A2G’s Art Picks for New York in May 2015

Posted by The G on May 12, 2015 under Artsy Fartsy | Read the First Comment

Photos and words by G.  Art by Various Artists.

Spring has arrived in New York (thank god!) and now that you can leave your dwelling without wearing 10 layers and still freezing your ass off, take yourself on an art adventure!  Here’s a handful of exhibits you should see, According to G.

David Shrigley

David Shrigley

David Shrigley by David Shrigley at Anton Kern Gallery, located at 532 West 20th Street.  Now showing through May 23, 2015.

Beau - Mechanical Shark Week

Beau – Mechanical Shark Week

“Mechanical Shark Week” by BEAU at Ami Li Projects, located at 66 Mott Street in Chinatown through June 3, 2015.

Cecily Brown at Maccarone

Cecily Brown at Maccarone

“The English Garden” by Cecily Brown at Maccarone, located at 98 Morton Street through June 20, 2015.

Ron English Mural Bowery and Houston

Ron English “Baby Hulk” Mural Bowery and Houston

Ron English’s “Baby Hulk” Mural at the corner of Bowery and Houston.  Ongoing (at least until June, 2015) and viewable 24/7.

Closeup of "Baby Hulk" by Ron English

Closeup of “Baby Hulk” by Ron English.  Click to enlarge!

Click on the photo to see all the awesome (and hilarious detail).

Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine

Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine (Chelsea exhibit pictured)

Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine.  Located at 531 West 24th Street in Manhattan and 25 Knickerbocker Ave., Brooklyn.  Through June 20, 2015.

Yayoi Kusama - Give Me Love 5

Yayoi Kusama – Give Me Love

“Give Me Love” by Yayoi Kusama at David Zwirner, located at 519 & 525 West 19th Street through June 13, 2015.

Dan Flavin

Dan Flavin

Brancusi: Pioneer of American Minimalism (Featuring historically significant works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Ryman and Frank Stella), at Paul Kasmin Gallery located at 515 West 27th Street until July 10, 2015.

The Luminous Poem by Airan Kang

The Luminous Poem by Airan Kang

“The Luminous Poem” by Airan Kang at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, located at 505 West 24th Street through June 13, 2015.

The Whitney Museum.  Now Located in the Meat Packing District.

The Whitney Museum. Now Located in the Meat Packing District.  Photo by Gail Worley.

The Whitney Museum,  now located at 99 Gansevoort Street in New York.

Happy Spring!

Spring 2015 Tulips

Spring 2015 Tulips

 

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Video: “No Words” live by Erik Hassle

Posted by The G on May 5, 2015 under G Videos | Be the First to Comment

HD Video, photos and words by G.

Erik Hassle

Erik Hassle

May the 4th is Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you, get it?!) and for music lovers such as myself, May the 4th was the night of a rare intimate performance by Erik Hassle on the roof top of The Standard Hotel in New York’s East Village.  Erik Hassle comes from Sweden and if you aren’t already a fan, you will be by the end of this article.

NYC Skyline Spring 2015

NYC Skyline Spring 2015

This was the backdrop on an extremely rare perfect weather night in New York City on May 4, 2015 as an intimate crowd of less than 100 people gathered to hear Erik Hassle perform an 8 song set that included his new single “No Words.”

Raymundo and Erik Hassle

Raymundo and Erik Hassle

NYC Skyline Spring 2015

NYC Skyline Spring 2015

As you are about to see and hear, Erik Hassle’s voice is so soulful and his dance moves are infectious.  Rather than trying to describe how awesome Erik Hassle is, just click play and watch his great new song, “No Words.”  I would also like you to pay close attention at the 2:12 mark, when Erik spotted me in the crowd and sang straight into my camera.  It’s epic!!!

Sunset on May 4, 2015 in New York

Sunset on May 4, 2015 in New York

NYC Skyline Spring 2015

NYC Skyline Spring 2015

Erik Hassle

Erik Hassle

Thanks to Erik for such a great show.  Make sure you are following According2g and Erik Hassle on Instagram and visit Erik’s official site or his Soundcloud page  to hear more of his great tunes.

Thanks again to Erik Hassle for a great evening!  “No Words” is out now!!!

Erik Hassle Set List Standard East Village

Erik Hassle Set List Standard East Village

Review: Spandau Ballet’s First New York Show in 30 Years

Posted by The G on May 4, 2015 under G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Photos and words by G.

From left to right:  Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, Gary Kemp and Tony Hadley - Spandau Ballet!

From left to right: Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, Gary Kemp and Tony Hadley – Spandau Ballet!

This much is true – to say I loved every second of Spandau Ballet’s first full concert in New York in 30 years is an understatement.  The British quintet played a sold out show at New York’s legendary Beacon Theatre on May 2, 2015 and everything about the night was legendary.

Tony Hadley and Steve Norman

Tony Hadley and Steve Norman

Aside from being a fan of Spandau Ballet since I was young, lead singer Tony Hadley was the first rock star I ever did a phone interview with (which you can read here and here), which is something I will probably never entirely get over, and at the time he was doing a solo tour where he exclusively added “Chant No. 1″ to his setlist for readers of According2g.com!  I also want to throw out there that if you can hear Tony Hadley’s cover of “Life on Mars” by David Bowie, he sings the hell out of that chours and you should really try to track it down because it’s amazing.  But I digress… Seeing that show made me fall in love with Spandau Ballet all over again and I kept hope alive that they would one day tour the USA again.  On May 2, all New York fans got their wish and Spandau Ballet reunited for their first show in 30 years!

Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet

If you know nothing of the group, the Spandau Ballet story has been depicted in the excellent documentary “Soul Boys of the Western World,” and in it, you’ll hear about their global success with massive hits such as “True” and “Gold,” as well as their 20 year hiatus, which saw an acrimonious break up over song royalties.  They have since patched up their differences and they showed the audience exactly why they became superstars over 30 years ago.

Martin and Gary Kemp

Martin and Gary Kemp

I am not sure what magic elixir the Soul Boys have tasted from, but they look and sound better than ever.  Their 2 hour set was a mutual love fest, as the audience lost their minds when the hits were played and Spandau Ballet seemed so relaxed and humbled by the response of the crowd.

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley’s voice showed no signs of aging and as the night went on, you realize how many of their songs have extremely high notes, and Tony nailed every single one of them flawlessly, and if I may suggest it, I think Tony Hadley’s voice sounds better now than it did on the records!  Songs from every stage of their career were played, from the new track “Soul Boy” to their reunion song “Once More” as well as some of their earliest songs such as “Reformation,” “Mandolin” and “The Freeze.”

Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet

Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet

The “secret weapon” of the band is Steve Norman who not only played those amazing sax solos you remember from so many Spandau hits, but he also sang back up, played guitar and percussion!

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet

In between playing global smashes like “Communication,” “Highly Strung,” “Only When You Leave,” “To Cut A Long Story Short,” “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On),” “Instinction,” “Lifeline,” “True” and “Gold” (which was played both acoustically and with the full band – and made the audience go absolutely bonkers both times), Tony Hadley played a bit of percussion.

Gary Kemp

Gary Kemp

Gary Kemp promised the crowd that it will not be another 30 years before we get to see Spandau Ballet perform again and I speak for all Spandau fans by saying “YES!!!!!!!”  When the show was over, the audience didn’t want to see the band go, and the crowd rushed the stage and the band shook hands with members of the audience for several minutes before retreating back stage.  Despite having seen Eric Clapton the night before in concert, this was the most fun I’ve had at a show in quite some time.

Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet

Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet

Thanks again to the Soul Boys for an amazing night and again, on behalf of all Spandau Ballet fans, we look forward to many more new albums and tours!  PS.  Original drummer John Keeble is in the band, but I had a bad vantage point to get a decent photo (despite being in the 5th row), so apologies that he is not pictured.

The setlist was: Soul Boy / Highly Strung / Only When You Leave / How Many Lies? / Round and Round / This Is the Love / Steal / Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) / Reformation / Mandolin / Confused / The Freeze / To Cut a Long Story Short / Raw / Glow / Empty Spaces / Gold (acoustic) / Once More / I’ll Fly For You / Instinction / Communication / Lifeline / True.

Encore: Through The Barricades / Gold.

Review: Eric Clapton’s 70th Birthday Concert at Madison Square Garden (Night One)

Posted by The G on under G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos and words by G.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton!  The legendary rocker celebrated his 70th birthday (a bit late as his actual birthday is March 30) with a pair of sold out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  I attended the first show on May 1, 2015.  I’ve seen nearly every living rock and roll legend in some fashion over the years, but this was my first glimpse of Eric Clapton, so you can imagine my excitement.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

Saying very little to the crowd (aside from “thank yous” after each song), Eric Clapton brought out his first guest star 3 songs in – John Mayer.  The two jammed on the song “Pretending.”   For what Clapton lacked in saying in words, he sure made up for it by playing some amazing guitar solos all night that let you know without a doubt you made the right choice by attending the concert.

John Mayer

John Mayer and Jimmie Vaughan

John Mayer was not the only guest of the night as Clapton also brought out Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks.  Also in his band was Paul Carrack, who sang a few songs including “You Are So Beautiful.”  Clapton also saluted Ben E. King, who died earlier in the day and dedicated “Driftin’ Blues” to him.

Doyle Bramhall, Derek Trucks

Doyle Bramhall, Derek Trucks

Aside from the absence of Cream songs, Eric Clapton played songs from all eras of his career from “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith to the acoustic rendition of “Layla” that he’d made famous decades earlier with his group Derek and the Dominoes.  He also played “Tears in Heaven,” which resulted in tears in Madison Square Garden from the audience as the song is about the death of his child.

Clapton Unplugged

Clapton Unplugged

Other highlights of the night were covers of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” “Cross Road Blues” “Hoochie Coochie Man” as well as “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Cocaine.”  You can imagine how cool it was to have the whole of Madison Square Garden shout out in unison – “COCAINE!”  The show ended with an all star jam on the Joe Cocker cover “High Time We Went.”  Eric Clapton told the audience that this was the best birthday he’s ever had and with that, the 2 hour show was over.

The Finale at Eric Clapton's 70th birthday show

The Finale at Eric Clapton’s 70th birthday show (from left: Eric’s backing singers, Paul Carrack, John Mayer, Jimmie Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Nathan East)

The setlist was:

Somebody’s Knocking / Keys to the Highway / Pretending (with John Mayer) / Hoochie Coochie Man / You Are So Beautiful (with Paul Carrack) / Can’t Find My Way Home (with Nathan East) / I Shot The Sheriff / Driftin’ Blues (acoustic) / Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (acoustic) / Tears In Heaven (acoustic) / Layla (acoustic) / Before You Accuse Me (with Jimmie Vaughan) / Wonderful Tonight / Let it Rain (with Derek Trucks and Doyle Brahmhall II) / Cross Road Blues / Little Queen of Spades / Cocaine.

Encore: High Time We Went (all star jam)

Jimmie Vaughan and Eric Clapton

Jimmie Vaughan and Eric Clapton

Videos: Mark & Paul Kostabi Jam with Kostabeat and Contact High

Posted by The G on April 21, 2015 under Artsy Fartsy, G Videos | Read the First Comment

Photos, Videos and Words by G.

From Left to Right: Paul Kostabi, Tony Esposito, Mark Kostabi

From Left to Right: Paul Kostabi, Tony Esposito, Mark Kostabi

On April 19, 2015, composer, painter, sculptor and all around good guy, Mark Kostabi hosted a Sunday morning jam session at Dillon Gallery in New York.  The show was an unofficial warm up jam for his show with Kostabeat (featuring Tony Esposito) at The Cutting Room in New York on April 21, 2015 (Tickets are available at this link, which will open in a new window).

Art by Mark Kostabi

Art by Mark Kostabi

The vibe was electric for the event and art works by both Mark and Paul Kostabi were prominently featured throughout the gallery.

Sparkl by Paul Kostabi

Sparkl by Paul Kostabi

Here’s a video of Kostabeat performing “Kalimba.”  The band features Mark Kostabi, Paul Kostabi (from White Zombie), Mollie Israel (The Lost Patrol), Paul Nowinski (Les Paul, Keith Richards and Rickie Lee Jones), Tony Esposito and Keith LeBlanc (Annie Lennox and Seal).

Mark Kostabi April 2015

Mark Kostabi April 2015

Watching Kostabeat could have been more than enough, but as a bonus, we were treated to a set by artist and musician Scott Putesky, who you might remember as Daisy Berkowitz from the classic line up of Marilyn Manson.  He warmed us up with  a cover of the Pixies’ “Wave of Mutilation.”

Scott Putesky

Scott Putesky

Paul Kostabi

Paul Kostabi

In addition to the great music, I got to sample a new and delicious cocktail that just launched called Maven, which is a wine infused vodka drink!  It’s available in both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and it’s delicious!!!

Maven Cocktails

Maven Cocktails

And before the event was over, Mark & Paul Kostabi switched it up musically and sat in with the band Contact High.  A video is below.

 

Thanks to Mark for the invite to this rare and intimate jam session!

If you liked what you saw here, make sure you see Kostabeat at the Cutting Room in New York on April 21, 2015.  Tickets are available here (link will open in new window).

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