Photo Recap: Some Recent Shows

March 10, 2015

Here are a few shots taken at some of the shows I’ve been at over the past couple of weeks.

Julia and Emmet Haltigan

Julia and Emmet Haltigan

The Mastersons

The Mastersons

Sad Bastards

Sad Bastards of Brooklyn (Mo Goldner and Charlene McPherson)

Teddy Thompson

Teddy Thompson

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Leslie Mendelson

Leslie Mendelson


Tonight: Sad Bastards of Brooklyn at The Sidewalk Cafe

March 6, 2015

Sad Bastards of Brooklyn Cover

Every so often for the past few years, Charlene McPherson and Mo Goldner step out of their amazing hard rocking band, Spanking Charlene, and play a low key acoustic set.  They call themselves The Sad Bastards of Brooklyn.  An SBB show is not just any set of music, but a set of some of the saddest songs that Charlene and Mo know.

Not that long ago, under the watchful eye of producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, Charlene and Mo recorded 12 songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Jackson Brown, Johnny Thunders and Alex Chilton.  Don’t think that Sad Bastards of Brooklyn Volume One is a downer, because it definitely is not.  What it is, in fact, is mesmerizing.  Charlene has an amazing voice, which she gets to show off, and Mo’s guitar provides the perfect accompaniment to it.

Tonight you can get to see the magic happen live.  That should be enough reason to be at The Sidewalk Cafe.

Sad Bastards of Brooklyn, Sidewalk Cafe,  94 Avenue A at 6th Street (Any Train to 14th Street, L Train to 1st Avenue, F Train to Delancey Street or J or M Trains to Essex Street, then transfer to M14A Bus to 6th Street) 7pm, No Cover (but a contribution for the band is highly recommended)


Photo Recap: Spanking Charlene at The Bowery Electric (With Set List)

February 20, 2015

Spanking Charlene played a rocking 45 minute, 12 song set at The Bowery Electric last night.  The band – Charlene McPherson (vocals), Mo Goldner (guitar), David Leatherwood (bass) and Eric Seftel (drums) – included Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (guitar) as is usual these days and was joined by Nate Schweber (harmonica) and Matt Polashek (sax) for a few songs each.  Here are some photos of the show and a set list as well.

Spanking Charlene 2-19-15 1Charlene, David and Mo

Spanking Charlene 2-19-15 2Charlene and David

Spanking Charlene 2-19-15 3 Eric AmbleEric “Roscoe” Ambel

Spanking Charlene 2-19-15 4David and Mo

More photos and the set list after the jump Read the rest of this entry »


Tonight: Spanking Charlene at The Bowery Electric

February 19, 2015

Spanking Charlene

Spanking Charlene  has been declared The Underground Garage’s Best Unsigned Band and their album Where Are The Freaks? was Now I’ve Heard Everything’s Best Album of 2012. 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 RamonesSpanking Charlene will supply 100% of your minimum daily requirement of rock n roll.  So show up tonight to The Bowery Electric for Spanking Charlene.

Spanking CharleneThe Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery between 2nd and 3rd Streets (6 Train to Bleecker Street or Astor Place, F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 2nd Avenue exit), Spanking Charlene‘s set 8:30pm, $8


Best Songs of 2014 – Part 2

December 15, 2014

Here are the second five songs in the Now I’ve Heard Everything Best Songs of 2014 list; you’ll find the first part here.

Lydia Loveless Somewhwere ElseLydia Loveless – Really Want to See You: Like Jenny Lewis‘ She’s Not Me (See Part 1 of The Best Songs of 2014 here), this song is a conversation between the singer and a former lover.  But unlike Jenny, Lydia is not rueful; here she cajoles, even demands, that her ex leave his marriage and come back, even if she was a bitch before.  I know of no one who conveys emotion – here pure anguish – like Lydia does.  I know that other reviewers gravitate to other songs on Somewhere Else (the album this song comes from), but to me this is THE song on that record.

Misty Boyce The Life CoverMisty Boyce – The Life: Although The Life, the new album from Misty Boyce, will not be issued until January, this, the title track, was released as a single in November.  Here, Misty continues her move towards more of a rock sound, this time mostly drenched in keyboards.  Misty has a pretty expansive vocal range, and she show much of it here.  Add a very catchy melody and you have this winner of a song.

PussnBoots No Fools No FunPuss n Boots – GTO: I fell in love with this song years ago, the first time I heard it live, back when Puss n Boots was playing stealth shows under assumed names.  Sasha Dobson‘s strong and stunning vocal performance here is as good as any one I’ve ever heard live.  And the secret sauce on this track is the arrangement the band put together – the original doesn’t sound nearly as good as this does.

RyanAdams Self TitledRyan Adams – Gimme Something Good:  The first song of Ryan’s self titled album is a straight ahead rocker with a bit of a Tom Petty feel.  It’s also straight ahead Ryan Adams; this time he’s producing himself (with an assist from Mike Viola), so there’s no one to filter Ryan.  And what that has led to is something good!

 

Sad Bastards of Brooklyn CoverSad Bastards of Brooklyn – Here Comes A Regular:  Charlene McPherson and Mo Goldner, The Sad Bastards of Brooklyn, take this tale by The Replacements of a dissolute, somewhat self aware alcoholic and give it a stark voice and acoustic guitar treatment.  The spare arrangement, set by Eric Roscoe Ambel‘s right on the money production, makes sure that the bleak lyrics will sear you.

Click here to view Now I’ve Heard Everything’s Best Albums of 2014.


Best Albums of 2014 – Part 2

December 13, 2014

Here are the second five albums in the Now I’ve Heard Everything Best of 2014 list; you’ll find the first part here.

Jim Keller Heaven Can WaitJim Keller – Heaven Can Wait: Jim Keller is known for his soul tinged rock and his full speed ahead shows originally at The Lakeside Lounge and more recently at The Rockwood Music Hall.  Heaven Can Wait is a small departure from that; Jim said that these songs were written at 2am.  As befits something happening in those early hours, the songs on this collection are more quiet and introspective than those on Jim’s previous records.  Standouts include Cali Girl (what seems to be a scene from long ago), Crush on You and Take Me for a Ride.

Leonard Cohen Popular ProblemsLeonard Cohen – Popular Problems: Just a few days short of his 80th birthday, Leonard Cohen graced us with this new record.  While his voice has grown rougher with age, it still is the perfect vehicle for his work.  The batch of songs this time around compare admirably with Leonard’s previous ones.  Musically, the instrumentation  plus female backup singers that has worked so well with previously are here again.

PussnBoots No Fools No FunPuss n Boots – No Fools, No Fun: Puss n Boots consists of Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper.  They have been around so long that their first website was on My Space.  They’ve played small clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn for years, and this year they finally put out a record so that those of us who have not been able to see them at their gigs can finally get to hear them.  What you get is a fine blend of originals (two each from Sasha and Cat and one from Norah) and mostly country covers, although Down By the River and Jesus, Etc., both here, can hardly be called country.  Of course, the vocals and harmonies from Norah, Sasha and Cat are all top notch as well.

RyanAdams Self TitledRyan Adams – Ryan Adams: After suffering with some health issues over the past few years, Ryan Adams is back and ready to rock.  The album’s lead off track, Gimme Something Good, is an insistent rocker which impressed David Letterman so much that he asked Ryan and band to play it twice when they appeared on Letterman’s show.  This self-titled album also has a few slower numbers mixed in with the rockers.  There is no doubt that with this album Ryan is back and ready to play again.

Sad Bastards of Brooklyn CoverSad Bastards of Brooklyn – Volume 1: For quite a while now, Charlene McPherson and Mo Goldner of the hard rocking Spanking Charlene step out of that band and play as The Sad Bastards of Brooklyn.  The idea of SBB is that Charlene and Mo will  play the most depressing songs they know.  The surprising thing is that their gigs have always been a good deal of fun.  So about a year ago, they stepped into the studio with Eric “Roscoe” Ambel producing and recorded this record of covers.  You’ll be impressed by Charlene’s voice, Mo’s acoustic guitar and the selection of songs here.  And although this record may be on the quiet side, it’s impressive, not depressing.


Tonight: Spanking Charlene at The Bowery Electric

November 13, 2014

Spanking Charlene

Spanking Charlene  has been declared The Underground Garage’s Best Unsigned Band and their album Where Are The Freaks? was Now I’ve Heard Everything’s Best Album of 2012. 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 RamonesSpanking Charlene will supply 100% of your minimum daily requirement of rock n roll.  So show up tonight to The Bowery Electric for Spanking Charlene.

Spanking CharleneThe Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery between 2nd and 3rd Streets (6 Train to Bleecker Street or Astor Place, F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 2nd Avenue exit), doors 7pm / Spanking Charlene‘s set 8pm, $10


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