Make Music New York returned yesterday, bringing hundreds of performances to city parks and streets. We hit the Joe’s Pub Block Party at Astor Place, where this year immigrant artists were front and center. Watch the video to hear from Haitian soul pop singer Hervé and other New York music-makers.
Gad Elmaleh at Joe’s Pub (Photo courtesy of Jon Asher)
Mentioning Gad Elmaleh’s residency at Joe’s Pub to my American friends was a weird experience. “He’s the most famous comedian in France!” I said, full of jingoistic pride. The embarrassed silence that ensued made me realize that my announcement didn’t quite have the expected effect. So I tried a different approach. “He’s like the French Jerry Seinfeld, you know. They’re actually good friends. He’s even been a guest on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”
“Oh… Really?” was the politest answer I could get. But I saw in my interlocutors’ perplexed eyes that they had no clue who the hell I was talking about.
Presenters from the April Women of Letters show. Left to right: Summer Brennan, Elissa Schappell, Jean Grae, Sofija Stefanovic, and Adelle Waldman. (Photo: Kat Burdick.)
Now that e-mails have been replaced by iMessages consisting mostly of poop emojis, a monthly show is trying to bring back the “lost art” of letter writing. “There’s just something really lovely about a well-crafted letter,” says Michaela McGuire, co-creator of Women of Letters.
Singer, cabaret artist, and comedian Bridget Everett has had quite a couple of years. The powerhouse performer is certainly memorable: her Chardonnay-soaked live act includes joyous, belted requests to raise one’s “titties” in the air and a catchy, matter-of-fact song that asks the universal inquiry: “What I gotta do to get that dick in my mouth?” There’s also plenty of audience engagement. Typical stuff, like sitting on crowd member’s faces. Brash though she may be, Everett has captivated America and become fast friends with comedian Amy Schumer, which has led to spots on Schumer’s television show, her film Trainwreck, and other screen appearances like a recurring role in Maria Bamford’s Netflix show Lady Dynamite, with more projects in the works for the future.
Though she’s appearing on bigger and bigger screens lately, she made a name for herself through shows at downtown staple Joe’s Pub on Lafayette Street. For the recurring “alt-cabaret” fixture Our Hit Parade, she put unique spins on pop songs alongside fellow out-there performers like Neal Medlyn, Erin Markey, Kenny Mellman, and even Billy Eichner. There were also solo nights with her band The Tender Moments. We sat down with Everett at Caroline’s On Broadway ahead of her show at New York Comedy Festival to talk touring, creating, and of course, fanny packs. More →
On the first day of the summer solstice, the air thrummed with the rhythmic sensations of drumbeats and fast-paced guitar solos, lively dancing and good vibes during the Joe’s Pub Block Party at Astor Place.
Following the 2016 election, Joe’s Pub decided to pay greater homage to immigrant voices in their annual bash, which is part of the citywide Make Music New York program. This year, they touted a pretty incredible lineup of immigrants and performers of color, featuring the mambo and North African beats of the Yemen Blues Duo and the classically-trained voice of Treya Lam, among others.
Play our video to see the block party in full swing.
Irish eyes ain’t smiling. First Puck Fair, and now this.
The next three days are your last chance to grab a pint at East Village fixture Dempsey’s Pub, before its doors close for good this Sunday, April 17. According to owner Tom O’Byrne, the pub and restaurant will close so he can focus to his other establishments.
“Dempsey’s Pub has been blessed to have had an amazing run in the East Village for the past 24 years. Like a lot of good things, however, it’s reached the end of its cycle and on Sunday night after service Dempsey’s Pub will close for good,” O’Byrne explained. He also added that the changing nature of the neighborhood had played a part in his decision to close up shop. “Obviously part of it is related to costs, and the demand for the type of place like Dempsey’s is not there anymore in the way it was before.”
In the spirit of giving the place a proper send-off, Dempsey’s Pub will feature all-day happy hour specials starting today until Sunday, which includes $5 beer, wine, and well drinks, as well as offering canned and bottled beer specials all night on Sunday.
Dempsey’s Pub, which has been around in some form since 1992, was acquired by O’Byrne in 1998 and has developed into an East Village staple particularly popular among the NYU crowd.
The establishment’s regular programming, such as Wednesday night trivia and traditional Irish music on Tuesdays, will be moved to sister pub Slainte, at 304 Bowery.
O’Byrne, who also owns Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen on Second Avenue, expressed excitement for “other new beginnings in the neighborhood,” which may hint at further projects in the East Village down the road.
Dempsey’s Pub, 61 2nd Ave at 4th Street. 212-388-0662.
While we’re talking about tourists flocking to Bedford Avenue, we should probably note that the Williamsburg outpost of Joe’s Pizza has opened at 216 Bedford Avenue, on the corner of North 5th Street. The 40-year-old slice joint’s third location, which opened last week, boasts the same Baker’s Pride ovens and similar decor to the ones on East 14th Street and on Carmine Street, complete with photos of fans like Jonah Hill, Rosario Dawson, and Bill Murray. (May we add that we once saw Lou Reed emerging from the Greenwich Village original.)