Recent Posts in NYC
December 19, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Al on 'Midnight Blue'
A true NYC iconoclast, Al Goldstein has died. From the NY Times obit:
Al Goldstein, the scabrous publisher whose Screw magazine pushed hard-core pornography into the cultural mainstream, died on Thursday at a nursing home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. He was 77.While I was never a Screw reader, I will admit to watching his show Midnight Blue occasionally on MNN paid access Channel 35 when I moved to NYC in the late '90s. There really wasn't anything else like it. What I remember more than the rampant sex and nudity was Al Goldstein's epic "Fuck You!" rants which he would aim at airlines, car rental agencies, restaurants, basically anyone that pissed him off. You can watch a NSFW compilation video of some of his Midnight Blue rants, below. Rest in peace, Al.
The cause was believed to be renal failure, his lawyer, Charles C. DeStefano, said.
Mr. Goldstein did not invent the dirty magazine, but he was the first to present it to a wide audience without the slightest pretense of classiness or subtlety. Sex as depicted in Screw was seldom pretty, romantic or even particularly sexy. It was, primarily, a business, with consumers and suppliers like any other.
The manifesto in Screw's debut issue in 1968 was succinct. "We promise never to ink out a pubic hair or chalk out an organ," it read. "We will apologize for nothing. We will uncover the entire world of sex. We will be the Consumer Reports of sex."
Mr. Goldstein, who lived to shock and offend and was arrested more than a dozen times on obscenity charges, stuck around long enough for social mores and technology to overtake him. By the time his company went bankrupt in 2003, he was no longer a force in the $10-billion-a-year industry he pioneered. But for better or worse, his influence was undeniable.
"He clearly coarsened American sensibilities," Alan M. Dershowitz, the civil liberties advocate and Mr. Goldstein's sometime lawyer, said in 2004.
"Hefner did it with taste," Mr. Dershowitz added, referring to Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, which predated Screw by 15 years. "Goldstein's contribution is to be utterly tasteless."
November 26, 2013
by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
Lauryn Hill at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
A day of being grateful for what they've got, overeating and subsequent afternoon naps, Thanksgiving is the start of a long weekend for many folks, but one that usually doesn't have the most options for things to do -- or bands to see. Weather's not supposed to be so great either. Still, we've rounded up ten musical things to do in NYC during Thanksgiving Weekend. Plus one you can do anywhere with an internet connection and love of making fun of bad movies.
Read on below...
by Bill Pearis
The counter Rough Trade (w/ Morrissey Autobiography) (more by Chris La Putt)
As you may have maybe -- just maybe -- heard, UK indie record store Rough Trade opened its first-ever NYC branch yesterday (11/25). As a record lover and Williamsburg resident, I headed over to N. 9th after work last night to check it out.
The store is big and warehouse-y with plenty of space in between shelves for easy browsing, and a centralized checkout area. (It is still small compared to the late-'90s days of Virgin Megastore and Tower.) There is a mezzanine with magazines and books (like import copies of Morrissey's Autobiography) on one side of the space, and on the other there is the Guardian Green Room which is a "multi-purpose digital lounge" and an exhibition space that currently has a recreation of Donald Glover's bedroom in Community. Main Drag music has a little vestibule with cool analogue synths, and a cafe run by Five Leaves will be open soon.
Donald Glover's 'Community' bedroom at RT
The store seems more in "must open" mode than "ready to open," as the record shelves are a little sparse right now. Prices for records are on the high side -- I saw very few less than $18 -- and they don't put records "on sale." But many of their featured items do come with "Rough Trade Exclusives," usually bonus discs which do add value. There are also no used records, which seems an odd choice to me given the way all other record stores in the area operate. Though in that way they're not so much treading on other's turf? They are, however, promising to stock imports, including the entirety of their 101 Albums of 2013... but that has not happened yet. (I was ready to buy the new Suede album, too.) I did buy the Morrissey book, which at $14.99 for an import seemed a bargain. Give it a month, and we'll hopefully see what the store is like.
I showed up too late for Sky Ferreira's live set, but there was a long line of people waiting to get their records/CDs signed. I watched a little bit from the mezzanine, as bf and DIIV frontman Cole Smith showed up to say hi. One fan asked if he would sign Sky's album too. He obliged, writing a note right on the most, uh, exposed area of the LP cover. Pretty funny.
I did, however, stick around to watch Charles Bradley. The performance space at Rough Trade is really nice. Official capacity is 250 but, with a seated balcony it felt bigger than that. There were ping pong tables in the back part of the balcony last night, that I'm told won't be there during ticketed shows (but will be available during the day). Lighting was good and the sound was better. Bradley has a pretty crack band who make any room sound good but I was really impressed with the acoustics. There are lots of small rooms in Williamsburg already, but this is a nice addition to the area.
Charles Bradley sounded fantastic. His years as a James Brown tribute artist have bestowed him with killer stage moves, and the dude just oozes charisma and soul. It was a real treat to see him in such a small room and the whole crowd was grinning the whole time. NYC will have two more chances to see Bradley in January.
Today (11/26) you can catch a free show from Danny Brown which happens at 5 PM. You do need to grab a wristband first which are available at the counter. Wednesday night (11/27, 7 PM) is a free in-store with Matthew E. White. Two shows from NYC legends Television will be Rough Trade's first ticketed shows (both are sold out).
In addition to having his bedroom there, Donald Glover will perform as Childish Gambino at Rough Trade on December 6. You need to buy a copy of his new album Because of the Internet. There will be a record signing following the performance.
Did you check out Rough Trade on opening day? What did you think? Buy anything?
November 19, 2013
For nearly 30 years, NYC's ARChive of Contemporary Music has been collecting, preserving and cataloging "the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world from 1950 to the present." Lovers of physical media, the ARC, David Bowie, Jerry Leiber, Youssou N'Dour, Keith Richards, Martin Scorsese and Paul Simon are among its board of advisors. The late Lou Reed was also on the board.
The ARC gets around 250,000 recordings every year. After sorting through them, they make sure they have two best copies on a record in their collection, and sell off third copies. Which leads us to its annual Holiday Record & CD sale which will happens at ARC's Tribeca HQ (54 White St.) from Saturday, Dec 7 - Sunday, Dec 15 from 11 am - 6 pm daily. Here's what they've got this year:
25,000+ recordings - all genres and formats - 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes,Additionally, this year's sale also has a special Lou Reed section. Members of the ARC can attend the pre-sale party on Decmeber 5 with food, drink and early shopping. You can become a member by filling out this form (and giving a minimum $50 donation).
books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale!
specials: This year there is an incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of Christmas LPs, more CDs than ever before... 100s of modern art, experimental + modern Classical LPs - Glass/Varese/Crumb/Carter/Satie. All recordings never offered before - we start fresh every sale.
You can also donate materials. Do you have an out-of-control CD collection threatening to take over your apartment? Clean out your pile and give it to the ARC. Your trash could be someone else's treasure. And contributions are tax deductible.
Usually, it is the street artists who work under the cover of darkness, hoping to evade police detection as they scrawl graffiti on property that is not their own.Located right by MoMA PS 1, 5Pointz was one of the most iconic buildings in Long Island City. The building is due to be torn down before the end of the year. It'll be missed.
But before dawn on Tuesday, it was the owner of a building in Queens who used a crew of painters to work overnight and paint over graffiti on a warehouse in Long Island City, wiping clean a canvas that was used by thousands of artists over the years to transform an otherwise nondescript, abandoned brick building in a working-class neighborhood into 5Pointz, a mecca for street artists from around the world.
By morning, the work of some 1,500 artists had been wiped clean, the Brobdingnagian bubble letters and the colorful cartoons spray painted on the building's brick walls all covered in a fresh coat of white paint.
"We are supposed to be the vandals, but this is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti," said Marie Cecile Flageul, an unofficial curator for 5Pointz.
The plan to convert the three-acre site into a $400 million development project that will include two glass towers and 1,000 new luxury apartments had provoked opposition from artists and their supporters. But after months of public debate, court hearings and political maneuvering, opponents had little left in their arsenal.
In a last-ditch effort to stop the development, they were hoping to have the building designated as a landmark. That option is now likely gone as well.
"I don't know how you can erase 12 years of spectacular art," said Hans Von Rittern, a guide who arrived with a busload of tourists, only to find the building's art gone. "It's cruel." - [NY Times]
November 14, 2013
"At the public memorial for Lou Reed in Lincoln Center, where hundreds have gathered for a listening party. Applause follows each song." - @JohnSurico
"Lou Reed's sound man spec'd out system for Lincoln Center plaza. Never thought I'd hear "Venus In Furs" rip thru the air here. #TasteTheWhip" - @WillHermes
Laurie Anderson @ Lincoln Center Lou Reed public memorial (via @aaakkmmm)
Philip Glass @ Lincoln Center Lou Reed public memorial (via @qbertplaya)
Fans gathered by The Paul Milstein Pool & Terrace at Lincoln Center this afternoon (11/14) to remember Lou Reed, who died October 27 at age 71. His wife Laurie Anderson and composer Philip Glass were among the 200 or so in attendance and, as promised, there were no speeches or live performances. Just Reed's actual music (including some of Metal Machine Music), played "incredibly loud." As it should.
A few Instagram videos below...
November 13, 2013
Following cancer treatment and recovery time, Sharon Jones is back in action, as you may know, with her new album, Give the People What They Want, out January 14 on Daptone. Her previously-announced Beacon Theater show on February 6, to which there are still tickets, will be the start of a just-announced full two-month North American tour. Tickets for the tour are on pre-sale now and if you buy through Sharon Jones' site, you get a copy of the new record. (That deal is only for the pre-sale, sorry NYC.) All dates are listed in this post.
Before that, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings will be performing in NYC on a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which begins at 9 AM at CPW/77th St and finishes in Herald Square at noon. For those who don't live here (and those who do and don't go to the parade [most of us]), you can watch live coverage on NBC.
All dates are listed, along with a making-of version of her animated "Retreat!" video, below...
November 12, 2013
For those still looking for a way to pay tribute to Lou Reed, who died on October 27 -- "New York: Lou Reed at Lincoln Center" is happening Thursday (11/14) at the The Paul Milstein Pool & Terrace at Lincoln Center from 1 PM to 4 PM. The description: "A gathering open to the public - no speeches. No live performances, just Lou's voice, guitar music & songs -- playing the recordings selected by his family and friends."
November 11, 2013
The Best Show may be ending for good after 13 years, but WFMU's record show, after being cancelled in 2012 due to Sandy, is alive again. The 2013 WFMU Record Fair takes place at NYC's Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street) from Friday November 22 through Sunday November 24. Regular admission is just $7, but we've also got a $2 coupon you can use, so you have more left over to spend on some rare vinyl.
Live broadcasts and special events at this year's fair include a screening of Miss Pussycat & Quintron's film The Mystery in Old Bubblebath; a live presentation on flexidiscs; screenings of vintage punk live footage; and a live performance from Jeffrey Lewis and the Rain. Visit WFMU for a full listing on 2013 Record Fair events.
November 1, 2013
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Wacky witches, scary skeletons and masked madmen took over the streets on Thursday as tens of thousands of people marched in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.We already posted one set of pictures from this year's Halloween parade. Here's another. They continue below...
A light drizzle didn't stop curious onlookers and wildly dressed marchers from strutting their stuff along Manhattan's Sixth Avenue in the annual parade, which was canceled last year due to Superstorm Sandy and was put on this year only after an emergency online fundraising campaign netted more than $50,000 in donations.
Opera singer Melanie Gall, wearing an all-black witch costume, complete with a pointy hat, said the parade was a chance for New Yorkers "to really show off." [TribTown]