Brooklyn's Afropunk festival has gone from a small gathering of friends celebrating an underground documentary to a massive, celebrated boutique fashion and mainstream music cornucopia. Some say they have sold out. But in Pitchfork, author Hanif Abdurraqib, (previously) makes a case that it still represents something very real and important to black youth culture.
“These are young people who refuse to be put in a box, but are still trying to make sense of themselves. Over the years, the concept of Black rock has been rejected by both Blacks and whites. Afropunk shows that there are other types of Black experiences. It’s exciting to see Blacks who are unafraid to go a different way.” Afropunk Before Afropunk [more inside]
On May 15, 1981, at The Ritz in New York City, Public Image Ltd. performed as a last-minute replacement for Bow Wow Wow. It didn't end well. (previously) [more inside]
Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
From Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, of Avenue Q, comes the new Broadway show "The Book of Mormon." The show "tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda" while gently (and no so gently) lampooning organized religion and traditional musical theatre. The entire show is now streaming on NPR. Songs are extremely Not Safe For Work.
As They Say is a 20+ minute musical composition by Icelander Ólöf Arnalds, where she plays and sings all the parts herself in nine-fold splitscreen. She created the piece from interviews with 17 New Yorkers, each of a different nationality, and she sings in all 17 languages. Other Ólöf Arnalds videos: 11 minute documentary, 4 songs live on KEXP, covering That Lucky Old Sun, original song that morphs into Springsteen's I'm on Fire live, new song, an interview broken up into 17 chunks and a 10 minute documentary. The interview, the first of the documentaries and some songs are in English. [Ólöf Arnalds previously on MeFi]
Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
Soul! New York City PBS affiliate WNET have digitized 9 episodes of Soul!, a early 1970's live music program, providing a groovy video interface with chapters to break down each hour long episode. [more inside]
The opening shots of 1920s New York City are wonderful, then you get a zany high-speed Harold Lloyd blazing down the avenues, and that's fun to watch, but the real killer is the horse-drawn trolley absolutely tearing-ass through lower Manhattan, full gallop. Ends badly. Then it's over to San Francisco for one last bit of homicidal vehicular activity with a bus. Well, they sure don't drive like they used to! [more inside]
Max's Kansas City closed 25 years ago this night. Although Hilly Kristal's CBGB's is more iconic and perhaps better known today, Mickey Ruskin's Max's Kansas City (and its infamous back room) was every bit as important to fostering the punk scene of the late 1970s and early 80s. Located a 213 Park Avenue South, just up the street from historic Union Square, Max's played host to the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, the Ramones, Wayne/Jayne County and the Fast, the New York Dolls, and quite a few others. What's standing there today? Why, the 213 Park Avenue South Deli, of course.
Li'l G n' R - the first ever Guns N' Roses Kids Tribute Band. Check the audition video here (quicktime). They're playing CBGB's in a couple of weeks. Only $5, c'mon NYC MeFi'ers....one of you has to go and report.