Stellar lineup pays tribute to Young Marble Giants’ “Colossal Youth” in Manhattan Thursday 

YMGCY

Stuart Moxham of YMG says he’d give, well, something precious to be in the New York audience. Read his comment after the jump.

What happens when a couple dozen veterans of the New York-New Jersey indie rock scene join forces to put on a tribute to a near-perfect — and perfectly simple — album released 35 years ago by three young, relatively inexperienced Welsh post-punk musicians?

We’ll find out at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, when the gang convenes at The HiFi Bar in Manhattan’s East Village for An NYC Tribute to Young Marble Giants ‘Colossal Youth.'”

The show, organized by Dumptruck bassist Tom Shad  and Renée LoBue, Elk City’s singer, will feature a slew of performers playing and singing the songs from the influential cult album’s 15 all-too-brief songs.

More after the jump.

Different singers will tackle the Young Marble Giants catalog. Here's a montage of a few of the vocal assignments posted on the event's Facebook page.

Different singers will tackle the Young Marble Giants catalog. Here’s a montage of a few of the vocal assignments posted on the event’s Facebook page.

Continue reading

Dobbs Ferry celebrity photographer Peter Freed focuses on women in their prime

Photographer Peter Freed poses in his Rye studio with the black and white portraits he took of women aged 35 to 104 for a book he is working on. (Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

Photographer Peter Freed poses in his Rye studio with the black and white portraits he took of women aged 35 to 104 for a book he is working on. (Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

Photographer Peter Freed, who has spent much of his career taking pictures of celebritis,  has a “war room” in a modern house in Rye crammed with 120 striking black and white portraits of women — each a “landscape of the face,” shot without makeup and reproduced without retouching or Photoshop alteration.

The 8-by-10 prints cover the massive table in the center of the room, with the spillover ringing the room on the floor and the credenza.

The Dobbs Ferry-based photographer’s subjects, ranging in age from 35 to 104 (Beryl Barnett), are all “extraordinary women in their prime,” Freed says. They’re all for a book called “Prime.” He’s nearing the deadline for his Kickstarter to fund the publication, and needs help hitting the goal.

For more on his project and his fascinating life, check out our conversation at lohud.com now, or read it in print in Sunday’s edition of The Journal News.

 

Naama Potok, Chaim Potok’s daughter, does his memory proud onstage

IMG_0063Actress Naama Potok recently completed a run as the female lead in Aaron Posner’s sympathetic stage adaptation of father Chaim Potok’s novel “My Name is Asher Lev.”

Her role at Rockland County’s Penguin Rep Theatre was a triumphant return to the stage after a hiatus. She recently reflected on her family heritage and her art with me in an interview for The Journal News/lohud.com.

Check out our conversation at lohud.com.

From left: Naama Potok (The Women), Max Wolkowitz (Asher Lev) and Howard Pinhasik (The Men) in “My Name is Asher Lev,” at Penguin Rep Theatre.

From left: Naama Potok (The Women) and Max Wolkowitz (Asher Lev) in “My Name is Asher Lev,” at Penguin Rep Theatre.

Oscar nominee Kristi Zea talks Rockland, new project

When Kristi Zea moved to her hilltop home in Valley Cottage in 2004, she says, “I realized that it was really kind of perfect.” (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

When Kristi Zea moved to her hilltop home in Valley Cottage in 2004, she says, “I realized that it was really kind of perfect.” (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Kristi Zea‘s work creating “environments” for film in her role as a production designer takes her around the world, but she always comes back to Rockland County, which she has called home for two decades.

She gives Upper Nyack movie director Jonathan Demme and his wife, Joanne Howard, the credit for that.

“I had been working with him for several years and he suggested that we come up here and have a look around,” two-time Oscar nominee Zea told me in a recent conversation.

While mainstream movie work pays the bills and has given her a satisfying career, Zea has a labor of love that is nearing completion after a decade of work: a documentary about a late modern artist, “Everybody Knows … Elizabeth Murray.

Read the whole interview at lohud.com.

Deli man Ziggy Gruber dishes out Spring Valley recipes deep in the heart of Texas

Deli man Ziggy Gruber, right. (Cohen Media Group)


Third-generation deli man Ziggy Gruber never set out to star in a movie — all he wanted to do was help keep the kosher deli tradition alive.

David Ziegfeld Gruber — who caught the deli bug 38 years ago at his family’s Spring Valley restaurant, Cresthill Kosher Deli — possesses an oversized personality, the gift of gab and an unquestioning love of the hearty fare that sustained his ancestors.
Those characteristics helped propel him into the lead of “Deli Man,” a culture-and-cuisine documentary released on DVD earlier this month.
Gruber talked with me about his Rockland County roots in an interview published Saturday in The Journal News and online at lohud.com. Go here to read the full article

Hamell on Trial is guilty — of speaking his mind

Ed Hamell, ordinary suburban single dad by day, is a ferocious punk-folk singer-songwriter who goes by Hammell on Trial. He has a new album, “The Happiest Man in The World. ”(Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

Ed Hamell, ordinary suburban single dad by day, is a ferocious punk-folk singer-songwriter who goes by Hammell on Trial. (Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

I had the great pleasure a few weeks ago of spending an hour or two at lunch with Ed Hamell, a unique singer-songwriter I’ve admired for many years. He’s a doting dad by day who’s been living quietly in Ossining while unleashing his raw, punk-influenced songs on the road.

He’s on the road at the moment, and should be in Las Vegas getting ready for a live album recording session at Southwestern Recording Studios on Thursday. He’s waxing all new material that he feels really good about.

“I think its going to be my toughest, most uncompromising stuff yet,” he tells me. “It’s about the decline and fall of America.”

Heady stuff, indeed.

His next show near home is scheduled for Aug. 7, when he appears on a bill with Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, New York. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the show at 9. Tickets are $15.$25 and available by tapping or clicking here.

Meanwhile, here’s a taste of our conversation:

Offstage, he’s Detroit’s dad, a regular guy — albeit an unusually outgoing one.

Onstage, as Hammell on Trial, he’s a sweaty, Red Bull-fueled ball of energy, singing his highly opinionated lyrics loudly while bashing away furiously on an amplified pre-war Gibson acoustic guitar. He even does what he calls a “face solo,” shaking his head wildly from side-to-side, relaxing his facial muscles to achieve a thoroughly comical, rubbery effect.

Read the full interview on lohud.com. TAP OR CLICK HERE NOW.

 

Singer-Songwriter Jamie Block’s independent film gets East Coast premiere in Brooklyn next week

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

When I met Jamie Block for the first time, back in 2013, the onetime anti-folk singer-songwriter he was on the comeback trail. The longtime Rockland County resident had gotten through a difficult time in his life. By his own account, he had hit bottom and found his way up again before releasing the impressive “Whitecaps on the Hudson,” his first album in seven years.

His effort to promote that album led to a relationship with Brooklyn filmmaker Onur Turkel, which at first apparently was intended to produce some music videos. But things blossomed and what resulted is a full-length comedy, “Abby Singer/Songwriter,”  starring Block, daughters Johanna and Sophie, and the filmmaker. And you’ll be able to see it here in the New York City area for the first time next week.

I’ve seen clips, which are quite funny, but haven’t seen the finished product yet. So here’s a description of it from a film festive website:

A comedy with real heart, Abby Singer, Songwriter tells the tale of a filmmaker and a musician who meet and start working together in a union that at times seems the most ill-fated creative partnership in history. Luckily for us, it’s also one of the funniest, as terrible music video ideas come to life, recurring jokes land perfectly and don’t hold back on political correctness and the film builds layer upon layer of character driven conundrums to form its perfect NYC-set universe. Featuring real-life musician Jamie Block and real-life director Onur Tukel playing fictionalized versions of themselves, the film is a throwback to great independent films as a unique story and structure pay off in spades. As Jamie tries to survive Onur and make a real connection with his daughters he must also face the prospect that the two things are becoming increasingly, hilariously intertwined.

Continue reading