Album of the Week: Melanie De Biasio - Lilies

As I mentioned back in June, Miss Melanie De Biasio truly transcends description and/or refuses to be boxed into any one musical genre. Her latest nine-track album Lilies was released last month. This captivating Belgian artist incorporates jazz, classical, nufolk, even electronica into her musically rich vocabulary to create her truly unique and atmospheric sound; imagine Nina Simone meets Talk Talk.  Read more »

Voyage to Anomie

Voyage to AnomieSome people find travel broadening. Some people travel to relax and get away from it all. When Geoff Dyer travels, the world is like a million hammers, pounding him into himself, creating a strange and wonderful hall of mirrors that, while it can be trying -- even depressing -- is strangely exhilarating. That's the basic story and feel of Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, Dyer's irrepressible but annoying memoir/travelogue, published in 2003.

Dyer is a thinker/writer. Thankfully, he has a comic's touch; sometimes he can be very funny indeed. Most of the humor comes out of the situations he, pathetic geek that he is, puts himself in. There are a couple of "jokes" which ring out discordantly, but overall, the humor is organic and tinged with some pretty deep, pretty depressing thinking. Read more »

Dusty Wright - "Weather This Storm"


For survivors everywhere... here's the video collaboration of visual artist Ashley G. Garner with Dusty Wright. The song was produced by d. Bindi, mixed by David Lee, and mastered by Alan Douches for West West Side Music. Recorded by Gio Loria at Black Volt Studio, LA & Straus Park Studio, NYC. Co-vocals by Jay StolarRead more »

Pericles: Born in a Tempest

Pericles: Born in a Tempest
Conceived and directed by Jordan Reeves
Presented by Hunger and Thirst Theatre with the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project at the West End Theatre, NYC
November 2-18, 2017

If you have ever dreamed of watching Batman fight in the midst of a Shakespeare production, now is your chance to make that fantasy a reality. How fantasy in the form of storytelling (Batman included) intertwines with our lived realities partly drives Jordan Reeves' imaginative adaptation of Shakespeare's Pericles. Reeves' Pericles: Born in a Tempest both streamlines the sprawling original and weaves in a modern framing narrative in which the Shakespearean text becomes a book, The True Tales of Pericles, given to a woman by her recently deceased father. Of course, Shakespeare, arguably with a collaborator, was himself adapting a well-known medieval romance, the tale of Apollonius of Tyre, primarily the version set down by John Gower in his fourteenth-century Confessio Amantis; and this tale in turn likely derives from a classical Greek source. From this perspective, Reeves' version of Pericles acts as the latest example of how the same story can persist and change over centuries to meet the needs of its readers and audiences.  Read more »

Quote of the Week: Ron Carter

Ron Carter (born 4 May 1937), legendary American jazz double-bassist who has played on thousands of albums and played with most of the giants in jazz and rock.

Little Q & A: Mary Hrbacek + Bradley Rubenstein

Mary Hrbacek is an artist and an art critic (AICA) based in NYC. In 2016 she received the Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation, ESKFF Foundation, The Helis Foundation, Financial Grant for her art on view at Mana Contemporary. Her drawings in "Whispers" have been included in the collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete.

Bradley Rubenstein: These are quite lovely; I did see one of your shows a year or two back at CREON, they had a remarkable clarity, and reminded me of Georgia O’Keefe’s work -- there is a very large O’Keefe in the Art Institute of Chicago, a sky, with strange biomorphic clouds. It is a strange painting, and growing up in Chicago, held my attention for years. I don’t want to get to far ahead of myself here, so let’s start with a little background… Read more »

Haze or Frat-Ricide

Who doesn’t enjoy a little Euripides with their breakfast cereal or, in this case, with their unrelenting celluloid exploration of sadistic, on-campus initiations? Of course, hazing has been ceaselessly explored in the news each time there’s a new frat and in previous efforts such as Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland’s documentary Frat House (1998) and John Landis’ comedy Animal House (1978). Even the Lifetime channel (The Haunting of Sorority Row (2007)) and one of this year’s best movies (Prof. Marston and the Wonder Women) have taken out their paddles, exploring the female side of these rituals. However, seldom has Dionysus and the Bacchae been incorporated into the subject matter. Read more »

Album of the Week: Todd Kessler - About Memory

A dynamically-gentle, compelling folk-Americana album by an earnest singer-songwriter from Chicago. Mr. Kesller once shared his chops on The Voice and that certainly helped raise his profile as an artist of merit and will hopefully afford him a much deserved wider audience for this amazing new album. Read more »

Song of the Week: Sierra Blanca - "Beds"

Some artists are discovered like that perfect shell on a stroll on the beach -- you look down and you spot it, pick it up, marvel over its beauty, and take it home. Nashville-based, El Paso-born, indie folk artist Jethro Gaglione aka Sierra Blanca has a vibe that is so sweet and fine. Utterly undeniable. A true natural talent. The self-taught multi-instrumentalist's new EP Honorable Mention will be released on Nov. 10th. In the interim, check out his single "Beds," a ballad so evocatively engaging and refreshingly simple, inviting the listener to crawl into bed with him while be serenaded to.  And that is why it's my single of the week.

Blade Runner 2049

To be completely transparent, I purposely didn't read any reviews of Blade Runner 2049. I didn't want to be influenced by another critic's opinion.

Smart movies don't always catch fire; may not be box office blockbusters nor receive the universal critical acclaim they so deserve. Ridley Scott's Blade Runner sequel may not have caught the collective raves or boffo box office receipts that others movies can boast, but that doesn't diminish the fact that it is an incredible sequel and in some ways better than the original. In today's 90 minute "super hero" hyper-edited, 3D cinematic experience a movie like Blade Runner 2049 crawls along at a snail's pace, allowing the dystopian landscape to infect the movie audience's collective consciousness and to create a visual backdrop that affords the narrative its forward thrust. Read more »

Life Isn't Good, It's Excellent

david-robilliardDavid Robilliard was a poet and painter who lived from 1952 to 1988.

EATING OUT
You're like a potato.
You'd go with anything.

"David Robilliard was the sweetest, kindest, most infuriating, artistic foul-mouthed, witty, charming, handsome, thoughtful, unhappy, loving and friendly person we ever met. Read more »

From Mecca With Love

The Mecca Tales
Written by Rohina Malik
Directed by Kareem Famhy
Presented by Voyage Theater Company and Crossroads Theatre Company at The Sheen Center, NYC  
October 20-November 4, 2017

The Hajj, the pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, is the largest yearly gathering of people in the world, attracting two to three million pilgrims. A pillar of Islam, the Hajj provides the setting and structure for Rohina Malik's The Mecca Tales, which premiered in Chicago in 2015 and is now making its debut in New York. Its tales are those of five women whose progress along the road to Mecca also marks their difficult progress towards self-determination.  Read more »

Quote of the Week: Coco Chanel

coco_chanel.jpg"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little -- if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."

Coco Chanel (19 Aug. 1883 - 10 Jan. 1971), pioneering French fashion designer.

Free, Form, Five

Free, Form, Five
Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi
Olga Wimmer PCC, NYC
Oct. 7 - Nov. 18, 2017

Elga Wimmer PCC presents "Free, Form, Five," a group exhibition curated by D. Dominick Lombardi, which explores abstract and semi-abstract themes with human and natural references that extend into metaphoric terrain. The exhibition includes photographer Sandra Gottlieb, Sharon Kagan, Bobbie Moline-Kramer, Rebecca Calderón Pittman and Susan Sommer. The artists use with vigor and assurance platforms that incorporate complex processes and aggregate techniques. Pittman's works probe the oblique role of chance in consciousness; the psychological influences of attraction and aversion interest Moline-Kramer. Kagan explores the microcosmic roots of matter while Gottlieb brings the firmament into focus. Susan Sommer records the rhythms of desire in daily existence. While Moline-Kramer, Pittman and Kagan enhance their practices with distinctive procedures, Gottlieb uses specialized equipment, and Sommer mixes her motifs to achieve a sense of depth and relevance that is becoming the exception rather than the rule in contemporary art. Read more »

The Werewolf of Washington Heights!

The Werewolf of Washington Heights
Written by Christie Perfetti Williams
Directed by Charmaine Broad
Presented by Carnival Girls Productions at The Kraine Theater, NYC
October 11-22, 2017

Many readers these days probably know the feeling of anxiety about what appallingly reactionary new story will leap out at them every time that they set eyes or ears on a news source. To take just the latest in an interminable series of examples, as this review is being written, the head of the U.S. government is threatening to end aid to Puerto Rico, whose American citizens are denied governmental representation, a mere three weeks after an incredibly devastating natural disaster. As it happens, the production of Christie Perfetti Williams' new play, The Werewolf of Washington Heights, will donate one dollar of every online ticket sale to The Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico. It also focuses on the political effects (keeping in mind that the political is always also the personal and vice-versa) of fear and anxiety, especially as and where they intersect with gender. Beyond its narrative concerns, Werewolf extends the political consideration of gender to the material conditions of its own production: it is presented by Carnival Girls, a sponsored project of the non-profit arts service organization Fractured Atlas that dedicates itself to "creating and producing art by and about women," and it boasts an all-female cast and crew, including director Charmaine Broad, who also helmed Cougars, winner of the Estrogenius Festival's award for best show. Read more »

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