Be All the Lee that You Can Be
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In an identity-obsessed and money-driven world, songwriter Lee Feldman's "Be Lee Franchise" hits a nerve and runs with it. Lee invites you to cast off the stress of your own daily concerns and discard your fears of identity theft by becoming Lee Feldman.
How can you do this? Visit Lee's website and watch the Infomercial! (www.leefeldman.com/belee.php). Make a donation and you can actually become Lee. You'll get a nice certificate, a copy of Lee's latest album I've Forgotten Everything, and you will be encouraged to perform a song of Lee's and post it online. It's quick, it's easy, and most important of all . . . it's safe.
On Sunday July 26th, artists from New York and beyond will celebrate this revolutionary way to take an "identity vacation" by becoming Lee on stage at Joe's Pub. Since many of Lee's songs can be classified as public acts of introspection, they will have plenty of material to work with, including tunes like "Lee Feldman" (which features Lee's Social Security Number), "If I Were You" and "Mr. Feldman," a fantasy as told by a nursing home resident. (See the listing below for a complete roster of guest artists.)
For more than 25 years, people have been beguiled, amused, provoked, and moved by Lee Feldman's songs, which he typically delivers himself from the piano bench. His sincere and unadorned vocal style has a great foil in his expressive, sometimes-meaty, sometimes-delicate playing. He rolls songs out, as one friend put it, like a "demented jingle mill," capturing the details of life and the dilemmas of existence in 3-minute songs that can include stride piano, waltzes, pop, rock, jazz and free improvisation.
With influences including Bartok and the Beatles, Miles, Monk and Morton Feldman (not related), Lee himself has inspired many artists. The BE * LEE * FESTIVAL presents some of these amazing musicians who love Lee and his work; they are all listed below.
A lifelong New Yorker, Lee has lived in Brooklyn for the past 22 years, and has released three albums: Living It All Wrong (Pure/Mercury); The Man in a Jupiter Hat (Mercury/Bonafide); and I've Forgotten Everything (Urban Myth), as well as a 30-minute animated musical STARBOY (www.starboy.us). A short documentary about Lee, called "Lee Feldman, Lee Feldman" can be viewed at Vimeo. Academy Award nominated director Bennett Miller ("Capote") says, "If you like Lee Feldman, you'll love 'Lee Feldman, Lee Feldman'."
Artists performing at the Be Lee Festival:
Jim Allen, Amy Allison, Alice Bierhorst, Dan Bryk, Peter Cherches, Kevin Corrigan, Dennis Cronin, David Feldman, Lee Feldman, Pete Galub, Greta Gertler, Henry Hample, Carol Lipnik, Chris Moore, Alon Nechushtan, Steve Swartz, Bob Windbiel.
SUNDAY, JULY 26th, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
425 Lafayette Place, NYC
Tickets: 212-967-7555 or www.joespub.com
"Lee Feldman uses a Tin Pan Alley bounce to make twisted or troubled situations sound like parlor songs." - The New York Times
"Reviving a bit of Brill Building artistry, this New York piano man makes you think and swoon and hum all at once." - Village Voice
"Lee Feldman plays the piano in just the dry, subtle, understated manner that his dry, subtle, understatedly hilarious songs call for." - Atlantic Monthly