SuperDee's House

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Marriage of Figaro

Before Three's Company, there was Mozart. Confusion, deception, misunderstandings, comedy, tragedy... and some of the most perfect music ever written. I'm playing in two performances of The Marriage of Figaro this weekend in Park Slope. If you're around, check it out:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tragically Beautiful and Beautifully Tragic

Musical obsession comes in all shape and forms and... colors. This week I cannot get enough of the soundtrack to Wicked. Yes, okay, I'll wait for the snickering to subside. I like Broadway... okay? I went to see the musical this week with my parents and my two lovely nieces, ages 9 and 12. While the acting, singing, stage production and overall energy of the performance was absolutely top notch, it's the story that is sticking with me. It's the proposed story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good and everything that happened before Dorothy's house fell out of the sky. There are abstract themes throughout the plot that hit home in so many ways. What is truth and what is beauty? What about good and evil? These things are changeable depending on your perspective and what is "popular" in society. And what you always thought you knew could be just what someone wanted you to believe for their own purposes.

Both the musical and the book by Gregory Maguire are highly recommended. He also wrote the untold story about Cinderella's ugly stepsisters. These stories create the urge to look beyond the surface of things - a great life lesson for children of all ages!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summertime's Alright With Me

Thursday of last week was the longest day of the year. It's all downhill from here as we spiral through the summer and fall towards another cold winter. I'm not trying to rush us there or anything. I'm just saying, time flies when you are having fun and that's what summer is all about, rrrright?!?! It's all happening... I've had the ridiculous opportunity to see some of my favorite bands in the world in the last four days.

On the Summer Solstice, I started out the long night with a film screening of "Unsettled" at the IFC with Mr. Benor. A first-time filmmaker, Adam Hootnick, gives us this brilliant documentary that follows the experience of six twenty-somethings - soldiers and civilians - during the evacuation of the Israelis from the Gaza Strip two summers ago. It was incredibly heartbreaking to watch the Israeli government (kids!!) have to remove their own people from their homes. Hootnick did an amazing job and it's incredible that he was even able to be there to capture all of that so closely.

From there, I went to Southpaw to see my boys JFJO. I've been working on something to post on JamBase but let me tell you two quick things. There is a new drummer named Josh Raymer. He's young and he's a killer. Jason Smart has amicably decided to move on from the band and during their touring hiatus this year, Josh joined Brian and Reed for practice and magic was made. The second thing was Steve Kimock - wow. His "Jerry" notes were mesmerizing and Reed was throwing down such a ridiculously heavy groove the whole time... That is when he wasn't ripping on electric guitar for most of the show!

Friday night was time for The Slip to come to town. It seemed like they started the show at the end by coming out with a rocking Zeppelin cover followed by "If One of Us Should Fall" - a song that usually comes towards the end when everyone's loose and ready to throw their arms around each other. The show had its ups and downs but we got an epic "Paperbirds." I'm really sorry for the lack of detail here but I got very drunk that night. Broken ATM machine at the Bowery and there's a $25 minimum at the bar. $25 worth of Jack Daniels in my system... ouch.

Goodness, I almost forgot that before The Slip, I went to my first Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park. Friday was bluegrass night and I met some friends to see Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys! I can't wait to go back to the bandshell again and again this summer. It's the best!

On Saturday, after waking up with that oh-so-fabulous-morning-after-drinking-way-too-much-whiskey feeling, we packed up Junior and headed down to Asbury Park for the Rocks Off School of Rock Music Festival. In short, we saw the coolest kids ever rock everyone's faces off, The Duo, Sam Champion, Benzos, Northern State, Ween, and Bustle In Your Hedgerow. What a (school of) rockin' day! See my friend Ace for a full report.

We had some pool time at the amazing Empress Hotel (complete with it's own super gay disco club and mirror ball over the pool) before heading back up to NYC on Sunday. Not much else to report on Sunday except for the new HBO show Flight of the Conchords. Both episodes had a Eugene Mirman cameo and we all know that I love that guy! Another local Brooklyn comedian Kristin Schall has a hilarious role as their groupie.

Which brings us to today... A couple of months ago, I got a ticket for a show the old fashioned way: refreshing ticketmaster like a maniac until I get through to purchase one ticket in the 5 minutes before the show sold out. The night was finally here - Wilco in NYC at the Hammerstein! Tweedy and the boys look and sound amazing. They played every song from Sky Blue Sky including my favorite "Impossible Germany" with the perfect guitar melody at the end. We got a bunch of old faves too - "Jesus Etc" for the heartwarming singalong; "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" absolutely rocked and had an extra long pause with audience clapalong during the fake out ending; "California Stars" made everyone sway and swoon. Nels Cline is just... uh... so amazing to watch. Cole and I named him the RockBot because he is machine! Tweedy seemed to be in great spirits all night. A beautiful beautiful night of music.

Now we're all caught up! Until next time...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Daily Wheatgrass Shots Burn a Brand New Pathway To My Brain

One of my top 10 bands of all time, the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, comes to NYC this week - Thursday at Southpaw and Friday on the Rocks Off Concert Cruise. Steve Kimock will be their special guest on Thursday night which should be transcendent! See ya there on the longest day of the year...

Monday, June 18, 2007


Well, it was certainly a whirlwind adventure hitting Bonnaroo for approximately 44 hours but I did it and remained relatively unscathed. I got to see a few favorites and come home with a few new ones which I'd like to share with you. Sorry, my camera was in the shop so no super special eye candy this time.

After logistics were settled and bearings relatively achieved, I got to shake it all off and dance with my former home-town champions, Tea Leaf Green. It's quite satisfying to be at Bonnaroo and see the mass of people screamin' and hollerin' for a band that I saw years ago at a little bar in Cotati, CA. Bonnaroo had clearly begun by the time they got to the obligatory and epic "Sex in the 70s".

Friday was the perfect festival ADD day, wandering from stage to stage getting a glimpse of a number of different bands. This started out with the Cold War Kids at "That" tent. I love this band but I thought some of their intensity got lost in a space that big. But then again the last time I saw them was in the tiny Union Hall space and almost got smacked in the face by a guitar in the front row. From there, we stopped by the Sonic Stage area to say hello to the JamBase booth and my girl Annabel who was running the show at that stage. While over there we were treated to a "Magnolia" by Apollo Sunshine.

Next up was the amazing Richard Thompson, my first time seeing the British folk rock guitar legend. His guitar playing was mesmerizing. He would barely move a muscle as he so effortlessly delivered some of the most soaring sounds I've ever heard. There's a great quote on his website: "Richard Thompson can play two or three guitar parts at once while getting his nails done and talking on the phone at the same time." He's playing this week in Prospect Park for Celebrate Brooklyn.

The major wandering part of the afternoon came next as we enjoyed a frozen lemonade on the bleachers at the "Which" stage for the spicy Brazilian Girls with a little Tortoise on the way. We then doubled back to That tent to see the young and beautiful Scottish soulful singing sensation, Paolo Nutini with his rockin' band.

More young beauty ahead as we trekked over to the "What" stage for Kings of Leon. Again, I had the very satisfying feeling of remembering seeing these boys at the Great American Music Hall when they were really just babies playing 3 minute songs. They always had the chops to grow into themselves (they always seemed way bigger than they actually were) and here on the main stage of one of the biggest festivals in our country, they've really made it and show no signs of slowing down. We got a nice sprinkle of rain during this set which settled down the dust and the heat. Nothing like the torrential downpours I experience in 2004. But then again, My Morning Jacket wasn't around this year so I guess the storms stayed away.

The ADD took over again and we pressed on back to This tent for what would be my favorite new discovery of the weekend - Hot Chip. It's no real surprise that I've never heard of these guys before as they are an electronica sorta thing out of the UK. Man, are they fun! They threw down the late afternoon dance party and had everyone sweating and kickin' up dust. I've been listening a bunch since I've gotten home, too. Kudos to Bonnaroo for being able to dig up awesome little surprises like this!

From there, I caught the beginning of The Roots but my FOMO (fear of missing out) was acting up so I had to run back to This tent to see my girl Lily Allen. She still wins the prize for adorablest even as she downed almost an entire bottle of Jaegermeister on stage. I love her songs and felt like a 12-year-old as I sang along and twirled around.

After some much needed down time in the evening hours, I made it back out for some late night action with the likes of STS9 and DJ Shadow. The best part of the night was rocking in the Silent Disco with DJ Logic spinning. Imagine walking by a tent and seeing everyone in headphones dancing with each other. It's hilarious! Logic is great too - he plays everything you want to hear!

The next day, I had only a little bit of time to catch a few things before taking off for the airport. First stop was Breakfast with the Babies at the Sonic Stage. Tom Hamilton's American Babies won the OurStage contest for that slot. Forget everything you know about Tommy's other band, Brothers Past. This is a showcase band for musical and songwriting talent made up of a few of our favorite things: Jim Hamilton, Tommy's brother, on vocals and bass, Joe Russo on drums and backup vocals and Scott Metzger for the gratifying guitar solos. Check out the new cd and catch them on tour this summer.

Time was running thin so I got a bit of Alexa Ray Joel and a smidgen of Dr. Dog before heading back to That tent for the beginning of The Slip. Thank goodness High Sierra is just around the corner cause having to leave a Slip set is heartbreaking. I did get a nice "Proud" into "Even Rats" and then the fitting "Airplane Primitive" to send me off to the airport on the day before the rest of my life.

So, there you have it. Bonnaroo, check!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

1Days, 23 Hours, 52 Minutes, 36 Seconds to Bonnaroo 2007

As if the excitement wasn't building enough on its own, embellished by emails, IMs and phone calls from my dear people, the countdown on really seals the deal. It's official. I'm going to Bonnaroo and I'm really f'ing pumped! Unfortunately, I'll only get to stay until Saturday afternoon before I have to come back to perform in my OWN concert with the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra on Sunday. You really can't tell Beethoven to roll over for Bonnaroo. I just don't think it works that way.

Anyway, I will get approximately 44 hours to hang out with some of my favorite people on the planet and no doubt get a plethora of musical treats to tide me over until High Sierra. Here's some stuff I'm really looking forward to during my time in Manchester this year:

Going? Check out the schedule and customize your own at BonnarooBase.

Not Going? Go to the blue room for webcasts all weekend.

Next stop, Manchester, Tennessee! Bring it!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Lovely Music in NYC Tonight

Photo: Velvy Appleton

One of my very favorite musicians/songwriters from the Bay Area graces Gotham City with his presence tonight. Etienne de Rocher will be performing the 8pm slot at Rockwood Music Hall tonight. He will be joined by the legendary Todd Sickafoose on bass. At 7pm is another fellow bay area musician Noe Venable who has collaborated with Etienne on the stage before.

Listen to Etienne here on his website, here on myspace, or here if you have a Rhapsody account. Check out a piece I wrote about him a little while back.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Siesta Con Brock

One of my favorite moments of Amberland was the opportunity to see a couple of Brock solo sets. He really has created an amazing act for himself that lucky Savannah and Athens folks get to see pretty often. Thanks to trusty Joel in the taping department of the PGroove family, we've got his Sunday morning Brockfast set with lots of tasty covers right here. Enjoy!

Brock Butler Live at Amberland VIII - Cherokee Farms on 2007-05-27

Disc 1
1. Instrumental
2. Time to Move On
3. Garden Grove
4. Queen Bee
5. Kitchen of Funk
6. Super Mario Brothers Theme

Disc 2

1. Living Boy in New York
2. Soprano's Theme
3. Black Water
4. Boston Rag*
5. Livin' Life
6. Easy Like Sunday Morning
7. Sometimes
8. Here Comes the Sun
9. Asshole**

Also available are the two amazing 3-set shows from the band that weekend:

Sat 2007-05-26 Amberland VIII Cherokee Farms - Lafayette, GA

Sun 2007-05-27 Amberland VIII Cherokee Farms - Lafayette, GA