Tag Archives: East Village

Young Marble Giants’ Stuart Moxham on NYC Tribute to ‘Colossal Youth’: ‘Standing Ovation’ (Video)

Young Marble Giants tribute organizers Tom Shad on bass and Renée LoBue on vocals. (© 2015, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Young Marble Giants tribute organizers Tom Shad on bass and Renée LoBue on vocals. (© 2015, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Last Thursday, the album “Colossal Youth” —  an enduring post-punk gem by Welsh trio Young Marble Giants — got quite a workout.

First, the original three members of the band, brothers Stuart Moxham (guitar and keyboards) and Phil Moxham (bass)  and vocalist Alison Statton, reunited in London for a little thing called the Meltdown festival, curated by David Byrne.

Five hours later, a crew of indie-rock veterans from New York and New Jersey gathered in an East Village bar to play the influential album in a tribute show organized by Dumptruck bassist Tom Shad and Elk City vocalist Renée LoBue.

Stuart Moxham, in particular, was touched by the idea that New York rockers would be honoring his band’s work on the same night of the Meltdown reunion. He expressed a touch of sadness that he couldn’t be there to see it — as he was otherwise occupied.

But Tom Shad made sure the festivities were captured on video for Stuart and for posterity.

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? asked Stuart to share a few thoughts after he had a chance to watch it. (He says it took him awhile because his smartphone crapped out on the video and he had to get to an Internet cafe to watch.) See what Stuart had to say, in its entirety, after the jump.

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Hey, Buke and Gass, ummm, GASE, are back with new music

Thoughts on a name change

Buke and Gass keep their feet busy, too. (Photos © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Plus a PREVIEW OF THEIR NEW SONG!

It’s been more than a year since Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?  mentioned Buke and Gass. We’re overdue.

Arone Dyer on buke.

Maybe you’ve already noticed that there’s something different about this intense duo — their name. They’re now Buke and Gase, in what appears to be a slightly sad surrender to phonetics.

For those who have been paying close attention, the morphing began late last fall when the band posted this brief, cryptic bulletin on its website:

October 26 – Just played a show in Canada and our name is morphing.

But the reality didn’t sink in until we saw announcements for the band’s May 4 appearance at The National‘s Bryce and Aaron Dessner-curated Crossing Brooklyn Ferry series at BAM. We thought somebody had made a typo. On further investigation, we discovered the band had indeed changed the spelling.

Aron Sanchez on gass.

Although the pronunciation of the band name was easy to remember once you knew what it stood for — baritone ukulele=Buke, while guitar+bass=Gass — it appears the second half of the name was too often the butt of jokes rhyming with ass. So Arone Dyer, who plays the buke, and Aron Sanchez, on gass, gave in and changed the spelling.

But they didn’t change the sound, as you’ll hear on this great preview track from their next album, which they hope to release in September.

If you can’t make it to Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, or you just want more Buke and Gase, check out the lineup they’ve curated (they’re not listed as performing, just curating) through May 15 with Terry Riley‘s son Gyan Riley, at The Stone, John Zorn‘s music venue in Manhattan’s East Village.

Scenes from a fund-raiser: Benefit for Lucinda’s Kids, Night 1

The first night of the two-night Benefit for Lucinda’s Kids was a great night of almost 7 hours of entertainment on Sunday, April 29 at The Bowery Electric, with a great crowd and a fantastic lineup of artists, including Marah, Jesse Malin, Jimmy Gnecco, Willie Nile (who almost missed the show because of a delayed flight from Chicago), Jim Boggia, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Michelle Casillas (Ursa Minor), Mystie and more. As of Sunday night, there were still tickets left for the second night of the benefit to raise money for the trust fund that will benefit the two teenagers left behind when their mom, super music fan Lucinda Gallagher, committed suicide last December.

Here’s the Monday lineup.

Monday, April 30, doors at 7 p.m.
Tommy Stinson (The Replacements)
HR (Bad Brains)
Alan Vega (Suicide)
James Maddock
Aaron Lee Tasjan

Tickets are $20 and available here.

And here’s what you missed on Sunday.

Jesse Malin

Many, many more photos after the jump.
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Where Marah is headed now

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Marah: Dave Bielanko and Christine Smith perform an acoustic number mid-crowd at the Benefit for Lucinda's Kids at The Bowery Electric in Manhattan's East Village on Sunday, April 29. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Dave Bielanko and Christine Smith talk about Mountain Minstrelsy, living (almost) off the grid and whether Serge Bielanko will rejoin Marah

How many lives has the rock band Marah had?

It’s hard to say, but it’s one of those bands that has survived surviving changing lineups, internal strife, and wildly fluctuating stylistic directions, all the while being encouraged and praised by celebrities.

Marah with flugelhorn at The Bowery Electric on April 29. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Started in Philadelphia, Marah quickly became notable for the stage antics of its core duo, brothers Dave and Serge Bielanko from Philadelphia suburb Conshohocken. They had a loose but seemingly perfectly choreographed stage presence together. Their sound, early on, featured rootsy, Americana-flavored rock and roll with a particular treat for anyone who has an affinity for Philadelphia: jangling banjos played in the style of Philadelphia Mummers Parade string bands.

A band version of Marah at Bowery Electric in 2010. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

This is a band that novelist Stephen King in 2005 dubbed probably the best rock band in America that nobody knows.” They’ve also been the darlings of writers Nick Hornby (who did a tour with the band) and Sarah Vowell.

It’s a band that became pals with Bruce Springsteen and got him to sing and play on one of their albums. And Steve Earle liked them enough to add them to the roster of his now defunct record label.

It’s also a band whose list of former members on Wikipedia at this writing tops out at 20 — a lot for the 19-year-old a band, which generally has performed as a quartet or quintet.

In working there, they’ve discovered something magical, something that has returned the band to its roots in a way, and turned it in a new direction in another way.

Dave and Christine are working with a handful of local musicians in their Pennsylvania hideaway on a project they call Mountain Minstrelsy. (Check it out on Facebook, too.) They’re holed up in an old church that they’re using as a recording studio.

Basically, one of their musical pals in Pennsylvania showed them a book of collected lyrics, “Mountain Minstrelsy (as sung in the Backwoods Settlements, Hunting Cabins and Lumber Camps in the “Black Forest” of Pennsylvania, 1840 – 1923)” by Henry W. Shoemaker. It struck a chord, literally and figuratively, with Dave and Christine, so they set out to build an album around their new music for the found lyrics. They’ve been recording the new-old songs with some of their friends and neighbors for an album they hope to release late this year.

After the jump, read the full interview, plus a video of Dave, Christine and friends in a Mountain Minstrelsy rehearsal.

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New York City’s preparing for an Unsilent Night

Composer Phil Kline hands out tapes to Unsilent Night/NYC participants in 2005.

New York, it’s time to get ready for Unsilent Night!

This musical happening, composed and orchestrated — in every sense of the word — by Phil Kline, returns to its roots in New York on Saturday, Dec. 18. It kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village.

This is the 19th year for Unsilent Night in New York, where it all started in 1992.

It’s an amazing experience in which every participant is responsible for part of the music by carrying a boombox or other speaker-equipped music playback gadget to sent Kline’s ethereal composition through the cold night air.

There’s nothing specifically religious or sectarian about the music or the event, but it generates a warm, holiday spirit for most participants.

Be sure to arrive early and bring your own boom box. Dress warmly and prepare to have a great time!

You’ll save time and be better prepared if you bring your own CD or MP3 file to play on whatever system you’re using. Click here to download your part. CDs will also be available at the start.

Here’s  this year’s instructions, direct from the Unsilent Night website:

On December 18 at 7:00pm, Phil Kline will lead a massive chorus of boomboxes from the West Village to the East Village in the 19th annual holiday presentation of Unsilent Night. People will gather in Washington Square Park, and less than an hour and mile later, end up in Tompkins Square Park.

In NYC, it is recommended that participants arrive by 6:45 pm at the arch in Washington Square. 
Phil Kline will hand out a limited number of boomboxes—and cassettes and CD’s for those who bring their own players. The public is strongly encouraged to bring their own boomboxes and hold them high as they play the music. Mp3 downloads of the individual tracks will be available on this website after November 27, so pod-docks and other sound-blasters can be carried . People have even brought their laptops hooked up to large speakers mounted on a wagon.

“Unsilent Night was designed in 1992 to withstand the unreliability, playback delay and occasional quavering tones of cassettes, “ said Phil Kline in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner. “About 90 percent of people have CD players now, so I make CDs available as well, but there’s something about the twinkling, hallucinatory effect of a warbling cassette tape that I enjoy.”

The event is free, and will be held rain or shine.

Participants can e-mail unsilentnight@gmail.com for information.

The growing list of U.S. cities presenting Unsilent Night this year:
Asheville, Baltimore, Boulder, Charleston, SC, Charleston, WV, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Traverse City and beyond the U.S.:
Hong Kong, Oxford, UK | Cambridge, Ontario | Vancouver, BC | Fredericton, NB.

More cities to come!