Galapagos Art Space weekly smites with The Floating Kabarette

Event Date: January 29,2011
Venue: Galapagos Art Space
Performers: Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies, the Red Hook Ramblers, Maine Attraction, Miss Tickle, Cole Zocca, Amazing Amy,  Bastard Keith.

While looking for wedding venues for my sister I stumbled on an NYC gem – Galapagos Art Space, a performance space housed in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn. Although I realized that my idea of what a wedding could be didn’t really match with hers, I did decide to check out their weekly occurring Floating Kabarette. First of all, because I wanted to know if anyone would actually be nearly nude and in their 1600 square foot lake, or was it to be aerial acrobatics, again, nearly nude?

Well, turns out it’s mostly the latter, which is still totally fine by me. The indoor “lake” I was so excited about is actually more of a pond, with wooden decks covering a great portion of it and housing tables and booths for guests who were wise enough to show up early and claim the lower level of the building. Continue reading

Naked Heat: Compelling Murder Mystery or Cheap Tie In?

ABC has an excellent show called “Castle,” that is worth watching (and that is not just my love for Nathan Fillion giving that endorsement). It’s about a fictional writer, Richard Castle, who tags along with a female cop in order to do research for a series of books he writes, based on her. However, I’m not here to write about the show itself. ABC, in a rather brilliant form of marketing, has published two books under the Richard Castle name to tie in with the show. The first book, which was entitled, “Heat Wave,” was a short, fun read, keeping on par with the show.  So with high hopes, and without hesitation, I picked up the second book.

This is published as a legitimate book, including the fake author biography in the back. We’re supposed to take Richard Castle seriously as an author, but if that is the case, he’s a bit of a Mary Sue. The whole book is played out like an episode of the show, with the characters’ names changed.  For those of you that don’t know, a Mary Sue is a fan fiction trope where the author of the story inserts him or herself into what they’re writing about, usually as the main character. Everyone loves him or her and they solve all the problems that occur.
This is exactly what’s done here with the Richard Castle character inserting himself as Jameson Rook, the popular writer that everyone loves. It comes off as lazy writing to me, by both the ghost author and the fake author. We’re supposed to believe this is a New York Times bestselling author, and it just takes me out of the experience. I’m probably thinking about it too much, as this is just supposed to be a tie in book, but I need to explain this to get into the main problem I had with the plot. Continue reading

Pariah: A Different Approach to Zombie Horror

Pariah, by Bob Fingerman, is an engrossing tale about a group of NYC residents who are trapped within the safety of an apartment complex on the Upper East Side after a zombie outbreak ravages humanity on a global scale. Months have gone by since the initial outbreak and their food and water supply is rapidly dwindling. When it appears that hope is truly lost, the survivors spot a lone teenage girl walking amongst the undead, completely unharmed and seemingly able to repulse them.

Normally when people think of zombies, they think of George Romero, Resident Evil (or at least I do), and the trademark brainsss, blood, guts, and gruesome deaths associated with the genre. Over the years we’ve seen the zombie evolve from a shambling, festering corpse to a fast, almost cunning horror. Keep in mind that whether we see the resilient flesh-eaters or the rabid, murderous “zombie” found in 28 Days Later or The Crazies, one consistency has always been that 9 out of 10 times zombie outbreaks occur from either a toxic chemical or airborne virus that’s part of a very vague top secret military and/or pharmaceutical experiment. The other constant is that the characters in these stories usually serve as nothing more than zombie chow, so it’s very refreshing to read an intelligent, thoughtful narrative where human psychology takes a step forward while typical zombie fare gracefully bows down.

The world of Pariah is truly gripping and the characters themselves are what makes the story so great. It’s very rare to find a book where you feel like you are a part of that world. This book was so engrossing that it took me a mere day to read all 365 pages. I shared in their loss, their apprehension towards each other, and in their futility as they stared out their windows for hours at a time, throwing bricks, papers, or even spitting at the undead below to kill time. For those of you who are worried that the story is pure psych and not enough violence, don’t worry: there is definitely a fair amount of blood and gore. It wouldn’t be zombie lit if a few people didn’t get mauled. Now would it? Continue reading

Tromeo And Juliet

I don’t have cable, so my choices are the 3 channels my TV still gets, which means news and sitcoms, both equally vacuous and depressing, or Netflix. So I watch lots of old movies and pilots of shows that aren’t even on the air anymore. This is how I stumbled upon Tromeo and Juliet, directed by Lloyd Kaufman from Troma Entertainment.

We’ve all been subjected to the idiotic lunacy of the Shakespeare original. Now that I’ve seen T&J, the fact that I had to suffer through and try to like the original is justified. Continue reading

NYC Comic Con 2010 – Live Vicariously NOW

October 8-10 marked New York City’s fifth annual Comic Con, a celebration of all things nerdy. I was in attendance all three days, taking in the sights and getting as much free swag as I could. It hasn’t reached the size of the San Diego Con, but judging on the reports of three hour line waits from this year’s San Diego Comic Con, that’s probably a good thing.

Even the folks from Asgard dropped by!

Continue reading

Pipers, Better Than Peppers

Event Date: September 7, 2010
Venue: B. B. Kings Blues Club
Bands:  Red Hot Chilli Pipers (Main); GIRSA (Opener)

When telling people that I was off to see the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, I was first met with a flurry of jealous looks and then confusion, as the phonemes caught up with the temporal lobe. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are not peppers, they are Pipers, and they certainly earned the capital letter I just bequeathed upon them.

On September 7th, this band (used semantically to represent a great number of people come together for a single purpose, rather than a few guys who decided to play music together) graced the stage of B.B. King’s to bring to New York a spectacular set of Bagpipe Rock, and Folk, and what have you. Continue reading

Piranha 3D: The 3D Invasion

3D movies are a gimmick, usually used to drive up ticket prices. Most of the films it’s used in lately do not need it all, and generally pull it off poorly. 3D was originally used in the 70’s and 80’s as a way to make bad horror movies look a little better and get people in the theater. Piranha 3D brings things back to basics, following this tradition, and embracing it.

Horror movies as of late try and take themselves way too seriously, which is not always necessary. When your premise is thin, it usually just makes the characters unlikable and the drama seem forced. Or, even worse, they just strictly rely on gore, shock value and jump scares (I’m looking at you, Eli Roth). Piranha 3D does not fall into this trap. The writers of the movie realized how ridiculous their plot was and they ran with it, but the actors still take their role seriously, making for a very enjoyable movie.

Piranha 3D is a killer fish movie, if you couldn’t figure it out from the title. The plot is simple: Prehistoric man-eating piranhas are released from an underground cave during spring break. If you need a better synopsis than that, then this movie is not for you. It’s a basic premise that is nothing more than excuse for nudity, gore, death, and suspense, as god intended in horror movies. The movie delivers fantastically in all these areas. It’s made clear the fish are a threat to anyone in the water, and when they attack, it’s brutal. Continue reading