Photo: Hassan Hajjaj
The Mali married couple of Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia — a/k/a Amadou & Mariam — met at Bamako’s Institute for Blind Youth and have been blending West African traditionalism and EuroAmerican pop since 1980. Their most recent LP, 2012’s Folila, featured collaborations with Santigold and TV on the Radio, among others, but their forthcoming album (La Confusion), they say, will mark a return to the days before Manu Chao produced their brilliant breakout, 2004’s Dimanche à Bamako. A&M’s music has always focused on community issues, and their new single, “Bofou Safou,” extols the virtues of hard work. They’re exemplary couple harmonizers, and Amadou, when he wants to be, is a boogying bad boy of Sahel guitar. Innov Gnawa, who open this BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn show, chant Moroccan devotional verses accompanied by clickety-clacking qraqeb castanets and a three-stringed sintir lute’s low-end throb.
The Spanish illustrator Joan Cornellà sets a sinister mood. His cartoons, which are largely wordless, are drawn in a simple, wholesome style, but they are full of violence, sexual perversion, and human deformities. In one, a couple smile to take a picture with a selfie-stick, only in place of the phone, they stare at a gun. In another, an old woman laughs at a boy and pats him on the head; he has just swallowed poison and is bleeding from the mouth. At first glance the work seems conflicted: Why such a clean style for such angry illustrations? But Cornellà sees no contradictions: The world can be a vicious place — and that, too, can be funny. As he has said: “I think we all laugh at misery.” At the show, canvases, illustrations, T-shirts, and books will be for sale, and Cornellà will be on hand much of the time to sign copies of his new collection, Sot.
Imagine the greedy cries of seagulls, the sizzle of an outdoor grill, the warmth of the sun on your neck. Now translate those sensations into fifty shades of summer. Synesthesia — perceiving one sensory input as another — is an excellent way to tackle a fresh page of line art just begging for some vibrant hues. The Strand invites you to kick off a brilliant weekend with its “Summer of Color” events at its Times Square kiosk, where local designers will provide coloring sheets and the materials to fill them. This week’s pages are from the stationary brand Ash + Chess; subsequent coloring sessions will feature art from Obvious State (July 28) and Violet Clair Design & Illustration Studio (August 4).
What would it take to get you down to the South Street Seaport, a place overrun by tourists, during the heart of summer? The promise of some of the coun- try’s best chefs popping up for two-week residencies might do the trick. Through Friday, July 21, the Seaport Food Lab will be serving Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson’s take on Southern cuisine; Alon Shaya, of the New Orleans restaurants Domenica, Pizza Domenica, and Shaya, then takes over for the July 30–Au- gust 12 slot. Those who’ve become enamored of L.A. cuisine via Instagram will be thrilled to know that Jessica Koslow, of the revered Sqirl, is at the helm from August 20 to September 2, before local stars Dale Talde (September 10–23) and Wylie Dufresne (September 29–October 11) work their shifts. Each chef has a distinctive style; tickets for the individual stints will be doled out incrementally on Resy.
– Alicia Kennedy
On the heels of Pride month comes the fifteenth-annual Fresh Fruit Festival, an LGBT arts and culture celebration featuring theater, music, performance art, film, spoken word, poetry, and much more. (This year’s lineup also includes a host of NSFW one-acts.) Presented by the nonprofit All Out Arts, the fourteen-day event prides itself on inclusivity and diverse representation, with performers of varying ethnicities, genders, and sexualities from around the city and across the globe. This summer’s festival kicks off on July 10 with Custody, by Patrick Thomas McCarthy, who was an award-winning playwright at Fresh Fruit in 2012 and ’13. See the website for more programming details; single tickets or three- or four-ticket packages are available online or at the box office.
Because the best-preserved historical fashion is often the most luxurious — rich people don’t wear their couture all that often — it’s rare to get a comprehensive view of more common clothes from decades past. This evening with writer Edward Maeder sheds rare light on how people of more modest means dressed from 1914 to 1924, by examining the attire of a middle-class Wisconsin family whose clothes Maeder documented in his book American Style and Spirit: Fashions and Lives of the Roddis Family 1850–1995. Stored in a dry, dark attic and donated in 2014 to the Henry Ford Museum, the Roddis’ clothing is the rare collection that shows what relatively normal people were wearing as they navigated the upheaval of the twentieth century. Maeder supplements the book’s gorgeous photographs with ephemera from the family’s archives that mention purchasing, wearing, or mending certain pieces, illuminating the radical cultural and social changes around dress that occurred after the First World War. Fashion has always said more about who we are than we give it credit for, and there are few better decades — or books — to prove its value as a historical evidence.
Just because June is over doesn’t mean you have to forget about Pride — not for a second. As temperatures rise, July and (just the tip of) August throb with the HOT! Festival, the 26th installment of Dixon Place’s multi-genre LGBTQ performance smorgasbord. This “NYC Celebration of Queer Culture,” the longest-running annual festival of its kind, boasts nearly four dozen shows, including everything from hip-hop to storytelling to opera, with piping-fresh works by just-emerging artists (James Wyrwicz) as well as beloved fixtures (Room for Cream’s Drae Campbell) and legends (the great Reno of Citizen Reno). Most shows are quick, one-and-done engagements, but the marquee offering, To T, or Not to T, will be running throughout: You’ll have six chances to see the Tamil–Sri Lankan–American trans artist D’Lo wryly relate his struggles over the spiky issue of testosterone injections, specifically whether they can be part of a mindful — and feminist — transition into a “beautiful masculinity.”
A charming fusion of acrobatics, theater, and dance, this relatively low-tech collective of French performers combines jitterbug with some lighthearted heavy lifting and a poetic sensibility in Il N’est Pas Encore Minuit. Their newest work, Le Progrès, made in collaboration with the choreographer Loïc Touzé, mobilizes twenty-two extraordinarily centered acrobats in an exploration of instability; they learn to balance themselves precisely over another person’s center of mass, enabling towers of bodies several people high. The takeaway may be poetry and philosophy, but the strategy is pure physics, with a soupçon of Lindy hop thrown in. They give new meaning to the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants.”
A Harvard grad, Claudia Schreier calls herself a neoclassical and contemporary ballet choreographer. She’s worked across North America, drawing on a pool of performers from the New York City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre, and beyond; she’s been assisting Damian Woetzel, the newly appointed president of the Juilliard School, in his work at the Vail Dance Festival in Colorado, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the 2016 White House Turnaround Arts Program. She brings to the Joyce guest artist Wendy Whelan, in a new solo and in a duet with DTH’s Da’Von Doane that’s accompanied live by the chamber choir Tapestry. Also on the bill is a world premiere for NYCB soloist Unity Phelan and principal Jared Angle; a large ensemble work to a score by Douwe Eisenga; and more!
Commissioned by Nonesuch Records, 84-year-old Morton Subotnick’s Silver Apples of the Moon, which turns fifty this year, was the first electronic composition recorded specifically for commercial release. It also pioneered the idea of music as a “studio art” that combined performance and composition. Subotnick, who compares Silver Apples to a jazz piece, will improvise around it this week on a re-creation of the Buchla 100 synthesizer that first mediumed its revolutionary message, combining colorful blips and bloops with a sly second-side pulse that would launch a thousand techno acts. He’ll also perform Crowds and Power, a new work based on Elias Canetti’s timely 1960 book, with his experimental-vocalist wife, Joan LaBarbara, and visuals by Berlin-based video artist Lillevan. Expect rich hybrid analog-digital tapestries of swarming throngs, and then dream of electric sheep.
Photo: Home From the Hill / Photofest
When CinemaScope debuted, in 1953, it was initially seen as Hollywood’s attempt to compete with the skyrocketing popularity of television by giving audiences a picture that was twice as wide as it was tall. For some years, the technique thrived and was used on all manner of productions — not just the effects-heavy spectacles we associate with an expansive frame these days. Metrograph’s one-day mini-retro “Scope in the ’60s” brings a trio of gorgeous deep-cut examples: Vincente Minnelli’s Home From the Hill (1960), with its pristine sets, family secrets, and twisted masculinity; Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), a black-and-white work of crystalline paranoia; and Richard Brooks’s The Professionals (1966), a western filled with wide-open vistas and the wonderfully craggy faces of veteran actors.
Somewhere during the two-decade run of MoMA P.S.1’s summer music series, the spread of global DJ culture turned what started as an artsy experimental showcase into the best place in New York to spot Bushwick artists and Murray Hill finance bros mingling happily in beat-driven bliss. By giving programmers from New York’s music scene free rein to each create a one-day dream lineup, Warm Up has managed to stay right on the bleeding edge of every subgenre of electronic sound. Selections are a mixture of high, low, heady, and fun; artists hail from around the world and across the music spectrum.
Los Angeles’ Burger Records is the John Waters of music: a home for endearingly crass weirdos with trashy 1960s-influenced style. In other words, the label of choice for ecstatic, irreverent surf and garage rock. For the second year in a row, they bring a selection from their endlessly entertaining roster (and a few friends) to Coney Island, the Burger Records of New York, for a beach party. MC’ing is Village People cowboy Randy Jones, and the lineup includes Chula Vista punk pioneers the Zeros, NYC’s own Sunflower Bean, leporid nudist Nobunny, and a heaping handful of other loud, charming freaks.
Summer Saturdays at 7 p.m., enjoy sunset performances on the East River, “class on the grass,” and installations created especially for this glorious site. Excerpts from Folding In, a 2016 contemporary dance by Gina Gibney with music by Hildur Guðnadóttir, will be shown on July 15 and 29; on July 22, come for a class at 5 and stay for a performance at 7 by Kinesis Project Dance Theatre. (Gibney’s dancers will also perform at Union Square Park in Manhattan at 5 p.m. on July 27.)
This past April, the beloved DIY spot Shea Stadium was forced to shutter its East Williamsburg location after eight years. Any music-loving kid or Brooklyn transplant worth her salt has been in mourning ever since; even a wildly successful GoFundMe campaign was no match for Shea’s intractable landlords, who are planning on turning the event space into a venue of their own. That hasn’t stopped Shea’s organizers, though, who’ve promised to use any money they raise to find new lodgings. With the help of another East Williamsburg staple, the vegan-friendly Pine Box Rock Shop, Shea is rallying the troops for another find-a-home benefit. Expect performances from Tallulah Ruff, Sp∆rkle Møtion, Nick Llobet, Strange Loops, and DIG NITTY.
An early paragon of American film noir, Scarlet Street (1945) could not have asked for a director better suited than Fritz Lang for reimagining, for American audiences, the topsy-turvy back-alley quagmire of Jean Renoir’s La Chienne. Working from a Dudley Nichols script that faithfully preserved most of the sophisticated machinery from the 1931 film, Lang leaned heavily on his well-honed expressionist visuals — a proliferation of sinful behaviors (lust, greed, wrath — all the best ones) transmitted through a prism of foul geometry redolent of sackcloth and ash. Interestingly, Renoir’s approach — less expressionist emphasis and more polymorphous divination, free of moralizing but not amoral — positions Scarlet Street as a near total inversion, never more apparently than in the final scenes, which find the disgraced and destitute Edward G. Robinson tormented forevermore by the orgasmic whispers of his slain paramour.
—Jaime N. Christley
Photo: Jill Jones
When the weather warms up, theater moves outside, so take advantage of the season and check out the current staging of The Three Musketeers, produced by the Classical Theatre of Harlem at Marcus Garvey Park. This progressive adaptation of the famous Alexander Dumas novel comes courtesy of Catherine Bush; hip-hop performer and actor Miriam Hyman plays D’Artagnan, the upstart who wishes to join the ranks of the Musketeers. The trio all hail from different backgrounds and must find common ground to work together to defeat Cardinal Richelieu and his henchmen. Hyman, a Yale School of Drama grad, has been working in theater and TV (Blue Bloods, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) for a few years, but recently turned heads at a play reading at the Public Theater, making her an artist to look out for. This production, directed by Jenny Bennett, promises swashbuckling adventure and romance — and it’s free.
OK, sure: There are draconian rules and screaming children and lengths of sun-blazed concrete to damage your feet and probably a lot more urine than anyone wants to discuss and even more chlorine to combat it. Nevertheless, New York City’s public pools are a point of civic pride and a genuine delight. If you want to see the pools in all their lovely chaos, try them on a weekend at midday. For a more tranquil experience, visit during the early morning and early evening when grown-ups come to swim laps and indulge in an occasional underwater handstand.
The influences of Picnic at Hanging Rock can be felt far and wide. From the mystical girlhood of The Virgin Suicides to the surrealism of Australia in the most recent season of The Leftovers, the movie stands as a progenitor of many stories that refuse to provide answers to their own mysteries. Peter Weir’s haunting 1975 film is flooded with sunshine and heavy with repressed sexual desire — the perfect combination for a Sunday afternoon. On a Valentine’s Day field trip away from their stuffy boarding school, three girls and a teacher disappear without a trace, an occurrence made all the more unsettling due to its hints at some secret, unknown motive. See it this weekend at a special brunch screening: Tickets include your own picnic basket packed with Australian-themed treats like Tim Tam biscuits, Earl Grey tea, and, of course, Vegemite.
In 1965, Life photographer Bill Eppridge took a series of photographs of two heroin addicts in New York City: John and Karen. The photos and accompanying article by John Mills shocked American readers from the era, who were confronted by the heroin epidemic, possibly for the first time; it quickly became the inspiration for the gritty 1971 film, Panic in Needle Park, starring Al Pacino. Now Live in Theater looks to those photos again in J & K: 1965, an interactive endeavor about the lives behind those images and the love story of John and Karen. Set in outdoor locations on the Lower East Side, the play has the audience taking on the roles of friends, family members, and other addicts; the company wants attendees to join in on the struggle of these troubled characters, and perhaps experience something like the shock of those initial, impressionable Life readers.
It’s not hyperbolic to say that Kendrick Lamar is the best rapper alive. And OK, in a genre built on braggadocio and bravado, it’s a title that would seem to carry little weight, the definition shifting depending on whose verse is climbing the charts at any given moment. But with his stream of recent critical successes — the latest being DAMN., his fourth studio album, released in April — the Compton-raised MC appears to have put the debate to rest for quite a while indeed. On July 20 and 23, Lamar will bring his caustic, genre-busting flow to the Barclays Center, events that will one day feel like seeing Michael Jordan visit the Garden in his prime. Make sure to save your ticket stub.
Photo: Jason Wyche / Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
With science lately coming under enhanced scrutiny owing to budget cuts and belittlement from government entities, there’s urgent motivation for concerned citizens to further their comprehension of the discipline’s mysterious magnitude. “Earth Potential,” Katja Novitskova’s Public Art Fund–commissioned sculptures at City Hall Park, presents titanic planets and microscopic beings on equivalent scales, building three-dimensional collages whose eccentric façades emit sensory intrigue. The Estonian-born artist sourced her images from the internet, where she collected significantly magnified looks at otherwise minuscule organisms. Dispersed around the park, the seven digital-print-on-aluminum sculptures — one example pairs an image of the planet Venus with a blown-up version of an 0.4-inch-long sea creature — convey arresting hues and configurations that may seem otherworldly to passersby. Novitskova exalts them all, inspiring thought about the universal importance of our solar system.
—Osman Can Yerebakan
Anish Kapoor, to his enormous credit, is the rare contemporary artist who begins not with concepts, but with style. Whatever ideas emerge from his art come later, from the look of the thing, the way it feels and how it hits the senses. Although Kapoor tends toward a clean, spare, graceful style, there is often something overwhelming to his work. That’s certainly the case with “Descension,” an endless whirlpool that disappears into the earth, now installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Much of its power comes from the tremendous and ominous hum it generates, which most people will notice before they even lay eyes on it. If there is a drawback, it’s the location: Brooklyn Bridge Park is anodyne and clean, which blunts some of Kapoor’s force. Still, the installation introduces a dose of aesthetic anxiety into any visitor’s day, which alone is commendable.
There is much we don’t know about the original Rosicrucians: Who were they? When did the sect originate? Were their philosophies a hoax? Why was their cross quite so rosy? Real or ersatz, Rosicrucian manifestos and claims to esoteric knowledge proved attractive and influential to artists and thinkers. This Guggenheim exhibit honors a select group, Parisians who contributed symbolist art to an annual show and international artists influenced by their mysterious, metaphoric work. In addition to the forty works of art displayed, a musical component, including pieces from the likes of Erik Satie, will underscore the paintings.
Admirers of the philosopher Walter Benjamin have reason to celebrate this summer: His unfinished magnum opus, The Arcades Project, forms the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum that explores the stamp of his legacy across today’s visual-arts landscape. The Arcades Project analyzed modernity by focusing on the shopping passages of nineteenth-century Paris: labyrinthine avenues stretched between streets, roofed with iron and glass, lined with storefronts to attract passersby — all a bit reminiscent of modern-day Chelsea Market. The exhibition features an idiosyncratic collection of artists (such as Milena Bonilla, Voluspa Jarpa, Cindy Sherman, and Chris Burden), each of whose work appears as a response to one of the thematic sections, or “convolutes,” of Benjamin’s text. (Kenneth Goldsmith’s poetic annotations also make an appearance.) It’s a tiny exhibit, but you’ll want to take your time idling through these jam-packed rooms. Imitate Benjamin’s beloved figure of the flâneur — that leisurely saunterer of sidewalks, caught up in a reverie of browsing — and bring a turtle on a leash.
This summer, the photographer Yana Toyber brings the sacred beauty of Hawaiian beaches to Far Rockaway with a solo photo exhibition at the Surf Club. Spanning from the Pacific to the Atlantic, her “Sacred Salt” series — which finds the artist and her subjects both on land and underwater, submerged in pools, watering holes, and the ocean — captures the genuine, naked female body with a singular surrealistic quality, almost as if she were photographing mermaids. An SVA graduate based in New York, Toyber credits her interest in and attention to detail regarding the female form to the formal ballet education she received as a teenager. She works with both analog and digital cameras, then collaborates with Catchlight Digital on assorted postproduction effects. A bonus: A portion of all art sales from the exhibit will go tothe Surfrider Foundation NYC Chapter’s Youth Program
—Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Photo: ACT UP Rally at City Hall Park (detail), Lee Snider, 1988 / Lee Snider Photograph Collection, Fales Library & Special Collections
Pride month may be over, but there’s still plenty of time to catch the Museum of the City of New York’s current show, “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism,” which takes a new look at the disease and its politics through a domestic lens. AIDS activism often involves spectacular forms of protest, but MCNY’s exhibition explores the relatively less visible role of queer homes and support networks during the Eighties and on through the present day. Three rooms divide the show into broad themes — caretaking, housing, and family — mapping out a novel history of New York’s LGBTQ community in documents and artworks across an array of mediums, including works in yarn, embroidery, wallpaper, textiles (think: the AIDS quilt), and other household materials. Arriving during a period of great discontent in Washington — six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS recently resigned to protest the White House’s lack of a strategy for addressing the ongoing epidemic — the show couldn’t feel more urgent.
If there’s one superhero you expect to see on a wall, it’s Spider-Man — and now, he’s all over the walls of the Society of Illustrators. Is the show good? Listen, bud: “The Art of Spider-Man” is the largest collection of original Spidey pages ever displayed, primarily focused on the sleek, elegant style of John Romita, but spanning the wall-crawler’s earlier, wiry days under the pen of co-creator Steve Ditko on through the intricate webwork of Todd McFarlane (who came on the Spidey scene in the late Eighties). Artists like Gil Kane, John Romita Jr., and Keith Pollard also provide scenes of the webhead facing off against his deadliest foes. Face it, tiger: If you’re a fan of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, you’ve just hit the jackpot.
The big ol’ treasure trove of history can bring us so much — in 1929, a couple of Princeton researchers wired a live cat into a telephone — but as juicy as bizarre feline experiments may be, it’s not nearly as wild as discovering that Hays Code–censored sex symbol Betty Boop was originally an anthropomorphic poodle. Join animators John Canemaker and Jennifer Oxley, collector Tommy Stathes, and archivist David Kay for a chat about why some of the contemporary period’s enduring cartoon icons — Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Shrek — have nothing on the original, wacky animation studios housed in Brooklyn. And don’t just take their word for it — you can see for yourself with featured clips from a number of animators, including Winsor McCay (Gertie the Dinosaur), Fleischer Studios (Betty Boop), and 100 Chickens (Peg + Cat). Who knows, maybe the panel will even reunite Betty with her pre-Code lover, Bimbo the dog!
—Julia Irion Martins
Photo: Mindy Tucker
The comedian Selena Coppock has turned poking fun at matchmaking into an art with her New York Times Vows parody Twitter account. “How skilled is The Grey Lady?” Coppock tweeted from @NYTvows this July. “She can even make shotgun weddings sound romantic and enviable.” So how skilled is Coppock? She finds even the most alluring multi-million dollar weddings ripe with humor, translating vows into side-splitting jokes for us “plebeians.” But Coppock is far more than her nuptial takedowns; she’s an old hand at stand-up, writing, and performing. On Wednesday, the writer of The New Rules for Blondes takes over the Duplex for her first-ever comedy album recording. With her sharp wit and even sharper tongue, Coppock will address stalking exes on social media, unconventional bachelorette-party strippers, and much more.
What do data and photography have in common? Small Data Squad, an internet-based investigation service comprised of technologists Dan Taeyoung and Melanie Hoff, want to show you. Together, the pair will demonstrate — through the lens of photography — the malleable nature of data in constructing knowledge. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that’s still a short chapter at best. With this in mind, participants will mine their own internet histories to build, compile, and reframe their own histories. If the age of fake news has you puzzling restlessly over fact and fiction, this workshop will shine light on how so-called real data points can be manipulated to construct a narrative. The duo invites you to bring your laptop, web-presence, and a willingness to experiment to this interactive event. No prior coding experience is necessary, though participants will use scripts and Python code.
Would you hand over creative control of your show to the audience? The comedic playwrights known as Marina & Nicco (Room 4) are taking such a risk with their new show, Unpacking: A Ghost Story Told in the Dark. The crowd will be armed with flashlights (first-come, first-served), and it will be up to them to illuminate the action — or not: Where the audience chooses to point their beams could aid in the storytelling, or leave everyone in the dark. The ghosts of the subtitle refer to the past relationships haunting the central couple, who have just moved in together. Promising a dream-like and voyeuristic exploration of coupling and uncoupling, collaborators Marina & Nicco also warn that there are surprises lurking in the shadows for both characters and audience.
Turning a Shakespeare play into a ballet is fraught with hazards; strip the language out of these works and there’s sometimes not much left. But in this case, losing the words might help. The Taming of the Shrew, a notoriously sexist play, was choreographed three years ago by the French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot, director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, for the Moscow-based Bolshoi, under the direction of Makhar Vaziev. Set to a collage score by Dmitri Shostakovich, taken mostly from film scores and played live by the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the work has been recast as “a witty battle of the sexes.” Well, Cole Porter managed that in the musical version, Kiss Me, Kate; here’s hoping Maillot can lead the Russian troupe in a bearable direction.
Photo: Members of BUFU / Photograph by Asher Torres
This month, BUFU (“By Us for Us”) — a collective and self-described “collaborative living archive” made up of black and East Asian queer, femme, and non-binary artists and organizers — is presenting “Us,” an all-boroughs series of talks, workshops, and community-building endeavors. This Thursday’s gathering at the Brooklyn Museum, dubbed “A Convening on Collective Action,” welcomes an array of New York–focused community activist groups that share BUFU’s mission of “building solidarity” and “de-centering whiteness,” including Black Lives Matter, Mi Casa No Es Su Casa, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Afropunk Army, Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network, Yellow Jackets, and more. The itinerary promises an evening not just for strategizing and idea-sharing, but also of pure fun: A happy hour (starting at six) precedes the main discussion, and a mixer with DJ Fiveboi caps off the night. And don’t miss the concluding “Us” event, a marathon all-day session on July 30 at Knockdown Center.
Sexmob, the instrumental quartet known for its tart reinventions of jazz, r&b, and funk, provides a new score to Maciste all’Inferno (Maciste in the Underworld), the 1926 Italian movie, directed by Guido Brignone, that provoked a haunted Federico Fellini to get into film. Brignone’s work was the last silent release in a series devoted to “the good giant” Maciste, a populist muscleman who reliably saves the day. Bartolomeo Pagano plays the title role in Maciste all’Inferno, where he is dragged into the underworld to battle Lord Pluto and his minions. Sexmob — Steven Bernstein (slide trumpet), Briggan Krauss (saxophones), Tony Scherr (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums) — recently released Culture Capital, a baker’s dozen of twisty, funky, and relatively concise Bernstein compositions. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir will deploy their own tuneful capitalist critique earlier in the evening.
In the heyday of VCRs, “Be kind, rewind” was the Golden Rule of video rental. This week at Nitehawk Cinema, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher take that to heart and spool us back to the mid-Eighties, when amateur video was in full, garish blossom. Among the wince-inducing treasures they’ve unearthed for the Found Footage Festival are an assortment of exercise videos (including one from Angela Lansbury — Murder, She Sweats, perhaps?), a public-access pet show gone awry, and an overenthusiastic sponge-painting instructor. The duo will also share clips of local news pranks they orchestrated, featuring some unsavory cooking segments (what is “turbo gravy”?) and an environmental activist with an out-of-control yo-yo.