May 1, 2014

Grrrl's Guide: May 2014

April showers bring May flowers (and some rad events!)

May is Spring in hyper-speed. Filled with feminist film, performance art, and even hardcore gigs, try to keep up with us and pray for sun.

THE ESSENTIAL ELLEN WILLIS BOOK RELEASE – MAY 2ND

Pioneering feminist music critic Ellen Willis is getting her due recognition with an anthology encompassing 40 years of her essays on politics, sex, gender and culture. The release party for The Essential Ellen Willis at Galapagos Art Space features readings by some of our faves, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Ann Friedman, Sara Marcus, Irin Carmon, Nona Willis Aronowitz and more! Also promised are “free bevs [and] free love.” How to prepare: check out Ellis’ work in 2011’s Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music, and RSVP here!


HYSTERICS COMES TO BROOKLYN – MAY 2ND & MAY 3RD

A hardcore gig not to be missed, Olympia’s Hysterics are supported by local favorites In School, plus Exit Order (Boston), New Crime (Philly), and Fever Dream (Brooklyn) on Friday, May 2nd. This should be extra fun because the venue is a dive bar in Brooklyn, so it will feel like hardcore shows of yore. On Saturday night, Sorrows, the band we’ve all been waiting for, featuring members of Zombie Dogs, Each Other’s Mothers, Aye Nako and The Babies, will open for Hysterics at Death by Audio, among others. Support your local feminist punks.

AI WEIWEI: ART AND ACTIVISM – MAY 3RD

Funnest Saturday ever? This program at Brooklyn Museum is based on its current exhibition, Ai Weiwei: According to What? This prolific Chinese artist is celebrated in a daylong event with gallery talks, a flower-arranging workshop, film and music. Musical performances include JD Samson (of MEN and Le Tigre) and one of my favorite rappers ever, the queen Jean Grae. Bonus: admission is discounted for the day.



MAX STEELE IS MAPPLETHORPE – MAY 2ND-MAY 4TH

A solo show by Brooklyn Arts Exchange’s artist-in-residence Max Steele, I’m not exactly sure what MAPPLETHORPE is going to be. All I know is, I love Max Steele—Max is a zine author and performance artist who started his art practice in punk. In his last performance piece, ENCOURAGER, Max led the audience in a game of “Would You Rather?”

PUNK ROCK GIRLS FILM PROGRAM – MAY 7-JUNE 1, 2014 

I can’t help but think of Punk Rock Girls as a month-long slumber party, the only problem being I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to live at BAM. From guilty pleasures (Josie and the Pussycats) to classics like Times Square and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, you’ll want to be sure and catch each and every one of these cinematic gems.

RIOT CHICA PRESENTS: OH BONDAGE, UP YOURS! – MAY 8TH

This month Riot Chica, the queer/punk/riot grrrl party brought to you by DJ Shomi Noise, pays homage to the legendary X-Ray Spex. Riot Chica celebrates feminism, social justice, and DIY culture, making X-Ray Spex a welcome and fitting subject. While you’re getting ready for the party, dance around your room while listening to Shomi Noise’s Riot Chica mix on SoundCloud.

ROCK, RAGE + SELF DEFENSE SCREENING – MAY 12TH

If you’ve ever heard of Seattle punk band The Gits, chances are you know the story of Mia Zapata, the band’s lead singer who was attacked, raped, and killed in 1993. Zapata’s death inspired her peers to form a DIY self-defense group, Home Alive, which only disbanded in 2010. Two students from the University of Washington created this documentary about Home Alive, and theyare touring the country through May 27th. Rock, Rage + Self Defense comes to the Spectacle Theatre in Brooklyn on May 12th, with a panel featuring Laina Dawes, author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.

HEY QUEEN! QUEEN OF THE GREEN FT. JANET MOCK – MAY 17TH

Hey Queen!, arguably the most well-known of all NYC queer parties, is hosting a very special event benefitting two New York City organizations. Hey Queen! Queen of the Green will be hosted by Queen of Honor Janet Mock (author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More) and benefits Persist Health Project and PROS Network. Plus performances, raffle prizes and more!

SHABBY DOLL HOUSE SPRING READING – MAY 24TH

If you’ve never visited Mellow Pages Library, now is the time. With chill, literary vibes, it’s the perfect place to host an evening of readings by Shabby Doll House contributors, hosted by Shabby Doll House editors LK Shaw and Sarah Jean Alexander. Shabby Doll house is an online publisher of art and literature; this reading features Guillaume Morissette, Cassandra Gillig, Ashley Opheim, John Mortara, Matthew Bookin, and Brittany Wallace.

There’s so much happening in May it’s hard to imagine fitting anything else into this month, but guess what? Bell hooks is doing a number of talks at New School AND two of our indie-pop favorites, The Besties and Full of Fancy, are reuniting for one night only on the Jersey Shore at Asbury Lanes. Sounds like a pretty good way to get prepared for summer, right? Hope to catch you out in the sunshine!

THIS STAFF POST WAS CONTRIBUTED BY: 
Kate Wadkins, a Brooklyn-based writer, artist and curator who believes in the transformative power of punk. Kate edits International Girl Gang Underground zine and is a founding member of For the Birds Collective. She is a classic virgo, coffee enthusiast, bass player, and rabble rouser. You can find her online or tweet at her literally any time.