No Art Info presents Starr Bar’s new Tuesday night of artist interviews and DJ sets streamed live for the delight of the local Bushwick residents off the Jefferson L train stop in the heart of Brooklyn, NY. In the Mix are conversations blended with curated compilations that explore process and the process of exploration.
In the midst of the smooth house beat of the Hope 808 set, Dank Delish producer / artist stepped up to perform a few tracks with his MPC. It added to the laid back vibe of the night. The kind of groove that keeps you moving, but stay mellow and hold a convo. Follow Dank Delish on Spotify & Instagram .
Starr Bar at 214 Starr Street – Que Cee Dan Victor joint Wolfset Productions / DVD
DVD Concerts, Episode 6 — Miu and Maira perform 4 songs (Moon River, Desire, Moliendo Café & Never Gonna Give You Up) and talk about their process on Dan Victor Does. They are dancers, singers, musicians, artists and entertainers that show us how to have fun and ignite the imagination. These two capture an authentic enthusiasm for their craft, which is apparent and infectious to their audiences.
Since 2019 they started seriously picking up trash and dancing with it in such called Trash Outings (www.dancetothepeople.org for more info). The trash found was later used in elaborate costumes and in choreographed performances. 2020 has been a very productive artistic year for Miu and Maira, for they added ukulele playing to their performance. They have been showcased regularly at different parks and community gardens, such as The Hercules Garden, in which they met the Open Mic Host, Dan Victor.
Watch and listen to the four music videos from their set:
•“Moliendo Café“ or Grinding Coffee, on ukulele sung in both Spanish and Japanese, is a Venezuelan song by Hugo Blanco, a number 1 hit in Argentina 1961.
•“Never Gonna Give You Up“ on ukulele with synchronized dance routine to the words, originally by Rick Astely, famous for the “Rickrolling” internet meme, was learned for a friend’s moving away party, without any knowledge of the joke, made it a heart-felt tribute.
Grateful for having Miu and Maira for the sixth episode of DVD Concerts and conclusion to Season One. It was so exciting to work with dance, in addition to music performance. They exposed me yet to another way to work with creativity. It was by-far, the longest shoot, with costume changes, different lens, mic set-ups and post-production, offering many challenges, but yielding some incredible results I’m very proud to share. These talented women leave a lasting impression on your mind, with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Follow Miu on Instagram and Maira on Instagram. Check out DanceToThePeope.org for more great content.
Potential is found through discovery. When I was a Senior in high school, it seemed to me that I was headed in the right direction and my future was bright. The difficulties of my childhood had been overcome and worst days were behind me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There were many times in my life that were pivotal in the development of my current status. I look back on the times I wish I had made different choices, or acted with more for-thought, and wonder if it could have happened any other way.
I was counting on becoming someone other than I am. I believed I was someone else. I was unable to perceive, but with such great perception, I missed what was right in front of me.
During elementary school, I used to go to the resource room in the middle of the day. The teacher spoke loudly that it was time for me to leave the other students behind to go to a special class by myself. It seemed I would spend so much time alone, but this wasn’t my choice. They said I had perceptual problems. I had a learning disability. The truth was more complicated. I am bipolar, but it was more. My parents were going through a divorce, which impacted me greatly, but it was the constant crisis in my mind that distracted me from making mundane choices.
I still struggle to understand the nature of my existential dilemma, which had been aided by substance abuse in an effort to protect the pain. It has taken time away, I have gotten older and regret the time I lost. I wish I was further along than I am. I have just 10 months clean and very proud of that, but wish I hadn’t had to devastate myself to learn a lesson that seems so obvious to other people.
It comes down to what I wanted and how I saw best to achieve my goal. The goal was to feel no pain, but it seems enduring pain is a part of life. There are some things that can’t be avoided. The rain must be weathered so that nourishment and beauty can bloom. I learned too slowly that some of my beliefs were flawed. The perspective I cultivated didn’t served me, but it kept me distracted from the pain I was enduring without realizing it. I wasn’t doing anything to change the cause of pain. Just subduing it.
Understanding has always been important to me. Lessons and insight are easier for me if they happen over and over again. 1993 was my Senior year of high school and had figured it out only at the end of the journey. It seemed people liked me. I was accepted, in a band, on my way to art school, having a girlfriend, my own car, good looking and appreciated by my teachers. I had overcome only after so many years of torment in school – the fights, the bullying, getting an A on the Physics final exam. Like a movie, those challenges had been met. And most of all, I had time on my side. But a lot of time, I made mistakes, missed out on opportunities, hurt friends and family, been irresponsible with money and health, risked my life with foolish whimsical impulses.
When I think back to the year I turned 18, from age 45, I have regret because I wish my choices had yielded different results. I don’t have a family or a solid job or living situation or love. I have a lifetime of experience, which is what i valued. A romantic view, that with all romance, ends in tragedy. A good story needs ups and downs, otherwise the payoff isn’t as sweet, whatever the outcome. The real value of what I take away from the 27 years since then is wisdom. I wish it had come sooner, but I’m not sure I could appreciate the significance of the knowledge.
Many things escape my understanding, which again, may seem obvious to others. Like who to trust or who it is safe to love, or what does it even mean to love someone. Romance seemed to mean fulfillment at one time, enlightenment seemed to offer freedom. Music was like a dream. Art was a philosophy with an identity attached. But how do you nurture desire, a motivation to motivate, a purpose to the depression that constantly lays in wait?
It is the day after Christmas and has hit me quit hard. This time last year I was addicted to cocaine and spent the day alone with a plate of lines instead of turkey. I need to remain grateful that isn’t where I am today. Writing this with gratitude is a productive place to put the pain. To admit being depressed, but channeling it.
I don’t know where I will be exactly, but I have ideas about where I want to be. I want to perform my music. I want to make movies and documentaries. I want to speak about mental illness. I want to inspire others to do what brings them joy. I want to live in the woods within reach of culture. I want a happy, healthy comfortable life that may still offer a difficult future, but at least I have a firm base with security. I believe it is important for me to know what I want. I wish I wanted to be in love, but I’m not sure I do. I’m not sure how easy it is for me to trust or want to be around other people. Time will tell, so I focus on what I am sure of. I want to be sober and create. Perhaps the echo of 1993 is calling out right now, but I’m still contemplating what I want to say when I pick up the phone.
DVD Concerts, Episode 5 — Adam Kautz, drummer, musician and NYC scene aficionado, performs some songs and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares on this episode of DVD Concerts.
As Adam likes to say, I introduce him as a friend first and neighbor second, Mr. Kautz has a huge impact in the world he inhabits. He has been around the world as a touring musician with many bands, participated in a vital part of New York City culture and been a been a fixture in our community. A very inspirational and fun-loving guy to be around. Favorite visual artist is Keith Haring, favorite musical artist is Jim Morrison of The Doors and animal he would most like to be is a Golden Retriever in New England.
He currently resides in Bushwick. Brooklyn, where he has lived for the last ten years. Having grown up in Florida, but born in New York, he says this city was always an inevitable destination for his creative interests. Adam has been playing music since grammar school. He asked his father for a guitar and drum-set for Hanukkah, which he got with the condition he join the school band. It has been a passion for music which has been pervasive his whole life.
Adam is a collector of gear, records, organs, art, amps and objects which he creates a wonderland-like environment, which extends to his wardrobe, style and can be observed in the external habitats he cultivates. The Neverland Ranch, one such space, is a converted vacant lot he transformed into a punk-charming palace to perform and chill with zero fucks given.
Adam curates musical acts into an outdoor show he calls The Matinee which starts and ends early, but rocks during daylight with respect for the neighbors. If you live here, you are invited, but if he’s DJing, don’t ask him to put on a song. There is a sign clearly posted that says, ‘No Requests’ and that we play punk rock here.
Part of the DVD Concerts series started with Dan interviewing the artists upstairs and afterwards Adam would host a “Secret Show” with those performers. So all of the artists that you have seen on this podcast has also been a part of The Ranch.
After the first wave of the quarantine lifted, Adam introduced me to The Hercules Garden, a community space that he helped convert from an empty lot, with the rest of the local community. It was a magical place we all contributed to and were able to express ourselves artistically, while connecting with our Bushwick neighborhood. Marcus Vigilance began The Garden in memory of his dog Hercules, who was also an institution on the block, but passed away during the pandemic. Adam and I hosted the DN’A Open Mic during the late summer months to allow all to have a platform for 10 minutes on the stage we constructed collectively.
His album “Even If It’s A Dream, Who Cares” celebrates the mystical qualities that a dreamer like Adam cultivates and cherishes. It is a sentiment that I admire and whole-hearted approve of. Give a listen to his work that opens a door to his musical aesthetic and vision that extends to visual and experiential expression.
Grateful for having Adam Kautz for the fifth episode of DVD Concerts. Watch and listen to the music video “Die By Your Side“, a selection from his set. Follow Adam Kautz on Instagram and Youtube.
DVD Concerts, Episode Four — Tony Island Baby performs 5 songs (Curse of November, Talking in Your Sleep, Daddy Never Knew, Hits Hits Hits cover by Fat White Family, and I Know a Place) and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares on this episode of DVD Concerts.
Tony grew up in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He worked on the boardwalk and would bring his typewriter with him to write stories to stave off boredom. He grew up in the shadow of Bruce Springsteen and the desolation of the surf city. So making music on his own came natural.
As a child, he won a writing contest, which he was awarded with a pizza party at his Teacher’s house. For some reason the teacher whispered in Tony’s ear that he didn’t belong there, which he thought was odd since he already ate his slices. But what did she know? The eight graders who judged the contest believed he deserved his pizza prize and they outnumbered her. Although, Tony admits, this did leave a lasting impression.
Not long after beginning to make music, Tony set his sites on New York City. CBGB‘s, The Ramones mythology and music scene of Greenwich Village called to him and was compelled to answer. He would visit on weekends, underage until he finally moved up to begin performing in bands and DJing in clubs. After 15 years, he still calls NYC his home.
Writing is a daily practice for him, sometimes two pieces a day. When Tony writes a song, he begins with the words and the story, which later is put to music. When he is on hold, it is a good moment to come up with some chord changes that marries well with his verse.
I thought I heard some Conor Oberst, which Tony confirmed he had collected all of the Bright Eyes records, even ones you had to call up the radio station to get. Bob Dylan was a clandestine influence (Uncle Robby as Tony refers to him) as he found The Best of Bob Dylan record in a snow bank. It must have been fate.
Tony Island Baby is putting out a new album entitled “I Let The Dogs Out” on December 19th, 2020 – to celebrate the 35th anniversary of his birth.
DVD Concerts, Episode Three — Chango performs a Live Set: “A que vienes wey?” and “Demonomania”. He also speaks to us about his process on Dan Victor Does in his native language, Spanish. Pure Energy, Electronic Music, Mexican, Producer, Rapper… Luchador. Watch Chango on Episode 3 of the next DVD Concerts.
Chango was born and raised by a subwoofer, and bass pushed him out of the womb. Because of his upbringing, he’s been attracted to low frequencies and the underground sound all his life. Growing up he listened to metal, industrial, cyber punk and psytrance. Some of his influences include Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Isao Tomita – The Bermuda Triangle, and Nine Inch Nails.
A bald eagle flew him to New York and began playing music in the subway. He used to have a drummer, but immigration took him and ICE deported him. So he stayed and continued to play by himself. Chango hired other musicians to fill out the lineup for performances. The last shows were not in the subway, but at venues, international concerts or festivals.
Chango is everyone. Chango is all of us, not just one person, it’s a collective of musicians and artists. Chango is a conceptual project that has the opportunity of exposing themselves on the greatest stage ever, the subways of New York City.
He is very proud of Mexican heritage and the reason why he chose to speak Spanish during the interview. I provided English subtitles in the video. There are no borders, no one is illegal, he feels very strongly that we are all connected and no one is better than anyone else.
Grateful for having Chango for the third episode of DVD Concerts. Watch just the music in the video “Chango Live Set”. Follow Chango on Instagram.
DVD Concerts, Episode Two — Jason Kunz, aka Wild Kunz, performs 4 songs (Joanie, The Mask, Craw and The Stone) and talks about his process on Dan Victor Does. Watch the full performance and story he shares for the new acoustic series.
Jason brings a thoughtful sensitivity to his music. His strumming is gentle and hypnotizing, setting the tone before his soft vocals lay over top like snow delicately covering a countryside. It’s a magical combination that’s effect broadens the more you listen. Wild Kunz creates a vibe that makes me remember a feeling and the story associated with it, rather than a story. The words are cues, but his vocal delivery tells the tale.
Wild Kunz mentioned Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear and Annie Clark of St. Vincent as two influences, because they remind him of an old Hollywood noir soundtrack. Although he says his main inspiration comes from dreams. Learning Banjo has given him an added insight to how he can blend finger-picking into his guitar playing. I think he is reminiscent of Nick Drake, which also has a dreamy quality.
When describing his song, “The Stone”, he speaks about how music helps him channel his depression into something positive, giving purpose in learning a craft he will use even after his mood has lifted. I can identify with this so much. Playing guitar gives me a release when I’m feeling down. Such a positive way to make the best out of the difficult experience.
Grateful for having Wild Kunz for the second episode of DVD Concerts. Watch and listen to the music videos “Joanie” and “The Mask“, two selections from his set. Follow Wild Kunz on Instagram.
DVD Concerts, Episode One — Justin Rowe and Johnny Modelo, aka Rowe/Modelo, perform 5 songs (Dry Land, Fishing For Feels, Flame and Gasoline, Cut ‘Em Off, Clever and Cool) and interview on Dan Victor Does. Watch or Listen to the full performance of the debut show for the new acoustic series.
Justin and Johnny are Brooklyn musicians that have known each other for a number of years, playing in various bands together. This project came together in January 2018 when Justin sent some original songs to Johnny that blew his mind. So Johnny learned them and when they got together, to Justin’s surprise, played them back to him with ideas of his own. Since then, they have written over 20 songs together. After coming together on this acoustic incarnation, they decided to feature their vocal harmonies, which is admittedly infectious. It is very noticeable upon first hearing Rowe/Modelo perform.
They talk about the challenge of practicing in the era of Covid or Corona Virus, whichever is PC, according to Johnny, he is not overly concerned with what people think. They have a nice guy image with a punk-rock attitude, even though their music is definitely power pop. It is apparent the two of them have excellent chemistry whether they are harmonizing together or cracking jokes, which they do plenty of. You can often find them laughing or smiling during the interview, even while playing their songs.
It was a true pleasure having Rowe/Modelo on the first episode of DVD Concerts. They represent the best of what I admire in artists… talent, personality, awareness and genuinely fun to be around. Watch their live performance and speak about their process. Follow Rowe/Modelo on Instagram.