Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) February 7-9 and 13-16 at The Kitchen, 8 pm: $25
One of the most common ways people encounter opera is when very old compositions from well-known classical greats like Mozart are revived. This opera at The Kitchen is also a revival of sorts, but a more modern one: it has “newly reconstructed” a work from 1985 by late experimental composer Robert Ashley, staging it with a chorus of live vocalists and an “electronic orchestra.” The opera centers less around the Don in the title, but around a woman named Linda. She embarks upon many types of ventures spanning many locations and historical periods throughout the opera, all with varying degrees of success—something that should spark some level of familiarity in us all. Keep Reading »
EthnoGraphic Thursday, January 24 at Eris Evolution, 8 pm: $11 advance, $15 doors
The average show in Brooklyn—comedy, burlesque, music, and beyond—seems to have gotten a touch more diverse in recent years, but it’s still common to walk into a venue and see predominantly white faces staring back. That’s not the case at burlesque performer Stella Nova’s EthnoGraphic, a variety show featuring exclusively performers of color. As Nova does burlesque herself, the lineup is filled with striptease and pasties, with acts from Abby Fantastic, Fox Squire, and Lady Mabuhay, as well as slam poet Omar Holman and comedian Lauren Clark.Keep Reading »
Gorilla Manners / Atlas / Coffee Cup Conundrum Wednesday, May 2 at Dixon Place, 7:30 pm: $15 advance, $18 doors
Tonight, you can get not one, not two, but three shows in the same night. The first is Gorilla Manners, a play by Andrew Hardigg directed by Jordan J. Baum, which includes a character called Vaseline and a gorilla who does not like being stared at for too long (hence the “manners” portion of the title, I suppose). The second is Atlas, a show by The Red Lines that explores how communication can be distorted by the artifice that we create. The third, Coffee Cup Conundrum, not only works well as a tongue twister or vocal warm-up, but will likely also remind us about the massive amount of plastic we throw away and how we’re only going to be able to ignore it for so much longer. So, there’s something for everyone!Keep Reading »
Camae Ayewa/Moor Mother, detail from He’s Got the Whole World, 2017 (image via The Kitchen)
Camae Ayewa / Moor Mother Opening Wednesday, February 21 at The Kitchen, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 17.
Camae Ayewa, who some may know by her musician moniker Moor Mother, is a truly multifaceted artist. She writes poetry, pens and performs visceral electronic noise protest songs referencing black activists and theorists, photographs, leads community workshops, makes collages, and if you’re impressed already, that’s merely a partial list of what she’s capable of. If your curiosity has been piqued, head on over to The Kitchen for a comprehensive look at Ayewa’s creative output and process. Though this is an art exhibition, it’s so much more than that; created as an accompaniment to her second solo album (and its subsequent instrumental accompaniment), the show delves into the album’s creation and inspirations by way of collage, film, soundscape, and poetry. On March 6 and 7, Moor Mother will take to the stage. Keep Reading »
Orchestra di stracci – vetro diviso (Rag Orchestra – Divided Glass) — Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1968
Rags, bricks, fabric, glass, kettles, steam, hot plates
2 glass panels, each: 0.4 x 130 x 90 cm / 1/8 x 51 1/8 x 35 3/8 in
Installation: 50 x 320 x 270 cm / 19 5/8 x 126 x 106 1/4 in (approx.)
When you think about Italian art, the Renaissance probably is the first thing to come to mind. However, as many of us have come to know far too late in life, what you were taught in your history classes is far from the whole picture. In this case, Italy is and has been home to a wide variety of artistic movements, and not all of them involved painting elaborate portraits for wealthy patrons. Keep Reading »
Masterpiece Classic: Women in Art Wednesday, February 8 at UCB Chelsea, 8 pm: $7
It is generally agreed upon that art is Good. However, the art world is where things get a little more polarized. This new character-based show by comedian and actress Hallie Haas takes on the type of people who consider themselves high and mighty creators, the type of people who take themselves reeeeeeally seriously. The premise is that Laura Linney, of course, has gathered together seven of the most sophisticated and acclaimed women artists for an evening that feels a lot like a certain public access television show. Only probably a lot weirder. Especially considering Haas will be playing every character. This spoof on PBS classics feels especially timely, considering I just got an email asking me to sign an online petition so that Donald Trump doesn’t get rid of PBS Kids. Please, think of the children. And the art.
Bordello: Psychedelic Thursday, January 26 at Bizarre Bushwick, 10 pm: $10 suggested donation
Sinister and sultry variety show Bordello, hosted by Madame Vivien V, features a slew of out-there performers who will brighten up your night with acts of drag, dance, performance art, fire, and more. On the lineup this time is B-boy and boylesque dancer Eckszooberante and drag performer Chris of Hur, along with performer Amber Von Toxn and Heather, who appears to proudly carry the title of “The Worst.” This iteration of the show, which has been billed as “punk rock meets burlesque meets performance art,” has a psychedelic bent to it, so who knows what sensorial adventures your eyes will be asked to behold. Let the aptly-named DJ Penny Lane spin you into color-crazed oblivion, fix your eyes to the stage, and trip out.
Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter: Holiday Screening & Reception Monday, November 28 at The Kitchen, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Sondra Perry: Resident Evil on view through December 10.
Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, aka BWA for BLM, is a fairly self-explanatory “collective force underground” group formed in July 2016 in response to the continual systemic violence perpetuated against black bodies in America. This evening, the group is taking over experimental performance and art space The Kitchen to show a series of videos, both archives of past performances the group has done and videos created by members of the group, all while beats by DJ LotusMoon infiltrate your ears.
Trash Talk, Antwon, Black Noise Tuesday November 1, 8 pm to 11:30 pm at Brooklyn Bazaar: $15
Here’s to hoping you made it to Aviv Monday night for the grand finale. Super sad face. Actually, the last show was more of a bittersweet bye-bye for the DIY venue since the owners have promised a triumphant return ASAP, just as soon as they find a new space. RIP for now BBs, see you on the other side and all that.
Until then, we’re facing seriously slim pickins when it comes to decent venues that don’t require you to check your soul at the door in exchange to watch your favorite bands transform into blands right before your very eyes.
Harvest Moon: A Freak-Folk Cabaret Thursday, September 22 at The Wild Project, 8 pm: $10-20 sliding scale.
Come ring in the soon-arriving autumn with this mystical evening of live art, from music and dance to film and fairytales and everything in between. A gaggle of artists based in Bushwick and beyond (some are regulars at Bizarre Bar staple Circus of Dreams, others frequent the nearby Tarot Society or Living Gallery) will assemble to bring you their artistic bounty. And it’ll be a bounty, all right– there are over 15 acts on the bill, including Jason Trachtenburg, Tarot Society’s Darcey Leonard, Omer Gal‘s music ensemble Cookie Tongue, and a Texas-themed Butoh troupe. If you’re pressed for time, you can just pop in for the second act at 9:30pm (there are two entry times) but all tickets earn you access to the whole shindig. The weather may get to the high eighties today, but fall is a-comin’. Eventually.
This fall, fans of modern classical music will basically be rolling in a sonic leaf pile, as three modern masters make the scene.
Glenn Branca Symphonies, at the Red Bull Music Academy Festival.
Glenn Branca– whose sprawling guitar symphonies were a big influence on early Sonic Youth, among others– once collaborated with David Bowie on an audio-visual installation, as he mentioned during his 65th birthday celebration a few years ago and reminded us during his recent appearance a the Red Bull Music Academy festival. To honor his “hero,” Branca is debuting a new work, “The Light (for David),” at Roulette on Oct. 8 (advance tickets are $25-$30). He’ll also unleash a revised version of “The Third Ascension,” a followup to 1981’s acclaimed “The Ascension” that made its US premiere at The Kitchen in February. Bring earplugs, cuz Branca’s work can be ear-shattering and mind-melting.
Audio Visuals Sunday, Jan. 31, 3 pm to 7 pm at the Silent Barn: $5 suggested donation
Hey! It’s a combined live music/screening event at the Silent Barn in honor of the release of Kung Fu Crimewave‘s new music video for their very topical song, “Winter Squall.” The band is fluent in so-called “regressive rock,” or what sounds to us like a mix of weird-punk and psych– there’s a crush of instruments going on here but not in an annoying Arcade Fire way. But instead of having a traditional something-release show, the Kung Fu kids have brought together a bunch of local filmmakers (who have either dabbled in or are steeped in music videos) to share their work. There’s even a Q+A after the screenings, so if you’re curious about how they get stuff done, well here’s your opportunity to hear it straight from the horsies’ mouths.