RADAR is a series produced by WBPLabs -- a division of the WorkBook Project. The series is a timely, insiders view into the cutting edge of storytelling and creativity, and the attendant tools, tech, models and community.
Eliza Skinner (RADAR ep 2 – I Eat Pandas) returns to the world of Internet videos with this short about a couple going through an angry breakup just as their friends arrive for an Oscars party. Hijinks ensue, guests are weirded out, and movie puns are thrown around—and for some reason movie puns are so much funnier when shouted in a fit of rage. Movie nerds will either cringe or chortle. Or both. Either way, Eliza is quite hilarious as a pissed off ex-girlfriend.
Morningbell – Lovefool
Before I watched this video, I thought the title was just a coincidence—surely they weren’t covering that classic 90s radio mainstay? But that’s exactly what Morningbell (RADAR ep 33 – Unnatural History) did. And they did it gloriously. They stayed true to the original while giving it a bit of their own odd flair. And the breakfast-tastic video definitely ups the weirdness factor. You know, for those of you who like your 90s nostalgia with a side of scrambled eggs.
Sophie Blackall has to be one of our busiest contributors. When she’s not creating beautiful blog posts about her father’s adventures or the Missed Connections of complete strangers, she’s creating amazing illustrations for children’s books. Her latest work is the illustrations for The Crows of Pearblossom, a short story originally written in 1944 by the legendary British author Aldous Huxley. Her vivid artwork gives a modern and whimsical flair to the classic tale.
Have you ever wanted to see Internet memes live on stage? As it turns out, the Gregory Brothers (RADAR ep 27 – Auto Tune the News) are among the many YouTube musicians performing as part of the DigiTour—and they’re playing New York on May 1. Go see the show, and then spend the rest of May with musical current events stuck in your head.
Sunday, May 1 · 7:00 pm
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
$18 EVENT INFO
Slam Theatre week 1
SLAM Theatre (RADAR ep 6) is back this spring with another round of their fast-paced playwright and actor competition. It will be going on for the next four weeks, but Sunday is the first round of eliminations for this series, and you don’t want to miss the beginning.
Sunday April 24 · 7:00 – 12:00 am
Sunday, May 1 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm
The Tank NYC
354 West 45th Street
New York, NY
$5 suggested donation EVENT INFO
Luke Williams is a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business who specializes in disruptive innovation—a constant stream of unexpected changes and challenges to the old status quo. And in this world where “recession” is the word on everyone’s mind, new, disruptive ideas are more important than ever. While his blog (and book), DISRUPT may have been written with businesses in mind, the ideas he gives in his posts are surprisingly applicable to anyone.
Click here for the full version of this amazing infographic in all its interactive, clickable, mouseover glory, which shows all the ways we generate, use and waste energy in the United States. Aside from the overwhelming ratio of fossil fuels to renewable energy, the real shocking statistic here is just how much energy is wasted—it certainly makes me think twice about leaving the light on when I go for a quick grocery run. This and tons of other gorgeous and enlightening infographics can be found at Good Magazine, a multimedia platform by and for people who want to learn more about the world and make it a better place.
Bear Hands – New EP
After releasing their excellent debut LP, Burning Bush Supper Club last year, Brooklyn’s own Bear Hands are keeping busy with a new EP, High Society, released just last month, available as a digital download. It has the catchy title track, “High Society,” as well as wonderfully dancey remixes of “Tablasaurus” and “Wicksey Boxing,” and an acoustic live rendition of “Tall Trees.” It should make a nice addition to your springtime playlist.
5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth
Right now, off the top of your head, you probably can’t think of any reasons to punch a dolphin in the mouth. But that’s why this book is so helpful! Matthew Inman writes and draws The Oatmeal, which is part webcomic, part infographic, and always hilarious. And now there’s a book, containing pretty much the entire series, plus several more comics. Mixing topics like grammar, biology, chemistry, and cracked-out Tyrannosaurus Rexes, it just might teach you something.
Dr. Sketchy’s (RADAR ep 8) returns this month with a tribute to the exotic dancer and actress Tura Satana. Cult movie fans will recognize that name from the classic exploitation film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Sunday, April 24 · 4:00 – 7:00 pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
New York, NY 10012
$12 advance, $15 at door EVENT INFO
Noveller at La Poisson Rouge
Sarah Lipstate, a.k.a Noveller (RADAR ep 28 – Before I Die) will be performing for the release party of SMM: Context, a compilation album featuring lush, ambient, experimental music, so of course she’d be an excellent choice for the show. Seating is limited and not guaranteed, so you’ll want to pick up tickets quickly.
Sunday April 24 · 7:00 – 12:00 am
La Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
$12 – $15 EVENT INFO
The Poetry Brothel: Burlesque for Books
Our friends at the Poetry Brothel (RADAR ep 20) will also be making an appearance this month, in celebration of Spring (finally!) being upon us. Perfect for those who like their literature mixed with sultriness.
Sunday, May 1 · 8:00 pm – 1:00 am
The Back Room
102 Norfolk St.
New York, NY 10002
$5 – $15 EVENT INFO
Just because you can always use a daily dose of cuteness. CuteRoulette is a lot like ChatRoulette except instead of random webcam chats with random people, you get random video clips of adorable animals. That, and you don’t run the risk of seeing anyone’s genitalia. But providing people with clips and pictures of cute animals is the Internet’s second-most widely used function (you know, after porn). CuteRoulette has just found a way to keep it fresh and spontaneous.
PULSE – Shelley Jackson’s “Skin” In August of 2003, Shelley Jackson began a new project, simply dubbed “Skin”. This project in particular took what we consider to be “literature” to its most abstract. What Jackson calls a “mortal work of art” began with her putting out a open call for volunteers to be a part of this living experiment in literature. She was searching for… read more
DIY DAYS NYC schedule This Saturday DIY DAYS comes to NYC with our biggest event to date. We’ll be streaming live and you can follow along via the conference dashboard.
The day is full of talks, workshops, open presentations and a new section called incubator. Here’s the full schedule for the day.
RADAR NYC 4.7.11 Artwork via Bambi Killers
Making the Geeky Bar Top
RM100: Geeky Bar Top from ReadyMade Magazine on Vimeo.
Oh this is wonderful. This little video from ReadyMade Magazine shows how they made a gorgeous bar top from some wood, paint, glass, and a ton of old keyboard keys, holding true to the DIY aesthetic while making something surprisingly beautiful… read more
At this year’s DIY Days, I had the pleasure of getting to see Molly Crabapple (RADAR ep 8) speak about how she created Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School and turned it into a global affair with branches of amazing models and artists all over the world. And while she was speaking, I asked myself “why haven’t we gotten her to curate a blog yet? She’d have some amazing stuff.” And she did.
Serge Gainsbourg – Poinconneur des Lilas
In this classic clip, legendary French musician Serge Gainsbourg disguises himself as a ticket puncher (“poinconneur”) in the Paris Metro and sings a song about the monotony of the job. It sounds boring, but the song is quite catchy and builds up a rather frantic pace, and the unexpectedly morbid lyrics (at least, for those of us who speak French!) keep it interesting. Definitely something to think about as you ride the subway to work!
Dave van Ronk – “Luang Prabang”
When I first heard this song, my first impression was that of a very dark folk song, or an Irish rebellion chant. It’s actually, of course, American and much more recent—a Vietnam protest song, though the tune is based off of an old English folk song about coal miners. Here, Dave Van Ronk challenges the idea that going to war and sacrificing yourself makes you a “hero”—what good does that actually accomplish? Is it really worth it?
You can find the song on Van Ronk’s album Going Back to Brooklyn, HERE.
Kiki de Montparnasse: The Graphic Biography
You probably recognize the above image, based off the famous photograph by artist Man Ray, though odds are you don’t know much about the model of said photo. Alice Prin, a.k.a. Kiki de Montparnasse, was truly a liberated woman of the 20s: born into poverty but quickly rose up as a muse for many artists, as well as an artist in her own right. Now you can read her story in graphic novel form—because words alone wouldn’t do such an artistic figure justice.
Beginning April 25 and continuing for a week, the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature returns for its seventh year. The festival will feature speakers, panels and films, and will discuss the role of literature and writing, and where it all fits into today’s ultra-connected world of social media, WikiLeaks and revolutions in the Middle East. Be sure to see Molly Crabapple’s live painting installation in the plaza of The Standard hotel—she’ll be working on it every day of the festival.
April 25-May 1
The Standard Hotel
848 Washington Street
New York, New York 10014 EVENT INFO
Coilhouse, Biorequiem, and Gala Darling
Coilhouse is part blog, part published magazine, and devoted to the expression of love for alternative culture. Expect to see everything ranging from short films, fashion, photography and art—anything that’s forward thinking yet still has a vintage style.
Zoetica Ebb is one of the co-founders of Coilhouse, and has her own site too, where she posts blogs, art and photos of her own, all done in a very distinctive and beautiful style. You can also buy some of her work as well.
“Hello! I’m Gala” is what greets visitors to the blog of Gala Darling, a bright and sunny corner of the web that celebrates femininity and promotes “radical self-love.” I found it impossible not to feel awesome after reading a few entries—and I’m a guy, not even the target audience.
Oh this is wonderful. This little video from ReadyMade Magazine shows how they made a gorgeous bar top from some wood, paint, glass, and a ton of old keyboard keys, holding true to the DIY aesthetic while making something surprisingly beautiful from recycled material. You may also recognize Shantell Martin (RADAR ep 26 – Hidden Oras) near the end, modeling with the finished table (always a part of something cool; she shot the video as well!) And I have to say, I’m digging the soundtrack to the video as well – “Wild Palms” by Night Gallery.
Philadelphia’s Reading Rainbow (RADAR ep 38 – Weathervane) has a lovely new single coming out on a limited edition 7” record. But in this age of try-before-you-buy, you can listen to it right now through your Internet tubes! Such modern technology magic, but the song itself will take you back to a 60s beach party, full of hazy guitars, catchy riffs and dreamy vocal harmonies. Adding to the retro feel, the 400 copies will released with “juke box” labels. You may want to go ahead and preorder before it’s officially released next week.
An Absolutely Phony Guide on How to Write More Good
“World War” should be used only for conflicts involving countries on at least three continents. For large-scale battles against clones, killer tomatoes, or a fifty-foot woman, use “attack” instead.
The Bureau Chiefs, on proper usage
This is perfect for the Twitter-addicted grammar snob who loves irony. Designed to help readers “embrace, not resist, the lowering of standards for the written word,” this book is written by the people behind the Fake AP Stylebook on Twitter, and presented as, well, a fake AP Stylebook, with a healthy dose of snark. And every aspiring writer could use more snark.
It looks like Bambi Killers (RADAR ep 12) are back in New York, and they have not one, but two shows this weekend! The first show, in Manhattan, is a benefit for the recent tragic disaster in Japan, with all proceeds going to help those affected by it. The show the following night is in Brooklyn.
Benefit for Japan
Friday, April 8 · 9:30pm
168 Delancey Street
New York, NY
$5 EVENT INFO
Saturday, April 9 · 11:00pm
I Made An Art Gallery
53 Richard Street
Brooklyn, NY EVENT INFO
The following week, look for contributors Shantell Martin, Eclectic Method, and Kid Koala at F5 Fest, a nonprofit festival that seeks to unite people and inspire change through art, design and entertainment. Expect to see films, speakers, and lots of partying.
Friday-Saturday, April 15-16 · 3:00 pm
239 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
$280-$480 EVENT INFO
Drawn from my Father’s Adventures
“Drawn from my Father’s Adventures” is the newest blog from artist Sophie Blackall, which she now maintains in addition to her Missed Connections (RADAR ep 16) blog. Inspired by the many stories from her father’s eventful and well-traveled life. Each post consists of a story from his point of view, and a picture by Sophie that captures the story in an image. It’s still fairly new, so there aren’t many posts yet, but the stories already posted range from gas mask drills in World War II Britain to the ordeals of getting a Chinese visa in the 60s. I, for one, can’t wait to see what adventure is posted next.
The Crowd As some of you know, I recently completed a successful funding campaign using Kickstarter.com to raise the initial capital needed to get my new film, Jens Pulver | Driven, an intimate documentary about legendary UFC Champion Jens Pulver, off the ground.
The end result of the campaign was $27,210 pledged, my goal was $25,000, via 410 contributors, in 20 short… read more
Thoughts on New Entertainment Forms I know I’m pretty late to the party on some of this stuff, but I wanted to point out a couple more instances of “new”-ish entertainment and storytelling possibilities which I think indie filmmakers can explore.
I only recently discovered You Suck at Photoshop.
One thing I love about this is it’s low-budget nature. It’s dependent entirely on the writing… read more
Caution Tape: Competing against Macro Budgets with Nano Cash pt 1 With the investment that’s been made (Kickstarter, My own pocket--I’m so broke right now it’s a crime, and through the gracious dollars of private investors), I knew that if it didn’t happen with a distribution deal, there was a world of self distro opening up that I could recoup the small dividends with and then open up a profit as well. Again, this goes back to having content that’s at least competently “mimicking” what Hollywood tends to churn out.
This week, we let Stephanie Berger and Nicholas Adamski, founders of the Poetry Brothel (RADAR ep 20) curate our blog and give us an insight into what interests them at the moment. What follows is a series of performers who, like the Poetry Brothel, go beyond the traditional boundaries of their fields of work and create something truly unique.
Salvador Dali on “What’s My Line?”
Start your day with a bowl of surreal. I’ve been on a bit of a Salvador Dali kick lately, and this clip just further proves his awesomeness. Watch as he utterly stumps all of these 50s game show contestants, as he quite honestly answers each of their questions with a laconic “yes.” After a while, the contestants get flustered and the announcer can’t hold in his laughter. The best part though, comes around the end when you can pinpoint the exact moment one woman has an epiphany. Listen for her “oh!” around 8:30.
Noah and the Whale – The First Days of Spring
The second album from the British indie folk band Noah and the Whale serves as a soundtrack to the breakup between lead singer Charlie Fink and his girlfriend, though really, the themes explored here could apply to any breakup. As a result, the progression of songs has a theatrical feel, as if it could have been played in its entirety in a theatre (and the gorgeous string sections, which come out most prominently in the two instrumental pieces, certainly help). Then there’s the choral piece, “Love of an Orchestra,” which plays up the theatrics even further. The album tells a complete story, full of highs and lows, and should serve as a great, optimistic soundtrack to this year’s first days of spring.
Karen Abbott – American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee
In this biography, Karen Abbott tells the story of burlesque performer, actress and writer Gypsy Rose Lee against the backdrop of the Great Depression. But rather than a dry, historical take or a romanticized tale, Abbott presents Lee as a woman pursuing the American Dream, at a time when it was most difficult to do so. She clearly did her research, giving portraits of the glamorous public life and the turbulent private life of a legendary entertainer.
I’ve been hearing so much about this lately. “Sleep No More” is a production by the British theater company Punchdrunk which combines Shakespeare and Hitchcock into an immersive theatre-noir experience. Taking place in the old McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, audience members wander through the building as the story unfolds before them. With the world of theater constantly changing, this is definitely a leap forward in creative storytelling. Side note: you may want to snatch up tickets while you can; they seem to be going pretty quick.
Ongoing through May 7
The McKittrick Hotel
530 West 27th Street
New York, New York 10001 EVENT INFO
The Poetry Brothel
And what better time than now to follow the Poetry Brothel itself? Their next event, Cabaret Voltaire, is coming up this weekend and, similar to the aforementioned “Sleep No More,” gives the audience a chance to be more than spectators, but to interact and become part of the performance itself.
DIYDays NYC Dan Rollman [vid] The Universal Record Database, otherwise known as the “definitive site for human achievement” is an interesting crowdsourced project that encourages users to share, break and… read more