Monday, November 6, 2017

Waterloo Sunset on Brooklyn, Blues and Beer on the Bridge, Amazing Grace, Jazz for a Cause #Jazz4acause #amazinggrace #gracejones #theillustriousblacks #cmoneverybodybk

Grace Jones opened and closed the Starck Club.”
 Images from a weekend that started on the Manhattan Bridge with renegade cyclists offering free beer to each other, off to cook paella, and dancing at AMAZING GRACE: A Grace Jones Dance Party! Music by DJ @manchildblack + special performances by @monstahblack @sweetlorraineny and @munroelilly. 11pm-LATE #amazinggrace #gracejones #theillustriousblacks #cmoneverybodybk

These days, the city is booming; it’s hard not to feel the pull, ups and downs, extremes, good days contending with brutal news, tragedy and fun, mixed in an urban panorama. People are doing the best they can to cope as best as they know.  We saw it with the neighbors passing out free candy and sharing conversations on Halloween, just hours after a man careened up the West Side bike path. And we saw it this weekend, doing our best, strumbling and trying to do our best.
Friday, I was riding home from work and saw a group of people standing around the bike path on the Manhattan Bridge.  Riding past smiling faces, standing in the grass. I remembered my friend Joe had said he was bringing free beer.  

Free beer for everyone, he declared, inviting every cyclist to join the ride with him, an open invitation to take part.

“I want to re introduce this as a public space for everyone,” noted Joe.
“When I say fuck, you say police. Fuck” Joe screamed, “The police,” we replied.
“Kill,” Joe screamed.
“No Joe,” I laughed. We need more love.
I had to leave early as friends were coming over and Caroline was making Paella. But Joe’s gesture of care for his community struck with me.  Free beer for everyone – that’s an idea whose time has come.  The revolution needs more free beer, candy, and conversations among strangers.
After dinner, the good vibe continued. We all made our way to C’mon Everybody.
C'mon Everybody Presents:
*the best of, rarities, remixes, and more*

The Illustrious Blacks with DJ Manchildblack and Monstah Black *Live* + special guests

I’ve always had a soft spot for Grace Jones.   She performed the first and last nights at the Stark Club - the legendary club of my childhood in Dallas.  She brought a little gender bending and transcending Studio 54 everywhere she went.  And that was certainly the case at Stark, where  the imprint she brought to that first show remained at the club for much of the rest of the decade. It transformed countless lives, certainly mine. Some of my best times ever took place there.

Riding to the Grace Jones dance party in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn was teeming with people wandering after the game at Barclay’s Center.
Grace’s lyrics ran through my mind.

I've Seen That Face Before
Strange, I've seen that face before,
Seen him hanging 'round my door,
Like a hawk stealing for the prey,
Like the night waiting for the day,
Strange, he shadows me back home,
Footsteps echo on the stones,
Rainy nights, on Hausmann Boulevard,
Parisian music, drifting from the bars,
Tu cherches quoi, rencontrer la mort,
Tu te prends pour qui, toi aussi tu detestes la vie,
Dance in bars and restaurants,
Home with anyone who wants,
Strange he's…
Dans sa chambre, Joel et sa valise,
un regard sur ses fringues,
Sur les murs, des photos,
Sans regret, sans mélo,
La porte est claquée, Joel est barré
Songwriters: Bart Ho

At C’mon Everybody, the bar in front was full of club kids, queers of all stripes, getting drinks. A lovely mixed crowd of people were dancing in back, Brooklyn’s mixed bodies hot.
My Jamaican Guy sang Grace in those familiar words, the room gyrating to that energy.  Black couples, two white guys kissing, drag queens, lesbian dancing queens, a few French girls dancing and making out with the boy friends. Drag performers, sauntering to and fro.
I stayed and danced with strangers.  That was fine.  We were all with Amazing Grace.

Saturday, we visited the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, packing up, and played in the park, the day exploding around us, closing and opening, up and down, high and outside. 

We played pinball and Bushwick and meandered up to Garrison to talk with Al about the history of music, bridging jazz to classical to rock and roll. 

We jammed and played old Ian Hunter records and Al regaled us with stories. Jaco played on this record. 

Al told us about Mellencamp at Madison Square Garden and meeting Aaron Copland.  For the record, he loves Bartok and detests Copland.  I disagree with this assessment. Al teems with music. He played drums, number one on guitars, while I held the base line to psycho killer.  Number two had a clarinet lesson.  It’s a six hour music seminar with Al these days, recalling Juliard days, jass, playing flute with Blood Sweat and Tears, being the sound man with C Town.

I was not that interested in playing at Maxi’s farm, recalled Al.  Max B. Yasgur was a childhood friend.   C-Train was traveling West so Al traveled west with them.  Lola took fight. But that was ok.  Caroline was back in NYC. 

It was raining most of the day.

Come with us for Jazz for a cause, I asked as we left. 

Nah he laughed.
Live Music: Sunday Sounds Jazz for a Cause • Upstairs at 61 Local
Generally the first Sunday of every month, Big Wrench Piano Care, in partnership with Sunday Sounds, presents a free live show, often featuring a vintage electric piano from our shop.  This is a fabulous chance to hear professional musicians playing genuine analog pianos such as a Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer, in a unique and intimate setting.  Great guitars from our sister company Brooklyn Fine Guitars are also sometimes featured.  Another great reason to attend is that a portion of your donation will support a different charity every month.  Past charities and causes that have benefitted include the Alzheimer's Association, National Endowment for the Arts and the ALS Association.  Your support is important for both live and professional music and important charities!
All shows begin at 7:30pm in the mezzanine space at 61 Local, 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY. Free admission with suggested donation of $20 is encouraged to support live music and the charity featured in the show.  All ages are welcome.  Shows usually feature 2 shorter sets with soda, beer, wine and food available at the bar. 

 November 5th: Brad Craig Trio with Kona Khasu, bass and Joel Arnow, drums.  Benefit for The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Venue: 61 Local: 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY
Walking over to the show, I heard the news from Texas, where there was another mass shooting.
“At least 27 people dead, 27 injured in a Church in Texas today. #stop #addiction #guninsanity” posted my friend Joan E. Roney.  It’s a sick culture we live in to allow this.

I'm so sorry texas. that could have been any of us on any given Sunday, I thought, riding over.
The Dems passed an assault weapons ban in 1994. in 2004, it expired. everyone who voted in favor of the NRA not people has blood on their hands. The guy in Texas pointed his assault weapon at folks at church. this is what happens when we don't regulate guns. I hear there are travel warnings about coming to the us. we ignore climate science, support gun violence, and easily arm terrorists. we are the crazy land.

Brad Craig Trio played old Jeff Beck and Elton John songs.  Killing Me Softly took an entirely different meaning as the music went on.

But I was mostly moved with the musicians sharing and improvising with their eyes, listening to each other, playing the bluesy rock and roll, jazz improv.

Play one more round, bass player Kona Khasu, added to Craig, seemingly channeling his inner Jaco.
And he did.

They played My Love by Paul McCartney, I Want Candy, some Hendrix Blues, and countless others, each instrument seemingly talking with each other. The highlight of the set was an old Kinks song, whose sad lament seemed to speak for a feeling gripping as lot of us as we listened to music together.  
Waterloo Sunset
Dirty old river, must you keep rolling
Flowing into the night
People so busy, makes me feel dizzy
Taxi light shines so bright
But I don't need no friends
As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise
Every day I look at the world from my window
But chilly, chilly is the evening time
Waterloo sunset's fine
Terry meets Julie, Waterloo Station
Every Friday night
But I am so lazy, don't want to wander
I stay at home at night
But I don't feel afraid
As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise
Every day I look at the world from my window
But chilly, chilly is the evening time
Millions of people

The world is going crazy and Brooklyn is booming, despite the treachery of it all. We all have the blues. But we’re laughing and living and hoping we can dodge the bullets, the crazies in congress are allowing us to endure.

sweaty bodies at c'mon everybody

brooklyn workshop gallery and an afternoon in the park

An all day music salon with Al. 

Jazz for a Cause!

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