Top 5 shows of the weekend

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We’ve almost survived another week, and there are some just rewards coming everyone’s way. If you want something a little more unconventional as well, then we can take you to the stars and beyond this weekend. Either way, enjoy yourselves, you’ve earned it.

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Top 5 shows of the weekend

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It’s going to be a hot one this weekend. Drink responsibly, use sunscreen and maybe, just maybe, some good shows will be able to make us forget we’re melting, just for a few brief moments. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor options for you below.

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Monday Nostalgia: When Isaac Hayes played Prospect Park

Shortly before his passing away, Isaac Hayes played a free “Celebrate Brooklyn” show in Prospect Park on June 12, 2008. Here’s some new footage that has never been shared before.

More nostalgic moments below, including “Theme from Shaft”: [Read more…]

I Survived Googa Mooga (But Apparently No One Else Did)


florence wang's flickr

This morning we asked readers if they survived this past weekend’s The Great Googa Mooga festivities in Prospect Park. And from what I’ve read online and heard from coworkers, few did. People complained about issues like insanely long lines for beer and food, food running out, and logistical problems (no added cell reception or public transportation). Even those who bought the $250 tickets left dissatisfied.

I made it to the event at noon on Saturday and I remember thinking how much space there was to move around compared to other festivals I had been to, like Bonnaroo. I had lunch at 1pm after watching Fort Lean perform and waited in line for only five minutes before getting food (Num Pang Sandwich Shop). I even stood in line with a friend at a second place and waited only three minutes there (DuMont Burger).

Things changed however when we were done eating and went to get beer. The midday crowds were starting to flood in and the issues with logistics were quickly becoming apparent. There were too many separate lines (one for ID checks, another one for beverages, others for food) which faded into one another, made getting from one place to another nearly impossible, and each lasted at least twenty minutes. Event workers at an ID check tried to move things along by checking IDs for some people at the middle of the line, but that made things more confusing. It was 3 p.m. by the time we finished our first beers (not slow drinkers, just slow lines) and by that time the lines had grown so long that we would have had our second ones at 4:30.

I felt like I got what I paid for with those free tickets. But food blogger Joanne Wilson describes her negative experience at the Extra Mooga section: “I can’t believe that I paid $250 a head for this. A complete rip-off. I am not the only person out there yesterday who wanted their money back. The experience, considering the food amount, was worth about $50 at best…We left the show starving.”

Countless Twitter users echo these sentiments (although most didn’t get to enjoy the brief calm like I did). “Going to #googamooga was the human version of what my cat must go through when she runs frantically into a room & forgets why. Ate nothing.” “1000s starving, stranded in the heat, standing on endless lines for food.” “Our Katrina.”

Leave your horror stories in the comments.

Watch Sufjan’s dance rehearsal

Lady Gaga. Justin Biber. Black Swan. Sufjan Stevens.

Vulture stopped by Sufjan Stevens’ dance studio to chat with him about his upcoming Prospect Park shows, dancing and being influenced by huge stage shows. (Think: What Would Beyoncé Do?)  The theatrical implements in his shows in the past have always been impressive and super fun, but after watching this video, I am so excited to see this show next week.

Craft time with Sufjan Stevens

Last year’s The Age of Adz was inspired by Royal Robertson, an American artist/recluse/prophet (?), who Sufjan apparently became obsessed with. If you’ve been to any of the live shows on the Adz tour, you will recognize a lot of the imagery as being Robertson’s. In his newest video, Stevens painstakingly hand animated some cut-ups of the paintings that inspired him. It’s impressive to think of how long this stop-motion masterpiece actually would’ve taken to animate.

Sufjan Stevens is playing at Prospect Park on August 2 and 3, tickets for the latter are still available.

Bon Iver played Fallon

Every one of the people on stage during this performance on last night’s Fallon is doing more in the five minute span of this song that I have done so far all week. Multi-instrumentalists, harmonizing vocalists, emotional facial expressions.

Bon Iver play at Prospect Park on August 10, and will clearly blow everyone away when they do.

Andrew Bird plays free show in Prospect Park

On Friday June 10 at 8:15pm Andrew Bird will play the Celebrate Brooklyn! Opening Night Concert. Since 1979 Celebrate Brooklyn! has provided outdoor performing arts festivals in Prospect Park. The festival offers music, film, spoken word/theater, dance, and more. The best part is all Celebrate Brooklyn! performances are free! Obviously they couldn’t do it alone, so sponsors and friends help keep the festival alive. Opening night is part of a gala to honor longtime festival sponsors Jet Blue and Ray Levin. The evening will feature a lot more than Bird’s performance, but the extra’s require a ticket. They’re a bit pricey, but it’s a worthy cause.

Check out the schedule for this summer’s series running June 10-August 6 with benefit shows running until August 11. It’s worth getting out of Williamsburg for these shows.