Village Voice

Village Voice The Village Voice is the authoritative source on all that New York has to offer.
When it was founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Norman Mailer in October of 1955, the Village Voice introduced free-form, high-spirited and passionate journalism into the public discourse. As the nation's first and largest alternative newsweekly, the Voice maintains the same tradition of no-holds-barred reporting and criticism it first embraced when it began publishing fifty years ago. The recipient of three Pulitzer prizes, the National Press Foundation Award and the George Polk Award, the Voice has earned a reputation for its groundbreaking investigations of New York City politics, and as the premier expert on New York's cultural scene. Writing and reporting on local and national politics, with opinionated arts, culture, music, dance, film and theater reviews, daily web dispatches and comprehensive entertainment listings, the Voice is the authoritative source on all that New York has to offer. In addition, the Voice’s daily-updated Web site www.villagevoice.com has twice been recognized as one of the nation’s premier online sites for journalistic quality and local content. The site is a past winner of both the National Press Foundation's Online Journalism Award and the Editor and Publisher Eppy Award for Best Overall US Weekly Newspaper Online. Follow us on http://twitter.com/villagevoice and http://twitter.com/VoiceStreet and @villagevoice on Instagram!

For the Voice, Greenwich Village was never just a place. It was a state of mind and a way of looking at the world. Photo...
01/01/2020
The Village in 48 Photos | The Village Voice

For the Voice, Greenwich Village was never just a place. It was a state of mind and a way of looking at the world. Photography by Fred W. McDarrah, Sylvia Plachy, James Hamilton, Amy Arbus, Catherine McGann, and Robin Holland.

For the Voice, Greenwich Village was never just a place. It was a state of mind and a way of looking at the world. Photography...

"Maybe if we all get drunk enough we’ll all have blackouts so trackless and remarkably sustained that we’ll never rememb...
12/31/2019
What If They Gave a New Year and Nobody Came? | The Village Voice

"Maybe if we all get drunk enough we’ll all have blackouts so trackless and remarkably sustained that we’ll never remember all the reprehensible things we said and did to each other, hence no guilt. Either that or we’ll all wind up killing each other at last. Though that may be the dream of a blind optimist. If so, an alternate experiment in participatory democracy might be arranged whereby we’d all agree to stockpile beforehand so when we wake up on New Year’s Day we’ve made sure there’s a thousand whiskey bottles around the bed, and then we can start over again immediately, quick as a Wheaties Olympian, before a single one o’ them ghastly memories sifts back in. And what’s more, don’t anybody get up, from sea to shining sea, don’t get up ever but just keep on like that under or over the covers, your option, en masse till New Year’s 1990. We’ve worked hard at wrecking after degrading everything we ever cared about, and deserve a good Puritan rest."

In December, 1979, Lester Bangs recounted a lifetime of sh*tty New Year's Eves

Lately every time you turn around somebody’s saying: “The eighties are coming!” Like at the stroke of midnite on New Year’s it’s all gonna be different! And when you tell ’em, “Come on, you know everything’s just gonna keep on slowly sinking,” they get downright mad! Spoilsports! N...

"The main draw for the city throngs remains Times Square. With its retread musicals and its national-chain eateries, Tim...
12/31/2019
A Brief History of NYE in NYC, From Electric Light to Sneezing Powder | The Village Voice

"The main draw for the city throngs remains Times Square. With its retread musicals and its national-chain eateries, Times Square today is a happier, safer, blander, less significant place than it has ever been before. But it is still the empire of light. Looking at the pictures of the crowds gathered at midnight over the years, it is remarkable how the hats change, the coats change, the buildings and the signs around them rise and fall. But the faces look the same, staring up, mesmerized, into the light."

In 2016, the Voice published Kevin Baker's brief history of New Year's Eve in New York City

I have a confession to make. In the forty years I have lived in Manhattan, I have never once stood in Times Square and waited...

"Maybe if we all get drunk enough we’ll all have blackouts so trackless and remarkably sustained that we’ll never rememb...
12/30/2019
What If They Gave a New Year and Nobody Came? | The Village Voice

"Maybe if we all get drunk enough we’ll all have blackouts so trackless and remarkably sustained that we’ll never remember all the reprehensible things we said and did to each other, hence no guilt. Either that or we’ll all wind up killing each other at last. Though that may be the dream of a blind optimist. If so, an alternate experiment in participatory democracy might be arranged whereby we’d all agree to stockpile beforehand so when we wake up on New Year’s Day we’ve made sure there’s a thousand whiskey bottles around the bed, and then we can start over again immediately, quick as a Wheaties Olympian, before a single one o’ them ghastly memories sifts back in. And what’s more, don’t anybody get up, from sea to shining sea, don’t get up ever but just keep on like that under or over the covers, your option, en masse till New Year’s 1990. We’ve worked hard at wrecking after degrading everything we ever cared about, and deserve a good Puritan rest."

In December, 1979, Lester Bangs recounted a lifetime of sh*tty New Year's Eves

https://www.villagevoice.com/2019/12/30/what-if-they-gave-a-new-year-and-nobody-came/

Lately every time you turn around somebody’s saying: “The eighties are coming!” Like at the stroke of midnite on New Year’s it’s all gonna be different! And when you tell ’em, “Come on, you know everything’s just gonna keep on slowly sinking,” they get downright mad! Spoilsports! N...

"I feel most American outside America. I feel most Jewish at Christmas. I resist the American celebration of Christmas c...
12/23/2019
A Christmas Cavil | The Village Voice

"I feel most American outside America. I feel most Jewish at Christmas. I resist the American celebration of Christmas chiefly because it assents to the illusion that we are all alike, when we are not — and, more importantly, that we all wish to be inside, when some of us now prefer to be outside. The nonnegotiable publicness of Christmas, the universal assumption that everyone can re­joice in Christ’s birth, everyone can appreci­ate or wants to see festooned Christmas trees, wants to see Santa Clauses on street corners and hear Christmas music piped out of win­dows and in department stores, is a denial — ­albeit temporary — 0f the existence of non­-Christians. At Christmas time, non-Christians are omitted from the psychic life of this country, and although this omission may be relatively harmless, it’s anti-Jew, anti-Bud­dhist, and anti-Moslem."

Laurie Stone on the exclusivity of Christmas, 1978
I feel most American outside America. I feel most Jewish at Christmas. I resist the American celebration of Christmas chiefly because it assents to the illusion that we are all alike, when we are not — and, more importantly, that we all wish to be inside, when some of us now prefer to be outside. The nonnegotiable publicness of Christmas, the universal assumption that everyone can re­joice in Christ’s birth, everyone can appreci­ate or wants to see festooned Christmas trees, wants to see Santa Clauses on street corners and hear Christmas music piped out of win­dows and in department stores, is a denial — ­albeit temporary — of the existence of non­-Christians. At Christmas time, non-Christians are omitted from the psychic life of this country, and although this omission may be relatively harmless, it’s anti-Jew, anti-Bud­dhist, and anti-Moslem."

Laurie Stone on the exclusivity of Christmas, December, 1978

Late in November, a woman came into an office where I was working, and a group gath­ered to look at the Christmas decorations and stocking stuffers she had just bought in Bloomingdale’s. The woman was especially pleased with a little wooden bird house that made a chirping sound. When she turned a...

"Nearly six years after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is still walking through the canyons of lower Manhattan, covered in soot, po...
12/17/2019
Rudy Giuliani’s Five Big Lies About 9/11 | The Village Voice

"Nearly six years after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is still walking through the canyons of lower Manhattan, covered in soot, pointing north, and leading the nation out of danger’s way. The Republican frontrunner is campaigning for president by evoking that visual at every campaign stop, and he apparently believes it’s a picture worth thousands of nights in the White House."

In 2007, Wayne Barrett looked at Rudy Giuliani's record

Nearly six years after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is still walking through the canyons of lower Manhattan, covered in soot, pointing north, and leading the nation...

"Fifteen of the city’s most sought after criminal lawyers are currently appearing in room 318, defending Nicky Barnes an...
12/16/2019
Nicky Barnes: Geronimo Takes On the Man No One Can Convict | The Village Voice

"Fifteen of the city’s most sought after criminal lawyers are currently appearing in room 318, defending Nicky Barnes and his 14 codefendants.

The 14 codefendants and their 14 lawyers are crammed along the L-shape of two long defense tables — the lawyers in ties, the defendants casual. The U.S. attorneys, in their dark suits, sit enclosed by the L, grouped around their gigantic tape record­er and its two black speakers. At the righthand end of the defense table, nearest the jury box, sits the star, Nicky Barnes, the most famous alleged drug dealer in the world. He is a muscular man, 44 years old, no taller than five foot eight inches, and precise in all his movements. Mythology holds him to be the most powerful man in Harlem. Perhaps for this reason, Jimmy Breslin recently put him in a suit of royal purple. That was the wee touch of the artist. The color Nicky Barnes actually favors for courtroom wear is a washed-out blue, in either corduroy or denim.

The cops have had Nicky Barnes under surveillance for years. Since 1973, he’s been tried for attempted bribery, gun posses­sion, and murder; but the police work was sloppy, the cases were shaky, and his lawyer, David Breitbart, was a scrapper. The street regards Barnes as the man no one can convict, 'Mr. Untouchable.' "

— Timothy Crouse, 1977

https://www.villagevoice.com/2019/12/16/nicky-barnes-geronimo-takes-on-the-man-no-one-can-convict/

The federal courthouse in Foley Square has a far more cathedral air than its poor neighbor two blocks to the north, the criminal courthouse at 100 Centre Street. The federal courthouse has cushions on the benches, ecclesiastical ceiling lamps, and clerks who make everybody stand up when the judge co...

"Sometimes, when I feel the world is passing me by, I wonder whatever could have possessed me to take this job, cov­erin...
12/16/2019
Stranger in Harlem, Part One: Where the Prisoners Come From | The Village Voice

"Sometimes, when I feel the world is passing me by, I wonder whatever could have possessed me to take this job, cov­ering crime. But when I look at the pho­tograph on this page, the same photo­graph which laughs up at me from my desk, I know it was because I wanted to meet some new people.

The picture shows me and Nicky Barnes and Nicky’s lawyer, Dave Breit­bart, standing outside the federal court­house in Foley Square on the day before Nicky got convicted for running a crimi­nal enterprise to sell heroin. That’s Nicky in the middle with the knotted belt, Dave with the open trenchcoat, and I’m the one in the yachting slicker. That thing in my hand is an admiral’s cap, which I picked up in some army surplus store when I was cultivating the Samuel Eliot Morison look. During the trial, somebody told me that admiral’s caps were all the rage in Har­lem, and I kept hoping that Nicky would comment favorably on mine, but he never did. I do recall, however, that Dave said something like, “Why don’t you take off that stupid hat?” just before Fred McDarrah snapped the picture.

The camera doesn’t lie. That’s a white up­per-middle-class Harvard educated journalist you see, tickled pink to be standing beside the world’s most famous drug dealer. The smile on my face says: Look how far I’ve come from my overprivileged beginnings. But look again at the background and it’s clear I hadn’t gone anywhere at all; I was still at the courthouse, homeground. I had been a courthouse reporter for a year, and this pic­ture captures the high point of my encounter with criminality."

In December 1978, The Voice published the first in five-part series on Harlem by Timothy Crouse.

“It is a miracle that the American black people have remained a peaceful people, while catching all the centuries of hell that they have caught, here in the white man’s heaven!”—The Autobiography of Malcolm X

"Even The Angry Man of Jazz felt the yuletide spirit—or spirits, if you will—according to biographer Janet Coleman. Appa...
12/14/2019
Charles Mingus’s Secret Eggnog Recipe Will Knock You on Your Ass | The Village Voice

"Even The Angry Man of Jazz felt the yuletide spirit—or spirits, if you will—according to biographer Janet Coleman. Apparently Mingus had a top secret eggnog recipe that was second to none. In his later years, Mingus finally passed on his formula to Coleman, who published the recipe in her book co-authored by Al Young, Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs.

'Mingus’s holiday eggnog was a concoction so delicious and mind-blowing, you would do anything to make sure that you saw him at Christmas. Over the phone once, he gave me the recipe.' – Janet Coleman

Unsurprisingly, the recipe calls for enough alcohol to put down an elephant. It being the festive season, I decided to exercise some really poor judgment, make a batch and have my more-gullible friends drink it with me.

The Recipe ... "

As a world-class jazz double bassist, composer and band leader, Charles Mingus is one of the most celebrated figures in American music. He was well-known...

"Actor Danny Aiello has the no-bullsh*t affabil­ity of someone just off the street. And here, in a West Hollywood hotel ...
12/13/2019
Looking Back On Danny Aiello’s Star Turn in “Do The Right Thing” | The Village Voice

"Actor Danny Aiello has the no-bullsh*t affabil­ity of someone just off the street. And here, in a West Hollywood hotel called Ledufy, where Parisienne-sounding operators answer the phone “Oui, mademoiselle,” he seems a home­-boy who has wandered onto the wrong turf. Aiello is ensconced in Los Angeles to shoot Eddie Murphy’s $40 million picture Harlem Nights, a far cry in both budget and bankability from Spike Lee’s $5 million Do the Right Thing, which gave Aiello a coveted lead role as Sal, the entrenched and ultimately embattled owner of a Bedford-Stuyvesant pizzeria."

30 years ago, the Voice profiled Danny Aiello, the iconic New York actor who died Thursday at 86.

Actor Danny Aiello has the no-bullsh*t affabil­ity of someone just off the street. And here, in a West Hollywood hotel called Ledufy, where Parisienne-sounding operators answer the phone “Oui, mademoiselle,” he seems a home­-boy who has wandered onto the wrong turf. Aiello is ensconced in Los ...

"The decade is of course an arbitrary concept — history doesn’t just execute a neat turn toward the future every 10 year...
12/11/2019
Rock in the 1970s: Journey Through the Past | The Village Voice

"The decade is of course an arbitrary concept — history doesn’t just execute a neat turn toward the future every 10 years. But like a lot of arbitrary concepts (money, say), the category does take on a reality of its own once people figure out how to put it to work. “The ’60s are over,” a slogan one only began to hear in 1972 or so, mobilized all those eager to believe that idealism had become passé, and once they were mobilized, it had. In popular music, embracing the ’70s meant both an elitist withdrawal from the messy concert and counterculture scene and a profiteering pursuit of the lowest common denominator in FM radio and album rock. But soon after this process began, the idea of the (previous) decade was being invoked to rather different ends. Nascent punks reviled the ’60s because they had spawned the ’70s, blaming the excesses and dishonesty of hippiedom for everything soft-headed, long-haired, and piggy in a rock industry grown flatulent beyond its greediest fantasies. If the ’60s were over in 1972, the ’70s were on their way out by 1977.

Don’t get me wrong — the current decade isn’t about to disappear altogether. Not, even on January 1. "

Robert Christgau on a decade of rock and roll

The decade is of course an arbitrary concept — history doesn’t just execute a neat turn toward the future every 10 years. But like a lot of arbitrary concepts (money, say), the category does take on a reality of its own once people figure out how to put it to work. “The ’60s are over,” a s...

"Biblically and biologically, Black Hebrew Israelites see themselves as descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In t...
12/11/2019
Black Hebrew Israelites: New York’s Most Obnoxious Prophets | The Village Voice

"Biblically and biologically, Black Hebrew Israelites see themselves as descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In the Old Testament, each tribe was named for a son of Jacob, himself the grandson of Abraham. They believe their ancestors were expelled from Israel in the year 70 A.D., then emigrated to West Africa, and were exported to North America as slaves. Today, they believe, the original Israelite tribes have modern equivalents: “the Negroes,” Puerto Ricans, American Indians, and nine other groups of brown-skinned New World inhabitants. They hold a grudge, meanwhile, against “continental Africans” who they believe sold them to the white man.

The street missionaries take their etymology quite literally. They yell at white people, “Hu-man is a combination of hue and man. You have no hue, no color, so you’re not human! That’s why you can’t absorb the sun and you need vitamins!”

Of course, 'real' Jews don’t consider them Jewish, and vice versa. Tom Metzger, the notorious leader of White Aryan Resistance, once said about them, 'They’re the black counterpart of us.' "

In 2011, Steven Thrasher profiled the Black Hebrew Israelites

Friday, February 11, will be remembered as the historic day Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime came to an end in Egypt. But that same day, New...

"... about three or four years ago, a turnabout started. Jazz, it transpired, had not died, it had simply gone away; now...
12/11/2019
Jazz Wars in the ’70s | The Village Voice

"... about three or four years ago, a turnabout started. Jazz, it transpired, had not died, it had simply gone away; now, it was back — Time and Newsweek each came to the same conclusion. Internation­al jazz festivals proliferated (even Playboy sponsored one). Stevie Wonder and Jim­my Carter announced that they liked jazz. Fats Waller and Eubie Blake were carted back to Broadway (where their music was dejazzified, but let’s not quibble), Alvin Ailey choreographed hours of Ellington, Mikhail Baryshnikov danced minutes to Cecil Taylor, and Scott Joplin (who died in 1917, and whose relationship to jazz in this regard is more symbolic than real) won an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Pulitzer. More significantly, young jazz musicians were willing to come out of the closet, especially after George Benson copped a platinum record for Breezin’. People who felt intimidated by the difficulties of jazz could now feel superior to its bourgeois sentimentality. Creed Taylor, Inc. had paved the middle of the road, and soon there were Chuck Mangione records for your maiden aunt and Maynard Ferguson records for your high school football coach. Herbie and Chick made jazz cute, Bob James, John Klemmer, Grover Washington, Tom Scott, and George Duke were on the charts, while the minions of Miles Davis took a trip down memory lane via V.S.O.P.; Keith Jarrett was baptized an Artist, Bobbi Humphrey a Flutist, and Donald Byrd an Ethnomusicologist. May­be Jazz had died."

In December 1979, Gary Giddins explored a decade of jazz

“Maybe the best that can be said of jazz in the ’70s is that it didn’t just survive. It established its own precedents and raised important questions about an art that was finally pushed beyond its golden age.”

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