Tag Archives: New York

What’s Your Favorite Autumn Song?

2 Oct

Fall

Fall is a divisive season. Summer is almost universally loved because it provides warmth and winter is shunned (besides from the Holidays) because a trip outside requires a few layers of clothing and also usually features the  freezing welcome to a icy vehicle. Spring is a season of rebirth. Fall, though, is technically a morbid season; everything is dying or burrowing in preparation for the winter. Now, of course, my small summary is only applicable for places where seasons are evident – which, in my case, is New York.

Charles Dickens wrote in his poem “George Edmunds’ Song”:

“Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around me here!
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear” 

Clearly he enjoyed the season, right? But before the trees lay bare and the weather chills, Fall features variegated foliage and pleasant weather. There is apple picking, football, and festivals. While Fall is synonymous with melancholy – at least according to Dickens – I view it through rose-colored glasses. The season may not represent rebirth, but it is not all about death. Such a depressing view is insidious and it permeates through people. Fall deserves a better rap! Plus, at least in New York, while summer has passed it has not completely relinquished its grasp on the weather. It will be 83 degrees today!

Fall is a time for music at the Music Court. Well, every season is a time for music – it is a music blog. So … to celebrate the season, I’m asking you to tell me your favorite autumn song. Your favorite not on the list? Don’t be shy! Lambast my stupid selections in the comments and provide your favorite song. Voting closes on Wednesday. Have fun!

*Note: “September” by Earth Wind and Fire does talk about the 21st night of September. Close enough to Fall!

Need a quick song refresher. Listen to each song below:

Highly Fascinated by A Time and Place

4 Jun
A Time and Place

One of the true prerequisites for the creation of good music is talent, and Andrew Weiss is simply oozing with it. A multi-instrumentalist with now three solo albums under his belt, Weiss is the modern equivalent of a one-man band; he excels at playing percussion, guitar, bass, and keyboards. And, if that is not sufficient, he also provides competent vocals (both lead and background) and lyrics. Weiss is a band in a box. Open him up and you get A Time and Place, his new 9-track album.

High Fascination, Weiss’ sobriquet, was founded as a solo-recording project in 2009. Weiss, a local New York product, has released three albums since 2011. Perhaps my favorite part of the new album is Weiss’ perspicacious ear – a quality developed through listening and practicing. The premier tracks on the album are like a ripe apple: crisp melodies when you sink your teeth into the music and juicy innards when you delve into its intricacies. Also prevalent in each song is the key to the success of every young artist: a penchant for plucking influences from favorite artists and adding similar styles into the pieces. Let’s delve into the album.

“Shadow of a Ghost,” the first track on the album, begins with the pairing of a constant key riff and slowed guitar chord progression. The verse takes on a keen BritPop feel, and, of course, Britpop was inspired by bands like The Beatles and The Kinks. It is not a surprise that the Beatles and Oasis are two bands that Weiss cites as influences. The song sends me back to the late 90s when BritPop reigned supreme. This piece, though, does take on other infectious elements. There is a bluesy undertone behind the BritPop exterior – reminiscent of Beatles-like exploration. Progressive elements like those that appear at the end of the song add a post-Britpop facet  – calling out to bands like Snow Patrol and Elbow. The song is a tight, well-developed piece with several catchy components that help add to its efficacy.

“Caught in the Act of Daydreaming” begins with an early OneRepublic-like keys riff that falls into percussion. The Beatles-like harmony is excellent – almost feeling like a psychedelic pop song from the late 60s. The song also plays with a bluesy component that lifts it away from traditional pop.

In September 2012, Weiss teamed up with Chris Karwaski (guitar, backing vocals), Dan Hemerlein (bass), John Meurer (keyboards, backing vocals), and Adam Holmes (drums) in NYC to form a full band. The band is currently playing venues all around the New York City area.

Check out more information about High Fascination on its Facebook and Twitter. You can also listen to the rest of A Time and Place on Soundcloud.

The Top 3 Concerts at Summerstage 2013

22 Apr

Summerstage

While the cold air continues to linger over New York, one of the first signs of summer presented itself in the form of an e-mail this afternoon. The 2013 Summerstage calendar has been released. Summerstage, a product of the NYC City Parks Foundation, is a uniquely New York. From June 4 – August 29, Summerstage provides over 100 free music, dance, film, comedy, family and theater programs in 17 parks across all five boroughs of NYC. It is an ubiquitous city-wide arts fest and all are invited. The schedule, like in year’s past, is packed with several savory events, including a few premier cost events – like the ones I will discuss in today’s post.

While I urge you to check out the Schedule when you have an opportunity, I am going to preview three events I am most excited about, all occurring at the 69th St. & 5th Ave, Central Park location.

3.) Bobby McFerrin – Tuesday, August 20th at 7:00pm EDT

No, this famous song of sincere contentment was not created by Bob Marley. The song was released seven years after Marley’s death, and, last time I checked, Marley is not 2Pac. “Don’t Worry Be Happy” is the wise advice of Bobby McFerrin, and, in some form of twisted irony, this simple ditty of humorous happiness that is clearly his most known work suffers from authorship mistakes and does not do McFerrin justice. McFerrin is a tremendously talented musicians with a perspicacious musicality that shines through everything he creates. Although I am still trying to figure out the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” video that truly marks the song as one of the weirdest pieces to ever hit the top spot on the charts, I’m sure McFerrin will put on a very “happy” show in August.

2.) The Zombies/Django Django/Adam Green and Binki Shapiro/DJ Modest P – Saturday, June 15th at 3:00pm EDT

Wow. This is an eclectic mix of old/new musicians. The Zombies released Odessey and Oracle in 1968, and those who have listened to it can attest to it being one of the better rock albums of the 1960s. The band combined pop/rock with prog/psych to establish an intriguing blend of 60s genres. I saw them at a previous Hippiefest, and they were quite good.

Django Django released their self-titled debut in 2012, and it’s combination of electronic rock and indie influences is upbeat and poppy with Franz Ferdinand influences. Heck, there is even some embedded 60s pop in the music. Take a listen to “Hail Bop” below. Enjoy the odd video.

Of what I know about the other two performers, Adam Green and Binki Shapiro are folk/pop artists with a pull towards the 60s and DJ Modest P is a skilled New York spinner known for his long time Saturday night residency at the legendary East Village club Nublu. I’m interested to hear what kind of show this will be.

1.) Airborne Toxic Event – Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00pm EDT

I have had an itch to see the Airborne Toxic Event for quite a while. The Californian Indie Rock band – with a name alluding to my favorite Don DeLillo novel – saw well-deserved success with the release of their sophomore album, All At Once, and, by the time this concert rolls around, will be supporting their third release, Such Hot Blood, set for release in late April. Quite simply, this will be an awesome show. Perfect band for the Summerstage.

Those are my top three. Feel free to check out the schedule (above), and you can follow Summerstage on Facebook or Twitter

 

Hurricane Sandy – Blue Moon

2 Nov

I thought this was a particularly cogent picture to choose from the massive wreckage of Hurricane Sandy. What was once jokingly coined the Frankenstorm because of its combination of a massive nor’easter and a Hurricane (and its near-Halloween arrival), quickly shaped into one of the worst storms to ever hit the Northeast. The picture represents a loss of innocence; a fun roller coaster meets the strength of a storm. It is almost unreal to witness the devastation. As a New Yorker, I can confidently say that individuals from New York and New Jersey are gritty. We handle adversity well. But the force of Mother Nature has left almost all residents shocked. And we are still feeling it. My house is without power, but my family is safe, and that is all that is important.

Although I experienced the storm, I am writing this post miles away from New York. I am in San Diego covering a conference for my work. Thus, I do have an opportunity to let you all know that I am alright, and I look forward to getting back to posting on a more consistent basis.

It goes without saying that my posting schedule has been cut lately. It has almost been nonexistent. You can expect a Music Court revival after the new year. Yes, come 2013 I can guarantee a schedule of more frequent posting. Until then, I hope to complete at least two posts a week (one being a new band).

New bands please continue sending your material to musiccourt@gmail.com. If I do not get back to you immediately, please be patient. I receive a large amount of e-mails, and I usually read them in bulk (once or twice every week). I will get back to you. New bands I would like to cover are put on a list, and I follow it chronologically. I love listening to all of the new music and writing engaging posts about them. So, how about we get to some music…or rather a video.

I am having some difficulty embedding it, but since I really do enjoy its inventive structure, I urge you to check out the video of The Lost Brothers’ “Blue Moon in September”. The Lost Brothers are made up of Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech, an Irish duo. They released their first indie/folk album in 2008. The video of hand-crafted props and puppetry tells an odd story that features paper clouds, a clay moon, and a baritone beluga. The song itself swoons like the light rocking of a ship on the seas…or in the case until you are attacked by a sea monster.

Climbing Mt. Everest Cale

24 Aug

Everest Cale

Sometimes a band is just meant to be. Everest Cale is one of those bands. Composed of a group of college friends from South Carolina who journeyed north to the Big Apple, Everest Cale came together because of persistence and the joint desire to produce good music. The friends, Brett Treacy (vocals, guitar), Jeremy Kolmin (guitar) and Aaron Nystrup (bass), added drummer Nate Becker and keyboardist/vocalist  Ryan Roets, to round out the rock quintet. Since 2010, Everest Cale has played clean blues-inspired rock with 70’s inspired edginess and noticeable modern sentiments. On Sept. 4, they release their first EP Beast, and in anticipation of the release let’s take a listen to the band’s self-titled single.

The song begin’s with a softly-plucked guitar backing Treacy’s vocals. Treacy’s vocal has an intriguing quality to it. It is noticeably powerful, but it maintains a tenderness that is refreshing. It is recognizable, but original to Treacy. The progression of the song is smooth. One of the most attractive aspects of Everest Cale is that they play a refreshing blend of music that is skillful, organized, and precise. As the band demonstrates with the feedback and rock breakdown at the end of the song, they certainly know how to let loose and “rock out,” but they do that in a mature, unphased way. They are in charge of their music, and that is something that makes for an enjoyable listen.

Everest Cale plays their release show at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2 (New York) on Sept. 1. I am eager to listen to the rest of the EP.

You can keep track of the band by visiting their website and following them on Facebook and Twitter

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