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.