Tag Archives: Joseph Arthur


A Birthday Gift for Elliott Smith

August 12th, 2013

Elliott Smith Tribute – The Bowery Ballroom – August 10, 2013

Last Tuesday would have been Elliott Smith’s 44th birthday, and it still feels strange to live in a world without him. Almost 10 years after his death, there was a palpable void on Saturday night at The Bowery Ballroom. Perhaps it was because so much else of Elliott was present: his family, friends, fans and, most important, his music to bring everyone together to honor a cause close to his heart. The night, emceed by Rhett Miller of Old 97’s, marked the end of a four-concert stretch of shows across the U.S. in honor of Smith’s birthday, organized by Smith’s sister Ashley Welch. All proceeds went to New Alternatives, a New York City–based organization to help homeless LGBT youth. Welch shared her personal story of how her brother was the first person she told she was gay. Welch knew him for his big heart, and she mentioned how when he was living in New York City, Smith would stuff bills into the shoes of homeless people he saw sleeping on the street, never anything less than a $20.

Saturday’s show featured many guest performers and friends—some who knew Smith well and others who knew him only through his music—sharing their stories. The night’s first set came from Smith’s former manager JJ Gonson’s band Meat Industry. Smith’s close friend Mary Lou Lord brought out with her the big star of the night, her 14-year-old daughter Annabelle, herself a big Smith fan, who sang and played through “St. Ides Heaven” and “I Figured You Out.” Young Hines traveled all the way from Nashville for the night, performing Smith’s most well-known song, “Needle in the Hay.” And Katarina Guerra sang her way through beautiful renditions of “Twilight” and “Between the Bars,” managing to bring out that haunting gorgeousness of Smith’s singing style.

The legendary Bob Dorough covered “Waltz #1” in addition to one of Smith’s favorites, a song he penned for Schoolhouse Rock!, “Figure 8.” Sirius XM DJ Jenny Eliscu shared her story about Smith’s inane ability to cheer up other people and how he stood by her side after her date stood her up at The Bowery Ballroom for a Neutral Milk Hotel show in 1998. Christina Courtin played two of the night’s biggest sing-alongs, “Angeles” and “Rose Parade.” Unannounced guests included Joseph Arthur, who played “Alameda” and was later joined by Pat Sansone of Wilco, who played “Waltz #2” and “Say Yes.” The night ended with everyone returning to the stage together to perform “Happiness” joined by every voice in the audience. There was only one missing. —Dan Rickerhsauser

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com


Joseph Arthur Celebrates Albums Release at The Bowery Ballroom

June 12th, 2013

For more than 15 years, singer-songwriter (and visual artist) Joseph Arthur has won over fans with his extensive catalog of critically acclaimed recorded material and a heavy touring schedule. Notably, one of the first people he won over was Peter Gabriel, who signed Arthur to his Real World label in the mid-’90s, giving him a wider public platform as he began opening for the likes of Ben Harper and Gomez. That exposure worked as fans took to Arthur’s one-man live performances filled with plenty of looping and distortion techniques. (Plus, fans could take home a soundboard recording of each show.) Arthur (above, doing “Almost Blue” in studio for KEXP FM) just released the “psychedelic soul” record The Ballad of Boogie Christ (stream it below), which features a diverse cast of guest performers, including Harper, Garth Hudson and Juliette Lewis. American Songwriter says it “weaves beautiful narratives in and out of folksy numbers and rock songs, adding a layered palette of horn solos and soulful back-up singer,” and Arthur celebrates the album’s release tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.

Exclusive Video: RNDM Perform Live at Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 13th, 2012

While best known as the bassist for Pearl Jam, one of the biggest bands in the world, Jeff Ament has always pursued other musical outlets. So he never forgot about the random meeting he had with singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur back in 1999. And when the two finally got together again—this time with drummer Richard Stuverud and Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason—they did so with the intention of making an up-temp rock record, the recently released Acts, under the name RNDM. Watch them perform “What You Can’t Control,” recorded live from Music Hall of Williamsburg exclusively for The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube.

Check out three more songs from the same set: http://tbp.im/RTy4cg. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to watch more performances and interviews and to get the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows.


Two Nights of RNDM

November 2nd, 2012

Variety is the spice of life, or so the saying goes. But it’s a true story when it comes to
Jeff Ament
, who despite being Pearl Jam’s bassist since 1990, still yearns to do something different from time to time. And this time that thing is RNDM. The band name comes from the random meeting he and singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur once had at Wetlands in 1999. It took some time for them to reunite, but when they finally did—with the addition of drummer Richard Stuverud (previously bandmates with Ament in Three Fish)—they intended to make an up-tempo rock album, which was recorded over four days in a Montana studio with Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason. That album, Acts, was just released on Tuesday. Stream it below, watch the video for its lead single, “Modern Times,” above, and then go see RNDM live at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight or next Thursday, 11/8, at The Bowery Ballroom.


Gomez Closes Out Tour at Terminal 5

July 15th, 2011

Gomez – Terminal 5 – July 14, 2011

You can’t predict rock and roll: Just hours prior to last night’s show at Terminal 5, the opening act for Gomez (Good Old War) had to bow out of the lineup due to an injury to one of its members. But the British didn’t let that ruin the night. They called on close friend Joseph Arthur to fill in and then put on a monster set of their own. Singer Ian Ball and guitarist-vocalist Tom Gray did their normal rotation of lead-singing duties from song to song, with Gray handling most of the looser, more melodic tracks (like “Waster”) while Bell handled the louder ones (like “Ruff Stuff,” which had fans literally running back from the bathroom to scream along). And as it was the last night of Gomez’s tour, the band had some crew members come onstage for a few of the shout-out choruses, a nice gesture to the people who help them play so well every night. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | www.jcmcilwaine.com