Friday, October 29, 2010

Schwervon on Tour with the Vaselines

Congrats to Schwervon who are now on the road playing 4 dates as the opening act for The Vaselines. I only know what Matt and Nan posted on Facebook, which is that the whole deal came together very quickly. They played yesterday in Chicago, then it's Detroit, Toronto and Montreal between now and Sunday. This seems like a very good--and much deserved--opportunity for Schwervon! to reach a new and larger audience for their great tunes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Supercute in the Times

In an article Monday about the CMJ festival The New York Times ran a big photo of our compatriots Supercute, performing on the sidewalk on Ludlow Street. I find it interesting how Supercute has developed a whole image that goes beyond their music to their fashion style, videos, etc. In the Times photo you'll see Rachel and Julia wearing these huge bows that it seems would enable them to fly from gig to gig if they flapped them the right way. It points out to me that somehow the gals are savvy enough in their style to both mock and celebrate their girlishness at the same time. This comes through in their songs too which simultaneously seem genuinely girlish but also ironic. There is a degree of savvy and also strong drive underneath what they are doing. I give them credit for finding a way to stand out.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NY Times Review of Jeffrey Lewis - opening for The Vaselines

Jeffrey Lewis and the Junkyard played at Webster Hall last week as part of a show headlined by The Vaselines. Jon Pareles reviewed the show for The New York Times, and while the section on Jeffrey wasn't extensive, it was nice to see that Pareles had some perceptive and positive comments about Jeff's work. Jeff's band, by the way, included Nan Turner and Simon Beins, who each, as you undoubtedly know, play in their own bands and with others connected through Sidewalk, OJ, etc. Jeff has certainly been recognized in the Times before but I always think it's nice when folks on the scene are highlighted in the broader media. Below is an excerpt of the section that mentions Jeffrey. To read the entire article, click here.


Jeffrey Lewis, who opened the show, also keeps his music simple, strumming a few chords on a guitar that may well be held together by the stickers covering its front, and leading a band that piles on a cheerful clutter. But he’s a clever, articulate wordslinger, coming up with rhetorical conceits — one song, “Cult Boyfriend,” compared his romantic appeal to that of cult bands and films — and putting in a lot of preparation.

He’s also a comics artist, and his set included two short films — essentially slide shows of his elaborate drawings — that were finely reasoned histories, in rhyme, of the Soviet Union and the French Revolution, affirming populism through primitivism.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bushwick Book Club Covers Frankenstein, Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Annoyed" is how most of the songwriters at the Bushwick Book Club described their feelings about the novel Frankenstein. I think mostly it was a reaction to the character Dr. Frankenstein. Having not read the book since I made my way through about half of it in college, I really can't comment except to say that annoyance came up several times during the night.

A number of the songs had to do with love....Susan Hwang's asked "why don't you love your monster" which I took to mean 'why don't you love your creation...your offspring.' Pearl...whose last name I didn't get but was making her Bushwick Book Club debut similarly wrote about love...saying "love is what you learn....teach love." Rachel Devlin and Dan Costello did a very cool 1950s style-number which I later gathered was in the style of Frankie Valli. There were lots more folks who always I was impressed by Phoebe Kreutz's amazing rhymes. Her song urged parents to keep their kids away from science. Sweet Soubrette said to Dr. Frankenstein hey "why didn't you just knock up some pretty girl instead." And the Up Against the Wall String Band sang a funny song about how the book really is not too much like the movie. Justin Remer read a long short story that was sort of a modern day Frankenstein tale. Other interesting songs were written and performed by Mark Palermo, Anna Leuchtenberg, Corn Mo, and Joe Crow Ryan.

I'm always impressed at how much interesting stuff comes out of these Book Club sessions. Lots of times the songs are rough or at least roughly assumes these artists' own creations were in development up until the last minute, but it's always interesting to see fresh new songs being born and how much solid songcraft comes out of these monthly meetings. Congrats as always to Susan Hwang for putting on a good show.

Kimya Plays The Knitting Factory, Friday, October 8, 2010

Kimya plays The Knitting Factory, tonight.