So, we've reached the point where just everyone is hosting a Hurricane Sandy benefit. And I say this as a good thing: if you don't at least know someone involved with one of these fundraisers, then you probably have no friends. (That's as positive and uplifting as I get, folks!) It's pretty awesome. Go out, drink, have fun -- help people who need it. It's cool that so many artists, musicians, comedians, event organizers, and venue chiefs have found a way to tie self-promotion to selflessness. America! As we head into Turkey week, it's something to be thankful for. Welcome to Whassup: Big Ol' Thanks Edition:
* Thursday, Nov. 15: Cringe, Freddy's: The Freddy's original remains one of the most popular events at the bar, with good reason. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity: performers read selections from their teenage journals, short stories, rock operas, etc. It'll make your skin crawl so good. 7:30pm, FREE.
* Thursday, Nov. 15: Dale Radio, Film Biz Recycling: It's Gowanus' very own talk show! Come and show the hurricane how tough we Brooklynites are by being entertained right by the canal the storm so recently surged. 7:30pm, FREE.
* Friday, Nov. 16-Sunday, Oct. 18: So Much Dick; Word, Molasses, etc.: Captain Ahab walks into a bar, with a ship's wheel attached to his crotch..etc., etc...."It's drivin' me nuts." That old chestnut brought to you by this certifiably nuts project: the entirety of Moby Dick will be performed over three days, at three bookstores -- Brooklyn joints Word and Molasses, along with one of the few places in Manhattan that still feels as cool as Brooklyn, Housing Works Bookstore. Times vary by day, FREE.
* Friday, Nov. 16: South Slope Songwriters (Sandy Benefit), Roots: The fine folks of the Roots Cafe family will welcome local songwriters to sing up some funds for Occupy Sandy. No admission, but donations go to the cause. They're also accepting goods needed by storm victims. 7pm, FREE.
* Saturday, Nov. 17: SandyHatesBooks Fundraiser, Powerhouse Arena: A big ol' stack of literary big names will be reading to help out the horribly damaged Powerhouse Arena bookstore: Egan! Franzen! Auster! Teju Cole! Sarah Vowell! EVEN MORE!! And they are talented authors, so they will totally also use this many exclamation points!! 12pm-9pm, $10 suggested donation.
* Saturday, Nov. 17: Little Top Circus & Medicine Show, Union Hall: A crazy-ass circus freak show will be wedging itself into the tiny stage beneath Union Hall's bocce courts. That is very Brooklyn, like old-school Brooklyn, like Coney Island Brooklyn. Let's hope they keep the olde tyme, snake-oil salesmen trope up and sell everyone tinctures for strength. 11pm, $8.
* Sunday, Nov. 18: Chili Takedown's 10th, Bell House: Matt Timms' amateur food competitions, or takedowns, are a blast. That is, they are very fun, and also they blast your stomach with more food than is healthy to consume at one time. But your taste buds will be ecstatic. And now, the grandaddy of all the takedowns, the chili takedown, turns ten years old. Ten! I've never stuck with ANYTHING for ten years! Think of this as a warm-up for Thanksgiving -- your stomach will be good and stretchy for Thursday. 2pm, $15.
* Sunday, Nov. 18: Hurricane Benefit, Jalopy: Part of the Red Hook community, but thankfully spared the worst damage, Jalopy has been all over the recovery efforts. Come out and support them when a trio of the theater's characteristically rootsy performers work to support the cause. Proceeds go to the Red Hook Initiative. 8pm, $10.
* Tuesday, Nov. 20: Maude StorySLAM, Tea Lounge: Here's your chance to get over that fear of public speaking and/or see some fun stories from real people. It's really not that bad -- pants are actually very rarely actually shat! FiPS' own Kerri Doherty hosts this story slam, open to Tea Loungin' amateurs. This month's special guest will be Ben Lillie, a Moth champion and host of the awesome science storytelling show, Story Collider, at Union Hall. 7:30pm, FREE.
* Wednesday, Nov. 21: Music 4 Redhook w/Rosanne Cash, Bell House: If you miss their Sunday Sandy benefit, Jalopy is hosting it's biggest anti-hurricane bash at Bell House. Country legend Rosanne Cash joins local country legend Alex Battles, and others. Official title: "The Musical Extravaganza to Restore Red Hook." Because, honestly, who can sing better about a devastating flood than a country singer? Little-known fact: Noah crooned lonesome ballads around the Ark's campfire. Kept the animals in peaceful. 7pm, $30.
* ONGOING: Small Businesses, Red Hook: The small businesses of Red Hook need help, yes, but perhaps the easiest and funnest way to do so is to just go patronize them with your American dollars. The ongoing absence of neighborhood anchor Fairway has only intensified that need. I recommend Baked as just one extremely awesome Red Hook business you might consider enjoying. Check a (non-exhaustive) list of businesses here.