Mystery Spot Antiques’ free Music for Front Porches series kicks off its 2013 season with a special acoustic performance by Alessi’s Ark (Alessi Laurent-Marke) this coming weekend. We’re thrilled that Alessi is flying over from London for a US tour in support of her wonderful new album The Still Life, and that her first stop will be the Catskills hamlet of Phoenicia NY, to perform on our front porch on Saturday, June 1st. The music starts at 1 PM and all are welcome.
As with all of the shows presented by the Mystery Spot these past few seasons, it’s absolutely FREE, made possible through DIY/grassroots efforts and the generosity of the performers. All are invited.
Alessi Laurent-Marke, photo by Rebecca Miller
Furthermore, as part of the Mystery Spot’s sister musical project, Dittypalooza!, Alessi wrote and recorded a delightful Mystery Ditty in her London bedroom, which you can hear at this link:
Mystery Spot by Alessi’s Ark.
Says Alessi: “I found the chords on the guitar immediately after looking through the beautiful photographs of the Mystery Spot’s nooks and crannies. I was blown away at just how fast the song revealed itself – – it must be down to the Mystery! I tried to imagine the scent and atmosphere of the shop, its surrounding environment and how the floorboards sound as visitors wander around. A gem.”
Alessi first began writing and performing at the age of sixteen, and was quickly signed to Virgin/EMI, recording her debut album Notes from the Treehouse (produced by Mike Mogis/Bright Eyes) when she was eighteen. In fact, Mystery Spot proprietress/artist Laura Levine was commissioned by the record label to paint the album’s cover art, which is how she and Alessi first met.
"Notes from the Treehouse" album cover artwork by Laura Levine
Travel, adventure and personal revelation mark the body of work by Alessi Laurent–Marke. Now the ripe old age of 22, having performed with Robyn Hitchcock and toured with Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons, Alessi’s newest album, The Still Life, is a work both lucid and heartbreakingly lovely, a sonic landscape that roams a wide range of emotions, with (as the songwriter explains), “Nature and love, as common threads”.
‘The Still Life’ is out now in the U.S via Bella Union.
Now in its 12th season, Mystery Spot Antiques is a ramshackle (but surprisingly organized) vintage shop run by artist/photographer Laura Levine, housed in a former 1800’s hotel on the Main Street of Phoenicia, NY in the Catskill Forest Preserve.
Long a favorite haunt of vintage clothing lovers and vinyl diggers, Homer and Langley’s Mystery Spot Antiques is the kind of vintage shop you didn’t think existed anymore. Part museum/part odditorium, every nook and cranny of its seven rooms is packed to the rafters with 100% vintage goodness. Named after the world’s most famous hoarders – and role models – the Collyer Brothers (who were tragically crushed under their 136 ton accumulation of “collectibles”), this unusual and beloved “shrine to clutter” is home to an amazing array of hand-picked vinyl records, tons of vintage clothing, Forties housewares, antiquarian art books, Rusticalia, mid-century lighting and found objects, and draws fans and repeat customers from all over. Even when the doors are closed, customers with a yen to shop at 3 AM are welcome to dig through the dollar record bins and famous Yard Sale in a Box on the front porch, with an honor money drop at your service.
Proprietress Laura Levine, a Soho-based artist/filmmaker/ photographer, opened The Mystery Spot in 2001 as an outlet to contain the overflow of vintage items collected at weekend yard sales, flea markets and country auctions. In addition to her burgeoning career as a junkmonger, Levine is known primarily as a highly regarded photographer and documentarian of the downtown NYC music scene in the 1980s and early 90s. She was the chief photographer and photo editor of the New York Rocker and shot for numerous publications at that time including the Village Voice and the New York Times. As an artist, her primary focus has since evolved into a cross-disciplinary visual practice spanning painting, illustration and animation to directing music videos and documentary film. She has published three children’s books and she made her directorial debut at at the Sundance Film Festival. Levine’s photographs have most recently been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Steven Kasher Gallery, and the Brooklyn Museum, and are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.
Previous Music for Front Porches performances have featured Mercury Rev and Dean + Britta, Laura Cantrell, Gail Anne Dorsey, Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan (Uncle Monk), Ida, Ambrosia Parsley and Holly Miranda, to name just a few.
Upcoming Dittypalooza! Mystery Ditties this season include new releases written for and about The Mystery Spot by Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate/Baseball Project), Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), and David Fair (Half Japanese). You can hear previously released ditties (Holly Miranda, Ambrosia Parsley and Uncle Monk) at www.dittypalooza.com. Again, all free to download!
Travel note: As always, please contact us first if you’re planning to come from a distance, just to make sure there are no last-minute scheduling changes.
Mystery Spot Antiques
72 Main Street
Phoenicia, NY 12464
June Hours: Fridays – Sundays, 11 – 5
Summer Hours starting in July: Thursdays – Mondays, 11 – 5