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Brooklyn Bodega #1: Little Dragon Performance Review

29 Mar

Hi Bright Liners,

I’ve started writing articles for Brooklyn Bodega, a website devoted to exploring Hiphop, art, culture, politics, as well as curating the annual Brooklyn Hiphop Festival. There’s so many forces in the conversation.  I’d like to bring to the table the  influences different genres of indie music have on Hiphop, interviews with artists and thinkers and creators who can incite dialog and shifts in the status quo.

Whew. For now, here’s a start. Little Dragon performed at The Music Hall of Williamsburg and Mercury Lounge last week, and I wrote a performance review for Brooklyn Bodega:

And check out Little Dragon’s video for “Swimming” off their new album Machine Dreams. Yukimi Nagano’s father, Yusuke Nagano created the vid!

photo courtesy of Matthew Drazin,


Red Baraat's Record Release Party, 1/30

25 Jan

Red Baraat, led by drummer Sunny Jain, is a dhol ‘n brass band, mixing North Indian bhangra beats with brass funk. Their debut record, Chaal Baby, has just been released by Sinj Records. Their release party is at Le Poisson Rouge @ 158 Bleecker St. $12 in advance/ $15 at the show

Check out their performance at the Ports 161 Fall 2009 fashion show.

I’ll even throw in the songbird and sweetheart of Pakistan, Nazia Hassan’s  kitschy disco single “Aap Jaisa Koi,” from the film Qurbani (1980). Red Baraat covers the tune in the video (it’s the second tune, if you can tell…)

RIP Nazia Hassan  نازیہ حسن (April 3, 1965 – August 13, 2000)

Daily Rotation: Yukino Kano renders Debussy

19 Jan

23 year old Japanese pianist, Yukino Kano, plays Claude Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau (Reflections in the Water) with grace and masterful touch. Each tremble across the length of the piano evokes ripples and currents, and she is a wonder to hear and watch.

10 Things the U.S. Can and Should do for Haiti

14 Jan

I’m reposting this brilliant list.

By Bill Quigley of the Louisiana Justice Institute

One. Allow all Haitians in the US to work. The number one source of money
for poor people in Haiti is the money sent from family and workers in the US
back home. Haitians will continue to help themselves if given a chance.
Haitians in the US will continue to help when the world community moves on
to other problems.

Two. Do not allow US military in Haiti to point their guns at Haitians.
Hungry Haitians are not the enemy. Decisions have already been made which
will militarize the humanitarian relief – but do not allow the victims to be
cast as criminals. Do not demonize the people.

Three. Give Haiti grants as help, not loans. Haiti does not need any more
debt. Make sure that the relief given helps Haiti rebuild its public sector
so the country can provide its own citizens with basic public services.

Four. Prioritize humanitarian aid to help women, children and the elderly.
They are always moved to the back of the line. If they are moved to the back
of the line, start at the back.

Five. President Obama can enact Temporary Protected Status for Haitians with
the stroke of a pen. Do it. The US has already done it for El Salvador,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Sudan and Somalia. President Obama should do it on
Martin Luther King Day.

Six. Respect Human Rights from Day One. The UN has enacted Guiding
Principles for Internally Displaced People. Make them required reading for
every official and non-governmental person and organization.
Non-governmental organizations like charities and international aid groups
are extremely powerful in Haiti – they too must respect the human dignity
and human rights of all people.

Seven. Apologize to the Haitian people everywhere for Pat Roberts and Rush

Release all Haitians in US jails who are not accused of any crimes.
Thirty thousand people are facing deportations. No one will be deported to
Haiti for years to come. Release them on Martin Luther King day.

Nine. Require that all the non-governmental organizations which raise money
in the US be transparent about what they raise, where the money goes, and
insist that they be legally accountable to the people of Haiti.

Ten. Treat all Haitians as we ourselves would want to be treated.

Bill is Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law
professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a Katrina survivor and has
been active in human rights in Haiti for years with the Institute for
Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Miss Bruno New York's 'My So Called Scarf'

12 Jan

January simply feels better when you’re tucked away under winter accessories. We’ve all broke down and bought a

Corner Store Lily

dinky pair of black $5 gloves off the street when it’s become unbearable, as well as those faux-ushankas and poly-blend scarves.

Be done wit’ all that!

Miss Bruno New York’s My So Called Scarf Collection offers mujeres y hombres warm and fabulous neck gear.

The Artivist Scarf, model, Popular Thug, aka Sugar Aphrodite

Madame et Monsieur Bruno

The Highlife

Brooklyn artist, Sean Lewis

9 Jan

Mr. Sean Lewis, a Brooklyn-based visual artist & reader of the bright lines, has recently come to my attention.

Below is “Crashed Porsche”, oil on canvas, 48″ X 48″:

Houndstooth prints, oil paintings and pen & ink drawings of cars in crashed states (perhaps an homage to his Detroit roots?).  I imagine a man’s world–a porsche, a Houndstooth jacket, a walk with a lady in Fort Greene–revved up & re-imagined colorfully, hard lines and pretty designs.

Check out his portfolio here. His artist adventures are documented in his blog.

Mercedes Collage (digital print):
Mercedes Collage, Print, Courtesy of Sean Lewis

The artists’ bio:

“Sean Lewis grew up in Detroit, Michigan where he developed a love of art early on. At a young age, he studied architecture, ceramics, drawing and photography. Although he continued to study art at the University of Michigan, Sean decided to master in architecture. It was not until after university that Sean took up oil painting. He immediately became devoted to the medium and moved to New York to pursue it. Sean has lived and practiced in Brooklyn, New York for 5 years.”

Houndstooth Pattern, courtesy of Sean Lewis

N Pattern. Love the letter N!

The Thin White Sketchbook

22 Dec

I spoke too soon. I do love Kanye, but I love David Bowie more. Courtesy of comic artist, writer and critic Sean T. Collins’ project “The Thin White Sketchbook’, a collection of David Bowie sketches. Some old Bowie, some young, some black and white, others in color, all of them homages to the magic that’s Bowie.

Here’s TV On the Radio songster, visual artist, & animator Tunde Adebimpe’s rendition of Bowie:

Check out Sean’s blog:

You can check out more of the Bowie sketches @

Bowie in Bed…drawn by the married duo, Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing:

And finally, Old Bowie dreamin’ of Young Bowie, by Mark Kindt: