Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

BoogWork: Bubble!

Posted on: March 20th, 2013 by Jon Berger

Boog City, that esteemed East Village publication, puts together shows for its Third Thursdays series. This week, there’ll be a reading and then a writer’s training, and all during happy hour.

Most exciting to some old-timers (me!), though, is the return of Bubble to the Sidewalk Cafe!

Bubble, featuring the guitar and voice of Dave Foster, has been around the Sidewalk scene as long as I am. Foster played earlier AntiFolk clubs like the Chameleon, has supported acts like Mark Humble and Lach, and does one of the two best covers I’ve heard from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Bubble’s self-titled EP was one of the first independent releases I experienced in the world AntiFolk, promising a DIY aesthetic that proved to be life-changing. Though Foster gets out occasionally, the band’s a pretty important little project that hasn’t been around the world of the Sidewalk for quite some time.

It’s great to see they’ll be on the bill – and for such a different kind of event.

Bring a pen for the writing exercise, too. You just might learn something.

Ides and Pi’s in March

Posted on: March 16th, 2013 by Jon Berger

The birthday weekend went about as well as you’d expect, with substantial acts celebrating beloved artists. A lot of warmth in the room, which isn’t such a bad thing for what is technically still winter.

Highlights of the two consecutive birthday shows:

  • Buffie Roseanne dedicating “Manwhores of Bushwick” to  Brian Speaker, who offered to help, something apparently he does anytime whores are brought up.
  • Dan Costello, Debe Dalton’s self-avowed best friend, performing several songs seemingly lost to his debut album, Halloween Baby.
  • Debe Dalton, birthday gal, including two Richard and Mimi Farina songs in her set, while describing her illustrious history of stalking Mimi.
  • Phoebe Kreutz saying, “I used to write songs about love – then I started writing songs about gentrification. This is one of those,” before going into a newer number about departures and change, “No One’s Going Anywhere.”
  • Prewar Yardsale, a guitar two-piece tonight, with Dina Levy MIA, abjectly refusing to play “Elevated Platform Stand,” despite introducing multiple songs with that that name, and playing everything in that especially minimalist VU-style.
  • Barry Bliss detailing between songs, “A lot of talent in this room. I guess that gets said a lot here. Doesn’t mean it’s not true,” transforming “Brand New Day,” yet again, changing rhythm, vocal style, and possibly intent, so the song is a different beast entirely.
  • Ben Krieger performing two sets in one, deep tracks combining with Crabs on Banjo numbers, including players as disparate as Brian Speaker, Steve Espinola, Jonathan Berger and Joe Crow Ryan.
  • Steve Stavola debuting the running order of his debut CD as his set. Simply amazing!
  • The Charles Mansfield Band’s “All the Way.” Always great, so much better with these crack AntiFolk players.
  • Kill the Band getting most of the audience to join the band on stage for some outrageous pogo-play.

You shoulda been there.

A Handsome Evening

Posted on: March 5th, 2013 by Jon Berger

Coming up fast is Thursday night’s Hand Injury AntiFolk Night, in which Jesse Cannonball Statman puts together a night of acts who have had serious cuts, bruises and breaks on one of their playing hands.

Berth Control’s Brent Cole had a notable glass cut a notable swath across his hand during a Winter AntiFolk Festival back around this time in 2011 – heralding a hospitalization and the closing of the Sidewalk for renovations.

Phoebe Novak, meanwhile, had a a more permanent ailment: the loss of one of her fingers.
“It was caused by an infection in the bone called osteomyelitis from heroin use; shooting in my fingers because all my veins were tapped out – even the neck vein.

“It would’ve been another 6 months in the hospital and like hundreds of dollars of care. And I wouldn’t have been able to move it. So off they cut it.

I could’ve kept the finger cosmetically but I said ‘don’t waste anyone’s time, just cut it off. It’s already dead. I’ve made my peace’.”

The amputation was almost six years ago, and, for the most part, Novak’s performances have not suffered in the least. “Guitar?” she says, “There’s a change, but I can easily make due.
“Piano playing, I have to reteach myself some pieces. Others I just can’t play unless I get a prosthetic.”

Until that day comes, we’ll have to do with her perfectly capable playing and  the powerful voice that makes it all worthwhile.

No one is free of the Hand Injury Night curse. Even the evening’s soundman, Alex P, wore a cast back in high school.

Jesse Statman had the most recent injury. Exactly a year before the show, “My left hand was almost completely chopped off by an evil kitchen knife.”

What caused the cut? “I’m pretty sure it was sleep-cooking / sleep-walking of some sort, and I’m the one who would know most, so that’s what I know. A blur of fainting, blood, vomiting, hospital rushing. Crazy!”

At the hospital, “it was put in stitches, until the next week when it was opened again for the amusement of a cruel team of plastic surgeons – also so they could repair two of my tendons in my left wrist. My hand was in a splint for two months, so I could only play guitar with one finger, and I wrote a lot of my Cannonball Statman songs so I could play them with one finger, in an alternate tuning similar to a sitar. My hand recovered after a few weeks of therapy, but I still play and write most of my songs in that tuning and with chords that can mainly be played with a broken hand.
“It was definitely one of the major factors that influenced how I’ve performed/written music in the past year.”

Experience the joy, the pain, the sunshine and rain, of all these injuries, at the only place it’ll be celebrated. Let’s just hope things don’t go out of… forget it.I just can’t my finger on the expression.

Boog City presents: BoogWork

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by Somer

Our last Tuesdays series will now feature the new BoogWork series alternating with the 10th season of the levy lives series. BoogWork will feature a single poet reading, followed by a musical performance, and then that same poet giving the gathered a poetry workshop

(don’t forget to bring a pen and paper).


MELODICA NYC III @ Sidewalk Cafe – May 12 & 13

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 by Somer No Comments

The Third NYC Melodica Music Festival is coming to Sidewalk this weekend, and boy are we psyched. Check out the line-up below and visit for more info on Melodica NYC and Melodica festivals around the world!

SATURDAY, MAY 12th, 5pm-1am

5:00 The Lost Shores
5:40 Jason Zucker
6:20 Elliot Rayman
7:00 Kendy Gable
7:40 Card Stock (New Hampshire)
8:20 Liz Hanley
9:00 Daniel Jon (Melodica Reykjavik, Iceland)
9:40 Names of War
10:20 Free Advice
11:00 Anthony da Costa
11:40 Margaret Glaspy
12:20 Molly Ruth

SUNDAY, MAY 13th, 5:30pm-11:300m
Bring yo Mamma for Mother’s Day!
Blackout Acoustic Night

5:30 Past Perfect (Melodica Aarhus, Denmark)
6:00 Ellen Adams
6:30 Scott Rudd
7:00 Rachel Laitman
7:30 Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons
8:00 Dewey & The Decimals
8:30 Lawrence & Leigh
9:00 Gann Matthews
9:30 Bird Courage
10:00 Tall Tall Trees
10:30 Alex P. & The Shoestring Revue
11:00 Tamsin

Sidewalk Cafe Presents – DEAD RESIDENTS

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by Somer No Comments

Sidewalk Cafe Presents – DEAD RESIDENTS

A Thursday, “dead”-of-the night residency series at Sidewalk kicks off this week, May 3. The Dead Resident series features some of Sidewalks most talented and beloved artists. Each performer will play for three consecutive weeks, with the residency start dates staggered so that no two lineups are alike. The 90-minute Thursday event will start at 11pm. Performance order will be random. You are encouraged to stop by and have their minds blown!

May 3 – Jon Berger – Dave Deporis – The Bee Keeper
May 10 – Jon Berger – Debe Dalton – The Bee Keeper
May 17 – Jon Berger – Debe Dalton – Brian Fitzousa
May 24 – Neesa Sunar – Debe Dalton – Brian Fitzousa
May 31 – Neesa Sunar – Charles Mansfield – Brian Fitzousa
June 7 - Neesa Sunar – Charles Mansfield – Meaner Pencil
June  14 - TBA – Charles Mansfield, Meaner Pencil