SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND
Did you miss Manchildblack and DJ Afro for The Copasetic‘s release party Saturday night in New York? Well, don’t sleep on the band’s performance next month during Slow Knights at Brooklyn Bowl. Without question, Manchild’s smooth, sophisticated vocals and DJ Afro’s sharp production skills and musicianship make an ideal pairing, with both delivering a vibrant mix of funk, R&B, disco and House music for our listening pleasure. If audience reaction is any indicator, I have no doubt this is just the tip of the iceberg. I was caught up in the moment watching the Copasetic’s full outfit energize a gathering at Friends and Lovers, a neighborhood bar in Brooklyn. Manchild and DJ Afro were beaming on stage while performing the new track, If I Ever (available on the Hype Life Music label), and a string of other original tunes.
Always a supporter of sweet, underground grooves, I can see this act leading the charge in a return to high-quality, soulful music in the mainstream. I’m excited by what the future holds for them! Just listen to the difference. I recently featured Manchildblack on my blog’s Guest Spotlight (Music section). And, in case you’re somehow unfamiliar with DJ Afro’s extensive discography, see him in action with the popular Venezuelan band, Los Amigos Invisibles.
The Copasetic: http://elafro.com/the-copasetic/
The countdown is on as the hard-working team at Modern Hieroglyphics gears up for its premiere issue magazine launch in San Francisco this week. The crew’s “stoked” to announce that Joe Kay and Julio Galvez of Soulection from Los Angeles are providing vibes for July 25, along with plaad, Mikos Da Gawd and several other guests. Too bad I can’t make the West Coast trek, but I’m just as excited to be a part of the launch because one of my photos will be in the mix on its pages (shout out to 5Pointz curator Meres One)!
Modern Hieroglyphics is a “constantly evolving art publication” created by Jack McKain and respected street artist Chor Boogie. The début has 156 pages, featuring 10 artists from eight cities and more than 200 full-color images. Among interviews and artwork highlighted: Shaka (Paris); Blame One (San Diego, Calif.); Pez (Nantes, France); Nils Westergard (Richmond, Va.); Meres One of 5Pointz (Queens, NY); Chor Boogie (San Francisco); Andre Power of Soulection (Los Angeles); Deb (San Francisco); Well Dressed Vandals (Sydney, Australia) and Noah Scalin (Richmond, Va.).
Think you know Hip-Hop culture? Test that knowledge while taking in the full scope of Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip-Hop, an extensive tribute now showing at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the West Village. It ends this week, so don’t miss the chance to thumb through a bin filled with Afrika Bambaataa’s record collection (duplicates, of course) or check out Joe Conzo‘s acclaimed vintage prints from back in the day. And, there’s more detailing the vibrant history of an artistic phenomenon that continues to reach new heights and span the globe 40 years after its inception.
Remember those old-school ghetto jam flyers? Well, Born in the Bronx showcases the many designs of Buddy Esquire, called the “king of Hip-Hop flyers” in an NPR article earlier this year following his death. “Some of the most important surviving documents from that period were the party flyers,” the story notes. Other highlights from the exhibit include a grid of original cells from the animated sequences of Charlie Ahearn’s classic Wild Style.
BROOKLYN FLEA’S CREME DE LA CREME
Nothing spells summer quite like a big scoop of yumminess of your favorite flavor on a hot day. This weekend, Brooklyn Flea celebrates National Ice Cream Month (who knew!) with its annual Creme de la Creme fest at two locations. First up, check out the massive Fort Greene Flea on Saturday where more than a dozen ice cream vendors will be on hand with mouth-watering selections galore. If you miss it, hit Kent Avenue on Sunday for the Williamsburg Flea. Who can resist more than 50 flavors and “every kind of frozen perfection you can imagine” at both fleas, according to event organizers. Rain or shine, I’m SO there!
Creme de la Creme 2014 Vendor Lineup:
• Alchemy Creamery
• Blue Marble Ice Cream
• Butter & Scotch
• Fort Grace
• Hay Rosie
• La Newyorkina
• Monsieur Singh
• Morgenstern’s Finest
• Odd Fellows
• People’s Pops
• Phin & Phebe’s
• The Good Batch
• Victory Garden
Brooklyn Flea’s Creme de la Creme: http://www.brooklynflea.com/2014/07/18/icecream/
TEENS TAKING THE LEAD
An ambitious group of New York City teens are spending their summer inspiring friends, family and the rest of us to make healthier choices by example. Food Bank for New York City launched its EATWISE Change One Thing social marketing campaign this week (July 7-Sept. 5) — spreading an important message across five boroughs via Instagram and Twitter, radio and more. Participating students will even hit the road in a revamped ice cream truck featuring an interactive video game, nutritious snacks, recipes, bottled water and prizes.
Change One Thing helps guide teens toward practical, healthy choices they can make without breaking their budget or disrupting their social lives, according to program organizers. Eating healthy, they explain, doesn’t have to mean overhauling your diet or buying expensive “health food.” It can start with just one healthy choice per day. I really like this initiative because it makes a lot of sense and keeps things simple, whether you’re 14 or 44. Take the stairs instead of the elevator in the morning. Reach for fresh fruit rather than a bag of chips. Skip the lunchtime soda and quench your thirst with a glass of water.
Hey, putting fitness first may be a lot more fun than you think! Are you up to the challenge? Look out for Change One Thing ads on buses, in stores and phone kiosks around the city. If you see them, send a pic and experience the tour with EATWISE teens using #ChangeOneThing!
Visit the following links to learn more about CookShop, the centerpiece nutrition education program offered by the Food Bank for New York City. CookShop for Teens (or EATWISE: Educated and Aware Teens Who Inspire Smart Eating) gives young people the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about what they eat and drink and living an active lifestyle.
Food Bank for New York City: http://foodbanknyc.org/
EATWISE: A Youth Nutrition Program: http://eatwiseteens.org/
E2-E4 SET THE TONE IN ’84
For those in need of a refresher course on electronic dance music’s early days of aural experimentation, I present E2-E4. Definitively in a class by itself, this seminal work is a priceless Paradise Garage anthem among anyone serious about House music, techno and all the offshoots. The genius, when played in entirety, lies within a minimalist aesthetic and emotive influence still undeniable decades later as we celebrate the hypnotic album’s 30th anniversary of its official release.
Always drawn to a good back story, I tuned in to FACT TV’s exclusive with the one and only Manuel Göttsching discussing E2-E4‘s origins. The Berlin native and prolific guitarist reveals what inspired him to go in a different direction as he explored various modes of instrumentation. Recorded in one take, the hour-long progressive album is named for the most popular opening chess move and it is subdivided into single tracks according to the stage of the song.
Since that fateful studio production in 1981, it has been sampled endlessly. To his surprise, E2-E4 has inspired generations of DJs, dancers and devotees, including a 1989 Balearic reboot by Sueño Latino. “It was a moment when everything was perfect,” Göttsching shares with FACT TV about its creation. But, “I never considered or I never composed it as a dance piece. And, the first time somebody told me it was played at clubs, I couldn’t believe it.”
ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE IN DUMBO
Clear the calendar and consider yourself invited. A.I.R. Gallery is proud to present its annual postcard series, Wish You Were Here 13, featuring original works by more than 300 national and international artists from as far as Sweden, Japan, France, Italy and Canada. This year, I’m also proud (and excited) to be among the distinguished group of women who created and donated 4×6 pieces varying in style, medium and theme for the 2014 exhibition.
Wish You Were Here 13 runs June 26-July 20 at the nation’s first female cooperative gallery. An opening reception will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the DUMBO location. Proceeds benefit A.I.R.’s Fellowship Program for Emerging and Underrepresented Artists and other programs serving the nonprofit’s mission to advance women in the visual arts. The artist-run gallery was founded in 1972 with the goal of providing a professional and permanent exhibition space for women artists during a time when most works shown at commercial galleries were almost exclusively by male artists.
A.I.R. Gallery: http://airgallery.org
INDIE ART AND MORE