Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Schumer for President ?

Just because you're a member of Congress (surrounded by people like Tom Coburn and Michelle Bachman and David Vitter) doesn't mean you have to limit your summer concert fare to focus group tested crowd-pleasers like Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Jimmy Buffet. Au contraire!

In Brooklyn, NY it looks as though the 'altbro' strategy might have a little more impact.

US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is going to bat for Williamsburg's world-famous JELLY Pool Parties, the possibly-endangered free concert series which has been blowing up summer Sundays at various outdoor venues since 2005.

Summer '09 saw influential alternative acts such as Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Mission of Burma and Girl Talk explode the waterfront with performances that were not only free but truly epic (see below).

Schumer says he was dismayed to learn that JELLY 2010 may not have a home if East River State Park is unavailable for the 2010 season, and he's meeting with officials from the Parks Department and the Open State Alliance to ensure a 2010 season ensues.

Schumer says he happened across one of the JELLY parties while biking through Williamsburg one summer Sunday, and was enthralled by the nuclear-level energy of the waterfront bacchanal. Indeed, if it was the Girl Talk concert he "happened" across last summer, one can easily see his point--it was, for many, a moment that had to be seen to be believed. Just being in the vicinity of the East River State Park during the concert had many neighborhood residents dancing like maniacs on Kent Avenue up to North 11th Street.

While some cynics might suspect that a press release in which a US Senator extols the joys of  biking, Brooklyn and Simian Mobile Disco might be a calculated pitch for "the hipster vote", SAVAGENYC is happy to give US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) the benefit of the doubt, and just assume that he's a hipster at heart who secretly rides a vintage fixie and likes hanging out with Jay-Z and the founder of VICE magazine, Suroosh Alvi.

Just listen to Schumer and Alvi, respectively, describing the cultural value of the Perfect Sunday Afternoon.

“As I was riding my bike through Williamsburg this summer, I came upon the Pool Parties and was inspired and energized by the huge crowds who came to see the concerts. People came from far and wide to enjoy the Brooklyn concert series, and when I heard they were in danger I just could not sit idly by and let the JELLY Parties get cancelled. Events such as the JELLY Pool Parties are what New York’s parks are made for – they are lively and exciting and build energy and enthusiasm for people to stay and live and play in NYC – and I will fight to ensure they are back in action in 2010.”

"The Brooklyn music scene exploded over the last decade, drawing hordes of new bands and artists to the borough and making Williamsburg the epicenter of some of the best new music in the world. The recent East River events have been the culmination of it all, showcasing VICE bands and other artists to thousands of music junkies across New York. VICE salutes Brooklyn native Chuck Schumer – a man who clearly knows his music – for going to bat for countless New York City concert -goers," said VICE founder Suroosh Alvi.

Schumer made a speech on the last night of the concert series last August and told a cheering crowd that his office was in the final stages of sealing the deal to keep JELLY at East River State Park.

And just yesterday, he released the following update:

Today, United States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced he is pressing officials to iron out remaining concerns to see that the JELLY Pool Parties are saved from being shut down. Schumer is meeting with state and park officials and organizations to get the ball rolling on a permanent solution. The JELLY Pool Parties, a very successful free summer concert series started in 2005, were held at East River State Park in 2009. Unfortunately, the New York State Parks Department and the Open Space Alliance (OSA) indicated that the Jelly Pool Parties may not return for a 2010 season. No final schedule has been set for the 2010 season and Schumer is committed to seeing the JELLY Pool Parties remain a fixture for next summer and beyond. Schumer, a Brooklyn native who attended two of the Pool Parties this past summer, was struck by the quality and popularity of the concerts and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Schumer has already met with the NYS Parks Department and OSA and has pledged to do whatever it takes to see the Pool Parties return 2010.