Recent Posts in music

March 26, 2015

photo: Public Access TV @ BVSXSW 2015 (via @brooklynvegan)
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Amongst the tenants of one of the buildings on 2nd Ave that was destroyed today in to the giant explosion and fire this afternoon are the band Public Access TV. They were not in building, thankfully, as they're currently on tour on the West Coast. But they let everyone know they were ok on Facebook:

We've got a lot of messages about our apartment burning down in New York today. We are all safe. Very very lucky. Thoughts go out to everyone else affected by it and the firefighters.
Thanks for checking in, guys. It was just Saturday (3/21) when Public Access TV played BrooklynVegan's SXSW day party at Red 7.

John Renbourn

Folk legend John Renbourn sadly passed away at his home in Hawick, Scotland, The Guardian reports. He was 70.

In addition to releasing a large amount of solo albums from 1965 through 2011, John was a founding member of the great British folk-jazz band Pentangle, along with Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson, Terry Cox, and Bert Jansch (who we lost in 2011). John contributed guitar and vocals to the band, as well as other stringed instruments including sitar and banjo.

Rest in peace, John. You'll be missed and your contributions to music won't be forgotten.

Listen to Pentangle's arrangement of the traditional "Cruel Sister," the title track to their 1970 epic, below...

Continue reading "John Renbourn, RIP"

"Well an entire BUILDING just collapsed on 2nd Avenue and 7th street in the #EastVillage!!" - mikenouveau

Building

Firefighters were on the scene of an apparent explosion on Thursday afternoon in the East Village, and a building at the site appeared to have been partly destroyed while another building was engulfed in flames.

Francis X. Gribbon, the chief spokesman for the New York Fire Department, said the preliminary indication was that some kind of gas explosion preceded the inferno.

"It was probably a gas thing, it looks like," he said. "But that's not confirmed."

He said one injury had been confirmed so far: a critical injury. He said it was not immediately clear if the buildings were occupied.

By 4:05 p.m., Mr. Gribbon said, the event was in the seventh alarm, meaning that roughly 250 firefighters were on the location from about 50 Fire Department units. The buildings are at 121 and 123 Second Avenue. [NY Times]

Gothamist says, "The FDNY has now confirmed there are multiple injuries at the scene. The residential building has a nail salon (E-Nail) and a women's clothing store (Enz's); it is right next door to vegetarian mainstay B&H Dairy" and that "the neighboring building is also engulfed in flames", and that "According to various people at the scene, the second building (which is reportedly 121 E 2nd Street) has collapsed completely. That building contains Sushi Park; Eater reports that Sushi Park was destroyed, but neighboring Pomme Fritte is still in one piece." UPDATE: Eater now reports that the building that housed Pomme Fritte is gone too.

The site of the explosion, 2nd Ave between St. Mark's and 7th, is an area long-associated with music and counter-culture history. The corner of St. Mark's and 2nd Ave, currently Gem Spa Magazines, was the corner where the photo on the back cover of the first New York Dolls' album cover was taken. B&H Dairy is one of the most old-school vegetarian restaurants in NYC. 125 2nd Ave was the home of underground rock record store Wowsville (which closed in 2004 with a show Black Lips played). 119 2nd Ave at the corner of 7th St was the home of vintage clothing and collectables store Love Saves The Day. Across the street from where the explosion happened is the old Orpheum Theatre, which is currently the location of STOMP.

UPDATE 2: As of 4:30 PM, NY1 reported that there are 12 injured and three in critical addition. No fatalities have been reported.

UPDATE 3: NBC New York now confirms that it was a gas line, which construction workers accidentally hit in the sushi restaurant.

UPDATE 4: Gothamist reports that Mayor de Blasio said, "The actual explosion occurred at 121, which caused it to partially collapse, and 123 collapsed as well." 119 and 125 2nd Ave were also both affected.

As of this post. 2nd Ave is now closed from 14th St to Houston.

UPDATE: The band Public Access TV lived in one of the buildings.

Continue reading "East Village building collapses, huge fire after explosion"

photos by P Squared Photography; words by Bill Pearis

Kate Tempest @ Mercury Lounge 3/24/2015
Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest

"Don't clap, it'll make it cheesy," Kate Tempest told the crowd at Rough Trade, heartfelt, as she enthused about playing her first show in Brooklyn, home to heroes like Mos Def and Biggie. This was the last show of her first American tour -- "a trip that absolutely changed my life" -- and she was positively beaming onstage. You couldn't help but smile or shout back at her genuine enthusiasm. Backed by an excellent band that included her producer/collaborator Dan Carey on synthesizers, a drummer (everything seemed to be played live to me) and a backing vocalist, Tempest absolutely mesmerized from the second she hit the stage. It is hands-down the best live performance I've seen this year.

She is not the female version of The Streets. She is not Lady Sovereign. See her live and you'll know. The songs on her debut album, Everybody Down (based on her new novel, Hold Your Own) and are detail-rich stories of everyday people trying to connect in a world of constant distractions. Being human to each other, doing things that matter, never giving up -- subjects that are not new but Tempest delivered with passion and conviction and serious flow. We need more like her.

Interesting side note: one of the things that gives Kate Tempest's album such a distinctive sound, musically, is the use of the ribbon-controlled Swarmatron analog synthesizer, which Dan Carey played last night. Leon Dewan, creator of the machine, was at the Rough Trade show and Kate gave him a big shout-out from the stage.

Kate played Mercury Lounge with opener Jack Garratt on Tuesday (3/24) and pictures from that show are in this post. NYC has one last chance to catch Kate Tempest this go-round, albeit in a different format. She'll be at the WORD bookstore in Greenpoint tonight (3/26) at 7 PM to celebrate the US release of her books Brand New Ancients and Hold Your Own. It's free, but WORD is small so get there early.

Kate will be back in May, playing Governors Ball. More pics from Kate Tempest's Mercury Lounge show, plus setlists from both NYC shows, below...

Continue reading "Kate Tempest played Mercury Lounge (pics) & Rough Trade (review), doing free reading in Brooklyn tonight"

photo: Dead Heavens at Saint Vitus in February (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Dead Heavens

Walter Schreifels' new-ish garage/psych band Dead Heavens have had no lack of hometown NYC shows lately, and they've currently got three more coming up. First is their Saint Vitus show on April 16 with Philly riffers Ruby the Hatchet (which Sweden's Blues Pills unfortunately dropped off), and then they play two nights at Bowery Electric, May 14 and 21. The first of those is with opener Slonk Donkerson and the second is with Slavve. Tickets for the Vitus and Bowery Electric shows are on sale now.

Those Bowery Electric shows happen just before they head across the country to open for the reunited Rocket From the Crypt and The Bronx in California (tickets). That's one of three upcoming dates for RFTC, the other two being Houston's Free Press Summer Fest and Montreal's Heavy Montreal.

Stream Dead Heavens' recent "History In My Hands" / "36 Chambers" single below...

Continue reading "Walter Schreifels & the Dead Heavens playing 3 NYC shows before California w/ Rocket From the Crypt & The Bronx"

by Bill Pearis

HtH

Anthemic Boston indie rockers Hallelujah the Hills released their fifth full-length, Have You Ever Done Anything Evil?, last year but it is just now getting a vinyl release. In support the band have made a video for album track "Destroy This Poem." Written and directed by Ryan Hamilton Walsh, it's a funny look at social media technology going horribly wrong and you can watch it, and listen to the whole album, below.

Also in celebration of the vinyl release, Hallelujah the Hills are playing a few East Coast shows, including Brooklyn's The Bell House on Friday (3/27) with a opening solo set from Adam Schatz. Tickets are on sale. The band have a few other dates and all are listed below.

Continue reading "Hallelujah the Hills share new video, touring, playing The Bell House with Adam Schatz (dates, streams)"

Heartless Bastards at Willie Nelson's Ranch during SXSW (via)
Heartless Bastards

Bluesy garage rockers Heartless Bastards will release the followup to 2012's Arrow with Restless Ones on June 16 via Partisan. The album was produced by John Congleton, who's recently helmed records by St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Swans, Cloud Nothings and others. You can hear a few clips at restlessones.net.

The band also announced a tour with support from Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn taking place June into early July. Craig's on almost every show, but not the one in NYC, which happens June 15 at Webster Hall. Stay tuned to find out who's opening that one. Tickets for it go on sale Friday (3/27) at 10 AM.

The band were just in Austin for SXSW last week. Watch a video of them playing an acoustic WFUV session that was taped down there, with their list of dates, below...

Continue reading "Heartless Bastards announced a new album & tour with Craig Finn, played SXSW (dates, video)"

photo by Katie Hovland
Local H

Long-running Chicago rockers Local H are still going strong, and celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band this year. They're releasing their eighth album, Hey, Killer, on April 14 via G&P Records (pre-order via their Pledgemusic page), and just premiered the riffy single "The Misanthrope" over at Loudwire. Listen below.

Local H will also do some extensive touring, beginning in mid-April and continuing through July. The tour hits NYC on June 19 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

All dates are listed, with the new song stream, below...

Continue reading "Local H share new song, announce tour (dates & stream)"

by Bill Pearis

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UK band Virginia Wing have a new video for "A Complex Outline" from last year's terrific, Broadcast-y Measures of Joy. It was filmed on a landfill site in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire in one day by Frankie Pike and Misha Hering, who also recorded their album. In it, singer Alice Merida Richards drags a parachute (filled with something) around the hillside, starts a fire...it's all ambiguous and creepy. Kind of like the song. The video makes its premiere in this post and you can watch it below.

In other news, Measures of Joy is being reissued in a deluxe edition featuring two-color vinyl with added bonus tracks. It's out May 11 and you can pre-order it here. Virginia Wing are also on tour in Europe, playing Munich tonight with The Notwist, a pretty good double bill. All dates are listed, along with the video, below...

Continue reading "Virginia Wing releasing deluxe edition of 'Measures of Joy,' share new video, touring Europe (dates, streams)"

BFF

Celebrating folk music from near and far, the Brooklyn Folk Festival showcases 30 bands, workshops, film screenings and contests. Daptone gospel group Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, country blues and songster multi-instrumentalist Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton, folk legend and songwriter Michael Hurley, old-time fiddle and banjo player Bruce Molsky, fiddle player Frank Fairfield, and intergenerational anti-folk collaborators Peter Stampfel & Jeffrey Lewis are among the performers at this year's Festival, held from April 17-19th.

The seventh annual festival has sold out every year, its attendance growing each time, and has moved to its largest venue to date, St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, in Brooklyn Heights. Its world-famous stained-glass windows will frame the stage. The Festival is a co-production of The Jalopy Theatre and Down Home Radio. The three-day event has grown each year. This year's partnership with St. Ann's allows for a main stage inside the church, and a second stage for workshops, film screenings and vendors.
Tickets for the 2015 Brooklyn Folk Festival are on sale now. Full schedule below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Folk Festival 2015 lineup & schedule"

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