If you’re feeling a bit blue, stuck in NYC while your friends are rocking out at SXSW, you should be reminded of some of the amazing cultural events happening in our fine city- both High and Low.
This past weekend G and I attended, among other diversions (he met my mother for the first time this weekend! It went well!) Franco Zeffirelli’s legendary production of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera. More than perhaps any other opera La Bohème has captured the imagination of generations of artists. Its compelling story was the basis for the musical Rent. Baz Luhrmann’s version also spent time on Broadway. Recently there was even a production without music. As G said after the performance, the characters are much more familiar than most characters in opera; these are people you can imagine knowing. Anna Netrebko was an incredible Mimi; both her acting and her singing were intensely evocative. I cried (of course) when she died but I also felt that the story had a message for the audience, much more so than the melodramatic plots of Aida or Tosca. If you haven’t seen this classic I highly recommend finding a way to do so.
I will be seeing a much less classic opera next week- The Nose is a surrealist opera based on a short story by Gogol.
Artist William Kentridge defies genres with Shostakovich’s adaptation of Gogol’s story. “The opera is about the terrors of hierarchy,” Kentridge says. “There’s a mixture of anarchy and the absurd that interests me. I love in this opera the sense that anything is possible.” The new production is conducted by definitive Shostakovich interpreter Valery Gergiev. Acclaimed baritone Paulo Szot, who won a Tony Award® for South Pacific, makes his Met debut as the man who wakes up to discover that his nose has disappeared.
Best known for animated films based on charcoal drawings, he also works in prints, books, collage, sculpture, and the performing arts. This exhibition explores five primary themes in Kentridge’s art from the 1980s to the present, and underscores the inter relatedness of his mediums and disciplines, particularly through a selection of works from the Museum’s collection. Included are works related to the artist’s staging and design of Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose.
I haven’t visited the Kentridge exhibit yet but G and I did take a look at Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, which just opened to the public on Sunday. The exhibit documents her various performance pieces, both through video and photographs of the original performances, and through recreations by actors. The most interesting, and disturbing, of the latter was a pair of naked actors- one female, one male- standing within a narrow archway; you had to pass between them to get into the next room. It was impossible not to touch the naked pair and this was hugely unnerving but, simply because it was unnerving, forced you as the viewer to think further about the piece. I am thrilled that the MOMA has chosen to showcase such challenging work. The exhibit is a triumph for the curator, Klaus Biesenbach, who has succeeded in creating a retrospective of performance art, something never done in the MOMA, and possibly never done as successfully in any other major museum.
Since 2005, Jonathan LeVine Gallery has been an important venue for Street Art (ephemeral work placed in public urban environments) and Pop Surrealism (work influenced by illustration, comic book art, and pop culture imagery). As such, the pieces in this exhibition—comprised of paintings, drawings, and sculptures—will be primarily figurative with a strong sense of narration.
I am quite a fan of this image (Ray Caesar, Arabesque):
Ray Caesar, Arabesque
On the lower end of the culture spectrum, this Thursday you can attend a retrospective of a rather different sort- a burlesque tribute to Dolly Parton! I expect The Queen of Country Music would be thrilled!
Also on Friday there is a super nostalgic double feature showing at 92Y Tribeca- Clueless AND Mallrats! Did you know that there are 53 different kinds of tartan/plaid used in Clueless, seven of which are worn by Cher? Just watching this trailer makes me want to say WHATever to someone.
This weekend you have two chances to pair excellent food and excellent music at Monkeytown; the Neel Murgai Ensemble will be accompanied by a 5-course Indian dinner. Nothing goes together like raga and Chai spiced poha pudding!
That’s all for the moment but stay tuned for all sorts of additions over the weekend! Follow me on twitter for the latest and Happy Turkey Day!
Tonight you can experience the High Line in a whole new light (heh heh); LightmappingNYC is presenting a tour and discussion of the “challenges and innovations developed for the lighting of this 1.2 mile elevated train track.”
The human body unfolds as a surreal rock and roll fantasy in Inside Out, Swedish troupe Cirkus Cirkör’s phantasmagoric journey into the outer reaches of inner life. Accompanied onstage by dub-punk-new wave-electro-inspired band Irya’s Playground and featuring an outlandish mix of highly skilled acrobatics, musical theater, and spectacle, Inside Out boggles the mind by way of the body. Actors and acrobats course through veins, explode through space like uncoiled strands of DNA, and lunge across synapses to become the body electric. Breathtaking, poetic, and humorous, never before has there been such a fantastic, gravity-defying voyage.
On Thursday The New School is hosting a celebration of esteemed poet Marie Ponsot and her new collection of poems, titled ‘Easy’. Participants include Rosemary Deen, Jean Gallagher, Deborah Garrison, Richard Howard, Phillip Lopate, Alice Quinn, Sapphire, L.B. Thompson, and Jackson Taylor.
On Sunday the voice of one of the Wild Things (K.W.) will be exercising her lovely vocal chords at Joe’s Pub. Lauren Ambrose, whose performance in Exit the King I enjoyed almost as much as her performance as K.W., is also an accomplished singer. She is also much more attractive than her “wild” counterpart:
There are a number of great exhibits, some big some delectably small, worth checking out so stay tuned for an all-art post coming up shortly! I’ll also be bringing you more weekend events and fun things to look forward to next week! Be sure to follow me on twitter for last minute updates and other news from The Big Red Apple!
This weekend you have two opportunities to see The Lord of the Rings as you’ve never seen it before:
Howard Shore’s Original Academy Award®-winning score performed live to the epic motion picture by the 21st Century Orchestra, The Collegiate Chorale and Brooklyn Youth Chorus conducted by Ludwig Wicki.
Can you imagine that incredible score performed live while the movie is screened on an enormous screen? If not buy your tickets now and experience it in person.
Burlesque stars Anita Cookie and Clams Casino and emcee Neil O’Fortune, the minds behind The Costello Show: A Burlesque Tribute to the Other Elvis, KISS THIS: Burlesque Rock City and more, return to the Joe’s Pub stage with Killer Queen Burlesque! A burlesque tribute to the music of Queen, Killer Queen Burlesque made it’s debut in early 2008 and has been their most-requested show ever since. Now it returns with an all new, all-star cast: a night of funny, campy, sexy performances combining striptease with live music and comedy, all unified by Queen’s unstoppable lineup of beloved hits.
At the Brooklyn Skillshare this weekend you can learn such useful skills as butter making and how to infuse your own vodka. There is also a free lunch involved; I can only imagine the water-cooler talk potential (so, what did you do this weekend? I learned to make butter!).
The Mile High Dance Party is back for a second week at Pianos; I had a blast last week and I would highly recommend swinging by after other goings on Saturday night. Check out their awesome flyer for this week:
Get into the Halloween spirit early this October with a trip to Greenwood Cemetery, for extra spookiness check out Angels and Accordions- a very ummm… unique site specific work you have to see to believe.
Finally, quick heads up for next week, in celebration of the release of Where the Wild Things Are, there are a range of events happening in the city; it’s billed as Wild Things Week and it’s going to be (ahem) wild!
It has been a long time since my last post, for which I sincerely apologize; I’m afraid while I was in Boston I had trouble looking at NYC events without feeling homesick and in an effort to enjoy my time there with G I neglected you… Now I am back and ready to announce a spread of fabulous events for those of us staying in the Big Apple for Labor Day weekend!
This weekend there are several festival style events worth checking out; if you missed Figment on Governors Island you have another chance to see art with a view- starting this weekend the Governors Island Art Fair will be dressing up the island! There are over 150 artists participating in what is sure to be an art show with something for everyone. Try to make it out this weekend when the weather is perfect for wandering! Also, if you’re on the island be sure to stop into the Poetry Brothel, which will be in operation on the island every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the fair. The Poetry Brothel, as I’ve told you in the past, involves poets as ‘whores’ and listeners as ‘johns’: “The Madame presents a rotating cast of both male and female poets engaged in a night of literary debauchery and private poetry readings.” If you can’t get enough poetry for free you can always pay for it (heh heh).
Then again, you may not want to pay for it this weekend since the Howl Festival will be taking over Tompkins Sq. Park:
The annual Howl! Festival named in honor of the groundbreaking poem by Allen Ginsberg and produced every summer celebrates the East Village and Lower East Side’s role as a preeminent locus of culture. Centered in Tompkins Square Park, the festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors bringing to the clubs, galleries, parks, streets, and theaters of Manhattan’s Lower East Side an explosion of dance, film, food, music, performance, painting, poetry, sculpture and theater.
The events include readings of the poem, theatrical productions, video installations and all sorts of beat style madness!
For madness of an even more absurd variety head to Coney Island for the Rockabilly Festival; there will be sideshow acts, tons of musical performances and of course Burlesque on the Seashore!
Saturday is the last Warm Up of the season at P.S.1 so if you haven’t made it out there hop on a 7 and finish the summer off in style! (Special Tip: For the best brunch in Long Island City check out Tournesol, which is a short walk from P.S. 1 and boasts snooty French waiters in a relaxed bistro.)
Saturday night there are two great dance parties to consider. First, The Bell House will be on the wild side for Release the Beast:
The NRG DJs present Release the Beast, a new rock, funk and R&B party premiering September 5th. Get primal with DJs Fucci and Brian Blackout as they blend everything from ELO to Heart to Earth Wind & Fire to Can. We’ll be featuring video and masks themed around a different beast- this time come its that stripey feline that loves breakfast cereal and kerchiefs-the tiger. PLEASE NOTE: No furries were harmed in the making of this party.
B tells me he’s “getting [his] funkiest, most outrageous cuts ready” and I’m super excited to hear them!
If that’s not your style perhaps you’d be interested in Back to School, an art and music event at the Old Red School House. Exhibiting artists include: Elisha Zeitler (mixed media clay sculpture), Anjia Jalac (installation), Mariette Papic (photography/ graphic print), Vanessa Porter (photography/ graphic collage), Chris Chludenski (sculptural mobiles), Ebony Yizar (mixed media), Erin Oldynski (photography), and Bari Langbaum (clothing sculpture).
On Sunday be part of the art with Freestyle Art Events; the event will start at the Mets Citi Field North Entrance and then move to the Queens Museum of Art.
Also on Sunday discover Mrytle Avenue, where, amongst other things, Five Spot is having a Philly Cheese Steak eating contest.
On Monday skip the amateur BBQs and get BBQ done right at Marfa in the E. Village:
From 5pm onwards, East Village rib joint Marfa is hosting the West Texas All You Can Eat Labor Day Barbecue on their roof deck. For $15, fill your plate with BBQ ribs, pork, beef, salmon and all the fixins. And for an extra $2, you can add some wild boar or shrimp to that plate. Drinks include $5 Margaritas, $3 PBR and shots of the house-infused tequila.
On Wednesday join me at Comix to pay tribute to John Hughes in the best possible way- by watching the Raspberry Brothers make fun of The Breakfast Club! It’s going to be hilarious and rumors say that a sing-a-long will also be part of the evening… Hope to see you there!
Have an excellent weekend and stay tuned for additions! It’s good to be back!
This weekend is chock full of excellent events. Be sure to check my previous post for fun stuff happening tonight and tomorrow. Plus, a quick addition for tonight, if you won’t be able to make it to the Excess Energy party at Hugs Thursday you can check out Brian Blackout at Fontana’s tonight; he’ll be spinning a lot of 70’s arena rock, funk, psychedelia and indie rock- sounds like a party to me!
Friday night Rooftop Films takes the show the the ground (the lawn of Automotive High School in Wburg) for Animation Block Party! They’re “dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional and student animation,” and they’ve definitely followed through in the past. This is going to be a fantastic show, full of comedy and drama and animation in all sorts of styles.
If you’re looking for a classic film join kids of all ages in Hudson River Park for a screening of Ghostbusters! Check out the trailer to remind yourself of just how great it is:
On Saturday night you can go to the rave you always dreamed of attending- FIXED is coming back to the basement of the Tribeca Grand! Guest DJs Riton, Lemonade and Free Energy will keep you dancing all night long!
Also on Saturday Indian Idol Kailash Kher will be rocking the Prospect Park Bandshell! His music is described as “adding elements of folk, reggae and rock to Indian pop” and he definitely looks like he knows how to put on a show.
On Sunday, for a change of pace from all the beer celebrations, celebrate pork at 3rd Ward’s 2nd Annual Pig Roast and Dance Party! Butchers from Marlow & Sons will be slicing and dicing for your culinary enjoyment (there will also be beer, don’t worry). Here’s an impressive (and kind of gross) image from last year’s event:
Our Lady J is a New York based singer/songwriter known for her visionary gospel stylings and powerhouse pianistic skills. Along with her “Pink Champagne Orchestra” and “Train-To-Kill Gospel Choir,” she has sold out crowds at The Zipper Factory, Ars Nova, The Beechman Theatre, as well as world venues including London’s prestigious South Bank Centre and the Spiegeltent (in Manchester, UK). She has also traveled the globe as music director and arranger for Justin Bond’s recent original song cycles. This year, Out Magazine named her as one of the “Out 100,” a list of the people who helped shape LGBT culture in 2008.
On Monday MetroMetro is hosting the 3rd Board Game Olympics at Union Hall; games include Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, Uno, Battleship, Connect Four, Memory and Operation! Sign up in advance and use those skills your parents said were useless!
Stay tuned for additions and have a great weekend!
I don’t have much experience with Gospel music but I enjoyed it a good deal. SW said that it paled in comparison with the Gospel tents at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, where the “almost sexual religious fervor” of the singers electrifies the audience, but I guess there has to be some reason for leaving NYC from time to time.
Last week K and I attended the Santigold concert at Terminal 5. We drove back and forth across the country last summer and my friend MGF gave us Santigold’s album Santogold when we reached CA; we then listened to it as we drove through the desert and are now great fans. It was therefore especially meaningful to us when she said “I don’t know if you’ve ever gone from town to town in this country [K and I hug ecstatically] but I have on this tour and I can tell you NO ONE DOES IT LIKE NEW YORK!!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was in general a fantastic show. Her dancers/back-up singers had amusing robotic dance moves and everyone had very gold costumes. Amanda Blank opened and her crazy LED decorated pants were an excellent way to start the show. Here is a somewhat shaky video:
And here is a somewhat indistinct photo of mine:
I will write about my more recent adventures this past weekend as well as the events coming up this week later today- stay tuned!
It’s good to be back! The LSAT is behind me for another few months (I’ve decided to cancel this score and try again as I think I can be better prepared next time) and it is time to paint this town red! I started last night with a fantastic concert at Terminal 5; Santigold was phenomenal! I will tell you all about her stunning performance, as well as two other concerts I snuck in during my months in exile (The Wet Spots and Naomi Shelton, both at Joe’s Pub), as well as the fantastic films of the Media that Matters Film Festival, which you can watch online. Before I start gushing about the past, let me gush about the wonderful events happening today and tomorrow.
More than just a screening, this event is the grand finale of the spring installment of our Drinks on the Doc series. We’ve asked Roebling Tea Room, Sweet Deliverance, McClure’s Pickles and Nunu Chocolatesto whip up some tasty bites for a pre-film reception, and Brooklyn Breweryis providing us with Cuvee de Cardoz and BrooklynSummer Ale, for a pre-film, seasonal beer open bar. After the movie, director Robert Kenner will participate in a Q&A, answering all your burning questions about food politics, ammonia-laced hamburgers and the challenges of documenting the work of huge corporations that don’t want to be documented.
Though this is the Brooklyn premier, Kate1 and F saw a press screening some time ago and tell me that…
It was interesting – you should check it out! The producer (and muckraking journalist/author of Supersize Me), Eric Schlosser, was on the Colbert Report a couple of days ago promoting the film. It’s made by Participant, the same production company that did An Inconvenient Truth.
With that recommendation coming from my favorite world-saving power couple I feel comfortable saying that standing room will be a hot commodity.
In addition to the extensive list of events I’ve already given you for the next 7 days, there are a number of events that have recently come to my attention.
Tonight, and several other nights this week, Art Brut is playing at Mercury Lounge. Gothamist calls them “wildly entertaining,” which is probably why every show is currently listed as sold out. If you’re in the mood for a high energy concert exert your cunning and find a way through the door!
If you need to save up your cunning for other shenanigans you can still buy tickets for an awesome show at Le Poisson Rouge on Tuesday- Emilie Simon will satisfy your francophile needs and get you dancing into the bargain!
On Wednesday Clubbed Thumb will be celebrating the start of Summerworks 2009 with a grand (free!) party entitled O*H*I*O! featuring Susan Bernfield, David Herskovits, Melanie Joseph, Robert Lyons, Kristin Marting.
Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned 4 OBIES and presented plays in every form of development, including over 70 full productions. Clubbed Thumb is an incubator for artists and their work, staging plays to critical acclaim while supporting an ever-growing creative community.
If you can’t make the shindig on Wednesday be sure to check out the first Summerworks play- punkplay by Gregory Moss, running from June 7-13 at the Ohio Theatre.
On Friday there’s an even more questionable production opening at P.S.122; the Amoralists Theater Company is presenting The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side. The plot summary is as follows:
An extraordinary gathering of young idealists live as a modern day urban tribe above a vegan restaurant in NYC. Billy, Dawn, Dear and Wyatt are an extended sexual family battling their fears and addictions in order to live their utopian dream.
I believe that is the most hipster thing I have heard all week! It sounds absurd and marvelous- enjoy!
For more cutting edge hipster fun this weekend take a stroll through Bushwick; the Bushwick Open Studios event gives you access to hundreds of artists’ garrets as well as a chance to experience all sorts of performance art! Some of the hot spots are venues I’ve mentioned in the past, such as 3rd Ward and Goodbye Blue Monday. There will be art for sale and munchies up for grabs, (both details conveniently marked on the maps), so you can add some pizazz to your apartment and be a freegan for the day!
Mike Daisey returns to Joe’s Pub with a one-night orgy of all things bacon: from sizzling fat to swine flu, from baco-bits to Hasids to Charlotte’s. In one delicious hour we’ll explore bacon in all its filthy, gorgeous deliciousness.
Have a great week/weekend and I will be back and better than ever as of next Tuesday!
If your Memorial Day weekend was a fraction as awesome as mine was I expect you are still much too glowy to sit still at work, in which case you’ll be pleased to hear that there are a number of excellent events coming up that will fit your mood!
Tonight I will be at Joe’s Pub enjoying the vocal styling of Naomi Shelton; she is celebrating the release of her album ‘What Have You Done, My Brother?’ This clip should pique your interest:
For a more active evening, my friend DJ Fucci will be partying at the Modular event- Downtown Downturn:
As you may already know, we at Loudcrowd have been sponsoring Modularrecords’ scintillating Downtown Downturn event, a merging of superior DJs from our partnership with labels such as Fools Gold’s Nick Catchdubs and DFA’s Marcos Cabral (of Runaway) and Nomi (of Hercules and Love Affair). Modular, as I’m sure you’re aware, is responsible for putting out records by the beloved Cut Copy, Ladyhawke, and Soulwax, to name a few. On Wednesday May 27th —that’s tonight— we are excited to crown off our sponsorship by celebrating Loudcrowd’s presence New York, featuring LC residents Fucci and our newest edition, the talented Dirty Jean. Joining us on the decks is Rok One of the beat-poppin’ super crew The Bangers; Rok One has played all over the US and Europe alongside the likes of Grandmaster Flash, A-Trak, Afrika Bambaataa, Diplo, and MSTRKRFT.
ALSO tonight, Michael Muhammad Knight, author of “The Taqwacores,” which has been called “‘The Catcher in the Rye’ for young Muslims,” will be participating in a Literary Death Match at Pianos. I may not understand the concept of such a competition but I have read “The Taqwacores” and I can tell you that it would be hard for anything short of “The Catcher in the Rye” to truly compete. If you go be sure to report back!
On Thursday you can celebrate America’s favorite food- pizza, at 3rd Ward:
The Greatness of Pizza is not unknown to Man. The drama of sinking one’s teeth into gooey, melted cheese and a deliciously crisp crust is familiar to all. But pizza is not “just a pie”, it’s a way of life! Join us for a night of eating, drinking, dough tossing and Pizza! The Movie. Stand by as The U.S. Pizza Team heads to the The World Pizza Championship in Italy, revel at dough tossing acrobatics and gasp at pizza sabotage! Filmmaker Michael Dorian captures the laughs, the cries and the scandals that surround this provocative source of pleasure and nourishment.
Thursday is also opening night for New York Classical Theater’s summer season. King Lear will begin at Central Park West and West 103rd Street; scene changes involve the cast and audience wandering to another are of the park, so don’t get too settled!
Are you a literary snob? A book worm? A fan of libraries? Perhaps you simply look hot in glasses? Well, on Friday there’s a dance party for you! The Desk Set is hosting the Dance Dance Library Revolution at Enids!
The Art by Chance Film Screening/Launch Party in New York will give you a chance to see all the films in the inaugural festival as well as be part of a very unique experience. To keep with the “by chance,” we are inviting musicians to create impromptu soundtracks live to all the films. 31 films, four different music sets, one party for all. Performances by Dave Fischoff, DJ Chad North, Dalis Elvis, and Anthology Strings and Friends.
There seems to be a bit of confusion about the time, but either Saturday or Sunday afternoon, (give the Coney Island people a call if you’re interested), there will be an epic showdown between former Wall St. Moguls and their currently unemployed former employees- The Great Coney Island Tug-of-War:
The event, hosted by Coney Island, is an attempt to move beyond the festering animosity created by the economic collapse. The Great Coney Island Tug-of-War is a wide-ranging dispute resolution mechanism that will feature multiple different match-ups, including firefighters and police officers, vegans and carnivores, green-minded cyclists and unapologetic motorists, and Cyclone fans and Wonder Wheel fans. The 1,000-foot tug-of-war rope also will be offered as a platform to any two groups with an intractable disagreement.
On Sunday show the hipsters what you’ve got at The Gutter, where the admission gets you those hot bowling shoes, a chance to win big and a burger into the bargain!