New York State of Mind Amoeblog #51: Free Times Square Concert/CBGB Fest, John Lennon Art Exhibit, Banksy Whitewashed

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2013 01:01pm | Post a Comment

A lot of really good stuff happening in New York City this week (where the autumn weather has finally arrived) including the big annual CBGB Music and Film Festival that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday (October 8-13) with the highlight being the big (free) concert in Times Square all day Saturday (10am to 7pm, Oct 12th) on three different stages will be performances from such artists as My Morning Jacket, Grizzly Bear, and the Wallflowers. The week long Festival, that just began last year, gives the long-running annual CMJ conference (coming up next week in New York) a run for its money. The six day event includes a wide variety of seminars and workshops, concerts and showcases by hundreds of new and established musical acts of all genres, plus a hundred film screenings including, most fittingly, a premiere screening of the brand new film about and titled CBGB, that Amoeba Music recently gave away Hollywood premiere screening tickets to, starring Alan Rickman and featuring a killer soundtrack that includes Dead Boys, MC5, Television, New York Dolls, Talking Heads, and Wayne County & The Electric Chairswas released yesterday and is directly available from Amoeba.

Artists performing at the big CBGB Festival that takes over venues and spaces in both Manhattan and Brooklyn this week will include  Spank Rock, Meat Puppets, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and another 500+ musical acts. Meanwhile the many musical themed film screenings will include films on such bands as Bad Brains, Bruce Springsteen, Big Star, and the Descendents. Among the visual art themed festival events include (tonight only) something that will be of interest to hip-hop history fans; especially those of the 80's in New York City and specifically of the Beastie Boys. Funky Dope Maneuvers is a 1980's hip-hop photo exhibition and slideshow presented by photographer and old school Beastie Boys associate Ricky Powell. Powell's exhibit will include some huge scale photos of such artists as the Beasties and Run–D.M.C. (many of them together on tour) alongside photos of the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Providing the soundtrack to tonight's event will be DJ Stretch Armstrong. Free 8pm Site 109 at 109 Norfolk. More info.  And for more general festival info: CBGB Music and Film Festival.

Opening today and running through Monday October 14th is the John Lennon art exhibit curated by the late great Beatle's wife Yoko Ono that is a benefit for the NYC based Citymeals-on-Wheels the local emergency food project that this time last year during Hurricane Sandy delivered 64,000 meals to homebound seniors.  Taking place at a gallery space in SoHo at 72 Green Street it will feature paintings such as Embrace (below) by the Beatle who was once a student at the Liverpool College of Art. This new exhibit will benefit the NYC food project that Ono has been diligently supporting for over a decade now via a number of art exhibits that collectively have raised $160K. Ono is hoping to add to that figure with this latest exhibit that, even if folks have no money, can get into for free. Ono is only asking for a suggested donation of $3. Through Monday October 14 at 72 Green Street, SoHo, NYC.

As we come up on the first anniversary of the superstorm known as Hurricane Sandy, that walloped New York City in late October 2012, it's hard not to recall that historic storm that knocked out a typically resilient city - bringing public transit to a halt, knocking out for power for days on end for many stretches of the city, and bad flooding - especially in lower Manhattan. Everyone in New York City has a story to tell about Sandy and all were affected somehow. Many storm bound New Yorkers captured the whole thing on video or audio or in photos.

Former Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo was out in the wild storm recording the wind just as the crashing waves on the banks of the Hudson by the West Side Highway came gushing over, was inspired by Sandy to make what would become his brand new album Last Night On Earth.  Much of it was written inside his apartment in the no electrify darkened days following the storm where he sat, lights out, strumming and playing the basis of this new album on Matador by Lee Renaldo and The Dust.

Street art by the elusive, secretive British artist Banksy has turning up and down the streets of New York City that is being well documented by social media with fans capturing pics of the aritst who recently announced on his website that he would be undertaking “an artist’s residency on the streets of New York” for this month of October that he has titled Better Out Than In. On his website Banksy is posting pictures of his work. There have been Banksy sighting at such spots as 24th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, and on Allen at Canal where within days of its being created on the city wall was whitewashed out by some hater as seen above in the before and after photos. Not only that but it looks like the identity of the mysterious artist may have been revealed this week when his van broke down in New York City as reported by the UK's Daily Mail.

Happening tonight only is the fourth and final night in the weekly Starlight music series up the Top of the Rock with a performance by TJ Smith - a good opportunity to catch some music along with the view from the 67th floor Observation Deck of the historic Rockafeller Center at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112  Happening from 830-1030pm the performance is part of the purchase of admission to Top of the Rock tickets ($17 to $27). For more information visit TopofTheRock or call 212.698.2000. [Note: Top of the Rock is open from 8am to midnight, with the sky shuttle making its last run at 11pm] 

This week you can  catch a movie in New York that is set in New York: the indie film Five Dances at Cinema Village that is a drama about a quintet of dance students in the city that many young aspiring dance stars relocate to follow their dreams. The film is about these dance students finding themselves as they try to perfect their performances, and going through the struggles of being an aspiring dancer in the competitive city of New York.

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