By Sonya Patel

About Sonya Patel

Sonya is most drawn to voices, sounds, and lyrics that tell vivid and compelling stories. Her playlists include everything from folk, country, rock, and pop to hip hop and R&B, to blues and jazz. She will fly hundreds of miles to hear something live that piques her interest. (Instagram: @sonyacpatel Twitter: @sonyacpat)

2nd Annual Greenpoint Arts Block Festival September 26

C/O Greenpoint Arts Block Festival. Historical photograph, Greenpoint Arts Block Festival 2014.
C/O Greenpoint Arts Block Festival. Historical photograph, Greenpoint Arts Block Festival 2014.

“It is an occasion to see what’s going on the community, meet people who have been there for thirty years and learn about its history and heritage,” says Greenpoint Arts Block Festival coordinator, Marta Pawlaczek. “It also presents an opportunity to discover new things like organizations and initiatives that offer valuable services to people.”

According to the festival’s press release, the 2nd annual neighborhood street festival “consists of various cultural, educational, and recreational events with the goal of promoting Polish and local artists, highlighting the Polish identity of Greenpoint, and integrating its old and new inhabitants.” The festival will take place on Saturday, September 26 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Leonard St. between Norman Ave. and Meserole Ave.

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“Four Films by David Lamelas” at Light Industry on September 8

For one night only, “Four Films by David Lamelas” will be shown at Light Industry (155 Freeman St.) on Tuesday, September 8 at 7:30 pm. The special screening will be followed by a conversation between Lamelas and Stuart Comer, the Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art.

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Matt Siffert: Folk Songwriting with Jazz and Classical Instrumentation at Pete’s Candy Store 10pm Tonight

For Matt Siffert, a junior semester abroad provided the impetus for choosing the life of a songwriter. He studied music and psychology at the University of Havana in the spring of 2008. With less classwork in Havana than in the Iron City confines of Carnegie Mellon, he finally had the chance to explore his love of music, photography, and poetry, and to develop his confidence as an artist.

“It was one of the most important experiences of my life; I grew up a lot and came to embrace my artistic side,” he said. Back home, he had too often let creativity take a back burner to his academic interests.

Siffert has four works as a solo artist, Morningside (2012), Cold Songs (2012), Rise (2013) and Punch, and has performed nationally and internationally. Listen to Siffert perform his original songs infused with folk, jazz, and classical sensibilities tonight at 10pm at Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St.).

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Rachael Pazdan’s HYPNOCRAFT Presents…

Cultural innovator Rachael Pazdan, founder of Brooklyn-based HYPNOCRAFT, has been organizing artistically interdisciplinary performances at a grassroots level since she was a 19-year-old SUNY Purchase College student.

Her latest project is a monthly residency called At the Inn. She also curated The Hum, the popular, hypnotic series, back in April.

This month’s At the Inn event is called the Manhattan Vampire’s Club and is an homage to Hollywood Vampires like John Lennon and Harry Nilsson. It takes place Monday, July 13th at 8:30 pm at Manhattan Inn (632 Manhattan Ave.) Continue reading

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Blancanieves and Black Lodge at Live + Sound + Cinema at Nitehawk  

Six months ago, Geoff Gersh sat down to watch the silent black and white film Blancanieves. Before it even finished, he knew he wanted to rescore it for the Live Sound Cinema (LSC) series at Nitehawk Cinemas. “I like dark art movies and images,” Gersh said. “I just find it inspiring and this has a lot of that.”

The 2012 film, written and directed by Pablo Berger, “combines elements of Snow White (Charles Perrault, not Disney), Carmen, bullfighting, Bette Davis at her most frightening, and the grotesque,” Berger once explained to Interview magazine. Gersh describes the film, and his score, as “ambient and melancholy.”

After watching the show with Gersh’s score, I realized that live musical accompaniment immerses an audience in a film’s narrative in a way that nothing else can.

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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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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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Weekend Music Picks: Live Premieres

Earthquake Lights, Your Sister’s Canary, P. Everett

Friday June 19th 8:00 pm at Cameo Gallery

Courtesy of the Artist. Earthquake Lights.
© Yuki Monestere. Earthquake Lights.

Earthquake Lights (EQL) share a bill at Cameo Gallery (93 N 6th St.) with friends Your Sister’s Canary and P. Everett. All three bands are previewed below, along with with our other North Brooklyn concert recommendations for this weekend. Continue reading

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Neko Case, Live from Northside

Neko Case.
Neko Case.

A mural of swords, axes, and eels pointed towards the words, “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.”

It was the title of Neko Case’s last album, and also the backdrop for her show last Friday night, Live at the Inlet.

Sporting flaming red hair volumized with the humidity of the night, Case headlined the venue’s first night hosting music for the Northside Festival with her alt-country, punk-rock ballads.

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