Trixie Whitley

Trixie Whitley

Kendra Morris, Dumpster Hunter

Wed, November 21, 2012

Doors: 7:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$10 advance / $12 day of show

This event is 21 and over

Trixie Whitley - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Trixie Whitley
Trixie Whitley was born in 1987 in Ghent, Belgium, into a family deeply immersed in the worlds of art and music. A nomad at heart, her early years were split between Ghent and New York City, when she wasn’t touring the world with her parents. Trixie began playing the drums when she was 10. At 11, she was touring Europe with several theater companies, and, at the age of 14, with the renowned dance company, “Les Ballets C de la B,” as an actor, singer, dancer, and musician. During this same period, Trixie also became known as the youngest resident DJ in Europe, embraced by Belgium’s Museum of Modern Art and spinning at raves, festivals, and parties in Brussels, Paris, New York City, and Amsterdam.

At the age of 17, Trixie returned to New York City and began working odd jobs while starting to perform her own music in clubs throughout the city. She recorded her first EP, Strong Blood, in the spring of 2008, produced with Me’shell Ndegeocello and Dougie Bowne. That summer, she was invited to present two shows at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. She has continued to be embraced by and to collaborate with some of the world’s finest musicians and producers, working with Marc Ribot, Robert Plant, Stephen Barber, Marianne Faithfull, Joe Henry, Craig Street, and Malcolm Burn, among many others.

In late 2008, legendary producer Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young) contacted Trixie and invited her to the Berklee School of Music, where he was in residence. Their stunning collaboration of Trixie’s song “I’d Rather Go Blind” - with drummer Brian Blade (Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman) – was filmed and started to create an immediate buzz in music circles. Soon, with the addition of bassist Daryl Johnson (The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Neville Brothers), a super group – Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub - was born.

Trixie Whitley’s magnetic presence and stunning voice captivated audiences worldwide in 2010 and 2011 as she toured the world performing with Black Dub. During the Black Dub recording sessions, she also recorded her second EP, The Engine, featuring her own music, and began preparing to record her debut as a leader. In late 2011, she released Live at the Rockwood Music Hall, a 5 song EP of her solo performance recorded at Rockwood in New York City. She recently finished her first full-length record with musician/producer Thomas Bartlett (Antony & the Johnsons, Rufus & Martha Wainwright, the National, Grizzly Bear…) and engineer Pat Dilett (David Byrne, Lou Reed, Mary J. Blige…) scheduled for release in early 2013.
Kendra Morris - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Kendra Morris
“For some reason, a lot of my life has revolved around recording in closets and tiny spaces,” laughs Kendra Morris. It’s been a bit of a recurring theme in the New York–based singer-songwriter’s career thus far, and it can be traced back to one Christmas at Morris’s childhood home in St. Petersburg, Florida. A mini-Kendra, aged eight, discovered that her karaoke machine could also be used as part of a makeshift studio set-up. “I would go into my closet, take these cassette tapes, and I’d start singing, record it, and switch it to the other side and sing over that,” she recalls.

Morris grew up imbued with a sense of music—her parents played in bands together, and she often broke into their cabinets full of vinyl to listen to their favorite records. As Marvin Gaye, the Spinners, War, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, and the Temptations washed over her, they soon became hers too. She sang along to her favorite albums with a voice she discovered soon after she learned how to talk.

“I was three years old, and I got up and asked my parents’ friends if they wanted my little voice or my big voice,” Morris remembers. “And I did this little voice, but then I did this big operatic voice. Maybe that was ingrained in me, because they say some of the main parts of you develop before you’re even six years old.”

After studying musical theater at a performing arts high school and deciding not to pursue it, Morris half-heartedly went to college in Tampa. She spent less time studying than singing in bands, which ultimately led to her flunking out. She moved back to St. Pete and got a job at Johnny Rockets. “All the kids that I used to go to high school with would go there, and I would have to wait on them, and make their french fries,” Morris says.

It was a blow, but Morris used it as a catalyst to do something better.

With her dad’s help, she started learning guitar and began writing her own songs. “I didn’t want to be in other people’s bands anymore,” Morris says. “I felt like I had something to say.”

In 2003, Morris moved to New York with her all-girl band, Pinktricity (“Probably the world’s worst band name,” she says. “We got it off of a box of Nerds”). The grind of the city caused the group to split but spurred Morris to go it alone. She came across an eight-track and brought it back to her wall-less loft. Morris summoned her eight-year-old karaoke days and set it up in the only room in her house—her closet—and began to record. “I had all these songs in me, and I didn’t know where they were coming from,” Morris says. She also took the knack for harmonies she’d learned as a child, and began embroidering her tracks with intertwining threads of melody. “I’d been harmonizing with my mom since I was a little girl, ’cause my mom’s a singer, so I’ve always had a good ear for that.” These raw bedroom recordings of earnest soul became her first two self-released EPs, This Won’t Hurt a Bit (2007) and Milk and Cookies Never Lie (2008).

Another secondhand find that marked Morris’s path was a Sharp GF-777—the Holy Grail of boomboxes made famous by ’80s hip-hop (and, namely, Run-DMC). Once again, she innovated and incorporated it into her live shows, lugging the gallant silver stallion that she used as an amp, in addition to her loop pedals and guitars, all over the Lower East Side. “And that was my thing,” Morris remembers. “The sound guys would be like, ‘What the what?’ And after the show, they’d be like, ‘That thing sounds great!’”

While performing solo around New York City, Morris met and began collaborating with producer Jeremy Page and released a self-titled EP in 2010. She’d been conscientiously working on her craft as a songwriter, which was acknowledged by ASCAP and the Songwriters Hall of Fame the following year. The institutions awarded Morris the 2011 Holly Prize, which recognizes new singer-songwriters whose talents honor the legacy of Buddy Holly by way of excellence in songwriting, performing, and musicianship.

A tour with Motown Funk Brother Dennis Coffey this past summer and support from DJ Premier via his remix of her blaxploitation-dipped single “Concrete Waves” pepper the year that Morris took to write and record her full-length debut. Inspired in name by wailing female demons from Irish folklore, Banshee is an amalgam of stories, both imagined and Morris’s own, produced by previous collaborator Jeremy Page and slated for a summer 2012 release by Wax Poetics Records. “In a way, banshees just cast spells with their voices,” Morris says, “and I just think some of the greatest singers do the same thing.” [Biography by Marisa Aveling]
Dumpster Hunter - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Dumpster Hunter
Singer Jeff Taylor and drummer Mark Guiliana began making music together in 1999. Later, the pair began recording and performing with producer/musician Steve Wall. At first billing under Taylor's name, the three New Jersey natives formed a band and recorded their debut LP, 'Frustration In Time Travel.'
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002