Entries tagged with: Chris La Putt
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Nellie McKay / Basia Bulat @ IDIO Gallery 1/7/2015
Thursday, January 7 was the opening reception for "KTHXBAI: A retrospective of the photographic works of Chris La Putt" at Bushwick's IDIO Gallery. It was a great night to see some of Chris' best photos gorgeously printed, and to trade stories about our friend who we miss very much. It was a great turnout, including many fellow photographers, and a very special night.
Helping make it special were live performances by Basia Bulat and Nellie McKay, both of whom Chris loved and shot multiple times. Basia got a little misty talking about how Chris was one of her earliest supporters in NYC and helped her get over her camera shyness. She also covered Leonard Cohen's "Aint No Cure for Love," and dedicated it to Chris.
Nellie McKay kept things light, doing her whole set on ukulele, and cracked jokes between songs including a few good-natured ones aimed at Chris which he would've liked. Her set included covers of The Seekers' "Georgy Girl" which Nellie said reminded her of Chris. and The Beatles' "I'm So Tired" which she stopped midway and came back to to end her set. Both Basia and Nellie have other shows coming up.
You can visit the photo show this week gallery's normal hours: Friday through Sunday (1/15 - 1/17) from noon to 6 PM or you can browse the photos during the late show Friday. All photos are for sale and proceeds to to CancerCare. You should really try and stop by.
Thanks to Adorama for donating all the prints, to IDIO Gallery for having it, and to photographers David Andrako, Amanda Hatfield, Maryanne Ventrice, and Ryan Muir for helping put it all together. Check out more photos from the KTHXBAI opening reception, below...
"KTHXBAI: A retrospective of the photographic works of Chris La Putt" opens on Thursday (1/7) at Bushwick's IDIO Gallery and runs through January 17. We're proud to announce that Thursday's opening night reception will be extra special, as Nellie McKay and Basia Bulat, two very talented artists that Chris loved and photographed a lot, will be performing live sets. The show, which immediately follows the opening reception, starts at 8pm and is free (though capacity is limited)
The opening reception starts at 6pm. Come by, have a drink and browse Chris's photos which will also be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit CancerCare. CancerCare provides free professional support services including counseling, support groups, educational workshops, and publications. They helped Chris through some difficult times and could use everyone's support.
If you miss the opening, you can visit the photo show during the gallery's normal hours: noon-6pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Your options are 1/7 (starting at 6pm this night for the opening), 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/14, 1/15, 1/16, and 1/17. Noon-6pm on all the non-opening dates, or you can browse the photos during the late shows at the gallery on 1/9 and 1/15.
Nellie McKay, who quite possibly could show up Thursday dressed as a pot leaf, also has shows coming up at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, City Winery and more.
all photos in this post by Chris La Putt
We've been planning a way to remember and honor BV Photo Editor and our friend Chris La Putt, who passed away this summer after a long battle with cancer, which we are very proud to now announce. BrooklynVegan, AdoramaPIX and IDIO Gallery present "KTHXBAI: A retrospective of the photographic works of Chris La Putt" which will be on display in Brooklyn at Bushwick's IDIO Gallery from January 7 - January 17, 2016 (976 Grand Street). The show will feature unpublished work alongside Chris' iconic shots. Please join us at the opening reception on Thursday, January 7 at 6 PM. That's the flyer above.
Prints will be available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting CancerCare. CancerCare provides free professional support services including counseling, support groups, educational workshops, and publications. They helped Chris through some difficult times.
We also want to thank fellow photographers like Ryan Muir, David Andrako, Amanda Hatfield and Maryanne Ventrice for helping make this happen. If you're wondering about the name of retrospective, Maryanne explains:
KTHXBAI was Chris' preferred sign off from online chats, a sneak attack exit strategy when delivering tight deadlines and requesting edits from contributors.Anyone who knew Chris well would probably agree that it's the perfect name for this. We hope to see you there.
Meanwhile check out some of our favorite Chris La Putt shots published on BV, in 480 pixels, below...
photo: Nellie McKay at Feinstein's in 2011 (more by Chris La Putt)
Earlier this year, Nellie McKay released My Weekly Reader, an album of covers of '60s songs by the Small Faces, Country Joe McDonald, Moby Grape, The Beatles and more. During the sessions for that album, she also recorded a cover of Gene McDaniels' "Compared to What" which didn't make the cut. We've got the premiere of that non-album track in this post, and you can listen below.
Nellie will also be one of the guests at The New Standards' show on December 11 at Lincoln Center. (Update: This post initially listed the incorrect lineup. Full lineup TBA.) All dates are listed below.
The above photo of Nellie was taken at her Feinstein's residency in 2011 by our dear friend and former BV photo editor, Chris La Putt, who sadly passed away from cancer this year. Nellie told us that was one of her favorite pictures that Chris ever took of her, and she wrote the following for him:
Why do the good die young? Because Jesus wants them in heaven to frolic with the lambs.Thanks for the kind words Nellie.
Also Chris was fun to drink with & you know how Jesus is...
It shoulda been me - this guy was too nice to die.
What a tragedy...we miss you Chris.
Listen to the new song and browse her tour dates below...
photo from New York Comic Con 2011
It's now been a little over two months since the loss of our photo editor, photographer, and dear friend Chris La Putt to cancer. I've spent some of that time looking back through his old photos in preparation for a photo show of his work -- more information on that coming very soon -- and just to reminisce about him. If you're reading this site, you're probably most familiar with Chris's excellent photos of bands playing shows, but he shot lots of other things, too. One of our shared favorite not-music events to photograph almost every year was the Village Halloween Parade. He invited me to come along and shoot it with him in 2010, and the day made for one of the most fun Halloweens I've ever had. It was an annual tradition for us until last year, when he wasn't feeling up to it and I went alone. Beyond the Halloween Parade, Chris loved taking pictures of people in costume wherever he found them, including New York Comic Con and various zombie walks.
In honor of Halloween, and in memory of Chris, here are a few of our favorites of his pictures of people decked out in their spooky, funny, and sexy best:
bottom photo: Chris La Putt, self portrait, backstage @ Joe's Pub w/ Puddles the Clown
We are beyond heartbroken and sad to report that BrooklynVegan photo editor and photographer Chris La Putt passed away today after a long battle with cancer. One of the most unique people we ever met, Chris will always be remembered for his strong opinions, strong will, kind heart, sense of humor, his love of cats and family, photography, and his strong passion for music. He partially documented his treatment via Twitter account @LumpInMyRump.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, and over the next few days we'll continue our tribute to Chris via stories and pictures. Donations in Chris's name can be made to CancerCare. CancerCare provides free, professional support services including counseling, support groups, educational workshops, and publications, and they helped Chris through some hard times.
Chris, we miss you terribly already! Rest in peace, Joncy.
UPDATE: Chris's funeral "mass will be held on Saturday, September 5 @ 10 am at St. Aloysius Church (691 Westside Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07304). His ashes will be laid to rest following the mass at Holy Name Cemetery (823 West Side Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306)"
photos by Chris La Putt
Screaming Females @ Knitting Factory - 2/28/15
Screaming Females already had two NY/NJ appearances coming up, and today they announced a third, as well as a summer tour with their labelmates Vacation (which does not hit NYC). There's the Bouncing Souls show at Starland Ballroom in July that they're opening (tickets), as well as the BrooklynVegan-presented Chris Gethard Show premiere party at Rough Trade NYC (5/28) with Jeff Rosenstock and more. RSVP for that was full, but we just opened some more spots (hurry!).
The day before the Chris Gethard show, Screaming Females will give a free performance and a Q&A moderated by their friend Ted Leo at Apple Store SoHo (5/27) at 8 PM. You can reserve a spot. All of their tour dates are listed below.
Ted Leo is also involved with another Q&A happening in NYC TONIGHT (5/19) at McNally Jackson, where he's interviewing Bitch Magnet/Don Cab's Jon Fine on Jon's new book YOUR BAND SUCKS: What I Saw At Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear). That starts at 6:30.
Screaming Females' newest album is this year's Rose Mountain on Don Giovanni, which they celebrated with two release shows at Knitting Factory Brooklyn in February. We already one set of pictures from those shows, and we've got a second set in this post. More of those, including shots of openers Priests (who play Brooklyn Night Bazaar this weekend), Tenement and Vacation, below...
photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis
Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman, Jenny Slate @ Warsaw 4/26/2015
Big Terrific, the free weekly NYC comedy series, came to an end after seven years with two big ticketed shows at Warsaw on Sunday night (4/26). Original hosts Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman (both of whom live in LA these days) and Max Silvestri were on hand and Greg Johnson and Joe Mande were also there for both shows, delivering very funny sets. Pictures from the early show are in this post.
The late show, which I went to, also featured an appearance from Hannibal Buress (who also appeared at BT's final free show at Cameo earlier in that week). Jenny, Gabe and Max have come a long ways since Big Terrific's beginnings in the back of Sound Fix and all three's sets were, um, terrific -- though a late start meant Jenny's closing set didn't start till 12:30 and I think a lot of people were checked out (mentally if not physically) by that point. At the end, it was a quick goodbye without a lot of sentimentalizing, which was ok. We did get a reprise of Gabe and Jenny's collaborative impersonation of "Kelsey Grammer in line for craft services" which was welcome. They've done this one-joke bit (he farts a lot!) many times but it remains funny.
More pics from the early show of Big Terrific's Warsaw send-off, below...
photos by Chris La Putt, words by Andrew Sacher
Dilly Dally at BrooklynVegan CMJ 2014
Toronto's Dilly Dally made quite the impression on us during CMJ, so it's exciting to hear they just dropped a new single, and it rocks. It's a noisy, abrasive song called "Gender Role" and you can listen to it below.
Another set of Dilly Dally pictures from last year's BrooklynVegan CMJ party are in this post and continue below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Gang of Four @ Irving Plaza, 3/7/2015
Though guitarist Andy Gill is the only remaining original member Gang of Four, he and the new lineup of the band played Irving Plaza on Saturday (3/7) in support of their just-released What Happens Next. The album features loads of guest vocalists (The Kills' Alison Mosshart, The Big Pink's Robbie Furze among them) but there were no special guests at this show, just new frontman John "Gaoler" Sterry having the impossible task of replacing microwave-bashing mouthpiece Jon King. No appliances were harmed at Irving but they played a hit-heavy set, including "Anthrax," "Damaged Goods" (both of which were also names of cocktails at Irving), "At Home He's a Tourist" and "I Found That Essence Rare." Setlist and pictures are in this post.
If you missed it, Andy Gill (whose taut, signature guitar style is still being aped all over the world) weighed in on controversial band names -- specifically, Viet Cong -- for us over the weekend. Huge Andy Gill fan St. Vincent also recently interviewed him for The Talkhouse. Listen below.
Openers at Irving were Public Access TV. More pictures below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"I'd just like to reiterate here: it's 2015, I'm seeing Marilyn Manson tonight, life is wonderful" - Nick DeSimone
"It's 2015 and I'm listening to a new Marilyn Manson album and not hating it and WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?" - Steven W Beattie
"It's 2015. I'm 32. And I'm thoroughly enjoying a new Marilyn Manson record." - Jordan Campbell
"At Marilyn Manson's concert tonight @ Terminal 5 & was shocked 2 hear him dedicate "Sweet Dreams" 2 his friend of 20 years, Michael Alig!"" - Michael Alig
Marilyn Manson released his ninth album, The Pale Emperor, this year which some are calling a comeback. He's on tour in support of it now, and hit NYC last night (1/29) at Terminal 5, which was rescheduled from January 26 due to Winter Storm Juno. Did you catch the show? Do you agree that he's once again risen to relevance? Was he ever relevant to begin with?
Marilyn was also supposed to play Long Island's Paramount Theatre on 1/27 but due to the weather, that show was 100% cancelled and won't be rescheduled. Refunds are available.
More pictures from T5 below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"Would it be cool if @TheNewPornos play for too long tonight in NYC? I'm thinking we should really wear out our welcome." - AC Newman
New Pornographers / TPOBPAH @ Hammerstein Ballroom 11/17/2014
Carl Newman wasn't kidding about a lengthy set. The New Pornographers have been playing upwards of 30 songs on their current tour, and did so at Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday (11/17), including 10 of Brill Bruisers' 13 songs. With Neko Case and Dan Bejar both on this tour, it's made for a very fan-friendly, hit-filled time.
Opening this show and the whole tour were The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, whose lineup currently features frontman Kip Berman's cousin Elspeth on backing vocals. Pictures of both bands from the Hammerstein show are in this post.
You can catch TPOBPAH again in NYC soon -- they play Glasslands on Monday (11/24) with Hooray For Earth, GABI, and related band Ablebody. Tickets are still available and it's one of the special shows Glasslands is doing before they close at the end of the year.
More pictures from Hammerstein and New Pornographers' setlist, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
White Fence at BVCMJ 2014
White Fence just wrapped up their tour -- with Cate Le Bon on second guitar! -- ending with a bunch of CMJ dates, including our Saturday party. We've got a second set of pictures from our show you can check out in this post.
Before the North American tour, White Fence were across the pond for Liverpool Psych Fest which happened in September. Tim Presley contributed a new White Fence song, "Before He Met Her (Decomposing Lime)" for a double-7" compilation made just for the fest by UK label Sonic Catherdral. Moragn Delt, Psychic Ills and a few others contributed to the six-song split as well. Titled Psych for Sore Eyes 2 with pretty rad packaging, it sold out its run pretty much immediately -- and crashed Big Cartel's webshop -- but will get a digital release on Monday (11/3). (We hear a few more copies have turned up so check back at Sonic Cathedral's website.) White Fence's song from the compilation makes its premiere in this post and you can stream it below.
Artwork and tracklist for Psych for Sore Eyes 2 and more pics, also below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Girlpool at BV day party at Baby's All Right - 10/25/14
LA duo Girlpool played about ten shows right before and during CMJ, and they'll be back in the area next week to play NYC and Long Island on their tour with Jenny Lewis. They must really love it here, because now they've added yet another show. They were added to the Halloween show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar which already has a stacked lineup of Diarrhea Planet, Hop Along, Mitski and more. That show is free and includes a costume contest ($500 cash prize), face painting and more. Sounds like a pretty good way to spend Halloween.
One of Girlpool's many CMJ shows was our Saturday day party. We already posted pictures of that show and we've got another set of Girlpool in this post. More, with their updated list of dates, below...
Beverly / Fat White Family
For the final day of CMJ (10/25), just like last year, Brooklynvegan took over Baby's All Right from noon till the wee hours, starting with our free Saturday day party (which came after our free Friday day party).
With brunch also being served in the venue, Austin's Residual Kid started off things with a youthful bounce, making indie rock that already has J. Mascis' approval and consistently lands them choice opening slots in their hometown.
UK trio Flowers were next. While their debut abum, Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do, is lovely, the band really come alive onstage, both a bit more roughed up and beautiful at the same time. Singer Rachel Kennedy, who was celebrating her birthday that day, has one of those voices that makes you pay attention and you could hear a pin drop in the Baby's performance room during their set.
Then came young LA duo Girlpool, one of the more talked-about bands at this year's CMJ. They only have one EP and a few other tracks so far but they've definitely got a sound. They're drum-less but not empty and both girls nasally shout-sing in unison. It feels a little inspired by punk and a little drone-y in a psychedelic way, but it's also not exactly either of those things.
At this point our day party kicked into high gear with Japanese band Bo Ningen. Their set was pure sensory overload with smoke machines set to 11 and strobes going off the whole time. (For some, those free Bell's Brewery sunglasses came in handy here.) The visuals -- including the band's high-flying rock moves, seen here in silhouette -- matched the Bo Ningen's genre-defying music. Overheard: "I don't know what that was, but it was incredible." We agree (with the incredible part), as does Jon Pareles at the NY Times who says the band put on his favorite performance of CMJ 2014.
At that point, most people probably needed a palate cleanser and Beverly's sweet, fun, harmony-laden music made them the perfect sonic sorbet for the packed room.
Then came White Fence whose lineup for this tour included Cate Le Bon on second guitar and backing vocals, adding a new harmony element to the band's retro-'60s style.
Things went back into insanity mode at this point with the debaucherous mayhem that is Fat White Family. It could seem like the band's love for removing layers of clothing during their set is a schtick to make up for mediocre music, but that's not the case at all. Everyone goes hard the whole show and at times the Fat Whites were straight up mesmerizing. Not to mention the light show and all the fog going on at Baby's that day was perfect for these guys. They came back to do it again at 3 AM (more on that soon) and were just as killer.
Titus Andronicus kicked off their headlining set with a bang with "A More Perfect Union," and then went on to give a sarcastic speech about how this is CMJ, and like most bands at CMJ they've got a new record coming and are hoping to catch their big break. So most of the set included new material which did sound great (and hopefully we get to hear it recorded soon), but hearing those older favorites in a small place like Baby's was really special.
Hopefully you didn't take Titus frontman Patrick Stickles' advice and leave after their set to head to Shea Stadium because our night show which happened immediately afterwards at Baby's was great (though we're sure Shea, which Bully also played again, was fun also!).
Like on Friday, we were giving out tattoos and rum courtesy of Sailor Jerry, and once again we handed out a free keg of Bell's Brewery craft beer along with koozies, bottle openers, Bo Ningen-strobe-protecting sunglasses and other fun stuff.
Pictures from Friday are HERE. More from Saturday (and video too), below...
Dilly Dally / Tweens
The Canadian group Dilly Dally exude a combination of nonchalance and expertly-concealed nervousness. Their songs are bloody-knuckled marvels, big, hammering numbers that are grainy and gritty and yet still centered around clear and cunning pop melodies - it's like sucking into a milkshake and getting a mouthful of sand. The reference points are all late '90s - there are nods to Nirvana and L7 in both the charred scrap metal guitars and Katie Monks's roaring, blown-throat vocals. Their force and power was breathtaking, the sound of a band discovering itself in real-time and reveling in the possibilities. - [Wondering Sound]The first of our two CMJ week day parties happened on Friday and kicked off with one of the bands we were most excited about, Toronto's Dilly Dally, playing their first US show. Even with it being Friday at noon and with Colin Meloy playing a last minute set on the street a few blocks away, there was a good crowd there for their noon set -- including a lot of label folk to see the unsigned (in America) band. As the Wondering Sound review above points out, they delivered and then some.
Then came UK grungy punks The Wytches who brought shades of early Nirvana to their early set.
Tweens, who have great rock hair to go along with their undeniably catchy, spunky indie rock, followed. At this point, we'd now seen two of our top 10 live sets of CMJ week (Tweens and Dilly Dally).
Then there was King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, no strangers to Baby's All Right, who came armed with three guitarists, two drummers, a flute and an insane amount of energy. If anyone could follow Tweens, they could. The Australian band may have played more shows during CMJ than any other band and their crazed stage presence never flagged, nor did audiences bouncing. The band's new album, I'm in Your Mind Fuzz, is out on John Dwyer's Castle Face label and they've clearly nicked a few tricks from Thee Oh Sees. They barreled through their set with nary a pause for breath.
Protomartyr, whose Under Color of Official Right is one of 2014's best albums, brought a typically intense set (one of four at CMJ) characterized by inventive arrangements and killer musicianship (drummer Alex Leonard's contributions should not be undervalued). At the helm, frontman Joe Casey (wearing his free Bell's Brewery sunglasses) offered up tales of everyday life in his typical, witty and poetic off-the-cuff style. He may have also tailored lyrics for "Tarpeian Rock" for our party/commenters. Great set.
After Protomartyr, the vibe changed from post-punk cool to cathartic emo as The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die took the stage. The band fuse the genre with chamber pop-style arrangements and had multiple members singing throughout the set, including spoken word artist Chris Zizzamia joining them for a couple songs. As far as modern emo bands go, they're really a thing of their own and that was clear from Saturday's set, which unlike their Cameo show later that night, went off without a hitch.
Canadian punks Single Mothers followed with what had to be the most intense set of the day party. They were a 5-piece this time, adding in a second guitarist, and all five members were in 100% anger mode the entire time, never looking anything but intimidating. They showed up (a little) fashionably late, set up quick, and just did their thing and left. No frills, no nothing, just badass.
At noon we gave out a keg of delicious and rare (1 of less than 10 kegs in NYC) Bell's Brewery Sweet Potato Stout. Bell's was also giving out koozies, bottle openers, sunglasses and other goodies, and was represented on three of the venues taps.
Sailor Jerry drinks were also complimentary for much of the afternoon, and the buzz of a Three Kings tattoo gun could be heard in the side room all day as people signed up to win Sailor Jerry tattoos and get inked right on the spot.
We then did it all again Saturday.
More pictures from Friday below....
photos by Chris La Putt
Tweens / PAWS / Lee Bains III @ Arlene's Grocery 10/22/2014
While Amanda was at Pianos on Wednesday (10/22), fellow BV photographer Chris La Putt was at nearby Arlene's Grocery for the Never Better CMJ day party where there was a rockin' bill of grungy Scottish trio PAWS, southern sleazy riffmongers Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, poppy/punky Tweens, and Manchester, UK's attitude-heavy PINS. Then, as a palate cleanser, he swung by Rockwood Music Hall to catch soulful Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees.
Pictures from those sets are in this post, with more below...
photos by Chris La Putt
PINS @ Cameo / September Girls, CYMBALS, J. Fernandez @ Cake Shop
Before and after his visit to Puddles Pity Party, BV photographer Chris La Putt hit some CMJ shows on Tuesday (10/21). In the afternoon he went to the Cake Shop day party which had a nice selection of some of the week's busier acts, including sometimes Kurt Vile associate Boyd Shropshire, UK dance/rock act CYMBALS, Glasgow, Scotland's Casual Sex, Ireland's September Girls, and Chicago's J. Fernandez and Curtin. Then after Puddles, he stopped by Cameo in Williamsburg to check out Mancherster, England's punky PINS. Pictures from those sets are in this post.
You can also check out Amanda Hatfield's CMJ day 1 pics (Peter Matthew Bauer, Lydia Ainsworth, more) and stay tuned for lots more CMJ coverage. More from Cake Shop and Cameo below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Puddles Pity Party @ Joe's Pub 10/21/2014
Puddles Pity Party, the sad clown with a golden voice, came to bring despair to NYC across two shows at Joe's Pub on Tuesday night (10/21). We caught the early show, where Puddles spent a lot of time getting up close and personal with the audience, which was hilarious to watch (if it wasn't happening to you). Among the covers performed was a moving rendition of Celine Dion's iceberg-sized 1997 hit "My Heart Will Go On," set against a photo montage of Waterworld star Kevin Costner. While not for those with acute coulrophobia, PPP was a good time for all concerned. Pictures from the show, including a few backstage portraits, are in this post and continue below...
photos by Chris La Putt
A record-breaking number of Spider-Men, Wonder Women and preteen titans crammed into the Javits Center for the four-day New York Comic Con -- many of them in their costumed finest.The 2014 NY Comic Con happened over the weekend, bringing record crowds (many of whom dressed for the occasion) to the event -- the NYC edition is finally starting to catch up to San Diego. (
Organizers expect the attendance to surpass 150,000 by the time the convention wraps up on Sunday.
"It's the worst day to wear body paint in the rain," Susan Li, 29, who was covered head-to-toe in pink as X-Men superhero Blink, said Saturday.
"But when you have some hardcore fan recognize you as your character, that makes the two hours of painting yourself worth it."
"It allows me to be who I am inside" Cici James, 30, who owns her own sci-fi bookstore, Singularity, in Brooklyn, said of the chance to dress up in her very form-fitting costume.
Queens resident Julian Keller, 22, spent more than 200 hours with his father to create the perfect General Zod costume, which would have made Superman do a double take. - [NY Daily News]
More (smaller ones) below...
Eugene Mirman with Robyn Hitchcock and H. Jon Benjamin
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival took over the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn for the past few days to bring audiences an audacious, eclectic, and titillating smorgasbord of comedic events. Of all the events, I chose to attend You Never Know Who Might Drop By at the Bell House on Saturday September 20 at 10:00pm. The only guest to be announced ahead of time was H. Jon Benjamin. The rest of the line up was listed as "Special Guest." Remarkably, even with only one guest announced, the show was very sold out.
The show ended up being hosted by special guest Eugene Mirman. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but you know what happens when you assume right? Ass. U. Me. Anyhow, Euge was the host and he performed his duties with his usual grace and aplomb. His hosting agilities shouldn't be surprising considering he's a non-stop performer and has hosted recurring comedy showcases Invite Them Up, Tearing The Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends, and probably more. Saturday evening, he kept his opening set extremely short and tight, but he did have an extremely funny riff about how you can literally write whatever you want about yourself on LinkedIn and there is zero proof required. He read off samples of his own bullshit LinkedIn profile and I gotta tell you it was pretty damn funny.
Eugene's first guest was Wyatt Cenac. Throw a dart at an open page of Time Out New York and chances are you will hit a show listing with his name on it. The dude not only has his own show called Night Train every Monday night at Littlefield, but you can see him practically every night of the week at several other venues throughout the city. The dude's a machine. A relentless performer. It has taken me a while to be drawn into Wyatt's super low energy delivery and stage demeanor, but I gotta say he was killing me on Saturday. He's definitely a super popular comic who is definitely worth checking out.
Glaser as Johnny Ding-Dong
After Wyatt wrapped up his set, the great and Klaus-Approved Gold Pass Favorite Jon Glaser came out (not his first time this year), reprising his role as Brooklyn's #1 Insult Comic Johnny Ding-Dong. I haven't seen this particular character of his in eight freaking years; the last time was during a Comedians of Comedy stop at Irving Plaza (video here). Johnny basically insults audience members over pretty banal and obvious characteristics of theirs; a hat, glasses, how they're sitting...then he sits down and eats a slice of pizza, very slowly. At some point during this, the sound guy 'accidentally' starts playing the theme song to the 1978 drama The Deerhunter, which also happens to be one of the saddest instrumental tunes of all time. Johhny then goes through an emotional breakthrough. Aside of being extremely funny, the whole bit intentionally goes on for waaaaay too long, testing the audience's endurance to the fullest. It is not an easy bit, but it is one of my favorites as it so absolutely alienates the audience to the extreme.
Johnny Ding-Dong left the stage and was followed by a bit with Eugene Mirman and the great Robyn Hitchcock. They started out as a duo, offering up bits of very funny advice for problems submitted by audience members prior to the show. Luckily, before the bit got too long, Eugene left Robyn up there alone with an acoustic. Besides regaling the audience with great stories and personal philosophies, Robyn played three tunes, including a beautiful cover of "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors (on his new album) and a fantastic version of his tune "Dismal City" that was so much better than the full band version... it was nuts. He was a fantastic storyteller and I loved his solo tunes.
After Hitchcock came comedian Joe Wong who I actually never heard of, but man did he slay. I cannot tell you how much I loved this guy. There was a brilliant economy to each of his jokes. They were free of flair and BS; they were delivered as perfect as you could imagine. His insights into the racism inherent in American society, though troubling, were so elegantly lampooned that the entire room was roaring. For me he was the highlight of the evening. I love seeing a comic for the first time and having him/her absolutely destroy. Sadly, his calendar is empty, but if you see the name Joe Wong on any upcoming comedy showcases you should go. Refreshing talent. I would like him to be famous immediately, thanks.
Wong's set was quite brief unfortunately, and he was followed by Eugene Mirman and Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) for round two of audience advice. I missed this because I had to pee wicked bad and also needed another beer, but I heard some laughs while I was in the latrine so that was a good sign. Next up was the only billed comic of the night, H. Jon Benjamin. HJB definitely had the longest set of the evening, and it started out with a bit featuring him and Eugene, where Eugene read off all of HJB's requirements from his talent rider. This definitely felt like it went on a bit too long as even Eugene regarded the bit as "The exhausting comedy of Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman." Side note: Mirman and Benjamin have created Flotsam, a "Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience" where you can buy sacks of "hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you."
Back to the Bell House, after that HJB was joined by one of my personal favorites Larry Murphy. The premise of their bit was that since we were at The Bell House we were most certainly missing episodes of the Big Bang Theory which seems to be on TV in perpetuity. So they acted out some smarmy Big Bang esque dialogue which, like the rider bit, went on a bit too long as well.
Although Jon Benjamin's set was definitely hilarious and worth seeing, it went on longer than I had the strength to endure. I was at a motorcycle block party earlier in the day and had been drinking since 3 in the afternoon, so by the time headliner Jen Kirkman took the stage, I was hot, sweaty, gassy, uncomfortable, and basically seeing quadruple. I can see why she'd headline; she has a history in comedy that stretches way back to the old days in Boston with Larry Murphy and Eugene Mirman, she has a book out that sold a zillion copies, she's a favorite on Chelsea lately, she was in from LA... she's famous and successful. But combine the fact that I don't really care for her comedy and the fact that my liver was hanging out my asshole and down my pant leg, it was time to go.
The early show at the Bell House was a special EMCF edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Jessi Klein, Nick Thune and Karen Kilgariff. Pics from EMCF night 1 are here and we'll have more to come. Pics from night 3's early show, plus more from "You Never Know Who Might Drop By," below...
Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman, Amy Schumer, Bridget Everett,
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival began last night at the Bell House with a singing competition for comedians dubbed Gowanus Idol judged by festival founder Eugene Mirman along with Amy Schumer, NPR's This American Life host Ira Glass, and comedian Jon Glaser as Derrick Brown's dad. He took over as judge when Amy had to leave.
Tickets are still available to see 5 Comics to Watch Get on Variety's 10 Comics to Watch List featuring Mehran Khaghani, Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, Janelle James, Joe Zimmerman, host Josh Gondelman at Union Hall tonight, and for the Bell House's A Night of Cutie-Pies with Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Karen Kilgariff, and SNL's new Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che.
Spoiler: Bridget Everett won the competition. Catch her show at Joe's Pub called ROCK BOTTOM, which we saw last week. It's been extended until October 16th.
Pictures from the Bell House continue below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Bridget Everett - 'Rock Bottom' at Joe's Pub 9/12/2014
Mr. Shaiman, who pounds away at the piano keys during the show, and Mr. Wittman, who directed it, and her other collaborators, Adam Horovitz and Matt Ray, have not attempted to impose a demure superego on the rampaging id that is Ms. Everett. On the contrary, "Rock Bottom" lets her run as loose and sing as loud as ever, celebrating the louche life and flaunting her flair for exhibitionism -- sexual, emotional and physical -- across 90 minutes of hair-raising, jaw-dropping and, yes, sometimes cringe-making performance. This unbridled performer makes the breast-baring, mouthy Bette Midler of the 1970s seem like Julie Andrews trilling and twirling on that mountaintop in "The Sound of Music."Bridget Everett seems to be everywhere in NYC lately, with the official debut of her new show at Joe's Pub, Rock Bottom (which has been in previews for a while). In addition to the New York Times review, she was also on the cover of the 9/10 issue of The Village Voice. The very bawdy show, which also features frequent collaborator and Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, plays select dates through October 16 at Joe's Pub. Tickets are on sale and all show dates are listed below. We caught Rock Bottom last Friday (9/12) and pictures from that are in this post.
Ms. Everett performs 10 songs in the show, at least three of which feature titles that are not fit for print. One of the funniest finds her making sport of her own ample dimensions while using a festively colored sex toy of considerable size as a prop to help detail her rapacious exploits around the globe. - [NY Times]
There's no Rock Bottom show tonight, but you can catch Bridget Everett tonight (9/18) at The Bell House as part of the kickoff event at the 2014 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. Tonight's show is 'The Talent Show Presents: Gowanus Idol' and has a stacked lineup of talent, also featuring Amy Schumer, Dave Hill, Ira Glass, Bobby Tisdale, Derrick Brown, Amber Tamblyn, Joseph Keckler, Eliot Glazer, Giulia Rozzi, THE ENGAGEMENTS and hosts Elna Baker and Kevin Townley. Tickets are still available.
Rock Bottom show dates, plus more pics from the show and the Voice cover, below...
"Chromeo turning Central Park into a dance party rn" - @chelawhita
"Saw @chromeo last night in Central Park. One of the most fun nights I've had in so long! Danced my bum off" - @jaglever
Chromeo / Big Freedia @ Central Park Summerstage 9/12/2014
It was a long wait for Chromeo, but after an agonizing 30 minutes, white lights poured out from the stage in every direction, and with seemingly no transitional moment at all, Dave 1's guitar wailed from between the LEDs. Without warning, the concert was in full swing.Canadian dance-duo Chromeo brought their groove party tour to Central Park Summerstage with some help from New Orleans bounce music pioneer and twerkaholic Big Freedia on Friday (9/12), part of the tour. Playing tracks from this year's White Women and favorites like "Needy Girl," "Bonafide Lovin'" and "Sexy Socialite," plus a stunning light show, the duo certainly got the crowd moving. Pics from the show are in this post.
Dave 1 and P-Thugg are, if you'll excuse the phrase, groove-machines. DJ set or fully live, the two produce a sound that bounces across the stage, through the crowd, and right back to them again, forever fueling a cycle of funky, self-sustaining energy. [Village Voice]
Chromeo recently earned a spot as a short-list nominee for this year's Polaris Prize competition alongside stiff competition from the likes of Arcade Fire, Drake, Mac Demarco and more. The set on Saturday was one of their last of the summer, only hitting Austin City Limits in October before getting off the road for a bit.
Opener Big Freedia, whose Fuse reality series just got picked up for two more seasons, gave a shout out from the Central Park stage to fellow bounce artist Nicky Da B who died earlier this month. NYC will more of Big Freedia on October 4 at Glasslands with Friendly Ghost and a DJ set from Le Chev. Tickets are on sale. In other news, look for Big Freedia's memoirs to be published in 2015.
All Big Freedia tour dates, plus more pics from the Summerstage show, below...
photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis
The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building 9/4/2014
"This is a throwback to those classic Brill Building basement shows...you know, like when Carol King would do Sonics' covers? It's in the book. That I'm going to write." Carl Newman, defacto leader of Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, was joking about the deserted Brill Building storefront (technically next door to the famous golden BB entrance) that was hastily converted into a venue for this record release party. Anyone there who bothered to look up could see up into the next floor via holes by the building supports. Same for the floor -- Newman warned "Please don't fall into the abyss!" This was closer in vibe -- and in un-AC'd temperature -- to 285 Kent than something you'd expect in Times Square. It was HOT in there but a cool nod to pop songwriting's past that clearly is an influence on The New Pornographers in general and their great new album, Brill Bruisers, specifically.
The show, which was presented by NPR and hosted by All Songs Considered's (and nonstop showgoer) Bob Boilen, featured The New Pornographers in full effect, with Neko Case and Dan Bejar both there, along with the rest of the band, including new touring member Coco Hames (of The Ettes). (NPR gave away tickets via Twitter.) The band sounded fantastic and they were all clearly having a blast, despite the sweatbox atmosphere. Drummer Kurt Dahle, in particular, seemed to be having a particularly good time, making faces while dropping crazy fills on new LP track, "Spidyr." (I think I spent half the show just watching him.)
The crowd was eased into the new album, starting with a couple oldies first -- "Moves" from Together then Bejar sauntered out for Challengers' nugget "Myriad Harbor." Then we got our first taste of Brill via the driving "Dancefloor Domine," which is a good showcase for the new arpeggiated-keys-ELO-ABBA vibe of the new album. We got about half of Brill Bruisers, including the title track which is much more a wall-of-sound force live than on record. (They played it on Letterman the night before, video below.) Bejar came back out for single "War on the East Coast" which was extra-energized by some crazy/effected guitar blasts by Newman.
Other older tracks included "The Laws Have Changed," "Twin Cinema," "Mass Romantic" (many cheers for that), and they finished the hourlong set with the "hey las" of Twin Cinema deep cut "The Bleeding Heart Show." I woulda personally liked a couple more from the new album -- specifically "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders" -- but it was a solid, leave 'em wanting more set and was easily the best New Pornographers show I've seen since the Electric Version tour.
The New Pornographers -- with Neko and Dan -- will be back in NYC when their fall tour hits Hammerstein Ballroom on November 17 with openers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (tickets). More pics and setlist from the Brill Building show, plus the Letterman performance video, below...