Posts Tagged ‘Concert’

Live Review: “A Midsummer Night’s Concert”

September 1, 2010

THE SHAKE, LILY & THE PARLOUR TRICKS, CHAPPO, RACCOON FIGHTER, THE WALK-ONS AND F. MICHAEL HAYNIE AT CAMEO; CITIZENMUSIC PRESENTS “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S CONCERT.”

Post by Meijin Bruttomesso (aka, The Damn Sexy Scenester)

Last Saturday night, North 6th Street in Williamsburg overflowed with musical possibilities. I played my cards correctly and hit Cameo Gallery, the intimate hideaway space behind The Lovin’ Cup. With splendid sound quality and eye-catching décor, spaghetti-like strings draped over the stage, that performers enjoy swatting much like cats mesmerized by yarn, the dimly lit venue hosted a hefty line-up organized by CitizenMusic Presents: The Walk Ons, Raccoon Fighter, F. Michael Haynie, Lily & The Parlour Tricks, The Shake, and Chappo.

The Walk-Ons

The Walk-Ons - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

I’ve taken on a bad habit of a scenester, arriving late to shows now, missing the acoustic set by F. Michael Haynie before The Walk Ons ran away with my heart. Music that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but also rocks, is a rare find. This quartet has found a balance between blazers, ties, and rock ‘n roll; their new EP, We Did This On Purpose, features a handful (literally five) tracks that elicit smiling, dancing, and repeating. Take a listen to my favorites, “Can’t Be Satisfied” and “State of Affairs” at www.thewalkons.com/The_Walk_Ons.html.

Raccoon Fighter - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Raccoon Fighter - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Up next, Raccoon Fighter, a trio of multiple talents, played musical chairs as vocalists/drummers/guitarists Sean Gavigan and Zachary Ciancaglini traded places, and bassist Gabe Wilhelm held down the foundation and backing vocals. Despite some amplifier difficulties, the three blues-rock gentlemen handled their run-ins with grace, and impressed listeners with their small band, big sound dynamics and selections from their two, new, FREE EP’s, Liars Feet and Terrified, available at http://raccoonfighter.bandcamp.com. In an effort to apologize for the technical snafus, Gavigan observed, “You paid ten dollars to get in, but you get eleven tracks for free!” Good point. My top picks include “No Lover” and “Rollin’ Wheel.”

Lily & The Parlour Tricks - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Lily & The Parlour Tricks - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Stepping outside for a long moment, I returned at the final two songs of Lily & The Parlour Tricks, barely able to fit into the venue. The costumed ladies had magically shoe-horned the sextet on stage and attracted an influx of onlookers. I am still disappointed in my concert attending strategies, but according to some reliable, musically savvy sources, Lily and company not only dressed to impress but astonished listeners with their vocal range, harmonies, and precision. Find out on how I slacked at www.myspace.com/lilyclairemusic.

The Shake - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

The Shake - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

A favorite of the DFH’s and mine, The Shake, crammed the venue even more tightly. Their set gave fans “the hits” from The Shake Go Crazy, spotlighting the irreplaceable talents and solos of Eliad Shapiro, a sample of tantalizing new material with a dancier pop direction, and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” featuring bassist Jeremy Stein on dead-on lead vocals. Probably one of their best gigs, these boys have honed the spirit of that “old time rock ‘n roll.” My Shake staples remain “Your Idols” and “Merry Musket;” decide which are yours at www.myspace.com/theshakeband.

Chappo - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Chappo - Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso, aka DSS

Around 1 AM, I imagined I had begun hallucinating. Instead, it was just Chappo. The tri-member group floated onto the stage, donning feathers, capes, and feathered capes. The tribal influences were not lost on front row fanatics, who danced and chanted in a circle. I think one guy even commented on my lack of participation, “Come onnnn! Get in the circle! You’re missing out!” One lucky lady was crowned with an elaborate headdress from front man Alex Chappo. Chappo were pleasantly exotic and psychedelic to say the least, and I would enjoy seeing their spacey, Native American get-ups again. I’ve been rocking out to “Sci-Fi Bandits” and “Space Shoes” (Maybe I just like S’s?) from their Plastique Universe EP. Enter a new dimension at http://www.chappomusic.com.

I emerged from Cameo a “merry wanderer of the night” (Thanks Shakespeare!), satisfied with the full evening of memorable bands. Next mid-summer, let’s do it again!

-Meijin Bruttomesso, aka The Damn Sexy Scenester

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TUNE IN TUESDAY, Ed. #6

August 31, 2010

It’s too hot to write. Just watch this video and learn something about Rock n Roll. I’m gonna go throw up or something.

Enjoy? -DFH

Live Review: CitizenMusic Presents “The Theatre Shows”

March 21, 2010

I got this email from the guy who runs CitizenMusic [Presents] inviting me to something they put together called “The Theatre Shows.” Wouldn’t you know that this dirty fucking hipster was one sick dog this whole week? Fuck. Couldn’t get to Titus Andronicus – and everyone who reads this blog knows how much I wanted to post something overly-malicious about their performance – nor could I get to see one of my favorite bands in town, Black Taxi who were headlining the three nights of The Theatre Shows. Whoever these CitizenMusic folks are, they sure have their hands in some killer shit. I’ve been holding onto a review I wrote of one of their bands, The Shake, for well over a month now because their manager doesn’t think it’s “the right time to release a review.” Usually I’d say he was just another industry pig, but through several months of correspondence I’ve gotten to know him as a pretty good dude with good taste. Anyway, this paragraph is way too long already, I’ve just got to stop.

As fortune would have it, I was sent these reviews from Meijin Bruttomesso at The Deli Mag. She reviewed the shows, and now I’m sharing those reviews with you. I’m also kicking myself for not loading up on Vitamin Q and getting my dumb ass to these shows; seems as though they were pretty damn good. Fuck me.

The Theatre Shows: “Masquerade Ball”
Old Wives, The Shake, and Black Taxi, Live at The Players Theatre

Black Taxi Headlines All 3 Nights at The Theatre Shows

Black Taxi Headlines All 3 Nights at The Theatre Shows

On March 4, Greenwich Village’s Players Theatre bustled with feathers, masks, and glitter, for the “Masquerade Ball,” the first of CitizenMusic’s Theatre Shows. Verona, New Jersey’s Old Wives, a jazzy, funky, and soulful quintet, brought swing and sway to the sold-out venue with bluesy jams and a swanky sass. Although seating was available, the audience could not be restrained, especially when The Shake appeared. Masked and made-up, the four New Yorkers blasted through an explosive set, accompanied by confetti cannons, unstoppable noise-makers, and a slinky dancer, armed with flashlights for their final “Got No Soul.”

The Shake at The Theatre Shows: Night One - Masquerade Party

The Shake at The Theatre Shows: Night One - Masquerade Party

Closing opening night, Brooklyn’s Black Taxi energized the audience to a climax, as masqueraders, whether first-timers or devout fans, formed a fire-hazard in the aisles, dancing to newly debuted tunes as well as released favorites. The three exceptional bands joined center stage for a full-cast bow, and despite some sound kinks, expected from first-night jitters, the music set the bar high for the two subsequent shows.

The Masquerade Party

The Masquerade Party

http://www.myspace.com/oldwives
http://www.myspace.com/theshakeband
http://www.myspace.com/blacktaximusic

The Theatre Shows: “Prohibition Night”
Black Taxi, Apollo Run, and Milo and the Fuzz, Live at The Players Theater

Prohibition Night

Prohibition Night

The second of the three Theatre Shows, “Prohibition Night” commenced copacetically with the bees’ knees, Black Taxi. Due to the previous evening’s wild festivities, the joint encouraged dames and daddies to stay nearby their seats, but rules at a rock show proved baloney. The four Black Taxi members promenaded down the aisle with guitar and tambourine in hand, and flasks in pocket, before stepping on stage for an electrifying set that naturally brought flappers and bootleggers out of their seats and into the pit. Apollo Run, donning fedoras and suspenders, captivated with their impressive vocal range and nuance, and powerful lead keyboard. At the end of their set, the trio mingled with the audience and mounted the arms of the theater seats to serenade the front rows. Last but not least, Milo and the Fuzz, another band of three cool cats, played with a confidence beyond their age and put on the Ritz, wrapping up night two with a swell performance.

Prohibition Night - Milo & The Fuzz

Prohibition Night - Milo & The Fuzz

http://www.myspace.com/blacktaximusic
http://www.myspace.com/apollorun
http://www.myspace.com/miloandthefuzz

The Theatre Shows Night Three: “Post-Modern (PoMo) Night”
New Madrid, Toy Soldiers, and Black Taxi, Live at The Players Theater

The finale of the series on March 6, “PoMo Night,” featured an anything-goes, get-creative theme, that encouraged outfits which would normally not leave the house. First up, New Madrid, cleverly fusing Spanish and English lyrics performed with an intensity that surpassed the sound of three, and engaged the bizarrely dressed crowd with adrenaline-infused rock. During “La Araña,” the band even tossed out creepy crawly souvenir spiders.

PoMo Night - New Madrid

PoMo Night - New Madrid

Toy Soldiers, out-of-towners from Philadelphia, brought a classic, rootsy vibe and a standout brass section that left listeners swooning. Still standing after two raucous shows in a row, Black Taxi amped up the pace with perfected sound, riling up the off-runway-styled audience that demanded multiple encores. As the imaginary curtain closed and reopened, the leading men from the bands throughout the weekend reunited for one more celebratory bow before an exeunt omnes. The Theatre Shows’ all-around success promises a repeat of the event and proves that New York is home to pre-eminent music and original acts.

The bands take a bow together

The bands take a bow together

http://www.myspace.com/newmadridmusic
http://www.myspace.com/ohnotoysoldiers
http://www.myspace.com/blacktaximusic

-Meijin Bruttomesso

Concert Review: Old Wives, Hank & Cupcakes, New Madrid at Cake Shop

January 24, 2010

I got invited to Cake Shop for a concert hosted by a company called CitizenMusic Presents last night. Initially there were four bands on the bill: Hank and Cupcakes, Action Painters, New Madrid and Old Wives. According to Facebook messages Action Painters pulled out the show several days beforehand – maybe they broke up, again? Would love to find out the story there, that band is (was?!) really good. Either way, anyone who reads this blog knows I have a deep affection for Hank and Cupcakes. (In fact, they were the first review ever posted on here.) I had never heard of Old Wives and was pretty unfamiliar with New Madrid, but their MySpaces sounded good, so I was pretty excited for the show.

As is rather typical, there was some early show at Cake Shop, some metal crap with a slew of black-clad creeps slithering out around 9 o’clock, when the Old Wives were supposed to begin. The CitizenMusic Presents show didn’t start until well after 10. Ordinarily I’d be pretty pissed off about that, but I was in an unconventionally good mood and just started drinking alone. There were some good-looking chicks there and everyone was having a good time, so a late start wasn’t so bad.

By the time the first band took the stage the room was packed from the front of the stage to the back door.

Old Wives
Photo courtesy of Deneka Peniston

Old Wives, a five-piece rock band from somewhere in New Jersey, began the show with a straight ahead, no bullshit blues jam. It was a nice way to start a set as it not only set the tone for the rest of their tunes, but it put their excellent musicianship on full display. As the band prepared to start their second song, lead singer Jason Gleason asked the crowd, “do you like to boogie?” The five Jersey kids then kicked into a seriously groovy tune reminiscent of Bad Company. Bella Gleason (keyboards) accompanied the driving, danceable number with organ tones that ricocheted between a Zombies-like church sound and some whacked-out, spacey Devo-esque noodling. The eight song set was superb, really superb. I hope this Jersey quintet won’t be strangers to New York, as they are just type of Rock n Roll this City’s yearning for. The musicianship is absolutely first class, the singer, Gleason, has the ability to scream it like Paul Rogers or belt it like Bono – he’s truly a top-rate talent. The rhythm section is perfectly in synch and the songs, especially “Rip Van Winkle” a track apparently about “the desert” according to Gleason, are great. Looking forward to writing more reviews of these guys.

The room was pulsating with an unusual energy in anticipation of the second band, among my very favorite acts, Hank and Cupcakes.

Hank and Cupcakes
Photo courtesy of Denika Peniston

Since I have previously written a rather extensive review of Hank and Cupcakes show (scroll down) I’m going to keep this one brief. If you haven’t seen them, see them. This salacious, riveting duo will have you saying “White Stripes who?!” after the first several notes. The ever-charming Cupcakes was the queen of the ball on this night. Whether exchanging on-stage banter with the crowd or dancing swinging her hips and hair (behind the stage, in the pit, on chairs) during Old Wives’ and New Madrid’s set, Cupcakes proved yet again to be a uniquely engaging personality. Hank, her partner in crime, is an absolute master. With a pedal board that must require its own Ryder truck to move from point A to point B, he created his singularly symphonic melodies from outer space that provided a perfectly tripped-out platform for Cupcakes to hammer away dance beats on her kit. The band will be at Pianos on February 5, this dirty hipster will be there and he’d think you all idiots if you’re not there as well.

I was extremely intrigued to see New Madrid. I’ve heard things here and there about them, but had never seen them live nor really dug into their self-titled EP, which was released last year. The four tracks and live videos on their MySpace had me very interested to see what they’d be live. And, while the songs off the EP are catchy and interesting, and the live videos (as home-made as they appear and sound) are pretty cool, this live show is off the fucking chains.

New Madrid
Photo courtesy of Crystal E

To start with, New Madrid shut off all the lights on stage and stood prepping their fingers, finishing their beers and checking the levels on their amps as Mozart blasted through the PA. The lights shoot on just as the band come in on a brutally fast, chugging punk song I learned from their MySpace is called “Radio Tranquila.” From the outset, frontman/drummer/lead singer, Axel, was in total command of stage and crowd. It was no surprise to see him and Cupcakes chatting it up after the show, because the two are awfully similar. Not only do they both stand and play drums while singing, but they are both supremely enigmatic. Guitarist, Erik Barragan, added massive distortion to his guitar, which, in conjunction with bassist, Anthony Formichella’s flittering bass lines, provided both grit and elegance to the set.

New Madrid deliver a set full of highlights. When they decide to get loud, they get fucking loud. Axel is not only an irresistibly engaging performer, but he is a phenomenal singer. Not to mention a very good, original-sounding drummer. Truly a great talent. And the songs are really great. There were a group of very tall, hip-looking girls no more than 6″ from the stage with their hands in the hair from start to finish; a little punk dude headbanging at the stage’s edge with his shirt off; an old, bald man contorting his body in an almost disconcerting fashion; people making out left and right; an agglomeration of flashbulbs fit for a Paris Hilton appearance.

The crowd stayed, drank and cheered from start to finish. The energy was palpable, and the performances by the bands were really, really great. This dirty hipster has two new bands on his “must see” list: Old Wives and New Madrid. If last night’s concert at Cake Shop were any indication, it appears that good times and good… okay, great bands are alive and well in New York. -DFH