Omar Hakim “There is a science behind the favorite is Vic Firth.”

Omar Hakim is one of the best drummers alive. What’s the story behind his drumsticks? He has drummed for Patty Labelle, Dire Straits, Sting and Daft Punk to name a few. He has been using the same drumstick brand for over 30 years. Omar shares the story of meeting Vic Firth 30 years ago, the designer of  his drumsticks. While he is trying on clothes at showroom to wear at his Grammy performance with Daft Punk, Omar also gives us a great breakdown on the history of drumsticks, talks about the drummers who have influenced him, his new website and the drummer’s community.

Notable artists he has played with are Anita Baker, Sting, Weather Report, Mariah Carey, Madonna, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Chic, Bryan Ferry, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, Everything but the Girl, Marcus Miller, Kazumi Watanabe, Lee Ritenour, Chieli Minucci, The Rippingtons, Bobby McFerrin, and Daft Punk, among others.

DJ Rich Medina: Jump N’ Funkin’ For Fela Kuti & Teaching At Cornell University

“Fela Kuti is the James Brown of Africa. We have been pushing the idea that Afrobeat is apart of Black history for 13 years”. Rich Medina introduced a whole generation of dancers to Fela Kuti and Afrobeat with his Jump N’ Funk parties. The party has been branded “the first and most consistent DJ-based party dedicated to Fela Kuti and his message of peace and equality through music.” A a staple on dancefloors from New York to Berlin for over a decade.

“Rich Medina re-creates the vibe of a Fela Kuti concert, utilizing culturally relevant African photography and Nigerian dance videos for visuals and live percussion by Juan Carlos Izaguire and the legendary Leonard “Doc” Gibbs to accompany his turntable mixes, not to mention live performances by some of the world’s most respected Afrobeat leaders, including both of Fela’s sons, Femi and Seun Kuti. Other artists that have collaborated with Rich Medina for past JUMP N’ FUNK parties have been Zap Mama, Sandra Isadore, Akoya, Chicago Afrobeat Project, Wunmi, Ron Trent and many others.”

Started DJing at 10, graduated from Cornell University and today is teaching at Cornell, talking at Ted talks and and spreading the music of Fela. “The club is my Church”

New York Small Businesses, Residents During Sandy #East Village Feedback

Thursday afternoon I took a stroll from Delancey to Union Square. At Clinton & Houston, I talked with the owner art-bar Culture Fix. Then met a homelss crew that shared some advice for those temporarily homeless. As I was walking up 1st avenue, I noticed about 30 or so people standing around outside 100 year old Saifee hardware store. They were all charging their batteries. The owner is sharing the power from their generator and provided multiple outlets. At 12th street and 1st avenue, I notice a sign for free curry and met the owner of Sapparo restaurant. They have been in business for over 30 years. The resturant was full and people were leaving tips of appreciation. As I was leaving the East Village, I came across the Guardian Angels, who shared some important tips for roaming the NYC streets wihout street lights.

Sxip Shirey @New Museum Block Party 2012 (NYC)

 Sxip Shirey describes his music as “John Cage makes love to a circus while listening to Public Enemy”.  I filmed the atmosphere of the New Museum Block Party to the flow of Sxip’s flute. Sxip Shirey is a composer and performer who lives in New York City. Ecstatic melodies, unimaginable sounds, and deep beats are played using industrial flutes, bullhorn harmonicas, regurgitated music box, triple-extended pennywhistles, a miniature hand bell choir, obnoxiophone, glass bowls with red marbles, human beatbox, and a handful of curious objects.

The Little Shoe Store , New and Vintage Ladies Shoes In Sizes 3-6 Only (NYC)

 Walking along Orchard street, I was intrigued by the name of the shop and sizes. So I popped in and met the owner Cindy. She and her partner opened The Little Shoe Store a week ago. “My small story is that I have very small feet and have always had trouble finding shoes so the only way to get shoes for me was to develop a brand..a store”. I am glad I popped in, Cindy opened the shop last Saturday.

Mike Mckee: Muay Thai Boxing From Manchester To NYC

 “My small story today, actually everyday I train people thai boxing downtown midtown. I just finished training some guys now. I love doing what Im doing. I love training people..I love teaching people the martial arts. I get a lot out of it,  hopefully they get a lot out of it. I’ve been doing for 10 years thai boxing for 25 years..10 years in New York. I have a nice group of clientele..not complaining I’m working life is good” I bumped into Mike on Bleecker st in Nolita. I have wanted to film his story for a while. He works the door for one favorite places , La Esquina. However, I had no idea about the Thai boxing connection. A great unscripted conversation about his life the last 10 years in New York.

The Measure of Michael Anthony Pegues

 Michael Anthony Pegues, a fixture of the downtown art scene and true NY icon has finally found a home at FB Gallery to present his vision. “My small story is that as an artist I relied on a lot of things and that one thing was creating something on canvas.” The Measure of an Artist is the culmination of Michael Anthony’s life-long dedication to his art.  We walk around the gallery as Michael shares the story behind some of his paintings, his story and the power of art. The show highlights the struggle, passion, and rise of a man fully aware of his unique aesthetic. His work displays child-like innocence coinciding with complex subject matter.

Since 1996 Michael Anthony has had his work consistently shown with an eye fixed on fame—his equivalent to credibility. However, this is the first large scale show to honor his vision rooted in the long New York tradition of the self-made, struggling artist. Never has he shared his story so unabashedly through not only painting, but also multimedia depictions of himself. His colorful and expressionistic strokes on canvas recount his resiliency through homelessness, theft, and ultimately his never ending hope and belief that he will be finally recognized as a true original.

The Inspiration Behind K-narf’s Yummy Yami Exhibition

“Art is a way to keep memory of things.”  Inspired by the true and fascinating story of Issei Sagawa, a Japanese man who engaged in acts of cannibalism while living in Paris, K-narf pushes the limits of how sex is portrayed in art—insisting on creating a jarring dialogue between images and the story behind them. “It was 1981 so there was a lot of when he [ Issei]  arrived in Japan he became a small celebrity..started being invited tv shows..he became a food critc for japanese food magazine…a mascot for meat chain restaurant and a porn actor.” Yummy Yami is a series of collages made from photographs of window displays of pornographic movie theaters in Tokyo and shots of French butcher shops. With the juxtaposition of images of raw meat and softcore erotica, Yummy Yami evokes the same discomfort as Sagawa’s story. Opening April 11/May8 @ FBGallery 368 Broadway, suite 209 @Franklin Street.

On June 11, 1981, Issei Sagawa, a 32 year old Japanese student in Paris, invited a young Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt for dinner at his apartment under the pretense of translating German poetry. After she arrived, he shot her in the back while she was reading. He then began to carry out his plan to consume her flesh.

After two days of eating her various body parts, Sagawa attempted to dump the mutilated body into a lake and was seen in the act. He was later arrested by the French police. His wealthy father provided a top lawyer for his defense and he was able to claim insanity. Sagawa spent a short time in a French mental institution, but was soon extradited to Japan where psychologists all found him to be sane but “evil” and thus it was legally impossible to hold him. As a result, Sagawa checked himself out of the mental institution on August 12, 1986, and has been a free man ever since.

Sagawa now lives in Tokyo and is a minor Japanese celebrity. He is often invited as a guest speaker and commentator, he has written restaurant reviews, appeared in a pornographic film, and in a TV commercial for a Japanese restaurant chain.

Artist K-narf , “Its FRANK reversed.”

“What is interesting too is to look at tomorrow better than to look at yesterday . we need to know what happen yesterday to be able to do what will be tomorrow.”  We met at a Williamsburg bar via my friend Louisa. They are both in town for his NYC exhibition at the FB gallery (April, 11, 2011). Born in France, this is K-narf’s first time in NYC.  About K-narf: Echoing the origins of street art by posting his works on public walls. Both conceptual and experimental, K-narf work documents, recycles and collects the “unusual,” bringing it to the forefront and reminding us all that the medium of photography is not limited to truth-seeking, but can also be a toy to create, play, and challenge audiences.

For the past decade K-narf has lived and exhibited worldwide including Japan, Australia, France, Singapore, USA, and Italy. His work has been shown, among others, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale (US), Museum of Sydney, Japan Foundation for the Arts, The Yves Klein Archives, The French Embassy in Tokyo, Issey Miyake (Paris) , the Clic gallery in NYC and now FB gallery.

Harley-Davidson, The Story Behind the Video

 I came across Harley-Davidson filming a video in SOHO for their new bikes.  Joe, the manager of the NYC dealership, shares the story. “The main question we get asked a lot is how much do they cost..the stereotype is that Harley-Davidson are $50,000 but they start at 8 and the most popular is the Iron 883 ..they are least expensive model at $8,000.”

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