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LICNotes Events:

    • Monday, January 24th 2011
    J Walter Hawkes Residency

    J Walter Hawkes residency at LIC Bar featuring JWH Trio and special guests The Jacob Varmus Group!

    • Location: LIC Bar
    • Time: 8-11pm
    • Tickets: No Cover
    • Contact: 718 786-5400


    • Tuesday, January 25th 2011
    Steve Blanco Trio

    Catch Steve Blanco Trio Tues and Fri nights at Domaine Wine Bar!

    • Location: Domaine Wine Bar
    • Time: 9-midnight
    • Tickets: No Cover
    • Contact: 718 784 2350


    • Tuesday, January 25th 2011
    Steve Blanco Trio

    Catch Steve Blanco Trio Tues and Fri nights at Domaine Wine Bar!

    • Location: Domaine Wine Bar
    • Time: 9-midnight
    • Tickets: No Cover
    • Contact: 718 784 2350


    • Wednesday, January 26th 2011
    The Hand Band, Dave Diamond, Jason Crosby

    The Hand Band at 8pm, Dave Diamond at 9pm, Jason Crosby at 10pm live at LIC Bar!

    • Location: LIC Bar
    • Time: 8-11pm
    • Tickets: No Cover
    • Contact: 718 786-5400


Wednesday, 14 July 2010 21:53

Conversations at Cranky's: Steve Blanco

Jimmy Wohl sits down with Steve Blanco of El Chico Blanco to discuss music, upcoming events, and of course, TRON, for this installment of Conversations at Cranky's, a new video interview series only on LICNotes! The series is filmed at Cranky's Cafe in Long Island City, Queens.

 

 

Published in Vox Populi
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 16:39

Impressions of El Chico Blanco

The month of not understanding, Part II

 

I’ll continue this whining session by adding some blatant self-promotion (ah, the glories of the blog!)

 

There’s another LIC musical phenomenon I can’t grasp, and with even less excuse than for the SWM [see: The month of not understanding, Part I], as it’s ECB – El Chico Blanco. Well Shark, you may say (if you allow me to feed you your lines), How can that be?? You are after all helping produce the ECB Live at Domaine disc/download thingie that you talk about constantly, and you’ve spent many hours inebriated on Robert’s finer bottles while listening to the band. And even some sober ones listening the rough mixes for whatever album will see the light of day. If you don’t get this group (you might say if I wrote longwinded scripts for you), how the hell can you presume to tell us out here on the Greater Interwebs just what goes down at the wine bar?

 

You make a lot of sense for a kid from Queens.

 

What manner of creature is the ECB? Metal electronica? Acid improv alt-soul? Distorto-trip free hop? It’d be easier to come up with a marketing-friendly cheeseball label if the sound didn’t seem to change every two weeks. I had hoped that the short respite provided by an interlude in Prague (yes, great name for a French espionage/relationship film) for Steve Blanco, who fronts the group, would allow me to get ahold of it.

 

Well, it did allow me to realize I didn’t need to get ahold of anything. This past Tuesday, I met D., a friend – not sure why we’re friends, as he’s into wine, knows finance, noodles around on keyboards, and is a decent tennis player – at Domaine. Now D. was already a Steve Blanco fan, but had only heard the Trio, and had only been to Domaine, once, some time back. This was a perfect test for my theories of how to label, and then maybe corner and capture, this sound.

 

Phfft. D. heard the music as primarily rock-based, and mentioned that Jon Schaefer – yes, the same WNYC guy who cameoed in part 1 – has classified a good deal of current music as ‘post-rock’: it uses the language of rock, eschews vocals, and is structured in ways closer to jazz or classical. Schaefer intends the label to be a non-genre, not a limitation but simply a ”not that, but something (though not quite anything) else”. Well look, ‘new wave’ was a useful term for a few years in the 70’s. “Post-rock’ is true as a referent for ECB as far as it goes; it just doesn’t go very far. I’m going to let myself stay confused, and enjoy ECB as the music evolves.

 

The Silver Shark is always moving, just under the surface of the LIC scene. He comes up suddenly to snap up some wine and music, and perhaps bare his teeth at nearby lovely mermaids – though he generally doesn't bite. You can catch an occasional glimpse of him at your favorite LIC venue, and regularly here at his blog.

 

* Photo by Ferny Chung, from ECB Facebook

Published in Shark Bites
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 14:21

The Rise of the LIC Jazz Scene

 
Mark my words. People will remember 2010 as the year the LIC Jazz scene came to prominence!

So far 2010 has been an amazing year for LIC Jazz--and it's just getting started! In just a few short months a potent and powerful jazz scene has reared its head. The sleeping giant has awoken!

This didn't exactly happen overnight.There have been some heavy players living in the neighborhood for years, but after a series of smaller jazz shows at neighborhood haunts like Creek and The Cave, Domaine & LIC Bar, a real scene has started to coalesce. On top of that people often forget that Queens has a very rich jazz heritage. It was a home for greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan and many more.

On March 28th, 2010 the first ever Long Island City Jazz Festival was held at The Secret Theatre. It was a terrific success, a great celebration of our homegrown talent. It not only dazzled the audience but inspired musicians to seize the moment and take control of their collective destinies. In April a collective of jazz musicians, supporters and enthusiasts formed the Long Island City Jazz Alliance.

The Alliance was created to strengthen and develop the LIC Jazz scene by using its collective resources to create more and better opportunities for jazz musicians. The Long Island City Jazz Alliance has already shown itself to be swift in their actions because there is now something resembling a tidal wave of jazz heading toward the neighborhood!

On Sunday, June 13th The Long Island City Jazz Alliance will be forming a local "supergroup" led by guitarist Amanda Monaco to kick off the popular Live At The Gantries outdoor concert series.

LIC Bar has declared June its Jazz Month by filling its calendar with many jazz concerts as well as a special and innovative residency by saxophonist and composer Anthony Cekay. A large piece composed by Cekay called "The Spectacular War Museum" will be broken up into four separate shows each Monday in June. And to make it even more interesting, Cekay will be the first artist in LIC (at least to my knowledge) to stream live video of an entire residency.

Also don't forget about Domaine Wine Bar--the original hub for LIC Jazz--where every Tuesday and Friday pianist Steve Blanco continues to fan the flames of the scene he helped to spark.

New on the scene: just a few train stops away on the 7 train on the LIC/Sunnyside border is The Ra Cafe. Ra features live jazz concerts every Thursday and a jazz brunch every Sunday. The majority of their shows are devoted to neighborhood jazz musicians.

Keep your dial tuned to LICNotes for the latest developments in the jazz community!

From the desk of Silbin Sandovar
 


Published in Vox Populi