Tag Archives: Jamie Block

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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Jamie Block and Caroline Doctorow: Longtime friends forge musical partnership at Union Arts Center Saturday

Caroline Doctorow and Jamie Block

Caroline Doctorow and Jamie Block

Caroline Doctorow considers herself a classic folksinger.

Jamie Block‘s a product of the Anti-Folk revolution.

You might not think they’d have a lot in common, but if you want to find out how these two artists manage to walk their separate paths without losing sight of each other, check them out in a rare Rockland County concert appearance at Sparkill’s Union Arts Center on Saturday, March 19.

What you’re likely find is that it’s a natural pairing — they’ve been friends and mutual admirers for a quarter century

The pair spent a little time with Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? the other day to talk about their friendship , Doctorow begins recounting how she met Block.

“I think I met Jamie when,” she began, only to be interrupted off by Block — as he had warned he probably would wind up doing.

IF YOU GO

What: Caroline Doctorow and Jamie Block in concert

When: 8 p.m., Saturday, March 19

Where: Union Arts Center, 2 Union Ave., Sparkill, New York

Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. GO HERE TO BUY ONLINE. More info at info@unionartscenter.com or 845-359-0258

Interview continues after the jump. Continue reading

Singer-Songwriter Jamie Block’s independent film gets East Coast premiere in Brooklyn next week

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

When I met Jamie Block for the first time, back in 2013, the onetime anti-folk singer-songwriter he was on the comeback trail. The longtime Rockland County resident had gotten through a difficult time in his life. By his own account, he had hit bottom and found his way up again before releasing the impressive “Whitecaps on the Hudson,” his first album in seven years.

His effort to promote that album led to a relationship with Brooklyn filmmaker Onur Turkel, which at first apparently was intended to produce some music videos. But things blossomed and what resulted is a full-length comedy, “Abby Singer/Songwriter,”  starring Block, daughters Johanna and Sophie, and the filmmaker. And you’ll be able to see it here in the New York City area for the first time next week.

I’ve seen clips, which are quite funny, but haven’t seen the finished product yet. So here’s a description of it from a film festive website:

A comedy with real heart, Abby Singer, Songwriter tells the tale of a filmmaker and a musician who meet and start working together in a union that at times seems the most ill-fated creative partnership in history. Luckily for us, it’s also one of the funniest, as terrible music video ideas come to life, recurring jokes land perfectly and don’t hold back on political correctness and the film builds layer upon layer of character driven conundrums to form its perfect NYC-set universe. Featuring real-life musician Jamie Block and real-life director Onur Tukel playing fictionalized versions of themselves, the film is a throwback to great independent films as a unique story and structure pay off in spades. As Jamie tries to survive Onur and make a real connection with his daughters he must also face the prospect that the two things are becoming increasingly, hilariously intertwined.

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Haverstraw’s Jamie Block on the gift of a comeback after battling his demons

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Revealing interview comes ahead of Hudson Valley premiere of his Whitecaps On The Hudson album Friday at The Turning Point

Whitecaps-On-The-Hudson-by-Jamie-Block-300x300 Singer-songwriter Jamie
Block
, a longtime Hudson Valley resident,
will be doing his first Hudson Valley concert in ages at The
Turning Point in Piermont on Friday, Sept. 27. It’ll be the first
time he and his band have played the songs from his latest album,
Whitecaps On The Hudson, in a Hudson River venue. He sat down with
me for a candid discussion of his comeback and his music for
lohud.com/The Journal News. Read
the full interview here
.
Friday’s show starts at 8:30 p.m., with doors at 7:30, at The
Turning Point Cafe, 468 Piermont Ave., Piermont. Tickets
are $15 and available by clicking or tapping here.
Visit
The Turning Point wesbsite or call 845-359-1089 for more
information

Singer-songwriter Jamie Block shows he gets the rhythm of Rockland County life with Whitecaps on the Hudson

Jamie Block

Jamie Block

With the new album officially out, the long-MIA anti-folk artist is performing again, too

Nothing about Jamie Block suggests he’s a man of few words — just a man who doesn’t waste words.

For years, it even showed in his performance identity: Block. Not Jamie Block, just Block, thank you very much.

Jamie Block's new Whitecaps on the Hudson

Jamie Block’s new Whitecaps on the Hudson

It seems that he was saving the words for his songs, which on his latest (and long-overdue) album, Whitecaps on the Hudson, are perfectly crafted stories of a man whose life has had some twists and turns.

It’s a memorable work that reminds us why the music world has been much poorer during Block’s overlong absence.

Continue reading