News and Notes: Musicians Are Not the Only Ones Leaving New York

January 8, 2016


If you’ve been reading Now I’ve Heard Everything for a couple of years, you probably have noticed that a good number of the New York City based musicians covered here have moved out of the area.  Misty Boyce and Harper Blynn moved to Los Angeles,  Aaron Lee Tasjan and Michaela Anne moved to Nashville, and Kristin Diable moved to New Orleans.  And the list goes on.

I’ve spent some time thinking about why New York City has a musical brain drain.  I’ve also tried to come up with ideas that perhaps could minimize this outflow of talent.  I’ve been told that perhaps if we treat music business the same way we treat television and movie production, particularly by giving music related businesses tax credits, we could create incentive for musicians to stay in New York City.  I’m not sold on that idea.

But recent census data makes one thing clear: it’s not just musicians that are leaving New York; it’s everybody.  Over 650,000 people have moved from New York State to someplace else in the U.S. between mid 2010 and mid 2015.  In fact, New York State has gained population during that time only because of immigration and the number of births exceeding the number of deaths occurring here.

Therefore, the issue is not really how do you keep musicians from leaving New York.  It’s bigger than that.  The bottom line, it seems, is how do you keep New Yorkers from leaving New York.

But there is one bright spot in this data.  Not only are people leaving New York City, so are bed bugs.  According to Terminex’s list of bed bug infested cities, over the past year, Detroit is number 1, with New York City dropping from number 3 to number 15.  And to those musicians who are still thinking about moving out to the coast, note that Los Angeles is 4th on the bed bug list.

Tonight: The Damnwells at The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2

December 31, 2015

Damnwells 2015

If you still don’t have New Year’s Eve plans, The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 is the place to go. As of 8:30am, they still have tickets for both the 7:15pm and 10pm shows.

The Damnwells play rock and power pop with well crafted songs and great vocals. They have a wonderful new album released earlier this year, titled, simply enough, The Damnwells. It was one of the Now I’ve Heard Everything Best Albums of 2015, and one song from it, Lost, was the Now I’ve Heard Everything’s Best Song of 2015.

The Damnwells have a history worthy of, well, a band. They put out a couple of records, got trapped in record company stupidity and two of the original members left the band.  Two other members, including songwriter and front man Alex Dezen, soldiered on releasing two albums over the past few years.  The original line up of The Damnwells then got back together.  And as things happened, one of those member is not able to tour right now, and for tonight’s show, he’s being replaced by a familiar face: Whynot Jansvelt, who was the bassist in the now dissolved band Harper Blynn.  Opening tonight’s shows will be Rockwood regular Julian Velard.

The Damnwells (Julian Velard will open),  Rockwood Stage 2, 196 Allen Street between Houston and Stanton Streets (F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 1st Avenue exit), 7:15pm, 10pm, $35

News and Notes

November 25, 2015

Harper Blynn Final Shot

It seems we have not heard the last of Harper Blynn.  That band, which for the last year it was around was known as Mosco Rosco, broke up earlier this year. But yesterday the band announced via Facebook that it had more music coming out shortly. Here’s what they said:

On December 10th, we will be releasing nearly all the music we worked on from late 2012 to early 2015. It’ll be on Spotify, iTunes, and all the other relevant streaming services under the name Harper Blynn.

Kristin Diable Paste SXSW

Do you have a song you wanted someone to write?  For a limited time, that someone could be Kristin Diable.  The New Orleans based singer-songwriter explains:

Anyone can commission a new work. You don’t have to be an artistic director, or a well-established performer—it can be anyone who is motivated to enrich the world with a new piece of music.

Song are delivered in a special care package including an individually packaged CD, handwritten and signed lyric sheet, optional dedication and performance video of the song, and additional inspirations around the song, unique to your project. And for all your modern folks, the song will be delivered digitally as well.

Commissions are accepted on a case-by-case basis, as I want to be sure I’m able to give my full attention and inspiration to your song. Due to the amount of time, juju and creativity involved in creating these pieces, I only accept a few commissions. Very limited availability. Commission rates vary depending on scope of song writing and recording process.

If you are interested: please email and let us know more about what you would like to create, ideas, your budget, timeline and any other details you would like to share.

News and Notes: Stolen Guitars, Friday Is the New Tuesday and The End of Mosco Rosco / Harper Blynn

June 16, 2015


About two months ago, Mya Byrne had much of her gear stolen (see previous account here).  And there’s good news and bad news to report.  While most of what was stolen has now been returned, there are still two guitars missing: a Gibson SG (I) (shown in the photo above) and a Guild F-30.  Mya is offering a reward for their return.  Click on the links above to get more information about the stolen instruments and to contact Mya.

Friday on My Mind

If you still buy CDs or LPs, you know that Tuesday is record release day.  That is about to change.  The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has announced that beginning on July 10, most records will be released in most countries on Fridays.  Japan is an exception, where records will be released on Wednesdays.

Harper Blynn Merc5

I’m sad to report that the band Mosco Rosco, formerly know as Harper Blynn is no more.  Whynot Jansveld, the band’s bass player has stated on Facebook  that “our band reached its expiration date a few months ago, as these things go sometimes.” I, and a lot more folks I know as well, will miss them.

Tonight: Laura Cantrell at Union Hall and Ulysses S. Grant at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2

May 19, 2015

Choices Large

Tonight there are two shows worth your while. I’m not sure whether or not you can get from the first to the second in time, but depending on when the first gets out and on the traffic and subway deities, it is at least theoretically possible to do so.

Laura Cantrell was born and raised in Nashville, but came to New York City for college and never left.  She’s not only a singer and songwriter but a musicologist as well, having served as the proprietress as The Radio Thrift Shop on WFMU.  Laura plays traditional country, alt-country and folk-rock as well.  The title song from her debut album, Not The Trembling Kind, was written by Jersey rocker George Usher.  She’s also covered Gordon Lightfoot‘s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  Tonight is the third show of Laura’s four week Tuesday night residency at Union Hall.  Opening the show will be The Human Hearts featuring Franklin Bruno.

Ulysses S. Grant is the name of a traditional country covers band with an all star cast: Pete Harper and J Blynn of Mosco Rosco (formerly Harper Blynn), Jim Campilongo, Chris Morrissey and Dan Reiser. Why the name Ulysses S. Grant? According to the band, it’s because USG was a great general and they are generally great.  The set get going at  The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 at 10:30pm.

Laura CantrellUnion Hall, 702 Union Street near the corner of 5th Avenue (R Train to Union Street), doors 7:30pm /show 8pm, $10

Ulysses S. Grant, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen Street between Houston and Stanton Streets (F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 1st Avenue exit), 10:30pm, No Cover (but a contribution for the musicians is highly recommended)


Saturday: Five Picks

October 25, 2014

CMJ 2014 Logo

For today, the last day of CMJ, I offer five picks.  As usual, they are a mix of CMJ and non-CMJ shows.

First up, at The Rockwood Music Hall at 7pm, is Fife & Drom, a blues based band led by the husband and wife team of Abby Ahmad and Mark Marshall.  British new wave rockers Eddie and The Hot Rods will headline a four band bill at The Bowery Electric. The show starts at 7:30pm, which means that Eddie and The Hot Rods will hit the stage sometime after 10pm; check with the club for the exact time.

If you missed seeing pop rockers  Mosco Rosco (formerly Harper Blynn) earlier this week, catch them now at The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 at 11pm.  Just a few blocks east, you’ll find the amazing Alana Amram and The Rough Gems at The Parkside Lounge at 11:30pm. Alana’s stock in trade are country inflected languid songs with a touch of psychedelia.  Over in Williamsburg, you’ll find rockers Chris Cubeta and the Liars Club playing at the newly reopened Living Room, also at 11:30pm.

Fife & Drom, Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen Street between Houston and Stanton Streets (F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 1st Avenue exit), 7pm, No Cover (but a contribution for the musicians is highly encouraged)

Eddie and The Hot RodsThe 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), show 7:30pm, $20

Mosco Rosco, Rockwood Stage 2, 196 Allen Street between Houston and Stanton Streets (F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 1st Avenue exit), 11pm, No Cover (but a contribution for the musicians is highly recommended)

Alana Amram and The Rough Gems, Parkside Lounge, 317 E. Houston Street at Attorney Street (F Train to Delancey Street or J or M Trains to Essex Street), 11:30pm, No Cover

Chris Cubeta and the Liars Club, The Living Room, 134 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue (G to Metropolitan Avenue, L to Bedford Avenue or Lorimer Street), 11:30pm, No Cover (but a contribution for each of the bands is highly recommended)

Tuesday: CMJ 2014 Begins and The Living Room Reopens

October 21, 2014

CMJ 2014 Logo

The CMJ 2014 Music Marathon, a conference and festival, begins today and  will run through Saturday (October 25). As you can see in the CMJ logo above,  the number of bands involved in CMJ is around 1,300 this year.  They will be performing throughout the week in various bars and clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Admission to CMJ shows is without additional charge to those who are CMJ badge holders, and depends upon the admission policy of the bar or club otherwise: some are free, some have an admission charge.  Most CMJ shows are short; some run less than 30 minutes.

During the run of CMJ, Now I’ve Heard Everything will be providing a list of shows that are worth checking out.  I’ve gone with the time listed on the venue website.  I’ll also include non-CMJ shows as well.

Also of note tonight is the reopening of The Living Room, now located in Williamsburg at 134 Metropolitan Avenue.  The two bands playing there that I heartily recommend are Mosco Rosco (formerly Harper Blynn) at 10pm and Elizabeth and The Catapult at 11pm.  Mosco Rosco play, tuneful pop rock with great vocals, while Elizabeth and The Catapult go for classical tinged indie pop.  Both are guaranteed to leave you feeling good.

There are also two shows elsewhere that are worth catching. At 7:45pm,  Aly Tadros brings her full band to play her amalgam of folk and classical to The Bitter End.  Over in Brooklyn at 8:30pm, singer-songwriter Dan  Bern will play at The Bell House.  Dan’s songs can cover anything and everything, and can range in emotions from poignant to laugh out loud funny.

Mosco Rosco (10pm), Elizabeth and The Catapult (11pm), The Living Room, 134 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue (G to Metropolitan Avenue, L to Bedford Avenue or Lorimer Street), No Cover (but a contribution for each of the bands is highly recommended)

Aly Tadros, The Bitter End 147 Bleecker Street between Thompson Street and LaGuardia Place (A, B, C, D, E, F or M Trains to W. 4th Street), 7:45pm, $10

Dan  Bern, The Bell House, 149 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Brooklyn (F or G Trains to 4th Avenue, R Train to 9th Street), doors 7:30pm / show 8:30pm, $15


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers

%d bloggers like this: