Monday, February 25, 2008

Sing, I know you know the words

Jim Bianco, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

Jim Bianco

February 23rd-Jim Bianco @ the Living Room. He had a pretty good band and a fun guy that could play everything! Accordion, Clarinet, Piano, and what appeared to be a piccolo trumpet. Now that's something you don't see everyday! This was also the second night in a row when I saw the entire band leave the stage of the venue for a song.

How about a little smile for my picture book?

Franc, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 23rd- Franc from Goodtimes, Goodtimes played at the Living Room.

You know the night is fallin' and the music's callin'

Chris & Mike, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 22nd- 3rd night of the Mike Viola Joe's Pub Residency. Mike was joined by his band Kelly Jones, Jason Loughlin, Dan Greene, & Brian Wolfe. Special guests were Jed Parrish of the Candy Butchers & Chris Collingwood & Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne.

So I would have said Jesus was a rebel too

BVA, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 18th-Brian Vander Ark @ the Knitting Factory.

I took it in the face and I walked as hard as I could

Marshall Crenshaw, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 15th-Night 2 at Joe's Pub. Mike Viola & Everybody Else were joined by the legendary Marshall Crenshaw, Jed Parrish & Mike Greene from the Hard Walkers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Are you on the list?

In 2007 I saw:

132 Different Acts (74 were new to me) do 221 Individual Performances over

106 Shows in 52 Different Venues in 23 Cities and 4 States.

Most Popular Venue: The Living Room

Best Venue: The Living Room

Worst Venue: The Stone Pony

Most Overhyped Venue: Cakeshop

Best Non-traditional Venue: Drew's House in Ringwood, NJ

Strangest venue: In front of 7 WTC, next to Ground Zero.

Most shows: Adam Masterson: 13

Multi Act Festivals attended:

Wave Gathering, Asbury Park

Live Earth, Giants Stadium

Pleasantville Music Festival,Pleasantville NY

Union County Music Festival, Cranford, NJ

Best shows(In date order) :

Jason Crigler & Friends @ the Living Room:. Friends: Amy Correia, Cynthia Hopkins, Holly Palmer, Marshall Crenshaw, Martha Wainwright, Michelle Casillas, Neal Casal, Noe Venable, Ollabelle, Peter Salett, Rachel Loshak, Teddy Thompson, Tony Scherr. A who's who of the Living Room regulars all performed with Jason on this night, his first proper show after being stricken with Arterio-Venous Malformation and basically being told he wouldn't ever recover and certainly wouldn't ever play guitar again. It was a pretty emotional show. It was filmed for some sort of show on Jason and his recovery but I haven't heard anything about it. Also, besides all that, the music was great.

Evan & Jaron @ the Living Room: Jamie bought these tickets on a whim, and I'm damn glad she did. These guys are great pop songwriters and are completely hysterical & self depricating. You might remember their big hit, "Crazy for this girl". I remember thinking that they kind of remind of what Dave & Serge would be like if they weren't so fucked up. They also did an incredible version of Bye Bye Love.

Jimmy Gnecco & Friends @ the Living Room: I much prefer seeing Jimmy stripped down like this. His voice shines even more. It was a great show because he had so many different people play with him and played a bunch of songs I'd never heard him do. It was really fun and laid back. Some fun covers. Some great new songs, and some old favorites in different and new arrangements.

Matt Nathanson @ the Living Room: Decided to go to this on the strength of one song, "Bent". It's my most popular song in Itunes, and at the time my only exposure to Matt Nathanson. So glad I took a chance on him. And he does a killer version of "Heat of the Moment". A great storyteller and his songs and personality just draw you right in. Glad his album has done well, just saw his video on VH1. The only thing that troubles me about him is that I almost like his in between song banter, better then his songs.

deSol @ Pleasantville Music Festival: a member of Highway 9 lives! Was actually digging this band before Kevin joined up. A rock band with a fun Spanish side. These guys were great to listen to outdoors on a summer day. (and I hate the outside and the sun and the heat!)

The Damnwells @ Pleasantville Music Festival: They seem to be the band that no matter what they do they can't get a break. I've seen them play to as little as 20 people or so, so to see them headline this festival to a large crowd did my heart good. Again it was a beautiful day and Dave's slide playing and Alex's vocals just soared.

Rocco DeLuca and the Burden @ Bowery Ballroom: Discovered this band due to my freakish obsession with Keifer Sutherland via the doc, 'I Trust You To Kill Me'. Turns out that they don't suck. Jack Bauer's got some good taste. Zeppelin meets Buckley with some incredibly hot slide guitar playing.

Kevin Smith @ Count Basie Theatre: Not a musician, but certainly an entertainer. This was a Q&A in Kev's hometown on his 37th Birthday. I'm sure those of you who are fans can just imagine, and those who aren't, probably could care less. My favorite bit was the story about Bruce Willis and working on DieHard 4. Watch for the DVD release of this sometime this year.

Rent @ Nederlander Theatre: Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal are back. I actually saw Rent when it was in previews and have been obsessed with the soundtrack ever since. It was great to see and hear the voices that I love in these parts. The scene outside the theatre at the stage door was a circus. We stood across the street and watched from afar, but If I had to guess I'd say 85% of the people from the theatre went over to that stage door.

Mike Viola and Everybody @ Joe's Pub: Mike with an 11 piece band, strings, girl back up singers. Songs from the Candy Butchers, Solo songs, Songs from movies, Songs made up on the spot.

The Major Labels@ the Living Room: 2 crazy popsters, Mike Viola and Bleu, have started this band. It's just one of probably 20 different projects they have going on between the two of them. The results were really fun and melodic pop songs, with Bleu's signature electronic stuff going on. It just sounded so pretty. Hopefully they'll put out some music and do some more shows this year.

Pat Monahan @ the Living Room: I was already in the city and got out of the Rhett Miller show on time to catch this. It was a last minute surprise gig the week Pat's solo album came out and we just went for curiosity's sake more than anything, and because any excuse to go to the Living Room is ok by me. I'm not really a fan of Train, but don't dislike them either. This show was awesome. He played all the Train hits, and also a bunch of stuff from his new CD. He played as an acoustic trio and his guitar player Luis Muldonado was amazing as well. I was blown away. That doesn't happen to often anymore, and I wasn't expecting it at all so it was nice.

Michael McDermott @ World Cafe Live: I've seen Michael every time he's out on the east coast for the past 4 years, but this was only the second time I got to see him with a full band. It's almost good enough to make me want to move to Chicago so I can see him on a regular basis. He had a great slide guitar player and a female back up singer/violinist. I love seeing him on his own but the band added so much. He's one of those guys who rips his and the audiences hearts out during his performances, and somehow makes you enjoy it. I can't recommend his latest CD "Noise from Words" enough.

Butch Walker @ Maxwells: Butch back to basics in a tiny room(his last 3 or 4 shows have been at Irving Plaza, so we are talking 1400 vs. 200 at Maxwell's) Just a guitar, piano and a ton of new songs. Made me remember why it was that I became so obsessed with him in the first place. Looking forward to a bunch of releases by Butch this year.

Marah Xmas Show @ Bowery Ballroom: Adam & Dave's Bloodline & The Shalitas opened the show. The show was so festive, fun and just so Marah. Probably the best I've seen them. It's very sad how they went from this great show, to exploding a few weeks later.

Dewey Cox and the Hard Walkers @ the Knitting Factory: Dewey Cox rising from the dead. Kristen Wiig being adorable. Mike Viola and the band dressed in fun matching outfits. Sabotage! Shattered! Just all around crazy good times. Was pretty impressed with John C. Reilly overall. His voice was great…and how he never left that character for even a second was just amazing. It's pretty funny that I've seen more than one person put one of these shows in their top list of the year. And these are people that see a ton of live music.

Full list of artists:

  1. Adam & Dave's Bloodline
  1. Adam Masterson(13)
  1. AFI
  1. Akon
  1. Alicia Keyes
  1. Amy Correia
  1. Ape Fight
  1. Ari Hest (4)
  1. Band of Thieves
  1. Ben Arnold
  1. Black 47
  1. Bleu
  1. Blue Hippopotamus
  1. Bon Jovi
  1. Bruce Springsteen
  1. Butch Walker(4)
  1. Cary Brothers
  1. Chris Batten & The Woods
  1. Christine Smith(4)
  1. Cooper
  1. Cynthia Hopkins
  1. Dan Bern
  1. Dave Matthews Band
  1. Dayna Kurtz
  1. Dead String Brothers
  1. Della Valle(2)
  1. deSol (2)
  1. Dewey Cox & The Hard Walkers
  1. Drive by Truckers
  1. Eric Ginsberg
  1. Evan & Jaron(2)
  1. Fall Out Boy
  1. Fooling April
  1. Fountains of Wayne(2)
  1. Holly Palmer
  1. Illinois
  1. Jason Crigler & Friends
  1. Jason Didner
  1. Jason Stanley(2)
  1. Jesse Malin(9)
  1. Jim Boggia (12)
  1. Jimmy Gnecco & Friends(2)
  1. Joe Durso
  1. John Francis(2)
  1. John Mayer
  1. John Monnecka
  1. John Raido
  1. John Wesley Harding
  1. Jonatha Brooke
  1. Kanye West
  1. Keith Urban
  1. Kelly Clarkson
  1. Kelly Jones
  1. Kevin Smith
  1. Krystal Warren
  1. KT Tunstall
  1. Live
  1. Locksley
  1. Lord Carrett
  1. Lucy Woodward
  1. Ludacris
  1. Marah (7)
  1. Mark Von Em
  1. Marshall Crenshaw
  1. Martha Wainwright
  1. Matt Nathanson(2)
  1. Matt O'Ree
  1. Maybe Pete (11)
  1. Melissa Etherdige
  1. Michael McDermott(4)
  1. Michelle Casillas
  1. Mig Ayesa
  1. Mike Doughty
  1. Mike Viola (5)
  1. Mink
  1. Mobile
  1. Mr Brownstone (Yes..a crazy GNR Cover band)
  1. Neal Casal
  1. Nicole Atkins
  1. Noe Venable
  1. Ollabelle
  1. Ours
  1. Paperback Radio
  1. Pat Monahan
  1. Peter Salett
  1. Rachel Loshak(2)
  1. RCPM (7)
  1. Readymade Break Up(2)
  1. Rent
  1. Rhett Miller (2)
  1. Rick Barry
  1. Rick Springfield
  1. Ringside
  1. Rocco Deluca & The Burden
  1. Roger Waters
  1. Ron Sexsmith
  1. Scott E. Moore (2)
  1. Seth Adams
  1. Shawn Mullins
  1. Shurman (2)
  1. Smashing Pumpkins
  1. Soft Black
  1. Sportin' Wood
  1. Taking Back Sunday
  1. Teddy Thompson
  1. The Alarm
  1. The Alternate Routes(2)
  1. The Amish Outlaws
  1. The Apples in Stereo
  1. The Candy Butchers
  1. The Charms
  1. The Churchills
  1. The Damnwells(3)
  1. The Figgs
  1. The Hold Steady
  1. The Honey Brothers
  1. The Honorary Title (2)
  1. The Last Goodbye
  1. The Old 97's
  1. The Police
  1. The Ruling Party
  1. The Shalitas
  1. The Smithereens
  1. The Von Bondies
  1. Throwaway Girls
  1. Tony Scherr
  1. Tragedy (Yes, Metal Bee Gee's Cover band)
  1. Whitney Reed
  1. Will Hoge
  1. Willie Breeding (3)
  1. Winger
  1. ZO2 (2)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There will be hearts filled with music

Mike Viola, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 8th-Joe's Pub-The first of four shows at Joe's Pub. Mike Viola, was joined by Kelly Jones, Jason Loughlin, Dan Green & Brian Wolfe. No Special Guests, this show was focused on this new band, and the new album Lurch. It was a night full of Mike's orginals, except for a clipped version of "I Got You" by Split Enz and the lovely Kelly Jones stepping into the spotlight for her song "Same Songs". They'll be three more shows coming up the next three friday nights and they all will be special with some really cool special guests lined up. Some sort of obvious, some not so much.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

They're the best that you've heard in quite some time

Kelly Jones 057, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 4th-Living Room, NYC. Miss Kelly Jones, alongside Stephan Crump and Jason Loughlin.

They twinkle as the boys play rock and roll

U2 3D, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 2nd-U2 3D-Boston.

Cant you make the music easy and sad?

Boston 089, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

February 1st. - Hard Rock Cafe, Boston. Michael McDermott.

I've been this low many times before

Michael, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

January 31st-Arlene's Grocery. Michael's NYC show.

Rose, never learn to sing the blues

Nick & Eileen, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

January 31st-Arlene's Grocery, NYC. Our last show with Eileen Rose & Nick. Glad Michael introduced me to their music. Check them out on myspace or at

You were screaming but I couldn't hear it

michael maxwells 255, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

January 30th- Maxwell's Hoboken NJ-Michael McDermott @ Maxwell's.


Tattoo, originally uploaded by BillieJoNJ.

January 30th- Maxwell's Hoboken, NJ - Nick Ward's fun little tattoo!