After the Chelsea death march on Friday what I really needed and was hoping for was a crazy night at some bar in Williamsburg. Luckily, Justin was spinning at a bar down the street from where I was staying. He used to have 80+ Prince singles but, I don't remember hearing him play any during his set. Actually, I didn't remember much after the 4 1/2 margavesas and a whiskey shot. But, I checked my Facebook status in the morning and apparently I had a lousy milkshake at Kellogg's diner for a nightcap.
After a hazy morning my mates and I went down to the Whitney. There was a Charles Burchfield painting show there. I totally loved this stuff. It reminded me a lot of William Blake's work for some reason. My favorite works were the watercolors in which he seemed to render energy emanating from trees and other flora. He portrayed nature's invisible biorhythms in a sort of spiritual way with glowing yellow and white light. Very psychedelic and visionary. I'd have more pics but... No Bigture No Bigture! I had to pull these from the interwebs.
Later, it was a distressing afternoon for the members of Violent Bullshit. We missed the set but not the aftermath. Apparently, a string had broken, and their 11 minute set was lacking in focus and energy. I tried to console the bassist but I just made it worse. The guitarist was surprisingly upbeat though, ready to get on with his new life without his girlfriend who just dumped him and without his band who he was dumping. Only a crazyman named Sam Tobin could resuscitate this gloomy ex-pool supply store.
On Sunday Scotty RV and I took a ferry to historic Governor's Island. It was free except for the 2 bills we lost playing blackjack in the casino on the lower deck. On this barren outpost the lonely soldiers stationed here would put on elaborate shows to liven their dreary and desperate lives. Some times it was dinner theater featuring saucy vignettes while other times it was a musical with costumes. They would often fight each other to play the female rolls. One of the goals of my trip was to visit a bar in Manhattan called Max Fish where we used to hang out during the band years. Never got there but, I did get to see the t-shirt at the Meatopia festival on Governor's.
After meeting Justin & Stacy later in the afternoon for the end of the World Cup match at a bar in Greenpoint I went to a local recording studio to see what Turing Machine was putting together. Gerry Fuchs, their drummer had passed away late last year and Scott and Justin were trying to cobble something together from various demo recordings to put out a third album. Andrew, their producer played me a couple of things, one of which was a fantastic improvised jam recorded at Scott's upstate NY home. Very exciting driving Turing Machine style stuff. Can't wait to hear what they come up with. But, it will take some time.
While in the studio I took a couple hours out to meet an NYC performance artist, Shaun El C. Leoardo at a bar called the Pencil Factory down the street. I had seen one of Shaun's performances that he did at LACMA in LA awhile back called Bull in the Ring. My cinematographer friend Brad Cooper was filming it for him. It featured Shaun leading football drills and then being pummeled by 10 burly linebackers. It was pretty intense. Shaun's performance work involves personifying masculine role models in order to "truly experience the psychology and pain involved with representing the hero figure". In another performance called Battle Royal he got in a cage match with several blindfolded professional wrestlers for 3 hours! I had a great conversation with him and his artist friend. Hopefully I'll catch one of his upcoming projects when I visit NYC again. Go to his website to read about his interesting work.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Shaun El C. Leoardo
Bull in the Ring