Entries tagged with: NYPL
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by PSquared
So how does a music recording label from Wisconsin who -- paraphrasing the words of renowned musicologist Greil Marcus -- used materials from dirt and recorded what they thought was dirt, end up with one of the great catalogs in the history of the American songbook. Well that was the subject of the discussion last night (11/19) at the NY Public Library's Live from NYPL series. Held in the beautiful 5th Ave Saloman Room, it was in honor of the release of the massive gorgeous box set The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932. Jointly put out by Jack White's Third Man Records and Revenant Records which was founded by the late great guitar player John Fahey and Dean Blackwood. This is actually the first in a 2 volume set. The 2nd volume will be released this time next year. Along with Jack White and Dean Blackwood, the panel included Dean's brother Scott Blackwood, Princeton professor and writer Daphne Brooks (who moderated the panel) and rounded out with the aforementioned Greil Marcus.
Before the evening began, attendees were able to view the set which was on display as well as see actual original Paramount 78s. Extremely collectible and rare, the ones on display have also been preserved in beautiful form which is some feat as most existing ones are beat to hell and of course most of the recordings were only ever available in limited quantities. As one story goes, when Paramount Records went out of business, employees were able to take whatever remaining supply was available in lieu of pay. Some used them to cover holes in walls while some employees just flew them off the roof of the buildings into the river.
The discussion was set up in 2 parts. For the first one, Daphne Brooks discussed the history of the label with both White and Dean Blackwood. They traded off stories about this company whose main objective was to sell record players and had decided to boost those sales by recording any type of black "race records" they could. There was no quality control either in who was recorded or how they were recorded. It was cheap (75 cents for each C.O.D.) and quick and when it began, very inauspicious. In the 1920s though, with the great migration and under the guidance of a persuasive "A & R man" named Mayo "Ink " Williams, the label was recording out of Chicago and finding itself with some remarkable talent. From there they would go on to amass this singular historical archive. The discussion was interspersed with selections from the label chosen by each speaker. There was everything from Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans stomp and spooky gospel (chosen by Jack White) to underrated blues singer Ethel Waters who Daphne Brooks asked the audience to make sure to not sleep on.
After an hour of this, they invited Scott Blackwood and Greil Marcus onstage for the throwdown. The part where each panelist picked songs that they thought were unbeatable from the rest. This was the best part of the evening with each choosing some fascinating numbers. One of the Blackwoods chose an incredible song, "My Man Rocks Me", by washboard player Jimmy O'Bryant and his famous original band containing some syncopated beats that would make a few of today's producers salivate. Jack White picked a song he said he wished he would have wrote called "Mamas Angel Child" by an artist named Sweet Papa Stovepipe. That song and the b side were his only known recordings. But the moment for me was when Greil Marcus chose his pick. Original Stack O'Lee Blues was recorded in 1927 by Papa Harvey Hull and Long 'Cleve' Reed also known as the Down Home Boys, Not the first version (that would be Ma Rainey in 1917) of Stack O'Lee or Stagger Lee which has been recorded by countless artists over the years but one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.
Marcus, a master storyteller, enlivened the audience with the story of how this recording came to be. It was actually recorded by Mayo Williams who had formed a separate company called Black Patti which was at some point absorbed by Paramount. Black Patti was named after a soprano star in the 1920s. Apparently at that time in Chicago, Black Patti was so influential that any song given a seal of approval was bought up by the public without even first being heard. An irony that could not possibly be lost on the person (Jack White) sitting next to Marcus whose got much the same sway in music today. Oh and I've read that apparently the owner of the only known copy of this specific record in existence today has turned down offers of up to $20,000 for it. I only wish they had given more time to Greil Marcus to spin some more tales.
At that point, Daphne Brooks thanked the audience, a Third Man staffer, in the standard bowler hat and getup, whisked Jack White out of the building and a very entertaining evening came to an end. As people exited the room they were given one last parting gift which was a special limited edition (200 copies maybe?) Third Man replica of a Paramount '78. It features 2 gospel blues shouters so loved by Jack White, the A-Side being "You Better Run" by Sister Ernia Mae Cunningham and the B-Side "The New Birth" by Rev. H.C. Greenwood.
Pictures of the evening are in this post. More below...
one of the many gems up for grabs at this week's RHA record sale
The New York Public Library is cleaning house and getting rid of a few of its duplicate records:
The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded sound has 22,000 LPs with your name on them. The records represent decades of unsolicited donations, for which we already have at least one copy in great condition. Now we need the space to bring in more unique materials for you to enjoy and study. Whether you are a hardcore collector of foreign classical releases, lover of 70s country music, Funk aficionado, or devotee of Ronald Reagan's spoken work, stop in anytime between August 8th and August 10th to get your paws on your sonic favorites known and yet to be discovered. All genres and styles represented.The R&H Record Sale happens at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery, first floor) from August 8 - 10. The hours for the three-day sale are as follows:
We've priced the records to sell with all proceeds going to support the ongoing expansion of our collections.
There is a great chance that someone will find more than one diamond in the not-so-rough. Many of the recordings have never been played, bear promotional stamps, and remain sealed in shrink wrap.
Thursday, August 8, 2013, 12 - 7:45 p.m.While there is no online inventory of what will be for sale, they are posting pictures of some of the stock on their Facebook and Tumblr. "Cash is preferred. Credit cards accepted only for purchases of $100 or more." More info at the NYPL's website. They're also looking for volunteers to help with the sale.
Friday, August 9, 2013, 12 - 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, August 10, 2013, 12 - 5:45 p.m.
As mentioned, David Byrne and St. Vincent are making an album together this year called Love This Giant (due out 9/11 via 4AD/Todo Mundo) and will be touring in support of it this September and October. Before that tour kicks off, the two musicians will team up for a performance on Late Night with JImmy Fallon, which airs on September 10, one day before their album is released.
Their tour hits NYC on September 25 and 26 at Beacon Theatre and Spetember 29 at Williamsburg Park. Tickets to all three shows are still available. A list of all dates on the tour and streams of two album tracks, "Who" and "Weekend in the Dust," at the bottom of this post.
In related news, David Byrne has a new book, How Music Works, and he'll be doing some book readings/discussions in various cities, including one in NYC on December 5 at the New York Public Library. Tickets for that event go on sale Friday, September 7 at noon. More details can be found at NYPL's website.
A list of all dates and song streams below.
Bon Iver at Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Bon Iver recorded an iTunes session at East West studios which is available exclusively from iTunes starting today. It includes six tracks off 2011's great Bon Iver, Bon Iver and a cover of Bjork's "Who Is It?," which the band has played live many times. You can stream the session's opening track, "Beth/Rest" below.
As mentioned, Bon Iver is touring internationally throughout the summer and fall and will come to NYC on September 19 and 20 at Radio City Music Hall. Both of those shows are now sold out. All Bon Iver dates, including a recently announced European leg, are listed below.
Speaking of Bjork, she's teaming up with the New York Public Library (NYPL) and the Children's Museum of Manhattan to create interactive educational programs for middle school-aged students based on her Biophilia app. Speaking about the program, Bjork said:
"It's not a bookish thing. You cannot learn to make music from a book." "I love books; they're like the best ever," she added. "There are things you can only learn from books, but it's also important to introduce the physical aspects. So for me, it was very important to make, somehow, music education that was physical." (via NY Daily News)Both Bon Iver and Bjork are set to play Oya Festival in Oslo, Norway this summer (Aug 7-11) with The Stone Roses, Refused, The Afghan Whigs, Bob Mould (performing Copper Blue), Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, John Maus, Purity Ring, Saint Etienne, SBTRKT, Screaming Females, St. Vincent, and more. Full list below.
Way Out West (Aug 9-11) in Gothenberg, Sweden features many of the same bands as Oya like Bon Iver, Refused, Afghan Whigs, St. Vincent, Purity Ring, John Maus, and Bob Mould in addition to Blur, Wilco, I Break Horses, Hot Chip, The War On Drugs, Mark Lanegan Band, Adolescents, Swans, and more. Check out the spotify playlist. The full lineup is listed below.
As mentioned, the reunited Mazzy Star is set to play both of those European festivals. Full lineups and the Bon Iver dates and song, below...
Josh Ritter at BookPeople in Austin in October (more by Tim Griffin)
Singer/songwriters Josh Ritter, John Wesley Harding (aka Wesley Stace), and Steve Earle are also authors, and all three of them put out novels this year. They'll be teaming up for "a night of talk and songs" at the Celeste Bartos Forum of The New York Public Library on Tuesday (12/6). Tickets for the event are on sale now.
Josh Ritter made a promotional appearance for his novel, which is titled Bright's Passage, in Austin this past October. As you can see above, it was also an event that included some music. Pictures and full recap, including a part where Josh says Wesley was one of his writing inspirations, HERE.
Ritter has also been added to the bill of the previously mentioned WFUV show, which is happening on 12/5 with Dawes, Mavis Staples and The Head And The Heart at Beacon Theater. Tickets are still available.
Dawes played Occupy Wall Street today and according to Rough Trade, they put out the 48th best album of 2011. They also have two more shows at Maxwell's after the Beacon show (12/6 and 12/7), but both are now sold out.
All dates below...
today in NYC
* Das Racist @ Mishka
* Bomb X @ Barbes
* Josh Groban @ Town Hall
* The Radiators @ Sullivan Hall
* Andrew Bemkey @ The Stone
* Newman Taylor Baker @ The Stone
* U.V.A., Sick Cell, CAVES @ Littlefield
* Jay-Z, Charlie Rose @ Brooklyn Museum
* Workout, The Walk Ons @ Mercury Lounge
* Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye @ Barnes & Noble
* King Charles, John Shade @ The Rock Shop
* Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra @ Iridium (2 shows)
* Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Nick Kroll @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (2 shows)
* Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set) @ Santos Party House
* Buffalo Tom, Dinosaur Feathers @ Mercury Lounge
* Ben Folds, Lady Danville @ The Wellmont Theatre
* Reel Big Fish, the Aquabats @ Starland Ballroom, NJ
* Hess Is More, Sky White Tiger, Jessica 6 @ Union Pool
* The Morning Benders, Twin Sister, Cults @ Webster Hall
* CFCF, Teebs, Hercules and Love Affair (DJ Set) @ Glasslands
* Loren Connors, High Aura'd, Tom Carter @ Issue Project Room
* Bells, Hubble, Wooden Waves, Video Daughters @ Shea Stadium
* Alex Winston, The Shining Twins, Francis Rose @ Bowery Electric
* Tame Impala, Stardeath & White Dwarfs, Kuroma @ Bowery Ballroom
* Electric Tickle Machine, Web Dating, Pet Ghost Project @ Death By Audio
* Skull Orchard w/ Jon Langford of The Mekons, Chris Mills @ The Bell House
* Weird Owl, The Stoned Ambassadors, Bad Girlfriend @ Secret Project Robot
* Free Blood, Headless Horseman, Quinn Walker of Suckers, Kria Brekken, Yanqui @ Pianos
* Aloe Blacc, The Grand Scheme, Maya Jupiter, The Stepkids, Small Change @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Cocoa Sarai, Astro Kid, Blkvampires, The Thang, The White House Band, Fresh Daily, Da Youngfellaz @ The Studio at Webster Hall
Not much happening today in This Week in Indie, but check it out anyway for tomorrow.
The Kings of Leon show at Izod Center tonight was cancelled.
The Radiators play their final NYC show tonight? UPDATE: no, someone told me they will be back in June.
Speaking of the NYPL, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (who have two public NYC shows coming up) play a private NYPL event at Brooklyn Bowl tonight. You probably can't get in, but you can go to the afterparty at the same venue.
Highlights of the Fall 2010 season of "LIVE from the NYPL" include:
Keith RichardsNeither of those shows is listed on the full schedule anymore though, so it remains a slight mystery how you can get tickets. "TICKETS [FOR THE REST GO] ON SALE MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th at 10:00AM". And those other two will be "announced via email".
Friday, October 29 at 7:00PM
Celeste Bartos Forum
Monday, November 15 at 7:00PM
Celeste Bartos Forum
Jay-Z plays Yankee Stadium tonight (9/13) and tomorrow (9/14).