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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013
The seasonal formula is easy. More alcohol results in more cheer and more cheer equals more holiday spirits.

The Village Voice in New York may have been cutting their writers/staff earlier this year, but they aren’t afraid to tack on a new culinary event on the New York scene. Following in the foot steps of their ‘Choice Eats’ food event and their beer-themed ‘Brooklyn Pour’, the Voice will introduce ‘Holiday Spirits’ to Queens at Studio Square on December 5th, “the 80th anniversary of the day that ended the Prohibition era”.


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Monday, Nov 18, 2013
My only criticism of the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit is that too much great music was programmed at the same time, forcing some difficult decisions about where and when to show up. The 2014 edition cannot come soon enough.

Asheville, North Carolina’s Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, produced by AC Entertainment, Inc. (the producer/promoter behind Moogfest), featured a much broader variety of acts than its name suggests. Though traditional DJ sets were well represented (none better than the Friday night opener by Claude VonStroke), the rest of the bill offered acts for every taste of popular music. The concurrent performances on Friday evening illustrated the eclectic nature of the event, as veteran outsider acts like Half Japanese and Daniel Johnston played in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium while VonStroke, Purity Ring, and Deltron 3030 performed in the larger Exploreasheville.com Arena. The highlight of the evening was Deltron 3030, which is on tour for Event II but played a triumphant, orchestra-assisted set heavy with tunes from the group’s eponymous 2000 album.


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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013
Set to be a regularly occurring, touring event, Communion Music is hosting several bands, including Savoir Adore and Tennis, for their November jaunt.

The Communion Music event in New York was held at Rockwood Music Hall, a venue structured so that there are multiple stages split across its 3 or 4 rooms (with each room indicated by a # from 0-3). Stage 3 was set up as a small boutique space for a few local retailers selling such wares like cosmetics or apparel. People mingled here in between band’s sets on the neighboring and attached Stage 2, though some were queued outside in the chilly air. It was about 9:30 pm and Brooklyn’s Savoir Adore were going to come on around 10 or so but for a short time, I was concerned I wouldn’t get to see the band as people didn’t seem to exit Stage 2 and no one was allowed into the room. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze my way in and found a spot near a corner to catch SA’s set and a bit of the band Tennis, whose Small Sound EP was released that same day on the Communion label. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see this group yet, but I played their 2012 album Young & Old quite frequently and was curious to see how their drifting / shoe-gaze translated to a live performance.


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Thursday, Nov 7, 2013
Jessie Ware's classy voice is the backbone of her strong debut album Devotion, but her music might be better suited for smaller, more intimate venues.

Jessie Ware’s solo debut album Devotion was among PopMatters’ year end best-of lists in 2012 and rightfully earned a 9/10 here. The dynamic range of Ware’s vocal cords imbues her songs with a variety of emotions, from yearning to seduction to power On stage at Irving Plaza for her second show in New York City of the week, one of her many in 2013 (more shows than she had done in London this year she said), Ware demonstrated her humor and her powerful voice for the fawning crowd. The space closest to the stage was packed tight with fans not willing to give an inch. Ware’s fans are truly devoted; she gave a shout out to one girl named Gabby who was planning to wear a printed t-shirt featuring a photo of herself with the singer in the shot. Then, at the end, Ware received flowers from other adoring fans. However, Ware’s show didn’t leave much of an impression on me as a result of the venue size and the sound mix.


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Thursday, Oct 24, 2013
1973 was the year of Head Hunters, Herbie Hancock's seminal album. Forty years later, crowds are still loving "Chameleon", "Watermelon Man" and Hancock himself.

The other week, I had asked Moby if he had visited the revamped Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. He had not, and nor had I. I sought to remedy that ASAP and found Herbie Hancock would be performing there soon, almost two years after I first saw him perform and, as it turns out, nearly forty years since the release of Head Hunters (This is Book shares his thoughts on the album here). So when I arrived at The Cap, I found it to be a lovely venue, with comfortable chairs (that could be removed for more rock and/or youth-oriented shows) and great sound. The only complaint I could make about the venue was that the bar, Garcia’s, didn’t serve any food. But, for better or worse, if you came for a show, you could wander to the bar and watch a broadcast of the stage not more than 100 yards away in there. A nice escape for those who want to drink surely. However, neither the venue nor the bar were packed for this show. Presumably this is attributable to the age of Hancock and those who were the original target demographic of Head Hunters given that a view toward the stage showed a sea of white hair or balding heads.


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