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Our periodic missives will alert you to various happenings throughout Piñataland.
Pinataland with Curtis Eller and Bliss Blood at the Living Room July 29thJuly 9, 2012
We’re happy to be part of this great evening of music at NYC’s Living Room:
WHAT: An evening of American History & Songsmithery
WHEN: Sunday July 29th 2012
WHERE: Living Room, 154 Ludlow Street, Manhattan
HOW MUCH: Listener’s choice
8pm Bliss Blood
9pm Curtis Eller
8pm Bliss Blood began her career as vocalist and songwriter in the band Pain Teens in Houston and continued to write music and perform with The Moonlighters and Delta Dreambox, among other bands, in New York City since 1995 Her band THE MOONLIGHTERS have been a part of the New York City jazz and pop music scenes since forming in 1998. Based around a core of harmonized vocal duets backed by warm acoustic instruments including Hawaiian lap steel guitar, ukulele, guitar and bass, they explore traditional and classic tunes with a unique, romantic approach that is appealing to listeners of all ages.
9pm Curtis Eller is America’s angriest yodelling banjo player. He sings about pigeon racing, performing elephants and Jesus, all of which he has seen with his own eyes. He started his show-business career at the age of seven as a juggler and acrobat in the Hiller Olde Tyme Circus in Detroit, but has since turned to the banjo because that’s where the money is. His biggest musical influences are Buster Keaton, Elvis Presley and Abraham Lincoln. He has staggered his way into the hearts of audiences from London and Amsterdam to Los Angeles and Montreal. Mr Eller’s tune “Alaska” was voted “2003′s most Popular” on NPR’s All Songs Considered. The music has the unmistakable sound of a pistol being fired in an abandoned salt mine: lonesome and violent.
10pm Pinataland’s theatrical, darkly romantic music conjures lovelorn astronauts, murderous Mormons, and the atom bomb. Tonight they bring their energetic stage show of historical mysteries, performing songs from their acclaimed fifth CD “Hymns for the Dreadful Night”. With Robin Aigner and Doug Stone on vocals, Bill Gerstel on drums, Dave Wechsler on piano, Ross Bonadonna on bass, and Deni Bonet on violin. “America’s best bet for singalong historical fiction.” – NJ Star Ledger “
Friday May 18 at BarbesMay 13, 2012
We are returning to our beloved Barbes on Friday May 18th 2012 at 10pm. This time out we are Robin, Doug, Bill, Deni, Ross, and a courageous young man named Tony Melone on piano. At 9pm we are most pleased to welcome Spottiswoode. Simply one of the finest songwriters and performers working today, Spottiswoode is a scoundrel with knife in his shoe and a gentleman troubadour with a heart of gold all in one. At 8pm groove to the hypnotic vibes of Sam Dickey and his stringed wonders from across the planet.
WHERE: Barbes 376 9th Avenue, Brooklyn NY barbesbrooklyn.com
WHEN: Friday May 18. Sam Dickey at 8, Spottiswoode at 9, Pinataland at 10.
HOW MUCH: 10 dollar hypnotically suggested donation
Thoughts on “Hymns”May 13, 2012
Here’s a collection of review excerpts about “Hymns for the Dreadful Night”, the record we released last August, sent by our extremely lovely publicist Bernadette Quigley:
“Taking on big topics in a historically correct and poetic fashion, with plenty of violin and Eastern folk rhythms, makes a comparison to The Decemberists unavoidable. Things get more distinctive, however, when you consider Pinataland’s male and female harmonies and their immediacy, something that the well-rehearsed and stagy Decemberists lack. New Yorkers Doug Stone and David Wechsler also screenwrite and run a Chicago theatre company, and their excellent cover of Laurie Anderson’s “Hiawatha” highlights their hip and intelligent direction. Jazz critic Stanley Crouch provides a spoken intro to a song about a mink that crawls through the graves of the famous, no doubt the first song of its kind. Plenty of smart well-crafted music here.” The Big Takeover
“Without a doubt, this ranks as the most rocking and most accessible (to those who didn’t major in American studies) Piñataland record.” Tris McCall, Star Ledger (NJ)
“Hymns for the Dreadful Night reveals these raconteurs to be incredibly gifted at their craft.” Brice Ezell, popmatters
“Hymns For A Dreadful Night is compelling whether you’re a student of history, or just love a good tale.” Wildy’s World
“Piñataland is easily one of my top ten musical discoveries for 2011. They have created a mixture of nearly festive, orchestral-folk (also a touch of pedal-steel), with genius literary/historical references. If this sounds unmanageable and chaotic then you might be correct if not for the amazing results.” Heroes of Indie Music
““Party band” probably wouldn’t be the first way you might consider categorizing Piñataland. But that’s what they were. On their new album Hymns for the Dreadful Night, the chamber pop band’s rhythm section really amps it up – interestingly, this time out, drummer Bill Gerstel and bassist Ross Bonadonna kept the groove more low-key, sometimes gracefully ornate, probably just as well considering that they were playing Barbes. Violinist Deni Bonet stole the show with her fiery, gypsy and celtic-flavored lines when she wasn’t building an orchestral swirl with the guest accordionist, while bandleaders Dave Wechsler and Doug Stone joined voices vigorously with Robin Aigner.” New York Music Daily
Music, films & folklore at BarbesOctober 13, 2011
We’re returning to Barbes on Friday November 11th for a special evening of music & films that will somehow come together to present a Coherent & Complete Vision of American Folklore. Joining us will be The Weal and the Woe at 8pm. Then The Weal and the Woe’s Russell Scholl will present folklore-related rare films from his collection. Then a film I fell in love with at Sundance, Pioneer, starring Will Oldham and directed by David Lowery, about the most epic bedtime story of all time. Then of course Pinataland will emerge from our slumber clutching songs new and old, with Doug Stone & Robin Aigner, Bill Gerstel, Gerald Menke, Josh Camp, Ross Bonadonna and Brooke Watkins.
WHERE: Barbes, 376 9th street @ 6th Avenue, Brooklyn New York
WHEN: Friday, 11/11/11, 8 p.m – midnight
WHAT: Americana Folklore Night, an evening of music and film with Piñataland, The Weal and the Woe and a short films including “Pioneer” by director David Lowery.
HOW MUCH: $10 suggested donation
SCHEDULE: 8:00 pm., The Weal & The Woe
9:30 p.m., Short films including “Pioneer” by director David Lowery.
10:00 p.m., Piñataland (Doug Stone, David Wechsler, Robin Aigner, Bill Gerstel & Gerald Menke) perform tunes from their new album, “Hymns for the Dreadful Night”.