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‘Downtown Express’ (film) with Nellie McKay & Philippe Quint

4th Apr 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Downtown Express is a new film by David Grubin.  Check out the trailer below:

Set in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, Downtown Express uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country. Under the watch of his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha (Grammy nominee Philippe Quint) prepares for a critical recital meant to launch his career.

Yet, he is increasingly drawn to the rhythms of the streets of New York, and when he meets singer-songwriter Ramona (acclaimed recording artist Nellie McKay), he joins her band, falls in love, and begins to lead a double life, careening frantically between two worlds. As his classical debut nears, Sasha must decide whether or not to break with his father, forging his own destiny.

And, per the film’s webpage…

[Nellie McKay’s] fifth album is due this September.

Downtown Express opens April 20th 2012 at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

http://downtownexpressfilm.com/

~Dan – np: RadioheadThe King of Limbs

MTA Music by Alexander Chen

14th Dec 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

This falls under a fun experiment in music… Alexander Chen turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the NYC Mass Transit Authority’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in real-time by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.

http://www.mta.me/

Related, here’s a the London tube map created by Kyle Bean in colorful (colourful) drinking straws…

click for more

~Dan – np: Florence + the MachineCeremonials

John Zorn – Composer Portrait Preview (NYC 12/9)

8th Dec 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Avant-garde composer John Zorn has a “Composer Portrait” performance coming up at the Miller Theatre in NYC on December 9, 2011.  Here’s a video composer portrait preview…

http://www.millertheatre.com/

I always enjoy him talking about his process… of the “people who love what I do and people who hate what I do,” I’m in the love crowd.  He’s definitely not for everyone.  But if you dig avant-garde, experimental composed music and live near NYC – I’d highly recommend this show!

~Dan – np: ChevelleHats Off to the Bull

Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane – North American Tour

31st Mar 11 (Thu) 2 comments

Update July 2011: it looks as though funding fell short for a North American Mondo Cane tour for 2011.

Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane was one of the absolute best albums of 2010… and by far the best packaged piece of musical art.  He took it on the road for a few European dates and a San Francisco date in 2010, but sadly nothing else.  Well, just announced on Cyro Baptista’s Facebook page and confirmed on Patton’s PR firm The Agency Group’s bio page (quote below), Mondo Cane will be at New York City’s Lincoln Center (in August – no specific date yet) with a North American tour as well:

Upcoming appearances include a concert at Lincoln Center with John Zorn, presented by New York City Opera, and a North American tour of Mondo Cane.

I’m hoping there is a good West Coast date or two… Portland?  Seattle?  Vancouver?  Hell, I’ll even hit San Francisco if I can.  No word on dates yet, but once they’re announced, be sure I’ll post them!  Note: There is already a confirmed date in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 17, 2011.

If you don’t know about Mondo Cane – it’s not like Mike Patton’s other work (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk, et cetera).  It’s his 50s Italian pop big band group… listen to some samples over on the Amazons:

~Dan – np: BlackfieldWelcome to My DNA

John Zorn’s Masada Marathon 2011 (via Aural Addict)

31st Mar 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Great review from Jeff from AuralAddict of the recent John Zorn Masada Marathon in New York City… CLICK BELOW…

John Zorn's Masada Marathon 2011 March 30, 2011 8:00PM City Opera at Lincoln Center, NYC When I saw this event listed I figured there was no way I was going to be able to go.  I happened across a ticket giveaway contest from Relix magazine and entered, then kinda forgot about it.  Tuesday morning I received an email saying I had won tickets…and there was much rejoicing.  The … Read More

via Aural Addict

John Zorn’s new art gallery

20th Dec 10 (Mon) Leave a comment

Reposted from A-to-Z media blog

A to Z is excited to announce that our long time friend/client/unyielding supporter, John Zorn, has created a new online art gallery –  Obsessions Collective that has just gone live. The site has been beautifully designed by Heung-Heung Chin whose own work will be exhibited on the site and can be seen at the top of this post.

The aim of this non-profit site is to serve as the conduit between living, cutting edge artists who work outside of the gallery system and art collectors and patrons who seek to interact and purchase art directly from the artists themselves with no interference or meddling from a third party.

In true Zorn fashion, 100% of the income derived from the sales of the artwork goes to the artist directly. No commission or bullshit admin fee’s will be charged on any of the pieces purchased. 

John has created this site simply to shine a light on the many talented artists he is friends with and to encourage art collectors to open their minds and wallets to discover, nurture and support  truly independant artists who are deciding to make real art for art’s sake.

http://www.obsessionscollective.com/

~Dan – np: Sarah Kirkland Snider & Shara WordenPenelope 

Credo & Riceboy Sleeps (live stream)

26th Nov 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

New York’s WQXR streamed the Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival live, and it is still available as streaming (or download if you’re crafty).  The White Light Festival was the world premiere of Credo from Kjartan Sveinsson and Jónsi Birgisson, from the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós.

Kjartan’s Credo and Cage a Swallow Can’t You but you Can’t Swallow a Cage features the Hilliard Ensemble, the Latvian National Choir and the Wordless Music Orchestra led by Jeffrey Milarsky.   Later in the stream features an interview with Jónsi & Alex and their world premiere of their Riceboy Sleeps songs in a live setting, orchestrated by David Handler.

Check out the stream here:
http://wqxr.org/articles/q2-live-concerts/2010/nov/22/credo-credo/

~Dan – np: Iron & WineWalking Far From Home

John Zorn THE DREAMERS on vinyl(!!)

2nd Oct 10 (Sat) 2 comments

So, there was a hint a few months ago about a vinyl release from Tzadik… my hunch was that it would be John Zorn / The Dreamers O’o release (out on CD in 2009).  Well, posted on Tzadik graphic artist Hueng-Hueng “Chippy” Chin’s Chippy Design flickr site yesterday was this…

“The Dreamers vinyl”
(click for larger)

It’s available for pre-order at Amazon under the title Dreamers – The Gentle Side… out Nov 23rd, 2010.

Update (10/8): the picture disc…

 

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaMeets the Mothers of Prevention

Dave Douglas – Masada seminar at the Stone

7th May 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

If you’re in New York City next week and love jazz, you have to go to this…

John Zorn, Ner Tamid, from the Masada songbook.

Monday, May 10, 7PM – 10PM:
Stone Seminar 19 – Dave Douglas on the Music of Masada
At The Stone in NYC

When John asked me to present a seminar, I thought: why not take a handful of Masada tunes, old and new, and play them with people? We’ll have the charts in Zorn’s incredibly-expressive handwriting… Bring your instrument as the goal will be to play as many tunes as we can get through. I learned a lot playing these tunes, and I think people may enjoy coming to get a closer look at how the tunes look and how performances of them work. Word is the composer may even come by and answer some of the many remaining questions I have for him.

Playing this music has always been fun, challenging, and thought-provoking for me. I can’t say that I have any answers, but Monday we will open up the book and see where the charts take us. Each of these tunes points in a unique and inspiring direction.

More info and specifics at The Stone website.

I’m really, really, really jealous…

~Dan – np: KembweKembwe

John Zorn – Masada Book Two Marathon (NYC)

22nd Jan 10 (Fri) 1 comment

MASADA ‘BOOK OF ANGELS’ MARATHON!
February 17th & 18th

2 nights. 10 bands. 19 musicians. 1 inspiring book of music!

Written in a flash of creativity during three months at the end of 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zorn‘s Book of Angels (aka Masada Book Two) contain some of his most lyrical and inspiring music. Performed by a wide variety of ensembles over the past 5 years the music has generated 13 CDs to date, with 4 more scheduled for release in 2010. This special Marathon concert brings together 10 different groups in two evenings-five bands per night. Don’t miss this special downtown event presented at the historical Henry Street Settlement at the Abrons Art Center!  $30 in advance / $35 at the door (Separate admission each night)

Tickets at  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/710455

Featuring: Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Ben Goldberg, Shanir Blumenkranz, Sylvie Courvoisier, Tim Keiper, Brian Marsells, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Basya Schecter, Malika Zarra, Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, John Zorn, and more

DAY 1 February 17th (Wednesday) at 8pm

Banquet Of The Spirits
Ben Goldberg Quartet
Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoisier
Mycale
Masada Sextet

tickets for Day 1  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7904665

DAY 2 February 18th (Thursday) at 8pm

Uri Caine solo
Masada String Trio
Jamie Saft Trio
Erik Friedlander solo
Masada Quartet

tickets for Day 2  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7904675

I wish I lived in NYC!

The Masada Book Two Series (to date):





~Dan – np: Yuka Honda Memories Are My Only Witness

Medeski Martin & Wood – Radiolarians III

28th Jul 09 (Tue) Leave a comment

I saw the Radiolarians III performance in Eugene last year.  It was GREAT!! Well, yesterday, MMW announced the record release on the MySpaces…

Pre-order on Amazon

Restlessly inventive improvising trio Medeski Martin & Wood are set to release the third installment of The Radiolarian Series on August 4th, 2009. Recorded in December 2008, Radiolarians III perfectly sums up the themes, motifs and styles laid out in the previous two Radiolarians records.

There is an epic feel at play here, as the choruses rise and swell out of low-lying grooves and polyrhythms. Highlights include the passionate and gritty traditional “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down,” the anthemic “Undone,” and the Latin-influenced acoustic opener “Chantes Des Femmes.” Overall, Radiolarians III finds the trio doing what they do best, melding genres and improvising. What results, is maybe the strongest and most cohesive album of the entire Radiolarians Series.

Woot.

~Dan – np: John ZornO’o [with the Dreamers, Electric Masada, The Gift crew of musicians]

no free download or torrent here.  support indie music.

“Jazz Snob: Eat Sh*t”

16th Jun 08 (Mon) Leave a comment

Some recent DIME torrents of old Naked City shows got me to wishing I could be nostalgic (even though I didn’t get into them until 3 or 4 years ago)…

Don’t have your speakers on too loud… here’s 28 seconds of delish jazz-core (mp3 link) from Naked City (a supergroup of misfits in John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Fred Frith, Joey Baron, Yamataka Eye).

from Torture Garden and Grand Guignol

Definitely not for everyone. The bleeding edge of art jazz…

~Dan – np: (oddly enoughnot art jazz) Extreme‘s new song on MySpace called “Star” (it’s very Queen-y)

Sean Lennon

9th May 08 (Fri) Leave a comment

For fans of Sean Lennon… or potential fans of Sean Lennon… his 2006 album Friendly Fire was one of my absolute favorites that year. It’s short, but it comes with a DVD that’s ostensibly the entire album set to a music video (and shot very well with real artistic, movie-making direction). Anyway, check it out…


http://www.myspace.com/seanlennon

I just recently stumbled on a few more Sean Lennon projects…

The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger: Sean and his girlfriend (Charlotte Kemp Muhl) have a new pop project… the band name is The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger. They go by “Amatla & Zargifon” instead of Sean & Charlotte, and they have four songs available on their MySpace page. My favorite as of now is “Robot Boy.”

http://www.myspace.com/theghostofasabertoothedtiger

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead: Sean’s done the score for this upcoming movie… apparently Ralph “Karate Kid” Macchio has a role in it (thanks for the heads-up Steve)… http://undeadflick.com/

Live at The Stone, Jan 2008: The Stone is John Zorn’s club in NYC’s East Village (C Ave a few blocks from the Bowery). I went there for a show last March. It’s an amazing, but small, space dedicated to the arts. 100% of the proceeds each night go to the artist. There is no food/drink vending. They have artist curators every month (artists pick who they want to perform). They usually have two performances a night. The way they bring in money to maintain The Stone is by having annual benefit concerts and by selling their annual benefit CDs (Volume 3 is a Lou Reed/John Zorn/Laurie Anderson improv set and it’s available at thestonenyc.com).

Anyway, Sean Lennon and some friends had a gig at The Stone in early January 2008. I’ll warn you that it’s avant-garde / experimental — and not his usual pop fare. It features some of my favorites in the downtown NYC scene (Trevor Dunn from Mr. Bungle & Fantômas, as well as Yuka Honda from Cibo Matto & her wonderful solo releases). The show is available as streaming and downloadable (low quality mp3) at http://seanonolennon.com/music/stone/mp3player/

Enjoy!
~Dan – np: Bar Kokhba SextetMasada Book Two: Lucifer

Dave Douglas & Keystone – Live at the Jazz Standard

12th Apr 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

Dave Douglas & Keystone (who made one of my favorite CDs last year) is playing two sets each night for four nights at the Jazz Standard in NYC (April 10th to 13th). Sidenote: I went to the Jazz Standard in March of last year (to see Brian Bromberg‘s Upright All-stars when I was out that way on bidness).

Keystone is: Dave Douglas – trumpet, Marcus Strickland – tenor saxophone, Adam Benjamin – Fender Rhodes, Brad Jones – bass, Gene Lake – drums, and DJ Olive – turntables.

Anyway, eight sets of great jazz… and the cool thing is that Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music releases each show (of these special engagements) within 24 hours of the end of the set. So far, four sets and only one repeat song, too. Woot! 8 hours of new Dave Douglas coming my way…

OK, now back to studying…

~Dan – np: Dave Douglas & KeystoneLive at the Jazz Standard, 4/10/08 (early set)

REVIEW: my crazy music-filled NYC trip in March 2007

17th Mar 07 (Sat) 4 comments

Wow… today is my “first day off” from a show since last Friday (2/9)…

Here’s how NYC “for business” played out on the “for enjoyment” sense of it…

SATURDAY 3/10
I arrived in town at 11:30am. Checked in, and then headed up to “scout out” the Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater as that’s where MASADA was playing that night. While I was there, I got word that there were two free jazz shows going on that afternoon that were sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of U.S. Department of State. It was apparently spreading jazz music to 3rd world countries, and this was the coming home show. I love jazz, and I love how sometimes governmental bodies put good money to use for the arts. It seems weird how we seem to only export bombs lately. Jazz is better than bombs, but less than food and medical aid. I guess I should just be glad that is wasn’t bombs or Christina Aguilera instead of jazz.

Anyway, the Ari Roland Quartet was the free 1pm show. Great quartet, not unlike some quartets that I like… more straight jazz, flashy but not experimental (IMO). Enjoyable, but not mind blowing. “Safe jazz,” if you ask me. Their drummer was pretty good. My favorite song was the one penned by their piano-player. The Cultures of Rhythm was the free 3pm show (both of these free shows were at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center). COR were a bit more interesting. It was a jazz quartet, but “bouncier.” And it featured djembe, drums, hammond organ and a trumpeter. Trumpet usually excites me more than safe saxaphone jazz. Anyway, this band (Culture of Rhythm) had a great vibe. Very enjoyable…

After these free shows, I was pooped… and headed back to my hotel in Chelsea for a nap. The evening show was Masada and Cecil Taylor at Lincoln Jazz Center’s Rose Theater. This was Masada’s last show ever. I drove down to Raleigh, NC, last fall to see tham at Duke. This show, they amazed even more. Masada has many incarnations (as do many of John Zorn’s projects), but the standard acoustic quartet of John Zorn on alto sax, Dave Douglas on trumpet, Greg Cohen on bass, and Joey Baron on drums is the true Masada band. Masada tunes are all written by John Zorn… he’s written upwards of 300 one-page melodic tunes. These one-page 16-bar songs become the framework for jazz improvization. While some of it becomes quite adventurous and “avant-garde,” it still remains very melodic — which can be scarce for John Zorn material. Anyway, the four members of Masada were ON that night. It was truly a beautiful hour+ of music. I’m sad that it’s their last show as this original quartet, but I’m glad that I got to see them twice. I didn’t stick around for Cecil… I had other shows I wanted to fit in…

I took the subway from Columbus Circle (near Central Park) all the way down to the Bowery… walked about a mile to get to the Stone (an avant-garde music space) and made it just in time to see the Joe Morris Trio. It was basically a guy (Joe Morris) noodling on a guitar while another guy (Daniel Levin) was noodling on a cello and another guy (Michael Evans) was noodling on a drumkit. Udon!

I was toying with the idea of heading way the fuck back uptown to Lincoln Center for the 11:30pm show for Kenny Werner‘s Lawn Chair Society. I dig the CD (and it features trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxaphonist Chris Potter), but I didn’t have tickets and thought it’d be sold out, and I knew Dave Douglas wasn’t playing in the band that night (and I had just seen Chris Potter play a few weeks earlier in Cincinnati). It was rainy and I didn’t find the subway stop where I left it last; so I walked about 2 miles to Union Center (my pedometer was upwards of 11 miles walked that 1st day — it got about half that every day afterwards). My sleepy head won out and I crashed back to my hotel in Chelsea eventually…

Oh, speaking of crashing… they had 7th Ave closed from 27th St to 23rd St most of the day on the Saturday and Sunday that I showed up because they were filming chase scenes for the upcoming Borne Ultimatum. I didn’t catch a peek at anyone famous (Matt Damon or anyone), but it was interesting to see how they blocked a major road off for the better part of the weekend. The secondary chase seemed to happen right outside my window (on 25th St)… it’ll be weird to see when that movie comes out if I recognize any of the street stuff…

SUNDAY 3/11 I had a lazy and cheap Sunday… went to the Downtown Music Gallery’s free shows (they do them every Sunday). I spend a lot of coin at DMG for avant-garde jazz; so I figured I’d take in some free stuff. At 6pm, I saw Jason Stein (sax from Chicago) and Mike Pride (percussion from Brooklyn) toy around with some sounds. It was pretty intense, and very much avant-garde. I dug it. Next up (7pm) was Susan Alcorn on lap-steel. It was mesmerizing, entrancing, but uninviting. It really zoned me out for a good 45 minutes. Very much avant-garde lapsteel. At least it wasn’t country, eh? rolleyes.gif

I was gonna catch two shows at the Stone after these free DMG shows, but I was worn out. Susan Alcorn fried my brain, or perhaps it was watching Jesus Camp that afternoon. Scary shit, that movie was…

MONDAY 3/12 Lazy Monday… I think I walked down to WTC and Statue of Liberty this morning, but I forget. That may have been Sunday morning (and then after got a shot of Johnny Walker Red at Elliott Smith‘s XO hangout). I didn’t pay for the ferry to Ellis Island… eh. Monday dinner was delightful. I caught some good thai grub with who law enforcement officers refer to as the “great-hatted bootlegger.” Keith was catching a Steve Earle show with a friend and we met up prior. Good food and conversation. Afterwards, I hussled out to the Jazz Standard (I forget what part of town). Brian Bromberg’s Downright Upright All-Stars were about 20 minutes in to their sold-out show, but the gate keeper let me sneak in to the standing-room-only part of the club. The club wreaked of pork and bbq sauce, but I guess that’s better than pork and bbq sauce and smoke… gotta love the smokin’ bans. Dave Weckl played dums for this band, and I had heard of his name before. Anyway, they played more accessible jazz (not safe, but not avant-garde). Very enjoyable stuff… I picked up their CD on the way out. I then headed to the Village Vanguard, and was gonna try to see the Village Vanguard Orchestra (a big band). They didn’t take credit cards at the door and I didn’t wanna shell out a lot of cash; so I quietly left and went back to my hotel. I was tired anyway…

TUESDAY 3/13 This was a Tonic night. I’m a big Ikue Mori fan… she is a laptop soundscape musician. Very avant-garde (‘cept her Painted Dessert is my favorite and it’s more traditional song structured). Anyway, Ikue Mori was playing a show with Briggan Krauss (on sax) and Jim Black (on percussion). It was quite avant-garde and was led by Briggan mostly. Ikue could have been there or not for all I know/care. Eh. Jim Black’s drumming was fantastic, but not drumming in the stricted sense. He played a lot of scraping movements along the cymbals… he also used a cello bow on the cymbals… he also covered his toms and snare with literally t-shirts to get a really muffled sound. It was weird, but good. The 10pm Tonic show was Ellery Eskelin (on sax), Lisle Ellis (on laptop and upright bass) and Erik Deutsch (on piano). I’ve enjoyed Ellery Eskelin’s guest spots on various jazz CDs I own. The show was good, but too dissonant for me at that point of the night; so I only stuck around for half of their set before heading back to the hotel.

WEDNESDAY 3/14 I opted out of the ambient-metal band ISIS. I love their sound, but just saw ’em a few months ago opening for Tool. I went back to Tonic instead for two bands that became the better choice. I saw Inlets and Edison Woods. Inlets was fantastic. It is fronted by Sebastian Kruger (who has played on My Brightest Diamond CDs). He is a multi-instrumentalist and has some great songs. He also has a dandy falsetto. Both his physical appearance and music sound bring to mind Jude and Sufjan having hot-n-nasty sex in your living room and popping out Sebastian as their “love-child.” So, yeah, in short, Inlets sounds like a man-on-man love-child. He washed up before getting on stage, mind you. Oh, and his EP is available FOR FREE at http://luvsound.org/. For Free. Next up was Edison Woods, which was a band much like Elysian Fields, yet maybe not as sultry. Their main vocalist/pianist didn’t have the best vocals ever, but their background vocalist had some operatic amazingness going. She should have been the lead vocalist. Oh well… the band also had cello and some brass and drums. I dug ’em… not as much as Elysian Fields, though. I’m bummed… Elysian Fields is playing at Joe’s this coming weekend. Keith, you should check Elysian Fields out. They’re Over the Rhine-y-ish…

THURSDAY 3/15 Thursday was one of the shows I was looking forward to the most (outside of the Masada show). Secret Chiefs 3 and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the Bowery Ballroom. I got there early enough, as I knew that SC3 was going on first, and they also had some limited edition vinyl singles that were rumored to be going quick on the SC3 board. I snagged my vinyl sets and a t-shirt. Trey Spruance (mastermind behind SC3 and Mr Bungle) was manning the table along with bassist and multi-instrumentalist Jason Schimmel (of SC3, but also in Estradasphere). My vinyl & t-shirt order total came up to a “magical number” per Trey. I just nodded in agreement and said “yeah.” I had no fucking idea what he was talking about… maybe because it was divisible by 9 or something. or maybe his brain is fried. Anyway, the artwork for the SC3 vinyl singles is kewl.

The show was anti-climatic. I mean, when I saw Estradaphere (a brother band of SC3’s) last year in Bloomington, they blew me away. Secret Chiefs 3 should have blown me away. The first three songs were utterly sloppy, though. By the 4th song, they started venturing into “known” territory and it sounded great. By the end, they had it going pretty good, but again, it was weird that it just wasn’t up to the level of tightness and musicianship that Estradasphere showed. I think Trey’s been off the road for too long… he hasn’t toured consistently since the Mr Bungle days. I think it showed. Also, they had two violinists (Anonymous 13 and Timb Harris)… I never knew A13 was a girl… but both she and Timb were good, but not as good as Timb was on the last Estradasphere tour. Other than the drums and basses, SC3 also busted out the Oud, Sas, Sarangi, Esraj, and probably even a Jalebi or two… and Trey doesn’t play any normal guitars… they’re all butchered and tuned oddly to some middle-eastern scale or something. It’s quaint.

Regardless of the seeming sloppiness at the beginning, it was still a fun evening… it was good to see SC3 play some great tunes like “Dolores Strike,” “Personnae: Halloween,” “Bereshith,” “Assassin’s Blade,” “Ship of Fools (Stone of Exile),” and definitely “Renunciation.” I only stuck around for a bit of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s set. They don’t do much for me on record (or live). I’d say the “Renunciation” encore and the vinyl singles (money directly into Trey’s hand) were the highlights.

FRIDAY 3/16 I saw a wonderful show at the Bowery Ballroom by Blackfield (Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and Israeli popstar Aviv Geffen). I’ve posted a review in the blog as well. The opener was Jordan Rudess (of Dream Theater). I feel truly outraged at any elephant that lost its life to make pianos used by Jordan.

I think of any of the bands I saw… my wife (and others who aren’t into the avant-garde stuff) would have liked Masada, the Downright Upright All-Stars, Inlets, and Blackfield. SC3 was a bit too strange, even though she likes some of their recorded stuff.

Time for bed… biggrin.gif

~Dan

REVIEW: Blackfield @ the Bowery Ballroom (NYC – – 3/16/07)

17th Mar 07 (Sat) Leave a comment

The Blackfield show last night was excellent!!!

I showed up late (on purpose) as Jordan Rudess was opening. I had a slow subway ride to the Lower East Side, walked through the piles of snow to Leela Lounge (a tasty “hip” Indian restaurant), ate too much, then had a slow walk to the Bowery Ballroom. I still managed to catch about 20 minutes of Jordan’s set. I swear, it was painful. Nothing’s as boring as a rocker keyboardist playing piano-sounding keyboard classical-style songs for 45 minutes straight. I mean, yeah, he can play piano-board, but he still can’t write “a song” to save his life. I know I’ve griped about being bored at OTR shows. That’s mainly due to being tired and the music being slow. Jordan was truly bad, though (whereas OTR ain’t). I turned my iPod on and walked to the corner of the room to avoid it. I love love instrumental music. Jordan Rudess is just -ingly boring, though. The Dream Theater fans were eating it up like it was Chicken Pot Pie.

Ugh… I hate prog fans. No offense Steve, but I about had that reaction to you when you first started going on about PTree… “yeah, yeah, they’re a prog band.” They’re actually so much better than just about every prog band out there. Anyway, I’m glad that Porcupine Tree and Blackfield know things or two about song structure. I’m glad you pimped PT to me 4 years ago (wow… it doesn’t seem that long ago), but I couldn’t care less about the Dream Theater/Queensrÿche fans anymore… it’s just too much like watching a train wreck in a social setting.

Anyway, on to positive thoughts…

Blackfield came out. Steven Wilson was dressed like usual (t-shirt and jeans, glasses, floppy hair). Aviv Geffen (the other half of Blackfield’s songwriting) was dressed more like a rocker, dark shirt and tie, with glitter mascara and everything. The rest of the band was… the rest of the band (hired guns or friends or whatever). They played a good mix of Blackfield I & II songs (obviously). Steven also did his Cover Version I, which is Alanis Morissette‘s “Thank You.” It was just Steven singing and Aviv playing piano (no other band members on stage, and Steven not playing his guitar). It sounded great. Aviv also played a song on piano that was just him singing, too… I forget which song, but it was one of the quieter Aviv songs (maybe “The Hole in Me” than never got ‘boomed’ up like it does on disc).

Songs I know they played from I: Open Mind, Blackfield, Glow, Pain, The Hole in Me, Hello. Songs I know they played from II: Once, Miss U, Christenings, Epidemic, Where Is My Love?, End of the World. Other songs played: Alanis Morissette’s “Thank You” …and they probably played some that I’m forgetting…

I hope the filming turned out good for the upcoming DVD. I may have gotten into a few shots, as there was a guy filming the crowd some… I was in the back, though… so I doubt I’m in it too much… I bet the film crew started focusing on “shirtless Aviv” by the end… rolleyes.gif

~Dan

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