2 Good 2 B 4Gotten

I am beyond excited to be hosting this spring…

2 Good 2B 4Gotten

A film series hosted by Bonnie & Maude and xoJane at 92Y Tribeca


Now and Then
Thu, Feb 21, 7:30pm
Info and tickets

Thu, Mar 14, 7:30pm
Info and tickets

Slums of Beverly Hills
Wed, Apr 24, 7:30pm
With Director Tamara Jenkins in person for post-screening Q&A!
Info and tickets

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Thu, May 30, 7:30pm
Info and tickets

Bring It On
Thu, Jun 20, 7:30pm

Info and tickets

Where I’ve Been

binoculars2First off, I’ve been saying that I’m going to redesign this space to looks less like a blog that I rarely update. That TK, one day when I have the time and brain/space.

I’ve been recording and producing episodes of Bonnie & Maude: The Film Podcast.

Bonnie & Maude also hosted a live show called Watching You Eat, which was a variety performance exploring women eating and cooking on screen, with guest presenters and delicious treats to boot.

Finally, where I’m going: Hawaii, on vacation. Unplugged, off the grid, and back in January to reboot my bandwidth. This is a weird metaphor.

Fun things coming up in 2013:

- More live Bonnie & Maude events. (And more podcasts, of course.)

- The enticingly-named project Who Are You Even?

- A new site.

The Sounds of a Decommissioned Air Field

Floyd Bennett Field is a decommissioned air field in South Brooklyn, across Jamaica Bay from the JFK airport.

There are abandoned hangars — you can actually go inside one hangar a see old WWII fighter jets and life-size models of Wright Brothers flying apparati and Coast Guard planes, and more. There is a group of older men who work on restoring these every day from 9am to 3pm.

There are also vast runways and brushy trails to wander, garbage and crab claws to seek out on the beach, and groups of men in the Academy of Modern Aeronautics (AMA)  community showing off their loop-de-loops with their intricately-crafted remote control planes and good-natured trash talk.

This is why I was there. But I plan to return.

Because, for one, there were great sounds to be captured.

Photo by Aimee Weiss

What you hear:

- Strong wind

- The buzz of a remote control airplane in the near-distance

- A jet taking off from JFK

- Tall brush and plants rustling in the breeze

- Crickets in the plants

- Aimee taking my picture

- My recorder dying

Hip-Hop on NPR Music

Something I worked on and am extremely proud of: a 24/7 mix of hip-hop on NPR Music.

My colleague Frannie Kelley and I have been wanting this to become a reality for quite some time. She got Ali Shaheed Muhammad (1/3 of A Tribe Called Quest) on board to host the channel with her. I put the two of them in a studio, and they just started talking about hip-hop music, culture, personal stories, everything–for well over an hour. Some of that conversation is in this mix.

And then there’s the music: classic hip-hop, new rappers, deep cuts and the massive hit you still love (I’m obviously talking about Missy Elliott’s “Work It.”)

Enjoy! (Click on Danny Brown’s tongue below and he will take you to the mix.)

Detroit rapper Danny Brown. Credit: Lee Clower/Courtesy of Mark McNairy

Podcast: Brooklyn Zine Fest!

Brooklyn Zine Fest flyer by Kseniya Yarosh

If you like stories, comics, DIY things and making new friends — then this is for you: It’s the First Annual Brooklyn Zine Fest!

When: Sunday, April 15th, 2012. 11am-6pm
Where: Public Assembly, 70 N. 6th Street, Williamburg, Brooklyn
What: Over 60 writers, artists and publishers selling and trading zines.

What is a zine, you ask? A zine is a handmade, hand-drawn, cut and pasted, photocopied and self-distributed booklet that can be about anything. And can be made by anyone.

Kseniya Yarosh & Matt Carman organized the Brooklyn Zine Fest, and are the creators of a zine called I Love Bad Movies (which you can purchase on Etsy). They stop by an extra-special secret location to chat with me about the zine fest and bad movies, and take my Guess That Bad Movie Clip Quiz to give you all a taste of some of the films tepidly praised and/or joyously reviled in the latest issue of I Love Bad Movies.

Browse Q&As with almost all the exhibiting writers and artists on the Brooklyn Zine Fest site. Other zines mentioned in the podcast that you can find at the Fest:

Slice Harvester
The Hookah Girl
Hey, 4-Eyes!
Vinyl Vagabonds
East Village Inky
Meet The Lady
Found Magazine

There will be a full bar, selling Mar-zinis. (Martini + zine = delicious??)

Also: A raffle! With prizes! Including: 2 pairs of glasses from Classic Specs, movie tickets, Earth: The Book signed by the Daily Show staff, books and comics from Forbidden Planet, a 1-year Zine of the Month subscription, a 1-year membership to 3rd Ward, Brooklyn Brewery gift certificates and of course, zines!

Lady Leshurr Tears It Up At SXSW

Lady Leshurr at SXSW 3/16/12 from Eleanor Kagan on Vimeo.

If you can hear past the horrible iPhone sound quality in the above video, allow yourself to be amazed as the pint-sized, Birmingham, U.K.-based rapper Lady Leshurr runs her rhyme at an impressively high BPM and shatters Busta Rhymes’ verse from “Look At Me Now.” It was actually her second run through the verse — she killed it the first go-around, and was seemingly inspired to do it one more time. (Don’t even say the word “Karmin” to me.) An assist from The Rasites added a reggae groove to the song, and the band lead seamlessly into another one of the Lady’s originals.

I’d been enamored with her since hearing her single “Lego” that was one of the 1000s of mp3s doled out in a pre-SXSW package. The track itself is much more spare and dubstep-inspired than her live version, but her talent is undeniable no matter the background. She played as part of the U.K. ‘Bass Culture’ Showcase in Austin on Friday, March 16th.

What you do see here: The group of the people in front that are practically groveling at her feet. The swanky Victorian Room at Austin’s Driskill Hotel. (After spending most of the day in grimy, dark dive bars, this carpeted, air-conditioned room of extravagance was both culture shock and welcome respite. I so wanted to kick off my dirty boots and dance barefoot.)

What you don’t see here: Earlier in the set, Lady Leshurr remarked that she could put on her CD of produced tracks to rap over, but wanted to keep jamming with the band. So she went from player to player and commanded the beat or melody for them to emulate. Self-producing her live backing track, Leshurr jumped into another one of her songs, then freestyled, then allowed The Rasites’ guitarist to revive his dormant past as an MC. Needless to say, he barely compared to her tight delivery and bright presence, but it was a nice gesture.

The future looks bright for slick-tounged female MCs. Azealia Banks, though sadly not at SXSW, is blowing up thanks to her awesomely filthy mouth, which she uses to spit and sing about badass girls in a way I (and many others) find very empowering.  THEEsatisfaction (who did play their whole set with fantastic backing tracks) tow the line between sultry and celebratory, singing and rapping posi send-ups to Africa and American black culture. After the duo’s SXSW set on Friday night, I ran into Detroit-based activist and rapper Invincible, who I’d caught in NYC a few weeks ago. She told me she’s working on a huge multimedia project, so that’s something else to look out for in the future.

Here’s another Lady Leshurr + the Rasites video where the sound doesn’t suck. She’s doing her single, “Lego.”

The Kitchen Sink.

(Oh snap, this post contains recipes! Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and “Red” Potato Salad, after the jump.)

Earlier this year, I moved from a pretty swanky Lower East Side apartment that I couldn’t afford, to a studio apartment in Brooklyn that I can mostly afford, as long as I watch what I spend on say, going out to eat. Which is fine, considering that my single greatest source of private, self satisfaction is when I’ve cooked something I’m proud of. (And when someone else likes it to – well, I’m through the roof.) Problem is, grocery shopping and kitchen-stocking can be just as expensive as eating a decent meal in this city, so I’ve learned to be creative with making the most out of cheap items.

To top it off, whereas my old, LES apartment had been outfitted with one of the most beautiful, glistening kitchens I’ve ever used (The fridge would beep at you if you left it open for too long! Temperature control on everything! A stove with a removable pancake griddle! An ever-enviable dishwasher!), the kitchen in my new apartment is…quirky. The temperatures on the oven knob have rubbed off, and if I ever turn it on, it immediately sets off my fire alarm. My sink faucet sprays water everywhere. And I have no counter space.

But it’s forced me to get creative. I turned the broom closet into a pantry. My double sink has wooden boards that have been cut exactly to fit inside their lip, et voila–counter space! The oven….well I just don’t really use it.

I’m not complaining–the opposite, in fact. How will I learn to be a better cook in a kitchen that doesn’t challenge me?

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and “Red” Potato Salad, ahead

Taming of the Queue

A few weeks ago, I managed to catch the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, two days before it closed. In total, approximately 660,000 people visited the show during its run, and in the final weeks, some waited as many as six hours to get in. My total wait time of 1 hour and 52 minutes was modest in comparison.

I was struck by the ambiance of the main atrium of the Met, around which the massive line wrapped twice, so I caught some of the noise on tape. It got me thinking about the mental experience of hundreds of people waiting in a line:

By the way — it was totally worth the wait.

Unrelated Lyrical References

Presented without commentary:

Talib Kweli, “Gun Music” (off 2002′s Quality):

Toys for guns I got guns for toys
Silencers bring the heat without bringing the noise
Bringing the funk of dead bodies go ahead bring in your boys
You’ll see the soul of black folk like W. E. B. DuBois


Das Racist, “Hugo Chavez” (off 2010′s Shut Up, Dude):

W. E. B. DuBois
We be da boys