Tag Archives: NYC

BIG GRAMS

Mannnnn, Monday just got a lot better.  Big Grams, a collaboration between Phantogram and Big Boi, just released their first self-titled album this weekend.  Enjoi, iz good.

spotify:album:1CFREwS5yzCEpC8slWETgT

-j

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lesh is still truckin

Interesting and exciting news for all you Deadheads: Phil Lesh (and friends) struck a major deal with The Capitol (and BK Bowl) owner that will bring a steady schedule of bluesy-rock to the metropolitan area.  Score!

(source.)

-j

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a little tennis with mumford

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c is currently dancing her socks off in the middle of the country to Mumford & Sons as part of their Gentlemen of the Road series.  Not being there has put me in a Mumford mood and while watching a dozen, or maybe, eh, twenty-three videos of their performances, I remembered that I FORGOT TO WRITE ABOUT THE TIME I SAW THEM LIVE LAST MONTH.  Some jammer I am, right?  will have a debriefing of tonight’s performance by noon tomorrow.  Here is mine…a month overdue…

When Mumford & Sons come to NYC/NJ/Metro-area, they do so in style.  Not the signature tweed vest, flannel, bowler hat kind of style, but the we’re-going-to-perform-sold-out-shows-in-the-vaguest-venues-during-ominous-weather-that-will-make-headlines-in-the-newspapers kind of style.  Remember Pier A in Hoboken last year?  On August 28, 2013, the quartet did it again.  They revitalized Forest Hills Stadium, a tennis court with amphitheater seating that magically held 17,000.  The venue was frequented by The Stones, Joan Baez, and The Beatles during the ’70s and until the British invaded again this August, the stadium had not hosted a concert since 1997.  Don’t call it a comeback.

Getting off the LIRR at Forest Hills was like walking into Magic Kingdom after a curious ride on the Monorail at Disney World.  Roads were adorned with M&S logos; streets were shut down and packed with blissful twenty-somethings patiently (yes, patiently in NYC) waiting to enter the Romanesque site.  After receiving tennis sweatbands as souvenirs, the sold out crowd hopped on line to buy craft beers, artisan pizzas, and probably turkey legs and/or frozen lemonade.  Unfortunately, the Gentlemen of the Road (who should reconsider the lottery system for ticket sales) and the Bowery Presents realized far too late in the game the “growing pains” of the night’s dynamic.  Refunds were offered to anyone who did not enjoy their trip to Disney the Stadium.

However, those of us who came for the music had nothing to complain about.  Bear’s Den (who are worth listening to) and The Vaccines (eh) opened and due to a neighborhood curfew, M&S finished the encore by 10:00pm.

Set list:
Lovers’ Eyes, Babel, I Will Wait, Winter Winds, Whispers in the Dark, Little Lion Man, Below My Feet, Timshel, Lover of the Light, Thistle & Weeds, Ghosts That We Knew, Hopeless Wanderer, Roll Away Your Stone, Awake My Soul, Dust Bowl Dance, I’m On Fire, Reminder, Holland Road, The Cave.

Highlights:

1.  Marcus botched a verse during “Winter Winds” and the crowed helped him through.  This is why you go to live shows.  “For fucks sake,” he’s not Mickey Mouse.

2.  “Dustbowl Dance.”  Even though Marcus resembles either Tebow or Hilter or both, he makes even my sister speechless during this performance.  Mmmhmmm watch it.

3.  “I’m On Fire,” a Bruce cover.  If you’re a musician and you come to NJ or NYC your choice in covers better be spot on.  Between “New York, New York” in Hoboken last year,  “Atlantic City” in February, and “I’m On Fire” in Queens, these guys can do no wrong.  I couldn’t find the version from this show, but this is the reason I give them even more props because they kindly asked in their British accents to put the cell phones down and just be present for this encore.  Or maybe it was something like “fucking enjoy the concert.”  We sure did, we sure did.

-j

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strength to survive

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Friday, May 17th SOJA hit NYC’s Webster Hall and filled the room with good music, happy ears, dancing feet, and smiling faces.  I  sound like a smitten 5 year old girl, but for as many of their shows as I have been to, I always leave better, happier, lighter, than I did when I got there.  Is it just me?  There have got to be a few more soldiers out there with me…

Anyway, because I missed Los Rakas open the night, I waltzed into the room to Nahko Bear’s party.  Medicine for the People is a special band in that they sound better than they do recorded or on any YouTube video.  For instance, “Risk It” is a serious burst of energy in the form of a song.  This band need to make their way on to your iPod because they, too, will give you good music, happy ears, dancing feet, and a smiling face.

-j

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northside

Festival director, Scott Stedman and his daughter introducing Beirut in 2011

No, not Weeeeest-side.  It’s the Northside Festival in Brooklyn!  This festival has been compared to SXSW, but like anything in NYC, it’s incomparable.  It’s a discovery festival about finding ‘what’s next.’  The festival chock full of artsy things; just check out the schedule of events:

MUSIC: June 14-17
ART: June 15-17
FILM: 18-21
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: 14-15

Visit the Northside website for everything I can’t fit in this post.  Getting lost in the website is like getting lost in Brooklyn–you’ll always find that gem.  Expect the unexpected.

-j

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just music

It’s really quite simple.  Super cool artists perform in the NYC subway system.  No studios.  No editing.  Just music.
The goal of the Subway Sessions project was to “showcase artists performing outside these conventions [of auto-tuning, overproduction, and sound systems] –relying solely on talent and musicality.”
Ever walk past the old man playing the accordion or the wandering guitarist covering Little Wing?  Next time stop and take a listen, it very well might be the likes of G. Love or Donovan Franenkreiter.
Check out Subway Sessions here.

-j

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acoustic irie

This past Monday I saw Mishka perform an acoustic set in NYC. I had never been to the venue in the Lower East Side, and if you haven’t either, you must put it on your NYC bucket list. After wandering around the building that was under construction, we found Joe’s Pub tucked inside the renovated walls of a Lafayette Street theatre. Once the doors opened it was like stepping into a speakeasy from the 1920s. The ceiling was beautifully gilded above the the dark wood bar and the lofted sound/lights booth. The chandelier, although not adorned with crystals, dimly illuminated the room enough so that there was a sparkle in everyone’s eye. Perhaps it was the ambiance but I think Mishka’s good vibes were responsible. No more than 100 people comfortably sat comedy club style before the barefoot beauty’s hour and a half acoustic set. I asked a friend of mine if his set is any different with his band and if you can imagine he said that it is that much better.
The Bermuda native radiates cool. His lyrics are truthful and universally relatable as love in and for life is a constant theme.  He is truly incomparable, but I found similarities in his sound.  He has a raw Caribbean pride like Collie, a relaxed demeanor like Jack Johnson, and a sincere passion for his words like Matisyahu. Interestingly, he was signed to Matthew McConaughey’s label j k livin’. MM himself says that Mishka’s music is “conscious reggae that reminds me to bless up, keep a high eye, work hard, love hard, remember true, hope faithfully, give thanks, and just keep livin.” After hearing Mishka unplugged, I couldn’t agree more. -j

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here i am

Long overdue, but here is the follow up to c’s post. Last Thursday I saw SOJA at The Bowery in NYC. I had hoped to see them in Brooklyn the following day with The Movement, but some scheming led me to Manhattan and lots of smiles. I-Octane was the first opener, who I think c would have liked. His sound could be described as experimental reggae with a splash of Demarco and Serani club swag. He definitely fired the place up. Next was Fear Nuttin band who rocked their reggae-metal set that included ‘Rebel.’ These guys carried on the heavy sound and passed along the word of positive living to SOJA.
Being that I can no longer count the times I’ve seen these guys live on my fingers, I’d like to say I know their performance. Let me tell you, each and every time they blow me away. There is an energy in the room that infects everyone with good vibes. Whether it’s the genuine camaraderie between the band members or the humble and charismatic frontman, Jacob Hemphill, the DC natives are a breath of fresh air. Without a doubt, SOJA burned the place down. Their oxymoronic mellow energy bounced off the walls as they jammed to their classics and showcased tracks off of their new album ‘Strength to Survive.’ Inspired by Bob to truly sing a story for change, you can feel the hope, belief, soul, fear, love, doubt, and courage of one being and hopefully in yourself too. It’s pretty heavy, but SOJA’s music keeps you light on your toes. Always, peace-j

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