CLOSING NIGHT! PODCAST - interview, studio cuts w/ Symphony Z’s Composer William Zuckerman

Dearest Music Festers,

Tonight is closing night of the 1st Annual Lower East Side Music Festival at the beautiful Dixon Place Theater, and holy smokes, are we going out with a bang. Every performance of this closing weekend has been a straight up knockout, from Yoni Gordon’s sojourn to the bar to perform a capella to Corn Mo’s intimate storytelling set that closed with an expertly executed 80s hair metal scream fiasco, Supermajor’s video tripfest w/ VJ Fuzzy Bastard and the Nat Osborn Band’s special stripped-down acoustic line-up. Not to mention a cadre of other amazing shows from Natti Vogel w/ his band and quintet, the very charming Debutante Hour, Danny Chait, and The Corduroy Suit. All gold, I tell you. Gold. And there will be pics and video to come after the festival.

We close up shop with a truly stellar line-up of alternative classical musicians tonight: Symphony Z performing William Zuckerman’s acclaimed piece “Music In Pluralism” at 7pm, followed by “Bulgarian born piano dynamo” Tania Stavreva at 8pm, and one of the city’s “most promising new music ensembles” SYZYGY performing 

works written and curated by Danielle Eva Schwob at 9pm. DOORS ARE AT 6:00! Below, check out links to some advance press and praise for the night, as 

well as a podcast with William Zuckerman, which includes two movements of Music In Pluralism (toward the end). Also, see the SoundCloud set below to preview music from ALL THREE of tonight’s acts! This is “not to be missed,” according to myself, Time Out New York, and anyone who’s payin’ close attention!

We’re a Time Out NY Critic’s Pick! : http://www.timeout.com/newyork/opera-classical/lower-east-side-music-festival-dixon-place-august-26-2012

The show is also featured on Sequenza21: http://www.sequenza21.com/2012/08/symphony-z-at-the-lower-east-side-music-festival/

Tickets are available in advance or at the door for $15, and the first 25 people in the door get a free beer: http://bit.ly/les26tix

PODCAST - interview and performance tracks w/ SYZYGY Artistic Director Danielle Eva Schwob

Tomorrow is the last night of the 1st Annual Lower East Side Music Festival, and it’s been chosen as a Time Out New York Critic’s Pick, “not to be missed” (see HERE!). We’ve got William Zuckerman’s 15-person prog rock classical orchestra Symphony Z opening the night at 7pm, followed by “Bulgarian-born piano dynamo” (TimeOut) Tania Stavreva at 8pm, and one of the city’s “most promising new music groups” (Sequenza21) SYZYGY closing out the festival at 9pm. Check out the podcast below with the artistic director and curator of SYZYGY, Danielle Eva Schwob, who also composes for the group. The track includes previews of two of Danielle’s compositions that will be performed at Dixon Place tomorrow night, “Shiver” and “Breathing Underwater.” This is going to be a really amazing evening to close out the festival. Come by at 7pm or earlier to make sure you catch the whole thing!

Adv. tix available at: http://bit.ly/les26tix

RSVP on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/210492699077487/

PODCAST - interview + live cut w/ Natti Vogel, PLUS live cut w/ Susie Hwang from The Debutante Hour

One of the perks of booking Natti Vogel for a show is that as the date draws nigh, there comes the inevitable trickling of voicemails and e-mails, each unique enough in their conception that you think maybe it’d be a service to the world of avant garde if you just canceled the performance and offered a dramatic production of the correspondence that was supposed to precede it. Every voicemail is an improvised singing telegram, and I always recall an e-mail simply titled “UH-OH, GIRL!” Come out this Friday, August 24th, at 8:00pm sharp SHARP sharp, and get the personal treatment from Mr. Vogel AND his band AND his string quartet AND The Debutante Hour AND Corn Mo! In the meanwhile, check out this podcast, which includes an interview with Natti, a live performance of his song “Honey, Put My Record On” and a guest live performance by Susie Hwang from The Debutante Hour.

ADV tix available at: http://bit.ly/les24tix

RSVP on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/454907597865562/ 

PODCAST - interview, studio cuts + live trax w/ The Corduroy Suit

John Schmergel is the throaty croon and the hard stamping foot behind The Corduroy Suit. I suppose he’s also the expert songwriter, guitarist, and singer. At first listen, there’s an obvious Springsteen connection, but it’s immediately clear that The Corduroy Suit is much more than a hearty tribute. This is good old fashioned rock n’ roll to last a lifetime made out of road songs straight from a mechanic’s garage, and John’s voice on these tunes reaches and pulls like few do.

We sat down and talked about The Boss, the balance of writing for oneself vs. others, and John’s first gig opening for a band called “KISS Bitch Nation”. John also plays us “The New Girl,” and we’ve got a couple of studio cuts looped in. He’ll be at the L.E.S. Music Festival w/ his band on Saturday, August 25th at 8pm sharp w/ two other amazing acts, Supermajor and the Nat Osborn Band (Doors @ 7pm). Advance tix available at http://bit.ly/les25tix.

RSVP on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/192744170857256/

PODCAST - interview, studio cuts, + live trax w/ Danny Chait

I met Danny Chait about five years ago when he was heading up a great indie band called The New Surreal. Though that band in its particular incarnation has passed on to band heaven, Danny has continued on honing its catalog and developing new materials with meticulous vision and dedication. He has just released a new EP called "The Back Room," which received its debut on American Songwriter and has garnered him praise and bubbling interest from press and critics. He’ll be playing at the Lower East Side Music Festival at Dixon Place THIS THURSDAY, along with my own erstwhile band The Area Men, and fellow rocker Yoni Gordon. Check out this podcast for an interview with Danny, studio cuts from his album and a live performance of his new single “On”. We talk about what’s up with all the sudden success, as well as the craftsmanship that goes into his writing, and what to wear to the big night (sort of kidding).

Advance tix to the show are available at http://bit.ly/les23tix. Enter the code DannyChait10 for a promotional discount!

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/402875539760571/

Follow Danny on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dannychait

PODCAST - interview, studio cuts, + live trax w/ Noise & Rhythm

*NOTE*: parts of the podcast are a bit low volume, so depending on your speaker set up, you might do well with a pair of earphones/headphones. Enjoy! */NOTE*

Indie rock collective Noise & Rhythm rocked the Dixon Place theater on Saturday with their boundless brand that covers more ground than any eclectic music fan could ask for. Due to my aforementioned Tumblr-queue fail, this podcast didn’t make it up in advance of the show, but I’m hoping it’s better late than never. Whether you were there or not, you’ve no reason to fear: you can catch these guys again at Parkside Lounge on October 5th! They’re a great band, just getting their start and stretching their crazy legs. In the meanwhile, get psyched about it by checking out this interview with Ryan Schumann (guitar/vox/songwriter) and Ethan Joseph (violin), which includes studio cuts and a live performance of “It’s Not So Late.”

Follow’em on twitter, handle @NoiseAndRhythm !

Jazz hands (and feet, and music, and all)

Ladies and gents, it has been a couple of days away from the blog, but don’t be fooled, the festival has ridden on! It was my personal pleasure to see AC Lincoln close out a fantastic R&B/Soul night with The Score and Leila, as I’d always had a hard time understanding exactly what his live show was, but it was exactly this: quality cut R&B Hip-Hop dressed snazzily in a Rat Pack 30s jazz vibe. Oh, and with tap dancing? Yes, with tap dancing. Sara Banleigh, Stacy Rock, and More Than Skies simply killed it with every note on Friday, and last night, though I sadly had to appreciate in absentia, Dixon Place got to enjoy the broad spectrum stylings of Greencard Wedding, Noise & Rhythm, and The Bottom Dollars.

Also, I have to eat my hat on my first major Tumblr tech fail: I tried to set up a blog post on Noise & Rhythm’s podcast to go up automatically yesterday morning, and for reasons I can’t yet figure out, it never took and I was away from the interwebs all day. You’ll see that up shortly, for your enjoyment, though a bit late.

For now, turn your attention to our WKND2 closers: The Bear Necessities Collective, The Hot Club of Flatbush, and the James Brandon Lewis Trio. Much like opening night, we’re taking a look at three wildly different sides of a long-standing musical tradition: free jazz, hot parisian jazz, and an expert iteration of the classic combo. Doors at 6pm, Show at 7pm sharp, tix available in advance at http://bit.ly/les19tix. Check out band bios, pics, and links below, and we’ll see you at the show! 

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The Bear Necessities is a collective of musicians from different musical backgrounds exploring the boundaries of improvisation. Founded originally by clarinet and multi-instrumentalist Adam Price, percussionist Eli Wing, and guitarist Dave Ross as a monthly jam session, the group quickly took off with a life of its own. A far cry from what any of its founders originally envisioned, the Bear Necessities creates an unforgettable, organic music experience. Their debut album is slated to come out this winter and they are looking forward to a busy schedule leading up to the release. As a collective, the Bear Necessities constantly invites high caliber musicians to come explore improvisation with them. There is no telling where the music, or this thing called life will lead us, but one thing is for certain: it will be an unexpected adventure! reverbnation.com/bearnecessitiescollective

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Created in 2011, the Hot Club of Flatbush was inspired by the Parisian acoustic jazz bands of the 1930s. With vocals, violin, acoustic guitar, accordion and bass, they have a distinctly continental sonic texture and their repertoire is as diverse as Brooklyn itself. The technical and whimsical mastery of its performers allows the group to slide gracefully between a burning Basie stomp to a slow Texas waltz without skipping a beat. hotclubofflatbush.com

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James Brandon Lewis Trio features James Brandon Lewis on saxophone, Wes Reid on drums and Max Johnson on bass. James holds a B.M. from Howard University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts. He is an alumnus of the Banff Jazz Residency in Canada where h

studied with Joshua Redman, Dave Douglas, Tony Malaby, Don Byron and Hank Roberts. He has played with Alphonso Johnson, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver and countless others. He was a featured artist on The Word Network, which boast about 30 million viewers. Pianist Matthew Shipp chose James to participate in the Atlantic Center for the Arts 141st residency. James recorded his debut CD, Moments, in 2010 and is currently working on his second album,Divine Travels, featuring William Parker, Gerald Cleaver, and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis. jblewis.com

PODCAST - interview, studio tracks, & live cuts from Stacy Rock

After you’re done getting your mind all sweaty w/ AC Lincoln, Leila, & the Score at our R&B/Soul/Pop night tonight at the Lower East Side Music Festival, check out one last podcast from storyteller singer Stacy Rock, who completes the trifecta of 

the most dedicated cadre of performers we’ve had on this festival! Seriously, they’ve all done podcasts and sent studio cuts for their Soundcloud set. They represent an incredible cross-section of one of my favorite worlds in the music universe. Stacy is a crucial part of that mix - a wonderful storyteller who genre-hops like a pro with a rock solid cabaret folk voice. It was once said of her that “if Tom Waits and Tori Amos had a baby and raised her in the cabaret, you would get Stacy Rock.” Words to live by. Click below to listen to Stacy Rock’s podcast, and then get a taste of the other bands who will be playing tomorrow night:

Advance tix available at: http://bit.ly/les17tix !

PODCAST - interview, studio tracks, & live cut from Sara Banleigh

The best things are stumbled upon ass-backwards, and as such, it always pleases me to remember that I found Sara Banleigh singing and playing her original modern arrangements of ancient Celtic folk tunes on a painted upright piano outside the Little Red Schoolhouse @ 6th Ave and Bleecker as part of Make Music New York in 2010. We didn’t actually speak or meet, but I was putting on shows at Judson Memorial Church back then, and knew this was a voice that needed to ring out in that hall. So, I asked someone taking pictures for her name, found her online, and booked her for a couple of the best musical performances that I had at that space. Later, we became good friends and worked on a bit of music together, and it’s a pleasure and an honor to have her performing her first ever set of all original songwriting material as part of the Lower East Side Music Festival this Friday, August 17th

Check out this podcast w/ Sara, and I have no doubt you’ll be edging to show up on the 17th. The recording opens w/ a clip from “Fhear a Bhata” from her debut Folk EP, followed by an interview, a live “teaser” of an original song recorded for the LES Music Fest (@ 16:11), and a full studio cut of her version of “All My Trials.” Enjoy!

Pictures from Opening Night

In case you missed it, or in case you’re thinking of coming to one of the upcoming festival shows, take a peak at the visual treatment these musical smooth criminals have been giving to the L.E.S. Music Festival so far. Photographers Steph Ching and Paul Jakob White have been taking turns capturing the beautiful evenings. Here are a few highlights from Steph’s snapshots of opening night w/ New Orleans Hot Jazz ensemble Emily Asher’s Garden Party and folk-a-billy power septet South County.