Entries tagged with: Robyn Hitchcock
Eugene Mirman with Robyn Hitchcock and H. Jon Benjamin
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival took over the Bell House and Union Hall in Brooklyn for the past few days to bring audiences an audacious, eclectic, and titillating smorgasbord of comedic events. Of all the events, I chose to attend You Never Know Who Might Drop By at the Bell House on Saturday September 20 at 10:00pm. The only guest to be announced ahead of time was H. Jon Benjamin. The rest of the line up was listed as "Special Guest." Remarkably, even with only one guest announced, the show was very sold out.
The show ended up being hosted by special guest Eugene Mirman. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but you know what happens when you assume right? Ass. U. Me. Anyhow, Euge was the host and he performed his duties with his usual grace and aplomb. His hosting agilities shouldn't be surprising considering he's a non-stop performer and has hosted recurring comedy showcases Invite Them Up, Tearing The Veil of Maya, Pretty Good Friends, and probably more. Saturday evening, he kept his opening set extremely short and tight, but he did have an extremely funny riff about how you can literally write whatever you want about yourself on LinkedIn and there is zero proof required. He read off samples of his own bullshit LinkedIn profile and I gotta tell you it was pretty damn funny.
Eugene's first guest was Wyatt Cenac. Throw a dart at an open page of Time Out New York and chances are you will hit a show listing with his name on it. The dude not only has his own show called Night Train every Monday night at Littlefield, but you can see him practically every night of the week at several other venues throughout the city. The dude's a machine. A relentless performer. It has taken me a while to be drawn into Wyatt's super low energy delivery and stage demeanor, but I gotta say he was killing me on Saturday. He's definitely a super popular comic who is definitely worth checking out.
Glaser as Johnny Ding-Dong
After Wyatt wrapped up his set, the great and Klaus-Approved Gold Pass Favorite Jon Glaser came out (not his first time this year), reprising his role as Brooklyn's #1 Insult Comic Johnny Ding-Dong. I haven't seen this particular character of his in eight freaking years; the last time was during a Comedians of Comedy stop at Irving Plaza (video here). Johnny basically insults audience members over pretty banal and obvious characteristics of theirs; a hat, glasses, how they're sitting...then he sits down and eats a slice of pizza, very slowly. At some point during this, the sound guy 'accidentally' starts playing the theme song to the 1978 drama The Deerhunter, which also happens to be one of the saddest instrumental tunes of all time. Johhny then goes through an emotional breakthrough. Aside of being extremely funny, the whole bit intentionally goes on for waaaaay too long, testing the audience's endurance to the fullest. It is not an easy bit, but it is one of my favorites as it so absolutely alienates the audience to the extreme.
Johnny Ding-Dong left the stage and was followed by a bit with Eugene Mirman and the great Robyn Hitchcock. They started out as a duo, offering up bits of very funny advice for problems submitted by audience members prior to the show. Luckily, before the bit got too long, Eugene left Robyn up there alone with an acoustic. Besides regaling the audience with great stories and personal philosophies, Robyn played three tunes, including a beautiful cover of "The Crystal Ship" by the Doors (on his new album) and a fantastic version of his tune "Dismal City" that was so much better than the full band version... it was nuts. He was a fantastic storyteller and I loved his solo tunes.
After Hitchcock came comedian Joe Wong who I actually never heard of, but man did he slay. I cannot tell you how much I loved this guy. There was a brilliant economy to each of his jokes. They were free of flair and BS; they were delivered as perfect as you could imagine. His insights into the racism inherent in American society, though troubling, were so elegantly lampooned that the entire room was roaring. For me he was the highlight of the evening. I love seeing a comic for the first time and having him/her absolutely destroy. Sadly, his calendar is empty, but if you see the name Joe Wong on any upcoming comedy showcases you should go. Refreshing talent. I would like him to be famous immediately, thanks.
Wong's set was quite brief unfortunately, and he was followed by Eugene Mirman and Ted Allen (Chopped, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) for round two of audience advice. I missed this because I had to pee wicked bad and also needed another beer, but I heard some laughs while I was in the latrine so that was a good sign. Next up was the only billed comic of the night, H. Jon Benjamin. HJB definitely had the longest set of the evening, and it started out with a bit featuring him and Eugene, where Eugene read off all of HJB's requirements from his talent rider. This definitely felt like it went on a bit too long as even Eugene regarded the bit as "The exhausting comedy of Jon Benjamin and Eugene Mirman." Side note: Mirman and Benjamin have created Flotsam, a "Post-Structural Online Shopping Experience" where you can buy sacks of "hand-chosen items that are hand-hewn by machines in America and are shipped directly to you."
Back to the Bell House, after that HJB was joined by one of my personal favorites Larry Murphy. The premise of their bit was that since we were at The Bell House we were most certainly missing episodes of the Big Bang Theory which seems to be on TV in perpetuity. So they acted out some smarmy Big Bang esque dialogue which, like the rider bit, went on a bit too long as well.
Although Jon Benjamin's set was definitely hilarious and worth seeing, it went on longer than I had the strength to endure. I was at a motorcycle block party earlier in the day and had been drinking since 3 in the afternoon, so by the time headliner Jen Kirkman took the stage, I was hot, sweaty, gassy, uncomfortable, and basically seeing quadruple. I can see why she'd headline; she has a history in comedy that stretches way back to the old days in Boston with Larry Murphy and Eugene Mirman, she has a book out that sold a zillion copies, she's a favorite on Chelsea lately, she was in from LA... she's famous and successful. But combine the fact that I don't really care for her comedy and the fact that my liver was hanging out my asshole and down my pant leg, it was time to go.
The early show at the Bell House was a special EMCF edition of "Pretty Good Friends" with Jessi Klein, Nick Thune and Karen Kilgariff. Pics from EMCF night 1 are here and we'll have more to come. Pics from night 3's early show, plus more from "You Never Know Who Might Drop By," below...
For Robyn Hitchcock's new album, The Man Upstairs, he worked with legendary British folk producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Etc). Boyd suggested that Hitchcock make "a Judy Collins album," such as Elektra would have released in in the late '60s, with a mix of originals and covers, all in a spare acoustic style that showcases Hitchcock's skill with the frets and his nicely aged voice. Among the covers are versions of The Doors' "The Crystal Ship" and a particularly lovely take on The Psychedelic Furs' "The Ghost in You." You can stream that and the whole album below.
Robyn will be on tour this fall, including a stop at New York's City Winery on November 10. Tickets are on sale now. Before that, Robyn will be in New York this week for the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, appearing as part of the Pretty Good Friends show at The Bell House on Saturday (9/20). That's sold out though you can still buy the Eug Express Lane VIP packages that get you +1 into everything.
All Robyn Hitchcock tour dates are listed, along with the stream of his album, below...
by Arielle Gordon
Neko Case surrounded by comedy admirers at '13 Mirman fest (more by David Andrako)
What do Ira Glass, Michael Ian Black, Mike Birbiglia, and Neko Case have in common? They all made an appearance at last year's spectacular Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Brooklyn's most well-curated, arbitrarily created comedy festival.
Well, the festival is back for its seventh year from September 18 - 22 at The Bell House and Union Hall, this year with an extra night of festivities added onto the standard four-day lineup. As usual, its an eclectic mix of comedians, entertainers, musicians, and scientists, including H Jon Benjamin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Michael Che, Dave Hill, Elna Baker, Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Bridget Everett, Michelle Wolf, Jessi Klein, Wyatt Cenac, Robyn Hitchcock and Derrick Brown among those announced so far. There's also two nights of Startalk Live! this year, one hosted by Bill Nye and one with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Like every EMCF, the best shows are always rife with special guests and secret additions. 2014 schedule, as it stands, is below and tickets go on sale Friday (8/8) at 1 PM. You can also buy, for the first time, a ($500) Eug Express Lane VIP Pass that gets you into all the shows and allows you to skip the line.
2014 Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival lineup is listed below...
New York nonprofit 826NYC is celebrating 10 years of providing students ages 6 - 18 with free literacy and writing programs. Part of this year's festivities is a fundraising event happening March 5 at Town Hall called the Tenth Anniversary Chat Spectacular. Hosted by Eugene Mirman and Sarah Vowell, the night pairs distinguished artists in conversation, specifically: documentary filmmaker Ken Burns & author Kurt Andersen; former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver and musician / journalist Questlove; Portlandia's Fred Armisen & the Audience; as well as Russian author Masha Gessen and music by Robyn Hitchcock. 826NYC promise more guests to be announced.
Tickets to 826 NYC's Tenth Anniversary Chat Spectacular are on sale now.
Robyn Hitchcock @ BVSXSW 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Solange @ Bowery Ballroom, Dec. 2012 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
California X @ Tommy's Tavern, 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
today in NYC
* Big Four @ Barbes
* Villa Delirium @ Barbes
* Fabolous, Pusha T @ B.B. King's
* Anna Lunoe, Them Jeans @ Le Bain
* Sarah Silverman @ The Wellmont Theatre
* The Werks, The Heavy Pets @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Steve Coleman and Five Elements @ The Stone
* Lazyeyes, WIM, Speck Mountain @ Cameo Gallery
* Twin Tigers, Cruiser, Nude Pop, The Denzels @ Pianos
* Haybaby, Honeydrum, HOUNDSds, Hippy @ The Ho_se
* Weekend, Slander, Napoleon, LODRO @ Shea Stadium
* The Brought Low, 45 Adapters, Sorceress @ Don Pedro
* DOM, California X, Moss of Aura, Spires @ Death By Audio
* Anya Marina, Supercute!, William Stephenson @ Union Hall
* The Young Things, Crazy and The Brains @ Knitting Factory
* Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Peter Buck @ Webster Hall
* Belle Mare, Hemlock Shaw, Niabi, Slime Boyz @ Muchmore's
* Mozart's Sister, Werewitch, Fance In The Foles @ Cake Shop
* Trixie Whitley, Mother Feather, Dumpster Hunter @ Glasslands
* Isadora, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, Nightdogs @ Union Pool
* David First, CSC Funk Band, Hardbodies @ Secret Project Robot
* Turnip King, Sun Club, Doozies, Grand Resort, Girl Toy @ Big Snow
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Tunde Olaniran @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Shabazz Palaces, Thee Satisfaction, Malitia Malimob @ Bowery Ballroom
* Michna, Solar Year, Charles Trees, Heathered Pearls (DJ) @ Glasslands
* Buried Beds, Elizabeth & the Catapult, Great American Canyon Band @ Littlefield
* Empty Mansions (members of Interpol), Scott Lucas & The Married Men @ Knitting Factory
* Eugene Hutz (of Gogol Bordello), Nick Zinner (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) (DJ) @ Santos Party House
* Tiger & Woods, The Dead Rose Music Company, CANYONS, JDH & Dave P @ Highline Ballroom
* French Horn Rebellion, Savoir Adore, Nini (of Haerts), Ernesto (of Penguin Prison), The Dirt Grand (DJ) @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Crossing Brooklyn Ferry w/ Solange, David Longstreth, Howard Gilman, Antibalas, Dan Friel, Derek Bermel, Eddi Front, Eleanor Friedberger, EXITMUSIC, Reverend Vince Anderson and His Love Choir @ BAM
Alt-rock legend Robyn Hitchcock plays with his band The Venus Three tonight at Webster Hall with Peter Buck opening the night. His new album, Love From London, is another teriffic record from one of our great eccentric music minds. Robyn, who played one of our SXSW day parties last month, walks us through the new album in two videos below.
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Victoria Bergsman's Taken by Trees project made a video for "Only You" from last year's underrated Other Worlds. You can watch that below.
Sub Pop 1000, the Record Store Day compilation with tracks from Peaking Lights, Iron Lung, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Starred, My Disco, and others that we recommended in our RSD2013 guide, is streaming now on Pitchfork.
follow @BVSXSW on Twitter. here's another BVSXSW lineup announcement...
As you know, BrooklynVegan is returning to Austin for SXSW this year and throwing four days of day parties at The Main & The Jr aka 603 Red River Street at the corner of 6th aka the old Emo's location. Those happen Wed (3/13), Thurs, Fri and Saturday (3/16). All shows are 100% FREE with RSVP.
Psychedelic pop veteran Robyn Hitchock released his new album, Love from London, this week (3/5), and to follow that, he's revealed his cover of Nick Drake's "Parasite," which will appear on the upcoming tribute album, Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake, which will be out on April 16 via StorySound and also features covers by Vashti Bunyan, Scritti Politti's Green Gartside, Lisa Hannigan, Danny Thompson & Zoe Rahman, and more. You can listen to Robyn's cover of "Parasite" and check out the album artwork below.
Joe Boyd, Nick Drake's original producer, is also celebrating the album with two live tributes: one in Austin for SXSW at the Austin Convention Center (3/16), which Robyn Hitchcock is playing, and one in NYC on April 10 at Joe's Pub. Tickets for the NYC show are on sale now. The Nick Drake documentary, A Skin Too Few: the Days of Nick Drake, is also screening in NYC on April 13 at 14 at Nitehawk Cinema.
Robyn Hitchcock unfortunately won't be at the Joe's Pub show (he has his own NYC show on 4/26 though), but while he's in Austin for SXSW, he'll also be playing a BrooklynVegan day party on Wednesday, March 13 at 603 Red River St. (the old Emo's location). Robyn goes on at 5 PM and the show is 100% FREE with RSVP. Full lineup coming soon.
Updated dates are listed, along with the song stream and album art, below...
Robyn Hitchcock will release his 19th album, Love from London, on March 5, which is two days after his 60th birthday. It was produced by Paul Noble who also plays bass on the record. You can stream "Be Still" from the new album below and watch a video of it being performed in an Irish pub. Eagle-eyed viewers may recognize Scritti Politti's Green Gartside among the musicians playing with him.
Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus Three (which includes Peter Buck and Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey) will be going on tour this spring and while a full set of dates hasn't been announced yet, they will be playing Webster Hall on April 26 with Peter Buck doing a solo opening set. Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale today at noon with the regular on-sale happening Friday at noon.
The fabulous Fleshtones, NYC's progenitors of "super rock," will release a new EP in August titled Los Fleshtones Quatro x Quatro via Yep Roc records. Maybe they'll play some of it tonight (6/21) at Bowery Electric. The line-up for tonight's show is actually pretty cool all-around, with Steve Wynn & the Miracle Three, former Voidoid Ivan Julian, Swedish garage rockers Stupidity and Palmyra Delran. Tickets are still available.
The EP was recorded while on tour in Gijon, Spain and all four songs are in Spanish, including covers of two songs by Mexican rock band Los Johnny Jets. Says frontman Peter Zaremba:
The story of this record goes way back to our original bass player, Marek Pakulski, finding a bunch of albums including 'Los Johnny Jets A Go Go' in the trash in front of Joey Ramone's Lower Eastside tenement one night in 1977. Johnny Jets were a typical Mexican '60s rock and roll group -covering top-ten hits of the time like 'Wooly Bully' in Spanish with varying degrees of competence -- just the thing to appeal to The Fleshtones. Rather than the Spanish language versions of overly-familiar tunes like 'Hang On Sloopy', what really caught our ears were two more-or-less original tracks 'No Tengo Dinero' and 'Todos Queremos A Lupe' (which seemed to at least be inspired by Johnny Thunder's 1962 hit 'Loop De Loop'). We decided we would record these two songs ourselves as soon as possible. If nothing else, The Fleshtones are good for their word!In other news, The Fleshtones' record label, Yep Roc, turns 15 this year and they're throwing a three-day celebration at The Cat's Cradle in Carboro, NC on October 11, 12 and 13. No word on whether The Fleshtones will go down for it but confirmed YR15 artists include Dave Alvin, Chatham County Line, John Doe, Liam Finn, Fountains Of Wayne, Robyn Hitchcock, Los Straitjackets, Nick Lowe, Chuck Prophet, Eleni Mandell, Mayflies USA, Cheyenne Marie Mize, The Sadies, Sloan, Jim White and Master of Ceremonies John Wesley Harding. While three-day passes are sold out, you can still buy individual tickets to each night.
YR15 Flyer is below, along with a list of Fleshtones tour dates.
Robyn Hitchcock at The Bell House in 2009 (more by Lori Bally)
As mentioned, Robyn Hitchcock plays The Bell House on November 19, the same night that John Wesley Harding and The Minus 5 play the Brooklyn venue. That show is part of a short run of dates where Robyn will be performing his 1990 album Eye in its entirety. Tickets for the show are still on sale, and you can get a combo ticket for Robyn's show and the Minus 5 show.
Robyn Hitchcock has other upcoming shows planned too, including peforming The Beatles' Revolver in the UK this weekend, performing the songs of Nick Drake in Australia in November, and his own 1984 album I Often Dream of Trains at ATP UK in December.
All dates and a video of Robyn playing Eye's opening track "Cynthia Mask" at The Bell House in 2009 below...
John Wesley Harding (aka Wesley Stace) has three 'Cabinet of Wonders' scheduled at City Winery for his second season this fall. The dates scheduled are September 23, October 28, and November 18. Each night features a collection of special guests. The first night (9/23) includes Eleanor Friedberger (of Fiery Furnaces), Andrew VanWyngarden (of MGMT), Todd Barry, Jami Attenberg, Tony Visconti, Dan Zanes, and more TBA. The October 28 lineup includes Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen), Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman, Emma Straub, Paul Harding, and more TBA. The November 18 lineup includes Howe Gelb, Eugene Mirman, Audrey Niffenegger, and Myla Goldberg. Check the Cabinet of Wonders website for updates on the shows. Tickets are only on sale for the first one at the moment.
John Wesley Harding is also playing a few shows in November, some of which are with The Minus 5. Those dates include November 19 at The Bell House in Brooklyn, and November 20 at Maxwell's in Hoboken, both with The Minus 5. Robyn Hitchcock also plays the The Bell House on November 19, and there's a combo ticket for both shows.
John Wesley Harding also appears with 'friends' and Josh Ritter at the New York Public Library on December 6. The show starts at 7 PM and will be held in the Celeste Bartos Forum. The event is listed as discussion/reading/singing.
All dates and a video of a past Cabinet of Wonders below...
by Bill Pearis
Robyn Hitchcock and Joe Boyd are on tour and at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (3/11) for what should be a fascinating evening of conversation and music. Boyd, you may know, produced some of the most influential albums of the late '60s and early '70s, including records by Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention and The Incredible String Band. (And later R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs.) Says Robyn:
In this show, Joe tells excerpts of his story, largely reading from [his memoir] White Bicycles: I sing the songs he worked on or was involved with, the songs I grew up with - I also ask him questions and interrupt, like a kid that wants to be part of the story. The story is a big part of me.Anyone who has seen Robyn Hitchcock before knows the stage banter is just as entertaining as his music, so the idea of him playing talk show host to the guy who produced "Arnold Layne" and Bryter Layter sounds pretty amazing.
All tour dates below....
Sondre Lerche @ MHOW in September (more by Tim Griffin)
Sondre Lerche will be one of the many acts at the now-sold-out Bell House Haiti Benefit tonight (1/27). Sondre goes on tour after that with opener JBM. JBM is NYC songwriter Jesse Marchant, who's now signed to Partisan Records. The label will release his debut Not Even in July on April 13th. For some JBM right now, check out his recently-posted Daytrotter Session.
Sondre is also scheduled to be at the Michael Dorf-produced Music of the Who show at Carnegie Hall on March 2nd. That show includes a lot of big names and City Winery regulars. They include Living Colour, Robyn Hitchcock, Matt Nathanson, Sondre Lerche, Postelles, Bettye LaVette, Mose Allison, The Smithereens, Gaslight Anthem, Bob Mould (of Hüsker Dü), Fab Faux, Asaf Avidan, Willie Nile, Vanessa Carlton, Rich Pagano, Nicole Atkins and Steven Bernstein & The Music Unites Choir. Tickets are on sale.
Finally, Sondre Lerche plays NYC's City Winery on Tuesday, March 23rd. Tickets are on sale. All dates below...
some upcoming shows @ City Winery in NYC
12/29 - David Johansen
12/30 - David Johansen
12/31 - Los Lobos (early & late)
01/01 - Joseph Arthur & Charlie Mars
01/22 - Bob Mould w/ Jon Auer
01/23 - Bob Mould w/ Jon Auer
01/29 - Joseph Arthur & Bobby Bare Jr.
02/28 - Robyn Hitchcock
03/20 - Rhett Miller
Full schedule & other upcoming shows @ City Winery's website.
SXSWeek 2010: March 12-21The intial lineup of bands playing the music portion, below...
Interactive: March 12-16
Film: March 12-20
Music: March 17-21
by Andrew Frisicano
Scott McCaughey w/ Eugene Mirman @ The Bell House (more by Lori Baily)
Bassists/guitarist Scott McCaughey and guitarist/bassist Peter Buck collaborate quite a bit. First, they both play in R.E.M. Recently, both backed Robyn Hitchcock as part of the Venus 3 on his spring tour. Those shows were a combination of opening dates for the Decemberists (like at Radio City) and headlining shows. The band's June 11th show at the Bell House was the latter.
Wynn and Pitmon are prolific in their own right. Both just gigged as part of Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, performing Medicine Show by Dream Syndicate (Wynn's old band) at the Bell House on June 27th. A live recording of that show is available at The Archive. (There's another of those Medicine Show gigs coming up in LA in July.)
The a-four-mentioned musicians pack into the tour van this August to play an amalgamated series of shows, billed as "An Evening with The Minus 5, the Baseball Project, and the Steve Wynn IV Performed by Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon." Part of that will be a gig at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Wednesday, September 23rd. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 10th at noon.
If that's not enough, you can catch Buck on the recently reissued version of R.E.M's 1984 album Reckoning (though not McCaughey -- he didn't join the group till the '90s). R.E.M. are also releasing a 4-song live digital EP on July 9th, and a 2-CD live album later this year.
All Minus 5 + Steve Wynn + friends tour dates below...
photos by Lori Baily
backstage shenanigans at the Bell House
On Thursday [June 11th] I saw Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 - R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey - at the Bell House in Brooklyn. Ken Stringfellow of the Posies opened in a solo capacity; he was preceded by Takka Takka.Robyn Hitchcock opened for the Decemberists at Radio City a day before that. Two days after the Bell House show, he performed at this year's Bonnaroo...
Despite owning at least eight of his albums, and enjoying them always, I'm not the world's biggest Robyn Hitchcock expert. But I was surrounded by people who were, and they rated it one of his better shows... [Tony Fletcher]
"This is the first festival I've really been to since seeing Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wright in 1970," [Hitchcock] tells Spinner. With his typical self-deprecating sense of humor -- we think that's what it is, anyway -- he recalls that after the massive Isle of Wright festival, as a performer he "decided to take a different tact and wherever there were going to be lots of people I'd be naught," says Hitchcock. "And, 40 years later, I'm beginning to reconsider my game. Should I do more public appearances where there are people? A lot of my colleagues in show business have answered with a vigorous nod -- 'Yes, Robin, play in front of an audience.'"That trend continues. His next show is at Glastonbury later this month. His next scheduled stateside gig will be at the Austin City Limits Festival in October. More Bell House pictures below...
So Robin Hitchcock and the Venus 3 did indeed take the stage, to massive applause and in front of thousands...
Colin Meloy in Ohio, June 1st '09 (unruly badger)
Ah, yes, young Meloy....Colin, isn't it? Yes, yes...jolly good. I must say he is a springy lad...most flexible...hewn of wands, you know...they splice them down by the river...he was part of a group that lost contact with the main tribe, and drifted to Montana. I found him in the bushes, whistling to a frog. He later said it was me, perhaps he was right. A majestic performer, at ease with himself, his audience and his material in away that makes me quite...envious. He is...well, he's not old, you know...still green of leaf and...always springy, did I mention? Oh yes, well, the thing is: he's young but he goes back a long way. That's right - he leads from the old path. The deeper your roots, the broader your branches, I always say. Especially if you're a tree. Colin has magnificent roots, he showed me them in a forest. What did you say? Prog Folk? Or Fog Polk? In San Francisco, probably, I know he was there...or was I there?...yes, we were both there, but not at the same time. I get confused with the other chap...not Dr Partridge...he's sitting over there, I think it's him...no, Colin is very...to me he's the ultimate British rock star...in a way that he couldn't be if he was from Britain, because he's have to come from some sector of society that the other sectors would resent him for....(Canon Morrisey, that's the fellow - or is he dean now?)...no Colin has it in perspective and can be it in a way that only an outsider can. So he has the brogues, and the lamps, and the canvas...the pavilion...the lashes and the brand...although he's most careful with them both...and most of all, he has the voice. With a little technological help, he could yet be duetting withThe Decemberists are still on the road, playing their new album Harzards of Love from start to finish -- they'll be touring North America (with some time off) till August. Updated dates are below. The band visits NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, June 10th (TONIGHT). Tickets are still on sale.
- if he hasn't already. Hmmm? Did I say he was springy? Ah yes...young Meloy....
- Robyn Hitchcock [to Paste]
"Apropos, the stage backdrop was a silk screen draped with tumbling, gauzy cocoons and lit in blood and chlorophyll. Meloy, dressed like he wanted to borrow just a moment of your time to discuss the Good News, played the role of Narrator/William the Forest Prince. Becky Stark, as Margaret, wore a white sequined gown of the sort usually found in a giant trunk in the attic; I'd bet anything it originally came with a giant cone-shaped hat. Shara Worden, as The Forest Queen, dressed in a loose black dress and silver tights, leaving her free to steal the show with some body-rocking that was extemporaneous and silly and improbably sexy." [Washington City Paper]Becky Stark and Shara Worden are reprising their guest spots on Hazards of Love, and more, live. See a video of Stark, Worden and Meloy cover Heart's "Crazy On You" on tour, below.
Speaking of guests, Robyn Hitchcock, who played some guitar on Hazards, is opening select dates for the Decemberists with his band, the Venus 3. That group consists of Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows) and Bill Rieflin (Ministry). They'll open the Decemberists' Radio City gig.
The guys in that band -- McCaughey and Buck, specifically -- are also in The Minus 5. That group will release an album called Killingsworth on Yep Roc on July 7th. From that record, the song "Scott Walker's Fault" features Colin Meloy on lead vox. Meloy also sings on Robyn's newest disc.
Robyn Hitchcock has his own NYC headlining show on Thursday, June 11th (the night after the Decemberists gig) at the Bell House. Tickets are still on sale. The openers for that show will be Ken Stringfellow and Takka Takka.
Storefront Hitchcock, a 1998 concert film directed by Jonathan Demme and featuring Robyn Hitchcock, is now streaming online. See that video, and an exclusive interview with Hitchcock from SXSW earlier this year, with all Decemberists tour dates, below...
!!! is playing ACL 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
"The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival will showcase a diverse blend of acts both fresh and familiar at the eighth edition of the event in Zilker Park October 2-4. Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, and Beastie Boys are performing for the first time at the Festival, with Kings of Leon, Ben Harper and Relentless7, and Thievery Corporation returning to Zilker Park once again. John Legend, The Dead Weather, and The Levon Helm Band will also make their ACL Festival debut, while Austin's own Ghostland Observatory will no doubt deliver another memorable set for festival goers.The entire 2009 lineup is below...
With over 130 artists on this year's bill, the list of acts awes at each note with the likes of Sonic Youth, Mos Def, Toadies, Flogging Molly, The B-52s, Lily Allen, Citizen Cope, Arctic Monkeys, The Decemberists, Coheed and Cambria, Andrew Bird, Girl Talk, and many more.
In the tradition of the TV show from which it was born, the Festival has always aimed to offer musical discovery for the fans. The 2009 lineup is rich with pop, country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, indie rock, hip-hop, and gospel, to name a few, spanning cultures and countries from New Orleans to Venezuela to France."
by Andrew Frisicano
Now, Hitchcock has announced another NYC date. The new show is at the Bell House on Thursday, June 11th. Tickets are on sale now. The Brooklyn show is two days before the band's scheduled Bonnaroo appearance.
All dates and a collection of Hitchcock videos, below...
"On February 17th Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 - comprised of R.E.M's Peter Buck on guitar, Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.) on bass and drummer Bill Rieflin (Ministry, R.E.M.) - will storm back onto the pop music landscape with Goodnight Oslo, the follow-up to their critically lauded 2006 album Olé Tarantula.Colin Meloy appears on Robyn's new album, and Robyn does the same for Colin's.
Olé Tarantula marked the beginning of a stark renaissance in the career of one of Britain's most enduring songwriters and performers, reinvigorating his unique artistic voice and illuminating his influence on another generation of psychedelic folk disciples. Continuing Olé's trend, Goodnight Oslo explodes the Hitchcock myth with an album of pure pop mastery complete with horns, jangling guitar hooks and signature Hitchcock-ian word paintings that prove the Englishman's creative engine is more fiery than ever. Goodnight Oslo harkens back to Hitchcock masterpieces Underwater Moonlight and Globe of Frogs, with early opinions calling it one the best albums of his already storied career.
The album features guest vocals from Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) and Sean Nelson (The Long Winters, Harvey Danger). One man horn section Terry Edwards contributes signature stabs and sweeps, adding color what Robyn refers to as, "The best record of my adult life," and his unique vision of pop music in a perfect world.
Much about finding a return route out of the rabbit hole, Goodnight Oslo is bright and shining, further delineating this era from the frequently dark nature of his earlier work. Says Robyn, "These songs are largely about breaking out of a negative cycle, and believing that change can happen. It's not a recovery album or a therapy album per se; it's just a sign to the exit."
Oslo comes on the heels of 2 meticulously curated retrospective boxed sets. I Wanna Go Backwards and Luminous Groove combine to reissue six albums (plus 4 discs of rarities) worth of Hitchcock's 1980's Egyptians and solo output." [PR]
Robyn's last NYC show was at Symphony Space. His next one is at Irving Plaza on April 11th. Tickets are on sale. While in town, there's a good chance Robyn will also visit The Red Flame Coffee Shop (W 44th St.), Cafe Figaro (Bleecker & MacDougal), The Campbell Apartments (15 Vanderbilt Ave between E. 42nd & 43rd), Nat Sherman's (5th Ave & 42nd St), Fred's at Barney's (Madison & 61st), and Nikko's (on Broadway & 76th).
All tour dates below...
Crystal Castles @ MHOW - New Years Eve (more by Ryan Muir)
Al Green @ the Wellmont Theater - Nov 2008 (more by Eric M Townsend)
Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment are excited to announce the initial lineup for the 2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The eighth annual four-day camping and music festival will be held on June 11 - 14 on the same beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville. Every year Bonnaroo seeks to make history by offering unique and exclusive performances by rock's greatest legends as well as its most significant newcomers. A full list of confirmed acts follows, and more will be announced in the coming weeks. The final Bonnaroo 2009 lineup will total over 120 bands and over 20 comedians performing on 13 stages over four days. Tickets go on sale exclusively through www.bonnaroo.com on Saturday, February 7 at 12:00 PM Eastern.As rumored, Bruce Springsteen (who just played the Superbowl Halftime show) and Phish (who just had some trouble selling tickets to other shows) are headlining this year's Bonnaroo. Nine Inch Nails (who played Lollapalooza last year), Beastie Boys, David Byrne (who has two shows coming up at Radio City), Wilco, Al Green, Erykah Badu, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who are also playing Coachella), Andrew Bird (who just played Carnegie Hall), The Decemberists, Bon Iver, Animal Collective (who are very popular right now), Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, Santogold, Grizzly Bear (who have a new album coming out), St. Vincent, Ted Leo, Crystal Castles, and many others are also on the bill according to the now-officially announced initial lineup.
Full (initial) 2009 Bonnaroo lineup below...
On March 24th, Capitol Records will release The Decemberists' The Hazards Of Love, the follow-up to the group's 2006 breakthrough, The Crane Wife, which NPR listeners voted their favorite album of the year. With their fifth full-length album, the Portland-based quintet of Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query and John Moen solidifies its standing as one of the most innovative creative forces in music today. In an age when singles rule and the death of the album has been pronounced by many, The Decemberists - who will be featured in a live session on NPR's "World Café" today - have fashioned an anomaly: a record that demands to be listened to from start to finish and reveals more with each subsequent play. The 17-song suite, recorded with the band's longtime producer, Tucker Martine, is rooted in ancient language and imagery, yet entirely modern and accessible.The Decemberists also have another new song on the Dark Was the Night comp, as does My Brightest Diamond who recently played a show at (le) poisson rouge.
Eager to share a bit of the new music with fans before street date, The Decemberists are making "The Rake's Song" available as a free download beginning today at www.decemberists.com.
The album began when Meloy - long fascinated by the British folk revival of the 1960s - found a copy of revered vocalist Anne Briggs's 1966 EP, titled The Hazards of Love. Since there was actually no song with the album's title, he set out to write one. Soon he was immersed in something much larger than just a new composition.
The Hazards Of Love tells the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, lascivious rake, who recounts with spine-tingling ease how he came "to be living so easy and free" in the aforementioned "The Rake's Song." Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden deliver the lead vocals for the female characters, while My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock and the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates appear in supporting roles. The range of sounds reflects the characters' arcs, from the accordion's singsong lilt in "Isn't it a Lovely Night?" to the heavy metal thunder of "The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing."
"There's an odd bond between the music of the British folk revival and classic metal," says Meloy. "A natural connection between, like, Fairport Convention and Black Sabbath - of course, Sandy Denny from Fairport even sang with Led Zeppelin on 'The Battle of Evermore.' I think there's a shared sense of narrative and ambience, of moving beyond the first person in your writing. And I thought it would be interesting to mess around with that."
The Decemberists will tour this spring, playing The Hazards Of Love straight through for the show's first half and older material for the remainder. Ambitious, yes - but this is a band that doesn't shy away from major stage productions, having performed The Crane Wife with full orchestral accompaniment on several 2007 dates, including a stop at the historic Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Upcoming tour dates will be announced shortly.
Jim James's most recent NYC show took place at Madison Square Garaden. Robyn Hitchcock's was at Symphony Space.
Stay tuned for those tour dates (Terminal 5 again probably?). The track listing for The Hazards Of Love is below...
photos by Lori Baily
"I just saw Robyn last night, at the Symphony Space here in Manhattan, performing his oddball 1984 "psych-folk" album I Often Dream of Trains in its more-or-less entirety to be filmed for an upcoming documentary. Now, those of you who read this blog regularly know what a sucker I am for Robyn Hitchcock -- for his floppy gray hair, his loud shirts, his spaced-out free association stage monologues, his haunting melodies, his wicked sense of humor, his absurdist lyrics about death, sex, and decay. Last night's show was a delight from start to finish, even the moments when he blew a line or played the wrong chord and, with a nonchalant "take 2", redid it. I sincerely hope the film's editors don't cut out all the bits he prefaced by saying, "This is the part they'll edit out," because with Robyn Hitchcock those are definitely the choicest moments." [The Song in My Head Today]Lori agreed that the show was really fun. more pictures below...