Friday, April 24, 2009

Pac-Man is Real!

Real-Life Pac Man Terrorizes People - Watch more Funny Videos

Thank you to miss Haley Jane for sending this to me. And to the French, for reaffirming what the world already thinks of them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Crazies Come Out in Seattle

This is so fabulous. Even after watching it and reading the article, I'm still not really sure what these people are protesting. It might be taxes, or gay marriage, or a black president, or....legalizing pitchfork capital punishment? Hysterical.

This Is Berlin, Not New York

Unable to sleep last night at all (like until the sunlight began showing) I decided to pop in the movie that Ethan Minsker (see previous post) gave me to review a few days ago. He talked about This is Berlin, Not New York some in the interview, but I had yet to actually see more than the trailer myself, and I wanted to see it damnit.

Regardless of the fact that I already love the Antagonists and everything they do, I really did like the movie. I watched it from the point of view that Ethan had made it from; it's about the process and the people, and not necessarily the art. While there was good art in the show in Berlin, and the idea of transforming an abandoned building into a huge art palace is kind of ingenius, it really did show a group of people who want to just make art, because it is their passion.

Background on the documentary would be good probably. A portion of folks from the Antagonist Art Movement went to Berlin in 2007 to have an art show, create connections, and visit another city where art is being made. They did things that were probably illegal, other things that were brilliant and other things that were downright silly. But they "experienced life artfully".

The movie was, in fact, inspiring, which I do think was part of the point. I definitely wanted to go out and make some art (maybe break a few laws) and live within my creativity. The DVD is available through their website Below is the trailer, which I believe I have posted before, but no matter. Remember that the documentary itself is a work of art too. It all comes full circle.

And you don't have to travel long distances to see the Antagonists, they have a show every Thursday night from 9PM to 2AM at Niagara Bar (112 Ave A) in the East Village. There are different emerging artists, experienced artists and those in between each night, but you will never want for a good time, because that is the one constant.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Original Antagonist, Ethan Minsker

As an homage to the past and future Alphabet City Soup shows, here is an interview with Mr. Ethan Minsker, man and superman. A filmmaker, writer and artist, and co-founder of the Antagonist Art Movement, located in the East Village of New York City, Ethan was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in Washington, DC. He has lived in New York City since 1988. Ethan is an honors graduate from the School of Visual Arts and holds a Masters Degree in Media from the New School. He has a number of films to his credit; This is Berlin Not New York is his most recent film. Ethan has also written original screenplays and is now working on two memoirs. He is married to Miss Un Lee.

On February 27, 2009, Yoshitomo Nara, one of Japan’s top artists was arrested for drawing on the walls of a New York subway station. Nara’s paintings can sell for over one million dollars. Shortly before his arrest, he was at Niagara, a bar in New York’s East Village, as a guest of the Antagonist Art Movement. He was attending a regular Thursday night art show sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement that featured six new artists. Nara was given markers by Niagara’s owner and told that, if he wished, he was welcome to draw something on the bar walls. Nara covered most of the bar’s walls. Inspired by his work in the bar, he took the markers and kept on drawing on things as he made his way home, up until his arrest. The Antagonist Art Movement is known for inspiring those in its midst to be creative. And this is not the first time someone connected to the Antagonist Art Movement has been arrested. In 2004, two of its members were arrested for putting up stickers with the Antagonist Art Movement logo. Locally, on occasion, the Antagonist Art Movement has been called infamous and sometimes it’s been called an art gang. In reality, little is known about the group.

Q: When did the Antagonist Art Movement begin?

A: In 2000, Anders Olsen, a painter, Sergio Vega, a musician who played in bands such as Quicksand and the Deaftones, and I, Ethan H. Minsker, a filmmaker, writer and artist, started doing art shows with live bands at Niagara bar.

Q: What are you guys all about?

A: It’s a social movement; meaning it’s the connection between friends and their creativity. The name implies that we want to push you to action. How do we do that? We created venues for artists: Monday night is Alphabet City Soup, a variety show, Tuesday is the public access show, Thursday is the one-night art shows and the first Sunday of the month is our writers’ night. The venues bring artists of all types together. They become a part of this scene. They develop and sometimes create something new. People have asked what style of art we do. It’s not one type or one style of art but a theory that we can make an environment that fosters creativity and originality. As Nietzche would say, “nothing is ugly but degenerate man”. Clearly, some of the influences are from the Andy Warhol factory. Not Warhol‘s art but the place where films, music, and art of all types was produced. Or the beatnik writers; not their writings, but their connections among friends.

Q: Tell me about some of the artists you’ve worked with?

A: Sumner Dilworth is a photographer that showed with us and did cover art for our fanzine Psycho Moto. I took the magazine with his photos over to friends at Harris Publishing and told them that I believed in his art. They called him in and hired him. Now he has worked on everything, from the rock magazines to the New York Times. Jonah Hill, who is in movies such as Superbad, Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was discovered at our writers’ nights. The first time he came in and did his standup routine, he was great so we asked him to come back every week, pushing him to explore his potential. If they ever let him write a movie, I’m sure it will be funnier than anything he has appeared in to date. Currently we are working with a number of artists like James Rubio, Un Lee, Brett Farkas, and the band Schocholautte. Michael H. Houghton is a designer who has worked with the Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses and just about every large rock group there is. He has been taking some of our clothing line and is turning it into Punk Couture. On average, we show seven to eight artists every Thursday and more if you count Mondays and Sundays. We figure we have shown more than 3,000 artists over nine years. It’s at a point now where we find artists that we have worked with are now curators, showing in bigger galleries and so on. As Ted Riederer would tell you, one of the gratifying things about showing new artists every week is that many times we are the first time they have shown publicly. From the artists that show, we select those we would like to help develop. We do that by giving them more shows and bringing them on our out-of-state and over-seas shows. We give them a stream of feedback as well as an audience with which to interact.

Q: What are you hoping for the future of AAM?

A: Personally I try to think of us 30 years in the future and being in a museum as part of a permanent collection. I imagine walking from room to room and seeing our fashions on mannequins, walls covered from floor to ceiling with the work of our artists, displays of our fanzines and the chap books we published, then walking into a room with our films playing. When you hear about these legendary punk shows at CBGB’s where Television, Blondie, the Talking Heads, or Richard Hell played, you might think they were all sold-out shows but the truth is there were like six people. By comparison, we are doing pretty well. But in the meantime, we are working on our next over-seas show which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. The title of the show is Dolls of Lisbon, which will also be the title of a movie we are shooting. We are making dolls and shipping some over to the Lisbon artists to work on.

Q: Who is the AAM? Who are the Antagonists?

A: It’s a state of mind so anyone who is antagonistic in some way: degenerates, criminals, villains, heroes, artists. But here is a short list: James Rubio, Ted Riederer, Un Lee, Julian Stockdale, Arturo Vega, Anders Olson, Dan Graff, Crispy T, Johnny T, Anthony Ferraro, Mystie Chamberlin, Richard Allen, Brother Mike Cohen, Zeke T, Bryan Middleton, Gabriel CD, Sylvia Ortiz, Lucho, Brett Farkas, Sergio Vega, Michelle Halabura, and I could keep going and going.

Q: Tell me about your recent film, This is Berlin, Not New York.

A: I have watched a lot of art documentaries and the thing I hated about them is that they always have the artist just talking about his art and then cut to images of his art. What I want to see is the personality of the artist. I made a film about artists that really isn’t about their art but about the creation of their art. Like Warhol’s super stars, I want the artist to be the center of the film. Some might watch it and think of it as a home video, but I see it as the love of being an artist and being passionate about what you are doing. Many people who have watched it say it’s inspiring, but the real message is that anyone can be creative and should be. Show art anywhere even if you have to bend the law a little to do it.

Q: What kinds of art do you look for?

A: We have a new gallery that looks great. We love to look at new art of any type. Artists who are interested in showing with us can contact our curators by email at or They will want to see our website and send us three jpgs of the art they would like to show with size and a description. Our shows are about the community of artists. We sometimes do sell art but it’s not our focus. This is why our gallery is unique. We have no overhead. Where most galleries in New York have to pay rent and staff, we don’t. If we sell art, we take 30%, which goes right back to promoting artists or creating art. We don’t pick art based on if it will sell. We are interested in the integrity of the work and the artists themselves. We have shown artists from around the world, but definitely favor the locals. If you are an artist out there and have had a hard time finding a place to show, don’t be timid. Contact us.

Q: What one thing do you hope to put across to people who see the AAM shows?

A: Art is exercisable.

Q. How is Niagara Bar connected to the AAM?

A: One of the Antagonists is a part owner of the bar. They provide us with work, a space to show and have put up with our shenanigans for nine years now. It’s our home base. The bar has a great history with the punk rock world. Bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat played their first New York City shows there. Jimmy from Murphy’s Law was a DJ there when he was 13. It was a hangout for the likes of Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone.

Q: How is NYC a good city for this as opposed to another city?

A: People move to New York City following their dream to do something creative. But once they are here, they realize they are caught in a cycle of having to work regular day-jobs in order to pay their rent and other bills, just to live here. There is an army of talented people who want to do something creative. For us, it means art shows, films, publishing our writers, and so on. New York City has a rich history of art movements and artist groups, from punk to pop. NYC has been the center of the art world for more than a hundred years. I can’t see us in any place else.

Q: What are the Antagonist Venues?

A: Alphabet City Soup - Monday nights, 8 pm to 11 pm at Niagara Bar, 112 Ave A, southeast corner of East 7th Street, NYC, 212-420-9517 – variety show

Antagovision- Tuesday nights at 11pm on MNN, Cable Channel 67 or RCN Channel 110, NYC public access TV show

One-night art shows - Thursday nights, 9 pm to 2 am at Niagara Bar, showcase of visual artists

Open mic writers’ night- First Sunday of the Month, 9 pm to 11 pm, Black and White, 86 East 10th Street, NYC

Our clothing line and films can be found at 99x, 84 East 10th Street

Our film, This Is Berlin Not New York, is available for sale on a dozen sites online and at our website,

To find out more about the Antagonist Art Movement or to read our manifesto, go to

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Alphabet City Soup April 13th!

Again again, there will be a fabulous show at Niagara Bar! Alphabet City Soup returns for your visual and aural pleasure. However, some tragedy has struck! Our host-to-be is stranded on a deserted island and won't be able to return for this show. But regardless, we will have a great lineup with:

Bob Juergens - doing some stand up comedy!
Mariah MacCarthy - the first act to return for a second time, also with some stand up!
Schocholautte - the effervescent brown trio!
Kadafi - some metal infused rock, necessary on a monday night!

Like always, cover is free to everyone over 21 (no under 21's allowed, sorry kids).

Show up, drink some beer, laugh and dance, it's inescapable.

Alphabet City Soup sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement
Niagara Bar
112 Ave A (@ 7th ST)
Show starts at 8PM!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sumo Sumo Sumo

How many types of wrestling are there? Greco-Roman Wrestling, freestyle, thumb wrestling to name a few. But how about Sumo wrestling? The only country in the world that practices it as a professional sport is Japan, where it originated and has a long history.

Quick and dirty: Sumo wrestling consists of two men (XX-large men by Japanese standards) trying to knock each other out of a ring or to the ground. Today, like centuries past, they still use many ritual ceremonies before a competition, such as salt for purification, and the traditional loincloth, which is actually a much stiffer version today, than in years gone by.

The only people who are allowed to train sumo wrestlers are former wrestlers and the members of the Japanese Sumo Association. The wrestlers adhere to strict diets, take on wrestling names (just like pro-wrestling in the U.S.), and are ranked according to a centuries old hierarchy system.

Foreign wrestlers are beginning to enter the professional Sumo circuit, and more are reaching the higher ranks each year. Women are not allowed to enter or even touch a sumo ring, and even to this day the rules for sumo are strictly regimented and carried through.

Check out some Sumo Wrestling, it's not really that much different from all the WWF or WWA or whatever our wrestling association in the U.S. is. These men are just as identifiable in Japan, and regardless of their seemingly obese size, they are looked upon as true athletes.

Sumo on Wikipedia
More Sumo!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alphabet City Soup: 2nd Edition

The second night of Alphabet City Soup has occurred and boy did it go over well! We had an outstanding lineup, and even a surprise guest again this week! The night began with our surprise, Argyle Johansen, playing like a trooper with his mini-guitar underneath one arm in a sling. Next we had the improv troupe The Black Boxes in the Corner, who were nothing short of hysterical. My good buddy Carlo Fiorletta then came on to give us some banjo. It was Banjo (with a capital B). The phenomenal Dustin Edge played a solo acoustic set, which I know I totally got into. That guy can rock it. The finale for our variety show was Grace Anatomy and she performed a short (but sweet) burlesque dance for the crowd and everyone was Pumped (with a capital P).

After a brief intermission and short parade up and down Ave A., Schocholautte went onstage to add to the already brilliant evening. They played supremely and even left a pile of exhausted bodies lying on the floor when they were finished. Things like that tend to happen at their shows, scientists have yet to figure out why. Have a look at some pictures, and don't forget to put next week on your calendar, we are having the official official night with our host Julian Stockdale. This could turn out dynamic or disasterous. You have to come and find out.

Click HERE to see more photos!

Making Dinner for His Demons

For those of you who don’t know, there is a Monday night showcase at Niagara Bar called Alphabet City Soup, and it manages to find some of the strangest and less well known people in NYC and bring them all to one place and turn them into superstars. These are not your average, run-of-the-mill nobodys, but people who are just not famous.......yet. Who might we have to wrangle all of this talent? None other than the fabulously funny comedian, Julian Stockdale, who managed to take time out of his fervently busy life to let me in on some of his dirty secrets.

Do you think you're funny?

Me? Do I think I'm funny? No...But other people do and I'm a "follower".

Are there any drawbacks to being a comedian?

Are you kidding me?

The biggest drawback I have, and I get it all the time, usually comes right after I meet someone for the first time. You're at a family gathering or a bar with friends and one of them introduces you to someone in the crowd and you start talking and then they ask that dreaded question: "So what do you do for a living?" and this never fails, but right
after you say "Oh I'm a comedian" they say
"Oh yeah? Tell me one of your jokes"
I fucking hate that and it never fails.
I've really been considering making something up next time they ask, like "Yeah, I work at Home Depot" instead, but I'm really terrified that they're just going to ask me to help install their bathroom tile after that.
Some people just expect you to be funny ALL the time in your personal life, and I kinda cherish the option of feeling downright miserable every once in a while.

Give me some backround on your life. Where are you from? Why did you start doing stand-up comedy?

I'm one of the last native New Yorkers. They should put my accent in a jar after I die, because there are already people I've met from fucking Wisconsin or wherever, that have no idea that there's such a thing as a New York accent.
It's a long story but I wanted to do comedy as far back as I could remember. In the early 2000's when I was in high school, I started getting seriously into comedy and making movies and filming skits with my friends. I even did a wonderfully terrible show at New York Comedy Club around that time. After high school when the class clown is finally unemployed, I decided to give being a professional "serious person" a shot, and I became a mischievous poet and writer...and I was really good at it. But then after a couple years of all that I realized a room full of people laughing sounded a hell of a lot better than the sound of a room full of people scratching their heads.

What made you go back to comedy?

Well, this sounds awful, but I'm really inspired by one night stands. My one night stands are like these little inspiring "The More You Know" segments. About two years ago I had a one with a comedienne, I'm not going to mention any names, but she was one of the funniest girls I've ever met. A dark, sly wit. By this time I was winning spoken word slams but I was cracking more jokes on stage than I was dropping "head spinning lyrical aesthetic", and this girl kind of subconsciously sealed the bag for me somehow and I went back to comedy.

How did you end up the host of Alphabet City Soup?

Well, like any responsible young man, I make most of life's most important decisions when I'm extremely intoxicated. So I really don't recall how the deal was made...I just woke up one morning with all this responsibility. I had a lot of fun naming it though.

How did you become involved with the Antagonist Movement who produces the Soup?

A extreme case of mistaken identity... After I broke with most of my serious poet and writer friends, they practically put a Fatwa out on my life, so I started to hang out more with my OTHER friends like the party kids. There used to be this great party called Motherfucker by Michael T. and Justine D. a couple years ago downstairs at Niagara, and one particular week, probably one I haven't slept, I was under the impression that Motherfucker was going on one night, but it was the wrong night, and I walked into an Antagonist night downstairs and the first thing I saw was the artist Rib One painting some naked girl and I said "Wow, this is more fun than fucking Motherfucker." It's been a wonderful romance since then.

What's the best thing about being involved with the Antagonist Movement, Alphabet City Soup and Niagara bar?

Growing up in New York, I've had friends everywhere in every group and scene you could think of...the skaters, the hood rats, the musicians, the comedians, the party kids...and now the Antagonist Movement...and through them I've found in them not only some of my best friends I've ever had, BUT some of the best friends I've ever wanted to have.
Believe it or not, Comedy is an art form... and Ethan Minsker, Un Lee, Ted Reiderer and everyone's support, even when they didn't know me very well at first, was remarkable. There were times I've been my usual fucking mischievous self and a very, very bad boy.. and I needed a good kick in the ass from Ethan or den mother Un or whatever, and that was great. A lot of the Antags have been around a while and they're older than I am, so there's a lot of looking up and looking out going on there and I love them for it.
Niagara is my generation's Mudd Club and Alphabet City Soup is going to be the next TV Party. It's going to be a pretty big deal because we're going to make it a big deal.

What would you be doing if you haven't decided to do comedy?

I don't know. My grandmother scared the shit out of me when I was little because she said I had "hands like a priest"... so I thought about nothing but entertainment a little too fucking early. Little priest hands don't almost choke their grandma's because of stupid comments.
Some people think I'm a musician because I guess I look like one...but I'd never be able to be in a band. Comedy is basically the only profession that allows you the excuse to consistently break the rules of life and look good doing it at any age. People assume you could do this as a musician too--- but who looked cooler on stage at 65, Mick Jagger or George Carlin? Schocholautte are going to be sexy 65 year olds, though.

Finally, tell me a joke. Make it funny.

Don't be a smart ass.

(Photo courtesy of Allison Harris)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Schocholautte Interview Online!

The interview I did with Michael P! of Schocholautte is available on TWO websites, so go check that shit out!

Schocholautte on

Schocholautte on

And then come and see a show, like next week at Niagara, or the Charleston, or in Harrisburg, PA!

Do it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Join Alphabet City Soup this Monday!

The second edition of Alphabet City Soup sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement, is coming to a Niagara Bar near you. April 6th will see some incredible performers and sweet, sweet fun. Those who will be entertaining you are as follows:

Dustin Edge - music spectacular
The Black Boxes in the Corner – improv troupe
Carlo Fiorletta - banjo
Grace Anatomy - burlesque

There will probably be one or two more performers that have yet to be confirmed, but we like to surprise the folks who come to these shows. Someday it will be someone super famous. Not today, but someday.

Check it out fools! There is defnintely nothing else you could be doing, it's monday after all, the (former) most boring day of the week. Check back here for pictures after!

Niagara Bar
112 Ave A @7th St.

21+ ONLY!

Come get drunk and dance.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Ropes – Be My Gun

I was sent this music video by a member of The Ropes' street team (thanks Natalie!) and I agree, the song and the video both rock, so in accordance with all I hold dear, I'm posting it, because this is how new music is found!

Check out their myspace and website too, they've got more good music!

Please follow in Natalie's footsteps, if there is some great music out there, let me know; I post just about anything (so long as it's good!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Glorious Monday and Someone's EP is on the Internet

Last evening was sort of the official opening for Alphabet City Soup, hosted by the Antagonist Art Movement at Niagara Bar, down in the good ole' East Village. We had Mariah MacCarthy doing her first stand up routine ever, lots about lesbians and a vegetarian girls rap. It was hysterical I think. Then Ibrahim Siddiq (aka POET) graced us with his presence and some spoken word, much of which was heartwrenching and hilarious at the same time. Amazing. Then mister Adam Lash did some comedy for us as well, he almost battled it out with Mariah about all the lesbian jokes, I was waiting for a brawl. And he was funny as shit. Right before the band went on we had Nick Ignazzi perform some illusion stunts which were super; my personal favorite was the paper cutout of Abraham Lincoln (I'm still a sucker for all that sleight of hand stuff).

Of course we must not forget, we had a special surprise guest early on in the evening. The original opener couldn't make it, so Ramzi Khoury (who was only coming to see the show, and participate on a later date) got up on stage and did a set with himself and the guitar. Three cheers for him, what a sport, we will definitely be having him back. Unless we scared him away. Hopefully not.

Last but not least, Schocholautte went on at 10pm and played magnificently (is there any other way?). They played a few new songs, a few awesome songs, a few songs not heard in a long-ass time, and a few from their new EP. Segue. Schocholautte's new EP, "Oodles of Charm" has made its way to the internet! I know it's on Amazon, Rhapsody and some other places. Just google it and you'll probably find it on your favorite music purchasing website. It will be out on i-Tunes soon enough kiddies, have patience.

And don't forget to admire the album artwork, created and conceived by Michael P! and Haley Jane (who did the photos too!). I know how much time went into it, a lot, so appreciate what these guys do for you. They love you, love them back by buying the album, it's all of $6. I know for a fact that a Starbucks drink can cost more than that. And you won't feel sick after buying the EP, so, bonus points!

At long last, here are some pictures of the evening, look forward to more!