No place I would rather be on Friday night of the Northside Fest than the venerable (Can we call it venerable yet? Why yes, I think we can) Death By Audio. Not because it was a chance to see bands that rarely play Brooklyn – as a matter of fact every few weeks it seems you can catch at least one of them around town. But because it was a showcase of some of the most exciting, modern left-field pop our fine locale has to offer…. And people ask me ‘what’s so great about Brooklyn’? Um, this is.
Anna Barie, Bill Salas and Pat Noecker
May I present, THESE ARE POWERS, the second band interview of four to prepare everyone for the Freewilliamsburg set during the Northside Festival. I’ll admit I chose to interview this trio since they struck me as the most likely to get the dance party started (I’ve been aching for one big time). Besides making me want to be part in a sweaty mass at a show, THESE ARE POWERS are engaging in some forward looking art collaborations, bringing visual art to previously only audio shows. In fact, they will be premiering the video for their song “Easy Answer” during the show. Check them out on Friday along with Real Estate, Javelin, Organs, and Air Waves.
a still from ‘Easy Answers,’ directed by Jacqueline Castel Can you tell me about this Secret Project Robot you wrote about on your blog? ANNA: Secret Project Robot’s whole point is to make art fun and community based. So what they’ve done is opened up their space to a bunch of a different events that they curate but also curate with other people. We had an art opening and cd release party for our new album this past Feburary and for that album we asked 12 different artists and a writer to contribute work to our album so that was on display in addition to about 40 other pieces from other artists. Because of that show, some of our friends and others bands have told us they that inspired to have similar events, our friends band had a similar cd release party where they screened a bunch of different films. PAT: Our friend Paul ended up selling his painting that night for a whole of money and our friend Javelin got offered another show. The idea is to create community around ideas. I feel like you can’t really have a full experience with one form of expression, you should really try and create a group state and by group I mean everyone from the community. It’s limited to think that music is the only art form that you can incorporate into shows.
Do you think this is a more holistic approach to what you are trying to do? PAT: It’s more interesting. That’s what it boils down to-What’s interesting and fun at the same time? Playing at a club and just setting up and doing sound check and selling your merchandise afterward isn’t nearly as interesting as really making an event out of every show.
Do you have more shows like this coming up? BILL: August 6th we are playing the X Initiative which is a gallery in Chelsea that is having a set of curators every season put on multimedia shows and we got invited. They’re screening some Bruce Nauman and we are going to perform in front of this film “City Slivers” and a film called “Stations of the Elevated,” which is a grafitti film from the late 70′s. It’s just one more example of cross pollination between “art” and music. It’s just about not drawing distinctions and a lot of it comes down to playing much more interesting events. What are you looking most forward to doing in Brooklyn? ANNA: Summer in New York is an awesome time because of all the free outdoors films and concerts. I want to check out the High Line and check out Femi Cutin in Prospect Park. I Just riding your bikes around and hanging out. BILL: Skateboarding for me, personally. The only summer month we are here for August. PAT: We were gone last summer so every summer moment we get in the city we’re cherishing.
Get them while you can, THESE ARE POWERS head to Canada on Saturday and then China next month and you won’t get a chance to see them until they play at the Whitney with Vivian Girls on July 31st.
Check out their Myspace and Blog for more musing and jams.
More stills from their new video, which the band will debut on Friday, after the jump:
What does one long weekend and the best rooftop in Williamsburg get you? A summer kickoff music video to end all. A tribute to a tribute, inspired by the Youtube bratpack mashup video set to the tune of Phoenix’s Lisztomania, the soon to be omnipresent (if not already) summer jam.
The Original Mashup
I think director Ian Parker explained the reasoning behind the tribute to the tribute best: We did it for the summer, for friends, sunsets, and social propaganda experiments, for the sake of global cultural education. and pop music.
My friend Clint took some amazing photos of the zombies roaming McCarren Park and the rest of Williamsburg on Sunday, including this (paid?) participant having a tug of war contest via the hooks in his and his competitor’s back. I get the whole appeal to dress up and shuffle around en masse, but can someone explain where this fits in?
Last night, I saw Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear fame out at Spuyten Duyvil, taking advantage of the weather to enjoy the garden and impressive beer selection. Alas, I did not have the courage to tell him how much I love the new album. Not because I’m scared to approach people generally, but because the new video for “Two Weeks” has seriously creeped me the fuck out.
Jen Bekman of Jen Bekman Projects, Inc., will be crossing the river to join artist and collector Danny Simmons, Joe Amrhein from Williamsburg’s Pierogi Gallery and Steve Weintraub of Arts in Bushwick for an evening discussion on Brooklyn artists and collecting in the borough.
The panel, “Collecting in Brooklyn” is part of the Brooklyn Museum’s larger series, Collecting Currently, and will bring you up to speed on emerging Brooklyn artists and the best ways to get your hands on some of their work before they hit the big time (read: while you can still afford it).
The discussion will take place next Wednesday, May 27th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum ‚Äî Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor.
Wine is included in the $20 ticket price ($15 for members). Visit www.museumtix.com to register. Be there or be, um, artless!
I have an RSS feed set up to see everything posted under “Free Stuff” on Craigslist’s in Williamsburg (instructions on how to do that are here)
While most of the free packing boxes and shelves left on a corner after a move haven’t perked my interest, this morning I woke to find this gem:
Starting a new project for the Greenpoint/Williamsburg Area. Come pick up a baby plant, water it, and watch it grow to 6 feet tall.
I want to have Sunflower plants all over Greenpoint/Williamsburg, so if you want to take part and add some color to your neighborhood, then come pick up a plant.
Sunflowers all over North Brooklyn? Totally legit.
Currently, my literary obsession is with Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry by Leann Shapton.
Shapton charts the (fictional) rise and fall of a relationship through an auction house listing of 325 items given or collected during the four years the characters Lenora and Harold dated. Books, love letters, photos, stolen salt and pepper shakers from dates, unwanted gifts from the other’s mother, mix tapes and phone bills, you name it, it lends itself to the story. It’s quite refreshing to read the old, inevitably doomed love story in a new structure that has you turning the page back to see how pieces fit. I mean, really, when’s the last time you interacted with a book like that? Harold’s Brooklyn address is revealed, but alas! He is a Prospect Heights resident (yes, I’m so into the story that I google mapped an address). I’m not really doing this book justice but I’m going to reread and return it to the library, so someone should get on it asap.
Interestingly enough, Shapton’s website displays the page that is also in the self portrait I took this weekend.
Perhaps my favorite bar in Williamsburg, Bushwick Country Club, is having an excellent contest for their mini golf course (hence their country club status) that some artsy engineers could have some fun with:
The third hole is in a sorry state so we’re having a contest for the best design to redo it. The winner gets their winning design built, a plaque with their name on it mounted to the hole and a $100 bar tab. The third hole is the one with the mannequin in the red jumpsuit.
It has to replace the same area as the old hole. Roughly 4′ x 8′
The tee and hole have to be in roughly the same place as the original.
No electricity. Gravity can be the only force used. Ok, we will allow the use of the weak force.
Design can be no more than PG-13.
Simplicity is a plus.
The winner is chosen by the Country Club Board of Directors.
The contest is over when we get an awesome design.
Being able to point out a plaque and say “That’s me, baby” such a great pick up. Send your designs here. As a side note, their summer time drink the Jim Bean and coke slushie is back. Be warned, its delicious but dangerous. I speak from experience.