Category Archives: Music

LADY GAGA artRAVE

Lady Gaga ArtraveIn a very last minute, last ditch opportunity, I found myself sailing for Lady Gaga’s artRAVE concert extravaganza to celebrate her album, ARTPOP at the Brooklyn Navy Yards.

Lady Gaga Jeff Koons Maria KucinskiArtist Jeff Koons co-hosted the event, showing off his larger-than-life sculpture of Lady Gaga – a breathtaking and hypnotizing piece of art. You can sense Lady Gaga’s aura through the work.

Lady Gaga ArtravePrior to the concert, there were extremely polished video projections of her new music video, her studies at the Marina Abramovic Insitute, and a 3-channel video projection of herself being tortured. Although difficult to watch, especially surrounded by the merriest “Little Monsters” in the world, it was very well done.

Art world royalty was also in attendance including Yoko Ono, Simon de Pury, and Klaus Biesenbach.

7 IMAG3961What I came away with from the event is that Lady Gaga is a true artist. She has surrounded herself with great artists and she has learned their craft. The most noticeable influence is that of Marina Abramovic, with whom Lady Gaga has been studying. There is a new focus, a new concentration to her. I also saw references to the Fluxus Movement and to Robert Wilson with his iconic gestures. She is wholly devoting herself to her craft, to her art, exposing her body and giving herself to the audience.

Lady Gaga ArtraveBut aside from the flawlessness of the evening, there was also an overall sense of peace and happiness and acceptance. Strangers were telling me that I was beautiful and I made friends with a few people around me.

How could you not be happy in Gaga’s world? And it is her world. She sits atop a throne, legs apart, commanding attention.

Jeff Koons Lady Gaga ArtraveAfter the concert ended, I shook Jeff Koons’ hand and told him that the sculpture was stunning.

And then I locked eyes with Darren Criss. A beautiful end to my memorable night.

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Critter & Guitari on F.A.T. Gold Public Access at Eyebeam

Critter and Guitari at Eyebeam with Bennett Williamson

Chris Kucinski, Bennett Williamson, and Owen Osborn at Eyebeam.

As part of Eyebeam’s current exhibition, F.A.T. Gold: Five Years of Free Art & Technology curated by Lindsay Howard and on view through April 20th, Critter & Guitari was asked to host a jam session for Public Access organized by Bennett Williamson.

In true Critter & Guitari fashion, Chris Kucinski and Owen Osborn invited their friends Devin Flynn, Ross Goldstein, Raphael Griswold, and even me to collaborate and make some new sounds. (Bennett would have also jammed with us like he did at the Experimental Television Center, but he had to operate the AV equipment.) The hour-long jam incorporated the sounds of the Pocket Piano family (including the first prototype), the Kaleidoloop family, and the Bolsa Bass along with a variety of analog instruments.

Click here to see the full live-streamed video of the jam.

All in all, the jam showed the collaborative and fun nature of the instruments and the cooperative generation in which they were created.

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Dancing Around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg and Duchamp at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Walkaround TimeA day trip to Philadelphia to see Dancing Around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg and Duchamp was filled with subversions, underminings, deconstructions, and sincerity.

The exhibition brings together masterworks, collaborations, and homages by these important and influential artists who wanted to challenge the notion of art. They experimented with what is defined as art, how art is created, and how it is experienced.

Throughout the exhibition of over 100 pieces, it is evident the star is Marcel Duchamp. He is the genius who wished to debunk “preexisting ideas about art, which he believed should appeal to the intellect rather than the senses.” He turned the art world on its head with his notion of “readymades” – objects that he found to be art, the most famous being Fountain, 1917. These pieces, as well as other work including drawings, paintings, photographs, scores, and installations tested originality, concept, and taste.

Marcel Duchamp Door 11. Rue Larrey, 1927

Marcel Duchamp, Door 11. Rue Larrey, 1927

The remaining four artists were very much influenced by Duchamp, but also – not knowing all of his entire oeuvre – their thought process in making art in ran parallel in some regards.

In one example, John Cage and Merce Cunningham did not realize that Duchamp had used the idea of “chance” in his artwork. The concept of “chance,” made famous by Cage and Cunningham explored how the outcome of the an artwork was dictated by the unknown. Certain parameters were put in place and the rest was up to chance – whether it was musical notes or silence, or movement or stillness and so on. And so, when Cage found out about Duchamp’s use of chance, realizing that it occurred in the year of his birth – he did not find that to be a coincidence.

In another example, Duchamp’s concept as key, exploring the distinctions between original and replica, object and idea is examined by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Rauschenberg created “combines” – sculptures made from nontraditional materials while Johns made paintings that explored what you were looking at as a physical representation.

One of the most interesting aspects of this exhibition is the interplay between the artists. They all influenced or collaborated or co-opted certain aspects of each other’s work. The portraits by Rauschenberg were so interesting and so spot-on in my opinion. I also enjoyed how Johns used the mold from Duchamp’s Étant donnés: 1° la chute d’eau / 2° le gaz d’éclairage in his paintings.

And maybe the most meaningful thing I took away from the exhibition is how sincere these artists were about art. They were dedicated to exploring, experimenting, and pushing the bounds. They did not hold back, they learned from each other and challenged each other. I believe that because of that, their influence is pervasive today.

All in all, I thought the exhibition was a unique opportunity to see spectacular works – shown in conversation with each other – by Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and of course, Duchamp.

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My sentiments exactly

I don’t like to discuss politics too much but this video by Sarah Sophie Flicker sums up how I’m feeling about this election. I invite you to sing along to Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.”

“You Don’t Own Me” PSA -Official from You Don’t Own Me on Vimeo.

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The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Meulensteen Gallery

One of my dear friends invited me to partake in an evening of culture – and to celebrate her birthday – hosted by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Young Audience Council.

The event was held at the Meulensteen Gallery who provided a special preview of Katayoun Vaziri: Yeki Bud, Yeki Nabud. The show’s title comes from the traditional opening lines of Persian fairytales, which is Farsi for “one was, one was not.” The exhibition looked at media images of unrest throughout the world in drawings and painting. It also included a video projection of a drawing of the artist in conversation with President Obama. It was very topical though not extraordinarily intriguing because those images are so saturated in our culture.

As everyone settled into their seats for the concert, Executive Director of CMS, Norma Hurlburt introduced the musicians, Kristin Lee on violin, Pierre Lapointe on viola, and Nicholas Canellakis on cello. The musicians played two pieces, Bohuslav Martinu’s (1890-1959) Duo No. 2 for Violin and Cello, H. 371 (1958) and Erno Dohnanyi’s (1877-1960) Serande in C major for Violin, Viola and Cello, Op 10 (1902).

Having not heard much chamber music, I can tell you that the pieces were very rich and interesting. My favorite part was being so close to the musicians, seeing how they interacted with each other and actually seeing how the sounds were made. It was all very conversation-like.

All in all, I enjoyed the evening with the unique opportunity to listen to chamber music downtown.

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Critter & Guitari: ONOMONO Party at Cristin Tierney

On Saturday night, Critter & Guitari hosted a party, pop-up exhibition, and concert at the Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York City.

Critter Guitari Onomono Party

The ONOMONO Party has begun with installations by Ali Osborn, Raphael Griswold, Teddy O'Connor and Alois Kronschlaeger.

IMG

Chris and Owen introduce the lineup of talented acts performing

Orit Ben-Shitrit ONOMONO

Orit Ben-Shitrit presents ONOMONO

Erika Spring Melanie Moser

Erika Spring and Melanie Moser perform

Pat Noecker

Patrick Noecker also known as RAFT performs

Critter Guitari ONOMONO Finale

The final performance of the evening

All in all, it was an awesome party to culminate an exciting year. Thanks to Cristin Tierney, Main Drag Music, The Original Moonshine, Orit Ben-Shitrit, Ross GoldsteinJoe Grillo, Raphael Griswold, Melanie Moser, Patrick Noecker, Teddy O’Connor, Ali Osborn, Tonito Santos, and Erika Spring. Special thanks to Alois Kronschlaeger for my beautiful gift. Extra special thanks to everyone who wore sequins!

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Upcoming: Critter & Guitari’s ONOMONO_Party

Critter & Guitari is hosting a party on Saturday, December 17th. With live musical performances and art installations, it’s going to be a fun and festive jam.

Plus check out this video featuring the new Pocket Piano MIDI.

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Little Dragon at Terminal 5

My friend invited me to see Little Dragon with opening bands Donn T and Javelin and DJ sets by ?uestlove at Terminal 5. The show was sold out and luckily we managed to get ourselves to the front of the packed crowd.

I did not know what kind of music to expect having never heard their music – now I am embarrassed by that fact – and I thoroughly enjoyed their synthy soul sound. It was clear that all the girls in the audience had serious crushes on lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, and rightly so. With a soulful voice, she dances onstage like a robot manikin, making slight yet sharp movements to every beat. She also throws in the occasional pony step and plays percussion on the cow bells, a synthesizer, and a tambourine. The other members of the band seemed pretty cool too.

All in all, I love the electro soul sound of Little Dragon.

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Fall On Your Sword at Cameo

Fall on your sword cameo

Fall On Your Sword, an electronic rock band made up of Phil Mossman and Will Bates, had an album release party at Cameo in Williamsburg.

The band, which is supplemented by a drummer, had a variety of toys with them on stage to create an electronically layered symphony blended perfectly with acoustic sounds. In addition to the music, they had pre-made videos projected above which were also mixed live to correspond with the music.

There was definitely a formal element to their show with the men wearing suits and playing their instruments as if they were performing surgery – concentrating on their movements as they delicately hit the keys, turned the knobs, strummed the guitar, and rolled on the snares.

Some other highlights to the show included “When Megan Met Michael” with Michael Caine inserted into the diner scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” “I Might Be Gay” which exclaims, “When I was a little boy, I thought I was special,” and “I’d do Anything For You,” a robot love story in which Mossman ultimately professed he would do anything for Brooklyn.

Fall on your swordAnd of course, I noticed the Pocket Piano among the toys which had a solo in the opening of “Born to Lick Your Face.  FOYS vs Chevy Chase.” Fall On Your Sword also did something else that I haven’t seen anyone else do with the Pocket Piano, they had it set the tempo for an entire song.

Fall on your sword pocket pianoAll in all, it was an entertaining show from start to finish with exciting sounds executed with perfection.

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Cobretti at K&M

CobrettiLast night I saw the super cool band, Cobretti play at K&M in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When my friends and I first arrived, one of the drummers (there is a two person drum set) told me that the bartender asked them to not play so loudly because of the tin ceilings. Knowing well enough that Cobretti always rocks hard, we came prepared with earplugs.

The drummer then told me that they were a skate band (Red Bull skate competition videos were projected behind them throughout the set) who just wanted to rock. And that is what they did.

They opened the show with a little diddy on the Kaleidoloop and then went full force into their beachy punk music with a hard edge and screeching vocals. Maybe one of the distinguishing things about the band is the megatom. And I love the toms.

All in all, I want to learn how to skate so I can hang out with these guys more often.

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