Thanksgiving has come and gone, the days are getting shorter and colder, and Christmas jingles have officially infiltrated every CVS and Duane Reade in the city. That’s right: it’s winter time. While some of you warm-weather people might be getting ready to hibernate, anybody who’s spent winter in NYC knows there are lots of winter reasons to leave your cave during the holiday season. One of those reasons is the Winter Village at Bryant Park, the annual festive pop up market surrounding an amazing seasonal ice skating rink just down the street from Times Square. The rink will be open all day and into the night until March 2nd, so skaters, you can come down with a date, with friends, or just on your own to enjoy laps around the open-air track for free.
For so many musicians in this past half-century, genesis came from the electricity of picking up an instrument and plucking out the melody of a Beatles tune. Now, 50 years later, a hand-picked group of young artists pay homage to the batch of songs that introduced us all to four lads out of Liverpool. Last week marked the release of Beatles Reimagined, a landmark compilation of Beatles tracks covered by a slew of indie artists. Joonbug was there, dear reader, mimosa in hand.
First, a little background: Beatles Reimagined is a joint effort created by The Adage Group and Round Hill Music, executive-produced by Owen Husney and a twenty-something piece production team including Tim Anderson (ImaRobot, Solange) and Kevin Carvel (Atlantic Records, A&M/Octone, NBC’s “The Voice”). With the North American rights in hand, the team reached out to indie greats across the country in search of the most powerful covers for this fantastic venture. The release party took place at North Hollywood staple The Federal Bar. The establishment is a vision in brick-and-mortar, more reminiscent of an NYC studio than a Valley bar. For this event, part of The Federal's Mimosa Music Series, the upstairs lounge was decked out with Beatles paraphernalia, none more exciting than The Beatles cartoons looping across the monitors. The crowd was nothing if not eclectic. There were rockers, industry types, fans and family alike. This all-ages show offered something for everyone, and that extends far beyond bagels and champagne. It was the faces of the Beatle babies in the audience that intrigued this reporter most, illustrating that the melodies of Lennon and McCartney have a timeless quality that we will only understand more as we dance merrily on into the future. Host Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes ushered us into this special event with kind words for his collaborators. His hobo-chic look screamed indie rock star as his quiet, intelligent demeanor introduced the days' bands. First on the stage were Cali-native duo Doom & Gloom. Their take on "And I Love Her" is a haunting midnight-drive version of the original. "We didn't need to do much," frontman Nate Cole told Joonbug. "We brought out the piano and reworked the tune." Perhaps an understatement, their earnest take stood out as something young McCartney might be proud of. Austin favorite Mobley followed thereafter. Though without his usual band, the guitar-toting Texan in frontman Anthony Watkins II seemed more than comfortable on stage. The highlight of the day came as he plugged in the rest of the band via cassette player (you read that right) for the staccato-funk offering of "From Me to You." Not since his days with Teddy Ruxpin has this reporter seen someone nail that kind of duet. Color me impressed. The Well Pennies. Don't know them? GET TO KNOW THEM. This folksy couple brought a down-home legitimacy to the days' events. The release itself opens with their heartbreaking cover of "All My Loving," just one of the treats they offered up on stage. Their oaky harmonies were an excellent choice for the album and the day.
Closing the show was twosome Gypsy Death Star. An unusual fit to end the show, the collected wailings of Cesar Augusto and Wyatt Hull sounded more like Captain Kirk than it did Sgt. Pepper, but nevertheless, they brought new flavor to the Fab Four, mission directive #1. Whether the creators knew it upon conception or not, Beatles Reimagined is far beyond a gift to listeners. The real treat belongs to the musicians involved. As an artist, to be given the keys to the kingdom that Ringo built is something far beyond ordinary. Consider kids in a candy shop, or perhaps another of your favorite metaphors for sheer bliss. In the eyes of the beholder, the release was a complete success, for artist and audience alike.
Polish-born surrealist painter Rafal Oblinski is an accomplished artist in his own right, drawing his inspiration and inflience from the Belgian surrealist painter Magritte. Ever since arriving in the United States over thirty years ago, Oblinski established himself early on the A-list circuit of artists in New York and has remained their ever since. His commitment to his own vision as well as the accessible themes in his have made him both stand out and fit in the artistic community. Next Wednesday, December 11th, Oblinsky is launching his show The Virtue of Ambiguitiy, hosted by Antonio "Nino" Vendome, chair of the Vendome Group,
What: Reception for surrealist painter Rafal Oblinksi
Where: 330 Spring Street, New York, New York 10013 (between Washington and Greenwich Streets)
When: Wednesday, December 11th, 6-9pm
Live music, skating performances, celebrity appearances and an amazing tree lighting will all be happening tonight at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. The tree lighting pre-show will start at 5:15 with The New York Pops Brass Quintet onstage rinkside. At 6 the Christmas magic begins with the 8th annual Tree Lighting Show, hosted by 106.7 Lite FM's Bob Bronson and Helen Little. There will be musical performances by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Young People's Chorus of New York, Loston Harris Trio, and Carly Rose Sonenclar. The talented Johnny Weir, Sarah Hughes, and The Haydenettes will also be strutting their stuff on the ice. But the real star of the show is the park's 50-foot Norway Spruce decorated in over 30,000 white and red LED lights and 3,500 starbursts, balls, snowflakes, and icicle ornaments in wintry silver, pearly white, and iridescent red and blue. Don't miss a night to remember at Bryant Park and don't forget to bring your Christmas spirit!
Friday, November 29
Don't miss Propaganda! this Friday night, featuring Alland Byallo, Daniel Wilde, Meandisco, and more. The event, which will be held at the Sullivan Room, will be a non-stop party and a great way to sweat off those post Thanksgiving calories. Doors open at 10:00pm. Tickets are available now. $12
If a rap head could have his/her dreams come true it would’ve looked like the Fool’s Gold Anniversary party over the past weekend. The party was thrown to celebrate the brooklyn-based record label’s 6-year tenure establishing itself as a prominent connection between hip-hop and electronic music. Fool’s Gold is responsible for releasing artists like Danny Brown, Kid Cudi and Duck Sauce while staking their claim as “indie innovators” by Billboard, and“tastemakers” by the New York Times.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Time to drink, be merry, and kick off the fast approaching holiday season. To do so, The Village Voice is hosting a gathering to celebrate the best holiday spirits for the season! Guests will be able to taste some of the best spirits from over 25 + distilleries, wineries and more from NYC and beyond. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will also be served, there will be a live jazz quartet, a DJ and more.
Raymi Peruvian Kitchen is teaming up with Peru's official tourism board, PromPeru and LAN Airlines to send lucky guests of Raymi from NYC to Peru for FREE! Lucky diners will be surpised to find a little extra something in with their bill on Saturday evening. Guest will be selected at random to receive complimentary economy class tickets to the land of Machu Picchu and the Inca trail.
Karaoke 4 a Kause is proud to sponsor an evening of tunes, drinks, and snacks to benefit the communities most affected by the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Founded by a group of New Yorkers moved by the needs of the less fortunate, Karaoke 4 a Kause has partnered with UNICEF to ensure funds are prioritized in the neediest areas. A general admission ticket gets you four hours of karaoke, refreshments, and access to a cash bar. Get your tickets here. See you there!
What: Karaoke 4 a Kause Fundraising Event
Where: The Ugly Kitchen, 103 First Avenue, New York, NY 10003
When: Saturday, November 23, 12:00pm-4:00pm
Get rid of the stress of the week by partying at Rosewood. Admission is open and if it's your birthday, you can get down for free.
What: Partying like a rock star
Where: 5 East 19th Street, New York, New York 10003
When: Friday, November 22nd, 10:00pm-4:00am
Bring all your friends!
Come celebrate no-shave November at the Village Pourhouse. Even if you are not yet the proud owner of a beard, get some glue and slap one on. It's the perfect excuse to meet new people and drink beer, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Movember Foundation to further research on prostate and other men's cancers. Get tickets here.
What: Dudes, beer, and beards
Where: Village Pourhouse, 64 Third Avenue, New York New York 10003
When: November 22nd, 6pm-10pm