Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Album Review: Debra DeSalvo – Hoboken Demos

Her first album was called Electric Goddess, and this effort, her second, gets this prosaic title. She got it backwards. DeSalvo is best known as a fiery, virtuosic lead guitarist, a master of touch, tone and shading as well one of the most exhilirating fret-burners around. This cd highlights her songwriting, which falls somewhere between Scout, Neil Young circa Tonight’s the Night and PJ Harvey circa Raw. The songs here jangle and clang, build to catchy, crescendoing choruses and surprisingly don’t have as much wild guitar intensity as one would usually expect from her. The cd’s opening cut Welcome to the Boneyard is a bonafide classic, a gorgeously sad number sung from the point of view of someone beyond the grave. The following track All That I Need is a power pop smash that could be Scout or Patti Rothberg. After that, When It Comes Down (a big concert favorite) is the most guitarishly boisterous of the three. Yet what impresses here perhaps the most are DeSalvo’s vocals: she’s become a terrific singer with impressive range. Fans of the guitar pantheon – BB, Jimi, Gilmour, the Alberts (King and Collins), Debbie Davies, etc. – should not deprive themselves of the chance to get to know her. And for fans of Scout, this will be especially satisfying: DeSalvo has the same casual charisma as that band’s frontwoman A.K. Healey.

DeSalvo is also an author, and a very funny one at that: her book The Language of the Blues is imbued with heaping portions of the laugh-out-loud humor that until recently didn’t usually make it through the poker-faced intensity of her music. She and her power trio Devi (Hindi for “goddess”) play around New York every month or so.

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April 30, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

CD Review: Matt Keating – Summer Tonight

Nashville gothic from one of the world’s foremost under-the-radar rockers. Typical NYC story: big in Europe, gets rave reviews (usually something akin to “if Elvis Costello still rocked, he’d be Matt Keating“) but in the US he’s still a cult artist with a small if devoted fan base. This album should change that. Well-conceived, well-executed and particularly well-timed, this could be the stealth weapon that puts him all over NPR and gets some big Hollywood movie placements. It’s a hard turn right into Americana, done with good taste and a genuine appreciation for Carter Family meets the Velvet Underground but there’s way more A.P. and Mother Maybelle in here than there is Lou and crew. Crisp fingerstyle acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass, pedal steel and harmonica serve as the instrumentation. Aptly titled, it’s an album of nocturnes, the perfect backdrop to a murder conspiracy worked out at dusk in midsummer over half-warm bloody marys on a picnic table just off the highway somewhere on the way to Milledgeville.

 Curiously, while menace has been Keating’s stock in trade throughout his career, there’s less of it here than on his other albums. The album’s opening track, Who Knew, and then its title track, both feature Keating’s wife, the terrifically talented Emily Spray (who wrote Union Square for Laura Cantrell). Her honeyed, rockabilly-inflected vocals add warmth and depth to the surprisingly upbeat feel of these songs. Trouble returns in a hurry, though, with Waiting for Memories, an achingly bitter midtempo hit that longs for amnesia – or anything that will bring it on – to erase the pain of the past. The album’s high point, No Further South is arguably the best 9/11 eulogy written by any songwriter up to this point. Over a haunting, minor key acoustic guitar melody, Keating perfectly evokes the dread and the surreal feel of the days after the towers were detonated: “Wrote your name in the ashes on that uptown bus/In my nose and my lashes, God have mercy on us.”

Though replete with fire-and-brimstone Biblical imagery, the rest of the album is surprisingly upbeat and hopeful: Keating seems to have made an uneasy truce with the demons which rear their heads throughout his back catalog. The gorgeously rustic Down There, the straight-ahead country ballad Wish I Was Gold (which sounds like a Dolly Parton classic from 1970) and the resigned, contemplative Lord Jesus could all be Sirius radio hits in on their Americana, country and AAA channels (and would all have been big AM hits if this was 1976  – and that’s a compliment). There’s also a bonus cut featuring a duet with Patty Griffin which is the best thing she’s done in years. Highly recommended for fans of Americana-inflected songwriters like Ron Sexsmith and Rhett Miller as wellas fans of potent lyricists like Graham Parker, Richard Thompson and the aforementioned Mr. Costello. And the Carter Family and maybe even the Velvets. Albums are available in stores, at shows and online. For those who might fear that Keating might have gone soft with this one, fear not: his next album will be a rock record and if the tracks he’s played live are any indication, it’ll be as dark as anything else he’s done.

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How we can avoid another Virginia Tech massacre

Lots of typical inanity in the press in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech killings. It’s obvious how we can avoid this happening in the future, if we just take a look at the killer’s words. He was after two specific groups: lying charlatans and rich kids. In order to keep such a horrific event from ever happening again, we have to protect them by installing global positioning microchips under their skin. That way, we can keep track of them and make sure they’re safe in case another nutjob somehow manages to get loose despite repeated warning signs that college officials and law enforcement repeatedly ignore. But how to identify all these potential targets?

Rich kids are easy. For one, we know who they are. There are two kinds of rich kids: those whose parents keep them on a short leash, and those whose parents keep them on a long leash. The parents of rich kids on a short leash will welcome the opportunity to know where their kids are within a micrometer of their actual whereabouts, so getting their approval will be easy. Rich parents who keep their kids on a long leash will either appreciate the reminder that those kids exist, or they’ve forgotten that they have kids at all and won’t give a damn what we do with them.

 Lying charlatans are more difficult to identify, but we can start with some obvious suspects and develop a pattern from there. The members of what’s left of Journey, who lipsync to a backing track at “live” shows? Everybody in the band gets a chip. The surviving guy from Milli Vanilli? He gets a chip. Clay Aiken? I think he should get two chips. Alec Baldwin, who now purportedly wants out of his sitcom contract so he can concentrate on taking care of the family he cares so much about? You get the picture.

And while we’re at it, we can identify potential killers and keep track of their whereabouts so it doesn’t really matter if their teachers report them to the dean’s office, their classmates report them to the cops, or they’re assigned to some outpatient loony bin yet for some inexplicable reason fail to show up for treatment. People who don’t respond when their classmates try to engage them in conversation? Well, now you don’t have to talk to your fellow students. Talk to your satellite tracking device instead. People who write poetry? Enough said. Hell, everyone who takes English class. Wait a minute – English is mandatory, isn’t it? That solves everything. Why don’t we just put a global positioning chip under EVERYBODY’S skin and within minutes, crime as we know it will cease to exist. Isn’t technology wonderful?

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Rant | 2 Comments

NYC music calendar 4/26-5/3/07

Thurs Apr 26, 10 PM Kill Henry Sugar plays Barbes (F train to 7 th Ave., walk down the hill a block). Americana rock duo: guitar/lapsteel and drums. Sly wit, subtly good lyrics and an entertaining stage show. Their song Mussolini is one of the most apropos post-9/11 tunes to come out of the NYC scene to date

 

Also Thurs Apr 26 the Howlin Thurstons play Lakeside, 10 PM. Instrumental, ostensibly surf music but with a punk sensibility, sometimes very noisy, fingers-down-the-blackboard, other times more melodic. Coffin Daggers fans should check them out. 

 

Also Thurs Apr 26 guitarist Todd Michaelsen and his wife Reena, both late of My Pet Dragon play Plan B (the old Drinkland) on 10th just west of B. Radiohead meets South Asian classical music with acoustic guitar reverberating through a vintage Fender amp. Passionate, anthemic, artsy, and unabashedly political, in a non-preachy way.

Fri Apr 27 Coffin Daggers spinoff Brainfinger plays Otto’s (the old Barmacy on 14th betw A and B), 10 PM. All instrumental. Same eerie surf sound, a little more keyboard-oriented, Ray Manzarek-style Balkan funeral music. Did you know that Ray Manzarek was in a surf band before the Doors? Go figure.

Also Fri Apr 27 Jack Grace plays Rodeo Bar with his band, 10:30 PM-ish, 2 sets. He books the place and predictably plays there on the weekends, but he’s worth seeing. Old school country, lots of Merle/George influences with a Tom Waits vibe from time to time. It’s a party, bigtime – everybody gets sloshed on tekillya slurpies and the band has been known to segue into and out of stuff like Whole Lotta Love and Night Fever if the mood strikes them.

 

Also Fri Apr 27 virtuoso theremin player Pamelia Kurstin plays the cd release for her new one at the Brooklyn Lyceum, 4th Ave. in Brooklyn, F to 4th Ave and walk back about 10 blocks toward Brooklyn Heights. It’s also right at the Union St. R stop if that’s easier for you. She’s fascinating to watch and actually has a sense of melody on the eerie thing. NYC’s best instrumental unit Big Lazy starts the show at 10 playing tunes from their amazing new one Postcards from X, closer to Southwestern gothic than the haunting NYC noir, reverb-driven guitar/bass/drums instrumentals that made them the darlings of indie film soundtracks.

 

Sat Apr 28 Hazmat Modine plays Terra Blues on Bleecker, 2 sets starting at 7:30 PM.

Impossible to pigeonhole: New Orleans blues instrumentation (dueling blues harps, trumpet, guitar, rhythm section, all kinds of strange ancient wind instruments). Rustic psychedelic vibe. Eerie minor keys. They’re world music without being NPR about it, delving into reggae, klezmer, calypso and blues with a charismatic frontman unsurpassed at getting the crowd on its feet.

 

Also Sat Apr 28 Ellen Foley plays Lakeside, 11 PM. She was the girl singer on the Meatloaf karaoke standard Paradise by the Dashboard Light (and sounds nothing like that live). Later she did a killer album backed by the Clash. Worth seeing what she’s up to now.

 

Also Sat Apr 28 the Knitters play Luna, expensive, $25, but it’s X playing country covers and countrified versions of X songs. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say they invented the Pete’s Candy Store sound even though they probably never heard of the place. They also play the Gramercy Theatre on May 2 – tix for that show available at Irving Plaza.

 

Sun Apr 29 it’s the Americana Family Jamboree at Rodeo Bar, 3 (three) PM featuring members of Demolition String Band playing country and bluegrass classics. This is supposed to be a kid-friendly event although I suspect the only  people in the audience will be adults nursing their hangovers over the Rodeo’s greasy food. Most afternoon shows suck because the band are likewise hungover but I’ve seen these guys hungover  and they still kick ass.

 

Later Mon Apr 30 Rev. Vince Anderson plays Black Betty, Metropolitan at Havemeyer (across the street from the new Luna) in Williamsburg, 2 sets starting around 10:45 PM. The latest incarnation of the Rev.- he’s been through a few – has him about 35 pounds leaner and more powerful than ever as a charismatic frontman and wild-ass keyboardist. Man, can that guy play: he wails on that Nord Electric like Billy Preston at his mid-70s peak. They jam out on everything except the slow pretty ballads, most everything goes on about 15 minutes and the crowd dances along. The underpinnings of the songs are old-school 60s gospel but they get pretty psychedelic. The Rev. is a NYC institution: you should see him at least once in your life.

 

Tues May 1, 8 PM Sousalves plays the cd release for his new one at Midway (the old Guernica/Save the Robots space), 8 PM. Fiery, twisted, quintessentially New York rock, delivered with fearless abandon.

 Weds May 2, in the afternoon, 3:30 PM virtuoso Italian organist Paolo Borgignon plays the vintage 1830 Appleton organ at the Metroplitan Museum of Art, concert free with admission. Don’t know the program but the organist is terrific and the organ – located in the second floor musical instruments section – is kept in working order.

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Live Events, Music | Leave a comment

CD Review: Radio Birdman – Zeno Beach

Volcanic comeback album by these legendary Australian garage punks that mixes a violent apocalypticism with a handful of black humor-driven, traditional garage rock numbers that sometimes veer to the goofy side. For three years in the late 70s, there was no better band on the planet. Driven by lead guitarist Deniz Tek’s maniacal Middle Eastern-inflected playing over a pummeling surf beat, Radio Birdman’s first two studio albums set the standard for uncompromising, raw, fast rock. Influenced by the Stooges, MC5, Blue Oyster Cult, Doors (you should hear the bootleg of their cover of LA Woman) and Ventures, they burned from 1976 to 1980 when Tek left the band for the Air Force and two of the remaining members spun off into the New Christs. Radio Birdman’s releases after the initial breakup are a mixed bag: the mix of alternate versions of songs from their classic 1979 album Radios Appear, including a couple of deliriously good outtakes, is a masterpiece; their 1997 live album, recorded at one of their annual reunion concerts in Australia, found the band lost in a maze of Marshall stacks and high-tech gear, their signature raw power blunted by a booming sound system. This, then is their real comeback, and it’s pretty amazing. With the exception of the new drummer, these guys are in their fifties now and can still outplay and out-write just about any band out there.  

As with their best work, it’s an eerie, death-defying ride. Just a glance at the song titles proves they haven’t lost their dark vision. You Just Make It Worse. Remorseless. Found Dead. Die Like April. Hungry Cannibals. Locked Up. This is desperate stuff; the rage that drove them in 1979 hasn’t dissipated one iota. The album kicks off with We’ve Come So Far (To Be Here Today), sounding nothing like the Grateful Deadly title might imply: it’s a blast of chromatic, minor-key fury, fueled by the twin guitars of Tek and Chris Masuak (who’s become a brilliant lead player in his own right), and organist Pip Hoyle. The album’s next track is a surprisingly trad garage riff-rocker, something that would sound perfectly at home on a good Lyres record. Next we get the haunting, aptly titled Remorseless: the tension of this burning, funereal midtempo song never lets up. After that’s over, Found Dead continues in the same vein. Connected explores reincarnation, a topic Tek has addressed in his solo work. The impressively ornate, artsy Die Like April builds off a hook that sounds suspiciously similar to something by their Aussie compatriots the Church. Heyday takes a Beatles lick and does pretty much the same thing.

 

Eventually it’s back to the nuevo-60s garage feel with the tracks If You Say Please and Hungry Cannibals, the latter of which brings some welcome comic relief. But it’s black humor, it doesn’t last long and you get the feeling that just maybe, the band might not be joking after all. After that, Locked Up is a scorching, Stooges-inflected riff-rocker; then the album winds up with two uncharacteristically sunny tunes, both by keyboardist Hoyle. The Brotherhood of Al Wazah riffs on Middle East terrorism, and the title cut works both as a tribute to a good surf beach and a warning that we could all be On the Beach.

 

Frontman Rob Younger no longer comes across as the Australian Iggy Pop; the oldest member of the band, he’s come to sound eerily like another Australian rock legend, guitarist/songwriter Marty Willson-Piper from the Church. You wouldn’t think a voice like that would necessarily work with such a ferocious band behind it, but it does. Descend into the maelstrom with these guys if you dare. One of the best albums of the decade so far, end of story.

April 26, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CD Review: Swagg – The Universe Next Door

Another underground NYC band who’ve taken it to the next level. Nice to hear. Swagg frontwoman/guitarist Nadine Miller has a cool, clear voice and a great ear for harmony, and her layers of vocals here can be gorgeously ethereal, adding a dreampop edge to the band’s guitar clang. This ep blends the fresh, airy sound of early Lush with a propulsive power-jangle attack, driven here by jackhammmer drummer Lanny Finnerty (from standout retro garage rockers 18). The best cuts on this album include its second song, Scientific True Love with its killer chorus, and the ep’s final track, Esmeralda which slowly builds from a haunting major/minor verse and eventually takes flight on the wings of Miller’s soaring voice.

 

Miller is a connoisseur of other people’s songs as well; at shows Swagg have been known to do justice to covers as diverse and iconic as Big Star’s classic September Gurls and the Pink Floyd standby Lucifer Sam. They’re as good and tight live as you’d hope them to be after hearing this album.

April 24, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CD Review: The Dirty Novels – Stealing Kisses

Word is that they don’t make kick-ass rock like this anymore – except they do. These raucous, stomping New Mexico garage rock hoodlums pump out a glorious blast of noise that blends the sound of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators with the early Damned, along with plenty of influence from the Stooges, Ramones, Seeds and Lyres, among others.

 

The album’s second song Slow It Down sounds like vintage Elevators, all nasty riffs over a jangly groove. Don’t Fit In (track four) sounds like a Stones song from Aftermath rearranged for one of their post-Blonde on Blonde albums like Between the Buttons. The following cut Candy Can’t Wait is uncharacteristically downbeat and creepy, shades of Steve Wynn at his most retro. Can’t Get Over You (track six) evokes the Damned circa Machine Gun Etiquette with its dark minor chord permutations. Stars Won’t Shine for You (track eight) starts out sounding practically like a dead ringer for the Damned classic Fan Club before taking a short detour down into la-la pop.  My Love Is Electric (track nine) launches on an evil Stoogoid riff, evoking nothing less than the great and recently reunited Radio Birdman. The album concludes with what sounds like a Stooges tribute, the TV Eye riff adapted just enough to beat a copyright suit. And it’s a worthy one: Asheton & co. would probably approve.

 

There are no deep lyrical concepts here, no shades of meaning. All these guys want to do is rock. There isn’t much about this album that’s original but that’s not the point. What the Dirty Novels want to do is kick your ass over and over and they do that exceptionally well. These guys are purists. They really know their stuff and obviously get a lot of pleasure bludgeoning your eardrums. Their live act is everything you would hope for after hearing the album. It all boils down to this: if you love unpretentious, catchy, balls-to-the-wall garage rock that you can get up and dance to, get this album and go see the Dirty Novels when they come to your town. All they need is somebody to hook them up with Little Steven and have them play a couple of his garage-a-thons and they’ll be packing ‘em in at dingy rock clubs from coast to coast. The cd is available online and at shows.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CD Review: Breadfoot Featuring Anna Phoebe – Tea with Leo

The heir apparent to the legacy of John Fahey teams up with an inspired violinist on this gorgeously rustic, fluid album of pastoral acoustic instrumentals. Like Fahey, Breadfoot blends 19th century folk, old-time country and delta blues influences but resists any impulse to be bound by the traditional constraints of any of those idioms. What results is equal parts great Sunday afternoon album and passout record: it’ll get you going as well as it gets you down for the night.

The opening track, A Hard Day in Manhattan wanders along with an understatement that would do Fahey proud, an exercise in subtlety and dynamics. It’s all melody, no garish flourishes or ostentation. The album’s second track, the wistful, 6/8 lament Hilary Rose is over too soon, barely into its sad, thoughtful testimonial. By contrast, the following cut, Polly Loved Me (I Know) is a rousing Appalachian dance, sparks flying from the frets of Breadfoot’s six-string banjo (!!) and the strings of the fiddle.

Of the other tracks on the album, the next one, International Esther is probably the most overtly Fahey-esque number and wouldn’t be out of place on Blind Joe Death. That’s high praise. Very nice hesitation time at the end of the tune. Kecha is guitar only, a brightly bouncing open-tuned Piedmont blues melody a la Pink Anderson. The album’s best single cut may be the thoughtful, gently pensive Smoking on the Stoop. The cd concludes with the 6/8 ballad On the Day that I Go, which would make a great soundtrack to that Twilight Zone episode – I think it was called Willoughby. You know the one, the guy takes Metro North from Manhattan, think’s he’s on the way home but he winds up back in the 1800s, watching thekids take hayrides through the dusty, unpaved streets of his town. There’s also a rousing bonus track that kicks in after what seems eternity.

Clocking in at under half an hour, this cd’s greatest flaw is its brevity: it leaves you wanting twice as much. And not that the violin isn’t a welcome accompaniment here, but for anyone who’s heard him live, Breadfoot’s idiosyncratic vision and brilliant melodicism come through clearest when he plays solo. See him when you can. When’s the last time you danced to a solo acoustic guitar instrumental, anyway? Cd’s are available online, at shows and better record stores nationwide.

April 22, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

With Static and Perception

When a party to your aggression,
We pass it off
As a cocktail hour parfait,
The delicate whipped cream
Accenting a Dijonaise.

When a party to your aggression,
We flinch,
Drawn taut.
We flail
In the peppered afterthought
Of your goose liver pate.

When a party to your aggression,
There is a bangbang
A shot you think is true.
Cutting flesh
Like flesh cuts you.

But these fantasies are just that.
The ghosts of culture
The Gladstone of the Frontier
The historic yearning
For a past without fear.

Our reality
Asks something more.
With static,
And perception
Our peace is here..

April 19, 2007 Posted by | Culture, philosophy, poetry, Politics | Leave a comment

NYC music calendar 4/18-25/07

Weds Apr 18 System Noise play Lit on 2nd Ave., 9
PMish. Ferocious, female-fronted art-rockers who are
arguably the best live band in town. Scorching,
macabre lead guitar, a frontwoman with spectacular
vocal range, a pummeling, melodic rhythm section and a
shocking amount of catchy melody for such a loud band.

Also Weds Apr 18 songwriter David LK Murphy plays
Sidewalk, 9 PM. Worth seeing even though it’s just him
and the acoustic guitar, a fine lyricist with a dark
streak and an uncommon sense of tunefulness.

Also Weds Apr 18, panstylistic guitar monster Matt
Munisteri plays legendary oldschool bar Sonny’s in Red
Hook, 9ish, B61 bus to Beard St., last stop, follow
Beard down to the crossstreet, make a right, then make
a left on Conover, keep going and you’re there. Don’t
let this guy’s urbane humor and debonair charm fool
you: he’s evil. Raised on bluegrass, steeped in jazz
and fueled by a skewed, lyrical undercurrent, he’s one
of the great ones. Hell of a songwriter too.

Thurs Apr 18 Israeli-American songstress Vered plays with brilliant guitarist Rod Hohl from Mary Lee’s Corvette, 8 PM. Casual, unpretentious, and
capable of generating genuine chills down your spine.

Thurs Apr 19 another good reason to live in NYC:
Munisteri plays with Jenifer Jackson accordionist Joey
Barbato at Barbes, 9 PM. The guitarist you just read
about and may very well know: he gets around. The
keyboardist is one of the most original, melodic,
interesting players you will ever hear, a master of
saying much with little, a guy who is singlehandedly
reinventing what the accordion can do.

Later Fri Apr 20 Flugente AKA Jerry Adler from the
Blam plays his quietly scorching, acoustic “expatriate
songs” at Pete’s, 10 PM. His new solo album is the
best thing he’s ever done, all simmering rage and
cleverly elliptical wordplay. See him if you’re
feeling any unease about the multimillion-dollar,
plastic-and-sheetrock boxes sprouting on every
streetcorner. CD review below.

Also Fri Apr 20 for those who like their surf music
mellow and authentically old-school, Mr. Action and
the Boss Guitars play Lakeside, 11 PM They keep it
pretty pop – don’t expect to hear them thrash their
way through Mr. Moto – but if you like the Ventures’
first singles, they do a pretty good job replicating
them.

Sat Apr 21 C. Depp and Gerald Jay King play starting
at 8 PM at Marquise Dance Hall 291 Grand Street, (btwn
Roebling & Havemeyer), Williamsburg. Both share a
creepy lo-fi sensibility. Depp is the more
accomplished of the two, drawing on a lot of dark 80s
influences and has a terrific new album out, Belle
Epine. King is more of a traditional Americana
singer-songwriter. Cheap beers & wine, charcoal
drawings & silver wall hangings to cast your eyes
upon. L train to Bedford Ave.

Later Sat Apr 21 Black 47 does their last show at
Connolly’s on 46th St. for awhile, 10:30 PM. A NYC
institution. Larry Kirwan still writes rousing
Celtic-American anthems in the spirit of James
Connolly and Bobby Sands. The braying sax can get
irritating – think Clarence Clemons – but Kirwan’s
righteous rage hasn’t diminished a bit in 20 years,
and they never phone it in.

Later Sat Apr 21 Liza & the WonderWheels play
Freddy’s in Flatbush, 11 PM, B/D/Q/2/4 to Atlantic
Ave.. Their material is thoughtful, jangly 80s
quirk-rock: think a more melodic Robyn Hitchcock with
an uncompromising political sensibility, a dynamic
frontwoman who can really belt, and a spectacularly
fast, incisive, Richard Lloyd-influenced lead
guitarist

Also Sat Apr 21 Tandy plays Lakeside, 11 PM. Louder,
more original, more rocking and less overtly
Wilco-influenced than they were earlier in their
career. They’re big in Europe: under better
circunstances they’d be able to play a lot larger room
than the one here.

Also Sat Apr 21 the two best male singers in town (now
that Buddy Woodward has hightailed it to the hills of
Virginia), Jack Grace and Mark Sinnis play Banjo
Jim’s, Ave. C and 9th St., 11 PM. A double bill that
should have happened a long time ago. The former is a
Merle Haggard/George Jones devotee and writes songs
that sound that they could have been on country radio
during those guys’ heyday – and is also very funny.
The headliner is sort of an amalgam of Ian Curtis and
Johnny Cash, fronts Nashville gothic rockers Ninth
House and is predictably just as eerie in an acoustic
setting.

Also Sat Apr 21 traditional Greek rebetika band Magges
play Sidewalk, midnight. They bring ouzo. You will
want some after hearing their deliriously danceable,
classic 1920s and 1930s hash smoking music. How the
club will cope with the dancing is anybody’s guess.

Sun Apr 22 Matty Charles & the Valentines play
Pete’s, 10 PM. Their residency may be over, and
they’ve taken it to the next level; Charles’ following
is well-deserved among both country purists and those
who think the Cowboy Junkies are from Nashville. Or
from Brooklyn.

Weds Apr 25 the Silos play Rodeo Bar, 10:30ish. Indie
rock legends who went further out on the Americana tip
as the 90s went on, whose passionate live shows far
surpass their recent album output. But they have some
genuine classics: if we get lucky they’ll do Let’s
Take Some Drugs and Drive Around.

Weds Apr 25 Bogs Visionary Orchestra plays Sidewalk
at midnight. Formerly known as Swampbelly, they’re a
bunch of Mexicans playing rousing, lickety-split,
authentically down-home American bluegrass. A hell of
a lot more authentic than, say, Staten Island-born
Buster Poindexter playing salsa.

April 19, 2007 Posted by | Live Events | 1 Comment