I had a morbid curiousity about natural disasters as a child. I remember scanning the card cataloge for books in my elementary school’s library back in New Jersey, reading tales of earthquakes with Richter scale readings akin to slightly-above average Pitchfork ratings, absolutely decimating cities. I remember going to the local movie theater and seeing Bill Paxon and Helen Hunt fight off a twister with a metal pole and a couple of belts they probably bought at Sears. I remember watching the Weather Channel for hours on end, tracking the next huge hurricane as it traveled up the Gulf of Mexico.
I lived in fear of natural disasters, but there was always a certain degree of detachment from them. I knew that there was no significant fault line around. I knew that tornados only happened in places like Kansas, and that by the time a hurricane made it up the east coast to northern New Jersey, it’d be nothing more than some bullshit tropical storm
Well, that all changed a couple of weeks ago. I never thought I’d encounter a storm like Sandy while living here in Kings County, but it happened. Here’s to hoping that we never have to endure a storm of Sandy’s magnitude ever again. My heart goes out to those who are struggling in areas like the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Staten Island and New Jersey.
It’s times like these where New Yorkers come together. I’d like to take this opportunity to again commend my friends over at Occupy Sandy for their amazing relief effort. Friends, remember that grassroots organizations like this one are far more effective than larger boutique non-profits with miles of red-tape and organizational expenses to cover when you’re making contributions to relief funds. Indie big-wigs have taken notice; namely Real Estate, Vampire Weekend, Devendra Banhart, The Walkmen, Cass McCombs and Dirty Projectors. They’re playing an Occupy Sandy benefit this Saturday at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn Heights, and this one is also our MOST BLOGGED ABOUT SHOW this week.
Occupy seems to do their best work in the autumn months. One of their affiliates, Strike Debt, are hosting a benefit in conjunction with Occupy Faith at (le) Poisson Rouge to increase awareness in their plight to absolve the national debt tonight. This A-list variety show is headlined by Jeff Mangum and will feature performances from Lee Ranaldo, Guy Piccotto, Janeane Garafalo, Tunde Abimpe (of TV on the Radio) and much more. Tickets are sold out, but if you missed out, we’re live-streaming the event over on the My Social List blog.
I also want to point out that Dan Deacon will be donating the proceeds of his two shows this week to Occupy Sandy and Red Cross relief efforts; as if you needed ANOTHER reason to see the most innovative live act in all of music today. He played last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and if you missed that, he’s at Bowery Ballroom on Friday. Infamous for his participatory live shows, Deacon has taken it a step further, encouraging downloads of his new smartphone app which produces lights and sounds that are synchronized with his music.
Lydia Lunch is bringing her Retro/Virus party to Knitting Factory back on this side of the bridge tonight. I’m not sure what exactly to expect out of this one, but she’s “invited her friends,” and that’s already enough for the no-wave obsessive in me. Jim Jarmusch and Suicide both have shows coming up at (le) Poisson Rouge this month, and Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo have remained fairly active here in New York in the (maybe) post-Sonic Youth era, so those are a few possibilities, but I wouldn’t rule anyone out from the late 70s/early 80s glory days of the Lower East Side.