* Sara Greenberger Rafferty "Remote" @ Rachel Uffner Gallery / 47 Orchard St. Rafferty recreates moving-image stills from iconic screen moments (film to Youtube uploads) via the blurred "waterlogging" technique developed in her 2009 exhibition, plus features larger works on acetate and Plexiglas.
* Zipora Fried "Salon Noir" @ On Stellar Rays / 133 Orchard St. Fried gets even more mysterious in her second solo exhibition at the gallery. In the past, she's modified furniture with knives and bottles, or coated them in knitting… or she wouldn't just "draw" something, she'd coat entire sheets of paper with shiny graphite, or modify a photograph w/ some disparate duplication. She continues that experimentation here, obscuring enlargements of her b&w childhood photos w/ clots of thread.
* Lisa Kirk "If You See Something…" @ Invisible-Exports / 14A Orchard St. Kirk references her site-specific installation "Backyard Adversaries", a four-channel video program feat. kids playing war, in a new disassembled video work, alongside paintball paintings and other instruments that critique and disseminate images of war.
* Kristopher Bendict "Remake" @ Sue Scott Gallery / 1 Rivington St. Revisions of images that are revisions of something else, like a scene from "Vanilla Sky" (formerly "Abre los Ojos"), reinterpreted as an Impressionist painting; Nicholas Cage's foreclosed Hollywood mansion enlarged from a small Google image, etc. In Benedict's unique vocabulary, we are forced to re-look (and re-re-look) at what we've already seen.
* "NORFOLK" @ Thierry Goldberg / 103 Norfolk St. The gallery celebrates its move to a tony new LES space w/ a cast of cutting-edge downtown artists (and beyond!). Feat. Naama Tsabar, Meredyth Sparks, Adam Marnie, Kate Gilmore, Saul Melman, Jane Benson and many more.
* "L'Avventura" (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 53rd/5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 7p. The first installment of Antonioni's loose quartet of petite bourgeoise isolation, set on an enchanting deserted island and centered around the sudden disappearance of one of the young women. Seduction and betrayal follow, as Antonioni's discreet lens lovingly focuses on breakdowns of trust and communication. Plus, the first appearance of his frequent muse Monica Vitti!
* "Running Man" (dir. Paul Michael Glaser, 1987) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 7p. "Gamer" and its ilk have nothing on pure '80s steroidal action cinema, particularly this prickly shard of near-future dystopia, starring Ahhnuld Swarzennegger as a wrongly convicted felon (for a massacre!) lassoed into a game show that'll equal his freedom…if he can survive! This is an "Action Pack" screening, so expect flamethrowers, cap guns, and possible spinal fluid leakage.
* "Autoerotic" (dirs. Adam Wingard and Joe Swanberg, 2011) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar / 1120 S. Lamar, 10p. Sex and horniness are funny things, and these two directors (Fantastic Fest 2010 alum Wingard, late of "A Horrible Way to Die", and indie everyman Swanberg) take us through four vignettes and the more awkward and obsessive angles of gettin' it on. ALSO THU
* Youth Lagoon (Boise) @ Emo's / 603 Red River, 9p/$10. So here's the deal: Boise native Trevor Powers, aka the one-man dreammeister behind Youth Lagoon, is currently on his first tour — he's "just" 22 — yet his lo-fi bedroom-produced sound, typified on debut single "July", elicits visions of angels, cascading falls, sunlight through the trees, the cutest girl (or boy) you've ever seen, that and more… it exudes thousands of levels more confidence than a young dude on his first tour. Show some love tonight. w/ Field Dress
* the milky tangerine + COLX @ LUSH / B1F 1-10-7 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR Lines etc to Shibuya Station), 6:30p/2300 yen. Tokyo's super-indie live-house showcase Beat Happening pairs local w/ Osaka bands, like melodic the milky tangerine and Kansai travelers COLX. w/ KAMAMOTOMIKA
* Susan Rothenberg @ Sperone Westwater / 257 Bowery. Interesting point: Rothenberg's first solo exhibition was at the iconic 112 Greene St co-op back in 1975, and her large-scale, minimalist renderings of horses already assured her as a powerful artist of her generation. Now nearly 40 years have past, and she's still in top form, presenting 13 new paintings in this exhibition, revealing ravens, doves and ghostly heads.
* Do Ho Suh "Home Within Home" @ Lehmann Maupin / 540 W 26th St. I was lucky to catch an earlier iteration of Suh's ongoing "Home Within Home" project at the exhibition "Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea" at MFAH in 2009. He explores themes of cultural displacement (studying at RISD in 1991 and Yale thereafter) and coexisting cultural identities in this multilinear exhibition. A must-see!
* Nick Cave "Ever-After" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 512 W 20th St. Cave OWNS the "soundsuit". If you've never seen 'em before, they're typically these flare-headed life-size human sculptures, decked in something organic (like last Armory Show's subtle bundles of tree limbs) or more fanciful, Bowie-esque, as it were. He goes for spectacle this time, coating them with shiny buttons like fashion chainmail and filling their insides with swirling upholstery ombres.
* Luis Gispert "Decepción" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 745 Fifth Ave. Car customization beyond the furthest stretches of the imagination. Unless you've spent time in the Dirty South amongst tricked out low-riders (or in LA, Florida, Harlem etc), you may have never seen shock-red upholstery matching a cherry-red paint job and chromed rims and instruments everywhere else. That same red with silver accents grazing the vehicle's owner, his baby girl — color coordination that treads the line b/w bonkers and inspiring. Gispert captures the culture in massive C-prints.
* Bogdan Vladuta "Urban Archeology" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. The debut stateside showing for the Romanian artist, whose gripping portraiture of Bucharest residents epitomizes his process of uncovering "human artifacts".
* Tim Okamura "Bronx Brooklyn Queens" @ Lyons Wier Gallery / 542 W 24th St. Okamura creates some of the most scintillating portraiture paintings today, beautifully realizing friends and models against the Boroughs' urban backdrops. He incorporates spraypaint and collage into his photorealist oil compositions, oftentimes placing his subjects dead center, their focused gazes locking onto you.
* Kiseok Kim "Plastics" @ Hionas Gallery / 89 Frankin St. Super-slick, subtly anime-ish or surrealist large-scale female portraits, conjured entirely from the Brooklyn-based artist's imagination.
* Jane Hammond "Light Now" @ Galerie Lelong / 528 W 26th St. NY's fall gallery rush is a time to do BIG THINGS. Lelong goes for dazzle, literally, in Hammond's titular "dazzle paintings", combining photography w/ acrylic over Plexiglas, accented w/ shininess. What might sound like a contrived mechanism on paper is something else in person, as the layered gold, silver and palladium leaf shimmer from different vantage points and in concert w/ their respective light sources, converting Hammond's subjects into almost 3D interactivity.
* Brian Jungen @ Casey Kaplan Gallery / 525 W 21st St. The Canadian artist moves from weaving to leather and furniture in his latest series, pairing mass-produced objects like plastic lawn chairs and takes on Mid-Century Modern chairs with animal skins and aluminum car parts.
* Nicola Tyson @ Friedrich Petzel Gallery / 535 + 537 W 22nd St. Tyson fills the larger 537 space with her large-scale, shockingly colorful figurative paintings, while, in a new twist to her oeuvre, including smaller sculptures in the adjacent 535 gallery, working with fast-dry modeling compound to achieve a similar "sketched" effect as her 2D works.
* Katie Armstrong "Once More Once More" @ BravinLee Programs / 526 W 26th St #211. Check out Armstrong's Vimeo clip on the gallery website, hinting at her animated drawings (with vocals! pretty decent folk-ish vocals, sung by the artist) steeped in big-city culture. She's young — a recent BFA from SVA last year — but her knack for eliciting emotion via whimsical, handmade vignettes is totally undeniable.
* Shai Kremer "Fallen Empires" @ Julie Saul Gallery / 535 W 22nd St. Kremer's second solo at the gallery expands on his focus into Israel's political landscape, traveling back to antiquity and the crusades via vivid C-prints, then snapping up back to Palestinian conflicts and contemporary issues.
* Pieter Hugo "Permanent Error" @ Yossi Milo Gallery / 525 W 25th St. BIG Hugo fan here. If you've caught his previous photo exhibitions at the gallery (the acclaimed 2007 series "The Hyena & Other Men" and 2009's "Nollywood"), you know his moody, cinematic African settings grip you in. His latest focuses on a massive technological west dump on the outskirts of Ghana's capital, playing on the sad contrast that, rather than bridging the digital divide, this dystopian array of discarded electronics is actually physically harming the nearby residents.
* Haim Steinbach "Creature" @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Objects in tasty, inspired couplings, arranged on shelves. Like shock-yellow Tonka toy trucks and a plastic/metal wring basket, or Fruit Loops boxes with blunt rubber dog chews. Steinbach inspires us to see beyond the obvious, in his debut solo show at the gallery (and his first NY exhibition since 2007).
* Carmen McLeod "Open Structure" @ CRG Gallery / 548 W 22nd St. The Brooklyn-based artist opens opinions on what constitutes painting and sculpture by deconstructing and revising older works with objects in her studio and entirely new compositions.
* Alessandra Exposito @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. Exposito's propensity for using found objects in her hybrid sculptures is cool, but past efforts w/ animal skulls didn't grab me that hard. She's now incorporating discarded furniture, seemingly pulled from the roadside or some sad yard sale, and infusing them with organic flora elements to give them new existence. So count me game again.
* Siddhartha Tawadey "Transparent Hallucination" @ Bose Pacia / 163 Plymouth St, DUMBO. The New Delhi- and London-based artist created this two-part exhibition, the immersive video work "23.98" and photography series "Visions of a Fragmented Mind", while in residency at SVA.
* Eunsu Kang "Submerged" @ Doosan Gallery / 533 W 25th St. A fluid interactive A/V installation immersing us w/in Kang's underwater landscape. Plus! A special dance performance w/ Kang's long-time collaborator Diana Garcia-Snyder during the opening reception.
* Andy Denzler "Dissonance and Contemplation" @ Claire Oliver / 513 W 26th St. Denzler's wet-on-wet painterly technique mixes abstraction and photorealism in his figures set against landscapes — the end effect is a bit like a faulty TV set.
* Frederick Hammersley "Geometrics/Organics" @ Ameringer McEnery Yohe / 525 W 22nd St. An intriguing look at this post-war American artist, who effectively juggled two disparate styles, staid "Geometrics" and flowing "Organics", both replete w/ bold color-blocked fields.
* Greg Drasler @ Betty Cuningham Gallery / 541 W 25th St. In Drasler's 2008 show, he represented automobiles and empty interiors w/ a polished 1940's nostalgia. He revisits some of that, plus ski lifts, trailers and tents, devoid of human contact and overlaid by patterns and shadows. They're still as gorgeous as ever.
* THISORGANIZED @ Susan Inglett Gallery / 522 W 24th St. Gallery artist Hope Gangloff curated this cross-media exhibition of her peers, feat. Adriana Farmiga, Blaze Lamper, Justin Valdes, An Hoang, Chie Fueki, Jason Search and others.
* Ducktails + Family Portrait @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 9p/$10. A night of psychedelic haze, headlined by Matt Mondanile's dreamy guitar outfit Ducktails. w/ Greatest Hits and Future Shuttle
* "Big Money Rustlas" (dir. Paul Andresen, 2010) + "The Garbage Pail Kids" (dir. Rod Amateau, 1987) double-screening @ Salvage Vanguard Theater / 2803 Manor Rd, 7:30p/$5. Take the classic Western (inspired by Warner Bros cartoons) prequel to Insane Clown Posse's Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope's filmic debut "Big Money Hustlas" — plus cast Dustin Diamond, Vanilla Ice etc — and pair that w/ the nightmarish live action musical adaptation of that notorious series of children's CPK-warped trading cards, only this time the "Kids" arrive in a spaceship. Has your head nuked yet?
* "Objectified" (dir. Gary Hustwit, 2009) screening @ Austin Museum of Art / 823 Congress Ave, 7p. The documentarian behind "Helvetica" examines our relationship w/ manufactured objects and the people who design them. You might scoff at Michael Graves' ubiquity at Target and hold true to "Fight Club"'s take on IKEA, but you're a sucker for everything Apple and Muji. Dr. Jeffrey Meikle, professor of UT Art History & American Studies and currently scribing "Design in the U.S.", leads a Q&A after the screening.
* Japandroids (BC) + Bass Drum of Death (MS) @ Mohawk / 912 Red River, 9p/$12. Who says a rock band requires four members, even three? Sure, it's something to fill the stage w/ four guys who JUST play guitar, but this one-two punch of duo headrush-edness, Canadian noise rockers Japandroids and Duuuuty South punks Bass Drum of Death, proves two can be a handful.
* 「キャラマキスクエア」 @ Niji Gallery / 2-2-10 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino-shi (JR Line to Kichijoji Station). The Japanese is REALLY funny here. I think the show title might be translated as "caramel macchiato square", as it's description reads: 「甘くてちょっぴり苦い、キャラメルマキアートのような味わいを作品につつみこんだら、はじけました」(lit. "artworks wrapped up in flavor, a little bittersweet, like a caramel macchiato, bursting open"), but it totally suits young Kuma's sweet illustrative style. Catch this brief exhibit before it closes on Tuesday!
* Vik Muniz @ Sikkema, Jenkins & Co / 530 W 22nd St. Muniz's latest exhibition is definitely high up on my must-see list this fall. If you caught his recent Academy Award-nominated documentary "Waste Land", you should be familiar w/ Muniz's famous "Pictures of Garbage" series: forming massive riffs on classical art via carefully ordered rubbish in the world's largest dump, outside Rio de Janeiro. His large-scale color photography in this show eschews rust and rubbish for gaudy colors, as he uses images and text torn from magazines to craft detailed duplicates of iconic artworks.
* Sterling Ruby + Lucio Fontana @ Andrea Rosen Gallery / 525 W 24th St. Another provoking pairing by the gallery: Fontana, the Italian-Argentinian founder of Spatialism and member of Arte Povera — i.e. the guy who slashed monochrome canvases w/ a blade — and Ruby, some 80 years his junior, as renowned for his gigantic installations as his penchant for urethane, spraypaint and heavy metal. Yet in the intersection of this Venn Diagram is biomorphic glazed ceramics, one of perhaps many surprising commonalities b/w these two outlying artists.
* Adam Marnie "Locus Rubric" + Matt Kenny @ Derek Eller Gallery / 615 W 27th St. Marnie adapts on the gallery space with an interrelated installation, "remixing" the space with framed collages (adapted from wall reliefs he then cut out and replaced elsewhere), box sculptures and punched sheetrock. Kenny fills the smaller north gallery w/ monotypes created by inking plastic bags and running them through an intaglio press.
* Deborah Butterfield @ Danese / 535 W 24th St 6th Fl. New cast bronze sculptures of horses seemingly composed of brambles or tree limbs, except it's all cast bronze with patina!
* Eko Nugroho "Snobs Behind Ketchup" @ Lombard-Freid Projects / 518 W 19th St. The Indonesian artist's debut solo exhibition in the city, encompassing his large-scale mixed-media portraits and sculpture, revealing his metamorphosed cultural figures. His gorgeous, vibrantly colorful embroidered "paintings" from last summer's "Heat Wave" group show is all the convincing I need that this exhibition is a must-see.
* "Fight Club" (dir. David Fincher, 1999) midnight screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). The runaway cult classic plays like a dissertation on pre-millennial maleness. Meaning: bare-chested underground brawls w/ the likes of Brad Pitt at his most leanly chiseled and IKEA-obsessed Edward Norton, plus lovely space-case Helena Bonham Carter as a backcombed angel from hell. The vague homoeroticism, percolating Dust Brothers soundtrack and surgically subtle CGI move the story along until the whirlwind twist of a conclusion. ALSO SAT
* !!! + Light Asylum @ Bell House / 149 7th St, Gowanus (F/G to Smith/9th St), 8p/$18. Can you shake that thang? This is an inspired pairing: bicoastal dance-punk originals !!!, led by resident white-boy ass-shaker Nic Offer, and their gritty kindred and disco-diva revivalists Light Asylum, elevated by the exhilarating Shannon Funchess. w/ Computer Magic (contributed "Take It or Leave It" to Stereogum's "Stroked" LP)
* Colby Bird "Dust Breeds Contempt" + Jim Torok "Walton" @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces St. Bird is attempting elucidate the distinct stages of artwork that many of us (even hardcore collectors) never see beyond their gallery hangings: i.e. their creation and their aging under a new owner, the accumulation of dust and whatnot. He explicitly achieves this through swapping out a single photograph from the exhibition daily (or as requested), leaving it angled to breed dust on the glass' surface and in plain view. Meanwhile, Torok shows a series of painted portraits on birch and wood panels of Walton NY residents, based on his extensive time among the townspeople in that region.
* Liz Penniman "Color Space" + Becky Joye "In Search of Lightness" @ Gallery Black Lagoon / 4301A Guadalupe St. The gallery pairs Joye's sharply technical drawings and paintings, reflecting her degree in architecture, with Penniman's sumptuous figurative oil paintings. Joye was featured in Arthouse's Five x Seven group exhibition this past May.
* "Higher Ground" (dir. Vera Farmiga, 2011) @ Violet Crown Cinema / 434 W 2nd St. Much of what I've read about Farmiga's directorial debut has been glowing: she totally pulls off this disarming portrayal of Corinne (played by Farmiga), struggling to keep her faith in a zealously Christian community.
* 「絵画の血統：脳裏に記する絵画たち」 @ Galerie Sho Contemporary / B1F 3-2-9 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku (Ginza/Tozai Lines to Nihonbashi Station). Or: "lineage of painting: painters attributed to our mind" — and including René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Makoto Saito, Gerhard Richter, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jasper Johns, Wayne Thiebaud, Helmut Newton, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.
* SCANDAL 2 @ BLD Gallery / 2-4-9 Ginza, Chuo Ward Tokyo (JR Yurakucho Station, Marunouchi Line to Ginza Station). An inspired grouping of five of THE MOST cutting-edge, non-mainstream, genre-changing artists of the volatile 1960s. Feat. the capricious and beautiful grotesqueries of graphic artist Akira Uno, plus collaborator and experimental photographer/director Shuji Terayama, the rough-edge street photography of Daido Moriyama, plus elegant nudes by Hajime Sawatari and Yoshihiro Tatsuki.
* Kaori Kodama + Hideyuki Sawayanagi @ Radium / 2-5-17 Bakurocho, Chuo-ku (JR Yamanote Line to Bakurocho Station). The gallery pairs young Onomichi Univ grad Kodama (born '86) and her stoic observational drawings of food w/ UK-educated Sawayanagi, two decades' her senior, and his drilled metal plate reliefs.
* unkie VS. about tess @ Shinjuku Motion / 5F 2-45-2 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku (JR etc to Shinjuku Station, East Exit), 7p/2800 yen. In this all-instrumental battle of the bands, both know how to hook a good groove and run with it. about tess have double the members, but don't discount Tokie and crew in unkie from delivering some heavy speed-riffs and full throttle rock 'n roll.
* Oh my God, you've gone + CHARLTON @ Heaven's Door / B1 1-33-19 Sangenjaya, Setagaya-ku (Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line to Sangenjaya Station), 6:30p/2300 yen. If you told me this coed electro-pop trio CHARLTON hailed from Bushwick, Brooklyn (as opposed to Tokyo), I'd totally believe you. Check that crunchy pulse and barked lyrics powering track "Insider" (off their demo) and see what I mean. OMGYG, this young, Sonic Youth-ish trio w/ an incredibly cool name, have quickly become a LIST favorite, so lucky for us they play lots of live shows. w/ ampcharwar + BALLOON88
* Leandro Erlich @ Sean Kelly Gallery / 528 W 29th St. The Argentine-born artist conjures an "Inception"-like suspension of reality in four major sculptures, each involving elevators in different ways (from doors opening into a filmed elevator in Tokyo, to a maze of elevator banks, to a shaft set on its side like a tunnel.
* Johannes Kahrs @ Luhring Augustine / 531 W 24th St. The German painter's last solo exhibition here, "Eyes on his Body" from 2008, was unsettling as hell, a grouping of mostly blue-tinted, artfully blurred photorealistic scenes (and a few in garish saturated color). He continues that cropping, blurring and altering in these new paintings, creating a raw physicality and sombre dread amid his subjects.
* Nick Cave "For Now" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 541 W 24th St. Part two of Cave's Chelsea takedown (see THURS for his exhibition "Ever-After" at Jack Shainman Gallery). Boone's gallery focuses on a Cave sound-suit installation, ranging from dogwood-encrusted beasts to a totem clad in multicolored sweaters.
* Lorna Williams "brown baby" @ DODGEgallery / 15 Rivington St. Williams' NY debut is an autobiographical affair, as she imbues her assembled sculptures and collages with materials from her childhood and daily life.
+ "This is Then". Nicole Cherubini, Darren Blackstone Foote, Gudmundur Thoroddsen and Johannes Vanderbeek create works that embody relics and the past in varying extents. I'm already a big fan of Foote's carved and oddly organic sculpture (he represented the gallery at VOLTA NY 2010) and am particularly intrigued by Cherubini's use of ceramics.
* Maeghan Reid "The Great Lumbering" @ Jack Hanley Gallery / 136 Watts St. The Cali-born, Berlin-based artist will construct her installation — a "temporary mausoleum for the uncanny", according to the press release — during the run of her three-week residency w/in the gallery space.
* EAF 11: 2011 Emerging Artists Fellowship Exhibition @ Socrates Sculpture Park / 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City (NQ to Broadway). I love sculpture parks for just how they sound: the intentional inclusion of outdoor-specific sculpture, and those sculptures' integration into and playing off the environment, skyline, horizon etc. This installation of resident artists begins a year-long celebration of the Park's 25 years and feat. works by Saul Melman, Rachel Higgins, Don Porcella, Cecile Chong, Ethan Greenbaum and 15 others.
* Monster Island FINAL Block Party @ Monster Island / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 2p/FREE! This tiny sweatbox of a DIY venue, its outside covered w/ colorful tags and artwork, its basement interior lined w/ threadbare furniture and a mini stage off to one side, holds a dear place in my heart. I've seen some really dope bands here (not the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' secret 10th anniversary show last year, unfortunately) and it kills me that the place will be razed sometime after Oct 1 to make way for…a Whole Foods? The venue goes out w/ style, hosting their final annual block party, feat. two art installations "Liquid Gold" and "Outer Space the Final Frontier", plus local experimental bands at street level (the always weird and rockin' Golden Triangle, Oneida, Knyfe Hyts, Cult of Youth, K-Holes etc), Robot Death Cult's video installation in the basement (proper) level… and all this is free. Lovers of all that is indie know where they'll be this Saturday.
* "The Anxiety of Photography" @ Arthouse / 700 Congress. The artists here — some who consider themselves photographers and others who heavily utilize the medium in their process — work with and within photography's innate ability to capture motion, to create objects and to represent. Feat. a spectrum of talent incl. Sarah Greenberger Rafferty (enjoying a solo show at NY's Rachel Uffner Gallery), Colby Bird (feat. in an new solo exhibition at Lora Reynolds Gallery, see FRI), Annette Kelm, Liz Deschenes, Dirk Stewen, Elad Lassry and more. This exhibition traveled here from Aspen Art Museum, and that museum's associate curator Matthew Thompson leads a gallery talk at 2p.
* Alberto Mena "While I Sleep" @ B. Hollyman Gallery / 1202-A W Sixth St, opening reception 6-8p. The NY-based artist meditates on dreams and that blurry line b/w wakefulness and slumber. His debut solo exhibition in Austin features photographic prints w/ varying degrees of manipulation.
* "Pineapple Express" (dir. David Gordon Green, 2008) midnight screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St. Can you imagine? A dope-smoker film where Seth Rogan plays the "straight man", where James Franco has long, greasy hair and a week's worth of scruff but still looks hot? I only realized much belatedly that THIS was my first brush w/ all-time asshole Danny McBride (NOT Ruben Fleischer's "30 Minutes or Less"), probably due to lack of bro-goatee. Anyway, weed comedy rocks, particularly at this late hour.
* "Continuance: Another Night of Sustained Tones" @ Salvage Vanguard Theater / 2803 Manor Road, 8p/$5. Artificial Music Machine curated this four-hour continuous sound performance of all things drone and (a)tonal. Feat. a dozen resident experimental and electronic musicians, incl. Malloc (celebrating new EP "Louisian Stars"), Thomas Fang, Unmoor, Sick_Muse and Amasa Gana.
* The Octopus Project @ Emo's / 603 Red River, 9p/$20. Austin's awesomest psych-tinged experimental rockers The Octopus Project headline night one of Wild Frontier Fest, a two-day showcase of some of the Hill Country's dopest bands. Jammy post-rockers White Denim and instrumentalists Balmorhea are just some of the talent on tonight's roster.
* Kumi Machida @ Kido Press, Inc / 6F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Toei Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). BIG fan of Machida's gorgeous, spare nihonga style, crafting the most unnerving representationally surrealist figures w/ just mineral pigments and layered ink brushstrokes. In this exhibition, she uses a needle in place of pencil to create her first series of copper etchings.
* Shoko Morita 「雷の花」/"Thunder flowers" @ Waitingroom / 3F 2-8-11 Ebisu-nishi, Shibuya-ku (JR Yamanote Line to Ebisu Station). Gauzy figures drenched in a foggy landscape blurring reality and fantasy.
* Incapacitants @ UFO Club / B1F 1-11-6 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Marunouchi Subway Line to Higashi-Koenji Station), 7p/2500 yen. I'm talking Incapacitants, man! The Osaka noise purists, Toshiji Mikawa (Hijokaidan) and Fumio Kosakai (C.C.C.C., Hijokaidan), who've been decimating eardrums since '81. w/ the awesomely titled scum-rockers Oshiri Penpenz
* "Julia's Eyes" (dir. Guillem Morales, 2010) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Village / 2700 W Anderson Ln, 10p. Spain will remind you that there needn't be gratuitous violence and bloodshed to make a film viscerally scary. Just check Guillermo del Toro-produced "Julia's Eyes", where the titular character, suffering from a debilitating eye condition shared by her recently deceased (murdered?) twin sister, navigates creepy investigators and creepier nurses to sort out just what the hell is going on. Through TUES
* Butthole Surfers @ Emo’s East / 2015 E. Riverside Dr, 8p, $25. The legendary gritty downtown venue's sparkly, spanking-new second location's grand opening is christened Texas-style w/ the Hill Country premiere psychedelics Butthole Surfers!! They've been performing "Locust Abortion Technique" live… could tonight be "Rembrandt Pussyhorse"?? w/ LA hardcore 400 Blows
* Peelander-Z (NYC) + Wavves (Cali) @ Emo's / 603 Red River, 9p/$20. Night two of Wild Frontier Fest, and if you're not on the eastside scoping out Butthole Surfers' inauguration of Emo's East, well you're in for some fun anyway. Tonight's helmed by two party-starting out-of-towners, NY's Japanese art-punks Peelander-Z and West Coast surf-punk bad boy Nathan Williams and Wavves. w/ Zeale
* "blackihabara-Extra" showcase @ High / 4-30-1 Koenji-minami, Suginami-ku (JR Yamanote Line to Koenji Station), 6p/3000 yen. So who plays an evil-sounding showcase called "blackihabara"? How about Tokyo rockers Digital City Junkies (members of 殺害塩化ビニール, lit. "PVC Murder"), The Prodigy-channeling 8-bitheads The くそgigy (pronounced "kuso-gigy"), uh…殺 (lit. "KILL", also of 殺害塩化ビニール). Yeah…those kind of bands. Proceed w/ caution!
* "Bad Noise! Fest 2011" @ clubasia / 1-8 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit), 2p/3300 yen. Name aside, this convergence of some of Tokyo's loudest indie acts is total aural bliss. Feat. Red Bacteria Vacuum, detroit7, the lovely Royal Cabaret (performing an acoustic set), Yoko Yazawa and Pop Chocolat, w/ a bunch of DJs and lots and lots of beer.
* Craig McDean "SUMO" @ Half Gallery / 208 Forsyth St. I had no idea Craig McDean, the edgy and very British fashion photographer, spent a year in Japan back in '93, where he documented the traditional world of sumo. Emma Reeves curates this week-long exhibition of prints from that series, which are collected in a new limited-edition manuscript by Mörel Books that she edited. Fluidic b&w images of large males colliding isn't typical McDean, so seeing this 20-year-old series sheds new light on the photographer beyond the fashion glossies.
* Youth Lagoon (Boise) @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave), 9p/$10. So here's the deal: Boise native Trevor Powers, aka the one-man dreammeister behind Youth Lagoon, is currently on his first tour — he's "just" 22 — yet his lo-fi bedroom-produced sound, typified on debut single "July", elicits visions of angels, cascading falls, sunlight through the trees, the cutest girl (or boy) you've ever seen, that and more… it exudes thousands of levels more confidence than a young dude on his first tour. Show some love tonight. w/ Young Magic
* "Three Outlaw Samurai" (dir. Hideo Gosha, 1964) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 7p. The charismatic chanbara director's debut feature, a roughneck tale of the titular trio fighting corruption in a small town. It's darker than Akira Kurosawa's more well-known swordplay films, plus Takashi Miike's a fan.
* CAUCUS w/ DJs Twee Grrrls Club @ Unit / 1-34-17 Ebisu-nishi, Shibuya-ku (Tokyu-Toyoko Line to Daikanyama Station, JR Yamanote/Hibiya Line to Ebisu Station), 6p/3300 yen. It's still super rare for a legit indie band in Tokyo to spark overseas success, but that's exactly what happened to CAUCUS, scoring a Cloudberry Records signing that suits these dream-pop, mop-topped boys and girls just fine. They're joined by Tokyo's all-girl indie-pop DJ group Twee Grrrls Club, of whom you might rightly guess I am totally obsessed! w/ fuzzy Tokyo duo She Talks Silence
* FACT @ Liquidroom / 3-15-5 Higashi, Shibuya-ku (JR Yamanote Line/Hibiya Line to Ebisu Station), 6p/3300 yen. These Chiba post-hardcore punks, tucked behind their Noh masks or whatever, totally rip live, pairing meticulous, intertwining guitar lines w/ blast-beats and clear, melodic vocals. Part of the live house's 7th anniversary series.
* New Look (Ontario) @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8:30p/$10. I'll give New Look a chance. You pair Sarah Ruba's lithe modelesque looks (the blogs say she was Bruce Weber's muse) and elastic, glossolalia-like voice w/ producer Adam Pavao's tropics-tinged synths and…well, it sounds really dope, like a teenage love story. w/ Greenpoint electro-pop trio BRAHMS and the delightfully named, bicoastal People at Parties
* "Fallen Angels" (dir. Wong Kar-wai, 1995) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar / 1120 S Lamar. In my opinion, "Fallen Angels" is w/o a doubt Wong's sexiest film. Ever. What he unfurls in the earlier companion film "Chungking Express" becomes electrified here, the neon- and rain-drenched hyper-urban Hong Kong, the blade-sharp hitman (Leon Lai), his smoking hot, emotionally aloof partner (Michelle Reis) masturbating plaintively as she sends him on increasingly violent missions. And that slick, mute dreamer (Takeshi Kaneshiro) drifting between the Midnight Express food stall and the twilit backstreets.
* "Fright Night Pt 2" (dir. Tommy Lee Wallace, 1988) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St. This lesser-seen sequel to the iconic '80s horror classic — that returned vampires to their coolly violent modus — brings in Julie Carmen to exact her revenge on the murder of evil vampire #1 (the irreplaceable Chris Sarandon), targeting the previous film's heroes and an entire college campus. Luckily Van Helsing-ish anti-hero Roddy McDowall returns to fight back!…kinda.
* "Wild Beasts" @ Champion Contemporary / 800 Brazos St. Who's afraid of color, of paintings? Of vibrantly colorful, physically rendered, representational paintings…of stuff like portraiture and interior scenes? NYTimes' Roberta Smith writes of the Painting and Sculpture reconfigurings at MoMA, injecting those hallowed halls w/ key contributions from women artists (an EXCELLENT move) and lots and lots of experimental and increasingly non-painterly combinations. She quotes from Douglas Crimp's '81 essay "The End of Painting" in remarking on the Conceptual, Process and Video Art filling the latter part of the (newer) 4th Fl, along w/ stylistic liberties on the (older) 5th Fl, like reducing the (iconic, primary-colored) Piet Mondrian holdings and upping the biomorphic sculptures. Meanwhile in Austin, the young NY-based painter Ryan Schneider culled a potent five-artist exhibition reveling in color and canvas, in realism refracted through a 21st century prism. Check Atlanta native Shara Hughes (who's spent a lot of time in NY, plus is featured in the Saatchi Collection), whose entire current output is based on interiors — for her, "total paintings", encapsulating all her ideas and giving each of us something juicy and personal to grasp hold of. These ain't 19th Century European, I can tell you that much, though like the Met exhibition "Rooms with a View", Hughes uses outside illumination to intriguing effect. The vaguely cosmic, multiplanar composition "You Don't Know, I Can't Tell You" opens up to floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an autumnal backyard and a smaller De Chirico-metaphysical doghouse casting long shadows. Daniel Heidkamp — who I've seen paired w/ Schneider before, at Priska Juschka Gallery's "Big Picture" show — pairs surroundings w/ posed portraiture (hell, his ongoing modus is "en plein air"), teasing out unusual and unexpected color combinations by painting these from life. The dry, washed out Texas sun affects his "Carte Blanche" series of portraits painted in situ at Champion, particularly when compared w/ his NY portraits. Schneider throws jeweled patterns over some of his newer compositions, maintaining Skittles-hued palettes he's been championing since I've been familiar w/ his work. The new canvas "Not to Sleep Just Rest" is one of his most exciting I've seen, cropping a nude (except for socks) female form into a wall-to-wall menagerie of floral mosaic tiles and chevron drapes; even the tabby cat's stripes play into it. While Joshua Abelow's ostensibly reductive works (think graphic symbols, numerals and shapes painted on burlap) might seem at odds w/ their wildly vivacious kindred, the geometries in Hughes' spacier interiors and particularly in Schneider's patterned compositions are totally in play here, along w/ some very intriguing, if limited, color combos. Finally Ezra Johnson reveals two painterly stop-frame animations, like 2009's "The Time of Tall Statues" (shown at Asya Geisberg Gallery this summer). His technique reminded me of vintage painted-cel animations, circa Windsor McKay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland", and if that sounds untrendy and potentially brilliant, it very much is.
* "Candy Cornbread" @ Grayduck Gallery / 608 W Monroe Dr. The rub here, in this group exhibition of six local artists, is the collaboration with East Austin screenprinting lab Red Bluff Studios, co-run by two of the participating guys, Jaime Cervantes and Satch Grimley. They executed a bunch of snappy, visually pleasing screenprints with the advising of the show's more "traditional" artists — painters Jeffrey Swanson and Mike Parsons, for example — displaying them in concert w/ their respective mediums. I tried to focus solely on "traditional" my first rotation, eschewing prints in an effort to see what the artists are "really like". Grimley was probably the most contrasted and delightfully surprising: he uses logos and litter from around his East Austin neighborhood in these collaged, resin-y reliefs. His screenprints came off like sloganeering (Ronald MacDonald in violet leaping in front of massive MMs and AHs), whereas his abstract collage works felt way more textural and complex. Swanson seemed to have a lot of fun, displaying whimsically animalike figurative paintings on wood panels, mixing color washes and hard ink lines and placing them around the wood's natural grain to vivid effect.
* Francis Alÿs "A Story of Deception" @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E/M to Court Square/23rd St, 7 to 45th Rd/Courthouse Sq). I found that PS1's open-ended layout, with "The Modern Procession" unofficial centerpiece, worked far better in my Alÿs-going experience, as opposed to the MoMA portion that closed a few weeks ago. That two-channel video itself, at just 12 minutes long, is a quickie in Alÿs terms, plus its clear start and conclusion and overall narrative — the parade carrying MoMA collection replicas (Picassos "Demoiselles D'Avignon, Giacometti's "Standing Woman", Duchamp's "Readymade") and the real Kiki Smith from 53rd St to Long Island City — make it far more accessible than Alÿs' broader oeuvre. Let the Peruvian fanfare guide you to it — it's one place where I particularly liked the sound carry-over. No videos here rival "The Modern Procession", though "Guards" (2004-5) provides a few unnerving minutes, if you're keen on that. Royal guards clomp about deserted London streets, like straight out of "28 Weeks Later" but much cleaner, their clipped movements linking in succession as they meet their peers. More paintings scattered about, like "Le juice errant" (2011), a fully-conceived version of the character bowing to the weight of buildings strapped to their back (seen in drawings at MoMA) and "Untitled (from Deja Vu)" 2011, a "diptych" on separate walls, a woman carrying a scythe vs a man carrying a hammer. The former appeared on the NYTimes Weekend Arts section, blown up to larger-than-lifesize scale (Alÿs' paintings, this one included, are all like 8x10" or smaller). One brilliantly confusing duplication too, of "Untitled (La Malinche)" (2010), two carved wood figures breaking out of a plastic bag. This work appears twice in the show, in opposite galleries, and its twin is a cheekily disorienting sendoff to the Conceptualist's retrospective. (ENDS MON)
* 「キャラマキスクエア」 @ Niji Gallery / 2-2-10 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino-shi (JR Line to Kichijoji Station). The Japanese is REALLY funny here. I think the show title might be translated as "caramel macchiato square", as it's description reads: 「甘くてちょっぴり苦い、キャラメルマキアートのような味わいを作品につつみこんだら、はじけました」(lit. "artworks wrapped up in flavor, a little bittersweet, like a caramel macchiato, bursting open"), but it totally suits young Kuma's sweet illustrative style. Catch this brief exhibit before it closes on Tuesday! (ENDS TUE)