Category Archives: Music

Imagine if Philip Glass had produced The Feelies’ first album

The Feelies celebrate their 40th anniversary at The Woodland in Maplewood, New Jersey. (Copyright 2016, Steven P. Marsh/www.willyoumissme.com)

The Feelies celebrate their 40th anniversary at The Woodland in Maplewood, New Jersey. (Copyright 2016, Steven P. Marsh/www.willyoumissme.com)

The Feelies co-founder Bill Million reminds us of an obscure fact about negotiations for the iconic New Jersey band’s first album, “Crazy Rhythms,” that could have changed its history:

“We turned down a lot of major labels because they wanted to bring in a producer to work with us. One of ’em was Philip Glass, and Glenn and I went to meet him. After a while he looked at us and said, ‘Well, you guys sound like you know exactly what you want, you don’t need me.’ So it was cool meeting Philip Glass.”

The band was influenced by the drones and repetition of the musical Minimalists on the scene at the time, 40 years ago, with Glass and Steve Reich at the top of the list. But imagine what having Glass himself behind the board could have done to the songs of Million and co-founder Glenn Mercer.

It’s great to learn that Glass recognized their talents and declined to get in their way.

GO HERE to read the full Flood interview. 

Sharon Van Etten’s return to college takes a detour

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

If you thought Sharon Van Etten‘s return to college in February would take her out of the public eye for awhile, think again.

Sharon’s collegiate redux lasted about two weeks before she got an offer she couldn’t refuse, she revealed the other day: an audition for a role on a TV show.

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

She talked about  the detour in her plans for a post-music career in clinical psychology at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan Sunday, during a morning jam session with comedian-musician Fred Armisen.

“Somebody told me they thought I’d be perfect for this part, so I auditioned and got it,” she told the group in response to our question about what the college experience was like for her.

She said she couldn’t talk about the show, but it’s been widely reported that she’s one of a number of rock musicians — along with Eddie Vedder, Trent Reznor, Sky Ferreira — tapped to appear in the Showtime reboot of David Lynch’s cult series “Twin Peaks.”

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten walk through the crowd, chatting, at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten walk through the crowd, chatting, at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

She revealed in her self-effacing way that the experience taught her she’s a terrible actor — though I’ll wait for the onscreen evidence before going along with her assessment.

With her TV work finished , Sharon says she’s going to return to school in August.

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

“They’ve been very nice about it,” she said of the officials at the New York City college where she is enrolled. (After the jam session, she told me the name of the school, but I’m withholding that information out of respect for her privacy.)

The 35–year-old native of Clinton, New Jersey, tried the standard college routine right after high school, enrolling at Middle Tennessee State University to study music production. That didn’t work out.

“I didn’t like it,” she told the Vulture crowd.  So she dropped out, got a job at a music venue in Murfreesboro, and stayed in Tennessee for five years, working on her music.

Now, it seems, she’s ready to take another path and build a backup plan for her life after music. With any luck at all, the talented performer and songwriter will never need to use it.

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Fred Armisen and Sharon Van Etten at the Vulture Festival in Manhattan on May 22, 2016. (Photo © 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

 

 

 

 

Rockland County’s Martha Mooke performs music from ‘No Ordinary Window’ on Sunday

martha-mookeNyack composer and electro-acoustic violist Martha Mooke brings her spectacular sounds to ArtsRock‘s Music at Union Arts Center series this Sunday afternoon.

She’s a spectacular violist, and her compositions on her latest album, “No Ordinary Window,” are beautiful, boundary-busting windows into her own sonic imagination.

“I slip through the cracks of defined boundaries,” she told me in a recent interview.  “I keep re-creating my way…. I try to take on challenges.”

Read my recent interview with Mooke for The Journal News/lohud.com by going here, and then grab some tickets for Sunday afternoon’s show.

IF YOU GO

When:  2 p.m., Sunday, April 3.

Where: Union Arts Center, 2 Union St, Sparkill, New York

Tickets: $20 in advance/$25 at door/$10 students, available online by going here.

 

Ron Wasserman builds his big-band dreams on a classical bass

Ron Wasserman, front left, with the New York Jazzharmonic. (Mihyun Kang)

Ron Wasserman, front left, with the New York Jazzharmonic. (Photo by Mihyun Kang)

This article was first published on NyackNewsandViews.com. GO HERE to read it in its original form.

By Steven P. Marsh

Ron Wasserman fell in love with the seductive syncopations and improvisations of jazz as a young musician, but the relationship faded and he abandoned tiny, smoky jazz clubs in favor of the New York State Theater in 1988, when he landed a permanent job playing double bass in the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Nearly three decades later, sparks are flying again between the 54-year-old musician and his youthful obsession: He started a 17-piece big band, the New York Jazzharmonic, last year, and is presenting its next concert, featuring famed violinist Lara St. John and tango artist J.P. Jofre, this Sunday at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in Manhattan.

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LA pop genius Jon Brion making rare New York solo appearamnce

Jon Brion

Jon Brion builds a song at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, Oct. 3, 2011. (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Jon Brion, the Glen Ridge, New Jersey, -born pop genius, has been based in Los Angeles for many years and rarely performs anywhere else — sticking mostly to the legendary club Largo.

But Brion, who’s worked with important musicians and filmmakers including Fiona Apple, Elliott Smith, Robyn Hitchcock, Judd Apatow, Aimee Mann, Of Montreal, Best Coast, and Paul Thomas Anderson — makes the trek back East every to put on a show once in awhile.

This year is one of those times.

Jon Brion on guitar

Jon Brion builds a song at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, Oct. 3, 2011. (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

He was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music opera house on Saturday night, joining the Wordless Music Orchestra as it performed his original score to accompany a big-screen presentation of the 2002 Anderson film “Punch-Drunk Love,” which stars Adam Sandler and Emily Watson. (He’s also written scores for “Magnolia,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and last year’s Amy Schumer vehicle, “Trainwreck.”)

He sat in the rear, practically under the screen and pretty far out of view, but took a big bow at the end.

I bemoaned the fact that he was such a small part of the fantastic evening. But seeing and hearing him at all was better than being deprived of his massive talents altogether.

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Shearwater shows David Bowie some love in Brooklyn

Jonathan Meiburg and Shearwater at Brooklyn's Rough Trade on March 16, 2016. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Jonathan Meiburg and Shearwater at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on March 16, 2016. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Jonathan Meiburg the lead singer and head honcho of the crew of talented hired guns that call themselves Shearwater these days (or Johnny & the Meiburgs, as one former member dubbed the band) have been playing songs from David Bowie’s 19979 album “Lodger” lately while touring then new album, “Jet Plane and Oxbow.”

On Tuesday night, the band put those 10 songs together and played them in album order at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“This is the first time we’ve played them together in order,” he told a small but enthusiastic crowd — which included Okkervil River frontman and onetime Meiburg bandmate Will Sheff. Continue reading

Jamie Block and Caroline Doctorow: Longtime friends forge musical partnership at Union Arts Center Saturday

Caroline Doctorow and Jamie Block

Caroline Doctorow and Jamie Block

Caroline Doctorow considers herself a classic folksinger.

Jamie Block‘s a product of the Anti-Folk revolution.

You might not think they’d have a lot in common, but if you want to find out how these two artists manage to walk their separate paths without losing sight of each other, check them out in a rare Rockland County concert appearance at Sparkill’s Union Arts Center on Saturday, March 19.

What you’re likely find is that it’s a natural pairing — they’ve been friends and mutual admirers for a quarter century

The pair spent a little time with Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? the other day to talk about their friendship , Doctorow begins recounting how she met Block.

“I think I met Jamie when,” she began, only to be interrupted off by Block — as he had warned he probably would wind up doing.

IF YOU GO

What: Caroline Doctorow and Jamie Block in concert

When: 8 p.m., Saturday, March 19

Where: Union Arts Center, 2 Union Ave., Sparkill, New York

Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. GO HERE TO BUY ONLINE. More info at info@unionartscenter.com or 845-359-0258

Interview continues after the jump. Continue reading