Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Top Ten Songs of the Week 8/17/09

We usually do this on Tuesday but this week we’re doing it on Friday. Just to see if you’re paying attention. You’ll see this week’s #1 song on our Best 100 songs of 2009 list at the end of December, along with maybe some of the rest of these too. This is strictly for fun – it’s Lucid Culture’s tribute to Kasey Kasem and a way to spread the word about some of the great music out there that’s too edgy for the corporate media and their imitators in the blogosphere. Pretty much every link here will take you to each individual song.

 

1. Daniel Bernstein – Joyless Now

He wrote this spot-on, manic-depressive account of madness and alienation with his old band the Larval Organs but he still plays it at shows. Unrecorded as a solo work – you’ll have to experience it live. He’s at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick on 9/14 at 9.

 

2. The JD Allen Trio – Live at the Village Vanguard.

Did you know that NPR archives a ton of its live shows? This is a complete concert from the Village Vanguard (the 9 PM set on 8/12/09) and it’s transcendent, the band in particularly focused mode. There’s also a link to Neko Case at the Newport Folk Festival on the same page.

 

3. The French Exit – Your God

Joy Division recast as sultry trip-hop by this amazing, dark New York band.

 

4. Norden Bombsight – Help Desk

Majestic, anthemic, haunting art-rock dirge. They’re at Small Beast at the Delancey on 9/7.

 

5. TV Smith – Together Alone

“We love our life and we love our leaders, sound bites from the bottom feeders.” Anthemic postpunk brillliance from the legendary Adverts frontman – just randomly wandered onto his myspace to be reminded what a great songwriter he is.

 

6. Schaffer the Darklord – Night of the Living Christ

The Biblical rapture rewritted as a zombie movie. An undead messiah? Beyond funny. He’s at Bar on A at 9 on 8/30.

 

7. Witches in Bikinis – Witches in Bikinis

The horror-rock supergroup’s cool, funny signature song

 

8. Kariné Poghosyan – Excerpt from Manuel De Falla’s Fantasia Baetica

The pyrotechnic pianist shows off her spectacular chops live at Steinway Hall, NYC. You want adrenaline? Wow!

 

9. El Radio Fantastique – Tiptoe Suicide

Characteristically spooky noir New Orleans blues from this imaginative crew.

 

10. Lunch During Wartime – Rubulad

A New York moment. “Strange thoughts fill my head…”

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August 21, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review from the Archives: Miss Elixir at Rubulad, NYC 6/15/03

[Editor’s note: more new stuff tomorrow. Til then, here’s another oldie but a goodie]

The keyboardist/songwriter now known as Miss Elixir advised her fan base that she’d be performing around midnight: miracle of miracles, a shockingly quick L train made the trip from Williamsburg to the west side in 15 minutes. This time around the venue for this long-running traveling party was the Altman Building in Chelsea, three floors of fire twirlers, circus performers and random vendors selling everything from sweets to what was purportedly absinthe (it was green). It took forever to get inside and negotiate the labyrinthine space, finally finding the stuffy, unventilated, scorchingly hot side room where the performance would take place. Drink tickets for everyone; the singer nonchalantly addressed the audience holding a deuce deuce of Colt .45. There was an ice machine in the back of the room, and one of the clowns (the real kind, like you’d find at a carnival) who was apparently part of the show began throwing ice cubes at everyone, then sprinkling the crowd with ice water. It didn’t take long before everyone joined the fun. Finally, Miss Elixir – the only one who wasn’t drenched at this point – went back behind her electric piano and delivered a brief but frequently riveting show, accompanied by a talented multi-instrumentalist alternating between violin, guitar, accordion and a mini-glockenspiel built into his carrying case. The two played well, making the frequently jarring, horror-movie cascades in several of Miss Elixir’s artsy, pensive, somewhat Siouxsie Sioux-esque songs seem effortless, her vocals unaffectedly calm in stark contrast with the drama and intensity of much of the music. She closed with a pretty pop song that went over especially well with the audience, who persuaded her to do an encore. So she played it again.

[postscript: Miss Elixir still plays the occasional show in and around the New York area]

June 15, 2008 Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment