Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Picasso and marching bands, HONK now and forever!

Honk Festival at the Littlefield. Caroline Shepard 

HONK NYC - 2015 EAST VILLAGE CAVALCADE FOR MORE GARDENS! — with Benjamin Heim Shepard and Aresh Javadi atLa Plaza Cultural Community Garden. Top photo by Adrian Buckmaster. Bottom by Erik McGregor

Over and over the fall reminds me why I love New York.  Running around the city, watching the leaves change, hitting the museums, and watching bands – its all part fall here.  When you hear the sound of a marching band or see graffiti in the street, you are know you are alike.

Throughout the week, we went to MOMA and then to see some marching bands along the High Line, played in the park, visited grandpa, and romped about some of my old college haunting grounds, including the iconic Cafe Reggio, where I hung when i first fell in love with the city a quarter century ago. 

After a quick jaunt upstate, we went to MOMA.  I have never been a big fan of the expensive renovation and high costs of admission.  That seemed to kill something there.  But I still adore the collection.  Visiting it is like seeing on old friend, always changing homes and vocations.  But at heart, he's still got lots of color. The kids were pretty bored. They seemed to know that the art in the space looked captive.
 “I see all those images my graphic novels,” number two explains.  “I don’t need Picasso or go to the MOMA to see them.”
“Well, did you ever think maybe those graphic novelists wouldn’t be making those images if it wasn’t for Picasso?”  I replied.
But they were probably onto something the Situationists pointed out a long time ago.

John Jordon asked to me to get him some quotes on play.  Regarding the situation in the museum, they seem apt.

“It was in fact from art that play broke free. The eruption was called Dada,” Situationist Raoul Vaneigem explains (1967/2003, p. 257)

 “The desire to play has returned to destroy the hierarchical society which banished it,” wrote Situatioinist theorist Raoul Vaneigem (1967/2003, p.257).

 “[W]ith the crisis of the spectacle, playfulness, distorted in every imaginable way, is being reborn everywhere” Raoul Vaneigem elaborated (1967/2003, p. 256).
 “Economic necessity and play don’t mix,” Raoul Vaneigem explained (1967/2003, p. 256).

Pong seemed to energize the girls more than Picasso.
But the day out in the sun was the best. It was just getting started. 

Still, I love seeing the Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, reminding of the energy I channel looking at the lights on the streets, the colors in the sky, the motion of the city around me,  the museum reflecting it, as it sings back at it, in a reciprocal energy reflective of our era's engagement between the individual and the environment.  We are all part of those those lines connecting the streets and ideas of the city. 

Later that afternoon, we went to one of the events on the HONK festival!  Throughout the week, We marching bands tore through town, composed on sounds from Paris to New Orleans, Chicago and Brazil and back again.

Monday's gig was at the Highline.

HONK NYCHONK NYC! @ The High Line with The Himalayas featuring Kenny Wollesen.

 Tuesday, a few of us caught the dems debate. Eric greeted everyone at the Sane Energy project party.

Sane Energy Party — with Barbara Ross and Benjamin Heim Shepard at Patagonia, Soho.Photo and Caption by Erik McGregor

By Wednesday, Honk was coming our way with a dance party in the Gowanus, at the Littlefield.

Frank London | Spanglish Fly | New Creations Brass Band | Les Vilains Chicots

Les Vilains Chicot (Paris)

This massively energetic brass band is as comfortable on the streets as on the stage, having performed everywhere from Naples to Brazil, at festivals, protests, huge parties, and tiny bars. Born a decade ago in Arts Decos, Paris, in the pure tradition of student brass bands, Les Vilains Chicots twist their ancestors’ style into funk, Latin, cumbia, and Afro beats, in rearranged covers and original compositions.

Frank London
Frank London is a New York City-based trumpeter, bandleader, and composer active in klezmer, jazz and world music. He also plays various other wind instruments and keyboards, and occasionally sings backup vocals. As a composer and arranger, he has created works for film, theater and even a marionette production of The Golem! and he is a member of Hasidic New Wave and the Klezmatics.

New Creations Brass Band (New Orleans)

Hailing from New Orleans, the 10-piece New Creations was founded in 2012 by three brothers. They have a big brass sound that mixes in influences from reggae, Caribbean, funk, and even a little dubstep.

Spanglish Fly

Featuring 11 members from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ecuador, Venzuela, Canada, and the United States, Spanglish Fly plays a mixture of soul, R&B, and Latin rhythms, reviving and renewing the music known as Latin bugalú that was born in El Barrio. The band’s live shows are explosive Latin Soul parties with packed dance floors.


Saturday, October 17, 12:30pm-6:30pm: East Village Cavalcade of Pomp
 La Plaza Cultural Community Garden |  Map |  FREE Event
 Look at the Facebook Event for more details
Photo and caption by More Gardens!

The More Gardens! write up for Satuday noted:
The creative blood and spirit of NYC runs deep through the East Village, the LES, and its lifeline of community gardens. Join us as we parade to these oases and stay with us for a celebration--a crescendo of revelry, incantation, action & 15th anniversary memory of Esperanza--at one of NYC's great garden spaces. 

This is a FREE event. All welcome.
Hosted by HONK NYC! & More Gardens!

12:30 -1 PM MEET TO MARCH at La Plaza Community Garden. Come costumed or as you are. Carry a flag or handmade puppet as you wish. The community is invited to join the bands on a 45-minute parade from La Plaza through the East Village visiting gardens enroute. The LES is poised to be zoned as a "GARDEN COMMUNITY DISTRICT." After years of sweat, love & vision, let's help bring this all the way HOME!

From 2:15 @ LA PLAZA. Join us for marvels of live full-bodied music, theater, arts & crafts and garden lore.

4 PM: ”Hello Folly” by Pat Oleszko with music by Ken Field--20-person theater troupe brulesque costumed romp on the mad idea of not drilling in the Artic.

Global and local featured acts:

The Human JukeBox Brass Band - soulful, smooth, just right
Seriously Noisy - the Lower Eastside Girls Club band!!!
Les Vilains Chicot - bringing funky grooves and beats from Paris
Kings County Pipes & Drums - an infusion of bagpipes fills the land
New Creations Brass Band - from New Orleans, bringing IT
Environmental Encroachment - Chicago's performance brass
Batala New York City - our own all female full power samba force

More Gardens! is rooted in community, arts, and education. They promote the enhancement and preservation of community gardens as well as the cultivation of fallow land in New York City. Learn more

Marching bands helped bring the neighborhood together, as we all make new friends, enjoyed being alive, and recalled a few others gone way too soon. 

Finishing the bands, I romped up town to catch my mom, brother, and his cool son who is now 16.
Gave him a HONK T Shirt and we all have a grand time.  Thanks for a great day NYC!

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