Daily Archives: May 6, 2010

The rock show of the year

Chris Knox

The year may be far from over, but Will You Miss Me  When I’m Gone? has a feeling that the Chris Knox benefit at Manhattan club (Le) Poisson Rouge tonight is very likely to be the highlight of the year for those lucky enough to have gotten in.

We may have lagged a bit it posting while we search for new funding sources to keep WYMMWIG? going, but that hasn’t kept us away from the clubs and concert halls of New York and environs. And, with a bit of luck, we’ll be back with some recent updates tomorrow.

For now, you’ll have to settle for this.

For starters, you might ask, who’s Chris Knox and why does he need a benefit?

Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can probably guess the answer to the second half of the question. Chris Knox is a musician, and, like most committed, full-time musicians, he doesn’t have adequate health care. (Not to be too grim about it, but the rock world has lost way too many of its best to the lack of proper health care — think Jay Bennett, for instance.)

The reclusive Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel is making a very, very rare appearance at the Chris Knox benefit.

Now, back to the first part of the question. Knox, 57, is a New Zealand rocker who with Alex Bathgate formed Tall Dwarfs, a pioneer of the lo-fi rock movement. He had a series of strokes last year, and now his musical descendants are lining up to pay him back for his tremendous influence by raising money to pay his medical bills.

Those musical descendants make up a list of indie rock’s’ best and brightest — and most reclusive.

The scheduled appearance of Jeff Mangum, the brains behind Neutral Milk Hotel, is stirring the most interest. He’s  been rather reclusive for the last 10 years, but is slated to play a short set tonight.

And then there’s the rest of the list (and organizer Ben Goldberg of BaDaBing Records says the lineup has been changing by the day), which includes: Yo La Tengo, the Magnetic Fields’ Claudia Gonson (can Stephin Merritt stay away?), TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, Portastatic, The Clean, Sharon Van Etten, David Kilgour and who knows how many more.

Goldberg won’t even think about giving out a set list, so if you’re going, you need to get there early and plan to stay late. And don’t expect to see the usual host of photos on WYMMWIG? tomorrow, because all cameras are banned — there won’t even be a house photographer! Given how tightly this thing has been run, I pity the first jerk who’s caught taking photos during the show!

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Kelly Flint’s fourth act

Kelly Flint

If you remember the great NYC lounge band Dave’s True Story, you know Kelly Flint, the flame-haired singer, who doubled as the band’s smoldering sex symbol (apologies to frontman Dave Cantor and bass player Jeff Eyrich).

Late in DTS’s history, Kelly, who’s married to Jeff, gave birth to Ben, their beautiful son. Then she started performing as a singer-songwriter, moving into a very simple, confessional sort of performing — just girl and her guitar, sometimes with bass backing — which was something she has told me she had wanted to do for years.

But now comes the lovely Kelly’s fourth act, as an actress.

She hit the stage of Manhattan Repertory Theatre last night, and will appear again tonight and tomorrow, in a staging of Man on the Moon, a play by William Holland. It’s one of two works in Manhattan Rep’s Spring Play Festival 2010. Kelly’s not giving any clues about her character in the play, but she does have the female lead. I wish I could get there to see her make what surely will be a star turn. But I’m already booked elsewhere for all her performances.

If you go, please let your fellow Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? readers know what it was like by sending in a full report.

Doors open at 8:30 pm and the show starts at 8:45, running an hour. Manhattan Rep Theater, 303 West 42nd St., 3rd Floor. $20 cash. Rservations: (646) 329-6588.