Category Archives: News

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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NBC TV role saved ‘Paterson’ actor William Jackson Harper from quitting show business

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William Jackson Harper plays Chidi on NBC’s “The Good Place”

It’s hard to believe that William Jackson Harper, who lends a delightful touch of insanity to Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” as the persistent, lovelorn Everett, almost gave up acting altogether.

Adam Driver and William Jackson Harper in

Adam Driver and William Jackson Harper in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

But that’s what he told Electronic Urban Report in an interview.

Landing the role of Chidi in the NBC afterlife comedy “The Good Place,” alongside Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, was what kept him going in his craft.

Harper, who’s been seen on stages around New York City in a number of important roles in the last five years, says:

I was burned out. I was doing a lot of theater and I love theater but I was also just so broke all the time that I was just frustrated, and decided that this season was going to be my last pilot season,” Jackson explained. “I was going to start trying to transition out from acting. I hit a point where I was like, ‘Okay, maybe it’s time for me to be realistic and get a regular job and try to have some stability in my life.’ Then this job happened and not only was it a job that gave me a little bit more faith, but also, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect job and a more perfect show for me to be on this one,” he said. “Sitting here with you talking is like a miracle to me, because I’ve been at this for a while, not nearly as long as some, but longer than others.

Harper’s role in the NBC show was announced last February, nearly four months after filming wrapped on “Paterson.” So if not for the heavenly intervention of “The Good Place,” Everett might have been Harper’s swan song as an actor. Continue reading

Garnerville plays unsung role supporting Adam Driver in Jim Jarmusch movie ‘Paterson’ (now with video)

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Adam Driver behind the wheel in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

I finally saw Jim Jarmusch‘s latest movie, “Paterson” with , last Sunday afternoon at the Fabian 8 Cinema, only movie theater left in the City of Paterson, New Jersey.

Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani in "Paterson" (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

I have known the city for a long time, but can’t say I’m intimately acquainted with it.

Even so, I was hit with a strange feeling early in my viewing of “Paterson” that something wasn’t quite right — aside from the fact that the family bulldog, a male named Marvin, was a gender-bending role for a female named Nellie.

It was more than the occasional script misstep, like the reference indicating that that Driver’s character, Paterson, worked for the city when his bus is clearly marked NJ Transit, a statewide transit agency.

Some of the settings, while authentically gritty, reminded me of somewhere else.

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Look familiar? This scene from the movie “Paterson” wasn’t shot in the movie’s namesake city. (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

Take, for instance, Paterson’s walk home from the Paterson bus depot, which took him through a brick archway past a “Paterson” sign painted on the wall. Something about the location reminded me of the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center just a couple of miles from my home in Rockland County, New York.

Click through to the jump for the photographic evidence.

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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

Kelly Flint bringing ‘lots of new songs’ to Rye on Thursday

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Kelly Flint, who once was the voice of the New York City-based postmodern lounge group Dave’s True Story, is performing her own music in a show in Rye  on Thursday.

She’ll be one of a trio of singer-songwriters taking performing as on a Rye Arts Center Live! Coffeehouse bill at Le Pain Quotidien.

2439965Paul Sforza and George Kilby Jr. will also perform.

Flint, a Scarsdale resident, will be joined on the upright bass by fomer DTS bandmate Jeff Eyrich, who promises Flint will be performing “lots of new songs.”

Flint started performing her own folk-inflected songs in earnest after DTS broke up in 2007, though she was writing songs long before she started singing bandmate Dave Cantor‘s jazzy songs in DTS beginning in the mid 1990s.

Catch up with  what Kelly’s been doing lately by reading the interview she did with me 14 months ago for The Journal News/lohud.com.

IF YOU GO

What: Kelly Flint. Paul Sforza, and George Kilby Jr. in performance

Where: Rye Arts Center Live! Coffeehouse at Le Pain Quotidien, 30 Purchase Street, Rye, New York

When:  7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26 (Doors at 6 p.m.)

Tickets: $10 in advance (GO HERE to buy online), $12 at the door.

 

 

Maggie Roche, gentle, New Jersey native singer-songwriter dies at 65 (Videos)

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Maggie, Suzzy, and Terre Roche (Photo by Irene Young via The Roches Facebook page)

Maggie Roche, the eldest of the three folk-singing sisters from Bergen County, New Jersey, who performed as The Roches, died Saturday morning.

Maggie, who always seemed like the sensible, quiet sister, was 65 when she lost her battle with cancer.

Younger sister Suzzy Roche confirmed the death in a loving Facebook farewell, saying she and Maggie spent  “the last month and a half helping each other through her final journey.”

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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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