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Monday, Feb 16, 2015
San Fermin presented enriched versions of songs from their forthcoming album Jackrabbit to the Lincoln Center audience.

The presence of open incandescent light bulbs on stage at the Appel Room (formerly Allen Room) enhanced the already gorgeous atmosphere of the Lincoln Center venue that overlooks Columbus Circle and Central Park South with its ebb and flow of headlights. At the same time, the atmospheric “baroque pop” of San Fermin (with a total of eight members) was enhanced by the presence of the six-piece Metropolis Ensemble (three brass/horns and three strings). San Fermin were showcasing songs from their forthcoming, second album Jackrabbit out in April on Downtown Records. Primary song-writer Ellis Ludwig-Leone was off on the side at his keyboards, remaining low-key, as his bandmates were the center of a vibrant, almost hour and a half, performance. The rest of San Fermin includes John Brandon on trumpet, Stephen Chen on saxophone, Rebekah Durham on violin, Michael Hanf on drums, Tyler McDiarmid on guitar, and Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate alternating on vocals.


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Friday, Feb 6, 2015
The inviting balladry of the Rails evokes bygone traditions of the British Isles.

The husband and wife duo of the Rails (James Walbourne and Kami Thompson) released their debut album Fair Warning last year on the resurrected Pink Label of Island Records. The Pink Label was home to the albums of Richard and Linda Thompson, Kami’s parents, so it was a fitting tribute. The album hasn’t made a huge splash amongst critics as there are few reviews online for it. But Fair Warning is a contemporary album of ballads that evoke bygone musical traditions from the British Isles.


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Monday, Feb 2, 2015
The intimacy made Café Carlyle a special place to celebrate LaVette's 69th birthday but her residency there continues.

Singer Bettye LaVette’s legendary status has been cemented by the fact that she is holding a residency at the Café Carlyle. And on January 29th, the second night, the lucky audience, including friends and family, had the opportunity to celebrate not just the release of LaVette’s latest album Worthy earlier in the week, but also to mark her 69th birthday with a toast.


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Monday, Jan 12, 2015
The combination of the Black Keys and St. Vincent in one arena brought together two formidable and well-received guitar-driven acts for the final show of their 2014 tours.

Towards the end of 2014, the year in which both The Black Keys and St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, released strong albums (Turn Blue and St. Vincent respectively), it was a treat to hear both artists would be touring together. St. Vincent opened for Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach for the last stretch of their tour, fourteen shows, the final stop of which was at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Black Keys are no strangers to arenas and they knew how to up their game for this show, revealing more of the stage throughout the night. It was practically hit after hit after hit with their set, but my particularly favorite stretch of songs came near the middle, beginning with “Howlin’ for You”, a cover of “A Girl Like You” and finally “Money Maker” though the encore, which included the hypnotic simmer of “Turn Blue” was hardly second fiddle.


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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Stephen Trask, co-creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tits of Clay and some special guests played a benefit for Road Recovery, that doubled as a celebration for the reopening of Don Hill's venue.

The original Don Hill’s venue was essentially were Hedwig and the Angry Inch was born. Co-creators Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell conceived of their musical at the venue’s weekly Squeezebox parties. But Don Hill’s closed in 2011, before the reincarnation of Hedwig on Broadway earlier this year. But the legendary venue has just been revived as The Hills NYC and, as one of the first events in the space, this show was a “benefit for Road Recovery, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities by harnessing the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge, and resources”. The organization invited the current Hedwig band, Tits of Clay with the current Broadway star Michael C. Hall and co-creator Stephen Trask for the performance along with some special guests.


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