Entries tagged with: Jamie Saft

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photos and words by Greg Cristman

Bad Brains
Bad Brains

On May 30, Applehead Recordings & Production hosted Darryl Jenifer, Dr. Know and Earl Hudson of seminal punk/reggae legends Bad Brains for a performance and recording session for their ongoing series, Woodstock Sessions. Applehead is located on a 17 acre, pastoral and beautiful piece of property with farm animals that lies in Saugerties, NY just outside of Woodstock proper.

Woodstock Sessions allows fans to participate in an in-studio recording experience. The daylong event was billed as "a unique opportunity to be a part of history" and invited fans to "join the Bad Brains as they host a day long hardcore song building clinic and recording/performance session. Eat and hang with the band in the evening and then return to the studio when they will record and perform for you the creation of their upcoming Woodstock Sessions release". Fans attending got a bunch of swag too, including a limited edition poster, t-shirt, a 180 gram vinyl of the recording (upon its release) and more.

While a hardcore song building clinic was promised the day actually had Bad Brains doing almost exclusively reggae and dub. They worked on, performed, and recorded the tracks "Meek," "Youth Are Getting Restless," brand new track "Highway Dub" and "Jah I Love." Jesse Royal, a 25 year old upcoming reggae star, joined Bad Brains on vocals at various points in the session. Jesse sounded fantastic and so did the band. Also joining Bad Brains on all the reggae songs was the very talented keyboardist Jamie Saft. It was fun watching them work out the kinks on a couple songs and then lay down virtually perfect tracks for the recording.

I joined Bad Brains and engineer Chris Bittner in the studio to listen to the playback and it seemed that drummer Earl Hudson called most of the shots about what got approved and what didn't. He decided that one song really needed a tambourine so he did overdubs and also added the"scratchy wood block thing" as it was referred to by bassist Daryl Jenifer.

Bad Brains

In between the two recording sessions, which lasted about two hours each, there was a Caribbean meal served that included jerk chicken, two kinds of salad, macaroni & cheese and two kinds of cake. Everyone got to mingle with the band who made themselves readily available and kindly took the time to speak with everyone. Daryl Jenifer was especially social and extremely funny and seemed to really enjoy himself.

After the dinner, the overdubs that I mentioned previously were laid down and the second session began. Many people were wondering during dinner if Bad Brains were actually going to play any hardcore. At the very end of the sessions Jamie and Jesse left and the three piece Bad Brains ripped through a killer version of "Pay To Cum" with Dr. Know doing the vocals. Everyone in the studio went ballistic as soon as they heard the opening notes. It was truly jaw dropping and it was a great way to end the sessions but many people, including myself, had wished they would've done at least one more hardcore track. That wish certainly didn't taint the day at all and I hope to attend more Woodstock Sessions in the future.

I can't end this article without saying how kind and accommodating owner Mike Birnbaum (aka Mike Boom, a nickname given to him by Daryl Jenifer) and his staff and family were to all their guests. They made the event feel like a wonderful friends and family party that just happened to have one of the greatest hardcore/reggae bands on the planet performing and recording. The warm, sunny summer-like day added to the overall Caribbean feel of the event and DJ Queen Tubby played excellent, deep dub and reggae tracks throughout the day adding to the vibe. It was a day that was beyond memorable and well worth the drive up from NYC. Cheers Applehead, Bad Brains and Queen Tubby!

Pictures of the day continue below...

Continue reading "spending a day with Bad Brains in a Woodstock studio ('Woodstock Sessions' pics & review)"

photo: Psalm Zero at Saint Vitus in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Psalm Zero

NYC experimental musician Charlie Looker (currently of Psalm Zero, formerly of Extra Life, Zs and others) is curating and performing at The Stone from January 13 to 18. As you'd probably expect, he's got a lot of cool collaborators lined up. The full schedule is below, but here's a few highlights:

The 10 PM show on 1/13 has Charlie playing with bassist Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, etc) and drummer Weasel Walter (Behold... The Arctopus, etc), who are also both joining Lydia Lunch at her Retrovirus show three days earlier. For that show they're promising "mangled non-songs drawing from no-wave, free jazz, and war metal, with this highly accomplished/demented rhythm section."

On 1/14, Charlie's playing with guitar great Mary Halvorson (who's also a Weasel Walter collaborator and recently opened for King Buzzo) at both the 8 PM and 10 PM shows, but the late show is especially exciting, bringing Krallice guitarist Mick Barr and former Battles guitarist/vocalist Tyondai Braxton into the fold.

On 1/15, Charlie plays the 8 PM show solo, and then brings his Psalm Zero bandmate Andrew Hock with him for the late show, as well as Jamie Saft (organ, electronics) and Merzbow/Venetian Snares collaborator Balazs Pandi (percussion).

On 1/16, the 10 PM show will have Charlie's Northern Spy-signed band Seaven Teares joined by two exciting guest vocalists, Caleb Burhans of Alarm Will Sound and Zohra Atash of Azar Swan.

On 1/17, Charlie and Andrew Hock are playing solo sets at the 8 PM show, and then joining forces for an acoustic Psalm Zero set at the 10 PM show. New songs are promised, and $15 gets you into both shows for that night.

Finally, the last night (1/18) the 8 PM show features an ensemble that includes Andrew Hock and many others, playing a brand new 45-minute long composition that Charlie wrote. Then the 10 PM show will have one of Charlie's other bands, Period, joined by legendary saxist Tim Berne, who's been active since the '70s and a collaborator of Nels Cline and many others.

Full schedule for Charlie Looker's residency and more info below...

Continue reading "Psalm Zero's Charlie Looker to kick off residency at The Stone w/ mems of Krallice, Battles, Azar Swan, Tim Berne, more"

by Doug Moore

John Zorn at Maxwell's, 2008 (more by Tim Griffin)

John Zorn describes his Masada songbook as follows: "The idea is to put Ornette Coleman and the Jewish scales together." He's been writing Masada material for about 20 years, and he's racked up some 600 compositions in the idiom. If you only know Zorn for his noise-oriented work, do yourself a favor and Youtube some Masada performances.

A few months before he joins Dave Lombardo and Bill Laswell for a rare appearance as Bladerunner, Zorn and many, many others will get together to debut the 20 new Masada compositions that comprise Masada Book 3: The Book of Beriah. The show is being billed as a "marathon shuffle concert": each of the 20 tunes will be interpreted by a different group of musicians. The cast is diverse, from Zorn himself and frequent collaborators like Marc Ribot and John Medeski to younger, weirder Zorn affiliates like Abraxas, Cyro Baptista, Cleric, and Secret Chiefs 3. The show is slated for March 19 at the Town Hall (123 West 43rd St.). Tickets are on sale.

Zorn's other upcoming shows include the gigs he has scheduled as Bladerunner with ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lomardo & Bill Laswell which hits LPR in NYC and Reggie's in Chicago. They are all listed below.

Check out a Zorn + Ribot version of a Masada tune and the announced lineup of Beriah contributors below too...

Continue reading "John Zorn to debut 20 new Masada compositions at "shuffle concert" at NYC's Town Hall (dates)"


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)"

Undead Jazz Fest

Founded in June 2010 the Undead Jazzfest is new kind of festival, bringing together an incredible array of artists from the new jazz and improvised music community currently exploding in New York City. With no headliners, affordable tickets, unorthodox venues and no drink minimums, the Undead Jazzfest aims to shake the public perception of what jazz can be today, celebrating the incredible music being made in a setting that is inviting to both the veterans and curious new fans.
Encompassing eleven venues over its four days (6/23 - 6/26), the Undead Jazzfest will feature appearances from more than 50 bands including names like Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Mountains and many others. The full list of participating bands is below. Four day passes are on sale for $45 until 4/28. The price increases to $50 after.

Undead Jazzfest is also responsible for curating another show outside of said festival, this one going down at Central Park Summerstage on June 11th with Medeski Martin & Wood, Josh Roseman's King Froopy All Stars and Jim Black's AlasNoAxis. It's one of many free 2011 Summerstage shows that have been announced.

AND, Undead Jazz presents a show at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (4/25) with Orchestre National de Jazz with Daniel Yvinec and John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble with special guests Theo Bleckmann , Kate McGarry and Uri Caine. Undead Jazz also presents Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors and Mary Halvorson Trio at the same venue on May 18th.

Full Undead Jazzfest 2011 lineup below.

Continue reading "Undead Jazzfest 2011 lineup announced, tix on sale now, and other related shows too"

by Andrew Frisicano

Marc Ribot

"Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Marc Ribot (but were afraid to ask)" is the first of the Stone's new Monday night seminar series and, as previously mentioned, it happens tonight (1/4). The first 13 of those events, which the venue describes as "a special series of workshops, lectures, seminars and Q&As on a variety of fascinating subjects by some of the world's most unique, cutting edge musical thinkers," are laid out below and cover a huge spectrum of musicians and topics.

Ribot will be performing as part of the NY Guitar Festival on January 14th (doing a live improvised score to Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid") and playing with his stellar group Ceramic Dog on February 2nd at (Le) Poisson Rouge (with Skeletons, who played NYE and New Year's Day shows at Zebulon, opening). Tickets for the LPR show, which is also part of the NY Guitar Fest (more on that later), are on sale.

Another interesting, very different Q&A event is also coming up. On February 23rd, Santos Party House will host "Ask Andrew W.K. Anything: An intimate evening of unpredictable performance." Presumably the event is being held to further address the internet rumor that Andrew W.K. is an actor who plays the part of Andrew WK. Tickets are on sale. In other news, he's re-releasing his formerly-import-only-record Close Calls With Brick Walls with a new "lost" disc Mother of Mankind on February 23rd, and he's on this year's Warped Tour.

More info on the Andrew W.K. event and the Stone's seminar series are below...

Continue reading "Marc Ribot & Andrew W.K. answer your questions and other upcoming events (The Stone, Santos, LPR & more)"

by Andrew Frisicano

two of these three guys will be there (one w/ Jenny Scheinman, also on the cover)
Downbeat July

NYC's Winter Jazz Fest will be happening Friday, January 8th and Saturday, January 9th at a handful of Village venues. Both nights include more than a few worth-while acts (Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Jamie Saft's Whoopie Pie, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jenny Scheinman & Jason Moran, the late-night triple-play of Mary Halvorson, Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition and Tyshawn Sorrey Guitar Trio). Tickets for Friday-only and Saturday-only are on sale, and two-day passes are available too. The full schedule is below...

Continue reading "NYC Winter Jazz Festival - January 2010 @ various venues "

Hold Steady @ Bowery Ballroom - June 8, 2009 (Photo by Alex Reside)
Hold Steady

tonight in NYC
* Booker T. @ Joe's Pub
* Gil Scott-Heron @ SOBs
* Olof Arnalds @ Sycamore
* Julianna Barwick @ Pianos
* The Budos Band @ Stuy Town Oval
* Antibalas @ Rock Off Boat Cruise
* The Mummies, The Back CC's @ Southpaw
* Bloodhorse, Medusa, Pollution @ Union Pool
* Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood @ Izod Center
* Survival, Exactly, Gates of Heaven @ Glasslands
* Deastro, The Upwelling, Le Mood @ Mercury Lounge
* Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes @ Beacon Theatre
* Vernon Reid, Jamie Saft's Burning Genitals @ The Stone
* The Hold Steady, Gost Trio @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Rooftop Films w/ Glass Ghost @ Brooklyn Tech High School
* Apostle of Hustle, Forro in the Dark, Brian Bonz @ Bowery Ballroom
* Vision Festival w/ Marshall Allen, Sun Ra Arkestra @ Abrons Arts Center
* The Decemberists, Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 @ Radio City Music Hall
* Brightblack Morning Light, Mariee Sioux, Zomes @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Zambri, The Drums, Last Year's Model, The States, Do You See The Dark @ Annex
* John Medeski/Billy Martin/Charlie Hunter/John Ellis, Big Sam/Joe Russo/Otis Grove @ Sullivan Hall

Happy 1-year anniversary to Max Silvestri's Big Teriffic party which takes place tonight at Cameo (located behind the Lovin' Cup Restaurant). Kurt & Kristen and many other comedians are on the bill.

Stuyvesant Town's weekly Music in the Oval series starts tonight with a set by The Budos Band.

Deastro plays Ghostly International's 10-yr Anniversary Bash on Friday June 12th, as part of the Northside Festival. Catch them tonight at the Mercury Lounge.

Jamie Saft premieres his Burning Genitals trio with the dual drums of Mike Pride and Bobby Previte tonight at The Stone. They'll play material from their forthcoming Veal Records release, "Crabz."

Eugene Mirman gave this year's commencement speech at his alma matter, Lexington High School. Yes, that's the same school that produced Amanda Palmer's "With the Needle That Sings in Her Heart" earlier this year. Video of the speech, below...

Fanfarlo are offering their new album for $1.00. Video below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday?"


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"