Archive for the ‘Music’ Category


Posted on: October 14th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

The second night of LachFest – in the Week of the Lach – on Wednesday, October 15, features some special acts – included a super secret guest – doing special shows, but the pieces de resistances (is that French? Could someone who knows Fresh validate that?) will be the Tribute section, where artists will devote themselves to playing songs written and performed originally, by Lach.

This isn’t unlike the I Heart You features that Ben Krieger had sporadically done, but this particular event will all be in tribute of one man, one Lach.

Afterwards will be the Folk Brothers, the original duo of AntiFolk All-Stars who bonded together to supergroup their way to fame and fortune (any day now).

The Folk Brothers were Kirk Kelly and Lach, doing some adrenaline-fueled covers, selected originals from their individual sets, and a couple of songs composed for the combo. It seems like it was the formation of the Folk Bros. that seemed to cement some of the concepts of AntiFolk. Their gig will be the first in this decade, at least.

Involved in the Tribute are acts as diverse as Jim Flynn, Bob Black and Tommy Volume. More, too, but those are the diverse ones.

The Diabological Return of Eugene Ripper

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Canadian Fast Folk Underground emigre Eugene Ripper is returning to our lands this coming Wednesday. He’s playing on a bill right after The Miele Sister’s Variety Show. He played in New York back in the 90s, seeming as representative of that early acoustic punk AntiFolk sound as any of those ‘Merican acts playing around.

You can get a sense of the style in the video at

Open Stage Antics

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

The Monday Night Open Stage was winding down, most of the acts had performed, most of the acts had left. One more was going on before Ben Krieger, host with the most, was going to wrap things up. It was after one, so the one-song wonder round was in full effect for the rest of the night.

Some french chick hit the stage. guitar in hand, and she did her song. Then she began her second.

“Thank you,” Kriger said, “it’s just one song.”

Frenchie didn’t seem to understand, and continued with her second song.

Ben interrupted to reiterate: “It’s one song apiece.”

She played on, so the lights went down, and the volume turned off. And still she played, until Krieger put on effects, just as he had at the top of the evening, during his introduction. It stopped her cold, and, flustered, she left the stage, calling Krieger an asshole.

In the audience was the French-speaking Shelita, who explained that she’d chatted with the French girl to tell her the rules. Frenchie, apparently, understood what was expected of her, and defied it, like some latter-day resistance fighter.

It was very much like the start of the evening, where some manic Floridian did a poem, two songs, with lots of commentary in between. It was an evening rife with foreigners taking advantage.

Come back any time…

The Final Countdown

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

Jonathan Berger, who’s been toiling through a Tuesday night residency ever since this Summer’s AntiFolk Festival, is closing up that particular show this Tuesday. In his fifth consecutive Tuesday, he’ll be performing in an unnamed project where Sanjay Kaul will back him on acoustic guitar. Eagle eyed viewers might recognize Sanjay Kaul from Lunchin’, and really old eagle eyed viewers might remember him as bassist for Atoosa, Tony Hightower, Seeken, and even Berger’s first iteration of JUANBURGUESA.

After this final show, who knows when we’ll see Jonathan Berger play the Sidewalk again? Will he be at the Monday Night Open Stage, as he has been for these past 15 years? Or perhaps at his next scheduled show in October? Who can say for sure? The thing to keep in mind, though, is that Berger will be done with his residency after this Tuesday. If you miss it, it’ll be gone…

First to Last

Posted on: September 7th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Two acts that first arrived on Monday are performing on Sunday (today – September 7, in case you didn’t know).

Merrick Smith played early, since his show had been scheduled. He announced his EP release, so copies should be available on the night.

Later in the evening, Shelita Burke played, and got a last minute booking at the end of the night.

In between, Brookes McKenzie will celebrate her birthday during the Super! Sunday! Showcase.

What else could you be possibly doing?


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

Ian Roure and Liza Garelick celebrate their 5th anniversary today. They are in, collectively, the Larch, Tracy Island, and the Wonderwheels. They’ve been together much longer than married, and, when they began their courtship in another century, much of it took place at the Sidewalk.

The two performers have been around much less in recent years, but they pop in to support old friends, and with certainty, keep the creative fires strong in their various projects.

Good on ‘em! Have another five more – on us!

Changing Times

Posted on: September 2nd, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

With a change of times and a change of seasons, the Monday Night Open Stage smaller crowds than it has in recent weeks. Folk here for the summer are going back to school, and the new college kids don’t yet know where to go for their open mic fixes. There were some regulars, but sparser than normal. So Ben Krieger, host with the most, decided to change it up:

“This week,” he explained at the top of the evening, “We’ll do the After List.”

A hush fell over the crowd – or at least a lack of understanding.

“What’s the After List?” someone shouted. As if on cue, Krieger detailed the differences.

“Every person will get one song or five minutes,” he said, “and after everybody has gone, anybody who wants to can go up again, in whatever order they want.”

“But…” someone (possibly the very same person as before) shouted, “That will be chaos! ANARCHY!”

It was not. Around midnight, the second round started, and, with one notable exception where I white guy jumped up in front of someone black (why does it always have to be about race?), peace and harmony reigned for the After List.

The benefits of the strategy are thus: it allows everyone to get a chance on stage, and encourages people to stick around for more time. It is more inclusive, and the audience gets to experience a far wider variety. It also usually lets the evening end quicker, and who needs to hear acts until three in the friggin’ morning?

It was a good night, and a good After List. Things happened.

Open Stage Antics

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

In a promotional strategy unprecedented in recent Sidewalk history, every act* on an upcoming bill showed up at the Open Stage to inform the public of their show.

The cast of thousands performing tonight (Tuesday, 8/26) arrived to and got slots to perform. That includes stalwart Debe Dalton, comedianne/pianist Miriam Daly, Sara Hartman, and, of course, Jon Berger (which is hardly an accomplishment, since he’s out most every week).

Daly brought out accompanying singers to impress the crowd. Sara admitted coming into the city to promote, and Debe Dalton played a brand new song.

Jonathan Berger did something new, too, an accusatory poem called Alex Norelli about the other artist, that he shamelessly exploited to plug his eight pm performance with band JUANBURGUESA. Everyone could see through his ploy, but were entertained nonetheless.

Whether or not all this promotional power will prove effective will only be decided, tonight, at the club.

*Notable exception were the Hinges, who are coming in from Washington State. Their absence is thus excused.


Piano Times

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

Will Wood tonight at the Sidewalk Cafe.He’s zany, he’s brainy, he’s entertainy!

The artist currently known as Will Wood has the 11 o’clock slot tonight at the Sidewalk. It’s late – but what else were you gonna do with your evening? Sleep is for the weak. Go on out – if you believe in entertainy…

Summer AntiFolk Festival: Night 6.

Posted on: August 14th, 2014 by Jon Berger No Comments

Domino started things off with a short set, Little Cobweb following with a longer one – full of a frightening level of optimism.

Barry Bliss continues to unleash songs from his next album. It sounds like he writes in one fell swoop, since this is his second recent show where he’s describing content from the new album while still not being entirely familiar with how the album goes.
You can see the whole thing on your own, by the way, not only at but also through Kathleen King who records as much of each Festival as she possibly can. Here’s proof!

Also on the bill: Charles Mansfield, playing with the Gay boys (Joe Reichel and Peter Ingles), and Ben Pagano, who, I think, is really lucky to have gotten his job as lead singer of the Ben Pagano Band (it would have been a slap in the face if he hadn’t passed the audition).

Some more stuff happened. Maybe you should’ve been there to see it, huh?