Entries tagged with: Dave Hill

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photos by Michael Dubin

Texas is the Reason @ Maxwell's 7/22/2013
Texas is the Reason

Goodbye, Texas is the Reason.. from the USA at least. The reunited post-hardcore band is currently in the EU to bid adieu to the band, playing dates as part of their final stretch of shows. Thankfully, they left us with a parting gift in the form of their Maxwell's appearance on Monday (7/22). We already posted the setlist and now here are photos from that show -- including ones of opener Dave Hill.

While you're down there, check out the video interview with the band where they nerd out on gear, discuss the reunion and the reason (Texas is, of course) why they decided to have their big send off overseas.

More pictures from Maxwell's, which closes forever in a week (but not before Mission of Burma play there twice), and that video are below.

Continue reading "pics from: Texas is The Reason @ Maxwell's"

Texas is the Reason

First, we were wondering if reunited post-hardcore vets Texas is the Reason (whose reunion is soon to end) would squeeze in another NYC-area date before calling it quits. Then the band dropped a pretty strong hint, followed by one more (pictured above). And now it's officially confirmed that Texas is the Reason will play one of the last-ever shows at Hokboken's Maxwell's on Monday (7/22)! They'll be joined by special guest Dave Hill. Tickets for the show go on sale today (7/21) at 3 PM.

Meanwhile, today Maxwell's hosts shows from Screaming Females & Nuclear Santa Claust (early) and Ted Leo & Shellshag (late). Other upcoming shows include Trail of Dead and Ume, The Muffs, Mission of Burma, Lee Ranaldo, The Bongos, and more.

The band also wrote a letter regarding their decision to play. Read that, along with the show flyer and a recent TITR live video, below...

Continue reading "Texas is the Reason officially playing Maxwell's! (tix on sale at 3 PM)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Passion Pit / Vampire Weekend / Amanda Palmer / devoted fan
Firefly 2013, Day 3
Firefly 2013, Day 3
Firefly 2013, Day 3
Firefly 2013, Day 3

Firefly Music Festival went down 6/21-23 in Dover, Delaware. You already saw our pictures of day 1 and day 2, and here we finally are with pictures of day 3.

The final day of the fest gave us sets by a number of artists including Haim, Toro y Moi, Matt & Kim, Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen, and Passion Pit, whose set was cut short. Reports Fuse...

On Sunday Passion Pit also had problems with their vocals, but in this case the culprit wasn't technical... it was allergies.

Clearly the Firefly fates have it in for Passion Pit. Last year the band had to cancel their performance at the fest so that frontman Michael Angelakos could undergo treatment for his bipolar disorder. This year they at least got to take the stage, but only for an abbreviated set.

Diving right in with "I'll Be Alright," "The Reeling" and "Carried Away," the band - and in particular drummer Nate Donmoyer and bassist Jeff Apruzzese - displayed a powerful musicianship that explodes in a live setting much more so than on record. Only after slowing things down for "To Kingdom Come" did Angelakos confess to the crowd that he needed help singing, because allergies had caused him to lose his voice. He also referenced last year's cancellation by saying he "can't catch a f-cking break with this festival."

...

Just seven songs in, Angelakos raised the white flag, admitting "I don't know how long I can go." At that point the band threw out their setlist and chose to "wrap this up with songs people know."

We missed Toro y Moi and The Walkmen in part due to the rain that showed up that day too, but everything we did see is pictured in this post.

We at BrooklynVegan also took over a stage in the Soundwave tent with our hosts Dave Hill and Billy Jones each day from 1-3pm. On the Sunday of the festival we had Trails and Ways and Amanda Palmer stop by for live performances and interviews. They were both great, but naturally Amanda left us with the most to talk about, not just from the day but from the whole weekend. A loyal crowd showed up to see her at 2pm and she proceeded to take requests, play 'Happy Birthday' and the "best song she ever wrote" which ended up being 'The Truth'. She invited one lucky fan to play ukulele and that fan ended up being Sabrina who killed it with a Gotye cover. She ended her set with a group singalong to 'Creep' which started in our tent and ended in the middle of the field.

More pictures from our last day in Dover, Delaware this year, below...

Continue reading "Firefly Music Fest day 3 pics (Passion Pit, Vampire Weekend, Amanda Palmer, Matt & Kim, Haim, Trails & Ways and more)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Public Enemy / Foxygen / Django Django / Dave Hill & Billy Jones at Firefly Day 1
Firefly 2013, Day 1
Firefly 2013, Day 1
Firefly 2013, Day 1
Firefly 2013, Day 1

When hyperactive Foxygen singer Sam France appeared on stage, he came running and screaming.

He also had an admission as his first words: "I have mental problems, they told me."

A few minutes later as he climbed about 10 feet up the side rigging of the Porch Stage, jumping off and landing hard, it was hard not to think, "Was he telling the truth and should someone be up there babysitting him?"

The band's raucous and wild reputation preceded them thanks to spastic shows and France's meltdown at South By Southwest in March when he yelled at a fan and cut a set short. Foxygen's European tour was then cancelled.

But the band has bounced back and has been putting together solid shows reveling in the band's '60s rock pastiche, which makes their songs a hide-and-seek of nods to songs from an earlier era. - [Delaware.com]

The Firefly Music Festival just wrapped up its second year, with three days of music in the woods of Dover, Delaware. Friday (6/21) kicked things off with sets from Django Django, Dr. Dog, Calvin Harris, Foxygen (a wild set as usual), Public Enemy, Grizzly Bear, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Though we missed him, Schoolboy Q played a set instead of Earl Sweatshirt who cancelled. Dan Deacon was there Friday too, but we didn't stick around for his late night set. Pictures from what we did catch on Friday are in this post.

Like most festivals, Firefly featured multiple tents and stages and one of them was the Soundwave Tent where comedian/musician Dave Hill and BV contributor/musician/all-around swell guy Billy Jones hosted two hours of live BrooklynVegan Blog Radio each day from 1 - 3 PM. On Friday, Django Django and Dr. Dog stopped by for live interviews, with Toby from Dr. Dog also performing acoustically for the crowd. Meanwhile, many coveted Django Django bassist Jimmy Dixon's Screamadelica shirt.

Pictures from Saturday and Sunday of Firefly 2013 are coming soon. More from Friday below...

Continue reading "Firefly Music Fest day 1 in pics (RCHP, Public Enemy, Django Django, Foxygen, Dr. Dog, BV Stage fun & more"

Dave Hill & Billy Jones hosting BrooklynVegan Radio @ Firefly Fest Friday (6/21)
BrooklynVegan

We had an amazing first day of Firefly Music Fest in Dover on Friday. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and especially to Django Django and Dr. Dog for coming to play and talk with our BrooklynVegan Firefly Blog Radio hosts Dave Hill and Billy Jones. Stay tuned for a full set of pictures and audio from our sessions coming soon.

Meanwhile we do it again on Saturday/today and Sunday, but with an even more action packed schedule of special guests including the just added Jim James! Please stop by Soundwave tent, not far from the Porch stage, from 1-3 pm for the following:

BrooklynVegan on the SoundWave Stage @ Firefly 2013
hosted by Billy Jones & Dave Hill
1-3pm each day

SATURDAY (6/22)
1:00 pm: CHVRCHES (live interview and audience Q&A)
1:30 pm: Jim James (live interview)
1:45 pm: Heliotropes (live performance and interview)
2:30 pm: Lord Huron (live interview and audience Q&A)

SUNDAY (6/23)
1:00 pm: Trails & Ways (live performance and interview)
2:00 pm: Amanda Palmer (live performance + audience Q&A)

Don't forget that all of these artists are also playing longer regular normal sets on the main stages as part of the festival. Check the full schedule to figure out where else they'll be and take another look at our Firefly Guide before you go. See you in Dover!

Firefly

Firefly Fest 2013 starts today, Friday (6/21) in Dover, Delaware and runs through Sunday. As mentioned in our Firefly Guide, it's less than a three hour drive from NYC and even closer to Philadelphia, so if you're looking for last minute music festival plans... single day tickets are still available. Japandroids, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kendrick Lamar, Tom Petty, Earl Sweatshirt (update: Earl & Lumineers have cancelled. Schoolboy Q & Ben Harper play instead), Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, Passion Pit and many more are part of the three-day lineup.

We'll be down there, not only watching bands and taking pictures, but also hosting two hours of live BrooklynVegan Blog Radio each day on the stage in the Soundwave tent (next to St. Jude and close to the Porch Stage). Dave Hill and Billy Jones will host the daily live show from 1-3pm each day with a mix of live band performances, interviews, audience q&A, DJing and some jokes. Various artists that are playing the festival will come by to talk to and play for us. Stop by to rest, listen, dance, say hi, and to see the following:

BrooklynVegan on the SoundWave Stage @ Firefly 2013
hosted by Billy Jones & Dave Hill
1-3pm each day

FRIDAY (6/21)
1:00 pm - Django Django (live interview and audience Q&A)
2:45 pm - Dr. Dog (live performance and interview)

SATURDAY (6/22)
1:00 pm: CHVRCHES (live interview and audience Q&A)
1:30pm: Jim James (live interview) <---- JUST ADDED
1:45 pm: Heliotropes (live performance and interview)
2:30 pm: Lord Huron (live interview and audience Q&A)

SUNDAY (6/23)
1:00 pm: Trails & Ways (live performance and interview)
2:00 pm: Amanda Palmer (live performance + audience Q&A)

Don't forget that all of these artists are also playing longer regular normal sets on the main stages as part of the festival. Check the full schedule to figure out where else they'll be and take another look at our guide before you go. See you in Dover?

Check out a video from last year below...

Continue reading "Firefly begins in Dover ------ BrooklynVegan stage schedule"

Firefly 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Firefly
firefly

It's been crazy both in and not-in the NYC-area for festivals this past week. NYC was taken over by a very muddy Governors Ball last weekend (6/7-9), and this past weekend (6/14-16), while almost every Brooklyn venue took part in the Northside Festival, Toronto was hosting NXNE and Tennessee had Bonnaroo to name the ones we were most focused on. That's all behind us now, but those who are into festivals still have much more to look forward to this summer including another big one on the east coast this weekend.

This coming weekend, Friday, June 21-Sunday, June 23, the Firefly Music Festival is returning to Dover, Delaware's Dover International Speedway, which is only about a 3 hour drive (directions) from NYC. The festival debuted last year, and like Governors Ball, they've upped their game a bit this year. There will be a bunch of great bands across four main stages, like:

On Friday, there's sets by Django Django, Dr. Dog, Action Bronson, Foxygen, Public Enemy, Grizzly Bear, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Earl Sweatshirt (who was added to the lineup in May) and more. And besides RHCP vs Earl (who start 15 minutes apart), the conflicts that day aren't too bad.

On Saturday, there's sets by Japandroids, Jim James (who replaced Imagine Dragons, so bonus points for that), Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes vs Lord Huron at 5 PM, then CHVRCHES vs Edward Sharpe, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT vs Azealia Banks, and finally Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will headline the day, plus still more.

And on the festival's final day, Sunday, you can catch Haim, Matt & Kim, Toro y Moi, Passion Pit vs The Walkmen both going on at 6:30, Vampire Weekend, and more. Plus, if you need to leave early to get home from work on Monday, you can leave before Foster the People's headlining set. Two birds, huh?

UPDATE:Both Earl Sweatshirt and The Lumineers have cancelled, but were replaced by Schoolboy Q & Ben Harper.

And in addition to the main stages, there's some smaller side stuff too, like the Red Bull Sound Select Hub Stage which features bands who have joined the Red Bull Sound Select Program. We aren't familiar with all the bands playing that one, but we suggest you stop by Saturday for NYC's Heliotropes (who, by the way, are playing a record release show in NYC on 6/18, and streaming their new record). The Skins and Oxymorrons are both on that stage too, both NYC bands who we caught when they played the Afropunk-curated RBSS show at Knitting Factory with Danny Brown.

firefly
firefly

There's also the Coffee House Stage with other smaller acts including The Spinto Band, Jenny Owen Young, Pearl & the Beard, Hey Marseilles, Selah Sue, Trails & Ways, and many more.

Last but not least, in addition to just being there as fans and covering the festival, BrooklynVegan will be producing two hours of entertainment from 1-3pm each day inside the Soundwave tent, presented by Toyota and Spinmedia, and hosted by musician & BV contributor Billy Jones. Take a look at the festival map - our stage is toward the top left next to St. Jude.

Hosted overall by one of our favorite comedians, Dave Hill, the Soundwave stage will also feature programming by SPIN (5-7 each day) and Hype Machine (3-5 each day) in addition to the BrooklynVegan stuff (1-3 each day). Stay tuned for our full stage schedule, but get there on Friday at 1pm for a live interview with Django Django and look forward to a second performance by and audience Q & A with Amanda Palmer on Sunday at 2pm. More details soon!

Meanwhile, check out the full main stages Firefly lineup and schedule at Firefly's website where you'll also find much more info if you're attending, like the festival map which is also below...

Continue reading "Firefly Fest is in Delaware this weekend (schedule, map, BrooklynVegan Soundwave, other side stages & more)"

by Andrew Sacher

Shellshag

As mentioned, Brooklyn duo Shellshag are releasing their new album, Shellshag Forever, on April 16 via Don Giovanni. The band formed in the '90s as the duo of John Driver, whose nickname is Shellhead, and Jennifer Shagawat (aka Shell and Shag, hence Shellshag), who were and still are a couple. Though they've been a band for so long, they've been getting more attention for this new album (appearing on Pitchfork and Stereogum for this first time). And Shellshag Forever is a great record to gain them a larger fan base. The production is a bit bigger and clearer than their past releases, and their songwriting is in top form. Many of the tracks are autobiographical stories about Shell and Shag's band and relationship with lyrics that put you in specific moments like "That old hoodie, it reminds me of the time we walked a mile to play that show out in the sunset."

The album is now available for pre-order at the Don Giovanni webstore, and you can listen to it in its entirety ahead of its release date at the bottom of this post. Also below is a video of Shellshag performing an acoustic version of the album's lead track, "Face to Face," which they recorded for the BrooklynVegan 'Green Room Sessions' in 2011.

As mentioned, Shellshag have a number of shows coming up, including one at Union Pool on Saturday (4/13) with RVIVR, Dogjaw, and Extra Feeler (tickets) and a record release show for Shellshag Forever on April 20 at Maxwell's with Screaming Females, Swearin' Hilly Eye, and Waxahatchee/Swearin' side project Great Thunder (tickets). The flyer for the release show is below.

They've also since announced other local shows, including May 10 at Death by Audio with Black Wine, Swearin', and comedians Dave Hill and Chris Gethard, May 18 at Mercury Lounge, where they'll be an opener, along with Hunters, for the first of two previously announced JEFF the Brotherhood shows (JEFF also plays Merc on 5/19), May 25 at Party Expo with Moira Scara, and June 5 at Death by Audio with Shell's brother's band, Apogee Sound Cloud. All dates are listed below.

I also recently spoke to Shellshag about their new album, being veterans of the DIY scene, and the increased attention for Don Giovanni Records. You can read that interview, along with the album stream, video, and list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "an interview with Shellshag, whose new album comes out soon (stream it ++ updated dates)"

Black Metal

Dave Hill, whose next edition of The Dave Hill Explosion, goes down at the UCB Theater on 2/28 at 9:30pm with special guest Kristen Johnston, is, as we already knew, the King of Metal. Watch and learn below...

Continue reading "VIDEO: Dave Hill is the King of Metal (watch him review 5 black metal videos)"

Tamaryn @ Emo's in Austin, April 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Tamaryn

Matthew Dear at Knitting Factory in 2011 (more by Winnie Cheung)
Matthew Dear

* SKYE @ Joe's Pub
* Que Vloe Ve @ Barbes
* Corb Lund @ Joe's Pub
* Phony Ppl @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Questlove @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Ex-Cops @ McKittrick Hotel
* Ikebe Shakedown @ Barbes
* John Hodgman @ Union Hall
* Waka Flocka Flame @ B.B. King's
* Black Francis (of Pixies) @ Maxwell's
* Tim Noyes, Leagues @ Mercury Lounge
* The Liza Colby Sound @ Mercury Lounge
* Janeane Garofalo @ Eastville Comedy Club
* EULA, Grooms, The Flag @ Death By Audio
* Dopapod, Kung Fu, Fikus @ Highline Ballroom
* Violent Bullshit, Gang, Gazillion @ Grand Victory
* Gypsy & the Cat, Arum Rae @ The Slipper Room
* The Juan Maclean, Sumsun @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Alejandro Escovedo, David Hidalgo @ City Winery
* XXYXX, Groundislava, Fantasy Thrilla @ 285 Kent
* The Live Ones, Hard Nips, Mustafina @ Saint Vitus
* Ludacris, Neon Tress, Timeflies, Questlove @ Stage 48
* Miracles of Modern Science, Miniboone @ Webster Hall
* Matthew Dear, Chairlift, The Rapture (DJ Set) @ Capitale
* Tippy Toes, KOORTWAH, Diet Butchers @ Cameo Gallery
* Big Muff, Living Serious, Huge Pupils, Heeney @ Big Snow
* Tamaryn, Milagres, Azar Swan @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Diamond Terrifier, Snaykhunt, Raft, David First @ Silent Barn
* Harriet Tubman Special Middle Passage Squad @ The Stone
* Shy Hunters, Companion, Neighbors, Gold Lake @ Glasslands
* Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Max Gomez @ Bowery Ballroom
* Ali Shaheed Muhammad presents That's My Ish @ Paper Box
* Daytona, Slonk Donkerson, The Vandelles, Hippy @ Shea Stadium
* Jesse Harris, Julian Lage, Anthony Wilson @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Brass Knuckle Evangelists, Brothers, Street Smells @ Bowery Electric
* Shake The Baron, I Am Light Year, Gondola, Chamber Band @ Pianos
* Happy People, House of Fools, Momma Holler, Robbers @ Union Pool
* Say She Ms. Blat, Tigerwood, Wild Pete Macy (of Earlyman) @ Fontana's
* "Here's the Story" w/ Dave Hill, Danny Leary, Dana Rossi, and Eli Reiter @ 2A
* Tom Shillue's Funny Story w/ Mara Wilson, DC Benny, Jonathan Schnapp, Jason Fried @ Brooklyn Brewery
* Tibet House benefit w/ Phillip Glass, Jim James, Rahzel, Patti Smith, tUnE-YaRds, Ariel Pink @ Carnegie Hall

New Williamsburg honky tonk style Country-and-Western bar Skinny Dennis opens tonight in the old Barberry / Zipi Zape space (corner of Berry & Metropolitan) with live music from Jason Loughlin Trio, and Austin McCutchen with the Velvet Bonebreakers and a two-hour open bar. Free, 8 PM.

Also in Williamsburg tonight at Cameo is Tippy Toes, the live electro/house band that features a number of DFA musicians. Reggie Watts has been known to perform with them in the past. Usually a good time. Tickets are still available.

Like funny stories? You can see Mara Wilson of Mrs. Doubtfire fame, plus DC Benny, Jonathan Schnapp and more at "Tom Shillue's Funny Story" at Brooklyn Brewery; or Dave Hill, Dana Rossi and more anecdoting it up at "Here's the Story" at East Village's 2A.

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Disclosure and AlunaGeorge have made a video for their awesome hit, "White Noise." Watch it below. Disclosure's tour hits NYC for two shows in March, but both are sold out.

Blanche Blanche Blanche just revealed another manic cut from their upcoming album, Wooden Ball, "TED Talks," which you can watch the video for below.

Continue reading "What's going on Thursday?"

by Bill Pearis

Morrissey, 1/11/2013 @ BAM (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Morrissey

As you may remember, Morrissey was hospitalized last week for what turned out to be a bleeding ulcer, which caused cancelation of a number of dates on his current North American tour. It looks like the tour will indeed resume in Las Vegas on February 9, as per this missive from Moz himself sent to fan website True to You:

The reports of my death have been greatly understated. Once admitted to the William Beaumont Hospital at Royal Oak in Michigan, I received treatment for concussion, a bleeding ulcer, and Barrett's esophagus. The positive from all of this is that there are now no known ailments left for me to try.

I am fully determined to resume the tour on February 9 at the Chelsea Ballroom in Las Vegas. If there's an audience of any kind in attendance, I just might die with a smile on my face, after all. If I am not there, I shall probably never again be anywhere. Equally, I am determined to play Flint (Michigan) if it kills me (which, on the face of it, it almost has.)

Thank you to everyone present at both Brooklyn (New York) and Melbourne (Australia) during recent weeks for two of the best nights of what might charitably be termed my "career". My debt to you will outlive time itself.
pause at my headstone,

MORRISSEY

31 January 2013.

Glad to hear you're on the mend, Morrissey!

In related news, if lovers intwined pass you by and heaven knows you're miserable now, we may have a Valentines Day event in NYC for you. On February 14, Brooklyn venue The Bell House will present "Unloveable: A Smiths & Morrissey Valentine's Day" featuring our city's finest Smiths' tribute band The Sons & Heirs. A "Smiths cabaret" set from The Hold Steady's Dan Neustadt and Smiths superfan Dave Hill will be onhand as well. Tickets are on sale now.

Flyer for the event is below...

Continue reading "Morrissey on the mend, will resume tour soon; The Bell House hosting Smiths Valentines Day party"

Hunters @ 92YTribeca, 8/16/2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hunters

As mentioned, Williamsburg DIY space Dead Herring will be shutting it's doors for shows this weekend with a final-night blowout on Saturday (1/26) with Necking, The Immaculates and Moonmen on the Moon, Man -- the later of which will feature "all line-up" of the group who are defunct for all intents and purposes. Just added to the bill, though, are Hunters which makes the evening a little crazier. (And it will probably be crazy, given the circumstances.) $5 at the door and more info is here.

There is a show tonight (1/26) too, the "Dead Herring is Dead Variety Show" featuring Dave Hill and Shaina Feinberg, Corn Mo, Rachel Coleman and more. This show is also five bucks, the variety starts at 8:30 and more info is here.

The flyer for Saturday night's sendoff is below...

Continue reading "Hunters added to final Dead Herring show; Dave Hill and more performing there tonight"

photos by Tracy Allison

Deer Tick & friends @ Brooklyn Bowl
Deer Tick

Deer Tick have been up to a lot this month, and after just posting pics from their set at the Capitol Theatre last night (12/27), where they were supporting My Morning Jacket, we've got a slightly belated set of pics of the third and final night of their Brooklyn Bowl residency, where they performed an album and an EP in its entirety each night. Night 3 (12/19) saw the band, who were joined by a horn section, playing Divine Providence and the Tim EP. Here are those pictures.

Pics of night 1 when they performed Born on Flag Day and More Fuel for the FIre EP are HERE and pics of night 2 when they performed The Black Dirt Sessions and Holy Shit it's Christmas EP are HERE.

Like the first two shows, Deer Tick's Ian O'Neill opened the show (no pics of his set), and for this one he was followed by Real Estate side project Alex Bleeker and the Freaks whose bluesier (than Real Estate) sound had them fitting in with Deer Tick a lot better than Real Estate or Ducktails would have. Then Yaps (whose Top 10 Albums of 2012 list is below) introduced author/comedian Dave Hill (who just gave us his Best of 2012 list) who introduced Deer Tick (shirtless, obviously) before they went on to play a booze-soaked set of Divine Providence, Tim and covers of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," Paul Westerberg's "Mr. Cigarette," Elliot Smith's "Between the Bar," Jim Croce's "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" and Beastie Boys' "Fight For Your RIght (To Party!)," plus a few other original tunes worked in. Members of Delta Spirit also joined for the encore.

As mentioned, Deer Tick play a sold out show at Maxwell's tonight (12/28) and NYE in Boston with Two Gallants.

More pics and Deer Tick's setlist from the third show at Brooklyn Bowl, and Yaps' Top 10 list, below...

Continue reading "Deer Tick Brooklyn Bowl residency recap (night 3 pics, setlist)"

photo by Dale May
Dave Hill

You are probably familiar with Dave Hill by now. He's the brains behind the book Tasteful Nudes, which was released earlier this year, he performs locally in NYC a good deal, was one of BV's own Klaus Kinski's favorite local comedians this year, and he reviewed Morrissey's Radio City show for us. Oh yeah, and maybe you read his review of Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford?

Dave just gave us his list of his top ten favorite things of 2012. It includes some shows he saw (like the Def Leppard one), a show he didn't see, and his own book. The whole thing (plus commentary) is a pretty great read, and it's below for your viewing pleasure...

Continue reading "Dave Hill's Best of 2012 list"

by Klaus Kinski

Will Chris Gethard make Klaus' list?
Pujol

Because I have a terrible memory and personal tastes that change from week to week, coming up with a "Best of" list spanning an entire year is absolutely impossible. And the term "Best of" sounds too goddamned dogmatic to be taken very seriously. I only like lists when they are silly and light like "Top Ten Funniest Farts" or something of that nature. And anyway, the reality is that taste is subjective; a concept which you crotchety commenters can't seem to get through your thick skulls. Especially when it comes to comedy. So rather than give you a "Top 10 Funniest Comedians of 2012" list, what follows is "Though There Are Certainly Others, Here Are 10 Mostly Local Comedians Who Klaus Kinski Really Enjoyed in 2012 In No Particular Order, Really," below...

Continue reading "Top 10 Mostly Local Comedians Who I Really Enjoyed in 2012"

Titus Andronicus at Webster Hall in 2010 (more by kolored)
Titus Andronicus
flyer

today in NYC
* Jen Chapin @ Barbes
* ASSSSCAT 3000 @ UCB
* Tomas Barfod, Patou @ Le Bain
* Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
* The Monkees @ Beacon Theatre
* Janeane Garofalo @ EastVille Comedy Club
* Smashing Pumpkins @ Mohegan Sun Arena
* Anaka, Drop Down @ The Mercury Lounge
* The Dardys, Drowners @ Mercury Lounge
* Yo Gabba Gabba! @ Madison Square Garden
* BB King @ NYCB Theatre at Westbury
* Pretty Good Friends w/ Eugene Mirman @ Union Hall
* Melvin Van Peebles Wid Laxative @ Zebulon
* Ian Hunter, Graham Parker @ The Paramount
* Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone @ BB King's
* Charlie Hunter/Scott Amendola Duo @ The Stone
* Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, Sir Jarlsberg @ Europa
* KRTS, ShadowBox, Blak Nite, Datalog @ Glasslands
* Titus Andronicus, Ceremony, Lemuria @ Webster Hall
* Endand, Bugs in the Dark, Seasick Mama @ Death By Audio
* Oneohtrix Point Never, Holly Herndon, Ducktails @ P.S. 1
* Clint Michigan, Emily Danger, David King @ Cameo Gallery
* Talib Kweli, Jasmine Solano DJ set, DJ Mad Sol @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Kiernan McMullan, Matt Cranstoun, Oh! My Blackbird @ The Rock Shop
* Hem, Willie Evans Jr., Geo Wyeth, Dynasty Handbag @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Charles Mansfield, Yes William, The Ben Pagano Band, Fayaway @ Cake Shop
* Little Rock-its by Frolic! Featuring Tim Kubart and Special Guests @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* A Big Yes And A Small No, Xylofaux, Joanna Erdos and The Midnight Show @ Bowery Electric

TONIGHT at Knitting Factory, BrooklynVegan is presenting advance screenings of Only The Young and Tchoupitoulas (a double feature!) starting at 7 PM and is free (first come, first served). See you there!

Over at Warsaw is the 3rd Annual Beer Masters.

Janeane Garafolo, Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman & Special Guests were scheduled to play a NYWC benefit at Highline Ballroom tonight but that show has been cancelled. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.

Eugene Mirman will be at Union Hall for his Pretty Good Friends show though. Guests tonight include Nikki Glaser, Karl Hess, and Mike Lawrence.

And Janeane Garofalo will be at EastVille Comedy Club for her recurring comedy show at that venue with guests.

Follow @BrooklynVegan on Twitter.
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What else?

by Klaus Kinski

Aziz Ansari & Chris Rock @ Whiplash @ UCB last week
Aziz and Chris Rock

UCB Theater Chelsea's Monday night staple comedy jam session Whiplash still happens every Monday night at 11:00pm. Sadly, for old man Kinski, 11pm is just a tooouuucccchhhhh too late to be out and about galavanting with some of comedy's greatest talents these days. Which is sad, because you never know who will show up to perform, and those who do show up will usually blow your mind. For example, the Monday November 19th installment featured Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari, Simon Amstell and Anthony Jeselnik. Holy.

Chris Rock (pictured above with Aziz at Whiplash), good pals with Louis CK, also recently made a surprise appearance for Louis at his Staten Island Sandy Benefit Shows on November 17th.

But before the next Whiplash, the UCB Theater in Chelsea will be playing host to an awesome Sandy Benefit show on Sunday November 25th at 9:30pm. The line-up is festooned with so many Klaus favorites. $15 not only gets you piece of mind knowing you are helping out people whose lives were turned upside-down by hurricane Sandy, but you get performances by Arden Myrin, W. Kamau Bell (Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX), Seth Herzog, Dave Hill, Jamie Kilstein, Janine Brito, Kevin Avery, Sara Benincasa, C.F. Lederer, and Chris Gethard (who by the way has a small part in the very last episode of Bored to Death) (I just watched it the other day and was reminded of that important fact). The show will be hosted by Nato Green.

Dave Hill & Tig Notaro
Dave Hill and Tig Notaro

And speaking of Dave Hill and the UCB Theater in Chelsea, prepare yourselves for another fantastic installment of The Dave Hill Explosion which will take place on Thursday November 29th at 9:30pm. Dave's special guest will be Tig Notaro (who recently released a CD via Louis CK) and more. We all know Dave Hill is one of NYC's best comedians, guitar players, and show reviewers, but the Explosion is always a truly epic experience where Dave REALLY shines. The Dave Hill Explosion is a long-running live talk show hosted by Dave Hill. He doesn't do it that often but when he does it's awesome. One of the greatest shows I've ever seen was the Explosion that featured Rufus Wainwright and Dick Cavett. Holy.

Meanwhile you can find Dave Hill TONIGHT (11/24) at UCB East as part of "If You Build It", and check out Dave Hill's latest podcast featuring Chris Elliott. And don't forget that you can catch Chris Elliott at the Bell House on December 7th as part of Ted Leo and Tom Scharpling's epic and now totally sold out Sandy Benefit. You can also see him at the Pit with his daughters Abby and Bridey Elliott on Thursday December 6th at Running Late with Scott Rogowsky.

Hoity-Toity gastro-comedy joint The Stand will be hosting a rather impressive Sandy benefit called MTV Presents Stand up for Sandy on Tuesday November 27th. The line-up features Jim Gaffigan, Wyatt Cenac, Nikki Glaser, Sara Schaefer and Sean Patton. The tickets are a super reasonably priced $20 and are currently on sale. And for those keeping score, Sean Patton and Sarah Schaefer are two of my favorite and definitely underrated comedians in the biz. This might be THE show that gets your man Klaus out of his comfort zone and into The Stand.

Jim Gaffigan also has other bigger area shows coming up.

Wyatt Cenac (who also performs in the sold out Sandy Benefit show at the Bell House this Sunday November 25th) continues his new Monday night residency at Littlefield on Monday November 26th and every Monday. As a matter of fact, Har Mar Superstar is musical guest this Monday November 26th.

And speaking of Littlefield, celebrate Christmas Eve there with Wyatt Cenac because it looks like it will be a special night with guests Janeane Garofalo, Michael Che (who also plays the sold out show at Bell House this Sunday), and more already announced. But before that, on Sunday December 9th Littlefield will be hosting Concert & Comedy For Sandy Animals: Benefit for the Sean Casey Animal Rescue with comedy by Michael Showalter and Jena Friedman, and music by Supercute, Casey Shea and more.

For more upcoming shows check out Eugene Mirman's schedule, Pete Holmes & Doug Benson's tour dates, Nick Kroll's tour dates, Greg Proops, and a big list of upcoming shows at the Bell House (and HERE).

Eugene Mirman at his 2012 Comedy Fest (more by David Andrako)
Eugene Mirman

Eugene Mirman, who performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin earlier this week (11/4), continues to do his 'Pretty Good Friends' show at Union Hall every Sunday, and he'll also be doing one at The Bell House on November 25 to benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief dubbed "A Very Funny 'Fuck You' To Sandy." In addition to Mirman, the lineup for the show includes Jon Glaser, Wyatt Cenac, Mike Birbiglia, Michael Che, and more. Tickets are on sale now and 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund.

In related news, Eugene Mirman's animated FOX show with Kristen Schaal and others, Bob's Burgers, will be returning for a fourth season.

Eugene is also one of the guests at the Comedy for NYWC show at Highline Ballroom on December 2 with Janeane Garofalo and Dave Hill. But as mentioned, Mike Birbligia, who plays the Bell House show with Mirman, is no longer listed on the lineup of that show, but "special guests" still are.

As mentioned, Wyatt Cenac began his new weekly 'Night Train' comedy show at Littlefield last night (11/5), replacing Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler's now-defunct 'Hot Tub' show that used to happen on Mondays at the Brooklyn venue.

Speaking of Janeane Garofalo, she'll be at Tell Your Friends at Union Hall on Wednesday (11/7) with Liam McEneaney (who hosts an election viewing party at The Bell House tonight), Frank Conniff, Tanya O'Debra, host Victory Varnado, and house band AM to AM.

by Klaus Kinski

Reggie Watts on Late Night last night (video below)
Reggie Watts

As a longtime fan of the great Mike Birbiglia, I always do my best to spread the word whenever I hear of an upcoming NYC Birbigs happening. The other day someone forwarded me a Ticketweb link to a show happening at the Highline Ballroom on Sunday December 2nd called 'Inside Jokes': a benefit for NYWC's Justice Writing Program featuring Mike Birbiglia. "Sweet. Article time," thought I. So I go to get started on a quick write-up for BV, head over to the ticketweb link and, KABOOMsky... no more Birbiglia. Turns out, he is no longer on the bill but other Klaus favorites Janeane Garafolo, Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman ARE on the bill as are Special Guests. Could Birbiglia be a special guest? One wonders. Either way, it's a great line-up regardless, and the charity NYWC is more than worth some of your time and money.

NYWC stands for New York Writers Coalition (not New York Water Closets, as I initially ass-umed).

NYWC creates opportunities for formerly voiceless members of society to be heard through the art of writing. We provide free, unique and powerful creative writing workshops throughout New York City for people from groups that have been historically deprived of voice in our society, including at-risk and disconnected youth, the homeless and formerly homeless, the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, war veterans, people with disabilities, cancer and major illness, immigrants, seniors and others.
Your man Klaus is a big proponent of literacy and of allowing the voices of the "historically deprived" to be heard, one way or another. Standard GA and VIP tickets are currently onsale, and there a field for an optional "access code" (anyone know what it is?). Great show for a great cause. Get on it!

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Meanwhile, you can catch Janeane Garafolo (and Reggie Watts and others) on 11/1 at Todd Barry's 25th Anniversary in Comedy show at the Bell House, if you have a ticket because it's now sold out. Tickets are still available however for the Tell Your Friends! The Halloween Spooktacular with Gilbert Gottfried, Myq Kaplan, Liam McEneaney, Rena Zager, and more at the Bell House on 10/30.

Tickets go on sale at noon today for the live Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert show happening in NJ.

Louis CK, who recently released a live Tig Notaro album, hosts SNL soon and is meanwhile in the midst of his NYC run of live shows.

Speaking of Reggie Watts, he was on Conan last night. Watch below...

Continue reading "Comedy for NYWC, Gilbert Gottfried at the Bell House, Reggie Watts on Conan, Jon Stewart/Colbert tickets & more"

by Dave Hill

Dave Hill (or Oscar Wilde) asks a question, Radio City Music Hall 10/10/2012
Morrissey

We already ran photos of Morrissey's Radio City Music Hall appearance on Wednesday (10/10) and you can see more of Chris La Putt shots here. But we asked Moz superfan Dave Hill (who has hosted Smiths Speed Dating before) to review the show for us and his fully-clothed report follows...

Wednesday night I saw Morrissey at Radio City Music Hall here in New York City. A lot of people think they like and/or "get" Morrissey as much as I do but they are wrong. This was my (insert number of times you or anyone you know has ever seen Morrissey and then add at least one)-th time seeing Morrissey live and I was pretty excited about it because every time I see him he ends up singing all of the songs directly to me no matter where I'm sitting. Somehow he just knows.

Kristeen Young, one of Morrissey's favorites, opened the show but I missed her because they took forever getting my order right at Burger Heaven around the corner so I was a little late. When I got to Radio City and showed the usher my ticket he was like "Wow- this the best seat!"

"Thanks," I said. "I know."

Then the usher pushed a bunch of people out of the way, throwing some of them to the ground even, and showed me to my seat which was basically on stage with the band. As soon as I got settled, Morrissey and his band walked out, which was awesome. Morrissey's band all wore matching T-shirts that said "killjoy" on them, which was crazy and confusing but whatever. Everyone in his band has short hair and look like they do crunches a lot except for the guitarist Boz Boorer, who looks like he does whatever the opposite of crunches are but he is so awesome it's like fuck it.

Once everyone had their instruments on, the entire band including Morrissey seemed to look at me briefly as if to ask "Should we start?" Of course, I was like "Fuck yeah!" so they launched into "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me" by The Smiths, Morrissey's old band who are basically the best ever, even better than Def Leppard. Also, Morrissey had on a sort of light teal shirt, which looked great and really complimented the cool outfit I was wearing.

Morrissey in Shirt #1 @ Radio City Music Hall

After Morrissey finished singing the first song, a big picture of me with a word bubble asking "Who Is Morrissey?" was projected on the big screen behind the band. It was a nice touch, but totally unnecessary. I was just happy to be there so that was totally above and beyond.

The rest of Morrissey's set list consisted of about 1/3 Smiths songs, a bunch of his solo songs, and a sweet Frankie Valli cover. Given the fact that between the Smiths and his solo material Morrissey has about a bazillion hits, there were times when I was thinking "Hey, Morrissey, maybe you should play more of those songs, you know, mine and everyone else's favorites (though mostly mine)" but I realize that this is my own problem and not Morrissey's and I'm sorry for even bringing it up.

During the song "Meat is Murder" (by the Smiths, duh), they played scenes from the meat-based documentary Meet Your Meat. I saw Motley Crue a couple years ago in Columbus, Ohio and they had a bunch of video projections going too, but this stuff was really, really different from that. It featured a bunch of cows and chickens and stuff being tortured and it was really upsetting and would not have worked with "Girls, Girls, Girls" or really any Motley Crue song I can think of right now. At one point, they even showed a bull getting his nuts cut off. Fuck. I have no idea what they were selling at the Radio City concession stands, but I can't help but think sales must have really taken a hit after that song. Also, it should be noted that the original "Meet Your Meat" documentary is narrated by Alec Baldwin even though everyone knows that guy loves chicken wings so much it's actually kind of weird.

Morrissey wore a total of four different awesome shirts over the course of the night. Toward the end of the show, he ripped off the third shirt of the night. Even as I type this, I still can't decide which one of us works out more, but it was still great. After he put on his fourth shirt of the night, Morrissey and his band came back on stage and played one encore, "Still Ill", one of my favorite songs by the Smiths (mentioned earlier) and then I levitated over the entire audience and went home in a cab that the driver didn't even end up charging me for. I kind of wish Morrissey would have played like nine more songs but, again, this is my own hangup mostly.

Speaking of the Smiths, there are a lot of rumors flying around that they are reuniting next year. I would like to confirm that these rumors are, in fact, true. However, the Smiths will be reuniting for one show only, which will take place in my apartment and will be attended by just me and maybe like six of my friends. Sorry.

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Morrissey plays tonight (10/12) and Saturday (10/13) at Terminal 5. Both shows are sold out. Check out more pictures and the setlist from Radio City.

And pick up a copy of Dave Hill's book Tasteful Nudes now!

Dog hugs goat

Tickets to see Purity Ring at Webster Hall go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see Wild Nothing, Braids, Weekend and Forma (CMJ) at Bowery Ballroom go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see "Surprise Guest," Skaters, San Cisco, Pacific Air, and Solid Gold (CMJ) at Bowery Ballroom go on sale today at noon.

Tickets to see Ty Segall at Webster Hall go AmEx presale today at noon.

Tickets to see !!! and Sinkane at Music Hall of Williamsburg go AmEx presale today at noon.

Tickets to see My Jerusalem at Mercury Lounge go on AmEx presale today at noon.

MNDR, Dave Hill and the Debo Band are playing the Soundcheck CMJ showcase at the Greene Space on October 19. Tickets ($10) are on sale now and includes a complimentary beverage.

Violent Femmes frontman Gordan Gano added to tonight's (10/10) "Save the Village" benefit at Le Poisson Rouge that we posted about with John Zorn, Thurston Moore, Gary Lucas, Jesse Harris, Red Baraat, and more. Tickets are still available.
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by Klaus Kinski

Tig Notaro @ BV-SXSW 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
Tig Notaro

Tig with her good friend Dave Hill
Tig Notaro

There's that well-worn saying that "bad things happen to good people" and I've always hated that saying because good things happen to good people too... and good things happen to bad people... and bad things happen to bad people. Basically, shit happens! To anyone! Anywhere! But sometimes the news of something bad happening to someone I adore and respect is so profoundly terrible that the cliche "bad things happen to good people" slams through the doorway of my brain, opens its trenchcoat and says "Ta da!"

A while back the blogosphere, or blognation, or blogtation, or blogtinent, or whatever you call it exploded with the story that during an August 3rd performance at Largo in LA, Tig Notaro made a public announcement that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts just one day prior to said performance. What followed was a performance that had the audience (which included folks like Louis CK and Ed Helms) riveted. But the tragic news of cancer wasn't the only thing that had befallen Tig in the 4 months leading up to that performance; her mother passed away unexpectedly, she ended a long-term relationship with her partner, she battled pneumonia, and while beginning work filming the feature In a World, she contracted a deadly bacterial infection in her digestive tract, causing her to lose 20 pounds and be hospitalized for a week. How anyone could muster the strength to endure such an array of tragedy in such a short time is beyond me. But Tig... she not only had the strength, but she shows no signs of being defeated by it.

As I mentioned, the great Louis CK was in attendance at the show and he had the foresight to ask Largo owner Mark Flanagan if he happened to record her set. Luckily, it was recorded and on Friday October 5th 2012, Louis released Tig's performance in its entirety as her sophomore album, entitled LIVE (as in, continue to live) exclusively from his website. This audio recording is only $5; from each purchase, Louis gets $1 and Tig gets $4. Tig is donating some of the proceeds to cancer research to boot. If you have never heard Tig, you've been missing out. She is the greatest. At her CD release show at the Knitting Factory on August 20th 2011 I literally did a spit-take which was very unfortunate for the people sitting around me (that is one of only two spit-takes I've ever done; the other occurred the other day while watching the Inbetweeners discussing Sleeping Beauty). Read Louis CK's entire message regarding this recording below.

In other Tig news, she is continuing to dominate the shit out of life. On September 20, 2012 she appeared on Conan (watch that interview below), and has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Fast Company, and the Huffington Post with other profiles being scheduled as we speak with Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Dr. Oz, and more. Tig also just closed a book deal with a top publishing house, Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins, after a competitive 6-way bidding war. She had some fall tour dates scheduled, but they all appear to be canceled.

From what I've heard, the cancer treatments she has undergone appear to be working and her prognosis is looking positive. All of us at BV wish Tig the very best.

Continue reading "Louis CK releases live Tig Notaro performance, the one where she revealed she has cancer (buy it now!)"

Hannibal Buress
Hannibal Buress

Eugene Mirman, who just guested at the last-ever Hot Tub last night (10/1), has another show in NYC tonight (10/2) at The Bell House with a stacked lineup of Dave Hill, Glennis McCarthy, Michael Showalter, Hannibal Buress, Joseph Keckler, and Supercute!. Tickets are on sale for this show, dubbed The Talent Show, and it's a benefit for the I.S. 171 middle school band.

Eugene Mirman also plays a previously mentioned sold out show at the same venue next Monday (10/8) with Sarah Silverman, Mike Birbiglia, Reggie Watts, and special guests.

As for Def Leppard fan Dave Hill, he'll also be at nearby Union Hall for "Geeking Out" that also features Glynnis McCarthy, Dana Rossi, Mindy Raf and Ophira Eisenberg. (Tickets). There will be Dave's last shows in the US before he heads to London to do a book tour for his latest tome, Tasteful Nudes.

Meanwhile, you may be aware that Hannibal Buress has an ongoing comedy night residency every Sunday at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn and this week's (10/7) is with Joyelle Johnson, Nick Turner, Akaash Singh, Brooke Van Poppolen, and DJ Roofeeo. Prince Paul DJ'd last week and Chris Rock showed up too.

Hannibal has other upcoming NYC appearances too. He'll be at Comedy Central's "Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs" at Beacon Theatre on October 13 with a large variety of guests including Bill Burr, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jimmy Kimmel, Tom Morello, Tracy Morgan, Bill O'Reilly, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and more. (Carly Rae Jepsen and Tom Morello on the same bill!) Tickets ranging from $130 to $605 are on sale now. Proceeds benefit autism programs across the country. Hannibal will also perform as part of the New York Comedy Festival at Santos Party House on November 10. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All Hannibal Buress dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Hannibal Buress performing tonight w/ Eugene Mirman, Dave Hill, Michael Showalter, and more ++ other upcoming shows"

BAD BAD

We already posted lots of posts today. Here's some more, and some reminders too...

The 25th Anniversary edition of Michael Jackson's BAD contains a previously-unreleased, disconcertingly-upbeat anti-abortion song, "Abortion Papers," which you can stream below.

Reggae group Easy Star All Stars, who in the past have tackled Radiohead and the Beatles, just released a "Thriller" tribute album called "Thrillah."

Kanye West allegedly announced a new album, and has may have another new release on the way: a sex tape!

Mercury Prize nominees Django Django kicked of a North American tour in Chicago last night.

Widowspeak, who play a free show at Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday (RSVP), play a show at Swarthmore College on Saturday with Total Slacker and Blonds.

Blonds are not to be confused with Blondes who played 100 Troutman the other night.

Teengirl Fantasy were supposed to play that show but will play a no-longer secret show at 285 Kent tonight instead.

Adam Ant is on tour and we got some pictures from his Austin show.

Big K.R.I.T. played Irving Plaza last night (9/20), and was joined by special guests Slim Thug and Paul Wall who teamed up to perform the Mike Jones favorite "Sill Tippin'". Video of that is below.

Do you agree with Forbes that Williamsburg is the third hippest neighborhood in the United States?

Did you get your new iPhone 5?

Pussy Riot, who were just awarded a LennonOno Peace Prize, are still locked up, and it still sucks, as the Dave Hill Remix of Peaches' "Free Pussy Riot" reminds us. You can watch the video for the original at Vimeo.

Europe and the US approve the Universal purchase of EMI.

Fiona Apple, who is out of jail, will play Houston tonight.

More stuff below...

Continue reading "ALSO: Michael Jackson's anti-abortion song; Kanye West sex tape?; Paul Westerberg, Pussy Riot, Big KRIT, EMI & more"

David Rakoff

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer -- an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

"I can see a great beauty in acknowledging the fact that the world is dark," Rakoff said in a 2010 interview. It's healthy, he insisted, to employ "a certain kind of clear-eyed examination of the world as it is."

Rakoff was born in Montreal, studied East Asian literature and was diagnosed with lymphoma at 22. He recovered, and wrote a fan letter to humorist David Sedaris, which led to frequent contributions to This American Life. In his first essay on This American Life, Rakoff reflects on his role as -- oddly enough -- Sigmund Freud in the Christmas display of an upscale department store.

"In the window I fantasized about starting an entire Christmas Freud movement: Freuds everywhere, providing grown-ups and children with the greatest gift of all: Insight."

In May, Rakoff and some other This American Life contributors appeared onstage before a live audience in New York City. By then, a recent surgery to remove a tumor had severed nerves in his left arm, leaving him unable to feel or move that limb. He spoke wistfully about the pleasure he once took in the rigorous study of modern dance:

"You become this altered humming -- dare I say beautiful -- working instrument of placement and form and concentration," he said. "But like I said, that's a long time ago and a version of myself that has long since ceased to exist. Before I became such an observer ..." His voice trailed off and he was not able finish. He just stood there on the stage. But then, he did something wonderful: He danced. Gracefully, always gracefully. [NPR]

Rest in Peace David.

Some videos starring David are below.

Continue reading "David Rakoff, RIP"