Category Archives: Pop and Rock

Bang on a Can Marathon: Today’s the day

Bang on a Can Marathon 2018

Artists scheduled to perform at the Bang on a Can Marathon 2018

What day could be more appropriate than Mothers’ Day for the mother of  all Bang on a Can Marathons.

The free 10-hour multi-genre show kicks off at noon at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Featured artists and composers include Bang on a Can founders David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe, along with one of their mentors, Terry Riley — and, of course, the Bang on a Can All Stars.

But performances aren’t limited to contemporary classical. Singer-songwriter and Magnetic Fields‘ frontman Stephin Merritt is appearing in the first hour of the show, with cellist bandmate Sam Davol, to appeal to the pop audience. Another artist with proven crossover appeal, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Xenia Rubinos, appears later in the day.

If you can’t make it to Skirball, a livestream is scheduled. GO HERE to connect (free registration required to watch).

Check out the full performance schedule after the jump

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In confronting fear of her past, Elk City’s Renée LoBue has written some of her most personal and revealing songs ever [Video]

Elk City performs at Rent Party in Maplewood, New Jersey, on Feb. 23, 2018. (Photo © 2018, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Elk City performs at Rent Party in Maplewood, New Jersey, on Feb. 23, 2018. (Photo © 2018, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

When Elk City’s Renée LoBue and I started talking back in November 2016 about the songs she had written for the band’s first new album since 2010’s “House of Tongues,” I never imagined the conversation would continue for more than a year before that album materialized.

But it did take that long. And the new collection, “Everybody’s Insecure,” released March 16 on Hoboken’s Bar/None Records, was well worth the wait.

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Renée LoBue of Elk City performs at Rent Party in Maplewood, New Jersey, on Feb. 23, 2018. (Photo © 2018, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Renée LoBue of Elk City performs at Rent Party in Maplewood, New Jersey, on Feb. 23, 2018. (Photo © 2018, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

With LoBue’s cooperation and permission, and the help of her longtime collaborator Ray Ketchem, I was able to distill our dialogue over those many months into an article that reveals the difficult personal journey she took to confront and address her past in song.

Read the full interview by CLICKING HERE, on northjersey.com.

Stephan Jenkins reflects on free-range chicken and 20 years of Third Eye Blind

The enduring San Francisco band hits the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester on Saturday, Oct. 7.

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When you’re in a rock band that tours as much as Third Eye Blind, little things sometimes loom large.

On a mid-September afternoon, front man Stephan Jenkins is having a bite to eat while he chats with The Journal News by phone from the Elmwood Park Amphitheater in downtown Roanoke, Virginia.

“I’m enjoying a chicken Caesar here,” the California native says. “They’ve got free range organic chicken in Roanoke, Virginia. How about that?”

After kicking off Oct. 5  in Providence, Rhode Island, the tour takes the band to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, and to Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre on Oct. 7.

Looking back on the songs from Third Eye Blind’s self-titled debut album, released 20 years ago, Jenkins remains proud of the work that first brought him fame. The work has endured, he says, even if it means something different now.

“I’m not the same person I was,” he explains. “It’s funny, I can revisit that person, and know that person and have more affection and appreciation for that person than I did when I was that person.”

He describes the person who wrote and recorded that album as “somebody who was very flawed.”

“There was a real drive,” he recalls. “That person had a real rage to live and a drive that was impressive. And, so yeah, I like that person.”

He resists describing how he sees himself today.

“I don’t know, I’ll tell you in 20 years. I’m not gifted with self- knowledge.

CLICK HERE to read more of Jenkins’ insights in the full interview on lohud.com.

 

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

 

 

Speed the Plough putting on a not-to-be-missed show Saturday night

cdcposterIf you are within driving distance of Cranford, New Jersey, on Saturday night, Sept. 17, get yourself to the Cranford Dramatic Club theater to hear Speed the Plough, one of the best bands to come out of the extended family of The Feelies, and some other musical friends.

The North Haledon-based band is a little out of its element, and its home turf, at the Cranford playhouse that traditionally hosts theater rather than music.

“It’s a bit of a special endeavor,” says Toni Baumgartner, Speed the Plough’s flute player and one of its singers. “Like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, we’re putting on a show” at an old theater… This is kind of a first for them: An evening of music with no drama. We’re aiming for an intimate, café-style setting.”

While Speed the Plough’s beautiful chamber pop — featuring John Bamugartner on keyboards, Mike Baumgartner and Ed Seifert on guitars, Cindi Merklee on bass, and John Demeski on drums along with Toni Baumgartner — tops the bill, the other acts are well worth the price of admission.

The Songs of Winter Hours is a band led by Bob Perry, an original member of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, -based Winter Hours, that aims to keep alive the music of a great New Jersey alternative rock band.

Winter Hours, which included the late guitarist Michael Carlucci — the onetime owner of New York City’s Subterranean Records and CDs and also a member of indie supergroup East of Venus, another Feelies-related band whose debut album was completed shortly before Carlucci died —  had plenty of regional success from 1984 to 1991.

The Songs of Winter Hours features Perry on guitar and lead vocals, Ray Nissen on bass, James Higgins on guitar, Chris O’Hara on drums, and Paul Moschella on percussion. Joseph Marques, who was a songwriter and the band’s lead singer, died in 2003.

The first artist on the bill is Edward Rogers, a Britain-born, New  York City-based singer-songwriter. His new album “Glass Marbles” was released on Zip Records in March to rave reviews.

 

IF YOU GO

What: Speed the Plough, The Songs of Winter Hours, and Edward Rogers in concert

When: 8 p.m., (7 p.m. doors) Saturday, Sept. 17

Where: The CDC Theatre, 78 Winans Avenue, Cranford, NJ

Tickets: $15 online (GO HERE TO BUY)  or at the door. Includes a glass of wine or a beer.