Sloppy Jane, Godcaster @ Baby’s All Right

Sloppy Jane, Godcaster @ Baby’s All Right

Sloppy Jane at Baby’s All Right (photo by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

Haley Dahl and her band, Sloppy Jane, celebrated the release of their new album, Madison, with a stunning performance on Sunday night 11/7/21 at Baby’s All Right. Despite this show being my fifth time seeing the band live, I still didn’t know what to expect. While her music itself cannot be easily characterized and is thereby challenging and unpredictable, I find the live performance aspect of Sloppy Jane a whole different experience. 

 

Initially, at the start of the set, upwards of a dozen musicians crammed onto the small stage at Baby’s before Dahl even entered the room, and when she finally did arrive, she served as conductor of the orchestra, with her back turned towards the audience. She assembled this diverse group of musicians and their instruments to create a blissful, deliberate cacophony that eventually gave way to her vocals and very physical performance.

 

Whenever I’ve seen Sloppy Jane live, I feel as though I’m on a carnival ride that takes me through all kinds of emotions. I feel giddy, exhilarated, melancholy, energized, and maybe even a little frightened. I have a deep appreciation for what Haley Dahl and her band put into their show. If you ever have the opportunity to witness Sloppy Jane live, go. I promise you won’t be bored. And check out the new album, it was recorded in an underground cave in West Virginia, for pete’s sake.

 

Philly band Godcaster opened the show and were a good match for Sloppy Jane, led by Justin Kolk on guitar and vocals, and Von Kolk on flute, guitar and vocals. They had a similar in-your-face abstract punk rock quality to their music that worked well.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

GODCASTER

 

 

 

SLOPPY JANE

 

 

Nation of Language, Cutouts @ Market Hotel

Nation of Language, Cutouts @ Market Hotel

Nation of Language at Market Hotel (photo by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

To celebrate the release of their second album, A Way Forward, which drops today, Brooklyn-based synth-pop band Nation of Language headlined a sold-out show at Bushwick venue Market Hotel. The trio, which consists of Ian Richard Devaney (vocals), Aidan Noell (synth) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass), released a fantastic first album, Introduction, Presence, in May 2020, and it has been in constant rotation during the pandemic for this listener. Thursday night’s show had a good mix of songs from both albums and included a synthy cover of “Gouge Away” by the Pixies as an encore. I’ve been listening to the new album while editing my photos and doing this write-up, and I’m happy to report that it continues to hit a sweet spot for this child of the ‘80s. Go see Nation of Language while you can still catch them in a small venue. They will have you dancing your socks off in no time.

 

Local band Cutouts started things off with an opening set. Its members for the show included Alex MacKay (lead vocals, guitar), Shannon Wise (backing vocals, bass), Eli Recht-Appel (guitar), Leo Grossman (tambourine) and Léna Bartels (drums). Their music paired nicely with that of Nation of Language, and Alex even joined the headliners for a track on guitar.

Nation of Language setlist: Rush & Fever, I’ve Thought About Chicago, Wounds of Love, September Again, Across That Fine Line, A Word & A Wave, Indignities, Friend Machine, The Grey Commute, On Division St., What Does the Normal Man Feel?, This Fractured Mind. ENCORE- Gouge Away (Pixies cover), The Wall & I

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

CUTOUTS

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts performing

Cutouts setlist

 

 

NATION OF LANGUAGE

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language performing

Nation of Language setlist

 

 

Rebelmatic, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), No Call No Show @ Bushwick Pop Up

Rebelmatic, Angelo Moore (Fishbone), No Call No Show @ Bushwick Pop Up

Rebelmatic performing in Brooklyn with Angelo Moore (photo by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

 

For over a year now, NYC hardcore punk band (and FTA favorite) Rebelmatic has been organizing regular outdoor events drawing from a roster of fine openers and this Sunday was no exception. Yesterday afternoon they put on their 31st pop-up show of the pandemic with special guests No Call No Show, and Angelo Moore, the front man of legendary band Fishbone.

 

Kicking it off was Brooklyn band No Call No Show who played a quick, energetic burst of songs that set the mood nicely. They feature Mikie Nice on vocals/guitar, Mark Thorn on bass, and Josh Salant on drums.

 

I was especially excited to check out Angelo Moore, having seen Fishbone a number of times but never Dr. Madd Vibe just by himself. Angelo, who came in from Los Angeles for this gig, performed solo against recorded tracks played from his laptop. He mixed it up with his saxophone, theremin, and vocals while exhibiting his trademark charismatic energy and lyrical dexterity.

 

Rounding up the beautiful afternoon was headliner Rebelmatic, with regulars Creature on vocals, Alkatraz on guitar, Karnage on bass, and Moïse Scott subbing in on drums. They played a tight set full of songs, and even coaxed Angelo to join them for a song with his sax.

 

I hadn’t been to one of these pop-ups since the spring so it had been a while, but I recognized many familiar faces in the lively crowd. The guys in Rebelmatic always put in their all into every show and it never gets old seeing them live. They were one of the first live acts I got to see after a long period of no concerts due to Covid, so I am happy to catch them whenever I can.

 

These pop-up shows are always a good time, and while there’s no set admission, these bands do accept donations. These shows have been happening on the same block in Bushwick every time, and we’re not going to reveal the address here, but you should definitely follow Rebelmatic’s Instagram for announcements of upcoming gigs.

 

As an aside, I was hoping to bring the mister to this one as he has been a lifelong fan of Fishbone, but sadly, he was sidelined by a bum knee. I talked to Angelo after his performance and showed him an old photo I took of him at the Apollo Theater. It was from a Fishbone show that happened to be on my husband’s birthday, and Angelo jumped down from the stage and climbed over the seats until he happened to be right on top of us, and he held his mic down for my husband to sing into. I somehow managed to capture this magic moment on my cell phone. I thanked Angelo for making Michael’s birthday a super memorable one. Angelo gave me a few stickers to bring home to Michael, gave me a hug, and took a photo with me. Best day ever!

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

NO CALL NO SHOW

No Call No Show performing

No Call No Show performing

No Call No Show performing

No Call No Show performing

No Call No Show performing

No Call No Show performing

 

 

ANGELO MOORE

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

Angelo Moore performing

 

 

REBELMATIC

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

Rebelmatic performing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valerie June @ Fort Greene Park

Valerie June @ Fort Greene Park

Valerie June at Fort Greene Park (photo by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

As part of BAM’s R&B Festival at Fort Greene Park, the always charming Valerie June headlined a free show late Sunday afternoon and closed out the week-long concert series with a 90 minute set. Though originally from Tennessee, Valerie June also now considers the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy her home, so it was quite fitting for her to play this local gig. I have had the pleasure of seeing her perform a pared-down set at the intimate Bar LunÀtico a number of times, and most recently, I saw her sing a song with Mavis Staples at the Apollo Theater in May 2019, but it had been a while since I saw her play a full blown set in front of a larger crowd. 

 

This time, she was backed by a band including a horn section, and presented a set that was rockin’ at times as she adeptly switched from playing banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and even a banjo ukulele. She mostly focused on her latest album, The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers, which came out in March 2021 on Fantasy Records, but also drew upon material from older albums including some of my favorites like “Workin’ Woman Blues” and “Somebody To Love” from her stunning debut. Though the festival was billed as being R&B-focused, Valerie June is anything but easily characterized into a single genre. She’s got a little bit of everything in her music, and you can also see that in the diversity of the audience. I’m so delighted I disregarded the threat of rain and caught this gem of a performance.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

 

VALERIE JUNE

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June concert

Valerie June 16Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Valerie June performing

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog & The Messthetics @ The Bell House

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog & The Messthetics @ The Bell House

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog at The Bell House (photo by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

On Thursday, October 7th, I headed to The Bell House in Gowanus to catch a most interesting pairing of bands: Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog with opener The Messthetics. I was especially eager to see Ceramic Dog (Ribot on guitar, Ches Smith on drums, and Shahzad Ismaily on bass / guitar / Moog / percussion) because of their excellent latest album, Hope, released this past June on Northern Spy Records.

 

Since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve had the good fortune to see Ribot twice. First was the day after Election Day, when votes were still being tallied, and the nation nervously awaited the outcome of the Presidential race. He played a pop up show with singer Fay Victor in a backyard in Brooklyn, with only his guitar providing the instrumentation, and for a blissful hour or so, we escaped political bedlam for a little while and dug into this intimate live performance. Then, a few days later, when Joe Biden was officially declared the winner and new President of the United States, I wandered around my neighborhood and happened upon a jubilant crowd in front of the Barclays Center, where none other than Ribot and his trumpet and a few other local musicians improvised a celebratory soundtrack for people to dance to. 

 

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot at The Bell House

 

Ribot is unafraid to get political in his music and words, so this album Hope reflects a lot of what has transpired recently. And much like his versatility in the way he performs, the music on this album cannot be characterized as any one genre. I have seen both Smith and Ismaily live in other projects, so it was especially wonderful for me to watch these three skillful musicians join together last night. While the show was billed as a release show for Hope, the set drew upon selections from the group’s various recordings (see the last photo for a handwritten setlist). Towards the end of their set, saxophonists James Brandon Lewis and Jay Rodriguez (who also participated in that gathering at Barclays) joined Ceramic Dog for a blistering climax to the hour and 45 minute set. They finished to great applause and left the stage, not returning for an encore, feeling no need to top an already thrilling performance.

 

Opening the show was another trio known as The Messthetics. Having grown up listening to seminal band Fugazi in my youth but sadly never seeing them live, I was excited to see bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty as part of this iteration, joined by the incredible guitarist Anthony Pirog. Like the music of Ceramic Dog, The Messthetics’ music, which is completely instrumental, cannot be characterized neatly. There are elements of jazz, post punk, prog, and experimental throughout their compositions. I loved seeing them live and up close and watching the progression of each song. The aforementioned James Brandon Lewis also joined The Messthetics towards the end of their set on his tenor sax, making for a frenzied finish.

 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Ellen Qbertplaya)

 

THE MESSTHETICS

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

Messthetics performing

 

 

MARC RIBOT’S CERAMIC DOG

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog