Entries tagged with: Thomas Bartlett
photos by Richard Termine
DOWNLOAD: Antony - Thank You For Your Love (MP3)
"This is how it must feel to be an ovum," the singer Antony Hegarty said with a tone of gentle amusement as latecomers flooded down the aisles of Alice Tully Hall during the concert he presented there on Saturday night. It was the second time this singer, who goes by his first name, stopped to let stragglers find their seats. Earlier he had abruptly cut off a song just started -- "Ghost," from his rapturously lovely new album, "Swanlights" -- then tried to smooth over an awkward silence by whistling Satie's "Gymnopédie" No. 1...Reading that first paragraph of the Times review makes me feel a little better, since I was also late to the show, but I was so late I actually missed all of that starting and stopping happening.
...Here, performing as part of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival, Antony stood shrouded in shadow and sheathed in a flowing black gown. In place of his Johnsons, the Orchestra of St. Luke's accompanied him in songs largely drawn from "Swanlights" and its predecessor, "The Crying Light." Rob Moose, elsewhere a musically polyamorous violinist, conducted; at the piano was Thomas Bartlett, a sensitive chamber-pop singer otherwise known as Doveman. [NY Times]
I think there were at least two big issues that caused people to be late. One of them was the show's kind-of-unfortunate 7:30pm start time (7:30 sharp on a Saturday night with no opener). The other was that the 1/2/3 trains were all screwed up, and I personally spent the first 30 minutes of the show sitting underground in a train that wasn't going anywhere. At least there were people dressed up for Halloween adorning all the stations and cars. That made the situation feel slightly less tense. That said, by the time I got there, every seat in the house was full, so late or not, everyone eventually got there, and what I saw was unsuprisingly beautiful and worth finally making it there for.
Nico Muhly was responsible for many of the arrangements of the night, and behind Antony and the orchestra was the film "Mr. O's Book of the Dead", a 1973 film by Chiaki Nagano featuring the Butoh master Kazuo Ohno and his troupe. Kazuo is the one on the cover of Antony and the Johnsons' 2009 CD The Crying Light. And as the NY Times sums up nicely, it was "Projected overhead throughout the performance -- even during the awkward breaks -- it was both a potent visualization of gender ambiguity, vulnerability and pain, and a garish distraction from music's transfixing intensity and beauty."
It was Antony's only North American show this year. Hopefully he'll tour some more in support of his new album "Swanlights" which was released on October 12th via Secretly Canadian. Download "Thank You For Your Love" from that LP above, and watch Antony's performance of the same song from the October 8th episode of Letterman in the video, under the rest of the pictures from Lincoln Center, below...
words & photos by Chris La Putt
It's been a disorienting year for Martha Wainwright -- the Montreal-born singer/songwriter lost her mother (renown singer Kate McGarrigle) to cancer, went into labour early (thankfully delivering a healthy baby boy), and took up residence in a new and somewhat foreign home in Brooklyn.Monday night's intimate show at Le Poisson Rouge marked the last night of a summer tour spanning the globe from Europe to LA and back to New York. Martha was joined by C.J. Camerieri on trumpet, Will Holshouser on accordion, Doug Wieselman on guitar and clarinet, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) on piano, and her husband Brad Albetta on bass. If you missed Martha's two shows don't fret! CBC Radio 2 recorded Martha's show at the Mondial Choral Festival in Quebec when she was backed by not one but two choirs.
Her remarkable skill at performing onstage is evident in her new live disc, 'Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, À Paris,' which pays homage to legendary French singer Edith Piaf. Wainwright played three nights at New York's Dixon Place Theater for the recording, singing some of Piaf's lesser-known tracks. Her renditions uphold the integrity of the originals, but she also dusts them with her own magic. [Spinner]
Opening for the show were the Mittenstrings which incidentally is partially made up of Martha's two cousins (Anna McGarrigle is their mother) and their friend.
Speaking of family, we'll probably find out soon which "friends" showed up to the "Lucy Wainwright Roche and friends - Album Release" album release show that happened to tonight at City Winery (Ira Glass and Dave Hill at a minimum). And tickets are still on sale for Rufus's December 6th show at Carnegie Hall
This post contains pictures from Monday night's show. They continue, with a video from the show of Martha covering Kate McGarrigle's Tell My Sister, below...
words by Rachel Kowal, photos by Getty Images for American Express
All week, The National has sponsored nightly events at their "High Violet Annex" to celebrate the release of their highly anticipated fifth album, High Violet. On Friday they even performed a set of National songs at the space. Saturday night's sold-out "ZYNC from American Express Presents The National to Benefit Red Hot" show at BAM capped off the week's festivities which started earlier the same evening at the Annex where 70-or-so lucky attendees were, unexpectedly, given tickets to the BAM show and then bussed to the Brooklyn venue to see the show...
the bus @ BAM
The BAM show began with a brief behind-the-scenes video about their recording process, and then the band launched into "Mistaken for Strangers" and then played a string of new songs. Though the National is technically a quintet, as many as nine additional people joined them on stage to play a variety of string and brass instruments. Sufjan Stevens joined the band to sing backing vocals (like he did on Letterman) on a handful of songs. Sometimes National-members Padma Newsome and Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) made a rare appearance together on stage (usually its one or the other as a member of the band). The biggest surprise band member of the night was the Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry who sang backup and played a variety of instruments throughout the set. Richard, Sufjan and Thomas all also contributed to High Violet which is out now.
With its ornate molding, dramatic curtains, and theater-like seating, BAM may be a bit of an odd choice to host what is essentially a rock show, but the beautiful space complimented the dapperly dressed band and gave them enough room to spread out on stage. Possibly sensing that something was not quite right, lead singer Matt Berninger hopped off the stage and began pulling people up into a standing position early into the show.
Throughout the show, Berninger was a sight to behold. One moment, he'd take a sip of white wine and sing softly into the mic stand and the next, he's wildly pacing back and forth on stage with his head down, pounding his hands together like a mad man. The contrast between Berninger's smooth baritone voice and his manic behavior makes for a dynamic performance. During the four-song encore, Berninger leapt off stage again and rushed the audience in the orchestra section. With his impossibly long mic chord trailing behind him, Berninger climbed desperately over anything in his path - be it chairs or people. From the middle of a row, he stood recklessly on a chair, screaming the chorus to "Mr. November" into the faces of ecstatic fans.
When all was said and done, The National played the entirety of High Violet in addition to a number of older songs. Film directors D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus were on hand to direct the live webcast of the concert that was happening on YouTube (the band addressed the Internet audience a few times), and which you can still watch there (some videos below too).
After the show, a fancy ZYNC-sponsored afterparty was held around the corner at One Hanson Place, aka the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, downstairs in the old bank's bottom floor (now used as an event space). The National, their friends and associates, partied until late with an invite-only crowd that also included members of Grizzly Bear and Beirut, and some celebrities who had attended the show (like Julia Stiles). And there was a lot to party about - recently completed Europe tour and a week of festivities in NYC aside - High Violet is selling really well too. More pictures from the show and the afterparty, with the setlist and some videos below...
photos by David Andrako
The National ended up playing Friday night, Brassland night, at the High Violet Annex, the temporary venue next door to Other Music setup to promote their new record. Before the National were new Brassland signees Buke & Gass who went on around 7:15pm and played for about 20 minutes. Doveman was second and played with the Dessner brothers and Bryan Devendorf for another 20 minute set. The National hit the stage just before 9pm and played eight songs finishing up at 9:45pm. The band hung around and chatted with fans and signed autographs/posed for pictures. Their set list is posted below.
On Saturday, the final night of the High Violet Annex, the first 70 or so people who showed up (at 6PM sharp as advertised) were given a surprise ticket to the BAM show happening that night, and they were in turn bussed there on the "miracle bus". Pictures, video and a full report from BAM
coming shortly HERE.
Tuesday night the High Violet Annex space had DJs. Wednesday night Inlets, Zachary Cale, Helado Negro, Julianna Barwick, The Luyas, Talk Normal, Arlt and Martha Wainwright all played. Thursday had performances by the Antlers, Phosphorescent, Sharon Van Etten and members of the National scoring films. The National also found time to play Letterman that same week.
The band has lots of other shows coming up including Radio City in June and Prospect Park in July.
More pictures from the Annex, the setlist and a video of the band playing "Apartment Story" are below...
by Gabi Porter
Patrick Watson has a rare gift of making serious music that isn't really serious at all. He manages to be playful and ramshackle, drinking what he claimed was a pint glass full of whiskey, and looking like he was mischievously playing his mother's piano when he knew he wasn't supposed to, and with posture that would have terrorized piano teachers the world round. He mesmerized a room full of chattering adults at 92YTribeca Friday night, into respectful silence. According to friends at the Bell House for the show the previous night, at one point you could actually hear crickets.
Doveman, who next plays a show at LPR on Thursday night, opened the evening with Thomas Bartlett's sweet and understated falsetto. More pictures below...
by Alex Lewis
Sam Amidon @ Big Ears Fest (more by Andrew Frisicano)
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.
by Andrew Frisicano
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.
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...
by Andrew Frisicano
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.
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.
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...
photos by Kevin Mazur/ Wire Image
"Yoko Ono, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Bette midler, freaking amazing!" - nico843
Yoko's Plastic Ono Band will be playing a special show at BAM's Gilman Opera House on Tuesday, February 16th. The show includes guest spots from original/former Plastic Ono band members Eric Clapton, bassist Klaus Voormann and drummer Jim Keltner. Other guests include Justin Bond, Kim Gordon, Bette Midler, Thurston Moore, Mark Ronson, Scissor Sisters, Martha Wainwright, Haruomi Hosono, Paul Simon and son Harper Simon, and current Ono Band members Cornelius, Yuka Honda and Sean Lennon.That's how we listed last night's event at BAM (2/16). Martha Wainwright, whose mother recently passed away, ended up not being there, but Gene Ween showed up. Full review and setlist coming soon. In the meantime here are a set of pics...
photos by Vincent Cornelli
Beth Orton @ The Bell House
At City Winery on Sunday night [January 17th], a stop on a small New York-and-Los Angeles solo tour as [Beth Orton] works on her next album, she put her back into it. She fingerpicked as loudly as a busker. She used all the angles of her voice: the muted, high-register fog; the glissando that really just separates into two wracked notes, a bit like what Mick Jagger used to do in the '70s, once he'd learned how to sing ballads; the stern, Scots-Irish lilt suggesting the English folk singer Anne Briggs.Beth Orton played NYC shows on January 17th and 18th: one at City Winery (described the review above) and one at the Bell House (captured in the pictures in this post).
She was dealing with the late stages of walking pneumonia, which meant that she could power through a song without stopping but sometimes needed a coughing fit at the end. She shared the stage for a stretch with two younger New York musicians she has been working with in the studio: Sam Amidon on guitar, and Thomas Bartlett on piano. In other words, she was energized, vulnerable, gregarious and at her best.
She sang only two new songs -- or a little more than that, if you count her pitching in with Mr. Amidon's opening set, harmonizing with the Georgia Sea Island folk song "Johanna the Row-di" and the Appalachian standard "Sugar Baby." Ms. Orton appears on Mr. Amidon's excellent forthcoming album, "I See the Sign," and their pairing makes sense: as she once did, he's trying to see how rawboned, lonely-voiced traditional folk can be updated for city life. There's no doubt that he has listened hard and widely: at times he sounds in search of the places where Dock Boggs and Arthur Russell connect. [NY Times]
Sam Amidon opened both, and as pointed out above, he and Doveman (who played together at Mercury Lounge in January) were on hand to back Beth. Both are working with Beth in the studio, and she contributes on the new Sam Amidon record (out in March) as well.
More pictures and a set list for the Bell House show are below...
photos by Eric Townsend, words by Andrew Frisicano
Doveman (w/ Norah Jones on vocals)...
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...
by Andrew Frisicano
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.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.
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]
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 new Doveman track that National frontman Matt Berninger sings on, is streaming at Pitchfork.
Doveman album art above. Tracklist and some interesting videos, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
The Swell Season's new album, Strict Joy, is out October 27th on Anti-. On Monday night, September 14th, the Irish & Czech duo (who are no longer a couple) performed at 92YTribeca in Manhattan. 92YTribeca is an intimate, and kind of swanky, downtown NYC venue that is much smaller than the places the Academy Award-winning band played last time they were here (Radio City and Summerstage). It's also probably much smaller than the ones they'll play next (nothing announced yet) (Beacon Theatre?). Bands often visit NYC for press purposes before an album, and I think that's related to why this show happened. Limited tickets were sold for $35 a pop. It was a packed house with tables taking up most of the room. People stood on the sides and in the back.
The setup on stage was spare. Glen Hansard had an old acoustic guitar which sometimes had "a mind of its own". Markéta Irglová sat at the piano when she wasn't standing up singing, either with Glen or by herself. They alternated playing solo and together. They flew in the night before, and hadn't performed in a while. Glen related that last fact to his forgetting to pack a few things, like his guitar tuner. To remedy the situation, he told us he downloaded iTune, an iPhone app that helps you tune your instrument. He even gave a demonstration of it after showing us how the Brian Eno iPhone app works (not sure if it was the old one or the brand new one). The iPhone segment was one of Glenn's many trademark (and entertaining) stories of the evening. His funny anecdotes offset the feelings of woe that dominate Swell Season songs.
Glen was as modest and down to earth as ever. He became frustrated when his guitar didn't do what he wanted. He thanked everyone for coming (especially Paddy, or is it Patty, in the front row who he thinks has been at every NYC show he's ever played), and for paying money to do so. He acknowledged that he expected the great success of last year to not always be there in the future. I imagine he is fine with the possibility that it won't always be Radio City and the Academy Awards, but I have no doubt The Swell Season can do it again (even if their demographic becomes less my friends, and more my mom's). Everything else aside, Glen (who is also in the band The Frames), can sing and play. And so can Marketa. It was especially noticeable since I'd just returned at 5am that morning from ATP NY, a festival in upstate NY where I saw a variety of bands, of varying musical abilities, perform.
The Swell Season setlist ranged from new songs to old songs to covers to something Glen wrote the night before. I don't know exactly what Glen's relationship is to Nico Muhly (Nico may have worked on the new album), but I know that Nico and Glen have a friend and collaborator Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) in common. I didn't see Thomas there, but Nico (who performed with Thomas at the Miller Theatre just a few days earlier) was, and he played a solo piano song in the middle of Swell Season's set. It was kind of weird - maybe out of place. Glen introduced his friend Nico before leaving the stage (Marketa was already off). Nico then came up and played his song, and then Nico left and then the Swell Season came back. Regardless, special guests are always fun and I like Nico.
"Falling Slowly" (the big hit) was played early in the set, and my initial excitement turned into "I guess I'm sick of this song", but the Once songs they played at the end, "When Your Mind's Made Up" and "Lies", felt much better. Other highlights included an upbeat cover of Tim Buckley's :"Buzzin' Fly" mixed with a bit of Jeff Buckley's "Grace", anything Marketa did solo, and the closing number which was a cover of Daniel Johnston's "Devil Town". During that, Glen had the NYC crowd singing along to the chorus which he repeated a few times, partially A Capella and sometimes with accompanying funny faces, accents, and vampire gestures. He sang part of it with a German accent, and he ended with a pose he called a "Kanye moment". The crowd followed with a laugh and a standing ovation.
More pictures and tour dates (which were recently announced, but no NYC yet), and the NY show's setlist, below...
photos by Fresh Bread
"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...
DOWNLOAD: Doveman - Hurricane (new MP3)
Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) @ Dark Was the Night (more by Natasha Ryan)
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...
Martha Wainwright singing Edith Piaf @ Spiegeltent (more by Chris La Putt)
Martha Wainwright has sung the songs of Edith Piaf in the past, and she'll do it again for three shows on Sunday, June 14th and Monday, June 15th at Dixon Place Theater (161 Chrystie St). Tickets are still on sale for the Monday 10pm show.
She'll be recording the sets with producer Hal Willner for a live record; her band will include electric guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Doug Wieselman, bassist Brad Albetta and pianist Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman - who's got his own show Thurday, June 18th at Le Poisson Rouge with Sam Amidon and members of the National).
Just a few days later, on Wednesday, June 17th, some other Wainwrights (Loudon Wainwright III, Sloan Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) will perform a free "Wainwright Family Concert" at the Madison Square Park Oval. Martha and Rufus are not on that bill, but they are playing the "Not So Silent Night" show set for December at London's Royal Albert Hall with the McGarrigle side of their family (Martha + Rufus = children of Louden + Kate McGarrigle). Tickets are on sale. Poster below.
Martha will also play two free outdoor NYC shows of her own this summer. She's appearing at part of the Tribute to Sly and the Family Stone at Castle Clinton on Thursday, July 16th. Then on August 14th and 15th, she'll play Central Park Summerstage with Morphoses and the Wheeldon Company. That night is billed as...
A very special evening of dance and music that will feature a world premiere by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, set to new music by Martha Wainwright, both commissioned by City Parks Foundation.Finally, out in Long Island near the end of the summer Martha will play the The Watermill Center in Watermill, NY on August 29th with brother Rufus and Norah Jones, who'll sing together for the first time. Martha will play songs from her Edith Piaf project. Tickets are on sale.
Videos of Martha doing her Edith Piaf thing, with all tour dates and "A Not So Silent Night" poster, below...
photos by Natasha Ryan, words by Andrew Frisicano
Dark Was the Night live finally happened Sunday, May 3rd at Radio City. Right before showtime, there were still tickets available, but the auditorium seemed fairly full as the Dirty Projectors set began. The band sounded great with its newly fleshed out six-piece lineup (though I didn't catch the titles of the first Bitte Orca song). The reverb of the room was almost a special guest of its own and a welcome addition throughout the night. On new single "Stillness Is the Move" singer Amber Coffman really let loose with the dance moves and the added vocal acrobatics the song deserves. David Byrne joined the band on their Dark Was the Night collaborations -- the not-on-the-comp "Ambulance Man" and album opener "Knotty Pine."
Red Hot executive director John Carlin (Red Hot being the AIDS advocacy group that put out Dark Was the Night along with many other benefit comps) came out and said a few words about the performers before My Brightest Diamond/Shara Worden burst into her cover of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good." Worden was backed by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) on keys, members of the National including the two Dessners brothers (who were obvious fixtures through the night), drummer Bryan Devendorf, plus horns and strings. Worden's massive voice filled the hall, but sadly took the lead for only one song.
The rest of The National guys came on stage for Boxer song "Slow Show," followed by new song "England." Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and band were on stage for backups, and for The National's Dark Was the Night contribution, "So Far Around the Bend," Vernon even picked up a guitar and took a solo. The band closed with another new song, which singer Matt Berninger mumbled the title of a few times (anyone catch it?).
For the next set, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek took the stage in a sharp looking suit and performed one track, his DwtN Troggs cover "With a Girl Like You." Here it was backed by a fuzzed out bass, horns, keys, and a collection of the night's performers on handclaps and tambourines (Dirty Projectors, Dessners, others).
As John Carlin announced earlier, the first half of the show was to close with David Byrne's three Red Hot compilation contributions. Led by five hand percussionists, Byrne opened with Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In." Second, he played "Dreamworld: Marco De Canavesems" with Justin Vernon sitting in on vocals for Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso (who originally collaborated with Bryne on the track). The tune's hyped up bossa nova, with the Dessners on guitars, was one of the night's many highlights. Finally, Byrne sang with Feist (who subbed for the original's Marisa Monte) on the Antonio Carlos Jobim song "Waters of March" ("Aguas de Março"). Even with Byrne starring down at the lyric prompt for nearly the whole song, the jumping melody of that tune was an amazing end to the first set.
words and photos by Toby Tenenbaum
Doveman played each of the nine songs from the Footloose soundtrack from start to finish. Each version was delicately stripped down and re-crafted to appeal to the contemporary audience that had braved the freezing cold to cram tightly into Joe's Pub in NYC last night (2/4).
The set was introduced by Thomas Bartlett's childhood friend and cover artist Gabriel Greenberg during which he recounted the discovery of the Footloose cassette among his late sister's possessions. This discovery led to Greenberg's suggestion that Bartlett undertake the reworking. He explained to the audience how Bartlett's reinvention of the 80's cult classic now allows him the opportunity to connect with his late sister.
Doveman were accompanied by a projector screen which showed an assortment of video clips from the movies Footloose and Flashdance (among others). Bartlett joked that he had never seen Footloose and wasnt sure of where each clip came from. He also joked that his next project was in fact going to be Flashdance.
The set was rounded off by four additional Doveman tracks. The four-person, multi-instrumental band included Dawn Landes.
More pictures below...
Nico Muhly has four shows coming up....
photos by Ryan Muir
The show was/felt short, but sweet.
Clocking in at under 90 minutes (he started around 8:15, and we were definitely on the street by 9:45), Antony brought down the house at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem last night (Oct 16, 2008). Dressed all in white, Antony stood (the whole time) on the hardly-lit stage with a full orchestra playing behind him. Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) played piano (a job Antony used to have in addition to singing), and two regular members of the Johnsons (Julia Kent and Maxim Moston) played with the orchestra that had roughly 20 members and a conductor (Robert Moose) who looked like Nico Muhly from the back (the side we saw of Robert throughout the whole show as he eloquently moved his baton and body behind Antony). He wasn't Nico though. That was most evident when Nico, the co-arranger for the show, came on stage for a bow with everyone else at the end.
Speaking of the end, it came way too soon and after an encore that only lasted for one song. Heavy on new songs, and light on the 'hits', highlights of the setlist included a jazzed up, re-arranged version of the classic "Cripple and the Starfish", a cover of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", and a beautiful, beautiful, old-school-Antony-full-of-emotion-and-magic, minimalistic-with-not-too-much-orchestra (aka I loved it the best) version of "Another World" which is the title track from Antony's new EP. There were no special guests, though Antony's friends Nomi and Lou Reed were both spotted in the audience. More pictures from the show below...
words & photos by Chris La Putt
Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) on keys & Kate Mcgarrigle (Martha's mom)
Rufus Wainwright (Martha's brother)
Last night's show at the Highline Ballroom (July 23, 2008) had the flair of drag queen drama as Justin Bond, of Kiki and Herb fame (she's Kiki), performed a number of jazzy songs written by transvestite singers she's met along the way. Bond cooed in to the mic as he was backed by Doveman's Thomas Bartlett on piano/keyboard and a rather shiny and scantily clad guitarist.
Continuing on with the theme of sorrow and despair, Martha sang "I Wish I Were" with the simplicity and anguish of a broken heart. Slowly strumming her guitar and alone onstage with a powerful voice, she knew she had the crowd wrapped around her fingers. "I Wish I Were" is the first single of her new album that was just released a month ago. It was Doveman's last night performing with the band that also includes Living Room regular/guitarist extraordinaire Jim Campilongo, and Martha's husband Brad Albetta on bass. And speaking of family, the highlight of the evening was when Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle (i.e. Martha's mother) and Rufus (Martha's big brother) sang an encore with Martha. Ms. Wainwright ended the night with crowd favorite, "Stormy Weather." More pics below...
DOWNLOAD: Deer Tick - Beautiful Girls (Sean Kingston Cover) (MP3)
As each day goes by, I keep falling more and more in love with Deer Tick. Check out the non-album cover of a Sean Kingston song above. Check out Deer Tick with Doveman (who I also love) TONIGHT (Feb 15, 2008) @ Southpaw in Brooklyn (A Zombieville party). You can run back and forth between Southpaw and Union Hall where the Forms are playing (a Gothamist party).
I've got two pairs of tickets to give away to the Southpaw show tonight. To win, e-mail BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Dove Tick). Include your first and last name in the email. Two winners will be contacted soon.
Doveman also listed some of his favorite things in 2007, and I accidentaly never posted it. The abridged version is below....