On “Make Music New York Day,” the first day of summer on Tuesday, one had a variety of choices of where to enjoy some tunes in the city: Accordions playing Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ in Battery Park, a blues jam in Brooklyn, an orchestra on Liberty Island, electronic music in an East Village Garden and a whole lot more.
Or, you could have joined the crowd on Orchard Street for the 12th annual Rock and Roll Block Party.
Curated by Chuck Bones, co-owner of the undeniably hip R&R clothing store The Cast and lead singer of the Trash Bags, a local fave punk band, the lineup incited a growing crowd to form a mosh pit, crowd surf and just generally have a great time with friends and neighbors from early afternoon until dark.
This year’s line-up was the biggest, according to Bones.
“We started across the street when we had a tiny shop, with only three bands, ” he recalls. This year the block was filled with the sounds of Bad Vacation, The Trash Bags, Tits Dick Ass, Tuxedo Cats, C.T. Hustle and the Muscle, Damn Jackals, Miranda and the Beat and Daddy Long Legs.
A brief period of rain cut Miranda’s set short, much to the disappointment of Kim Sollecito, the band’s drummer.
“We’ve always wanted to play this event,” she lamented. They played long enough to make an impression though, and the rain stopped in time for Daddy Long Legs, a hard-edged R+B quartet, to rev up for a finale that kept the mosh pit going till the end.
“It was awesome!” gushed social media/marketing expert Darian Brenner ( who, incidentally, lives above the shop). “It’s great that The Cast does this every year and keeps the vibe alive.”
Sierra Bailey, who also lives in the neighborhood, never stopped dancing or moshing in the pit as far as we could tell. “I’m from Louisiana and this does not happen in Louisiana !” she said. “It was genuinely a really good time.”
Photographer Alice Espinosa-Cincotta, a born and bred New Yorker, mused on the notion of punk rock having become almost traditional. “Forty years ago it was anti-fashion, anti-music, anti-whatever, and now it’s become part of the fiber of the Lower East Side,” she said.
More than one person, including Mari Blount from the great combo Baby Shakes, noted that there was a “sense of family, a community vibe.”
Artist Simone Zimmermann and musician Steve Krebs agreed that “it brings people together,” with Krebs adding, “Chuck Bones is cool – Daddy Long Legs rule! “
Bones is definitely what cool is all about, but he couldn’t help saying exactly how he felt about the day.
“It was f—ing epic!” he exclaims. “It’s all about the music, the community, the neighborhood …. we’ve gotta keep New York New York.”