chickfactor friends 2023 lists, round one

image courtesy of Alicia

Alicia Vanden Heuvel (Speakeasy Studios, The Aislers Set, Poundsign, Brigid Dawson and the Mothers Network):
My “2023 Top Ten Songs that Ripped by Heart Out”:
“Love is Overrated” by Lightheaded
“This Job Is Killing Me” by the Telephone Numbers
“For Today” by The Lost Days
“Shadow” by Ryan Wong
“Perfect Worlds” by Tony Jay
“Cheap Motel” by Michael James Tapscott
“Holdin’ On” by Anna Hillburg
“Cross Bay” by Meg Baird
“Here We Go Again” by Tony Molina
“Smudge Was A Fly” by Seablite

image courtesy of Kendall

Kendall Jane Meade’s Best IRL Music Experiences of 2023
Experienced the Joan Baez documentary I Am A Noise two nights in a row because she was in attendance at a Q&A after each screening. On the first night, Lana Del Rey led the Q&A and it was so great to see that Lana is a huge fan of Joan’s. She seemed to hold all of the same folk nerd facts about Joan that are also stored in my brain. Just to be in Joan’s presence was spiritual for me, and you could tell Lana felt the same way.

Saw Bonny Doon play at Golddiggers in LA. I have a lot of love for this Detroit-based band, and I loved hearing live versions of songs off of their new album Let There Be Music. Katie Crutchfield from Waxahatchee was also in the audience, and she joined them on a few tunes.

Went with my big sister Merritt to see Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It was so heartwarming to see so many people pay tribute to Willie including Beck and Keith Richards. My favorite performer of the night was Willie’s youngest son, who performs under the moniker Particle Kid.

Saw my dear old friends Mary Timony and Joan Wasser play in a backyard in Pasadena. So many friends I hadn’t seen in a while were in attendance, and it felt like no time had passed between us. Mary sounded transcendent and was joined by a quartet for a song, and Joan was so moving and entertaining—two ladies I love at the top of their game.

I did a two-week tour of the UK and Scotland, tagging along with songwriter Kris Gruen to promote our single “Heaven on a Car Ride.” We opened for Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express and completely fell in love with that band. Chuck is such a unique songwriter and the whole band are incredible performers, including Stephanie Finch who needs to be on the cover of Chickfactor as she is an incredible pop singer and songwriter in her own right.

Connie Lovatt (photo: Gail O’Hara)

Connie Lovatt’s Top 2023 things
Top Record Label: Enchanté (US)

Top devastating comment by rock critic: the one that compared my work to a viral video of baby ducks.

Top Sound: Bill Callahan going “plink” on a guitar string to bring to life the “wink” done by a character in a new song of his.

Top Coconut Mirror whisperer: Dawn Sutter Madell

Top Walk: From the White House to Georgetown with Ravi.

Top Heartbreak: Saying goodbye to St. Marks apartment.

Top Meal: A chickpea and rice soup my daughter and I love to make and eat when sick or blue.

Top Song: Mom singing anything to me over FaceTime. But she does too many country tunes. Needs to branch out.

Top Joe: Joe Wohlmuth

Top Honey: Avocado Honey. This year and every year.

Top Disgust: Canned Sardines.

Top Pain in the Ass: The leak in roof that could never get fully fixed no matter what anyone did. Have high hopes for a solve in 2024.

Top Image: Our dog in his winter puffy coat. He gets compliments from strangers. It’s that good a fit.

Top Gluten Free Sourdough: Knead Love Bakery.

Top Salad: arugula and sauerkraut. No one believes me.

Lois Maffeo (Photo: Gail O’Hara)

Lois Maffeo: 4 Radio Shows to listen to when you can’t take Marc Riley mansplaining everything on the Riley & Coe show on BBC6.

James McNew on NTS radio. I wish it was on every day.

Don Letts on BBC 6 on Saturday. It was a bit mellower when it was on Sunday, but he still hauls out 70s pop hits that “caught my imagination when I was a youth”. Contemporary dub and Stealers Wheel? Get in!

Night Tracks on BBC 3. Host Hannah Peel has a very quiet voice and faultless taste in off-piste music. Where else would I have found JJJJJerome and an ice orchestra?

And then there’s always good ol’ Gideon Coe when he flies solo on Thursdays on BBC6. Just great tunes and no fuss.

Photo by Riley Artsick

Riley from Artsick Favorites:

Tara Clerkin Trio – On The Turning Ground (music)

Anna Hillburg – Tired Girls (music)

Lightheaded – Good Good Great (music)

Mo Dotti – Blurring / Guided Imagery on Vinyl (music)

8th Day by Cindy Deachmann (art book)

Drive Here and Devastate Me by Megan Falley (poetry) (it didn’t come out in 2023, but it is one of my fav books read from this year)

Handsome Podcast with Tig Notaro, Fortune Feimster and Mae Martin

Show I watched: Rap Shit on MAX

Show I went to: All Girl Summer Fun Band, Kids On A Crime Spree and Tony Jay at Bottom Of The Hill

Show I played: Slumberland Records with Tunnel Records show – The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Chime School, Artsick with DJs Poindexter and Jessica B at The 4 Star Theatre in SF

Fav record store: Redwood Records, Santa Cruz

Award-winning music supervisor Dawn (via Agoraphone’s FBK page)

Dawn Sutter Madell’s top 15 live shows I saw in 2023

dry cleaning at pioneer works

john cale at prospect park

calexico at lpr

black duck at union pool

mosswood meltdown-oakland, ca (esg, avengers, bratmobile, le tigre, quintron and ms pussycat, 5,6,7,8s, morgan and the organ donors, etc)

plantasia at greenwood cemetery (alex zhang hungtai, angel bat dawid, laraaji, etc)

hand habits at webster hall

dromedary festival (das damen, antietam, sleepyhead, versus, etc) -catskill, ny

boygenius at msg

arca at armory

soul glo, zulu at monarch

girl ray at sultan room

frankie cosmos at warsaw

panda bear, sonic boom at knockdown center

mekons at good fork pub

Bridget at Mon Gala Papillons (a chickfactor event), Bush Hall, London, 2004. Photo: Gail O’Hara
Bridget St John: 5 things that have enriched my 2023
American Symphony
American Fiction

Candle Restaurant, NYC

30th Street Guitars
Feldenkrais – functional integration

image nicked from Glenn’s fbk

The Reds, Pinks & Purples favorite albums for 2023!
tested on multiple listens…

Vulture Feather – Liminal Fields

Parker Allen – Melon Kolly/Parker’s First Song Diary

Pumice – Phyllis

Wurld Series – The Giant’s Lawn

Ryan Davis – Dancing on the Edge

Cindy – Why Not Now?

Fortunato Durutti Marinetti – 8 Waves in Search of an Ocean

Truth Club – Running from the Chase

Outer World, from their bandcamp

Tracy and Kenny from Outer World’s list of ten music-related things that have made us very happy in 2023.
In no particular order.

1) Jane & Serge – A Family Album hardcover book from 2013, long out of print, but discovered in a local bookstore this year. It comes with so many fun bonus items: poster, sticker sheet, booklet, contact sheets, and photo prints.

2) Yogasleep Dohm Classic white noise sound machine to help with tinnitus ringing at bedtime. It is an actual small fan creating the relaxing sound of moving air so there isn’t a digital looping sample that can be troubling for musicians with a keen ear. For touring musicians – it is also relatively portable and helps to drown out snoring members.

3) Yoshitomo Nara Drumming Girl collectible figure #3

4) Apple AirPods

5) The Ekdahl Moisturizer from Knas is a spring reverb unit with exposed strings for manually manipulable sonic noise making

6) The Teenage Engineering K.O. II does it all: sample, sequence, compose, records sounds, loops, includes fun filters + stereo effects, compressor, and is super portable.

7) John Waters X Seth Bogart Pope of Trash socks from the Academy Museum exhibit in Los Angeles.

8) Custom color palette Shure SM58 microphone

9) The Buddha Box 1 2023 edition from FM3 (reissue)

10) BiLLY LiLLY’s Kate and Cindy sensational paintings on wood.

Jeffrey Underhill (right, with pals, HoneyBunch, Velvet Crush, Field Drums):
10 loosely chronological things that made my year.
1. The Island of Hawaii
2. The February 22nd snow storm.*
3. Velvet Crush Teenage Symphonies to God re-issue/Spanish tour
4. Michael Hurley & the Croakers last Friday shows at the Laurelthirst*
5. FieldDrums/Lunch Box/All Girl Summer Fun Band at The 2-Fir*
6. The 48 hour Drag-a-Thon at Darcelle XV*
7. The Family Reunion Festival July 27-29, in Rainier OR.
8. The entire month I turned 60.
9. All of the foods on and just off of 82nd Ave.*
10. Winnie Dean UnderBerg
*in Portland, OR

chickfactor international travelog: berlin!

berlin, germany

by yoshi nakamoto, drummer for the aislers set, eux autres and still flyin’. his hometown is san francisco. in 2009, while on tour with eux autres he met laura in berlin and fell in love. in 2011, he moved to germany to live with her. they have two cats, felt and billie holiday. yoshi works as a video producer for a language learning publisher.

best venues there are lots and lots of venues throughout this city and lots and lots of touring bands that come visit. we’re blessed here. two of the best shows (electrelane and black dice) that I’ve seen in berlin were at festsaal-kreuzberg. I loved the venue marie antoinette the night that je suis animal played, je suis animal is absolute magic, I love them. I always look forward to seeing shows at rotor salon, o tannenbaum and schokoladen. ¶ earlier this year I saw the magnetic fields and amor de días play in a beautiful church, passionskirche. If you have the chance to catch a band there, make sure you do, there’s a beautiful mood inside. ¶ if you’re around on a wednesday night, spend an evening checking out the free jazz nights at b-flat and zosch, in the mitte district. from 8 – 10, la foot creole play new orleans style jazz in the very nostalgic-like cellar of zosch. after you’re done with that gig, walk a short few blocks to b-flat for their weekly jam session, which is great for fans of be-bop and on till late.

best record stores try bis aufs messer for new hits and platten pedro for old hits. there are a ton of record dealers at the massive sunday flea market at mauerpark.

best vintage/thriftstores KDW, housed in an old GDR supermarket that still looks like it’s straight out of the 1970s, complete with counters and deli signage intact. this place is crammed with furniture, books, records and relics. ¶ there are fantastic flea markets spread out in the city every sunday like; mauer park, arkonaplatz, hallentrödelmarkt treptow and boxhagner.

cheap eats the picadillo burrito, homemade chips and guacamole at ta’ cabron. the daily special at hamy. the ramen and gyoza at cocolo. the pizza at zia maria or il casolare. the pho and spring rolls at monsieur vuong. currywurst at curry 36. the gemüse kebap at mustafas (icons of berlin street food, mustafa and curry 36 are on the same block of mehringdamm, you can’t miss them because there are lines all day long. I’d recommend hitting up both and sharing). the falafel or schwarma plates at babel or maroush. gözleme at knofi. the jiaozi (vegetarian or pork) at wok show.

not so cheap eats when you come visit me, I’ll take you to schwarzwaldstuben on the first night and you’ll likely want to return on your last night in the city. this is my favorite place to eat in berlin, the food never fails and the mood is rather relaxed. I usually always ordert the schnitzel and the rothaus beer on tap. there are great vegetarian options here—the spätzle or the maultaschen. the place isn’t too expensive and you can easily get out of here having spent a little under 20 euros. ¶ the food hall on the sixth floor of the department store kadawe is food porn. a mesmerizing medley of food and drinks from all over the world. there are over 30 gourmet counters spread out on the floor where you can have a seat and treat yourself to whatever your heart desires. the fish bar is first-rate.

vegetarian-friendly eats viasko, straight up vegan and straight up delicious in a british pub-like atmosphere. yellow sunshine has a tasty vegan currywurst in addition to veggie/vegan burgers. I’ve never been to cookies cream but I’d like to—it’s on my date-night list.

best ice cream sicilian pistachio at vanille-marille.

best neighborhood prenzlauer berg. I live on the street schönhauser allee and I love that I can walk out my front door and be in one of the hearts of the city. it’s the best neighborhood for walks. the kids these days gravitate toward kreuzberg and neukölln, which is where many of the bars and venues are.

cheap haircut hoshi mitte. it’s not necessarily cheap, but if you happen to have difficult hair (i.e japanese hair), the all-japanese staff know how to navigate it and fashion it into something chic.

best drinking holes das gift in neukoln. co-owned by barry burns of mogwai and featuring a great selection of scottish whiskies and ale. I’d definitely recommend ordering a few pints of the zirndorfer landbier, a franconian beer that’s near impossible to find on tap in berlin. das gift has the best jukebox in germany—you can select from playlists curated by david cross, mike joyce/smiths, bob nastanovich/pavement, deerhoof and many of your other favorite artists. ¶ when it’s not winter, I go to prater garden in prenzlauer berg as much as I can. my local drinking hole is the oldest biergarten in berlin. a lovely place to drink especially when the sun is out or at night under the strings of lightbulbs. they serve sausages, pretzels, roasted almonds and many other biergarten-y food. perfect for birthday parties (unless your birthday is in the winter!). ¶ drinking on the street, in parks, in the subways, while walking your cat on a leash is totally OK. even the cops are drinking beers on their beat. you don’t ever have to be without a beer in your hand.

best coffee or tea houses bonanza.

best radio station we’re lucky to have NPR berlin on the dial. I heard both tally ho! and tender trap on radio eins late last monday night. flux FM is a very good friend of the indie.

cool cinemas hackesche höfe kino. you can see your woody allen and your lars von trier here. if you want your hollywood blockbuster, hit the cinestar sony center. if you happen to be in berlin in february, don’t miss the berlinale film festival when the city becomes the film capital of the world for ten snowy days. I make sure to catch a film at the beautiful friedrichstadt-palast, which usually is home to musicals but opens it’s curtains for film during the festival. the berlinale jury president for 2013 is wong kar wai! that man is magnificent!

best used bookstores another country. a secondhand bookstore where you can borrow any of their books for 1,50 euros.

best place to see art my first choice is always the martin-gropius bau, I’ve seen really, really wonderful exhibits by ai weiwei and olafur eliasson. there is usually a great photo exhibit up at the C/O berlin. you can have a very hands-on experience at the DDR museum. it’s small but smart at the bauhaus museum.

best local bands stereo total, of course. I found out about an awesome berlin band, make out!, on my friend chantal’s excellent berlin gig guide the craze. sadly, I found out about make out! just as they were playing their last show. I saw hamburg’s the honeyheads here back in may and I fell for them hard. and since I’m bringing up hamburg, I must give a shout out to trip the light fantastic and to andreas dorau, who is the könig of german pop!

parks and green spaces berlin is green. parks are everywhere and are the most popular destination when the weather is nice. germans love parks … ice cream, hand-clapping to songs and barbeques. my favorites parks to visit are treptower park in treptow, viktoriapark in kreuzberg, schoßpark in pankow, tiergarten, humboldthain park in wedding. the little park that surrounds the wasserturm prenzlauer berg is a nice spot to read a book.

unmissable highlights berlin is a big city and a very bike-friendly city; and cycling through the city is the best and funnest way to see it. renting a bike is easy and cheap. I’d suggest heading over to templehof—the former international airport that has been turned into a public park—and speeding down the runway. bike through tiergarten, stop at the schleusenkrug biergarten and have a glass of my favorite german beer, andechser. head over to treptower park and visit the grand soviet war memorial, prepared to be impressed. cycle out to my favorite swimming hole, krumme lanke in the grunewald forest. In any direction thay you pedal, you’ll run into (not literally, I hope!) something pretty cool to see. berlin is a special place, I feel so fortunate to live here, I hope you visit soon.

photograph: gail o’hara

chickfactor 2012: for the love of pop! london announced…

chickfactor fanzine continues its all-year-long 20th-anniversary celebration with a series of concerts around the U.S. and UK.  cf heads to Los Angeles on Sept 20 for an amazing show, followed by San Francisco on Sept 22 for another! And then there is our beloved London Nov 16, 17, 18. Here is the lineup below — get your pop plane ticket now and come on over!

November 16
Film screening and pop quiz (venue TBC)

November 17 at Bush Hall
The Pastels! The Aislers Set! Amor De Dias! Would-Be-Goods!

(Doors 6:30, super-early showtime 7pm) Tickets are here!

The Pastels
The Pastels and chickfactor go way back. the inventive Glasgow pop group has a new record coming out early 2013 on Domino, recorded Glasgow, mixed Chicago with John McEntire.  It will be their first record since the 2009 collaboration with Tenniscoats, Two Sunsets.  The group is currently Stephen McRobbie, Katrina Mitchell, Gerard Love, Tom Crossley, Alison Mitchell, John Hogarty.

The Aislers Set
The wonderful Bay Area pop group led by Linton reformed for chickfactor 2012: for the love of pop! brooklyn earlier this year and blew the roof off the place. These days we have to fly them in from the East Coast, West Coast, Sweden and Germany — shows with them all are rare indeed so do not miss!

Amor De Dias
We at chickfactor cannot get enough of The Clientele and Pipas, so when members of those bands — Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Nuñez-Fernández — formed Amor De Dias (means Love of Days), we were stoked. They are finishing up their second album this summer, and we can’t wait to see their delicate set tonight.

Would-Be-Goods
Fronted by Jessica Griffin and featuring seasoned pop stars Peter Momtchiloff, Debbie Green and Andy Warren, the elegant London group has been around since Jessica released her first record on él Records in 1987. Like most of the artists here, they have played many a chickfactor show including the 10-year anniversary parties in NY, DC and London.

& DJ and MC Gaylord Fields (WMFU)

November 18 at the Lexington
chickfactor / Hangover Lounge All Dayer (2–10:30pm)
Ticket link here!
Tender Trap!
Pipas!
The Real Tuesday Weld!
Bridget St John!
The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group!
The Starfolk!
MC & DJ Gaylord Fields!

 

Tender Trap
Fantastic London pop group fronted by former Talulah Gosh / Heavenly singer Amelia Fletcher, we are very excited to be seeing them! Their latest release, Ten Songs About Girls, is out now on Fortuna Pop! records.

Pipas
The super-charming Brooklyn-London electropop duo of Mark Powell and Lupe Nuñez-Fernández have performed rarely in recent years, but did reunite in April 2012 for chickfactor’s Brooklyn show. Do not miss this show!

Bridget St John
The stellar British singer-songwriter who John Peel started Dandelion Records for back in the day moved to New York years ago and occasionally returns to the UK, often for chickfactor parties. She performed at our chickfactor 2012: brooklyn show along with our 2004 party at Bush Hall called “Mon Gala Papillons,” which inspired her to write a song.

The Real Tuesday Weld
The ace TRTW is led by the talented Mr Stephen Coates, once inspired by the actress Tuesday Weld and the 1930s crooner Al Bowlly to make crackly vintage swoon-worthy pop tunes. His group’s 2011 release, Songs for the Last Werewolf, was a soundtrack to a book, and they have been known to put music to film as well.

Legendary Jim Ruiz Group
A rare show from the sparkly Minneapolis jazz-pop combo led by the Legendary Jim, who recently completed the long-awaited third LP with help from California pop dude Allen Clapp, titled Ambassador Jim – 1965. Also fresh from the stage of chickfactor’s recent anniversary parties in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, the LJRG lineup tonight will be Jim, Emily on drums, and Allison and Brian from The Starfolk. “I’m leaning strongly toward taking a 1964 le beat group approach,” says the Legendary one himself.

Harvey Williams and Josh Gennet
Fluffy-haired Harvey is well known to the pop kids as a former member of Field Mice and Another Sunny Day and an excellent if not prolific solo artist of a gentle nature; tonight he will play with former Holiday frontman Josh Gennet for what will certainly be some serious pop stuff.

The Starfolk
Fun Minneapolis orch-pop trio The Starfolk is fronted by Brian Tighe (The Hang Ups, The Owls) vocals and guitar along with Allison LaBonne (The Owls, Typsy Panthre, Legendary Jim Ruiz Group) on bass, Stephen Ittner (The Hang Ups, The Owls) on drums and Jacqueline Ultan (Jelloslave, Saltee, Anti Gravity) on cello, though tonight Allison and Brian will be backed by Jim and Emily. The Starfolk is currently finishing up their debut full length, the mixing will be completed in September.

Gaylord Fields Fake Beatles Talk
The inimitable Gaylord Fields is a DJ on the prestigious New Jersey radio station WFMU, along with a chickfactor contributor and MC for these two nights! He will do a special presentation on Fake Beatles starting at 3pm.

chickfactor / Hangover Lounge DJs!

Thanks to the Hangover Lounge, WIAIWYA, Half Pint Press, Tae Won Yu, LD Beghtol, Lucy Hurst, Fortuna Pop! and Slumberland for helping us!