New York

(JiHAE, by Paola Kudacki)

Flavorwire Premiere: JiHAE’s “Brave Ones” Gives Voice to Her Father’s Vietnam PTSD

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The Vietnam War inspired some of the most powerful songs of its era, but it’s rare to hear it discussed by younger artists in the 21st century. This generation’s got its own political battles to fight, but from where New York rocker and multimedia artist JiHAE stands, our present is more connected to our wartime past than we want to acknowledge. It’s why she wrote “Brave Ones,” off her forthcoming album Illusion of You, after watching her father struggle with PTSD in the decades following his service in Vietnam.
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Chernipster

Chernobyl and Its Radiant Creative Culture Lures New Yorkers

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It started with a Geiger counter. Just as the Girls tour of Greenpoint generated buzz about that secluded, environmental hazard-plagued, northern nook of Brook, the Chernobyl Diaries tour of Chernobyl has already begun generating excitement and lifting the stigma surrounding the abandoned nuclear power plant and its environs. As they may or may not say in real estate, “it was only a matter of time.”
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Inside Blur’s Tiny Brooklyn Club Show With Moshing Bros and an Arena-Ready Sound

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Two business bros are standing behind me in line at the bar debating whether to order doubles or triples of Jameson on the rocks. It’s barely 6PM, but it is Friday, dammit, and Blur are playing their first New York show since these dudes got their learner’s permits. A lot’s changed for the Britpop icons over the last 15 years: guitarist Graham Coxon left Blur, Coxon rejoined, Coxon out again, Blur over, Blur back, Blur back for real. They’ve played some of the biggest stages in the world on their comeback tour — London’s Hyde Park to kick things off in 2009, followed by Glastonbury that same year and Coachella in 2013 — but Damon Albarn, Alex James, Dave Rowntree, and Coxon are working a smaller crowd today: about 550 diehards, including the aforementioned bros, who settle on doubles. I’ll be thankful for that later.
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whitman

For the First Time in 150 Years: Walt Whitman’s Civil War ‘Drum-Taps’

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“I intend to move heaven & earth to publish my ‘Drum-Taps’ as soon as I am able to go around,” Walt Whitman told his friend William O’Connor in 1864, after a mysterious illness, likely contracted from the hospital where he nursed soldiers, claimed his health for a time. The American Civil War was in its third year, and Leaves of Grass in its third edition. With his new book of Civil War poems, Whitman meant to advocate a re-union, a reconciliation, an end to the war, and a continuation of the spirit of democracy set in motion by his earlier work. He wanted Drum-Taps to “express in a poem…the pending action of this Time & Land we swim in…with the unprecedented anguish and suffering, the beautiful young men, in wholesale death & agony.” The following January, as the war neared its conclusion, Whitman wrote again to O’Connor, explaining that the now fairly completed Drum-Taps was “superior to Leaves of Grass — certainly more perfect as a work of art.’’ Adding that although it may appear that the poems were ‘‘let loose with wildest abandon, the true artist can see it is yet under control.’’
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Photo credit: Ash Thayer, Meggin on Fire Escape, Fifth Street Squat, 1995

Intimate Portraits of ’90s New York City Squatters

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During her time as an art student in 1992, Ash Thayer was kicked out of her Brooklyn apartment and found herself living in the See Skwat on New York City’s Lower East Side. Thayer photographed her fellow squatters as they lived and worked to make the community more habitable, learning about demo, electrical work, and more in order to build a home. The images are now part of the fascinating book Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000, the “true untold story of New York’s legendary LES… Read More

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Your Favorite Indie Record Stores Explain Why a Global Album Release Day Is a Bad Idea

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A few weeks back, it was announced that the record industry had decided that from August, all albums around the globe will be released on Fridays. Well, some of the record industry had decided. For independent record stores in North America and the UK, though, the shift from Mondays and Tuesdays, respectively, doesn’t make much sense. “Friday and Saturday are your busy days anyway,” says Josh Madell, cofounder of Other Music, one of lower Manhattan’s last great indie record stores. “Why concentrate everything at the end of the week?”
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