Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, New Order + More - Carnegie Hall - 3/11/14

Photo by Loren Wohl. See more photos from last night.
Iggy Pop and New Order
Better Than: Possibly expected.

A benefit concert can be tricky business. There's a necessity to show earnestness when addressing the cause it benefits while an expectation for a fully-stocked and exciting line-up of performances and surprises exists. It can go horribly wrong or it can be an illuminating, moving and exciting night worthy of the cause it supports and the money shelled out by patrons to benefit said cause. At Carnegie Hall last night, where the 24th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert took place, the evening quite certainly felt like the latter.

See also: How Not to Throw a Human Rights Benefit

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Patti Smith Takes St. Louis!

Categories: Patti Smith

{Ed note: Patti Smith reads from her poetry and performs a set at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis on Sunday. Our sister paper River Front Times talked to the punk pioneer. We reprint it in part here.You can read the entire interview on their site.]

There's no simple way to describe Patti Smith, the profoundly influential, incantatory songstress, poet, artist and writer -- though she may be best known simply as the Godmother of Punk. Her groundbreaking album Horses, released in 1975, has since been hailed as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Born in Chicago, she was raised in South Jersey and in 1967 made her way to New York City, where she met the now-celebrated photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who at that time was a similarly struggling unknown. Their relationship and maturation as artists amid New York's downtown culture of the late Sixties and Seventies is chronicled in Smith's 2010 memoir, Just Kids, which won the National Book Award. An accomplished visual artist and poet, Smith has published several volumes of verse -- including the Blakean Auguries of Innocence in 2005 -- and exhibited her work at the Andy Warhol Museum among other venues. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2007) and received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the Pratt Institute (Robert Mapplethorpe's alma mater) in 2010. She released her 11th album, Banga, which features longtime friend and fellow punk pioneer Tom Verlaine as well as her two children, last June.

See also: Patti Smith Counts Down Her Top Five Operas

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Patti Smith Counts Down Her Top Five Operas

Categories: Opera, Patti Smith

WQXR has just released a beautiful YouTube video of rocker/poet/memoirist/artist Patti Smith talking about her top five favorite operas. The list is pretty traditional (Wagner, Puccini, Verdi) in the Western European sense; and, given her close collaborative relationship with Philip Glass, it's a bit of a surprise not to see Einstein on the Beach or (since romanticism seems to be her thing) even Satyagraha or Akhnaten. Still, it's a beautiful video of a musical artist explaining in very personal terms how music touches her. It's kind of fascinating for Smith fans and opera fans alike, and sweet to see how sentimental a rocker can get about Tristan und Isolde. Video below.

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Patti Smith (11) Battles Lou Reed And The Velvet Underground (3) For Downtown Supremacy

Sound of the City's search for the quintessential New York City musician enters Round Two this week, with battles in the Round of 32 daily. Keep up with all the action here.


Last time around Patti Smith showed John Zorn who has the power, and Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground got all "Venus In Furs" on Stephin Merritt. But when Smith takes on Reed and company, which iconic downtown punk innovator will survive?

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John Zorn (6) Takes On Patti Smith (11) On The Last Day Of SOTC March Madness's First Round

Categories: Patti Smith

‚ÄčThe Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—finishes this weekend, with the Round of 32 kicking off Monday. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) On our last day of first-round battles, we pit two titans of New York cool—John Zorn and Patti Smith—against one another. Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for the musician that you think should move on to the next round.

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Live: Philip Glass Brings Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, And Music In 12 Parts To The Park Avenue Armory

The Park Avenue Armory on Friday night.
This year's Park Avenue Armory Tune-In Music Festival was dedicated to honoring composer Philip Glass (who, in turn, turned over a large chunk of it to honoring Allen Ginsberg). Sound of the City attended three of the weekend's five offerings, which closed out a month of musical events around the city celebrating Glass and his 75th birthday.

The Poet Speaks: Patti Smith, Philip Glass, Lenny Kaye, Jesse Smith, and the poetry of Allen Ginsberg
Park Avenue Armory
Friday, February 24

Better than: Every Occupy Wall Street musical act.

The Park Avenue Armory is one of the grandest, most amazing performance spaces in New York City, but Friday's performance began simply and intimately. Philip Glass and Patti Smith, two icons of a certain age, walked out onstage with their arms around each others' shoulders, like two old friends. The carpets in front of the stage, where people in the cheapest (and best) seats in the house, worked at recreating the environment, as Glass described to us, of his loft decades ago. Though a recreating, the effect worked.

What did not work—in fact, what would be an unfortunate undercurrent through out the festival—was the sound system. No one could hear poor Smith as she started to address the audience, who seemed surprisingly nervous to begin with and who looked downright spooked as people shouted, "Louder! Louder!! LOUDER!!!" at her.

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Patti Smith Moving Her New Year's Party Out Of Bowery Ballroom

via YouTube
Patti Smith performs on New Year's Eve 2011.
Last week Patti Smith performed her annual series of year-end shows, and the Times reports that at the end of her Saturday-night gig she had an announcement: This year's New Year's residency would be her final one at the Bowery Ballroom. No word on where Smith's shows ringing out 2012 will be just yet (hey, she's got a couple of months to figure it out), but in the meantime, if you weren't one of the people who started 2011 on Delancey Street there's a clip of her performing "Wichita Lineman" with Michael Stipe on New Year's Eve below.

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The 10 Best Cover Songs Of 2011

Tell your children not to walk Wye Oak's way.
2011 was a year of looking back relentlessly, whether you were awash in Remember The '90s nostalgia or getting down at a New Kids On The Block show or watching Lady Gaga try to bring back the variety-hour era with her whacked-out Thanksgiving special. So it's not too surprising that there was a bounty of covers—whether as part of all-tribute-set live shows or attempts to goose sites' online traffic or just for, you know, fun—for the Sound of the City braintrust to choose from when putting together this list. Pop on pop, country on Gaga, and reggae on Seattle below.

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Live: Patti Smith Honors Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe At The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photos by Emmanuel Garcia; more below, and here.
Patti Smith
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Friday, December 2

Better than: Whatever Met gala I'll never be invited to.

About three-quarters of the way through an impossibly good, set-closing rendition of "Gloria," Patti Smith tried something new—and failed. Where she would usually spell the name of the song's title character, she attempted to spell that of the woman whose letters she had been reading between songs. "G-E-O-R," but she couldn't get any further, 36 years of singing it as Van Morrison intended preventing the muscles in her throat from doing it any other way.

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Patti Smith Apparently Covered Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" Last Night

Hell of a segue there.
As if the crossover appeal of Adele's inescapable "Rolling In The Deep" hadn't been well-documented enough, last night's Patti Smith show at Castle Clinton reportedly had a cover of the thundering breakup anthem. I am not the sort of person who often goes "whoa" at things—being on the Internet for as long as I have, plus just being tired—but, well, this is sort of unexpected. According to one attendee, Smith "forgot the words but it was kind of adorable"; another reported that she called it the song of the summer, which, well, I'd argue that it was also the song of the winter and spring too, but yeah, it probably will take the "summer jam" title when all's said and done. (Sorry, everybody.) Kind of can't believe that nobody's posted video of this event yet, so consider this post as a call for someone to come through. [HT: @clr]