Showing posts with label "Geo Wyeth/Jive Grave/Novice Theory". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Geo Wyeth/Jive Grave/Novice Theory". Show all posts


Geo Wyeth's, One Man Exceptional Band @ Joe's Pub

Geo Wyeth’s masterful skill and intentional hesitation created an edge of uncertainty and unpredictability at his solo show at Joe’s Pub last night. Although the set was clearly planned, it felt like a conceptual foray into musical chance operation.

Geo opened with the set, creating a disorderly clutter of drum beats with a strapped-together Tom Tom. He paced through the crowd, leading his parade to join the guest saxophone player on stage. He played the baby grand with unbridled force and exuberance throughout the set. Geo sang with conviction but created a vocal stutter, suspending his vocals in mid-air. While playing a handheld Casio, he sang phrases gathered from field studies of New York conversations.  When he picked up the acoustic guitar, I didn’t expect it to be beaten with a drumstick.

Whether he played the electric guitar, keyboard, baby grand, or drums, each instrument provided an opportunity for self-expression and undeniable experimentation.


Jive Grave & The Fancy @ Ars Nova

Geo Wyeth / Jive Grave @ Ars Nova
Jive Grave and The Fancy were the line-ups for Wednesday as part of Ars Nova 54/10 music marathon series. Two bands with accomplished musicians and visions. It has been my pleasure to chronicle Geo Wyeth’s music incarnations for the last two years. What a satisfying ride it’s been. I arrived just as Jive Grave was finishing their first song. Geo Wyeth thanked Ars Nova for their support as their 2009 Composer-in-Residence. The residency gave him the opportunity to explore and compose / Haunts song cycle.

With Geo at the helm, the band Jive Grave was spawned. The set explored looping with bells, vocals, guitar notes, solo material, claps, horn arrangements, and an intricate beat between two drummers featuring a drum kit and tom tom. The music frames the lyrics with its melting pot of sound where repetition is fleeting, and snippets of sound are segmented and disjointed. Geo’s lyrics reference legacy, lineage, memory, and the city are pieced together in a collage of ripped, rough, and sometimes soft edges. They played "Black One On the River," with a sound rich in texture, sax accents, vocal harmonics, and Afro-centric guitar. The tremolo picking soared at a high pitch, rising like a blustering current to an abrupt ending. / Will you wait for me for me / in the water / it’s a mighty / current we are running from./ Geo Wyeth emphasized, “this is a song about where I live, Bedford Stuyvesant. “So Funny It Might Be Death” began with scat vocal blurts, claps, and the saxophone played by Tina Richadson and Wyeth’s guitar with punched chords and chiming note flourishes. The celebratory sound was fitting for Wyeth’s lyrical, poetic perspective making the neighborhood come alive / The kids all got scowls under their breath like old church ladies /. 

Jive Grave’s sound is cerebral and vibrant, provoking the listener to pay attention. The release date for 7” Blackone in September features vocalist Becca Kaufman whose voice is a treasure and creates striking contrasts. Listen Here geo wyeth, keith parker, dan arnow, tina richerson, mike irwin, simeon kezengwa other featured contributors: tim johnson, becca kauffman, brian newman Flickr Set
The Fancy @ Ars Nova
The Fancy play gorgeous orchestrated pop that is so smooth and yummy it tastes like butta. Composer/songwriter and lead vocal duo Clara Latham and Seth Garrison are classically trained, and their compositions reflect a commitment to the accessible and smart. What sets this group apart is not just their choice of instrumentation but how it is applied. Keyboard and synth, electric guitar, bassoon, viola, and gorgeous vocals

They started with “Honey Baby,” which had great orchestration with viola scales woven through. “Out Of The City” had luscious harmonies, a creamy confection that is sticky kind of a sophisticated Abba mixed with serious instrumentation. Kind of a dichotomy of sound. The cover song of choice was Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman.” It was a complex interpretation that coordinated a steady bass with the bassoon and viola played in a round. You could visibly see the concentration and efforts of Katherine Young and Amy Cimini, two incredible soloists. They brought out their guest drummer Craig Bray for the song “O Willa” which started slowly with a singing dialogue and grew to fast, furious action and timing.

Their attention to detail was apparent as they asked to bring down guitar levels and more sound on the bassoon and vocals. They care about delivery. I was very impressed with this band. They even have a great informative website and a joy to explore. They got it together!


Jive Grave, Geo Wyeth's current project Live @ The Rockwood

Jive Grave @Rockwood Music Hall

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.

The band of sax, flute, bass, and two drummers created a dynamic mix of Wyeth's original songs with a fusion of Jazz, rock, and folk. It was the unexpected that made the set such a delight to hear.
Don't miss Jive Grave at Arlene's Grocery this Tuesday, May 18th, and other NY dates are listed HERE.


Novice Theory; Inspiring Charge @ Rockwood Music Hall

Novice Theory

Novice Theory at the Rockwood Music Hall with a full band of supportive and talented musicians was an inspired way to close out a year and get ready for a new one. Whether solo or with a band, Novice Theory's music performance has electrical conductivity directly aimed to charge an audience. Mission accomplished!

Geo Wyeth has the ability to inspire listeners and fellow musicians. This was my first chance to see him with a cast of exceptional musicians. What was so obvious was their genuine love for Geo and how much they enjoyed bringing his music vision to fruition.

The fuller-bodied sound of Jazz offshoots added to Geo's expanded lyrical palette beyond the autobiographical to include a tapestry of uniquely urban wit and insight. Last night they played work from the recently released EP Ordinary Death along with one freshly presented newer song. I like chances like that!
The sandwiched crowd at the small venue begged for an encore, and we were treated to an older song played solo on the accordion that was performed back in 08 on the Jools Holland Show in the UK.
It is wonderful to post this and include The Music Slut's take

Novice Theory
Timothy Johnson - flute; Keith Parker - percussion; Daniel Arnow - bass; Brian Newman - trumpet; Tina Richerson - baritone sax; Geo Wyeth - vocals, guitar, piano, squeezebox;


Art and Music Party

Kyle, DUB Mascot, Maryanne Ventrice

Obsession Collection Music played a small part in coordinating a fabulous holiday party back in September. This was a family affair with all attendees invited by my husband, two great adult children, and me (OCM). The art and music crowd shared lots of love into the wee hours at Tre Merli.

I end the year once again, saying how much I enjoy writing this blog and have been fortunate to have met wonderful people that have enriched my life and others.
OCM curated the music line-up. Below are some picture highlights from the party in line-up order.

Novice theory 

Novice Theory

Novice Theory with Brian Newman

  Hop Along 

Hop Along

 Drink Up Buttercup 
Drink Up Buttercup

Drink Up Buttercup 

Drink Up Buttercup


Novice Theory / Aria Orion; September @ Galapagos

Novice Theory accordian center stage

Two Noteworthy bands I reviewed last year are embarking on some dates to showcase their new projects. I guarantee a night of invigorating music and edgy performance at the beautiful Galapagos art space in Brooklyn on September 1st. So mark your calendars. I'm very disappointed that I won't be able to attend. It would be wonderful if some of my readers take the dive.
Novice Theory, AKA Geo Wyeth, has been performing solo and now has a new band, songs, and a new EP to be released in September. Aria Orion Jules Gimbrone's multi-sensory ensemble with new band and songs and Geo Wyeth on drums. Leyna Marika Papach's solo violin performance.

Aria Orion Live at Monkeytown 5.15.09 with a film by Elliot Montague and Stephen Remington. Jules Gimbrone, composer (vocals/guitar), Geo Wyeth (Drums, vocals accordion ), Daniel Arnnow (Bass), Batya Sobel (oboe).


Novice theory & Aria Orion Unveil New Music @ Joe’s Pub

This was a night of vision, mood, presentation, and the unveiling of a new project Aria Orion from composer and performer Jules Gimbrone and headliner Novice Theory. Interestingly enough, Aria Orion includes Geo Wyeth (Novice Theory) on drums, accordion, and vocals. So to say I got my Geo on is an understatement. Aria Orion is a five-piece group of guitar, violin, stand-up bass, accordion, clarinet, drums, and percussion novelties such as Indian Cowbells and hand-held native skin drums. The dramatic dark stage lighting set the mood as Jules stood center stage dressed in a branch headdress in front of the ensemble. The music was an acoustic dream of eerie, ethereal, bold movements and spine-tingling combination of instruments. Jules's emotionally shaky high vocal range turns and twists within and mysteriously edges around the instrumentation. Opening with “When I Awake,” a trance developed. The folky classical guitar style and accordion softly began to interact as other instruments were slowly introduced. After some violin pluck, the full ensemble soared sonically into an acoustic feast. “Augur (Part 1)” began like a religious chant and segued into an experimental sound kaleidoscope. A vocal seduction, “One By One,” featured the awesome contrast of range by Jules and Geo singing / I am lucky to be here with you /. The short impressive set was an intriguing introduction to Aria Orion, leaving me wanting more.

Everyone left the stage except Jules, who was statuesquely poised playing Indian Cowbells. In the distance, Novice Theory entered the upper level with his guitar, singing / see me hanging on that yellow tree / walking towards the stage, he completes the song on the grand piano. Hearing Geo Wyeth perform is all in the details. In-between singing is huffs, grunts, and ticking that insinuate specific sounds. The piano chops were at an all-time high, infused with syncopated rhythms and classical offshoots intertwined with an improvisational attitude. Wyeth is transgender and biracial. While that has little to do with his incredible musicianship and performance acumen, it does factor into his songwriting process.

My hope is that a talent as bold and prodigious as his is not marginalized. Do I feel a commonality with the raw lyrics presented? Emphatically yes. We are all given a set of circumstances that we navigate the world with some are more challenging than others. The set was primarily new material mixed with a few performance staples and a Kate Bush cover song, “You Speak In Tongues.” The second song started with / maybe / maybe / maybe it’s the circus / that playfully coordinated piano styling and vocals like a round. A song about transformation formed a theme for everything that followed. An autobiographical dialogue of discontent addressed the schism of not feeling comfortable with birth-gender assignments. All pissed off, he extolled a litany of lyrics examining ages and stages, one example was / when I was eight, I wanted hair like Macaulay Culkin /. Novice Theory in the song strongly claims his racial identity. Pale skin is one biracial outcome that is a camouflage of deception and is hard to navigate in our society. / Black is my voice /black is my blood / we stay black /. A song for Harriett had curious inferences in lyrics. “Something Flat In Her Face” combined disconnected piano chords with the vocal phrasing of tic tic tic tic in-between. The encore was a negotiation of sorts and time constraints.

Geo pointed out that Joe’s Pub is serious, and they mean it when it’s time to go. So he gave us a choice “I can either play a Patty Griffith song on the piano or bring out the squeezebox.” The accordion was it and the night ended with “About a Dream,” a song that comes on strong and fades theatrically for emphasis. (Video About A Dream on Jools Holland) Glad I came out on this rainy Wednesday night. Driving home at moc speed, I listened to the stirring Aria Orion 35-minute EP Let the Sharp Stone Fly hot off the press. It had more clashing drum pounding than I expected. It knocked me out! Flickr Set!


Novice Theory Getting UK Love

Novice Theory accordian center stage

I met Geo Wyeth (Novice Theory) at a party and was impressed by his intelligence and articulate description of his music that I made it a point to go to the Trash Bar in Brooklyn to see him. I was overwhelmed and moved and wrote a review entitled "Novice Theory Extraordinary Emerging Talent." I believe that was his first review. A few months later, he did a headlining sold-out show at Joe’s Pub, and I wrote this review, "Novice Theory, The Magic of Delivery." Here in the states, we don’t have DJs on the radio with their fingers on the pulse of the music. We have barometers of taste at Public Radio, emerging Internet sites like Daytrotter, and many dedicated Bloggers giving great music exposure regardless of label status. No nationally televised outlets like Later With Jools Holland are devoted to creating a well-produced segment for the newcomer. I’ll never forget Willy Mason's debut. And now, this incredible debut of Novice Theory. All the musicians I have featured have been very well-received in the UK. The most ravenous example is Willy Mason. Langhorne Slim and o’death have been well received as well. I am grateful to those fans and say thank you.

At Obsession Collection Music, we have written about many under-the-radar artists. What has been satisfying is witnessing their exposure spread around. Novice Theory’s talent is ready for exposure. Here are a few of Obsession Collection Music's most recent UK connections. Drink Up Buttercup 7" Single coming 11.10.08 on Make Mine. Another cool connection is Peasant, whose song “Raise Today” was featured in the TV show “Bones" (premier UK episode). I'm proud of this association with UK native Alex Newport, engineer extraordinaire. read.


Novice Theory; "Vignettes"

Unlike the Fox News Virus Novice Theory, AKA Geo Wyeth is worth spreading around!

Full Homophonic video interview at After Elton


Novice Theory; The Magic of Delivery @ Joe’s Pub 4 /5 /08

Novice Theory’s first headlining show at Joe’s Pub was sold out. The young Geo Wyeth rose to the occasion and delivered a charismatic captivating set exhibiting performance acumen, timing and delivery.

Novice Theory’s theatrical entry accelerated the anticipation, as he walked through the upper balcony playing the accordion. He turned to face the crowd to sing above the stairway as the patrons in the reserved dinner section raised their heads in an upward gaze. He descended the stairway towards the stage, the stoic presence of the baby grand awaited.

Without restraint he hit the keys in breakout classical mode, abstract chords and rough-cut jazz. Bringing on vocals of authenticity and forceful finesse creating an edge of the unexpected.
His charismatic performance style was revealed as he broadly struck the piano keys adding expressive facial mannerisms and head-moves resembling involuntary whiplash.

While the songs content are emotional and centered around his core identity, he juxtaposes them with buoyant keys and short scats leading to provocative lyrics. / I am not an idol / you can rub me down / I live in this fiction, but this is reality to me / this is skin with a capital T.

Ten glorious songs in, Geo took a brief intermission and came back up through the bleacher section for act two. Once again accordion in tow, singing a trance Irish-style ballad called “About A Dream” conveying a father and son forging the frontier of maleness in battle and hero fantasy. Not a sound could be heard only the wayward voice of grit.

He continued on stage singing “I’ve Been Riding With The Ghost” (a Magnolia Electric Company accordion cover) Followed by a very original take on piano of the Cat Power song “I Don’t Blame You”. The closing song “In The End We Listen” was a showstopper…/ praise all the holy names / save some from my fall from grace / ……in the fire / in the fire / in the fire……. The audience clapped in time to the striking build up.

The crowd rose to their feet as Geo left the stage, only to return saying he would do one more. Hitting a piano key for pitch he sang a rap with stompn’ snap, displaying his broad repertoire. With confidence and flair he kept the audience fully enthralled.

Special guest Carol Lipnik opened with a short but memorable set accompanied by Dred Scott on piano. She is a vocalist and songwriter with a dramatic stage style. Her vocal range soars and applies a broad strokes to the images she paints in song. The ground beneath me is slipping again / I’m not falling / I must be floating /. I have never heard a range so dynamic. Her deep resonating alto and a high octave range is not operatic but artistic and mesmerizing.

Flickr Photo Set

Before the show I asked my husband how I looked. He said, “You’re overdressed. It’s a jeans crowd. It’s the Village”. Well I looked nice but not nearly as colorful as the crowd assembled. They reminded me of the John Waters Pink Flamingos release party I attended in the early seventies in Baltimore. Get the picture!


Saturday Night Treat; Novice Theory at Joe's Pub

Saturday night......Oh, what’s an old "girl" to do?
I'll be at
Joe's Pub seeing Novice Theory's first headlining show!! There are about 40 tickets left, and some at the door.

Earl Dax is a producer extraordinaire (Weimar, New York). To my delight and surprise, he has been spreading Obsession Collections words all over town. So it is cool when someone knows how to WORK IT. Earl ends all his promotional mailings...............

As always, thank you for your support of alternative performance, nightlife and culture. ~earl

Dax amore Time Out article
My words......Novice Theory


Novice Theory, Extrodinary Emerging Talent

Geo Wyeth, AKA Novice Theory, is a musical force driven by the vision of possibilities.

The music and per
formance are gaudy, ballsy, and emotional, with a vengeance and a slight wink. With street performer creds, this multi-instrumental musician and composer have chops and a performance flare in the vein of music heavyweights. Think Gerry Lee Lewis and Rufus infused with Jazz arrangements. Novice Theory’s talent dazzles, it moved me to tears.

It is a rare occurrence to witness a musician with intrinsic musical talent. On Wednesday night at the Trash Bar, Geo Wyeth appeared below the stage with a small accordion acoustic style, stomping a foot and singing a song. With gutsy panache, he dove right in. After about six minutes, Geo slowly walked to the stage and took a seat in front of the keyboard.

Without hesitation, he launched into a fluid set combining jazzy vignettes, classical styling, and cabaret punk-like keyboarding. The broad strokes of composition were united into the confessional song structure.

Songs that depict G
eo Wyeths’ journey to claim his core gender identity. He sings in the song “Coming of Age” / Mama I’ll grow up to be a man / and references / my scars will be my tassels / and in “There is an Order” to his father, he claims, / you never had a daughter you had me your infamy /. The lyrics lend authenticity to the urgent vocals.

He closed with “At the End We Listen In” / I walk into the fire with a razor in my left hand / cutting across the sand / concluding with a frenetic chant / in the fire in the fire in the fire…Wow!

Music theory can be stale and restricting. A novice can explore the process without constraints. Novice Theory reaches beyond the boundaries of theory and em
braces music with a spirit of abandon.

Brought to you by Blip tv
Set aside April 5th to see Novice Theory at Joe’s Pub work the baby grand!! For other events in the works, Bed Stuy Art Jam is on March 8th.
Check Novice Theory myspace.
Flickr Set