Review: Willis Earl Beal live at Bowery Ballroom

Posted by The G on April 28, 2012 under Encounters with G, G Reviews | 2 Comments to Read

Photos by G.

 

Willis Earl Beal

Willis Earl Beal

Willis Earl Beal had me at his opening line, “I am gonna sing you some songs and then I am gonna get off the Goddamned stage!”  Chicago native Willis Earl Beal opened for Britsh rock band Wu Lyf at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on April 27, 2012, and it was one of those cases for me where the opening act blew away the headliner.  If you don’t know Willis Earl Beal, get to know him.  He’s a born performer and for the duration of his hour long set, he sang like a man possessed!  Think of the vocals of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell on You” and add a whole lot of soul with an addictively entertaining stage presence and you’ve got Willis Earl Beal.

Willis Earl Beal

Willis Earl Beal

His debut album “Acoustamatic Society” comes in a DVD-sized package that includes a slip case and a book filled with illustrations and text from Beal and when I asked him about the cool packaging after the show, he said that he wanted fans to get the most for their money.  Beal is also infamous for not being on-line and in fact, at the merch table, they were handing out postcards with Willis’ phone number and if you call him, he will sing you a song!   The post card also offers that if you send him a letter, he will draw you a picture and mail it back to you.  Guess who is totally going to do that?!

Willis Earl Beal

Willis Earl Beal

It was really hard to top Willis Earl Beal’s set as well as the great experience I had chatting with him, so I ducked out early from Wu Lyf’s (pronounced “Woo Life”)  set, but since the lead singer is super cute, here’s a photo for you, my dear readers.

Ellery James Roberts of Wu Lyf

Ellery James Roberts of Wu Lyf

 

Willis Earl Beal and Geoffrey Dicker

Willis Earl Beal and Geoffrey Dicker. Photo by Willis' friend

It was really great chatting with you Willis, and we’ll be speaking on the phone soon!  🙂

 

Battles live at Le Poisson Rouge

Posted by The G on April 28, 2011 under G Reviews | 9 Comments to Read

Photos by G.

Ian Williams of Battles

Ian Williams of Battles

Who doesn’t love an evening out where a concert is sandwiched in between seeing John Waters read from his new book and a late night club performance by diva Martha Wash?  A night such as that was on April 27, 2011 when I saw experimental US rock band Battles perform at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.  Most songs were rockin’ instrumentals and the songs that did have vocals were not sung live, but instead delivered via video on screens behind the trio.

Dave Konopka of Battles

Dave Konopka of Battles

The night began with a DJ set by Tanlines.  While the music was electronic and groovy, a DJ set to me consists of mixing songs together.  If you are just going to play a selection of your favorite tracks, leave an Ipod on the stage and save everyone a bunch of time.  It was quite frustrating as the doors opened at 8 and Battles didn’t even hit the stage until 10:30, so there was 2 and a half long hours of waiting around (and Tanlines did not DJ from the stage, so there was nothing to look at.  As usual at DJ sets, no one dances because everyone wants to preserve their spot for the main act). I also have to point out that I stood in the front row (not a shock) and I was in front of a photographer who was shooting photos for a website that I really love.  Unfortunately, I had to listen to him talk shit about other photographers for the duration of the Tanlines DJ set and when Battles finally came on, this photographer was so unconscious of anyone else in the venue, he must have bumped me with his camera about 20 times before I shot him a look that said “touch me once more and I’m going to shove that camera up your hipster ass!”  And as a side note to that photographer (and all photographers who go to these shows), I appreciate that you spent thousands of dollars on a camera, but no matter how many shots you get, you are not photographing the Beatles reunion – so please get over yourselves and PAY ATTENTION to how big your gear is so you stay in your allotted space and not get in other peoples’ way!

John Stanier of Battles

John Stanier of Battles

The highlight of the show for me was watching drummer John Stanier.  He played the shit out of the drums including a cymbal that was on a 6 foot pole next to the kit.  While keeping the beat, you could see sweat pouring off him as if someone had dumped a bucket of water over his head.  It was really cool watching energy in motion.

See the Battles set list after the jump.

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John Waters Reads from “Role Models”

Posted by The G on under G Reviews | Be the First to Comment

Photos by G.

John Waters - Role Models 1

John Waters reading from "Role Models"

On April 27, 2011, legendary film maker John Waters made an appearance at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York to read passages from his book “Role Models.”  Who are some of John Waters’ role models, you ask?  Singer Johnny Mathis, writer Tennessee Williams, a gay reality-porn auteur, a lesbian stripper called Lady Zorro, and ex-Charles Manson groupie and murderer Leslie Van Houten.  John Waters is one of my role models – that’s for sure!

John Waters - Role Models 3

John Waters - "Role Models." Out now!

An Encounter with Martha Wash

Posted by The G on under Encounters with G | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

Martha Wash and Geoffrey Dicker

Martha Wash and G

Martha Wash is a musical legend!  She began her career signing back up for Sylvester.  As part of Two Tons of Fun (which became The Weather Girls), they scored the worldwide gay anthem “It’s Raining Men.”  She also sang lead vocals on Black Box’ club classic “Everybody Everybody” and C & C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).”  The diva has a new single called “I’ve Got You,” and she premiered it last night at the gay bar Barracuda in New York.   After her performance, my friend and I went backstage and chatted with Martha!  She was nice enough to take a photo with me and sign a few CD covers for my friend.  Interestingly enough, she declined to autograph a Sylvester CD saying “oh, I can’t sign that.”  At any rate, I am grateful for the moment we shared and for all the anthems I’ve danced to on dirty disco floors throughout the years.

Martha Wash

Martha Wash (performing "I've Got You" in front of a Phil Spector painting) at Barracuda

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