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Brooklyn Freestyle Sessions @ Rose Live Music

3 Mar

Mobius Collective, every Thursday at Rose Live Music in Williamsburg, BK

Mobius Collective celebrates their 3rd anniversary at Rose Live Music this Thursday.

Saxophonist/director Troy Simms, along with staple cipher Omar Little (trumpet), Borahm Lee (keys), and David Bailis (guitar), the Collective features guest DJ’s and musicians each session. Last week amidst the snow storm, the house was packed full of folks ready to go on a trip. Guest DJ–brilliant selector–Deejay Obah–filled in the blanks between sets, seamlessly taking us from a recording of Fela’s “Yellow Fever” into the band’s supersonic rendition of it. Keyboardist Borahm Lee brings it full force, slapping at his keyboard, mapping out intricate solos,  infusing the tune with an echo here, a reverb there–he’s a vision to witness in action. Jazz to warm you up in the beginning, dub to settle the whiskey in your bones (it’s cold outside, y’all), flowing into Afrobeat and Hiphop to get the people dancing.

There’s something to the venue too. The abuela wallpaper and jazz club stage has an old-timers vibe, a subtly complementary addition to the listening experience.

Mobius Collective, courtesy of the band's Myspace

Note about their name, “Mobius Collective,” it’s a reference to the Mobius Strip, a one-sided, single edged surface that has no beginning or end. This metaphor comes alive during their performance–the musicians contribute to the soundscape by carefully listening, evoking the continuity between them, between the genres they journey across in a few hours’ time.

Check it @ Rose Live Music, every Thursday!

What: 3rd Anniversary Party of Mobius Collective’s “Brooklyn Freestyle Sessions

Where: Rose Live Music, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on 345 Grand St. @ Marcy

When: 10 PM to 3AM


Dialog Box: Modality & Miles Davis

3 Mar

The third track on Miles Davis’ 1959 Kind of Blue, called “Blue in Green”:

You can see how thinking about music moves into mysticism–Kwami Coleman

This Sunday, I talked to my friend, musician & musicologist, Kwami Coleman, who resides in San Francisco, about modality in music.  I was listening to Miles Davis’  “Blue in Green”, a highly textured musical composition, from his record Kind of Blue, which is very modal. Now, I’ve studied music, namely violin, but still have lots of questions regarding the theories.  At first, Kwami broke down the basics of my questions, but then it soon delved into the relationship between music & tonality & its (unknowable) effects on human psyche.

When we hear a piece of music, it elicits a response from us. Whether we listen to Miles Davis, to get into a heady, reflective, sober condition or the energetic, multilayered, orchestrated spontaneity of Fela Kuti—there is an emotional response drawn out of us. We attribute emotions—longing, misery, whimsy, joy—to the melodies we hear. We all know this.  And we know that the reason for this will never be fully understood, there’s value in understanding what certain tones provoke in the listener.

To read the Dialog Box interview, click the title of this post.

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Throwback–Raya Uhuru

23 Feb

Dress line I started back before the recessionista days:

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)

Apartment Show & the art of Andy Barrett

25 Jan

Gallerists are turning homes into art space–whether it’s for reasons economic, aesthetic, and non-market oriented–creating intimacy, dialog, and accessibility for guests.

The Hooper Apartment Show’s opening reception is this Saturday, January 30, at The Lenora on Hooper St. in Williamsburg. Curated by Eric Laine, of bipolart, an eclectic group of artists are participating, including my friend Andy Barrett.

His “carton marquetry” work is composed of  intricately collaged found-on-the-street cardboard. Everyday cartons are deftly translated into stories, colorful, absurd and fantastical.

Check out his portfolio at:

images courtesy of artists’ website

Some of his work is at sale, including cardboard lamps, at Mc & Co @  57 North 6th St. (btwn. Wythe & Kent)

Miss Bruno's "My So Called Dress"

22 Jan

Can I say…


Now, Miss Bruno and I are kindred spirits connected, cyber-spirituelle and whatnot. For serious–creativity, spark, story, color, lineage & design–I’m taken by this collection.

Here’s my favorite from the My So Called Dress collection (I think Angela Chase would appreciate).
The Sia Sia dress, v. 1–I Sia Sia Dress, v.1love this sexy off-the-shoulder sheath dress. Made from hand-spun, handwoven cotton from Burkina Faso.
Beautiful synergy–the turquoise spade pattern, the prim suede trim, and the fly detailing on the belt–total elemental balance.
The Philosophy of Miss Bruno
(the beauties behind the threads, in the photos spread above)
“missbruno sprung from the marrow of our lineage, making twists and turns jusqu’ it morphed into the trans-worlds collection you see today. specifically, we are two sisters: brooklynites by way of Ayiti; designers, by way of musik and film; independent, by way of clothing made directly from our collective hands. our designs thrive on our philosophies on life: wholistic, lush, simple. we make things meant for sustainable living and other unassuming revolutions.”
Check the sweet sale at their online store. featuring dresses from this limited collection.
Tap Tap Romper
Rara Dress
Wild Silks and Hand-woven Cotton

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