Monthly Archives: June 2010

Liars, Fucked Up, High Places play the Northside Festival in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Liars closed out Saturday night's Northside Festival show. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

The Northside Festival in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, seemed an odd affair. The music was presented on a small, chain-link-fence-enclosed patch of blacktop on the waterfront at the apex of Commercial and Dupont streets. It was a very unlikely looking place for a music venue.

Little Liars: Liars singer Angus Andrew's niece and nephew grooved vigorously to the noise rock.

But looks are often deceiving, and this festival, sponsored by L Magazine, proved no exception to that notion. The Saturday night show, only the second rock show ever hosted at the Newtown Barge Terminal Playground, as the site is officially named, featured Liars as headliners with Fucked Up and High Places as openers. It was fantastic.  The only shame was that so few people came out for it. The venue appeared to be at half capacity at best, even if you counted the freeloaders who took in a virtually unobstructed view from just outside the venue’s fence.

The music was great. Although I went to hear Fucked Up, a Toronto band that is one of the most energetic punk units active today, I was pretty impressed by the other acts as well.

Liars kept the crowd entranced for a long set of noise rock with the vocal stylings of Angus Andrew.

Freeloaders: It was easy to see and hear the whole show without paying a dime.

But Fucked Up really blew the place up, with singer Damian Abraham’s crowd-hugging and can-smashing antics in addition to mind-blowingly fast and loud songs.

They say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. With Fucked Up, a picture’s worth twice that. So take in these visuals:

Fucked Up arrives onstage with Damian chewing up and spitting out pages of he Northside Festival program booklet.

Fucked Up on stage.

Damian crushes his first can of the night.

Damian tries a 40.

Click through to the jump for many more amazing photos of Fucked Up and the other opener, High Places.
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The Bill Murray Experience: No, not that Bill Murray, but quite an experience!

Britney Spears

The Bill Murray Experience at The Cupping Room Cafe on June 25. (Copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? knew nothing about The Bill Murray Experience until a couple of days ago, when the old-timey New York City based band was featured in this New York Post video about Play Me, I’m Yours, the art project that has put 60 pianos — available for anyone to play — in public places around New York City.

But it was love at first sight — and sound! Singer Jessy Carolina has an amazingly bluesy voice and her bandmates — Horatio Baltz on lead guitar, Jay Sanford on upright bass and the irrepressible Blind Boy Paxton on banjo — provide the perfect setting for it. It’s a new generation tackling early American roots music, jazz and pop standards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s repertoire that has been a rich source over the years for artists like Leon Redbone, with tunes like “My Melancholy Baby” and “I Ain’t Got Nobody.”

How we’ve missed them is a mystery. They are fantastic, and proved it last night in performance before a small and not entirely attentive crowd at The Cupping Room Cafe at West Broadway and Broome streets in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood.

Peter Stampfel, of Holy Modal Rounders fame, knows a thing or two about this kind of music. And he sums up the band’s primary appeal quite well — it’s Jessy’s emotive and engaging singing. “She doesn’t sing songs as much as she embodies them. Her singing and moves are both about as good as it gets,” Stampfel says.

But Jessy needs the rest of the band to pull it off. Her interplay with the players — especially the jovial, overall-wearing Paxton — is charming adds so much to the overall feel of the performance.

BME plays around NYC quite a bit, at places like the “secret” Shanghai Mermaid, 893 Bergen St., Brooklyn, where they play at 9 tonight, June 26 and at the Jalopy Theater, 315 Columbia St., Red Hook, Brooklyn, where they’re performing at 8 p.m. Monday, June 28.

Here’s a clip of the band that gives you great sense of its joyous, freewheeling style at a June 20 show at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Vt.

Of course any band that takes Bill Murray’s name in vain has to evoke Murray’s spot in Jim Jarmusch’s 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes. Remember “Bill Groundhog Day, Ghostbustin’ ass Murray”? How could you forget? We’ll leave you with that:

Bang on a Can Marathon: 12 hours of free music tomorrow

The Winter Garden during the 2009 Bang on a Can Marathon. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The Bang on a Can Marathon, one of the highlights of the New Music scene in New York City, is tomorrow. Don’t miss it.

It’s the perfect way to spend a summer Sunday, sampling new music and taking in the sights and sounds of  Battery Park’s waterfront. You can come and go as you please in the climate-controlled Winter Garden, and you don’t even have to leave for a meal, because many of the Winter Garden restaurants will remain open throughout the performance.

Among the acts featured throughout the day are Vernon Reid, perhaps best known for his involvement in Living Colour, Signal ensemble and the fantastic Burkina Electric. But there’s plenty more to hear, see and do throughout the 12 hours.

  • When: Noon to midnight, Sunday, June 27.

Scroll down or click here for the full schedule and details in a previous Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? post.

Glenn Branca to perform in NYC this Saturday

Glenn Branca.

Seminal minimalist composer and noise-guitar hero Glenn Branca is doing a rare live solo performance this Saturday, June 19, at NYC’s (Le) Poisson Rouge.

It’s been two years since his last solo appearance in NYC — a set with The Paranoid Critical Revolution at a more low-key venue, The Issue Project Room. Saturday’s show at LPR will also feature The Paranoid Critical Revolution, playing music from its new CD Euphobia.

Branca, who composes for orchestra as well as his own ensemble has been a big influence on a number of guitarists in the avant garde wing of rock music. Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and Page Hamilton of Helmet are among Branca’s disciples and played in his ensemble.

The show also is the official release party for the DVD of Ericka Beckman‘s No Wave film 135 Grand St. 1979, which will be screened. It includes the only extant footage of two of Branca’s earlier ensembles, Theoretical Girls, The Static, along with shots of a number of other bands of the period.

7 p.m. Saturday, June 19. (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., NYC. $13 in advance; $15 day of show. Tickets available by clicking here.

12 hours of free music at the Bang on a Can Marathon

The World Financial Center Winter Garden was packed for last year's Bang on a Can Marathon. (Photo copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Every year, the Bang on a Can Marathon brings a wide range of new music and spectacular performers to New York City to perform in a massive free concert — and this year is no exception. The Marathon is coming up in just two weeks, from noon to midnight on Sunday, June 27, at the World Financial Center Winter Garden at 220 Vesey Street in Lower Manhattan.

Burkina Electric, an African band organized by composer Lukas Ligeti (second from right) is just one of the great acts at the Bang on a Can Marathon.

This year’s program will, as always, feature Bang on a Can’s house band, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and a host of other great acts, including Living Colour’s eclectic guitarist Vernon Reid, African band Burkina Electric, John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Signal ensemble and Gamelan Galak Tika.

Bang on a Can has been presenting these marathons since 1987 at various locations around NYC. Since moving to the WFC, thanks to the generosity of co-presenter Arts World Financial Center and the River to River festival, admission has been free. The Marathon turns the Winter Garden into a big, 12-hour party, with people coming and going and the mood shifting with the performers and the changing natural light pouring through the glass walls.

Click here to check out photos and coverage of last year’s Marathon by Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?

Click to the jump for the full list of performers and schedule.

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Procol Harum thrills with its return to the U.S. after a seven-year absence

Procol Harum, with Gary Brooker on voice and keyboards, Geoff Einhorn on guitar, Geoff Dunn on drums, Matt Pegg on bass and Josh Phillips on Hammond organ, at The Tarrytown Music Hall on June 10, 2010. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

A huge blast from the past shook The Tarrytown Music Hall to its foundations last night when Procol Harum took the stage of the 1885 show palace for 2 1/2 hours.

This is the band’s first visit to the United States since 2003, when it hit the road — making a stop in New York at the late, lamented Bottom Line club — in support of its last studio album, The Well’s On Fire.

The Tarrytown Music Hall.

For those who remember PH from its early days — the band became an international phenomenon with the 1967 hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale” — singer-pianist Gary Brooker is the only onstage member left from those days. But Brooker, who co-writes the band’s songs with lyricist Keith Reid, Procol’s nonperforming member, is the voice of the band. As long as he’s singing, there’s no doubt that it’s Procol Harum.

The crowd files in.

Brooker’s voice has gotten a bit gravelly and more nuanced over the years, but the 65-year-old showed last night that he’s still got his vocal chops. He and the rest of the quintet ripped through an energetic set, covering the whole range of the band’s 43-year history.

Brooker couldn’t help but point out that anyone in the audience who had money invested with Lehmann Brothers would see the prescience of one of the band’s newest songs, “Wall Street Blues,” from The Well’s On Fire, seemed

The band, and the audience, are a little less energetic than they once were. But the music stands the test of time. There was no dancing in the aisles and the crowd — comprising people of all ages, including a few pre-teens — was pretty respectful. But the performance brought fans to their feet numerous times throughout the evening and ended with a standing ovation when the band wrapped the set.

Procol Harum is on tour in the U.S. now, opening for Jethro Tull, a band whose heyday coincided with PH. To a die-hard Procol Harum fan, there’s something wrong with Tull as the headliner. But, luckily, Procol took time off from its opening duties to book some shows of its own while it’s touring with Tull. Procol’s playing tomorrow night, with Renaissance opening, at the Showroom at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City tomorrow (June 12, 2010) and next Wednesday (June 16, 2010) at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa. (The Longwood show is sold out, but tickets are likely available from resellers.)

More photos after the jump.

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