* "Le Amiche" (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955) screenings @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston, ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). Before my favorite Italian Modernist director dove into his long-take suite w/ muse Monica Vitti (beginning of course w/ 1960's "L'Avventura"), he was already working up themes of the petite bourgeoisie (and casting gorgeous women) in 'The Girlfriends'. THRU AUG 31
* Cosmetics @ Home Sweet Home / 131 Chrystie St (F to 2nd Ave), 12a. Get a taste of the nocturnal seduction of Cosmetics before the barn-burning Captured Tracks party on Saturday (check new single "Sleepwalking" to hear why I'm so jazzed). It's OK to wear sunglasses indoors at this show. I just might.
* Ducktails + Family Portrait @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8. Take it easy. Chill out to Matt Mondinale's ever-mesmerizing Ducktails (he leads the shimmery guitars in Real Estate) w/ a psychedelic toke from Underwater Peoples' makers Family Portrait. w/ Tennis
* Your 33 Black Angels + Darlings @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave), 7:30p/$10. Ah, this is solid. I love Darlings: their compositions sound a bit cute and fun on album ("Yeah I Know") but they full-out shred live, do not underestimate them! And Your 33 Black Angels (I like to think the name is inspired by Banks Violette) have an addicting paisley underground sound, but firmly set in NYC. w/ Caution Candy
* Nobunny + Jacuzzi Boys @ Knitting Factory / 361 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer), 10:30p/FREE. I missed out on seeing this volatile pairing, Florida's tripped-out Southern rockers Jacuzzi Boys and one-man freakout Nobunny, at this venue a few months back when the show SOLD OUT. This one's free, and I advise you mind the doors' time and show up early.
* "Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara" (dir. Koji Sakabe, 2007) screening + Q&A @ Asia Society / 725 Park Ave (6 to 68th St), 6:45p/$11. Are you as jazzed about Nara's upcoming stateside retrospective "Nobody's Fool", which opens Sept 9, as I am? Tide yourself over w/ this: Sakabe's documentary on the artist, followed by a discussion w/ Nara and exhibition curator Miwako Tezuka.
* "The Last Exorcism" (dir. Daniel Stamm, 2010) in wide release. So much of my mainstream film hyping channeled toward Alexandre Aja's "Piranha 3D" (and deservedly so, it was dope), but secretly I've been biding my time for this chilly beauty, produced by Eli Roth (uhoh!) and centered on the faith of disillusioned minister (Patrick Fabian), who's making an exorcism documentary, instead of a derivative projectile-vomit number like so many related films. Though that's not to discount the potential for real, bone-shaking terror. I'm just betting it's done in a very calculating, thorough way.
* The Scamps + Heliotropes @ Matchless / 557 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint (G to Nassau), 8p/FREE. Album release party for Brooklyn's bluesy rockers The Scamps (check the organ-fueled new single "Sack Lunch"). Show up early for personal faves Heliotropes, who add a good dose of sludge to their compositions (and that riff in new track "True Love's Knot" is mad heavy). w/ The Courtesy Tier
* Dance Magic Dance UK @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8.Oh this just sounds like loads of poppy fun. Three London girls who run these wicked dance parties named after my favorite track from Jim Henson's "Labyrinth", see, bring that energy to stodgy ol' NYC. w/ a host of local lovely talent incl. Girlfriends, Slow Animal, Sweet Bulbs + DJ Peggy Wang (of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart). Can you dance, NY?
* Bare Wires + Liquor Store @ Monster Island / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/. San Francisco Bay Guardian does a better job describing Oakland's Bare Wires than I think I ever could: "the Stooges on too much caffeine and other stimulants". Basically, they're raw, fast and fun. Pair 'em w/ Liquor Store and it's a winner.
* "Chloe in the Afternoon" (dir. Eric Rohmer, 1972) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 2p. The 6th & final film in Rohmer's "Contes moraux", about a successful but dissatisfied married lawyer who falls for Zouzou (HELLO, in her most famous role). Trivia: the English-language remake was Chris Rock's "I Think I Love My Wife" (2007).
* "Pauline at the Beach" (dir. Eric Rohmer, 1983) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 8:30p. One of Rohmer's "Comédies et Proverbes" + the one I know the best: Amanda Langlet plays the titular teenager and moral core, holding her friends together on a coming-of-age summer trip to Normandy.
* Wild Nothing + Blank Dogs + Cosmetics + MINKS @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Delancey), 8:30p/$15. These bands, all on NY's Captured Tracks label (of which Blank Dogs helms) are incomparably fierce, and by fierce I mean it in the chic, glamorous sense, specifically in a tattooed, leather and cigarettes way. They channel the darkest, coolest parts of the '80s. MINKS are my new loves.
* Rock the Bells Festival 2010 @ Governors Island (take a NY Water Taxi ferry from Pier 11 at South Street Seaport (23/45 to Wall Street, J to Broad St) or from Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park (AC to Jay St, 23/45 to Borough Hall), 2p/baller prices (I'm not going to lie, tix range from $99 standard to high roller VIP at $400+ — all include ferry fees). You don't mess with the Wu, and even though the festival began in San Bernadino CA in 2004, it only feels "right" in the Big Apple, now in the show's 7th iteration. I got into Wu-Tang Clan a bit late, back in '97 when "Wu-Tang Forever" dropped (hell, I was stuck in Texas, what do you expect?) but I was a believer from then on. They lead the festival, themed "Classics" this year, which promises totally bonkers sets from A Tribe Called Quest ("Midnight Marauders"), Snoop Dogg ("Doggystyle"), Rakim ("Paid in Full"), KRS-One ("Criminal Minded"), loads others, and special guest Lauryn Hill. Oh you read that correctly, brother: the ineffable Lauryn "Fugees" Hill. I will never forget with "The Score" dropped w/ that single "Killing Me Softly" back in '96: I was a freshman in high-school, had a crush on a girl, had another crush on Lauryn Hill in that unforgettable music video. If you're doing to drop a benjamin on live music, it better be a stellar affair like this one.
* Satursdays @ Rock Yard w/ ZAZA / 354 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 2p/FREE. Game plan: drink outdoors on an ideally beautiful Saturday late-afternoon and let ZAZA's shoegaze haze melt over you like a psychedelic cloud (catch Motel Motel beforehand), then get thee to the LES for the Captured Tracks party (see above) to continue the journey into the sweet nocturnal.
* The Specific Heats + Knight School @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 10p/$7. Don't let Brooklyn's retro-darlings The Specific Heats lull you too much on album, what w/ the underlying twang and dreamy refrains: they are massive (double-underline) live. But the blissful retro-vibe sticks.
* White Out + Carlos Giffoni w/ C. Spencer Yeh @ Knitting Factory / 361 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer), 8p/$12. Knitting Factory brings the heat w/ some ace experimental music (this plus Zaimph & co. tomorrow night), making me practically forget we didn't have a No Fun Fest this year. White Out's fairly analog duo are augmented here w/ Thurston Moore, wielding his Sonic Youth axe this time. Plus the bracing combo of Giffoni (electronics) and Yeh (treated strings).
* "Boyfriends and Girlfriends" (dir. Eric Rohmer, 1987) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 6p. The original title, "L'Ami de mon amie", is cooler if you get the pun. Two newly fast friends, Emmanuelle Chaulet (the straight-shooter) and Sophie Renoir (the free spirit), switch lovers. The final film in Rohmer's "Comédies et Proverbes" series.
* Zaimph + Nonhorse @ Knitting Factory / 361 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer), 5p/$10. OK this is a chock-full experimental lineup, but the instant draw for me is noisician Zaimph, aka Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards, and if you caught her drone fury at that Thurston Moore-curated "Noise/Art" exhibition at KS Art around 2008's No Fun Fest (or seen her in Hototogisu, The Purple Haze or hell the masters Double Leopards), you know what I'm talking about. Nonhorse's G. Lucas Crane crafts eerie soundscapes from cassettes and a mixer, which just sounds dope.
* "Nadja" (dir. Michael Almereyda, 1994) screening at BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 7p. Perhaps the most stylish Dracula legend you'll ever see, set in gritty NYC, shot in lo-fi b&w, w/ stunning Elina Lowensohn as the lead and a soundtrack of My Bloody Valentine and Portishead. Oh, and the inimitable David Lynch cameos as a morgue attendant. Q&A w/ Almereyda following the screening.
* Cosmetics @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy) 9p/$8. Pendu Disco's classic dance party takes a stroll down an every darker-than-usual road w/ the combustive Captured Tracks duo Cosmetics, their 3rd and final show in NY for the time. w/ Cult of Youth
* Telenovelas @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/. Telenovelas are quickly becoming one of my favorite local J&MC-ish wall-of-sound acts (though I doubt anyone can knock Asobi Seksu from the #1 spot). They're dope, Telenovelas, and LIST-approved.
* "Year One" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. One of my favorites of the summer. Four fantastic, moody C. and E. European artists who are still getting little play in NY beyond this gallery. Alexander Tinei is my immediate favorite — his strong showing at NY VOLTA this past year sealed the deal for me — and this trio of new, dreamy nudes is riveting. Same deal w/ Josef Bolf's small, streaky, darker figures. Zsolt Bodoni's large, doomsday-ish industrial scenes and Daniel Pitin's smaller renderings from film stills balance the people with setting to create an all-inclusive haunting diorama.
* Brion Nuda Rosch @ DCKT Contemporary / 195 Bowery. A stunning solo-show debut for the San Fran-based Rosch. He works w/in a tight color palette — white, chocolatey-brown and a beguiling turquoise (as signature to him as International Klein Blue, only he didn't "patent" the color as his own — and a variety of media, found book pages, angular abstract sculpture, coated figurines, to fantastic effect. Case the gallery very closely and Rosch's many interventions, like the angled sculpture and the robotic "faces" in book pages, slowly and rewardingly reveal themselves. A destination exhibition.
* "Shred", curated by Carlo McCormick @ Perry Rubenstein Gallery / 527 W 23rd St. There is quite a range to the concept of collage as fine art, from Brian Douglas' laborious cut-paper rendering that is deeply textured like an Impressionist's painting, to Jess' and Bruce Conner's interventions, to Mark Flood's portrait echoing Jean-Paul Goude, to Dash Snow's deftly impressive pairing, to Judith Supine's elaborate, enigmatic acrylic portrait.
* Andy Warhol "Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall)" @ Nicholas Robinson Gallery / 535 W 20th St. For all the trouble in constructing this installation of eye-popping daisy panels behind a double-layer of running water (its summary destruction in Osaka in '69 and again in LACMA in '71), it's a calming, satisfying experience to see in person, finally fully-functioning and protected. Also: it's a cooling installation, what w/ the faint spray of water, depending on your proximity to it, and it's been so bloody hot out...