Entries tagged with: Prospect Park
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Sufjan Stevens and his elaborate band walked out onto a dark stage at Prospect Park last night (8/2), masked by a black transparent screen. They slowly began the delicate "Seven Swans" as dim light patterns swelled on the screen. Where soft piano and drums usually enter the song, Sufjan's entire band erupted into a heap of crashing chords as the black screen rose and revealed the neon-coated collective of musicians, backup singers, dancers, and Sufjan Stevens flapping a pair of massive bird wings. Sufjan and his band then proceeded to play a set of mostly Age of Adz material. Last night's and tonight's Celebrate Brooklyn shows are the last of the Adz tour.
They launched into the glitchy pop of "Too Much" and "Age of Adz" complete with a frenzy of futuristic visuals and carefully choreographed moves from Sufjan and his dancers/backup singers. After about 15 minutes of the orchestral glitchy awesomeness, Sufjan gave the crowd some "folk relief." He told us that he's still a folk musician at heart and played "Heirloom" off the All Delighted People EP, which was released shortly before Age of Adz last year. He took a moment to tell us about the inspiration for the album and all of the corresponding visuals, outfits, and dancing. He told us that he discovered the work of folk artist/self-proclaimed prophet Royal Robertson, and was influenced by his material. He described Royal's work as the portrayal of visions he had throughout his life, and mentioned that he also faced many struggles within himself, as all of us do. Sufjan said that much of the album was a tribute to Royal, his artwork, and his ideas, and explores themes like inner space, outer space, and the body.
As Sufjan and his band were nearing the end of the set, they delivered the one-two punch of "Vesuvius" and "I Want To Be Well," and after quieting down with album opener "Futile Devices," they sent the show into the most epic part of the night with the 25-minute album closer "Impossible Soul." The song opened with Sufjan accompanied by his piano and voice and slowly built into a layered piece that evolved into the portion sung by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond.
Although Shara was there (because she opened the show), I'm pretty sure it was one of Sufjan's backup singers who handled her part, though it was hard to tell because they were wearing a mask covered in light bulbs. As she sang, the black screen dropped once again, swirling light patterns drenched the stage and a light tunnel zeroed in on the singer and her light-up mask. After that mesmerizing section drifted off into ambiance and the stage went black once again, Sufjan appeared front and center in a large silver mask with a diamond shaped backdrop behind him and delivered the exaggerated auto-tuned vocals of the song's third section. As glitch hop beats entered the song and the robotic Sufjan left the stage, lights sprung up again and Sufjan's backup dancers, now in neon green t-shirts, neon pink shorts, leggings, and sideways pink hats, appeared at the front of the stage singing lead vocals to the song's epic refrain. After hitting the first round of "it's not so impossible"s, an indecipherable Sufan returned, running onto the stage covered in balloons and feathers and joined in on lead vocals. As the stage became a balloon-covered sing-along dance party, clear beach balls were propelled into the audience as long inflatable creatures shot up in front of the stage, turning the entire prospect park into into a huge party. Once the party died down and the song arrangements fizzled out, Sufjan returned to the front of the stage with only an acoustic guitar and sang the wispy ending of the song, where he plays off the refrain's lyrics to create what could be a stand-alone song in Sufjan's style of folk.
After making such a mess, Sufjan thanked the crowd and he and his band left the stage. He shortly returned for a three-song encore of Illinoise material. It's really hard to follow the end of that set with anything, but it's also pretty hard to turn down Sufjan Stevens playing "UFO," "Casmir Pulaski Day," and "Chicago."
My Brightest Diamond (aka Shara Worden) opened the show with a strong set of mostly songs off her upcoming album All Things Will Unwind, quirky dancing, and also an awesome outfit. She wore a bright green dress and a headdress of something resembling peacock feathers. She switched between guitar, ukulele, keyboard, autoharp, and other instruments as she and her band delivered one great song after another, including the recently released single "Reaching Through to the Other Side." Shara told a story during her set of seeing a Laurie Anderson show about the death of her mother, being extremely touched by it, and wondering if she'd ever learn to love. She told us that she eventually talked to Laurie and asked her if she'd ever learn to love. Laurie told her that it takes a lifetime to learn to love, which Shara then wrote a song about. She played it for us. It aptly opens with the line, "It takes a lifetime to learn how to love." Shara and her band also played a cover of "Tainted Love," which she recorded for the Guilt by Association Vol. 2 compilation, before her band left the stage and she ended the set with another new song solo with guitar and vocals.
More pictures, videos, and setlist from the first show below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Seun Kuti @ Prospect Park (by maiga_69)
A sizable crowd braved the 100 degree heat Friday night for Seun Kuti and Egypt 80's Celebrate Brooklyn show. Faaji Agba, a collective of Nigerian musicians, opened the night with a set of laid-back traditional tunes. By comparison, the Egypt 80 set was anything but laid back. Steamy music for a sweaty evening in Prospect Park.
The band first took the stage without their frontman for a warm-up song to set the mood. Though it was Seun's name on the bill, Fela's presence was felt throughout the evening. Egypt 80 used to be Fela's backing band, and in the introduction, the bandleader referred to Seun as "the last son of our hero, Fela Anikulapo Kuti." From there, another Fela tribute followed: a 10-plus minute version of "Zombie," probably Fela's best known song. Seun played the opening lick and took a moment to glance at the audience for a hint of recognition, which came in cheers and applause. The song was an early highlight, and an example of Seun's highly theatrical performance style.
During "Zombie," the singer moved in circles, pantomiming the lyrics of the chorus by marching across the stage, saluting, etc. Later on, he took care to water the stage aka his weed garden on "The Good Leaf," and sprint from side-to-side on "You Can Run." His active presence made for good viewing, though his moves often put his back to the crowd.
While Seun was the visual focus, the band's sonics centered on the Afrobeat rhythm. In addition to the kit drummer, the group's percussionists included musicians on shekere (that's a dried gourd with beads on the outside), wood block and congas (or a set of similar drums). Those three performers stood up front, at times blocking out the other band members (like the backup singers, stuck way in the back).
After the opening Fela tune, it was all Seun originals, mostly off the new From Africa with Fury: Rise: "African Rulers," "Giant of Africa," "Rise," "Mr. Big Thief," and the finale, "You Can Run." The ending--no encore because of park curfew--seemed abrupt, with the last song's soaring horns and charging rhythms marking the show's peak to that point.
The band should get more time to stretch out at their more intimate show at SOB's tonight (Wednesday, July 27th). Tickets are still on sale. More tour dates and info HERE. Video of "Zombie" from the Brooklyn show below...
photos by Tamara Porras
"Times New Viking and The Feelies were really really great at Prospect Park last night. Real Estate also played." - Kris Liakos
The Feelies @ the Prospect Park Bandshell
The Feelies braved the heat to play a free Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park on Saturday (7/23) with Times New Viking and Real Estate. Like Seun Kuti in the same space the night before, the band was definitely competing with people's air conditioning on Saturday night.
The Feelies rewarded those in attendance with two encores. The first was three songs and they covered Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and The Stooges. They then left and returned once more for a second encore which was the Crazy Rhythms single "Fa Ce-La."
Check out a video of The Feelies' Stooges cover, some backstage audio with Times New Viking and Real Estate, the partial setlist and more pictures from the show below...
Diamond Rings at Europa in June (more by Diana Wong)
As mentioned, My Brightest Diamond opens the first (8/2) of two Sufjan Steven shows at Prospect Park in August. Historically, this is an excellent match-up and her set should suit the show perfectly. Unfortunately, it is sold out. Sufjan's second show (8/3) now has an opener too though, and the addition suits Sufjan's new neon coated electronica (and diamond fetish) pretty well. It's Diamond Rings. Tickets for that show are still available, and we have a pair you can win. Details below.
The website "After Elton" asked Diamond Rings aka John O to describe his fanbase. This is what he said:
"It's really diverse. Short of bugging your own friends to come out and see you, after that it's out of my hands by and large who comes to my show. I can only make the music I want to make, and present the image that I feel represents me and hope that the right people get it. Not that there's wrong people. People who come to my shows are all over the place. Kids in high school, 20 something downtown folks like me, people my parents' age, which is really cool. It's all over the place. I'm trying to reach as many people as I can. I want to try and make the music and put on the kind of show that allows anyone to feel like they can come and express themselves and be themselves and be safe and have fun. I would be really worried if I had a demographic niche and everyone were the same that comes to my show."Diamond Rings will return in October during their tour with Twin Shadow. Updated dates, contest details, and the song "Give It Up" which features vocals by Austra's Katie Stelmanis, below...
photos by Vincent Cornelli, words by BV Collective
"Animal Collective killing it in Prospect Park right now! Check out that stage set, we helped make it!" - Prince Rama
"Animal collective at prospect park =
slighty "edgy" version of a frat haus bitchen kegger" - Frankie Rose
"unbelievable set by animal collective
at Prospect Park! @mindblown" - Wild International
"Every other late comer in this crowd is a hater, but this is best Animal Collective set I've seen in 8 years. #nextlevel" - Max Burke
Animal Collective, Deakin included, played Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park last night (7/12) with Black Dice and Beta & Hatch (DJ). Looking over a few recent setlists could tip you off that AnCo have been filling the majority of their sets with new songs, and the Prospect Park show was no exception.
Save for "Did You See the Words," "Summertime Clothes," "Brothersport," and "Taste," every track the guys played has yet to be released. This was to the disappointment of some. Village Voice overheard a young woman say, "I thought those guys sang 'My Girls'?" and Vaughn Schoonmaker writes, "What is this song?" I heard mumbled from several fans in their late teens/early 20s. "When are they going to play [insert any one of their earlier song titles here]?" However, many others thought the set was incredible, us and the many clapping and cheering on the top of their lungs included. Yes, they should probably get over themselves and play more hits for those willing to spend $40 a ticket to see them play, but what they did play still sounded great and I guess that makes them pretty punk for not giving a shit (and consistent since it seems to be the same story after every one of their shows).
I wouldn't be surprised if the end result of these new songs is similar to the mixed reactions to Panda Bear's new songs at P4K Fest 2010, which are now on the beloved Tomboy LP. Though unlike the new Panda Bear LP, what we heard in Prospect Park last night was primarly fronted by the voice of Avey Tare.
Speaking of Animal Collective not giving a shit what people think, Black Dice opened for them again. I missed their opening set, but as tweeted, "Twitter makes you think nobody likes Black Dice but they just got huge cheers when Animal Collective thanked them before encore start." What did you think?
Beta ended up being music writer Andy Beta who also DJ'd the Animal Collective afterparty at the Bell House in 2009. More pictures from the whole colorful show and a video below...
Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in Washington, DC is familiar with the rhythmic conga/bongo cadence of the regional music phenomenon called Go-Go. One of the godfathers of the Go-Go movement is Chuck Brown.
Brown's musical career began in the 1960s playing guitar with Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm, joining Los Latinos in 1965. He still performs music today and is commonly known in the Washington, DC area. Brown's early hits include "I Need Some Money" and "Bustin' Loose"... [the latter of which was] interpolated by Nelly for his 2002 number one hit "Hot in Herre." Brown also recorded go-go covers of early jazz and blues songs, such as "Go-Go Swing" Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing If Ain't Got That Swing", "Moody's Mood for Love", Johnny Mercer's "Midnight Sun", Louis Jordan's "Run Joe", and T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday"..For some of you beatheads/sample nerds, you may also recognize Chuck Brown's work from the highly sampled "Ashley's Roachclip" from the Soul Searchers' Salt of the Earth LP, which was sampled by everyone from Duran Duran to Eric B & Rakim (audio below, head to 3:30).
He has influenced other go-go bands such as Big G and The Backyard Band, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited (EU) [yes, the E.U. responsible for doin' "Da Butt"], Little Benny and the Masters, and Trouble Funk. ..Brown is considered a local legend in Washington, D.C., and has appeared in television advertisements for the Washington Post and other area companies. -[Wiki]
Chuck Brown has a few upcoming shows scheduled and makes a stop in NYC to play two gigs on July 30th, a free Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park with Dr. John and the Lower 911 & Red Baraat, and a later show at SOB's. SOB's tickets are on sale.
All tour dates and some video below.
photos by David Andrako
"justin townes earle was good,
but the punch brothers are a hard act to follow." - Peter Cauvel
"Justin townes earle is doing a replacements cover.
It is quite excellent. He is terrific." - Sara Ivry
JTE in Prospect Park
Prospect Park was taken over by country and bluegrass-leaning folkies on Thursday night (6/28) when Justin Townes Earle and The Punch Brothers played a free show at the outdoor Brooklyn venue. The Hackensaw Boys opened the show. Celebrate Brooklyn continues its 2011 season tonight (7/1) with reggae by Steel Pulse and Natural Expression Rhythm Band.
The Punch Brothers also have a show coming up at the Bell House in July and other dates too.
Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle whose KEXP videos we just posted) recently made a music video for his song "Slippin' and Slidin.' Check that out along with some live video and more pictures from the Prospect Park show, and many more tour dates, below...
photos by David Andrako
Prospect Park Bandshell Saturday night
The Heavy, The London Souls and Superhuman Happiness played the free Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on Saturday night (6/25). Pictures are in this post.
How many neo-soul fans were able to catch both the earlier Fitz & the Tantrums/Lee Fields show in Central Park and this one later all the way in Park Slope? How many afrobeat fans caught Superhuman Happiness in Prospect Park on Saturday and are continuing the weekend with Zongo Junction and Turkuaz @ Brooklyn Bowl tonight?
A set of pictures from Prospect Park show continues below...
DOWNLOAD: Sufjan Stevens - Get Real, Get Right (MP3)
Sufjan Stevens' Age of Adz show @ Beacon Theater (more by David Andrako)
As previously mentioned, the two Sufjan Stevens Prospect Park shows will be your last chance to experience the AGE OF ADZ tour in all its neon glory. The August 2nd show is still sold out, but tickets are still available for the show on August 3rd. We also have a pair you can win to the second show. Details on how, and a trailer that the Asthmatic Kitty team created for the shows (in which you are encouraged to bring neon, gaff tape and your dancing shoes), below...
photos by David Andrako
Hal Wilner's Freedom Riders show graced Prospect Park on June 16. The Celebrate Brooklyn show saw performances by Lou Reed, Rosanne Cash, Toshi Reagon, Tao Seeger, Todd Rundgren, and many others. The show celebrated the 50th anniversary of civil rights activists known as the Freedom Riders, and began with a pre-performance discussion with the artists. The full performer lineup is listed at the end of the pictures, below...
photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Andrew Sacher
I arrived a little late to Prospect Park last night (6/14) for the first Celebrate Brookln benefit show of the 2011 season and only caught the second half of Best Coast's 30 minute set. They handled the large venue well though, and I regret not being able to get there sooner. Not long after I entered the venue, it started raining and by the end of Best Coast's set, the audience was almost entirely covered by umbrellas.
It was still raining when The Decemberists took the stage for the sold out show. Jenny Conlee was unfortunately absent, but Colin Meloy dedicated a song to her and mentioned that Team Jenny merchandise was available, and that she is going to recover. The band was joined on stage by Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) on fiddle and vocals, like they were at Bonnaroo. Their fairly consistent set was pretty heavy on The King Is Dead material and a few older, yet equally accessible ones which made for a seemingly quick show. However, the band were able to sneak in a couple of the more explorative songs, including the borderline-sludge "Won't Want For Love" and the progressive-leaning "The Bagman's Gambit, without dragging the set.
About halfway through the show, the rain completely stopped and Prospect Park's roof of umbrellas came down, revealing how packed the venue really was. Despite playing to such a huge crowd, Colin Meloy was as quirky as someone playing a backyard show (he did note that Eugene Mirman told him Prospect Park was literally his backyard). Colin prefaced "We Both Go Down Together" by telling us that they'd like to go into their joint-suicide material, made tons of whimsical jokes about the rain, and even choreographed an audience-wide school-choir styled hand dance. And even while performing much of the lighter Neil Young-meets-R.E.M. alt-country of the new album, he made it clear that he's still a rocker at heart (not unlike Neil Young, I mean, they don't call many folk singers the "godfather of grunge"). After getting our permission to go to a 'darker place,' Meloy asked that the stage be 'bathed in red,' and the band went into the dark intensity of "The Rake's Song." Chris Funk and Sara Watkins abandoned their usual instruments to drum along, forcing the song to hit even harder than it does on record.
The Decemberists ended their 15-song set with a King is Dead standout, "This is Why We Fight," and left momentarily before Colin and John Moen returned to the stage for the first encore to perform "Raincoat Song" together, but not before telling a story about John not being able to identify a Pink Floyd song playing in a Park Slope coffee shop earlier that day. It's unclear what coffee shop it was, but the story hilariously included a snotty barista and a reminder that John previously played Prospect Park with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks (who announced a tour earlier that day).
John, who sang harmonies on the song ("Raincoat Song"), messed up a few lines but quickly covered it up by adding in lighthearted dialogue with Colin. After the song ended, John returned to his drums and the two were joined by the rest of the band for a cover of Fruit Bats' "When U Love Somebody." The encore ended with an elongated version of "The Chimbley Sweep," complete with the usual playfully dissonant "guitar duel" (as Colin referred to it) between him and Chris Funk, a Sara Watkins fiddle solo, and some slightly awkward crowd surfing on Colin's part (video below). The band contrasted the oddly epic end of their first encore by returning to the stage for the soft alluring "June Hymn". The almost-full moon in the sky, as Colin pointed out, added to the beauty of the surroundings.
Side note: Celebrate Brooklyn is now providing concessions with the help of The Farm on Adderley, rather than Two Boots, who have done it in the past. The new menu has four categories of food including food on a stick, on a bun, in a cup, and vegetable fry. Check out the full menu. (editor's note: I miss the corn and watermelon! And the food lines seem much longer now. Two Boots seemed to know how to move people along better. Maybe it will get better.)
More pictures from the show, the setlist and a video of Colin Meloy in the crowd below...
Sufjan Stevens @ Beacon Theater in 2010 (more by David Andrako)
Tickets are now on etix/artist presale (password = heirloom) for the just-added Sufjan Stevens show in Prospect Park. The Venue/AEG presale starts on Ticketmaster on Thursday at 10am. Sufjan's label Asthmatic Kitty says, "This will be your last chance to see the Adz tour in all its bright, balloony glory!"
Sufjan Stevens at Beacon Theater (more by David Andrako)
Tickets for Sufjan Steven's August 2nd's appearance at the Prospect Park Bandshell have flown away. Luckily, the notorious S.O.O.F. will bless the park with a second date on the following night: August 3rd at Prospect Park Bandshell. Tickets for the new Brooklyn show go on AEG/venue presale at 10AM on Thursday (6/17) and noon on Friday (6/17). No word on openers (though we think My Brightest Diamond is opening the first night). We'll keep you posted.
In other SOOF related news, IFC is currently streaming a clip from the film Make:
Directors Scott Ogden and Malcolm Hearn's documentary, "MAKE," is about four artists on the furthest fringes of our society. Isolated by their disabilities, they find a voice and try to make sense of a world that shuns them, through incredible works of art. These are the characters that inspired Sufjan Stevens' album, "The Age of Adz." Stevens, who called the film "a beautiful and insightful look at the sublime task of making art when nothing will else do," based his album's narrative specifically on the life and apocalyptic work of the schizophrenic artist, Prophet Royal Robertson featured in "MAKE."The film's screening and release party will happen at the American Folk Art Museum on June 17th (RSVP info at the link). Screenings happen at 1:00, 3:00, 4:30 & 5:45 pm in the auditorium (lower level 1). The reception is 5:30-8:30 pm in the atrium, with live music by Takka Takka.
..."MAKE" includes a soundtrack with original compositions from Sufjan Stevens and Marc Bianchi (Her Space Holiday), along with music by Jim Guthrie, Oneida, Tommy Guerrero, and Au Revoir Simone.
Check out the 17 minute clip below....
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Andrew Bird kicked off the Celebrate Brooklyn 2011 season at Prospect Park on Friday (6/10). The venue was still filling with fans who had stood online for over an hour by the time Andrew took the stage at 8:30. The free show was not as packed as I've seen the bandshell area get, but it was full and many were crowding outside the gates to watch. Andrew came out by himself with nothing more than a violin for a few solo performances before he was joined by his band for the remainder of the hour and a half set. Fortunately the weather held out for the entire set (it started raining later that night). Norah Jones didn't have the same luck when she helped open the 2010 season. A list of many of the songs Andrew played is below, as are more pics from the show.
More Andrew Bird pictures and the partial setlist below...
Hal Willner & Lou Reed
"FREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives--and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment--for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism."You can own the movie on DVD.
The free Celebrate Brooklyn! concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell on June 16 still hasn't revealed its entire lineup, but some more artists were announced including Lou Reed. If you've never been to a Hal Willner show, it's usually many different artists playing various covers over the course of a long show. The theme this time is music from the civil rights movement, "songs that inspired, illuminated, and sprang from the tumultuous aftermath of the Movement." and announced artists are Lou Reed, Rosanne Cash, Toshi Reagon, Tao Seeger, Geri Allen, and Steven Bernstein. More TBA. The artists will also hold a discussion before they perform. The event is free and begins at 7 PM.
Laurie Anderson is not listed on the lineup, maybe because she'll be on tour in Europe, but you can catch her in an outdoor setting with Bill Laswell at Castle Clinton on June 30th. She also plays Lincoln Center Out of Doors on August 10th.
Speaking of Lou Reed and Hail Wilner, the May 24th installment of their New York Shuffle Sirius radio show featured songs by Little Scream, Tyler, the Creator, Gang Gang Dance, Middle Brother, tUnE-yaRds, and more. Video of Lou & Hal recording an older show edition of the show, below...
"For more than 30 years, the orchestra has performed free concerts in the parks in July. The shows draw thousands to sit on blankets and enjoy snacks and wine while listening to the classics under the stars.No Philharmonic in July, but there will be Black Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, Carole King, Natasha Bedingfield, LL Cool J, Whoopi Goldberg and others in a big free benefit concert in Central Park tonight (6/9). Approximately 60,000 people are expected to show up today starting at 3:30pm. Stay home and laugh at them via the Livestream.
Only in New York. But not this year.
Because the Philharmonic will not be offering Sousa in Central Park, Prokofiev in Prospect Park or Ravel in Cunningham Park. Vacation scheduling does not permit it, a spokesman declared.
The voice of the Philharmonic said orchestra members need time off in July because they will be performing in three special programs in September, including a Central Park outing with operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli." [NY Daily News]
Panda Bear at Governor's Island in 2010 (more by Erez Avissar)
"This show will be will call only. No hard tickets will be issued. There is a 2 ticket limit per person and tickets are non-transferable. Tickets will be available online only. Not available at any outlets."Tickets go on sale Friday (6/10) at noon. Noah's only other upcoming solo date is as part of a big fest at Hollywood Bowl on September 25th with TV on the Radio, Arctic Monkeys, Warpaint, and Smith Westerns.
In related news, Panda Bear's voice can be heard on the new Zomby album, and Animal Collective has dates coming up too including a sold out show in Prospect Park with Black Dice who also opens the Merriweather Post Pavilion (the venue) show three days earlier. Black Dice also opened for AC in Prospect Park in 2009. Zomby did not.
Check out a new video of Panda Bear's "Slow Motion" directed by Cheryl Dunn spliced with an interview and live footage of his set at Governors Island in 2010, along with more dates, below...
Andrew Bird @ MHOW in 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Summer is not technically here, but the summer season of free NYC shows is beginning. Summerstage (which now encompasses shows in many NYC parks) kicks off tonight (6/7) in two locations. The mainstage in Central Park is hosting "an evening of music, dance, art and stories with legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, his internationally acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble, and NYC students." On the other side of the spectrum, Betsy Head Park in Brownsville, Brooklyn is hosting the first of Funkmaster Flex's Salute to Hip Hop" shows tonight with EPMD. Special Ed plays Betsy Head Park on Wednesday (6/8). B.T. Express play there on Thursday (6/9).
Flex and EPMD again share the bill at an early show (2 PM doors) on the Central Park Mainstage with Rakim on August 21. Flex moves to other parks throughout the summer too.
To stereotype for a second, BV readers may not be flocking to see the cellist in Central Park or the hip hop in Brownsville this week, but are likely to be out in full force when indie rock violinist Andrew Bird kicks off the free Celebrate Brooklyn season in Prospect Park this Friday (6/10). After the opening night gala, the free-to-the-public Andrew Bird show begins (with no opener) at 8:15pm.
You can also pay to see Andrew on his previously announced solo tour this fall which hits Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie on October 17 (tickets and Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown on October 21 (tickets).
Celebrate Brooklyn continues on Thursday, June 16 (7:00pm / gates 6:00pm) with Hal Willner's Freedom Rides Project...
"The maverick music producer HAL WILLNER brings his golden Rolodex and singular genius for curating multi-artist concept shows to the music of the Civil Rights Movement. Commissioned for Celebrate Brooklyn!, this concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, which integrated the interstate bus system and helped bring America's and the world's attention to the deprivations of the segregated South. In what promises to be an unforgettable event, Willner will convene his usual surprising and eclectic array of musicians, actors, and other artists--established and emerging, famous and infamous--to perform songs that inspired, illuminated, and sprang from the tumultuous aftermath of the Movement. The evening begins with a pre-performance artists discussion. Performers subject to change.Other artists playing the show include Rosanne Cash, Toshi Reagon, Steven Bernstein "& many more."
Medeski, Martin & Wood play Central Park Summerstage on Saturday (6/11) as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival with Josh Roseman & The King Froopy Allstars and Jim Black's Alasnoaxis.
My Brightest Diamond at Bowery Ballroom in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Frequent Sufjan Stevens-collaborator (and now mother) Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond is opening for Sufjan at his previously announced Prospect Park show on August 2. Worden recorded vocals on the album epic "Impossible Soul" off Sufjan's The Age of Adz last year. Hopefully she'll come out and play it with him in Brooklyn. Tickets are still available.
My Brightest Diamond, who is busy working on a new album, also plays a free Castle Clinton show in NYC on July 7. Meanwhile she heads to Amsterdam for some performances of the Long Count. All dates are listed below.
Worden provided guest vocals on the recently released The Only She Chapters by Prefuse 73, who just released an EP with The Flaming Lips. Psych Explorations of the Future Heart has YouTube streams of all four songs. Those in Oklahoma can buy a 12" at Guestroom Records.
Check out a new(ish) My Brightest Diamond video and more of her dates below...
photos by Kellyann Petry
Real Estate @ Culture Shock
To quote ourselves,
The WBARBQ is also one of a few scheduled for Real Estate, who will also play Culture shock the next day, and a show on May 20 at The Bell House with Julian Lynch, Big Troubles and Family Portrait (tickets) and May 21 at Maxwell's with the same lineup (tickets).That Bell House show is tonight (5/20). Tickets are still available to it and the Maxwell's show. Since we wrote that, Culture Shock happened, and Real Estate were also announced on the lineup of a big free show with the Feelies this summer, and B.O.M.B. Fest in CT which happens next week. All dates, and pictures from their Culture Shock set, below...
The National show in Prospect Park (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew that 'Celebrate Brooklyn' is hosting an impressive lineup of ticketed Prospect Park Bandshell shows this summer: The Decemberists, Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver & Cut Copy. And we knew that the 33rd annual series of free shows would start with an Andrew Bird show on June 10th, and that BRIC is also hosting three free 'dance parties' in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer too.
Now the entire 2011 lineup of "24 free performances, including 20 music concerts, two dance performances, two film screenings with live music, and a family concert" is here! You can check it all out (The Feelies, Real Estate, The Books, Junip, Doveman, Justin Townes Earle, Punch Brothers, Raekwon, Oumou Sangaré, Times New Viking, Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve, Buke & Gass and Hal Willner included), below...
Justin Vernon @ MHOW in 2010 (more by Paul Birman)
According to a press release, Bon Iver's August 10th 'Celebrate Brooklyn' show at the Prospect Park Bandshell will be his biggest NYC show yet, and...
"For the shows Justin Vernon will perform with a 9-piece band that includes many musicians who contributed to the forthcoming album 'Bon Iver,' out June 21 on Jagjaguwar. The touring band will consist of regular Bon Iver contributors Sean Carey (drums, piano), Mike Noyce (guitar) and Matt McCaughan (drums), Rob Moose on violin and guitar (Antony and the Johnsons, The National), Mike Lewis on bass (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and a horn section including Reginald Pace, Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens).Tickets go on "Celebrate Brooklyn" presale today (4/28) at noon. I believe the password is "celebratebklyn". Bon Iver's only other scheduled date at the moment is in Wisconsin.
Speaking of Andrew Bird, you don't need tickets at all to see him play the same venue this summer.
Justin Vernon at Coachella w/ Kanye West (more by David Andrako)
Bon Iver will release his highly anticipated follow-up to For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver, Bon Iver on June 21 via Jagjaguwar. Check out a video snippet of a song recently released below.
I wouldn't be surprised if NPR streams the new Bon Iver when it comes out. Meanwhile head over there to get a "First Listen" to the new Fleet Foxes, and to the new Antlers too, and to to the new Donnacha Dennehy. Fleet Foxes head out on tour soon and play two nights at United Palace in NYC in May.
Bon Iver will return to NYC to play a Celebrate Brooklyn benefit on August 10th at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Tickets go on Venue/Celebrate Brooklyn presale at noon on Thursday (password TBA), and regular sale 24 hours later.
Justin Vernon's collaborator Kanye West is also playing NYC soon, but it'll cost you a bit (and will probably be a pretty short set).
Besides the NYC date and one other Wisconsin show, Justin Vernon doesn't have much of a tour schedule laid out for Bon Iver. Gayngs have some dates scheduled though, but you never know if Justin will play with them or not. All dates, an updated set for Fleet Foxes too, and that Bon Iver teaser video below.
"much love to our friends in the desert (and Danny DeVito) for making coachella a truly memorable one for us! Epic crowd, Epic sunshine. x" - Cut Copy
Cut Copy @ Terminal 5 (more by Dana (Distortion) Yavin)
Cut Copy are currently finishing up a tour with Holy Ghost! that had them at Coachella Friday night. Check out videos of the crazy dance party that the Australian band brought to the California desert, below. Check out pictures of other bands who played Coachella that day, HERE.
Cut Copy's tour came to Terminal 5 in NYC three times in a row earlier in the month, and Cut Copy will return to NYC this August to, like Animal Collective, play a headlining show at the Prospect Park bandshell. Tickets for the August 11th 'Celebrate Brooklyn' benefit go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon, and then regular sale on Friday. Foster the People, who also tour through NYC in June, open the outdoor show.
The new Brooklyn gig comes a day before a show Cut Copy are playing Arizona, and almost a month after they visit North America to, like Animal Collective, play the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. Most of their other announced dates are in Europe at the moment. They are all listed below...