arts 09.18.08

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If you have any mental image of Patti LaBelle, it may be of her histrionic writhing on the stage floor before rising to deliver the whooping, multi-bar note runs of a blow-through-the-rafters song. Her group Labelle in the '70s, which included Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, also had its share of high theatricality—mostly in the way of over-the-top costumes, that worked with well with the disco and dry ice era. But here's the thing that you may not know: when the group Labelle sang, they sang. They were incredibly good. Labelle is on our minds this morning because they're releasing their first new album in decades next month called Back to Now. Hear the single, Roll Out, here and catch up with some of their old stuff, which still sounds fresh. Choice cuts (via iTunes): Morning Much Better, a nine-minute version of Moon Shadow, and Nowhere to Run (with Laura Nyro).

indie rock… Thursday: Mogwai, the least boring post-rock band EVER, plays Terminal 5. Thursday: Sigur Ros make the incomprehensible sound beautiful. See them at United Palace Theatre. Just Announced…10/8: Beck. 10/30: MGMT. 12/4: Vampire Weekend.

photography… Opening tomorrow at the International Center of Photography, 1133 6th [43rd] 212.857.0000, America and the Tintype, over 150 examples of the form. As you can see from the image, Victorian stiffness was not a given.

theater… Who will save the American musical from extinction? Could it be Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, a very young, very promising composer/lyricist team? Decide for yourself when they perform as part of the NY Musical Theatre Festival on Monday night, 10pm. Details.

food… Meet the editors of Epicurious tomorrow during market hours of the Union Square Greenmarket and check out their 'Endless Summer' menu—most of the ingredients are available from local farmers.

shopping… It's up to 85% off bags and clothing at the Foley + Corinna, 114 Stanton [Ludlow/Essex] 212.529.2338, sample sale. The soft leather City Totes (pictured) were $450, now $220. Tomorrow and Saturday, 11-8, Sunday, 11-7.

art… The mission of Dieu Donné, 315 W. 36th [8th/9th] 212.226.0573, is to feature artwork on handmade paper and there's always something worthwhile to see there. They're having their annual benefit exhibition and auction—the exhibition reception is tonight, the auction is October 14th. More.

bookItalianissimoThe Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best is a small book, just over 100 pages, but it packs an enormous amount of pleasure into its modest borders. We shouldn't be surprised—it's designed by Louise Fili, one of the truly great graphic designers, and written with Lise Apatoff. Within: Vespas, pasta, Italian light, shoes, soccer, and more. A cover-to-cover delight.

Even though they've decamped from Brooklyn to L.A., we'll forgive Jess Panza and Julie Burton because we love their glass jewelry, whichever coast they're on. The line is still called Verre New York, made up of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. But if they ever change their name to Verre L.A., we're gone.


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