A peak at the Pianos's NYC show calendar reveals a free weekly upstairs Tuesday night party called ("ASCAP/
LIBERATED MATTER present") Cross Pollination. Those paying attention to the comments section on my site will recognize the name Wes. Wes is one half of Liberated Matter (Jay is the other). I wanted to know more about Cross-Pollination so I asked them a few questions...
What, where and when is Cross-Pollination?
Jay: Cross-Pollination is a weekly Tuesday night concert series/showcase/party that brings together two of the best songwriters the city and region have to offer. Since our recent move to Pianos we've also featured full bands. The artists each play a solo set, then join each other on stage to play a shorter, pre-rehearsed collaborative set. It was conceived in a spirit of artistic community and maintains that vibe to the present. I don't know any other place on a Tuesday where I can hear consistently great music, get consistently sauced and flirt with consistently beautiful women.
Wes: We enjoy pairing up the artists in interesting combinations. It's most fun that way, leads to interesting and unexpected creative results and new friendships on and off-stage. That has really seeped into the audience experience as well. We have seen songs written especially for the night, ep's of the event, mutual covers, etc. It takes place every Tuesday at Pianos (Upstairs) [directions], 8pm-10pm. It's also a monthly event in Philadelphia at the World Cafe Live, resuming in September after a summer break.
How long have you been doing it?
Jay: Tonight is number 60 is a series of infinity. We've only missed two or three weeks due to a scheduling conflict and a venue move, so we've been doing it for about 63 weeks. The first one took place on May 4th, 2004!
Jay & Wes: Kevin Devine, Jeffrey Lewis, Langhorne Slim, Sylvie Lewis, Andre Herman Dune, Paleface, Granian, Dave Deporis, Kristin Diable, The Animators, Nicole Atkins, Ian Thomas, Jason Trachtenburg, etc. etc.
What was your most memorable Cross-Pollination experience?
Wes: Hmm, I'd say the Kimya Dawnson/Paleface collaboration with a whole set of newly written songs was very special. Seeing Jaymay hold a note for about a full minute once during her performance was quite spectacular as well.
Jay: For me it was probably one of our big alumni shows where Casey Shea and Jeff Jacobson (of the Undisputed Heavyweights) did a rendition of the entire second half of Abbey Road. Or when Jason Trachtenburg ended his show in punk style, knocking the mic over and trying to bash these wooden flame decorations with his guitar.
How can people stay informed of locations and lineups?
Wes: They can sign up for the mailing list HERE, check the calendar on our website at LiberatedMatter.com. Or really the best way is to drop by Pianos every Tuesday right before 8pm and know that every week we'll have something special. :)
Remaining Summer 2005 Schedule:
July 26th: Theo Eastwind & Ellie Lawson (THATS TONIGHT)
Aug 2nd: Louis & Nicole Atkins
Aug 9th: TBA
Aug 16th: John Floor & Greg Fine
Aug 23rd: TBA
Aug 30th: Tim Williams & Ruth Gerson