Archive for the ‘Live Music’ Category

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

The Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe hosts some really kick ass events. Last week my wife and I went to see writer extraordinaire Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer read/perform together. Neil, ehem, Mr. Gaiman read a new, yet to be published, short story. Amanda performed vigorously and stared lovingly at Neil as he read. I snapped a few photos, enjoy.



housing works

Throbbing Gristle at Brooklyn Masonic Temple

Throbbing Gristle by Paul Heartfield

Throbbing Gristle by Paul Heartfield

When I discovered industrial music as a tender, spooky-goth teen, my introduction to the genre (and favorite ever since) was, appropriately, Throbbing Gristle. They pioneered industrial music, using samples and special effects mixed with distorted guitars and vocals to create a unique sound, and used disturbing imagery in their work, much to the consternation of proper British society in the ’70s. (In fact, even their name is offensive to some, as it is Hull slang for an erection.) Their last performance in the U.S. was in San Francisco in 1981, but they did reunite a few years ago to record new material, and have played a few shows in Europe since then. To the delight of U.S. TG fans, they embarked on a U.S. tour this April, starting and ending here in NYC, with stops at Coachella, San Francisco, L.A., and Chicago.

On April 28, at the last show in their sold-out tour of the U.S., TG really went all-out, with a longer set than the first show at the Masonic Temple on April 16 and a really phenomenal performance. I, along with the rest of the audience, was transfixed by Genesis P-Orridge‘s vocals and performance and the intensity of the music, so much so that I neglected to write down the set list (naughty blogger!). I was especially thrilled with the performances of “Hamburger Lady” and “Persuasion”, as the acoustics of the venue perfectly reverberated GPO’s eerily haunting voice and the distorted sounds of Cosey Fanni Tutti’s headless guitar, Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s tapes and effects, and Chris Carter’s synth. They also debuted the new Gristleizers, re-created by Charles Howes with the guidance of Chris Carter of TG after the recent demise of the last original one. Each member of TG tested out their new Gristleizer during a sort of experimental jam session (which is the closest term I can possibly think of to describe the wonderful cacophony that ensued) during the set.

Throbbing Gristle will be touring in Europe in June, and with airfare so low, you may want to head over there and see them. I think it’s worth it.

More photos (taken by Atom) after the jump.


Bjork in NYC


Bjork’s Web site says she’ll be doing a small concert to benefit The Housing Works in May. It may be a good idea to get yourself into the lottery of this show as it will most likely be delectable and cozy.

Tix are $50 I think. But it’s Bjork in NYC and the benefits go to charity? I think? I’m not sure. Check out the details. I’m just a messenger of love.

A is for April

Visited the ever monumental American Museum of Natural History this weekend with some out of town guests, like you do. Went into the Butterfly Conservatory. If standing around inside a terrarium with a lot of flying insects is your idea of fun, go see it! It was really quite magical. On our way home we took the A train, which was running on the C track in front of the museum. In the station was a man in a green trench coat, wearing a beard, playing the violin. At one point a small child was very interested in what was happening with that weird looking stick the man was rubbing on that small wooden box, so the man knelt down to let the boy hold the bow. He showed him how to push it across the strings and did the necessary finger work to play a tune. The boy was elated and the whole platform of people immediately gained new found acceptance for the man in the green trench coat with the violin. Little moments like that are another reason to fall in love again with this city of ours. Then on the train a man in a dirty jean jacket sitting next to my friends mother asked if we were going uptown or downtown, classic. The A train is for April.

Who are the Hare Krishnas?

Singing in the Montreal suwbay

Singing in the Montreal suwbay

I’m familiar with the Hare Krishna movement – followers of ISKCON (International Society of Krishna Consciousness) are often misunderstood as a cult. When they’re doing chant sessions at the Union Square L train stop, people sometimes keep smiling and walk away.

Some, however, stop to learn a little more. I should just say that I’m a big fan of their movement and what they try to achieve – peace for themselves and others through harmless means.

The origins of ISKCON happened on 2nd Avenue by Srila Prabhupad. The temple he founded was on 2nd Avenue and 1st street. At that time, several people who were seeking happiness were looking to do it through artificial means of drugs and free “love.” Not much has changed since that time. People are always searching for happiness – it is human nature to do so.

So what the Krishna lovers do is spread the ancient religion of Bhakti – connection through devotion (which may include, singing, dancing and meditating) so that this happiness can be derived through natural means. A lot of misconceptions can be cleared by visiting the Krishna NYC site’s FAQs.

Getting back to the East Village, their program has become superbly popular and each week more and more devotees show up for the chanting sessions. I had the opportunity to go there and record the session (episode 16). I’ve always found them to be peace bringing and meditative. Hopefully, if not all, at least one person attains that meditative state that I do when I attend by listening.

And the next time you see them chanting on the subway, stop and ask a few more questions. They’re not weird at all, in fact, they happen to be super nice!

Peter Piek

Some friends of mine had the ambitious idea to tour across the USA. They are starving mucisians and while I’m sort of biased, just head over to their Myspace page – it does really sound nice.

Anyway, their tour schedule is on Myspace and they are in town for a couple shows. I will probably check them out tomorrow at 10 PM at Don Pedro, in Williamsburg. Let me know in the comments if you come over.

Sep 4 2008 8:00P
Rehab New York City, New York
Sep 4 2008 10:00P
Don Pedro Williamsburg, New York
Sep 5 2008 9:00P
The Brooklyn Tea Party Brooklyn, New York
Sep 6 2008 7:00P
Park Side Lounge NYC, New York
Sep 7 2008 10:00P
169 Bar NYC, New York

Last week at McCarren Pool: Oops, you missed it

It’s 8pm in Brooklyn and the sun has already set, one of the many reminders that it isn’t summer anymore. Another sign is last weekend’s final show at Greenpoint’s McCarren pool, once again relegated to a desolate reminder of good times, at least unti 2011, when the pool will reopen as a real, live, wet, swimming pool! The New York Times chronicles the end of (good) times here. We know you’ll miss them (or you missed them).

Yah, we know you all didn’t brave the lines at Yo La Tengo, but we will miss the crouching, sitting, lying on our stomachs on piles of chipping lead paint during the Tuesday movie nights — oh how hard it is to sit in one place for two hours on concrete. This summer we did manage to go to the nostalgic edition of Wet Hot American Summer, and that one flick about glam rock that we couldn’t concentrate on because we overindulged in that bucket of free Starbucks energy drinks. But what we’ll miss most, and we know you do, will be the after-pool traipse over to Matchless across the street, and the valiant attempts to score [an innocent chess] game with the crowds of lingering directionless hipsters.

Thankfully, we’re going to have a public pool of epic proportions if all goes well with Bloomberg’s budget, construction, and all. Hopefully the VIP line won’t be as long as the one into MGMT on that one soggy day in early August. And, I suppose, we’re equally scared of the lines everywhere else next summer, when all of the label PR kids and their legions of tag-along writers are trying to get into, when there is no universal pool event to house them all. Glasslands: watch out, they’re coming for you.

Everyone, get out of the pool. [NYTIMES]

McCartney Comes Full-Circle at Billy Joel Concert at Shea

Last night was Billy Joel’s final concert at Shea Stadium, and Shea Stadium’s final concert. Shea has as much history as a concert venue, as it does for being the Mets’ ballpark.

But the best piece of history was made at the Billy Joel concert last night, when Paul McCartney closed the performance with the Pianoman with “Let it Be”. For it was in 1965 that 55,000 Beatles fans packed this same stadium for its first concert — the Fab Four! So it was that Paul McCartney came full circle last night at Shea!


Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

Yet another excuse to live “the city”, and it’s also just right across the bridge.

Today, Empire Fulton-Ferry State Park, 4-8pm, Corner of Plymouth & Main Streets, Dumbo, Brooklyn


If You Don’t Know – You’d Best Ask Somebody!

NYC is where Hip-Hop was born – as if you didn’t know that already (I hope).

That being said, the immortal and revolutionary Rock Steady Crew will be celebrating their 31st Anniversary from July 24th-July 27th. The four funktastic days of festivities will include a Celebrity Benefit Basketball Challenge, B-boy/B-girl Battles, 5 on 5 Crew Battles, and live musical performances from artists like Kurtis Blow, The Beatnuts, Soul Sonik Force, and Craig G & Marly Marl.

More information and locations of the events can be found on their official site.

This is the perfect opportunity to get out from behind your semi-fancy Swedish ‘puter desk thingy and shake your ass, all while witnessing something that is way more indigenous to the 5 Boroughs than Gordon Gekko and Alex Rodriguez.

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