Tag Archives: The Bell House

It must be the apocalypse: The Wrens (2 of them, anyway) are doing a show!

The Wrens at The Bell House.  (Photos © 2009, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

The Wrens at The Bell House. (Photos © 2009, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

It’s been more than 10 years since The Wrens released the great “Meadowlands” album — which seems only right given the band’s tagline:”Keeping Folks Waiting Since 1989.”

But Charles “Pedal Boy” Bissell is deep into production on the followup album, and promises it’s nearly finished.

Kevin Whelan and Charles Bissell of The Wrens at The Bell House.  (Photos © 2009, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Kevin Whelan and Charles Bissell of The Wrens at The Bell House. (Photos © 2009, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

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The Feelies rock The Bell House; Next up: New England

The Feelies at The Bell House, Gowanus, Brooklyn, on April 25, 2014. (Photos © 2014 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

The Feelies at The Bell House, Gowanus, Brooklyn, on April 25, 2014. (Photos © 2014 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

The Feelies may have lost their home base when Maxwell’s went out in style with a Hoboken block party last year. But they haven’t lost their soul, as they proved Friday night.

They took the stage of The Bell House in Brooklyn on Friday night and played two red-hot sets.

The Bell House is thee  closest thing to a home club the Passaic County, N.J., quintet has these days. Former Maxwell’s co-owner and booker, Todd Abramson has been booking bands at the first-class Gowanus music venue for some time now.

Guitarist Bill Million and bassist Brenda Sauter.

Guitarist Bill Million and bassist Brenda Sauter.

(Click through to the jump for more photos and info about The Feelies’ upcoming shows.) Continue reading

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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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

Yo La Tengo played The Bell House, a little late for Hanukkah

Yo La Tengo started with a quiet set in front of some tree props. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Yo La Tengo started with a quiet set in front of some tree props. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

In apparent confirmation of the notion that its annual, eight-night Hanukkah concerts died along with Maxwell’s, the Hoboken music club, Yo La Tengo skipped performing during the Festival of Lights this year. But the Hoboken-based band did manage to pull together a four-night, end-of-year run at The Bell House in Brooklyn over the weekend.

(Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Never forget your roots.

Sunday night’s show was all YLT, all the time. It didn’t have the special attraction of guest artists and comedians opening for and playing with YLT’s Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew. But it was a splendid way to wrap up the year anyway.

On Sunday, YLT opened with a set of quiet versions of songs, largely from this year’s album, “Fade.” For the second set, they cut loose, rocking out on a huge set of songs.

(Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Joe Puleo on Farfisa.

Oh, and I’m slightly wrong about the “no guest artists” thing. The band’s longtime tour manager and man-about-town Joe Puleo joined them on Farfisa for one number. I guess that counts.

(Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

A huge tech and front-of-house sound area kept things running smoothly and quickly.

Enjoy more photos after the jump.

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Puss ‘n’ Boots rings in the holidays in spectacular style

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Santa joins Puss ‘n’ Boots and guest for the onstage finale at The Bell House. (All photos © 2013 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

(Oh, yeah, and Norah Jones is pregnant)

I remember my first time with Puss ‘n’ Boots — the supergroup comprising Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson, and Catherine Popper. It was January 2010, when they were part of a Doveman and Friends show at the Mercury Lounge.

There's no doubt about it, Norah Jones is pregnant.

There’s no doubt about it, Norah Jones is pregnant.

They seemed like they were having a lot of fun that night, but they were crazy sloppy, stumbling, playing in different keys, and generally just seeming a little too loose. But it was nice to see Norah, especially, in one of her many side projects where she isn’t the “star,” but just a player.

As always, Puss 'n' Boots didn't spare the vagina jokes, especially when Catherine Popper sat down to play in her very short dress.

As always, Puss ‘n’ Boots didn’t spare the vagina jokes, especially when Catherine Popper sat down to play in her very short dress.

I’ve seen them a couple times since then, and my impression was the same: fun but too sloppy.

I expected more of the same from the 2013 Puss ‘n’ Boots Xmas Spectacular at The Bell House in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. I almost skipped it because I wasn’t expecting a particularly good show, but figured that with their special guests it would at least be a festive diversion.

The ladies of Puss ‘n’ Boots know how to throw a holiday party.

Check out more photos after the jump. Continue reading

Go see Buke and Gase perform upstate

Buke and Gase opening for Mission of Burma at The Bell House, Gowanus, Brooklyn, on Jan 29, 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Buke and Gase opening for Mission of Burma at The Bell House, Gowanus, Brooklyn, on Jan 29, 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

See that rhyme in the headline? When was the last time you saw that on Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?

Unless memory fails, that would be never.

But that’s no excuse for not checking out Buke and Gase when they perform Thursday, July 11, in The Spiegeltent on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson.

It’s a lovely shlep from New York City, straight up the Hudson River. You can even get there by train aboard Amtrak to the Rhinecliff station, but check the schedules closely. You won’t be able to get a train home to NYC until the next morning, as the last southbound trip departs at 5:06 p.m.

Buke and Gase are coming to The Spiegeltent at Bard College.

Buke and Gase are coming to The Spiegeltent at Bard College.

Buke and Gase (formerly Buke and Gass, but changed because Gass was too easily misinterpreted), is a duo originally from NYC who started playing their jury-rigged instruments (the Buke is an electrified six-string baritone ukulele and the gass/gase is a guitar/bass hybrid) and writing raucous songs that sound like nothing any other indie-rock band is doing — and in a good, infectious way.

If you’re a regular reader, you already know about B&G’s Arone Dyer (onetime bicycle mechanic who plays the Buke and foot percussion) and Aron Sanchez (who handles the Gase and more foot percussion). We’ve written about them a number of  times before. Read the previous posts here, here, here and here.

They’re still doing it, but they got a place upstate in Hudson awhile back, likely making this Bard gig a really easy commute for them.

Arcade Fire’s violinist Sarah Neufeld is joining them for this show.

The Bard Spiegeltent is a pretty cool space. If you don’t know what a one is, think of an old-fashioned carousel building with no carousel inside. Very festive, chill and laid-back.

INFO: 8:30 p.m., Thursday, July 11, 2013. The Spiegeltent, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. $20 online. Click here for more info and tickets.

The Dough Rollers defy expectations at Brooklyn Bowl

The Dough Rollers, Brooklyn Bowl, June 26, 2013, © 2013, Steven P. Marsh

The Dough Rollers perform at Brooklyn Bowl on June 26, 2013. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

We don’t mind change. We may grow to love a band’s sound, but if it never evolves, a band can quickly becomes a parody of itself.

The Dough Rollers started off in 2008 as a high-concept conceit cooked up by two celebrity kids. Malcolm Ford (son of Harrison Ford) and Jack Byrne (son of Gabriel Byrne and Ellen Barkin) bonded over the love of old blues music, and started playing together. Their act — two guys in sharp, retro outfits, hair slicked back, etc. — tried to replicate the classic sound of the blues. While the two of them were the core of the group, they often had fiddle-vocalist Julia Tepper as a co-conspirator. (She joined them on their first, and so far only, album, the self-titled disc.)

The Dough Rollers in their earlier incarnation at The Bell House in Brooklyn, April 24, 2010. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

The Dough Rollers in their earlier incarnation at The Bell House in Brooklyn, April 24, 2010. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Few acts could sustain the conceit. Leon Redbone is the only one that springs to mind at the moment, and his whole performing life is in character.

Click through to the jump for more photos and info. Continue reading

Guilty: Babe the Blue OX makes its best album ever

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First release from Brooklyn perennial in 15 years

We didn’t really know Babe the Blue OX in its 1990s heyday, when the band was a regular(-ish) feature on bills around New York City. We heard and appreciated some of its recordings, and were charmed by its Paul Bunyan-esque name and Barbra Streisand-ish album titles.

For whatever reason, we never saw Babe live until a couple of years ago, when the members decided to come out of accidental retirement and start playing on a semi-regular basis again.

(Full disclosure: We met and became friendly with singer-guitarist Tim Thomas through his day job as a fund-raiser for a nonprofit long before we even realized he was in Babe.)

Listen to Guilty and read more after the jump. Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten just can’t stop touring

Sharon Van Etten at the Bowery Ballroom on Feb. 26, 2012.

We’ve been away from this page for too long. But an email landed in our in box this morning that inspired us to sit down and log in.

Sharon Van Etten, who’s on Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone‘s Top 10 Artist lists, announced the dates for her fall tour today.

Van Etten at the Northside Festival, 2010.

It seems like Sharon, a wonderful, low-key Brooklyn singer songwriter has been touring nonstop since releasing her third full-length album, Tramp, on Jagjaguwar early this year. While we’re glad she’s been sharing her extraordinary voice and songwriting with audiences around the world, we have a feeling that she hasn’t spent much time at home in Bushwick, Brooklyn, just a couple of neighborhoods away — and a world apart — from  Ditmas Park,  the home of  other musical luminaries like Sufjan Stevens and most of the members of The National.

Her new tour dates continue the marathon. It takes her to Portugal, Spain, France and the U.K. before bringing her stateside for a good long wander through the eastern half of the U.S. before wrapping up back in New York City.

Sharon’s a hard-working musician. But don’t let the volume fool you. Click through to the jump for more photos of Sharon through the years, along with her full tour schedule.

And take note of the period from Aug. 23 to Sept. 25. I don’t see any shows scheduled, do you? We can only hope that’s when we’ll be seeing her around Brooklyn.

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