There are only 181 licensed cabarets in New York, according to Consumer Affairs, and most are limited to dance clubs in Manhattan. If one would like to know what’s the total number of bars serving liquor and playing music here in Manhattan, it would take a life time of research. But one thing is for sure: in a free country, dancing should be free, too.
With the heat wave making us run for cover, we hardly get out of the house, glued to the fan and opening a refrigerator wide open just to cool down a little bit. Remember a classic, “Seven Year Itch”? Well, we are actually considering using Marylin Monroe’s character’s recipe to fight off the heat by putting our underwear in a freezer before putting it on. It’s that hot.
But it made us think that the summer is in the city full-on and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So we might as well take the full advantage of it, right?
We have already mentioned the free or almost free summer movies screenings. Time for music. The list is long, but we’re going to make it easier, just by listing a few of the summer concert series that we think are extremely attractive.
Central Park SummerStage kicks off Friday June 13th. This year’s concerts include NYC’s darlings, Vampire Weekend, Jamie Lidell, Thievery Corporation with the samba master Seu Jorge (featuring special guests, Bebel Gilberto and Federico Aubele – yum!), Mark Knopfler solo, and the oldies but goodies – Crosby, Stills and Nash. Among others, of course. For full listings, go to their website.
River To River festival’s big highlight is the 4th of July, when you will be able to watch the fireworks, having Sonic Youth as accompaniment.
It might be the last summer of free or almost-free concerts at McCarren Park Pool, before they fill the space with water again (it will be great to splash in the water, too, but we have to wait till next summer). Head there to see Gogol Bordello, Devo, Armin Van Buuren, and Wilco among others.
Want more? Go to NewYorkology’s full listings and… have fun!
“Anywhere I lay my head”, Scarlett Johansson’s debut album is out tomorrow. Critics are divided, as they usually are (The Rolling Stone only gave it two and a half star) but we like it. Scarlett’s vocals remind us of Elizabeth Fraser or Nico, and the music sounds like it could have been recorded by 4AD. In other words: we like it. To be fair, we appreciate it more for its stylish, hypnotic and thick atmosphere than for Scarlett’s vocals (you can’t blame us, the recordings barely reveal her voice, and it sounds just like another instrument, which is not necessarily a bad thing) but we will definitely buy it.
Here’s a sample – the official video to a single promoting the album, “Falling Down”:
Or, you can just go on Scarlett’s website, preview all of the songs first, and then buy the album (or not).
Imagine a giant building that generates music. Imagine you can walk into it and tinker with its piano-like keys, emitting sounds that you’ve never heard before, making your own little symphony. Imagine… actually, you can stop now, cause your dream just might have turned into reality.
David Byrne is planning on turning a New York City building into an instrument. The best part? Anybody will be able to play it. Ex-Talking Heads front man will create a temporary installation in the Great Hall of the Battery Maritime Building (it’s that old, beautiful building next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal) at the end of May.
The “Playing the Building” installation will include devices attached to ceiling beams, plumbing, electrical conduits and other parts of the structure. Visitors will be welcome to take center stage and play the organ keys, set in the middle of the room which in return will ping, rattle, and blow air through the building’s columns, pipes, and girders through a series of low-tech cables and wires. Like that:
Isn’t that exciting? Anybody will be able to become Beethoven for a day. It’s a second project like that for David Byrne, who turned an old factory building in Stockholm into a playing device in 2005. “It became a kind of social apparatus as well as being an installation (…), a shared communal experience—which was very moving for me to witness.” – says an artist in an interview on his website. We can’t wait to play it.
It’s official. We hate Scarlett Johansson (just kidding). Not only is she beautiful and talented, but she’s also working with David Bowie. That’s right. “Starlett” Johansson is currently finishing an album with her interpretations of Tom Waits’ songs and she had asked David Bowie to record backing vocals for her. We’ll be able to hear David in two songs only, but still. So we guess it is possible to have everything. Bowie calls her voice “mystical” and says the actress stunned him with her talent. David Sitek from TV On the Radio produced the album titled “Anywhere I Lay My Head” and it premieres May 20th.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a sneak-peek of Scarlett’s album (except the cover from Wikipedia, above) but we know her throaty voice from the famous video produced by Will.i.am. Can she sing? Yes, she can!
We couldn’t help ourselves. Cat Power’s new album has got (at least) one song we fell in love with. It’s an old tune, an ever-green by Frank Sinatra. Everybody knows “New York, New York”, right?
If that’s what you think, check it out: