If you’re feeling nostalgic for the ’80s, consider spending this Saturday night in Nyack dancing to the decade’s hits spun by DJ Vision Quest (Kiam Records founder Jennifer O’Connor) and helping fund the Rockland Pride center while your doing it?
Participants are encouraged — but not required — to dress to the decade and bring their best dance moves, whether it’s the Moonwalk, the Hammer Dance, the Running Man, or maybe the Lambada.
The Kiam Records Shop is co-hosting an the 80s prom at the Nyack Center to benefit the new Rockland Pride Center, an LGBT organization that promotes a social-justice and anti-racist agenda. It provides services for people of all ages, including support groups, senior care, youth group drop-ins, educational resources, and mental health care.
All proceeds raised from the ‘80s PROM will help fund the new Rockland Pride Center opening this fall.
Aside from the boss’ DJ talents —she’s taking requests and dedications! — Kiam Records is also providing a $200 gift certificate for the downtown Nyack shop. All ticket holders will be entered into a raffle for that prize.
Aside from the music and raffle, the prom also features a do-it-yourself corsage station, an 80’s photo booth, a kissing booth, and “pride punch.”
Everyone 21 or older is welcome to the party at the Nyack Center, on South Broadway at Depew St., Nyack.
The party starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 20, and the beat goes on until midnight.
Get your tickets ($25-$100) in advance online by going HEREor at the door. Either way, you’ll be helping the community — and having a great time, too.
The Washington Squares: Tom Goodkind, Lauren Agnelli, and Bruce Jay Paskow, who died in 1994.
Lach, the mononymic artist at the center of the New York City Antifolk scene in the East Village for many years, is unable to tour and in financial straits because he’s caring for his family full time while his wife undergoes treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
Those sessions helped inspire and launch a host of folk-based artists, including Rockland County’s own Jamie Block (who, like Lach, chose to perform in his early days under a single name: Block), Regina Spektor, Hamell on Trial, the Moldy Peaches, Nellie McKay, Jeffrey Lewis, Diane Cluck, and Michelle Shocked, and Block.
Lach’s misfortune has presented an opportunity for a reunion of one of the most beloved neo-folk acts of the late 20th century: The Washington Squares, a Greenwich Village vocal trio that adopted the look of the Beat generation and sang timeless songs of protest and hope with panache and sincerity in the 1980s and 1990s.
Admission is FREE, but there will be plenty of opportunity to kick some cash into the basket for Lach and his family.
While, Michelle Shocked, who’s slated to perform at 9:30, is arguably the biggest name on the bill, the Squares reunion is the biggest news to come out in advance of the event.
The neo-Beatnik folk revival Washington Squares started in 1883, about the same time as Antifolk was beginning to coalesce. The Squares played countless concerts in clubs and at festivals until calling it quits on July 28, 1994, after a gig at the legendary Bottom Line in Greenwich Village. The band simply couldn’t keep going after co-founder Bruce Jay Paskow died earlier that year.
The Washington Squares Facebook page has been active lately, apparently in anticipation of a new album of vintage tracks released before Christmas.
But there haven’t been shows — at least not as The Washington Squares, though Agnelli and Goodkind did a one-off in TriBeCa in 2015 under the name We 2 Squares — in nearly 23 years. As the About section of the band’s Facebook page says: “They stopped performing completely.”
I messaged Agnelli for some insight, and here’s what she writes:
“We’re playing just Tom, me & Billy Ficca. Our 3rd vocalist will be in CA playing at the Grammys. We love Lach & want to help; show solidarity w/others who are in revolt over the revolting state of the State; have a new compilation out & want to start playing out again”
Click through to the jump for Thursday night’s full schedule and videos of Lach. Continue reading →
If you think animated movies are just for kids, think again and be sure to check out “The Little Prince,” a beautifully animated retelling of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved illustrated novella, brought to the silver screen by “Kung Fu Panda” director Mark Osborne.
Osborne, who lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, may have made his mark in Hollywood with the Jack Black-voiced panda in 2008, but he’s deeply devoted to his latest project, which hits theaters March 18 after a special preview event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York, on Sunday, March 6.
He tells me that he’s eager to make sure adults see the film, which took him 5 1/2 years to make, because it’s for them as well as their children and grandchildren.
“I think people will be surprised at how much this movie is like the book,” he tells me. “It’s designed to be for the child that we all once were — or currently are … No matter how grown-up you are, you were a child once. And you can’t erase that, no matter how much you want to get away from that.”
Osborne spend some time talking to me about the project — a family affair that involved at one time or another his wife, Kim, and their children, Maddie and Riley — the other day.
Rockland County-born rocker Joe D’Urso is celebrating his 50th birthday this month by taking over the German Masonic Park in his hometown of Tappan, N.Y., all day Sunday and throwing a music festival featuring his musician friends.
The result is the Rockland-Bergen Music Festival, with gates opening at 11 a.m. , with music starting at 11:30 a.m. and running nonstop through 7:15 p.m.
It’s the first festival of its kind in the Rockland County area in my memory. It should be a blast. The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day at this point, an hour before the music starts.
The festival brings together in my backyard a bunch of artists that I’d happily go to New York City to see play separately: Willie Nile, Marshall Crenshaw, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, Jesse Malin, John Eddie, Piermont’s Tom Chapin and many, many more.
But here you don’t have to travel as far, pay outrageous parking charges, or deal with all the hassles of a drive into the city. And with a family-friendly vibe and tickets priced at $50 (free for anyone 12 or younger, and for anyone born in 1964) at the gate, you can afford to bring the kids and introduce them to some of your favorite musicians without breaking the bank.
Veteran singer-songwriter helping to raise money for his own Superstorm Sandy-devastated village
When the doors open at 7 o’clock tonight at The Turning Point, the venerable music club in Piermont, there will be a greater sense of urgency and community than ever inside.
A slew of local favorites, including Tom Chapin, a longtime Piermont resident, will rock out starting at 7:30 p.m. to raise money to help get the village back on its feet in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The Old No. 7 Band, Joe Grunfeld from the Riley Etheridge Band, Becky Deloatch and Billy Procida are also on the schedule. And other guests and favorites are sure to show up and join in.
Tickets are just $25, and available here and at the door. Bring extra cash for a 50/50 raffle, too.
The first night of the two-night Benefit for Lucinda’s Kids was a great night of almost 7 hours of entertainment on Sunday, April 29 at The Bowery Electric, with a great crowd and a fantastic lineup of artists, including Marah, Jesse Malin, Jimmy Gnecco, Willie Nile (who almost missed the show because of a delayed flight from Chicago), Jim Boggia, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Michelle Casillas (Ursa Minor), Mystie and more. As of Sunday night, there were still tickets left for the second night of the benefit to raise money for the trust fund that will benefit the two teenagers left behind when their mom, super music fan Lucinda Gallagher, committed suicide last December.
Here’s the Monday lineup.
Monday, April 30, doors at 7 p.m.
Tommy Stinson (The Replacements)
HR (Bad Brains)
Alan Vega (Suicide)
Aaron Lee Tasjan
It’s hard to say, but it’s one of those bands that has survived surviving changing lineups, internal strife, and wildly fluctuating stylistic directions, all the while being encouraged and praised by celebrities.
Started in Philadelphia, Marah quickly became notable for the stage antics of its core duo, brothers Dave and Serge Bielanko from Philadelphia suburb Conshohocken. They had a loose but seemingly perfectly choreographed stage presence together. Their sound, early on, featured rootsy, Americana-flavored rock and roll with a particular treat for anyone who has an affinity for Philadelphia: jangling banjos played in the style of Philadelphia Mummers Parade string bands.
This is a band that novelist Stephen King in 2005 dubbed “probably the best rock band in America that nobody knows.” They’ve also been the darlings of writers Nick Hornby (who did a tour with the band) and Sarah Vowell.
It’s a band that became pals with Bruce Springsteen and got him to sing and play on one of their albums. And Steve Earle liked them enough to add them to the roster of his now defunct record label.
It’s also a band whose list of former members on Wikipedia at this writing tops out at 20 — a lot for the 19-year-old a band, which generally has performed as a quartet or quintet.
In working there, they’ve discovered something magical, something that has returned the band to its roots in a way, and turned it in a new direction in another way.
Dave and Christine are working with a handful of local musicians in their Pennsylvania hideaway on a project they call Mountain Minstrelsy. (Check it out on Facebook, too.) They’re holed up in an old church that they’re using as a recording studio.
Basically, one of their musical pals in Pennsylvania showed them a book of collected lyrics, “Mountain Minstrelsy (as sung in the Backwoods Settlements, Hunting Cabins and Lumber Camps in the “Black Forest” of Pennsylvania, 1840 – 1923)” by Henry W. Shoemaker. It struck a chord, literally and figuratively, with Dave and Christine, so they set out to build an album around their new music for the found lyrics. They’ve been recording the new-old songs with some of their friends and neighbors for an album they hope to release late this year.
After the jump, read the full interview, plus a video of Dave, Christine and friends in a Mountain Minstrelsy rehearsal.
In recent years, the wild, Philadelphia-born rock band Marah has stripped down. Essentially, it’s now just Dave Bielanko and Christine Smith at the core, performing as a duo at time and recruiting bandmates for bigger shows.
After a stint in Brooklyn, they’ve have moved into an old farmhouse in the wilds of central Pennsylvania, with a phone line for incoming calls only. They’ve been working on a couple of records, about which more in our next post.
But for now, let’s focus on this week. Marah is coming out of wilderness to do a few shows, one of which is this Sunday, April 29, at The Bowery Electric at 327 Bowery in Manhattan.
They’re performing on the first night of two-evening benefit concert for a friend who took her own life last year and left two teenage children behind.
Marah to play at Benefit for Lucinda’s Kids
It looks like this benefit will be a real blast, with a lot of other amazing artists.
It’s all to raise money for the children of Lucinda Gallagher, a 37-year-old super music fan from Hoboken who took her life in December.
In an exclusive Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? interview (which we’ll share fully in our next post), Christine spoke about Marah’s connection with Gallagher:
If you can’t picture yourself at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J., at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, it’s time to make an exception.
Tomorrow, Aug. 13, that’s exactly where you should be. If you’re there, you’ll be helping young adults who have aged out of New Jersey’s foster-care system through the Roots & Wings foundation and listening to four great bands in the process: Speed the Plough, Yung Wu (a side project of Feelies percussionist Dave Weckerman), Wild Carnation (which includes Feelies bassist Brenda Sauter) and Charlotte Sometimes.
Of course this is just one of three shows, featuring 12 bands, being staged at the legendary Hoboken club this weekend as part of CamelFest 2011 in support of Roots & Wings. It’s sponsored by Great Meadows, N.J., -based Dromedary Records.