A #Blkgrlswurld Guide to NYC Theatres

This month we’re kicking off a 3 part series that offers you a tour of Manhattan’s best venues for live music, theater, dance and more. When you’re going to commit $100 to a Broadway musical or ballet, you don’t want to leave your seating choice to chance. I’ve made it my business to document every NYC theatre I’ve attended towards planning out the best seating options for future shows.  Here are my top tips for choosing the best seat in the house (at any price range).

NASO @ Symphony Space, photo by C.Long, MFA

NASO @ Symphony Space, photo by C.Long, MFA

NYC Theatre Venue Tips:

1. Always sit within mid center stage or to the back right of the stage. Traditionally you’re more likely to see the unpolished backstage cast scrambling and be blocked by props when sitting to the far left side of a stage. (The only exception is an orchestra or chamber recital, in which sitting on the left allows you a good view of the principal violinist.)

2. Partial View seating is usually pretty good, but try not to be up too high in the nosebleeds (and bring binoculars just in case). Especially relevant for Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera, David Koch Hall and David Geffen Hall.

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Met Opera House Balcony Box, photo by C.Long, MFA

 

3. You’ll want some distance for certain productions. For example, sitting in the front row of a ballet doesn’t really provide you with a full view of the stage and larger patterns created among the dancers…you’re just going to hear alot of heavy breathing and stomping.

4. Ticket pricing is affordable if you order early, preferably the 1st week of a production season. Each company (NYCBallet, MetOpera, NY Philharmonic, etc. have different calendar seasons). I’ve been able to spend less than $25 on opera seats that later became $500 seats because I buy them several months in advance.

5. Balcony Boxes are fun and usually cheaper than row seating. Boxes at Lincoln Center usually have a private door and seat 2-4 people. I recommend the far back right boxes that give you most view of the stage.

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Balcony box hallway in the Met Opera House are hidden by large curtains from the rest of the theatre. Photo by C.Long, MFA

 

6. It helps to order by phone or in person. Online ticket orders have certainly improved, but sometimes they have limits like 2-4 seat minimums for your order and other requirements that you wont have to deal with in person at the box office. (Fun fact: I tried to buy online West End London tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and couldn’t find any good seats until I phoned and the box office started listing additional production dates that weren’t even public online!)

7. Bring a snack, you’ll thank me later. When I first began attending Met Opera shows a few years ago, I couldn’t understanding why everyone kept asking me what I’d like to preorder to eat or drink during intermission. It wasn’t until a nearly 4 hour production of La Bohème, where I crawled out of my balcony seats starving for dinner, went up to the bar asking for any food they had left, I didnt care if it was a saltine cracker. Only to hear that all the tea, cakes and sandwhiches were resevred and sold out. Damn.

8. Lateness can be an adventure…if you’re in the mood for it that is. There’s a known fact that come 8:10pm on the Upper West side you’re sure to catch men and women dressed to the nines covered in sweat as they fling their bodies out of cabs and subway platforms as Lincoln Center locks its doors for the start of a production. You’ll be lucky to get in an hour or so later when there’s an intermission. The first time I was 5 minutes late to the opera, I had no clue what to expect. Latecomers were ushered into a smaller theater that live streamed the 1st half of the performance and offered complementary champagne. As I sat in this secondary theater looking bewildered at the warm reception for lateness, other folks weren’t taking it so well. Don’t be late.

 

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Recital room at Carnegie Hall, C.Long, MFA

9. Discounts? Oh yes. Theater companies get all sorts of cultural funding support to help reduce costs and expand community outreach initiatives. It never hurts to ask if an event has a discount for college students or people under 30 years old. Your bank or credit card (like Amex or Citi) may offer special pre-sale seating as an event sponsor. We’ll expand on free high quality events in our next post.

It’s hard to deny that I’ve made it my hobby to attend amazing arts and music events here in NYC on a weekly basis. Like many people I enjoy the free public events offered at Lincoln Center or the free lectures at local universities like The New School or NYU. To be honest though, I still get a thrill out of rocking out a metal show and then 12 hours later dressing up in an evening gown to attend a production at the Metropolitan Theater.(Music is music, ok?)

Have I missed something? Want to share where youve had a great experience? Feel free to comment below.

xoxo #Blkgrlswurld Zine

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Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, photo by C.Long, MFA

 

advice to young punks

advice to young punks, by Pinkiest
– you don’t need to have a jacket with patches
– or army boots
- or dyed hair or piercings or tattoos
– you definitely don’t need to be skinny, white, male, cis, or straight
– all you need to do is like punk music
- don’t bother pretending to like bands you don’t; you’ll either get into them or you won’t and either way that’s okay
– if someone knocks you over in the pit and doesn’t apologize, don’t be afraid to call that fucker out
– make friends in the line for shows, you meet cool people that way
– graffiti is fine, but don’t steal shit if you don’t need it
– only you get to decide if it’s punk, fuck what anyone else says
– it’s more than okay to listen to nicki minaj now and then
– don’t worry abt being embarrassing: you are, and that’s fine
– do yourself a favour and listen to more female fronted/poc bands
– don’t let white cis men in the scene tell you shit

Reblogged from http://youngerheart.co.vu/post/127628617567

Join Us at the Pioneer Works Zine Exchange

#Blkgrlswurld Zine will be sharing custom Zines at the Pioneer Works Zine Exchange in Brooklyn on May 13, 2016. Please consider bringing along your own DIY zines for the exchange, its one of the best parts of printmaking, trading amazing art with friends.

See you there! Event runs May 13 from 7pm-10pm + many thanks to Paper Cuts for inviting us to participate.

Details: http://pioneerworks.org/programs/zine-exchange/

Zine Sharing and Selling

Zine makers are invited to display and sell zines from shared tables for a $20 tabling fee. Table space is limited and first come first serve. Registration opens April 26 and closes May 7. If you will be tabling, we ask that you bring two extra copies of a zine to donate to the exchange.

Featured tables include: Soft City, Endless Editions, Selfish, Small Editions, Math, Suffragette City, Arno Mokros, Frenemies, #BLKGRLSWURLD & more…

Zine Exchange Game

bring a zine to play for free, or buy a $7 ticket

All participants will randomly choose a number that corresponds to a zine on display. From there, you can either keep your selection or get a sticker that will show others in the room that you want to trade. Talk, meet, debate the virtues of your zine, and see what you end up with!

Underoath: Rebirth Tour Recap

As Underoath’s comeback tour finishes up in a couple of weeks, I wanted to weigh in on the experience of seeing these guys again after a 3.5 year breakup. For those of us familiar with the band’s history, you know it was a ‘Breakup’ in the most serious way. The band’s departure in 2013 became a coming of age moment as intense as Peter Pan getting kicked out of Neverland for many of the twenty-somethings in the scene. After nearly of decade of touring and creating amazing genre bending heavy music, the boys had grown into men with different ideals, families and long term career goals. The pain of leaving behind their joys of youth was real. They decided to create one final exit tour for the fans in 2012, which became an emotional roller coaster for all involved and was further exacerbated by the documentary filming that sought to capture their last moments together as a band.

As a fan going through similar growing pains I was beside myself when they first announced retiring, a metalcore scene without Underoath leading the way? WTF did that even look like? Every move made with each metal album was new and different from what everybody else was doing at that time. I think a lot of us wondered if the metalcore genre was over altogether.

Here are some old posts from my Facebook that capture so much of our journey as fans of this band.

“One time in college, I was sitting in the local Kzoo (Kalamazoo, MI) beauty salon raving about some crap band I had just seen with my sister at the Taking Back Sunday show in Ypsi. ‘They were the worst! I exclaimed, I think they called themselves Underoath or something – terrible set man, they looked so confused on stage…’ Suddenly, a girl who’d been sitting under the dryer jumps up and says, ‘Wait a minute, are you talking about UNDEROATH?! Like Spencer and the guys? I LUV that band! They’re awesome!’ What ensued next was a 45mintue debate on metalcore and what elements stay true to the style…we must have been 19/20yrs old at the time…” Mar. 2012

“I’ll never forget the first time I saw Underoath, I was not impressed, I thought they sounded terrible, unfocused and disconnected. But they kept practicing and performing and each time I saw them perform they were better and better. Still hard to believe they’re gone after 10 years of great work.” Jan. 2013

Seeing them back on stage at NYC’s Playstation Theater this month was like falling in love with them all over again. There were so many moments where I found myself shouting from the barricade, “Yes! Yes! Exactly!” to various riffs and vocal shifts that touch upon so many metal styles of the past towards creating novel moments. Back in the day they were the one band that drove my parents crazy when I blasted metal from my bedroom- moreso than System of A Down.

The Rebirth tour focused wisely on performing in full the albums, Define the Great Line (2006) and They’re Only Chasing Safety (2004). You can call Underoath metalcore, mathcore, post-hardcore, I don’t care – one thing I do know is they’re original. There’s an authentic style about them that so many bands have attempted to mimic but never can and its that ability that has inspired so many fans to hold them with high regard.

The album that really solidified my interest in them was their later work on Lost In The Sound of Separation. In songs like Emergency Broadcast: The End Is Near, you can feel them landing on musical narratives as if they’d surprised themselves. They had in fact landed someplace amazing and weren’t lost at all.

The fans of Underoath are a great snapshot of the larger metalcore scene too. They’ve always had a vast multicultural reach, inclusive of the most punks of color boys and girls I’ve seen at an NYC show in a long while. At the show I found myself standing among 7 other Black girls in a space that is often known locally as housing the caucasian hardcore kids from suburbia, Long Island.*Sidenote: I wore my From Autumn to Ashes band shirt to the show and as I walked into the venue there happened to be a song from The Fiction We Live blasting during soundcheck, with people singing along :P* Post side note: From Autumn To Ashes are a post hardcore Long island band…

 

At the end of the day the boys have moved on to other projects, with Spencer touring with Sleepwave and Aaron producing solo work, so the likelihood of them fully coming back and making new work as Underoath is slim. I think it would be great to see them transition to bi-annual tours or fewer similar to cult favs like Deftones or System of A Down, without the finite declaration that they’re over. A talented band with an established legacy doesn’t have to pressure themselves about making new music every 18 months. It’ll be nice to see if Underoath’s fan-base could inspire them to see themselves this way towards hitting the stage every once in awhile.

I’ll close this out with a final rambling I found on my Facebook from 2015:

“It’s a Spencer kind of night, where only the roar of the band and the chants of the crowd will do. Bodies clamoring towards the stage, arms twisted, weaving through the sound while limbs float above our voices-drowning out our dreams. Aaron’s on the drums shouting, “You’re a part of something! This matters, this moment matters for all of us!” July 2015.

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Underoath Rebirth Tour, 2016 Photo by Blkgrlswurld Zine

 

 

 

#Blkgrlswurld on Alternative Arts Panel @ The New School

#blkgrlswurld zine, by Christina Long

#blkgrlswurld zine, by Christina Long

#‎Blkgrlswurld‬ Zine is looking forward to joining host Laina Dawes and some amazing ladies of the various underground scenes later this month at The New School. These are going to be some lively panels so don’t miss out! We’ll be chatting on the panel titled, “Are You Quirky? Challenging the Status Quo in Arts and Culture”

Women CLAP BACK in Music and the Arts

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Klein Conference Room, Room A510, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall Room 510, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

“This one-day symposium features writers, activists, musicians, and creative artists whose presence as women of color, queer, trans* and/or gender non-conforming enables them to clap back to patriarchal, sexist, and racially intolerant creative spaces today.”

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Paper Cuts Radio Interview w/ Zine-makers

Click here to listen to Paper Cuts field team Christopher Kardambikis, Christina Long, and Arno Mokros roam the Paper Jam Fest-organized zine fair at Primal Screams –an event featuring underground bands and video premieres, and presented in collaboration between Clocktower and Times Square Arts at a massive movie theater in Times Square on March 15, 2016.

Many thanks to Chris Kardambikis of Paper Cuts for inviting #Blkgrlswurld Zine to participate!

ZINEFEST PARTICIPANTS include:

Paper Jamhttp://paperjamfest.tumblr.com/
Mary Shynehttp://maryshyne.com/
Kat Fajardohttp://www.katfajardo.com/
Vreni Stollbergerhttp://www.stillvreni.com/
Hazel Newleavanthttp://newlevant.com/
Stephanie Mannheimhttp://www.stephaniemannheim.com/portfolio/
The Bettyshttp://www.thebettys.com/
Mike Taylorhttp://late-era-clash.tumblr.com/
Alabaster Pizzohttp://www.alabasterpizzo.com/
Robert Richburghttp://www.robertrichburg.com/
Suxy Xhttps://suzyx.wordpress.com/
AT Pratthttp://atpratt.net/
Suffragette City Magazinehttp://www.suffragettezine.com/
Fvck the Mediahttp://www.fvckthemedia.com/
Paper Cutshttp://clocktower.org/series/paper-cuts

Originally aired 4/4/16

Source: http://clocktower.org/show/primal-screams-zine-fest

#Blkgrlswurld Radio Interview w/ Paper Cuts Zine Now Online

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#BLKGRLSWURLD Paper Cuts episode

Check our interview with Papercuts Zine here>> http://clocktower.org/show/blkgrlswurld

Many thanks to Chris and Taylor of Paper Cuts Zine for inviting  us to share our love of metal music on Clocktower Radio 😀

Synopsis:

#BLKGRLSWURLD is a quarterly zine run by Christina Long and her younger brother and sister since 2013. As a trio of artists and writers they are known as Trifecta Studios. Being young African American metalheads sharing their love of the Metalcore music scene, they share footage from live shows and host open calls for art and prose. The zine is free to download online.

Born in Chicago and raised in Metro Detroit, Christina Long received her MFA in Printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and is also a violinist for NYC’s New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. Being heavily involved in the Metal community for over a decade, she cares about promoting the many women of color who love heavy music genres. #HeavyGirlsLoveHeavyMusic

Our Spring Zine Goes Live Next Week

Zine_insta promoBlkgrlswurld Spring ZINE goes live this weekend!

We’re thrilled to share the latest print edition with you at these upcoming NYC  events. Join us at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn for Clocktower Radio’s 2nd Sundays session with Paper Cuts Zine. We’ll be chatting about DIY culture and girls who love metal music at 6:30pm on Sunday, March 13th.

On Tuesday, March 15th at 7:oopm our latest zine will be for sale at the Primal Screams: Female Punk show at AMC Empire 25 in Times Square. The event will feature underground bands Screaming Females, Guardian Alien, and Priests. Each defiant performance of howling, shredding, and polyrhythmic drumming is accompanied by the premiere of an eye-popping experimental video work, glowing on the theater’s monumental screen.

The whole concert will also be LIVESTREAMED on the radio at clocktower.org!

Lobby opens at 7:00pm for Zine Fair + DJ Set
A selection of small press, mini-comic, and DIY publications, organized by Paper Jam, with a live set by DJ Cassie Ramone (of Vivian Girls).

Seating at 7:30 pm | Show starts at 8:00 pm

Screaming Females has collaborated with video artist Faye Orlove for a mischievous animation, signature to Orlove’s style while specially crafted to match the band’s powerful sound.

Tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/primal-screams-tickets-21736743184

Looking forward to seeing you there 😀 Many thanks to all of our friends and family who support us.

 

The Acacia Strain Brings Wild Doom Metal To Webster Hall

The howls of metal driven men shook the Studio at Webster Hall, as the bands Counterparts and The Acacia Strain set the place afire with guttural screams and heavy guitar breakdowns.

Leading the “Tune Low, Die Slow Tour” this season, The Acacia Strain did not disappoint, energizing the crowd to new heights of moshing and hardcore leaps as they performed for fellow east coasters. They dedicated their performance to The Ghost Inside, a metalcore quartet with a history of playing Webster Hall. The Ghost Inside band and crew experienced a terrible car accident just a few weeks ago while touring, which left several of the band members hospitalized with serious injuries.

Performing crowd favorites like, ‘Skynet’ and ‘Cauterizer’, this band kept us on our toes by wildly switching back and forth between fast noise driven riffs and terribly slow grinding doom rhythms that dragged on into outer space. At times it felt like they controlled time itself, slowing it down on a whim.

The Canadian band Counterparts has a post-hardcore reputation for shifting through multiple rhythms during a song, and also kept the crowd’s energy high and active. Another local favorite that’s been touring since 2007, kids leapt on stage to sing along with every song. Running through the crowd surfing they shouted to all of Manhattan, “Our bodies blind the world with a sense of selflessness that only a trained eye can see.”

The evening was rounded out by performances from Fit For An Autopsy, Kublai Khan and Hollow Is Thy Heart.

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