Two Boots Celebrates its History in the Lower East Side

 

Nightlife culture includes a wide range of creative elements from music to culinary arts to visual spectacles. It has a broad appeal not just for exclusive audiences but for the wider community. Two Boots, a long-time resident of the Lower East Side community will be celebrating its anniversary with an evening of music food and entertainment this Thursday.

At first, you might not think of a pizzeria as a part of the nightlife community, but anyone who has emerged from a bar or club in the middle of the night knows the importance of late night sustenance. Two Boots has been providing grub to the nightlife community for 25 years and is planning to celebrate with an outdoor festival at the East River Park Ampitheater. They are calling it the World’s Best Pizza Party and they are working with Summer Stage, AT&T and the Onion for this free event. There are over 100 performers and artists scheduled to participate including:

Luis Guzman

Nuyorican Poet’s Café

The Sierra Leone Refuge All Stars

Odetta Hartman

Lady Circus

Grolsch and Smutty Nose will be providing the beer and of course Two Boots will be supplying the pizza.

Mike Rosen is the spokesperson for this event. He told me that this event is about recognition. Two Boots knows that much of their character, history and success comes from the Lower East Side and the nightlife community. Over the years, they have worked with various local groups including the Lower Eastside Girls Club, the Lower East Side Ecology Center and Time's Up. This enormous pizza party is just another way to give back to the people who support them. The mainstream media is very quick to report on stories that paint nightlife and its related operators as blights on their community. This event does more than show that local businesses like Two Boots contribute to the community. It shows that the elements of nightlife culture can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.

Details

Event: Two Boots Anniversary Concert

Cost: Free

Date: Thursday August 23rd, 2012

Time: 5:00 pm- 9:00 pm

Place: East River Park Amphitheater

Twitter: @TwoBootsHQ

Have fun.

Gamal

Tastemaker Spotlight: Vivian Sessoms

 

NCI is proud to announce a new program that spotlights the people who bring creative energy to New York Nightlife

Vivian is a New York gem who has performed with a wide range of A-List talent including Diddy, Michael Jackson, Cher, Joe Cocker, Chris Botti and Pink. Her previous albums as part of the group Albright have gained critical acclaim in independent music circles and her voice has been heard live around the world. She’s bringing her sound back to New York in 2012 with live performances and a new album, so she definitely needs to be on your music discovery radar.

  • Genre: Jazz/ Soul
  • Hometown: Harlem, New York
  • Inspirations: Roberta Flack, Barbara Streisand, Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle, Alison Krauss, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole
  • Previous Performances: BAM, Village Underground, Rockwood Music Hall, Jazz Standard, Blue Note and Radio City Music Hall.
  • Latest Project: Heart (scheduled for release Summer 2012)
  • Next Local Performance: Sunday April 22, 2012 at Feinstein’s

Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Vivian at CDBaby

Vivian on Youtube

Vivians Blog

 

Have fun.

Gamal

From Nashville to New York: A Nightlife Culture Interview with Shonali Bhowmik

 

by Gamal Hennessy

Vital Statistics 

Name: Shonali Bhowmik

Group Affiliation: Tigers & Monkeys, Variety Shac

Hometown: New York, New York via Nashville, TN

Website: www.shonalibhowmik.com  

Latest Project: 100 Oak Revival


Shonali Bhowmik has spent years in New York’s music and comedy scenes. As part of our ongoing focus on the panelists at our upcoming Nightlife Culture Expo, NCI caught up to her to talk about her latest album, the benefits of the internet to the music industry and being a Southern Belle…

NCI: You have your own band (Tigers and Monkeys), an ongoing comedy show (Variety Shac), a pilot for a TV series and a day job. When did you find the time to record a new album? How long did it take you to finish this with everything else you have going on?

SB: I recorded this album in a way that I haven’t done in the past. It’s taken me a few years to complete this release because I flew down to my hometown of Nashville, TN on various weekends to lay down the basic tracks in the home studio of the enormously talented Paul Burch.

My intention was to just go for a sparse live recording and immediately release the “Shonali Basement Tapes” album. But instead, I returned to New York and just started hearing additional musical layers which absolutely had to be added to the recordings in order for me to feel satisfied. So over time, I scheduled sessions with Matt Gill in his Manhattan studio, Key Room where after work he and other musicians helped me add piano, cello, guitar, vocals late at night. I just couldn’t stop recording, and then there were technical issues with converting the tape to digital format which meant we had to rerecord instruments. So the short answer to your question is this album took forever. Ha.

NCI: You have had other albums with other groups in the past. How is this record artistically different from the previous releases? What were the inspirations for this CD?

SB: This new album includes a backlog of music that I had written over the years since I moved to NYC in 2002. For the most part, they are representative of a moodier, bluesier, more country Shonali. I grew up in Nashville, TN and although I had always believed that my country roots didn’t impact my music that much. It took reading music reviews about my music and the specifics on my singing drawl to realize that I actually sing like a Southern belle. And then it came to me that I sing like that because I AM a Southern belle. This album is certainly not as hard rocking as songs found in my Tigers and Monkeys repertoire (of which we are currently recording another release).

NCI: There have been a lot of changes to the business and technology of music during your career. How does that affect the way you create an album now and how you sell it once it has been released?

SB: Honestly, the myth is that Napster and ITunes killed the music industry. The reality for me is that the internet is a direct way for me to share my music with the entire world. Due to the advances in recording technology, I don’t need to spend $100,000 making an album anymore, which believe it or not I did at one point. So now artists can spend a whole lot less money to make great music. This is an exciting time for musicians. As a business person, I think that artists have to be proactive and dictate where the industry goes. We should be forcing the direction. Big labels aren’t the experts anymore. So we can load up our music and sell it directly to the people. I find that “Pay what you Want” is the way to go. You want folks to have your music, but let them decide what it’s worth to them. Everyone has a different scale – be it they are broke, or they are rich, or they are somewhat fond of heavy metal, or somewhat fond of country music.

NCI: You perform a lot of your music in Brooklyn now because a lot of live music has migrated from downtown Manhattan over the past few years. How has that affected the way you and your friends create and perform music? Do you see musicians coming back to the city or do you feel that it will move farther into Brooklyn and Queens?

SB: Honestly, although I love NYC, I wonder how good it is for a rock band to live and pay bills here. I started playing music in Atlanta, Georgia where the rent was cheap, rehearsal spaces were cheap and jobs were everywhere. It was the perfect place to live as a member of a touring rock band.

In Manhattan, rock clubs will always be a mainstay, but I think the question regarding where the music will go has more to do with the viable living options available to artists. It’s been a long, long time since living in the East Village was an inexpensive place for rock n’ roll and artist types. Brooklyn and Queens have taken on those titles but those boroughs are getting more and more expensive day by day. I just read that Austin was where all the young artist types are moving. New York and the entire United States needs to do more to preserve its artistic culture especially if everyone is just ripping music off the web. (Yeah, and I was saying that this was a good thing in my response to your earlier question - yup, contradictory that’s me.)

Have fun.

Gamal