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Agenda Newsletter - June 25, 2007

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Agenda Top Pick Rappers overcome the odds
Rockstar Mentality
Shop Boyz; Universal Republic; $13.98; Listen; Buy it

Clearly it’s too late to buy a “Party Like a Rockstar” ringtone—the novelty hit of the year (millennium?) is so ubiquitous you won’t even think to answer your phone. But we urge you to look past the Shop Boyz’s likely fate as one-hit wonders and pick up their album (which just “dropped”). Against all odds, their gimmick—making references to white celebrities over guitar and big beats—makes for a disc’s worth of super-fun and totally fresh hip-hop.


   
Populist Confront your mortality the fun way
1,000 Places to See Before You Die: In the USA and Canada
 
That’s right: Patricia Schultz’s travel-guide juggernaut has finally taken on the U.S. and Canada. Schultz is a New Yorker, so flip straight to her local recommendations: Frederic Church’s bluff-top mansion on the Hudson Valley Art Trail, spirit-world seminars in Lily Dale, André Balazs’s North Fork retreat, Harlem’s 1890s townhouses by McKim, Mead & White. “Perfect weekend getaway” honors go to Rhinebeck, a Hudson Valley town with Colonial inns and Manhattan-worthy restaurants.

Patricia Schultz
Workman Publishing Company
$19.95
More
travel
 »
Buy it  »

     
Indieist Berlin D.J. makes mind-melting podcast
Efdemin
 
Resident Advisor has become a major resource for dance-music fans, not least because of its weekly (or so) podcasts, specially commissioned and typically home-recorded D.J. sets. Efdemin's new mix starts off less hedonistic than you might expect, given his usual venue, the legendary Berlin's Panoramabar. But the cold minimalism that begins the set quickly builds up into a tightly controlled funk—then spirals into a mind-melting second half.

Resident Advisor
Download  »

     
Square Bobby Seale talks film
Afro Punk Festival
 
If you too found the sweet, safe narratives of Ray and Dreamgirls a bit pat, check out this annual showcase of radical black art. It goes way beyond black punk (short concert films of Bad Brains), with the Sun Ra doc Space Is the Place, brilliant southern indie George Washington, and, on opening night, the always quotable Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, who’ll discuss two 1969 shorts filmed by the radical Newsreel collective.

Opening night, June 28
BAM
Through
July 7
$15
Tickets  »

     
Aesthete Stories to revive reputation
The Collected Stories
 
Leonard Michaels’s reputation may not be what it once was (his writing was a mainstay in The New Yorker and The Partisan Review), but we’re thinking this posthumous story collection will win him a whole school of new readers. Set mostly in the unvarnished New York of the seventies, the stories revolve around issues of sex, money, and the frail ties that bind people together—think John Cheever, with more existential issues.

Leonard Michaels
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
$26
Buy it  »

     
Kids Sleep under the ... oh, right
Sleep Under the Stars
 
Since 2002, the Urban Park Rangers have acted as overnight scout leaders for families who think camping out in Central Park is a good idea. And it is, really: The rangers loan you a tent, which they help you pitch, and bring s'mores for the campfire along with their encyclopedic urban-wildlife knowledge, which you’ll get a taste of during a nighttime exploration. The Parks Department has allotted a single day for sign-up—today.

Great Hill, Central Park
June 30,
5 p.m.
More info  »

     
 
 

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Monday June 25, 2007
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