Tag Archives: Webster Hall

The ‘Portlandia’ effect: Wild Flag rocks Webster Hall in NYC

Wild Flag at Webster Hall in New York City on April 1, 2012. From left, Rebecca Cole, Mary Timony, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein. (Photos 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Wild Flag is an all-female supergroup whose members are drawn from three ’90s bands — Sleater-Kinney, Helium and The Minders. But thanks to her incredible stage presence (and her seeming ubiquity as a result of her cult hit cable TV show “Portlandia”)  guitarist Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney), was the one who really owned the stage at Webster Hall in Manhattan on April Fool’s Day.

Carrie Brownstein, with Janet Weiss on drums.

Brownstein shares lead vocals in Wild Flad with Mary Timony (the Lolita-esque former frontwoman of Helium). But only Brownstein behaved like a rock star onstage. She pranced, jumped and stretched like a cat (not much purring, though, as her vocal delivery was aggressive) throughout the band’s tight, well-paced set. Despite being encumbered by her guitar for most of the evening, Brownstein, with her lithe figure, managed to evoke Mick Jagger with her moves.

That’s not to say that the other three were slacking. Timony, keyboard player Rebecca Cole (The Minders) and drummer Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney) each held up their end of the bargain quite well. Continue reading

The La’s remain a phantom on the American music scene

Lee Mavers of The La's

We are gutted. Completely. How could it happen that Lee Mavers, the voice of The La’s, could destroy our hopes of seeing the band in New York City?

One-album-wonders from Liverpool (yes, it’s not just the hometown of The Beatles), The La’s — or perhaps more specifically, lead vocalist Lee Mavers and a band of merry hired guns — were supposed to show up at Webster Hall in Manhattan’s East Village for a long-awaited show on March 12.

But an unhappy email arrived in our inbox on Thursday:

“It is with regret that The La’s have had to cancel their show at the Webster Hall on Monday, March 12th, 2012. Unfortunately, front man Lee Mavers has damaged the tendons in his index (playing) finger.  He has been to see a doctor and been informed that it will not have recovered in time for his New York show.”

Continue reading

Roky Erickson and Okkervil River rocked Webster Hall

Okkervil River (Lauren Gurgiolo, guitar, Will Sheff, guitar-vocals, Scott Brackett, keyboards-trumpet, Cully Symington, drums, Patrick Pestorius, bass, and Justin Sherburn, keyboards-guitar) back legendary psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson on Tuesday night, May 25, at Webster Hall. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

An Unlikely Pairing

As unlikely as it may have seemed at first, the new collaboration between psychedelic rock legend Roky Erickson and Austin, Texas-based band Okkervil River, the results are stunning.

Their new album together, True Love Cast Out All Evil, was the first evidence of a truly symbiotic musical relationship. But with enough studio tricks, just about anybody can make a decent album. The true test is in live performance.

Well, they proved to a New York audience — a melding of gray-beard, old-school Roky fans and younger Okkervil River aficionados — at Webster Hall in the East Village last night (May 25, 2010) that they really know how to kick out the jams live, too. Continue reading

Os Mutantes: Mutant music at Webster Hall

Sergio Diás leading Os Mutantes through a rollicking set at NYC's Webster Hall. (Photos copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Sergio Diás and Bia Mendes leading Os Mutantes through a rollicking set at NYC's Webster Hall. (Photos copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? team has no real excuse for missing out on the original incarnation of Os Mutantes— except for the fact that the whole team (that would be me) never went to Brazil, was kept in a cage for most of the Sixties and was only allowed to listen to baseball games on they tiny transistor radio his grandmother gave to him after extracting a promise that he wouldn’t use it to listen to “the devil’s music.”

So it was a revelation when the legendary psychedelic band reunited in 2006 (after a hiatus that started in 1978) and I started listening to the original recordings. The sound was of its time, but not dated, spectacularly playful and inventive. And the reunited band — which at that time included both founding brothers Sergio Diás and Arnaldo Baptista — did not disappoint when I saw them at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2007.

That show was full of pomp and circumstance in a formal theater. The audience was seated, and stayed that way pretty much to the end. Os Mutantes is a rock band, and I didn’t feel I got the full impact sitting through that show, no matter how strong it was musically.

So I was thrilled to see Os Mutantes (with a new lineup, as Arnaldo has left the band and the awesome and earthy Bia Mendes has stepped in as the female singer, replacing Zélia Duncan, a somewhat chillier vocalist who during the early part of the reunion replaced original singer Rita Lee) booked at Webster Hall last Thursday. Although it’s not my favorite place to see a show, at least it was a real rock club, which somehow seemed more fitting for such a rockin’ band.

We were not disappointed. Sergio —  the proud 58-year-old who rocked out like he was half that age — and company put on a fantastic show.

For more photos of Os Mutantes, Brooklyn-based opener DeLeon, and an Os Mutantes video, click through to the jump. Continue reading

Free screening of The Mountain Goats movie — plus Q&A with John Darnielle

Jon Wurster, John Darnielle and Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats. (Photo by Chrissy Piper)

Jon Wurster, John Darnielle and Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats. (Photo by Chrissy Piper)

As an 8-year-old child, quirky Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle performed Bach minuets in a piano recital at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.

phpThumbA little while back, after his band finished recording their new album, The Life of the World to Come (out Oct. 6), the adult John returned to the piano in that very same Pomona College hall to play stripped-down versions of a few of the new songs and have them captured on film by Rian Johnson.

One thing led to another, and Rian kept the camera running while John played the entire album, start-to-finish. The resulting film, The Life of the World to Come: A Film by Rian Johnson, has its premiere this Sunday at NYC’s Housing Works, an organization committed to fighting AIDS and homelessness.HousingWorkslogo

Doors open at 5:45 pm on Sunday, Oct. 4, for the screening at 6, which is followed by a Q&A with John and Rian and a cocktail reception. Housing Works is at 126 Crosby St. in Manhattan. Admission is free; first-come, first-served.

If you want to check out full-band versions of the songs before you go, the entire album is streaming now on the Colbert Nation web site.

You can also catch the full band on tour later this year. The Mountain Goats, with opener Final Fantasy, are playing Manhattan’s Webster Hall on Dec. 1 and The Bell House in Brooklyn on Dec. 2.  The Bell House show is sold out, but tickets are still available for the Webster Hall show.