Category Archives: Uncategorized

Collaboration

Good day to you all! So, I’ve always prided myself on a certain level of independence in many facets of existence. However, recently, I’ve come out of my shell a little bit to look around and what I’ve found is (simply) progress. Writing and performing my songs solo for 14 years I think I’ve improved a bit but the progress feels glacial. When James Beaudreau and I finished recording, “At The Start/At Long Last”, we had to pull a band together to support the songs and the album release (Tuesday, November 18th @ Cakeshop 152 Ludlow Street NYC). Ben Kraus (bass) friend and co-worker, listened to my songs and liked them enough to learn them. We played duo gigs at No Malice Palace, The Way Station, Piano’s (upstairs), An Beal Bocht and a couple of office Christmas parties. The first Christmas party involved me giving up my shoelaces for a banjo strap for Ben and my tie to secure a mic to a stand (necessity being the mother of invention and all). Ben also plays with a jazz trio, Hive, check them here, http://www.lukeschwartz.com/blognews/hive-live-at-botanica-red-hook-brooklyn-tonight. James and I have been friends for 17 years or so but have only worked on music together for the album of my songs. You all should check out….lately it feels like pulling teeth to get anyone to listen to anything new. As though people only trust commercially backed music….this is a great mistake. If you are reading this, I implore you, listen to this track, Pacifico by James Beaudreau, one of my absolute favorites of his and tell me it’s not a beautiful, full composition, I dare ya!!http://vimeo.com/musicstore/track/33427/pacifico-by-james-beaudreau If you think that’s something, you should hear his rock playing. Anyways we needed a drummer and James contacted his friend from Highschool, Rich Drouin, to pitch in. Playing with a drummer has been mind-blowing for me. As a solo player I play with rhythm and at certain tempos but backbeats, various flourishes and other intense, deep incantations I’m still trying to comprehend. Rich’s main band is Iridesense check them out here!! http://www.iridesense.com/
In the few months The Philip Lynch Band has been together we’ve improved very quickly. It has been alarming to me especially as my own songwriting’s improvement has taken so long.

So I went running a couple of weekends ago and running, for me, is a meditative thing….i.e. I’m physically doing something but my brain is running through lyric ideas, things to do etc etc when a woman zipped by me and I thought, hm I wonder if I can keep pace? I did and caught up before she turned off and asked her pace. It took an outer influence to shake me out of my routine.

I’ve been to Italy on two separate occasions now and I love the country, the language, the art, the food and wine and have started taking an Italian class. To hear others trying to learn the language, sometimes encountering the same struggles I encounter, sometimes pronouncing words or phases beautifully or mispronouncing altogether made me realize an important fact, it takes failure to succeed (sounds like a dumb aphorism or commercial eh?). How would I know what I’m trying to learn without falling flat on my face? This is why the best clowns have beauty and grace…they represent feeling foolish for the betterment of us all. It takes courage to fall.

Til next time have great listens!! xo -p

Advertisement

The ‘Mats!!!!

September 19th I went to see The Replacements at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NYC. I had never heard of the place. Lo and behold the outdoor arena has been there forever (well since 1923, built for The US Open). The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, The Who, The Talking Heads all graced that stage. http://www.foresthillsstadium.com/.
It was initially strange to me that there was a curfew for the show i.e. 3 bands starting at 6PM and ending by 10PM on a Friday no less. Quite a shift from midtown shows listing that they’ll start at 9 and they actually go on at 10 this night started and ended as scheduled. I realized, of course, it’s a residential area and the venue doesn’t want to annoy the neighbors anymore than they probably already are. It’s been 22 years since Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson played together as The Replacements. Paul released his excellent, self-released 49:00 in 2008 and Tommy has been playing bass with the band Guns N’ Roses. Last year I saw The Breeders reunite after 20 years (https://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/12/31/the-breeders-and-speedy-ortiz/). Recently, I’ve been playing in full band formation James Beaudreau on lead guitar, Ben Kraus on bass and Rich Drouin on drums. James and Rich played together many moons ago in highschool. What’s the deal with these reunions? Turns out it’s not nostalgia and it’s not to re-hash former victories. These are vital artists engaged in the act of continuing the flow of music they believe in, expanding the artists dialogue. Long story short the show was AMAZING! Undoubtedly the best rock show I’ve seen this year and maybe for years to come. The pre-show music “When You’re A Jet” from Westside Story was clearly an intentional choice. The set featured old short garage punk tunes from, “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out The Trash”, “Hootenanny” and “Stink” and more straight ahead rock tunes from “Tim”, “Let It Be” and “Pleased to Meet Me”. They only played 2 songs from “All Shook Down”. Their loose cover of The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” was classic! It felt like a dare, like it could fall apart at any moment unlike their more usual cover of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”. Those daring moments are what make them The Replacements …we’re in their corner, we’re one of the Jets, we don’t want them to fail but we know there’s always a chance they will. It’s a risk nobody else seems willing to take except maybe jazz musicians and Tom Waits. People are fallible, we are not slick, perfect beings….we don’t know all of the dance steps but damn if our hearts aren’t in it for the dance itself. The audience was singing along to many, if not most, of the songs. I’m usually not fond of crowds but with my focus on the stage, singing aloud and hearing so many others singing the same songs in unison I really felt hopeful for music. Here’s the setlist:
Favorite Thing
Taking A Ride
I’m In Trouble
Don’t Ask Why
I’ll Be You
Valentine
Waitress In The Sky
Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out (into 3rd Stone From The Sun, Jimi Hendrix)
Take Me Down To The Hospital
I Want You Back (The Jackson 5)
Color Me Impressed
Nowhere Is My Home
If Only You Were Lonely
Achin’ To Be
Kiss Me on The Bus
Androgynous
I Will Dare
Love You Til Friday (They had to do this one the show was ON Friday) hahaha
Maybellene (Chuck Berry)
Merry Go Round
All Shook Down
Swingin Party
Love You In The Fall
Can’t Hardly Wait
Bastards of The Young
White and Lazy
Left of The Dial
Alex Chilton
Encore: Unsatisfied

The Philip Lynch Band is next performing at An Beal Bocht in the Bronx, Sunday October 5th, 8PM No Cover

Califone @ Le Poisson Rouge

Last Sunday I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of seeing and hearing the band, Califone, at Le Poisson Rogue, 158 Bleecker Street, NYC. Califone is led by singer, guitarist, keyboard player, Tim Rutili. His site is here: http://www.califonemusic.com/. He had been the lead singer of the band Red Red Meat in the 90’s. They produced hazy, fuzzy, atmospheres in their songs which suited the lyrics sometimes and sharply abutted against them others. I really love Red Red Meat’s final album, ‘Bunny Gets Paid’. Califone put out ‘Stitches’ last year around this time and I’m still not tired of it, a true testament to the ever-seeking listener. One of my favorite releases of 2013. This was a CD that would not be thrown back! ‘Stitches’ is a bit cleaner and more produced than ‘Bunny Gets Paid’. Not a bad thing mind you…it makes me think Tim has found more confidence in his lyrics and melodies or something (maybe just working with different people). In anticipation of the show I wondered if they would be able to create the edgy, rough bleeding into delicate sounds achieved on ‘Bunny Gets Paid’ or would they perform as close to the album (Stitches) as possible? I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome…it was a mix. The rough sounds they achieved without being too loud and yet that feeling of danger, of everything falling apart and having to let it go was in excellent balance with the melodies. It felt like luck that it worked! But it had to be orchestrated. I imagine what I saw and heard to not be far from a Velvet Underground performance. I don’t know why more people don’t move, physically react to music nowadays. Granted, Califone doesn’t write dance music but it’s music that you can physically feel. The arrangement was Rutili on Guitar or keyboards, 2 drummers, lead guitar player, and bass player. I recognized one of the drummers from shows I had seen in the past and couldn’t restrain myself after the show. I’ve seen/heard Rachel Blumberg over the years playing with The Decemberists, M Ward, and Norfolk and Western. Excellent player and creative soul, http://rachelblumberg.com/. I had the opportunity to thank Tim Rutili and all of the band members for an excellent show…they kind of regarded me as though I had two heads…either that or I was feeling self-conscious approaching strangers. heh. Anyway have a great week and thanks for reading! -p

Manuel Barrueco/Beijing Guitar Duo

A couple of Sundays ago I went to hear Manuel Barrueco and The Beijing Guitar Duo in The Spanish Courtyard at Caramoor (an outdoor venue in Westchester county). Beautiful, manicured gardens and a clear, bright day. My first and only guitar teacher, Fred Draper, told me about Barrueco over 20 years ago! One of my first classical guitar concerts was Andres Segovia, the master. He was 94, came out with a cane but sat down and played so incredibly I forgot his age. There were very few technical issues and what amazed me was how emotional his playing was. I guess I assumed his massive reputation was built mainly on technique. Since then I’ve had the fortune to see and hear Christopher Parkening, John Williams, and Ana Vidovic. John Williams was my favorite of those three.

The program was called China West and featured composers, Chen Yi, Bach, Tan Dun, Joaquin Turina, Sergio Assad and Astor Piazzola. It was an eclectic exciting mix of compositions executed beautifully. The classical guitar is much more versatile than the word ‘classical’ sometimes seems to imply.
Please enjoy a beautiful Scarlatti sonata by the duo:

Here is another master:

Live, solo, at CHoGA 145 Bleeker St.

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of joining host and hostess, Ed and Greta Tristram, for their Songs of Greenwich Village series. Once a month they have an open mic and then 3 feature performer sets about 25 minutes apiece. Sean Daly and Peter Galperin also played and they were great! Songs of Greenwich Village next show is July 3rd be sure to check it out!!
I’ve been playing solo gigs and open mics for years but this Thursday I had a mind-blowing rehearsal with James Beaudreau on lead guitar, Ben Kraus on bass and (new edition) Rich Drouin on drums. I have never played with a drummer for more than one or two songs so this was quite an experience. Cohesive energy. Sharing time. It just brought the sounds of ‘At The Start…At Long Last…’ together. But just so the solo thing is not forgotten, check it out:

CHoGA2

Spiritual Resonance

So much important art has been created in the name of the lord (by commission or inspiration), so much important music has been made in the name of the lord (by commission or inspiration) so many people have been moved by the name of the lord that, though I have no allegiance to religion in general, the creations as a result of religion (be it commission or inspiration) yield results. Recently my friend/producer James Beaudreau posted on his excellent site GreatRecordings.com a Donny Hathaway album which actually brought me to religion. True Soul Music. Now those who have been following the thread know that I’ve fallen in love with the gospel of the Tompkins Square release of Nashboro,”I Hear The Angels Singing’. Hathaway, for me, brings jazz, blues and gospel together in such a balanced, even way that he belongs in the company of James Brown, for soul and Marvin Gaye for social, political content. As a collector I find my collection has been sorely lacking Donny Hathaway. Via Great Recordings I give you “Everything is Everything”

Where oh where to find the new stuff???

I read an article in last weekends’ Sunday Times entitled ‘When Music Was Strange’ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/opinion/sunday/when-music-was-strange.html?src=rechp . If you’re not interested in reading it, in brief, it’s a good nostalgic tour of how the author was introduced to new/different music. It’s people!! So on the precipice of releasing the Philip Lynch album, At The Start/At Long Last, I wonder how it will be received and how it will travel? Who will pass it to whom? What service will link it to what other artist? (Pandora I’m lookin’ at you!) Which radio DJ will love it and try to spin a track often? Vin Scelsa, Russ Boris, WBAI,KEXP, KCRW, WXPN, WFUV, WDST,WMEB, WCOM, WMPG, WRSI, KNBA, KCPR, KBOO, KXCI, KHUM,KDNK, KRCC, KDUM, KXBC, WYSO, KUNI, KCMP, WNRN, WNCS, WDET, WPKN, WECI, WEFT a li’l help?? I still believe in radio as a great source for hearing new material. The internet is a useful tool for reading reviews and investigating new material but it’s not the same as going to hear a band you really like and the opening act is great too and spurs further investigation. Another place is in a record store like Other Music, 15 East 4th St NYC or Luna 5202 College Ave. Indianapolis…as you wander from Jazz to Pop to Classical from new to used sections you’ll have a good chance of hearing some interesting music. That’s how I first heard Bill Fay’s album, ‘From The Bottom of An Old Grandfather Clock’ at Kim’s old location. In short, when the time comes for the release of “At The Start…At Long Last…” I will call upon you dear readers to listen, enjoy, and most importantly share!!
Have a great week all! -p

And The Title of The Philip Lynch Album Is…

Is the suspense killing you? When I was a kid and I did well in a race, I would come home and play all bummed out as though I had lost when I’d won to build suspense but my mother always saw through the act…probably an early indication I shouldn’t have tried acting hahahahahaha Anyway the title of the James Beaudreau produced Philip Lynch album is, ” At The Start At Long Last”. Strange title you might say but it’s not without it’s significance. When I moved to my neighborhood in uppermost Manhattan 15 years ago (sheesh that’s a long time) etched into the tiles of my subway station walls were those words, “At The Start…At Long Last..” (they have since been filled in with mosaic mirrored tiles). I had just moved from Weehawken, New Jersey after a girlfriend headed out to West Hollywood, CA and this was to be a new chapter. Strange and stark how our lives can change in a moment. James and I have been working on this album off and on for about 8 years. First album, “At The Start…” completed, “At Long Last…” I dig the ellipses because they speak of more to come. Whether or not we use them, a forward slash /, or nothing is still a little bit of a grey area (if you have a strong opinion either way, let me know, state your case heh). So there you have it dear reader, At The Start At Long Last

I hope you all have an excellent weekend! Catch you next time! -p

IMG_1224

IMG_1225

IMG_1226

IMG_1227

IMG_1228

IMG_1229

For runners and singers

So last weekend I went for a run and injured myself. Runners from the ’70s would “suck it up” and run through all kinds of injuries, blisters, pulls, shinsplints, sprains and strains. I (instead) took the week off. I’ve always prized my ability to run downhill. You have to match your leg speed with rate of descent, you can’t pull your torso back too much or pitch too forward and you have to try to not slap or pound your feet. All this wisdom and jargon and yet last weekend I pounded downhill and jammed my knee. There’s a particular ‘heartbreak hill’ from the Westside Highway down to the Hudson under the George Washington Bridge by The Little Red Lighthouse in The Washington Heights area where it all went awry. The ‘heartbreak’ most probably associate with running up that hill but most injuries happen downhill. I think the injury was due to the fact that I had to run. Sometimes when you have to run or have to sing the tendency is to throw all technique out the window and let fly!!! Also the element of other people being around doesn’t help…I don’t think anyone wants to appear slow…especially downhill. Well I went for the same run today. It was beautiful out today, crisp and clear skies. I was already prepared to descend the hill differently, so that wasn’t going to be an issue, however at some moment I felt the kick in me, I should be running faster, the impatience, the extra energy, the need to get the rage out and then my hand began doing something. I began fiddling with my keys. My voice teacher sometimes gives me a physical task to do while singing for more than distracting a brain that wants to force things into their place but also to open my back or breathe into my ribs. I’ve found that these other tasks are very helpful to my brain. I think it’s easy to focus too much on something…like you concentrate on that thing until before you know it you’re destroying it (makes me feel like Lenny in Of Mice and Men or The Hulk). Naturally all of this depends upon what type of person you are. I just had a great run and reminder from my voice teacher that technique is key. heh.

Have a great weekend all! -p