Magic Hours and Hot August Nights
To borrow a line from Aoife O’Donovan, Brooklyn Roads witnessed many a “magic hour, when the moonlight gleams,” at Prospect Park this summer, where O’Donovan was one of several locally based artists that peppered the talent-laden Celebrate Brooklyn! lineup, and also in Coney Island, where the Ford Amphitheater launched its star-studded inaugural season.
The last week of Celebrate Brooklyn! wrapped up in high-powered style with certified musical genius Herbie Hancock, indie rockers Dr. Dog in collaboration with The Knights (whom The New Yorker called “one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products”), and the phenomenal, genre-bending Andra Day. And before those hot August nights had time to cool off, the multicultural Afropunk Festival brought the “Power to the Party” to Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park.
While exploring the scene at Afro Punk, Brooklyn Roads not only covered the music , but also the flavor of its unique cultural evolution. There was also a chance meeting with the legendary poet extraordinaire Nikki Goivanni , who was there as a segment of a forthcoming documentary about her was being filmed.
We also had occasion to venture outside our fair borough in August to catch some local artists who crossed the East River to show Manhattan some Brooklyn love. Williamsburg’s American Nomads brought their lively brand of Americana to Rockwood Musical Hall, where they played a large chunk of their current self-titled album as well as “A Revelation’s Gonna Come,” the septet’s Billboard Adult Contemporary number six single, and a rousing new song, “Dogtooth Bend,” the performance of which can be seen on YouTube.
Singer-songwriter Citizen Cope, who has called Brooklyn home for the most of the last decade plus, played to a wildly enthusiastic audience at the Gramercy Theatre. He brought the crowd to its feet several times with such more-relevant-today-than-ever numbers as “Bullet and a Target,” “The Penitentiary Is on Fire” and “Salvation,” with its haunting closing refrain, “put the gun down, put the gun down…”).