FREEwilliamsburg’s Top 25 Albums Of 2016

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2016 was the dirt fucking worst. There’s no other way to put it. It seems almost absurd to talk about what a great year it was for music, in light of all of the terrible things that have happened, but music helped us cope a lot over the last twelve months. And serendipitously, a wealth of great records were released this year, as everything else seemed to go for broke. Here are twenty-five of them that allowed us to forget the cruel dystopia that has become our reality, if only for a little while. We needed both their comforts and catharsis, perhaps more than ever before.

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Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne sang ‘Life on Mars’ on Chewbacca’s shoulders last night at Carnegie Hall

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Which somehow makes perfect sense. It was part of the David Bowie tribute show at Carnegie Hall that featured The Pixies, J. Mascis, Cat Power, Laurie Anderson, Robyn Hitchcock, Michael Stipe, The Mountain Goats and more. Video and a shot of the set list below — though it should be noted that Patti Smith was sick and The Roots had a meltdown and skipped the festivities. Tribute 2 is tonight at Radio City. [Read more…]

Top 5 shows of the weekend

RobynHitchcockCityWinery

Greetings! We’ve had a pretty good week on the music side of things, between us we’ve seen Vaadat Charigim at Palisades and my esteemed metal heads caught Iron Maiden last night. It’s 20 degrees celsius as I type this (let’s not talk of that silly farenheit…) and spring is in the air, by which I mean the smell of semen from the Callery Pear’s (insert “Spring is coming” joke here). I should probably mention there are some great shows this weekend…

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New York City declares January 20th to be David Bowie Day

bowiedayBecause David Bowie loved NYC, and because NYC is the best, we now have an official David Bowie Day. From David Bowie’s Facebook page:

it was announced today that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proclaimed today, January 20, 2016 in the City of New York as David Bowie Day. The proclamation will be read tonight at the curtain call of the final performance of the sold-out run of Lazarus, the New York Theater Workshop production conceived and co-created by Bowie.

David Bowie, RIP

bowieIt never felt like David Bowie would die. That’s something that can be said for all immortals, but he was a special case. David Bowie really and truly felt like he was not of this earth, a notion he embraced thematically, lyrically and theatrically as a creature of the cosmos. He had the look: A handsome specimen with mismatched eyes, slightly reptilian features and a sleek, slender figure. He could croon like a lounge singer, but carried himself with a flamboyant bombast. He was an alien’s perception of an Earthling entertainer, the spectrum of spectacle in an androgynous skin.

He had been creatively reborn so many times; as recently as last week, for instance, that it seemed like we’d be listening to him in advancing incarnations forever. His bravery in the studio and on stage was unmatched; his ambition exceeded by few, and no one in music history has been as prolific and consistently excellent for as long as he had been. His influence cannot be understated and the place he holds in our hearts is as outsized as his personality.

I am tired of reading about David Bowie as a “chameleon.” In one of today’s countless eulogies, Tom Ewing rejected the label and perfectly articulated what I have disliked about the cliche for so many years. “Chameleons change continually so they won’t be noticed, which was not an option David Bowie ever entertained. He regenerated periodically, trying on new faces, reacting against his former selves.”

David Bowie’s work has commanded our attention for the last half-century. He has given us so much to explore that we’ll never run out. So much, that it almost feels like he will never really go away. But he has, and it hurts more than I can possibly say. Godspeed, Major Tom. [Read more…]

Audience pick Labyrinth closes out SummerScreen tonight in McCarren Park

Jim Henson's LabyrinthTonight is the final night of SummerScreen in McCarren Park and it features the cult classic Labyrinth which [Read more…]

Watch: David Bowie “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” — With Tilda Swinton

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Today David Bowie has let go another music video from his upcoming record The Next Day, out March 12. Titled “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, this one follows “Where Are We Now?”, which was more of a slow, introspective ballad. The video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, stars Bowie and Tilda Swinton as a married couple whose lives are disturbed by a celebrity couple. Watch it below.

Bowie Won’t Tour, But May Play A Show In New York

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The big question: Do you think Bowie will tour?
He says that he will only play if he feels like it, but no tour. Like, if [he] wanted to do the odd show in New York or, I don’t know, London, he would if he felt like it. And he made that very clear to the label that he wasn’t going to tour or do any kind of ridiculously long album promotion. It was his idea to just drop it at midnight on his birthday and just let things avalanche.

Do you really think it’s possible he’d do just one show?
It’s possible, if he feels like it. I don’t know. I spoke to him two days ago and he said, “I’m really adamant I’m not gonna do a tour.” And he said, “If I might, I might do one show.” But who knows when.