Archive for May, 2014

Talkin’ Old Men Blues

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

On the way to the Open Mic, I ran into former regular Fenton Lawless (he’s been mentioned before). He doesn’t come in to the Sidewalk that much, and I asked him why.

He said he felt too old.

He’s older than me, I’ll admit – grayer on top, too – but he can still walk upright, and he’s right next door.

It’s probably just me, he said, and I hope he’s right. There’s other oldsters that populate the open stage, and have shows besides. Wrinkled folks like Ray Brown, Debe Dalton, JJ Hayes, and Barry Bliss all grace the stage on occasion, when their ailments don’t keep them away.

It seems the room is encouraging to people of all ages (though, to be fair, I haven’t seen many cresting 100 on the mic. Maybe we should rally?). I hope Lawless comes around – his songs always went over really well.

Time Travel with DeLoreans

Posted on: May 22nd, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Have you heard the DeLorean Sisters? Jeez, you have to check this out: Sisters doing it for themselves. 

Here’s how the Sisters’ website describes their style: “they’ve taken to reimagining synth-pop hits and keytar karaoke staples as old timey, early 20th century Americana.”

“In the Air Tonight” with harmonica and harmonies? Wow!

This goes down on Friday night at the Sidewalk – a location you might have some familiarity with. They’re on at eight. Sidewalk semi-regular Emily Einhorn of Yes, William, performs at 11pm.

Promising evening up ahead.

Posted on: May 21st, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Coming up Thursday night, sibling acts Emma Peel and Harlem Slim (presumably, not their real names). You can learn more about Harlem Slim’s alter ego by checking out his sellout commercial for PF Flyer (here’s a taste) – it’s actually pretty cool. Emma Peel, hopefully, will kick really high.

Dalton Deschain closes out the night, playing selections from what sounds suspiciously like a rock opera, but nonetheless sounds good.

Before all that is some comedy (starting at 7pm) – the Sweet Action Comedy Show, which would be good, I guess, if you like to laugh. It take all kinds, right?


End of an Era

Posted on: May 19th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

The queen is dead; long live the queen?

Lana, the regular server at the Sidewalk on Monday nights for the Open Stage, left the club last week, to take care of family in the North (though why anyone would live North of New York is beyond me).

How will Sidewalk society go on in her absence? Time – and me – will tell, but rest assured, the community has gotten over other cataclysmic departures. The club itself abandoned us for a half a year, a few months back. Certainly, things could be worse. 

Let’s all see together how we will carry on.

There’s That.

Posted on: May 13th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments


So long, farewell…

Posted on: May 9th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Tonight, the gorgeous Clara Strauch says goodbye to NYC life, so she can return to her native Sweden. She is, after all, a nomad.

She closes out her New York years at the Sidewalk at 11.30, after a night of comedy and song from other, assorted acts.

Four Twos

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Starting at nine tonight, there will be pairs aplenty at the Sidewalk Cafe, where two-piece after two-piece band will hit the stage.

Some are debuting, like Pagans for Buddha, and have been established acts for a couple of months – and some are even older!

There’s lots of promising potential when duos do it.


Come out – and bring someone with you!

Words are Very

Posted on: May 6th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Yes, I suppose the reunion night had some things to recommend it: MIA artists showed up after great distances of time.

Jordan Levinson, Pete Scalzitti, Waylon Daniels, a couple of hundred others made their way to the Sidewalk, like fish going to the East Village to spawn (Editor’s Note: no spawning was witnessed over the course of the night).

But something not Time Capsuley happened last night; Natasha showed up.

Offering her cello expertise to any and all takers, Natasha jammed first with Rebecca Florence, then two ringers she had brought with her, and then, finally, anyone who asked for her accompaniment.

It was magical. Florence said she was speechless after Natasha joined her on-stage – and anything that can silence her is truly magical indeed.

Both Lorraine Leckie and Rebecca Florence have booked shows with the improvisational artist; who knows how many other will try to take advantage of her talent?

“Where do you get your ideas?”

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

The Sidewalk Songwriter series continues apace this Tuesday, immediately after the Urbana Poetry Slam. This week’s victim (Subject? I should have said subject) is former Sidewalk Grandmaster and current Open Stage host, Ben Krieger.

His are the fingers behind the knobs for Yossarian Feedback. His is the voice that sins for the Beekeeper. His is the sonic stimuli for the Sound of Salesman. Also, he’s on the Krieger in Crabs on Banjos.

In this songplaying Q&A, we can hopefully get to the bottom of such things as the inspiration behind “Baby Eating Bicycle” and “Squid on My Head,” as well as who’s doing the driving in “Birdies and Cars.”

Sometimes, at the end of a Monday Night Open Stage (go tonight, by the way), Krieger will explain some of the thought that went into particular songs, or particular periods of creative output. One of the benefits of this series is that you can ask guided questions, and not have to be up at two in the morning. Score!

Check it out. What could possibly go wrong?

Reunion Thoughts?

Posted on: May 4th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

The onset of the Open Stage Time Capsule may leave you thinking fond thoughts of those who have left the community, but what about those that are still around?

Morgan Heringer, like Rebecca Satellite before her, is a Sarah Lawrence grad and a bandleader now. Heringer’s the voice and brains behind Fayaway, which lately seems to be playing everywhere and a half. They’ve got a couple of songs available somewhere, but that’s not all that Heringer’s up to.  She put the latest iteration of the AntiFolk supergroup Go Love to bed a couple weeks ago – though, like a zombie, it seems that Go Love keeps rearing its ugly head (a hydra! I didn’t mean zombie; I meant hydra).

Heringer’s amazing voice was the most consistent feature in the recent Go Love III, and, hopefully, will be on display at the upcoming Time Capsule event. At least, this is something on which we can… prayaway.