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Celebrating a Year of Women in Music

“Stop talking about women’s involvement and creation of rock music as if it is brand new phenomena, or their appearance on Billboard rock charts as a new incursion and not one happening regularly in the 40ish years of Rock Chart history,” Jess Hopper, music critic and author of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, tweeted just two weeks ago in response to a Billboard article implying that women are just entering the scene.

As anyone with ears, a decent record collection, or a passing familiarity with Sister Rosetta Tharpe already knows, that’s a pretty silly notion, as old-fashioned and blinkered as the equally predictable cycle of “Rock Is Dead” headlines that surface every few years. While male-fronted rock has indeed undergone a bit of an identity crisis in the last few decades, women have continued to turn out brilliant, emotional, entertaining-as-hell rock — and pop and hip-hop and rap and jazz and folk and country and on and on. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It isn’t a trend. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth celebrating.

Looking back over some of the female musicians that the Village Voice has profiled over the last twelve months offers a pretty good snapshot of the current state of women in music. Among them are the indomitable Princess Nokia, the effervescent Maggie Rogers, the fragile Julien Baker, and the insanely brilliant SZA. They are all talented, wildly creative artists who’ve produced music we put on repeat and songs we can’t forget. Oh, and they happen to be women.

Vagabon’s Laetitia Tamko

For Vagabon, Indie Rock Is About Creating a Voice and a Community

“Women of color exist in this scene. Just not many.”

Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hurray for the Riff Raff‘s New York Story

“The more I learned about Puerto Rican history, the more I was like, ‘Oh, I make total sense.’”

Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia Is Ready to Reign

“At the end of the day, I’m still a ‘hood bitch, no matter how punk I am.”

Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers: The Making of a 21st-Century Pop Heroine

“My entire life I have felt this incredible sense of predestination.”

Amber Coffman

Amber Coffman’s “City of No Reply” Is More Than a Dirty Projectors Breakup Album

“Since I had a good decade of working with other people, I had a long time to marinate on what I wanted to do.”

SZA

SZA Sizzles on Her Triumphant Debut, CTRL

“I just started getting into optimism yesterday. Anything is possible. I’m optimistic as fuck.”

Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield

Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield: “I Can’t Believe People Are Going to Hear This”

Indie rock’s sharpest self-scrutinizer has made her most personal album yet.

Japanese Breakfast

On New Album, Japanese Breakfast Is Floating in Space

“I don’t want any moment to go by where I’m not creating something, sharing something, or interacting with people.”

EMA, also known as Erika M. Anderson

How the New Weird Suburbs Inspired EMA‘s Noise Folk

“I like the idea of multiple realities layered on top of each other.”

Downtown Boys

For Downtown Boys, the Political Is Personal

“When people need to hear something about someone being brown and smart, they can find us.”

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and the Secret Life of Synths

“Whatever I’m frightened of or I’m bad at, I love stepping closer to that to see what’s there.”

Julien Baker

How Julien Baker Learned to Embrace the Ugliness of Existence

“I am me, and that is inescapable, so maybe I should stop trying to escape that and learn to embrace it.”

Tegan and Sara

How The Con Raised Tegan and Sara to Indie Pop Royalty

“I still identify strongly with the helplessness and grief I was suffering with at that time in my life.”

Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen Isn’t Trying to Make You Cry. Really

“I just want to write something that’s honest and that people can really feel.”

L’Rain

L’Rain Weaves an Aural Tapestry Out of New York’s Chorus of Sound

“When I’m around people and I get nervous or excited, I like to record our conversations.”

Melanie Charles

How Jazz Outlaw Melanie Charles Found Voodoo in Brooklyn

“It’s answers to questions that I didn’t even realize I had before I started going to these ceremonies.”

Lucy Dacus

On HistorianLucy Dacus Has Something to Say

“At the core, my message has pretty much been the same since I was, like, thirteen.”

Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison

As Soccer Mommy, Sophie Allison Sings Herself Clean
“It’s strong to admit, ‘Yes, I have issues. I’ve suffered too.’”

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Five Shows to Catch at This Year’s Winter Jazz Fest

Now in its 14th year, the Winter Jazz Fest kicks off this week with over 130 acts across eight days and 12 venues, its biggest and most diverse lineup yet. There’s Blue Note recording artist José James debuting a new project inspired by Bill Withers, Ravi Coltrane paying homage to his mother Alice Coltrane with an evening inspired by devotional and spiritual music on Sunday the 14th, a soundclash between Deerhoof and trumpet great Wadada Leo Smith and four different performances from the Fest’s artist-in-resident, Chicago based composer, flutist and educator Nicole Mitchell, including a rare set of her critically lauded Mandorla Awakening II project. There’s also the Winter Jazzfest Talks  with figures including Archie Shepp, Angela Davis, Antonio Sanchez and Vijay Iyer speaking on jazz music and it’s ever evolving role in the sociopolitical discourse of our nation. For jazz fans, it’s almost too much to take in.

With that in mind, here are five showcases well worth venturing into the arctic snap of a particularly cruel New York City winter, especially if there’s some hot jazz waiting to help warm your frozen bones.

Gilles Peterson hosts British Jazz Showcase
January 10, Le Poisson Rogue

One of the most exciting scenes to have emerged from modern jazz is the one thriving in the United Kingdom. And what a way to kick off this year’s festival than with a showcase featuring  some of Britain’s most exciting young acts. Hosted by Gilles Peterson — the French-born, London-based DJ and label head, the lineup include tenor saxophonist Nubya Garcia and trumpeter/composer Yazz Ahmed, two of the leading women on the London jazz circuit, as well as South London singer/guitarist Oscar Jerome, whose sound has bern compared to both John Martyn and George Benson. Meanwhile, headliners The Comet Is Coming — a London-based trio comprised of saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, synth player Dan Leavers and drummer Max Hallett — close out the night with a mind-melting update on the Soft Machine.

Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die
Nublu, January 12

For the last few years, Long Island-born trumpeter Jaimie Branch has been defying expectations with every move she makes. After many years making waves in the Chicago underground jazz circuit, she’s back in New York, and last year released Fly Or Die, her long-overdue debut LP. Cobbling together influences from the worlds of hip-hop, the avant-garde, noise rock, classical and indie rock into one seamless skronk of freeform pulchritude, the album topped many year-end lists in 2017. Featuring cellist Tomeka Reid, bassist Jason Ajemian, Chad Taylor of the Chicago Underground on drums — as well as special guests Matt Schneider on guitar and the twin towers of jazz cornet, Ben Lamar Gay and Josh Berman — Fly Or Die re-established Branch as a vital force, which will be on display at Nublu as part of the Friday marathon.

Mark Guiliana Quartet
Le Poisson Rogue, January 13

Over the last few years, drummer Mark Guiliana has backed Dave Douglas and Donny McCaslin, and he was a key member of the elite team of jazz musicians who helped create Blackstar, David Bowie’s swansong from 2016. But last fall, he returned to captaining his own outstanding quartet with Jersey, a lyrical love letter to his Garden State roots. Featuring pianist Fabian Almazan, Jason Rigby on saxophone and bassist Chris Morrissey, the collection evokes Columbia Records-era Monk, and is highlighted by “Rate”—a solo tribute to the Mt. Rushmore of jazz drumming (Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Tony Williams and Elvin Jones)—and a gorgeous reading of Bowie’s “Where Are We Now?” off his penultimate LP The Next Day. The MGQ will be performing at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the jazz marathon on the 13th.

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
Bowery Ballroom, January 13

It’s early days, but 2018 is already looking to be a banner year for Topanga Canyon maestro Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, one of this country’s most talented composers. The man who transformed the beats of J. Dilla into sweeping symphonies has utilized a successful Indiegogo campaign to help fund the long awaited release of his first solo album, a double LP tentatively called Les Jardins Mystiques — featuring Bilal, Deantoni Parks, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Herbie Hancock, Karriem Riggins, Mia Doi Todd, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) and Seu Jorge, to name a few — as well as a string quartet recording of film music with his Quartetto Fantastico. On Saturday, Atwood-Ferguson returns to NYC for the first time since last September as a member of Thundercat’s live band, bringing his ensemble to the Bowery Ballroom.

A Tribute To Geri Allen
Tishman Auditorium, January 15

https://youtu.be/INcuvX6oudA

When Geri Allen lost her battle with cancer at the age of 60 on June 27th, the renowned pianist was in the midst of late career renaissance as one third of an amazing trio with Esperanza Spalding on bass and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. Under the musical direction of Ms. Carrington comes this special tribute to Allen, featuring Spalding and a remarkable lineup including Angela Davis, Craig Taborn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ingrid Jensen, Jack DeJohnette, Jaimeo Brown, Jeff Tain Watts, Kassa Overall, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Maurice Chestnut, Mino Cinelu, Ravi Coltrane, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tia Fuller and Vijay Iyer. All proceeds from Monday’s concert will go to the Geri Allen Estate.

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In Park Slope, Wifey Brings Artistic and Culinary Comfort to the Neighborhood

“We don’t even want the word ‘café’ uttered,” grouses gallerist Janine Foeller, eyebrow raised, when discussing Wifey, her pop-up gallery-with-food-slash-bistro-with-art collaboration in Park Slope with Simone Shubuck. Given the pink countertop lined with pastries, sandwiches, and an espresso machine that greets visitors walking through the glass entrance, which itself is flanked by a pair of flowering trees, it’s an easy miscategorization. But a closer look reveals a world in progress, with an intriguing roster of food and art offerings assembled by Shubuck, an artist whose work Foeller began collecting in 2001.

“I wanted Simone to come in and conceive of the whole space, and integrate it with a food component and flowers,” Foeller explains of her vision for the two-thousand-square-foot space, wedged into a busy, nondescript corner of Flatbush Avenue. The current collection of Shubuck’s work on display is “about process,” and ranges from large, fantastical works on paper to stoic, earthy ceramics, with some containing overflowing bouquets arranged by the artist. There are also clusters of dramatic branches, a signature of Shubuck’s from her former days as the floral designer at Babbo and Blue Hill, a position she stumbled into while paying the bills as an artist working as a waitress. Says Foeller about the space, which will continue to change in the interim: “[Shubuck] is being additive and experimental and just allowing it to grow, as even the food component will change.”

An attention-grabbing roster of chefs is providing for Wifey’s menu, a tight collection of pastries, sandwiches, soft serve, and elixirs — specifically coffee, tea, and tepache (a fermented Mexican drink in the vein of kombucha, made in batches by Bon Appetit’s test kitchen manager Brad Leone using pineapple, ginger, and habanero). The limited number of sandwiches are prepared daily by Café Altro Paradiso using slow-fermented, whole-grain focaccia baked by cult baker Pam Yung. Altro Paradiso pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz, meanwhile, is creating fanciful cakes topped with showstoppers like candied hemp and wild edible flowers, while Hearth’s celebrated pastry chef Karen DeMasco recently joined the lineup with her blackberry corn muffins. Foeller explains the rotating roster of collaborations by way of “just sort of tapping into our creative community.”

Foeller insists that Wifey was solely Shubuck’s vision, with each consideration put into place by the artist, from every hand-painted coffee mug — made in collaboration with potter Julie Hirschfeld — to the record player spinning scratchy, ear-pleasing albums, shifting from Al Green to the Beach Boys. Even the gender-free loo seems to be a portal into the artist’s mind, and worth a visit: an aura-shifting, salmon-hued box lacquered with a mosaic of personal artifacts including announcements from Shubuck’s past shows, intricate sketches, and pages torn from select books.

Shubuck is currently back in the studio working toward the final iteration of the project, which is being planned with an opening for late September, running through October. “Her work is very multidisciplinary, and since the very beginning she’s integrated food and flowers in her work,” says Foeller, who describes dinners parties at Shubuck’s home as being “super creative” with beautiful plates of food. “I don’t think people [realize this], as she’s known for her very detailed work on paper. I was kind of obsessed with the idea of [her] doing it all, just blowing it out, and then bringing that concept to this space.”

Wifey
336 Flatbush Avenue
Wednesday–Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
wifeybk.com

 

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Avedon’s America

“We all perform,” the late Richard Avedon once wrote. “It’s what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintentionally. It’s a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we’d like to be.”

In an introductory essay to his photo collection Portraits, Avedon located this instinct in the family albums of his youth. When Dick was growing up in Manhattan — most people who knew him called him Dick — his family was firmly upper-middle-class and owned a store on Fifth Avenue. But in the aftermath of the Great Depression, they lost the shop. Dick’s father, Jack, went to work as a clothes buyer, sometimes taking on two or three jobs at a time, and the Avedons relocated to a smaller apartment in the Bronx, where Dick slept in the dining alcove.

However, the family photos presented a different sort of life. “When I was a boy, my family took great care with our snapshots,” Avedon wrote in Portraits. “We really planned them. We made compositions. We dressed up. We posed in front of expensive cars, homes that weren’t ours. We borrowed dogs. Almost every family picture taken of us when I was young had a different borrowed dog in it… Looking through our snapshots recently, I found eleven different dogs in one year of our family album. There we were in front of canopies and Packards with borrowed dogs, and always, forever, smiling. All of the photographs in our family album were built on some kind of lie about who we were, and revealed a truth about who we wanted to be.”

Bob Dylan, singer, New York City, February 10, 1965

That impulse informs much of “Avedon’s America,” a new exhibition opening August 12 at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton on Long Island. The show offers a career-spanning view of Avedon’s work that delves into the cultural, political, and sociological complexion of the United States in the postwar era, from a 1945 portrait of a young James Baldwin (with whom Avedon co-edited the Magpie, their high school literary journal in the Bronx) to 1960s studies of Jacqueline Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, and Malcolm X to a 1971 image of a napalm victim in Vietnam. Later works include a 2004 tableau of the U.S Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, Texas, as well as pictures of Jon Stewart, Bill O’Reilly, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton taken in the years just before Avedon’s death in 2004.

John Cage, musician; Merce Cunningham, choreographer; and Robert Rauschenberg, artist,
New York, May 2, 1960
Gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches

Avedon’s approach to portraiture changed over the years. Even in his earlier fashion work for Harper’s Bazaar in the 1940s and ’50s, he sought a kind of truth in artifice. One of his favorite subjects back then was Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba, a model from Queens with a chipped tooth; she had adopted the name “Dovima” after an imaginary friend she’d concocted when she was sick in bed with rheumatic fever as a kid.

Florynce Kennedy, civil rights lawyer, New York, August 1, 1969 Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches

As Avedon moved into the 1960s, he trained his eye on the insurgent, countercultural spirit that was taking hold, and his images themselves became more challenging and transgressive: His 1963 portrait of poets and partners Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky depicts the pair nude and embracing; Warhol’s face is cropped out entirely from Avedon’s 1969 portrait, as Warhol raises his shirt to reveal the surgical scars and remnant wounds from his shooting the year prior by Valerie Solanas.

Andy Warhol, artist, New York, August 29, 1969
Gelatin silver print, 59 x 471⁄2 inches

Toward the end of the decade, Avedon began to lean more heavily on the stark white backgrounds and rough-hewn frame edges that would characterize his later work. He was drawn to what he called “the avalanche of age” and captured wrinkles and creases with great clarity. A tonal gray or black background, Avedon said, allowed the artist “the romance of a face coming out of the dark” (a romance turned menacing in his 2001 portrait of Trump, whose head appears to hover in a dimly lit environment). But the white space had the effect of creating an emptiness in the image, stripping it of the symbolism provided by clothes and surroundings, the subject appearing out of context, space, and time. “A white background,” Avedon offered, “permits people to become symbolic of themselves.”

James Baldwin, writer, Harlem, New York, 1945
Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches

In some ways, the lack of idealism in Avedon’s portraits mirrored the slow erosion of idealism in American life since World War II, as this notion that everyone holds their own truth has now become one that divides us. It’s an idea that Baldwin broached back in 1964 in Nothing Personal, a collaboration with Avedon featuring a handful of Baldwin’s essays amid a selection of Avedon’s portraits. “One discovers the light in darkness, that is what darkness is for; but everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light,” Baldwin wrote. “It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light. What the light reveals is danger, and what it demands is faith.”

RZA, producer, New York,
January 22, 1999
Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches
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Pride Parade 2017

Photos from New York City’s Pride Parade on June 25, 2017

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Gavin Grimm and Edie Windsor Honored at the 2017 Village Voice Pride Awards

Surrounded by a violet glow and Corinthian columns, Tony Award–winning actor and host for the evening Alan Cumming closed the first-ever Village Voice Pride Awards with a promise: “I will see you in Mike Pence’s nightmares!”

The Pride Awards was a celebration of local and global figures in the LGBTQ community. The event, held at the former Bowery Savings Bank, Capitale, was dedicated to eight honorees, and featured a musical set by Tegan and Sara.

The first award of the night, the Catalyst Award, was presented to Tyler Ford. A writer and media personality, Ford advocates for queer and trans youth to express themselves with confidence. The Vanguard Award was presented to Leanne Pittsford, founder of Lesbians Who Tech, a community of queer women and their allies in technology. Commenting on the fact that Pittsford was unable to accept, Cumming said, “Isn’t it great that we live in a world where someone can’t come to accept a big fat LGBT award because they’re getting legally married?”

Given the ways the Trump administration has targeted LGBTQ policies and promoted bigotry (the president declined to even recognize June as Pride Month), Donald Trump was fodder for many speakers. Less than five minutes into the ceremony, Cumming declared, “If you identify as a Trump supporter, stay in the closet.” But it was the reigning queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bob the Drag Queen, who elicited the most laughs: “I would never support a beheading [of Trump]. That would be way too quick and painless.”

In a more somber moment, Carl Siciliano accepted the Impact Award on behalf of the Ali Forney Center, whose aim is to protect homeless LGBTQ youth. The crowd erupted in cheers when an emotional Siciliano realized that the award’s presenter, Angelica, had lived at the center decades ago. His speech was a plea for help to protect homeless queer youth, especially because they led the Stonewall riots. He said, “We had to turn queer kids away and into the streets because we couldn’t fit them, during the great Pride month. I feel like a disgrace to what Pride is.”

The Influence Award was presented to DeRay Mckesson. Noting that Mckesson was unable to attend, Cumming said, “DeRay could not be with us personally, probably because he’s doing something amazing. I will give it to him the next time I see him; I’m the award.” The Vision Award was presented to Masha Gessen. A journalist and author, Gessen described how she feels at home whenever she is surrounded by the community and, of course, Edie Windsor, another of the evening’s winners.

While accepting the Maverick Award, Patricia Field began by defining the word maverick but ended with a strange stream of consciousness about family and identity. Field said, “I do not agree with this idea that people are born gay. There is no gay gene that has ever been detected. We are gay through our conditioning.” (Many oh no’s were audible throughout the room.) She ended on a note about accepting people no matter their orientation.

The Heritage of Pride Award was presented to the great Edie Windsor. Wearing a pink hat and black pantsuit, Windsor discussed the importance of staying politically active. “There is talk in our current administration to get rid of same-sex marriage,” she told the audience. “But, there is no same-sex marriage in this country. There is only marriage.” She was met with a standing ovation and loud cheers.

The cast of Netflix’s Sense 8 presented the Courage Award to Gavin Grimm, a high school graduate fighting for the rights of trans people to exist in public spaces. In a powerful speech, he said, “The deeper issue is eliminating trans people from public life. To force us into hiding in the hopes that if enough people don’t acknowledge our reality, we will no longer exist. But we’re not going anywhere. Our opponents cannot stop justice, they can only delay it.”

The musical guests of the evening, Tegan and Sara, played two hits, “Boyfriend” and “Closer,” during the hour-long ceremony. “Nobody is allowed to leave until every last drop of champagne is finished,” Cumming warned the crowd, who were happy to oblige.

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Here’s What’s Happening In NYC For Pride Week 2017

Village Voice Pride Awards

June 21

Tony Award winner Alan Cumming will host the first-ever Village Voice Pride Awards. The ceremony will honor local and global heroes within the LGBTQ movement, including Tyler Ford, Edie Windsor, Gavin Grimm, and the Ali Forney Center. There will also be a musical set by indie-pop siblings Tegan and Sara.

6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m., Capitale Theater, 130 Bowery

Fantasy

June 23

Kick off Pride weekend at this party co-presented by NYC Pride and Brian Rafferty Productions. This year’s theme is “Men at Work,” so come dressed in your hottest and tightest uniform. DJs Ralphi Rosario and Eddie Martinez will keep the energy alive with all the best tracks, as special performances and secret acts pop up all night long.

11 p.m.–5 a.m., Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street

Moxie

June 23

Looking for an after-work soiree? Head to Taj II Lounge in the Flatiron district for NYC Pride’s Moxie, a new woman-focused event. Presented in collaboration with Stacy of Stonewall, Kate of LovergirlNYC, and Cynthia Russo, Moxie will feature a performance by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mary Lambert and beats by DJs Mary Mac and Susan Levine.

4 p.m.–11 p.m., Taj II Lounge, 48 West 21st Street

Pride Island

June 23–25

This year, NYC Pride launches Pride Island, a three-day LGBTQ cultural experience, to take place at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26. The immersive music-heavy event features an impressive and diverse roster: Patti Labelle’s headlining set of soulful classics kicks things off on Friday, Tegan and Sara and Years & Years perform on Saturday, and singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado leads the Sunday lineup.

Various times, Hudson River Park, Pier 26

V.I.P. Rooftop Party

June 24

This annual dance party returns on Saturday for its seventh edition. Join in on a night of dancing and unbeatable rooftop views with music by DJs Alex Acosta, GSP, and Hannah. Guests have access to three levels (a rooftop, an indoor salon, and a terrace outside), each with prime spots for scoping the skyline. This event has sold out in the past, so get your tickets in advance.

2 p.m.–10 p.m., Hudson Terrace, 621 West 46th Street

 

Teaze

June 24

In honor of its fourteenth year, Teaze, NYC Pride’s exclusively-for-women event, has relocated its celebration to a new rooftop venue that will play host to many surprises, including celebrity appearances. There will be DJ sets by Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black) and Tatiana. All proceeds benefit NYC Pride’s many other free events, and local LGBTQ community organizations.

4 p.m.–10 p.m., The DL, 95 Delancey Street

 

Masterbeat: Game Show

June 24

Located in the historic Hammerstein Ballroom, Masterbeat transforms the four-level venue into a theatrical production with hundreds of lights and lasers. Upon entering, attendees at this year’s “Game Show” (last year’s Masterbeat theme was “Graffiti”) are swept into a landscape of prizes and competitions. There will be various rewards on offer (including cash) plus dancers and performers, to energize the atmosphere.

10 p.m.–6 a.m., Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street

 

Youth Pride

June 24

At this inaugural all-ages event, presented by NYC Pride, LGBTQ teens are invited to participate in an afternoon of fun, with DJ sets, giveaways, photo ops, and other interactive experiences. While the event is free and open to the public, online registration is required.

12 p.m.–6 p.m., the 14th Street Park at Tenth Avenue

 

The March

June 25

The events of NYC Pride all lead up to the historic Sunday march commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. For this civil-rights demonstration against anti-LGBTQ policies and bigotry, Fifth Avenue will host more than eighty floats, and everyone is welcome to participate in or watch the procession as they make their way to Christopher Street. For the first time in NYC Pride history, the march will be broadcast live on WABC-TV.

Starts at noon, 36th Street and Fifth Avenue

 

PrideFest

June 25

This annual LGBTQ street fair, now in its 24th year, blends good food, performances, and shopping opportunities. It is the ideal location to support businesses in the area and engage with some of the Village’s most involved locals. LeAnn Rimes will bring a headlining musical set; the event is entirely free and open to the public.

11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street

 

Femme Fatale

June 25

Back for a second year, this is NYC Pride’s official Sunday event for women. The rooftop party includes sets from three DJs (Nikki Lions, Mary Mac, and Tatiana) and an opulent setting in which to dance the weekend away. The first hour features a sponsored open bar.

4 p.m.–10 p.m., Hudson Terrace, 621 West 46th Street

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Announcing The 2017 Village Voice Pride Awards

On June 21, the Village Voice will host the Pride Awards, the first award show to grace the official NYC Pride Week calendar. The awards ceremony, held at Capitale on the Bowery and emceed by Alan Cumming, will recognize local and global heroes in the LGBTQ movement.

“I’m so excited to be hosting the inaugural Village Voice Pride Awards,” Cumming said. “Let’s not beat about the bush — we’re living in a time where all the strides we’ve made together as queer people are under threat. So it couldn’t be more timely that the Village Voice, a longtime advocate for the community, raises its standard and proclaims anew how much we have to celebrate and be proud of.”

In addition to the Pride Awards, the Village Voice, which is serving as the official media sponsor for NYC Pride Week 2017, will dedicate the entire month of June to Pride, culminating in the release of a special issue the same date as the awards ceremony.

“We are proud to partner with the Village Voice in launching the Village Voice Pride Awards,” said Chris Frederick, managing director of NYC Pride. “Honoring local and international leaders within the LGBTQ community during NYC Pride Week is integral to NYC Pride’s commitment to celebrating dynamic voices within our community.”

More details on the Pride Awards — including ticketing information, a VIP gala, and musical performances — will be released in the coming weeks.

“For over four decades, the Village Voice has been at the heart of New York City Pride,” said Peter Barbey, CEO of the Village Voice. “Now, we’re furthering this already deep commitment to the community by honoring the courage and creativity of the people whose work is advancing LGBTQ civil rights and social acceptance.”

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28th Annual “Taste Of The Nation” Gives As Well As It Receives

Outside 180 Maiden Lane, blocks from the South Street Seaport, a server holding a tray of sample cups greeted arrivals, her name tag indicating she was with the NYS Department of Education. “Turkey chili?” she offered. And just like that, Share Our Strength’s 28th annual “Taste of the Nation” food festival was off and running, the chili cups a small sampling from the city’s school lunch program, as well as a humble reminder of why over 800 guests were gathered last Monday on a damp and misty evening in lower Manhattan. Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, beneficiaries of the night’s proceeds, battles child hunger across the country; on a local level, it provides breakfast and summer lunch programs to schoolchildren who would otherwise go without, and proceeds from this particular evening raised enough for 1.9 million meals.

In the expansive glass atrium of 180 Maiden Lane, the dapper Eamon Rockey — formerly of Betony (RIP), and our spirits chair for the evening — welcomed partygoers with glasses of his beloved milk punch. The room was festooned with flags in bright orange, the campaign’s signature color; they dotted each booth with the name of its participating restaurant or bar, of which there were fifty. Danny Meyer served as the event’s honorary chair, with chefs Anita Lo and Bryce Shuman serving as culinary co-chairs.

Representatives from Meyer’s far-flung restaurant empire were clustered together, an amalgamation of booths bearing mostly sweets and cocktails, including Daily Provisions and its popular maple cruller. Union Square Cafe was set up away from the crowd, serving a roast pork and sweet pea bruschetta with grilled ramps, a bite-size re-enactment of the refined rustic and seasonal cuisine for which it is known.

Chef Emily Yuen’s Bessou passed out a memorable Japanese riff on the deviled egg, appropriately named Deviled Tamago: a smoked, soy-pickled egg topped with shiitake bacon and karashi (mustard) cream. Chef Gerardo Gonzalez of Lalito served curried chickpea tamales with charred poblanos; throughout April, he had donated all proceeds from the dish’s full-size restaurant version to No Kid Hungry. And Acme’s Brian Loiacono doled out savory mini-tarts of nettles and goat cheese, inspired by the new spring menu at his restaurant.

The eighteen-year-old chef–boy wonder Flynn McGarry of Eureka was on the evening’s host committee, and his sweeping mop of hair could be seen bouncing throughout the event as he stopped to chat with his (older) peers, grazing as he went. Chef Leah Cohen of Pig and Khao and Top Chef fame was dressed down for the night, out of chef whites and clad in jeans and a T-shirt, as she chatted with bystanders and helped her team pass out bowls of Khao Soi, a spicy curry noodle soup topped with a crisp heap of fried noodles.

The Department of Education had a booth too, where Kid-friendly Kale Salad was being offered — it wasn’t the salad-converting bite one hoped it might be for young palates, but the chili cups from earlier and the creamy NYS Apple & Celery Salad both earned two thumbs up.

It was a night made for the Instagram set, as multiple kiosks, dubbed “Photo Beautifiers” by Citi sponsors, gave strollers the opportunity to snap glamour shots of their food within a backlit mirrored cube. A DJ spinning Top 40 hits soon gave way to the alt-country band the Strumbellas. Then another DJ took over and the room filled with enthusiastic dancers, buoyed by the cocktails and spirits on offer. A brief round of amateur breakdancing ensued.

Just when we thought we would eat no more, we found ourselves outside assessing the light rain and lack of yellow cabs in sight. A food truck from Walter’s Hot Dogs, a Westchester institution since 1919, was parked nearby, the scent of split dogs being seared on a flattop beckoning us over — with most revelers still inside eating and drinking, there was no line. The duo inside the truck were bustling around, assembling mini-plates of funnel cake sticks dusted with powdered sugar, while pressing down every so often on their sizzling hot dogs. We were able to make room for more, so we accepted the offerings of half hot dogs and funnel cake, finding the familiar carnival of flavors a comforting final bite to this year’s lineup.

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Save a Piece of Your Heart for ‘60s Pop-Music Doc “Bang! The Bert Berns Story”

You know the tunes but maybe not their source. Though Brett Berns and Bob Sarles’ film boasts appearances by Paul McCartney and Keith Richards, it’s (mercifully) not another boomer-rock hagiography; they’re the draw to get you into the theater for a film honoring their inspirations, the likes of Solomon Burke and the Isley Brothers — and the man who wrote many of those artists’ best songs.

Early on, the documentary argues that Jewish and black kids in 1960s New York had a natural affinity for the same kinds of music; though not the primary theme here, that seems like a topic ripe for further exploration. Berns became a hitmaker at 31 and was dead at the age of 38, felled by a heart defect. One of his biggest hits, “Piece of My Heart,” is literally about his condition; many of his other tunes (“Cry Baby,” “Cry to Me,” etc.) similarly evolved from his sense of imminent mortality. (An inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bearns has had an Off Broadway musical, Piece of My Heart, based on his life.)

Blending stock footage, vintage audio, re-creation, and many testimonials from heavy hitters from Ben E. King to Van Morrison, Berns’ son Brett keeps things visually lively, and not as morose as may be implied: The origin story of “I Want Candy” is hilarious, and Berns’ mob-adjacent associates play like forerunners of Suge Knight. Best of all is the story of how a young Phil Spector so ruined the original Top Notes version of “Twist and Shout” that it drove Berns to learn production so he could do it better one day.

Bang! The Bert Berns Story
Directed by Brett Berns and Bob Sarles
Abramorama
Opens April 26, IFC Center