Life Size Maps Return to Cake Shop Tomorrow Night

TLD Contributor Flora Theden catches up with Life Size Maps frontman Mike McKeever before their December 13 show at Cake Shop.

A Few More Weekend Events

Photo by Tom Caravaglia

Local businesses are dusting themselves off and opening back up for the weekend.  Here are a few of the happenings:

  • Taylor 2, Paul Taylor’s internationally acclaimed dance troupe, is performing a free concert at Abrons Arts Center on Sunday at 3:00pm. The program features Taylor’s classics Airs and Company B. Doors open at 2:30 and seating is first come first served.
  • Gallerist James Fuentes’ latest show, ‘I’m Not Pregnant,’ a two-person exhibition featuring Lizzi Bougatsos and Thornton Dial, opens this evening with a reception from 6 – 8:00pm.
  • Experimental Cocktail Club on Chrystie Street has added live tunes to their environs. Tonight, DJ Maseo (De La Soul) is spinning.


Ken’s Music Pick: Dirt Heavy at Bowery Electric

Dirt Heavy

Dirt Heavy are an alt-country rock band out of Nashville, TN. Spawned from a meeting of the minds by Matt Haeck (pronounced ‘Heck’) and CT Stephenson, two songwriter souls walkin’ around in landscapers’ bodies.

In that context, it’s easy to envision the name ‘Dirt Heavy’ being inspired by a hot Tennessee workday, full of slinging gravel and mulch, with sweaty, Hulk-speak voices grunting “dirt….heavy”.  That kind of scene is a very fitting genesis for the duo, as it’s in this same fashion that Haeck and Stephenson hoist and hurl loads of imagery and language around, getting scraped and filthy in the pursuit of a good day’s work and good day’s pay.

Ken’s Music Pick: Leon Redbone at the Abrons

Leon Redbone

The true International Man of Mystery – Leon Redbone – has no past. None that he’ll discuss, anyway. He prefers to deal in the present only. Which is to ignore the obvious irony that his 40 year career is wholly tied to his faithful renditions of early American Ragtime ditties.

Leon Redbone

Ken’s Music Pick: Anna Haas at Mercury Lounge

Anna Haas

Songwriter/Pianist Anna Haas makes it clear that she is inspired by and passionately loyal to both her hometown of Nashville and her adopted hometown of New York City. And it’s true that her compositions display the sweetness, storytelling and southern charm of Nashville, but also the spit, grit and danger of NYC.

Her debut album “Crazy Is,” has the proud vocals of a Carol King or Sara Bareilles, with the musical daring of Ben Folds or Mika. She peppers her songs with unexpected breaks, horn lines and chants, then ties them all together with a lot of soul.

Ken’s Music Pick: Anthony da Costa at The Living Room

Anthony da Costa

Anthony da Costa is a kid. Or is he an old man? I just can’t tell. Age-wise, he’s pretty damn young; 21 years old, to be exact, but spirit-wise, he’s like a grandfather — sharing pearls of wisdom about life and teaching you how to fold a newspaper into a sailboat/hat.

In an astonishingly short time, Da Costa has put out 6 solo albums, been a nominee for the Folk Alliance’s Emerging Artist of the Year, and a finalist in Mountain Stage’s New Song competition. He’s won Kerrville’s New Folk competition as well as Falcon Ridge’s Emerging Artist competition. Oh yeah, and he was also named one of WFUV’s “New Artists to Watch” in 2009. It’s his age that makes these things astonishing but listen to the “old-soul” sound of his music and it all makes sense.

Ken’s Music Pick: Misty Boyce at Rockwood Music Hall

Misty Boyce

Misty Boyce has been drawing comparisons to the likes of Tori Amos and Regina Spektor ever since she arrived in NYC from her southwestern hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico, by way of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Fortunately, the young songwriter is wise beyond her years, enough to disregard those comparisons and compose works that showcase her natural gifts and reflect her own personal journey and experiences.

Thanksgiving Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this holiday weekend:

Luke Welsley

LUKE WELSELY – Fri Nov. 25 | 10pm at the Rockwood Music Hall

Native of Ohio, and longtime resident of New York, Pianist Luke Welsely is gaining fans near and far with his punchy, humorous songs. Happy to poke fun at himself and the things he sees in everyday life, Welsely ‘s piano work bounces along with toe-tapping confidence.  FREE//196 Allen ST. 


Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Morricone Youth

MORRICONE YOUTH – Fri, Nov. 4 | 9PM at Rockwood Music Hall

It’s always fun when smart, talented musicians go conceptual with their band or repertoire. Morricone Youth are a snappy-dressing sextet specializing in covers of dramatic film scores and soundtrack music (mostly from the 60s and 70s). They work their magic incredibly well doing faithful renditions, as well as their own contemporary interpretations of others. Even their original compositions seem tailor-made for a stoic Clint Eastwood, smoldering in the Italian desert sun. FREE//196 Allen St. 

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Paul Brill

PAUL BRILL - Fri, Sept. 23 | 10PM at Rockwood Music Hall

In the last couple years, composer/band-leader/producer Paul Brill has become known not only for his original take on contemporary songwriting, but for his big, spontaneous, multi-musician live shows. Brill puts on some of the best live shows around; now he’s redirecting and focusing his energy into a stripped down set at Rockwood called, “Paul Brill and His Small Band.”

Poised for his soon to be released new album, Brill will be shining the spotlight on his tightly written songs. He will be joined on stage by special guests Lauren Balthrop and Raphael McGregor. FREE//196 Allen St. 

Open Call For The Lo-Down’s CMJ Showcase at Fontana’s, Oct. 18th!

The Lo-Down is teaming up with Fontana’s on Eldridge Street to put on an October CMJ concert showing off the best of what the Lower East Side has to offer.

The Lower East Side has always been a fountain of musical talent. From Irving Berlin to The Velvet Underground to Lady Gaga — our neighborhood has inspired songs like Suzanne Vega’s “Ludlow Street” and “The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side” by The Magnetic Fields.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

In One Wind

IN ONE WIND – Fri, Aug 12 | 11PM at Rockwood Music Hall

The Brooklyn sextet In One Wind creates pop/jazz songs that sound country, and indie rock songs that sound like cinematic scores. With melodic storytelling at the core of In One Wind’s sound, founder/songwriter Angelo Spagnolo submits his compositions in raw from and lets the band, as a collective, shape it into the finished product. The result is a thoughtful mix of musical talent and heartfelt sincerity. FREE// 196 Allen St.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Emily Greene

EMILY GREENE – Fri, Aug 5 | 10PM at The Living Room

Growing up in Miami, one would expect pianist/songwriter Emily Greene to go the way of Son or Cumbia, but Greene found her voice early in life, and it sings soulful ballads. A natural talent on the keyboard, Greene sings with a confidence and soul about the eccentric people and bustling places that speckle the life of a young urban artist. FREE// 196 Allen St.


Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Buck 65

BUCK 65 – Fri, July 22 | 8pm at the Bowery Ballroom

They do have Hip-Hop in Canada. But even by Canadian standards, this is different. Buck 65 is a producer/songwriter/emcee hailing from Nova Scotia, and specializing in Alternative/Experimental Hip-Hop. How is it Alternative or Experimental? Well, for starters, it’s not overly heavy on the bass, and the beats are fairly minimal. Buck 65 also mixes folk, blues, and North American Roots sounds in his compositions. The final product boasts memorable hooks, and is ultimately a solidly pleasant listening experience that gets your head bopping before you even realize it.  $15 //Delancey Street

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side for this weekend:

Indian Rebound

INDIAN REBOUND – Fri, July 1 | 8PM at Cake Shop

Talk about starting them young! Ethan Levenson & John Kallen of Indian Rebound are in High School, yet they’ve already come up with a winning formula and are a year into rocking up and down the NYC circuit. Levenson plays guitar and sings, and Kallen manages the drums.