TVD Live: Jozef van Wissem and Woodsman at Baby’s All Right, 9/1

We happened to stop by Baby’s All Right Monday just to say hey to a friend who was tending the bar (we swear we go other places, but it is definitely becoming our favorite NYC venue right now). We knew a little something about Jozef van Wissem, mainly that he had scored the Jim Jarmusch film, Only Lovers Left Alive which we have both wanted to see but have not.

We had no designs on the evening, allowing us to relax into soundscape bliss. The main takeaway: Jozef van Wissem is INCREDIBLE. He masterfully plucked and picked this wild, double necked looking lute.

He played hypnotic rounds adding and subtracting notes gradually, shifting seamlessly in and out of various melodies and movements. It is reminiscent of the Indian system of playing music as broken down in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, a must read for the psychedelically inclined.

Towards the end of his performance he walked out into the crowd and played for each person, wanting each of us to hear and experience the true tone of his instrument. Bowing toward each of us, he honored his lute and perhaps us for sharing this moment with him. It was an intimate moment we felt quite lucky to have witnessed.

There was a super tall fellow in a floral straight-brimmed baseball cap really feeling the evening’s music, but especially Jozef. He had a definite hip hop swagger, and when Jozef announced that he is featured on a new album out Tuesday 9/2, we suspected it might be with this guy. Indeed, Homeboy Sandman releases Hallways on Stones Throw Records this week with a track produced by and featuring Jozef van Wissem. It is coming out on vinyl, so look out for it.

Woodsman has a pretty classic Krautrock thing going on, think CAN and Neu!, and some of us sat on the floor, closed our eyes and let the sound wash over. We’d never heard of them before, but really enjoyed their performance and upon a little investigation they have a pretty impressive discography.

The show brought me (Peg) back fondly to 2003-2006 days; I guess I used to go to more vocal-less shows then. It got me reminiscing about a Black Dice show at Knitting Factory in winter ’03/’04 and Growing at Tonic, maybe in 2005, both really made me feel like I was on ecstasy. Also, this noise festival Thurston Moore put together at the old N 6th. I remember sitting on those Astroturf stair/bleacher things and being forced to completely surrendered my mind to the wall of sound or go mad, but once I did, my thoughts melted away and there was a profound peace. No joke. It was heavy.

Both Woodsman and Jozef van Wissem took us on musical journeys, preparing waves of sound for us to ride, building, building in volume and intensity and then to pull back, dropping off the cliff and together we floated back down to the bottom, woke up and applauded.

Thank you to them both for the Labor Day nostalgia.

PHOTOS: Woodsman, Christopher Hall | Jozef van Wissem, Christina Domingues

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