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March 21 - April 19 Aries
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that as we ease into the Independence Day three-day weekend, Gotham city dwellers have the unalienable right to honor the Birth of our Nation by viewing a buncha explosive political films - a mix of the wacky and the weighty in contemporary America presented by the fine folks at Rooftop Films. There will be food, drinks, live music, and an incredible view of the fireworks on the pier at Solar One (23rd St. at the East River). All audience members must be at the venue by 6pm; doors open at 5pm. Such a bargain! Only $30 for a fabulous night, presented in partnership with New York Magazine, IFC.com, and Solar One. Quoth the organizers, In this crucial election year, we present films on a range of topics, stressing the importance of history and offering irreverent looks at our heroes, making a case for a re-evaluation of who we are as Americans and who we want as president.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Hey, where the hell is Matt?
Seriously, if you haven’t seen this viral video hit, just sit down right now and dial it up on los internets. Matt is a self-described 31 year old deadbeat from Connecticut who decided in 2003 to travel around the world and record himself dancing. In 2006 and 2007, Stride Gum bankrolled two more trips in which Matt traveled to all 7 continents and danced with people in 42 countries who had contacted him about his original video. The results are sweet and endearing. Matt’s website tells the whole story, with journals, maps, and FAQ.  Matt even shares some of the best emails he’s received out of thousands. “Are you doing anything on these trips? How about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and saving some souls” writes one irate video observer. To which Matt responds, “Right! Jesus. Totally slipped my mind.”

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence by seeing at least ONE independent film this weekend in the tradition of our founding fathers. You know they would have approved. We told you last week about Alex Gibney’s new film Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson which opens today, July 4th. Also opening today is The Gits Movie, produced by Jessica Bender and Steve Moriarty and directed by Kerri O’Kane. The Gits were one of the many brilliant bands to be birthed out of the Seattle scene that launched Nirvana and others back in the 1990’s. On the brink of huge success, 27-year-old lead singer Mia Zapata (said to be descended from Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata) was brutally murdered. This movie reminds us of her beauty and spirit and undeniable talent. Viva Zapata!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
And speaking of Seattle, the book of the week is Gina Arnold’s Route 666 ~ On the Road to Nirvana, published in 1993 by St. Martins Press. Arnold writes about her complete and total love for music starting from her school years to her professional career as a Bay area music critic. Anyone who’s felt the siren call of rock & roll reaching into their drab suburban home can relate to this fascinating and joyous book. It doesn’t matter one bit whether or not you have followed the Seattle scene or know Mudhoney from Soundgarden. It’s a book about loving music and following it to the ends of the earth. If you can relate to that… you will enjoy it.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Some Sunny Day ~ The Golden Age of Sheet Music
opens next Tuesday, July 8th, and will run until August 15th at the Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, New York. The exhibit of two dozen pieces of sheet music, with cover art ranging from Art Deco to Art Nouveau to Cartoon and C&W illustrations, represents a range of popular music from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. The collection is on loan from music historian and record producer Teri Landi, with contributions from the collection of Dr. Albert Andresen, and was co-curated by Elizabeth Saperstein. Meet the simultaneously erudite and swingin’ Ms. Landi at the opening night reception next Tuesday at 6:30pm.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Have you believed for lo these many years that because you’re of the Jewish persuasion you’re totally unable to get your religious groove on with rosary beads? Thanks to Brooklyn designer and Nice Jewish Girl Carlen Altman, may I assure you that is no longer the case. Altman makes these mitzvah beads by hand and offers a variety of styles, even providing a glow in the dark option for the more adventurous amongst us. Such a bargain!

September 23 - October 22 Libra
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Or so it is said. You’ve only got two more months to catch Star Trek The Experience - an exhibit so old (10 years) that its website doesn’t even work in Firefox! Seriously though this popular attraction closes its doors forever on September 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton so get yourself over to Sin City pronto before that happens. Where else can you hoist a few in Quark’s Bar and Restaurant? View Spock’s coffin from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan? Take a thrill ride called the Borg Invasion? And get married on the Bridge by a starship captain, with witnesses who are Klingons? Get there now before these options are forever closed in our galaxy.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Another Seattle mention! Holy Space Needle! I give you KEXP: Where The Music Matters. This station started back in 1972 with only 10 watts and in 2000 became the first radio station to offer uncompressed CD-quality audio on the internet 24/7. Check them out; support them; stream them; enjoy them! No icky guys in suits tell these folks who to play and who not to play.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Find yourself a labyrinth at the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator. The site’s stated vision is to activate and facilitate the transformation of the Human Spirit. Labyrinths date back to prehistoric times. They are believed to help quiet the mind and help the user to enter a meditative state. They are a metaphor for the journey of life.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
French fries…..mmmm! It is believed that no less an august presence than Thomas Jefferson first served these tasty treats in 1802 at a state dinner, but they really didn’t become popular until the 1920’s after the first World War. May I reveal to you that one of the best places to get really great french fries is - yes, believe it - the Hard Rock Cafe. Doubt me if you must, but go to one and order them and you’ll see exactly what I mean. They’re located worldwide; find a location here near you.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Here is a fun computer trick for the next time you’re bored at work - Visit the Read at Work website, which was launched by the New Zealand Book Council to encourage people to read. The cool thing is that it looks exactly like a Windows desktop screen with all the reading material filed into folders. Poetry, novels, short stories are all here at the click of your mouse and no one will be the wiser.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
She totally out-shangris the Shangri-Las. I’m speaking, of course, of Denise James. Her 2004 release It’s Not Enough to Love on Rainbow Quartz Records is as close to heavenly as an album can get. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to receive an entire album in which every single song is a nugget of perfection and not one of them is superfluous or doesn’t fit in. This is grown-up girl group music. This work of art was produced, of course, by unsung hero and way-beneath-the-radar musical genius Matthew Smith, a long time denizen of the storied Detroit scene. Smith is a songwriter, musician, and producer who should be far more famous than he is. He’s also the mastermind behind the psychedelically delicious band Outrageous Cherry.

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