Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Reve(y)rie, A Matchless Team, A Hot Iron to Swallow And the Best Slice in Town

No sleep till Brooklyn, this time with a little help from the Swiss Consulate. Starting out early with a show by Swiss vocalist Laurence Revey, who uses live samples to enhance the etheral beauty of her voice. A strangely intimate moment, when she carried her voice without amplification throughout Bar On A, grabbing the attention of every single patron. One thing said for the 'french Swiss': the Romands are a faithful following and come out in drones, when the Consulate calls! Too bad for the priest at the Actor's Chapel, who refused that the attractive lady sings in his church - he'd had have a full house, for a change.

We left before the Bachlorette party at BOA got out of hand and stopped at that pizza place on A and 9th that Fa ten years ago proclaimed to have the best Pizza in town - it is officially a no go zone now for every connaisseur (We still recommend good ole Sal's at Orchard and Stanton). Anyway, we made it over to Greenpoint with the worst cabbie ever, but still in time to hear a few songs by Here Lies Pa who's residency at Matchless is shaping them into a tight outfit, making them rapidly into a secret sensation you should see before they blow up. Seems there is new wave of unpretentious intelligent pop growing out here. Call it Bob Dylan with a sense of humor or Ray Davies with an American accent, Wakey!Wakey! is a prime example, as you can see here:

After losing horribly against Vince and his buddy at the Foosball table, we decided to join Leane at Trash to check out Hot Iron Swallows who surprised with an excellent guitar sound, think Pixies crossed with Coldplay. Great songs, quality playing. A few tentative dance steps later, we were off to bed, since Sunday promised to be an excellent spring day for a soccer tournament and a kid's birthday party - go Leon!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Show That Was No Show

Last Thursday night Roman said to me "no show this time". Whatever! First of all I don't understand why a Room show should be better without the show and second of all there is no way Roman can do a show without a show. I mean, he tried hard but clearly couldn't go through with it. See for yourselves, he basically screwed up right before the end, hilarious:

That's the new song 'Asteroid', unfortunately performed without any drums because "the drums go straight upstairs" as Michael put it. Thank you Michael for having us there despite the trouble with the neighbours!

performing before Room was much less trouble for the neighbours. But his songs are serious trouble for me; I have to watch out not to start to cry when I hear them! This time I recorded 'You Got It Blue', which is my new favorite song:

By the way, the guy on the pedal steel guitar is Philip Sterk. That instrument looks extremely complex to me. Clearly not the kind of instrument I could ever master. But I love to hear it. It's so American somehow...

For the people in Switzerland reading this (yes, we know you are out there!), remember that C.Gibbs is touring Switzerland with Privateman (i.e. Helsinki on April 20).

Go here to see more pics of that night.

Friday, March 23, 2007

If the Church Don't Want the Rock, We bring the Church to the Rock! Sat. at Bar on A!

Not Florence nightingale, Laurence Revey

It should have been a concert of special atmosphere and ambiance: The old Actor's Chapel was to host Swiss chanteuse Laurence Revey, a live sample vocalist of quite some recognition, approved even by the staunchly catholic people of the Valais in Switzerland, who didn't mind that Laurence's last record cover shows the singer on the cross... What went down well with the Romandie, obviously isn't possible in the city that never sleeps, the Sodom and Gomorrah of modern times, the exploding apple New York: We hear that the Chapel's priest, after having visited Laurence's website, told the Swiss consulate who organized the show, "Not in my Church!". Thanks to this blog and the ever helpful Mike Lawson, Laurence will still perform in New York: Come see her unique show at Bar On A, Avenue A and 11th Street, tomorrow at 7.30pm, it's free and early, so you can have dinner after your aural senses have been satisfied. We'll set up candles and bring the church to the bar. Free drinks for priests and vicars in tutus.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Room-A-Long at Bar on A with C. Gibbs

Wanna know what we can do to deflect the asteroid that is gonna hit our planet in 2036? Want to know what happened to the Midget Fighting League of Cambodia when they fought the african lion? Come and room-a-long with us at Bar on A Thrusday night. Now here's your chance to see and hear the fuzz is about without ruining your ears, win a free CD and also meet the nicest bartender in town, Michael. ROOM will play semi acoustic at Bar on A, 170 Avenue A (corner of 11th Street). Also performing will be one of the greatest singer/songwriters in town, C. GIBBS, before he goes on tour in Switzerland. The show starts shortly after 9pm and is free.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Come On Eileen - Move Over, Kevin!

Are you a fan of the 4th of July? Or the Guy Fawkes Day? Or the 1st of August? Not really, right? That's why St. Paddy's Day never had any real significance for me. But living in NYC, you can't escape all the green, the beer, the music and the masses daring you not to drink. So why not get into the centre of it: Joe Hurley's Paddy Day Bash at the Bowery Ballroom: 8 hours of live music with the best of New York's "Irish", hosted by the best voice in town, Mr. Hurley himself. Name 'em - he and Ed Rodgers had 'em: Don Fleming, the Dicators, Joe McGinty and two dozens other stars, doing U2, Sinead, Costello, Undertones and even the Pistols (No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish...). But oh, surprise: There was one voice bigger than Joe's, a man as Irish as New Jersey and as Folk as Led Zeppelin - Mike 'Monk' Fornatale with his ultimate killer version of the Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen". You have never heard that song better, thanks also to the immaculate band. I'll be back, Paddy.

Brooklyn, You Have Your Own ABBA!

Woohoo! Now there's an act that gets you, your girl or boy and their little sister and mama dancing. The Shalitas are three girls who have the voices, the moves and the rhythm to rock your socks off, backed by a classic guitar/bass/drums trio of decent males. They had the main bar at Matchless in Greenpoint virtually empty in five minutes and everybody piling and dancing in the small but great backroom for their live show. Sorry I dont have the link to their site right now, but goooogle them, and you wont be disappointed. Thanx to our new favorite photographer Leane for the pic - you can tell these girls feel the soul, maan!

Yo! And that's just their backside - you should hear their tunes!

You Still Don't Know About The Theremin Society?

Yeah, you know I like punk rock, but some acts cross over or cross every kind of genre and are Jesus and Mary on the cross together, or whatever. Anyway, Dorit Chrsyler staged another gathering of the ominous NY Theremin Society at Issue Project Room, the off off (far off) location in Brookyln, especially during a sleet blizzard that even a Swiss like me has to term sauwetter and... the place was packed: Jim 'Foetus' Thirwell, Larry 7, L.L. Clifton just three among the celebrity stars in the audience, proof the the NYTS is consistently growing in size and surprises. The artists, of course, couldn't care less: This is the Theremin Society, the place of freaks and stars, and if you cant even play "Alli mini Entli" on that instrument, you're not in. Vampires with blood and passion? You bet, just check out Doritopheles on this pic.

Friday, March 16, 2007

We Want More!

Officially it was a record release party for Boston based E.R. (a.k.a. Eldridge Rodriguez). But somehow it ended up as a home match for Room. But hey, how about a joint project called 'Emergency Room'? E.R.'s lead singer Eldridge has a special singing technique, sometimes sounding a little croaky but other times sounding a little like David Bowie, nice! And making music holding the earphone of an iPod to your guitar strings is definitely very innovative. Check out their new record called 'This Conspiracy Against Us'.

Then Room pulled off the full show culminating in Roman once again almost killing himself on stage! Check it out here, be patient though and watch until the end:

Some people were really a little worried that Roman would not make it out of the drums anymore. But I can assure you he is up and running again, phew! Even though everybody from the band seemed to be extremely exhausted after this show. They put all their energy in it as can be seen on this picture:

And how cool was that pattern of black and white of the Bernd - Roman duo:

If you have not had the chance to see Room play lately you should check them out soon; they have this new cover of 'Frozen' that is just amazing! I am a Madonna fan, but somehow never liked her 'Rays of Light' record (I guess too much spirituality). However, that rock cover is off the hook!

More photos also of E.R. and Martin Bisi - who presented some new very poetic lyrics - in my very personal photo diary!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Good The Bad And The Memories

The Good...
You can't ask for much more from a band, but still, I want more! New supergroup The Good The Bad and The Queen played a nice acoustic free show at the Apple Store in Soho on Monday afternoon, and a grand sold out ballroom show at Webster Hall later the same night. Both times, they didn't talk much - but really didn't have to, since their music says so much more than words. No big surprises in their setlist, either: they played the entire CD in the same order, as encores an instrumental and a Piece for a Syrian rapper. Peace? Peace, but we would have loved to hear Paul Simonon roar 'Guns of Brixton'. But again: Their song material is so good, if some other bands had just two songs that good, they'd be stars, too! Btw, the guys insist that TGTBTQ is not the band name, but just this one record. It's not even sure if there is a band. Honestly, I don't need a band, but if those four give us another album, I'll be grateful. Simonon live is more fascinating than any animal you've ever seen in the zoo. Damon Albarn sings better than ever, hauntingly beautiful melodies. Drummer Tony Allen and Guitar player Simon Tong are the solid backbone. Believe me, although it's only March, this IS the record of the year.

Music for Lovers

The picture says it all: Wakey!Wakey! is for lovers, and who isn't a lover. Wakey!Wakey! is Mike Grubbs solo on the piano. Which he plays beautifully forcefully, he even manages to break a piano string. Believe me, I normally don't like guys playing the piano singing along. It's mostly boring and corny and awful. But Mike is different. At first you might think he is just being funny, but then you realize that his brilliant lyrics are about serious issues, but he still makes you smile, without any fake heartache crap.

Another band that not only makes you smile, but having fits of laughter followed on stage last Saturday night at the Rockwood Music Hall: The Undisputed Heavyweights. They are all about entertainment. Their lead singer Casey Shea is famous for his show talent and did not let us down: he did the Elvis and James Brown, he laid down on stage and ruffled his hair and wore sunglasses and made lots of jokes. Check out this movie for an impression:

So if you like to be entertained and live in New York checking out their show is a must! Look forward for their sing-along 'Roll Your Windows Down' and expect the acknowledgment of band members to take at least 10 minutes (not including any solos, but lots of laughter).

More photos in my photo diary and more footage on my youtube account.

Monday, March 12, 2007

We'll Make Room For You This Wednesday

Have you felt lately like everbody is weighing in on you, edging you on and you just don't have enough space? Well, come to
Club Midway this Wednesday after 10pm where we will make Room especially for you. You will hear Room (the song), we will talk about Room (the book) and if you're so inclined you get to star in Room (the movie). First, the legendary Martin Bisi will perform with his new band, making this whole evening a true rock art happening. And to get all the trendy young design students aboard, Jan has designed another award winning flyer, recognized by the Swiss Academy of Rock Memorabilia (SARM) as "Bester produktfremder Werbeflieger", i.e. 'best flyer that has nothing to do with the product'. We'll see, maybe we'll bring a globe and a flashlight. We'll certainly leave the kids at home.

Join The Sunshine Club on Paddy's Day

Forget this Transient Life and Mickey Finn. Brett Hammond is back again, an this time on all fronts: See his band, now called The sunshine Club life at the Mercury Lounge on March 17th, when they present their debut album. This has been long in the making, first under the moniker of Mickey Finn, now Brett with great singer Damian obviously have turned from onscure drink to the true light. And the Sunshine Club counts on having tons of members. Here's what Brett invites us all to do:
"Would you please go to CD Baby and buy our record, I know it sounds cheeky but it would really help us out since the more orders we get, the more they will promote and distribute. I have put a link to the CD Baby page all you have to do is click and buy. I would like you to come to our show at Mercury Lounge Saturday March 17th 9.30pm and we are having an after show party at Manitobas on Ave B which will supply drink specials for those with Mercury Lounge entry stamps!
Here's the link to where you can buyThe Sunshine Club's CD. You can listen to excerpts of all tracks, to make sure this record is worth its place in your distinct collection.

Friday, March 09, 2007

So Hot but So Cold

The weather forecast for last night was a record breaking cold, even worse than the night Roman went to see The Nightingales! But still the very brave ones made it to the Lit Lounge to see Compass play. Obviously they have absolutely no heating in the that basement, the temperature was about the same inside as out. Not very cozy.

Death by Sexy

However, the band Death by Sexy visiting from DC still managed to raise the temperature. They can definitively sweat and scream and pound the drums real fast and act very manly onstage singing stuff like 'You're so hot but you're so cold', how fitting...


The music of Compass featuring Eamon Ellams (drums), Lauralaura (keys/vox) and Justin Wood (Sax) can be best described by 'experimental'. Some singing lessons might not hurt, but the instrumentals were great! The rolling drum and bass reminded me of the time when I was still young and listening to trip hop. There was some Massive Attack in there, nice and dark. And at some point the sax played a solo and the drums matched so well, it was a wild duet that swept me off my feet!

More pics of that night in my photo diary.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What's Not To Love With The Nightingales?

Robert Lloyd watching his band perform - Sorry for bad sound, it's the camera, not the band!

It must have been the coldest night of the year, with a big job waiting the next morning, and it was getting dangerously close to midnite when The Nightingales finally took the stage at the Cake Shop on the Lower East Side. A five piece in suits and shirts, four older men and one young kid on the guitar, not wasting one second to let the audience of about fifty people know they were here to have some fun. Most of the people in the sophisticated crowd were aware of the unique opportunity they were given here: To witness a legendary act 20 years after their heydays and most like just before their beautiful second spring. The band is tight, animated, working hard, while Lloyd is a poet, a beast, a charming crooner, walking singing and reciting through the audience, draping his arms around fans, addressing girls at the bar, then singing to the closed door to the backstage area, then again just standing in the audience, watching his band perform, finally walking out acroos the room, outside, to smoke a cigarette, which he can't finish, since the applause is thundering downstairs and somebody has to go get him for the encores, which include a stellar "Silver Machine". If you have a chance, go see them at Union Hall on Thursday. If you like Josef K, A Witness or Thatcher on Acid, you will be there anyway. If you like Franz Ferdinand or the Kaiser Chiefs or even dare to quote The Fall as an influence, this is compulsory for you, here you learn where it all comes from.

As a heads up for all of you uninformed, or too young, or too American, the 'Gales are not just another band from the U.K. Back in the early eighties, they were the epitome of post punk intellectuals, yet still lads from Birmingham, stealing - in the name of the lord M.E. Smith - from all kinds of genres, playing with furious passion and odd rhythm signatures. Singer Robert Lloyd crooned, spat, spoke in his unique excentric way, rolled his eyes and had one legendary leg move, huho. They broke up somehow, Lloyd released a solo album on which he did his best Elvis, which obviously wasn't good enough for the record company, since Grunge washed him away, back into the alleys of Birmingham. Then, in 2004, Lloyd and guitar player Alan Apperley, with whom the singer collaborated already in the early days of punk as The Prefects, reformed the Nightingales in 2004 and recorded an album, Out of True, which has been hailed as "the best record The Fall never recorded in the Eighties." Now, they are back, and better than ever.

Oh, and by the way, if you visit the The Nightingales MySpace you find a certain Jowe among their friends, whose last name, of course is Head, and from there you can listen to a few tracks of his new band Angel Racing Food. But that's a different story. Then, I would have to explain about the Television Personalitites, the Swell Maps and ultimately Marc Riley, Ted Chippington, the Yeah Yeah No's, the Pastels and...