FaeNight. C Long 2013 Art

The Long Shrift @ Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

The Long Shrift is a play written by Robert Boswell and Directed by James Franco. Opening night is Sunday July 13, 2014 Tickets here

I wanted to take a break from live music this weekend so upon suggestion by Mr. Franco’s instagram account (how did that even get added to my feed?) I took a chance on an intimate theater production at Rattlestick in Greenwich Village.

I always try to go in blind for performances and don’t want to spoil it for others. Suffice it to say the advertisements are correct in stating, “Richard Singer, a dorky teenage boy is accused and thrown in jail for rape, tearing his parents apart. Now, nine years later, Richard is out of jail and his accuser is back in his life.

The narrative is relatively simple, with the center of the story exploring how individuals connected to Richard are reeling through his demise, and later on when Richard becomes a vindicated man, the story shifts closer to how he and his accuser can move forward through their guilt, confusion and frustration of still believing different things about the night that put them on this path.

With a feminist bias I couldn’t agree with all of the so-called gray area regarding whether the sex between the teenagers had been consensual or not, but it was a rich debate. It seems rare that any 2 people can process such accusations or their consequences the same way, and it certainly came across in this performance how the stakes always appear higher for families invested in the future success of sons vs. their daughters.

Scott Haze (The accused young man Richard) gave a stunning performance emitting that special “something” that certain actors can have. It was as if his character, physical presence and awareness couldn’t be sustained on such a small stage. His movements made the room swell and stretch with the character’s emotions and I feel he was the key to making this narrative a reality for the audience- Haze most certainly outshines a couple of his colleagues.

Ally Sheedy (Richard’s Mother) also gave a striking performance throughout, pushing a character so purely manic depressive you could feel paint peeling off the walls as her rantings started in on the hourly displeasure of living in a world where her son (or legacy) is in prison. The Mother’s attitude about the dark side of her son got me thinking of Lionel Shriver’s, We Need to Talk About Kevin and it’s left to the audience just how true her original concerns might have been.

I recommend checking out this play, it will give you some things to think about within a context that refreshes old debates about the American family, rape culture, and the prison industrial complex. xoxo #blkgrlswurld

The Long Shrift w/ Allie Gallerani (Macy), Scott Haze (Richard), Brian Lally (Henry), Ahna O’Reilly (Beth) and Ally Sheedy (Sarah).

 

MoMA Summergarden by Christina Long Photo #blkgrlswurld

MoMA Summergarden Music Series

A friend and I made our way to the MoMA this past Sunday to check out the “FREE” Summergarden Music Series, Juilliard Concert I: New Music for Mixed Ensembles. <Did you hear me? I said FREE! As in no tix required :) Lovely event as you can imagine, a quiet evening in the city, not much traffic noise, and an intimate ensemble of wind, strings and percussion set up on the garden steps just under the large rose sculpture. Somebody pinch me, I think I’m geeking into Frasier Crane! lol

Seriously, my best advice for events like this is to get there early, we actually showed up 2 hours early hoping to walk around the museum for a bit only to discover that the museum was closed to the public and the line to get into the Summergarden had already begun. After assigning ourselves to go forth and join the line, it paid off in the end because it allowed us to sit in my favorite spot for classical music performances, in the front row behind first violin :) mwhahahaha!

The selections for the performance were modern and fresh, featuring New York premieres like Henrik Strindberg’s 4 movement piece Once Child (2013) and a fabulous Solo Viola (Meredith Treaster) piece by Donald Crockett titled, to airy thiness beat (2009)MoMA Summergarden by Christina Long Photo #blkgrlswurld

Many of you know my thoughts about classical music’s rhythmic overlap with hardcore heavy metal, and I found the symphonic sounds of this evening no different. To sum up the performances in one word, I claim Angst was the overall theme. Riveting sounds of strings on alarm and then brushing away into sudden quiet, musicians pushing themselves beyond staccato to pull sounds from their instruments in avant garde places such as the finger boards, knocking on wood with hand knuckles, or tapping flutes against other objects.

It’s also great to begin recognizing faces in this scene. Many of the young musicians performing also played key roles in the Chamber performances last month during the Chelsea Music Festival. I look forward to checking out the next Summergarden performance, July 13th featuring a Jazz concert of the Jonathan Ragonese Ensemble. I heard  that a tap dancer is scheduled to perform as well!  xoxo

Composer David Crockett thanks conductor Joel Sachs and Violist Meredith Treaster, MoMA July 2014

Composer David Crockett thanks conductor Joel Sachs and Violist Meredith Treaster, MoMA July 2014

 

 

Unearth @ Webster Hall 6/21

Unearth @ Webster Hall 6/21 :D

Stopped by Webster Hall this weekend to check out the Metal and was pleasantly surprised. In all honesty I wasn’t familiar with the bands performing- even though acts like Unearth have been around for a long time with an established fan base. In what was meant to be an opportunity to experiment with my Nikon’s new zoom lens, I had planned on simply documenting the show for later review.

Wouldn’t you know that after bands like Armed for the Apocalypse warmed up the crowd I put my camera down 5 minutes into Unearth’s set. Woah! Crazy skillful songs, great guitar rifts, lots of hardcore breakdowns in tempo and very pleasing vocals. I was so unprepared for such wonderful sounds that it didn’t take long for me to go from documenting the mosh to being in the mosh. There was some crowd surfing but this crowd was all about the karate moshing and the acrobatics got pretty serious from one moment to the next. (Sh*#t, Did that guy just do a back flip?)

Unearth @ Webster Hall 6/21

Unearth @ Webster Hall 6/21

Unearth definitely kicked ass for this New York crowd and the best evidence I’d argue is the fact that I wasn’t the only person present who reacted in surprise. The wallflowers standing in the back of the venue, hiding from the moshers, toward the end of each song there was always someone who appeared cool and collected that suddenly sprang into action-headbanging and twisting all about until hands appeared and guided them to the pit. LOL! Music can take hold of you at any time so be careful.On that note check out this article from Metalhammer about a guy who gets overtaken by the music at a Classical Music performance of Handel’s Messiah to the point he attempts a crowd-surf. He can attempt whatever he likes, my question is whether the audience actually tried to carry him or just let him squash them. LOL!!

I’m seriously glad I checked out this band and look forward Unearth’s new album coming out this Fall. #blkgrlswurld

Unearth thanks fans after the show- so professional! :)

Unearth thanks fans after the show- so professional! :) they won me over

Jucifer at Acheron, brookyln, NYC, music, christina long art #blkgrlswurld

Jucifer at The Acheron in Bushwick

I stopped by the Acheron in Bushwick//Brooklyn last week to check out the summer line ups. I definitely appreciate the varying sub genres and styles of Metal that come through this venue and this show was no exception. With Jucifer headlining- Cleanteeth, and Mammal are what most would term “Doom” metal, I’d say mainly due to heavy bass and tonal notes that go down the musical scale more often than up. “Sludge” is another term you might hear, and I find this most often in Thrash metal sounds coming from Southern states, such as Jucifer which is a duo originally from Georgia. The chords and grinds are slow and morose, creating lengthy moments where you can really linger on the heavy bass. I love heavy bass so this was Amazing for me, the drawling sounds were capable of peeling paint off the walls. :D yeah! What really keeps things interesting was each band’s ability to vary emphasizing the off-beat as the tempo is slowed down to a complete stop.

Can I just say for a moment how happy I was to see a female Metal Guitarist? I know identity politics is still a ‘thing’ right now but Come On! I attend Alot of shows and believe me, its too rare how few women there are in the scene- and even for those who more visible, they have yet to get as much exposure to local and national audiences. I don’t know how to improve this situation but I Really hope we can change this around. I’d prefer 50/50 presence of men and women across all the music I enjoy. You can’t tell me men are somehow more inclined to Metal/Comic Books/Race Cars/Sports or anything else because I love all that shit and so do plenty of other women out there. Let’s compare Metallica album collections and see who Really knows what’s up, yeah?

Brooklyn Metal NYC Christina Long Art #blkgrlwurld

Jucifer at Acheron, 2014

Brooklyn Metal NYC Christina Long Art #blkgrlwurld

Cleanteeth at the Acheron, 2014

Walker and “A Subtlety”

I’m sorry but I just personally get the feeling that Black women with similar backgrounds to Kara just aren’t her audience, photographer Latoya Ruby Frasier claimed this herself in a lecture I saw about her own practice(Gallery 400 UIC, 2011), its not intended for women or women of color..its a trip because from a distance I feel like i can relate to their work and what they’re trying to develop, then in person, I realize the entire project is created in a way that excludes me from the conversation- the sphinx is just a big Venus Hottentot, naked for the world to consume, literally as woman and food- and it never moves past this representation or tries to challenge this idea…because I took the object personally as a representation of Black American women of a voluptuous history, I left feeling that I was the Sphinx, completely voiceless and above all, in all my physical enormity, INVISIBLE.

The work falls short of getting past the status quo and I especially felt this in person as I watched visitors consume and objectify the work in all the glory of a Hottentot event. I feel politically it’s done something for female artists but conceptually it just didn’t get to where it could have gone…

Kara Walker, Creative Time, #blkgrlswurldKara Walker, Creative Time, #blkgrlswurldKara Walker, Creative Time, #blkgrlswurld