Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Year ...Lots of New Music

I felt I didn't see enough live music last year. This year will be different. It already has been, as a matter of fact.

I began 2012 with Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5. Think of it as the steerage section on Titanic. But - it was perfect for Gogol. If you have never seen them - friends have correctly categorized it as heavy metal polka. Their lead singer is a ball of Ukrainian Gypsy energy. They band is made up of many cultures, almost the point of the bands existence. It is high energy and positive and a perfect way to ring in the New Year.

Next up -- my second Ramble at Levon Helm's house in Woodstock. The Ramble is a unique experience for music connoisseurs. Levon Helm, drummer from The Band, hosts a jam session a few Saturday's each month - and anyone from any genre of music can show and play. The first time I ventured to Levon's house in Woodstock, moe. was the guest. Dar Williams would be performing this time and I could not have been more excited. Her song Spring Street has become a bit of an anthem for me and the Mr. The man I would marry asked me to move in with him on Spring Street. AND it was the first song she sang that night:)

While Dar's set was beautiful - she even admitted it was mellow and that once Levon and the band (not The Band - I could only wish) came on, the energy would explode. And it did. Between the New Orleans jams, the Leadbelly covers and the standard Band songs, the energy at Levon's studio was well over the top. What makes the Ramble so incredible isn't just that there are only about 200 guests, it's that these guests each love music to the core. You make new friends, re-connect with old ones and truly get an up close and personal jam session with world class artists.

One week later: Umphrey's McGee. The little band that could from Chicago has been conquering the jam airwaves. They have great new tunes and do dozzies  on the covers. - such as this Thriller / Another Brick in the Wall MashUp
They jam, they rock they make you want to dance. Their bass player, Ryan Stasik, is also a diehard Pittsburgh sports fan :) I have seen them numerous times (the best being at Bonnaroo) but when they come to NYC - they bring a great show ... and the light is so awesome you don't need to take drugs to think you're tripping - although I am sure it would only add to the effect. 

Moving right along ... Primus. Yes, they are back. Les has been touring a while but they band itself just released a new album. Hard to believe it had been 20 years since I saw them last. They sounded just as good as they did years ago -- ok, maybe a bit mellow. Shocked they chose to play the small Williamsburg Music Hall - but happy that I had tickets. The mix of fans was what I expected, young who never saw them (or Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey when it came out), the veteran fans like me and the parents checking their messages from their babysitter happy to have a few hours out on their own. They played the classics and some new tunes, plus a few episodes of the original Popeye cartoons in between. Who could ask for more?

The summer appears to be filling up nicely, too - Neil Diamond in Boston in June and Roger Waters at Yankee Stadium in July ... that should be unfreakingbelievably incredible. The Wall - Live, in the Bronx. I can't wait. October will be the re-scheduled Adam Ant show that was supposed to happen in January - I will try not to get too excited just in case. I did hear a rumor  - about the Stones going on tour to support a new album. They are on my list. That would top off the year in style - now wouldn't it.

Of course there are the last minute gigs and discovering new far I think my resolution is going well ...