This weekend the two-day Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn promises to be not just the best line-up in the ten year history of the annual festival born out of the documentary of the same name that showcases the best of African American made music on the punk/alternative music side of things - but also one of the best events in NYC in the week ahead. And the festival that as well as music features films and food is totally free! It is also one of the most diverse lineups with more hip-hop related acts than in previous years.
This year's scheduled acts include Chuck D and DJ Lord, The Coup, Living Colour, Death, Saul Williams (right), The White Mandingos, Mykki Blanco, Jean Grae, Danny Brown, CX Kidtronik, Big Freedia, and many more as seen in posters above seen on the streets of Lower Manhattan earlier this week. Afro Punk Fest 2013 happens in the Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn's Fort Greene (between Nassau St. and Park Ave., and Navy Street and N. Elliot Place) from noon to 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday - August 24th and 25th. No cover. All ages. More info.
The following two days, August 26th and 27th respectively, at the East River Park will be both the 30 year anniversary of Wild Style concert party, and the Pete Rock vs DJ Premier concert that were written about in last weeks New York State of Mind Amoeblog.
Following a one year break due to a broken hip Lady Gaga is back in the public eye. Earlier this week she appeared on the NYC recorded TV show Good Morning America and on Sunday she will be, along with all the other big names in contemporary pop music, at the MTV Video Music Awards show - back in NYC after been in LA and away from New York. For a chance to get tix to the big event at at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that will broadcast this Sunday on MTV at 9pm click here. The top nominees are Justin Timberlake and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis each with six, followed by Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, and Robin Thicke each with four. Timberlake, who is performing Sunday, has been reported to expect some surprise guests onstage with him Sunday - his old boyband supergroup 'NSYNC who broke up a decade ago.
This week SummerStage presents at various NYC locations the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. These include tonight, Wednesday August 21st at 5:30pm, is a screening of Beacons of Jazz at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music at 55 W. 13th Street, 5th floor. Free but on a first come, first served basis Friday, August 23, at the same venue will be A Family Jazz Concert with jazz drummer Matt Wilson from 11AM to noon. Described as a free interactive concert for families with children ages 8 months - 5 years the special show is designed as a way to introduce children to jazz music. Later that same day uptown in Harlem is the world premiere of Bird is the Word - A New Suite by Jimmy Heath that will be performed by The Jimmy Heath Big Band at Marcus Garvey Park from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. The following afternoon at 3pm at the same venue will another free show with saxophonist Kenny Garrett, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Kim Thompson, and alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw. Then on Sunday August 25, at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village between 3pm and 7pm The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival winds up with a concert with Alto Saxophonist Lee Konitz, singer / songwriter Sheila Jordan, trumpeter Christian Scott, and pianist Aaron Diehl. Free show. More info on Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.
Today and tomorrow, Wednesday / Thursday August 21st and 22nd, on Park Avenue near 39th Street Bonanza Productions will be filming The Following for Fox - the psychological thriller from creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson starring Kevin Bacon. For the past few days signs like the one above have been posted to alert New Yorkers.
NYC B-boy Ken Fury, who is also a singer/producer/composer and recently released the goth sounding album Moonlight Bloom, will be headlining a free show in Brooklyn this weekend at the Cameo Gallery at 93 North Street at 8pm along with Diavel, and Vulture Shit. More info.
And finally I leave you with a video from up-and-coming Brownsville Brooklyn rapper VNova, whose music video for "Cold Shoulder" below is full of wonderful shots of New York City. In the past week the new hip-hop artist performed to very positive feedback at legendary Greenwich Village music venue Café Wha? on a bill along with Elijah Dixon, Malcah (who is featured in the video/song below), and The Michael Jazz Trio.
VNova “Cold Shoulder” (2013)