Entries tagged with: Kelly Pratt
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The Antlers @ Rough Trade NYC - 6/17/14
The Antlers released their new album Familiars yesterday (6/17), and on release day they celebrated with an in-store at Rough Trade NYC where they played the album start to finish. Pictures are in this post.
It's their third album since frontman Peter Silberman turned The Antlers into a full band and released the highly-acclaimed Hospice (and fifth overall), and as last night's show further proved, the most somber of the three. The Antlers had been increasingly becoming a full-sounding band, but last night they were without their bassist/guitarist, instead joined by Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem/David Byrne & St. Vincent/etc collaborator Kelly Pratt (also ex-Beirut who we just caught at 50 Kent) on trumpet and keys, who helped them favor atmosphere over grandiosity. The new stuff is also their jazziest, and not because of the horns but because of the chord changes and light, fusion-inflicted drumming.
The band may not have gotten loud last night, but damn if they weren't powerful. Peter hardly spoke at all during songs, whispering "thanks for coming to our record release show, we really appreciate it" and "how is everyone tonight?" but otherwise stayed zoned in to the band's material. The horns (Kelly and Antlers multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci both contributed them on every song) really help define this new stuff, and seeing those arrangements come to life was a thrill. But Peter dishing out those deeply personal lyrics like he meant every word was the highlight of the show over and over again. It's hard to think of a band who five years ago wrote a concept album about cancer "maturing," but Familiars gives the vibe that Peter is looking back on the troubled past that informed Hospice with a newfound wisdom, while still sounding as emotionally heavy.
More pictures from Rough Trade below...
Cordero at Bowery Ballroom in 2004 (more)
Ani Cordero is a woman of many projects. She's currently a touring member of Os Mutantes, has played in Pistolera, and is of the long-running Bloodshot Records-signed NYC band Cordero. She's preparing to release a new solo album, Recordar: Latin American Songs of Love & Protest, on April 29 which revisits "songs from the 1930s-1970s that highlight influential artists who provided the soundtrack for social change." The record was co-produced by Os Mutantes member Sergio Dias, and features contributions from Charles Giordano (E Street Band), Kelly Pratt (David Byrne's band, Arcade Fire, Beirut), Omar Akil Little (Lee "Scratch" Perry collaborator), Erich Hubner (Man or Astroman?), and more.
You can get a taste of the album from its single "Volver a Los 17." The new video for that song, directed by E. Lee Smith, premieres in this post. Check it out below.
Ani also has a couple dates coming up, including a record release show in her hometown happening on May 1 at Joe's Pub. Tickets for that show are on sale now. She plays a Philly show soon after. All dates are listed, with the new video, below.
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
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...
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.
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,
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...
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
David, St. Vincent and the gang on stage in Houston
Nashville, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas
Arriving in Nashville, a few of us head straight to the local "meat and 3." Three sides of vegetables should not be taken as a sign that this is a diet-conscious tour. In the South, vegetables function as napkins for grease rather than repositories for vitamins.
After a long night of honky-tonking with the crew, we file in to play the historic Ryman Auditorium, which for over thirty years housed the Grand Ole Opry. Our show is great, but the horn section isn't quite ready to pack up their cases. One of the best things about touring is bumping into friends who are also on the road. By happy accident, Antibalas is also in Nashville, performing at a venue nearby our own. Several Antibalas band members played on "Love This Giant," and a few of them are in bands with other people in our party. At the end of their set, all eight of our horns join them for Fela's "Open and Close":
Next up is Austin. Jon has a biologist friend teaching at UT so we ride our bikes over to campus to hear her give a lecture on sexual selection. We learn some truly fascinating facts about animal courtship behavior, such as the seduction technique of the Australian bowerbird. In an attempt to find a mate, the male bowerbird builds a highly complex and elaborately decorated hut, which he then presents to his sweetheart as a nuptial gift. But sex isn't all romance. As if we needed further proof that bedbugs are the most disgusting animal on the planet, we learn their reproductive habits. Apparently when ready to mate, the male bedbug grows an intermittent organ that he then uses to randomly stab the female through her exoskeleton.
Learning about sexual suicide can build up quite an appetite. After the lecture, we get in a cab and head to the best restaurant of tour yet: Uchiko. Executive chef Paul Qui won season 9 of Top Chef and the food does not disappoint. The jar jar duck is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, Star Wars: Episode One reference notwithstanding.
In my experience, Austin audiences are usually very receptive and this time is no exception. Several people speak of the St. Vincent song "Cheerleader" as one of the show highlights, in part because of its choreography. The movements for this song are quite simple: lie supine on the floor and play. But as anyone who has ever played a brass instrument knows, it is really hard to play while lying down. Breathing is more labored, as is forcing air through a horn. Also, water tends to build up and flow back down into the mouthpiece. But the visual effect is stunning
In Dallas, I get some time by myself and take long bike ride to the Dallas Museum of Art. This museum holds quite a few works by contemporary masters, many of which I have never seen before. Of particular note are a series of early post-impressionistic Piet Mondrian landscapes juxtaposed with some of his later Neo-Plasticist works. The stylistic differences between the two are striking and provide a perfect example of an artist completely abandoning one style for another.
David, Tony, Mary-Anne
The Dallas show turns out to be the 100th David Byrne show Tony and Mary-Anne, a couple who we have seen at several stops along this tour. They have seen every incarnation of David's bands since 1978. They met when David, from the stage, spotted Tony with a homemade Talking Heads t-shirt. David invited him backstage because he liked the shirt, and Tony subsequently went on to design some t-shirts for DB. After the Dallas show we all cheers Tony and Mary-Anne and jump on the bus for San Diego.
David Byrne and St. Vincent play Santa Barbara, CA tonight (10/11) at the Arlington Theatre. The rest of their tour dates are here. More photos from Brian Murray are below.
words by Kelly Pratt; photos by Bryan Murray
David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Beacon Theater 9/25/2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
NY, Philly, Bethesda, on to Nashville
Most of the band live in NY so it's great to come back and spend nearly a week on home turf. The Beacon Theatre is an ideal place for the show, partially because of the large number of balcony seats. The audience in the balcony is able to see the choreography more fully than one would in the first few rows. One song in which this is particularly rewarding is The Forest Awakes. The idea is to move freely, lining yourself up with someone or something on the stage. Therefore the movements in this piece are improvised in a completely different way every night. Another unique aspect of the show is the massive amount of samples, programmed primarily by Daniel Mintseris and triggered and played by him and drummer Brian Wolfe. The brass provide the backbone of the band, but the samples give the songs an electronic edge that take the sound firmly out of "brass band" territory.
Williamsburg Park, 2/29/2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Williamsburg Park is our biggest show of the tour, and turns out to be our best response yet. In my experience NY crowds are among the iciest around, but this one brings the energy. Maybe it's that everyone is standing the whole time or maybe it's the cheaper ticket price bringing out more youngsters. Regardless we all have a great time, and depart NYC with a little sadness.
Our next show is in Bethesda, MD, a suburb of DC, at a large arts center. We arrive early so I make a few phone calls outside, where there are four large black SUVs in a row. I tend to pace around nervously while on the phone, and I can tell that some of the drivers of the caravan are paying attention to me. A few moments later the front door opens and a little girl walks out surrounded by two buff dudes with earpieces. It's one of the Obama daughters. The secret service escort her into the backseat of one of the vehicles and the caravan peels out. It seems like a lot of trouble for a ten-year old's ballet class. A little later we have the best laugh of the tour yet when Bryan tells us his workout routine. Having attempted running outdoors ("I tried running around Prospect Park, but that sucked!"), he now heads down to his basement and runs in place while watching The West Wing for 45 minutes. Whatever works...
Nashville next. See you soon,
David Byrne and St. Vincent play Atlanta, GA tonight (10/3) at the Cobb Energy Center. The rest of their tour dates are here.
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
photos by Chris La Putt
St. Vincent/David Byrne @ Beacon Theater - 9/25/12
If you've been reading this site at all in the past week or so, you know that David Byrne & St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) recently kicked off their tour together in support of their collaborative album, Love This Giant. We've already posted pics of David and Annie at POP Montreal, where David also performed at the Pop vs Jock halftime show (the tour hit Chicago last week too), and surely you've been keeping up with Kelly Pratt's tour diary of his experiences on the road with David, Annie and co. That tour finally came to NYC last night (9/25) for the first of two Beacon Theater shows, and first of three NYC shows overall this week.
Their tour continues, hitting Beacon Theater again tonight (9/26) and Williamsburg Park on Sunday (9/29). Tickets for both of those shows are still available.
At Beacon, David and Annie were backed by their eight-piece horn section (Kelly Pratt included), and in addition to playing material off of Love This Giant, they spliced in songs from their respective solo careers, and included a few Talking Heads cuts as well. One of the Talking Heads songs they played was "Burning Down the House," which you can watch a video of from last night's show, along with more pictures from the show, below.
words by Kelly Pratt, new photos by Bryan Murray
Kelly Pratt @ Pop Montreal (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
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)
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.
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...
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...
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...
DOWNLOAD: Bright Moments - "Travelers" (MP3)
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.
photos by Chris La Putt
Javelin @ Mercury Lounge
Since that show Big Freedia played a Saturday night show at Brooklyn Bowl, a 3-song set later that night (at like 2:30am) at Drom, and B.O.M.B. Fest. Freedia and Javelin play together in Montreal tonight (5/31). Javelin play their next NYC show on June 18 at Glasslands with Delicate Steve, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Bright Moments (Kelly Pratt of Beirut and Arcade Fire), and Harry Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall. The show is presented by label Luaka Bop and is part of the Northside Festival. Tickets are still available. Flyer and more tour dates below.
Javelin is currently in the process of completing a Canyon Candy short film. The film is their companion to the Canyon Candy 10". According to Javelin's Kickstarter campaign:
The lone survivor of a brutal massacre, a young girl is plunged into hallucinatory chase through a day and night in the American Southwest. Directed by Mike Anderson and produced by Oscar Boyson, Canyon Candy is unlike any previous Western. Part poem, part play, a modern silent film wholly created on a soundstage: this is the first western of its kind to be shot in the New York Metropolitan Area since The Great Train Robbery was filmed in Milltown, New Jersey in 1903. Completely handmade, Canyon Candy will employ old studio western methods such as rear-projection, dioramas, and scenic matte painting to create a stunningly unorthodox visual rendering of the American West. Javelin's original score fuses original compositions with dollar-bin mined samples.Check out a video from the Kickstarter campaign with Javelin, some stills from the film, all dates, more pics from Mercury Lounge, below...
most of the words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
They played for over 3.5 hours before the sun set on LCD Soundsystem in a cascade of white balloons dropping from the Madison Square Garden ceiling in NYC Saturday night. I wished they played even longer. Everyone I talked to agreed.
But James Murphy and co. gave everything at Madison Square Garden last night (4/2). And the sold-out arena crowd gave in return. For two months - through the initial on-line ticket debacle, the addition of four T5 shows to make up for it, constant hype, and lots of guessing at what guests might turn up (sadly there was no Daft Punk) - it all made this final act in the drama, The Long Goodbye, even more of an event.
From where I was in the middle of the front GA section nobody stopped dancing, or singing along or smiling the entire night. (Save for, like at all four Terminal 5 shows, the couple of awkward, yet brief and deserved intermissions.) Every turn to scan the Garden saw people full-on, in the groove dancing; not just some barely-registered shuffling back and forth. Honestly, everyone who was there should take a bow because they were fantastic. During the first break, video footage was shown of an interviewer talking to fans outside the venue, Aziz Ansari included.
And no, there was no Daft Punk, but there was Arcade Fire singing joyously along on "North American Scum" (the third set's highlight) and an appearance by Reggie Watts who also played with the band at three of the four Terminal 5 shows. The boys choir featuring members of Mr. Dream was there, as were the two female backup singers, and the horn section that included Kelly Pratt and Colin Stetson. Original LCD guitarist Phil Mossman was back and featured a few times in addition to LCD band members
Nancy Whang, Tyler Pope, Pat Mahoney, Matt Thornley, Gavin Russom, and David Scott Stone. Liquid Liquid opened the show like they did at the first two Terminal 5 shows. Shit Robot, who opened the second two T5 shows, again made an appearance during the show. Shit Robot and Juan Maclean, for one song, were alien vocalists in mysterious cardboard-looking spaceships that were set up in seats behind the stage (pictures and video below).
Pitchfork streamed the whole show for those who couldn't be there - you could see the cameras all over the place, including on the shoulders of cameramen walking through the GA crowd. Filmmaker Lance Bangs was seen dancing in the crowd and working backstage on the video of the show, and yes the clouds made it to the two screens that were hanging on the sides of the stage.
LCD started with "Dance Yrself Clean" and "Drunk Girls" followed. The first set was breathtaking and included "Daft Punk is Playing in My House." After an intermission, the band tackled most of 45:33. Watts came out for "Part 2" and Murphy spent most of the middle set off in the background letting the band tackle the instrumentals.
The first encore featured a cathartic and riveting "Someone Great" as well as "Losing My Edge" and "Home." For me that block was the highlight. During "Losing My Edge," the video screens featured images of some of the influential bands mentioned. When I looked up I saw The Sonics.
Their Harry Nilsson cover of "Jump Into The Fire" was part of the final 3-song encore. Murphy, his voice sounding a bit hoarse, paused between songs to thank everyone who came out and everyone who helped put the show together. "Three songs left," "two songs left," and then after saying "this is our last song", and a bit more banter including an admission to his family who was in the audience that he was wearing his dad's watch (as you can hear in the video below), he led the band into their final (ever) number, "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." It started slow with Murphy even laughing and pausing 'for dramatic effect' but by the end of the raucous outro the crowd was in a frenzy, only for the band to launch back in and cue the balloon drop. As the crowd was preoccupied with balloons of various size descending upon them, the entire band slipped off stage, almost completely unnoticed, and into history.
VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE SHOW (from the stream), and lots more pictures and the full setlist, below...
DOWNLOAD: Team B - On My Mind (MP3)
Team B @ Union Pool in November (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Team B, the band fronted by Kelly Pratt -- a horn player who's spent a good portion of the past two years touring with Arcade Fire and Beirut -- will be headlining a week-long tour in June. Accompanying them will be New Numbers (featuring Josh Abbott and Mike Fadem of Jealous Girlfriends, the latter who also drums for Team B).
Their tour includes a show at NYC's (Le) Poisson Rouge on June 27th. Tickets are on sale now.
The band played its first show in November 2008.All tour dates below...
photos by Natasha Ryan
Beirut thrives on the indie-rock circuit playing music that has little to do with typical rock sounds or rhythms. On Friday its nearly all-acoustic lineup included accordion, trumpet, trombone, bass fiddle and drums; Mr. Condon switched between rotary valve flugelhorn and ukulele. Beirut rarely uses a standard rock beat; more often it has the sputtering snare drum and occasional bass-drum thuds of waltzes, tangos, polkas and Balkan dances.Beirut played four shows in Brooklyn in two weeks. It started with a secret show at Coco66 in Greenpoint on January 27th. Then on February 4th came Music Hall of Williamsburg, and finally on Friday (2/6) and Saturday (2/7) came the two shows with the Vassar Orkestar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Kaki King opened those last two. Beirut also appeared on Letterman Friday night. Video from that, and more pictures from the last BAM show, below...
On Friday night Beirut was backed for part of its set by the three dozen musicians of the Vassar Orkestar -- on strings, reeds and horns, with arrangements by Beirut's trumpeter Kelly Pratt -- who added elegant pizzicato parts and put more oomph in the oompah. Mr. Condon beckoned the audience out of the opera-house seats, to throng the stage as if the Brooklyn Academy of Music were just a bigger club. [NY Times]
Joan 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.
Team B @ Union Pool (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Everything (ok, maybe not everything) you need to know about Team B in the video below...
words and photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
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...
Herman Dune & the Pratts @ Central Park Summerstage (everlovingpix)
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...
DOWNLOAD: Team B - On My Mind (MP3)
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.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:
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.
Kelly Pratt (Beirut, Arcade Fire)Special guests have also been promised.
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)
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...