Keywords: NY Live Shows
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
From April 14, 2016:
Saw some really cool performances last night. Didn’t get video of all of the artists, but here’s one of Bradford Reed using the pencilina, an instrument he invented in the 80s, which is an amplified double zither with percussive elements. It was mind blowing. The video is too dark because I was trying not to adulterate the space with camera light.
From April 18, 2016:
Went to Poppers Locarno last night with Chris and Jill to catch a random show that was happening, several bands and some burlesque performers. (Didn’t think I’d be seeing 2 burlesque shows in just a month, wth) This dude Johnny Bizarre was cracking me up the whole time. He started doing magic tricks at the bar, which mostly involved hammering shit up his nose and talking to his boss, a tiny rubber chicken squeak toy.
Made myself stay to the end of the night to catch his band, Jugger-Nut (are the weirdest and coolest acts always last at burlesque shows?), which was like, 15 punk performance artists and musicians all doing random shit. It was pure carnage all around me just minutes into that set. There was a swan piñata getting thrown around the mosh pit, I got smacked with some kind of leather strap bullshit these dudes were fighting each other with… it was like being in the middle of a bacchanal maelstrom, pretty amazing! I told Johnny it was a great show afterward, he was like, “eh, I’ve seen better… nah, nah, I shouldn’t say that, it was alright!” lol.
Got as much on video as I could so all of you can really get a sense of the ruckus. 😉
The other interesting parts of the night… watched a dancer lick long pins and stick them through her body while dancing, talked to an older club hippie and his girlfriend about burning man… my favorite part of that conversation, “oh, yeah, yeah… there’s no money, there… it’s not about who’s rich or who’s poor when you go… if anything most people there are like, fuck rich people man…” and then a short while later, “yeah, you should totally go, it’s only $300 to get in but you’ll spend $1000!”
From April 29, 2016:
Uploading this now, finally.
The same day Jill and I went to the art studio where we got shots of the creepy bust, she deftly got us invited to a Kabuki performance in the same space! It was funny that previous day, I didn’t share much about it when I’d uploaded the photos. As I was excusing myself, having walked into the studio with some ice-cream, the resident artist was like, no, it is fine, so I said, “Well, I promise I won’t get the ice-cream on any of the art” and he replied that I could feel free to dump it on that bust, before telling us both about how he found it in the hall of his apartment building and that people he’d shown it to felt it was disturbing or that it might even be insensitive or offensive in some way. Anyway, that’s kind of the backstory on that. He mentioned then that he’d be having a Kabuki performer into the space that next week who’d be incorporating the bust into their performance. I’m happy we all made it back for that!
So, before-hand, after having his body painted, the performer had us all use pens and bits of memo paper to write down our wishes for the local community and drop them into a hat. It took me a little while to decide on a wish, until finally I decided to wish for “great beauty” for the community. I think I was inspired to jot that down by some silly internet meme about how life is never kind but is at least always beautiful and, so, surrounded by artistic things I figured I might as well optimize on that sentiment. I didn’t tell anyone my wish, because obviously I wanted it to come true. Such is the superstition of wishmaking. After gathering the wishes, though, everyone in the room drew from the hat of wishful thoughts and read each one aloud. Then, the performer stated that he would be incorporating the wishes we’d made into his performance. In retrospect, then, it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d shared the wish I’d made, as the artist made himself responsible for their execution I think.
This video is of the entire performance, dance with violin accompaniment, which I struggled to capture, it was like catching air. Each of the colored ribbons tied to the base of the bust were meant to symbolize an element, and each dance was like a ritual expression of that element. It was very beautiful, particularly in that space, with the large windows just beyond looking out to the darkening blue of dusk in the city.
After the performance, everyone in the room held hands in a circle and repeated a mantra about opening our circle to one another. It was awkward and fantastic, I really feel like I caught some kind of pleasant vibe from the whole experience.
From April 29, 2016:
Caught this show at Le Wallet, with Lauren, Tim, Chris, Jill and Mateus. I feel like a lot of the best shows I saw in NYC were invites from this guy Tim, from Ashcan Orchestra, who was super nice!
The entire aesthetic thing going on here during this performance by Wicked Rot was really cool, with the noise, the monochromatic red-violet room, the smoke, the trains running right outside the window, the soft-spoken vocals and guitar… it felt like a surreal urban surrogate campfire moment in an industrial wilderness, with us all sitting around on sofas and plush chairs instead of like… logs, or something.
As far as the music, separate from these external things… probably not the best, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
From May 1, 2016:
Frank Hurricane performing at Le Wallet. I wasn’t able to film the whole performance, just the beginning. The whole thing was nuts. The dude breaks into Cotton Eye Joe toward the end of this video. xD