Tag Archives: Park Slope

Stew stirs things up with fantastic new songs at Barbès

The hat was more crumpled at Barbès on July 25, but Stew's energy was at a peak. (Photo © 2012, Steven P.  Marsh)

The hat was more crumpled than this at Barbès on July 25 and Stew’s energy level seemed higher than usual. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

By the time his latest gig in his musical living room (aka Park Slope, Brooklyn, boîte Barbès) rolled around Thursday night, July 25, singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Stew had dumped his original staged plan to play versions of his songs from Passing Strange and other numbers from his extensive repertoire.

Instead, he launched into a tight song cycle “inspired by recent events.” In other words, songs about George Zimmerman and the Trayvon Martin case. If yoy don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s time to get out from under that rock where you’ve been living and catch up on the news!

If you’re a Passing Strange fan who passed on the show for one reason or another and are thinking now that this make you feel OK about missing, hold that thought. I’m here to tell you differently. Continue reading

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Stew and The Negro Problem returning to Barbès

UPDATE: Stew Sez Showtime’s now 9:30 p.m.

Photo from Stew's Facebook announcement of the upcoming gig at Barbès.

Photo from Stew’s Facebook announcement of the upcoming gig at Barbès.

There was a moment or two of confusion Thursday morning when Stew,the singer-songwriter and Tony winner for the book of Passing Strange posted on Facebook that he and his band, The Negro Problem, would be appearing two weeks from now at “our beloved Barbès” and included the date of Oct. 25.

Stew, Heidi and an incarnation of The Negro Problem at Barbés in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Stew, Heidi and an incarnation of The Negro Problem at Barbés in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Well, fans of Stew’s work won’t have to wait that long. Maybe Stew is just jonesing for Fall. But according to the Barbès calendar, it’s Thursday, July 25, at 10 p.m., which is in two weeks.

Whew. Glad I could clear that up.

Stew posted a Facebook update on Friday, July 19, saying showtime was changed to 9:30. So I’m getting there by 9 just to be on the safe side:

showtime for stew & the negro problem’s BARBES show this THURSDAY JULY 25th is now 9:30. We will play some songs inspired by recent events.

Continue reading

Stew & The Negro Problem at Barbès: A refuge from the storm and a special surprise

Blizzard? Who cares, when there’s a chance to see Stew, Heidi and the gang in an intimate Brooklyn boîte

Stew and Heidi Rodewald perform with a version of their band, The Negro Problem, at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn in March 2011. And yes, that's Joe McGinty in the foreground.  (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Stew and Heidi Rodewald perform with a version of their band, The Negro Problem, at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn in March 2011. And yes, that’s Joe McGinty in the foreground. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

If the predicted nightmare blizzard doesn’t bring New York City to a screeching halt on Friday, you should be at  Barbès in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood to catch a surprisingly un-publicized gig by Stew & The Negro Problem.

(Click through to the jump for all the details.) Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten: It may be twisted love, but it’s definitely love

 

Sharon Van Etten and her band at The Rock Shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Oct. 8, 2010. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

 

We liked Sharon Van Etten from the very first time we heard her, just her with her guitar, strumming her introspective songs. Her style and sound reminded us from the first of anti-folkie Diane Cluck (who has a date at Zebulon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13). And sure enough, on her MySpace page Sharon lists Diane as one of her influences.

 

Sharon Van Etten's harmonium powers the wall-of-sound that is "Love More," the signature song from her new album, Epic.

 

And now, with her new band and a second album under her belt, Sharon seems to really be coming into her own.

Her songs veer between powerful, emotionally draining near-howls to intimate prayers. Love is a regular theme.

Despite some initial technical problems, Sharon exuded charm and talent on Friday night, Oct. 8, at The Rock Shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn, one of the newest music venues in the area. (And home of what seems to me to be the first rock club I’ve encountered to chard $7 for a 10-ounce draft beer!)

Sharon spent much time on the material from her new album, Epic (BaDaBing Records). But she wasn’t afraid to hit the audience with something so new that it’s still untitled. Go here to listen to the new song. And she spent the end of her set alone onstage, with the band watching from the wings, as she recapped her earlier solo material.

She left the sold-out crowd thrilled and wanting more. And it made us, to borrow a phrase, love more.

If you can, go to The Mercury Lounge tonight (Saturday, Oct. 9) for more of Sharon. She’s continuing her CD-release celebration there at 10:30 on a bill with Kyp Malone of Rain Machine and TV on the Radio fame. The Mercury Lounge is at217 East Houston St New York, NY. Click here for a  map. $12.

 

Sharon Van Etten.