Rock Feed

Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister Revive "Planetarium" at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

Planetarium with Sufjan Sevens - BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn - Feast of Music Jul 18  2017 Jul 18  2017  9-14 PMWhen Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister first performed their collaboration Planetarium at BAM in 2013, we were blown away by the experience, which seamlessly blended elements of classical, pop, rock, and electronics, accompanied by some pretty awesome visuals. As we said at the time:

"This was edgy rock and pop, and its straightforward presentation enabled it to breathe and communicate without being suffocated by mists of pretension. Lush harmonies melded together with a luxurious flow and were enhanced by the smoky projections on stage; you couldn’t help but be moved by the aural and visual spectacle."

Last month, Planetarium was finally released as an album, and to mark the occasion, Sufjan, Nico, Bryce and James brought their live show (sans lasers) back to NYC last night with a benefit concert at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn. The standing room-only crowd was enthusiastic from the start, cheering wildly after the big numbers "Jupiter" and "Saturn." In between songs, Sufjan held sway like a made-for-TV astronomer while making numerous oblique references to the challenging times we live in, encouraging us to look to the stars to remind us that the universe is much bigger - and vastly more open - than we are. 

Watch a performance of "Mercury" from Monday's Late Show here. More pics below and on the photo page

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Robert Randolph and the Family Band with Eric Krasno at Celebrate Brooklyn

Robert Randolph - BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn - Feast of Music Jul 13  2017 Jul 13  2017  9-12 PMVirtuosos come in all stripes, as Robert Randolph showed on Thursday night, as he melted the stage at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn with his pedal steel guitars - both sitting and standing - along with his crack band of blues rockers. Eric Krasno (Soulive) opened with a sharp set of his own before joining Randolph onstage to really ramp things up. 

More pics on the photo page


The Soul Rebels with Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch and Kirk Knight at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

The Soul Rebels with Pharaohe Monch - BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn - Feast of Music Jun 24  2017  9-12 PM Jun 24  2017  9-015Rounding off a stellar weekend of music at the Prospect Park Bandshell, New Orleans brass ensemble The Soul Rebels blew into BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Saturday night with a high energy set that blended funk, rock and R&B. Eschewing the traditional sounds of the Preservation Hall or Dirty Dozen Brass Bands, the Soul Rebels have made a name for themselves by collaborating with everyone from Metallica to The String Cheese Incident, along with dozens of hip hop and R&B artists.

On Saturday, the Soul Rebels were joined onstage by a trio of MC's, including Talib Kweli, Kirk Knight, and the mesmerizing Pharoahe Monch, who exhorted everyone to "Get the Fuck up!" and shout at the sky for the recently deceased MC ProdigyGoapele opened with a sunny set of soul and R&B, followed by a DJ set from Natasha Diggs. 


More pics on the photo page


Northside Festival Opens in McCarren Park with Kamasi Washington and Dirty Projectors

by Steven Pisano

20170608-SP1_4191(All photos by Steven Pisano.)

The 9th annual Northside Festival, running through this Sunday, June 11, offers an eclectic mix of symposiums on technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, advertising, government, video, and other topics. If you are looking to connect with other like-minded people in myriad creative disciplines, Northside definitely has something for you.

Of course, there is an equally wide range of music, which kicked off at McCarren Park on Thursday night with Jay Som, Kamasi Washington, and Dirty Projectors. The audience in the park was smaller than last year's opener when Brian Wilson brought his Pet Sounds tour through the borough. But that was a special one-off.

Kamasi Washington's continuously inventive and forceful music is already on a level that brings to mind John Coltrane or Wynton Marsalis. His tenor sax doesn't have the unique signature that many other jazz greats have had, whereby you can hear a short phrase and know right away who's playing. But then, the most notable aspect of Kamasi Washington's music is that he eschews the soloist limelight.

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