PIC OF KEN SELCER AT:
Ken Selcer's "Something For Everyone" series
breaks new musical ground at Brookline's Puppet Showplace Theater
By Susie Davidson
Ken Selcer's Paradox Lounge, a biweekly music showcase dubbed "The Something For Everyone Series", is the most recent culmination of a long series of his entertainment showcases. Since 1973, he's been intrinsically involved in the Boston music business in every one of its imaginable facets.
The Brooklyn, NY native, who holds a Bachelor's in Music from Berklee, is a recording studio owner, DJ, promoter, sound engineer, live sound person, recording artist, producer and booker. He owns Selcer Sound and Graphics, where he creates graphics and makes duplications for musicians and other artists.
With Jill Stein, the Green Party gubernatorial candidate for 2002, he has recorded four CDs under the name Jill Stein and Ken Selcer, and Somebody's Sister. He is presently finishing his first solo CD, "Mirror".
So, where has he played? "I've performed at coffeehouses, festivals on the Esplanade (with the Kids' Earth Chorus), libraries, Foxboro Stadium, bars, clubs, functions, political events and more," he responds. The recipient of two Multi-Cultural Awards from the Mass. Department Of Education and two national semi-finalist Best Unsigned Band awards from Musician Magazine, he has also backed up numerous artists, both on stage and on record.
He's run open mics at Ryles, Finnegan's Wake and Café Soho in Cambridge, and produced shows at the Somerville Theatre.
What is the new venue like?
"I promote as many different kinds of music as possible at the Paradox," he says. "I book two acts for each night and I usually am the third act [part of the reason he began this effort, he explains, was for him to try out his own work and perform as well]. I organize special events such as CD release parties or concept nights. For this fall, I'll showcase rock, folk, a cappella, performance art, contemporary jazz and world music, pop storytelling and song. I've booked folk and traditional, and music for and by teenagers. I'd like to get some R&B, and whatever else I can find.
"This variety," he continues, "both reflects my taste and the fact that the area needs venues where folks can go see, in concert format, music by the many diverse communities that make up our town and our country. I've seen the need for more venues that were more interested in the artist and the audience than in economics and/or a particular 'scene'. At local clubs, the sad reality is that both musicians and the audience are often treated badly. In addition, there is often poor quality sound, poor management, and poor overall 'production'.
"By contrast, the Paradox is a very welcoming and supportive venue. It's relatively low key, semi-acoustic and for all ages, although it probably mainly caters to the adult contemporary audience. There are refreshments available and the admission is never very high."
Selcer's message is intertwined with his medium. He sends out email bulletins peppered with poignant quotes, lists of music his associates are listening to, and commentary on current events.
"As we all go through this extremely hard and volatile time," he ponders, "the music continues. We all can work to help, spiritually and materially, the victims of the NYC and our tragedy. And, we've got to all work to make sure we avoid policies likely to trigger an endless cycle of violence."
The Paradox Lounge is at the Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline Village; it's across the street from the Brookline Village T-stop on the D line. On Thursday, December 6 at 8 p.m., he'll present performance artist and vocalist Marlene Tholl, singer-songwriter Sandi Hammond, and Ken Selcer.
Call 617-547-7904 for information.