The annual (and still unnecessary) trip to Brooklyn Bowl came early this year. The occasion was to accompany a friend who was filming Small Black; the band was commissioned to perform at the gargatuan, luxury bowling alley as part of some up-and-coming promotions scam to farm-raise a new mailing list (RSVP for Small Black at Brooklyn Bowl and it's free!) I took my return to BB as an opportunity to use my old joke on unsuspecting photographers: “Yanno, if there was ever a terrible natural disaster that destroyed all of our homes, we'd need to seek refuge in Brooklyn Bowl.”
I bumped into a girl who works in PR, whom I hadn't seen in a year or two and greeted her with a “Happy New Year!” And she wasted no time in complaining to me that she was required to pay Brooklyn Bowl's cover charge ($5), and that she was only here to eat dinner, and then she huffed away. Luckily for her, I'm an emphathetic, magnanimous figure on the scene – who definitely didn't pay the cover – and if she was able to assume/remember all those things about me despite our years apart, then she's probably better at her job than I give her credit for.
Rating: 1 weed leaf
The all-girl clothing-swaps at Dead Herring are a staple of the North Brooklyn closet's diet. Thirty bags are sectioned across the house-venue's mainspace into coats, slips, tees, pants, shorts, dresses, shoes, and knee-length skirts, garnished with four bottles of white wine and André rose, a platter of red velvet cookies, and a bag of Ting Tings. Men are prohibited because the ladies are invited to undress casually throughout the preliminary organization of clothing as they eye and try-on pieces they can mentally claim (presumably a guy would not be able to conceal his boner for such an extended period.) Once the group becomes sufficiently territorial and garment-hungry, a hat of numbered carnival tickets is passed around, thus establishing the pecking and grabbing and elbowing order, one item per person per revolution.
Attendees see this sort of thing as an opportunity for a striking new look, or the chance to decompress their dresser drawers, but my aim is to have the highest ratio of stuff brought to stuff fought over by other girls. That's right, I turned the all-girls clothing swap it into a competition, and yanno what? I won.
Plus, I got this really funny Spring Break shirt from Ari.
Rating: 3 Andrés
Boston's a college bro-town full of beefy white people – some are firemen and others like hardcore, and when oversized liquor stores hand out samples of Jäger, they all line up. . . But the neighborhood of Allston is a fairly different story. Everyone in Allston is friendly and smells bad, with cute dreads adorned with thick beads, or handmade arm tattoos of brachiopods. The rent's cheap, the food's even cheaper, and participating in medical tests is a popular form of unemployment. Unlike the paupers in New York who often split the overhead of commercial spaces, Allstonites have their own houses with yards and porches, dogs, cats, alt mammals, reptiles, couches with mismatched cushions, and bedrooms shared by friends. If the basement is the biggest room in the house – its low ceilings splattered with paint and out-of-commission pipes – then that's where the shows will be.
Over the weekend there was an Allston-style show in Buswick, with Allston band Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth and Brooklyn's mischievous slacker-sweethearts, the Dreebs. When I arrived the Dreebs were in a hushed interval of minimalist electrified clanks, with Adam and Shannon craning their necks and singing, harmonizing in angelics with a drumkit between them. Jordan's pink wig shimmered under Lisa Frank Christmas lighting. The basement they were playing in had homemade doll houses, a water cooler, a birdcage, a lighting rig from Spencer's Gifts, mannequin parts, and grey ceilings you could touch. A Flav viking hat and a bottle of Sky vodka were floating around.
The Dreebs were followed by “ten minutes of comedy” – a decent-looking cheesy guy saying terrible puns into a microphone. The singer of the band Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth, who is wheelchair-bound and 19, inaudibly badgered him and referenced a different story he could tell. “How about they move you to the back of the room so you can tell that disgusting story,” said the comedian. He followed that up with an indecipherable-but-racist Hakeem Olajuwon joke and nobody laughed.
The comedian retired after four minutes and then the singer from Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth peed into a thermos, signifying that his band was going to play soon. He started off with two songs from his Electric Scaryland release, in the style of drunken doowop karaoke punk, like those really sloppy prom nights in Hell where Sam Cooke and GG Alllin make out. I think the band continued to play the second song, “This Is A Love Song,” for forty-five minutes, as the singer fake-heckled his backing band and begrudgingly sang along. Then I left.
The only review I heard of the show later was: “Anyone who wasn't crazy left by 2:30. The only people left were girls crying because their coke was gone. Like 'I gave him $35!' And it's like honestly, don't worry about it, Sandra.”
Rating: 2 weed leaves
THE AMERICAS SOCIETY
The Americas Society, in its ongoing pursuit to advance the work made by citizens of the Americas, hosted a fashion presentation by costumer Anna Telcs, as part of her residency in the Hamptons. The Society's Park Avenue mansion, at its most humble with flags and banners, was elegant and intimidating.
The expo was on the second floor, in a drawing room with ribboned wallpaper, chandeliers, and mirrors splotched with silver patina. After a brief introduction on behalf of the space, Anna appeared from behind white double doors – a stately, seemingly-Nordic creative (from Seattle) wearing a truncated tuxedo jacket with her dress shirt proudly untucked. A gentleman named David Frail began a string of sustained, synthesized chords, and Anna proceeded to conduct her male models: first gesturing to them to enter the room, as though they were shy wearing only tight, cream-colored long johns; then she gently and patiently piled neutral-toned silks, linens, and untreated wool onto their shoulders and around their waists; these were fastened with golden grosgrain bows. When she stepped back, the men crossed the room rigidly and then exited, only to return minutes later, reduced to long johns again.
In an American society, free from day-to-day struggles for survival in harsh weather or low temperatures, the layering of clothing can likely be seen as decorative – a chance to highlight patterns, fabrics, and tones through innovative pairing. And when those pairings are involve fascinating, impractical pieces of specially-sought materials, layering of this type is blissfully absurd.
After the performance, we filled up on Champagne and gently encouraged one of the models to move to New York (from Seattle). On his own time he's a theater director, staging extensive performances with sets, fake blood, and strenuous movement. He declined: where would he find all the unemployed fuckos who could temporarily devote their lives to him, so readily available in other American cities? In all honesty, it's not a very New York thing to ask.
Rating: 3 weed leaves
All photos taken by Alaina Stamatis on her cellphone, so as to stay incognito. Want Impose to check out your party? Email email@example.com and we'll stop by!