Pianist Cecil Taylor, who died on April 5, performed with an eclectic group of artists that included poets and dancers as well as the cream of the jazz world.
Saturday was International Pillow Fight Day of course, so we hope you had a lovely time surrounded by close friends and family and I guess pummeling each other? But even if you didn’t celebrate the non-holiday, hundreds of others had a blast “swinging the downy” in more than 20 cities around the world (Rotterdam, Atlanta, Hong Kong, etc.) and right here in NYC’s historic Washington Square Park.
Avant-garde jazz pianist and composer Cecil Taylor died at his Brooklyn home Thursday evening. He was 89. A polarizing figure during the jazz heyday of the 50s and 60s due to his frenzied and untraditional playing style, Taylor helped to pioneer the free jazz genre along with Ornette Coleman. His avant-garde style has influenced countless musicians and left an indelible mark on the jazz as a whole.
“I was the best friend of several superstars,” Danny Fields told the crowd at Spoonbill Studio yesterday, explaining how he went on to sign Iggy and the Stooges, manage the Ramones, and become one of the godfathers of punk.
Fields is a wonderful, weaving raconteur, with wandering recollections of a time when being in the right place and meeting the right people was all there was to it. Set up with prompts by Sacha Lecca, deputy photo editor at Rolling Stone, Fields started at the “beginning,” which meant hanging around the San Remo on Bleecker and falling into Andy Warhol’s orbit. His role was “kinda shadowy,” a witness to it all. “Suddenly some of us were very rich, very famous.” The Velvet Underground, Edward Albee.
When Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh arrived in the United States in June of 1981, he stepped off of a Pan Am 747 and declared, “I am the Massiah America has been waiting for.”
If you’ve binge-watched the new Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, you know the Indian guru went on to establish the communal town of Rajneeshpuram and become a target of federal law enforcement. But Bhagwan didn’t make his famous proclamation in Oregon; he made it right here in New York City, at JFK airport. That summer, before moving on to their 64,000-acre utopia out west, Bhagwan and his followers would make their home in a 10-bedroom, Rhineland-style “castle” on the border of Montclair and Verona, New Jersey. It’s there that the cult first started rankling neighbors, as evidenced by a New York Times headline: CULT IN CASTLE TROUBLING MONTCLAIR.
“The NRA knows how easy it is to buy a senator,” says Kim Sillen, “So we wanted to offer everyone the same opportunity.”
On Saturday, you’ll be able to do just that, as works from the Senator Portrait Project will be auctioned off at BestWorld Gallery, on the Lower East Side. Among the 50 portraits of representatives who’ve voted against gun control: Micheal Bennet Senator of Colorado who paradoxically supports both marijuana and guns and Senator John McCain anxiously clutching a pair of rifles.
“There are humans who voted to allow children and other Americans to die,” says Sillen.
Seems Eric Wareheim, of Tim and Eric fame, has abandoned his budding career as a cult leader and is now in the wine business. (Hey, it beats chugging ranch dressing.) The absurdist comedian has teamed up with California winemaker Joel Burt to start the Las Jaras Wines company, and they’ll be pouring some new releases at Dandelion Wine Shop in Greenpoint tonight, April 4, from 6pm to 8pm.
The early years of Jean-Michel Basquiat will be celebrated next month, just down the Bowery from the Great Jones Street loft where he spent his last days.
Looks like celeb chef Anthony Bourdain has gone globetrotting in his own backyard, as the New Yorker has been shooting in the East Village and Lower East Side. John’s of 12th, the old-time Italian join on East 12th Street, posted a photo of everyone’s favorite bon vivant outside of the restaurant. The caption indicated he was filming “a segment of Parts Unknown coming this fall.” Oddball painter and performance artist Joe Coleman, a fixture of the ’80s East Village scene whom Bourdain called a “friend, inspiration legend” in a post of his own, was also in on the shoot.
Interfaith leaders and city officials gathered in Brooklyn’s “Little Pakistan” yesterday to decry a flier promoting April 3rd as “Punish a Muslim Day.” With City Council member Jumaane Williams calling the document “one of the most dangerous pieces of paper I’ve seen in a very long time,” Borough president Eric L. Adams pledged to join members of the NYPD on an information offensive and special patrol on Tuesday.
Three of Cups co-owner Anthony Barile closed the doors to his restaurant for good late Sunday night due to unsustainability after 26 years in the East Village. The Italian eatery opened in 1992 with a pizza style developed by Barile’s partner Santo Fazio who also co-owns Fazio’s of Bushwick. Fazio crafted his recipe when he was pizza chef for Two Boots and it reflects the style of his northern Sicilian roots. Barile worked with both of them in his younger days and their influence on his food is something he doesn’t shy away from mentioning.