Wild Americans Presents
The Electric Union: Hosted by Petey Deabreu
Gear up to meet The Electric Union, a collective of music bands and spoken word poets performing at The Knitting Factory Brooklyn, all speaking to the current moment in their own unique ways. Michael Che’s opener Petey DeAbreu returns to the Factory as the event’s MC, also co-headlining the show with 19-member jazz band Big Beat.
What do you expect from an evening in Brooklyn? Poets and comedians taking modern politics and culture to task, singer-songwriter pulling tunes out of his soul, funky bands playing basslines that make it hard for your feet not to move, and an R&B singer backed by a 19-piece jazz band so groovy they’d get you spinning around the floor all the way up to curfew?
The Electric Union is on the job.
Lose the Gloves with Uncle Dojo
Introduced by Paul LaTorre
Get naked. Don’t just express your superficial feelings, your fleeting emotions; don’t be afraid to dive into the deep abyss of your innermost thoughts. Even if it means you will drown, then do so. In poet Paul LaTorre and singer-songwriter Uncle Dojo (Matt Condon), we have two people who have fully embraced that worldview in their work.
Get in the Ring with The Rareflowers
Introduced by LA MARKS
What you construe as a block in your creativity is just you standing at the edge of a cliff, afraid to take the leap. Beware, you are flightless, but you will still soar even if just for a few seconds. And that’s that. We have two risk-takers here, in poet Lisa Ann Markuson who wrote a haiku for every U.S. senator last year, and in indie band The Rareflowers who are taking a “trip into the sun” promoting their first EP, which they released last month.
Lean into the Punches with Wild Americans
Introduced by Karthik Purushothaman
When life throws a punch at you, take it; even lean into it. Otherwise, you will never come up with something you didn’t already know you could. Funk band Wild Americans, and poet and “legal alien” Karthik Purushothaman have taken their fair share of punches in their life, proudly wearing the bruises in their work.
Dance it Off with Big Beat
Introduced by Petey DeAbreu
No matter how hard you try, most times in life, you might not get what you want. But that’s fine. You don’t have much time, and life really is as short as you think it is. So, make it groovy. Comedian Petey DeAbreu, and jazz band Big Beat form an odd pair, returning to the basics of their respective forms, rendering their audiences incapable, first, of holding back laughter, and then, of resisting the urge to dance.
Wild Americans are from Montclair NJ, formed in 2015 by multi-instrumentalists Andrew Milea and Mike Neglia, and play a genre of music best described as “sleepy funk” or “mid-tempo space music.” After releasing their debut EP Lighten Up, mastered by Scott Hull (whose previous credits include Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Steely Dan) in 2016, Wild Americans have played NJ-NYC venues such as American Beauty, The Bowery Electric, Brooklyn Bowl, The Studio at Webster Hall, and Mad Liberation
Big Beat is a 19-piece big band formed with one purpose—to make music that sounds good and feels good. They believe in that creed so much that they’re titling their 2018 LP Sounds Good, Feels Good, for which they raised $9,000 in a successful Kickstarter campaign. With lead vocalist Allison McKenzie singing jazz, R&B, and soul, they create a fresh big band sound. Since 2014, Big Beat has performed at NYC and NJ venues such as Hat City Kitchen, Shapeshifter Lab, the Mad Liberation Festival, and William Paterson University’s Summer Jazz series with guests Peter Bernstein and Karrin Allyson. They make you feel the groove; it’s in your soul, baby.
Lisa Ann Markuson (aka LA MARKS) is from Sacremento, CA (“a hidden gem,” she says), and is, as far as we can tell, the world's only full-time Professional typewriter haiku artist, running a company of 35 creatives nationwide, + Canada and France. After graduating magna cum laude from University of San Francisco, MARKS did one semester of grad school in Washington DC, then dropped out, moved to NYC, and started working as a certified bicycle tour guide, doing biz dev for the indie company, as well as co-founding a company of poetry DJs casually called The Haiku Guys + Gals. To save up more seed money, she took a job as an executive at a social media software company, then quit the day job to run full time with haiku.
Karthik Purushothaman comes from Chennai, India, and teaches undergrads in NJ while putting together his first collection of poems, Legal Alien, as in the chorus of Sting’s “Englishman in New York.” Nominated for the Pushcart Prizes and the Best New Poets 2018 anthologies, Karthik is acquainted with both the page and the stage, also performing as a featured poet at Bowery Poetry, Secret Loft NYC and Cornelia Street Café. Karthik’s satirical work will appear in the forthcoming Writers Resist: The Anthology 2018, marking “the celebration of a year of writing the resistance.”
The bulimic Batman, Paul LaTorre is an unassuming Professor of creative writing by day, and a two-fisted engine of vengeance at night, pumping poetry through Gotham streets. Poet, teacher, performer, activist and crime fighter, Paul has graced the stage at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, and Cornelia Street Underground in Manhattan, and as a featured poet at the 'Writing from the Margins' institute in 2018. Combining spoken word with the torrential energy of a battle rapper, Paul’s sonic bombast on body image, eating and mental disorder, meme culture and general matters of tragedy, drive him on his mission to shed light on the dark.