Thursday, October 29, 2009

Live on the Brooklyn Museum stage

By Meredith Deliso

With music icons adorning its walls, the Brooklyn Museum helps welcome its latest exhibition with a rock and roll show, Brooklyn style.

On November 7, one week into its new exhibit, “Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present,” the museum will host several local bands handpicked by music promoter Todd P, big in the DIY scene, for its next Target First Saturday event.

While perusing the exhibit, which focuses on photographers who are often behind the scenes (while also providing some great and rare shots of icons like The Ramones and Bob Dylan), hear emerging indie rock talent from the Brooklyn scene, including Captured Tracks artists The Beets and Grass Widow, and Crystal Stilts.

Kept busy for the past year playing songs off their debut full length “Alight of Night” (Slumberland Records), a collection of spectral avant-garage that’s made for comparisons to early Jesus & Mary Chain and Joy Division, Crystal Stilts look to break out some new tunes as they gear up for heading into the studio to work on their next album.

“We played so many shows here the past year where we played a lot of older songs, so we might as well play songs people haven’t heard,” reasons guitarist JB Townsend, who lives in Bed-Stuy.

Never having played a museum space before, bassist Andy Adler is excited about the prospect of playing not just a nontraditional venue, but a new neighborhood — Prospect Heights — as well.

“I’m a fan of any show that’s not in Williamsburg,” says the musician, who lives in Fort Greene. “It’s more south Brooklyn, neighborhoody. That’s always appreciated.”

In a nod to the photographers who line the museum’s walls in new exhibit, during the live show, photographers are encouraged to shoot photos themselves and post them to the museum’s Flickr group. If feeling inspired musically, the museum will also host a workshop where you can create your own percussion instrument.

Beyond music, there’s much more to keep you rocking out that night. Museum/concert goers are encouraged to come dressed as your favorite rock star (Mick Jaggers and Ziggy Stardusts aplenty to be sure).

Also come with notebook in hand and hear from exhibit curator Gail Buckland, who will participate in a curator’s talk, as well as chat with photographers Bob Gruen and Justin Borucki, both included in the exhibit, about their involvement in the rock photography scene. Bill German, another veteran of the rock scene known for his work not with a camera but a pen, will head to the podium to discuss his memoir Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It).

For this decidedly multimedia event, sit back and watch one of the greatest rock films, “Purple Rain,” starring Prince, on screen. Then stay late for the dance party, where DJs will spin artists featured in the exhibit, including Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Chuck Berry and Jay-Z, and party like it’s 1999.

Rock out with Target First Saturdays this November 7, from 5 p.m to 11 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 718-638-5000. The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway.


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