Tag Archives: Alec Spiegelman

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Margaret Glaspy Gets Earnest at a Sold-Out Bowery Ballroom

February 17th, 2017

Margaret Glasper – The Bowery Ballroom – February 16, 2017

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The cold and wind in New York City was pretty insufferable last night. But lucky for me, I got to slip into The Bowery Ballroom and join a sold-out crowd for the brilliant Margaret Glaspy and the dynamos of Cuddle Magic, a chamber-pop group whose members have some impressive names on their résumés (Beyoncé, Amanda Palmer and Okkervil River). The six-piece took the stage first and launched into a set of songs from their brand new album, Ashes/Axis. Layered synths, staccato beats and exquisite vocals make it a great listen. The bandmates hopped down into the crowd and went acoustic for part of the set amidst their beaming audience. They also used the night as an opportunity to film a music video for “Kiss You”—there was a kissing booth set up downstairs and everyone was encouraged to slide on in for a cameo. Speaking of cameos, Glaspy briefly joined them onstage for a song they wrote together.

The headliner and her band made their way onstage next for a first-rate set of songs from her critically acclaimed full-length, Emotions & Math. Glaspy’s sultry voice could make any space intimate. She’s magnetic and it seemed impossible to not take a few steps forward to soak in every one of her nostalgic lyrics and jagged guitar riffs. Highlights included “Somebody to Anybody,” a cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” and a soulful rendition of Lucinda Williams’ “Fruits of My Labor.” Glaspy brought out friend and collaborator Julian Lage to add to the guitar magic with a couple of exceptional solos. There’s affection, hurt and pride in her music, and she scrutinizes the highs and lows of love and heartbreak in a jaunty, approachable way. There’s no limit to this type of exploration, as musicians have proved to us for years. Here’s hoping Glaspy keeps on bringing us her earnest, gorgeous take on the matter. —Schuyler Rooth | @SchuylerSpeak

 

 

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Pokey LaFarge Extends the Weekend on Sunday Night in Williamsburg

April 1st, 2016

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Andrew Heissler has appeared on other musician’s albums, like Jack White’s Blunderbuss, but he’s best known for fronting his own band as Pokey LaFarge and mashing together Americana, country, blues and Western swing into his own unique roots-y sound. And while that kind of music is often played quietly, it all comes to raucous life when LaFarge (above, doing “Actin’ a Fool” at the Grand Ole Opry) performs live with Adam Hoskins (guitar and vocals), Joey Glynn (upright bass), Ryan Koenig (harmonica, washboard and mandolin) and Matthew Meyer (drums). Their most recent album, Something in the Water (stream it below), came out last spring. “Pokey LaFarge is a force of nature. Not only has he set out to popularize his unique take on the traditional American music he so obviously loves, but he has done it with verve, energy and commitment,” per PopMatters. “This would be commendable even if his music, almost entirely self-written, was any less good than it is, but, notwithstanding his efforts, the music on Something in the Water is that good.” Additionally, they declare that the album “is joyous, musically seamless, progressive and celebratory all in one.” So come join the party—and extend your weekend—when Pokey LaFarge plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday night. The Cactus Blossoms—two Minneapolis brothers—open the show.