New York State of Mind Amoeblog #1

Posted by Billyjam, September 26, 2012 11:44am | Post a Comment

Times Square Subway Station entrance Sept 2012 (move cursor over pic for NYC info)

Welcome to a New York State of Mind, the new weekly Amoeblog series in which I will report on music and other things from a New York City perspective via text, photos, and videos. Each week in the New York State of Mind Amoeblog, which will be a kind of NYC music/entertainment-report-meets-budget travel-guide, you'll find info on new music coming out of New York, events unique to the city, artists doing shows here (with a focus on touring Cali artists), plus a sample of the fun events that are always happening in "the city that never sleeps." Actually, this is something I have done intermittently over the past five years for the Amoeblog anyway by blogging about such things as Saul Williams "Chorus" show at Joe's Pub in NYC a few weeks ago, the True School  NYC Summer Park Jam free annual series, the music at Occupy Wall Street a year ago (just before it was shut down), the DMC DJ battles in NYC - both national finals and NY regionals, the John Lennon and New York City Amoeblog report from Strawberry Fields Central Park on the 2009 29th anniversary of his tragic death, and the 2010 NYC Summerstage guide.

Beastie Boys "Open Letter To NYC"

The New York State of Mind Amoeblog will also include fun and interesting things to check out if you are only visiting NYC for a vacation and would like to do something a little different. Note that if you scroll your cursor over the images here (like the 42nd Street Subway station shot above, the cool heavy metal symbol crossing signal right, or the High Line shot below), you will find additional info of interest.

In this premiere Amoeblog, I have included a couple of NYC-themed music videos, something that I will do each week. This week's include two greats: the Beastie Boys' "Open Letter To NYC" and Jay-Z's  "Empire State of Mind" featuring Alicia Keys. Note that since I love hip-hop, a music and culture born in New York City, I will inevitably be reporting on lots of hip-hop items. For example, next week on the New York State of Mind Amoeblog I will feature an interview with NYC emcee and recent Stones Throw label signee Homeboy Sandman who this week (9/27) performs at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC along with Brother Ali, DJ Sosa, and The Reminders as part of his national tour in support of his just released and highly recommended First Of A Living Breed album.

The Highline Ballroom (nearby and associated with the High Line unique public park space referenced here) in the Chelsea District of Manhattan is a good place for shows (spacious but not too big a venue like say the huge cavernous Terminal 5 venue further uptown). Highline shows this week include (9/28) Tribute To The Roxy Club with Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Red Alert and DJ Jazzy Jay (late show), and (9/30) The 10th Annual New York Burlesque Festival: The Golden Pastie Awards.

Acclaimed Mali female singer/songwriter Fatoumata Diawara, who just finished touring with Damon Albarn's Africa Express tour, performs downtown at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University near the Brooklyn Bridge (9/28 @ 7:30pm).

Meanwhile across the river from Manhattan in New Jersey: five minutes by PATH train across, or rather under, the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ former Oakland resident Azeem is presenting his one man show Rude Boy as part of the So Low Theater Festival that is being put on by Reg E Gaines.

        The still-in-development High Line Park on the West Side of Manhattan (scroll cursor
over pic for more details on upcoming High Line Park tours)

Aa theater piece that should be well worth checking out is David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross starring Al Pacino. Previews begin at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in New York on October 16th and opens officially on November 11th. 2012 is the 30th anniversary of Mamet's master work which many were introduced to through the 1992 film version which starred Pacino in an Oscar-nominated portrayal of the fast talking, hot shot Ricky Roma. Fast-forward two decades to this new stage production of the play and this time Pacino plays a completely different role; that of the struggling salesman Shelly Levene whose luck is about to get worse, a lot worse.

Tickets for this show, as with all Broadway stage productions, are very expensive (they start at $114) but remember that you can (nearly) always get cheap tix for shows via a few discount outlets like the TKTS discount booths where you can get tix for shows for up to 50% off. The catch? You have to line up for a bit at one of the three TKTS Booths in NYC: at Times Square, Downtown Brooklyn, and South Street Seaport (lower Manhattan on East Side). You can get day-of-performance tickets and next day matinee at the South Street Seaport Booth and the Downtown Brooklyn Booths only. Always check out the TKTS link beforehand for heads up on what will be available at the nice price.

Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind (feat Alicia Keys)"

Thanks for checking out this premiere New York State of Mind Amoeblog. Please leave comments and suggestions, and check back next and every week for more from New York City. And finally I leave you with a photo I took recently of a Duckdown Music (Brooklyn hip-hop record label) sticker spotted on the curb of a sidewalk at 22nd Street near 6th Avenue. Scroll cursor over pic for additional info.

Relevant Tags

New York State Of Mind (92), Rude Boy (1), New York Subway Station (2), Nyc. Beastie Boys (2), New York City (101), Azeem (15), Highline (1)