Lavender Diamond

Early Show

Lavender Diamond


Wed, September 26, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$12 advance / $14 day of show

This event is 21 and over

Lavender Diamond - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Lavender Diamond
Produced by OK GO’s Damian Kulash, Jr., mixed by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT) and featuring strings by the Calder Quartet, Lavender Diamond’s Incorruptible Heart is a sublime, soaring art-pop record. Pop in the biggest sense of the word — a record made for everyone - more songs in the cosmic key of love.

Incorruptible Heart matches Stark’s angelic, multi-octave voice with a dynamic range of styles. The eclectic spectrum includes a song for belting out the blues (“I Don’t Recall”); for the dreamscape of dawn (“Teach Me How to Waken”); for the end of the world (“Everybody’s Heart’s Breaking Now”); for reconnecting with the world (“Forgive”); for the edge of the Void (the desolate “Come Home”); and a song for a choir of angels (“Oh My Beautiful World”).

On top of that, the record also features an unexpected dance number, calling to mind the magic of Giorgio Moroder & Donna Summer (“Light My Way”). “Perfect Love,” a silly, unapologetic lovesong, features guitar work by M. Ward, vocals by producer Damian Kulash, and tap-dancing rhythmic accompaniment by Stark. The album’s epic, psychedelic landscape closes with the sweeping anthem “All the Stars.”

Like the album’s central theme and title, the songs themselves often transform from frailty to strength or grace. Working with Kulash and Fridmann, Lavender Diamond—singer Becky Stark, classical composer Steve Gregoropolous on piano, cartoonist Ron Regé, Jr. on drums and Jeff Rosenberg on guitar—transcend genre, song form and style by finding the simple, perfect core of each song.

Incorruptible Heart is Los Angeles-based Lavender Diamond’s third release, following 2004’s The Cavalry of Light EP and 2007’s Imagine Our Love LP (produced by Thom Monahan - Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Pernice Brothers). Both recordings were critically acclaimed and earned the band a devoted following of fans and admirers.

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In the interim, Stark joined the Decemberists for a year, singing the role of Margaret on their concept album The Hazards of Love and subsequent tours. Stark also toured with Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward as part of She & Him; performs and records with John C. Reilly (their 7-inch single was produced by Jack White for his Third Man Records label in 2011); made the Living Sisters’ debut album Love to Live with L.A. singer-songwriter friends Inara George and Eleni Mandell, for which Michel Gondry directed the comedic disaster video for “How Are You Doing?”; wrote choral music for the fantasy film City of Ember; and acted in several films, including a lead role in Flood Streets, a post-Katrina New Orleans drama with Harry Shearer. Stark also conceived and co-founded the beloved L.A. Ladies Choir. More recently Stark has formed the band Courage with comedian, actress and musician Charlyne Yi (House, Knocked Up and Paper Heart). Stark is also a co-creator of Worldword, an animation series with healing and uplifting messages, premiering on MTV for the upcoming revival of Liquid Television.

Since Imagine Our Love, Steve Gregoropolous has composed his second symphony, a second serenade for strings and a piece of choral music. He continues to perform with his band W.A.C.O. and is a member of The Grabs with singer Eleni Mandell and original Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison.

Ron Regé, Jr., who designs Lavender Diamond’s art – including Incorruptible Heart’s cover - has recently completed The Cartoon Utopia, a150-page illustrated textbook on the nature of the sacred mysteries, to be published by legendary comics imprint Fantagraphics Books in the fall of 2012.
Christy&Emily - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Brooklyn based duo Christy & Emily release their third record, No Rest, produced by Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust at Klangbad Studios in Scheer, Germany. Here’s the story of how it all came about:

Back in 2007 Christy & Emily were about to release their debut album, Gueen’s Head, on New York label The Social Registry and they were booked to open for the legendary Nightingales. For those who don’t know the legend of the Nightingales, they are the brain spawn of Robert Lloyd, infamous Birmingham native and John Peel favorite. He had been on the scene since 1977 with a band called The Prefects, who played with all the heavy hitters: The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Slits. The Prefects matured into the Nightingales during the 80’s, and when NY DJ Dan Selzer reissued the old Prefects canon, he booked them a tour in the US and got them a show in Brooklyn. Enter Christy & Emily.
One wouldn’t think that a post-punker like Lloyd would dig two girls singing intimate songs, but they floored him. He waltzed up to them after their show and said, “Will you come to Europe with me?”
Fast forward to August 2008. Christy & Emily play the Klangbad festival, three days of every kind of music one can drink in with German lager, all curated by Hans Joachim Irmler, the mastermind keyboardist of prog rock staple Faust. Christy & Emily play to a large crowd; open-mouthed, silent, listening, mesmerized by the duo’s enchanting dynamic. After the festival Irmler invites C&E to his studio to record a brand new album for his label, Klangbad. No Rest is that album.
The Music
No Rest starts dark but promptly spatters the listener with light - greens and golds, harmony and dissonance. “Beast” is an unconventional rocker with its Brazilian baiao rhythm seated in a psychedelic netherworld. “Guava Tree” is a suicide ballad, invoking the sordid tales in the Harry Smith Anthology. There is a mellow intensity in “Firefly” that is dissipated by the mystic corridors of “Cave.” Although the “Amaryllis” chords are borrowed from Schumann and Liszt this song’s chorus has a nod to Brian Wilson.
The vocals of the album are lovingly attended to by Irmler. Each track, each voice, each overdub is treated with an individual style. In it we hear not only C&E expressing themselves, but Irmler as well. No Rest is in fact C&E’s third release. Their second effort, Superstition, was quietly put out in November 2009 through Robert Lloyds label, Big Print. It got a lot of love in reviews, but not a lot of distribution. No Rest should have both.
The Duo
Christy learned to play guitar from a Metallica Ride The Lightning tablature book, and started playing in bands during her stay at the Rhode Island School of Design. She got exposed to a lot of good and noisy bands going to shows at the now extinct Fort Thunder. Upon moving to New York she started a band called the Lil’ Fighters, who self released two works: the vinyl only Boys & Girls and the CD Freedom School. The band’s original keyboardist, Walter Martin, eventually left to tour with his other project, The Walkmen. He was replaced by Emily Manzo, and this was the beginning of the current C&E.
Christy also plays guitar and sings in a punk band called the Totallys that gigs regularly in NYC. She mentors in an after school program called the Vibe Songmakers, helping students to write their own songs. In addition she was the drummer for a psych rock band called the Sumerians, and much of the drumming on the Lil’ Fighters recordings is she. Her animated video for the C&E song “105 & Rising” was premiered on the, and her drawings have been shown and sold at the Scope Art Fair in New York.
Emily is a classically trained pianist who has studied at the New England Conservatory, the Oberlin Conservatory and Columbia University. In September 2009 her recording of the entire works of Anton Webern for soprano and piano with Jody Pou was released on the Shsk’h label to international acclaim. Her collaboration with filmmaker Paul Rowley has blossomed into a feature-length film entitled The Rooms, which will have its premiere in 2010.
The New York Times has called Emily’s playing “superb” and Time Out New York has commented on her role as a “protean force with the ability to move two scenes at once.” She has contributed to the recordings and live performances of Brooklyn rock bands Oneida (Jagjaguar) and Oakley Hall (Merge) and has premiered the music of Elliott Sharp, Susie Ibarra, Matt Welch and many others. She is a founding member of Till by Turning, a chamber ensemble dedicated to creating educational resources for new music and is also a mentor for the Vibe Songmakers after-school program.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002