Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: Make Music New York, 6/21/07

The start of what could be a very good thing, if it doesn’t rain. This is the American version of La Fete de la Musique, a French tradition which literally dates back centuries: on June 21, everybody breaks out their instruments and plays on the street. Thanks to the organizers, who worked with the city to make sure permits were made available to the musicians, there were an impressive number of bands on the street by the time people started leaving work. It was harder to gauge what was going on during the day. At noon, I went over to the garden on 8th between Ave. B and C to see No Police State Girl do hip-hop. No idea who she is or what she does, but you gotta love the concept.  She wasn’t there. Let’s hope that minivan with tinted windows at 9th and C wasn’t Blackwater operatives who grabbed her off the street and put her on a flight to Romania.

 

After work, there was noise everywhere, not all of it good, but an improvement over the usual screech of bus alarms, car alarms and such. Many acts chose to play outside music venues: Jack Grace in front of the temporarily shuttered Rodeo Bar, a bunch of white guys playing reggae outside Otto’s. A country-rock band set up at Broadway and West 4th, and the loud, artsy quartet System Noise played a block south. Although many of the creme de la creme of New York musicians play on the street, they were by far the best thing we saw. Dynamic frontwoman with a spectacular range and ability to project (keep in mind that this was outdoors, and she was competing with a lot of extraneous noise); virtuoso rhythm section including a bass player who basically doubled as rhythm guitarist, playing a lot of chords; and fiery Strat player who has a thing for eerie chromatics. They like odd time signatures and complex song structures, things typically associated with prog bands. But their songwriting is a lot more terse and their material is a lot louder. They have a Pink Floyd-esque anguish, but also a sense of humor, which came to the forefront on a ridiculously catchy funk number directed at Fox News and the people who hang out there. A bevy of friends of the band worked the corner, handing out flyers for their show at the Blaggard at 10:30 this Friday; from the crowd’s response, their show will be well-attended.

 

Then the rains came, and we were off to see a HORRIBLE art opening on 57th St. And then to Lakeside for drinks, and after that a block east to see Amy Allison. But that’s a story for another day.  

June 27, 2007 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, New York City, Reviews

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