It's a given that there is live music somewhere in New York City every night of the week. Being of limited funds and time, it's impossible to actually go out every night, but we've managed to see a few sets worth talking about.
Last week I heard through the grapevine that the Spin Doctors were playing a free set at Rockwood Music Hall. They didn't bill the show under the band name, just their individual names. I'm assuming that was because Rockwood is a smaller venue, and they were just testing out some songs from their upcoming album. I'll be honest and admit that I haven't listened to the Spin Doctors in years, but I did own Pocket Full of Kryptonite once upon a time, and would listen to the entire album, not just the singles. I should buy it again, as it didn't survive the Great CD Case Pilfering of 2001.
We got in just in time to catch the last part of the Screaming Orphans' set.
They were stellar and made me wish we'd shown up a bit earlier. The band is comprised of the Diver sisters, who hail from County Donegal in Ireland. Their music is heavily influenced by their early exposure to traditional Irish music, but they also rock pretty hard. They also have some of the sweetest, soaring harmonies I've heard. Joan, the lead singer, is also the drummer, which ups the coolness ante considerably.
I never saw the Spin Doctors live in the 90s, so I had no idea what to expect from a live show. I was delighted to discover that Chris Barron is a highly entertaining showman. He's all over the place, jumping up and down one minute, then gaping in awe at Eric Schenkman's guitar god skills. They interspersed songs from their upcoming blues album with their hits, including "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and of course "Two Princes." The blues stuff was smoking hot. Much of it wasn't actually new, Chris admitted. They used to write blues songs in order to play at certain clubs in NYC when they were first starting out. I'm looking forward to it. Chris's voice does the blues exceptionally, and the whole band is so tight after more than twenty years together.
A lot of folks would write them off as washed up, but I still think they're livin' the dream. They made a bunch of money off of a hit record and then got to keep on making music without having to take day jobs. And no one died of a heroine overdose. Sounds pretty awesome to me.
Speaking of awesome, let's talk about Magic Monday at Tammany Hall. It's a weekly free show hosted by singer/songwriter/performance artist/Haus of Gaga member Breedlove. It's basically cabaret performed by a stringy haired dude in big glasses who wears things like denim jump suits with heels and sings with a beautiful glam rock voice. There is also audience participation. He is incredibly entertaining. Watch his video.
Magic Monday isn't just about Breedlove, though. There are also live bands. We went to catch Haley Bowery again, but also got introduced to the magic that is LA band Hammered Satin.
Just look at these guys.
Angie said it took her back to the days when the sexiest thing on her planet was Sebastian Bach. I agreed, though lead singer Noah Wallace has a bit of Robert Plant and Jagger in his moves as well.
The band has a definite sense of humor about their glam rock roots, but their over the top image is backed up by super tight power rock.
I got two words for you. Lonely. Tiger.
I have one more Monday left in New York, and I have a good feeling where I'll be.