I can't tell you the rest of the setlist, I can't tell you how many songs they played, all I had written on my hand at the end of the show was "LIITA," detailing the opener. It wasn't that I necessarily forgot to write as the show went along, it was that I couldn't bring myself to do anything but stare. Enthralling, rapturous, magnetic, these words don't make the cut in my memory. I remember his face, I remember her face, I remember their cues to each other, I remember hearing the bartender telling people to "wait a minute," because she couldn't stop watching either.
There are so many musical references you can tally up when describing The Shivers' sound (The Velvet Underground being the biggie), but they transfer so well between all their influences that it creates something only them, making a list pointless. If I must create a profile for your imagination, think the intensity of Mick Jagger, the emotional outbursts of Mark Hollis, and all wrapped up in a similarly-sporadic David Byrne. It's just so damn entertaining, and these are not happy songs! This is (apparently) not a happy man, and he's letting you know this, which becomes extremely admirable as you witness his disappointment manifest on stage.
And while contained in each song may lie a story of unrequited love, depression, or hatred, the path one travels through a Shivers live show is not one of heartbreak but one where you take desperate stabs at trying to attain that eternal glee disguised on the face of the performer; and at least this audience member was ecstatic to be allowed that attempt.
The Shivers are Keith Zarriello and Jo Schornikow; they are taking a hiatus from New York City, Zarriello stating, "I forgot there were places with…trees. I gotta get out of the city for a while.”
Pulse Films Weird Hero 'Documentary' Director D.A.R.Y.L. Here
Elias Necol Melad is my first guest contributor. He is an avid and knowledgeable music fanatic with exceptional taste, a visual artist who also can complete the Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle with a pen in record time.
The twisted soul, punk attitude, and divine harmonies of the band Ava Luna were welcome sounds @ Pianos. The seven-member band presented a very lively set full of soul/funk and a bass line groove that made dancing my only option. Carlos Hernandez, the lead singer, and ultimate contortionist, aptly put his falsetto into hard drive. His enthusiastic rendering of soul-ridden vocals brought to mind, Sam Cooke. The female trio’s sophisticated Doo-wop harmonies worked as passages alongside the synth, bass, and drums that had a scratchy, almost garage-band feel.
Ava Luna effectively created a trichotomy of styles into a soul-melding mash. Having only seen a few videos and hearing some tracks seeing the band live left me with a strong impression. I loved their energy, spirit, and intention. This was the conclusion of Patrick Duffy’s relaunch party for the music blog Pop Tart Sucks Toasted, which was taken down by Google’s Blogger in February earlier this year. Duffy’s taste and hard work have helped enumerable musicians gain much-deserved exposure.
Sorry, I only came out to see Ava Luna but the other bands on the line-up were MiniBoone, Your Youth, and Bermuda Bonnie. Ethan Bassford – Bass, Felicia Douglass – Vocals, Carlos Hernandez – Vocals, Becca Kauffman – Vocals, Anna Sian – Vocals, Alex Smith – Drums, Nathan Tompkins – Synthesizer.
Her documentary Adventures in Plymptoons about Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton is currently in post-production and needs additional funding. Alexis hopes to achieve her goals through an inventive Kickstarter campaign that brings fans and donors into the fray. She is willing to give her all to achieve her goals, including shaving her beautiful hair and fashioning a Mohawk.
Alexia’s Kickstarter campaign is absolutely worth a click to view. It features some takes with Bill Plympton and anecdotes by a few of his voice-over team edited with clips of Plympton’s animated world.
Even if you don’t have the funds to help her achieve her goals, you can help spread it around through networking.
For additional inspiration, read Alexis’ interview with Film Threat here
video interview with Alexia Anastasio at Comic-Con 2010 for Adventures in Plymptoons
by Jon Raymond from The Writers Muse.
Brian Newman's singing voice is impeccable reaching gorgeous high notes while adding his own spin to classic jazz standards. As a trumpeter, his trumpet is an extension of his being. Somehow he finds enough air to dig in and blow improvisational bursts between lyrics.
Dressed to please the svelte dapper, Newman visually pulls out all the stops as the quintessential master of ceremonies. With his cool demeanor and awesome showmanship, he worked the room like a fast-witted vaudevillian comic adding enough spice and a little grit without losing his classy flair.
The clanking of glasses, endless chatter and lively bar action added to the atmosphere, but I would have preferred a quiet room to fully take in the marvelous music.
Earlier this month, Brian Newman made his television debut with Lady Gaga on the Today Show. His underground reputation with fellow musicians as someone to collaborate with is now out of the box. A much-deserved career boost.
It was sweet to see a few new fans at Duane Park who came to listen last Friday.
All the great musicianship centers around the deep vocals of Osei Essed. His soulful straightforwardness, blended and angst-ridden thickness from below the diaphragm creates an urgency of quick, tight upheavals of rising howls, whoops, and groans. The jubilant chorus of shouters from the brass section belts it up between blows, adding to the lively mix.
Ars Nova is a small venue that cares. This was my second visit to the small intimate venue, but a few of the groups I’ve featured on this site, like Langhorne Slim, Geo Wyeth, and Max Vernon, have played there. Ars Nova provides a hub for emerging music, comedy, and theater talent. Getting the word out about this diamond in the rough should be paramount.
With scenic views and a breezy tempo Sound Bites, Bill Pearis kicked off his curatorial gig by booking bands for the South Street Seaport's festival summer season. Every Wednesday in June, starting at noon, Pearis will put on his DJ hat for an hour of tunes, followed by the scheduled band. Its formal title is Sound Bites Lunchtime Series, and it's free!
This Sunday during Memorial Day weekend, North Highlands, a Brooklyn quintet fronted on keys and lead vocals by Brenda Malvini, graced the stage. They played accessible and contagious music that was bouncy, poppy, and dreamy. The folk instruments like the mandolin and violin were delightfully integrated into an orchestral mix of keys, drums, and electric guitar. The drumming was especially awesome.
Brenda's voice has a smooth tonality with playful breathy aspects that are immediately endearing. When the band revs up in intensity, her voice and mannerisms animate to engage the audience. North Highlands is a tight and spunky band that has lots of heart. I loved them.
The line to buy North Highlands EP "Sugarlips" were longer than I expected. It was nice to see random passersby willing to shell out the dough for an unknown band.
If you can, don't miss June 2nd, Air Waves, June 9th, The Austin McCutchen Quartet, June 16th, Ribbons, June 23rd, The Beets, and June 30th, Toys, and Tiny Instruments Band.
Flickr Set HERE
I will follow the talented Geo Wyeth and any name, project, or direction he chooses to create. Going it solo for the past two years as Novice Theory, Geo has assembled a line-up of talented musicians to bring his ideas to fuller fruition with Jive Grave. His incredible skill as a solo performer is not lost in collaboration.
Wyeth is an accomplished pianist but has taken up the guitar with remarkable results. Hitting the strings instead of the keys and combining notes and chords with original results. The night at the Rockwood Music Hall on April 28th, the guitar was featured. Bravely he coordinated looping and brought out the nylon string guitar and harmonica for a folk song dedicated to his father.