Blog | Music/Arts: Long Island Sound & Beyond
Don’t Miss Light of Day Winterfest NYC
Suzanne Vega performs at the Cutting Room to benefit Parkinson’s disease
Since its inception in 2000, Light of Day has raised more than $2 million in the fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. What began as a single concert in New Jersey has grown into thirty-five shows in twelve countries throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Bob Benjamin & Bruce Springsteen - Light of Day 2012 at The Paramount Theater
As part of its 15th anniversary, Light of Day Winterfest will hit New York City. Presented by Asbury Park Press, the Light of Day Foundation will bring over 150 music acts to 30 venues over twelve days in New Jersey and NYC this month—with the goal of raising a record half million dollars for Parkinson’s research.
Surprise performances by Bruce Springsteen in ten of the previous 14 years, brought international notoriety to the Light of Day Winterfest. And previous performers have included Michael J. Fox, the Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik, Darlene Love, Jakob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Big Country’s Mike Peters, David Bromberg and Pete Yorn.
On Wednesday, January 14th, the Cutting Room on 44 E. 32nd Street will host Suzanne Vega, Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, John Eddie, Dramarama’s John Easdale and Greg Trooper. When asked how she got involved with this important benefit, Vega said she immediately agreed to perform as her mother has had Parkinson’s disease for more than ten years and she really hopes they find a cure.
So how does it feel for ‘the poet of the dark’to be headlining Light of Day Winterfest NYC?
“It feels great,” says Vega. “I believe in the balance of dark and light so I’m happy to be bringing whatever I can to the festivities.”
Tickets are $45 for general admission seats and $75 for limited VIP up front table seats.
Doors 6pm. Show time 7pm. For info and tickets call 212-691-1900 or go to thecuttingroomnyc.com.
Vega, the Poet of the Dark, headlines Light of Day Winterfest NYC 2015.
Jingle Boom Holiday Bash in Huntington!
Put on that ugly holiday sweater and enjoy treats, live music and poetry December 20
It’s a feast for the senses—so eat, drink, dance and be merry. SPARKBOOM, an affiliate of the Huntington Arts Council, invites you to spark the halls of HAC’s Main Street Gallery for the Jingle Boom Holiday Bash on Saturday, Dec. 20. This free art-filled event (suggested donation $5) allows you to simultaneously get into the holiday spirit and chill out before seeing the relatives.
Gallery windows will be dressed by graffiti artist Reme 821 and fine artist Caitlyn Shea. There will be performances by acoustic experimental band Cloud Caverns, hip-hop/ska group Nonstop to Cairo and singer/songwriter Robert Sloan with spoken word/poetry by Steven T. Licardi, Bri Onishea, James Kim, Frankie A Soto and Meredith Nussbaum.
Indulge in homemade donuts and sweet treats from Stella Blue Bistro, craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery and fruit oil-infused Hint Water. And don’t forget to dig up that Christmas sweater for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest…
What: Jingle Boom Holiday Bash
Where: Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery, 213 Main Street, Huntington
When: Saturday, December 20th from 6-10pm
Free ($5 suggested donation)
For more info: http://www.facebook.com/events/317075631826692/?ref=22
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Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree
Americana band Rough Shop takes on the holiday season
My wife gets tired when the gifts look like they were wrapped by little kids
This Yuletide will be different cause this is what I did:
Realized my wrapping weak spot could never be addressed at home
So I took care of that shortage of those papers, strings and bows
Gimme That Twine! Unhand that Ribbon!
No Terpsichore till they’re under the tree
—“Gimme that Twine!” by Rough Shop
Need to spice up that holiday record collection?
Informed by folk, rock, soul and country music, the award-winning St. Louis-based band Rough Shop has released its second Christmas cd, Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree. The Americana quintet—lead guitarist Andy Ploof, bassist Anne Tkach, rhythm guitarist John Wendland, pianist Jon Parsons and drummer Spencer Marquart—is joined by special guests from bands like Ransom Note, Magnolia Summer and the Love Experts.The 13-track cd includes nine originals, a rewrite and three rare covers: British folk-rock band Stackridge’s “North St. Grande,” the Carole King/Gerry Goffin-penned, “I Wish You a Merry Christmas” and a soulful version of Marvin Gaye’s “Purple Snowflakes.”
But what makes the album really shine are the Rough Shop originals spanning a wave of Christmas feelings from loneliness and wonder to longing and pure joy—with the requisite humor thrown in. Songs like the nostalgic, Wilco-esque leadoff track “Christmas Isn’t Like Any Day” and the wistful “Snowbound Girl”: “When the holidays are crashing all around you/ A blanket of white is all you see/ Crowds and confusion surround you/ And you’re longing for the way you used to be…” could well be holiday classics.
The band livens things up on the jazzy “Santa, What You Got in the Bag?” and “Gimme That Twine!”, a swingin’ remake of Jon Hendrick’s “Gimme That Wine,” with Wendland writing of a family man experiencing a wrapping paper shortage. (This is likely the first holiday song ever written using ‘Terpsichore,’ the Greek word for the Muse of dancing and song, to rhyme with tree) There’s something for everyone on Rough Shop’s holiday album—including the hungover: “Sick Again,” and those who can’t make it home for the holidays: “Christmas at the Super 8”—so put it on during that tree trimming.
Take a listen here: http://roughshop.bandcamp.com/album/lit-up-like-a-christmas-tree
Celebrate Thanksgiving with Blonde Redhead
Indie trio brings Barragan to NYC’s Bowery Ballroom on Nov. 25th and 26th
She does nothing all day
But sit down and cry
She touches the sky
And wishes to play
—“The One I Love” by Blonde Redhead
Image: Marlene Marino
New-York based Blonde Redhead fans, and those returning to New York City for turkey day, are in for a pre-holiday treat when the local indie dream pop trio perform two shows at the Bowery Ballroom. Japanese vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kazu Makino and Italian/Canadian twin brothers—guitarist Amedeo and drummer Simone Pace—have been making music together for 21 years. It seems like just yesterday that art student Makino randomly met the Pace brothers at an Italian restaurant in New York City. More of a noise rock band in the beginning, the band caught the attention of Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and he produced Blonde Redhead’s self-titled debut in 1995.
The last decade has seen the trio go a quieter, but just as experimental, route. While 2010’s dreamy Penny Sparkle was more electronic and synth-based, Blonde Redhead’s latest album, Barragan, was recorded live in the studio with analog paraphernalia for a more stripped down sound. Barragan is the Spanish word for warrior or brave young man, but Makino said they got the title elsewhere: “I didn’t know that was the meaning, but we got the inspiration from the Mexican architect Luis Barragan.” The Modernist architect, known for his clean lines and use of raw materials, was also interested in color, emotion and serenity so one can see how his work inspired the trio’s latest effort, which was recorded with producer Drew Brown (Radiohead, Beck). Barragan would likely have appreciated the acoustic, flute-laden title track and stand-outs like the quirky “Cat on Tin Roof,” the shoegaze-y “No More Honey” and the propulsive “Dripping”: “I saw you dripping sunlight/ I saw you dripping moonlight.”
Let yourself be inspired by the creative sounds of Blonde Redhead at the Bowery Ballroom before meeting up with the relatives on Thursday.
“We’ll be playing most of the songs from Barragan except one or two,” said Makino. “The rest are a mix from from our other albums—for some reason, we are not able to play covers.”
What: Blonde Redhead—live
Where: Bowery Ballroom in NYC
When: Tuesday, November 25th AND Wednesday, November 26th, 9pm
Suzanne Vega plays Westhampton Beach Performing Arts
Folk songstress brings Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles to New York
I never wear white
White is for virgins
Children in summer
Brides in the park.
My color is black black black
Black is for secrets
Outlaws and dancers
For the poet of the dark.
It’s been 27 years since singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega released the a cappella “Tom’s Diner,” which was named after NYC’s Tom’s Restaurant on W 112th Street and Broadway. (Shots of Tom’s Restaurant were also used to represent Monk’s, the diner where Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer gnoshed on Seinfeld). Since the British dance duo DNA successfully remixed “Tom’s Diner” in 1990 (one of Vega’s most commercially successful songs along with “Luka” and “Marlene on the Wall”), numerous musicians have sampled the song. And it can be heard on Fall Out Boy’s latest single, “Centuries.”
“There have been so many samples,” admits Vega, who recently joined Fall Out Boy in a performance of “Centuries” on Ellen. “I really like Nikki D’s ‘Daddy’s Little Girl,’ Fall Out Boy, Michigan & Smiley and Danger Mouse’s versions.”
On her first album of original music in seven years, Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles,Vega actually samples 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” and makes reference to Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” on “Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain.” Produced by David Bowie’s former musical director Gerry Leonard, The Queen is quintessential Vega with a few more guitars thrown in with the help of former Bob Dylan sideman Larry Campbell, Peter Gabriel and King Crimson bassist Tony Levin.
One of the dark poetess’s more rockin’ songs is the semi-autobiographical “I Never Wear White.” And while she admits to wearing white from time to time—like when she got married—the woman with the penchant for dark-colored suits really does prefer black.
“‘I Never Wear White’ is a juicy song that I can really get into performing,” said Vega, who studied modern dance as a teenager. “I also like performing ‘Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain’ because it’s a lot of fun.”
While the folk songstress was influenced by artists like Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, The Beatles and Laura Nyro, Vega is looking forward to hearing the new albums by Taylor Swift and Lucinda Williams. More music from Vega and a book could also be on the horizon.
“There could be more music at the end of 2015,” said Vega. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and revisiting all of Fall Out Boy’s back catalog. I also love Cibo Matto’s new album—great stuff!”
What: Suzanne Vega live– her distinct voice is smoother than ever
Where: Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday, November 1st, 8pm
For more info: www.whbpac.org/pages/event_detail.php?event_id=812
Vega will also be playing at Joe’s Pub in NYC on November 14th with shows at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, and on November 15th with shows at 7:30pm and 9:30pm
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