Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Afternoon in Williamsburg: The Third Annual Monster Island Block Party at Metropolitan and Kent Avenues

On an utterly gorgeous afternoon when most people felt really glad just to be alive, we were lucky enough to walk down Metropolitan Avenue towards the river to spend a couple of hours at the annual Monster Island Block Party, a wonderful event presented with love by the Monster Island family:

Secret Project Robot, Live With Animals,

and our friend Todd P, along with Showpaper (a great broadsheet featuring listings of all-ages shows),

the O cropolis, Kayrock Screenprinting, Mollusk Surf Shop, and all of the artists and musicians who make Monster Island possible.

We got to see and hear the sets of three terrific bands: Mcdonalds,

who we really liked

(but their name made it hard for us to find a webpage to link to);

Xray Eyeballs

(who were also at the Rock Yard seven Saturdays ago);

and the trippingly psychedelic Bezoar.

And we got to experience some amazing artworks at the openings at Secret Project Robot and Live With Animals and the special installation curated by Michael Levario.

It's always a trip to go to Secret Project Robot, which we've done before.

The works had a lot of cultural commentary.

The Mexican-born artist Raul de Nieves' "Smile Smile Smile" at Live With Animals was exhilarating.

A unique rarity of boisterous color and delirious art, de Nieves functions and dis-functions with a unique hand-made material language,

building narrative through decadent multimedia performances and playfully obsessive mixed-media installations.

It had been a while since we smiled so much at an art exhibit.

In the Monster Island basement, it was too dark and crowded to get a pic of the weirdly fantastic drummers we heard, although one little boy found them slightly too loud.

Out on Metropolitan Avenue, the Monster Island Block Party had a real neighborhoody block party feel,

a place where friends met,


and sat and listened to music.

Smartly, there were folding chairs scattered about, but some people liked sitting on the sidewalk.

The Koolman truck was there, and although it was mostly a hipster crowd, we were glad to see other people on right side of 40 and 50, too.

And at the end of the block, there was that quintessential Brooklyn street decoration we once contributed to in our childhood (on a wire outside Mary Queen of Heaven on East 56th Street and Avenue M).

We're really grateful to everyone who had a hand in making today's Monster Island Block Party special, and of course it got a lot better in the later hours, but we had to get moving for the early bird geezer special somewhere.

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