New York State of Mind Amoeblog #16: Andy Kaufman, WFMU Benefit, GlobalFEST, No Pants Subway Ride, Beatles @ Carnegie Hall

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2013 10:32am | Post a Comment

Now at the end of month four in our weekly reports from New York City, this is the New York State Of Mind Amoeblog #16 with updates on such events in the week ahead as the GlobalFEST 2013, the unique new Andy Kaufman exhibit/show On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman, the Improv Everywhere's annual No Pants Subway Ride NYC, the Beatles 1964 Tribute at Carnegie Hall, and the post-Hurricane Sandy Recovery WFMU Mini Record Fair and Benefit Concert.

Of all events in New York in the week ahead, the most important one is this Sunday's anticipated WFMU Mini-Record Fair and benefit concert with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Arrington Di Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, Dot Wiggin Band (The Shaggs affiliated act), and The Relatives happening at The Bell House in Brooklyn. The big one day make up event (due to Sandy) is split into two parts: the record fair is from 11am to 5pm and the concert is from 7:30pm to 11pm. 11am is the recommended time to arrive at the record fair because it is expected to be mad packed since the original fair was cancelled and also by the fact that it is being held in the smaller space than where it normally takes place. At the very latest, get there by 3pm when doors close and no more admissions to the record fair will be allowed due to space constraints.

Besides the fact that the record fair and concert will both be hella fun events, there could not be for a more worthy cause than WFMU radio.

"Superstorm Sandy forced WFMU to cancel our annual Record Fair, which is our largest benefit event of the year. The storm also caused substantial damage to our electrical equipment, computers, and even to our building (even though we didn't flood). All of this quickly turned into a financial disaster for WFMU, and the funds we raise from this weekend's Record Fair and benefit concert will help us purchase generators and better power conditioning equipment so we can be better prepared for future disasters," WFMU Assistant General Manager (and NorCal transplant) Liz Berg told the Amoeblog this week. 

If you have never attended a WFMU Record Fair (a place where you are always bound to run into record collectors with Amoeba gear on, like the photo above), check out the video below, made by Michael Cumella for Goldmine magazine, from the 2010 WFMU Record Fair to get an idea of how great they are.  And be sure to check out the cool older record fanatic gentleman towards the end (around the 5:00 mark) break down the importance of vinyl. Tix for this Sunday's WFMU Record Fair are $10 (no advance tickets - only at door) and $20 for the concert (advance concert tickets for sale here). Note that 100% of the proceeds of the fair and concert will benefit WFMU in its post-Hurricane Sandy Recovery. The Bell House is located in the Gowanus district at 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 643-6510. More venue info.

2010 WFMU Record Fair Highlights - video by Michael Cumella for Goldmine

What's the next best thing to seeing The Beatles play Carnigie Hall in 1964? Seeing a Beatles tribute act play in 2013 and imagine it is the early sixties all over again when John, Paul, George, and Ringo are invading America. On Saturday (January 12th) at Carnegie Hall there will be A Recreation of a Live Beatles' Concert featuring Mark Benson, Graham Alexander, Tom Work, and Bobby Potter (pictured right) plus Robert Miller and his Orchestra - all paying tribute to that time almost exactly 49 years ago when, on Feb12th, 1964, the original Fab Four played two sold out shows at Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan. They had returned from Washington DC to play two short gigs (just over half an hour each) on the same night at Carnegie Hall.

According to several sources, George Martin had wanted to record those Beatles' Carnegie Hall performances but never did because he was denied permission at the last minute by the American Federation of Musicians.  But maybe that was a good thing since the two shows were far from the Beatles' personal favorite performances according to at least one Beatle. In Keith Badman's book The Beatles Off The Record, John Lennon was quoted as saying that, "Carnegie Hall was terrible! The acoustics were terrible and they had all these people sitting on the stage with us and it was just like Rockefeller's children backstage and it all got out of hand. It wasn't a rock show; it was just a sort of circus where we were in cages." This weekend's show happens in the Stern Theater at Carnegie Hall at 8pm on Saturday, Jan 12th, 2013. Tickets and more information here.


The small scale but impressive GlobalFEST 2013 is happening this weekend on three stages at Webster Hall in downtown Manhattan with a nice diverse mix of a dozen acts from North America and across the globe including A Tribe Called Red (Canada), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan (Iran/Turkey), La Santa Cecilia (Los Angeles), La Shica (Spain), Lo'Jo (France), Martha Redbone Roots Project (USA), Mucca Pazza (Chicago, US), Stephane Wrembal and Band (New York, US), and New Orleans' Stooges Brass Band. Get there early as this is sure to be pretty packed and will start right at 7pm sharp. Doors 6pm. Tix $40. Webster Hall is located at 125 East 11th Street, NY, NY 10003. More concert info

And below is a video of the GlobalFEST headliners A Tribe Called Red - the Canadian ensemble (comprised of Bear Witness, DJ Shub and Dee Jay NDN) who create hypnotic bass driven soundscapes forged out of Native American Indian music drawing from electronic and hip-hop beats and vocal samples and pow wow music.  Innovators behind "Pow Wow Step" they often have dancers with them for their live shows doing traditional and freestyle dance. .

A Tribe Called Red "Electric Pow Wow Drum  (they headline Sunday's globalFEST)

No Pants Subway Ride 2012
Above is video from last year's No Pants Subway Ride NYC - the popular event by NYC group Improv Everywhere that began this flash-mob "mission" a dozen years ago. In the twelve years since this concept has spread to cities and their respective transit systems all over the world including the Bay Area's BART train system. The two main requirements for this event (in addition to having a subway Metro card and time to participate) are being "willing to take pants off on subway" and be "able to keep a straight face about it." according to the organizers. As someone who is a fan/participant of Improv Everywhere's missions (I partook in such fun ones as the time about five years ago when they staged a slo-mo flash mob in the Home Depot on 23rd Street in Manhattan) I find the no-pants one the least appealing since it takes place in the far from clean New York subway in the coldest month of the year. Besides, unlike all the other suprise "missions" by Improv Everywhere, this one is widely publicized in advance and hence takes the surprise element out of the project altogether. But people seem to enjoy participating nonetheless. You can get more info here  and RSVP via Facebook event page. And for info on No Pants events in other cities round the world, click here.

Traditionally Manhattan is the location for the majority of New York City TV and movie filming shoots but more and more producers are using the other four boroughs, especially Brooklyn and Queens where this week in Astoria (near the last stop on the N and Q trains) the producers of the new Netflix Channel comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black are filming. Executive produced, co-created (with Liz Friedman), and written by Jenji Kohan (Showtime's Weeds) and starring Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, and Kate Mulgrew, this new Lionsgate Television production is based on Piper Kerman's popular memoir Orange Is The New Black: My Year In a Women's Prison.

Fans of Andy Kaufman will definitely want to check out the new show that presents a wide array of items associated with the wildly unique late comic. The month long exhibit that opens this Saturday (Jan 12th) at the Maccarone gallery space in the Village is entitled On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman and bills itself as presenting "an extensive collection of ephemera and artifacts from Andy Kaufman's personal and professional life: photographs, correspondence, performance notation, scripts, props, and costumes, including his childhood record collection, transcendental meditation materials, hand written drafts of his novel The Huey Williams Story, hundreds of pieces of hate mail he received from women challenging him to wrestle, in addition to numerous personal effects."

The goal of this Kaufman project, which being presented by artist Jonathan Berger in collaboration with the Estate of Andy Kaufman, Lynne Margulies, and Bob Zmuda, is to portray the pioneering comedy artist as "a portrait of an unclassifiable figure in American cultural history whose work has been seminal in the evolution of performance art, new media and relational aesthetics." Unlike most exhibits that would have accompany sheets of text explaining individual artifacts on display with this exhibit there will be a rotating series of Kaufman's friends, family, and collaborators physically present in the exhibition at all times to explain pieces on exhibit.

On Creating Reality, by Andy Kaufman, will be on view at Maccarone, 630 Greenwich St., NY, NY 10014  through February 16th, 2013. The day after it closes MoMA/PS1 will host one of their Sunday Session events devoted to the work of Andy Kaufman on February 17th, 2013 featuring the New York premiere of Tony Clifton Plays the Sunset Strip. More info.

And finally I leave you with a great music video from Bay Area-to-New York City transplant Mira Cook - the one-woman band (vocals, a myriad of instruments, and tape looping) and dance artist. The video below, for her 2010 song "Drum Machine," was shot in San Francisco before the Austin native moved out from San Francisco to live in Brooklyn a couple of years back. Since then, she's been busy making music (she released the album Broken Bones in 2012) and doing shows. This Friday, January 11th, Mira performs in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Googies Lounge (above The Living Room). Note early showtime of 7:30pm. Googies is located at 154 Ludlow Street  New York, NY 10002. More info.

"Drum Machine" (2010) by SF to NY Mira Cook who plays Googies Lounge Friday Jan 11

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New York City (101), Improv Everywhere (2), New York City Entertainment Jan 2013 (1), New York State Of Mind (92), Liz Berg (2), Wfmu Record Fair (8), Wfmu (34), Nyc (85), Mira Cook (2), By Andy Kaufman (1), Globalfest 2013 (1), New York City Travel Guide (2), Webster Hall (2), On Creating Reality (1)