Read About the Time B.B. King Played Rikers Island Right After Attica

Categories: Blues, History

Photo by Andrew Youssef
B.B. King in 2012
Less than two months after the 1971 Attica prison riot, B.B. King played the Rikers Island juvenile detention facility, and Patrick Carr, writing for the Village Voice, was there to document the concert. "When King wound up his performance the prisoners were on their feet stomping and whistling and shouting their applause," Carr said in his piece, the full version of which you can read below.

B.B. King died Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89. The Times reports he had been under hospice care, though he was still performing up until October 2014.

More »

Matt Pond PA Move on From 'Several Arrows Later' and a Brush With Larceny

Courtesy of Big Hassle Media
Matt Pond PA
Matt Pond just remembered it's Mother's Day, and he nearly forgot to make that sacred phone call. The slip is justified. There's a lot on the mind of the namesake behind the New Hampshire-via-Pennsylvania-via–New York chamber-pop outlet Matt Pond PA. Not only is his band in the final-week stretch of their ten-year anniversary tour supporting their celebrated 2005 album Several Arrows Later, but Matt Pond PA have a bigger issue: They've just been robbed.

More »

Ask Andrew W.K.: 'How Do I Deal With Nudity?'

Categories: Andrew W.K.

Photo by David Riu
Andrew W.K.
[Editor's note: Every week, New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or — no surprise here — a party. Need his help? Just ask:]

Dear Andrew W.K.,

What up, dude? Love your advice column, so I'm hoping you can help me here. I'm in college, and one of my classes has a big poster of that famous Leonardo da Vinci "Man" drawing with the naked dude in the circle with his arms out. I'm sure you've seen it.

Anyway, I realize it's a famous piece of art, but I don't particularly like this naked guy's junk staring at me all day. It's offensive and distracting for a classroom environment. It's just not appropriate to have some naked dude up on a wall when I'm trying to learn.

I'm sure you see where I'm coming from, so my question is, how do I get it removed? Do I just tell my teacher that staring at a naked man all day is distracting and gross? Or do I just ask her to take it down? Or do I take it down when no one is looking and throw it away? Or do I try talking to the dean about it? Or do I just cover it with a sticker or something? I don't really want to start trouble, I just don't feel like looking at this guy's junk anymore and I don't feel like I should have to. Am I stupid?

Fed Up And Grossed Out

More »

The Eight Best Concerts in New York This Weekend, 5/15/15

Categories: Weekend

Photo Courtesy of Right On PR
Matt and Kim

For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

More »

Evian Christ, Forest Swords, and More Invade Wall Street to Celebrate Tri Angle Records

Courtesy of the Windish Agency
Forest Swords is one of the many Tri Angle Records artists who will perform at the label's fifth anniversary celebration.
It wasn't that Robin Carolan necessarily saw a void that needed to be filled when he founded Tri Angle Records in the summer of 2010. He simply felt there was a misrepresentation of the peculiar style of music then beginning to morph and solidify around him. A former contributor to the British fanzine 20 Jazz Funk Greats, a publication known for plumbing the underground, Carolan created Tri Angle as a response to an emerging genre, one that straddled the line between pop and mash-ups without fusing itself to either.

"I didn't really start the label to push that genre; it just kind of happened naturally," he says on a recent day off. "When I started the label, I didn't really have any big plans for it. It was kind of just put together almost as a hobby. It wasn't supposed to be this thing that I'd be doing five years later."

To commemorate its half-decade run, Tri Angle will showcase nine of its artists in an environment befitting the label's unique aesthetic: inside the basement and vault of a former JPMorgan building off Wall Street. The show will offer rooms for both DJ and live performances, with interior decorations courtesy of visionary designer David Rudnick (whom Carolan calls a "mad genius"). For the founder, the event will be an encapsulation of Tri Angle's past, present, and future, with a good mixture of artists and their sounds.

More »

Long After 'The Adventures of Pete & Pete,' Polaris Start a New Journey

Photo by Henning Ohlenbusch
Nineties Nickelodeon cult favorite The Adventures of Pete & Pete wasn't your average kids' show. From 1993 to 1996, Pete & Pete dazzled young'uns and grown-ups alike with a unique wittiness, maturity, and friendly surrealism in Wellsville's fictional suburbia. Whether it was a cardigan-wearing Iggy Pop expressing his distaste for canoes, or an inanimate, demonic bowling ball fighting for the siblings' affection, Pete & Pete remains an original not only in children's television, but for the medium as a whole.

To score such a unique world, show creator Will McRobb enlisted Mark Mulcahy, then frontman of the Connecticut college-rock band Miracle Legion, to write the show's jangle-pop theme, "Hey Sandy." More work followed, and Polaris, as Mulcahy's in-house, Miracle Legion–hybrid band came to be known, eventually penned twelve songs over the show's run, matching Pete & Pete's timelessness with its soundtrack. After the show's cancellation, Music From the Adventures of Pete & Pete saw a proper album release in 1999, becoming a treasured gem for the show's fans as Mulcahy continued on as a solo act.

More »

Jane's Addiction Go Vintage With 'Nothing's Shocking' at Brooklyn Bowl

Robert Menzer for the Village Voice
Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction gets up close and personal with the crowd at Brooklyn Bowl.
Nostalgic rock fans in New York had a tough choice between concerts last night: Night one of metal heroes Faith No More at Webster Hall? Or alt-rock gods Jane's Addiction at Brooklyn Bowl? Those who opted for the latter had a chance to see a rare Jane's performance of their landmark 1988 album Nothing's Shocking in full at an uncharacteristically small venue — a night that would serve as a welcome throwback, albeit one that lacked a little panache.

Since the band's early days performing in Los Angeles clubs, Jane's Addiction have been notorious for their debauched, hedonistic live spectacles. Brooklyn Bowl felt tame by comparison, the only real exploitation coming in the form of a shirtless (and seemingly ageless) guitarist Dave Navarro and the appearance of two scantily clad dancers toward the end. Which was all well and good in regard to focusing on the music, but the band performed almost as if it was missing an element of fun. Frontman Perry Farrell in particular appeared rather unaffected, taking about half the set for it to finally feel like he was letting loose. Maybe they're older; maybe they don't care as much; maybe they were stoned. Theatrics (or lack thereof) aside, Jane's Addiction are still rock stars of the highest caliber, and they're not about to let you forget it.

More »

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds Spread Their Wings on 'The Weather Below'

Categories: Interviews

Photo by Aviva Klein
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds
Sister Sparrow — the nom du stage of Arleigh Kincheloe — wears the pants in the band. Literally. It wasn't until the singer donned a pair of jeans that she came into full possession of the powers that now fuel her both onstage and in the studio with the six members of the Dirty Birds.

Calling on a gig day in Syracuse, New York, Kincheloe speaks frankly about her musical and personal evolution. She and harmonica-playing brother Jackson were raised in the Catskills, and though she was was singing onstage with their musician parents by the age of eight, confidently fronting her own six-piece funky soul band was a different story for Arleigh.

More »

Saxon and Armored Saint Unleash Metal Madness in Midtown

Photo by Christine Jordan
Biff Byford of Saxon
In Saxon's classic anthem "Denim & Leather," frontman/behemoth Biff Byford sings of the band-fan connection, arguably stronger in metal than in other genres: "Do you dream of playing guitar or smashing up the drums?...You can always be a singer like me and front the band/When on the stage we wait at your command/Denim and leather/Brought us all together/It was you that set the spirit free."

And the packed house at B.B. King's was full of the "denim and leather" crowd (predominantly male, predominantly over 40, not a man-bun or rolled cuff in sight). They were there to pay fist-thrusting homage to one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), a scene that also spawned more, well, popular bands, such as Judas Priest. Saxon and NWOBHM were a pioneering influence on Metallica and their American metal ilk, though the students surpassed the masters in popularity. Still, one concertgoer in a Kiss shirt raved that "it's like 1983 in here!" Small wonder, as '83 was the year of Saxon's landmark Power & the Glory album — but here we were, thirty-some years later, and Byford, a long-haired 64-year-old metal icon, was still bringing it.

More »

Exclusive Premiere: Listen to Kevin Devine's 'Geissen'

Kevin Devine photo by Ninelle Efremova/Meredith Graves photo by Ali Donohue
Kevin Devine and Meredith Graves
Kevin Devine fans, rejoice: It's been a minute since you made the Brooklyn singer-songwriter's last two records happen, but he's finally back with new music.

More »