Category archives: Performance

  • It’s fitting that HBO is choosing to air Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s Every Brilliant Thing during the holiday season (starting on Monday). Their filmed version of the one-character play of the same name about depression, suicide and survival is funny, moving and heartening—appropriate viewing at a time of year when many people are not feeling their psychological best despite all the trappings of merriment. Recorded over three performances at the Barrow Street Theatre in 2015, Every Brilliant Thing stars British comedian Jonny Donahoe (best known in the UK for his comedy band Jonny and the Baptists), who co-wrote it with Duncan Macmillan.We enter the small theater-in-the-round along with the audience, as they file in and take their seats. Donahoe, a stocky, cheerful sort, distributes pieces of paper containing various phrases and instructs the recipients to yell them out at his signal. He then proceeds to tell his character’s decade-spanning life story, punctuated by the items of the show’s title. “Every Brilliant Thing” refers to an inventory of things to live for, started by Donahoe’s narrator at the age of seven when his mother first tried to kill herself. The list—which begins with “ice cream”—would become a running theme in his life, disappearing,  resurfacing, and evolving as he got older (“Hairdressers who listen to what you want”).Aside from calling out list entries, audience members are enlisted to impersonate people in the narrator’s life during cru[...]
  • We recently caught up with Brooklyn based band Slothrust, who are releasing their long awaited third album, Everyone Else on Dangerbird Records October 28th.1)   Are you native New Yorker's or transplants?Will and I are from Boston and Kyle is from New Jersey.2)   How would you describe your sound?Blues / jazz influenced rock music with a lot of dynamics and time signature changes ;)3)   How has the crowd responded to the new music from Everyone Else?Crowds we have performed to have responded really positively to the new music. We are very excited to tour and share it with more people.4)   Was there a particular story you wanted to tell or message you wanted to send with Everyone Else?There is not one story in particular that I am trying to tell with this record. Thematically, it deals a lot with water and dreams. I like thinking about different states of consciousness and things infinitely larger than the self.5)   What do you enjoy most about touring and performing live?I like seeing new cities and the exchange of energy that happens between performers and difference audiences.6)   Tell me about your creative process. Do you work remotely or do you go off to the woods to write together as a group?It's a combination of a lot of things. Generally songs come to me in pieces and we go about executing them in a variety of ways. In the past there hasn't been a particular formula for us.7)   Where do you find your inspiration[...]
  • With the weather forecast calling for temperatures in the upper 90's on Friday, we did our best to prepare for an all day event in the sweltering NYC summer heat.  But upon entering the venue, it was clear that the organizers of the Panorama Festival planned appropriately for our day.  With many free water kiosks, tents and air conditioned art & music areas, it was easy to cool down if you were feeling overwhelmed by the oppressive heat.And although it's not so easy to get to Randall's Island, our timing was very good, and as we walked in Here We Go Magic was just starting to play in the huge tent to the north side of the venue.  I was happy to finally here the band live. Some years ago I interviewed Luke Temple, but lost touch with the band's more recent happenings.  They had a decent crowd for the early part of the day, and although they apologized for some technical difficulties, we were impressed with their set.As we made our way over to the main stage, we could hear Algier's set was already in full swing.  Algier's set was only 30 minutes, but their powerful, dark soulful sound was evident throughout.  While listening we were able to cool down over at the American Express spot.  We snapped together some complimentary sunglasses and enjoyed some refreshments for a bit before heading back to the pavilion to hear Preservation Hall Jazz Band. A rather large, enthusiastic crowd was now gathered and grooving to some of the best New Orleans style jazz you can fi[...]
  • The Art for Progress music program at Humanities Preparatory Academy, now in it’s fourth school year, is the flagship of AFP’s arts education programs. Instituted in the Fall of 2012, the program serves two classes of 12-18 students four days per week, with each day’s lunch period serving as an additional class period enabling students to seek further instruction or individual practice time. The class is open to students of all high school years (9-12) allowing a rare occasion for teens of different ages to interact on a level playing field in a collaborative setting.There are also two after school sessions per week, which give students an opportunity to either practice alone, or to join in group music-making, which is the ultimate intention of all AFP music programming. Faculty also participate, further enriching the overall experience of the students, and the teachers learn just as much as the kids!The goal of the program is for every student to be able to play at least one complete song. Toward this goal, all students learn the basic mechanics of music in general, and to develop proficiency on least one instrument. Although much of the class time is spent building and developing skills, the focus of the program is ultimately on giving students the tools to express themselves.The semester begins with discussions about students’ musical interests and experiences, with everyone having an opportunity to choose a song by an artist or group that they like to share wi[...]
  • "Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task." Henry James' words are apt in describing the art-making process, and how it can explore uncertainness through introspection. In the process, the artist and viewer enter into an intangible, unpractical, and highly emotional place that is ultimately the most passionate because it allows them to explore the more ambiguous realms of the self.This is exactly the intent and effect of "I DREAMT," New York performance artist Nicholas' Gorham's recent production. In it, he lip syncs sound bites by Delia Derbyshire, a leading British electronic musician from the 1960s. He was utterly fascinated by their evocative beauty, and knew he would eventually incorporate them into a performance. The sound recordings are different voices describing a nightmare of being chased, and Nicholas switches from one character to another in a matter of seconds. This is achieved by having light projections of different outfits cast onto his body, which is the sole illuminated presence in a darkened room. Coupled with the haunting repetition of phrases, such as "I'm running away...running, and running, and running" in each of the different voices, the result is dark, painful, but incredibly engrossing especially if you have ever had nightmares.He plans to take this the exploration of the subconscious further in his upcoming Christmas theater production, also focusing on time, space, identity, and superficiality but with a stronger social co[...]
  • To celebrate the release of their first release on Fueled by Ramen Records, The Front Bottoms played Brooklyn’s Rough Trade. Entry to the show was granted with purchase of the album, Back On Top, and came with a signing after the show. The formula is one Rough Trade is a) known for and b) built for. The combined record store/concert space has the stage in the back and the floor space within the shop itself to accommodate both events.Before the show fans, most of whom were hugging a recently purchased vinyl of Back On Top, lined up along the wall of the store, chattering excitedly about the record. It was a fairly young crowd, some members bragging about how they had cut class to line up early. The guy handing out 21+ wristbands didn’t have much to do. Despite the age difference, one thing was clear. Everyone was there for the band.Not that only die hards are capable of showing up to an early show on a weekday evening. Everyone is and was welcome. It wasn’t the show that collected passersby or casual listeners. Partially because Rough Trade is tucked somewhat away from the rest of Williamsburg and partially because the nature of the show attracted the more “serious” fans. The majority of the crowd accumulating in Rough Trade really, really liked the band. That’s why they showed to the concert/signing, not just the band’s gig later in the month at Irving Plaza. In fact, many talked about going to both shows. Some even buzzed about seeing the band earlier in the summ[...]
  • The AFP crew was inspired and motivated for the road trip up to the great city of Montreal. By the time the Greenpoint (Haven) rooftop event was in the books, it was late Sunday afternoon and Friday morning gave us just enough time to rest up for the 3 day festival.  We mapped out the car ride and the artist performance schedule.  Our Day 1 (Friday) plan was to arrive at Parc Jean-Drapeau by 3:30pm to see Run the Jewels.  After a couple of snags we arrived a little later,  but we did make it on time to see one of our more anticipated performances- The Kills.Sadly, the band had some technical issues on stage, but despite their frustrations they rocked on and ended with a killer rendition of No Wow.  Thirsty from the ride, we found ourselves guzzling Molson's at a rather rapid pace as we strolled over to see Chet Faker on an adjacent stage.  He quickly went into his popular hits like Gold and 1998 with the electric soul vibe that we have been digging.  It was obvious that many festival goers were excited to see the Australian perform, and he didn't disappoint.As we made our way to the main stages (Riviere and Montagne), some of the original sculptures and art installations caught our attention. By the way, Osheaga is not just a music festival, but also an arts festival (heavy on the music).  Some of the work was highly creative (images below) and seriously involved. The participating artists for 2015 were Station 16 Gallery, animators from the NFB, graduates of UQÀM’s D[...]
  • https://vimeo.com/124416402As we arrive at the conclusion of another school year, Art for Progress arts ed programs are developing and evolving in new ways. The music program at Humanities Prep has been flourishing, and we recently held a student and faculty talent show, showcasing the wealth of talent that has been incubating within the school. Performances spanned a wide range of instrumentation and repertoire, and even included some original pieces and songs written by the performers. AFP's Young Adult Enrichment Program has now spawned three bands, which are now gigging around NYC. Statik Vosion, the core project of the program, also recently played alongside my own band, Bad Faces at the AFP live music series “We Deliver” at The Bowery Electric on Manhattan's storied Lower East Side. Other projects are in the works for the summer, including a recording project to produce an EP release for Statik Vision and a music enrichment program in partnership with the Upper West Side JCC which will provide music instruction for under-served elementary school students. I taught the classes last year and if was a blast!At Humanities Prep, in Chelsea, I have been teaching music to high school students for the past three years. Some of the talent that has been emerging from the program is truly unbelievable. I have seen a number of students who had never played an instrument before become capable, and even inspired players, while others have come to me with some experience and s[...]
  • Known as the Super Bowl of Drag, RuPaul's Drag Race, now in its 7th season, will announce this year's winner tonight on LOGO-TV! I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it!Image Credit: Mathu Andersen/LOGO Full disclosure: It's one of my all-time favorite program, and I totally believe it is one of the best shows on TV. And what's wonderful is that I'm not the only one. RuPaul's Drag Race's fans span all social backgrounds and sexual orientations! Sure this year's edition hasn't been the most outstanding season, with mostly lackluster "Lip Syncs For Your Life." it's still great to see the evolution of all of queens, especially the finalists Ginger Minj, Pearl and Violet Chachki.Getty Images for LOGO Here are three fabulous fashion moments as shared to me by Blog Founder, Social Media Strategist Nichelle Stephens, and fellow fan. Like me, she's not quite sure who she's rooting for: "I can't decide but I think I am #TeamViolet," she says.Ginger Minj After last season's Ben de La Creme and Darienne Lake, Ginger Minj seemed like a weak mash-up of the two.  However as the season progressed, you can see that Ginger has Southern charm with campy sensibilities and style.Jason Kempin, Getty Images for Logo TVThe best look for her was runway look on the penultimate episode.  The white gown was gorgeous; her makeup was glamorous with being too much and her wig was teased up into a perfect crown. LOGO-TVViolet ChachkiViolet Chachki is waist traini[...]
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UkrX_ikRUYSunday, May 24th at The Bowery ElectricMemorial Day Weekend we're kicking off the season properly with an incredible line-up of some of NYC's best bands, performers and DJ's on two levels.ROCK, FUNK, HIP HOP, ELECTRONICA, AMERICANADOWNSTAIRS: Live Music: $9 Advance Tickets, $10 at the doorXNY, Soul Khan, Blythe Sword, Bad Faces, Digital Diaspora, Statik VisionUPSTAIRS:  Live Music until 10pm, DJ's til late:  NO COVERMAP ROOM:  Graham Norwood and Amy MilesDJ's: Sameer & Gatto - 10pm til lateHosted by Art for Progress,  Doors: 7pm,  Music: 7:30pm
  • Barcelona-born Brooklynite, pianist Eva Novoa  has produced two cds, her debut Trio (with Masa Kamaguchi on bass and Marc Lohr on drums), and Quartet (with Ernesto Aurignac on alto saxophone, Masa Kamaguchi on bass and André Sumelius on drums), both released on the label Fresh Sound New Talent. Before moving to Brooklyn, she lived many years The Hague, Netherlands, studying, and eventually teaching at Koninklijk Conservatorium.  It was in Holland, that she not only learned Dutch curse words,  she also how to live in shitty weather: "It's much worse than New York. It may rain 6 days out of 7, she says while chatting in her kitchen, over espresso and Spanish shortbread cookies. "Wherever you go, you're soaked, shoes are dripping water."Find out about her beloved fashion accessories after the jump, and learn more about this gifted musician at EvaNovoa.com.Jacqueline Colette Prosper, @yummicoco   Floral Infinity Scarf I found this floral scarf on my way to work at a musical theatre in Holland. In a country where there's so much wind, and you're on your bike, your scarf eventually flies away.So you just do this [EVA MAKES A DOUBLE LOOP WITH THE CLOSED-LOOPED FABRIC], and you don't lose it. It's really warm! In Holland, you always have to wear a scarf. even in the summer. The weather sucks, and you have to wear something [warm], or else you'll get sick.    Vintage Little Black Dress From Grandma For the anniversary of the mus[...]