Help save Tonic

Two things, one important, one not. First, if you live in or around the NYC area and like avant-garde music of all shades, you’re probably aware of Tonic, somewhere off Delancey St on the Lower East Side if I remember (I haven’t been there in a couple years). It’s a great club, I’ve been there a few times, I think I saw Sigur Rós there the first time, actually. They also hosted the big Zorn/Tzadik 50th birthday celebration. Anyway, they’re in financial trouble that sounds like it has more to do with real estate and associated expenses in NYC than anything else, so they’re asking for help. I implore folks to check out their website and make a contribution if you feel so inclined - especially if you’ve been there before or see shows on their calendar that you’re interested in (Tim Berne’s Acoustic Hard Cell band is playing soon, as is Masada String Trio…).

The other thing is frivolous: to add to my list in the previous post, another upcoming new release I’m watching for is The Decemberists‘ new one, Picaresque, which I believe is due out March 22. These guys are an indie-rock group that excels at a sort of heavily orchestrated, lushly produced, melodic folk sound; but most prominent are the lyrics, which are well-read, almost literary, and which invariably tell great stories. Their latest release is an EP, The Tain, consisting of a single 20-minute epic that completely rocks. In any case, most of the comments I’m reading about Picaresque now indicate that it’s their best album yet, which is saying something since I don’t think they’re released anything that I would rate as less than “very good”.

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