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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #64: The Photo Issue

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2014 10:44am | Post a Comment


Above is a recent shot (one of many) that I shot of lower Manhattan from Jersey City. It is just one of a series of photos included in this week's New York State of Mind Amoeblog - call it the "photo issue" with one video. That music video, scroll down to very end to see/hear, is a brand new New York City hip-hop video for the artist Lucky Tatt’s song “Celebrate.” I include it because it is good and that it  that brings back some of that old school NYC flavor hip-hop and even features two NYC hip-hop legends: M.O.P. and DJ Premier appear in track produced by Fizzy Womack. On the topic of hip-hop in NYC two popular rap artists are in town this week: Nipsy Hustle plays the Highline Ballroom on Jan 24 (Friday), and Waka Flocka Flame plays BB King's on 42nd Street on Monday Jan 27th.

The photos below are a hodge podge of pics I snapped over past month or two downtown and uptown Manhattan, and some over in Queens - some during the snow (which is hitting NYC hard this week) and some before the snow arrived in this crazy weather we are experiencing across the US - that includes drought in California. For more details on the actual photos and their respective locations just scroll the mouse icon over them and some text will pop up.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #63: Beaux Arts, Subway Scratching, Slick Rick The Ruler, Homeboy Sandman, Paul Mooney + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2014 07:27am | Post a Comment

Above is what was once the beautiful piece of New York City architecture that was Pennsylvania Station (circa 1918) that was considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style. However this stunning building - once one of Manhattan's architectural along with Grand Central Terminal - was tragically demolished in the 1960s to make way for Madison Square Garden's current structure (the actual railway station is still underground). Tragic as this shortsighted move was, the silver lining to this dark cloud was that the absolutely ridiculous decision to destroy this magnificent building led to the landmarking and protecting of other buildings in New York City so that they would not suffer the same fate. Jackie Kennedy Onassis - a longtime advocate for historic preservation of buildings including a part of the White House - was among those outraged by such demolitions and she was instrumental, some years later, in making sure that the same fate did not happen to Grand Central Terminal - also a Beaux-Arts building - which could have been razed too in the 70's had she and others not stepped in to fight for its preservation.

Slick Rick, whose 1988 album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick was recently reissued on vinyl and is available at each Amoeba store, will be headlining at the Brooklyn Bowl on Friday, January 17th. The album whose fans include Nas (he called it the record, that featured tracks such as “'Children's Story," his favorite album of all time) is a true timeless hip-hop classic that, like Nas' Illmatic, earned the elusive five mics score from The Source magazine upon its release. What looked, at the time, like a very bright future for the artist turned out to be anything but.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #24: A Tale of Two Nick Caves, Sigur Ros @ MSG, Blues for Smoke, Rakim & Raekwon, and more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2013 12:29pm | Post a Comment

       

 

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog report with an overview of a diverse mix of fun things from music and film to art happening in the Big Apple in the week ahead. Included in this latest Amoeblog report from New York City are such things as the music-inspired Blues for Smoke exhibit at the Whitney, the inspiring documentary You Don't Need Feet To Dance, the photo exhibit celebrating the centennial of the 1913 Armory Exhibition, concerts such as Sigur Rós at MSG, and the slightly confusing tale of two Nick Caves (one horsesuit related and one Bad Seeds related) happening at Grand Central and the Beacon Theater next week.

The fact that two high profile artists in different contemporary art fields with the exact same spelling of the name Nick Cave are performing in the same city on overlapping days is bound to cause confusion to some, so lets clear it up now and distinguish between the two Nicks. Think of it as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds vs. Nick Cave and the Herd of Soundsuit Horses. One is the well-known Australian musician/sometime actor Nick Cave we all know/love from the Birthday Party Bad Seeds, Grindermanetc. (more on him in NYC a little down further) while the other Nick Cave is the visual artist whose installation/performance piece entitled HEARD•NY (see above & left) will take up residency for a week starting Monday, March 25th inside Grand Central Terminal's main space as part of the historic New York transit hub's big 100 year anniversary celebration.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #20: Ed Koch's Farewell with "New York, New York," Grand Central Terminal turns 100 years + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 6, 2013 01:47pm | Post a Comment

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a true blue New Yorker who loved his city with a passion - was born here and never left to live anywhere else, had always said he wanted to go out to the song "New York, New York." And on Monday this week the three term mayor of New York City, who passed early last Friday morning at age 88, had that wish fulfilled at his funeral service at the large and packed Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue at 65th Street where, at the end of the long touching series of tribute (including former president Bill Clinton), as his coffin was slowly carried out of of the Upper East Side temple the organist played "New York, New York." And by the time the coffin - held high by six NYPD officers - was exiting the building the organist had segued into "The Lullaby of Broadway" from the musical 42nd Street. Note that Koch himself, in his ever active post-mayoral decades, did a brief acting role on Broadway when he played Daddy Warbucks in Annie the Musical. Many outside New York might recall him as judge/host of The Peoples' Court TV show in the late nineties. No stranger to the big and small screen Koch appeared in over five dozen Hollywood films and television shows including Sex and the City, Spin City, Saturday Night Live, and The Muppets Take Manhattan - playing himself in each production.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #18: Jamie McCormick @ Abraco Espresso, Former Mayor Ed Koch, Transit Exhibit & other Events/Shows

Posted by Billyjam, January 23, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment
     

For this week's installment of the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I interview East Bay to NY transplant and old friend of Amoeba Music Jamie McCormick of renowned East Village coffee mecca Abraço Espresso (including some of Jamie's top five music lists and picks), discuss the new documentary Koch on former NYC mayor Ed Koch, take a look at a transit themed exhibit inside Grand Central Terminal which turns 100 years old in two weeks, and a quick rundown of some of the shows and events in the week ahead in the city of New York. These include the free, all ages NYC Parks Winter Jam this Saturday, Jan 26th from 11am to 3pm in the Bandshell area of Central Park. More info here.

Although her track record for concerts has  been sketchy to put it nicely Cat Power has left all that erratic behavior behind her nowadays reportedly. And the artist born Chan Marshall plays Terminal 5 at 610 W 56th St. next Tuesday (1/29), in support of her current highly recommended album Sun. Angel Haze is the opening act. 8pm show. All ages. Tickets $25. More info.

Meanwhile on 125th Street in the heart of Harlem the Studio Museum, always offers some wonderfully engaging exhibits with an emphasis on art and artists of African descent,  currently on exhibit is the excellent photo show: Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967 that follows one family around on their daily grind and features such shots as the one below. Note that Sundays is free day at the Studio Museum.

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