Entries tagged with: Zac Pennington

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photos by Amanda Hatfield

Crying Music

Parenthetical Girls singer Zac Pennington and Jherek Bischoff already made the West Coast debut of their new project Crying Music and last night (10/8) they did it on the East Coast at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge. They introduced themselves by saying "this is what crying sounds like," though to our ears it sounded like Parenthetical Girls-style songs with Jherek Bischoff's string arrangements (maybe that is what crying sounds like). Of course that's not a bad thing at all. The songs sounded great and we hope they plan on releasing recordings.

As Zac always is, he was quite the performer last night, tossing a tissue wet with eyedrops into the crowd, dragging around a pair of balloons, and making full use of the very long length of his mic chord. Opening the show was A Sunny Day In Glasgow's Jen Goma, billed as Showtime and playing eccentric-sounding stuff on keyboard and guitar.

Pictures continue below...

Continue reading "Zac Pennington & Jherek Bischoff brought 'Crying Music' to Le Poisson Rouge with Jen Goma (pics)"

Crying Music

Parenthetical Girls singer Zac Pennington, David Byrne/Amanda Palmer collaborator Jherek Bischoff, and choreographer Steven Reker (of People Get Ready) have a new project called Crying Music. It's already been performed in LA and Seattle, and this week it comes to the East Coast at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday (10/8). Opening the show is Jen Goma, who's previously collaborated with Jherek and played in People Get Ready. (She offers up a preview of her look for the show via instagram, below.) Tickets are on sale. We don't fully know what to expect from the show, but you can watch a 30 second clip of one of the LA shows, below.

Jen Goma also plays in A Sunny Day In Glasgow , who announced a double EP earlier this week.

Continue reading "Zac Pennington & Jherek Bischoff bringing 'Crying Music' to NYC (watch a clip of the LA show)"


The three-night, three-stage-per-night, Dessners-of-the-National-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival begins at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene tonight (5/3). The three stages are Howard Gilman Opera House (the big names), BAMCAFE (the smaller names) & BAM Rose Cinemas (a mix of film and other music). Things begin early too. The Walkmen headline the big room at 10:45pm tonight, but the music begins with the JACK Quartet in BAMCAFE at 5pm. The full schedule is at their site.

Before the Walkmen is Sharon Van Etten who spent last night covering the Stooges with Mike Watt and members of Dinosaur Jr. Before Sharon is Twin Shadow who may or may not to continue playing new material like they did recently at Glasslands. And before them is Jherek Bischoff who is rumored to be playing with a very special guest or two which is not surprising at all given who showed up to play with him at the Ecstatic Music Festival, and who appears on his new album Composed (out 6/5 on Brassland). This is the album's tracklist:

Introduction (Defeat)
Eyes (Jherek Bischoff & David Byrne)
The Secret of the Machines (w/ Caetano Veloso & Greg Saunier)
The Nest (with Mirah Zeitlyn & Paris Hurley)
Blossom (Jherek Bischoff with Nels Cline)
Your Ghost (with Craig Wedren)
Counting (with Carla Bozulich)
Young & Lovely (with Zac Pennington & Soko)
Insomnia, Death And The Sea (with Dawn McCarthy)
Jherek also plays on the new Amanda Palmer record. You can download and listen to the Zac Pennington & Soko track below...

Continue reading "3-day Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Fest begins tonight at BAM; special guests to join Jherek Bischoff? "

photos by David Andrako, words by Andrew Frisicano

Jherek Bischoff & some of his guests
Jherek Bischoff
David Byrne

It wasn't the marathon that opened the inaugural Ecstatic Music Fest in 2011, but this year's opening show on Saturday (2/4) had some of that same collaborative energy, focusing on the compositions and arrangements of Jherek Bischoff, a musician known for his work primarily with The Dead Science, Parenthetical Girls and The Degenerate Art Ensemble. For the show, billed as a preview of Bischoff's forthcoming CD from Brassland ("composed"), the composer got help from the Wordless Music Orchestra and nine guest vocalists.

After a too-brief instrumental opening, David Byrne came out to sing a swaying Afro-Cuban-tinged piece. In what would be a recurring theme, Bischoff's composition wasn't entirely different than the type of song Byrne might sing at one of his own shows. Next up, Charlie Looker intoned through "The Secret Life of Machines" (which you can find an instrumental version of at WNYC) in a style that'd be a close fit to his Extra Life material. Mirah's voice sounded as warm and honeyed as always. Parenthetical Girls's Zac Pennington sang a duet with Sam Mickens, both of them playing up their own strengths, Pennington the animated, Wildean dandy and Mickens the snazzily dressed crooner. The other singers, Craig Wedren from Shudder to Think, Carla Bozulich of Evangelista, and Steven Reker and Jen Goma, were idiosyncratic in their own ways, and Bischoff's string-laden avant-pop tunes bent to their strengths. Deerhoof's Greg Saunier stood out with a few good improvisatory fills but mostly hung back in the ensemble. For his part, Bischoff played ukelele, guitar, bass and sang a song. His young cousin came out to hit a gong at the end of one tune.

The second part of the program, only five songs long, consisted of Bischoff's arrangements of the singers' own material. Craig Wedren, Zac Pennington, Mirah and Carla Bozulich all returned. (In particular, Mirah's vibrant Latin number, "The Country of the Future," was great). For the finale, David Byrne premiered a new song, which he sang with Reker. It took a few verses, but eventually I worked out that "The Fat Man's Comin'" was a song about Santa Claus. As a closer, it was a small gesture where I would have preferred a grand finale, but it seemed to fit with Bischoff's humble collaborator-focused ambitions.

While in town, Mirah plays tonight (Monday) at Glasslands, where she'll be accompanied by cellist Lori Goldston and percussionist Geo Wyeth (Mirah's Facebook says they'll be "performing songs seldom heard from [her] repertoire"). The Ecstatic series continues with three more shows this week. The full schedule is here.

More pictures from Saturday's show at Merkin Concert Hall,below...

Continue reading "Jherek Bischoff, Wordless Orchestra, David Byrne, Mirah & more guests opened the Ecstatic Music Festival (pics, review)"

DOWNLOAD: Perfume Genius - "All Waters" (MP3)

Sam Mickens at Silent Barn in 2010 (more by Amanda Dandaneu)
Sam Mickens

Sam Mickens of The Dead Science and who also plays as a member of Parenthetical Girls released his solo debut LP, Slay & Slake, in late November. He's following that release with a split 7" with Voice on Tape, which will be out "winter 2011/2012" on Silencio Records. Sam's contribution, which is making its premiere in this post, is a track called "Dark Christmas," and it features a duet with Zac Pennington, who fronts Parenthetical Girls and also sang on Slay & Shake. The song is led by floaty atmospheres, some soft acoustic guitar, and the haunting refrain, "You're gonna love me better when I'm gone." Check it out below. Voice on Tape's contribution to the 7" is a track that features Chelsea Wolfe (who has a new video you can also watch below).

"Dark Christmas" is not to be confused with Sam Mickens' Christmas EP, A Christmas Gift to You, Zac Pennington, which came out yesterday (12/13) and is available to download (for free or as much as you want to give) and stream on bandcamp...

Sam Mickens' newly-out-of-the-vault EP "A Christmas Gift To You, Zac Pennington" was recorded and mixed in one night in Dec. 2010 in the spirit of purest friendship, a private record made for one friend by another. Wrapping up(nearly!) a very prolific year for Mickens, which has seen the release of the Sinistra Secco EP, two singles with his Brooklyn massive the Ecstatic Showband & Revue, and his debut full-length Slay & Slake, this Christmas EP sets down our flight in a nestling snow bank. Have at ye merry gentlemen!

Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It
Put Your Back N 2 It

In related news, fellow Xiu Xiu collaborator Perfume Genius, whose confessional art pop is not so far removed from Sam Mickens, will release the followup to his great 2010 debut, Learning, early next year. The new album, titled Put Your Back N 2 It, comes out on February 21 via Matador. Grab the lead track, "All Waters," at the top of this post and stream it below, along with the artwork and tracklist. The album is available for a 15% off pre-order with a free poster at the Matador webstore on CD/LP.

Song streams, artwork and tracklist below...

Continue reading "Sam Mickens releases Christmas songs (for & with Zac Pennington); Perfume Genius announces LP (MP3s & streams)"

Jherek Bischoff
Jherek Bischoff

As mentioned, the Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on February 4 at Merkin Concert Hall with Jherek Bischoff, who plays with Parenthetical Girls and The Dead Science. He's teaming up with Wordless Music Orchestra and an incredible list of guest vocalists from his upcoming album, which comes out this February, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls. Tickets are still on sale now.

Speaking of Parenthetical Girls, their tour began last night (12/1) at Glasslands with Gauntlet Hair, Dinowalrus, and Eraas. If you missed it, they'll also be in NYC this Friday (12/3) at Santos Party House with YACHT and Midnight Magic (tickets).

As previously mentioned, Brassland Records is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a label and debuted a new/old track every day of November via various methods including Soundcloud. None of those tracks can be heard in the player that's embedded below. Those include "Spinney" by This is the Kit (who are opening for the National at Beacon Theater on 12/17) and "Secret of the Machines (instrumental)" by Jherek Bischoff. The latter also features drums by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), and will have vocals by Caetano Veloso in its album version.

Continue reading "Jherek Bischoff releasing an album & playing a show -- both with many extra special guests (like David Byrne)"