Entries tagged with: David Byrne
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Win Butler schooling on the bball court
POP Montreal continued on Saturday (9/22) and BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo was on the scene and got shots of The Sadies, "Shut Up and Eat Your Ballads" (Leif Vollebek and friends Michael Feuerstack, Laurel Sprengelmeyer of Little Scream, and Brad Barr covering Tom Waits), and Rags to Radio. He also stopped by the Pop vs. Jock basketball game which saw members of Arcade Fire and The Strokes playing basketball with other celebrities like actor Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), pro basketball player Luke Bonner, and more.
David Byrne, who played a POP Montreal show with St. Vincent a day earlier (9/21) (they start their NYC-run of three shows tonight), performed at the game's halftime show. During his set, he was joined by Arcade Fire's Win and Will Butler and The Strokes' Nikolai Fraiture to perform covers of ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" and KC and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)." You can watch a video of the latter below.
More pictures from Friday (9/21) are HERE. Pics from Sunday (9/23) are coming soon and more from Saturday are below.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
St. Vincent / Julia Holter
When it came down to it, [Annie] Clark's voice was the star. Though [David] Byrne, a shock of white, was the one the thousands came to worship - and it's hard to deny the unadulterated joy hearing of "This Must Be the Place" and "Burning Down the House" in such a pristine setting - it was Clark who made the deepest impact. Free of reverbed guitar heroics and floating above a cloud of brass, her rendition of "The Party" during the evening's second encore was a revelation. Drawing from the gigantic church's natural resonance (not to mention its massive pipe organ), the song began with the brass band walked down the aisles as Clark appeared onstage alone, spinning a macabre rhapsody till its eventual sonic denouement.POP Montreal returned to Montreal for its tenth annual year this past week with countless artists across multiple venues in the city. Like CMJ and SXSW, there are so many good options at POP Montreal -- newcomers and old favorites alike -- that it's impossible to catch everyone. While we were there on Friday (9/21), we caught David Byrne & St. Vincent (who are on a tour which hits NYC three times this week -- have you checked out Kelly Pratt's tour diary with David and Annie?), French electronic artist Bertrand Burgalat (who plans to make his way to NYC for CMJ), Julia Holter, Solar Year, and recent Sub Pop-signees METZ (who have also been on the road a lot, and will be back in NYC for CMJ and again on their November tour).
Closer "Road to Nowhere" wasn't too shabby either. [National Post]
POP Montreal pictures from Saturday (9/22) and Sunday (9/23) are coming soon. More pics from Friday are below.
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is currently on tour with St. Vincent and David Byrne, acting as co-musical director as well as one of their many band members. Since last week he's been chronocling that tour right here on BrooklynVegan. Welcome to the second installment, written last night...
End of rehearsals, Minneapolis, Milwaukee.
We finish our rehearsals at the beautiful Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey. Two full days of running the set as many times as possible takes a toll on the brass players' lips, but tightens up the choreography and transitions between songs considerably. Annie-B Parson is the choreographer for the show with Lizzie Dement assisting. She's worked with David in the past, and her next next project is with Baryshnikov--needless to say, she has some brilliant ideas that really expand the kind of performance we are used to. This is also the first time we have played the show with lighting design, which adds another level of difficulty.
The following morning the band heads to JFK for a flight to Minneapolis where we will have a much-needed day of rest. We travel on Sun Country Air. Ever heard of it? Me neither. The trip gets interesting when Ira Glass takes the seat next to me. He is on the way to Minneapolis to do a Q&A for the premiere of his and Mike Birbiglia's new film "Sleepwalk With Me". Always the workaholic, he interviews the guy sitting next to him who (after some deduction skills and Googling) I determine to be the inventor of the KneeDefender. He invites Jon and me to the premiere of his film that evening. The movie is great and we discover that Ira is as good at talking in person as he is on the air. The theater serves bourbon, a novelty for us (in the theater, not on its own).
The first show of the tour goes better than expected. It may sound obvious, but performing in front of a live audience adds an extra level of energy and intensity. It's like we finally realize the show, in its full potential, for the first time. Afterwards, a few of us go across the street to a bar where we meet some folks from Dero, the company that manufactures the bicycle racks David designs. One of the best aspects of this tour so far has been the focus on cycling. Nearly everyone in the band bought a folding Tern bicycle before we left. There are even a couple extras for the crew. This is the first time that I have toured with a bicycle and I will never leave home without one again. It's so nice to slip away from the tour for an hour or two for a long ride. It has also allowed me to see more of the city than the few blocks near the venue. Both Minneapolis and Milwaukee are great cities for cycling with long bike paths and beautiful views.
Next we go to Chicago for a day off. It's Carter's birthday, so we may have to get him a white wine spritzer or two.
To bed, for we rise at 9:30 for 10(ish),
David Byrne & St. Vincent, Kelly Pratt & band play the Chicago Theater tonight (9/18) before continuing on their tour which includes three NYC shows. Check out some more photos from their rehearsals in NJ, a video from Minneapolis, and all tour dates, below...
by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt is no stranger to the pages of BrooklynVegan. From being a member of Beirut to playing in Arcade Fire to performing at LCD Soundsystem's final show to his own projects Team B and now Bright Moments, we've written about stuff Kelly Pratt does a lot. Now we're going to let him write a bit. This time about his latest project, which as previously mentioned, is being co-musical director and a band member on the St. Vincent and David Byrne tour that begins this week in support of the pair's new album "Love the Giant" which is out now via 4AD and streaming on Spotify and at NPR. Look for a new post by Kelly right here on BrooklynVegan each week, starting now...
David Byrne/St. Vincent North America tour Fall 2012 - rehearsal
The Band:New York, September 11
David Byrne - vocals/guitar
Annie Clark - vocals/guitar
Daniel Mintseris - keyboards/co-musical director
Brian Wolfe - drums
Kelly Pratt - trumpet/flugelhorn/French horn/flute/co-musical director
Carter Yasutake - trumpet/flugelhorn
Rachel Drehman - French horn
Jason Disu - trombone
Dave Nelson - trombone
John Altieri - tuba
Bryan Murray - saxophones/clarinet
Jon Natchez - saxophones/flute/clarinet/flugelhorn
We've been in rehearsal for the last three weeks on an extremely intensive schedule: 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. The first week is primarily focused on drum programming and rhythm section coordination. With week 2 all the rest of us join in. As one can imagine, putting together a full set of music for twelve people can be a bit of a daunting task! Fortunately we have an experienced, talented, and motivated group of people involved.
By the beginning of the third week we are running the set with a pretty high degree of success. Then the choreography starts. I have six years of marching band experience (strictly "don't ask, don't tell" information), but most of the rest of the horns have never moved and played at the same time. Learning to play a brass instrument while walking around a stage is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach. But way harder. Finally Sunday we manage to run the set with choreography. It's going to be pretty impressive.
Monday we play Jimmy Fallon, definitely the most welcoming and my personal favorite of the late night programs. It's our first public performance, and goes pretty well. Right before we play we all get a moment to warm up our horns. Carter starts playing Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" as he tends to do 70% of the time he puts the horn to his face. Jimmy Fallon comes over and beamingly declares "I love that song!"
The next two days we head out to New Jersey for full production rehearsals at the Wellmont Theatre. After that we hit the road, first stop Minneapolis!
Watch the Fallon videos HERE. All tour dates, more pictures from rehearsal, and the official video for "Who". below...
David Byrne & St. Vincent's collaborative album, Love This Giant, is out next week (9/11) but you can hear the whole thing now as it's streaming via NPR. Annie and David have also just made a video for album track "Who" that involves a hit-and-run meet-cute. You watch it below.
The duo's NYC shows are coming up too: September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theater and September 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets are still available for all three shows.
Tour dates and video are below.
As mentioned, David Byrne and St. Vincent are making an album together this year called Love This Giant (due out 9/11 via 4AD/Todo Mundo) and will be touring in support of it this September and October. Before that tour kicks off, the two musicians will team up for a performance on Late Night with JImmy Fallon, which airs on September 10, one day before their album is released.
Their tour hits NYC on September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theatre and Spetember 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to all three shows are still available. A list of all dates on the tour and streams of two album tracks, "Who" and "Weekend in the Dust," at the bottom of this post.
In related news, David Byrne has a new book, How Music Works, and he'll be doing some book readings/discussions in various cities, including one in NYC on December 5 at the New York Public Library. Tickets for that event go on sale Friday, September 7 at noon. More details can be found at NYPL's website.
A list of all dates and song streams below.
by Bill Pearis
Win Butler at 'POP vs Jock' 2011
I remember as a kid, the Jaycees chapter in my hometown put on a "donkey basketball" game at the Junior High gymnasium and local "celebrites" (politicians, radio DJs, probably teachers) played. Donkeys are stubborn, as you know, and these non-atheletes fell off their animals pretty much every time they threw or caught the ball, and most times in between. It was HILARIOUS. And it went to a good cause.
While there are (thankfully) no donkeys involved, folks attending this year's Pop Montreal fest (Sept. 19 - 22) can see a bunch of fairly famous indie rock types (plus a couple ringers) wheeze down the court for "POP vs Jock : Charity Basketball Game" which happens on September 22 at McGill University Sports Centre.
The Arcade Fire's Win (6'4") and William Butler will lead Team Pop which includes Martin Starr (Freaks & Geeks, Party Down), Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes, actual pro basketball player Luke Bonner and others; Team Jock will be members of the McGill Redman and Concordia Stingers. Soundtracking the game will be Kid Koala, Régine Chassagne, with a halftime show featuring David Byrne & Moment Factory. They did this last year too.
Tickets are $20 (for regular folks) or $1500 for corporate donations and can be purchased here.
BAM just revealed two new bike racks today designed by David Byrne (who has designed bike racks in the past). The racks were manufactured by Dero Nike Racks, are bright blue, and are in the shapes of letters with one spelling "pink crown" and the other spelling "micro lip."
"What a thrill to be invited to design more bike racks for NYC," says Byrne. "I get to BAM fairly often, and the existing racks are often full, so it's great that there will now be more. When designing these bike racks, I wondered how I could make something that was modular, yet variable--a design that wouldn't always look the same and could vary depending on season and placement. I realized that a few very basic shapes--a semi circle, a line, and a V shape--would allow one to make a good percentage of the letters of our alphabet. With help and advice from Dero Bike Racks, we figured out how these components could be easily and quickly swapped out to spell different words. For example, the letters could spell out the productions at BAM or any random message for that matter."As mentioned, David Byrne is putting out a collaborative album with St. Vincent called Love This Giant on September 11 and will be touring in support of it. That tour hits NYC on September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theatre and Spetember 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to all three shows are still available.
As mentioned last week, BAM is opening a new venue, BAM Fisher, next month during the Next Wave Festival.
by Bill Pearis
Why would one pre-order a record? Is there a reason one would do that?My first thought on reading this email David Byrne sent out this morning was, "What are the three records you have on pre-order right now?" As he mentioned, you can pre-order Love This Giant in the physical or digital format of your choice now and get a free download of "Weekend in the Dust." You can also stream the first minute or so of that song at their website too. With that and the previously-released LP-opener, "Who," we're definitely starting to get a feel for what to expect from the album.
Well, one reason is because, like me, you might forget about a record that you're really, really looking forward to. That happens to me fairly often--so I'll either pre-order or put the record in a wish list so I don't forget to buy it. I have at least three records sitting in there right now!
The second reason is that we are offering one of the songs from the album, "Weekend In The Dust", as an advance download, if you pre-order the whole record. This song is not available for immediate download elsewhere--you will only have the opportunity to get the song two months before the record comes out if you pre-order through our site.
On "Weekend in the Dust", I came up with some brass riffs and swells that sounded pretty funky to me. I then sent those to Annie and she wrote a cool vocal melody over it (later she wrote words too). We both arranged her vocal and other elements of the track a bit further--still working with horn samples temporarily. Finally, we passed this one to baritone sax monster Lenny Pickett, ex Tower Of Power and current Borneo Horns and SNL bandleader, for arranging. I'd previously worked with Lenny on a Talking Heads track ("Blind") so I know he is really good at convoluted and funky--and that describes this track pretty well. We recorded the whole band playing it in the studio in Hoboken, which I arrived at one morning in March via bicycle and ferry. Nice!
UPDATE: 4AD's YouTube page has the stream of the full song. Check it out below.
As you may already know, David Byrne and St. Vincent have an upcoming tour together coming up, which includes three NYC shows: two at Beacon Theatre on September 25 and 26 and another at Williamsburg Park on September 29. Tickets to all three shows are still available. All David Byrne & St. Vincent tour dates are listed below.
As mentioned, Kelly Pratt will be aiding St. Vincent and David Byrne on their upcoming tour, leading an eight-piece brass ensemble at venues around the country including Beacon Theater and Williamsburg Park. Before that tour, Kelly's project Bright Moments (that also has two other members going out on tour with Annie and David), who records for the Byrne-associated Luaka Bop label, will play a local show in Brooklyn on Wednesday (7/25) at Union Hall with Valley Lodge (whose members include comedian/writer Dave Hill and Walt Mink's John Kimbrough) and Good Field. Tickets for that intimate Park Slope show are on sale now.
If you can't make it to the show, you can also listen to Bright Moments live in studio on NPR's World Cafe on Thursday (7/26) at noon on WFUV. The local broadcast schedule is here.
A video of Bright Moments covering Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called" is below...
David Byrne, Jherek Bischoff, Amanda Palmer @ MHOW - 6/27/12 (via DaynaR)
Amanda Palmer week continues in NYC with a semi-private art opening/show tonight (6/28). Last night was her big, sold out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg which ended in a huge way. David Byrne, who we know has been collaborating with Amanda and friends lately, joined her and her band during the encore to perform Talking Heads song "Burning Down the House." Watch bleow...
The free Sleigh Bells & Kills shows are also on "sale" at noon.
Morrissey at Radio City, after some presales yesterday, sold out instantly this morning.
Tickets are on presale now for both recently announced The Jesus & Mary Chain shows happening at Irving Plaza. There's a "Live Nation" presale and a "Music Geeks" presale" Password? General sale begins at the same link on Friday (6/22) at 10am.
Tickets are also now on presale, both AmEx and "Internet" (password = Giant), for the two David Byrne & St. Vincent shows happening at Beacon Theater. General sale begins Friday (6/22) at noon which is also when the Brooklyn show at Williamsburg Park show goes on sale.
Morrissey tickets also went on presale today.
"I am thrilled to announce the record David Byrne and I have made together, Love This Giant. We started our collaboration around the fall of 2009 after being approached by Housing Works to write and perform a night of new music for charity. We decided to center the music around a brass band and began sending ideas back and forth in every form: wordless melodies, melody-less songs. After a while we had enough of a body of work that David, not one to do anything halfway, suggested we record it and put it out. I am very proud of what we created and excited for it to hit your ears." - Annie ClarkDavid Byrne and St. Vincent have long held a mutual appreciation society, having written a song together for the Asphalt Orchestra, and Annie Clark singing on his Imelda Marcos opera, to name two. Well now the two have collaborated on an album, Love This Giant, that will be released via 4AD on September 11. You can download "Who" from the album via a widget below.
The duo will also be touring this fall, including three dates in NYC: September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theater and September 29 at Williamsburg Park. No on-sale info yet for Beacon Theater shows but you can keep checking Ticketmaster. Tickets for Williamsburg Park on sale Friday, June 22 at noon. All David Byrne/St. Vincent dates are below.
The album is said to eschew traditional bass/guitar/drum pop in favor of "idiosyncratic horn arrangements," which were aided by Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments. He'll be leading an eight-piece brass ensemble as part of that tour. More about those arrangements in a statement from David Byrne is below.
In the meantime you can catch Bright Moments on tour with Juxebox the Ghost and Savoir Adore,, which comes to NYC for a sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom on June 22.
All dates are listed below along with that widget...
The Walkmen @ BAM
BAM's Bryce and Aaron Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry series/festival had its first night Thursday. It continues tonight/Friday with a lineup headlined by St. Vincent and The Antlers (and Saturday with Beirut and Atlas Sound).
Music kicked off at 5pm with early slots filled by indie-classical acts like yMusic and JACK Quartet. Composer-uke-player Jherek Bischoff started things out inside the Howard Gilman Opera House at 7pm, and his set featured guest spots from David Byrne and Amanda Palmer. Check out the pictures below.
The first band I saw was Twin Shadow, an act that always sounds a lot better to me on record than live (something about George Lewis Jr.'s voice and the intricacies of the production don't translate exactly on stage). A welcome special guest, the Blackfire Percussion, added drum corp percussion on a few of the songs.
Sharon Van Etten powered through a set that highlighted how much she's evolved since her early acoustic days. She offered a throwback to her Because I Was In Love debut with a solo version of "I Fold" dedicated to her parents. Aaron Dessner, who produced Tramp, played guitar on a few of the tracks. And Sharon tapped "Serpents" for the triumphant, soaring closer.
Sharon Van Etten @ BAM
The Walkmen navigated a set of new tunes and classics: in addition to putting out their sixth LP, Heaven, in June, this year marks the 10th-anniversary of their debut, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone. Among the songs played were "Angela Surf City," "In the New Year," "Blue As Your Blood" and new tracks "Heaven," "Heartbreaker" and "Southern Heart." Hamilton, as always, stretched the limits of his voice to good effect, especially on the haunting A Hundred Miles Off track "All Hands and the Cook." The band closed with an encore of "We've Been Had," which they noted was the first song they wrote as a band.
Between those last two I ventured to the BAM Cafe to see Zs, playing as a duo and sounding completed different than the last time I saw them in July. Guitarist Ben Greenberg describes the change as "The old stuff was like an old Soviet tank driving down Main Street; the new stuff is like a spaceship landing on City Hall." The shift from angular guitar and skronking saxophone to whatever they do now was pretty evident in the small snippet that I caught. Greenberg's guitar laid dubby rhythms lines while Sam Hilmer's sax played melodies and riffs off in the distance. Hopefully they'll line up more shows soon. (As Hubble, Greenberg makes the NYC debut of that project's "quadraphonic Hubble Superposition set" tonight.)
After that I caught a few songs by Yellowbirds, hidden up in Cinema 3 and playing to a crowd of about 20 people (including Conrad Doucette). The Jonathan Richman-esque two-piece was a nice surprise to find soaked in the smell of movie-theater popcorn.
(People Get Ready and Heather Broderick played, and a program of short films screened, but I arrived too late to see them. And I only caught a snippet of Callers by skipping the end of Twin Shadow.)
One bummer about the schedule is that, with the exception of the extremely early classical sets, it's impossible to see more than a few minutes of the smaller bands without skipping the headlining acts. That scheduling, and the vague, unnecessary "Brooklyn" theme, are a bit puzzling, but all in all the fest is a good chance to see bands like the Walkmen and Sharon Van Etten in the gorgeous Howard Gilman Opera House, a space that's surprisingly intimate and cozy for its size (and having the first few rows of seats removed for the crowd to stand was a nice touch).
More pictures from Thursday below...
The three-night, three-stage-per-night, Dessners-of-the-National-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival begins at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene tonight (5/3). The three stages are Howard Gilman Opera House (the big names), BAMCAFE (the smaller names) & BAM Rose Cinemas (a mix of film and other music). Things begin early too. The Walkmen headline the big room at 10:45pm tonight, but the music begins with the JACK Quartet in BAMCAFE at 5pm. The full schedule is at their site.
Before the Walkmen is Sharon Van Etten who spent last night covering the Stooges with Mike Watt and members of Dinosaur Jr. Before Sharon is Twin Shadow who may or may not to continue playing new material like they did recently at Glasslands. And before them is Jherek Bischoff who is rumored to be playing with a very special guest or two which is not surprising at all given who showed up to play with him at the Ecstatic Music Festival, and who appears on his new album Composed (out 6/5 on Brassland). This is the album's tracklist:
Introduction (Defeat)Jherek also plays on the new Amanda Palmer record. You can download and listen to the Zac Pennington & Soko track below...
Eyes (Jherek Bischoff & David Byrne)
The Secret of the Machines (w/ Caetano Veloso & Greg Saunier)
The Nest (with Mirah Zeitlyn & Paris Hurley)
Blossom (Jherek Bischoff with Nels Cline)
Your Ghost (with Craig Wedren)
Counting (with Carla Bozulich)
Young & Lovely (with Zac Pennington & Soko)
Insomnia, Death And The Sea (with Dawn McCarthy)
David Bryne at Ecstatic Music Festival in February (more by David Andrako)
Back in 2010, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, teamed up in 2010 for Here Lies Love, an album about fomer Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos with a different singer on each track (including St. Vincent, Shara Worden, Kate Pierson, Sharon Jones, Florence Welch, and more). They've now brought in director Alex Timbers to direct a Here Lies Love musical, which like the album, is about Imelda Marcos. The musical will premiere as part of the Public Theater's 2012-2013 season from April 2 - May 5, 2013.
The video for "Please Don't" (ft. Santigold) off Here Lies Love is below...
Angel Olsen at Glasslands in 2011 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Chicago's Angel Olsen is in Brooklyn for two shows this week including Glasslands TONIGHT (4/4) with Sufjan/Sharon Van Etten collaborator Cat Martino, Doe Paoro , and Knox. Tickets for tonight's show are available.
Angel also plays another Brooklyn show at Littlefield on Sunday (4/8) with Companion, Emily Reo, and Alex Drewchin. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Angel Olsen is working on a new album which will be out sometime this year on Bathetic, who released Strange Cacti on vinyl last year. You can stream a track from Strange Cacti at the Bathetic website or listen to the whole album on Spotify. Below, check out a solo performance of the song "Barrier of Bodies," which will "most likely be on her record to come." For her NYC shows, Angel will be joined by Emmet Kelly on bass, guitar, and vocals and guitarist Leroy Bach will also join them both at Glasslands tonight.
Speaking of Will Oldham collaborators, the mostly David Byrne-produced soundtrack for This Must Be The Place has finally been given a release date (4/23), which he and David Byrne contributed multiple songs to under the name The Pieces of Shit. Check out the track, "Open Up," by The Pieces of Shit below. Other contributors to the soundtrack include Jonsi & Alex, Iggy Pop, and Julia Kent (who plays Issue Project Room with Julia Holter during Unsound later this month).
Will Oldham also wrote a book called Will Oldham on Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, which according to the NYTimes, "answers nearly every question one might wish to ask about his prolific output." Here's what he has to say about the moniker Bonnie 'Prince' Billy:
"Bonnie Prince Billy is such a ridiculous name. It had no preconceptions to it; nobody could say what the music was going to be like on hearing the name. But it turned the music into an individual, which seemed to be what everyone -- the audience, or at least the people that I was forced to talk to about the music -- was seeking. They were seeking some sort of individual responsible for things, and I was just like, 'O.K. We'll make one up. One who doesn't really exist, and therefore I can continue to feel confident that there is no individual responsible for things, but you can think that there is one!'"Read more excerpts from the book at NYTimes.
All dates for Angel (and Doe Paoro too), video, and song stream below...
Jherek Bischoff & some of his guests
It wasn't the marathon that opened the inaugural Ecstatic Music Fest in 2011, but this year's opening show on Saturday (2/4) had some of that same collaborative energy, focusing on the compositions and arrangements of Jherek Bischoff, a musician known for his work primarily with The Dead Science, Parenthetical Girls and The Degenerate Art Ensemble. For the show, billed as a preview of Bischoff's forthcoming CD from Brassland ("composed"), the composer got help from the Wordless Music Orchestra and nine guest vocalists.
After a too-brief instrumental opening, David Byrne came out to sing a swaying Afro-Cuban-tinged piece. In what would be a recurring theme, Bischoff's composition wasn't entirely different than the type of song Byrne might sing at one of his own shows. Next up, Charlie Looker intoned through "The Secret Life of Machines" (which you can find an instrumental version of at WNYC) in a style that'd be a close fit to his Extra Life material. Mirah's voice sounded as warm and honeyed as always. Parenthetical Girls's Zac Pennington sang a duet with Sam Mickens, both of them playing up their own strengths, Pennington the animated, Wildean dandy and Mickens the snazzily dressed crooner. The other singers, Craig Wedren from Shudder to Think, Carla Bozulich of Evangelista, and Steven Reker and Jen Goma, were idiosyncratic in their own ways, and Bischoff's string-laden avant-pop tunes bent to their strengths. Deerhoof's Greg Saunier stood out with a few good improvisatory fills but mostly hung back in the ensemble. For his part, Bischoff played ukelele, guitar, bass and sang a song. His young cousin came out to hit a gong at the end of one tune.
The second part of the program, only five songs long, consisted of Bischoff's arrangements of the singers' own material. Craig Wedren, Zac Pennington, Mirah and Carla Bozulich all returned. (In particular, Mirah's vibrant Latin number, "The Country of the Future," was great). For the finale, David Byrne premiered a new song, which he sang with Reker. It took a few verses, but eventually I worked out that "The Fat Man's Comin'" was a song about Santa Claus. As a closer, it was a small gesture where I would have preferred a grand finale, but it seemed to fit with Bischoff's humble collaborator-focused ambitions.
While in town, Mirah plays tonight (Monday) at Glasslands, where she'll be accompanied by cellist Lori Goldston and percussionist Geo Wyeth (Mirah's Facebook says they'll be "performing songs seldom heard from [her] repertoire"). The Ecstatic series continues with three more shows this week. The full schedule is here.
More pictures from Saturday's show at Merkin Concert Hall,below...
As mentioned, the Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on February 4 at Merkin Concert Hall with Jherek Bischoff, who plays with Parenthetical Girls and The Dead Science. He's teaming up with Wordless Music Orchestra and an incredible list of guest vocalists from his upcoming album, which comes out this February, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls. Tickets are still on sale now.
Speaking of Parenthetical Girls, their tour began last night (12/1) at Glasslands with Gauntlet Hair, Dinowalrus, and Eraas. If you missed it, they'll also be in NYC this Friday (12/3) at Santos Party House with YACHT and Midnight Magic (tickets).
As previously mentioned, Brassland Records is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a label and debuted a new/old track every day of November via various methods including Soundcloud. None of those tracks can be heard in the player that's embedded below. Those include "Spinney" by This is the Kit (who are opening for the National at Beacon Theater on 12/17) and "Secret of the Machines (instrumental)" by Jherek Bischoff. The latter also features drums by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), and will have vocals by Caetano Veloso in its album version.
Asphalt Orchestra at Lincoln Center (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
The Bang on a Can Marathon returns on Sunday (6/19) with a mammoth thirteen hours of FREE live music kicking off at 11AM at NYC's World Financial Center Winter Garden (200 Vesey Street). Featuring over 150 musicians/composers, the fest includes performances from, and compositions by, names like Philip Glass, Glenn Branca Ensemble, Sun Ra Arkestra, David Byrne/Annie Clark, Bryce Dessner, Frank Zappa, Bjork, Yoko Ono, and many more. The full lineup and schedule is below.
photos by Ryan Barkan, words by Andrew Sacher
Being that I'm admittedly too young to have seen Paul Simon in his prime, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from his BV-presented Webster Hall show last night (6/6). After watching him deliver a 26 song set, which failed to show any signs of slowing down, I lost sight of all expectations I had and embraced the fact that Paul Simon was just straight up impressive. The set spanned his entire career from his days in Simon & Garfunkel through his recently released So Beautiful or So What, and also included a few covers. The songs off So Beautiful or So What resonated as strongly as his earlier material and blended right in. During the song "Rewrite" I even found myself debating over which of his albums the song was on, only to later realize it was in fact a new one. The entire set was so consistent that choosing any sort of standout is difficult, though if I had to say, When Paul and his band flowed seamlessly from Jimmy Cliff's "Vietnam" into Paul's own classic, "Mother and Child Reunion," I was pleasantly caught off guard.
The real treats, however, came during the encores. After a massive end to the initial set, Paul and band left the stage only for Paul to return with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. He provided some foreshadowing guitar which eventually built into an extremely intimate version of the Simon & Garfunkel staple "Sounds of Silence." Contrasted with a largely upbeat set, that small dose of melancholy left the audience still, silent, and possibly even more captivated. The impact that song holds almost 50 years later isn't matched by many, and Paul Simon's still-strong deliverance is matched by even less. Paul's band returned to the stage and the encore continued for three more songs including a rendition of the George Harrison-penned "Here Comes the Sun."
When the first encore finished and the stage crew scrambled to set up another mic stand, it was obvious that the band was returning for a second encore. But little did I know, the second mic was being set up for none other than David Byrne. The fellow worldbeat loving New Yorker sounds like the most appropriate guest on paper (except for maybe Art Garfunkel) and it was even more than that in real life. As mentioned, David, Paul, and band performed Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" and Graceland favorite "You Can Call Me Al." Byrne left the stage and Paul Simon and band played two more, appropriately including "Still Crazy After All These Years," before taking their final bows and exiting the stage after playing "Crazy Love, Vol. II".
Check out more pictures from the show below...
Paul & David @ Webster Hall -- photo by Ryan Barkan
An already excellent show was made epic when David Byrne surprised everyone by joining Paul Simon on stage at Webster Hall to perform two songs during the encore last night (6/6). First Simon and band backed David as he sang Talking Heads hit "Road to Nowhere". Then, like they did at BAM in 2008, David and Paul traded verses on Simon hit "You Can Call Me Al". A full review and set of pictures (more like the above) from the Monday night club show are coming soon. In the meantime check out some videos people posted to Youtube, below...
St. Vincent being Big Black @ Bowery (more by Amanda Hatfield)
St. Vincent will release 'Strange Mercy' on on 9/13, her new album for 4AD who say: "The record's 11 new tracks showcase Clark's gift for fusing the cerebral and the visceral, her melodically elegant arrangements packing hefty emotional punches. Clark reunited with producer John Congleton and recorded the album in her hometown of Dallas, TX at Elmwood Studios."
"Other musicians on the album include the Grammy Award winning Bobby Sparks on mini Moog, clavinet, Arp and Wurlitzer, Midlake's MacKenzie Smith on drums, and Daniel Hart on violin. Also contributing were Beck keyboardist and musical director Brian LeBarton, Evan Smith on woodwinds and Phil Palazzolo."
Annie Clark is also working with David Byrne on stuff. Asphalt Orchestra will perform some of it at this year's Bang on a Can Orchestra. David Byrne is also working with other people on stuff.
Check out another video of St. Vincent covering Big Black at Bowery Ballroom on 5/22, below...
David Byrne at Prospect Park in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
David Byrne is releasing Ride, Rise, Roar on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday (5/31) via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It's a documentary shot during his '08/'09 tour. The film, directed by David Hillman Curtis, consists of rehearsals, interviews, and live footage of the tour which included performances of Talking Heads classics in addition to material penned by Byrne and Brian Eno for their 2008 album Everything That Happens Will Happen. The film originally premiered at SXSW 2010. Watch the trailer below.
Sean Penn as Cheyenne
Byrne recently teamed up with Will Oldham (who just released a single for charity) to record original music for the film This Must Be the Place, named after the Talking Heads song of the same name. The film was directed by Pablo Sorrentino and is Sorrentino's first film to be shot in English. The film stars Sean Penn as a rock musician named Cheyenne. His character fronts the band Cheyenne and the Fellows, named after Siouxsie and the Banshees, and his appearance was inspired by Robert Smith of The Cure (as you can tell in the above picture).
According to a Consequence of Sound interview with Will Oldham, David Byrne was asked to write music for a demo that Cheyenne and the Fellows would record in the movie, and the script said that the music from the demo is reminiscent of Prince Billy...
"He was required to make up music for this band in addition to scoring the movie. So, he remembered that we had met [at a BBQ at Bjork's house] and wrote me, "Listen I was hired to make music that sounded like you which sounds kind of like a silly task." I replied with, "Well they hired you so why don't we make music that sounds like us" so that's what we did and we wrote four or five songs together for this fictional band."David Byrne attended the screening at Cannes last week. Read his account of that "glamorous" trip in his journal. The movie hits theaters later this year. The trailer is below.
Arcade Fire (who covered the song "This Must Be the Place" as a B-side to the "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" single) are releasing a deluxe edition of The Suburbs August 2 via Merge. The release will consist of the DVD Scenes From The Suburbs (directed by Spike Jonze), an 80-page booklet featuring stills from the film, behind the scenes photos from the film's production, and lyrics, an extended version of "Wasted Hours," and two new tracks; "Culture War" and "Speaking In Tongues" feat. David Byrne. Listen to the David Byrne collaboration below.
Speaking of Merge Records, Merge artist East River Pipe tweeted, last night... "met David Byrne [at the Anna Calvi] show tonight! Pretty cool, huh!?!?!" Even cooler is that David Byrne was checking out Anna! Maybe Brian Eno suggested he check her out. We have pictures from the Bowery Ballroom show coming soon.
David Byrne is also featured on Red Hot Organization's Red Hot + Rio 2, the sequel to 1996's Red Hot + Rio (which Byrne was also featured on). As we previously mentioned, the compilation brings Brazilian musicians and contemporary indie artists together to record a modern tribute to the late '60s Brazilian Tropicalia movement. Other artists on the compilation include Beirut, Devendra Banhart, of Montreal, Javelin, Beck, and more. The album will be released June 28 in partnership with Entertainment One Music.
Videos and songs and stuff below..