What To Do This Month In New York City And L.A.

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Though the summer season doesn’t technically end until September 23, Labor Day Weekend marks the effective beginning of autumn. Kids are in school, workers get back to business, the leaves begin to turn. And while it is hard to say goodbye to warmer weather and all that entails, fall, as you might know, is splendid indeed. Here’s how to kick fall off this month properly.

NEW YORK CITY: Modern cinema’s debt to John Singleton can’t be overstated. The young visionary director brought tales of hip-hop, inequality, and racial struggle into the mainstream of Hollywood and in the process launched the film careers of Ice Cube, Taraji P. Henson, Janet Jackson, and more. Now, BAM Cinema is hosting a two week series of Singleton’s ouvre, featuring Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Shaft, Hustle & Flow, and more. It’s a chance to catch several modern classics of black cinema all in one place and is a must for movie fans visiting the city this month. Whether you’re looking for a deeply fraught tale of the American dream or just a couple of hours of breakneck car chases, Singleton has got it all in spades. Series runs September 13-30th; Showtimes vary // BAM Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn // Tickets $11 and up

NEW YORK CITY: Zines, posters, pamphlets, tomes, stickers, sculptures, and paper things that make no sense: it’s all happening at the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1. Vendors from around the world will be showcasing special pieces across a sea of booths and tables set up the Queens location, where you’ll be able to check out numerous exhibits once you’ve picked up a handful of works to take home. The Fair is once again hosted by Printed Matter, a Manhattan institution of progressive (and transgressive) art and is so jam-packed with publishing houses, collectives, and solo creators that it’ll be easy to spend most of the day perusing the tables. And if you need a break, arts conversations, performances, and workshops will all be taking place throughout the weekend. Thursday’s opening night festivities will be a full-on party with drinks and live DJs. Special ticketed opening night Thursday, September 19th, 6-9 p.m.; Main Festival runs Saturday, September 20th, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, September 21st, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. // MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City // Thursday tickets $20, Saturday and Sunday free admission

NEW YORK CITY: Four years after reopening with extensive renovations, the Kings Theater remains the best place to see live music in New York City. Its top-notch acoustics and breathtaking fixtures lend it the pedigree of an orchestral hall, but this is no place for stuffy symphonies: the best rock bands in the world play here every week. One of those bands is Phantogram, the New York duo known for glitchy dance beats and searing guitar lines. This month they’ll take the stage with a set that’s sure to feature late-aughts indie hits like “Mouthful of Diamonds,” “When I’m Small,” and “Fall in Love.” But a shoe-gazing nostalgia fest this is not: Phantogram’s sound has grown into genre-less force thanks to relentless touring and collaborations with Outkast’s Big Boi. The Kings Theater is guaranteed to get loud with this one. September 5th, 7 p.m. // Kings Theater, 1027 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn // Tickets $35 and up

LOS ANGELES: Unflinchingly positive and unmistakable in his flow, Chance the Rapper has risen in the ranks to become one of hip-hop’s most essential voices. From his early days covering PBS’s Arthur theme song to his brand new LP The Big Day, Chance has blended a biting lyrical style and jazz-informed live instrumentation with a glass-half-full outlook that pairs as well with Kanye West as it does Justin Bieber. He’ll pay a visit to Los Angeles this month at The Forum in Los Angeles, a show that’s sure to have a megachurch level of energy (and production value). Tickets are going fast but seats at a bargain price are still available. Monday, September 16th, 7 p.m. // The Forum Los Angeles, 3900 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood // Tickets $45 and up

LOS ANGELES: Change is constant at LACMA, Southern California’s premier art institution. Two new exhibits will open this month, coaxing first-timers, local members and even frequent visitors back to the museum’s open-air grounds. Outdoors lovers will want to visit for The World’s Edge, a new show of Thomas Joshua Cooper’s black and white photography taken at some of the most difficult-to-reach places on the planet. Printed at an awe-inspiring size, the pieces erase the horizon between sea and sky to create frames of captivating depth. Also opening is the reality-distorting sculpture and found art work of Betye Saar. Her new show, Call and Response, features dozens of constructed pieces and sketchbooks that showcase Saar’s engagement with race, gender, and spirituality. Exhibitions open Sunday, September 22nd // LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles // Admission $16 and up

LOS ANGELES: A shift towards gender equality and more women-centered shows is happening in the art world—and it’s long overdue. Online gallery Saatchi Art will help lead the way this month with Art Women Art Week, a weeklong run of exhibitions, screenings, and panel talks run entirely by the female arts communities of L.A. and beyond. The week’s events will be housed at multipurpose space E.P. & L.P. and include pieces from Stephanie Vovas, Meike Legler, Javiera Estrada, and Kelly Brumfield-Woods, plus many more. Each evening will feature drinks and a live DJ warm-up before moving next door to the Melrose Rooftop Theatre for a panel, after which films will be screened. Part L.A. art mixer, part shot at the patriarchy, each night will be its own special theme, meaning if you’ve got an open schedule, repeat visits will be a more than worth it. September 15-21st, 3 p.m. – 2 a.m. // E.P. & L.P., 603 N La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood // Ticket info here

Photo courtesy of Katie Moum

Scott Heins

Scott Heins

Scott Heins is a writer and photographer living in New York City. Born in Minnesota, he currently works in Brooklyn as a journalist and portrait artist. He's fascinated by anything in the world that's strange, futuristic, or forgotten.