* SummerScreen presents "Ghost World" (dir. Terry Zwigoff, 2001) @ McCarren Park Ballfields / 780 Lorimer St, Greenpoint (L to Bedford, G to Nassau), 6:30p/FREE. w/ Widowspeak. Classic unnerving contemporary cinema, adapted from Daniel Clowes' dark take on nowheresville pop Americana. Props to an unhinged Steve Buscemi and double-props to a young Scarlett Johansson. And ideal as it'd be to have a bluesman accompanying the film, Brooklyn's darkly dissonant outfit Widowspeak should provide some lovely twilight music.
* Heliotropes + Strange Rivals @ Don Pedro / 90 Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Montrose, JM to Lorimer), 8:30p. One solid night. Pairing LIST favorites Heliotropes (whose continually maturing take on doom-pop is both riff-heavy and ethereally gorgeous) with Strange Rivals' psych-imbued twang is pure golden.
* "Future Present: Five Artists, Five Weeks" feat. Frankie Martin @ Arthouse / 700 Congress, Austin. As the title suggests, each artist gets one week to display their video work in the 2F space. We're up to week four now, unveiling Martin's series "Trapped in the Web", her existential satire on Youtube series "lonelygirl15".
* Summer Show 2011 @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Neches #50. The gallery mounts a mixed media group show feat. cut-paper works by Noriko Ambe, layered paper collage by Francesca Gabbiani, Roy McMakin's conceptual C-prints, plus works by Tom Molloy, Jim Torok, Cory Ryman and more.
* "Phase 7" (dir. Nicolas Goldbart, 2011) screening @ Barton Creek AMC / 2901 S. Capitol of Texas Hwy, 10p. Though it involves an apartment block quarantine, this Argentinian nail-biter is much less "Quarantine" (or it's gruesome original "[rec]" for that matter), and more like "Time of the Wolf", a vaguely apocalyptic, even believable survival thriller set in realtime. Part of AMC Independent and Bloody-Disgusting's monthly "Night Terrors" series. ALSO FRI midnight
* The Wooden Birds @ The Mohawk / 912 Red River, 9p/$12. Andrew Kenny and the lovely Wooden Birds return to the Hill Country after a stint of East Coast shows, beguiling us some more with their electrifying acoustic energy. w/ Gold Beach
* Kosai Hori "Origin — naked place" @ Mizuma Art Gallery / 2F 3-13 Ichigayatamachi, Shinjuku-ku (Yurakucho/Nanboku Lines to Ichigaya Station). Hori's gestural mark-making makes us more aware of the works' borders and constraints. This exhibition includes some four years of his mineral pigment and oil paintings.
* Tomiyuki Kaneko "Yokai Substantiations" @ Mizuma Action / 2F 1-3-9 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku (Tokyu Toyoko Line to Nakameguro Station). The young Saitama-born artist infuses his renderings with traditional Japanese folklore, as he visually confronts the demons of history and contemporary society.
* Cass McCombs + Lower Dens @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$15. Cali's outsider punk poet and Baltimore's hazy shoegaze renegades, together at last!
* Charlene Kaye @ Fat Baby / 112 Rivington St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 8p. I've never got on well with this venue, but I send you forth in confidence thanks to a triumvirate of songwriterly talent, helmed by Charlene Kaye's gossamer rock and feat. Maryanna Sokol (check debut LP "Landfill") and Alexa Wilkinson.
* Yoshio Suzuki @ Hidari Zingaro / 3F 5-52-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku (JR Chuo Line to Nakano Station). Part two of art journalist and BRUTUS deputy editor Suzuki's photo series "Fukuhen", documenting his international travels via a compact camera.
* Keiji Haino @ Fever / 1-1-14 Hanegi, Setagaya-ku (Odakyu Inokashira Line to Shindaita or Shimokitazawa Stations), 7p/3300 yen. A celebration of "Far East" electric psychedelia, which Haino-san epitomizes no matter what instrument — a snarling guitar, a creepy hurdy-gurdy, his own dissonant, howling voice — is at the ready. w/ LSD March
* "The Holy Mountain" (dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973) screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), TKtime. Pure cinematic psychedelia, to the tune of a mute Christ figure and his limbless dwarf sidekick navigating a bustling marketplace and confabbing with prostitute-nuns clad in translucent habits. And that's before our hero ascends a tower, meets an alchemist (the director) and goes off on a hallucinogenic quest. ALSO SAT
* Anamanaguchi @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$12. IMO, these Brooklyn chiptune punks define the genre, nuking NES and pairing with buzzsaw guitars and live drumming, 8-bit dreamscapes projected behind 'em. w/ MATH the Band
* Buck 65 + Beans @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 8p/$15. Whoa, this is a grown-ass man right here, at least in terms of "backpack" or indie hip-hop, sprinkled with folk-poetry and even a little Canadian country. Including NY freak-beat MC Beans just made the party that much more next-level.
* Charlene Kaye solo acoustic set @ American Folk Art Museum / 2 Lincoln Square (1 to 66th St), 6p/FREE. On the dawn of this institution's move into new digs uptown, ineffable singer-songwriter Charlene Kaye takes us back to someplace sunnier and gentler. (NB: her new music video "Human" gave me goosebumps) w/ Maryanna Sokol (and if you missed her on THU, don't make that mistake this time)
* "Captain America: The First Avenger" (dir. Joe Johnston, 2011) screenings in wide release. Look, don't be so surprised, now. So part of my move to Austin has made me into an even bigger film fanboy (i.e. I've got tix to the 1st 3D screening, late THU), and those of you who know me KNOW I'm no "rah rah" Stars & Stripes fanatic. And, personally, I was never into "Captain America", the Marvel comic. Yet, something about a skinny-ass (computer-manipulated) Chris Evans morphing into a rippling (normal) Chris Evans, kicking Nazi ass and squaring off against Hugo Weaving/Red Skull just sounds RIGHT.
* Stephen Pruitt "Encryption" @ Salvage Vanguard Theatre / 2803 Manor Rd, 8p/$12. Pruitt — who has collaborated with the Rude Mechanics, Forklift, amid others — stages his first solo performance in five years, exploring the peripheries of the sensory-overloaded chunks of our existences. UFOs factor into this show, which began as a live radio performance at the 2009 Fronterafest Short Fringe, as "TBA". ALSO SAT
* Black Widow Burlesque presents the USA Show @ ND@501 Studios / 501 I-35 at 5th St, 9:30p/$10. Austin's acclaimed burlesque troupe unfurls a USO-style blowout, replete w/ classic cabaret and nouveau dazzlement and feat. Duke City Gypsy, Ginger Snaps, RaRa Roxette, Betty Blue, Lilly LaFleur and Sailor Cherry. Hoo-rah!
* Nobuyoshi Araki "Higan" @ Rat Hole Gallery / B1F 5-5-3 Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku (Chiyoda/Ginza/Hanzomon Lines to Omotesando Station, JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station). Approx 400 b&w prints taken during Tokyo's excruciating 2010 summer months, out the back window of cars — the timing and Araki's searching telescopic lens happened to coincide with his treatment for prostate cancer.
* Mika Ninagawa @ BLD Gallery / 2-4-9 Ginza, Chuo Ward Tokyo (JR Yurakucho Station, Marunouchi Line to Ginza Station). The unpublished results of a globetrotting collaboration between actor Osamu Mukai and the photographer, based on over 10 years worth of images from her "mook" photo-book series in NEO.
* Daisuke Nagaoka @ hpgrp Tokyo / B1F 5-1-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Chiyoda/Hanzomon/Ginza Lines to Omotesando Station). Nagaoka animates his elaborate pencil and pen drawings into layered, erased and reconfigured scenarios — think a William Kentridge style physicality.
* "New Artists" @ Galerie Sho Contemporary / B1F 3-2-9 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku (Ginza/Tozai Lines to Nihonbashi Station). Four emerging artists from Japan and abroad, feat. Naondo Masuda (who showed at 2009 101Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair), Saeko Shimojo (recipient of the 2011 Marunouchi "Art Award Tokyo"), Arisa Ota and Lee Dongi.
* Recoride @ Club Seata / 1-20-3 Kichijoji Honcho, Musashino-shi (JR Chuo/Sobu Line to Kichijoji Station), 11p/2500 yen. Gekkan Probowler's all-night showcase vol. 3 is one way to escape Tokyo's stifling summer heat, i.e. by sweating indoors to a dozen live techno-punk acts! Personal favorites Recoride don't hit the stage until like 3a, but Mayumi Yamazaki, CutiePai and CANDLES (plus a clutch of DJs) keep the action flowing 'til daybreak.
* Lawrence Weiner + Kathryn Bigelow short-film showcase @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 53rd St/5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 7:30p. An incredible series of collaborations b/w Bigelow (the engaging director) and Weiner (the key Conceptualist), feat. "Affected and/or Effected" and "Done To" (both 1974, w/ Bigelow in front of the camera), "Green as Well as Blue as Well as Red" (1975-6, w/ commentary by Bigelow & Weiner) and "Altered to Suit" (1979, filmed by Weiner and edited by Bigelow).
* Warm Up: Gang Gang Dance (DJ set) @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E/M to 23rd St/Court, 7 to Courthouse Sq), 2p/FREE. Warm Up shows by nature encourage sweating, 1/2 due to the summer heat and another 1/2 due to the jeep-beats, son!!! Today's is particularly dope, what w/ inclusion of Syd tha Kyd, aka Ms. Odd Future, and Montreal's remix alchemist Lunice. And though local experimenters Gang Gang Dance are "just" doing a DJ set, we really never know what they'll come up with. A good thing.
* Dream Diary + Telenovelas @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer), 8p/$6. The Bleach Blonde Record Label launch/showcase includes Telenovelas, some of my favorite local shoegaze-y darlings, plus debut shows for Youth Castles and Blemishes (whose extra-fuzzy tape "Keep It Quiet" is Bleach Blonde's 1st release). Slumberland Records cardigan-stylers Dream Diary headline one dreamy night.
* Real Estate + The Feelies @ Prospect Park Bandshell / Prospect Park West & 9th St, Park Slope (), 7p/FREE. New Jersey now and then share the stage this evening. The quintessential post-punks The Feelies hail from Haledon and only recently reunited after like a 15-year hiatus from recording. Ridgewood surf lads Real Estate keep honing their summertime anthems to new levels of awesomeness. w/ Times New Viking
* Sushi Typhoon Matsuri @ Ginza Cine-Pathos / 4-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku (Tokyo Metro Ginza/Marunouchi/Hibiya Lines to Ginza Station), begins at 12:40p/1500 yen. The awesomely comedic, jaw-droppingly action-packed and totally splatterific Sushi Typhoon films have been decimating festival circuits and hypnotizing new lots of fans, but these are films from and of Japanese soil and it is a good thing that they screen at home, in style, in a four-film blockbuster blowout!!! Consider these the Four Directors of the Apocalypse, only better looking and infinitely more entertaining. The festival begins here, at Ginza's three-screen Cine-Pathos theatre, and extends to epidemic proportions in Osaka, Fukuoka, Aichi, Hokkaido and finally Kyoto — but Tokyo gets nearly a full month of the mayhem. Let's break it down for this week (thru JUL 29):
- "Alien vs Ninja" (dir. Seiji Chiba, 2010), screening at 12:40p. Or 'how it all began', the Sushi Typhoon world introduction occurred at NYAFF 2010…and I was there, front and center! This early title set the label's tone: a nonstop buffet of gore, eye-watering live action and a comedic twist, via rubber-suited aliens and the whole premise of aliens duking it out w/ ninja in an endless forest.
- "Yakuza Weapon" (dirs. Tak Sakaguchi & Yudai Yamaguchi, 2011), screening at 3p. Where to begin: it's adapted from an ultraviolent manga; it also stars action-icon Tak as a cannon-armed antihero insulting thugs in growled Osaka-ese whilst tearing up the screen in four-minute-long tracking shots; and Cay Izumi plays a naked human weapon.
- "Deadball" (dir. Yudai Yamaguchi, 2011), screening at 5:20p. The one of four I've not seen yet, but considering its director created the zombie baseball classic "Battlefield Baseball" and its lead is action-icon Tak Sakaguchi, I think we've got something particularly special here.
- "Helldriver" (dir. Yoshihiro Nishimura, 2010), screening at 7:40p. Like zombies? Like modelesque girls wielding chainsaw-swords slaying zombies? This epic of gory excess, set in a Japan half-conquered by alien gas-infected undead, could only originate in the mind of splatter king Nishimura-san. To cure the populace a la "28 Days Later", our heroine must go after the zombie queen, played by none other than Eihi Shiina. Good luck with that!
* Metro-Ongen + Lines @ JAM / B1 2-3-23 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku (JR lines etc to Shinjuku Station), 6p/2500 yen. I am majorly into indie-rockers Lines (feat. Sachiko Sakaeda) and now Koenji's '80s-imbued quartet Metro-Ongen (think Japanese Televison). w/ Sorrys!
* Azarashi + UM @ Kagurazaka Explosion / B1F #112 Yaraicho, Shinjuku-ku (Tokyo Metro Toei Line to Yurakucho Station), 4p/3500 yen. Kaisan Records hosts an enormous Red Cross fundraising event benefiting NE Japan…via theatrical, dissonant visual key!!!! My favorites Azarashi cut deep in their new LP "Flesh & Blood" (which dropped on JUL 20), while UM (vocalist Re;Kai and multi-instrumentalist Fujimiya, plus a full band) channel Dead Can Dance, traditional gagaku and noise music in their multilinear performances. Plus Kao ga nai! (uh…"Faceless!"), post-punks Kalavinka and more from the darkside.
* Lines @ Shimokitazawa Shelter / B1F 2-6-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Keio Inokashira Line to Shimo-kitazawa Station), 6:30p/2500 yen. Nice! Good vibes indie rock courtesy Tokyo's Lines (check "Zetsumetsu" from their LP) and Bomi.
* "Three" (dir. Tom Tykwer, 2010) @ Museum of the Moving Image / 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria (E/M/R to Steinway St), 7p. Perhaps the most hot-blooded, idealist threesome film you'll ever see, particularly due to the couples' respective long-committed relationships.
* Jessica 6 + Xylos @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston (F to 2nd Ave), 7p/$10. Yes this is an early one, but 100% worth it. Particularly for you 9-6ers who think you can't go out on weeknights. Speed over here (do NOT miss local synth-pop ensemble Xylos) and get your groove thang on. Frankly, I cannot stop listening to "X-Ray", off Xylos' debut LP, and if you're an avid LIST-reader you KNOW Nomi Ruiz & her Jessica 6 outfit bring the nu-disco hi-NRG. Sweat and enjoy.
* "Revenge From Planet Ape" (dir. Amando de Ossorio, 1971) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 10p. This unearthed classic is actually part of the Spanish director's acclaimed "Blind Dead/Templar Knights" quadrilogy (original title translates to "Tombs of the Blind Dead"). Only thing is, in its stateside release the distributors tried to tie it into the "Planet of the Apes" project, so the revenant Knights became "mummified simian warriors", replete w/ a slipshod English-language explanatory intro. So you'll have to trust me that this ape-less film, set entirely on planet Earth, is actually really awesome, and terrifically violent.
* Ghost Wolves @ Momo's / 618 W 6th St, 8p/$7. Carley & Jonathan, aka Ghost Wolves, bring their juke-joint jams and stripped-down powerhouse blues rock to ol' Momo's. Don't underestimate 'em. w/ The Coveters
* "My Theatre" @ Span Art Gallery / 2-2-18 1F Ginza, Chuo-ku. (Yurakucho Line to Ginza-Itchome Station). Deeply personal, disquieting and celebratory works in this group show, feat. Yuko Fukase, Akiko Idichi, Misaki Kihara, Satomi Kuwahara, Hiroshi Osaka, Minae Takada and Mitsuya Watanabe.
* Guitar Wolf vs. Firestarter @ Shimo-kitazawa Shelter / B1F 2-6-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Keio Inokashira Line to Shimo-kitazawa Station), 7p/3500 yen. Nagasaki's original punks Guitar Wolf square off against Firestarter in this "Back to the Shelter" mosh-hungry showcase.
* Richard Tuttle "What's the Wind" @ The Pace Gallery / 510 W 25th St. In my understanding of Richard Tuttle's oeuvre, this lot of "space frame" free-standing sculptures feels very un-Tuttle to me, though it apparently synthesizes decades of his work. Take "System 4, Hummingbird", for me the most Tuttle-esque due to the stretched fabric hanging in the middle of the work like a kidney-shaped kite amid a laundry list of media (painted Styrofoam, aluminum wire, birch plywood, monofilament). Or "System 3, Measurement" in the back gallery, some grouping of misshapen balloons covered in rice paper and suspended over a loose grid of white-coated steel. Their overall vivid fragility is VERY Tuttle, however.
* "Free Soil" @ Canada / 55 Chrystie St. The gallery's bunker-like atmosphere converts into a site for unearthing fossils from some previous civilization. The results are unnerving: Robin Peck's carved, vaguely alien devices, sitting squatly on the concrete floor; Anya Kielar's bleached cloth-and-string implements mimicking human skeletons; Lily Ludlow's vaguely figurative abstract works on paper, wrenching physicality into a layered series of curves; and of course Huma Bhabha's elegantly grotesque contribution: a mannequin bust placed backwards on a secondhand wooden chair, covered in a hooded windbreaker like the crude fractured skeleton of a centaur. (ENDS FRI)