Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist w/ over a decade of experience. Lover of good music, fringe movies, day baseball & chicken shawarma. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
When New York City indie folk rock band A Brief View of the Hudson toured in support of their new album, Querencia, they ran into some interesting situations, like being on a bill with metal bands, and a surprise slumber party with an exotic dancer, and that was just one night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Singer Ann Enzminger remembers the evening, saying that for the show “we were sandwiched between four heavy metal bands, like thrash metal bands, two on each side.” The metal crowd, however, loved A Brief View of the Hudson. “We had a bunch of 16 to 21 year olds that were really getting into it,” she recalls, “they were really participatory.” Bassist Joel Herzig felt it was the “best show of the tour.”
The band, which also includes guitarist and singer Nick Nace, crashed on random people’s couches for the entire tour, and that night they hung out with the roommate of the girl they were staying with, as well as another couch surfer. Things became interesting when the other resident of the apartment arrived home. Nace replays the evening, saying, “She rolled in about 3:30am, and it turned out she was an exotic dancer. She rolls in with the DJ from the dance club and some other guy. They wanted to hang out and get down all night long, and we’re just sitting there, tired and burned out.”
Herzig jokes that crashing with an exotic dancer led to A Brief View getting an “extended view.”
This was not the first tour experience for A Brief View of the Hudson, whose name is derived from the part of the ride on the 1 train between 125th Street and 137th Street when the train goes above ground and passengers get a brief view of the Hudson River. This was, however, an especially important tour for the band, as Querencia is an album that had been ten years in the making.
“We had some false starts,” Enzminger explains, “it wasn’t from a lack of trying.” Even as the years went by, and the album continued to experience setbacks, Nace says, “There was never a time when it was not gonna happen.”
Querencia finally saw the light of day this January. The title has a dual meaning as the word querencia can be loosely translated as the place where you’re your most authentic self, and is also a bullfighting term for the place in the ring where the bull goes to regain its strength.
The album, as a whole, is steeped in honesty, because, according to Nace, it’s that honesty that originally drew him to folk music. He describes the genre, saying, “It’s from the heart, and it’s down home, and it’s just genuine. It’s just genuine music, saying genuine things, and with usually very genuine people attached to it.”
A Brief View of the Hudson’s genuineness was rewarded at their album release party, for which they had a packed house at Lower East Side venue Bowery Electric.
The Lower East Side has long been a performance home for A Brief View of the Hudson. They opened for the Tell Your Friends! comedy show, which takes place in the LES, every Monday night for five years. Now, with some of the comedians from Tell Your Friends! hitting it big, including Reggie Watts, and Kristen Schaal, a movie on it has been made, and the band was involved in that project, as well, writing the theme song, doing the soundtrack, and appearing in the film. In addition to being a great experience, Nace says, “it paid for our plane tickets to go on a little mini tour of Europe.”
This past week Nace, Enzminger, and Herzig returned home from their most recent tour, that of the metal bands and exotic dancer, and are looking to make sure it won’t be another ten year wait before fans hear another album from them. According to Nace, “We’re gonna take a couple weeks off, then go into the writing room, so to speak, and try to hash out another record, hopefully in the next year or so.” He pauses for a moment, then adds “that’s my fantasy, at least.”
If all goes well, this time around there will only be a brief wait to hear more from A Brief View of the Hudson, and then they can get back on the road. There’s an exotic dancer in Raleigh that’s probably still up for a good time, and has plenty of couch space available.
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.