Hop Along Queen Ansleis; Breathtaking Electric "Bride and Groom"


Hop Along Queen Ansleis's new breathtaking electric version of "Bride and Groom" is a reworked oldy from 2006 self-released Freshman Year. Her airy, breathless, crazy energy and commitment to singing are notched up to match the music. The quiet beginning with taps on the glass and electric slide guitar add contrast to the fabulous intensity that develops. Hop Along Queen Ansleis is a female-fronted band with Frances Quinlan (guitar and vocals), Dominic Angelella (electric and slide guitar), and Mark Quinlan (drums). They spent much of the spring recording three songs for a 10" vinyl called Wretches to be released by Salinas Records. It will be available for purchase around mid-July and during the tour from Pittsburgh. Hear it on Myspace! and CATCH THE TOUR!!!!!!


Drink Up Buttercup; Ten Times Happy

How many times have I seen Drink Up Buttercup! Never enough! Since I was the first New York Blogger to write about Drink up Buttercup, I thought it would be cool to post a summary of all the live shows I've had the pleasure to see and review. The awesome photograph above this copy is one of mine! (Embed it, but credit!) That awesome shot was taken at the Cake Shop, where I met the photographer Maryanne Ventrice. She had no idea what she was in for that night and, ever since has made it her mission to document almost every Drink Up Buttercup show in NYC and Brooklyn. It's not a competition, but she's winning.
1. PA Bands Bus Trip to the Bitter End 5 /14 /07 This is a newly formed band with James Harvey having the most experience formally of Playwright. They are just getting started and only have demos out. Playing to a supportive crowd in Doylestown PA gives them the opportunity to hone their craft with supportive fans. At some point, they have to venture out to the cold hard world. I think they will get a warm welcome. More
2. Drink up Buttercup at the Cake shop 9 /15 / 07 It is great to see a young band with so much promise and enthusiasm, eager and ready to make somebody's day. They made mine. More
3. Fun Sound of Contagious Delight 01 /08 Headlining at the Cake Shop makes it better. Their insanely zany acrobatic stage antics, mixed with a full-bodied sound of harmonic delight, produced an atmosphere of sensory overdrive. The garbage can and auxiliary percussion were banged, and the harmonies were fully intact. Involuntary operatic passages and rough bawdy instrumentation all came into play. What emerged is a band worthy of praise. continued 4. Drink Up Buttercup Piano’s Residency 2/ 20 / 08 I love this band. What struck me is the gloriously jam-packed uproar they create. Extraordinary harmonies, lyrics, and instrumentation are audible simultaneously. Nothing is sacrificed. Edgy disorder gone right! more! 5. Drink Up Buttercup Less Artists More Condos 04 / 2008 My astute and musically credentialed friend described their music with one awesome idiom, “Campfire Metal.” Shit, wish I had come up with that one. and..... 6. CMJ Day 2 Seriously Happy 10 / 25 / 08 Drink Up Buttercup is a conglomeration of everything right with music. and....

7. Drink Up Buttercup Sick Night of Catchiness 12 / 15 / 08 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, and tambourine in-mouth theatrics abound, but the music is the essential ingredient of Drink Up Buttercup. 8. Kidrockers Don’t Kid Down Jeffrey Lewis / Drink Up Buttercup 02 /09 Drink up thought for their next song, the kids would follow them to the center of the venue for a stomp and clap sing-along. Watching the faces of the band turning toward their abandoned instruments to sing to their little comrades of music who stayed firmly on the stage was a riot. When the set was finally over, our MCs referred to it as the best trash can-related Jam ever! 9. Shilpa Ray Drink Up Buttercup Piano’s 5/ 23 / 09 As audacious as their shows are, the band members are unassuming and unpretentious. They are happy to perform and welcoming. That enthusiasm translates. Most bands profess a style and do variations on it. Not DUB. They change styles and genres within songs, making variety part of the mix. Last night only exemplified that which sets them apart. 10. Drink Up Buttercup Full Tilt Acoustic @ Northside Fest 06 / 2009 The drunken barbershop quartet proceeded with full-tilt acoustic gusto. The diaphragms of all three vocalists were in working order, enough to project across the packed bar space. 
UNTIL THE NEXT TIME................................................................................................................


Drink Up Buttercup Full Tilt Acoustic @ Northside Fest

Drink Up Buttercup's performance at the Trophy Bar at the Hooves on the Turf showcase for the Northside Festival blew me away. The Drunken barbershop quartet proceeded with full-tilt acoustic gusto. The diaphragms of all three vocalists were in working order, enough to project across the packed bar space. With only one instrument mic for the guitar available, their loud and passionate harmonies rose above aggressive percussion and the plugged-in Casio. Drink Up Buttercup's spirited set was the kind of commotion needed late in the afternoon.

Guilty as charged, I contributed to the first round of drinks, and too many followed within the set. But the band put on a spectacular show and somehow had enough energy to be whisked away in their van to do a video for L magazine. When I asked Simon, their manager, where they were going, he said, "to North Sex" in his thick Irish brogue. At the time, it all made good sense. I was just too aroused to realize they were off to North Sixth Street.


Hop Along Queen Ansleis Video Treat

Great short clip of Hop Along Queen Ansleis and band covering Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." Start making plans for a full US tour in July / August with p.s. Eliot.
Trust me on this one. Press Play!!!

Thanks to JackieNevin for filming.


The Wailing Wall

The Wailing Wall was on Soundcheck, WNYC's daily talk show about music hosted by John Schaefer.  While driving, the most thrilling and obviously live music was on air. Not the usual slick coordinated sound but a full, multi-instrumental folk feast. I perked up and suddenly remembered that the Wailing Wall was doing this gig on the radio.

The Wailing Wall is the project of songwriter, player, and singer Jesse Rifkin and the collective of musicians who he records and tours with. On any given occasion, new people will join him on the roster for a live show. In fact, the band assembled for this radio gig were musicians who only played the material the night before. He loves hearing a different lineup of musicians presenting his songs. From his point of view, it keeps the material alive and vital and brings curious fans back to live and always-changing shows. 

The interview was very curious. NPR isn’t exactly mainstream, but it seemed kind of odd that the DIY collective philosophy of Jesse Rifkin was foreign to John Schaefer. Jesse was steady in his convictions and eager to explain his music philosophy about community, sharing music for free, and his rotating live music concept.

I  applaud Soundcheck for giving The Wailing Wall the opportunity. Hearing the music and the interview helped me get off my miserable self-doubting and lack of posting ass and get back to writing about awesome music. Thanks, Jesse, for revitalizing my spirits and doing things your way! Will be downloading it tomorrow and look forward to The Wailing Wall live experience!

JDub Records will release his debut LP, Hospital Blossom, for free on June 9th.

Soundcheck show HERE


Photo Credit: Joseph Van Meter Lawton


Shilpa Ray, Drink Up Buttercup; Piano's review

I specifically went out tonight to see the first night of Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers residency at Piano’s. Drink Up Buttercup opening was added incentive for a late Wednesday night out.

Drink Up Buttercup never disappoints. In Late April, they opened a two-night stint for Dr. Dog in front of an 800-capacity crowd. Tonight they came with the five remaining copies of their beautifully packaged 7" release on Kanine Records.

DUB live set had new intensity. Their movements on stage were faster and harder to capture on film without proper speed adjustments. They were quite adventurous, transitioning from one song into another, adding some edgy, unexpected noise, featuring a new rollicking rock song, and morphing song standards. Most bands profess a style and do variations on it. Not DUB. They change styles and genres within songs, making variety part of the mix. Last night only exemplified that which sets them apart.

Listen @ Muxtape
DUB Flickr Set

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers
There are not too many female-fronted bands that I feel strongly about. Feeling privileged to have seen Tina Turner with Ike, Janis Joplin, Patty Smith, and Tracy Nelson reminded me of how much I miss hearing female vocalists with deep powerful effects.

Shilpa Ray has the WOW FACTOR. Her raw, gritty sincerity can be felt. It isn’t just about wow she can belt, it is the authenticity of lyrics mixed with sincerity of delivery. I love her foal-mouth lyrics and how she unabashedly owns them.

Shilpa Ray was center stage directly behind her Harmonium and flanked on either side by the solid tight band of four male Happy Hookers. The band can deliver a punch, and their thriving presence was heightened by Shilpa’s vocal acuity. And it was loud, hard, and strong.

Watching Shilpa play the Harmonium and sing was fascinating to witness. Leaning forward, she undulated above and below the instrument. At times she laid her head below that, affording her pacing and build-up between wails into the mic. The drumming was powerful and masculine. The small Casio, guitar, and bass created orchestrated pop of magnitude and awesome noise. The only subtlety was the occasional vocal harmonies and shaker.

Shilpa Ray can Rant!

It was an unusual night for my first introduction. Upfront with all the other Photographers / Bloggers, I took shots (Photos) while listening to the music. We were many, lining the entire width of the stage. In a larger venue, our numbers wouldn’t look so imposing, but at Piano’s, it felt wrong. After the first song, she went into a rant, starting with “Fuck all you Bloggers.” At that, I immediately put my camera down. She said, “I’m drunk and probably will forget all the words, I don’t give a shit what you think.” To that effect. 
I felt pangs of guilt and self-doubt, thinking, who am I anyway. And she was right. I stopped to live for the moment and to feel the music along with the enthusiastic fans. The uninhibited rants of truth continued for the rest of the set, but the music is what penetrated and sustained a lasting impression. Catch them for their last residency show at Piano's on May 27th!

I purchased eight songs self-released EP, A Fish Hook An Open Eye, and listened for the late ride home. Still listening! Review soon

Apologies to Wild Yaks. They opened, and I heard great things about their set.
Shilpa Ray Flickr Set


Viva The Lisps

Three more dates are left to see Futurity the Musical by the four-piece vaudevillian art/rock folk group The Lisps and the assembled cast. In January, they concluded a two-night stint at the now-defunct Zipper Factory. Futurity has found a new temporary home at Joe's Pub of which there are three dates left. OCM 1/12/ 09 review snippet: César Alvarez’s inventive play spars between the asymmetrical romantic notions of a writer and the symmetrical logistic concepts of a mathematician. Inventively he explores the juxtaposition of the envisioned possibilities of the all-powerful machine with the inevitable tides of war. Their altruistic visions are crushed along with the hopes of a promising future. Alvarez creates a black comedy with much room for contemplation. Full review Lisps defy boundaries. 

Recently they posted an informative blog entry to their fans.

What you may not know about us is that we are not JUST a band that performs live and records albums, although we love doing both those things. We are each other’s family and community, and we consider ourselves life-long artistic collaborators. We are not just musicians, but actors, poets, publishers, composers, writers, painters and inventors, and we are committed to developing and creating projects together that are both band-related and in support of our individual artistic interests.

I think this applies to creative people who don’t consider anything they do as a side project but as a continuum of the whole. Creativity holds no boundaries, and The Lisps exemplify this spirit in their music and the lives they have chosen to live. Viva The Lisps and Futurity!
Saturday May 16 @ 9:30 Friday May 22 @ 8:00 Sunday May 24 @ 7:30


Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned; New Ep Review

I like the way the Hobos do things! Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned New EP A March Though Charles Mingus' Garbage Pile is an invigorating big band splash of energy that is muscular and celebratory. The remnants of folk styling are weighted and lifted with bursts of brass, choral harmonies, and pulsating time. All six tracks transform their influences into an original layered and uplifting direction. Live this new material is awesome, and it translates on this EP! OCM Breakdown "Everything is, Pt. III": The clack and claps of percussion leave room for Alex Muro’s vocals to intertwine with a chorus and singing saw. “Carrot On a String”: Brass led polka beat with Alex Muro’s strained passionate vocals and a mighty band upsurge with the commanding chorus. “A March Through Charles Mingus’ Garbage Pile”: Great infusion of folk and jazz like a stomping New Orleans style funeral procession with standout solo trumpet and full chorus getaway. The Table & The Cup”: Heavy brass emphasis broke up with the folky charm of Tim Koch's vocals and acoustic plucking. Goin Nowhere”: Revamped and re-released the track with a faster pace, jazz breakouts of the sax, and trumpet with claps. I Am the Past”: Includes the listener into the hobo’s circle of jokes and talk. The fun really begins with guitar plucking and uplifting harmonies.
Enjoy the Video "I Am The Past"

Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned Live at the Linda from Tom Muro on Vimeo.


Hop Along Queen Ansleis; New Song

OK, Hop Along, Queen Ansleis Fans Are you ready to spend the best five minutes and 45 seconds eva!! It's a Demo called "La Strada" from her upcoming full-length that was recorded over the winter with Tim Koch from Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned. She wisely is sharing it on her MySpace page. What is amazing is that "La Strada" contains all the best elements of Freshman Year, like the choruses, singing whispers, and the passionate off-the-rafters vocals. What is new is the edgy hard instrumentation mixed in with awesome vocal affectations; Weird in the best possible way. I'm salivating!! She is in the process of coordinating a full US DIY tour with P.S. Eliot, which looks amazing!! So check out her MySpace site.


Drink Up Buttercup Acoustic Daytrotter Session

It is nice when a group can create different versions of their songs, both live and recorded. Drink Up Buttercup traded in the keyboard for piano, garbage can percussion for a more lightweight kick drum, and some tambourine for this very special Daytrotter Session. The session highlights the virtuoso James Harvey's softer vocals while Farzad Houshiarnejad and Ben Money's harmonies are beautifully nestled in the background. This Campfire Metal is more like a marshmallow Roast. Soft, Syrupy, and ready for consumption, get your tasty free download at Daytrotter.