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Nels Cline Trio at The Stone

by Nate Eckstrom

From the outside, it looks like a closed bodega. One panel of corrugated steel is raised enough, however, to admit a small gathering of Lower East Side artistes and artiste hangers-on. If it weren’t for this tiny crowd, I wouldn’t have had the guts to stick my head inside and see if this really was where the Nels Cline Trio was playing. The place is called The Stone, and if it looks cold, rock-like and run-down on the outside, don’t be fooled, it’s only a front.

Living in the Lower East Side, I’ve become used to knocking on innocuous looking doors, freight elevators, and even the classic bookshelf, to gain entry to elite, and generally short-lived hot spots. The Stone is not your average insider hide-out. It’s well-lit on the inside, with folding chairs and bare, art gallery white walls. There were almost as many microphones and video cameras as there were eyes in the room. All pointed to the center of the floor, and a huge pile of guitars, harps, foot switches, pedals, moog machines, and other instruments of sonic destruction.

The exhibit for the night stood in the little available foot space, waiting for the signal from curator Bruce Lee Gallanter. Nels Cline closed his eyes and braced himself against his guitar, and Zeena Parkins laid her fingers on the strings of her harp. This was the scaled down version of the Nels Cline Trio. Nels is perhaps best known as the new guitarist in Wilco, but he keeps himself busy in between their concert and recording schedule. The cameras rolled, and they spent the next hour and a half smashing sounds from every available piece of wood, wire, circuitry and even a huge nail file.

The Stone, on the northwest corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street is open every night, with sets at 8 and 10 PM. Entry is usually 10 dollars, and it is strictly first come, first served.


Blogger ec said...

I can't believe I missed this show!! Completely slipped my mind. This gig had nothing to do with The Nels Cline Trio, btw. The Trio has gone to R.I.P. - Nels more recent band in The Nels Cline Singers. He collaborates with Zeena alot, but she had nothing to do with either The Trio or The Singers. Next time give more details about the actual gig & the music for us lamos that missed it!!

1/09/2007 2:13 AM  

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