Another Recreational Violence

{October 22, 2009}   Photos from The Canal Room

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Val Emmich at the Canal Room 10.20.09 for CMJ Music Festival/Blackbird Agency. More pics at Also check out Ian Witlen’s photos of Val from that night. He really captured Val’s The Clash’s London Calling moment. Ian will be posting more photos up later this week.

The concert last night was part of the CMJ music festival. It’s a week long music series – conerts scattered throughout NYC and I think some in Brooklyn and NJ. Students purchase a badge for $225 and they attend as many show as they’d like. It’s a slew of bands.

In the Canal Room last night was:
Dick Prall
April Smith & The Great Picture Show
Amber Rubarth
Laura Warshauer
and Val Emmich

There’s another guy but I didn’t catch the name. I missed Laura Warshauer’s set. Dick Prall was pretty funny onstage. He kept asking the crowd to move up to the stage. It looked so empty. And everybody was talking. The musicians with an acoustic set had a difficult time to be heard on top of all that noise. I couldn’t understand the lyrics because of it. He had good music and voice, but that’s all I could get out of it, besides his humor.

Amber Rubarth had a Jewel feel to her but in a folk and very adorable way. Not annoying like Jewel. It was difficult to listen to her lyrics, but from what I did understand, seems like a good story to each song. I’ll have to check out her some more.

I listened to April Smith and The Great Picture Show on their myspace page a few months ago. I like their sound. Very authentic. Think big band swing style. They sound so much better live. They have an amazing presence onstage. She looked like Ginnifer Goodwin up there. I am definitely a fan now after this.

Ah an Val Emmich. He wasn’t in the best of moods. I mentioned earlier that the crowd was loud. The crowd at the bar is always loud. One song into the set, Val started to talk about his new songs but the crowd at the bar was just too loud and he yelled, “Hey!” I heard some woman say, “fuck it”. I don’t think it was towards him but he didn’t finish what he wanted to say. After that, he tried to not show something was bothering him. I was right up front, he didn’t look too happy through out the set, but he really did try not to get things tug at him. At one point he went crazy with the mic and the stand fell when the song ended and he couldn’t get it stay the way he wanted. The stand kept swinging around after that. I think management noticed his mood and asked if he was okay. He said “yeah”. A few little things just kept fucking up. He was annoyed with his mic stand. Something happened with his steel pedal. His guitar string broke in the middle of “Hurt More Later”. He closed the evening with a smash. No joke. He smashed his acoustic guitar. I don’t think he’s ever done that at a show. No one expected that. Even his band was in shock. The guitar was shattered. It was crazy. He went crazy on it. When it was over, he just ran off the stage with a guy(the one that asked if he was all right) and they walked into the darkness for no one to bother him.

I don’t know what happened but it didn’t effect the music at all. The new songs we fucking great. I can’t wait for the new album. They played five new songs plus Eastern Standard Time. I say, plus EST because they’ve been playing that song live for a year now.

Oh and I should mention who was in Val’s band:
Eric Micali – drums
Rob Fitzgerald – bass
Ron Haney – guitar
Wayne Dorell – keys/guitar

Anyway, photos are coming. Rob gave me the set list. I thought of writing them down but half their set was new songs that I didn’t know the title of.

1. Home
2. Sidekick (first preview of studio diaries) – this song sounds completely different from the youtube video. I guess because the guitar can be heard much more live than the studio version. I can’t wait to hear the studio version.
3. Get On With It
4. Eastern Standard Time – I love this song lots.
5. The Boy Who Cried Wolf
6. Change of Scenery (the 3rd installment of studio diary) – I really like this song. There’s a line that you hear from the video “the girls I meet”. At the end of the song, the line changes to “the boys I meet”. Cute.
7. Don’t Let Go (2nd preview in studio diary) – this song sounds different than what was previewed as well. Still sounds good though. I like the lyrics and the sound is catchy.
8. Resume – he mentions that the song is happy but the lyrics is sad. And if he were to write up a resume for a job fair this is what it would sound like.
9. Hurt More Later
10. High Noon – I can’t get enough of this song
11. Gone
12. Down – with the full band. I never heard this song live with the full band. Very different. It’s good different.
13. Shock [fades to Break/Absolutely Still, Now Is No Time] I thought I heard Separate Things too.

et cetera