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New York, New York
Join The Baffler as we set sail on the fetid waters of the East River for the first-ever Bad Society Cruise—with musical guests Girlpool and Masters of Fright—on the evening of Wednesday, August 14.
Boarding begins at 6:30 p.m. at Skyport Marina in Manhattan (2430 FDR Drive) in Manhattan, and at 7:30 p.m. sharp, we shall cruise the vile stretch of phallic condominiums and factories-cum-coworking spaces that line the shore, taking in the sunset before turning ourselves over to three leisurely hours of commiseration. The night will start with a set from NYC woodwind shredders Masters of Fright, an orchestral ensemble that performs the mystical arrangements of Sammy Weissberg.
Later, we’ll be treated to the ever-expanding musical stylings of Girlpool, the duo of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, who will travel all the way from sunny Los Angeles to crack a bottle of shitty champagne on the bow of our hardy schooner. On their third and most recent album, What Chaos is Imaginary, Girlpool responds to the sinking feelings of modern life with surreal synth-laced poetry and expressive indie rock: “There’s a silver lining / and a ripping seam / everything’s overrated,” Tividad sings on its title track.
Unlike other magazine cruises charging thousands of bucks for intellectual stimulation of questionable merit on faraway islands, we guarantee only bottom-shelf booze, top-shelf rock, and breathtaking views of a city wholly indifferent to your existence—all for the bargain price of $30 in advance (or, cough up $20 more and find yourself awash in a year’s worth of our fine and fair magazine to boot)!
(Note: This event is 21+ and the bar will be cash-only.)
Brooklyn, New York
MAY 29, 2019—THE BAD SOCIETY continues! Please join The Baffler for the next installment in our ongoing series of concerts and talks, this time at Brooklyn’s Murmrr Ballroom, following the release of our most recent issue, “Chronic Youth.”
To commence our spring event, Baffler contributing editor and “Downstream” columnist Liz Pelly will lead a conversation on the music streaming economy, our new era of artist exploitation, and how independent artists in particular are threatened by the depredations of the contemporary music industry. She’ll be joined by fellow music streaming critic David Turner, publisher of the newsletter Penny Fractions, and Xenia Rubinos, who will also perform.
Music will begin with Blood Club, the dissonant experimental solo project of Liana Hell Lean, also front-person of NYC hardcore band Decisions. Their latest recording, A Wood With Knots, was recorded in their bedroom at The Silent Barn and released via Sister Polygon Records (Priests, Gauche, Flasher, etc.) who called it a testament to “continuing to learn and unlearn how to perform.” We’ll also hear from NYC four-piece Public Practice, a group comprised of former members of WALL and Beverly, whose debut EP on Wharf Cat Records uses deadpan post-punk to meditate on perception and our distorted realities.
The night will be capped by a performance from avant pop master Xenia Rubinos. Across two full-length records, 2013’s Magic Trix and 2016’s Black Terry Cat, Rubinos has drawn from funk, soul, indie rock, hip-hop, R&B, and a prism of other influences, deconstructing every melody with as much nuance as she applies to the topics she takes on in her lyrics: identity, politics, undervalued labor, borders, and more. In 2016, she described Black Terry Cat as being “about uncovering the way white supremacy infiltrates our personal lives, and finding the weapons to fight it.”
Entry to the show can be yours for a mere $15; but for $40, you’ll also get a full year’s subscription to the magazine. And as always, subscribers will get some drink tickets courtesy of The Baffler.
Brooklyn, New York
JANUARY 24, 2019—Please join The Baffler for an evening of music, readings, and conversation as we celebrate our first issue of 2019, Pilgrim’s Regress, and inaugurate THE BAD SOCIETY, our new series of concerts and talks for the disaffected and generally pissed-off.
What better soundtrack for the occasion than anti-racist, anti-capitalist feminist post-punk ensemble GAUCHE? Traveling from Washington, D.C., for the occasion, the trio of Mary Jane Regalado, Daniele Yandel, and Jason Barnett plus a cast of collaborators will play songs from their 2015 Sister Polygon EP as well as their forthcoming debut full-length. As Gauche put it themselves, the songs are like “a manifesto in the form of mythology; each song a new myth, a new possibility for existence within alienating and consumerist society.”
Joining Gauche are THE SEDIMENT CLUB, advocates of explosive no-wave and raw chaos for over a decade now. Their latest full-length Stucco Thieves reflects on “human bankruptcy” in America with nods against general greediness and crumbling infrastructure. NYC legend ALICE COHEN & THE CHANNEL 14 WEATHER TEAM, known for intricately layered, visual experimental pop, will play with her live band; Cohen’s exceptional 2016 full-length, her fifth solo record, meditates on escapism, identity, and consumer culture’s “churches of holy desire.”
In The Baffler’s ongoing tradition of joining left-wing political criticism with cultural analysis, merging the worlds of writing and music, the evening will also feature readings by Baffler contributors Lauren Oyler and Kate Wagner, who will discuss the theme of our new issue—the myth of progress. Commodify your dissent for the bargain price of $12 per ticket or $32 for a special ticket-plus-magazine-subscription deal. And as usual, Baffler subscribers can expect some free beverages.
Brooklyn, New York
SUMMER OF 1988: The Baffler is born as a punk literary magazine with the timeless proclamation, “Your Lifestyle Sucks.” A laugh in the face of academic jargon and the commercial avant-garde, The Baffler was instead a celebration of critical intelligence—taking to task everyone from creative class gurus to entertainment moguls to cyber-entrepreneurs.
THIRTY YEARS LATER: The Baffler remains a leading voice of unexpected left-wing political criticism, cultural analysis, poetry, and art. To celebrate these three decades of antagonism and mockery, we warmly invite you—long-time and first-time Bafflerites alike—to join us for a celebration of music and revelry on the evening of August 25, 2018 at the music venue Elsewhere in Brooklyn, New York.
For the occasion, we have summoned the musical talents of DEERHOOF and PALBERTA, two acts known for challenging, joyful, and uncompromising sounds; music impossible to compartmentalize in an increasingly stagnant and Spotified major-indie music industry.
Formed in 1994 in San Francisco, the legendary and staunchly independent four-piece DEERHOOF draws from post-punk, noise rock, improv, pop and jazz. Over fourteen studio albums, drummer Greg Saunier, bassist and singer Satomi Matsuzaki, and guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez have emerged as one of the most adventurous experimental bands of our time.
PALBERTA is the sharp, humorous collaboration between multi-instrumentalists Lily Konigsberg, Anina Ivry-Block, and Nina Ryser. Formed less than five years ago in the Hudson Valley, Palberta have amassed an underground following in recent years. Their recently issued Roach Goin’ Down is the trio’s second full-length and among the year’s most interesting albums.
Commodify your dissent for the bargain price of $20 per ticket or $40 for a special ticket-plus-magazine-subscription deal. An after party will follow on Elsewhere’s rooftop, at which free beverages will be available for our subscribers. Also for sale at the Baffler Mini Mall merch table will be facsimile editions of early issues of the magazine and other items marketing the Baffler anti-lifestyle brand. This is the first in a series of Baffler concerts to be continued in 2019.
As a respite from the throes of networking hell at AWP, The Baffler invites you to Tampa’s premier pirate-themed bar for a night of poetry and free booze.
Join us Friday, March 9, at Gaspar’s Grotto (1805 E. 7th Avenue) starting at 6:30 p.m., whereupon we’ll be whipped into a sublime frenzy by the poetry of an esteemed crop of Baffler bards. Readers include: sam sax, author of Madness (2017) and winner of the National Poetry Series; Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art (2017), winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Charif Shanahan, author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (2017); francine j. harris, author of play dead (2016); and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, author of the collection of poems The Crown Ain’t Worth Much (2016).
The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the reading starts at 7:30 p.m. at Gaspar’s Grotto. Did we mention the open bar? Please RSVP below ahead of the big day and make sure to drop by our table at the bookfair, which we’re sharing with our comrades in arms at Guernica.
Brooklyn, New York
New York, New York
Against our recent backdrop of horrifying blows to the body politic, any shred of good news feels like cause for celebration. When two unmistakably positive developments arise . . . well, we’re left with no option but to throw a party.
On June 15, come help us celebrate our newest issue, No. 35, The Bad Society, and welcome our new social media czar, Brandy Jensen. As always, it’s a free event, and you can expect an evening free of any tedious distraction from the food and drink. Come by the office, collect a copy of our latest printed work, and take a night off from anxiety over the rapidly crumbling social compact.
Festivities begin at 7 p.m., 19 West 21st Street, #1001. Please RSVP below ahead of the big day, and direct any hateful responses directly to our Twitter or Facebook accounts.
As we the disenchanted citizenry settle up with the United States Treasury, we invite you to join The Baffler in holding our mobbed-up American autocracy to account! On Tax Day 2017, a panel of Baffler contributors convening in the dark heart of Washington, D.C., will take full measure of how thoroughly we are being shaken down in the opening months of the Trump era. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, will explain how the phony policy dictates of austerity economics have demolished the foundations of middle-class prosperity. Contributing editor Barbara Ehrenreich will revisit the dismaying delusions—right, left, and in between—that have made a Trump presidency possible. Online columnist Hussein Ibish will survey the challenges ahead in the Muslim American community. And Baffler writer Rafia Zakaria will explore the many derangements of white ethno-nationalism in the Bannon age.
RSVP here to join us on April 18 at the National Union Building at 7 p.m., sharp. And don’t worry, we’re planning to drown our sorrows in plenty of beer. It’s a party (of sorts) after all!
New York, New York
Mobilizing to Defeat Climate Change
Join our friends from the New Republic and three of our nation’s leading environmental activists, Bill McKibben, Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., and Elizabeth Yeampierre for a critical public conversation on climate change, its social, political, and biological impact and what can be done now to arrest and where possible reverse its deadly progress. General admission is free of charge.
Writer and organizer Bill McKibben, Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., nationally-known environmental campaigner and President of the Hip Hop Caucus and Elizabeth Yeampierre, respected environmental justice attorney and Executive Director of UPROSE will explore the latest strategies to combat climate change in conversation with New Republic Editor Eric Bates.
Topics will include:
• How can the United States most effectively mobilize to halt global warming. What is needed to make it happen? What are the primary obstacles? How can we overcome them?
• Mobilization as a socially transformative process—the social and economic benefits
• Climate Justice: How do we focus attention on the front-line communities most affected? And how do we involve those communities in the process?
The event will take place on Tuesday, September 20, at 6:30p.m. at the Silas Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, New York, NY. Please RSVP here.
Brooklyn, New York
Come one, come all to A Public Space on September 14, 2016, for a truly thinkfluential panel on our misguided neoliberal elite. This is event is free and open to the public.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The event will begin at 7 p.m.
Conservative America has lost its mind, swooning into the short-fingered grasp of a corrupt reality-TV strongman. But among liberals, there’s a distressing absence of passion and moral imagination.
What accounts for this prolonged state of liberal exhaustion? We at The Baffler propose that it’s a product of managerial liberalism—an approach to government that regards our leaders as results-driven professionals. Managerial liberals are fierce advocates of technocratic personal advancement, and approach our politics as the dominion of a knowledge elite. If they were the type of political actors to have slogans, theirs would be, Don’t organize—instruct!
Prepared to be engrossed by our rousing panel with Baffler editor-in-chief Chris Lehmann and colleagues to anatomize this new liberal knowledge elite, and to develop genuinely new political alternatives to its reign. Baffler founder Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal, will probe the intellectual habits and social composition of this leadership class. Barbara Ehrenreich, a Baffler contributing editor, will discuss her pioneering research into the rise of the professional managerial class. Princeton religion professor Eddie Glaude, who also chairs the school’s African-American studies department will examine the shortcomings and blind spots that afflict the liberal vision of racial equality; his latest book is Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. Win McCormack, editor-in-chief of the New Republic, will address the yawning philosophical void at the heart of contemporary American liberalism.
Harvard Book Store and The Baffler welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi for a discussion of her latest book, In the Darkroom. This is event is free and open to the public.
Please join us at the Cambridge Public Library on Wednesday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m.
About In the Darkroom
“In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent had absconded from her life. I was in pursuit of a scofflaw, an artful dodger who had skipped out on so many things—obligation, affection, culpability, contrition. I was preparing an indictment, amassing discovery for a trial. But somewhere along the line, the prosecutor became a witness.”
So begins Susan Faludi’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of identity in the modern world and in her own haunted family saga. When the feminist writer learned that her 76-year-old father—long estranged and living in Hungary—had undergone sex reassignment surgery, that investigation would turn personal and urgent. How was this new parent who claimed to be “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images?
Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her suburban childhood and her father’s many previous incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest. When the author travels to Hungary to reunite with her father, she drops into a labyrinth of dark histories and dangerous politics in a country hell-bent on repressing its past and constructing a fanciful—and virulent—nationhood. The search for identity that has transfixed our century was proving as treacherous for nations as for individuals.
Faludi’s struggle to come to grips with her father’s reinvented self takes her across borders—historical, political, religious, sexual—to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you “choose,” or is it the very thing you can’t escape?
Please visit the Harvard Book Store site for further details on the event, or to purchase a copy of In the Darkroom.