Entries tagged with: The Poison Tree

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photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Rachel Kowal

Dawn Landes, Norah Jones & Doveman
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....

Continue reading "Doveman played another salon w/ Norah Jones, Glen Hansard & more (pics), announced guests for next time"

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)"

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)"

UPDATE: Tickets are back on sale for NIN @ T5. (thx anon)

Islands @ Siren Fest 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Islands

tonight in NYC
* DANCE
* Build @ Barbes
* The Poison Tree @ The Living Room
* Tanya Tagaq @ Lincoln Center Damrosch Park
* Chris Brokaw, Robbie Lee @ Issue Project Room
* Leisurely, Phil and the Osophers @ Bruar Falls
* The Breeders, Whispertown 2000 @ Bowery Ballroom
* Islands, Das Racist, Radical Dads @ The Bell House
* Naughty By Nature, FinaL OutlaW @ Mahoney Playground
* Soft Black, A Fermata, Dizzy Spells Martian @ Cake Shop
* Electric Six, Les Sans Culottes, Jemina Pearl @ Maxwell's
* Fieldwork w/ Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer @ The Stone
* Big Terrific w/ Max Silvestri, Craig Baldo, Joe Mande, Sean O'Connor @ Cameo
* Wild at Heart (film), Dinosaur Feathers, Briges & Powerlines @ McCarren Park


Free outdoor music tonight includes Naughty By Nature and FinaL OutlaW at Mahoney Playground in Staten Island, Tanya Tagaq at Lincoln Center Damrosch Park (she appears tomorro at the National Museum Of The American Indian Pavilion), and a screening of David Lynch's Wild at Heart at the McCarren park Summerscreen, with music from Dinosaur Feathers (6:30pm) and Bridges & Powerlines (7:30pm).

Islands play the Bell House tonight with Das Racist and Radical Dads. They return to NYC on their tour with Happy Mondays and The Psychedelic Furs this October.

The Breeders and Whispertown 2000 play Bowery Ballroom for the second night in a row.

Electric Six and Les Sans Culottes, who play a boat tomorrow night, perform at Maxwell's tonight with Jemina Pearl who has a video shoot coming up in NJ which we'll be giving away tickets to (stay tuned).

Big Terrific, presented by Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate, brings Craig Baldo, Joe Mande, Sean O'Connor and Ali Wong to the The Cameo.

The Poison Tree plays tonight at the Living Room.

The Poison Tree is Brooklyn, NY singer songwriter Steve Salad [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.
Reggie Watts "Wigging Out," below.

The new video from the Antlers for the song "Two" is also below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Wednesday?"