Monthly Archives: November 2019

Video Exclusive: Nextgen Jazz Quartet, Birdland, NYC 10/28/19

BY JONATHAN LEVITT

The Nextgen jazz quartet, composed  of both current and former NEC students, made their NYC debut at the esteemed Birdland jazz club. Ye Huang and his crew of musicians laid it down hard for the capacity audience, and once they hit their stride, were untouchable. It’s been a long road for the band to get to this stage, having recently come off a tour in China.

Just like when I reviewed the album earlier this year, I can tell that each musician has a virtuosic streak running through their veins because a few times the band seemed to pulling in different directions. That said, when it gelled as it did for much of the concert,  the energy and elation felt in the room was palpable. I offer up a Chris Mondak tune for Blurt readers  to get a sense of what I experienced that electric evening here in Manhattan. Watch the video, below.

2019 Austin Levitation Festival Night Three Report

In which our man on the ground, the esteemed Prof. Boydston, protects his lens from proximate fan damage because he cares about YOU, dear Blurt readers. Go HERE to view his report and gallery from the Austin blast’s first night, November 7, and HERE for November 8. (Pictured above: Levitation hosts the Black Angels.)

BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Having no expectations about what to expect of John Cale it was hard to be anything but happily blown away by this 77-year old man’s performance.

This living legend came to rock, and with a great band that is what they did. And to sing his songs which are still about something.

The Black Angels set Cale up perfectly with a fantastic and dynamic set, as they continue looking for that dark cloud in every silver lining it. They found it tonight, keeping Austin Weird, and Dark. This band is responsible for Levitation even being a thing, let’s give ‘em a hand.

Earlier, White Fence from San Francisco also put in a brilliant set around the corner at The Empire Control Room and Garage, because that is what they do. Throughout their set I kept thinking if Syd Barrett and Ray Davies ever had a baby, it would be this band’s founder and creative force Tim Presley.

The LA-based Allah-Las came charging out of the gate as well, working a new LP and playing favorites from the previous three. They have a much ballsier sound live now, without changing what they do, and you know that can’t be bad.

More Black Angels on the Stubbs stage:

2019 Austin Levitation Festival Night Two Report

In which our man on the ground, the esteemed Prof. Boydston, protects his lens from proximate fan damage because he cares about YOU, dear Blurt readers. Go HERE to view his report and gallery from the Austin blast’s first night, November 7, and stay tuned ‘cos there’s more to come! (Pictured above: the crowd at Stubbs either trippin’ out or in the line for the bathrooms….)

BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Things we learned Friday night, Nov. 8, at Levitation 2019 in Austin, Texas, in no particular order:

1) What Wayne (Flaming Lips) said…

2) The Rev in Mercury Rev must be short for Revelation, because they are one.

3) Death Valley Girls can lick ‘em by smiling, and leave ‘em to hang. [I see what you did there, John. – Lyric Ed.]

4) A year of touring for Broncho has turned them into a dynamic, crowd-favorite stage act.

5) Crocodiles are the best rock band I have ever seen, or at least since The Clash (and before that band cashed out).

7) Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dihr can jam with the best of them sitting down.

Tonight (Sat., Nov. 9), will feature White Fence, Allah Las, John Cale, and The Black Angels – and many more we hope. Worth noting is that Reverberation was originally founded in 2008 by Texas sonic/archival/renegade collective the Reverb Appreciation Society featuring key members of those very same Black Angels. [Who, I feel compelled to insert at this point in your narrative, John, once blew my 5-year old son’s mind at a deafening club soundcheck well over a decade ago. I still have the ear damage to prove it, and he still has the autographed 3-D poster to prove it as well. Have at it, gang, and please don’t return our photographer home with anything less than permanent ear damage from tonight. – Archival Ed.]

2019 Austin Levitation Festival Night One Report

In which our man on the ground, the esteemed Prof. Boydston, protects his lens from proximate fan damage because he cares about YOU, dear Blurt readers. More to come!

BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Planet Stubbs (see colorful stage photo) and some class acts help lift Levitation 2019 into gear in Austin, Texas, Thursday night (Nov. 7).


A damn chilly night did not put a damper on Vagabon, Devendra Banhart, and the truly angelic Angel Olsen (pictured above). Many bands were blazing down the streets and around the corners, but once you get into a Stubbs BBQ groove, it’s hard to move on.

Tonight, the electric psych sounds of Holywave, Mercury Rev, and The Flaming Lips will light up this stage. And many many others around the corner.

Vagabon:

Banhart: