Entries tagged with: St Vincent
Bright Eyes @ Radio City im March (more by Tracy Allison)
today in NYC
* Jen Shyu @ The Stone
* Kendrick Lamar @ SOB's
* Tyshawn Sorey @ The Stone
* Bebel Gilberto @ City Winery
* The Mandingo Ambassadors @ Barbes
* Crosby, Stills & Nash @ Beacon Theatre
* Dead Sands, Ancient Sky, Mercies @ Union Pool
* CANT, Steel Phantoms, Quinn Walker @ Glasslands
* Jangula, Free Blood, Many Mansions @ Death By Audio
* Pepper Rabbit, We Barbarians, ANR @ Mercury Lounge
* Advance Base (Casiotone), Concern @ Mercury Lounge
* Bruce Hornsby, Marco Benevento @ Beekman Beer Garden
* Future Shuttle, Wish, Santiparro, Glossy Wheel @ Zebulon
* Bright Eyes, Dr Dog, Real Estate @ Williamsburg Waterfront
* Innerpartysystem, The Kickdrums @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Our Hit Parade w/ Bridget Everett, Kenny Mellman, Neal Medlyn @ Highline Ballroom
* Kendra Morris, Ocean Carolina, Life and Times Of, Soulfarm @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Santah, Bandana Splits, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Turner Cody @ Pianos
* Nadia Sirota, Ted Hearne, Jozef Van Wissem, Jacob Cooper, Tristan Perich, William Brittelle (of The Blondes)(Believer Music Issue Celebration - Proceeds benefit 826NYC) @ Public Assembly
St. Vincent played Letterman. Video below...
Stephen Malkmus played Fallon. Videos below...
Below you'll find a preview of this year's New Yorker Festival schedule. Tickets will go on sale at 12 noon E.T. on Friday, September 9th.
By the time St. Vincent's Thursday night show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art started, the sky was once again clear (the calm before this weekend's storm). The concert was scheduled to happen on the roof, surrounded by the museum's collection of Anthony Caro sculptures. Instead, because of earlier rain, it was moved to the Temple of Dendur, an Egyptian temple housed its own wing with massively arched ceilings, a mesmerizing reflecting pool and a leafy view of Central Park (it's the same room where Glenn Hansard played and where the Met will be hosting Wordless Orchestra's free September 11th show).
The show itself was designed to serve as a preview for Annie's fall tour (and also as a release party for the new issue of Spin, the cover of which she graces). The bulk of the set came from her new album, Strange Mercy, out September 12th. For me, the record is one that I've been looking forward to all year. Annie's LPs (two so far) are always meticulously constructed, slightly damaged in subject matter and perfectly balanced between poppiness and otherworldlyness. To be honest, I was hoping the new one would jump off from her Our Band Could Be Your Life performance--all dragon-slaying guitar and ear-blasting feedback. Having heard much of Strange Mercy at the Met show, it's safe to say she went another way entirely.
From the start of the show--with its chilly synths and calculated beats--Annie refuted expectations. "I don't want to be a cheerleader no more," was an early hook in the 40-minute set that laid out just what Strange Mercy was all about. The song twisted in her characteristic way, but also had some of the synthy-sheen that's cropped up on two of my other favorite records this year (Kaputt and Bon Iver). She dictated that tone through her backing band--one member on Korg, one on Roland and a drummer with a laptop. Guitar, on other hand, seldom took center-stage: the two tunes that utilized it the most were Actor singles "Save Me From What I Want" and "Marrow."
Instead of flaunting her ability to shred, Annie showed off her talents as a singer and songwriter. On two ballads in particular, "Champagne Year" and Strange Mercy's title track (which had one repeated riff that reminded me of this), Annie gave the songs an emotional reading (you could see someone like Leonard Cohen singing up either tune). "Year of the Tiger" was another new tune that radiated classic composition. The send-off, "Surgeon," a song we've heard, was similarly ear-pleasing and heartbreaking, ending with a raw guitar solo and an explosion of jet-engine whirr.
People wanted an encore--the guys behind me clapped for what seemed like 10 minutes--but that was it.
More picyures from the show below...
Cat Power @ MHOW in 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)
today in NYC
* Serena Jost @ Barbes
* Questlove @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Cat Power @ Webster Hall
* People's Champs @ Barbes
* Mark Dresser @ The Stone
* Charlie Hunter @ Sycamore
* Chris Dingman Trio @ The Stone
* Stephen Malkmus @ Other Music
* Navegante @ Santos Party House
* Stephen Malkmus @ Academy Annex
* St. Vincent @ Metropolitan Museum of Art
* Joan Osborne, Seth Winters @ City Winery
* Mute Math, Saint Motel @ Mercury Lounge
* BNLX, Jeane, Phone Home, Ventilader @ Pianos
* Skeletons, The Present, Ablehearts @ Glasslands
* Tall Tall Trees, Anya Skidan @ The Manhattan Inn
* Oberhofer, Exitmusic, The Suzan @ Mercury Lounge
* Life Size Maps, Shark?, Caged Animals @ Union Pool
* VHS or Beta, Secret Music @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* The Medicine Man, Brooklyn Raga Association @ Zebulon
* Alak, Pregnant, GDFX, Alex Drewchin, J. Frye @ Shea Stadium
* Fall On Your Sword, DJ Justin Miller (of DFA) @ Cameo Gallery
* The Wave Pictures, Miracles of Modern Science @ The Rock Shop
* Wavves, Dee Dee (of Dum Dum Girls) @ East River Amphitheater
* Tommy Stinson, The Jay Vons, Hunters, Run! @ Bowery Electric
* Skyzoo, L.A., Final Outlaw, PremRock, Jesse Abraham @ Southpaw
* La Big Vic, Crinkles, Morgan Phillips, Missing Earl @ Death By Audio
* Michale Graves, The New Rochelles, Kepi Ghoulie, Vic Ruggiero @ Europa
* Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Woodsman, Orca Team, Flower Orgy @ Cake Shop
* Virgin Forest, The Heaven's Jail Band, Ill Fits, Bad Girlfriend, New Tongues @ Bruar Falls
* The Statesmen, The Greg Mayo Band, Martin Rivas, Brothers McCann @ Rockwood Music Hall
Stephen Malkmus plays two NYC instores tonight.
Cat Power plays her first of two shows at Webster Hall tonight.
St. Vincent, who plays the Met tonight, has a new video for "Cruel". Check it out below...
Oberhofer for free late night at Mercury Lounge. Check out a playlist Oberhofer made on Spotify in honor of the show.
Wavves plays for free in East River Park.
The Wave Pictures play at the Rock Shop.
Check out This Week in Indie for more.
The Beets were scheduled to play Death by Audio tonight but cancelled due to a family emergency.
Kendrick Lamar, who will be in NYC next week has a new video for the song "A.D.H.D." Check it out below.
Treasure Island Music Festival is returning to San Francisco, CA on October 15 and 16. The lineup includes Cut Copy, Beach House, The Hold Steady, Flying Lotus, Death From Above 1979, YACHT, Shabazz Palaces, The Antlers, St. Vincent, and many others. 2-Day passes go on sale Wednesday (7/27) 10 AM and single day tickets on Friday (7/29) at 10 AM.
Speaking of St. Vincent, if you haven't already, check out her new track at StrangeMercy.com. The full album is out September 13th via 4AD. More info and tour dates HERE. Still no info on tickets for her Met show.
Full Treasure Island lineup below...
St. Vincent will also be heading on a fall tour in support of the album which hits NYC on November 3 at Webster Hall. Ticket info coming soon. Luckily, New Yorkers won't have to wait that long to see St. Vincent though, as she will perform the first ever rooftop concert in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on August 25. More details on this show coming soon.
All tour dates, album art, and tracklist below...
St. Vincent being Big Black @ Bowery (more by Amanda Hatfield)
St. Vincent will release 'Strange Mercy' on on 9/13, her new album for 4AD who say: "The record's 11 new tracks showcase Clark's gift for fusing the cerebral and the visceral, her melodically elegant arrangements packing hefty emotional punches. Clark reunited with producer John Congleton and recorded the album in her hometown of Dallas, TX at Elmwood Studios."
"Other musicians on the album include the Grammy Award winning Bobby Sparks on mini Moog, clavinet, Arp and Wurlitzer, Midlake's MacKenzie Smith on drums, and Daniel Hart on violin. Also contributing were Beck keyboardist and musical director Brian LeBarton, Evan Smith on woodwinds and Phil Palazzolo."
Annie Clark is also working with David Byrne on stuff. Asphalt Orchestra will perform some of it at this year's Bang on a Can Orchestra. David Byrne is also working with other people on stuff.
Check out another video of St. Vincent covering Big Black at Bowery Ballroom on 5/22, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Frisicano
The "Our Band Could Be Your Life" tribute Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom ran more than four hours with 14 bands playing the music of 13 bands (plus a special encore act that covered Nirvana). Set changes were kept short, and bands generally played about 10-15 minutes (between one and four songs). Unannounced guests included Tim Harrington and Lee Ranaldo singing the Minutemen, Craig Finn playing the role of Minneapolis cop, and Dan Deacon's multimedia barrage and three-piece band. More highlights, lots of pictures, and a bunch of videos (UPDATE: NPR has audio of the show) are below...
Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black FlagNo, that's not a list of what happened in a weird dream last night. That is the LINEUP of a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22nd in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Azerrad's "classic history of the '80s indie underground", Our Band Could Be Your Life (a book everyone reading this site should probably own!)
Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
St. Vincent plays Big Black
Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
Buke & Gass plays Fugazi
To quote show co-presenter Tiger Mountain Presents, "some of the best bands in contemporary indie music will play songs by each of the 13 bands in the book."
"For years, all kinds of people -- musicians, people who run labels, concert promoters, journalists, whatever -- have told me that they've been very inspired by Our Band Could Be Your Life and the bands it profiles, which is incredibly gratifying and totally unexpected," says Azerrad. "The tenth anniversary of the book was a great occasion for the current generation of bands to celebrate these pioneers."More bands & guest hosts TBA. Tickets are $25 & go on sale Friday, 3/11 at noon.
Meanwhile the book will also be the topic of a panel discussion at SXSW that Merrill Garbus aka tUnE-yArDs (who is also playing the festival) will speak on.
Delicate Steve and Wye Oak are going to SXSW too. Wye Oak can be found at the BV/KF/Partisan day party at Swan Dive on Friday, 3/18. Wye Oak will also play Bowery Ballroom as part of a tour in April.
St. Vincent plays Big Black. I just felt like saying it again!
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Beth Orton, Glen Hansard & Dawn Landes @ LPR
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."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 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]
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."Lots of names repeating themselves in this post. You can also catch The Poison Tree at Pete's Candy Store on February 11th.
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.
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...
DOWNLOAD: Doveman - Love Shines a Light (Katrina & the Waves cover) (MP3)
Thomas 'Cibo Matto' Bartlett @ LPR (more by Chris La Putt)
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.
Sam Amidon also has other shows coming up including three in February with Nico Muhly at St. Ann's Warehouse.
After cancelling his string of East Coast shows and a few with Neil Young earlier this year due to complications from lung cancer, Burt Jansch is back out on the road and will play The Bell House on December 15th (tickets) and two shows at Iridium on December 20th (tickets still available for for the 8PM and the 10PM). As with the previous cancelled tour, the Pegi Young Band is out with him, though they drop off before the Iridium dates.
In related news, Neil Young will get the royal treatment at Carnegie Hall on Feb 10th as part of a benefit for Music and Arts Programs for Underprivileged Youth. The show will feature a gang of artists paying tribute to the music of the giant, including Patti Smith, Living Colour, Devotchka, Bettye LaVette, Bebel Gilberto, Aimee Mann, The Roots, Cowboy Junkies, Antibalas, St. Vincent, J Mascis, with "additional artists to be announced". Tickets are on sale.
Full tour dates are below, as well as some video taken the other night at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
"Loved seeing Glasser at MHWB last night! What a voice." - St. Vincent
Wearing a kimono-sleeved red dress that was set off by her backing musicians' matching green jumpsuits, Glasser executed some geishalike hand movements and a few twitchy twirls. Yet her stage presence was nearly as cold as her music, which emulates Bjork's without that singer's playfulness. Perhaps the chill explains why the crowd thinned noticeably during the set, even though Glasser was onstage for barely 30 minutes. The performance's sheer sonic reach was impressive, but the spirit and spontaneity to distinguish the songs from their recorded versions were lacking. -[Washington Post]Ouch. It sounds like the Washington Post didn't have much nice to say about Glasser's appearance at Black Cat in DC. That show, part of the same tour, took place one day before last night's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (11/16), which, as you can see above, St. Vincent definitely enjoyed! What did you think?
Blood Orange (who plays again tonight and Friday) and Arp both opened the Brooklyn show. More pictures from it below...
Kanye West recently responded on the Today show to George Bush's reaction to West's infamous "George Bush hates black people" tirade on national television in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. View his response below. And as Matt points out at the end of the video, Kanye is set to play a live show outside the Today Show, on the plaza, on November 26th (the day after Thanksgiving) (if he doesn't cancel).
UPDATE: he's cancelling
In happier news for Mr. West (whose recent stunts include rapping on a Delta flight), his new LP My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy will hit store shelves on November 22nd (though yes, it has already leaked). Featuring appearances from Jay-Z, Raekwon, Pusha T, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi and even Bon Iver, the 13 track LP comes with five different album covers.
Kanye isn't afraid to return the favor either, as he appears on Kid Cudi's spankin' new LP, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (out now) (NME gave it a 9/10, Rolling Stone gave it 2.5/5 stars, Pitchfork hasn't reviewed it yet though they did give Cee Lo's new one a 7.3 today). Kanye joins a list of collaborators that includes Cee-Lo Green (who plays a NYC show Saturday), Mary J. Blige, GLC, Cage and St. Vincent, the latter two of which appeared on his latest single "Maniac". Both Cage and St. Vincent appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with Kid Cudi on 11/3, and you can check out video of that performance below too...
photos by Benjamin Lozovsky, words by Andrew Frisicano
Before the headlining Neu! & Hermeto Pascoal shows, Asphalt Orchestra marched across Lincoln Center's network of plazas to perform a half-hour set of music, ending in Damrosch Park. Earlier that week the group debuted a new piece by David Byrne and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) titled "Two Ships," and they included that song in their set Friday night.
More pictures and a video of that tune is below....
St. Vincent sent the above tweet in reaction to technical difficulties she experienced at Summerstage on Sunday. Unlike M.I.A. though, she hasn't made any crazy promises that we're still wondering if she'll keep.
photos by Chris La Putt
Still shaking from the @basiabulat @tuneyards and @st_vincent show at #summerstage. Definitely one of the defining concerts of the summer! -Laura Rubin
St. Vincent at first seemed nervous due to a lot of technical difficulties with her band, but she quickly came into her element- perhaps focusing on Actor too much, Annie did not settle for just performing her songs, but reinventing them. She was absolutely exceptional, performing a sort of dance when she played guitar that was both a dance of rage and a parody of modern guitar solos at the same time as this spindly siren carries a pretty serious, Chuck Berry-esque guitar up to the front of the stage. She seemed lost in the world of her songs, a morose fairytale land of abstract orange hues and jagged shapes, but she brought something new out in her music with her reinterpretations- 'Your Lips Are Red' suddenly seemed almost like a Browning poem with its powerful jealousy and murderous themes.St. Vincent headlined a free Central Park SummerStge show on Sunday, August 1st. She played with a full band with horns, as did opener Tune-Yards (who's playing the Rock Shop tonight)...
The real highlight however, of this really quite exceptional set, may have been Black Rainbow- her impressive selection of band members (whom she recalled every name of, bless her) had starred and shone through several of her other hits. But with Black Rainbow the song just trickled into a dark, powerful musical marsh. You became weighed and yet uplifted by the powerful musical breaks, and it was... It was really something to watch. For all her nerves and sometimes awkward demeanour, St Vincent really performed today- but did so with a more rocky, almost Joplin edge to her music than she does on her albums. It was.... Divine. [Deliciously Apart]
"The second Tune-Yards album can't come quickly enough. The existing recordings are very good, but don't do enough to showcase exactly how jaw-dropping Merrill Garbus has become as a live performer. I would go so far to say that she may be one of the greatest singers in the world today." [Fluxblog]Canada's Basia Bulat was the first act of the day - she'll be back in NYC for two shows with the Acorn in September. The first is at Mercury Lounge on September 23rd. Tickets are on sale now. The second is one day later at Littlefield. Tickets are also on sale. All Basia dates are below.
More pictures & videos from the Central Park show, with two of the setlists, below too...
by Andrew Frisicano
St. Vincent @ Pitchfork Fest in Chicago (more by Kate Gardiner)
David Byrne and Annie Clark are collaborating on music for a future Housing Works benefit. There's no date set for that, but Asphalt Orchestra will be debuting a version of one of the songs they've been working on...
A few months ago we had [Here Lies Love arranger] Tony Finno arrange the horns, and we performed one of the songs -- tentatively titled "Who" -- at the end of Annie's show at the Rose Room at Lincoln Center. Now, having been approached by the Bang On a Can spinoff Asphalt Orchestra, with the help of [Asphalt saxist/producer] Ken Thomson we've adapted another song called either "Two Ships" or "The Movie" for their group. This will be an instrumental version and we'll do a vocal version later. [David Byrne]Asphalt will perform that song on Wednesday, August 4th, at the first of five free shows the avant-marching band is doing around the Lincoln Center as part of LC's Out of Doors Festival. Locations and times for the band are below.
In addition to that piece, they'll be debuting a commission by Yoko Ono; other songs in the group's repertoire include commissions by Tyondai Braxton of Battles and Stew & Heid Rodewald of Passing Strange and BAM Next Wave 2010. The 12-piece will release a seven-track CD of its material on August 3rd through Canatloupe Music. That includes a blisteringly dissonant song by Swedish metal band Meshuggah and an intricately-arranged version of Bjork's "Hyper-Ballad." There are a few more typical "ra-ra" maching band songs on the album too (Zappa in particular is already quite melodic and pompy), but the band focuses on getting unusual sounds out of the limited instrumentation. Live, they move in unique coordinated patterns, so the experience is individualized to the space and where you stand.
As an aside, this Saturday at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival is going to be particularly amazing, with the "Detroit Breakdown" lineup of Mitch Ryder, ? and the Mysterians, The Gories, Death and more.
St. Vincent has her own free show this weekend, at the Central Park SummerStage Sunday (8/1) afternoon, with openers Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat.
A video of Asphalt Orchestra doing that Meshuggah song on WNYC, and their schedule, plus a video of Annie doing a nylon-string version of "Actor Out of Work," are below...
photos by Kate Gardiner
Major Lazer @ Pitchfork Fest Sunday
"The tempo picked up again with Major Lazer at 6:15 p.m., and--hallelujah!--it stayed at a pretty high level through the end of Pitchfork 2010...The 2010 Pitchfork Festival has come to an end, and if you've been following along, you saw pictures from Day 1 & 2, pictures of LCD Soundsystem, and more pictures from Day 1 & 2. Now a set of pictures from the third and final day, with a bunch of setlists from all three days (including Pavement's), below...
...Though Young is missing from the [Pavement] reunion, Stephen Malkmus and his bandmates were musically concise, tight, and focused, and they delivered many of their best songs--"Range Life," "Frontwards," "Greenlander," and "Unfair" among them--in versions that were every bit as strong as they were back in the day, and better in some cases than that last stage of the group. Since the music always seemed timeless, there was less of a taint of nostalgia here then with, say, the Pixies reunion, though to be sure, the motivations probably were very much the same, and mostly colored green... [Jim DeRegatis]
It's hard to believe that The National headlined last night at Radio City Music Hall (they were the opener a few years ago when the Arcade Fire played there) and harder to believe that the massive space sold out. Sure, their last two albums have done especially well, but really? Radio City? I mean Lady Gaga is playing there in July. In "Little Faith," Matt Berninger sings, "I know what you think. You're waiting for Radio City to sink." Yes, ominous indeed.
The evening began with a rousing set by The Antlers. As if to echo the themes of hospitals, sickness, and funerals found in their solid debut, Hospice, white flowers decorated the stage. The Antlers' performance was bolstered by the addition of a two-man brass section (courtesy of Tim Cronin and Jon Natchez) and lovely female vocalist Sharon Van Etten. They played an extended version of the standout track "Sylvia" in addition to an unnamed new song. After playing a short string of songs from Hospice roughly in chronological order, The Antlers concluded their set with "Wake."
Walking into Radio City, I admit that the prospect of seeing two praise-worthy bands in such a huge space had me both exhilarated and fearful. Would they be able to master the space and overcome the obstacles posed by a seated show? How would they make the experience personal?
Though majestic, the space was a bit stifling. But to help cut down on the formality of a seated show, the majority of the orchestra section stood up when the band walked on stage and remained standing for the entirety of the evening. The National's front man, Matt Berninger, hopped off the stage to cavort with the audience in front during the third song, "Bloodbuzz Ohio." Sure, he only stayed down there for a few seconds, but it boded well for the rest of the show. The third wall came crashing down early.
The National also had some additional musicians on stage to help fill out their sound. Throughout the show, a small brass section again consisting of a trumpet and trombone contributed to the mix. Additional treats came on the seventh song, "Squalor Victoria," when a string section walked on stage. After that, it got almost ridiculous. St. Vincent's Annie Clark hopped on the piano for "Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks" and shared backing vocal responsibilities with Sufjan Stevens for the following song, "Afraid of Everyone." "I'm sorry they're so plain looking. We try to set a standard," Berninger wryly joked. "I wish we could have them on stage all night," replied a Dessner brother.
But the real magic happened during "Abel." At least, it did for me. Berninger jumped off the stage once again and started pulling that oh-so-long mic chord behind him as he walked up the aisle in the theatre. For a few seconds, I lost sight of him. And then, there he was, right outside my row. And then... what? Berninger started climbing over the seats and ended up stumbling right into Row WW, Seat 409 - my seat. As he stood haphazardly balanced on the seat behind me, he leaned over, grabbed my shoulder to steady himself and put the mic right in my face as he sang. And, though I know nearly all of the lyrics to their songs and the chorus to "Abel" in particular is embarrassingly simple, I admit I froze a little and was too stunned to sing along. After my moment had passed, Berninger continued on his way, climbing over the seat in front of me and then heading back to the stage. It's almost as if he knew that this was only going to be a one-paragraph review (since I recently wrote a lengthy one for the BAM show) and wanted to spice it up. After Berninger fled the scene, BrooklynVegan photographer Matt Eisman and I stared at each other in disbelief. Did that just happen?
The show continued with a few more songs and a solid four-song encore that (of course) included "Mr. November". This time when he wandered into the crowd, Berninger climbed the stairs to the first tier of the balcony where people encircled him and furiously sang along. Berninger proceded to walk to the far side of the balcony and back down again, his mic chord dangling over the crowd in the orchestra section below. After over an hour and a half of play, The National concluded their encore with "Terrible Love."
More pictures, a video and the setlists from Radio City, below...
"Played the Simon & Garfunkel tribute in Central Park last night. John Roderick brought it! Ben Gibbard's psych jam ruled..." - Aimee Mann
Holmes Brothers (Sherman, Popsy and Wendell) & Mayor Bloomberg (WFUV)
Ben Gibbard & St. Vincent play "Fakin it" (WFUV)
Paul Simon & WFUV Music Director Rita Houston (WFUV)
SummerStage hosted a pricey benefit for its free programming last night (June 8) in Central Park. The show was a tribute to the songs of Simon & Garfunkel, and musicians covered the pair mostly as duos. St. Vincent and Ben Gibbard teamed up for "Fakin' It," Dean & Britta played "Homeward Bound," Alejandro Escovedo and Willie Nile played "The Boxer," Aimee Mann and John Roderick did "Only Living Boy in New York," Loudon Wainwright III and Lucy Wainwright Roche sang "Bleecker Street" and lots more. Both Simon and Garfunkel were there, but didn't perform. The full performer+set list is posted below.
No videos from the show at the moment, but someone posted some from the show's rehearsal that took place one night earlier at City Winery. Those with the Central Park setlist, below...
photos by Tim Griffin
The Kitchen Spring Gala BenefitWednesday night's $500-a-ticket Gala event (the afterparty was cheaper) at Capitale didn't include any surprises (no on-stage collaborations or surprise guests), but it did include performances by Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Nico Muhly, and St. Vincent as advertised, and raise a lot of money for non-profit venue The Kitchen (whose upcoming events include two talent shows curated by Robert Melee).
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Capitale 130 Bowery at Grand Street, New York City
6:00 pm COCKTAILS AND HORS D'OEUVRES
7:30 pm DINNER AND PERFORMANCES
by Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Nico Muhly, and St. Vincent
9:30 to Midnight AFTER-PARTY with open bar, desserts, and dancing with DJ Scott Campbell & Leo Fitzpatrick and a live music performance by Chief
Hosted by The Smile and The Journal
The honoree, David Byrne, rode his bike to and from the party. More pictures from the event (though none of Chief who play two more NYC shows in June), below...