Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Singer/Songwriter vs. Rockstar

Not so Small Beast: Paul Wallfisch and Kerry Kennedy.
Walking into the Delancey on Thursday night I was pleasantly surprised: Paul Wallfisch's "Small Beast" night had rarely seen such a big crowd, among them celebrities like Peter Buck of R.E.M and Steve Wynn, formerly of Dream Syndicate. This promised to be a great night, Sally Norvell had just finished an inspired show, and a lot of friends of Kerry Kennedy's turned up to support her.

Then it turned out Ken Stringfellow of the Posies wanted to play before Kerry, breaking the common rule that the more famous act play last, so younger, lesser known artists get a chance to play in front of a larger audience. Not very gentlemanly, Mr. Stringfellow. Then he turned out to be a hyper sensitive diva who couldn't even handle a couple of loud college kids.

Peter Buck left during the first song. Then he turned out to be playing really boring, whimsical songs of heartache and pain. Steve Wynn left after the second song. Still there were some girls who seemed to love it and ate every word. Fair enough. I didn't even bother taking a photo of the former Posies singer, despite the fact that I really, really dig their first three LPs. I am more interested in good songwriting than in rockstars.

When Kerry finally took the stage it was way past midnight and the vibrant urgency of earlier in the night gone. Still Kerry and her band - Nathan on guitar, Jason on Bass, no drummer, but a creative Paul Wallfisch on piano - played a wonderful set of indie folk pop that fits the unique, fragile yet confident voice of the singer just perfect. It's a pity Buck and Wynn didn't get to hear it. But there will be other opportunities and no pos(i)er in the house.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Punk For A Sunday Night - Pretendo

Sunday nights my legs are heavy from Soccer and as long as HBOs Flight of the Conchords is on, there's a good chance, I won't leave the house. But, alas, the Conchord's season is over and Heather called and asked if i wanted to come out see Pretendo, Devon's band Room played with live a couple of years ago... It turned out to be well worth going out: This is pure punk rock energy, high level power, combined with great singing and good lyrics. Watch out you hipsters and wanna-be A&Rs: Here's New York's best kept secret music trio. Dont miss them next time!