Benjamin Lazar Davis (release show) feat. Cuddle Magic
Cuddle Magic, Bridget Kearney, Alec Spiegelman
325 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11238
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Benjamin Lazar Davis
Benjamin Lazar Davis is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and producer based in Brooklyn.His forthcoming full length album Nothing Matters — his very first as a solo artist — came out of an extensive period of touring followed by a difficult break up. To make the record, Davis spent all all of his money on instruments and recording gear, including drums and drum machines, both nylon and steel string acoustic guitars, an electric and an upright bass, a pump organ, a mellotron, a Moog, and an upright piano. He worked on the record every day, for 30 straight days, in his childhood bedroom at his parents’ house in Saratoga Springs, and once finished, he mixed it back in Brooklyn with his high school friend Luke Moellman (GGFO). Although there are no other performers on the record, many collaborations went into the writing of the album, including cowrites with Kimbra ("Right Direction"), Alex Toth of Rubblebucket and Alexander F ("Love Song Seven Ways," "Life Is Dangerous," and "Choosing Sides"), Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive ("Somebody's Speaking For Me"), singer-songwriter Taylor Ashton ("Brass Tacks"), award-winning poet Michael Gizzi ("Acquitted"), and his brother, a brilliant lyricist, Tim Davis. Benjamin Lazar Davis writes, records, and performs with Cuddle Magic, Joan as Police Woman, and Okkervil River, and he has worked with Anais Mitchell, Kimbra, Luke Temple, Jesse Harris, Henry Jamison, Wild Belle, Delicate Steve, Star Rover, Sam Amidon, Markus Acher (the Notwist), and Margaret Glaspy as a co-writer, side-musician, arranger, producer, studio musician, touring member, and band member in the past. While Nothing Matters grew out of Davis's desire to make music on his own in a life where he has been a chronic collaborator, the album evokes inspiration from all of these artists, and he considers it a culmination of his life's work. As he began work on the album, Davis found a photo of his father lounging beneath a hand-written sign that read "Nothing Matters," which eventually became the album's artwork; "It was taken in 1969 in Malawi Africa where he lived at the time. He taught me music growing up, and I think seeing that picture right before recording the record gave me a sense of letting go of all of the baggage that comes with making music and being in a relationship. When in the midst of the meditation of making the album, nothing matters. Just let the tape roll and the ideas flow..."Nothing Matters will be released on April 20 via 11A Records.
Cuddle Magic is a band from Brooklyn, NY. Bassist and guitarist Ben Davis and Christopher McDonald, who plays vibraphone and synthesizers, set out to perform some songs of theirs that included lyrics written by Ben's older brother, Tim Davis, with whom had been collaborating since early childhood. Their first, self-titled album, recorded in a practice room and an art gallery in just a handful of days, also featured clarinetist Alec Spiegelman's plaintive love songs and a dream-like ballad by singer Kristin Slipp. The band now plays songs by all four composers. Cole Kamen-Green and Dave Flaherty, who play trumpet-percussion and drums, respectively, have helped to define the band's quiet storm sound over their three albums. They play dance listening music that unfolds in waves of vocal harmony, contrapuntal brass and woodwinds, dense wordplay, and overlapping rhythmic cycles.
The members of Cuddle Magic have collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Beyonce, Anais Mitchell, Amanda Palmer, The David Wax Museum, Larkin Grimm, Mike & Ruthy, new music toy-piano virtuoso Phyllis Chen, Joan Wasser, Zeena Parkins, Rubblebucket, Darius Jones, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Jennifer Kimball, guitarist and composer Fred Frith, and legendary "third-stream" pianist Ran Blake. Members of Cuddle Magic can also be seen performing with Anais Mitchell & The Young Man Band, Larkin Grimm, Green & Glass, Lip Talk, Baby States, 2001, Twins of El Dorado, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Glaspy, People's Champs, Yapp!, Turkey Vultures, The Superpowers Horns, and many others.
American bassist, composer and vocalist
Alec Spiegelman is a Brooklyn-based musician, producer, and songwriter. He is a member of the band Cuddle Magic. As a sideman, on stage and in studio, he’s worked with numerous creative songwriters including Amanda Palmer, Anais Mitchell, Pokey LaFarge, and Will Sheff. He’s arranged and performed the wind instruments on countless recordings, among them three albums by The David Wax Museum, and Kristin Andreassen's Gondolier. He's produced recordings for Jennifer Kimball (formerly of The Story), Anna & Elizabeth, and the conceptual multi-media artist Jack Early. His musical-comedy project (with Kelly Roberge), Ronald Reagan - Boston's Premier 80s Pop Saxophone Duo, has shared stand-up stages with Eugene Mirman, Kristin Schaal, and Reggie Watts. His early musical education included lots of improvising in the jazz tradition (broadly defined), formal studies with Steve Lacy, Bob Moses, Bob Brookmeyer and Ran Blake, and a thorough (informal) grounding in r&b saxophone best-practices (a la Junior Walker) directed by Doo Wop survivor Little Joe Cook.