40 articles

Flaming Lips pay homage to the mother of rock-as-art

wayne coyne and yoko ono

Wayne Coyne and Yoko Ono… two extraordinary front people shared the stage at Terminal 5 and clearly had the time of their lies.

Just a quick shout out to the Flaming Lips (one of my all-time favorite bands, for reasons far too numerous to mention) for bringing rock icon Yoko Ono on stage and providing the most perfect sonic backdrop for her singular vocal propulsions.

It’s moments like these that keep me coming back for more, despite my advanced age (should we even be allowed to go to rock shows past the age of 30?) and my early-the-next-day start time (all you parents of 5 year olds hear me here, right?) The show was a spectacle of lights, confetti, smoke machines, silver orbs and swirling walls of sound enveloping a set of slightly sad songs that somehow still make you feel good in the end. In other words, typical Flaming Lips fare. I will never tire of it.

At the end of the show, they left the stage, with just this last word for us to absorb. I think it says it all.


Because this is, evidently, all we need.

Rebecca Naomi Jones sings murder ballads for fun

Rebecca Naomi Jones on the set of Murder Ballad.

Rebecca Naomi Jones on the set of Murder Ballad.

Rebecca Naomi Jones is a badass, and I was lucky enough to cross paths with her when I shot her for The Aesthete recently. She plays the narrator in Murder Ballad, the rock and roll musical now playing a limited run in Union Square (it closes July 21, so hurry and get your tickets now.) Later this month, she’ll be heading uptown to Central Park to play Jaquenetta in Love’s Labour’s Lost– part of the Public Theater’s beloved Shakespeare in the Park series.

Check out our story in The Aesthete so you can say you knew all about her before she becomes a household name. You can thank me later.

Rock the body body

Kim Gordon breaks out the harmonica at last night's Body/Head show in Greenpoint.

Kim Gordon breaks out the harmonica at last night’s Body/Head show in Greenpoint.

Last night I actually went out (what???) to a small rock club in Greenpoint (after checking out Achilles Heel, a lovely new bar) and heard some amazing music by two bands fronted by two formidable women.

The original plan was to see Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s new noise duo Body/Head rock the house. They did not disappoint, though my ears are still ringing. In a good way. It was a perfect storm of video, guitar noise and Gordon’s ethereal and slightly indistinguishable vocals, which blended into the rest of the music making them a dreamy part of the sonic wash.

The special bonus was seeing Kathleen Hanna’s current band The Julie Ruin bring the house down right beforehand. While I’ve been a fan of Hanna’s for years, I’d never seen her play with this line up and was more than happy to dance my way through their set (as much as a person can move in a tiny packed club.)

It was all part of the Northside Music/Film/etc FestivaL… Just more proof that Williamsburg is, in fact, the center of the cultural universe right about now. Or at least it’s a serious contender.

Music to do your taxes by

Yo La Tengo Fade

You can barely read the text on the cover of Yo La Tengo’s latest album… But then again, it is called Fade…

I just spent a college style late night/early morning adding up my receipts for my 2012 taxes. Lets not get into the fact that I am still reckoning with my 2012 taxes. I usually push it up to the extension deadline in October so I feel pretty good about myself here, thank you very much.

Let us instead be thankful for the lovely new album by Yo La Tengo that I won in a silent auction at my daughter’s school recently. Actually, I won quite a few records that I have only just started to listen to now. I promise to pass on all of the good ones. And this one, aptly entitled Fade (cause that’s what I wanted to do last night, I assure you) is another great one from the formidable indie-rock band that has been around forever, yet still sounds as fresh as the first time I heard them. Which was at some club in New Jersey in the early 90′s, where they were sharing a bill with The Lemonheads. But I digress.

Not going to go into great detail here…. just know that you are in for a sonic, mellow-yet-soaring treat if you are wise enough to get your hands on this music and listen for yourself. Check out the Rolling Stone review for a few more details. You can take a listen there as well.

And then when you have to stay up late doing something as horribly boring as adding up a years worth of taxi receipts, you’ll know what to listen to to make it all ok.

Adeline Michèle is the new high priestess of disco

Adeline Michele

Here’s Adeline, casually hanging out in the window of her (brilliant) stylist Irini Arakas’ midtown studio.

And I got to shoot her, the day before yesterday, for the online celebration of NY culture/magazine: The Aesthete.

Born in France but now living in Brooklyn, Adeline fronts a 17 piece band called Escort and they will be taking over the stage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night.

It is a show that should not be missed.

But if you have other plans, just go buy the record (one of Rolling Stone’s 50 top records this year) put it on, wrap yourself in sequins and dance till the sun comes up.

Cause that’s what I’m going to be doing.

You don’t own me

It’s that time of the decade you people. Beware the relatively large number of political posts that may be coming your way in the next couple of weeks. A veritable barrage of e mails, phone calls and PSAs flooding your inboxes. Not to mention the TV commercials and the leaflets. When will it all stop?

It’ll slow down on November 7th, most likely. But until then, let me add to the fray.

I was honored to be a part of a PSA designed to motivate women to get out and vote for Obama on the 6th day of next month. Because we can’t afford not to, frankly. Set to the song “You Don’t Own Me,” which was originally recorded in the late 60′s by the inimitable Leslie Gore, a whole bunch of amazing women from all over the country lip sync their hearts out in a genuine display of fierce sisterhood. Half the fun is trying to figure out who everybody is, as there are quite a few notables in the cast, indie and otherwise.

— Read more

better than barney

This has been the summer of downsizing, or at least, of trying to get rid of clutter. And yet, while we were donating (or trying to donate– a lot of our stuff wasn’t quite up to snuff) to a favorite local thrift shop, the last thing I expected was to leave the place with new treasures in hand.

But when my husband found this 1960 NY Philharmonic recording of Peter and the Wolf, with Leonard Bernstein narrating and conducting, we couldn’t resist and found ourselves listening, rapt, along with our three year old, while Peter and the bird captured the wolf that ate the hapless duck.

It’s a wonderful story in any form, but seriously, can you imagine anyone better to narrate the story than the most brilliant conductor ever? Plus he’s a great storyteller, and doesn’t talk down to his young listeners at all (something that drives me crazy with so many readings of kids books these days.) And he always leads his orchestras to play with such emotion that the entire story is palpable, from the sun shining down on the meadow to the grandfather’s anger at Peter’s waywardness.

So if you don’t already have it, please make this a part of your arsenal of things to do with your kids. If for no other reason than this– how much would you rather have this music running through your head all day than the theme from Blue’s Clues?

Come on, be honest.

new chemicals

This one is going to be brief, as I am exhausted and still have a house full of dirty dishes, toys and unwatered plants to contend with before I lay my head down. But I wrote you all because the one thing that is keeping me going right about now is the new record by the Chemical Brothers– a band that I must admit I havce not listened to in, oh, at least five years if not more.

But I have undoubtedly been missing out, because this record, called Further, is great both in it’s ability to keep me awake (it is dance music after all) and in the breadth of the samples and the way the songs are put together.

for links and more info, click below:

This record is perfect for when you need the party to come to you… take a listen here. There are also evidently incredible visuals that have been lovingly produced for each track and are available on a bonus DVD, but I’m too otherwise occupied to really get into that right now. Actually I’m too busy freaking out about BP. But that’s another story better explored in a different venue.

For now lets just take it easy. And keep dancing.