Every time Canadian quartet Young Empires visit New York, their shows get better and better and the crowds are falling deeper in love with their music. Such was the case on June 25, 2013 when Young Empires packed the house at New York’s Mercury Lounge during their current US tour promoting the release of their debut EP “Wake All My Youth.” You’ll have to forgive the darkness of the video you are about to see. The low lighting kept the show very intimate, so focus on the great sounds you are about to hear coming from your speakers. If this is your first exposure to the music of Young Empires, please note that most of their songs are fast and when you listen to them, you will find it impossible not to clear some space and get your groove on! If, like me, you’ve been a long time fan of the band – good news! They are working on new music with a new single to drop later this year and tentatively have scheduled early 2014 for the release of a new record. 2014 is going to be the year of Young Empires. Mark my words!
And now, enjoy a live version of “Glory of the Night.”
O M G! Before I go any further, my deepest gratitude to Anne Raso and Gail Worley for getting me into such a marvelous event. Ringo Starr was in New York to celebrate an exhibit of his art. As you can imagine, the gallery was packed to the rafters with art aficionados, Beatles fans and press all trying to get a piece of a living legend. As Ringo was making his way out of the gallery, I made my move and asked for a photo. Because he was utterly mobbed, he said “if you can take it as I walk, it’s ok.” As I was trying to get my shot, a ton of people crowded in and it became quite a mess. I ended up getting pushed into other people and I nearly tripped over someone. Ringo saw the transaction and said “that’s not peace love and understanding” and kept walking. Though it was not entirely my fault, I apologized to Ringo Starr because the last thing I’d ever want to do is make a Beatle upset. It was not looking likely that he was going to stop now and I was certain that my opportunity was nearly blown. What happened next was sort of dumb luck, but it ended up working out perfectly! One of the security guards with Ringo literally grabbed my shirt and was trying to push me out of the way. It was unnecessary and excessive force and I yelled out “Hey! That is not peace love and understanding either!” Ringo saw what happened and he stopped and let me get my photo! WOW! What a class act! Ringo – thanks for being so cool and of course for being in the best band of all time! This is a night I will never forget!
Photos and commentary by G. The viewpoints expressed here belong only to G and ….
The Empire State Building on June 26, 2011
The 2011 New York Gay Pride parade had extra reasons to celebrate this year. It was announced a few days ago that gays in New York legally have the right to marry. It was a day that many of us knew could and should exist, but it was a day many of us thought would never happen soon enough – if at all. I consider myself to live outside the views of the masses at large and I sleep through the night knowing that I am no more wrong for doing the things I believe in as much as you are for doing the things you believe in. It is with that thinking that it is crazy for me to think that it took until 2011 for another segment of the population to gain a few more civil rights! I’ve always tried to surround myself with open minded people so at times I forget that not everyone has the pleasure of seeing some of truly great interactions with fellow members of the human race like I do where a chance encounter with someone you admire is nice right back to you, an experience you’ll treasure for the rest of your life and all because you stepped out of your comfort zone, showed up and took action in the opportunity you were presented with. A week ago, I attended two events that in my opinion really show what being open minded is all about: The Mermaid Day Parade in Coney Island and the Folsom Street East Festival in Chelsea. I bring it up because at both events, there was minimal security. Everyone was just there to have a good time and really celebrate life with no judgments to people that are different than you are. It was truly beautiful. A week has passed and I cannot recall hearing any story of law breaking taking place at either event.
Gay Marriage is now legal in the state of New York. Whether you are gay or straight, love gays or hate them – you cannot deny one thing – we know how to throw a fun party. The Gay Pride parade is always a love fest of great ideas and freedom. You can only imagine how what the anticipation for this day was now that it’s technically no longer wrong to love the person that makes you happy – by law! I am only speaking for what I witnessed and the things I personally experienced as I go on further. I only wrote this post because a lot of people will now become complacent now that a new law has passed and you think everything is fixed and all of our lives are magically going to get better. It won’t! It can only happen if we make it happen. Yes we’ve made progress, but we have A LONG way to go and this will all be a lot less painful for everyone if we come to grips with it sooner rather than later – we are globally in desperate need for a lot of things to change. If we can create all this fancy technology that can connect you to someone across the world in milliseconds, why can’t we imagine and work toward a possibility that there are enough resources for everyone on this planet. Maybe you don’t want to experience that in your life time, but I do! If there is one law that everyone follows, I’d like to see it be that one! I am not trying to force any belief system down your throat. I am just trying to use my voice to present another possibility. I’d be a fool not to speak up.
Until that freedom is chiseled out of a rock that is staring us all in the face, you’ll see a few things I photographed equality to look like on June 26, 2011 around the Chelsea and Greenwich Village areas of Manhattan. In certain cases, I blocked out faces because it’s not about who is doing or not doing what. What matters is we have the potential for true freedom and instead, fear and paranoia (and Iphones) are keeping us segregated so we don’t figure this out.
Do you know where your tax dollars go to? You should since you pay them. It’s usually a mandate in your job that if you plan on slacking off, you should probably seek employment elsewhere. It stands to reason that money that I don’t really want to deduct from my check each week goes to pay for services that are not really being provided to me. From my coverage of street art for this site and a former experience of working in the realm of Wall Street, I think that the wrong people are being accused of doing criminal activity. Obviously there are bad seeds in every bunch but the prejudice and fear of the unknown is really freaking people out to the point of being scared to open up to a new possibility.
There is nothing to be scared of. What a person does in their bedroom is none of your business and if you have so little of a life of your own that you feel the need to get involved – that’s your problem. As of press time (which is after 11 PM on the day of the Gay Pride Parade), I have not heard of any incidents where people were out of control at the parade and caused trouble. I looked too! I am not saying that everyone was a perfect angel, but as I said before, there are bad seeds in every bunch. As I walked around the parade area, you’ll see some of the things I witnessed. I saw a lot of people walking the streets having a good time, not interested in starting a problem. I didn’t feel too free though. Instead, I felt that one wrong move and me and “my people” (as I was referred to this weekend) would be headed for a beat down. You can give me a crummy piece of paper that you think I need to vindicate my existence but let’s face it – I will never have the equality that a straight person has. Because people can’t seem to get their act together, I accepted that a long time ago and I am not going to dwell on it and let it ruin my day. I am going to make the most of life and celebrate myself in the face of any challenge that comes my way. All I can ask is that you do too. Every day, whether you are gay, straight or asexual.