Tag Archives: brooklyn

All City Street Art Block Party

Last week All City (the international street art app) and Factory Fresh (an art gallery located in Brooklyn) put together a slammin’ block party that went into the night. Graffiti and street artists such as Chris Stain, Gaia, Skewville, Imminent Disaster and members of UK’s Burning Candy crew were in attendance and painted on a 200 foot wall on Vandervoort Place deep in the heart of Bushwick. A DJ spun some funky tunes and a Calexico taco cart was there as well, providing tacos and burritos for everybody’s belly. I’ll take a rain check on the carne asada! By the time it got dark, most of the artists were putting the finishing touches on their pieces. Inside Factory Fresh, there was art on display by local street artists as well as yummy, hot apple cider and a preview screening of DOTS a documentary about London’s graffiti crew, Burning Candy. The movie, so far, follows BC member CYCLOPS on his trip to India to meet the artists who haindpaint the street signs there. He meets many of the locals and eventually collaborates and creates with the artists whom he finds inspirational. The premise of the movie is to follow all the members of the crew to different locations as they travel to the home of the art which inspired them. The film is not complete and the event also served as a way to promote the project and hopefully gain financial support for the film. For more info on their funding plan check out the DOTS website if you are interested in hopping on board by purchasing some art and becoming a co-producer. The film is ambitious and so far, looks excellent and it definitely deserves to be seen. Factory Fresh plans on having more events in the future in the hopes of transforming Vandervoort Place into The Bushwick Art Park where street art and sculptures could be on display in a safe environment for the artists and the community.


King Con at Brooklyn's Lyceum

Earlier this month, Brooklyn Lyceum’s second annual King Con brought together comic and animation artists, writers and publishers for a fun weekend of exhibitions, panels, signings and workshops. The exhibition floor was filled with super friendly artists selling their latest books, original art, prints and comics. Legendary X-Men writer, Chris Claremont was in the building! I got more sketches for my sketchbook. Check ’em out…some of the ones I got are up at the top and they’re by Nelson Diaz, Gia-Bao Tran, Cynthea Mazur, Becky Hawkins, JT Yost and Nate Bear…all very talented and nice people. I picked up a bunch of books, but right now my favorites are Imaginary Monsters by Peter J. Lazarski and Bear Brains by Nate Bear . Both are real funny comics. I went to a couple panels during the weekend including The Cross Hatch Podcast Live, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School King Con Edition which featured pinup artist Paige Pumphrey and Hips, Lips Pencil Tips featuring female artists and writers. My favorite panel was Carousel, a live comic reading which featured comic book artists reading from their books while their art work was projected on a screen. It was a real treat to see artists such as Julia Wertz, Emily Flake, Mike Kuperman and R. Sikoryak bring their creations to life and add another dimension to their art by providing voice, sound effects and narration. King Con III is scheduled for Nov 3 -6, 2011. IMG_7484IMG_7505IMG_7496IMG_7503

nyc street art


Big Eyes played Knitting Factory

After Cheeky broke up, it’s damn good to see Kate back in a band and rocking a stage. The new band is called Big Eyes and features Kate Eldridge on guitar and vocals, Mark Bronzino (Seasick and ANS) on the bass and C.J. Frederick (Used Kids) on the drums. Killer sound…punk, rock a tad bit of garage. They sound sorta like the Muffs, so if you’re a fan of that band and that pop punk genre, this is the band for you. I caught one of their shows at Silent Barn and they rocked and a more recent show at Knitting Factory (Sept. 15) with Screaming Females and Shellshag. They sounded even better than I remembered…Kate sounded amazing, C.J. solid on the kit and Mark looked like his head was going to snap off with all that headbanging. Right now, they have a CD-R and a 7″ that features 4 brand spanking new songs: Prefer To Be Alone, Since You Left, You Ain’t The Only One and All Alone. The 7″ is on Evil Weevil Records and for all you collector’s, get this…only 400 black vinyl and 100 white. But, you can only get the white vinyl online! For more info, check them out on myspace, facebook or twitter. They’ve got a ton of shows coming up, so check your local listings and show your support by checking out Big Eyes at a venue near you.


Norah Jones, pic by MR. C
Norah Jones, pic by MR. C
Norah Jones, pic by MR. C
Norah Jones, pic by MR. C of www.planetchocko.com

Norah Jones blessed the 2010 season of Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park by kicking off the free concert series on June 9th,2010! It was a gloomy,dreary,rainy,& depressing day, but once Norah surfaced on the stage, her vocals & soulful fingers on the keyboard made me drift away to another planet! A dry & sunny Planet Chocko, perhaps! She was accompanied once again with the multi-talented Sasha, who provided the backup vocals,guitars,percussions, & banjo playing. Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn Borough President made his improptu speech to welcome Norah Jones & to celebrate Brooklyn! Not for nothing, but I don’t even live in Brooklyn & I know the name & face of the Brooklyn Borough Prez! I barely even remember the name of the Mayor in my own town. What’s wrong with this picture?!

Yes, I was semi prepared(not really) for the rains that accompanied Norah & her audience at the Bandshell in Prospect Park, but I got demolished by the rains,anyway. I was wearing 100% all american cotton which is not a good idea, unless you want to act as a human sponge! I brought a petite umbrella that folds up in 30 places which is ‘hella’ portable which is why I got ‘hella’ drenched! I also brought a heavy duty black garbage bag to cover the wet chair so my brain wouldn’t get fried! Donning the garbage bag over my body like a ghost would of been a better idea! Probably a stupid risk, but I whipped out the camera for some still shots & a few vids so the beast got a fair share of raindrops & a few teardrops from myself as well! Norah Jones scintillated the Brooklyn & New Jersey audience that night with a tuneful harassment of her cool breeze,deep,& honey infused vocals! Norah’s set list included Stuck,Creepin in,Sunrise,Come Away with Me,Don’t Know Why,Dauphin Island,cover from Neil Young’s-Barstool Blues,Back to Manhattan, & Chasing Pirates. NJ’s rendition of “Dauphin Island” by Mobile-Alabama’s own, So Brown was inspirational. “Dauphin Island” in Alabama was a tribute to the beauty of the Island before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that washed up on the beaches. Norah Jones’ peformance was worth being marinated in the rain for 2 hours! Plus, my camera showed no ill effects as of yet! Knock on wood *As I knock on my head* Maybe, we can see more of Norah Jones in Brooklyn since she just became a resident in this wonderful borough once again in the Cobble Hill section, I believe! Sunrise..Sunrise…Norah!
–Mr. C

Greenpoint, BK

-photo by chocko

williamsburg, BK street art


NORAH JONES at ST. ANN'S Warehouse – PBS Soundstage

Planet Chocko invaded the Norah Jones taping of the PBS show, Soundstage recorded live at St. Ann’s warehouse in Brooklyn on January 27, 2010. Unfortunately, I only have 1 measly photo (a blurry one at that) taken from my crappy cell phone camera to show for it because I was so excited to attend the event that I forgot my bazooka camera at home. It’s a tremendously rare occurance when Mr. C leaves his media induced equipment in the shadows, but I can truly say that I really enjoyed Norah’s performance without any distractions fornicated from behind one eye of the viewfinder! First off, Norah looked amazingly stunning dressed in her silky turquoise ensemble while sporting her classy hairdo reminiscent of the soul divas of the 60’s like Connie Francis, Aretha Franklin, & Bette Lavette. Norah’s voice to me is one of the most divine & pure haunts offered to an ear! NJ’s voice sets a tone in her storytelling soliloquy that wrenches up a punch to the gut with some soul. Now, onto the performance of the night! Norah was backed by her 5 piece band including a noticeable kick ass sidekick named Sasha. Sasha played the Robin role from Batman & Robin by providing Norah with excellent backup vocals, percussions, acoustic guitar, & banjo playing. You can even say, Sasha’s physical presence dominated the stage quite a bit with her shiny red dress & attractive stature, her playing of various instruments, & the noticeable tribal tattoo on her arm. However, when the ‘game puck went onto the green side’ & Norah’s gentle, but powerful voice resonated on the microphone with her lively piano & guitar playing , the attention was quickly turned back to the Jedi! The set started out with Chasing pirates, a tune from her new album, ‘The Fall’. NJ mostly played songs from The Fall including Waiting, Even Though, It’s gonna be, You’ve ruined me, Back to Manhattan, Youngblood, & a very funny performance of “Man of the hour” which generated some audience chuckles with lyrics like:

“It’s him or me
That’s what he said
But I can’t choose
Between a vegan and a pot head
So I chose you, because you’re sweet and you give me lots of lovin’ and you eat meat
And that’s how you became
My only man of the hour “…..

Norah also played cover songs from Wilco “Jesus Etc.”, a Kink’s song “Strangers”, & Tom Wait’s “The Long Way Home”. NJ sang 2 of her most popular songs known to earthlings, “Come Away with Me” & ended the night with an encore performance of the beautiful tune “Don’t know why” in a slower, jazzier-blues tempo with the help of some harmonies with bad to the bone, Sasha. I’ve been a fan of Norah since her 1st & most well known album “Come Away with Me” & her voice on all her records are sultry, dynamic, & full of soul, but now that I’ve seen her live, I truly have a greater appreciation for her! Norah really is the real deal! She is definitely not just another studio created apparition. I wish I could of had the privilege to see Norah Jones perform at the old ‘Living Room’ in downtown Manhattan on Stanton & Allen Streets when she first blew up on the NYC scene! That must have been some kind of combustible performance in such tightly packed quarters! What was really refreshing to me was that Norah Jones seemed kind of shy & nervous onstage at St. Ann’s warehouse. She confessed that she was a bit set aback playing in front of family & friends who dominated the first 4 or 5 rows in the audience who she can see very clearly. It’s very touching to see that NJ is still so grounded & down to earth as opposed to being jaded as some successful musicians are. Off topic, but NJ mentions that she is a big fan of the show “Babycakes”. She engaged the audience quite a bit when the camera men were changing video tapes. She even recited some dialogue from the show.
Thanks, Norah for the excellent performance even with the jetlag from the Japan trip & we hope the rest of the Planet Chocko martians can remember to check out Norah’s performance on Soundstage on PBS when it aires sometime in the near future!
Oh, also of note, I listened to Norah’s new EP on vinyl which has remixes of ‘Chasing Pirates’ & ‘That’s What I said’ & it’s CAPITAL D-O-P-E! The EP remix of “Chasing Pirates” was produced by Santigold & Snotty while “That’s what I said” were remixed by Adrock & Mike D of the Beastie Boys!! This EP is a 12 inch worth cuttin’ up one time for your mind! Check out Norah’s new album “The Fall” in whatever format or Planet you desire! You won’t be sorry!
–Mr. C

St. Ann’s Warehouse
38 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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

T-Model Ford at powerHouse Arena 12.10.09

After waking up from a nap, I checked my twitter account and saw that T-Model Ford was performing in Brooklyn for free. T-Model Ford is an 80-something year old (nobody really knows his real age)quintessential blues musician from Mississippi who got a pacemaker put in about 2 years ago and continues to play. I had not seen Mr. Ford play in years, so I just had to go. I packed my bag with the essentials-cameras and memory cards and drove like I just stole the damn car. From Jersey to BK, not an easy task in the middle of holiday traffic. I got to DUMBO (parking there is a bee-otch!) a couple minutes after 8 pm just in time for T-Model’s set. The man did not disappoint. He played the blues for nearly an hour only to pause to take a swig of the whiskey. When T-Model Ford is in the house…it’s Jack Daniel Time! He got the crowd dancing and booties were definitely shaking. Mr. Ford showed no sign of retiring anytime soon. After his set, I witnessed him hitting on the ladies and wanting to go to their place. Dirty Dawg! The event was also a signing for a book of photos titled “Blues, Booze & BBQ” which coincided with a photo exhibit in the store. To check out this book and so much more, I recommend checking out PowerHouse Arena located at 37 Main Street DUMBO Brooklyn NY. Support indie bookstores and don’t forget to check out T-Model Ford next time he’s in your neck of the woods!