Category Archives: Pop and Rock

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs bring their Red Clay ramblings to NYC’s Mercury Lounge

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs at NYC"s Mercury Lounge on April 21, 2014. (Photos © 2014, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs at NYC”s Mercury Lounge on April 21, 2014. (Photos © 2014, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

The first time I listened to the latest album from Holly Golightly & The BrokeoffsAll Her Fault, I was left wanting more Holly and less Brokeoffs. There was something about Golightly’s albums from her early days as a solo artist (post-Thee Headcoatees) in the 1990s that really touched me.

Maybe it was her damaged, smoky vocals or her equally damaged-sounding persona. Or maybe I simply liked her voice.

But all that seems buried in her latest release. I wanted more Holly.

But maybe that’s exactly the idea — to leave the listener wanting more. It takes a bit of active listening to get to that, but the eureka moment is well worth the effort. Itstrikes me as more personal and less superficially accessible than those that came before. But it winds up being a brilliant, honky-tonk-inflected personal statement of a pretty together couple. Continue reading

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Intentional nostalgia: Mission of Burma and Speed the Plough played The Bell House

Mission of Burma at The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY, Feb. 7, 2014 (Photos © 2014 Steven P. Marsh)

Mission of Burma at The Bell House, Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 7, 2014: Roger Miller, Clint Conley and Peter Prescott. (Photos © 2014 Steven P. Marsh)

Back in February — it seems such a very long time ago — I stopped by at The Bell House in Brooklyn to catch a double bill featuring two of my favorite bands.

Speed the Plough at The Bell House in Brookly, NY, on Feb. 7, 2014.

Speed the Plough at The Bell House in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 7, 2014: Ed Seifert, Toni Paruta Baumgartner, Mike Baumgartner and Cindi Merklee.

Mission of Burma and Speed the Plough both factored heavily in my experience at the late, lamented Maxwell’s in Hoboken, so it was a real joy to see them together at the Bell House, which was becoming Maxwell’s musical successor even before the lights went out in Hoboken. (And it’s no surprise, given that former Maxwell’s booker and co-owner Todd Abramson has been booking bands at the great Gowanus club for quite awhile now.)

The show was awesome, as expected. And the crowd — packed with more than a few familiar faces from Maxwell’s — was enthusiastic.

So step into my time machine and get a look at some shots from the show. If you were there, the pics will spark some good memories. If you didn’t make it, I apologize if my images make you envious.

Either way, enjoy them.

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Ubu Sings Ubu: Cleveland cult band’s music torn up and stewed

I was intrigued when I got an email about a show at Joe’s Pub tonight (Tuesday, March 25): the Ubu Sings Ubu Band.

I’ve never been a fan of Pere Ubu, David Thomas’ Cleveland avant-garage band. There’s not a single Ubu track in my iTunes library or in my I’ll-import-them-to-iTunes eventually collection of CDs.

So why would I care about the debut of a band covering songs that I’ll barely recognize?

The band’s video of  “Life Stinks” offered a taste that left me wanting more.

But it’s the personnel list that really got to me: Tony Torn, Dan Safer — and Stew (of  The Negro Problem/”Passing Strange” fame) sitting in as a special guest.

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Black 47′s long goodbye comes to Yonkers

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What form of entertainment could be more appropriate in St. Patrick’s weekend than a Black 47 concert?

And the great thing is , if you love in the Lower Hudson Valley, you don’t even have to trek into New York City to see them (unless you simply must do it on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day proper, when they appear at B.B. King’s).

The lauded Irish-American rock band, which is calling it quits in November, is playing Sunday afternoon at Empire City Casino in Yonkers.

For mor info, check out my interview with Larry Kirwan, the lead singer and cofounder. It’s online now at LoHud.com and is scheduled to appear in Friday’s editions of The Journal News.

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Marah takes a trip into the past to find something fresh and new

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An album full of mysteries, discoveries and pure joy

Awhile back, my friends in Marah asked me to do an item on their new single advancing the release of their Marah Presents Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania album.

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? is a labor of love, but sometimes the love of paying the bills takes so much time that there’s not much time for the labor of love. David Bielanko’s request for an item came at one of those times. The idea kept getting moved, of necessity, to the end of the list. Eventually, as happens with many to-do lists — at least mine — it fell off altogether.

So when the album was finally released on Feb. 25, I realized I had to get my hands on a copy and find a few minutes to make up for letting that opportunity slip away.

So I placed my order and waited.

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Stew brings ‘The New Stew Review’ to 54 Below (Video)

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There’s still time to grab tickets to see Stew, the Tony Award-winning creator of Broadway’s wildest ride, “Passing Strange,” in the cabaret setting of Manhattan’s 54 Below on Friday or Saturday night.

Stew’s work speaks for itself. He’s created a great deal of thoughtful, memorable, and provocative songs for theater, with “Passing Strange” and other shows, and for clubs as a solo performer and with his band, The Negro Problem.

He’s been a favorite of mine for 15 years. His “New Stew Review” promises a preview of upcoming shows, along with old favorites. If experience is any guide, he’ll offer plenty of surprises.

A trip to 54 Below, in the cellar of Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street, Manhattan, can be a bit pricey. But Stew is worth it. Tickets for his shows, which start at 8 p.m., are $40-55, plus a $25 per person minimum. But use the code PUBLIC54 to get a reasonable discount.

Tickets and more information are available here.

Check out the video of Stew and co-creator Heidi Rodewald after the jump.

Continue reading

If you haven’t seen Mission of Burma lately…

If you haven’t seen Mission of Burma lately, you don’t know what a great thing you’ll be missing if you aren’t at The Bell House in Brooklyn on Friday night. These guys still know how to raise the roof.

They did two amazing shows for the farewell series at Maxwell’s. I’m not sure they can top those shows, but odds are they’ll try really hard to do just that.

As an added bonus, the always wonderful Speed the Plough will open the show.

So go. And arrive early, in time to sample the craft beer and have plenty of time to settle in for STP and MOB.

Tickets appear to be available. They are $25, and worth it. Click here to buy: http://ow.ly/tmx9E

Neutral Milk Hotel feels right at home in Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre

The hoi polloi weren't allowed to take photos of Neutral Milk Hotel during the performance, at the artist's request. So this image of the stage, set up for the band, is all I got. (© 2014, Steven P. Marsh)

The hoi polloi weren’t allowed to take photos of Neutral Milk Hotel during the performance, at the artist’s request. So this image of the stage, set up for the band, is all I got. (© 2014, Steven P. Marsh)

It’s time for a confession: I never saw Jeff Mangum or his legendary band, Neutral Milk Hotel, perform back in the day.

Sure, I heard the songs then, and I’ve listened to the recordings obsessively in recent years.

But seeing Jeff’s gradual return to the spotlight at the NYC benefit for Chris Knox at 2010, and at various shows he’s done since then, I feel like I’ve gotten to know him. Continue reading

Mountain Man’s Amelia Randall Meath explores a different sound in Sylvan Esso

Amelia Randall Meath and Nicholas Sanborn are Sylvan Esso.

Amelia Randall Meath and Nicholas Sanborn are Sylvan Esso.

Duo launches a short tour next week

You probably know about Mountain Man, the seemingly guileless female trio that I found particularly enchanting  at the 2010 edition of Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. Continue reading

Jherek Bischoff remains composed in the face of his heroes

Curtain call for "Jherek Bischoff Composed" at St. Ann's Warehouse on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (© 2014 Steven P. Marsh)

Curtain call for “Jherek Bischoff Composed” at St. Ann’s Warehouse on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (© 2014 Steven P. Marsh)

Surrounded by some of the greatest singers and performers at work today, DIY musician Jherek Bischoff managed to remain composed Wednesday night at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood.

Good thing, too, since his two-night stand at the black box arts center is titled “Jherek Bischoff Composed,” which also is the title of Bischoff’s 2012 album whose works anchor the show. Before you read further, let me tell you now that you really should attend this show. Continue reading