Tagged under "nyc" (9)
|B is for Brilliant: B-TEC & blakbushe play Mercury Lounge|
Oh how I heart New York City- especially when it delivers my favorite rock folkie’s brilliance and band to its stages.
Since I became a fan in 2005, I have seen Bitch and her band the Exciting Conclusion (also known as B-TEC) play every time they are in the NYC vicinity. After umpteen shows, Bitch and TEC have yet to disappoint. B-TEC never fails to amaze their fans and rock my (musical) world. Their show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC December 6th was no different.
Surrounded by an undeniably queer (and queer-friendly) crowd of family, friends, and fans, the Mercury Lounge Saturday night started up with an awesome act known as Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe and ended with B-TEC bringing their signature sass and soul to the stage. Together these two bands brought the funk, soul, and art-rock that had every queer in the house going crazy.
Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe opened the show with their funk punk soul folk sound. Queer and black and oh so proud, this band voiced their punk politics with such key anthems as “I am American” and “blaK girls”. Nicole’s voice and band are pure dynamite. If George Clinton, Beyonce, and Me’ shell Ndegeocello had a threesome and birthed a band Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe would be it. They definitely prepped the crowd for the humongous-ness that is Bitch & The Exciting Conclusion.
Dread-free and sporting a rockin’ new ‘do, Bitch and the band played old favorites, hits from their EP “B-TEC”, and debuted some new songs from their upcoming album. Bitch & TEC swayed the room with such heartbreaking ballads as “Lost You” and “Highway” and wowed the crowd with spirited songs like “1/2 Naked”, “Left Lane”, “Cat’s Kills” “Bullet”, and an awesome acoustic version of the Bee Gees’ classic “Staying Alive”. With an attitude that was part explosive, wildly witty, and a hint bittersweet, Bitch commanded the stage with her feral antics and no-holds-barred point-of-view on (unrequited) love, art, politics, and social revolution.
Whether with ukulele or violin, Bitch lets you know exactly what’s on her mind and ultimately in your heart. As Shelley Nicole said herself, “Bitch is a force to be reckoned with”. Gabe K. on bass and vocals is hearing Zen manifest itself, and Lee Free drums like her hands are on fire. Together, The Exciting Conclusion augments the grander and glory of Bitch’s lyrical poetry performance with minimalist riffs and fiery drumming.
If you have never seen Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe or Bitch & The Exciting Conclusion perform live, then you are truly missing out on two very magical, musical moments. A B-TEC show in particular is a tribal experience, a meeting of alternative, revolutionary minds, a moment in time when we turn together as queer counterparts in Bitch’s musical orbit.
Capital B (as Bitch’s friends/fans lovingly refer to her) is indeed, a force of nature, and she and TEC left the Mercury Lounge in a whirlwind of ecstasy, a tornado of catharsis, an eruption of movement, laughter, and light last Saturday night.
The band returns to NYC in January, playing Housing Works Café on 126 Crosby Street in good old NYC. Come experience B-TEC’s brilliance for yourself. See you there!
Tagged on January 6, 2009
|Prop 8 Protest NYC|
Check out GO's Photos from New York City's protest against Proposition 8 on November 15
Tagged on November 21, 2008
|Beating the Blues at Bluestockings|
Sometimes I hate the world. At times I wish it would spontaneously combust.
I hate that there are millions of starving people around the globe when I see perfectly good food go to waste and girls starving themselves to be skinny. I hate that today’s teens look up to people like Paris Hilton, The Hills girls, and Soulja Boy as role models. I hate that feminists are still looked at as she-devil dyke man-haters. I hate that my parents don’t get/accept my queerness. I hate that there are still some people in this country that think we are not ready for a black president. I hate working for a government that is patriarchal, corrupt, and unjust. I hate eating meat knowing the cruelty animals suffer because of my carnivorous cravings. All these things, all the injustices we suffer at the hands of bigotry, imperialism, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia give me the blues like nobody’s business.
And when I hate the world and get blue like this, the only place I can find some solace- besides my sleep- is at Bluestockings, a radical little bookstore/fair trade café/ activist center on Allen Street in Manhattan. Always smelling like a strong cup of joe, this cozy little spot in the Lower Eastside is a queer feminist bookworm’s nirvana. Surrounded by awesome literature, cute girls, and the white noise of NYC, Bluestockings is the ideal place to go when you need to escape into a book, search information for your cause, hear some inspiring words, need the company of cool strangers, or just crave a cappuccino and a window seat to this mad mad world.
I can easily spend an hour at Bluestockings just browsing their book selection. In a world where today’s lit lovers are Amazon.com’s best patrons, I prefer to support indie bookstores like Bluestockings in an effort to preserve the precious process that is the art of reading: the dance between the books and the reader in the bookstore, the paperback the reader will pick, the places they’ll go together…. I can’t get that kind of satisfaction from the internet. Book-hunting at Bluestockings is where it’s at if reading is like dating for you- you need to feel the book/person out before you take them home with you.
Besides your bestsellers and popular picks, you can run your fingers across shelves and shelves stocked with literature on gender/queer and cultural studies, science fiction, global capitalism, war and militarism, class and labor, and poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. They have tons of books on all subject matter, documenting countless lives, fantasies, and movements in his/herstory. Hence, Bluestockings is not your average bookstore, and its literature and wares are not your ordinary books and products. Green and girl-friendly, you can find diva cups, organic menstrual pads, T-shirts, calendars, notebooks, CD’s, and DVD’s- awesome products that benefit your body, mind, and spirit.
Another of my favorite aspects of Bluestockings is that they host readings, performances, workshops, films, and discussions on a myriad of subjects on an almost daily basis. Here is the place to be proactive! With almost nightly events, Bluestockings supports all movements that challenge hierarchy/ systems of oppression, and promotes democracy, equality, and art. Groups like Dyke Knitting Circle, Feminist Book Club, Indigenousness Voices series, and Women’s/Trans Poetry Jam & Open Mic run on a monthly basis and are excellent ways to create and bring communities together in a safe, positive space.
Last Wednesday night, I attended one of Bluestockings September events Benefit for Books through Bars and Prison Legal News Presentation: Incarcerated Women: Conditions, Profiteering and Resistance. This forum focused on the female prison population that has tripled within the past 20 years and the deplorable conditions these inmates suffer within the correctional system. "Women Behind Bars" author Silja Talvi, founding editor of "Prison Legal News" Paul Wright, former drug war prisoner Yraida Guanipa, and Books Through Bars co-founder "Resistance Behind Bars" Vikki Law presented an eye-opening and alarming discussion on the lives of incarcerated women, our bogus drug laws, the privatization of prisons, the resistance movement inside/out of the prison system, and hoe prison functions as a tool of social control, slave labor, and institutionalized racism. Watching these activists fight the very system that once oppressed them reminded me of how much goes on in the world that we are (kept) blind to, how injustice prevails but the need to revolt and resist is vital, now more than ever.
It’s forums like this one, like the kinds that Bluestockings hosts, that make it the raddest place on planet earth, or at least in NYC. Bluestockings by no means cures all the ills of the world. It does not have the infinite selection of literature that you can access at the click of a mouse. My being there does not directly make a difference in my life, in the world. But what Bluestockings does is remind me that there are places that promote and inspire change, places I can go to if I’m bummed and know I’ll leave there feeling at least 50% better. Bluestockings promotes change, peace, and revolution, and allows for marginalized voices to be heard, provides a sanctuary for inspiration-homeless artists. Bluestockings offers an alternative to Barnes and Nobles, to bars and shopping malls. It is the alternative to mediocrity, consumerism, complacence, and run-of-the-mill in a world of retail therapy and overstock.
If you catch a case of the blues as often as I do, don’t let them beat you down. Grab your journal and run over to Bluestockings; read Bitch magazine, browse the poetry section, and sip on some chai. Take a deep breath, and feel Bluestockings change your colors immediately.
Tagged on September 24, 2008
|NYC Gay Pride Parade 2008|
Photos by Sabrina Haley, Betsy Kershner, Mary Ellen Hitt and Sharyn Jackson. Featuring Dani Campbell. June 29, 2008. More nationwide photos coming soon!
Tagged on September 22, 2008
|Autumn In New York|
Remember the first time you heard Billie Holiday crooning the lyrics,
“Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first-nighting.”
and you thought, “What the hell’s first nighting?” Well, unfortunately, we still have no idea what that means but here’s a short list of inviting activities to make sure your autumn in New York is as colorful as the foliage in Central Park.
Tagged on July 10, 2008