Entries tagged with: Lincoln Center
Glass Ghost, whose lineup includes vocalist/producer Eliot Krimsky (also of Here We Go Magic and founder/drummer Mike Johnson (also of Dirty Projectors), are set to release a new album, LYFE, on September 16 via Western Vinyl. The album features contributions from Brian Betancourt of Hospitality, Joan Wasser of Joan As Police Woman, Dirty Projectors' Nat Baldwin, and ex-TEEN member Jane Herships. We've got the premiere of a new single from the album, "Sound of Money," which is a nice dose of arty pop that should appeal to fans of the other projects these guys are in. You can stream that, with the LP tracklist, below.
Glass Ghost are also performing during the Sound + Vision Festival. They play the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater on August 5. Here's what Lincoln Center's site says about the performance:
Centering around the music of the band Glass Ghost, the visual component of this show is based on audience data, which is mined by LYFE™, a fictional company that identifies, analyzes, and advertises users emotions. Pre-show, participants take the MyLyfe™ survey, which asks them for a selfie, their online behavior, and drawings of a better future. During the show, as the music of Glass Ghost plays, audience members witness themselves and their data on the a screen--watched, quantified, and advertised, and then digitally disrupted as the LYFE™ software acquires an error and all data is erased and forgotten. The audience is then given a chance see their authentic selves laid out in front of them. LYFE™ is a music-video concert and audience participatory work in progress set for its world premiere in April 2015.Tickets are still available.
Song stream below...
Old 97's at Webster Hall - 6/3/14 (via @bob_perst)
Alt-country vets Old 97's recently wrapped up a tour with Lydia Loveless that hit NYC's Webster Hall earlier this month (anyone go? how was it?), and the band have already announced more dates including three new NYC shows. They'll do a 2-night stand at the more intimate (than Webster) Brooklyn Bowl on August 6 & 7. Tickets for those shows are on sale now. Then, two days later they'll appear at the previously-announced Lincoln Center Out of Doors show at Hearst Plaza (8/9) with The Devil Makes Three. That's an afternoon show, starting at 1:30 PM, and like all Out Of Doors shows, its free.
All dates are listed, with a video from the Webster Hall show, below...
Lincoln Center's ever popular A Midsummer Night Swing series happens this year from June 24 - July 12 at Damrosch Park (right before LC's Out of Doors series begins). There's a range of events (and styles, not just swing), all of which include dance lessons. Highlights this year include salsa legend Willie Rosario, and an all-star band featuring Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy. For those in a '70s mood, there's The First Ladies of Disco featuring Martha Wash (The Weather Girls), Linda Clifford, and fomer Chic singers Alfa Anderson, Luci Martin, and Norma Jean Wright, as well as a Loser's Lounge Tribute to ABBA which should be fun.
photos by Sachyn Mital
Twangy rockers Deer Tick returned to NYC last night (3/6) for the ongoing American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center's Allen Room. Given the environment and their partially acoustic setup, they were less rowdy than usual, and their 20+ song set included material from all over their career. They also included a few covers, but leaned most heavily on songs from their 2007 debut, War Elephant, and their newest LP, 2013's Negativity. For "In Our Time" off the latter, Deer Tick singer John McCauley's (once very famous and still active) wife Vanessa Carlton came out to sing guest vocals, which she also does on the album version. PIctures of the show are in this post.
John and Ian of Deer Tick will be back in NYC for the Bob Dylan tribute at MHOW on 3/24 which also includes Elvis Perkins, Langhorne Slim, Dawn Landes, and more.
More pics and the setlist from Lincoln Center, below...
Jherek Bischoff w/ Amanda Palmer at T5 on NYE (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Amanda Palmer/Parenthetical Girls collaborator Jherek Bischoff released a guest-filled solo album, Composed, back in 2012, and one of its tracks, "Eyes," which features David Byrne was recently given video treatment. You can check out the new clip for the song below.
As previously discussed, Jherek will be taking part in this summer's Lincoln Center Out of Doors season, during which he and Dan Deacon will join the Kronos Quartet on July 28 for a performance at Damrosch Park Bandshell. Jherek and Dan will both be making world premieres of new pieces, and Kronos Quartet will also be performing works by Amon Tobin, Bryce Dessner, and more. Also at that show, the Asphalt Orchestra will make the world premiere of their performance of The Pixies' Surfer Rosa. That show is totally free and begins at 6:30 PM.
A few days later, he'll play his own NYC show at Le Poisson Rouge on July 31 with Jen Goma (of People Get Ready) and Contemporaneous Ensemble. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with the new video, below...
Gorillaz at MSG in 2010
The shows include Monkey: Journey to the West, created by theater director Chen Shi-Zheng teamed up with Gorillaz members Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, which runs for the entire span of the festival from July 6-28. It also includes SInead O'Connor: The Gospel Sessions at Alice Tully Hull's Starr Theatre from July 26-27, and Zorn@60 in celebration of John Zorn's 60th birthday at Alice Tully Hall on July 18 and 20.
The festival also features the US premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Michaels Reise Um Die Erde with German ensemble musikFabrik on July 18 and 20 at Avery Fisher Hall, and Mongolia's Hanggai Band at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse on July 16, and still more. Full program schedule HERE.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Lost in the Trees at Lincoln Center - 2/28/13
Folk rockers Lost in the Trees came to NYC last week (2/28) for a show as part of the ongoing American Songbook Series in the Allen Room at Lincoln Center. Their set consisted mainly of material off of their two most recent full lengths and also covered Blonde Redhead's "Misery Is A Butterfly." More pictures from that show and the setlist are below.
Lost in the Trees will also be touring this April, but have not announced a return to NYC.
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Roomful of Teeth - "Quizassa" (written by Merrill Garbus) (MP3)
Roomful of Teeth (photo by Nicholas Whitman)
Roomful of Teeth played an Ecstatic Summer show with Merrill Garbus (aka the brains behind tUnE-yArDs) to perform some compositions that Merrill had written for the group along with some tUnE-yArDs songs as well. Some of those compositions will appear on the new self-titled Roomful of Teeth album, which is due out October 30 via New Amsterdam Records. One of those songs, "Quizassa," can be downloaded above, and it's instantly noticeable that Merrill had something to do with it. The album also features songs composed by William Brittelle, Caleb Burnhans, Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. The album tracklist and cover art are below.
Roomful of Teeth will also play a free show in NYC on Thursday (10/4) at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. The show starts at 10:30. They'll be performing material from their album and also the NY premieres of new works by Missy Mazzoli.
Album info is below.
ANNOUNCING LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS 42nd SEASONThat summary with highlights comes directly from Lincoln Center who also just posted the entire 2012 Lincoln Center Out of Doors schedule at their site.
JULY 25-AUGUST 12, 2012
100 FREE PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS ACROSS THE PLAZAS OF LINCOLN CENTER
17 World, US and NY Debuts, Premieres and Commissions, Including:
* Phil Kline's dreamcitynine - festival-long GPS-based audio app installation plus live performance
* Art meets sport this Olympics summer with Kimmo Pohjonen's Accordion Wrestling
dance theater piece featuring the accordion experimentalist and ten Finnish wrestlers
Los Irreales de Ondatrópica - Quantic and Frente Cumbiero lead an intergenerational all-star gathering of Colombian musicians
* Celebrated Turkish psych-folk icon, singer Selda Bagcan, highlights Istanbulive
* The Bad Plus: On Sacred Ground - Re-envisioning Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring
* Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble - German minimal techno group's chamber orchestra
* Polyglot Theatre's Tangle - site-specific, audience-created installation and kids' "play space"
Marking the 40th Anniversary of "Soul and the Center," Lincoln Center's Landmark Festival of African-American Artists
With: * Black Rock Coalition's Pardon Our Analysis
Nile Rodgers * Lenny Williams * Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company * Otis Clay * Aloe Blacc
* Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Stars * Swamp Dogg
Celebrating The Music That Shaped the Culture:
Laura Nyro, Frisner Augustin, Tite Curet Alonso, Gil Scott-Heron, Sister Songwriters, Irish American Songbook
by Andrew Sacher
Speaking of dub/psych artists who are playing Austin Psych Fest later this month, but are meanwhile in NYC for Unsound this week, Madison, Wisconsin duo Peaking Lights (who play a free Unsound show at Lincoln Center on Thursday with LXMP) just dropped the first track off their upcoming album, Lucifer (out 6/19 via Mexican Summer) and it's pretty great. Stream that track, which is called "LO HI," along with all of their dates, below...
July 20th at Lincoln Center in NYC:
"The product of a collaboration between Lincoln Center Festival and the Mayfield estate, this one-night-only event pays tribute to the late Curtis Mayfield, an iconic Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member whose music served as a soundtrack to the civil rights movement, introducing poetry and moral affirmation into pop, soul, funk, and R&B. A roster of special guest artists from across decades and styles--including Mavis Staples, Aloe Blacc, Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and more to be announced--joins The Impressions, the inimitable vocal soul group Mayfield led early in his career, along with a 14-piece house band under the musical directorship of guitarist Binky Griptite of the funk-infused Dap-Kings."Tickets are on sale.
photos by Chris La Putt
""Occupying the original occupier" tUnE-yArDs in Columbus Circle." - Bill Bragin
Merrill Garbus in Columbus Circle - 2/9/2012
As tUnE-YarDs' show at Lincoln Center's Allen Room, part of the American Songbook series (which Bill Callahan played one night earlier), was coming to an end last night, the tweets started pouring in: "@brooklynvegan tUnEyArDs will be playing Columbus Circle within the hour. Get there!", "@brooklynvegan can u spread word that Tuneyards doing free show out by Lincoln Center fountain", "@brooklynvegan tune yards are playing in Columbus circle NOT lincoln center fountain", and "@brooklynvegan She said it was NOT a show. A gathering." Whatever it was, it included video cameras, and you can see what it looked like along with pictures from the actual show and the setlist from the show, below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Bill Callahan @ the Allen Room - 2/8/2012
Following performances by a diversity of musicians including Keren Ann and Thurston Moore, Bill Callahan continued Lincoln Center's 2012 American Songbook Series last night (2/8) at the Allen Room, a show Mr. Callahan said seemed like an appropriate finale to his "Apocalyspe Tour." Here are some pictures.
tUnE-yArDs plays the series tonight (2/9).
In other news, Bill Callahan recently covered Leonard Cohen's great ""So Long Marianne" for a MOJO Magazine covers CD. Listen to that, with more pictures from the NYC show, below...
Regina Spektor at Bowery Ballroom in 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Regina Spektor is playing a show on February 23 at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center, a benefit for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). The HIAS "is the international migration agency of the American Jewish community. They provide rescue and refuge around the world for Jews and other refugees escaping violence, repression, and poverty." Tickets, starting at a $55 option and ranging to a $250 option, are on sale now.
Regina has a new album on the way called What We Saw From The Cheap Seats coming out this May. She left this message regarding the album via facebook:
Hi! So! I'm very excited to say that this summer i recorded a new record with Mike Elizondo in LA land! It's been finished for a little while but i had no idea when it would be out in the world until now... We're trying to get everything ready for it to come out in May (but i will share some stuff before then for sure!!!)Regina is also one of the many guests on Thomas Dolby's 2011 comeback album, A Map of the Floating City, which he recently announced a tour in support of. Stream Regina's contribution to the album, "Evil Twin Brother," below...
It's called---"What We Saw From The Cheap Seats"
big cheers to you all,
today in NYC
* yMusic @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Justin Vivian Bond @ Joe's Pub
* Pretty Good Friends @ Union Hall
* David Torn, Dave King @ The Stone
* Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
* John Doe, Robert Ellis @ City Winery
* Cyndi Lauper & friends @ Beacon Theatre
* Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Tim Berne, David Torn, Ches Smith @ The Stone
* Grasshopper, Mark Dwinell, Giant Claw @ Zebulon
* Black Pus, Witch Hat, Fuck Ton @ Death By Audio
* Latterman, Nude Beach, P.S Eliot @ The Bell House
* Jamie Woon, Erika Spring, Selebrities @ Glasslands
* Erykah Badu & The Cannabinoids @ Best Buy Theater
* Eyehategod, Doomriders, Hull, Knight Terror @ Europa
* Rachel Mason, Hans Chew, Woodsy Pride @ Vaudeville Park
* Ivan & The Terribles, Starina, Desert Stars @ Cake Shop
* The Hounds Below, Crazy Pills, Party Lights @ Union Pool
* Stephane Wrembel Presents The Django Experiment @ Barbes
* David Wax Museum, Spirit Family Reunion @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Monica Lionheart, Xenia Rubinos, Sweet Electra @ The Rock Shop
* Algernon Cadwallader, Band Name, Old Table @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge
* Idiot Glee, Celestial Shore, Philip Seymour Hoffman @ Cameo Gallery
* Ski Lodge, Indian Rebound, Sea Monsters, Sunbears! @ Arlene's Grocery
* Night Manager, Brown Bread & Von Holt, Advaita, Alex Drewchin @ Party Xpo
* Teddy Thompson, Bhi Bhiman, Daniel Wayne, Balthrop, Alabama @ Public Assembly
* Rosita Kess, Richard Julian (w/ Doug Wieselman), Jesse Harris @ Rockwood Music
* Freddie Stevenson, Aiden Moore, Zane Carney, John Schmidt, Sarah Blacker, Suzie Brown, Ben Lear, Marvelous Toy, Karen Dahlstrom, WILLOW @ Rockwood Music Hall
There's a Vegan Holiday Shop-Up @ Pine Box Rock Shop (12 Grattan St., Brooklyn) from Noon-5pm.
There's a record show at Brooklyn Bowl at noon.
Lou Reed is one of Cyndi Lauper's many guests at Beacon Theater tonight. The other day he spoke along with Philip Glass at Lincoln Center on behalf of the Occupy Movement. Video below...
When: Thursday December 1, 2011 at 10:30PM.More info below...
What: A General Assembly at 10:30 PM at Lincoln Center. Join us in an open conversation about the effects of increased privatization and corporatization of all aspects of society, and the use of nonviolent civil disobedience around the world to reclaim the commons. Composer Philip Glass will join the general assembly and mic-check a statement.
On Monday, November 28, 2011 the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District and presenting sponsor Time Warner will host the Twelfth Annual Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square - New York City's largest holiday festival! Winter's Eve kicks off with a neighborhood tree lighting ceremony and features free entertainment, food tastings, in-store activities and shopping around and about this colorful and vibrant neighborhood.Arlo Guthrie is playing the tree lighting. The Klezmatics are playing in the dance tent. Catherine Russell is playing in the American Folk Art Museum. Marching bands will be playing on the street, and much more.
Stores, restaurants, cultural organizations and public spaces in the district will be buzzing with activities for both children and adults. At the same time, sidewalks along Broadway from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th Street will be alive with performers, street musicians, jugglers, stilt-walkers and more, making for a festive fun-filled stroll through the streets of this dynamic Upper West Side neighborhood.
WHEN: Monday, November 28, 2011, 5:30 PM, Rain, Snow or Shine!
WHERE: The celebration begins with a neighborhood tree lighting ceremony at Dante Park at Broadway& 63rd Street and continues along Broadway from Time Warner Center to 68th Street.
Bill Callahan @ MHOW in July (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook returns to the elegant Allen Room in January for its fourteenth season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. For 16 nights the series will explore the best of the golden age of musical standards through to today's most dynamic songwriting. The music of Broadway, Latin culture and hip-hop, bluegrass, rock, and pop will be presented, along with three evenings devoted to great American composers and lyricists. The 2012 season - January 11 through February 11 - will bring to the stage some of today's most gifted interpreters of song, including Tony Award winners Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, and LaChanze, as well as the "Queen of British Musicals," the great Elaine Paige. In keeping with American Songbook's tradition of honoring great composers and lyricists, those being celebrated this season are William Finn (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Falsettos), folk icon Woody Guthrie, and Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Girl). A relatively new composer on the scene, multiple Tony-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) will open the series with a new rap composition about Alexander Hamilton. Also performing in the rap/hip- hop vein is the exciting ensemble Ozomatli.The full schedule is at Lincoln Center's site and below...
From the rock canon will be J.D. Souther, performing songs he wrote for Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles as well as newer compositions, guitar god Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth doing an acoustic set, and the wildly expressive Merrill Garbus, known as tUnE-yArDs.
Singer/songwriters, both emerging and veteran, are part of American Songbook as well. Diva of the demi-monde Keren Ann is part of the series, as is the man whose deep voice and masculine presence has earned him the nickname "The John Wayne of Indie Rock," Bill Callahan.
The spectacular Allen Room is located in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Broadway at 60th Street. The Allen Room possesses one of New York's greatest settings - a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.
TICKETS can be purchased online beginning November 14, 2011 at Lincoln Center's website www.AmericanSongbook.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Tickets for the Friends of Lincoln Center go on sale November 3, and single tickets go on sale to the public beginning November 14.
The Relatives @ Damrosch Park Bandshell
As any hard-living soul singer and Rebecca Black can tell you, after Saturday Night comes Sunday morning. Following the all-day Girl Group Extravaganza at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, it was time to take in some Family Day programming and Goin' to Church music. The afternoon program in Hearst Plaza on July 30th featured the Stax Music Academy and Vy Higgensen's Gospel for Teens choir. The Stax Academy tore through complex Jackson 5 songs and Stax-era staples, teaching the audience to dance the 'Funky Chicken' with delight. As for the Gospel For Teens Choir, you'll just have to check out the pics(below) to believe it. Family day did not equal 'kiddie music' by any means. Both the Stax and GFT groups displayed mature artistry via talent and determination.
The evening program featured recently rediscovered psych-funk gospel group The Relatives (who were a highlight of last year's Ponderosa Stomp) and headliner Mavis Staples who performed, one day after she appeared at Newport Folk Fest, a lengthy and thoroughly satisfying set which included a cover of Curtis Mayfield's 'This Is My Country'. Amen.
More pictures from Lincoln Center Out of Doors Sunday (day and night), below...
"Just two years after a $107 million renovation at its Lincoln Center home, the troubled New York City Opera plans to move out and perform in various places around New York, officials of the company said on Friday.Not leaving Lincoln Center: Midsummer Night Swing (June 27-July 16) & Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2011 & Lincoln Center Festival 2011
City Opera disclosed its plans as it announced that it had settled on a slimmed-down budget for five operas and three concerts, starting in October, after speculation that financial woes would force it to halt performances.
The opera's departure would be the first major defection from America's premier arts complex, although City Opera has been talking about a move for 30 years. The New York Philharmonic also flirted with the idea of relocating, to Carnegie Hall in 2003, but that deal fell through." [NY Times]
Tickets are now on AmEx presale (through Friday, March 25 @ 10pm) for the two Neil Young shows happening at Lincoln Center's very Fisher Hall in April. Bert Jansch has been announced as the opener.
Lincoln Center Festival 2011 Announced
Three LEADING International Companies Highlight
LINCOLN CENTER FESTIVAL 2011 - July 5-August 14
Mariinsky Ballet (Kirov) returns to Lincoln Center, joining Royal Shakespeare Company and The Cleveland OrchestraTickets and more information are at the Lincoln Center Festival website.
OTHER FESTIVAL 2011 PRESENTATIONS:
* Director Peter Brook directs the U.S. Premiere of A Magic Flute
* Druid Theatre Company performs Seán O'Casey's classic drama The Silver Tassie, directed by Tony Award-winner Garry Hynes
* Royal Danish Opera offers U.S. Premiere of Poul Ruders' opera Selma Ježková; Royal Danish Orchestra performs an orchestral concert and an evening of chamber music
* Amon Miyamoto directs U.S. Premiere of Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, starring popular Japanese star Go Morita
* Merce Fair, a day-long immersion in performances, workshops, video and art installations, celebrates the artistry of choreographer Merce Cunningham
* Influential Brazilian singer-songwriter Tom Zé makes rare U.S. concert appearance
* David Michalek's large-scale, outdoor video installation, Portraits in Dramatic Time, to be shown each evening from July 5-31 on Josie Robertson Plaza
Neil Young will hit the road solo on April 15th, stopping for two nights at NYC's Avery Fisher Hall along the way. Neil's new album was released towards the end of 2010. His Warner Brothers-affiliated label points out that:
"The eight-song Le Noise, among Young's most critically-embraced albums, is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician, songwriter, and multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Daniel Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers and many others. Le Noise was released by Reprise Records on September 28th, 2010."Keep an eye on Lincoln Center's website for the NYC show tickets. All tour dates are listed below...
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by David Andrako
I was prepared to be disappointed by the Dan Deacon/So Percussion collaboration on Thursday night. I've seen Dan Deacon several times over the past few years and it has always seemed like more or less the same show ("Hey, it's that people-bridge thing."). With So Percussion, the last I saw of them was an evening-length piece at BAM titled Imaginary City. There the music was competently performed, but presentation was underwhelming; the ensemble got swallowed in their junkyard of instruments, too delicately played for the large theater space. My hope was that the group would be less calculated and more playful, which is when they're at their best, with Deacon (the amazing finale of their Matmos collaboration had them alternately chugging and playing beer cans).
Another reason to be skeptical: if you can remember back to May 2009, So Percussion described a Deacon-penned piece they'd be playing at a performance that month. An e-mail from the group warned that the piece "may include pouring liquids onstage, amplified coke bottles, and other oddities..." Well, it didn't end up coming together in time for the show. But it did last night. I figure, any project delayed more than two years is either a catastrophic trainwreck (Chinese Democracy) or a landmark breakthrough (Finnegans Wake or something). Part of that curiosity is what drew me to the show.
The night was divided into two halves, the first with So Percussion and Dan Deacon performing individual sets, then with the groups together. So Percussion's Jason Treuting was absent for the evening, off spending time with his new baby, who'd just been born two hours earlier, and substitute drummer Eric Rosenbaum did a great job of filling in. The band had the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" into a cell phone for the newborn, which was the first of several crowd-performances of the night.
Their opening set comprised of several short pieces, mostly based on videos submitted by friends: a bearded man using an electric toothbrush, a child playing with an orange balloon (replicas were thrown into the crowd to play with), and Martin Schmidt from Matmos looking very John Cage-ish, straight-backed and in a bow tie, playing a succession of musical objects into the camera. The ensemble improvised over the clips in meditative waves, aided by guitarist Grey McMurray.
Up next was Dan Deacon's solo set, which he didn't really perform in at all. In an obvious reach-out to prose scores (by John Cage and others I'm less familiar with) and aleatoric pieces like Terry Riley's In C, Deacon passed out a 24-step pamphlet with instructions for audience members to perform in their seats. The steps were to be repeated variously, before moving to the next in the sequence. Some instructions said to focus on breathing, others instructed you to sing a tone or scream, several involved using a cell phone, either to set off its alarm, create feedback with a neighbor's phone, or call a friend and have them sing to you (one stranger serenaded the near-silent hall to "Proud Mary"). The gambit paid off, both as a natural extension of the crowd-participation Deacon has previously employed and as a link to "new music" tradition.
There was an intermission, then "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler," a collaborative piece with So Percussion, whose performance centered on drumming a row of soda bottles of varying sizes. They emitted a marimba-like sound that Dan Deacon manipulated with a row of effects. The next stop was a series of bass drums and congas, that sounded at times like a drum corps. When Dan Deacon fired up his sequencers, which took a few moments to lock in with the drums, it was the closest the night would get to a standard Dan Deacon set: overwhelming sound with chaotic execution (So Percussion didn't seem exactly at ease with their cues here). The group moved back to the pitched containers while members emptied more soda bottles into plastic tubs. Stoppers at the bottom of two playable bottles were let out and a misting sound filled the hall. Then, the silence. For what must have been more than ten minutes, So Percussion stood perched over their marimbas and vibes waiting for the running water to stop (no doubt a reference to the silence of John Cage's 4'33"). One enraged audience member exclaimed "Are you fucking kidding me?" before storming out the back. Then the water ended, and the group came in with an arrangement of twinkling mallet percussion, with a melody that hinted at Danny Elfman's film scores and polyrhythms that tugged in several different directions.
Was the night a success? Partly. Dan Deacon seemed serious about his concert hall debut; the prose score was fun and effective. So Percussion's solo set was a stellar example of what makes the group great: aural treats born out of playful experimentation. Their collaboration was a risk that had an admirable scope, and paid-off in parts, but stopped short of making a cohesive whole (again, the thing was called "Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler"). If Deacon and the group had put together a suite of short pieces, with spots to recalibrate and adjust, I suspect the result would have been a full success.
As it was, only one crowd member in a sold-out crowd leaving (as far as I could tell) is more than a minor victory. The biggest regret is the fact that the program's final piece, So Percussion's "I Love You, Goodnight," didn't happen. They skipped that song, possibly for time, or perhaps because Jason was absent, but I wish I had a video of it to post here: It's an amazing lullaby to send off an audience.
More pictures from the Ecstatic Music Festival show at Merkin Concert Hall (the next one is Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman & ACME on Saturday) below...