Tag Archives: Japan Society

A Song and Dance Town

Tonight Rockefeller Center will be full of the sweet sounds of sponsored spectacle as NBC lights up the tree (etc.). If you’d rather hear the sounds of chefs swearing you can catch David Chang and Mario Batali at the Strand this evening; it’s sure to be hot hot hot!

Thursday the Japan Society is hosting an exciting new dance performance choreographed by Jeremy Wade:

Japan Society presents the world premiere of its commission to Bessie Award- winning American choreographer Jeremy Wade. In a bold and violent juxtaposition of movement, text, animation and video of manga (Japanese comics) drawing, Wade takes a playful and cynical look at consumerism and Japanese kawaii (cute) culture- from the infantile fluff of Hello Kitty to teenage doe-eyed love portrayed in anime- exploring its ubiquitous influence on the world today.

Also on Thursday you can celebrate Jack McFadden’s birthday at his very own venue… The Bell House; he’s booked his favorite bands like The Pulsars and Wye Oak so it’s sure to be a very happy birthday for us all!

Friday night DeVries are releasing their new album, Death to God, at the Cameo Gallery. B classifies them as “very shoegaze;” check them out live and find out if that’s also a literal descriptor.

Also on Friday you can see one of Terry Gilliam’s (director of The Neverending Story, Time Bandits, etc.) lesser-known works of surrealist film- The Adventures of Baron Munchausen at 92Y Tribeca. This preview has just enough fantastic madness to get you excited for more:

I’m going to stop there for the moment but I’m very excited about various events happening this weekend so stay tuned! Also be sure to follow me on twitter for the latest!

P.S. I’m giving away an invite for you and 3 of your dearest friends to attend the annual New York Public Library Holiday Open House! There will be dancing and tours of the stacks plus other goodies; the first to message me can join the party!

May 19-21 What to do?

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.

Tonight at the Japan Society you can learn the subtleties of sake:

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.

If you want a bit more madness in your Tuesday head over to Galapagos for the ISSUE Project Room’s Sixth Anniversary Party. There will be shows by a range of performers including Elysian Fields, (“They carry a torch for nature, sex, love, the cycle of death and rebirth, and the sounds of folk and jazz ballads, new wave and classical music, seamlessly interwoven into a style that is at once languorously romantic and tough.”), Ray Sweeten and Brock Monroe.

Elysian Fields

Elysian Fields

Tomorrow you have a chance to check out one of the bands I’ve raved about recentlyThe 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.

Also tomorrow the Mixer Series is back at Cakeshop! This week there will be readings by Bret Anthony Johnston, Tracy K. Smith, Alex Mindt and music from Young Lions.

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)

Prom Dress (I almost wish mine had actually been this bad)

Have a lovely week and stay tuned for additions!

May 15-17 More Weekend Events!

I’ve already told you about several awesome events happening this weekend, including but not limited to the opening of The Love Armor Project, a Gotham Girls Roller Derby match, an awesome dance party at Studio B and the Wet Spots’ show at Joe’s Pub. Check out the details of those events and others in my last post.

I have some additional events to announce…

Friday night there will be a benefit for Figment down at the Battery Maritime Building. Figment is “an annual arts event on Governors Island, with artwork in every medium, from installation to performance to music to games and many things in between. Participation is open to any artist who would like to share their work. It is a free, non-profit endeavor run by volunteers.” Figment will be taking place this summer from June 12-14. Head downtown Friday in your best nautical attire; the benefit will be almost as fun as the event:

On May 15, drop anchor and walk the plank at OVERBOARD, an all-night dance party to benefit FIGMENT.  For one night only, we will transform a haggard ferry dock into a merry port of call, featuring the siren songs of the city’s finest bands, DJs and performers.  Maritime, mermaid, sailor, pirate, deep sea creature or other nautical attire is encouraged.

You have three chances to see Hiroaki Umeda perform at the Japan Society this weekend:

Multidisciplinary solo artist Hiroaki Umedacommands all elements of his unique spectacle: choreography, dance, lights and computerized sound and video images. Minimal and radical, subtle and provocative, Umeda’s extraordinary butoh/street dance-inspired choreography appears within an environment of sparse, dramatic lighting, flashing cyber-imagery, electronic beats and crackling digital soundscapes.

Hiroaki Umeda

Hiroaki Umeda

His performance has to be experienced in person so don’t miss this opportunity!

Do you remember jump roping in second grade? Were you one of the cool kids who did double dutch while the rest of us looked on in awkward admiration? On Saturday head to McCarren Park and see if you have what it takes to compete in the Punk Rope Olympics. First, check out this video to see what you’re in for:

This is the opening weekend of an exciting new exhibit at the International Center of Photography; the exhibit is the the largest survey of Richard Avedon’s fashion work since the Metropolitan Museum show in 1978. The New York Times review says:

Avedon’s photography has always amounted to a plea for beauty — to see it mysterious, to see it raw but ultimately to see it whole. To view his portraits in the ’50s and ’60s is to see the flip side of the decades’ stylish obsessions. And whether the faces were beautiful or ravaged, famous or not, the portraits relentlessly informed the fashion images, and vice versa… The I.C.P. exhibition, picking up where the 1978 Metropolitan show left off and allowing the first complete view of Avedon’s fashion photography, strips away the last shadows on his art.

Richard Avedon ' Evening Dress' 1957

Richard Avedon ' Evening Dress' 1957

 On Sunday I simply must mention yet another awesome event at The Bell House. I know, I tell you about them all the time, but this one is just irresistible. They’re screening four films by Jean Painleve; there will be mollusks making love and an octopus falling in love amongst other absurdities- enjoy!

Have an excellent weekend and stay tuned for additions!

March 13-15 What to do?

There are two concerts worth considering tonight. First, get your fill of British electro-house at Webster Hall where Calvin Harris‘ tunes may not invoke deep thought, but will definitely get you dancing. The second is for all the hipsters out there- Blk Jks will be performing their ‘South African art rock’ at Union Hall.

Also tonight, discover a new kind of brothel- a Poetry Brothel at Madame X.

Here’s how it works: The poets play “whores,” visitors play “johns” (and are also encouraged to attend incognito!) but instead of physical intimacy, the poets offer the intimacy of their poetry by giving private, one-on-one readings in curtained-off areas. All of the resident “whores” are available for private readings at any time during the event (for a small fee). Of course, every good brothel needs a furtive “front” or cover business; ours is part saloon and part salon, offering a full bar (serving Le Tourment Vert absinthe all night!), blackjack table (played for prizes), tarot card readings, raffle tickets, live painting, one-on-one poetry consultations (bring your poems!), and live music, with performances from our poets, performers, and artists throughout the night. Each night “The Madame” will also introduce “the new girl,” a featured reader who will delight the whole cast and cast of customers with a very special public performance.

Poetry Brothel

Poetry Brothel

 Tomorrow go over to the Japan Society for their new exhibit- “Krazy! The Delirious World of Anime + Manga + Video Games.” Check out examples of these evolving art forms, such as this image:

Takashi Okazaki. Afro Samurai [film still]. STUDIO GONZO, 2007. © 2006 TAKASHI OKAZAKI, GONZO / SAMURAI PROJECT.

Takashi Okazaki. Afro Samurai

Saturday night you have the challenge of deciding between several events, each of which embrace completely different sub-cultures.

I will be attending a performance of the Young New Yorkers Chorus at Holy Trinity Church:

Young New Yorkers Chorus Event Poster

Young New Yorkers Chorus Event Poster

I’ll admit I’m a novice when it comes to Rachmaninoff but I’m confident that this will be a truly beautiful performance (I have a good reason for thinking so- I have a friend in the chorus whose voice I simply adore).

For a whole different sort of musical experience, check out Black Taxi at DROM; it will be a late-night, down-and-dirty, rock-and-roll-fueled benefit for Studio 42!

For a whole different sort of experience you can spectate or participate at the 2009 New York City Beard and Moustache Championships, held this year at Public Assembly. There will be prizes for full beards, patchy beards, goatees, moustaches and sideburns (and many more categories of facial hair). I attended the 2007 Championships and I can vouch for the absurdity and hilarity of this event.

Beard and Moustache Championship Participant

Beard and Moustache Championship Participant

If that’s all just far too intimidating wander over to Union Pool for what just may be the best dance party you’ve been to all year- Budos Band will be throwing a ‘Voodoo Funk Party.’

Budos Band Event Poster

Budos Band Event Poster

If you’re not too hung over for bagpipes on Sunday, check out the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade; there will be the requisite music and all the shenanigans you’re expecting.

Also on Sunday revamp your wardrobe and support Housing Works by participating in a fantastic clothing swap at Sixth Ward:

Trade in a bag of your unwanted clothes for a chance to rummage through others’. Fashion students are on hand to help with fittings for your new outfits. Extras, bar tabs, and five-buck donations at the door go to Housing Works.

Enjoy your weekend and stay tuned for any additions I may come across!