Archive for October, 2013

Where Were They?

Posted on: October 15th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

The Where Are They Now Open Stage was an interesting exercise, almost guaranteed to fail. With 20 years of entertainment history how could someone versed in the world on AntiFolk help but be disappointed by those that didn’t show up.

AntiFolk did come out of the woodwork, though.

Young Nate Flaks returned to the club after, he said, 100 days off.

Lach was in the room after a much longer break. The former host, booker, and instigator of music at the Sidewalk did a couple of new songs in preparation for his Thursday night gig back in the club he made infamous.

I saw other faces that don’t often frequent the club, a coterie of orignal AntiFolkies in the back of the club, but, for the most part, the old familiar faces were few and far between.Why?

Maybe because they’re old, and were afraid to be seen by all the fresh, young upstarts. Perhaps those that don’t play small clubs anymore are either too big or too out of practice to care about such a thing. Maybe the invites were sent too last minute.

Whatever the reason, it was good to relive some history, but it would have been nice if there was more of that history – live, at the club

To Everything, Turn x3, there is a Season, Turn x3…

Posted on: October 14th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

Well, it’s the time of the season.

Sidewalk’s introduced its new drink menu.

If you were in the club, you could actually ask for the updated menu, but here in cyberspace, you might as well take a look:


Guest Writer Tells All!

Posted on: October 11th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

Hey everyone, this is not your usual bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, shiny headed, poet savant. It’s the all-black wearing, bleach blonde, obnoxiously loud, set-ruining, murder ballad writing, Rebecca Florence.

Sorry to disappoint.

If you’ve been on the scene for the past month or so, you’ve probably been hearing me talk about my Dad coming into town. It’s important for me to introduce him to this community that I now call home. Why you may ask?


A. The acts here are the bomb. (This Saturday it will be THE Jon Berger MCing, along with acts Ray Brown, Viking, Joe Yoga, John Murdock, Debe Dalton, Cannonball Statman, and Crabs on Banjo)

B. He’s gotta try the sweet potato fries.

C. You guys have taken really great care of me. Gross, sentimental. But true.

My father is the reason I appreciate and am humbled by the artists I see at Sidewalk almost every week.

Yeah, dude’s got good taste. Passed that down, obviously.

If you just so happen to stumble upon this blog and have no idea what I’m talking about, great. Come anyway.

If you’re not going to be here Saturday, I have no fucking clue where else you’d rather be.

Call him Mr. Alan – or Dad.



PS: I also have to prove to him I have friends. He doesn’t believe me.

Where Are They Now?

Posted on: October 10th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

Next Monday night, on October 14, the Sidewalk Cafe will host it’s “Where Are They Now?” Open Stage, invited various and sundry, far and near, gone and forgotten, to come out of the woodwork and sign up for a chance to be vaguely recalled.

Old-timers and also-rans are invited to return to the scene of the crime, where they can play a song or two or make a statement or two. Booker and MC Ben Krieger is collecting a veritable Who’s Who of names to bring back into the Sidewalk, if only for this one night. You can follow the event before it happens through it’s Facebook event page, right here:

It’s gonna be something – and it’s gonna be something else.

Let’s Kidd Twist again (for the very first time)

Posted on: October 9th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

It’s on – Mac McCarty debuts at the SIdewalk Cafe.

East Village bon vivant and occasional player Mac McCarty will lead his band of ne’er-do-wells for the very first time at the very best club.

He’s coming.

It’s gonna be a blast.

the dubious return of the ghost of touching you

Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments
Well, he’s out.

he needs help

Christopher X Brodeur, the maniac with a heart of bold, has gotten out of Sing Sing or Alcatraz or whatever house that’s kept him occupied the last year and a half. He’s back in GenPop, if you know what I’m saying, and he’s back at the Sidewalk.
Known near and nearer as Bloomberg’s Number One Enemy, the artist currently known as the Ghost of Touching You performed at the Open Stage last night.
As ever, he spent most of his set telling us something or other, instead of playing the antisocial anthems that has made him a household name. Eventually, though, he was able to coerce a female volunteer to join him on stage. She was then serenaded by the backing track and Brodeur’s vocals of “If Your Vagina Were Burned in a Fire.”
He followed with a short a Capella number, written for Michael Bolton, called “When the Widow Gets Fucked.”


Posted on: October 6th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

Before Lach’s show, coming up on Thursday, October 17, at the Sidewalk Cafe, will be a SuperHoot, where Lach will curate some of the guests of honor that he hopes to see while he’s in town. There are supposed to be 30 acts within a two hour block, which is a virtual chronological impossibility – but will be a fun time nonetheless.

It reminds me of Lach’s farewell to the Sidewalk back in 2008, when he opted to stop booking and hosting the AntiHoots. The Monday night was packed, start to finish, the the evening ran long, with everyone doing one song or four minutes, until well after the cows  commuted back to their exurbs.

It also reminded me of the SuperHoots that were recorded for Shanachie and Fortified’s joint release, Lach’s Antihoot: Scenes From the Fort at Sidewalk Cafe, which might have had a longer name back in the nineties. A few dozen acts hit the stage under open mic conditions to perform a selection of songs, some of which would be compiled into the aforementioned album that sold to the joy of hundreds of fans. Scenes From the Fort features the cream of the crop of the Fort at the time, including such luminaries as Tom Nishioka, Jen’s Revenge, Jane Brody and Mr. Scarecrow, household names to no one today, but all excellent acts that were excited to be recorded and released. It was the nineties; being on CD meant something.

Take a (sampled)  listen:

And go out for the show on October 17.

The Alpha

Posted on: October 5th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

Right, so, where was I? Oh, yes. Lach.

Lach is making his debut performance in the states since expatriating himself from all things American. Is he here because the government is taking a break? Wiser men than I will have to answer that question.

Legend has it that Lach coined the phrase AntiFolk. History has it that he championed the form more ardently than any other over the last thirty years. He’s the man that brought music to the back room of the Sidewalk Cafe, without which this blog would have no home – or reason to be.

He’s been gone from the US for two years, and gone as a regular part of the Sidewalk community for a little longer.

It will be good to have him back, if only for a night.


I read the news today… oh, boy!

Posted on: October 4th, 2013 by Jon Berger No Comments

Lach is coming to town.