The summer is finally getting started here in NYC and we’ve got all sorts of projects cooking with Blkgrlswurld ZINE. It’s been great getting back into printmaking as a scholarship fellow at the Manhattan Graphics Center- I’m thrilled to be meeting new artists and learning more about the local print community. Printmaking is a tight knit circle nationally and internationally- only so many folks know how to churn a Heidelberg press ok?
Anyways, I’ll try and share here what’s going on in the print shop. I’m focused on silkscreen this summer, hoping to edition some zines, but I’m also planning some press work with chine cole. It’s surreal discovering this printers row of presses, screens and book makers in the heart of Times Square. This city is quirky, I’ll say that much. 😘
Summer events have me running rampant across Manhattan so stay tuned for my take on the NYC Ballet, Juiliard Chamber, System of A Down, From Autumn to Ashes return to NYC, Afro Punk Fest and some other special summer moments.
Doing some monoprinting on top of the Girl in a Plastic Bubble, by C.Long
Took a little adventure down to Brooklyn Heights this weekend, hungry for relaxed banjo playing and bluegrass fiddle melodies. Upon my entering the church where the fest was being held, I came upon a small group of musicians playing a ridiculously fast Appalachian tune in the kitchen. Just like that I felt as if I were back home in the mid-west, sitting out by the lake on a summer evening, playing fiddle on a tree stump and watching kids roast marshmallows.
The fest was a 3 day exploration of traditional music from a number a cultures and languages, ranging from early Americana, to West African folk tales and East Asian melodies. Hosted by Down Home Radio Show and The Jalopy Theatre it was interesting how music libraries such as the one within the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. invited musicians to explore their collections and learn songs that had been recorded for ethnographic purposes.
Famoro Dioubate – Djeli playing Mande Balafon music from Guinea
There were collaborative sessions for people to bring their instruments and jam together so it was sweet seeing so many banjo and fiddle players in one place.
Bruce Molsky Instructing students at the fiddle workshop, 2015
I’d made sure to bring my lil fiddle with me for a workshop they’d scheduled with the talented Bruce Molsky but the real fun was watching him play with friends out back while the rest of the audience attended the scheduled performances. What’s nice about his expert skill was witnessing how natural and comfortable performing music is for him. I love meeting artists who have a practice that’s as basic as breathing for them. A craft they do all day, everyday- for fun, business, pleasure anything else. It’s a lifestyle.
When you’ve enjoyed a band for over a decade and find their music just as strong as it was years prior, I can think of nothing more fun than watching them perform the album that started it all. Hawthorne Heights delivered a thorough exploration of their most well known songs to a New York crowd that could recite every lyric in passionate chants and wild crowd surfing.
Hawthorne Heights stands consistent with bands like Silverstein in defining a sub-genre of post-hardcore of the early 2000s that would later be termed Emo, for it’s melodic vocals paired with heavier riffs and screams. Their albums also weave in narrative and character development as if the artists have somehow gone through a changed experience from each song’s completion.
My younger sister and I have followed the band for years as they crafted lyrics of young frustration…
“Challenging the White Gaze is a recording of a discussion between black women musicians, journalists, visual and performing artists involved in alternative music and culture. After the release of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal the creation of a visual component to encourage black viewers who are struggling with their experiences being black in white-centric spaces that a community exists. More importantly, building a supporting environment where women could talk openly about their experiences – both the good and the painful – they’ve had within the metal, hardcore and punk scenes was imperative to building a community that over time, will expand to embrace other women other cities in North America.”
For the Spring ’15 Edition 3.0 of #blkgrlswurld Zine share with us the wildest most surprising things you’ve seen go down at a rock show. Photos, drawings and prose welcome. Send your submissions with your name and website to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Manson in the flesh, I never thought it would happen,” remarked a girl standing behind me in the swarming crowd of fishnets and studded black boots. A vision had finally come to fruition for all of us. Marilyn Manson was back in New York City, in Hell’s Kitchen blessing us with showers of glittery nightmares and whispers of industrial canticles.
With a music career now spanning over 20 years, the excitement of his return to the stage with new work from the album Pale Emperor has been well received amongst fans and critics. His latest songs like “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge” and “ The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles” generate soulful chants and rolling beats amongst a fuzzy, scratchy atmosphere of blues rhythms. It’s a warm bath my ears have been dipping into during my subway commute ever since the album dropped earlier this month.
Arriving to the performance a bit late I found the audience buzzing with anticipation minutes before his first appearance on stage. With intentions of hanging in the back of the venue to snap photos, I found myself in the bewildering situation of being pushed/carried towards the front of the stage once the show began, tumbling among the flaying hands and wet bodies. My eyes peered up from behind spiked mohawks and ornate corsets as I swayed breathless in the crowd getting ever closer to the singer. At one point I was pushed so far ahead that I was directly in front of Manson, arms outstretched, terribly close to the absolution he offered. Our hands nearly touched as he smiled at me and then, ACK!!! My body was pulled under into a sea of bodies going wild at his song, “Rock Is Dead.” Next thing I remember is standing in the entrance of the venue attempting to catch my breath—eyes stark white, hair disheveled. After a few moments I stood up, looked back at the crowd and whispered, “Wow…”