The Black Lips and The King Khan & BBQ Show at Irving Plaza and Music Hall of Williamsburg

King Kahn @ Music Hall of Wiilliamsburg

Back in June, my friend John had an extra ticket to see King Khan and the Shrines at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, which he gave to me in exchange for some favor or another. (Or maybe he owed me money. I don’t remember.) King Khan and the Shrines put on a terrific, butt-shaking show. No one was standing still, and King Khan (nee Mark Sultan) commanded everyone’s attention including getting everyone to put their hands in the air. It wasn’t James Brown on the TAMI Show, but it was darn close1.

King Khan returns to New York, with the BBQ Show, for two nights opening for the Black Lips at Irving Plaza. The show is tomorrow night, September 30, and you know you want to go.

The Black Lips and The King Khan & BBQ Show

  • Tuesday, September 30
  • 8:00 PM
  • Irving Plaza
  • 28.00
  • Buy Tickets
  • Wednesday, October 1
  • 9:00 PM
  • Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • 28.00
  • Sold Out

  1. The TAMI Show was a live show recorded forty years ago next month in Santa Monica, California that was released theatrically at the end of 1964. James Brown’s performance was so electrifying that the Rolling Stones, who followed Brown, reportedly said that choosing to follow Brown was the worst decision of their careers. 

Rent My Bike

Are you looking to do an epic ride around New York City, such as on Route 9W, Long Island, or Westchester and the Hudson Valley? Did you sign up for a ride around New York City and need to rent a bike? You should rent mine!

To Philadelphia with this bike

It’s a great Cannondale CAAD8 with Shimano 105 shifters, front derailleur, and crankset. The rear derailleur is a Shimano Ultrega. The gearing is for road riding (39/53 and 12-26, if you care to know such things.) The 56 cm frame size is good for someone between 5’9″ and 6’2″. The saddle is a Brooks Swift, and the pedals are Look Keo. It comes with two bottle cages, a saddle bag with some tools, a small pump, and a Garmin mount on the handlebar.

Please supply your own helmet, water bottles, cycling computer/GPS unit, and pedals if you don’t use the Look.

It’s available on Spinlister for $50 a day, or $250 a week.

Light Industry Screens Two Compilation Films

Rose Hobart (1936) was a seminal compilation film demonstrating the capability to create a new work from an existing film.

Rose Hobart (1936) was a seminal compilation film demonstrating the capability to create a new work from an existing film.

The other day, I ran out of time to screen Rose Hobart (1936) in my Experimental Film class. As an early example of a compilation film, Joseph Cornell made this film using footage appropriated from a Hollywood B-Movie, East of Borneo (1931), to create a new work that featured only the actress Rose Hobart. He also tinted the image blue, but then screened in the 1960s with a rose tint. A version available on Treasures from American Film Archives is set to a couple of Brazilian musical recordings.1

Usually, when I run out of time to screen things, I direct students to watch it online. But, instead, I am going to screen Rose Hobart in class today. Screening it will serve as an introduction to other compilation filmmakers, which we will screen later in the semester, such as Bruce Conner, but also for an upcoming screening at Light Industry.

Light Industry in Brooklyn will be screening two compilation films from the 1990s on Tuesday, September 30. The first one, The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998), by William E. Jones, recomposes Eastern European gay pornographic viodes to locate how, according to the program notes, the fall of the Soviet bloc came not from the “seduction” for a Western life but to escape the “coercion” of the State. The second is Tribulation 99 (1991), a film by Craig Baldwin, appropriates a variety of footage to make 99 paranoid diatribes about America being invaded by aliens. When I first saw this film back in the late 1990s, all I could think was how much this seemed like The X Files, a popular TV series of the time, with an absolutely certifiable narrator.


  • Tuesday, September 30
  • 7:00 PM
  • Light Industry, 155 Freeman St, Brooklyn
  • 7.00

  1. Catherine Corman, “Surrealist Astronomy in the South Pacific: Joseph Cornell and the Collaged Eclipse,”

The Roosevelts Everywhere

Since Sunday, many PBS stations across the country have been broadcasting The Roosevelts, Ken Burns’s new seven-part, fourteen-hour series. The series runs through Saturday, and many stations will likely be showing encore performances in case you any of the episodes.

As a not-for-profit broadcast service, PBS has been ahead of commercial broadcast and cable networks in making available their content online. Between now and September 28, you can watch the entire series, even before it broadcasts on your local station, on a variety of connected and mobile devices.


Most commercial television stations have been offering a TV Everywhere product that allows you to watch TV on your Internet devices as long as you pay for a cable or satellite TV subscription and authenticate accordingly. On the other hand, PBS lets anyone with the necessary hardware and broadband connection to watch the whole series for free, albeit for only a limited time. Because PBS broadcasts do not live or die based on raw audience numbers or on retransmission fees, they can afford to cannibalize their broadcast product and let audiences stream their content for free or buy digital copies on iTunes.

I just started watching the series with great interest. It’s hard to live in New York and not be touched by their name or legacy in some way. Roosevelt Avenue spans most of western Queens. Roosevelt Island sits in the East River between Manhattan island and Queens. FDR Drive shuttles cars along the East River on Manhattan. And if you’re ready for a day trip, head to Oyster Bay on the north shore of Long Island to visit Teddy Roosevelt’s summer retreat at Sagamore Hill. Or, as my mom and I did over the summer, head north to Hyde Park on Hudson to visit the FDR Museum and Presidential Library.

My mother with Eleanor and Franklin at the FDR Presidential Museum and Library in Hyde Park on Hudson.

My mother with the Eleanor and Franklin at the FDR Presidential Museum and Library in Hyde Park on Hudson.

By the way, if you don’t get to watch the broadcast television run this week and if you miss streaming the series before September 28, you will be able to buy the series on iTunes. Consider it your annual contribution to public broadcasting.

Music: Quintron and Miss Pussycat at Baby’s All Right

At least year’s Gonerfest 10, Quintron and Miss Pussycat headlined the Thursday night show at the Hi-Tone in Memphis. Their performance absolutely blew away the crowd. Their energy and hard-hitting beats powered the audience, many of whom are in the late 30’s and older, through the 1:00 AM set time. I had heard of the duo before, but this performance made me a fan.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat will be coming to Brooklyn at Baby’s All Right on Saturday, November 29, at 8:00 PM. Yes, this is the Saturday after Thanksgiving so get back into town in time for this show.

Having been burned by Shannon and the Clams selling out each of their three shows last week, I jumped the gun and bought tickets for fear of being left out in the cold.


  • November 29, 2014
  • 8:00 PM
  • Baby’s All Right, 146 Broadway
  • 12.00
  • Buy Tickets

Gonerfest 11 on Spotify

With Gonerfest 11 less than two weeks away, it looks like I will not be attending this year’s music festival. Much like I have been buying a new iPhone on even years, I will probably only go to Gonerfest on odd years.

But not going doesn’t mean I completely miss out on listening to and discovering a bunch of new-to-me bands. User Treasure Hance has compiled a Spotify playlist with over 500 songs from Gonerfest 11 bands.

Listening to the entire playlist will take about a full twenty-four day, which is about how many hours you’ll spend on your feet at the Hi-Tone, where the evening shows take place.

The playlist will have to tide me over until Gonerfest 12 in 2015.

It’s an Even Year…Time for a New iPhone


Like millions of others, I ordered a iPhone 6 yesterday. This is the fifth iOS device that I bought for delivery on launch day, including an iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPad Air, and each time it’s been a different experience. Ideally, the best way to receive one of these devices on launch day is to have it shipped to my work because I don’t risk missing a delivery. But I’ve only been able to do that once. Every other time, I have to visit an Apple Store.

This time when I ordered the phone, I had to verify my billing address, which is currently a PO box in Manhattan. When I tried to finalize the order, it would not let me change the shipping address to my work address at NYU. Instead, it forced me to ship the phone to my PO box. I feared that, because Apple usually uses a service like FedEx and UPS for home deliveries, my order would get stalled since those couriers cannot deliver to a PO box. The only other option I had was to pickup the phone at my nearest Apple Store, which is at Grand Central Terminal. Well, I guess that’s where I’ll be on Friday morning to get my phone.

One of the considerations for ordering phone was the size. Even before I saw the phones, when talk of the new sizes were circulating around the rumor mill, I had decided that I wanted the smallest size Apple would offer. Ars Technica provided a PDF with three phones printed to scale: iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. You can print it and cut out the phones to see which one you like for yourself.

I found that the iPhone 6 Plus was huge compared to the iPhone 6, and it didn’t feel like a phone. (I also found that I need a shave.)

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Paper Cutouts

I could handle the iPhone 6 with one hand, but I found it impossible to reach the various corners of the screen on the iPhone 6 Plus. And the larger phone seemed like an entirely different species compared to my stalwart iPhone 5.

Speaking of my iPhone 5, as reliable as it has been, it’s pretty beat up after about two years of steady use.

It has been dropped a few times which account for the dings along the rounded corners. Those could have been prevented by installing a bumper. However if you notice the scratches on the side, those are there because of the bumper. It was only when I removed the bumper that I noticed that the phone had these scratches.

There is also a crack along the top of the phone, near the camera. I have no idea how that happened. I wonder if it’s from keeping the phone in my back pocket during my bike commutes.

Because of all this damage, I won’t be able to sell that phone for $200 like I did for my iPhone 4 two years ago, but I was able to get $70 from Gazelle. And I can hold on to that phone until my new phone arrives. I always get a little sad when I sell these, but the cash to pay for a new phone helps get over that sadness.

On Friday, I will be picking up an iPhone 6, 64 GB in Space Grey on AT&T.

The above link to Gazelle is an affiliate link.

Lecture: Carolee Schneeman at New York University

Experimental filmmaker Carolee Schneeman will be giving the fifth annual Experimental Film Lecture, jointly presented by the departments of Cinema Studies and Undergraduate Film & Television, two departments that coordinate much less that you would expect.

The announcement from NYU Cinema Studies is reproduced below.

Schneemann email

“Where did I make the wrong turn?”

by Carolee Schneemann

The 5th Annual Experimental Lecture
Presented by the Departments of Cinema Studies and Undergraduate Film & Television

Carolee Schneemann is a visual artist and moving image maker known for her discourses on the body, sexuality and gender. She has been a leader and provocateur in the American avant-garde community since the mid 1960s when she created her groundbreaking performance Meat Joy. From Interior Scroll to Plumb Line to Mortal Coil to Vespers Pool, Schneemann’s work pushes form and consciousness like no other artist working today. Ever since Fuses (1965), her landmark exploration of the female body, Schneemann has pushed visual perception in radical directions that awe, disturb and mystify audiences.

In her Experimental Lecture, Schneemann travels backwards and forwards in time. Beginning with obsessive childhood drawings of a staircase, she will analyze recurring formal properties in her film, sculpture and installation work. The mysteries of a notched stick, paper folds, indentations, the slice of line in space are followed as unexpected structural motives, up to and including her recent photographic grids and objects.


  • September 17, 2014
  • 6:15 PM
  • Michelson Theater, 721 Broadway, 6th Floor
  • Free

There Goes the Neighborhood Chinese Place

You could see New City from our bedroom window, as in this February 2010 photo.

You could see New City from our bedroom window, as in this February 2010 photo.

As if I weren’t sad enough these days, I learned that New City Kitchen Express, on Vernon Boulevard, will likely close within the next two weeks after seven years serving the neighborhood. Every New York City neighborhood needs a “cheap Chinese” place, and that’s what New City was for our corner of Long Island City.

LIC Post reports:

The restaurant’s lease expired and the business owners did not want to pay the much higher rent. The landlord is seeking $10,500 a month in rent as well as $3,300 per month to cover the real estate taxes.

This is sad because I’ve come to recognize the family that runs the shop and even watched the son and daughter, who work the register, cook the food, and make the occasional delivery, grow up over the years. I remember how they were temporarily forced outside of their space when the upper floors of the building caught fire. But the store closing is even more sad to me because this was where Sarah and I had one of our first meals in Long Island City.

Our first meal in the neighborhood was at Manducati’s, as were looking to take shelter on a bitterly cold night after looking at an apartment. We also ate at Dominie’s Hoek after John Casella at Crest Haven Realty showed us two apartments, one of which we took. After signing the lease, we dined in at Tuk Tuk to power us as we prepared the apartment for our move-in a few weeks later.

We were lucky enough to be allowed to move in early to do things that are much easier to do when you’re not surrounded by boxes containing all your worldly possessions, such as line kitchen shelves and to paint the walls. Each night, Sarah and I would do some work and then head to either my place or hers for the night. It was on one of those preparation nights, a Friday if memory serves, that Sarah and I got hungry and sought some quick food options. I hadn’t brought my computer, and this was before we had smartphones, so we couldn’t look up a place and its menu on the Internet. However, from our bedroom window, which faces Vernon Boulevard, we could see the New City’s sign from our window and copied down the phone number.1 We phoned in a take-out order but since we didn’t have a menu, we just ordered whatever you expect to find at every Chinese take-out place in New York: General Tso tofu for Sarah, the chicken version for me, and peanut noodles for the both of us.

One thing I did not know about New City was that it had recently opened when we moved in. It seemed like they were there forever.

  1. It’s also possible that I used Google’s SMS search. Back then you could send a text with a business name and the zip code, such as New City 11101 to GOOGL and you’d get a response with an address and phone number. Crazy, huh?