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Marina and the Diamonds – The Bowery Ballroom – March 26, 2015

March 27th, 2015

Marina and the Diamonds - The Bowery Ballroom - March 26, 2015

Photos courtesy of Jack Newton | jack-newton.com

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Tobias Jesso Jr. – Mercury Lounge – March 26, 2015

March 27th, 2015

Tobias Jesso Jr. - Mercury Lounge - March 26, 2015

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Alt-J Kick Off New Tour Monday at Madison Square Garden

March 27th, 2015

Joe Newman (vocals and guitar), Thom Green (drums), Gwil Sainsbury (guitar and bass) and Gus Unger-Hamilton (keys and vocals) met in 2007 while attending Leeds University and began making music together. Upon graduation, the foursome settled into Cambridge as Alt-J in 2011. Their debut full-length, An Awesome Wave (stream it below), filled with soaring folk-influenced dub music, came out in 2012. And not only did it rocket the band to stardom, earning comparisons to Radiohead and Coldplay along the way, but it also won them the prestigious Mercury Prize. After playing big festivals like Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza in 2013, the quartet became a trio when Sainsbury departed the following year. (Cameron Knight has since replaced him for live shows, on guitar, bass and sampler.) But the beat goes on for Alt-J (above, doing “Every Other Freckle” for Jimmy Kimmel Live!): Their second full-length, This Is All Yours (stream it below), arrived last September. And it’s safe to say there’s no sophomore slump here. According to Rolling Stone, “It’s an ambling, entrancing listen—full of songs that blur weird folk and electronic zonkiness, classical filigree and straight-up rock, scrambling in all directions…. These guys know that alienation works best when it’s a little bit of fun.” Fresh off playing Lollapalooza in Brazil, Alt-J kick off their American tour on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. And as an added bonus, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., electronic-rock duo Phantogram open the show.

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The Lone Bellow – The Bowery Ballroom – March 24, 2015

March 26th, 2015

The Lone Bellow - The Bowery Ballroom - March 24, 2015

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

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Foo Fighters’ Nate Mendel Brings Lieutenant to Mercury Lounge

March 26th, 2015

Nate Mendel is undoubtedly best known as the bassist in Foo Fighters (and for holding down the low end for Sunny Day Real Estate prior to that), but just like Dave Grohl went from being just the drummer in some band to becoming the driving force—as singer, songwriter and (rhythm) guitarist—behind his own group, Mendel is fronting his own new project, Lieutenant. “I’m not an enthusiast of solo projects,” says the new frontman. “Bands are bands for a reason and it seems that once the celery is out of the soup, you’re just left holding a stringy, watery vegetable. However, I knew there was more I wanted to do in music.” So he entered the studio, and with the help of a variety of musicians and producer Toshi Kasai, Mendel ended up with his very own new album, the recently released If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going to Eat for a Week (stream it below). NME declared, “The record is no vanity project, but a serious passion project,” and, furthermore, it’s an “impressive marriage of Sunny Day’s intimate soul purging and Foos’ powerful guitar heft, it’s a masterstroke of understated college rock.” Armed with a backing band, Lieutenant (above, performing “Belle Epoque”) are currently making their way up the East Coast, and you can catch them live on Saturday at Mercury Lounge. Vancouver, B.C., rock quartet Yukon Blonde open the show.

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Action Bronson – Terminal 5 – March 24, 2015

March 25th, 2015

Action Bronson – Terminal 5 – March 24, 2015

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

(Action Bronson plays Terminal 5 again tonight.)

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Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders Play Rough Trade NYC Tomorrow

March 25th, 2015

Known for his low voice and a dark sense of humor, Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Tim Rogers has been winning over fans—and earning comparisons to Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan—for a decade under the name Jack Ladder. He began making acoustic music prior to turning toward New Wave and then ultimately deciding to go in a bolder, more cinematic direction with the help of a new backing band, the Dreamlanders: Donny Benét (bass), Kirin Callinan (guitar), Laurenz Pike (drums) and Frank Sutherland (synths). Their latest effort, Playmates (stream it below), featuring Sharon Van Etten, came out in the States on Fat Possum Records last month. Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and mentioned “Ladder’s dark baritone sounds freshly liberated and focused.” Fresh off this year’s SXSW, Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders (above, performing “Hurtsville” live in concert for MoshCam) play Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. Brooklyn psych-pop trio Invisible Familiars and talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cohen, also of Kings County (and Yellowbirds fame), open the show.

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The Preatures – Rough Trade NYC – March 23, 2015

March 24th, 2015

The Preatures - Rough Trade NYC - March 23, 2015

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Laura Marling – Warsaw – March 23, 2015

March 24th, 2015

Laura Marling - Warsaw - March 23, 2015

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com

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Broods – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 23, 2015

March 24th, 2015

Broods - Music Hall of Williamsburg - March 23, 2015

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Marina and the Diamonds on 3/26

March 24th, 2015

1

Marina and the Diamonds are out on the road in support of their brand new album, Froot. And their tour brings them to The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night for a very sold-out show. But if you didn’t get tickets in advance, you’ve still got a shot to attend because The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Marina and the Diamonds, 3/26) and a brief message explaining your favorite song on Froot. Eddie Bruiser, who just listened to the album for the first time, will notify the winner by Thursday. Good luck.

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Swans Leave Music Hall of Williamsburg Wanting More

March 23rd, 2015

Swans – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 22, 1015

(Photo: Matias Corral)

(Photo: Matias Corral)

There was a buzz in the air last night, quite literally, as Swans shook Music Hall of Williamsburg during a powerhouse two-hour set. The show began with percussionist Thor Harris taking a mallet to a gong and building a reverberating noise that filled the room. In turn, drummer Phil Puleo first joined him and then Christoph Hahn on lap steel guitar. They spent several minutes slowly building reverberation that had my clothes buzzing against my skin. Eventually frontman Michael Gira and the rest of the band joined in and layered guitars and bass, creating an all-immersive, almost Zen-like wall of sound for “Frankie M.” This wasn’t music you listened to as much as you felt: a wind of guitars in your face, the low-end shake of bass and drums rattling your extremities. The first “movement”—from the opening gong to Gira subtly arching his eyebrow and the band collectively crashing to an end—was 35 minutes of traveling through the looking glass.

From there Gira led the band through several more sections, perhaps they were songs, or maybe they were more than that. Each stretched on in time, seemingly in units of 12 minutes: 12, 24, 36 ticks of the hand went by as the six musicians locked into looping soundscapes, hypnotizing and brutalizing the crowd. There weren’t solos so much as six simple patterns played by each man, combined into fractal geometries. Along the way the vibrations grew into tremors, eventually rattling the floor. At some point early in the set, Harris lost his shirt, moving bare chested from violin to vibraphone to haunted-house percussion, revealing the underlying, dark secrets of each song as the band crashed wave after wave of sound on the Sunday night audience.

Gira held court, often raising his arms like a big bird (a Swan, perhaps). His banter was minimal, apologizing for unnoticeable voice troubles with “I have 61 years of angst in my throat.” His vocals were more like chanted koans, mostly undecipherable in the mix, but a necessary component of the ritualistic music. As the clock moved deeper into the night, I tried to convince myself to call it an evening, but found that I couldn’t pull myself away. Like the rest of the people in the room, I was mesmerized. By midnight, the venue was full on rumbling, my teeth actually chattering as the energy ratcheted up to maximum level before ending in a set-closing thermonuclear explosion of cymbals and guitars. Stunned, the audience gave a hearty ovation as Gira and company took a bow and left the stage with a thank you and the promise of a new album out soon, leaving behind plenty of buzz.
—A. Stein | @Neddyo

 

 

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Cold War Kids – Terminal 5 – March 20, 2015

March 23rd, 2015

Cold War Kids - Terminal 5 - March 20, 2015

Photos courtesy of Mina K | @ThisProduct

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

March 23rd, 2015

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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George Maple Brings New Music to Rough Trade NYC Next Tuesday

March 20th, 2015

Jess Higgs has been doing business as the Australian pop-soul singer-songwriter George Maple since late 2012. “Between building that character and now, I feel like there’s been a fast progression of development as an artist,” Maple tells the New York Times. “I’m saying what I want to say now, as opposed to when I was a little bit more timid at the beginning.” Her second EP, Vacant Space (stream it below), filled with dance-ready electronic music, came out last December. “The songs were born out of a sense of loneliness and a sense of introspection,” she says. And while there’s plenty of electronic-influenced music these days, Maple’s vocals are the most notable aspect of her material. Maple (above, performing “On & On” for BBC Radio 1) is out on the road now, and you can catch her last U.S. date next Tuesday at Rough Trade NYC. Another Australian, rapper-singer Tkay Maidza, opens.