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Radio Station and Coffee Shop Ready to Spring Out of a Shipping Container

The Lot Radio is currently in 'beta mode' (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Lot Radio is currently in ‘beta mode’ (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Over the weekend, a new radio station with a focus on the multifaceted New York City music scene entered what founder Francois Vaxelaire described as “beta mode.” The Lot Radio occupies a shipping container plopped on a lonesome triangular strip of land near the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border. Bound by a sulky chainlink fence that’s just 63 feet on its longest side, the lot looks like some cosmic accident at the awkward intersection of Nassau, Banker, and North 15th Streets, rather than a place where anything other than weeds ever grew. But since January, Francois has been visiting frequently, and even if things are not quite where he’d hoped they’d be by now, a handful of people came by on Sunday to turn on the equipment, hit record, and start digitally broadcasting. “It was more to test everything, to see if everything was working,” Francois explained. “It was.”

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Four Killer Shows Happening This Week

Hiroshi Hasegawa (Photo via End Tymes Fesitval/ halfnormal)

Hiroshi Hasegawa (Photo via End Tymes Fesitval/ halfnormal)

Hiroshi Hasegawa, Dromez, Dessicant, Dead Wolf
Friday, Feb. 12, 8 pm at The Silent Barn: $8
When it comes to power electronics, Japanese musician Hiroshi Hasegawa has been around the block a few thousand times– busting ears and forgetting names. Way back in 1990, he started the prolific group C.C.C.C. (Cosmic Coincidence Control Center), whose members counted a porn star and weirdos like Hasegawa amongst their ranks. Besides improvising and recording all kinds of brain-shattering noise music, the group was known for throttling their audience with aggressive stunts like throwing plastic bags full of pee out into the crowd. The guy may be pushing 60, but he’s still down as hell to make incredibly belligerent music. And hey, maybe you’ll be graced with the honor of a urine splash for old times’ sake.

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Art: Make Mine Satan, ‘Black Mass’ and Laser-Drone Show

(Image via Lisa Gwillian & Ray Sweeten aka DataSpaceTime)

(Image via Lisa Gwillian & Ray Sweeten aka DataSpaceTime)

Put on your Masonic robes and pick up your scythes (unsharpened, please). A slew of experimental musicians and out-there visual artists will gather at Microscope Gallery this Friday to perform Satanic rites amidst heavy drone music and beelzebubian projections. Make Mine Satan, organized by artists Lisa Gwilliam and Ray Sweeten (aka DataSpaceTime) is an exercise in anathema to their ongoing show at the Bushwick gallery, EchelonsThink of the “black mass” as the 666 to Echelons’s 999. A slew of established artists and musicians from the Brooklyn noise scene and experimental music circles will be on hand to contribute to around an hour of visually-stimulated drone whilst appropriately costumed.

Read more about the show here.

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Custom Melodies Launch Party with Grey Gersten (aka Eternal Lips)

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(Flyer via Eternal Lips / Grey Gersten)

It’s not usually the case that filling out a revealing questionnaire, waiting in line, and encountering someone with a lot of tools at their disposal ends up being fun. Like, ever. But people who participated in Custom Melodies, an exhibition held last summer by Grey Gersten (aka the musician known as Eternal Lips) left not with a sinking sense of shame, but an original song composed according to their unique personality traits and experiences. You can explore the melodies on this special, interactive website, which launched Tuesday, February 2nd. To celebrate the project’s penultimate realization, Gersten’s throwing a party at Chinatown Soup Gallery. Rumor has it there will be some fire water on hand.

Read more about the project here.

 

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Lead Belly Fest

Lead Belly with accordion (Photo via Wikipedia)

Lead Belly with accordion (Photo via Wikipedia)

Turns out Lead Belly, the legendary post-war Louisianan blues and folk singer was a New Yorker near the end of his life. What’s more, he was a resident of the East Village. (We learned that, and a lot more about the iconic proto-rock-n’-roller at the unveiling of his commemorative plaque.) So it’s fitting that, a little more than 128 years after his birth, he’s getting a grand celebration at Carnegie Hall. Er, wait– if the guy’s been so insanely influential, why wasn’t he playing at Carnegie Hall back when he was breathing? Well, in a word– racism.

But also, the guy just didn’t sell that many records in his lifetime, despite having a stamp of approval from the preeminent American folk music chroniclers of the day (John and Alan Lomax), the Governor of Texas (who, dazzled by Lead Belly’s songwriting chops, pardoned him from serving a sentence for murder), and WNYC and CBS (both stations gave him radio shows back in the day). But in the end, Lead Belly wins, as the guy who will go down in history as one of the greatest musicians ever, so great he spawned even more greatest-musicians-ever. As George Harrison once said, “No Lead Belly, No Beatles.” Nuff said.

Tickets start at $40.

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4 Good Shows to See This Week

(Flyer via Wolf Eyes)

(Flyer via Wolf Eyes)

Wolf Eyes: Trip Metal Residency
Thursday February 4 through Saturday February 6 at Union Pool: $12 – $14 
Vape with the dirty dogs and witness half of Detroit’s noise music scene take over Brooklyn this weekend. The Poppa Bear old timers of Wolf Eyes will lead their little pack of trip metal prodigy puppies– all of whom you’re guaranteed only to have heard from if you lurk around shows in Detroit occasionally, or can claim at least a few drunken years of crashing/ trolling, pissing on pool tables at co-ed parties in Ann Arbor. Or maybe you just read the internet a lot. Who knows? Let’s go with internet underground music dweeb, that way everyone’s invited. Keep Reading »

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Performance Picks: Erotic Monologues, Black Mass, Durational Dance

Missed January’s exhausting theater festivals and still crave stuff to see? This week brings variety shows (as usual), erotic monologues, a black mass, durational dance, and more.

WEDNESDAY

(photo via Circus of Dreams / Facebook)

(photo via Circus of Dreams / Facebook)

Circus of Dreams

At Bizarre Bushwick, 12 Jefferson Street, Bushwick. 9:30pm. $7-20 suggested donation. More info here

This is one of the first weird variety shows I ever went to, and I haven’t looked back since. Circus of Dreams, an unpredictable and odd monthly variety show formerly hosted by Matthew Silver and now helmed by the vivacious Lindsee Lonesome (one-half of brash music group Marital Dispute), is both a strange wonderland and warm community of weirdo artists who consistently bring their wacky ideas to life in the typically welcoming and aptly-named Bizarre Bar. Sometimes you’ll see naked people. Sometimes you’ll get cake thrown on you. Sometimes both will happen. Either way, you certainly won’t be bored. And admittedly this week I’m working the door, so come say hi.

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This Musician Tuned In and Turned Out Custom Portrait Songs For Over 100 People

Grey Gersten at Custom Melodies exhibition (Photo courtesy of Eternal Lips)

Grey Gersten at Custom Melodies exhibition (Photo courtesy of Eternal Lips)

It’s not usually the case that filling out a revealing questionnaire, waiting in line, and encountering someone with a lot of tools at their disposal ends up being fun. Like, ever. But people who participated in Custom Melodies, an exhibition held last summer by Grey Gersten (aka the musician known as Eternal Lips) left not with a sinking sense of shame, but an original song composed according to their unique personality traits and experiences. (You can explore the melodies on this special, interactive website, which launched today.)

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Week in Shows: Mystery Ear Juice and a Dolled-Up Punk Band Gets Its Wings

B Boys (Photo via Baby's All Right)

B Boys and who? (Photo via Baby’s All Right/ Photoshop trix by Nicole Disser)

Secret Show 
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 10 pm at Baby’s All Right: $15 at the door

We’re not really all that into surprises. The chances of looking your birthday best after busting open your apartment door to find a surprise party are pretty low, especially considering it’s the one day each year that you leave your pants unbuttoned all the way from the dollar slice place back home. And let’s be real, those grab-bag things are usually filled with plastic dinosaurs, expired condoms, and airplane bottles, anyway– things only a child could love. But when Baby’s All Right threw another one of these secret shows back in December, they gifted us Blood Orange. And even though it would be kind of a not-surprise surprise, we’d be totally cool with another Blood Orange show.

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Music: Pop. 1280, Sediment Club, Bambara

Pop. 1280 (Via Alphaville/ Facebook)

Pop. 1280 (Via Alphaville/ Facebook)

Tis the season for record releases apparently– Sacred Bones bbs, Pop. 1280, are dropping their very own hard-won doo doo baby, aka Paradiseon January 22. (Catch a streaming preview over at The Drone.) And the thank heavens it is so, coz seriously things are looking bleak outside right now, are they not? This Friday night show at Alphaville is just what the doctor ordered– something new and something blue. If you’re not a friend of Pop.1280 just yet, think a futuro-industrial Birthday Party if Nick Cave had gone deeper down the dark spiral.

Read more here.

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Music: Washer, Stove, Lost Boy, Yazan, Dan Licata

Flyer of the year (via Palisades / Facebook)

Flyer of the year (via Palisades / Facebook)

Aw, sometimes we all wanna go back to a simpler time, when 90’s college-radio rock was all we knew (er, even if it was already way old by the time we made it there– but, shit, what else were we left with in the early aughts? Brand New?), and Washer helps get us there.

Read more here.

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Punk Magazine 40th-Anniversary Exhibition

Issue #2 featuring Patti Smith (Image courtesy of Howl! Arts)

Issue #2 featuring Patti Smith (Image courtesy of Howl! Arts)

In 1976, a comic artist named John Holmstrom begot Punk magazine as an excuse to stalk his favorite bands from the downtown scene, and look cool in the process. Needless to say, Holmstrom succeeded (beyond what he ever imagined) in permanently etching the East Village into the throbbing heart of the punk movement, and visualizing an R. Crumb-like vision of the scenes running through Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Soak up the 40th-anniversary exhibition that opened last week at Howl! Happening and Punk’s lasting influence becomes sharply real.

Read more here.