A Night of Storied Music with Adele Bertei
w/ Eszter Bailent and her band and DJ Delphine Blue spinning
Band: Gail Ann Dorsey, Bette Sussman, Ava Mendoza and Barbara Merjan
+ special guests include Tammy Faye Starlight and others, + surprise guest
Punk chanteuse rocker Adele Bertei returns to New York City in the fall of 2016 to debut a set of original songs she’ll be performing for the first time. Bertei starred in Lizzie Borden’s feminist sci-fi classic Born in Flames (link to New Yorker article), and was a founding member of the original Contortions. She was lead singer in the first out-gay female band The Bloods, featured singer on international pop hits with Jellybean Benitez and Thomas Dolby, and she sang and toured with artists like Whitney Houston, Debbie Harry, Tears for Fears, Culture Club, Arthur Baker, and many others. Her new shows will feature an all-female band; Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie and Lenny Kravitz bassist), Bette Sussman, (Whitney Houston’s MD and keyboard player), and Ava Mendoza, avante virtuoso guitarist, with the incredible Barbara Merjan on drums. Special guests will include Eszter Balint on violin and Tammy Faye Starlight, with a special surprise guest or two. Bertei sold out both Joe’s Pub and the Bowery Electric the last time she played NYC in 2010. Her appearances are very rare, incendiary, and not to be missed.
Opener Eszter Balint and her band will be performing songs from her releases Flicker, Mud and her most recent release, Airless Midnight. She currently accompanies Tammy Faye Starlight on violin, and can be seen in a featured role in Louis CK’s Louie, Season 4.
New York City’s own DJ Delphine Blue will be spinning an eclectic set before, between and after live music. Delphine is the host of The Rest is Noise on East Village Radio.
If you lived in downtown New York City during the late 1970s and were a fan of new music, the odds are you encountered Adele Bertei. She was a member of seminal No Wave band The Contortions and could be seen performing and hanging out at the Mudd Club, Pep Lounge and CBGB’s, along with a formidable number of musicians and artists that made those clubs their second homes.
Petite and powerful, Bertei is a renaissance woman, much like her hero Patti Smith, who can operate within the worlds of music, literature, dance and film with a fine-tuned ferocity and grace. Moving from the unhinged funk of The Contortions to dance floor hits produced by Jelly Bean Benitez, Arthur Baker and Thomas Dolby weren’t no big thang for the mercurial Bertei. The transition from No Wave to New Wave and disco may have had a commercial design but Bertei did it all without selling her soul. Along with a number of downtown bands (Blondie, Talking Heads) she expanded her range, infiltrating the discotheques with bohemian raps riding big beats. Even her slicker stuff had a knowing quality that said “I can do this stuff too. So, why not.”
“She’s developed into a very fine writer – precise, heartfelt, tough and delicate. Her life story is the story of a city in flux and the people who rode the crest of a very tumultuous pop culture wave. Her early years alone include a stint as Brian Eno’s personal assistant through the Contortions and her all-girl band The Bloods to being a major label artist and collaborator with musicians as diverse as Matthew Sweet, Lydia Lunch, John Lurie, Scritti Politti and Sparks.
-Marc Campbell, DANGEROUS MINDS
In addition to three critically acclaimed solo releases, Flicker, Mud, and last year’s much praised Airless Midnight, Eszter has appeared on a number of notable recordings as violinist and/or vocalist, including on works by Dayna Kurtz, Michael Gira’s Angels of Light and Swans and Marc Ribot’s Los Cubanos Postizos and Ceramic Dog. Most recently Eszter has been accompanying Tammy Faye Starlite on violin on her live performances of Nico:Underground, Cabaret Marianne, and Holy War: 2016 currently at Pangea.
Eszter grew up as a member of the avant-garde theater company Squat Theatre, and has appeared in starring and featured roles in films by Jim Jarmusch, Woody Allen, Steve Buscemi, alongside David Bowie, and most recently in Louis CK’s TV show Louie, Season 4.
“Miss Balint has her own film noir sensibility as a songwriter. She puts arty twists into back alley Americana,… but the cleverness is not the point. She slips inside her characters to project their restlessness and longing.”
-Jon Pareles, The New York Times
DJ Delphine Blue
Delphine is the host of The Rest is Noise on Little Water Radio.