02/04/16 10:54am
Photo: Mindy Tucker

Lane Moore can make anything, even Tinder, hilarious. Photo: Mindy Tucker

“Welcome to Tinder Live, where sadness comes to fuck.” That was my introduction to comedian, writer and musician Lane Moore and her blisteringly hilarious show, Tinder Live. It may also be the truest sentiment ever spoken about the addictive, slightly destructive and utterly inescapable dating app.

“Maybe this awful Tinder guy is just really bad online and we’ll have a great story about how I initially hated him but then it worked out!’”

Moore, who describes her comedy as, “Janeane Garofalo meets Mr. Show meets Mystery Science Theater meets a little kid who is really excited and also sad,” commanded the stage at The Bell House during January’s show as she ran through her pics of the week–profiles accompanied by the blurriest shots, the most tiger-filled compositions and photos featuring  groups of eight guys where it’s unclear who you’re swiping for, or whether it’s a profile at all, or maybe just an efficient invitation to an orgy. (more…)

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09/21/15 10:35am
Photo: Sam Hornine

Photo: Sam Hornine

Fawkner, the latest addition to the Smith Street strip, is right up Boerum Hill’s alley. Jim Carden and Kevin Avanzato, who also co-own The Bell House, Union Hall, and Floyd, aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel with their new bar. Rather, Fawkner will elevate the somewhat threadbare casual dining and drinking options around the Bergen Street stop–expect thirsty locals to keep the 2300-square foot space pretty well-packed on weekends.

The rotating menu of about a dozen draft beers currently includes Peak Hop Harvest Octoberfest and Down East Pumpkin Cider. There are also basics like Narragansett and Tecate in cans. The speciality cocktails are experimental, perhaps more so than they need to be, but the unusual flavor profiles succeed in drinks like the Murder of Crows, which combines tequila, Campari, and ginger beer. If you’re partial to Old Fashioneds or Sazeracs you should try the Red Rooster, a blend of rye, Pimm’s, lemon and sugar. (more…)

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10/28/14 11:00am
Internet addicts unite and take over at Hallowmeme each year, posing as everything ubiquitous and viral, whether it's BuzzFeed or the popular Vine, "Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal" (right), both from last year's party. Photo: Forced Meme Productions

Internet addicts unite and take over at Hallowmeme each year, posing as everything ubiquitous and viral, whether it’s BuzzFeed or the popular Vine, “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal” (right), both from last year’s party. Photo: Forced Meme Productions

Do you spend far too much time on the Internet and also have a penchant for making costumes? If so, Hallowmeme, a party and costume contest inspired by the memes, viral videos, and the GIFs everyone has been posting on your social media all year, is probably already part of your annual October tradition, and if not, you should go anyway for the people-watching alone. Now in its sixth year, this delightfully nerdy convention of professional bloggers and amateur web geeks with serious arts and crafts skills hits the Bell House this Thursday at 8:30pm, and it’s free so long as you RSVP. (more…)

10/02/14 9:52am

OctFunMap2014SMALLThere is a lot to love about October, whose major holiday asks its revelers to hand out candy and dress up as someone else, nothing more. Even if you can’t get into the spirit, it’s impossible not to admire the folks who do. And there is plenty to admire this month—21 events in fact, to pencil in using our October Fun Map. Open House New York is a chance to see the city from a different perspective, inside landmarks and futuristic buildings like the Urban Post Disaster House; registration is already open so save your spots or pony up for a pass that gives you access to sold-out tours. The 1981 cult classic film, Stations of the Elevated, which BAM screens mid-month, portrays another side of New York, back when graffitied subways roamed, and the 1,300 bands that will be in town for CMJ Music Marathon will bring fresh music to your stale playlists. We’re very excited about the chance to gorge on oysters during Brooklyn Crab’s Fall Oyster Fest, and the release of the anthology, Never Can Say Goodbye, will remind us all why we love this city. But really, it’s all about the costumes, so start brainstorming something more viral than Ebola, HallowMEME is coming up.


09/17/13 12:00pm

Welcome to the fall’s weekly concert previews. We’re gearing up for a lot of sonic action in the coming months–CMJ’s just around the corner, and Barclays is about to heat up with some highly anticipated shows (starting with a few shows listed below). In the meantime, plenty of treats await at some of the borough’s smaller venues, and this week, we’re looking at a schedule surprisingly bare of Williamsburg stages.

Leila Gobi
Tuesday, Sept. 19
Tickets $15
Littlefield (622 Degraw St.)

Here’s a voice you don’t hear everyday. Malian singer Leila Gobi, despite her distinctive voice, was encouraged by her family to marry and settle down rather than pursue music. She did both. Now one of Mali’s premier vocalists, who sings in various Malian languages, Gobi’s voice floats from high note to impossibly high note effortlessly. She also accompanies herself on a variety of instruments, including guitar and djembe.

09/10/13 2:00pm
Obtis (Alexis Fleisig)

Photo: Alexis Fleisig

Obits’ new album, Bed & Bugs, is available today, Sept. 10. The band will play an record release show on Sept. 21 at The Bell House, 149 7th Ave., Brooklyn; 8 p.m., $12 adv, $14 at the door.

If you didn’t know the history behind the band Obits, you’d swear they were your typical upstart twenty-somethings delivering scruffy post-punk rock. But, as I recently discovered, two members–singers/guitarists Rick Froberg and Sohrab Habibion–have been playing music since going back to the hardcore punk scene of the late ’80s, early ’90s. When I mentioned that to Sohrab in a recent phone interview, he told me that playing music then and now isn’t all that different–it’s just the the environment that has changed.

The members of Obits–Sohrab, Rick, bassist Greg Simpson and drummer Alexis Fleisig–prove that when it comes to rocking out, age is not an issue.

“There is an actual infrastructure now for bands like ours,” he says. “But when we started playing our music, it really didn’t exist. There was no internet, there was no cell phone, there were none of the amenities that bands have now. Even just having the digital recorder where we record our practices seems so exotic sometimes because we never had that before. If you were gonna work on a song, everything was from memory. It’s fun to be able to interact with somebody who’s into music on our Facebook page. But if that didn’t exist, I don’t think it would have really changed the rudiments of our band at all.”

07/31/13 1:40pm

It’s a happy accident that this week’s show recommendations begin with a mellow evening at one of my favorite more intimate venues and grow in literal and auditory dimensions, culminating with three big, stadium-sized, stiletto-heeled kicks in the pants (if you can swing Beyoncé’s steep ticket prices), with boisterous pop rock, legendary soul swagger and dance-ready arrangements along the way.

Beth Orton
Wednesday, July 31
Tickets $30
The Bell House (149 7th St.)

Folk music mingles with electronica in the hands of English singer-songwriter and 1990s mainstay Beth Orton. The often moody electronic elements combined with Orton’s haunting, signature vocal lilt made her tunes ideal for early aughts film and television soundtracks like Vanilla Sky and Roswell. Orton’s recent releases rest more heavily on her folk inclinations, which we hear with rich and poignant precision on her latest album, 2012′s Sugaring Season. Her voice still bears the influences of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, but with a maturity and plainspoken honesty earned after almost 20 years in the biz.