SummerStage to Celebrate 30 Years With Biz Markie, Charles Bradley & More

Categories: SummerStage

Hilary Hughes, the Village Voice
Charles Bradley live at the Apollo Theater, May 2013
SummerStage rings in its 30th year on May 18, and this season — the longest in its three decades of bringing music to the parks and pavilions of New York City — is an aural smorgasbord that deals an even hand to seasoned greats and up-and-coming performers alike.

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Big Daddy Kane's Bed Stuy Is Gone, Gentrification Is "Erasing History"

Categories: SummerStage

Live from Bedford Stuyvesant...

Guru once rhymed about the importance of how a rapper's voice sounds. If ever there were a rapper whose voice was tailor made for hooking listeners before they even heard the entire couplet, it would be Big Daddy Kane's. Kane's baritone was smooth enough to talk your girl out from under you but still raw enough to sock you in the gut with the cold wordplay.

He's performing at Herbert Von King Park in his old Bed Stuy hood for Summer Stage at 7 p.m. today. We talked to the legendary rapper about how the neighborhood has changed since he grew up.

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Live: Guided By Voices Give A History Lesson At Central Park

Getty Images for CBGB Festival
Robert Pollard.
Guided By Voices w/The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Cloud Nothings
Central Park
Saturday, July 7

Better than: Sobriety in the sweltering heat.

It's hard to place a band like Cloud Nothings. A group whose recent reputation brings them somewhere between saviors of guitar rock and late '90s emo revivalists, the Ohio band, the first band to take the stage at the CBGB Festival's Summerstage gig, performed outside these limitations. Frontman Dylan Baldi's earth-shattering hollers bellowed through Central Park, matched only by the forceful riffs of guitarist Joe Boyer. Playing primarily new material, Cloud Nothings shredded through the first half hour of the festival, dominating with eight-minute songs and a constructive youthful aggression that maintains their autonomy.

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Live: Brucie B And Slick Rick Stir Up Memories At Crotona Park

Slick Rick w/ DJ Brucie B
Crotona Park
Tuesday, July 12

Better than: Any other reunion, formal or not, that I've been to.

When I crossed the Cross Bronx Expressway and arrived outside the makeshift stage that was about to support two of hip-hop's G.O.A.T.s, I realized I had arrived too late. No, neither Brucie B nor Slick Rick had begun performing, but for many at Crotona Park—those who looked like they were having the most fun—those performances would only serve to close a perfect summer evening of grilling, reminiscing with old friends and family, and maybe drinking a nutcracker or two on the side.

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SummerStage Announces Its Massive 2011 Lineup

As the winter thaws out, more summer concerts are showing up on the calendar's horizon. Today, the City Parks Foundation announced the schedule for this year's SummerStage, which takes place from June 7 to September 2 in parks all around the city, with the mainstage happening at Central Park. This year's lineup is riddled with big names--Yo-Yo Ma, Talib Kweli, Florence and the Machine, Reggie Watts--and adds up to more than 300 acts.

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Live: The Flaming Lips Bring Their Cannons, Their Crowd-Surfing Bubble, And Their Monkey Impersonations To Central Park

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Wayne Coyne, hard at work. Pics by Rob Trucks.
Flaming Lips
Monday, July 26
Central Park SummerStage

Not to gas on at length about the weather here, but holy shit Monday night in Central Park was just gorgeous, idyllic and temperate and absurdly perfect, especially given the endless string of hostile broil-or-soak-or-maybe-both disasters that've typified the 2010 outdoor summer concert season. Wayne Coyne, cheerful and reverent as ever, announces that he feels like we're all back in the womb. Which is appropriate, given that his bandmates, via some video-screen trickery, had been made to appear to enter the stage through a glowing psychedelic vagina. Whereas Wayne himself was too busy doing the old Human Hamster Ball trick out in the crowd. There was also, of course, confetti, shot out of multiple cannons. Lots of confetti.

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Avast: The Specials' Central Park SummerStage Show Is Cancelled

Been a lousy summer for visa-issue concert cancellations, from Joao Gilberto to Buena Vista Social Club to any dancehall star you'd care to name. Your latest casualties: ska titans the Specials, who've scotched their August 22 SummerStage gig far in advance, at least. The full statement below:

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Friendly Reminder: Dan Deacon Playing Red Hook Park, For Free, Tonight

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PIc by Rebecca Smeyne; fun had by apparently everyone
The mind reels at what wacky, egalitarian antics everyone's favorite spazz-pop good-times provocateur has in store for us tonight in Red Hook Park, part of the borough-traipsing SummerStage 2010 expansion program. Hopefully tacos will be involved in some capacity. The show begins at 7 p.m., so you'd better leave... now. Given the calamity (transportation-based and otherwise) free summer shows tend to cause around here, we look forward to lots of online whining. Stay tuned.