Art/Music

Polish Haitians, ‘Halka,’ & a Book Launch You Should Check Out Tomorrow, 07/09

Staging 'Halka' for the residents of Cazale, located in the mountains of Haiti c/o labiennale.art.pl
Staging ‘Halka’ for the residents of Cazale, located in the mountains of Haiti c/o labiennale.art.pl

To be honest, I rarely leave Brooklyn unless I have to run an errand. And yet, there’s a book launch event tomorrow for Halka/Haiti 18°48’05″N 72°23’01″W at CANADA Gallery that may just lure me onto the G & J trains.

What is this book with the long name, you ask? What is Halka? And how are Poland and Haiti involved? What makes this so intriguing? Read on for the scoop.

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Free Live Performance by Laura & Greg at Academy Record Annex (Sat, 7/11)

Laura&Greg

Let’s be honest. No one really wants to see one single person endowed with multi-faceted talent. Yet, as evidenced in Laura & Greg‘s recently released album “Forever for Sure,” that person exists in the form of Laura O’Neill.

The same woman behind successful neighborhood favorites Van Leeuwen Ice Cream and Selamat Pagi, both of which have delighted our taste buds, can also belt out sweet melodic tunes with the best of them and I’m digging it. I had their first music video for “Muscle Memory” on repeat. Continue reading

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Alex Cook Paints Two Exquisite Murals For Greenpoint

All images courtesy of Alex Cook
1077 Manhattan Avenue © All images courtesy of Alex Cook

You may have noticed that Greenpoint now has two new murals—at 1043 and 1077 Manhattan Avenue—thanks to Boston native and muralist Alex Cook, who recently painted both out of love for the neighborhood (and crowd-sourced the funding himself to do it). “While I was working on both of them, I got tons of feedback from the neighbors,” Cook said. “It was universally pretty good.”

At 1043, Cook’s mural depicts a surreal, three dimensional space with a young tree and balancing and floating boulders. Down the block at 1077,  a series of heads with broad foreheads and strong jaws seem to be floating in front of the wall, looking passers-by in the eye. “The thing that was compelling to me about these images was the three dimensionality of it and being able to make an image that feels real,” said Cook. “One of the things I love the most as an artist is being able to create a sense of wonder or something mysterious that stops you in your tracks and makes you have a moment of ‘I don’t know everything.'”

Greenpointers recently caught up with Cook to talk about his eighteen year career as a muralist, his creative process, and his love of north Brooklyn.

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America Yeah: Some Nighttime Celebrations after Brats Beer and Fireworks

Las Cafeteras. They start at 7 tonight. Get there. (Good Room, on Meserole)

Asking me for recommendations for local live music while the Grateful Dead + Trey Anastasio are playing is about as advisable as tapping killer Richard Matt on the shoulder during a midnight balling.

But here are some fine shows you can catch after showing off your beer gut (guys) and ssssizlin’ mid-thigh tattoos (advantage: ladies) at the beach this weekend. Continue reading

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Weekend Music Picks: June 26 – 28

Butler Bernstein & The Hot 9

I am heading out to Reno tomorrow, where I promise not to shoot a man just to watch him die. But with travelling on my mind, this week I have you biking to Bushwick for a couple of shows, and on the G train Saturday heading to some modern stride jazz piano at an outdoor dance party in Prospect Park.

Thanks to Sonya P. who wrote up some of her own recommendations for part of this post.

Here are our weekend picks. Continue reading

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Weekday Pick: Cuddle Magic at Music Hall of Williamsburg, 8pm Tonight

Cuddle Magic
© Shervin Lainez. Cuddle Magic.

Cuddle Magic, an experimental folk-pop band, plays “baroque dance listening music that unfolds in waves of vocal harmony, contrapuntal brass and woodwinds, and dense wordplay,” as described on their music label’s website. While true, we also think they put on a great set.

The band will be showcasing their inventiveness when they open for indie-dance band Rubblebucket at 8pm tonight at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The Brooklyn-based rock band Alberta Cross is also on the bill.

If you like what they are doing on YouTube above, here are two more tracks for preview. You can also follow Cuddle Magic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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The Java Project Debuts New Greenpoint Art Space

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All images © Rachel Effendy

A new art-focused event space called WORA has opened in northeast Greenpoint.

Founded by Java Studios and Dakota Sica, who is the director of The Java Project gallery located at Java Studios, WORA (short for the JavaScript coding “write once, run anywhere”) seeks to provide a platform for experiential alternative art.

“The Java Project envisions WORA as an outdoor initiative aimed to support artists and the artistic community through a range of cultural events and outreach,” Sica said. “Some of the programming will include film screenings, outdoor sculpture exhibitions, book fairs, performance festivals, and sound experimentation.”

WORA’s first event this past Saturday took place in The Java Project’s spacious, relaxed outdoor courtyard, where participants lounged amongst abstract discoball art pieces, watched performance art, and danced under fabric canopies to dj’s like duo Soul 2 Seoul, who spin house, techno and disco.

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Wil Farr’s Electrifying Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! playing Friday night

Anyone who has seen indie-rock band Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! knows their capacity to rouse a crowd. Their performance last month at the Living Room was no exception. Frontman and multi-instrumentalist Wil Farr’s voice can bite, twang, scream and, above all, enthrall us. Kinetic, visceral, possessed by the energy of what he’s doing, he sings eyes closed, neck veins bulging, whole body moving, and hips swinging in circles as he hits a groove. Farr is sweating—and it’s only the end of the first song.

“What does it feel like to be you, up there, performing your music?” I ask. “It is to be somewhere else,” he answers.

Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! will play at Cameo Gallery (93 North 6th St.) this Friday, June 26 at 7pm. Listen out for “When I Was an Animal,” a cut on their upcoming EP.

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Sachal’s Slow Motion Miracles at the Living Room, 9pm on June 23

Sachal performing live © Leonardo Mascaro

Richly layered with afro-beats, jazz rhythms, pop hooks, and Sachal Vasandani’s opalescent vocal timbre, the ten anfractuous and soulful tracks of sophisti-pop on Slow Motion Miracles flow like one body of water into another.

Sachal will perform at the Living Room (134 Metropolitan Ave) on Tuesday, June 23 at 9:00pm. Continue reading

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