Sunday, March 22, 2015

In the NY Times this Weekend - March 22, 2015

I decided to cut these updates down to once a weekend rather than twice. No reason, really, just takes a bit of pressure off me to crank out two. I hope that you – my legion of readers – will understand. Today’s update is being written up on the second floor of the Prospect Heights branch of the Brooklyn public library. It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m going to make this quick so I can get back out there and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

Now then…

Arts & Leisure
Some great stuff in this section this weekend.

One of my favorite filmmakers is making a documentary about one of my favorite photographers. Wim Wenders, who many of you are familiar with through his Wings of Desire masterpiece, is collaborating with the son of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado to tell the story of Salgado’s life and his incredible photographs. The article in the Times focuses on the dynamics between the filmmakers and their subject and the difficulties they encountered while making the film. Egos clashed, father and son were pushed together after many years of being distant from each other. Fascinating stuff. I look forward to seeing the film when it opens this coming weekend.

Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys is a few years younger than me, but in many ways I feel like we grew up together. I remember when The Beastie Boys burst upon the scene in the mid to late 80s. A college friend of mine is a Brooklyn native and she was the first person I knew who was really into them. Initially I was skeptical of three Jewish guys from “the hood” co-opting hip hop, but they won me over with a few Led Zeppelin samples and the video for So Whatcha Want. Today, Horovitz is 48 years old and adjusting to life as a middle aged dude. In addition to our mutual love of Led Zep, Horovitz composed the soundtrack for the No No documentary about my man Dock Ellis.

In Kabul, a 27-year old mentally disturbed woman named Farkhunda was stoned and beaten to death by an angry mob that then proceeded to burn her corpse. Why? Because she allegedly burned pages of the Koran. Stoned and beaten to death. It is the year 2015. I don’t know what else to say about this.

New York
I’m late to the party for The Jinx – an HBO series on the infamous Robert Durst of the powerful Durst real estate family. This creep is linked to at least two murders and one disappearance. Charles Bagli reports on the police seizing a cache of Durst’s belonging that were stored at the home of a friend in upstate New York. If you are fascinated by a good story with interesting characters, be sure to check out The Jinx on demand. It’s riveting television. It bothers me how likeable I found Durst at times. He’s a quirky weird character, for sure, but there are millions like him out there. But when you hear what he most likely did to his wife, one of his best friends and an acquaintance in Galveston, Texas, you’ll understand why the whole thing gives me the chills. The final episode in the series is a corker with an incredible twist.

Alabama Shakes received universally positive reviews when they released their first album Boys & Girls three years ago. You’ve probably heard the opening track and first single Hold On. They’re about to release their second album Sound & Color and are performing mostly songs from it during their shows this year. Lead singer Brittany Walker has had to overcome some devastating personal issues and circumstances along the way to becoming the front person in one of today’s biggest rock bands. Incredible story. Will make you want to support them.

Today’s Character Study by Corey Kilgannon is a classic “Only in New York City” story. Since 2007, Michael Seidenberg has been running a “part speakeasy, part bookstore” out of his rent stabilized apartment on the Upper East Side. His landlord is putting the hammer down and evicting him at the end of July. If you love books and people who collect them, you’ll want to get up there before he’s closed down. What a hoot.

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