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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers each recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed the most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

Kiki and Herb: Live at the Knitting Factory and Kiki and Herb Will Die For You: Live at Carnegie Hall

I wasn’t lucky enough to see Kiki and Herb when the duo came to fame during the ’90s and ’00s in New York. After I finished chatting with Justin Vivian Bond and published my profile of the artist on Monday, I went through the archives available to me by way of Netflix and Spotify to learn more about Bond’s previous work as Kiki DuRane (alongside Kenny Mellman as Herb). I became obsessed. I have watched Kiki and Herb: Live at the Knitting Factory twice (and considered marking it as “lost” on Netflix before realizing, duh, you can buy it on Amazon). Then I listened to the recording of their 2004 performance at Carnegie Hall, which I haven’t stopped listening to two days later. Above is my favorite track from the Carnegie Hall recording: a medley of songs by Gil Scott Heron, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, and Talking Heads. Another song worth hearing from the Knitting Factory show is their beautiful cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats.” —Tyler Coates, Deputy Editor

submission

The Submission by Amy Waldman

Because my book stack is over a year behind the culture, I finally got around to reading The Submission by Amy Waldman, described upon its publication in fall of 2011 as the 9/11 novel we’d all been waiting for. I don’t read a lot of fiction, but this is fiction that reads like reportage — specifically of the mass hysteria surrounding “the Ground Zero mosque,” which clearly inspired this story of a 9/11 memorial, chosen from an anonymous competition, whose architect turns out to be Muslim. Waldman’s intelligent, sympathetic prose lets no one off the hook, but isn’t an indictment either; she masterfully captures the complications of such a story, and of trying to come to terms with a tragedy where such closure remains impossible. —Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Photo credit: Taso Hountas

Photo credit: Taso Hountas

Courtney Love, live at The Paramount in Huntington, NY

The evening was not going so well. Instead of making our lives a whole lot easier by just seeing her in Brooklyn a few nights before, we decided to get tickets for Courtney Love’s date in Long Island this past Saturday. But then the friend who was supposed to drive us found out her car would still be in the shop, and we had to take the train out to Huntington — where the shuttle trolley The Paramount promised would take us to the show was nowhere to be found, and we walked a mile along the kind of suburban road you’re not actually supposed to walk on to get there. That was before we got into a shouting match with venue security, whose criteria for making women check their purses was inscrutable at best. I mention all of this not to complain (well, OK, not just to complain) but to highlight how impressive it is that I still came away from the show thrilled and keyed up and feeling lots of (non-frustration-related) feelings. Declining to debut any new material due to a fear it would be posted online, Love burned through an hour of Hole’s best songs, from “Violet” to “Reasons to Be Beautiful” to “Pacific Coast Highway.” She observed that the crowd in the half-full venue was small but energetic, and responded with a generous set that closed with what she (in what I’d like to think was a tribute to the late music critic Ellen Willis) reckoned was the only female cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.” It was as encouraging to watch Love perform such a great set as it was to see her looking healthy, strong, and in control. —Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief

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Unsound Magazine

I’ve been reading issues of experimental/underground music magazine Unsound, thanks to a link that made the rounds on Twitter. One of the great 1980’s zines in the vein of RE/Search, William Davenport (from Problemist) offered a space for visual artists, cassette trading, mail art exchanges, published interviews, reviews, and more covering the likes of Blixa Bargeld, Michael Gira, Genesis P-Orridge, Kronos Quartet, Nick Cave, and Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson. —Alison Nastasi, Weekend Editor

Unlocking the Truth on the Avant/Garde Diaries

With all the garbage on the internet these days, watching the video of the Brooklyn teen duo metal band Unlocking the Truth kinda gave me hope for the youth. I’d like to imagine these guys will one day be the biggest metal band in the entire world. —Jason Diamond, Literary Editor

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Young Frankenstein (dir. Mel Brooks)

There is nothing more poignantly hilarious than seeing Gene Wilder get stuck behind a revolving bookcase while Teri Garr tries to help him escape towards the beginning of Young Frankenstein. Luckily, this movie’s showing today through Sunday at the IFC Center. If that weren’t enough reason to bring your little cousin to see it, all the showings are at 11AM. —Reid Singer, Arts Editor

The Bruce High Quality Foundation: Ode to Joy, 2001-2013 at The Brooklyn Museum 

This weekend, controversial art collective Bruce High Quality opened their retrospective at Brooklyn Museum, featuring “less than 17,000 works” from 2001 to now. It’s a great summary of the cheeky, political work that turned a revolving group of anonymous kids into some of art’s most notorious provocateurs. For those unfamiliar with Bruce, the trailers for the Brooklyn Museum show are a perfect introduction. —Sarah Fonder, Editorial Apprentice

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