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Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson & John Zorn Controversially Take a Walk on the Free Jazz Side at the Montreal Jazz Festival

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2010 11:05pm | Post a Comment

Above is an excerpt from the set that got Lou Reed, John Zorn, and Lauriie Anderson booed onstage and caused unhappy concert goers to walk out on the trio's improv free jazz set Friday (July 2nd) at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Reportedly many ticket holders for the show expected, or were led to believe from the pre-publicity for the festival, that Lou Reed would be playing some of his better known solo songs or some familiar Velvet Underground selections. Hence, when, along with his wife Anderson and avant-garde musician Zorn, he played an all improv set, many in the crowd jeered in disapproval. Others walked out after Zorn, in response to the loud boos plus one attendee shouting "play some real music," told the audience, "If you don't think this is music, you can get the fuck out of here.”

Harsh words? Maybe, but he's absolutely right. Reed even said in a pre-concert interview that they would be playing "100% improvised...non-rock.” Not to mention that it was a jazz festival he was playing at, and his two collaborators were his experimental music artist wife and the king of avant-garde, Zorn.

NYC Summer 2010 Pt. IV - HBO Summer Film Festival Series in Bryant Park

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2010 02:00pm | Post a Comment

Trailer for The French Connection (1971), which screens for free tonight in Bryant Park

The always appreciative audience that gathers for the free HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival series on Monday evenings is typically a happy and most vocal bunch. When the movie being projected on the midtown Byrant Park Film Festival Manhattan park's big screen is set in New York City, like tonight (July 5th)'s 9pm screening of The French Connection, the energy in the thousands-strong crowd that packs the lawn tends to be even louder than usual! So expect a lot of cheering along this evening as Gene Hackman, who won an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of tough smack-talking NYPD narcotics cop Popeye Doyle, runs around New York City in this 1971 William Friedkin directed film that features the greatest car & subway chase of all time.

A New York City summer institution for many years, the Monday night free film series at Bryant Park, which typically screens American classics from the sixties & seventies but sometimes movies from the fifties and earlier, is a social hub where for the four hours prior to the film screening, New Yorkers secure their spot on the vast lawn, have picnics and happily socialize (even the possible thunderstorm is considered a minor distraction).

Until a few years ago it used to be you could arrive anytime during the day to spread out your blanket and secure your vantage point, but after some folks starting showing up as early as 10am to mark their territory for the 8:30 or 9pm screening, the rules changed, so the earliest you can get on the lawn is now 5pm.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:02:10: Roots, Drake, Em, Vinnie Paz, Rammellzee (RIP), Jealous Guys, and More!

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2010 09:09am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:02:10

Drake
1) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

2) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

3) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

4) Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic)

5) Vinnie Paz Season of the Assassin (Enemy Soil)

As witnessed by this week's Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart, with repeat appearances of several recent hip-hop albums, there are some strong 2010 summer releases. One of these top records is Eminem's Recovery, which all agree is a better album than last year's Relapse. That 2009 release was originally meant to be the prequel to Recovery but then the artist changed that plan after wishing to distance himself from what he admitted was an inferior product. Another release that should remain on the charts throughout the summer is The Roots' recommended latest How I Got Over. It's a great release from an equally great band, who, thanks to being the house band for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show over the past year, are getting wider exposure than ever before. A few weekends ago in Philly on June 5th the band hosted their 3rd Annual Roots Picnic with performances from Vampire Weekend, Jay Electronica, Mayer Hawthorne, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, The Foreign Exchange, Clipse, and hometown hip-hop legend DJ Jazzy Jeff, to name but a few. The band themselves also played, of course, and by all accounts it was the best Picnic yet. See video of the event below and read a report here

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NYC Summer 2010 Pt. III - Tools of War's Christie Z Talks About the True School NYC Summer Park Jam Series

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2010 02:04pm | Post a Comment
True School NYC Summer Park Jam, Week 1

Unlike California's seasonal changes, especially SoCal, where the shift from one season to another is relatively subtle, New York goes throuGrand Wizzard  Theodore gh dramatic extremes in the change from winter to summer. The East Coast's freezing cold winters are typically a period when you simply have to stay indoors much of the time and are so severe that by the time the polar opposite hot New York summer rolls around, everybody automatically rushes outside to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

In the late spring and summer New York City's streets and the parks come back to life, with cafes setting up on the sidewalks again and block parties, park concerts and events jumping off everywhere you wander in the NYC. And for hip-hop fans, especially appreciators of the old school, there is no shortage of outdoor events. Of all of these, the True School NYC Summer Park Jam Series is the ultimate annual must-attend event.

Now in its eight year, this Tools of War (TOW) produced free summer Park Jam series sets up stage at a few different NYC parks every Thursday evening, June through August. It's clearly a labor of love by TOW's Christie Z Pabon, who works along with a strong support group that includes her husband, legendary hip-hop Park Jam Tools of Warfigure Jorge FABEL Pabon, aka Popmaster Fabel. Long rooted and well connected within New York's hip-hop circles, TOW manages to enlist some amazing artists. Last Thursday I attended the Park Jam at East Harlem's White Park on 106th Street and got to see/hear many artists, including GrandMaster Caz of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers and DJ GrandWizzard Theodore -- the veteran Bronx DJ who created the scratch. As the classic breaks and hip-hop music boomed from the JBL speakers, b-boys, poppers and lockers got busy in a most entertaining and impromptu fashion. 

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NYC Summer 2010 Pt. II - SummerStage Brings New York City's Parks to Life with Free Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, June 30, 2010 03:11pm | Post a Comment
DJ Kool Herc
Considering hip-hop got its start during the 1970's in block parties and in various parks in the Bronx, it is more than fitting that the man credited with creating the genre, Jamaican transplant DJ Kool Herc, will be headlining this evening's free concert in Crotona Park in the Bronx. During the 70's and 80's many pioneering hip-hop figures performed at informal hip-hop jams and several scenes for the seminal hip-hop film Wild Style were filmed back at the park in the day. Tonight's show in the "Boogie Down" Bronx park is just one countless (mostly free) outdoor concerts in the wonderful SummerStage concert series produced by New York's City Parks Foundation. Each year in June, July, & August the foundation stages an impressive 100+ musically diverse concerts plus theater and dance performances in various parks in NYC's five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Many days there are two or three events happening simultaneously in different parks & boroughs, so it is impossible to catch everything, but there are still oodles to choose from. This summer shows include acts such as The Specials, Public Enemy, EPMD, The Metropolitan Opera, Gil Scott Heron, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jimmy Cliff, Pharoahe Monch, Doug E Fresh, and the two-day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival featuring such acts as James Moody, Jimmy Scott, and McCoy Tyner.

A few days ago I talked with DJ Kool Herc, who said that it is "a nice feeling" to be DJ'ing in Crotona Park in the Bronx again all these years later. And as for the music he will be spinning? "I'm playing music to reminisce [about] then and now, extremely then and extremely now." Herc emigrated to America from Jamaica and took the Jamaican sound system style of DJing with him to the Bronx, where essentially created hip-hop itself by being the first DJ to isolate the "breaks" parts of records and play two versions back to back to extend these "breaks." Of this pioneering act he says, "I'm like a shepherd. I'm watching my flock. I'm watching my audience, and I like to dance and I would notice that people who liked to dance would wait for particular parts of the record to come up and play before they would start to dance and I am always observing. So one day I thought I would put all these parts, these breaks, that I have together and I am going to call it the merry go round. All the good parts -- get right to the yolk and everybody just ranMcCoy Tyner with it."

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