Upcoming gigs with The Bliss Jockeys: Tammany Hall and Mercury Lounge

I’ve updated my website performance calendar to note my next two upcoming gigs with The Bliss Jockeys:

  1. 2013 FINALE SHOW– Triple Bill!!
    Saturday, November 23, 2013 • 7:00pm
    Tammany Hall: 152 Orchard Street (btw Stanton & Rivington), NYC
    $5.00 (advance) / $10.00 at the door

    The Bliss Jockeys share the stage with Myriam Phiro’s Swing Party and Victor V. Gurbo & Co. — each act turns in a 50-minute set for three full hours of music! Come join us for our FINAL SHOW of what’s been our most triumphant year yet! We’ll be closing out 2013 just the way we began it: by tearing it up all night at a hot venue down in the Lower East Side with a couple of other GREAT BANDS. Myriam Phiro and Victor Gurbo are making great things happen in each of their careers: Myriam’s freshly returned from a three month international tour, and Victor’s band won both the WNYC & WQXR Brooklyn Borough Champion and WNYC & WQXR Audience Choice Awards this year. Not too shabby!
    Order tickets | RSVP on Facebook

  2. Note: the BJs are also playing the Brighter Than Today: A Secular Solstice festival on Saturday night, December 14, but I won’t be with them. Sniff! Instead I’ll be performing at Town & Village Synagogue’s 25th Annual Cantor Louis Moss Memorial Concert, featuring the T&V Choir and Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars! $30 at-door, $25 by December 12; students $10, 18 and under get in free. 7:30pm: 334 E. 14th St. (at 1st Ave), NYC.

  3. 2014 KICK-OFF SHOW– Triple Bill!!
    Wednesday, January 15, 2014 • 6:30pm
    Mercury Lounge: 217 E Houston St (btw 1st Ave & Ave A), NYC
    $10.00 (purchase in advance)

    The Bliss Jockeys’ New Year’s Resolutions for 2014:

    1. Play at epic venues that are known around the world.
    2. Open for international touring sensations.
    3. Share the bill with NYC’s BEST & HOTTEST bands.

    Well, it looks like The Bliss Jockeys will be able to check off all 3 of these resolutions only 15 days into the new year! The Bliss Jockeys will be opening for international touring sensation the Villalobos Brothers. Also on the bill are our good friends, Victor V. Gurbo & Co.!
    Order tickets

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Big performance news: The Bliss Jockeys

Yesterday, I signed on as a backup vocalist with NYC rock band The Bliss Jockeys, fronted by the remarkable and charismatic Phil Robinson and backed by a gospel-choir-style ensemble of 7 female singers. “Part rock, part gospel & part jam band, The Bliss Jockeys feature a large, over-the-top sound and deliver an energizing and delirious experience every time!” Their debut album, The Birth of Bliss, is close to complete and will be forthcoming in 2013 from Roomful of Sky Records.

How it came about: Last weekend was my 20th (shhh) college reunion at Brandeis University. Phil, along with two of his ’98 classmates (having their 15th), were assigned totally at random as my suitemates in the reunion housing on campus. All of them turned out to be completely awesome and the best thing about my weekend. On Saturday night, after the class dinner, we all sat up until about 2am drinking bourbon and singing a cappella harmonies to the Indigo Girls and Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel, and finally Phil turned to me and said “Hey! You are awesome and should join my band! I need a female vocalist! We rehearse on Monday nights!”

… Now it happened that, within just the past few weeks, I had started having the thought, “Hey, I would really like to look for an a cappella/vocal group to join again. I bet I could find one of those somewhere in NYC that would take me.” (As longtime acquaintances know, in Boston I was a member of Jewish a cappella group Honorable Menschen from 2003 to 2011, and only quit when I moved to NYC. So it was a huge part of my life for 8 years.)

Also, Monday is one of the few nights in the week I had totally free.

While this obviously isn’t a cappella, the opportunity is close enough that it is going on my archival list of “things that have fallen into my lap precisely when I needed and asked the Universe for them”.

Sunday night I returned to NYC; Monday night I sat in on a rehearsal, and I was thoroughly delighted. The rest is history. I will (tentatively) be making my debut with the band on Thursday, July 18, at Tobacco Road in midtown Manhattan.

Talk about bliss: While the BJs’ list of musical influences includes Bruce Springsteen, The Animals, Phish, the Indigo Girls, Cat Stevens, Etta James, KT Tunstall, and musical theater, their “non-musical influences” are specified as Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. Case in point: We’re booked to play the Center for Symbolic StudiesMidSummer Festival—Ancient Mysteries, Modern Psyche. The CSS, located just outside New Paltz, NY, is “a healing and performing arts center exploring the psyche through the window of myth.” When I realized that this was the "Midsummer Festival" on our gig list, I about fell over and died; I had blithely assumed it was a music festival. COOLEST. VENUE. EVER. [Edited to add: Sadly, this appearance was later cancelled; the festival has chosen to feature performances more directly theme-related, so, ancient Greek music and the Rap Odyssey. Can’t argue there. But the BJ’s are nonetheless still considered the “house band”.]

I am incredibly excited and energized to be a part of this project. Join the email list or follow on Facebook!

I’ve also updated my performance page accordingly. Obligatory geek side note: The brand-new accordion tabs under “Past Appearances” were created with some nifty Javascript from Elated.com. The MP3 embed utility is, I’m almost sorry to say, Yahoo’s WebPlayer, but it’s actually quite slick; a single line of script, and it will auto-embed YouTube links as well as local MP3 and video files.