Entries tagged with: BAM
Erykah Badu at Afropunk 2012 (more by Gretchen Robinette)
"Queen of Neo-Soul" Erykah Badu has some scattered live dates scheduled for this year and she'll be making a trip to NYC for a pretty busy weekend here in June. For one, she was added to NYC festival Governors Ball, which goes down on Randall's Island from June 7 - 9. Tickets for that festival are still available.
While she's here, she'll be performing her 2008 album, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), live at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on June 8 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Brooklyn Philharmonic's 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), who will also be performing a "reprise of selected works" from his 2012 Brooklyn Philharmonic installment, with Lena Horne and the Bed-Stuy Tradition. This show will be taking place right next door to the Barclays Center, a venue Mos Def has some issues with. Mos Def previously performed with Erykah Badu at Afropunk Fest 2012. Tickets for the BAM show are on sale now.
A list of all Erykah Badu dates and the video for "Honey" off of New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) below...
photos by Greg Cristman
John Cale & Wordless Music Orchestra @ BAM, 1/18/2013
Q. Of all your albums, why are you revisiting "Paris 1919"?Former Velvet Underground member John Cale played three shows at BAM in the last week as part of the Academy's Next Wave Festival. The first was a star-studded tribute to onetime VU singer Nico on January 16 featuring the vocal talents of Greg Dulli, Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Peaches, The Magnetic Fields, Joan as Policewoman, Meshell Ndegeocello and more.
A. It happens to be the one album where I finished all the songs before I went in to record. I wrote them when I had just moved to Warner to work in A&R. I took an office job and I was there every day, and I was writing these songs. After a while I realized, "This is nostalgia, pure and simple: I'm writing about the stuff that I miss about Europe." I wasn't writing to the album's title; I gave it the title afterward, and what it meant was: "Here we are in the height of the cold war; how did we get here?" This album seems to be about how we got there, looking back to the Versailles Treaty [signed in France in 1919]. - [NY Times]
Then on Friday and Saturday (1/18, 1/19) Cale collaborated with the Wordless Music Orchestra to perform his 1973 album, Paris 1919, in full, plus other songs from throughout his long musical career. Pictures from Friday's performance are in this post.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin; words by Bill Pearis
Morrissey at BAM, 1/11/2013
Morrissey made his first trip to Brooklyn on Friday night (1/11) for a show at BAM, the second of four shows the former Smiths frontman is doing in the NY area this month. Opening the show with new-ish song "Action is My Middle Name" (which he performed recently on Letterman) and a handful of different oldies ("How Soon is Now," "Please, Please, PLease," "November Spawned a Monster") swapped in, the setlist was different enough for Moz fans to justify going to see him again after he was just here in October. (Setlist is below.) Of course for some, the only justification needed is he's playing. And those are the people who try and get on stage and hug him.
Like the shows in October, Kristeen Young opened. Morrissey plays House of Blues in Alantic City tonight (1/12) and The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on January 19.
In other Smiths-related news, Morrissey former co-writer Johnny Marr is on the cover of the new issue of MOJO. The issue comes with a CD featuring many of Marr's colaborations over the last 25 years, including Sandy Shaw's somewhat rare version of"Hand in Glove" which she recorded with Marr and the rest of the instrument-playing Smiths in 1984. It's also got "The Right Thing Right," the opening track from Marr's upcoming solo album, The Messenger (out Feb. 26), and you can stream that below.
More pics and setlist from BAM and that Johnny Marr song stream are below.
At the encouragement of Bob Dylan, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg went into the studio in 1971 to record his first ever album of music. He then re-entered the studio in 1976 and 1981 and finally in 1983 he compiled all of the recordings (which featured contributions from Dylan, members of his band, and Arthur Russell, and was produced by John Hammond Sr.) onto a double LP called FIrst Blues. Now, 30 years later, Ginsberg Recordings are reissuing the album in vinyl and digital formats, and to celebrate they're throwing a release party in NYC.
The celebration takes place on January 16 at Housing Works Cafe (126 Crosby St.) with Ginsberg's "friends, collaborators, relatives and co-conspirators" Lou Reed, Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, CA Conrad, Steven Taylor, Hettie Jones, Arthur's Landing, and others. A limited edition of "500 seven track vinyl that mimics the original style down to the newspaper insert" will be available at Housing Works that night and online.
That same night, Lou Reed's Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale will be doing a Nico tribute at BAM (1/16) with a number of guests including Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Mark Lanegan, Magnetic Fields, and more. Tickets for that show are still available.
Some song streams from First Blues below...
Arto Lindsay of legendary no wave group DNA, The Lounge Lizards, and pursuer of an impressive solo career, will be performing material from throughout his career in NYC TONIGHT (11/30) at the New Museum. Tickets for the show ($12 for members, $15 for non-members) are available.
Speaking of no wave legends, Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks), who played Knitting Factory earlier this month will be playing with her band Big Sexy Noise in NYC on December 17 at Bowery Electric with "Caught on Tape" duo Thurston Moore/John Moloney. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
For Thurston Moore and John Moloney, the Bowery Electric show is part of a short December northeast tour that the duo will be on, which also includes the previously discussed Brooklyn show at Union Pool on December 11 with Speedy Ortiz and Lone Wolf. All of their dates are listed below.
In other related news, Thurston's ex-wife/Sonic Youth bandmate Kim Gordon, who will guest at the upcoming, sold-out Dinosaur Jr. You're Living All Over Me show at T5, will also be a guest with John Cale (of the Velvet Underground) when he does a tribute to Nico at BAM on January 16 at the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Other guests at that show include Mark Lanegan, Sharon Van Etten, Magnetic Fields, Joan as Police Woman, Peaches, Nick Franglen, and Meshell Ndegocello. Tickets for that show are available. It's one of two shows that John Cale is doing for the BAM Next Wave festival.
A list of all Thurston Moore/John Moloney dates and some videos, below.
Morrissey @ Terminal 5 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Tickets for the Morrissey show on his 2013 tour at BAM in Brooklyn go on sale today at 10 AM. Tickets for the show at Tilles Center Concert Hall in Long Island are also on sale at 10AM, and tickets for Capitol Theater in Port Chester go on sale today at noon.
Morrissey at Radio City in October (more by Chris La Putt)
He's now rescheduled the postponed dates and added several new ones for an early 2013 tour (via P4K). The new dates will bring Morrissey to NYC on January 11 at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Tickets for that show are not on sale yet but you can check BAM's site for updates. He also has a few other NYC area dates surrounding that one, including Long Island's Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on January 9, Atlantic City's House of Blues on January 12, and Port Chester's Capitol Theatre on January 19.
All dates are listed below.
On the cusp of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson (Tim Heidecker - "Tim & Eric Awesome Show") is an aging hipster with unlimited options. He spends his days with like-minded friends ("Tim and Eric" co-star Eric Wareheim, LCD Soundsytem frontman James Murphy and comedian Gregg Turkington a.k.a."Neil Hamburger") in aimless recreation and endless games of comic irreverence. Director Rick Alverson's provocative character study touches a darkness behind the humor that resonates with viewers long after the story ends.As previously mentioned, new comedy The Comedy also stars Matador-signed comedian Jeffrey Jensen, Will Sheff (of Okkervil River), and many more. You may have caught an early screening of the film over the summer (like at BAMcinemafest), but the flick officially opens this month in limited theaters thanks to Tribeca Film. Check out the full list of locations and dates, along with the trailer and another video clip, below.
Those in LA get a shot at seeing the movie as early as this Friday (11/9) at the Cinefamily where Tim Heidecker will be in person, as part of a Q&A. Can't make that one? The Q&A will also be streaming online.
The film opens in NYC next Friday (11/16) at BAMcinematek in Brooklyn. Heidecker and Alverson will be in attendance for evening Q&As on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17. Tickets are on sale.
You can see it earlier, though, and in Williamsburg where the film takes place. BrooklynVegan is proud to present a special FREE SCREENING of The Comedy at Knitting Factory THIS SUNDAY, November 11. No RSVP required. Doors are at 5 PM and the screening starts at 5:30, first come, first served. Hope to see you there (you can even take the L now if you have to).
You might also want to stick around at Knit after for a special three-year anniversary edition of Hannibal Buress' comedy show for which advance tickets are available and advised ("special guests"). Comedy after the Comedy (and P.S. you can also catch The Comedy actor Will Sheff as part of a Sandy benefit at Knitting Factory tonight)
The Comedy also has a soundtrack coming out next week on Jagjaguwar that includes tracks from Gayngs, Gardens & Villa, Here We Go Magic and Donnie & Joe Emerson to name a few. Full soundtrack listing is below.
Vampire Weekend on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night
Vampire Weekend were musical guests on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Halloween night (10/31) which is being broadcast this week from Brooklyn (though they canceled Monday's show due to Hurricane Sandy). Dressed as skeletons, they performed a brand new song, "Unbelievers," as well as their old chesnutt "Oxford Comma." Video of both songs is below.
Tonight's Jimmy Kimmel Live will features Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert, plus The Avett Brothers with the Broooklyn Philharmonic, which should be pretty cool.
Videos are below.
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012 (more by David Andrako)
The inaugural Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival that went down at BAM this past May and was curated by The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner, was a success and they've decided to do it again in 2013. The 2013 festival will take place at BAM from April 25-27. The lineup has not been announced yet but stay tuned.
Another Dessner-related event happening in BAM's 2013 Winter/Spring season is Planetarium, "an evening of songs and instrumental works inspired by the solar system, by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens." You may remember that Bryce, Nico, and Sufjan performed one of those pieces, "Venus," at the MusicNOW Festival this year. You can watch a video of that below.
Another music event in BAM's 2013 Winter/Spring season is Mic Check, a "celebration of contemporary music from North Africa and the Middle East," which features hip-hop artists alongside traditional musicians Amkoullel (Mali), El General (Tunisia), El Deeb (Egypt), Brahim Fribgane (Morocco), and Shadia Mansour (Palestine).
All three shows are part of the just-announced 2013 Winter/Spring Season at BAM which includes 12 theater, dance, music, and opera engagements--from Jan 17 to Jun 9.
That Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens video is below
Sharon Jones @ Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
...a rep for the show tells E! News that "Jimmy Kimmel Live! will broadcast an original show tonight from the Harvey Theater at BAM - Brooklyn Academy of Music."The full week's schedule below...
Kimmel himself even tweeted about the good news, writing, "Unless something weird happens, tonight's show in #Brooklyn is ON like fleece on Gov Christie."
The guest lineup for tonight will be the same as the one that was originally planned for Monday, which includes radio personality Howard Stern and 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan, as well as Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
Hurricane Sandy is finally upon us, with the height of the storm hitting around 6 PM. Like Sunday, mass transit is closed and almost everything is cancelled. We'll update this list throughout the day but, as far as we know, the only major show still
happening in NYC tonight is Swans at Music Hall of Williamsburg (though we expect a postponement announcement any minute) (Swans did play Bowery last night though). Swans is now postponed too.
Not sure if anyone is playing, but Pete's Candy Store "says Come & get us Sandy! We weren't afraid of Irene and we're not afraid of you! (but please don't hurt us) WE WILL BE OPEN TONIGHT. C'mon Over."
Aimee Mann & Ted Leo's show at Bowery Ballroom tonight has moved to Wednesday (10/31).
Luckily German band Fenster scheduled a lot of shows while they were here because their show last night at Shea Stadium was cancelled, and their one at Muchmore's tonight with Daytona and Hearsay & Hyperbole isn't happening either.
Pat Kiernan Halloween trivia night at The Bell House is canceled.
John Legend's show at Cushman & Wakefield Theater at Barclay's Center was postponed a while back for non-Sandy reasons.
Cake Shop's show (Sad Ladders, Meet Me in Norway, Sewing Machines) tonight is cancelled.
Joshua Radin & A Fine Frenzy at Best Buy Theater has been postponed.
Lee DeWyze at Highline Ballroom has been canceled.
Tonight's shows at Joe's Pub are canceled.
The Rock Shop is open, but tonight's show has been canceled.
Tonight's shows at The Stone are cancelled.
As you may remember, Jimmy Kimmel Live was to be live from Brooklyn this week. The rest of the week my happen but tonight will not. Tweets Jimmy, "Though it pains us to do it, JKLfrom #Brooklyn tonight is cancelled. I'm disappointed too, but we want you to be safe."
Tonight's Reverend Vince Anderson and His Love Choir show at Union Pool has been canceled.
Mercury Lounge is closed.
Pianos is closed.
Cake Shop is closed.
Union Hall is closed.
Brooklyn Bowl is closed.
S.O.B's is closed.
The Living Room is closed.
Death by Audio is closed.
The Studio at Webster Hall is closed.(which means Brokencyde is cancelled)
Arlene's Grocery is closed.
Iridium Jazz is closed
Both the Chelsea and East Village UCB Theatres are closed.
Tonight's Schnick or Treat comedy show at Littlefield has been postponed to 11/4.
Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg is closed.
That's right, Jimmy Kimmel Live is headed to the East Coast to spend one week at BAM, Oct 29 - Nov 2. So far guests haven't been announced, musical or otherwise, but as with most television tapings, tickets are free and available to the public, but you'll need to tell Guillermo why you deserve them. Seriously.
Jimmy Kimmel aired repeats on 9/27 and 9/28, but featured an appearance from Hot Chip on Wednesday (9/26). Video of that performance is below.
BAM just revealed two new bike racks today designed by David Byrne (who has designed bike racks in the past). The racks were manufactured by Dero Nike Racks, are bright blue, and are in the shapes of letters with one spelling "pink crown" and the other spelling "micro lip."
"What a thrill to be invited to design more bike racks for NYC," says Byrne. "I get to BAM fairly often, and the existing racks are often full, so it's great that there will now be more. When designing these bike racks, I wondered how I could make something that was modular, yet variable--a design that wouldn't always look the same and could vary depending on season and placement. I realized that a few very basic shapes--a semi circle, a line, and a V shape--would allow one to make a good percentage of the letters of our alphabet. With help and advice from Dero Bike Racks, we figured out how these components could be easily and quickly swapped out to spell different words. For example, the letters could spell out the productions at BAM or any random message for that matter."As mentioned, David Byrne is putting out a collaborative album with St. Vincent called Love This Giant on September 11 and will be touring in support of it. That tour hits NYC on September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theatre and Spetember 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to all three shows are still available.
As mentioned last week, BAM is opening a new venue, BAM Fisher, next month during the Next Wave Festival.
A mock-up of the BAM Fishman space inside of BAM Fisher
Join us this September as we inaugurate BAM Fisher, a new facility designed for LEED Gold certification located at 321 Ashland Place-around the corner from BAM's Peter Jay Sharp Building. Part of a new model for the 21st-century arts center, the BAM Fisher offers affordable ticket prices, subsidized rehearsal and performance spaces, and an expanded roster of talks and education and family programs. The BAM Fisher is a place where artists and community come together-and you, the adventurous audience, are an active participant.The venue has arrived just in time to join the 30th Annual Next Wave Festival, which kicks off on 9/5 and continues into the new year. The space will host five shows as part of the music program of the festival, including: the anthemic piano pop of Ian & Chad on September 28; the"Psuedoacoustic" incarnation of unique soul songstress Tamar-kali on September 29; cellist Maya Beiser performing opera Elsewhere (10/17 - 20); Theo Bleckmann and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) taking on the songs of compser Phil Kline (10/25 - 27); and Mantra Percussion who will perform with 2x4s and contact mics as part of an exhibition called Timber (12/13 - 15). Tickets for all Fishman shows during Next Wave are on sale.
Named in honor of longtime friend and former BAM Endowment Trust Chairman Richard B. Fisher (1936-2004), the BAM Fisher serves as the cornerstone of BAM's 150th anniversary celebration and a commitment to the future through its programming and its design. The building features several spaces:
-Fishman Space, a 250-seat theater
-BAM Fisher Hillman Studio, a rehearsal and performance space
-Leavitt Workshop, a classroom
-Scripps Stage, in the Fishman Space
-Stutz Gardens, on the BAM Fisher Rooftop Terrace
-Sharp Lobby, an exhibition space
by Klaus Kinski
The other night I had a dream that I was in some sort of drug cartel. I was at the foot of a very steep mountainside looking up. At the crest of the mountain, teetering at the edge, was a massive, almost blimp-like bus full of rival cartel members. I produced a very large weapon full of some flammable, gelatinous substance and sprayed it all the way up to the bus, covered it, got it to ignite, and blew it up. As flaming cartel members fled the burning wreckage, I pulled out an immense automatic rifle that was apparently equipped with unlimited ammo and proceeded to pick them off one by one. Other members lost their footing and were rolling down the side of the extremely steep mountain and I proceeded to dispatch them as well. My accuracy was mesmerizing and the gore was gratuitous. Eventually more rival cartel members arrived and chased me into a rain forest where I was eventually cornered and had to jump off a waterfall a la The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford. I awoke just before I hit the water below head first.
I have hyper-realistic dreams almost every night of the week. Luckily, I have the luxury of enjoying them without as much as a whimper or erratic movement in my sleep. Some people, however, are not so lucky. Klaus favorite Mike Birbiglia is one of those unfortunate souls whose dreamscapes cross the threshhold into physical reality causing him to sleepwalk. A couple years ago Mike turned that terrible affliction into one of the most compelling and hilarious one man shows I had ever seen. It was called Sleepwalk With Me and it had a long residency here in NYC, toured all over the place, and was unanimously hailed a work of genius. I am beyond wigging out to be able to say that this epic monologue was recently turned into a motion picture!
This hilarious and poignant autobiographical film stars Birbiglia as a bartender at a Park Slope comedy club who moves in with his long-term girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose). Struggling with his relationship and his stand-up career, he also battles an extreme form of sleepwalking where he acts out his dreams--even going so far as to throw himself out of a second story window. Both earnest and surreal, this bittersweet ciné-memoir won an audience award at Sundance and was a selection at SXSW. Features appearances by comics Kristen Schaal, David Wain, Marc Maron, Wyatt Cenac, and more. An IFC Films release.Directed by Mike Birbiglia (is there NOTHING this guy can't do?!) and co-directed by Seth Barrish, Sleepwalk With Me has been receiving some seriously and profoundly awesome critical acclaim. It was even an official selection at SxSW 2012 and Sundance 2012. The film won't be released on a large scale until August 24, 2012 but those of us in the tri-state area can see it much much sooner! The fourth edition of BAMcinemaFest kicks off on Wednesday June 20th 2012 with a spectacular screening in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House of the NEW YORK PREMIERE of comedian Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me, introduced by Birbiglia and co-writer Ira Glass, followed by a BAM-wide party for ticket holders. DOPE!
The show is tomorrow, and fortunately/surprisingly there are tickets still available. Also, did you see the part about how after the movie there will be a BAM-wide party for ticket holders? Did you know that the party will have free beer thanks to the fine folks at Brooklyn Brewery? Get tickets NOW. This close to the event date, I bet there are like 1.5, maybe 2 tix left.
OH, and speaking of Brooklyn Brewery and funny people; on Thursday June 21st Brooklyn Brewery is playing host to a supremely epic comedy show called Tom Shillue's Funny Story. The show will feature Shillue as well as John Mulaney, Bobby Tisdale, and more. It's a freaking pantheon of Klaus favorites. You'll also get a free pint of beer. Boo yah! I've mentioned Tom Shillue's Funny Story before. It is NOT to be missed. And the fact that it takes place at a brewery is an unbelievable scenario for your man Klaus. I feel like this show was booked solely to cater to my needs as a human being.
OH, and Mike Birbiglia is touring later this year and into 2013 too! Dates are listed below...
John Cale has signed to Domino imprint Double Six who will release his new album Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood on October 1. The former Velvet Underground member made the album at his own studio in LA, "experimenting with MPCs, pounding fists onto pianos, manipulating glitches and lots of signature viola drone while patiently waiting for songs to reveal themselves." Danger Mouse helped out on the album's opening track, "Let Me Talk 2 U." No songs have been released from Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood (what a title!) but the tracklist is below.
Cale has a busy year ahead. In addition to the new album, he's readying to works for the BAM Next Wave Festival, both of which premiere in January 2013. Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico is making it's world premiere at BAM on January 16; and the performances of his 1973 album Paris 1919 with the 20-piece Wordless Music Orchestra happen January 18 and 19. Season tickets for BAM Next Wave go on sale to Friends of BAM starting June 11 with individual tickets to shows beginning August 6. Ticket info is here.
Tangerine Dream at Moogfest 2011 (more by Diana Wong)
From June 1 - 7, BAMcinematek, will be hosting 'Tangerine Dreams,' a series of ten film screenings, all of which were scored by ambient pioneers Tangerine Dream. They'll be screening Miracle Mile, Legend, Strange Behavior, The Keep, Thief, Shy People, Le berceau de cristal, Near Dark, and Silent Running. The schedule with dates and viewing times is below. Tickets to all ten screenings are available and we're giving away a pair of tickets which include access to all of the screenings. Contest details are below.
The film series happens about a month before Tangerine Dream kick off their July tour which includes the previously discussed NYC show on July 7 at Best Buy Theatre. Tickets for that show are still available.
'Tangerine Dreams' schedule and contest details below...
Philip Glass at Tibet House benefit in February (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
BAM's 30th annual Next Wave Festival is going down from September 5, 2012 - January 19, 2013. The festival encompasses music, theater, film, dance and more. This year's programming includes Robert Wilson, Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs performing in Einstein on the Beach: an Opera in Four Acts; plus John Cale's Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico (w/ special guests, U.S. premiere); and When Past & Future Collide: Paris 1919 (w/ Wordless Music Orchestra, NY premiere); David Lang and Anonymous 4's love fail; So Percussion and Ain Gordon's Where (we) Live, and more. The complete list of 2012 Next Wave Festival programming is below.
Speaking of Philip Glass, the Philip Glass Ensemble will continue to celebrate his 75th birthday this year with a free show at Rockefeller Park on June 20 as part of the RIver to River Festival. The show will be opened by youth ensemble Face the Music, who will be performing Philip Glass' Glassworks. The show happens a few days after Philip finishes up his intimate three-night run at Issue Project Room.
Complete 2012 Next Wave Festival programming below...
What's better than getting a little sexy? Getting sexy for free at noon in the middle of Metrotech, BAM is guessing. That theory will be put to the test once again at the 2012 R&B Festival at Metrotech Commons, the annual, completely free and open to the public series going down throughout the summer. Kicking off on June 7th with a performance from the legendary Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, the party goes down every Thursday at noon until middle August and features appearances from Aloe Blacc, Fishbone, Blitz the Ambassador, The Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, Shemekia Copeland and NRBQ, Ky-Mani Marley, and more. Full shcedule is below.
The Orchestre Poly-Rythmo also play Central Park Summerstage while they're in town.
Aloe Blacc's appearance is one of THREE scheduled for NYC, including another free show at Lincoln Center on August 12th. He'll also be on hand to celebrate the late, great Curtis Mayfield on July 20th.
All Aloe Blacc dates, some video and the R&B Festival schedule, below....
Ok, I'll admit it. The first time I heard about BAM's Crossing the Ferry series, I quickly concocted an idyllic scenario that may or may not have involved sipping white wine on the deck of a boat lit with twinkling Christmas tree lights with Sufjan or an unidentified Dessner brother at my side. (Really, could someone get on the whole ferry show idea, please? Something other than the booze cruise?) Luckily, I had a few days for the disappointment to wear off.
Curated by the Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National, The Crossing the Ferry series is a three-night, multi-room spectacle of music and film. Many of the likely suspects are there (My Brightest Diamond and Beirut Saturday, Sharon Van Etten on Thursday). But there are also a few wild cards.
Due to an early start time, I missed the first few sets, but arrived on Friday in time to catch a few in rapid succession, starting with the indie-soul outfit Ava Luna, who had a much more raucous, percussion-heavy sound than I remember. Back downstairs in the gorgeous Howard Gilman Opera House, I caught an intense performative DJ set by composer Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles) who sat atop a crazy metal table, surrounded by a complex web of blinking lights, laptops, and samplers.
The back and forth nature of the event created a festival-like atmosphere. Following Braxton's set, I headed back to the BAM Cafe to check out another artist I had never seen - Sinkane, whose spacey sound effects seemed a good match for the room's clean, futuristic design. Though the cafe space itself was visually appealing, the acoustics were lacking, so I soon set up camp in the Opera House where impeccable sound and gorgeous lighting provided the perfect accompaniment for The Antlers' brooding, atmospheric sound. With the exception of a song or two (including one that was brand new), The Antlers focused on the material from last year's Burst Apart.
With the upstairs cafe running some 20 minutes behind, I regretfully decided to skip Buke & Gass to ensure a prime seat for St. Vincent. While The Antler's multi-layered, methodical sound encouraged me to sink calmly into my plush red seat, I quickly perked up from the first notes of St. Vincent's set. Clad in rock star black, her hair loose and wild, Annie Clark is a force behind the guitar and a charmer at the mic.
Backed by a talented three-piece band, Clark covered a wide array of songs, from a handful of older favorites ("Actor Out of Work" and "Marrow") to a number from last year's excellent Strange Mercy and a cover by The Pop Group ("She Is Beyond Good and Evil"). During "Krocodil," an aggressive new song (that was released as an exclusive 7" for Record Store Day), Clark catapulted off stage and forcefully made her way through the crowd, stepping onto chairs and reaching out to hit people as she made her way. (There's video below.) After fearlessly crowd surfing in the orchestra pit, she managed to end up back in stage at precisely the last moment of the song, and darted off, only to return for a brief encore ("Your Lips are Red").
Pictures and video from night 1 are here. Night 3 is on the way. Pictures from all the night 2 bands are below, along with video of St. Vincent performing "Krokodil."
The Walkmen @ BAM
BAM's Bryce and Aaron Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry series/festival had its first night Thursday. It continues tonight/Friday with a lineup headlined by St. Vincent and The Antlers (and Saturday with Beirut and Atlas Sound).
Music kicked off at 5pm with early slots filled by indie-classical acts like yMusic and JACK Quartet. Composer-uke-player Jherek Bischoff started things out inside the Howard Gilman Opera House at 7pm, and his set featured guest spots from David Byrne and Amanda Palmer. Check out the pictures below.
The first band I saw was Twin Shadow, an act that always sounds a lot better to me on record than live (something about George Lewis Jr.'s voice and the intricacies of the production don't translate exactly on stage). A welcome special guest, the Blackfire Percussion, added drum corp percussion on a few of the songs.
Sharon Van Etten powered through a set that highlighted how much she's evolved since her early acoustic days. She offered a throwback to her Because I Was In Love debut with a solo version of "I Fold" dedicated to her parents. Aaron Dessner, who produced Tramp, played guitar on a few of the tracks. And Sharon tapped "Serpents" for the triumphant, soaring closer.
Sharon Van Etten @ BAM
The Walkmen navigated a set of new tunes and classics: in addition to putting out their sixth LP, Heaven, in June, this year marks the 10th-anniversary of their debut, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone. Among the songs played were "Angela Surf City," "In the New Year," "Blue As Your Blood" and new tracks "Heaven," "Heartbreaker" and "Southern Heart." Hamilton, as always, stretched the limits of his voice to good effect, especially on the haunting A Hundred Miles Off track "All Hands and the Cook." The band closed with an encore of "We've Been Had," which they noted was the first song they wrote as a band.
Between those last two I ventured to the BAM Cafe to see Zs, playing as a duo and sounding completed different than the last time I saw them in July. Guitarist Ben Greenberg describes the change as "The old stuff was like an old Soviet tank driving down Main Street; the new stuff is like a spaceship landing on City Hall." The shift from angular guitar and skronking saxophone to whatever they do now was pretty evident in the small snippet that I caught. Greenberg's guitar laid dubby rhythms lines while Sam Hilmer's sax played melodies and riffs off in the distance. Hopefully they'll line up more shows soon. (As Hubble, Greenberg makes the NYC debut of that project's "quadraphonic Hubble Superposition set" tonight.)
After that I caught a few songs by Yellowbirds, hidden up in Cinema 3 and playing to a crowd of about 20 people (including Conrad Doucette). The Jonathan Richman-esque two-piece was a nice surprise to find soaked in the smell of movie-theater popcorn.
(People Get Ready and Heather Broderick played, and a program of short films screened, but I arrived too late to see them. And I only caught a snippet of Callers by skipping the end of Twin Shadow.)
One bummer about the schedule is that, with the exception of the extremely early classical sets, it's impossible to see more than a few minutes of the smaller bands without skipping the headlining acts. That scheduling, and the vague, unnecessary "Brooklyn" theme, are a bit puzzling, but all in all the fest is a good chance to see bands like the Walkmen and Sharon Van Etten in the gorgeous Howard Gilman Opera House, a space that's surprisingly intimate and cozy for its size (and having the first few rows of seats removed for the crowd to stand was a nice touch).
More pictures from Thursday below...
The three-night, three-stage-per-night, Dessners-of-the-National-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival begins at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene tonight (5/3). The three stages are Howard Gilman Opera House (the big names), BAMCAFE (the smaller names) & BAM Rose Cinemas (a mix of film and other music). Things begin early too. The Walkmen headline the big room at 10:45pm tonight, but the music begins with the JACK Quartet in BAMCAFE at 5pm. The full schedule is at their site.
Before the Walkmen is Sharon Van Etten who spent last night covering the Stooges with Mike Watt and members of Dinosaur Jr. Before Sharon is Twin Shadow who may or may not to continue playing new material like they did recently at Glasslands. And before them is Jherek Bischoff who is rumored to be playing with a very special guest or two which is not surprising at all given who showed up to play with him at the Ecstatic Music Festival, and who appears on his new album Composed (out 6/5 on Brassland). This is the album's tracklist:
Introduction (Defeat)Jherek also plays on the new Amanda Palmer record. You can download and listen to the Zac Pennington & Soko track below...
Eyes (Jherek Bischoff & David Byrne)
The Secret of the Machines (w/ Caetano Veloso & Greg Saunier)
The Nest (with Mirah Zeitlyn & Paris Hurley)
Blossom (Jherek Bischoff with Nels Cline)
Your Ghost (with Craig Wedren)
Counting (with Carla Bozulich)
Young & Lovely (with Zac Pennington & Soko)
Insomnia, Death And The Sea (with Dawn McCarthy)
photos by Ed Lefkowitz, words by Andrew Frisicano
Rahzel & Kenny Muhammad @ BAM
The Questlove-curated "Shuffle Culture" debuted at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House last night (4/19). As promised, a rotating cast of performers including Deerhoof, the Metropolis Ensemble, DJ Jeremy Ellis, D.D. Jackson and Sasha Grey (not to be confused with Gray) graced the stage at different times, performing in 5 to 10 minute bursts before transitioning into the next act. I had little idea what to expect going in and I think the show benefits from the blind approach (aka don't click below if you're going tonight).
The two-show run concludes tonight with Willis Earl Beal and Gray (not to be confused with Grey) replacing Reggie Watts. Both should fit well into the atmosphere of the gig. Tickets are still on sale.
More about the show and pictures are below...
Twin Shadow in Chicago in 2011 (more by Matt Ziegler)
Twin Shadow are playing Glasslands Gallery on Thursday, April 26 (two days before they play the Sweetlife Fest and about a week before they play BAM). Tickets for the relatively intimate Brooklyn show are on sale.
Other aritsts playing the Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather Post Pavillion in MD on April 28, include AVICII, Kid Cudi, The Shins, Explosions in the Sky, Fits & the Tantrums, Delta Spirit, and Action Bronson.
Twin Shadow are also playing Lollapalooza this year.