Entries tagged with: Nels Cline
by Andrew Sacher
Thurston Moore at MHOW in May (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
New York Guitar Festival have added some new shows to their initial lineup for this January, which included shows at the Merkin Concert Hall. They've since added a 30th anniversary celebration of Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks at the World Financial Center Winter Garden on January 6. The show will be a a rendition of Eno's album by the Brooklyn ambient ensemble itsnotyouitsme and guitarist Larry Campbell with special guests Noveller and Jeff Parker (of Tortoise).
They've also added the Alternative Guitar Summit, which will take place at LES venue Rockwood Music Hall from January 13-15. January 13 will feature performances by Pillow Wand (aka Nels Cline and Thurston Moore, Ben Monder and Pete Rende playing the music of Jimmy Webb, Joel Harrison and Anupan Shobhakar, and Mark Stewart and Gyan Riley (1/13 tickets). January 14 includes Liberty Ellman and Vijay Iyer, Dave Tronzo and Jay Granelli, and Knox Chandler (1/14 tickets), and January 15 will bring a number of musicians together to honor Jim Hall, including Nels Cline, Chris Potter, Scott Colley, Trevor Dunn, and others (1/15 tickets). You can also purchase a 3 night pass to all of those shows.
On January 29, NY Guitar Fest will hold a day-long guitar marathon at the 92nd Street Y celebrating Italian guitar music with a number of different performers. Tickets are on sale now.
Speaking of guitarists and lists, Rolling Stone recently issued their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, as voted on by other guitarists. Thurston Moore, who plays NY Guitar Fest (and is touring in February), made the list. Nels Cline, who Thurston is performing with, made it too. Though aside from a few others (J Mascis, Jonny Greenwood, Jack White) the list is pretty much what you'd expect it to be.
UPDATE: All events at the Stone tonight are now cancelled.
Like Death By Audio, Manhattan's non-profit avant-garde venue The Stone is staying open Saturday night, and it's sure to be a very special show. Not only will those in attendance all have 'braving the hurricane' in common, it's the monthly...
JOHN ZORN IMPROV NIGHT--A STONE BENEFIT--PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE NO 10PM SHOW! 8PM ONLY!
John Zorn (sax) David Konopnicki (guitar) Steve Swell (trombone) Ikue Mori (electronics) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Dougie Bowne (drums) Dave Miller (drums) Erik Friedlander (cello) Anthony Coleman (piano) Dave Scanlon (guitar) Annie Gosfield (keyboards) Jon Madof (guitar) and many special guests
WITH AN INCREASE IN EXPENSES AND A DROP IN OUR CD INCOME WE NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER TO SURVIVE--SO COME DOWN AND SUPPORT THE STONE AT OUR MONTHLY RENT PARTY! TWENTY DOLLARSThat is tonight (8/27) at 8pm only (no second show tonight). And then "THE STONE WILL BE CLOSED SUNDAY AND MONDAY AUGUST 28-29. THE SHOWS ARE CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE IRENE. STAY SAFE!"
THE STONE WILL BE CLOSED SATURDAY TO MONDAY AUGUST 27-29---
These concerts have been canceled out of respect to MOTHER NATURE. HURRICANE IRENE is expected to strike six hours ahead of schedule at 9PM on Saturday night.
PLEASE STAY INDOORS AND STAY SAFE!
WE WILL REOPEN ON TUESDAY AUGUST 30
As previously mentioned, August at the Stone was curated by Carlos Giffoni and Seth Rosner. Tuesday's show features Ches Smith (drums) Tim Berne (alto sax) Nels Cline, Mary Halvorson (guitars), and Andrea Parkins (accordion). Shahzad Ismaily plays later that night. Wednesday, the last day of the month, has Jen Shyu and Tyshawn Sorey.
September is curated by Jon Abbey and Brian Brandt.
words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
It could have been a showdown - a forceful match of skills, an exhilarating yet grueling slugfest. Instead, it was purely symbiotic and nurturing, a solemn and unwavering alliance between two endlessly energetic musical minds. Marc Ribot and Nels Cline, perhaps the two greatest living guitarists dispensing a seamlessly cerebral yet hefty blend of virtuosic avant-jazz and rock fusion, performed in tandem Wednesday night at Le Poisson Rouge.
Despite being giants and contemporaries in their field, the overwhelming icons of free form, genre-bending adventurism, the two had seemingly never met on stage before. It was the kind of hallowed moment most modern downtown jazz obsessives would relive and replay endlessly, a watershed of creative confluence with 'I was there' written all over it. Only announced a few weeks before the event, it was billed as a special performance for the 3rd anniversary of the West Village club. Since its opening, Le Poisson Rouge has proved to be a vivid playground for envelope-pushing downtown musicians. Ribot and Cline have settled into the venue comfortably with numerous shows there since it opened, as have many of their fellow protagonists.
There wasn't any sort of program or description provided beforehand, just the two names listed on the bill. With their wide-ranging approach to music, the two share infinite similarities. Their methods couldn't be more different. Cline with his smooth tone, effortless musicianship and neatly set up workstation complete with rug, Ribot with an abrasive sound, hectically imperative playing and a rat's nest of wires and pedals piled on the ground in front of him. Yet the two were the perfect foils to challenge and enhance the other's abilities.
It unfolded as a completely improvised performance, an hour and a half long set of seven spontaneously generated explorations. Calling them songs wouldn't do them justice - it was more akin to setting two ants behind glass and watching them instantly augment their little world into a thriving civilization.
Beyond picking which guitar to complement each other in between numbers, there was nothing more than subtle visual cues and finely focused ears on each others playing to coordinate Cline and Ribot's efforts. The two guitarists had no framework or structures, and perhaps most importantly no preconceptions coming in, according to Cline. "We did some country type stuff for the sound-check, so we started with that...but everything was unrehearsed," Cline said.
They started their performance with several all acoustic numbers that covered boundless ground, ranging from devilishly sarcastic and percussive conversation-like structures, to atmospheric, bluesy romps that started with Polynesian flavor, quickly turned vast, pastoral and disjointed, and ended with a storm of classical finger picking.
There was enough flourishes of extended techniques like surreal harmonics and the use of odd sound-mutating tools, but it was limited, each guitarist instead intently focused on tone and togetherness. On one number, a disparate and lonely melodic meditation that mashed up images of a desolate western frontier and a rainy Japanese tea ceremony, Cline evoked the chilling vibrations of a Koto, the Japanese plucked string instrument, while Ribot formed drony and dark undercurrents, each moving downward perpetually yet coming together precisely unpredictably for jarringly harmonious moments.
When they turned towards an electric sound, it was always enigmatic while never bludgeoning. Even in forceful, grunge-like sections that could pass as a Soundgarden outtake or a turbine-accelerated Radiohead stomper, Cline and Ribot focused on a spellbinding interplay rather than guitar god might. It was a highly advanced dialogue, seesawing back and forth as each musician switched roles yet kept mathematically aligned. It was a gold standard for precision and musical communication; they ended with a more straightforward free-jazz ballad that mutated into psychotic, atonal guitar solos from both players that inexplicably overlapped with little wavering.
After the show, Cline admitted that he had his trepidations about the gig. "I felt really nervous about this show beforehand, but today I felt calm," Cline said. It must have been the career long lead-up to what was a glorious first date, many years in the making.
Wilco at Sasquatch (more by Josh Darr)
The Autumn Defense (John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco) have announced a NYC show before they play WIlco's Solid Sound Festival later this month. The band will play The Living Room on June 18 at 9 PM, before Joseph Arthur, who Sansone collaborated with in Holding the Void, plays one of his ten shows at the same venue.
John Stirratt and Jeff Tweedy's ex-Uncle Tupelo bandmate Jay Farrar also has a few shows coming up. Those include October 14 and 15 at City Winery in NYC. Tickets are on sale.
Nels Cline of Wilco plays Le Poisson Rouge with Marc RIbot tonight (6/15). Tickets are still available. Nels also plays Blue Note on Friday (6/17) as part of the Spontaneous Construction series. The show is part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival. Tickets are on sale. He will also play with The Les Paul Trio at The Iridium on July 11 as part of their Les Paul Guitar Tribute Mondays. Nels plays Solid Sound with Thurston Moore under their Pillow Wand moniker.
Jeff Tweedy has no NYC dates but you can catch him at Winnipeg Folk Festival with Mountain Man, Dawes, Lucinda Williams and others on July 6-10.
All tour dates, Wilco included, below...
Tinariwen will release a new album called Tassili on August 30 via Anti- Records (pictured above). The album was recorded entirely acoustic with contributions from Tunde Adebimpe & Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Nels Cline of Wilco (who plays a show with Marc Ribot at LPR on June 15th).
Tinariwen will head out on a short North American tour in July which will hit the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the previously mentioned Highline Ballroom on July 20. Tickets are still on sale for that NYC show.
Tinariwen also play the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival on July 21 at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds in Trumansburg, NY (which runs from July 21-24). There they share a bill with Donna the Buffalo, Court Yard Hounds, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Balkan Beat Box, Sammy Kershaw, Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited, John Brown's Body, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and many others.
For Seun Kuti, the Trumansburg date is one day after he plays a free show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Seun recently sent out an updated list of tour dates too, and a new video you can watch below.
Tinariwen collaborators TV on the Radio also recently expanded their upcoming tour dates, many of which are with Broken Social Scene who they play with at the Williamsburg Waterfront They also have a new video, as does BSS
The videos with all Seun & Tinariwen & TVOTR dates, below...
photos by Chris Gersbeck
Deerhoof @ Europa
Tickets are still available to tonight's "Deerhoof & Friends" extravaganza at Le Poisson Rouge featuring appearances from Ichi and If By Yes (aka Yuka Honda + Petra Haden). It's "A musical event within Carnegie Hall's 2011 JapanNYC Festival, presented by Wordless Music" and Deerhoof's only current U.S. date.
For If By Yes (Petra Haden, Yuka Honda & more(, tonight's show will be the second date this week (they played Littlefield last night) and one of three in two weeks, as the band will hit Mercury Lounge on March 25th (tickets). They are also headed to SXSW and have a show scheduled in LA. All of the dates are inanticipation of the band's new LP, Salt on Sea Glass, out on March 22nd and available for preorder now.
Nels Cline plays on the new If By Yes album and with them at all the shows, as do other special guests who are all listed below.
Deerhoof played Europa on February 8th with Buke & Gass and Ben Butler & Mousepad, a show that relocated from Ridgewood Masonic. Belated pictures from that show, which took place on the night before Satomi's birthday (there was cake!), are below along with all dates...
"The 2011 Solid Sound lineup thus far: Wilco (Fri. & Sat.), the Levon Helm Band, Thurston Moore, Syl Johnson & the Sweet Divines, Here We Go Magic, Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, Pillow Wand (Nels Cline/Thurston Moore duo), Handsome Family, Liam Finn, Sic Alps, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Glenn Kotche, Pronto, the Autumn Defense, Comedy Cabaret curated by John Hodgman featuring Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman & Morgan Murphy, plus the return of the Story Pirates -- all at the largest contemporary art museum in the country with the backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts."Solid Sound goes down from June 24-26 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Tickets are on sale now.
by Andrew Frisicano
Ben Perowsky's Moodswing Orchestra w/ TK Wonder
Like the year before it, NYC Winter Jazz Fest 2011 was a hit. Capacity crowds filled the venues on both nights (all together 1,400 on Friday and 2,600 on Saturday), and it'd be hard to find two people who came away seeing the same acts, or with the same impression of the fest. From what I've heard and read of Friday night, the music was stellar, but after LPR closed around 9:30pm for another event the numbers overwhelmed the remaining two spaces, with long lines and many disgruntled jazz-heads.
(Le) Poisson Rouge, the largest of the venues, was crammed full on Saturday for a curious lineup of jam-band jazz (Charlie Hunter), noisy guitar improv + painting (Nels Cline and painter Norton Wisdom) and Steve Coleman & Five Elements (high-strung group improv with vocalist Jen Shyu scatting along). I only stayed for those, before heading to Kenny's Castaways for part of its Search and Restore showcase. Aethereal Bace - drummers Nasheet Waits and Eric Mcpherson, and saxist Abraham Burton - improvised as a duo after Mcpherson didn't show (their tight, restrained set mainly served to make me more curious about the two-drummer set up they usually employ). Talibam!, who followed, were something else entirely: spasmotic punk in jazz clothes. Back at LPR, at this point well after 2am, Ben Perowsky's Moodswing Orchestra backed up MC/singer TK Wonder for a criminally underattended set. Then I ended the night with trumpeter David Weiss's band at Bitter End, which, at 3:45am, it was.
Some pictures of the above-mentioned acts (plus Asphalt Orchestra who made an appearance at LPR) are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
The annual NYC Winter Jazz Fest starts tonight (Friday, 1/7) and continues Saturday with shows that go late into both nights at a handful of Greenwich Village venues. Like last year's fest - a huge success that spawned a similar festival in the summer - one pass gets you into any of the venues. All are in close proximity, and show hopping is encouraged. You'll also be rewarded for staying put: Take, for example, Saturday's lineup at LPR, which features two guitar slingers, Charlie Hunter and Nels Cline (as Stained Radiance with painter Norton Wisdom), in consecutive sets. For the number of acts (46 on Saturday night alone) at the price ($25 for one day, $35 for both), the festival is pretty can't lose.
Jazz resource and show promoter Search and Restore has two showcases as part of the fest. They'll be celebrating the fact that their Kickstarter campaign met its $75,000 (!) goal. As a result they'll be launching an ambitious project to film four jazz shows a week over the next year (and post the results online as part of an expanded site). Congrats!
Also this weekend are a set of shows at Cornelia St. Cafe that are also part of the APAP conference (the ostensible reason for the Winter Jazz Fest, the show at City Winery tonight, the show at 92YTribeca tonight, GlobalFEST and others). Your Jazz Fest passes won't work there, but the lineups include Theo Bleckmann/Gary Versace/John Hollenbeck, Jon Irabagon & Mike Pride and Mario Pavone's Totem Quartet.
Saxist Tim Berne, who played Cornelia St. Thursday night with his band Los Totopos, will be at the Stone twice on Saturday. The second set is listed as "Tim Berne Duo," with keyboarist Matt Mitchell, but he mentioned that the whole band (Ches Smith on drums and Oscar Noriega on woodwinds) would be appearing. Mitchell will be at the venue on Sunday night too, to play with John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet (who blew away a packed Bitter End at Jazz Fest 2010).
Check out the full Winter Jazz schedule below...
As hinted, posted and speculated, Bonnie Prince Billy (who plays Town Hall tonight), Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler and Nels Cline (who played LPR one night earlier) all joined Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on the 7th night of Hanukkah. Full setlist below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"Saw a very briefly reunited Cibo Matto play "Birthday Cake". #my1999dreamcometrue #soooooawesome" - St. Vincent
Cibo Matto fans (like Chris) may have been a bit disappointed at Le Poisson Rouge last night (12/6). That's because the semi-reunited group only played four songs at the show which was billed as "Yuka & Miho cover Cibo Matto". Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori were backed by Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), Dougie Bowne, Doug Wieselman and Steven Bernstein (who also played the Bob Dylan event at the same venue one night earlier). After the four songs, a cake was brought out for Yuka who was celebrating her 50th birthday.
The show opened with a 15 minute noisy Nels Cline solo set followed by the Cibo Matto set, followed by a break before Floored by Four took the stage. As you know, Floored by Four is Mike Watt, Dougie Bowne, Yuka Honda, and Nels Cline. (there was more jamming after that - as Nels advertised there would be to the end the night - but Chris took off before the end).
The show was unofficially part of Wilco Week here in NYC which also saw Mikael Jorgensen playing with Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's last night while Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone were not far away in Tarrytown (Jeff, John and Pat played a variety of NYC and Hoboken shows on the three nights prior).
Doug Wieselman plays again tonight, 12/7, at the Stone.
More pictures from the LPR show, two videos and the Cibo Matto setlist below...
Jeff Tweedy & Eugene Mirman last night (via widder_twidder)
Jeff Tweedy was in fact the opener for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's last night (12/3). He also later joined the band as a guest. Stay tuned for a full set of pictures, but you can check out the setlist below. YLT & Jeff played Wilco songs. Who will open for Yo La Tengo tonight?
Jeff Tweedy continues his NYC-area run tonight at Bowery Ballroom with two of his Wilco bandmates, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, in the opening band. The Autumn Defense are also playing the Living Room on Sunday which is the night off from their short tour with Jeff.
Nels Cline arrives on Monday to help celebrate Yuka Honda's 50th birthday. Nels also plays a NYC show on January 8th as part of Winter Jazzfest, and he has many other shows scheduled all over the place.
All of Jeff's tour dates, now with Boulder, CO, and last night's YLT setlist below...
Floored by Four @ Summerstage (more by Paul Bachmann)
- is a 50th birthday party for Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda who used to be married to Dougie Bowne who she has a long history of playing music with, used to date Sean Lennon who she frequently collaborates with, and who is now engaged or married to guitar wizard Nels Cline of Wilco (Wikipedia says their wedding was scheduled for late November in Japan, so if that's true, congratulations to them!)
- will feature a live performance by Floored by Four aka Mike Watt, Dougie Bowne, Yuka C. Honda, and Nels Cline. It will be their 2nd live show ever which means their first must have been that Summerstage show with M Ward
- will feature a Nels Cline solo set "+ friendly jamming after 10:30pm"
- will include a set titled "Yuka & Miho cover Cibo Matto" which I assume means a Cibo Matto show, but without any of Yuka and Cibo's other band members?
Nels Cline will also be back at the same NYC venue on February 26th for "The Nels Cline Singers and ROVA perform 'The Celestial Septet'". Tickets are on sale for that too. All Nels dates below.
Will Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Yuka Honda, and/or Dougie Bowne play with Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's this week? I don't know, but it would be pretty cool.
Will Nels Cline's Wilco bandmate Jeff Tweedy play with Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's this week? Very likely.
Will Sean Lennon show up and play at all at LPR on 12/6? Maybe? Will Yuka Honda play with Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl aka The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger at Rockwood Music Hall on January 8th? Maybe?
Can Yuka Honda, Dougie Bowne, Sean Lennon, and Nels Cline all be in the same room and everything be completely normal? Apparently?
Oh, and speaking of turning 50, don't forget tickets to Henry Rollins' upcoming shows at Joe's Pub go on sale Friday at noon.
Enjoy some birthday cake, with all Nels Cline tour dates, below...
photos by KILLDISCO DESIGN
"Jim Campilongo RULES!!! and him playing with Nels is the one of the greatest fun I've ever had. No shit. Damn..." - Yuka Honda
"Nels Cline just DESTROYED the Living Room!!!" - Alex & Janel
The Jim Campilongo Trio plays the Living Room in NYC almost every Monday, with guests. This week, like others before it, featured a special appearance from Nels Cline on second guitar. Tony Scherr, like he will be for the next five weeks, was also on the bill, but this set of pictures is just from the Jim/Nels set, and they continue below...
words and photos Benjamin Lozovsky
Nels Cline did surprisingly more broad-stroke painting then guitar bludgeoning during the second of two sets at Le Poisson Rouge Tuesday night. Given his recent deeply ambient solo effort Coward and Wilco's gentler turn on their latest self-titled release, you might expect Cline to light a forest fire having returned back with his long time band, avant-jazz rock champions The Nels Cline Singers.
Not to say that there weren't still plenty of ear-pinching moments or spazzy band-wide outbursts or relentlessly spiraling guitar solos that left you reaching for Dramamine (all in a great way), but overall the set see-sawed slightly more towards intricate ballads then a tempest-like onslaught.
Seemingly always prone to moving in some outlandish direction though, Cline entertained a more trans-continental aesthetic on his new Singers record Initiate, and those instances live came off as the most energetic. Digging deeper into his traditional jazz pocket while taking his spastic space noise into the realm of samba, latin rhythm and even tribal pounding, like on "King Queen," Cline, along with bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Scott Amendola seemed enlivened by the challenge of intertwining Afro-Cuban and Brazilian fusion with a screeching electronic, even industrial façade. Little bits of latin percussion, performed by special guests Yuka Honda and Sean Lennon, added even more nuance and contrast to the intensity of the Singers in the grove.
Nels Cline has various other dates coming up. More pictures from the LPR show below...
"Recorded in Berkeley (Fantasy Studios) and San Francisco (Cafe Du Nord), this is a heapin' helpin' of The Singers: a studio and a 'live' disc. The studio disc sees us moving into some decidedly different terrain. I actually use my voice (wordlessly) on some tracks, Devin plays bass guitar... All hell has broken loose! There are special guests, even! The studio disc features David Witham and Yuka Honda on keyboards. The 'live' disc features Satomi Matsuzaki, Greg Saunier, and John Dieterich (AKA three fourths of Deerhoof) on percussion (on a blazing and/or totally indulgent version of Weather Report's "Boogie Woogie Waltz"). Produced by David Breskin and recorded and mixed by Ron Saint Germain, this is either the most friendly Singers recording to date or the most antisocial, depending on who you are and what you expect. The package features beautiful photographs of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN by Simon Norfolk throughout (as well as some 'live' shots from the Cafe Du Nord gig by Peak), so all in all you know this is another Cryptogramophone production of visionary packaging excellence. And you might like the music, too.The Nels Cline Singers are on tour in support of the above-described double album, and they play two shows at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC tonight (7/6). From there they head to Philly and DC before Nels returns to NYC or a five-night stand at the Village Vanguard with Jenny Scheinman. On July 19th Nels will be speaking "about music, guitars and life" at The Stone. Also, not listed on Nels' tour dates, but I noticed he'll be sitting in with Jim Campilongo at the Living Room one day this month too.
You can pre-order the CD online now at Indiejazz.com or check out the special BUNDLE offer (w/ CD, shirt & tote bag) here!" [Nels Cline] [
Deerhoof, who you can see above contributed to the new live album, will be in NYC on Sunday, 7/11, as part of a collaboration with Xiu Xiu. All Nels' official dates below...
Glenn Kotche's Top 10 albums of 2009 (via)
1. Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
2. Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor
3. Alex Cline - Continuation
4. John Luther Adams - The Place We Began
5. Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship
6. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
7. Frank Rosaly - Milkwork
8. Nels Cline - Coward
9. Bobb Bruno - Dreamt On EP
10. Chris Corsano - Another Dull Dawn
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Paul Bachmann
Saturday's balmy weather welcomed M. Ward to the Central Park SummerStage for one of the last stops on his tour behind his latest record Hold Time. Ward hits the road with Monsters of Folk this fall (a tour with two NYC stops), but at SummerStage the well-placed spotlight was all his (with not even his She & Him collaborator to be found).
He did share time with his band of skilled musicians, and many of his influences, to whom he paid musical tribute throughout the night. Ward opened with a solo acoustic rendition of "Sad, Sad Song," hitting the kick drum part out with his right hand. With the band on stage, M. Ward's smokey, paper-thin voice shared time with his golden riffs and the group's rich, early rock n' roll sound. That vibe - an early '60s kind of rockabilly swing - streamlined many of Ward's often idiosyncratic arrangements into a headliner-worthy set of hits.
Ward's unmistakable reference points along the way included Jerry Lee Lewis chops at the piano (where he sat for maybe half a dozen numbers) and Chuck Berry licks on guitar (with a cover of "Roll Over Beethoven" even). But maybe even more impressive than Ward's axe skill is his ability to cobble together a compelling 20-song set with very few lulls. All that in just under an hour. Add two encores, and the show still ended well before its 10pm curfew.
Floored By Four, in their debut performance, opened the evening with set of extended jams. Mike Watt casually walked along on bass, while Nels Cline, bold and upfront, ran his guitar through an array of effects that tweaked the sound in a number of novel ways. Keyboardist Yuka Honda layed down a harmonic foundation that at times veered into Twin Peaks territory. The group's set, like its members, walked the line between contemporary rock and more experimental forms. Perhaps most boldly, drummer Dougie Bowne ditched rock's inviolable constant beat at times, subbing unpredictable flurries of texture.
The commaraderie between Cline and Watt was evident as they joked around and cued chord changes with a head nod and a smile. (They've played together before in groups that include Watt's Black Gang and Banyan.) A clear highlight of their set was the closing jam, "Maggot Brain," a song periodically revisited by Watt and last on his solo debut Ball-hog or Tugboat?. The tune's opening incantation, delivered from Watt (who also sang the band's second number) set the stage for Cline's searing lead. His nickel-plated, sunset tone cut through several layers of crowd and foreshadowed (possibly surpassed) the guitar mastery to come.
More pictures, and a bunch of videos, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
'Michelle' Watt w/ Black Fag 1/29/09...
Mike Watt is a musician seemingly without ego. He'll share a stage with anyone, and does - his upcoming dates have the bassist in no less than half a dozen settings. As you can see above, Watt even sat in on guest vocals with SoCal's Black Fag ('An absolutely FABULOUS tribute to Black Flag'). The group writes...
For those who haven't heard, Black Fag has extended an open invitation to all former members of Black Flag to join us on stage for a song of their choice at any of our shows.See a video of Watt + Black Fag taking on "Police Story," below.
The only requirement: they must perform in drag!
Mike Watt was never an official member of Black Flag, but his musical history is so intertwined with Black Flag's that we consider him an honorary member, so when we found out he'd be on the bill that night we contacted him to see if he would want to be the first to accept our invitation.
Mike Watt was recently in NYC for the "Double Nickels on the Dime" 25th Anniversary Party at the Bowery Poetry Club on Saturday, July 25th. At the variety-style show he played a selection of the band's songs on bass and did poetic reading (appropriate in light of the venue) of Minutemen lyrics. See videos of both below.
This Saturday, August 1st, he'll be debuting Floored By Four, his band with Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Cibo Matto multi-instrumentalist Yuka Honda and ex-Lounge Lizard/"downtown" drummer Dougie Bowne. M. Ward headlines.
Nels is another musician who gets around quite a bit. Last night (July 30th) he was at the Stone in a trio called The BBC with Tim Berne on saxophone and Jim Black on drums (check out their initials for a clue about the name ).
"...Cline had a neat trick wherein he looped a watery guitar part through his electronic setup, and then used an octave pedal to get a distorted bass sound out of his guitar that he proceeded to play live over the loop. At other times, he went from solo line noodling to crunchy, unpredictable time-signature riffing that still kept heads bobbin'. There was flow there. Occasionally he had a scratch palette like Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, but instead of Bomb Squad-style guitar turntablism, it was spazzy like Christian Marclay. Meantime, Berne mostly kept to a subtle supporting role, coming out front most nakedly during the quiet interludes of the hour-long piece. Hopefully someone recorded this beast of a thing." [The Awl]On August 4th, he'll be playing with NYC violinist Jenny Scheinman's Mischief and Mayhem, as a quartet with Jim Black (again) on drums and Matt Penman on bass. Tickets for that are still on sale.
The show will be your last chance to catch Cline on his current run of NYC engagements. It'll also be your last chance to catch Scheinman for a while, as she'll be taking a break to have a child (that's due a little more than a month after the gig). Best wishes to her!
Check out the above-mentioned Watt videos, all Watt/Cline tour dates, below...
Jeff Tweedy @ Beacon High School (more by Eric Townsend)
"Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy gave fans a scare Saturday night at the recently refurbished Fox Theater in Pomona when he declared, 12 songs into the band's set, that the Chicago-based act was "approaching the end of an era," and promised more details later.The 25-song setlist from Saturday night's show is below.
Those aren't words to be taken lightly for Wilco followers. Depending on who's doing the counting, the group has had as many as six different eras since releasing its country-obsessed 1995 debut, "A.M." Yet its audience has remained loyal through a host of lineup changes, Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt being the only constants in Wilco's career.
While the comment raised concerns about a future without, say, the participation of local guitar slinger Nels Cline or rhythmic contortionist Glenn Kotche, the truth turned out to be nothing so worrisome. After 45 minutes, Tweedy revealed only that multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone was turning 40." [LA Times]
Nels Cline has three non-Wilco NYC shows coming up. One of those shows is the previously-mentioned M. Ward Central Park Summerstage gig where Nels will play in a band with Mike Watt, Yuka Honda, Dougie Bowne. That foursome is called Floored by Four, and according to Mr Watt, they "plan to record a album the two days before the gig." Add it to the list. All Nels dates below...
by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Grey Gersten - Hard Times (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grey Gersten - Of The Year Was (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grey Gersten - Fumbles In The Dark (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Grey Gersten - Your Voice, A Seed in the Wind (MP3)
Grey Gersten, The Stone's May curator
Seach and Restore: How did you approach and deal with the task of curating an entire month of shows at the Stone, two shows a night?Guitarist Grey Gersten's May lineup at The Stone kicked it off on the 1st with Loren Conners and Shahzad Ismaily. That's the only appearance for either at the venue this month, though Ismaily will be playing bass with Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog as part of the guitarist's 55th birthday celebration which starts next week on May 9th. The May 16th Ceramic Dog show at (Le) Poisson Rouge, with Ribot's Young Philadelphians also on the bill, will close the weeklong celebration. Note, the core Ceramic Dog trio includes percussionist Ches Smith -- more on him below. Tickets for that show are still on sale.
Grey Gersten: I started last year by making a huge list of different artists, musicians and film-makers that I thought would create unique performances specifically for the series. It's impossible to plan anything like this because there are so many uncontrollable factors constantly shifting. At times it felt like a gigantic three dimensional Rubik's Cube! I would reach to adjust it and the blocks would morph into crazy micro Rubik layers. John Kilduff's "Lets Paint" videos were a source of constant motivation. His ability to multi-task and remain flexible is very inspiring.
A number of those Ribot birthday shows will be at the Stone. That includes a Wednesday, May 13th "Tribute" with Gersten and others playing Ribot's work.
Ribot "warms up" for that week of shows with an appearance at Zebulon in Brooklyn on Wednesday, May 6th (tonight). He'll joins extra heavy jazz group Whoopie Pie.
At the Stone Wednesday, May 6th (tonight) JG Thirlwell, composer of the soundtrack to Cartoon Network's The Venture Bros. among other credits, performs with his Manorexia ensemble. It's scheduled to be the group's only NYC performance this year. Thirlwell's Venture Bros. work was recently collected and released on a disc that is out now through Adult Swim.
Part of the Stone's lineup this weekend includes a Saturday, May 9th show with Lucky Dragons and special guests Gersten and Ches Smith. Smith, who plays as part of Ceramic Dog (see above) and Secret Chiefs 3 (who recently visited NYC), collaborated with Gersten and Kato Hideki on a limited-edition LP. MP3s of that record are posted above.
Gersten put together a mixtape to highlight artists at the Stone this month. Artists on the mix include Ribot, Nels Cline, Karl Blau, Lucky Dragons and more. SearchandRestore.com is currently hosting a stream of that mix. Tracklist below.
Speaking of Blau and Cline, they round out the Stone's weekend lineup with respective early and late sets on Sunday, May 10th. Karl Blau is also playing Zebulon on Monday, May 11th, and Bruar Falls on May 12th. Nels Cline plays with Mike Watt at the Central Park Summerstage on Saturday, August 1st. M. Ward headlines that show. Watt has been recording in Brooklyn all week and has two nights of NYC-area gigs starting Thursday, May 7th.
JG Thirlwell and Manorexia videos, with gig poster and album track list and art, plus Gersten mix tracklist, below...
Summerstage in 2008 @ Born Ruffian show (more by Ryan Muir)
I'm told Constantines is not 100% confirmed for Summerstage.
M. Ward is playing Summerstage this summer as well. His Saturday, August 1st show is free -- and the openers are... Mike Watt and Nels Cline. It's not clear yet whether the duo will actually be playing together, separately, or as The Black Gang. As previously mentioned, "[Watt's] upcoming recording plans include...a separate project to be done with the black gang (Nels Cline from Wilco and Bob Lee), about what he calls 'my autumn.'" Last year some studio footage of Watt & Cline in the studio was posted to YouTube. You can watch that below.
Before all that, Mike Watt, with the Missingmen, has a huge tour planned for late spring. It kicks off on April 17th and runs straight through to Sasquatch Fest on May 24th, with a few days off in early May to record in Brooklyn. It's around that time that Mike appears at both Maxwell's and Mercury Lounge
Nels Cline is in NYC as we speak - continuing with a set of dates this weekend (April 10th-12th) at the Blue Note as part of the Jenny Scheinman Trio.
All Constantines tour dates and Black Gang Videos below...
The forthcoming and still-untitled next Wilco album is nearing completion. Jim Scott and the band spent the last few weeks mixing in Jim's studio in Valencia, California and [below is] a list of song titles spied on the reels -- note this is not necessarily complete and not in sequence.The film was co-directed by Fugazi's Brendan Canty who will also be at the IFC screening in NYC on April 13th. He, co-director Christoph Green and Fred Armisen will be discussing the movie after the show. Tickets are still on sale.
Rumors and blogs regarding a guest appearance on that last track are, amazingly, quite true. Feist does indeed lend a great vocal to You and I. Other details will emerge in the coming weeks. The release is currently scheduled for late June on Nonesuch.
Wilco's live concert film "Ashes of American Flags" will have its New York premiere on Monday, April 13 at the IFC Center as part of Movie Night with Fred Armisen, go here for more details. The film had its world premiere February 20 at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana where it won an award for Best Cinematography. The DVD is now available for pre-order via the Wilco store by clicking here.
More information about the film is available at ashesofamericanmovie.com, including a full screening schedule and we've just added a Google calendar as well which you can access here. The DVD release via Nonesuch Records is set for April 18. You can watch the trailer here, and [BELOW].
Wilco don't have any NYC dates coming up, but Fugazi member Joe Lally does, as does but Feist. She plays the Dark Was The Night fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall on May 3rd.
Wilco member Nels Cline has also been playing guitar as part of the Jenny Scheinman Trio at the Blue Note here in NYC. You can catch them twice a day tonight (4/9), Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
No other Feist dates at the moment, but all Wilco ones, and the movie trailer, are below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Mike Watt and Iggy Pop @ Terminal 5 (more by Lori Baily)
As previously reported, Mike Watt is heading out on the road with The Missingmen to debut songs off his third studio album Ten and Tweny Don't Make Fifty, which the band will record May 5th on a three-day break in Brooklyn. The touring line-up is "Tom Watson on guitar, Raul Morales on drums and Watt on bass and spiel."
[Watt's] upcoming recording plans include...a separate project to be done with "the black gang" (Nels Cline from Wilco and BobIggy Pop is preparing a new album of his own. Called Préliminaires, the Hal Cragin produced record will come out June 2nd on Astralwerks. Iggy Pop describes its sound as "dangerously near jazz" - and from the clip showcased in the video below, the album sounds more Tom Waits than the Stooges.
BLee), about what he calls "my autumn." Much of his time in recent years had been occupied touring and recording with the reformed Iggy & The Stooges; sadly Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton died of natural causes late last year.
On Préliminaires...Iggy sings the standard "Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves)," originally covered by the likes of Yves Montand and Edith Piaf, while the New Orleans-influenced "King of the Dogs" -- with a jazz arrangement featuring trumpet, trombone and clarinet -- tells the story of a dog named Fox who explains "how cool it is to be a dog, and how much it beats human life." There's also a version of Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova standard "How Insensitive (Insensatez)."The album's songs were inspired by Michel Houellebecq's 2005 novel The Possibility of an Island. To get a little window on what the source material is about (besides clones, cults, lots of sex), in a New Yorker review of the book, titled "90% Hateful," John Updike writes, "The usual Houellebecq hero...presents himself in one of two guises: a desolate loner consumed by boredom and apathy, or a galvanized male porn star. In neither role does he ask for, nor does he receive, much sympathy." Already sounds kinda like an Iggy Pop song...
"At one point, I just got sick of listening to idiot thugs with guitars banging out crappy music. I've started listening to a lot of New Orleans-era, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton type of jazz. And I've always loved quieter ballads as well," says Iggy. "There are some guitars on the album. Only one song is vaguely raucous; three have jazz-like instrumentation."
Check out the full press release with a video of Iggy Pop explaining the album plus a snippet of "King of the Dogs" - with jazzy instrumentation, and all Mike Watt + the Missingmen tour dates, below...
photos by Lori Baily
"There was really nothing to complain about if your expectations were correct when you got there. Verlaine did the same boring crap he has been doing for 10 years. The SY set could have been longer and contained at least SOME melody. Their set was the only disappointed of the night. Nels set was great, but only because of the pairing with Norton Wisdom. Very nice. J ripped it like always, he was never one to noodle. Dave Schools of Widespread Panic ripped it up on bass." [Anonymous 1]More picture from Friday's Fender party at Knitting Factory, below...
"wtf that review is just WRONG. It was cool and fun to see all these guys doing their Jazzmaster thing. Lee and Moore's set disappointing I don't think anyone there would agree with that. Mascis was more disappointing after setting up 3 huge stacks of amps on stage to get just an ok sound out of all that. Nels Cline nothing without the painter? come on man, get off your ass and listen." [Anonymous 2]