Opting to let the photos (and occasional audio or video clip) tell the story here, these visual streams should give the sense of what it was like to be there.
First up (and technically not in June, but too noteworthy to leave out) was the recently reformed Cleveland legends Death of Samantha. Playing their first show back in New York City in over 23 years, new favorite venue Baby’s All Right hosted the event on May 29.
Death of Samantha, however was John's first band, bursting on the scene in 1984 and lasting until 1992.
The band made three albums for Homestead Records (Gerard Cosloy's pre-Matador label) before the members moved on to different projects. Out of those ashes came John Petkovic's other long running band Cobra Verde.
The boys thrilled a packed house with their heavy riffs and dynamic songwriting.
Catching up with John at this big event was a real treat.
As was getting to chat with John's friend, Sweet Apple bandmate and legendary Dinosaur Jr resident genius J Mascis.
Find out more about Death Of Samantha Here
* * * * *
On Saturday June 7, it was an absolute thrill to attend the hometown return of iconic guitarist Joe Satriani at The Space At Westbury
Few artists living or deceased can even begin to approach the career spanning magnitude of what this musician has accomplished.
Much love to the wonderful Michelle at MadInkPR for making sure arrangements like access to the artist (and show) went down in a smooth and professional way.
One of the most influential and revered rock guitarists of all time, “Satch” has turned a three decade career into something truly magical.
With 14 studio albums under his belt, the catalog division of Sony Music - Legacy Recordings, have recently released a 15 CD Box Set which includes every track from those albums plus a brand new curated anthology disc of rare compositions.
Along with this, BenBella Books have also published Joe’s creative memoir titled "Strange Beautiful Music"
As for the live show, it was a brilliant tour de force of his greatest songs (of which there are many).
Joe is one of the most amazing guitarists alive, and his bandmates (all highly evolved musicians) were equal to the task of not only keeping up, but in fact enhanced the overall sound.
As can be clearly seen by these pictures, the light show was absolutely spectacular.
End of set (pre-encore) - the band takes a bow.
Waiving to the audience as they headed off, you knew they were coming back.
Which of course Joe and company did.
Affording the opportunity to inch a little closer to the stage.
Bathed in alien light.
A preview of this show with commentary on the song collection, book and direct quotes from Joe (written by yours truly) can be found Here on Dingus
* * * * *
The following Tuesday had me back at Baby's All Right for a double bill that had "must attend" all over it.
Heaven is a band that is no stranger to this blog or The Deli Magazine (whom I've written about for numerous times).
Fronted by guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Matt Sumrow, Brooklyn's Heaven plays a precise and controlled version of dream rock.
Long-time powerhouse drummer Mikey Jones gives the band a tightness that is frequently missing among bands playing in this style of music, yet still provides a decidedly forceful edge. While bassist Yoi Fujita has been capably handling the low end frequencies for a while now.
Complementing Matt's lead vocal is the recently added keyboardist and tandem vocalist John Paul Frank. In addition to providing the anticipated buzzy synth textures, John Paul’s backing vocals and harmonies don’t miss a beat in continuing this band's signature sound.
Other Crom features on Heaven can be found via the links below:
Telepathic Love on The Deli by Dave Cromwell
Dream Rock on The Deli by Dave Cromwell
Live at The Bowery Ballroom on DaveCromwellWrites
Check out their latest album Telepathic Love at Goodnight Records
* * * * *
Following Heaven was the much beloved Ringo Deathstarr
Returning to a New York stage since I last chronicled their activity, they continue to circle the globe touring their amazing latest record God's Dream
A quick snap of the tools of this trade - backstage. Road worn and road ready!
Daniel still sings - just now on "See You" and not "Bong Load" anymore (at least for this show).
What was played
Hanging with The Croms afterwards!
* * * * *Brooklyn’s The Vandelles played an explosive set of light and sound shearing music on Friday the 13th during the recently completed Northside Festival. Appearing at Brooklyn Night Bazaar along with celebrated DJ Jonathan Toubin and the sax-enhanced retro R and B of Nick Waterhouse, surf, psych and grunge were all well represented. A photo stream and links to live videos from the night follow right here.
DJ Jonathan Toubin
A longer video with the last three songs of The Vandelles set, Jonathan Toubin’s tracks playing in between and Nick Waterhouse’s performance can be found Here
Additionally, this photo/video stream can also be found Here on Dingus
* * * * *Saturday June 14th served as the perfect warm-up for New York’s ever-growing outdoor summer concert season. As locals have known for years now, this city’s boroughs throw some of the best live shows under the sunshine and blue sky when the weather turns warm. Headlining Brooklyn’s Northside Festival on this afternoon was the tight frenetic rhythms and hyper psych blues of Thee Oh Sees.
Fronted by John Dwyer’s magnetic presence, the band raged through a set that blurred the lines between stripped-down psychedelia and speed-drive garage rock. Follow the photo stream and live video capture for a sense of what it felt like to be there.
Check it all out in full motion:
Although the track is called "Dead Energy" - the energy level on display here was very much alive.
Before Thee Oh Sees came on, Minneapolis riff-rockers The Blind Shake delivered a set of detuned psych-noise. The trio impressed with their Sonic Youth influenced sound. They continue as tour mates with Thee Oh Sees, and their full-length album “Key To A False Door” is well worth checking out.
Later on that evening, we headed over to Spike Hill to catch what was being presented there.
Just in time to catch the set from Chicago synth rockers Psychic Twin
Sound and vision
Another noteworthy performance came from a different set of “twins” – the equally synth heavy Twintapes
Well it WAS the “electro stage” night!
This photo and video stream can also be found Here on Dingus as well.
This is a really cool photo display. I recognize some familiar band names here (that you’ve blogged about before) but it’s very cool too see a lot of new stuff too! Wow, Joe Satriani! Those photos are amazing. Love the Death of Samantha and Heaven one’s too!
Great to hear you like the pictures, Misty. This was a fun series of shows to cover. Yeah, the Satriani shots really pop with that lighting - in that bigger arena. On a club level, The Vandelles also excel with their light show.
John Petkovic writes:
thanks, dave -- been in and out of town trying to do a million things -- hope yr well and great seeing you in nyc! john
'twas a pleasure to catch up with you as well, John. So glad I could be there to Crom-i-cle your long awaited return to NYC with Death of Samantha.
Steve Goodman writes:
Hmm... I wonder if Samantha Baby went to go see Heaven after she died. Oh nevermind, Baby's Alright! In fact, Death Of Samantha is a rebirth or resurrection of sorts. 23 year hiatus. Congrats on the reunion! I guess the most impressive thing about what I saw was the photo of Joe Satriani's BLUR of his left hand-- just the way I would imagine what his hand would look like if I ever attempted to see what I was hearing. Nice shot, Dave!
Ha! Now that's some literal interpretation of bands names, Steve.
Yeah, that Satch photo with his hand moving so quickly across the frets that it just appears as a "whirrr" is one of those "happy accidents" you hope happens.
Michael Laughlin writes:
Cool stuff, Dave, especially the story about Death of Samantha. I can remember seeing Cobra Verde years ago here in Pittsburgh, and I still have their "Nightlife" album. BTW, Nick Waterhouse is a staple on Little Steven's Underground Garage.
That's cool info, Michael. Yeah, I know Cobra Verde play your 'burgh a lot. DoS (I believe) did a show there recently too. I'm sure John P will be pleased to know you include "Nightlife" in your record collection. Also glad to hear that Little Steven continues to feature emerging artists on his show.
Jasno of The Vandelles wrote:
Thanks for the awesome write up, Dave!
Looks like you're busy as always and doing a great job covering a diverse roster of bands including one I actually know this time around! As always, love the photo-heavy reviews. I've never seen Satriani live but I imagine it's pretty awesome - too bad he's not on that Yngwie Guitar Gods tour this time around - that would have ensured I made it out to that one...hopefully next time. Hope you have a great, music-filled fourth of July weekend...ours is looking pretty killer - you can read all about it and see some photos and video later on next week.
Satriani live is as amazing as you would expect, Dreamin. I did see that Yngwie Malsteem tour listed - and for sure he'd fit with YM, Gary Hoey and Bumblefoot. He's done plenty of those kind of tours with with his G3 (including Steve Vai, Eric Johnson and other great guitarists).
Nice review, I liked the photos
Very cool, Anouk. Since I know you appreciate (and work in) the visual field (art, your own photography) it's always good to hear your thoughts about it all.
Excellent pic with J Mascis. there Dave.. And always good to see and hear Ringo Deathstarr. I'm not sure If I met Galexy at a Feathers gig in the UK. When I say not sure I wasnt sure if she was part of the touring set up ..It did look like her !
Galexy (Alex) does in fact frequently tour with Feathers (when she's not playing with Ringo Deathstarr - which, lately has been a lot), Andy. They have another girl that fills in on bass at those times. I've met her too. Very sweet. Something about these Austin, Texas gals - very cool!
Looks like fun. I would have liked to see The Vandelles and Thee Oh Sees too. Nice photos & spread.
Those two shows kicked off the summer concert season perfectly, Midnite Rambler!
very colorful review!!!
Great pictures !!
I'm going to have to give a fair share of credit to the lighting at the shows for the "colorful" aspect of these photos, Ivanka. It really makes a big difference! But, I know you have a photographer’s eye (as I've seen a lot of your excellent work), so I'm happy to know you like them.
Great review Dave, excellent photos. My eyes rolled when i saw Twintapes... @__@
Twintapes put on an excellent live show, Paty.
I remember you enjoying their music when I first wrote about them on my blog, here:
Peter Skibinski writes:
there are many interesting performances here.
it is really great feeling when you listen to music completely live.
Listening to (and watching) live music being played will always be a uniquely rewarding experience, Peter. That's the one thing the artist truly controls. Being at a live performance can't be downloaded. Yes, you can watch a recorded live performance after the fact (or even a livestream) - but neither can give the true full sensory experience of physically being there.
i know i'm a bit late, but nice piece.
lots of something i have good thoughts on.
and "dinosaur jr" kicks-ass!
Dinosaur Jr. is amazing, my friend. One of my all time favorite bands!
Great pictures, great writing.
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