Saturday, January 03, 2009

the year in music

When I think of 2008, I am struck by the variety of live music I saw this year. It really was a monumental year of music. The concerts keep coming back as a flash.

January began with two Natalie Merchant shows at the Hiro Ballroom. I remember standing the cold, bitter cold and making a friend named Brian as I saw two of the 5 or 7 of the NM shows at this little small club. I stood at the stage to see her band, made mostly of members of the Slip and Gabe. NM previewed new music and her children's poetry set to music. I would see her later in the year in Boston with the Pops where she set some of the music to orchestral settings. NM is an artist supreme and I remember being satiated with her music. I was happy to be able to see Jackie, from the Wonder Video, join her on stage to sing Wonder.

I saw Sheryl Crow at Irving Plaza for free as if you bought the Cd at Borders, you got a ticket. So i ran out during my lunch hour and got a Sheryl Crow ticket. I remember standing against the balcony for a long time but it was worth it.

I would find my way back to Irving plaza later in the year for the NY Dar Williams Promised Land show. I would see Dar at her in store at Virgin and at the Landmark in Port Washington. I saw Dar less than usual as she prepared for a Nation wide tour. There were area shows that I could not make it to due to work. I was able to see her at the Emerlin Theater.

I saw Suzanne Vega three times in one week. Once in Brooklyn and once at Appel Farm. Appel Farm was held on a hot June Day. The first of its time. Red Molly, Lucy Kaplansky, Christina Courtin (who i would see again two more times with Suzanne Vega) The third SV show was in TarryTown at the music hall. I sat front row.

I was at the United Palace on 178th street twice. Once front row for Jackson Browne and then for Dylan on a snowy day. I had 5th row seats for Jackson and moved into the empty front row center.

I moved around stadiums alot this year too. Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium and at Nassau was in summer and spring. the B52s and Police (the worst seats in the house but the most rockin), REM with Chris and Gene and Isabel at the Garden. Neil Diamond was great but it was like i was in a cult and didnt know the rules of the cult. Tina Turner at the Garden was great. Neil Young with Wilco went on way too long but was a great show. I preferred him at the United Palace where he was acoustic and electric. He rocked the show but a 1010 start on a school night was a little late.

I saw John Price at Carnegie Hall. Joan Baez at Town Hall and the Mountain Stage taping with Billy Bragg, Rodney Crowell, Ferron, Rosanne Cash there too. Joan Baez was interviewed by Anthony DeCurtis at the 92nd Street Y and I was there.

I was at Falcon Ridge but not newport or clearwater this year. At Falcon Ridge, Lucy Wainwright Roche was in the Artist showcase and the Kennedys lead many workshops including The Beatles. Katryna and Nerissa, Red Molly, Anthony DaCosta, Janis Ian. Falcon Ridge was aborted by the rain and rain and rain and I was glad to be on my way home.

I saw Katryna with David at the livingroom and saw Anthony and Abbie Gardner at the livingroom with Pete and Maura ( who also were at the David and Katryna show). I saw Anthony and Abby at Gene and Isabel's livingroom and saw WA9 there too. I skipped New Bedford to hangout with my parents but came back on July 4th for Gene's house concert. I missed Chris Chin's house concert for Jackson Browne.

This is the year that I saw Paul Simon in his curated series at BAM. the first night dedicated to Capeman with almost all of the original players and little Paul Simon in person but the music was all Paul Simon. Second was the dedication to Rhythms of the Saints and Graceland with Brazilian and African artists. Lastly was the American Tune series with a cast of NY area folk artists including the Roches. Paul was featured prominently. His tunes of the Boxer and Sound of Silence with Gillian Welch tore the house up. I had never seen Josh Groban before and his Bridge was stunning.

I also went to Jones Beach for James Taylor. It was fun to shoot photographs of James and I came home with the show setlist.

I saw my first concert at Radio City and saw the Swell Season at this historic place. I also saw a short but worthy Aretha Franklin concert there later in the spring.

I was able to see Janis in NJ later in the year as well at the Santuary Concerts.