The Jaguar Club is one of those unique bands who can hook you in with a great sound but also hold your attention with interesting lyrics. I particularly like the chorus from ‘This Summer,’ off their album ‘And We Wake Up Slowly’:
And are we living in the same town/ and are we getting back to nature/ in a way/ and are we caring for our mothers/ and our fathers/ at the end of the day/ we still got our memories/ some kind of weapon and some kind of hope…
I saw them play at Cakeshop and despite the bad acoustics and the fact that they were, by their own admission, quite ill, they played an excellent set and I’ve been listening to their album ever since. They’re fun to see live both because they obviously put a lot of emotion into their performance and because they’re all quite adorable. Of course I bought their CD from one of their wives so this is meant purely as a compliment, no hidden agenda (haha). Here are a couple of pictures taken by Amy Davis at the Cakeshop show; see the whole album HERE.
Why hello there sunshine! I believe you and I are beginning a beautiful friendship! Let’s celebrate with a week of outdoor activities!
This week the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing outdoors in Central Park (tonight and Friday night), Prospect Park (Wednesday) and Van Cortland Park (Thursday). I’m planning to attend Friday’s performance. If you go be aware that the people close to the stage will expect you to be quiet and listen to the music, while those further from the stage will use the orchestra for mood music to go along with their picnicking. Last year we set up camp quite a ways from the stage and chit chatted between surreptitious sips of wine; it was splendid.
Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, Central Park, 2008
Wednesday night Central Park has another excellent event to offer- The New York Grand Opera will be performing Il Trovatore at the Naumburg Bandshell (@72nd St). I saw them perform a semi-staged version of Aida last summer and it was excellent. I think this is a great introduction to opera- casual but with the excitement of costumes and such to give the story a visual element. You should read the story beforehand and, as with all outdoor events, bring a picnic!
There’s only one event on Wednesday worth staying inside for- The Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cakeshop. You may recall I’ve written about this event before and tomorrow’s lineup is perhaps even better than usual; readings by WalterAikens, Fiona Maazel, Monica Youn, and musical guest, Rebecca Schiffman. Monica Youn is both an attorney and a published poet, which I find intriguing and Rebecca Schiffman is downright adorable (and a talented musician).
I am terribly sorry to have neglected you for so long! There are a number of exciting events in the next few days I want to pass along.
I have always been an advocate of NYC tap water but tonight an advocate with much more credibility will be speaking about our H2O:
Scott Chesman PhD will speak about the construction of City Water Tunnel No. 3 and the Moshulu Tunnel, which brings Croton water into the new filtering plant being built under Van Cortland Park; he has worked on both.
Also on Wednesday you can be among the first to discover the new band The French Exit when they play at The Local 269. They’re already getting good buzz so get out to see them while you can still get close enough to introduce yourself!
Wednesday is also a big night for the Mixer Reading and Music Series; the line-up includes Chuck Klosterman, the New York Times bestselling author of ‘Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.’ He will be reading alongside Rivka Galchen and Nick Flynn; the musical talent will be Datus. I love the combination of book readings and musical performances, especially in the context of a great little venue like Cakeshop- you can have your fiction and your vegan cupcake too!
This studying thing is killing me; missing events is against my nature. This seems like a negative sign in terms of law school. Why isn’t going to burlesque shows and art exhibits a job? Sigh… Well, for those of you with free time there are some great events this week.
Koji-making is the heart of the sake brewing process. Koji is steamed rice onto which a special mold has been grown with great precision and skill that converts starches to sugars, which in turn are fermented to yield alcohol. Making good koji requires precise regulation of temperature and moisture, and nothing has a greater impact on the final flavors and aromas of sake. Like much of sake brewing, koji-making is more art than science. Sake expert John Gauntner discusses the art and science of making koji, what it is, the myriad ways it can be accomplished, and how tiny changes to koji can result in major differences in sake flavor. Followed by a sake tasting.
Tomorrow you have a chance to check out one of the bands I’ve raved about recently- The Woes. As I said before, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many instruments used in a rock concert… their music blends jazz and blues and country into something unique and catchy.” Check them out at the Bell House.
On Thursday there are two absurd and marvelous parties to consider. First, at Monkey Town, Twi the Humble Feather will be performing their [ahem] extremely original music, with L Magazine calls “part Gregorian chant, part Christmas carol and part Panda Bear’s Person Pitch unplugged.” They will be accompanied by the psychedelic visuals ofNobuko Hori.
Was your High School prom a disaster? Don’t worry, on Thursday you have a chance to be the cool kid you couldn’t be at 17- The Music Hall of Williamsburg is hosting ‘The Prom You Were Promised.’:
The night will feature rare DJ sets by VAMPIRE WEEKEND, PAT MAHONEY (of LCD Soundsystem), and HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR, and will be hosted by one of our favorite comedians (and 826NYC advisory board member!) LEO ALLEN. So fire up the limo, dust off that tux (or not), break out the hairspray, and get ready to dance!
It’s currently listed as sold out but some tickets may be available at the door, or you can always look for someone who needs a hot date.
Prom Dress (I almost wish mine had actually been this bad)
I apologize for the tardiness of this e-mail; I stayed home from work today and have been lying about sleeping and drinking tea and feeling sorry for myself. Since I am posting so late in the day I will skip Monday events altogether and move right along to… St. Patrick’s Day!
St. Patrick’s Day in NYC involves beer at noon, girls wearing very little green (and nothing else) and a whole host of other absurdities. Here are a few to consider:
A, who actually is Irish (born and bred), is planning to party at some less traditional spots- The Brass Monkey and Cielo in the Meatpacking District. Now Meatpacking is not always my thing; on weekends the whole velvet rope business can get out of hand, but St. Patrick’s Day is usually a pretty friendly and inclusive occasion so it might be the right time to head west.
For a cozier and less high maintenance crowd check out Black Rabbit in Greenpoint; their fireplace will be as cozy as always plus they will have Jameson specials and the sort of Irish music we generally know and love (the Pogues and the Waterboys).
Generally speaking there will be drink specials and people wearing green throughout the city so go out and join in the madness (just be safe everyone!)!
There are 2 ongoing things I’d like to mention before I forget. First, the play ‘Fire Throws,’ which A and I saw some time ago and which I reviewed, is in it’s final weeks at 3LD. While I had mixed feelings about it I do think it’s visually stunning and a unique theater experience. Secondly, The Best of Slamdance Festival at the IFC has some great selections to choose from, including two tonight.
On Wednesday, if you haven’t been to the Mixer Music and Reading Series at Cakeshop this is a good week to go; it’s their 2-year anniversary and they’re celebrating with a great selection of artists- Jedediah Berry, Matthew Zapruder and Leni Zumas will read and there will be music from La Marcha as well as special performances from your hosts Melissa Febos and Rebecca Keith; go and get your dose of poetry and cupcakes for the week!
If that’s not quite enough poetry to satisfy your literature related cravings on Thursday the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series is happening at Solas again; JERRY STAHL and FRANCIS LEVY will be reading.
In response, the powerHouse Arena will host a conversation between former members of the Vandal Squad and the graffiti writers, the first such event of its kind. With the intent of providing an open forum for public discussion to discuss the issues regarding the methods that the Vandal Squad employs and their impact on the lives of the writers themselves. Panelists include Vandal Squad author Joseph Rivera, former Commanding Officer Lieutenant Steven Mona, original Vandal Squad Lieutenant Ken Chiulli, graffiti legend COPE2, graffiti activist Ket, and street artist Ellis G. The event will be moderated by Stern Rockwell, Streets Are Saying Things.
Founded in 1980, the Vandal Squad’s mission was to protect the subway system from hardcore criminal acts of destruction like kicking out windows and throwing seats out of train cars. It was only with the Clean Car Program of 1984 that graffiti became the primary focus of this specialized Unit. On a mission to catch those who gained fame under tag names, the Vandal Squad had to identify and locate these individuals cloaked in anonymity (and often so transient they were referred as “ghosts”) using every means available, including the NYPD computer database, Search Warrants, subpoenas, and even vandals themselves. These strategies, and their impact on the lives of the vandals, as well as concerns about the publication of the book, will be the focus of the conversation.
Vandal Squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984–2004
Also on Thursday, Black Rabbit will be hosting a speed dating event with a Smiths soundtrack. I know, speed dating sounds a bit sketch, right? I will have you know that I once dated someone for 2 whole months after meeting him speed dating AND we’re still friends (a true rarity for me). Think about it- you spend 5 minutes talking to someone and either you like them and want to talk to them further or you aren’t that interested. It’s much much less painful than going on a date with that guy from Match.com who looked so hot in that one picture… At any rate, be optimistic, feel sexy, go make some first impressions!
I will add more events as I come across them (and as this dreadful virus leaves my system).
I hope everyone is as happy to have a 4 day week as I am! Celebrate tonight by taking home arm loads of free clothes from Thrift On!, a crazy clothes swap at the Botanica Bar. There will be a DJ, comedy, contests and mayhem. Bring something you’re tired of and remember one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Zs (say “zees”) combines cutting-edge contemporary classical with avant-rock, diluting neither style in the least. The trio’s hyperinvolved compositions and feverishly exacting performances make it essential listening for any enthusiast of either genre. Sam Mickens hails from visionary art-pop group the Dead Science.
I know I’ve mentioned this venue before, but I will reiterate that this is really the pinnacle of artsy hipsterness in Wburg.
On Wednesday I will be attending a preview performance of a new show called ‘Fire Throws’ at the 3LD Art and Technology Center. It’s a modern twist on the classic play Antigone, which makes it in my opinion the epitome of ‘Questionable Theatre.’ Naturally A and I are going and I expect it will either be amazing or awful; either way we are certain to enjoy ourselves immensely.
If you aren’t as confident in your ability to laugh off potentially dreadful theater I encourage you to check out the Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cakeshop. Dare Dukes was the musical performer last time and I totally fell in love with his crooning city-folk style. It didn’t hurt that Dare is what my friend K would call ’sexy ugly.’ Actually he’ll be performing this Friday at Banjo Jims, so you can judge for yourself. This week the Mixer includes readings by Janice Erlbaum, Rob Sheffield and Melissa Seley and a musical performance by Allison Clancy. It should also be noted that not only is Cakeshop a great basement bar, it is also the purveyor of yummy pastries both vegan and otherwise.
On Thursday there will be another great literary event- the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas. It was at one of these events that I heard Junot Diaz read from ‘The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ and became an instant die hard fan. As someone who enjoys both Llosa and Kanye West this was probably bound to happen. This week Brian Evenson and Jesse Ball will be reading. It tends to be crazy packed so get there early, find a comfy couch and be prepared to be be wowed.
Also on Thursday ‘Handmade Music’ will be umm… exploding at 3rd Ward. If you can get yourself out there (if it’s not too cold) these events are always worth the trip. They involve a coming together of “geeksters and the geek curious” and are generally a truly un-godly racket and a very good time.
I’ll be posting about next weekend as awesome events come to my attention. Please bring any to my attention that you come across!