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NYC blog 2013: ‘Nice to meet you’ by Marco Santaniello

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There’s no denying the spirit of Andy Warhol is very much present in New York’s artistic landscape. Every time I visit the city there’s some sort of Warholian action. This time around I got to the opening of the ‘Nice to meet you’ exhibition at Tazza Gallery (547 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001)by self-proclaimed superstar artist Marco Santaniello. Marco’s work takes pop art rules to a whole new level: it’s aggressively colorful, stuffed with pop icons’ portraits and serves as a perfect example of ‘eye candy’ art. The exhibition is small but surprisingly diverse: from the re-imagined portraits of Terry Richardson to New York’s landscapes, from David Bowie to Kate Moss.

The exhibition at Tazza Galllery runs until December 12, so you have plenty of time to get your slice of pop culture.

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‘Witches of East End’ are here

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Even though I never watched any of the new (post-Buffy) supernatural series, ‘Witches of East End’ was an easy sell to me. First of all, it had the most epic 90s-inspired trashy teaser ever.

Secondly, I adored Jenna Dewan (I mean Dewan-Tatum) for a long time – ever since she played that sexy zombie chick ‘Tamara’. The rest of the cast was involved with other favorites of mine: Madchen Amick was on ‘Damages’, Nicholas Gonzalez played basically the same role on ‘Melrose Place’, Virginia Madsen was stunning in both ‘Candyman’ and ‘The Number 23’, Tom Lenk came right from ‘Buffy’/’Angel’, Rachel Boston was a cute LA hippie in ‘It’s a Disaster’ and Jason George brought some childhood memories about ‘Sunset Beach’.

So here’s what I thought about the pilot:

Overall it’s better than I expected. It’s well-paced, the dialogs are well-written and luckily there’s more action than soap.

This is very ‘Charmed’ but with more of a season-long plot (instead of ‘baddie of the week’ angle).

The curse is a good idea. Hope we get tons of delicious flashbacks.

Jenna Dewan is still ridiculously hot and her leopard-printed white robe is a fashion must.

There’s not enough Virginia Madsen, but I’m sure it will be improved soon (as the season’s trailer during the end credits kinda gave her ‘agenda’ away).

The best line of the pilot came from Amick’s aunt Wendy: ‘I can’t believe I got hit by a car. That’s almost as dumb as the time I died from syphilis’.

The making out at the beach with a topless long-haired hunk is as cheesy as it gets.

The conversations between both sets of sisters are the best part of the show so far, while the special effects are pretty bad.

Consider me hooked.

I call it ‘Freak Chic’

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My DJing marathon is going strong: this Saturday will mark my 4th weekend in a row spinning pop music and throwing glitter at people. This Sat I’m going back to my beloved bar ‘Darling, I’ll Call U Later’ (B.Strochenovkiy, 7) to make everyone dance at ‘Freak Chic’ party. Expect crazy outfits and latest bangers (as well as some evergreen hits). The fun begins at 9pm.

And don’t forget to tweet/Instagram using #mikeymoscowparty

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Going North!

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My party-every-weekend plan is going strong. This Saturdays I’m leaving Moscow for my first ever DJ gig in stunning Saint Petersburg: I’ll be spinning some catchy pop from 22 to 3.30 in a ‘scientific bar’ ‘Epsilon’ at Lomonosova, 13. There’s going to be a group of people from Kazantip, too, so the party’s going to be quite hot. Can’t wait to see all of my Northern friends!

#mikeydance: WILD

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During our July trip to Spain me and my friends got to Biarritz and it was insanely beautiful. I knew I had to capture that moment somehow and hey, what’s a better way to do that than dance on the beach? So here it is – my choreography to Jessie J ‘Wild’.

DanceFall

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First autumn party with 2 bands performing: I’m Your Father and KiwiMasQuatro. Gonna be hot. Promise!

Mikey Moscow’s Band Power

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My recent party ‘BAND POWER’ was all about the power of girlbands and boybands and it was predictably wild: glitter, fake fur, dirty dancing. Here are some of the best shots from the party. The next one’s, well, tomorrow!

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Boys, girls and Pepsi

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I recently started contributing to Pepsi‘s new website about music. The first subject I knew I had to cover was the comeback of girlbands and boybands – the ultimate force in pop music, that pretty much smashing it across the globe. And it’s not all One Direction in there: I had to squeeze in awesome five-piece RedOne-produced boyband Midnight Red and The Pussycat Dolls 2.0-that-never-happened girlband G.R.L.

It’s in Russian, but GoogleTranslate is your friend.

Just sing me one more song

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I didn’t just take an interview with the girlband heaven that is The Dolly Rockers during my trip to London in March. I also asked them to sing the chorus from their RedOne-produced drunk-anthem ‘One More’. Now that the song’s finally online, I can share their stunning acapella performance right on the street.

Much Ado About Whedon

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Limited releases are tricky to catch, but so far I’ve been lucky: last year I got to New York just in time to see ‘Detention’ and on my recent second trip to London I managed to see Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Being a big Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse fan, I knew that’s one film I’ll love right away. And I did. So much that I had to write a review.

What do you do when you just directed a movie that’s destined to be the T-Rex of movie history with $1,5 billion gross? You sign up for a sequel. But if you’re Joss Whedon, you also find time in your superhero-filled schedule to shoot a painfully independent black-and-white modern version of Willian Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ using original text and his own house as location. And there’s never really any doubt that any of these is going to work. It’s Joss Whedon. He knows his stuff.

Whedon is no stranger when it comes to pushing the dialogs boundaries (see Buffy’s silent episode ‘Hush’ or a neurotic/epic musical one ‘Once more with feeling’), so making a good use of Shakespearean enunciation is hardly an impossible task for him. Most of the film’s sarcastic punch comes from its quirky interpretation of the play’s language as well as its leads natural likability. The true power of Whedon’s shows was usually in its secondary characters, so it was a smart move to put the beloved ‘supporters’ in the spotlight this time while leaving the Big Ones out. And given her ability to switch from romantic to dramatic to fragile in a blink of an eye, Amy Acker never fails to create a pleasantly sassy and touchingly stubborn incarnation of Beatrice who’s always just one step away from falling in love.

Her on-screen partner is a perfect match, too. Despite only dating on-screen for a handful of episodes, it was Aker’s Fred and Alexis Denisof’s Wesley clumsy relationships that became ‘Angel’ (and arguably Whedonverse’s in general) most heartfelt romance thanks to actors’ geeky charm and plot’s tragic twists. And with ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ they effortlessly prove that true chemistry can easily survive a 10-years-old hiatus.
Whedon became famous by masterfully exploring the themes of love, death and love to/between the undeads, so it’s only natural that at some point he’d turn directly to the most dramatic writer in history. After two decades of dealing with the slayers, vampires and superheroes, Whedon easily turn a seemingly-normal story into a fairytale with its dreamy cinematography and airy vibe. And he surely enjoys depicting countless layers of the ever-fascinating subject of romance. At the end of the day, the vampire can be slayed and the world can be saved, but is there really a proper resolution when it comes to love?

The biggest shocker here is Whedon’s decision to abstain from any tragedy. The world Whedon has created here is so intimate and peaceful, that even a tiny hint of danger sends a massive shiver down our spines. And for good reason: it’s hard to think of a single couple that would leave any of Joss’ previous stories undamaged. This time around Whedon isn’t trying to break any ‘happily ever after’ clichés, so it looks like we’re witnessing (spoiler-but-not-really) the first ever happy ending in his work. It also serves as a genuinely touching send off to his past as he’s getting ready to dedicate most of his time to the agents of Shield while prepping another mission for the big bucks-making team of invisible worldsavers. It took us almost a decade but we finally got to see Fred, Wesley and Topher all getting their happily-ever-after’s, but it was worth the wait. If only Tara (Amber Benson) was there as well… But there’s enough Shakespearean legacy to make this gone-but-never-forgotten witch happy, too, right?

Although it may seem lightheaded at first, Whedon’s first (and hopefully not last) Shakespearean offering is stuffed with charming nuances and joyful comedic moments. You always know when the movie was fun to make, and this one was obviously all about having a good time in friends’ company. It’s nice to see that even with the big booms and big baddies away, Whedon can still craft a vivid world filled with instantly likable characters who are as caricature as relatable. This is surely one of the year’s most delightful projects, which is worth hunting for around indie theatres. Not convinced yet? Did I mention you get to see Amy Acker’s killer legs a lot?