Entries tagged with: Billy Bragg
The inimitable Billy Bragg has been a touring machine this year, pretty much going non-stop in support of his new album, Tooth & Nail (stream it on Spotify). He was last in NYC in April, and he'll be coming back to America this fall for another string of dates, too. While it doesn't include a show in NYC, he will play Musikest Cafe in Bethlehem, PA on October 5 and tickets for that show are on sale now.
All 2013 U.S. tour dates are listed, along with the video for Billy Bragg's "Handyman Blues," below...
Coachella 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Multi venue UK festival The Great Escape began today (5/15). The big lineup includes Brooklyn's Parquet Courts, Phosphorescent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a keynote speech by Billy Bragg, a set by Mikal Cronin who is one of ten acts this year that NME says you have to see, and much more. Head to Brighthelm Center on 5/16 for a show BrooklynVegan is co-presenting with M For Montreal with AA Wallace, Husky Rescue, Blue Hawaii, How to Dress Well, Phantom and Cloud Boat. The flyer for that is below.
In other festival news, Sasquatch is right around the corner, Lollapalooza has announced set times, Bonnaroo announced theirs earlier this month, Austin City Limits recently announced their lineup, Governors Ball recently announced the schedule and is basically sold out, GoogaMooga is this weekend in Prospect Park, and FYF Fest, which recently announced its lineup, goes on sale Thursday.
Our Great Escape flyer is below...
photos by PSquared Photography
Billy Bragg at Town Hall - 4/27/13
British singing/songwriting veteran Billy Bragg came to NYC over the weekend for a show at Town Hall on Saturday (4/27). He played stuff from all over his career, including Woody Guthrie songs, dating back to his debut ("The Milkman of Human Kindness") through 2013's Tooth & Nail. Of course some people like the between song banter, which is just as insightful and witty as his songs.
Billy's North American tour continues in Newport, KY on Tuesday (4/30) and wraps up in Ann Arbor, MI the next night (5/1) before he heads back to Europe. You can check out his European tour schedule here. More pictures and the setlist from the Town Hall show below...
by Bill Pearis
line to get in Other Music on Record Store Day 2012
As you are probably aware, this Saturday (4/20) is Record Store Day. We've already told you some of our picks from the myriad #RSD13 exclusives, but many of NYC's record stores are having special events that day. While this guide is pretty thorough, it may not be comprehensive. If you know of cool Record Store Day happenings that aren't in this post, let us know in the comments. But here's the stuff we found:
We already told you about Greenwich Village mainstay Generation Records who are having live performances from Forgetters, Doug Gillard, Swearin' and Livids as well as DJ sets from WFMU's Tom Scharpling and Forgetters' Blake Schwarzenbach. Generation will open at 10 AM, with bands starting at 2 PM. Schedule still TBA.
While you're in the area, take a second to walk over to Bleecker Bob's where you won't find any records for sale, but as of Wednesday you could still at least take one more look through the window at the somewhat-still stocked shelves of the closed store.
Wild Nothing at Other Music, RSD2012 (more)
Other Music isn't big enough to have bands play while people shop, so they have bands DJ during RSD, and this year's line-up will have Parquet Courts, Sharon Van Etten, Jonathan Toubin and more on the decks. Other Music opens at 10:30 AM with DJs starting at noon (schedule is below).
Also having DJs spin on #RSD13, as mentioned, is East Village shop Turntable Lab. Their line-up also includes FaltyDL, as well as Nomi Ruiz, Justin Strauss, Eli Escobar and many more. DJs spin from 10 AM - 8 PM.
Another EV store, Good Records, won't have RSD exclusives, but they will have a bunch of rare used vinyl they'll be putting out that day, including albums by Brian Eno, The Fall, Blur, Pink Floyd, The White Stripes and more. They'll also have free food and beverages. More details are here.
still from Cake Shop's RSD video
Some of you may not remember when Cake Shop back lounge was a record store, but they still carry a few a few new releases and they'll have a selection of RSD exclusives on Saturday. Additionally, they'll have "lots of deals, lots of old stuff we've been holding onto forever etc! Plus: tons of fun, possible balloons and maybe Eddie!" That night Record Store Day moves downstairs with an extremely stacked indie rock/pop line-up, with Literature, Grand Resort, Sparxx, Cascading Slopes, The Hairs, a short solo set from TPOBPAH's Kip Berman and Scott and Charlene's Wedding. Kip and Maria Sherman will also be on DJ duty. Doors for the night show are at 8 PM and is a mere $5 entry. A pretty weird, funny video hyping Cake Shop's RSD fun is below.
Downtown at J&R Music World, Anthrax will be in the house at 12:30 PM signing records and anything else you want their John Hancock on, and they generally have a good selection of #RSD13 exclusives too.
Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Record Store Day will be the last day ever for Williamsburg's Sound Fix, which is probably enough for them (read a new interview with the owner HERE). Last year they had doughnuts and coffee, if memory serves. They're open at 10 AM and in addition to RSD exclusive, their fire sale (which is happening now) includes "25% off all CDs, 10% off all LPs."
Williamsburg stores in general don't seem to be doing a whole lot of special events on Saturday, though both Academy Records Annex and Earwax will have #RSD13 exclusives, and East Village Radio will be streaming live from Academy Records at 4pm.
Co-Op 87 (via)
For the second year, the tiny but well-stocked Co-Op 87 in Greenpoint will be open for the entirety of Record Store Day, meaning midnight to midnight. No in-store performances or celeb DJs, but they are making a special offer for the truly insane record buyers out there:
"If you are tuff enuff to come to Co-Op 87 Records ONCE an hour, EVERY hour of Record Store Day (24 visits!) and spend $10 on a record (not multiple records) at least ONCE for EACH of those hours, you'll be entitled to an INCREASING percentage off, starting at 4% and increasing BY 4% each time on ANY one record UP to $100! That means he or she who braves this madness could by the final hour, buy ANY $100 or less record for a WHOPPING 96% off!"Elsewhere in Greenpoint, Permanent Records will be open at 10 AM on Saturday with "free gift bags & goodies while supplies last," as well as "nearly all of this year's exclusive releases." And over at Record Grouch, they'll have a smattering of RSD13 exclusives and some choice used records put out just that day, in addition to their extremely well-curated stock of used vinyl.
DUMBO's Halcyon Records will have "instore DJs" and are open at 10 AM.
As for the general NY area, Vintage Vinyl in Ford, NJ will have a full stock of RSD exclusives but no in-stores announced,
And if you happen to be in Philadelphia on Saturday, Main Street Music will feature a special RSD performances by Billy Bragg, the Joy Formidable, Generationals and more.
BV Austin discusses what's going on at Waterloo Records this year.
Again, you can see all stores participating in Record Store Day 2013 here.
Other Music DJ schedule, Cake Shop video, Turntable Lab flyer and other RSD videos are below.
Nick Cave @ SXSW 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
One of the Grand Dammes of the music festival world Glastonbury 2013 will happen June 28 - 30 in the UK town of the same name. (They skipped last year.) Announced acts include The Rolling Stones, Phoenix, Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Vampire Weekend, Elvis Costello, Kenny Rogers (!), Portishead, Foals, Tame Impala, Alt-J, Billy Bragg, PiL, Smashing Pumpkins, Chic, Cat Power, The Horrors, Rodriguez, Palma Violets, Savages, Crystal Castles and a whole lot more.
No word on tickets yet. You can check out the full line-up on the flyer below.
Dr. John at BAM in April (more by David Andrako)
Dr. John and the Lower 911 are playing Town Hall on March 16 with Allen Toussaint. Tickets for that show go on sale at 10 AM.
Billy Bragg is playing Town Hall on April 27. Tickets for that show go on sale today at 10 AM.
Bettye LaVette & the Blind Boys of Alabama play Town Hall on May 17. Tickets for that show go on sale at 10 AM.
As mentioned earlier today, Billy Bragg -- whose Mermaid Avenue records with Wilco brought the songwriter back in to the pop culture zeitgeist in 1998 -- will be in NYC soon for some Woody Guthrie 100 celebrations. It's part of a North American tour for Bragg who tonight (7/6) will play the legendary Winnipeg Folk Festival. The tour will then continues, and includes a stop at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Guthrie's Okemah, OK birthplace on July 12th.
Bragg then heads to NYC for City Winery's WoodyFest on July 13 (tickets) with Amy Helm & Joe Purdy and host Steve Earle who then plays with Billy again in Coney Island the next day on Woody's actual birthday (July 14). The Coney Island potion includes two events: a screening of Mermaid Avenue documentary Man in the Sand followed by a book/CD signing with Bragg and Nora Guthrie; and an outdoor screening of Hal Ashby's 1975 Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory that will be preceded by a performance by Bragg and Steve Earle at 8PM (the movie starts at 8:45PM).
Bragg's tour continues after that, hitting Sweden's Way Out West festival in August, and many other Woody-themed shows throughout the year. All dates are listed below.
Back in April, Nonesuch Records released Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions which takes the original, critically acclaimed 1999 album where Wilco and Bragg wrote music to unpublished (but complete) Guthrie lyrics and adds 17 previously unreleased recordings made during the Mermaid Avenue sessions, plus a DVD and 48 page booklet.
The Billy Bragg show at City Winery is one of three nights of "Woodyfest" that Steve Earle is hosting and playing. Steve doesn't have any more NYC dates scheduled after that at the moment, but later this month he does head out on a tour with the Dukes that hits Tarrytown and in September he's doing a solo, acoustic tour that visits NJ, Bethel, and Poughkeepsie. In October he plays Austin City Limits.
Below you can read a little more on Guthrie and the Mermaide Avenue album, penned by Billy himself, plus all upcoming BB tour dates.
Woody Guthrie was born on July 14th, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. Over the decades, his songs have run around the world like a fast train on a well oiled track. They've become the folk song standards of the nation, known and performed in many languages throughout the world. Pretty Boy Floyd, Pastures of Plenty, Hard Travelin', Deportees, Roll On Columbia, Vigilante Man and This Land Is Your Land are among the hundreds of his songs that have become staples in the canon of American music.It's a rare thing for an artist to still be making an impact on modern music as he approaches the 100th anniversary of his birth, like Woody Guthrie is. It's fitting then that people have been celebrating Woody's centennial, at multiple events across the country, all year long. A big list of remaining events across the country is below. We'll also highlight a few.
The GRAMMY Museum is partnering with the Guthrie Family / Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. and the Woody Guthrie Archives to create the Centennial celebrations. The year-long celebration will include a host of concerts, programs and events taking place throughout the country and across the pond.
The Guthrie Family ("Arlo Guthrie w/ Abe, Cathy, Annie, Sarah Lee, Johnny Irion...and the Kids") will celebrate with a "Guthrie Family Reunion" tour featuring three generations of Guthries. Arlo Guthrie commented:
"Getting the family together and heading out on the road is the perfect way to celebrate my father's centennial - only once before did we have the whole family on tour, and we did 80 shows. Instead of doing an entire year of touring and taking the kids out of school, we are focusing on shows right around Woody's actual birthday. This time of year marks the climax of the Woody Guthrie centennial celebrations all over the world. I'll also continue my solo touring in honor of my dad through spring 2013."The Guthries, who will perform Woody's songs as well as new material written by various family members, will spend the day after Woody's birthday at Central Park Summerstage. The free Sunday (7/15), NYC show starts at 7pm. They also play a show in Ocean City, NJ the next day, and Newport Folk Festival later in the month. All tour dates are listed below.
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion play Hill Country in NYC on 7/12.
On 7/14 head to Coney Island for a free screening of "Bound for Glory" on the beach along with "live music by Billy Bragg and Steve Earle starting at 8:00pm, and the feature film starting around 8:45pm." Get to Coney Island earlier and see a free screening of "Man In the Sand" at the Coney Island museum. "Following the film, there will be a book signing by Nora Guthrie and CD signing by Billy Bragg, with both items available for purchase."
City Winery in NYC will play host to a trio of events titled "Woodyfest" from July 11-13 Hosted by Steve Earle, the shows will feature an assortment of artists paying tribute to the troubador. July 11 features John Hammond & Tim Robbins, and more TBA (tickets). July 12 has Rachael Yamagata, The Wood Brothers & Allen Toussaint (tickets). July 13th features Billy Bragg, Amy Helm & Joe Purdy (tickets).
Brooklyn College will host a "Woody at 100" celebration on September 22 with a conference, and a tribute concert.
More events, dates, and some videos from the party that took place at the 2012 Clearwater Festival in June, below....
Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bon Iver recorded an iTunes session at East West studios which is available exclusively from iTunes starting today. It includes six tracks off 2011's great Bon Iver, Bon Iver and a cover of Bjork's "Who Is It?," which the band has played live many times. You can stream the session's opening track, "Beth/Rest" below.
As mentioned, Bon Iver is touring internationally throughout the summer and fall and will come to NYC on September 19 and 20 at Radio City Music Hall. Both of those shows are now sold out. All Bon Iver dates, including a recently announced European leg, are listed below.
Speaking of Bjork, she's teaming up with the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Children's Museum of Manhattan to create interactive educational programs for middle school-aged students based on her Biophilia app. Speaking about the program, Bjork said:
"It's not a bookish thing. You cannot learn to make music from a book." "I love books; they're like the best ever," she added. "There are things you can only learn from books, but it's also important to introduce the physical aspects. So for me, it was very important to make, somehow, music education that was physical." (via NY Daily News)Both Bon Iver and Bjork are set to play Oya Festival in Oslo, Norway this summer (Aug 7-11) with The Stone Roses, Refused, The Afghan Whigs, Bob Mould (performing Copper Blue), Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, John Maus, Purity Ring, Saint Etienne, SBTRKT, Screaming Females, St. Vincent, and more. Full list below.
Way Out West (Aug 9-11) in Gothenberg, Sweden features many of the same bands as Oya like Bon Iver, Refused, Afghan Whigs, St. Vincent, Purity Ring, John Maus, and Bob Mould in addition to Blur, Wilco, I Break Horses, Hot Chip, The War On Drugs, Mark Lanegan Band, Adolescents, Swans, and more. Check out the spotify playlist. The full lineup is listed below.
As mentioned, the reunited Mazzy Star is set to play both of those European festivals. Full lineups and the Bon Iver dates and song, below...
"numb fingertips from the guitar playing last night. .. worth it coz I get to tell people I played Lincoln Center with Billy Bragg!!" - Marsha Burnett
Billy Bragg at Lincoln Center (via Ian Jane)
Billy Bragg kicked off the FREE Lincoln Center Out Of Doors 2011 season on Wednesday (7/27) with his "Big Busk". He invited people to play and sing along to the songs, many of which were covers. I pictured it more like a parade, but he basically just played from the stage. Some in the audience had guitars. Ian Jane writes:
Bragg launched into a cover of Johnny Cash's I Walk The Line... not the greatest starting point and probably the worst song of his set. From there he covered The Monkees, Smokey Robinson, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Marley, The Weight, and most puzzlingly, Cee-Lo Green (turning 'Fuck You' into 'Forget You' as there were kids in the audience). As far as material from his own catalogue, the only tracks we got were Power In A Union (itself a cover of sorts but one of Bragg's most powerful songs) and New England (the only track that really seemed to have everyone in the crowd singing along). He came out for a quick encore and did a rock solid cover of Kristofferson's Me And Bobby McGee before finishing the night.Check out a video of Billy Bragg covering The Band's "The Weight" below.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors continues with free outdoor shows through August 14. On Saturday (7/30), Ponderosa Stomp: A Girl Group Extravaganza will take place at Damrosch Park Bandshell with performances by members of girl groups including The Crystals, The Chantels, The Jaynetts, The Angels, and others. On Sunday (7/31), Mavis Staples performs at Damrosch Park with The Relatives who will be making their NYC debut. Blitz the Ambassador plays Damrosch Park on August 7 with Spoek Mathambo and Iyadede. Laurie Anderson and Friends play Damrosch Park on August 10 with many guests including Caleb Burhans, Conrad Harris, Yuki Numata, and others. Bettye Lavette, Ellis Hooks, and Dylan LeBlanc play Damrosch Park on August 14. Many other events will be occurring throughout the series too. Full schedule HERE (and below).
Billy Bragg plays his last of three City Winery shows tonight (7/29). That show is sold out. Video and Out of Doors schedule below...
On Wednesday, Richard Robbins will take his two daughters, Ava, who is 5 years old, and Ella, who is 3, to the Damrosch Park Bandshell, where they will join the British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg and an anticipated crowd of 5,000 in a giant sing-along. It's called the Big Busk, and if Mr. Robbins gets his wish, one of the 10 or so tunes they'll all perform will be "Paradise City," by 1980s hard-rockers Guns N' Roses.Billy will also be playing three shows at City Winery while he's in NYC. All three are now sold out though City Winery's site says "More tickets have become available. Please call 212-608-0555 Ext 472."
"Where better than Lincoln Center for Billy to release his inner Axl Rose?" asked Mr. Robbins, a 42-year-old digital strategist for a Manhattan public relations firm. The song isn't the most obvious that one would associate with Mr. Bragg, a post-punk folkie known for his activist political stances. It just happens to have a chorus that Mr. Robbins's little girls love to sing. And that's the whole idea.
To busk is to play music on the street or subway, likely with an instrument case laid open so passersby can toss money in appreciation. Mr. Bragg, who is 53 years old, supersized the venerable troubadour tradition in 2007 when he staged the first Big Busk at the reopening of the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre in London. It's become a biannual tradition there, with audiences invited to bring acoustic guitars or other instruments, or simply join in the chorus, as Mr. Bragg and his band play familiar songs limited to four or fewer simple chords.
On Wednesday, Lincoln Center will launch the summer season of its Out of Doors series with an American edition of the hootenanny in Damrosch Park.
Pete Seeger at Clearwater 2009 (more by )
The 2011 edition of the Clearwater Festival boasts some big names over its two days, June 18th and 19th, in Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Founder Pete Seeger will be joined by Drive-By Truckers, Martin Sexton, Indigo Girls, Josh Ritter, Arlo Guthrie, Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg (who plays NYCx3 a month later), and man other artists who are listed elow. Tickets are still available.
In related news, Martin Sexton will play four NYC shows before that Clearwater appearance, as part of a residency at City Winery. Tickets are sold-out for Martin Sexton on June 2nd, 3rd, & 4th at the venue but he just added a fourth late show on 6/4, and tickets are still available.
All Martin Sexton tour dates and the full Clearwater lineup is below.
If on you're way out of the subway in late July you happen to notice a busker that looks a helluva lot like Billy Bragg surrounded by an army of other guitar-weilding maniacs, don't be alarmed. The spectacle is just the opening act for the two+ week Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, which will feature shows with Mavis Staples (as discussed), "Laurie Anderson and Friends", Bettye LaVette, a girl-group heavy Ponderosa Stomp, the 28th Annual Roots of American Music Festival, The Bar-Kays, and many, many others at the Damrosch Park Bandshell and other Manhattan locations from July 27th until its close on August 14th. The full schedule is below.
Billy Bragg leading The Big Busk in the UK
The Big Busk is the first performance scheduled (and it happens twice on July 27th), and will see Bragg leading a play-along concert flanked by an army of cue-cards detailing what chords he is playing. Check out a video from a 2008 'Big Busk' that took place in England, below.
Billy Bragg will also make up his cancelled dates from earlier this year around that 7/27 appearance. He'll play City Winery in NYC on 7/26 (tickets), 7/28 (tickets) and 7/29 (tickets).
All Lincoln Center festival dates and lineups, and all Billy Bragg tour dates are below.
IT IS WITH DEEP REGRET THAT I MUST CANCEL MY US TOURBilly was scheduled to play City Winery in NYC on March 29, 30 & 31.
It is with deep regret that I must announce that I have had to cancel my US tour, which was due to start in Brownfield, Maine, on 24th March. My mother was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and her health has deteriorated to such a critical extent in the past week that I am now unable to fulfill these dates. As her life slips away, I feel that my place is by her side.
Details of rescheduled dates and/or refunds will be available soon.
Mavis Staples' new Jeff Tweedy-produced ANTI-released album You Are Not Alone was released in September (it was MOJO's #12 album of the year). Mavis will continue to support that record at various shows in 2011. If you missed her on October 6th at City Winery, she returns to NYC to play the Bell House on January 18th (the same night as Prince's final MSG show). Tickets are on sale for the Brooklyn show which is being billed as "with special guests".
In March Mavis plays a series of dates with Billy Bragg right before he plays three of his own shows at City Winery.
Jeff Tweedy, like he did on the Colbert Report that same week, played with Mavis at City Winery in October. Videos from that show, Colbert and Jools Holland, with all tour dates, below...
Join the legendary Billy Bragg for a triplex of club shows in the intimate setting of City Winery in late Spring. Bragg, the much loved and highly regarded folk master songwriter, returns to New York City for the series -"At Home In the City" - where he'll perform a varied and eclectic selection from his storied career.The shows are March 29th, 30th and 31st. All dates below...
These three dates are your only chance to enjoy the mastery of Billy Bragg in a warm and inviting setting - think of them as conversations over a glass of wine with an old friend. [City Winery]
Francesco Santocono: "'81"That's the tracklist and cover of Joanna Newsom tribute album Versions of Joanna, due out digitally in December, with proceeds going to Oxfam according to Pitchfork. M. Ward's version of "Sadie" is on there. There are also covers by familiar names like Owen Pallett, Ben Sollee, Billy Bragg and Francesco Santocono. Just kidding, I never heard of Francesco Santocono, but now I have! You can check him out covering "81" in a video below. Actually, did they just scour Youtube to find tracks to put on this comp? I think so. Josh Mann, Sarah Katheryn, and an especially good one by Joel Cathey are down there too (and those are just the only four I googled).
A Voice Heard on Baer Mountain: "Autumn"
Sarah Katheryn: "Baby Birch"
Joel Cathey: "Book of Right-On"
Guy Buttery: "Book of Right-On" (instrumental)
Josh Mann: "Bridges & Balloons"
Chris Leeds: "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie"
Ian Cooke: "Colleen"
This Is Deer Country: "Easy"
Doublewuzzy: "Flying a Kite"
Rosa Hinksman: "In California"
White Elephant Gift Exchange: "Inflammatory Writ"
Ian Cooke: "Monkey & Bear"
Billy Bragg: "On a Good Day"
Kristina Forrer: "On a Good Day"
Owen Pallett: "Peach, Plum, Pear"
M. Ward: "Sadie"
Ben Sollee: "Sawdust & Diamonds"
David Miele: "Soft as Chalk"
The Moscow Coup Attempt: "Sprout and the Bean"
Melissa Stylianou: "Swansea"
Jennifer Schmitt: "This Side of the Blue"
Joanna Newsom plays Carnegie Hall tonight! She is not however appearing on the The Simpsons...
"[On October 19th], a rumor of Joanna Newsom appearing on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons quickly circulated on the Interweb. This appears to have originated in an article from Malibu Magazine that was unfortunately incorrect and misunderstood. (Malibu Magazine has now corrected it online.) Joanna Newsom has released a statement regarding this rumor:Speaking of Owen Pallett, tickets are on sale for his March 9th show at Markin Concert Hall. Those Joanna covers below...
"Regrettably, the awesome rumor of my upcoming cameo on The Simpsons is unfounded. I remain, however, steadfast as always in my commitment to the character of Lisa, whom I have of course had the privilege of voicing for the last twenty-one years, in my dreams. Thanks for the memories, gang!" [press release]
Memorial Day Weekend officially opened the summer, and for those in the Pacific Northwest it also brought Sasquatch Music Festival (pictures from all three days are coming soon). Now the lineup for its Labor Day cousin, Bumbershoot 2010, has been announced. That fest, happening at Seattle, WA's Seattle Center September 4th-6th, will include headliners Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole, Rise Against, Neko Case, The Decemberists, J. Cole and "one more very special guest to be announced soon."
Tickets (including non-Mainstage 'economy' passes) are on sale now. The rest of the lineup (by day) for the seven-stage festival is posted below...
words & photos by Andrew Frisicano
Wednesday - The Middle East @ Club DeVille (more by Tim Griffin)
I started toward MtyMx about 4 hours after my last SXSW show, so I haven't had much time to reflect on what happened in Austin - but before they become too irrelevant, here are some quick pictures and words of my personal highlights at the fest.
The Middle East covered the stage with an arsenal of instruments and percussion, bringing out a flute, a banjo, keys, an accordion, and a rain stick covered in bottle caps. Their set kicked off with a wobbling country-western number. "The Darkest Part" was a solemn, two-member affair, with the others jumping in as it progressed. And the barn-burning jams that built up to their finale, "Blood," brought to mind the more unhinged tunes Mumford & Sons (it clicked a moment later that they're touring together this May). Overall: a tight, short set (with a few nervous slips) in front of Club DeVille's cave-wall backdrop, which hopefully will lead into an engaging debut and tour.
Thursday - Thee Oh Sees @ (Spider House &) Lamar Pedestrian Bridge
I caught Thee Oh Sees twice on Thursday - once on the gorgeously sunny garden stage of the Spider House; once on a footbridge over Austin's Lady Bird Lake at 2am - and they played other shows as well. On the bridge the band traded songs with Home Blitz, who looked not-exactly-pleased to be standing in the freezing wind at 3am. Amps, a PA and a few worklights ran through a generator, and the assembled equipment threatened to topple over from the surging crowd. The band stretched out into extended jams that made the bridge literally shake. After a more than generous set, the crowd still prodded Dwyer and Co. for more, which they gave.
Friday - Billy Bragg @ MWTX Festival
Billy Bragg's set, to the wristbandless masses of MWTX (formerly Mess with Texas) focused nearly as much on politics as it did on music. He buttered up the crowd with "Help Save the Youth of America" and "To Have and Have Not" before speaking about healthcare reform, defeating the BNP and the ubiquity of corporations at SXSW ("This set is brought to you by my sponsor: Woody Guthrie."). His inspiring asides were genuine and welcome, and they lead into the crowd-pleasing closer, "A New England." He played again later on Friday night with a ton of guests.
Friday - Man or Astroman? @ MWTX Festival
On a completely different note, Man or Astroman? (back after a bit of a hiatus) headlined MWTX's south stage in full space regalia, with video flashing in the background and a pre-recorded narrator between songs. Their short burst of mostly instrumental surf-rock was anything but boring, and they closed it out by flicking on a huge Tesla coil.
Saturday - Major Lazer @ Carniville
My expectations were pretty low for Major Lazer, who were playing to an iced-over crowd on the massive, corporated-out stage at the Mexican-American Cultural Center (aka the Mad Decent/Iheartcomix/Jelly-presented Carniville for the fest), but they proved me wrong. The antics of hypeman Skerrit Bwoy and dancer Mimi made the frozen crowd erupt (the free T-shirts and foam guns being thrown off the stage helped too) - they mounted and humped everything in sight including crowdmembers, the rigging for the lights, and a ladder, which they used to dive onto each other for more dryhumping. Diplo got through most of Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do, with a brief assist from Ninjasonik. Did I mention the huge pink, furry monster on stage? He got some too.
Saturday - The Very Best (and then Freddie Gibbs) @ Scoot Inn
At Scoot Inn, the frigid evening grew on and most of the crowd there for the Pitchfork showcase stayed huddled around a campfire or in the bar's sauna-like interior - until The Very Best (who I missed opening for Major Lazer a few hours earlier). Esau, with a huge grin on his face, his co-mic-man (whose name I can't remember), a pair of dancers and DJ Johan Hugo all made good use of the short set. Their energy passed through the mic into crowd members for songs like "Julia" and "Warm Heart of Africa," which finished with plenty of the crowd on stage.
Freddie Gibbs, who I had never really gotten into before, was up next and seemed similarly unfazed by the cold as he rapped confidently about gangsta life. A handful of friends passed around a blunt and ceded the floor to Gibbs, who cooly made converts with his laid-back approach.
Saturday - Sleigh Bells @ Scoot Inn
Sleigh Bells brought the energy back up for the last set of the night (and for some, of SXSW). Despite being a relatively new commodity, both the band's halves, Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller, are assured, polished performers, and they made their appreciation for the crowd clear with their faultless set.
My many other highlights (bands I'll definitely be catching again in the future) included Califone (in NYC 3/30 & 3/31), La Strada, The Sandwitches, Kid Congo Powers, Private Life/Katie Stelmanis, Happy Birthday, Avi Buffalo, Man Man (who I've seen before, but seem to have a new thing going on) and Think About Life.
More pictures from all the sets above (and a ML video), are below...
photos by Tim Griffin
For all I know, lo these many hours later, the Jail Guitar Doors are still rocking onstage at the Ghost Room, one musician/activist after another taking the stage in apparently endless succession. At the shank's end of Friday night, the loose-knit collective of folkies, rockers and rappers showed no sign whatsoever of relenting as last call inexorably approached.The above-described Jail Guitar Doors show was one of a few Billy Bragg played in Austin this SXSW. Another show (which is pictured in this post) was Monday night (3/15), before SXSW Music even started. It was at the "British Music Embassy" (@ Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto). The "Strummerville / Jail Guitar Doors Presents" show also featured sets by Chris Shiflett, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Beans On Toast, Smokey Angle Shades, Nat Jenkins, Supernovas, and The Good The Bad (who were fresh off the plane from NY). More pictures from that show below...
After taking the stage almost an hour late, ringleaders Billy Bragg and ex-MC-5 guitarist Wayne Kramer set up housekeeping on the tiny corner stage and began ushering one guest star after another in from the outdoor beer garden.
It was a case of hey, look, there's Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters! There's Mike Mills from R.E.M. rocking CSNY's "Ohio!" There's Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello shredding guitar with funk-rappers Street Sweeper Social Club! There's Billy Bragg wryly declaiming the origins of Jail Guitar Doors to Wayne Kramer, standing at his side: "I said I named it after a song by the Clash," said Bragg. And Wayne said, 'Yeah, I'm in it.' I said, what? He said, 'What's the first line?' and I realized it was 'Let me tell you about Wayne and his deals with cocaine.' I felt about this big."
Bragg went on to explain that JDG (which Kramer aptly described as "the loudest charity on earth") was formed in England as a collective of musicians who put the redemptive power of music into action by making instruments and outreach programs available to jail inmates. An ex-con himself, Kramer became an ally with Bragg and helped get the ball rolling on this side of the pond. Their SXSW gig, they said, marked the American debut of Jail Guitar Doors.
Just that morning, said Bragg (a lifelong political activist for a host of social justice causes), the group had played at the Travis County Jail. "This is the after-party," he said. [Austin 360]
by Andrew Frisicano
Tinariwen @ (Le) Poisson Rouge in April (more by Tim Griffin)
Malian band Tinariwen recently won the 2009 Uncut Music Award for best album (given by Uncut Mag) for their record Imidiwan:Companions. The 11 member jury, which included Billy Bragg and Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold, voted the album the "most inspiring and rewarding" of the past 12 months over the seven other entries including Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors. For a better idea of the sizable competition, the shortlist of nominees is below.
Tinariwen, who made a good impression at Coachella and played NYC's LPR both in April, will be coming to North American this February. The trip includes a pair of NYC shows: they return to Highline Ballroom on February 18th and then play a rare Brooklyn show (their first?) at The Bell House on February 19th. Ticket info TBA.
Also coming to the Highline in 2010 will be Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore for a show on Saturday, April 17th, as part of the World Music Institute Presents: Songs of Mali series. Tickets are on sale. World Music Institute will also bring Nigarian juju legend King Sunny Ade to the Highline Ballroom on April 9th. Tickets are on sale.
For Rokia, the Highline show is somewhat of a makeup show after her Summer 2009 tour was cancelled.
On Friday, March 26th another Music of Mali show will happen with Bassekou Kouyate (who play the ngoni, a West African lute) at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. That'll be the New York debut of his band and Mali's "first ngoni quartet," Ngoni ba. Tickets are on sale now.
Videos of all four with the Uncut shortlist and all tour dates are below...
tonight in NYC
* Corn Mo @ Sputnik
* Tribeca Film Festival
* Lady Gaga @ Terminal 5
* Ben & Vesper @ Sycamore
* Bamboozle 2009 @ Giants Stadium
* Fires of Rome @ Tribeca Grand Hotel
* Buraka Som Sistema @ Bowery Ballroom
* Superpitcher, JDH & Dave P (FIXED) @ Studio B
* Look & Listen Festival @ Gary Snyder/Project Space
* Hexa, Air Waves, Jared Micah and Hats @ Glasslands
* The Kills, The Horrors, Magic Wands @ Webster Hall
* Bell Denmark, Grey Gersten, Shahzad Ismaily @ The Stone
* Kurt Vile, Gary War, Sightings, Drunkdriver @ Silent Barn
* Bloody Panda, Pontiak, Ocean, Microkingdom @ Death By Audio
* Bat For Lashes, Lewis & Clarke @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* King Khan & The Shrines, Mark Sultan, Golden Triangle @ Maxwell's
* Trevor Dunn's Madlove, Thurston Moore/Daniel Carter/Ryan Sawyer Trio, Pink Noise @ Union Pool
Iggy Pop (as pictured above) played the Road Recovery Benefit last night. Video below..
A video ad/interview with Bell Orchestre below...
Iggy Pop supports Michigan State University's decision to ban animal circuses from campus in 2009 and hopes the school will make the ban permanent.Neko Case takes a similar stance on zoos.
"As students who are concerned about animal welfare have told you, performing animals are deprived of everything that is natural to them, including the ability to roam, forage and form families and friendships," Pop said in a letter to the MSU Board of Trustees. It was written on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA says the board of trustees decided not to allow the Royal Hanneford Circus (or any others with animal performers) on campus in 2009, for the first time in 16 years. But what about 2010?
"The circus industry is big, wealthy and powerful, and I'm sure that its leaders are encouraging you to reverse your decision," Pop said in his letter.
"I implore you to continue to keep the interests of your students and the welfare of animals at the forefront of your thoughts and stand firm on your policy." [Detroit Free Press]
An evening of high-energy rock and roll that's going to be "just loose enough musically that anything might happen," jokes Wayne Kramer... Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine/ Audioslave / The Nightwatchman), Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Don Was, Billy Bragg, Iggy Pop, Boots Riley, Gilby Clarke, Carl Restivo, Eric Gardner, Bun E. Carlos, Handsome Dick Manitoba performing songs together and individually from their respective catalogs, as well as collaborating on MC5 songs and anything else that strikes their fancyTickets are on sale.
Also joining the show will be Joan As Police Woman, Ours, Miggs, and Road Recovery's Performance Workshop Program "House Band" Crazy James
Emcee: Matt Pinfield (Sirius Radio and RXP 101.9FM DJ)
Joan as Policewoman opened for Neko Case at the same venue on Tuesday.
Kick Out the Jams (video) below...
Like Fleet Foxes, Billy Bragg added a NYC show at Grand Ballroom in NYC. Unlike Fleet Foxes, this will be Billy's only NYC show on a previously announced October tour. The new show is October 25th - the last night of CMJ. Tickets go on sale Thursday. Video of Billy performing on the Craig Ferguson show, below...