Monday, June 28, 2010

The Desiderata Music Festival. Location: WhereAreWe?, NY.

A select group of four musicians and four dancers formed a representation of the Hoover Dam Collective at the Desiderata music festival this past Thursday. The 8 intrepid members squished into 2 cars and faced rush hour traffic and convoluted New Jersey thruways, finally to be greeted by the wafting aroma of cow poop, open skies and lovely hills. Yes, the HDC met the Catskills!

The 8 HDC members stayed in a log cabin -- a cute functional little thing with a banging sound system -- and immediately got to work rehearsing in the modestly sized dining room. Though the dancers were frustrated with the small space, the musicians were content to jam with each other, providing a rocking score to the rehearsal process.

The music festival itself was, using an ambiguous but appropriate word: Interesting. A group of people all ages gathered for a relatively reasonable price to camp, drink, do drugs, engage in activities such a yoga and stage-decoration, and above all else, enjoy great music. I found myself judging the attendees quickly, placing them in groups such as "graduated from Purchase in the 1990's", "Trust-fund-afarians" and "straightforward druggies." However, after spending a mere hour in the atmosphere, I found the people to be the most open, encouraging and accepting people I have really encountered in the last few years.

The show went over pretty well. The attendance wasn't great, but we got a bit of exposure, and above all we gave everything we had, in true Hoover Dam fashion.

Later that night, the four musicians (Alex Mackinnon, Zach Koeber, David Cutler and Spencer Murphy) played their own set under the title Bot Jiz. The show absolutely blew my mind, and the HDC dancers were invited on stage for a special appearance.

Check out Bot Jiz's Myspace for some excellent material for your ears here:

One more thing. I have decided to coin the HDC's first official slang word. From now on please substitute the word "vision" for "awesome"
"Yo, check out that dude's tattoo. That shit is vision."

Bk in Bk

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fanfares, Introductions, Missions, More Fanfares.

Welcome to Damn! - The Hoover Dam Collective Blog.

What is this thing? Who are these kids? What are they trying to accomplish with their body-bumping, bass-thumping evenings of artistic collaboration? Why "The Hoover Dam" anyway?

This blog will attempt to answer questions about the HDC as well as detail the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in as we try to do what we do best: make art and party.

First things first - Our mission statement:

"The Hoover Dam Collective is a group of young artists based in Brooklyn, New York, who are particularly interested in making work that crosses the boundaries of specific art disciplines. The Collective was founded in 2009 by a group of dynamic individuals from the world-renowned arts conservatories at State University of New York at Purchase College. The HDC produces concerts and arts events in and around New York City which feature collaboration between music, dance, film, theater and visual art. We are interested in exploring how our various art forms overlap by creating a new genre of performing art that incorporates all forms of creative investigation. The concert events are site specific to each venue and it is our endeavor to transform these interdisciplinary performances into a laid-back party setting. Our primary goal is to expose our art to new audiences and break down the barrier between spectator and performer. We hope to cultivate local talent and give young artists the opportunity to learn through collaboration, while also providing exposure opportunities. Most importantly, we hope that our work can help audiences re-evaluate the role that art has in our lives and in the world around us."

Now, to address the question of where our name came from: The seed of the HDC was planted in the head of its creators within one special apartment affectionately known as "The Hoover Dam," where the initial meetings took place. This apartment received its name through a Hoover Dam shot glass with mysterious origins that appeared in the kitchen. Every time the occupants needed to make some celebratory toast, "To the Hoover Dam!" was an obvious choice. Hence, when the members of the the then untitled HDC needed to conjure a name for themselves, "The Hoover Dam Collective" won. (Other possible names were "The Lemon Bar Alliance" or "The Purple Velvet Pants Collective")

A short bit about HDC's history:

Our first show, "For the Sake of Art" premiered in the spring of 2010 in the Dance Theatre Lab at Purchase College. The event took a concert dance format and remains the most formal HDC show to date. "For the Sake of Art" was an exploration in collaboration and opened a variety of doors for the creators.

This show was brought to a venue called Station 171 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with the introduction of live sets by great bands interspersed with selected works from the first show, and a copious amount of free beer. The night turned out the be a great show, a rocking party, and the discovery of what HDC was meant to be.

Since then, the HDC has been tasting a variety of flavorful venues and atmospheres, performing in the greater New York metropolitan area and perfecting the formula of what makes the shows work.

We are looking forward to our next show on Friday July 16th at the Woodhull Deli in Brooklyn. Watch out for a new post with more details!

BK in BK