Tuesday, November 27

BANKSY @ Vanina Holasek Gallery (502 W 27th St) – 12/02/07 – 12/29/07

Alright, so Banksy isn’t a musician or a band, but the ultra-hip street artist is just as cool as anything coming through New York in the next month. This faceless master is as infamous for his political graffiti-art tagged all across London as he is for his unmistakable gorilla (pun intended) stencil graf style. His Los Angeles exhibit last year featured an actual live elephant walking around and completely painted in the Banksy style...but possibly the funniest part of that exhibit was realizing mega-celebrities like Brad Pitt would go to an abandoned warehouse in the shittiest section of LA just to see it...but, Banksy himself was, of course, nowhere to be found. If you were one of the lucky few who bought his “revamped” (pun intended again) version of Paris Hilton’s landmark CD or saw his artwork hung by the man himself at the MoMA or Brooklyn Museum, you will know what we here at NYCUG are talking about. Love him or hate him, laugh with him or get laughed at by him, the guy stirs controversy. See some of his works all month in Chelsea this December.

Tuesday, November 13


WHO: Rachel Leigh Bravman, former Yves Saint Laurent publicist-turned-jewelry designer. The brainchild of an artist and a doctor, Bravman mixes an innate sense of uptown chic with downtown glam – repeatedly inspired by the runway collections of Karl Lagerfeld, Alber Elbaz, Giles Mendel, Philip Lim, and none other than Muiccia Prada.

WHAT: Costume jewelry presented in three annual collections – Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter, and Resort/Holiday – introducing approximately 300 new necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings per season. A mix of vintage castings and hand-made bobbles plated with 14k gold, sterling silver, and often iced with a rainbow of Swarovski crystals. To date, all pieces are proudly made in the heart of New York’s garment district off of Seventh Ave. With price points between $60 and $300, there is truly something for everyone.

WHY: When the experts at Lucky Magazine steal the ring off your finger to run a feature entitled “One to Watch,” you don’t ask ‘why’ – you ask ‘how.’ Although if presented this question today, Bravman would likely respond with a mix of aesthetic drive and business-minded ambition – looking to future endeavors that include private label, fine jewelry, and charitable collaborations with key unmentionable Hollywood darlings.

WHEN: Fall ’04, when at the request of buyers, editors, and New York fashionistas, Bravman officially launched Rachel Leigh Jewelry. Having since moved the business from the living room of her Upper East Side apartment, the company now boasts showrooms in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Canada – not to mention a customer base including high-end department stores, fashion sites for forum and shopping, and a growing number of privately-owned boutiques across the world.

WHERE: Check it out at the semi-annual sample sale: Tuesday + Wednesday November 13th and 14th from 9am to 6pm. 252 W 38th Street #904 (between 7th and 8th). At up to 80% off, there is no excuse not to make an enormous dent in your holiday gift list. For more information, call 646.290.6034.

Tuesday, October 23

JENS LEKMAN @ Webster Hall - Sat. 10/27

Jens Lekman hails from Sweden, bringing with him a really very jazzy, laid back, and swinging assortment of indie music. He has garnered a bit of attention from his Secretly Canadian releases in the past few years, but this year’s Night Falls Over Koertedala may very well be his best effort to date. His music is pleasant enough for pretty much anyone, from checkerboard-chuck hipsters, to their parents and everyone in between. Lekman doesn’t do anything pretentious, just look forward to a night of simple, sweet upbeat tunes.

RIYL: Richard Hawley, Lee Hazelwood, Rufus Wainwright, Todd Rundgren

Monday, October 1

MAN MAN @ Webster Hall – 10/02/07

This Tuesday, Webster Hall will host Philadelphia/New York’s own Man Man. First noticed by after a South by Southwest show, Man Man combines waltzy timing, a circus-like stage show, experimental indie rock attitude, and lots and lots of shouting. The stage show is out of the ordinary, as the band faces each other and not the crowd for the majority of the time. And it gets much weirder after that. This show will not be for everyone as it gets a little insane at times, but if you’re feeling a change of pace and want to see a real spectacle, give this a shot.

RIYL: Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, O’Death

Monday, September 24

Thurston Moore @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 9/26

Sonic Youth's royal tuff titty Thurston Moore is touring in support of his new record Trees Outside the Academy, his first widely-released solo effort since 1995's Psychic Hearts. The new material sees Moore straying from his usual sprawling electric guitar squalor, instead showing his chops as an acoustic-guitar-toting songwriter.

Tickets are a steep $17. Worth biting the bullet on this one, I think.


Monday, September 17

BEIRUT @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple – Thus. 9/20

Zach Condon’s success has gone mostly unnoticed by the general public, but fans of underground music might recognize this native New Mexican by his widely inspired orchestra-style tunes. Somewhat of an overnight story, Beirut, as Condon is professionally known, really takes from all over the world by combining african drumbeats, middle eastern horns and rhythms and good ol’ indie rock lyrics and vocals. See his live show this week in his second home: Brooklyn, but try to get there early just in case because it should be a good show. Plus he’s playing in a Masonic Temple, which is pretty badass.

RIYL: Gogol Bordello, Neutral Milk Hotel, Bright Eyes

Monday, September 10

Dan Deacon, et al. @ The Yard 9/16

This Sunday afternoon delivers what may be your last outdoor show until next summer, at "The Yard" (outside of where the Issue Project Room used to be) in South Brooklyn. At the helm of the ship is casiotone-wielding weirdo Dan Deacon, who describes his music as what really cool six-year-olds might come up with if given free reign of an array of vintage keyboards and pitch shifters.

Full lineup:
Dan Deacon
Best Fwends
Bill Cosby & His White Puddin' Pops
High Places

2 pm, The Yard
400 Carroll St, Brooklyn

Dan Deacon:

Wednesday, September 5

The E-Xecutioners - The Knitting Factory - 09/05

The New York based, DJ group extraordinaire known as The X-Ecutioners are heading downtown for a night of scratch mayhem. It's a rare occasion to witness multiple turntablists working together on one stage. Since the disbanding of The Invisibl Skratch Picklz in 2000, there have been hardly any followers nothwithstanding the X who've excelled and gained comparable recognition as a turntablist band. Consisting of Rob Swift, Roc Raida, DJ Eclipse and Mista Sinista, the X-Ecutioners tend to dismiss melody in favor of a kind of rhythm that could be considered experimental or avant-garde. The idea that not one, but four DJs can scratch a word, such as "Fresh" and break down its sound and pitch into a sequence of reverberating fragments is something worth seeing.

Tuesday, September 4

AGAINST ME! @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn – 9/5

Blowing up would be an apt way to describe Against Me!’s meteoric success story this year. Touring behind what Spin magazine described as “the best rock record of the year” and including appearances at Lollapalooza and Letterman, their current tour is in a whirlwind. This Gainsville, Florida quartet combines old school hardcore punk and folk/protest music to make music that, this is the fun part, sounds nothing like Green Day. These guys are not new to the scene by any stretch of the imagination, having been working on their craft for nearly ten years now, but sometimes it takes time for people to notice. You can go notice them this week in Brooklyn…just please don’t confuse them with Rise Against.

RIYL: Black Flag, Billy Bragg, Replacements, Bad Religion

Against Me! on Conan:

Friday, August 24

A.C. Newman @ Beacon Theater – Sun. 8/26

A.C. Newman, for those unaware, is the lead singer/songwriter/creative force behind indie pop-rock sensations the New Pornographers. But Carl’s solo work, while still maintaining a signature sound, can, at times, be more stripped down to the bare framework of the song, giving the audience a more intimate listening experience. But don’t fear New Pornos fans: there will still be plenty of poppy fun and songs chock full of engaging hooks to get those feet moving. Casual and hardcore fans should check this show out this Sunday.

RIYL: New Pornographers, Neko Case, The Shins, Spoon, Peter Bjorn and John

Friday, August 10

Social Registry's 4th Anniversary Festival 8/11 & 8/12

This weekend, Brooklyn-based in/out record label the Social Registry celebrates its 4th year with a balls-out music festival. Saturday's show features Psychic Ills and Jah Division; Sunday sees Gang Gang Dance and Growing. Both days run from 1pm to 9:30 pm @ The Yard, 400 Carroll st, Brooklyn NY 11231. Full lineup below.

Psychic Ills
Jah Division
Artanker Convoy
Ghost Exits
TK Webb
Samara Lubelski
Mike Bones
Sian Alice Group

Gang Gang Dance
Sian Alice Group
Douglas Armour
Christy & Emily
Sleepy Doug Shaw

Saturday only - $15
Sunday only - $15
Saturday & Sunday - $25


Special Thanks to The Isles

Thanks again to The Isles for rocking out at NYCUG's LOW ART Series last night (8/9). For those who missed it, definitely keep an eye out for these guys as they start gigging around more later this year, it's not a show to be missed (find out more at theislesnyc.com). A couple pics of the guys in action below, and of course, keep it tuned to NYCUG for the latest in live music and the for more on the next event in the series.

Thursday, August 9


TONIGHT, NYCUG invites you to a new experience in music and art- featuring a live performance by Brooklyn's own THE ISLES, DJ Sets by Dizzy D, and drink specials all night at the one and only GALLERY BAR on the Lower East Side. There's no cover before 10, so get there early, drink like only a person drinking cheap drinks does, and discover an awesome band.

If you haven't checked them out already, head to the LOW ART event site to download free mp3s from The Isles' latest LP release, Perfumed Lands. We've been posting a different free mp3 everyday this week. Today's track: "We Give a Receipt, We Take a Receipt."

So check out the sounds, and DON'T MISS IT. Doors at 8. Drink specials all night. No cover.

See you out.

Thursday, August 9

Orchard & Rivington

No cover before 10.

$4 Wells & Drafts All Night.

Wednesday, August 8


Leading up to Thursday's event-- NYCUG LOW ART: Featuring the Isles-- NYCUG will be posting FREE mp3 downloads off of THE ISLES' latest release, Perfumed Lands. Each day of the week, we'll be offering a different track for download at http://www.nycug.com/LOWART.

Today's track: The Isles- "Flying Under Cheap Kites"

Thursday, August 9
Orchard & Rivington
No cover before 10.
$4 Wells & Drafts All Night.

Tuesday, August 7


Leading up to Thursday's event-- NYCUG LOW ART: Featuring the Isles-- NYCUG will be posting FREE mp3 downloads off of THE ISLES' latest release, Perfumed Lands. Each day of the week, we'll be offering a different track for download at http://www.nycug.com/LOWART.

Today's track: The Isles- "Terraforming"

Thursday, August 9
Orchard & Rivington
No cover before 10.
$4 Wells & Drafts All Night.

Monday, August 6


Leading up to Thursday's event-- NYCUG LOW ART: Featuring the Isles-- NYCUG will be posting FREE mp3 downloads off of THE ISLES' latest release, Perfumed Lands.

Each day of the week, we'll be offering a different track for download at http://www.nycug.com/LOWART, so check in and hear more from a great up-and-coming band. Today's track: The Isles- "Eve of the Battle"

Thursday, August 9
Orchard & Rivington
No cover before 10.
$4 Wells & Drafts All Night.

Thursday, August 2

NYCUG LOW ART: Featuring THE ISLES- Gallery Bar, 8/9

On Thursday, August 9th, NYCUG invites you to a new experience in music and art- featuring a live performance by Brooklyn's own THE ISLES (myspace), DJ Sets by Dizzy D, and drink specials all night. There's no cover before 10, so get there early, drink like only a person drinking cheap drinks does, and discover an awesome band.

Since the release of their debut full-length album, Perfumed Lands, the Isles have toured relentlessly- gracing stages everywhere from Brooklyn to Europe to Austin's famed SXSW festival.

With a sound decidedly reminiscent of Morrissey and the Smiths, the Isles in many ways take us back to the 80's alternative Brit-pop scene, but also play with a distinctively modern edge that pushes a familiar sound into the present. You might say The Isles start from the Smiths and work out, carving out their own territory with the same ease that they conjure up Johnny Marr.

So DON'T MISS IT, Next Thursday, August 9, the Isles will be playing their first NYC show in months at Gallery Bar (Orchard & Rivington), debuting an all new lineup and new material. DOORS AT 8. DRINK SPECIALS ALL NIGHT. NO COVER. RSVP RECOMMENDED ON GOING.COM.

Thursday, August 9

Orchard & Rivington

No cover before 10.

$4 Wells & Drafts All Night.

Tuesday, July 31

NEGATIVLAND @ Highland Ballroom – 8/2

Half comical and half experimental, Negativland creates a unique world of samples pulled from all over the place, mushed and smashed together, ultimately ending in something as rare as it is undeniably interesting. This band has actually been around for nearly thirty years and only now is the rest of the industry catching up to their ingenuity by way of tape music landscapes and other such experimental forms of music. Much easier to listen to than Japanese counterparts such as Merzbow or more recently the Boredoms, some of Negativland’s sound collages is reminiscent of John Cage, John Zorn, or even Captain Beefheart. This is a show that is certainly worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre and are interested to see where many contemporary artists got their inspiration.

RIYL: Ween, Neu!, Dead Kennedys, Frank Zappa, Lightning Bolt, Pere Ubu

Thursday, July 26

Update on TV ON The Radio - Ths Sunday

...should be a good time

Sunday July 29th, McCarren Park Pool

HELIO and JELLYNYC present:

TV on the Radio
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
DJ Ryan Rasheed

The RSVP list at newyork.going.com/poolpartiesjuly29 is currently Full, There will be a separate line at the front gate for those that RSVPed from 2pm-4:30pm and a limited number of people will be allowed entry on a first come first serve basis so your best bet if you hadn't already RSVPed is to show up as close to 2pm as possible.

Friday, July 20

No-Neck Blues Band @ Greene Naftali Gallery 7/24

The mysterious improv/experimental collective No-Neck Blues Band (or NNCK, for those in the know) are coming out of hiding for a (free?) public performance at an art gallery in Chelsea on Tuesday.

Thurston Moore (helmsman of the greatest band ever in the history of the universe, Sonic Youth) claims they're "the greatest band ever in the history of the universe," an indication that they might be worth checking out. Beware though, NNCK appeals to the furthest stretches of musical possiblity - far out/out there.

RIYL: Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice, Acid Mothers Temple, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Excepter

Greene Naftali Gallery: 508 w 26th St, 8th Floor, 8pm

"The Black Pope"

Jelly NYC Preview

So...we've posted about Jelly NYC Pool Parties in the past, and for many of you this free concert series and the bands that are performing are familiar or old news. For those of you who are catching the buzz and are a little less familiar, here is a brief intro to some of the remaining performances. Now get AMPED!!

Band of Horses - 7/22

TV on The Radio - 7/29

Blonde Redhead - 8/5

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - 8/12

Ghostland Observatory - 8/19

Just Announced: REVENGE OF THE BOOKEATERS 8/26 at the Beacon Theater

Great show for a really good cause. A little pricey at $35 - $50 but there aren't enough organizations dedicated to fostering artists from a young age.

An all-star evening of music, comedy and storytelling featuring:

A.C. Newman (of The New Pornographers), Grizzly Bear, Feist (a solo reading performance), Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Sarah Vowell, Demetri Martin (host).


Wednesday, July 18

Band of Horses, McCarren Park Pool, 7/22

This Sunday, in the latest of the weekly McCarren Park Pool Parties, Band of Horses takes the stage to headline, supported by Annuals and The Oxford Collapse.

Coming off of their debut release, Everything All The Time, Band of Horses has earned critical acclaim and almost devout fan support with their brand of slightly melancholy anthemic rock. With intricately layered guitar textures, heavily-reverbed vocals, and lyrics that run the gamut from playful to insecure, Band of Horses specializes in turning the melancholy, and even the mundane, into soaring vocals and driving guitars that feel majestic, not mopey. (One exception: “Weed Party,” which, as the name would suggest, is... well, not a sad song.)

Check these guys out this Sunday at McCarren Park. A band this good playing a free show is a rare find. Visit thepoolparties.com for more and to RSVP, and tell ‘em NYCUG sent ya. They've also got a couple of free mp3 downloads available on their official website. Website // MySpace

Tuesday, July 17


Due to popular demand, NYCUG is throwing a Party Series dedicated to showcasing some of the hottest Hip Hop artist emerging out of NYC. This is the first of many to come, so come out and show your support!

Friday, July 27th 2007 at 8:00pm

Come check out one of the illest groups coming up - NO QUESTION. Along with NYCUG's very own DJ DIZZY D.


$5 shots/ $4 Draft and Well

no cover - rsvp for guaranteed entry

For all questions or to be considered for future events, email hiphopseries@nycug.com.

NO QUESTION is a dynamic trio made up of WhatzIsFace, GuessWho, and H.Fraud. Informally collaborating as far back as '98 - each has achieved modest success individually. WhatzIsFace has performed on several stops of the Warped Tour '05 and has opened up for notables such as BLESSTeNATION. Guesswho, formally of Bad Newz, reps the underground hip hop circuit equally as hard having performed several shows locally and on the Lyricist Lounge Tour. H.Fraud, producer and DJ, did A and R for the recently released Black August Album.

I saw NO QUESTION recently opening up for Mark Ronson and the Cool Kids - and straight up, these guys have something special worth checking out. They come with a high energy performance, veteran level stage presence, hard hitting lyrical content, and complex rhyme structures that range from arrhythmic draw to rapid fire. Check out their Myspace pages where you can sample tracks from their upcoming Got Game Mix Tape(dropping 9/11), where Guessy Guess and WhatzIsFace rip it over their take on our favorite Nintendo game soundtracks. Also, look out for the video for Double Dragon - due out mid august.

Wednesday, July 11

Mark Ronson and the Cool Kids - tonight!

Mic Check...

Sorry for the late notice but hear dis! Mark Ronson and the Cool Kids - tonight!

Opening up the night for the Cool Kids, and DJ Mark Ronson is a filthy emerging group outta NYC - No Question (that's What's His Face and Guess WHo).

In an appropriate plug - No Question is also going to opening up the first annual NYCUG Summertime Hips Hop Series. Peep their sh*t and check back for more details!

*links comming soon*

Tuesday, July 10

Excepter @ Monkeytown 7/14

After several months of non-activity, the Brooklyn avant-electro fetishists known as Excepter emerge from hibernation this Saturday for a pair of live sets at Williamsburg's Monkeytown (8pm & 10:30pm). Now operating as a sextet, Excepter are ready to inspire awe with their unique take on psychedelic experimentation.

RIYL: Black Dice, Gang Gang Dance, NNCK, Animal Collective
Entry is $5, reservations recommended.

The "Rock" Stepper:

Interpol Tickets On Sale Friday, 7/13

Keep an eye out this Friday for tickets to Interpol's first NYC show following the release of Our Love to Admire, which hit stores today.

Tickets go on sale Friday, 7/13, at 12 noon on Ticketmaster. The show itself is Friday, September 14 at MSG, but tickets are sure to go fast, so get online right at noon if you want your best shot.

Friday, July 6

TORTOISE @ Webster Hall – 7/8/07

Genre-defying Tortoise has been wowing both critics and concert goers for nearly twenty years now with their unique vision of avant-garde music. It would be easy to say that these Chicagoans are solely an indie-rock jazz band, but that would really only scratch the surface of their true nature. A now six-man live act, combine a huge amount of influences from punk to jazz to European experimental electronica to heavy dub reggae and a whole lot more to boot. Their live songs themselves can run anywhere from a 2 minute Ramones-style aural blitz to a 25 jazz-jam that would embarrass any jamband not up to snuff. So if you are planning on catching them this weekend plan on expecting the unexpected.

RIYL: Can, Stereolab, Mogwai, Sea and Cake, Glenn Branca, Jim O’Rourke

Wednesday, July 4

Boredoms (77 Boadrum) @ Brooklyn Bridge Park 7/7

Osaka, Japan's avant-psych-rock gurus Boredoms have some pretty ambitious plans for this Saturday afternoon: a performance with 74 drummers in addition to their usual three (that's 77 in all, for the arithmetically-challenged). 77 drum kits sounding off on 7/7/07 -- a spectacle not to be missed. Among the guest drummers are Andrew W.K., and members of Gang Gang Dance, Excepter, NNCK, Prefuse 73, Lightning Bolt, and more. That's a pretty star-studded cast.

It's a free show, but guests are asked to RSVP in advance. Things kick off at 4pm.

Tuesday, July 3

Pela: A Midnight Snack For Your Ears

Music can be food for the soul. Some bands taste like Thanksgiving gravy and others like a tart lollipop – each tune satisfies specific cravings, of course. Seeing Pela the other night made me feel like a kid again, shoving gummy bears and ding dongs into my ears. Like most desserts, they provide an immediate rush with a side of instant gratification.
The Brooklyn based band played a sincere show last week at the Mercury Lounge, ending their 19-day tour with “Brakes, Brakes, Brakes,” and “Electric Soft Parade.” The vibe was intimate, and the crowd was casual. I was surprised to see so many bodies out on a Sunday night, but these people didn’t just drop by to try and dig a new sound. They were here for the music they had come to love—obvious from their dead-on lip-synching. When the music started I felt as though I was seeing the first performance of a garage band that had spent years banging and plucking away and was just now emerging from their metal cocoon. Their sound was real, yet polished and therefore spectacularly ripe. Pela played engaging, tight songs with high energy. Tunes included crowd pleasers such as “Philadelphia,” “Lost Highway,” and “Saving Clyde the Cop.” Each member of the band kept a careful watch on the others, connecting with each other, and in turn, connecting with the audience.
I caught up with bassist Eric Sanderson after the show for a closer look. In a search for beer, I was lead down to the dingy dressing room where the bands reconvened after a thrilling performance of, “Calvary” where each member of the tour took the stage with instruments such as tambourines, water coolers and toilet plungers. Lead singer Billy McCarthy entered soaked in sweat with a wide grin on his face shouting, “That was amazing!” Eric and I escaped to the hallway where I tried to see where this band had been and where they were going.

“You’ve been together for 5 years, but have just now released your first album, ‘Anytown Graffiti.’ Why has it taken so long?”
“Money. Half of this album is compromised in our eyes. We really piecemealed everything together.”

He informs me that they paid for and produced the album themselves. Dan Long engineered and mixed a lot of the tracks, but they couldn’t get enough funds together to have him work on the entire album.

“You’ve been traveling around America for nearly three weeks. What is the first thing you will do once you get home?”
“Sleep—I think all of us are really shot at this point. Billy might have a broken foot and I’ve been sick for days. We’ve been driving a lot and drinking a lot.”

Eric continues to tell me that the group got an average of 4-5 hours of sleep per night. He surmises that this might be a good time for some much needed detox.

“What can Pela fans expect from the new album? Will you keep the sound you’ve cultivated or go in a new direction?”
“It’s definitely going to change, but not drastically. We’re going to bring out a lot more horns. We’re really going to push ourselves and be a lot more experimental. We kinda reinvent ourselves every time we go into the studio.”

For my taste, this band is not palatable like a fine piece of fish accompanied with a dry wine. I didn’t go home and savor the flavors of the night or reflect on the composition of what I ingested. Instead, I got into bed, worn out from a sugar high of rock and roll.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, check out Pela next on August 25th, 2007 8:00pm @ Bowery Ballroom (Advice: Get tickets early. Their last two New York shows have sold out.)

Friday, June 29

A Conversation with Danny Ross

Like so many musicians before him Danny Ross was just an avid music fan before being exposed to the later work of The Beatles. After hearing the bands third anthology album he went from being somebody who enjoyed music, to being somebody who loved music.

Growing up with parents who played the music of the 60's in the house, he admits "I knew The Beatles from 'She Loves You', and not 'Happiness is a Warm Gun'."

The self professed do-it-yourselfer, rediscovered a previously discarded piano in his parents basement and began teaching himself how to play.

"When I started out, I could only play songs that I'd written, because I didn't know anything else" he admits. Ross has come to learn a lot about his craft since those early days at the piano, he went on to study music at Cornell University and graduated in May of 2006.

Before graduating, he perfomed a piece which was written for seven instruments in front of an audience of 300 as his senior thesis. The ambitious composeur was rewarded with Sum Cum Laude distinction at graduation.

Ross' thesis, which he describes as "A rock concept album", influenced his EP, the aptly titled "Introducing Danny Ross." While none of the thesis material made it onto the album, Ross will be performing certain selections from that work as well as his EP this Saturday, June 30Tht at The Bitter End as part of his album release party.

Monday, June 25

3rd Annual Afro-Punk Film and Music Festival 6/29 - 7/7

In a previous post about Summer festivals, i described myself when I was young as a punk. To clarify, back then I didn't have any particularly alternative way of dressing and would not have been outwardly described as a Punk. I never got into major trouble but my activities and mindset were some what punk-ish.

Thinking about what I meant in my loose usage of "punk", coupled with my reading on the 3rd Annual Afro-Punk Film and Music Festival, brought me to a interesting internal debate. Because my initial definitions of Punk were a mixture of something superficial, violent and negative - it was ironic to me that the Afro-Punk Festival seemed intellectual, loving and positive.

The Afro Punk movement originated from the documentary "Afro
Punk", directed by emerging Director James Spooner, which explores race and identity within the punk scene. This work galvanized a group of people who were the under represented minority existing in the rebellious sub culture of society - Punk. The 3rd Annual Festival will be the official unveiling of James's second major work "White lies Black Sheep". Screeners of both as well as a very entertaining blog can be found on James' personal myspace page.
As a member of the African diaspora, who has spent a major portion of his life immersed in white culture - Afro Punk really engages my thoughts and reflections on race and culture. It celebrates things that are undeniably "black" with the same breath that embraces things that are stereotypically "white"... That tension has inspired so much beautiful art - ranging from music, to film, to fine art - and a healthy sampling will be on display at the festival.


Afro-Punk Festival

June 28-July 7

This Independence Day, celebrate some true revolutionaries during the third annual Afro-Punk Festival at BAM, featuring film, music, and art united under the banner of black rebellion. This year's festival is focused on the Black Panther party, including a discussion with Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, two programs on July 4 featuring documentaries about them, and an exhibit of archival photographs by the Black Panthers party photographer Stephen Shames. For the full line-up, visit BAM.org/afropunk.

OPENING NIGHT: On Thu, June 28, legendary Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale discusses the history of the movement: where it's been and where it's going. Tickets are $15.

FILM: Music docs, cult classics, documentaries about the Black Panthers, and more. Highlights include a new print of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (with clear parallels to the civil rights movement), Samuel Fuller's White Dog (about a dog programmed to attack black people), The Final Comedown, Eyes of the Rainbow (a documentary about Black Panther leader Assata Shakur), and more.

ART: Selections from the book The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History. This exhibition looks at the history of the movement through the lens of official party photographer Stephen Shames. In partnership with Aperture Foundation.

MUSIC: The Afro-Punk Festival features live concerts and DJ sets by bands from the Afro-Punk scene, including Tiombe Lockhart, Cutlery, Dragons of Zynth, Bear in Wolf Fur, No Surrender, CX Kidtronik, and much more.

AFROPUNK BLOCK PARTY: Celebrate Brooklyn's DIY spirit at the first-ever Afro-Punk Block Party, featuring live music, artists, vendors, crafts, food, and more.

Click here for full information and to buy tickets.

Introducing Danny Ross - Album Release 6/30 @ 8PM - Bitter End

During day light hours, Danny Ross is the most unlikely musician. By day the up and coming piano rocker is a congressional staffer for Congressman Jerold Naddar.

By moon light, Ross is on the road to being the real deal. Bringing a heavy blend of piano and traditional rock instruments and lyrics in the vein of the best of pop-rock, Ross' music is most closely compared to other budding virtiousos such as Jamie Cullum and Sondre Lerche.

That is to say a musician ripe for mainstream success, and the talent to ensure that a big break wouldn't be a waste.

Next week, Ross will be hosting a release party for his first album Introducing Danny Ross on Saturday, June 30th @ 8 PM at the Bitter End.

In addition to being an album release party, the singer/song writer will be on hand to perform cuts from the album as well.

For more information visit the following sites :

Artist Website

Sunday, June 24

Free Concerts - Central Park Summer Stage, June 8th - September 16th

Five years ago I was a punk kid with minimum income who spent most of his summer looking for shit to do during the summer. Currently, I'm a young adult working and living in the city and trying to spend as much time and as little cash outside as possible. Thankfully, many NYScenters share my plight and thus a market has been created for really good cheap/free entertainment. Next up on NYCUG's profile of free concert series in NYC is The SummerStage in Central Park. This series hosts numerous events throughout the summer ranging from music to dance, and even spoken word. Many of the events are free, while others require advance tickets and serve as benefits for the summer series.

The series kicked of 6/8 with a benefit show featuring Common and Joss Stone. If you haven't already begun taking advantage, start today 6/24, with Canada Day! Featuring Broken Social Scene offshoot Apostle of Hustle. Some other concerts that i'm marking on my personal schedule include Rodrigo y Gabriela (7/1), Junior Reid (7/8), Femi Kuti & the Positive Force(7/11), Grizzly Bear and the Decemberist (7/16 - Paid), Neko Case (7/20), Brazilian Girls (7/22), Wildstyle 25th Anniversary Reunion: A celebration of the beginnings of Hip-Hop (7/29).

Central Park Summer Stage is the largest, most diverse, and longest running public event series in NYC... I'm a big fan and would actually love to work with them in the future. Check out their website and full event schedule. I'd be surprised if you didn't find something worth attending, especially since it won't cost much but your time and energy.

Full Schedule

Sunday, June 24: 3-6 p.m.
Canada Day!: Sloan, Apostle of Hustle, Duhks
Our annual showcase of music from our Northern neighbors.

Thursday, June 28: 6:30-10 p.m.
The Levon Helm Band
SummerStage Benefit Concert Ticket Information

Saturday, June 30: 3-6 p.m.
Ozomatli, Babylon Circus, DJ Joro Boro
It’s a day of fusing music styles at Summerstage.

Sunday, July 1: 3-6 p.m.
Rodrigo y Gabriela, Vietnam, JDH and DAVE P
Two acoustic guitarists kick up a noise and a rock foursome lay down the feedback frenzy as SummerStage welcomes July.

Friday, July 6: 8-10 p.m.
Ronald K.

Brown / Evidence, Full Circle Soul Productions
SummerStage showcases African-American dance in all its complex and varied glory.

Saturday, July 7: 3-6 p.m.
Cinematic Orchestra, RAMP, El Michels Affair, Kevin Michael, DJ Spinna
The art of the groove is on full display for this mid-summer event.

Sunday, July 8: 3-6 p.m.
Junior Reid, Djakout Mizik, Diams, Black Alex & Mecca a.k.a "GRIMMO", Wyclef Jean & Papa Jube
The rhythms of the Caribbean will be in full effect at this event.

Monday, July 9: 6-10 p.m.
Bob Weir & Rat Dog, Keller Williams
SummerStage Benefit Concert Ticket Information

Tuesday, July 10: 7-10 p.m.
Nortec Collective, Fedrico Aubele, Film screening: So What's Your Price?
This night’s artists explore globalization in music and film.

Wednesday, July 11: 7-10 p.m.
Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, DJ Rich Medina [rb]Film screening: Music Is a Weapon
The power of Afrobeat is showcased live and on film.

Saturday, July 14: 3-6 p.m.
Café Tacuba, Pacha Massive, La Sista
Program featuring three Latin artists who’ve incorporated rock, hip-hop and electronica into their sound.

Sunday, July 15: 3-6 p.m.
Global Family Day: Hip-Hop Harry, Sippy Cups, Break!
Kids music that will not bore their parents to tears.

Monday, July 16: 6:30-10 p.m.
The Decemberists, Grizzly Bear, Land of Talk
SummerStage Benefit Concert Ticket Information

Thursday, July 19: 7:30-10 p.m.
UCB Theatre's Comedy Cabaret: Human Giant, Demetri Martin, Rebecca Drysdale, The Defibrillators
New York’s best up-and-coming comedians.

Friday, July 20: 7-10 p.m.
Neko Case, Eric Bachman
Country and folk get an update through the highly personal work of two great singer-songwriters.

Saturday, July 21: 3-6 p.m.
Shrhabeel Ahmed, Aboaraki Al Bkheid, Yousif El Moseley, Hadia "Al Balabil" (Humming Bird), Ali Al Segid, Rasha Sheikh Aldein, Al Wareef Sheikh Aldein, Brides of the Nile Dance Group, Emmanuel (South of Sudan), Omer Ehsas (Darfur), The Nile Music Orchestra
A showcase of the music and culture of Sudan.

Sunday, July 22: 3-6 p.m.
Brazilian Girls, Cat Empire, HIMALAYAS conducted by Kenny Wollesen & Jonathon Haffner
Two groove-heavy groups and an avant-garde marching band.

Thursday, July 26: 7:30-10 p.m.
Marisha Pessl, Jennifer Egan
Two novelists read from acclaimed recent works.

Friday, July 27: 8-10 p.m.
David Parsons Dance, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
An evening of dance from two of New York’s most exciting modern companies.

Saturday, July 28: 7-10 p.m.
Liz McComb, King Britt presents Sister Gertrude Morgan featuring Ben Jaffe
A special gospel evening.

Sunday, July 29: 7-10 p.m.
Wild Style 25th Anniversary Reunion: The Chief Rocker Busy Bee, The Cold Crush Brothers, GrandMaster Caz, DJ GrandWizzard Theodore, Fab 5 Freddy + special guests, Film screening of Wild Style
A grand celebration of the beginnings of hip-hop.

Thursday, August 2: 7:30-10 p.m.
Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez
Two literary giants from the Black Power era.

Friday, August 3: 8-10 p.m.
Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), Camille A Brown & Dancers
Two companies with unique visions of modern dance.

Saturday, August 4: 3-6 p.m.
Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Spam Allstars, Tato Torres Y Yerba Buena, Bobbito Garcia a.k.a Kool Bob Love
Classic salsa, Latin electronica and Boricuan rhythms.

Sunday, August 5: 7-10 p.m.
Cine Fest Brasil: AfroReggae Film screening: Zuzu Angel
The sounds and sights of Brazil.

Thursday, August 9: 6-10 p.m.
Black Crowes
SummerStage Benefit Concert Ticket Information

Friday, August 10: 8-10 p.m.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet, TAKE Dance Company
Evening of dance includes works of explosive creativity and calm command.

Saturday, August 11: 3-6 p.m.
Celebrate New Orleans: Soul to Soul III, Galactic & special guests Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & The Golden Eagle Mardi Gras Indians & Soul Rebel Brass Band
Our annual celebration of the Big Easy with jam band sounds and deep second-line voodoo.

Sunday, August 12: 3-6 p.m.
Zap Mama, Angelique Kidjo, K'Naan
The music of the African continent is brought to life.

Sunday, August 19: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Rufus Wainwright
SummerStage Benefit Concert Ticket Information

Sunday, September 16: 1:30-6 p.m.
New York World Festival - Sounds of the Mediterranean: Hassan Hakmoun, Orchestre de Tanger, Amalia Papastefanou, Chris Tiktapanides, Dimonis de Mallorca
The music of the Meditarrean and North Africa will be celebrated this special day of performance and education.

Saturday, June 23

Free Concerts - Jelly NYC Pool Parties, June 24th - August 19th, McCARREN PARK POOL

**Guest Post from Aaliyah**
Some people complain about New York City in the summer...smelly streets, long waits at your favorite brunch spots, Time Square style crowds galore.. the list goes on. So, many New Yorkers beat the heat with long weekends in the Hamptons, Block Island and basically anyplace outside of the city. But... if you're like my friends and myself you LOVE New York City summers. Mango slushies, summer Fridays at work, roof top relaxation, bike rides, 900 open flea markets, and loads of shows at the parks. A lot of these outdoor shows are free in the summer, you can literally walk around your neighborhood and find yourself at a show - I have! Let's start with the Jelly NYC Pool Parties at McCarren Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These free concerts already started but you can still check out bands in July and August - Erase Errata, Ted Leo/Rx, The Thermals, Ghostland Observatory, Octopus Project, Man Man, Illinois, I'm from Barcelona, Dengue Fever, TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead, The Coydogs and more. It's first come first serve so RSVP and make sure you bring a blanket for lounging.

About Jelly NYC Pool Parties

JELLYNYC's brainchild POol PARTIES is back!!! Over the course of nine consecutive Sundays from June 24th - August 19th, from 2pm- 8pm, music lovers, sun bathers, slip 'n' sliders, hula hoopers, dodgeballers, water volleyballers, and more will get to experience the MAGIC for FREE first hand. POoL PARTIES brings together crowds of young, old, black, white, straight, and gay, creating an inclusive vibe unparalleled in New York City. Over 50,000 friendly faces passed through the arches of the McCarren Pool last summer, we expect way more this summer, so be sure to arrive early and be sure to RSVP to guarantee entry. We can't wait to see you this summer!

Full Schedule

June 24

Oakley Hall
+ / -

DJ Todd O-Phonic Todd
July 1
Man Man
Dengue Fever

DJ sets by
The Dirty Work DJs
July 8
Octopus Project
Erase Errata
Dan Deacon

The Rub DJs featuring
Mark Ronson
July 15

Performances by:
Roy Head
Bobby Patterson
Willy Tee
Tammi Lynn
Ray Sharpe
(backed by The A-Bones)
Tommy McClain (backed by Yo La Tengo)
With house band:
Teenie Hodges
Scott Bomar
Willie Tee
Willy Hall

DJ sets by
Dave "The Spazz"
Rex "Fools Paradise"
July 22
July 29
TV on the Radio
August 5
Pop Montreal and Noise Pop Festival

Blonde Redhead
I'm From Barcelona
The Coydogs

The Rub DJs
featuring Morse Code

August 12
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
The Thermals
Birds of Avalon
August 19
Ghostland Observatory

The Rub DJs

DJ Ayres:
many surprise special guests)

Wednesday, June 20

PANDA BEAR @ Bowery Ballroom – 6/23

The Animal Collective’s co-founder will be in the city this weekend to promote his newest release on the Paw Tracks label entitled Person Pitch. While Noah Lennox’s solo work is different and less experimental from Animal Collective, there are still and awful lot of similarities in the overall feel and mood of the music, as would be expected. His solo work is not as disjointed as Animal Collective and there are a lot more vocal harmonies, conjuring up shades of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. The compositions themselves are also slightly more conservative in the indie rock sense and not as avant-garde. His shows prove to be a fun time and you can check it out for yourself.

RIYL: Animal Collective, Xiu Xiu, Four Tet, The Unicorns

Friday, June 15

Pela @ Maxwells on 6/15 and the Mercury Lounge on 6/16, 6/17

Pela’s tunes have that classic “give me a hamburger and fries” sound. They are a rare form of American Rock that is both traditional of the genre as well as innovative. Vocals are a bit reminiscent of lead singer Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, while the music itself is steady, full, and solid. Check out the song “Venom” on their myspace page and their debut album, “Anytown Graffiti,” now available for sale. This song makes you want to wash that fast food down with some whiskey.

Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/pela to prep for the three shows this weekend.

Thursday, June 14

Television, Apples in Stereo, & Dragons of Zynth @ Central Park Summerstage 6/16

Mid-1970s NYC downtown art-rock quartet Television is playing what may be their final show this Saturday afternoon at the Central Park Summerstage. Television was essential to planting the seeds of early punk music, as well as pioneering their unique lead-guitarlessness: instead of one guitar taking a "rhythm" backseat to the other, both guitars are featured prominently, collide with one another, and ricochet off into infinity.

Television broke up in 1978, but got back together in 2001 for a splattering of live dates. Guitarist Richard Lloyd has claimed this Saturday's performance will be his last with the band, putting an end to the reunion. Hopefully no pre-breakup bitterness makes its way onstage.

Apples in Stereo & Dragons of Zynth are also playing - what a bill! Plus, you've got no excuse not to go; it's free!

Television plays "Foxhole" live in 1978:

Tuesday, June 12

Keith Fullerton Whitman & Ikue Mori @ Issue Project Room 6/15

It will be an evening of high-art electronics Friday at Brooklyn's Issue Project Room. 8:00 pm, $10.

Synthesizer whiz Keith Fullerton Whitman (AKA Hrvåtski) has been extraordinarily eclectic in his output in the last few years, issuing work ranging from techno-influenced dance music to experimental minimalism. He is in the midst of composing his first "through-composed long-form work...for Egyptian Oud, Serge and Doepfer Analog Modular Synthesizers, and computer control/processing." Hopefully he'll preview some of it Friday.

Ikue Mori began her musical career acting as drummer for late-1970s NY No-Wave trio DNA, where she developed her unique asymmetrical skin-beating style. She has since shaped herself into a composer, and has performed with many NY-based avant-gardists (including John Zorn, Kim Gordon, & Bill Frisell) over the past 30 years. Having largely abandoned live drumming in lieu of an array of programmed drum machines & samplers, Mori remains on the cutting edge of electronic & experimental musics.

Ikue Mori w/ Lotte Anker & Sylvie Courvoisier:

Monday, June 11

PINK MARTINI @ Carnegie Hall – 6/13

Although they have been around for over ten years, Pink Martini has never reached the success critics prognosticated for them over the years. This could be a result of their extremely niche genre, being Cabaret-Lounge-Jazz-Pop and though that may sound hard to swallow, their music is extremely accessible for folks who may not typically listen to this type of music. They have gotten some exposure recently, however. On the heels of a track on the Sopranos, their latest release Hey Eugene! cracked the Billboard top 40, so things may be looking up for them. You’ll have a chance to catch them at Carnegie Hall this week.

RIYL: Esquivel, Stereolab, Pizzicato Five, Henry Mancini

The Subjects & The Rosewood Thieves, 6/13 @ Pianos

Great bill this Wednesday at Pianos, featuring (among others) The Subjects and The Rosewood Thieves.

With Brooklyn’s own The Subjects headlining this gig, you’re definitely in for a high-energy show. Gotta love the tightness these guys bring to lo-fi, with guitar jangles reminiscent of The Kinks and The Strokes and-- if you really crane enough to hear it-- a little bit of Sting in front man David Sheinkoff’s voice. They're at their best on the burner "Seems to Me."

Meanwhile, the Rosewood Thieves, playing a supporting role in this show, create the sort of lush textures and foot-stomping grooves that, when coupled with painfully earnest lyrics and almost-overly-reverbed vocals, get by on the stuff that Elliott Smith and John Lennon would be proud of.

In particular, check out featured tracks "Los Angeles" and "Cold in the Country," although their true range can be shown off on more contemplative tracks like "Untitled Demo" (currently up on their myspace, but for who knows how much longer).

Backroom at Pianos is the spot this Wednesday.

Saturday, June 9

Melt Banana @ Knitting Factory 6/10

Melt Banana is sort of a misnomer. This Japanese noise-troupe is really in the business of melting faces, not potassium-rich fruits. Equally as tasty, they'll be at Knitting Factory Sunday evening in support of their latest, Bambi's Dilemma. Bring earplugs.

RIYL: Lightning Bolt, Boredoms, John Zorn, Merzbow

Spoon announces tour dates

Spoon will be touring all summer and in to the fall in support of their new album "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga". They will be making two stops in New York (7/11 - Rockefeller Park for River to River Festival and 10/20 - Roseland Ballroom). Click the headline for more info.

Friday, June 8

Krs-One @ Sputnik - 6/9

Native New Yorker, Kris Parker, also known as Krs-One will appear at Sputnik Saturday night. The Krs-One show could be the ride of your life as it was for me 4 years ago when he performed at Toad’s Place, in New Haven. Note that the price is also a bargain for any of you hip-hop fans. Furthermore, $5 of the $15 will be donated to the Darfour Coalition. It goes without saying that Krs is bound to not only demonstrate superior skills on the mic, but also wax philosophical on topics, such as faith, culture and the current state of hip-hop. He is going to challenge you to perceive hip-hop as more than just a mere source of entertainment. “You are not just doing hip-hop, you are hip-hop/like if you have a badge and a gun you are the cop/like if you practice medicine you are the doc/you just forgot that rappers rap about cars a lot.” While having never gained much airplay on the radio, Krs’s unrivaled longevity in the rap game is a testament to his underground appeal and lasting substance as an emcee. Go see how Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone…that is to say, KRS-One breaks it down.

The Spinto Band @ Mercury Lounge 6/9

Bred in Deleware, The Spinto Band offers a familiar yet refreshing sound. How is this possible? Listen to their new hit, "Mandy" and you'll say to yourself, 'I swear I've heard this before!' I'm not talking about a Vanilla Ice/Bowie and Queen type situation. This is no rip off. This 6-piece band just makes you feel comfortable. Catchy like the Magnetic Fields and earnest like Sondre-Leche, you'll want to check out this band if you haven't already. Do it sooner than later this Saturday @ 11:30 or at

http://www.myspace.com/thespintoband or http://www.spintoband.com/.

Thursday, June 7

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI @ Fillmore NY (Irving Plaza) – 6/8

With a band and stageshow as large as their name, Architecture in Helsinki delivers an exciting night out for everyone and will be playing at the newly renamed Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza. The Melbourne, Australia octet blends horns and synths and other various instruments to embellish what is, at its core, an indie pop sound. Their last two releases have been critically acclaimed and their fanbase has grown to include the likes of David Byrne and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. You’ve got a chance to check them out tomorrow. Now what is it about the architecture in Helsinki anyways?

RIYL: Broken Social Scene, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Enon, Oppenheimer

Sunday, June 3

The Clientele @ Bowery Ballroom, Fri 6/8

Usually I adhere pretty closely to the old piece of wisdom that says: if you’re in a band, and you sound at all like the Monkees, it’s probably about time to hang up the old tambourine.

Enter The Clientele. These cheery British balladeers, who may evoke a little Davy Jones from time to time, do it only in the most tasteful and unapologetic of ways. Blending pure pop with more than a touch of the psychedelic, The Clientele are a blast from the past and a breath of fresh air all at once. There’s no pretension here, and the lack of angst is as refreshing as you'd think it would be.

Wistful, sincere, and definitely cheesy- The Clientele do it all, and while they may not become your favorite band of the year (although they just might), these indie vets have a style not often heard these days, and are definitely a great act to catch live. Tickets are only $15, so start your weekend off with a little British invasion and you’ll be feeling groovy before you can say bloody fantastic. Myspace | Website