Benjamin Scheuer Takes Autobiographical Musical THE LION On Tour After NYC Success

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Photo by Nilaya Sabnis
Benjamin Scheuer
In his intimate and lyrical one-man show, THE LION, musician/playwright Benjamin Scheuer tells the story of his life, the volatile father who taught him to love music, his angsty teen years, the heartbreaks, and his tough battle with cancer (which he won) at 28. He does so using spoken word and song, the stage sparse and set to look like a foyer on the Lower East Side or maybe Williamsburg, with six guitars for him to play, depending on the character. The show is close and real. Ultimately, what character "Ben" learns (and what Scheuer learned in life) is that the thing that matters to him most is family.

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Step Onstage With Anthony D'Amato for a Perfect New York Moment

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Photo by Bianca Bourgeois
Anthony D'Amato
[Editor's note: New York–based folk singer-songwriter Anthony D'Amato posted about the perfect "New York" day he had last week on Instagram, and we were intrigued by his impromptu performance alongside Marah and renowned guitarist Lenny Kaye on the night of April 16 — so we asked him to write about it. Below, D'Amato elaborates on a brilliant music moment that could only have happened here.]

Some days New York, it's all hot garbage and stale piss. There's mice living in your stove and (hopefully) dog shit smeared under your shoe, or ankle-deep slush puddles off every curb and a special kind of gusting wind and rain designed specifically to invert umbrellas. But other days, you sit and eat an ice cream cone and watch boats go by as the sun sets on Manhattan, and you can't imagine a more perfect time or place to be alive. The glass faces of the skyscrapers change colors with the reflecting light, and you experience one of those golden New York moments where you can't help but just follow the city wherever it leads you, until the next thing you know, you're onstage performing a song you've never played before — with Lenny Kaye, the celebrated guitarist of the Patti Smith Group and New York musical icon. This happened on April 16, the most New York day I've ever had.

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Charles Hamilton Returns to Rap and Rejuvenates With 'New York Raining'

Categories: New Yorkers

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Courtesy of Republic Records
Charles Hamilton
Charles Hamilton is hip-hop's prodigal son, mounting what might be the year's most unexpected comeback (but don't call it a comeback!). After a lengthy hiatus and very public unraveling, the Cleveland native has broken his silence with his first major-label single in seven years, "New York Raining." Featuring Rita Ora, "New York Raining" is a love song perfectly primed for boozy, springtime nights on rooftops and sneaking kisses while waiting for the L train.

"I was raised in New York and it's a big influence on me and my sound," Hamilton tells the Voice. "New York's beauty when it rains describes the woman I was talking about." The duo performed the track on an episode of Empire and it's slated for Hamilton's forthcoming debut album.

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A Little Frank Ocean, a Dash of '80s Hits: The Recipe for Becca Stevens Band's Perfect Animal

Categories: New Yorkers

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Photo by Shervin Lainez
Becca Stevens Band
Becca Stevens isn't immune to terrible cellphone service. "There's a thunderstorm," the singer and guitarist warns, afraid our conversation will be cut short. Tornado season is well under way in the Midwest, but fortunately, she's in Columbus, Ohio, and spared that meteorological nightmare. Still, the weather-caused disturbances on her previous call, which kept dropping, put her on edge. That call was with the dreaded DMV.

"I'm trying not to get my license revoked," the 30-year-old Brooklyn resident explains. "The funny thing is, I don't really know what it's about. This random ticket showed up in the mail that was, like, two years late or something." That kind of headache is less than ideal when you've got a van to drive on tour.

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'Can You Please Reverse off My Skateboard?' The Baby's All Right Taco Recaps His Ride

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Baby's All Right's famous skateboarding taco man
Baby's All Right is well-known as a venue that hosts rising acts and serves house-special sugary drinks, but it's now scored some internet fame for its $1 taco happy hour deal. Over the weekend, a short video of a skateboarding taco crashing into a moving vehicle while brandishing a sign promoting Baby's deal went viral when it was released on the club's Instagram account. The star/victim of a fairly ingenious marketing strategy that plays on a few of the internet's favorite topics (tacos and people getting hurt), the man inside the taco, Jon Newport, finds the reaction to his (thankfully not too traumatizing) crash amusing.

"I just think it's hilarious," he says. "My buddies are trippin' and everyone is hitting me up asking if I was OK. Tony Hawk fucking Instagrammed it! And Yelawolf!"

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New York City Nightlife Mourns the Loss of DJ Jess Marquis

Categories: New Yorkers

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Courtesy of Nate "Igor" Smith
DJ Jess
For a little over a decade, the Trash Party thrived as one of New York nightlife's most beloved institutions. Originally located in the East Village's Rififi and later moved west to Webster Hall, the Trash Party was an outlet and home for any New Yorker who may have felt like an outcast or been sidelined at other clubs in town but was still drawn to the dance floor. Commanding the music was DJ Jess Marquis, who co-founded Trash in 2003 and continued to serve as its head DJ until the party stopped a year ago, in April 2014.

DJ Jess (born Jess Imler) believed in what he and Trash were accomplishing. Speaking to Cityzen.tv in a 2004 interview, he said, "Trash is a very DIY party. The kids put a lot of effort into it, and are very passionate about the music they hear. This isn't one of your typical hipster parties, where everyone dresses in black and turns their back on the dance floor. They love and embrace the songs they hear and as a result can get slightly 'disorderly,' as the NYPD has so delicately phrased it. Still, the Bloomberg administration is intent on ending nightlife as we know it, and unless the city gets genuinely heated and excited about this debate, the city that never sleeps will become the city that mildly naps."

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Cam'ron Wants You to Scour Bodegas City-Wide for His Killa Crunch Cereal

Categories: New Yorkers

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Courtesy of Virgin Mega
Cam'ron with his Killa Crunch cereal
Rappers and cereal: a combination so hearty it justifies a whole blog dedicated to the cause. But Harlem rapper Cam'ron doesn't constrict himself to just a quick photoshopped picture with a clever pun title. No, instead, the rapper behind the infectious ode to cocaine opts to release his own brand of the day's most important meal. From Friday, 4/10, through Sunday, 4/12, Cam'ron's Killa Crunch, a breakfast option that serves "some material too killa for human consumption," according to the tagline, will be offered up by bodegas and stores scattered about the city.

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On the Cusp of a Breakthrough, Chet Faker Soars Through Sold-Out NYC Run

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Sachyn Mital for the Village Voice
Chet Faker at Terminal 5
Brooklyn-via-Melbourne electronic r&b artist Chet Faker, born Nicholas James Murphy, is just a few feet away from massive stardom. As made evident by his three sold-out shows at Terminal 5 this week, Faker has carved a place for himself alongside James Blake, Flume, and the xx. Faker has been consistently touring the States, Europe, and Australia since releasing his debut album, Built on Glass, in April 2014, and with this excessive road-working comes a tightened and robust performance that weaves effortlessly between his r&b vocals and electronic production.

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Rock 'n' Royal Flush: The Best & Worst Venue Bathrooms in New York City

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The surprisingly clean commode at the Bitter End
No one buys tickets to a show thinking about a bathroom trip, but when nature calls, you must answer. While the bands file in and out and the crowds come and go, the bathroom always remains, gathering and cataloging the memory (and, er, physical remnants) of every beer-besotted rocker and wine-saturated acoustic listener. While bathrooms like that of the late CBGB have gone down in history — enough so, in fact, to be re-created for Costume Institute exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — new icons in venue bathrooms emerge every day. Some rise to glory with precision technological advances; others plummet to the bottom with odors ranker than month-old milk.

We did the dirty work for you, searching all of New York City to find the most flush-friendly — or, alternately, most "GAH I PUT MY PURSE ON THE FLOOR WHY DID I PUT MY PURSE ON THE FLOOR"–inspiring — places to piss, from the basements of Brooklyn to the tried-and-true landmarks of the Village.

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New York Duo the London Souls Push Through the Pain With Here Come the Girls

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Photo by Shervin Lainez
London Souls
New York rockers the London Souls have been sitting on their sophomore record, Here Come the Girls, since early 2013. Not because the duo were fidgety or stuck in the studio wasting away energy (à la another Chinese Democracy) — rather, the band's singer/guitarist, Tash Neal, had to heal and recuperate after surviving a nasty hit-and-run car accident on Broadway in Manhattan back in 2012.

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