New Album KIM DAVID SMITH: LIVE AT JOE'S PUB to be Released in July
The new album Kim David Smith: Live at Joe's Pub will be released on digital and streaming platforms in addition to a physical CD on Friday, July 17. The provocative Australian singer and performer was nominated for the Helpmann Award, Australia's highest honor for the performing arts. For Smith's first live album, his musical devotion to the glitter, doom, and decadence of Weimar-era Berlin subtly intertwines Friedrich Hollaender and Kurt Weill with The Supremes, Kylie Minogue, sultry '80s pop confections, classic standards, art songs, and bracing new numbers. The album features music direction, piano, and backing vocals by Tracy Stark, in addition to Skip Ward on bass.
"Kim David Smith: Live at Joe's Pub is something of a greatest hits of my small-stage output," explains Smith, "incorporating music from 10 years of cabaret programs - including celebrations of my personal muses Kylie Minogue and Marlene Dietrich - and my own reimagined pop music from my dance albums Nova and Supernova. I'm very proud of my working relationship with music director Tracy Stark, and it means the world to have our exploits captured on an album, recorded at our beloved Joe's Pub at the Public. I'm especially excited about the cover art by fashion illustrator Clifford Faust, who has expressively captured the spirit of our music."
"With stages across the world currently shuttered due to the Coronavirus," he continues, "I'm grateful to be releasing this album now, and hope it lends a window into the musical and personal intimacy of cabaret. I sorely miss being on stage at my chief haunts in New York City: Joe's, Club Cumming, and the Neue Galerie. I miss the community, crowds, and conviviality overabundant at each venue."
The album's highlights include Smith's wry, theatrical take on "Dracula's Tango" - the campy chart hit from 1980s British new wave group Toto Coelo - which has been an essential part of his repertoire for years. "My mum worked as an aerobics instructor when I was young," he remembers. "She would play her class tapes in the car when we were running errands. 'Dracula's Tango' was my favorite of her workout songs, and I've had the best time rearranging it for the stage. We've mashed in a little bit of Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out of My Head,' and made it as fun and diverting as possible."
In addition to Kurt Weill, Smith has championed iconic German composers Friedrich Hollaender, who is represented by four selections here. The album's version of "Jonny, wenn du Geburtstag hast?" is interwoven with strains of Madonna's "Erotica," the song's contemporary spiritual cousin. "I've always found German to be such a sexy language," says Smith, "I love the pleading, pulling sensuousness of the song's melody, crafted by Hollaender, my absolute favorite composer of the Weimar era. And I especially love his fabulous compositions where they intersect with the grandeur of Marlene Dietrich."
The emotional cornerstone of the album is Smith's bittersweet ballad interpretation of "All the Lovers," Kylie Minogue's international dance smash from 2010. "'All the Lovers' has been an important, freeing song for me," comments Smith. "It was supposed to serve as my wedding song this past April, with Tracy officiating from behind a piano, but we were forced to postpone due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the number is bursting with celebratory exultations of love and openness. From the intimate, cooing verses to the anthemic chorus, 'All the Lovers' is a ton of fun to dive into at the end of a show."
Kim David Smith's most recent cabaret programs "Mostly Marlene" (2020) and "A Wery Weimar Christmas" (2019) debuted at Club Cumming, while "Kim Sings Kylie" premiered at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in 2018, saluting perennial pop goddess Kylie Minogue in an intimate cabaret fantasia, celebrating the singer's gargantuan hits and glittering deep-cuts. "Kim Sings Kylie" has since been performed at the inaugural Sydney Cabaret Festival (2019), and returned to Joe's Pub in 2018 and 2019.
He starred as Salomé in Oscar Wilde's classic and controversial play as part of the Provincetown Theater's 2017 season, while 2016 saw Kim portray the Emcee in Hunter Foster's production of Cabaret at the Cape Playhouse to excellent reviews.
Smith's piano-based program, "Morphium Kabarett," provides an intimate evening of German, French, and English repertoire, with many unexpected twists. Smith has toured "Morphium Kabarett" throughout Australia, earning a 2015 Helpmann Award nomination for "Best Cabaret Performer," while also enjoying stateside performances at Joe's Pub, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Café Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie. "Morphium Kabarett" garnered enthusiastic praise from The New York Times in its six-month 2016 residency at Pangea. The show celebrated the whimsy and wickedness of New York City's alt-cabaret scene with a curated parade of guest artists, including Joey Arias, Ali McGregor, and Anthony Roth Costanzo.
In 2009, Smith was presented with the Backstage Bistro Award for Special Achievement as an Outstanding Performer, honored alongside Liza Minnelli and Charles Aznavour. His electro-pop albums Nova, Supernova, and cabaret EP, The Tease, are available on iTunes. KimDavidSmith.com
"Kim David Smith - LIVE AT JOE'S PUB" TRACK LIST
1. Introduction (Overture)
4. "Jonny, wenn du Geburtstag hast?" (Friedrich Hollaender)
5. Black Max Prelude (monologue)
8. "Nature Boy" (Eden Ahbez)
9. "Shooting Star" (Charlie Mason)
10. Vamp Prelude (monologue)
11. "Ich bin ein Vamp!" (Mischa Spoliansky / Marcellus Schiffer)
12. "Dracula's Tango" (Barry Ian Blue / Paul Greedus)
13. "I Should Be So Lucky" (Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, Pete Waterman) / "Illusions" (Friedrich Hollaender)
14. "A Little Yearning" (Friedrich Hollaender / John David Lawrence)
15. "All the Lovers" (James Eliot / Jemima Stilwell)
16. "The Singer" (Walter Marks)
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