Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Coney Island Talent Show

Got talent? Jen Gapay of Thirsty Girl Productions, the creator and producer of the Coney Island Talent Show, has posted an open call for contestants for the sixth annual contest, which offers over $2,500 in cash and prizes. The talent show’s three categories are Creative Kids 9-12 years old, Creative Kids 13-17 years old, and Song, Dance & Variety, 18 and up. The stage is on the Boardwalk before thousands–no, wait–zillions of people, as well as the Wonder Wheel and the Parachute Jump. You’ve got to be in it to win it, and July 15 is the deadline to apply for the July 25 show.

Coney Island Talent Show

Coney Island Talent Show 2014. 3rd place winner of Creative kids 9-12 years old, Elana Caceres. Photo © Robin Souma

So far, Jen has gotten more adults and older kids and “could use a little push for the little ones,” she says. In past years, the talent show has presented singers, musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians, ventriloquists and snake charmers, among others. Here are a few photos of last year’s winners in the Creative Kids, 9-12 Category. Last year, Tori Famularo won first place in the her age group for her rendition of The Girl in 14G. To apply to perform in the show, visit coneyislandtalentshow.com.

Troi Famularo

Tori Famularo singing The Girl in 14G in the 2014 Coney Island Talent Show. Photo © Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park

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We’re pretty sure “XO,” Beyoncé’s love letter from Coney Island, is going to cause a spike in Coney tourism next season. The full-length version of the new music video shot here in August is now up on her Vevo amid rumors it will be released as a single. According to Billboard, the new self-titled album has become the fastest-selling album ever worldwide in the iTunes Store.

In the Terry Richardson-directed vid, Queen Bey and her crew have a blast riding the landmark Cyclone and Wonder Wheel and the old-school Eldorado “Bump Your Ass off” Bumper Cars. They dance on the Eldorado’s Skee-Ball lanes too! There are gorgeous aerial shots of the parks and beach, and the lights of the Parachute Jump. Amid scenes of Beyoncé being swarmed by fans, you’ll catch a glimpse of Boardwalk legend Tony Disco, 79, as well as a little boy boogying on the Bowery. A week after the shoot, the crew went back to capture the famous “25¢ to Fall in LOVE” dancing doll “Miss Coney Island” (seen at 2:20).


Beyoncé and XO video director Terry Richardson riding Spook-A-Rama, Coney Island. August 29, 2013. Photo via beyonce-legion.com

When Beyoncé’s album surprise-debuted on Friday with a 30-second preview of the video, some tweeters said Coney looked huge and extravagant and nothing like it does in real life. One called it “the Beyoncé effect.” For those of us who have sand in our shoes, Coney Island is larger than life and extremely fun. This special place is also forever photogenic and a magnet for videographers. Beyoncé’s “XO” is arguably the first music video that shows both the new and the old Coney Island. Some of our fave vids of the past portray a gritty and deserted Coney Island during the off-season like The Heavy’s dark and seedy “Sixteen,” shot in late 2008 or 2009.

Here’s what some twitterers had to say about “XO” and “the Beyoncé effect” in Coney Island. What do you think?



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The news that Nashville-based string band Old Crow Medicine Show is coming to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on March 7 reminded us how much we like their carnival-themed music vid for “Wagon Wheel.” Played more than 20 million times on YouTube since its debut in 2006, the video has the band on the bally stage of an old-timey carny girl show, with the girls shimmying up to the musicians as the ticket-seller counts his cash and the Rock-O-Plane whirls on the midway. It was shot in Smyrna, Tennessee, next to Snyder & Metts Amusements, which was owned by Hill Snyder and is now part of carnival history, says a poster on Matt’s Carnival Warehouse.

The band members have roots in Virginia and upstate New York, where fiddle player and vocalist Ketch Secor wrote “Wagon Wheel” as a teen. The song took its inspiration from bootleg tapes of Bob Dylan’s “Rock Me Mama” to which Secor added lyrics about hitchhiking to North Carolina.

According to music writer Peter Cooper, when Secor sought to copyright the song with Dylan for use on an album, he learned that Dylan credited the “Rock me, mama” chorus to bluesman Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and Crudup probably borrowed his idea from an early 20th century recording by Big Bill Broonzy. “That song drags a heavy chain,” Secor told Cooper. “In a way, it’s taken something like 85 years to get completed.” Released in 2004, the song went platinum this year and the band was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Tickets for the March 7, 2014 concert at Barclays go on sale Friday, October 18, with pre-sale to fans via OCMS’s website now available. The band’s 2014 tour dates in support of the Avett Brothers also include Boston, Pittsburgh and Fairfax, VA. On December 30 and New Year’s Eve, OCMS will play Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium.


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