Entries tagged with: City Winery
Wesley Stace w/ Hamilton of The Walkmen (more by Chris Graham)
Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) has a bunch of dates coming up this year, including three of his recurring Cabinet of Wonders shows in NYC at City Winery on March 22, April 18 and May 17. As you may know, these shows usually have pretty exciting guests, so stay tuned to find out who those will be. Tickets for 3/22, 4/18, and 5/17 are on VinoFile Members presale now, and general on-sale starts soon.
All upcoming dates are listed below...
photos by P Squared Photography
Classic soul singing is, among countless other things, the art of the interjection. "Whoo!" "Mmmmm." "Ohhhhhh." "HahahaHA!" "Owww." "Yeah, yeah!" "Am I lying?" Can I take my time?" "Listen to me!" "Do you feel it?" Used right, those interjections can be percussion, comedy, respiration, tension, release and more. Bobby Womack, 69, used them all at City Winery on Friday night, wearing a red leather suit, a red hat and red sunglasses as he started a three-night stand.R&B legend Bobby Womack made a comeback last year with his newest album The Bravest Man in the Universe (which Damon Albarn had a hand in producing), and he stayed active, continuing to tour into this year. His current tour brought him back to NYC for three nights at City Winery last week (12/20-22). We caught the second night, and pictures of that show are in this post.
...The rasp his voice had decades ago is sharper now, and the quaver he always applied for emphasis is a little wider; his croon isn't as smooth. But he still intersperses his songs with spoken advice and exhortations, and gospel-rooted timing still catalyzes his vocals: bounding ahead of the beat, sailing sustained lines over it, flinging raspy shouts against it. Mr. Womack followed impulses: What started as his own 1984 single "Love Has Finally Come at Last" became a tribute to "The Town I Live In" by McKinley Mitchell, a 1962 single he said was played "every day on the radio" while Mr. Womack was growing up in Cleveland, forbidden to listen to secular music. [NY Times]
They continue, along with a few videos, below...
poster outside City Winery all week (via @mrtillman17)
He did it again. Much like Thursday night, Prince showed up last night (8/25) at City Winery for the last of New Power Generation's residency at City Winery. Technically it was this morning as the show -- billed as a VMAs afterparty -- didn't start till midnight. And it didn't finish till almost 6 AM. Sets from Shelby J. and Liv Warfield started off the night, followed by "special guest sets" starting at 1 AM from Cee Lo Green (who played Brooklyn Bowl earlier that night), Family Stone/Grand Central Station's Larry Graham (who plays BB King's Wednesday, tickets are on sale), and Alice Smith (who played other nights of the residency too). Prince took the stage around 3 AM and played almost literally till the break of dawn. Doug E. Fresh, who was there on Thursday, guested again too.
Did you go? What did you think? And how are you awake?
The approximate setlist is below...
"Prince and company blew the roof off tonight with #npg #shelbyJ @ City Winery " - David Magdael
"Ninety minutes of Prince at City Winery tonight. Great set. Shorter than usual, but that new song "Big City" was SO GOOD. VMAs weekend." - Erik Sutch
"Back from a secret Prince-New Power Generation reunion at City Winery. My funk levels have been recharged for the year. That man is God." - Chris McCoy
Prince & NPG @ City Winery
New Power Generation, Prince's sometimes backing band, are in the midst of their "Purple Week" residency at City Winery, for which they've been promising "special celebrity guests nightly." The first night included Alice Smith at the early show and no guests at the late show, but at last night's (8/22) late show, Prince himself showed up.
Just got in from City Winery.....Let me just say that History was made in NYC this morning. First NYC show with NPG and 3RDEYE Girl together....well sought of.....night started with Shelby and amazing horns of the NPG....then Liz performed a song.....then a great new talent Luke James performed a great new song........then something purple happened....drummer leaves and hear comes Hanna....then Donna takes her position .....then Ida and finally the man of the hour......Staring with Musicology..with eleven piece horns,,,,,,,AMAZING without being complete and in no particular order.....Musicology, Something in the Water Does not Compute, All the Critics Love You in New York, Brown Skin, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough/Cool (with Doug E Fresh), Nothing Compares 2 U and Big City......crowd was capacity of 500 and show started 1235 am...Prince enters stage 1:30 am....show was over at 3:00 AMPictures from the show are in this post, but... UPDATE: none of Prince .
In addition to releasing his own new singles lately, Prince also appears on the new Janelle Monae album. Janelle's not playing this year, but she's a multi-year veteran of Brooklyn's Afro-Punk Festival, which goes down this weekend.
NPG's residency continues with a late show tonight (8/23) and then the final (and most expensive) one is a late show on Sunday (8/25), which doubles as a VMAs after party. No word yet on whether or not Prince will be appearing at that show, or the VMAs.
and videos below...
Onetime Knitting Factory owner Michael Dorf opened City Winery in 2008 and opened a second in Chicago last summer. There are more on the way: they just announced that City Winery would open locations in Napa, CA and Nashville, TN. The former will be in the historic Napa Valley Opera House and the other in downtown Nashville. Both locations will feature 300-capacity music venues with restaurants. No opening dates have been set yet.
Speaking of City Winery, they're in the middle "Purple Week," a run of shows with Prince's band New Power Generation. Last night kicked off with minimal special guests (full report and pictures coming shortly). They continue tonight and tickets are still available.
While Prince doesn't currently have any upcoming shows in NYC, members of New Power Generation do. Shelby J., Liv Warfield and NPG Hornz will play six shows next week at City Winery. Both August 21 & 22 have early and late shows, plus late shows on August 23 and 25. Each show is expected to be different with celebrity guest performances and that final 8/25 show is being billed as an MTV VMAs afterparty (with tickets costing more than double the other shows).
City Winery, whose owner Michael Dorf also did the recent Prince tribute at Carnegie Hall (and accompanying City Winery show), also notes (without promising anything specific, of course) that, "Even Prince has been known to grace the stage in support of his acclaimed band, so plan to expect the unexpected at each show!" Tickets are on sale now.
P.S. Prince recently played a surprise show at City Winery Chicago.
LA soulful singer-songwriter ZZ Ward who has collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Grace Potter and Fitz & the Tantrums, plays Warsaw in Brooklyn on Friday night (6/21) and tickets are still available.
The June NYC show in the Red Bull Sound Select series happens on Tuesday (6/25) at Drom with Bridget Kelly, Wavy Spice, and Chippy Nonstop. Like the other monthly RBSS shows, admission is $3 at the door.
O'Death are playing The Bell House on Friday (6/21) with Kendra Morris, Zachary Cale, and Feral Foster. Tickets for that show are available.
Jonathan Coulton and past collaborator/tourmate John Roderick (of The Long Winters) released a Christmas album, One Christmas At A Time, together with ten original Christmas songs by the two musicians ("actually one of them is a Chanukah song, so OK, nine"). Listen to two tracks from the holiday release below.
They'll support the release with another tour together this fall which brings them to NYC on December 14 at City Winery. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All tour dates are listed below.
Jonathan Coulton is also the house musician on NPR/WNYC puzzle show Ask Me Another which tapes live at The Bell House in Brooklyn . The shows are hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and tickets are on sale for five upcoming dates, all also listed below...
Rhett Miller at MHOW, October 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Rhett Miller has only a sprinkle of dates scheduled from now until the early portion of 2013, but that does include a stop on January 9th, 2013 at City Winery. Tickets are on sale for the NYC show and for a December show at City Winery in Chicago. Rehtt Miller recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of Too Far to Care with his band The Old 97s on tour and at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Webster Hall.
In other City Winery news, John Wesley Harding returns with another set of Cabinet of Wonders variety shows, his guest-filled appearances that usually go down at City Winery now. The November 16th show will feature appearances from Steve Earle, Loudon Wainwright III, Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say YEah, Quincy Troupe, Gary Shteyngart, Mike Scott and Steve Wickham of the Waterboys (tickets) while the December 16th show will feature Josh Ferris, Colum McCann, Eugene Mirman and The Silver Ages. John Wesley Harding & the English UK recently dropped the "Making Love to Bob Dylan" single, which is available now via iTunes.
The hits at City Winery continue with Polaris Shortlister Kathleen Edwards. Edwards will spend the tail end of this year in Europe, travelling the first half of December in the UK, Scandanavia and beyond. The US gets very little love at the moment, but there are two NYC dates scheduled in the tail-end part of January so far. Look for the Canadian songwriter on 1/30 and 1/31. Tickets are on sale.
And last, but certainly not least, Alejandro Escovedo also has a limited number of East Coast dates scheduled as well. Dates in Texas dominate his schedule thus far but a stop in Evanston, IL for New Year's Eve and City Winery in NYC are in the crosshairs, with 1/18 and 1/19 scheduled for the guitarist. Tickets are on sale.
Other tour dates and some videos below.
Bettye LaVette at Highline Ballroom, May 2010 (more by Jacob Blickenstaff)
Bettye LaVette, who is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a musician, is in the Midwest now and about to play two shows at the new City Winery Chicago, but after a stint across the pond, the soul singer will retire from the road for the year in middle December. The downtime won't last too terribly long though; Bettye LaVette will play a pair of NYC shows in early January: 1/11 at City Winery (tickets) and 1/12 at Joe's Pub (tickets).
All tour dates are listed, along with video of an entire live show, below...
DOWNLOAD: Joseph Arthur - Where is My Van? (MP4)
Still from "Where is My Van?" video
So after all this I got my van back!We're glad this all worked out for Joseph Arthur who got his van back (which had been towed and sold by the City of New York) thanks in part to civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby. In hopes of recovering some of the costs to get his van and his contents back from the person who bought it (for a grand), Joseph is performing a fundraiser show at City Winery on October 21 which is apparently already sold out (at least that's what the website says), but if you'd like to contribute to the fund, you can purchase a "Where Is My Van?" t-shirt from Joseph's webiste. You can also catch Joseph at ATP NY this month, and at the other dates which are listed below.
I can't thank y'all enough for your support and help.
It cost plenty, but I'm very happy to have my art and my gear back.
Jose (the guy who had it) drove a hard bargain (Ron calls it a sort of hold up)
and sold it all back to me for $5,500 after he paid a grand for it,
but I'm trying to keep it in perspective,
Things like this can't be measured strictly with numbers
and the life lessons it taught were of greater value than the dollars and cents.
The main one being the support I got from all of you.
Along with the people,whom without I never would have gotten it back,
Ron, Vic, Lea, Carla, Julie, Peter, Kraig, Ehud and Spencer - THANK YOU!
The list goes on, but now I need to search this four wheel goliath for my tarot cards and try to catch new dreams.
Thanks again everyone and I hope to see you down the road.
I'll be the one driving a van more famous than me.
As you may have heard, Joseph wrote a song, "Where is My Van?," that you can download above. He also made a video for the song, featuring Peter Buck of R.E.M., that Michael Stipe has called "The best music video since Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U.'" You can watch it below. We can only hope Joseph will write a follow-up single, "My Van Was in the Bronx."
Speaking of Michael Stipe, earlier today he expressed his dissatisfaction with Fox News.
Van video is below
by Bill Pearis
Wallinger, the former Waterboys keyboardist who made five more-or-less terrific Beatles-y/Stones-y/Dylan-y World Party albums from 1987 - 2000, suffered a brain aneurysm in 2001. "It's a bit crap when your head explodes," Karl told MOJO in the September '12 issue. "It took four years to be back properly...I had to re-learn things because my eyesight is fucked. For a while I couldn't see the end of the guitar so I was playing quite a few jazz chords. And now I can't see my right hand on the piano unless I look very strangely to the right."
Eyesight problems aside, Wallinger has made an otherwise complete recovery. In April he released Arkeology, a 5-disc World Party rarities set, that also includes a couple new tunes. (Stream it via Spotify.) He also promises a new album in 2013.
All World Party U.S. tour dates are listed below, along with a few classic World Party music videos.
Danny Brown at Prospect Park, June 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Labor Day is quickly approaching and if you're not leaving the city and need sommething to cap off the summer, the folks at Fools Gold Records are once again throwing their Day Off NY party which happens Monday, September 3 at City Winery's backyard and features Danny Brown, French Montana, Flosstradamus, Flatbush Zombies, #BEEN #TRILL, Just Blaze, and more. The party goes from 2PM - 8PM and is free and all-ages. More details are here. Flyer for the party is below.
The Fool's Gold party happens about a week after Danny Brown and Just Blaze share a bill at Warm Up at MoMA PS1 on August 25 with Nick Catchdubs, The Stallions, and BAIO (of Vampire Weekend). Tickets for that show are still on sale.
Fool's Gold Day Off flyer and a list of updated Danny Brown dates below...
John Wesley Harding at Cabinet of Wonders in 2011 (more by Chris Graham)
John Wesley Harding (aka Wesley Stace) has been up to a lot this year, as usual. He finally gave his 1996 album, John Wesley Harding's New Deal, its first-ever vinyl release last month via Yep Roc. He's also set to continue his guest-filled Cabinet of Wonders variety shows at City Winery. The next happens at the NYC venue on September 8 with Sam Amidon, Todd Barry, Iris Dement, Ben Marcus and STEW, followed by shows on October 19 and November 16. The guests for the second two shows have not been revealed yet. Tickets for all three Cabinet of Wonders shows are on sale now.
The September 8 show falls right in the middle of John Wesley Harding's upcoming tour with progressive folk vets Strawbs, who will be playing acoustic.. That tour hits the NYC area on September 7 at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, NJ and September 11 at BB King's. Tickets for both NYC area shows are on sale now. Strawbs also play Strand Theater (9/8) in Lakewood, NJ the day that John Wesley Harding does his Cabinet of Wonders show at City Winery. All dates on the tour are listed below.
John Wesley Harding will also be hosting one of the shows in BAM and Greenlight Bookstore's Unbound literary series. He'll host the Gary Shteyngart Roast that happens on November 20 at BAM Harvey Theater with Kurt Andersen, Jay McInerney, Sloane Crosley, and others TBA. The full Unbound schedule is below.
All lists of dates and that schedule are below.
Azure Ray will release their new album, As Above So Below, on September 4 via Saddle Creek. You can stream a track from the album, "Scattered Like Leaves," at the bottom of this post and download it too if you give them your email address. There's a video trailer for the album below as well.
Azure Ray are going on tour in a month, including an NYC stop at City Winery on September 12 and tickets for that show are on sale now. All upcoming Azure Ray tour dates are listed below.
Woody Guthrie was born on July 14th, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. Over the decades, his songs have run around the world like a fast train on a well oiled track. They've become the folk song standards of the nation, known and performed in many languages throughout the world. Pretty Boy Floyd, Pastures of Plenty, Hard Travelin', Deportees, Roll On Columbia, Vigilante Man and This Land Is Your Land are among the hundreds of his songs that have become staples in the canon of American music.It's a rare thing for an artist to still be making an impact on modern music as he approaches the 100th anniversary of his birth, like Woody Guthrie is. It's fitting then that people have been celebrating Woody's centennial, at multiple events across the country, all year long. A big list of remaining events across the country is below. We'll also highlight a few.
The GRAMMY Museum is partnering with the Guthrie Family / Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. and the Woody Guthrie Archives to create the Centennial celebrations. The year-long celebration will include a host of concerts, programs and events taking place throughout the country and across the pond.
The Guthrie Family ("Arlo Guthrie w/ Abe, Cathy, Annie, Sarah Lee, Johnny Irion...and the Kids") will celebrate with a "Guthrie Family Reunion" tour featuring three generations of Guthries. Arlo Guthrie commented:
"Getting the family together and heading out on the road is the perfect way to celebrate my father's centennial - only once before did we have the whole family on tour, and we did 80 shows. Instead of doing an entire year of touring and taking the kids out of school, we are focusing on shows right around Woody's actual birthday. This time of year marks the climax of the Woody Guthrie centennial celebrations all over the world. I'll also continue my solo touring in honor of my dad through spring 2013."The Guthries, who will perform Woody's songs as well as new material written by various family members, will spend the day after Woody's birthday at Central Park Summerstage. The free Sunday (7/15), NYC show starts at 7pm. They also play a show in Ocean City, NJ the next day, and Newport Folk Festival later in the month. All tour dates are listed below.
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion play Hill Country in NYC on 7/12.
On 7/14 head to Coney Island for a free screening of "Bound for Glory" on the beach along with "live music by Billy Bragg and Steve Earle starting at 8:00pm, and the feature film starting around 8:45pm." Get to Coney Island earlier and see a free screening of "Man In the Sand" at the Coney Island museum. "Following the film, there will be a book signing by Nora Guthrie and CD signing by Billy Bragg, with both items available for purchase."
City Winery in NYC will play host to a trio of events titled "Woodyfest" from July 11-13 Hosted by Steve Earle, the shows will feature an assortment of artists paying tribute to the troubador. July 11 features John Hammond & Tim Robbins, and more TBA (tickets). July 12 has Rachael Yamagata, The Wood Brothers & Allen Toussaint (tickets). July 13th features Billy Bragg, Amy Helm & Joe Purdy (tickets).
Brooklyn College will host a "Woody at 100" celebration on September 22 with a conference, and a tribute concert.
More events, dates, and some videos from the party that took place at the 2012 Clearwater Festival in June, below....
Ramesh at Mercury Lounge, March 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Bad news: Ramesh has cancelled his upcoming shows including the NYC gigs that were scheduled to happen this week (Glasslands tonight [6/25],
the FOTP BBQ at City Winery on Saturday [6/30]) have been canceled. From Ramesh:
Hey Everybody,That's all we know.
We are really sorry about having to cancel the tour dates, but issues have come up, which have forced us to do so. New dates, along with other news, will be announced soon.
Once again, our apologies, and thank you so much for you support.
Oh and speaking of Finger on the Pulse, they were just announced on a new show at House House of Vans too.
As mentioned, The Portland Cello Project are playing the 2012 Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival's kickoff event on June 26. It's part of a short East Coast tour, that also includes a NYC show with previous tourmate Emily Wells at Housing Works Bookstore on June 25th (tickets). They'll also be back later this summer for a show at City Winery on August 22nd (tickets). All dates are listed below.
If you're unfamiliar with the PCP, as we like to call them, the ensemble turns contemporary pop into classical jams your uptight uncle would like. They just released a new album, Homage, which features their arrangements of hip hop songs from the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, and others. Check out video of them performing a Jay-Z/Kanye tune they've renamed "Ninjas in Paris" (I wonder how many times they'll play it) along with a list of all upcoming tour dates below...
The Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival returns with its fourth year starting June 26 and continuing every Tuesday through Labor Day. Brought to you by City Winery (where the shows take place), the free outdoor shows (they're behind the venue) go down from 5:30PM to 7:30 PM "rain or shine" and will feature appearances from Portland Cello Project (who also have other shows coming up), Brother Joscephus & Betty, Marco Benevento, Sam Moore, Luisa Maita, Ollabelle, Ryan Montbleau Band, Marshall Crenshaw, Toubab Krewe, and Poundcake featuring Teddy Thompson, Jeff Hill, and Ethan Eubanks.
Head below for the weekly schedule with descriptions.
Craig Finn with The Hold Steady at Mohawk (more by Tim Griffin)
Hey Everyone,That Hold Steady tour in June does not currently include a NYC date -- though they will play the XPoNential Music Festival in Camden, NJ in July -- but we do get frontman Craig Finn, who will team up with alt-rock all stars The Baseball Project for a show at City Winery on July 5 as part of the CBGB Festival. Tickets are on on sale now.
I hope all is good. I've been enjoying my time at home writing music and seeing a bunch of shows. Thank you Nick Lowe, Wu Lyf, Titus Andronicus, Archers of Loaf, and Bruce Springsteen for some great times.
Besides going to shows, I'm also going to play quite a few coming up. The Hold Steady has a very fun tour in June...
I've also got a few solo shows. The first two are in Chicago on June 2...
Also, I will be playing a show with The Baseball Project on July 5 at City Winery in NYC. I had a great time performing and hanging out with these guys last year. This should be a great show...
For all the solo sets, it will just be me and a guitar. I'll tell you some stories and sing you some songs. This is the first time I've done sets like this, and I'm looking forward to it.
Hope to see you soon.
The show is one of three current dates for The Baseball Project -- all in the Northeast. Below, you can check out those listed dates, a listing of all Hold Steady dates and a video of The Baseball Project's full set from The Met last month.
Tonight at City Winery:
Join Music for Occupy on May 8th to inspire and celebrate through music the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99% who've been adversely affected by the economic corruption that has permeated our Democracy, created a near insurmountable disparity in wealth, and hindered life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of an honest living for all.The lineup, listed in full below, includes Michael Moore accompanied by Tom Chapin, Dave Dreiwitz, David Amram, and Kevin Twigg (yes that Michael Moore). Expect them to do their cover of "Times They Are a Changin", which you can also listen to, below...
Music For Occupy is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, and all proceeds above board attained through the production and distribution of "Occupy This Album: a compilation of music by, for and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99%" will go directly towards the needs of sustaining this growing movement. A portion of the proceeds of ticket sales will also go to the Occupy Wall Street movement
Deer Tick at Webster Hall (more by Amanda Hatfield)
John McCauley- Vocals, GuitarThey have a record coming via Partisan Records (home of Deer Tick) in Spring 2012, and the band will play their debut show on 12/29 at The Earl in Atlanta with Dead Confederate. Tickets are still on sale. Flyer below.
Ian Saint Pe- Vocals, Guitar
Steve Berlin- horns, keys
Robbie Crowell- Bass, sax, keys
Bryan Dufresne- Drums
Bryan Minto- harmonica
Bucky Baxter - pedal steel
Spencer Collum - pedal steel
Oscar Utterström - trombone
JP Frappier - trumpet
The Earl performance is right before Los Lobos head to NYC to play a pair of shows on New Year's Eve at City Winery. Tickets are still available for both the early and the late shows. All Los Lobos dates below...
by Andrew Sacher
Mountain Goats at Bowery Ballroom in March (more by Ryan Barkan)
Michael Dorf's (founder of Knitting Factory) series of tribute concerts to benefit music education programs for underprivileged youth (which last paid tribute to Neil Young in February) will continue on March 13, 2012 at Carnegie Hall, when 21 different artists will perform the 21 songs from The Rolling Stones' massive document of the early part of their long withstanding career, Hot Rocks 1964-1971. The compilation was released at the tail end of 1971, and was filled with the bluesy cuts that they used to leave their stamp on popular music (though notably includes no tracks from the psychedelic trip they took on Their Satanic Majesties Request in 1967) before putting together the colossal double album Exile On Main St. a few months later.
So far the artists that will be participating in the show include The Mountain Goats, Glen Hansard, Steve Earle, Rosanne Cash, Rich Robinson, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. More TBA soon. Tickets for the show are on sale now.
Meanwhile, Steve Earle will be kicking off a residency at Michael Dorf's venue City Winery with Allison Moorer and friends in January. The residency will take place every monday over the five week period of January 9 through February 6. Tickets for all five shows are on sale now. The Carnegie Hall show in March won't be the first time Steve has covered the Stones. He's been known to cover "Dead Flowers" at his shows. You can listen to a version recorded live in Calgary that appeared on the deluxe edition of his 1988 album Copperhead Road below.
The Mountain Goats, who also play at the Stones tribute, will be sticking around after the Carnegie Hall show to play NYC's Ecstatic Music Festival later that month. They'll be performing material with vocal quartet Anonymous 4 that frontman John Darnielle wrote for his new project Transcendental Youth, with arrangements by Owen Pallett. They play on March 24 at Merkin Concert Hall. Tickets for the show are still on sale. John Darnielle also just announced a bunch more 2012 dates, all of which are listed below.
All Mountain Goats & Steve Earle dates and the above-mentioned song stream, below...
by Christopher Paragraph
Martha Wainwright @ City Winery - 11/21/2011 (photo by IreneSenra)
Nath-Ann Carrera started the night off with a handful of songs that inhabited a unique place between standard country western ballads and bizarre gay-themed narratives. It was clear from his opening monologue that this was a performer who was about more than just the music (he stepped out, barefoot, in a short white gown and brown headdress.) Carrera performed songs by Hank Williams and Townes Van Zandt, but was at his best when spinning original yarns that were as sharp and strange as his on-stage persona. (One involved a lesbian kidnapping Frank Sinatra, skinning him alive on a meat hook, and using it to make handbags to sell to hippie boutiques.)
Martha Wainwright, who was playing her 2nd November City Winery show, came out in a short dress of her own - perhaps inspired by Nath-Ann, and perhaps unaware of how close the front row was to the stage. She joked with the gentlemen in the front about how they were getting a special show thanks to her "genetic leg kick." (Martha, like her father Loudon, tends to jerk her left leg up while playing...) Wainwright performed songs from her two studio albums as well as a handful of new songs slated for her upcoming yet-to-be-completed record. Wainwright has come a long way since her original role as the perennial family back-up singer. Her two records have received critical acclaim worldwide, and she has created a second career for herself interpreting the music of Edith Piaf. It seems Piaf's music is where Wainwright has found her true inspiration as a singer, as her songs are filled with the same emphatic, dynamic emotion. Wainwright's ability as a vocalist shined as she showed a control over her voice that held the crowd entranced. Her banter between songs also showed off a brash sense of humor and comfort, providing comic relief between some pretty intense moments. The height of which was her performance of her late mother's classic "Talk To Me Of Mendocino," which walked the line between devastating emotion and soaring melody.
The second half of the set, which also included a guest appearance by Justin Vivian Bond for one song, employed the work of Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) on piano, who proved to be the perfect accompanist, aptly complementing Wainwright's musical tendencies with subtle, effective flair. Wainwright has developed a unique musical identity in her now-trademark style of shaking a melody out like loosening a cramp, singing over conventional yet somehow unexpected suspensions, and writing lyrics that are both personal and enigmatic. She is far more talented than her recognition might indicate (at least in the US). She possesses both precision and soul, and the ability and awareness to tastefully present it on stage. At the end of the night the crowd demanded Wainwright's return, which she granted, performing "Tell My Sister," another classic song of her mother's, and closing the night with a new original number that left the audience even more curious about what Wainwright has in store for her next record.
On December 15, the Wainwright/McGarrigle posse will join forces with Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and many more to present "A Not So Silent Christmas" at Town Hall. All proceeds will benefit the Kate McGarrigle Sarcoma Research Fund. Flyer below.
Wainwright fanatics who can't wait that long can also see Loudon perform at Bartlett's "Burgundy Stain Sessions" on December 1 at Le Poisson Rouge.
Dan Hicks gets in the Christmas spirit (photo from 1967)
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks kick off their annual "Holidaze In Hicksville Tour" in support of their smash debut Christmas album, Crazy For Christmas [released in 2010]. The Billboard-charting album features original Dan Hicks Christmas tunes, some classic favorites, and a few tunes re-worked for the holidays.Dan Hicks' 2011 "Holidaze in Hicksville" tour is split into two legs, the first of which is on the East Coast and includes 11/26 at City Winery. After a week, Dan Hicks & co will head to California for a single date and then down to Florida for a string of dates. Full tour schedule and some videos to get you in the holiday spirit, below...