Culture

Weekend Music Picks: Live Soundtracks

Sausalito, from the movie Lost in Translation. Not playing here this weekend, but best lounge band name ever.

Bands often consider it a backhanded compliment if you tell them they would sound great at a party. Most bands prefer a rapt audience to a loud bar crowd.

But is it really such a dishonor to be the soundtrack of people’s lives? Whether it is amping people up for dancing, or bolstering infatuation on a first date, some bands excel in enhancing an experience without distracting from it.

Whether you are ready for decadence or drama this weekend, here are some local performances to help set the scene.

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New, Old Photographs of the Neighborhood: Catalán @Picture Farm & Salamone @GCA Salon

‘From Ash To Apollo’ by Sara Maria Salamone c/o GCA Salon via Instagram

One more side effect of North Brooklyn’s rapidly mutating scene is the ramping up of  “I was here when…” memories, which are arriving in shorter and tighter cycles. This means that the new, old neighborhoods are now garnering nostalgia with stories from recent history. And, photographs are a trusted way to collect these stories—”Take a picture. It will last longer.”

Two photography exhibitions on view now, Mara Catalán’s “A Place I Once Called Home: Williamsburg” at Picture Farm Productions & Sara Maria Salamone’s “From Ash To Apollo” at GCA Salon, appropriately locate and illustrate newer recollections of these moments. Continue reading

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Weekend Music Picks: Back to Basics

Frankie Cosmos performs a benefit for the BARC animal shelter this Sunday

Greta Kline and Mac McCaughan revive the best qualities of the early-1980’s nascent New Wave movement, with Kline starting from a folk foundation and McCaughan working in post-punk. They are both playing locally this weekend and are worth catching live.

McCaughan plays Saturday as the headliner in a three-act lineup that starts at 8 pm at Baby’s All Right (146 Broadway). Kline’s band, Frankie Cosmos, plays a benefit for our beloved Williamsburg BARC animal shelter as the last of three acts that start at 6 pm on Sunday at Brooklyn Bow Wow (1581 DeKalb Ave.). Continue reading

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Not the Silent Barn: 603 Debuts a 24-Hour Show

Graffitied cassette tapes line the wall on the way up the stairway to 603 ©Gustavo Ponce

“Oooh, what’s 603?”, you ask. Well, it’s absolutely not The Silent Barn; let’s just get that straight right now. 603 Bushwick Avenue is the fun house that is the collective of apartments directly above The Silent Barn. And, from noon on May 2nd to noon the next day, 603 served as the venue for a 24-hour endurance live music/reading/fundraising/karaoke/yoga/baptism/food and book drive event. I’m sure I’m missing a few forward slashes, too. Funds were raised for The Justice Committee and the Maryland Food Bank.

Overall, it was one of the most friendly, creative, optimistic, life-embracing, and least pretentious events that I’ve attended in a city that far too often leans toward the cynical or jaded. No corner of the residence was left a blank canvas. To be honest, it was so warm and fuzzy that I didn’t quite know how to handle it. Anyway, I’ll let the pictures paint the rest of the picture. Continue reading

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Greenpointer Kate Bell Premiers Now-Sold Out Play About Greenpoint, ‘BLACKOUT03′

BLACKOUT03, a new play by fifteen-year Greenpoint resident Kate Bell, is premiering tonight at Manhattan’s HERE Arts Center (145 6th Ave, New York, NY) as part of the legendary Downtown Urban Theater Festival, and stars Alex Major, Chinaza Uche, LaTonia Phipps, and Lindsey Austen. The play is now sold out.

The play takes place on a Greenpoint rooftop during the historic blackout of August 2003, and centers on four friends who meet up to enjoy the magical evening, but “when the lights go out, shit gets real,” says Bell, and issues of race, class, and gentrification bubble to the surface. Greenpointers caught up with Bell today before the show. Continue reading

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Sad Trombone: The One Well to Close in June + Closing Party

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It’s with a sad heart that I report The One Well is closing on June 14th. The sprightly little shop on Greenpoint Avenue sells ceramics, housewares, candles, vintage finds, handbags, original art, and even treats like honey and chocolate.

It’s always a bummer to see a local business shutter, though this has a silver lining. Kerry Jones, owner of The One Well, is relocating to Atlanta to pursue new adventures. The website will still be in business, so you can keep on loving the shop!

Read more for an interview with the lovely Kerry and information on the closing party later in June. Continue reading

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Oh Honey Plays Free Outdoor Show This Wednesday

DJ Ariella
DJ Ariella opens the free show

If you want to see how North Brooklyn culture fares in a foreign land, head down to the Brooklyn Half-Marathon pre-party taking place this Wednesday in Brooklyn Heights Park from noon to 9 pm. The Williamsburg-based folk-pop band Oh Honey performs a free set at 8:45 pm, and food trucks and graffiti artists will be present.

Party sponsors are also offering $10 to anyone who shows up with a photo ID that has a Greenpoint address, because they want to amp up the event’s cool factor. Just kidding, no paid appearances for us. Continue reading

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For Love of Performance & the ‘Hood: Triskelion Arts Opens Its Doors in Greenpoint

Upstairs at the new Triskelion Arts, during the Spring Gala 2015 ©Jay Miriam

Until February, Triskelion Arts shared a space deep inside a three-story, brick warehouse on 118 North 11th Street in Williamsburg, across from Mable’s Smokehouse and, more famously, on the same block as the ever-expanding Brooklyn Brewery.

“We were in a landmarked building, surprisingly, even though the building was falling apart,” explains artistic and executive director Abby Bender. One of the original co-founders, Abby is wearing navy coveralls and has a loop of keys at her waist that jangle as we walk around the new Triskelion building, recently opened for business on 106 Calyer Street in Greenpoint.

For the past fifteen years, Triskelion has been a place where anyone could go see performances by emerging artists, rent affordable rehearsal space, take fun classes (hoop dance, Poi, martial arts), and get involved with theater. In 2014 alone, over 15,000 hours of rehearsal time were used in the studios, and 128 different companies were part of the programming, which included three open-submission festivals.
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Weekend Music Picks: On the Sunny Side of the Street

Actual junkyard (from the movie Slacker)
A junkyard in the sun from the movie Slacker (1991)
This is not a junkyard in the sun. This is former WWF wrestler Junkyard Dog.
This is not a junkyard in the sun. This is former WWF wrestler Junkyard Dog.

“For every graveyard in the moonlight, there’s a junkyard in the sun,” sings the Texan folk-rocker Butch Hancock. Lately, our weekend music picks have been luring you to some dark worlds, like the ascendant hardcore punk scene in North Brooklyn. Today we head to sunnier climes, and recommend some acoustic, intimate, and heartwarming performances around town.

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Sweet Megg & The Wayfarers Bring Hot Jazz to Greenpoint Every Other Friday

Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers performing at The Standard Hotel.
Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers performing at The Standard Hotel.

With her hair pulled back, dressed in a spaghetti-strap deep plunge little black dress, a double strand of pearls, and a shimmering vintage ring-to-wrist bracelet, Sweet Megg looks like she is visiting us from the Prohibition era that shapes her music. Her voice envelops the room and invokes that same decadent, idealistic atmosphere as she and her Wayfarers perform (Up) a Lazy River to a buzzing audience at the Top of the Standard on a Saturday night.

Last week, Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers added a fifth residency to their calendar by performing their hot jazz, blues, and swing at Le Fanfare in Greenpoint, where they will play every first and third Friday of each month from 8:30-10:30pm. Every Thursday, they will host a weekly jam session at Amancay’s Diner in Bushwick. Their first record, Please Tell Me Everyone’s in Love, was released last summer.

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