So Harley wasn't actually with me this time, as I was out with a friend from camp, but still...
My friend and I met up at the best "kosher" Chinese restaurant in town, Buddha Bodai. It says that it is kosher, and has a teduah, but I don't really recognize the rabbi's name. At any point, that is off-topic. So we were wandering around downtown and we heard some electronic-style music. Thinking that it might be break dancers we headed down the street. First of all, we passed the Synagogue for the arts, which is a fascinating institution in its own right.
At any rate, we walked down to the end of the street, and at the corner (Church and White) we saw a group of people with a young man in the center, standing on a makeshift stage making music, somehow. We couldn't really tell what it was, but it looked like on the table were two gameboys, and around his neck on a strap was a keyboard. Like the kind that you type with. We watched in awe as the group of dancers (3 deep) danced totally without inhibition. There were the usual crop of downtown hipsters, lots of cigarette jeans, but in front of me was a teeny child wearing orange crocs, really going at it. The really interesting thing is that while the crowd was incredibly diverse the dancers were entirely male, young, and with one or two exceptions, white. It seemed that these were true fans of the artist's work and had come out specifically for this performance.
At one point the artist yelled out: "This song is about the best things in the world, Einstein, Women, Time Travelling and Super-String Theory." Ooook.
Wandering around were a couple people with clipboards that looked sort of official, so my friend walked up to ask one what was going on. Sure enough the concert was of several artists (we only saw Nullsleep) who are represented by the music lable 8bitpeoples. All of these artists make music with gameboys. No joke. And it is incredibly melodic, and totally fascinating. The organization sponsoring this concert (and other events) under the umbrella of "Make Music New York" is called The Tank.
The Tank is a 501(c)3 non-profit (that basically means that it is legit) which presents music and dance for very low prices, ranging from free to $10. The girl told me that they also have some "public affairs programming" but I see no sign of it on their website.
Basically it was a New York experience. Sometimes I love this city.