Deerhoof!!!!!

Greetings!! I went to hear the band Deerhoof for the first time at The Bell House in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. I really love the venue. It’s a large open space with exposed beams which really give it a giant barn feeling. Whomever books the joint is great. The last show I saw there was Dungen, an excellent Swedish psych-rock band. Thursday there were two other bands on the bill, Blasteroid and Really Big Pinecone. Both shared some stylistic elements of Deerhoofs music, sudden stops, tempo shifts and stark melodic lines. Blasteroid were closer to straight ahead rock but Really Big Pinecone were closer to the quirks and tics of Deerhoof. The current band members of Deerhoof are John Dieterich (guitar), Satomi Matsuzaki (vocals, bass guitar), Ed Rodriguez (guitar) and Greg Saunier (drums). Their set-up was very interesting to me…the drums were at the front of the stage. I wondered the reason for this at first but as the set went on it became clear…Satomi executes a series of stylized dance moves which alternately resemble cheer-leading and a series of signals to the powers that be. Her steps take her from the front of the stage to the back (where a drum set would normally be). The whole band really physically worked the depth of the stage. They are a technically interesting band and they rock! Saunier is a very physical player at times loose other times sharp and precise and he listens intently, sometimes tuning his snare according to what he’s hearing through it. Passion seems to be in short supply lately due to a public deluged by waves of irony, over-informed, over-indulged and just basically ‘over it’ audiences. Deerhoof live can cure you of your malaise!! They were formed in 1994, 12 albums in and thankfully they’re still at it. Do yourself a favor, check ’em out and see them live if the opportunity presents itself!

If you’re curious, this is how Dungen sound…

I’m playing a solo set Saturday Sept 5th at Silvana 300 W. 116th Street Harlem, NYC @ 3PM followed by Ben Grayson @ 4PM and Shani Gan @ 5PM

The Philip Lynch Band is playing Sunday Sept. 13th at McGoos Bronx Backyard BBQ 5602 Broadway, Bronx, NYC 21+ only $5 2:30PM Riley Fields and Sarah Jay Halliday, 3PM Lightening Crabs (Are Coming to Get Ya!) 4PM Niall Connolly, 5PM The Philip Lynch Band, 6PM Super Hi-Fi

A Series of Coincidences

So I went to hear this punk band, Dead Moon, from Portland, OR one Saturday at this swank space, Pioneer Works, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Dead Moon are a great example of a DIY (Do It Yourself) band as they cut their own records on the lathe that cut The Kingsmens version of ‘Louie, Louie’. With this in mind, I brought some copies of my LP, At The Start / At Long Last, with the intention of giving a copy to them. I consider my album to be DIY due to the fact that James Beaudreau and I recorded it in his apartment in Manhattan (it was mastered for digital and vinyl at Strange Weather in Brooklyn by the skillful Alex DeTurk). On my way to the bathroom I saw Sadie Dupuis from the excellent band Speedy Ortiz….I think I blogged about their album Major Arcana a while ago….maybe part of a year end list I made? I mentioned them here https://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/08/30/luna/
Anyways I said, “Hey I love your records!” She said, “Thanks!”. I said, “Maybe you want mine? Oh but how are you going to carry it?” She took it and said, “Thanks, I’m Sadie”. I said, “Hey, I’m Philip. Take it easy!”. Flash forward a week or so I’m playing an open mic when a guy overhears me talking about giving Sadie a copy of my LP. Turns out he’s a friend of hers! They taught guitar/music together at a summer camp and they’re from the same neighborhood. So Speedy Ortiz perform as part of the NYC River Rocks free shows at Pier 84. I go to check them out (I hadn’t seen them since they had a shift in personnel, new lead guitarist). Sounded pretty good (outdoor sound is really difficult). It rained for the last coupla songs so I hightailed it off the pier after their set. Flash forward another week. I play a solo set at An Beal Bocht, a favorite spot in the Bronx, my friend Jackie comes to hear the set. We sit at the bar afterwards catching up. She has a gig working at a summer camp upstate. She asks me if I’ve heard Speedy Ortiz!! Because they performed at the summer camp she was working and she met Sadie (who was really cool). hahahahahahaha small world yo!!
Thanks dear readers! Til next time, keep your ears to the ground, your nose to the wind and eyes to the sky!

Ornette Coleman

When I was in college I decided to try to learn about jazz so I delved into ‘Giant Steps’ by John Coltrane, ‘Straight No Chaser’ by Thelonious Monk and ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis. These three albums are pillars which, for me, contain strong founding songs for a basis of “understanding” jazz. I think the reason people have to try to understand jazz is because people generally don’t like to challenge themselves, they like to be comfortable, they like to know what may be coming next. The work may be hard at first but, trust me, the rewards are great. I carried my love of the blues from highschool on until today, BB King (the first great loss in the music world this year), John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Copeland, Clarence Gatemouth Brown were my early heroes. The blues are part of the language of jazz but not exclusively. What I enjoy about jazz is that at its best it is not an exclusive club but rather an all encompassing, all embracing, all searching sound. There are elements of classical, blues and at its most aggressive, atonal and dissonant, punk rock. My first Ornette Coleman album was ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’, from track to track, a perfect album. Ornette’s notion of harmolodics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmolodics) is above my current musical understanding as a player but the result, as listener, is infectious. The improvisatory elements of this music are exciting and surprising I suspect not only for the listener but the players as well. As though an ensemble is on a hunt in, around and through harmonies and melodies jumping over, under and with tempos. Ornette may be gone but music will never forget him.

Sound is to people what the sun is to light – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CoPGDfMWFc
Sound has no parents – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdqRfHdbnXE

The Philip Lynch Band will be next performing sounds at Silvana in Harlem 300 West 116th Street on Tuesday, June 30th @ 10PM

Your Love To The Battle (The video!!)

My friend and fellow singer songwriter, Kelli King, recently asked if she could play with my song, ‘Your Love to The Battle’, in video. I was flattered and surprised that she felt moved to do such a thing. In a day or less she had the skeleton (ha ha, you’ll see) of the whole video finished!! It goes to show you that you have to strike while the iron is hot. If you’re moved to make something, do it. Of course the edits and credits that followed took a number of days however that initial creative urge of hers was so instantaneous it was alarming. I am proud to present Kelli Kings video for ‘Your Love To The Battle’ from my album, ‘At The Start / At Long Last’ produced by my friend James Beaudreau.
Kelli will be playing her songs with Liz Taub as part of the production of the play, “She Calls Me Firefly” by Teresa Lotz, April 15th – May 3rd. http://www.shecallsmefirefly.com/
The Philip Lynch Band is playing Thursday April 9th @ 11PM Silvana 300 West 116th Street Taylor Rich’s Birthday, c’mon out!!

Roll the clip yo!!

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Ricardo Muti

I haven’t seen Ricardo Muti conduct since my college days in Philadelphia. On this occasion he was conducting The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance of Scriabin’s Symphony No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky at Carnegie Hall. I held my hands and my breath tight throughout the beginning of the Scriabin. The music was delicate and strong and could fall either way easily but Muti and the orchestra held true to the tension. I got the distinct feeling that this is the best of us. People are focused on little screens and seemingly anything else to escape where they are nowadays. It seems so to such a degree that I begin to lose sight of people as potentially deeper, more insightful, more sensitive, more creative, more helpful, more loving than the current mindless consumerist society connotes. It can be lonely grasping the beauty of a musical passage when those around you slumber. I suppose that is the nature of beauty though….passing, ephemeral. The power of the Prokofiev was exhibited by the managed chaos of the piece. I suspect Prokofiev was perhaps a bit of a madman. I feel very lucky to have heard some of the most amazing music in my life at Carnegie Hall. The sound is amazing there, whether a solo piano concert of Maurizio Pollini or a full orchestra and choir. Music really makes life bearable. Til next time dear reader, thanks for reading!

Teatro Regio Torino

The week before the Parquet Courts show (see 2 posts ago) I went to hear Guillermo Tell by Rossini on Sunday at Carnegie Hall. The conductor, Gianandrea Noseda of Teatro Regio Torino, was so intense and connected and communicative with his performers it was astounding. In no small part due to the fact that the feeling from the orchestra was mutual. Nosedea is a very physical, expressive conductor and yet (if you can imagine) contained. Every performer turned in an amazing performance. Personally, out of the years of acting in numerous plays there were 3 separate performances where everything clicked (and I’m lucky. It is very rare). Every moment, every feeling, the story arch and even technical aspects of the production worked not only as they should but on a level where it’s like an out-of-body experience. As though the characters and play run themselves without any conscious effort from the actors, stage manager and crew.
Angela Mead has such a strong voice and command over her voice that her dynamic shifts create an expectation in the room and when a phrase is resolved it sinks into your chest. Luca Salsi as Giullermo Tell, John Osborn as Arnoldo both delivered amazing, richly sung heartfelt performances. Everybody on that stage did (orchestra included)! Maybe it was easier for the singers to perform without the hassle of staging and navigating a set…the story was in the music and the voices. It was one of those lightening in the bottle moments which I’m fortunate to have witnessed.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

The Philip Lynch Band next appears Saturday 9PM February 28th, 2015 @ Bar Matchless, 557 Manhattan Avenue Brooklyn, NY It ain’t opera but rock and roll is just as good! xo -p

LIVE Tracks!!

Happy new year all!! Here are a couple of live tracks from The Philip Lynch Band gig at Piano’s Showroom, 154 Ludlow Street, December 23rd 2014. James put together a great mix from the board and a couple of room mics. Wolf (the sound guy) did a great job with the set up and recording and we love how we sound in this room. If you play Piano’s and Wolf is your sound guy, take care of him, he wants things to sound the best they can. For the first time the monitor in front of me was actually a helpful reference without being a nuisance. James Beaudreau (lead guitar), Ben Kraus (bass) and Rich Drouin (drums) these guys don’t mess around. Check it out yo!! The songs are, ‘Breathing’ which is on the LP, At The Start / At Long Last available here: http://www.workbenchrecordings.com/store/philip-lynch-at-the-start-at-long-last-lp
The other track is ‘Budge’ which didn’t make it onto the album….but here it is live!!

And if you dig that we’re playing next on January 21st 2015 @ Cakeshop 152 Ludlow Street 10PM $8 cover

Parquet Courts @ Webster Hall

Ive been noticing an interesting phenomena in some of the younger folks I’ve met recently…the thrall, the charm, the possibility, the obsession with, the love of the internet has worn thin. There is also an acute awareness of being targeted by marketing campaigns. This is made abundantly clear in the song ‘Content Nausea’ by my favorite band from this past year, Parquet Courts. Topics range from technology to panic and depression, the military industrial complex (Careers in Combat) and some good old fashioned story songs and all with a great sense of humor. They sound like a mix of The Velvet Underground, Pavement, The Soft Pack and Television. I got to see them last Thursday at Webster Hall. I saw a huge line down the block and wondered if I’d be in a crush. It turned out the line was for Thurston Moore who was playing in a small club next door. Two very strong writer/guitarists in the band make for some great angular melodic guitar exchanges like the band Television. I’m a huge fan of lyrics and these guys have them in spades! One is more of a singer and the other is more of a shouter/sing-spoken-word man. The bass player sang one of the songs too! On their website under a photo of Webster Halls Marquee proclaiming the show to be sold out whichever band member writes on their website wrote, Who am I kidding we sold out a long time ago… followed by a video of a drone-y, sludgey performance at a party? Not the stuff of sellouts http://parquetcourts.wordpress.com/ They release their albums on vinyl as well as CD (much respect) and they’re 4 albums in already (I didn’t catch the title of their first release in 2012 but they made a splash with Light Up Gold, followed by Sunbathing Animal and most recently Content Nausea) plus they do their own art work (respect again). They played songs from those three big albums:

Up All Night
Bodies
Black and White
Vienna II
Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth
Everyday It Starts
Dear Ramona
Master of My Craft
Borrowed Time
Careers in Combat
N Dakota
What Color Is Blood
No Ideas
Disney P.T.
Ducking & Dodging
Raw Milk
Into the Garden
Content Nausea
Light Up Gold II
Sunbathing Animal
Encore:
Pretty Machines
Yonder is Closer to the Heart
Always Back in Town
Instant Disassembly

Given the current demonstrations here in NYC and in particular in light of the Eric Garner murder the end of the song, ‘Instant Disassembly’ which closes with the repetition of the line ‘I can’t breath, I can’t breath, it’s hard to inhale yeah’ took on a heightened significance. My only complaint was that the rapid-fire words of ‘Content Nausea’ got lost in shouting and distortion. Regardless it was a great performance! I bought the t-shirt (ha ha) I see buying t-shirts from bands as helping out. I think it’s the only way bands make money. Anyway, listen to Parquet Courts I highly recommend them!!

Philip Lynch Band next appearing at Piano’s 158 Ludlow Street, NYC December 23rd (Festivus for the rest of us!!) @ 7PM

Heaven Adores You

So I went to see the Elliott Smith movie, ‘Heaven Adores You’. I don’t like the title. I think Elliott used the word heaven in his awesome, wry way on St. Ides Heaven not in some I-feel-warm-and-I-love and miss you way (as the movie intended). St Ides, for those who don’t know, is a cheap beer. The line to the SVA Theatre wrapped around the block and I stood in line with a nice couple. We struck up a conversation about Elliott, I had seen him on four separate occasions. The dude apologetically said he got into his music after he died. My feeling about this is this, it’s the music. I got into Nick Drake after he died after I had heard ‘Pink Moon’ on a Volkswagen commercial. I think what people object to is the introduction to the music by way of the news of the death which …yes that’s macabre but ultimately it’s the music that matters. The premise of ‘hipster’ being a dirty word is based largely on the attitude of “I knew about this awesome artist/product/book/artisanal pencil sharpener before anybody else!” as though discovery connotes sole proprietor-ship. I don’t feel that way. When I discover great music I want to share it not crow about when I heard it. So the movie was really a light tribute to Elliott and his music and particularly his scene in Portland, OR before being nominated for an Oscar and the years following leading up to his death. A lot of friends and musicians who worked with him are in the film with nothing but good things to say which I would expect no less but it leaves me a little hollow…his songs are deeper and darker than that and therefore present a fuller picture of his person than warm remembrances. A more interesting moment in the film is when an ex-girlfriend mentions that his songs became more autobiographical and pointed and personal as he descended into his drug involvement. Noticeably absent from the film are Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss (from the righteous band Quasi). They had toured with Elliott and I get the sense they were close friends. Maybe his death was still too close for them to partake in the filmmakers (Nikolas Dylan Rossi) venture. All in all I still recommend the film because I’m still a fan of his music and there are oddball recordings from his highschool days in it!! hahahahahaha Have a great day! xo -p
oh
The Philip Lynch Band is next performing Tuesday December 23rd @ 7PM Piano’s 158 Ludlow Street NYC shake off the consumerism blues and get on down!!

Jury Duty

So, I had jury duty about a week ago, New York Court 100 Centre Street. Oddly, to me anyway, a lot of people dislike the process of performing their civic duty. Personally I imagine if I were charged with a crime I most certainly would want a fair and impartial jury of my peers i.e. not folks bummed out about being there. The acknowledgement of people’s chagrin at being called up was expressed even by the court officer. Jury duty is kind of like extra work. You’re all held in a particular room for a day or so waiting to be put to use, there are many different people from all strata of society and there’s the sense that even though you’re just another person in a crowd you may have a moment to shine.
So my name is called with a bunch of folks and we’re needed in a courtroom across the street (it was raining that day). We’re herded along by a couple of older cops who seemed affable enough. We all ambled across the street like geese while one of the cops held traffic. I waited to go into the courtroom with about 70 others and get voir dired (the judge asks questions of jurors relevant to the case). The judge asks if I have kids (it was a sexual assault case), where I live, do I have family members in law enforcement, what I do for a living and do I have any hobbies….at which point I blurt out, I play guitar, write songs and my album is out November 18th! Perhaps I have an impulse control problem. The judge and a lot of the court cracked up so I didn’t feel too embarrassed. I thought this knee-jerk promotional moment happened and was over however when the defense attorney addressed us he congratulated me on the album and said he played guitar as well and when forming and E chord if one note is out it doesn’t sound right as it is with reasonable doubt. If one aspect of the case doesn’t sit right you must say not guilty. There’s something very human about jury duty. We are asked to look at ourselves and each other and come to a conclusion as to who we are and how we should conduct ourselves in society…that said, my album, At The Start / At Long Last, is out November 18th!!! We’re having a release party at Cakeshop 152 Ludlow Street, NYC c’mon out it’s gonna be a blast!
Until next time, dear reader, maintain. -p