folk

Weekend Music (12/22 – 12/24): Sex Dungeons and Alternate Identities

El Vez moved his Christmas show to San Diego.

This year there were also no quirky holiday theme shows from Ronnie Spector and alt-cabaret icon Tammy Faye Starlite. WTF?

Don’t close your eyes, though, to other talent within walking distance this weekend. Continue reading

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Weekend Music for Cool Kids and Weirdos Too (12/1 – 12/4)

Reverend Horton Heat

Here are some famous acts playing this weekend.

Don’t worry, we also save room in the back for unsung heroes.

The Hold Steady have three sold-out Brooklyn Bowl shows beginning tonight. Additional tickets will be released at 6 PM each night.

Rockabilly’s Reverend Horton Heat is at Warsaw on Saturday and as usual he’s got a full coterie of highly disreputable opening acts, like Unknown Hinson and Nashville Pussy. Tickets are $22 and still available online.

If you joined the Standing Rock protest bandwagon there’s a benefit at Sunnyvale on Saturday at 8 PM and all the bands playing have suitably passive-aggressive names.

Weirdos like me who like classic Latin jazz and folky cabaret somehow find local options around town too. Continue reading

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Weekend Music: Climbing Sunshine Mountain (7/29 – 7/31)

The Grand Victory is closing this weekend so I’m going to use this week’s post to highlight final shows there, for your last hurrah (or oi-oi rebel shout).

But we also have Peach Kings and puppies at the Knitting Factory, and St. Vitus hosts electronica it likes.

Last, we clue you in to some shows beyond this weekend that you should ticket up now before a sellout, like for Erykah Badu and Angel Olsen. Continue reading

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Last Night’s Wye Oak Show At Warsaw

Wye Oak, photo by Erik Keithley.
Wye Oak, photo by Erik Keithley.

It could be easy to dismiss Wye Oak as another band for the denim shirt crowd—mellow, buttery dream-folk churned to the point of blandness. But the Baltimore duo, who played at Warsaw in Greenpoint Tuesday night, have some seriously un-bland musical chops—they’re kind of a reverse White Stripes, and that’s a good thing. Where The White Stripes had grit and a lack of polish, Wye Oak sound and look totally put together, as if they’ve walked out of a J Crew catalogue, if J Crew was trying to lean into the indie musician angle this season.

Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner have been making music together for 10 years, so their on stage collaboration is truly comfortable. Musically, they finish each others’ sentences. Andy keeps the rhythm rolling, simultaneously playing synths with one hand and drumming with the other, while Jenn is the mouthpiece for the band (Andy isn’t even mic’d) and shreds on the guitar. The pair are truly making gender-balanced rock: even though the vocals are female, their music isn’t feminine. Most of the time Jenn’s voice is melting into the back of the soundscape, creating a lush, oceany resonance. And when her voice isn’t buried back there, she sounds like a nymph-like ghost. It’s haunting, romantic and powerful music. Continue reading

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Weekend Music: Day Job, Night Vision (5/20 – 5/23)

Why do you work all day at a job that is not your true calling?

For cash, of course. Or maybe stock options.

My day job pays the bills, but I also get to go to fun places sometimes for it too. Got to go to Alabama once.

It was great. “Where’s the best bar in this town?” I asked someone in Eufala, AL.

“Airport Lounge. They got shacks in the back.” In case you are not up on your South, that means ladies of the night are available.

Not my thing, but heading for Japan on Sunday, bizness class. Before my next brush with the picaresque, here’s the weekend music calendar, with a bonus entry for Monday night to help transition you back to the work week. Continue reading

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Jim Testa Q&A: On the Trump & Christie Double Bill, Jersey Bands, and Making Music in North Brooklyn

Jim Testa (far left) with a folk brigade. Photo by Andrew McInerney.

Whether you are fourteen or forty years old, your parents went through some boom years, either the go-go ’80s or the post-war Baby Boomer era.

People were making good money, but some songwriters knew there was a lot going wrong on the social and political scene.

In the ’60s you had Dylan and Arlo Guthrie to point it out. For my generation, it was Henry Rollins and the Dead Kennedys.

Now Jim Testa has appeared as the critical voice for our time. Continue reading

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Weekend Music: Hanami vs. Myrtle Manor (4/7 – 4/10)

Had some friends return from Japan recently and they couldn’t stop talking about how clean and orderly everything was.

They were there for hanami, too, the Japanese ritual of going to a park to view the cherry blossoms.

Then there’s my friend Eric. He just moved there.

He’s having a different experience.

We all have friends that just seem drawn to bad luck. Eric is one of those people. Here’s Eric’s photo from the neighborhood where he found housing in Japan.

Eric previously resided in the East Village. Not much luck there either. One day he called his landlord. “I think the guy across from me died.” Took the landlord two weeks to investigate.

I asked Eric how he knew. He said, “When you smell a dead person, you’ll know exactly what that smell is.”

Today’s post is dedicated to Eric. Between the freezing and the rain in Greenpoint this early Spring, we can relate. And so today we highlight sanguine musicians with a sense of humor that take the stage in North Brooklyn the next few days. Continue reading

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Weekend Music: This is Why Nothing Gets Done in San Diego

[email protected]_ph: Beautiful day in greenpoint.

I had a whole theme planned for this week’s concert update.

It had something to do with music in people’s personal vs. professional lives.

But I just took the dog for a walk and it is, simply, Amazing Summer outside right now. All the local employees and freelancers are basking in the sun and socializing.

No sense in me slowing you down with themes. We’ll get right to the concert update instead, and please please please spend some time outside in Greenpoint or Williamsburg today. Continue reading

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Weekend Music: Kurt Rambis is Still Knockin’ The Boots

Kurt Rambis is the new (interim) coach of the Knicks.

If you don’t understand how exciting this is to a 43-yr old GP-residing columnist, here is Kurt Rambis, ’80s/’90-ish time frame, as I remember him:

And below is the man now. Continue reading

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