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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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NOTE: The Big Red Apple is now TheBigRedApple.net

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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

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!

If you’re not in the mood for opera you should consider heading down to Pier 54 on the Hudson to watch Vicky Christina Barcelona under the stars. I don’t know what got into got into Woody Allen when he was abroad but this is a very hot film- bring someone you want to take home.

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 Walter Aikens, 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).

Rebecca Schiffman

Rebecca Schiffman

Thursday night at the Prospect Park Bandshell you can see one of B’s favorite acts- the Kronos Quartet! They’re playing alongside the Luminescent Orchestrii.

If you’re looking for something a little more old school to round off your week I highly recommend watching The Maltese Falcon under the Brooklyn Bridge. Here’s the trailer for this stunning 1941 picture with Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor:

Enjoy your week and stay tuned for additions!

Past Shenanigans

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