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In the Brick of it: First LEGO Live NYC Event

LEGO, Lego Live NYC
Those who can’t wait for LEGOLAND New York to open in 2020 can get a massive bricks fix at the very first Lego Live NYC event.The family oriented weekend will take place at Manhattan’s Pier 36 on February 16-18, 2018 and will offer a range of activities sure to please LEGO neophytes and diehard “Brickheads” alike.

LEGO Live NYC offers 5 timed-entry sessions during the weekend with a full menu of special activities. All the licensed and original product lines (Stars Wars, Batman, NINJAGO) will be represented. LEGO Masters will be on board to help work out your gnarliest design conundrums, and hands-on activities and live performances will be featured across the 65,000 square foot event space.

“[…]we are thrilled to debut this one-of-a-kind experience with families in the tri-state area,” said Michael McNally, senior director, brand relations at LEGO Systems, Inc. “We can’t wait to see how that inherent creativity comes to life as we engage New Yorkers and visitors alike in memorable hands-on, minds-on LEGO play experiences for the entire family.”

LEGO, lego live nyc, play fair 2017

This young fellow found at least one kind of immersive LEGO activity at Play Fair 2017.

Here’s a line-up of what to expect…
LEGO® Life: Maximize your show experience via the LEGO Life app, a safe, social network for kids who love to build. The app will offer details on show activities and insider tips, and the LEGO Life team will host exclusive opportunities to build, capture and share unique LEGO creations made at the show with the broader community of LEGO fans in the app.

Meet the Masters on the Main Stage: Meet a LEGO Master Builder and learn building tips and tricks in live demonstrations, competitions and Q&A sessions.

LEGO Architecture: Build together to create the iconic skyscrapers that make up the Manhattan skyline in this community building area.

LEGO MinecraftTM: Journey with Steve to build your way through the iconic and ever-popular Minecraft universe with the thousands of specialty LEGO pieces found in this creative building zone.

Coding Corner: Build, code and play with the new LEGO BOOST and heritage LEGO MINDSTORMS® toolkits to test your skill in creating your own LEGO robot.

LEGO Shop: Browse a huge selection of LEGO sets for builders of all ages, or select from an assortment of “show only” souvenirs.

Ticketsare now available and can be purchased at https://liveevent.lego.com/tickets/. $30 General Admission, $45 VIG (Very Important Guest) and $75 VIK (Very Important Kid) ticketing options are available.

(Not Just) Another Brick in the Wall…
For several generations LEGO has been a fun medium for kids to create with but its artistic applications truly came to light via the work of builders like Nathan Samaya (The Art of the Brick) and Mike Doyle’s Beautiful LEGO compendiums. The LEGO Movie clinched the brand’s ascendance to cultural icon status, and social media affords fans across the globe learning and sharing experiences at a grassroots level.

LEGO, lego live nyc, play fair 2017

No design awards here, but an ernest LEGO “doodle” by yours truly.

SkeletonPete Says…
I must admit I didn’t fully get the scope of Lego-Mania until two fairly recent events. First, a design workshop with LEGO Creative Director Jeremy Brazeal at the 2015 Wanted/Design Conference in Brooklyn’s Industry City Complex, opened my eyes to the LEGO as a teaching tool. More recently at NYCC17 I noted my godson’s zeal for collecting and knowledge of the product range. A great hobby which rivals (maybe eclipses) my own enthusiasm for comic books back in the 1970’s.
LEGO, Lego Live NYC

(Don’t) Fear the Riffer: Cutting Edge Expo for Music Gearheads


Fear the Riff Effects Pedal and Gear Expo
Saturday October 7, 2017
11AM through 8PM
(10AM entrance for VIP ticket holders)
Brooklyn Expo Center
79 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY
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Brooklyn’s Street Sounds Hosts Gretsch Guitar Day

Saturday June 18, 2011
While many weathered the heat to get gander at aquatically adorned Mermaid Parade revelers, the real Brooklyn VIP Party was going down at Bay Ridge’s Street Sounds Music Store, in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge as we like to say. It was a special day and those in the know packed Rocky Sciano’s family run business to take in the beautiful and voluptuous curves of those American designed classics – Gretsch Guitars. You may know Gretsch instruments as the Rock-A-Billy wreckers painted up in delicious Hot Rod colors, or maybe the country picker’s choice in the hands of Chet Atkins, or maybe the hell’s bells ringing red double cutaway Jet Firebird of AC/DC’s Malcolm Young . “Who’s Next”? “Quadrophenia”? – all Pete Townshend’s 6120, gifted to him by Joe Walsh. Django – Gretsch. Eddie Cochran – Gretsch. Got the point?

Homecoming and History

The Gretsch family company started its life in Brooklyn NYC in 1883 making banjos and drums for marching bands. They initiated their historic line of guitars in 1954. For this special event Fred Gretsch III and Product Specialist Joe Carducci paid a visit to original home turf bringing along California calendar girl Kim Falcon and top-notch picker Paul Pigat, AKA Cousin Harley. Of course the afternoon was all about the gear; the star item being the prototype of Gretsch’s 1957 Duo Jet George Harrison replica, reproduced down to the rust on the Bigsby vibrato spring. With only 60 of these puppies being produced worldwide, this Harrison family authorized gem was a thrill to ogle slowly revolving in its display case. Along with the Harrison collectors item Street Sounds showed off walls hung with beautiful examples of the expansive Gretsch line and District Product Manager David Waters was on hand throughout the afternoon to offer attendees help and information on specific models.

As part of the festivities, Mssrs. Gretsch and Carducci presented “The Fred and Joe Show” highlighting the company’s history and key artists. It was augmented to include information about the convoluted journey of George’s Duo Jet. It’s a great story, you can read it here. Raffle tickets were chosen by Ms. Falcon (with a little help from Rocky’s mom). Prizes included heaps of Gretsch merch like T-shirts, playing cards, Zippo Lighters and bolo ties. In addition, two lucky participants won killer Gretsch guitars. Paul Pigat played some smokin’ rock-a-billy, a smooth take on Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”, and taught a compact lesson on the art of Travis picking. Up and coming group Foxy Studs (Joe on guitar, Christina on drums, Tammie singing and Elia on Bass) gave the audience a look at and listen to the future of Gretsch guitar and drum players. After the raffles and presentation Fred and Kim spent time meeting fans and signing autographs on calendars, posters and even a few guitars.

Whoa! Haven’t seen you since the Fort Hamilton High School “Battle of the Bands” in 1972

The event was like old home week for local musicians and brought out players young and umm…seasoned from the surrounding neighborhoods. It is just so cool that so many of us have kept the faith and kept playing. There were some Prodigal Children, a Rockingham or two, John “The Cat” Gatto from – genuflect now – The Good Rats, even a couple of members of Dance Half Done. Modern Drummer editor Billy Amendola was on hand as was Piercing Metal’s main mensch Ken Pierce.

The special day continued into evening with a walking tour at the original factory site – 60 Broadway in Williamsburg. Apparently, the pioneering Gretsch family beat the hipster invasion to the punch by over 100 years!

P.S.
The Frosted Pink Cupcake Lollipops were mind blowing! – no that’s not a psychedelic tribute band.

The photos below tell the story of a wonderful time had by all. Click any image to launch the gallery. (All photos copyright 2011, Peter Parrella)

Willie West “Fairchild” @ Southpaw Feb 26, 2011

Willie West treated the audience to a reprise of his turntable fave “Fairchild” @ Brooklyn’s Southpaw. The February 26, 2011 Dig Deeper gig marked his first ever appearance in New York City.

For detailed information on Willie’s career and a heapin’ helping of enlightenment on New Orleans music a visit to Dan Phillips’ Home of the Groove blog is a must.

Dance Half Done All Hallow’s Greeting (2010)

Along with announcing our next gig on Friday November 5th @ The Full Moon Saloon, DHD has worked up a little bit of mirthful mayhem for your Halloween listening pleasure. The entire cast of the “WDHD Radio Repertory Company” is on hand, Sir Attenbarrel, Count Dunula, our beleaguered director and or course the irrepressible Lemmy DiGooch. They’re waiting in the pumpkin patch for you. Shh… they’re all Eddie Green.

To give it a spin follow this link to DHD’s Media Page. While you’re there check out our just launched blogspace, with lots of photos from Oct 23 Harvest Festival show.

Click the image to enlarge.