Didn’t wake up at 1 a.m. to get a spot in line to see Vampire Weekend serenade Bernie Sanders at Washington Square Park this afternoon? There’s still plenty of Bernie love to go around the city ahead of the primary next Tuesday.
There is nothing on the front of 49 Crosby Street save for a tiny label under a bell that would indicate that inside is one of the most enduring recording studios in New York. The Magic Shop opened in 1988 well before Bloomingdale’s, MoMA and a luxury hotel became its neighbors. The increase in the area’s rental value spelled the end of the studio. Despite the offer of financial help from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, owner Steve Rosenthal was unable to buy the space from his landlord. While Rosenthal will continue his business of mixing and restoring classic recordings, the Magic Shop will close today.
Vinyl, the Scorsese-Jagger production we’ve been looking forward to with bated coke-breath ever since it filmed in the East Village, finally hit HBO last night with an epic two-hour episode, and the critical reaction has been pretty much love it or hate it. Even if you’re with the East Village’s own Richard Hell in the latter camp, you’re probably going to watch at least another episode or two, just to bask/wallow in the ambience of the early-’70s New York City music scene. So here are some fun facts about the show that we’ve culled from around the net, and from our own archives.
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Singer, composer, performance artist and multi-instrumentalist Phoebe Legere has continually broken new musical ground since her New Wave band Monad formed in 1980. In 2006 Legere founded the New York Underground Museum, an interactive website that presents the work of both renowned and emerging artists. It was Legere’s eclectic talents that earned her an incredible opportunity.
This morning we noticed graffiti artist Hektad had made some modifications to his 2nd Avenue F stop mural of a giant splattering heart, in honor of the man who fell to earth. A Bowie lightning bolt now pierces the heart, and messages of “Let’s Dance” and “David Bowie Rest Well” are scribbled on the edges. Appropriate, given the subway stop’s proximity to the setting of Lazarus.
In the early 1970s, New York actor Tony Zanetta performed in underground theater in plays by Andy Warhol, Jackie Curtis and Wayne/Jayne County. His portrayal of Warhol in the play “Pork” would have him meet David Bowie in London. When Bowie visited New York in 1971, Zanetta guided him through the town’s nightlife. He soon became part of Bowie’s inner circle as tour manager of the Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs tours and helped run Bowie’s MainMan management organization. Zanetta had not seen Bowie in over 40 years when he learned of his death this week. Below, Zanetta recalls the exciting time when Bowie arrived in New York an unknown who would soon become a superstar.
You may have seen David Bowie’s list of 100 favorite books floating around today. But where did he go to buy them? In 2003, he told New York magazine that our own Strand Bookstore was one of his three favorite places in New York, along with Washington Square Park and Julian Schnabel’s house. (He was also known to sneak into movies at Angelika.)
Today, Whitney Hu, marketing director at Strand, polled some of the store’s longtime employees and told us that Bowie, who usually shopped incognito and alone, “managed to evade most of them” except for owner Fred Bass, who at 87 still works the buying desk. Bass told her that Bowie “always came in for the trendier, contemporary information and also made his way, a lot of the times, to the art section,” she said. But Bowie hadn’t been seen at Strand since the early 2000s. “If he’s been in recently — in the last four or five years — he kind of slipped by everyone,” Hu said.
By now you’re well aware that David Bowie has died, just days after his 69th birthday and the release of his 25th studio album. During the wee hours of January 10, it was announced that the beloved glam-rock icon who embraced androgyny and far-out, endlessly influential aesthetics “died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer.”
After finding fame in his hometown of London and absconding to the U.S. in 1974, Bowie moved amongst New York’s downtown crowd, popping up at places like Andy Warhol’s Factory and Max’s Kansas City, before relocating to Los Angeles. We consulted a number of publications — one of them yet to be published — that offered an eye into Bowie’s life in early-’70s NYC.
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Lazarus, the new musical co-written by David Bowie, doesn’t open till Dec. 7, but – Bowie groupies that we are – we managed to snag last-minute tickets to one of the sold-out previews at New York Theatre Workshop. While it’s too early to review the play, co-written by Enda Walsh (Once) and directed by Ivo van Hove, we can’t resist sharing some of what we’ve learned about this trippy production starring Michael C. Hall as the Bowie character from The Man Who Fell to Earth. Read ahead if you don’t mind a few spoilers.
The video for David Bowie’s new single, “★” (pronounced “Blackstar”), is now up on YouTube, but those who made it to Nitehawk this afternoon to watch it on the big screen got a special treat. And not just the free ★-branded boxes of popcorn. After the screening of the 10-minute mindfuck featuring human scarecrows, sorcery, and a blindfolded Bowie, its director, Johan Renck, fielded questions from Noisey editor-in-chief Eric Sundermann.
If you want to see the short film accompanying David Bowie’s new song, “★,” when it premieres at Nitehawk on Thursday, there’s still one time slot that isn’t sold out. But if you want to see the new play, Lazarus, co-written by Bowie and featuring original songs, it won’t be so easy. The last batch of tickets sold out soon after we gave you the heads up about them (after all, the New York Theatre Workshop has a capacity of around 200), and there are just four tickets on StubHub: two for $600 each, and two for $1,000 each.
It’s a good time to be a David Bowie fan. Not only is a play based on The Man Who Fell to Earth, featuring original songs, set to begin next week (the Times visited the “strange, secretive world” of Lazarus earlier this week), but a new album, titled ★ (pronounced “Blackstar”), is also forthcoming. It’ll drop on Bowie’s 69th birthday, January 8.