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Hey, we haven’t had a Big Takeover party in a few years, and we have come up with a new wrinkle for one. Rather than doing it on a weekend night with loud live bands as we have in the past, it’s time we did a weekend afternoon with some international all-star acts playing unplugged/lo-fi in a comfy cafe adjoining one of New York’s truly great record stores! For free!
The store is Sound Fix right on the main drag in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 110 Bedford Ave, (718) 388-8090, and its adjoining cafe is the Fix Cafe. The date is Saturday, November 11 at 1 PM, and we have three great acts from three countries that have agreed to perform some relaxed sets for us in keeping with the theme and festivities. I will be MCing the low-key, friendly, social affair, the coffee and other afternoon drinks available for purchase are quite good at the Fix Cafe, and the couches and chairs comfortable. And I never get out of the store without spending a small, happy fortune, as they carry a terrific selection of new and used vinyl and CDs. (Note, the fine owner and our old friend, JAMES BRADLEY, and some others who work there like STEVE HOLTJE and JOSH GABRIEL, are bylines you will perhaps recognize from our pages! And you can order from them online, too, at soundfixrecords.com) There will be plenty of chance to chat, too, with myself and other Big T staffers and the artists, as it is that sort of place.
As to the performers lending their time and voices for the event:
Playing last will be the truly great DON MCGLASHAN, singer/songwriter from one of the truly great 1990s bands THE MUTTON BIRDS-a longtime Big Takeover favorite all the way from New Zealand (and later London). That band is no more, but Don has just released his first solo LP, Warm Hand, which has been chosen #2 in my Top 40 the forthcoming fall issue #59 of Big Takeover. And this will be his only North American date!!!! Don has rarely played in this country, despite living in New York for a year pre-Mutton Birds, and we’re thus quite honored to present him 9000 miles from his home base! And judging from both the lighter textures of his new LP and from Mutton Birds’ 1997 acoustic live LP Angle of Entry, he excels in the unplugged format. To hear four songs on that fantastic new LP, plus a pleasant video starring a dolphin, I direct you to here. (If anyone knows were to listen to any of his Mutton Birds stuff online, let me know.)
For more info on Don, he has a website here. Note that a sneak preview of my review of Warm Hand for the new issue can be found, in its entirety on that site, with our blessings. We want everyone to know about this superb artist. And in this case, everyone to see him, too! And the good news is that Don will be bringing over copies of both his new LP, and Mutton Birds’ essential best-of collection Flock to sell at the party.
Playing in the middle slot is MARTIN CARR, guitarist from Liverpool’s excellent BOO RADLEYS, playing a “lo-watt” stripped down set with his small backing group. Boo Radleys were another of Big Takeover’s favorite bands of the 1990s and Martin wrote all their songs for his pal SICE to sing. Since their breakup, Martin has continued to record as BRAVE CAPTAIN, but also has rarely been sighted on these shores, and is now performing under his own name. His 2001 Brave Captain best-of Nothing Lives Long, He Sang, Only the Earth and the Mountains was released here on Thirsty Ear a while back, and a good description of what he he has been doing post-Boos can be found in a review of the CD online by The Boston Phoenix.
I couldn’t find any Brave Captain music to listen to online (you can download a whole LP for free (with artwork!) at “his site”http://www.bravecaptain.co.uk), but there are about four MTV videos on Boo Radleys on YouTube if you want to hear/see some music. The one I recommend is for the incredible song “Lazarus” which can be found here.
And starting off the festivities will be our own MITCH FRIEDLAND, singer/guitarist/songwriter of my old/current band SPRINGHOUSE. We have just completed the long-delayed recording of our third LP (and first in over a decade), mastered and all, and likely titled From Now to OK. So, playing solo acoustic, Mitch will be previewing some of its lighter fare along with some old favorites from our two LPs for Caroline Records in the early ‘90s. Both of these two LPs are out of print, but thanks to our good friend HERB JUE we’ve been able to amass a small pile of used copies from the stores and online stores of America, which we will make available at the show.
Springhouse has no MySpace page as of yet, sorry! But I noticed that someone has kindly posted one of our old MTV videos on You Tube if you want to hear one of our songs, “Layers”(and see three men shivering playing in the bitter cold outside in a geodesic dome in Flushing Meadows Park in January 1991—you can see puffs of smoke come out of Mitch’s mouth, and my sweater looks pretty threadbare playing drums in such a climate), go here. And there’s more info including old reviews and interviews and lyrics, etc. at www.tripalot.com/springhouse/
AND THIS JUST IN: Although it’s not connected to our event, England’s SCRITTI POLITTI will also be playing directly after we are finished! So more bang for your no-bucks!
Anyway, please come and hang out and shoot the bull at one of the more pleasant cafes in all of New York City, and look at the CDs and vinyl available at one of the best record stores around. And spend the afternoon with some really special singer/songwriters, two from very far away, and the staffers of Big Takeover!
And look for issue 59 in stores and your mailbox reasonably soon (it’s at the printers). Let us know if your address has changed or if you have any questions about your subscription!
Hope to see you on the 11th of November at 1PM at Sound Fix!
Yours, Jack Rabid, Big Takeover editor and publisher
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