Just Do Art: June 18, 2015

Salty Brine steers the good ship into the dark side of the moon, at June 24’s merger of Pink Floyd and friends of Dorothy. Photo by Daniel Albanese.

Salty Brine steers the good ship into the dark side of the moon, at June 24’s merger of Pink Floyd and friends of Dorothy. Photo by Daniel Albanese.

SALTY BRINE’S “DARK SIDE OF THE RAINBOW”

The man with a moon on his head is a demented dude with wiggy notes of Kabuki glam — when otherworldly oddity Salty Brine deploys an anthropologist’s curiosity and a performance artist’s flair to officiate this shotgun wedding between Pink Floyd and “The Wizard of Oz.” Anybody else’s idea of high concept is just another day at the office for Brine’s Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret — a musical laboratory tasked with delivering familiar and foreign interpretations of a different iconic album every month. Past shows have drilled deep into the works of Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, and the Beatles. June’s installment merges “Dark Side of the Moon” with the equally hypnotic and evocative score to MGM’s musical tale of a little girl lost in an uneasy dream. Dan Safer (of the dance/theatre company Witness Relocation) directs, with costume design by nightlife personality One-Half Nelson.

Wed., June 24, 8 p.m. at The Red Room (85 E. Fourth St. btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). For tickets ($10 plus a two-drink minimum), visit thesaltiestbrine.com.

OPEN HOUSE riffs on RICHARD BRAUTIGAN’S “IN WATERMELON SUGAR”

The deeds will be done and done again, when Open House riffs on Richard Brautigan’s “In Watermelon Sugar.” (June 25-27 at The Kitchen). Photo courtesy of the artists.

The deeds will be done and done again, June 25-27 at The Kitchen. Photo courtesy of the artists.

“In Watermelon Sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar.” So begins criminally undervalued writer Richard Brautigan’s sparse, searching, magically delicious back-to-nature 1968 novel — the inspiration for this new work by director/choreographer Steven Reker and musicians Ryan Seaton (Callers), Matt Evans (Tigue) and Eliot Krimsky (Glass Ghost). These distinct albeit kindred voices form the experimental noise rock band Open House — which seems fitting, given Brautigan’s satirical but affectionate use of opposing styles.

Having fathered works such as “Willard and His Bowling Trophies” (subtitled “A Perverse Mystery”) and “The Hawkline Monster” (“A Gothic Western”), Brautigan’s “In Watermelon Sugar” has members of a rural commune distancing themselves from the old ways and centering their simple lives around the sweet titular substance — with which they construct many necessities for their apparently post-apocalyptic existence.

Open House aims to conjure, then rework, Brautigan’s “Sugar” aesthetic through sound, light and movement. Analog synthesizers, guitars, drums, voices and digital sound design will evoke the book’s themes of boredom, community, sex, loneliness, beauty, loss and longing.

Thurs., June 25–Sat., June 27, all shows 8 p.m. At The Kitchen (512 W. 19th St. btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). For tickets ($15), call 212-255-5793 or visit thekitchen.org.

Pansy Division plays its first NYC gig in six years, June 26 at The Bowery Electric. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Pansy Division plays its first NYC gig in six years, June 26 at The Bowery Electric. Photo by Lauren Bilanko.

PRIDE CONCERT with PANSY DIVISION, BOTTOMS & YOUTHQUAKE

Have the times finally caught up with gay rockers Pansy Division, or has enough time simply passed that we can appreciate how their early ’90s output helped shove a message down the throat of mainstream culture? With songs like “Groovy Underwear” and “Homo Christmas,” proudly aggressive streaks of wit and libido have long defined the band — which guitarist/singer Jon Ginoli says has always believed “in the idea of the ethical slut…we sing about the joys of sex, but also the frustration of loneliness (which is universal, queer or straight), and about our gripes and frustrations with gay culture.”

That mission hasn’t changed over the years, but its perspective has matured. By 2009’s album “That’s So Gay,” the Pansy boys were contemplating legacy without resting on their laurels (“I’m not ailing / But I might use the railing” goes a line from “20 Years of Cock”). In anticipation of next year’s 25th anniversary, Pansy Division will play its first NYC gig in six years, debuting material before they go into the studio to record a new album. Now playing the role of headliners, the band that once mushroomed thanks to national exposure as an opening act for Green Day repays the deed by appearing on this Pride-themed bill with “gender-problematizing” goth dance band Bottoms and power pop group Youthquake. Somebody’s getting blown away by this assemblage of talent, and that’s not hard to swallow.

Fri., June 26, 7:30 p.m. at The Bowery Electric (327 Bowery at Second St.). 21+. For tickets ($15), call 212-228-0228 or visit theboweryelectric.com. Artist info at PansyDivision.com and PansyDivision.bandcamp.com.

THE ARChive OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC’S SIZZLIN’ SUMMER RECORD & CD SALE

Drop a little coin at the ARChive of Contemporary Music and walk away with your summer soundtrack. Photo courtesy ARCHive of Contemporary Music.

Drop a little coin at the ARChive of Contemporary Music and walk away with your summer soundtrack. Photo courtesy ARCHive of Contemporary Music.

If Noah’s Ark filed for nonprofit status, then hosted an American hot wax-themed treasure hunt with minor notes of suburban yard sale and ‘60s psychedelia thrown into its mix, the result would be eerily similar to this annual event, whose proceeds benefit the ARChive of Contemporary Music.

Their mission: collect, preserve and provide information on popular music from 1950 to the present by keeping two copies of all recordings released in America. Your mission: drop some coin and emerge with some of the over 50,000 items for sale.

They include collectible LPs priced below book value, CDs priced at $1 each, just-released CDs for $3 and up, classical 45s, jazz CDs, vintage psychedelic posters, turntables and audio equipment — and check out the Astroturf Yard Sale items (including vintage kitchen wares and clothing). Become a member and snag an invite to the next exclusive preview party (in December, for their holiday sale).

Through Sun,, June 28, daily from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. at the ARChive of Contemporary Music (54 White St., 3 blocks south of Canal St., btw. Broadway & Church Sts.). Call 212-226-6967 or visit arcmusic.org.

MUCK

“True Grit” was already taken. So filmmaker Bruce Smolanoff used “Muck” as the title for his tribute to the primordial struggle of comedians he came to know, admire and understand during time spent on the Lower East Side in the mid-’90s.

Tallie Medel as Mel in “Muck.” Bruce Smolanoff’s short film, inspired by the LES comedy scene, screens June 20 at BAMcinemaFest. Photo courtesy of the filmmakers.

Tallie Medel as Mel in “Muck.” Bruce Smolanoff’s short film, inspired by the LES comedy scene, screens June 20 at BAMcinemaFest. Photo courtesy of the filmmakers.

This dramatic short film centers around 20-year-old Mel, a Queens resident who lives with her mother and is meant to represent the everyday people Smolanoff encountered on the open mic circuit — which was more concerned with the deeply personal and downright strange rather than punchiness guaranteed to elicit laughter. “Many of them were brilliant performers with very specific points of view,” recalls Smolanoff. “But what I was most curious about was what their lives were like offstage. What compelled them to want to get onstage in front of people week after week and bare their souls?” The too-brief “Muck” gives you a glimpse into what drives these types, and is populated by cameos from some performers who cut their teeth back in the day and are still active around town, including Todd Montesi (host of Tues. night’s “UG! Comedy Show!” at Ludlow Street’s No Fun Bar) and Jim Melloan, this publication’s music columnist.

“Muck” screens along with the Todd Rohal feature “Uncle Kent 2” at 9:45 p.m. on Sat., June 20 at BAMcinemaFest (BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn btw. St. Felix St. & Ashland Pl.). For tickets ($16), visit bam.org/film.

—By Scott Stiffler

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