Category Archives: Concerts

The Washington Squares reunite after 22 years to perform at Sidewalk Café benefit for Antifolk icon Lach: ‘We love Lach & want to help’ (Videos)

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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.

img_4306-1While Lach long ago moved to Scotland, he’s still well remembered at the Sidewalk Café,  at 94 Avenue A (212-473-7373), , where his club, The Fort, held weekly Antihoot open mic sessions.

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.

Some of those artists are coming together Thursday night, Feb. 9, in a benefit show to raise money for Lach and his family in Edinburgh.

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.

The benefit show is Night 3 of the four-night Winter Antifolk Fest 2017, which runs from Tuesday through Friday.

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.”

Lauren Agnelli and Tom Goodkind, the other founders behind the group that recorded  songs like “New Generation,” “Greenback Dollar,” “Fourth Day of July,” and “D Train,” have finally decided to soldier on without Paskow. While the classic image of The Squares is as a trio with guitars and black-and-white Beatnik outfits, famed Television drummer Billy Ficca (now a member of Heroes of Toolik) also was part of the band.

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

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Bang on a Can Marathon moving to Brooklyn with promise of ‘politics, resistance and love’

Asphalt Orchestra performing at the 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon at the Winter Garden in Manhattan on June 21. (© 2015 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Asphalt Orchestra performing at the 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon at the Winter Garden in Manhattan on June 21. (© 2015 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Bang on a Can, the premiere purveyor of New Music in New York City, is rebooting its  iconic Marathon concert with a move to Brooklyn in May, after a year off. Organizers promise it will be an “8-hour marathon concert of politics, resistance, and love.”

The Marathon lost its downtown Manhattan home of a decade at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center (now renamed Brookfield Place). The organizers skipped a 2016 edition, but promised a new location for the its 30th anniversary this year.

They delivered on that promise Thursday, announcing that the genre-busting musical celebration lands at the Brooklyn Museum on May 6, from 2-10 p.m.

The Marathon was somewhat itinerant prior to its 10-year run at the Winter Garden, spending time at mostly Manhattan venues, ranging from the Soho art gallery where it started in 1987, to the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side, to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Despite its Manhattan roots, this won’t be the first time the Marathon was held in Brooklyn. In 2000 and 2001, it was staged at BAM, just a block or two away from Bang on a Can’s longtime headquarters on Hanson Place in Fort Greene. Continue reading

Getting 2017 off to a good start with the New York Jazzharmonic Trad-Jazz Sextet

New York Jazzharmonic Trad-Jazz Sextet at Union Arts Center, Sparkill, New York, on Jan. 6, 2017. (Photo © 2017. Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

New York Jazzharmonic Trad-Jazz Sextet at Union Arts Center, Sparkill, New York, on Jan. 6, 2017. (Photo © 2017. Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

In reflecting on my concert-going of 2016 and looking at what’s already on the docket for 2017, I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I should be keeping  list of the concerts, shows, and other performing arts events I attend.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about this before. I used to dismiss it because I take photos at most shows and keep my tickets stubs, or what pass for stubs. But in the past year or so, more and more venues, at least in the rock world, are opting for total will call operations.

Granted, there’s usually a receipt generated for each faux ticket purchase, but a receipt is a poor substitute for a ticket in the scrapbook — even if, as in my case, it’s a shoebox with scrapbook aspirations.

So my logging begins in earnest in 2017, and kicked off Friday night with Rocklander Ron Wasserman’s New York Jazzharmonic Trad-Jazz Sextet in an uplifting, well-played program of early jazz at the Union Arts Center in Sparkill, New York. It was a marked contrast to my last show of 2016, a Brooklyn New Year’s Eve bash featuring Guided By Voices.

Continue reading

Music for the End of the World (VIDEO)

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However we feel about what happened Tuesday, we all could use some decompression right about now.

What’s better than music for soothing the savage breast, after all?

There’s a perfect opportunity in Nyack, New York, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov.13, when TRANSIT, a New Music collective, presents a program that includes a rare — for this 21st Century-oriented group — performance of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” at GraceMusic.

TRANSIT describes itself this way:

A New Music collective based in NYC, TRANSIT takes a comprehensive twenty-first century approach to new and experimental music by performing, commissioning, and recording the music of emerging composers, while also fostering strengthened relationships between living composers and the general public through TRANSIT-produced concert series and special initiatives.
TRANSIT’s members include a resident composer (Daniel Wohl) and five performers who are amongst the most vibrant young players in the NYC New Music scene. Its core ensemble consists of a mixed chamber
instrumentation: violin (Andie Springer), cello (Evelyn Farny), clarinet (Sara Budde), piano (David Friend), and percussion (Joe Bergen), and
often incorporates electronics, non-traditional instruments, and multimedia components.
TICKET INFO AND DETAILS AFTER THE JUMP

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The one NYC show you must see tonight: Marah at the Bowery Ballroom (Updated: Now with VIP ticketholder schedule)

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If you need a reason to see Marah at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on Friday night, Sept. 23, check out Rolling Stone’s story:

How Marah Made the Best Americana Album You’ve Never Heard

Marah’s 2008 performance on Late Night With Conan O’Brien should have been the ultimate coming-out party, a shot of high-profile national PR to launch an ambitious new album and U.S. tour. Instead, the January 9th appearance was a death knell for both the Philadelphia roots-rock band and their sixth studio record Angels of Destruction!, released only the day before.

Within a week of the Conan spotlight, Marah split up, with band discord to blame. All of their U.S. dates were scrapped, squandering their best chance yet at the brass ring.

GO HERE TO READ THE REST ON ROLLINGSTONE.COM

GO HERE FOR TICKETS: $25 GA/$50 VIP

If you’re going, here’s the schedule:

VIP Ticket Holder Hour: Soundcheck, NYC gig poster, meet/greet, enlightenment etc etc) is 6:30pm-7:30pm (After party for wrist-banded VIP ticket holders is immediately after the show in the Bowery Ballroom’s basement bar.)

MARAH SHOWTIME is 8:30pm! (no support bands).

Underground Horns, Blind Boy Paxton, The Foxfires, and Three Pints Shy perform tomorrow at Haverstraw RiverArts & Music Festival

HRA_AD4_2x2_8Stick around Rockland County on Saturday, Sept .17, and get yourself to the wonderful Haverstraw RiverArts & Music Festival.

It’s a one-day  celebration of the mighty Hudson River in a cool urban village that provided many of the multiple millions of bricks that transformed Manhattan and many other parts of what ‘s now New York City.

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Underground Horns

It was started in 2014 by Haverstraw RiverArts, to bring a full day of music and art set against the backdrop of the Hudson for the residents of Rockland and beyond.

From noon to 6 p.m., Emeline Park at the foot of Main Street will be transformed into a wonderland of art, live music, food, a beer garden, and craft vendors.

It’s all free.

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Blind Boy Paxton

Everything will be great, but the music will be especially hot this year, with a lineup that includes a danceable New York City horn band, a rising young country blues star, a West Nyack indie-rock band, and a Celtic combo. (Full disclosure: I helped recruit two of the bands.)

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The Foxfires

Here’s the music schedule:

Student musician & Welcome – Noon-12:30 p.m.

The Foxfires (West Nyack “Seagaze” indie rock) – 12:30-1:30

Three Pints Shy (Celtic) – 1:40-2:25

Student musicians – 2:30-3

Blind Boy Paxton (country blues) – 3-4

Announcements – 4:45-5

Underground Horns (NYC funk horns) – 5-6

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Three Pints Shy

If you go for the music, you should also check out the food and crafts and the professional artists who will display their work along the waterfront.

A special feature of this year’s festival is the 1885 wooden schooner Pioneer, which will offer rides throughout the day for $25 per person. GO HERE TO BUY TICKETS.

 

Donovan’s ‘Mellow Yellow’ sound comes to Peeksill on Suday

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Whether you were around in the Sixties, or even if you were born years later, you have head the psychedelic folk-rock stylings of Donovan, whose greatest hits include “Sunshine Superman,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” and “Mellow Yellow.”

On Sunday, Sept. 18, the 70-year-old Scotland-born singer-songwriter brings his 50th anniversary tour to the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill.

In an interview for The Journal News/lohud.com tied to his first-ever Westchester County gig, Donovan tells me he’s still going strong doing creative work he loves – and has no intention of stopping.

“I love making music and I do it every day… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop doing that. In that way, my motivations haven’t changed at all. I’m an observer and my music is a commentary on life. I love that job.”

FOR TICKET INFORMATION AND TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW, GO HERE