With Hanukkah underway and less than two weeks left until Christmas Day, New York City is in full holiday mode right now. It is also in a positive post-Sandy recovery mode due to near all local transit being back on schedule this week (LIRR finally got running again a few days ago) and the success of the 12-12-12 Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden tonight. Sure the actual show hasn't even started yet but already a lot of money has been raised with all the tickets selling out well in advance. Many scalpers have been strongly criticized for profiting from in-demand, overpriced tickets fetching thousands of dollars for the show that will feature Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Kanye West, The Who, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, and others too! Additionally, a big donor response is anticipated from folks watching tonight's live stream of the show on 34 U.S. and international television, radio, and Internet outlets across six continents where folks can enjoy the show and donate to the Robin Hood Relief Fund to help those hit by Sandy.
Upcoming shows for the week ahead include Aaron Lewis and opener Randy Montana at Irving Plaza near Union Square on Friday, December 14th at 7pm. More info here. Then on Sunday December 16th, there's a special Feliz Navidad show with Jose Feliciano at BB Kings on 42nd Street in the Times Square district. Showtime is 8pm. Get tickets and more info here. That same night, rap star Rick Ross (on a bill with Meek Mill and Wale) will headline the Roseland Ballroom at 239 West 52nd Street near 8th Avenue. Show starts at 8pm. More info here.
The following night -- Monday, December 17th -- the long-running Francois K.-presented New York weekly club night Deep Space will feature diverse dance music sets from both the famous resident DJ/producer as well as visiting DJ Dimitri from Paris. Deep Space happens every Monday from 10pm to 3:30am at Cielo, located at 18 Little 12th Street on the West side. More club info.
Running for a few more weeks at the Musuem of Modern Art (MoMA) in midtown Manhattan is Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets. This ongoing exhibit is accompanied by the two brothers' film series and is the first presentation of these renowned moving image artists and designers in their many fields of creative activity.
For over three decades the US-born, UK-based Quays have been, as MoMA writes, "in the avant-garde of stop-motion puppet animation and live-action movie-making in the Eastern European tradition of filmmakers like Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Svankmajer and the Russian Yuri Norstein, and have championed a design aesthetic influenced by the graphic surrealism of Polish poster artists of the 1950s and 1960s." The Quay Brothers' installation runs through January 7th, 2013. MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street near Sixth Ave.
For many months now there has been talk that beloved NYC indie record store Bleecker Bob's Records would be shuttering its legendary Greenwich Village location for good. As the half hour documentary film The Last Days of Bleecker Bob's suggested, the store's closure was inevitable - mainly due to rising NYC rents and the negative impact of the digital download age. It was just a matter of when Bleecker Bob's would close. Then a few days ago the folks at the record store announced via Facebook that the store would definitely close within the next month or two. "We'll definitely be open thru to the New Year, maybe even a couple of months into 2013," read the status update. "As of right now though we're still buying, selling, and trading music PLUS we have new t-shirts in stock so you can remember us and tell your kids or grandkids about the legendary Bleecker Bob's!!" So if you are in New York City over the coming month make a point of stopping into the store located at 118 West 3rd St. New York, NY 10012. Phone: (212) 475-
Italian artist Paola Pivi's Untitled (zebras) above is currently on public display at West 18th Street near 10th Avenue on the High Line Billboard (25 by 75 feet), which is part of the High Line, a unique elevated railway line transformed into public park space. It is free to the public and open everyday. Best to visit early in the day due to the swarming crowds (mostly tourists) that typically descend on this popular NYC destination. The large scale surreal art that was unveiled December 3rd will remain on display for another three weeks through January 2nd, 2013. More High Line info here.
The second in a series of six premieres in six different cities, the docudramedy Shoplifting From American Apparel screens at NYC's IndieScreen on Saturday December 15th. The screening of the film, which is described as "part absurdest documentary and part cinematic realism" and melds Tao Lin's autobiographical novel about getting arrested with a film crew’s misadventures with indie film making (see trailer above), will include prize giveaways, special guests, and a Q&A with zen teacher and actor Brad Warner, and with director Pirooz Kalayeh. IndieScreen is located at 289 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn, NY 11211. Get advance tickets here.
And finally I leave you with a music video shot in New York City. It is the 2011 video for A$AP Rocky's track "Peso" that was shot up in Harlem and features lots of street shots including the graffiti dedicated to the late great (fellow Harlem hip-hop artist) Big L.
A$AP Rocky "Peso" (2011)