Posted in music | tour dates on June 20, 2011

by Andrew Sacher

Ed Askew

Upon first discovering Ed Askew's music a few years ago, I never thought I'd be able to see him live, but thanks to all the much deserved attention the psychedelic legend is now getting due to Drag City, Ed shows are becoming more and more common. Getting the chance to see him for the first time at St. Cecilia's Church on Saturday (6/17) (one night after Atlas Sound played there) was a pleasent surprise to say the least.

Although I was expecting/hoping to see him solo with either a guitar or piano, he was accompanied by a much younger keyboard player and stuck to just vocals and harmonica. He stood off to the side next to a podium which held his lyric sheets while his keyboard player was stationed in the middle of the stage. Despite admitting the sheets were there because he doesn't remember all of the lyrics, his voice was totally in tact and his delivery was excellent, lyric sheets or not. The humble setup was appropriate for Askew, who delivered his quirky songs with an awareness that they were far from marketable. It's with a completely straight face that he delivers lines like:

"Beautiful Tom smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful Tom.
Beautiful Tom smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful beautiful Tom.
smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful Tom.
Beautiful Tom smiled at me on the bridge.
Later on I sat and smoked a joint with beautiful beautiful Tom."

He humbly spoke between songs, saying things like, "This song is one of my more recent ones, well not actually that recent. It was recorded in 1984 on a harpiscord for an album called Imperfiction which was just released now on a label called Drag City." He seemed almost confused that the esteemed Chicago indie label would reissue his work. It's great that they did though, and even better that Ed is still performing and can expose his music to new generations who were far from existing when he released his incredible debut Ask the Unicorn in 1968.

Woods, whose lo-fi approach to folk may not exist without the influence of musicians like Ed, were the headliners of the show (though I left before their set).

You can catch Ed Askew again supporting his Drag City-labelmate Bill Callahan on a tour which hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on July 11 and Bowery Ballroom on July 12. Tickets for both NYC shows are still available.

--

Speaking of Drag City, Six Organs of Admittance is playing a NYC show at Mercury Lounge on August 12th. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon. No more Six Organs dates to report, but all Ed dates and a video of Ed playing in Philly last week, below...

--
Ed Askew - Highwire Gallery, Philadelphia 6/12/2011

Ed Askew -- 2011 Tour Dates
7/10/11 Brighton Music Hall Boston MA w/ Bill Callahan
7/11/11 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn NY w/ Bill Callahan
7/12/11 Bowery Ballroom New York NY w/ Bill Callahan
7/13/11 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington DC w/ Bill Callahan
7/15/11 Cat's Cradle Carrboro NC w/ Bill Callahan

---

      

Comments (6)

august 12th. really?! sonic youth + six organs have to play on the same day?! oh eff.

Posted by Anonymous | June 20, 2011 3:48 PM

highwire gallery is one of the best venues in philly

Posted by Anonymous | June 20, 2011 3:55 PM

I'm pretty sure one could make it back in time for Six Organs. Mercury Lounge website says he goes on at 11:30.

Posted by Anonymous | June 20, 2011 3:55 PM

Damn. Woods just got BURNED in that write-up.

Posted by Anonymous | June 20, 2011 5:06 PM

You left before Woods!?

Posted by Anonymous | June 22, 2011 11:48 AM

i want to thank Woods for inviting me to open for them. it is appreciated.

Ed

Posted by Ed Askew | June 27, 2011 11:57 PM

Leave a Comment