Entries tagged with: Sam Amidon
Aesop Rock in Austin in 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Bang On A Can's David Lang is the 2013-2014 season's holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall, and for the season, he'll be presenting his collected stories series. On the series, David says:
My series--collected stories--divides up the narrative world into topics so we can see how the music changes from subject to subject. Music from different cultures, times, environments, and sound worlds, plus some really exciting commissions, are placed next to each other, highlighting their narrative similarities and telling a larger kind of story about how we listen, experience sound and time, and use music to make sense of the world around us.The series includes a number of shows throughout the year, notably 'collected stories: love/loss' on April 24 with The Uncluded (aka Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson), Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota and others (tickets); 'collected stories: (post)folk' on April 27 with guitar great Kaki King, the Alarm Will Sound ensemble, and others (tickets); and 'collected stories: spirit' on April 23 with Tuvan throat singers Huun-Huur-Tu and others (tickets). Full collected stories schedule below.
Speaking of Kaki King, she also plays the New York Guitar Festival this month.
And speaking of Bang On A Can, BOAC's marching band Asphalt Orchestra is performing the Pixies' Surfer Rosa in NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday (1/12). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
collected stories schedule below...
As discussed, The Blind Boys of Alabama have been working on a new album with Justin Vernon titled I'll Find a Way, which will be out via Sony Masterworks on October 1. It features guest appearances from Sam Amidon, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, and Patty Griffin. You can watch a short-form documentary about the making of the album below.
The Blind Boys of Alabama will also be touring this fall. That includes a stop in NYC opening for The Black Crowes at the second their four Terminal 5 shows (October 26). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Speaking of, The Black Crowes have lined up interesting openers for all four shows:
October 24: Ray Wylie HubbardTickets are still availble for all four shows. The band are also playing four all-acoustic nights at Port Chester's Capitol Theatre. October 18 & 19 feature opener John Fulbright and October 21 & 22 features Justin Townes Earle. Tickets for those shows are also still available.
October 26: Blind Boys of Alabama
October 27: Dr. John & The Nite Trippers
October 29: Maceo Parker
All Blind Boys of Alabama tour dates are listed, along with that making-of video, below.
Justin Vernon w/ Bon Iver in Austin in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who recently collaborated with Kanye West, and is also about release a new Volcano Choir album (aka his collaborative project with experimental rockers Collections of Colonies of Bees), is also working on a project with gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama, who have been around since the 1930s. Earlier this year, he announced he'd be producing their new album, I'll Find A Way (due out 10/1 via Sony Masterworks), and it's since been revealed that he's contributing his vocals to a cover of Bob Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand" for the album. You can listen to that track now over at Pitchfork, and check out the full tracklist (which also includes collaborations with My Brightest Diamond, Sam Amidon, tUnE-yArDs, and more) below.
Speaking of Bob Dylan, his tour comes to the NYC-area for its first of five shows this week. The first show was initially supposed to happen in Bridgeport, CT on Friday (7/19) at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard with My Morning Jacket and Wilco, but that show has been moved to Bridgeport's Webster Bank Arena, and
MMJ and Wilco are no longer on the bill. UPDATE: MMJ and Wilco are still playing. Tickets for the Webster Bank Arena show are available, and all tickets purchased for the Ballpark at Harbor Yard show will be honored.
Jim James at Firefly Fest 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The other NYC-area shows will go on as planned on 7/21 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center with My Morning Jacket and Wilco (tickets), 7/26 at Hoboken's Pier A Park with MMJ and Wilco (tickets), 7/27 at Jones Beach with Beck and Wilco (tickets), and 7/28 at Susquehanna Bank Center with MMJ and Wilco, which is also part of the 3-day XPoNential Music Festival in Camden (Bob Dylan tix, XPoNential Fest passes).
Dylan, Wilco and MMJ kicked off the tour towards the end of last month, and at their recent Toronto show (7/15), Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and MMJ's Jim James joined Dylan on stage for a cover of traditional song "Twelve Gates to the City" and for Dylan's own "Blowin' in the Wind." You can watch a video of the former (via Consequence of Sound), along with the setlist from that show, below.
Bob Dylan also just announced that he'll release Bootleg Series. Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969-1971), a box set that collects rarities and outtakes from the Self Portrait and New Morning era, on August 27. The trailer video and tracklist for the box set are below.
Updated dates are listed, along with all videos and stuff, below...
Back in 2010 we asked tUnE-YarDs, Fucked Up, Sam Amidon, Doveman, and Deer Tick to cover songs by Katrina & the Waves for a tribute CD in celebration of their hit song "Walking on Sunshine" (which Sam and FU both covered). We released those five tracks online, but the EP never got an official digital release until now! Find all five songs, along with a bonus one recorded by Dawn Landes, at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify AND RDIO.
Meanwhile, Sam Amidon just released an album on Nonesuch and is touring. Fucked Up play Governors Ball this weekend and House of Vans this summer. Doveman aka Thomas Bartlett just played with the National at Barclays Center and is producing a new record for Dawn Landes who is currently touring Europe but will be back to play Rockwood Music Hall on July 9. Tune-Yards recently played the Tibet House Benefit and played with Roomful of Teeth at Lincoln Center where Thomas Bartlett (Dovemen)'s band (one of the many) The Gloaming is playing outside in July. Deer Tick recently played two nights in Chicago and is on the lineup of a new Boston fest happening this fall.
Sam Amidon (and Olof Arnalds) @ BV-SXSW 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Last we spoke the soft spoken Sam Amidon had only a couple of dates announced including his big NYC record release show happening at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday (5/16). Get your tickets now and read the previous post for more info on that and the LP (which you can listen to on RDIO).
Meanwhile Sam has expanded his list of announced tour dates to include May dates in Europe, June dates around the United States, July dates in Japan, and August dates back in Europe where his name is on a few festival lineups this year. Check out the full list below...
I just got excited when I read today's announcement that:
Nonesuch Records releases Sam Amidon's label debut Bright Sunny South on May 14.Tickets are still available for the May 16th show which you could also say is yet another Doveman-related gig that we missed in our Doveman roundup yesterday.
Produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman) and legendary English engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Vashti Bunyan, R.E.M.) and recorded in London, the record features a band made up of Bartlett and multi-instrumentalists Shahzad Ismaily and Chris Vatalaro. Jazz trumpeter Kenny Wheeler also makes a cameo. Amidon himself not only sings but also plays banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar, and piano on the album.
To celebrate the release, Amidon will performon May 16 at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge with Bartlett, Ismaily, Vatalaro and special guests (to be announced). This is Amidon's first full-scale band performance in New York City since the release of his previous album I See The Sign in 2010, although he has recently performed in New York as part of Doveman's Burgundy Stain sessions, in duo with Bill Frisell, and in collaboration with Nico Muhly, Beth Orton, and others.
Amidon describes Bright Sunny South as a "a lonesome record" and a return to the more spare sound of his 2007 self-recorded debut, But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted: "There was an atmospheric quality to my last two records; those albums are like a garden of sounds," says Amidon, "but this one is more of a journey, a winding path. The band comes rushing in and then they disappear. It comes from more of a darker, internal space."
A longtime admirer of Boys' work, Amidon was particularly enamored of his recordings with Martin Carthy in the 1970s, as well as the Ali Farka Touré/Toumani Diabaté duet albums on World Circuit/Nonesuch: "Those are so beautiful. I listened to all of that. I loved the sense of documentation, the unadorned quality. Everything sounded so clear."
Sam's only other announced gig is part of Wilco's Solid Sound Festival this summer.
Liten to a track from Sam's new album, along with the full tracklist below...
We already told you that the 2013 edition of Wilco's Solid Sound Music & Arts Festival will go down June 21 - 23 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The line-up has now been revealed and includes sets from Yo La Tengo, Os Mutantes, Low, The Dream Syndicate, Reggie Watts, onetime Miracle Legion frontman Mark Mulcahy, Neko Case and more. And Wilco, of course. "Early Worm" tickets are sold out but you can still get "Early Bird" and regular three-day passes here.
Full line-up for 2013 Solid Sound fest is below...
Rufus Wainwright, The National, They Might Be Giants, Doveman, Beth Orton, Sam Amidon, and more were scheduled to play this show at Beacon Theater on Tuesday (10/30):
The "Freedom To Love Now!" concert has been postponed due to pending weather conditions. Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets to support this concert, Freedom To Marry, and the fight for the equality for all Americans. With all the goodwill, momentum, and awareness this concert has generated, we are rebuilding the show on a future date, likely in the Spring.Meanwhile, everything today/Monday is cancelled too. Listen to Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten sing "Baby It's Cold Outside".
You may hold on to your tickets as they will be valid for the rescheduled show. We will notify you with updated details of the new show very soon. Alternatively you may request a refund through TicketMaster at this time.
The battle for marriage equality in the US will be far from over even after this election. And, we hope you'll join us in the future as we continue the fight for social justice with the beauty of music. Our beneficiary organization Freedom to Marry is doing everything possible to support the ballot campaigns in the four states in the last week before the election. You can help by making calls for Mainers United for Marriage and Washington United for Marriage without ever even leaving your couch. Just sign up, and an organizer in Maine or Washington will help get you started. Sign up at these links:
Additionally we will keep you posted on "Freedom To Love Now!" developments and other projects at www.freedomtolovenow.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FreedomToLoveNow
Thank you. And be safe.
Simon Rentner, Brice Rosenbloom, Thomas Bartlett, and the entire "Freedom To Love Now!" Team.
In related news, They Might Be Giants are playing a few New Year's Eve shows in Brooklyn (if we make it through this hurricane).
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
Beth Orton @ Town Hall, 10/4/2012
Beth Orton played Town Hall last night supporting her just-released Sugaring Season , her first LP in six years. She started her set solo, switching between acoustic guitar and piano, but was joined after a few songs by opener Sam Amidon, as well as Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett and violinist Rob Moose who accompanyed her for the rest of the set. Orton's also quite the storyteller, entertaining the crowd between numbers -- with a thicker South London accent than you might expect given the delicate nature of her songs.
As mentioned, Sam Amidon opened the show and Doveman and Moose accompanied him as well on his set of Irish and traditional folk songs. Doveman, Sam and Beth will join forces again at Beacon Theater on October 30. Meanwhile you can catch Doveman next Friday (10/12) at LPR with, as previously mentioned, guests Owen Pallett and Dawn Landes, as well as the just-added Steve Salett.
More photos from last night's Town Hall show are below.
Beth Orton and Sam Amidon have been added to the Freedom To Love Now! A Concert for Marriage Equality benefit that happens on October 30 at Beacon Theater. The Doveman-presented show also features Rufus Wainright, The National, They Might Be Giants, John Cameron Mitchell with Stephen Trask, Justin Vivan Bond, Toshi Reagon, fun., and more. Tickets are still available with proceeds going to benefit Freedom to Marry.
Meanwhile, Beth's tour hits NYC tonight at Town Hall tonight (10/4) with Sam opening, and tickets are still available. Beth Orton's Sugaring Season is out this week (stream via Spotify) and you can watch her performing "Magpie" from it on Letterman below.
Toronto art pop musician Sandro Perri has a few dates scheduled to take place surrounding his appearance at this year's FYF Fest. They're a bit scattered at the moment so it looks like more might be revealed, but we know that one of them is a NYC show which happens on September 20 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All currently known dates are listed below.
Sandro Perri is also one of the many musicians being featured on the new Arthur Russell tribute album, This Is How We Walk on the Moon, that AIDS organization Red Hot (who are also responsible for Dark Was the Night, Red Hot + Rio and many other compilations) and Pitchfork are putting out. Sandro will join Robyn, Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Dan Boeckner, Twin Shadow, Washed Out, Laurel Halo, Sam Amidon, Devendra Banhart, Olof Arnalds, Jose Gonzalez, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Chad VanGaalen, Glen Hansard, and many others for the album. The project is being funded on kickstarter. The Kickstarter video and a list of all participating artists is below.
Earlier this year, DFA put out a remix 12" of material from Sandro's 2011 LP, Impossible Spaces. The stream of Eluvium's remix of "Changes," a list of all currently known Sandro Perri dates, and the Arthur Russell tribute info are below.
John Wesley Harding at Cabinet of Wonders in 2011 (more by Chris Graham)
John Wesley Harding (aka Wesley Stace) has been up to a lot this year, as usual. He finally gave his 1996 album, John Wesley Harding's New Deal, its first-ever vinyl release last month via Yep Roc. He's also set to continue his guest-filled Cabinet of Wonders variety shows at City Winery. The next happens at the NYC venue on September 8 with Sam Amidon, Todd Barry, Iris Dement, Ben Marcus and STEW, followed by shows on October 19 and November 16. The guests for the second two shows have not been revealed yet. Tickets for all three Cabinet of Wonders shows are on sale now.
The September 8 show falls right in the middle of John Wesley Harding's upcoming tour with progressive folk vets Strawbs, who will be playing acoustic.. That tour hits the NYC area on September 7 at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, NJ and September 11 at BB King's. Tickets for both NYC area shows are on sale now. Strawbs also play Strand Theater (9/8) in Lakewood, NJ the day that John Wesley Harding does his Cabinet of Wonders show at City Winery. All dates on the tour are listed below.
John Wesley Harding will also be hosting one of the shows in BAM and Greenlight Bookstore's Unbound literary series. He'll host the Gary Shteyngart Roast that happens on November 20 at BAM Harvey Theater with Kurt Andersen, Jay McInerney, Sloane Crosley, and others TBA. The full Unbound schedule is below.
All lists of dates and that schedule are below.
Beth Orton will release Sugaring Season, her first album in six years, on October 2 via Anti Records. She made the record in Portland, OR with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists) and guests include Marc Ribot and Sam Amidon. You can check out the first single, "Something More Beautiful," below and if you haven't checked in with Orton in a while, she's dropped the electronics that characterized her early work (like 1996's Trailer Park) in favor of a more organic, soulful approach.
This fall, Orton will also be going on her first tour in six years, including a NYC stop at Town Hall on October 4 with Sam Amidon opening. Tickets to that show go on sale Friday, July 13 at 11AM with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (7/11) at noon.
All Beth Orton tour dates are listed below, along with the video for "Something More Beautiful."
New York folk troubadour Sam Amidon has some upcoming shows, mostly this week and in NYC. Tonight (May 7), Sam plays that super expensive St. Ann's Warehouse gala that you may have noticed in "What's Going on Monday". Tuesday, 5/8, Sam plays for the common people back at Manhattan club Rockwood Music Hall where he'll be joined by fellow Doveman band member Shahzad Ismaily "and guests". Tickets are on sale for that show, and we have two pair you can win. Details below.
Doveman's Thomas Bartlett also happens to be the musical director of the St Ann's show where Sam will be part of the pit band in addition to performing solo and with Bill Frisell and Emmylou Harris. You may remember Sam played some shows with Bill back in March. Check out a couple videos from those shows, along with all (three) dates and contest details below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Glen Hansard @ Hotel Vegan (BV-SXSW 2012)
Over 20 years in the making, singer songwriter Glen Hansard will release his first ever solo album, Rhythm and Repose, on Anti- Records June 19. Best known for his work with The Frames, The Swell Season and in the feature film Once, for which he won an Academy Award, Rhythm and Repose is Hansard's debut solo album and first album of new material since his 2009 release Strict Joy with The Swell Season. The album will be available for presale at http://www.anti.com/storeGlen Hansard previewed some of those new songs at SXSW where one of the shows he played was the BrooklynVegan day party at 'Hotel Vegan' on Thursday, March 15th. Some pictures and videos from his 12:45pm set are in this post.
In recent months Hansard has been seen in the documentary The Swell Season which has toured the film festival circuit this year, contributed two songs to the blockbuster soundtrack, The Hunger Games, and been active in the promotion of Once, The Musical which successfully opened on Broadway on March 18 to rave reviews, including the New York Times who explains, "what was always wonderful about 'Once,' its songs and its staging, has been magnified." Hansard will support the new record on a U.S. tour.
Rhythm and Repose is a result of Hansard's last year and a half of living in New York City. The album was recorded by Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Arto Lindsay, Laurie Anderson) and produced by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman, The National, Antony and the Johnsons). The record features the musical talents of Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright) on bass, Ray Rizzo on drums, Nico Muhly and Rob Moose on strings (Bon Iver, Y Music), David Mansfield on slide guitar (Dylan's Rolling Thunder Tour), Javier Mas (Leonard Cohen touring band) and half of Bruce Springsteen's current horn section. Assisting on vocals are Cristin Milioti (Once, The Musical), Sam Amidon, Marketa Irglova and Aida Shahghasemi (Marketa Irglova touring band).
As the above blurb points out, the Once musical is running NOW in NYC, though Glen does not personally act or sing in it.
Glen, who meanwhile is hitting the road with Eddie Vedder, will headline four select shows in June including one on June 29 at Beacon Theater. Tickets for the NYC show went on presale today, and will become available to all as of 9am on Thursday (4/5).
All tour dates, the new solo album tracklist, and a Once musical video, below...
DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon & Bill Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers - "Saro" (live) (MP3)
Bill Frisell & Sam Amidon
To quote their own email, "singer, and multi-instrumentalist (banjo, fiddle, guitar) Sam Amidon and guitar pioneer Bill Frisell will be unveiling a new duo collaboration with a string of Northeast US Tour Dates in March." That short tour kicked off two nights ago, hit CT & VT so far, and arrives back in NYC for two unmissable shows at Le Poisson Rouge TONIGHT (3/21). Tickets are still on sale for EARLY and LATE. All dates are listed below.
These shows may be a new collaboration, but they aren't the first time these two artists have shared a stage. On May 25, 2011 they played at Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele in Ludwigsburg, Germany as "Sam Amidon & Bill Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers." The beautiful song "Saro" in this post was recorded at that gig. Download it above, or stream it below...
Sam Amidon at LPR in October (more by Toby Tenebaum)
Sam Amidon will head out on an international tour in 2012, but before he does, he'll wrap up 2011 with "Sam Amidon's End Of Year Contemplation through Banjosong" in NYC at Rockwood Music Hall on December 28. Regarding the show, Sam says:
While I cannot even dare hope to match the fine calibration of Kirsten Dunst's recent acting performances (most notably Marie Antoinette, Wimbledon, and Melancholia), I do wish that as 2011 draws to a close we can sing a few murder ballads and old love songs together and maybe it will snow.Tickets are on sale now. The show is 21+ and there is a one drink minimum.
Sam also recently released a book, Notes On The Twitterographer: Collected Tweets 2009-2011, which will be available at his shows and at his website.
All dates are listed below...
Glen Hansard, Sharon Van Etten, a Dessner
Other Voices, an annual musical festival held in Dingle, Ireland, may not be nearly as old as the town's pubs, but it has already become a rich, meaningful tradition since its inception in 2002. Though typically held in a tiny church, Other Voices jumped across the Atlantic and landed in Le Poisson Rouge for a couple of nights this week with the help of Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), Glen Hansard, and others--and it's all for a good cause! (All proceeds of the shows go to benefit Fighting Words, a writing center for children and youth in Dingle.)
"We don't know where we're going, we don't know where we'll be when we get there, and when we get back we probably won't know where we've been, so join us on this journey this evening," said Irish actor/writer Gabriel Byrne effectively introducing the event's pleasantly discursive nature. What unfolded over the course of the next three-and-a-half hours was a hearty round of poetry, prose, and music, much in the spirit of Doveman's monthly series, the Burgundy Stain Sessions.
Artist after artist shuffled onto the stage. Highlights included Glen Hansard's beautiful stories and songs, a newer piece by Thomas Bartlett (appropriately about the rain), a song or two from the talented folk singer Sam Amidon, a beautiful brand new piece written just yesterday by Bryce and Aaron Dessner that was inspired by the streets of Dingle, a couple of traditional songs by renowned Irish fiddler Martin Hayes, Joseph O'Connor's reading of an ode that creatively highlighted many of New York's music legends, and a surprise performance by Sharon Van Etten (and her sister Heather). The guests just kept coming. Bell X1 (who played a Smiths cover), Martha Wainwright, Jape, The Lost Brothers, Justin Vivian Bond, Nico Muhly; and from the Irish literary scene: Philip King, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, and Paul Muldoon. An unrecognizably shaggy Damien Rice even made a surprise appearance to play a couple of beautiful, completely unplugged and unaccompanied songs on his acoustic guitar.
The camaraderie in the air was thick. Though each artist had a chance to be in the spotlight, its loose structure allowed for one-of-a-kind impromptu collaborations. After a week of running around to catch ridiculously brief sets, often with compromised sound, it was a nice change to remain still and embrace a long, calming set as talent after talent humbly took to the stage. If you go tonight, just make sure to wear comfy shoes or arrive early to snag one of the few seats.
More pictures from the night below...
Glen Hansard & Doveman @ Le Poisson Rouge (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Doveman's next edition of 'Burgundy Stain Sessions' at Le Poisson Rouge is this Friday night (9/23), and the listed special guests are: Chris Thile, Martha Wainwright, Trixie Whitley and Little Annie. Tickets for the collaborative evening of music are still on sale.
In October, on the 27th & 28th to be exact, 'Burgundy Stain Sessions' kick it up a notch with Other Voices NYC: A Celebration of Music & Literature. Scheduled to appear over the course of two nights at Le Poisson Rouge are: Glen Hansard (The Swell Season), Bryce & Aaron Dessner (The National), Doveman, Laurie Anderson, Sam Amidon, Bell X1, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Martin Hayes, Joseph O'Connor, and Colum McCann. Prestented in conjunction with Imagine Ireland with all proceeds going to FIGHTING WORDS Creative Writing Centre, tickets are on sale.
The National have six huge NYC shows coming up.
Martha has one big holiday show coming up with her brother Rufus, and one with Rufus even sooner as part of the The Fourth Annual Plant & Sing Festival in Shelter Island, NY.
Rufus's opera 'Prima Donna' happens at BAM in Feb. 2012. Tickets are on sale now.
Austra @ BrooklynVegan Day Party @ Swan Dive
A few days have passed since I got back from Austin, and I'm still struggling to process the week. Yes, it was my first time at SXSW. Thanks to the never-ending supply of free tacos, music, beer, fellow music-devotees, and sunshine, I managed to retain that little-kid-like wonder throughout the week - even when severe sleep deprivation set in. (And I thought CMJ was a rush. Ha.)
By the time I left Austin on Sunday morning, I managed to see some 54 bands (no counting impromptu street performances) play in 20 different venues. Some were of course flops, but on the whole, I was impressed by the showcase of new and emerging artists. CMJ is great, but let's be honest. So many of the bands that play there play nearly every week in New York or Brooklyn anyway. Austin, on the other hand, seemed to get a much wider variety of acts, and I made it my goal to see as many unfamiliar and/or international artists as I could (in addition to of course scouting out some of my favorites like Sam Amidon, The Loom, tUnE-yArDs, and Papercuts).
Instead of potentially boring you with a lengthy play-by-play (which you can catch on my personal blog if you're interested), I'll try to succinctly present the highlights from my week. (Though to be fair, this is something of an impossible task.)
Since I flew into Houston and drove over (waaay cheaper), I didn't get to see a ton of music on Wednesday, but what I did catch was excellent. My first band of the festival, Still Corners (who recently signed to Sub Pop along with Memoryhouse), turned out to be one of my favorites all week. The British group's well-executed, dreamy sound was the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful outdoor setting on the lawn of the French Legation Museum for the the Bella Union/Yours day party. My two other favorite finds of the day were BOBBY (a Mountain Man side project that later played at one of the BV showcases) and the delightful Cali singer-songwriter Sea of Bees, whose eerily beautiful song "Gnomes" played on repeat in my head all week and prompted me to seek her out a second time the following day.
With the exception of the NPR Showcase, which featured the likes of Wild Flag, The Joy Formidable, and The Antlers (more on that later), the majority of Thursday left me lukewarm... that is until I stumbled upon Austra at the Domino showcase. (Austra also later performed at the BV show at Swan Dive on Saturday - pictures in this post.)
Wow. Zola Jesus may drive me a bit crazy at times due to Nika Roza Danilova's overly dramatic performance, but Austra seemed to strike exactly the right balance - theatrical and eye-catching without coming across as disingenuous or too over-the-top. Their beat was addictive, their appearance and dance moves, arresting. No question about it. Austra is definitely an artist to watch - and probably my favorite live act all week. Many of the sets I caught were only partial - I was constantly arriving late and leaving early in order to scamper off to another venue, but Austra held my attention (understatement of the year?), and I stuck around for the entirety of the set (Bill did too).
photos by Tim Griffin
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
"When you've got a demure woman on the microphone and she can go from a soulful refrain to a heightened howl in the matter of a minute, you know you're in the presence of someone special. I don't know if "special" quite cuts it when it comes to describing Aly Spaltro, aka Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, but she was the definition of captivating at the Brooklyn Vegan showcase at the Swan Dive. I can appreciate a good singer/songwriter, but Lady Lamb's in a class of her own and it was fantastic to see her receive such a warm Austin welcome on her first tour jaunt outside of the Northeast." [dig Boston]--
We already posted one set of pictures from this Wednesday night show. Here is another. It continues below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
""I write from a painful place," [Sharon Van Etten] recently told SPIN of the inspiration behind her latest release, the seven-song EP Epic. You can say that again. At the Swan Dive venue, just past midnight, Etten played a mournful solo electric ditty, reminiscent early Cat Power, and while her lyrics were largely undistinguishable, the track's title unidentifiable, it didn't matter -- the song gushed emotional ache like blood from an open wound. Words like "pain" and "brave" and "broken" occasionally rose over the five or six simple, tinny electric guitar chords she strummed alone. Even her bassist and drummer watched intently, like they'd never witnessed the emoting force of tangled nerves they in fact support each night. "[I'll] never let myself love like that again," she said. I'd reluctantly advise against it: It sounds like it hurt." [SPIN]After multiple years of official BV showcases at Club DeVille, we changed it up a bit this year by moving to another Red River venue, the indoor and swanky Swan Dive which was the perfect setting for the sounds of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (solo), Olof Arnalds (solo), Ted Leo (solo), Sam Amidon (solo, except for when Olof joined him on violin for his cover of "Walking on Sunshine"), Sharon Van Etten (full band), and Evan Voytas (full band). The only negative was that the crowd noise from the back was a bit loud at times, like during Olof especially, but otherwise an amazing evening and end to a long day that started with a two-stage BV day party at Emo's.
More pictures from the show, below...
NY Times: You have a new CD out in March called "Justin Vivian Bond: Dendrophile." Explain.Dendrophile is Justin Bond (of Kiki & Herb fame)'s first solo record. It was produced by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and also features contributions by Sam Amidon, Rob Moose, Dawn Landes, Beth Orton (as mentioned above) and others.
Justin Vivian Bond: A dendrophile's a person who gets an erotic charge out of nature. I am one! This is a record for the tree-hugger community. I do Bambi Lake's "The Golden Age of Hustlers" on it, and also a duet of the Carpenters' "Superstar" with Beth Orton. As for Vivian, that's my self-given middle name. Justin is a very male-identified name, and I wanted something that would balance it. I had an uncle named Vivian Francis. He was a wonderful person, but he changed his name to Victor. He didn't like being Vivian. But it's fine with me.
Justin Bond, who seems to stick to the intimite confines of venues like Joe's Pub for headlining shows lately, will celebrate the new CD release with a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom on April 5th which is four days before the CD Release show in San Francisco. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale at noon today (2/24).
Opening the Bowery show will be Doveman who Justin (and pretty much everyone else mentioned in this post so far) recently joined for a show at Le Poisson Rouge. Maybe Justin will pop in again when Doveman and guests return to LPR on March 16th. Tickets are still on sale for that.
Justin, who was in attendance to see his Scissor Sisters and Lady Gaga play Madison Square Garden this week, also has a special show coming up at Joe's Pub on March 7th - a new musical he co-wrote with Sandra Bernhard and Scissor Sister Jake Shears. On March 9th Justin hosts a book reading in NYC.
Watch a recent video feature on Justin, Joe's Pub footage included, below...
photos by David Andrako
Alexi Murdoch played the gorgeous Allen Room on February 17th, as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, and as part of a round of currently ongoing and sold-out dates that place Alexi in Minneapolis tonight before he heads further west for Noise Pop and other shows which are all listed below. Alexi's band is now made up of some familiar faces including Nate Martinez (from Pela and Thieving Irons), Brian Wolfe (one of Sufjan's drummers) and a horn section that both Sufjan & the National use. Pictures and the setlist from the NYC show are in this post.
If you missed Alexi at Lincoln Center, then luckily he will be back in NYC soon, though you'll have to settle for the scenic stretch of North 6th in place of Central Park. Murdoch will return to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 24th with Sam Amidon (who played Glasslands the day before Murdoch played NYC, and who you can catch at the BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase this year). Tickets for the Brooklyn show go on AmEx presale at noon, and on regular sale on Friday.
Murdoch is preparing to release his new LP Towards the Sun on March 8th in North America via Zero Summer. The LP features the title track which Murdoch recently made available for stream and download. Check out that song, more pictures and the setlist from The Allen Room, and all tour dates, below...
Dawn Landes, Norah Jones & Doveman
January's inaugural Burgundy Stain Session began softly with just Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) on stage, but for the second show in the series (2/8 at Le Poisson Rouge), Bartlett, the host, took a different approach. "Tonight, I thought we'd start with everyone on stage," said Bartlett excitedly, prompting nine additional musicians (dubbed by Bartlett as his "all-star backing chorus") to emerge from the audience and assume their positions. Crowded around a few mic stands, the group launched into a sweet, melodic Doveman song, "Angel's Share." (Beth Orton had to cancel due to 'unforeseen circumstances.')
Modeled after a salon, the Burgundy Stain Sessions are largely unscripted and free-flowing. "Sorry I didn't give anybody a set list," Bartlett eventually confessed. "I don't even really have a set list. I'm just making it up as we go." But instead of resulting in a sloppy mess, the music came together nearly seamlessly, thanks in part to the grand maestro, Doveman, who conducted both verbally ("I need A flat right here!") and with his animated body language (sudden glances, wild head nods).
Following the happy unification of musicians at the top of the show, the spotlight shifted to unannounced returning guest Glen Hansard. Once he had procured a pick from someone in the audience, he was ready. At the last Session, Hansard turned to Bartlett and announced, "none of your jazzy shit," but on Tuesday night, he seemed to be going along with it, as evidenced by their first song together. Apparently the song was brand new. "So Glen recorded that not too many days ago," Bartlett revealed. "His friend went to take a walk and he wrote it."
Many of the musicians are long-time friends and collaborators. Bartlett and Hansard met six or seven years ago (Bartlett can't really remember), and Amidon entered the picture long before that as was evidenced by the impromptu reunion of Popcorn Behavior, the childhood band Bartlett and brother Sam and Stefan Amidon (ages 13, 13, and 10 respectively). In addition to a Popcorn Behavior song, Sam played a song or two of his own, including "I See the Sign," which featured Doug Wieselman on bass clarinet.
Next up was Steve Salett who showcased some songs from his project, The Poison Tree. (His debut album is due out in March.) Much of Salett's songs were marked by technical difficulties due to some cell phone interference, prompting the group to stop while Bartlett switched his cell phone to airplane mode (it turns out his phone wasn't the culprit), but the show continued, thanks to Salett's booming baritone and his picturesque songs about the broken-hearted.
Apart from Glen Hansard (who was also present at the last Burgundy Stain Session), perhaps the biggest surprise guest of the evening was Norah Jones who performed a couple of songs, including a lovely cover song by the late Canadian singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, "(Talk to me of) Mendocino."
Since Le Poisson Rouge was set up in the round, the performers faced inward on stage... with exception of the theatrical Justin Bond, who made sure to sing to the whole room. Before beginning to play, the snarky, morose performance artist managed to both hit on Sam and get the whole room laughing. "I'm feeling horny and generous tonight," said Bond by way of introduction. "So someone might have a very nice evening tonight... and it might just be me." Bond played a series of songs, often featuring lyrics borrowed from (delightfully risque or provocative) poetry.
The "genderqueer" singer definitely elicited the most laughs of the evening. "I've got some bourbon. It's in a plastic cup, but it looks like glass, so hey! I'm all for things that look like one thing and are another," joked Bond. It was wise to conclude the show with this rousing performance, but the end still came rather abruptly and unexpectedly, leaving Bartlett to quickly ramble off next month's collaborators: Elysian Fields, Martha Wainwright, Sara Quin (from Tegan and Sara), Dawn Landes, David Thomas Broughton, and more. Tickets are still on sale for that show, and for Sam Amidon's show at Glasslands, and for the one Justin Bond has coming up at Joe's Pub on 2/20.
More pictures from the 2/8 show below....