We had a blast playing the Hoot on the Hudson at Little Stony Point Park in early September. Despite threats from the clouds, the day turned out warm and dry – particularly the sun gleaming in our eyes as we launched into our half-hour set. We started with”Hum” for the first time. Great crowd. Lovely Day. Lots of other great musicians on the bill. Here are some images so you can feel like you were there:
The sunset couldn’t have been more beautiful from the patio of Bank Square Coffee House in Beacon on Saturday, August 17, 2013. That was the setting for the first show we arranged and produced ourselves. The crowd was near capacity and excited as we rocked out an entire set of original tunes (no covers allowed at Bank Square) running close to hour. Our special guests, The Unnameable, opened with Robert Lopez and David Hollander on vocals and guitar. They were awesome.
It was early. It was cold. But we were hot. Sophia, Margaret & Neal played the 2013 Maple Syrup Day festivities on a bright and sunny Sunday morning in March at Little Stony Park in Cold Spring. Lots of fun. As Margaret put it: “My favorite gig ever!”
On Mother’s Day 2013, we played a private performance at the annual “Welly-Chucking Party” at our friends Sarah & Steven’s place. We got there out of the goodness of our heart, having put ourselves up for auction to raise money for St. Philips Nursery School in Garrison. One never knows who’s going to show at the social event of the season: This year the crowd included Bob Dylan’s bass player/band leader, who had nothing but nice things to say…
Laminated Menu had its first-ever gig as a foursome – fourtet? – on May Day 2012 for Screen-Free Week at Haldane Elementary School. Very cool venue – the historic Chapel of our Lady Restoration overlooking the Hudson in Cold Spring – and a packed house of kids and their parents. So what if we were a bit rough around the edges…that our music isn’t quite suited for the elementary school set…that we should’ve limited ourselves to maybe 10 songs…that we had a pre-schooler on stage tapping Candace’s drums…and that half the audience had scampered out to play along the banks of the Hudson by halfway through the show. The other half stayed and we picked up a buncha new fans.
In November 2011, Sophia & Neal played a well-recieved gig at Market Market Cafe in Rosendale, NY. We went on quite late on a cold Friday evening, playing our whole set as the opening act for I’m Better Now, a now-defunct (sigh) punk band from Beacon, NY. Cool restaurant, enthusiastic crowd, fantastic Bi Bim Bop (musicians ate free!), and a very late return home at, like, 2:00am. We hope to play Market Market again soon…
Our first show in the NYC. Sophia & Neal took the stage at The Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village on October 13, 2011 – the first of four acts for the evening and the only one to play before a full house. We played our whole set – including “October” – but left out “Lush Despair” because somebody…er, uh…neglected to put it on the set list. It was a great show before an enthusiastic crowd speckled with friends. So what if it felt like we were playing played a million miles an hour? We’d hit the stage in the BIG CITY and survived!
So, here’s how the story of our In the Pines appearance goes: Sophia sent our EP to her friend Josh, then the drumming for the punk trio I’m Better Now. Josh listened to it once and called his friend Steven Clair: “You have to put Laminated Menu on the line up at In the Pines.” A few weeks later, on July 16, 2011, Sophia & Neal were on stage at the Theatre at the University Settlement Camp in Beacon, opening the show for a handful of bands including I’m Better Now, The Nelsonvillians, Robbers on High Street, The Erin Hobson Compact and Schwervon! The audience was small but supportive, especially Major Matt Mason and Nan Turner, the guitarist and drummer, respectively, of Schwervon!, who encouraged us to approach The Sidewalk Cafe in Manhattan for a gig. Four months later we were on stage there, too.
Over the summer of ’11, Sophia & Neal did a few sidewalk performances on Main Street in Beacon, NY, including two Music on the Squares. We opened for The Lonely at the first, playing our whole set for a well-attended performance right across the street from the Yankee Clipper Diner. For the second, we opened for The Edukated Fleas, a ukelele swing duo, and attracted our first-ever air guitar-slinging audience member, who followed his performance with a request for Ave Maria.
We also played the Beacon Car Show on Main Street, if for no other reason than to cross “play a car show” off our to-do list. The set sounded great.
On May 13, 2010, Laminated Menu hit the big time for the first time with a Listening Room appearance at Whistling Willie’s in Cold Spring. We were one of three openers on bill and were able to squeeze in three songs before the featured act. The organizer, Kathleen Pemble, billed us as “NoBro Intelli-Pop” – not bad. Of note: Our future drummer, Candace Cole, was in the audience. So was our future producer, Greg Remillard, who commented on the shades of Velvet Underground he hear in our music. Here’s the photo we snapped for the poster: