“Hello, my debt is $40k.” As we entered the People’s Bailout last night at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, a volunteer invited us to make a name tag — but instead of writing down our names, we were supposed to fill in the amount of debt we’re struggling under. Although my student loan debt isn’t something I’m used to speaking openly about, and the naïveté with which I mortgaged my future to get a master’s degree in a field where master’s degrees aren’t so much a requirement as a stigma still embarrasses me, I grabbed the Sharpie and wrote, “$40k.” For the first time since I started making my just-barely-feasible loan payments, being honest about my debt brought me relief instead of guilt.
I didn’t expect the People’s Bailout to be such a personal experience for me. Organized by Strike Debt, an Occupy Wall Street offshoot dedicated to fight predatory lending and challenge big banks’ power over the vast majority of Americans through credit card, medical, educational, and mortgage debt, the event was a benefit for the organizations Rolling Jubilee project — an ingenious plan to buy up distressed debt and forgive it. Since debt can be bought for just pennies on the dollar on the secondary market, Strike Debt realized that if they raised $250,000, they could relieve a whopping $5 million of it. To aid in the effort, they planned the People’s Bailout as a live — and live-streamed — telethon, featuring performances by a boatload of entertainers sympathetic to the cause. Although I always supported the cause, I’ll admit that it was those big names (Jeff Mangum’s in particular) that convinced me to make my donation and come down to LPR.
… Read More
Just like the punk movement to which it shares more than a casual connection, Occupy Wall Street isn’t dead — it’s just harder to find these days. But an all-star concert to be held November 15th at Le Poisson Rouge promises a resurgence of the movement in New York’s popular consciousness. The show will feature… Read More
As much as we love SNL digital shorts and all the vulgar laughs and Justin Timberlake cameos they may bring, let’s take a break before this weekend’s season premiere to acknowledge another variety of Saturday Night Live music videos, shall we? Y’know, the ones that weren’t produced by Lorne Michaels. Every now and then, a current or former “Not Ready For Prime Time Player” will lend a hand as the protagonist of a real music video for an actual musician, and some of these guest appearances are pretty great. Check out ten of our favorites after the jump.
… Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we wondered what Dorothy Parker would have had to say about the Algonquin Hotel’s annual cat fashion show. We were surprised by some of Janeane Garofalo’s “lost roles” — particularly Renée Zellweger’s part in Jerry Maguire. We decided that this has to be the most unlikely… Read More
Last night the Stella gang (aka David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black) celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Wet Hot American Summer by hosting an event at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Vulture has a nice recap of the evening’s highlights, which included taped bits by Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, audition footage for Bradley Cooper and Naomi Watts (who was not cast!), and in-person appearances by a few of the cult classic’s most beloved characters, including frumpy Camp Firewood director Beth (Janeane Garofalo), who is currently busy at work on “a line of clothing for the imminent Rapture,” and legendary Catskills comedian Alan Shemper (Showalter), a man who went to camp so long ago that Jesus Christ was his counselor. Click through to watch Shemper’s all-to-brief routine, and if you’re craving for more WHAS action, head over to Entertainment Weekly where Wain, Showalter, and Joe Lo Truglio all reflect back on their experiences making the film a decade later.
… Read More
1. Of Montreal has announced that their 10th studio album will be called False Priest and is due out on September 14. [via NME]
2. Watch a clip of Brian Wilson in the studio reimagining the work of George Gershwin. [via USA Today]
3. Janeane Garofalo is in negotiations to join… Read More
Today we were glad to see that someone else finds the misnomer Batman 3 as annoying as we do. We were confused at the thought of who would actually win in a Torquil Campbell Vs. Ben Folds smackdown. We braced ourselves for the Watchmen not-a-review backlash. We winced at this Bristol… Read More