It’s hard to imagine how anyone could tell such a gut-wrenching, personal story to audiences night after night without going over the edge, but Abigail Bengson — who performs with husband Shaun in The Bengsons— is doing just that in “The Lucky Ones,” now playing at the historic Connelly Theater in Manhattan’s East Village.
The piece is charming and entertaining, but gripping and emotionally exhausting at the same time. It’s much more emotional, at least to me, than their previous musical, “Hundred Days.”
I regretted waiting so late in the game — not until Black Friday last year at New York Theater Workshop — to see the Bengsons’ first musical, which centered on their quirky love-and-marriage story. By then it was in what seemed like it umpteenth incarnation. I had passed up opportunities to see earlier versions at Joe’s Pub, The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Series, and probably other venues.
Don’t miss out on one of the best musical events of the year: the release of Nyack hip hop duo TRØN & DVD‘s first full length album.
“Afraid of the Dark,” the tough-but-funny pair’s debut, dropped Friday, Oct. 20, on Kiam Records.
Brothers Norvin and Darian Van Dunk, who perform as TRØN & DVD, sat down with me recently for an extended interview for The Journal News/lohud, which appeared on Page One of Wednesday’s newspaper and is also available online. GO HERE to read the interview. (They also got some love from Nyack News & Views a few weeks back.)
The Kiam Records Shop, the label’s home base at 95 Main St/. in Nyack, is hosting a free listening-and-CD-signing party at 7 p.m. Friday. Label chief Jennifer O’Connor promises drinks and snacks.
Mountain Man at the 2010 Solid Sound Festival, North Adams, Massachusetts. (Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)
If your hopes were dashed when Mountain Man did only a one-off reunion set this summer despite strong hints from the long-dormant trio earlier this year suggesting something much more extensive might be in the works, take note!
The trio is will do a full tour, but not until 2018, Mountain Man member Molly Erin Sarlé says.
She broke the news to a fan during a conversation after her opening set for Big Thief at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sept. 11.
Sarlé said she and her band mates had “so much fun” doing their set at the Eaux Claires festival in June, that they have agreed to do a tour next year.
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.
The Lords of Liechtenstein’s Rauchwerk brothers perform with Austin Hughes, left, of M. Shanghai, at Jalopy in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Dec. 6, 2014. (Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)
You can accuse New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based band The Lords of Liechtenstein of a lot of things, including having questionable fashion taste (I have just three words: Argyle. Sweater. Vests.) and possessing endless charm, humor, and musical talent.
But you could never call the folky band — brothers and Holmdel, New Jersey, natives Dan and Noah Rauchwerk and three band mates — subtle.
The new video for “Kool Aid,” from their latest album, “Downhill Ride to Joyland,” is a perfect example.
Their team describes it this way:
Their new unreleased music video “Kool Aid” was inspired by cult leader Jim Jones and is meant to be a satirical take on the power that charismatic figures hold over us. The video translates that theme to the present day and is critical of how such leaders cause us to accept poisonous ideologies. “Drink the kool aid.”
But let’s just say they seem to have a someone much, much more contemporary than Jim Jones in mind as the inspiration for this video. (Clue: Pay attention to the wording on the paper cups! If that doesn’t make it clear, I have just one word for you: SAD!)
Watch and enjoy here:
If you like what you see and hear and want to see the Lords live, your next opportunity in the New York City area will be Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the Schimmel Center in Manhattan, in support of Uncle Bonsai. They’ll be at The Turning Point in Piermont, New York, on Sunday, Dec. 10, performing on a 4 p.m. bill with The Levins. Check out their full schedule on Facebook.
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 →
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 →
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)
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.
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.
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 Museumon 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 →