Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman Just Want to Use 'Your Love' for Their Musical

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Photo by Luke Fontana
Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman of Your Love, Our Musical
Caitlin Puckett and Calvin Cole are sitting on stage, recounting the details of their romance. The stage is set for Your Love, Our Musical at Peoples Improv Theater on a warm May night, with hosts Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman inviting an unassuming couple up on the stage, interviewing them about how they met, fell for each other, etc., then improvising a half-hour musical about that very love story. Where improvised comedy in general and improvised musical comedy in particular can get painfully, embarrassingly stilted, Vigil and Kaufman's hour-long show is bombastic, clean and ever hysterical. They've mastered the artform, their chemistry as artists (they are not a couple in real life) as much part of the show as the chemistry behind the couple they feature.

Puckett and Cole begin revealing their story, having met at a medical alarm company (the I've-fallen-and-can't-get-up type where people call in for assistance), its cubicles tiny and surveillance cameras watching those working there, always. They were friends first. Puckett was in a long distance relationship with a slightly depressive man named Justin Atkinson when she realized their connection wasn't the real deal. She broke it off with Justin, and she and Cole got together the very same night. Cole brought over the winning trifecta: Wine, cheese and Muppet Treasure Island. When asked who said "I love you" first, the couple admit that the answer is unclear. What was clear was they didn't necessarily need to. The two clicked so hard, says Cole, "it was just understood."

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Is Devo the Funniest Band in History?

Categories: Comedy

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Album art
Devo's Freedom of Choice will receive a comedic salute the week of its 35th birthday.
This week in Cheap Laughs, we have sad Griffins, nostalgic whippings, mid-Nineties strokings, and the vital importance of basements. Here's our rundown of the best in independently produced New York comedy this week.

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For Patrick Watson, New Album 'Love Songs for Robots' Is Elementary

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Courtesy of Sacks & Co.
Patrick Watson
After half an hour of intense chatting with Canadian indie-pop singer-songwriter and film composer Patrick Watson about his band's latest record, Love Songs for Robots, a nagging question remains: Just who is the robot, here?

"I did this really crazy hypnosis thing last year for fun with this really quiet old Russian lady," says Watson, speaking from his studio in Montreal. "There were no dreamcatchers on the wall; it was really kind of, like, heady. Not spiritual in any way. She just sits down and talks to you, and it's like this key to the back of your brain. When you understand how powerful the back of your brain is...when you really get into it, you see how all the commercials and stuff we see and hear builds your identity. You're not really aware of it, even if you think you are. You think you're super in charge of your decisions, but you're not, which is why they spend millions of dollars on advertising."

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Ten Surprising & Strange Tributes to Billy Joel

Categories: Lists, Pop Music

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Steven Cohen for City Pages
Billy Joel at Minneapolis's Target Center, 5/16/15
In case you haven't noticed, Billy Joel is everywhere these days. And if him taking up permanent residence at Madison Square Garden wasn't enough, the Piano Man is preparing to headline Bonnaroo in June, not to mention closing out Nassau Coliseum on August 4 before its massive renovation project gets under way. Ah yes, and tomorrow he's back at MSG for another Manhattan soiree. He's just bein' Billy.

But perhaps in the all-out Joel assault you've found yourself growing more and more disinclined to hear the man himself sing "Zanzibar" for the thousandth time. No worries: Here's a list of some of best, most unexpected, and straight-up strangest Billy Joel covers recorded over the years, as well as those instances where rappers have given Billy his shine by simply sampling him. From Action Bronson to Amy Poehler, check out some fantastically out-there toasts to Billy Joel.

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I Survived My First EDM Festival and Did Not Dance, or Thoughts on a Generation Undefined

Categories: Music Festivals

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Jena Cumbo for the Village Voice
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees at EDC New York 2015
If you want to experience a true sense of detachment from your fellow millennials, wear a collared shirt and khakis to the Electric Daisy Carnival. I did, and for two days I waded through the grounds feeling a tad out of place among the floral ensembles and beaded accessories. This was all done with intent: Electronic dance music (or EDM, if you want to reduce a style of music into a three-letter initialism) is something that I've obviously been aware of, and I've followed its infiltration into mainstream pop throughout the past decade or so. And even though I don't enjoy this technical music, I should make this clear: My personal opinions on this matter are unnecessary and irrelevant. What counts are the sounds I heard, the people who spoke with me, the irregularities I bore witness to, and the hundreds of observations I sketched into my little black notebook throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

"You need to blend in — you look like the police," says a college-aged woman sucking on a pacifier. She reaches to unbutton my shirt, reiterating, "You need to relax and act your age." This is coming from a gal a few years my junior, and when I ask about the Binky she's sharing with her friends, her response is that it helps enhance the MDMA experience.

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METZ Turn Up the Distortion Far Outside Toronto City Limits With 'METZ II'

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Photo by David Waldman
METZ
If you want an idea of how far Toronto's METZ have come as a band, look no further than the fourth track on their eponymous sophomore album, METZ II, which dropped via Sub Pop on May 5. Entitled "Zzyzx" and clocking in at only 36 seconds, it's more of an interlude than an actual song, a soundcheck at an undisclosed location that gives way to hissing feedback.

"I think that's from when we were playing a show in Colombia," says lead singer and guitarist Alex Edkins over beers at a quiet downtown Toronto bar. When the noise-rock trio (Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach, and drummer Hayden Menzies) formed in 2008, they never expected to be performing shows in South America, much less touring all over the world — or selling out back-to-back NYC gigs, at the Bowery Ballroom (May 26) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (May 27).

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Torres and the Cosmic Turns of Sprinter's Self-Discovery

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Photo by Shawn Brackbill
Mackenzie Scott, a/k/a Torres
On the pocket of her thrift store denim jacket, Mackenzie Scott wears a collection of buttons. One reps New Jersey–based rockers Screaming Females. Another, Nashville label Spaghetti Spaghetti Records. There's an oversized close-up of a Persian cat's fuzzy scowl (she says that's her favorite) and a gold enamel pin emblazoned with "President's Award," the kind they give top students in middle school for perfect attendance or good grades. These pins aren't just flair: They're representative of the many aspects that make up Scott's personality — the overachiever, the Southern punk, the crazy cat lady, and a woman who can let loose an unearthly moan.

Lately, she's gotten a lot of recognition for doing that last one under the moniker Torres, a family surname from her mother's side that she took on to keep a layer of separation between herself as a person and herself as a performer. "Mackenzie Scott is the name that comes on my receipts when I buy cat litter," she explains. "It's not very romantic or mysterious."

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A$AP Rocky Releases A.L.L.A. Album Early, Remembers A$AP Yams

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Sowmya Krishnamurthy for the Village Voice
Snapping A$AP Rocky in action at his A.L.L.A. listening party
A$AP Rocky blessed fans with a surprise gift on May 26: The Harlem rapper has unexpectedly released his A.L.L.A. album.

The sophomore effort — its title is an acronym that stands for At.Long.Last.A$AP — was slated for June 2, but it became commercially available at midnight. The follow-up to 2013's LongLiveA$AP features contributors including Kanye West ("Jukebox Joints"), Juicy J and UGK ("Wavybone"), Rod Stewart ("Everyday"), and M.I.A. ("Fine Whine") and includes several nods to the city ("Canal St.," "West Side Highway," and "Max B").

Rocky commemorated the release with a last-minute party at Milk Studios in Chelsea last night. The 26-year-old held court amid a sea of fashionable cool kids outfitted in everything from colorful caftans and capes to fitted hats and fresh kicks. It was a fitting venue for the self-professed "Fashion Killa." A$AP Rocky, more than any of his hip-hop contemporaries, is a genuine sartorialist. His handsome visage has graced DKNY ads, he was engaged to model Chanel Iman, and he single-handedly made streetwear brands Been Trill and Hood by Air wack with one diss. "I'm high [as] a kite right now," Rocky said, his braided hair pulled back into a ponytail and his mouth glistening from his grille. "Let's get into some trill shit."

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Mary Epworth Canvasses an 'American Landscape' In Support of Her 'Dream Life'

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Courtesy of Nick Loss-Eaton
Mary Epworth
Mary Epworth has just rushed back to the hotel after grabbing a quick breakfast. She's in Boston, currently a few dates shy of completing her nationwide tour of the United States, and the British singer-songwriter is commenting on a tweet she sent in early May regarding the United Kingdom's general elections: "Oh U.K., what have you done?"

"This is like our second term of George Bush, basically," she says, summarizing her view of the Conservative and Unionist Party in terms we Americans can understand. "And they're in for another five years. All of us are so shocked, because it's gotten so bad. You're in your own Facebook bubble/confirmation bias and you feel like we're all politically engaged — but then they come in and have the majority."

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The Nine Best Concerts in New York This Week, 5/25/15

Categories: Concerts

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Photo courtesy of Chicano Batman
Chicano Batman

For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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