On Tuesday June 16th, eager animation fans who wanted to see the latest film from Disney Pixar Inside Out had the opportunity to see the film early via a “special event” screening from Fathom Events. Fathom Events often screen opera or theater productions on the silver screen but this was a notable screening as it was the first time I was aware of them working with a major popular animated film. The Inside Out screening featured “exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from Pixar Animation Studios and a Q&A with director Pete Docter, producer Jonas Rivera and the voice of Joy, Amy Poehler.” Essentially, these were unique offerings that might be expected to be on a DVD release but were prepared ahead of time to give the audience reason to shell out for higher priced tickets.
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Celebrate Brooklyn! is one of the most popular summer series in New York City and the 2015 season kicked off on a nice evening with a gala for all the beneficiaries and a musical performance from the legendary Chaka Khan.
As the Amsterdam News reported, “What seemed like a never-ending line last night stretched from the Prospect Park Bandshell entrance to around the corner and down Prospect Park SW. Thousands of people waited hours for Chaka Khan as she kicked off “Celebrate Brooklyn!” Performing Arts Festival on June 3. “The Queen of Funk” stepped on stage in all-black attire with big hair and an even bigger voice. She performed top hits including “I’m Every Woman,” “Tell Me Something Good,” and “Ain’t Nobody,” among other chart toppers.”
On any given night in New York City, there are a multitude of free ways to entertain yourself or get inebriated and still have hours left in the evening. On June 4th, I did just that bringing along my camera to capture the events.
The music of Hand. Cannot. Erase., the new album by the English musician and producer Steven Wilson, is quite fitting for the big city environment. The record, Wilson’s fourth as a solo artist, is a concept album based off of the disturbing tale of Joyce Carol Vincent, an Englishwoman who was discovered dead in her London flat after two years. Remarkably, no one had missed Vincent during the two years in which her body lay rotting in her apartment; despite having family and friends, she had successfully “erased” herself, to use Wilson’s words, to the point that her presence could go unnoticed for two years. In various interviews for Hand. Cannot. Erase., Wilson points out that if one truly wants to disappear, she should, counterintuitively, go to where there are the most people: the modern metropolis, cities like London, New York City, and, perhaps, even Chicago. About ten minutes before Wilson and his band take to the stage, a projection showing long shots high-rise buildings sets the mood for the two and a half hours of music that follow. The buildings are not unlike the many that dot the nearby Old Town and Lincoln Park neighborhoods.
The same weekend NPR premiered the stream of Corn, a new posthumous collection from Arthur Russell, the Red Bull Music Academy assembled a live musical tribute to the “great genius” of New York’s ‘80s music scene. Held over two nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “Red Hot + Arthur Russell” featured band leader Stuart Bogie and numerous musicians, including Sam Amidon, Cults, Lonnie Holley, Devonté Hynes, Redding Hunter, Little Scream, Thao Nguyen (of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down), Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire), Rubblebucket, Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters) and Grey McMurray performing songs from the late, great Russell. Many of those tributes were released as part of the Master Mix compilation from Yep-Roc last year.