New York City

Chris Tucci — illustrator, animator, universal charmer and hero behind our long standing Sunday Night Live music series in the lobby of Ace Hotel New York — recently finished this bewildering animation for Streets of Laredo. We can’t decide which part we like the most.


Brooklyn’s Bird Courage make their own (see figures above and below for evidence of off-duty making). The trio bring their gracefully crafted ballads and hymnals to Ace New York with a September-long residency at Sunday Night Live, curated by Chris Tucci. With new accompanying guests every weekend including Morgan O’Kane, Meaner Pencil, Streets of Laredo, Ricci Swift (of Gondola) and Wilder Maker, their lobby reign begins tomorrow night.

Brooklyn’s Bird Courage make their own (see figures above and below for evidence of off-duty making). The trio bring their gracefully crafted ballads and hymnals to Ace New York with a September-long residency at Sunday Night Live, curated by Chris Tucci. With new accompanying guests every weekend including Morgan O’Kane, Meaner Pencil, Streets of Laredo, Ricci Swift (of Gondola) and Wilder Maker, their lobby reign begins tomorrow night.


We have an old friend named Chris Tucci. He’s not old — we just mean that we’ve been friends for a long time. Chris shares a nickname with our editor — Tino. So we also have in common that we are very tough cookies. Mr. Tucci curates our Sunday Night Live series in the lobby of Ace Hotel New York, and he also is an illustrator, animator and lady’s man with great-looking spectacles. Here is a video he and Steve Merten — no relation — made for Sunday Night Live returning act Turner Cody for his song “Better Days.”


Here you may note the stunning visage of Little Fox who plays this evening with James Armata in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York for Sunday Night Live — Chris Tucci on the decks.

Photo by Michelle Buswell

Here you may note the stunning visage of Little Fox who plays this evening with James Armata in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York for Sunday Night LiveChris Tucci on the decks.



Photo by Michelle Buswell


INTERVIEW : LACRYMOSA x NORTH HIGHLANDS
…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. Lacrymosa is Caitlin Pasko. A native of Virginia who was trained in classical piano from a young age, she’ll use her virtuosic talents this Sunday evening to craft a nimble tempo and mood in earthily poetic songs. Last weekend, North Highlands brought their bright guitars, jangly rhythms and steely and inscrutable dissonance to the mic. Herein, they ask each other a handful of intriguing questions.
Lacrymosa:
Okay first question - I think I remember Mike telling me that Wild One was recorded in a sort of “cabin in the woods.” Where was it, how long were you there, and had you finished writing the songs prior to recording?
North Highlands:
Wild One was recorded in a studio called Carriage House in Stamford, Connecticut. It was sort of a little retreat—it was nestled away in this fancy suburb with a ton of huge homes, and it was literally the Carriage house to another larger house. It was fun though because there are rooms upstairs that the bands can stay in, so we hit Trader Joe’s before coming up and never had to leave the studio. We were there for only 3 or 4 days, and then did a bunch of overdubs and vocals at our producer’s studio in Philadelphia.
Most of the songs were finished, but a few got worked out in the studio (specifically Best Part)…Brenda also did a lot of writing, re-writing, etc. on the way to and from Philadelphia.
Question for you: If you could enlist one musician to play a song with you, one director to score the song for and one actor or actress to be in the film you were scoring, who would they be?

Lacrymosa:
Whoa.
One musician - Ed Droste! I wish I wrote “Foreground.” Also Sean Davenport from Hills Like Elephants because I can’t stop listening to ”Invisible Ink.”
One director - Lars von Trier. Dark, twisted, visually and mentally stunning… Yes please.
One actor - Philip Seymour Hoffman. Because he’s a badass genius.
Okay. 1 - Tell me a good story from the road?  2 - Who would you tour with right now if you could tour with anyone?
North Highlands:
1) Aside from walking through Wendy’s drive-thrus at 4 am, eating at six different Waffle Houses, and one of us getting badly constipated, our tour was your pretty typical beer-crazed, let’s-share-a-bed-at-Days-Inn-and-hopefully-not-get-scabies, fried food extravaganza.
2) If I could tour with anyone it would probably be At The Drive In because I want to see their reunion shows. But that wouldn’t make all that much sense….so I’d probably say Liars or Beach House because I’m psyched for both of their new records.

INTERVIEW : LACRYMOSA x NORTH HIGHLANDS

…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. Lacrymosa is Caitlin Pasko. A native of Virginia who was trained in classical piano from a young age, she’ll use her virtuosic talents this Sunday evening to craft a nimble tempo and mood in earthily poetic songs. Last weekend, North Highlands brought their bright guitars, jangly rhythms and steely and inscrutable dissonance to the mic. Herein, they ask each other a handful of intriguing questions.

Lacrymosa:

Okay first question - I think I remember Mike telling me that Wild One was recorded in a sort of “cabin in the woods.” Where was it, how long were you there, and had you finished writing the songs prior to recording?

North Highlands:

Wild One was recorded in a studio called Carriage House in Stamford, Connecticut. It was sort of a little retreat—it was nestled away in this fancy suburb with a ton of huge homes, and it was literally the Carriage house to another larger house. It was fun though because there are rooms upstairs that the bands can stay in, so we hit Trader Joe’s before coming up and never had to leave the studio. We were there for only 3 or 4 days, and then did a bunch of overdubs and vocals at our producer’s studio in Philadelphia.

Most of the songs were finished, but a few got worked out in the studio (specifically Best Part)…Brenda also did a lot of writing, re-writing, etc. on the way to and from Philadelphia.

Question for you: If you could enlist one musician to play a song with you, one director to score the song for and one actor or actress to be in the film you were scoring, who would they be?

Lacrymosa:

Whoa.

One musician - Ed Droste! I wish I wrote “Foreground.” Also Sean Davenport from Hills Like Elephants because I can’t stop listening to ”Invisible Ink.”

One director - Lars von Trier. Dark, twisted, visually and mentally stunning… Yes please.

One actor - Philip Seymour Hoffman. Because he’s a badass genius.

Okay. 1 - Tell me a good story from the road?  2 - Who would you tour with right now if you could tour with anyone?

North Highlands:

1) Aside from walking through Wendy’s drive-thrus at 4 am, eating at six different Waffle Houses, and one of us getting badly constipated, our tour was your pretty typical beer-crazed, let’s-share-a-bed-at-Days-Inn-and-hopefully-not-get-scabies, fried food extravaganza.

2) If I could tour with anyone it would probably be At The Drive In because I want to see their reunion shows. But that wouldn’t make all that much sense….so I’d probably say Liars or Beach House because I’m psyched for both of their new records.


INTERVIEW: SHE KEEPS BEES X SHENANDOAH…
…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. She Keeps Bees unleashes their smoky, pure power tonight at 10pm, and Shenandoah plays a set of melodic pop noir on May 27. Coming up — a round robin with North Highlands (May 13 — Mother’s Day!) and Lacrymosa (May 20).
Shenandoah:
Hello She Keeps Bees, glad to make your acquaintance. First question that comes to mind is what do you do to boost the spirits when you encounter many red lights? (AKA difficult times).
She Keeps Bees:
Hi Shenandoah! Wonderful to meet you! Andy and I like to dance. Dance it out and drink coffee — surrender to the change, honor it and be pleasantly surprised by the natural solution. Or I’d like to think we don’t do what we normally do, which is complain and sulk and have a beer in bed at 3:30 in the afternoon.
What’s your favorite tree? Favorite Ray? Ray Ramono, Ray Charles, Link Wray, Ray Davies, Amy Ray, Ray Stevens, Ray’s Pizza, Ray Ban, Ray LaMontagne, Rachel Ray, Blu Ray!

Shenandoah:
My favorite tree is ceder for smell, oak for shade, and aspen for glittering on hill tops. The redwoods are where I come from, they make places pretty dark and musty.
So many good Ray’s. I’m really into Le Carrè, John Le Carrè.
If money wasn’t a concern, what would your house look like? Where would it be?
She Keeps Bees:
We’re not very extravagant, so we’d probably still choose something pretty humble even if money weren’t a concern. Free Cabin Porn is always making us drool over secluded cabins in far away places.
Last Question: What place in the world would you most like to visit/play a show
Shenandoah:
Ooh, Greece, definitely Greece!

INTERVIEW: SHE KEEPS BEES X SHENANDOAH…

…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. She Keeps Bees unleashes their smoky, pure power tonight at 10pm, and Shenandoah plays a set of melodic pop noir on May 27. Coming up — a round robin with North Highlands (May 13 — Mother’s Day!) and Lacrymosa (May 20).

Shenandoah:

Hello She Keeps Bees, glad to make your acquaintance. First question that comes to mind is what do you do to boost the spirits when you encounter many red lights? (AKA difficult times).

She Keeps Bees:

Hi Shenandoah! Wonderful to meet you! Andy and I like to dance. Dance it out and drink coffee — surrender to the change, honor it and be pleasantly surprised by the natural solution. Or I’d like to think we don’t do what we normally do, which is complain and sulk and have a beer in bed at 3:30 in the afternoon.

What’s your favorite tree? Favorite Ray? Ray Ramono, Ray Charles, Link Wray, Ray Davies, Amy Ray, Ray Stevens, Ray’s Pizza, Ray Ban, Ray LaMontagne, Rachel Ray, Blu Ray!

Shenandoah:

My favorite tree is ceder for smell, oak for shade, and aspen for glittering on hill tops. The redwoods are where I come from, they make places pretty dark and musty.

So many good Ray’s. I’m really into Le Carrè, John Le Carrè.

If money wasn’t a concern, what would your house look like? Where would it be?

She Keeps Bees:

We’re not very extravagant, so we’d probably still choose something pretty humble even if money weren’t a concern. Free Cabin Porn is always making us drool over secluded cabins in far away places.

Last Question: What place in the world would you most like to visit/play a show

Shenandoah:

Ooh, Greece, definitely Greece!


INTERVIEW : THE CURIOUS MYSTERY x  LIGHTYEAR
Round three of our Sunday Night Live music residency interviews — a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during March and — in this case — April. On the 25th, you’ll find the svelte voice of Lightyear filling the rafters, and then The Curious Mystery takes the reins every Sunday night in April. See our previous posts with Hallways x Drew Victor and Melaena Cadiz x Ryann, and read on.
LIGHTYEAR:
Band member hidden talents? (Not related to playing the instruments you play in the band.) ……Go!
THE CURIOUS MYSTERY:
Ok, Nic makes really good salsa and guacamole. Not so much of a hidden talent because he will for sure let you know if the subject in any way comes up. Marian is good at table sports (but not Air Hockey). Johnny will beat you at Pac-Man if you are drunk. Shana’s good at volleyball she thinks, but it’s been a long time.
If you could only listen to one band for the rest your life who would you choose? What about for the rest of the week?
LIGHTYEAR:
For the rest of my life: predictably, The Beatles. 
For the rest of this week: Phantogram. Currently obsessed with latest EP, “Nightlife.”
Next question: What is the story behind the name, The Curious Mystery?
THE CURIOUS MYSTERY:
I suppose The Curious Mystery would be life. Or death. 
The story behind the band name is much more mundane. We were scrolling through old radio show titles from pre-TV days and “the Curious Mystery of…” was a common beginning, we just liked the sound of it and thought the redundancy was funny.
Question for Lightyear: Can we sleep at your house?
LIGHTYEAR:
Sure you can sleep at my house, all that’s required is that you like sassy females and felines. All house guests must bring whiskey.

INTERVIEW : THE CURIOUS MYSTERY x  LIGHTYEAR

Round three of our Sunday Night Live music residency interviews — a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during March and — in this case — April. On the 25th, you’ll find the svelte voice of Lightyear filling the rafters, and then The Curious Mystery takes the reins every Sunday night in April. See our previous posts with Hallways x Drew Victor and Melaena Cadiz x Ryann, and read on.

LIGHTYEAR:

Band member hidden talents? (Not related to playing the instruments you play in the band.) ……Go!

THE CURIOUS MYSTERY:

Ok, Nic makes really good salsa and guacamole. Not so much of a hidden talent because he will for sure let you know if the subject in any way comes up. Marian is good at table sports (but not Air Hockey). Johnny will beat you at Pac-Man if you are drunk. Shana’s good at volleyball she thinks, but it’s been a long time.

If you could only listen to one band for the rest your life who would you choose? What about for the rest of the week?

LIGHTYEAR:

For the rest of my life: predictably, The Beatles. 

For the rest of this week: Phantogram. Currently obsessed with latest EP, “Nightlife.”

Next question: What is the story behind the name, The Curious Mystery?

THE CURIOUS MYSTERY:

I suppose The Curious Mystery would be life. Or death. 

The story behind the band name is much more mundane. We were scrolling through old radio show titles from pre-TV days and “the Curious Mystery of…” was a common beginning, we just liked the sound of it and thought the redundancy was funny.

Question for Lightyear: Can we sleep at your house?

LIGHTYEAR:

Sure you can sleep at my house, all that’s required is that you like sassy females and felines. All house guests must bring whiskey.


INTERVIEW : MELAENA CADIZ X RYANN
For the next installment in our Sunday Night Live music residency at Ace New York, we offer you to wildly talented and beautiful women, Melaena Cadiz and Ryann. As we mentioned in our last interview in the series, March is host to rotating talent every Sunday, so we asked each of these curious and dexterous musicians to interview one another. Chris Tucci curates the residency and plays a life-affirming rack of rarities and B-sides before, between and after sets. Stay tuned for more next week, and do your research on last week’s line-up, Hallways and Drew Victor here. We’ll see you in the lobby Sunday night, but for now, settle in and read on.
Melaena:
So, maybe this sounds like a stock question, but I’m always truly curious about peoples’ artistic processes: How do you write your songs? What inspires you to create your material? Do you write & create all your own beats & music or do you have collaborators & if so who are they & how do you work together?
Also, I was listening to French Waltz — where’d you learn to speak French?
Ryann:
I actually really love this question. I’m glad you mentioned French Waltz because that was co-written by Mark Gajadhar who used to play drums in The Blood Brothers. We’re both from Seattle and had been in these really bombastic, loud, aggressive rock bands for years. We met at a party, and decided to make some completely different stuff together. He wrote all the tracks on the Singles EP, which was my first attempt at making pop music. 
Mark stayed in Seattle when I moved to New York, so I ended up working with other friends on the new record- all from completely different musical genres. Zac Pennington of Parenthetical girls, designer/DJ/photographer extraordinaire Brad Walsh, Ashley Jurgemeyer of Cradle of Filth, and this amazing production duo Ryan Kelly and Brian Lawlor who I met while performing in a Robert Wilson theater piece at the Guggenheim last year. As far as process, I explain what I’m after sonically and then write words/melody to the track they come up with. After the initial round I edit and arrange with a producer, and that’s the song. 
As far as the inspiration —  I started working on my thesis for grad school last spring and thought it would be cool and weird to try and address some of the same things I was writing about for my paper on this poppy dance record. Ultimately, I make pop music because I love to dance, and hope I’ve made something that feels good, and literally, physically moves people. Tucked under the pop veil though, this is a real strange concept record about women and gender roles. Surprise!
I started taking French in school when I was 13! I try to keep it fresh with a lot of Godard and Truffaut.
Is it stock if I ask the same question of you? Would love to know how you work…

Melaena:
As far as musical process I’ll sit in my little music room and make up the lyrics and melody..often starting with just one lyrical or musical phrase that catches my interest and then build out from there. Often I’ll just have that phrase ringing around in my head, I have no idea what it means until I piece the song together and discover Ah! This is the spine, the center of the song and I’ll figure out a way to complete it that serves that nucleus. Once I feel a song is ready I’ll bring it to my band. I play with three amazing musicians I met here in NY: Arthur Vint on drums, Adam Lomeo on guitar & Scott Colberg on bass. They’re all insane at their instruments and have a lot of their own composing/writing/performing projects they’re working on. So I’ll bring a tune to them & usually we’ll play it though a few times, they’ll improvise with me and find parts & we’ll collaborate in shaping the whole song together.
For inspiration, it always varies. Sometimes it will be very directly personal, like this person hurt my feelings, I’m going to put it in a song. Sometimes I’ll see a friend going through something and want to write about it. Or often it will be a line out of a book that will send my imagination wandering. Like I’m working on a song now for the new album that was inspired by a passage from Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa, where she talks about night in a big city being the closest thing to a waking dream — “There is activity on all sides and it is none of your concern” — I love the idea of walking the streets at night like a ghost, witnessing the going-ons of strangers. When you observe strangers closely and imagine what’s going on with them, what do they need, what drives them.. they’re always so touching and curious.

INTERVIEW : MELAENA CADIZ X RYANN

For the next installment in our Sunday Night Live music residency at Ace New York, we offer you to wildly talented and beautiful women, Melaena Cadiz and Ryann. As we mentioned in our last interview in the series, March is host to rotating talent every Sunday, so we asked each of these curious and dexterous musicians to interview one another. Chris Tucci curates the residency and plays a life-affirming rack of rarities and B-sides before, between and after sets. Stay tuned for more next week, and do your research on last week’s line-up, Hallways and Drew Victor here. We’ll see you in the lobby Sunday night, but for now, settle in and read on.

Melaena:

So, maybe this sounds like a stock question, but I’m always truly curious about peoples’ artistic processes: How do you write your songs? What inspires you to create your material? Do you write & create all your own beats & music or do you have collaborators & if so who are they & how do you work together?

Also, I was listening to French Waltz — where’d you learn to speak French?

Ryann:

I actually really love this question. I’m glad you mentioned French Waltz because that was co-written by Mark Gajadhar who used to play drums in The Blood Brothers. We’re both from Seattle and had been in these really bombastic, loud, aggressive rock bands for years. We met at a party, and decided to make some completely different stuff together. He wrote all the tracks on the Singles EP, which was my first attempt at making pop music. 

Mark stayed in Seattle when I moved to New York, so I ended up working with other friends on the new record- all from completely different musical genres. Zac Pennington of Parenthetical girls, designer/DJ/photographer extraordinaire Brad Walsh, Ashley Jurgemeyer of Cradle of Filth, and this amazing production duo Ryan Kelly and Brian Lawlor who I met while performing in a Robert Wilson theater piece at the Guggenheim last year. As far as process, I explain what I’m after sonically and then write words/melody to the track they come up with. After the initial round I edit and arrange with a producer, and that’s the song. 

As far as the inspiration —  I started working on my thesis for grad school last spring and thought it would be cool and weird to try and address some of the same things I was writing about for my paper on this poppy dance record. Ultimately, I make pop music because I love to dance, and hope I’ve made something that feels good, and literally, physically moves people. Tucked under the pop veil though, this is a real strange concept record about women and gender roles. Surprise!

I started taking French in school when I was 13! I try to keep it fresh with a lot of Godard and Truffaut.

Is it stock if I ask the same question of you? Would love to know how you work…

Melaena:

As far as musical process I’ll sit in my little music room and make up the lyrics and melody..often starting with just one lyrical or musical phrase that catches my interest and then build out from there. Often I’ll just have that phrase ringing around in my head, I have no idea what it means until I piece the song together and discover Ah! This is the spine, the center of the song and I’ll figure out a way to complete it that serves that nucleus. Once I feel a song is ready I’ll bring it to my band. I play with three amazing musicians I met here in NY: Arthur Vint on drums, Adam Lomeo on guitar & Scott Colberg on bass. They’re all insane at their instruments and have a lot of their own composing/writing/performing projects they’re working on. So I’ll bring a tune to them & usually we’ll play it though a few times, they’ll improvise with me and find parts & we’ll collaborate in shaping the whole song together.

For inspiration, it always varies. Sometimes it will be very directly personal, like this person hurt my feelings, I’m going to put it in a song. Sometimes I’ll see a friend going through something and want to write about it. Or often it will be a line out of a book that will send my imagination wandering. Like I’m working on a song now for the new album that was inspired by a passage from Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa, where she talks about night in a big city being the closest thing to a waking dream — “There is activity on all sides and it is none of your concern” — I love the idea of walking the streets at night like a ghost, witnessing the going-ons of strangers. When you observe strangers closely and imagine what’s going on with them, what do they need, what drives them.. they’re always so touching and curious.


INTERVIEW : HALLWAYS X DREW VICTOR
Chris Tucci is our friend. He also curates a Sunday night live music residency at Ace Hotel New York — normally, one band reigns supreme for a whole month, but March is an anomaly in that each Sunday we’ll host different talent, different noise and different minds. So we decided to put them all together here through a series of Round Robin interviews between all of these good people.
This Sunday, March 3, Hallways plays in the lobby with Drew Victor, and they interview each other below. Keep an eye out here for interviews between Melaena Cadiz, Ryann, Lightyear and The Curious Mystery (April).
Drew Victor:
What four bands or songwriters are you most excited about right now?
Hallways:
Grant: Active Child for their haunting falsetto, M83 for its soundtrack anthems, Antony & the Johnsons for its beauty and artistry and Josh T Pearson for its honesty and lyrics.
Steph: I heart Jenny Lewis and always look forward to her projects. I’m excited to see what the Head and the Heart will do next as their Joy-mo (Joy-emo) sound is so uplifting and their rise to success has been so inspiring to watch. I’ve been listening to Black Mountain daily as of late. Also, Midlake is working on a new record and I’m looking forward to it.
Who are your biggest influences?
Drew Victor:
Nick Drake (which folk musician 40 and under doesn’t study him?), R. Kelly — getting into his discography made me excited about listening to music again, early Bob Dylan — needs no explanation, and Bill Callahan — best living songwriter.
Does “Nothing Compares To You” by Sinead O’ Connor make you cry, and if so, why?
Hallways:
Grant: Without a doubt. Every time. Waterfalls. Because I am a softy.
Steph: I don’t cry. Unless there is a kitten present.
Who must you see play live before you die?
Drew Victor:
Band I need to see live — Radiohead. I haven’t seen them yet, must see before one of us goes.

INTERVIEW : HALLWAYS X DREW VICTOR

Chris Tucci is our friend. He also curates a Sunday night live music residency at Ace Hotel New York — normally, one band reigns supreme for a whole month, but March is an anomaly in that each Sunday we’ll host different talent, different noise and different minds. So we decided to put them all together here through a series of Round Robin interviews between all of these good people.

This Sunday, March 3, Hallways plays in the lobby with Drew Victor, and they interview each other below. Keep an eye out here for interviews between Melaena Cadiz, Ryann, Lightyear and The Curious Mystery (April).

Drew Victor:

What four bands or songwriters are you most excited about right now?

Hallways:

Grant: Active Child for their haunting falsetto, M83 for its soundtrack anthems, Antony & the Johnsons for its beauty and artistry and Josh T Pearson for its honesty and lyrics.

Steph: I heart Jenny Lewis and always look forward to her projects. I’m excited to see what the Head and the Heart will do next as their Joy-mo (Joy-emo) sound is so uplifting and their rise to success has been so inspiring to watch. I’ve been listening to Black Mountain daily as of late. Also, Midlake is working on a new record and I’m looking forward to it.

Who are your biggest influences?

Drew Victor:

Nick Drake (which folk musician 40 and under doesn’t study him?), R. Kelly — getting into his discography made me excited about listening to music again, early Bob Dylan — needs no explanation, and Bill Callahan — best living songwriter.

Does “Nothing Compares To You” by Sinead O’ Connor make you cry, and if so, why?

Hallways:

Grant: Without a doubt. Every time. Waterfalls. Because I am a softy.

Steph: I don’t cry. Unless there is a kitten present.

Who must you see play live before you die?

Drew Victor:

Band I need to see live — Radiohead. I haven’t seen them yet, must see before one of us goes.


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