Tag Archives: New Amsterdam Records

Ecstatic Music Festival brings together 5 musicians in a unique collaboration

Ecstatic_Music_Festival_2

It’s hard to believe that the 2014 edition of the Ecstatic Music Festival is nearly over. I suppose it’s because I haven’t been able to get to most of the shows in the festival, which kicked off Jan. 31 and ends this Saturday, March 29.

Two shows remain this year: Wednesday’s bill featuring So Percussion and Buke & Gase, and Saturday’s program with Man Forever and William Basinski. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are a reasonable $25, but if you attend both shows, you can get in for $20 apiece. Click here to buy tickets online, or visit the Merkin Concert Hall box office at 129 West 67th Street in Manhattan.

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Sandy can’t stop New Amsterdam from forging ahead with plans for Ecstatic Music Festival 2013

Clogs

Clogs, Bang On a Can, Deerhoof, Shara Worden, Karla Kihlstedt among the acts on adventurous music series’s killer lineup of shows coming up in January and February

Superstorm Sandy did a real number on the New Amsterdam Records headquarters in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a month ago. The good folks at the nonprofit record company/concert presenting organization are still struggling to recover from the devastation. (Please help them with a donation if you haven’t already — or even if you have. Just click here.)

Despite the devastation, they folks at NewAm have forged ahead with plans for a killer lineup for the next installment of their groundbreaking concert series at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan. It’s something we here at Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? always look forward to.

The 2013 edition, which kicks off in late January, offers one of the strongest lineups ever. It’s hard to know where to start.

My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus? Check.

Clogs with NewAm founder Sarah Kirkland Snider? Check.

Deerhoof and Dal Niente with Marcos Balter? Check.

Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Daniel Wohl and Transit (an adventurous ensemble that my pal Andie Springer is involved in)? Yep.

The Bang on a Can People’s Commissioning Fund Concert? Yes, indeed.

I could go on. But you get the idea. Check out the full schedule. And buy tickets. Now. You won’t want to miss any of these shows.

For schedule, tickets and more info, click here. Single tickets are just $25, while a festival pass is a mere $150 — and worth every penny.

Trust me on this one.

Donate to help New Amsterdam Records recover from Sandy’s devastation and you’ll be helping the cause of New Music, too

Nonprofit New Music powerhouse is really on the ropes in the wake of the storm

A photo of some of the losses is posted on New Amsterdam’s blog.

Please donate now to help New Amsterdam, if you can

Superstorm Sandy wasn’t kind to anyone in the New York metro area. But our friends at New Amsterdam Records, which became the virtual center of the New Music universe here in recent years, has really taken it on the chin.

Their Brooklyn headquarters at 98A Van Dkye St. in Red Hook — where they’ve been for just six month or so — has been devastated by the storm. The nonprofit New Amsterdam (they’ve had 501 (c)(3) status for a year) lost all its financial records. And the storm wiped out 70% of their CDs, which New Amsterdam held and distributed for the artists, who actually owned them.

Yes, this all really, really sucks. But New Amsterdam ‘s co-founders, Judd Greenstein, William Brittelle and Sarah Kirkland Snider didn’t get this far by being wussies. They’re a plucky bunch and they’re already looking toward brighter days.

Here’s where we come in: Let’s help them get to those brighter days faster. If you care about New Music, especially the artists that New Amsterdam has brought to attention in New York and the world with its CDs and its amazing Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall, kick in some cash. Help them out.

Click on their Hurricane Recovery page to make a tax-deductible donation.

And don’t forget to buy New Amsterdam products. Go to a record store, if you remember what that is. Or go online and buy from any of the wonderful online sites that carry NewAm CDs and downloads. Given the tremendous loss of product at HQ, it’s unlikely NewAm will be shipping anything anytime soon. But if you want to see what’s in the NewAm catalog, click here.

Much of the money goes directly to the artists, but New Amsterdam benefits from ever sale as well.

Once you’ve done your bit, follow New Amsterdam’s recovery on Facebook and Twitter, and check out photos on its Flickr stream.

And if you’re nearby, offer your time, too. Judd, Bill and Sarah are going to need all the help they can get.

Big talent cultivates big prog-rock sound in Big Farm

Don’t miss the all-star ensemble’s gig at Public Assembly

Who knows when they’ll play again

Big Farm: Jason Treuting, Steven Mackey, Mark Haanstra and Rinde Eckert.

Q. Did you hear the one about the Pulitzer Prize finalist, the Guggenheim fellow, one of the leading new music percussionists and a Dutch Jazz Competition-winning bassist got together to make some garage rock?

A. Big Farm was born.

Janus Trio

Never heard of Big Farm? Go to Public Assembly at 70 North 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, and you’ll never forget them. (They’re on a bill with Janus Trio, a great Brooklyn-based flute-viola-harp trio.) Admission is $10 at the door.

Time Out NY has called Big Farm “something like a Blind Faith-style supergroup,” given the accomplishments of the individuals in the band. Jason Treuting, the drummer, is perhaps the most recognizable member of the versatile percussion ensemble So Percussion. Steven Mackey, the sizzling lead guitarist, is a former Guggenheim fellow, a Grammy winner and an accomplished New Music composer. Bassist Mark Haanstra is an incredibly talented jazz player from the Netherlands. And Rinde Eckert, the vocalist, was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for his “Orpheus X” and also a Guggenheim fellowship. Continue reading

The Mountain Goats and Anonymous 4 bridge the centuries at Merkin Concert Hall

Anonymous four and John Darnielle, right, of the Mountain Goats at Merkin Concert Hall

UPDATE: Audio link to full concert added

Hear the full concert by clicking here.

Who knew John Darnielle had a secret wish to work with Anonymous 4, the a cappella quartet that specializes in music of the 12th through 15th centuries? The Ecstatic Music Festival, created by New Amsterdam RecordsJudd Greenstein, gave him a shot, and the result was Transcendental Youth, a song cycle presented Saturday,  March 24, at Merkin Concert Hall.

Darnielle, the writer and singer who performs as the Mountain Goats (and for this evening, he was the lone Goat) got the “why” question out of the way first.
As he was getting ready to finish college, his dad gave him a gift — a CD of A4’s 1993 An English Ladymass— an intense listen, he said, and one he returned to over and over as he coped with the more mundane stresses of completing two thesis papers (in English and Classics).

The Mountain Goats set list is after the jump.

John Darnielle (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

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Musical ecstasy: Ecstatic Music Festival starts tonight

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

John Darnielle's band The Mountain Goats is one of the great acts in this year's Ecstatic Music Festival lineup. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Friends have been asking for recommendations on what shows to check out in the second annual Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall.

Sxip Shirey (© 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

The two-month festival, put together by Judd Greenstein and New Amsterdam Presents, an arm of the innovative New Amsterdam Records label, is an absolute must. It’s so chock full of great artist pairings that it’s tough to pick just one or two. Last year’s festival was strong, and the lineup this year looks even stronger. And ticket sales seem to reflect that, given that some of the shows have been sold out for awhile.

But some shows are still available, and tickets are around even for the sold-out gigs.

There’s one I’m really looking forward to is the Saturday, March 24 bill featuring The Mountain Goats, the homemade indie-rock project of John Darnielle, paired with the early music vocal quartet Anonymous Four. We’re not sure how this one will play out, but both groups are so good at what they do, and so genre-busting, that it should be remarkable.

Todd Reynolds (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Another highlight early in the festival is the amazingly indescribable music-maker Sxip Shirey and Angélica Negrón, with special guests electro-violinist Todd Reynolds, Noveller, Jonny Rodgers& Face the Music on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

And we don’t mean to give tonight’s opening show short shrift, but we have to think tickets for this one evaporated in seconds: Jherek Bischoff and the Wordless Music Orchestra, with special guests David Byrne, Craig Wedren, Greg Saunier, Mirah, Zac Pennington, and more. But if you’re willing to try to score a ticket, we’re sure it’ll be worthwhile!

For the full schedule, click through to the jump for the festival press release, courtesy of our pal, New Amsterdam publicist Jill Strominger.

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Victoire: Finally, a full-length CD

Victoire at Joe's Pub. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Composer Missy Mazzoli and her band, Victoire, celebrated the Sept. 28 release of their first full-length CD, Cathedral City, on the wonderfully adventurous New Amsterdam label with a show at at Joe’s Pub on Saturday, Oct. 2. The band’s performance made it pretty evident that much of the quintet’s new material isn’t new at all.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s just illustrative of how long it can really take to put together an album — something that Mazzoli, an obvious perfectionist, underscored at Joe’s.

Victoire, an rock-influenced electroacoustic quintet, was founded back in 2008 as an outlet for Mazzoli’s wilder compositions. We first heard the band not long after that, but Victoire really made an impression at the Bang on a Can Marathon in June 2009, on the heels of the March release by eMusic of the band’s A Door Into The Dark E. All four songs from that EP — but different versions — are included on the eight-track Cathedral City. So fully half the CD, including the dark, slightly hallucinatory i am coming for my things, is quite familiar by now. Continue reading