Entries tagged with: Bryce Dessner

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Dean Wareham @ Maxwell's, 2011 (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Dean Wareham

While we already knew that "Nonesuch Records at BAM" and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus / Bryce Dessner collaboration (though details on that one were TBA) were going to be part of the 2014 Next Wave Festival, the full line-up of programming has just been announced. BAM Next Wave runs from September 9 through December 20, featuring 30 theater, music, dance, and film productions. 2014 Next Wave Festival subscriptions and single tickets to BAM Fisher presentations go on sale June 23 to the general public (June 16 to friends of BAM). Single tickets for all other Next Wave engagements go on sale Aug 18 (Aug 11 for Friends of BAM).

That doesn't count the 13 Nonesuch Records 50th anniversary concerts which include shows featuring Philip Glass / Steve Reich; Devendra Banhart, Stephin Merritt, and Iron and Wine; Youssou N'Dour; Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, and more. Tickets to the Nonesuch shows are on sale now.

Among the non-Nonesuch music events, the highlight is probably Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films which happens at Howard Gilman Opera House on November 6 - 8. Presented by The Andy Warhol Museum (which turns 20 this year) and Dean Wareham, the events comprise 15 never-before-seen films captured by Andy Warhol between 1963 and 1968 on his original 16mm Bolex camera, scored (and performed live) by Bradford Cox, Eleanor Friedberger, Martin Rev, Tom Verlaine and Wareham.

In addition to his three nights with Steve Reich, Philip Glass will also be performing The Complete Piano Etudes at two concerts at Howard Gilman Opera House on Dec 5 & 6.

There's also the world premiere of Black Mountain Songs featuring music by Bryce Dessner, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Caroline Shaw, and Aleksandra Vrebalov as performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. That happens Nov 20 - 22 at BAM Harvey Theatre. You may have gone to a preview of that earlier this month.

Part of the music-theatre program is the US premiere of Shakespeare's Sonnets, "a contemporary take on 25 specially chosen sonnets from Shakespeare's cannon" with a score by Rufus Wainwright and direction by Robert Wilson. Performances happen October 7 - 11 at Howard Gilman Opera House, and Wilson and Wainright will discuss the project on October 8 at BAM Fisher (Hillman Studio).

There is, of course, lots more. A brief rundown of all BAM Next Wave Festival 2014 programming is below...

Continue reading "BAM Next Wave Festival 2014 announced: Rufus Wainwright, Tom Verlaine, Dean Wareham, Bradford Cox & lots more "

Lincoln Center Out of Doors

The 2014 season of Lincoln Center's free Out of Doors festival happens over three weeks this summer, from July 20 - August 10 at various outdoor venues in and around Lincoln Center. Highlights this year include a memorial concert for Pete and Toshi Seeger with The Chapin Sisters, Peter Yarrow, Dar Williams and more; a collaboration between José González and yMusic; the first performance in 40 Years of Larry Harlow's Hommy: A Latin Opera; the world premiere of The Campbell Brothers' A Sacred Steel Love Supreme celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme; Chicago contemporary music sextet eighth blackbird premiering new works by Bryce Dessner and Andy Akiho; plus Toshi Reagan, Roberta Flack, The Negro Problem, and more.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors also contains a few mini-fests within it this year. The all-day globalFEST happens on July 27 featuring M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, Bombay Royale, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, Charanjit Singh and lots more.

The final week (August 6 - 10) will be Americanafest NYC, featuring concerts by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Cassandra Wilson, Rosanne Cash, Charles Bradley, The Lone Bellow and more.

For details on all the events at this year's Lincoln Center Out of Door festival, visit their website. All shows are free, all ages, and open to the public. Full 2014 schedule below...

Continue reading "Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2014 free show lineup (Americanafest, Jose Gonzalez, Pete Seeger memorial, Roberta Flack & more)"

BYC at Ecstatic Music Fest 2014 (more by David Andrako)
BYC

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus have a few performances coming up, and as usual, a couple of them are with notable indie musicians. First, they'll team up with The National's Bryce Dessner for the NYC 2014 Gala Concert on May 20 at The Green Building (452 Union St) which follows the 6 PM cocktails/buffet at 501 Union. They'll be previewing a new work by BYC, Dessner and collaborators commissioned by BAM which will make its world premiere at BAM's Next Wave Festival this year (details TBA). The gala honors Dessner, as well as TD Bank's Peter M. Meyer. Tickets (starting at $375) for the gala are on sale now and proceeds will benefit the Chorus' programming.

Another BYC/indie musician collaboration happens when the Chorus teams up with ambient artist Julianna Barwick for their annual Soundscapes concert, taking place on June 7 at Roulette in Brooklyn. The show will include new music by Julianna, in addition to material from her 2013 album, Nepenthe. Plus, this year's Soundscapes will feature works by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Caroline Shaw. Tickets are on sale now.

The same weekend as Soundscapes, BYC also play their annual Spring Sings! concerts at Roulette with one on Friday night (June 6) and two Saturday (6/7) matinees before the Soundscapes show that night.

The Soundscapes concert is part of a few upcoming dates for Julianna Barwick, who is getting her own beer in collaboration with Dogfish Head:

This June, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will release Rosabi, a well-hopped Imperial Pale Ale brewed with musician Julianna Barwick. An exclusive run of 1,000 cases of six 750ml bottles will be packaged with a 10-inch record of original songs that Julianna composed using sounds from Dogfish Head's expanded brewery.

..."I just love Julianna's sonic palette," says Sam. "Her layered style reminds me of the art of brewing. Her songs are beautiful but completely unconventional, just as our beer recipes are completely nontraditional. But in the end, they are both distinct and find an adventurous community of enthusiasts."

The four-song mini-album will be available in a limited edition of 1,000, sold only in sealed cases of six 750ml bottles of the 8% ABV Rosabi. The vivid rose hue of Rosabi comes from a combination of Munich and Caramel malts and a touch of red rice from Julianna's home state of Louisiana. Citrusy Simcoe and Centennial feed Julianna's love of hops, and the star of the showis her go-to ingredient: wasabi. What's hoppy? ... Wasabi. The Japanese root adds bittering and herbal notes similar to hops, with its subtle heat creeping in after the kick of carbonation.

Just make sure the Brooklyn Youth Chorus doesn't get their hands on any, Julianna!

All of her dates are listed below...

Continue reading "upcoming Brooklyn Youth Chorus events, including w/ Bryce Dessner & Julianna Barwick (who's getting her own beer)"

Megafaun at Ecstatic Music Fest in 2013 (more by David Andrako)
Megafaun

Megafaun kicked off their short tour in their hometown of Durham, NC last night (4/29) and it continues with another show there tonight (4/30) before hitting DC and finally wrapping up in NYC on Friday (5/2) at Baby's All Right. Opening the DC and NYC shows is, as Megafaun puts it, "a chance to see the legendary Grandma Sparrow," otherwise known as the solo project of Megafaun drummer Joe Westerlund. The band also mentioned earlier this month on Twitter, "This will be it again for a while on the 'ol Faun front. Anticipate some special guests and a very good time. We are real excited!" Baby's All Right mentioned the guests on Facebook too, saying "Friday will be a very special night with some very special guests. Please take our word for it and be here. You won't regret it." Keep in mind that Megafaun's list of past collaborators and friends is long and impressive. Before Megafaun they had a pre-Bon Iver band with Justin Vernon called DeYarmond Edison. Tickets for Friday's show are still available.

In related news, Megafaun members are some of the many people contributing to The National's forthcoming Grateful Dead tribute album. Phil Cook spoke to Jambands.com back in October:

We are also going to record with Justin [Vernon] and [The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner] on their Grateful Dead tribute. We are going to record out stuff at Justin's studio which is going to be a trip.

I know the members of Megafaun have deep roots in the Phish world, but were the Grateful Dead an influence on you as well?

Not as much growing up but it has been a more recent thing. My dad was a big Deadhead and he'd take us all to Phish shows to kind of see where the scene was going. So I got into them through him but Phish was one of the bands that my brother and I grew up listening to at jazz camp. Growing up in a kind of removed area, camp and that music opened up our eyes to so many things.

The tribute will also feature members of Bon Iver, The War on Drugs, The Walkmen, Kurt Vile, Vampire Weekend and more. The National's Matt Berninger also gave an update on the project not long ago to Billboard:
Speaking of the Grateful Dead project, is the National doing a song for that?

MB: Yes. And there's a huge debate over which one to do. They keep talking about "Box of Rain" for me. Something because of the register of the vocals. I'm staying out of it. It's [bassist Scott Devendorf and drummer Bryan Devendorf] that are probably the biggest Dead fans. There's constant emails going back and forth about what to do. They kind of kicked me out of the whole Dead project because I kinda don't know what I'm talking about. I've never followed the Dead much but those guys have become ... they're borderline experts on the Dead. It's a fun thing. Meeting Bob Weir and playing with him in San Francisco was surreal and awesome. I can't wait until that thing finally comes together.

Do you think the surviving members like Bob Weir and Phil Lesh would play on it?
MB: I think so. I don't know. That's a good question. I don't want to say "yes" but certainly Bob Weir ... we've done a couple things with him already and he's the nicest guy. All the surviving members are totally supportive of the project. They sent everybody box sets that we could pass around. They just opened up their entire catalog to us. They've been 100% behind it. I'm not sure who's signed up.

In other Megafaun news, related band Sylvan Esso just released a new video and announced they'll be playing a Governors Ball pre-party in NYC before their tour with tUnE-yArDs.

Updated Megafaun dates are listed, with videos (including one of Sharon Van Etten fronting Megafaun), below...

Continue reading "Megafaun on tour w/ Grandma Sparrow (SPECIAL GUESTS promised); The National's Grateful Dead album keeps truckin'"

Bang on a Can Marathon 2011 (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Bang on a Can

As part of this year's River to River Festival, the free annual Bang on a Can Marathon will return to Brookfield Place, Winter Garden on June 22 from 2-10 PM:

Bang on a Can returns with its annual super-mix of boundary-busting music from around the corner and around the world! This year features eight hours of rare performances by some of the most innovative musicians of our time side-by-side with some of today's most pioneering young artists including Roomful of Teeth, So Percussion, Jherek Bischoff and many more.

Music by:
Louis Andriessen, Armando Bayolo, Jherek Bischoff, Carlos Carrillo, Bryce Dessner, Julius Eastman & Jace Clayton, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, Brooks Hendrickson, Molly Joyce, David Lang, Paula Matthusen, Marc Mellits, Meredith Monk, Andrew Norman, Caroline Shaw, JG Thirlwell, and Julia Wolfe.

Performances by:
Adrianna Mateo, Anonymous 4, Bang on a Can All-Stars & friends, Bearthoven, Contemporaneous, Dawn of Midi, Great Noise Ensemble, Jace Clayton (aka DJ/rupture) & friends, Jherek Bischoff, Mantra Percussion, Meredith Monk & Theo Bleckmann, Roomful of Teeth, and So Percussion.

Jherek Bischoff also takes part in this year's Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets as part of Red Bull Music Academy.

Jonny Greenwood w/ Radiohead @ Prudential Center 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Greenwood

Knoxville, TN's Big Ears Festival goes down March 28 - 30, mixing modern composers and adventurous rock acts. The fest has expanded its programming since we last posted. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, already slated to perform Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" on March 30, will now also play the day before (3/29), performing selections from his scores to There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Norwegian Wood, accompanied by Wordless Music Orchestra.

So Percussion will perform all three days of the festival: collaborating with Buke & Gase and Wilco's Glenn Kotche on 3/28; performing Steve Reich's "Drumming" with guests on 3/29; and on 3/30 will perform Bryce Dessner's "Music for Wood and Strings" with Dessner as part.

The other new addition is pianist/composer Rachel Grimes who will perform with her ensemble on 3/30. These are in addition to previously announced acts John Cale, Body/Head, Television, Colin Stetson, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, Dean Wareham, Low, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter, not to mention composer Steve Reich who is "Artist-in-Residence" for the fest, and many more. Single day tickets to Big Ears go on sale Friday (2/7) at noon EST and the daily line-ups have been released and are listed below.

Continue reading "Big Ears Festival expands lineup again: Jonny Greenwood, So Percussion, Rachel Grimes & more "

Iggy Pop at SXSW 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
Iggy Pop

The annual Tibet House Benefit Concert is returning for its 24th year on March 11 at Carnegie Hall. As usual, artistic director Philip Glass is performing and has a typically amazing lineup of Bryce Dessner (of The National), Nico Muhly, Iggy Pop, New Order, Patti Smith (who also played last year), Techung and Joe Walsh. Tickets are on sale now and proceeds will benefit the Tibet House US.

NPR

NPR Music posted their 50 Favorite Albums of 2013, and as usual it included a lot of classical, jazz, world music, but also many of the indie/pop/rap/metal that shows up on these lists like Bill Callahan, Blood Orange, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Flaming Lips, Haim, James Blake, Kanye West, Laura Marling, Run the Jewels, Sky Ferreira, Waxahatchee and more. Their list is in alphabetical order, and you can browse the full thing below.

Continue reading "NPR Music list their 50 favorite albums of 2013"

PA photos by Fred Pessaro, Sycamore photos courtesy of Ditmas Park Corner

"So great that I made it for The National's concert. Really small venue and great vibe. Highlight of the day. #NationalTrouble" - Alejandro Masferrer

"brah I'm just so fuckin hyped to watch the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY BEE!!!" - Nic

The National

It was a flurry of activity for Brooklyn indie stalwarts The National today. Not only did they release their great and critically-acclaimed new album, Trouble Will Find Me, but they also announced, this morning, that they'd be celebrating it with three tiny NYC club shows in one day, today. Around noon they played a free show at super-tiny Sycamore in Ditmas park. They then packed up their gear and headed to Williamsburg to play the also-very-small back room at Public Assembly (which, like the front room, will soon be closed for renovations). Pictures from Sycamore and Public Assembly, which just finished, are in this post, PA setlist included. If you got in, what time did you get there and did you wait in line?

The band, who kicked off their tour the other day in Ithaca and were on Letterman last night, will play again at Mercury Lounge tonight at 10 PM. (How many of you were able to get tickets?) Clearly these guys don't have a problem with long days. As mentioned, for those who couldn't make it to any of their release celebration shows, you can still get tickets to their big Barclays Center show on June 5. More tour dates are HERE.

More photos and a "Vine' from Public Assembly are below...

Continue reading "The National played Sycamore & Public Assembly (pics); Mercury Lounge is later tonight"

Sondre Lerche @ MHOW, 2011 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Sondre Lerche

Bad news: due to a hand injury, Van Dyke Parks will not be performing at the Henry Miller Library / Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge concert this Sunday (5/19) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show is now being billed as "Philip Glass and Friends," and in addition to Real Estate's stripped-down set, there will also be performances from Bryce Dessner, Tim Fain, Sondre Lerche, Nico Mulhy, and Nadia Sirota. Refunds will be given (details forthcoming), but tickets are still available

That MHOW show ends a week of programming around the Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Festival. Tonight's event is at Williamsburg bookstore Spoonbill & Sugartown, which will "look at Miller's relationship to a Community of the Free Spirit and the development of Williamsburg and Big Sur." Speakers include Magnus Toren (Director, Henry Miller Library), Dr Scott Von (Psychoanalyst, Director, New Clinic) and James Decker (Professor, Miller Scholar).

Brooklyn Youth Chorus

As mentioned, acclaimed ensemble Kronos Quartet are celebrating their ruby anniversary this year with the "Kronos at 40" mini-festival within Lincon Center Out of Doors' 2013 slate. In addition to that, Kronos Quartet will be performing with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus' Concert Chorus and Young Men's Ensemble on May 7 at Roulette in downtown Brooklyn. It will include commissioned works by Julia Wolfe (World Premiere), Aleksandra Vrebalov (New York premiere), the Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry (New York premiere), Bryce Dessner and Shara Worden. The event is a BYC benefit and tickets are on sale now. For those with deeper pockets there's a gala reception before the show you can buy tickets to as well.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus, who just performed at Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, is in its 21st season and will be a part of the 2013 Bang on a Can Marathon which happens June 16 at 3 Spruce St. which is near City Hall in downtown Manhattan. The nine-hour event, part of the 2013 River to River Festival, also includes appearances by Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Maya Beiser with the Provenance Project Band, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Le Cabaret Contemporain, David Cossin & Ben Reimer, Peter Evans, Monica Germino, Hotel Elefant, Yungchen Llamo & Anton Batagov, NYU Steel Pan Ensemble, NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Talk Normal, TILT Brass, Shara Worden, and more. Full new press release below.

Watch Glen Hansard, Richard Reed Parry, Little Scream, Shara Worden, Bryce Dessner and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus play Leonard Cohen's "Passing Through" recently at the MusicNOW 2013 fest in Ohio, in the video below....

Continue reading "Brooklyn Youth Chorus playing stuff by Arcade Fire/National members w/ Kronos Quartet & in Bang on a Can Marathon"

Parquet Courts on a bridge in Austin last month (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Parquet Courts

As mentioned, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, the festival curated by The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner, will return to BAM from April 25 to 27. Since we last spoke, the lineup has been expanded to include Parquet Courts, Phosphorescent, Burgundy Stain Sessions w/ Doveman, Exitmusic, Graphic Score: Clara Claus w/ Bryce Dessner, People Get Ready, Derek Bermel, and Timo Andres. Those artists join the previously announced lineup of The Roots, Solange, TV on the Radio, David Longstreth, Julia Holter, Eleanor Friedberger, and more.

Check out the day-by-day lineup, which includes a film shorts program each day, a TBA visual art installation, and an afterparty/dance party on the Saturday, below. 3-Day passes and tickets for April 25, April 26, and April 27 are still available.

Bryce Dessner performing 'Planetarium' last month (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Bryce Dessner

In related news, The National, who have been playing material live from their upcoming album, Trouble Will Find Me, have just officially revealed album single, "Demons." Check out the video for that track below.

The National's tour includes their huge Brooklyn show at Barclays Center on June 5 with Youth Lagoon. Tickets for that show are still available.

Video and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry lineup below...

Continue reading "updated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2013 lineup +++ The National's new single (listen/watch)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"#Planetarium brought the house down. The future is officially made of lights, lasers and projectors." - @BAM_Brooklyn

'Planetarium' at BAM, 3/21/2013
Planetarium - Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens

Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens' long-in-the-works collaboration, Planetarium, made its debut last night (3/21) at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House and was a symphony of light and sound. The first half featured individual works by each of them played by a sting quartet (frequent Dessner/Sufjan players Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota, Ben Russell, and Clarice Jensen) which inlcluded the debut of a new piece by Dessner, four of Sufjan's "Year of" pieces, and Muhly's "Diacritical Marks 1--8."

After that, Planetarium commenced, with each song dedicated to a planet with projections to match on a huge orb above the stage. Plus, lots of laserrs. The evening ended with autotune/vocodered cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Planetarium continues tonight through Sunday (3/22 - 3/24) and Sunday is the only day there are still tickets available. You can't buy online but you can call the box office at 718.636.4100.

Meanwhile, Dessner's next BAM project is the 2013 Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival in April.

More pics from last night's 'Planetarium' debut are below.

Continue reading "Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & Sufjan Stevens' 'Planetarium' made its debut at BAM (pics)"

Clogs at Merkin Concert Hall in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Clogs

Clogs, the modern classical collective that sometimes counts The National's Bryce Dessner as a member, are releasing their new EP, The Sundown Song EP, the followup to 2010's The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton LP and Last Song, on February 5. You can download the title track HERE, or stream it along with the EP's cover art and tracklist, below.

Clogs has two dates scheduled for 2013 at the moment, including the previously discussed show on February 6 at the Merkin Concert Hall for a collaborative set with Sarah Kirkland Snider and Orchestra for the Next Century as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. Since we last spoke, special guests Nathaniel Bellows, DM Stith, and Shara Worden were added. Tickets for that show are still available. Shara also plays her own Ecstatic Music Festival show to kick off the fest on January 25 at the Greene Space, but that show is sold out.

Bryce Dessner, who is busy with The National, is not confirmed to appear at Clogs' NYC show, but he will definitely appear at their Australia show in March. A list of all Clogs dates and the EP cover art and tracklist are below.

Continue reading "Clogs releasing new EP (download a track), playing Ecstatic Music Festival w/ Shara Worden, DM Stith & others (dates)"

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012 (more by David Andrako)
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

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

Continue reading "National-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry returns to BAM; Bryce, Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, other 2013 shows too"

photos by David Andrako

Beirut
Beirut

The inaugural, Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival concluded on Saturday night (May 5) with performances from Beirut, Atlas Sound, My Brightest Diamond, Caveman and more.

There were whispers there'd be an unannounced set from The National, but the secret guest Phi Slamma Jamma was actually Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury, and Richard Reed Parry who performed a bunch of covers (Ramones, R.E.M., Devo, Beatles and the Stones, among others) to cap out the Fest.

Night Two pictures HERE. Night one HERE. Lots of pictures from all of Saturday night's performers (including Sufjan), plus video of Atlas Sound (who also kept busy in others ways while in town), Caveman, Beirut and Phi Slamma Jamma performing a song each, below...

Continue reading "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry night 3 pics (Beirut, Sufjan, Arcade Fire, Atlas Sound, My Brightest Diamond, Cavemen & more)"

words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by David Andrako

The Walkmen @ BAM
The Walkmen

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
Sharon Van Etten

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...

Continue reading "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry night 1 pics & review (The Walkmen, Sharon Van Etten, David Byrne, Amanda Palmer, Zs & more)"

Gaspar Claus
Gaspar Claus

TONIGHT (4/20) at Littlefield, Gaspar Claus is performing with an impressive list of guests for 'The Permanent Festival: Gaspar Claus with Friends.' That list includes Bryce Dessner (The National), Jessie Stein (The Luyas), Mauro Remiddi (Porcelain Raft), David Moore (Bing and Ruth), Remi Alexandre (Syd Matters), Ben Greenberg (Zs), Andy LaPlant & Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees), Pedro Soler, Emil Bognar-Nasdor, and Clara Claus. Advance tickets are no longer on sale, but $15 tickets will be available at the door.

Like Bryce Dessner, Gaspar Claus is a Sufjan Stevens collaborator. Check out three pieces that the two musicians recorded together last year below...

Continue reading "guest-filled Gaspar Claus show at Littlefield tonight"

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Remember that Dessner brother-curated festival, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," which is happening at BAM from May 3-5? And remember how when we posted the National-curated ATP lineup we suggested (for obvious reasons) that it might hint at the BAM lineup? Well, the lineup is out now, and there are definitely some similarities to that, and also not surprisingly, to the ongoing Ecstatic Music Festival which is great at highlighting the growing mix between indie rock and indie classical that the Dessners are huge fans of and participants in.

The three day Brooklyn Academy of Music festival includes The Antlers, My Brightest Diamond (w/ yMusic), Sharon Van Etten, and Buke and Gase who are all playing ATP, in addition to The Walkmen, St. VIncent, Beirut, Atlas Sound, Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles), Oneohtrix Point Never, Caveman, Sinkane, Twin Shadow, Jherek Bischoff, Pat Mahoney and Nancy Whang (DFA DJ set), Ava Luna, and others which are all listed below. As mentioned, the fest also includes the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the NOW Ensemble.

3-Day Festival Passes go on sale Monday (3/5) to friends of BAM and Tuesday (3/6) to the general public. More details and schedule at the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry website.

Full lineup below...

Continue reading "National-curated BAM Festival lineup announced (Walkmen, St. Vincent, Beirut, Sharon, Antlers, Zs & many more)"

photos by David Andrako

Ecstatic Music Festival Day 3 -- 02/08/12
Y Music

The 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival, which hosted Sxip Shirey and friends one night earlier, continued at Merkin Hall last night with performances by Richard Reed Parry (of the Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre), Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott), and yMusic, along with special guests Bryce and Aaron Dessner (of the National). As advertised, this happened:

"[Richard Reed Parry] takes on the role of composer, presenting a series of works for yMusic and its members utilizing the organic processes of the human body -- heartbeats and breathing -- to articulate the works' progress. Son Lux will likewise have his yMusic compositions (from their debut album, Beautiful Mechanical) performed, and will also present new arrangements from his album We Are Rising ("shamefully good," Seattle Post-Intelligencer), which used yMusic as source material for its electronic compositions. Parry and Lott will also each write new works that incorporate each other into the process, as vocalists, instrumentalists, or even as providers of source material for the new compositions.
It was also "A New Sounds Live Presentation Hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer" which means it was streamed live and will be archived online if you mised it. and there are pictures in this post.

This Will Destroy You play the Ecstatic show tonight (2/9), or more specifically:

"The unique, "brilliant" (Boston Globe), self-conducted string orchestra A Far Cry joins forces with post-rock powerhouse This Will Destroy You and renowned composer Christopher Tignor, with his band, Slow Six, for an evening of music that is large-scale in every sense."
Tickets are still on sale.

Pictures from last night with a video that was made before the show, below...

Continue reading "Richard Reed Parry, Son Lux, yMusic & Dessners got 'Ecstatic' @ Merkin Concert Hall (pics) "

photos by David Andrako

Sxip Shirey & Angelica Negron @ Merkin Concert Hall - 2/7/2012
Sxip Shirey & Angelica Negron

"The “mesmerizing” (New Yorker) multi-instrumentalist and composer Sxip Shirey (pictured) teams up with Angélica Negrón, composer of “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR) music for an evening of fabulously eclectic and sonically wide-ranging collaboration. In addition to working together, they will be joined by a slate of special guests, including violinist/composer/Ableton master Todd Reynolds, guitar sound-architect Noveller (“simultaneously soothing and mind-wrecking,” NY Press), the wine-glass/guitar marvel Jonny Rodgers (“beautiful, fragile and consistently challenging,” New Haven Register). The teen alt-classical sensations Face the Music (“stunning,” “polished, exuberant,” New York Times) will give the world premiere of Angélica Negrón’s El Gran Caleidoscopio."
That's the official description of the Ecstatic Music Festival show that took place at Merkin Concert Hall last night (2/8). Pictures are in this post. Pictures from the first show in the series, are HERE.

The festival continues tonight (2/8) at the same venue with the Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry along with Son Lux and yMusic. Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National have also been announced as special guests on the show. Tickets are still available, and we're giving away a pair on Facebook.

Tickets are also still available for Thursday's show with This Will Destroy You (who are on tour).

More pictures from Tuesday's show, below...

Continue reading "Ecstatic Music Fest 2012 -- show 2 in pics (Sxip Shirey, Angelica Negron, Noveller, more); Dessners play tonight"

Dessners

Speaking of "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry", the Dessner brother-curated festival coming to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in May (May 3-5 to be exact), I have the names of a few people who will be part of it.

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, who worked with the Dessners in 2011 (for a show at St. Ann's and an Ecstatic one at Merkin Concert Hall), will sing a major new work written for them by Bryce Dessner. The NOW Ensemble will perform Sarah Kirkland Snider's "Pale As Centuries", a work they premiered in October at the Miller Theatre as part of the SONiC Festival. That happens on May 5, 2012. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus date is TBD, but it will happen sometime within the fesival's three days in one of the "various venues in the Peter Jay Sharp Building."

Stay tuned for more lineup additions (including probably a bunch of indie rock ones). Tickets go on sale in March.

Tickets are on sale now for the National-curated ATP Fest happening in the UK in December. As previously mentioned, Sharon Van Etten, My Brightest Diamond, Wye Oak, Megafaun, The Antlers, Buke and Gase (FKA Buke and Gass), Lower Dens, Owen Pallett, Boris, Tim Hecker, Kronos Quartet, Suuns, and Dark Dark Dark are all playing that.

Meanwhile, NOW Ensemble plays with Dan Deacon in March as part of the 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival which begins this week. Listen to/watch a festival preview at the Greene Space even sooner.

The National at Beacon Theatre in 2011 (more by Toby Tenebaum)
The National

Bryce and Aaron Dessner (of The National) are curating 'Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,' a music festival taking place in BAM's spaces from May 3 - 5. Each night will include a variety of NYC artists, film screenings, accompanying scores, and a late-night dance party. Lineup announcement coming soon and tickets go on sale in March.

Questlove is curating April 19 & 20 at the same Brooklyn venue:

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the charismatic drummer and producer of the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group The Roots, comes to BAM with an immersive musical experience. Enlisting a stellar lineup of artists, Questlove and musicians perform a free-flowing playlist--a kinetic mix of songs and sounds from unexpected musical bedfellows--that celebrates and reflects our current shuffle culture.
That full lineup is also coming soon. Tickets will start at $25.

Jeff Mangum plays BAM this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Jherek Bischoff
Jherek Bischoff

As mentioned, the Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on February 4 at Merkin Concert Hall with Jherek Bischoff, who plays with Parenthetical Girls and The Dead Science. He's teaming up with Wordless Music Orchestra and an incredible list of guest vocalists from his upcoming album, which comes out this February, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls. Tickets are still on sale now.

Speaking of Parenthetical Girls, their tour began last night (12/1) at Glasslands with Gauntlet Hair, Dinowalrus, and Eraas. If you missed it, they'll also be in NYC this Friday (12/3) at Santos Party House with YACHT and Midnight Magic (tickets).

As previously mentioned, Brassland Records is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a label and debuted a new/old track every day of November via various methods including Soundcloud. None of those tracks can be heard in the player that's embedded below. Those include "Spinney" by This is the Kit (who are opening for the National at Beacon Theater on 12/17) and "Secret of the Machines (instrumental)" by Jherek Bischoff. The latter also features drums by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), and will have vocals by Caetano Veloso in its album version.

Continue reading "Jherek Bischoff releasing an album & playing a show -- both with many extra special guests (like David Byrne)"

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Rachel Kowal

Glen Hansard, Sharon Van Etten, a Dessner
Fighting Words
Fighting Words

Other Voices, an annual musical festival held in Dingle, Ireland, may not be nearly as old as the town's pubs, but it has already become a rich, meaningful tradition since its inception in 2002. Though typically held in a tiny church, Other Voices jumped across the Atlantic and landed in Le Poisson Rouge for a couple of nights this week with the help of Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), Glen Hansard, and others--and it's all for a good cause! (All proceeds of the shows go to benefit Fighting Words, a writing center for children and youth in Dingle.)

"We don't know where we're going, we don't know where we'll be when we get there, and when we get back we probably won't know where we've been, so join us on this journey this evening," said Irish actor/writer Gabriel Byrne effectively introducing the event's pleasantly discursive nature. What unfolded over the course of the next three-and-a-half hours was a hearty round of poetry, prose, and music, much in the spirit of Doveman's monthly series, the Burgundy Stain Sessions.

Artist after artist shuffled onto the stage. Highlights included Glen Hansard's beautiful stories and songs, a newer piece by Thomas Bartlett (appropriately about the rain), a song or two from the talented folk singer Sam Amidon, a beautiful brand new piece written just yesterday by Bryce and Aaron Dessner that was inspired by the streets of Dingle, a couple of traditional songs by renowned Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Joseph O'Connor's reading of an ode that creatively highlighted many of New York's music legends, and a surprise performance by Sharon Van Etten (and her sister Heather). The guests just kept coming. Bell X1 (who played a Smiths cover), Martha Wainwright, Jape, The Lost Brothers, Justin Vivian Bond, Nico Muhly; and from the Irish literary scene: Philip King, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, and Paul Muldoon. An unrecognizably shaggy Damien Rice even made a surprise appearance to play a couple of beautiful, completely unplugged and unaccompanied songs on his acoustic guitar.

The camaraderie in the air was thick. Though each artist had a chance to be in the spotlight, its loose structure allowed for one-of-a-kind impromptu collaborations. After a week of running around to catch ridiculously brief sets, often with compromised sound, it was a nice change to remain still and embrace a long, calming set as talent after talent humbly took to the stage. If you go tonight, just make sure to wear comfy shoes or arrive early to snag one of the few seats.

More pictures from the night below...

Continue reading "Other Voices (Glen Hansard, Sam Amidon, Doveman, Bryce & Aaron Dessner, Sharon Van Etten & other surprise guests) @ Le Poisson Rouge -- night 1 pics & review"

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