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Hear Kaki King at Little Theatre on Feb. 25

Kaki King

Kaki King

Queer artist Kaki King will perform at The Little Theatre on February 25.

Kaki has been doing a string of shows supporting her EP The Neck is a Bridge to the Body. What makes these shows different, however, is that it’s not just a concert – it’s a multimedia piece using ongoing light projections onto Kaki’s guitar to accompany her unique style of playing.

Check out the show trailer here and the music video for Surface Changes, which is in the same vein as the show.

“I’ve never seen anything like it… a sumptuous feast for the senses, a dizzying display of sound and vision by a guitarist already renowned for her innovation… I repeat: Do not miss this.” – Boston Globe

“There are some guitar players that are good, and there are some guitar players that are really fucking good. And then there’s Kaki King.” – Dave Grohl, Music Radar

“The King Is Dead; Long Live The New King. Last week, the guitar world lost its king, when B.B. King passed away at age 89. But another King is currently touring with a show that completely reimagines the guitar – as both a musical instrument and an artistic canvas.” -WNYC Soundcheck 

“It’s a beautiful thing when two entirely different art forms fit so well together that the boundaries between vision and sound, hand and ear, line and note, begin to blur. We’re feeling that particular kind of synesthesia…” –Huffington Post

“Kaki King is a different kind of hero: Largely eschewing aural pyrotechnics, she’s widened the interpretive range of the guitar through exploration and collaboration… [now] she transforms her very ax into a projection screen.” –TimeOut

Provocative and moving, surprising and beautiful. Kaki King, through technique, insatiable imagination and boundless humanity, brings her visionary best on tour. In an innovative multi-media experience, King uses projection to present the guitar as a blank canvas for her musical imagination. Luminous visions of genesis and death, textures and skins are cast onto an Ovation Adamas 1581-KK Kaki King Signature 6-String Acoustic guitar customized specifically for the production.

Produced in collaboration with Glowing Pictures (best known for their work with artists such as Animal Collective, David Byrne & Brian Eno, Beastie Boys, and TV On The Radio), the tour presents King’s groundbreaking work, The Neck is a Bridge to the Body, in it’s intended format.

 

Pride at Work: TPP undermines LGBT equality and fight against HIV

On Feb. 3 in Auckland, New Zealand, US Trade Representative Michael Froman, along with his counterparts from other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, signed the secretly negotiated trade deal despite numerous flaws, significant opposition, and an unclear path for passage in the US Congress.

Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis issued the following statement in response:

“Though the Administration and Ambassador Froman, in particular, have tried to spin this trade deal as ‘progressive’ we fail to see how throwing LGBTQ people and those living with HIV/AIDS under the bus can possibly meet that standard. There is nothing progressive about giving countries like Brunei and Malaysia, where LGBTQ people are beaten, jailed, and in some cases killed, preferential access to our economy. Of course, it’s also hard to find anything progressive in extending patents for life-saving drugs – unless you’re referring to the rising costs of HIV/AIDS therapy.

“We are extremely dismayed that our repeated attempts to address this with the Administration went unanswered, but there is still hope. TPP must still be approved by Congress and there is a great deal of reticence among lawmakers of conscience about the myriad problems with this ill-conceived trade agreement.

“Trade is not inherently bad. Done right, it can create well-paying jobs, drive innovation, and improve the quality of life for trading partners. The TPP will do none of this. Why are we sacrificing our commitment to equality and, potentially, the lives of countless people living with HIV/AIDS for a deal that will ship jobs overseas, further harm the environment, unravel our privacy rights, and increase the amount of uninspected, tainted food in our food supply? Are we really so single-mindedly focused on the profits of multi-national corporations and wealthy CEOs that nothing else matters?

“Just look at the coalition Ambassador Froman and the Administration are cobbling together to support this deal. Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce, and some of the worst opponents of progressive values are supporting this deal while pretty much the entire progressive coalition has lined up against it: labor unions, environmental groups, food safety groups, privacy groups, and faith leaders, as well as LGBTQ and other civil rights organizations.

“There is nothing good for working people in this deal, LGBTQ or otherwise. Today’s signing isn’t the end of the fight. Opposition continues to grow in Congress and the President’s own party is lining up against the deal. Pride at Work will continue to be vigilant and vocal in our opposition to this disastrous trade agreement.”

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Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization and an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations.) We organize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community for social and economic justice. In addition to national Pride at Work, more than 20 Chapters organize at the state and local level around the country.

 

Faith Matters By Rev. Irene Monroe: Why Homophobic Harlem church building should become LGBT homeless youth shelter

Gentrification of neighborhoods always disrupts existing communities within them.

In the past several years, Harlem’s empty lots and burned-out buildings have sprung up luxury condos, upscale restaurants, boutique shops, hotels, B&Bs, and unimaginable improved services in an area the city had long forgotten.

And the resentment of this shift has targeted both Harlem’s recent and life-long LGBTQ communities.

“Look out black woman. A white homo may take your man” — a towering sign hung for months outside of ATLAH World Missionary Church on West 123rd and Lenox.

The pastor of ATLAH, Rev. James David Manning, opposes the gentrification going on in Harlem and has implored its residents and his congregants to boycott the new luxury condos, upscale restaurants, boutique shops, and hotels. According to Rev. Manning the boycott would maim the “white homo” where it hurts him the most — his pockets.

And Manning expounded why on the church’s online video.

“He’s usually got money — a white homo usually has an American Express card. He usually has an opportunity at the theater — homos love the theater. They love to go out to dinners, parties, they love that kind of a thing… ”

Next month Manning’s church is scheduled for a public foreclosure auction due to over $1 million dollars in debt.

The tragedy here is not in seeing Manning leave but rather the many life-long residents of Harlem and congregants of Manning’s church who are now forced to, resulting in the permanent dislocation not only of a people but also of the inimitable culture, lifestyle and worship space they created.

The query raised by many Harlem residents is, why is their neighborhood, that has been long forgotten and completely disinvested from both public and private real estate interest, suddenly a hot land grab?

The prevailing thought today in the area of urban development and city planning is that if you want to revitalize a decaying city and get rid of its urban plight you create gayborhoods. And new studies reveals that these enclaves have overall positive economic and cultural effects.

“Gays have often been at the forefront of gentrification in New York City and elsewhere in the nation, said Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis, a History of Gay Life in New York who’s quoted in “Harlem Journal: Gay White Pioneers, on New Ground.”

In February 2014 HuffPo Live did a show “ Why We Still Need Gayborhoods.” On the show was Janice Madden, a Professor of Regional Science, Sociology, Urban Studies, and Real Estate at Penn, to discuss her new book “Gayborhoods: Economic Development and the Concentration of Same-Sex Couples in Neighborhoods Within Large American Cities.” Madden revealed that gay white men on the Northeast and West coasts had significantly greater income to created gayborhoods that are “ lose to or have easy access to the downtown and had older housing.”

But white gay men are not the culprits gentrifying Harlem, although the number of whites in Harlem in the last decade has nearly doubled from 9.9 percent to 16.6 percent.

Harlem is unquestionably a community in transition—and not only with its new residents.

In June 2010, Harlem saw its first Pride. But Harlem still remains as both a complicated open and closeted queer social hot spot. Harlem’s transgender community wrestles more than any of us LGBQs with Harlem’s homophobia.

With a new black and visible LGBTQ face emerging in Harlem in the last decade so too is a white one.

When rents became prohibitive, especially in Greenwich Village—NYC’s gay mecca— many Manhattan LGBTQs took either a bridge over to Brooklyn or a train up to Harlem.

These new LGBTQ residents in predominately poor communities and communities of color have brought unimaginable improved services to the area the city has long forgotten, like police protection, Starbucks, Wholefoods, and boutique shops, to name a few. But their presence has also created great resentment by those who were forced to relocate from these communities, but also those left to see the uncomfortable changes.

Many life-long residents wonder what will become of Manning’s imposing edifice that’s been in the community since 1957 as one of the revered Harlem churches in its day.

Some of Harlem’s land grab, however, can render not only good outcomes but also redemptive ones.

The last thing Manning would ever fathom for the church space is it becoming NYC’s largest homeless shelter and resource center for LGBTQ African American youth. And the Ali Forney Center (AFC) has launched a fundraising drive to grab the space.

Ali Forney, who the center is named after, was an African American who identified as both gay and transgender and was murdered in December 1997.

Needless to say, Rev. Manning will be outraged should the Ali Forney Center win its bid.

But I’m reminded of the prayer Forney recited — and no black pastor heard — before his death at his favorite event of the year: Talent Night at Safe Space, a program for homeless youth in NYC.

“I believe that one day, the Lord will come back to get me. Hallelujah! All my trials and tribulations, they will all be over. I won’t have to worry about crying and suffering no more, because my God, hallelujah is coming back for me.”

Many black churches, especially in Harlem like Manning’s, continue to both unapologetically and unabashedly close its doors to its LGBTQ population. And despite the fact these kids looked to the church for help these youth have neither a chance nor a prayer for assistance.

The Ali Forney Center would be their answer.

 

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