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February 1st, 2009

DANCE: “UNDERCURRENTS & EXCHANGE” PERFORMED AT WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER PRESENTS EVERY WEEKDAY FOR THE MONTH OF FEBURARY

by Joelle Panisch

Those who work at the World Financial Center are in for a treat. All month long Zach Morris and Tom Pearson of Third Rail Projects will be presenting a new dance performance every workday during the lunch hour. The 5-10 minute performances will showcase the ordinary yet overlooked “undercurrents” of interpersonal “exchange”.

From the World Financial Center’s website:

“Each short dance will be a world unto itself but also accumulate meaning over the course of the month as the performances reveal the often veiled, but perpetually possible connections within the transitional spaces of the Winter Garden. Coupled with the performances are three art installations in displays located throughout the WFC that further explore hidden and improbable pairings.”

“Undercurrents & Exchange” also features choreography by Mariss Nielsen-Pincus and Tara O’Con with art installations by Zach Morris. It will be performed by Morris, Pearson, Nielsen-Pincus, and O’Con with Donna Ahmadi, Kris Bauman, Elizabeth Carena, Mayuna Shimizu, and other surprise guests.

“Undercurrents & Exchange” World Financial Center
February 2-27
Weekdays, 1:00-1:10 pm

WFC Winter Garden

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 30th, 2009

STOP THE DOB FROM DISPLACING CHINATOWN RESIDENTS. SEND OUT 100 LETTERS IN 100 HOURS.

by Joelle Panisch


Thanks to Rob Hollander for the heads up.

Ever since the economy has tanked, downtown activists have been especially fierce regarding housing issues. The ramifications of displacement are unquestionably dire and activists are doing everything they can to keep families in their homes. Recently, despite adverse efforts, the residents of 81 Bowery were evicted for unsafe conditions— a shallow reason, protestors believe, because it should fall on the landlord to institute repairs.

The CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) has been seeking jurisprudence to allow displaced tenants back into their homes, and to enact legislation that will make it policy to have landlords remedy safety violations rather then to evict tenants in the first place. According to the CAAAV, the group has asked the Department of Buildings and Commissioner Robert LiMandr to meet with them, but they have repeatedly been refused. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

January 29th, 2009

SOUTHAMPTON CELEBRATES INAUGURATION IN HIGH STYLE.

by John Wegorzewski and Edward Callaghan


Councilwoman Anna Throne Holst and Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni.

While much of America watched with pleasure as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama swirled around the dance floor at one of the 10 parties they would attend that night, several hundred revelers at The Southampton Inn’s Inaugural Ball cheered with enthusiasm and rattled noisemakers. It could just as easily have been a New Year’s Eve party for all the joy this traditionally Republican town took in laying aside partisan politics and coming together in celebration of the dawning of a new era.

Gordon Herr, himself the newly elected Chairman of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee and Grania and Tip Brolin, organizers of the gala along with Dede Gotthelf Moan, owner of the Southampton Inn, warmly greeted the almost 300 black tie and begowned partiers who braved the ice and sub-freezing temperatures to be part of a historic celebration. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | News | Politics | the Hamptons

January 28th, 2009

FUTURE OF MUSIC PANEL DISCUSSION @ TEKSERVE: 1/29/9 @ 8:30PM.

by John Coakley

Tekserve is hosting the third in their series of panel discussions on the future of music and the music industry. You won’t see any big names in their list of participants, but you will find working musicians who have been getting ahead in the business for years; they have all had to adapt as things have changed and may therefore have some fascinating insights to share. Harry Allen mediates the discussion with former Brand Nubian rapper Sadat X, Magnetic Fields drummer/pianist/manager Claudia Gonson, RCRD LBL co-founder Peter Rojas, and Beggars Group head of marketing Adam Farrell. The event is free but you must RSVP to attend. You should go.

The Future of Music 3
Thursday, 1/29/9 @ 8:30PM
Tekserve
119 West 23rd Street
212.929.3645
Click here to RSVP.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 27th, 2009

COUNCIL MEMBER LIU: “JUST SHUT THE ENGINE OFF.”

by John Coakley

Council Member John C. Liu introduced three pieces of anti-idling legislation yesterday. Two of the pieces strengthened existing laws, while Intro. 631-A, for which Liu is the prime sponsor, will reduce the legal idle time in front of a school from three minutes to one minute. Since one minute is an unrealistic amount of time to finish whatever one intends to do while leaving the car unattended, people would be more inclined to simply turn the car off, thus keeping the air cleaner and the sidewalks safer for our children. Last week’s tragic accident, in which an idling van killed two children because the driver mistakenly put it in reverse rather than park, is clearly the inspiration for this much needed change in our ways. We aren’t the most patient of drivers in this town, but it is clear that taking a little extra time to consider the consequences of our automotive actions is a good idea.

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

January 27th, 2009

TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION TO PROTEST SUBWAY SERVICE CUTS AT PUBLIC HEARING IN BROOKLYN 1/28/9.

by Joelle Panisch


Spreading the word.

Members of the Transport Workers Union manned Metro stops in Brooklyn today, handing out flyers protesting service cuts in the MTA’s 2009 budget, warning that the lack of service will have dire effects on both riders and the economy.

This comes after months of debate and dread over how to manage the 2009 MTA budget with a reported deficit of close to $1.2 billion—hundreds of millions higher than projected in July.

In November the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Chief Executive, Elliot G. Sander, called the authority’s proposed budget “draconian,” and few would accuse him of being hyperbolic. In December, the MTA passed its “doomsday budget” by a vote of 13 to 1, which included both drastic fair hikes and service cuts. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | Events | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

January 27th, 2009

SHELDON SILVER HOSTS OPEN HOUSE FOR KINDERGARTEN IN THE COURTHOUSE: 1/29/9 @ 4:30 PM.

by John Coakley


Not bad for a public school.

The problem: Overcrowding in lower Manhattan schools.
The solution: Create two new schools—PS 276 in Battery Park City and the Spruce Street/Beekman School.
New problem: Schools take a long time to build.
Temporary solution: Fall classes in a National Hisoric Landmark.

That’s right, folks. Your kindergartener could start school at the magnificent Tweed Courthouse; that’s where the two new schools will be holding classes until their own buildings are ready to go. Assemblymember Sheldon Silver will be on hand to introduce Pre-K parents to the principals of the new schools, take them on a tour of the classrooms at Tweed, and answer any questions they may have. This kind of access is rare, so anyone with a downtown toddler starting school next fall is strongly encouraged to attend.

Open House for PS 276 + Spruce Street/Beekman School
Thursday, 1/29/9 @ 4:30pm
250 Broadway, 23rd Floor

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | News

January 27th, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DORIS!

by D. Clark MacPherson


Photo courtesy of Ann Warner Arlen.

Doris Diether, Downtown activist, zoning expert and political luminary, had a special birthday celebration at the Judson Memorial Church on January 10th. Rumors abound that it wasn’t just Jack Benny who reached the ripe old age of 39 in excellent health.

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

January 25th, 2009

BEST EVENING EVER WITH PAUL F. TOMPKINS @ 92Y TRIBECA: 1/27/9 @ 8:30PM.

by Joelle Panisch

Paul F. Tompkins has gained considerable notoriety as one of the commentators on the always-hilarious VH1 television show Best Week Ever. On Tuesday, he will bring the hilarity to Tribeca as he hosts an evening with the writers and producers of the famed show. With the promise of stand-up and exclusive never-before-seen footage, the night is not to be missed.

BEST EVENING EVER WITH PAUL F. TOMPKINS
1/27/9 @ 8:30 pm
92Y Tribeca
200 Hudson Street
$15

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 24th, 2009

FILM REVIEW: MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D.

by John Coakley


Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

New Yorkers have always looked back nostalgically to a time when the city was better/safer/more dangerous/more exciting/cheaper/friendlier/sexier, etc. This is especially true for Times Square; we tend to resent the tourist-friendly mecca for its crowds and sanitized, mainstream ways. We long for the days when 42nd Street was home to porn theaters and grindhouses—the kind of loud, smelly places where you could catch the latest kung fu epic, women in prison melodrama, or sleazy horror flick.

Maybe these films were offensive or degrading to some tastes, but movies like 1980’s Maniac, for example, delivered what they promised. As Quentin Tarantino would be quick to point out, that is why these were called exploitation films—not because they exploited women (some of them did, some of them didn’t; how one chooses to define that kind of exploitation is a subject for another time) but because they had an exploitable hook or a gimmick that put people’s butts in the theater’s chairs. Maybe the old Times Square was a dangerous place to visit, but you sure as hell weren’t going to see Cannibal Holocaust or Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things at the Paris or Lincoln Center. People needed catharsis when it looked like the city was falling apart. They wanted to forget their cares either through cheesy, outlandish violence that bordered on the comic, or disturbingly realistic violence that felt like a practice run for the very real dangers that lay right outside. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 23rd, 2009

THE VANISHING CITY: MOVIE + PANEL @ DIXON PLACE: 1/24/9 @ 8PM.

by John Coakley


The Moondance Diner: vanished.

The issue of luxury development replacing entire neighborhoods in the city has become one of the most critical debates in post-9/11 New York, and something that we at the SoHo Journal take seriously. History is being erased, families are being displaced, and the fabric of our neighborhoods is being altered forever—just ask anyone who has been priced out of the Lower East Side or Chinatown in recent years.This event takes on this disturbing trend by featuring the acclaimed short documentary Twilight Becomes Night, which chronicles the loss of New York’s small businesses. The trailer to a new film-in-progress, Vanishing New York will also be screened; funds raised will help finance the completion of the film. A panel including Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation, New York Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Director of Good Jobs New York Bettina Domiani and others will address audience questions. This Dixon Place event is well worth attending—you should go.

THE VANISHING CITY
Saturday, 1/24/9 @ 8PM
The NEW Dixon Place Theater
161 Chrystie Street (Rivington/Delancey)
RSVP: 212 219-0736 x113 OR www.dixonplace.org
$20 includes reception with panel to follow event
$15 general admission
$12 seniors/students

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Politics

January 23rd, 2009

ACHILLES: HEEL! THEN COME HOME!

by John Coakley

Achilles resides at 555 Hampton Road in Southampton Village. On 1 /19/2009 at 12:30 pm Achilles escaped underneath the fence with a larger female pit mix, “Egypt.” Egypt returned 2 hours later without Achilles. This was unusual because the two of them have escaped in the past and returned together. So keep your eyes peeled, people. There is a $500 reward for the safe return of this beautiful dog, but frankly, just getting him home to his obviously worried people would feel pretty darn good. Seriously, you wouldn’t have to do any more good deeds for at least a month.

Name: Achilles
Sex: Male
ID Chip: None
Collar: 2 Canvass Royal Blue & Brown Leather with tags
Vaccinations : All up to date
Disposition: Friendly
Weight: 40 pounds
Breed: Doberman Pitt mix
Age: 1.5 years
Color: Rust
Reward: $500.00


Contact Information: 631-484-7059 or 631-259-2188

Filed Under: Community | Take Action | the Hamptons

January 23rd, 2009

OPEN HOUSE @ OPEN CENTER: 1/23/9, 6-10PM.

by John Coakley


Bollywood dancing: you know you want to.

It’s Friday. You could go to the bar and get trashed with your co-workers and then wake up feeling like lukewarm mud has replaced your brain, or you could visit the Open Center and see what they have to offer. They have been offering classes in nearly every aspect of self help and new age, eastern and western spiritualities for years now. Visit their site to take a look at all that they have to offer. And your brain will thank you if you skip the booze and stop by the Open Center tonight to learn more about these areas right here:

6-6:45: Reiki intro. + Bollywood dancing intro.

7-7:45: Your soul’s work intro. + Detox rejuvenation intro.

8-8:45: Feng shui intro. + Alexandra tech. intro.

9-9:45: The natural singer intro. + Reflexology intro.

New York Open Center
83 Spring Street
212-219-2527

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

January 20th, 2009

SEE WHAT THE CITY HAS IN STORE FOR CHATHAM SQUARE: 1/21/9 @ 6:30PM.

by John Coakley

Thanks to Rob Hollander for the heads up.

There is a lot of history in Chatham Square. Seven streets converge in the spot originally named for the Prime Minister of Great Britain right before the American Revolution. It was originally an open air market where horses were sold, then became an area of ill repute as part of the notorious Five Points neighborhood during the mid-19th century. In the mid-20th century it was renamed Kimlau Square, with a Memorial Arch erected to honor the many Chinese American soldiers who died in the line of duty. The new name hasn’t entirely stuck, but the Square remains a vital part of Chinatown and New York as a whole.

So now that the City has plans to renovate the square, it’s up to us to make sure that they do it with a fair regard for the neighborhood’s needs. Community Board 3’s own traffic engineer, Brian Ketchum, will be present at the meetings listed below to answer questions and to review the City’s plans. Considering all of the ire that was raised when the Washington Square renovation plans were announced, we’d all be wise to see what’s in store here.

Wednesday, 1/21/9 @ 6:30pm
Confucius Plaza Community Room
33 Bowery

Wednesday, 2/18/9 @ 6:30pm
Confucius Plaza Community Room
33 Bowery

Monday, 2/23/9 @ 6:30pm
Public School 124
40 Division Street

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics | Take Action

January 20th, 2009

OBAMA’S INAUGURAL SPEECH REACHED THE 4 CORNERS OF THE GLOBE. EVEN SOHO.

by Joelle Panisch


Watching the Inauguration from the Cupping Room Cafe in SoHo.

The staggering attention to Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration has reached even the cobblestone streets of SoHo. In stores and shops, restaurants and bars, offices and residences nearly all televisions were tuned to the inauguration.

SoHo houses a collection of people from all walks of life—many homespun, many foreigners who relocated to New York for its prestige.

“It’s in the air. Whether you are a salesgirl in Bloomingdales or whoever, everyone is talking about the same thing. Everyone’s talking about Obama,” said Favio Greene, a British tourist in Soho for a holiday.

When asked if his family was watching back home. “They’re watching everywhere,” Greene responded. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | Politics

January 18th, 2009

PURE GOLD: WHO TO WATCH IN THE FALL.

by Ed Gold


Dark horse Tony Avella.

More city Democrats will be seeking the unglamorous positions of Comptroller and Public Advocate than Mayor this year. The reason is fairly obvious. Democrats will fill the two non-mayoral offices. But standing in front of City Hall this fall will be Daddy Warbucks and his $60 million bankroll, his candidacy due to the dispensation granted him by the City Council.

As of this writing, only three Democrats appear ready to take on Modest Mike: Anthony Weiner, the congressman from Brooklyn and Queens; Bill Thompson, the current comptroller, and Tony Avella, a Queens councilman and a very dark horse.

Six candidates have shown interest in the Comptroller post but one of them, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., is reportedly slated for a role in the Obama Administration.

Meanwhile, seven candidates have indicated interest in filling the seat being vacated by Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum.

The surprising interest in the lesser citywide positions may be related to an increase in public matching funds this year. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

January 16th, 2009

GET THOSE KIDS INVOLVED WITH THE INAUGURATION.

by John Coakley

Thanks to Mommy Poppins for the heads up.

Kids can’t vote, which seems unfair, seeing as how they would probably just vote for the candidate that makes them feel safest—just like most of us adults do. Well, there is no reason for the kids to be left out of the Inauguration. Even if you can’t bring em all down to DC next week, they can still get themselves involved and engaged with this big, big day. To wit:

Kids Inauguration Party
Borders Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle
212.823.9775
January 17, 2pm
FREE

Celebrate our nation’s new beginning with art activities, games, a scavenger hunt and an official oath ceremony. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Politics

January 15th, 2009

THE CHEYENNE DINER: GOOD NEWS + BAD NEWS.

by John Coakley

We are going to miss The Cheyenne. The closing of its doors last April was made bearable by the hope that it would be relocated to a different part of the city—it being a diner and thus portable and all. And indeed, plans surfaced to move it to Red Hook. Perfect! The soon to be empty lot on 33rd and 9th would be filled with condos, true, but part of New York’s history, a place where everyone from Jerry Lewis to David Letterman sat down for a cheeseburger at some point in time, would live on.

Problem is, those plans fell through when the diner proved too large to haul over the Manhattan Bridge, and transporting it by ferry proved too expensive. Meanwhile, the building has been empty for a long time now and, as we all know, we don’t have nearly enough empty or half-constructed luxury apartments in this town. So the estimable restaurant had to get moving.

Fortunately Michael Perlman, Chairman of Committee To Save The Cheyenne Diner, was able to broker a deal with property owner George Papas and Joel Owens of Birmingham, AL. That’s right. Just like a City employee with a fat pension, the Cheyenne is heading down south to take things easy. It’s going to be transported via flatbed in 2 sections to Birmingham with the help of Rigger Mel Brandt of M&M Rigging, who moved the Moondance Diner to LaBarge, WY in August of 2007.

So the Cheyenne is in good hands, and it will continue to feed the hungry and the drunk, just like it did here for 68 years. All well and good. But it is going to be missed. At least the Market Diner on 43rd and 11th has re-opened. Go there, people; give them your business so we can keep these beauties in New York where they truly belong.

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | News

January 14th, 2009

BYE GEORGE: THE END OF AN ERROR @ JOE’S PUB, 1/19/9.

by John Coakley


John Cameron Mitchell.

Most of us want to see Bush leave the White House yesterday, not a week from yesterday. His time as our president is something we’d like to forget, but that would be a mistake; we don’t want his errors to be repeated. Some awareness is needed. Yes, indeed—serious, sober reflection is called for in these final days.

Or you can go to Joe’s Pub and hear the likes of Lance Horne, John Cameron Mitchell, and Lea Delaria provide their take on things in the form of bawdy, satirical cabaret. Cabaret goes much better with booze than back issues of The Economist. Therefore, you should go.

Bye George: The End of an Error-Presented by Eva Price and Lance Horne
Monday, 1/19/9 @ 7:00 PM
Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette Street
212.539.8500
$30.00 Get tickets here.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 13th, 2009

GROUP SHOW @ ELI KLEIN FINE ART: OPENS 1/15/9.

by John Coakley

Eli Klein Fine Art continues to keep things innovative in the SoHo art world with their group show, featuring fourteen contemporary Chinese artists. An impressive range of talent and style is on display here, including the work of Zeng Jianyong and Liu Bolin, two artists we’ve featured before. Among the undiscovered (by us, anyway) talent is Kong Weimeng, who has a surreally anxious take on comic book heroes, and Luo Qing, who has a painting named after Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb that, contrary to what one might expect, has no hippie trappings whatsoever; it’s a darkly satiric portrait of an anthropomorphic happy couple that gets under your skin and stays there. This is powerful stuff. You should go.

Group Show: 14 Chinese Contemporary Artists
Opening 1/15/9 from 6-9pm.
1/15/9-3/2/9
Eli Klein Fine Art
462 West Broadway
New York, NY 10012
Tel: (212) 255-4388 / (888) 255-7252

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 10th, 2009

MAGIC PASSION LOVE STUDIO OPEN HOUSE: 1/11/9, 2-8PM.

by You the Reader


Painting by Joanne Morton.

“Magic Passion Love Project” is an ongoing project of Trickydame Productions that shares, promotes and creates products and events to help others manifest their own personal Magic Passion Love (MPL).It’s an Afternoon of Unlimited Possibilities—meaning new people, shared affirmations, making art, drinking wine (or non-alcoholic drinks), eating Chinese treats and WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE! It’s a chance to come downtown and visit a very interesting street in a very interesting town in very interesting times.

Magic Passion Love Studio Open House
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Hours 2 – 8pm
Email Joanne Morton at trickydame@gmail.com or call 917-676-4280 to RSVP to get exact address & more info.
Studio is located on Doyers St in Chinatown; there is no buzzer – you will need to call us to get in!

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 9th, 2009

THE 11TH ANNUAL POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE BENEFIT @ METRO PICTURES: 1/10/9, 11AM-7PM.

by John Coakley

Metro Pictures is hosting Postcards From the Edge, a one day event in which 1,500 postcard-sized original works of art are sold for $75 each. All proceeds support Visual AIDS, which utilizes contemporary art for AIDS advocacy and historicizes the work of HIV-positive artists while offering career support. All well and good, you say, but whose work would I be buying? Well, you can click here for a complete list of the hundreds of artists who donated their work, but it may not be of much help. Each piece is signed on the back and you have to buy it to find out who made it; maybe that was a Cindy Sherman piece and maybe it was by someone completely unknown. So make sure that you actually enjoy the work aesthetically before diving in. And if you end up with something from an unknown, well, just remember that Jean-Michel Basquiat was unknown when he sold his homemade postcards on the street. You should go.

The 11th Annual Postcards From the Edge Benefit
Metro Pictures
519 West 24th Street
Saturday, 1/10/9
11:00—7:00
$5, suggested admission

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

January 9th, 2009

PURE GOLD: A PERSONAL LOOK BACK AT CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY.

by Ed Gold


Jackie Robinson

The prospect of the first black president to take the oath of office on Lincoln’s bible brought to mind a broad range of memories in our long struggle for civil rights: examples of outright bigotry, of courageous actions, of stereotypes, zealotry, redemption and exhilaration.

What follows is a collection of incidents in this unfinished struggle to “overcome” and fulfill King’s dream for America.

***

Norm Skinner was the first black basketball star at Columbia. He was recently quoted in the college magazine indicating he had never experienced racial prejudice during his undergraduate days.

Maybe it was just as well he forgot one incident I was witness to.

As an editor of the Columbia Spectator I was friendly with Skinner and in 1947 we were part of a four-couple dinner date, two black couples and two white. We were meeting in one of the dorm lobbies. Skinner and another ball player were there with their dates, and I had a brainy bundle of energy from Smith.

A classmate of mine and his girlfriend were to meet us there. They entered the dorm and stood near the front door, engaged in conversation. They could easily see the six of us sitting on couches. Then my friend walked over to us, told us his girlfriend had gotten a splitting headache and that he’d have to take her home. He turned to the door and they were both gone.

The event did not sit well with Skinner who took the exodus as a slight. I tried to minimize the incident at dinner but Skinner was right.

It was all about race. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | Politics

January 8th, 2009

DEUTSCHE BANK HEARING @ CITY HALL: 1/9/9 @ 10AM.

by John Coakley

Thanks to 9/11 Environmental Action for the heads up.

There will be a hearing tomorrow on the decontamination and deconstruction of the Deutsche Bank building. Anyone with an interest in the machinations of civic politics is encouraged to attend, particularly if you’re curious about whether or not we’ve learned anything from cleaning up the World Trade Center site. Call in sick and go.

Lower Manhattan Redevelopment, Alan J. Gerson, Chair
Friday, January 9, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

January 7th, 2009

TOUBAB KREWE @ SOB’S: 1/9/8 @ 8PM.

by John Coakley

Normally, Jam Bands make us cringe here at the SoHo Journal. The length of the songs, the bad dancing, the patchouli. No thanks. Therefore, jam bands comprised of young white dudes earnestly trying to play traditional African music should make us cringe really, really hard. Like, “Ow, the muscles in my neck are starting to hurt” hard.

Which is why Toubab Krewe is so surprising. They blend Afrobeat with rock, surf, and zydeco, leaving the listener with an experience that’s as fresh as it is familiar. A few members of the band actually lived in Africa for a while, studying with master musicians while immersing themselves in the culture. In other words, they take the music seriously; these are not college boys whose definition of multiculturalism stops at weed and Bob Marley’s greatest hits. Yet even more important than their sincerity is the fact that this band from Asheville, NC grooves hard and well, bringing a celebratory vibe to their shows. Kudos to S.O.B’s for proving that there is still a market for interesting live music downtown. You should go.

Toubab Krewe, w/ special guest Jar-E
1/8/9 @ 8pm
SOB’s
204 Varick Street (at West Houston)
$12 in advance, $15 day of show

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

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