Entries tagged with: Don Fleming
photos by Greg Cristman
Dinosaur Jr at Bowery Ballroom, with Lee Ranaldo - 12/7/15
Kurt Vile has been in NYC to guest at more than one of the seven Dinosaur Jr shows, including the finale last night (12/9). Before last night's show, Kurt, his band the Violators, and Dino Jr frontman J Mascis headed to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform "Pretty Pimpin," the excellent (and very popular) lead track off KV's album b'lieve i'm goin' down.... Watch the video, which has one of the more psychedelic light shows you're likely to see on Colbert, below.
Meanwhile, we've already written up something on all seven Dino Jr shows, but now we've got a set of pictures from Night 5 (12/7), the show that featured Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz, Lee Ranaldo, Thalia Zedek, Todd Barry, Andrew Labrecque, famed indie rock producer Don Fleming, Don's ex-Gumball bandmate Jay Spiegel, and host Henry Rollins.
Lastly, Kurt's lengthy week in NYC also included an appearance at Cyndi Lauper's holiday show at the Beacon on 12/5. Watch Kurt and Cyndi play Cyndi's "Money Changes Everything" and cover The Rolling Stones' "As Tears Go By" at that show, below.
by Bill Pearis
Dinosaur Jr's 30th anniversary shows at Bowery Ballroom have thus far begun and ended basically the same: Henry Rollins introduces the band from the balcony and they play their 1985 debut album, Dinosaur, in full; things end with a guest-filled, jammed-out encore of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer." In between there are lots of surprises. Monday night (12/7) was the fifth of seven shows and while there weren't any huge names like Jeff Tweedy, Kurt Vile or Bob Mould in the evening's second set, there were a lot of guests all of whom had a very direct relationship to the band. It was kinda like Dinosaur Jr. History/Connections Night. Highlights, mostly in order and in bullet point form:
- The night opened with something called "Sitar" with J Mascis playing an electric sitar, joined by Andrew Labrecque on harmonium and chant-y vocals (he played on J's 2005 record J and Friends Sing and Chant for Amma) and Todd Barry on a mandal-type drum. "People said, 'Todd, you're not a musician," the comedian (who is actually a pretty good drummer) told the crowd. "I said 'You ain't seen nothing yet.'"
- Lee Ranaldo made his third appearance this week, singing on "Little Fury Things." I think Lee just loves Dinosaur Jr, you could tell he was having a blast and spent the rest of the set sitting on the side of the stage singing along.
- Thalia Zedek of Come/Live Skull came out to sing "Feel the Pain." Mascis noted that Thalia sang backup on the original recording (from 1994's Without a Sound). You can catch Thalia tonight (12/8) at Union Pool with 75 Dollar Bill. Similarly, Tiffany Anders (daughter of filmmaker Alison Anders and singer songwriter in her own right) came out to sing "Get Me" (she sang on the original recording from 1993's Where You Been?).
- Bill Janovitz of fellow Boston band and onetime SST labelmates Buffalo Tom sang "Tarpit." When Buffalo Tom first started they were jokingly called Dinosaur Jr Jr, a comparison aided in part because J Mascis produced their first two albums.
- B.A.L.L. / Gumball member (among other projects) and famed indie rock producer Don Fleming was brought out to play guitar on Green Mind's "The Wagon." Mascis told the crowd that Don had played on the original and this was the first-ever attempt to play the "single version" of the song live. It was pretty awesome. Gumball drummer Jay Spiegel was on the second kit.
- Don, Spiegel and Lee Ranaldo (on third guitar), plus some of the stage crew (one of whom on that electric sitar) were all out for "Cortez the Killer" which was indeed killer.
- Henry Rollins' introduction was entertaining. He told a story about how he and Ian MacKaye used to go see "arena rock" bands before discovering punk, telling a very funny story about going to see The Cramps (it involved the removal, folding and return of Lux Interior's pants), and how then they'd finally found "their music." He also implored people to go see (and play) more shows in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. Rollins also has the best seat in the house.
- Lou Barlow said he cut his left pinky the first night of the run and he can't seem to get a band-aid to stay on the whole time, and that it hurt like hell to play. Lou's Cousin It hair obscures his face for 99% of the show.
- Before one of the songs in the Dinosaur set (maybe "The Leper"), Mascis told the crowd that at the time everybody in the band was super into The Birthday Party, and they tried to sound like that but "it ended up sounding like this."
We'll have an actual set of pics from Monday's show soon. In the meantime, check out the full setlist and more Instagram photos/videos, below...
Daniel and Jad
Prolific cult artist Jad Fair released a collaborative album with Danielson, titled Solid Gold Heart, and you can stream the whole thing below. You can hear it live too, as Jad and Danielson will be touring together next month, including a show in NYC at Glasslands on September 12. Also playing that show is Don Fleming (who, among other things, spent time in Fair's old band Half Japanese), plus Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel. (Peter also plays NYC tonight [8/28].) Tickets are on sale now. Making this tour, and the Glasslands show in particular, all the more a family affair, longtime Jad Fair collaborator Kramer (whose label Shimmydisc released a lot of Fair's records) will be part of the ensemble.
This is one of four collaborative albums Fair is releasing this year as part of Joyful Noise Recordings' "Artist in Residence" series. The other three are with R. Stevie Moore, Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake, and Strobe Talbot.
Half Japanese are also a week away from releasing their first album in 13 years, Overjoyed (due 9/2 via Joyful Noise), and you can stream that in full via Pitchfork.
Dates are listed, along with the Solid Gold Heart album stream, below...
Yo La Tengo with Norman Blake (photo by Liz Clayton, via)
We opened night eight with "Ohm" (recorded by John McEntire on YLT's forthcoming Fade record). Norman helped us out for the rest of the set. We took care of some unfinished business from our repertoire ("The Cone of Silence," "I Feel Like Going Home"), played some covers both observant ("Goin' Back") and non- ("Walking on Ice"). Next up was one-time Teenage Fanclub producer Don Fleming for his classic "Evelyn Marble," Dylan's "I Wanna Be Your Lover," and TFC's "God Knows It's True." We closed with "I Heard You Looking," from both the Yo La Tengo and Teenage Fanclub book, and -- what else? -- "Eight Days a Week." And that was almost that. We climbed the stairs from the basement one last time, already drumming the intro to "Antmusic," and pulled some percussionists from the front row for a little bonus thunder. Gaylord had a few more observations he wanted to make, and as long as he was there, we backed him on "My Little Red Book" and the Great Gaylord/Condo Fucks classic (by way of the Rolling Stones) "Rice Krispies." And oh yeah, my mom sang "My Little Corner of the World." I unplugged the menorah (if I only I had heard it referred to as the meNorman in time to use that joke on stage), and THAT was that.-[YLT]Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Don Fleming and Gaylord Fields joined Yo La Tengo for the final night of their annual Hanukkah residency at Maxwell's Saturday night (12/15). Ira's mom Marilyn Kaplan also made an appearance. You can check out the full setlist below.
Like all the Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's this year and every year, proceeds from Saturday's performance were donated to charity, in this case Jersey Shore Relief. The final night's curated mix cd was from Yoni Wolf of Why? who will be touring in 2013. Yo La Tengo will also be touring a lot more, with a new album, in 2013.
Past YLT Chanukah nights at Maxwell's this year included guests and openers Barbara Manning, El-P, Real Estate, The Feelies, Sun Ra Arkestra, the Raybeats, and Titus Andronicus/Jon Glaser/Jon Benjamin Andrew Bird. Click each of those nights to see more about the show and its setlist. Check out the poster from each night, and the final night's setlist, below....
J. Mascis / Frank Black
Throughout the 90s and the first half of the 2000s, Dinosaur Jr. was one of the last rock groups you would have expected to get the old band back together, go on tour, and record new music--not to mention new music that's every bit as good as anything the original lineup made in the 80s. When J Mascis unceremoniously kicked out Lou Barlow, his high school friend and longtime bandmate, in 1989, it seemed like a mercy killing of the original lineup, which had devolved into a psychodramatic mess, marred by lack of communication and irreconcilable personality difference between Mascis and Barlow. ("It makes me sick that I spent six or seven years putting my heart and soul into that band," Barlow told Cut zine in 1990. "They're sleazebag snob pigs like no one I have met in my entire life. J's always been an asshole.") Mascis and Murph, and then just Mascis, went on to record a string of major-label records throughout the 90s that, though inconsistent, contain some of Dinosaur Jr.'s best and most well-known songs.
When Mascis killed Dinosaur Jr. in 1997, it seemed inconceivable that, a decade later, Mascis, Barlow and Murph would reunite. Time heals all wounds, I guess. It's perhaps less surprising that the band would be able to ably reprise their sprawling, melodic, blitzkrieg guitar-rock sound. Three records in to the latter-day reign of Dinosaur Jr., the band sounds as good as they ever have.
On Saturday at Terminal 5, Dinosaur Jr. celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of You're Living All Over Me, their second album and the one that made nonchalance cool, made the extended guitar solo cool (again), and wedded melodic tendencies with noise and feedback in a theretofore unheard of fashion in the indie rock underground. The band opened their set with "Thumb," from 1991's Green Mind, with Suzanne Thorp of Mercury Rev guesting on flute, before Mascis matter-of-factly announced that now they'd be playing You're Living All Over Me in full.
A sleepy-looking Lee Ranaldo came out to share vocals with J on "Little Fury Things." Guests, some announced ahead of time, would be a recurring theme throughout the night, but not until later. Dinosaur Jr. ripped through the songs on their best album as if it were 1987 all over again. "Sludgefeast" was a punishing onslaught of guitar and staccato, gunfire drums, with Mascis's high lonesome whine cutting through the gain and distortion. "Tarpit" set off joyous dancing, propelled by Barlow's chunky bass chords and a deafening roar from Mascis's Jazzmaster that threatened to draw blood from the ears.
Watching Barlow and Mascis play on stage, it's not hard to extrapolate the personality differences that created their rift. Barlow, with his black Rickenbacker slung low, literally bounces from one foot to the other when playing, the joy at doing just this very thing--playing to an audience--so evident. He smiles, he cracks jokes, he acts as if he's living through the music. Mascis, on the other hand, with his laconic, slowhands style and deadpan announcements ("All right. Thanks a lot. That was side one."), plays as if the music lives through him. He's the hermetic savant tuned in to a frequency no one else can hear.
Barlow brought out a ukulele for "Poledo," the "awkward end to the amazing record," in his words. The cavernous space of Terminal 5 made the strident desolation of the song even more acute.
The second half of the show is the stuff legendary bootlegs are made of. A succession of guests filed onstage to help Dinosaur Jr. play their songs, or to transform them into other bands entirely. The first was Frank Black, who sang and played guitar on "Almost Fare," from this year's I Bet On Sky. Next, the band plus Black covered one of Black's songs--"Tame," from The Pixies' Doolittle. Black roared the chorus, tossed a painting into the first rows of the crowd, and exited. Kurt Vile, whose band opened the show, and Al Cisneros from Sleep were next. Cisneros took over bass duties from Barlow for a couple of songs, including the doom metal glazer "Alone" from 1997's Hand It Over. Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence took the drums for that one.
Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr and Broken Social Scene guru Kevin Drew emerged to play "The Wagon" with J, Lou and Murph. Then they covered Smiths track "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side," the words to which J was, uh, a little unsure of. Melvins drummer Dale Crover relieved Murph behind the kit for a skin-searing rendition of "Training Ground," a song by Mascis and Barlow's pre-Dinosaur hardcore band, Deep Wound. Don Fleming of Gumball and Dante Ferrando of Iron Cross helped the band cover "Crucified," and Kim Gordon gave a tempestuous performance on "Don't", Barlow's song from Bug that directly addresses the fractured relationship between him and Mascis. Gordon screamed, bellowed and cooed the song's one lyric ("Why don't you like me?") over and over again, dropping to her knees and falling to the stage like she was having an exorcism. It was intense. If Sonic Youth is over, she should start a hardcore band.
The encore began with a cover of the Stooges classic, "T.V. Eye," with Tommy Stinson on bass and Fred Armisen (whose show, Portlandia, will feature an appearance from J Mascis in its upcoming third season) on drums. Dinosaur Jr. closed with two classics: "Start Choppin" and "Freak Scene," the song that invented the slacker generation. It was a poignant, circle-closing moment. "Because when I need a friend," J sang, "it's still you," we all responded. The night was an amazing tribute to a great band, 25 years removed from their (so-far) signature achievement and, improbably, still going strong.
More pictures, some videos, and the setlist from the show (which also counted John Petkovic of Death of Samantha as a guest), below...
In the live interview that took place before Hellride East (aka J.Mascis and Murph of Dinosaur Jr, and the guest of honor for the evening Mike Watt) hit the stage, Watt told rock critic Byron Coley about his intense love for John Coltrane ("I thought he was a punk") and how The Stooges changed his life. It was the latter that formed the basis for Hellride East's set at Le Poisson Rouge last night (5/2), as part of a release party for Mike Watt's new book On & Off Bass.
Featuring opening sets from throwback punk rockers Dead Trend and Brooklyn post-punkers Appomattox, the Hellride East set was comprised of 100% Stooges covers along with a shockingly large number of guest appearances. Names like Thurston Moore, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Steve Shelley, and a gang of other guests sauntered on stage to help tear through Stooges classics like "TV Eye", "Loose" (with Thurston), "Dirt" (with Sharon), "Not Right", "Down on the Street", "1970", set closer "Fun House" and many more. Though the band was clearly loose and out to have a good time, it was a night of wonderful surprises and, like Iggy would say, a "Real Cool Time".
If you were there last night, you might already have a copy of the book (and signed). If not, you can still order yours. Mike Watt recently completed a tour with his old band fIREHOSE which hit Coachella.
Pictures and the setlist from Le Poisson Rouge, a video from the interview session, and the audio from an interview Mike did on WNYC Soundcheck earlier in the day, below...
photo by Chris La Putt
today in NYC
* Asssscat 3000 @ UCB
* Keith Rowe @ The Stone
* Stephane Wrembel @ Barbes
* Wetlands reunion @ Brooklyn Bowl
* 9/11 concert @ Avery Fisher Hall
* Radu Malfatti, Taku Unami @ The Stone
* Xalam Project, House of Waters @ Zebulon
* Barn Owl, Helado Negro, Jonti @ Glasslands
* Sheer Terror, Supertouch, Suburban Scum @ Bowery Electric
* Laurie Anderson, Nicole Atkins & MANY more @ Joyce SoHo
* Bachelorette, Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone @ The Rock Shop
* Unstoppable Death Machines, Dead Puppies, Japanther @ 285 Kent Ave
* Wasted Life, Social Decay, Dysfunctional Youth, Wound @ The Acheron
* Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet, Defunkt Millenium, Tyshawn Sorey @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Strange Shapes, Thin Hymns, Distractions, Cloud Becomes Your Hand @ Cake Shop
* Don Fleming & Folding Men, Brute Force, Gladshot, Minq Vaadka @ Mercury Lounge
* Glen Matlock & the Philistines, the Pioneers of Seduction, Highteen Boogie @ Europa
* Despise You, Magrudergrind, Backslider, The Communion, Defeatist @ Shea Stadium
* Talibam, Weasel Walter & Mark Edwards Group, The Library Is On Fire, Toucher @ Death By Audio
* William Basinski (Maxim Moston's live orchestration of Basinski's "The Disintegration Loops") @ Metropolitan Museum of Art
* Suzzy & Maggie Roche, Richard Barone, James Maddock, Teddy Thompson, Julie Gold, Rich Pagano, Jesse Harris, Marshall Crenshaw, Vernon Reid, Rich Ferguson, Jesse Smith & more @ City Winery
Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols plays Europa tonight.
For this one-of-a-kind show Don has assembled a heavy ensemble of stellar NYC musicians to mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Centered on the John Lennon song "Remember, " the band will forge a soundscape to reflect on the collective experience of that day.Other shows specifically commemorating 9/11 are listed HERE.
The Folding Men line-up includes Don Fleming, Mark Morgan (Sightings), Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore), Dee Pop (Bush Tetras), Kim Rancourt (When People Where Shorter), Sally Be (Lydia Lunch, Egoslavia), Matt Madly, and Chris Grier (Ultimate VAG, To Live And Shave in L.A.), with more musicians to be announced.
by Andrew Frisicano
Jemina Pearl @ Union Pool...
The audience was left to wonder exactly what happened when Jemina Pearl walked off stage less than 30 minutes into her headlining set Saturday night (2/13) at Union Pool. The question wasn't the shortness itself, but the abruptness of her departure: after getting increasingly frustrated with something, she kicked the drum set, gave the one-finger salute to her band and left, to the stunned then embarrassed faces of her supporting trio. The show was really just getting started. "As long as everyone had fun, that's what matters," said the bass player sheepishly before getting a lit cigarette thrown at him by the singer, in a brief return to the stage.
They did manage to get through "I Hate People," a cover of "Band on the Run" and a handful of others (though not "Heartbeats" which one of the most enthusiastic fans requested as a not-to-be encore). It was an awkward hometown end to nearly a month of touring.
Openers Harlem were admirably sloppy and enthused (it's hard not to think of a less manic Black Lips). Their animated, banadana-ed singer/guitarist and more straight-laced drummer swapped roles halfway through the set, which brought out a different dynamic for sure - round two was cleaner with more of a focus on pointed guitar riffs and less on effusive vocals. The Austin band's second album is due this summer on Matador, and they'll be touring the West Coast for the next few weeks.
Jemina's next scheduled show/shows are SXSW. The full Ecstatic Peace SXSW showcase lineup (Thurston Moore, J Mascis & Andrew WK included), more Union Pool pictures, a video and Harlem tour dates are below...