on the pier along the water
24-20 FDR Drive, Service Road East at 23rd Street and the East River, New York, NY 10010
R/6 to 23rd St., walk all the way east.
|7:00||Live Music by Vanessa Bley|
|7:15||Presentations by Local Activists|
|7:30||Live Music by Chappo|
|8:00||Live Music by Rude Mechanical Orchestra|
|10:40||Q and A with Josh Fox and Local Activists|
Rude Mechanical Orchestra (New York, NY)
The Rude Mechanical Orchestra is a 30-odd-piece New York City radical marching band and dance troupe. Through their music and performance, they strive to support people and communities working for social justice. They play protests, demonstrations, direct actions, picket lines, marches, benefits and events for good causes. They function as a democratic collective through consensus-based decision-making and they do not discriminate on the basis of musical ability. They formed in the spring of 2004 for the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C. and solidified to support people protesting the Republican National Convention in New York. They were a motley mix of rusty players that hadn't picked up a horn since high school and longtime street bandistas on leave from Hungry March Band or the Infernal Noise Brigade, blowing sour notes at the invading greedheads and serenading the rabble.
Since then, they've tripled their numbers and made strides in their sound, but they remain a band of mostly amateurs rediscovering and reinterpreting the music they played as pimply adolescent band geeks. (Their dance troupe, Tactical Spectacle, is another story. They're professionals.) Over nearly four years, they have, regrettably, played more antiwar marches than they can count. They've played protesting union-busters and tip-garnishers, gentrifiers and privatizers, xenophobes, homophobes, and a host of other big uglies. They've worked with groups like Time's Up, the Restaurant Opportunity Center of New York, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the War Resisters League. They've played community events around town and beyond, like the Queens Pride Parade, the Mermaid Parade, the East Village Roving Garden Party, Philadelphia's Spiral Q Peoplehood Parade, and Boston's Honk Festival.
Their repertoire includes a mix of folk songs from cultures spanning the globe, as well as some more contemporary numbers and a bunch of originals. A typical set might include a spritz of klezmer, some Balkan and Brazilian notes, plenty of funk, some Latin beats, a little jazz and a Le Tigre cover, all of it served up with a patina of punk. They don't do Sousa marches, though they love his phone. We typically turn out anywhere from 10-25 performers to a show, though they've been known to swell suddenly and without warning into The Green Monster, a billowing cloud of brass, 'tude and glitter, according to some occult confluence of the tides and the stars.