Top five Halloween shows

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I want to play a game. Your Halloween social life has been rigged to an industrial grade acetylene torch and suspended above a churning cement mixer in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in deep Brooklyn. There’s still time to save it, but first you have to choose: Do you attend a banging party or a heavy metal séance? A lighthearted covers show or a full-fledged costume contest? Pick more than one and what remains of your pathetic excuse for a weekend plan will incinerate, select none and it will drown in a watery concrete tomb. The choice is yours, but make it quick. The clock is ticking.

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FREEwilliamsburg reviews CMJ 2014

cmjAnother year has mostly gone by and another CMJ Music Marathon is in the can. We had four of our esteemed bloggers on the ground for this year’s festivites: Chris Quartly, Coleman Bentley, Carly McAlpine and yours truly. We drank many dranks, ate free pizza, stumbled drunkenly across bridges, fought the urge to get free tattoos and watched some pretty cool bands play some pretty great sets. For the most part. Here’s our takeaway: [Read more...]

Psychodrama’s Second Session: a web series you should be watching

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It’s rather serendipitous: 3 aspiring actors befriend each other in the same class at the William Esper Studio in NYC. They (Kimmy Foskett, Liza Renzulli and Luisa Fidalgo) slowly come to realize that intense hangovers, cute hipster boys and aspirations aren’t the only thing they have in common; they have the same therapist! They realize… hey, guys. This could be something?

Thus begins the brainstorm for the first season of Psychodramaa web series of short themed clips, each involving events and conversations that have really happened to these 3 ladies in their time here in NYC as 20-somethings. And with titles like Indecision, Sex, Jealousy, Motivation and Communication, these episodes connect with the viewer, no matter how much acting you’ve done or therapy you’ve been to. The writing is sharp and smart and perfectly relatable (props to Kimmy and Liza).

The show is not just relatable, either. The production and direction of this show are incredibly professional, especially for these CHIX on a budget (they’ve used crowd-funding sites for both seasons). I’ve been consistently impressed by the quality and content, so I was really happy to hear that there would be a Second Session this winter (watch the entire first session here). [Read more...]

Is Sweetwater haunted?

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Sweetwater, credit: NY Times

We already told you about a few haunted places in Williamsburg. We can now add Sweetwater to the list. Decades before the establishment morphed into its current incarnation as an American bistro, it was a restaurant and bar owned by Charles Szyjka that served up breakfast and booze to blue-collar workers. Szyjka lived upstairs, lost two wives to childbirth, and had a daughter named Anna who employees believe is responsible for the so-called haunting:

On a dark morning in September 2006, Miguel Vargas arrived for work at a Brooklyn restaurant called Sweetwater. He unlocked and lifted the security gate, took two steps inside and saw a woman in profile walking across the dining room toward a basement stairwell.

She was middle-aged with gray hair and dressed in white, like a wedding dress, he said, but not one from this century. And she appeared corporeal, “normal,” Mr. Vargas said, not nebulous or translucent like on television. [Read more...]

REVIEW: Something Wicked Festival

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Oliver Heldens plays the Shadowlands Stage on Saturday of Something Wicked (Photos from Rukes.com)

Sam Houston Race Park became a destination for all things neon last weekend when Something Wicked returned to Texas for two packed days of electronic music, dancing and good vibes. Disco Donnie Presents and Nightculture curated a diverse lineup of DJs, elaborate stage designs and appearances from the Wicked Creatures, a dance tribe with tricked out costumes that heightened the outdoor rave’s ethereal, Halloween theme.

Lovers of trance and top-40 pop found no shortage of fun at the Shadowlands Stage which stayed consistently crowded from about 4 PM Saturday until Kaskade closed out the festival on Sunday night with an assault of soaring vocals and multi-color fireworks. This was the same stage where Tony Junior would remind us that we are Immortal, where Oliver Heldens would prove why house is still king with a varied sunset show featuring 90s throwbacks and fluid bass lines. Panda Funk frontman Deorro brought a comedic touch to his set on Saturday night when he played When Will the Bass Drop (Turn Up to Death!) as made famous by SNL earlier this summer when Andy Samberg played an overpaid DJ named DaVinci in a digital short with a talent for blowing minds with the push of a single button labeled “bass”. He used the satire sketch that poked fun at the EDM industry to get the crowd totally TURNT.

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Haunted Williamsburg: Where restless souls still linger

The day of the dead is almost upon us and if you want to catch a glimpse of a friendly (or not so friendly) ghost, try one of these local spots:

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Photo courtesy St. Charles Cellar website

St. Mazie’s
The jazz music and cocktails conjure up more than just the living. The basement of St Mazie Bar & Supper Club was a speakeasy during prohibition, and some of the regulars refuse to leave nearly a century later. The staff regularly encounters paranormal activity, including breaking glasses and mysteriously moving chairs, and even caught some of the action on camera. If you want to check it out for yourself, stop by the Supper Club this Wednesday for a prix fixe dinner and screening the silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Calligaria. RSVP at reservations@stmazie.com if you dare.

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Citibike is expanding to North Williamsburg and Greenpoint

citibikeThe last I heard Citibike was struggling to stay alive, but now thanks to a group of new investors the program is flushed with cash. From [Read more...]

This One Goes To Eleven: Weekly metal roundup

AtTheGatesAtWarWithRealityWelcome heshers, hellions, hessians, and hellraisers to the biggest metal week of the year. Stuffed with 2014’s most anticipated releases from bands both old and new—as well as a line-up of wild Halloween-themed bashes—today is one for the elder scrolls. So strap on the combat boots and smear on the corpse paint, we are going to war.

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