Electronic Feed

Sxip Shirey Album Release at National Sawdust

by Nick Stubblefield

Sxip Shirey show

It would be futile to try and encapsulate impressions of electro-acoustic artist Sxip Shirey's (pronounced SKIP SHY-REE) album release show at Williamsburg's National Sawdust in a single blog post. The show lineup included guest singers, tuba, penny-whistles, music boxes, children's toys, live effects and drum loops, a string section, horns, harmonicas, dobro, and oh yes — a twenty-person choir. Instead, let the composer-performer sum it up in his own words: "As a kid, I grew up listening to the Beatles, so I thought each song should have a different studio set up...nobody told me they never toured that shit." The concert, which celebrated the release of Shirey's newest record, A Bottle of Whiskey and Handful of Bees, was the only show Sxip presented in promotion of the record, and that made it extra special for an audience already game to follow Shirey down a strange, sonic rabbit hole. 

First off, how about another hand for Garth the sound guy? Each of the many numbers required a vastly different stage configuration, numerous mic set ups, and live audio processing. It’s a testament to the technician’s abilities that he was able to mix all that input down to cohesive, hiccup-free sound.

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Today: Make Music Winter 2016

Mmw2015_logoAs New Yorkers finish up their shopping and start thinking about heading home for the holidays, they'll be surrounded by music all day today as part of the 6th annual Make Music Winter, marking the shortest day of the year. Featured artists performing throughout the five boroughs include members of Antibalas, singers Onome and Jascha Hoffman, all-women Brazilian drumline Fogo Azul, keyboardist Karl Larson, conductors Thomas McCargar and Malcolm Merriweather, composers Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, Cameron Britt, Ravi Kittappa and P. Spadine, and others. 

The full schedule is available on the Make Music Winter website. Our recommended itinerary for the day is below.

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The Second Annual BRIC JazzFest Marathon: Night 1

by Steven Pisano

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(All photos by Steven Pisano.)

The BRIC JazzFest Marathon, three nights of topflight music now in its second season, opened Thursday night with a night of free jazz. Not free as in style, but free as in: No Cost. All you needed to do was show up at BRIC House and enjoy four and half hours of quality jazz (and other music) for absolutely nothing, thanks to financial support from the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment.

So, did you stay home and binge-watch Netflix?

Nine very different acts performed in three different spaces. The Stoop has rising steps that act as seats, bleacher-style. The Artist Studio is an intimate club-like space with cabaret tables in front and standing room in the back. And, the Ballroom is a more traditional concert space. Moving between the three was easy and encouraged via staggered scheduling, though there was usually a line for the popular Artist Studio. I managed to catch 8 of the 9 acts, missing only Ben Allison & Think Free.

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Warm Up 2016 at MoMA PS1

MOMA PS1 WarmUp
A torrential downpour blew through MoMA PS1 on Saturday afternoon, which threatened to put a damper on things at Warm Up, the Saturday afternoon dance party now in it's 19th year. But, it only lasted a few minutes, and managed to cool things off right before Baltimore's TT the Artist took over with her outrageous, Big Freedia-inspired stage show of flamboyant dancers and performers dressed as vulva. (Seriously.)

The rest of the afternoon got the house moving with earthy, rhythmic beats from DJ Lil Durk (Chicago, IL), DJ Class, (Baltimore, MD) and Newark's DJ Tameil and DJ Jayhood. This year's winning Young Architects Program installation by Mexico City's Escobedo Soliz Studio, is a series of florescent cables creating a (non-rainproof) canopy over much of the courtyard. And, yes, there's a pool for those less rainy days.

Warm Up continues on Saturday afternoons at MoMA PS1 through August 27. Schedules and additional details here. More pics on the photo page.