News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More


Matthew Hartnett

BLOGARRHEA: Trombonist Matthew Hartnett Makes Spectacular Splash on 'Southern Comfort' Debut >>

Move over Trombone Shorty! Born in Louisiana, raised in Texas, now based in Brooklyn, Matthew Hartnett, he of the big fat greasy trombone sound, has self-released the kind of debut that not only celebrates his musical upbringing, but drags it into the new year all gussied up with funky asides, hip hiphop flourishes, soulful jams and jazz-rock fusion cliffs that get hard and heavy.

Reverend Freakchild

REVIEW: The 'Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues' of Rev. Freakchild Flies High >>

'Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues' by a Brooklyn character named Reverend Freakchild is a throwback to those glorious hippie times when religion, music, politics and meditation were all rife with exploration. Acoustic, trippy, folky and weird, these 'Blues' stick out like a sore thumb.

The Court of the Snow Queen

Gemini & Scorpio Host All-Night NYE Party 'The Court of the Snow Queen' >>

For those of you in New York still fretting over your New Year’s Eve, fear no more: Party experts Gemini & Scorpio pull out all the stops for a gorgeous, immersive production of the classic fairy tale “The Snow Queen” in Brooklyn, complete with circus artists and dancing through the wee hours. Dubbed "The Court of the Snow Queen," fierce snow queen Ali Luminescent will hold a menagerie of entertainers hostage for her pleasure. Gemini & Scorpio promise the event will “whirl with the creatures and spirits of winter, their talents a spectacle commanded by her whim.” The theatrical party will feature classic and modern hits in live jazz and swing music style by the Retro Remix Orchestra, aerial and contortion performers, face and body painting, large-scale art, and a snowy photo booth. On the Gemini & Scorpio website, the description for the spectacle is as follows: “The Queen has enchanted and stolen a mortal boy, Kai. But his beloved, Gerda, has summoned all the power of fire to win him back and defeat the Queen. Who will triumph in this battle for the human heart?”

The Dreary Coast

Secret Play 'The Dreary Coast' by Jeff Stark Staged on the Gowanus Canal >>

Ever wonder what it is like to attend a secret play? "The Dreary Coast," an immersive theatrical work from Jeff Stark, will enlighten you right on the banks of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. This retelling of the Persephone myth lets 20 or so theatergoers experience the performance in shallow, flat-bottomed boats up and down the Gowanus. Several dozen spectators watch the play from the shore. The play is legendary in certain Brooklyn underground arts circle, and Stark, who has lived two blocks from the canal for the past 15 years, has been dreaming of staging a performance on its waters for nearly as long. For the past year, he has scouted the bridges and rock formations and vacant lots that dot its banks, surveying the most appealing, and legal, locations for scenes to unfold. The $40,000 budget for the play was mostly raised on Kickstarter, with dozens of collaborators, including the well-known local “experience architect” N.D. Austin. But this play begins differently than others. The evening begins in a neighborhood bar, where audience members are asked to sign an indemnity waiver. Priestesses clad in kimonos and eye makeup arrive, wafting incense and ringing bells, leading you to a disused space and where there is a silent ritual. Once the action shifts to the waterway, the Olympian pantheon takes over. Charon (E. James Ford) and ice queen Persephone (Ava Eisenson) plot an escape from the abyss.

Jason Vieaux

Jason Vieaux to Perform for Simone Dinnerstein's Neighborhood Classics Series. >>

Virtuoso guitarist Jason Vieaux will perform a concert for the Neighborhood Classics series featuring music ranging from Bach to Pat Metheny, including guitar favorites by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz and 19th century Italian classical guitar master, Mauro Guiliani.

Kim Gordon Announces Release of Memoir, 'Girl in a Band' on February 24 and Posts Cover Art

Kim Gordon Announces Release of Memoir, 'Girl in a Band' on February 24 and Posts Cover Art >>

In Kim Gordon's earlier release, "Is It My Body?," published by Sternberg Press, she said a memoir was in the works. Thankfully, Harper Collins and Gordon have announced a release date for the forthcoming Girl in a Band: February 24, 2015.

Death By Audio

Brooklyn's Death By Audio To Close Nov. 22 >>

Brooklyn rock club Death by Audio announced today that they will be shutting down shop this fall. According to a note posted on their website owners Edan Wilber and Matt Conboy will close their doors on November 22.

Permanent Records

Brooklyn's Permanent Records Store Moves to South Slope After Losing Lease in Greenpoint >>

Permanent Records announced on their website last night about moving on down to South Slope following the loss of their Franklin Street lease. The new hut, they jokingly referred to as Permanent Records 2.0, will be located at 159 20th Street in South Slope, the building where crowdworking space BrooklynWorks at 159 is housed.


LIVESTREAM: Dance Motion USA, David Dorfman Company, Turkey's Kprhan Basaran at Brooklyn Academy of Music, August 16 >>

Native New York David Dorfman Dance Company along with Turkish Kprhan Basaran Company will world premiere their collaboration at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as part of DanceMotion USA on August 16, compete with a live stream.

No Second Coming: Dave Bixby's New York Debut at ISSUE Project Room Set for February 15 >>

Legendary folk musician Dave Bixby makes his first ever New York performance at ISSUE, playing his iconic records Ode to Quetzalcoatl and Second Coming in their entirety.

Dylanology: Coen Brothers' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Revives Interest in Dave Van Ronk, the Real Mayor of MacDougal Street >>

Yesterday, Classicalite published my piece on the importance of staying relevant in our ever-changing world. As such thinking is wont to do, it met with a bit of criticism. Occasionally, yes, music and culture that begins outside the mainstream wedges a foot in the popular door--only to rip the damn thing off its hinges.

Jherek Bischoff's 'Composed,' Featuring David Byrne and Zola Jesus, Getting Two Live Shows at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn >>

Composer, performer, impresario and all-around new music polymath Jherek Bischoff will be featured during two upcoming shows at St. Ann's Warehouse to celebrate his latest album, 'Composed.'

VIDEO CROSSWORD: Jazz Jam Sessions 12/17/13 @ Fifth Estate #390, Fall, 2013 >>

And here we go again at Park Slope, Brooklyn's finest pinball bar gone jazz club on Fifth Avenue:


EXCLUSIVE: Brick Dozer @ Rough Trade-Brooklyn Grand Opening [PIX] >>

To say I was not impressed by the paltry "MODERN COMPOSITION/CLASSICAL" offerings of Rough Trade's newest outpost down by the water in Williamsburg would be putting it lightly.

An Anarcho-Crossword Puzzle to Test Your Knowledge of Jazz History and Culture >>

The Fifth Estate Bar 506 5th Avenue Between 12th & 13th Streets Park Slope, Brooklyn (718) 840-0089

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