Tag Archives: Aaron Dessner

Hey, Buke and Gass, ummm, GASE, are back with new music

Thoughts on a name change

Buke and Gass keep their feet busy, too. (Photos © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Plus a PREVIEW OF THEIR NEW SONG!

It’s been more than a year since Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?  mentioned Buke and Gass. We’re overdue.

Arone Dyer on buke.

Maybe you’ve already noticed that there’s something different about this intense duo — their name. They’re now Buke and Gase, in what appears to be a slightly sad surrender to phonetics.

For those who have been paying close attention, the morphing began late last fall when the band posted this brief, cryptic bulletin on its website:

October 26 – Just played a show in Canada and our name is morphing.

But the reality didn’t sink in until we saw announcements for the band’s May 4 appearance at The National‘s Bryce and Aaron Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry series at BAM. We thought somebody had made a typo. On further investigation, we discovered the band had indeed changed the spelling.

Aron Sanchez on gass.

Although the pronunciation of the band name was easy to remember once you knew what it stood for — baritone ukulele=Buke, while guitar+bass=Gass — it appears the second half of the name was too often the butt of jokes rhyming with ass. So Arone Dyer, who plays the buke, and Aron Sanchez, on gass, gave in and changed the spelling.

But they didn’t change the sound, as you’ll hear on this great preview track from their next album, which they hope to release in September.

If you can’t make it to Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, or you just want more Buke and Gase, check out the lineup they’ve curated (they’re not listed as performing, just curating) through May 15 with Terry Riley‘s son Gyan Riley, at The Stone, John Zorn‘s music venue in Manhattan’s East Village.

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Sharon van Etten signs with a new label

Sharon van Etten at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in April. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Powerful singer Sharon van Etten, whose great strength is in the directness of her lyrics and singing, has signed a new recording deal with Jagjaguwar Records, her publicist has announced.

Congratulations are in order. It’s a great career move for one of the best, most honest singers active today.

The move puts Sharon in the company of top indie acts such as Bon Iver, Okkervil River, Black Mountain and Dinosaur Jr. Jagjaguwar will release her third album, being produced by The National‘s Aaron Dessner, in early 2012.

The National's Aaron Dessner performing with Sharon Van Etten at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn in June.

Sharon is the second hot artist to part ways with Brookyn’s Ba Da Bing label in recent months. Ba Da Bing released Epic, an album that really boosted her profile, last year. Her connection with the label is even deeper, though. Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? first met Sharon as a Ba Da Bing publicist, who was representing noise-rock duo WOOM.

Longtime Ba Da Bing labelmate Beirut announced in June that its next album would be self-released rather than on Ba Da Bing. The band is  continuing under Ba Da Bing’s management aegis, however. It’s unclear whether Sharon will do the same.

It looks like Sharon, an amazingly talented and genuinely nice person, is living up to our early expectations. This year alone she’s already played Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, and MusicNow. And she has dates scheduled later this year at  Bumbershoot, Musicfest NW and at the Hollywood Bowl with The National and Neko Case.

We’re thrilled to see Sharon’s continuing success.

Beirut comes home, joined by Sharon Van Etten and Yellow Ostrich

Beirut at the 2011 Northside Festival. (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Zach Condon of Beirut.

The Northside Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, brought one of our favorites, Beirut, back home on Friday night, June 17. It was a great evening of music that came off beautifully. Early downpours that threatened the whole night cleared just in time for the first of the three bands to hit the stage and stayed away.

Yellow Ostrich and Sharon Van Ettenplayed amazing sets. But most people in the audience were there for one thing only: Beirut. And they were not disappointed.

Here’s a taste of the touching, musically nuance performance, with a solo number at the encore by bandleader Zach Condon.

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The Long Count: From baseball saga to creation story

Long Count Dessners Ritchie

Stereogum Senior Writer Brandon Stosuy, left, interviews The Long Count creators Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Matther Ritchie at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

What did I learn from the artist talk for The Long Count at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last weekend?

For starters, that twin brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner (of rock band The National) wanted to write a baseball saga when Joe Melillo, BAM’s executive producer,  invited them to create a show for this year’s Next Wave Festival. They wanted to work with acclaimed writer and baseball fanatic Michael Chabon, but that didn’t work out. Then the teamed up with British visual artist Matthew Ritchie, who persuaded them to adopt the structure of the Mayan Popol Vuh creation story, which involves a heroic set of ball-playing twins. It was a good move.

The resulting show, which ended its run at BAM on Halloween, was a treat for the eyes, ears and mind.

The Dessners chose to work with a great orchestra, many of whom, like violist Nadia Sirota, are very active in the same contemporary classical-rock crossover circles they are. And their featured collaborators, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and Kim and Kelley Deal, twin sisters from The Breeders.

Check out great photos and info about the performance at Brooklyn Vegan.

Doveman at (Le) Poisson Rouge

Doveman LPR at piano

Doveman's Thomas Bartlett at (Le) Poisson Rouge's grand piano on June 18. (All photos copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Doveman, the band alter ego of pianist and singer Thomas Bartlett, always surprises.

In part the surprise comes from the band’s constantly changing lineup of musicians. And there’s always surprise in Bartlett’s decliately fractured Doveman songs.

Doveman close group

Aaron Dessner, Oren Bloedow, Sam Amidon and Bryce Dessner.

The show at (Le) Poisson Rouge last night was billed as “Doveman with Sam Amidon and members of The National.”

Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly

Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly

As it turned out, the unnamed members of The National (the Brooklyn art-rock band with which Bartlett sometimes plays) were guitarists Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner and drummer Bryan Devendorf — in other words, three-fifths of The National. But Thomas got help from even more players — Nico Muhly, Oren Bloedow of Elysian Fields, Sam and singer Dawn Landes —  to the point that he declared the ensemble the largest version of Doveman to ever appear onstage.

Doveman played a splendind set, mixing favorites like “Honey” with new songs from the upcoming album (click here for Doveman news from Brassland, the band’s record label). The band closed the set with pretty rocking cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’. The crowd, which was peppered with celebrities such as Josh Ritter and Justin Bond, reacted enthusiastically to every song.

For more on Doveman, plus videos from last night’s show, keep reading. Continue reading