Silent Barn Kills It With Estrogen

Oh, I’ve been a virgin up until last Friday, I finally made it to the Silent Barn in Ridgewood, an all-ages DIY venue. It was the smoothest all-age event I’ve been to. Starting time was at the time listed, all the bands played, and there was a pretty close to seamless time break between bands. There is no sound check at the Silent Barn, they do their best, and duct tape is a helpful aid. The community spirit is alive in this large way place, and Joe Ahearn was a wonderful host. The Hop Along / P.S Eliot tour was on its eighth night, and two additional bands, The Diamond Sea and Little Lungs, joined them for a second night.

Hop Along formally (Hop Along Queen Ansleis) played first, to the disappointment of some late fans. It was her turn to test the unknown sound factor. She played a solo electric set. Yes, it would have been great to see her with the band, but she handled the new material well. A new song, “Sally” had whispers and vocal intensity. She employed great fast strumming and a few pedal adjustments revving it up when needed. The band would be proud! “Junk Yard James,” the vocals were the star with a few muffled strums, guitar body hits, and slow, steady kick drum by Allison Crutchfield of P.S Eliot. There was quite a large crowd, and Hop Along (Francis Quinlan) could silence a crowd and move them. So as loud and as fast as she got when it came time to hear her whispers, everyone could! WOW, I bought a 7-track demo!! It offers a diverse mix of styles, including all the festive quirky folk elements only morphed into an edgier and much louder electric recipe. Impressive!!

Next was an Australian group, The Diamond Sea, making their second appearance at the Silent Barn. Three female players and a male drummer create a smart intricate dialogue between instruments in the spirit between punk, noise, and rock. I was fascinated to look and listen.

P.S. Eliot, those awesome youngins from Alabama bring a straightforward down-home punk that is very catchy, bouncy, and rich in melody. The sing hook-along high-pitched yelps are to die for in songs like “The Troubled Medium.” The 5 song demo I bought has a muffled garage sound with megaphone vocals and is the kind of contagious fun I live for.

Little Lungs enthusiastically closed the show with high energy and great playing. With this group, it is not just making sure they play the songs it is totally about doing it. Nice bass playing as well. The multifaceted Angie Boylon plays guitar in this outfit but was the drummer for Each Other’s Mothers (reunited show in August Silent Barn) and Cheeky. I left the Silent Barn with a beautiful feeling about women musicians. I am from the generation raised during the beginning of the women's movement. Technically these are the children of my generation. It is great to see young women taking command of their lives booking and driving across the US for one Epic adventure and doing it with skill, conviction, and love. What was really cool was that the next young wave of female musicians not only came to the show but was allowed to be there! Three groups have released with Salinas Records Hop Along 10-inch Wretches P.S. Eliot Introverted Romance in our Troubled Minds, LP Debut Little Lungs Hoist Me UP 7 inch released in 2008 Flickr set HERE.


Honne Wells Gots Some Dates

The mysterious Honne Wells will be playing with Juan Comas @ Starr Space the space looks awesome!

I'll be in town for this afternoon's free music Friday series at the American Folk Art Museum
5:30 pm sharp. HONNE WELLS banjo solos and hollers July 24th!


Deer Tick Hometown Promotion

"hung with pride" Photo credit Deer Tick Twit Pic by fan/friend.

Providence is proud of Deer Tick and shows some hometown pride and love. I remember going to Deer Tick's Myspace site a couple of years ago, where John McCauley posted something like help Deer Tick sell out. Today similar sentiments are touted "Any consideration for your McDonalds or Chevy commercial will be greatly appreciated," Deer Tick. For many talented bands today without a national following, the commercial route can be one way to make some dough. Deer Tick has gotten a lucky break with Brian Williams's interview, and I'm happy for them. They deserve the attention
and are capitalizing on the ride by utilizing social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I love their updates from the road. Favorite Deer Tick tweet so far: If you'd like to see us play in Reno tonight, please come pick us up in auburn, ca. Radiator exploded. We're the guys on the highway. More hometown love for Deer Tick: Providence rockers are ready for a national breakthrough with Born On Flag Day, as seen here on the cover of Providence Phoenix. Some cool shit from the road. I just love Hank Williams, and so does John McCauley!


Benjamin Verdery Video Selections

Back in May of 07, I wrote about Benjamin Verdery's performance @ The Monkey. Here. Although there is nothing like a live performance in an intimate space, these videos capture most of it. Enjoy and spread around like butta!
Be Kind All The Time, part 1

Be Kind All The Time, Part 2


hop along / p.s. eliot tour 2009

Chinchillin/ Forever Young Tour 2009...
I've been posting about Hop for a while, but she's still only 22. Here's what I've been saying!


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