Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

NYC Live Music Calendar 7/30-8/12/07

Here’s a look at this week and the next few days after, we’ll keep this updated with anything last-minute and exciting:

Mon July 30 brilliant Hawaiian/retro harmony stylists the Moonlighters play Barbes, 8:30 PM, sounding better than ever. Click our reviews page (to your right, scroll down and then go back a couple of pages) for a look at how amazing they sound with the new lineup

Mon July 30 at Bar on A (Ave. A/11th St.), a killer acoustic show. On the bill:
8:30 PM Ian Roure and Liza Garelik from the Larch and Liza & the WonderWheels doing a rare duo acoustic show. If you’re very lucky maybe Liza will belt White Rabbit for you like she did at that private party a few months ago.
9 PM fingerpicking acoustic guitarist Bob Prince
9:30 PM Dan Sallitt, former frontman of darkly sardonic LA new wave obscurities Blow This Nightclub working up some new material

By the way – happy birthday to drummer extraordinaire Dave Campbell from Love Camp 7 and Erica Smith & the 99 Cent Dreams

Tues July 31 the Gotham 4 play Midway (Ave. B and 2nd St.), 8 PM sharp. These loud, anthemic 2-guitar 90s throwbacks have really come into their own: the frontman has taken on an angry, desperate tone and the rest of the group feeds off his energy. Hooks abound and sparks fly from the frets. If they were college age and cute, and it was 1993, the corporate media would be circling hungrily.

At the same time July 31, for fans of the lowdown and smooth (gotcha, Vince!), Rev. Vince Anderson plays solo at Moto, that bastion of deliciousness on Broadway at the Hewes St. stop on the J/M/Z in South Williamsburg, 8 PM sharp. A chance to hear some of this potent, passionate gospel keyboardists’s quieter stuff, with the same spot-on sense of humor and killer chops.

Weds Aug 1, free admission before 8 PM (which is showtime), keyboard/vocoder driven groovemeisters Chin Chin play Water Taxi Beach, which is an outdoor bar/restaurant at the water taxi terminal in Long Island City. The drummer also plays for Rev. Vince Anderson, which is quite an endorsement; they also liberally borrow horn players from Antibalas, another endorsement. Directions: G to 21st/Van Alst or 7 to Vernon Jackson. From the G Train:  Exit on Jackson Ave. Look for the Manhattan skyline; walk on Jackson South West towards the Manhattan skyline. When you get near the Midtown Tunnel follow the signs for 495 West until you reach 51st Avenue. Turn right on 51st and walk to 2nd Street. Turn left on Second Street. Walk past the Crab House and the Tennis Port and then turn right into the driveway

Thurs Aug 2 the Flatlanders (legendary outlaw country guys Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock) play Castle Clinton in Battery Park. 2 tix avail per person starting at the table in front of the fort, 5 PM, best to sneak away from work and get there around 4:30 PM if you’re going. Show starts around 7.

Also Thurs Aug 2 Arlo Guthrie plays his annual show out behind Lincoln Center in Damrosch Park, 9 PM. Still wry and political after all these years even if he’s mellowed a bit. The time I saw him, he actually did Alice’s Restaurant all the way through (although Presidential Rag would have been a whole lot more appropriate)

Fri Aug 3 Thee Minks play the Magnetic Field in Brooklyn Heights, Atlantic Ave. between Hicks and Henry, 8 PM. This trio is billed as the female Radio Birdman (!!!) and if what they have online – including a tribute to Bacardi 151 rum – is any indication, this band is GREAT!

Sat Aug 4, 9 PM lyrical powerhouse Linda Draper plays stuff from her excellent, minimalist new acoustic album Keepsake at Sidewalk followed by Maya Caballero at 10. Caballero’s myspace highlights her socially conscious songwriting and the fact that she deals with a lot of dark disturbing issues, and that’s accurate: her song Bisbee (a town in Arizona) is one of the eerier numbers anybody here’s written recently.
 

Also Sat Aug 4 boisterous pub-rock revivalists the Larch play Freddy’s, 11 PM. It’s frontman Ian Roure’s birthday, so you know these guys are going to be kicking ass.

Also Sat Aug 4 Connecticut-based Dick Dale-soundalike surf rockers 9th Wave, with special guest guitarist Robi Biloderic from Slovenian surf legends the Bitch Boys [sic] play Otto’s on 14th St., 11 PM. As a special treat one of NYC’s two or three most exhilarating live bands, the Coffin Daggers, play their eerie surf/hotrod instrumentals at midnight or so. 

Sun Aug 5 early, 6:30 PM-ish Blonde Redhead plays McCarren Pool in Williamsburg, walk through the park almost to Lorimer St. or just take Lorimer down from Bedford. No idea which version of the band will show up: the catchy hook-driven guitar unit? The tuneless Pavement/Sonic Youth wannabes? It’s free, there are absolutely no hassles at the old swimming pool basin – you just walk right in like in the old days – and who knows, could be good.
Also Sun Aug 5, a show not to be missed: legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck plays Damrosch Park, 8:15 PM. Still potent and witty at 87, a vastly underrated legend, expert in classical and contemporary 20th Century music as well as every weird time signature ever utilized, and very funny if you listen closely. He still has it.

Mon Aug 6 Rev. Vince Anderson and band play Black Betty across the street from the New Luna in Williamsburg, two sets starting at 8:30 PM. See our reviews page for a look at one of their deliriously good recent sets here.

Weds Aug 8, show up early if you want to see the diabolical Biz Markie rap and sing for all you oldschool hip-hop heads at the Jackie Robinson Rec Ctr, 89 Bradhurst Avenue in Da Bronx, C train to 145th. In case he’s not your generation, Biz Markie was one of the funniest hip-hop artists ever, sort of the Rawles Balls of rap, butchering one lyric after another (he had other people, notably Big Daddy Kane write them for him) and then, when he wanted to be a singer…lights out. And the funniest thing was that he was completely self-aware about how utterly ridiculous he was. As a special bonus DJ Lovebug Starski opens the show at 7ish – ordinarily there would be no reason to mention anyone on the bill who’s not actually playing, but this guy was the original dj at the legendary Fever club back in the late 70s/early 80s and undoubtedly will be spinning from a literally irreplaceable stash of vintage rap vinyl.
 

Thurs Aug 9 late 70s conscious roots reggae harmony trio the Itals play Metrotech Park in downtown Brooklyn, noon, free, F train to Jay St., get out at the back of the train if you’re coming from Manhattan and follow the noise. I confess that I was looking forward to seeing these guys for the first time. Then the other day I was going through the archives looking for something entertaining to put up here and discovered that, um, I had seen them before, in San Francisco opening for Michael Rose, and didn’t remember. Apparently it was a good show: I can remember waking up from my spot against the wall right before Rose’s set started and feeling pretty good about everything.

Early evening Thurs Aug 9 hip-hop throat singer Akim Funk Buddha plays Lincoln Ctr Plaza, outdoors, 6 PM  with other like minded people. He’s a trip: saw him play with Rachelle Garniez and her band once and he came close to stealing the show, not an easy thing to do.

Later Thurs Aug 9 , 9:15-ish the B-52’s play Asser Levy Park at Coney Island, F to W 8th is the closest stop or take any train to Stillwell and walk in the opposite direction of the baseball stadium. None of the original musicians are left, although Fred Schneider and the girls are apparently still with them. It’s still a party: who would have thought in 1979 that almost thirty years later, Joe Strummer would be dead and these guys would be playing stadiums? For 80s fetishists, Patty Smyth & Scandal, best known NOT for their ode to masturbation I Touch Myself (that was the Divinyls – thanks Paula!) but for their schlockfest hit The Warrior open the show around 8:30.

Fri Aug 10, noon, virtuoso blues guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood plays with a band of some sort in the park on Liberty between Church/Bwy, downtown. Whether he’s doing his oldtimey stuff (which is most likely) or his cantorial-influenced riff-rock, this sometime Steve Ulrich sparring partner is worth checking out.

Later Fri Aug 10, Kartik Seshadri, acclaimed disciple of Ravi Shankar plays sitar with tabla player Abhijit Banerjeeat outdoors at Lincoln Ctr, South Plaza, 6 PM

 

Sat Aug 11 starting at noon it’s the Shaolin Bluegrass festival, 441 Clark Ave., Richmond Town, SI, free. Performances by: Dan Paisley and Southern Grass, Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys, Ronnie Reno & the Reno Tradition, Straight Drive. The best of the bunch is Straight Drive, the opener, fronted by the amazing Jen Larson. Who would have thought that an architecture historian from Boxford, Massachusetts would have the most scary-beautiful, high lonesome Applachian voice on the planet. She’s a force of nature. Directions from the Staten Island ferry: take the S74 bus from the terminal to Richmond Road and St. Patrick’s Place, allow yourself plenty of travel time since it’s the weekend.

 

 

Also Sat Aug 11  Chin Chin play Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, free, time TBA at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard, N train to Broadway.

 

 

Also Sat Aug 11 buzzsaw power pop trio True Love with special guest Tammy Faye Starlite on lead vocals play Who’s Next at Joe’s Pub, 9:30 PM. This sedate venue and its patrons won’t know what hit ‘em: the frontwoman is something beyond hilarious, and the band is up to the task. This will be a lot of fun if you can afford it.

 

 

Sun Aug 12 Ted Leo Pharmacists play McCarren Pool in Williamsburg, I’m guessing 6:30ish. He does the early Joe Jackson thing, all trebly, distorted guitar and fast tempos, writes good political lyrics and unfortunately completely loses sight of melody for what seems hours on end. But it’s free and it’s completely pre-9/11 mellow, you just walk right in and nobody bothers you.

 

 

Also Sun Aug 12 the Red Hook Ramblers with Hazmat Modine guitar weapon Michael Gomez play Banjo Jim’s, two sets, 9 til late raising an old-timey ruckus.

 

 Also Sun Aug 12 there’s a quasi Blow This Nightclub reunion at Freddy’s in Brooklyn, 9 PM It’s guitarists Larry Jacobson and Dan Sallitt along with sub bassist Dann Baker from Erica Smith’s band. BTN was a great, wickedly lyrical late 80s/early 90s LA new wave band, don’t miss this if you’re into brilliant obscurities.

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July 28, 2007 Posted by | Live Events, Music, New York City | 4 Comments

Concert Review: Hippiefest at Asser Levy Park, Brooklyn NY 7/26/07

Old hippies tend to skew hard in one of two directions, either totally inspiring or completely pathetic. Think back to the most recent antiwar protest you attended, and who was doing most of the heavy lifting, and who came out in full force: that segment of the demographic is clearly still firing on all cylinders, role models for all of us.

Then there’s the wrinkly, potbellied element lost in the ozone of whatever residual chemicals remain from all the groovy lids and trips they undoubtedly wish they could remember. If they only could remember what it’s like to remember. That element doesn’t come out much but usually trickles out for shows like this one. But not tonight. This free Thursday summertime outdoor concert series has a smalltown vibe, local merchants taking the stage to hawk their wares, the wide expanse of lawn taken up mostly by what’s left of the indigenous white blue-collar community here, local celebrity and longtime New York dj Cousin Brucie Morrow serving as master of ceremonies tonight.

We got there as former Wings guitarist Denny Laine, his voice shot, was wrapping up his set. He and his generic backing band phoned in Go Now (the single he sang with the Moody Blues before he left the band and they got really good), and the edited, single version of Band on the Run, complete with cheesy synthesizer. After what seemed an interminable break, Cousin Brucie going on and on about not much of anything, Melanie took the stage, backed by a young guitarist who may have been a family member: the vocals weren’t coming through very clearly at this point, so it was hard to understand what anyone, Cousin Brucie included, was saying.

While it obviously took Melanie considerable determination to drive down from Brooklin, Maine, past the Whitestone Bridge where she’d burst into tears (she’s from Queens: can you think of any other city, Paris included, that evokes such powerful nostalgia for returnees?), to play the longest set by anyone we saw here tonight, she really shouldn’t have been up there. Her voice is completely gone, and to make matters worse, she tried to hit all the high notes. Watching her struggle and miss the mark every time was viscerally painful. She’s a perfectly adequate acoustic guitarist: why she didn’t capo up her guitar and transpose the songs to a lower key is a mystery. When she did the obligatory version of Brand New Key, she made it abundantly clear that it was not what she wanted to be remembered for, telling the audience how she’d originally conceived of it as a roughhewn, Leon Redbone-style song, blaming her producer for making it fluffy: “Here I am, with silver hair and what am I doing? Cute!” she railed. Though she went out of her way to make it clear that she’d always seen herself as a socially conscious songwriter (which she was), tonight she did the hits, ending with Lay Down, which dissolved in a mess.

Country Joe McDonald was next, also solo acoustic, and got all of three songs. “Gimme an F,” he joked, then did some nice fingerpicking on an excerpt from the 1967 Country Joe & the Fish psychedelic classic Bass Strings. Then he launched into a fiery, sarcastic new song called Support the Troops. “Draft dodging chickenhawk son of a Bush,” he spat, and any preconceptions about this part of town being redneck Rudy Mussolini territory went out the window. The crowd loved it.  When McDonald hit the second chorus, “son of a Bush” became “sonofabitch,” undoubtedly the nastiest word ever to resound from the loudspeakers here, and the crowd was completely energized for the first time tonight. McDonald followed with another recent number,  a sea chantey about saving sea creatures. And then he was done. When Cousin Brucie returned to the stage, it turned out that he’s also against the Iraq war. And that Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (a craven shill for luxury housing developers) wanted to hear Country Joe do the Fish Cheer! Cousin Brucie always came across as a man of the people, but Markowitz? A complete surprise.

Finally, the Zombies took the stage, just singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent left from the original band, joined by their very first bass player (who’d returned to the fold in 1969 in Argent’s self-titled project), along with a decent drummer who didn’t overplay and a heavy metal guitarist who unfortunately did. Though it was clear to everyone, Cousin Brucie included, that they were the act that everybody had come out to see, they got all of a half-hour onstage.

It wouldn’t be fair to expect Blunstone, now in his sixties, to have the pretty, airy voice of his youth, and he doesn’t, but he still hit the notes. One would, however, expect the musicians in the band to play the songs pretty much note-for-note with the records, especially considering how iconic their hits have become, but Argent didn’t, and his extemporizing didn’t add anything to the material. They opened with I Love You and followed with a bouncy, aptly bluesy I’ve Been Abused. Then they did Time of the Season, with a long, pointless keyboard jam at the end, followed by Argent’s lone, long top 40 hit, the forgettable stoner riff-rocker Hold Your Head Up.

Their best song of the night was Tell Her No, the chorus just as fresh and memorable as it was when the song was released over 40 (!) years ago. They closed with She’s Not There, the solo at the end unfortunately taken not by Argent but by the guitarist, who failed to ignite the crowd with a grotesquely self-indulgent, excruciatingly long heavy metal wank-a-thon. And then they were done. The Turtles and the Rascals – woops, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals – were scheduled to play afterward, but even as brief as the Zombies’ performance was, most anything else would have been anticlimactic. So we went over to the beach to see why there’d been a police helicopter circling with its searchlight on during the show (a young girl had happily escaped the clutches of a predator, who’d managed to escape by the time the helicopter showed up).

By the way, if you haven’t been out to Coney Island lately, make sure you do. Developers are salivating over the beachfront, and not that there are enough rich Americans or Eurotrash to buy the whole strip of coastline, but the Russian beach bars, deep-fried bellybomb stands and surprisingly cheap Astroland with its $2 rides will undoubtedly not survive the onslaught. The Mets’ single-A minor league affiliate plays at the ballpark toward the end of the boardwalk, admission is $7 and there’s not a bad seat in the house. The Pakistani taxi driver joint on Ocean Ave. a couple blocks north of Surf Ave. is heaven for hot pepper addicts, and Mrs. Adler’s Knishes a block north of that is still open and delicious. Don’t take this place for granted: it won’t be here much longer, take a long walk along the sand before it’s patrolled by private security from Halliburton.

July 28, 2007 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments