Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Afternoon in Clinton Hill: The Afro-Punk Block Party

Everyone loves an Afro-Punk Block Party.

And we are no exception.

Despite a sinus infection and Eustachian tube dysfunction, we made our way to Clinton Avenue between Willoughby and Myrtle Avenues via the B48 and B54 buses and enjoyed today's closing event in this year's fabulous Afro-Punk Festival.

We got there about 2:15 p.m. and stayed over two hours.

It was a beautiful afternoon and many people came out to enjoy the block party. The crowds got bigger and bigger during the time we were there.

There were a lot of booths from local vendors, most of them Brooklynites.

The Census has been at all the Afro-Punk Festival events, urging that everyone be counted in the spring of 2010 so Brooklyn and New York can get its fair share of federal funds and representation.

Shinobi Ninja was playing when we got up to the stage.

Shinobi Ninja is a cool local band consisting of singers Dave Aaron and Baby Girl, guitarists Maniac Mike and Adriano Morez, drummer Terminator Dave, and DJ Axis.

At the last song of their set, people came onstage to dance.

Here they are at the Blender Theater last month.

There were people on skateboards (mostly younger) and bikes (mostly older, not the BMX crowd) and in wheelchairs and strollers. These people are listening to one of the day's great DJ's, Hard Hitting Harry.

There were all kinds of stuff for sale.

Coup d'Etat Brooklyn has some great designs. Their motto: Live to Change Something.

A lot of people came specifically to see Maiyesha and hear her music, and after seeing her perform, we know why.

One of her best songs is "Wanna Be." It's up for a 2009 Grammy in the Best Urban/Alternative category.

The audience during "Wanna Be."

Minneapolis-born Maiysha now lives in Park Slope. Her album This Much Is True will be in stores August 26.

The Afro-Punk Festival booth sold music, T-shirts, posters and more.

We loved Tamar-kali last weekend at Afro-Punk Skate Park.

Lots of good food, and some decent face-painting, too, we guess.

Sandflower Dyson, a goddess from Brownsville (there are more than you think), was really good at introducing the acts and getting the crowd excited.

Some public service announcements about responding to the Census and taking care of your body, along with tossed free T-shirts.

We were going to leave, but then Joya Bravo came onstage. She was worth staying for a while longer, even with a low-grade fever.

In addition to singing, she can really play the violin.

Listen to her performing at the Pulse Magazine party two months ago:

We scored a Joya Bravo CD sampler.

If we didn't have to go home to use our neti pot and take our antibiotic, we would have stayed longer.

But we're glad we got out to today's wonderful Afro-Punk Block Party. It was a special day at the end of a really great Afro-Punk Festival. Lots of people worked really hard and we thank them for their herculean efforts.

If you missed it, there is always next year. Meanwhile, check out the Afro-Punk website. And for the block party, you can find mo' better pics and commentary, plus a video, at the blog of the wonderful Brooklyn Born.

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