Monthly Archives: April 2015

Ron Fierstein, longtime music manager, returns to his roots with new book about Polaroid-Kodak lawsuit

Ron Fierstein’s new book takes is about Edwin Land, one of the founders of Polaroid Corp. Land and Polaroid launched an epic battle against eventual rival Kodak. “It’s a fantastic story almost of operatic dimension,” Fierstein says. “They went from being mentor-protégé to arch-enemies over 60 years.” (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

I knew Ron Fierstein’s name from his successful career managing singer-songwriters such as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. And it occurred to me that he might be related to a Broadway macher.

What I didn’t know was that Fierstein, who moved to Chappaqua from Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood two decades ago, had a successful career as a patent lawyer before he helped Vega navigate to her early success.

He’s quit the music business and spent the last several years writing a book about the historic case he worked on while an associate at Fish & Neave in New York City: Polaroid vs. Kodak.

Fierstein took some time the other day to meet me in his Bedfore Hills office and talk about his life, his multiple careers, and the new book: “A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War.”

The book is a remarkably detailed account of a Land, a fascinating and brilliant man, and the souring of the relationship between his company, Polariod, and Eastman Kodak, its longtime “mentor” and friendly competitor.

Tap or click here now to read the full interview at lohud.com.

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Over the Rhine hits the Hudson Valley (ticket discounts included)

 

The husband-wife duo Over the Rhine, whose songs deal thoughtfully with life’s “big questions,” hit the Irvington Town Hall Theater on Saturday night, after stops Thursday at the Towne Crier and Friday at Club Helsinki Hudson.

I got the chance to speak with Linford Detweiler about his thoughts on the band’s 25-years together and what’s ahead, including a barn raising to create a venue and studio at the home he and Karin Bergquist share in southern Ohio. 

Special ticket prices are now available for the show. Orchestra seats are available for only $20, balcony seats for $15, and a few select seats as low as $10. Type in the discount code OTRIRV at checkout when you buy online here. 

Tap or click here to read the full interview on lohud.com or pick up a copy of Friday’s edition of The Journal News.

Sharon Van Etten, Diane Cluck, Lucinda Williams and more record ‘lost’ Karen Dalton songs

cfe97723-df5a-4bcf-883b-db3feb010d45Over the last few years, it seems that every last known recording of the late Karen Dalton — who in recent years has become a role model for women singers, particularly of freak folk variety — has been released, regardless of quality.

Her studio recordings, just two albums, don’t include anything Dalton wrote. Nor, as far as I know, do the three collections of unreleased tracks issued after her death.

More than a few articles about Dalton even say definitively that she never wrote her own songs.

Once again, we see proof that you should never say never.

Tompkins Square Records is about to release an album of songs Dalton wrote, made available by Peter Walker, who handles her estate.

The label, which has done much good work with Daniel Bachman, Bessie Jones, the Imagination Anthem series and other releases, will release the collection on May 26.

“Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs of Karen Dalton” features 11 songs, each recorded by a different notable female artist, including veterans Lucinda Williams and Tara Jane O’Neil, DIY darling Diane Cluck, and indie icon Sharon Van Etten.

The artists were given Dalton’s lyrics, but, with the exception of the title track, no clues to Dalton’s intentions for the melodies or harmonies she intended. Van Etten, who did the title track, had a chord chart to work with. 

I haven’t heard any of it yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.

In the meantime, here’s the tracklist:

1) REMEMBERING MOUNTAINS – SHARON VAN ETTEN
2) ALL THAT SHINES IS NOT TRUTH – PATTY GRIFFIN
3) THIS IS OUR LOVE – DIANE CLUCK
4) MY LOVE, MY LOVE – JULIA HOLTER
5) MET AN OLD FRIEND – LUCINDA WILLIAMS
6) SO LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY – MARISSA NADLER
7) BLUE NOTION – LAUREL HALO
8) FOR THE LOVE I’M IN – LARKIN GRIMM
9) DON’T MAKE IT EASY – ISOBEL CAMPBELL
10) AT LAST THE NIGHT HAS ENDED – TARA JANE O’NEIL
11) MET AN OLD FRIEND – JOSEPHINE FOSTER

Share the joy of song with Walkabout Clearwater this Saturday (Videos)

Joe Crookston

Joe Crookston

If you’re looking for a family friendly musical event this weekend, Saturday night’s Walkabout Clearwater Chorus and Coffeehouse get-together in White Plains, New York, may be just the thing for you.

The April 11 coffeehouse is the latest in a long series of ongoing monthly gatherings that starts with an informal, low-key audience singalong as a warmup to a concert by notable solo artists and groups springing from the world of folk music.

Mustard's Retreat

Mustard’s Retreat

This month’s performers are Ithaca, New York, -based singer-songwriter Joe Crookston and veteran folk duo Mustard’s Retreat from Michigan. (Duo Kim and Reggie Harris headline next month.)

Walkabout Clearwater has been around for more than 30 years. Founded by Pete Seeger in 1984, it springs from the same agenda that spawned the environment-friendly Hudson River Sloop Clearwater organization, whose best-known project is the annual Great Hudson River Revival festival held every year at Croton Point Park in Westchester County, New York (this year on June 20 and 21).

Continues below videos.

“Walkabout Clearwater is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and social action through song, education, and other activities,” the group’s website explains.

Anyone can buy a ticket to hear the guest artists. But if you want to get really involved with Walkabout Clearwater’s heart, you can join the chorus, a low-stress, no-audition singing group that rehearses separately at 6:30 p.m.  on the first Thursday of every month at the South Presbyterian Church, 343 Broadway in Dobbs Ferry.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Walkabout Clearwater Coffeehous, featuring Joe Crookston and Mustard’s Retreat

WHEN: Doors at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 11. Audience sing-along at 6:45, concert at 7:30.

WHERE: Memorial United Methodist Church, 250 Bryant Avenue, White Plains, New York.

TICKETS: $18 in advance, $23 at the door, $15 for students, $10 for children 6-12. Tap or click www.WalkaboutClearwater.org or call 914-946-1625.

Sharon Van Etten has a new EP coming in June

Sharon Van Etten's new EP is titled "I Don't Want to Let You Down."

The cover of Sharon Van Etten’s upcoming  EP, “I Don’t Want to Let You Down.”

Sharon Van Etten‘s been touring her last album, “Are We There,” pretty steadily since its release almost a year ago. But it turns out she found some time along the way to do some recording, too.

The fruits of the Indie superstar’s off-the-road work will be ready for sampling on June 9, when her new EP drops. It’s a five-song collection called “I Don’t Want to Let You Down.”

No chance of that. Maybe you’ve heard the title tune at one of her shows, but if you  tap or click here, you can hear it again.

It’s a straight-ahead, classic Van Etten. And it’s definitely not going to let you down.

Pre-order it on iTunes or from all the usual sources via the links on her website.