Friday, December 02, 2011

It's the Holiday Beast Flyer Competition!

You all gotta come out for this Small Beast: It's free anyway plus you can win 20 bucks and 2 minutes in the spotlight if you come up with the best lines of what these dear deer are saying to each other! Winner announced on stage when you join the feast of sounds, melodies, words and inspiration. What a line-up to get into the spirit: First, the Bay Leaves, then see Gibbs, then Hilary, Pierre and Elisabeth and finally jam with he Roman Games.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Small Beast with John Watts, Roman Game, Lost in Sound, Blackfriars Bridge, Andrew Keoghan

If you have no plans for tonight, come on down and hear songs of protest, love and meaning: The great John Watts who with his distinct voice and songwriting lead the New Wave supergroup Fischer-Z, is in town for the CMJ Festival and treats us with a free show at the Delancey at 10pm. He will be joined for a very special performance by Michael "Lost in Sound" Lawson. Andrew Keoghan, Blackfriars Bridge and Roman Games from 8pm to 10pm.

Curated by Roman Game

8pm Andrew Keoghan 
8:45pm Blackfriars Bridge 
9:30pm The Roman Games 
11pm John Watts with Lost In Sound 
11:30pm Lost In Sound

Friday, July 15, 2011

John Watts playing the Small Beast, Monday, July 18th!

We are happy to welcome our dear friend John Watts of Fischer-Z in New York again - he's one of my favorite songwriters, from the early New Wave Days back in the late Seventies and Eighties up to his most recent work - check out the link, the man's seen the world! Don't miss the experience of the hauntingly beautiful voice and guitar of Alfonso Velez, the witty yet warning words of Chris Pan, and the astounding sonic ride Lost in Sound is going to take you on. Free! Two for one drinks!


The members of Pinky Swearz recently pulled a drowning boy from the steep waves in Long Island and we don't expect to be on the cover of the paper or anything. A great way to show appreciation for the fragile and terrifying beauty of life and our intangible need for one another would be simply to darken the door of Delancey, buy a drink, and let us take you to the beach, where you will be well looked after while shapely lifeguards flirt through a hangover. We are, B Jams on guitar, Ben and Jessica sing.


Inspired by Morrison, Johnny Cash and honest gamblers, Chris Pan is playing melodic solo songs, crafted from romantic moments of love, death, danger, defiance, performed in the spirit of "taking chances" - in the pursuit of love, liberty and a life lived fully.


Roman Game arrived in New York from Switzerland more than 15 years ago and over time found the perfect musicians who share his love for melodic punk and edgy pop. A prolific songwriter and lyricist, Roman has been influenced by The Church, The Clash and, of course, John Lennon was his favorite Beatle. In his most convincing compositions for example the intriguing - “The Parachute Tester” - he manages to combine melody and text into one beautiful story. Saxmaster Dave Spinley adds a fine touch of jazz.


When Alfonso Velez first played the Small Beast a couple of months ago, you could hear a gasp of surprise run through the audience. Everybody then fell instantly silent, as not to miss a single note played or sung by this unique musician from Spain. This is how it must have felt for those who heard Elvis’s voice for the first time. Or Chuck Berry’s guitar. But we write the year 2011 now, and it’s a hundred times harder to pull this off with just one guitar and a voice. But Alfonso Velez does it easily. Mark our words: This man will be a superstar very soon.


John Watts has been described by a fellow artist as “a force of nature”. He was the mastermind of Fischer-Z, contemporaries of the Police and Talking Heads, with just as big a fan base as those groups in Europe. John easily commands a variety of musical forms encompassing written word, poetry and humor. He has a distinguished catalogue of seventeen original albums with sales in excess of two million. The Small Beast performance is his first show in New York in 5 years – expect new compelling songs like “The Heart of New York” as well as older hits from the Fischer-Z days and be prepared for John's decidedly British humor!


After fronting his own band In Cat State, and then experimenting with Beast guest curators Anton Sword and Roman Game as well as other musicians, Mike Lawson grew comfortably into leading his grand solo project “Lost in Sound”: An highly adventurous trip through the full range of noises, melodies, walls, valleys and mountains a guitar can conjure. You’ll be asking yourself what just happened when Michael’s last note rings out.

168 Delancey Street (between Clinton and Attorney), F train to Delancey Stop
Call 212-254-9920 for information.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

ROOM and SWORD & SLAVE at Fat Baby July 7th

On Thursday, July 7th, we are playing a set of classic Room songs as a quartet, with Jesko Stahl on bass, Dave Spinely on saxophone, Martial Vivot on drums and Roman Game on guitar and vocals. We start at 10pm sharp... Our friends Sword & Slave play after us: Anton Sword on keys and voc with Gina Marie on bass. Be sure to catch their new hit "Hurricane" with guitar hero Michael Lawson (Lost in Sound) on guitar! It's seven bucks, but we'll make it up to you with a drink or a free CD! Fat Baby is at 112 Rivington, between Essex and Ludlow Streets. Take the F train to Delancey and Essex.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lloyd Cole at City Winery

So Lloyd Cole, huh, he spots a moustache now and looks a lot like my uncle Bernie. Bernie has a lot of jokes to tell, Lloyd's still not very good at that, but my uncle to my knowledge never wrote anything that comes near the pristine songs of Lloyd Cole, be they from his days in the Commotions back in Glasgow or from his various records in New York. The best pieces though come from his newest album, "Broken Record", on which Mark Schwaber and Matt Cullen, the two brillant guitar players Lloyd brought to his left and right, made the songs sparkle and shine. Lloyd still lives in Conneticut, but his son moved to New York. We suggested a collaboration between Lloyd and Will with Neil Finn and his son Liam. Generations of Beatles fans would be delighted. As long as that doesn't happen, this songsmith deserves your full attention, he still says it better than most poets can.

The Lloyd Cole Small Acoustic Ensemble with a big warm sound.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Come Perform at the Small Beast - Mon, June 13th

Monday by now is not the dreaded day of the week it was during The Boomtown Rats' time, but the day of the glorious Small Beast at the Delancey, a free showcase for musicians from all walks of life.

The next MONDAY JUNE 13th, also happens to be my birthday... So i hope all of you could come out and sing a song, or play a piece of music, or stage a presentation... Every performance will be rewarded with a free drink!

Let me know, if you plan to perform... a few people have already signed up for it, and it promises to have a few must-hear/see surprises.

If you don't want to perform, join us as a guest, it's free!

Those of you who have been to Pierre's legendary Arty Party know the concept and the comedic skills of some of our friends... Also, see this as a rehearsal for the grand revival of the real Arty Party, which will be launched by Pierre, Heather and me on June 25th at Tip Top Lounge, but more about that soon.

Moreover: There is also a proper birthday rock show coming up, on WEDNESDAY JUNE 15th at MATCHLESS in Greenpoint, with ANTON SWORD AND THE WE OURS and PSXO and THE ROMAN GAMES. It's the night before the Northside Festival begins, and unfortunately that one is not free, but we all rehearsed for this hard and will sound good... More about that one soon, too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Missed Ed Ball, won't miss Jowe Head

Mr. Head comes to New York.
How could I have missed Ed Ball and the Times at Union Hall in Mid April! Was anybody there? Video? Photos? The Times, man, I would have given everything to see them when I was young! Ed Ball is one of the best songwriters imo, up there with Weller and Lennon and Davies. To see him live has been one of the few remaining names on my list of artists yet to see live, like Julian Cope.

So I defintely won't miss Jowe Head with the Mad Scene + The Surprisers + Cuffs at Bruar Falls, tonight at 8pm. 245 Grand St (between Driggs Ave and Roebling St) Jowe Head spent time in two of the U.K.'s coolest underground bands: Swell Maps and Television Personalities. Nuff said.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Small Beats Number 110 This Monday!

Hey Small Beast Fighters - come see and hear an d be part of the 110th edition, this Monday, April 18th, tax day, yay! Enjoy spring at the unique Delancey lounge with..

Mollie King

Singer, guitarist, songwriter. Moving from Fairyland on top of Lookout Mountain, Georgia to New York at the age of 17, she soon became the singer and lyricist for many different bands back in the day on the Lower East Side, including the jazz/hip-hop/metal of Kingstone and was the first lead singer in the psych/blues/improv of Elliot Sharp’s band Terraplane. If you’ve never seen and heard Mollie before, you’re either not interested in contemporary music at all or you’re not a New Yorker.


Quite a few sites and stations have been swooning about Swoon’s new, just released record “Backwards & Forwards”. This is their first show after the record release, one with all the pressure off of the fine band’s chest, ready to lose themselves in their music. Be prepared for heartfelt, deep pop-rock with an easily accessible big sound and remarkable lyrics.

The Roman Games

Roman Game is a Swiss Troubadour chronicling New York since the Nineties, an observer of everyday life with an eye for the unexpected, a knack for raising questions and taking wrong turns, but finding a way home in the end. He is also the singer in Room, a multinational collective of alternative musicians who find their way to New York every so often. He will bring friends and guests to the stage.

Dying in Motion

Dying in Motion are a Swiss punk band who are touring the U.S. this month. Their stop at the Delancey is an experiment for them, too: The quartet will do without their fifth member, Extreme Loudness, at the Small Beast. In their own words: “We are four friends from Zurich, Switzerland. We play screamo hardcore. We are into DIY. We are here to share the love and passion we put into our music with other nice people.” Let’s find out.

DJ Pablo Martin
Pablo Martin spins his no wave /post punk 25 cent vinyl collection

The Sword and the Bear Cross Paths

Anton Sword leading the We Ours into prime time

Double duty for drummer beauty Kristin Mueller again: At Union Hall, Anton Sword and the We Ours shared a bill with Lucinda Black Bear. Sword is in finest form these days, the ladies from the rhythm section really click. Julian's guitar could have been a bit louder and harder, in my poor punky opinion. Why Christian Gibbs and his bear comrades are not filling stadiums yet will remain a mystery to me to the day they do fill stadiums.

Lucinda Black Bear at Union Hall, with a little help from their frANT.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Feelies Doing Wire

With the upcoming Feelies shows and new album and the amazing Wire gig past week, who knew this connection?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Williamsburg Totally Wire'd!

Colin Newman charming Williamsburg. Picture by Edwina Hay

Proof is here: It is possible to make sharp, edgy, intelligent, relevant rock music even when you're older than fifty. British punk pioneers Wire were all that and harmonious, original and graceful on top of that at the Williamsburg Hall of Music on Tuesday night. While they played almost all the songs from their new album, the exquisite Red Barked Tree, there were few highlights from other periods of the band, most notably 'Map Ref' and 'Two People' from 154 and 'Kidney Bingos' and 'Drill' from their 80's incarnation, back when Bruce Gilbert was in the band. He is now replaced by a quite younger, but talented and decent left-handed guitar player.
General Graham Lewis attacking the bass. Pic. E. Hay.

Follow me, no explanation, as Graham Lewis sings on "Bad Worn Things"? Seems to me, these gentlemen well deserve the "over-crowded nature of things" at their fan base at the moment. Their new material is as strong as anything they put out over their influential career of almost 35 years, their songwriting rivaled by nobody. Well maybe by Weller, Cornwell, Kilbey and a few select others.

Robert Gotobed looking exactly like that's where he wants to go. Pic by E. Hay
I attach the setlist (with thanx for the picture below to the Brooklyn Vegan) below, so people in Europe can compare if they play the same songs over here. I would expect so. Many thanks to Edwina Hay, whose concert photography I recommend:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Of Dorit, Robot, Falcon & Young Julian Cope

Dorit Chrysler dueling Bob Kitlyar on the theremin

Yes, the live scene in New York is still humming all across the boros. A recent weekend brought acts from all generations and genres in most different places. Kick off was the 100th birthday commemoration for the world's foremost theremin player Clara Rockmore at a gallery in the high hallways of Soho, most notably with a rare performance by Dorit Chrysler, who in collaboration with young russian Bob Kitlyar brought the theremin into a fresh, techno-y place.

Lady Robot and the Lust Brigade take it up a notch

We then traveled to the trodden shores of Williamsburg to Glasslands Gallery, a good place for the crazy soul rockers from Lady Robot and the Lust Brigade to go overboard, we hoped, but then truly where blown away by the young, brutal, angular energy of NT, whose music you can hear here. This is what Julian Cope and the Teardrop Explodes must have been like back in the days.

NT - Raw power, angelic looks and Julian Cope haircut

The next day brought Falcon in East Williamsburg and we were pleasantly surprised not only by the proximity of this new hotspot for the youngblooded, but also by the casual coolness that Falcon after a long break showed onstage, leaving the music air to breathe and the players room for endearing little adventures. Upclose and personal.

Falcon are back!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tender Small Beast, Great Sounds and Songs

Last Monday at the Delancey showcased a beautifully tame beast, let's call it a pet beast. E. Ryan Goodman opened the evning with delicate sounds from his acoustic guitar, a modern version of the old blues, haunting and wonderful at the same time. He had the audience completely on his side, when he announced a next song as "very quiet": The listeners already didn't make a sound, you could have heard a pin drop. All the mightier was the applause Goodman garnered.

Next up were Jessica and Ben, or Pinky Swearz with their contemporary folk tunes about the hood in Williamsburg and life in Brooklyn. Ben and Jess manage to conjure a unique atmosphere with only one guitar and two voices - plus a lot of honest passion and love for the music.

Dina Rudeen and her trusty axemen Tim Bright and Christian Bongers were the highlight of the night, the guitars gelling, supporting the strong, yet warm voice of Dina, who in songs and lyrics comes close to a female, black Bob Dylan. A five star job, lady Dina!

Mike Lawson's music takes you to other places... wild flights through echoey valleys and steep abysses of sounds, sometimes he himself gets Lost in Sound and transported to dark places - as a grim Michael pounded his guitar, the soundscape grew and grew...

Room played their debut without Burnt Finger and Quentin Jennings, and especially Jean-Cosme on bass did an admirable job. A memorable gig for the ever changing landscape in the growing conglomerate of musicians in the Room. Since I was on stage, I couldn't take a photo and instead attach one from the show we played at the Delancey this Saturday, for the first time with new roomie Jesko Stahl on bass and the amazing Kristin Mueller sitting in on drums without even knowing some of the songs. Dave Spinley on genius sax, as always. Before us, Kristin also played a solo set on guitar, then really rocked with the newly improved Anton Sword, with Gina on bass and Julian on a beautifully T-Rex-sounding 70s guitar. Always a pleasure to see and hear our favorite New York Elvis, Nathan Halpern and the Lusty Men.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Saturday Night, er, Live at the Delancey

Anton Sword put together this great bill for Saturday night. Here's what he writes:
First, let me mention there will be free whiskey shots from 12:15-12:45. Ok, moving on: This Saturday night, the Anton Sword band (Anton, Kristin Mueller on drums and Julian Maile on guitar) are being joined by the bright & shiny new Gina Rodriguez on bass. We feel lucky, punk. No excuses for you this time. The basement at the Delancey will start filling with sound at 8:30 sharp and we need you to come lick it up with your ear-tongues to keep us from drowning.

1. Fulton Lights * "Imagine if Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock produced a few songs on Beck’s Sea Change and then Tom Waits and Brian Eno stepped in to add some texture—and it all worked." -- The Onion AV Club
8:30 sharp

2. Kristin Mueller * is known around NYC as the Most Excellent Drummer for several great bands, including (but not limited to) Anton Sword, Lucinda Black Bear, and Clare Burson. In addition to her fantastic drumming, Mueller is a unique singer-songwriter and guitarist, with a fascinating fingerpicking style and a mesmerizing voice. Those of you who’ve seen her know what she’s about, and those of you who haven’t should check out her beautiful, intimate, and original tunes and presentation. 9:15 sharp

3. Nathan Halpern & The Lusty Men * 'Halpern sings in the rough, urgent, powerful baritone of a 1950s crooner, a voice at once vulnerable and masculine…his hooks and melodies and climaxes evoke the popular songs of forty and fifty years ago and yet amount to something unmistakably new.' ( He's also the splendidly dark sonic signature of Ghostwise, the Kerry Kennedy-led band (that Anton also plays piano with). 9:45 sharp

4. Anton Sword * is still doing something that people like to compare to Brits like Lennon, Bowie, & Morrissey, or NYCers like Lou Reed & LCD Soundsystem, depending on the song, but he's not always sure what it is. Anyway, never mind him: with Kristin Mueller on drums, Julian Maile on guitar, and Gina Rodriguez on bass, it's an actual band you don't want to miss. And they'll be playing some new songs from the upcoming new EP - rough mixes are audible here: and the older stuff is still here: 10:45 sharp

5. Roman Games * is perhaps known to you all as a gadfly, a bard of special occasions, a master of the night ceremonies, or a punk rocker from another continent. We don't need to know what form he'll take to know it will be very stimulating, and probably involve a good mixture of whiskey and bardic poetry in a cute swiss accent. 11:45 sharp

12:30 djs - AND
free whisky shots from 12:15- 12:45 am
and a $4.00 beer special all night

Tubular Bells by the Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra

Another little project produced by the ever busy Joe McGinty - a beautiful short movie in its own right and great musical performances by these ladies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Room to take on the Beast Monday March 7th

Another exciting roster to take on the Small Beast! Come down to the fancy Delancey to enjoy the cozy, intimate performances that distinguish this institution founded by Paul Wallfisch and continued during his extended stay in Europe. These performers will entertain you:

E. Ryan Goodman 8.30 PM

"Using nothing but a guitar, his imagination and his fingertips, Goodman embarks on a journey towards the heart of the blues, the essence of folk and the gold of the moment... Much like photography, his music brings back a very particular moment in all of its tactile sensations rather than describing a storyline, delineating a narrative or devising a plot. This, of course, is exactly what lends to his music the unmistakable air of intrigue: You can literally loose yourself in these short but never miniaturist pieces...It may be dealing with nostalgia, but the heartbeat of New York City is always pulsing through his oeuvre, too, imbuing it with an uplifting, life-affirming energy. The worlds of E. Ryan Goodman may be suspended in time – but they are always suspended in the here and now, not in some faraway dreamland."

9.15 PM Pinky Swearz

Pinky Swearz plucks your heartstrings with duet covers and originals mostly dealing with the Williamsburg area, and the dreadful beauty of life.
One such track, Bedford Avenue, can be found at their site on Bandcamp:

10.00 PM Room

The multicultural euro trash combination that makes up the combo Room takes its toll: One left for Amsterdam, one is in Berlin, another one now lives in Puerto Rico. But keeping up the five corners of their punk jazz jam, this is Room's first show without Burnt Finger. The perfomances of this band are never boring, sometimes resulting in singer Roman Game jumping into drums or breaking antique lamps, drummer Martial Vivot breaking sticks and fingers, and bass player Jean-Cosme Delaloye breaking hearts. Dave Spinley messes with your mind on the Sax. Quentin Jennings on keyboards behaves. He's British.

10.45 PM Dina Rudeen

Dina Rudeen was overcome with an all consuming obsession with music at a very early age, declaring one day in 8th grade while skipping school, “this IS the devil’s music - it’s totally ruining my grades!”. Still, she honed her chops and has over the years grown into a fine songwriter using her witty way with words and her warm, fresh voice. Her new record "The Common Splendor" is out now and shows the wide range of Dina's musical and lyrical talent. Her band is simply excellent, including guitar expert Tim Bright and bass wonder Christian Bongers.

11.30 PM Lost in Sound

Come with Mike Lawson on this trip into soundland, twangy echo guitars, walls of sound and rivers, stunning fields of notes and melodies. With just a guitar and an assortment of wild effects, Lost in Sound creates a unique, dense atmosphere that opens ways to the core of music itself. Mike is working on a brand new set of tunes, never before performed live.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Hardest Working Band in the Universe: The Church live in New York

The Church performing their new record Untitled #23, Priest=Aura and Starfish (from top to bottom).
More than impressive, monumental, a Byzantin mass, a feast for all senses: The Church played their THREE albums Unitled 23, Priest=Aura and Starfish in one evening, taking short breaks between sets, to come back in new outfits and with even grander verve and melodies, with stunning stamina and everlasting power. As if they would have to prove that they are not just the best, but also the hardest working band in the world. Now guys, go back to Australia and relax a little in the studio... a new record before Christmas, please?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We Loyal Royally Received in New York

Only a handful Swiss bands have the guts to pack their instruments and cross the ocean to come and play in New York. We Loyal from Basel are one of the brave exceptions. They traded the mostly posh swiss concert spaces, where rock music is still often limited to weekends, with the dingy back rooms and cellars of bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and found an attentive audience in a vibrant new wave scene. We went to their show at Cameo, the lovely space behind the Lovin Cup Cafe in Williamsburg. We Loyal fitted the white, spheric sculpture of the decoration with their mystic pop, reminiscent of New Order, sad Depeche Mode, Gary Numan. Titillating synthesizers and pulsating bass lines embrace the cooly understated vocals. Great sound to cruise under the lights of an urban landscape at night, played with verve and passion. The three boys are back in Basel now, but promise to return soon for a longer period. Bitten by the Big Apple Bug, i guess.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monday, Jan 24th: The 100th Small Beast!

Come out and celebrate the 100th Small Beast and Two Year Anniversary with our SB favorites and guests, special drinks and surprises! And let's raise our cups to Paul Wallfisch's great invention...

8:30pm Thomas Simon
9:15pm The Roman Games
10:00pm Pierre de Gaillande and Bad Reputation play Brassens
10:45pm Fuckintosh
11:30pm Bit-Tuner

"Haunting and hypnotic, Thomas Simon performs a suite of eerie soundscapes evoking both Syd Barrett and David Gilmour-era Pink Floyd as well as Bauhaus and, when the ghostly melody begins to take a recognizable shape, Australian psychedelic legends the Church. Incorporating elements of minimalism, sci-fi and horror film scores as well as goth music and oldschool art-rock, it's an ominous treat for the ears." -Lucid Culture

Swiss punk poet Roman is back from winter in Europe and brings a bunch of new songs and rumors from the underground. This time in a jazzy setting with Dave Spinley on sax, Martial Vivot on drums and Quentin Jennings on the rest.
"Very, very good. Nice mix of styles, no testosterone metal crap. I hope they go far!" - Captain Sensible, The Damned
"Fantastic songs...I really enjoy listening to their music!" - Karl Wallinger, World Party

Composer Pierre de Gaillande grew up listening to his father's recordings of renowned singer-songwriter Georges Brassens. He took on the challenge of translating his hero's songs and brings the message to American shores now: "It's so warm and so human," de Gaillande says of Brassens' music. "It's not about money, it's not that God told me to do this, it's not about 'I'm stronger than you.' We're all in it together; let's eat a great meal and have a bottle of wine."

The first Beast appearance by the elusive mash up artist last year was hilarious and highly enjoyable. Now the pressure is on... What will the artist who has paired exotic couples like Nirvana with Elvis, the Beatles with Kraftwerk and Edith Piaf with Dolly Parton, come up with this time? Special guests? You bet, cause you're one.
"Stealing things is a glorious occupation, particularly in the art world." -Malcom McLaren

Producing low-speed detonations from Switzerland since he got to New York, Bit has been a regular player on many dance floors with overwhelming repsonse. Experience his fine-tuned 'in your face' electronic approach with acid sounds and melodies to let this night ring out sweet and loud.