Entries tagged with: Elysian Fields

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photos by Greg Cristman

Elysian Fields @ The Owl 10/31/2015
Elysian Fields

NYC group Elysian Fields played the first two of their 20th anniversary shows over weekend, the second of which happened on Halloween at new Brooklyn venue The Owl Music Parlor (which is owned by the band). In addition to core members Oren Bloedow (guitar, vocals) and Jennifer Charles (vocals, small percussion) Elysian Fields were joined by Jamie Saft (keys), Ben Perowsky (drums) and Danton Boller (bass) along with special guests Joan "As Policewoman" Wasser (violin), Antony colaborator Maxim Moston (violin) and Daniel Carter (trumpet, sax). The Owl is a tiny spot and the room was packed (we spotted Jim Thirlwell in the house) with the guest violinists performing from seats in the front row.

The show opened with Jennifer coming down the center aisle enshrouded with a cloak pulled tight over her face and an old craggly walking stick, saying some very bizarre, scary and, at times, hilarious things while the band improvised and vamped some appropriately scary music. (Saft getting especially out there sounding like Sun Ra on his synthesizer.) The set began almost entirely in the dark but before the second song Oren threw a few switches and on popped blue and red house lights. Elysian Fields performed their great 2000 album Queen of the Meadow, in full, plus B-sides and tracks from the band's never-released second album (which was produced by Steve Albini).

The band's seven-show 20th anniversary run continues on Saturday (11/7) at Le Poisson Rouge where they'll perform 2005's Bum Raps and Love Taps. After that are four more shows at The Owl. Tickets are still available.

More pictures from Elysian Fields' Halloween show are in this post.

Continue reading "Elysian Fields played w/ Joan Wasser & more at new venue The Owl on Halloween (pics); 20th anniversary run continues"

elysian Fields

Venerable NYC band Elysian Fields have announced a string of 20th anniversary shows happening in NYC in October and November. All but one of the shows will take place at new Prospect-Lefferts Gardens venue The Owl, which was opened by the band's Oren Bloedow and Jennifer Charles, with the other show happening at Le Poisson Rouge. The band will play a different albums in full at each show, covering their entire catalogue.

The first two Elysian Fields shows at The Owl (where they'll be playing their S/T EP & Bleed Your Cedar, and Queen of the Meadow respectively) will go down at October 29 and 31. Then they'll take a week off before hitting Le Poisson Rouge on November 7 to play Bum Raps and Love Taps. They'll return to The Owl for shows on November 12, 14, 19 and 21, which will take them through the rest of their albums (Dreams That Breathe Your Name, The Afterlife, Last Night on Earth, and For House Cats and Sea Fans, for the completists). Tickets for all seven 20th anniversary shows are on sale now and details for all the shows, plus a few music videos, are below.

Elysian Fields are also working on a new record that will hopefully be out in 2016.

Continue reading "Elysian Fields celebrating 20th anniversary by playing their entire discography across 7 NYC shows"

The Owl

A new music venue, called The Owl, opened this month at 497 Rogers Ave. in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn. It's from Oren Bloedow and Jennifer Charles of long-running NYC band The Elysian Fields and they've been working on the space for the last six years. Having come up through places like Tonic and the old Knitting Factory, they really hope to have a little of that spirit at The Owl:

"We really wanted the experience of the art and the music to breathe and to have an intimate environment for an audience to experience it, in an unadulterated, non-commercial setting, while having very good wine and spirits," Charles said.

The venue features a full bar in the front connected to a performance space that can seat about 50 people and includes a grand piano and a professional-grade speaker system Bloedow hopes "rewards deep listening."

"It's for people who want to have a cultural exchange and are open-minded and patient. That's my ideal patron," he said. - [DNA Info]

The Owl will host most of Elysian Fields' upcoming 20th anniversary shows, and also have Joan as Policewoman on December 17. Full calendar for The Owl is here.

Marissa Nadler

Folk singer Marissa Nadler played a couple California dates last week and she's got two more upcoming shows scheduled at the moment, both of which happen in NYC. The first happens at on January 19 at Le Poisson Rouge, where she'll be opening for Elysian Fields, and Ramona Lisa is also on that bill. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

Then, on February 6, she'll open for Swans at Music Hall of Williamsburg, their second of two shows at the Brooklyn venue, the second of which is being opened by Devendra Banhart (who has a new album on the way). Tickets for the Swans/Marissa Nadler show are still available but the show with Devendra is sold out.

Marissa will be announcing a European tour soon. Until then, these two NYC shows are the only upcoming dates we're aware of. You can watch her video for "In Your Lair, Bear" below.

Continue reading "Marissa Nadler opening shows for Swans & Elysian Fields"


FOUR NIGHTS celebrating the incredible, dynamic, explosively creative jazz, instrumental, and adventurous music being made in New York City.

May 9th: A Marathon of Concerts in Greenwich Village
May 10th: Medeski, Martin & Wood & ?? at Brooklyn Masonic Temple, featuring So Percussion, Steven Bernstein, Vernon Reid & more!!
May 11th: Night Of The Living DIY in Brooklyn, Seattle, Norway & more...
May 12th: Improvised Round Robin Duets at 92Y Tribeca

Lovingly and tirelessly organized by Adam Schatz of Search & Restore, and Brice Rosenbloom of BoomCollective.

The 2012 Undead Music Festival (formerly known as Undead Jazz Fest) starts Wednesday (5/9) with three shows in Greenwich Village, including a Tonic reunion happening at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, 5/9. (There's a Tonic Reunion tonight at The Stone tonight, 5/7, too, unreleated to the Undead fest.)

Other Undead performers include Medeski, Martin & Wood at Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Thursday (5/10) and a multi-venue "Night of the Living DIY" on Friday (5/11) which includes the previously mentioned Bjorkestra show at the new Shapeshifer Lab (which meanwhile is hosting two nights of Undead-presented shows with Nels Cline, Tim Berne & Jim Black).

Four days passes are still on sale. More detailed info (performers, tickets) is available at the Undead Music website and the full schedule is below.

Continue reading " Undead Music Fest this week: a 2nd Tonic reunion, Medeski, Martin & Wood & much more (full lineup, schedule, dates)"

photos by Vincent Cornelli


Doveman played another guest-filled show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on Saturday night. The backing band was comprised of Brad Albetta (bass), Ben Perowsky (drums), Rob Moose (guitar, violin), and Doug Wieselman (clarinet, bass clarinet). Thomas Bartlett was joined by guests Martha wainwright, Justin Bond, Hannah Cohen (whose record Thomas is producing), Jennifer Charles of Elysian fields, Norah Jones (as advertised), Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara), Nico Muhly, and Frames/Swell Season singer Glen Hansard. Pictures from the party are in this post.

No guests have been announced for Doveman's next shows yet, but this pats show's lineup has been the norm (read about past shows HERE and HERE), so get your tickets in advance if you want to go on May 26th or June 24th.

Meanwhile, Thomas/Doveman and Doug Wieselman will be two of the special guests at Jesse Harris's final residency show at the same venue this Tuesday night (4/26), as will the recently-added Kaki King. Tickets are still on sale.

Jesse, Doug and Martha Wainwright all share a bill, along with Elvis Perkins, at Cameo this Friday as part of the next edition of Noncerts which is still on sale.

You can also catch Martha on May 12 and 13 at the two shows honoring her late mother at Town Hall.

More pictures from Saturday's LPR show, below....

Continue reading "Doveman played another guest-filled show (pics), Martha Wainwright plays w/ Elvis Perkins & Jesse Harris Friday"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Rachel Kowal

Dawn Landes, Norah Jones & Doveman

January's inaugural Burgundy Stain Session began softly with just Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) on stage, but for the second show in the series (2/8 at Le Poisson Rouge), Bartlett, the host, took a different approach. "Tonight, I thought we'd start with everyone on stage," said Bartlett excitedly, prompting nine additional musicians (dubbed by Bartlett as his "all-star backing chorus") to emerge from the audience and assume their positions. Crowded around a few mic stands, the group launched into a sweet, melodic Doveman song, "Angel's Share." (Beth Orton had to cancel due to 'unforeseen circumstances.')

Modeled after a salon, the Burgundy Stain Sessions are largely unscripted and free-flowing. "Sorry I didn't give anybody a set list," Bartlett eventually confessed. "I don't even really have a set list. I'm just making it up as we go." But instead of resulting in a sloppy mess, the music came together nearly seamlessly, thanks in part to the grand maestro, Doveman, who conducted both verbally ("I need A flat right here!") and with his animated body language (sudden glances, wild head nods).

Following the happy unification of musicians at the top of the show, the spotlight shifted to unannounced returning guest Glen Hansard. Once he had procured a pick from someone in the audience, he was ready. At the last Session, Hansard turned to Bartlett and announced, "none of your jazzy shit," but on Tuesday night, he seemed to be going along with it, as evidenced by their first song together. Apparently the song was brand new. "So Glen recorded that not too many days ago," Bartlett revealed. "His friend went to take a walk and he wrote it."

Many of the musicians are long-time friends and collaborators. Bartlett and Hansard met six or seven years ago (Bartlett can't really remember), and Amidon entered the picture long before that as was evidenced by the impromptu reunion of Popcorn Behavior, the childhood band Bartlett and brother Sam and Stefan Amidon (ages 13, 13, and 10 respectively). In addition to a Popcorn Behavior song, Sam played a song or two of his own, including "I See the Sign," which featured Doug Wieselman on bass clarinet.

Next up was Steve Salett who showcased some songs from his project, The Poison Tree. (His debut album is due out in March.) Much of Salett's songs were marked by technical difficulties due to some cell phone interference, prompting the group to stop while Bartlett switched his cell phone to airplane mode (it turns out his phone wasn't the culprit), but the show continued, thanks to Salett's booming baritone and his picturesque songs about the broken-hearted.

Apart from Glen Hansard (who was also present at the last Burgundy Stain Session), perhaps the biggest surprise guest of the evening was Norah Jones who performed a couple of songs, including a lovely cover song by the late Canadian singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, "(Talk to me of) Mendocino."

Since Le Poisson Rouge was set up in the round, the performers faced inward on stage... with exception of the theatrical Justin Bond, who made sure to sing to the whole room. Before beginning to play, the snarky, morose performance artist managed to both hit on Sam and get the whole room laughing. "I'm feeling horny and generous tonight," said Bond by way of introduction. "So someone might have a very nice evening tonight... and it might just be me." Bond played a series of songs, often featuring lyrics borrowed from (delightfully risque or provocative) poetry.

The "genderqueer" singer definitely elicited the most laughs of the evening. "I've got some bourbon. It's in a plastic cup, but it looks like glass, so hey! I'm all for things that look like one thing and are another," joked Bond. It was wise to conclude the show with this rousing performance, but the end still came rather abruptly and unexpectedly, leaving Bartlett to quickly ramble off next month's collaborators: Elysian Fields, Martha Wainwright, Sara Quin (from Tegan and Sara), Dawn Landes, David Thomas Broughton, and more. Tickets are still on sale for that show, and for Sam Amidon's show at Glasslands, and for the one Justin Bond has coming up at Joe's Pub on 2/20.

More pictures from the 2/8 show below....

Continue reading "Doveman played another salon w/ Norah Jones, Glen Hansard & more (pics), announced guests for next time"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon - Relief (R. Kelly cover) (MP3)

Sam Amidon @ The Bell House in January (more by Vincent Cornelli)
Sam Amidon

Sam Amidon is currently in Europe playing with the Whale Watching tour, a group show that includes Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson and others. A live video from one of their recent gigs is below. Sam will be back to play Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, June 23rd. Tickets are on sale.

Sam Amidon's I See the Sign, out now on Bedroom Community, is an amazing listen, and one of the highlights, maybe surprisingly, is the R. Kelly cover posted above. At the album release show in April his comments on the tune - "I thought R. Kelly had done something really amazing...He'd written a song that had no bearing on reality" (via Village Voice) - shed some light on the foreboding irony of the song. The albums' other songs come from a variety of sources: bluegrass, Appalachian folk, blues - all become recognizably his, with instrumentation by composer Nico Muhly, parts played by Daniel Bjarnason and Shazad Ishmaily, and backup vocals from Beth Orton. He discusses recording the album in Iceland in a recent World Cafe session. Listen here. Also read our interview with Sam conducted at Big Ears.

Sam's friend & collaborator & band Doveman opened the album release show at 92YTribeca on April 10th. Doveman plays tonight at Bell House and at 92YTribeca Friday (5/6 & 5/7) opening for Patrick Watson.

Doveman also plays with Elysian Fields at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Thursday, May 13th. Tickets are on sale.

Videos of Sam and the Whale Watching tour are below...

Continue reading "Sam Amidon (album out now) & Doveman (opening for Patrick Watson tonight) add shows (dates) "


Since the closing of LES spot Tonic in 2007, The Stone has been one of the venues that's attempted to fill the void left by the experimental-music-friendly space.

Like Tonic did, The Stone frequently brings on guest curators (not coincidentally Stone founder John Zorn was one of Tonic's most regular hosts and played at Tonic's final show). Now, with guitarist Grey Gersten's monthlong May curatorial run ending Sunday, May 31st, former Tonic co-owner Melissa Caruso Scott comes out of booking retirement to take the reigns in programing the first two weeks of June at The Stone.

Speaking about her choices Scott said, "These artists played some of my favorite Tonic shows and I can't wait to see them again." Her picks include Japanese musician Yuka Honda, who's also playing a Summerstage show with Mike Watt, guitarist Charlie Hunter, Elysian Fields, Vernon Reid, Joan as Polcewoman, cellist Erik Friedlander, and more. Her full schedule is posted below.

Speaking of Friendlander, he plays on Yoko Ono's new DON'T STOP ME! EP (out June 9th Via iTunes Exclusive Digital Download), and you can also catch him live on June 5th along with saxophone player Colin Stetson at the Abrons Art Space Recital Hall. The show is presented by The Manhattan New Music Project, and tickets are on sale.

Before the time of both Tonic and The Stone, the original Knitting Factory on Houston Street featured an ecclectic mix of avant and experimental music (frequently with Zorn and others). The co-founder of that venue, show promoter and current owner of City Winery Michael Dorf, will curate the second half of the June at The Stone.

Acts on his schedule include Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers (who have completed their Pianos residency and are also playing Citysol), Ethan Iverson (of the Bad Plus) with saxist Tim Berne, and Marc Ribot, the guitarist who's had considerable presence at each of the aforementioned venues -- gigging regularly at the Knit on Houston St, getting arrested for protesting the closure of Tonic, and hosting several nights of his 55th-birthday retrospective at The Stone in mid-May.

Check out the full June schedule for The Stone, below...

Continue reading "Tonic owner returns, joins City Winery's Michael Dorf to curate John Zorn's club The Stone in June - full lineup"

Joan as PolicewomanJoan as Policewoman will play shows at 8 and 10 pm at the Stone in NYC on New Years Eve. The 'Annual End The Year Improv Night' with John Zorn happens at the same venue three nights earlier. Other names on the Stone's schedule for December (curated by Jennifer Charles) include Gary Lucas, Erik Friedlander, Doveman, Alan Licht, Hal Willner's Parade (Yuka Honda & Sean Lennon), Elysian Fields, JG Thirwell, and Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog (tonight, Sunday December 7th).

January's schedule, curated by Craig Taborn, doesn't have many names
I recognize, but February, curated by Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas, has Twi the Humble Feather, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Chris Schlarb, Diane Cluck, Jon Natchez, Kelly Pratt, Lexie Mountain Boys, Megafun, John Zorn, Ecstatic Sunshine, Sam Amidon, and Tristan Perich,

For other NYC shows on New Years Eve, browse HERE.

Joan Wasser (as Policewoman) and at least one band member also contribute to Gramercy Arms.

Marc Ribot is also playing December 9th at Blue Note and December 11th at Knitting Factory.