A Capital anticipations list: Ecstatic Music Festival, Nathan Englander, Anthony Bourdain, Alice Bag, Beacon Sloop Club
Each week, Capital's editors and writers will offer a list of the events, activities, releases and personal obsessions that we are looking forward to during the next week. Here is a list of our anticipations.
VIP2.0, Ecstatic Music Festival, Ten$ion, MoMA's documentary festival
Gabe: I signed up for this online art fair, VIP2.0 (Feb. 3 through Feb. 8), now in its sophomore outing (hence the sort of uncool numerical appendage). I hope this year's experience is less buggy than the debut (though my registration wasn't completely bug-free, so who knows). Still, it's a neat idea and I'm curious to see how the experience squares with hoofing it past endless booths, as most fairs have one do. Gallery names like Gagosian, Marian Goodman, and Pace top the list of 115 participating galleries (down from 139 last year, but maybe a slimmer crowd will mean a smoother experience).
The Ecstatic Music Festival is underway, and while I'm most excited for Glasser, later this month, this week offers a few promising acts (keep an eye on Capital for coverage) including, on Saturday, Jherek Bischoff and the Wordless Music Orchestra (no word on who will play alongside him, but guests on his recent album included David Byrne, Mirah, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Craig Wedren from Shudder to Think, and Zac Pennington of Parenthetical Girls).
Joe's Pub continues with the zany musicals, this time via Girlfriend, (February 7) adapted from the Matthew Sweet album of the same name that totally rocked '90s college radio stations. It's a gay love story, in this case, but doesn't that only make the conceit cuter? Not so very cute but quite alluring (to some, anyway) is South African electro-rap outfit Die Antwoord, whose second album, Ten$ion, comes out Tuesday. Their new video is utterly bananas.
If your tastes are more highbrow (although what brow Die Antwoord are a part of is really hard to say), Pico Iyer, a fine writer, will be discussing a much finer writer, Graham Greene, along with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library on Tuesday. Iyer has so esteemed, idolized, and emulated Greene that he wrote a (very good) book about it, The Man Within My Head. The following day, recent Capital subject Nathan Englander sits down with playwright and performer Sarah Jones, sure to be a lively chat, also at the NYPL.
MoMA is in the midst of its annual series on Oscar-winning or -nominated documentaries, and a really cool-looking pairing happens Saturday, and then again next Thursday, with Jack Howells' Dylan Thomas (1962) and Shirley Clarke's Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World (1963) (a clip from the latter is above). Just getting to hear the voices of those two is worth the price of admission (MoMA membership yields free entry to all their screenings, which I think is one of the best deals in town).
Films at the Center for Architecture
Katharine: On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, the Center for Architecture is showing a couple of films from the Montreal International Film Festival for Films on Art.
It starts with a work on Copenhagen City Hall and ends with one called Bauhaus - Model and Myth, but the one I'm really excited for is Le Corbusier's Cabin, about the tiny retreat on the south coast of France that he designed in an hour and from which he spent many consecutive summers conceiving of some of his most famous works in a nearby studio.
Most of the films are followed by, say, a reception sponsored by the Consulate General of Denmark, or a Q & A with a director or architectural professional.
Football, Anthony Bourdain, Musical Chairs
Azi: The Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday and I'm looking forward to attending at least one party where someone can explain to me what is going on in between those awesome commercials.
I'm anticipating at least one day this weekend dedicated to a mini-marathon of "No Reservations," the TV show from Anthony Bourdain, the quirky world-traveling chef whose disdain for hosting a television show actually makes for entertaining television (except his 100th episode, and his trip to Hawaii). One of his best episodes was when he visited the Baltimore, ate lake trout (that was neither trout nor from a lake) with two people featured in the show "The Wire," trekked out to Detroit, and ended in Buffalo.
He's no de Tocqueville, but he's a more insightful traveling chef than most chefs who travel with a full-fledged television crew.
There are also two movie trailers I'm looking forward to watching until their respective movies are released in the theaters. They're both musical, and at least one of them I'm sure I'll like and not in an ironic way.
That'll probably be the movie Musical Chairs. The trailer is one song, no narrator and it reveals the entire movie. You can imagine it: pretty girl, a slightly down-on-his luck guy who fall in love with each other as they dance. What is the one thing that could ruin their fairy tale? The song is beautiful, the cinematography captures a variety of characters you don't normally expect to see in a movie about dancing, dancing.
The other movie I can't wait to see is I Kissed a Vampire.
It's a rock musical. It's Twilight, overdosed on power ballads. It's awful. It's what I can't wait to see.
Super Bowl Sunday
Joe: The last time the Giants faced off against the Patriots, my New England-expat fiancée was forced to watch the game in Brooklyn with a pack of Giants fans, and while she doesn't care much for football (nor do I, though I grew up in a Giants household not far from the Meadowlands and have immense regional pride), she still didn't look pleased when the room erupted during the 11th-hour 83-yard drive that clinched the win for the hometown team. As payback this year, I've agreed to watch the game in Brooklyn with a pack of Patriots fans. And when the Giants win, I look forward to promptly seeing team members waving around probably-not-real Daily News front pages celebrating their victory.
Beacon Sloop Club and Mohonk State Park
Dana: I'll be spending this weekend like an aging hippie, which is, frankly, only slightly dissimilar from how I live the rest of my life. On Friday, I'll be taking Metro North to Beacon to visit the Beacon Sloop Club. Folk hero Pete Seeger is one of the founding members, it's affiliated somehow with Clearwater, and it has its own Hudson River boat, called, appropriately enough, the Ferry Sloop Woody Guthrie. Friday is the monthly meeting, which involves a potluck and a sing-a-long. Given my substantial inhibitions about such things, I'll probably just sit there awkwardly and watch other people have fun. Saturday may or may not involve a hike in the Shawangunk Mountains at Mohonk State Park. That all depends on whether the unseasonably tepid weather lasts, and how lazy I'm feeling.
Alice Bag at Bluestockings, Ceremony, The Rub, Population
Gillian: In 1977, The Bags wore paper grocery sacks over their heads during performances. It was a gimmick, "for kicks," lead singer Alice Bag told Slash Magazine that year. They would give up the gimmick "when we reach the point where it does not matter anymore," she said. They stopped when the Germs' Darby Crash scrambled on stage and ripped the grocery bag off of Alice's head. The band formed when Alice Armandariz and Pat Morrison met at an audition for Venus and the Razorblades, Kim Fowley's next stab at crafting a band after The Runaways left him. The girls decided to form their own band and made up personas: "Alice Bag" on vocals and "Pat Bag" on bass. Guitarists Craig Lee and Rob Ritter, and drummer Terry Graham joined later.
The next year, on Feb. 5, The Bags played the first and last punk show at the infamous Hollywood club the Troubadour (footage above). Tom Waits allegedly "tried to pick up Alice Bag by asking what a beauty like her was doing with an asshole like Nicky Beat" (her boyfriend at the time). Then Tom Waits punched said boyfriend, a violent riot erupted, and punk was banned from the club (according to Alice's account).
This was just the beginning of Alice Bag's career, as a founding figure of Los Angeles' punk scene, which she chronicles in her new memoir Violence Girl: East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage – a Chicana Punk Story. She'll be reading from her book at Bluestockings next Tuesday, Feb. 7. I'm looking forward to hearing more stories like Tom Waits getting punched.
But on the weekend, there are a few shows I'd like to check out. Ceremony (California hardcore) is playing with Pissed Jeans, and Kim Phuc on Saturday at Le Poisson Rouge, although I plan on making it to The Rub's last party at Southpaw before they move to the Bell House (Southpaw will be tamed into a tutoring center). My friend's band Population (dark punk) will be in town from Chicago playing a couple of shows and I plan to make it to at least one of them, if not both of them.
Otherwise, I have a few aging bananas hanging around so I need to make some bread.