It’s not too late to pick up a ticket and go to The Bell House tonight to see Puss N Boots (Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper) and their 2nd Christmas Spectacular (a picture of last year’s show is above). Even though PNB is a (mostly) cover band, their choice of material and their harmonies are just top notch. Although they usually play stealth gigs late at night, tonight you get to see them at an early show.
Tonight: The Sirens of Brooklyn at Plymouth Church and Kristin Diable and Teddy Kumpel at 11th Street BarDecember 10, 2013
Here are two interesting choices for you tonight. In Brooklyn Heights, at 7:30pm, the Sirens of Brooklyn Choir will be singing Christmas carols and other holiday songs at the historic Plymouth Church. The choir, which has been around for a while, has grown substantially this year and will include over 20 New York based indie songstresses. It is conducted by Joy Askew.
The music on the menu this evening includes pieces from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and varies from Bulgarian Women’s Choir, Christmas traditionals , Hebrew and French folksongs, to pop songs re-imagined for acappella voice and more. Tickets are $15 and all proceeds from this concert will go to support the Sirens of Brooklyn Girls Music Education Fund.
Over in the East Village at the 11th Street Bar, Kristin Diable will play starting at 9pm. Kristin is a singer-songwriter I discovered a few years back when she was regularly playing in New York City. Her music is a combination of rock, folk and blues all held together with an amazing voice made even more astonishing with a Louisiana drawl. Kristin says that she has new songs and stories to share which draw from the south and sojourns from Holland to Tangier and many stops in between. I’m not sure what the configuration for Kristin will be tonight, but the last time she was in town, she played electric guitar and was accompanied by a bass player.
Following Kristin at 10pm will be Teddy Kumpel. Teddy is a guitar whiz who plays with much of the music community. He also has several of his own bands. I’m not sure whether this show is Teddy solo or with a band, but I’m absolutely sure that your ears will be quite pleased if you stick around after Kristin is finished.
Kristin Diable (9pm), Teddy Kumpel (10pm), 11th Street Bar, 510 E. 11th Street between Avenues A &B (Any train to 14th Street or L Train to 1st Avenue, then transfer to the 14 A bus to 11th Street), No Cover (but a contribution for the musicians is highly recommended)
John Platt of WFUV has been hosting a series of shows over the years designed to introduce audiences to new music. The current series, titled On Your Radar, was originally held at The Living Room, until it moved to The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 earlier this year. Tonight’s bill consists of three acts, two of which I know and can recommend.
If you are a regular reader of Now I’ve Heard Everything, you’ve read about Julia Haltigan here before. But if you don’t know Julia Haltigan or her music, all you need to know is that she writes and sings, plays guitar and leads a large band through material that draws on rock, r&b, latin rhythms, 40s and 50s pop and more. Some of Julia’s songs could be called Tom Waitsian except for the fact that they are way too cheerful for Tom.
The Looking is a project of musician Todd Carter. Todd has taken traditional and folk songs such as All the Pretty Little Horses and 900 Miles, and recorded them with full bodied rock arrangements. I haven’t seen The Looking play live yet, but the recorded stuff I have heard is impressive and I am looking forward to seeing Todd and his cohorts live tonight.
There is one more act tonight. It is Alan Semerdjian, who is new to me.
On Your Radar, hosted by John Platt with Julia Haltigan, The Looking and Alan Semerdjian, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen Street between Houston and Stanton Streets (F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 1st Avenue exit), 7pm, $12
It’s been a while since The Mastersons‘ last record, Birds Fly South was released. So Chris and Eleanor are recording a new record in Los Angeles. They have already been joined by Greg Leisz on pedal steel and Harper Blynn on vocals. Jim Scott is producing, editing and mixing this one.
If you follow Now I’ve Heard Everything regularly, you know that Charlene McPherson and Mo Goldner of Spanking Charlene will step away from that band from time to time to perform as a voice and acoustic guitar duo, The Sad Bastards of Brooklyn. The first SBB album (that’s it pictured above) will be released on January 21, 2014 and there will be a Sad Bastards of Brooklyn album release show at The Sidewalk Cafe on January 24th.
Rough Trade, the new record store and music venue, stopped their live shows after last weekend’s performances by Television. There were noise complaints from the neighbors and Rough Trade trade is undertaking sound proofing work to fix that problem. Most of shows scheduled there for the rest of December have been canceled or moved to another venue.
When you put Charlene McPherson on vocals, Mo Goldner on guitar, David Leatherwood on bass, Eric Seftel on drums and add Eric Ambel on guitar, you get a combination of rock and punk reminiscent of The Ramones. Spanking Charlene will supply 100% of your minimum daily requirement of rock n roll. And tonight is the annual Spanking Charlene Big Ass Birthday Bash (celebrating Charlene’s birthday). So get on the C or 1 train, travel to the upper part of the Upper West Side and prepare to party. It all gets going at 10pm with Heap (who are new to me), followed by Spanking Charlene.
Here’s a recommendation that’s just a bit different: a film about music, specifically, the making of music at a specific time and place. Here’s the info on this film:
Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios.
Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.
Tonight’s showing is for the bargain price of $5 and all net proceeds from this screening will be donated to Doctors Without Borders for their emergency efforts relating to Typhoon Haiyan in The Philippines.
Muscle Shoals (film), City Winery, 155 Varick Street between Spring and Vandam Streets (1 Train to Houston or Canal Streets, C or E Trains to Spring Street), doors 6pm / film 8pm, $5