Tag Archives: Bowery Ballroom

Concert Watch February 2010

So the cold, cruel North Wind may blow, but sure isn’t stopping bands coming from the balmier parts of the country to play in NYC.

Washington State may not be particularly balmy right now, but it is quite a distance for the folk darling Brandi Carlile to come to play just for you. This Wednesday, the 3rd, she’ll be performing a sold out show at Ridgefield Playhouse. If you don’t have tickets, try to find some online, because she’s an extremely powerful singer. Check out this weird but fun video for her latest hit “Dreams” off her third album Give Up the Ghost.

On second review, the video is a little creepy – mostly because she sings half of the song with her eyes closed, lying down in the crook of a willow tree. But we’ll let it slide because it’s such a strong song.

Giveaway! Head over to the Listener Advisory Board right now to win some tickets to see the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures at the Roseland Ballroom on February 8th. You can read about them in this post from last November.

The men of Delta Spirit, lead singer Matt Vasquez second from left

Coming from a really warm clime is the California band, Delta Spirit. Coming out of San Diego, the band’s only been around since 2005, and have only released one full-length album, Ode to Sunshine. Well they’re playing four whole shows in NYC this month, on the 4th and the 11th at Pianos, and the 5th and the 12th at Union Hall in Brooklyn. You may have heard their song “People C’mon” on the Peak

They’ll be playing that and other songs of Ode to Sunshine, hopefully in addition to a few sneak peeks off of their upcoming record, History from Below, due out in May.

Here’s the video for “People C’mon”, lying at  the intersection of art and violence:

Speaking of a lot of shows, Citizen Cope a.k.a. Clarence Greenwood is playing five already sold out shows in NYC. The 10th and 11th, he’ll be at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and then on the 12th,

Citizen Cope

13th and 14th he’s relocating to the Bowery Ballroom. The reason he’s selling out all of these shows is that on Tuesday he’s releasing his third album The Rainwater LP, especially important since the now brooklyn-based artist hasn’t released anything since his Clarence Greenwood Recordings in 2004.

That’s a jam-packed week, because just before Citizen Cope gets to the Ballroom, the Aussie John Butler Trio will be headlining there. They’ve got an album coming out soon too; April Rising, the band’s fifth.

Then on the 16th, after Mr. Cope clears out, Phish’s Trey Anastasio will be taking over Bowery Ballroom. He’s hitting the road again starting on the 8th in Virginia with his “Classic Trey Anastasio Band (TAB)”. He says he’ll be trying out some new songs – in his words, TAB “is sort of a breeding ground for Phish material”. You can check out the interview with him that I was reading here.

Now you may be reading this and thinking to yourself “Gee, how did I not know that Bowery Ballroom was such a groovy place? Why don’t I go there all the time?” And the answer is because if you just go to Bowery Ballroom then you would miss Eric Clapton coming to Madison Square Garden!

Jeff Beck, left and Eric Clapton, right

That’s right, Thursday and Friday, February 18th and 19th Eric Clapton will be playing two shows at the Knicks’ home, with long time fellow guitarist Jeff Beck. Beck just yesterday won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his work on “A Day In The Life” off of his 2009 Performing This Week…Live At Ronnie Scott’s. This makes him a five-time Grammy winner, which is also how many Grammys Beyonce won last night.

John Mayer

If that’s not enough stardom for you, John Mayer will be playing on the 25th and 26th, with guest Michael Franti on the “Battle Studies Tour”. Everyone knows John Mayer now, and a growing number of people know Mr. Franti through his super catchy song “Say Hey” off of 2008’s All Rebel Rockers.

Finally, don’t miss Umphrey’s McGee coming to Nokia Theater on the 25th also. They played last year at Summerstage in Central Park, and it was a really fun show. If you’re thinking about going, practice your “U” hand signs well in advance.

Phew! Well happy concert hunting in New York’s back yard – and don’t let these winter blues get you down.


[If you end up going to one of these or any other concerts this month please let us know how it was – if you met the band, or even if you just moshed a little bit.]



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Black Taxi or: How the East Was Won

**UPDATE** Hot off the press: The new music video for “Up Here For Thinking, Down There For Dancing”


If you haven’t heard of Black Taxi, it’s time to start tuning in.

The band from left to right: Bill, Ezra, Kris, and Jason

Black Taxi was formed in 2007 in the heart of Brooklyn by Ezra Huleatt, Bill Mayo, Kris Soponpong, and Jason Holmes. The most important thing you need to know about these guys is that they are very, very good at their job. What is that job? Putting on a great live show that rests on a backbone of catchy rock songs that have the uncanny ability to wriggle their way into your bones.

Can you label them? People have tried. Attempts include “indie rock”, “rockabilly”, “part-rock, part-carnival”, and “high-octane punk infused with a swagger found in … a Tarantino Film”. The band likes to promote this mystique as well. For example:

BLACK TAXI plays like a vintage spaghetti western dressed up in neon lights…the soundtrack to that desert road trip you should have taken back when your girl dumped you and you chanced upon her acid cache.

Black Taxi at the M.E.A.N.Y. Festival in January

But acid caches and spaghetti westerns aside, Black Taxi is really doing something right. In just two years, they’ve gone from one in a sea of indie bands out of Brooklyn to winning the 2008 M.E.A.N.Y. Festival for best new NY band, and releasing their first full-length album with a show (/party) at the Blender Theater this past September. The Peak’s Chris Bro recently gave them 4 straight weeks of airplay on his show, NEXT, so you know they’re good.

Kris on stage

And with four shows lined up in NYC between now and February, they’re here to stay. The new album, Things of That Nature (self released), has got some old favorites reworked like this one, which I featured a while back, and some new gems like their boppin’ “Up Here For Thinking, Down There For Dancing”.

I saw these guys this past August at the Rack n’ Roll Cafe in Stamford, CT as part of the NEXT Charity Concert Series. It was a great show, and the amazing thing is – the guys were really humble after the show. Ezra is captivating to watch on stage – often baring his chest in a true display of 70’s rock-god  showmanship. And once the tight guitar licks lock in with the slick bass and sick drums, it’s game over.

Ezra rallying the troops

So the bottom line? I give them less than a year before a record label snatches them up – if they want to be snatched, that is. But label or no label, Black Taxi will continue to take the East Coast by storm. Check out the “This Week” tab for some of their latest songs and videos, and a sweet Talking Heads cover. And no matter if you love ’em or hate ’em say it!


Check out some tunes and videos from New York’s own Black Taxi.

Wanted Man (2008 Untitled EP)

Bon Appetit (not released)

Some clips and music:

Love Song For a Ghost (Things of That Nature)

And don’t forget to check out their great cover of the Talking Heads’ Life in Wartime .

Happy Listening!



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