This LIST is CMJ-heavy! Here's the "official" (if not totally complete) schedule.
* MY CMJ PICK: Domino Records/Sterogum/Software Party @ 285 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$10. Pairing Brooklyn's entrancing Twin Sister, who mix disco, indie-folk and balladry like it's second nature, w/ Dirty Projectors' multi-instrumentalist/chanteuse Angel Deradoorian just literally SOUNDS sweet. Add hypnotic DJ sets by Geologist and Deakin (aka 1/2 of Animal Collective) and it's gonna be a heady night of sonic love. w/ Oneohtrix Point Never!!!
* CMJ: Secretly Canadian/Dead Oceans/Jagjaguawar Showcase @ Union Pool / 484 Union Ave, Williamsburg (L/G to Lorimer), 7:30p/$15. Advise you to show early for this powerhouse showcase, catching Manchester-channelling Brooklyn trip-pop duo EXITMUSIC. Stay for local noise-rock champs Parts & Labor, ushering in the first of a series of full-album performances, leading up to their 10th anniversary bash next Feb. They tackle 2008's "Receivers" tonight (check BJ's emotive "Nowheres Nigh"). w/ the epic NY-based rockers A Place to Bury Strangers headlining the whole thing.
* CMJ: Charlene Kaye & the Brilliant Eyes @ Rockwood Music Hall / 184 Allen St (F to 2nd Ave), 9p/FREE. This is ineffable local chanteuse/bandleader Charlene Kaye's ONLY CMJ show before she embarks on a nationwide tour, and she doesn't return for over a month (at the much much larger Irving Plaza). For those who like the intimacy of Rockwood, to be enveloped in Kaye's melodies, this one's unmissable.
* CMJ: M'Lady Records Showcase @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 7p, $10. Women rock hard. Cue Talk Normal, the angular duo singlehandedly bringing No Wave to a new generation, plus W. Coast lo-fi rockers Grass Widow and the percussive one-two punch of Coasting.
* CMJ: Terror-Bird Showcase @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), noon-7p/FREE. My advice? If you've got the time, begin at this noisy, free indie-rock showcase at Cake Shop, w/ Roanoke psych-punk darlings Eternal Summers, Cleveland frenzy Cloud Nothings, local charmers Widowspeak (a GREAT addition to lo-fi label Captured Tracks), Ghostly's producer Mux Mool and more.
* CMJ: Indigenous/Spaceland Showcase @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 8p/$12. And hell, you just might want to stick around Cake Shop, particularly when W. Coast noise-rockers Weekend unleash torrents of sweet, sweet sonics and chugalug rhythm. They're joined by LA rockers Bleached, aka the Clavin sisters of LA punks Mika Miko. w/ Fidlar (LA surf punks),
* CMJ: Oven Fresh Music/Tinderbox Arts/Jingle Punks showcase @ Littlefield / 622 Degraw St, Park Slope (D/NR to Union St), 7p/$6. feat. Miracles of Modern Science (chamber-rock done right), Zambri (local "apocalyptic pop"), Alyson Greenfield (singer/songwriter and founder of the Tinderbox Music Festival), Seryn (a creatively percussive Denton TX baroque-pop ensemble)…and open bar.
* CMJ: FatCat Showcase @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston St (F to Houston), 6:30p/$12. Main draw for me is Nina Nastasia, the ineffable local singer-songwriter whose closing verse on "The Matter (Of Our Discussion)" on Boom Bip's LP "Blue Eyed in the Red Room" (back in 2005!) made me swoon, twice. Her latest LP "Outlaster" (produced by Steve Albini) is pretty special, too.
* CMJ: AM Only Showcase @ DROM / 85 Ave A (F to 2nd Ave, L to 1st Ave), 8p/$5. Maybe you want to dance?? Say no more: this showcase goes late, topped off by Providence-area DJ/producer araabMUZIK (whose debut studio LP "Electronic Dream" instills faith in original American-produced legit dance jams). Plus: Ghostly's Mux-Mool, Dublin indie electronic quartet Codes!
* "Kill & Kill Again" (dir. Ivan Hall, 1979) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 9:45p. Number one reason you need to see this silly indie action film is it's the 1st live-action instance of "bullet-time" FX, created in-camera w/ no post effects. That and unstoppable Steve Chase kicking ass and delivering verbal zingers.
* Calder: 1941 @ The Pace Gallery / 32 E 57th St. Fifteen mobiles and standing mobiles from the seminal kinetic sculptor (including the first public presentation of the monumental "Tree" since Calder's MoMA retrospective in 1943), which promises to be the first of a series of Pace-presented historical exhibitions on the artist.
* Rashaad Newsome "Herald" @ Marlborough Chelsea / 545 W 25th St. Newsome's debut solo exhibition at the gallery includes a new series of his meticulous, signature collages in customized antique frames, plus videos and a kingly installation. Check back for his gallery performance on NOV 2, in conjunction with Performa 11.
* Taylor Mead "Aphorisms, from 'On Amphetamine and In Europe'" @ Half Gallery / 208 Forsyth St. Mead is a living legend, harnessing Beat sensibility in cinema (Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman called him "the first underground movie star"), beloved by NYC's underground art scene, and a sharp Bowery Poetry Club performer. This exhibition takes highlights from his '68 stream-of-consciousness, short-form poetry text.
* Boo Ritson "All Aboard" @ BravinLee Programs / 526 W 26th St #211. Boo Ritson paints people — like actually paints them, in new-season Jil Sander, then photographs them, for this new exhibition. No really, check her interview in the debut issue of GARAGE.
* Bill Jacobson "Into the Loving Nowhere (1989 till now)" @ Julie Saul Gallery / 535 W 22nd St. As the title precludes, the gallery hosts a survey of Jacobson's soft-focus (yet always striking) oeuvre, from "Interim Portraits" created in the height of the NY AIDS crisis to "Some Planes"'s desert landscapes and the new "Place (Series)" of minimal still-lives.
* "Accidental Thoughts and Metaphors" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. I quite like this gallery's take on group shows and anticipate this coupling of four Belgian artists and their divergent acts with traditional media (clay, canvas, paper). I'm particularly drawn to the youngest, Michiel Ceulers, and his process driven abstraction, though Ellen de Meutter's emotive, non-narrative paintings seem quite deep.
* "Soda Pop: Effervescence and Abstraction" @ Number 35 / 141 Attorney St. Cindy Rucker and Brad Silk co-curated this sparkling grouping of color, self vs. society and (as the title hints) "pop" culture. Feat. cross-medium works by Charles Dunn (OH), Nicole Poko (NJ), Brendan Smith (CT) and Jeremiah Teipen (IN).
* Trevor Guthrie "Another Sputnik Moment, Please" @ Claire Oliver / 513 W 26th St. Despite his near-ubiquity (at least on both coasts) Robert Longo does NOT claim full title to "hyper-realist charcoal drawings". Consider Guthrie, whose large-scale works totally echo b&w prints and focus on familiar historic and contemporary pop culture imagery.
* David Bates @ Betty Cuningham Gallery / 541 W 25th St. Pretty cool: this is Bates' debut w/ the gallery, feat. a mix of angularly figurative (self) portraits and still-lives, both in oils and dramatic mixed-media collages.
* Cibo Matto w/ Yu Sakai @ Japan Society / 333 E 47th St (E/M to Lexington/53rd St, 6 to 51st St), 8p/$25. CMJ what?? If you're just hankering for something beyond the supremely dope kinda indie (kinda not) music fest sweeping the boroughs, this double-dose of Japanese irreverence is just the ticket. That consummate NYC collage-rockers Cibo Matto have reunited for this special occasion is just…they're more NY to me than so many NY-based non-Japanese bands (check "Stereo Type A"). Guest-starring keyboardist/songwriter Yu Sakai, straight from Tokyo, whose melting-pot melodies prove a modish mashup match.
* MY CMJ PICK: SmartLounge @ Thompson LES / 190 Allen St (F to 2nd Ave), 1p/RSVP via app: http://www.purevolume.com/smartlounge. Yes indeed, your RSVP to this two-day event (actually began WED but I like today's lineup better) is via DLing an app (available on both iPhone and the Android Market). But after that bit of technology? Total awesomeness. W. Coast retro-rockers Dum Dum Girls perform an acoustic duet (Dee Dee and Jules), plus that Providence RI producer araabMUZIK (so hot right now), and DJ sets by uber-fierce Nancy Whang and the mighty Talib Kweli (maybe he'll throw in a verse or three?).
* CMJ: Tom Tom Magazine festival @ The Woods / 48 S 4th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 4p/$5. Fierce, skillful female drumming is a prereq for Tom Tom, and it's in full force at this loaded showcase. Think The Suzan, your ticket to the pop tropics via Tokyo and the LES. Add Coasting (aka guitarist/singer Madison Farmer, formerly of Dream Diary, and drummer/vocalist Fiona Campbell, also in Vivian Girls!) and Brooklyn's tough-as-nails Nard Nips, plus Pearl and the Beard and Satellite Sky (LA). Replenish at that patio taco truck in b/w sets.
* CMJ: Sub Pop/Hardly Art present Lamefest II: Eclectic Boogaloo @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave), 6:30p/SOLD OUT. Count yourselves lucky if you got in: W. Coast garage-rock lovelies Dum Dum Girls were the once-secret headliner to this very tight night of genre-pushing rock. Preceding them is J. Mascis (MR. Dinosaur Jr), Toronto dream-pop duo Memoryhouse, Floridian swamp-rockers Jacuzzi Boys and local lo-fi punks Xray Eyeballs!
* CMJ: WNYU showcase @ Littlefield / 622 Degraw St, Park Slope (D/NR to Union St), 7p/$10. This is (I think?) the superlative Frankie Rose's ONLY CMJ show…being enveloped in her dreamy voice and garage-rock sonics is a truly transcendent experience, so go! Plus, Sarah Lipstate's guitar-drone glory Noveller, No Wave duo Talk Normal, the Lynch-ian Widowspeak…hell, the entire lineup is dope.
* CMJ: S!CK showcase @ Saint Vitus / 1120 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint (G to Greenpoint, 7 to Vernon Blvd), 10p/$15. Make this late-night cold tunes party your final destination. Reward: local coldwave duo White Ring elicit enchantment, as do their deep brethren Blissed Out. Plus more angular offerings from LA duo Tearist and the U.S. debut of Mexico City producer Ritualz.
* Knyfe Hyts @ Secret Project Robot / 389 Melrose St, Bushwick (L to Jefferson), 9p. Ahead of Brooklyn's awesome DIY A/V venue's inaugural bash at its new location is a fitting early show by stalwart local No Wavers Knyfe Hyts, and the 11-20's tape release party. This has nothing to do with CMJ…and that's OK!
* "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (dir. Sean Durkin, 2011) screening @ Paramount Theatre / 713 Congress Ave, 9:45p. Part of Austin Film Fest! Durkin's debut in the four M's wowed Sundance in its potent psychological-thriller narrative, starring Elizabeth Olsen in "titular" role reunited with her family after fleeing a charismatic cult. My most anticipated film of the fall outside the genre spectrum. And it would totally ROCK if I can sneak into this screening, a full day ahead of its proper release in NYC.
* Planets + Foreign Mothers @ Beerland / 711 Red River, 9p. "Young. Primal. Feminine. Out of this world," sez the Austin Chronicle of local rawk quartet Planets. Check shout-along "IT'S NOT 1977" off their self-titled EP for evidence! The kickoff to their midwest tour begins here, supported tonight by awesome Austin riot-grrrls Foreign Mothers.
* Hystoic Vein @ LUSH / B1F 1-10-7 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR Lines etc to Shibuya Station), 7p/2300 yen. All-girl post-punk/glam-rock quartet from Hyogo Pref, who rocked the skulls of 2011 SXSW'ers. They split an east-west Japan tour tonight w/ BLONDnewHALF and いったんぶ.
* Vasily Kandinsky "Painting With White Border" @ Guggenheim / 1071 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). A tiny Kandinsky exhibition, whose centerpiece titular work was inspired by a trip he took to Moscow in fall 1912. Considering international trickster Maurizio Cattelan has an absolutely BONKERS "retrospective" descending from the rotunda in a few weeks, this focused suite of related works on paper and watercolors should be an essential visual palate cleanser.
* Jacob Feige "From the Bellona Museum of Natural History" @ Lombard-Freid Projects / 518 W 19th St. A new series of paintings, drawings and sound-sculptures (w/ a limited LP soundtrack release and performance w/ collaborator Keith Freund at the opening reception, seriously!) inspired by the murals of paleontological reconstruction artist Charles R. Knight and the '74 sci-fi best-seller "Dhalgren" by Samuel Delaney.
* "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (dir. Sean Durkin, 2011) @ Angelika NY / 18 W Houston St (BDFM to Broadway/Lafayette). Durkin's debut in the four M's wowed Sundance in its potent psychological-thriller narrative, starring Elizabeth Olsen in "titular" role reunited with her family after fleeing a charismatic cult. My most anticipated film of the fall outside the genre spectrum.
* "Strange Circus" (dir. Sion Sono, 2005) screening @ Museum of Arts & Design / 2 Columbus Circle (AC/BD to 59th St/Columbus Circle), 7p. Among Sono's most difficult family dramas, prominent in rape (and incest), suicide, murder and shocking Grand Guignol nightmares that bend everything we've just seen into fractured realities.
* CMJ; Dum Dum Girls + Crocodiles @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 7p/SOLD OUT. See my comments on Dum Dum Girls under THU (specifically "lucky"). I love 'em at Mercury Lounge and love 'em even more here, a much belated coupling w/ acclaimed W. Coast noise-rockers — feat. Dee Dee's husband Brandon Welchez — Crocodiles. W/ Woodsist signees Royal Baths (described as Velvet Underground down a rabbit hole) and Popstrangers
* MY CMJ PICK: BrooklynVegan official showcase @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 6p/$15. Take my word: you can trust you'll have a dope time at a BV CMJ showcase. Case in point here, headlined by Calgary's dreamy art-rock group BRAIDS (plus frontwoman Raphaelle Standell-Preston's gossamer side project Blue Hawaii) and W. Coast shoegazers Weekend! w/ Active Child
* CMJ: En Vogue @ B.B. King Blues Club / 237 W 42nd St (ACE/NR/123 to 42nd St/Times Square), 6p/$40. I try to mix up my CMJ showcases w/ baller (i.e. $15+/ticket) and budget (<$15 or FREE/ultra-indie stuff). But I gotta make exception here. This is the ORIGINAL En Vogue — Cindy, Dawn (DAMN!!!), Terry (DAMN!) and Maxine — reunited, and when these "Funky Divas" command the stage, you'll see AND hear what I mean. And on that Dawn Robinson thing…I loved Lucy Pearl, the circa '00 R&B supergroup feat. her, Raphael Saadiq and Ali from A Tribe Called Quest. Hot stuff.
* CMJ: Hardly Art/WUSB party @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 7p/$10. I hope you like to sweat! This is the antithesis of the BV party (see above) but that's dope, different strokes and whatnot. You ask me, following up Jackson Heights' renegade garage-rockers The Beets w/ Floridian swamp punks Jacuzzi Boys is a recipe for stage-diving, psychedelic awesomeness. Maybe you'll get lucky tonight, too. w/, uh, Acid Baby Jesus (from Greece!) and Colleen Green (LA).
* CMJ: Sacred Bones presents @ Saint Vitus / 1120 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint (G to Greenpoint, 7 to Vernon Blvd), 8p/$8. Local experimental rock trio Psychic Ills' LP release party ("Hazed Dream", heavy stuff!) on Sacred Bones Records, plus crackling electro outfit Led Er Est, submerged lo-fi rockers Gary War & Amen Dunes.
* "The Rum Diary" (dir. Bruce Robinson, 2011) screening @ Paramount Theatre / 713 Congress Ave, 7p. Part of the Austin Film Fest! Johnny Depp channels Paul Kemp in this filmic adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's debut novel, down and out in Eisenhower-era America and lolling about San Juan w/ Aaron "Sanderson" Eckhart and pretty fiancé Amber "Chenault" Heard.
* Battles + Nisennenmondai @ Emo’s East / 2015 E. Riverside Dr, 9p/$20. I've been hotly anticipating this team-up for a good long while, a rhythmic square-off b/w Battles' man-machine John Stanier and Nisennenmondai's thrash goddess Sayaka Himeno. This is the latter's first U.S. showing in like SIX years: the ladies have honed their hypnotic math-rock sets to almost ESP precision — but Himeno keeps it kinetic and improvisational. Plus, this is my 1st Battles show post-Tyondai. Stoked!
* The Naked and Famous @ La Zona Rosa / 612 W 4th St, 8p/SOLD OUT. I resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to miss these electro-pop Kiwi cuties in favor of Nisennenmondai (see above), but that's OK. Those of you lucky ticketholders, soak it up, sweat it out, and lose your minds when Alisa slays into "Punching in a Dream". w/ White Arrows
* Talib Kweli @ Mohawk / 912 Red River, 8p/$25. Brooklyn son and lithe lyricist Talib Kweli and his band. As much as I rep 3rd Coast hip-hop, you can't mess w/ the true classics, and case in point w/ this cerebral poet. I don't just mean his acclaimed duet w/ the mighty Mos Def as Black Star. I'm talking mid '90s w/ DJ Hi-Tek as Reflection Eternal (Spotify "2000 Season" and see what I mean). Austin get ready.
* Imperative Reaction (LA) + God Module (Seattle) @ Elysium / 705 Red River, 9p/$15. LA electro-bitey outfit Imperative Reaction instrumentalist Clint Carney w/ W. Coast spooky tech-dance band God Module. And I just found out "God Mod" have a new album, "Seance" (the interplay b/w coed vocalists on "Devil's Night" is pretty dope). w/ System Syn
* Kanako Ohya "Per Person" @ hpgrp Tokyo / B1F 5-1-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Chiyoda/Hanzomon/Ginza Lines to Omotesando Station). Ohya, recipient of the 2008 Gunma Youth Biennale Award, targets our emotions in vividly conceived figures, layered in warm colors and airbrush on paper.
* unkie @ Club Que / B2F 2-5-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa Station), 7p/3000 yen. Night #1 of unkie's — this ferocious instrumental post-rock trio — third LP "Devil's Ride" release party, which accurately sums up an unkie set.
* "Shimokita Kitchen" showcase @ Shimokitazawa Basement Bar / B1F 5-18-1 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa Station, South Exit), 7p/2500 yen. Hyogo Pref. post-punks BLONDnewHALF and Hystoic Vein continue their east-west tour tonight, in this dope Kita venue. w/ いったんぶ
* Urs Fischer + Cassandra Macleod @ Gavin Brown's Enterprise / 620 Greenwich St. The Swiss cross-media trickster (that's Fischer) and American artist GF Macleod don't so much collaborate here as offer opposing, if lovingly complimentary, sides of their creative relationship. From Macleod, new canvases showing lyrical abstraction. From Fischer, tables covered in naughty photocollages. Yes.
* Josh Keyes + AJ Fosik @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St, 9th Fl. Two VERY big deals here: this is the 2nd solo gallery exhibition by Portland-based Keyes, whose meditative paintings of animals and ecosystems in hybrid disarray grip you tight 'round the throat. The other is Fosik — who you might know for designing Atlanta avant-metal band Mastodon's latest eye-popping LP cover of a wood-carved elk hyper-morph. He uses exclusively locally-sourced, sustainably grown Oregonian lumber and USA-made parts in his incredible anthropomorphized sculptures.
* "Goodbye First Love" (dir. Mia Hansen-Løve, 2011) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins ST, C to Lafayette Ave), 3p. The latest from the talented (and young — like my age young) French director, a bittersweet tale of teenage love, caught my attention b/c the lead Lola Créton played the strong Marie-Catherine in Catherine Breillat's potent "Barbe Bleue". Also: this is a major sneak preview, as the film won't open here until DEC.
* "Sleeping Beauty" (dir. Julia Leigh, 2011) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins ST, C to Lafayette Ave), 9p. The Australian novelist's erotic debut feature reflects the titular fairytale in name only (though admittedly I'm more familiar w/ the Disney adaptation than the original Brothers Grimm…which could be totally sinister). In Leigh's, Emily Browning is a uni student who performs the role of "sleeping beauty" to old suitors. This is the film's U.S. debut after playing Cannes.
* CSS + MEN @ Webster Hall / 125 E 11th St (NR/L/456 to Union Square), 6p/$25. If you're a baller and you love electroclash, it's worth taking a (quick) breather from CMJ and hitting big-ass Webster Hall. I've been into Brazilian art-pop cuties CSS (and specifically frontwoman LOVEFOXXX) since…2003? JD Samson's Brooklyn-based art/performance collective MEN turn the temperature up. w/ EMA
* MY CMJ PICK: Duckdown vs. Blacksmith Showcase @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$30. Legendary local hip-hop from start to finish! The opportunity to see lyricist Pharoahe Monch live (half venomous dictionary, half nailgun verseman) is crucial. Add to it Buckshot (1/3 of legendary NY group Black Moon — takes me back to '97!!), fiercest lyricist Jean Grae, seminal NY duo Smif N Wessun AND the mighty Brooklyn son Talib Kweli… That's some knowledge for you.
* CMJ: Gang Gang Dance + Zomby @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 7p/$20. You want to dance? Check it: local deconstructionist electro-rock ensemble ne plus ultra Gang Gang Dance AND UK dustup mystery-man Zomby (still incredibly new to these shores). Don't forget to hydrate.
* CMJ: Village Voice/Panache Showcase @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), noon/FREE. An unmissable (and free, bonkers!) day show, ruled by Nashville punks Turbo Fruits and PUJOL (plus their kindred, ahem, Diarrhea Planet) and feat. ex-Mika Miko sisters Bleached. w/ LA's Colleen Green
* CMJ: Panache/Bruise Cruise Showcase @ Public Assembly / 70 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 7:30p/$12. A two-stage setup of perspiration-inducing punk rock. My course of action? Begin w/ the front room (Panache stage) for Bleached (Mika Miko's Clavin sisters) and Nashville country-rockers PUJOL, then dash to the smaller, sweatier back room (Bruise Cruise stage) for Jacuzzi Boys and Nashville charismatics Turbo Fruits, THEN back to the main stage for penultimate Japanese garage-rockers Shonen Knife!
* Altered Zones @ New Museum / 235 Bowery (F to 2nd Ave, BD to Grand St), 7:30p/$25. Presented by Pitchfork! Yeah, so here's the deal: Pitchfork did this CMJ-unrelated thing last year (#offline), which was at Brooklyn Bowl and pretty dope (hell, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart played a set!). So despite the awesome inundation of CMJ showcases, I've a good inclination this Pitchfork-presented bash is a good thing, too. They're taking on home-recorded sounds and the "underground" scene, but the big sonics erupting in the museum tonight might prove otherwise! Feat. Xeno & Oaklander (awesome local coldwave champs, w/ a dope brand-new album "Sets & Lights"), Providence's araabMUZIK (he's everywhere!), Atlas Sound (aka Bradford "Deerhunter" Cox…just added!), Teengirl Fantasy, Grimes, Light Asylum, Prince Rama annnnnd more!
* "Queer State(s): A Symposium" @ Visual Arts Center / UT Art Building, 23rd St at Trinity, Rm. 1.102, 9:30a-5p/FREE. UT Austin's Gender and Sexuality Center and The Queer Students Alliance co-present this daylong conference, intrinsically linked to the titular VAC exhibition and feat. speakers incl. Risa Puleo (Asst. Curator of Contemporary Art at Blanton Museum, on "The F Word: Queering Formalism"); Ixchel Rosal (Dir. of Gender and Sexuality Center, co-presenting "The State of LGBTQ Affairs at UT" w/ Ryan Miller); and Jonathan D. Katz (Dir. of Doctoral Program in Visual Studies at University of Buffalo and co-founder of Queer Nation, on "Dada's Mama: Richard Hamilton's Queer Art") and many more.
+ Plus! The symposium is followed by a reception and book signing by "Queer State(s)" artist Adam Schecter, behind the limited edition book "Last Men" (co-published by NY gallery Eleven Rivington and the VAC), held at Domy Books / 913 E Cesar Chavez, from 5:30-7:30p
* CATA-LAUNCH! @ 916 Springdale Road, 6-11p/RSVP. An invite-only launch party and benefit celebrating the 2011 East Austin Studio Tour (NOV 12-20), feat. a group show preview of next month's tour, plus Industry Screenprint "live screenprinting" and lotsa booze. How do you attend? Follow that RSVP link, donate 20$ and you're guaranteed the 2011 E.A.S.T. catalogue plus knowing that you are contributing toward the tour itself and the Austin art community.
* The Drums (Brooklyn) @ The Parish / 214 E 6th St, 8p/$16. These jitterbug Brooklyn indie-rockers are on a nationwide tour that stretches even to the Hill Country. Good thing: b/c Austin can handle their kinetic, New Wave-ish, Brit-rocking enthusiasm. w/ io Echo
* Pierced Arrows @ Emo's / 603 Red River, 9p/$10. THIS is rock 'n roll! Consider Fred Cole, four decades of bluesy licks culminating in some 20 years as Portland's Dead Moon, alongside his wife Toody. And when Dead Moon deliquesced in 2006, the Coles formed garage-rock trio Pierced Arrows, lean and mean and riff-ready. w/ Don't
* Naomi Okubo "It seems like a dream" @ Gallery MOMO / 2F 6-2-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku (Hibiya/Toei Oedo Lines to Roppongi Station). In Okubo's third solo at MOMO, she reveals stunningly rendered acrylic and oil paintings of young women within gorgeous, patterned interiors.
* Kaoru Usukubo "Brightness falls from the air" @ Taimatz / 1-2-11 Higashi-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku (JR Sobu Line to Bakurocho Station, Toei-Shinjuku Line to Bakuro-Yokoyama Station). Brand spanking new gallery inaugurates its program w/ a suite of gorgeous, glossy figurative paintings by Usukubo. She's also participating in the 2011 Yokohama Triennale "Our Magic Hour".
* Akira Miyanaga "Strosphere - Reactivating Landscapes vol 5", curated by Mizuki Takahashi @ gallery aM / B1F 1-2-11 Higashi-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku (JR Yokosuka Line/Chuo Sobu Line to Bakurocho Station). A new video installation from the artist, "about the lights of land" and "Wondjina", plus a conversation b/w Miyanaga and Takahashi at the opening, from 4-5p.
* 「エイリアン・ビキニの侵略」 (dir. Oh Young-doo, 2011) @ Theater-N Shibuya / 2F 24-4 Sakuragaoka, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, West Exit). Known in the West as "Invasion of Alien Bikini", Oh's no-budget 2nd feature that won top honor at the 2011 Yubari Film Festival! About a goody-goody-ish dude and a really, really hot babe — only she's infected by an alien! Their courtship is tentative and sweetly realistic, making the violent third act even more disturbing.
* "Smuggler" (dir. Katsuhito Ishii, 2011) @ Marunouchi Toei / 3-2-17 Ginza, CHuo-ku (JR Yurakucho Line to Yurakucho Station). Ishii's latest (original title is 「スマグラーおまえの未来を運べ」) brings him back to his gonzo Yakuza world of "Party 7" (think "Dick Tracy" on uppers); as in, it's just as colorful and off-kilter humorous, but it's also Ishii's darkest, most brutal work, too. The ensemble cast — good guy and suffering actor Kinuta (Satoshi Tsumabuki); weathered ex?-thug Jo (Ishii regular Masatoshi Nagase); razor-sharp cute Chiharu (Hikari Mitsushima); deranged Verebrae (Masanobu Ando) — are in top form.
* 「人喰猪、公民館襲撃！」 (dir. Shin Jung-won, 2010) @ Theater-N Shibuya / 2F 24-4 Sakuragaoka, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, West Exit). I.e. "Chaw", among my favorites of the 2010 NY Asian Film Fest (then stupidly retitled in the West as "Chawz"), whose Japanese title translates as lit. "man-eating wild hog, attacking the civic center!" It's that perfectly Korean cocktail of monster movie, wacko comedy, and family drama, and as endearing as "The Host" (even w/o Bae Doona!).
* "Cowboys & Aliens" (dir. John Favreau, 2011) @ Marunouchi Picadilly / 2-5-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku (JR Yurakucho Line or Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Yurakucho Station). Think about it: cowboys (incl. Daniel Craig as a believable one!, albeit w/ alien-produced wrist shackle, plus the superlative Harrison Ford) shooting rifles and whatnot at ALIENS. And Olivia Wilde disrobes at one point. Kinda neat, kinda silly, but w/ some moments (the firefight at twilight) that totally work.
* the milky tangerine @ SHELTER / B1 2-6-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa, South Exit), noon/2300 yen. Love love LOVE local indie-rock quartet the milky tangerine — to me they're like The Brilliant Green of 2011, sweetly strong female vox around lots of guitars. LIST recommended!
* Makoto "Human Elements" @ Club Loop / B1 2-1-13 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station), 10p/2500 yen. The dynamic drum 'n bass-man's uplifting showcase party, Tokyo-style glittering beats, assisted by MCs CARDZ and KEY.
* Tokyo Pinsalocks + 花と散るらん @ Heaven's Door / 1-33-19 Sangen-jaya, Setagaya-ku (Den-en-toshi Line to Sangen-jaya Station), 7p/2100 yen. Tokyo style rock. That's the rub here, particularly in all-girl New Wave-ish trio Tokyo Pinsalocks. w/ RED SUN
* unkie (3rd album "Devil's Ride" release party night 2) @ Club Que / B2F 2-5-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku (Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa Station), 7p/3000 yen. Night #2 of unkie's — this ferocious instrumental post-rock trio — third LP "Devil's Ride" release party, which accurately sums up an unkie set.
* "Snowtown" (dir. Justin Kurzel, 2011) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins ST, C to Lafayette Ave), 9p. Straight outta 2011 Fantastic Fest comes to grueling psychological horror romp from Down Under, adapted from the true story of Australia's most notorious serial killer. Have fun?
* "Pina" (dir. Wim Wenders, 2011) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins ST, C to Lafayette Ave),6p/SOLD OUT. Wenders' singular tribute to the late, ineffable choreographer Pina Bausch, bringing her stunning Tanztheater Wuppertal performances to 3D brilliance. Good on you if you've got a ticket. Rest of us lot: "Pina" plays theatres during the holidays.
* "Puss in Boots 3D" (dir. Chris Miller, 2011) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar / 1120 S. Lamar, 1:30p. Part of the Austin Film Fest! Good luck getting into THIS one! I have nothing to say on it, except my trusted film friend in NYC (who likes these kind of movies) dug it; Antonio Banderas does the cat's voice (I guess you'd know that from watching "Shrek"?) and the digital 3D is supposed to be gorgeous.
* "The Witch From Nepal" (dir. Ching Siu-Tung, 1985) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 10p. This would've been right at home w/ Subway Cinema maestro Grady Hendrix's gonzo Hong Kong showcases at Fantastic Fest. Picture it: Chow Yun-Fat playing an architect who's actually a shaman (according to the titular witch) and, aided by a necklace of glowing testicles fights an evil wizard.
* Keiji Haino trio @ UFO Club / B1F 1-11-6 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Marunouchi Subway Line to Higashi-Koenji Station), 7:30p/3000 yen. Pair sonic spectre and pioneer Haino with Chiyo Kamekawa (bassist of legendary psych-rockers Yura Yura Teikoku) and jazz drummer Shoshi Togo and you get magic.
* BLIP Festival Tokyo 2011 @ Koenji HIGH / 4-30-1 Koenji-Minami (Chuo Line to Koenji Station), 5p/3000 yen. International chiptune mania! I'm still trying to process Brooklyn NES-punks Anamanaguchi in Tokyo, but I think it totally works. Plus strong, soulful U.S. showing from nullsleep and Japanese acts Sexy Synthesizer, Omodaka and Cheapshot. Rawwk on!
* "Zombie" (dir. Lucio Fulci, 1979) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 9:30p. Straight outta Fantastic Fest 2011 is this revival screening of a flesh-eating Fulci classic, a gorgeous print that brings that eyeball splintering scene to even vivider life.
* Yoshiaki Machino @ Span Art Gallery / 2-2-18 1F Ginza, Chuo-ku. (Yurakucho Line to Ginza-Itchome Station). "La Perle", almost sexless lithe figures amid Italian Renaissance-style opulent backdrops, which feature subtle traditional Japanese imagery.
* Miya Ando "elements" @ Galerie Sho Contemporary / B1F 3-2-9 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku (Ginza/Tozai Lines to Nihonbashi Station). Really stoked about this. I've enjoyed Ando-san's weathered steel reliefs in her NY shows, and the Yale graduate delivers meditative "color-field"-like works, focusing on the four elements in her meditation on post-March 11 Japan.
* Eija-Liisa Ahtila "The Annunciation" @ Marian Goodman Gallery / 24 W 57th St. The Helsinki-based video artist debuted this multiple-POV installation in the gallery's Paris venue this past winter. It was shot in southern Finland's Aulanko nature reserve the previous winter and features mostly attendees of the Helsinki Deaconess Institute for women's support services.
* The Field @ (le) poisson rouge / 158 Bleecker St (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St, 6 to Bleecker St), 10p/$15. CMJ is over and you need to literally chill out, decompress. I get it. The Field is just the ticket: aka Swedish producer Axel Willner, whose latest LP "Looping State of Mind" is just…perfect, organic minimal techno. Plus he doesn't play stateside too often. w/ Forma
* "Night of the Demons 2" (dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1994) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E 6th St, 10p. No I haven't seen part one of this schlocky raunch-horror series (nor the sort-of sequel "Demon House"), but that it's by notorious exploitationeer Trenchard-Smith means it's probably NO PROBLEM to dive straight into the thick of vengeful nuns and supernatural slaughter.
* "Something Happened Here", curated by Jennie Lamensdorf @ Champion / 800 Brazos St. An inspired dialogue b/w two NY-based artists, Yadir Quintana and Matthew Schenning, who simultaneously make their Texas debuts in this exhibition. And if you've not seen 'em before, this is an incredible opportunity, and an expert pairing by Lamensdorf (Arthouse's Curatorial Assistant and Exhibitions Coordinator). Mark-making and durational qualities are in effect here, most immediately in Quintana's multipanel silver leaf "Portraits"(channelling Rudolf Stingel's studio floor works, yet Quintana's come off far more personal in their clever remnants of the "sitter"), which are left unsealed so the metal gets all wacky and patina'ed over the months and years. Though a closer look at Schenning's series "Some Things Will Fade" — painted walls either added to or manipulated on small-scale photographs of Porto, Portugal residences — finds an intriguing instance of aging in effect: the C-prints will degrade very differently from the layered acrylic paint, perhaps making what's real and what's Schenning's touch more apparent. For now, though, the tromp l'oeil on some of these is quite pronounced. Switching scales and disciplines, Quintana's much smaller "Yadir" set echo other works (quite a bit of his work comes from sculpture) in their surface residues, while Schenning's blow-ups of wheel-streaked walls under the Brooklyn Bridge remind of his background as a skateboarder. Verdict: must-see.
* Margaret Meehan "Hystrionics and The Forgotten Arm" @ Women & Their Work / 1710 Lavaca St. The Austin-based artist moves deftly between photography, sculpture, mixed-media drawing and installation (hell, even SOUND installation) — much like a boxer in the ring, which is just one of the themes of her stunning solo exhibition at the gallery. Another is the "other", blending the Circassian lass with the albino oddity and the hypertrichotic, bloodied and bruised in her whiter-than-white apparel as she feints, dodges and connects with the viewer. Some of this reminded me (on surface level) w/ Ellen Gallagher's maskings and media treatments of women, but the crushed glass glitter (from small-scale prints like "The Haymaker (Glitter)" to the five-row vintage cabinet cards of "The Barnburners"), at times like Glenn Ligon's use of coal-dust, feels very much Meehan's own. That aforementioned sound installation is "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Nina Simone)", a dreamy collab w/ Austin black metal duo Odessa (aka Mark Garcia and Landon O'Brien) that sneaks up on you as it cycles like every 10 minutes, filling the gallery with walls of guitars and a shouting voice (Meehan's?). It pairs well w/ the installation across from the speakers, "Glass Jaw", a punching bag enclosed within shimmering black glitter.
* Bill Viola "Transformations" closing party @ Gallery Koyanagi / 8F 1-7-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku (Tokyo Metro Ginza/Marunouchi/Hibiya Lines to Ginza Station), 6-8p. Seven mesmeric works encompassing rebirth and human emotion, plus the video art pioneer will be in attendance. (ENDS THU)
* 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!
* Tris Vonna-Michell @ Metro Pictures / 519 W 24th St. The youngish, rakish Brit is a hell of a storyteller. He injects some of that layered installation-narrative into his debut at the gallery, via a new sound edit combining "hahn/huhn" (meandering since 2003) and "Leipzig Calendar Works" (since 2005, recalling the peaceful '89 demonstration of E. German citizens at Stasi district headquarters in Leipzig).
* 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.
* Matthew Barney "DJED" @ Gladstone Gallery / 530 W 21st St. I'll never forget when Barney rolled into town for "The Occidental Guest" at Gladstone, back in spring of 2006. The line for entry to the reception — I heard Bjork was there but I still don't know if that was true — was prohibitively, impossibly long, and I missed out, but still did OK w/ some girls and Tia Pol nearby. What I'm trying to say here is: this new exhibition of large-scale sculpture (from Barney's ongoing "Ancient Evenings" project, in their first NY exhibition)could well be a major to-do. So if you simply must see a monumental cast iron sculpture and other conceptual representations of the 1967 Chrysler Crown Imperial, queue up early.
* 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.
* 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).
* Jenny Saville "Continuum" @ Gagosian / 980 Madison Ave. A recent array of Saville's intensely physical figurative paintings and lyrical work drawings — her first NY exhibition since 2003.
+ Bob Dylan "The Asia Series". Gagosian's doing their thing, unfurling one awesome show after the next (Jenny Saville uptown, Andy Warhol's "Liz" series on 21st St, big, bad RICHARD SERRA on 24th!!), and they're keeping that intensity w/ the bard's debut NY exhibition! Because: why not? The show includes over a dozen drawings and paintings Dylan created while touring Asia in 2009-10.
* Andy Warhol "Liz" @ Gagosian Gallery / 522 W 21st St. Gagosian NY wheels out its blue-chip fall program in measured doses (two new Richard Serra sculptures on WED, a slew of Jenny Saville paintings THU), concluding w/ a familiar, thorough arc of Andy Warhol's oeuvre: Elizabeth Taylor. Expect an array of Warhol silkscreens and explosively colorful paintings featuring Liz throughout her career, from archival child-actress renditions to Cleopatra and silver-screen starlet.
* 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.
* Lothar Hempel "Suedehead" @ Anton Kern Gallery / 532 W 20th St. Hempel constantly, if obliquely at times, references the show's title — those modish skinhead offshoots w/ their tailored suits and prickly demeanors — via photomontages and collages imbued with steel elements, Moroccan carpets, and cast concrete.
* 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.
* 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.
* Paul Winstanley @ Mitchell-Innes & Nash / 534 W 26th St. Really dreamy photorealist paintings (as if seen through sleep-blurred eyes), taken mostly from Winstanley's own photographs, that at once distance the artist from his subjects as we are drawn closer to the canvases.
* Andy Warhol "Paintings from the 1970's" @ Skarstedt Gallery / 20 E 79th St. Compare/contrast w/ the multi-decade "Liz" series closing this weekend at Gagosian. Actually, just compare/contrast the works in this show, as the '70's find Warhol at his most iconic and yet most blatantly abstract. Think Mao and his glammed up "Ladies and Gentlemen" series vs. his "Oxidations" and "Shadows".
* Jamie Isenstein " " @ Visual Arts Center / UT Art Building, 23rd St at Trinity. I really dug this three-part solo exhibition from Isenstein, and I urge you to take the whole thing w/ tongue held firmly in cheek, or you might not get what she's doing. For one, the ubiquitous sign-in book is part of the show, called "Book of the Dead" in case you signed it w/o checking the cover first. Don't worry. Her "installation Shots (axe, harp, log)" is pretty funny, too: three projectors on pedestals throwing images of what "should be" on those pedestals (i.e. the axe, harp and log)…considering the typical gallery-goer (and even the gullible critic!) to believe whatever's up on the pedestal is meant to be "the artwork". The best, IMO, is her dig at abstract sculpture, her "Dancing Pop-up Fishing Sculpture", a big glob of mixed fabrics and colors w/ the laughably obtuse media listing as "fabric, newspaper, glue, paint, "Worm in a Can" gag dinner mints, human leg, fishnet tights, tap shoe, or velvet curtain, human arm or velvet curtain, "Wishing I Was Fishing" or "Gone Fishing" life preservers, and pedestal" — most of which, if it even exists, is necessarily hidden inside the misshapen form.
* Makoto Saito "Like Nectar Attracting Bees" @ Tomio Koyama Gallery / 7F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station). Some very sexy cropped images of female nudes, apparently photographed by Saito in the midst of coitus!
* 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 @ 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.
* "Two plus One/No Limit" @ Span Art Gallery / 2-2-18 1F Ginza, Chuo-ku. (Yurakucho Line to Ginza-Itchome Station). The gallery pairs Shinji Arai's photography w/ paintings by Kae Ando and Seiji Nakamura. (ENDS SAT)
* 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.
* Koseki Ono "Transplants" @ Art Front Gallery / Hillside Terrace A, 29-18 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku (JR Lines etc to Shibuya). Absolutely…miraculously detailed ink-lined works from Ono, consisting of multicolored dots of ink meticulously arranged in patterns on skulls, eggs and shaped reliefs, like taxidermy overtaken by rainbow-hued lichen only 1000% cooler. (ENDS SUN)