Thursday, January 27, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
the festival was great this year as always, we immediately saw people we knew and familiar musicians; and almost bumped smack into david byrne who was drifting from room to room in a handsome tomato red oxford shirt and straw colored cap. click here for his blog comments on the festival.
the new space was ornate, palatial, fun; visually spectacular. it reminded me of the ball scene in the leopard (recently at film forum.)
on the down side, the acoustics weren't as good as in the previous venue, a high school in inwood. ornate cornices, persian carpets and della robbia reliefs just seemed to suck up the sound. and the space seemed to have a subtle effect on the over all energy of the event; to slightly overwhelm the musicians and party goers. the many large tables and uniformed
waiters made people feel like they were at a wedding. i heard this several times. the old space was very d i y, which made for a more outlaw atmosphere of uninhibited comradery.
there were many, many impressive musicians. more than ever- around 60 bands! i really dig sauren baronian, in particular, and he had the whole crowd in the rainbow room on its feet and dancing. they didn't let him off the stage 'till he'd played 3 or4 encores.
still, the grand ballroom didn't completely light up until the last 1/2 hour when the closing band, what cheer brigade (from providence ri.) absolutely immolated the suddenly euphoric crowd with a searing crazy horn/percussion inferno. they closed with a slayer cover*- right down on the floor- screaming loud with NO amplification. (!) (*raining blood- balkan brass style.) they were the only band I witnessed that really owned the grand ballroom space.
DOUBLE CLICK ON THE VIDEO TO SEE IT FULL SIZE.(not my video)
Monday, January 17, 2011
parting the waters by taylor branch.
this book, among the best i've ever read, is both scholarly footnoted history and desperate page turning adventure story. if you get past the brick a day church chapter and into the montgomery bus boycott and you don't want to find out what happened, stop there. hope you don't- it's SO great... AND - there are two (TWO!) SEQUELS!
mlk had many hopes for america which remain unfulfilled, but on november 4th 2008, his famous dream was realized. americans proved that they can judge a man by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin, and our 400 year old national curse was lifted. thank god this happened in my lifetime.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
(photo above added later- picture of the actual event)
new york's annual balkan music festival, golden fest, takes place tomorrow and saturday. the price has gone up (five or 10 years ago it was $20. and included limitless food and beer!) but you still get a lot for your money- 40 bands, dancing (even dance lessons) and traditional balkan food. cash bar this year. the venue has changed from inwood to brooklyn. traditional balkan musicians, hip balkan influenced bands, roma, middle eastern music, belly dancing, norwegian fiddle... runs the gamut. party atmosphere- eating, drinking, dancing, several music venues simultaneously so one can wander from room to room or floor to floor as different little or large groups of musicians appear.
click for info: golden festival.
the new venue: grand prospect hall (!)
i just noticed that the festival will end with a performance by what cheer brigade from providence rhode island.
what cheer produces the rock and roll yard sale in somerville massachusetts, where the very first evolution now t shirts were sold!
golden festival has some talent overlap with somerville's honk fest held annually in october.
also saturday night, another favorite: slavic soul party !
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
nice graphics. wheat paste street art by ocmc, cards by mary galli and dan smith,spanish playing cards. potatoes, sardines.
wheat paste by ocmc.
wheat paste by ocmc.
hand made cards from mary galli and dan smith.
spanish playing cards from a traditional 40 card deck.
moroccan sardine box.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
corner of 125 and convent. the late m & g soul food diner. closed a few years ago. had the best signs and best jukebox, especially at christmas time. an amazing collection of vintage blues, jazz, r&b, soul and hip hop holiday music. i'd love to know what happened to that! m & g closed shortly after columbia university announced its plan to expand north into the 130s. columbia creep has pushed out many neighborhood institutions and probably had an effect on m & g as well. i wish i had a picture of the sign at night. still can't believe the light bulbs and neon will never glow again.