Week in Rock: From Wolfes to Birds Edition

<strong>Wolfe Sings Field, Behrens Sings Country</strong><p>Last weekend we put on a show with our friends at <a href="">Brooklyn Based</a> as part of the first annual <a href="">Northside Festival</a>. A major highlight during our Saturday showcase was <a href="">Henry Wolfe</a>, who performed his <a href=""><em>Wolfe Sings Field</em></a> album in full, and with a conductor and orchestra at that. You can check out some <a href="">video here</a>, and we hear rumors he'll be back in town doing it all over again soon. <a href="">Motel Motel</a> followed his set, with Aaron Behrens and the Dirty Banquet capping the day off with some country-tinged Americana. Behrens is the frontman for <a href="">Ghostland Observatory</a>, who usually travel with Pink Floyd's laser light guy in tow; after Wolfe's extravagant performance he picked up his iPhone and pretended to call that lighting guy, saying, “Forget what I said about not needing those lasers today!”</p>P.S. Behrens's backing band, the Dirty Banquet, consists of members from Austin band Prayer for Animals. We caught them at the Bell House the next night for their first ever NYC performance, and they (for lack of better words) <em>killed it</em>. Please <a href="">beg them to come back to the city</a>.

<strong>The Posies Frost the Beater Once Again</strong><p>Last weekend the legendary power pop quartet, The Posies, played a fairly intimate affair at the Bell House in Gowanus. They performed their 1993 album <em>Frosting on the Beater</em>, as well as a number of encores from previous albums. <a href="">BrooklynVegan</a> has some background on the Washington band, in case you were too busy listening to Pearl Jam in the 90s. "Formed in Bellingham, Washington... The Posies signed to Geffen where they released three albums, including <em>Frosting on the Beater</em>, which was a hit on college and commercial alternative radio and is generally regarded to be their masterpiece." By 1998 they pretty much called it quits, but have popped up now and again to play some shows. </p>Bonus: Tonight one of the band's founder, <a href="">Ken Stringfellow</a>, will be playing a solo show at the newly opened venue <a href="">Littlefield</a>. Currently he's "launching a new project, his most vibrant and accessible music to date, with his band The Disciplines. Formed with three Norwegian musicians from the band Briskeby, the Disciplines’ album SMOKiNG KiLLS is a collection of short, sharp, garagepop anthems." Tonight's special 2.5 hour set will encompass songs from all of his collaborations, and being an exclusive one-off performance.

<strong>Perfectly Adapted to a Music Hall</strong><p>We published <a href="">an interview with Andrew Bird</a> this week in advance of his Radio City Music Hall debut, and we reminded you about the show again yesterday <a href="">in our events newsletter</a>, but still... <em>we wish we could have done more</em> to get everyone to attend last night's concert. It's not that Bird needed any help filling that magnificent room, it's just that his enthralling performance was one of those shows you wish everyone you cared about had gotten a chance to experience. If that sounds excessive, you weren't there, man!</p>Having followed Bird's ascent from his solo club dates at joints like Southpaw to his full-band coronation at such hallowed venues as Carnegie Hall, we have to say that last night at Radio City felt like the fulfillment of everything he's capable of. Where the Carnegie Hall performance felt a bit stuffy and tense, last night was full of air and relaxed exploration. The couple new songs off his most recent album, <a href="">Noble Beast</a>, that we'd been a bit cool toward, blossomed into their full potential last night, reminding one of the old <a href="">Ian MacKaye</a> idea about the album being the menu and the concert being the meal. <p></p>The immaculate acoustics at Radio City Music Hall—the best big room in town; even <a href="">better than the Beacon</a> (where Bird has also performed, though less impressively)—threw Bird &amp; Co.'s subtle multi-layered soundscapes into sharp relief, drawing particular attention to guitarist's Jeremy Ylvisaker's drop-dead-gorgeous glissandos. Highlights? If you tied our wrists with leather and held a drill to our heads, we'd probably have to go with the band's achingly delicate rendition of "Cataracts." Or maybe the full-throated hurricane of "Anonanimal." <p></p>And let's not forget the triple-threat progression of "My," "Scythian Empires," and "Tables and Chairs," all performed with help from opening act Calexico. But really, the entire spellbinding set was one momentous highlight: arguably the apotheosis of Bird's sound, and the best performance by this artist we've experienced in New York, <a href="">and that's saying something</a>. Let's hope he comes back soon, and plays Radio City Music Hall every single time. — <em>John Del Signore</em>

<strong>PETA Urges Phish to Change Name</strong><p>Wow, <a href="">remember Sea Kittens</a>? PETA attempted to rename fish that earlier this year in an attempt to get some sympathy for their aquatic friends... and now they're asking that Phish change their name as well! To quote a song by the legendary band, who has been called Phish for well over 20 years: <a href="">HA HA HA HA</a>. </p>The organization's website posted about this idea, possibly their worst ever, saying, "Caravans of caring Phish phans are sure to put their phins, er, hands together and cheer when they learn that PETA has asked the legendary jam band to change its name to Sea Kittens. After all, sea kittens are phriends, not phood." What's next, asking drummer Jon Fishman to change his birth name? Demanding they get rid of their <a href="">giant hot dog</a>? Asking Ben &amp; Jerry's to remove the fudge fishies from their Phish Food flavor? Take note PETA: All of Phish’s share of the proceeds from the sale of Phish Food go to environmental efforts on Lake Champlain... so they're already doing their part for marine life.