Karen O @ The MoMA

26 05 2010

Last night I attended the Party in the Garden at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art. Every year the MoMA throws a big bash in the their garden courtyard. It’s a really fun event that attracts art lovers from all over the city. Not only do you get to enjoy the installations in their gorgeous outdoor space,  but there is also an open bar and a GREAT live act to enhance the ambiance. Last nights billing featured Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They were joined by a few guest to help them fill out the band. Although the night was an acoustic set that featured a string trio, it was not short on energy. As would be expected Karen and Co. exuded that same intensity that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are known for. The set list included a variety of tunes, dipping into some material that was produced for Spike Jonze’s film Where The Wild Things Are as well as numerous songs from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs original catalog. Perhaps it was the setting of the MoMA garden, the renewed sense of life that emerges in this city when the weather finally turns, or maybe just the free booze but it was an amazing night of music, art and fun. Below are a few pics snapped from the event as well as some video I captured with my Flip Camera. The quality is less than perfect but it still displays the essence of their performance, enthusiasm of the crowd and overall energy that filled this lovely outdoor space in midtown NYC.

Here is the video… the first one is “Soft Shock” from It’s Blitz!, this is a great tune. I think I may prefer the studio version because of the electric pulse, but this acoustic rendition is still very cool.

This second one is even more mellow. It’s “Hideaway” from the Where The Wild Things Are soundtrack, which happens to be a really good collection of material considering it was produced soley for use in the film.

Finally, the last tune of the night was “Zero”. It was a great song to end on despite leaving me wanting more, but then again, I guess that’s the idea…

References:

More info on Yeah Yeah Yeahs

More info on Karen O

More info on MoMA

The MoMA site

Yeah Yeah Yeahs site

More info on Where The Wild Things Are

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Tim Burton @ The MoMA

5 03 2010

I went to the Tim Burton exhibit at The MoMA yesterday. It was really cool. It’s mostly made up of drawings and rough sketches of both early ideas from his adolescence and the initial concepts that would eventually become his films. There were some sculptures, props and set pieces there as well. They also had some of his early animated shorts and TV commercials screening in areas of the exhibit.  Overall, it’s worth checking out.

Burton offers a lot of great info in this Behind The Scenes footage. In this, you will see many of the pieces in the exhibit and a great narrative from Burton on some of the works.

If you liked that, there are a few more short videos about how they accomplished some of the installation pieces for the MoMA. The links are below:

Creatures & Carousel

Edward Scissorhands Topiary

Balloon Boy

Creatures Mouth

Here is just a sample of some of the drawings you can see. Everything at the exhibit captures every bit of  Burton’s amazingly unusual and fascinating point of view.

The list of films that Burton has directed is quite long and remarkable but there is one on said list that I was never quite a fan of. It always seemed more of a joke than anything else. Perhaps it was that Michael J. Fox was in it or maybe it has something to do with how overtly kitsch it was. This movie is, of course, Mars Attacks. Come to think of it, perhaps the turn off is a bit more personal. Yes, I believe it was this that spoiled it for me. This anecdote is a tad “inside” but enjoyable nevertheless: When I was in school, one of my teachers had a band called The Bossa Nova Beatniks. He always tried to claim they were legit by sighting a performance at CBGBs but as students we always thought it was incredibly lame. It was really odd because they would occasionally perform at school events and even in a few talent shows. I know,  it’s very weird. I believe what started it was that I had a no-name “actress” as a classmate (she will remain only partially nameless) who often used the Beatniks as her backup band in various shows. That aside, on their solo scholastic gigs, they would do this song called “Ack Ack”, which was their interpretation of the movie Mars Attacks. Sounds like a hit, right? Well, it’s amazing what a few years can do.  Don’t get me wrong, I still hate everything about the tune, but I have a new found appreciation for the Beatnicks… who are rumored to be big in Cleveland by the way. What this whole story amounts to is that I actually found a video of the Mars Attacks movie edited to the song “Ack Ack”. It’s just too good to leave out of this post. Enjoy…

Tim Burton’s official site

Buy The Illustrations of Tim Burton book

Tim Burton on IMDB

Tim Burton at The MoMA








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