Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Wilco @ The Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, is a spectacular movie-palace type theatre from the days of yore. Opened in 1929 and closed in 1977, abandoned until renovations got underway in 2010. Open to the public January 23, 2015. It is stunning. There are high ceilings, huge chandeliers, colorful and spacious, it reminded me of The Fox Theatre in Atlanta (where I saw Tom Waits) which coincidentally opened in 1929 too….we really needed movies then. The last time I got to see Wilco was in 2002 during their ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ period (prior to the release of the movie about that album). I’ve tried to get tickets during other tours since but they sell out very quickly. I really loved ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ and may have overplayed it as a result….what can happen is, you love a catchy album and end up knowing it so well that the little quirks, ticks, and hooks which made it so listenable wear a little thin…it’s like saying one word over and over again to the point of losing meaning and eventually sense. That said I haven’t listened to it in a longggggg time. I had all of their other albums too. ‘Being There’ and ‘Summerteeth’ are still go-to favorite albums. A co-worker hipped me to the fact that tickets were going on sale and we both hovered over the ‘buy’ button when they went up for sale and lucked out. Saturday night, Flatbush Ave, Kings Theatre, WILCO!!! I really love the new album…with the exception of the cover art, a painting of a white cat smack dab in the center with a couple of pink flowers behind it, and the title, Star Wars. The songs are melodic yet interesting enough to bear repeat listens, rhythmically active, and lyrically inviting without giving away the store. Wilco lost me a little bit on their self-titled album and ‘The Whole Love’….around the time Jeff Tweedy, the lead singer was accused of making ‘dad-rock’, the first time I had heard that term. Star Wars is an excellent return to their art-rock, alternative-rock form (for me). Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitars), John Stirratt (vocals, bass), Pat Sansone (multi-instrumentalist), Mikael Jorgenson (keyboard), Glenn Kotche (drummer), and Nels Cline (lead guitar) all played with the expert deftness they’ve developed since the current bands line-up in 2004. They changed guitars almost every song without missing a beat (a round of applause for the Wilco crew, guitar techs and sound people). One of the most immediate amazing things I experienced at the show was that I did not need earplugs!! Three electric guitars at once! Rocking! Without the urge to blow us out of the water or top the drummer….maybe it was the room, maybe the sound tech…whatever the case I appreciate this aspect of ‘dad-rock’ if my hearing is preserved. Jeff Tweedy has an infectious energy on stage as though we’re in on the joke, Nels Clines solo on ‘Impossible Germany’ practically stopped the show, and John Stirratt is such a solid bass player you might just miss that he’s also an excellent singer. Everyone was so tight they made it look effortless. I really recommend ‘Star Wars’ and if you get the chance, get thee to Kings Theatre!! You will not be disappointed!!

Dear readers, it’s been a while and I have some catching up to do so I may finish some posts from this last summer…please excuse my infidelity to chronological order and thanks as always for reading. Support live music!! Support your local scene!! Here’s a setlist:
1. More…
2. Random Name Generator
3. The Joke Explained
4. You Satellite
5. Taste the Ceiling
6. Pickled Ginger
7. Where Do I Begin
8. Cold Slope
9. King of You
10. Magnetized

11. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
12. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
13. Art of Almost
14. Hummingbird
15. Box Full of Letters
16. Heavy Metal Drummer
17. I’m the Man Who Loves You
18. Dawned on Me
19. Impossible Germany
20. Red-Eyed and Blue
21. I Got You (At the End of the Century)
22. Outtasite (Outta Mind)
Acoustic Encore (they set up condensor mics…again, excellent live sound)
23. Misunderstood
24. It’s Just That Simple
25. War on War
26. A Shot in the Arm
27. Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)

 

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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!

Gail Heidel of The Way Station!

I’ve played at The Way Station 2 times before solo and will be playing this Saturday, 11/30/13 at 7PM with Ben Kraus on bass. Gail Heidel has been kind enough to answer some questions about the establishment where she works for her brother and proprietor, Andy Heidel.

This past weekend, as you undoubtedly know, was the 50th anniversary of the launch of the popular t.v. series, Dr. Who. Your bar is The Way Station, 683 Washington Ave. Prospect Heights, Bklyn. NY.
1. How long have you been in business?

We are having our third anniversary on Feb. 20. We have Buhre Station STOMP SOCIETY booked from 9-11pm for the party.
Genre: Swing
For fans of : Great Music & Good Times

Named, “Best of the Bronx” News 12, this Swing Band not only recreates the authentic sounds of such greats as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong’s Dixieland, but also brings their unique brand of showmanship and most importantly FUN back to this timeless genre of music. If you have not had the opportunity to experience the Buhre Station STOMP SOCIETY live in action… NOW IS YOUR CHANCE at their Brooklyn premier !!!

” Keeping this sound alive. …bringing back an era that was truly timeless and fabulous!”

BUHRESTATIONSTOMPSOCIETY.COM


2. Righteous. So, dear readers, be sure to make it out if you’re in town! Did you start out with the Dr. Who theme or was that an addition?

It wasn’t in the original business plan, although the steam punk aesthetic was.*(http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=uh3_my_web_gs&va=steampunk) The tardis was a solution to a problem. *(http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=uh3_my_web_gs&sz=all&va=tardis) The bathroom was sited next to the actual bar and Andy and his former manager were wondering how to disguise it. The idea of the blue box was born.

3. Hahahaha that’s an excellent, creative solution. Who’s the bigger Dr. Who fan? You or Anders?

Anders is the fan. I’ve never watched the show. I’m in it for the music.

4. I love live music and it’s very important to me. Have you always hosted live music?

If you are asking about my career path-
No, I haven’t. I am actually a visual artist. I work part-time as The Gallery and Public Program Manager at Pelham Art Center and part-time at The Way Station. I am also an Assistant Professor of Art at Hunter College teaching one class per semester. This being said, music has also been a big part of my life. I wrote three books about the Black Crowes with a friend of mine, which led to a job work for them doing on-site promotion during the 1997 Further Festival tour. I was also a manager for a regional funk band in the late 90’s in Connecticut.

Or if you are talking about the bar.
Yes, we have always had a music series since the bar opened. Andy was originally booking a couple of bands per night by himself and then he asked me if I had the time to help with the booking and promotion. We ramped up our game and are now booking between 100-125 bands per month plus screenings, nerd cabaret, nerd karaoke, comedy and lectures.

5. I was very impressed with your professional and respectful way of booking. You promote the shows via email and on your website, stream them live and are compiling quite an impressive archive. Have you booked bands, players, shows in other places prior to The Way Station?

Thanks so much! As I mentioned above, I am also an arts administrator. My first job in the city was actually booking films and negotiating contracts at The Whitney Museum in the Film and Video Department. Part of my current position in Pelham is to organize 6 exhibitions a year, one of which I curate. I also plan and organize our Folk Art Series with live music, traditional dance and hands on art workshops along with other public events. A number of bands from The Way Station have made their way north to play at my Art Center.

6. Do you buy vinyl, CDs, and/or mp3’s?

I buy mp3’s. mostly these days and have a great collection of cds from bands that come through The Way Station. My husband, James, who is the Wednesday and Saturday night sound man, collects vinyl so it’s in the home.

7. I’m a huge fan of Record Store Day and this past weekend was also the WFMU record fair. Have you been to a Dr. Who convention or comicon or record fair? If so, which ones?

Sorry, no. I have been to a Star Trek Convention in Florida years ago with Anders and our sister to hear Diana Troy speak.

8. Do you have a favorite band?
The Black Crowes

9. Do you have a favorite author?
No. In recent years I’ve become a non-fiction reader focusing on the study of urbanism. So it’s more like I have a favorite research topic.

Favorite books include:
Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities
Robert Caro, Power Broker
Lewis Mumford, The City in History
Stephen Johnson, Emergence
Jarod Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel

10 Do you have a favorite drink?
Smuttynose IPA year round
This time of year I love pumpkin beers and stouts.

Thanks so much for your time!

Thanks for the interview.

Best,
Gail

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters in Prospect Park

This past weekend was amazing! On Saturday I went to see/hear Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters in Prospect Park (as the title suggests heh). The opening band was Phosphorescent and musician/producer/friend James and I were marveling at how uninspired their performance was…are you too cool to be into what you’re doing? You are opening for Robert Plant for christsakes!! You know…from Led Zeppelin! Are you kidding me?? Maybe the guy was sick or injured but he really just seemed unmoved and the band was not really interacting, each in their own fantastic bubble. Play means interact people! For those of us who would just about kill to be on such an amazing bill Phosphorescent’s non-performance really felt like a slap in the face. So once that was over….and don’t get me wrong the last tune they played was more together than the others and cooked a little more. But once that was over and the show began it was awesome!
In addition to Robert Plant, The Sensational Space Shifters’ lineup includes Justin Adams, Guitar (Tinariwen, Sinead O’Connor), John Baggot, Keyboards, Loops, Synthesizers (Massive Attack), Billy Fuller, Bass (Beak>, Massive Attack, Portishead), Liam “Skin” Tyson, Guitar (of The La’s offshoot Cast), Juldeh Camara (African violin), and Dave Smith, Drums.
Liam “Skin” Tyson came out and began the show with a beautiful almost flamenco intro to “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”. I thought it was Robert Plant playing at first (they look a little alike) but then he came out and started singing. Robert Plant is the quintessential frontman, he was charming, engaged, in great voice, in fact he had (maybe) better control than when he was younger! He couldn’t hit some of those high screaming notes from his days of yore but that was fine. Dancing and kicking the mic-stand around in true rock-god form and yet he was able to make fun of himself, and his age. He had a whole series of hand gestures accompanying most of the songs. Towards the end of the concert he encouraged the audience using the American Sign Language sign for applause. Justin Adams was amazing, he was clearly psyched to be sharing the stage with Plant, full of jumpy dancing energy. Adams reminded me of Joe Strummer a little bit, that much energy and he made big gestures indicating changes in the music. One of my favorite moments was when Justin Adams and Liam “Skin” Tyson played Going to California (see below). And Plant played back and forth with his band, improvised vocal jabs which were repeated back to him in guitar lines….either to keep it interesting or to keep everybody on their toes….but I really think it was in the interest of play! Juldeh Camara was not on stage the entire time and sort of a guest but his African violin made perfect sense with roots-rock and blues of Led Zeppelin. Really just a great show!!

The Setlist:
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
(Joan Baez cover)
In the Mood
Tin Pan Valley
Spoonful
(Charley Patton cover)
Black Dog
(Led Zeppelin song)
Another Tribe
Going to California
(Led Zeppelin song)
The Enchanter
(with “I’m Free Now” outro)
Four Sticks
(Led Zeppelin song)
Friends
(Led Zeppelin song)
Funny in My Mind (Fixin’ to Die)
What Is and What Should Never Be
(Led Zeppelin song)
Whole Lotta Love (with Who Do You Love medley
(Led Zeppelin song) (“Hoochie Coochie Man” introduction)
Encore:
Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down
(Traditional cover)
Rock and Roll
(Led Zeppelin song)

Have a great week humans! Support live music! Farewell to Maxwells!