Entries tagged with: Town Hall

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by Chris La Putt

DOWNLOAD: Laura Barrett - Bluebird (MP3)

Magnetic Fields

Last night (3/10) marked the first of the Magnetic Fields' 3-night run at Town Hall (they also played a show at BAM earlier in the tour) in New York City with over two dozen songs spanning the band's 20-year discography. It also marked the release of the band's ninth album, Realism, ending Stephin Merrit's "no-synth" rule (reportedly, the upcoming album will be composed completely with synthesizers). The concert, like the new album, marked a direction towards a subdued (many critics calling it "folksy") sound to the Fields' repretoire; the antithesis of the band's 2008 album, Distortion, which was madeup entirely of guitar fuzz and feedback. Stephin serenely drolled on throughout the set, occasionally switching lead vocals with Claudia Gonson and Shirley Timms. During the set, Claudia announced that they'll be releasing 20 tickets for sale today, for tonight's show (I'm willing to bet there'll be some on Friday as well). Just get to the Town Hall box office before the show.

After this 3-day stint in NYC the band is off to Europe but you can can continue to see what's going on behind the scenes, and at the merch table, at their tour blog. Here's hoping that their NYC blog posts won't be all about Paul Rudd stopping by to see the show.

On April 20th, Merge Records will also be releasing the band's much celebrated 3-disc anthology, 69 Love Songs, on vinyl for the first time. Incidentally, the highlight of the show for me was finally hearing Wi' Nae Wee Bairn Ye'll Me Beget live.

What else is there for Stephin Merritt aside from composing music and lyrics to an off-broadway play and then having Peter Gabriel cover one of your songs? Well a documentary on Stephin and the band will be making its world premiere at SXSW next week entitled Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields. Take a look at the trailer below.

Laura Barrett opened for the band. More pictures and setlist below:

Continue reading "The Magnetic Fields played 1st of 3 shows @ Town Hall (pics & setlist), documentary premiering at SXSW (trailer)"

Magnetic Fields @ Loews Theater, Jersey City in Oct. 2008 (more by Chris La Putt)
The Magnetic Fields

The Magnetic Fields are happy to announce that they will be touring early next year in support of their forthcoming album, "Realism," which will be out on Nonesuch Records on January 26, 2010. The US and Canadian tour dates will take place in February and March. After their US and Canada dates, the band will be heading to Europe for a string of dates in mid- to late-March.
You can take a look at Realism's cover art, which is extremely similar to Distortion's cover art, below. Tracklist down there too.

The 2010 tour hits a bunch of major cities and includes three NYC shows over the course of two separate visits. Most dates are on presale now.

During the first NYC visit, the Magnetic Fields play BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House on Saturday, February 13th. There's a limited fanclub & BAM member presale on sale now. General sale tickets go up Friday, November 20th.

Then the band returns for shows at NYC's Town Hall on Sunday, March 10th and Monday, March 11th. Again there's a fanclub presale on sale now, then tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 20th at noon.

Album art, tracklist, more info and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "The Magnetic Fields - new album, 2010 tour dates (3 in NYC)"

Bruce Springsteen & Lisa Lampanelli backstage @ Town Hall (Caroline's)
Bruce Springsteen & Lisa Lampanelli

The New York Comedy Festival runs through Sunday. It kicked off last night at Town Hall with the "Stand up For Heroes" benefit...

[Host Brian] Williams walked onstage with a laptop and opened his monologue with the words: "Yankees 2, Phillies nothing." There was loud applause from the New York crowd missing Game 6 of the World Series.

He quipped that he wanted to be a full-service provider onstage and offer sports and weather updates in addition to covering the news. Williams also shared jokes about military food and being from New Jersey.

[Bruce] Springsteen threw in a few jokes, including one about Pepsi having created a drink that includes Viagra and that is called "MountAndDo."

One of his guitars and four Madison Square Garden tickets were then auctioned off by auctioneer Jamie Niven, the son of actor David Niven, for $50,000. "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay walked away with the goods to much applause.

Louis C.K. had the audience in stitches with edgy material about divorced life and his kids.

Colbert offered some topical humor, talking about his experience visiting the troops in Iraq, which he described as hot and dangerous, "like Texas with fewer guns." He also described a former Saddam Hussein palace as mindful of a house decorated by "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." [Hollywood Reporter]

Assuming Mariska uses those MSG tickets herself, she'll get to see one of two Bruce albums performed in full for the first time. Louis C.K. performs again during the festival at Caroline's on Sunday. Ricky Gervais was there and plays again at Carnegie Hall tonight (11/5). Andy Samberg was probably not there due to watching the Yankees game, but he will be at Town Hall as part of the festival on Sunday. More shows are listed in our original post and at the fest's website.

Reels

After a massively successful career spanning more than 40 years, Ray Davies, the legendary lead singer of The Kinks, is back with creative and unusual interpretations of songs from his extensive catalogue. These are not merely re-recordings of the originals but whole new choral adaptations. Often referred to as "almost indisputably rock's most literate, witty and insightful songwriter," Davies had the ambitious idea to collaborate with the 65-strong Crouch End Festival Chorus at the 2007 BBC Electric Proms in London to create The Kinks Choral Collection. This masterful CD will be in stores November 10th on Decca with a nationwide tour scheduled to coincide with the release.
Ray Davies is playing two shows at NYC's Town Hall in November with The Dessoff Chamber Choir. Both go on sale at noon. All dates below.

Also coming up at Town Hall is a zillion shows by Robin Williams, one by Devendra Banhart, and two by Tegan & Sara.

After canceling her tour with Kanye West, Lady Gaga came back with a tour announcement that includes two shows at Radio City Music Hall: January 20th & 21st. No tickets yet.

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the Antlers show at Bowery Ballroom.

Tickets are still on sale for the official BrooklynVegan CMJ show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (happening 10/20), a show that also includes the Antlers. Walter Schreifels plays a special early, hour-long set at 7:30pm. Before him is another opener that I'm about to announce. Fanfarlo closes the night around 11:00. Dave Hill, who is big in Japan, hosts the evening.

Speaking of Frenchkiss Records, tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the second Passion Pit show at Terminal 5.

Tickets are also on sale (@ noon) for the Mew show at Webster Hall.

Continue reading "Ray Davies, Lady Gaga, Antlers, Passion Pit, Mew, other tix"

Louis CK

The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) and The New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) unite to present the third annual Stand Up for Heroes: A Benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation at Town Hall in New York City at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, November 4th. Brian Williams will host Stand Up for Heroes, which will feature star performances by Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert, Lisa Lampanelli, John Ondrasik, Bruce Springsteen and other surprise guests. These and other A-list entertainers have agreed to Stand Up for Heroes and ReMIND our nation that "Support our troops" is no longer a slogan. It's an action. The evening promises unforgettable performances, laughter, and sincere gratitude, with proceeds going to the BWF.

For the third consecutive year, all of our nation's living presidents have officially expressed their support to the Stand Up for Heroes event. President Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush, President George H. W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter and President William J. Clinton serve as the Presidential Committee for this year's event. Major television network executives join the Presidents as event co-chairs including Steve Capus and Sophia Faskianos (NBC), Ken and Kristin Jautz (CNN), Jon and Jennifer Klein (CNN), Sean and Tracy McManus (CBS), Philip Miller and Anne Sweeney (ABC), Richard and Lisa Plepler (HBO), David and Sherrie Westin (ABC), and Jeff and Caryn Zucker (NBC).
Tickets are on sale. Bruce Springsteen also played this last year.

The show is part of the New York Comedy Festival.

In related news Louis CK is now on Parks & Recreation.

Colbert recently had John Darnielle on his TV show.

Bruce Springsteen plays his fifth and final show at Giants Stadium tonight (10/9).

Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the show Devendra Banhart is playing at Town Hall.

photos by Vincent Cornelli

Devendra Banhart

Okay, so you probably could've guessed it without too much work: Little Joy's opening act [Friday] night, Swami Shave-us Jr, was in fact Devendra Banhart. (The connections? Little Joy's Rodrigo Amarante played on Banhart's Smokey album; Noah Georgeson produced the band's sweet, sunshiney debut; Binki Shapiro played with Banhart on Beck's Record Club project. Phew!) Still, Webster Hall was buzzing with excitement as Banhart took the stage. He played a beautiful, twinkling set of favorites and new songs (including "Little Yellow Spider" and new single "Baby") accompanied by Megapuss bandmate Greg Rogove (on mbira and drums and backups). Little Joy's members grinned from the moment they took the stage, an adoring, fresh-faced crowd singing along with vintage Coca-Cola ad gusto....The band's encore...saw Banhart and Rogove back onstage, along with most of Webster Hall (cue flummoxed security, etc.). Joy indeed. [Time Out]
As that review points out, Devendra Banhart opened the Little Joy show at Webster Hall on October 2nd. Next he'll be headlining his own NYC show on Sunday, November 22nd at Town Hall. It's one of a few dates he currently has booked (he's also in Chicago and London). Tickets go on sale Friday, October 9th at noon.

Two tracks from Devendra's new album, What Will We Be, are currently streaming on his MySpace. The album is set to come out October 27th, 2009 on Warner Brother Records. Via Wikipedia: "The album was co-produced by Banhart and Paul Butler from A Band of Bees. Rejoining Banhart are old band mates Noah Georgeson, Greg Rogove, Luckey Remington, and Rodrigo Amarante, all of whom worked with him on his previous album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon."

Banhart spoke to Paste Magazine recently about a possible collaboration with GZA: "I played Coachella, and, lo and behold, I looked on the sidelines and there was GZA. I was stunned," Banhart says. "So we hung out and talked--we talked about atomic energy and how the sun is powered. We talked about dark matter. Then I sent him my catalog. And he said 'Hey man, will you write some stuff? Let's write together.'" At this point, says Banhart, "[GZA] has shared his new writing with me and I've sent a couple sketches. With his new work I can tailor the sketches I already had. We're at the beginning stages."

Little Joy has been quite busy since the release of their debut. No more scheduled upcoming shows at the moment though. Meanwhile, Fabrizio Moretti, who did play with Little Joy at Webster Hall, but is only a part time member now anyway, is probably finishing up another project.

More pictures and videos from Webster Hall, and the new Devendra album tracklist are below...

Continue reading "Devendra Banhart played Webster Hall w/ Little Joy (pics), playing Town Hall (tix), releasing major label album + GZA"

by Klaus Kinski

Monty Python

A few nights ago I had a dream that my personal favorite Monty Python cast member Michael Palin approached me after I had finished a speaking engagement and asked me to join a reunited Python cast for a world tour. I declined the offer because I was apparently about to head out on tour with Radiohead as their new drummer. Alas, that was only a dream and my, our, only opportunity to see the entire reunited Python cast in the flesh will be Thursday October 15th at the Ziegfeld Theater (full details below). Limited tickets for this Monty Python 40 Anniversary Reunion and presentation of a BAFTA Special Award went on sale and cost $150. If you would like to purchase tickets, shoot an e-mail to Screening@baftaeastcoast.com. If successful, you'll be e-mailed a link to a ticket registration site and you can proceed from there. Good luck!

There will almost certainly be squabbling at the reunion. "They love getting angry and shouting at each other," Ben Timlett, a director and producer of the documentary, said recently. There were (and are) genuine differences among the Pythons, which they sometimes exaggerate for comic effect now, and there have been so many books, articles and previous documentaries that there is no truly reliable account of practically anything associated with the group. Partly for this reason, a number of the Pythons were initially reluctant to take part in the documentary.

"I was very dubious about it," Mr. Cleese said. "I thought we had flogged this horse to death -- way past death, in fact." [NY Times]

On October 18th, a few days after the BAFTA event, you can catch the premiere of the 6-party documentary series Monty Python: Almost The Truth: The Lawyer's Cut on IFC. With rare archival footage, new interviews with all living cast members, wonderful archival interview footage of the late Graham Chapman, as well as insights by comedy 'experts', the series, which runs from October 18th - October 23rd, is as thorough as can be. I've seen the first three episodes so far and am amazed at how truly engaging and informative the documentary is. If you can't see it when it airs on IFC, keep in mind that you can get it on DVD and BluRay on October 27th.

And if that's not enough, in addition to the documentary, showings of Python film classics Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life of Brian, and Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, IFC will also be showing episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Monty Python's Flying Circus will air @ 11:30 PM ET/PT throughout the Network's Python-A-Thon beginning Sunday, October 18, and Every Monday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday at 11:00 p.m. thereafter

In other somewhat Monty Python related news, there's a show happening at Town Hall from October 6th - October 10th called An Evening Without Monty Python. Directed by original Python cast member Eric Idle, these shows consist of contemporary comedians and actors performing classic Python skits. I've read many positive reviews of the LA shows, but as a fan I don't think I'm alone in being a LITTLE skeptical about this. I feel like it'd be like seeing a cover band. Though, the Australian Pink Floyd is a cover band and they consistently sell out gigantic theaters all over the world. Maybe people don't mind a decent forgery? Anyhow, if you're feeling adventurous tickets are currently on sale. Video below.

Continue reading "Monty Python reunion almost here, on IFC... & at Town Hall?"

by Andrew Frisicano

Marc Ribot @ Hudson Square in August (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Marc Ribot

The Times wasn't too impressed by Marianne Faithfull's set at Town Hall on September 24th, though they did have good things to say about Marc Ribot, who once again backed her on guitar.

Despite a good band (most of the crew from the new record, directed by the bassist Greg Cohen and including the guitarist Marc Ribot, who repeatedly tore it up), despite the rousing volume, despite the healthy and unhealthy adulation from the crowd, much of the show felt a bit inert. Having finished her part in a song, Ms. Faithfull leaned against a stool or a keyboard or a speaker, smiling into the distance, waiting for the musicians to wrap it up.

It didn't help that she kept her eyes on lyric sheets; consequently, many of the songs felt like recitations. She seemingly became truly involved in the music only when she didn't need to be reminded of the lyrics, which happened in some of her old songs: a little bit in the morbid "Sister Morphine," a lot in the scabrous "Why'd Ya Do It?" When she traded elegant resignation for asperity, closing her eyes and shaking her fists, she was so much better. [NY Times]

Ribot plays tonight (9/29) with Ceramic Dog, a trio with Shahzad Ismaily on bass/moog/other and drummer Ches Smith, and regular guest Eszter Balint. Tickets are still on sale.

Marc will be back at the venue on November 18th for a show with Akiko Yano. He played guitar on her 2008 T-Bone Burnett-produced album akiko, and it'll be their first NYC show together. Tickets are on sale. She plays without Marc Ribot (but with Will Lee & Chris Parker) at Joe's Pub on October 6th (tix).

Coming up, Marc Ribot will be part of the NY Guitar Festival's Silent Films/Live Guitars series in January 2010. Ceramic Dog will tour Europe this October. Those dates are below...

Continue reading "Marianne Faithfull played Town Hall w/ Marc Ribot (who plays LPR tonight & other upcoming shows) "

Tegan & Sara

That above picture is the cover for the forthcoming Tegan & Sara album, Sainthood, due out October 27th on Vapor Records. The record is being produced by Chris Walla (of Death Cab and many producing credits) and Howard Redekopp (who's worked with New Pornographers, Mother Mother, and others) - interesting in that they've both worked on past Tegan & Sara individually.

The pair (Tegan and Sara) have a few shows scheduled at the moment. Two of those will happen at NYC's Town Hall on October 30th and 31st (Mischief Night and Halloween). Tickets go on sale Friday at 10am.

Tiestoremixed Tegan & Sara's track "Back in your Head" in 2007. Now the three have collaborated again on "I Feel it in My Bones," a song that'll be included on Tiesto's new album, Kaleidoscope, out October 20th on Ultra Records. That song is streaming on his MySpace. Also guesting on the Tiesto album will be Jónsi of Sigur Rós, Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, Emily Haines of Metric, and others. Full tracklist is below.

Tiesto is going on a pretty big tour that kicks off with three nights at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Tickets for those shows (9/24-9/26) are on sale now. All dates, the Tegan & Sara album back cover and tracklist, and more, below...

Continue reading "Tegan & Sara - new album, 2 Town Hall shows, & collab. w/ Tiesto who is touring (dates) & playing 3 NYC shows"

photos by Fresh Bread

Grizzly Bear

"The band has two songwriting powers, Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen, who both sing. Grizzly Bear prefers full-band songwriting credits, so it's not clear who's responsible for what.

But when Mr. Droste sings lead, the harmonies seem to come from the natural properties of the voice; when Mr. Rossen sings lead, the songs get browner, based in the harmony of his unusual guitar tunings." [NY Times]

Grizzly Bear played their second of two shows at NYC's Town Hall last night (5/29). They play one more NYC show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday (5/31) before leaving on tour with Here We Go Magic. Setlist and more on the first night at Town Hall, HERE. More pictures from that same night - Brooklyn Youth Choir and fancy light show included, below....

Continue reading "Grizzly Bear & Brooklyn Youth Choir @ Town Hall, NYC - pics "

DOWNLOAD: Grizzly Bear on AOL's the Interface (MP3)

Grizzly Bear

When they weren't busy talking to the NY Times, Fader, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, or one of the many other publications who wrote about them this month, Grizzly Bear stopped by the AOL studios for a session with the Interface. MP3 and picture from that above.

The band also visited WNYC the other day. The results of that session can be streamed at WNYC's site (or downloaded here).

Their new album Veckatimest was released Tuesday, and last night (5/28) was the first of two shows for the band at Town Hall in NYC. Tonight (5/29) is the second. Here We Go Magic is the opener on the whole tour. Pictures are coming, but in the meantime, last night's setlist is below...

Continue reading "Grizzly Bear played Town Hall (setlist), WNYC & AOL (MP3) "

Brooklyn Youth Chorus

"With a vital role on band sensation Grizzly Bear's new CD Veckatimest and an appearance this Thursday, May 28th, backing up the band at Town Hall, the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus embarks on a six-week run of performances spanning music as diverse as indie rock and Mahler's 8th. That's business as usual for the BYC, which has sung with Alicia Keys for a Sesame Street special, backed Elton John at his birthday concert at Madison Square Garden, premiered Philip Glass's Symphony No. 5 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and commissioned a body of work by musicians including Nico Muhly and Fred Hersch. The BYC is an astonishingly active group of kids that performs on the highest levels of the New York music scene, whether it be symphonic, rock, hip-hop, gospel, avant-garde classical, jazz..." [press release]
Unfortunately it looks like the Chorus will only be at one of Grizzly Bear's three NYC shows. All BYC dates below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Youth Chorus backing Grizzly Bear at Town Hall, playing w/ Nico Muhly, Holy Ghost & more "

Marianne Faithfull @ City Winery (more by Lori Baily)
Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull is performing at NYC's Town Hall on Thursday, September 24th. Tickets ($86 / $51 / $31) go on AmEx presale starting Wednesday, April 15th at 11 AM. General sale begins Friday, April 17th at noon.

We also have a pair of front row tickets to giveaway. Details on how to with them below.

For the show, Faithfull will be accompanied by a band consisting of Greg Cohen, Marc Ribot, Rob Burger, Joey Baron, Ryan Scott, Christina Courtin, Christopher Hoffman, Lenny Pickett and Marty Elrich. Much, if not all, of that cast contribute to her new album and/or were spotted playing with Faithfull at her City Winery gigs, and on Letterman, in late March.

Marc Ribot, who definitely played at the City Winery shows and on Letterman, has his own week of shows planned for early May, to celebrate his 55th birthday.

Faithfull's newest disc Easy Come, Easy Go, which consists of 12 covers from Neko Case to Billie Holiday, is out now on Decca Records.

Faithfull was recently interviewed by the newly married Ryan Adams.

Marianne Faithfull: And I'll be doing a couple of gigs with the original band on the record. I'm sure you know all those guys as well.

Ryan Adams: Tell me about why you chose to cover the Decemberists' "The Crane Wife 3."

MF: Hal [Willner] found that song, and what I love about "The Crane Wife" is that it's a folk tale. It's about a man who falls in love with and marries a swan. The only real concept for this record was to work with great songs, and these were the ones that happened to be chosen from the modern idiom. I could have easily taken one of yours, and maybe I will one day. [Black Book Mag]

Awkward? All dates, pro-shot video from one of the City Winery shows, and contest details below...

Continue reading "Marianne Faithfull playing NYC's Town Hall - win (or buy) tix "

Grizzly Bear w/ the Brooklyn Philharmonic (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear founder Ed Droste told [The Quietus] that the collaboration was "one of the most challenging, exciting, exhausting but rewarding months of our lives." He added that it took a huge amount of preperation to put the event together, in part because of working practices: "So much work going into this one show! So much rehearsal as a band listening to MIDI versions of the arrangements and only a few hours we were allowed with the orchestra to rehearse because they are unionized and very strict with their time. So needless to say there was a sigh of relief when it went off without a hitch!

"I sure would have loved more time with the orchestra to rehearse and talk about the songs and get used to playing with 40 extra people behind you. It's so vastly different from performing just as a band because there is a score and a tempo and things need to be JUST SO. Luckily the conductor was BRILLIANT as was Nico Muhly and the two of them if needed, could casually adjust the tempo if one of us fell out."

Having just conquered BAM, Grizzly Bear announced two new NYC shows - this time at Town Hall. The May 28th & 29th dates go on sale Friday at noon. Tickets are $26.

Videos from BAM and all dates below...

Continue reading "Grizzly Bear announce 2 NYC shows @ Town Hall "

photos by Dese'Rae Stage

Ben Kweller

Ben Kweller is touring with The Watson Twins, who in addition to opening for him then later join him on stage (as you can see in the pic above). Last night (2/25) they hit Town Hall in NYC. A few days earlier they were in Toronto...

While it wasn't a packed house at The Mod Club in Toronto last night, those who did make it out to see Ben Kweller were treated to an exceptional show.

The mop-headed Texan played a combination of old favorites and new cuts from his new country album Changing Horses. The inclusion of a pedal steel guitar on pretty much every song, non-country ones included, ensured a seamless flow of the material, even turning "Sundress" into a country shuffle.

Kweller was also full of stories. Relating tales about Oasis and talking about his absent guitar tech, and bantering with fan "Luke" who had attending his in-store earlier in the day, Kweller kept the audience in stiches for a good portion of the night. [Snob's Music]

More pictures from the NYC show below...

Continue reading "Ben Kweller the Watson Twins @ Town Hall, NYC - pics"

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Noah Perabo

no Antony did not age, this was the opener!
The Mystery of Claywoman

An eclectic crowd filled Town Hall last night (2/19) for a moving performance by Antony & The Johnsons. The Johnsons was made up of six exceptional players, none moreso than Doug Weiselman whose work on the guitar/clarinet/sax shined all night. Yet it was band leader/pianist Antony Hagerty whose signature vocals stole the show. Throughout the 16-song set, Antony spoke about New York City ("It's good to be home. Yes, this is my home. The funny thing about New York is that no one can tell you it's not your home. It's yours."), about his fears of environmental catastrophe, about books, about philosophy and at times he just stared off, deep in thought while the respectful crowd sat in silence, perhaps deep in thought themselves. His music has that effect: lulling you into a dreamland. He admitted that he too got "taken away" during "Cripple and the Starfish" when he began a verse with the wrong lyrics, then playfully improvised until the music got back to a place where he could start again.

One of the set's highlights came during "Epilepsy is Dancing" a cut from his latest release The Crying Light. Antony's vocals complemented the classical sound of the acoustic guitarist's picking perfectly, creating lush acoustics that filled the room. Another standout was "Fistful of Love" which built slowly into storm of drums, rollicking electric guitar and crescendo piano. The crowd roared with approval at it's conclusion. He closed the show with crowd-favorite, "Hope There's Someone" a beautiful song that balances Antony's outlook of sadness and hope.

The show was opened by a short performance piece titled The Mystery of Claywoman, a 20-minute character-driven philosophical lecture by Michael Cavadias. Only Antony would invite such an act to open the show.

Antony & The Johnsons play Town Hall again tonight (2/20). More pictures from last night, below...

Continue reading "Antony & the Johnsons @ Town Hall (night 1), NYC - pics "

Blood Bank

Just in time for winter, BON IVER have announced a new 4 song 12"/cdep entitled Blood Bank. From the title track's remembrance of the winter warmth we seek, to the summer love tribute of b-side gem "Babys", Bon Iver's snow-blanketed harmonies live across the seasons. Still, there is a reverence for sabbatical, solitude and the winding down of time. As much as "For Emma, Forever Ago" is about the cold, the Blood Bank collection is about the warmth that gets you through it.

Blood Bank will be released in the US on 1/20/09 and in the UK on 1/19/09. If you can't wait until then, head out to one of the bands shows stretching through the end of December hitting the East coast and parts of the Midwest where they will be selling the vinyl version.

"Blood Bank" is now available for pre-order. Bon Iver played his second of two shows at Town Hall here in NYC last night (12/11). His third NYC show in a row goes down tonight/Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Last night you may have also caught them on Letterman. A bunch of other people definitely did...

Continue reading "Bon Iver played Letterman (video?) & Town Hall again, new EP out soon, MHOW tonight"

photos by Chris La Putt

Bon Iver

Bon Iver and The Tallest Man on Earth played their first of three NYC shows together last night (10/10). The show was at Town Hall where Thursday's show will also be. Friday is at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The Tallest Man also played a show on Tuesday at Mercury Lounge with Marissa Nadler.

"Kristian Matsson, the Swedish songwriter who bills himself as the Tallest Man on Earth, flaunted every rasp, buzz and crack in his voice. They are the most immediate signs of a musician who draws on the structures of folky songwriting from the 1960s -- the basic chords, the picking and strumming, the chains of verses and refrains without choruses -- but who has no use for the cozy decorum that would define singer-songwriters later on. His model is the visionary Bob Dylan of songs like "When the Ship Comes In," along with Dylan's own models: the craggy bluesmen and back-country singers who never tried to smooth things over." [NY Times]
More pictures, and Bon Iver's setlist from last night, below...

Continue reading "Bon Iver & the Tallest Man on Earth @ Town Hall, NYC ----- ------------------ (night 1) - pics & setlist"

Watson Twins

The Watson Twins' Top 9 albums of 2008

1. Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid (Geffen Records)
2. Everest, Ghost Notes (Vapor Records)
3. Chica Libre, Sonido Amazonico (Barbes)
4. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges (Ato Records / Red)
5. Cat Power, Jukebox (Matador Records)
6. Radiohead, In Rainbows (ATO)
7. David Byrne/Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (Todo Mundo)
8. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue (Warner Bros.)
9. Bob Dylan, Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Sony)
That list via Filter. The Watson Twins are opening for Ben Kweller at some shows in 2009. That includes Town Hall in NYC on February 25th. Tickets go on Am Ex presale at noon. Tickets go on regular sale Friday at noon. All known tour dates below...

Continue reading "Watson Twins & Ben Kweller - tour dates & favorite albums"

Bebel Gilberto

As far as I can tell, Bebel Gilbeto has just four shows coming up, and all of them are in NYC, which makes sense since the Brazilian singer-songwriter was born and lives here.

Tickets are still available for both Red Hot + Rio 2 shows happening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music tonight/Thursday and Friday. As previously noted, CéU, Curumin, José González, Otto, João Parahyba (from Trio Mocoto), and Bebel Gilberto are the artists playing those shows.

An all-star benefit tribute to the music and culture of Brazil, Red Hot + Rio 2 salutes Samba Soul, the post-tropicália movement of the 70s that merged elements of North American soul music with Brazilian rhythms. Mixing samba with R&B, soul with baião, pioneering artists like Jorge Ben Jor and Tim Maia signaled a cultural awakening that changed the direction of Brazilian music forever. The concerts at BAM bring together the newest generation of Brazilian and international artists who represent the legacy of this influential musical style.
Bebels' third upcoming show is in a much more intimate setting, but unfortunately/not surprisingly, the $40 tickets to her December 9th show at Joe's Pub are all sold out. Tickets are still on sale though for her recently announced, fourth upcoming NYC show, at Town Hall, but that's not until June. All dates, in a list format, below...

Continue reading "Bebel Gilberto tour dates - BAM (today), Joe's Pub, Town Hall "

DOWNLOAD: Antony Hegarty and Sway - Guardian podcast (MP3)

antony

Tickets for the two February Antony & The Johnsons shows at Town Hall in NYC go on pre-sale today at 10 AM. Password = BUYTIXNOW

For more Antony, listen to the new Guardian Music Weekly podcast (available for download above) and pick up the new issue of Wire (pictured). More tour dates HERE.

Antony & The Johnsons @ the Apollo in October (more by Ryan Muir)
Antony

The Crying Light is the highly anticipated full-length follow-up to I Am a Bird Now. Here, Antony shifts the thematic focus and explores his relationship with the natural world. The intimacy of the Johnsons' sound is enveloped by avant-classical composer Nico Muhly's symphonic arrangements. The first moments of "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground" unveil an animist world in which the leaves are winking and the sun "...dances crystals in my eyes." The joyful ricochets of "Kiss My Name" and the spiraling waltz of "Epilepsy Is Dancing" are to follow. The record's centerpiece, "Another World" traces the singer's despair in the face of a vanishing landscape. The striking vocal on "Dust and Water" seems to sooth the mind like an unfurling and pastoral "Everglade" concludes the album, Antony stepping beyond the confines of his loneliness and into the landscape to find that his "...Limbs (have) stopped Crying for Home..." Antony falls into a reverie and seems join the legendary Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, whose eerie portrait graces the cover of The Crying Light".

Antony and the Johnsons' music bridges the gap between avant-classical music and the blues, and the band's sold out performances have resulted in standing ovations from Carnegie Hall to the Apollo. "The Crying Light" is a soul-stirring new work with its daring compositions and captivating vocal performances. The Crying Light may even become one of those albums that becomes emblematic of its time, a reflection of the momentous changes that we are facing, within each of our private worlds as well as collectively, and how we are summoning the courage to start moving through them.

The Crying Light will be released January 20th, 2009.

A month later Antony & The Johnsons will grace the stage of Town Hall in NYC for two nights in a row. Tickets for the February 19th & 20th shows go on sale Friday at noon.

It's been an exciting day for show announcements. First Sharon Jones announces two NYC shows in February and now Antony. Both of them contribute to the Dark Was Night comp too.

Antony's last NYC show was at the Apollo which was not long after his new EP was released. The two upcoming Town Hall shows look like they're part of a still-unannounced larger tour. The dates we know are listed below...

Continue reading "Antony & The Johnsons - 2 NYC nights @ Town Hall + other 2009 Tour Dates & new album details"

Photos by Ryan Muir

Revenge of the Bookeaters

While millions were home watching the town hall debate betwen Barack Obama and John McCain, I was at Town Hall the venue missing it watching a variety of entertainers help raise money for 826NYC, an organization that helps educate children (Oct 7, 2008). The night went like this: Ira Glass came out and told a story. Then Thao Nguyen played two songs by herself. Zach from Rogue Wave was supposed to be with her, but he had to cancel. The Daily Show's John Oliver was the host and he was my favorite performer of the evening which was an extra bonus because he performed comedy between almost every other act.

Revenge of the Bookeaters

Department of Eagles then played three songs - two of them as the core duo of Daniel and Fred and one just as Daniel. It was, as they pointed out, only their second show ever. Their first was the night before at the Bell House and was much longer, and I guess they weren't counting Conan where they only played two less songs than they did at Town Hall. Their album is out now (as they also pointed out).

Then 826NYC board president (and driver license-less) Sara Vowell pretended to be Sarah Palin unintelligently explaining what 826NYC is as 826NYC founder Dave Eggers told us what it was in an intelligent fashion. TV on the Radio's members did not perform music. Kyp Malone came out next and read a funny little story written by a kid at 826NYC and then (not counting John Oliver again) Paul Simon played four songs - three classics including "Mrs. Robinson", and one brand new song that he recently wrote and never played before. The new song felt the most special, but the old songs were definitely very great to hear from the legend in the somewhat intimate atmohsphere that is Town Hall. Paul was accompanied by one guy on guitar who also sang backup and played other instruments. You would think Paul would have played last, but I guess he wanted to get home early. After Paul came a surprise two song set by Angelique Kidjo who got the whole crowd to sing along with her and her guitar player.

Revenge of the Bookeaters

And last but not least (well, maybe least), a whole group of people including TV on the Radio's Tunde Adibempe (showing off his acting side) and Parker Posey read a story about NY that was also a sorta-funny chapter from a book that was available for sale in the lobby. More pictures from the night below...

Continue reading "Revenge of The Bookeaters (Paul Simon, Department of Eagles, Thao Nguyen, Kyp Malone, etc) @ Town Hall - pics"

Stand Up for heroes

The New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) unite to present the second annual Stand Up for Heroes: A Benefit for the Bob Woodruff Foundation at Town Hall in New York City at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, November 5. Regis Philbin will host Stand Up for Heroes, which will feature star performances by Ricky Gervais, John Pinette, Bruce Springsteen, and Patti Scialfa. Both Whoopi Goldberg and James Niven of Sotheby's will make a special appearance as the guest auctioneers. In honor of the United States' injured service members, the evening promises unforgettable performances, laughter, and sincere gratitude, with proceeds going to the BWF.
Tickets are on sale (soon?) at Ticketmaster.

Bruce is also performing at Obama-related events at Hammerstein Ballroom and in Philly. Ricky Gervais is in the new movie Ghost Town.