Monthly Archives: December 2009

Dar Williams at Southpaw in Brooklyn-NYC 12/27/09

Dar Williams @ Southpaw's in Brooklyn on 12/27/09

Dar Williams @ Southpaw's in Brooklyn on 12/27/09

Dar Williams @ Southpaw's in Brooklyn on 12/27/09

Dar Williams came out with guns blazing through brooklyn on her ubiquitous southpaw stance & delivered a heavy hitting set with a hippie inspired knockout performance at Southpaw’s in the Park slope section of Brooklyn on the Sunday after xmas of 2009! It’s always a great pleasure watching Dar perform with her amazing melodies while she plays her guitar with such great ryhthm & folk style. She truly is an amazing songwriter, performer, & storyteller. Watching her sing at such an intimate venue in acoustic fashion was awesome! For me, it’s a self help-holistic, feel good, cleansing session of the heart when she performs onstage! She hypnotized the crowd at Southpaw’s despite having an incident in the dressing room while getting ready for the show by grabbing the wrong end of the curling iron! Ouch! Well, it didn’t affect her performance one bit! Dar’s TKO 19 song set included fan favorites such as the Christians & the Pagans, As cool as I am, Mercy of the Fallen, Spring Street, the easy way, & February. The audience wanted to hear ‘After All’ & one of my Dar faves ‘Iowa’ , but she never got the chance to play it on her set. The standout songs that the audience went wild for while clapping & singing along to were ‘As cool as I am’, ‘Christians & the Pagans’, ‘When I was a boy’ & ‘its alright’ which closed out the night. My personal favorites on her set were ‘Mercy of the Fallen’, ‘You are Everyone’, & a nice rendition of Stephen Trask’s song, ‘Midnight Radio’. She wrote & dedicated a sweet song to her friend, Rachel who lost her battle with life. Dar also paid tribute to free speech radio & in particular to WBAI, your peace & justice community radio station at 99.5 FM in NYC by playing ‘Are you out there’ . All in all, the messages that Dar delivered that night were of peace & love, read the ‘Green Metropolis’, support your local free speech radio, save the democratic party, support the local farmers market anarchist , grow more tomatoes in your garden when babies are blooming instead of car pooling to Costco to purchase items by the pallet, stand up & protest to our government when we are not getting due process of law, & most of all, question the questions from our politicians. Thanks to our favorite hippie chick for such a great performance! We can’t wait to see you again in acoustic fashion! By the way, if you martians haven’t had the chance to witness Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday celebration live in Madison Square Garden on May 3rd, 2009, you can view it on PBS. Dar’s performance was amazing! The finale with all the Artists including Pete Seeger singing “We Shall Overcome” & “This Land is Your Land” was bone chilling, goosebump enthralling, & most of all, inspirational! Richie Haven’s performance of “Freedom” was off the meat rack! It really brought back archived memories of Woodstock ’69 on video when Richie opened up the big Woodstock celebration on last second notice when the original opening acts were late because of the crazy traffic getting to Yasgur’s farm! Richie Haven’s is pure americana! Let’s celebrate Freedom! Damn, wonder how one of those dashiki’s would look on me?
–MR. C


Cage at B.B.King's NYC with Tame One

Me and Mr. C just made it on time to see Tame One of The Artifacts at the late show in Times Square on December 18. The Newark born emcee took command of the crowd with his complex rhyme patterns and dope, classic style on the microphone. It was so easy to see why this MC from Brick City was so influential to many underground and mainstream rappers. He released an album recently titled “Acid Tab Vocab.” Tame One’s former label mate and partner in crime (Leak Bros!), Cage from NYC headlined the show playing lots of tracks from his latest Def Jux album, “depart from me” which is a dark journey into the life of a troubled adolescent who’s been to hell and back. It is an ambitious album which mixes elements of hardcore punk, industrial rock along with hip hop. After experiencing technical difficulties with the video presentation of his performance right from the get-go, the crowd started with the heckling. Frustrated, Cage gave it right back and even threatened to jump into the crowd and pull a “Kid Cudi” admitting, “I’ve got nothing to lose.” It was just a bluff…no fights broke out. The dude is definitely an adult still haunted by his messed up early years of abuse, addiction, suicide attempts and being institutionalized. Somebody give him a hug! Shia LaBeouf (yup, the actor from the Transformers movies) is supposedly working on a movie about Cage. Leave the kids at home for that one. El-P (El Producto) was in the house. The show rocked and I really liked hearing the new stuff…”beat kids” sounded nice and so did “kick rocks.” Me and Mr. C left around 2:30 a.m. and by then Cage was joined on stage by Tame One and later by his band which included a couple of dudes on guitars, bass and keyboards. Check out the video below of Cage performing “eating its way out of me” from his new album on Definitive Jux titled “depart from me.” Rock on Cage!

"Art of the Samurai:Japanese Arms & Armor 1156-1868 Exhibition" @ the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

For the avid fans of the Samurai, there is an exhibition called the “Art of the Samurai” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City running until January 10,2010. The exhibit contains a massive exhibit of samurai hardware from the period of 1156-1868. That covers a tremendous time period in history including the warring state years of the late 1500’s in Japan!
So, get in the spirit of the Seven Samurai & Zatoichi and don’t let the chance of seeing the spirit of what these warriors in Japan represented during the fuedal times in the land of the rising sun!

Metropolitan Museum of Art
5th Avenue & E 82nd St, Manhattan, New York

Bigger Princess and Kate Ferencz at 1087 Brooklyn NYC

1087 Broadway is an awesome d.i.y. feminist space in Brooklyn that has been throwing some really rad events lately. On December 15, Kate Ferencz and Bigger Princess came back after touring all around the country. ACLU Benefit, a dude with a deep baritone voice and a guitar started the night. He’s a total downer, but he does get the crowd singing along to his songs about beer and weird relationships. The first time I heard him play, I wanted to stab my ears with a pencil, but I think he’s growing on me. Maybe I’ll get his CD next time. Bigger Princess played next. B.P. is basically a tiny, loopy, pixie-like creature named Alana Fitzgerald who plays the guitar and sings about ghosts, wolves and haunted houses. She was accompanied by Kate Ferencz who played the glockenspiel and a homemade tambourine made of an old can, metal and animal bones. Kate is fun to watch…always banging on stuff and making animal sounds during one song was way too funny. There is a Bigger Princess CD out and you can probably pick one up at a show. It’s got lots of great lo-fi, spooky folk songs from an amazingly talented young artist. Kate Ferencz played next and she is a super talented girl who sings punky, lo-fi folk songs while playing her guitar. She is energetic and intense…sometimes singing acapella or banging on a floor or table to provide a beat. She has so many great songs and one of my favorites is “trees for hands” which is about what it must be like to be that Indonesian fisherman with the weird skin disease which makes him look like his hands and feet are made of trees. “Chicken Hearts” is a fun and sensitive song that asks “do you want to have a contest eating chicken hearts…you and me?” Sure, why not…a little honey mustard sauce and I’m game. Kate’s got a really weird video on the internet for her song, “bright flying lightbulb” and a tape out titled, “Natural History Museum.” Alana and her are also working on a tv show called “Knowledge Quest.” They also live in a tree house in a far away land inhabited by gnomes and unicorns. I made that up. Check out their myspace pages for more info.

Nick Johnson to the Yankees?!

Heard some rumblings last night that the New York Yankees are close to signing a 1 year deal with their former prospect & Yankee hand, Nick Johnson. I was a big proponent of Nick Johnson when he was coming up through the ranks in the minors with the Yankees playing for the Columbus Clippers, but being injury prone was the major ‘achilles heal’ (no pun intended) of Nick’s career up to this point. Nick really reminded me of Don Mattingly with his style of play both defensively & his batting style. Even Donny baseball made the comment that Nick J has the makings of being a batting champion if he can remain healthy. Johnson also has great baseball chromosomes in his family with his uncle being Larry Bowa. NJ was supposed to be the heir to Tino Martinez but Jason Giambino soon took that role if you can remember or forget, I should say. What Nick presents to the Yankees at this current time is great on base percentage, a familiarity in donning pinstripes, & being a crafty hitter that sprays his hits to all fields. Wouldn’t Johnson make a great 2nd hole hitter behind Jeter? With the on base percentages of Jeter,Johnson, & Nick Swisher, TEX & Arod would have a field day with RBI’s! Nobody can ever replace the man from Japan in the clutch as Matsui, but Nick Johnson sure does make it sound interesting on paper. Now, let’s hope Nick Johnson doesn’t sneeze the wrong way or else, he might crack a few ribs & call it a career!

Xian Famous Foods *Grand Opening* in Chinatown,NYC!

Xian Famous Foods
Calling all Planet Chocko martians, aliens, & other forms of life that enjoy good cheap ass food! I’m happy to announce that ‘Xian Famous Foods’ is opening up a branch in Manhattan’s Chinatown in NYC @ 88 Forsyth St ! Their grand opening is this Saturday, December 19th! Xian is located on the western part of China in the Shaanxi Province that is home to the famous 8000+ terra cotta soldiers buried near the Mausouleum of the second Ming Emperor. Xian is also famous for their liang pi & hand pulled noodles. Their rendition of the savory cumin lamb burger is also very tasty. The lamb meat is sliced & then sauteed with some jalapenos,onions,& scallions & then gently smothered between a warm crispy bun. Xian also has slight influences of Islam & as a result impart it in some of their cuisine. I am stoked that we, extraterrestrials don’t have to trek all the way to Flushing, Queens @ the Flushing Mall to get our fix! I must admit that Flushing, Queens probably does lay home to the tastiest chinese cuisine destination of all the 5 boros in NYC. Sorry, Manhatty Chinatown…I still got love for ya’ & you definitely have more personality & character, but you’re one ugly MOFO! Hehehee…for all that don’t know, Chinatown-NYC is my heart, a clogged one at that, but still my heart! Check out these MOFO’s & enjoy a good meal! Check out their menu

Xian Famous Foods
88 Forsyth St by East Broadway #106
New York, NY 10002

Flushing, NY – Flushing Mall
133-31 39th Avenue #FC10
Flushing, NY 11354

Natural Elements at Fat Beats NYC

Natural Elements (A-Butta, L-Swift and Mr. Voodoo) came through Fat Beats (406 6th Ave. between 8th and 9th Streets in New York City) on Dec. 15 to celebrate the release of “1999: 10 Year Anniversary” an album that should have come out a decade ago. In the mid-nineties A-Butta, L-Swift and Mr. Voodoo formed Natural Elements and represented the New York underground scene with singles such as “bust mine” and “livin’ it up.” With every appearance on radio shows such as “Stretch and Bobbito Show” and every freestyle and mixtape that came out, their fan base increased. Their success got them signed to Tommy Boy Black sub-label where they released the single “2 tons” and recorded what was supposed to be their debut album. That album was never officially released…until now-sort of. The 2009 release is an excellent source for checking out Natural Elements if you’re new to the game, but it clearly is not the debut album from 99, but more of a greatest hits release with a little something for everybody. Their appearance at Fat Beats was crazy. With DJ Eclipse (Halftime Radio Show) on the turntables, Natural Elements ripped through a short set and despite the reunited trio not remembering all their lyrics…the crowd was loving every moment. Check out the video below for their performance of “off beat bop.” If you have never heard of Natural Elements and you are a fan of real hip hop, do yourself a favor and pick up “1999.” Better late than never!

Bess Rogers @ Rockwood Music Hall – NYC 11.28.09

Strong Island’s own, Bess Rogers performed at the Rockwood Music hall in lower manhattan on November 28th, 2009 @ Allison Weiss’s record release party. It was a cause for celebration @ Rockwood Music Hall with 3 really great acts performing including Allison Weiss, Bess Rogers, & Greg Holden. Bess Rogers mesmerized the crowd with her sweet melodic tunes & tantalizing guitar/ukelele play! She belted out pop inspired folk songs with powerful & clear vocals. I wanted to clap my hands & do the E Street shuffle with each of Bess’ performances if I weren’t so busy juggling my captain morgan drink in one hand and playing sniper camera man with the other. By the way, big ups to the waitress for fulfilling everyone’s drink request despite doing the ‘lambada’ with every patron in the room. It was that tight in the joint! Bess played songs including ‘Bulldozer’,’Everything to lose’, & ‘you and me’. We even learned that she was a Def Leppard fan with her cute rendition of ‘Pour some sugar on me’…chicken fried steak style aka country style!
I first heard Bess Rogers play when she was backing up Ingrid Michaelson on guitars & vocals on Ingrid’s tour. Bess & her other ship mate, Allie Moss were great onstage! In fact, the band backing up Ingrid on her tour were also center stage @ Rockwood Music Hall backing up Bess Rogers minus Allie Moss. Chris Kuffner,Dan Romer,Elliot Jacobson, & Bess Rogers melded together nicely like a sinful batch of saltwater taffy at such an intimate setting like the Rockwood! If you get a chance, watch her play live! You won’t be dissapointed! Maybe, she’ll perform another cover of some 80’s band….fried big country style! “I’m hot..sticky sweet..from my head to my feet…yeah!” Check out Bess Roger’s “Travel Back” EP with a new album in the works to be released in the summer. She’s also in another band called “Flux Capacitors” covering tunes from 80’s bands. Back to the future, baby! or should I say blast from the past!
–pcimprezz (videos courtesy of pcimprezzive & loopyvids)

Rockwood Music Hall
196 Allen St
New York, NY 10002

5 Pointz in Queens, NYC

5 Pointz located in Long Island City, NYC…the Institute of Higher Burnin.
photos by chocko

Vivian Girls at Death By Audio w/ Yellow Fever and Happy Birthday

The show at Death By Audio on Dec. 12 was a fuzzed out, lo-fi spectacular with the newly signed to Sub Pop Records, Happy Birthday starting things off. The band features Kyle Thomas (King Tuff), Chris Weisman and Ruth Garbus. You may recognize Kyle from his other bands such as Witch (with J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.) and Feathers (with Ruth). Fun fact: Ruth has a sister named Merrill who is better known as tUnE-YaRdS. The crowd hopped around and showed lots of love and support while the bad previewed lots of upcoming tracks such as “girls fm” and “pink strawberry shake” from their album which won’t be released until March 2010. Yellow Fever played next. This show was their record release party for their brand new self-titled album on the Vivian Girls’ record label, Wild World. Stripped down and quirky songs are what you’ll get from this Austin, TX based band. Jennifer Moore (lead vocals) and Adam Jones (percussion) played lots of songs from the new record which actually is comprised of older songs from previously released EPs and 7″ single. My favorites are “cats and rats” and “psychedelic.” The crowd kicked it up a notch when the Vivian Girls took to the stage and blasted through a reverb-heavy, lo-fi set which included songs from their newest album, “Everything Goes Wrong” and even a Chantels cover of “he’s gone” while being joined by Kyle from Happy Birthday. You gotta love a band whose influences are sixties girl groups, surf and the Ramones. The Vivian Girls have been getting lots of attention lately and it’s all well deserved. I was watching the game show Jeopardy last summer and the Girls were the subject of a question. I don’t remember the question exactly, it was something like “name the borough of New York where the musical group, the Vivian Girls are from” and the answer (in the form of a question) was Brooklyn. Check out some of the videos from the show courtesy of pcimprezzive and loopyvids.