This Week in the Voice: Rise of the Facebook-Killers

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This week in the Voice, out today: Nick Pinto writes about newcomers to the social network scene, who threaten Facebook's long-term viability: "As the business press and slavering investors look on eagerly at Zuckerberg's coronation, many believe that the seeds of Facebook's downfall have already been sown. The company might have brought people together like never before, but exploitation is woven inextricably into its DNA. Facebook makes its money by commercializing personal information, watching its users, analyzing their behavior, and selling what it learns."

Robert Sietsema goes wild for whelks -- and other plates in his review of Bowery Diner: "The diner has come full circle. On the Bowery--once the city's most hardscrabble thoroughfare, these days sprouting boutiques, discos, and art galleries--a new-wave version has appeared in precisely the same place where the original night owls sought out their customers."

Jesse Jarnow details Dustin Wong's music writing process, and finds that it's improv-based. "'I don't really think about it; it has to be intuitive,' he says of his writing. Wong can't read music, and he doesn't use tablature. (He looks mildly mortified at the suggestion that he might.) Instead, he records, plays the results back, and reconstructs his playing."

Nick Pinkerton finds that the basement-based Austrian film Michael deeply explores the dark relationship between pederast and victim, and also examines a Central European obsession with home-making: "The clean, orderly home has a particular hold on the Austrian imagination--specifically the basement, the nation's subterranean subconscious. This has not been lost on native filmmakers: Rainer Frimmel edited the video confessionals of a Viennese hospital orderly into the captivating Notes From the Basement (2001), while the brilliant Ulrich Seidl is currently at work on something called In the Basement, which "seeks to depict Austrians' relationships with their basements."... 'It's a place to do things in secret . . . [of] violence but also a retreat.'"

Michael Feingold prescribes that theatergoers check out Kate Fodor's Rx: "She has simply taken a leaf from Lubitsch's book by turning a classic boy-meets-girl romantic structure into a thornily funny image of today's screwed-up world. She's got the extra advantage, too, of a smart, precise, zestily dry production by Ethan McSweeny: every lunacy in its place, neatly labeled, and irresistible."

Christian Viveros-Faun, Martha Schwendener, and R.C. Baker get political in a discussion about the seemingly inevitable intersection of art and current events: "Throughout history, art and politics have mixed mostly like motor oil and Perrier water. In our age, though, the union of these ideas seems downright unavoidable. Recession, unemployment, the ubiquity of social media, and the increasingly Victorian split between the 1 percent and 99 percent all prove crucial collective challenges."

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