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Brooklyn art

If I wasn’t working tonight I would be here in a heartbeat. Jen Bekman’s gallery, 20×200 and hey hot shot! all have exposed me to brilliant work that I otherwise would have never come across. From the 20×200 blog:

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Jen Bekman of Jen Bekman Projects, Inc., will be crossing the river to join artist and collector Danny Simmons, Joe Amrhein from Williamsburg’s Pierogi Gallery and Steve Weintraub of Arts in Bushwick for an evening discussion on Brooklyn artists and collecting in the borough.
The panel, “Collecting in Brooklyn” is part of the Brooklyn Museum’s larger series, Collecting Currently, and will bring you up to speed on emerging Brooklyn artists and the best ways to get your hands on some of their work before they hit the big time (read: while you can still afford it).
The discussion will take place next Wednesday, May 27th from 7:00 Р8:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum — Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor.
Wine is included in the $20 ticket price ($15 for members). Visit www.museumtix.com to register. Be there or be, um, artless!

My Little Pony, But Better

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If you’re like me, this is right up your alley. Via Brooklyn Based:

It all started with a birthday party. Talitha Whidbee, owner of Champion Coffee in Greenpoint and Vine Wine in Long Island City, bought a case of blank, white My Little Pony dolls for her daughter’s birthday party. While watching the under-seven-set glitter and bedazzle the ponies, adults at the party starting talking about how they would decorate one of their own. Whidbee decided to give some ponies to local artist pals and see what happened. Then she called Brooklyn Based to see whether we wanted to turn the whole thing into an event to benefit a local charity. We saddled up immediately.
The results? An exceptional equestrian exhibition. Some are still recognizable as ponies, but a few artists took the challenge to a whole other abstract level. There’s sculpture, photography and even some diorama-style pieces in this show. All of the completed ponies are currently on sale on eBay. Or, head to Champion for an iced Americano, a chocolate mint cookie and a leisurely look at the very creatively hung installation, which went up Tuesday. Artists include Tony Matelli, Drew Heitzler and Peter Miller.

Go enjoy some snacks & Pony Punch at the reception this Friday (7-10pm) in the backyard of Champion, 1108 Manhattan Ave., and bid on one of these vamped up little ponies. All proceeds will be donated to Just Food.

If Mancow Calls It Torture, It's Torture

So So Glos + Air Waves at Market Hotel

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So So Glos
Nicole Schneit of Air Waves once clarified that her band’s name is not meant to refer to the transmission of sound, instead it is the air we breathe and the waves of the ocean. Am I over-thinking things to say Air Waves make a lot more sense knowing that? Give Air Waves one listen and it’s clear their music is more natural earnestness than radio fuzz (not that radio fuzz isn’t near and dear to my heart). Saturday evening Nicole and crew were at the top of their game, playing with a fantastic slate of bands at Market Hotel which included Jersey’s Screaming Females and Baltimore’s Double Dagger. Openers Videohippos were also impressive, playing with a video accompaniment that made for a punk acid trip.
Market Hotel’s resident So So Glos headlined the show and shook the place to it rafters. At one point during the set fans could be seen climbing up pillars and piping around the loft. Maybe they were trying to get a better view or maybe it’s the new crowd surfing. The phrase “driven up the wall” traditionally means you were annoyed by something, perhaps the So So Glos live set has spawned a gleeful antonym.
More images after the jump.
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Air Waves

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R.I.P Jay Bennett

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Very sad news

Multi-instrumentalist and former member of Wilco Jay Bennett died this weekend, according to a post on the website for Undertow Music Collective. He was 45. A cause of death was unknown. ‚”We are profoundly saddened to report that our friend died in his sleep last night. Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed,” read the update on Undertow. The company released his 2002 solo album, ‚”Palace at 4 am (Part I).”
Representatives from the label and management firm had not responded to requests for comment as of Sunday evening, but the Chicago Sun-Times reached Bennett’s friend and collaborator Edward Burch. “Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed,” Burch told Jim DeRogatis.
In the late ’80s, Bennett founded the rock band Titanic Love Affair in Urbana, Ill., which lasted into the mid-’90s. He was best known for his seven years in adventurous rock act Wilco. Bennett split from the Chicago-based group in 2001, and since his departure had been pursuing a solo career, as well as operating Pieholden Suite Sound ‚Äì named after a song on Wilco’s 1999 album ‚”Summerteeth” — in Champaign , Ill. …
Bennett was asked to leave the group before ‚”Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” was released, and his relationship with Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy remained strained. In early May of this year, Bennett filed suit against his former band mate for breach of contract stemming from his participation in ‚”I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Bennett was seeking damages in excess of $50,000, according to court papers.
Late last month, Bennett posted on his MySpace page that he was to undergo hip replacement surgery, revealing that he had been living with a torn ACL since his time in Titanic Love Affair, and lacked health insurance. He was also completing work on his fifth solo effort, “Kicking at the Perfumed Air.”
“This whole experience has really taught me to look both inward and outward for support, and I’ve learned things about myself that I thought I had completely figured out years ago,” Bennett wrote on his MySpace page. “Family and friends have helped me to keep faith in a future that will actually be much more carefree than my constricted present state. I encourage you all to tell me stories of recovery, as they really do help.”
Wilco are on tour in Spain, but a spokesperson for the band passed along a statement from Tweedy: “We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him — as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band’s songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time.”

Let’s hope this isn’t true!

These Are Powers at Glasslands

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These are Powers
With a sea of empty Colt 45 cans strewn across the floor and a crowd packed like the L on a weekday morning These Are Powers rocked Vice’s party at Glasslands Thursday night. Late on the bandwagon, These Are Powers first drew my attention opening for Dan Deacon this January in a raucous warehouse show in Bushwick. While they were great in the winter, warm weather and top billing drew a different level of energy out of the band. These Are Powers have described their sound as ‚”ghost punk” and their set last night indeed proved to be haunting-yet-extremely-danceable chaos. Pterodactyl opened with thunderous punk and the crowd was treated to a surprise set by Columbus, Ohio’s finest lo-fi noise rockers Psychedelic Horseshit. A friend of mine noted that the crowd was so hyped by These Are Powers’ set that they forgot to stop shaking their booties and dancing during Horseshit’s heavy drone.
More photos after the jump.
–Andrew Ritchie

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Celebrate Girls Who (Summer Camp) Rock

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The Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls are throwing a couple of parties next week to support their amazing program. If you don’t know, now you know:

The summer camp is an intensive one-week day camp program. The organization currently offers two sessions every summer, serving a total of approximately 150 girls. Daily programming consists of instrument instruction (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals, DJ/turntables, and sound & recording), band practice, and workshops on a variety of topics, from songwriting to self-defense. Games and crafting activities (including making band t-shirts and buttons) are interspersed throughout the day.
Campers form bands on the first day, and during daily band practice they write music and lyrics collectively, assisted by band coaches. At the end of the week, the camp bands perform their original songs at a large-scale recital concert.

The shows will include some of our faves such as Pterodactyl and Parts & Labor. And, if you’re a 19+, they’ve got Ladies Workshops too!
Todd P & Horse+Dragon are also hosting a benefit for the Rock Camp on May 29th at Monster Island featuring Wild Yaks, Lady Magma, Hexa, & Beluga. We’re giving you 4 shows to celebrate the same cause here… so, pick one!!