Tag Archives: Brian Blackout

Behind Closed Doors and other Unlikely Adventures

Sometimes the best way to rediscover The Big Apple is to head into unknown territory. There are a number of ways to do that this week. First, if you’ve never been to Bed-Stuy this is the weekend to check it out; there will be all sorts of opportunities to see the neighborhood from the inside out including tours of historic brownstones and live performances by some of the hippest bands in the area- all part of Bed-Stuy Alive!

If you’re a gamer behind closed doors on Thursday it’s time to take it out in the open; Ethan Gilsdorf will be reading from his book “FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms” at Solas as part of the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series.

The book is an exploration and celebration of fantasy and gaming subcultures. On a quest that begins in his own geeky teenage past and ends in our online gaming future, former D&D addict Gilsdorf crisscrosses America, the world, and other worlds—from Boston to Wisconsin, France to New Zealand, and Planet Earth to Middle-earth to the realm of Aggramar. He asks game players and fantasy fans—old, young, male, female, able-bodied and disabled—what attracts them to fantasy worlds, and for what reasons. What he discovers is funny, poignant, and enlightening. The event begins with a “geek trivia contest” with prizes that tests the audience’s knowledge of all things Tolkien, Harry Potter, Dungeons & Dragons and more. Prizes will also be given to anyone arriving in costume as their favorite fantasy character or creature (elf, orc, warrior, wizard, Harry Potter, etc).

If you’re not a gamer behind closed doors perhaps you’re a secret fan of Italian Disco, if so you too can come out of the closet this Thursday! Brian Blackout will be spinning “Italian Disco, cheesy european disco, french house and Eurodance” at Trophy Bar for the new Euroflash dance party! Get out there and “shake your hips to the sound of mustachioed gentlemen plying arpeggiated basslines onto English vocals so badly butchered you can barely recognize them.”


If you don’t subscribe to NonsenseNYC you probably haven’t heard about the massive 10 year anniversary bash they’re throwing; buy your tickets NOW and thank me later. I will be in Boston visiting G and let me just say, if missing this party doesn’t prove how crazy in love with him I am then nothing else will.

This weekend you can literally peek behind (normally) closed doors; Open House New York opens up hundreds of private spaces to the public so you can discover the architectural treasures hidden behind the facades. Check out all the listings, read this article for a bit of advice on what to see and use this awesome Serious Eats feature to find a place to eat in-between tours! How trippy does this map of the sites look?

OHNY Sites 2009

OHNY Sites 2009

I must really love that guy to be missing this, not to mention all the other events I’ll be sending your way in the next day or two- stay tuned! Plus follow me on twitter for real-time updates on the doings of The Big Red Apple.

The Big Red Apple is BACK!

It has been a long time since my last post, for which I sincerely apologize; I’m afraid while I was in Boston I had trouble looking at NYC events without feeling homesick and in an effort to enjoy my time there with G I neglected you… Now I am back and ready to announce a spread of fabulous events for those of us staying in the Big Apple for Labor Day weekend!

Tonight Q and I are seeing Emanuel and the Fear at Joe’s Pub. I’ve written about them several times in the past and what with L Magazine’s enthusiastic recommendation I sense that they are about to hit the big time- get out tonight so you can say ‘you saw them when!’

Also tonight Art Four Life is having a snazzy opening for their new photography exhibit, Egotrip, at M2 Ultralounge:


This weekend there are several festival style events worth checking out; if you missed Figment on Governors Island you have another chance to see art with a view- starting this weekend the Governors Island Art Fair will be dressing up the island! There are over 150 artists participating in what is sure to be an art show with something for everyone. Try to make it out this weekend when the weather is perfect for wandering! Also, if you’re on the island be sure to stop into the Poetry Brothel, which will be in operation on the island every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the fair. The Poetry Brothel, as I’ve told you in the past, involves poets as ‘whores’ and listeners as ‘johns’: “The Madame presents a rotating cast of both male and female poets engaged in a night of literary debauchery and private poetry readings.” If you can’t get enough poetry for free you can always pay for it (heh heh).

Then again, you may not want to pay for it this weekend since the Howl Festival will be taking over Tompkins Sq. Park:

The annual Howl! Festival named in honor of the groundbreaking poem by Allen Ginsberg and produced every summer celebrates the East Village and Lower East Side’s role as a preeminent locus of culture. Centered in Tompkins Square Park, the festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors bringing to the clubs, galleries, parks, streets, and theaters of Manhattan’s Lower East Side an explosion of dance, film, food, music, performance, painting, poetry, sculpture and theater.

The events include readings of the poem, theatrical productions, video installations and all sorts of beat style madness!

For madness of an even more absurd variety head to Coney Island for the Rockabilly Festival; there will be sideshow acts, tons of musical performances and of course Burlesque on the Seashore!


Saturday is the last Warm Up of the season at P.S.1 so if you haven’t made it out there hop on a 7 and finish the summer off in style! (Special Tip: For the best brunch in Long Island City check out Tournesol, which is a short walk from P.S. 1 and boasts snooty French waiters in a relaxed bistro.)

Saturday night there are two great dance parties to consider. First, The Bell House will be on the wild side for Release the Beast:

The NRG DJs present Release the Beast, a new rock, funk and R&B party premiering September 5th. Get primal with DJs Fucci and Brian Blackout as they blend everything from ELO to Heart to Earth Wind & Fire to Can. We’ll be featuring video and masks themed around a different beast- this time come its that stripey feline that loves breakfast cereal and kerchiefs-the tiger. PLEASE NOTE: No furries were harmed in the making of this party.

B tells me he’s “getting [his] funkiest, most outrageous cuts ready” and I’m super excited to hear them!

If that’s not your style perhaps you’d be interested in Back to School, an art and music event at the Old Red School House. Exhibiting artists include: Elisha Zeitler (mixed media clay sculpture), Anjia Jalac (installation), Mariette Papic (photography/ graphic print), Vanessa Porter (photography/ graphic collage), Chris Chludenski (sculptural mobiles), Ebony Yizar (mixed media), Erin Oldynski (photography), and Bari Langbaum (clothing sculpture).

On Sunday be part of the art with Freestyle Art Events; the event will start at the Mets Citi Field North Entrance and then move to the Queens Museum of Art.

Also on Sunday discover Mrytle Avenue, where, amongst other things, Five Spot is having a Philly Cheese Steak eating contest.

On Monday skip the amateur BBQs and get BBQ done right at Marfa in the E. Village:

From 5pm onwards, East Village rib joint Marfa is hosting the West Texas All You Can Eat Labor Day Barbecue on their roof deck. For $15, fill your plate with BBQ ribs, pork, beef, salmon and all the fixins. And for an extra $2, you can add some wild boar or shrimp to that plate. Drinks include $5 Margaritas, $3 PBR and shots of the house-infused tequila.

If you’re a fan of Manolos and Cosmo’s get your tickets now to the “lecture” of the season: Sex and the City and Best Friends Forever: Candace Bushnell and Jennifer Weiner, at Kaufmann Concert Hall this Tuesday!

On Wednesday join me at Comix to pay tribute to John Hughes in the best possible way- by watching the Raspberry Brothers make fun of The Breakfast Club! It’s going to be hilarious and rumors say that a sing-a-long will also be part of the evening… Hope to see you there!

Have an excellent weekend and stay tuned for additions! It’s good to be back!

July 22-27 (Take 1)

This weekend is chock full of excellent events. Be sure to check my previous post for fun stuff happening tonight and tomorrow. Plus, a quick addition for tonight, if you won’t be able to make it to the Excess Energy party at Hugs Thursday you can check out Brian Blackout at Fontana’s tonight; he’ll be spinning a lot of 70’s arena rock, funk, psychedelia and indie rock- sounds like a party to me!

It turns out that Mayor Bloomberg is the one who dubbed this Good Beer Month! Go out and celebrate his stroke of genius Thursday night at Pacific Standard, where they’re having an Epic New York State Beer Throwdown, featuring (according to Brooklyn Based):

beers from Keegan Ales,Captain Lawrence Brewing CompanyIthaca Brewery, and Lake Placid Brewery, as well as our very own Kelso of Brooklyn and Sixpoint Craft Ales.

Friday night Rooftop Films takes the show the the ground (the lawn of Automotive High School in Wburg) for Animation Block Party! They’re “dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional and student animation,” and they’ve definitely followed through in the past. This is going to be a fantastic show, full of comedy and drama and animation in all sorts of styles.

If you’re looking for a classic film join kids of all ages in Hudson River Park for a screening of Ghostbusters! Check out the trailer to remind yourself of just how great it is:

On Saturday night you can go to the rave you always dreamed of attending- FIXED is coming back to the basement of the Tribeca Grand! Guest DJs RitonLemonade and Free Energy will keep you dancing all night long!

Also on Saturday Indian Idol Kailash Kher will be rocking the Prospect Park Bandshell! His music is described as “adding elements of folk, reggae and rock to Indian pop” and he definitely looks like he knows how to put on a show.


On Sunday, for a change of pace from all the beer celebrations, celebrate pork at 3rd Ward’s 2nd Annual Pig Roast and Dance Party!  Butchers from Marlow & Sons will be slicing and dicing for your culinary enjoyment (there will also be beer, don’t worry). Here’s an impressive (and kind of gross) image from last year’s event:

Pig Roast 2008

3rd Ward's Pig Roast and Dance Party 2008

Sunday night finish off your weekend with Our Lady J: Gospel for the Godless at Joe’s Pub:

Our Lady J is a New York based singer/songwriter known for her visionary gospel stylings and powerhouse pianistic skills. Along with her “Pink Champagne Orchestra” and “Train-To-Kill Gospel Choir,” she has sold out crowds at The Zipper Factory, Ars Nova, The Beechman Theatre, as well as world venues including London’s prestigious South Bank Centre and the Spiegeltent (in Manchester, UK). She has also traveled the globe as music director and arranger for Justin Bond’s recent original song cycles. This year, Out Magazine named her as one of the “Out 100,” a list of the people who helped shape LGBT culture in 2008.

On Monday MetroMetro is hosting the 3rd Board Game Olympics at Union Hall; games include Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, Uno, Battleship, Connect Four, Memory and Operation! Sign up in advance and use those skills your parents said were useless!

Stay tuned for additions and have a great weekend!

July 20-23 What to do?

Happy Monday everyone! I actually woke up at 5:45 and went to my 7am yoga class today so I’m already feeling hugely accomplished, plus since I’m funemployed I got to nap all morning afterwards! Hurray! I hope you are off to an equally good start this week! I wrote about a couple of events for tonight in an earlier post, so be sure to check that out.

This is the last week to check out Hiding Behind Comets, a  play by Brian Dykstra that the NYTimes calls “a dark, gritty story with its full measure of sex, violence, profanity and general nastiness.” Check it out at the Spoon Theater!

David Tully, Rebecca Challis and Kiran Malhotra in Hiding Behind Comets

David Tully, Rebecca Challis and Kiran Malhotra in Hiding Behind Comets

Tomorrow night celebrate Good Beer Month at the Local Grill-Off to benefit Slow Food! The event will be taking place at Water Taxi Beach, so you can check out the skyline while enjoying excellent food and beer! Get your tickets here.

In celebration of Good Beer Month, watch contestants show off their grilling skills using locally sourced ingredients in the Local Grill-Off to benefit Slow Food ($35). After sampling the entries, try locally sourced feasts from some the city’s top ‘cue joints (including Fette Sau, Rub BBQ and the soon-to-open Fatty Cue) and beers from Six Point Brewery.

Also on Tuesday you can embrace your inner geek at the launch party for a new weekly movie night at Teneleven– Classic Kung Fu Movie Night!


On Wednesday those of you who are amongst the funemployed can further your education with a walking tour of the East Village focusing on the grittier side of its history:

This exciting walking tour covers everything from the Golden Age of the American gangster at the turn of the century to prohibition-era gang wars to the bohemian arts and drug culture of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Some of the most influential and colorful criminals and characters in American history have called the East Village home — organized mobsters, social-political organizations, radical activists, religious cults, and everything in-between.

Trace the steps of everyone from Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Al Capone, and Lucky Luciano to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, The Hells Angels, GG Allin, and many many more. Riots, squatter evictions, cannibals, street gangs, kidnappings, shoot outs, assassinations, grave-robbers, hangings, bombings; we cover it all…

For a look at more recent history you can join the hipsters in McCarren Park for a screening of 24-hour Party People, a comedy documenting Manchester’s golden age of Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. Check out the trailer:

On Thursday celebrate the great Jazz music written for piano at the 92Y Tribeca. Performers include pianists Mulgrew Miller, Eric Scott Reed, Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap.

If it’s dancing you want head out to Hugs for another addition of Excess Energy‘s much lauded Love Machine party! DJs Brian Blackout and Fucci will be spinning the tunes while you connect with that hot stranger in the crowd through interactive messaging! The UK Magazine Grazia Daily will be there checking out the action; go show them what Wburg is all about!

Excess Energy

If you want to add some art to your week head over to the Soho20 Gallery in Chelsea for the opening of their new exhibit Boxing Gloves and Bustiers! The exhibit explores different concepts of female identity through video art. Here’s a still from one of the pieces:

Under My Skin by Valerie Garlick

Under My Skin by Valerie Garlick

Have an excellent week and stay tuned for additions!

My Latest Exploits

On Monday I went over to Beauty Bar to dance to Eugene Tambourine and Brian Blackout’s fantastic grooves. They spun funky dance music and the floor really got going around 10:30; I dragged myself home at a reasonable hour but I certainly could have danced all night.

Beauty Bar

Beauty Bar

This is a recurring Monday night dance party so be sure to keep it in mind when you need to jumpstart your week!

On Thursday, after Tina’s class, I swung by Flatbush Farm to check out the Basque Cider Festival I mentioned earlier. It was being held in the Bar(n), which is an awesome space I haven’t spent time in since last summer. The food was all very interesting but the Sarasola Cider was definitely my favorite part.

Friday night my friend CL and I went to the Langhorne Slim concert at The Bell House. CL is friends with Sam Lowry, who was the first act of the evening, so we were there early and had time to check out the space before it was full of people. The folks from Union Hall really did a fantastic job with The Bell House; the stage is great and there’s an enormous amount of room for the crowd. I love the high ceilings and the random chandeliers. The front room has a similar vibe to Union Hall- all comfy couches and soft lighting. Sam Lowry writes some really beautiful lyrics and I’m excited to integrate his music into my playlists. The show really picked up steam when the next act, The Woes, hit the stage. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many instruments used in a rock concert. The musicians seemed to switch instruments for every song, keeping the audience guessing what might appear next. They played everything from a slide guitar to a tuba to an accordion, and their music blended jazz and blues and country into something unique and catchy. I loved Osei Essed’s voice and the spectacle of the whole thing was marvelous.

Dan Romer playing the accordian

Will Orzo playing the accordion

The Brass

The Brass

By the time Langhorne Slim came on the room felt full of electricity. He fed off the energy of the crowd and put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen. He was all over the stage, interacting with the crowd, messing around on the guitar and just having a blast. At the end of their set the band brought people from the crowd onstage to dance and the scene was fantastic. I like his recorded music but it doesn’t capture the pure energy of his live performance; if you get a chance to see him don’t hesitate to go.

Saturday morning my grandmother and I met at the Whitney and ate brunch at Sarabeth’s before checking out some of their special exhibits. Jenny Holzer’s exhibit was interesting, though all the LEDs gave us both headaches. Her work is deeply political and I would only recommend it if you’re interested on that basis.

Jenny Holzer 'Green Purple Cross'

Jenny Holzer 'Green Purple Cross'

I think we both preferred the familiar pieces from the permanent collection. Perhaps this will sound a bit conservative but I really love Hopper. I love the images he chose to capture and the feeling evoked by the way he presents them. The Whitney has some truly beautiful Hopper paintings and if you’re at all interested in his work I would recommend checking them out.

Edward Hopper 'Second Story Sunlight'

Edward Hopper 'Second Story Sunlight'

Saturday night I continued the theme of art for the day and checked out some of the events at the Brooklyn Museum. First Saturdays are always awesome, if a bit haphazard. The dance party in the Beaux-Arts Court was definitely my favorite part this month; I loved the mix of people- families with little kids, students, couples, everyone dancing and having a great time. The Brooklyn Museum sits on the edge of a few neighborhoods so I feel like the make-up of its visitors is more ethnically and culturally diverse than that of a lot of the major NY museums; it’s a great place for people watching in general and they often have really stellar exhibits.

Sunday morning K and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to wander around DUMBO. We had brunch at Five Front. They were understaffed and we had to wait around for ages but they were quite apologetic and gave us free drinks and a gift certificate and the food, when it finally came, was excellent. I’m looking forward to going back once it’s really warm and eating in their lovely outdoor space.



Post-brunching we walked down the street to the winter location of the Brooklyn Flea. I’ve been meaning to get over there for some time and while we didn’t buy much (K got a t-shirt) we had an excellent time browsing.

Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea

Sunday night F and I had dinner at Buttermilk Channel, which is a fairly new restaurant on the border between Carrol Gardens and Redhook. The space is lovely and the food, a sort of NY version of Southern Comfort, is excellent. Order the buttermilk fried chicken but ask for whipped potatoes instead of cole slaw; you will be absolutely satisfied.

Buttermilk Channel

Buttermilk Channel

I hope everyone had as lovely a weekend as I did; I will be posting this week’s events just as soon as I can pull them together!