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Paula Crossfield

Sweat Equity Pays Off

In the fall of 1988, Siobhan Meow entered 21-23 Avenue C with a flashlight. The stairs were broken up with a sledgehammer, syringes lined the floor and holes in the roof lit the debris collected over 12 years of abandonment.

A Future on Two Wheels

On a recent trip to Paris, I noticed with curiosity the rows of perfectly spaced, knee-high gray posts that had popped up intermittently throughout the city, just off the curbs.

Eating on the Run: Foraging in New York's Parks

When foraging with “the Wildman” Steve Brill, you don’t feel like you’ll get lost. Nor do you feel that you will drop dead from eating the plants and mushrooms he deems okay to eat. But you do feel a bit like you are hanging out with the host of a children’s program complete with safari hat and “Brillophone,” an “instrument” he makes using his mouth and hands.

Nonfiction: The Green Wean

So we are addicted to oil, but what are the larger consequences? Maybe our dealings abroad lead you to think war. And why not? A struggle for control of oil resources has been going on since industrialized nations set up the infrastructure to utilize fossil fuels.

The Kids Are Badass

In this case, Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat, who’ve been a prominent part of the New Orleans music scene since 1994, were playing second fiddle to a pack of wily boys from Atlanta called the Black Lips. This crowd was young—probably just old enough to legally buy the plastic cups of beer they were holding—with a preference for tights pants.

Strapping Young Men Singer at the Knitting Factory Tap Bar 4/29 and Glasslands Gallery 4/30

Watching Singer perform their deep and dirty music, I had the uncontrollable urge to grab my nether region like Michael Jackson. In another similarity with the king of pop, the band seems fond of fooling around with falsetto, courtesy of the fantastically mustachioed Robert A. A. Lowe, formerly of 90 Day Men. But the Jacko comparison need go no further, because Singer has little to do with pop music.

Lost Art: Watching David Bowie Videos at MoMA

In 1981, MTV was born and the music video became a measured, constructed, and elevated art form, a thing I watched hungrily from my remove in the Midwest. But for more than a decade before that, David Bowie and the directors he worked with were experimenting with the medium, taking theatrics, music, and new (at the time) technology and bringing them together in a novel way.

Battles: Biting the Master’s Hand

Unlike in the 1950s, when the mere chance to be in a musician’s presence was enough to draw a crowd, I go to live shows for inspiration in exchange for my eardrums and spectatordom—something more than just hearing a band’s album played louder.

Measuring the Meaning

In Comicopera, Robert Wyatt’s fifteenth solo album, the listener travels. This album, while technically worked out, leaves room for the spontaneity of multiple performers. This move from the cloistered songs of his previous recordings was not random; Wyatt was seeking to mimic a live sound. He cites a love of big bands—Duke Ellington’s and Charles Mingus’s in particular—as an inspiration because of their ability to let every player stand out and make an individual impression. When you have talented friends like Phil Manzanera, Brian Eno, Paul Weller, and the jazz musician Alfie Benge (Wyatt’s wife), working with you, you can presumably create whatever sonic atmosphere you want.

The Next Cut Is The Deepest

For the Tindersticks’ seventh album, The Hungry Saw, fresh air could be the biggest influence. After five years of non-activity—with frontman Stuart Staples moving to France and declaring that continuing with the band would amount to nostalgia, and the group responding by going on an extended hiatus—fans wondered if the English band was throwing in the towel.

Telepathe’s Plea for You to “Dance, Mother”

The Brooklyn-based band Telepathe (pronounced “telepathy”) is trying to get you to get down. With all the hype the duo has received, they still deliver sonically, using airy vocals, choppy, mesmerizing rhythms, and a touch of feminine wiles.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

All Issues