Agenda Newsletter - May 7, 2007

Hear his best—for the first time
Elliott Smith
New Moon; Kill Rock Stars; Out tomorrow; Buy it
Until now, there’d been little danger that Elliott Smith would be compared to Tupac. But as New York’s Hugo Lindgren recently pointed out, this new “archival dump” of material from Smith’s prime years calls to mind a certain thug for life. And yet: “There is nothing tentative or unpolished about any of these 24 songs.” The disc captures his intimacy, his empathy, and, yes, his knack for melodies. It is, finally, “the triumphant comeback he never had in life.”

R&B’s top men make beautiful music together
Same Girl   R. Kelly will soon step back into the closet— chapters 13 through 22 are promised this summer—but for now we have the leak of this most perfect man duet. Over a lulling beat spiked with a sharp piano figure, R. tells Usher about his “potential wife,” eliciting a “Straight up, dog!” But wait—she’s Usher’s boo, too. (Evidence: has a kid, loves Waffle House.) And transcendence: Kels and Ush fall into each other’s arms, wailing. R. Kelly feat. Usher
Hear it  »

Read the handy guide Dad never gave you
Full Frontal Feminism
  The subtitle of this new book by the founder of may be “A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters,” but we know a few grown-up ladies who could use the inspiration this punchy, irreverent rundown gives in a remarkably quick and easy dose. Valenti litters hearty facts with naughty words to explain how to boycott the bridezilla industry and why feminists are better in bed. Jessica Valenti Seal
Buy it  »
Author interview  »      

Defend God against Christopher Hitchens
God Is Not Great: A Debate
  Why is this single-speaker event called a debate? Because it’s up to you, fair audience, to challenge verbal pugilist Christopher Hitchens on his stand against God—as explored in his new book, subtitled “How Religion Poisons Everything”—or some of his other choice pronouncements (Mother Teresa sucks, the Iraq War was a good idea). In an alcohol- and smoke-free space like the public library, you might just catch him off-balance. Advance tickets sold out; get them at the door. New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum
7 p.m.
$15, $10 students
More info  »          

RSVP to Attend a Private Screening of Mr. Brooks Starring Kevin Costner and Demi Moore
The first 100 to respond will receive tickets to the screening. RSVP now! View Trailer See recent Agenda winners        

An old-school modernist speaks
Following Rules: An Oulipo Reading
  An associate of the avant-garde literary collective Oulipo—it’s a French acronym that stands for “the workshop for potential literature,” but you probably already knew that—Harry Mathews’s oeuvre includes a sly “autobiographical novel” about a C.I.A. agent named Harry Mathews and a perverse book of vignettes depicting masturbation scenes. An old-world modernist like Joyce or Beckett, the author’s also just plain old (pushing 80), and he rarely reads in New York, his hometown. The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church
6 p.m.
More info  »      

Show them cartoons they’ve never seen
Big Movies for Little Kids
  Can you say, “Prague Spring,” children? This after-school special of Czech animation includes the prol cartoon Pat and Mat, which might make you wonder whether Wallace and Gromit have Slavic roots, a rare cut-paper animation by master puppet animator Jiri Trinka, and the totally insane rabbits Bob and Bobek. Be sure to get there on time for giveaways and to catch a live performance by Theatre Alfa, visiting from the Czech Republic. Cobble Hill Cinema
4 p.m.
More info  »        

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May 7, 2007

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Agenda Newsletter - May 7, 2007