Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dan Deacon @Red Hook Park, June 15th

Bolstered by perfect weather and a chance to spend time with The Susannah, I ventured deeper into my borough to Red Hook Park, which last night hosted a concert by the oft-scorned or completely adored Dan Deacon and his ensemble. Oh, and did I mention it was free?

Based on the crowd assembled near the stage by me, I had many misgivings about whether I'd enjoy the show. I so desperately wanted to shove a few people, but that would have involved making actual contact with their sweaty bodies. Rather, I opted to chill and just have a good time, and that I did.

(More words and pics after the jump.)

Allen Toussaint @Prospect Park Bandshell, June 12th

Despite having to work the next morning, I dragged Bestest Boy out to Prospect Park on Saturday to make use of our Friend passes we received for contributing to Celebrate Brooklyn!, the group responsible for the excellent line up at the Bandshell summer after summer. We caught a great pairing of New Orleans pianists, the legendary Allen Toussaint, and the entertaining Davell Crawford.

(More words and pics after the jump.)

Tokyo Police Club @The Studio at Webster Hall, June 2nd

Occasionally, writing this little crap blog affords me the opportunity to attend out gigs at the behest of a publicist, and as you might know, I'm all about the free. Such was the case with this mostly invite-only record release show for Tokyo Police Club, a buzz band that up until this point, I had little reason to check out. But with the lure of free booze and a chance to see the Studio at Webster Hall, and an early start that worked well with proceeding work day, I brought along Shana and Julie for what ended up being an enjoyable evening.

(More words and setlist after the jump.)

Dylan Fest @Bowery Ballroom, May 27th

Dylan Fest, the best $13 ever spent? An assembly of some very well-known musicians, and some not so well known ones, but all very enthusiastic and talented people (with the possible exception of Adam Green, who couldn't be bothered to learn lyrics or even read off his cheat sheet all that well) playing a 2.5 hour set of purely Bob Dylan songs -- could it get any better than that? Despite the late start, I really enjoyed seeing all the different players, including a few I probably would never ordinarily see. Even Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis of SNL showed up and pitched in on a song -- how's that for random? At the end, the entire gang returned and filled the entire stage, and you could really feel the warmth radiating outward. What a pleasure it was to witness this party.

(More pics after the jump.)

Yundi @Carnegie Hall, May 20th

Every once in a while, I deviate from the usual indie rock show and go back to my roots -- 10 years of piano lessons when I was a kid. And I can blame/thank my mom for that. We were originally supposed to see the Chinese wunderkind Yundi back in November of last year, but it was rescheduled to this Spring, which nicely coincided with the Dalai Lama being in town at Radio City Music Hall, to which I won a pair of passes for earlier in the day.

As you can see from the above cell phone pic I snuck, I purposely picked seats in the Second Tier that would allow us to have a good view of the piano so we could see his handiwork. The program was almost entirely comprised of pieces by Chopin, including Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, aka the Funeral March. As the first part was all nocturnes, I thought his performance, though technically impressive, was a bit restrained (especially compared to a flamboyant nutjob like Lang Lang). But once he got into the Polonaises, Yundi really took off from the preciousness that so dominated his nocturnes. He closed out the evening with two encores, including a traditional Chinese song my mom picked up on, and Etude in C minor, Op. 10, No. 12 (Revolutionary), which left the not-quite full auditorium breathless.