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Union Pool booker Will Schmiechen lists his favorite records & live shows of 2019


While Williamsburg, Brooklyn has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, Union Pool has kept the old flame alive, especially its intimate music venue which continues to book everything from indie rock to improvisational jazz, experimental, drone, noise, soul, metal, punk and more. Over the next month, Union Pool will host: the sold out David Berman tributes this Saturday; Michael Hurley on January 15-17; a free Frankie Rose/Brandy show on 1/21; two nights of The Sadies; a free show with punks Pinocchio on 1/28; Lungfish’s Daniel Higgs on 1/29; two nights of Wolf Eyes on 1/30 & 1/31; and the Steve Gunn & William Tyler residency in February.

We’ve been publishing year-end lists from various music industry figures, and here’s one from Union Pool’s booker Will Schmiechen, who also plays drums in Honey. Will’s given us both his favorite 2019 records — including ones from Purple Mountains, Nivhek, Sarah Davachi, Matana Roberts, Cass McCombs, 75 Dollar Bill and more — and his list of favorite live shows (not all of which were at Union Pool). Check that out below.

Will Schmiechen (Union Pool) – Best of 2019
• nivhek – “after its own death / walking in a spiral towards the house” (yellow electric/lizharris)
• sarah davachi – “pale bloom” (w.25th)
• joshua abrams & natural information society – mandatory reality (eremite)
• matthew ‘doc’ dunn – upper canada blues (cosmic range records)
• purple mountains -s/t (drag city)
• emily a. sprague / lightbath- “full/new” (rvng itl.)
• matana roberts – coin coin chapter 4: memphis (constellation)
• foster care – “el abuso” (total punk)
• andy stott – “it should be us” (modern love)
• cass mccombs – “tip of the sphere” (anti)
• caterina barbieri – “ecstatic computation” (editions mego)
• 75 dollar bill – “I was real” (thin wrist)

• this heat at pioneer works (seeing c. hayward grinning ear to ear as the crowd reacted to hearing “horizontal hold” live for the first time in many of their lives was absolutely glorious)
• sun ra arkestra at union pool summer thunder (few things are as life affirming as the arkestra)
• sachiko kanenobu at union pool (cried)
• the sadies at union pool (the greatest band on earth).
• the misfits at MSG (jerry broke 7 basses. cried)

Check It Out

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