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I’ve been meaning to give you proper reviews of several concerts I attended in the last month. I was at Phoenix‘s sold out concert at Terminal 5 June 19th; it was spectacular. At one point the singer, Thomas Mars, jumped into the crowd; people surged forward contracting to the point that half the room, which had seemed packed, was almost empty. The security guards hauled him out unharmed but I can’t say it was a particularly successful move. This video is pretty poor quality but it does give you a concept of the high energy level in the room, plus it shows off some of the crazier lighting effects:

They’ll be back at the end of August- perhaps a good way to end the summer?

On a very different note, I very much enjoyed the New York City Opera’s recital-style performance of La Navarraise in the World Financial Center Winter Garden. It was interesting to see this somewhat awkward space full of people silently listening to opera. The acoustics weren’t great and the palm trees tended to block your view but I liked the informality of it and the illusion that everyone had sort of stumbled into the performance.

A bit more recently G and I saw Black Taxi at Pianos. We were already pretty crazy about them beforehand but seeing them live definitely cemented our regard. Pianos is a tiny venue so we were also able to meet them afterwards, which was very exciting. Here are a few of Deneka Peniston’s stunning photos of the show:

J. Holms on Drums

J. Holms on Drums

Vocals by Ezra

Vocals by Ezra

Ezra amongst the crowd

Ezra amongst the crowd

You have another chance to see them tonight, at Le Poisson Rouge! Check my last post for info on the spread of events this weekend and stay tuned for additions!

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There are so many amazing events happening this weekend that my google calendar looks like a piece of psychedelic art! Sadly you can never do everything but here are my suggestions!

First off, don’t forget to check my previous post for great events taking place tonight!

Tomorrow night you’re going to have to make some tough choices; there are eight events I feel compelled to post.

First, Gemini and Scorpio are hosting a Nouvelle Époque Cabaret-Salon at The Players Club:

The legendary Players, boasting such luminary members as Mark Twain, Eugene O’Neill and Ernest Hemingway, is a members-only social club founded by the famed 19th century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. The Players’ landmarked home is a magnificent Victorian mansion with a wrought-iron balcony overlooking Gramercy Park.

JC Hopkins’ Biggish Band plays rollicking hard bop swing all night featuring guest vocalists tap-dancing sensation DeWitt Fleming Jr, velvet-voiced Jolie Holland, and Tony-nominated downtown icon Justin Bond, in addition to JC’s resident front-woman Queen Esther. The always-surprising Julie Atlas Muz (Miss Exotic World 2006), the jaw-droppingly stylish MsTickle, and hilariously naughty Trixie Little & Evil Hate Monkey perform feats of burlesque to live accompaniment by the band all night. In band breaks, 1920s tap sensation The Minsky Sisters amuse and titillate you.

The dress code calls for top hats and opera gloves… All this and I get to play dress-up? Sign me (and Cinderella) up!

For a slightly more actively artistic salon experience pick up a ticket to the exclusive Draw-a-Thon event happening in Michael Alan’s private studio. The drawing will actually be taking place on the roof of the studio in Williamsburg; the models will be posing as animals against the backdrop of the sun setting over Manhattan- sounds inspiring!

There are five great concerts Friday night, ranging from highbrow to hipster. The first, the Philharmonic Concert in Central Park, I’ve already mentioned. The Metropolitan Opera is performing their final outdoor recital in Crotona Park in the Bronx. This one should be much less crowded than the Summerstage shows so if you’re up for the trek I’m sure it will be worthwhile.

For a more contemporary outdoor concert experience check out Robert Cray and The Sweet Divines at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Check out these ladies:

If you want to stay indoors you can head over to Mercury Lounge to rock out with The Spinto Band. I wrote about them some time ago; I’ve had some of their songs in my subway playlists since then and I’ve definitely become quite fond of them.

spinto band

You also have another chance to see Black Taxi! I saw them perform at Pianos a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post a full review of their amazing performance- I promise I’ll get that to you soon but for now let me just say I am certain their show at Le Poisson Rouge will be a blast!

Last but not least, I am very excited to announce that there will be a GIANT GAME OF CAPTURE THE FLAG taking place Friday night. Newmindspace has organized this carefully structured game in Williamsburg- play nice!

capture the flag

On Saturday pull yourself together (I know, Friday is going to be intense but you can do it!) and get out to Coney Island for the annual Siren Music Festival! This year performers include Monotonix, Micachu & The Shapes and Spank Rock (to name but a few). After the shows there’s a hot afterparty at The Music Hall of Williamsburg (where there will be even more shows!). Check out the awesome drawing that adorns the press releases:

siren music festival

If you missed out on François Truffaut’s New Wave masterpiece The 400 Blows last week you have another chance to see it on Saturday, this time as part of the ongoing French New Wave Essentials series at the Museum of Arts and Design.

On Sunday Dare Dukes is playing at the Rockwood Music Hall. Listening to him croon lovely urban folk songs should be an excellent way to wind down the weekend.

There are two exciting outdoor film screenings to consider attending Monday evening. Harold and Maude is showing in Bryant Park:

Teenager Bud Cort and sexagenarian Ruth Gordon both like to go to funerals of people they don’t know, and meet to embark on one of cinema’s great relationships. Audacious and heartbreaking, Hal Ashby’s superb black comedy also features a perfect soundtrack by Cat Stevens.

And downtown, on The Elevated Acre, you can see West Side Story.

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story

Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story

Enjoy and stay tuned for additions!

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First of all I’d like to remind you that I’ve posted some excellent events for tonight, including the event I’ll be attending- the Raspberry Brothers’ Top Gun show. If you come out be sure to introduce yourself to the ringleader (Jerm) and tell him you found out about them through TheBigRedApple; he’ll point you my way and possibly buy you a beer after the show.

Tomorrow night please join me in petitioning the weather gods for sunshine (rain dance anyone?). If it doesn’t rain you can partake of a free open bar on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel, courtesy of Citybartenders.com. Here’s the invite; be sure to RSVP!

The New York City Opera will be performing outside Friday and Saturday nights (cross your fingers). Friday night is La Navarraise:

Massenet’s rarely performed La Navarraise is a turbulent love story unfolding against the backdrop of civil war in Spain.  This work, which is often compared to Leoncavallo’s Cavalleria rusticana, showcases Massenet at his lyrical best.  La Navarraise is set in two short acts with an intermezzo for a total running time of 50 minutes.

and Saturday is

a concert program of beloved arias, duets and overtures that have become part of American popular culture.  Featuring popular melodies from Puccini, Rossini and Verdi.

Hearing these performers sing outdoors is a unique and powerful experience; don’t miss this chance for free opera!

La Navarraise

La Navarraise

This is the last weekend to see Paved Paradise Redux: The Art of Joni Mitchell at The Abrons Arts Center Henry Street Settlement. John Kelly’s interpretation of Joni Mitchell is both “haunting and hilarious.” This is the sort of tribute that is worth seeing on its own merits.

Paved Paradise Redux The Art of Joni Mitchell

Paved Paradise Redux The Art of Joni Mitchell

This is also the last weekend to see a dance performance in a public bathroom. Yes, I said a dance performance in a public bathroom. Only in New York, right? Well, Dark Horse/Black Forest is certainly an interesting piece and it’s performed in the lobby bathroom of the Gershwin Hotel.

It’s an intense love story presented in the most intimate of spaces: the bathroom. It’s dance. It’s art. It’s interior design.

Dark Horse/Black Forest

Dark Horse/Black Forest

On Saturday there are a number of great events to choose from. B is a fan of Dr. Dog, who is performing at the Prospect Park Bandshell as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn! summer concert series. Check out this video for a taste of their brand of psychedelic madness:

If that’s not your thing you may want to check out What’s On Your Plate?, an outdoor screening/foodie event that’s part of the BAMcinemaFEST:

You’ve read Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation and you try to buy local and organic produce at your neighborhood farmer’s market. But do you really know how what you’re eating ended up on your table? Through the eyes of two intelligent and inquisitive eleven-year-old girls from New York City, we follow the many paths, the conflicting economics, and the disparate decision makers who all play a part in what we eat. Ideal for families to watch together, the film presents a variety of perspectives on how food reaches our urban community and its associated challenges. An introduction by the filmmakers will precede the screening. Presented in conjunction with The Afro-Punk Festival.

ALSO on Saturday you have another chance to see Black Taxi, performing this time at Pianos (G and I will be there!). I’ve written about them before; check out this post to see a video of their single ‘Wanted.’

On Sunday there’s a fantastic foodie event- The Unfancy Food Show. Brooklyn Based has all the details; let me just say this will be finger lickin’ good!

Unfancy Food Show

Sunday is your last chance to see acrobats on a boat! The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge have earned well-deserved praise for this unique entertainment venture; check it out!

circus

Also on Sunday, there are 4 programs of short films screening at the BAM Rose Cinema; I’m particularly drawn to the animated shorts.

BAM Animated Shorts Program

BAM Animated Shorts Program

Have a great weekend and stay tuned for additions!

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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!

Emilie Simon

Emilie Simon

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!

amoralists

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!

On Friday Black Taxi is playing at the Bowery Ballroom. G and I have recently become huge fans of theirs (I’ve mentioned them before) and if you just see one concert this week this would be my pick.

Black Taxi

Black Taxi

On Monday, while I am recovering from the trauma of the LSAT, you can enjoy Mike Daisey’s newest bit of madness- Mysteries of the Unexplained- BACON! at Joe’s Pub:

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!

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I’m back in NYC and super excited about this week’s events! I will relate my adventures in Boston in a later post but these announcements must come first.

Tonight start your week off with some funky dance music at Beauty Bar:

Eugene and returning guest DJ Brian Blackout braid the tunes and work out the kinks (not the band) for the dancefloor. However, The Kinks might be heard as DJs Go-Karff & Sandman present the “Lovedolls Superstar” rock extravaganza in the front room. Beloved bartenders Hillery & Sam take care of the bar with $5 Olive Vodka drinks and $3 Buds all night. No Cover.

Also tonight you can hear the real deal on Dylan when the world’s preeminent Dylan biographer, Clinton Heylin, spins his tales at Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers. His new book, Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1963, is due out in April.

National Poetry Month is about to begin; you can get a head start tonight at McNally Jackson Books, where the all-star lineup includes a couple of Pulitzer winners and several National Book Critics Circle honorees- Sharon Olds, Philip Schultz, Mark Strand, C.K. Williams and Robert Pinsky.

On Tuesday take advantage of the (somewhat) warmer weather and make the trek out to 3rd Ward for their newest monthly event- THE…

video game

On its debut night, 3rd Ward’s Return of the Wizard is calling out Mario Kart fanatics for a battle to the death on Nintendo 64. We’ll pit you and your friends against each other in high stakes video game competition projected onto 10×10 ft. screens. Relive your glory days – minus the grape soda and nagging parents – plus ice cold beers, cash prizes, live beats from DJ Tanner and the month long title of 3rd Ward’s Video Game King or Queen. At 3rd Ward, it’s co-ed style — girls, it’s time to get the boys back for all their years of not letting you play!

You may remember my stories about the Dorkbots and their absurd antics; on Wednesday you can see them for yourself at Location One. What could be more appropriate for April Fool’s Day than people doing strange things with electricity?

On Thursday the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series at Solas presents Poems for the Millenium: Volume Three:

The previous two volumes of this acclaimed anthology set forth a globally decentered revision of twentieth-century poetry from the perspective of its many avant-gardes. Now editors Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson bring a radically new interpretation to the poetry of the Ninteenth century, viewing the work of the romantic and post-romantic poets as an international, collective, often utopian enterprise that became the foundation of experimental modernism.  The range of volume three and its skewing of the traditional canon illuminate the process by which romantics and post- romantics challenged nineteenth-century orthodoxies and propelled poetry to the experiments of a later modernism and avant-gardism. Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally known poet and Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Jeffrey C. Robinson is Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Also on Thursday Black Taxi (whose benefit concert for Studio 42 I posted some time ago) will be playing at the Annex. Here is the video from their single “Wanted Man”:

Stay tuned for more events and of course the details of my Boston adventures.

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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!

Past Shenanigans

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