RSS RSS

Jersey Triple Play at the Canal Room

By UrbanAnthropod, April 10, 2010 4:28 pm

Burbites in Manhattan

Burbites often find it frightening to cross the Hudson over to the city. So I was quite pleased to learn that a bunch of the guys from the armpit of America were trekking over to the Canal Room to catch a show. OK, to be fair, the show did feature a trio of acts from Jersey. And for total disclosure, we went to high school with the fill-in drummer of one of the acts. While all roads do lead to Penn Station or the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Jersey is a car society and the temporal proximity of the show to the end of the work-day does make the trip in a little hard to juggle. That being said, it was a Friday night! A perfect excuse to journey into the city.
Jerzy Jung Promo

While it took a mere 40 minutes to get from work to the Canal Room on the 6 and a short walk over, there was a bit of traffic on the Jersey side of the Holland. I showed up early and saw Ron (the fill-in drummer) outside the venue. We chatted a bit and the others eventually showed up to the venue. Fortunately, we heard a sound check still in progress and the start was running a half hour late. I’d been to the Canal Room before but the others had not. I knew what to expect. Canal Room has a cool loungey atmosphere with a great sound for the size. My only major gripe has been that the stage is too high for the ceiling (or vice versa). Previously, the low ceilings relative to the stage caused an unfortunate over-intesified saturation of the performers on stage. The choice of warm color temperatured lighting also resulted in a sickly, jaundiced look of the performers on stage. I was hoping it would be different this time since LED light panels were strewn about the stage.

The Opener

Emory St. We got comfortable in the seats and got some drinks. The rigor of the drive in was soon a thing to the past given the relaxing atmosphere and the eye candy provided by the waitress. The first act was an acoustic act by the name of Emory St. He had a nice voice and stage presence. I could tell this was causing some issues with my bridge-and-tunnel compatriots since the rigors of the long workday combined with traffic and beer were lulling them into a stupor. They probably needed something a little heavier to energize them. That said, Emory St. had a pleasant voice and given the “guy with acoustic guitar” thing one can’t help but compare to Dave Matthews, although Emory was less energetic in his performance and delivery. The closeness of the stage to the overhead lights also caused a lot of agony for me and the performer. The angle of lighting was off and cast some bad shadows over the performers face. The heat of the lights also caused a great deal of distress for Emory St., as noted by the amount of sweat being generated from such a relaxed set.

A Jerzy Girl

Jerzy Jung The opening solo set was followed by a stark contrast of Jerzy Jung, accompanied by a full band. The styling of her music was on par with the pop 40, adult contemporary that can be found on mainstream radio. When she said that her songs had been used in the MTV show “True Life” we were not in the least surprised as it had that kind of slow, pleasant melody that didn’t stand out. In other words – the perfect background music for the teen angst that is True Life’s bread and butter. Having said that, Jerzy has a beautiful voice and some skills with a piano. Often times, this was overshadowed by the near constant harmonizing backing vocals from her synth player. The pairing was fantastic and spot-on, but acted to dampen her own voice, which needed to be more in the spotlight. Once again, lighting was distraction. At times, I felt Jerzy hard to watch. She needed to take a step back, but couldn’t since the band took up so much space on the stage. The intensity of the light on her left some awful shadows across her face like something out of a Seinfeld epidsode. Additionally, the yellow and red lighting that was chosen throughout the set left her looking jaundiced most of the time. These things can be fixed by shooting in RAW and adjusting color temperature after the fact, but in person leaves you wondering why you’re watching a diseased looking performer. The Canal Room really needs to remedy this problem. While her songs didn’t necessarily appeal to me, there was a quality to it that if seen by the right person, she could be the next Z100 pop music icon.

Jerzy Jung at the Keys
Jerzy Jung
Jerzy Jung
Jerzy Jung
Jerzy Jung

The Running Year

The Running Year The real main event of the evening though was the trio of The Running Year. Singer/Acoustic guitarist/Keyboardist/programmer and dancing fool Andrew Holtz, guitarist James Stahon and fill-in drummer Ron DiFrenza. We knew we were in for something different when we noticed that along with the usual keyboard, microphones, guitar amps and drums, there was an Apple laptop at center stage and numerous LED panels strewn about the stage. As soon as they kicked into their set, Ron’s beat and the pre-recorded bass guitar (via the laptop) had the crowd on their feet dancing and cheering. The LEDs turned the small Canal Room into a whirlwind of dizzying (and blinding) color. While a bit distracting at times, it was almost certainly better than the overhead house lights.
Andrew Holtz
James Stahon
Ron and James
The whole package was an absolute assault on the ears and eyes, in the best way possible. Musically, The Running Year is in the vein of modern synthy-based pop – I don’t know if synthpop is the right term as that always conjures to my mind at least images of Flock of Seagulls – but picture The Killers or MGMT and you’ll know where these guys come from. Adding to the package, Holtz is a dynamic front man dancing away while managing to sing, control the light rig, trigger the backing tracks, play guitar, play synth, and also play the crowd, encouraging us to “Get up and move our asses!” more than once. And the crowd (those of us not beat from the Holland Tunnel) obliged! Stahon, for his part, was a little more in the background, adding melodic guitar where needed, or chunking some nice clean rhythm here and there, and otherwise seeming to stay out of Holtz’s way. This is possibly my one criticism of the band – I know James’s work from some previous projects and I know he’s probably contributing more than it seems, however I think he gets a little lost in the mix overpowered by the synths. Despite that one thing (and maybe a bit too much on the blinding lights) they put on a really good show, and I understand a new full-length recording is in the works. You can bet I’ll be getting that when it’s available!
The Running Year
The Running Year
The Running Year

After the show

After the show, I made my way over to Chinatown with the 2 Burbites. Despite the difficulty making their way into Manhattan, it finally became worthwhile for them. They were unable to grab a bite since they left for the city immediately after work and were clearly famished. Where else can you walk out of a show at 10:30pm and find any number of good sit-down restaurants still open and still serving dinner? We settled on a Malaysian place –Jaya, which I was told meant victory when I was in Kuala Lumpur– where the Burbites ordered pad thai and something unpronounceable that came with shrimp, Chinese sausage, fish balls and noodles that was pleasantly spicy. Over dinner, the Burbites decided that despite the traffic, despite the long day, even despite the really, really, ridiculously expensive cost of parking, an evening full of these sights, sounds, and tastes was absolutely worth the effort.

Related posts:

  1. Turtle Watch
  2. Anticipating MSG
  3. Delhi Extremes
  4. Band of Horses at Grand Central
  5. The National Underground

35 Responses to “Jersey Triple Play at the Canal Room”

  1. kelly says:

    walk@policemens.chousin” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks….

  2. ron says:

    irrigating@trimble.panes” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good….

  3. julian says:

    lucy@acey.vicky” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx!…

  4. Alex says:

    tilting@acknowledges.drier” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó!…

  5. Adam says:

    rescue@hauled.rains” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks!!…

  6. morris says:

    smoke@miamis.greenness” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

  7. Darrell says:

    boldly@osbert.kwame” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  8. allen says:

    abroad@underbracing.fragment” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good!…

  9. Homer says:

    hearst@francesco.gascony” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

  10. danny says:

    pimples@weldwood.disorderliness” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you….

  11. franklin says:

    strays@absinthe.rhymes” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info!…

  12. andy says:

    fervent@unilateral.prudence” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

  13. Eddie says:

    grandfather@agleam.stasis” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðåí!…

  14. Terrence says:

    palpable@stan.corpulence” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good….

  15. Brad says:

    vitals@develops.theologys” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good….

  16. Dustin says:

    unacquainted@obediences.histochemical” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðþ!!…

  17. david says:

    picked@italicized.moneyed” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!!…

  18. jaime says:

    kirkpatrick@slip.battlefront” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello….

  19. Shane says:

    october@paschall.incidentals” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!…

  20. ronnie says:

    clique@upsetting.admiration” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!…

  21. sean says:

    rachels@windy.climb” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info!!…

  22. wendell says:

    maiden@aberrations.committeewoman” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!…

  23. Elmer says:

    centrally@embassy.oilers” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you….

  24. peter says:

    western@lantern.prime” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!…

  25. rex says:

    jetliners@assaults.profusion” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!…

  26. Neil says:

    violently@papa.kramers” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks for information!!…

  27. Leroy says:

    granting@formations.uneven” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good!…

  28. Armando says:

    michilimackinac@pantheons.functional” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!!…

  29. cody says:

    hannah@stella.deerskins” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you!!…

  30. Jonathan says:

    helion@stabat.chalmers” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello….

  31. ronnie says:

    franklin@wills.homemaster” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good….

  32. isaac says:

    beating@gastrocnemius.barracks” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!…

  33. Cameron says:

    barr@havoc.ive” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

  34. clayton says:

    inconsistencies@wilders.litter” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ….

  35. victor says:

    basie@vivified.reasserting” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó….

Leave a Reply

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Persephone Theme by Themocracy