Archive for Music

Culture Clash: Our City Dreams, Beirut, the Third Mind

Posted in art, film, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

I have been overwhelmingly silent lately on the blog front. It’s not that I haven’t been going out, I have. It is just that I have been overwhelmed by stimuli, potential topics, definite un-topics and when I’ve tried to sit down and review I found that the reasons were wrong.

So how about a fresh start in this fresh weather. Digest style: I want to give some shout outs to the culture I’ve been sampling lately.  I saw a great film, truly beautiful, at the Film Forum, called Our City Dreams. It tracks 5 female artists, through a year or so in their lives , recording each artists relationship with the city. The director, Chiara Clemente, profiles Kiki Smith, Swoon, Ghada Amer, Nancy Spero and Marina Abramovic. A jazz soundtrack supports the film and the cinematography is infectious, it reminded me of super 8, rainy, home video.  Although each artist is in a different stage of their life and career, all seem to be at a stage where they are receiving lots of props.  Swoon goes from street art to a show at Deitch to having work at MOMA, while Marina Abramovic has a major retrospective at the Guggenheim. Ghada Amer is probably the most interesting character to watch. As she hand stitches and weaves large canvases, she tells us that she was very depressed before she became an artist. It saved her life. Kiki Smith, the daughter of a successful artist also recalls that she started to work only in her late 20s after her father died. She couldn’t take herself seriously as an artist until then. Abramovic  details her fascinating performance art-making practices. They involve starvation, cold and self-injury.

A few days after the film,  I found myself at the Guggenheim myself for the opening of The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia. Go see it and tell me what you think! I am not so sure myself. I enjoyed seeing an annotated manuscript page from The Waste Land and some of Ginsberg’s old photos, not to mention a few beautiful Asia inspired paintings by American Artists. My friend however, thought that discussion around cultural appropriation was dangerously absent from the exhibition.

Well, speaking of un-apologetic cultural appropriation, it’s on to Beirut. I have to say that the concert at BAM on Friday night was not only beautiful, but it was also lovely, harmonic, poetic, inspiring. If I could have removed most of the shouting hipster audience from the scene it would have been even better, but hey the band themselves are hipster-esqe so not all Williamsburg-dwellers are bad. The crew of young guys, headed by a 22 year old Angel in plaid, are a band that sounds consistently like gypsy music to me, yet def. delves into brit-pop, french chanteuse  and Indigenous sounds that span multiple continents. I’m not a hater, and I won’t bag them for sounding like pretty Americans, who’ve spent some time camping in Bulgaria.  I love their music and have to take the culture clashing for what it is.

-Robyn. Brooklyn Socialite in residence again.

Fader/One Step Beyond Party-SM

Posted in Music, Party with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

By Shannon Mustipher

I like to get out every now and again to shake it and to pretend that I am still one of the ‘cool kids’.  The winter chill has been putting a serious cramp on my dance moves  however, as I have sadly been out only a handful of times since the holidays. I didn’t have to think too hard when I got an invite from DJ Bianca to hear her spin at  Fader’s Museum of  Natural History, One Step Beyond party. I decided that I HAD to be there! The fact that the venue was uptown, far away from my downtown haunts of choice didn’t dissuade me.  In fact, I was curious to see who else would show up to the event.

I was not disappointed:  there were yuppies, upper west siders in loubotins and designer garb, a smattering of arty hipsters in tight jeans and funky eyewear, a fierce – looking group of  lesbians, and adorably spindly gay boys who made sure to look cute, while busting out hot moves.  While the bulk of the crowd was very down to earth and non-pretentious, there was enough fabulousity to keep things interesting, without being obnoxious.   It wasn’t too crowded ( maybe the weather was a factor ?) There were just enough people to make it feel full and happening without inducing claustrophobia, a common hazard in Manahattan party spaces.    The Museum’s planets exhibition was an excellent setting for the event, lending the proceedings an aura of futuristic, space age coolness.  As I’d hoped, Bianca’s set was a nice mix of electronica, hip hop and danceable indie rock; there was a little something for everyone.  She did a good job of transitioning from one phase of her set to the next, giving party goers ample space to switch gears between dancing, people watching, and drink grabbing .  Bianca was followed by Todd Sweeney, who benefited from a loose and warmed up crowd, which broke out into pockets of wild and energetic dancing not long after he took to the tables.

One Step Beyond is a fun place to go with 10 of your closest friends.  The venue and the music offer something of interest for everyone, and plenty of room for you and your gang to set up camp in your own private corner of the cosmos and party like you’re the only ones in a  tricked out space age fantasy of your own making.  One Step Beyond will no doubt become a regular stop on many a party – goer’s circuit.

Slate Honey, Novice Theorey

Posted in Mr Slate Honey, Music, People of Color, queer with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

By Slate Honey

My favorite musical experiences are ones that feel like lucid dreaming.  The one-person band Novice Theory has quickly found a choice spot on my list of vision-inspiring.  I sink into self-reflective hallucinations somewhere in the curves of songwriter Geo’s grandiose melodic piano-playing, pulled deeper in by his heartbreakingly sharp, lyrical narratives.  I saw Novice Theory live for the first time at Joe’s Pub last night.

This morning, I woke up to flashes of dreams still fresh on my mind.  In one, I braided my miraculously-grown long curls.  In another, my mother and I had a love-affair breakdown in a restaurant in Chinatown.  Lying in bed, two lines from a Kate Bush cover performed the night before looped in my head.  I hummed it over and over again on my walk to work.  I couldn’t kick the tune all day… but I didn’t really want to.

I often lose touch with my own tenderness in dealing with complicated questions of identity.  It’s easier for me to turn to political and overly-intellectual language to make sense of the daily experiences of gender-queer and racially-othered bodies in this wide world.  Novice Theory takes on these questions on an emotionally bare level.  Sometimes pounding and other times caressing the keys of a grand piano, Geo works out so much in his music.  He labors through intensity and honesty with a crafted precision.  Novice Theory mixes together classical and folk tones, a tender darkness, cutting humor and an entrancing theatrical sound.  Experiences most difficult to process somehow become easy to listen to in the candid and lavish storytelling–or maybe just graspable, simply distilled to rich and vivid imagery.

Agent Angie gets Techy at El Guincho

Posted in Music, Party with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I headed to (Le) Poisson Rouge the other night to see El Guincho, aka Pablo Díaz-Reixa an electro-pop artist based in Barcelona. I arrived very early. I must admit a few things that threaten to undermine my status as a “socialite” dear readers. The first thing is that I don’t know if I am capable of attending these late night shows anymore. I really enjoy going to (Le) Poisson Rouge, but most of their shows start barely before midnight. When you work full time during the day, is going to a show that starts at 11:30 feasible? Not really.

Finally, Lemonade, the opener started, whose weird electronic mix of pops, blips, pings, and buzzes accompanied by occasional vocals provided the best electro-dance music I’ve heard in a long while. Everyone was gyrating to the music and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Later, when I listened to it again on myspace I felt more ambivalent. This type of music is better in person.

El Guincho drew an impressive crowd, (Le) Poisson Rouge was packed, but I wasn’t so impressed by him. A part of me wondered what all the fuss was about. His enthusiasm and personality were wonderful to watch, but the music didn’t win me over.

Therefore, I will go back to discussing my experience as a bad socialite that night at (Le) Poisson Rouge. I arrived early because I didn’t want to bother going back uptown after work. I thought it started at ten (I have a terrible habit of confusing the “doors” time and the actual time the show is set to begin). Arriving early did afford me the opportunity of observing the people around me. There was a dj, a pretty decent dj at that, but everyone was standing around looking bored (including myself). I kept thinking, ‘aren’t we supposed to be dancing? Someone dance with me.’ I was alone for most of the show and kept trying to push myself to strike up conversations with strangers who were also alone, but never did. I looked around at everyone clicking away on their BlackBerrys and iPhones and regretted that technology has driven a wedge between us. Who knows if I would have worked up the courage to do it even if the BlackBerrys weren’t present, but it’s a little harder to do when someone is preoccupied texting or twittering or what have you.

I feel I have a love/hate relationship with technology. In this instance, before I made a point to put away my iPhone in order to stop discouraging others from being friendly, I caught up on some reading. I read a wonderful article by Roger Ebert about the struggles in the journalism world of late. I was grateful that my iPhone allowed me to be productive and escape the boredom of being alone. However, it also made me feel very cowardly for using it (partly) to avoid being social. It made me wonder if depending on technology since my first year of college, when I first started to develop my social skills in an adult world and develop relationships independent of family, crippled me socially in the long run. And, what does this tell us about individuals growing up in front of screens? Imagine having a facebook profile in middle school. Any thoughts dear readers?

-by Angie Venezia

Slate Honey reviews Recitement, Music/Poetry

Posted in Mr Slate Honey, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Recitement Review- by Slate Honey

A week ago, I immersed myself in Stephen Emmer’s poetry compilation album Recitement.  Pairing recited poems by a wide variety of writers (from Lou Reed to Jorge Luis Borges) with musical composition, Emmer curates a work that is more akin to a series of short films than an album with a solid identity.  Emmer does a comprehensive job of creating genre-specific music that works hard to set a tone for each spoken piece.  Recitement’s sounds bounce back and forth between dark, spacy down-tempo, bouncy classic rock, cinematic European pop and whispery retro French electro.  The musical style is laid a little too thick and is at times sentimental.  And melody sometimes becomes competitive with poetry.  The weight of the poetry often gets lost in the layered soundtracks.  Emmer does best when he presents pieces that really lend themselves to music.

Two tracks are particularly good. “Invergence of the Twain” is reminiscent of spoken word set to cool-sounding acoustic guitar and light percussion.  The beautiful rhyming and careful pacing of the poetry make for a sexy, relaxed sound that is easy to get into.  “Absolutely Grey” has the kind of melancholy space-age sound of Tricky and matches well to a sparse monologue on absolutes.  Especially good for those days when one is feeling super emo and particularly philosophical.

I’d recommend Recitement if you are tired of albums packaged with a singular look and feel.  It’s worth a listen if you want something really different.  Expect to be taken along several twists and turns and leave yourself open to the multi-media feel.  Recitement is not background music.

Arthur Russell- Love is Overtaking Me

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

After I saw the recent Arthur Russell film by Tom Wolff, I resolved to give the new album a listen. It is made up of all sorts of tunes that lived  alongside of him in the mix tapes that lined his apartment, and ultimately survived him. His partner, aided by Phillip Glass, eventually archived the tapes and the remastered versions appear on the recently released Love is Overtaking Me. My favorite song on the album would have to be “Nobody Wants a Lonely Heart.” Its refrain is “Don’t expect nothing, ’cause nobody wants a lonely heart.” Similarly clever and dire songs include the hysterical “What it’s like.” The song is about a married man, who tells his wife that he’s,” been touched by the lord.” and can’t be with her anymore. Then she responds that she only was with him oringinaly to, “see what is was like.” A mutual breakup, the best kind. The album is a progression from slow, guitar-based, folksy songs to more pop-infused disco beats. The two songs I mentioned are my favorite folk selections, while on the dico spectrum “the letter” is nicely suggestive and the title track, “Love is Overtaking Me” is pretty great as well.

J. Bob Alotta and Toshi Reagon benefit/birthday Party

Posted in Guide to What's Good, Music, Party with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite
It was a strange night… I arrived at this event super early, cause I was in the neighborhood, planned to go to the Y and found it closed, so just dazed my way into Sputnik around 9pm. It was me reading Valencia at the bar, and Toshi Reagon chillin with friends a few stools down. A typical Saturday night, then life got even more normal when my friend showed up and discovered her wallet had been lost/stollen. I switched into serious iphone/google/police report mode and 2 hours later things were pretty much settled. We canceled the cards, felt shitty and went back to Sputnik for a dance. The music was House, not my favorite, but the crowd was fun and the cuase excellent.
“j. bob alotta is a media activist, story teller,
worker, preacher, rabbi, builder of community.
whether its on the screen or at the dinner table,
s/he believes in gathering the tribe.”

The birthday celebration for Bob was also a fundraiser for
“4REELTHO: the narrative arm of our project.
our goal: to tell stories borne from the world in which we actually live.
TRUTH2POWER is the documentary/educational arm of our project.
our goal: to create the world we believe this could be.
which is to say, our work / our stories are unapologetically multi-racial, gender
variant, urban, sexy, strong, resistant & uppity.”
www.4reeltho.com

Sounds amazing. I threw down some of my meager earnings, and Betty even showed up for a quick second. Along with some older Frenchies who bumbed a flame off of us. I had to speak French a couple of times that night. The skills you almost forget you have, until you need to remember. We ate cake and rolled out onto the street around 3. A night well spent.

Acousitic Cash, Impermanence, The Rubin Museum, San Fransisco-Michelle Tea

Posted in art, Book, Guide to What's Good, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Acoustic Cash last night was quite beautiful. It was held in this warm small theater inside the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art. Roseanne was classy and sardonic, saying things like, “I liked the Rubin better when it was a Barneys.” Tongue in cheek of course, because the Rubin really is a cool space, forever in reference to Buddhist thought, the floors spiral upwards towards a stunning glass dome.The theme of Roseanne Cash’s musical interview with Joe Henry was Impermanence. They played songs which related to the Buddhist concept that nothing is permanent except for the self. Clinging to that which is fleeting, (almost everything) is what causes human suffering. Roseanne played some of her father’s songs and Joe managed to charm the audience with his twinkly smile, constant tuning, and that confidence that comes with knowing you are really good at something. Most of the people there were middle aged straight women, with husbands in tow. He sang a song called Flag and talked about how Americans resist letting go of dead ideas, such as bankrupt nationalism. Quickly, he added something about how in the new Obama-America maybe some of those beliefs can be rekindled.

America sees itself as a constant-a self, so to speak. Can it be permanent?

roseand-joe

The night ended with a Tupelo Honey/ People Get Ready duet and then, yes, a sing-along to The Times They are a Changing! (ha ha)

Just a quick note about Michelle Tea and San Fransisco: I am reading Valencia and although it takes place in the 90s, I can’t help but wonder if San Fran is really that cool? What do you think, how does it stand up against Brooklyn (ok NYC)?

I’m off to see Dr Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera, will report back later today.

Hateration, TV, Roseanne Cash, 2x

Posted in Music, politics, queer, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I was in an apt with a TV in it today. Being as I don’t own one this was a bit of a departure for me, but I will admit that when I do watch, I get sucked in. Hours passed by as The Tyra Banks Show, faded into The View, followed by Desperate Housewives and finally Boys on the Side. By the time I left at 4pm, I felt more than slightly ashamed about my “wasted day,” but here’s what I learned:

The word of the day is Hateration: A combination of admiration and hate, as in hating, as in ‘Don’t hate.’ (I had heard this word used before in songs, but honestly didn’t know what it meant until Tyra provided the proper definition) When you admire someone and most likely envy them, you hate on them as an expression of your insecurity.

Hateration: Don’t do it.

I also learned that Woopi Goldberg, co-host of The View claims not to be gay, nevertheless fiercely defends the rights of gay people, including that of marriage. This is the same Woopi, who ‘played gay for pay’ in Boys on the Side. Interesting. Oh god, I forgot that I also watched Zoolander. No wonder my brain resembles soft candy ahora… Alright looks like I didn’t learn that much from TV after all.

Hopefully the night will redeem me, I am going to go see Acoustic Cash, a sort of live talk show format, that centers around Roseanne Cash. She will interview Joe Henry, and I reckon they will also play songs together.  We’ll see.

Plus, the Brooklyn Socialite is so committed to being a full-on Arbiter of Taste, that I will now commit to posting 2 times every day and am going to start rolling out more new writers, so head’s up! yay x

Harry Shearer Recap, Whoreoween

Posted in Music, Party, The bad list with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I hope you are all pulling up as well as I am on this fine, sunny, post-mayhem Sunday morning. The scariest Halloween costume that I saw this season was the guy with the Harry Shearer mask on. No wait, that was really him. As much as I want to jock the 92st Y Tribeca, I have to say that I was far from impressed with my first event there. I’m hoping that was an anomalous experience and will reserve judgment.

Harry Shearer on the other hand, prepare to be roasted! The roast master himself seems to have not quite realized that the very act of mocking our misbegotten president and his team of political pariahs, does not give one carte blanche to use every racial and sexual slur in the Book. I was offended by his likening of Colin Powell to Smooth Jazz, his bashing Alberto Gonzalez with a Mexican ole song, and his repeated references to Condoleeza Rice’s perm. Seriously? Worsened by his descent into toilet humor, and the essentially boring old-timer band that backed him, Harry Shearer’s Songs of the Bushman (rock/jazz/weird Al Yankovic style?) concert blew, to put it mildly. Definitely on the BL

Luckily for me I did meet some nice folks during the ordeal and we commiserated together. Afterwards I checked out Whoreoween as promised, with a quick stop at Metro on the way. I still love that place, go Metropolitan, go community! Well the party was actually pretty fun, the DJ (who doubles as my GO co-worker) was pretty darn fab. Anyone who plays Arthur Russell, next to The Gossip, and on top of old school hip hop is alright in my Book.

Speaking so highly, as I always do, of books and words, I’ll part with a word of the day:

Trustafarian: Someone with a trust fund. This trust fun dictates one’s choice of social activities. Not a Brooklyn Socialite.

Tonight, Harry Shearer, Party

Posted in Guide to What's Good, Music, Party with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I don’t have any Oct 31 events to report back on as I decided to hibernate with all the ghosts and ghouls in my head! But tonight should be a little more active. Even your very own Brooklyn Socialite (me), who has feverishly resisted election hoopla, is starting to feel and hope that these may be the last days of a dark and twisted era. I hope that Tuesday will be enormous and deeply relieving. In order to help roast Bush in his final days, I will be Joining Harry Shearer at the 92 St Y Tribeca. In an effort to quote myself often:

“Grammy-nominated actor, Huffington Post blogger, and the voice behind many of The Simpsons characters, Harry Shearer performs tonight with his band the High Volume Detainees. Beyond his involvement with Spinal Tap, Shearer has been consistently political: the tunes off his album Songs of the Bushmen focus on President Bush’s Oedipal complex and other infamous imperfections, while members of his administration are also taken to task. In celebration of the end of Bush’s term, Shearer unloads his impressions of Palin and praise for Obama.” Read More

I will hit you with a recap tomorrow.

And, In an effort to be queerly fabulous in these hard times, I may face the outdoor ghosts and ghouls at:

FLAUNT AND HAUNT @ KALLI LOUNGE

“The extraordinarily party savvy, Gaysha, presents a special Halloween version of Choice Cu*ts.  She has always taken theme parties to the extreme with bifocal, leg-warmer-clad, bisexuals or Olympic obsessed nutters for Nastia, but Whoreween will blow the lid off all those past concepts.” Read more

Yes I am ashamed to say that I did write that for pay, but don’t hate, it was heavily edited. See you tonight!

Coco Rosie at Heather’s

Posted in art, film, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Last night I saw Bianca, aka Mad Vicky, one of the members of Cocorosie, DJ at Heather’s. Known for wearing crazy wigs and lots of beautiful, built-up costumes, Bianca was rocking a realistic, white girl dread wig. I’m assuming that wasn’t her actual hair, but not sure. Her clothes were slightly more downplayed but still somehow imposing. My friend commented that he loved her rainbow aesthetic, which is ironic considering the truth that Cocorosie have often referred to themselves as Rainbow Warriors. It kind of did feel like a tribe had come home to chill, with Bianca, joined by equally snazzy mix-mistress Black cracker and her band and life- mate Bunny Rabbit. Members of OMG Michelle were also in the blender, plus designers Leif and Tooya.

DJ Mad Vicky

DJ Mad Vicky

If you haven’t heard Cocorosie’s sounds, check them out. Popular in Barcelona and Paris, where they live part time, and of course on the west coast, their music is a rhythmic cross pollination. Fisher price toys compete for dominance with operatic vocals, disguised voices and good old fashioned (ha ha) beats. Danceable, at times queer-centric, melodic, lyrical, their music is so many things. Black Cracker and Bunny are pretty ace too, especially when you see them in Athens! The DJing was of course different from the band, but our verdict: fun and thought provoking, definitely going on the GL. The slide show that accompanied it was positively wacked out. Yay, more experimental film cures, in these depressionista times.

Inkblot Kelly, NY2022, Obama/Baldwin, Bitch, Edgar Keret

Posted in art, Book, Guide to What's Good, Music, The bad list with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I want to talk about the futuristic performance art piece that accompanies the AnySpaceWhatver exhibition.

The performance, entitled NY2022 combines Balenciaga dresses, with the Staten Island , Richmond County Orchestra, 82 year old singing actresses and a shower, a bicycle and a hot plate. Based on the 1973 Sci-fi film Soylent Green, the artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster creates an image of New York in the future. Apparently it is a place where people lovingly pour water over each other in lieu of actual showers, and where music and clothing, although beautiful (Balenciaga dresses) and lackadaisical, are gradually dissipating.

On the Subway downtown, I was wedged between the Russian members of the Staten Island Orchestra, although this environment was decidedly less glamorous then the Guggenheim, I felt a kindred connection with my fellow Brooklyn Socialites. Yes they live in Staten Island, but the point is that they are subway riding, comfortable shoe wearing, down to earth recessionistas like me.

When I arrived downtown, I was just in time to see Bitch and Feron at Joe’s Pub, which was a little folksy slice of the west coast from Daniela Sea’s lovely female folk singer girl-friend. The show was quite sweet, it made me feel like camping, and watching lakes. At one point, Ferron commented that new Yorkers view trees as concepts, that they are not in fact real to us. It was a joke, but I want to shout “Hey, I resemble that!” (which is a play on ‘I resent that’ For other fun pun’s in the sun dig this little gem of a site

And, it’s about time that I rail off about a few books and publications that I have been perusing these past few days. First of all did anyone else read the epic comparison of Barak Obama with James Baldwin in the NY Review of Books? What the? This brings to mind other “well matched” personages such as Orwell and Waugh. Until Barak comes out and publishes something with a little more literary merit than his “touching” autobiography provided, I will have to maintain my gasp. I love our next president, but don’t mess with Baldwin.

Speaking of writers, I caught Edgar Keret at Housing Works. He read from his latest book, A Girl on the Fridge. I really can’t speak volumes about his work, although it is very popular and often recommended to me. Its conspicuous lack of political choices, for a collection of stories set in conflict rich Israel/Palestine is a bit off putting. The style and subject matter is also v. male and seems to neutralize violence. However, the lady poets, who read before him, presented well crafted verse. Housing works still rocks!

I am also proud to share my new clothing website, Yay! The BS is also a Designer x www.InkblotKelly.com That lovely model is sporting IK gear below x

Agent Angie Sings to us

Posted in art, Guide to What's Good, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

92Y Tribeca Opening

If you read my review of 92nd Street Y’s Jorie Graham and Yusuf Komunyakaa reading last week you know of my hope that the good ole’ Y could become a little more hip. They book the best literary events around, yet manage to put their audience to sleep. Well, it seems my wish has been granted. 92nd Street Y opened their Tribeca location, on Hudson and Canal, last Saturday. I’ve heard that 92Y Tribeca won’t be hosting many readings in the near future, leaving that to their uptown patriarch. Hopefully that changes, because 92Y Tribeca’s space could potentially excel in providing the intimacy that literary readings need to be as satisfying and exciting as possible (yes, readings can be exciting!).

92Y Tribeca has a fabulous line-up of music events scheduled. Check out their site. John Vanderslice kicked off their series, 18 Nights of Inspiration on Saturday, while also celebrating the opening of the Tribeca location. Michael Showalter opened for and introduced Vanderslice with a stand-up routine. He was a little unprepared but otherwise hilarious as usual (remember Wet Hot American Summer?). Most of his routine recapped the current events surrounding the election.

Vanderslice’s performance was what I was excited about. He put on a great show, visibly elated to be performing at 92Y Tribeca and to be introduced by Showalter, whom he’s performed with before. The San Francisco-based singer/songwriter has intrigued me ever since I heard that he produced Spoon’s Gimme Fiction and two recent Mountain Goats’ albums, The Sunset Tree (2005) and Heretic Pride (2007), which also happen to be two of my favorites. One of the most prolific, yet under-the-radar musicians of his generation, Vanderslice was slated to intrigue, delight, and of course, entertain.

Vanderslice’s lyrics remind me a bit of anecdotal, folkloric/nursery rhymes, in particular “Dear Sarah Shu,” which he dedicated to John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats at the show:

Dear Sarah Shu,
I leave for you
All i knew about this job
On microcassette for further review

What it meant to me
How you’ll make it dear, hopefully
It’s dangerous here
Yes it’s dangerous here

Peer round corners with dental mirrors,
Heed the threats, taking cautionary measures,
In the end, it is love
You’ll have to learn to survive
…”

and “Angela”

Angela
Don’t be mad
There’s something i’ve got to tell you dear
Before you come back here

I lost, i lost your bunny
I let him out of the cage
He was eating spring mix on the carpet
He jumped through a window into the haze

And hopped down magnolia boulevard
No way he’ll survive
Maybe those last days of freedom
Were the best of his life
…”

92Y Tribeca picked a great inaugural act! I had a blast.

The space was very well orchestrated. There are gallery spaces displaying the exhibit “Goddess, Mouse, and Man” featuring the etchings of Lauren Weinstein, Tom Hart, and Matthew Thurber. I went to a reading of Weinstein’s fantasy graphic novel Goddess of War (the etchings of which are currently displayed in this show) at the Strand a couple months ago. She is definitely worth checking out.


Expect some exciting things to come from the Y in the coming months. I’m interested to see what happens.

by Angie Venezia

Agent Angie gets round Robin

Posted in Guide to What's Good, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

The Baltimore Avant-Garde at (le) Poisson Rouge

I suppose the bands I saw Friday night in the Baltimore Round Robin at (le) Poisson Rouge didn’t overtly define themselves as avant-garde, but they were certainly esoteric enough to be described that way. Furthermore, their pride in their irreverence, marked in many cases by aloofness, to the extent of failing to tell the audience their name (as if they’re so above the current music scene to care if we know who they are), made me think that many of them have quite lofty perceptions of themselves.

Despite my initial aversion to the elaborately esoteric nature of some of these performances, very quickly I began to hear the rhythm and beauty in even the most bizarre of noise bands there that night. Even the Lexie Mountain Boys, a group of women who did all manner of screeching, moaning, and yelping to convince me that I was either at a ritualistic ceremony or a violent orgy, captivated me.

The round robin concept, in which the audience forms in the middle and is surrounded by all of eleven bands, who alternate playing one song after another, was the perfect way in which to experience this music. I couldn’t imagine staying through concerts of most of these bands independent of each other, with the exception of Beach House, Jana Hunter, and possibly Teeth Mountain. The avant-garde elements were accessible because of the alternating and spontaneous form. The round robin is broken up into two nights. Friday was “Eyes Night” and Saturday, “Feet Night,” a night of dance music rather than the more visual music of Friday’s show. (le) Poisson Rouge on Bleeker and Thompson provided the perfect space for this unusual event, getting it on the GL of NY music venues.

I haven’t come close to succeeding in describing this show adequately for you. The bizarre, fantastic, and insane knew no bounds. These elements were all too numerous to describe here, so let me briefly list the highlights:

Beach House: My favorite band of the evening, and the one I was most anxious to see. Read this wonderful reviewof their latest album on Pitchfork.

Lexi Mountain Boys: As I mentioned previously, somehow the orgasmic grunts and howls of this group of women (wearing headdresses of baby doll heads and black perforated veils), became increasingly rhythmic and melodic to me as the night wore on. The blast they were having, that was apparent from their infectious, genuine smiles, took any pretention out of their inexplicable music.

The female drummer from Teeth Mountain: This woman’s sexy, tribal style of drumming and the captivating music it made, blew me away. I could have listened and watched her play all night.

Santa Dads: This band consisted of three people: one man beat-boxing in a cotton, handmade tiger suit, another, wearing a red dress with a Peter Pan collar playing an electric ukelaili, and a back up dancer undulating frantically with a stuffed leopard print octopus. Enough said.

Wish I could have gone to “Feet Night” as well, to get the full Baltimore music experience, but the 92Y Tribeca opening was that night. I wouldn’t have missed if you paid me. Expect a post soon.