New York State of Mind Amoeblog #88: Crotona Park Jams, Outdoor Movies, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, 4 Knots Music Festival & More

Posted by Billyjam, July 9, 2014 02:12pm | Post a Comment

Summer is officially well underway here in New York City with proof being that there are simply too many things going on simultaneously to possibly attend them all -  a good thing because every day there is a myriad of fun events (mostly free, and mostly outdoors) to chose from ranging from music concerts of all genres, to films in fun locations, to dance productions, and art shows, etc. These include the must-attend annual summer tradition of the Tools of War grassroots hip-hop produced Park Jams which take place in parks in the Bronx and Manhattan over the three main summer months on either Tuesday or Thursday late afternoon/early evenings. Since it's now July that means that the Park Jams, with the focus on the DJs, are happening at Crotona Park up in the Boogie Down Bronx - bringing the phenomenon, that gave birth to hip-hop four decades ago, back full circle. 

Last week, up until the summer thunderstorm kicked in the last quarter of the four-hour event, those entertaining included 1980's DMC champ DJ Cheese, "forever" host Grandmaster Caz, and legendary hip-hop DJ Jazzy Jay who is pictured top care of Ignacio Soltero. (Soltero also took photo above from one of last month's Spanish Harlem Tools of War Park Jams at White Park). Tomorrow (Thursday July 10) at the Crotona Park, Bronx location at the same time (4pm-8pm) the lineup will include DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Joyce, and DJ Looie Loo. For full listings see flyer below or click here.

Free outdoor movies around NYC include Monday nights at Bryant Park (42nd and Sixth Ave.) where this week they screened Mel Brook's hilarious Blazing Saddles and next week (July 14th) will be the 1959 American movie classic Suddenly, Last Summer starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Montgomery Clift. Showtimes are approx 8:30pm with the lawn opening for those early birds to grab a good space from 5pm onwards. More info.

Meanwhile today (July 9th) down in Chelsea at Hudson River Park near 23rd Street is the kick off of the popular RiverFlicks summer movies series on the long Pier 63 (see picture below). The season opens later this evening with Iron Man 3. Next Wednesday (July 16th) will be American Hustle, and on Friday evening (July 11th), a little further down along the west side Hudson River Park, at Pier 46 in Greenwich Village will be a free screening of Despicable Me 2 (featuring the Pharrell Williams megahit "Happy"). Over at Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park tomorrow the Syfy Movies series kicks off with a free screening of Duck Soup. The evening begins with WFMU DJ Small Change warming up the crowd, followed by the short film Silo by David Soll, and at sundown a showing of The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup. Viewers are encouraged to ride their bike to the park. More info.

Speaking of WFMU this Saturday (July 12th) the Jersey City based radio station (across the water from Lower Manhattan) will be celebrating the opening to the public of its brand new ground floor performance space with a concert featuring sets from Pampers, Watery Love, Doug Gillard, and Spectre Folk. More info. That same day other concerts happening include DJ Krush at the Bowery Ballroom, and the 4 Knots After-Party with Ab-Soul, YC The Cynic, and others at Webster Hall. Meanwhile the actual 4 Knots Music Festival takes place earlier that day on two stages at South Street Seaport with a lineup that includes Dinosaur Jr., Mac DeMarco, Speedy Ortiz, Those Darlins, and many more. Sponsored by the Village Voice the annual 4 Knots Fest is a free all-ages event, that will happen rain or shine (NYC weather forecast is good for Saturday), from 1pm to 8pm. More info.

Now in its tenth year the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, whose accurate slogan is "unapolegetically & undeniably hip-hop," continues to deliver true-to-its-roots hip-hop from a balanced mix of established and up-and-coming quality hip-hop acts starting today (July 9th) through Saturday (July 12th) with a lineup that includes (to name but a handful) Raekwon, Jay Electronica, The Audible Doctor, Cyhi The Prynce, and DJ extraordinaire Rob Swift.

Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

Earlier today I caught up with Rob Swift, who performs on the big final day, to ask him about the festival and his role in it from a historical point of view. The famed Queens NY DJ told the Amoeblog, "I'm just excited man. More than anything for the people who attend that weren't around when all the elements of hip-hop were thriving in the '90s. The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is a throw back to that important era in hip- hop. I was there [and] it was a true musical and cultural renaissance that took place. On Saturday people will get to see the artists that inspired that renaissance live. And for me to be a part of such an even is an honor, for real!"

Hosted by Uncle Ralph McDaniels and Torae the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival happens at 50 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg July 9 - 12. Tickets and more info.

As reported yesterday by the NY Daily News the four-decades old Park Slope, Brooklyn music retail store The Fifth Avenue Record &Tape Center will close up shop for good next month. On a brighter note Amoeba Music recently set up shop inside the recently opened Urban Outfitters midtown store in Herald Square (corner of Broadway and 35th Streets) with an impressive Amoeba curated record rack (see right) of some real good vinyl selections. I will do a more in-depth piece on this here in the coming weeks.


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Wfmu (34), Brooklyn Hip-hop Festival (2), Small Change (1), Nyc (85), New York (59), Jazzy Jay (2), Dj Cheese (4), Dj Krush (1), New York City (101), Rob Swift (9), New York State Of Mind (92), Ny State Of Mind Amoeblog (63), Tools Of War Park Jam (2), Care Of Ignacio Soltero (1), Brooklyn (14), 4 Knots (1)