Archive for the ‘Dittypalooza!’ Category

Just Released: Steve Wynn’s (Dream Syndicate) “Mystery Spot” Ditty (free download)

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Our good pal Steve Wynn immediately hopped on board the Dittypalooza! train to whip up a great little theme song for Mystery Spot Antiques. Steve and Mystery Spot proprietress Laura Levine first met when she photographed the Dream Syndicate on a winter’s night in New York City in 1983. In fact the next night, after their NYC debut at the Mudd Club, there was such a blizzard that the band ended up crashing in her Chinatown apartment. They’ve been great friends ever since.

“Mystery Spot” by Steve Wynn (listen here)

Says Steve….“Necessary confession:  I have yet to visit the mystery spot though I have seen pictures and heard all about it from Laura who has been my pal for more than 30 years.  So, I feel I can connect to the vibe and my song hopefully gets across the feeling of wistful, playful, surprising and, yes, mysterious wonders to be found inside.  I hope to find out if my unseen impressions were in the ballpark when I visit sometime soon.”

Steve Wynn was a founding member of the Dream Syndicate who released the influential debut album “The Days of Wine and Roses” which came out in 1982. He is currently on tour with a reunited version of the band, performing that very album though the full circle has also included a prolific solo career and stops along the way with side projects like The Baseball Project, Danny & Dusty and Gutterball, amongst others.  He lives in Jackson Heights, New York.

You may have heard that the Dream Syndicate is playing their first North American show since 1988 at the Wilco Solid Sound Festival at Mass MOCA this Saturday June 22nd. You’re going, right?

Here’s a photo from our first session (of many to follow over the years), and a more recent photo of Steve next to the original photo at an exhibition of Levine’s work at the Steven Kasher Gallery.

Dream Syndicate, NYC, 1982 (left), Steve Wynn in front of said photograph, 2011 (right). Both photos by Laura Levine.

Alessi’s Ark in Phoenicia – today at 1 PM on the porch!

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Alessi’s Ark plays our porch this Saturday! (Free!)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

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 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
(845) 688-7868

June Hours: Fridays – Sundays, 11 – 5

Summer Hours starting in July: Thursdays – Mondays, 11 –  5

Dittypalooza! presents: Ambrosia Parsley!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The Mystery Spot’s Dittypalooza! is proud to present the Mystery Spot Spot from the one and only Ambrosia Parsley.

Yes, Miss Ambrosia roadies her own gear!

The newest contribution to Dittypalooza! comes from our friend, neighbor and longtime supporter-of-the-Spot Ambrosia Parsley. Her music has been featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (“Goodnight Moon”), she’s been flown to Moscow to perform for a multibajillioniares’ private party, and she’s been profiled in Vanity Fair. She’s also played free concerts on our humble porch (and baked cookies for entire audience),  has single-handedly kept our vintage maxi-dress section in the black, and roadies her own stage gear. But don’t be fooled by her gorgeous face and enchanting voice — the girl cusses like a sailor! So cover your young ones’ ears and take a listen to this latest, greatest, Mystery Spot Ditty:

“The Mystery Spot Spot” by Ambrosia Parsley (listen here)

(Written, produced, performed and recorded by Ambrosia Parsley and a bottle and a half of french rose’ at her kitchen table.)

Says Ambrosia, “We hope this little song of love and devotion will persuade Ms. Laura to stop yelling at me from her perch on the front porch when I walk by, reminding me how my son broke a cereal bowl that once belonged to Moses his self. Such are the things you’ll find at the Spot, the most magical and strange vintage shop on earth (tho if you’re looking for 50s peek-a-boo nighties, you best get up pretty early in the morning, ’cause most make their way to my closet in a flash).”

Ambrosia Parsley of Phoenicia, NY, is a recording artist and songwriter, mother, barber, moonshiner, clothes horse, and now, internationally renowned jingle writer. In the afterglow of this Mystery Spot spot, she hopes to expand her ad pursuits well beyond the vintage horizon, into pest control, maybe furniture liquidation. After serving as the voice and principal songwriter for Shivaree for four records over nearly a decade, Ambrosia is currently at work on her solo debut. Details can be found at

Steve Almaas, Phil Hernandez, Ambrosia Parsley and Chris Maxwell's MUSIC FOR FRONT PORCHES concert at The Mystery Spot on Phoenicia's Main Street.

As an extra treat, here’s a little off-the-cuff video we shot of Ambrosia and Chris when they were rehearsing a little song before one of their front porch shows a while back. Guest starring Captain Lou!

Who else has generously penned Odes to The Mystery Spot for Dittypalooza!?

Well, for starters, how about:

Howe Gelb (Giant Sand)

Alessi Laurent-Marke (Alessi’s Ark)

David Fair (Half Japanese)

Ambrosia Parsley (Shivaree)

Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate/Baseball Project)

Holly Miranda

Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan (Uncle Monk)

And there are more surprises yet to come!

Sign up for our mailing list (over there on the right —->) to be the first to hear the new songs, and check out the Dittypalooza! page where every month we’ll post a brand new original song inspired by The Mystery Spot, written and performed by our favorite musicians, along with photos, more details and quotes from the musicians about the songwriting process. Deepest thanks to the musicians who gave so much of their time and talent to contribute to our little experiment. Enjoy!

(all photos/video © Laura Levine).

Dittypalooza! is here!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Mystery Spot Antiques is proud to present…..Dittypalooza!

Join us as The Mystery Spot Celebrates its 11th Season with a Slate of Original Rock Star Ditties!

Click onto our Dittypalooza! link up top (or simply go to where every month we’ll post a brand new original song inspired by The Mystery Spot, written and performed by our favorite musicians.

We’re launching the series with a doubleheader by three of the best musicians/songwriters (and by the way, loyal Mystery Spot customers) we know, Holly Miranda and Uncle Monk (aka Tommy Erdelyi Ramone & Claudia Tienan).

They wrote and recorded their own personal Mystery Spot Ditties which you can hear here:

“The Mystery Spot” by Uncle Monk (Tommy Ramone  and Claudia Tienan (listen here)

“Mystery Spot” by Holly Miranda (listen here)

Who else has generously penned Odes to The Mystery Spot?

Well, for starters, how about:

Howe Gelb (Giant Sand)

Laura Cantrell

Alessi Laurent-Marke (Alessi’s Ark)

David Fair (Half Japanese)

Ambrosia Parsley (Shivaree)

Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate/Baseball Project)

Holly Miranda

Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan (Uncle Monk)

And there are more surprises yet to come!

So keep checking back, sign up for our mailing list to be the first to hear the new songs, and check out the Dittypalooza! page for photos, more details and quotes from the musicians about the songwriting process. Deepest thanks to the musicians who gave so much of their time and talent to contribute to our little experiment. Enjoy!