JD McPherson

~+ Baby's Presents +~

JD McPherson

DJ Jonathan Toubin

Mon, March 6, 2017

8:00 pm

Baby's All Right

Brooklyn, NY

$25.00

Sold Out

This event is 21 and over

JD McPherson - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
JD McPherson
Let the Good Times Roll

You could mistake JD McPherson for a revivalist, given how few other contemporary artists are likely to assert, as he boldly does, that “’Keep a Knockin’ by Little Richard is the best record ever made. It’s so insanely visceral, you feel like it’s going to explode your speakers. If I’m listening to that in the car, I find myself having to brake suddenly. I can listen to that and it makes me feel like I’m 20 feet tall. And the feeling of joy I get from that record is always going to be the real push behind trying to make music.”

But in a very real sense, McPherson is much more a pioneer than roots resuscitator. He’s knocking at the door of something that arguably hasn’t yet been accomplished—a spirited, almost spiritual hybrid that brings the forgotten lessons from the earliest days of rock & roll into a future that has room for the modernities of studio technique and 21st century singer/songwriter idiosyncrasies that Richard Penniman would not recognize. Let the Good Times Roll, his second album, is a stranger, and more personal affair than its Fats Domino-redolent title might at first suggest, but the name isn’t exactly ironic, either. If you, too, brake for pleasure, you’ll screech to a halt at the enrapturing sound of these Good Times.

His first album, 2012’s Signs & Signifiers, was hailed as “an utterly irresistible, slicked-back triumph” by Mojo and “a rockin’, bluesy, forward-thinking gold mine that subtly breaks the conventions of most vintage rock projects” by All Music Guide. The Washington Post wrote that, “he and his bandmates are great musicians taking ownership of a sound, not just mimicking one.” That same review remarked upon how, “the album sounds as if the band is in the same room with the listener.” But for the follow-up, McPherson wanted to maintain that raw power while also capturing the more mysterious side of the records he loves. To that slightly spookier end, he enlisted as a collaborator Mark Neill, known for his work as a producer and engineer with versed-in-the-past acts going back to the Paladins in the 1980s, but, most recently, for recording The Black Keys and Dan Auerbach—a friend of McPherson’s who co-wrote the new album’s “Bridge Builder.”

Talking up one of the freshly minted tunes, “Bridge Builder,” McPherson describes it as being “the psychedelic Coasters.” That no such thing really existed prior to this album doesn’t deter him. “This is something I actually talked about with Mark at the beginning of the record: ‘I want to make a ‘50s psychedelic record!’”

Neill was up to meeting that seemingly oxymoronic challenge. “It’s still a rock & roll record, but the borders are expanding a little bit,” McPherson explains. “With some of the writing that came out this time, it became apparent the songs weren’t going to lend themselves well to our usual process. So as we sought out a producer, we took aim for a slightly wider—I guess hi-fi is the word—sound, and got more experimental. Mark Neill certainly has all the tools in his hardware shop with which to produce any range of sounds from vintage Capitol Records stuff on up to…gosh, we listened to so much David Bowie making this record. We’d play Primal Scream’s Screamadelica to listen to how they suddenly started making dance records, and then Mark would play us Marilyn McCoo singing ‘Marry Me, Bill’ over and over again, I guess trying to re-wire our brains.”

Amid this flurry of possible influences, a few production approaches stuck. “I find that the records that I like to listen to over and over again are the ones that have those strange engineering choices, or weird sounds. I was very attracted to the idea of using plate reverb. So whereas the first record was really informed by New Orleans rhythm and blues, where everything was very dry and up-front, I really was listening more this time to a ton of Link Wray, and the Allen Toussaint-produced Irma Thomas stuff, and all the early ‘60s rock & roll that is saturated in plate reverb.”

McPherson certainly doesn’t begrudge the attention that Signs & Signifiers unexpectedly brought him. “If it hadn’t been for the ‘North Side Gal’ video, this probably never would have caught on,” he says, recalling the fame he found on YouTube even before Rounder picked up his indie release. “That’s how we found our label and found our management. I was still teaching school, and here I am with got this video that’s like a million hits. I’m like, what? I had no plans to quit my job. Luckily, I lost it.” A middle school art department’s loss was Rounder’s and the rock world’s gain.

It’d been a while in coming. “I started getting obsessed with this stuff when I was in high school,” McPherson says. “There wasn’t much to do where I grew up in rural southeast Oklahoma, where I lived on a 160-acre cattle ranch.” When he discovered early rock & roll and R&B, “it was like finding a treasure no one else knew about. Nobody around me had any interest whatsoever in Little Richard except for me and my friend. Once we started listening to Jerry Lee Lewis, and to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, which was the best thing you could ever find, everything started to change. I’ve got a videotape of us playing at a pool hall in the early ‘90s in Talihina, Oklahoma, and it’s cowboys and criminals and people that are cooking meth up in the hills standing around playing pool, and here we are with our greaser uniforms on, playing Buddy Holly’s ‘Rockin’ Around with Ollie Vee’ followed by ‘Clampdown’ by the Clash, and all these people are really confused. Those were happy times.”

The covers and the grease got dropped along the way to adulthood, of course, even though he knows what he does now is likely to wind up with some inaccurate revival tags. “There’s never going to be a point where I’m not going to hear the word ‘rockabilly’,” he says with a laugh and a sigh, “even though it’s not anthropologically correct, because it’s separate from rhythm & blues and rock & roll. Not being able to be perceived as how you sort of define what you’re doing is frustrating, but you just have to understand that not everybody is a nerd about this stuff. What it comes down to is that you can’t expect for people to listen if you’re not doing something personal. I mean, you can’t just do covers of Johnny Burnette Trio songs, because that idea has already been expressed, and it was actually moved past pretty quickly. Rock & roll music changed really quickly when it started becoming ubiquitous youth music and the President’s sister started doing the Twist. Yet there’s something intrinsically valuable about a lot of those ideas that haven’t fully been explored yet. And you take everything you love about it and write personal music and hope it translates into its own thing. I always hear ‘Man, bringing this stuff back is really important,’ but I have goal to bring rock & roll back in some reactionary way to battle something else. I want it to just kind of nudge it into its own little place alongside what’s happening now.”

Since the debut album came out, McPherson has played for a lot of those aforementioned genre nerds who pick up on every single influence. But he and his band have also opened for acts ranging from Bob Seger (getting a standing ovation at an arena in Detroit, the headliner’s hometown) to the Dave Matthews Band to Nick Lowe to Eric Church (who sought him out to write some songs together). For a Halloween night 2014 show at the Forum in L.A., super-fan Josh Homme, one of McPherson’s biggest supporters, handpicked him to open for Queens of the Stone Age. These may not all seem like natural pairings, but the music is primal and melodic enough that, after a few minutes, it never fails to make sense even to audiences with the least of expectations and musical educations.

“Man, people may not even know it, but they all like that stuff,” McPherson declares. “I’ve seen it happen over and over again. You’re in a record store where they’re playing some weird underground amorphous electronic record that has no configurable beat per minute, and then they put on a Sam Cooke record, and everybody is just like ‘Ohhh’— like a weight lifted. All kinds of music are interesting, but man, there’s something about the 1/4/5, 12-bar blues form that’s just hard-wired into American brains. And I shouldn’t say just American brains, because this stuff is still really huge in Europe, too. Everybody likes rock & roll. They just either won’t admit it or don’t know it yet,” he laughs, unshakable in his faith that the whole world is or will be on a roll.
DJ Jonathan Toubin - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
DJ Jonathan Toubin
NEW YORK NIGHT TRAIN is the party machine of dynamic DJ/nightlife visionary Jonathan Toubin who is currently changing the world one wild 45rpm hoodang at a time! Making life a spicier by prompting folks to dance at rock shows, bars, art galleries, and other places that used to be no fun. And simultaneously offering a more extciting and exquisite "maximum rock and soul" alternative to the music typically spun at night clubs, discos, raves, loft parties, etc.

In just six years, Jonathan Toubin — rock and soul 45 DJ and proprietor of the New York Night Train brand party production enterprise — has charted a career that is culturally and commercially unparalleled. With a visionary take on nightlife and an obsessively curated collection of obscure 7-inch records, he has sold out clubs and performed at major rock concerts and festivals across the U.S. and around the world. Though known for the burning immediacy of his "maximum rock and soul" sets at the weekly Shakin' All Over Under Sideways Down dance, his instructional Land of 1000 Dances spectacle, his elaborately grandious multi-media worldwide "Happenings", and other trademark parties, Toubin's take on 1960s soul music, the Soul Clap and Dance-Off, has left the biggest footprint on contemporary urban nightlife and put Mr. T on the map as soul man .

Working over 1200 gigs the last six years, Mr. Jonathan Toubin has managed to keep one Beatle boot in the counter-culture from which he emerged (punk bars, DIY basements, loft parties, art galleries, music venues, and shady afterhours spots) while crossing over to dance clubs, prestigious festivals, boutique hotels, museums, ivy league colleges, fashion parties, arena pop/rock shows, and even raves – garnering press in highbrow publications and receiving nominations for nightlife awards from the fancier side of New York culture in the process.

Jonathan Toubin conceived the Soul Clap and Dance-Off in March 2007 as a monthly outlet to play his growing collection of soul 45s to a small north Brooklyn underground art/rock social community in the spirit of the mid-1990s indie/punk scene parties. He added a brief dance-contest to the mix to make the event more interesting. As this humble makeshift neighborhood underdog evolved into an institution, Mr. T employed the party's popularity as a weapon against tired hit nights, 80s nights, and other mediocre contemporary dance culture – offering an alternative in the possibility of dancing to exciting music most of us have never heard before with the unparalled sound of the original recordings. The epic size, frequency, and geographical breadth of the Soul Clap the last few years has been a seed for a new wave of soul dance culture among indie rockers, punks, and hipsters first in Brooklyn, next in Manhattan, and, within two years, around the world – inspiring slews of imitators and developing a new nightlife economy everywhere from Portland, ME to Portland, OR, from Canada to Mexico and even as far away as the Middle East.

When Jonathan Toubin began regularly DJing punk/garage/noise rock weekly at the Lower East Side's infamous Motor City Bar in 2006, he was a small record label-owner/musician/published academic/professional writer. Within a year, Mr. Toubin had thrown that all away and become a professional DJ/party promoter – working nightly around New York mixing in eclectic genres (psych, punk, rocksteady, etc.) with the garage, rockabilly, doo wop, r&b, and soul sounds that he's best known for today. Casting aside mp3s, CDs, and eventually LPs once he began hitting dance spots, he stepped up to the challenge of spinning exclusively the biggest and baddest musical medium ever, the 45rpm vinyl record. Switching to an all 45 format not only meant spending all of his time and hard-earned cash obtaining his favorite records, but also taking a step back in his repertoire for a spell. The gamble, the expense, and the hard work rapidly paid off – New York Night Train's conductor increasingly became known from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side for his 7-inch ragers.

Playing to dancers instead of collectors, cutting $1 commoners with $100 rarities with strategic pitching, sequencing, EQ-ing, and transitioning, Mr T distinguished his sets from typical retro DJs by focusing on juxtaposition of beats and developing a playfully unique selection aesthetic. In the process he also stood far apart from the hit-players and computer jocks on the other end of culture by playing uncommon supreme music on all-original vinyl. Years of nightly gigging in a variety of settings offered NYNT's conductor a huge advantage over his peers in that his labor also served as an infinite laboratory regarding the subtleties of how, without spinning obvious material, to make a variety of cultures and subcultures dance together – uniting even the squarest weekend dance floors under the undeniable power of his live improvised mixes of real deal records.

In addition to its notorious dance contest, New York Night Train parties have been made even more interesting by including noteable guest DJs, live music, visuals, and performance to the mix. Andrew WK, Black Lips, Dum Dum Girls, King Khan and the BBQ and King Khan and the Shrines, the Oh Sees, Quintron and Ms Pussycat, Screaming Females, Sky Saxon, The Slits, Wreckless Eric, and dozens and dozens more have played at NYNT parties. In addition to practically every major American 45 DJ of note, the parties have also featured guest DJs from across music: Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening), Danny Kroha and Mick Collins (The Gories), David Johansen (New York Dolls), Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle), Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers), Ian Svenonius (Make-Up), James Chance (Contortions), Jared Swiley (Black Lips), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedy's), Jon Spencer (Pussy Galore), Kembra Pfahler (Veloptuous Horror of Karen Black), Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), Moses Archuleta (Deerhunter), Sean Yseult (White Zombie), Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and many more. Finally, outside of his own parties, Jonathan as a DJ has shared bills with Black Keys, Bon Iver, Dinosaur Jr, Erykah Badu, Faith No More, F*cked Up, Interpol, Jack White, Kool Herc, LCD Soundsystems, MGMT, MIA, Mission of Burma, Odd Future, Rick Ross, Silver Apple, Ty Segall, Vivian Girls, and hundreds of other notablebands and DJs. An eclectic mix to say the least.

December 7, 2011, while Toubin was on tour in Portland, OR, a runaway cab crashed through his first-floor hotel room – running him over and landing on his chest. In critical condition and sedated in the ICU for over a month, the soul proprietor's friends and fans around the United States took action – throwing him dozens of benefits everywhere from New York to Los Angeles and Detroit to New Orleans – featuring everyone from Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Ariel Pink to Maragaret Cho. Many operations and months of physical therapy later, New York Night Train's conducter proved that he would not let 26 major injuries bring him down – making his public debut as the surprise DJ for Jack White's show at Webster Hall April 27 (less than five months after the accident!). While he's currently working less than half as much as last year until he fully recovers, he's nonetheless back at what he does best roughly twice a week.

Summer 2012 finds Toubin returning to his weekly Friday Shakin' All Over Under Sideways Down gig at Home Sweet Home and monthly Soul Clap and Dance-Off (which moves to Brooklyn Bowl September 21) as well as hitting prestigious festivals like Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night's Swing, the Village Voice 4 Knots Festival, and All Tomorrow's Parties, plus a few road gigs per month. Armed with the finest and most unusual records of his career and a higher sense of purpose, more than ever he continues to prove that nightlife doesn't have to be boring – spicing up an otherwise bland landscape with his distinctively explosive vinyl goodies and legendary parties. Get on board!

Mr. Jonathan Toubin/NY Night Train Current Reoccuring Parties:

Soul Clap and Dance-Off (2007-present) – 3rd Saturday of every month in New York (formerly at Glasslands – moving to Brooklyn Bowl September 21) plus on the road dozens of dates annually. North America's most popular soul party and still growing…

Shakin' All Over Under Sideways Down! (2008 – present) – Fridays at Home Sweet Home – "maximum rock and soul" dancing every Friday night – a format of screaming r&b, pounding garage, and chugging early rock'n'roll! This popular weekly institution features Mr Jonathan Toubin and guest DJs including rock stars like David Johansen, Jon Spencer, etc, and DJ legends like Fine Wine, Howie Pyro, etc. Plus occasional live performances by the likes of Wreckless Eric, Kid Congo Powers, etc.

Land of 1000 Dances (2011 – present) – randomly at prestigious venues like Le Poisson Rouge, South Street Seaport, 92 Y, etc. Many years in the making in terms of research and development, this is a dance party that is also a dance class – where you can learn the dance craze steps of the 1960s while you get down. Dance demonstrators show you the moves and visuals give you the cues while Mr. JT lays down the original recordings for you to pony like bonie maronie, hitch hike across the floor, pass the bug, and kill that roach…

New York Night Train Happening (2007 – present) andomly in NYC and on the road – visuals by Spencer Bewley, go go dancing by Anna Copa Cabanna, DJ-ing by Jonathan Toubin and guests – plus live bands and performance artists – a more elegant Exploding Plastic Inevitable for our times w/guest performers like HEALTH, King Khan & the BBQ, Quintron and Ms. Pussycat, Chain and the Gang, Calvin Johnson, Gibby Haynes, etc etc etc…

Polyglot Discotheque (2009 – present) – randomly at Secret Project Robot, Live With Animals, and Zebulon on the west coast – featuring dancing to trippy international 60s freakbeat, psych, etc w/Toubin and Josh Styles (Smashed! Blocked!), visuals, go go dancers, etc.

Boogie Night (2010 – present) – randomly – an exclusively electric boogie and blues get-down featuring Mr. Jonathan Toubin and a live band

James Brown Night (2011 – present) – randomly, James Chance and the J.C.'s play all James Brown covers live and Jonathan Toubin turns dozens of original 45s written, produced, and/or performed by James Brown…

some press quotes:

"Jonathan Toubin is the only person we can call a "professional DJ" without making a jack-off motion with our hand… And his parties are like what Ancient Stonehenge was like if it was, as archeologists theorize, filled with people dressed many times better than you completely losing their shit." – Mike de Leon, Vice

"DJ Jonathan Toubin is creating his own kind of dance revolution" – Araceli Cruz, Village Voice

"New York Night Train's Jonathan Toubin throws the raddest underground rock parties in New York" – Alexander Thompson, Paper Magazine
Venue Information:
Baby's All Right
146 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
http://babysallright.com/