Wednesday, September 30, 2009

go to this show


Starting next month, the Brooklyn Lyceum will feel a little idealistic.

That's because from October 9 through November 22, The Nerve Tank will perform “bauhaus the bauhaus” at the Park Slope venue.

The ensemble theater work reflects on the utopian ideals of the Bauhaus movement, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

The title of the show, “bauhaus the bauhaus,” is written in lower case as a reference to the typography of Herbert Bayer, who sought the elimination of capital letters in Bauhaus designs.

The piece follows several researchers searching for the essence of Utopia, who try to make sense of what the Bauhaus movement was and how it relates to contemporary society.

Among its characters are such historical figures as the German architect Walter Gropius, Andy Warhol, Henry Ford and Tom Wolfe. The production is a compilation of dialogue scenes, some with direct audience address, and sequences of precise physical movement. There will be interaction between video and live performers. Often two or more things will happen at the same time.

Part of the visual concept is to use aspects of the Brooklyn Lyceum that evoke aspects of the Bauhaus philosophy. Technical components (lighting, sound) will be visible to the audience and actor-manipulated whenever possible. The ensemble will use the raw upstairs space of the Brooklyn Lyceum and project video on available surfaces that simulate Bauhaus designs. Deconstructed Bauhaus costumes will be used, as well as Andy Warhol wigs and lab coats.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. The Brooklyn Lyceum is at 227 Fourth Avenue. Tickets are $18; students and artists, $15. For more, call 800-838-3006.

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Grief focused through guitars



From the depths of despair can come some of the most inspired works in music.

Arcade Fire’s acclaimed 2004 debut “Funeral” was fueled by the loss of several of the band members family members, resulting in heartfelt, powerful works.

In Brooklyn, another debut comes from a similar place. “Rapture Ready, I Gazed At The Body,” from Midnight Masses, the Brooklyn-based side project of Autry Rene Fulbright (Dragon’s of Zynth’s) and members of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, was written following the death of Fulbright’s father.

Recruiting several close friends, they channeled his grief into four dramatic, alive songs. Several local talents can be found on the EP, among them Gerard Smith of TV on the Radio, who produced the EP, as well as longtime collaborators Conrad Keely and Kevin Allen of The Trail Of Dead (the band whose recording sessions birthed Midnight Masses, and whose Jason Reece is a founding member).

The EP doesn’t come out until November 10 digitally via Collect Records, but you can hear the band live when they play Union Pool (484 Union Ave.) tonight, as the band pulls from these songs and their 2009 seven-inch “Heaven.”

The show starts at 8 p.m. with Rose Parade. For more information, call 718-609-0484.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

'County of Kings,' in previews now

Lemon Andersen's latest project, "County of Kings," starts in previews tonight at the Public Theater.


The monologist details his rough Brooklyn childhood, his salvation at Williamsburg's El Puente, and his later success in Def Poetry Jam and on the large screen.

Don't miss your chance to watch the talented performer in action, and possibly learn a little bit about Brooklyn history in the process.

“I stand on Bedford Avenue and look at all the people around me and I can tell they’re not native Brooklynites. I think these people will understand and enjoy what they’re moving into if someone presented it in the right way, and get a different take of the people they ride the train with everyday,” says Andersen. “They’ll get to see what the culture was like before they moved here, lived out on stage.”

Ticket and show information here for the six-week run.

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This week in 24/Seven

Each week we'll preview what you can expect in our 24/Seven print edition, out Thursday for you southern Brooklynites and Friday for the downtown neighborhoods.

Highlights include:

Theater: St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO returns October 9,kicking off its 30th season with a concert from Rosanne Cash. See what else is on tap for the Brooklyn cultural institution.

Family Fun: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College will once again partner with Target to bring family friendly performing arts programming to the diverse cultural communities of Brooklyn, starting with "The Adventures Of Harold And The Purple Crayon" on October 11.

Music: Sultry Sunset Park-based songstress Kai Altair debuts with a show at Matchless in Greenpoint October 10.

Columns: Tired of chain stores? Pumps & Pleats heads to Eidolon for handmade apparel and accessories crafted by Brooklyn designers, while the Kitchen Klutz finds a balanced and quick meal in her BAM! chick-veggie-cous bowl and the Reporter's Table makes homemade cole slaw that is so much better than anything you can buy in a store.

Books: Elizabeth Nunez follows up her 2006 New York Times Editors Choice "Prospero's Island" with another starred read, "Anna In-Between," providing another captivating look at Caribbean identity. She talks with Leonard Lopate at the Brooklyn Public Library October 10.

For these stories and more, pick up a copy in your nabe or check back here later this week!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Calling all fishermen



In Brooklyn, there are roller derbies, soapbox derbies, and now, a fishing derby.

The first annual Brooklyn Fishing Derby is calling all anglers to try their stuff against other enthusiasts experienced or not, for some friendly competition, parties and a chance to win some cash prizes.

The derby runs from October 1 to 31, with an opening and closing party at the Brooklyn Rod and Gun Club, with the competition occuring on the North Brooklyn waterfront from Long Island City to Red Hook, including DUMBO, Williamsburg and Greenpoint (no boats).

To get involved, sign up onling here, or in person at 999 Lorimer Street, Apt. 1.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Meatballs: 100% Grade A fun


"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
Four stars

By Michèle De Meglio

Fans of Judi and Ron Barrett’s beloved children’s book “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” squealed with delight when a film of the same name hit the big screen in all of its 3-D animation glory. I was no exception.

In the interest of full disclosure, “Meatballs” was my favorite book as a kid. The idea of tasty doughnuts, bacon and eggs, and hot dogs falling from the sky was enough to mesmerize my pint-sized self, as well as the millions upon millions of folks who read the book since its first printing in 1978. Years later, the pages still seem magical to me.

While the film is based on the classic story, the silver screen version of “Meatballs” has a completely different plot and cast of characters than the book.

The precocious kids and their lovable grandpa are replaced with scientist-in-training Flint Lockwood, weather girl Sam Sparks, a very hungry monkey named Steve, and Mr. T. Yep, Mr. “A-Team” is back — and as awesome as ever.

In spite of the changes, the film is smart, fresh and entertaining and would appease any purist.

There are even spots where the book’s most memorable moments come to life. It was an absolute treat to see the salt and pepper wind and the makeshift sailboats that the townspeople quickly create using stale pizza slices and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

But my favorite moment had to be when those first greasy cheeseburgers fell from the sky. I nearly shed a tear.

“Meatballs” is geared toward children but will obviously appeal to the book’s faithful fans, as well as any adult who is a child at heart.

C’mon, there’s nothing more gleefully enjoyable than seeing a pancake the size of the flying saucer in “District 9” crush an elementary school. Or wishing that you were bouncing around in a pineapple JELL-O mold as tall as the Empire State Building. Better yet, who doesn’t want to see a feisty monkey rip out the heart of a naughty gummy bear and eat it? That’s comedy, people!

Do yourself a favor — run to the theater to see “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” And buy the book. As well as the sequel “Pickles to Pittsburgh,” which really needs to be made into a movie. Hey, I said I was a fan.

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” Rated PG for brief mild language. Runtime 90 minutes. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Starring Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Will Forte and Lauren Graham.

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Underground art

A mosaic at the 36th Street R subway stop. Photo: Best View in Brooklyn

One of artist Grace Baley's favorite subway stations in the city is the 36th Street stop on the R line.

The Bay Ridge resident got into art because of mosaics like this one, which tells the history of the making of the subway.

"I swear people walk right by these things and don't even notice them," says Baley. "I had seen mosaics around that I loved, in New York City subways or just in random stores in New York. I just really loved and wanted to recreate them."

A little two pricey for her blood, one day Baley decided to make her own. Through lots of trial and error, she has taught herself, and, making them for the past 15 years now, is often commissioned to do portraits for people.

Baley works in her DUMBO studio, making mosaics like this Jimi Hendrix portrait, and has inspired others to try their hand at them as well. In her spare time, Baley trains at Gleaon's Gym in DUMBO, and this weekend, fifteen female boxers who train her will be showing mosaics they've made under the artist's watchful eye, as part of the Art Under the Bridge Festival. All proceeds from sales will go to the Brooklyn-based organization Girls for Gender Equity.

Baley will also be holding an open studio during the festival, in her space at 68 Jay Street, Room 819, where you will have the chance to see her work and meet the artist, as she'll be splitting time between her studio and Gleason's.

Ultimately, Baley would like to be commissioned to create her own subway mosaic, and become a part of subway history.

"[Mosaic's are] an outlet for this creative side that I personally never thought I would have," says Baley. "I really can’t draw a picture."

Gracey Baley photo courtesy of PowerImage PR
Jimi Hendrix mosaic courtesy of www.gracebaley.com

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Kitchen Klutz: Strawberry Nirvana is just a sip away!

Photos by Joe Maniscalco

By Michèle De Meglio

I love Jamba Juice!



But unfortunately, the popular smoothie chain doesn’t have a single location in Brooklyn. (Note to Jamba execs: What gives?)



Since I can’t always make it to Union Square to get my favorite frosty delight, I decided to concoct the Strawberry Nirvana drink at home.



Jamba’s Web site lists the shake’s ingredients as frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, apple-strawberry juice, ice, milk, and Splenda. Measurements are not provided so I had to eyeball it. Oh boy, can you see where this is going?





There was just one more thing I needed — a blender. I purchased an Oster blender that was on sale for $15 at Target. What a deal! (An added bonus, the cheap price helped me rationalize spending way too much on Anna Sui’s adorable cocktail dresses.)



I ran into another problem when I hit Waldbaum’s in search of my Nirvana ingredients — there was no apple-strawberry juice or frozen fruit of any kind. Bugger.



I found a bottle of Juicy Juice apple-raspberry juice hiding on an overcrowded shelf and figured that’d have to do. I used fresh berries and bananas in place of the frozen variety.



Making the smoothie was relatively easy. I put a handful of ice cubes, five strawberries, half a banana and two packets of Splenda in the blender. I poured in just a bit of rice milk and juice. It seemed to be about one-quarter cups worth. Then the fun part — blend!




Verdict: Yummy! The drink was sweet but not too sugary and definitely refreshing. However, Jamba’s smoothies are super thick and mine was the same consistency as a glass of juice.

I added a few more strawberries to the blender in an attempt to thicken the mixture. It seemed to work a bit. Next time, I’ll go easy on the milk, juice and ice and up the fruit ante.



Whatever the consistency, this smoothie is still a treat!



Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.




Faux Strawberry Nirvana Smoothie



Ingredients


4 ice cubes


10 large strawberries


1 banana


1/4 cup apple-raspberry juice


1/4 cup milk



Directions


Hull the strawberries. Combine all ingredients in blender and mix for 30 seconds. Makes two large smoothies.

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Pumps & Pleats: Adventures in Hooti Couture


Story and photos by Michèle De Meglio


Sometimes posh boutiques can feel stuffy and sterile. But over at Hooti Couture in Prospect Heights, it’s fun, fun and more fun all the time.



Every inch of the shop’s racks, walls and floor space is chock full of women’s apparel, shoes, purses, hats, jewelry and various accessories, all of which are from the 1940s to early 1980s.




Vintage shopping is a totally different animal. You could pass on a furry leopard purse and then come back 20 minutes later to discover that a smart shopper swiped it up. That’d be devastating!




The oh-my-I-must-get-it-now desperation makes shoppers more eager to buy, buy, buy all the vintage finds they can grab — even those that are a bit impractical.




Consider a pair of gold lamé mittens, which could pass for boxing gloves, adorned with large crystal beetles. Sounds ridiculous but, in person, these babies scream Chanel! So said shop owner Alison Houtte. Hey, she’s a former top fashion model and the author of “Alligators, Old Mink and New Money: One Woman’s Adventures in Vintage Clothing.” She should know what’s fab!




In fact, Houtte spent several weeks driving her Chevy Tahoe from Florida to Pennsylvania in search of the hottest vintage finds. These fall fashions are now on Hooti Couture’s jam-packed racks. Check back often — new stock is added several times a week. (Insider tip — Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the best days.)




There’s so much merchandise in Hooti Couture it will blow your mind! There’s mink coats in classic black, winter white and even navy. Also, drawers of bold chunky jewelry, a divine tangerine purse (less than $50!), spotless white cowboy boots and iridescent pink stiletto boots with studded buckles.




What called my name, you ask? Well, from the moment I entered the sweet shop, I was taunted by a 1980s black leather and suede crossbody bag covered with gold studs. Hanging from a white mirror, the bag oozed an edgy rock star vibe that would be perfect with my faux-leather motorcycle jacket. For $40, it was a steal so I bought it!



This one-of-a-kind vintage find is mine. Go to Hooti Couture and get your own!



Hooti Couture is located at 321 Flatbush Avenue. For hours, call 718-857-1977 or visit www.hooticouture.com.



Michèle De Meglio is a native Brooklynite addicted to all things chic. Check out Pumps & Pleats each week for more adventures as she scours the borough for fab duds and accessories.

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The Weekend: 9.25-9.27

Dance. Art. Theater. Food. We've got you covered in Brooklyn this weekend.

Friday, September 25

DUMBO: Between the DUMBO Dance Festival and the Art Under the Bridge Festival, the neighborhood down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass is the place to be this weekend. Both run Friday through Sunday.

Beyond Brooklyn: While not happening in the the borough, the Guggenheim is all about Brooklyn tonight, with its second installment of its "It Came From Brooklyn Festival." While the name sounds like a horror flick, don't be turned off. Tonight's show include's Julian Plenti (aka Paul Banks of Interopol), I'm In You, authors Rivka Galchen and Hampton Fancher, and comedian Eugene Mirman. At 8 p.m. Tickets $45/$40 for members.

Ride the train: Here's another inter-borough mix. The G-Train Salon continues its journey, stopping off in Park Slope for a collaboration with Urban Alchemist Design Collective. Called "Texture Gardens," the night features mixed-media artist Carla E. Reyes, a Queens-bred talent and former resident of Crane St. Studios in Long Island City, who found a new home in Greenpoint after the studios' staircase collapse in April. From 7 to 9 p.m. at 343 5th Street.

Saturday, September 26

Theater: "The Tempest" comes to Brooklyn shores, as the Brooklyn-based Repertory Theatre produces the Shakespeare classic on the Coney Island beach and boardwalk. Saturday and Sunday, free of charge, off the West 8th Street stop on the F and Q lines.

Last Supper: 3rd Ward brings back its popular multimedia party, Last Supper, with the works of scores of visual and performance artists, musicians, filmmakers, and chefs around a theme regarding food policy and social justice. $15, or $10 if you come with three canned goods, which will be donated to The Food Bank of New York. Starting at 6 p.m. at 195 Morgan Avenue.

Sunday, September 27

Roller rink: This is your last chance to act like a teenager again and dance to disco at the Dreamland Roller Rink, as the Coney Island spot hosts its final party of the 2009 season. So before you retire those skates until next summer, get out your headband and roller-dance. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission $10 ($8 if you dress in 80s/ disco attire). At 3052 W 21st Street.

Grand Bazaar: Prospect Park will be tranformed into a Grand Bazaar, with music, food and goods of the Turkic and Baltic persuasion to kick off the city's "“Turkish Days in New York” festival. From from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Nethermead Field in Prospect Park, most accessible from the 16th Street and Prospect Park Southwest entrance, the Bartel-Pritchard entrance, the 9th Street entrance, the 3rd Street entrance or the Willink Entrance at Ocean and Flatbush avenues.

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In a stir: veggies, meet the shrimps


By Helen Klein

Summer vegetables provide a toothsome counterpoint to shrimp in a quick stir-fry that doesn’t heat the kitchen up, but provides light, flavorful sustenance for dinner.

In the finished dish, the blushing pink and white shrimp -- I used large ones, and cut my vegetables to match -- enjoy the congenial company of colored peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic, with chopped fresh basil leaves liberally added to the finished dish just before serving. The stir-fry is served on a bed of couscous, which stands up to but doesn’t overwhelm the flavors of the shrimp and vegetables.

A key ingredient in the dish is dry vermouth, one of my favorite additions to chicken and shrimp dishes because of its ability to tenderize the protein component, while adding a subtle savor and sweetness that enhances the other flavors evoked, especially the light, licoricy flavor of the basil.

As with many of the other dishes concocted in my Flatbush kitchen, this one could have taken different forms, if my refrigerator’s crisper had yielded other ingredients. Zucchini or yellow crookneck squash and eggplant would both have worked in the dish, as would a combination such as carrots and green beans, or carrots and sugar snap peas. White wine could have stood in for the vermouth, and a little fresh lemon juice, added towards the end of cooking, would have provided an additional contrasting grace note. Even the basil could have given way to another herb -- fresh oregano perhaps, or even a combination of fresh oregano and thyme, though less of the herb would have been necessary, in that case.

As an added bonus, the juices at the bottom of the plate soak nicely into the couscous. You can also sop them up with a chunk of crusty bread, European style.

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Ingredients
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 large yellow pepper, cored and sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
2 Tbl. olive oil, or more as needed
1 cup dry (white) vermouth
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions
Heat oil in wok or sauté pan till sizzling. Toss in shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, just till cooked through, and no longer translucent. Remove shrimp from pan with slotted spoon and set aside.

In remaining oil (add another tablespoon if necessary), sauté the onions till translucent. Add peppers and continue to sauté till slightly limp. Add garlic and continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, for another two or three minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the pan seems to be getting dry, to prevent burning.

Add tomato chunks and their juices, and return shrimp to the pan. Pour in vermouth, and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes (checking occasionally) till liquid is reduced, and shrimp are tender and flavorful.

Garnish with chopped basil, and serve alongside couscous.

Serves four.

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Frisco kids take on N. 3rd's MonkeyTown

Photo by Fumie Ishii

By Meredith Deliso

A few years ago, Phil Radiotes and a couple of his friends packed up a Volvo station wagon and left San Francisco headed east. They wound up in Bushwick.

“I didn’t know too much about Bushwick at the time,” says Radiotes. “We had no idea it was going to be a place that attracted the same kind of person as us.”

Since moving here, the musician has gotten entrenched in the local scene, playing Northside Festival earlier this summer and sharing bills with art rock, punk favs like Les Savy Fav and Art Brut, with his band, Phil and the Osophers. Next up you can hear them at MonkeyTown in Williamsburg September 29, with fellow Brooklyn innovators Todd is New Each Moment and The Courtesy.

Not only has the location worked out, but Radiotes’ Volvo companions now play in his band. Initially performing as a solo piece for years, when he moved to Brooklyn, Kevin Estrada soon started playing the drums, and about six months ago, Gus Iversen also got in on the act on the bass.

“Gus was listening as he was living in the house, [which] got a little frustrating. I went back home to California and brought a bass back to New York and just laid it on the couch. Within a few weeks it had moved to his room,” says Radiotes, who taught his friends how to play their instruments. “Friends of ours who have known all of us since they started playing have said, ‘You know, you’ve always had a bass personality, or you’ve always had a drum personality, and I don’t think they knew it or saw it, but I think it was in them the whole time.”

Before performing as a three-piece, the act very much had a DIY aesthetic (when he needed a bass during recordings, for instance, he would play guitar and then autotune it down an octave to create the sound). As a three-piece, the music still retains that, er, philosophy, with a bare-bones, punk quality. The band’s recent release, “Parallelo” (Radiotes sixth), out on cassette and CD from Factual Fabrications, continued this tradition, with infectious, charming song structures, smart lyrics (On “Well Being”: “The lengths I go to keep distance pledge a quick, tongue-bitten allegiance).

With that done, the band’s next plan is to put out a 7”, as well as continue to, as the name suggests, philosophize, especially about living in Brooklyn.

“I miss California for a lot of things, but you can’t really beat the opportunity that’s in the city, not just for music but for art, uniqueness, events and chances,” says Radiotes. “Opportunity comes once in a lifetime in like, Omaha, Nebraska. I think it’s because opportunity lives in New York. It doesn’t leave. I’m lucky to be here.”

Phil and the Osophers play MonkeyTown (58 N. 3rd St.) September 29 at 8:30 p.m. with Todd is New Each Moment and The Courtesy. Tickets are $5, with a $10 minimum. For more information, call 718-384-1369.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Corn Mo: when Freddie Mercury and Tiny Tim collide



By Meredith Deliso

If you ever see Corn Mo (he of the white suit, baby face and long, dirty blonde hair) walking down Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick talking on his cell phone, you might actually be seeing the musician recording the seeds of his next song.

“I like to walk up Knickerbocker, up to Ridgewood, Queens, so I can think out loud and make up songs while I walk,” says the lead singer of the band .357 Lover, who’s lived in the neighborhood for the past three years. “My phone has a recorder on it. I’ll pretend I’m talking on the phone.”

One such song is the vaudvilley, jovial “Thank You,” out on his band’s new album “Diorama of the Golden Lion,” which primarily gives thanks for the good times. These quiet moments of solitude have led to raucous, energetic live shows, thanks to Corn Mo’s Queen-esque anthems, vaudeville style and irreverent humor. And when the band celebrate the release of their new album, October 2 at Brooklyn Bowl, you can expect much of the same.

Out on September 29, “Lion” demonstrates well the band’s style, which Corn Mo himself as described as “Guns ‘N Roses meets Queen meets show tunes meets Tiny Tim,” with a 70s rock aesthetic, soaring vocals and sweaty, impassioned delivery.

Formed band in 1996 in Texas, the band has changed a bit as expected over the years (Corn Mo originally rocked it on the accordion; now it’s the piano). As of late, he’s been performing with bassist Dave Wallin, guitarists Brad Williams and Bob Lanzetti, and drummer Ron Salvo, releasing the EP “Your Favorite Hamburger is a Cheeseburger in 2007, writing rock operas, and now self-releasing “Lion.”

“Solo’s fine, but it’s more fun playing with a five-piece,” says Corn Mo, who’s toured extensively as a solo act, sharing the stage with They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds, Andrew W.K. and Polyphonic Spree. “It’s more powerful.”

The same could be said of Corn Mo’s voice, which sings about making out at the mall and a Hava Nagila monster with a passion and range reminiscent of David Lee Roth and Freddy Mercury, all over the pounding of the keys (evidence below).

A former ringmaster for the Bindlestiff Circus, that showmanship comes through, too, though Corn Mo tones it down only a bit for the stage. At the Brooklyn Bowl show, he will bring along a friend to add some high-flying thrills – Brooklyn-based trapeze artist Fabulous Miss Una, a friend from the circus.

Beyond that, “It will be a straight up rock show,” promises Corn Mo. “With bowling.”

And of course, some good times.

.357 Lover play Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave.) October 2 at 9 p.m. with Tragedy (an all-metal tribute to the Bee Gees) and Johnny Headband. Tickets are $5. For more information, go to or call 718-963-3369.

Video of Corn No on Jimmy Kimmel:

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Guggenheim goes back to Brooklyn


Brooklyn's I'm In You

By Meredith Deliso

For the experimental Brooklyn-based band I’m In You, the borough is a good place to be right now.

“You have a lot of places to play, and other people making music to inspire you and get you to go out and see shows every night” says Greenpoint-based musician Sebastian Ischer, with other members scattered throughout Brooklyn in Fort Greene, Brighton Beach and other neighborhoods.

It’s actually quite a few more neighborhoods, as beyond Ischer, Chris McHenry, Dmitiry Ishenko, and Andrei Zakow, the band at its peak can consist of 12 musicians, with only one living outside of the borough. When I’m In You play the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan on September 25, bringing their post-rock, arfo-punk disco to the museum’s iconic halls as part of its “It Came From Brooklyn” cultural series, they decided to bring everyone they could to fill up the space.

“It’s a little bit daunting because it’s different from what we’re used to playing,” says Ischer, who’s played more “straight up rock venues” like Cake Shop, Zebulon, and Glasslands Gallery before. “We’re going to try to do more pieces that are a little bit more instrumental and atmospheric sounding, not our most heavy rocking kind of songs.”

Other acts participating that night in the series, which takes a nod a Brooklyn’s recent cultural renaissance, include Julian Plenti, (aka Paul Banks of Interopol), authors Rivka Galchen and Hampton Fancher, who happen to be next-door neighbors in their Brooklyn Heights apartments, and comedian Eugene Mirman, fresh off his own Brooklyn-based comedy festival at the Bell House and Union Hall, acting as MC.

“It Came from Brooklyn is meant to have a cabaret-like atmosphere,” says Sam Brumbaugh, who, along with Bronwyn Keenan, conceived and are producing the series as part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations. “We want to offer a good night out, with music, comedy, literature, and art—all in one program.”

While performing in the Guggenheim is a new experience of many of the acts, for I’m In You, they have played non-traditional venues in the past, including a Park Slope gallery earlier this summer. As with that one, they hope with this show they can reach a whole new audience, outside the usual music scene.

“The thing that was cool [about the gallery] was it wasn’t a standard rock audience – there were a lot of families and little kids watching the band and dancing. And Even when I saw the first It Came From Brooklyn show, it felt like a different kind of crowd, not just the same hipster kids that usually go to shows,” says Ischer. “People that might not come down to Williamsburg and see a show at one of the smaller venues there, but they’d go check them out at the Guggenheim.”

“It Came From Brooklyn” is September 25 from 8 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $45 for non-members and $40 for members. For more information, call 212-423-3500. The Guggenheim is located at 1071 Fifth Avenue.

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Shake, shimmy and shine: NY Burlesque Festival returns


By Meredith Deliso

At this year’s New York Burlesque Festival, from October 1-4, you may come for the scintillating entertainment, but leave ready to put on your own show.

Through hair and makeup stations, pasties for sale, and classes, you’ll have all the basics to get in the act yourself.

With dozens of burlesque pros strutting their stuff over the course of four nights, you can also learn by watching the pros themselves. And with half the festivities happening in Brooklyn, you won’t have to go very far.

On October 1, the festival throws a teaser party at Williamsburg’s Public Assembly (70 North 6th St.), hosted by The World Famous BOB from New York City, featuring music from the Two Man Gentleman Band, and performances from over a dozen ladies, including Miss Bonnie DUNN, The Incredible Edible Akynos, The Maine Attraction, and Miss Saturn, all of New York, as well as out-of-towners like Trixie Little (Baltimore) and Miss Cara Milk (Vancouver). The night will also feature Dr. Sketchys, where you can try your hand at drawing burlesque beauty Amber Ray.

The Gowanus-based venue The Bell House (149 7th St.) hosts the premiere party on October 2, hosted by Scotty the Blue Bunny and featuring local favorites Gigi La Femme, aerialist Harvest Moon, and, among many others, Little Brooklyn.

“It’s an homage to the infamous legend of Little Egypt, the scandalous ‘hoochie-coochie’ girl of the Nile, as well as an obvious nod to my beloved hometown,” says the performer of her stage name. The Homecrest resident recently earned the title “Queen of Comedy” at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame Pageant in Las Vegas for an act she’ll be performing at the New York City festival. “I start out as a typical cartoon of a tourist who might have stumbled onto the stage by accident – a turn of events transforms the voyeuristic sightseer into the item on display.”

Other acts promise to be equally entertaining, including Dirty Martini, Jo Boobs, The Glamazons (from TV’s “America’s Got Talent”), Julie Atlas Muz, Melody Sweets, and Gravity Plays Favorites, on stage at B.B. King (237 W. 42nd St.) in Manhattan in at The Saturday Spectacular on October 3.

“They do an acrobatic pole dancing number, which is always a crowd favorite,” says Jen Gapay, a Kensington resident and the founder of the festival, now in its seventh year running, of Gravity. “[The festival’s] all really a variety – from circus performers to classic strip tease.”

The festival closes with a bang on Sunday, October 4, with The Golden Pastie Awards at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St.) in Manhattan, where the performers are awarded for attributes such as “Biggest Hair in Burlesque” and “Performed with a Positively Perfect Posterior.”

If feeling courageous, that night, as well as Saturday, Jo Boob’s School of Burlesque will be offering classes so you can hone your skills, and every night will feature vendors, from Twirly Girl tee-shirts and pasties, corsets from Dragon Corsets, and free hairstyles and makeovers from Tease Salon.

“You can take a class, draw, and get your hair done!” says Gapay.

The New York Burlesque Festival is October 1-4. For more information, including tickets cost and times, go to www.thenewyorkburlesquefestival.com.

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War doesn't work - music does

The Citizens


By Meredith Deliso

On October 2, the World March for Peace and Nonviolence kicks off in New Zealand, but you don’t have to be in the Southern Hemisphere to celebrate.

That night, the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope is hosting its own kick-off party for the World March, a call for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and for an end to all forms of war and violence, complete with music, art and a live feed of the international festivities.

When Mark Lesseraux heard about the march, which begins fittingly on Ghandi’s birthday and ends January 2, 2010, in Argentina, he knew he needed to do something.

“One of my thoughts was, how could we assist with music,” said Lesseraux, of Park Slope. “I always feel like music is really helpful in bringing people together.”

So, reaching out to friends and friends of friends, Lesseraux recruited the bill’s diverse local acts, which includes funk rockers Earthdriver, the neo-soul act Imani Uzuri, salsa singer Choco Orta, drum and bass outfit Red Baraat, Mahina Movement, and Lesseraux’s own band, alternative rock group The Citizens, most of whom, like the march, have a political and social conscious.

“Everybody kind of agreed that we want to live in a world where not only physical violence gets phased out, things like bombs and war, but also the violence that ends up creating war – economic violence, religious violence, sexual violence,” said Lesseraux, who will have a song he wrote, “We Want Peace on Earth,” included on a Sony Records CD compilation for the World March.

Thousands of people have endorsed the march, including Noam Chomsky, Lou Reed, Art Garfunkel, and Jimmy Carter, which will pass through six continents and 90 countries over the course of three months. The night of the kick-off, the Lyceum party will feature live hook-ups from around the globe, as well as art and photos.

“My hope is that not only will our show be a kick off for the march, but that the march will be a kick off for a whole new way of being in the world, where nonviolence is not an old aesthetic idea. Not that Ghandi wasn’t great, but for 2009, people are looking for something that fits with the times,” said Lesseraux. “Practically speaking, war doesn’t work anymore. We need to stop it.”

The World March kick off party is October 2 at the Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Avenue). Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 online, $15 at the door. For more information, call 718-857-4816.

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You're invited to Prospero's island



By Meredith Deliso

“O brave new world. That has such people in’t!”

It was this line from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that Claire Beckman and John Morgan borrowed in founding their Brooklyn-based repertory theater Brave New World. The husband and wife also met during a production of the play in Vermont in 1983, and ever since have been meaning to put on their own production in Brooklyn.

On September 26 and 27, they do just that, with a site specific, full production of the comedy, set on an island controlled by the banished sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, who uses his magical powers to raise a tempest and shipwreck his enemies there.

Previous productions, including the one Beckman and Morgan were in, are more fantastical. The two envisioned doing their own in as natural an environment as possible, and were able to secure the Coney Island beach, near the New York Aquarium, with the set design including 2,000 folding chairs and sails and rigging on the boardwalk railing to represent the ship during the tempest, with action also in front of the aquarium’s mural.

And while Artistic Director Beckman is keen on having as much realism as possible, with appropriate costumes for the 16th century times and an emphasis on colonialism at the crux of the story, there is still plenty of magic, with mermaids from the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, puppets, and a magic show, as well as 25 children from the Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted and Talented performing as seagulls, sporting commedia-del-arte-style bird masks.

“The play is full of magic and mystery and comedy,” says Beckman, who, at keeping the event free of cost, is also urging families to come and enjoy the day at the beach. “We want to help the community and give families a nice reason to hit the boardwalk.”

And, rain or shine, the show will go on. “It is called ‘The Tempest!’” said Beckman laughing. “We’ll make due.”

“The Tempest” is September 26 and 27 on the Coney Island boardwalk and beach, adjacent to the aquarium’s Education building at 10th Street. Take the F or Q trains to West 8th Street. Both performances are at 3 p.m.

For more information, as well as to learn about donating to Brave New World, email theatre@bravenewworldrep.org.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chatting about Art Under the Bridge

Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen, The Experience of Green (detail). Courtesy of the artists.

The Art Under the Bridge Festival returns to DUMBO this weekend. We chat with Breda Kennedy, executive director of the DUMBO Arts Center, which produces the festival, about what to expect at this year's and what not to miss.

Thoughts on last year’s festival and how it went? Any moments that stand out to you?

The 12th D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival in 2008 was, like all previous festivals, "of the moment." The "moment" last year was pre-election and many projects had a political edge not to mention sponsorship by Al Gore's Current TV, which had a large presence, especially the enormous sculpture "Pachyderm," and an inteactive station at Galapagos all aimed at getting our young adult audience involved in the political process.

On the NY Water Taxi, Diana Arce, presented Politaoke and the opportunity for audiences to mimick their favorited political speeches and rhetoric.

Clouds and drizzle did however impact the visitor count, though my favorite project actually benefited. Reina Kubota's installation in the Tobacco Warehouse, "City of Light," recreated the island of Manhattan with used tin cans, glass, jars & plastic bottles. Filled with rain, the trash receptacles glistened even more.

Do you see a dominating theme, or themes, in the works for this year’s festival?

The immediacy of the event means many artists reflect on current issues: among others, the rise of technology, recession blues, homelessness and environmental concerns, for example:

River's Edge, is a street installation of oyster shells by John Monteith remembering the past use of the oyster as an industrial material while celebrating its recent use as an environmental tool.

Welcome to NYC; Boomtown 2006 by Artcodex creates a commentary about the failing boom markets of art and real estate by recreating New York as a post goldrush town. (Performance times: Sat. 12-2 p.m.; Sun. 2-4 p.m.)

Ballooning Awareness is an interactive roaming performance by John Bonafede that prompts youngsters to answer the question: "What is climate change and what should we do about it?" (Performance times: Sat. and Sun., noon)

The Tree of Life: Reina Kubota’s plastic bag installation blooms under the night sky.Stir Crazy: Come see Ryan Roth, forced by these economic times into the endangered, caged and untamed, business werewolf. (Performance times: Fri. 8-9 p.m.; Sat. 12-9 p.m.; Sun. 12-9 p.m.)

Each festival seems to have a not-to-be-missed moment or unpredictability, such as Dondi, the painting elephant. Do you see anything like that in this year’s works?

The show at DAC gallery, The Experience of Green, by Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen (pictured above), opens the Festival on Sept. 25 and will be an extraordinary total immersion experience for visitors - the work is the outcome of six months intense labor and vast amounts of red Kraft paper and virtuos handling of a humble material.

Also, the prospect of an entire street block carpeted with oyster shells by John Monteith (Plymouth between Washington and Adams) will no doubt intrigue viewers).

Yes, unpredictability is the magic of Art Under the Bridge! There will be so many surprises for the organizers too!

Are you utilizing spaces you haven’t before in the past in DUMBO? If yes, in what ways?

We've got the Tobacco Warehouse back since last year and video_dumbo will invade 81 Front.

We are overjoyed about access to the Archway space under the Manhattan Bridge, where artist, Sean Capone's Camera Rosetum, will use video projection and computer animation to create a dynamic, baroque architectural environment.

Are there any local, Brooklyn-based artists you’re excited to have involved this year?

The artists are predominantly Brooklyn-based, not because it's a Brooklyn festival, but because most of NYC's artists now live and work in Brooklyn!

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Hot, hot, hot


Not one to gingerly move those jalapenos to the side of your dinner plate? Then this event is for you.

New York City’s hottest autumn event, the Chile Pepper Fiesta, returns to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, celebrating the chile pepper and its uses in cultures around the world with musical performances and culinary activities for the whole family to enjoy.

On October 3, noon to 6:30 p.m., the Garden presents a global homage to the chile pepper featuring sizzling concerts and a hot culinary lineup, plus kids’ activities, a cool qi gong workshop, expert advice on cultivating chile peppers, and more.

For the first time, Chile Pepper Fiesta is sweetening its spice with a brand new Chocolate Chile Cabana in the Osborne Garden, where throughout the day visitors will have the opportunity to explore one of the most delicious culinary combinations around with attractions including:

--“Hot” Chocolate: Twelve area chocolatiers and confectioners (including Mast Bros., Vere, Fine & Raw, Nunu, and more) will sample specially commissioned treats that marry the decadence of chocolate with the heat of the chile pepper;--Brooklyn Chile Peppers ’n’ Chocolate Takedown: Amateurs will compete for the crowd’s favor as they concoct chile-chocolate dishes;

--The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History: Leading chocolate historian Maricel E. Presilla will sign copies of her new work;

--Sweet & Spicy Suds: Portland’s Rogue Brewery will offer their Chipotle Ale and Chocolate Stout to thirsty visitors;

--Some Like It Hot: Chocolate expert Alexandra Leaf will moderate a panel, featuring some of the area’s most prominent chocolatiers, on the history, health benefits, and trends of the beloved chile/chocolate combo;

--Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chocolate But Were Afraid to Ask: No query is too small for Alexandra Leaf, president of Chocolate Tours of NYC;

--The Dust Busters: Old-time swing tunes with a dash of New Orleans blues keep the energy high.Elsewhere during the Fiesta, spicy food will take center stage in a series of demonstrations and tastings, including:

--Seoul Food, a Korean cooking session with Chef Saeri Yoo Park of Moim Restaurant; --Spicy Malaysian Mischief with Corwin Kaye, Executive Chef at Fatty Crab;

--Cooking in Clay with indigenous food expert Nathalie Herling;

--The Art of Indian Chutney-Making with Bombay Emerald Chutney Company Chef Nirmala Gupta.

On the mainstage, a series of diverse performances will turn up the heat, as visitors enjoy the joyful African world beat mix of Nepo Soteri & Asante, the infectious blend of North Indian bhangra and brass funk by Red Baraat!, the red-hot ranchera rock of Pistolera, the pulse-quickening dance music of Brooklyn’s all-women tour de force Paprika and the return of Grammy-nominated Lost Bayou Ramblers, virtuosos of the Cajun musical tradition who have thrilled thousands with their repertoire of early accordion dancehall tunes, Cajun swing, and original numbers.

MCs Robbins & Ringold fire up audiences with fire eating, fire juggling, and other daring deeds of flame throughout the day.

Plus, enjoy hot sauce, hot pickle, and other spicy food tastings; hands-on kids’ activities and a visit with renowned chile plant expert The Chile Goddess will be ongoing throughout the day. The Zagat-rated Terrace Café will offer a special Chile Pepper Fiesta menu to tingle the taste buds with spicy food and cold beer.

Visitor entrances to the Garden are at Flatbush Avenue, at the parking lot gate at 900 Washington Avenue, and at Eastern Parkway. For information, call 718-623-7200.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This week in 24/Seven

Each week we'll preview what you can expect in our 24/Seven print edition, out Thursday for you southern Brooklynites and Friday for the downtown neighborhoods.

Highlights include:

Music - The Guggenheim returns to Brooklyn with a second installment of It Came From Brooklyn September 25, with Julian Plenti, I'm In You, and others; get philosophical with Phil and the Osophers when they play MonkeyTown September 29; and celebrate the kick off to the World March here with a party at the Brooklyn Lyceum October 2, or party with .357 Lover when they celebrate a release at Brooklyn Bowl that same night.

Theater: "The Tempest" finds a home on shore as Brooklyn's Brave New World Repertory Theatre puts on the classic play September 26 and 27 on the Coney Island boardwalk and beach.

Hot, Hot, Hot: The New York Burlesque Festival returns October 1-4, with two nights at Public Assembly and the Bell House. Also raising temperatures will be the Chile Fiesta at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on October 2.

Columns: Pumps & Pleats finds that Prospect Heights vintage shop Hooti Couture is not at all hoity-toity, The Kitchen Klutz brings Jamba Juice home, making the Strawberry Nirvana in her own kitchen, and a colorful and flavorful shrimp and vegetable stir-fry is on the Reporter's Table.

For these stories and more, pick up a copy in your nabe or check back here later this week!

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A taste of Red Hook tonight

Explore the Red Hook culinary scene tonight as the Red Hook Initiative (RHI) hosts the third annual “A Taste of Red Hook” fundraiser, from 6-9 p.m. at Kidd Yellin Gallery, 133 Imlay Street.



More than 20 local restaurants have confirmed their participation, including The Good Fork, Baked, Kevin’s, Brooklyn Botanica, Calexico, Home/Made, Hope & Anchor, Defontes, Fort Defiance and Fernando Martinez, a neighborhood favorite vendor from the Red Hook soccer fields.



The best restaurants in Red Hook and vicinity will serve a sampling of the signature dishes that have made them local and critical successes. Aside from enjoying culinary delights from Red Hook restaurants, attendees also have a chance to bid on items from the silent auction such as designer clothing, accessories, signed books, gift certificates, and more.



The event is being coordinated by Roquette Catering in Red Hook. Local Red Hook musicians who regularly play at Sonny’s and other local music venues will provide the music.



All of the proceeds from the evening will go to the Red Hook Initiative, a community-based organization run by more than 50 residents of the Red Hook Houses who are working to create their own social change. RHI employs more than 30 teenagers, many of whom will be present at the event to share their work.

Tickets are $100.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: Look out! It's raining pasta


By Michèle De Meglio

In honor of the September 18th release of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” — which is based on my all-time favorite children’s book about a town where food magically falls from the sky — I tried my klutzy hand at spaghetti and meatballs.

In the land of Chewandswallow, residents simply hold their empty plates out to the heavens and yummy goodies trickle down. But here in Brooklyn, I gotta work for my grub.

Making the pasta was relatively simple — boil water, add angel hair, cook until soft.

For the sauce, I lazily heated up some marinara from a jar. Now now, don’t shame me. It would’ve been too much work to make meatballs, pasta and sauce from scratch. Remember, I am a completely clueless cook.

Then it was time for the main attraction — meatballs.

Following my mother’s recipe, I dumped chopped meat into a mixing bowl and formed a well in the middle of the sticky mess. To that I added an egg, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, breadcrumbs and chopped parsley.

This is the part that’s super disgusting. I had to use my hands to mash all the ingredients together. There’s only one word that could describe the feeling of molding mushy raw meat with my fingers — yuck!


As I suffered in silence, actually I whined a bit, I formed small balls and set them aside on a plate.



The next step required coating a frying pan with olive oil and placing it on a medium heat. I knew this was going to be a terrible experience when a stream of oil shot up two feet in the air before a meatball ever touched the pan. Geez!

Putting on a brave face, I grabbed my tongs and placed the meatballs in the pan.

Immediately the meat started screaming. Yes, screaming! The sizzling was so loud I can’t describe it any other way. As I attempted to turn the balls, thereby browning each side, hot oil splashed at me like daggers hitting my skin.

The splatter (and my own screams of agony) became so unbearable that I donned a rubber glove usually reserved for cleaning dirty dishes, wrapped my forearm in a dish towel and secured the makeshift armor with a hair elastic. This is nuts! I need a bulletproof vest to cook!

Verdict:
The meatballs were well done. Seriously well done. Actually, completely and utterly disintegrated.

The inside of the meatballs was right on the border of really well done and overcooked. That means somewhat edible in my book.

As for the outer shell, it was a rock. I managed to force it open with a steak knife but there was no joy in eating the brick.

Oh, I also overcooked the spaghetti. I think I’d be very happy living in Chewandswallow.

Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.



(Cloudy with a chance of) Meatballs


Ingredients
1/2 lb. chopped meat
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Directions

Put chopped meat in a mixing bowl and mold into a well. Add remaining ingredients to well and mix with hands. Form mixture into balls about two inches in diameter. Coat a frying pan with olive oil, about 1/4 inch thick. On medium heat, add meatballs and brown on all sides. Switch to low heat and cover pan. Continue to turn meatballs until cooked inside, approximately five minutes.

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A Fox possessed in 'Jennifer's Body'


Jennifer's Body
Two stars

By Gary Buiso

“Jennifer’s Body” is an occasionally clever horror movie that is less about demonic possession and the occult than it is about the many ways to film starlet Megan Fox’s body.

A rock band version of “Rosemary’s Baby” and the “Breakfast Club,” the film is more ridiculous than scary, thanks to its screenwriter, Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for penning the overrated “Juno.”

The film, directed by Karyn Kusama, is heavy on Cody-speak — a supremely grating hodgepodge of pop culture slang intermixed with heaps of post-pubescent irony. Despite this, “Jennifer’s Body” is a reasonably strong, albeit campy effort that suffers from angst of its own: its unsure if it’s a comedy or a horror movie.

After attending a concert that goes awry, popular girl Jennifer (Fox) suddenly has a craving for human flesh, and a predilection for puking up what appears to be sediment from the Gowanus Canal. The root of all the evil will come as no surprise to Tipper Gore.

Jennifer’s best friend forever, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), is helpless in the wake of the sudden carnage that befalls sleepy Devil’s Kettle, but is nonetheless determined to try to save her old sandbox chum — or at least prevent more boys from being eviscerated.

Fox apes the mean girls from “Heathers” well enough to present a convincing villain; she’s better here than in her largely silent, pouty role in the “Transformers” franchise. As her determined foil, the talented Seyfried (“Mama Mia!”) is up to the challenge, turning in another winning performance. Kusama (“Girlfight”) keeps the pace moving but struggles with thematic consistency.

“Jennifer’s Body” has plenty in mind, but, like, not enough soul.

“Jennifer’s Body.” Rated R for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use. Running time: 100 minutes. With Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons, and Kyle Gallner.

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Pumps & Pleats: Banish the autumn doldrums with funky Redberi fashions


Story and photos by Michèle De Meglio

It’s time to buy fall clothes. But who wants to wear the same chunky gray sweaters and worn black boots as every other gal in town? Uh, no one.

Fortunately for Brooklynites, there’s a quaint women’s apparel and accessories boutique in Prospect Heights selling a mix of chic and funky styles you won’t see on anyone else.

The racks at Redberi offer oodles and oodles of smart fashions that can easily be mixed and matched to create a fall wardrobe that’s both chic and eclectic.

Tired of boring blouses for the office? If you’re brave enough, don a black button-down shirt with puff sleeves for $88.

Even Hayden-Harnett, a Greenpoint-based designer that’s a personal fave of Pumps & Pleats, is represented with a silky tunic in the line’s sweet boudoir print for $192.

Handbags, shoes, scarves and hats are scattered throughout Redberi, appearing to offer shoppers inspiration for the perfect accessories to match their funkilicious outfits.

For $237, a Latico black leather satchel with braided handles adds a dash of sophistication to any outfit.

A functional yet fashionable tote in a rich wine color features ruching, pleating and braided straps. It might sound too busy, but this bag blends several styles for an über chic arrangement.

At the far end of the shop floor, there’s an entire display of Hobo International skinny leather belts in every shade of the rainbow.


For an added punch of color, try an electric blue leather clutch or a coordinating periwink
le scarf.

For a more subdued but still cool look, try a super soft oversized leather handbag in muted shades of mustard and burnt orange.


Several expertly-crafted fedoras, in black, brown and charcoal gray, are displayed on mannequins. My favorite is the trend-of-the-moment mini top hat, which is secured on a thin black headband and features black feathers shooting out of the top and an ocean blue pin in the shape of a vintage car and stylish female driver. See, fashion can be fun!

Redberi is located at 319 Flatbush Avenue. For hours, call 718-622-3875 or visit www.redberi.com.

Michèle De Meglio is a native Brooklynite addicted to all things chic. Check out Pumps & Pleats each week for more adventures as she scours the borough for fab duds and accessories.

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Brooklyn playlist

Dirty Projectors. Photo credit: Sarah Cass


First the Guggenheim gets in on the Brooklyn music scene, now the New Yorker.

On October 16, the Bell House hosts The New Yorker Festival's Brooklyn Playlist, a concert featuring bands from the County of Kings, as they put it.


On the playlist: indie darlings Dirty Projectors (a great way to see them, since both their Music Hall shows are sold out), dark-crunk collective House of Ladosha, DJ Jubilee, and metal band Liturgy.

This diverse mix is curated by the New Yorker staff writers Sasha Frere-Jones and Kelefa Sanneh.

Show's at 7 p.m., with tickets $25. As most of the New Yorker Festival shows have started to sell out already (tickets went on sale three hours ago), I would get on this now.

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Bored to death in Brooklyn


Once again, Jonathan Ames confuses fiction with reality with "Bored to Death," an HBO series starring Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Ames, a young Brooklyn writer who, feeling lost, turns to the moonlighting as a private detective. Hijinks ensue.

The real Ames talks (or rather, goes off on a tangent) with the Huffington Post about what it means to be known as a "Brooklyn writer," and if his new show, which is filmed in the borough (note the classic brownstone above), is intrinsically a Brooklyn one:

Well, for years, I had no money to travel. If I could have gone somewhere else, I might have written about it. For example, I would love to go to Tel Aviv. I think that's where the action is and, also, it's on the water, which I love, but it's expensive to go there, and also my parents, being overprotective and Jewish would be worried the whole time, which is a kind of paradox -- Jewish parents not wanting their child (albeit their middle-aged, bald child) to go to Israel. It has been calmer there lately, though, and I hope it stays that way.

I could probably afford to go there now, but with the show happening I don't think I can go there and live. To write about a place you have to live there. So, in the past, I was stuck here because I had no money and now I have a little money, though not too much, but enough to go to Israel, but now, because of the show, I can't. I have to stay here and stare at the computer and read reviews and write emails and feel nervous and close to the non-action. I guess I could do that in Israel, but it seems like I should do it here. Therefore my new-found freedom is an illusion, which I'm perfectly at peace with since everything is an illusion, anyway.

What I'm trying to say is this -- I still can't leave Brooklyn. Does that make sense? And so, like a landscape painter, who paints the world around him, or rather paints pictures of the world around him, this is the landscape around me, so this is what I write about. Something like that. Though I am intrigued by the idea of an Israeli version of "Bored to Death". I don't think Tel Aviv or Jerusalem has had an iconic Private Detective, though maybe those cities do, since I haven't read a lot of Israeli crime fiction, but it could be a great setting -- lots of trouble for a dick to get into over there. Anyway, I hope some Israeli TV person somehow creates an Israeli version of "Bored to Death," in the same way that we created an American version of the Israeli show "In Treatment."

Watch the trailer to "Bored to Death" below. It premieres Sunday at 9:30 p.m.

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Mmm...Nino puts Il Post on the front burner



By Marshall Slater

Il Posto Ristorante Italiano (7409 Avenue U, 718-241-4317) is a quiet, unassuming place, smack in the middle of a completely residential area. You certainly wouldn’t pass the place by happenstance unless you had a very specific reason to be in the area. But just because this establishment is off the beaten track does not mean that the dining room is quiet. Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth. People seek Il Posto out. Sure, it is very popular among neighborhood diners, but just as many come from beyond its Bergen Beach boundaries and its popularity will only increase exponentially when people realize who is now in the kitchen.

Nino’s Restaurant on Coney Island Avenue had been a landmark for decades, drawing capacity crowds to its dining room, mainly due to master chef and owner Nino. It was a dismal day when, several years ago, Nino closed up shop and the long familiar façade vanished from the Kings Highway area. But now Nino is back in his chef’s hat, as the master of Il Posto’s kitchen. And word is spreading so you better get there soon, before you’re beaten to the seats by his legion of fans. Incidentally, Nino’s brother Sal has also taken up residence at Il Posto; you’ll find him as a waiter in the dining room.

The Il Posto menu has always been popular, but it is now immeasurably enhanced thanks both to Nino’s five star kitchen skills and the fact that he has brought many of his favorite dishes to his new home.

Your hostess and host, Agnes and Tony Evangelista, are still very much the driving force in the dining room, guiding the various incarnations of Italian restaurants at this address for more than 13 years. Three years ago they reopened at Il Posto and it has been a success story ever since. With the addition of Nino, you may be assured that this will now be a very long running show.

The place is a real neighborhood hot spot and extremely welcoming; they are very family friendly, and celebrating your special times is a must here, but and when going out as a twosome, Il Posto is also the place to be.

Nino’s Sunday Sauce is a venerable dish (served only on Sundays as the name implies). It is a platter not for the faint of heart — but just right for the hungry of stomach, consisting of homemade Bracciola, meatballs, Nino’s made-from-scratch sausages, spare ribs and even pig’s skin, all in a thick tomato-based sauce.

Every night of the week indulge in any of Nino’s outstanding homemade pastas, such as the spinach fettuccine, the cannelloni and the various kinds of ravioli. Nino’s crowd pleasing crabcakes are now on the bill of fare, as is his fresh lobster salad, prepared with apples and his fresh avocado and shrimp salad.Chicken and Veal Pappagalo, prepared with fresh asparagus in a white wine sauce, is a signature dish of Nino’s and is now available at Il Posto.

Seasonal specialties are also a staple: From bronzini to soft shell crabs, the change in the months brings wonderful new additions to the menu.Nino’s emphasis has always been on the freshest of ingredients and the most skillful preparation.

So settle back and munch on the complimentary bruschetta and enjoy the wonderful crusty bread served with herb butter while you check out the menu.

Nightly specials add to the lure. On this evening, the options included fresh grilled octopus, prepared with a light lemon vinaigrette seasoning. The tender tentacles were served on a bed of field greens. The stuffed mushrooms were marvelous, with chunks of shrimp, sweet scallops and crabmeat, served in a thick red sauce; the caps delightfully succulent and lightly seared.

There was also a creamy asparagus soup and risotto with pancetta and sausage.Entrée specials enticed with boneless duck stuffed with chestnuts, apples and raisons; halibut stuffed with a mélange of seafood; lobster fra diavolo or prepared oreganata style, and Bronzini, a flaky white fish that could be savored grilled or Livornese style. For the carnivore, there was a thick prime rib.

On the regular menu there is a Stuffed Artichoke starter: veggies crammed with delicious seasoning and plenty of chunks of fresh garlic in a lilting broth, served on a well soaked base of bread that is just the right conclusion to this dish. Each leaf is infused with the sultry broth and [is] just wonderful.Other beginning options range from the Mozzarella en Carrozza to the Mussels sautéed in a light tomato sauce and the hot and cold antipasto platters.

Of the pastas, the Rigatoni Filetto di Pomodoro is a favorite, studded with prosciutto, basil and onion in a thick and sweet red sauce. There’s also Spaghetti alla Arrabiata (spicy), Penne ala Vodka, and cheese ravioli prepared with butter and sage.As for the main event, the Pollo ala Mele is a real tour de force: The tender and large breast is blackened and sweetened with balsamic vinegar, stuffed with molten fresh mozzarella and sweet pieces of apple all in a Dijon mustard accent and served with escarole on the side. Other chicken dishes include the scarpariello and the Francese.

Continuing, Manzo al Barolo offers juicy medallions of beef with a thick Barolo sauce, veal is stuffed with spinach and fontina cheese as Uccelletti alla Toscana; the Saltimbocca offers the veal laden with fresh prosciutto and sage. The Veal Zingara has a kick and is made with plenty of fresh mushrooms. There’s also a grilled veal chop and sirloin steak, plus the Tagliata con Rucola, which is sliced steak marinated with rosemary and served with arugola.

Moving into the waters, the huge piece of salmon is prepared with a pink mustard sauce as Salmon Reale, with red peppercorn accents and capers. The fish itself is thick and succulent, and satisfies completely. Shrimp is done with garlic and herbs; there is Zuppa di Pesce, striped bass encrusted with rafano and tuna with balsamic vinegar, capers and olives.

Desserts are just as creative and indulgent: poached pear with Barolo wine and cinnamon; homemade tirami su, orange marinated in Grand Marnier and garnished with orange peel and miniature Italian cannoli, to name just a brief sampling.

Il Posto Ristorante Italiano7409 Avenue U, 718-241-4317. Hours: Open for lunch, Tuesday-Friday, 12-3 p.m., and for dinner, Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m., until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and Sunday, 1-9 p.m. Closed on Monday.Offered is a three course lunch special for $23 and a three course dinner special, Tuesday-Friday price fixed at $26.Most major credit cards are accepted.Private parties are accommodated; outside catering is a specialty. Take out is also available.There is ample street parking at all times and free valet parking Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m.Live entertainment is featured Friday evenings.

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The Weekend: 9.18-9.20

This weekend, Brooklyn's all about the three C's - comedy, country and couture.

Friday, September 18

Comedy: The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival kicked off last night, and continues on into the weekend with Invite Them Up tonight at The Bell House (149 7th St.) in Gowanus, or Daniel Kitson at Park Slope's Union Hall (702 Union St.) tonight. Click here for the full schedule and to buy tickets.

Couture: Two fashion festivals hit Williamsburg, featuring up-and-coming local designers as well as art and performance. The longer running of the two, Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, takes over Secret Project Robot (210 Kent Ave.), while newcomer Brooklyn Fashion Festival comes to the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave.).

Musical improv: Blind Ear goes loopy with improvisational instrumental music, as musicians trade the music stand for a laptop. 8 p.m. at Park Slope's Brooklyn Lyceum (227 Fourth Ave.). Tickets $10.

Guitar Gods: Littlefield observes the 39th anniversary of the death of Jimi Hendrix with a show that spotlights two bands that carry on the legacy of the Legendary JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE 3-piece format. With 24-7 SPYZ and special guests California King and DJ shErOck*21. Doors 8 p.m. Tickets $10. Located at 622 Degraw Street.

Saturday, September 19

Country: The Brooklyn Country Music Festival returns to Southpaw, with hootin' and hollerin' from some of the local scenes best newcomers and established acts. Tonight's closing night lineup includes festival founder Alex Battle's own band, the Whiskey Rebellion. Tickets $10. Shows start at 4 p.m. Located at 125 Fifth Avenue.

Sunday, September 20

Music: Experimental "stringstress" Jody Rehage celebrates the release of her band Fire in July's debut album "Ancient Star" tonight at MonkeyTown in Williamsburg. Chamber music meets pop. At 8 p.m. Tickest $10, including a $10 minimum, so make it dinner and a show. Located at 58 N. 3rd Street.

Arts: This week at the Community Brooklyn Urban Arts Market, party and shop, as the market will feature live music, visual art, food from Myrtle Avenue restaurants, and 50 local, DIY vendors selling fashion, art, and accessories. Music line-up includes Soul Summit, blkvampires, School of Rock All Stars, and Stage Life Youth DJs. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. near BAM on Myrtle Avenue between Grand Ave and Emerson Place. Free.

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