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Agenda Newsletter - May 30, 2007


Agenda Top Pick Graphic novelist reads from our top-ten pick
Alison Bechdel

Barnes & Noble, 2289 Broadway; 7 p.m.; Free

Bechdel's elegiac memoir, Fun Home, exploded the idea of what graphic novels can do. (One of our top-ten books of 2006, it’s now out in paperback.) The story of her coming out and her father's closeted life made room for the Icarus myth, isolation of rural Pennsylvania, and smells of New York. Bechdel, a charming and eloquent speaker, will soon appear elsewhere, but this is her big solo reading—one that promises to feel like a community event.

Populist Leaked tracks evoke gangsta rap’s golden age
The Game
A lesser gangsta than the Game might have decided against naming his album The Doctor's Advocate, given his rancorous split with Dr. Dre. But as these pre-breakup Doc-produced tracks attest, no one's sounded this quintessentially Cali on a Dre beat since Snoop Dogg. On "Murda," a highlight, the Game gives a tour of his hometown—we learn that on the south side, the Crips wear Seattle Mariner hats. You can practically smell the Roscoe's Chicken n' Waffles.

Unreleased Doctor's Advocate tracks
Download  »

Indieist French chanteuse to sing for you
Keren Ann
A few years back, Keren Ann was just another French chanteuse (in a cluster that included the ladies of Nouvelle Vague and Coralie Clement), but her vintage sound has stuck. And if her new self-titled album is any indication, that sound should be more powerful than ever in concert: Beefed up with electric guitar and extravagant backing vocals, her songs no longer dissolve into the coy whispers chanteuses like to indulge in.

Jason Hart
Bowery Ballroom
June 4
8 p.m.
Tickets  »

Square Movie flop brilliant on Broadway
“As a film, the 1980 Olivia Newton-John roller-disco fable Xanadu was the epic failure to end all epic failures—until Ishtar.” That’s Michael Martin, kicking off this week’s epic look at Xanadu’s birth as a Broadway production. The movie was the movie—this, friends, is the musical: Scaled down, honed to perfect camp with broad jukebox appeal, the show (just out of previews) boasts a “relentlessly, hysterically funny” script and songs imbued with “100 percent emotional sincerity.”

Helen Hayes Theater
Feature  » Tickets  »

Aesthete Tacita Dean films film
Hugo Boss Prize 2006
Alarmed by the obsolescence of celluloid film, Hugo Boss prizewinner Tacita Dean visited a Kodak factory in France on the eve of its closing. Kodak, her 45-minute film, lovingly documents the miles of machinery cranking out luminous sheets of her chosen medium. But it’s the watery four-minute loop of Noir et Blanc, shot on her precious remaining five rolls of 16mm black and white, that’s the most moving elegy; it transmits a preternatural sense of loss.

Tacita Dean
Guggenheim Museum
June 6
Slideshow  »
More info

Kids Let middle schoolers know they’re not alone
Stuck in the Middle
If you've got a not-so-little one going through the chamber of horrors known as middle school, it is imperative that you buy her this comics anthology. Daniel Clowes, Lauren Weinstein, and Gabrielle Bell share their post-grade-school horror stories; imagine what they went through as future comic-book artists. Aaron Renier's "Simple Machines," excerpted earlier this month on Vulture, not only tells kids they’re not alone, it also gives hope of escape.

Read "Simple Machines"  »
Buy the


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Wednesday May 30, 2007
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