Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Harper Simon Debuts Video for “Berkeley Girl”

Harper Simon has released a video for "Berkeley Girl" a track from his self-titled debut album. The video was directed by Benjamin Kutsko and stars Jena
Malone with a cameo by Henry Wolfe. It was filmed on 8mm film giving it a vintage quality that fits the song perfectly. Check out the video below.

Directed by Benjamin Kutsko from LA-based film collective/production company The Masses (Devendra Banhart, Passion Pit, Beach House, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros), the video stars actress/musician Jena Malone (Into the Wild, Pride & Prejudice, Donny Darko)with a cameo by singer/songwriter Henry Wolfe. Shot on 8 mm film in the hills of Echo Park, LA’s new bohemian hub, and drenched in golden light, the video recalls the romantic quality of the great films of the 1970s – a perfect fit for Harper’s classic sounding folk-rock love song written to a friend.

Says director Benjamin Kutsko, “I was really excited to explore Echo Park as a character in this video, as well as the delicate balance that exists between two people whose relationship has moved from lovers to friends. Those are both ‘places’ where I have found some of my closest loves in this life! Shooting on film was important to me; the second the song begins, it is clear that Harper’s voice doesn't live in a digital world.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doppelgänger: No Holds Barred Rock 'N' Roll

Doppelgänger: August 23 @ Mercury Lounge, New Yo
rk, NY

New York rock trio Doppelgänger returned to the scene of the crime this past Monday. It was at LES club Mercury Lounge where I first experienced the band and walked away a fan.

I got there early to check out Vs. Antelope who were good. But, no matter how good they were, I couldn't wait for Doppelgänger to come on. At some point prior to them taking the stage, I was conversing with the young lady next to me. We both agreed that the band, Ryan Oh-No (drums/vocals), R. Francis (guitar/vocals) and Joey Hamm (bass/vocals) have an amazing energy that instantly gets you caught up in their sound and show. They really do have that special something that leads to big things.

Within moments of launching into their first song of the night, the audience was dancing. Song after song, they were cheered on which only fueled them to rock even harder. Their in your face, raw intensity leaves you dizzy and with that tingling butterfly feeling in your stomach that you get when you're taking part in something special. And, the show was something special. I've seen them several times now and after each show you think there's no way they can top that performance but, they do. It's not often that a band can play a new or I believe they said new'ish song and have the audience get into it nearly as much as familiar favorites. Doppelgänger always has an enthusiastic audience but Monday was a whole new level. When the band began their last song, crowd favorite "Red Eyed Love," there was a roar of approval, lots of dancing and a great deal of singing along. At the rate they're going, I foresee Doppelgänger making the big leagues. They're deserving and the raw intensity of their shows alone warrants it.

Now, Monday wasn't just a show. It was in part a celebration of their EP Get It Over With Already. Just like their shows, the record is shake your ass rock 'n' roll. The six song record is raw, also like their shows. It's not often that a record gives you the same excited feeling as a live show, but that's just what Doppelgänger manages. "Breaks My Head" its with surfer punk sound and "Red Eyed Love" are insanely catchy numbers that would both work as singles. The former showcases Oh-No's ability as a vocalist. "Untitled" the song that grabbed me the first time I saw the band play, and became my favorite, is a headphone lovers delight. Francis' guitar work on the song is ferocious.

The albums title can be considered a bit ironic, I suppose. The minute you put the record on, you want anything but to get it over with. When the last song, "The Coast Is Clear" ends, you find yourself looking at your media player accusingly, before telling it to repeat, all the while wishing there were a few more songs on the record. Thankfully, Get It Over With Already isn't some slick, over-produced, stripped of personality effort. Nor is it stripped of the raw, primal goodness that attracted me to the band in the first place. This is a CD well worth owning. I'd suggest getting one before these guys blow up and you have to sell your first born child and your grandmothers dentures to buy it on eBay.

(More photos HERE)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Dreamscapes Project Bring The Folk To Arlene's

The Dreamscapes Project: August 14 @ Arlene
's Grocery, New York, NY

Folk rockers The Dreamscapes Project paid a visit to Arlene's Grocery earlier this month. This was my second time having a chance to catch these guys perform and they didn't disappoint. For those of you who weren't there, you missed a good show. The band, Keith Center (guitar/vocals), Jeremy Rodgers (bass/vocals), Gordon Shankman (drums) and Eric Sanford (percussion) put on a high energy show full of fun. They were down a member, cello player Ben Guy didn't make the trip as he and his wife just welcomed a bundle of joy to the family. Congratulations! Guy was missed by both audience and band but the band carried on admirably. In tribute to their missing bandmate and his little one, Center managed to work the word baby into each song!

The Dreamscapes Project is a extremely tight band even in an altered configuration. Center is a larger than life frontman engaging the audience all the while being in constant motion. I think I've mentioned before that I like when bands smile and look like they're genuinely having a good time. They're one of those bands. Their infectiousness radiated from the stage to the audience making us smile and enjoy ourselves more. Check out the video of their opening song and one of my favorites "Still Love" below. If they're playing near you, you should do yourself a favor and go get folked!

(More photos HERE)

The Dreamscapes - "Still Love"


Photo Review: CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival, 8/8

CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival: August 8 @ Fort Adams, Newport, RI

Fort Stage

Amina Figarova Sextet

Wynton Marsalis plus special guest Dave Brubeck
(More photos HERE)

Herbie Hancock

Harbor Stage

Jon Faddis Quartet
(More photos HERE)

Quad Stage

Matt Wilson Quartet

Gretchen Parlato

Jason Moran & The Bandwagon


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Your 33 Black Angels To Play Mercury Lounge, Tomorrow, 8/25

Swing by Mercury Lounge tomorrow night, August 25 and check out Your 33 Black Angels at 10:30PM. Get there early and catch Darlings. Go extra early and check out another band I dig, Hymns. All it'll cost you is $10.


Adam Taylor To Play Rockwood Music Hall, This Sunday, 8/29

Got plans for this Sunday? No? Good, now you do. Yes? Cancel them, this is way better than anything you have planned! Incredibly talented folk rocker Adam Taylor will be in town. He'll be taking the stage at Rockwood Music Hall on the LES, Sunday, August 29 at 8:00PM. There's no cover, so buy an extra drink or toss some extra greenbacks in the tip bucket with the moolah you saved at the door. I highly suggest you check him out ... guaranteed good music.


Chris Botti Provides Smooth Ending To The Newport Jazz Festival

CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival: August 8 @ Fort Adams, Newport, RI

The 2010 CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival came to a close with a set of smooth jazz. Trumpeter Chris Botti took the Fort Stage and dazzled a welcoming crowd. Especially welcoming was a lady behind me who declared to all those around her how handsome she thought he was. Botti was joined on-stage by a stellar band and special guests, violinist Lucia Micarelli from HBO's Treme who played beautifully and veteran R&B powerhouse Lisa Fischer who's always terrific. Both ladies seriously kicked things up a notch. It was a great weekend of music and judging by the content looking, happy audience, they seemed to be of the same notion.

(More photos HERE)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Photo Review: CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival, 8/7

CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival: August 7 @ For
t Adams, Newport, RI

Jazz Mafia's Brass, Bows & Beats
(More photos HERE)

Maria Schneider Orchestra

Chick Corea w/Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride & Roy Haynes
(More photos HERE)

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
(More photos HERE)

Anat Cohen
Berklee Global Jazz Institute Septet
(More photos HERE)

The JD Allen Trio
(More photos HERE)

George Wein's Newport All-Stars
(More photos HERE)

Fly: Jeff Ballard, Larry Grenadier & Mark Turner