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RAWR! Burlesque is growing burlesque outfit in New York City led by Dangrrr Doll and Stella Chuu. With their love of cosplay and pop culture costumes, Doll and Chuu came up with the concept of Comic Con Vixens as a tie-in to New York Comic Con holding their first event last year as part of New York Superweek. This year the two brought ‘Vixens’ back, this time with an even bigger lineup of talent on an even bigger stage, that of the Hard Rock Cafe’s in the heart of Times Square. Nerd and geek friendly, RAWR! burlesque’s event focused on “nerdlesque” routines, instances where the performers dress up like characters from comic books, fantasy, manga, sci-fi, or as you can see below, children’s entertainment. You won’t ever look at some of your favorite entertainment characters again when you see some of the costumes these ladies and gents performed in and disrobed from. It was an impressive set of performances and a thoroughly entertaining evening.
Following an opening set from neo-soul comrade Marsha Ambrosius, the Roots took the stage at Summerstage for the final outdoor event of the long season (five months!) as part of a corporate show (so it wasn’t general admission). But it would be hard enough to find the Roots playing on the road these days, given their regular gig as the house band for Jimmy Fallon, so limiting the capacity was wise. Black Though and ?uestlove, along with “Captain” Kirk, Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.” and their cohorts, jammed through a medley of Roots material like “The Seed 2.0” and “Respond/React” along with other hip-hop classics like “Jungle Boogie”. But it didn’t stop there. Not too long into their set, Talib Kweli came out to bust some rhymes on “Act Too (Love of My Life)” and a verse or two later, Common came out to help him. Another surprise came in the form of Cee-Lo Green (who had performed with The Roots earlier for NBC) to do a cover of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness”. Fellow Philadelphian (and also a NYC transplant), Bilal jumped in with The Roots for “The OtherSide” as well as “Back to Love”. The band’s finale was even bigger (though the interlude where their electronic wizard mashed beats and tunes from his mixer was stellar) as Salt-N-Pepa and their backup dancers took the crowd over the top with “Push It”. The Roots certainly know how to bring it and made the night a memorable “summer” finale.
It’s never easy to select where to go during CMJ Music Marathon, the nearly week long event that draws hundreds of bands to New York City for a chance to play in front of industry professionals, music tastemakers, bloggers and their friends. Hopefully anyone really. Given the number of venues to choose from, I decided to hedge my bets and go to the BalconyTV Showcase at Webster Hall, an event I attended last year, so that I could also check out bands downstairs in the Studio while bands were swapping out on the former stage. Below are the acts I caught, as well as pics from Christopher Paul Stelling’s set at Rockwood as I had wanted to end my night on a strong show.
The 13th Annual New York Burlesque Festival Premiere Party was held at Brooklyn Bowl on September 25th and it featured a wide variety of acts from performers from all around the world. We captured photos from the first half of the night and have them to share. But remember, while sometimes performances from burlesque dancers will tickle your fancy, sometimes they can stir up nightmares… some of the performances bordered on the supernatural while some verged on being murderous.