Entries tagged with: Jon Natchez

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photos by David Andrako

Yellow Ostrich's Jon Natchez at Bowery Ballroom - 11/14/12
Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich returned to NYC last night (11/14) for the last club date on their fall tour (they play Bard College tonight (11/15)) at Bowery Ballroom. The tour started in October just a few days after member Jon Natchez returned from his trip around the country with David Byrne and St. Vincent (he plays saxophone, flute, clarinet, and flugelhorn in their band).

Yellow Ostrich's setlist at Bowery was pretty modest in length compared to the amount of material they've released in the three years they've been in a band, but they included material off most of their releases, not sticking to one album in particular. Opener Strand of Oaks (aka Tim Showalter) joined them for "Ghost," the title track on their new EP, and Darby Cicci of The Antlers came out for "Won't Fade Away," off that same EP (Peter from the Antlers will join Sharon Van Etten on stage at Town Hall tonight).

In addition to an opening set by Strand of Oaks, who we also saw opening for The Tallest Man On Earth this year, and whose new self-released album, Dark Shores, has gone undeservedly overlooked, Glass Ghost (who have opened for Sharon Van Etten at the same venue) provided support at the show. More pictures of all three bands and Yellow Ostrich's setlist are below.

Continue reading "Yellow Ostrich, Strand of Oaks & Glass Ghost played Bowery Ballroom (pics & setlist)"

words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray

David Byrne
David Byrne

Kelly Pratt of Bright Moments and many other musical projects has been on tour with David Byrne and St. Vincent, and chronicling it on BrooklynVegan. If you're just joining us, also check out part 1, part 2 , Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. Part 6 begins here...

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San Diego through Vancouver and beyond

After the Dallas show we all pile on the bus for the long trek to San Diego. Fortunately we don't have to tackle it all in one drive so we stop in El Paso for the day off. Jon N and I end up taking a long bike ride, including a shady trek through an arroyo, to go see Looper. The film turns out to be quite entertaining, despite its numerous violations of the grandfather paradox.

The following morning we wake up in San Diego at Humphrey's Half Moon, a fancy resort on Shelter Island. We have the day off again, so most of us bike to Mission Beach to enjoy the food and drink on the boardwalk. We meet up at a bar with two friends of John A and while everyone else heads to the beach, I stay behind to hear about the profession of one of them: horseshoe crab blood salesperson. She explains that the blood is vital to the pharmaceutical industry as a testing agent to ensure their products are free of bacterial infection. The crabs "donate" their blood, then are placed back in the ocean where their blood volume returns to normal within a week. With the price tag of $15,000 per quart the blood is quite valuable, and some of us make a silent pledge to change careers at the end of the tour.

The following night's show takes place in the outdoor courtyard of the hotel. Susanne, the lighting designer, sets up her rig directly on the balcony of my room. We are situated right next to the marina and during the show several dozen people pilot their boats into a little recess where they can hear (but not really see) what is coming from the stage. During our set David addresses them as "the boat refugees" and thanks them for coming.

The next few shows are a bit of a blur, primarily because we are playing every night. While there may not be as many opportunities for extra-curricular activities it feels nice to get into a bit of a groove. If anyone knows what tour momentum is about, it would have to be The Melvins. On the road at the same time as us, they are currently attempting to break a world record of "51 shows in 51 states in 51 days". They have a fascinating (and funny) account of it here. Reading of Trevor Dunn's encounter with a rowdy fan during an improvised bass solo reminds me of a recurring joke from our tour. Early on Brian Wolfe told us of his theory of free jazz. According to him you can boil almost the entirety of the history of the music down into two factions: "scratch 'n sniff" and "pet store on fire". Both types can be present within a single composition, or even simultaneously, but one must be present at all times. It is a joke of course, but close enough to the truth.

At 5700, the Greek Theatre is the largest venue of our tour and one we have been looking forward to since the beginning of rehearsals. It is a stunning amphitheater and has housed many legendary concerts including Neil Diamond's "Hot August Nights". Everyone is a bit nervous, but nerves quickly dissipate as concentration is vital to this show. Afterwards we have our largest group of guests yet, including Jason D's parents. One lovely thing about this coast to coast tour is that many members' parents are able to see the show, including mine. We also get to meet our second O'Hara of the tour, Catherine (Mary Margaret came in Toronto).

Somehow I've managed to visit a different dim sum establishment nearly every time I've come to San Francisco. So upon arrival I decide to bike on my own to Hong Kong Lounge, one that comes highly recommended. The food is delicious, but I'm reminded of why no one goes to a dim sum restaurant by themselves. Cycling the hills of San Francisco with a belly full of dumplings isn't exactly easy, and I barely make it back for soundcheck. The first few weeks of the tour we picked up a ritual we have been performing every night, and it follows us here. The last song we play every night is The Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere". The choreography is a loose follow the leader with the horns ending in a straight horizontal line behind David and Annie. As we leave the stage for the final time the line breaks in two and we depart on opposite sides, playing an improvised reprise of sorts. Once we are firmly backstage we continue playing, but the song morphs into a television theme song, typically one that takes place in the city we are currently in. Some previous numbers have included Dallas, Mr. Belvedere, and Laverne and Shirley. Tonight's version, of course, is Full House.

After a week in California we take off for the Pacific Northwest, and the home stretch of this leg of the tour. On most of the days off DB has been giving talks to support his new book "How Music Works", and we all attend one of these the evening after the Portland show. For this particular talk David is joined by Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia.

David Byrne

The format consists of David flashing an image onto a movie screen, followed by the two of them talking about what that image means to them. As a result the majority of the talk is concentrated around the importance of the visual side of a musical performance, be it fashion, lights, or movement. It is quite fascinating and something most musicians should spend more time thinking about. After Vancouver some of us take the bus back to Portland, while the rest of us head back to NY for a few days rest. Next up Colbert, and Australia in the New Year!

'Til next time,
Kelly

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Watch Kelly, the rest of the band and David Byrne & St. Vincent on Colbert tonight (11/1).

UPDATE: Colbert happened. Watch the videos.

They were also supposed to play Letterman the other night, but that was cancelled due to Sandy. Speaking of, read a Sandy-related letter David Byrne sent out to his mailing list, with more pictures from their tour, below...

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent who didn't play Letterman, but play Colbert tonight (the final installment)"

words by Kelly Pratt, new photos by Bryan Murray

If you're just joining us, also check out part 1 and part 2. Part 3 begins here...

Kelly Pratt @ Pop Montreal (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
David Byrne

Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, on to NY

On this tour, we are exceptionally lucky to be playing some of North America's most beautiful theaters. The Chicago Theatre is perhaps my favorite. Built in the early 1920's, it was initially used primarily as a movie theater. In 1986, it was massively restored and repurposed as a music venue. I find myself thinking of a memorable collection of photographs that document a number of abandoned theaters across the US. Many of these are beautiful rooms, but because of a variety of reasons (including urban population shifts and the rise of home video in the 1980's) they were deserted and are in various states of decay today. The shows in Chicago and Toronto go very well. We are at a point now where we can perform the show without having to concentrate on every little detail, thereby allowing us to focus more on the overall musical and visual impact (and the beautiful venues we are playing in).

We arrive in Montreal the morning after Toronto to play the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste as part of the Pop Montreal festival. The church is majestically cavernous: there are huge chandeliers and two imposing organs. I head over to the Arcade Fire studio where David has just finished rehearsing some covers for the halftime show of the their yearly charity basketball game POP vs. Jock. As I walk in Regine is practicing some jock jams on organ for the in-game entertainment.

Halftime show (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
David Byrne

During our sound check DB suggests that Daniel use one of the organs for the St. Vincent encore, "The Party," and also that, during that song, we put all the horns in the crowd. Luckily we have front-of-house engineer Pete Keppler on tour. He manages to make us sound great no matter what venue we are in, or what new ideas we throw into the mix. In Montreal we get what might be our best audience response yet, setting the bar very high for the rest of the tour.

The next day we all head to Boston for a day off. Most of us end up getting tickets to see Grizzly Bear at the Orpheum where we are playing the following night. [Like at Radio City] Their set draws heavily from their new album, which takes them further into psychedelic territory. The visuals are particularly breathtaking, accentuated by 12 or so hanging lanterns that rise and sink throughout the show. A few late games of pool later we head back to the hotel to rest.

After another very fun show we depart Boston for a day off in NY. First Beacon Theatre show tonight!

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Beacon Theater tonight is their first of three NYC shows on the tour. Tickets are available for tonight and tomorrow at Beacon Theater, and for the Saturday show at Williamsburg Park.

The photos you see above are from other recent BrooklynVegan posts. An original set that accompanies this post, by Bryan Murray, can be seen below...

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent (part 3)"

by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray

David Byrne rehearsal

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...

David Byrne rehearsal

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),

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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...

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent (part 2)"

by Kelly Pratt with photos by Bryan Murray

David Byrne and St VincentDavid Byrne and St Vincent

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
David Byrne rehearsal
David Byrne rehearsal

The Band:
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
New York, September 11

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!

'Til then,
Kelly Pratt

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Watch the Fallon videos HERE. All tour dates, more pictures from rehearsal, and the official video for "Who". below...

Continue reading "On the Road with David Byrne & St. Vincent (part 1)"

DOWNLOAD: Bright Moments - "Travelers" (MP3)

Bright Moments
Bright Moments

Bright Moments is the moniker of Brooklyn, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt, who has lent his talents to Beirut, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Owen Pallett, and others. According to facebook the full band also includes Jon Natchez (of Yellow Ostrich, Beirut, and many other bands), Jared Van Fleet (ex-Voxtrot, Sparrow House), Nikhil Yerawadekar, and Yoshio "Tony Afro" Kobayashi. He released his debut LP, Natives, this past February on Luaka Bop. The album fits in well with the "world music" leanings of the David Byrne-associated Luaka Bop and the orchestrations of his aforementioned collaborators (Beirut and Arcade Fire especially). Grab the album track "Travelers" above or stream it below.

He's got an upcoming NYC show at 92YTribeca on April 28 with Nikhil P. Yerawadekar & Low Mentality. Tickets are on sale now and we're also giving away a pair. Details on how to enter to win tix are below.

Continue reading "Bright Moments (Kelly Pratt & friends) playing 92YTribeca (WIN TIX)"

Jon Natchez w/ the Antlers @ BAM (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Natchez

Yellow Ostrich sent me this well laid out email, so I thought I would share it as is:

First - Jon Natchez has joined the band to play bass and horns. Jon's played with Beirut, The Antlers, Okkervil River, and more.

Second - Our Pianos residency starts TONIGHT. The band will be playing The Mistress in its entirety tonight. This show will be the first time ever that The Mistress will be available for sale in the vinyl format (or any physical format, for that matter).

Third, The Mistress LP is officially coming out on 2/15 but Afternoon Records is giving away a test pressing of the album to one person who can guess the score of the super bowl. Contest details:

Finally, we have an upcoming tour with Say Hi which will stretch across the USA and Canada (with a stop at the Bowery Ballroom on 3/7)

Say Hi's new record, Um, Uh Oh, was released on January 25th via Barsuk Records. Tickets are still on sale for the Bowery Ballroom show that Blair is also playing. All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Say Hi touring w/ Yellow Ostrich (who now have Jon Natchez in the band, kick off Pianos residency tonight) --- 2011 dates"

words by Rachel Kowal, photos by Matthew Eisman

Radio City

It's hard to believe that The National headlined last night at Radio City Music Hall (they were the opener a few years ago when the Arcade Fire played there) and harder to believe that the massive space sold out. Sure, their last two albums have done especially well, but really? Radio City? I mean Lady Gaga is playing there in July. In "Little Faith," Matt Berninger sings, "I know what you think. You're waiting for Radio City to sink." Yes, ominous indeed.

The evening began with a rousing set by The Antlers. As if to echo the themes of hospitals, sickness, and funerals found in their solid debut, Hospice, white flowers decorated the stage. The Antlers' performance was bolstered by the addition of a two-man brass section (courtesy of Tim Cronin and Jon Natchez) and lovely female vocalist Sharon Van Etten. They played an extended version of the standout track "Sylvia" in addition to an unnamed new song. After playing a short string of songs from Hospice roughly in chronological order, The Antlers concluded their set with "Wake."

Walking into Radio City, I admit that the prospect of seeing two praise-worthy bands in such a huge space had me both exhilarated and fearful. Would they be able to master the space and overcome the obstacles posed by a seated show? How would they make the experience personal?

Though majestic, the space was a bit stifling. But to help cut down on the formality of a seated show, the majority of the orchestra section stood up when the band walked on stage and remained standing for the entirety of the evening. The National's front man, Matt Berninger, hopped off the stage to cavort with the audience in front during the third song, "Bloodbuzz Ohio." Sure, he only stayed down there for a few seconds, but it boded well for the rest of the show. The third wall came crashing down early.

The National also had some additional musicians on stage to help fill out their sound. Throughout the show, a small brass section again consisting of a trumpet and trombone contributed to the mix. Additional treats came on the seventh song, "Squalor Victoria," when a string section walked on stage. After that, it got almost ridiculous. St. Vincent's Annie Clark hopped on the piano for "Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks" and shared backing vocal responsibilities with Sufjan Stevens for the following song, "Afraid of Everyone." "I'm sorry they're so plain looking. We try to set a standard," Berninger wryly joked. "I wish we could have them on stage all night," replied a Dessner brother.

Radio City

But the real magic happened during "Abel." At least, it did for me. Berninger jumped off the stage once again and started pulling that oh-so-long mic chord behind him as he walked up the aisle in the theatre. For a few seconds, I lost sight of him. And then, there he was, right outside my row. And then... what? Berninger started climbing over the seats and ended up stumbling right into Row WW, Seat 409 - my seat. As he stood haphazardly balanced on the seat behind me, he leaned over, grabbed my shoulder to steady himself and put the mic right in my face as he sang. And, though I know nearly all of the lyrics to their songs and the chorus to "Abel" in particular is embarrassingly simple, I admit I froze a little and was too stunned to sing along. After my moment had passed, Berninger continued on his way, climbing over the seat in front of me and then heading back to the stage. It's almost as if he knew that this was only going to be a one-paragraph review (since I recently wrote a lengthy one for the BAM show) and wanted to spice it up. After Berninger fled the scene, BrooklynVegan photographer Matt Eisman and I stared at each other in disbelief. Did that just happen?

The show continued with a few more songs and a solid four-song encore that (of course) included "Mr. November". This time when he wandered into the crowd, Berninger climbed the stairs to the first tier of the balcony where people encircled him and furiously sang along. Berninger proceded to walk to the far side of the balcony and back down again, his mic chord dangling over the crowd in the orchestra section below. After over an hour and a half of play, The National concluded their encore with "Terrible Love."

The National will spend much of 2010 on tour. That includes a show in Prospect Park and one that was recently announced at Terminal 5.

More pictures, a video and the setlists from Radio City, below...

Continue reading "The National & The Antlers played Radio City Music Hall (with help from Sufjan, Annie Clark & other friends) - pics & setlists"

words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, more words by Zach Pollack

Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot played to a sold-out crowd at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn on Friday (2/5). The Syracuse-based band played an energetic set and threw in a couple of Kate Bush covers (finishing the show with "Hounds Of Love".) "Suspended in Gaffa" appeared on 2008's critically acclaimed The Rhumb Line of which the band played all of its songs.

The Antlers, architects of one of last year's critically acclaimed records, Hospice, opened with a taut, haunting set, placed in stark contrast to the headliner's flowing, uptempo pop songs. - Dominick

Peter Silberman, Michael Lerner, and Darby Cicci collectively known as The Antlers took the stage at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House at a prompt 8:10pm. This kicked off the 4th night of BAM's Sounds Like Brooklyn Festival. Silberman commanded audience attention with his sweeping falsettos, and impressive guitar tones coming from his daisy chain of pedals. They had a two man horn section join them (Tim Cronin and Jon Natchez), adding depth to their already dense sound. The band's set largely consisted of songs off of Hospice.

Ra Ra Riot headlined the show, featuring a string quartet and a four man horn section. The band sounded impeccable live, and carried though their set with the poise, grace, and energy of a well practiced rock band. In four short years since forming the band Ra Ra Riot has grown a large fan base, which was certainly apparent at The Howard Gilman Opera House Friday night. Cellist Alexandra Lawn and violinist Rebecca Zeller add to the already dense rhythms of the band with their sweeping string section.

Friday night's show was the third and last 'Sounds Like Brooklyn' show at BAM this year. The first two were Les Savy Fav / Vivian Girls and Rain Machine / Anti-Pop Consortium. More pictures from Ra Ra / Antlers, below...

Continue reading "The Antlers & Ra Ra Riot played BAM (pics)"

photos by Ryan Muir

Fanfarlo
Fanfarlo

"Collectively, they have a homespun quality, as if still learning how to make do. Three band members played mandolin over the course of the show. Three played drums. On one song Mr. Balthazar put down his guitar and picked up a clarinet. Glockenspiel was used to dramatic effect. A melodica made an appearance." [NY Times]
And as the NY Times pointed out, not only can you compare Fanfarlo to Beirut, they share a member! At least they did at these recent shows which included Monday night at Bowery Ballroom, and last night (Tuesday, 9/22) at the Bell House in Brooklyn. The Beirut member in question is Jon Natchez who you can see with his shaved head and beard playing a saxophone in the pictures. Also joining Fanfarlo as a member of their band for this tour was Jeremy Warmsley who was my favorite multi-instrumental member to watch on stage last night. Catch him play his own show at Pianos in NYC tonight (9/23)

Arcade Fire are the second most obvious comparison to Fanfarlo. I probably wouldn't have also thrown Neutral Milk Hotel into the mix... if they hadn't chosen to close their 2-song encore with a cover of "In the Aeroplane over the Sea"! I wasn't a huge fan of the choice, which made me biased before it even began, but it got lots of applause. A video Bill took of it is also making the rounds on the Internet today. You can watch that below.

Speaking of closing their set, they wrapped it up a little early due to throat problems, and according to one member who spoke to Bill after the show, technical problems that they didn't really let the crowd know about. Speaking of the crowd, despite it generally being a stand-there-with-arms-crossed kind of night, people got loud when applauding, and while cheering for the encore.

Like at other shows on the tour, they started the encore with audience participation and plastic tubes...

"I sold on the band when they flipped the switch on those lovely, glowing lights after the first song of their set, but when they came back for an encore and handed out instruments to the crowd (no idea what they're called, but the band had purchased a gaggle of those plastic tubes you swing around your head to make noise), I became a devoted follower of the church of Fanfarlo. Ten or so audience members were whipping these tubes around in the air, and the pitch of the tubes was aligned perfectly with "Comets". Arms got tired, tubes were passed onto other audience members, and it felt like everyone in the room was part of the band." [Seattle Weekly]
Wildbirds and Peacedrums opened the show for the second night in a row. It was their 5th show in NYC in a week. Their other three shows were at Bruar Falls, Cake Shop and Le Poisson Rouge.

Fanfarlo's album, Resevoir, is well worth a listen, and as Bill taught me, will be released officially as a CD by Atlantic in October. October is also when they'll be back in NYC to play at least two shows including the BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

More pictures from The Bell House below...

Continue reading "Fanfarlo & Wildbirds & Peacedrums @ The Bell House - pics "

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.

words and photos by Kyle Dean Reinford

Team B

Last night (11/10) I caught the first-ever performance of Team B at Union Pool in Brooklyn. I normally wouldn't try to hit a concert two hours after flying back from Austin, but the night was too tempting. Team B is Kelly Pratt (Beirut/Arcade Fire) 's brainchild, and the record features appearances from many great musicians including other members of Arcade Fire and Beirut.

I'm glad I made the effort. The group of multi-instumentalists played about half of the new album, along with a few other songs. "On My Mind," "Empty Hallways," and "Papa's Waltz" were personal favorites. Overall, I was overwhelmed with the amount of musical talent on the stage.

If you were there, you probably also remember the constant yelling of a drunken friend of the band in the front row. After they played "Hang Me", she yelled "Yay! Suicide!!!".... This spoiled some of the intimacy of the small venue, but, to accentuate the positive, I guess it also helped ease some of the tension of the band's first-ever-show and made for less awkward transitions between songs.

Kelly and band-member Jon Natchez are getting ready to hit the road with Herman Dune for a month or so (including 2 NYC shows this week), so don't expect to see any upcoming Team B shows soon, BUT Kelly told me he's trying really hard to make sure this band happens. Based on what I saw last night, I really hope it does. More pictures and the setlist below...

Continue reading "Team B (Kelly Pratt) @ Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY - pics"

Herman Dune & the Pratts @ Central Park Summerstage (everlovingpix)
Herman Dune

Herman Dune, with Kelly Pratt and Jon Natchez as members of his band, will be touring Europe throughout November and December, but first they'll play two NYC shows which happen to be this Wednesday (11/12 @ The Bell House with Motel Motel) and Thursday (11/13 @ Highline Ballroom with Jolie Holland). All dates below...

Continue reading "Herman Dune - 2008 Tour Dates (2 NYC shows this week)"

DOWNLOAD: Team B - On My Mind (MP3)

Team B

Team B is the new musical endeavor of Kelly Pratt. While written and recorded primarily on tour with Arcade Fire and Beirut in 2007 and 2008, help was also found with his amazing friends Pat Mahoney on drums (LCD Soundsystem), Jon Natchez and Perrin Cloutier from Beirut, and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) on a track or two.

We don't have a label yet, but the cd is available now through this website, and will be available in a couple of weeks through other online outlets. If you want a copy just click on the link below and ye shall receive. Price is only $10 plus $2.50 for shipping (in the U.S). If you live outside the US please include $6.50 for shipping.
[Team B]

Check out the three songs streaming at MySpace. Download one of them above. Check out Team B live, TONIGHT (November 10th) at Union Pool in Brooklyn (11 pm). It's their first show ever, and they're promising it will be their last this year. The full band looks something like this:
Kelly Pratt (Beirut, Arcade Fire)
Tracy Pratt (Beirut)
Ryan Smith (Twin Thousands, Stars Like Fleas)
Jon Natchez (Beirut, Stars Like Fleas)
Jason Poranski (Beirut, FreeTime)
Mike Fadem (The Jealous Girlfriends)
Special guests have also been promised.

Jon Natchez's credits also inlude Shugo Tokumaru's live band, Bishop Allen, The Citizens Band, Escort and.... Skavoovie! Jon and Kelly also sometimes play together at venues like the Stone.

Mike Fadem's band The Jealous Girlfriends are going on tour with Nada Surf and have a NYC show coming up (Dec 10) at The Studio at Webster Hall where they also played during CMJ.

Stars Like Fleas have a track on Habitat, "a two disc set including 29 artists, covering the various manifestations of 'electronic music,' and produced as a benefit for Habitat for Humanity." You can get that at Asthmatic Kitty.

A video of Kelly, Tracy and Jon playing with Herman Dune at Union Hall below...

Continue reading "Team B (Kelly Pratt + Jon Natchez & other Beirut members) - an MP3, a Brooklyn show Monday"

Photos by Chris La Putt

Shugo Tokumaru

So it ends up that Magnetic Fields show in Jersey City is not Shugo's next NYC-area appearance. Tickets just went on sale for the following October 22nd CMJ show at Bowery Ballroom:

Margot And The Nuclear So & So's w/
Wild Sweet Orange / Love As Laughter / Audrye Sessions / Shugo Tokumaru / Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons
Last night (9/23) Shugo made his NYC debut at Mercury Lounge with an all-star cast featuring members of Beirut, The National and So Percussion. More pictures and the setlist below...

Continue reading "Shugo Tokumaru played Mercury Lounge (pics), playing CMJ w/ Margot and the Nuclear So & So's"

Shugo and Bryan

Shugo Tokumaru's first-ever NYC show (it was his first US show, but then he added one earlier this month at Chicago) happens tonight (9/23) at Mercury Lounge in NYC. This who you can expect to see on stage with him:

* Jon Natchez (Beirut)
* Bryan Devendorf (The National)
* Perrin Cloutier (Beirut)
* Lawson White (So Percussion)
Twi the Humble Feather open the late show.
(Lenka plays the early show at the same venue)

If you miss him, Shugo is back in the area in exactly a month, but next time as an opener for The Magnetic Fields, and in Jersey City. Tickets for the Loew's show are still on sale. All tour dates below...

Continue reading "Shugo Tokumaru - tonight w/ all star backing band & updated 2008 Tour Dates (w/ the Magnetic Fields) "

photos by Ryan Muir

Beirut @ MHOW

It was almost two years ago that Beirut played in the venue that occupied the same space that they played last night (May 18, 2008). I don't know what my point is. Last night's last-minute Brooklyn show at MHOW was really great (2 encores, some covers, all the hits, and kick ass new songs). More pictures & comments, and the setlist, below....

Continue reading "Beirut @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, NYC - pics & setlist"