Penury leads to anger. Anger leads to violence. Violence leads to flight. Flight leads to the circus. The circus leads to penury and the vicious cycle begins again. The only way to escape the karmic machine is to go to readings, tours, spectacles and exhibits that offer a powerful enough empathetic magnetism that you observe poverty, rage and violence that take you outside of yourself while offering a taste of the misery of others. Enjoy, my little Schadenfruedes!
Mar. 26, Monkeytown, 58 N. 3rd St. (betw. Wythe & Kent Aves.), Brooklyn, 718-384-1369; 10:30, $5 and a $10 minimum
Palms, a duo of a tall gay man named Ryan Schaefer and a small blonde woman named Nadja Korinth, doesn’t play in The States that much. Korinth lives in Berlin. Schaefer works at Bergdorf. But when the two do get together, for instance on the debut album Midnight in Honolulu, the results are ominous, strange and wonderful. Tonight the duo takes over the back room of Monkeytown and is accompanied by the fantastical projections of video artist Colin Whitaker.
Bottom Line: Shades of Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective are to be found in Palms but there’s also gentle unforced naiveté that undercuts the dark sampling and wails.
Friday Night Fights
Mar. 20, St. Paul the Apostle, W. 60th Street at Columbus Avenue, 212-571-1333; 8, $35
It might seem incongruous to see a bunch of guys kneeing each other in the face in a house of worship, but it has historical precedent. In fact, it’s rather gentle compared to The Crusades. This Muay Thai fight card includes more than 11 Thai kickboxing fights including the undefeated Omar Ahmen taking on undefeated Dan Ash in the main event.
Bottom Line: A truly strange event with a bizarrely diverse audience (hipsters, fight fans, bystanders). But the best action is in the ring.
Affordable Soho Walking Tour
Mar. 20, McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St. (betw. Mulberry & Lafayette Sts.), 212-274-1160; 7, FREE
One step above freeganism, stretching a dollar is a good skill to have in these times. Stuart Schuffman (at left), author of Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in New York City, takes enterprising, frugal travelers and tightwad New Yorkers on a tour of Soho—not the easiest place to live for cheap. After a walkabout, Stuart will lead his merry band of cheap fucks back to McNally Jackson for signing and …free beer!
Bottom Line: The last two words should be enough to entice any truly impecunious soul; but if it’s not, the charm of the tour should do the trick.
Dine In Brooklyn
Mar. 23 through April 2
Love him or hate him, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is a passionate man. There’s nothing he has more passion for than food, Brooklyn and gimmicks. His three loves converge with Dine In Brooklyn, when over 175 restaurants in Kings County offer three course meals for $23—and an additional 20 spots are offering two meals for the same price. It almost sounds like restaurant week; but that wasn’t Brooklyn enough for Markowitz. Doesn’t matter what it’s called, really. It’s a bargain.
Bottom Line: Just as you struggle, so too do restaurants. These bargains are a shameless and delicious ploy to get you to spend your severance on steak. Don’t fuhgeddaboudit.
Mar. 24, New York Public Library, 455 5th Ave. (betw. E. 39th & 40th Sts.), 212-840-0833; 6:30, FREE
Israeli photographer Michal Chelbin (pictured above) is fascinated by freaks. Legit ones—the chicken-head-biting-off kind. Her book, Strangely Familiar: Acrobats, Athletes and other Traveling Troupes (Aperture, 2008) captures the hardened camaraderie of transient acrobats, circus folk and clowns. Mostly her subjects are freakishly strong children. The super saturated photographs can’t help but play into trope of the sad clown but there is still warmth and a mote of defiance in the subjects too. This lecture is part of an ongoing series at the library called, appropriately, “Photographer @ The Library.”
Bottom Line: Send in the clowns! Or at least send in their photographer. η