Art/Music

Review: Cypress Hill Got Insane On Monday at Brooklyn Steel

Cypress Hill at Brooklyn Steel, October 30 2017. Photo by Dylan Lappin
Cypress Hill at Brooklyn Steel, October 30 2017. All photos by Dylan Lappin

When Halloween comes to town, so do the bands. This weekend was lined up with an insane number of fun shows to check out. I, personally, was able to enjoy two great ones at Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost Street). First one being Cypress Hill on Haunted Hill and then Primus the next night on Halloween.

When I first heard Cypress Hill was performing down the street it was a no brainer to check the show out. Being a weed enthusiast I thought I might even have a chance to hit their infamous giant bong. Sadly, there was no onstage bong, not even much of a stage setup at all. I figured a well-known act like Cypress Hill, who are only doing three Haunted Hill shows, might at least have a giant pumpkin (or even a small pumpkin!) smoking weed on stage, but sadly they didn’t. That being said…. I left this show stoned out of my gourd. I mean supreme dream.

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Calico Brooklyn Open Call for Curatorial Proposals

Greenpoint’s beloved Calico Gallery, a 250vsq.ft. artist-run exhibition space at 67 West Street, is now accepting proposals for their 2018 exhibition year.

Operated by Founder and Director, Scott Chasse, an artist and arts organizer with over ten years experience, Calico’s mission is to present emerging, mid-career, and non-career artists in a venue that offers “white cube” presentation with a DIY approach. Exhibits typically run 4-6 weeks and are not reliant on commercial sales. Open gallery hours are Fridays & Saturdays, 12-5pm and by appointment.

There is no fee to apply and submissions are due by midnight, December 20th, 2017.

For more details and submission guidelines visit CalicoBrooklyn.tumblr.com/call

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Too Much Is Never Enough: Two Music Videos from Williamsburg’s Glass Valley

We profiled local weirdo and musician Brad Cantor a few months ago about his musical project Glass Valley. The vintage-sounding dreampop debut An Intimate Man was co-produced and mixed by Asobi Seksu guitarist James Hanna. It’s well-crafted and worth a listen, especially if you’re in a nostalgic mood and need a soundtrack for your sorrows. Brad stars in the video for instrumental track Psrip, in which you will never be able to get enough of his piercing gaze. Psrip was an homage to folk artist Pete Seeger’s instrumental interludes (hence the name, P.S. RIP). Brad says that he actually wanted to add more versions of himself into the video, but maxed out, limited by the processing power on his computer. If you need a palette cleanser afterward, check out the video below for Glass Valley’s Friction Burns, which does not feature Brad but instead some adorable slow-mo birds lunching in a Manhattan park. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Review: Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band at Brooklyn Steel

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band. Photo by Melissa Loseby.

Brooklyn-based singer songwriter, Josh Ritter and his Royal City Band, provided safe harbor from the storm at Brooklyn Steel (309 Frost St) during Sunday’s torrential downpour. The weather was a nice touch for a show supporting Ritter’s ninth full-length studio album, Gathering, an album Ritter has described as a “record full of storms”.

This is Ritter’s 20th year of playing and recording music and his latest album, while marking a departure from some of his more traditional folk roots by incorporating aspects of rockabilly and gospel, remains original, fresh and an organic next step. His songs across these nine albums span the full spectrum of the human experience, allowing his listeners to reach for one during a break up, one when experiencing the giddiness of new love, another when at a crossroads, but all with an undercurrent of optimism that leads you to believe that even when your heart is breaking, there’s a silver lining you just haven’t uncovered yet. It is likely that this is the reason that Sunday’s audience clearly felt such a strong connection to each word and poetic turn of phrase he performed on stage. Returning to Ritter’s music often feels like an old friend draping a warm and comforting blanket around your shoulders. Continue reading

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Standards Manual in Greenpoint Finds Success in Reissuing Relics

Standard_Manual_Greenpoint_Greenpointers_I.Hartsoe_20
Jesse Reed. Photo by Ian Hartsoe

“We had a hint there might be an interest in this book.”

That hint was raising over $800,000 on Kickstarter to reissue the New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. But before the online support and incredible demand, this lucrative endeavor began more innocently — with buried treasure.

“We found one of the original manuals in our old office’s basement,” Jesse Reed said of the copy he and his business partner Hamish Smyth discovered and — through enormous fundraising — reissued for public consumption.

New Yorkers love griping about the subway, so it may come as a surprise that this manual elicited such fervid response, but these backers are seeking more than just a handsome coffee table book or conversation starter.

Standards Manual storefront on Franklin Street in Greenpoint. Photo by Ian Hartsoe
Standards Manual storefront on Franklin Street in Greenpoint. Photo by Ian Hartsoe

 

“We knew designers were into it, but once we launched the Kickstarter we found other audiences, and one was people who live in New York City,” Reed said. “They saw the manual and subway signs for the first time as designed objects, and it struck a chord with a lot of people who ride the subway every day. If you were here in the ’70s or earlier, you knew how horrible the signage was, and then you see the manual and how it’s now made.”

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Get Ready to Shake It Tonight! NYC Repeals “No Dancing Law” Today

#LetNYCDance via Dance Liberation Network's Instagram
#LetNYCDance via Dance Liberation Network’s Instagram

The City Council is set to repeal New York’s “No Dancing” law today. Formally known as the “Cabaret Law,” the 1926 statute forbids dancing in bars without a cabaret license. The Law law is widely considered to be discriminatory since it was primarily used to police jazz clubs in Harlem during Prohibition, and has a broad history of violating New Yorkers’ civil liberties. According to the New York Times, music was not permitted in unlicensed bars at all until 1936, and from 1940-1967 the city required performers and employees in cabarets to be fingerprinted and cary “cabaret cards” which were denied to those with a police record. As a result, artists including Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles could not work in New York. Frank Sinatra simply refused to sing in New York rather than be fingerprinted. The law showed its teeth again during the Giuliani Administration, when the city targeted gay bars and shut down clubs in response to ’90s rave culture.

Today, just 97 of New York’s 25,000 watering holes have cabaret licenses, which means that nearly all of the dancing that goes on in New York is illegal. Given that Mayor de Blasio established an Office of Nightlife on September 19th, and the city is on the hunt for its inaugural Night Mayor, City Hall is supportive of repeal.  Continue reading

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Heather Christian Unleashes a Ravishing Tour de Force in The Bushwick Starr’s “Animal Wisdom”

Heather Christian in her Bushwick Starr show, “Animal Wisdom.” Photo by Maria Baranova.

The richest musical score this season might not be found on Broadway. To add to its allure, it’s created by a “migraine-suffering musician who talks to dead people.”

It’s a bold self-proclamation, but Obie Award winner Heather Christian’s Animal Wisdom is an equally bold work — and one that’s near impossible to pin down. To call it a play lumps it in with traditional narratives, and yet to label it a folksy-Requiem-mass-drama barely trumpets its dynamism, élan, and pure resplendence.

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Halloween Weekend at Secret Project Robot

One of Brooklyn’s best kept secrets is hosting a ton of Halloween events! Something for everyone! Hit one of the parties, or just stop by to check out their Halloween Installation.

Secret Project Robot is located at 1186 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY.

Learn more at Secretprojectrobot.org.

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Music Video Premiere Party/Fundraiser at Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern Sunday (10/29)!

Music Video Release + Fundraiser at Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern
Local band Nuclear Family Fantasy is having their first music video premiere party this Sunday, October 29 at legendary Bedford Ave bar Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern (188 Bedford Ave) from 4-5pm. The event and the video both serve to raise awareness about the Fight for $15 movement, and to raise money for low-wage worker Fran Marion, who recently lost her home. Her full story in The Guardian is moving, and worth a read. The Fight for $15 movement seeks to encourage businesses (and government) to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour, because for most Americans living below that amount is unsustainable, especially with a family.
While you’re watching the video (and dancing to the live band) on Sunday, you can snag a taco from Tacos Lokos 4Ever (who pop up at local bar Brooklyn Safehouse from time to time), and The Greenpoint Tavern’s namesake, Rosemary (she’s 86!), will be in attendance, presumably to rock out right along with everybody!
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