Entries tagged with: Bryce Dessner

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photo: The National at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The National

Although The National haven't released an album since 2013's Trouble Will Find Me, they've had a very busy two years. They premiered their documentary, Mistaken for Strangers, last year at the Tribeca Film Festival and toured the US and Europe. Frontman Matt Berninger also recently formed a band with ex-Menomena member / Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf called EL VY and they're releasing their debut LP, Return to the Moon, on October 30 via 4AD. Berninger spoke to Rolling Stone yesterday about EL VY and also mentioned that The National's seventh album is being worked on:

We're working on a record. We're collecting all the ideas. Those guys are coming out to California for a week. We're in the anything-goes, fun phase of that. That's happening, but no idea when.
The National recently debuted a new song called "Roman Candle" during their set at a Los Angeles benefit show for non-profit Cooperative Education, which was co-founded by Berninger's cousins, Joe and Jeff Berninger. A few days later, they performed the song at Treasure Island Music Festival under the title "Checking Out." Before playing it, Berninger said, "It was called something else yesterday. Today it's called 'Checking Out.' Tomorrow, nobody knows." We'll have to wait until their pre-NYE shows in Aspen to see if it changes once again. For now, a video of the band performing it is below.

The National's only date besides those Aspen shows is an Australian festival in 2016, and they probably aren't adding much more for a while considering EL VY begin their tour in November. Since we last spoke, Wye Oak (whose drummer Andy Stack is in EL VY's live lineup) were added as support to select dates on that tour, including the NYC shows on 11/13 at Bowery Ballroom and 11/14 at MHOW. Both of those are sold out.

In other National-related news, guitarist Bryce Dessner joined German musician Alva Noto and Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto in creating the score for Academy Award-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's upcoming film, The Revenant. The film will be released on January 8. You can watch the trailer below.

In even more related news, the other Dessner (Aaron) and Justin Vernon announced their second annual Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival today.

Watch the video of The National's performance of "Roman Candle" aka "Checking Out" and check out the EL VY/Wye Oak tour dates below...

Continue reading "The National working on 7th album, played a new song live; Wye Oak opening for EL VY +++ more related news"

Big Ears

The Big Ears Festival will return in 2016 from March 31 to April 2 to various venues in downtown Knoxville, TN. The lineup includes Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, The Gloaming, Yo La Tengo, Andy Stott, Wolf Eyes, Marc Ribot, Andrew Bird, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Lambchop, Shabazz Palaces, Bombino, Molly Nilsson, Laurie Anderson, Sunn O))), Angel Olsen, Faust, Kamasi Washington, Circuit des Yeux, Ikue Mori and many more.

Tickets go on sale on Friday (10/23) at noon EST. Check out the full lineup below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Festival 2016 lineup (Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Faust, Yo La Tengo, Kamasi Washington, Angel Olsen, Sunn O))), more)"

the in-process exterior of National Sawdust
National Sawdust

Back in May, we posted details on the new non-profit Williamsburg venue National Sawdust, that's set to open on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street on October 1. Now the venue's initial schedule has been announced.

Three of the venue's curators, The National's Bryce Dessner, composer Nico Muhly and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, will team up for a concert on opening night. They'll be joined by the ACME ensemble and violist Nadia Sirota. Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek) will open with a solo set. Tickets are on sale now. That's a 7:30 PM show, and there's also a late show that will have curator Jeffrey Zeigler teaming up with Cibo Matto and more (tickets).

Other upcoming shows include throat singer Tanya Tagaq on 10/2 (tickets), a multi-day Terry Riley festival (tickets), Chris Thile's band Punch Brothers on 10/8 (tickets), a John Zorn festival (tickets), Majical Cloudz on 10/21 (tickets), and much more. The venue currently has shows booked through December. Check out the full schedule.

That 10/21 show is currently the only upcoming tour date for Majical Cloudz, who have a new album on the way.

at the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street in Williamsburg...

National Sawdust

The non-profit National Sawdust, formerly known as Original Music Workshop, is pleased to announce that its highly anticipated, state-of-the-art, Williamsburg, Brooklyn venue will open this fall. Adopting the name of the factory once housed within the century-old building's shell, the $16 million, 13,000-square-foot space will welcome the public for an inaugural season beginning in October. National Sawdust also revealed today the diversity of world-class artists and composers who are working with the venue's Creative and Executive Director, composer Paola Prestini, to curate the space, and announced the inaugural season's artists- and groups-in-residence and partners. Programming and dates will be announced this summer, with tickets on sale in July.

In a city teeming with venues, National Sawdust, located at North 6th Street and Wythe Avenue in the heart of Williamsburg, is founded upon a singular, expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres with a setting in which they can flourish, and a place where they are given commissioning support, mentoring and other critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work. It will be a resource not only for the community of musicians, but also for audiences in search of remarkable musical experiences--serious fans and casual listeners alike--at accessible ticket prices. National Sawdust will also offer progressive public programs and educational initiatives.

Designed by Brooklyn-based studio Bureau V, with acoustic design by Arup, National Sawdust is housed within the preserved shell of a century-old, two-story building. The intimate concert venue combines the crafted sensibility of an historic European concert hall with the flexibility of a contemporary, dynamic performance space.

Paola Prestini said, "It's a dream come true, and a rare opportunity, for me to lead a place like National Sawdust as a young composer. I am excited to be in turn creating a venue curated by--and focused on providing vital mentoring, space and support to--so many other still-nascent artists. I look forward to sharing the thrill of their creations and discoveries with audiences."

As the press release quoted above points out, new nonprofit Brooklyn venue National Sawdust will open October 1 on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street in Williamsburg.

In addition to Paola Prestini, curators at the venue include The National's Bryce Dessner, contemporary composer Nico Muhly, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, Baby's All Right/Elvis Guesthouse's Billy Jones, and more. Artists/groups in residence will include Wilco's Glenn Kotche, the ACME ensemble, indie bands Givers and Hessismore, and more. Other partners include American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and Pitchfork's Brandon Stosuy who will present and co-curate concerts at the venue too.

More curators, artists in residence and partners are listed, via the press release, below...

Continue reading "National Sawdust is a new Brooklyn venue opening in October (Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Billy Jones & more curating)"

photo: Michael Gira in Chicago last month (more by James Richards IV)

The upcoming Big Ears Festival happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN, has been expanded once again. Like in past years, the festival will include a film portion, and a selection of that has been curated by filmmaker/musician Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, whose respective bands SQURL and Swans were already on the lineup. Like they just did In NYC, Jarmusch's band SQURL will perform scores to Man Ray's silent films. Here's more:

SQÜRL, film director Jim Jarmusch's band with drummer Carter Logan, will perform music that they wrote for several silent films from the 1930s by the legendary surrealist Man Ray. This project was premiered in late February in New York as part of WNYC's Silent Films, Live Scores program. SQÜRL, joined by lute virtuoso Jozef Van Wissem, also performed the score for Jarmusch's most recent film, Only Lovers Left Alive.

The occult electronic duo Demdike Stare will perform their re-scoring of 1922 silent Swedish/Danish documentary / horror classic, HÄXAN, Witchcraft Through the Ages. Technically filmed as a documentary about how superstition and the misunderstanding of disease and mental illness could lead to witch hunts, its dramatized sequences push it into the realm of horror films. It was originally banned in the United States.

Rounding out the Big Ears film programs for 2015, indie director Jim Jarmusch and Swans founder and leader Michael Gira have collaborated with the Criterion Film Collection in curating a program of select films, which will be screened on Sunday at Regal Entertainment Group's downtown Riviera Cineplex. Jarmusch's program is "Three in Black and White," an international triptych featuring Satayajit Ray's The Music Room, Aki Kaurismäki's La Vie de Bohéme, and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg. Gira has selected a single film: the cult classic Eraserhead, David Lynch's groundbreaking feature film debut.

There will be a Bill Morrison retrospective too, during which jazz guitarist Bill Frisell's quartet performing Frisell's live score to Morrison's The Great Flood (like he did at MoMA last year).

These additions join Swans, tUnE-yArDs, Silver Apples, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Ben Frost and more. Festival passes are still available.

Updated lineup below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Festival adds film portion curated by Jim Jarmusch and Michael Gira, scores by Demdike Stare, Bill Frisell & more"

Big EarsBig EarsBig Ears
Big EarsBig EarsBig Ears

The lineup has been expanded for the 2015 Big Ears Festival, happening March 27-29 in Knoxville, TN. New additions include psych pioneers Silver Apples, former Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton (performing HIVE), Syrian pop singer Omar Souleyman, folk singer Ryley Walker, guitar wiz William Tyler, modern classical collective Bing & Ruth, electronic/ambient musician Loscil, cabaret singer Little Annie, and Chinese composer Wu Man.

They join previously announced artists such as Laurie Anderson, tUnE-yArDs, Swans, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Sam Amidon, Max Richter, Ben Frost and more. Tickets are still available.

Updated lineup below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Festival adds Silver Apples, Tyondai Braxton, Omar Souleyman, Ryley Walker, William Tyler & more to lineup"

Will Butler

Perhaps you've noticed that Arcade Fire's Will Butler (brother of the band's lead singer Win Butler) has played as a solo artist a couple times recently. Well he's now announced that he'll put out his first solo album, Policy, on March 10 via AF's longtime (but now former) label Merge.

In other Arcade Fire news, members Richard Reed Parry and Jeremy Gara recently talked about their punk roots on Fucked Up singer Damian Abraham's Turned Out A Punk podcast. You can listen to that below.

Richard Reed Parry also has a new work with The National's Bryce Dessner, Black Mountain Songs, making its world premiere at BAM tonight (11/20) (performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus) and happening again Friday and Saturday.

Punk podcast and a recent video of Will Butler playing solo in NYC below...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire's Will Butler announces debut solo album; other AF members talked punk roots with Damien Abraham"

Big Ears

Big Ears Festival will return to various Knoxville, TN venues in 2015 from March 27-29, and the initial lineup was just announced. Kronos Quartet will be the artists in residence for the weekend and perform at several concerts. Others performing include Laurie Anderson, tUnE-yArDs, Swans, Perfume Genius, Grouper, Sam Amidon, Max Richter, Ben Frost, Bryce Dessner, Bill Frisell, Jamie xx, Clark, Demdike Stare, SQURL, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Nosaj Thing, Steve Gunn, Nels Cline, Amen Dunes, Jozef Van Wissem, Holly Herndon, Terry Riley & Ryan Riley, Harold Budd & Keith Lowe, The Bad Plus, Rhiannon Giddens, Tanya Tagaq and Hildur Guonadottir. Stay tuned for more lineup additions.

The shows will take place at the Tennessee and Bijou Theatres, the intimate Square Room, the Knoxville Museum of Art and more. Weekend passes go on sale Friday (11/14) at noon EST. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Knoxville music and arts education programs Joy of Music School and Community School of the Arts.

photo by Amanda Gentile

Trombonist Ryan Keberle has played as a member of Sufjan Stevens' Age of Adz band, St. Vincent & David Byrne's band, and appeared with Sufjan, Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly at their Planetarium shows. He's also played with Escort, The Welcome Wagon, Nedelle Torrisi, Alicia Keys and more. He leads his own Brooklyn-based group, Catharsis, who will release their new album, Into The Zone, on September 30 which features collaborations with Chilean singer Camila Meza. His time playing with Sufjan Stevens (and being a longtime fan) inspired him to cover "Djohariah" last year, and now he takes on another Sufjan song, "Sister" (from Seven Swans) as a bonus track to Into The Zone. Here's what Ryan had to say about his Sufjan influence:

I, like so many others, spent the majority of my 20's listening to the music of Sufjan Stevens. Most good music connects with me on a deep emotional level, but there are those rare composers whose music moves me in ways that I've only otherwise experienced through sex, drugs, alcohol, good friendship and great comedy. My list of composers with this kind of musical emotional power is short and includes the likes of Lennon and McCartney, Maurice Ravel, Duke Ellington, and Maria Schneider, and after listening to Sufjan Stevens' music for the past 10 years now, I have officially added him to this list. In 2010, I had the great fortune to not only perform with Sufjan, but tour the world with him, performing the music from his last LP, "Age of Adz". Aside from being a true dream gig, this time spent on the road with Sufjan was filled with poignant lessons about music and life that I've drawn from thoroughly as I continue to delve deeper into the art of songwriting and band leading.

This track, "Sister", the second Sufjan Stevens "cover" recorded by my band, Catharsis, is a culmination of these lessons learned, both musical and personal. The music, although delivered in a jazz context, has much more to do with the universal and emotional power of all styles of music than it does with current jazz trends. Both Sufjan Stevens tracks we've covered, "Djohariah" and now, "Sister", are songs he wrote inspired by his sisters which I personally relate to having two sisters of my own.

The track premieres in this post and can be streamed below.

Ryan & Catharsis have shows coming up too, including a release show in NYC happening on October 7 at Jazz Standard (116 E 27th St). All dates are listed, with the new Sufjan cover, below...

Continue reading "Ryan Keberle covers his collaborator Sufjan Stevens on new LP (listen), playing shows (dates)"

So Percussion
So Percussion

While best-known as guitarist in The National, Bryce Dessner is also a world-renowned composer as you might be aware. On that tip, he's curated a night at Gowanus Art+Production's Green House on September 25 featuring the So Percussion ensemble. The night includes a performance of Dessner's "Music for Wood and Strings" which he wrote specifically for So Percussion and which made its debut at Carnegie Hall last year. The night also features music by Steve Reich, and a work by Tristan Perich that includes a special appearance by the JACK QuartetTickets for the show are on sale now.

Dessner has also been working on a brand new orchestral composition to be premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic next May, as well as premiering his audiovisual collaborative work, Black Mountain Songs, in November at BAM's Next Wave Fest. Oh, and he's still working on that Grateful Dead tribute album with The National.

Meanwhile, So Percussion have other dates as well. They'll perform John Cage's "We Are All Going in Different Directions" at Bard College on September 21. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed, along with a video of So Percussion performing with Dessner and Reich, below...

Continue reading "So Percussion performing at Bryce Dessner-curated concert in Brooklyn ++ other dates"

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)

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 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)

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 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, 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"