Ah, the holiday break! A new year is here and we’re back in NYC after celebrating the close of 2014 with my people in south east Michigan.
While hanging around the “D” we were able to catch a performance by Erykah Badu downtown, with artists Tank and Dej Loaf opening for her show. Not sure what it is about R&B but it’s become common for artists of this genre to be late to their own performances. And I don’t mean fashionably late, I mean 2+ hours delayed and the theater staff are going home before the audience late. A similar situation went down at Afropunk Fest this year when D’Angelo and the Roots were scheduled to close out the event. Plenty of folks waited for over 2 hours for them to appear, while I gave up and headed home some 45 minutes into the milling around.
Hardcore rock and metal fans descended upon Webster Hall during a chilly Friday night to wild out at one of the largest shows Every Time I Die has ever performed. With some 30+ stops on this tour, the band has been making music for over 15 years and released a new album this year calledFrom Parts Unknown. Architects (UK), Hundredth and Backtrack opened the show.
The great thing about tours that feature several bands is the variety of rock styles you can sample. If the bands are different enough, music cliques will start claiming space in different areas around the stage. The punks stand in the back of the room while the hardcore rock is playing and the thrashers glare in disbelief at the kids chanting melodic metalcore anthems. On a good night you might discover a new band with a style you hadn’t thought you’d enjoy…
My obsession with contrasting musical arrangements continued last night when I attended the Met Opera to see La Traviata, composed by Verdi. The original story, “La Dame aux Camélias” or known in America as “Camille,” was written by Alexandre Dumas in 1848. He is most recognized for his classics like “The Three Musketeers,” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”:
Dumas was a French nobleman of Haitian descent who was able to to use his father’s station to navigate a time in France when slavery was common practice. The story of Camille was so wonderful and yet sad, , there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
If you’ve seen the classic American film starring Greta Garbo, you get the gist of the story. Camille or in this case Violetta is a French courtesan (kept woman) who knows she is dying and has committed herself to burning out in a life of partying and pleasure. Alfredo is one of her many suitors who declares his love for her, but the true irony of his character comes from his inability to recognize how ill Violetta is becoming. It’s so clear to everyone but him, which shows his love is immature and naive. In my opinion Violetta’s attempts to hide her tuberculosis are halfhearted and he should have realized what was going on. Still, in the finally moments of her life, Alfredo emits a blind love for the woman, only to have her die in his arms. Grand romances like this are similar to Romeo and Juliet, where the lovers are terribly self centered -consumed with the idea of love and rarely paying attention to the other person. So sad! :( Add these elements to the robust melodies of Verdi’s opera and you make for a stunning evening at the theater.
I am tired of seeing articles scurrying across my social media feeds complaining about a lack of minority presence in the punk and metal scenes. With all the underground music I’ve witnessed in both rural and urban communities for the past decade, I can’t believe that all we have to show for it is mainstream reports that my being in the crowd with my friends isn’t enough.
How is it that writers are quick to forget the Black women music enthusiasts that actually attend shows and support bands? My younger sister and I grew up in midwestern suburbs listening to any style of rock we could get our hands on. She had her life band and I had mine. For us a life band consisted of every album of one artist played on repeat everyday at anytime until the weekend when we might jam on new artists we’d heard about…
This Halloween #blkgrlswurld caught up with Anne Rice and crew at the UnDead Convention in New Orleans to celebrate the debut of her new book Prince Lestat. The Vampire Lestat Coronation Ball is an annual formal where fans come together for all things goth, vintage and vampy. The costumes were so cool! My lil sis and I spent a bit too much on our formal gowns but other folks went all out with hand made bodices and Victorian hoop skirt dresses. The men were in top hats, formal suits and tuxedos :D
My favorite part was the wild and feathery parade troop that escorted Anne rice into the venue. There was music, dancing and huge elaborate costumes that made me feel as if I had been transported to a Haitian music festival.
The evening featured several talented bands and vocalists and as they performed on stage to some of New…
She’s finally here! The 2nd edition of #blkgrlswurld ZINE. We are so grateful to all of the artists and writers who submitted work for this edition. Music crosses all boundaries and this edition shows a range of styles and interpretations of how Science Fiction plays a key role in our imaginations. Sci-Fi Girls don’t die, we multiply!
Stay tuned for a special edition print of the zine in the coming weeks :)
Edition 2.0 is ready for download| October Theme: Sci-Fi Girl | View PDF Here