Toxic Gowanus, Brooklyn neighb of new music lofts

Gowanus, a Brooklyn neighborhood so unlovely it's been named an EPA superfund site, is Ground Zero now for music lofts, as reported in my new City Arts-New York column. In a half dozen or so artist-run spaces -- including IBeam, Douglas Street Collective, Littlefield, the Brooklyn Lyceum and Issue Project Room -- available for presentation and rehearsal of hard-core experimental sounds, dance, video and performance art, the programming is typically spiky, ambitious and unsentimental. … [Read more...]

Tragedy of bike-riding cabaret activist Mary Cleere Haran

Cabaret is a forum for the classic American pop song -- and the death of singer Mary Cleere Haran, hit by a car coming out of a driveway while she was riding her bike in Deerfield Beach, Fla., robs the world of an activist who interpreted, updated and preserved those brilliant, melodious standards. The genre and milieu in which she worked isn't my preferred entertainment, but there's no denying the centrality in sophisticated contemporary culture of the words and music of Rodgers and Hart and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Frank Loesser, Irving … [Read more...]