Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Breeders AND Speedy Ortiz!!!

I went to hear the Breeders play the entirety of their album ‘Last Splash’ for it’s 20 year anniversary at Webster Hall on December 19th. I read somewhere that Speedy Ortiz would be opening for them the night after and I was bummed as their album, ‘Major Arcana’, is one of my favorites this year (not sure I’ll be able to fit a year-end list in seeing as the year ends in a coupla hours or so). I was also under the impression that The Breeders would be playing their album ‘Pod’ on the following night, I’d surely miss some great tunes from that album. Turns out everything went my way that night!! A. Speedy Ortiz opened!! and B. The Breeders played BOTH albums!! I went to take a gander at the Merch table (CDs,LPs, t-shirts) I have been collecting various t-shirts over the years. I see buying a t-shirt at a show mostly as a means of support for the band. I’m generally not big on advertising. I suspect bands nowadays make their money touring and selling stuff. I guess I want to believe it’s possible for musicians to make their way in the world without having to rely on a day job heh. The Speedy Ortiz shirts were on their way from Brooklyn ahhhh fresh ink. This was my first time hearing both bands live. I wished the audience were as enthusiastic about Speedy Ortiz as I was. They’ve made some great pop punk songs, really catchy melodies and hard felt to boot. An older dude next to me was audibly complaining to himself as Sadie Dupuis (lead singer/guitarist) and company tuned between songs…it didn’t take them long to tune and they only did it maybe 3 times. It felt like some sort of patriarchal assertion, weird. The configuration of both bands was interesting to me….they had the bass player center-stage, lead singer off to stage right, guitarist to the left and the drummer in the back. The other guitarist in Speedy Ortiz is intense, full bent, almost playing on the ground. The bass player was stereotypically stoic and grounding. Catch Speedy Ortiz in 2014 if you can…I think they’re playing Irving plaza January 22nd.
Now I hate this expression but I’m going to use it nonetheless as I feel I’m running short on time…Kim and Kelley Deal have aged remarkably well. They played ‘Last Splash’ and ‘Pod’ live with all of the quirks on the albums which make them so special. I was awed at not only their faithfulness to the recordings in paying homage to their 20year anniversary but their energy on stage was amazing. Kim Deal emanates good vibes. Period. She just does. It’s an undefinable characteristic. I’m a complete stranger and hope the best for her for no good reason other than those good vibes have to be in the world. Kelley seemed to be having such fun but in a more internalized fashion (a little smile to herself). I’m so glad/lucky to have caught these two amazing bands. I hope there was some passing of the torch from The Breeders to Speedy Ortiz… but one never knows what goes on behind the scenes. Here are some pictures and the Brooklyn Vegan recap:
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/tag/The+Breeders

So look people, if you’ve been reading this blog, thanks a whole helluva lot and let’s have a kickass new year!
The Philip Lynch album is going to be finished in 2014!
Next up I’ll be playing with Ben Kraus on bass at Piano’s Upstairs 158 Ludlow Street NYC @ 8PM Friday, January 3rd, 2014 Free (now it’s going to be cold that night but I’ve heard new yorkers are tough)

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Falstaff

I went to see, hear, experience Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi at the Metropolitan Opera House last Saturday. Conducted by the formerly sidelined by ill health and Met favorite, James Levine. It was a Christmas gift from my mother who is an huge opera buff. Over the years I have come to appreciate this most high art. Opera at its best is the merging of music, story and performance. I came to fully appreciate it when I saw these three elements come together in the Met’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor with the soprano, Natalie Dessay. I often pull elements out of music or paintings and assess them based on their particular role in the piece in addition to an overall impression. What is working in the work? Am I moved by it? And/or can I use it in my work? Not to suggest that I borrow ideas from opera for my alt-pop-rock-folk tunes heh. My first opera was Seigfried by Richard Wagner, the third opera of the four, Der Ring des Nibelungen, perfect for a kid! Dwarves and a dragon to boot!
This production of Falstaff was so wonderfully comic with little lazzi (comedic bits) strung throughout I thought it would be perfect for my nephews. Sir John Falstaff is a big, blustering, boastful drunkard of a character with two hilarious sidekicks. The whole cast was really excellent. The music suited the mood and visa versa. I realized afterwards that Falstaff was my first comedic opera. Partially, loosely based on The Merry Wives of Windsor. We saw two of the singers after the opera at a restaurant and my mother offered her thanks and warm appreciation. An opera singer’s life must be so strange. It seems such a small, specific world and the audience is mostly comprised of wealthy, older patrons. Here’s a review:

Thanks for tuning in! Happy Holidays!!

IDA MARIA!!

Wow I went to a great show last night! Ida Maria played the Mercury Lounge on the lower east side. A small venue for such a big star. I know, I know many of you may not have heard of Ida Maria but believe me she’s a big star. Her songs are emotionally honest and sometimes raw to the point of breaking. No matter how far you push an idea or a story, if your songs are coming from a genuine place they fly! Her set was magnificently paced. Her tophat had a giant beautiful red feather. The band was tight. Ida on guitar, a lead guitarist, bassist, drummer, and a backup singer. The first song I ever heard of hers was the hit, “Oh my god”. I ran out and got her album, “Fortress Around My Heart”, tout de suite (Lynch highly recommends heh) I’ve been a fan since. This was my first time seeing her live. Support live music people!!

Ida kicked off the set with “Queen of The World”

I had a couple of drinks down the way at Parkside Lounge, great venue/bar, before the show. Aretha Franklin was on the jukebox and it made me think how tough it is for women in male dominated fields. I was also a little apprehensive….what if Ida’s not good live? Those worries were laid to rest with the first song. She has great stage presence and a beautiful voice which she’s unafraid to push into some rougher, darker territory. Apropos of nothing, she apparently has synesthesia. In her case she envisions colors when she hears music and would make songs with color palettes, how cool is that?
I spoke with her cousin (who sang back up) a little bit after the show and they’re playing tonight at Rough Trade in Brooklyn @ 8PM you’d be wise to catch them! You will not be disappointed.

I leave you with this one – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy_dMzFr7t8

Oh P.S. I’m playing Sunday December 8th (so is the excellent Rob McMahon) at An Beal Bocht 445 West 238th Street (at Greystone Avenue) 7:30PM Ben Kraus on bass again so c’mon out, it’s a real treat!!