Friday, October 30, 2009

The Australian Pink Floyd Show Oct 27th, 09

Last Tuesday night a cover band almost sold out the Hammerstein Ballroom. It was surprising to walk up and see a huge line outside for a tribute band, but once inside you can see why they are so popular. This is an impressive show with lasers, props, and a large display panel similar to "Mr. Screen." The Australian Pink Floyd not only look like Pink Floyd but sound incredibly close to the real thing. This year they are doing a greatest hits show with music from "Wish You Were Here," "Animals," "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall." They were Spellbinding on songs like "Comfortably Numb" and "Hey You." This stage show was so elaborate they even brought out amazing inflatables. This show was a feast for all senses with the lights, sound, and feeling of Pink Floyd.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156–1868 Metropolitan Museum of Art

In 1868 the Samurai culture was abolished, but for more then seven hundred years this culture flourished in Japan. Following the Bushidō, meaning "Way of the Warrior", these man were part of the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. Now one can sign up for a 4-8 year hitch, but being a Samurai was not that kind of military service. The warrior looked forward to a glorious death in the service of a military leader or the emperor. This exhibit is made up of objects from public and private collections. Most of objects date from the rise of the samurai in the late Heian period, through the early modern Edo period. The focus in this exhibit is armor, swords and sword mountings. The swords and daggers are very impressive, but the equestrian equipment and surcoats are worth some extra time. The most eye opening pieces were of the archery equipment and firearms. At one point in time the Samurai was known as "the man with a bow." Also on display are other arts of the Samurai like banners, painted scrolls and screens depicting battles. Because of the age and delicate nature of these's item The Metropolitan Museum is bringing this exhibit out in waves. The first examples will be On view October 21–November 29, then the second wave will be On view December 8–January 10.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Type O Negative Oct. 22nd

This Thursday was a New York anomaly. The trains ran on time and without stopping. This made it easy to get to the Nokia in time for Dead Men Dreaming. This local band has a guitar duo that shreds, and a impressive front man. Then Seventh Void came out on stage with Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly from Type O doing double duty on guitar, and drums. Next was Destrophy from Iowa. They had a spread out drum kit with a double bass and at least seven different cymbals. As the night went on the room filled up and then out came Type O Negative. This Gothic metal band from Brooklyn love to joke around with their home town fans. Peter Steele's voice sets the right atmosphere for the music to follow. These melodic songs focus on Relationships, and love with a hint of dark humor. In 1993 the Band had a Platinum album with Bloody Kisses, the first album on Roadrunner Records to reach Gold. After that success the band have stayed on the billboard 200 with most efforts. With their wealth of material they have lots to fill sets with, showing this by starting with "Dead Again" and getting to "Love You To Death" by mid-set. Then ending with "World Coming Down" into "Christian Woman" amped a crowd ready for more. Having already played "Halloween in Heaven" the encore was "Black No. 1" the band's other Halloween song. It's is getting close to the end of October. What are you doing for the 31st? Check out the setlist at..

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are Directed by Spike Jonze

This film was adapted from the beloved book from all of our childhood. A book that had little to say and a lot to show for itself. This Movie not only changes the real part of the small boys life, it also over complicates the fantasy world into a sad almost scary place. The look of the monsters is amazing. They are as furry and strange as you saw them in the covers of the book by Maurice Sendak. With this short story one feels like inside your mind is a wonderful world where you can work through your problems. In this movie the land of the Wild Things is a world with more problems then the real world. The monsters sulk around only being happy for fleeting moments. Max seems sad most of the time, not the young explorer with smiles on his face in the book. The plot is stretched out and stuff just added in. This is not that bad of a movie, it looks great. But the feeling you come out with is nothing near what ones gets when reading this children's book from the '60's.

Book Then Movie: Where the Wild Things Are

This wonderful children's picture book is from the early '60's and is loved around the world. Written by Maurice Sendak it has sold 19 million copies. Maurice came up with the "Things" when at his family's home in Brooklyn. Using his aunts and uncles for the likeness and names of the monsters. This book is about the imagination of a little boy and how it helps him understand his emotions. With little text Maurice uses mostly pictures to tell the story line. In the book Max, the young boy, is sent to his room for acting up. From there his mind takes over and he goes on an adventure to the land of the Wild Things. A book not short on critical acclaim being held high right after its original release. Even then they new that the story has a balance of complex thinking and simplicity. Manohla Dargis noted that "there are different ways to read the wild things, and probably as many ways to ruin this delicate story of a solitary child liberated by his imagination." If you have not read this book go into a bookstore and read it through once or twice. Please glance at this children's book before you see this movie.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bob Weir at the Manhattan Grand Ballroom Oct. 19th & 20th

Up above the Hammerstein is the beautiful Manhattan Grand Ballroom. This last Monday night they opened this little venue for a Bob Weir two-day run. After the first night you could tell this was not going to be a normal run of shows, even the Empire State Building was dressed up in Tie-dye. A trim fit Bobby came out on stage with his band Ratdog. The night was full of Grateful Dead tunes with only two Ratdog songs like "Ashes in Glass." The second night was not as smooth sailing. The President was speaking downstairs and this meant the streets were blocked, cops everywhere, and lots of confused hippies. Once inside the show one was not confused any-longer. Everyone had a tear in there eye when Bob played "Mission in the Rain." This is not all the G.D Happenings going on this week. The Historical Society is opening an exhibit next year deadicated to the boys. (The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society) Because of this Phil and Bobby where honored at a fundraiser on Wednesday. Thats not all! There are lots of chances to let out your inner flower child with three more shows Ratdog this weekend at the Becon Theater.

New York, I Love You

New York, I Love You is the second movie in a series of films devoted to love in the city. When you think of a city for lovers one thinks of Paris. That's why the producers started with Paris, je t'aime. Now they have moved on to a city where love means different things to different people. In the Paris movie the shorts were titled and ran in a order. This continuity is not found in the New York film. Some might think that this hurts the premise but New York is not an easy place to find love. Stories placed in Tribeca, Central Park, the back of taxi cabs, even some of Coney Island intermingle with each other much like we do as New Yorkers. The actors must have loved the story because they all got on board to play a role. Natalie Portman, the handsome Shia LaBeouf, and even Orlando Bloom come to New York to play in this movie. All in all it was a interesting take on life and love in the city.

Monday, October 5, 2009

NYC The City That Can't Sleep - Horror Films This October

Every October brings falling leaves, colder weather, and best of all horror movies. Sure you can go out to see the new "Zombieland," but if your a real fan of horror the city's art houses have loads of old films to scare and frighten. Going back all the way to the early 30's we get "Dracula"(31) with Bela Lugosi, and "The Mummy,"(32) two oldies but goodies. Both these classics are part of a double feature at Bam Rose Cinema in Brooklyn on Oct. 19Th. The Film Forum is also doing a gruesome twosome but this engagement last one week from Oct. 30Th - Nov. 5Th. For the price of one admission you get "Theater of blood"(73) were Vincent Price takes revenge on theater critics. (OH NO!) Then for free you get "Scream of Fear" (61) given an x rating by the British censors, so it has to be good. The Sunshine Cinema midnight movies start their fright fest early on Oct. 16Th and 17Th with "Beetlejuice."(89) Then they have the "Lost Boys"(87) on the 23rd and 24Th. And then "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors" (87) on Devils Night and Halloween. Remember the price at the Sunshine goes down to $9.99 for these midnight shows. As an after thought they have "Phyco"(60) on Nov. 20Th and 21st. The Anthology Film Archives is spotlighting Roger Corman. This director is known for his films based on Edgar Allan Poe, and this is what the Archives is bring you starting with "The House of Usher,"(60) with Viscent Price. At the Archives they always go above and beyond. So true with this retrospective going deeper then just the Poe films. So we also get "A Bucket of Blood,"(59) "The ST. Valentine's Day Massacre,"(67) and "Bloody Mama."(70) Don't forget "The Little Shop of Horrors"(60) shot in only two days, what a classic.(see link for showtimes) Rounding out this month of thrills and chills in the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Their Scary Movies 3 is running from Oct 12Th - 22ND with too many great films to go into here.(see link for showtimes) Covering everything scary starting with werewolf's in "An American Werewolf in London,"(81) and "The Curse of the Werewolf."(61) Then the vampires get in a bite with "Horror of Dracula."(58) Zombies, don't forget the zombies!! "Dead-Alive"(92) and "Night of the Living Dead"(90) will cover the flesh eaters this year. Even mother nature gets in on the act with "Long Weekend."(78) Hay if your not green your toast. What horror movie list would be complete without a film by the master Dario Argento. You must get out to see "Creepers aka Phenomena."(85) In this tale of terror Argento works with a 14 year old Jennifer Connelly and we all love her. Lots of ways to get the heart pumping , the blood flowing and the bones shaking this fall. Have fun in the city that can't sleep after these flicks.Movie Art Houses Horror selection:!

The Informant! A Steven Soderbergh Film With Matt Damon

Well what do we learn from this strange but funny tail of the highest-ranked executive to ever turn whistle-blower in US history? We learn if your going to talk to the Feds then tell them everything. Or maybe we learned never to talk to the Feds. Director Steven Soderbergh takes us through these events in the early '90's with a blinds eye to how serious this must have been at the time. Matt Damon had to gain 30 pounds to play this underdog of corporate America. Mark Whitacre started working for the FBI by taping his co-workers who where price matching. All this is played out with a amazingly funny narration from Marks brain. As he gets in tense spots all he can think about is how polar bears know their noses are black? His wife is played by Melanie Lynskey and we see her stick up for her man as the real story unravels. This movie is based on true events that Mark put into a book in 2000. Does the book have all the strange and funny facts that run along inside the head of Damon's character? Hope so it makes a good movie. This is a hilarious history lesson.

Beacons Of Light - New York Illuminated

Before dark when the sun is on its way down is commonly known as the "magic hour." This might be because of the feeling that comes with nightfall. This time of the day is also known as the "children's hour." It is the last hour young kids are awake and for older children, it is the last hour of play before they are called home by their mothers. In New York this hour of day/night holds a different meaning. Here the lights come on and take over the night. This short film takes us into this ritual of light in the coming darkness with over 80 illuminated locations within the five boroughs. During the 20 minutes as we loose the sun Miss Dominic had her camera ready to capture this "magic." Different here in NYC then anywhere else on earth.
Beacons Of Light - New York Illuminated

South Pacific At Lincoln Center

The movie South Pacific was a great adaptation of this Rodgers and Hammerstein's stage musical. This does not mean that everyone going out to the Lincoln Center to see the show knows about the movie. Most patrons on the night we squeezed into a performance had not seen the movie and did not know what to expect from this controversial story. How could something so fun be controversial? Well the underlying themes in this are war and racism. Don't let that take away from how extremely entertaining the song and dances are. Laura Osnes a breath of fresh air as Miss. Forbush, playing a southern country girl very convincingly. What a voice on her and did you check out those stems. Emile De Becque was played by understudy William Michals, who did a good job with the difficult baritone song patterns. One of the best parts to play is the comical Luther Billis. Danny Burstein steels some scenes as this funny black sheep of the Navy. Other standouts are Loretta Ables Sayre and Li Jun Li as bloody Mary and her daughter Liat. Then when Lt. Joseph Cable walks on stage everyone takes notice. Dashingly handsome Andrew Samonsky plays this troubled young man, not sure if he should choose love or social expectations. South Pacific has been running at the Vivian Beaumont Theater for almost a year and is still filling seats. Get out to see this one because even if you don't know the material, as soon as the orchestra plays its first cord, you will love it.

Madeleines In Manhattan By Colette Rossant

Seeing movies in French subtitles, and just finishing a book written by a French woman makes one want some strong coffee and a good pastry. Colette Rossant is known as one of New York's ultimate foodies. She lived in Ciro and Paris for most of her childhood years. Then falling in love, getting married and living in Italy, are all briefly covered in the first two chapters. This small volume is mostly based on her move to Manhattan in the '50's. Everything she writes about is surrounded by food. With charming little recipes after each chapter, you can practically eat you way through this book. Reading along you feel like your following Colette through her life one meal at a time. Lets just say don't read this on a empty stomach. As she gets used to the train and the city she finds there are some things no one wants to get used to. White bread and iceberg lettuce being two things she can't stand. Exploring each neighborhood she finds places that reminded her of home, and places that are totally new. Somehow Colette takes each new experience in stride and they find a way into her cooking. After odd jobs she settles into teaching French. Having a wonderful Husband and eventually children she loves to cook and have guest over. Her guests rave over her strange style in the kitchen. Making the move from midtown to downtown Colette tries to fit in on their new block. With her upfront attitude and pleasant demeanor she wins over most of her new neighbors. In time she becomes a author of many cook books, teaches cooking to kids on PBS, and writes articles for Food Arts Magazine. She even becomes New York Magazine 'Underground Gourmet.' Must have been nice to secretly dine in eateries and then review them. New York is not enough for this lively women. She travels the world not forgetting the food everywhere she goes. She lived a full life moving across the ocean, finding her way in the big city, and having four children. Through it all she is optimistic, positive and most of all hungry.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Coco Before Chanel With Audrey Tautou

Audrey Tautou is Coco Chanel in this new look back before the fashion giant was world famous. Set in 1908 France where we get swept away by a brooding unfulfilled young Coco. Yes she pushes her way into the upper-class with her boyish outfits and charm. When her sister, who has been by her side since they were orphans, gets taken away by a Baron promising marriage. She sets off by herself to crash the party at a former lovers house. Can the girl that doesn't believe in love learn to give her heart away? This film tells the story as if Coco was wondering around with a style of her own and know idea what to do with it. Coco has fun making fun of all the feathers and dresses with trains. She would rather put on a man jacket and wear black, "It's the only color that bring out the eyes." Simplicity that is what she craves in her clothes and life. Being so different and yet resourceful is why this controversial icon was so influential.

A Serious Man A Coen Brothers Picture

The Coen brothers are at it again, and they have really stepped into it this time. Turning their writing in on themselves and putting forth a black comedy about suburban life in the '60's. Strange how universal this story is, even though its about a Jewish family. Every family has problems like brothers fighting with sisters and relatives staying on the couch. Its just that Larry Gopnik's problems seen to pile up. The difference is that when he needs help he go's to a Rabbi, three Rabbi's that is. Hay, Larry has lots of things he doesn't understand. Perception and unknowability seem to be the hidden messages in this movie. But like the rabbi says "We don't get the answers, just the questions. The responsibility is of our side of the Faith." So know one owes us an expiation, not the Coen brothers, not even god.

Bachiana Filharmonica with Joao Carlos Martins & Dave Brubeck Oct. 2nd, 09

Friday was such a nice night to get invited to the Lincoln Center. It is not good to be running late to one of these events, so jog up the block and get there on time. When late it is hard to notices details. This is the reason for only realizing that the fountain was working again during the intermission. They are celebrating 50 years over there on Amsterdam Ave. Why not celebrate together? It so happens to be the 50th anniversary of Dave Brubeck's Gold album "Time Out". Dave has been known for crossing genres and that is what this program was about. The first two pieces where by Brazilian composer Heeitor Villa-Lobos. This year happens mark 50 years since his death. This composer took inspiration from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Blending Bach with Brazilian music with his Bachianas Brasileiras. The Bachianas Brasileiras No.4 followed by Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7 was a nice start to the evening. After a quick break Chris Brubeck, proving that musical talent does not skip a generation, came out with his Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra. Then his dad American jazz pianist and living legend Dave Brubeck step out on stage to a standing room ovation. They played two of his pisces and one of his brothers. (Brandenburg Gate: Revisited, Thank You (Dziekuje), Theme For June) All this and more because they stayed on stage to play three unannounced selections. Joao Carlos Martins was living a dream conducting and playing along side the Burbecks. Most the People in the room where bobin' their heads and tappin' their feet. This is what being a music fan is all about, shows that change your life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

David Grisman & John Sebastian Oct. 1st, 09

On the first of October it felt, really felt like fall. Fall in the city is busy place, lots to do as you try out your warm layers. You know what else keep you warm, Bluegrass. The City Winery had some real new york bluegrass on stage Thursday night. Grisman and Sebastian were side by side in two equally bad Hawaiian shirts. These two came out of the Greenwich Village folk scene back in the 60s. Having fun playing some songs from back then, when they were part of the Even Dozen Jug Band. John was telling stories and a playing handful of the The Lovin' Spoonful hits. ("Daydream," "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind,") Then Grisman with less words brings out "Shady Grove" and other jazz Influenced Bluegrass. Lots of friends and family were around when they played "Summer in the City" including the songs writer John's brother Mark Sebastian. A charming little set in a beautiful little room. The staff tip toe around passing out fine food and wine. Don't eat before a show dine there, plan to kick in a little extra to take in the whole experience. Some great things coming up in this downtown club. Richard Thompson is playing three nine o'clock shows October 21st to the 23rd.
Check out the album they have together from 2007, Satisfied.

Gov't Mule At Brooklyn Bowl Sept. 30th, 09

Welcome to the Brooklyn Bowl was said more then once on the night of Sept. 30Th. "This is not the Wetlands but we hope that spirit lives on here." There is a familiar feeling of family in this new venue in Brooklyn. This place is not only a kick ass music club with big screens and a nice wood floor, but also happens to have a 16-lane bowling alley, a restaurant and a bar. The food is awesome not the crap food served at most places with music. Thursday was a party put on by Gov't Mule, a listening party/birthday thing. After bowling some frames and hearing the CD over the speakers the Mule came out and ripped it up. "By a Thread" comes out on Oct. 27Th and is their eighth studio album. Warren Haynes is a fan of '60s power trios, like Cream, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. You can see this brought out on stage with this band more then the Allmam's. What a night thanks to the lovely Brooklyn Bowl and the Rockin' Gov't Mule. If you got nothing going on around NYC for Halloween get down to Philly and see Warren with Gov't Mule at the Tower Theater.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It Might Get Loud

This music documentary is unlike any that came before it. Visualize not one, but three legendary guitarists in you living room chatting. This film is about the electric guitar as mush as it is about the musicians on camera. How could you go wrong with The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), and Jack White (The White Stripes)? This seems like a trick of White's as he says, "to get them to teach me everything they know." Each player has a style, influences, and a love for the instrument. The whole story is told in a very unstructured way. One fan coming out said "its like the longest Jimmy Page interview ever." Oh and as if you did not know, it might get a little loud.