knitting factory

The Summer Gig and Show Post Part II

Since I first wrote my first post about summer gigs, I’ve played a few shows, been to a few shows, and booked a few more.

I still can’t get over how much fun I had with The Hard Times when we played a set of blues covers and classic ska/punk tunes with Vic Ruggiero of the Slackers (videos and more excitement here). I caught Common in Ft. Greene at a festival. It was great to finally see him, but he played a very short set, half of which was a cool (yet, too long) medley of classic hip-hop tunes. The opening acts were also pretty lame and I missed Soulive entirely, who I was there to see in the first place. I caught The Aggrolites with The Have Nots at Highline Ballroom, one of the few all ages venues in Manhattan where you can see bands that aren’t big enough to fill Irving Plaza and the like. The Have Nots killed it and A.G.G.R.O. played a great set, though I felt like the whole night was a little bit better a year ago, when I saw the same two bands and one more at the Mercury Lounge. It’s a smaller, more intimate venue, though not all ages. A few nights later, I caught half a set at the pizza place near me (Two Boots Brooklyn, nothing like Two Boots in Manhattan, go right now) from a new project called Grand Concourse, featuring Kevin Batchelor of The Skatalites, Rhianna, Batchelor Party, the list goes on, Johnny Meyers of The Stingers ATX, Gideon from Westbound Train, and Eddie Ocampo of The Stubborn All-Stars and The Jammyland All-stars, as well as some other amazing musicians I know I’ve seen before. They KILLED it.

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NYC Hearts JWM (And Vice Versa)

Check out this lo-fi clip of The Hard Times, me on riddim guitar, playing the rock ‘n’ roll classic “Kansas City” with Vic Ruggiero, lead singer/songwriter and keyboard player for The Slackers. He also played keys for Rancid and countless others.

Only in NYC and Brooklyn would something this crazy happen. I can’t tell you how cool of an experience this was given how many times I’ve seen him play with The Slackers (and solo for that matter) and at so many different venues. But here in NYC, these things just seem to happen to me. Ageny Jay (guitarist for The Slackers) was spinning all night which just added to it.

I’ve had the chance to play with members of The NY Ska-Jazz Ensemble, King Django, Victor Rice (playing songs like “Simmer Down” and “Drum Song”), The Scofflaws, to name a few, just because I’ve hung around late enough at the Knitting Factory. WTF?

It’s gonna take a lot to ever get me out of this town. More clips below the jump.

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The Summer Gig Post

Summer is pretty much going to rock. This past weekend was The Slackers CD release show, The Specials are playing at the Central Park Summer Stage, Warped Tour has a handful of bands I’m psyched to see, The Aggrolites hit NYC the end of June, and most importantly I have a whole mess of gigs with more on the way.

Hey Stranger began recording back in March and will be working through the summer; stay tuned for details on that. Hey Stranger is also currently in search of horn players and a 2nd guitarist/vocalist. Email the band if you’re interested. The Hard Times finished a recording session recently and is the midst of mixing.

THE HARD TIMES

Friday, June 11, 2010, 7pm
Eastern District, 43 Bogart St, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, L Train to Morgan
with The Forthrights, Royal City Riot, 1592, Silver Dollar, 100dbs
Facebook Event

Friday, June 18, 2010, 8pm
Rock N Roll Reggae Show
Death By Audio, 49 S. 2nd St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
L Train to Bedford, JMZ to Marcy
with Vic Ruggiero (The Slackers) – Solo performance of R n’R, Blues & Country
The Heavy Beat – PA. Reggae, Soul, Ska, Dub
& Vic backed by The Hard Times and guests for a set of classics by The Clash, Hank Williams, The Wailers, Elvis Costello, The Nods!
Agent Jay (The Slackers) spins Rock n’ Roll, Reggae, Rhythm n’ Blues & Ska!
Facebook Event

Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 8pm
The Forthrights Tour Kick Off Show
Eastern District, 43 Bogart St, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, L Train to Morgan
with Vic Ruggiero, Chris Murray, The Forthrights,  The Bandulus
Facebook Event

Thursday, July 10, 2010, 9pm
Dirty Reggae Party VI
The Lake, 258 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn, NY
L Train to Montrose
with R-Tronika, The Bandulus, The Frighteners, Crazy Baldhead Sound System
Facebook Event

HEY STRANGER

Saturday, August 7, 2010
Version City Party
Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY
L to Lorimer, G to Metropolitan
Details TBA

More to come! As per usual, I’ll make a dozen changes to this once it’s posted as I get more information and catch mistakes…

Upcoming Gigs: March & April 2010

I realize we’re already halfway into March but I have three gigs left this month and April is already packed to the brim. I didn’t take the time to link every venue and band because you’re smart people and know how to use the google. These are gigs playing bass for Hey Stranger or guitar for The Hard Times unless otherwise stated. I will be continuously adding information to this post, especially in regards to the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend as I have it.

*** UPDATED 4/5/10 5:11pm ***

Sunday, March 21, 2010
Bushwick Music Studios – 55 Waterbury Street, Brooklyn, NY
Royal City Riot (LI), The Pinstripes (OH), The Best Of The Worst (NJ), Hey Stranger (NYC)
Take the L train to Montrose Avenue
All Ages, Doors @ 7PM, $7
Facebook Event
*** Please note that Hey Stranger will not be playing Monday, March 22 at The Space in Hamden, CT ***

Thursday, March 25, 2010
“Reggae Hit The Town”
Ella Lounge, 9 Avenue A, B/w Houston and 1st
9pm, 21+, $6
The Forthrights, The Hard Times, Predator Dub Assassin
Facebook Event

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Hannah Fairchild’s “Paper Kingdoms” CD Release Party
Bar 4, 444 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
with Annie Ragz, Debbie Miller, Ten Antennna
I have the privilege of joining the backing band for singer-songwriter Hannah Fairchild.
Facebook Event

Saturday, April 3, 2010
Version City Monthly
Skinnerbox (Reunion), The Scofflaws, Eastern Standard Time, The Hard Times, The Forthrights, Late Night Version City All Star Jam
Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave, L Train to Lorimer
7pm, All Ages, $10 adv/$12 dos
Facebook Event

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 1
Presented by East Coast Collective
Bushwick Music Studios, 55 Waterbury St, L Train to Montrose
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Nix 86 (LI),  Hey Stranger, Curious Volume
7pm, All Ages
Facebook Event

Friday, April 9, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 2
Presented by Bronx Underground
First Lutheran Church, 375 Baisley Ave, Bronx, NY
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Endwell, Knuckle Up, Nix 86
Facebook Event

Saturday April 10, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 3
Presented By East Coast Collective
Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, 38 Old Country Rd, Garden City, LI, NY
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Nix 86 (LI),  Hey Stranger, Hello Nurse, More TBA
All Ages, 6:30pm, $8
Facebook Event

Sunday, April 11, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 4
Past Thymes, 383 Main St, East Haven, CT
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Nix 86 (LI),  Hey Stranger, These Green Eyes, Honey Creeper
7pm, $10 Under 21, $5 21+
Facebook Event

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Grace of Spades Presents Reggae Onna Bowery
Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery (at 2nd St.)
Wolf & Leopard, The Hard Times, The Equilbrians
8pm, $5, 21+

Saturday April 17, 2010
The Shrine, 271 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard, Harlem, NY
The Hard Times
Details TBA

Saturday May 1, 2010
Jacob Wake Up! Presents:
The Have Nots (Boston, MA), That Band With The Fat Kids (VA), More TBA
Bushwick Music Studio, 55 Waterbury St, Brooklyn, NY

Duff Guide To Ska Reviews Hey Stranger

The great people over at Duff Guide To Ska had some great things to say about Hey Stranger‘s recent set at The Knitting Factory at the last Version City Party. Be sure to visit their site for a wide range of news from the ska world, not just in the NYC area.

Hey Stranger delivered a great set of their tight, high-energy ska-punk-pop tunes. Clearly, they were having a blast on stage and so was the audience, which seemed to be heavily stacked in their favor. Trombonist Ginger Hale (“heartthrob” according to their MySpace page), the most uninhibited and irrepressible member of the band, may have had the most fun of all (and his performance was strangely riveting–notice how in the videos I shot that I usually placed him in the center of the frame…).

They also snagged some great video clips! (more…)

Upcoming Gigs with The Hard Times – The Slackers Holiday Show!

I have to admit, it’s a thrill to be participating in a annual event I used to travel from CT to see. The Slackers Holiday shows are like nothing else. There are special guests, songs they don’t play year round, and it’s just a very special vibe. The first time I went, they were joined on songs by members of Hepcat, The Pietasters, and The Stingers ATX. Last year they played a reggae version of Little Drummer Boy, their version of the Dreidel Song, and Santa Clause is coming to down in a very swing/ska style. Last year, Sammy from The Forthrights dressed up as Santa and gave out gifts while Vic, the keyboardist and songwriter for the Slackers, told stories. The list goes on…

This year, The Hard Times will be opening the first of their 2 nights at the Brooklyn Knitting Factory. I’m amped.

Slackers Holiday Shows Flier

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