Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Next Gig: "THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING" - a night of tributes to Tom Waits

Instead of a postcard or a flyer with a cool photo on it, here's a massively huge blurb for the next gig tonight 8/4 10pm at The Rum House near Times Square. We'll be paying tribute to everyone's favorite booze soaked poet/troubadour (and actor!) Tom Waits. There is absolutely no cover whatsoever. Isn't that nice?

Expect well-crafted cocktails, a bit of a neo-vaudeville spark from the emcee Mr. Jonny Porkpie the Burlesque Mayor of New York City (how nice of him to keep his clothes on for this one) and some sort of emotional spontaneous combustion at the mic -- at least, from me.


The Newest Old Cocktail Lounge in Times Square
announces the first event in its new "Bespoke Music" series THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING, a night of tributes to the music of Tom Waits led by Benjamin Ickies (This Ambitious Orchestra, Oh! You Pretty Things) and JC Hopkins (Grammy-nominated songwriter, JC Hopkins Biggish Band). It will be the first event of its kind held at the new Rum House since the bar opened under the supervision of the Gentlemen of Ward III earlier this year.

"Since Rum House reopened, customers have enjoyed their bespoke cocktails to the sound of incredible pianists tickling the ivories almost every night of the week," says Jonny Porkpie, who curates the entertainment menu. "And we've been thrilled with the quality and variety of talent that have come through. Now, we're excited to start hosting some larger events in addition to our regular programming, and a celebration of Tom Waits' mixture of old-school showmanship with bourbon-soaked lyricism was the perfect kickoff."

The event features the talents of two of The Rum House's favorite entertainers, Benjamin Ickies and JC Hopkins. Hopkins and Ickies will take turns at the piano, accompanied by a fabulous array of special guests, musicians and vocalists including DeWitt Fleming Jr, Shien Lee (Dances of Vice), Mamie Minch, John Presnell, Queen Esther, Eric Schmalenbeger (House of Yes) and Sylvester Schneider (Zum Schnieder). Mr. Porkpie, in a rare fully-clothed appearance, hosts the evening.

THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING begins at 10:00pm on Thursday, August 4. There is no cover for the event. The event kicks off the "Bespoke Music" event series, which focuses on the work of a different musician or genre each month. The next event will be in September. The Rum House Entertainment Menu is presented Monday through Saturday nights, with cocktail hour
entertainment Monday through Thursday 6pm - 8pm and late night entertainment Wednesday 8pm - 10pm and Thursday through Saturday starting at 9:30pm.


JC Hopkins is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer. His band, The JC Hopkins Biggish Band, worked with the likes of Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Elvis Costello, Justin Bond and Martha Wainwright. A working habitué of jazz dives, burlesque clubs and seedy piano bars, Hopkins honed his songwriting and musical chops in these colorful surroundings, gaining inspiration for the original material that comprises the majority of his band's swinging repertoire.

Bay Area native Benjamin Ickies moved to New York to study accordion with William Schimmel (featured on the Tom Waits albums Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years) in lieu of college. Thanks to his tutelage in rock, tango and cabaret, Ickies now directs several music ensembles in NYC and performs in many more. As a bandleader, he conducts the symphonic rock band This Ambitious Orchestra, co-produces the quarterly glam rock series Oh! You Pretty Things and on Tuesdays can be seen at the Griffin running the band for the cabaret Cafe Panache.

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