation and performance artist and will be playing a double guitar — not a double-neck like Takeshi from Boris or those metalheads, actually two guitars that meet at the neck, thus requiring two people to play it.
* Religious to Damn + Fielded + Psychic Steel @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p. Two of Chicago's great solo avant-garde electronic projects, Fielded + Psychic Steel, grace Bruar Falls w/ local Garbage-esque rockers Religious to Damn for a scrumptiously dark night.
* nullsleep + Bit Shifter @ (le) poisson rouge / 158 Bleecker St (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), 6:30p/$10. Some of my favorite chip musicians (besides Anamanaguchi, natch), led by the oddly emotive renderings of nullsleep. w/ live visuals by NO CARRIER.
* "Funeral Parade of Roses" (dir. Toshio Matsumoto, 1969) screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), 8p. I had the pleasure of catching this Japanese New Wave iconoclast at last year's incredible "Shinjuku Ecstasy" festival at Japan Society. Think Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex", only w/ rival drag queens in '60's Tokyo's gay counterculture.
* Psychic Steel + Fielded + Lichens @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. Nice nice nice. I've come to rely on ISSUE for the best of noise (or otherwise "difficult" music), but DbA's brought a top-notch lineup, courtesy of Chicago's Psychic Steel (Seth Sher) + Fielded (Lindsay Anne Powell) and Lichens (Robert Lowe). Leave here a changed person.
* Dream Diary @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/FREE. See my praise of Dream Diary for their Monster Island show FRI, then see 'em again. w/ Dinowalrus
* Miles Mendenhall @ Half Gallery / 208 Forsyth St. A gallery reception BEFORE the big opening-night run in early Sept! Mendenhall's hazy b&w silkscreen patterns on cotton remind me a bit of Wayne Gonzales' hypnotic magnified-halftone acrylics.
* "Annual Summer Invitational" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. Deep w/in the August heat, amid the shuttered galleries on holiday in W.Chelsea, there's a shining beacon of ABSOLUTE DOPENESS that is Jonathan LeVine Gallery. This show of 13 emerging artists kills. Take your pick, really, it's all good, but personal faves: Nicoletta Ceccoli gemlike acrylics on paper (fantasy scenes mixing whimsy and dread, of the Trevor Brown/Mark Ryden vein); Tran Nguyen's stunning figurative portraits in diluted acrylic and colored pencils (balancing classic early Surrealism, like '20s style, or like a Sofia Coppola film); LOLA's gently warped acrylics on board (like she used a Dali-sized horsehair brush to capture each and every wrinkle in fabric and animal fur); Andrew Hem's textured mixed media works (somehow both Second Life and the E. European "doomsday" painters like Alexander Tinei and Zsolt Bodoni). And that's just personal taste. The exhibition runs the gamut into feverish abstraction (Alex McLeod's C-prints, which wouldn't be remiss in a Nintendo Wii platform game, and Oliver Warden's somehow "pixellated" oil smears) and EVOL's startlingly photorealistic spraypaint on cardboard is unbelievable even in person. Highly recommended.
+ "Two-Way Street". The gallery teamed w/ Choque Cultural in Sao Paulo in feat. four Brazilian street artists, Chivitz (Alexandre Tadeu Alves), NOVE (Joao Paulo), Presto (Marcio Penha) and Ramon Martins, and beyond the ginormousness of Martins' mural-sized canvas a James Rosenquist-like washing-machine abstract of markers and spraypaint, I rather dug NOVE's swooping, sprite-like characters, somehow human and mechanical, rendered in acrylic and spraypaint on wood.
* Christian Marclay "Fourth of July" @ Paula Cooper Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Ahead of his major musuem show "Festival" at the Whitney, Marclay presented a fragmented series of print blowups from an Independence Day parade in Hyde Park NY. Seeing these torn glimpses of a uniformed marching band and sweating spectators is like viewing the actual parade through a tube: he draws you toward all these interesting peripheral actions that, in the actual festival, would have been lost in all the noise. Like a dude lounging in a folding chair.
* Bruce Nauman "Days" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/V to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St). Nauman's incredible sound installation debuted at the 2009 Venice Biennale and I am thrilled it was added to MoMA's collection. This suite of 14 speakers contain women's and men's voices speaking the days of the week. That's it, and depending on where you stand it'll either mesmerize you (a la Odysseus' crew and the Sirens) or freak you the hell out. One of the guys sounds like a serial killer. Another, like your least-favorite schoolteacher, bullets the days at you. Yet another, my favorite obvs, is a lightly accented young woman's voice, intoning them like she's reading the coolest poem ever.