Entries tagged with: Town Hall

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by Andrew Sacher

Sun Kil Moon at Pitchfork Fest last week (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)

Mark Kozelek brought his Sun Kil Moon tour to NYC last night (7/24) for a show at Town Hall. Mark's been playing solo shows in NYC fairly consistently for a while now, but this was the first full-band Sun Kil Moon show here in recent memory (or ever?), and in a larger venue than the ones he'd been playing. Mark was joined by a drummer, an electric guitarist, and a keyboardist for the entire set, plus a cellist for part of it. Why the sudden change? Mark said on stage last night, "I don't really know why but my new record, Benji, is doing pretty well. Kids are coming to my shows again. It used to be all old people but now I see 24 year old girls in the audience... because Pitchfork. I used to fucking hate Pitchfork. Now I'm grateful to them."

That wasn't the only time Mark took an extended break to talk to the audience, mostly delivered in his deadpan tone, which was as entertaining as the songs themselves -- though in a much different way of course. While his banter had the crowd laughing, the songs kept the relatively large theater silent and attentive. And for good reason. Mark's a funny guy, but the lyrics on Benji are about some depressing shit. He sang the one about his second cousin Carissa dying when an aerosol can blew up in the trash, the one about his uncle dying the same way, the one about serial killer Richard Ramirez dying, the one about being sad for the day his mother dies, etc. All of this while sitting on his chair, hunched over his nylon-string guitar, and not singing too close to the mic but still projecting through the whole room. His band mostly stayed calm backing him, but a few moments -- like "Richard Ramirez" and "Dogs" -- saw them rising to some unexpected and showstopping crescendos.

A moment both musically satisfying and kind of hilarious came during "Livingstone Bramble" from Mark's album with Desertshore, where he dropped the "I hate Nels Cline" line and, in place of his Nels Cline-mocking solo, the cellist Isabel did her own scratchy, freakout version as the band quieted down to give her the spotlight. Another happened when in between songs, his backing band broke out into a space interlude, which caused Mark to look up from tuning his guitar and say, "Don't do that, it makes me think of 'The End' by The Doors. It makes me chuckle." Then after pausing to think about it, said, "I guess that's not a bad thing... alright go ahead and do it." To end the pre-encore set, Mark changed up the vibe in the room once before by leaving his chair and guitar for the first time during the set, and performing the two final songs standing front and center with just his mic. "Not too fast," he warned the band, inspiring more laughter from the crowd, before showing off that sitting down, hunched over his guitar isn't the only way he's still an excellent performer.

We don't have pictures from the NYC show but check out our photos from their set a week earlier at Pitchfork Festival in Chicago.

photos by P Squared Photography

Band of Horses @ Town Hall - 2/28/14
Band of Horses
Band of Horses

Seattle folk rockers Band of Horses put out an acoustic live album earlier this month, which was recorded in 2013, and they've been celebrating with more acoustic shows this year. One of those was in NYC at Town Hall this past Friday (2/28), which began with Ben Bridwell coming on stage solo, and eventually joined by the rest of his band members. Sera Cahoone opened, and pictures of both artists are in this post.

They continue (including one of BoH's setlist), with a video, below...

Continue reading "Band of Horses played acoustic at Town Hall w/ Sera Cahoone (pics, video & setlist)"

photos by Chris La Putt

DOWNLOAD: Chelsea Light Moving - "Groovy & Linda" (MP3)

Sharon Van Etten @ Town Hall
Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten brought her tour through NYC for a hometown show at Town Hall on November 15, her biggest headlining date in the area yet. Though she unfortunately was not supported by Damien Jurado, who opened most of the tour, she treated her hometown fans to a special show without an opener, which instead saw Sharon playing two sets and an encore with a number of special guests. The guests, mostly past collaborators, included Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak, Peter Silberman from The Antlers, Brad Cook from Megafaun, Aaron Dessner (who produced her new album) from The National, Thurston Moore (and his band, Chelsea Light Moving), and her own father, who came out to cover "Barstool Blues" by Neil Young (who he is a fan of and it was his birthday, which is why Sharon chose that cover) during the encore. A special night for many reasons.

When Thurston Moore first came out, it was all the members of his band Chelsea Light Moving (Keith Wood, Samara Lubelski, and John Moloney) and all the members of Sharon's band, to play the CLM song, "Groovy and Linda," which you can download above and stream below.

Sharon is also presenting a show in NYC soon with She Keeps Bees and Speck Mountain, that she may or may not be performing at.

More pictures and the setlist from the show, below...

Continue reading "Sharon Van Etten played Town Hall w/ Thurston Moore, Aaron Dessner, Jenn Wasner, HER DAD & other guests (pics, setlist)"

Yo La Tengo - Fade

As mentioned, Yo La Tengo will be releasing a new album in 2013 and they just revealed the details for it. It's called Fade and it will be out on January 15 in the US and a day earlier int he UK via Matador. That's the cover art above and the tracklist is below. There will also be a deluxe LP that comes with a bonus 7" with covers of Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light" and Times New Viking's "Move to California. And the deluxe edition also comes with an MP3 download of "an additional 11-minute bonus track, untitled as of this writing".

Like they do almost every year, YLT will play all eight nights of Hanukkah in Hoboken at Maxwell's from December 8 - 15. All eight of those shows are sold out, but the band will kick off an international tour in 2013 in support of the new record which includes another NYC area show on February 16 at Town Hall. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday, November 30 at 11 AM.

A list of all dates and the Fade tracklist are below...

Continue reading "Yo La Tengo announce album details & 2013 tour (dates)"


The Bushwick Walkabout Festival, now in its second year, is this weekend with two nights of shows at Brooklyn Fireproof (119 Ingraham Street). Make sure and score some of the free Sixpoint beer at the venue all night while you catch Friday night's line-up (7/13) of Beast Make Bomb, Town Hall, Team Spirit, Slam Donahue, Viva Mayday, Shapes, Fast Years, Cavallo, and Penrose.

Saturday's line-up (7/14) features Xylos, Raves and Chimes, Pre War, The Yes Way, Lean Hounds, The Loom, Hollis Brown, Courtesy Tier, The Lost Revival, The Aviation Orange, The Glorious Veins, and The Skins. Tickets are still available in two-day pass and single night incarnations.

It's Festival Weekend for Team Spirit, as they spend Saturday afternoon (7/14) at South Street Seaport for the  4Knots Fest (set times have been announced).

For a look at last year's edition of the Bushwick Walkabout, there's a video you can watch below.

Continue reading "Bushwick Walkabout Fest this weekend at Brooklyn Fireproof"

Sharon Van Etten at Pianos in June (more by Jessica Amaya)
Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten is continuing to tour internationally in support of her new album, Tramp, which was released earlier this year, and she's just announced a new run of dates to go down this fall. Sharon was originally set to play ATP NJ, but unfortunately she had to cancel. Could it have anything to do with the fact that ATP filed for liquidation? Stay tuned for more on the state of ATP, though as of now all events are still on, and ATP tweeted this morning, "Thanks for your patience in waiting for our statement on the changes within the company - they'll be ready to announce in the next few days."

Meanwhile, Sharon will still make her way back to NYC this year, and it's for her largest headlining gig in the area yet. She'll play Town Hall on November 15. Tickets for that show are not on sale yet, but check ticketmaster for updates. No opener has been announced for that show yet, but it comes right at the end of her run with Damien Jurado.

As mentioned, Sharon was recently interviewed by the Human Serviette Narduwar. Check out a video of that interview below, along with a list of all tour dates...

Continue reading "Sharon Van Etten expands tour, playing Town Hall, dropped off ATP NJ (updated dates)"

photos by Chris La Putt

"although each song is basically the same, The Tallest Man on Earth was blissful tonight @ Town Hall" - Christopher CJ Smith

DOWNLOAD: Strand of Oaks - "Maureen's (MP3)

The Tallest Man on Earth at Town Hall - 6/19/12
Tallest Man on Earth

Halfway through his set at Town Hall last night, Kristian Matsson--also known as Tallest Man on Earth--set his acoustic guitar down and clumsily stumbled to the other side of the stage, sitting down at a grand piano. "I can't really play this thing over here; it's hard," he mused softly into the microphone. "But I like to sing." He carefully placed his hands on the keys, fluttering his fingers just enough to make the audience doubt what he had just said, and squeaked out the first words to the title track of his recently released LP There's No Leaving Now, a song about overcoming the fear of failure. The concertgoers watched as this man, solo among his five guitars and single piano, earnestly shared his demons--a recurring image throughout the night. [Village Voice]
The Tallest Man On Earth brought his tour to NYC last night (6/19) for a sold out show at Town Hall with Strand of Oaks. He played most of the tracks off of his great new album, There's No Leaving Now and old favorites like "Love Is All," "Kind of Spain," "Where Do My Bluebirds Fly," and "The Gardener."

Opener Strand of Oaks (aka Timothy Showalter with drummer Chris Ward from Pattern is Movement) is set to release a new album this year titled Dark Shores. You can grab the first single from that album above and check out the lyrics to the track on bandcamp.

The Tallest Man on Earth and Strand of Oaks will play Town Hall again tonight (6/20) and tonight's show is also sold out.

More pictures and setlist from last night below...

Continue reading "The Tallest Man on Earth played Town Hall w/ Strand of Oaks (night 1 pics & setlist)"

DOWNLOAD: Joe Jackson - I'm Beginning to See the Light (MP3)

Joe Jackson

Jazzy new wave icon and legendary piano man Joe Jackson releases his new album The Duke on June 24 via Razor & Tie. As the album title suggests, it's a tribute to Duke Ellington. You can download "I'm Beginning to See the Light" from it at the top of this post.

Jackson will be touring in support of the record, including two dates at Town Hall on September 21 and 22. Tickets for those shows go on sale TODAY, 5/11, at 11AM.

He also stops in Red Bank, NJ. All Joe Jackson tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Joe Jackson releasing 'The Duke,' touring (MP3, dates)"

The Tallest Man on Earth @ Webster Hall 2010 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Tallest Man on Earth

The Tallest Man on Earth added a couple more North American shows to his itinerary since the 2nd NYC show, which goes on sale at 11am, was announced. Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "The Tallest Man On Earth adds LA & Toronto shows to tour; 2nd NYC show on sale"

The Tallest Man on Earth @ Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Tallest MAn

Shame on me for ever having any doubts about The Tallest Man On Earth's ability to sell out Town Hall in NYC. Not only has he done it, he added a 2nd show at the same venue! June 20th is sold out. The new date is June 19th and it goes on sale Friday, 4/13, at 11am.

It was also just revealed that The Tallest Man is playing Lollapalooza which means we'll probably see more dates announced between the NYC shows and the early August Chicago festival. All currently known tour dates, which also include the Newport Folk Festival, are listed below...

Continue reading "The Tallest Man On Earth adds 2nd Town Hall show & Lollapalooza to schedule (updated dates)"

The Tallest Man in Brooklyn in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
The Tallest Man on Earth

The Tallest Man on Earth "has completed work on a new album. There's No Leaving Now will be out on June 12 (June 11 in the UK) on Dead Oceans. Shows in New York, London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Berlin are also announced. Stay tuned for more dates and news." The NYC show is taking place on June 20th at Town Hall - the perfect venue (though hopefully not too big) for the Swedish Bob Dylan. Stay tuned for ticket info. All dates, and the new album cover art and tracklisting, below...

Continue reading "The Tallest Man on Earth announces new LP, show at Town Hall in NYC & European dates"

Punch Brothers @ Prospect Park in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
Punch Brothers

The Punch Brothers will be out on the road for much of February and March and then some in April and over the summer too. Many of those dates are with Jesca Hoop including April 26 at Town Hall in NYC which goes on sale at 11am today (2/3). All tour dates are listed below....

Continue reading "Punch Brothers -- 2012 Tour Dates (include Town Hall in NYC, Clearwater, Telluride, MerleFest & more)"

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin finishes a short North American tour at Town Hall in NYC tonight (12/11). The great NYC entertainer Joey Arias opens the show and tickets are still on sale.

Jane will be performing the work of her late husband Serge Gainsbourg backed by a group of Japanese performers. As a recent review reads:

A Japanese-originating quartet of piano, drums, trumpet and violin (originally assembled, she told us, to play post-tsunami benefit shows in Tokyo which has since coaxed out on tour) executed the tunes with both original details (those cafe jazz breakbeats when called for) and a modern panache that was needed to hold the whole shebang together. One audience member with an accent explained to another that Birkin was "not rock" just before the show. It was, of course, more beatnik-jazz-pop-cabaret than rock. Still, hearing the likes of "Do Di Dah" without guitar picking might not have been the same, but its playful spirit came shining through in a jazz rendition. Birkin's voice and easy way with a tricky series of notes here and there was a bit of a revelation to some, for sure, and proved more than capable of carrying tunes when the band receded. If it wavered over the high notes, it shouldn't have come as a surprise. That delicacy and naturalism was surely what drew Serge and us to her the first time around--um, and the drop dead gorgeous thing, probably.
Jane starts up touring again in January, in Spain, Israel, Turkey, and many other places.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Meanwhile, Jane's daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg whose 2010 Beck-produced album IRM gained her lots of attention and brought her to our shores for shows at places like The Bell House, Coachella and Webster Hall, recently released an EP and then an album. The longer album, Stage Whisper, "includes seven unreleased studio recordings and eleven live songs. Many of the studio tracks come from sessions for IRM." The EP, Terrible Angels, was released earlier via Because Music / Elektra, and contains "two unreleased studio tracks, two live recordings, and two videos." All four of the songs are also on Stage Whisper.

You can watch one of the videos, with more info on the two releases, below...

Continue reading "Charlotte Gainsbourg released an album; Jane Birkin on tour (plays Town Hall w/ Joey Arias tonight)"

(photo by _crobin)

For the entire hour-long set, during which he played only old songs, the audience sat rapt, hanging on every note. And between songs, if anything, the focus sharpened alongside a collective hope that the odd, angular figure in the page-boy cap might take five minutes to explain everything: why he took a J.D. Salinger-like dive out of public life, why he's back now, and what the future holds.

But true to character, Mangum gave up little. At one point, he said the audience could ask him questions -- and a few rang out. But the one he chose to answer -- "What's your favorite book?" -- he didn't really answer at all. "You know the answer to that one," he said, cryptically. Devoted fans suspected, perhaps, that he was referring to "The Diary of Anne Frank," which supposedly inspired many of the songs on "Aeroplane." But it could have just as easily been anything else -- "The Catcher in The Rye" or "Gravity's Rainbow," the Bible or the Koran or "How to Make Friends and Influence People." Who the heck knew?

Over the course of the set, we did get something out of the guy: When he performs, he craves a sense of community. It was unexpected, coming from someone who has so cautiously guarded his privacy throughout the years. But he repeatedly asked the audience to sing along with him -- and uttered gracious notes of thanks when we complied. Twice, he asked for the house lights to be raised so he could "see the faces" of those to whom he was playing, and he answered several "we love you, Jeff!" hoots throughout the night, with an earnest and direct: "Thank you, my friend." [Wall Strett Journal]

Jeff also played a Roky Erickson cover, like he did in Asbury Park, at Town Hall in NYC on Saturday night (10/29). Olof Arnalds opened. If you missed it, you have two more chances to see him in Jersey City. The Town Hall setlist is below...

Continue reading "Jeff Mangum played Town Hall (setlist)"


Furthur are going on a tour that hits MSG on November 10th. Tickets are on sale now. The after party is at BB King's.

As previously mentioned, Ray Davies is going back out on tour. Tickets to the Beacon Theater show are now on AmEx presale and go on general sale Saturday at 10am.

Tickets to all four National shows at Beacon Theater (in case you hadn't noticed) go on sale today (9/16) at 11am.

Other shows now on sale at the Beacon include Steely Dan, Bryan Ferry, Yo Gabba Gabba!, The Jayhawks & Rosanne Cash, Gillian Welch, Weird Al, NY Comedy Fest stuff, two Noel Gallagher shows, and Tori Amos.

Shows coming up and on sale at Town Hall include more comedy stuff and Rufus & Martha Wainwright's "Not So Silent Night" Christmas Show.

Steve Earle in Austin in July (more by Tim Griffin)
Steve Earle

In the NY Post:

You might recognize roots singer Steve Earle from his turn on the Big Easy HBO series "Treme." Or you might have seen him around town, walking or on the F train.

Born in Virginia, raised in Texas and settled in Nashville, Earle made New York City home a few years back. Reflecting on a pair of hometown shows -- Town Hall on Tuesday and the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday -- Earle says, "Your guest list ends up looking like the extras from 'The Ten Commandments,' there's the usual stress of a hometown gig. But I love to play New York City, it's home." He adds, "You have to work a little bit harder. It's like playing baseball in New York."

Earle would like to take the subway to his gigs, but was still discussing it with his wife, singer Allison Moorer, who shares the bill with him and his band the Dukes (and Duchesses).

Don't forget about The Wire!

Tickets are still on sale for both Town Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg. All dates are listed HERE. Welcome home Steve & Allison (for a few days anyway).

Doveman (more by Vincent Cornelli)

Rufus Wainwright has been added as a confirmed guest at the next Doveman 'Burgundy Stain Session' at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets are still on sale.

Martha played the last one.

Rufus also has a free show coming up at the World Financial Center.

Rufus & Martha will both be performing in honor of their mother next week at the 90-year old Town Hall. The birthday party was last night...

Jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli surprised and wowed guests when his son John joined him on stage. The two were a joy to watch as they showed family love as well as an abundance of craft. Surprise guest, Norm Lewis, in from London's "Les Miz," and in town for rehearsals to an up-dated "Porgy and Bess," sang "I'd Rather Be Sailing," "Make Them Hear You" and "Bring Him Home." Jeffry Denman and Noah Racey showed why they are two of the best dancers on Broadway. The one and only Liz Callaway made "Hey You in the Back Row" come alive with her musical director Alex Rybeck, then forgetting the lyrics to "Another Hundred People" (not really), broke into the best parody of Sondheim I have ever heard. She ended her set with a song from the act she and her sister Ann Hampton Callaway are performing at Birdland this week. Tovah closed the show making 90 years of politically informative, musically innovative and electrifying cultural history begin its 91st year with a bang."
Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society plays Town Hall on May 21st. Tickets are still on sale for the show featuring this past Grammys' Best New Artist winner. Meanwhile Esperanza can be found opening for Prince at his May 6th & 7th shows in California. A video of Esperanza, who opened one of the recent NYC-area Prince shows too, performing earlier this month in France, below...

Continue reading "Rufus Wainwright added to Doveman show, Town Hall turned 90, Esperanza Spalding playing there, but first w/ Prince"

Jeff Mangum

The mysterious Wordless show will NOT be in NYC (it's in Cambridge, MA), but Jeff Mangum will in fact play NYC's Town Hall on October 29th AND Loew's Theatre in Jersey City (where the Strokes are filming a video today) on November 6th. Tickets TBA. All dates (Toronto in AUGUST included), below...

Continue reading "Jeff Mangum announces MORE tour dates, Town Hall in NYC"


On May 12 and 13, Rufus and Martha, along with their aunt Anna McGarrigle will host A Celebration of the Music of Kate McGarrigle, a pair of tribute shows to be held for their late mother at New York City's Town Hall. These shows will feature performances by Rufus and Martha, as well Anna McGarrigle, Jimmy Fallon, Emmylou Harris, Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), Krystle Warren, Teddy Thompson, Justin Bond, Jenni Muldaur, Sloan Wainwright and more. Tickets for both shows are onsale now at Ticketmaster.com.

All profits from these events will go to the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Rufus and Martha were recently named as the 2011 spokespersons for the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Kate McGarrigle passed away from Sarcoma in January 2010.

Rufus will also be on hand at two upcoming book signings in LA and NYC: "Photographer Tim Hailand has just released One Day in the Life of Rufus Wainwright, a new collection of images offering an intimate glimpse into Rufus' personal life. To celebrate the release of the new book, Rufus and Tim will appear at the New York and Los Angeles locations of BookMarc, on March 3 and March 10 respectively, for a pair of book signing sessions."

Teddy Thompson has many other shows and a tour coming up.

Justin Bond played Doveman's last Salon, and Martha Wainwright plays the next one.

by Rachel Kowal

BPB & the Cairo Gang @ Town Hall - 12/8/10 (photo by Reuben Strayer)
Bonnie Prince Billy

By this point, it's no secret that Oldham likes to keep things interesting. The prolific singer/songwriter has collaborated with a myriad of talented musicians (Tortoise, Scout Niblett, Matt Sweeney), performed/recorded under a range of monikers, and has even tried his hand at acting (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy).

His musical act evolves so rapidly that the surprise of the evening at Town Hall came not during the main act when he played with the talented backing band The Cairo Gang, but during the mysterious opener's set. Earlier in an interview when asked about the band he shared a bill with, Oldham responded nonchalantly that The Babblers were simply an "obscure" band from Shreveport. But within seconds of seeing the group (and hearing the two vocalists), it became apparent that they were actually just a wild permutation of the main act, led by Oldham himself.

With his arm outstretched above his head and his eyes cast heavenward, Oldham's alias had more than a passing resemblance to a cult leader. But instead of matching Reeboks, he and his backing band wore sunglasses and one-piece pajama suits (complete with a zipper, hood, and footsies). The stage itself was decorated accordingly with a mismatched collection of bedroom lamps.

Given Oldham's involvement, The Babblers of course had that characteristic love it or hate it Bonnie 'Prince' Billy twang, but the songs were also quite distinct from Oldham's lengthy discography. Female vocalist Angel Olsen sang songs with a thrilling intensity as if her adopted persona gave her more confidence, freedom, and creative power. Olsen was a joy throughout the evening, but her role in The Babblers really let her shine since it occasionally gave her reason to exchange her smooth, rich vocals for a no-nonsense battle cry. "Sweetheart, Sweetheart, let's get it together!" she shrieked in desperation during one song. Upon witnessing Olsen's sudden transformation, the crowd broke the polite silence perpetuated by the fancy theatre with enthusiastic cheers. Together on stage, Oldham and Olsen were like cool criminals. There was a perverse quality to their back country gospel rock that made it mesmerizing to witness.

In recent weeks, the baffling story of The Babblers has been slowly unfurling. One theory holds that The Babblers project was modeled after the pre-existing work of Kevin Coyne and Dagmar Krause, and after comparing Wednesday night's notes to the track listing for the British duo's album (conveniently titled 'Babble'), this definitely seems to be the case. The Babblers played the entirety of 'Babble' in sequence.

Following the rousing set by The Babblers, there was a quick costume change and Oldham and his band emerged once more - this time under the guise of a different name. Everything was back to normal. (If your definition of normal allows for Oldham's eyeliner, fancy suit/do-rag combo, awkward dancing, and weird tics - that is.)

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and The Cairo Gang were definitely not as volatile as The Babblers (had Oldham one-upped himself?), but they were still compelling to watch. In her becoming black dress, Olsen charmed the crowd once again, even if her vocals were more subdued for the second half of the evening. After such an intense display earlier, I'm impressed she could continue to sing so beautifully.

Though the majority of the set was lifted from the group's recent collaborative album, 'Wonder Show of the World,' Oldham also included a handful of older tunes, including "Only Someone Running" (which featured Matt Sweeney on guitar) and the breathtaking "Cursed Sleep." They concluded their encore with "Go Folks, Go," which allowed Oldham to retain the position of charismatic religious fanatic once more as he echoed the song's title repeatedly, as if delivering a benediction to his receptive crowd of followers.

I don't think the Town Hall staff and promoters knew what they were getting into when they booked Will Oldham, but I'm certainly glad they took a chance and surrendered to the crazy pajama'ed gang and its fearless leader.

Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang opened for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's one night earlier. Their Town Hall setlist is below...

Continue reading "Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and The Cairo Gang (and The Babblers) played Town Hall (review & setlist)"

DOWNLOAD: The Babblers - Come Down Here (Kevin Coyne cover) (MP3)


"The Babblers turned out to be the alter-ego of the Bonnie "Prince" Billy lineup. Dressed in sunglasses and one-piece pajamas with hoods, the six band members ambled onto a mostly dark stage that was adorned by a handful of small table lamps and a vertical trellis of white Christmas lights. One could have easily taken this for some sort of silly dalliance, but in fact, it's a rather complex conceptual project: The group's name is a reference to Babble, an obscure, rock-opera-ish album from the late-70s by the late British outsider artist Kevin Coyne and German singer Dagmar Krause. The hour-long set was an in-sequence performance of the entire Babble album, with Oldham and Angel Olsen, as "Angela Babbler," in the lead vocal roles." [The Thread]
The Babblers opened for Bonnie Prince Billy at Town Hall in NYC last night (12/8). We have a full review coming. The above-quoted review is from an earlier Babblers show. The above MP3 is believed to be a studio version of a Babblers song aka Will and band covering Kevin Coyne & Dagmar Krause, but you never can really know . Live Babblers videos below...

Continue reading "The Babblers are Will Oldham's mysterious new group (who opened for Bonnie Prince Billy on tour) -- MP3"


Though lately Bonnie 'Prince' Billy has been performing as/with "Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & The Cairo Gang" (aka Will Oldham and guitarist Emmett Kelly) (like at Monster Island), the December 8th show at Town Hall in NYC that has appeared on Ticketmaster just lists "Bonnie Prince Billy". Oh, and it also lists $328.50 in fees! (thanks Kate and William!). All dates below...

Continue reading "Bonnie Prince Billy playing Town Hall (holy fees!)"

by Klaus Kinski

Demetri Martin

There are some big time comedy events upon us that require your immediate attention. First off, the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival kicks off TONIGHT (9/16) at The Bell House with An Evening of Comedy From 1986 featuring Emo Philips, Tony V., Larry Murphy, Ron Lynch and Jon Glaser, and Eugene Mirman. I am baffled that tickets are still on sale, but they are, so GET EM! The Fest continues through Sunday with some of the best line-ups this city has seen in ages. Participating venues include The Bell House, Union Hall, and The Rock Shop. See the full schedule below.

If you're a Manhattanite, just plain too lazy to make the trek out to Gowanus, or both, Tenacious D's less annoying half Kyle Gass will be tearing The Mercury Lounge a new one tonight with his band Trainwreck. This late show has doors at 9:30pm and tickets are still up for grabs. If you're a Brooklynite, just plain too lazy to make the trek out to Manhattan, or busy tonight, or all three, Trainwreck's tour also takes them to Brooklyn Bowl on September 21st. Tickets available for that too. All dates below.

Wait, are you telling me that neither of these shows are floating your boat? WTF? Well, howsabout a very titillating plan C? Longtime friend of BV Aziz Ansari headlines the massive Town Hall tonight. Looks like tickets for the show are gonzo, but check in with the box office later (or Craigslist) (or outside the venue) as they may have a few kicking around. You can alternatively go see him at the Beacon Theatre in November. Tickets are still available to that show that is part of this year's New York Comedy Festival.

And while we're on the subject of comedy happening at Town Hall, Demetri Martin has a whopping TWO SHOWS happening there on Friday September 24th and Saturday September 25th. Tickets to both shows are currently still on sale. I realize that in these tough times, it might be difficult to buy tickets for such a show. Luckily for you I have a pair of FRONT ROW TICKETS to give away to one, super lucky winner (for the Saturday show). Follow the procedure below and maybe, just maybe, you'll get all Charlie Bucket and whatnot. All dates and stuff down there too....

Continue reading "Mirman Fest kicking off, Demetri Martin playing shows (WIN FRONT ROW TIX), Trainwreck on tour (NY shows, other dates) "

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants will now be playing two "special shows for families" at Town Hall in NYC on Sunday, September 26th. Tickets are still on sale for the previously-announced 3pm show, and they added a 12:30pm show that goes on general sale at 11am. All dates and a copy of the band's video rider, below...

Continue reading "They Might Be Giants add early show & other tour dates"

photos by Graeme Flegenheimer

Joanna Newsom in Michigan

Joanna Newsom

"At Town Hall on Thursday night, in a sold-out 90-minute show mostly drawn from her new album, "Have One on Me," (Drag City) she played the harp with precision but always with a little swing and bounce in the picking and damping. (She generates her own bass lines, too.) Her backing quintet had a drummer, Neal Morgan, but almost for color alone; he had far less rhythmic work to do than what she'd assigned to herself. Ryan Francesconi, the electric guitarist/banjoist/player of the Bulgarian tambura and kaval -- and also the arranger of the new album's songs -- came in a distant second for most notes played, but he made them within the tightest parameters." [NY Times]
Joanna Newsom's Thursday show at Town Hall was probably the one NYC show last week that I most wish didn't coincide with SXSW. Luckily NPR is streaming the similar one that happened five nights later (aka last night) in DC (her 2nd night in a row at the same venue). More dates HERE.

The pictures in this post are from the first date of the tour (3/12) at Calvin College in Michigan where Bowerbirds opened. More pictures from that show, videos from Town Hall and the DC setlist below...

Continue reading "Joanna Newsom played Grand Rapids Michigan w/ Bowerbirds (pics), Town Hall in NYC & DC (listen @ NPR.com)"