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November 2014

Q2 Spaces Visits Composers' Cribs

I'm starting to think that - unconditional hero-worship aside - composers are the most generous artists we have. I mean, would you let a complete stranger into your apartment? Apparently, that's no big deal for ten composers, who have allowed cameras from WQXR into their living quarters - most of which double as their work studios - over the past year-and-a-half to film segments for the ongoing video series Q2 Spaces. Suffice to say, these guys keep much cleaner house than Beethoven ever did, but what's really of interest is how each space reflects its owner's personality: Meredith Monk's pet turtle (Neutron), Timo Andres' tie rack, Tristan Perich's bins filled with cables and circuits. Now, if they can just get into John Adams' pad up in the Berkeley hills...

Go here to see the full lineup of videos. 

John Adams Hosts NY Phil's CONTACT! at SubCulture

DSC09186Two days after joining in the standing ovation for John Adams during curtain calls at the final performance of The Death of Klinghoffer at The Met, it was strange, to say the least, to be stitting less than five feet from him last night at SubCulture. (He was, conspicuously, wearing the same plaid jacket and shirt.) Adams, who was there to host the NY Phil's first CONTACT! new music concert of the season, made it clear from the outset that he wasn't supposed to be the center of attention, either as a composer or conductor. Rather, he was merely asked to curate and serve as the evening's host. 

This was the first opportunity I'd had to attend CONTACT! since it moved to SubCulture last season - how has that not happened already? - and the small, intimate room is a big improvement over Symphony Space and the Met's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, both of which feel a bit big and sterile for this sort of music. With carte blanche to do whatever he wished, Adams chose to highlight the music of some of his favorite young composers, all of whom have also appeared on the LA Phil's Green Umbrella new music series, where Adams serves as Creative Chair

"Back when I was in my 30's," Adams told us in his casual, incisive opening remarks, "it was still the Bad Old Days in American music, where everything was supposed to be written according to the principals of Serialism and 12 Tone music. Things have really opened up now, and I don't think there's been a better time for music in this country."

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The Death of Williamsburg

15188349524_6213d21b75_o285 Kent. Zebulon. Monkeytown/La SalaThe Pool Parties. This week, it's Death By Audio, soon to be followed by Glasslands. Times are a-changin' in Williamsburg, as some of NYC's best music venues get razed, replaced with glass and steel condos for Wall Street dickheads and their hangers-on. Pretty soon, it'll be nothing but Starbucks and Bowery venues in Billyburg. Sigh.

Another soon-to-be-casualty of this Williamsburg "renaissance" is the Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club: the private social club on Kent and N. 10th that's been hosting country, bluegrass and old time music since 2008. I squeezed into the tiny space last Friday to hear rollicking sets by Alex Battles and the Whiskey Rebellion and The Flanks. It was hot, loud, and cozy - just like your mama's basement during one of those late night parties you shouldn't be having. $10 gets you a temporary membership and two drinks, including beer, wine, or the house cocktail, The Motherfucker (Rye, Ginger Ale, Bitters). I mean, where else are you going to find this in NYC? The Brooklyn R&G's last day will be New Year's Day; info about other upcoming shows on their Facebook page

Details about this week's final shows at Death By Audio are a bit sketchy, but there's some basic info here. If you've never been, do yourself a favor and get yourself there at least once this week. And, stop in at Glasslands while you're at it. You'll be glad you did. 

More pics from the Brooklyn R&G below and on the photo page

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Fun Fun Fun Fest 9 Recap with Photos

DSC08172Austin, TX - The 9th edition of Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest tore up Auditorium Shores once again last weekend with a heady mix of indie, punk, metal, electronica, and everything in between. While things got off to a bit of a rough start on Friday, it turned out to be a beautiful weekend with sunny days and cool nights - perfect to see that long lost band you used to freak out to in your parents' basement, or that hot new act you keep missing every time they come to town. Only at Fun Fun Fun Fest is it possible to wander from sensitive alt-rock (Neutral Milk Hotel), to classic hardcore (Murder City Devils), to white hot hip-hop (Wiz Khalifa), all in less than an hour? Not to mention all of the afterparties - free with FFF wristband - which tore up Austin til the wee hours. 

Below is a highly selective sample of some of our favorite acts from the weekend. Additional pics from Friday here, Saturday here, and Sunday here

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