Since I first started to play music, I’ve played at a bunch of different kinds of places. I’ve played on a flatbed truck for a large group of people who owned motorcycles. And felt very strongly about the ownership of motorcycles. They were a really fun group. Good people who really appreciated the music, although I imagine it would be really terrifying to have them be upset with me. I’ve played in a barn in the absolute middle of nowhere for a large group of people who make their livings from an assortment of activities. Some of these less legal than others. They were outrageously hospitable, showed me and my small entourage a great time, and paid me an obscene amount of money. I’ve played music venues where the staff treat you with a high level of respect, and I’ve played some where you are treated pretty badly as a local act. In NYC you’re mostly treated like what you are. A fungible commodity. I’ve played basements, breweries, back yards, coffee houses, sidewalks, weddings, living rooms, restaurants, beaches, street fairs, festivals, and rooftops. I have also played A LOT of bars.
Bars come in a number of shapes and sizes and the humor of the patrons can range from extremely welcoming to completely indifferent to openly and aggressively hostile. And this can shift quickly. Bar 4 is a special place but it is no exception. On any given Saturday night, Bar 4 can be a tremendously fun place to play music. Or it can be very challenging. One deciding element is on YOU. It’s no fun to play if nobody comes to see you do it. And you can get swallowed up by the less pleasant side of the Park Slope vicinity. That is to say crappy rich folk with no taste. And as we all know, crappy rich folk with no taste are notoriously bad drinkers. The limp handshake that is their everyday personality is merely a protective coating surrounding their true, obnoxious character. And this comes roaring out after one or two tastelessly selected cocktails. Only if we have enough of YOU, intelligent, soulful, tasteful, appreciative, music-loving people in the room can we defeat this evil element from north of 15th Street. So I call on you to come and serve in this noble purpose.
The other major deciding element rests on our shoulders. We’ve got to play. We’ve gotta bring the right kinda noise. On Saturday the 22nd, I’m bringing three musicians I like quite a bit with me into the breach. I’m excited about having these guys with me on the 22nd, so I’m gonna introduce them to you one at a time. As they are all very, very good songwriters and players, I’ll introduce them to you like this:
Jasper Lewis is going to play some guitars on the 22nd. Both with me and Ryan Morgan at 8. Jasper is an outstanding songwriter and an equally talented guitar player. He’s also a Sky Captain of Industry. He’s got a record coming out real soon, and he can even create a ruckus on a subway train. Here’s Jasper creating a ruckus on a subway train:
You can also hear him wail on some guitar with the Sky Captains of Industry here:
Matt Cranstoun is a great songwriter, a great musician, and one of my favorite singers. But on the 22nd he’s gonna do what he used to do way back in the day. Bang out the drums. Here’s what Matt does when he’s not behind the drums, which is to say most of the time:
Check out his record HERE.
Rounding out the group is the very talented Don Paris Schlotman. Don, like the rest of the guys, is both a talented songwriter and solid musician. Not to mention a founding member of one of my favorite bands, The Sky Captains of Industry. Don’s going to be rocking the bass on the 22nd but you can check out loads of Don’s music at his website HERE. Or you can hear him fight off an attack by a horde of unruly cannibals along with the rest of the Sky Captains of Industry right here:
To make things even better, Ryan Morgan is also playing a set of his own that night. Ryan, as fits the theme, is also a tremendous songwriter who just released an awesome record he made with E.W. Harris back in May. You can read all the things I had to say about the record HERE. You can listen to the thing yourself right HERE. And of course for my visual people here’s Ryan playing a tune from his earlier E.P.:
And here’s a rowdy Niall Connolly cover from the last time we both played at Bar 4:
These are the battle lines, my friends. I’m working hard to hold up my end of the bargain, now I need a few of you to follow us bravely into the abyss. Together we will overcome the indifference of tastelessness. Together we will have a rowdy dance party in a special place. With your help it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Who’s with us?