Entries tagged with: Beacon Theater
by Klaus Kinski
Unwigged & Unplugged & Elvis Costello @ the Beacon - 5/26/09 (andyg_flickr)
Last night (5/26) I caught the first of two performances of UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED: An Evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer at the gorgeously restored Beacon Theater. As much as I love (and cannot imagine a life without) the music-centric films This Is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, and Waiting For Guffman, the thought of an acoustic, out of character, 'greatest hits' set initially struck me as crass commercialism at its worst. And, hell, maybe it was crass commercialism at it's worst; but holy moly if those dudes didn't slap the smug, cross-armed look off my face within the first five chords.
Their re-orchestrations of Tap classics to fit a folk mold were awe-inspiring works of genius. Highlights from the set included Hell Hole, Saucy Jack, The Bulging River, Stonehenge, Start Me Up, A Mighty Wind, Eat At Joes, and Sex Farm. But the major holy shitballs moment of the evening was when the trio backed up ELVIS COSTELLO for an extremely ballsy rendition of Gimme Some Money. The event wasn't without its minor clams though. I felt that the show was about 30 minutes too long and that the stage banter was at times too long winded, self-indulgent, dated, and often unfunny (ie, poking fun at the lack of music played on MTV). That said, these guys can really play and sing and for the most part they had me busting a gut and admiring their very real skills as musicians. Add to that the brief video interludes featuring vintage, rare Tap footage and a couple of fan-made music videos, and I had myself one helluva time.
While looking around for a setlist of the show, I came across this livejournal entry that talks about a different Unwigged show, but nonetheless pretty closely describes the basic format and pacing of the Beacon show I saw. Catch them at the same venue, again tonight (5/27). Some videos from last night below...
The first presale for this show sold out instantly. Tickets go on "Venue and Live Nation Presale" today/Thursday at 10am. The password may be HEREGINA. If that doesn't work, try "live". Tickets then go on regular sale on Friday at noon.
THE TICKET FOR THIS SHOW INCLUDES A 2-SONG GIVEAWAY FROM WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS. With every ticket purchased, you will receive a download of two new Regina Spektor songs from her upcoming album "Far" including her new single "Laughing With" and "Blue Lips." To redeem "Laughing With" and "Blue Lips," you will receive a separate e-mail including the instructions to download by Monday 5/18/2009.You can listen to "Laughing With" now at MySpace. That's the cover art for the single above (thx Tremags).
As previously reported, Little Joy, the band with Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes, has a June US tour coming up. That includes a Tuesday, June 23rd show at the Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are still on sale.
In that post, we highlighted the connection between Little Joy/The Strokes and Regina Spektor (touring together, recording together, etc.)...as it turns out, Little Joy will be opening for Regina Spektor at Beacon Theatre on Wednesday, June 17th. No ticket info yet. And that's just one of many dates Spektor is expected to announce for the summer.
And bad news for those who like Little Joy at least a little because of who is on drums... Fabrizio Moretti is skipping most of this Little Joy tour to record the Strokes' fourth full-length album.
While concert-goers shouldn't be surprised if co-founding member Fabrizio pops in to make an occasional cameo appearanceon stage, he will for the most part be occupied with recording obligations to the Strokes, and therefore unable to tour with the band for the large majority of the dates.Spektor's new disc, Far, comes out Tuesday, June 23rd on Sire Records.
Rodrigo (vocals and guitar) and Binki (vocals, keys) will fill out the band with Todd Dahlhoff and Matt Borg from The Dead Trees (on bass and guitar, respectively), Matt Romano from Albert Hammond Jr.'s band (drums) and Jack Dishel from Only Son (guitar, backing vocals).
All Little Joy tour dates below...
PJ Harvey & John Parish @ Irving Plaza in March (more by Jacob Blickenstaff)
"Polly and John have confirmed the following shows in the States for June. Performing songs from their current album A Woman A Man Walked By and their previous collaboration Dance Hall At Louse Point the pair will be backed by Eric Drew Feldman, Giovanni Ferrario and Jean Marc Butty. Polly and John are currently on tour in the UK, where their opening night show in Brighton has been receiving rave reviews from the Independent and Guardian amongst others."John and PJ were just here for a quick east-coast/west-coast/SXSW publicity blitz. In June they'll be hitting a few more cities, and NYC again - this time it's The Beacon Theatre on June 9th. Tickets will be on sale April 24th. All dates so far, below...
Spoof band Spinal Tap have announced a "world tour" consisting of a single June date at London's Wembley Arena.Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer, the men wearing the wigs in Spinal Tap, aren't going on a world tour, but they are going on a much larger tour which includes 2 NYC shows at Beacon Theater. One (5/26) has been on sale for over a month. One (5/27), though initially announced by the band, was just announced by the venue.
The tour marks the 25th anniversary of mockumentary film, This is Spinal Tap, which launched the band's career.
The band will be backed by 1960s folk trio The Folksmen, the focus of another spoof film, 2003's A Mighty Wind.
Spinal Tap's lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel commented: "If we're going to do a World tour on only one night, at least it's this world."
Bassist Derek Smalls added: "one night is not enough, and it's way too much". [BB C]
Video from Spinal Tap's 2007 Live Earth appearance, below...
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
Elvis Costello's new album 'Secret, Profane & Sugarcane' will be released by Hear Music on June 2nd.Elvis Costello has announced some of those June tour dates including June 9th in Red Bank, June 10th at the Beacon Theatre in NYC, June 13th at Bonnaroo, and June 19th in Telluride, Colorado for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday.
The record was produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded by Mike Piersante during a three-day session at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studio.
Joining Costello were Jerry Douglas (dobro), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mike Compton (mandolin), Jeff Taylor (accordion) and Dennis Crouch (double bass), some of the most highly regarded recording artists and musicians in traditional American country music, Bluegrass and beyond.
Several of these songs, including "Down Among The Wines and Spirits", were given their first public performances during Costello's acclaimed solo appearances as part of "The Bob Dylan Show" in late 2007.
The album includes ten previously unrecorded songs. "Sulphur to Sugarcane" and "The Crooked Line", were co-written with T Bone Burnett while, "I Felt The Chill" marks Costello's second recorded songwriting collaboration with Loretta Lynn.
Costello revisits two songs from his catalogue in string band style. Both songs were originally written for Johnny Cash. "Hidden Shame" was indeed included on Cash's album, "Boom Chicka Boom"...
....Select US tour dates featuring musicians from the album -- dubbed "The Sugarcanes" -- will follow in June and August, 2009.
The new Elvis album track list, a video segment from Elvis's Sundance TV show "Spectacle" (with Jenny Lewis, M Ward, and Zooey Deschanel), and all tour dates, below...
To accommodate overwhelming popular demand, AEG Live has announced the addition of a second Leonard Cohen show at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, May 17. This newly added second date follows the originally scheduled concert on Saturday, May 16, which attracted an incredible fan response when it was announced with an American Express early ticket on-sale last week. Audiences are clamoring for a chance to catch this intimate, superbly crafted concert as part of Cohen's 2009 North American Tour, featuring the singer/songwriter/poet, his acclaimed band, and a beloved catalog of music.A "friends and family" presale begins Friday at 10 AM for the May 16th Radio City show (the password might be
Tickets for both Radio City Music Hall shows-on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17-will go on sale beginning Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 10:00AM local time.... NPR is broadcasting select songs from Leonard Cohen's February 19th performance at New York's historic Beacon Theatre-his long-awaited first stateside performance in more than 15 years.
In related news, Ticketmaster can't get out of the news. To quote Reuters, "Ticketmaster settled with the state of New Jersey to resolve more than 2,000 complaints over how it had handled ticket sales for Bruce Springsteen concerts, and Canadians are now complaining about inflated prices to hear Leonard Cohen."
New shows have also been announced in Boston, Austin, Oakland, LA and Chicago. Videos from the Beacon Theatre show, and updated tour dates, below...
"There are plenty of reasons why you haven't heard of certain movies. Still, it would seem like a movie with Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman and Peter Sarsgaard could be worthy of your Netflix queue. Maybe it's an off-the-wall indie?Levon Helm kicks off his two night run at Beacon Theatre in NYC tonight (3/5).
Unfortunately, that's not the case with In the Electric Mist. This direct-to-video crime thriller based on the best-selling novel by James Lee Burke is the perfect example of "let's get this out already." The movie goes nowhere, the Blu-ray has no special features, and even the press release has a typo in the first sentence. No one else cares, so why should you?
Well, there is the stellar cast, but we're not exactly sure what they are doing. Jones plays Dave Robicheaux, a detective investigating a bunch of blink-and-you-miss-them murders. Sarsgaard is a movie star and Goodman is a sleezebag, and both characters are kind of pointless. Did we mention that
Robicheaux likes to chitchat with deceased Confederate General John Bell Hood (Levon Helm)? Enter at your own risk.
[Big Picture Big Sound]
In the Electric Mist trailer below...
Christopher Guest had a one-season stint, 1984-85, as a cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live. Recurring characters on SNL played by Guest include: Frankie, of Willie and Frankie (two co-workers who recount in detail physically painful situations in which they've found themselves); Herb Minkman, a shady novelty toymaker with a brother named Al (played by Billy Crystal); Rajeev Vindaloo, an eccentric foreign man in the same vein as Andy Kaufman's Latka character from Taxi; and Senor Cosa, a Spanish ventriloquist often seen on the recurring spoof of The Joe Franklin Show. He also experimented behind the camera with pre-filmed sketches, notably directing a documentary-style short starring Harry Shearer and Martin Short as synchronized swimmers. In another short film from SNL, Guest and Crystal appear as retired Negro-League baseball players, "The Rooster and the King."Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer will be performing songs from Spinal Tap, Break Like The Wind, and A Mighty Wind on the UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED TOUR this spring.
He has also appeared as Count Rugen in The Princess Bride, Charley Ford in The Long Riders, Lord Cromer in Mrs Henderson Presents and Dr. Stone in A Few Good Men. He had a cameo role as Dylan, a smarmy pedestrian, in the 1986 remake of The Little Shop of Horrors. As a co-writer and director, Guest made the Hollywood satire The Big Picture.
Guest's biggest role of the first two decades of his career, however, is likely that of Nigel Tufnel in the 1984 "rockumentary" film This Is Spinal Tap. Amplifier manufacturers actually began to produce amps with knobs going up to 11 (rather than the traditional scale of 10), as a result of a popular scene where a benighted Tufnel proudly shows off such an amp, believing it to be louder. "This one goes to 11!" has become something of a mantra among musicians ever since. Guest made his first appearance as Tufnel on the 1978 sketch comedy program The TV Show, and appears as Tufnel most recently in a television ad for Volkswagen. [Wikipedia]
The trio made two separate videos promoting the tour. Check them out below...
Actors/Directors/Musicians and Comedy Icons Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are doing something they have never done before; performing a six week, 30 city multi-media acoustic tour without wigs and electric instruments.The NYC shows (plural) are May 26th and May 27th at the Beacon Theatre. More info, all dates and exact on-sale dates, below....
UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED: An Evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer has the legendary musical and comedic trio performing music from heavy metal's loudest band Spinal Tap along with the folk music from A Mighty Wind, and more.
Tickets for the UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED tour go on sale Friday, March 6th (mostly at Ticketmaster), with the tour starting Friday, April 17th in Vancouver and ending Sunday, May 31st in Milwaukee.
UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED is not about funny costumes and characters, but rather three long time friends and collaborators who make each laugh and love nothing better than to find some excuse to get together and play music. The trio commented, "With this being the 25th Anniversary of the film This is Spinal Tap, we thought this would be a fun and at the same time, a little challenging, as we have never performed as ourselves. Think of the evening as three old friends jamming in your living room. As opposed to OUR living rooms; we won't be home."
photos by Eric M. Townsend
"Still, surprise was not why a capacity crowd was gathered at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. Mr. Morrison was paying tribute to "Astral Weeks," his best-regarded album but one that was overlooked when it was released in 1968; it never appeared on the Billboard album chart.Van Morrison played his first two of four "Astral Weeks" shows over the weekend. Last night he performed on the very first Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show which you can watch in its entiretly at NBC's site. Tonight (3/3), he kicks off his first of two nights at the Beacon Theatre. The other two shows were at the Theater at MSG. Setlists and more pictures from those, and some Fallon videos, below...
This return trip wasn't quite a celebration, though. Nor was it a re-evaluation or much of a revision. Instead it often felt like obligation and, accordingly, Mr. Morrison treated the task perversely.
First came the delay of gratification. He began with an hourlong set consisting mostly of curios and cuts from other albums. Occasionally he was clarion clear: the soft-loud dynamics of "So Quiet in Here" were arresting, and "Who Drove the Red Sports Car" was an impassioned holler. When he strayed from his own songbook, he sounded invigorated, as if trying to renew his lineal claims: that Ray Charles cover, soon followed by "St. James Infirmary Blues," with Mr. Morrison playing scraping, arch alto sax." [NY Times]
this picture is not from the Beacon show, but it looks similar
February 19, 2009 - New York, NY - As Leonard Cohen took to the historic Beacon Theatre stage Thursday in New York for his first stateside performance in fifteen years, AEG Live announced a run of North American engagements including nights in New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles and a sunset performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Tickets for some dates go on sale to the public beginning Friday, February 27th, 2009 with additional on sale dates following on March 2nd and March 9th, 2009...There is nothing negative to say about Leonard Cohen's legendary 3+ hour performance at the restored Beacon Theatre last night. The man has stamina. You would never know he is 74 years old. His band (listed above) were all amazing, and Leonard is such a gentleman - especially when it came to introducing each and every person that made the show possible, including all those on stage with him. I don't think I ever experienced so many standing ovations during the course of one show.
As he has been throughout his most recent tour, Mr. Cohen will be joined by Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters - who have wowed crowds around the world with their rich and complementary background vocals. Also joining Mr. Cohen on stage are Roscoe Beck (bass, vocals), Neil Larsen (keyboards & Hammond B3 accordion), Bob Metzger (electric, acoustic & pedal steel guitar), Javier Mas (bandurria, laud, archilaud, 12 string acoustic guitar), Rafael Gayol (drums, percussion), Dino Soldo (sax, clarinet dobro - keys).
"We are delighted to finally bring this phenomenal tour to the USA. Having spent the last 12 months touring the World, from Romania to Australia from London to Rome, America will now get the opportunity to see the show that has enthralled over 750,000 concert goers across the World to date. Not one to miss lightly," commented Rob Hallett, President of International Touring / AEG Live.
"AEG Live is honored to continue this extraordinary journey with Mr Cohen. Now it's time to take North America," added Elliott Lefko, Vice President, Goldenvoice/AEG Live...
..Additionally NPR will broadcast select songs from Leonard Cohen's Beacon Theatre performance at www.npr.org on Wednesday, February 25.
Leonard's next New York City date is May 16th at Radio City Music Hall. All tour dates and last night's set list (stay tuned for pictures), below...
On one evening last year, Van Morrison finally got around to revisiting the album that many consider his masterpiece, "Astral Weeks."Van Morrison has doubled the amount of times he'll be performing "Astral Weeks" in NYC over the course of the next month. As previously announced, he'll be playing the classic album from start to finish at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on February 27th and 28th. Now he's added March 3rd and 4th at the Beacon Theater too. Tickets for the new shows are on sale TODAY (2/13) @ 9:00 AM.
This week, a recording of that performance - "Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl" (Listen to the Lion/EMI) - was released. It presents a singer who sounds more engaged, more passionate than he has been about anything in years.
No work in Morrison's canon - or in the rock lexicon, for that matter - sounds quite like "Astral Weeks." Forty-one years after its release it still occupies its own world. [Popmatters]
Speaking of today and the Beacon Theater, tonight's Paul Simon show marks the official reopening of the revamped venue. AP says, "The renovation includes a complete reworking of the Beacon's electrical system, as well as new draperies with gold tassels. A canvas mural in the neoclassical rotunda and the main box office have been restored." The NY Times has a cool panorama view of what it looks like.
Leonard Cohen also has a show coming up there.
"Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl" videos below...
Vampire Weekend's 2008 debut album was quick to draw frequent comparisons to Paul Simon's 'Graceland' for its incorporation of African musical influences. But the band members are quick to dismiss the notion.Tickets are now on Am Ex presale for the two Paul Simon shows @ Beacon Theater.
"In some ways the fact that it's the only thing that comes up can be kind of frustrating," said Vampire's singer and guitarist Ezra Koenig in front of an audience at the TimesCenter on Saturday as part of the New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend event. "It makes it sounds like that we're totally one-dimensional, that all we do is rip off Paul Simon. Even from the early days that became like a thing. I think the first time [somebody] yelled 'Paul Simon!' That was in Omaha, Neb., and I was angry for the rest of the show."
The band members approached the source himself to get his opinion of their work. "We did actually get to meet [Simon] when we did 'Saturday Night Live,'" Koenig said. "Rostam [Batmanglij, our guitarist,] had the forward thinking to say straight up, 'Do you think our album sounds like Graceland?' And he said, 'Not really.'" [Spinner]
Steve Earle @ City Winery (more by Fresh Bread)
Tibet's Communist Party-controlled legislature has voted to create a holiday to mark China's defeat of a pro-independence uprising 50 years ago in the Himalayan region, calling it a day of liberation from feudalism, state media reported Monday.The lineup for the 19th annual Tibet House benefit concert at Carnegie Hall is now: Antibalas, Steve Earle, Angelique Kidjo, Keb' Mo', Philip Glass & Zack Glass, The National, Patti Smith & Jesse Smith, and Vampire Weekend. Tibet House is also claiming that they "are expecting other artists to join the line-up soon". Get your tickets to the February 3rd show at Carnegie Hall's site.
The 382 legislators attending the session unanimously voted to designate March 28 as "Serf Liberation Day," the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing Legqog, director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Autonomous Regional People's Congress. Like many Tibetans, Legqog uses a single name.
The politically sensitive date marks the flight of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile in India as Chinese troops attacked in March 1959. On March 28 of that year, Beijing announced the dissolution of the Tibetan government and the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region under Communist rule.
China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, while many Tibetans say their land was virtually independent for centuries. [AP]
Antibalas is also playing a couple of full shows at Southpaw in Brooklyn a few days earlier.
Paul Simon @ Town Hall (more by Ryan Muir)
It is only fitting that one of New York's very own would celebrate another New York icon as Paul Simon takes the stage, following MSGE's restoration, to "reopen" this legendary theatre. Simon first performed at the Beacon in 1990 alongside Paul McCartney and returned for a critically acclaimed three-night run in December of 2000. Simon also made an appearance at the Theatre in 2003 for Willie Nelson's nationally televised 70th birthday celebration. Simon's highly anticipated two-night run on February 13 and 14 to reopen the Theatre will mark his first show at the Beacon in nearly six years...There were lots of good guesses. The Bruce Springsteen people were pretty convincing too, though I thought for sure it was Bob the Builder.
...Tickets to either of the two historic nights, and all concert events at the facilities at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre, are available beginning on the first day of sale through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone and all Ticketmaster Outlets, and beginning on the second day of sale at the Garden and Music Hall Box Office. Tickets for February 13 and 14 will range from $80-$265 and will go on-sale starting at 9 AM on January 25.
In barely related news, Deer Tick recently gave away a cover version of one of Paul Simon's songs. You can grab that MP3 HERE.
Phosphorescent is giving away a cover of Paul's friend Willie Nelson.
Another legendary artist, Leonard Cohen, also has a show coming up at the Beacon.
The picture above is from a recent show Paul recently played at Town Hall, another legendary seated NYC venue.
"Thursday MSGE will be announcing the legendary artist that has been confirmed to reopen the Beacon Theatre in the coming weeks. The beloved New York landmark recently underwent a 7-month restoration to return the venue to its original grandeur, and one of the most prolific musicians of our day will take the stage of the magnificently refurbished theatre for an unforgettable night of music to celebrate this historic event."Daft Punk? Sorry, I couldn't resist. I wonder who it will be (it's not the person in that picture) (I don't think). Leonard is playing on the 19th. Before him so far is just a "70's Soul Jam Valentine's Concert".
UPDATE: It's Paul Simon.
Tickets for all Beacon events are at Ticketmaster, and their current complete calendar is listed below...
The Beacon Theatre was designated by Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager and opened in 1928. The 2,800-seat Beacon Theater is a fantastic Art Deco treasure, built as silent pictures began talking and as vaudeville capitulated to the movie palace era. In 1979, the historic venue was designated a national landmark. The three-level auditorium is distinguished by 30-foot statues of Greek women on each side of the proscenium arch. Other features include an open-air lobby, bronze front doors, ornate moldings, white marble floors, and corridor murals depicting elephants, camels and traders. Known for its flawless acoustics, New Yorkers are anxiously awaiting its reopening in February 2009 after a $15 million restoration.Leonard Cohen is playing the Beacon Theatre on Thursday February 19th! Tickets go on Fan Club presale Wendesday at noon, and then on regular sale Friday at 9AM.
The Black Crowes will record new, original material for an upcoming album during four sold-out concerts at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, in February and March. This run of performances at the recording studio built decades ago by the 2008 Grammy winner and former drummer for the Band are being billed as "Cabin Fever Winter 2009." The shows on February 21, 22, 28 and March 1 sold out in less than two days.Levon Helm (and band) is playing the Beacon Theatre in NYC on March 5th & 6th. Tickets go on Concertmaps presale Wednesday at 10AM. Tickets go on Ticketmaster Am Ex & "Venue" presale two hours after that, and then finally on regular sale Saturday at 10AM.
"We're thrilled," Helm, who's not scheduled to perform, tells Rolling Stone. "It kind of shows me that we're doing things right." Over the last few years Helm has staged "Midnight Ramble" house concerts at the studio -- Saturday night performances Rolling Stone named Best Jam Session that feature special guests sitting in with the Levon Helm Band... [Rolling Stone]
The Levon Helm Band is also playing Wellmont Theatre in Jersey on February 7th. All dates, including a bunch of Rambles, below...
Living legend B.B. King turned 83 in September. You wouldn't know it by his touring schedule. Catch B.B. tonight/Thursday, December 4th, at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, Friday at the club with his own name in it, Saturday in Trenton, February 21st @ the Beacon Theatre with Buddy Guy, or at any of the shows listed below...