Another gig this weekend…

Christian Beach @ Twisted Tree Cafe
Christian Beach @ Twisted Tree Cafe

I will be playing accordion for my good friend, singer-songwriter Christian Beach, when he performs at Twisted Tree Cafe in Asbury Park, NJ, on Friday, June 19, at 9:45 p.m. The performance is part of the annual Wave Gathering Festival, which features more than 175 artists appearing at more than two dozen venues throughout Asbury Park.

Gorgo (mandolin) and Agency‘s Michael Scotto (percussion) will also be taking part in the ensemble.

So if you are in the area, please stop by and take in some great local music.

Reminder: Christian Beach CD release party this Friday

Christian Beach CD Release Party - Click for PDF Flyer
Christian Beach CD Release Party - Click for PDF Flyer

As mentioned earlier on this blog, I will be part of the backing band for my good friend, singer-songwriter Christian Beach, when he takes to the stage at The Saint (601 Main St.) in Asbury Park, NJ, this Friday night as he celebrates the recent release of his self-titled, solo CD.

Joining in the festivities will be Arlan Feiles and The Lone Howdys, as well as The Sunday Blues. Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are just $10.

Christian’s band this time out includes John Pfeiffer (Well of Souls, In Between Dreams) on electric guitars, Michael Scotto (Agency) on drums and percussion, Gorgo (Private Sector) on mandolin and bass, Keith McCarthy (The Works, The Sunday Blues) on bass, and yours truly on organ, accordion and tambourine.

If you are in the area and are available that night, please feel free to come to the show. If you want to get a taste of Christian’s music, visit his new web site at ChristianBeach.net, or visit him on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/christianbeach. Plus, he is now on Facebook and Twitter.

The CD can be purchased via CDBaby.com, iTunes or Amazon.com.

Christian Beach
The Saint
601 Main St.
Asbury Park, NJ
(Directions via Google Maps)

Christian Beach’s CD release party @ The Saint, 4/10/09

Christian Beach
Christian Beach

Mark your calendars for April 10…not only is it my wonderful girlfriend’s birthday, but my friend Christian Beach will be celebrating the recent release of his self-titled CD with a show at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ.

I will once again be part of Christian’s backing band, helping out on organ and accordion, as he performs the entire 12-song CD in tracklist order. Christian will be hitting the stage around 10 p.m. and tickets are just $10.

If you are in the area and are available that night, please feel free to come to the show. If you want to get a taste of Christian’s music, visit his new web site at ChristianBeach.net, or visit him on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/christianbeach.

The CD can be purchased via CDBaby.com or iTunes.

Christian Beach
The Saint
601 Main St.
Asbury Park, NJ
http://www.thesaintnj.com

Valentine’s Day recap featuring Ben Folds, blurry pic police and temporary dining rooms

UPDATED 2/17/09 to include YouTube video…


Ben Folds performs “Fair” in Dallas, Texas, during an October 2008 performance (link).

Because Ben Folds was playing at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia last night, my girlfriend, Alison, and I basically celebrated Valentine’s Day on Friday night. We exchanged gifts, she made me dinner and I gave her flowers…you know…all that stuff.

But we had made reservations for an early evening dinner Saturday at Copper Bistro in the Northern Liberties section of Philly since it is close to where the Electric Factory is. We get to the front door of the restaurant and there is a greeter outside…and nobody in the restaurant. After asking if we had reservations, he informs us that a problem with the restaurant’s oven hood meant the place was full of smoke. However, the owner was good friends with the owner of a small art gallery across the street, so the Copper Bistro staff moved all the tables and chairs over to the gallery, which served as dining room for the night. It was very resourceful and it was nice to see area businesses working together, especially in these times.

And the food was pretty good overall. The desserts were a bit of a let down, but the coffee was good and that’s all that matters to me after a meal.

Anyway, after dinner, we headed to the Electric Factory. Now, I am not one of those people at concerts who are constantly taking pictures — mostly because my photos usually turn out awful. But I like to take a few just to post on the ol’ blog. You may notice, however, that there is no photo to go along with this blog entry. I will explain that in a bit.

Knowing that I have received some pretty serious pat-downs upon entering the Electric Factory, I gave Alison my camera and my Flip camcorder to put in the bottom of her purse. In the past, it always seemed that women breezed through the security check while I was getting scrutinized for the various contact lens solutions I always carry around with me. This time, it was different…they didn’t even touch me, but they were going through all the women’s bags. Fortunately, Alison got through without the staff confiscating either camera.

However, they must have confiscated a lot because an announcement was made just before the night’s opening act, Miniature Tigers, took the stage that told people where to pick up their cameras before leaving.

So I wasn’t even going to attempt to take out my digital camera or the Flip. But I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I attempted to get one or two pics of Ben with my Blackberry.

Ben Folds and his band — now a five-musician unit — hit the stage around 10 p.m. and opened with “Fair” (see video of October 2008 performance above) from the Ben Folds Five CD “Whatever and Ever Amen”…a song I love that I haven’t heard Ben play live in quite some time. About a minute into the song, I noticed that everybody around me had their camera out taking pictures, including a few who were using flashes. Because I know any pic I take with the Blackberry is going to be crappy without using the flash, I figured I would try to take the photo and try to blend in with the 50 people or so around me who are taking pictures.

I take the pic and almost immediately, an Electric Factory staff member comes up behind me and tells me to delete the photo and to put the phone away…and that I would be thrown out if caught taking another photo.

So that was the end of my picture taking. But what bothered me was that, for the remainder of the night, there were people in my immediate vicinity who were obviously raising their cameras up to take photos and video. BUT NOTHING WAS SAID TO THEM. And since the LCD screens on these cameras were so freakin’ noticeable, I could see these photos and videos were coming out 50 times better than the piece of crap blurry pic that existed on my Blackberry for about 15 seconds. AGAIN, NOTHING WAS SAID TO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE. I think the “camera police” guy busted me and, possibly, the guy to my left, and that was it.

Hopefully, I will eventually find these better pics somewhere on the Interwebs and I will, as Mike Doughty says, gank one to accompany this blog post.

OK…so now that my rant is over about that, how was the show?

First, Miniature Tigers opened with a pretty decent set. I had listened to a couple of their songs on their MySpace page to familiarize myself a bit with them and didn’t really like what I had heard. But they sound much better live. And, even though Miniature Tigers are apparently gaining popularity among the young folks (they will be at South By Southwest next month), I don’t think I’ll be jumping on the bandwagon any time soon…just not my cup of tea.

In between Miniature Tigers and Ben Folds, the all-female Gracenotes a cappella group from West Chester University performed two original songs and then a version of “Fred Jones, Part 2” from Ben’s “Rockin’ the Suburbs” CD, which the group recorded with Ben for an upcoming disc featuring 18 a cappella groups from various colleges, universities and high schools performing songs from both Ben’s solo catalog and those from the Ben Folds Five days.

And, like I said, Ben Folds and his four fellow musicians hit the stage around 10 p.m. and knocked it out of the freakin’ park. Aside from nearly getting tossed out for taking a blurry picture with my Blackberry, this may have been the best show I have seen Ben play…especially with a band. He did an incredible solo show a few years ago in Princeton, N.J., that I hold in high regard. But last night’s show may have topped it.

By my count, he played 26 songs that covered a lot of musical territory. I don’t remember the setlist in sequential order, although I am trying to find an accurate setlist on a couple of the Ben Folds-dedicated forums that are out there. In the meantime, I have put together this list of songs based on what CDs they appeared and which were from the Ben Folds Five days:

BEN FOLDS – WAY TO NORMAL ( 2008 )
Effington
Brainwascht
You Don’t Know Me
Hiroshima
Before Cologne/Cologne
Free Coffee
Kylie From Connecticut
Dr. Yang
Dr. Yang (from the “fake leak” version of the CD)
Bitch Went Nuts (from the “fake leak” version of the CD)
Way to Normal (from the “fake leak” version of the CD)

BEN FOLDS – SONGS FOR SILVERMAN (2005)
Bastard
Landed

BEN FOLDS – ROCKIN THE SUBURBS (2001)
Annie Waits
Zak and Sara
The Luckiest (which he dedicated to his wife…contradicting an article published online just two days earlier stating that his fourth marriage, to Fleur, had recently ended)
Not the Same

BEN FOLDS FIVE (in order I remembered what songs were performed):
Fair
Alice Childress (with a credit to WXPN for making it an early “hit” for BF5)
Eddie Walker
Army
Lullabye
Underground
Philosophy (including Misirilou and a bit of Theme from Dr. Pyser at the end)
Kate
Emaline

Any Ben Folds show that features “Army,” “Emaline,” “Philosophy,” “Underground” and “Alice Childress” are considered freakin’ sweet by default. “Fair” and “Kate” made it that much better.

UPDATE (1:47 p.m. ET/2-15-2009):

Here is a setlist, courtesy of thesuburbs.org.uk:

onstage 10:00 PM

1. Fair
2. Effington
3. Brainwascht
4. You Don’t Know Me
5. Annie Waits
6. Alice Childress
7. Way To Normal
8. Lovesick Diagnostician (fake Dr. Yang)
9. Dr. Yang
10. Hiroshima
11. Bastard
12. Landed
13. Free Coffee
14. Eddie Walker
15. Lullabye
16. Emaline
17. The Luckiest
18. Kylie From Connecticut
19. Army
20. Underground
21. Not The Same
22. Cologne
23. Bitch Went Nutz

encore:
24. Zak and Sara
25. Kate
26. Philosophy

offstage 12:05 AM

Ben Folds Five reunites for Chapel Hill, N.C., show on 9/18

Ben Folds Five will be reuniting for one night only in Chapel Hill, NC, on Sept. 18, 2008.
Ben Folds Five will be reuniting for one night only in Chapel Hill, NC, on Sept. 18, 2008.

I was stunned to see this news this morning, but Ben Folds will be performing with former bandmates Darren Jesse and Robert Sledge for a Ben Folds Five reunion show at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Sept. 18, 2008. The show, which kicks off MySpace.com’s new Front To Back concert series, will feature the band playing their 1999 CD “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner” in its entirety.

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. ET through eTix on Monday, Sept. 8.

Ustream.TV: Christian Beach live on “Sunday Jams” (7/13/2008)

Below is a Ustream.tv archive of a live “Sunday Jams” performance by Christian Beach on July 13, 2008. The backing band, which comes on for the fourth song, features Gorgo (mandolin, bass, backing vocals), John Pfeiffer (guitars, dobro), Michael Scotto (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and yours truly (organ, accordion, tambourine).

Set List:
1. Shadows (Christian Beach solo)
2. Cemetery Friends (Christian Beach solo)
3. Don’t Want to Be a Lonely Man (Christian Beach w/ Gorgo)
4. The Finest Day (Christian w/ full band)
5. Great Ideas (Christian w/ full band)
6. Poet of the Great Plains (Christian w/ full band)
7. Song for Matthew (Christian w/ full band)
8. Open Spaces (Christian w/ full band)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “7/13/08 Christian Beach, broadbandbox…“, posted with vodpod

Hello from the XPN Music Festival

I am spending most of the weekend at the 2008 XPNXPoNenetial Music Festival on the Camden, NJ, waterfront.

But on Sunday, July 13, at around 4 p.m., I will be backing up my friend Christian Beach on organ & accordion on a live webcast at http:www.sundayjams.info.

OK, I’m going back to listening to Dar Williams perform here at the XPN Festival.