I once got busted trying to steal a magazine from my hometown library. The 8/8/91 issue of Rolling Stone apparently had one of those sensors on the last page and it beeped from my backpack on the way out. I was gonna bring it back. I just wanted to take it home to read the … More »
Landlady’s Adam Schatz has just shared two new songs to honor the late Jessi Zazu of rock band Those Darlins. This includes an original “Share a Tree” and a cover of Al Green’s “Love And Happiness.” Both songs are full of joy and feel like a celebration of a truly beautiful life. Read Schatz’s statement on this project below:
“I am putting two new Landlady recordings out into the world today. I’m going through a lot of pain right now and I know others are too and listening to songs can help, so I see no use in holding it in.
Jessi Zazu Wariner was one of my favorite people on the planet and I will need a lot more words to say why in full. Here’s a few that are relevant.
The first song, the Al Green song, was our closing number on our tour this past February. Jessi couldn’t make it to the Nashville show because she had chemotherapy that day, and did so in a Landlady T-shirt. I was able to get to town the night before, my guys dropped me off and I slept on her floor, we stayed up talking and I can’t remember about what.
The second song in this pair, the original song, is a song I wrote years ago, for and about Jessi, Nikki, Linwood, Those Darlins and the complicated depths of the relationships carved out when making music with people long term. Nashville has long been a second home for me and it’s because of them. I would play Jessi new recordings I made long before they came out, and if she ever didn’t like something I would have burned it up. I sent her this song a few weeks ago, and received a glowing approval. I felt instantly big. She had that power over me. I feel incredibly lucky she left me feeling good, especially when I currently feel so bad.”
You can give to Jessi’s memorial fund here.
Artwork by David Ostrow
As spring continues to heat up around us, it’s about time we put on another free show! We’re throwing a bash at The Well in Bushwick as part of Northside Festival, hosting a carefully curated line-up of some of our favorite emerging bands, including plenty of home-grown NYC artists. Get ready to dance along to your favorite tunes and enjoy drinks courtesy of Polar Seltzer, a snack buffet from Harvest Snaps, backyard games and food trucks. Friday, June 9th is the date, and we’ll be celebrating from 6pm to 2am. The best part is that you and your friends can RSVP ahead of time to get in for free, or simply pay $15 at the door. There’s also a Facebook event ripe for the RSVP’ing and sharing.
Admission is limited to the venue capacity and the event is 21 and up. Northside Festival badge holders need not RSVP — just flash us your badge at the doors. We can’t wait to see you!
Event: The Wild Honey Pie Presents The Beehive at Northside Festival
Night: June 9, 2017
Place: The Well, 272 Meserole St (Brooklyn)
Photos by Eliana Rowe
On Tuesday night, Bushwick’s grooviest party palace was packed with some of NYC’s most skilled music aficionados, both on stage and in the audience. It was a slightly unconventional event for House of Yes, as it lacked the usual aerial antics and “Love Room” shenanigans, but the regality of the space was a perfect match for the grandiose energy brought by Kalbells, The Westerlies, and Landlady, who headlined for their album release. The music was smart, the lights were bright, and the crowd was riveted.
Curated by the inimitable Adam Schatz, founder and leader of Landlady, each of the three acts presented a different display of virtuosic charm. Kalbells, who has been active around New York for several months, have yet to release any music online, making an exciting and fresh spectator experience. Fronted by Kalmia Traver (of Rubblebucket), the orange-clad, all-female quartet excelled at vocal harmonies, which oscillated between etherealism and discord quite seamlessly. Excluding the drummer who sat tight (especially on those beats), the three standing musicians played musical chairs with instruments, sometimes all three playing keys/synth, sometimes guitar or bass, and, as any Rubblebucket fan might expect, Ms. Traver whipped out her trusty saxophone for a striking change in color. Look out for Kalbells’ debut record in the spring.
Next up was The Westerlies, a band you might not expect to see on most indie-rock (or whatever label you prefer, or prefer to omit) lineups — unless, of course, that lineup was conceived by Adam Schatz. Two trumpets, two trombones: even for a jazz ensemble, very unique instrumentation. They played complex, winding melodies, enriched with an expansive dynamic range. Not just because of the quippy banter and song intros (i.e.: “This one is about a crazy old man riding a tricycle down the street”), The Westerlies played extremely narrative music, despite the absence of words. As their mouths were full of brass, all communication on stage was through body language — the impeccable musicianship shined most when the swell of dynamics manifested in sight as well as in sound. They proved to us that there absolutely is – and always should be – a place for any kind of nontraditional or instrumental group on any lineup.
Riding the fresh wave of their fourth LP release, The World Is A Loud Place, Landlady took the stage with gusto. As always, Mr. Schatz electrified center stage, joined by long-time bandmates Ian Chang and Booker Stardrum on double drum kit, Ian Davis on bass, and Will Graefe on guitar. They played a diverse set, at times reaching back in the band’s library to play old songs for the first time in years, but the bulk of the set featured songs off of The World Is A Loud Place, some of which are still new to the realm of performance. Landlady falls in the small center of a Venn diagram between “highly impressive” and “highly enjoyable” music — and the idiosyncratic songwriting and lush instrumental arrangements translates differently for every listener. The Juilliard alum may stand agape trying to figure out time signature and key changes, and right next to them, the House of Yes hula hooper can freely bask in the funk. But really, to me, the most impressive element of this band is that each member can individually possess such unparalleled technical skill, bring it together on stage with a studio-level crispness, and still be completely uninhibited performers. One minute, Mr. Schatz is crouching at the edge of the stage towards the audience, and the next, he is playing conductor to the petite orchestra that stands behind him. And they never miss a beat.
The whole evening shimmered in the light of inclusivity — from the blatant “YES!” attitude of the venue, to the diversity of the lineup, and especially in the final act of the night. The Westerlies and Ms. Traver made a few guest appearances throughout the Landlady set, but for the encore, Mr. Schatz brought everyone to the stage for an absolutely jubilant rendition of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.” The Kalbells choraled, The Westerlies blasted their horns, with Mr. Schatz leading the whole ensemble and audience in a cathartic sing-along. Landlady will be touring the rest of the US through early March, so find them in a city near you. In this melancholy landscape we’re all trudging through, they’ll remind you that music really is the best medicine for the soul.