Weekly cultural online magazine covering music, theatre, arts, food & events in NYC.
Admit it, you missed these guys
Duran Duran appeared and performed in the Virgin Megastore in Union Square to promote their latest release, Pop Trash.
Duran Duran is now composed of only two original members, Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes. Warren Cuccourello joined the pop rock band back in 1990 for the Liberty album. This strong team of musicians still draws quite a crowd, proving that time and time again they are here to stay.
In fact, the crowd wasn’t made up of just the late 20 used-to-be Duranie groupies, it was a tremendously diversified group. A random mix of young, old, gothic, preppy, punk and conservative and even a new generation of teenage groupies enthusiastically came out to support the guys.
Pop Trash definitely deserves a listen. Their sound has been recharged and rejuvenated with a retro alternative influence. The wacky titles showcase a mixture of lightheartedness and emotion. Songs like “Hallucinating Elvis”, “Lady Xanax” and “Playing With Uranium” has the power to intrigue the biggest skeptics.
Le Bon’s lyrics have also become more pure and honest. He described the songs he’d written on the album more naked and uncovered. He boldly admitted, ” before I felt I wasn’t being absolutely honest with myself and I needed to stop being so macho”. “Give Someone Else Not Me” a whirl and feel some ghastly emotional scars resurface.
Pop Trash is the most impressive artistic revolution the band has created sinceThe Wedding Album.
New York City Subway Musician
Thousands walk by a Theo Eastwood everyday. Some occasionally stop to listen, maybe even toss a few coins into their guitar case. Some just pass on by. Theo Eastwood is one of “them”. For years he’s been baring his soul to the masses in subway stations for change. It’s just Theo, his guitar and his will to survive in New York.
Four years ago, a 20 year-old kid in Austria made a courageous decision. He was haunted by the thought of having to follow the herds into an Austrian political party. Instead, Theo went to a recruiting agency to find a nonconformist job. To his surprise, he was offered a job in New York City as a baker and jumped at the opportunity. He arrived with $10,000, one bag of possessions and a guitar strapped to his back.
Shortly after reaching New York, he discovered that the bakery where he was supposed to work never opened its doors. There he stood, with no job and no Greencard. But he was in New York City! This was a minor setback; it was a time for celebration! After two months of clubs, drinks, cabs and taking women out to fancy restaurants, he was broke. That was precisely the moment Theo Eastwood was forced into survival mode.
Starved and just about homeless, Theo needed to do something fast. He stumbled upon a guy, mediocre at best, playing guitar in a subway station and making decent change. He thought to himself “hell, if he can do that, why can’t I?” Theo went home and turned on the radio. He taught himself a few cover songs by Pearl Jam, Sound Garden and Nirvana and returned to the subway station.
A Metal Sculpture or a Playwright?
A random show to say the least.
Dressed in his custom-made jean overalls, Steel Neal gathers his audience around the graffiti painted doorway. He then lights up a flare gun and proceeds to lead the group into an empty lot that resembles a ghost town scrap yard.
The audience must concentrate on following the light from the flare to avoid stepping on any scattered obstacles.
Suddenly, when the audience can’t go any further, the eyes slowly wander upward onto a massive rusty metal humanesque creature. A dramatic sight.
Once the audience members settle onto the rickety wooden bleachers, the performance begins. Steel Neal delivers a short play about a disaster wiping out most of the population. It’s the struggle for survival and the strong will to live.
Even though Steel Neal is a much better metal sculptor than a playwright, the performance works. Not only because of the sculpture and his spewing passion for his craft, but the peculiar surroundings make for a gratifying experience.
The most interesting part falls at the end during the Q&A session. Neal explains that each section of the sculpture is scrap metal that he found in the NYC area. Apparently, Neal spends his days scouring the city for these rubble treasures.
Steel Neal has created a niche and it’s worth a trip to the Lower Eastside. This is a unique New York City experience that should not be overlooked.