Recap: Stories from Storytown 3
Here’s our belated recap of the fabulous 3rd installment of our music and storytelling series, Stories from Storytown, which, for you newcomers, is a communal evening of evocative storytelling about music over the years in New York City by those who were there - artists, managers, writers, studio owners, and fans. We include live music by Storytown, plus some visual delights.
This latest installment featured three fascinating voices: singer/songwriter/author Amy Rigby, writer/author/musician Andy Schwartz, and the uncategorizable founders of Manic Panic, the “Martha Stewarts of Punk”, Tish and Snooky Bellomo.
Storytown led off with the relatively new Skin in the Game plus Caramel and Fleur de Sel, from our debut album. Then Guy talked with Amy. Her most recent album The Old Guys was voted one of the top 100 albums of 2018 in the Pazz & Jop US music critics’ poll, and single "The President Can't Read" was #1 in Rolling Stone's Real Life Top 10, March 2019. Her memoir Girl To City will be published October 8th. Amy plays her songs all over the world and writes online at diaryofamyrigby.wordpress.com. She lives with her husband and sometime duet partner Wreckless Eric in New York’s Hudson Valley. During our conversation, Amy read an excerpt from Girl to City:
The band then played our new, ominous ode to social marketing, Social Animals (Don’t Ever Leave):
Like me, love me, love me, hate me
Just don’t ever leave
Friend me, trend me, even offend me
Just don’t ever leave
The band followed with The Jake Shuffle, from that debut album you’ve heard about before.
Then….Andy Schwartz! In his high school years, Andy saw the Doors at the Village Theater; both Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream at Hunter College; the Grateful Dead at the New York State Pavilion of the World’s Fair, and Big Brother & the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin) at opening night of Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. He began writing about pop music circa 1972 as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Shortly after returning to New York in 1977, Andy took over as publisher and editor of New York Rocker, the punk/new wave magazine founded by the late Alan Betrock. Under Schwartz's direction, NY Rocker published 44 issues and became the most widely read and influential US publication of its kind. Andy read three hilarious stories from his days at NY Rocker. Here’s one of them, Prince: The Concert:
We followed with a screening of the video for the first single from our album Welcome to Storytown. The Run Run video is a clever and loving parody of a Tik Tok submission:
For the band’s next song, we tried something new: video projections that were custom designed by visual artist Dan Criblez for two of our songs. And a cool thing was that Dan was controlling the visuals as we played:
Next Guy hung out and chitchatted with the Martha Stewarts of Punk, Tish and Snooky Bellomo, backup singers, founder-owners of Manic Panic Hair Color, and now book authors — look for their book Manic Panic: Living in Color, due out October 15. Tish and Snooky and I talked about a lot of things — a LOT of things — here they describe how they ended up singing backup for Blondie:
We wrapped up with another song from the album, I Am More Than This. Big thanks to the folks at Caveat, our live show director Heba Elorbany, Dan Criblez, videographers Vinnie Grosso and Kris Skrinak, and the band.
Now some big news: Our next Stories from Storytown will move from Caveat to the legendary Bitter End, in NYC’s Greenwich Village. The next date is Thursday December 12. Mark your calendars. Among the luminous luminaries we will have are Alan Paul, guitarist and co-author of the recent Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and relative newcomer Jessica Dye, whose band High Waisted made a big splash at SXSW. Watch this space for more details and a link to tickets.
THANKS FOR LISTENING.