In David Prudhomme’s Graphic Novel ‘rebetiko,’ A Music Revolution

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EDT October 2, 2013 Barlines, located inside the Omni Hotel, is a new option for local music and entertainment in downtown Nashville. (Photo: Karen Kraft, The Tennessean) SHARE 7 CONNECT 38 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE When the Omni Hotel officially opens this week, it also will mean the opening of a new live music venue that will feature local songwriters and artists. Barlines, a 280-seat bar and restaurant, is anchored by a raised stage in the middle. The goal, according to Barlines manager Rebecca Senita, is to give hotel guests an authentic Nashville experience while also giving local residents a new nightlife option. “We want to be Nashville’s new hot spot,” Senita said. “We’re going to have Southern comfort food and classic cocktails mixed with music and sports.” Barlines will book a variety of bands and have a weekly songwriter night on Tuesday, said Senita, who said the venue is booking its October calendar. Additionally, performances will be recorded and broadcast on the Barlines channel for hotel patrons. “We’re going to have music seven days a week from open to close, with sports mixed in as well for big games, featuring Titans games,” she said. “Our music will range from country honky-tonk style to country-rock, bluegrass, rockabilly. We have a good variety of artists that we’re going to bring in.” Barlines is on the first floor of the west side of the 800-room hotel behind the Country Music Hall of Fame at 250 Fifth Ave. S.

Music to their ears! Scores of instruments donated to three Bronx schools

I hadnt either until I read David Prudhommes graphic novel of the same name , which traces a day and a night in the lives of a group of musicians in Athens in the fall of 1936. Born in the 1920s, Prudhomme explains in a brief authors note, the themes of rebetiko are comparable to those of Fado or the tango. Sometimes its known as the Greek blues. The idea, he goes on, is to sing about the pain of exile, the romance of the ports, the swoops and flights of the nighthawks and their ill-starred loves; their failure and their humor. My kind of music, in other words, fueled by hash and booze and a sense that, for the duration of a song, at least, ones daily degradations might be washed away. Political, too, since, as Prudhomme notes, [i]n 1936, the nationalist dictator Metaxas seized power in Athens and decided that these singers on the fringes of society should be brought into line a decision that turned the rebetes into outlaws, and their music into a call to arms. Prudhomme sets Rebetiko in the early days of the Metaxas era and builds it around a loose association of figures, both historical and imagined, including Markos Vamvakiris , considered an early hero of the form. The story, such as it is, is a meandering lament, much like the music it seeks to celebrate, in which Markos is released from jail, reconnects with his friends Stavros and Artemis, performs in a port cafe, and eventually must make a treacherous escape from the law. Theres nothing left but smoke, melancholy, broken plates , Prudhomme writes late in the book. We were only little octopuses from the slums, with bile as black as ink. The larger implication, however, is that such little octopuses can have a bit effect when they tell their stories honestly, creating a space in which an audience can truly recognize itself. To get this across, Prudhomme re-creates the music deftly, using small panels that echo the darkness, the closeness, of the cafes while also filling them with movement, the movement of patrons dancing, or fighting, or being seduced. Because rebetiko is storytelling music, he highlights the lyrics, layering them atop his images, as if they were part of the atmosphere. At times, it can be difficult to parse out the characters there are a lot of them, and they come and go with a kind of fluid serendipity, leaving us uncertain about who is who.


Scores of instruments donated to three Bronx schools After-school orchestra program saved at Bronx Green Middle School, Bronx Park Middle School and Pelham Academy. By Jennifer H. Cunningham / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 5:28 PM Christie M Farriella/for New York Daily News Students (from left) Ashley Morillo, Kailey Maria, Samantha Torres and Genesis Gonzalez show off the donated instruments. Strike up the band! Kind-hearted New Yorkers donated 126 musical instruments to three Bronx schools after the Daily News highlighted educators efforts to restore dormant music programs. That is just a wonderful number, said Charles Johnson, principal of Bronx Green Middle School, which will share the music makers with Bronx Park Middle School and Pelham Academy. We hope well get 126 kids interested. The equipment includes accordions, a keyboard, a tuba, clarinets, saxophones, trombones and French horns and theyll help revive the schools after-school music program, which were hurt by a massive cut in arts education during the Bloomberg administration. RELATED: BRONX SCHOOLS TO GET DONATED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Administrators at all three schools have set aside money to hire a music teacher for the after-school orchestra and students cant wait to tune up. Its very nice, said future drum player Kaylee Maria, 11, a sixth grader at Bronx Park Middle School. They are so generous with their instruments so kids can learn how to play music. All three schools still need string and percussion instruments. To donate, email or call (347) 654-7044. Watching on a mobile device? Click here to see the video.