New Projects Are Brazilian Guitar Fuzz
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Our favorite new projects this week are all about what's underground. We have a twenty-piece band that's six decades deep in drum beats, a man with, arguably, the world's coolest record collection, a handmade magazine dedicated to emerging artists, and a brand new film from the director of a cult-legendary documentary on a thriving NYC subculture. What's that you say? When did we get so cool? Don't worry...we're still nerds. It's just all these projects makin' us look so darn good! Read on for more.
Whitney Dow's shifting gears on the conversation about Haiti. His latest doc, When the Drum is Beating, takes a look at the positive, telling the story of Haiti's music through legendary band Septentrional. The 20-piece band has been going strong for six decades, blending Cuban big band with Haitian voodoo beats and bringing thousands of fans to their feet through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d’états, and chaos. Feel the passion, feel the rhythm, feel the drum beating! —Daniella J.
Conveyor is an arts organization and publication focused on bridging the gap between emerging and established artists. Earlier this year, in conjunction with the release of their first issue, creators Christina Libbey and Jason Burstein also held an exhibition showcasing the artists highlighted in their publication. Now, for round two, things are going to be bigger and better, with the exhibition time expanding from a mere four days to a full week. Oh, yeah, and they'll be printing a new, beautifully bound edition of Conveyor — with each edition hand-assembled by Christina and Jason! — Mike M.
For certain people of a certain age,Jennie Livingston's Paris is Burning is more than a film, it's a rite of passage. Defining and defiant proof of the truth that nothing is certain, the 1990 documentary showed viewers that sex, gender, race, and class are ideas and experiences just as fluid and complex as they are constructed. A judgement-free window into the NYC subculture of LGBT drag balls, Paris is Burning was and is so much more than a lesson in realness, it's a formative experience. Two decades later, Livingston continues to investigate the formative, focusing her second feature documentary on the intimacies of death. She describes the highly personal project as "neither therapy nor diary," hoping to "encourage a conversation about loss and impermanence." Coming to terms with the losses of her grandmother, mother, uncle, and brother all in the space of five years, Earth Camp One — the title taken from the "hippie summer camp" where she first broke free from family — explores what happens when the ones we love leave us. So, so glad to see Livingston's work on the site! —Elisabeth H.
Katie O'Beirne has been leaving disposable cameras in different parks in New York City, then coming to pick them up at the end of the day to see what people do with them. The results are pretty incredible: people of all kinds, alternately posing happily with friends or staring into the viewfinder confused. It's equal parts voyeuristic and participatory, and nothing if not fun. Katie's raising money for film and an exhibition, where the artists are a ragtag team of smiling strangers. I love it! — Meaghan O.
Joel Stones is a producer, vinyl archaeologist, and record store owner. He is also probably the coolest human being of all time. His record store, Tropicalia in Furs, is legendary, the music on his cult-famous compilation, Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas, is out of this world, and his general taste definitely defined a significant portion of my "wow, this is music" youthful discovery phase. Music saver! Tastemaker! Seriously, this guy has got it all. Can't wait to see this movie. — Cassie M.