Category Archives: News

Big news for Nyack: New record shop opens Friday

10623871_1514707008788818_7892763302898987429_oBig news: At 11 a.m. Friday, Nyack will have a record store again.

I remember the days when Nyack had a big record shop.

Unless my memory is truly failing me, it was Pic-a-Disc at Main and Franklin, in the space now home to Murasaki Japanese restaurant.D.S.Z. Barbers. I can’t recall the name of it, but it It was a pretty substantial place.

But it left town many years ago, moving to Nanuet —  in the small strip center on Route 59 that’s home to the kids’ barber, Tiny Trims — before disappearing altogether.

More recently, there was the nearly invisible subterranean Vinyl Lounge on Broadway, but that’s closed.

Now Nyack  singer-songwriter Jennifer O’Connor, who already has her own record label, Kiam, is expanding the brand by opening The Kiam Records Shop in a much more visible location: 95 Main Street, next to the Olde Village Inn. (To call for info: 845-353-5426)

O’Connor, an established artist, who mad two well-received albums for Matador and three other independent discs, moved to Nyack from Brooklyn in 2012. She’s already started presenting music at Prohibition River. Now she’ll be selling (and buying) new and used vinyl albums, books, clothing, and more in her new shop across the street from the restaurant.

It looks like O’Connor’s really committed to Nyack.

If you can’t be there when the doors open, please stop in sometime soon to check out O’Connor’s shop. (I hope to get there sometime on opening day.)

There’s a party from 6-9 p.m., when Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf, Death of Samantha), will stop in before his show at Prohibition River to sign records and possibly play a few songs.

It’s good to shop small, and shop local. I’m betting you’ll find something for somebody on your holiday gift list — and maybe for yourself. And you’ll save yourself a trek to Brooklyn or Manhattan.

Jennifer O’Connor Launches Free Music Series at Nyack’s Prohibition River

Singer-songwriter Jennifer O'Connor moved to Nyack in 2012.

Singer-songwriter Jennifer O’Connor moved to Nyack in 2012.

You may recognize singer-songwriter Jennifer O’Connor‘s name — perhaps for her two critically acclaimed Matador Records: Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars in 2006 and Here With Me in 2008.

Since the end of her contract with Matador, O’Connor has continued to make music, which she’s released, along with the work of other artists, on Kiam, the record label she operates.

While she continues to perform her own material — she opened for Laura Cantrell at Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, last month — she says lately she’s been doing music for TV shows, movies, and commercials.

O’Connor’s also became a Rocklander, moving to Nyack from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, late in 2012.

“I really love it out here,” she tells Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? by email.

Jennifer Castle

Jennifer Castle

Recently, she added concert promoter to her list of vocations. She’s presenting shows in the upstairs room at Prohibition River, a bar and restaurant at 82 Main St. in Nyack. On Friday, Nov. 7, Jennifer Castle, a Toronto-based singer-songwriter,  will do 2 sets, starting at 9 p.m.

The open-ended series will feature free concerts by artists — including O’Connor — from 9 p.m.to midnight, mostly on Fridays.

O’Connor says she started the series because she saw a need.

“I started booking shows at Prohibition because I think there is a need for more music (especially from touring acts) to come through town,” O’Connor says. “And it’s also proven to be a great way for me to get involved with the community — musically and just in general.  It’s been a lot of fun so far.”

Here’s the schedule as of now, but O’Connor says to stay tuned for more artists to be added:

• Friday Nov. 7
Jennifer Castle (indie folkie from Toronto who’s worked with Constantines, Fucked Up)

• Friday Nov. 14
Michael Purcell Trio (jazz)

• Saturday, Nov. 22
Jennifer O’Connor

• Friday, Dec 5
Ryan & Ryan (folk)

• Friday,  Dec 14
Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf)

• Friday, Dec 26
Regret The Hour (indie rock)

 

 

Get ready for The Chew Toys to put the bite on you (video, SoundCloud)

Jay Tag and Kevin Dickson are The Chew Toys. (Photo by Dave Ehrlich)

Jay Tag and Kevin Dickson are The Chew Toys. (Photo by Dave Ehrlich)

Northeast LA duo unleashing self-titled debut album on Sept. 2

The Chew Toys debut album coverThe infectious sound of The Chew Toys makes them one of the most entertaining new bands in Los Angeles these days.

The self-proclaimed queercore duo comprises married couple Jay Tag and Kevin Dickson, who have been polishing — maybe refining is a better word — their punk sound with dozens of live shows around Northeast LA since 2012.

On Sept. 2, this local legend will take break out of LA and take on the unsuspecting world with their first album, a self-titled collection of 13 songs — 11 of which clock in at well under 3 minutes — that are sure to become earworms.

Check out a video and a SoundCloud song sample after the jump.

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The road goes on forever in push to make ‘Roadrunner’ Massachusetts’ official rock song (poll, video)


Boston music maven and mayoral adviser Joyce Linehan promises to continue her fight

Jonathan Richman (pictured above on Instagram with Lil BUB, the rockin’  Internet cat) says “Roadrunner,” the iconic Massachusetts anthem that may be the Modern Lovers founder’s best-known song, isn’t good enough be an official song of any kind for the Bay State.

And since the state legislature ended its session last Friday without taking action on a bill to make it the state’s official rock song, it looks like he’ll get his way — for now, at least.

But Joyce Linehan, policy adviser to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, vows that the fight’s not over.

“Roadrunner might not be the official rock song of the Commonwealth, but it’s certainly the unofficial,” Linehan posted to her Facebook page Tuesday. 

But she followed up Wednesday morning with a stronger statement in response to a tweet from comedian John Hodgman, who has supported the “Roadrunner” effort.

“John Hodgman has spoken. I will fight on,” she posted.

 

Walsh introduced the  bill to make “Roadrunner” the state rock song back in February 2013, before he won the mayoralty in Beantown and gave up his legislative seat.

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Stew & Heidi Rodewald’s ‘Family Album’ conquers Oregon Shakespeare Festival (video)

Family_746x420If you find yourself in Oregon before the end of August, be sure to set aside a few hours to check out the world premiere of the latest musical play by Stew and Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

For fans, “Family Album” will seem familiar, as they’ve incorporated songs fans have heard TNP play in concert or in other, less-structured, theater pieces over the years. And charismatic guitarist Christian Gibbs, who was a linchpin in Stew and Heidi’s breakthrough show, “Passing Strange,” steps forward to take a larger role in this show.

You’ll see what I mean by the familiarity when you watch the show’s video trailer and read the review in the Los Angeles Times. After you’ve had a look, go here for more information and  to buy tickets.

The show was created with director Joanna Settle, a longtime Stew-and-Heidi collaborator who now heads the theater school at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Tickets have been selling well, but as of today, there are 16 performance dates for which seats are still available. Prices range from $25 to $99. Go here now for more information and tickets. The run ends Aug. 31.

 

Blues great Paul Geremia sidelined by stroke

 

Paul Geremia's "Love My Stuff," issued in 2011, is a superb collection of many of his most familiar tunes in live performance.

Paul Geremia’s “Love My Stuff,” issued in 2011, is a superb collection of many of his most familiar tunes in live performance.

Acoustic blues musician Paul Geremia had a stroke in late June, family and friends confirm.

Geremia, who is 70, spent a few days a hospital after he had the stroke the weekend of June 28, and was moved to an Ohio rehab facility. Friends who have spoken with or visited Paul say he seems to be progressing well.

Geremia, a native of Providence, R.I., is a first-rate bluesman, a songwriter and a scholar of early jazz and blues — one who has worked steadily at his craft since the 1960s. He has produced 11 albums since 1968 and has toured steadily

He is an amazing guitarist and is considered one of the best country blues fingerpickers on six and twelve-string guitar — acoustic only, he doesn’t record on electric — a soaring harmonica-player, and has a husky soulful voice.

He’s shared the stage with Babe Stovall, Yank Rachel,Son House, Skip James, Howlin’ Wolf, and most importantly, Carolina bluesman Pink Anderson, who had something of a career rebirth thanks to Geremia’s efforts. Geremia also absorbed the music of Leadbelly, Percy Mayfield, Charlie Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell, Blind Blake, and many more. He also writes songs that fit neatly into that rich musical niche.

Blues musician Roy Bookbinder said recently, “Paul is the king of all of us.” The late Dave Van Ronk called Geremia “the best acoustic blues musician in America.” Acoustic Guitar magazine named Geremia “one of the best country blues fingerpickers ever.”

Terri Thal, who managed Van Ronk and Geremia in the 1960s, tells this story about Geremia:

“Recently, when Martus, the man I live with, and I went to the Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., to hear Paul, as we do whenever he plays there, Martus asked, ‘Do you thing he’ll play anything new?’

“Of course, I didn’t know what Paul’s set would comprise. Lo and behold, the entire set was music we hadn’t heard before–or at least, for a long time–and we’ve heard Paul often.

“I think his memory is stashed with such a huge variety of songs and stories that he could go for many hours playing without repeating anything.”

Fans are encouraged to write to Geremia during his long recuperation. He’s reachable by email at  at paulgeremia@gmail.com or by post at:

Ohio Health and Rehabilitation
1087 Dennison Ave.
Columbus, OH 43201
Attn: Paul Geremia

 

Amy Helm’s Hudson Valley roots keep her anchored

Amy Helm

Amy Helm

I was thrilled to chat with Amy Helm the other day ahead of her appearance this Saturday at the 10th annual Pleasantville Music Festival in lovely downtown Pleasantville in Westchester County, N.Y.

Helm talked about her famous surname and her recent move out of ensemble work and into the spotlight as the leader of her own band, Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers.

Read the full interview with Helm at lohud.com by tapping or clicking here, or see it in print in Friday’s editions of The Journal News.