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Park Slope Cosmopolitan: Las Rubias del Norte play the music of South American cowboys and Cuban lounge-lizards

The back room at Barbès, a dark little hole-in-the-wall on Ninth Street in Park Slope, is separated from the front bar by a thin wall with a window cut out of it, the way a garage might be separated from a basement rec room. Depending on what night you stop by, the music coming from back there can be almost anything—“mangue beat” music from Brazil one night, a Hank Williams honky-tonk cover band the next night, and on the weekend, a guy who “explores and re-creates the music of the great French accordionists of the thirties.” You learn to be surprised.

Notes on Quantum

British composer, tape-music pioneer, and “library music” genius Basil Kirchin (b. 1927) died on June 18 after a long bout with cancer. In the years before his death Kirchin was fortunate enough to see his work rediscovered by a new generation of experimental-music aficionados (including Brian Eno and Jim O’Rourke), after languishing for decades in the obscurity well known to decades-ahead-of-their-time sound artists.

“i want to see your face in the reflection of my bedroom stereo”

It was one of those nasty humid days we experienced all summer, and the sun was setting as I arrived at The Pink Pony on Ludlow. I was there to interview stellastarr*, whose sophomore effort (Harmonies for the Haunted—darker, more mature, and more spacious than their debut release) drops September 13.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2005

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