Daily Archives: March 6, 2013

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

Bang on a Can introduces new compositions at the Peoples Commissioning Fund concert

See what a little cash from a lot of people can do

While we’re generally ecstatic about New Amsterdam Records’ Ecstatic Music Festival, we’re particularly psyched about the latest installment of Bang on a Can’s long-running Peoples Commissioning Fund concert series.

It’s slated for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan.

The contemporary classical organization since 1997 has been collecting contributions, mostly small, from lots and lots of music lovers (that’s the “Peoples” part), aggregating them (the “Fund” part), and using them to commission (the Commissioning part) new work from composers new and established.

Bang on a Can calls this “a radical partnership between artists and audiences” that uses crowd-sourcing to fund new work. While the idea probably never was unique to Bang on a Can , it no doubt opened the door to other funding machines, such as Kickstarter and PledgeMusic.

The concept shatters the longstanding model of big-bucks patrons fueling the production of new work. This crowd-sourcing concept, which predates the social media boom, has raised almost $300,000 since its inception and made it possible for Bang on a Can to help in create more than 50 new works. Continue reading