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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #84: Janelle Monae, Duck Down BBQ, Puerto Rican Day Parade, All-City Graffiti Archive + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 4, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment

Boot Camp Clik "Trading Places" - The legendary BK crew throw a free BBQ/concert tomorrow

Yesterday (June 3rd) was the official launch of this season's annual citywide park concert series SummerStage with a free show by Ty Dolla $ign at Red Hook Park in Brooklyn. The series continues this evening at the same location where Mark McGuire, Marissa Nadler, and Delicate Steve all perform (again for free) at 7:00pm. An excellent triple bill this show is worth it just to check out Mark McGuire alone who plays an array of instruments and musical styles that include mandolin, drum machines, guitars (electric and acoustic), and a Talkbox as witnessed on the former Emeralds member's latest solo album Along the Way whose sound Amoeba.com likened to "early New Age—think Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno." More info.

An artist with a futuristic twist to her whole persona/sound and who has played at Amoeba in the past is Janelle Monáe. In fact the friend of Amoeba's upcoming SoCal show at the Hollywood Bowl show on June 22nd was promoted by Amoeba via a ticket contest that ended Monday. But tonight (June 4th) in New York, as part of that same ongoing national tour, Moe performs a free show at part of the summer's Celebrate Brooklyn series. As much a fashion icon as she is a musician the Kansas City born artist, whose sounds and influences are far reaching and include such artists as George Clinton/P-Funk and Jimi Hendrix, delivers her music via her sci-fi futuristic space-age alter-ego Cyndi Mayweather. Tonight's free show at Celebrate Brooklyn takes place at Prospect Park Bandshell at 8 pm. Take the F train and walk to Prospect Park West and Ninth Street. More info

Also in a Brooklyn park for free is next Tuesday's Duck Down BBQ with the Boot Camp Clik and friends at Betsy Head Park. A fun food and music affair this is a must-attend event for fans of that classic 90's New York hip-hop sound that will feature sets from such legends as Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, and Masta Ace, as well as more recent era artists also. 7pm is start time. More info.


It may be over two decades since NYC subway trains was emblazoned in colorful (and illegal) graffiti art but you can still see this bygone era unofficial art by checking out the excellent exhibition: Moving Murals: Henry Chalfant & Martha Cooper’s All-City Graffiti Archive, which runs through early July. The photos by these two pioneering NYC graffiti photojournalists of the Big Apple's so-called Golden Age of Graffiti (1970s into early 1980s), whose work was immortalized in the must-have book Subway Art, are presented as a wall to wall mosaic of shots of over 850 muraled trains, that's described as "creating an ultimate All City graffiti trainyard environment complimented by wallpapered photographs of the writers in their element."  These days, with the subways devoid of any trace of graffiti (polar opposite of how they were three decades ago) and the MTA in total denial that it ever existed, Chalfant and Cooper’s photography is one of the few fine documents of this American twentieth century modern art movement. City Lore is located at 56 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003. The exhibit is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from noon to 6pm through July 10th. More info.

Opening today is Dusky Projects' premiere one act concert reading Hero How To at the unique ten day Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival in Brooklyn. Hero How To which is part of the web series The Last Days of Kartika, which had its first workshop performance at Tanzhaus NRW (Germany), is described by the American born artist Wi-Moto Nyoka as a "blend of theater, hip-hop, and illustration. A form of storytelling."

The playwright and librettist Nyoka observes that, "Hip-Hop music and comic book art -have deeply impacted the communities that feel marginalized" and that together that they provide "a platform, a construct, for their expression and sometimes the only haven for their voices to be heard.” Hero How To's world premiere is at The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival today June 4th, with repeat performances on June 6th, 8th, and 14th at the same festival. Tickets are $18. More information.
With a reputation of getting a little wild and crazy and veering from the theme of the day this year's National Puerto Rican Day Parade, happening this Sunday in Manhattan, has had a new mandate placed on it by the City of New York that rules that every float in the parade that can attract up to close to a million spectators must have a PR cultural theme and that profits will go to scholarships and not a beauty pageant as in the past. This year the queen of the parade will be Rosie Perez. Sunday June 8th parade begins at 11 am (event goes til 5pm) and takes place on Fifth Avenue between 79th Street and 44th Street. More info.

Free kayaking already began Manhattan including at Pier 40 where I went for a fun and always free boat ride. This weekend, Thursdays at 530pm and on Saturdays at 10am, kayaking for the season begins at  the Brooklyn Bridge Park just across from lower Manhattan. Kayaks are available at the boathouse at the Pier 2 floating dock but, since there tend to be long lines, arrive early to ensure a spot. Click here for more information. And finally I leave you with the video for the song "Gloom Doom" by the Brooklyn based rock/rap hybrid group Shinobi Ninja from their forthcoming album Escape From New York.

        

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