The cover of Jennifer O’Connor’s album “Surface Noise” (March 4, 2016, Kiam Records) features an ambitious abstract painting, “There 48,” by Brooklyn artist Joan LeMay.
I’ve never been one to make best-of lists when it comes to music. I enjoy so much of what I hear that it’s difficult to pick favorites.
So I won’t say that Jennifer O’Connor‘s forthcoming album, “Surface Noise,” out March 4, 2016, on Kiam Records, is a sure-fire pick for my best of 2016 list, since I’m not likely to compile one.
I can say it’s the best new album I’ve heard so far in this still-young year — and I fully expect to feel that way about it when this year is winding down.
“Surface Noise” is packed with 12 songs that explore love, loss, and the challenges of life with a casual brilliance about this album that makes it the best work this talented artist has produced so far.
Don’t risk missing this show: Read through to the jump for a link to advance-sale tickets
Cake Shop is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month by hosting shows featuring artists who have played the tiny but influential underground (literally and figuratively) Lower East Side club during that decade.
While most Cake Shop shows, including the #CS10 anniversary specials, are pay-at-the-door affairs, it seems that management made a wise choice to provide advance sale tickets for the gig on Friday, May 22, featuring Condo Fucks, a “Connecticut” band whose fictional bio offers clues for the uninitiated:
Eschewing such Condo Fucks originals as ‘Fuckin’ Gary Sandy’ and ‘Let’s Get Rid Of New Haven’, the trio – Georgia Condo (drums), Kid Condo (guitar), and James McNew (bass) – instead tear through covers of The Small Faces, Richard Hell, Beach Boys, Electric Eels, Troggs, Flaming Groovies and Slade classics in the style that previously won them so much acclaim from the Nutmeg State’s music journalists and radio programmers all those years ago.
Still not sure who these musicians are? You haven’t been paying attention. So shame on you. Continue reading →
In apparent confirmation of the notion that its annual, eight-night Hanukkah concerts died along with Maxwell’s, the Hoboken music club, Yo La Tengo skipped performing during the Festival of Lights this year. But the Hoboken-based band did manage to pull together a four-night, end-of-year run at The Bell House in Brooklyn over the weekend.
Never forget your roots.
Sunday night’s show was all YLT, all the time. It didn’t have the special attraction of guest artists and comedians opening for and playing with YLT’s Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew. But it was a splendid way to wrap up the year anyway.
On Sunday, YLT opened with a set of quiet versions of songs, largely from this year’s album, “Fade.” For the second set, they cut loose, rocking out on a huge set of songs.
Joe Puleo on Farfisa.
Oh, and I’m slightly wrong about the “no guest artists” thing. The band’s longtime tour manager and man-about-town Joe Puleo joined them on Farfisa for one number. I guess that counts.
A huge tech and front-of-house sound area kept things running smoothly and quickly.
Check out lots of photos from Hanukkah Night 4, with Yo La Tengo, Kid Millions, Todd Barry and Real Estate at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J.
Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? was pleased to see a relatively young local band, Real Estate, on the bill for Night 4.
We love the old favorites, like The Feelies. But there are more than a few upstarts out there, and some of them are really good. Real Estate qualifies. The band’s singer-guitarist, Martin Courtney, clearly loves many of the same musical influences that Yo La Tengo‘s members revere.
Real Estate did a solid set and gave us our first opportunity ever to see them perform. We already liked their recorded sound. We need to see them again.
Todd Barry gave a perfectly timed, just-long-enough performance. He’s a musician’s comedian whose wry humor fit well with the feel of the evening.
Yo La Tengo.
We have dozens out more images from last night’s show after the jump, including a gallery of an Ira Kaplan organ freakout!
But before we get there, take a moment to check out the new video from YLT’s upcoming album, Fade, which drops on Jan. 15.
We’re An American Band
The Crying of Lot G
20th Century Boy (T-Rex)
Out the Window
The Point of It
Don’t Have To Be So Sad
Double Dare (acoustic)
Big Day Coming (fast)
Nothing To Hide
Mushroom Cloud of Hiss
Burnin’ For You (Blue Öyster Cult) (with Todd Barry on drums)
Our Way To Fall (with Martin Courtney of Real Estate on vocals)
Yo La Tengo continued its massively wonderful holiday tradition, kicking off the first of eight shows — one for each night of Hanukkah — on Saturday night. The proceeds from tickets and most merchandise goes to charity. (This year all the charities support Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts.)_
Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? managed to score tickets to four of the eight nights — not an easy thing to do the way TicketFly is set up.
Our first night was Night 2, when the amazing Sun Ra Arkestra (imagine a DOZEN musicians on the tiny Maxwell’s stage!) was the opener and Fred Armisen of “Saturday Night Live” and “Portlandia” was both the comedian and a musical guest.
Night 3 featured Hoboken’s hometown heroes The Feelies, which opened with a very strong set, and the members of which sat in at various points of YLT’s set. Guitarist and vocalist Glenn Mercer was absolutely on fire all night. And Brenda Sauter did a great job on vocals for “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” “SNL” writer John Mulaney was the comic for Night 3.
We’ll be back tonight, but wanted to share some images of nights 2 and 3 with you now.
This is a tradition that has been going on for 11 years, YLT’s Ira Kaplan pointed out last night. We hope it continues for many years to come.
Click through to the jump for lots of photos from Sunday and Monday nights’ shows.
Danny Amis, also known as Daddy-O Grande of the legendary surf instrumental group Los Straitjackets (and who once played with Hoboken surf instrumental band The Raybeats), was diagnosed with multiple myeloma recently. He was uninsured at the time, but he managed to get help through the new Affordable Care Act and through the assistance of his music-industry friends.
One of the things his friends have done is throw benefit concerts. His Hoboken buddies got together at Maxwell’s on Wednesday night, June 2. It was a blast-from-the-past show with an amazing lineup: Tall Lonesome Pines, The Purple Knif, The Schramms, The Raybeats (joined briefly by Adele Bertei, former keyboard player and singer with James Chance and the Contortions), The Individuals and an unannounced set by Yo La Tengo.
It was a fantastic show, with a lot of crossover among the bands. It went on until after midnight, a tough thing for some people at a midweek show, but it was worth the long night. Those who left after Bar/None founder Glenn Morrow’s band, The Individuals, wrapped up missed the YLT set.
Click through to the jump for exclusive photos of the show from Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?