Category Archives: Blog

January 2017

Announcement: January shows!

We’ve got a lot of shows coming up next month! We are joining our friends, Bag of Humans, from Baltimore, MD, for shows in NYC and DC and then for a tour in NC, and one in New Orleans! Details below.

January 5* – The Pinch, DC
January 6* – Fat Baby, NYC
January 11* – Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh, NC
January 12* – Test Pattern, Winston-Salem, NC
January 13* – New York Pizza, Greensboro, NC
January 14 – Town Pump Tavern, Black Mountain, NC
January 15* – Gasa Gasa, New Orleans, LA
January 20 – Shrine, NYC
January 21 – Silvana, NYC
February 4* – The Metro Gallery, Baltimore, MD
* with Bag of Humans

Then, after all of these shows, we are going to head to Mobtown Studios in Baltimore, MD again to start the third album, while we shop the second album, which is being mastered on January 9 at Salt Mastering, in Brooklyn, NY.

Where did September go? (and Slayer Jazz demo)

Hey everyone! We had an absolute blast playing in Maryland throughout this month! Highlights included:

-Sharing the stage with Dark Water Transit on their return show at the Crown, check them out here! They are part of the reason John moved to Baltimore, and his former band devL played with them a bunch of times in the early 00s.

-Playing two sets for a super fun crowd at Cafe Nola in Frederick MD in front of these groovy monster paintings:

-Meeting and hearing new Baltimore post-rock band Noema, and playing another show with our friends Paint and Yell at Metro Gallery.

-Meeting Defenders at the BARCS benefit at Mum’s in Fed Hills, those guys sounded great and we have another show set up with them already for Mum’s on Oct 29!

-Playing at the Goddess Jam in Frederick MD! An absolutely lovely event supporting women in music and arts.

As a bonus, here is the demo we did of Slayer Jazz earlier this year, hope you enjoy!

-Anna

JOF&Diff copy

Greensboro Going Away Show at the Carolina Theater!

JOF&Diff copy

This Saturday, we will be performing our “Going Away” show in Greensboro, NC before we move to New Jersey! It will be at the beautiful performance space in the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. Opening for us is The Difficulties, which features the poet Brian Lampkin, who we have collaborated on for Night of the Night Sticks.

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, you can get them and more info here: https://carolinatheatre.com/event/joy-fire-difficulties/

 

 

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Joy On Fire to Host May Residency at SoHo’s Cupping Room Café

JOY ON FIRE will host an artist residency at SoHo’s Cupping Room Café, playing two sets every Friday in May. This residency occurs in conjunction with the completion of their second album You Will Awaken Now. They will be performing songs from You Will Awaken Now as well as from their self-titled debut and their soon-to-be-begun third album (recording to start on July 31 at Baltimore’s Mobtown Studios).

JoyOnFire HiRes GroupPieces range in style and texture from epic (“The Complete Book of Bonsai, Part Two”) to punk (“Kung-Fu Tea Party”) to jazz (“World Systems”) to punk-jazz (“Punk-Jazz 3000”) to dub (“Double Dub”) to combat-rock (“Night of the Night Sticks”). All feature the innovative soloing of Anna Meadors on saxophone (alto, baritone, and often both in the same song), the fluid rock-to-jazz-back-to-rock styling of drummer and percussionist Chris Olsen, and the riff- and effects-driven chordal bass playing of John Paul Carillo.

As well as the four Cupping Room Café shows, JOY ON FIRE will be playing additional May shows in Raleigh NC, Peekskill NY, Annapolis MD, Frederick MD, Boston MA, Long Island NY, Baltimore MD, and more TBA.

These May shows are a doorway to JOY ON FIRE becoming a New York-area band (JoF was formed in Baltimore in 2009 and was a North Carolina-based band from 2013 to 2016), as Anna has been accepted to Princeton University’s Ph.D. in Music Composition Program (congratulations Anna!), and Anna and John will take up residency near Chris in central New Jersey for at least the next five years.

JOY ON FIRE will add more regular shows in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Jersey City, Hoboken, and the Hudson Valley to the rest of their East Coast circuit and will be venturing forth to new spots in Pennsylvania, New England, and beyond.

The Cupping Room Café is located in the heart of SoHo and is one of the oldest and most classic restaurants in the area. Established in 1977, The Cupping Room Café has a proud history of offering delicious food along with a full bar and gourmet coffee bar. Artwork from local artists hangs on their gallery walls, and their long-running Music Without Borders series spotlights local and touring bands every week. You can find The Cupping Room Café at 359 West Broadway at Broome Street, New York, NY 10013. The JOY ON FIRE artist residency is open to all ages and there is no cover charge. Music begins promptly at 8:00 p.m. every Friday in May.

Special thanks to Donna Moncur of Donna Shoots Photography for the collage above, created from her photos of last year’s residency at The Winery at St. George in Mohegan Lake, NY.

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The Cupping Room Café
359 West Broadway at Broome Street, NYC
www.cuppingroomcafe.com
Every Friday in May (5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27)
8-11 pm / free admission / all ages

Snowy-Peekskill

Joy on Fire @ Division Street Guitars Tomorrow!

Joy on Fire will return to Division Street Guitars in Peekskill, NY, on Friday, January 8, 2016. This will be the band’s third visit to the unassuming axe shop that’s creating a red-hot scene for new music and raging all-ages shows. And Peekskill is ready – JoF’s shows are becoming the stuff of legend in town.

It all started one wintry night in early 2015. The snow was insane, an all-out blizzard, the driving was treacherous, the band navigated Rte. 202 up past the Bear Mtn. Bridge and narrowly avoided the thousand-foot-death-plunge into the Hudson. Most everyone in town figured the show would be rescheduled, but JoF showed up, and a crowd of intrepid partiers brought in some hooch & mixers and danced the night away as Joy on Fire blazed. It was Division Street’s inaugural show of their now-established concert series, and Joy on Fire set the tone mightily.

June brought much better weather. The restaurants & cafes were packed and the bar crowds spilled out onto the sidewalks. It seemed like everyone in town was out for a good time. And when Joy on Fire launched into their set, those crowds streamed into the guitar shop, packing the house with an energy that people heard and felt and followed from blocks away. Folks who were introduced to JoF that night have followed the band to every show they’ve done in the area since.

Tomorrow, Friday, January 8, Joy on Fire will help Peekskill set the tone for a whole new year of raucous good times. The holidays are over and now the serious fun begins. Doors open at 7:30 – $5 admission – all ages. Joy on Fire will be joined by The Tall Whites and NCM.

Division Street Guitars, 36 N. Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566

Cloud Club Night

Joy on Fire at The Cloud Club (and after (and before))

We had decided to make a few changes in our set list after walking around the courtyard of Boston’s celebrated and magical Cloud Club. Cloud Club Fire EscapeThe spirit of the place had put us in a different mood. The evening’s events were being held outside, and we wanted our music—at least for the opening half of the set—to cohere with the wild, overflowing city garden we’d be playing in front of. As I walked around the brick paths before the night’s music began, I noticed the artistic touches in the garden’s construction—hobby horses stuck onto iron gates covered with ivy; Greco-Roman plaster heads, also covered in ivy; heads carved from coconuts that sprouted flowers; huge spheres of light that appeared, from a distance, to be floating in mid air—and this feeling of delight continued as the evening’s events began. Cloud Club OrbMali, singer/songwriter/pianist for Jaggery, who had organized the show, began the music with a wonderful song for bells and voice she had written especially for the event (ironically, the metaphorical conceit of the piece concerned weather). Three very good short films were shown. Folk artist Josh Cole passed out percussion instruments as he played his set. Valerie Kuhn’s new cello/violin/vocal project Naked Roots Conducive featured the hilarious lines: “When the Demon comes/It’s time to grow up/When the Demon comes/It’s time to shut the fuck up.” As much as I like these lines, and laughed out loud from the back of the courtyard when Val sang them, I blame Val—or thank her, as the case may be—for what happened next.

Joy on Fire was the closing act of the night, and as we were plugging in and tuning up, Mali ran up to us and said, “It’s going to rain! It may start in an hour, or it may start—” and then we felt the first drop.

The decision to move the show inside was pretty swift. Within ten minutes, the show had changed from a garden party to a basement punk rock blowout. The change of vibe required a change of set, and we stomped into our driving opener, “Le Phant.” It worked, and the energy was good. By the time we got to our closer, “Punk Jazz,” the Demon came, and I stopped the song in the middle to yell at everyone because they weren’t dancing. “This is dance music!” By the time we picked it back up, I had shut the fuck up, and most everyone in the room—including the band (excluding the artist who had been and still was painting a picture of us as we played)—was dancing. So we played one more song—untitled but with the working title “Disco Metal”—as the garden-party-turned-punk-house-show-turned-dance-riot was almost complete.

Cloud Club NightWe were on the road by midnight, headed on Interstate 90 back to the Hudson Valley to demo a new tune with engineer Jesse Melito; to the Hudson Valley, where we’d played two shows booked by our friend Corinna Makris only 24 hours before….

-John Paul Carillo

Joy on Fire at the Storied Grounds of Tompkins Square Park

After seven weeks away from our home in Greensboro, North Carolina, Anna and I finally came home in early July. Looking back at all the good gigging and recording and jamming that Anna, Chris, and I did in the Northeast from May to June, the gig that stands out for me is International Make Music Day, June 27, which, for Joy on Fire, and thanks to Corinna Makris, who acquired the permit (this permit plays an important role in the story), took place in Tompkins Square Park, NYC.

As per circumstances—an early morning uncancellation of the gig due to sunshine after a late-night cancellation due to thunderstorms, Chris’s car being in the shop, etc.—we got a late start, and with the gas generator pull-started and roaring and coughing and spewing exhaust and creating a rhythm all its own while powering our amps, we were set up and ready to play by 2:40pm. A crowd had already begun to form, and in this crowd, beside the street punks, weed dealers, families eating ice-cream, and at least one guy on a unicycle, was a man who worked for the NYC Parks Department. He asked if we had a permit. Corinna was ready for him and brandished the permit. “This is only good to three o’clock,” he said. “You’ll have to shut down by three.” We debated this, but he was insistent. It was now 2:45. With wide eyes we looked at each other. This was surely a lot of set-up and all kinds of other work for a fifteen-minute gig. On the other hand, it definitely created a sense of urgency.

We brought this urgency into our playing and blasted into a stomping version of our opening number, “Le Phant.” By the time we were done with our second tune, “The Spider’s House,” the crowd had grown to twice its original size, photos were being snapped, and people were taking videos and dancing—and we had two minutes left to play. We only have one piece that fits this short format, so Anna switched from alto to baritone sax as quickly as she could, and we played “Punk Jazz,” a tune with a head, a solo, and then the head again, and that’s it.

It was now three. The Parks Department Guy was nowhere to be seen. With the crowd’s encouragement (they knew the score) and to their enjoyment, we kept playing. By the time we made it to “Disco Metal,” the last song in our set, Parks Department Guy, with his arms crossed, was once again part of the audience. Though he insisted on cutting us off as per his badge, he seemed to enjoy what he heard, and when it was all over, the members of the crowd dispersing on their ways to the rest of their New York City days, we gave him a CD.

-John Paul Carillo

A unique shape?

Sam Smith just lost his case for copyright infringement because he stole the tune from Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” But the controversy’s not over, because copyright infringement wasn’t the controversy in the first place. The real controversy is: Why is “Stay With Me” up for a Grammy at all?

Smith can sing, I guess, but the song shape is boring, and the production is mawkish. Jimmy Page, no stranger to lawsuits of this type, and recently sued by the band Spirit for supposedly ripping off the opening of “Stairway to Heaven,” defends himself in these cases by basically saying “My composition has a unique shape.”

Does this idea — a unique shape — even make sense to your average contemporary listener? Probably not, and that’s too bad….

Here’s a short YouTube video I found overlaying both songs for just the first few bars. Enough to show the similarities and the differences. What do you think?