Showing posts with label "Live Reviews 08". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Live Reviews 08". Show all posts


The Lisps Musical; The Zipper Factory

The Lisps debut of their musical Futurity will be at The Zipper Factory this weekend on Friday and Saturday night. I am sure this ain't no typical musical. After seeing them perform at CMJ, I was blown away. They are smart, edgy, and entertaining. "The foursome creates quirky cabaret folk-art-rock whose vaudevillian staging augments their stellar sound. They combine great vocal arrangements with off-center instrumentation. The guitar, bass, and drums are combined with snippets of melodica and spiced with eccentric percussion accents like the banging of a soft mallet on a metal cabinet or hammer on a drum kit." OCM 10/08 Futurity: It is about a Civil War soldier corresponding with a mathematician and writing a science fiction novel about an inventor creating a steam-powered artificial intelligence that he believes is the hope for humanity. Luke Winslow King opens the show on 1/9 Two Man Gentleman Band opens the show on 1/10 I am not a Broadway kind of gal but off off is my kind of thing! See you Saturday! tickets


Drink Up Buttercup; A Sick Night Of Catchiness!

Drink up Buttercup came to play the Cake Shop all geared up. Aside from the large metal garbage cans, melodica, assortment of electric guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, drums, and official mascot manikin head, they were armed with some new props. New was the baby head sound gear and hand-held sleigh bells. The all-time best prop that tells the sick story of the night is the little pink bottle of Pepto-Bismol propped on top of the side of the keyboard. This was intended for Farzad’s case of food poisoning. Maybe? Ben Money was recovering after having four wisdom teeth extracted presented another dilemma.

Whether they were sick or recovering, nobody would have guessed. They were their lively selves and, regardless of how they felt, put on a spectacle as if it was the most important show of their lives. What an awesome treat. They are eye and ear candy mixed with the roaring crash of metal and sweet swell of harmony. Moving about the stage, falling to the ground, operatic vibrato, tambourine in mouth, and theatrics abound, but the music is the essential ingredient of Drink Up Buttercup. I rarely go to shows and play a key role. Usually, I listen, observe, and take pictures. Tonight was different.

To be upfront, Farzad’s mic stand broke in the middle of a song. His harmonies play a key role. He looked at me with hand motions and gave me my marching orders,  So I held the mic through two songs, following his lips with a steady hand and making sure I didn’t hit his teeth. He moved quite generously from one side of the keyboard to another. It was finally resolved when Simon, their manager, found a small mic stand that he had placed on the keyboard. Relieved of my duties, I was able to take more shots. Although I have seen and reviewed Drink Up many times, I have yet to see them play in a big venue. I don’t always have the luxury of going out during a workweek, so when a Saturday shows come up, I take it.

Anyway, my intentions were to show some Roman visitors a good time. They were young, in their early twenties, so I thought going to an eleven o’clock show would not be too difficult. They left just as soon as the first note to get some rest. Shit, I have yet to find people who can keep up with me. Forget my age group. So I’ll continue to go alone to be mistaken for the band's mother, not the dedicated Blogger I am. What was assumed to be food poisoning was catching on. Some of the other members and traveling friends were feeling sick. The impending doom of a stomach virus was a predicament. As they packed their gear, the thoughts about throwing up the next day to come back the following night to the much bigger Union Hall would linger. I decided to come to the smaller Cake Shop after all, but I’m sure they put on an amazing show regardless. That is just who they are!


O'death & Titus Andronicus Making Noise That Moves

I usually go to shows alone, but not this time. I ended up distracted and needed to pay more attention. Seeing three bands, knowing how exhausting o'death is, would be too much. I came to the incorrect conclusion that Wye Oak would be second on the bill, not first. I hadn’t heard of Titus Andronicus and now realize I’ll have to expand my regular reading list.  Titus Andronicus was a welcome pleasure. Not knowing anything about their music was a plus. It is such a great opportunity to hear a group for the first time without any preconceived notions. I like that. Beyond the noise and punk, there was an incredible nuance to their sound that rose above the revved-up amplification. It had order and structure with beautiful scales of lead guitars that could be heard above all the noise with wave-like variations.

While they sound raw and similar to the punk originators The Sex Pistols, they are more musically inclined. They manipulate instruments with the raging distortion sound, amplified at full tilt. This was witnessed throughout the set as all three guitarists had access to stationed platforms. There were also two keyboards, bass, and drums. Some songs have a balladry-type feel of The Pogues but are electrified. They also add beat-driven punk sing-along chants to the mix. Patrick Stickles's voice was unadorned, real, rough, and awesomely off-key. I just loved watching him. Lots of drama and strange moments, especially when he picks up a cold pizza and takes a few bites between verses.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what he would do with it. Some fans in the audience, thinking they were at an all-age show, started moshing to the chagrin of the rest of the crowd. The lights went on briefly to look for someone’s glasses. Don’t get me wrong, the crowd was engaged, including me! 

o'death ruled this night. I am always enamored by their ability to work up an audience but headlining at the Bowery Ballroom makes a difference. The sound system is just great, and the band was delighted and thrilled to be there. The audience at an o'death show is just awesome. There is unity and love that generates even among o'death virgins. And there were many. They immediately succumbed to the robust energy of the songs. The dancing is fascinating to watch and to take part in. Because the song structures are unusual, fans could dance to a waltz-like tempo and instantly break out into an uncontrollable frenzy of jumping, pumping, and head-banging. The smiles and nods among the crowd acknowledging a shared experience were a highlight for me. An artifact of the evening was a bra relinquished from an adoring fan that Jesse Newman gladly draped over the microphone. The hour-and-a-half set ended with a chant. David Rogers Berry jumped away from his drum set to the center of the stage, all instruments were abandoned, and the band member’s voices rose in unison. Suddenly Bob Pycior dove into the crowd of outstretched arms, willingly propping his sweaty body above the throngs of appreciative fans. That night music was experienced as a community, as it should be.


Deer Tick, The Felice Brothers; Spiegleworld

Deer Tick won over the mostly Felice Brothers crowd with the first song. You would never think the assembled crowd wasn’t 100% behind them. I loved their CD War Elephant, which displays John McCauley’s incredible gift for songwriting and melody. It has been re-released on a new label. But seeing is believing, and Deer Tick delivers just as much and more live. Deer Tick musicianship is evident. They rocked strong and tight at Spiegleworld. John McCauley’s gritty, raw vocals contrasted with the clear, almost pristine musicianship. A polished rawness was the result, a weird but unexpected dichotomy. This band can shuffle it up acoustically, sing classic-style country tales and tear it up with rock n roll.
Deer Tick’s outstanding lead guitarist Andre Tobiassen, was unleashed at many points during the set. John also has great guitar skills. Chris Ryan on electric / double bass and Dennis Ryan on drums were the perfect accompaniment. Starting strong with “Ashamed” / what a crying shame / what we became /. John McCauley put his metal fingers to string on acoustic guitar and did nice shuffle drumming during “Art isn’t Real (City of Sin).” A killer song and heartfelt lament was “Song about a Man” / tugging at your lips to make you frown / that integrated harmonica and stand up with a bow. For “Little White Lies,” John abandoned his acoustic for a baby blue electric. Baltimore Blues # 1 lead guitar was amazing. Their 10-song set concluded with a fancy 50’s classic and an encore cover of La Bomba. Standing up front next to me were two enthusiastic, newly initiated fans. They were so smitten they asked Dennis Ryan for a drumstick souvenir, and he obliged.
I'm looking forward to a headlining Gig!

The Felice Brothers can wow. 19 songs and counting and counting. They feed off of each other and the audience. Their crazy, rambunctious, loose, sloppy barn stomp combining the guitar, bass, fiddle, accordion, washboard, and drums is unforgettable. The Felice Brothers are in constant motion and rotation. So their show is equally interesting to hear as it is to watch. There were tender moments as well, staged to provoke interest. Especially strong was James Felice on accordion singing “Mary Don’t You Cry” and “Ruby Mae” with the earthy, rough vocal of Ian Felice. Frankie’s Gun was a crowd-pleaser. They introduced two new songs from their upcoming March release. Run Chicken Run was great, and the accordion intro to Coney Island song / here comes the rain pounding on Coney Island /. Song 19 was the best audience participation chant directed by Simone Felice. He was perched on top of his drum kit, directing the crowd, saying, “You must repeat dying people, watch for the signal.” Longest encore... This was exciting. The band's staging area extended to the ledge where our coats and drinks were propped. Things revved up considerably when Deer Tick joined them for what I thought was a grand finale. Little did I know that the Felice batteries just don’t die. I put my camera and notes away, and they played an additional 45 minutes of unbridled music. Seeing The Felice Brothers is like having a hangover without even partaking in one drink. But I was drunk with excess and woke up in a haze singing I put some whiskey into my whiskey. Can’t get this shit out of my head. Flickr Set Spiegleworld


Jamie Lidell; Crackerfarm / Volcanic Productions Public Assembly

Jamie Lidell
A Little Bit of Feel good goes a long Way! When I was sixteen, I must have listened to Otis Redding for an entire year. I still love really good soul music. Jamie Lidell, as DJ, can move a crowd. Bring that up 100 notches when he takes the mic. His music and vibe are contagious and something to catch. Diagnosis: flushed face, sore feet, revitalized soulful spirit, happy. 

The Crackerfarm photography duo and Volcanic Productions presented Partyfarm for friends, associates, and passersby, with DJ Bonehawk, guest DJ Jamie Lidell, and Vinyl Life closing the festivities. This was not a typical dance crowd, but slowly, they got their dance on during Bonehawk's set. By the time Lidell came on, they totally let down their guard. 

Take a little bit of Al Green, Otis Redding, Prince, and some Stevie Wonder and infuse Max/MSP digital tools, and that is Jamie Lidell. The man knows how to use his tools. As a one-man band, he moves the genre of soul forward. His vocal styling can elevate, reaching the peak of exuberance in body and soul with auxiliary percussion. His timing is impeccable, and can sing and strut with attitude. His vibe is friendly-cool with a loving desire to spread his feel-good around. 

By Midnight I had to make my exit but lingered a bit longer by the bar to catch the awesome close of Lidell's set. Unfortunately, I missed Vinyl Life, who always draws a big crowd at Public Assembly.  

The Crackerfarm team is headed to document Jamie’s European tour supporting Elton John for the next month. Wow, it is perfect when talented people find each other. Just look at the videos down under! Also, check out Jamie's NEW ALBUM 'JIM'
"A Little bit of "Feel Good" filmed by Crackerfarm

Jamie Lidell and Kevin Blechdom sing "Relieving Our Power" filmed by Crackerfarm


Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band; Terminal 5

Bad photo just to prove how hard it was to get a shot.

Terminal 5, whoops, I mean Terminal Hell. I will never go back. I only went because for the last 8 years, I’ve seen Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) at every venue in the tri-state area. This is a long Obsession that won’t quit. I endured and tried to keep a positive outlook, and I’m glad I did. Having wandered around the event to find somewhere within viewing range for Ben Kweller's upbeat and engaging performance of countrified pop was close to impossible. His fans were vast and even with the two-story balcony, I didn’t find one slight opening to fully appreciate the music. 

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band set started similarly. I stood by the WFUV Tables and had a side view for the first half of the set. Speaking of die-hard fans, standing next to me was a pregnant woman with her mate, lovingly hanging on to every word. I laughed and got such a kick out of watching Conor dance and lead the band in a new and out-there sort of way. Doing moves that seemed so unlike him. He sang and added sign language to outline certain lyrics in a pop-rap fashion. It was a hoot. I find it endearing after seeing so many shows with him literally shaking with fear. I still love those special shows and hold them dearly in memory. A very comfortable and very much in command Conor emerged. Maybe it was the hat. That always helps. It gave confidence to the new and unfamiliar persona of Conor Obeast.  

The band was tight and explosive. Most of their sound is countryesque mixed with a solid rock and roll spirit, guitar leads, and bluesy piano riffs. The sound was loud and emphasized the muscle of the music but too loud to appreciate the nuance. “Moab” shined, showing off the great melding of vocals. They played quite a few new tunes. A very strong new song, "Ten Women," highlighted Conor’s gift for writing. He ended the set with “Milk Thistle” and returned with a strong four-song encore, including one with Ben Kweller. “I Don’t Want To Die In The Hospital” was spectacular. They ended on an experimental new song, "Breezy" that spoke volumes about future endeavors. It had atmosphere and strange distant scratchy sounds of what I thought was metal on guitar. Better Photos from Prefix


o'death MHOW CD Realease Show

Nothing can compare to the exhilaration and exhaustion during an o’death show. Seriously, I had blisters on my feet from jumping up and down and at one point was thankful that the guard was trained in CPR. The sound was loud and eruptive. o'death played most of their new release Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin, along with some old favorites like “Only Daughter” From Head Home. The familiar drew an insane bump in the pleasure factor, but the new material weighed in heavily, less rhythmic but more muscular. o’death’s original mix of roots / punk / metal transmits energy with a velocity that can rival any strong-armed metal band, but they do it acoustically. Fans of o’death are there for the music exclusively. They are listening and responding with kinetic movements to every bold crash of a cymbal or electric slashing of the fiddle.
Nothing drew more interestingly erratic movement than the polka-like eccentric time changes in the song “Mountain Shifts.” “Vacant Moon” drove the crowd to new heights with an uncontainable burst of acceleration, the slow moments lending to a needed recovery. There were tender and solemn moments when they sang the beautiful but beefy “Grey Sun” and the lovely harmonic “Angeline.” By the night close, the crowd broke out in a wave of frenzy. Each person claimed a wider and more open space, not holding back another minute, while others less risky had to accommodate. I’m always up front next to the stage. So it was fun sharing that time with o’death’s slew of friends. Meagan of the “Yeah Bob” contingent was on my right, and the affable Jessica was on my left. GPphoto passed me his card as I willingly gave up my spot for art. He got a great shot. 

Openers Hoots and Hellmouth did a short set. I enjoyed their set more at the Mercury Lounge, where the sound system showed off their acoustic instrumentation and soulful gospelesque vocals coordinated with a foot-stomp wooden platform. I was told that they really let go on their home turf in Philly by one of their most beautiful and adoring fans Kim.

Below is a video by Krolick Production of the following night at Johnny Brenda’s with o’death.

PitchFork TV, "Low Tide"

Flickr Set o'death Flickr Set Hoots and Hellmouth


CMJ Day 2 Seriously Happy

Ear Farm @ Pianos; Drink Up Buttercup, Project Jenny Project Jan After The Jump Fest @ The Knitting Factory (Old Office); The Beets, The Lisps I only had one day. I played hooky from my full-time for some Bloggers presented CMJ. My day started with Earfarm’s Matt and Mike (my inspiration) at Piano’s and ended at After the Jump Fest at The Knitting Factory. The Music Slut’s Matt and Jennifer we’re one of the many Blogger coordinators for this event, they are sweet and dedicated to music. Photographer Maryanne Ventrice was awesome to hang with.

Drink up Buttercup

Being the first New York Blogger to write about Drink Up Buttercup back in May of 07 and many times since has been a joy. It never ceases to amaze me the power and exuberance this band projects. Drink Up Buttercup is the zany jolting sound of crashing garbage cans, infiltrated with out-of-kilter skating rink organ, muffled guitar, brutal bass, pounding polka drums, and killer dead-on harmonies. Their sound of infectious delight drew instant smiles from the crowd of new listeners at Piano’s. Their short set consisted of many favorites, but the evolved version of “Farewell Captain” is a succinct intense punk-like rockabilly infused with a madcap circus-like keyboard. When it slows down, James Harvey’s operatic vocals astonish. Stage exploits are a given at any Drink Up show. Watching Ben Money banging a small red metal garbage can and abandoning it in mid-air as he seamlessly switched to bass and continued to move around the stage is exilerating. Listening to Frazad Houshiarnejad sing perfect harmonies while banging a giant metal trashcan with a maraca is admirable. Mike Cammarata will do anything for percussion, including positioning a tambourine between his teeth. An unintended mishap was James Harvey had to trade in his muffled acoustic for a baby blue electric. It was pretty! The set ended off stage with an acoustic stomp along with “The Lovers Play Dead.” What do they possess that other bands don’t? As audacious as their shows are, the band members are unassuming and unpretentious. They are happy to perform and welcoming. That enthusiasm translates. Drink Up Buttercup is a conglomeration of everything right with music.

Project Jenny Project Jan @ Piano’s

Project Jenny Project Jan was a treat to behold. Jeremy Haines (vocalist) is joined on stage with Sammy Rubin (programmer/keyboardist). Rubin’s feverish dance grooves are combined with Haines's extraordinary mock-speed rap. In front of a backdrop of video graphic editing, Jeremy includes every cliché dance move a geek dressed in a white suit, and black tie could conjure. Much like a Saturday Night Live skit, except this is not a joke, the talent is undeniable. Behind the digital setup, Sammy would smile and occasionally do an arm wave, creating a comedic contrast to Jeremy's intense kinetic performance. It was a rip and a roar of an art performance, full of sweat and energy. Hysterically, Karaoke gone Real. I loved them!

The Beets

The Old Office of the Knitting Factory was the appropriate setting to hear the beat-up sound of The Beets. The trio Juan Wauters (guitar), Jose Garcia (bass), and Jacob Warstler (two kick drums) all share vocals. They sound like a muted garage band with speakers at full throttle. Their vocal harmonies are barely audible but create an intentional direction of distinction. Something about it sounded like sloppy fun pop with a low-fi twist. Kind of like, The Monkees through a liquidizer. The Beets sound aesthetic has endearing qualities. Also, they had the best metal merch lunch box for their CDs and tapes.

The Lisps
My evening ended with The Lisps. The foursome creates quirky cabaret folk-art-rock whose vaudevillian staging augments their stellar sound. They combine great vocal arrangements with off-center instrumentation. The guitar, bass, and drums are combined with snippets of melodica and spiced with eccentric percussion accents like the banging of a soft mallet on a metal cabinet or hammer on a drum kit. The vocal synergy of the two main vocalists has a dynamic juxtaposition of pitch and style. Cesar Alvarez and Sammy Tunis sing/talk in a wordy patter in sync with precision and ease.

Center stage is the lovely star-lit Sammy. Her voice has Broadway-like clarity peppered with avant-garde finesse and a twangy bent. A little like Jenny Lewis meets cabaret. Cesar, her vocal counterpart voice is awesomely low in contrast. They present topical and contemporary savvy lyrics as editorial black comedy.  
The vaudevillian panache is highlighted with low-fi costume changes. Cesar and Jeremy Hoevanaar (bass) switched glasses and goggles between songs. They had a costume theme of sorts. Caesar wore a NASA suit, and Sammy a onesie (pants suit). A funny moment took place when Jeremy announced he was making a costume change advertisement. He slowly unbuttoned his shirt to reveal Drink Up Buttercup’s new brightly colored Tee shirt. The drummer Eric Farber was certainly part of the comic flair. I loved when he bounced on his cushiony drum seat, flying up in the air, looking like an oversized baby in a bouncy seat. His facial expressions were priceless throughout the set. He also weighed in on song selection, illuminating that this group is collaborative. The Old Office never sounded better! The Lisps music won me over, but their personal approach killed me. It was so inclusive. If they were a club, I’d sign up immediately. By the evening's end, my smile o-meter had risen off the charts.

Maryanne Ventrice Drink Up Buttercup Video / early date

flicker set


Viking Moses, Golden Ghost, Wildebeest, Garage Show

The Naideau shows have been a mainstay for the past few summers. This is where music is appreciated garage style. An oriental carpet darn the stage area, and Christmas lights and snow shovels embellish the walls. They book great touring bands and mix it up with local bands and returning musician friends. I missed the host’s new outfit tentatively named "Your Birthday" but was there to hear Sleepwall’s short energetic set. They integrate rock riffs with punk force and have an awesome drummer. Viking Moses and his tour partner Golden Ghost (Laura Goetz) had a nice night at The Cake Shop with the backing of a full band but ended their full summer tour appropriately in a garage filled with music connoisseurs. I, unfortunately, arrived to hear only two songs by Golden Ghost. She plays electric guitar and has a distinctive voice, similar to a softer Joanna Newsome with a bluesy austere resonance. Her experimental song structures meander into the unexpected. I’ve had more time to appreciate her eccentricities in her self-produced Fauna of Mirrors! Viking Moses’ (Brendon Massei) music really appeals to me. Leonard Cohen on crack comes to mind. His low voice can be soft, emphasizing his storytelling, but he brings songs to life with dynamic hard-core vocals that project a Missouri drawl of soulful fervor. Joined by Laura Getz on the keyboard, Brandon played electric guitar fashioning an echoing style of eerie and abrupt leads of striking simplicity. He played mostly new material giving the crowd a first live run-through. I loved a new one he introduced as “Rough Rider.” It had a continuous beat that he induced hitting the electric guitar between leads. When asked for requests, the audience of young, attentive garage huggers was familiar, and he was accommodating. Since age fourteen, Brandon has taken his non-commercial art on the road, going it alone with little financial reward. At age twenty-nine, he retains his youthful exuberance and affirmative spirit to continue his minstrel lifestyle and openness to share music. He reminds me of another beloved troubadour David Dondero. It was great hearing his music for the first time, and I was immediately taken by his authenticity and captivating music. Just can’t shake it. Awesome!

The night continued as Wildebeest started his set, asking all to follow him into the back woods of the property. In the dark, we listened to a 12-minute poetic speak / song rant with guitar picking and harmonica. After catching our breath, he played three great new songs. He took requests but forgot all the words “Living and Dying” from the incredible out-of-print Motion and Language. He luckily remembered “Host and Hostage” and ended with “Animals In the City.”

I wasn’t the only person listening who has savored every release, EP, or demo Matthew Winn puts out. He might have left them behind, but his recordings live on. We were all grateful to hear him. Wildebeest has taken a personal renaissance from touring. His
creative growth has only made him stronger as a performer. Flickr

Viking Moses Video!

Golden Ghost Video

Viking Moses is Scheduling dates for a Fall tour to promote his new release, The Parts that Showed, due out before Halloween.


Langhorne Slim and The Felice Brothers @ McCarren Pool

Langhorne Slim
The Rain was not going to deter me from seeing Langhorne Slim. Did some quick thinking and brought some garbage bags from the Brooklyn renovation
site I was working at earlier in the day. Deertick canceled due to a flight delay, still have yet to see them live but a must-do! The expansive sound of Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles (Malachi DeLorenzo drums and Paul Defiglia Stand-up bass) in an outdoor space were welcome. Relentless touring has amplified Langhorne’s robust voice. His ease and charming manner are felt immediately. Rather than drenched in rain, I was soaked with affection. The soulful grip of his passionate timbre dripped over the wet receptive crowd. They performed an awesome two-for-one combo of “Mary” with “Cut It Down,” a hidden live track on Electric Love letter EP. Also playing “Restless,” “Hello Sunshine,” the great raucous “Set Em Up,” Hummingbird,” and “Diamonds and Gold” from their self-titled release, and the infectious unreleased “We Love the Animals.” "Hummingbird" was a highlight. Unaccompanied, Langhorne was not alone, he had everyone’s attention. Ending the set with “Diamonds and Gold,” the crowd smiled and swayed as the hazy sun peeked through the clouds that felt like a rainbow. Langhorne can charm, and the War Eagles can jump-start any crowd with their tight-quality performance.
Simone Felice Drum Antics
I enjoyed The Felice Brothers opening for Bright Eyes at the big expansive Radio City Music Hall, but they are even more engaging close-up. Their homegrown street theater style is much rougher around the edges. I like the communal staging and switching of focus between all the players, including the theatrical antics of drummer Simone Felice. James Felice on accordion is a big presence not to be forgotten. Starting with “Roll on Arte,” Ian Felice’s rough and earthy voice was a gritty delight. “Whiskey in my Whiskey” and “Radio Song” was the warm-up! Craig Farley, fiddle and washboard player, adds jug-band gusto to the mix. Sadly I had to leave early, believe me, this was a necessity, but I can’t get the songs out of my head.


The Rocket Factory Rooftop; Discovery Pwrfl Power

Pwrfl Power
Francois Virot Ramona Cardova
Ok….I waited two years to see Ramona Cordova. Unfortunately, it was miss, not hit. I’ve only heard raves, so this was an off night due mainly to touring tragedies and mishaps. The mood didn’t strike him, as the audience tried to show him, love. He just wasn’t feeling it. I guess it is hard playing in the dark and being exhausted. Bad shit happens to musicians on the road. His truck broke down with all his belongings in another state, lost his cell phone that day, and the list goes on……… Although I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Ramon, I would have loved to see him at his best. Hope things get better, I love his music. The weather was beautiful, and a warm breeze filled the night air. The scenic view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge was breathtaking. The opening was The Spookfish, a one-man composer who creates moodscapes with beats on Casio and laptop. Listening to the sound on the rooftop was ideal. Ending the set with “Reef Gecko,” he composed on a plane ride from Florida the night before. Nice… Pwful Power (Kaz Nomura) was the delightful surprise of the evening. He just recently moved to Brooklyn from Seattle. He stood with electric guitar and began each song with a story or one-line setup. I laughed throughout the whole set. In one song, he started by pointing directly to a group of people in the crowd saying, “I like your jacket.” Everyone then turned from side to side, looking for a jacket on a warm night. How could he see us it was dark? Then the song began. You got a nice jacket / the best jacket in my town / can I have it for my birthday/. Another selection is “Let Me Teach You How To Hold Chopsticks.” / Your so pretty and holding them wrong / My dad used to beat me up because I was holding them wrong / and I don’t want to beat you up / because your so pretty / your so pretty / but your holding them wrong /. His amusing phrases have layers of irreverent philosophical humor that you can fully appreciate. Part of the charm is his childlike delivery. He’s a hoot but more. He is a dynamic musician with cool guitar moves blending classical fused with jazz, extreme abandon of abstracted scales, with scattered dissonant chord arrangements. Bought his CD and a homemade sponge for three bucks that his Grandmother made. So charmingly sweet! Francois Virot, like Ramon, was also suffering from tour exhaustion and illness but gave it his best shot. It was a rather disorganized, scattered set. His voice was about to go at any minute. So his usual coughs, grunts, and frenetic vocal styling were heard in all its glory but with a more hoarse and strained quality. I bought a tape of Yes or No, but can’t find a tape player that works. The recordings sound soooo good. Have to wait for the release. Say Fiesta MP3 Francois Virot


Langhorne Slim Sold Out Send Off @ The Mercury Lounge

Belated Review: Home at 2:45 up at 6:00 for work. Worth It!

In my other life, I am perpetually late, but not when it comes to going to see live music. So Wednesday night, sitting at the Pink Pony listening to the Clash on the jukebox and savoring my last taste of creme brulee, I was finished stalling. So I ventured around the corner to the Mercury Lounge for Langhorne Slim’s sold-out show. Defiantly t
oo early!

One benefit, I watched the arrival of a slew of important people on a guest list to see the band J. Roddy Watson and the Business. All saying, “I’m on the List.” The back room was filled with about thirty people. The young man on the piano, with his support players on guitar, bass, and drums, was about to give the show of a lifetime, regardless of the statuesque audience. I’ve been to only one other “tryout,” and they are a bit awkward.

J. Roddy, with curly long locks, has a great voice and magnetic delivery of southern rip-roaring rock and roll. I’ve never seen anyone literally hump a piano. I wasn’t sure if the piano stool would slip under him or if the piano would slide across the stage from all the pounding and movement. Leon
Russell on meth comes to mind! It was uproariously loud and resurrected the sound of classic rockn’ roll in the highest order. Dated, who cares. Oh soo good!
WOXY Session

                                                            Hoots and Hellmouth

I was there to socialize and see Langhorne Slim but decided to make a commitment to see
Hoots and Hellmouth’s very enjoyable set. The trio of Sean (guitar), Andrew (Mandolin), and Rob (guitar) with the addition of stand-up bass and Bob Beach, a fierce harmonica player.

The set up of two wooden platforms in lieu of percussion offered a muffled stomp beat that worked nicely with the acoustic instruments. Authenticity abounds. Their instruments resonated while the gospelesque roots rock, soulful vocals, and rich harmonies rose to create a surround-sound effect. Hoots and Hellmouth's unpredictable styling provide a marvelous listening juxtaposition with acoustics that are both soft and furious. And when they come on strong, their flowing hair head-bangs to the rhythm, building a joyful experience to watch and hear!

Flickr Set

Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles

The lounge was packed for Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles with friends, fans, and those that helped along the way. The long-awaited release had finally arrived. We were all there, including five pals from Bermuda who flew in for the night to wish them well on their first headlining tour across the US.

The set began with Langhorne saying, “I promised myself I wouldn't cry.” This show was a tender affair with guitar tuning incidents and some sweet slim banter. The crowd ate it up and smiled, sweated, danced, sang along, clapped, and stomped to the love fest sendoff.

They worked the crowd up and slowed things down. When Langhorne sang Hummingbird unaccompanied, the crowd enjoyed silence with each heartfelt word. “We Love The Animals” was quite a rollicking affair. I had only heard the acoustic version recently uploaded by Crackerfarm on YouTube. The long set left the audience in a sweaty, smiling frenzy and slim invited some of the audience to join them on stage for a grand finale.

As the War Eagles left the stage, the last song of the night, “Rebel Side of Heaven,” was a bait and switch that worked its magic on the crowd, and was delivered with Slim, guitar in hand, and no mic. During the instrumental, he shyly smiled and said, “here’s my solo, guys.” And then, without the usual soulful swagger, he wittily and sweetly sang the closing line. / We ain’t going to hell / well we’re going to the rebel side of heaven /.

And heaven it was, maybe Slim didn’t cry, but many had tears of joy, including me. A night to savor!

Flickr Set

Slim singing "Hummingbird" @ The Mercury Lounge

"Rebel Side of Heaven," directed by Crackerfarm
My review of Self Titled


Drink Up Buttercup @ Less Artists –More Condos

Enthusiastic Female Fan Joining Drink Up Buttercup on stage

I love alterna
tive venues and the people associated with such endeavors. The line-up Saturday night was coordinated by The Rats of Nimh and presented at Less Artists - More Condos. Booked as an underage show, it has a very grown-up atmosphere. This is a great loft space with comfortable furniture and a nice size area for music. So you can socialize while listening to the music or venture into the closed-off music space and get personal. Perfect!! I specifically wanted my friends to see Drink Up Buttercup. They never disappoint. To me, the highlight was their acoustic set at the end. The audience did a stomp and clap as Drink Up brought forth their marvelous gift of harmony, singing “The Lovers Play Dead.” While they warmly sang, Ben Money made deviant time beating a trash can lid to the floor. My astute and musically credentialed friend described their music with one awesome idiom, “Campfire Metal.” Shit, wish I had come up with that one.
 Acoustic Campfire Circle Video, filmed at The Moose in Doylestown, PA

Flickr Set Here to keep up to date with all ages events go to Sleep When Dead NYC


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!