Entries tagged with: Annie Clark
St. Vincent @ Chicago's Vic Theatre in May (more by James Richards IV)
Annie Clark may not have released a St. Vincent record this year, but she did tour quite a bit in support of 2011's Strange Mercy. The one record Annie DID welcome this year was a collaboration with David Byrne, titled Love This Giant. She also toured a bunch in support of that album (maybe you saw our multi-part "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent" series?). Today, the final day of 2012, Annie has offered up an "End of Year Summation" via her blog.
Read it all below...
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments and many other musical projects has been on tour with David Byrne and St. Vincent, and chronicling it on BrooklynVegan. If you're just joining us, also check out part 1, part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. Part 6 begins here...
San Diego through Vancouver and beyond
After the Dallas show we all pile on the bus for the long trek to San Diego. Fortunately we don't have to tackle it all in one drive so we stop in El Paso for the day off. Jon N and I end up taking a long bike ride, including a shady trek through an arroyo, to go see Looper. The film turns out to be quite entertaining, despite its numerous violations of the grandfather paradox.
The following morning we wake up in San Diego at Humphrey's Half Moon, a fancy resort on Shelter Island. We have the day off again, so most of us bike to Mission Beach to enjoy the food and drink on the boardwalk. We meet up at a bar with two friends of John A and while everyone else heads to the beach, I stay behind to hear about the profession of one of them: horseshoe crab blood salesperson. She explains that the blood is vital to the pharmaceutical industry as a testing agent to ensure their products are free of bacterial infection. The crabs "donate" their blood, then are placed back in the ocean where their blood volume returns to normal within a week. With the price tag of $15,000 per quart the blood is quite valuable, and some of us make a silent pledge to change careers at the end of the tour.
The following night's show takes place in the outdoor courtyard of the hotel. Susanne, the lighting designer, sets up her rig directly on the balcony of my room. We are situated right next to the marina and during the show several dozen people pilot their boats into a little recess where they can hear (but not really see) what is coming from the stage. During our set David addresses them as "the boat refugees" and thanks them for coming.
The next few shows are a bit of a blur, primarily because we are playing every night. While there may not be as many opportunities for extra-curricular activities it feels nice to get into a bit of a groove. If anyone knows what tour momentum is about, it would have to be The Melvins. On the road at the same time as us, they are currently attempting to break a world record of "51 shows in 51 states in 51 days". They have a fascinating (and funny) account of it here. Reading of Trevor Dunn's encounter with a rowdy fan during an improvised bass solo reminds me of a recurring joke from our tour. Early on Brian Wolfe told us of his theory of free jazz. According to him you can boil almost the entirety of the history of the music down into two factions: "scratch 'n sniff" and "pet store on fire". Both types can be present within a single composition, or even simultaneously, but one must be present at all times. It is a joke of course, but close enough to the truth.
At 5700, the Greek Theatre is the largest venue of our tour and one we have been looking forward to since the beginning of rehearsals. It is a stunning amphitheater and has housed many legendary concerts including Neil Diamond's "Hot August Nights". Everyone is a bit nervous, but nerves quickly dissipate as concentration is vital to this show. Afterwards we have our largest group of guests yet, including Jason D's parents. One lovely thing about this coast to coast tour is that many members' parents are able to see the show, including mine. We also get to meet our second O'Hara of the tour, Catherine (Mary Margaret came in Toronto).
Somehow I've managed to visit a different dim sum establishment nearly every time I've come to San Francisco. So upon arrival I decide to bike on my own to Hong Kong Lounge, one that comes highly recommended. The food is delicious, but I'm reminded of why no one goes to a dim sum restaurant by themselves. Cycling the hills of San Francisco with a belly full of dumplings isn't exactly easy, and I barely make it back for soundcheck. The first few weeks of the tour we picked up a ritual we have been performing every night, and it follows us here. The last song we play every night is The Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere". The choreography is a loose follow the leader with the horns ending in a straight horizontal line behind David and Annie. As we leave the stage for the final time the line breaks in two and we depart on opposite sides, playing an improvised reprise of sorts. Once we are firmly backstage we continue playing, but the song morphs into a television theme song, typically one that takes place in the city we are currently in. Some previous numbers have included Dallas, Mr. Belvedere, and Laverne and Shirley. Tonight's version, of course, is Full House.
After a week in California we take off for the Pacific Northwest, and the home stretch of this leg of the tour. On most of the days off DB has been giving talks to support his new book "How Music Works", and we all attend one of these the evening after the Portland show. For this particular talk David is joined by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia.
The format consists of David flashing an image onto a movie screen, followed by the two of them talking about what that image means to them. As a result the majority of the talk is concentrated around the importance of the visual side of a musical performance, be it fashion, lights, or movement. It is quite fascinating and something most musicians should spend more time thinking about. After Vancouver some of us take the bus back to Portland, while the rest of us head back to NY for a few days rest. Next up Colbert, and Australia in the New Year!
'Til next time,
Watch Kelly, the rest of the band and David Byrne & St. Vincent on Colbert tonight (11/1).
UPDATE: Colbert happened. Watch the videos.
They were also supposed to play Letterman the other night, but that was cancelled due to Sandy. Speaking of, read a Sandy-related letter David Byrne sent out to his mailing list, with more pictures from their tour, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
St. Vincent/David Byrne @ Beacon Theater - 9/25/12
If you've been reading this site at all in the past week or so, you know that David Byrne & St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) recently kicked off their tour together in support of their collaborative album, Love This Giant. We've already posted pics of David and Annie at POP Montreal, where David also performed at the Pop vs Jock halftime show (the tour hit Chicago last week too), and surely you've been keeping up with Kelly Pratt's tour diary of his experiences on the road with David, Annie and co. That tour finally came to NYC last night (9/25) for the first of two Beacon Theater shows, and first of three NYC shows overall this week.
Their tour continues, hitting Beacon Theater again tonight (9/26) and Williamsburg Park on Sunday (9/29). Tickets for both of those shows are still available.
At Beacon, David and Annie were backed by their eight-piece horn section (Kelly Pratt included), and in addition to playing material off of Love This Giant, they spliced in songs from their respective solo careers, and included a few Talking Heads cuts as well. One of the Talking Heads songs they played was "Burning Down the House," which you can watch a video of from last night's show, along with more pictures from the show, below.
In addition to everything else we posted, today, here's some more, and some reminders too...
It's also National Voter Registration Day, as miss Annie Clark has so kindly reminded us above. Did you register to vote yet? We also would like to know, however, what's the deal with the Tiny Tim photo in the background?
Speaking of St. Vincent, it's David Byrne / St. Vincent Week here in NYC. Their first of three area shows together happens tonight at the Beacon Theater, as Kelly Pratt pointed out in the latest edition of his tour diary.
Neil Young has started a Twitter account and will be taking your questions via it in October. Right now, though, @NeilYoung seems to handled by a marketing intern.
Paper Bag Records just released the free David Bowie tribute album, Paper Bag Records vs. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, with covers by Austra & CFCF, PS I Love You, The Luyas, Yamantaka/Sonic Titan and more. Download it for free HERE.
Speaking of Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, they performed at the Polaris Prize Gala in Toronto last night, but ended up losing to Feist.
Converge is back with "Shame In the Way" a new song from their forthcoming LP All We Love We Leave Behind. Stream that new track, coupled with an interview with vocalist Jacob Bannon in the latest Show Now Mercy at Pitchfork. Look for the LP on 10/9 via Epitaph.
Sweden's Terrible Feelings have released a new video for "Next Round's On You" from their Shadows LP. Check that out below.
Field Report visited the A.V. Club's HQ in Chicago and took on the Sufjan Stevens mainstay "Chicago" for their Undercover series. Check out the clip below.
More stuff below...
words by Kelly Pratt, new photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt @ Pop Montreal (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, on to NY
On this tour, we are exceptionally lucky to be playing some of North America's most beautiful theaters. The Chicago Theatre is perhaps my favorite. Built in the early 1920's, it was initially used primarily as a movie theater. In 1986, it was massively restored and repurposed as a music venue. I find myself thinking of a memorable collection of photographs that document a number of abandoned theaters across the US. Many of these are beautiful rooms, but because of a variety of reasons (including urban population shifts and the rise of home video in the 1980's) they were deserted and are in various states of decay today. The shows in Chicago and Toronto go very well. We are at a point now where we can perform the show without having to concentrate on every little detail, thereby allowing us to focus more on the overall musical and visual impact (and the beautiful venues we are playing in).
We arrive in Montreal the morning after Toronto to play the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste as part of the Pop Montreal festival. The church is majestically cavernous: there are huge chandeliers and two imposing organs. I head over to the Arcade Fire studio where David has just finished rehearsing some covers for the halftime show of the their yearly charity basketball game POP vs. Jock. As I walk in Regine is practicing some jock jams on organ for the in-game entertainment.
Halftime show (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
During our sound check DB suggests that Daniel use one of the organs for the St. Vincent encore, "The Party," and also that, during that song, we put all the horns in the crowd. Luckily we have front-of-house engineer Pete Keppler on tour. He manages to make us sound great no matter what venue we are in, or what new ideas we throw into the mix. In Montreal we get what might be our best audience response yet, setting the bar very high for the rest of the tour.
The next day we all head to Boston for a day off. Most of us end up getting tickets to see Grizzly Bear at the Orpheum where we are playing the following night. [Like at Radio City] Their set draws heavily from their new album, which takes them further into psychedelic territory. The visuals are particularly breathtaking, accentuated by 12 or so hanging lanterns that rise and sink throughout the show. A few late games of pool later we head back to the hotel to rest.
Beacon Theater tonight is their first of three NYC shows on the tour. Tickets are available for tonight and tomorrow at Beacon Theater, and for the Saturday show at Williamsburg Park.
The photos you see above are from other recent BrooklynVegan posts. An original set that accompanies this post, by Bryan Murray, can be seen below...
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is currently on tour with St. Vincent and David Byrne, acting as co-musical director as well as one of their many band members. Since last week he's been chronocling that tour right here on BrooklynVegan. Welcome to the second installment, written last night...
End of rehearsals, Minneapolis, Milwaukee.
We finish our rehearsals at the beautiful Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Two full days of running the set as many times as possible takes a toll on the brass players' lips, but tightens up the choreography and transitions between songs considerably. Annie-B Parson is the choreographer for the show with Lizzie Dement assisting. She's worked with David in the past, and her next next project is with Baryshnikov--needless to say, she has some brilliant ideas that really expand the kind of performance we are used to. This is also the first time we have played the show with lighting design, which adds another level of difficulty.
The following morning the band heads to JFK for a flight to Minneapolis where we will have a much-needed day of rest. We travel on Sun Country Air. Ever heard of it? Me neither. The trip gets interesting when Ira Glass takes the seat next to me. He is on the way to Minneapolis to do a Q&A for the premiere of his and Mike Birbiglia's new film "Sleepwalk With Me". Always the workaholic, he interviews the guy sitting next to him who (after some deduction skills and Googling) I determine to be the inventor of the KneeDefender. He invites Jon and me to the premiere of his film that evening. The movie is great and we discover that Ira is as good at talking in person as he is on the air. The theater serves bourbon, a novelty for us (in the theater, not on its own).
The first show of the tour goes better than expected. It may sound obvious, but performing in front of a live audience adds an extra level of energy and intensity. It's like we finally realize the show, in its full potential, for the first time. Afterwards, a few of us go across the street to a bar where we meet some folks from Dero, the company that manufactures the bicycle racks David designs. One of the best aspects of this tour so far has been the focus on cycling. Nearly everyone in the band bought a folding Tern bicycle before we left. There are even a couple extras for the crew. This is the first time that I have toured with a bicycle and I will never leave home without one again. It's so nice to slip away from the tour for an hour or two for a long ride. It has also allowed me to see more of the city than the few blocks near the venue. Both Minneapolis and Milwaukee are great cities for cycling with long bike paths and beautiful views.
Next we go to Chicago for a day off. It's Carter's birthday, so we may have to get him a white wine spritzer or two.
To bed, for we rise at 9:30 for 10(ish),
David Byrne & St. Vincent, Kelly Pratt & band play the Chicago Theater tonight (9/18) before continuing on their tour which includes three NYC shows. Check out some more photos from their rehearsals in NJ, a video from Minneapolis, and all tour dates, below...
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is no stranger to the pages of BrooklynVegan. From being a member of Beirut to playing in Arcade Fire to performing at LCD Soundsystem's final show to his own projects Team B and now Bright Moments, we've written about stuff Kelly Pratt does a lot. Now we're going to let him write a bit. This time about his latest project, which as previously mentioned, is being co-musical director and a band member on the St. Vincent and David Byrne tour that begins this week in support of the pair's new album "Love the Giant" which is out now via 4AD and streaming on Spotify and at NPR. Look for a new post by Kelly right here on BrooklynVegan each week, starting now...
David Byrne/St. Vincent North America tour Fall 2012 - rehearsal
The Band:New York, September 11
David Byrne - vocals/guitar
Annie Clark - vocals/guitar
Daniel Mintseris - keyboards/co-musical director
Brian Wolfe - drums
Kelly Pratt - trumpet/flugelhorn/French horn/flute/co-musical director
Carter Yasutake - trumpet/flugelhorn
Rachel Drehman - French horn
Jason Disu - trombone
Dave Nelson - trombone
John Altieri - tuba
Bryan Murray - saxophones/clarinet
Jon Natchez - saxophones/flute/clarinet/flugelhorn
We've been in rehearsal for the last three weeks on an extremely intensive schedule: 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. The first week is primarily focused on drum programming and rhythm section coordination. With week 2 all the rest of us join in. As one can imagine, putting together a full set of music for twelve people can be a bit of a daunting task! Fortunately we have an experienced, talented, and motivated group of people involved.
By the beginning of the third week we are running the set with a pretty high degree of success. Then the choreography starts. I have six years of marching band experience (strictly "don't ask, don't tell" information), but most of the rest of the horns have never moved and played at the same time. Learning to play a brass instrument while walking around a stage is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. But way harder. Finally Sunday we manage to run the set with choreography. It's going to be pretty impressive.
Monday we play Jimmy Fallon, definitely the most welcoming and my personal favorite of the late night programs. It's our first public performance, and goes pretty well. Right before we play we all get a moment to warm up our horns. Carter starts playing Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" as he tends to do 70% of the time he puts the horn to his face. Jimmy Fallon comes over and beamingly declares "I love that song!"
The next two days we head out to New Jersey for full production rehearsals at the Wellmont Theatre. After that we hit the road, first stop Minneapolis!
Watch the Fallon videos HERE. All tour dates, more pictures from rehearsal, and the official video for "Who". below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
More pictures, the setlist, and video of St. Vincent's entire Coachella Saturday set, below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Like he did the night before at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Hugh Cornwell showed up as Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein's special guest at Bowery Ballroom on 1/21 (the second NYC show on the the Portlandia live tour). This time Hugh played hit single "Golden Brown" by his band The Stranglers to the sold out Manhattan crowd. Bowery showgoers also got live appearances by Portland mayor Kyle MacLachlan and music by Annie Clark aka St. Vincent (who just announced a tour). Annie covered Pearl Jam's "Black" at the Feminist Bookstore Pop Up Shop (Eddie Vedder, who recently announced a tour, was also a guest on the IFC show this season). Video of the cover with more pictures and the setlist of the show, below...
The National & friends @ Beacon Theater (by sarabel17)
Last night, 12/13, was the second National show at Beacon Theater. Sharon Van Etten opened the show and then joined the National again on stage for "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks", as did Wye Oak (who open tomorrow and play the Rock Shop tonight) and Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, as you can see in the video below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: yMusic - "Proven Badlands" (composed by Annie Clark) (MP3)
My Brightest Diamond at Prospect Park in August (more by Amanda Hatfield)
My Brightest Diamond (aka Shara Worden) is set to release her third full length album All Things Will Unwind on October 18 via Asthmatic Kitty. She's already revealed the excellent track, "Reaching Through to the Other Side," which you can grab HERE. Now she's got a video for another album track, "Be Brave," which you can watch below. The song's got backing vocals by DM Stith, was engineered and mixed by Pat Dillett (Laurie Anderson, The National), and features instrumentation by yMusic, who play on every track of the album. The video was directed by Murat Eyuboglu, who has directed other videos for Shara in the past, and stars Jessica Dessner as a dancer.
Shara's got some upcoming dates in the next few months including an album release show in NYC on October 14 at Littlefield with yMusic and DM Stith, who both appear on her album. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Speaking of yMusic, they will release their debut LP Beautiful Mechanical on September 27 via New Amsterdam Records. The album features tracks composed by Shara Worden, St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Son Lux, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Judd Greenstein, and Gabriel Kahane. You can download the St. Vincent-penned piece, "Proven Badlands," above and check out the album's tracklist below.
All dates, video, and tracklist below...
Asphalt Orchestra at Lincoln Center (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
The Bang on a Can Marathon returns on Sunday (6/19) with a mammoth thirteen hours of FREE live music kicking off at 11AM at NYC's World Financial Center Winter Garden (200 Vesey Street). Featuring over 150 musicians/composers, the fest includes performances from, and compositions by, names like Philip Glass, Glenn Branca Ensemble, Sun Ra Arkestra, David Byrne/Annie Clark, Bryce Dessner, Frank Zappa, Bjork, Yoko Ono, and many more. The full lineup and schedule is below.
Asphalt Orchestra outside Lincoln Center in 2010 (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Sunday June 19For more on what this 12-hour free show is like, check out our pictures from 2010.
Bang on a Can Marathon
Presented by Bang on A Can and Arts World Financial Center
Bang on a Can returns with its incomparable 12-hour super-mix of genre-defying music featuring over 150 astounding musicians and composers from throughout the world. Highlights include Philip Glass performing live with the Bang on a Can All-Stars; music by Bryce Dessner of The National; sonic downtown legend Glenn Branca; the outerplanetary Sun Ra Arkestra; the Asphalt Orchestra playing music by David Byrne/Annie Clark, Yoko Ono, and Frank Zappa; the intrepid Signal in a blistering string orchestra work by Julia Wolfe plus New York premieres by Richard Ayers, Fausto Romitelli, Poul Ruders, Toby Twining and much more! 12pm-12am. World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street.
Meanwhile catch Bang on a Can performing Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall on April 30th.
In July Bang on a Can head to MASS MoCA for 20 days. Details below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Beth Orton, Glen Hansard & Dawn Landes @ LPR
When Glen Hansard sets foot on the stages of a sold-out City Winery TONIGHT, it'll be his third visit to an NYC stage in a month. As advertised, The Frames frontman/Swell Season sensitive-man recently hopped on stage with Beth Orton, Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, Dawn Landes, and as hinted, St. Vincent at the Doveman "Burgundy Stain Session" at Le Poisson Rouge in January (where these pics come from)...
"Thank you so much for coming," Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) began. "This is the first of these concerts that I'll be doing, and I thought it would be nice to start with just me and Sam because me and Sam have been playing music together since we were five."Hansard's other recent NYC appearance happened this past Sunday at Justin Bond's Joe's Pub show (it was a surprise). Justin Bond returns to Joe's on 2/13 and 2/20 (perhaps with special guests again), and Justin is one of the announced guests at the next Doveman show at Le Poisson Rouge which happens on February 8th. Beth Orton returns that night too, and The Poison Tree rounds out the currently-announced lineup of Thomas Bartlett collaborators that will be there. Tickets are still available for that show and for the one happening on March 16th (lineup TBA).
The two kicked off the show with a simple, lovely, and faintly religious little song, "All is Well." Ringing out with repeatedly, the titular refrain seemed like a perfect starting point for the evening...
...After Sam had played through a few of his songs, he casually announced, "We're in a gospel mood," which was apparently Annie Clark's (St. Vincent) cue to make her way to the stage to fulfill her role as a "great gospel guitarist." Crouching down on stage in the shadow, Clark joined Amidon for one more song before the spotlight officially shifted to her. As she stood up, the stage lights shone through her messy main of curly hair, creating a halo that complimented her Amidon-annointed title....
...The evening proceded with a potpouri of performances. Hardly a song or two would pass before the configuration on stage would change. Beth Orton, Glen Hansard, and Dawn Landes would each have their turn. "One thing I realized is that I hate talking on stage so much that things are really going to need an emcee," Bartlett joked...." [Rachel Kowal]
The Poison Tree, as I wrote back in August 2009, "is Brooklyn, NY singer songwriter Steve Salett [of the King of France] and a rotating cast of collaborators borrowed from acts including The National, Rufus Wainwright, Antony and the Johnsons, and David Byrne." The Poison Tree's debut album will be released this March 15th on Embarque...
In recording its debut album, The Poison Tree leader Steve Salett, drew on a community of extraordinarily talented musicians that formed around Salett's Saltlands Studio and Saltmines rehearsal spaces in Brooklyn. "I approached it as, 'if you build it, they will come.' After that, a space and community coalesced organically around the rehearsal rooms," says Steve. "For The Poison Tree, we were able to pull musicians who regularly use the Saltmines. If we needed violin, trumpet, whatever, we just walked down the hall."Lots of names repeating themselves in this post. You can also catch The Poison Tree at Pete's Candy Store on February 11th.
The supporting cast is extraordinary: Thomas Bartlett, better known as Doveman and briefly a member of King of France, provides much of the atmospheric Wurlitzer, piano, and organ parts. Of The Poison Tree, he says, "Steve is one of my favorite songwriters. Each song is a simple, perfect gesture, but with an elusive, enigmatic quality that will never lose its fascination for me."
Singer Dawn Landes, who will open for Justin Townes Earle on the road next month and also sang on Josh Ritter's latest album, also sang on 'The Poison Tree' record and did some engineering work. Others include bassist Jeff Hill (Rufus Wainwright), drummer Konrad Meissner (Graham Parker), and trumpeter C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright). Gary Mauer of Hem co-produced the album with Salett.
Lastly, besides writing all of the songs and playing guitar and vocals, the multi-talented Salett also co-produced and plays dulcimer, Rhodes, and whistle.
Don't forget that Sam Amidon has a show coming up at Glasslands on 2/16 (tickets), and even before that will join Nico Muhly, Bishi, Bryce Dessner, and ACME at St.Ann's Warehouse as part of Nico Muhly's Tell The Way. Tickets are available for all three shows, Feb 10th-12th.
More pictures from the 1/14 Doveman are below...
photos by Benjamin Lozovsky, words by Andrew Frisicano
Before the headlining Neu! & Hermeto Pascoal shows, Asphalt Orchestra marched across Lincoln Center's network of plazas to perform a half-hour set of music, ending in Damrosch Park. Earlier that week the group debuted a new piece by David Byrne and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) titled "Two Ships," and they included that song in their set Friday night.
More pictures and a video of that tune is below....
by Andrew Frisicano
St. Vincent @ Pitchfork Fest in Chicago (more by Kate Gardiner)
David Byrne and Annie Clark are collaborating on music for a future Housing Works benefit. There's no date set for that, but Asphalt Orchestra will be debuting a version of one of the songs they've been working on...
A few months ago we had [Here Lies Love arranger] Tony Finno arrange the horns, and we performed one of the songs -- tentatively titled "Who" -- at the end of Annie's show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center. Now, having been approached by the Bang On a Can spinoff Asphalt Orchestra, with the help of [Asphalt saxist/producer] Ken Thomson we've adapted another song called either "Two Ships" or "The Movie" for their group. This will be an instrumental version and we'll do a vocal version later. [David Byrne]Asphalt will perform that song on Wednesday, August 4th, at the first of five free shows the avant-marching band is doing around the Lincoln Center as part of LC's Out of Doors Festival. Locations and times for the band are below.
In addition to that piece, they'll be debuting a commission by Yoko Ono; other songs in the group's repertoire include commissions by Tyondai Braxton of Battles and Stew & Heid Rodewald of Passing Strange and BAM Next Wave 2010. The 12-piece will release a seven-track CD of its material on August 3rd through Canatloupe Music. That includes a blisteringly dissonant song by Swedish metal band Meshuggah and an intricately-arranged version of Bjork's "Hyper-Ballad." There are a few more typical "ra-ra" maching band songs on the album too (Zappa in particular is already quite melodic and pompy), but the band focuses on getting unusual sounds out of the limited instrumentation. Live, they move in unique coordinated patterns, so the experience is individualized to the space and where you stand.
As an aside, this Saturday at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival is going to be particularly amazing, with the "Detroit Breakdown" lineup of Mitch Ryder, ? and the Mysterians, The Gories, Death and more.
St. Vincent has her own free show this weekend, at the Central Park SummerStage Sunday (8/1) afternoon, with openers Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat.
A video of Asphalt Orchestra doing that Meshuggah song on WNYC, and their schedule, plus a video of Annie doing a nylon-string version of "Actor Out of Work," are below...
It's hard to believe that The National headlined last night at Radio City Music Hall (they were the opener a few years ago when the Arcade Fire played there) and harder to believe that the massive space sold out. Sure, their last two albums have done especially well, but really? Radio City? I mean Lady Gaga is playing there in July. In "Little Faith," Matt Berninger sings, "I know what you think. You're waiting for Radio City to sink." Yes, ominous indeed.
The evening began with a rousing set by The Antlers. As if to echo the themes of hospitals, sickness, and funerals found in their solid debut, Hospice, white flowers decorated the stage. The Antlers' performance was bolstered by the addition of a two-man brass section (courtesy of Tim Cronin and Jon Natchez) and lovely female vocalist Sharon Van Etten. They played an extended version of the standout track "Sylvia" in addition to an unnamed new song. After playing a short string of songs from Hospice roughly in chronological order, The Antlers concluded their set with "Wake."
Walking into Radio City, I admit that the prospect of seeing two praise-worthy bands in such a huge space had me both exhilarated and fearful. Would they be able to master the space and overcome the obstacles posed by a seated show? How would they make the experience personal?
Though majestic, the space was a bit stifling. But to help cut down on the formality of a seated show, the majority of the orchestra section stood up when the band walked on stage and remained standing for the entirety of the evening. The National's front man, Matt Berninger, hopped off the stage to cavort with the audience in front during the third song, "Bloodbuzz Ohio." Sure, he only stayed down there for a few seconds, but it boded well for the rest of the show. The third wall came crashing down early.
The National also had some additional musicians on stage to help fill out their sound. Throughout the show, a small brass section again consisting of a trumpet and trombone contributed to the mix. Additional treats came on the seventh song, "Squalor Victoria," when a string section walked on stage. After that, it got almost ridiculous. St. Vincent's Annie Clark hopped on the piano for "Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks" and shared backing vocal responsibilities with Sufjan Stevens for the following song, "Afraid of Everyone." "I'm sorry they're so plain looking. We try to set a standard," Berninger wryly joked. "I wish we could have them on stage all night," replied a Dessner brother.
But the real magic happened during "Abel." At least, it did for me. Berninger jumped off the stage once again and started pulling that oh-so-long mic chord behind him as he walked up the aisle in the theatre. For a few seconds, I lost sight of him. And then, there he was, right outside my row. And then... what? Berninger started climbing over the seats and ended up stumbling right into Row WW, Seat 409 - my seat. As he stood haphazardly balanced on the seat behind me, he leaned over, grabbed my shoulder to steady himself and put the mic right in my face as he sang. And, though I know nearly all of the lyrics to their songs and the chorus to "Abel" in particular is embarrassingly simple, I admit I froze a little and was too stunned to sing along. After my moment had passed, Berninger continued on his way, climbing over the seat in front of me and then heading back to the stage. It's almost as if he knew that this was only going to be a one-paragraph review (since I recently wrote a lengthy one for the BAM show) and wanted to spice it up. After Berninger fled the scene, BrooklynVegan photographer Matt Eisman and I stared at each other in disbelief. Did that just happen?
The show continued with a few more songs and a solid four-song encore that (of course) included "Mr. November". This time when he wandered into the crowd, Berninger climbed the stairs to the first tier of the balcony where people encircled him and furiously sang along. Berninger proceded to walk to the far side of the balcony and back down again, his mic chord dangling over the crowd in the orchestra section below. After over an hour and a half of play, The National concluded their encore with "Terrible Love."
More pictures, a video and the setlists from Radio City, below...
Marnie Stern will be one of the bowlers (but not one of the performers) at a Stereogum "Gumbowl" charity event tonight at Brooklyn Bowl. You can't watch her bowl yet, but you can go to the concert afterwards (that she is not playing)....
"While the doors have to be closed during the tournament in order to film it all for charitable posterity -- and be sure we'll present you with the footage -- we're celebrating afterward by throwing open the gates for a FREE CONCERT, headlined by Woods, and featuring an opening set from the 'Gum-beloved rising sextet Effi Briest, DJ magic from Ms. St. Vincent Annie Clark, and loitering by our celebrity bowlers, who may or may not still be wearing the sweet-ass bowling jerseys we're throwing on them. We want you there (if you're 21 or older (sorry, kids!))." - StereogumThey had an RSVP for the concert part, but now they just say "THERE WILL BE SOME "TICKETS" AT THE DOOR! COME EARLY IF YOU WANT IN. DOORS OPEN AT 9PM". Brooklyn Bowl is a big place. The flyer is below.
Other charity bowlers include The Blow (who has a show coming up at Joe's Pub), Nick Islands Thorburn Diamonds (who has 3 NYC shows coming up), Alan Neon Indian Palomo (who has multiple NYC shows coming), and Tim Les Savy Fav Harrington (who has a scheduled Brooklyn show too). The full list of bowlers is also below.
If you want to catch Marnie Stern play live, her next show will be at Glasslands on Friday, June 18th along with White Hinterland, Anni Rossi, Translations and True Womanhood. It's not free, but you get a discount if you RSVP to that here.
Anni Rossi will also be playing Pianos the night before (6/17).
More info on the Gumbowl and flyers are below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"St Vincent brought out David freaking Byrne!!" - Kari
For the second week in a row, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) performed together at a NYC show. Last week it was the Haiti benefit. Last night it was St Vincent's headlining show at Lincoln Center's Allen Room. Last week included a bunch of covers. Last night included the Twilight song. Shara Worden, saxophonist Colin Stetson and a member of Megafaun were surprise guests last week. David Byrne, Budos Band horns, and a member of The National (and Justin) were surprise guests last night.
St Vincent appears on David Byrne's new album, as does Nicole Atkins who shares a bill with David at Bowery Ballroom on February 3rd. Bon Iver and St Vincent are both playing MusicNOW fest in March. The National just announced a new album and a tour that includes Radio City Music Hall, and the Big Ears Festival that St. Vincent is also playing.
St. Vincent heads out on tour with Wildbirds & Peacedrums on February 3rd. More pictures and the setlist from the Allen Room, below...
photos by Paul Birman
"Thanks to everyone who came to the BV Haiti benefit last night. You made it really special." - St. Vincent
"St. Vincent and Justin Vernon performing together was easily one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen/heard." - Steph Lo
Wyatt Cenac was funny. Then came Britt Daniel (of Spoon) with White Rabbits frontman Stephen Patterson. They had such a good time on stage together, you can tell they were buds. Janeane Garofalo came next - she has the smartest humor and is a strong rooted New Yorker. Made a ton of jokes about the L train and hipsters which the crowd took very warmly to. Gosh she's tiny. St Vincent went on and sounded like the lovely thing she is. Someone yelled while she was setting up 'show us your bush'????', In which she replied, 'that is the strangest thing someone has ever said to me...on or off stage'. Adorable. Following her was Zach Galifianakis who everyone was undeniably waiting for. It really looked like he just rolled out of bed, picked up some papers from a table and walked on stage totally winging his whole act...hilarious. Alas came Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver). His voice sounded just as amazing it does on record. The room was at its most quiet during "Flume". Unreal. He was the last act but did say something about a special guest - I heard it was Megafaun/My Brightest Diamond (had to leave early), which I imagine rounded out the benefit nicely. Really awesome that these guys all came together"...Thanks for that partial recap S&S. You should have gotten there earlier and stayed later though!
[Stadiums & Shrines]
The night opened with a great debut set by singer-songwriter John Shade (previously Dave Godowsky) who brought out Justin Vernon on drums for two songs. Before and after John, and between every set of the night, came comedy by our two able hosts: Bobby Tisdale and Leo Allen. St Vincent's set included a National and a Nico cover. Justin covered John Prine. Britt Daniel did three songs, which was one less than he played at Sound Fix a few hours earlier.
And yep, the special guest after/during Justin's set was in fact Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) who (after headlining Bowery Ballroom one night earlier) played two jaw dropping numbers - one with Colin Stetson on his most-insane giant saxophone, and a cover of Prince's "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore".
But it didn't end there. A supergroup called Songer Singwriter featuring Annie, Justin, drummer, and Brad from Megafaun came back to close the night off right with a set of four more covers. Neil Young's "Harvest Moon", Tom Petty's "Face in the Crowd" (with Brad on lead), Dolly Parton's "Jolene", and Annie Lennox's "Why". Each of those final covers was better than the next. To quote one of my tweets, "To quote my friend, 'Sounds like sonic youth playing a dolly parton song. Sick!' and now Annie Lennox Why! Full room Bon Iver singalong".
We ran almost non-stop for 3.5 hours straight (8-11:30), and raised over $20,000. I'm still waiting for an exact number. More pictures (one of two sets we have) and some videos from the show, below....
I am very happy to announce....
A Night of Comedy and Music to Benefit Haiti
Presented By Bowery Presents and BrooklynVegan
With short sets by:
Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel (of Spoon), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), St. Vincent, Janeane Garofalo, Wyatt Cenac (of the Daily Show), the live debut of John Shade (ex Dave Godowsky) & possibly more TBA (stay tuned)
Venue: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Date: Sat 1/23 (AKA IN LESS THAN TWO DAYS)
Notes: 18+, Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Tickets (on sale Friday at noon) are only going to be $35 in advance, and $40 at the door if there are any left. A more expensive VIP option will be available so we can raise as much money as possible. 100% of the proceeds will be split between an orphanage in Haiti (that Zach chose) and the Red Cross.
Note: this show is not to be confused North 6th for Haiti (1/27 @ MHOW) which will also be announced any second (and is already on Ticketmaster)
We were lucky to get Justin Vernon who was in town just long enough after tonight's appearance (1/21) for the NY Guitar Festival.
Zach Galifianakis speaks to Natalie Portman in the video below...
Coming on May 4: the new album from The New Pornographers, entitled Together. Their fifth full-length was produced by the band and Phil Palazzolo, and recorded in Vancouver, Brooklyn, Woodstock, and Catskill, NY. The album is comprised of 9 A.C. Newman songs and 3 Dan Bejar numbers, and features the full eight-person lineup of Carl, Dan, John Collins, Neko Case, Kurt Dahle, Kathryn Calder, Todd Fancey and Blaine Thurier. Additional musicians include Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Zach Condon (Beirut), Will Sheff (Okkervil River), and the Dap-Kings Horns, among other talents.The artwork for the new album is posted above. There are no sounds from it available yet, but the band has posted pictures from its recording on New Pornographers' site
Lead pornographer A.C. Newman appears at The Bell House's Haiti benefit on Wednesday, January 27th. Also at the even will be The Walkmen (they replaced Cold War Kids who had to drop off), Ted Leo, The Wrens, Sondre Lerche, Eugene Mirman, Rhett Miller and Nicole Atkins. Tickets are still on sale.
David Byrne w/ Dirty Projectors @ Bowery Ballroom
I have, after many years, finished the Here Lies Love CD project - at least this iteration of it. It will come out [February 23rd] on Nonesuch. It's a collaboration with Fatboy Slim, an upbeat series of songs sung each one by a different singer. The songs are about Imelda Marcos and Estrella Cumpas, the woman who raised her. The package includes 2 CDs (22 songs), a DVD with videos of 6 of those songs, and a 100-page book that explains it all. Singers include Florence Welch (of Florence + The Machine), Sia, Santigold, Nellie McKay, Sharon Jones, St. Vincent, Róisín Murphy and many more (even me on 1 and 1/2)... I am pretty excited about this, but who knows, it might just make people crazy.What should David Bryne's new name be? The full tracklist for the new record, which also features vocal turns by Steve Earle and Allison Moorer (who both just played NYC on Friday), Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos and Martha Wainwright, is below.
We'll see. There will be more concrete news, with links and music, in early January.
In the meantime, I have decided to rebrand myself, inspired by Philip Morris changing their name to Altria, Blackwater to Xe, and the train I'm riding on right now that calls itself Acela - none of which mean anything, but they are cleverly evocative. When I decide on the magic word, you'll be the first to know.
Here Lies Love premiered in March 2006 Australia, and Byrne brought the song cycle to Carnegie Hall as part of the venue's Perspectives Series in February 2007. As a stage show, the songs fit into a four act narrative, laid out in detail on Byrne's website. Those at either performance got a first look at the then-in-progress work...
Here Lies Love takes the form of a series of fairly traditional pop songs (verse-chorus-verse) played in a variety of styles (disco, rock, funk, latin, ballad) by Byrne and a small group of colleagues. Augmenting the core of guitar, bass and drums, is a percussionist and a keyboard player. The vocals are shared by Dana Diaz-Tutaan (Imelda), Ganda Suthivarakom (Estrella), and Byrne, who represents the 'voice' of other key players in Imelda's life. The stage itself is unadorned, although behind the band a small screen plays news clips and home movies of Imelda's life.David Byrne will appear at a free, unticketed (first come, first served) event at the Bell House on Monday, January 11th. He presents "a short video/audio lecture called 'Creation in Reverse,' speaking to the ways that venue and context shape artistic creation, followed by a Q&A."
As already mentioned, the songs themselves are simple pop tunes, leaning heavily on the disco and dance genres, and could fit neatly onto any number of Byrne's solo albums. They are tuneful enough, and skillfully played, but I wonder about the connection of the music to Imelda's life. Would it have been possible to blend some traditional Filipino sounds and flavours into the music of Here Lies Love (although, admittedly, Imelda was a fan of Western dance music)? [Tidy Boy]
More Here Lies Love info and a video on the performance are below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"If you have been to enough concerts, you become familiar with the dynamic of the audience and the singer during small talk moments: They say something, the audience claps or laughs accordingly, and the space between the songs is filled up, nothing more to think about. Annie Clark is a friendly, funny person on stage, but last night, it seemed as though the audience collectively didn't know what to do when she addressed us. Awkward pauses, bad jokes from weird dudes in the back, lots of nervous laughter -- at some points, it felt like the entire room was on a bad first date with someone way out of our league.Pattern is Movement and St Vincent, who, if nothing else, have violinist Daniel Hart in common, played the second night of their tour together at Webster Hall in NYC last night (5/20). All dates, more pictures from the show, and SV's setlist, below...
Clark and her band of top notch multi-instrumentalists were excellent, but they did not entirely find their groove until about halfway through the show. " [Fluxblog]
Rock 'n' ROFL @ Pianos, NYC - March 31, 2008 (Bryan Bruchman)
* Living Room parties
* Black Pus @ Death By Audio
* Nellie McKay @ Joe's Pub
* Eels are at Highline Ballroom
* Gary Louris & Vetiver @ Town Hall
* French Kicks are at Mercury Lounge
* Gil Mantera's Party Dream @ Knitting Factory
* Converge, Genghis Tron, The Red Chord & Baroness are @ Blender Theater
* Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and John Vanderslice are playing Bowery Ballroom
* Health, Aa (aka Big A little a), Black Pus, Knyfe Hytes, Crime Novels, Dan Deacon