Archive for August, 2009

Great Songs

August 31, 2009

Every now and again, you hear something that rejuvenates the ears.  It sends a frequency of positivity through your body.  You play the song over and over again.  It’s uplifting, even if the song is sad.

Last Monday, I downloaded 2 songs for free that did just that.

Baby Dayliner

First off is “You Push, I’ll Go” by Baby Dayliner.

Download it here.

I accidentally saw Baby Dayliner perform 6 years ago at the Mercury Lounge.  I’ve been a fan since.  His album “Critics Pass Away” is a classic.  His music combines strong elements of New Wave and Hip-Hop, but is it’s own thing entirely.

The 2nd song is “These Are My Twisted Words” by Radiohead.

Download it here.

Have you ever heard Radiohead?

They’re good.

You should check them totally out.


Go Crowd Surfing at Brooklyn Yard This Weekend

August 31, 2009

What: Impose Magazine’s Party With Tables

When: Saturday, Aug 29th, 1p.m.

Where: BKLYN Yard, 388-400 Carroll St.

Why: Impose Magazine is plugged in to the best up and coming music in the world of all things independent and underground. Through their print magazine, website, record label, and events, they are dedicated to the pulse of new music.

On Saturday, Impose Magazine presents Party with Tables, which will showcase some of the best bands between Brooklyn and Baltimore (with New Brunswick in between). The good folks at Impose hand-picked a collection of vendors for you to browse through as you hang out at Brooklyn Yard catching some tunes and some rays (start doing a sun dance). These vendors specialize in records, designer t-shirts, literature, art, and more.

At night, Cinema 16 will feature Julianna Barwick performing to projections of Joel Schlemowitz’ 1734 and Francis Thompson’s NY NY. Highlights include Psychic Ills, Screaming Females, Zs, Silver Summit, Sharon Van Etten, Future Islands, Air Waves, Boogie Boarder, and many more.

Cost: $10 for the bands, $5 for the film screening, $12 for both. A portion of the proceeds will go to the children’s charity, 826NY.

How to get there: F and G Trains to Carroll St. Walk in the direction of traffic down Carroll Street 2.5 blocks between Bond and Nevins streets. For more details on the event, visit

Originally appeared at:

A Night in Newport: Summer’s Got the Jazz (and Folk) Festivals

August 31, 2009

Newport, Rhode Island has long been a summer destination in the Northeast for all walks of society, from surfers to socialites. The Vanderbilts vacationed at the decadent Breakers mansion on the Cliff Walk in Newport. The Boho Village denizens made the trek up to the Ocean State to see Bob Dylan and his electric guitars at the Newport Folk Festival. Needless to say, the Jazz and Folk Festivals have been highly esteemed on the festival circuit for generations. Duke Ellington’s “Ellington at Newport 1956” album will forever have a place in the canon of jazz.

Jazz Festival
New Yorkers need not lament the annual JVC Jazz Fest in NYC, which was canceled this year due to lack of funding. Four hours north of Manhattan you can experience a powerhouse line-up that incorporates a wide range of artists who show the roots of jazz and the influence this genre has had on more contemporary styles. Legends like Dave Brubeck, Etta James, and Tony Bennett share the bill with the likes of Mos Def, Joshua Redman, Roy Haynes, and so many more on the weekend of August 7-9. The kick-off party is hosted at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and is followed by two full days of music on the waterfront at Fort Adams State Park. Times, locations, and tickets can be found at

Folk Festival
The Newport Folk Festival may be the most esteemed of them all. Even the Pixies cooked up a one-time-only acoustic set for this esteemed event. Like the Jazz Festival, this year’s line-up strays outside the traditional definitions of folk music to include an awesome array of artists like Pete Seeger, Neko Case, Billy Bragg, Gillian Welch, Fleet Foxes, Arlo Guthrie, The Decemberists, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and many more. Two days chock full of quality and variety also finds its home at the beautiful Fort Adams State Park. Further information can be found at

Other Cultural Attractions
The Newport Waterfront Events make their home in the heart of Fisherman’s Warf on America’s Cup Avenue. The venue, Newport Yachting Center, will host a bevy of big talents, including comedians Louis C.K., Martin Short, Norm MacDonald, musicians Michael McDonald, Chris Isaak, Guster, and Collective Soul. Cultural events like the Irish Festival, art festival, and the International Boat Show are also big draws to the area. Check out specific dates at

Where to Stay
Between the stellar music lineup and lure of a quintessential New England coast town, you’ll want to spend more than just a day in Newport. Whether you’re more inclined to pitch a tent or have morning coffee on your private balcony overlooking the beach, Newport has a variety of accommodations to suit every budget and taste. The Newport International Hostel boasts a prime location just off Thames Street, and is within walking distance of the Yachting Center—and three miles from Fort Adams State Park. A pricier option, the Castle Hill Inn is a Victorian charmer situated on 40 acres of land at the tip of Narragansett Bay, and if you stay three nights, the fourth is free.

How to get there: If you have a boat, sail to Newport. Otherwise, you can take the Bonanza bus to Providence from Port Authority or an Amtrak train from Penn Station. Once in Providence, you can hop bus number 60 run by RIPTA from Kennedy Plaza towards Newport. Get off after about 1h10m ride at the last stop at Newport Gateway Center at 23 America’s Cup Avenue. If the Providence-Newport Water Taxi is running, by sea is a more enjoyable way to go. For more details on Newport, visit

Newport Jazz Festival Fort Adams Park

Mos Def Newport Jazz Fest produced by Jill Newman Productions

Newport’s Mansion Walk

Newport Harbor

Sailing and Castle Hill Inn

Chaka Khan

Nina Simone 1967, by John Rudoff M.D.
Originally appeared at:

Put Your Record On: The Hunt For Vinyl In The Outer Boroughs

August 31, 2009

I do own an iPod. But at home, those melodic vibrations eclipsing the horns and rumbles of New York City come from a record player. With a nod to all things vinyl, I ventured across the outer boroughs, scouting for the best record shops, and in the process, found some friendly people, tasty food, and fantastic deals.

The vinyl adventure, one I highly recommend to anyone who likes music, always provides a rush of adrenaline: you never know what you’ll uncover. A real record shop seems moons away from the now defunct Virgin Megastore, where you didn’t need to dig to find a specific CD. At these six places, you’ll sift through The Cars’ first album and the Boss’s “Born To Run,” and you’ll soon realize you’ve been touching a museum’s worth of art on these 12″ and 7″ album covers.  And the truth is, if you’re a city dweller, a vegetarian, or an animal rights activist, this is the closest you’re going to get to hunting in your lifetime. There may not be endless golden fields and gurgling brooks, but it’s exhilarating, liberating, and meditative—and it’s only a subway stop away.

Eat Records | 124 Meserole Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn | 718.389.8083 |
Free-wifi, Mud coffee, used records, and LP’s complete Eat Records, a cozy spot that lures both the vinyl junkies and caffeinated literati. The credo is quality over quantity. They have the smallest seven-inch section I’ve ever seen, and yet you will struggle not to buy a postal crate of records. The locally sourced, reliably fresh menu changes daily and consists of artisinal cheeses, organic meats and vegetables, and sweet goodies from Sullivan Street Bakery. Taking a seat and a bite to eat at one of the wooden tables is a great way to break up the record digging. I left with a Pixies live LP for roughly $13, an 80’s psych LP by all-girl band The Pandoras for $10, and an early Wailers album for $15. All records could be labeled as “priced-to-sell.” They have a listening station, which is particularly helpful, as are the staff members who are more than willing to answer your questions. The nice surprise of this place is the outdoor patio, which is where I’ll be this weekend when Spring arrives.

The Thing | 1001 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn | 718.349.8234
Die-hard diggers swear by this place. All records are two bucks and they’ve got more titles than the New York Public Library. There are some crates on the street, a few more scattered throughout the junk shop, a jam-packed back room, and a stairway to a basement that is heaven for vinyl enthusiasts. Simply, there are a ridiculous amount of records. In this economic climate, it’s an affordable shopping spree (though time consuming) and could have you walking out with an armful of gems for 20 bucks. Downstairs you’ll see guys with rubber gloves and masks on. Why? Old records are musty and dusty and they shall leave your hands soiled and your lungs congested. I didn’t see a record player in the store, but a hardcore customer in the basement brought his own portable unit so go for it if you’re similarly equipped. I scored ELO’s Greatest Hits and Madonna’s “True Blue” for a total of four bucks.

Permanent Records | 181 Franklin St, Brooklyn | 718.383.4083 |
I finally took a gander at a store I’ve been passing by for months. This meant scouring the uncluttered shelves at Permanent Records, where the quantity is medium, the quality is high, and the atmosphere warms your back as you shop. Their specialty is independent music with a focus on the rock genre, but they stock essentials in all the major categories, including the oft-overlooked Soundtracks, World, and Folk realm. There’s a good balance of new and used and everything is appropriately priced with some desirable bargains in the mix. My two hours went fast: I held a $30 Misfits double seven-inch and wished I were wealthier; I listened on their turntable station while flipping through the dollar bins below; I picked up a sealed re-issue of the first Os Mutantes for $22, a clean used copy of Husker Du’s double-album classic “Warehouse Songs and Stories” for $10, and a new copy of “Black Star” for $17. The walls feature new releases, obscure comps, choice collectibles, and titles that may even stump a Pitchfork staff member. The lighting is pleasant—no blinking overheads—and the store is clean with no hint of used records, so douse your fears that your next classic purchase is oozing asbestos. They also stock CD’s and videos, though vinyl is the clear king. The cashier was exceptionally nice and helpful. No pretension here.

The Vortex | 222 Montrose Ave., Brooklyn | 718.609.6066
Less overwhelming but similar in spirit to The Thing, The Vortex is half organized by genre, half disheveled on shelves and in crates. But the motley collection is key, and don’t be surprised to find vintage nudie playing cards and post cards while you’re shuffling through the $10 and under records. I came across a Ben Vaughn 10-inch from Spain that seemed to be the rare gem of the day. I also took home a Supremes Christmas album to show off next year. I spent $5 total.

Academy Annex | 96 N. 6th St. (Between Berry & Wythe), Williamsburg | 718.218.8200 |
Academy Annex is no secret around town. They’ve got one in the East Village, one near Union Square, and one on North 6th in Williamsburg. Like many used stores, the “New Arrivals” have the highest concentration of quality. The walls are covered with obscure stuff that reflects the staff’s affinity for limited releases and out-of-print underground classics. A recent trip to the Brooklyn location added Wu-Tang’s “Enter The 36 Chamber” in near mint condition to my collection for $10. Hits by The Byrds and Love lulled me into the large store, and I may be back if I’m in the area, but keep in mind that its popularity heightens the picked-through factor.

Breakdown Records | 48-09 Bell Blvd, Bayside, Queens | 718.279.0040 |
Breakdown Records is worth making the trek to Bayside, where the setting is reminiscent of the end of Goodfellas. While $2 records abound at both this store and The Thing, here the merchandise is ordered alphabetically and by genre. Low prices may suggest fewer gems, but every record store owner lets some choice picks slip through the cracks. On a recent trip, I found Nilsson Schmilson, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, a promotional copy of XTC’s English Settlement, and a small stack of others. There are plenty of Classic Rock essentials, which is nice for cheaply stocking your now even groovier collection.

Photos: Courtesy of wolvesatthedoor and sweetchuck.

Originally appeared at:

The Bowery Presents: New Jersey’s Theatre Revival

August 31, 2009

Bowery Presents has taken its first step outside the city limits in their quest for World domination.  Will they become a hated behemoth like Live Nation?  For now, they’ve joined up with promoter Andy Feltz to create Montclair Entertainment, and that’s just what they’ll do; bring music to the historic Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey in November.

Originally opened in 1922, converted to a movie house in 1929, and triplexed in the 1970’s, Wellmont Theatre closed its doors in 2006.  It has now been renovated with all the state-of-the-art music venue accoutrement.  Steely Dan will no doubt be happy about this when they play there on November 17th and 18th.  Astoria’s favorite son, Tony Bennett, will be tickled by the historical touch of class this theatre will bring his already swank crooning on November 19th.  I know what you’re thinking, “Bowery Presents? Where’s the indie-rock?”  Well, Wolf Parade and The Decemberists (lead singer, Colin Meloy, pictured above) will also pass through, in addition to other hipster favorites like Al Green and Brian Wilson.

One change to the 2,000-seat Wellmont Theatre that’ll please concert-goers is the removal of floor seating to offer both the rockin’ standing room only and the balcony seating.  It worked for the serfs and the upper crust at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, so why not try it in Jersey?  It’s always a little more special seeing anything in an old theatre, surrounded by Corinthian columns, waiting for the grand stage and its performers to be revealed by the heavy velvet curtain—and The Bowery folks do have a great reputation for preserving the charm of the venues (Beacon Theatre, United Palace Theatre) their concerts inhabit. Doors open the first of November with the ever-dreamy Hanson.

Calendar of Events

Hanson with Dave Barnes     11/01/08 Saturday
Matisyahu with Flobots, Mishka     11/02/08 Sunday
The Decemberists with Loch LoMond 11/11/08 Tuesday
Wolf Parade with Listening Party     11/14/08 Friday
Martin Sexton with Ryan Montbleau Band 11/15/08 Saturday
Steely Dan     11/17/08 Monday
Steely Dan     11/18/08 Tuesday
Tony Bennett     11/19/08 Wed
Al Green     11/22/08 Saturday
Brian Wilson     11/23/08 Sunday
B.B. King     12/04/08 Thursday
John Prine     12/05/08 Friday
Get The Led Out     12/06/08 Saturday
Rufus Wainwright     02/13/09 Friday

How to get there:  On weekdays, take the New Jersey Transit Montclair-Boonton line from Penn Station to Walnut St. Station. Walk south on Greenwood Ave., right on Glenridge Ave., left on N Willow St., and right on Bloomfield Ave. Unfortunately, the line does not currently run on weekends (but should start sometime in 2009). So on Saturdays and Sundays take the Main Line to Delawanna or Lyndhurst Station and take 15 minute cab ride from there to the theater. Call Montclair Taxi: 973.744.6778 or other local services. Check the train schedules on the New Jersey Transit website. (Wellmont Theatre, 5 Seymour St., Montclair, NJ, 973.783.9500 or 877.935.5668 for tickets,
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Last Stand: Sonic Youth Plays McCarren Park Pool

August 31, 2009

McCarren Park Pool (photo courtesy Flickr user

What: Sonic Youth rocks Brooklyn’s outdoor cement oasis

Where: MaCarren Park Pool, Romantic Downtown Greenpoint, Brooklyn

When: Saturday, August 30, Doors open at 4pm

Why: Indie-Rock Godparents, Sonic Youth, have been mainstays of all things experimental and cool for so long that even fashion designer Marc Jacobs has co-opted their album art to add further hip-ness to his t-shirts and tote bags. Beyond that, it’s a rare thing to see four original members still playing together in any band that’s lasted as long as Sonic Youth’s now 27-year career. What this means is that each show can be unexpected for a few reasons. You never know what songs they’ll pull out from their huge catalog.  Also, the chemistry of four people who’ve played together this long is so key to the success of their sound, both recorded and live.

The nature of Sonic Youth’s music relies heavily on sound manipulation and instrumental interplay which can be one of the most thrilling things to witness when it truly comes in to focus in their live shows.  Also, this will be the LAST show you will ever be able to see at this great venue.  The city has decided to restore McCarren as a public pool for summer and have ice-skating in winter.  Not a bad trade-off for the neighborhood, but one last evening of indie-rock, perogies, and plastic pints of beer is definitely in order to say a proper goodbye to this much-loved music venue.