Tag Archives: (Le) Poisson Rouge

Jon Brion’s long overdue New York City stand

Jon Brion

Jon Brion builds a song at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, Oct. 3, 2011. (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

The amazing composer/performer/arranger/producer Jon Brion is a fixture on the Los Angeles music scene, with his regular appearances at Largo— gigs that draw on his huge circle of musical friends. So it was a thrill to see that he was going to spend several nights in New York City this October. It was his first visit since 2002, when he spent a couple of night in residence at the Canal Room.

Jon Brion

John Brion

We got a chance to catch his set on Oct. 3, his third night at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. He did not disappoint, working his butt off in his one-man-band style, looping guitar, piano and drums and moving seamlessly through the pop landscape with net or set list.

Check out more photos of  Jon’s Oct. 3 show after the jump.

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Doveman delivers the best show of the year so far

May edition of The Burgundy Stain Session featured Rufus Wainwright and The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl)

Doveman opening his latest edition of The Burgundy Stain Sessions at (Le) Poisson Rouge. (Photos copyright 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

I’m not sure what it is about Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, that makes him so brilliant.

Like many of you, I first discovered him when he was the man behind Salon‘s late, lamented Daily Download feature. At that point, I had no idea who he was, but enjoyed his tight writing about music and really enjoyed his taste and his ability to spotlight tunes that I might have missed and would have lived to regret.

Rufus Wainwright.

But soon he gave that up and turned to his real love, making music. Those who were paying attention soon discovered that Thomas is a very talented singer-songwriter in his own right with his beautiful, fragile style that he calls “insomnia pop.” He’s made some beautiful albums under his nom de stage.

But Thomas is probably more familiar to audiences as the guy will lots and lots of amazingly talented musical friends.

Rob Moose, Doveman, Rufus Wainwright and Brad Albetta.

He’s been presenting The Burgundy Stain Sessions (the next edition is June 24) shows on a more or less monthly basis lately at (Le) Poisson Rouge. The format is pretty straightforward. He gets  the room set up in the round, invites some of his talented friends, does a little rehearsing and puts on a show. It’s the kind of event where just about anything can happen.

The sessions we’ve see have been beautiful, sloppy things. And we don’t mean sloppy in a bad way. No, we mean sloppy in a warm, wonderful surprise-wet-kiss way.

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TwoSense: Old guard piano meets new guard cello

Australian pianist Lisa Moore and American cellist Ashley Bathgate join forces as TwoSense.

We at Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year than with New Music.

So we’ll be at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Manhattan on Tuesday night, Jan. 4, for the New York City debut of TwoSense. It’s a New Music Super Duo and commissioning powerhouse comprising Lisa Moore, the superb Australian pianist who was a longtime member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Ashley Bathgate, the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., native who’s the All-Stars’ latest cellist. Oh, and in addition to playing their primary instruments, both women will sing. Lisa will also play melodica, while Ashley adds kick drum to the duo’s sound.

Ashley and Lisa are both passionate about New Music and are a joy to watch and hear.

Ashley Bathgate at (Le) Poisson Rouge in September, 2010. (Copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Here’s how they describe the mission of TwoSense:

TwoSense is a concert series and commissioning venture established by Ashley Bathgate and Lisa Moore presenting new, experimental commissions paired with mainstream works for cello and piano and guest artists. Both emerging and distinguished composers are writing works for TwoSense. The TwoSense mission seeks to ensure the inclusion of this music in the library of great chamber music. Please join us! PS – all the composers who are alive will be there!

And if the mere presence of Ashley and Lisa isn’t enough to persuade you to attend, check out the guest performers: Iva Bittová, voice/violin, Kelli Kathman, flute and Andy Akiho, steel pans.

Iva Bittová, Czech violinist, vocalist and composer, will join TwoSense at (Le) Poisson Rouge. (Copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

And then, as TwoSense says, all the living composers on the program will be in attendance. That list includes: Akiho, Bittová, Stephen Feigenbaum, Paul Kerekes, Jerome Kitzke, and Kate Moore. They’re also performing music by Leos Janacek.

TwoSense. 6:30 p.m. (show at 7:30), Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., Manhattan. Tickets are $15 and available by clicking here, or call (212) 505-FISH (3474).

Kronos Quartet’s rare NYC club appearance at (Le) Poisson Rouge

 

David Harrington of Kronos Quartet at New York nightclub (Le) Poisson Rouge on Oct. 8, 2010. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

 

Groundbreaking ensemble sells out two nights at Greenwich Village nightspot

Kronos Quartet can and does regularly fill huge auditoriums for its programs. But for its latest appearance in New York City, the ensemble picked Greenwich Village’s (Le) Poisson Rouge, arguably the most welcoming venue for New Music New York City.

 

Kronos Quartet's cellist, Jeffrey Zeigler.

 

Kronos’ two-night program included a slew of premieres and put the spotlight on many New York-based composers and collaborators, including the super-talented young composer Missy Mazzoli (founder of the hot electroacoustic chamber ensemble Victoire), Bang on a Can founder Michael Gordon, guitarist Bryce Dessner of the bands Clogs and The National (formed in Cincinnatti but now based in Brooklyn) and the Young Peoples Chorus of New York City.

The 37-year-old, San Francisco-based qua
rtet  — David Harrington and John Sherba on violins, Hank Dutt on viola and Jeffrey Zeigler on cello — played a spirited set to a packed house on Friday evening, Oct. 8. The second installment is tonight, Saturday, Oct. 9, when Kronos offers a completely different program.

 

 

At the Friday show, Kronos kicked off with Dessner’s Aheym (Homeward), which he wrote for Kronos. Mazzoli’s lovely, lyrical Harp and Altar, also composed for Kronos, followed.

The first world premiere of the evening was Aleksandra Vrebalov‘s spell no. 4, for a changing world.

But the most stunning performance moments of the evening came next, when Kronos introduced the Young Peoples Chorus, founded and conducted by Francisco Nuñez. The youngsters entered from the darkened sides of the room shrieking and howling the vocal parts of Terry Riley‘s Another Secret eQuation, which he wrote for Kronos and had its world premiere at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in March.

 

Composer Michael Gordon cheers the Young Peoples Chorus of New York City, with John Sherba and David Harrington of Kronos Quartet.

 

After a brief intermission, the Young Peoples Chorus rejoined Kronos for the world premiere of Gordon’s Exalted, an intensely emotional composition.

Click through to the jump for more words and photos about Kronos and collaborators. Continue reading

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? recommends…

Shows we think you should check out during the week of Oct. 3-9

Composer Julia Wolfe (Photo by Peter Serling)

The Music of Julia Wolfe at (Le) POISSON ROUGE

Julia Wolfe is a composer of rare talent. The Bang on a Can cofounder is able to write in a classical idiom for string quartet as easily as in a rock mode for percussion ensemble.

On Oct. 3, she’ll be presenting a sampling of her work, including Stronghold for eight double basses, the string quartet Dig Deep, and LAD for bagpipes.  at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Julia will be in the house to discuss her work.

Performers include JACK Quartet, Robert Black and the Hartt Bass Band, and piper Matthew Welch.

6:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3. (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan. (212) 505-FISH (3474) $15. Tickets available here.

Kronos Quartet (Photo by Jay Blakesberg)

Kronos Quartet at (Le) Poisson Rouge

Kronos Quartet, the pioneering modern string quartet, make two rare club appearances in New York City this week.

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8 and 9, Kronos is appearing at (Le) Poisson Rouge.

The program for Oct. 8 includes the New York premiere of Maria Schneider‘s String Quartet No. 1, a world premiere by Aleksandra Vrebalov, the premiere of Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon‘s Exalted with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and works by Bryce Dessner and Missy Mazzoli. On Oct. 9 Kronos is joined by special guest vocalist Judith Berkson for several pieces. Also featured are Clouded Yellow by Gordon as well as works by Clint Mansell, J.G. Thirlwell, and Dan Visconti.

7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8. (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan. $25. Tickets available here.

Also 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Tickets available here.

Ólöf Arnalds at The Bell House in Brooklyn on March 24, 2010. (Photo by Steven P. Marsh)

Ólöf Arnalds at Joe’s pub

Ólöf Arnalds seemed to be an uncertain, nervous performer when we saw her at The Bell House in March. But the Icelandic singer-songwriter writes lovely songs and makes delicately beautiful records.

We’re hoping she’ll be more confident when she stops in at Joe’s Pub,

9:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9. Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan. $15. Click here or call (212) 967-7555 for tickets and more information.

Glenn Branca to perform in NYC this Saturday

Glenn Branca.

Seminal minimalist composer and noise-guitar hero Glenn Branca is doing a rare live solo performance this Saturday, June 19, at NYC’s (Le) Poisson Rouge.

It’s been two years since his last solo appearance in NYC — a set with The Paranoid Critical Revolution at a more low-key venue, The Issue Project Room. Saturday’s show at LPR will also feature The Paranoid Critical Revolution, playing music from its new CD Euphobia.

Branca, who composes for orchestra as well as his own ensemble has been a big influence on a number of guitarists in the avant garde wing of rock music. Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and Page Hamilton of Helmet are among Branca’s disciples and played in his ensemble.

The show also is the official release party for the DVD of Ericka Beckman‘s No Wave film 135 Grand St. 1979, which will be screened. It includes the only extant footage of two of Branca’s earlier ensembles, Theoretical Girls, The Static, along with shots of a number of other bands of the period.

7 p.m. Saturday, June 19. (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., NYC. $13 in advance; $15 day of show. Tickets available by clicking here.

Reconsidering the encore: Jeff Mangum at the Chris Knox benefit

The lobby of (Le) Poisson Rouge, complete with fish tank.

Thursday’s magnificent Chris Knox benefit show at (Le) Poisson Rouge is one that will give music fans a lot to ponder for years to come — along with raft of great memories.

When I wrote yesterday that I wished Jeff Mangum had not done an encore to his spectacular mid-show set, I wasn’t criticizing him or his performance. After the encore was over, I was as thrilled as anyone in the crowd to have heard him do yet another song.  But before he started “Engine,” I was fearful that the perfect moment he created in his four-song set might somehow be damaged.

The Neutral Milk Hotel frontman seemed so happy to be playing in public to such an adoring audience that his return for an encore seemed natural rather than forced. I asked the show’s organizer, Ben Goldberg, about how it all happened organically.

Benefit organizer Ben Goldberg.

“It’s funny, I fully wasn’t expecting Jeff to play again once he got offstage,” Ben tells Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? “He seemed both elated and relieved it was over.

“But then he heard people screaming and was like, ‘Should I do Engine? You think I should do Engine?’ So, it kind of felt like a true encore – not planned.

“In fact, Dimmer [the New Zealand band that played next] was already coming out to set up. I had to stop them so he could play!

“I know what you mean about the encore being a bit of a tag-on, but I don’t know…everyone singing along like they did…it seemed special in and of itself.”

The experience clearly blew away Ben — just like it did the rest of the crowd. “It’s terrible to be the organizer of a big show like that and feel completely emotionally drained halfway through!”