New music show in unconventional venues


A converted 19th-century synagogue, a 700-acre farm and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History might not seem like usual venues for rock concerts, but producers of a new show called "Live From the Artists Den" are hoping to broaden viewers' ideas of where live music can happen.

"One of my main inspirations for starting the show was realizing just how awful traditional venues are," the show's producer Mark Lieberman says. Lieberman started out putting on living room concerts and says that he "saw magic in the room" when people were allowed to experience musicians in nontraditional settings.

"One of the main things I wanted to address was the issue of music discovery waning after a certain age," Lieberman says. "People who were big fans still love music, but they can't stay out in smoky clubs until the middle of the night. This brings the music to them in a new, innovative way."

To deliver the shows, Lieberman partnered with cable network Ovation TV, a 10-year-old channel that was resurrected last year. "Even though I personally don't like TV, I felt like Ovation was smart and curated, and the mission fit was spot-on," Lieberman says.

The network has commissioned eight concerts from the "Artists Den" and plans an aggressive marketing campaign to coincide with the first airings in January. After the premiere episode Jan. 13, featuring KT Tunstall at the fully restored, early-20th-century-era Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan, the show will settle into a regular Thursday 8 p.m. time slot.

Other artists and venues featured will include Crowded House at the Masonic Hall Grand Lodge in New York, Fountains Of Wayne on a 100-year-old ship at New York's South Street Seaport, the Swell Season at the Good Shepherd Center Chapel in Seattle and Patty Griffin at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts on Manhattan's Lower East Side.