Hi in 2015! So far the new lustrum is much the same as old. But new this quinquennium are amazing shows in New York and Boston: thingNY is collaborating with indie-pop-en-español singer/songwriter Helado Negro on the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall this Wednesday, then Friday at the Advent Library Music Series in Boston. The Ecstatic Music Festival is a pretty big deal in both the avant-garde/experimental classical and the indie rock scenes, which, ya know, is where I live. So please please come out and support!
For our collaboration, Helado Negro (Roberto Carlos Lange) is leading a type of performance he’s dubbed The Brain Finger, in which he interprets his songs using yarn tied between his hands and live musicians’ bodies; with a flick of the finger, he can summon any of us to play or stop via this uniquely physical kind of conducting. It’s a really cool way to get into his music, which he usually performs live with backing tracks. We’ll also perform our own set, including music by Paul and Erin and from our opera This Takes Place Close By, and Roberto will give a taste of his more typical style of solo performance.
I’ll just give a quick summary of what’s coming up in the weeks ahead: First, I’m back performing with folk rocker Bill Steely in Westchester the last Wednesday of the month, and look out for a rebroadcast of a live radio show he and I taped as a duo a few weeks ago, February 24th at 2pm on WVOX New Rochelle. I’m very excited to be joining the dynamic ensemble Ne(x)tworks and their incredible, influential singer Joan La Barbara to perform a new opera-in-progress by Paul Pinto called Thomas Paine in Violence at HERE on March 6 and 7. I’ve been joining Rachel Mason the past few weeks to accompany her in performance along with her really cool new film The Lives of Hamilton Fish, and I’m looking forward to doing that again in Hudson, NY and at the Queens World Film Festival. And finally in March and April thingNY has more very exciting shows coming up – our first performance at the New Music Bake Sale, and the first look at Gelsey’s new Rolodex Opera on the excellent Experiments in Opera series.
Also, I ate my first hamburger ever and turned 30 last month. It’s ALL happening!
This month Food Will Win the War is in residence at Pete’s Candy Store every Wednesday night. Tomorrow, I join Valerie Kuehne for her first New York performance in nine months. At the end of the month, thingNY is joined by our Bay Area counterparts Thingamajigs for a week of music- and instrument-making. Details below!
Freaking out with thingNY at The Firehouse Space in June.
Every Wednesday night in August at 10pm, Food Will Win the War is in residence at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, our favorite neighborhood bar – it’s around the corner from our rehearsal studio – and the place I played my first show with the band. We started the residency with a tribute to Elliott Smith, then the following week played an all-acoustic show. The final two weeks feature full band sets of mostly originals. No cover!
Tomorrow, Saturday the 16th, cellist and professional madwoman Valerie Kuehne is back in town for the first time in months! I’ll be joining her alongside two other intrepid improvising violinists, Storm Garner and Natalia Jenkins. Mayhem will ensue. Also on the bill: Jonathan Wood Vincent and Public Speaking.
The month ends with a week-long exploration of instrument building, alternate tuning systems, long-form improvisation, and all things thing, when Bay Area group Thingamajigs joins thingNY to develop new work, partly at the Knockdown Center, an incredible space in Maspeth, Queens, and partly at an abandoned Citibank in Midtown (organized for us by chashama). Our final presentation on August 29 will be invite-only, but if this really excites you and you let me know you’d like an invitation, I’ll see what I can do.
Finally, please keep on your radar the premiere week of a new dance piece by RoseAnne Spradlin with original score by me: the second week in October at New York Live Arts! It’s my biggest project right now and will be for the next couple months. Tickets go on sale on Monday - more info here.
Peace in the Middle East,
Hi! Check out my new website, developed by Brian McCorkle of Panoply Performance Laboratory! Let me know what you think about it. Then…get out of your apartment – it’s springtime! – and come down to Rockwood Music Hall. Food Will Win the War takes the stage at 11pm tonight, and there’s no cover! On Thursday night, get into my apartment. I’m not playing, but I’m hosting a great night of music and dance as part of Mara Mayer’s Home Audio series (more info on facebook here, email me for my address). This Friday night, go to church – I will literally be stomping, clapping, yelling, and banging rocks together in a new piece by composer Jerome Kitzke, at a historic church in Brooklyn Heights.
Visiting Banff after shows with thingNY in Calgary and Edmonton!
Next Tuesday, I’ll be playing music by Bach and by 20th-century Russian composer Alfred Schnittke at a church in Williamsburg. On Friday, May 30, it’s my second show in NYC with Westchester-based folk rocker Bill Steely. Mark your calendar for June 7, when Food Will Win the War returns to Mercury Lounge as part of Dream Day NYC (our drummer, Dan, is endorsed by Dream Cymbals and Gongs). And look ahead for more music in June with Minnie Dee and thingNY, including a really exciting collaboration between thingNY and youth new music ensemble Face the Music!