Blog | Music/Arts: Long Island Sound & Beyond
Experience Sharon Van Etten at The New Yorker Festival
Conversations with Music in October at the Sheen Center on Bleecker Street
Turn on the charm
Call to response now
Sitting on the porch
Looking for a way out
—From “Taking Chances” by Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten’s voice can be as powerful as that of Kristin Hersh or Fiona Apple, and as whisper-soft as Chan Marshall or Suzanne Vega. And the New Jersey-bred singer/songwriter’s lyrics are as candid and emotionally heavy as the lot. Van Etten’s latest cd, Are We There, is her heaviest one yet. When discussing the record with Fred Armisen, Van Etten said it basically chronicled the last two years of her Tramp tour:
“It’s about things I’ve been working through—trying to have a career but also trying to have a home life and relationship,” said Van Etten, who lives in NYC. “And you know, in the end, I had to choose my work over having a relationship because the person I was with couldn’t handle it. It was someone that I loved very deeply, but it just plays on people’s insecurities when you’re in a place that they’re not. And that’s kinda what the whole record’s about.”
The indie-folk songstress has worked with The National’s Aaron Dessner and collaborated with the likes of J Mascis and Nick Cave. Covering Van Etten’s “Every Time the Sun Comes Up” brought Tim Presley of the band White Fence to tears.
In addition to Van Etten’s interview and performance on October 11th, The New Yorker Festival, which takes place the weekend of October 10th-12th, includes appearances by Neil Young, Malcolm Gladwell, Randy Newman, Imagine Dragons, Juliana Margulies, Laurie Anderson and Larry David, among others.
What: Conversations with Music: Sharon Van Etten talks with Sasha Frere-Jones about lyrical honesty.
She will also be performing solo during the 90-minute presentation at The New Yorker Festival.
Where: Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, 18 Bleecker Street, NYC
When: Saturday, October 11th, 7pm
For more info: http://festival.newyorker.com/program
OFF THE WALLS Block Party Saturday
Five hours of live music, dancing, food and art in Huntington Station
The Huntington Arts Council-affiliated SPARKBOOM initiative presents OFF THE WALLS II, a block party/street fair on Saturday from 1-6pm. After the success of last year’s event, SPARKBOOM has decided to rock the Huntington Station block again with free live performances from local bands like Nonstop to Cairo, Motion Ocean, Slang, KB Jones & The Kontraband and Jarred “AllStar.”
At 1520 New York Avenue (Mt. Calvary Holy Church of Huntington) you can also find Latin dancing presented by Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company: salsa, Argentine tangos and rumbas. There will also be a free BMX stunt show at the festival, and Mt. Calvary will be barbecuing food with proceeds going to the church.
But let’s not forget the art! ‘Off the Walls’ is named for street art and Lucienne Pereira will be painting an interactive mural at Huntington Deli. The 30 plus art vendors include handmade jewelry by Ali Herrmann, Deborah Porretto and Donna Saladino-Irvine, and photography by Kristen Vetter.
A Long Island native, Vetter has a BFA in Fine Arts, Psychology and Photography and her most recent work focuses on “the varied perceptions within an environment” based on her travels to Israel, Egypt and Jordan:
“My series of photographs, captured in an area synonymous with conflict, are full of contrasting elements: beauty, devastation, and the mundane,” said Vetter. “I document architecture and people within their environments. I then manipulate each image by hand with drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture to emphasize aspects of growth, change, and transition. The images that are created from this process emphasize empathy, and careful looking to offer clues to our common ancestry, common daily practices and struggles.”
Vetter will be selling some pieces like the enigmatic ‘Contemplation,’ a long exposure digitally taken “to emphasize the little nuances that we go through during bursts of emotion.”
‘Contemplation’ by Kristen Vetter
Digital photograph on Rives BFK and mono-print, 21’’ x 14’’ Digital photograph on Rives BFK, pastel, charcoal, matte varnish, 50’’ x 30’’
Suggested donation: $5 for the Block Party; For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1467771493474989/
Join The Amigos Band for Dinner in NYC
Monthly residency begins Friday at Greenwich House Music School
“The Amigos are brilliant improvisers and have so much collective positive energy that during the first 14-hour day I spent with them in the studio, I forgot that I would soon be 83. Their music… is for all ages from toddlers to my contemporaries, who will abandon the shuffleboard courts, come to hear them and go home feeling like a teenager again.”
—Beat Generation composer/musician David Amram
The Amigos Band with David Amram (l). Image: Richard Velasco
What could be better than (homemade) food, (free) wine and (good) music? Beginning Friday, The Amigos Band (think ensemble singing, dancing, folk, zydeco and bebop solos) will host a monthly themed music party, jam session and potluck dinner at Greenwich House Music School. The New York-based Americana band: Sam Reider (accordion, vocals), Justin Poindexter (guitar, vocals), Noah Garabedian (bass) and Will Clark (drums) is often joined by founding Amigos member saxophonist Eddie Barbash (now with Jon Batiste and Stay Human), Mr. Amram and other special guests from the NYC music community.
“Our goal with The Amigos Family Dinner is to build up a grassroots community of ‘Amigos’ in New York who are interested in exploring the intersections between American roots music styles and to engage with new fans through fun, educational and celebratory events,” said Reider. “We thought that paying tribute to the ‘hootenannies’ made famous by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Odetta and Leadbelly would be the perfect way to get this new Greenwich Village series started with a bang—and who better to help us invoke their spirit than our good friend, David Amram?”
In last October’s Pulse, The Amigos discussed their latest album, Diner in the Sky, which Amram co-produced. The record consists of originals that harken back to Amram’s Beat Generation, along with fresh arrangements of folk standards like “The Wayfaring Stranger,” “Hey Joe” and “The California Blues,” a Jimmie Rodgers classic once adapted by Woody Guthrie. Future themes in the monthly performance series at GHMS include: Horny Folk: Brass and Reeds in American Music, Drum Thunder, and a Folk Music Dance Party with an Appalachian folk dance lesson.
Who: The Amigos Band with special guest David Amram. and others tba
What: The Amigos Family Dinner party. Potluck dinner and all-you-can-drink wine, with a tribute to four pillars of folk music. There will be an Amigos-led jam session on songs of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Odetta and Leadbelly. Bring your instruments.
Where: Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow St., New York, NY
When: Friday, September 19th, from 7 to 9pm (all ages)
Cost: Recommended donation: $5, and a food item to share for dinner
Elevate Your Mood at NCC’s Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery in Garden City
I and I in the sky
You make me feel like I can fly
So high, Elevation
Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed), 2014
Keep your spirits up as summer comes to an end by visiting the Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College in Garden City. Elevate is a group sculpture exhibition consisting of three large works: Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed) by Rachel Mica Weiss, Containing Tenaciousness by Monika Zarzeczna and Untitled by Carolyn Salas. There will also be some small works to go along with the larger installations.
“The title and theme of the show, Elevate, came from the link in the artists’ creative process of transcending materials into works of aesthetic impact and emotional resonance,” said faculty member and curator Nathan Wasserbauer. “While sculpture as a discipline is often associated with weight and mass, these artists’ works seem to levitate—carrying with them light, color, translucency and space. Along with a defiance of gravity, the pieces also carry the hopes and fears, anxieties and aspirations of their creators, displayed in a diverse manipulation of materials. Taken into consideration with their surroundings of the NCC gallery and campus, the sculptures invite the viewer to consider and experience these ideas in real time and space as both the materials and ideas lift off and become something new.”
Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed) - Represented by Fridman Gallery in New York, artist Rachel Mica Weiss lives and works in Brooklyn as a resident of the chashama studio program.“Hand-strung on site,” Weiss’s “labor-intensive installation is a reference to the repetitious act of warping—the measuring, threading, and tensioning of thousands of threads into the loom.” As you can see from the photo above, Weiss uses her “environment’s unique architectural elements,” (in this case, the patio just outside of the Firehouse gallery’s window) “as her framework, creating lurching architectural interventions: bold blockades that confront the viewer and engender feelings of vulnerability.”
Containing Tenaciousness - Born in Warsaw, Poland, artist Monika Zarzeczna grew up in the Netherlands and moved to New York in 2002. She lives and works in Brooklyn and currently has a residency at the chashama studio program. Her work reflects impressions of her daily encounters with discarded and devalued objects and makeshift structures in her Brooklyn neighborhood. She often works in series and Containing Tenaciousness is a follow up to the 2012 Hardnekkig installation. Made almost entirely of discarded materials and inspired by electricity towers, staircases and sidewalk gardens, ‘Containing Tenaciousness’ combines suspended, descending and rising elements that add up to a fragile, ramshackle structure, a 3D drawing that is looking for balance, weight and weightlessness.
Untitled - Appointed lecturer in sculpture at Yale in 2011, artist Carolyn Salas is a recipient of the studio residency program at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York. She uses a wide array of materials including found objects, photography, moldmaking, collage and recycled items to create sculptural platforms where material and concept meet to transform space and the way we view it. In a culture obsessed with mass production and disposability her work is a conduit of her opposition to this standard. With laborious craft and a handmade touch, the imperfections and human attributes of burdens, failures and achievements of our everyday are exposed. Salas looks at the work as a self-exploration of the subconscious, where she tries to physically create a state of mind. Responding to Carl Jung’s idea of artists and alchemists projecting part of their psyche into matter or inanimate objects, possessing in a sense a secret soul, the objects eventually live out a life of their own.
The exhibit runs from September 2nd through November 13th. Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College is located in CCB Building, Plaza Level, Room 140. Admission is free.
An artist’s reception will be held on October 9th from 5-7pm in the gallery. All are welcome.
Gianni Paci releases summery video for song recorded at Richie Cannata’s studio
Late September back at school
You and I broke all the rules
We did, We did, We did it good
But it’s gonna be a long time
Before we get to play another game
—From “Long Time” by Gianni Paci
Oyster Bay’s Gianni Paci just wrapped a video for his new single “Long Time.” The singer/songwriter/guitarist recorded the song at the Richie Cannata-owned Cove City Sound Studios (Billy Joel, Jennifer Lopez), with producer Eren Cannata. The song is an introduction to his new sound, which features a contemporary-pop spin on the more retro-minded songwriting he honed under his old pseudonym, The Pine Hollows. Paci discussed his first single, “Goodbye,” and working with Cannata back in February. He looks forward to releasing a full-length and can’t wait to return to Cove City in the fall to work on more of his music. That means more singles and more videos.
Filmed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, “Long Time” was directed by Patrice Lighter of LGTR Productions.
“Patrice did an amazing job of capturing just what kind of emotions fostered the song—that nostalgia for a time in the past, and that sense of impatience that goes along with waiting for something else good to come along,” noted Paci. “I wrote the song about one of my first loves, and how a high-point in our relationship seemed to signal the beginning of the end of my childhood, naiveté and inexperience. High school can be such a crazy time, and I think the lyrics reflect that kind of back-to-school excitement and malaise. As the songwriter and the subject of the song, I am proud of what we had, acknowledging its end but, at the same time, missing it terribly. Patrice put me back in a lot of the clothes I hadn’t worn since, and it helped me get back into character.”
The NYU grad recently performed at NYC’s Sidewalk Cafe, and you can catch him at The Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington on Friday, September, 5th at 7pm.
“When performing live, I mostly stick to original material,” said Paci. “I’m quite the productive songwriter so I’m always testing out my originals live—whether it’s a new song or something I may have written a year or two ago but it’s feeling more relevant than ever in the moment. Being a solo artist means that I can keep things fresh and spontaneous in this way, and in my experience it seems to keep things exciting for the audience too. I would love to be remembered the way that Billy Joel is and to share that sense of Oyster Bay pride with him.”
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