Daily Archives: May 26, 2009

Twitter taking the fore at the the Bang on a Can Marathon (Updated)

UPDATE: Here’s the lineup of members of the Bang on a Can Marathon Tweet Team (#bangonacan) this Sunday. Please check us out: @anastasiat @talkmusic @sethcolterwalls @espyem @ogiovetti @memilybk @cryfok @elimaniscalco and the father-and-son team of @dotdotdottweet and @forcetengale

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Whether you can get to the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden on Sunday or not, stay tuned to Twitter for the event’s first-ever organized Tweet Team. Sure, people have done live blogging from the multi-act and multi-hour musical event. But this year Twitter rules!

I’m proud to be one of the Twitterers who will be weighing in on this wonderful musical event. Christina Jensen, who organized the Tweet Team for the 12-hour marathon, says:

The BOAC Tweet team will be at the Marathon at various times over the 12 hours, tweeting their impressions of the music & people.about 5 hours ago from web

Christina Jensen PR

Please follow us on Sunday and join in the fun with your impressions in response to ours!

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With justice for all…

New Yorkers marching on 14th Street in Manhattan at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

New Yorkers marching on 14th Street in Manhattan at 6 p.m. today.

It’s a cliche, but it’s true. A picture is worth a thousand words. Pardon the interruption in the usual Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? discussion of music and other performing arts.

Meg White weds Jackson Smith — in Jack White’s backyard! (Updated)

Meg White

Meg White

UPDATE: According to a statement on the White Stripes web site: “The wedding was officiated by the most reverend Benjamin Swank.” Swank is believed to be Benjamin “Swank” Smith, former drummer in the Soledad Brothers, a band that worked with Jack White.

Meg White and Jack White of the White Stripes must have had a good laugh when Meg decided to wed Jackson Smith in Jack’s Nashville backyard on Friday.

After all, Meg and Jack, ex-husband-and-wife, for years kept alive a tangled myth about their relationship, insisting that they were brother and sister, not ex-spouses who have continued to play together as the White Stripes long after their divorce.

Jackson Smith and his mom, Patti.

Jackson Smith and his mom, Patti.

So it seems fitting that Jack would somehow factor into the wedding of Meg and Jackson, who’s the son of rock poet Patti Smith and the late MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith.

The other couple to marry in the double ceremony were Jack Lawrence — bass player in The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, Jack’s other bands — and his girlfriend Jo McCaughey, the Associated Press reports.

There’s no word yet on whether Jack played any active role in the ceremony or simply provided the venue.

Congratulations to both happy couples!

Say hello to The Last Goodbye

Damon  Daunno, left, as Romeo and Kelli Barrett as Juliet

Damon Daunno, left, as Romeo and Kelli Barrett as Juliet

My mind is blown.

Director Michael Kimmel and an incredibly talented cast of young singer/actors proved last night that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet works surprisingly well with the music of the late Jeff Buckley.

The place: Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in NYC’s East Village.

The time: 9:30 last night.

The event: The second of three concert readings of The Last Goodbye, billed as “an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet featuring music and musical compositions by Jeff Buckley.”

Strictly speaking, that description is not entirely accurate.  All of the show’s music is certainly associated with Jeff, but two numbers that figure prominently in the new show, aren’t his tunes at all. But Jeff’s glorious versions of “Corpus Christi Carol” and Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah,” that were included on Grace, the only album Buckley released before his death in 1997, introduced a generation of listeners to those songs.

Despite that small quibble, the show is remarkably strong.

The Last Goodbye got off to a slightly slow start, but picked up quickly. It was full of great singingand humorous, rapid-fire delivery of the Bard’s dialogue.

The cast, which was so big it could barely fit on the tiny Joe’s Pub stage, was consistently strong. Damon Daunno, as Romeo, acted and sang with great conviction. And while few, if any, singers could match Jeff’s otherworldly vocal style, Damon came closer than I ever would have expected. Kelli Barrett was delightful as Juliet. But Jo Lampert stole the spotlight when she stepped forward in her role as Mercutio, demanding attention with her sinuous physical comedy and stunningly powerful rock voice.

A rock quartet provides the instrumental underpinning, delivering Jeff’s music in arrangements that suffer from taking too many cues from Broadway’s Spring Awakening. Kimmel and Musical Director Kris Kukul, who did the arrangements, should set aside their Duncan Sheik crib sheets and revisit the arrangements with fresh ears.

There’s one performance left, at 9:30 p.m. next Monday. It’s sold out, but there’s a good chance there will be some seats available on standby, so don’t hesitate to stop by.

I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

ACME to play with Grizzly Bear at Town Hall

ACME Ensemble

ACME Ensemble

ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) will be playing with Grizzly Bear on Thursday and Friday at NYC’s Town Hall, the indie New Music band’s Executive Director Christina Jensen announced via her Twitter account last night:

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If you have tickets for either of these shows (both are sold out), you’ll find that ACME will fit perfectly into the vibe, as the ensemble, which played the string parts on Grizzly Bear’s latest album, Veckatimest (released today — get your copy now!), shares genre-bending proclivities with Grizzly Bear and their opener, Here We Go Magic.

ACME is no stranger to the rock stage, having been involved in Ronen Givony‘s Wordless Music, which pairs rock bands and classical ensembles on the same bill, with great frequency. The core members of ACME, which has been around since 2004, include violinists Miranda Cuckson and Caleb Burhans, violist Nadia Sirota, cellist and artistic director Clarice Jensen, flutist Alex Sopp, clarinetist Gilad Harel, pianist Eric Huebner, and percussionist Christopher Thompson.