Flurry of Notes – July 2018

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Join us again this week for another episode in our epically long-running (since the ‘90s!) showcase series at the Red Lion in the heart of the Village. This month’s party features a Jam premiere, several bands with new lineups, and a blast from the past.

We will be adding more workshops soon – if you’d like to find out about our next offering(s), have a suggested genre/artist/format, or are wondering if you’d be a good fit, drop us a line.

Alas, prices have gone up on jam sessions, particularly for non-members. Wanna save money, support a unique institution, become a part of a wonderful community? Become a the Jam Member! Visit our new website (thejam.nyc) for more info.


This Thursday (7/12), the Jam presents an action-packed Showcase at The Red Lion (at the corner of Bleecker and Thompson), featuring mildly-electric re-shuffled duo PERISPHERE (this time: Xiu Nan, Gregg Raybin) at 7 pm, the return of Alt/Countrysiders CROPSUSTER (like Rebelanna, but with Russell Makowsky on the throne) at 7:50 pm, stellar Doors tribute THE LIZARD KINGS at 8:40 pm, the Jam debut of high-energy rockers RENZO’S FAULT (Judd McArthur, Dave Hendrickson, Scott Hendrickson, Renzo Anfossi) at 9:30 pm, and Rolling Stones clones THE ROLLING BONES (with Brian Ripps playing the part of Mick) from 11ish to 1:15 am).

As always, the show is FREE for Jam members, and a modest $10 for everyone else. Well-behaved, accompanied minors are welcome until 10 pm or so, the Kitchen’s open ’til Midnight, and the live music doesn’t stop until 4 am.


A wise man (or a wiseguy, at least) once said (and I paraphrase): there are only three aspects to music – pitch, time, and timbre (tonality/texture). And timbre doesn’t count for beans if you’re playing the wrong thing and/or playing it at the wrong time. Most casual musicians use charts that indicate the notes and chords they should play – but are a lot looser in terms of notating time. There are two basic ways to do so with a fair amount of precision – although obviously not as much as using true musical notation: vertical hash marks or slashes indicating the downbeats, or aligning lyrics relative to the chord changes. The Best Practice would be to do BOTH. If you’re having trouble with time (vocal phrasing, meter, chord changes, rhythm, etc.), your charts should at the very least indicate the correct temporal placement in these trouble spots – just as they’d indicate the correct note or chord to be played.

In addition, you should be able to count, musically speaking. If someone tells you to play or sing something on “3 and” or “the And of 3” (or you see a written “3 +”), you should know what that means, how to count it, and be able to deliver. For recreational purposes, being able to discern the 1, 2, 3, 4 and their respective, “e”, “and” and “uh” are almost all you’ll ever need to know (and what a dotted eight note is, what it means to swing).

If time (or the notation thereof) is a weakness or hole in your game, you know what to do: google “how to count musically” and watch rhythm instructionals on YouTube. It’s a gap you can substantially close in a couple of hours, assuming you reinforce it with practice.


Thursday (7/12): Showcase at Red Lion – see ENTERTAINMENT, above.

Saturday (7/14): Newbie Jam, under the inspirational guidance of Jimmy Fontanez, 3 to 5 pm at The Jam (541 Sixth Ave, inside The Collective). $15 for members, $25 for non-members. Designed for those who don’t have much experience playing with others, but open to all.

ALSO Saturday (7/14): The Playlist – a jam session with Robert Brandow, from 3 to 6 pm at The Jam (541 Sixth Ave, inside The Collective). $20 for Jam members, and $35 for non-members. Here’s what we’re working on lately (and similar things, at the Facilitator’s discretion):

  • Take It Easy (The Eagles)
  • Wonderwall (Oasis)
  • You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)
  • Coming Into Los Angeles (Arlo Guthrie)
  • Spooky (Classics IV)
  • Cortez The Killer (Neil Young)
  • Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)
  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
  • I Shot The Sheriff (Bob Marley)
  • Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
  • Born On The Bayou (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  • Moondance (Van Morrison)
  • Tainted Love (Soft Cell)
  • Another Brick In The Wall (Pink Floyd)
  • Season Of The Witch (Donovan)
  • Franklin’s Tower (The Grateful Dead)
  • Long Train Running (The Doobie Brothers)
  • Santeria (Sublime)
  • Cocaine (Eric Clapton)
  • I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Creedence version)
  • Get Down Tonight (KC & The Sunshine Band)
  • Evil Ways (Santana)
  • Mary Jane’s Last Dance (Tom Petty)
  • People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield)
  • Walk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed)


“The only truth is music.” -Jack Kerouac

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