Posts Tagged ‘Melvin Sparks’

Night 4 Recap with Karl Denson, Jennifer Hartswick and The London Souls :: Marco Benevento and Jennifer Hartswick Tonight!

The fourth night of Bowlive took place at the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg last night to a sold-out crowd of dedicated Soulive fans. Drummer Alan Evans, guitarist Eric Krasno, and organist Neal Evans took it easy as guitarist Tash Neal, bassist Stu Mahan, and drummer Chris St. Hilaire opened the evening with a hard-rocking 30-min set. This was Stu’s second live performance with the London Souls and he couldn’t be a better fit. Tash is an aggressive guitarist and Chris’s powerhouse drumming makes you want to full on head bang. Perhaps you have heard their song “Steady As You Ready” off of Mob Wives, which they killed last night! Eric Krasno could be seen in the audience bopping his head to one of his favorite bands in our scene. The London Souls return to Bowlive on Saturday, March 10th.

When the endless lines outside the Brooklyn Bowl had finally been let in, Soulive took to the stage and played “El Ron” with such a fierce level of energy, shouting out musically that the weekend had begun! In that first song, Krasno was at the edge of the stage on his tiptops shredding his guitar into the faces of those in the front row. Keeping up the energy, “Dig” followed with teases of Snoop Dog and Lettuce mixed in.

The first tribute of the run was to the great Melvin Sparks. Soulive’s highly anticipated latest release, Spark, had only just shown up in Vinyl form that morning to the Brooklyn Bowl. Melvin Sparks was an American guitarist who passed last year. His soul jazz, hard bop and jazz blues influence can been seen in every one of today’s talented guitarists. Spark is a collaboration between the members of Soulive and Karl Denson. That pretty much is all that really needs to be said to convince you to check it out.

Flutist and saxophone player Karl Denson was special guest for his second night. He joined the stage for the song “Spark,” which had audience members fully engrossed. Karl added a gorgeous level with his flute while drummer Alan Evans, once the drummer for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and the rest of the stage passionately layered their sound atop one another. A lovingly delivered tribute to the end.

Trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick, the second special guest billed last night and the first female presence to grace the stage for the run, joined for another song of Spark titled “Povo,” another head banging rock song that at times turned psychedelic is an instrumental by Freddie Hubbard. Krasno and Hartswick bantered playfully with their instruments and Karl now back on his saxophone. When Jennifer took her solo, she slammed the audience so hard with her talent that afterwards, the place erupted! Female Power!! A beautifully executed “Nubian Woman” was the choice off their latest cd with a more psychedelic jazz flavor. The members on stage were feeling the Melvin Sparks vibe flowing through them freely.

When Jennifer Hartswick moved from horn row to the front stage, those in the audience who realized the treat they were in store for began screaming. Saxophonist James Casey (The Shady Horns) also joined the stage. The musicians teased Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady” as Jennifer hummed the tune to warm her voice and to tease us with her sultry sound before delivering  the goods. Her voice shook the rafters on the high notes and as the cool James Casey rocked the audience a killer solo, the shades on his head fell over his eyes in true rockstar fashion.

“Bowlive Staple,” as Krasno called him, Nigel Hall joined the stage now as the entire vibe was slowed down for a song that would, regardless of it’s slower speed, would trigger fond memories and raise the energy of the minds in the audiences. Tears for Fears cover “Everyone Wants to Rule the World” is a song that Soulive has perfected with their own style. Something every artist hopes to accomplish, especially when it’s a cover. Nigel Hall on vocals was heart melting as always while Alan and Krasno filled in the backup vocals. Towards the end of the tune, Nigel flowed seamlessly into “The Light” by Bobby Caldwell. An absolutely gorgeous, mellow, yet powerful mash-up to end the set.

Soulive opened up the second set with the fuly raging “One in Seven.”  Neal Evans, who has been on fire this entire run, continued his trend while brother Alan was then left on stage for a calculated isolated drum solo. After witnessing his drum solos each night, it is fun to enjoy the different tricks Alan pulls out of his bag to ensure that we get a taste of his various abilities. And then it was back to close out One in Seven.

Tash Neal (The London Souls) was the next guest invited out on stage to perform the famous Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song “Ohio!” Unbelievable guitar rage between he and Krasno. The Evans brothers were crushing it as Karl Denson couldn’t miss this wonderful performance and ran out on stage grabbing a tambourine. Tash and Karl left as the trio, now alone on stage, executed a gorgeous rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Lenny,” a beautiful love song Vaughan wrote for his wife and performed beautifully and emotionally by Krasno.

Karl Denson joined for the raging “Turn It Out,” where he delivered a beautiful flute solo. They continued on into “For Granted,” where he was joined by James Casey, Jennifer Hartswick, and Nigel Hall on keys with Neal. The playful song gave each artist a dedicated two minute solo to showcase their instruments. Starting with Krasno establishing the musical chorus, Karl followed, then Hartswick, and James Casey, who crushed it so hard Karl Denson began fanning Casey’s fire off with a towel giving him the props he rightfully deserved.  Nigel Hall solo followed with Neal filling in the blanks. Each solo established that these musicians had chops. That they were the best in their game and at that time, they were making sure we recognized that fact.

Neal Evans, now alone again on his rig, started off “Jesus Children” with a heavy, deep organ rage, before Hall started singing. It was here the set ended. The flavorful Wyllys, a DJ and Jennifer Hartswick’s husband, would be following the show so the high-energy of live music had to end. However, Wyllys has an extensive vinyl collection of some of the hottest tunes and with the help of Quincy Jones and other amazing samples, he got everyone back on the dance floor and fully engaged.

A killer beginning to what is going to be a jam-packed weekend of Delicious Soulive rage, the party continues tonight with Jennifer Hartswick and her band coming out for her second night with new special guest unique jazz improvisational keyboardist Marco Benevento. Seriously? The excitement of seeing Marco and Neal together is going to be worth the measly $15 it will l take to experience the musical magic!

 Karen E. Dugan
– Photo courtesy of Phrase

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November 2010 Music Calendar

November 2010 Potential Show Run Down

Calendar updated daily!

Monday, Novemeber 1st, 2010

  • ($12-$18) Marco Benevento (Solo Piano) @ City Winery
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

  • ($10) The Headhunters @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Bedouin Soundclash @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($34-$45) Preservation Hall @ City Winery
  • ($36.75) Boys Like Girls @ Irving Plaza
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($70-$270) Robert Water’s The Wall @ Izod Center, NJ

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

  • ($14) Daedelus & Gaslamp Killer @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($30-$45) Bob Mould @ City Winery
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($70-$270) Robert Water’s The Wall @ Izod Center, NJ

Friday, November 5th, 2010

  • ($10) Rubblebucket, Pimps of Joytime, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($10-$12) BR and Timebomb @ Canal Room
  • ($15) Tristan Prettyman @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($15) Blues Traveler & The Cringe @Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Shawn Mullins & Daniel Wayne @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($20) Bonerama Residency with John Kimock
  • ($30-$45) Bob Mould @ City Winery
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($51) Interpol @ United Palace Theater

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($10) Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15) Blues Traveler & The Cringe @Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15 – $20) Son Of Bill @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($20) Bob Mould @ The Rock Shop
  • ($27.50 – $35) Bassnectar @ Terminal 5
  • ($40) Patti Smith: Khubilai Khan @ Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium / MMOA
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($92 – $278) Robert Water’s The Wall @ Izod Center, NJ

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

  • ($30) Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys @ B.B. Kings

Monday, November 8th, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($31) Bonobo @ Webster Hall

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • ($15) One Eskimo @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($20) The London Souls @ Rocks Off Cruise
  • ($48 – $56) Joshua Redman w/ Brad Mehldau & The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra @ Zankel Hall

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

  • (?$$?) Bon Jovi @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($10) Scrapomatic @ Southpaw
  • ($14) Anat Cohen Quartet @ Littlefield
  • ($30) Sara Bareilles @ Webster Hall
  • ($46-$115) Experience Hendrix @ Beacon Theater

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

  • ($10-$15) Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds Record Release Party w/ Special Guests @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($10-$15) Trouble & Bass @ Santos House Party
  • ($15) Toots and the Maytals @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($19) The Infamous Stringdusters and Trampled By Turtles @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($38.75) Robert Earl Keen @ Terminal 5

Friday, November 12th, 2010

  • (FREE) Mark Guiliana @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (FREE) Dynamo & Badnutbeats w/ Higher Nebulae & MUN @ Spike Hill
  • ($10) Melvin Sparks @ Blue Note (12:30 late night slot)
  • ($20) Autumn Defense and Johnny Irion & Sarah Guthrie @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($20) Bonerama w/ Terence Higgins (Dirty Doz Brass Band) & Jonathan Batiste @ Sullivan Hall
    • w/ opening acts: Ikebe Shakedown/ Timbre Coup/ Bearquarium
  • ($22.50) Rusted Root w/ Assembly of Dust @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($25) ASIA Featuring JOHN PAYNE – Unplugged @ B.B. Kings
  • ($20- $116) New York Philharmonic @ Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
  • ($30-$40) Slick Rick @ B.B. Kings
  • ($87-$100) Dave Matthews Band w/ John Butler Trio @ Madison Square Garden
  • ($91 – $328) 30th John Lennon Tribute: A Benefit For Playing For Change @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • ($7) Afro Funky Party w/ Zongo Junction, Top Shotta & DJ Offbeat @ Cameo Gallery
  • ($10) Greensky Bluegrass @ Southpaw
  • ($10-$12) The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($20- $116) New York Philharmonic @ Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
  • ($30) Robert Randolph & the Family Band @ Terminal 5
  • ($76) John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension @ Town Hall
  • ($87-$100) Dave Matthews Band w/ John Butler Trio @ Madison Square Garden

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

  • ($10) Marcus Randolph & The In Crowd (Mbrs of Robert Randolph & Family Band) @ Europa
  • ($20- $116) New York Philharmonic @ Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
  • ($28-$40) Medeski Martin & Wood @ Tarrytown Music Hall
  • ($25-$35) Allen Toussaint, Nicholas Payton & The Joe Krown Trio @ Lehman College, CUNY: Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
  • ($46) Sufjan Stevens @ Beacon Theater

Monday, November 15th, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($15) Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic & Jamie McLean @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($15) Undead Jazz: Charlier Hunter Trio / Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($25) Jay-Z @ New York Public Library (A Forum)??
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($46) Sufjan Stevens @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • (Free) Mark Guiliana @ Fordham University
  • ($25) Sheila Jordan’s 82nd Birthday Celebration with Steve Kuhn @ Jazz Standard
  • ($72) Kings of Leon @ Madison Square Garden

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

  • ($25) Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) Sheila Jordan’s 82nd Birthday Celebration with Steve Kuhn @ Jazz Standard
  • ($26) Peter Rowan + The Steep Canyon Rangers @ B.B. Kings
  • ($30) John Brown’s Body & The Expendables @ Gramercy Theater
  • ($35) Radiators @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($30-$48) Cassandra Wilson with special guest Ravi Coltrane @ Blue Note (2 seperate sets)

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

  • (??) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ Brooklyn Bowl (as per Jambase)
  • ($35) Radiators @ Sullivan Hall

Friday, November 19th, 2010

  • (Free until midnight then $15) Dj Nutritious @ Cielo
  • ($12-$15) Eoto and D.V.S. @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Bonerama w/ Steve Kimock & Kyle Hollingsworth @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($57) Ani Defranco @ Townhall

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • ($10) Reflections: Late Night FURTHUR Aftershow – PURE JERRY GARCIA TRIBUTE (11:59pm set)
  • ($10-$12) The New Mastersounds @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($25-$45) ROSWELL RUDD’s Trombone Tribe with Steve Swell, Deborah Weisz, Bob Stewart, Ken Filiano and Barry Altschul @ City Winery
  • ($36.50) Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes @ B.B. Kings
  • ($40) Revolution of Soul Feat. Maceo Parker and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Irving Plaza
  • ($50) Bill Frisell’s Disfarmer Project @ The Concert Hall
  • ($57) Ani Difranco @ Townhall
  • ($60-$70) Futhur @ Radio City Music Hall

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

  • (Free) McLovins @ Brooklyn Bowl
    • Second Set Features Tom Marshall (writer/lyricist for Phish) and Anthony Krizan
  • ($10-$12) The New Mastersounds @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10-$12) American Babies @ Ace of Clubs (Late night show @ 11:30)
  • ($60-$70) Futhur @ Radio City Music Hall

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($8-$10) Talib Kweli @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($40) Aimee Mann @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($65) Bob Dylan @ Terminal 5
  • ($117)Another One For Woody Featuring The Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule & The North Mississippi Allstars @ Roseland Ballroom ~ WE GOT OUR TICKETS!!!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • (Free) Jason Linder Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30-$40) Joanna Newsom @ Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (Carnigie Hall)
  • ($65) Bob Dylan @ Terminal 5

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

  • ($65) Bob Dylan @ Terminal 5
  • ($43-$90) Paul Oakenfold / Roger Sanchez / Sidney Samson @ Roseland Ballroom

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

  • ($15-$20) U-Melt Final Show @ Highline Ballroom
    • w/ The Heavy Pets and more

Friday, November 26th, 2010

  • ($12.25) Turbine @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($15) JJ Grey & Mofro Ryan Montbleau Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($33) State Radio and The London Souls @ Terminal 5
  • ($50 – $100) Levon Helm Band with special guest Steve Earle @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • ($12.50-$70) Arlo Guthrie @ Carnegie Hall
  • ($15) JJ Grey & Mofro Ryan Montbleau Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Ben Kweller @ The Rock Shop
  • ($37-$87) New York Philharmonic: Mozart, Haydn, and Tchaikovsky@ Avery Fisher Hall (Saturday Matinee)
  • ($50 – $100) Levon Helm Band with special guest Steve Earle @ Beacon Theater

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

  • ($107-$145) Michael Bublé @ Radio City Music Hall

Monday, November 29th, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($25) Matisyahu @ Brooklyn Bowl

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

  • ($20-$35) John Scofield and Rooben Ford @ The Blue Note
  • ($27.50) Leon Russel @ B.B. Kings – CANCELED!!!
  • ($28-$40) John Hammond @ City Winery
  • ($30) Gil-Scott Heron @ B.B Kings
  • ($40) Matisyahu @ Williamsburg Music Hall

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The Sullivan Street Shakedown

The Sullivan Street Shakedown: Five, Eight, Forty A Celebration Of Photographer Matthew Fitzgerald’s Birthday XL

The Sullivan Street Shakedown: Five, Eight, Forty

Once a month at Sullivan Hall, a group of DJs, instrumentalists and special guests grace the stage to bring New York City what is inspired to become one of the city’s most raging dance parties through the promotion of community and love.  It is simply called The Sullivan Street Shakedown.

Sullivan Hall ( Photo by   Adam McCullough)
Sullivan Hall ( Photo by Adam McCullough)

Tonight, The Sullivan Street Shakedown: Five, Eight, Forty was to be a musical celebration of photographer Matthew Fitzgerald.  What is more fun than spending your birthday surrounded by your friends dancing to wonderful music?  Nothing.  Matthew Fitzgerald has been a fixture on the scene for many years and is credited with “breathing life into and moving the careers of every performer” who performed this night.

(Photo by  John Ewing)
(Photo by John Ewing)

For the rest of us, it was a chance to see new collaborations, to see members from one of our favorite bands cross boundaries into other musical genres and to see the third installment of a wonderful musical idea from Philly make its way to our fair NYC.  Tonight specifically, Will Swank from the Motet was accompanying The Shakedown and I was pretty pumped about that.

Over the course of our meeting, I have been able to gain some wonderful knowledge about the project and The Shakedown scene from the man himself, Mikey Beatz:

I throw the party monthly.  I spin a set and invite new guest DJ(s) each month to headline.  Maybe I ask someone to play some auxiliary percussion or [I ask] a sax player to come and jam a bit.

DJ Nutritious (Photo by Phrazz)

DJ Nutritious (Photo by Phrazz)

It’s actually quite involved as The Shakedown itself is a party that started in Philly 8 years ago, and is one of the most highly regarded of its kind in the world. Now the originators of The Shakedown in Philly have blessed us with the opportunity to bring The Shakedown into NYC.  I’m working to help NYC see the potential in The Shakedown.  You should see what our brothers and sisters are doing in Philly and you can witness the potential that we have to truly create something “brotherly & loving” in NYC.

All the guests change each month. Some of it depends on who I’m collaborating with at the moment, some of it depends which DJs in our business network happen to be around and want to play.  We also receive a lot of inquiries from domestic and international booking agents trying to get their artists on our party.

Let the Shakedown begin…I attended a wonderful little pre-game with some pals on the Lower East Side and we made our way to our respective shows on the West.  For them it was The Melvin Sparks Band at The Blue Note and for me I anticipated to be a night of raging improv and dancing!  There would be no set list tonight.  A night of imagination, knowledge, talent, technicality and improvisation.  No matter what, it would be music and it would be lovely.

That’s the thing about improv! You can’t be afraid to make a miracle or a mistake…it’s that beautiful 🙂 We’ve been listening to videos and recordings and we’ve amazed ourselves…so fun 🙂 ~ Zoe Wilder

Settin' Up The Shakedown
Settin’ Up The Shakedown

I got there pretty early, around 11:30pm.  Met the beautiful Zoe Wilder, her pink eyeshadow and bright outfit a direct extension of her vibrant personality.  Met the birthday boy and we had a little photo shoot amongst friends.  The stage was busy with activity.  Plugging things in here, moving tables there.  The music didn’t actually begin until around 12:30am.  However, when the musicians hit the stage, the sounds escaped from them as if they were ready to make us move all day.  The artists who comprised the stage that night were (and I don’t dare try to describe them better then they describe themselves):

Ed of PsychLab (Photo by S & D Photography)

Ed of PsychLab (Photo by S & D Photography)

The duo of Steve Asaro (Roland TD-20 V-Drums / Electronics) and Ed (techno wizardry) of the famous psychedelic / live electronic band Psylab.  DrumLab breaks it down into the strictly twisted dub elements of Psylab‘s mastery and paves new ground with what can be done with a set of e-drums and lots of SUBS.

People In Charge:
Added to the sonic mix is the collaboration of rotating People In Charge musical guests – the opportunity for producers to rock their instruments live on stage rather than behind the recording console. On this night, Mikey Beatz (drums), David Blitzer (bass), and Zoe Wilder (vocals) team with DrumLab to turn the party on its head.

(Photo by S & D Photography)

(Photo by S & D Photography)

DJ Viz:
Or Vizzie, the techno technician of Psylab fame, rocks the 1’s and 2’s, strictly vinyl, for an exploration and elaboration of the world’s finest Dub-Step and Drum & Bass. Viz is a sub-bass gourmand, so be ready to feel it in your gut.

Will Swank:
Swank brings with him years of touring experience with The Motet and a background in subterranean Jazz that stands the test with history’s most legendary saxophone players. Will rocks a growling tenor and phrases lines like he’s painting the future in ancient poetry.

Is a DJ… and he rocks the shit out of parties.

Zoe Wilder (Photo by S & D Photography)

Zoe Wilder (Photo by S & D Photography)

David Blitzer:
Bass player, used to play for the band called The Uptowns.

Zoe Wilder:

ZW has shared many a stage but, most infamous for her collaborations with Psylab and the New Deal.  Possibly most remembered for her shadow dancing performance at main-stage Camp Bisco 6, Wilder’s scheming something xxx-tra provocative for Five Eight Forty so, abre los ojos.

VJ Mamiko Kushida:
Mami should need no introduction but, new to the States after rockin Japan’s biggest events for years, Mamiko’s the most bad-ass VJ here. She’s one part kunoichi, one part Foxy Brown – she’ll super-fly slice-you and you’ll thank her for it.

Sullivan Street Shakedown
Sullivan Street Shakedown
Images by VJ Mamiko Kushida (Photo by: Jp Pacquing)
Images by VJ Mamiko Kushida (Photo by: Jp Pacquing)

The sounds that escaped the stage were a combination of organic and mechanical.  At times, only a few members would rage, then the entire group.  They stepped in when the powers moved them.  A beauty of improv.  As the music played, to the left of the stage was a screen that was had fabulous images being cast upon it.  The images cast on the screen were manipulated and inspired by VJ Mamiko Kushida. They were vivid, dream like, malleable.  Over the last 5 years, since she was in Japan, Mami has been creating and collecting these images.  Currently, her collection tops out at over 800 images and at performances she picks and mixes from her collection as the music moves her.  What a wonderful expression of love through music.

Ragers @ The Sullivan Street Shakedown (Photo by Phrazz)
Ragers @ The Sullivan Street Shakedown (Photo by Phrazz)

Around 1:30 am the crowd started to get pretty thin.  Ironically, there might have been more photographers there at one point then dancers.  But the beat was BUMPIN’ and the people were groovin’.  One thing that was made evidently clear to me within minutes of the show beginning was that this scene was dripping with potential to be an all out rager when it came to the late night crowd.  There was funk, rock n roll, jazz…we just needed that crowd to shuffle in.

The Sullivan Street Shakedown (Photo by Phrazz)

The Sullivan Street Shakedown (Photo by Phrazz)

When Will Swank and Gregg Marcus joined the stage, I was immediately drawn in by the oh so jazzy horns.   Sporadically, the horns would sound off, intersecting with the beats and groans of the electronic fiddling and Mikey’s drumming.  At one point, the sounds layered over the beat reminded me of whales singing.  I believe this was due to Gregg Marcus manipulating his trumpet with a plunger.  That mess sounded AWESOME!  I would love to hear the play back during this time.  It was all so intersecting and fun.  I distinctly remember being taken over by it and shuffling across the open dance floor without a care in the world.  In my notes taken from that night, I had scribbled “dancing with the whales.”  Honestly, I absolutely didn’t need anyone else in the venue to enjoy myself that night.  I glance at my notes as I type this and there are a bunch of smiles all over the page.  Clearly, I was happy.

(Photo by Scott Rudd)

(Photo by Scott Rudd)

Will Swank and Zoe Wilder (Photo by Phrazz)

Will Swank and Zoe Wilder (Photo by Phrazz)

Layered on top of the electric rage, I loved the horns.  I am a horn lover.  Biased as all hell.  Their addition to any project is a plus in my mind.  I absolutely loved the horns over this style of music and mixing.  Will Swank was so jazzy and obscene against the heavy bass beat of space at times.  The room was filled with a very loungey vibe.  I felt like I needed to be seated at a intimate table with appetizers and a date.  And as the horns raged, the beat picked back up with Mikey banging out the drums,  creating new beats around every corner forcing the music to change with him.   I loved it.  Amelia was dancing around the room, lending her energy to those who were not dancing, which was only a choice few.  The music was forceful in it’s ability to have us dancing.

Sullivan Street Shakedown

Sullivan Street Shakedown

Throughout the performance, artists rotated instruments.  At one point Ed had left his machines to go play with Mikey’s tables.  Boys and their toys!  Such a beauty about improvisation.  The musicians possibly had on bigger smiles then the audience.  They were having FUN! I felt it, I saw it, and I heard it.  To me, what was happening on that stage was the essence of live music.

Ed of Psychlab

Ed of Psylab

As Ed and Mike’y were throwing us the “getdown” music,  VJ Mima was flashing the screen with black and white images that look to have been drawn with pencil and had come to life.  All the while, Zoe Wilder would come and go from the stage as she pleased, dancing for the audience, or perhaps just herself, in any way the music moved her.  I imagined what her Wonderland must be like up there as the black lights reflecting off her vivid outfit and her pink eyes lit up the stage.



I stepped out for some fresh air and more fun friendly photo shots ensued.  Walking back in, I distinctly remember walking into a GREAT beat and jam.  Zoe put her voice through a chaos machine, the trumpets would tease, the “untz-untz” of the bass shook my legs.  It was fun as hell.  Exactly what it was meant to be.  I LOVED what was happening on stage at this moment and immediately felt a little pain in my chest knowing that I wouldn’t be able to ask the title of the song.  Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to go home and find it on Youtube…it was all improv and they had won me over.

Happy Birthday! (Photo by S & D Photography)

Happy Birthday! (Photo by S & D Photography)

I believe the best part of the night was when the birthday boy was finally recognized.  Zoe brought out the cake as Matthew made his way to the front of the stage where Zoe playfully wiped icing on his nose after he blew out the candle.  Just look at that smile above! LOVE!!

Sullivan Street Shakedown

Sullivan Street Shakedown

Towards the end of their set, the sounds got bleek and deep.  I wanted more from the horns but the mechanical side of things had picked up.  The manipulations of sounds with knobs, buttons, pedals, microphones, etc.  This is a new type of music for me and so I wish I could get more technical in my writing.  So used to “instruments”.   Not sure how I define the word “instrument” anymore with all the technology that has saturated certain genres.  The sounds coming off the stage were as lovely as they were intense.  Very chill music.  The horns stood alone and the beat was slow.

Sullivan Street Shakedown (Photo by Phrazz)

Sullivan Street Shakedown (Photo by Phrazz)

The Blue Note crew came after their show just in time for cake.  Music, cake, friends…and a smiling birthday boy.  So much more then a typical weekend show, this was an event respecting someone’s life on Earth.  SO much love in that.  SO much.  I felt it all night and the music on stage vibrated it through us into the wee morning hours.  At the base of it, this was a low maintenance dance party with a focus on soulful house music.

Mikey Beatz

Mikey Beatz

Mikey Beatz has surrounded himself with vibrant talented musicians.  He has seen the unique opportunity he has been given of crossing live music with electronic.  Aside from being a talented musician himself, it is his appreciation and addition of other talented musicians that makes The Sullivan Street Shakedown stand out.  I encourage anyone in the NYC area to come check this project out and to join us in spreading the word of The Sullivan Street Shakedown.


Please join all of for next month’s installation of The Sullivan Street Shakedown with:.

DJ Monchan (Dailysession)
Chris Hall (Stupendous Music)
Visuals by Mamiko Kushida
Percussion by Stephen Chopek
Special Guest: ElaNEF
And your resident selector: Nutritious

Date: 06/19/10 (technically 6/20)
Time: 12:30am – 4am
Cost: $5 RSVP to: local@spinspinnyc.com
Ages: 18+
Location: Sullivan Hall, 214 Sullivan Street, NYC
Trains: A,B,C,D,E,F,V to W. 4th
Contact: party@spinspinnyc.com
Web: www.sullivanhallnyc.com // www.spinspinnyc.com
Phone: SpinSpinNYC @ 347-875-SPIN

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