New York Music Daily

No New Abnormal

Category: resistance

Forget 1967, This Is the Summer of Love

Françoise Hardy was a little ahead of her time: c’est actuellement l’authentique Temps de l”amour. This is what happens when you lock people down, terrorize them with sixteen months of divide-and-conquer schemes…and then suddenly they break free.

This is seismic. A paradigm shift. And once paradigms shift, they never go back.

This summer in New York has turned into get-out-of-jail syndrome on steroids. Bars and restaurants are full, every night. If you can remember as far back as 2001, think back to the camaraderie and the outpouring of compassion among our fellow citizens in the wake of 9/11. That’s small potatoes compared to what’s been happening since Andrew Cuomo was forced to concede defeat to the voices of reason and normalcy.

There’s one force in the world that’s stronger than fear, stronger than death, even. That force is love.

Are you feeling it? Just take a walk down your block, or wherever people are congregating. It’s impossible NOT to feel it. And much as that may seem weird, completely alien, even, it sure feels good.

Everywhere you turn, there are couples. It seems like every night is date night, from old people just glad to get out for a cup of coffee and the paper, to all the kids who are too young to get into bars and have therefore turned every city park and every other stoop into a makeout spot.

People have been hurt, horribly, over the last sixteen months. If you had the misfortune to spend the lockdown alone, you know how soul-crushing it is to believe that you’ll never ever again be close enough to someone to be able to love them.

We may be a city of walking wounded right now, but a tsunami of healing is coursing through our streets. And it couldn’t have hit our shore at a more opportune moment. Tessa Lena says that it is the soul that dissolves the algorithms. She’s right.

If you’re one of the lucky ones starting a relationship or bolstering an old one now, hold on like it’s Edgar Cayce’s silver cord. You’re going to need it. If you aren’t in a relationship right now, the time is ripe. People are reaching out, taking chances like never before. This blog has never seen anything like it.

Life is all about taking chances, anyway. Risk aversion is for losers. If you can see someone’s face, that means they’re probably friendly. Strike up a conversation. What have you got to lose? Loneliness and alienation, that’s what.

If you’ve spent any time in Manhattan over the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly stepped across one of James De La Vega’s inspirational slogans chalked on the sidewalk. “Dream until it comes true.” That’s not bullshit: this summer that really could happen if you put enough muscle behind it.

We took back most of our concert spaces, the ones that still exist, anyway. More and more, we’re taking back our nightlife. Those propaganda posters festooning the doors of every other bar and restaurant in town sure look intimidating, but they’re just there for show.

The other night, what a beautiful feeling it was to saunter alongside a smoldering, brown-eyed devochka, right past a wall full of that terror propaganda, then march up to the maitre d’ and request a table. And then get the perfect one for the evening.

Now, it would be romantic to credit that success to a beautiful woman’s otherworldly charms. Realistically, neither devochka nor smoldering brown eyes had anything to do with it. She could have been as ugly as a hybrid clone of Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab, and we still would have scored that table. Restaurants just need the money.

And what a beautiful feeling it was to stop into a favorite pizza spot the other day right at dinnertime and discover that not a single customer, nor any of the guys behind the counter, were huffing and puffing beneath ugly aquamarine facewear.

And no matter how many lies the tv spews about computer-simulated “variants,” or meaningless results of a test that was rigged from day one to generate false positives, or sour-faced warnings of more lockdowns and muzzlemania and an apartheid state looming on the horizon, none of that is going to happen if we stand up for the people and the communities we love.

At this point, it really looks like love is going to save the day. It’s the only choice we have, anyway.

Tessa Lena Breaks Down the Surveillance-Industrial Complex in a Few Short Paragraphs

Before the lockdown, Tessa Lena was best known to New York audiences as a fiery singer and writer of keyboard-based art-rock, which is often scathingly funny and critical of social media, its inherent divisiveness and narcissism. Since the beginning of last year’s lockdown, she’s published some of the most insightful and genuinely poetic critiques of the tech oligarchs’ New Abnormal and quest for world domination. Others, notably Whitney Webb, have covered this crisis at great length, but nobody has been able to distill what we’re up against as concisely and articulately as Tessa Lena does in her latest piece at Substack:

I had a dream, a very strange dream about being “peacefully” enslaved by “well-intended” invading people who wanted to control my sexuality for life. It was all “peaceful” and “family-like” as long as I submitted by body to their authority, which claimed that sex was not to be had under any circumstances because it was from now on forbidden.

The dream was so vivid and so unpleasantly bizarre that I woke up with a 2019 mind, as if the past a year and a half had never happened, and I have not been bathing in the gradually warming water inside the pot.

Through the power of an intensified dream experience, an entire year and a half of abuse fell off—and as I looked around, I felt like I had gone traveling, and arrived in a bizarre sci-fi kingdom of distorted mirrors and people who had been poisoned by professional criminals, with great cruelty and precision. A kingdom ruled by cold-blooded psychopaths.

Like a fairy tale about lying villains.

As I look around, I don’t recognize this land.

What happened to us?

Force-masking little children and depriving their growing brains of oxygen?

Forcefully locking old people inside nursing homes and euthanizing some of them, in silence, with compete impunity, with zero attention from the public?

Chasing after free citizens with syringes filled with a lucrative concoction of carcinogenic nanoparticles and synthetic mRNA whose long-term effects are entirely unknown?

Silencing respected scientists and doctors who dare talk about the alarming data coming in regarding the safety of what’s in the syringe?


Click here to read the whole piece – and check out Tessa Lena’s similarly acerbic webcast, Make Language Great Again, where she discusses music, philosophy and politics with a diverse range of guests, from visionary author and propaganda expert Mark Crispin Miller, to Armenian singer and composer Anais Tekerian of Zulal.

Saluting a Fearless Violinist Who Helped Keep Hope Alive Over the Past Year

[Editor’s note: this is the first in a planned series about everyday New Yorkers whose heroic work during the lockdown helped sustain live music, the arts and communities at a time when no one knew if or when we would ever return to normal. Yolanda (not her real name) is a violinist who found an unexpected new career during those dark months…and became a neighborhood institution while every attempt was being made to atomize and destroy it. Some of her personal details have been changed to protect her identity; otherwise, these are Yolanda’s own words]

“My family came to America from Venezuela when I was eleven. I had been studying violin as part of El Sistema, the national music academy. I was very fortunate. My father worked in the oil business and my mother taught piano. We lived in a good neighborhood in Caracas with a big house and a car. He got a job in New York and all of us eventually became US citizens.

When I first came to America I was shocked by how differently music is taught here. In Venezuela students were expected to take it seriously, and the teaching is at a very high level. Here, I discovered that I had much better skills than most Americans my age. I found myself playing with people who were much older, in college, or adults. My first professional job as a musician was in a mariachi band when I was thirteen. The accordionist was even younger, he was twelve!

Because I was disappointed at the level of teaching here, I did not make music the main focus of my education. My degree is in English Literature. However, until last year, I was able to support myself from teaching and playing music. I play in many different situations, at weddings, and quinces, and restaurants. I have played flamenco, and tango, and European gypsy music, but my first love is classical. I am not technically a virtuoso so in a string quartet I usually play second violin since some composers write extremely challenging parts for first violin.

When the lockdown happened last year, I lost all of my students and all of my gigs. Because I live in one of the outer boroughs, I had to travel to my students. And none of these people wanted to be exposed to someone who was riding the subway at the time, they all thought they’d catch corona from me. I was reminded of how much discrimination there is in this society, as a woman from South America teaching a bunch of rich American kids. None of them were riding the subway, but all of the employees at the pizza places and supermarkets where they were shopping had to ride it every day, and theoretically risked their lives. It was very hypocritical.

I was inspired to open an illegal bar by my friend Yesenia [not her real name], who lives in the building where New York Music Daily is located. Yesenia was working as a bartender at a Puerto Rican restaurant, and when the restaurants were all closed, she lost her income. So she decided to open her apartment as a bar so she could pay the rent. One of the guys in the building plays mariachi music, and they were talking about having a band there one night, and that is how we were introduced and I saw how successful her new career was becoming.

This was in May of last year. I had paid rent for April but I didn’t know how I was going to be able to pay for May. I called the landlord and explained my situation, everybody at the time was expecting that New York was going to be open by June. I asked if I could pay half the rent for May, and he was very understanding and said yes. As I remember, by the time it was June, it was clear that the lockdown wasn’t going to end soon and I had to find some way to come up with the rent plus the money that I owed.

So I decided to open my own bar. I was afraid to use social media so I just used my own social circle, and that grew rapidly. Yesenia has cheap rent so she was able to pay the bills from just having her bar open on Friday nights. I started with Friday nights but realized that wasn’t going to be enough. So I started doing Friday and Saturday and then I opened on Thursday also.

Was I worried about the snitch patrol? No. I am friends with my neighbors, they all got to know me when they heard me practicing during the day. When the lockdown first happened, I would stand at my window and play all kinds of things – mariachi, Bach, Vivaldi, anything I could think of – that could make people happy. So when they found out what I was doing they understood. I let them come and drink for free, which I probably shouldn’t have done because I’m sure I lost money from that.

Was I worried about the cops? No. I live in a poor neighborhood and the cops only hang out at certain places, by the subway mostly. I also learned that the police union refused to enforce the lockdown. There was a horrible racial incident on the Lower East Side in April, as I remember, and after that the cops refused to harass people for not social distancing, or wearing masks. It wasn’t the cops that shut down that Staten Island bar, or the social club in Queens that got all the publicity. It was the State Liquor Authority.

Was I worried about corona? No. By June we had seen all the studies. CNN and the tv never reported any of this, clearly because so much of their advertising money comes from big pharmaceutical companies. But it was clear from all the science that most people had natural immunity to corona, and that it was going to disappear soon anyway. A disease that can only infect one person out of six can’t survive very long before there is no one left to infect, and New York was the first place in America where there was any kind of outbreak. I’ve never seen so many healthy people as I did last year. I never once saw a sick person at my bar.

I closed my bar a couple of weeks ago. It was extremely hard work, and I was going to turn into an antisocial person if I kept it open. Many times I asked my boyfriend to come by and help because he’s a teacher and he was out of work at the time, and he could stop some of the crazier guys from asking me out and bothering me that way. I am much more cynical about men now than I was before the lockdown. They get drunk and do the stupidest things.

My clothes started to stink like smoke. My boyfriend and I had to paint the apartment to get rid of the smell. I worked longer hours than I ever did teaching or playing: running to the liquor store and the bodega for beer, carrying big boxes up the stairs, and cleaning up afterward. That was the hardest part. For months I would open at four and close officially at nine since the subway was shut down at night. But a group of customers were Uber drivers and they liked to stay late, and I didn’t want to close because I would lose money. Cleaning up a big beer mess on the floor, and then the worse mess in the bathroom at four in the morning after you’ve been standing for twelve hours, is exhausting.

In running an illegal bar for a year, I made more money than I have ever made in my life from playing music. With what I have earned, I have been able to buy a van so that I can play concerts outside of New York without having to rely on others for transportation. I was able to pay off my student loans and help my brothers financially.

Am I a lockdown profiteer? I disagree with that. I am a musician. My music career suffered very much. People think that I was just lying around doing nothing. The truth is that I was trying to get all the sleep I could get because I wasn’t getting any sleep on the weekend. If the lockdown hadn’t happened, there is no way I ever would have been involved in the bar business and I have even less desire now to do that again, now that I have seen for myself how it works.

Do I feel like I helped people out during the lockdown? I guess. I gave people a community, a place where they could hang out, when the bars were closed. I think that’s important. I learned that a bartender’s job is 90% being a therapist and 10% making drinks, so maybe I helped somebody that way. I think the most important thing I did was to prove to people that there was nothing to be afraid of. I’m from South America so I know a dictatorship when I see one. Corona was just an excuse for a very few, very rich people to try to take control of the world. We all know that now. If there was anything that I did last year that I feel strongly about, it was not letting fear take control of my life, and influencing others to do the same.

I am looking forward to returning to playing music. I would like to form my own string quartet to play works by South American composers. There are so many great ones and they are mostly unknown here, and because I have the van now, we can tour. I would also like to move to Manhattan. It’s so much easier to get around from there.”

Very Important: We Need to Crush Andrew Cuomo’s Sneaky Eleventh-Hour, Unconstitutional Regulation

Last Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally relinquished the dictatorial powers he’d assumed when he announced the lockdown in March of 2020. However, he replaced the lockdown with a last-minute regulation which calls for $1000 fines for those of us who haven’t taken the needle of death if we go out in public without a muzzle on, or go within six feet of another person.

This is the key text in the gubernatorial order: “Any person who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance, unless such person is fully vaccinated,”

Much as this is a violation of the Nuremberg Code, and beyond that, completely unconstitutional, we need to jump on this immediately and get our representatives to overturn it. Please follow this link

Also, here are important contacts who need to be barraged with phone calls and emails. Let’s show the lockdowners that the game is over and we’ve reclaimed our freedom!

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Albany: Telephone (518) 455-2585, (518) 455-2715
Albany: Fax (518) 426-6844, (518) 426-6811
District: Telephone (914) 423-4031, Fax (914) 423-0979,
New York City: Telephone (212) 298-5585, Fax (212) 298-5623

Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie
Albany: (518) 455-3791, District: (718) 654-6539
Twitter: @carlheastie

Sen. Brad Hoylman (D), (518) 455-2451, (212) 674-5153

Asm. Deborah Glick (D), (518) 455-4841, (212) 674-5153

Fighting Future Lockdowns with a Summer Solstice Celebration on Roosevelt Island

“There should be a thousand people here,” one spectator observed yesterday afternoon, trailing along the edge of a crowd of maybe a couple dozen folks making their way to the southern edge of Roosevelt Island. They’d come out for a walking tour led by healer and journalist Cat McGuire, who in a half hour under the trees in the park traced how Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “four freedoms” principle has been eroded in the recent past and over the years – beginning with the guy who created that shortlist.

No doubt, there should have been more people gathered here. But this is how paradigm shifts start, with a small group of people thinking outside the box. To paraphrase McGuire’s witheringly colorful observation, one person armed with the truth has more impact than sixty thousand who don’t. And this is happening all over the world.

McGuire has assembled a very sobering and enlightening presentation about the upcoming Cyber Polygon tabletop exercise scheduled for July 9, which you can watch here and download here. Considering what we know about false flag incidents coinciding with real-time military or police exercises – notably 9/11 and 7/7 – not to mention all the noise the World Economic Forum has been making about the threat of a global takedown of the power grid, this is a situation we need to keep our eye on.

Investigative journalist and singer Tessa Lena, whose poetically insightful news feed as well as her equally entertaining podcast Make Language Great Again have become two of the most reliable information sources over the past year, gave a short talk about the transhumanist component of the New Abnormal (a.k.a. Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset). Online avatars which supposedly keep all our memories alive in perpetuity? Internet-enabled nanobots injected under our skin to track our every movement and torture us to death if we say something critical about Facebook or Amazon? She doesn’t actually believe those nightmares will ever come true – as long as we make sure they don’t. According to the planned 2030 timetable, Ray Kurzweil’s bizarro “singularity” – where everyone except the world’s billionaires becomes a cyborg slave – is unfolding right on schedule.

Out behind the collapsing shell of the island’s long-vacant smallpox quarantine facility, psychologist Karin Burkhard reminded that over the years, an estimated fourteen thousand people were essentially abandoned and died inside the building. According to legend, the bodies were burned and the ashes scattered on the island: lost souls with lots unfinished business, right where everybody was standing, as Burkhard put it. She explained how even after mass vaccination campaigns had finally eradicated smallpox, those same vaccines continued to be available to members of the military for decades afterward…and that laboratory cultures of the virus were not destroyed until much more recently. One  hopes they were, anyway.

There was also music. Michael Jay used two huge gongs to build magical, immersive sheets of boomy lows and sepulchral high harmonics. He calls it a sound bath: this was more of a power shower of mystical calm. After more than half an hour of spine-tingling sonic refreshment, percussion trio Africa Forestdance picked up the pace  Led by Formoro Diabate, heir to a multi-generational Guinean balafon legacy, the group built rippling but similarly hypnotic volleys of sound.

And a pretty woman in a tan print dress, armed with a formidable walking stick, shared her entire container of watermelon with a thirsty (and very grateful) music reporter. What a sweet thing to do for someone on a sweltering day.

A Creepy New Abnormal Single From Tessa Lena

For the past year, author and poet Tessa Lena has written some of the most lucid, insightful commentary on the lockdown and the sinister motivations of the oligarchs and tech Nazis behind it. As a first-generation American immigrant who spent her early childhood in the Soviet Union, she knows totalitarianism when she sees it and somehow manages to keep her withering sense of humor intact.

She also records as Tessa Makes Love. One of her particularly creepy, techy singles is I Want to Know You As a Computer. Rather than just scrolling to the bottom of the page where you can find the song, check out her latest critique of the New Abnormal on your way there.

Important, Scary News for All New Yorkers – Please Share

Unfortunately, this is not some wacko conspiracy theory. It’s a real bill which has been introduced in the New York State Assembly which gives Andrew Cuomo unlimited authority to detain any individual, or any group, indefinitely for any reason.

The bill is #A416, introduced by Assemblyman N. Nick Perry of Brooklyn. The pretext, as you may have guessed, is any health situation that the Governor believes is an emergency. What’s scariest is that the bill bypasses the legislature and puts enforcement exclusively in the hands of the Governor’s office.

The wording is extremely vague, which is just as troubling. Beyond indefinite detention (read the fine print), it mandates forcible vaccination and any other “treatment” the Governor deems necessary, for anyone “suspected” of having contact with an individual presumed infected with any disease.

Lots of crazy bills get introduced in the Assembly every year and almost all of them die before they get to committee. But we need to nip this one in the bud before it gets any further – and it’s already gone to committee. This New York State Assembly page will direct you to your representative. Please contact them immediately. If you don’t live in New York State, it couldn’t hurt to contact Perry himself and show him how much opposition to this insanity there is around the world. Most importantly, please share this with everyone you know. The New York State Assembly works for us. We elected them. They know we can vote them out of office and if they see a huge groundswell against this, they’ll get the message loud and clear.

The Best Manhattan and Brooklyn Music Venues of 2020

Every year since 2007, this blog and its predecessor would salute a venue from both Manhattan and Brooklyn as the best in its respective borough. The premise was to give props to clubs and spaces that might be flying a little under the radar but deserved to be better known.

In the beginning, there was no shortage of venues to choose from. As the years went by, gentrification took its ugly toll. In Manhattan, especially, trying to come up with a new pick every year became more and more of a challenge. In 2020, with the lockdowners hell-bent on destroying the arts around the world, the only commercial spaces in New York where musicians were allowed to perform for pay after March 16 were restaurants. In an edict that will go down in infamy, dictator Andrew Cuomo’s State Liquor Authority prohibited any kind of music that wasn’t “incidental.” Consider: the SLA were given the right to determine who can and who can’t be booked to perform. It’s as if we’re living in North Korea, or the old Soviet Union.

But New York musicians and devotees of the arts weren’t about to be stopped by a fascist regime. In private homes and back gardens, on lawns and in parks, on streetcorners and under monuments, in cemeteries, vacated classrooms and the backs of empty trucks, church basements, disused gyms and shuttered retail backrooms, you gathered to keep music alive: unafraid, unmuzzled and undeterred.

When the lockdown has been overthrown and the history is written, you will be remembered forever as heroes. You kept your musical chops up to speed, but even more importantly, you gave people hope at a time when there didn’t seem to be any. For that reason, the Best Manhattan Venue and Best Brooklyn Venue this year is your place. You earned it.

A Tragically Prophetic Look Back at New York Nine Years Ago

[New York Music Daily was barely a week old when this broadside was originally published here on August 26, 2011. Michael Bloomberg was Mayor of New York at the time. By some strange coincidence, guess who’s in charge of Cuomo’s trace-and-track gestapo now. While this blog had no foreknowledge of the horrific events that would be unleashed on this city nine years later, this might explain a few things, especially if you change the word “hurricane” to a hurricane of something else…]

Don’t Evacuate

The time has come for New Yorkers to stand up for our rights. Michael Bloomberg is using the spectre of a “hurricane” as a pretext for instituting martial law. Don’t fall for it. Don’t evacuate this weekend, whether or not you live in one of the areas designated by the mayor as an evacuation zone.

Remember the last time a “hurricane” came through Manhattan? It got a little drizzly that day. Bloomberg was roundly criticized for being caught unawares when that big snowstorm hit last winter – something that could have happened to any mayor, actually. So now he’s paranoid about potential fallout in the event of another big storm.

The “hurricane”also provides convenient cover for a trial run to see how well full-blown fascism will work here. Where are all the evacuees going to go? Is Bloomberg going to put them all on charter flights to his private resort in the Bahamas? He could afford that if he wanted to.

And how are all the people who live in the evacuation zones going to leave when the subway and all the buses stop running at noon on Saturday?

What are the cops going to do to the people who haven’t evacuated? Shoot them?

What’s next? Albany gets a couple of inches of snow and Bloomberg declares a state of emergency?

If Bloomberg really cared about the safety of New Yorkers, he would have encouraged people to stay indoors while radioactive rain from Fukushima fell on this city for almost two solid weeks. He’d work to shut down the Indian Point nuclear plant.

This is all about power. Power corrupts. Bloomberg got a third term. He outlawed smoking in public parks and on the beach. He snarled traffic so badly with his stupid bike lanes that congestion pricing, another one of his pipe dreams, might actually come to fruition. And now he wants absolute, total control. Pure fascism. New York Music Daily says no to that. Stand your ground. Don’t evacuate.

A Twisted New Protest Song by the Pocket Gods

“If you sing along to this catchy Christmas song in a pub you will be shot,” is basically all the lyrics of the Pocket Gods’ sludgy new Jesus and Mary Chain-ish holiday single. Needless to say, let’s hope this becomes a forgotten artifact of a grim time in human history rather than anything genuinely prophetic. Watch the video at youtube before it gets purged by the lockdowners.

If you think the lockdown has devastated the arts, and the economy, and the culture here, imagine what it’s like in the UK under dictator Boris Johnson. Seriously: most of the sickest/funniest lockdown insanity has come out of England this year, from how lockdowners do it doggy style, to the admonition not to sing, based on the conspiracy theory that singing makes a person more succeptible to airborne disease. The Johnson regime actually gave someone the green light to float that one. And now the British army is scheduled to invade Liverpool in a massive, medically invasive DNA grab. Is this where the revolution starts?