Tuesday, January 24, 2006


To an arty 'industry' type gig last night. The sort of gig which in London would take place at Cargo or 93 Feet East, the equivalent venue here clearly being the Cutting Room. And there they were - lots of venue programmers on a three-line-whip outing to see a series of bands who 'seamlessly blend classical, rock 'n' roll and hip-hop' - you know the kind of thing. Brought it all flooding back. Especially as I crashed into Sefton. Lovely to see him and catch up, although he had about 9 million meetings to go to, deals to strike and planes to catch (nothing new there then) so we only managed a quick drink/chat. Actually now that I look at it, that link is quite bizarre, like a trailer for 'Sefton the movie'.

So I saw two of the 'seamless blends'. Firstly the string quartet 'Ethel' who I've been meaning to catch for a while, since being introduced to the lovely Todd Reynolds, (one of their founding members), by Stevie in London last summer. However, said founding member doesn't seem to be in the group anymore, which is odd, and reeks of what Woody Allen would call a 'definite type of situation'. With or without founding member, Ethel is nevertheless a musical buzz-word in NY in a Kronos-type way at the moment, and deservedly so as they're hugely talented musicians, but I could have done without the 'performance' element - which at times was a little edinburgh-fringe in its delivery.....classical string players, still dressed all in black, but camping it up a bit when they play....hmmmm.

Next band on was DBR & the Mission. Again extremely talented musicians led by the very charismatic Daniel Bernard Roumain, who is, according to New York Resident Magazine 'One of the top 100 New Yorkers' , whatever that means (he recycles his trash correctly? keeps his part of the sidewalk free of snow? only drives if he has a full-carload of passengers?) The group have loads of energy and passion, and some very well-played and exhilarating repertoire, and DBR himself cuts a charming figure of a band leader, but it was all a little 'earnest' for me.... Bought the CD, so I'll reserve judgement until I've given that a run-through, but I can't help thinking that this 'seamless blending of classical and hip-hop' (clip-clop?) has all been seamlessly blended before.....Cinematic Orchestra comes to mind, and the wonderful '90s string sextet Instrumental.

Here's what I think the 'new interesting thing ' really is - the new-wave of extremely hip and innovatory musical figures in jazz and popular music emerging from dance companies - DBR is the Musical Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and then there's Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus - ex-Musical Director of the Mark Morris Dance Group. There's obviously a hotbed of exciting future music talent bubbling under in dance company MD posts. Now there's an interesting idea for a programmer to get their teeth into.

And today, I'm still coughing. Damn. Horrid endless lurgy-thing. Hospital test has been brought forward to 7th, which is good in that I now have an excuse not to go to the neighbours for dinner that day, (although it comes to something when one would rather have a colonoscopy than dinner with the neighbours), but it also means I need to get completely well by then, so need to be good to myself this week. Boring......


Blogger jimbobwoof said...

Start the Top 100 New New Yorkers and put yourself no.1

4:31 AM, January 25, 2006  

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