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Entries in FIPS was there (25)


[FIPS Was There...] Geeking Out

Image via Geeking Out

Back in the 80's, one of my favorite movies was definitely Revenge of the Nerds. It was this film about a bunch of geeks who went to college and formed a geek fraternity. It starred that one guy from ER and that other guy from thirtysomething and had scenes depicting both extended urination and extended eructation. Also...a panty raid. Also...boobs. By the end, we grow to love those geeks. They stage a concert and the college campus embraces them, despite how geeky they are. WE ARE ALL GEEKS.  

With geekdom in mind, I found myself back at Union Hall (sans bacon) on Tuesday night for the latest edition of Geeking Out, a geeky comedy/storytelling series hosted by FiPS' former managing editor Kerri Doherty. She's been hosting the series for a while now but I'm a bad acquaintance who's never actually made it to a single show. Basically, a bunch of people get up on stage and geek out over pop culture topics. Tuesday's lineup was to feature both comedienne Jeneane Garofalo and eighteen-time Moth Storyslam champion Adam Wade. Easy decision: I decided to shell out $5 for the ticket.

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[FIPS Was There...] Farewell 285 Kent

Photo via

Is there any thing more Brooklyn than the letters D-I-Y? No, Maynard. There sure ain't. When it comes to the Brooklyn music scene, those three letters represent handfuls of venues that're often all ages & often in the Willyburg/Bushwick area & run independent of the Bowery/Live Nation system that lords over much of the city's concert venues.

Over the past few years, one of the more high-profile DIY Venues has been 285 Kent, a claustrophobic, 350-capacity room that's put on shows without the usual permits & whatnot on the far west side of Williamsburg. The venue, curated by Ric Leichtung (founder of Ad Hoc) and NYC DIY-venue impresario Todd P, hosted a mix of local acts, experimental acts & acts who were probably too big to be playing there. They had no liquor license but there was a bar. There were "No Smoking" signs but if you left not smelling like smoke, something was wrong. Sure you had to breathe the same oxygen as numerous hipster stereotypes, but it was always a good time.

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[FIPS Was There...] How to BBQ at Brooklyn Brewery

'Tis the SUMMA, people. Get down with your bad selves. 'Tis the time of beaches & vacations & backyard BBQs. Personally, I don't even own a grill but I do actually have a backyard & should probably own a grill sooner than later. In the meantime, it’s the SUMMA & when this time of year comes around, I make sure to take in as many BBQs as humanly possible. Eventually, some time in 2014, when I do get that grill, I'm going to need to be on top of my game so I can host my own BBQs. I mean, I'm not entirely off my game around a grill but my duties have always been in more of a "sous chef" vein, as it's never been my grill.

One night a few weeks back, I came across an event listing for a "How to BBQ" class at Brooklyn Brewery as part of their regular schedule of events. The hosts: Heartbreaking Dawns (a local sauce company), Delaney Barbecue (of Brisket Town fame) & Q Drinks (a soda company with their roots in Ft. Greene). Samples included. The price: $5. You can't even get a good BJ for that price these days! As such, I picked up a ticket quicklike.

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FIPS WAS THERE: Brooklyn's Finest Finds Her Way Home

[Babs singin’ about Brooklyn in Philadelphia. An acceptable video from Barclays is not available at this time, so just deal with it.]

I wish I could say that seeing Barbra Streisand on her “Back to Brooklyn” tour at Barclays Center with my mom was not my idea, but that’d be rewriting history. My mom’s been a fan her entire life and saw Babs on tour in 1994, so when it was announced that she would trot her formidable stuff into the brand new Barclays Center arena just a few blocks from my apartment, I shot a quick email to my mom to see if she'd be interested. I’ve never been particularly secretive about my love for Barbra, but I don’t think I’d have found my way to the concert unless my mom’s interest was high. Turns out, it was very, very high.

The Saturday night concert, a love letter to the Brooklyn that a young Barbra Streisand grew up in, was billed as a homecoming. To me, it felt more like a nostalgia trip. After all, Barbra left the borough to pursue her dreams and probably hasn’t been back since, though she hears Williamsburg is very chic. When cheering for a picture of the street signs at the corner of Newkirk and Nostrand Avenues erupted amongst the crowd, many of whom I imagine are former Brooklyn residents, I felt as though I had stepped in a time machine. The only other photo projection that elicited an equal response was one of Barbra and Judy Garland. Thus I established that Barbra’s core audience (gay men and older Jews) were in full force and ready to take a trip down memory lane with her.

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FiPS WAS THERE: Louis C.K. At The Bell House

Photo via Louis C.K.'s Twitter Page

When Louis C.K. walked out onto The Bell House stage last night, he held up a notebook -- the comedian's universal sign for "this is new material" --  and modestly disclosed that the event was not going to be the greatest show, which was why the tickets were only $10. "You are falling on a grenade for a later, better-paying audience," he explained with a chuckle.

No one was surprised by this caveat. The event itself was called, "Louis C.K. Working On His New Hour Of Material," and based on the fact that all three shows sold out in 3 hours after only The Bell House Tweeted about the event, it's clear that no one gave a shit. The 44 year-old, ginger-haired comedian constantly produces nothing but stellar work (and yes, that includes Pootie Tang). Louis C.K. could have stood on stage and farted for an hour, and some blogger would have stayed up late last night penning a thoughtful, 1,000-word article about how the pacing and nuances of each individual sound and smell just gave birth to a new wave of alternative comedy. And only a comedian like Louis C.K. can workshop new material for sixty minutes not once, not twice, but THREE times in one night. I can only imagine the mental notes or feverish scribbling that went down in The Bell House's green room between the 7PM, 9PM and 11PM shows.

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