Entries tagged with: Samamidon

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Katrina and the Waves

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.

Continue reading "Our Katrina and the Waves tribute EP is now on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify & RDIO"

Bright Sunny South

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.

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."

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.

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...

Continue reading "Sam Amidon releasing LP on Nonesuch, schedules shows"

sam Amidon

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...

Continue reading "Sam Amidon playing some shows (win tix to Rockwood)"

DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon & Bill Frisell's Beautiful Dreamers - "Saro" (live) (MP3)

Bill Frisell & Sam Amidon
Sam and Bill

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...

Continue reading "Sam Amidon & Bill Frisell collaborating, playing shows (two are at Le Poisson Rouge TONIGHT) -- dates & MP3"

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Rachel Kowal

Glen Hansard, Sharon Van Etten, a Dessner
Fighting Words
Fighting Words

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...

Continue reading "Other Voices (Glen Hansard, Sam Amidon, Doveman, Bryce & Aaron Dessner, Sharon Van Etten & other surprise guests) @ Le Poisson Rouge -- night 1 pics & review"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Beth Orton, Glen Hansard & Dawn Landes @ LPR
Doveman

When Glen Hansard sets foot on the stages of a sold-out City Winery TONIGHT, it'll be his third visit to an NYC stage in a month. As advertised, The Frames frontman/Swell Season sensitive-man recently hopped on stage with Beth Orton, Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, Dawn Landes, and as hinted, St. Vincent at the Doveman "Burgundy Stain Session" at Le Poisson Rouge in January (where these pics come from)...

"Thank you so much for coming," Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) began. "This is the first of these concerts that I'll be doing, and I thought it would be nice to start with just me and Sam because me and Sam have been playing music together since we were five."

The two kicked off the show with a simple, lovely, and faintly religious little song, "All is Well." Ringing out with repeatedly, the titular refrain seemed like a perfect starting point for the evening...

...After Sam had played through a few of his songs, he casually announced, "We're in a gospel mood," which was apparently Annie Clark's (St. Vincent) cue to make her way to the stage to fulfill her role as a "great gospel guitarist." Crouching down on stage in the shadow, Clark joined Amidon for one more song before the spotlight officially shifted to her. As she stood up, the stage lights shone through her messy main of curly hair, creating a halo that complimented her Amidon-annointed title....

...The evening proceded with a potpouri of performances. Hardly a song or two would pass before the configuration on stage would change. Beth Orton, Glen Hansard, and Dawn Landes would each have their turn. "One thing I realized is that I hate talking on stage so much that things are really going to need an emcee," Bartlett joked...." [Rachel Kowal]

Hansard's other recent NYC appearance happened this past Sunday at Justin Bond's Joe's Pub show (it was a surprise). Justin Bond returns to Joe's on 2/13 and 2/20 (perhaps with special guests again), and Justin is one of the announced guests at the next Doveman show at Le Poisson Rouge which happens on February 8th. Beth Orton returns that night too, and The Poison Tree rounds out the currently-announced lineup of Thomas Bartlett collaborators that will be there. Tickets are still available for that show and for the one happening on March 16th (lineup TBA).

The Poison Tree, as I wrote back in August 2009, "is Brooklyn, NY singer songwriter Steve Salett [of the King of France] and a rotating cast of collaborators borrowed from acts including The National, Rufus Wainwright, Antony and the Johnsons, and David Byrne." The Poison Tree's debut album will be released this March 15th on Embarque...

In recording its debut album, The Poison Tree leader Steve Salett, drew on a community of extraordinarily talented musicians that formed around Salett's Saltlands Studio and Saltmines rehearsal spaces in Brooklyn. "I approached it as, 'if you build it, they will come.' After that, a space and community coalesced organically around the rehearsal rooms," says Steve. "For The Poison Tree, we were able to pull musicians who regularly use the Saltmines. If we needed violin, trumpet, whatever, we just walked down the hall."

The supporting cast is extraordinary: Thomas Bartlett, better known as Doveman and briefly a member of King of France, provides much of the atmospheric Wurlitzer, piano, and organ parts. Of The Poison Tree, he says, "Steve is one of my favorite songwriters. Each song is a simple, perfect gesture, but with an elusive, enigmatic quality that will never lose its fascination for me."

Singer Dawn Landes, who will open for Justin Townes Earle on the road next month and also sang on Josh Ritter's latest album, also sang on 'The Poison Tree' record and did some engineering work. Others include bassist Jeff Hill (Rufus Wainwright), drummer Konrad Meissner (Graham Parker), and trumpeter C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright). Gary Mauer of Hem co-produced the album with Salett.

Lastly, besides writing all of the songs and playing guitar and vocals, the multi-talented Salett also co-produced and plays dulcimer, Rhodes, and whistle.

Lots of names repeating themselves in this post. You can also catch The Poison Tree at Pete's Candy Store on February 11th.

Don't forget that Sam Amidon has a show coming up at Glasslands on 2/16 (tickets), and even before that will join Nico Muhly, Bishi, Bryce Dessner, and ACME at St.Ann's Warehouse as part of Nico Muhly's Tell The Way. Tickets are available for all three shows, Feb 10th-12th.

More pictures from the 1/14 Doveman are below...

Continue reading "guests announced for 2/8 Doveman show (Justin Bond, Poison Tree, Beth Orton) --- St .Vincent, Glen Hansard & more played last time (pics)"

DOWNLOAD: Doveman - Love Shines a Light (Katrina & the Waves cover) (MP3)

Thomas 'Cibo Matto' Bartlett @ LPR (more by Chris La Putt)
doveman

Doveman (aka Thomas Bartlett and sometimes a band) is starting a new salon series of collaborative concerts at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge. "The Burgundy Stain Sessions" kick off on January 14th at 7pm with very special guests Sam Amidon (who also plays in Doveman when Doveman is a band), Glen Hansard of the Frames and Swell Season (who Thomas has also played with before), Beth Orton (ditto), and "special guests." Rumor says the special guest for the first show might be St. Vincent.

Thomas says the shows will be "a forum for me and my friends to try out new material, showcase new bands, explore new collaborations, and drink." Drink with them. Tickets are still on sale for the January show. Look for lineups and tickets to soon be announced for the next shows which will take place on February 8th at 10pm and March 16th at 10pm.

Doveman recently appeared at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the reunited Cibo Matto, and also has a NYC show coming up at Merkin Hall in March.

Sam Amidon also has other shows coming up including three in February with Nico Muhly at St. Ann's Warehouse.

DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon - Walking on Sunshine (MP3)

Katrina and the Waves

Monday, May 24th, 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Katrina and the Waves' classic song "Walking On Sunshine". To celebrate, the band has various things planned, one of which is a remastered version of the original song entitled "Walking On Sunshine 25". The song will be released this coming Tuesday on iTunes (and other fine download establishments). You can also listen to it right now in the new (but looks old) video below.

More importantly, I've teamed up with the band, and Primary Wave Music, to make a little EP featuring some of my favorite artists covering Katrina and the Waves songs. That's the cover of the EP with the big picture of the sun up there. It was designed by Nathan J Crow. Right above that is track number one. Download Sam Amidon's "Walking on Sunshine" now, for free, and stay tuned for more details coming Monday!

Continue reading "Sam Amidon covers Walking on Sunshine for BV EP (MP3)"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon - Relief (R. Kelly cover) (MP3)

Sam Amidon @ The Bell House in January (more by Vincent Cornelli)
Sam Amidon

Sam Amidon is currently in Europe playing with the Whale Watching tour, a group show that includes Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson and others. A live video from one of their recent gigs is below. Sam will be back to play Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, June 23rd. Tickets are on sale.

Sam Amidon's I See the Sign, out now on Bedroom Community, is an amazing listen, and one of the highlights, maybe surprisingly, is the R. Kelly cover posted above. At the album release show in April his comments on the tune - "I thought R. Kelly had done something really amazing...He'd written a song that had no bearing on reality" (via Village Voice) - shed some light on the foreboding irony of the song. The albums' other songs come from a variety of sources: bluegrass, Appalachian folk, blues - all become recognizably his, with instrumentation by composer Nico Muhly, parts played by Daniel Bjarnason and Shazad Ishmaily, and backup vocals from Beth Orton. He discusses recording the album in Iceland in a recent World Cafe session. Listen here. Also read our interview with Sam conducted at Big Ears.

Sam's friend & collaborator & band Doveman opened the album release show at 92YTribeca on April 10th. Doveman plays tonight at Bell House and at 92YTribeca Friday (5/6 & 5/7) opening for Patrick Watson.

Doveman also plays with Elysian Fields at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Thursday, May 13th. Tickets are on sale.

Videos of Sam and the Whale Watching tour are below...

Continue reading "Sam Amidon (album out now) & Doveman (opening for Patrick Watson tonight) add shows (dates) "

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Sam Amidon - Relief (R. Kelly cover) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Beth Orton and Sam Amidon - Thirteen (Alex Chilton) (MP3)

Footloose... coming to LPR
Doveman

The new monthly Unsilent Film series kicks off Wednesday, April 7 with a free concert from Kría Brekkan (ex-Múm, Avery Tare & Kría Brekkan) as she debuts a live-improvisational score to Jean Epstein's 1928 horror masterpiece The Fall of the House of Usher. Then on April 25 Doveman will perform revised versions of tracks from his reinterpretation of the Footloose soundtrack and his album The Conformist to excerpts from the films Footloose and The Conformist. And on May 23 the series will feature jazz guitar luminary Marc Ribot doing his solo-guitar score to Charles Chaplin's 1921 slapstick comedy The Kid. [Le Poisson Rouge]
The screening tonight (4/7) is free - tickets to Doveman and to Marc Ribot are both on sale. The latter two are not new material - Doveman released a Footloose covers album in 2008 and his original The Conformist LP last year, and Marc Ribot performed with the same film as part of the NY Guitar Festival earlier this year.

Also coming up, Doveman will be opening for Patrick Watson on May 6th at the Bell House and May 7th at 92YTribeca. He'll also be performing with collaborator Sam Amidon at Sam's album release show at 92YTribeca on Saturday, April 10th. Tickets are still on sale.

Doveman also has a show on Thursday, April 15th at Barrow Street Theater with Uncle Monk (Tommy Ramone's bluegrass duo), Penny Arcade, Bandana Splits (a group that includes Dawn Landes) and Tyrone Cotton. That's being put on by NYC/Kentucky-based festival Motherlodge.

One of the songs on Sam's new record, I See the Sign, which is out now, is a dead serious cover of R. Kelly's "Relief" that's actually sort of affecting. The song is posted above. Beth Orton contributes to Sam Amidon's new album (and vice versa), and he joined her for two NYC shows in January. They also recently recorded a cover of Big Star's "Thirteen" with Dave Schramm and David Mansfield for Radio Free Song Club.

As we gathered on St. Patrick's Day to tape show number four, we learned of the death of Alex Chilton. Beth Orton and Sam Amidon were in the studio that night and worked out a version of Big Star's "Thirteen". Ted found the lyrics online, Sam picked out the chords and they sang it for the first time.
You can download that above too.

Marc Ribot will be performing in a trio with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor at Rose Live Music on April 12th. And he'll do two sets at the Stone on May 6th (1st Henry Kaiser, Marc Ribot & John Zorn; 2nd Duo with Henry Kaiser & Marc Ribot).

The film screening tonight is the only announced upcoming date for Kría Brekkan. check out a video of her and Fall of the House of Usher, both pasted below...

Continue reading "film w/ music series w/ Kria Brekkan, Doveman, Marc Ribot ++ Sam Amidon MP3s (Alex Chilton & R Kelly covers) & more "

by Alex Lewis

Sam Amidon @ Big Ears Fest (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Sam Amidon

Sam Amidon sung the very first note at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville on Friday. Overshadowed on the festival's bill by the likes of famed rock bands (The National, Vampire Weekend) and legendary composers (Terry Riley), many of the badge-wearing festival attendees didn't know what to expect when the tall, flannel-wearing Vermont-native's strange voice filled the Knoxville Museum of Art. But they were soon won over.

In retrospect he was perfect for the role. As a musician who has illuminated elements of Americana, past and present, through his re-imaginings of traditional Appalachian songs Amidon has become a vital member of the contemporary folk community. In the spirit of Big Ears, his music relies on collaboration. Along with Thomas Bartlett (also known as Doveman) and composer Nico Muhly he is a member of the 802 tour, whose performances are beautiful syntheses of three varied musical minds. Amidon had three scheduled performances at the festival. I caught up with him backstage at the Bijou Theater.

--

How did you end up at Big Ears?

Sam: It was through the 802 Tour. We [Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett, Nadia Sirota, and I] had done a tour about two summers ago and it was a total blast. So we are always looking to do, not necessarily another tour, but some more shows because we love playing together. While we're all pretty busy, it's usually hard to find a time. But this weekend worked out. Another factor was Bryce [Dessner], someone who we all encounter in different capacities and there are so many people here who we know and play with. For instance, Thomas plays keyboards with The National. There were just so many wonderful musicians so we were totally happy to come play.

continued below...

Continue reading "an interview with Sam Amidon (at Big Ears)"

by Andrew Frisicano

Sufjan Stevens
big Ears

Collaborations were the order of the day on Big Ears' Saturday, March 27th schedule (day two). At 1pm, the 802 Tour - Nico Muhly, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) and Sam Amidon with violist Nadia Sirota - performed songs written by each. The National's Dessner brothers and drummer Bryan Devendorf joined for a selection of full-band Doveman songs, and the finale was a clamoring, epic version of the folk song "The Two Sisters" arranged by Nico (part of the percussion included Nico combing Thomas's hair). Sam played his own set with help from Thomas one day earlier, and later Saturday night.

Before that, the day started with Andrew W.K.'s Q&A-heavy lecture at the Knoxville Museum of Art (he played a set of music the night before) and a Bang on a Can All-Stars set that included works by Dave Longstreth, both at noon. Dirty Projectors performed later in the day (3:45pm) at Tennessee Theatre on a bill that also included DJ/Rupture and William Basinski who went on at the same time as Liturgy (who played at the Big Ears Annex at 2pm and then again at Pilot Light at midnight).

Clogs took the stage at the Bijou Theater with guests as well. Rumors of a solo set by Sufjan Steven circulated, but he only played one of his own songs, "Barn Owl Night Killer," on piano. Clogs were also assisted by Shara Worden, Aaron Dessner and Calder Quartet. Matt Berninger was delayed en route to Knoxville, so he didn't make his duet on "Last Song," for which main Clog Padma Newsome filled in. That wasn't the actual last song - new-album closer "We Were Here" was, which featured Sufjan on vocals and banjo along with Shara Worden and guitar by Aaron Dessner. A similar show happened in Brooklyn a few days earlier.

Joanna Newsom
big Ears

The Saturday headliners - Vampire Weekend and Joanna Newsom - both played to sold out crowds (Vampire Weekend at the sprawling, ornate-adorned 1600 seat Tennessee Theater with opener Abe Vigoda). Joanna Newsom's set was opened by Fred Armisen aka Jens Hannemann, a master of "complicated drummer technique." Armisen also joined her set for one song to play awkward and out-of-place cowbell.

At the Tennessee, the night ended with Terry Riley's Autodreamagraphical Tales - music from Bang on a Can over Terry reading from his actual dreams (Eastern religion and weed popped up frequently) - and In C, led by BoaC's Evan Ziporyn and featuring the rest of Bang on a Can All-Stars as well as Calder Quartet, Clogs, Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota, Gyan Riley, and Terry on voice. The open-ended song stretched to an hour, canceling out any chance to catch late night sets from Javelin and Gang Gang Dance. Gang Gang was stil going when I arrived, but the club shut down the power mid-song and flipped on the lights promptly at 3am, sending everyone home.

A recap of Friday is HERE. More pictures and videos from Saturday are below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Fest Day 2 - Joanna Newsom, Clogs w/ Sufjan, Fred Armisen, Nico Muhly, Terry Riley, more (pics, video, review) "

by Andrew Frisicano

Big Ears Fest

Sam Amidon, accompanied by Thomas Bartlett, ushered in the first show of the 2010 Big Ears Festival at the Knoxville Museum of Art on Friday (3/26) with "Wild Bill Jones," his own version of the Appalachian folk song, punctuated with a piercing scream half-way through. "These are all folk songs, some from around here," said Sam, which was the right thing to say at the KMA, an institution whose collection and staff brims with East Tennessee pride. After a welcome by festival organizer Ashley Capps (whose AC Entertainment also organizes Bonnaroo) and co-curator Bryce Dessner, Calder Quartet and violinist Iva Bittova led the audience through the folk-inspired world of Bartok, Janacek and guitarist/composer Fred Frith.

Big Ears Fest

A little after 7pm at the gorgeous Bijou Theatre (est. 1909), Terry Riley and his quartet - consisting of his son Gyan on classical guitar, Tracy Silverman on electric violin and Ches Smith on drums and marimba - played a series of extended ragas and genre-morphing songs. By midnight, an ecstatic crowd of all ages filled the hall for the xx. Just a few hours before, University of Tennessee basketball advanced to the NCAA Elite 8, and the partly collegiate crowd carried the celebratory mood to the gig. Some danced in front of their seats or in the aisles, and cheered in anticipation - in one opera box, an exhibitionist couple shared a drunken embrace dangerously close to the railing. Clandestine cigarettes were smoked as the xx performed their moody rock alongside minutely choreographed stage lights.

The earlier jj were even more laid back than the xx, with a sole singer, Elin Kastlander, standing before video projections that included an Italian soccer game, romps on the beach by Elin and co-member Joakim Benon, and whales and other nature scenes. We also got to see Elin roll a big blunt on screen, which might speak to her onstage ambivalence and generally lackluster approach. She did pick up an acoustic guitar once, as did her blond gentleman collaborator, Joakim, for a few numbers. With the music on autopilot, everything else - from the canned "native" beats to the narcissistic video - seemed to follow suit.

The first act had much better luck: Nosaj Thing's post-apocalyptic electronica, riddled with blippy bullets and ghostly echoes, destroyed the darkened theater. The xx gig was one of of the fest's sold out gigs (the others are currently Vampire Weekend and Joanna Newsom) but those with all-access Inner Ear passes ($250 now, but cheaper if you bought earlier) had no trouble finding front-row first-come, first-served seats if they showed at least 15 minutes before doors. The passes are pricey, but a good deal even if you make it to only 1/3rd of the 30-some shows at the fest.

A few blocks away, Andrew WK and the Calder Quartet finished their set with a cover of John Cage's 4'33" - or as Andrew put it "Johnny Cage! Fatality! Mortal Kombat!" The room was divided between those trying to rebel ("Play music!"), those trying to explain the piece ("It's supposed to be people talking"), those shushing, and those just enjoying the spectacle. Andrew returned for an encore of "Party Hard" (piano, voice and crowd participation) and brought out Calder's Eric Byers for a Bach cello piece, accompanied by an interpretive dance by Andrew WK (think "an impressionistic karate kid") dedicated to the late Merce Cunningham.

Big Ears Fest

The compact nature of the participating venues in downtown Knoxville (one mid- and one large-size theater and a handful of smaller club-like spaces) gives Big Ears an intimate feel, and the festival's musicians - most recognizably, Sufjan Stevens, though his only performance is in a supporting role with Clogs (The BQE is being screened too) - can be seen hopping from venue to venue along with the fans.

The difficult decisions of Big Ears day one - Dutch post-punks the Ex against newcomers the xx - only intensify as the festival progresses, with the headliners like Joanna Newsom, Vampire Weekend and composer in residence Terry Riley all going head to head on Saturday.

More pictures and video from Big Ears day one are below...

Continue reading "Big Ears Fest Day 1 - Sam Amidon, jj, The xx, The ex, Terry Riley, Andrew WK, Nosaj Thing, more (pics, video, review)"

photos by Kyle Dean Reinford

Efterklang
Efterklang

It's rare that I enjoy every artist on the line-up, but Wednesday night's show at Le Poisson Rouge hit all the right notes. Sure, I was a bit bummed out that Balmorhea had canceled (due to "urgent family matters"), but the last minute replacement for the opening slot, Samamidon, was a welcome addition to the roster...

...[Sam's] performance tonight made me regret not making more of an effort to see him in the past. Sam unceremoniously took to the stage, picked up a ukulele, and began playing...

...Next up was Icelandic composer/conductor Daníel Bjarnason... or more accurately, I should say Daníel Bjarnason and his sixteen-piece orchestra. I'm still not quite sure how they fit so many people and instruments on stage, but it was marvelous.....

...In addition to the obvious - the music, I love Efterklang for their charming stage presence. All of the guys in the band seem so genuinely excited to be playing - as if they can't believe that they're on stage in New York.... [Sonic Smorgasbord]

More pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "Efterklang, Sam Amidon & Daniel Bjarnason @ Le Poisson Rouge in NYC - pics "

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Daníel Bjarnason - Bow to String I. "Sorrow Conquers Happiness" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Efterklang - Modern Drift (MP3)

Daníel Bjarnason...
Daníel Bjarnason

Tonight's Efterklang's show at (Le) Poisson Rouge (3/3) has been merged with the club's earlier show, which adds Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason and the banjo playing Sam Amidon to the bill. Tickets are on sale.

Part of the reason for the new lineup is the fact that Balmorhea, who was to open Efterklang's entire tour had to cancel due to a family emergency. As a result the band's tour schedule had been updated with new openers, posted below. Efterklang will also be touring without violin+ player Peter Broderick, who has to tend to "a knee surgery that isn´t healing properly." Best of luck to both of them.

All three of the bands playing have records that just came out, or are coming out shortly. Efterklang's Magic Chairs came out February 23rd. "Modern Drift" from it is posted above.

Bjarnason's debut album, Processions, came out on the Bedroom Community label on March 2nd. "Sorrow Conquers Happiness," the full-throttle first part of his Bow to String concerto, which opens the record, is posted above. Its multi-track cellos evoke a range of sounds from clanging chains and machine gun taps to spiraling riffs and even a bit of tender melody.

At age 30, Daníel Bjarnason is already a veteran of Iceland's music scene, and his compositions have received international acclaim in recent years. As co-founder and chief conductor of the Isafold Chamber Orchestra, he's recorded two discs of modern classical music on the 12 Tónar label....He has lent his talents to artists on the other side of the alleged classical/rock divide--Ólöf Arnalds, Pétur Ben, Hjaltalín, and, most famously, Sigur Rós, collaborating with that band at its Abbey Road sessions with the London Sinfonietta--before creating Processions with producer and Bedroom Community co-founder Valgeir Sigurðsson.
He'll be joined at the show by cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdottir, pianist Vicky Chow, and others.

Sam Amidon's new record, I See the Sign, comes out on Bedroom Community on April 20th. Among the guests on the album is Beth Orton, who Amidon opened for in January. He plays a record release show at 92YTribeca on April 10th with Thomas Bartlett (Doveman). Tickets are on sale.

Its amazing lead single, "How Come That Blood," is available here. Sam was recently featured on the World Cafe, which you can stream online.

Sam Amidon will be part of the Whale Watching Tour, which'll pair him with Bedroom Community labelmates Ben Frost (who plays at Big Ears with Tim Hecker), Nico Muhly (who plays with Doveman at the Kitchen March 18th and 19th), Valgeir Sigurðsson, and a band of musicians across Europe this April and May. Tour dates for that and more are below...

Continue reading "Daníel Bjarnason & Sam Amidon have new albums & shows, both opening for Efterklang (because Balmorhea cancelled)"

photos by Eric Townsend, words by Andrew Frisicano

Doveman (w/ Norah Jones on vocals)...
Doveman

Thomas Bartlett was at the center of his Doveman and Friends concert at the Mercury Lounge on Tuesday, January 12nd. On top of the headlining set, Barlett ably accompanied openers The Poison Tree (Steve Salett of King of France) and Sam Amidon on piano (even sitting in for some tasteful drums during Sam's set). Though the night on the whole seemed casual and off-the-cuff, with plenty of stories and asides, Bartlett's piano playing was always on point.

Sam Amidon opened with "How Come That Blood," the superb preview single off his forthcoming record, with its rapid, coordinated fingerpicking and clear traditional-ballad-like melody. He traced his set's progression through a song cycle about a character named "Ryan Seek Rest." When least expected, Amidon let loose a rooster scream that burned through the crowd.

Puss N Boots played an all-covers set that included songs by Johnny Cash, Doc Watson, Wilco (" Jesus, Etc" with Norah Jones singing sublimely) and Wanda Jackson (who herself is coming to town. The drummer-less three-piece made good use of their own vocal trademarks when harmonizing - Catherine Popper's bassy voice, Sasha Dobson's direct tone and Norah's breathier notes.

Doveman started his set with a run of songs off The Conformist, his hooky, atmospheric pop gem that came out late last year. As a dynamic piano player and singer, Bartlett doesn't need much in the way of support, and he didn't get much from his band, who seemed to be tearing into the material for the first time, afraid to make themselves known in any real way. Norah sang back up on a song, and Justin Bond, who has been working with Doveman on a new album, sang one too. So did Dawn Landes (who has a BV-presented record release show coming up at the same club). "Dancing" was the encore lullaby that sent off the crowd.

Coming up, Sam Amidon will be opening for Beth Orton at City Winery next Sunday and Monday . Doveman's upcoming tour dates (including SXSW) are posted below. At the show, he also mentioned that he'd be performing with Elysian Fields at LPR on Friday, January 22nd. Tickets are on sale.

More pictures from Mercury Lounge are below...

Continue reading "Doveman & friends (Sam Amidon, Norah Jones, Poison Tree, Justin Bond, Dawn Landes...) played Mercury Lounge (pics)"

Donald Fagen

Steely Dan's Donald Fagen will be joining Levon Helm at Terminal 5 on Thursday. It's also a chance to see Okkervil River who are opening for the show. Tickets are still on sale.

Okkervill River's Will Sheff (recently seen covering Fleetwood Mac) contributed to the new Norah Jones album.

Puss n Boots (aka Sasha Dobson, Catherine Popper, and Norah Jones (not Avril Lavigne as listed on Mercury Lounge's website) are opening for Doveman and friends at Mercury Lounge on January 12th. Tickets are still on sale. As previously mentioned, Doveman band member Sam Amidon opens that show too.

Tickets are also now on sale for the two "Doveman + Peter Pears : An Evening With Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly" shows at The Kitchen.

ConformistNorah Jones, Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, and members of the National are among those who contributed to the new Doveman album.

Doveman, Sam Amidon and Nico Muhly are playing this year's Big Ears Fest which is curated by a member of the National.

Sam Amidon was reportedly "backed by Doveman, Beth Orton, Final Fantasy + Shazad Ismaily" at Rockwood Music Hall the other night.

Final Fantasy is not called Final Fantasy any more. Tickets are still on sale for the Owen Pallett show happening at Bowery Ballroom on January 18th.

Beth Orton and Shazad (who also plays in Doveman) both contribute to Sam's forthcoming album.

Beth Orton has some shows coming up of her own too. Video of Sam and Beth performing together in London, below...

Continue reading "Donald Fagen, Levon Helm, Puss n Boots, Norah Jones, Doveman, Sam Amidon, Beth Orton, etc (dates, tix & stuff)"

Sam Amidon @ LPR in June (more by Fresh Bread)
Sam Amidon

Solo artist & Doveman band member Sam Amidon's new record I See The Sign will be out in March on Bedroom Community and features contributions from Beth Orton, Shahzad Ismaily, Nico Muhly, and Valgeir Sigurdsson. Its first song "How Come the Blood" is up as a free download and streaming at MySpace.

Sam has a bunch of shows coming up, two of which are in NYC for now. He plays Rockwood Music Hall tonight (1/4), and then he opens (and probably plays as part of the "friends") at the Doveman & Friends show at Mercury Lounge on January 12th.

Beth Orton has shows coming up in NYC (and LA) this month too. Sam's new album cover art, some videos and all dates below...

Continue reading "Sam Amidon playing shows (dates), releasing new album featuring Beth Orton & others (MP3)"

by Andrew Frisicano

Doveman

Speaking of Nico Muhly, he just played a Wordless Music show at Columbia's Miller Theatre on September 9th. There he performed with '802 Tour,' a round-robin style stage show with frequent collaborators Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett...

Mr. Bartlett's piano-driven ballads, including some from a forthcoming CD, "The Conformist," had a shadowy, confessional intimacy that was accentuated by his tremulous, nearly whispered crooning. In sharp contrast, Mr. Amidon affected a ragged backwoods yelp for traditional shape-note songs and other folksy material.

Mr. Muhly's appealing instrumental compositions drew on Philip Glass's harmonic stasis and the rhythmic vitality of Stravinsky and Ligeti, mixed with a flair for electronic counterpoint that was all Mr. Muhly's own. Yuki Numata, a terrific violinist from the ACME group, brought out an ardent romanticism in "Honest Music," for violin and electronics....

Where genres had been gently mixed during the concert, in an encore medley they were mangled outright. Mr. Muhly waxed rhapsodic at the piano in Mariah Carey's "My All"; Mr. Bartlett offered a limpid rendition of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"; and Mr. Amidon turned R. Kelly's "Relief" into a suitably crooked hootenanny singalong. [NY Times]

Barlett's new Doveman CD, The Conformist, which features Muhly and Sam Amidon prominently, will be out October 20th on the Brassland label. Also featured on the disc are the National's Matt Berninger, Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Bryan Devendorf, a string section, and additional guest spots by Martha Wainwright and Norah Jones.

Doveman will be playing fall-winter dates (not announced yet), and unless they are solo shows, those will probably come after the Sam Amidon/Nico Muhly European tour (also with Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurðsson) that runs October 24th to November 12th. The Eurotrip is less than a week after Muhly appears at the New Yorker Festival to discuss "Radical Opera" with Rufus Wainwright in a talk moderated by Alex Ross.

Martha & Rufus Wainwright recently played with their father at Highline Ballroom, and will both appear in an upcoming show at Carnegie Hall. Rufus also has another benefit show coming up in NYC soon.

The National (members) can be found at BAM at the of October with a member of the Pixies who just announced a 4th NYC show to happen in November.

The new Doveman track that National frontman Matt Berninger sings on, is streaming at Pitchfork.

Doveman album art above. Tracklist and some interesting videos, below...

Continue reading "Doveman's new album The Conformist w/ The National, Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Martha Wainwright & Norah Jones"

Doveman @ LPR in June (more by Fresh Bread)
Doveman

Miller Theatre joins forces with the Wordless Music series to present a week of specially curated concerts highlighting the best of each organization's aesthetic and mission. For five nights, indie-rock and electronic-music performers share the stage with artists from the classical- and new-music world, for a week of unorthodox and unconventional musical meetings.
Of those five nights, four lineups at Columbia University's Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street) have been confirmed. Those will take place as follows...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The 802 Tour:
Nico Muhly + Sam Amidon + Doveman

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Do Make Say Think
Charles Spearin's "The Happiness Project"

Friday, September 11, 2009
Tim Hecker
Grouper
Julianna Barwick

Saturday, September 12, 2009
Dan Bejar (Destroyer)
Loscil
JACK Quartet

Ticket information HERE.

Those concerts are an addition to Wordless's upcoming schedule, which currently includes the Alarm Will Sound show tonight (July 22nd) at LPR, the Liquid Liquid & Rhys Chatham "200 Electric Guitars" performance on August 8th at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, and the Warp20 NYC series in early September.

The original "802 Tour" (the Doveman date above) took place in 2008. No word on whether they are actually going on tour again, or if this is just a one-off date with the same name.

Do Make Say Think and The Happiness Project also have a bunch of other tour dates scheduled, including two other NYC shows. Grouper is also playing ATP NY. Destroyer is going on a very short tour at the end of July that brings Dan Bejar to Bowery Ballroom on the 30th. All dates and a video from Doveman's June 18th show at LPR, below...

Continue reading "'Wordless Music' @ Miller Theatre w/ Doveman, Grouper & Destroyer ++ other tour dates"

photos by Fresh Bread

Doveman

"When describing the show Sam Amidon, Doveman and members of The National put on at Le Poisson Rouge there is no way that I can be sarcastic or snarky. It was too amazing, beautiful, genuine, and polished for me to even pretend to funnily write about it. Basically, that music was the equivalent to being in love, drinking iced tea on a wooden porch on a perfect summer day, and moving away from home for the first time, all rolled into one. I'm still walking around with a goofy smile on my face, especially in lieu of sitting literally two seats over from the lead singer of The National..." [Gangster Legs]
Sam Amidon opened and played in Doveman at the Thursday night show. Add Thomas Bartlett (Doveman himself), two Dessners, Bryan Devendorf, Nico Muhly, Dawn Landes, and Oren Bloedow, and you had as many as eight people playing as Doveman at once. The show was in the round, so the audience was sitting all around the band. The setlist, which you can see below, included old songs, new songs, and covers including a show-closing cover of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin".

Grab a new Doveman track HERE. More pictures below...

Continue reading "Doveman (and Sam Amidon, members of the National, Nico Muhly, Dawn Landes...) @ Le Poisson Rouge, NYC - pics"

DOWNLOAD: Doveman - Hurricane (new MP3)

Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) @ Dark Was the Night (more by Natasha Ryan)
Doveman

The follow-up to Doveman's 2007 record, With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead, is on the way. That still-untitled album will come out on Brassland Records later this year. You can check out a BV-exclusive preview from that record, the especially upbeat (for Doveman) song "Hurricane," above.

Doveman will be performing his/their latest work (alongside the rest of his catalog and maybe some Footloose material) at his Thursday, June 18th show at (Le) Poisson Rouge in NYC. Tickets are still on sale, and we have two pairs to give away. More details on that below.

At LPR, Bartlett will be backed by long-time Doveman member Sam Amidon, who's also opening the show, and Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Bryan Devendorf of The National -- all of those musicians appear on the new record.

As usual, Doveman has been busy playing keys behind other performers. On June 14th and 15th, he played with Martha Wainwright in her "Songs of Edith Piaf" show. Those sets were recorded with producer Hal Wilner to be released as a live record.

This summer Bartlett will tour with Antony & the Johnsons in Europe. The National have summer dates too, and don't be surprised if Bartlett ends up making some of those gigs.

We talked to Aaron Dessner about his history with Doveman, the progress being made on the new National album and a forthcoming Dark Was the Night movie (and possible European dates). That exchange, and all tour dates, is below...

Continue reading "Doveman - new MP3 ++ NYC show Thursday w/ members of the National (who are recording, touring, keeping busy) "

Anathallo
Anathallo

* Matt Joynt - Vocals, Guitar, Auxiliary Percussion, Piano
* Bret Wallin - Trombone, Auxiliary Percussion, Vocals
* Danny Bracken - Guitar, Auxiliary Percussion, Vocals
* Seth Walker - Bass, Vocals
* Jeremiah Johnson - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
* Erica Froman - Vocals, Auxiliary Percussion, Autoharp
* Jamie Macleod - Flugelhorn, Auxiliary Percussion, Vocals
As previously mentioned, Sam Amidon is currently keeping busy over in Europe (with and without Doveman), playing an upcoming show at The Stone, and joining Nico Muhly (and Doveman) for a show at Lincoln Center.

Sam is also going on a US tour with Anathallo in February and March. That tour includes yet another NYC show (for Sam) (it's Anathallo's only local appearance). Tickets for the March 4th show at Mercury Lounge go on sale Friday. All dates below...

Continue reading "Anathallo & Sam Amidon - 2009 Tour Dates"

DOWNLOAD: Doveman - Honey (MP3)

Doveman pointing (more by Chris La Putt)
Doveman points

As previously posted, Doveman is playing a show at The Stone in NYC tonight, Tuesday December 16th.

He'll be joined by the entire Doveman band, featuring Sam Amidon, Dougie Bowne, Peter Ecklund and Doug Wieselman. This is the first time the entire band has played together since recording With My Left Hand I Raise The Dead.
$10 tickets available only at door. Students 13 to 19 admitted half price. Children 12 and under free!

Doveman's band was the first place I knew Sam Amidon from, but I almost forget that when I see Sam's name now. Now I think of Sam first and foremost for his own work which he'll also be playing when he and Doveman go on a tour of Europe with David Thomas Broughton this January.

And when they get back, it's one more Doveman show for NYC, but this Doveman show will be unlike any other Doveman show because at this Doveman show, Doveman will be performing his version of the Footloose soundtrack. Tickets are on sale. All dates below...

Continue reading "Doveman - 2008/09 Tour Dates (tonight, Europe w/ Sam Amidon, Footloose @ Joe's Pub) "

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