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The Real Witches of Bushwick Turn Altars Into Art

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Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.58.29 AM.pngKatelan Foisey's small apartment in Queens mirrors the mystic vibe of Bushwick's Catland, a bookshop for rare occult ephemera and artisan fare. When she opened the door to greet me, fog should have billowed, or at least gently rolled, through the apartment door, making its way past the expansive, candle-lit altar in the center of the room. With all the lights off, it glowed.

Instead of billowing smoke she offered up a vintage tea from Madame Zuzu's in a cup that was patterned with pagan iconography. We sat down to talk about Altars As Artforms, an exhibition of rituals and offerings that just closed at Catland. The show brought together a mix of diverse occult practitioners including artists, writers, and even Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.

Like the gallery space, Foisey's apartment is covered in altars. "This is my altar to Santa Muerte. In Mexico she kind of has a cult. She used to be associated with drug cartels and things like that because no matter who was asking her a favor she would grant it, as long as you were good to her. As long as you give her her offerings, which are like roses and tequila and cigarettes and chocolates, she's cool with you."

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.59.09 AM.png Santa Muerte is Spanish for Our Lady of Holy Death. She is just one of the goddesses that Foisey calls upon. "Behind you is Elegua," she continues. "He is the guardian of the crossroads." She gets up from her chair to illuminate him with a candle. "He's basically a road opener. I really like road opener deities. They're also the tricksters."

Growing up, Foisey practiced what she described as "kitchen magic," using herbs from her mother's cabinet to heal things. "I didn't have any religious structure. My grandmother taught me things about herbs and stuff like that. She taught me the little symbols that you write on rocks if you want something and you hold it up to the moon. I grew up with all of that but nothing structural." Now her practice has expanded to love healing ("Oshune is the goddess of love and creativity and healing -- she's a river goddess. I wash honey jars filled with herbs and honeycombs, and pictures of the person who needs healing in the river and sing to them and light candles on them when I get home.") and she has started her own coven. "The coven is called Super Coven. It's very intimate and invite only. You have to know someone in it," she says. "I wouldn't say I'm the high priestess but maybe 'organizer.'"

Foisey's interest in magic and goddess worship is nothing short of earnest and this sincerity came across in Altars as Artforms. "There's this thing happening where it's trendy to be pagan and it's trendy to be a witch. Also, there's the thing of it being a show in Bushwick," Rachel White, an artist in the show, said with a knowing look. "It makes me worried but Katelan combines her spirituality and her artwork in a way that feels like she's not comprising her spirituality."

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.58.58 AM.pngIn the current landscape of young contemporary artists that seem to be drenched in irony, the show may not have been high-concept but it was refreshing. The altars in the show were personal -- like Foisey's offerings to William S. Burroughs and Taylor Mead, a writer and actor who frequented Andy Warhol's factory and appeared in several of his art films. Foisey knew him well.

"For Taylor Mead's altar, his niece had sent me a bunch of his belongings because I was a friend of his," she says. "When he passed away I didn't really have anything of his so I emailed her and I was like look, 'I'm a friend of Taylor's and I really want to do an altar for him for this show. I really want to show who he was and his energy. And if there's writers in the room and they want to tap into that I want them to be able to put a petition there and have Taylor be with them.' So he gave me a piece of his shirt that he passed away in and his last note that he put up on his door. I put the top to the Duerr's bottle because he liked Duerr's. My altars were very personal. They were very much people that I had a relationship with."

For Altars as Artforms, Catland wasn't so much transformed as it was made to embody its essence to the fullest. The space was crowded with off-duty burlesque dancers and incense burned in the courtyard. The audience was invited to throw rose petals on the altars and write petitions to the gods and goddesses. It was a gesture to include the audience in these highly personal works. But the art still felt sacred and best viewed by tip-toeing around it. Juliet Escoria's video installation whirred ominously in the background, another piece with deep personal connections. "It was based on an experience I had," the artist and author of Black Cloud said. "My ex-boyfriend had a fiancée that died and when we first started dating I was having all these weird dreams about her. So it was based on that. This video was me coming out of the closet as someone that has paranormal experiences because that's kind of an unpopular thing to talk about. A lot of people say that they're atheists and to say that you see things and have weird dreams, a lot of people think that you're crazy."

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.59.24 AM.pngA piece by Billy Corgan.

The most conceptual piece in the show was from Billy Corgan, who goes by WPC for his spiritual work. It wasn't an altar in the traditional sense -- it was a song. In curating the show, Foisey told him that if he was going to make music it should be "something that feels like you're walking into a magical world." What he came up with was a boombox that played an eerie, twinkling melody. It filled the room in every direction and above it was a graphic that read, "Look!"

Even now that the exhibit is over, there are still plenty of opportunities for communal gatherings. The shop hosts The Witch's Compass, a monthly event celebrating the new and full moons that is also of Foisey's own creation. "It mixes the theatrical with the spiritual. One time I was in a little red riding cloak and a wolf mask as the Wolf Mother. Another time I was a bubonic plague doctor," she says with a laugh.

But although she is chanting and dancing in a mask, Foisey doesn't view these rituals as performance art. "I don't think there's a performative vibe in the room," White echoes, recalling a Super Coven ritual. "When we're there you get into this sort of feral, wild, animal heart space and it just feels natural. You're not even aware that you have a body."

If Foisey and White don't consider their rituals performance art, is it fair to suggest that in a similar vein, altars are something other than fine art? White argues that the altars are, in fact, their own forms of art. "Can a spiritual experience be art? Well, for me, if life is art and everything is feeding this performance that is life, then definitely. When I'm sitting at my altar and conjuring up magic and deep in meditations and having all these synchronicities happening, that definitely feels like art. The altar is an intensely personal space that has nothing to do with you. It's this other-worldy space that you create. Like all art, it's a door to something beyond yourself."

The State of EDM

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lefsetz_edm_crowd.jpgAt Paper we're always in search of the next big cultural moment and it's clear that dance music is, at its core, a youth-led movement that just keeps getting bigger and bigger while preserving that punk spirit we love to celebrate. Here we've asked music industry insider Bob Lefsetz -- who has watched many scenes come and go and commented on them in Variety as well as his popular weekly newsletter, the Lefsetz Letter -- for his thoughts on this multibillion-dollar industry that has everyone from Top 40 radio listeners to Bushwick warehouse ravers feeling the beat. Where do we start?

The cognoscenti hate that term. They've been into this music since the '80s and you johnny-come-latelies demonstrate your ignorance by calling it that.

Then again, were they around when it started in Detroit and migrated to Manchester and blew up with most Americans being totally clueless?

That's right, electronic dance music is not new.

But its success in America is.

Because it's the anti-pop, the anti-hip-hop, the anti-country, the anti-establishment, built for a generation sick of their elders telling them that they missed the good old days.

And if you can't understand it, that means you're old. And you probably are. But it's a very big tent, and if you want to come inside, you'll be welcomed with open arms. Because EDM, like the younger generation, is inclusive.

And that's where you should experience it, live. Where the DJs read the room and take revelers on a ride unlike anything since disco. Turns out we all love to dance, and that those blowing up records at Comiskey Park were just reactionaries.

So go to the Electric Daisy Carnival, preferably in Las Vegas.

Or the granddaddy, the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, assuming you can get a ticket.

And feel free to let your freak flag fly.

Sure, the experience will be enhanced if you do drugs. An upper that can keep you dancing all night. But it's not necessary.

And sure, it's better if you know something about what you're listening to, but the truth is DJs inject the hits of the day, you'll find so much familiar, and you'll be entranced by the booming beat.

But where does the scene go now?

Either back underground or it crosses over to pop.

That's the story of Avicii, booed when he debuted his new song-based music at Ultra over a year ago, and king shortly thereafter. "Wake Me Up" is the most played song in the history of Spotify. Check it out, you'll love it.

Or you won't.

And if you don't, no one will care. This is not the 20th century, where you're judged by what you listen to and others decry your taste. There's so much music today that if you don't like something, no one cares; they keep on enjoying themselves.

Will the big money kill EDM? With SFX and Live Nation gobbling up festivals?

Will the Fortune 500 undermine it?

I DON'T KNOW!

That's the great thing about the EDM scene: it's owned by its listeners, not the machine. If it dies, those in the music business will be the last to know.

Not that it will ever go away. But will it dominate tomorrow's airwaves?

Maybe!

What You Need to Know:

1. Europe is the home of EDM, and the epicenter is Ibiza, a pirate island off the coast of Spain. A pilgrimage there will catch you up in a week, while you eat dinner at midnight, start partying at two a.m. and emerge from the club to nap on the beach as the sun comes up.

2. There are more styles than you can fathom, from dubstep to house to techno. But don't worry, only true insiders can delineate the aspects of each, and if you don't like the big beat, you still might fall in love with trance.

3. There's tons of money in it; some DJs play multiple gigs a night. If money is your thing, you don't want to be a musician, but a DJ.

4. Just because you can push play, that does not make you a DJ. Sure, Paris Hilton "spins records," but all she's got is name value. The truly talented dominate this sphere.

5. If you can't make it to Ibiza, go to Vegas, where you can get a crash course in not only the music, but the expense. Yes, EDM live is an expensive proposition, and there's a true separation of the classes. Income inequality is rampant.

6. Beatport, not iTunes.

7. Live, not recordings.

8. Brands are rampant. Because they want their images burnished and the DJs and promoters want the money.

9. It's not the usual suspects, not the same record companies, not the same promoters... most, like Pasquale Rotella of Electric Daisy, have been doing this for 20 years, and their time has finally come.

10. Don't be judgmental and don't be prejudicial. To dismiss EDM is to throw overboard the sound and culture of the younger generation. Furthermore, if you go to gigs and listen to some music I guarantee you you'll find your sound. But I will say this: just like the Internet with its overwhelming cacophony, the scene is nearly unfathomable, you can't grasp it instantly, maybe never at all, so turn off your mind, relax and float downstream...

Meet the Most Powerful DJs in the Music Business

The Top Three Must-Hear Albums This Month

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Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 2.42.08 PM.pngHow to Dress Well
What is This Heart? (Weird World)
Tom Krell's third album as avant-R&B guru How To Dress Well is spirited and coolly beautiful, building on the chilly emotional devastation of 2012's Total Loss while cautiously looking toward a future of love and redemption. Krell's compositions are now tighter and less impressionistic. The searching, smoldering lead single "Words I Don't Remember" and the airy disco track "Repeat Pleasure" are both more than capable of slipping into Hot 100 radio rotations.

bigfreedia_justbefree.jpgBig Freedia
Just Be Free (Queen Diva Music)
Big Freedia is America's queen of bounce music, and her latest album is a goddamn neutron bomb of merciless 808 beats, machine gun rapping and production flourishes. Album opener "Turn Da Beat Up" is a master class in how to be your own hype man, with Freedia demanding that you "Move your feet! / You gotta feel the beat! / You gotta shake it for free!" Beautiful in its simplicity, Just Be Free is Freedia doing what she does best. All hail the queen.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 2.41.24 PM.pngThe Antlers
Familiars (ANTI-)
Over the course of five records, Brooklyn-based indie rock trio the Antlers have burned slowly and deeply, layering an experimental version of noodly '70s soft rock with emotional self-immolation. Familiars remains in their wheelhouse with tracks like second single "Hotel," a syrupy groove replete with wavelike guitar crescendos and lead singer Peter Silberman's quiet falsetto desperately trying to hold it together.



North West's Birthday Was Better Than Yours

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Any shred of indie cred Coachella still had left has officially disappeared, thanks to 'Kidchella,' North West's Coachella-themed 1st birthday party this weekend, held in Kourtney Kardashian's backyard. Though Nori will have no recollection of the Ferris wheel, churro stands, cotton-candy machines, tie-dye cake, and performances from Kylie Jenner and Jaden Smith, maybe she'll look back on some of these Instagram snaps of the lavish backyard party the same way you looked at those pics you didn't remember taking that night in the Sahara tent...

Khloe Kardashian's inappropriate cultural appropriation of a Native American headdress is so three years ago.  
 
*Notice the Kidchella wristbands.* 

Nori looks off to the northwestern corner of her own music festival, contemplating imminent world domination.
 
Kris Jenner surveys Kidchella from her nest of broken dreams atop the Ferris wheel and wonders "What have I done?"
Custom Yeezus baby tee because of course the party would have custom Yeezus baby tees.



Ice-T Tells Conan About His "Call of Duty" Dick Dance

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Ice-T went on Conan last night and talked all about his addiction to "Call of Duty" video games and his celebratory "dick dance." There's even a demonstration (SFW). [Conan via Gawker]



Meet Peanut, the newest World's Most Ugliest Dog. We like Peanut's flair. [via Tastefully Offensive]

tumblr_n7ec0zRulh1qlrtq2o1_500.jpgThumbs up. [via I'm With Kanye]

tumblr_mtovjnrtxB1scnozjo1_400.png"sorry so much you have much swag" [via Afternoon Snooze Button]



A drunk guy falls down at a concert and someone brilliant overdubs WWE commentary. [via Tastefully Offensive]

tumblr_n7jk20cviN1rn7bzro1_1280.jpgAfter 200 days, we'll bring out the balloons. [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 6.09.20 PM.pngSamuel L. Jackson is horrible at taking selfies. [via The Fat Jew's Instagram]

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 6.17.22 PM.pngWant to #FreeTheNipple but are too shy to walk around topless outside? Just by this little nipple print bikini top and voila! [via Jezebel]

FKA twigs Channels Her Inner High Priestess In "Two Weeks" Video

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Back in March, we named London-based songstress FKA twigs one of the ten female artists leading a new movement in R&B and, the closer we get to the release of her debut album, LP1, the more we're sure of this. With a style and sound that's equally bold (some of her music has been known to explore sexual topics like submission and dominance) as it is fresh (we predict that the end of 2014 will see more and more girls spelling out words with their bangs), FKA first caught our attention with her awesomely unsettling video for "Water Me" back in 2013. Today she's released the clip for her LP1 track "Two Weeks," which was directed by Nabil who's known for his work videos for folks like Kanye ("Mercy") and Frank Ocean ("Pyramids"), among many others.. In it we see the singer stepping into the role of an ancient Greco-Roman-Egyptian high priestess-meets-Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned. While she croons and writhes around in a chair, FKA is joined by a posse of back-up dancers and, in the very back, servants of some sort who look like her clones. It's a mesmerizing clip and here's hoping she busts out that headpiece on tour this summer.

LP1 is out August 12 via Young Turks

Meet Nicola Peltz, Hollywood's Newest Action Babe

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nicola_ppv.jpgLike Transformers breakout hotties Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley before her, 19-year-old actress Nicola Peltz is more than meets the eye. Aside from playing the robot-ass kicking daughter of Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction (in theaters June 27), the fourth installment of Michael Bay's epic franchise, Peltz is making a name for herself in a range of projects including the critically acclaimed A&E series Bates Motel and this summer's modern twist on the Great Gatsby tale, Affluenza. We talked to the actress about balancing her career, what movies not to see with your parents and working with Marky Mark.

Is it hard to act when so many of the characters are CGI?

I thought there would be a green screen, but the first day on set I had my first scene with [the Transformer] Bumblebee and this guy pulls out this really long pole with a cutout of Bumblebee's head on it. I was like, "Oh. I'm supposed to yell at this pole?" Mark [Wahlberg] always said, "You can't hold back, even if you feel like an idiot, because then later on you'll look like an idiot."

Are you a blockbuster fan?

I have six brothers and a little sister, so when the blockbusters come out around July 4 there's always a movie we can all go see and enjoy. Unlike when I brought my mom, my dad and my grandma to see Neighbors. I loved it, but my dad was like, "What the hell is this!" and my grandma was like, "That's not how we used to party."

Do you hope to continue balancing these bigger movies with more independent projects?

Yes, I'm trying to do that. I think it's really important. That's why acting is so fun. I would love to do an indie next -- something really, really small.

The Ex Factor: A History of Directors Working With Their Exes

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Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 4.28.17 PM.pngPhoto by Patrick McMullan.

The more projects that James Franco signs up for, the more we just want to pour ourselves a nice stiff drink and call it a day. The guy never quits, and there's really no use in trying to keep up. His latest endeavor, however, did manage to catch our attention: Franco announced last week that he'll be directing a new play called The Long Shrift at the Rattlestick Theater (Jesse Eisenberg's go-to downtown stage) this summer. The play, about a convicted rapist's release from prison, stars Scott Haze (who's also in Franco's upcoming film Child of God. based on Cormac McCarthy's book) as well as Brat Pack icon Ally Sheedy and, most interesting, Franco's ex, The Help star Ahna O'Reilly. It seems like it would be more than irritating and complicated to take orders from your ex, but after falling into some deep Wikipedia and IMDB black holes, we found some other former couples--disappointingly, but unsurprisingly, they are all male directors and their former actress flames--who turned out some pretty great work after breaking up.    

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton

annie-hall.jpg
Diane Keaton has, perhaps controversially, been one of Woody Allen's biggest supporters over the years. She talks, in detail for the first time, about their five-year relationship in her 2011 memoir Then Again admitting that Allen would, "cringe if he knew how much I care about him." She won an Oscar for playing the title character in Allen's 1977 classic Annie Hall, which was filmed after they had broken up, and is said to be inspired by their relationship. Allen also directed his ex Mia Farrow after their separation. Scenes from 1992's Husbands and Wives were finished after Farrow found the naked photo of her adopted daughter and Allen's now wife Soon-Yi Previn. And to add an extra layer of 'ugh," the film was about Farrow and Allen's characters' marriage falling apart as Allen falls for a 21-year-old student.

Clint Eastwood and Frances Fisher

MV5BMTg1NDY5MDkwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTQ4ODAyMw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_.jpg Eastwood started dating his most recent wife Dina Ruiz (they are now divorced after filming the E! reality show Mrs. Eastwood and Company) while still living with his girlfriend at the time, actress Frances Fisher. And in a move that only Dirty Harry could pull off, he then directed both Ruiz and Fisher in his 1999 film True Crime.  

Sean Mathias and Ian McKellen

3.194420.jpg  
The two Brits lived together on Narrow St. in London (where Mckellen still lives) throughout  the '70s but after they broke up they continued to be friends and collaborators. Most recently Mathias directed McKellen and McKellen's BFF Patrick Stewart on Broadway in Pinter's No Man's Land and Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The exes also bought McKellen's local pub The Grapes, where Mathias' current partner is the manager.  

Paul Thomas Anderson and Fiona Apple

634310464643233750535664_44_FApplePTAnderson_022598.jpg  Photo by Patrick McMullan.

Fiona Apple and Paul Thomas Anderson were the ultimate power couple of the '90s. Her second album When the Pawn... came out just a few weeks before Magnolia was released, which is said to feature characters inspired by Apple. Their relationship barely made it past the new millennium and in 2001 Anderson started dating his current partner, Maya Rudolph. Thankfully for those '90s nostalgists out there, Anderson and Apple's professional sensibilities still match up. He directed the video for her single "Hot Knife" off her last album 2012's The Idler Wheel

Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore

 dmoore_eestevez_gl_4may12_rex_b.jpg

Oh the Brat Pack days -- they really were the best. We can understand why former fiancés Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore, who met on the set of the 1985 coming of age drama St. Elmo's Fire, would want to reignite that shoulder padded-power for Estevez's 2006 film Bobby. And not only did Estevez direct his ex in the Golden Globe-nominated film about life in the Ambassador Hotel at the time of Bobby Kennedy's assassination, but also her new husband at the time, Ashton Kutcher. We appreciate Estevez's directorial efforts, but, given the choice, we're going to choose St. Elmo's Fire over Bobby on Netflix instant. Every. Time.    

Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullman

4680923363_4015e92c2b_b.jpg Although Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was married five times he never made it legal with his most well-known muse, actress Liv Ullman. They did however have a child together and Ullman continued to work with Bergman after they broke up, including starring in Bergman's now-iconic Swedish TV series about marital malaise, Scenes from a Marriage, which reportedly caused the divorce rate in Sweden to double the year it was released.    

Kevin Smith and Joey Lauren Adams

Kevin:Joey.png
The pairing of '90s sex symbol Joey Lauren Adams with non-'90s-sex-symbol writer/director Kevin Smith inspired Smith's most successful and critically acclaimed film, Chasing Amy about a Jersey bro who falls for a sexually adventurous lesbian (Adams was straight, but Smith was jealous of her past). But ever the odd couple (it's almost impossible to find a photo of the two together), Adams and Smith were broken up by 1999 when Smith married his current wife Jennifer Schwalbach. There appears to be no hard feelings though, Adams made a cameo appearance as her recurring character Alyssa Jones in Smith's 2001 Jay and Silent Bob sequel, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.









Courtney Love Says Kurt Cobain Was "Desperate" for Fame in New Series

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National Geographic has an upcoming three-part mini-series on the '90s titled The '90s: The Last Great Decade? (we would have gone with a less circumspect, "The '90s: We Guess They Were Fine") which documents, in part, the rise of Nirvana. The above clip features present-day interviews with Courtney Love and noted music expert Shannen Doherty talking about the importance of Nirvana, as well as old interview footage of Cobain. Cobain, who was vocal about his unease with fame and even cited his unhappiness with being in the spotlight in his suicide letter, is quoted in the video saying, "I'm too stubborn to allow myself to ever compromise our music or turn us into big rock stars. I just don't feel like that." Love, however, says that Cobain "was desperate to be the biggest rock star in the world. But he made it look like it was thrust upon him." Check out the clip above, which also features Cobain doing his impression of Kevin Costner in Madonna's Truth or Dare from 1991: The Year that Punk Broke. The '90s: The Last Great Decade? premieres on Sunday, July 6th, and will make you feel exactly 1.5 million years old.

A New Art Exhibit Lets You Jump In a Bouncy Boob Castle

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Wanna go for a jump in a bouncy boob castle? No, that's not actually a euphemism. Starting this Thursday, NYC's Museum of Sex (233 Fifth Ave., New York) will be home to Funland: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Playground, a new multi-media, multi-sensory art exhibit from London-based artists Bompas & Parr. The show features five different attractions including the aforementioned boob castle, a mirrored tunnel leading guests on a search for the "G-spot," foreplay derby, a rock wall made out of "orificies and appendages cast from volunteers' anatomies," and an "erotic picture palace" that explores how gender, sexuality and erotica impacted carnival culture throughout history. The show will be on view through spring 2015 and, ahead of its opening, scope a clip of the bouncy boob castle, above.

#FreeTheNipple

People Get Ready Debut New Album at Rough Trade Tonight

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Looking for something to do on this beautiful summer night? Look no further. Catch New York-based band People Get Ready at Rough Trade tonight, where they'll be debuting their second album, Physiques.

PGR.pngThe band (which consists of members Steven Reker, Luke Fasano, Jen Goma and Paper's own James Rickman) made its NYC debut in 2009 at The Kitchen and has since built a following with their memorable live shows and deft blend of pop, rock, electro and even trance elements. Started by frontman Reker, who previously played guitar for David Byrne and choreographed projects for Miranda July, People Get Ready began as an experiment exploring the worlds of contemporary dance and pop music. Today their concerts reflect these origins, taking elements from rock shows, performance art and dance concerts and blending it into one immersive experience.

Purchase your tickets to tonight's show HERE!

James Franco Shows His Butt Off at a Broadway Charity Event

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Thanks to Instagram and an inevitable TBA art project James Franco is currently working on about transparency and social media, we're all pretty used to seeing him show skin by now. BUTT (typo intended), Franco has never given us a glimpse of his caboose. Last night that changed at annual charity fundraiser Broadway Bares, where the Of Mice and Men star hopped on stage and showed off his buns in a black jock strap while RuPaul's Drag Race winner (and #1 Best Drag Queen in New York) Bianca Del Rio berated him. It looks like a sexy, nightmarish time was had by all. Check it out above.

[Dlisted; Franco butt pic via Instagram]

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Watches the World Cup In NYC

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Triumph the Insult Comic Dog went to a bunch of World Cup parties in NYC and no one was safe. [Uproxx]
 
All-pug Game of Thrones is pretty much the best. Even pug Jon Snow knows nothing, is smoldering and tortured. [Jezebel]

hotasballs.pngGorgeous. [SofaPizza

kimyestarwars.jpgDarth Kimye. [Noel Chenier via The Daily Dot]
 
A tiny kitten attacks a Doberman Pinscher who could seriously give two Fs. [TastefullyOffensive]

ZHBA.jpgI DOnut. [Mlkshk]


Have a wiggly Wednesday! [Digg]

Planned Parenthood's 10th Annual Fundraiser

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Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 11.44.36 AM.pngThere's nothing quite like walking into a party and hearing Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson from Broad City shout the winner of a luxury gold-plated vibrator over a crowd of adoring fans and Planned Parenthood patrons. That's exactly what happened last night at the organization's 10th annual New York City Fundraiser at Hudson Terrace in Hell's Kitchen. Under disco-lighting and blaring electro, statuesque queens and the burlesque dancing troupe Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies, guests bid on auction items ranging from erotic art and a  cookbook from Brooklyn's beloved pizza joint Roberta's to "His & Her Passion Boxes" and nude body-painting classes. The cherry on top of the entire auction was the signed Broad City script, which let's be real, is cooler than any vibrator in the whole world. All proceeds from the event went to Planned Parenthood's services, education programs, and legislative work.

Bridget Everett's NSFW Ode to "Titties"

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We've been Team Bridget Everett For Lyfe ever since we watched her strip down to a one-piece bathing suit and give Countess Luann from the Real Housewives of New York a lap dance at our 2010 Nightlife Awards. (If that's not Entertainment, then we don't know what is.) Since then, Everett's been doing her thing all over this town: holding court with her regular performances at Joe's Pub with band Bridget Everett and the Tender Moments (featuring Ad-Rock on bass), releasing a new album, making a genius appearance on this season's Inside Amy Schumer, and, now, showing us some "Titties." In her new video for her latest single, and ode to every kind of breast shape under the sun, we see every walk of boob, from "little nippy titties" to "tube sock titties" to "beaver tail titties," proudly putting 'em in the air while Everette breaks it down in a slinky blue titty-showcasing ensemble. It's all perfect viewing before you go jump in the boob jumpy castle tomorrow night. Everybody now: "Bounce, bounce, bounce!" 

The 30 Best Gay Bars In Manhattan

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PAPER_pride4.jpg
Happy Pride Weekend! To celebrate, let's raise a glass of diet soda at one of NYC's many establishments catering to homosexual revelry. I'll give you 30 such joints to choose from, ranked in order of sheer fabulousness, factoring in their ambience, staff, events, and history. Being a man in Manhattan, I'm limiting the list to gay-male-oriented places in that very borough. And I'm not including the big dance clubs--just the bars, OK? Here goes a lot:

1) Julius (159 W. 10th Street)
The long-running neighborhood bar is cozy and friendly, plus they have a food nook where they'll broil up some five dollar burgers, and there are two really fun game machine too. What more could a gay want?

2) Industry (355 W. 52 Street)
You can't be gay without going to Hell's Kitchen bars, and this one is the shiniest and most happening, with drag shows and more drag shows!

3) Pieces (8 Christopher Street)
A personal fave of mine, this is the gay Cheers -- a haven to come back to again and again, for all its no-frills splendor.

4) Hangar Bar (115 Christopher Street)
Gays of color come for pool, schmoozing, and all-around good times. This place is always worth a gay visit.

5) Flaming Saddles (793-Ninth Avenue)
For those who thought "gay" and "country" could never intersect, check out this fascinating hybrid, complete with staffers dancing a hoedown on the bar and constant showings of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

6) Barracuda (275 W. 22 St.)
Keeping the gay spirit alive in Chelsea, this raucous hangout has a welcome air of familiarity, and some very lively customers.

7) Eastern Bloc (505 E. 6th Street)
This unpretentious hole in the wall gets so comfy it feels like a house party. Prepare to meet people.

8) 9th Avenue Saloon (656-9th Avenue)
You never know who you'll run into at this offbeat hangout, and that's the fun of it. You might meet your next husband--or, more likely, your last one.

9) The Monster (80 Grove Street)
A Village staple, this divey playpen gives you a bar, a piano, a dance floor, and some very interesting characters to size up.

10) The Cock (29-Second Avenue)
When the rooster crows, it's time to join the 'hos. Or something like that.

11) Boots and Saddle (76 Christopher)
Tiny yet atmospheric, with a game array of drag queens, B&S is closing, but make sure to look for them in their next space.

12) Therapy (348 W. 52nd)
Sleek and filled with entertainment, this uppity twink palace ain't going anywhere.

13) Atlas Social Club (753-9th Avenue)
A gentleman's parlor with interesting décor, this was launched with a celeb bash, then became a neighborhood cruise bar slash hangout.

14) Hardware (697-10th Avenue)
The Pieces team brings you unpretentiousness in a different nabe, but with a bit more gloss.

15) Rockbar NYC (185-Christopher)
A down-home hangout where you'll see various leather pageant title holders and/or live game shows.

16) Posh Bar & Lounge (405 W. 51 St.)
Lively, intimate, and exuberant--good times, for sure.

17) Nowhere (322 E. 14th)
It's somewhere all right -- a place for bears and other regular types looking for a nocturnal experience sans attitude.

18) The Ritz Bar & Lounge (369 W. 46th)
Multiple levels of dance, drink, and drag. I never cared much for it, but I'm factoring in the sense that others do. A lot.

19) Townhouse (236 E. 58th Street)
This swellegant wrinkle bar exudes a perverse fascination. Unlike some of the customers, it never dies.

20) Stonewall Inn (53 Christopher Street)
Incredibly historic. And is it really nicely decorated and fabulously fun? Well, it's incredibly historic.

21) XES Lounge (157 W. 24th)
This smallish hangout is not what it was, but what is these days?

22) Gym Sportsbar (167-8th Avenue)
Yes, a gay sports bar. The energy here, I must admit, has always scared me a little, but it's definitely not boring.

23) Boiler Room (86 E. 4th)
The doors are still open and the result keeps the East Village a little bit more gaylicious.

24) Boxers NYC (37 W. 20th and 742-9th Avenue)
Two outposts for gay he-men who don't like drag queens -- until one walks in the room and they squeal with delight!

25) Phoenix NYC (447 E. 13th)
I never met a friendly person there, but hey, maybe that's just me.

26) G Lounge (225 W. 19th Street)
"Where is it again?" is a familiar cry, but some people insist on finding it anyway. To its credit, it manages to create several varied ambiences within its hallowed halls.

27) Ty's (114 Christopher)
Small and a little too macho for folks like me, but feel free to paint on your leather vest, hold in your stomach, and get there.

28 through 30: Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (642-10th Avenue), Fairytail Lounge (500 W. 48th), Uncle Charlie's (139 E. 45th).

And also, what the hell, Barrage (401 W. 47th Street). Oh, and notspot Stairs. (192 E. 2nd). Hey, it's all about choices.

15 Can't-Miss Events at NYC Pride

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PAPER_pride4.jpgThere's enough parties, parades, film screenings, and performances in honor of NYC Pride to make even a Sober Sally's head spin. This year we're hoping to make your party-hopping easier (and maybe a little more efficient) by whittling down the list to the coolest 15 events taking place. And if you're in need of an after-party (or after-after party), scope Michael Musto's list of the Top 30 Gay Bars in Manhattan.  

Wednesday, June 25

UNCIVIL UNION: A benefit concert for THE ALLY COALITION, New Alternatives and Broadway Impact
Broad City funny ladies Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer headline a bill that also includes comedians W. Kamau Bell, Nikki Glaser, The Daily Show's Michael Che and music acts like Mates of State and Wakey!Wakey! among several others. Proceeds from the benefit go to THE ALLEY COALITION, a group founded by Fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff that promotes LGBT equality through awareness, education and advocacy; Broadway Impact, a grassroots organization of theater artists and fans promoting marriage equality; and New Alternatives, an organization that provides support to homeless LGBT youth. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $98 for a VIP package.
(Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, 8 p.m.; Tickets HERE

Thursday, June 26

How To Survive A Plague Screening
The Wythe Hotel hosts a special screening of filmmaker David France's 2012 documentary about the onset of the AIDS epidemic and how activist groups like ACT UP and TAG successfully brought attention to the crisis and fought for the development and testing of innovative new drugs that have since saved lives. Ahead of the film's screening at 8 will be a series of shorts curated by filmmaker Jonathan Caouette.
The Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn; 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Calendar Girls: Pridecon
This n' That's monthly drag show will give a special nod to trailblazers like Bette, Barbara and Britney with an evening featuring Brooklyn Nightlife Award's "Drag Queen of the Year," Horrorchata. Rumor has it, she'll be performing a killer Selena number.
This n' That, 108 N. 6th St.,10 p.m.-4 a.m.

Pride@DMAC 4 Gay Short Films
Enjoy a free screening of four gay-themed short films: Brighton, Taking it for Granted, Narcissist, and Grind (you can find synopses here). The quartet of flicks were all official selections of the 10th NYC Downtown Short Film Festival.
DMAC-Duo Multicultural Arts Center, 62 E. 4th St., 8-10 p.m.; Tickets HERE

Friday, June 27

RIOT
In a nod to the LGBT movement's riotous roots, Ivy House will explode with an evening of drag performances and radical art installations. The 8-hour evening will lead to a climactic wrestling match between Brooklyn drag queens Merrie Cherry and Macy Rodman. Macy may be scrappy, but our bets are on Merrie.
Ivy House, 1040 Metropolitan Ave., 11 p.m.-7 a.m.

Everybooty Pride Party
Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts their queer party/artspace Everybooty for the second time after its explosive sold-out debut at last year's Pride. Presented by SPANK, HEY QUEEN!, Earl Dax and Big Art Group, the "multi-genre, multi-gender celebration of queer culture" will be home for one night to everyone from the LGBTQ editor of BuzzFeed and Justin Vivian Bond to Scissor Sister's Del Marquis and Murray Hill.
BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn; 8 p.m.- 2 a.m.

The Rally
This year, the official kick-off to NYC Pride will be hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race veteran Michelle Visage and feature live performances by another Ru Queen, Sharon Needles, and buzzy singer-songwriter Betty Who. General admission for the Rally is free and for all ages.
Pier 26, Hudson River Park, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 28

22nd Annual NYC Dyke March
Thousands will take to the streets in celebration of LBTQ women and in protest of ongoing discrimination, harassment, and anti-LBTQ violence in schools, workplaces, families and beyond. But don't get it twisted: this is a protest march, not a parade. Participants are urged to "Make some noise. Be visible. Be heard."
Bryant Park, 5 p.m.

KUNST
Expect to find hot to trot club kids at Susanne Bartsch's newish Brooklyn party, which will feature a who's who of NYC's gay, drag and trans scenes. Keep an eye out for Amanda Lepore, Honey Dijon, Juliana Huxtable, Light Asylum's Shannon F., Jonte Moaning, Gage ofthe Boone, One-Half Nelson, Trey LaTrash and more -- they'll all be throwing down. (An extra special s/o for Brooklyn queen Lady Simon, who's expected to be dripping with blood, per usual.)
Verboten, 54 N. 11th St., 10 p.m.-6 a.m.; Tickets HERE

Pride With JD Samson at Ace Hotel
JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN) officiates an "all-inclusive midtown bacchanalia" at Ace Hotel that also features performances from Alexis Blair Penney, Lauren Flax of CREEP, W Jeremy, and Amber Valentine.
Ace Hotel, 20 W 29th St, Manhattan; 10 p.m.

SUPREME
Get down with "212" gal Azealia Banks as she headlines Supreme Pride Festival 2014's main event. DJ duo Chus & Ceballos will be on the 1's and 2's and up-and-comer DJ Cindel will close out the night. Tickets range from $49-$199.99.
Capitale, 130 Bowery, 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.; Tickets HERE

Duh Does Pride
Models, cute fashion kids and the party boys who love them will descend on Up&Down for Duh's Pride bash. DJs MNDR, DJ M.O.S., Mazurbate and Chapman will be behind the decks and there'll be an Absolut-sponsored open bar from 11-midnight. In other words, come early.
Up&Down, 244 W. 14th St., 11 p.m. - 4 a.m.

Sunday, June 29

NYC Gay Pride Parade
Join the annual civil rights demonstration and take part in the biggest pride celebration of the year. This year the parade's Grand Marshals are Paper Beautiful People Laverne Cox and Jonathan Groff, along with Rea Carey, the Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The event is free and open to the public, and tickets are not necessary.
Parade begins at 36th St. & Fifth Ave., 11 a.m.

A Club Called Rhonda: New York
L.A.'s wildly popular underground dance party is moving to New York for a night of uninhibited booty shaking and pansexual lovin'. When you've become a sweaty mess with makeup dripping off your face, cool off in the rooftop pool to a soundtrack of disco and house music.
Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, 18 9th Ave., 10 p.m.-4 a.m.

LOGOTV Pride Party
Pride wouldn't be complete without RuPaul (or at least her sisters), and this year the Liberty Theater will host a big bash to close out the weekend featuring the season six finalists, last season's Miss Congenialities, and Ru's VH1 talk show co-host, Michelle Visage.
Liberty Theater, 233 West 41st Street, Manhattan, 8 p.m.; Tickets HERE

"I Felt Like Making Something Satanic:" Musician Kristeen Young On Her Self-Designed Costumes

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bow-stage.jpgSinger-songwriter and tour de force pianist Kristeen Young has always done things her own way -- including self-designing all of her stage costumes. She did the bubble dress before Gaga did, and is consistently revamping her look with her own two hands. Born in St. Louis, MO, Young has released six studio albums, toured the world with on-again-off-again friend Morrissey, and worked with superstars like Dave Grohl and producer Tony Visconti, both who contributed to her latest album, The Knife Shift. Here she walks us through the five outfits that define the new look of her summer tour.

Transition was at the core of everything for me over the past month. I had a new album, new feeling, new direction and a new band for the tour so we were figuring it all out. The same went for what I was designing. I'm not currently very excited about the elaborate or surreal....or elaborately surreal. I've done it for ages and now everyone is doing it, so at this point, it's no fun and definitely not inspiring for me. I'm also really sick of slick. I'm wanting guts, bones, entrails and something casual with a hood that is superfluous to the music. Oh, and if you don't know who the hell I am -- and I sometimes don't either (but not very often) -- I am a songwriter, singer-wailer, piano-basher and I design and make all of the things I wear on stage. And I do it all by lil' ol' self. Zzzzzzz. Ok, wake-up. We'll get through this together.

bow blk eye.jpgI wore this blouse on the cover of my new album, The Knife Shift. I designed and made it from scratch. You really can't get more feminine than a see-thru, flouncy poet's blouse with a bow, but I painted it with glue to stiffen the fabric and ripped it a bit so there's an edge. On my album cover (and in the photo above) I have a black eye and I wasn't wearing anything underneath the top, so you can see nipple. The image as a whole is meant to address the journey of women throughout history. We've been through a bunch of shit but are tougher for withstanding it all and ultimately unaffected, overcoming and triumphant. Plus, when I shot the album cover I was feeling like there was a real war on the female nipple, and I mean...we all have nipples. It's the first thing a baby spends most of its time with. Men have them and expose them. Why are women censored so much? I think it's about control, and I've never been well-behaved in that scenario. But, besides all the 'blah blah blah,' I just like how the top looks, which is always the most important aspect.

KristeenYoung_2.jpgI made this hooded dress look just for the May tour -- and about a week before it started. Again, this is a flowy look that I stiffened using glue. I felt like wearing and making something Satanic since music is so not right now. Even Ozzy's like the loveable, silly uncle next door. This can look really different depending on my angles and body movement. I got the original design idea from a photo I saw but then changed it up to make it more dramatic and conducive to what I do.


KristeenY_3.jpgHere's the white version. In white the dress turns it into more of a sacrificial cloak but still relatively stylized B-movie horror. I only wore it in white once as I felt the black one just felt more right -- at least during the time period. I painted this one with glue, too. I love using blue because I don't like flowy looks but do still like the idea of something that is actually stiff and tailored to appear flowy.

Gtr 1.jpegThis dress is another example of a pic I saw and then modified -- a Chloe design perhaps? The original had a violin on the front of the dress instead of the guitar and machine gun I changed it to. I think mine feels much more American. Also the gun is pointed toward my own head which keeps with my "triumphing over the violence, over the fight" theme.


video-shootcropd.jpgEven though I was feeling a bit of a different look for this tour, I've been wearing pencil skirts almost exclusively for years now. The skirt's pattern, which I painted on, represents the symbols of three major religions...but I've defaced them. The cross and the half moon are upside down and I sewed little metal pieces on the star points of the Star of David to look like blades making it like a martial arts throwing star weapon. The fabric and pattern of the skirt is the same as the lining of the jacket. I got the idea from what silent film star, Theda Bera, was wearing in one of her movies. I wear this outfit in much of the upcoming "Pearl of a Girl" video (that's a still above). The song is about the centuries of religious persecution (and again, triumph) of women.

Catch Kristeen Young on the following dates this summer:

7/10 - Brooklyn, NY @ Black Bear
7/17 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
7/19 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
7/21 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah

 









Tenneessee Thomas' Boutique Will Host a WELCOMECOMPANIONS Pop-Up

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welcomecomp.jpgTennessee Thomas' boutique The Deep End Club will celebrate its one-year anniversary in style this weekend, complete with a cocktail party and a pop-up residency from super cute leather brand WELCOMECOMPANIONS (whose toast-shaped shoulder bags we're still lusting after). The storefront will transform from shop to soiree from 5-8 p.m on June 28, at which point you can sip while you scope.

Tyler, The Creator Made a Really Weird Commercial for Syrup

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Welcome to the Odd Future diner: in addition to the usual menu items of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, pink-frosted donuts, tamales, and sandwitches, today's special is Aunt Wang maple syrup straight from the tear ducts of a wimpy little boy. While the LA-based skate-rap collective could skyrocket any syrup company to fame, the video is unfortunately not an ad for anything edible at all, but rather a promo for their upcoming Golf Wang Clothing Line, which is sort of a mashup of #normcore and junkfood with their signature catwang cats splattered everywhere. The video is directed by the elusive Wolf Haley, (AKA Tyler, The Creator), and will have you collecting boy tears for reasons other than just witchcraft. 

Also, Tyler tweeted about an Aunt Wang theme-song somewhere on the internet, and we're pretty sure we found it. Stream the track below featuring soulful Colombian rap darling Kali Uchis. Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 3.37.27 PM.png