Wordless Music Series comes to Brooklyn + Lincoln Center

Feast of music covered this a couple years back, listings below.

Jeff Mangum
of Neutral Milk Hotel
first U.S. shows since 1998
and the start of our 5th anniversary season

Friday, Sept. 9: Sanders Theatre at Harvard University
Saturday, Sept. 10: Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory

Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra
at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress,
and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
first NYC/Brooklyn shows since 2003
a small number of tickets
to be released Friday, Feb. 25

Gavin Bryars' "The Sinking of the Titanic":
A performance installation at the Guggenheim Museum
with artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

the U.S. premiere of Jonny Greenwood's
"Doghouse" for large orchestra and string trio

the New York premiere of
Philip Glass / David Bowie / Brian Eno's
Symphony No. 4 ("'Heroes'")

Just announced: 5th anniversary season kicks off with Jeff Mangum in Boston

In September of 2006, the Wordless Music series presented its first concert at the 250-capacity Good Shepherd Faith Church on West 66th Street in New York City. Five years later, we are slightly shocked and humbled to announce the start of our 5th anniversary season with a true musical great: Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, performing his first U.S. live shows since 1998, and in two of the country's great historic acoustical treasures: on Friday, September 9, at the 1,150-capacity Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge; and Saturday, September 10, at the 1,050-capacity Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory in Boston. Tickets for these concerts will be $35 and open to audience members of all ages.

Presales for the Jordan Hall concert start at 10am this Friday, February 25 via the Jordan Hall box office; a larger allotment of Jordan Hall tickets will be sold through the same outlets starting at 10am on Saturday, February 26.

Presales for the Sanders Theatre concert start at 12pm next Thursday, March 3 via the Harvard box office; a larger allotment of Sanders Theatre tickets will be sold through the same outlets starting at 12pm on Friday, March 4.

Also on sale this Friday, Feb. 25: a small number of GY!BE tickets to be released
On four consecutive nights beginning Tuesday, March 15, Wordless Music teams up with our friends at The Blackened Music Series to present the first NYC and Brooklyn shows in eight years by the reunited Montreal orchestral-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor, at two of New York's most extraordinary venues--the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Masonic Temple in Fort Greene. This Friday, February 25, at 12pm noon, a very small number of tickets to Godspeed's Thursday and Friday (March 17-18) shows at St. Paul the Apostle will be released for an exceedingly short time via this link and this link. Tickets are $25 general admission, open to audience members of all ages, and will not last very long at all.

Next month: Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra
Rapidly approaching in March: the first-ever tour of the Wordless Music Orchestra with composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton, formerly of Battles, performing new works for orchestra and electronics from Braxton's recent Warp Records solo debut Central Market and music by John Adams, Louis Andriessen, and Caleb Burhans for concerts at Alice Tully Hall in New York (as part of Lincoln Center’s Tully Scope festival), the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Tickets for the Library of Congress concert have been nearly all scooped up; tickets for Lincoln Center and the Walk er Art Center are still on sale.

Also in March: Deerhoof curates + headlines Carnegie Hall's 2011 Japan NYC festival
On Monday, March 14 at Le Poisson Rouge, Wordless Music co-presents a special collaboration with Carnegie Hall as part of their 2011 Japan NYC Festival, for which the great Tokyo/San Francisco noise-pop group Deerhoof will curate and headline a bill of specially chosen artists representing the best of contemporary experimental music from Japan. With sets from Deerhoof as well as friends and band favorites Ichi and If By Yes (Yuka Honda and Petra Haden).

"T. 1912: Gavin Bryars' The Sinking of the Titanic" at the Guggenheim
In April, as part of the Guggenheim Museum's spring exhibition "The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918," the Wordless Music Orchestra will collaborate with artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster for "T. 1912": a performance installation of Gavin Bryars' ambient classic The Sinking of the Titanic in the historic Guggenheim rotunda, in which the audience also plays a role. "Boarding" for the early and late performances of "T. 1912" will close at 8:40pm and 10:40pm.

And the 2011-12 season finale:
On May 20 and 21, Wordless Music concludes its fourth season with the United States premiere of Doghouse, the longest and largest work yet for orchestra by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, on a program with the first New York City performance of Philip Glass / David Bowie / Brian Eno's Symphony No. 4 ("'Heroes,'" based on the music of Bowie and Eno) and György Ligeti's Chamber Concerto, all performed by Ensemble Signal with the Wordless Music Orchestra and conductor Brad Lubman. Tickets for the May 20 and May 21 concerts at the New York Society for Ethical Culture are now on sale.

Wordless Music
2010-11 Season

03.04.2011 Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis)
03.07.2011 Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Alice Tully Hall, NYC)
03.10.2011 Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Library of Congress, Washington DC) (free!)
03.14.2011 Deerhoof & Friends: a musical event within Carnegie Hall's 2011 Japan NYC festival (Le Poisson Rouge, NYC)
03.15.2011 Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Brooklyn Masonic Temple)
03.16.2011 Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Brooklyn Masonic Temple)
03.17.2011 Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC)
03.18.2011 Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC)
04.14.2011 Gavin Bryars' "The Sinking of the Titanic" (Guggenheim Museum, NYC)
05.20.2011 Jonny Greenwood's "Doghouse" with music of György Ligeti + Glass/Bowie/Eno (New York Society for Ethical Culture)
05.21.2011 Jonny Greenwood's "Doghouse" with music of György Ligeti + Glass/Bowie/Eno (New York Society for Ethical Culture)

Wordless Music
2011-12 5th Anniversary Season
(in progress)

09.09.2011 Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel (Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Cambridge MA)
09.10.2011 Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel (Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, Boston MA)

Friday, March 4, 2011
Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Caleb Burhans, conductor):
New compositions and music from Braxton's Central Market
John Adams: Road Movies, for violin and piano (1995)
Louis Andriessen: Workers' Union, for chamber orchestra (1975)
Caleb Burhans: In a Distant Place, for chamber orchestra (2008
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis / 8pm show / $25 / all ages
Presented by the Walker Art Center in association with Wordless Music

Monday, March 7, 2011
Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Caleb Burhans, conductor):
New compositions and music from Braxton's Central Market
John Adams: Road Movies, for violin and piano (1995)
Louis Andriessen: Workers' Union, for chamber orchestra (1975)
Caleb Burhans: In a Distant Place, for chamber orchestra (2008)
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center / 7:30pm show / $20-50 tickets / all ages
Co-presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Wordless Music as part of the 2011 Tully Scope festival

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tyondai Braxton with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Caleb Burhans, conductor):
New compositions and music from Braxton's Central Market
John Adams: Road Movies, for violin and piano (1995)
Louis Andriessen: Workers' Union, for chamber orchestra (1975)
Caleb Burhans: In a Distant Place, for chamber orchestra (2008)
Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. / 8pm / (FREE concert!)
Free tickets available starting 10am, January 26, 2011
Co-presented by The Library of Congress and Wordless Music

Monday, March 14, 2011
Deerhoof & Friends:
A musical event within Carnegie Hall's 2011 Japan NYC Festival
with Ichi and If By Yes (Yuka Honda + Petra Haden)
Co-presented by Carnegie Hall and Wordless Music
Le Poisson Rouge / 7pm doors / 8pm show / $20

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Brooklyn Masonic Temple
317 Clermont Avenue at Lafayette, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
8pm doors / 9pm show / all ages / ***SOLD OUT***
Co-presented by Wordless Music and The Blackened Music Series

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Columbus Avenue at West 60th Street
7pm doors / 8pm show / all ages
Tickets on sale 12pm Friday, Feb. 25: (March 17 show) (March 18 show)
Co-presented by Wordless Music and The Blackened Music Series

Thursday, April 14, 2011
T. 1912: Gavin Bryars' The Sinking of the Titanic (1969)
A performance installation with artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
"Boardings" close at 8:40pm and 10:40pm
The Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Avenue (at East 88th Street)
Co-presented by Wordless Music and the Guggenheim Museum

Friday, May 20, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Ensemble Signal with the Wordless Music Orchestra (Brad Lubman, conductor)
Jonny Greenwood: Doghouse, for large orchestra and string trio (2010) (U.S. premiere)
György Ligeti: Chamber Concerto, for thirteen instrumentalists (1969-70)
Philip Glass / David Bowie / Brian Eno: Symphony No. 4 ("'Heroes,'" based on music of Eno and Bowie) (1996) (New York premiere)
Courtney Orlando, violin
John Richards, viola
Lauren Radnofsky, cello
Tickets on sale now: (May 20 show) (May 21 show)
New York Society for Ethical Culture
7pm doors / 8pm show / all ages / $25-35 tickets with $5 service charge (sorry)


Friday, September 9, 2011
Jeff Mangum
of Neutral Milk Hotel
Sanders Theatre at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
Tickets on sale 12pm Thursday, March 3
7:30pm doors / 8pm show / $35 / all ages

Saturday, September 10, 2011
Jeff Mangum
of Neutral Milk Hotel
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory (Boston, MA)
Tickets on sale 10am Friday, Friday 25
7pm doors / 8pm show / $35 / all ages


Dive Bar Dukes Win Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Battle

check them out

Melody Allegra's band just won first prize at The Battle of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Bands 2011. As a prize, They'll Fly Away/... Cali for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.


Bluegrass NYC News

USPS continues to make waves, with an EP release at Jalopy, an article in the Daily News, Glide Magazine, and the Murdock owned Brooklyn Paper (bet you didn't know he bought that)

People are unknowingly fucking up the jam at sunny's, be respectful, be mindful and follow these rules...

Jams And Jam Etiquette
For Pickers and Grinners
By Roger Russell

Disclaimer: The opinions offered in this article are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else (such as, the Board of Directors or membership of SWBA). Further and for the record, the author freely acknowledging participating in jams during which he and/or others did indeed fail to follow one, or more of the features of jam etiquette discussed below.

What is a bluegrass jam?

A bluegrass jam, or any kind of jam for that matter, is an event in which musicians come together to play and sing unrehearsed music with and for each other. They may, or may not, know each other in advance—often in a given jam some do know each other, while some don’t. There may be observers, an audience of sorts, but the main thing for those jamming is having fun playing music together.

Pickers and grinners: When it comes to the matter of jam etiquette, then, there are those guidelines that apply to the musicians (pickers) and those that apply to the listeners (grinners). And each are there to help with the goal of jamming, in the first place.

Primary goal of a bluegrass jam

Given what a bluegrass jam is in the first place, it’s easy to see that the primary goal is having fun making music together. It’s an opportunity for musicians to play together. Simple as that.

The reason for jam etiquette, rules, guidelines, whatever

And the reason for any sort of etiquette, guidelines, or rules for behavior in a jam, is to make it easier for that goal to be achieved. Simple as that. Some of them apply primarily to the jammers (pickers), the musicians singing and playing, while others apply to those listening (grinners). They all have to do with achieving the goal of jamming: Having fun playing and singing bluegrass music.

If a group of musicians, some who may know each other and some who may not, come together to jam, and if they have some idea in advance about what’s expected, they can get down to the business of playing together without preliminary discussion, or negotiation about how they should proceed. And that makes it an easier, more enjoyable experience.

Which is NOT to say that such discussions won’t occur, because sometimes they do, for various reasons. But having a basic understanding of what is going on in a jam helps facilitate the playing and even helps any discussion that may be arise.

Variations in jam etiquette

There are lots of opinions, ideas, suggestions, commands, directives, etc. regarding bluegrass jamming and how to participate. And while some might be rather dictatorial, insisting that the rules, or standards, or whatever, that apply to jams and jamming absolutely must be followed, the simple fact is that it depends…it depends on what kind of jam it is, it depends upon who is playing in the jam, it depends on the phase of the moon, time of day, etc.

For example, some will say ONLY bluegrass can be played in a bluegrass jam…but, guess what, there are differing opinions about what constitutes bluegrass (is it only “traditional” or can it include “contemporary,” or “progressive” bluegrass?), AND some folks in some jams are willing to include folk music, or Old Time music, or Country-And-Western music, or even Bluegrass-style renditions of popular tunes and songs.

For another example, some will say that ONLY certain acoustic instruments (such as guitar, banjo, bass, mandolin, resonator slide guitar, and violin) can be used in a bluegrass jam… But, again, that can vary, and sometimes an autoharp, or a harmonica, or hybrid instruments like a “banjolin” (banjo mandolin), or an amplified base, or a hammered dulcimer, or even an accordion will find it’s way into a jam.

So not all jams are the same. Consequently, not every jam follows exactly the same etiquette. It all depends on who’s in the jam and what they collectively find acceptable.

And probably the most important thing is being aware of the major goal for jamming (having fun making music together), and from there what the range of expectations and preferences are that serve that purpose.

In other words, while it’s beneficial to know the general etiquette that most follow in a jam, it’s also important to get a sense of what’s expected, accepted and being done in a specific jam, especially if it involves musicians one has never played with before. And probably the best way to do this is to listen and observe, and when appropriate ask questions.

General jam guidelines: For Pickers

Though there are different jams with different players using different guidelines, there are some features that tend to occur in all discussions of jam etiquette. Here are several of these common features.

How jams are organized and run: All the jam etiquette discussions emphasize the idea that jams are run in a manner that gives everybody the best opportunity to participate. To accomplish this, jams generally have:

Jam leader: Some jams have a leader, someone who oversees the functioning of the jam (this person is not the same as the song leader discussed below). But others jams don’t. If there is a leader, it may be the person at whose site the jam is taking place.

One additional reason for knowing about the jam guidelines it to understand what’s happening at jams where there is no clearly identified leader.

Jammers in a circle: Some prefer standing, while others prefer sitting, but either way the players arrange themselves in a circle so they can see and hear each other as they play.

How big should the circle be? That depends on the preferences of the players. Sometimes the circle becomes quite large. Those who prefer smaller jams will either not join such a jam, or leave when one becomes too large for their taste. Perhaps, the main issues concerning jam size are how hard it is to hear other players across the circle, how much opportunity there is to do a solo (see below), and how long it takes to go around the circle.

A sequence in which players participate: The goal is to make sure all who want to participate do so, whether it’s in song selection and singing, or in taking breaks (doing solos between lyrics).

Song leader: Usually songs are selected and lead by individual jam members one at a time, going around the circle. Now, some suggest it should be counter-clockwise in the circle, some say clockwise, but either way, it goes one player at a time. The player who’s turn it is selects the song and tells the other the key he, or she is going to sing it in.

Passing: Any jammer is free at any particular time to pass, but if the person is not really able to sing songs, or do solos (see below), it is generally best for that person to play outside of the circle, so the others in the circle know not to include them in song selection, or taking breaks.

Singing along with the leader: There are times when others in a jam join in singing with the person who’s doing the song, but unless otherwise requested, this is usually reserved for the chorus, and for the most part it is done for the purpose of harmonizing, not simply singing along.

Taking breaks (performing solos): This may, or may not follow a sequence (such as clockwise, or counterclockwise), because it is up to the person who has selected and is singing the song to call out individuals to do solos (verbally, or by a nod).

Those who want to do a solo usually try to make that evident by making eye contact with the particular song leader, who often is looking around the circle to see who wants to take a break; making such eye contact can be very important, since song leader may not otherwise know. And anyone who doesn’t want to solo on a particular song avoids eye contact, or signals by a negative shake of the head.

Often the sequence that the leader chooses when assigning solos takes into account the various instruments arrayed around the circle. If, for example, there are two guitars next to each other, the leader may skip one at one point, but return to that one later, so there is more variety during a particular break, and so two guitarists don't have to play one after the other.

What not to do: All jam guidelines also suggest that, regardless what one does do in a jam, jam etiquette is there to prevent behavior that can cause difficulty for other players. So what sorts of things can do this? Here’s a list of things that most often arise:

Noodling between songs. This involves playing scales, or licks, or chords, between songs. This can be very distracting, especially for the next player who’s turn it is to come up with a song. He, or she may be trying to remember something about the song, and noodling can distract him, or her. The one possible exception is the person who is responsible for the next song, who may noodle a bit to find correct key and/or remember an arrangement.

This is not to say noodling cannot be done at all; for those who are mobile, it’s simply a matter of stepping out of the circle and earshot.

Playing over someone else’s solo. Pros on albums can and do at times have two musicians harmonizing with each other during a break, but during a jam this can be problematic, because the person taking the break: (a) deserves his, or her solo, and (b) can easily be distracted by anyone who isn't just providing rhythm backup.

Tuning It is very important to be in tune, and those without perfect pitch use electronic tuners to tune their instruments. Usually, however, doing this while in the jam circle is seen as inappropriate--might be OK for those who are mobility limited, but otherwise players are expected to move out of circle to tune, or retune. It's the same problem as noodling. Of course, it may happen that several folks decide to check they're tuning at the same time, and the jam may pause for this to happen.

High Volume: Those who play excessively loud (especially on instruments that are inherently loud in the first place) can cover other instruments, or singers, with the result that they can’t be heard; if it’s the person leading the song who can’t be heard, the whole song can fall apart.

Hogging the jam. As indicated above, jams are an opportunity for players to play, and for those who sing to sing. Anyone who doesn’t follow the established sequence and keeps going out of turn can easily prevent this from happening.

A note about jam-busting: This refers to someone coming into a jam who, usually by violating various aspects of jam etiquette listed above, causes the jam to break up (people start leaving until only the jam-buster remains). The jam-buster’s behavior, one way or another, makes playing together in that jam unsatisfactory, so the jam ends.

Sometimes, this can include not being able to play up to the level of the others in the jam. Whether or not this is a problem will generally have to do with: (a) how much disparity there is in playing ability, or (b) the person's perceived ability to improve and benefit from playing with better musicians, or (c) the jammers willingness to include those who are less proficient (see below) , or (d) some combination of all three and maybe other factors as well. But whatever problems presented by someone who doesn't play as well, they're not really a matter of violating jam etiquette, so much as they are something that may reduce the fun for the other players in the jam--and whether that's the case, depends on just exactly who those members are. Remember, not all jams are the same.

Understandably, jam-busting is considered to be a bad thing. And, for the most part, it is, because the goal of jamming is to have fun playong together, and anyone who stops that from happening has thwarted that goal.

So, while there is nothing sacred about a jam (who knows, at times there may be jams that deserve to be busted), it’s better to abide by the general jam guidelines, or walk away and find another jam, if a particular one is unsatisfactory, than it is to enter and somehow bust up the jam.

Inclusiveness: Finally, and perhaps most important of all, almost all jam etiquettes written for bluegrass include the notion of inclusiveness. The guidelines are there to facilitate the joint enterprise of making music The goal is to encourage and make this possible, and this includes encouraging people who are just starting to get involved. So…while there may be varying guidelines that may, or may not be rigidly enforced in any particular jam, it’s important that whatever etiquette is being followed also be welcoming toward any and all who want to participate, regardless of their level of experience, or expertise, with the understanding that anyone who participates in a disruptive way may be politely told how to follow the etiquette, or to leave. In the event there is a group of players who are not welcoming, and this does indeed happen, then its best to move on to a jam that's more inclusive.

General jam guidelines: For Grinners

Yes, there are some guidelines that apply to those who so graciously choose to participate by listening. And like those for pickers, they primarily have to do with helping achieve the goal of the jam: Having fun playing and singing Bluegrass together.

Since those who come to listen don’t actually participate in the making of the music, the guidelines that apply to them mostly have to do with those things they might do that would get in the way of the jam. However, just like the etiquette for pickers, there can and will be variation in these guidelines, depending on the nature of the specific jam.

They all have to do with either distracting, or interrupting the jammers. These are the sorts of things that can do that:

1. Talking: Since grinners aren’t playing, there’s nothing to prevent them from talking to each other. And that’s something they should do. The problem is when they are sitting so close to the players that their conversation distracts the pickers. So…the general guideline is:

Sit far enough away that the jammers don't become distracted by the conversation.

If you’re not sitting that far away, only talk between songs.

2. Greeting jammers: Pickers and grinners alike are happy to meet and greet, so everyone wants to know if and when friends arrive. But…when it comes to the pickers, they usually don’t want that to happen during a song. So it’s best to wait for a break in the action, to make your presence known between songs. P.S. This applies to pickers who come up to a jam, as well.

3. Ah, the young’uns: It’s wonderful to have children involved. They’re a delight in their own right. And to have them present as potential participants in the future of Bluegrass is a wonderful prospect. And, as we all know, kids will be kids. They can be loud, rambunctious and highly energetic, enthusiastically running hither and yon, yelling in their loudest voices. We would never want to discourage that. And…all jammers would like to welcome kids into the jam as grinners, or pickers, for that matter, if they play, or are learning to play.

But, by their energy, their enthusiasm, by their possible lack of knowledge of jam etiquette, they do have the potential to obstruct the goal of jamming—so grinners and pickers alike are asked to recognize the potential affect of their children on jams and let the kids know how to be a helpful participants.

Some internet resources

Here are some links to other sites on the internet that provide discussions of jam etiquette:

Jam Etiquette - author unknown
Jam Etiquette - author unknown
Jam Etiquette by Edward I. Pollak
Jam Etiquette by Martha Haehl
Jam Session Etiquette by Vivian T. Williams
Jamming Etiquette by Doug Cox
Introduction to bluegrass jamming by Tom Barnwell
Ten Commandments of Jamming - author unknown, includes some suggestions by Pete Wernick
What IS a "Jammer"? by Dave Sawyer

All content herein © Southwest Bluegrass Association 2008 all rights reserved
grass Association 2007 all rights reserved

All content herein © Southwest Bluegrass Association 2007 all rights reserved

I Thou shalt not come to the jam to impresseth others with thine own talent for this is an abomination. The music shall be the star around which all musicians rotateth and not viceth-verseth! Attempts to make thine own star shine, shall surely lead thee into darkness!

II Thou shalt not forsake the beat. Thou shalt not speed up nor slow down accidentally when playing a tune for this shall be considered an abomination.

III Thou shalt arrange thyself in a small circle so that thou mayest see and mayest hear all the other musicians. Thou shalt listen with thine ears to the songs and shall attempt to play in one accord with the group. Also, thou shalt lift up thine eyes to look about thee, lest there be some visual sign that someone endeavoureth to render unto thee.

IV Thou shalt play softly when someone lifteth his voice in song, when the guitar taketh a break, and when thou knowest not what thou art doing.

V Thou shalt play in tune! Tune thine instrument well and tune it often with thine electric tuner lest the sound that emanateth from thine instrument be unclean!

VI Thou shalt commence and cease playing each tune as one, so that the noise you make be a joyful noise and is not an abomination. Whensoever a musician sticketh forth his foot, as though he were afflicted with a cramp in the fatted calf, thou must complete the rest of that verse and then cease. Thou shalt stick out thine own foot or else lift up thy voice, crying, “This is it!” or “Last time!” if thou hast been the one to begin the song and it hath been played sufficient times over. If the one who beginneth a tune, endeth it not by one of these signs, then the music goeth on in repetitious fashion until the listeners shall say, “Hark, it all soundeth the same!”

VII Thou shalt concentrate and shalt not confound the music by mixing up the “A” part with the “B” part. Most songs, but not all, proceedeth by the ancient law: “AABB”. But, if thou sinneth in this regard or make any mistake that is unclean, thou mayest atone not by stopping, nay, but by reentering the song at the proper place and playing on. Thy fellow musicians will support thee in this regard.

VIII Thou shalt be ever mindful of the key that the banjo is tuned in, and shall play many tunes in that key, for the banjo is but a lowly instrument and must needfully be retuned every time there is a key change.

IX Thou shalt speak gentle words of encouragement to those nourished on the milk of bluegrass music, but not the meat, lest a harsh word turn one again to the darkness that is pop music.

X Thou shalt not, by thyself, commence noodling off on a tune that the other musicians knoweth not, unless asked or unless thou art teaching that tune for this is an abomination, and the other musicians shall not hold thee blameless, and shall strike thee from their computer lists, yea, unto the third and fourth generation.

ny timesTwelve top bluegrassish bands from New York and beyond will fight it out for the chance to perform at the 2011 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco.

The panel will be: Dawn Holliday of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, Norm Parenteau of Slipshod Management representing one of the biggest acts in Americana music, Old Crow Medicine Show and Andrew Colvin of Ground Control Touring who books acts like Bright Eyes, She & Him, and Cat Power.

The twelve competing bands are: The Defibulators, The 2nd Avenue Mountain Boys, Bobtown, McMule, The Young Spokes, Gangstagrass, The Dive Bar Dukes, Alex Battles & Whiskey Rebellion, The Gold Top County Ramblers, Do it to Julia, Frankenpine, and the Michaela Anne Band. In addition to the bands, a whole gaggle of New Yorker cartoonists will be on stage providing comic interludes.

Get advance tickets at for $16.50 (Note that all seats are general admission) or call 212-388-0388 and reserve them for $15

Self Promotional Plug: my band USPS has our debut E.P. Due out this summer on Free Energy Media

The Five Deadly Venoms, Birdhive Boys, Holy Ghost Tent Revival @ Rockwood Stage 2 Sunday Feb 20 10:30pm

This is the most technically virtuosic bluegrass band in NYC, if you haven't had a chance to see the, run and see them ASAP!

Minneapolis-Based Quartet Proves There's Strength in Numbers With Four Bass Drum Rhythm Section

The 4onthefloor, a Minneapolis-based quartet that infuses Delta Blues, Americana and a healthy helping of classic rock, will release their debut full-length, 4x4, on vinyl April 4, 2011. The 16 track LP will be available on iTunes next Tuesday, February 8th.

Having formed just a year ago, the band's heavy-handed (or should we say heavy-footed) rhythm section, paired with lead singer Gabriel Douglas' gritty, baritone vocals, makes the listener both nostalgic and ready to drink... or maybe even fight. 4x4 has a sense of urgency- coercing you to snap out of the doldrums life can throw at you and jump into the fire.

The 4onthefloor won't bore you with trying to explain how multi-genre and indefinable they are - they play rock music; they play blues music. So what makes The 4onthefloor so different, you ask? The four bass drums that are part of their rhythm section is a great place to start.

You can check out all 4 bass drums in action here:



Beat of My Strut, Kaycemans new project

Beat of my Strut is a blog which former editor Aaron Kayce contributes to, they recently did an interview with me on my upcoming show and I got to talk about my favorite subject... Me. Thanks to everyone to the community for helping make it a great show.

Lincoln Center

How do you get to Lincoln Center? practice practice practice, and play in a band with someone in the orchestra.


Freddies Bar Reopens in South Slope

one of my favorite bars we used to play Freddies has reopened in south slope...

SOUTH PARK SLOPE One of the most inspirational stories to come out of the Atlantic Yards saga is that of Freddy’s, the little dive bar that could (with a little compromise). When the Prospect Heights bar found itself smack in the middle of the Barclays Center footprint, it fought long and hard against the project for years, even installing “chains of justice” so barflies could chain themselves to the bar when bulldozers arrived. Ultimately, the chains weren’t necessary–in April 2010, the bar owners eventually came to an agreement with the developers so they’d be able to keep the bar’s contents for an eventual move, and Freddy’s closed for several months. On Friday, Freddy’s is finally reopening at the old Ellis Bar space, at 627 5th Ave, between 17th and 18th Streets. Now owned by former managers and bartenders, and built with the help of staff and regulars, the new space maintains the flavor of the old Freddy’s (including the bar with the “chains of justice”), but also features some snazzy upgrades, including a kitchen serving pub food. To mark the rebirth of Freddy’s, the bar is having a party starting at 5pm and going all night, featuring Brooklyn’s own faux-Frenchies Les Sans Culottes performing at midnight; expect other musical guests, a painting exhibition by New York artist Nancy Drew, and much celebration.

via brooklyn based


Deepak Wellbeing

Spiritual Guru mogul extraordinaire, I mean people REALLY like his tapes. He is starting a new media arm of his brand based in Rhinebeck New York, same place that spiritual complex Omega institute is based in. The goals of the company seem worthy, and there really is nothing too evil about the whole operation. They are seeking out media types and the ubiquitous "web savvy" individual, meaning a millennial with basic web skills, and ability to point and click. Interesting to see how this company does against competitors like Dr. Weil. As of the time of this writing is still parked by Godaddy.

Internet/Online/New Media
Salary Hourly
Job Duration Part Time
Job Location Rhinebeck, NY USA
Job Requirements We are looking for a spirited assistant editor to work in a fast-moving environment focused on blogs, newsletters, and social media. The topic area is well-being and is anchored in the work of a celebrity MD. A three-day-a-week part-time position to start, this job may become fulltime and has long term potential. The editor will telecommute most of the time, with frequent in-person meetings.

Responsibilities will include:
--Aggregation of content and producing it;
--Writing blogs;
--Editing, including copy-editing;
--Organizing editorial features;
--Helping to develop editorial partnerships;
--Producing newsletters along with editor;
--Handling the social media for the site (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn); and
--Creating interesting editorial calendars.

Requirements: Internet and computer savvy expertise a must, technical aptitude so as to quickly learn the site's CMS and random software, skills in Photoshop and Excel a plus, social media experience, very well organized, initiator, self-disciplined, creative, independent thinker, and having a degree in English or journalism preferred.
About Our Company A vibrant startup with Deepak Chopra and other thought leaders in the well-being space, the company is small and fast moving requiring all-out creativity and an altruistic vision. DeepakWellbeing aims to pollinate the web with inspiration and strategies for well-being as well as be a place where anybody can join and become involved.
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