Music Video: Caitlin Rose – Shanghai Cigarettes

April 30, 2011

One of the musical finds for me at this year’s SXSW was Caitlin Rose, a 23 year old country/alt country/Americana/rock/whatever singer-songwriter from Nashville.  Getting to see her wasn’t easy: I missed her on Friday and finally caught her on Saturday.  But she turns out to be the real deal.  So much so that I was not surprised in the least to find out that Caitlin sings on the forthcoming album from Laura Cantrell.

Here is a professionally produced video which has the studio version of Shanghai Cigarettes.  Turning the sound up here would not be a bad idea.


Advance Planning: May Music Calendar Updates (Added 4/29)

April 29, 2011

As soon as the May calendar went live this week, I started getting updates for it.  Here are four more shows for May.

May 1 – Addie BrownleeSheep Station – 9pm (Short Set with Sheepish Show and Tell Variety Show)

May 3 – Ulysses S. GrantRockwood Stage 2 – 10:30pm

May 11 – Drina Seay and Homeboy SteveBar 82 – 9pm

May 26 – Candy & Women (Li’l Mo and Drina Seay) – Banjo Jim’s – Time TBA


Tonight: The Basebal Project and Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 at The Bell House

April 29, 2011

Two terrific bands with different approaches and subject mater, but with some overlapping members make up tonight’s double bill at The Bell House in the industrial neighborhood of Gowanus in Brooklyn.

Up first will be Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 (guitarist Jason Victor, bassist Dave DeCastro and drummer Linda Pitmon).  Steve and his band play straight ahead rock with with solid songs and intelligent lyrics.  They are supporting their latest album, Northern Aggression.  You can expect to hear a few songs from that new album, other songs from Steve’s impressive catalog (which stretches back all the way to The Dream Syndicate in the 80s) and some surprises.

Then it will be time for The Baseball Project, a band whose songs deal with America’s Pastime.  You’ll get to see Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon again, and they will be joined by Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5, REM touring band) and Peter Buck (REM).  Expect to hear songs about the Bill Buckner and the 1986 World Series, the history of the Minnesota Twins, Harvey Haddix and his perfect game that wasn’t and man, many more.  With members of The Baseball Project from Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 and from REM, you can be sure that the music you will be hearing will really rock.

Update: The Baseball Project has announced: “Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) will join us onstage at The Bell House…to sing Please Don’t Call Them Twinkies.”

Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 and The Baseball Project, The Bell House, 149 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Brooklyn (F or G Trains to 4th Avenue or R Train to 9th Street), doors 8pm $15


Tonight: Your Choice of Three Good Shows

April 28, 2011

Tonight begins an extended period of excellent live shows in and around New York City.  But you are going to have to pick and choose: go to Banjo Jim’s, 9th & C in The East Village or The Living Room on The Lower East Side.

At Banjo Jim’s in the 8pm and 9pm slots:

George Usher may not be a household name.  But he has been playing in bands, writing songs producing other musicians since he hit the New York area more than 30 years ago, including the Decoys, Beat Rodeo, Richard Barone, Kate Jacobs, The Schramms and Edward Rogers.  George’s songs work well no matter how they are arranged or rearranged: Laura Cantrell chose George’s song Not The Tremblin’ Kind to be the title cut of her debut alt country record.  His 2009 album, To Have and Not Have is a song cycle which follows a relationship from its optimistic beginnings until its break up conclusion.

I first saw Drina Seay (pronounced Sea) at Banjo Jim’s a few years back, mostly singing wonderful harmonies with the likes of Li’l Mo and The Monicats.  Drina has been playing with her own band, The Deep Blue Sea for a while now.  Tonight Drina continues her last Thursday of the month residency at Banjo Jim’s.  You can expect American, country and roots music.

At The Living Room in the 9pm slot:

Harper Blynn is a four piece band featuring high energy pop rock, lots of  hooks and good harmonies.  This past year they released a CD, Loneliest Generation, and a self titled EP.   The band is in the studio right now recording their next album.

George Usher
(8pm), Drina and the Deep Blue Sea (9pm), Banjo Jim’s, 700 East 9th Street – the entrance is on Avenue C (A, C, E, F, M, N or R Train to 14th Street or L Train to 1st Avenue, then transfer to M14D bus to 11th Street), No Cover (but a contribution for the band is highly encouraged)

Harper Blynn, The Living Room, 154 Ludlow Street between Stanton and Rivington Streets (F Train to 2nd Avenue, use the 1st Avenue exit), 9pm, No Cover (but a contribution for the band is highly encouraged)


Phoebe Snow, 1952-2011

April 27, 2011

When I read the yesterday news that Phoebe Snow had died, the first thing  that I thought of was my friend Lisa.  We were neighbors back in the late 1970s and she told me one day when Phoebe came on the radio that they were classmates in high school.

When I spoke to Lisa yesterday, she was shocked at the news, remembering that she used to hear Phoebe sing in high school.  Although there is conflicting information about Phoebe’s age, Lisa confirmed to me that Phoebe was 58.

This piece from the news show Sunday Morning from about four years ago does a wonderful job in covering Phoebe’s story, from her incredible voice to how she spent 31 years taking care of her brain-injured daughter.

I saw many videos of Phoebe yesterday, but this one, a duet with Linda Ronstadt of The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) from a 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live is the one I’ll post today.


Advance Planning: May Music Calendar

April 26, 2011

It’s nearly May and therefore it’s time for the May music calendar.  As always, this is a work in progress that will be updated, so don’t forget to check back here frequently.  May starts off with the first outdoor show of the season over in Hoboken.

May 1 – Hoboken Arts and Music Festival with Bern & the Brights (1pm), The Pretty Babies (2pm), The Baseball Project (3pm) and Ian Hunter (4:30 pm) – Washington Street & Observer Highway

May 1 –  Marshall Crenshaw & Band performing Marshall’s self-titled album from 1982 – City Winery – 8pm

May 1 – Adam LevyRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 1 – Addie BrownleeSheep Station – 9pm (Short Set with Sheepish Show and Tell Variety Show)

May 2- Ulysses S. GrantLiving Room – 9pm

May 3 – Julia Haltigan11th Street Bar – 10pm

May 3 – Ulysses S. GrantRockwood Stage 2 – 10:30pm

May 5 – MiltonJoe’s Pub – 9:30pm

May 5 – Hobson’s ChoiceSpike Hill – 11pm

May 6 – Harper BlynnApple Store (w.14th St.) – 8pm

May 6 – Alejandro Escovedo and Jesse MalinMaxwells – 9pm

May 7 – Sasha DobsonPete’s Candy Store – 11pm

May 8 – Entertaining Science: Brain Trauma & One Man’s Music with singer-songwriter Vince Bell and Dr. John Krakauer, Cornelia Street Cafe – 6pm

May 8 – Adam LevyRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 9 – Kinky FriedmanHighline Ballroom – doors 6pm /show 8pm

May 9 – A Tribute to Billy Joel, to benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Part of the “Leave A Lasting Mark” Concert Series. With performances by Megan Cox, Craig Greenberg, Pat Firth, Chris LoPresto, Adam Minkoff, Scott Stein, Luke Wesley, Jason Wexler of Julius C, and moreRockwood Stage 2 – 6:30pm

May 9- Ulysses S. GrantLiving Room – 9pm

May 9 – Nick AfricanoRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 10 – John Platt’s On Your Radar with Amy Speace, Fraser Anderson & The Winterlings – Living Room – 7-9pm

May 10 – Willie NileJoe’s Pub – 7pm

May 10 – Julia Haltigan11th Street Bar – 10pm

May 11 – Drina Seay and Homeboy SteveBar 82 – 9pm

May 12 – Adam Levy & the Mint Imperials – Best Buy Union Square – 6pm

May 13 – The AmygdaloidsBanjo Jim’s – 8pm

May 15 – Adam LevyRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 17 – Emily Zuzik (music set and interview)- Spike Hill – 7pm

May 17 – Aaron Lee Tasjan11th Street Bar – 9pm

May 17 – Julia Haltigan11th Street Bar – 10pm

May 19 – Two Cow GarageUnion Hall – 8pm

May 19 – Laura CantrellHill Country – doors 9:30pm / show 10pm

May 19 – The Madison Square GardenersRockwood Stage 2 – 11:30pm

May 21 – Teddy ThompsonCity Winery – 8pm

May 21 – Garland JeffreysThe Living Room – 9pm

May 21 – Bess RogersRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 21 – Allison WeissRockwood Music Hall – 10pm

May 21 – Spanking CharleneLakeside Lounge – 11pm

May 22 – Adam LevyRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 24 – Radio Free Song Club featuring Victoria Williams, Freedy Johnston, Laura Cantrell, Dave Schramm, Kate Jacobs, David Mansfield, & Jody Harris – Living Room – 7-9pm

May 24 – Ursa MinorJoe’s Pub – 7:30pm

May 24 – The SchrammsLiving Room – 9pm

May 24 – Sheri MillerRockwood Stage 2 – 9pm

May 24 – Julia Haltigan11th Street Bar – 10pm

May 24 – Jesse HarrisRockwood Stage 2 – 11pm

May 25 –  The Jim Keller BandLakeside Lounge – 9pm

May 26 – Dylan Fest (Two Different Shows. Featuring The Cabin Down Below Band and special guests Norah Jones, Adam Green, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis of SNL, Jesse Malin, Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes, Little Joy’s Binki Shapiro, Nicole Atkins (Thursday only), Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady, Reeve and Zane Carney, Adam Schlesinger and Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne, Sammy James, Jr. of Mooney Suzuki, Robbers On High Street’s Ben Trokan, Steve Schiltz of Longwave & Hurricane Bells, Antony Ellis of Five O Clock Heroes, Luke Rathborne, Jack Dischel of Only Son, Josh Lattanzi of The Lemonheads & The Candles and many, many more) – Bowery Ballroom – 8pm

May 26 – Candy & Women (Li’l Mo and Drina Seay) – Banjo Jim’s – 9pm

May 26 – Drina and the Deep Blue SeaBanjo Jim’s – 10pm

May 27- James MaddockRockwood Stage 2 – 7:30pm

May 27 – Teddy Thompson and FriendsCity Winery – 8pm

May 27 – Dylan FestBowery Ballroom – 8pm

May 28 – Caitlin RoseBowery Ballroom – 8pm

May 28 – The MastersonsThe Bowery Electric – 10pm

May 29 – Adam LevyRockwood Music Hall – 9pm

May 31 – Brianna Sage & Friends – Rockwood Music Hall – 7pm

Update: May 31 – Jim Boggia – Doma Cafe (17 Perry St., Greenwich Village)  – 7pm

Update: May 31 – Li’l Mo and The MonocatsBanjo Jim’s – 10pm

May 31 – Julia Haltigan11th Street Bar – 10pm


Monday Night Doubleheader: Springsteen Film at City Winery and Li’l Mo and The Monicats at Banjo Jim’s

April 25, 2011

Every once and a while, a local venue will show a music film.  Tonight’s one of those nights.  City Winery will screen The Promise: The Making of Darkness at the Edge of Town and the extremely reasonable $10 admission goes for charity. Here are the details from City Winery:

The ninety-minute documentary combines never-before-seen footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978, including home rehearsals and studio sessions with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former-manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record.

100% of the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross Society to help the victims of March 11th Earthquake and Tsunami. Neither Bruce, nor Sony Music nor Emerging Pictures nor City Winery will collect any revenue from this special Benefit Screening.

Once the film is finished, head on over to Banjo Jim’s to catch New York’s own Li’l Mo and The Monicats

Li’l Mo’s day jobs include painter, music teacher and chocolate maker.  Her album, On the Moon, (pictured left) was one of my 10 best for 2009.  And tonight, Monica Passin, better known as Li’l Mo, returns to her home base in the East Village, Banjo Jim’s, to lead her band, The Monicats, through country, rockabilly, blues, 60s pop and whatever else she and they may play.  And I’ll add that not only are Li’l Mo and The Monicats terrific musically, they are just plain fun to watch.

The Promise: The Making of Darkness at the Edge of Town, City Winery, 155 Varick Street between Spring and Vandam Streets (1 Train to Houston or Canal Streets, C or E Trains to Spring Street), 8pm, $10

Li’l Mo and The Monicats, Banjo Jim’s, 700 East 9th Street – the entrance is on Avenue C (A, C, E, F, M, N or R Train to 14th Street or L Train to 1st Avenue, then transfer to M14D bus to 11th Street), 10pm-Midnight, No Cover (but a contribution for the band is highly encouraged)


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