Archive for May, 2012

Obie Night 2012: New Guard, Loud Crowd, Devil Puppet – The Village Voice

May 30 2012 Published by admin under WEBSTER HALL NEWS

Obie Night 2012: New Guard, Loud Crowd, Devil Puppet

By James Hannaham Wednesday, May 23 2012

To the late Alien Comic:

Hey, Tom Murrin! I don’t think performance artists go to heaven, so I hope it’s fun to haunt the P.S. 122 dressing room or the basement of Theater for the New City. Anyway, I wish you’d been alive for this year’s Obie Awards at Webster Hall on Monday night—well, you and a lot of other folks, actually, but you in particular. Here’s why: For one thing, the show wasn’t glamorous or spectacular, which you would’ve appreciated, given your “Tom Trash” persona. NY1 didn’t send cameras, neither the presenters nor the recipients could figure out which of the microphones worked, and there was so much loud talking from the bar and balcony that award presenterJonathan Pryce blurted out: “Should we play bingo? Would that help?”

Even so, one could feel a generational shift—you would’ve been able to see your aesthetic children grabbing Obies and becoming the establishment; folks who, under your influence, made performance out of junk: playwright Erin Courtney (whose wedding you officiated) and director Ken Rus Schmoll, writer-directorRichard Maxwell, Elevator Repair Service. Jim Fletcher, who you called “downtown’s finest actor,” praised the attendees because “everybody got their ass in the room.” People who worked with them (and probably you at some point) got lauded, too: lighting designer Mark Barton,Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra, director Jay Scheib (“one of our most theatrically inventive and truly powerful directors,” you once said), actors/sound guys Matt Tierney and Ben Williams, and actor Steven Boyer, who won forHand to God, which he called “a dramedy about a devil puppet.” Right up your alley, Tom!

It also might have given you a thrill to see younger, mainstreamier actors like presenters Tracee Chimo and Justin Bartha flummoxed by the predominant atmosphere of low-rent awkwardness created by those who, like Maxwell, identify as “show trash.” Jim Fletcher’s ass was invoked more than once. Before accepting her acting Obie for TribesSusan Pourfar exclaimed, “Oh, my God, it’s Jonathan Pryce!” and warned us that she would “dork out” for a second by recalling her childhood desire to meet people who made intelligent theater. When Linda Lavin, who won for performance in The Lyons, took a 10-second pregnant pause that silenced the revelers, she eventually said: “I’m not silent so that you will be. I just want to be in the moment.”

The generational shift wasn’t limited to the new guard, either, Tom—the young’uns acted out in their millennialway. Grant recipients the Bushwick Starr and the Debate Society tried to remain professional but ended by thanking their mothers, their dads, their baby, and “anyone who’s ever bought anything from our benefit stoop sales.”

Plenty of other high-quality stuff you would’ve enjoyed garnered a whimsical plaque, too—they wrote the word “Obie” in a circus font on the certificate this year. Milk Like Sugar playwrightKirsten Greenidge and actress Cherise Boothe won; Amy Herzog‘s play 4000 Miles took Best New American Play, and its two lead actors, Gabriel Ebert and Mary Louise Wilson, shared an Obie—I bet you would’ve liked the scene in that play where the kid smokes pot with his Communist grandma.

And while Michael Feingold reminded us that we still have those who have passed away in our memory, that’s not always good enough, Tom. I still felt you should’ve been there, in the room, with Jim Fletcher’s ass.

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Alabama Shakes Shake Up ‘Live in NYC’ – MTV Hive

May 28 2012 Published by admin under WEBSTER HALL NEWS

Last week Hive celebrated the release of Boys & Girls, the highly anticipated debut album from Alabama Shakes, with a Live in NYC bash. The quartet tore through an hour-and-fifteen-minute set, filling The Studio at Webster Hall’s intimate space with pure, unadulterated blues punk jams. If you’re a first time Shaker, check out these on-demand performance clips and learn about the awesome power that is Brittany Howard’s voice. If you’re already part of the faithful? Well, welcome back.

For more of the Alabama Shakes’ Live in NYC performance, check out the photo gallery below:

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CBGB Music Festival Line-Up Announced – The New York Times

May 23 2012 Published by admin under WEBSTER HALL NEWS

CBGB Music Festival Line-Up Announced


Cloud Nothings, Pains of Being Pure at Heart and War on Drugs are among the bands that will participate in the first CBGB music festival being produced this summer, joining a line-up that is heavy on New York groups and spans rock from the mid-1970s to today, organizers said.

The four-day festival will take place at more than 30 bars and music halls in Manhattan and Brooklyn from July 5 through July 8. It is being organized by a group of investors who last year bought the assets of the defunct CBGB & OMFUG club on the Bowery, which in its heyday was an incubator for punk and new wave groups like the Ramones and Talking Heads. The club closed six years ago shortly before the death of its founder, Hilly Kristal.

The new owners say they hope the festival will revive Mr. Kristal’s philosophy of supporting original, hard-edged rock music and will prepare the ground for reopening the club itself at a new location. One highlight of the festival will be a hard-core show at Webster Hall, featuring the Cro-Mags, the thrash-metal group Vision of Disorder and the punk band Sick of It All. The festival’s lineup also includes some old proto-punk figures from the 1970s, among them Rocket from the Tombs and David Johansen, a former singer with the New York Dolls.

But another major event on the festival schedule is a free concert at SummerStage in Central Park featuring indie rock groups who are not identified with a punk or hard-core tradition. That show will be anchored by Guided by Voices, and will feature Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cloud Nothings and War on Drugs.

The music lineup – which will total more than 300 bands – also includes a bevy of New York bands with loyal followings, including the So So Glos, Firehorse, the Dirty Pearls, D Generation, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. Craig Finn, the front man of the Brooklyn band the Hold Steady, will do a solo show. So will the veteran folk-rocker Willie Nile.

Film is also part of the festival. Organizers plan to screen more than two dozen rock ’n’ roll films at Landmark Sunshine Cinema and City Cinemas Village East in Manhattan. Among them will be the premiere of “The Rise and Fall of the Clash,” a film about that seminal British punk group.

The promoters are also planning a series of conferences and workshops aimed at helping working musicians, as well as an exhibition of high-quality liquors made by small distilleries.

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After-dark inquiry: DJ Jess – Time Out New York

May 17 2012 Published by admin under WEBSTER HALL NEWS

After-dark inquiry: DJ Jess

The Trash! man talks turkey to TONY.

By Bruce TantumTue May 15 2012

DJ Jess
DJ JessPhotograph: Angelica Glass 


The Trash! shindig, one of the city’s longest-running weekly affairs—and one of its raunchiest—recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. The inimitable DJ Jess has been at the helm for the affair’s entire run.
What’s the secret to keeping a party fresh for such a long time?
The spirit of Trash! lies in its warm-hearted embrace of debauchery, exhibitionism—and very excellent taste in music. When the party first began in 2002, it was the first club night to really smash all genres together, where you would hear the Smiths alongside Michael Jackson alongside the Strokes alongside Donna Summer. Tack on new-wave nymphomaniacs, rock & roll ravers, drunk drag queens and burlesque bombshells in their undies, and you’ve got a celebratory disco experience where no one has to sacrifice their musical standards, and everyone gets laid on the dance floor.
Other than “excellent taste,” how would you describe your deejaying philosophy?
What I do is connect the dots between the old and the new. A Trash! party flows from electro to ’80s to dubstep to rock—melody reigns over genre, and sincerity over novelty. With the recent wave of mash-ups I’ve been releasing on my website [], you can hear where the Clash meets Alesso, the Rolling Stones meet Sidney Samson, or Morrissey meets Swedish House Mafia.
Did you always dream of having a nightlife impresario’s lifestyle, as opposed to holding down a nine-to-five job?
I was a punk vagabond when I first hopped off the train in NYC, and immediately was seduced by the ghosts and hookers of the East Village. Granted, Coney Island High is now a Thai restaurant, the drug rehab center is now a Supercuts, and where there were once seven record stores to shoplift from, there is now only Sounds. But still, the chi of the romantically insane runs strong in those gutters. I can still hear the disco drums of Andy Warhol’s Electric Circus. I share egg creams from Gem Spa with Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. I swoon at the siren sounds of Klaus Nomi and Debbie Harry singing from their ratty apartment windows. I’m not a DJ; I’m not a club promoter or producer; I’m simply another troubled youth, kidnapped and seduced into the open arms and legs of Manhattan. One day I was unemployed and living on couches, and the next I was being paid to play my favorite records. It’s bizarre and unorthodox, but there are others like me, and I dance with them every Friday night.
Are there any eras from NYC’s past that give you inspiration? The electroclash days, the club-kid era or anything like that?
The past will always be a part of you no matter how much therapy you pay for, but I’ve never been so excited about the future as I am now. Kooky kids are whipping up outlandish outfits that look phenomenal, but can barely fit through a door. Clever college freshman are turning out electro-pop gems on tiny laptops with booming bass riffs. I don’t look behind me for inspiration so much as I look to the dance floor in front of me. I find that the next wave of club kids is always well-dressed, always inquisitive—and always very, very sexy.
You’ve been spinning at the burlesque party Shaken & Stirred for years, and you seem to have a certain affinity for burlesque artists and go-go boys and girls. Trash! itself is known for being a touch on the lascivious side. As the city becomes more and more staid, do you feel you have a certain duty to remind people that sexiness is a big part of the nightlife scene?
I truly forget sometimes how inhibited the rest of the planet is, as Trash! is surrounded by so much flesh and fanaticism. I believe people are sexual, sans prefix. Forget hetero or homo or bi—people are simply sexual, and that is all. Trash! is a party where everyone and anyone can shake off the shackles of their cubicles, paint some glitter on their faces and throw their underwear into the rafters—all to a wild, piercing, throbbing, heaving disco beat! What do you picture yourself doing ten years from now? Who do I picture myself doing ten years from now? Hopefully some performance art genius such as Stormy Leather or the like. Wait—“who” or “what?” I think I got the question wrong.

Trash! takes place every Friday in the Studio at Webster Hall.


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May 08 2012 Published by admin under WEBSTER HALL NEWS

Webster Hall was chosen as the location for a two day shoot of the film “Kill Your Darlings,” which tells the tale of a 1944 murder that draws together the three great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. On site were actors Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter”), Michael C Hall (“Dexter”) and Ben Foster (“3:10 to Yuma”).  In the past,Webster Hall has been depicted in such iconic films as “Big,” “Raging Bull” and “Radio Days.”

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