Archive for the ‘David Wax Museum’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: DAVID WAX MUSEUM-“Born With a Broken Heart” (Field Recordings, January 12, 2012).

This was the third Field Recording in the series [David Wax Museum: Folk Among The Ruins] and it seems to have started a trend of recording musicians in the ruins at the Newport Folk Festival

The video opens with the band climbing through a broken down house.  Then the music starts with David playing the charango and Suz Slezak clapping.  It’s a catchy fun song with handclaps, wonderful vocal harmonies and oohs.

Two minutes into the song a tenor horn adds some depth and bass to the music, making it sound much bigger.  Around three minutes the whole horn section is playing along with a kind of mariachi feel..

At the end of the song you can hear cheering–presumably for the festival itself and not them, but it seems apt as well.

[READ: November 15, 2017] “The Hotel”

I feel like this is an excerpt.  If it’s not an excerpt than I don’t know what.

It’s basically about a woman who lands at an airport.  She is discombobulated from all of the flights and transfers (which seems unlikely but whatever).  The story starts with no explanation at all as to why the woman has flown from Dublin to New York to Milan.  She is now at a layover in Germany or Switzerland or Austria (the signs are all in German).

She can’t read the signs.  It’s very late. The airport seems to be closing down.  Her next flight is leaving in 5 hours.  She figures she will need to be back at the airport in four.  So instead of camping out at Gate 19, she decides to go to look for a hotel.  By the time she checked in , she would get max three hours sleep.  It’s just not worth it in my opinion, but whatever. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 10, 2018] David Wax Museum

Our whole family saw David Wax Museum play at XPNFest a few years ago.  They were great (and were very friendly afterwards).  We knew we wanted to see them again, so when we saw that they were playing this tiny venue at SteelStacks (and that admission was FREE), we couldn’t pass it up.  The fact that it also coincided with the Food Truck Border Brawl (in which food trucks from NJ and PA battle for most popular dish) did not hurt!

The weather sure did though.  It was rainy and a but chilly.  Not ideal food truck weather.  So, rather than making a day of it, we drove down for dinner.  We enjoyed our food truck food and then headed inside for the show.  I think it was supposed to be outside, but they wisely moved this show inside to be incredibly intimate.

It was also fun to have the kids with us for this show (even if Clark chose not to sit with us and we wound up keeping them up and out pretty late–but hey it was almost summer). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 22-24, 2016] XPN Fest

2016-07-24 15.34.58Even though I go to a lot of shows, I don’t really love Festivals.  I actually enjoy concerts too much to enjoy Festivals.  Which sounds dumb, but I’d rather see a band I like on their own play for a full set than for 30 minutes with a bunch of people who don’t really want to see them.

I’ve been to a few festivals over the years, and I have thought about going to other ones, but since I typically don’t want to spend a few days in the sun (and a few hundred dollars), I don’t go.

But the past two years we have seen some great headlining acts at XPN Fest.  And we thought it would be fun to go for the day, bring the kids and just have a fun day outside with music and vendors.  We bought tickets before the lineup was even announced.

WXPN members get half-priced tickets (which is cheaper than some of the regular shows I’ve been to) and kids’ tickets are $15 for the three days.  Perfect.

In the past, I have loved most of the headliners, but this year I didn’t really like any of them. The three day pass includes lawn seats to the headliners, but we wound up not using them at all. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 24, 2016] David Wax Museum

2016-07-24 15.58.23 David Wax Museum was supposed to play on Saturday.  Then it rained.  Really really hard.  For us, as we waited it out under a tent, the momentum was gone.  The kids were wiped out.  They kicked everyone out of the park because of thunder and lightning.  So even when the sun came back out, we decided to go home.

Well, it turned out that David Wax’s show was cancelled, but they were able to stick around until Sunday and the organizers squeezed them in and we got to see them anyhow!

I knew of David Wax Museum from a Tiny Desk and a Newport Folk performance broadcast on NPR a few years ago.  They played really fun, upbeat music (and used a donkey jaw bone as an instrument) and I was really psyched to see them.

Their set started literally just as The Districts finished up, so we had to hustle over.  And we caught them for the middle of their first song “Yes Maria,” a song I know pretty well and a wonderfully upbeat number.

2016-07-24 15.42.42And then they continued to have one of the most fun sets of the weekend.  Their songs have a Mexican flavor (co-lead singer Suz Slezak was wearing a  (very hot looking) poncho foe the set while Wax was wearing a very sharp looking pseudo-mariachi suit.

They talked to the audience a lot. They said they had driven to the show on Friday night from North Dakota (can that be right?).  Since it was the final night of their tour, they were actually kind of happy that the previous night was cancelled and rescheduled.  They only had to drive from the hotel nearby.  Suz said that it was the first show that they were really well rested for.

Their set included a bunch of sing-alongs, big clapping sections and lots of lyrics in Spanish.

Wax primarily plays the jarana, a Mexican instrument similar to a tiny guitar.  Slezak plays keyboards and fiddle as well as singing along.  And she’s the one who plays the quijada, a percussion instrument made from a donkey’s jawbone.  And yes it was great to see it in action.

Sarah told me after the show that it was her favorite set of the weekend.  I was pretty excited to get their latest album and then, to our surprise they cam over to the merch booth (instead of the meet and greet tent) and signed out disc.  I chatted with them a few minutes, and they were super nice.  Suz showed Tabby her necklace which has one of the teeth from the jawbone.  And their adorable daughter was there too.  She’s 2 and it was the first show of theirs that she got to watch (although I think mostly she was just hot).

I’m so glad that they were able to play and, as with The Districts, I’d love to see them in a smaller venue where they get a longer set.

See some colorful photos and stream their set here.


Yes, Maria, Yes

Dark Night of the Heart


Harder Before It Gets Easier

Blood Jump


Don’t Lose Heart

Born With A Broken Heart



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july2015 SOUNDTRACK: DAVID WAX MUSEUM-Tiny Desk Concert #103 (January 9, 2011).

waxI know of David Wax Museum from NPR’s coverage of The Newport Folk Festival back in 2010 (audio from their show is no longer online, sadly).  They played a wonderful set of interesting, somewhat Mexican sounding music.

David Wax plays a tiny Mexican jarocha guitar and Sue Slezak plays percussion on a donkey jawbone–which sounds great and is quite unusual to see.  The band is rounded out with Sam D’Agostino on saxophone and percussion and Mike Roberts on guitar and upright bass.

“Yes, Maria, Yes” opens the set with a lot of fun (how does that little guitar sound so buoyant?)  Wax and Slezak sing wonderfully together, and that jawbone introduces such an unusual sound.  About 1:20 into the song, the bass comes in and adds a whole new low end.  But then there’s a crash as the bridge from the bass collapsed!  Thus ends the bass in the song, although it’s not really missed.

For “Let Me Rest,” a far more mellow song, Wax switches to a full-sized guitar, Roberts switches to electric guitar (and they bemoan the loss of his bass) and Slezak plays fiddle.

Wax says that they have been in Washington DC playing house concerts every night, perhaps they have graduated to office concerts.

“Unfruitful” is one of my favorite of theirs.  The opening is interesting with the band kind of warming up (and Wax bouncing all out of frame).  It’s a raucous fun song with the fun chorus of “Tunnels in the sand.”  With Slezak wailing on the fiddle and Wax singing his heart out, it’s a great conclusion

I really enjoy David Wax Museum and I’ll get to see them at a Festival this summer.

[READ: January 6, 2015] “One Day Less”

I have been aware of Clarice Lispector for years, although I have never read her work (I recently got a free copy of her gigantic collected stories, so I hope to read that some day).

This story was the last one she wrote (it was found on her desk after her death–creepy)

It is an unusual story in which a woman, Margarida Flores, wonders how to fill the time in her day.

As the story opens, she wonders if death will come, if her endless days will ever end.  Perhaps death is a bluff?

She had a long day ahead with no plans.  She doesn’t even have the will to read or watch TV.  Then the story is filled with a section where the text reads: (more…)

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