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.

Spotify Playlist: The Best Songs of 2015

December 13, 2015

Before we leave the Best of 2015 lists, I put together a Spotify playlist with nine of the 10 Best Songs of 2015 (Monday (Every Time I Turn Around) was not available).  So if you have Spotify, just click away!

Best Songs of 2015 – Part 2

December 12, 2015

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.

JesseMalin New York Before the WarJesse Malin – Turn Up the Mains
If rock n roll is about transcendence and catharsis, and it is, then this song succeeds on both criteria.  Turn Up the Mains is a loud, insistent Rolling Stones type rocker that will have you moving  and probably dancing before too many seconds have gone by.  It even has a horn section on it.


Kristin Diable CreateKristin Diable – I’ll Make Time for You
This is a blend of blues, Americana, soul comes from Louisiana born and New Orleans based Kristin Diable.  It has Kristin’s inspired vocals, some great keyboard work, and multi-layered sound.  Lyrically, it sets up the rules of a new relationship “I’ll make time for you, but I will not hold you down,” obviously a lesson learned from something that happened back when.  A winning song for so many reasons.

Misty Boyce The Life CoverMisty Boyce – The Life
The Life is the title track from Misty Boyce‘s 2015 album.  Here, Misty continues her move towards more of a rock sound.  Although starting with guitar (which has become Misty’s main instrument of late), The Life quickly changes focus to keyboards and the track ends up mostly drenched in them.  Misty has a pretty expansive vocal range, and she show much of it here.  Add a very catchy melody and you have this very satisfying song.

Secret Someones AlbumSecret Someones – Only One I Want
Secret Someones tackle the sweet side of lust in this wonderful piece of power pop.  This song features soaring harmonies, booming drums, fuzzy guitars and excellent keys, all trademarks of this group.  Only One I Want is a wonderful confection to enjoy again and again.


Waterboys Modern BluesThe Waterboys – November Tale
In this song, Mike Scott tells the tale of two ex-lovers who meet again after 27 years.  One has had a religious awaking and the other is an atheist.  While in lesser hands this could just end up as a polemic or over wordy, Mike makes this awkward reunion a poignant piece of folk-rock.


Click here to view Now I’ve Heard Everything’s Best Albums of 2015.

Best Albums of 2015 – Part 2

December 10, 2015

Here are the second five albums in the Now I’ve Heard Everything Best of 2015 list; you’ll find the first part here.

JesseMalin New York Before the WarJesse Malin – New York Before the War
Jesse Malin has been around NYC for quite some time, but somehow, I just never connected with his music. This record changed that. To the extent that title, New York Before the War, is meant to invoke a time period, it is probably before the war of gentrification, which pushed out much of what was in Jesse’s main hangout of the East Village. The music on this record is mostly rock, but it does peak into all the corners of that genre. The first four songs of this collection, The Dreamers, Addicted, Turn Up the Mains and Oh Sheena are a tour de force.

Kristin Diable CreateKristin Diable – Create Your Own Mythology
I’ve been paying attention to Kristin Diable for a while now; this New Orleans based artist used to live here in New York City. The album she released this year, Create Your Own Mythology, is the record that will demonstrate her talent to those who can’t get to see her live. Kristin’s music is a mix of blues, Americana and soul covered in her honeyed Louisana drawl. The addition of keys to the band and the production by Dave Cobb take this record over the top. The standouts here are Time Will Wait and I’ll Make Time for You.

Misty Boyce The Life CoverMisty Boyce – The Life
Although she was long a regular at The Rockwood Music Hall, Misty Boyce left New York City for the greener pastures of Los Angeles a few years ago. This past January, she released this long in the making record. It was worth the wait. The 10 songs here feature imaginative arrangements, often going back and forth between guitar and keyboards. Misty is a wonderful singer with range and she’s comfortable enough to go into her lower range when a song calls for it. She sings backup on many of the tracks here, providing superb harmonies. London-based Dave Izumi produced this time around and he gave Misty the right sonic setting. It’s tough to pigeonhole this record, so call it ballady pop rock. Suffice it to say that it got constant replays when it first arrived in my house.

The Damnwells - The Damnwells reducedThe Damnwells – The Damnwells
This is a reunion album, the first with all the original members of the band on it in about seven years. And with the band regrouped, this album features songs about another break up: that of the marriage of lead singer and songwriter Alex Dezen. The album is full of rockers, and the two best are the lead off track, Money and Shiny Things, and the sublime Lost. Also of note is the sole ballad on the album, the concluding song, None of These Things. It lies someplace between an ache and a mediation on the finality of a break up. I do think that this album is mixed a bit louder than would be optimal, though.

Waterboys Modern BluesThe Waterboys – Modern Blues
Mike Scott is the lead singer and songwriter of The Waterboys. He also happens to be a force of nature. Modern Blues attests to that. Mike lives in Ireland and is well known for the Celtic flavored songs The Waterboys recorded back in the late 80s. He’s moved past that long ago and this album was recorded in Nashville. It still retains just a bit of Irish flavor, but its nine tracks are mostly blues and rock, heavy duty style. Lyrically the songs hold your attention, whether they discuss gentrification, growing older together or reconnection with an old love when both persons have changed. That last song, November Tale, is the standout on the album.

Advance Planning: September 2015 Music Calendar Update (Added 9/7)

September 7, 2015

Two more shows to add, and one to take away because it’s been canceled.

Sept. 28 – Mieka PauleyLiving Room – 9pm

October and Beyond

Oct. 3 – Mieka PauleyRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

Canceled! Oct. 4 – Misty BoyceRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

Tonight: Jay Stolar at The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 and Milton Plays Randy Newman at Pete’s Candy Store

August 3, 2015

Jay Stolar

Here are two shows that are separated by both geography and time.  But if things time out as I think they will, you can get to both of them.

First up, on the Lower East side is Jay Stolar.  He plays the kind of music that was called blue eyed soul back in the 60s and which made Hall and Oates a big selling act in the late 70s and early 80s.  Jay plays with a talented top notch band.  He’s also in demand as a sideman and has toured with Alexz Johnson and Misty Boyce.

In the past Jay tended to play very late shows here in New York City: he was frequently playing the 1am slot at The Rockwood Music Hall.  Tonight, though, Jay and his talented band will play The Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 at the much more convenient time of 7pm.

Milton PetesCandy Store 1-15

Over in Williamsburg, at 9:30pm, just a short walk from the G or L trains, you’ll find Milton playing Pete’s Candy Store.  As he often does at Pete’s, tonight Milton will be covering the music of one of his faves.  This time around, it’s Randy Newman.  Check out Milton’s blog for a discussion of Randy’s first album here (you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find it).

Jay Stolar, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 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 recommended)

Milton plays the songs of Randy Newman, Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg (G Train to Metropolitan Avenue or L Train to Lorimer Street), 9:30pm, No Cover (but a contribution for the musicians is highly encouraged)

News and Notes: Misty Boyce Streaming at Starbucks; New Club Opens in The East Village

July 30, 2015

Misty Boyce Gramercy 5-14-15 3

Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Misty Boyce announced last week that Unsatisfied Mind, a song from The Life, her wonderful album released earlier this year, will be streaming at Starbucks during the month of October.  In addition, fans of Misty can also see her play a special show on line.  Those fans who are members of the forum on the fan run website Who Is Misty Boyce will be able to view Misty playing from her home via Concert Window on Sunday August 23rd at 5pm Eastern Time.

2A Bar

Long time readers of Now I’ve Heard Everything are well aware of East Village bar 2AThe Treehouse at 2A happens on its second floor every Sunday.  I’ve had reports over the past few months that something was going on in the basement of that place.  It turns out those reports were correct.  Earlier this week, a new club, Berlin, opened there.  Jesse Malin, who is involved in Berlin, was MC for the first show there which included Buster Poindexter and Ursa Minor.



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