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This Week, a New York City Music Festival Born in Florida

Theater 80Courtesy of S.S.A. Theater 80

A music festival taking place across both Villages this week is being billed as “East Meets West.” And the organizers? They’re from down south.

Kicking off Wednesday and lasting five days, NYC’s New Music Festival will feature over 130 artists  – from indie, folk and alternative rock to rap and hip hop – at a variety of venues.

Unlike the CBGB Festival, which last week announced it would return in May, the organizers of this festival aren’t from around here. It’s the first production that the Songwriters Showcases of America will stage outside of its home base in Florida.

Phil Weidner, president of the S.S.A., said the 13-year-old company had been trying to put together a festival outside of Florida for years. New York City, he said, was a no-brainer. “We wanted to focus on the East and West Villages to show that’s really the magnet of where good local, live music is being featured in Manhattan,” he told The Local. Read more…

Time For a Riot Reunion

Regrets Only

A tag photographed by one of our eagle-eyed community contributors, Scott Lynch, reveals plans for Tompkins Square Park riot reunions on July 29, and August 4 and 5. The former and latter dates correspond to Tompkins Square Park Live! events, which feature music, spoken word and other types of performance. Meanwhile, The Lo-Down brings word that the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars will headline a concern in the East River Park amphitheater on August 23.

The Day | New Italian Spot on East Sixth

LitroSuzanne Rozdeba

Good morning, East Village.

According to a tipster, signage for an “Italian restaurant bar,” Litro, has gone up in the old Zerza space at 308 East Sixth Street. Stay tuned for more.

Paper reports that Max Fish is opening an outpost on the Asbury Park boardwalk. “Max Fish at the Beach Bar, located on the boardwalk, will be open weekends starting this Saturday through Memorial Day, and then open every day after that.”

In The Times, Winnie Varghese, the priest in charge of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, argues that churches should be tax-exempt. “Moderate and progressive religion is overwhelmingly formed in the U.S., and it is an essential voice in national and international discourse,” she says. “We are an important moral and ethical voice for society as a whole, a voice that has to be religious to respond to other kinds of religious movements.” Read more…

Revisiting the No Wave Scene At The BMW Guggenheim Lab On Sunday

Two of the most comprehensive documentarians of the late-1970s East Village punk scene will give a screening of their rare no wave footage at the BMW Guggeinheim Lab on Sunday.

Bush Tetras at CBGB, 1980.

Read more…

All Quiet in Tompkins Square Park

IMG_2224Toby Nathan Jerry Levy, one of last night’s few protesters.

Tompkins Square Park was more or less empty Sunday night, save for a few extra auxiliary police vehicles and a rag-tag bunch of seemingly bewildered protesters, all in search of a protest that did not happen, despite lively online previews and last-minute reminders.

“Jerry The Peddler,” the “Slum Goddess,” and one or two other local characters showed up to protest Community Board 3’s new policy designed to implement a “better management of scheduling” and control some “volume issues,” according to Susan Stetzer, the board’s district manager. She told The Local by e-mail that the repercussions of the policy have been “exaggerated greatly,” but Jerry Levy, 56, who’s lived in the East Village for 33 years, said Sunday night that he thinks the issue isn’t the volume, but the changing guard of the community.

“If people who live there” – on Seventh Street between Avenues A and B “have issues with the volume, then they shouldn’t have moved there,” he said. “The community overwhelmingly supports the concerts. This” – the noise proposal – “just comes from a few people who are speaking to a receptive ear of a few reactionary members of the community board.”

He says that the community wants “nice, quiet smiley-faced type of events that are geared toward children,” and that the community board “doesn’t represent the community.”

The community did not, however, turn out in overwhelming numbers to support that point of view. Indeed, John Penley, the longtime East Village activist and photojournalist who organized the protest, was nowhere to be found when the time came to demonstrate. Mr. Penley had not returned earlier calls from The Local about the event.

The Day | A Vote on Loud Concerts

Grafitti on Houston St. hi-riseDan Nguyen

Good morning, East Village.

On Tuesday night, Community Board 3 voted overwhelmingly to pass a measure that would restrict the number of concerts using amplified sound at Tompkins Square to one day per weekend.

Although the proposal passed without debate, Susan Stetzer, the district manager of Community Board 3, told NYU Journalism’s Timothy J. Stenovec that she was surprised by the level of vitriol about the measure in the blogosphere.

Ms. Stetzer took particular exception to the characterization by one commenter on EVGrieve who described her as “a self-appointed sound-nazi.”

“You don’t call people Nazis,” Ms. Stetzer told Mr. Stenovec after the meeting.

Ms. Stetzer also denied that there was any political motivation behind the measure.

“No one’s against concerts, no one’s against any type of concerts, no one’s against political activity,” Ms. Stetzer told Mr. Stenovec. “All that’s asked is that certain concerts that are very loud, and we’re not saying which ones, just take it down a notch.”

In other neighborhood news, there are a lot of reads about the 67-year-old East Village man who was injured when an air conditioner fell from the sixth floor of a walk-up on Second Avenue. Check out The Post’s account here, EVGrieve’s here and the Daily News here.

There’s another fine read about an effort to feed the homeless in The Times. We’ll have a story later today by NYU Journalism’s Meredith Hoffman about another plan to help the homeless.

And here’s an interesting link from Guestofguest about one bar’s unusual attempt to connect with its neighbors.