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The Regrettes Come to the Lower East Side and Williamsburg

March 24th, 2017

Lydia Night (vocals), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Nicole (bass) and Maxx Morando (drums) formed the energetic punk-rock quartet the Regrettes a little more than a year ago in Los Angeles, and earlier this year, the band’s first full-length studio album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! (stream it below)—influenced by ’50s rockers like Buddy Holly and the Ronettes—arrived on Warner Bros. Records. According to Teen Vogue, “Their music sounds like a lively blend of lo-fi surf rock meets the Strokes with a strong female lead.” And per AllMusic, “The Regrettes thread feminism, sneering angst and ecstasy. All these intertwined emotions give the album an emotional punch that complements its musical rush, a confluence of nervy energy that could easily be interpreted as a reflection of the Regrettes’ youth. Perhaps the quartet members are all in their teens but they’re preternaturally gifted as musicians, so Feel Your Feelings Fool! offers the best of both worlds: craft that endures combined with boundless excitement.” You’ve got two chances to catch the Regrettes (above, doing “A Living Human Girl” for Jam in the Van) locally, tonight at Mercury Lounge and on Monday night at Rough Trade NYC.

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A Double Dose of Alex Lahey in New York City This Weekend

March 24th, 2017

Alex Lahey, a favorite of Australia’s influential Triple J radio, finds songwriting cathartic: “I’m not a runner at all, but I can imagine it is a really similar experience to someone that enjoys running. It’s challenging, but it’s rewarding, and there are probably a lot of endorphins at the end. I imagine it’s something like that. It’s really challenging, but it’s a challenge that I’m willing to accept.” Before it was rereleased on Dead Oceans earlier this year, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist self-released her debut EP, B-Grade University (stream it below), last summer. In naming the Melbourne, Australia, native an Artist to Watch, Stereogum proclaimed, “Lahey charges full-speed ahead into explorations of post-collegiate career anxiety (‘Ivy League’), blissful romantic fixation (‘Wes Anderson’), and youthful indiscretions (‘Let’s Go Out’) among other adventures.” She’s even since more recently made a name for herself with several buzzed-about sets at this year’s SXSW, and now Lahey (above, doing “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” for Balcony TV) is amidst a swing up the East Coast, which brings her to Rough Trade NYC tonight and Mercury Lounge tomorrow.

 

 

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Wilco Are Reliably Terrific in Closing Out a Four-Night Run

March 23rd, 2017

Wilco – Beacon Theatre – March 22, 2017

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There is plenty of debate these days about what makes America great, but for some things there is no argument, no matter what you believe. There is greatness in American monuments and symbols—Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and, of course, rock and roll. Over the past couple of decades, few bands have been able to claim the mantle of the “great American rock band” quite like Wilco have. Last night at the Beacon Theatre, Jeff Tweedy and Co., closing out the last of four sold-out shows, proved that they certainly belong on the Mount Rushmore of present-day American rock bands.

Trees painted on either side and rolling hills behind, the stage evoked a rustic setting, a bucolic countryside scene, even though the band and audience were smack dab on Broadway in one of the busiest cities in the world. Wilco’s sound captured this all-American city mouse/country mouse vibe from the start, alt-country meets explosive rock and roll. Early on, Tweedy’s voice was front and center, the crowd hanging on each syllable, while he sang material from the band’s newest, Schmilcolike “Normal American Kids,” while guitarist Nels Cline danced Garcia-esque licks into the packed venue. A few songs in, however, the band picked up steam, drummer Glenn Kotche and bassist John Stirratt chugging alongside Cline and Tweedy’s guitars, a pair of tractor trailers plowing down the open road of the U.S. Interstate on rockers like “Side with Seeds” and “At Least That’s What You Said.”

A Wilco show is as reliable as another American landmark, Old Faithful. You know the eruption is coming, but that doesn’t it make it any less impressive when it arrives, like clockwork. Wednesday night, as is often the case, the pressure-relief came during “Impossible Germany,” Cline gushing geothermal guitar licks, while the audience looked on in awe. Still, perhaps the set’s all-encompassing highlight may have been “Via Chicago,” Wilco channeling the great American poet, Whitman, very large and containing multitudes, overlapping Tweedy’s own soft-sung poetry with a barbaric yawp of guitars and drums. Before the set ended, they made sure to serve up their version of the all-American diet of meat and potatoes in the form of crowd favorites “Heavy Metal Drummer” and “I’m the Man Who Loves You.” The 30-plus-minute double encore was an almost let’s-play-two run-through of the band’s history, songs old and new, including, naturally, “Red-Eyed and Blue.” Preceding the end of the set, Tweedy, who was relatively quiet with the banter all night, said, “We’ve got no time for fucking pessimism.” And it doesn’t get much more American than that. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

 

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At the Drive-In – Terminal 5 – March 22, 2017

March 23rd, 2017

At the Drive-In - Terminal 5 - March 22, 2017

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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Kick Off the Weekend with Noam Pikelny at The Bowery Ballroom

March 22nd, 2017

Call him “Pickles” or call him the banjo player from the Punch Brothers or maybe the inaugural winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass in 2010 or any number of superlatives he’s garnered over the years. Or maybe just call him Noam Pikelny. Whatever name you choose, no matter, the banjo player extraordinaire is sure to entertain and inspire. He’s just put out his first truly solo debut on Rounder Records, Universal Favorite (stream it below), a totally unaccompanied and honest record. Pikelny (above, performing “Redbud” for Fretboard Journal) plays The Bowery Ballroom on Friday (with limited seating available, first come, first served), expect originals and covers, bluegrass instrumentals and yes, some singing; some top-notch deadpan comedy and banjo playing that, by any other name, would sound as sweet. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Foxygen Return to New York City to Play Terminal 5 on Friday Night

March 22nd, 2017

Influenced by psychedelia, classic rock and avant-garde music, Sam France (vocals) and Jonathan Rado (guitar) formed the band Foxygen more than a decade ago in a Los Angeles suburb while still in high school. After self-releasing a slew of EPs and singles, they broke into the mainstream with the much-acclaimed long-player We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (stream it below), out in 2013—and followed by an international tour. Earlier this year, the band (above, performing “Follow the Leader” live on Conan) returned with their fourth studio album, Hang (stream it below), backed by a 40-piece orchestra. “Holding absolutely nothing back, Foxygen deliver an absurdly grandiose album that should not work nearly as well as it does,” raves PopMatters. “Hang is the type of album for which the sobriquet ‘pop masterpiece’ was intended.” Out on the road in support of their new music, Foxygen play Terminal 5 on Friday night. A pair of local acts, the trio Sunflower Bean and the duo Purr, open the show.

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Bring Me the Horizon – Terminal 5 – March 20, 2017

March 21st, 2017

Bring Me the Horizon - Terminal 5 - March 20, 2017
(Bring Me the Horizon play Terminal 5 again tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See At the Drive-In on 3/22

March 21st, 2017

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With their first studio album in 17 years, In•ter a•li•a, due to arrive in May, At the Drive-In are now back out on the road. Their current tour brings them to Terminal 5 tomorrow night for a show that sold out very quickly. But the good news is that The House List is giving away two tickets. Don’t have any of your own and still want to go? Then try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. 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 (At the Drive-In, 3/22) and a brief message explaining what you love most about the band. Eddie Bruiser, who’s enthusiastically looking forward to the new album, will notify the winner by tomorrow.

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Don’t Miss José James This Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom

March 21st, 2017

“A jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, New York City–based vocalist José James has combined jazz, soul, drum ’n’ bass and spoken word into his own unique brand of vocal jazz,” according to AllMusic. Known equally for his acclaimed recorded work as he is for his fiery live performances, James (above, the video for “Always There”) released his most recent LP, the aptly named Love in a Time of Madness (stream it below), earlier this year. “On his fourth album for the Blue Note label, James deftly underlines jazz’s flexibility in relation to new pop trends, the way Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis did in the past,” says Pitchfork. Making his last East Coast appearance—before heading across the country and then on to Europe—José James plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. His band includes drummer, producer, composer and songwriter Nate Smith, and local versatile musician Corey King opens the show.

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Jens Lekman Offers an Antidote to NYC’s Winter on Saturday night

March 20th, 2017

Jens Lekman – The Bowery Ballroom – March 18, 2017

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

(Photo: Andie Diemer)


(Jens Lekman performs live at Rough Trade NYC tonight.)

Given New York City’s week of Swedish weather, with gray days and precipitation falling within the never land between rain and snow, it must have felt like home for one of Sweden’s great pop troubadours, Jens Lekman, who, before returning to Europe, ruled the weekend here in the city, playing The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday—plus he’s at Rough Trade Trade NYC tonight. His Saturday show began with just him and an acoustic guitar, performing “To Know Your Mission” and “Evening Prayer,” off his latest album, the fantastic and much-acclaimed Life Will See You Now. The latter track was particularly Jens-ian, a tender yet optimistically upbeat tune about worrying and carrying for a friend going through chemotherapy.

“Who here is seeing Jens Lekman for the first time tonight?” asked Lekman to a handful of cheers. Going back all the way, he then went through every one of his local shows, even asking who was at his 2005 Mercury Lounge appearance. “I like growing older with you guys. I want this thing to last forever,” he said. The rest of the band then joined him onstage for “What’s That Perfume That You Where?” about memories triggered by a scent. After an amp malfunction that cut the song short, Lekman began again, playing through on acoustic guitar, somehow sounding even better the second time around: Nothing can hold back those danceable Lekman grooves. There’s a heartfelt warmth to his music that even permeated how he performed. For the end of “The Opposite of Hallelujah,” Lekman pantomimed the xylophone notes in front of him like falling snowflakes.

He introduced “I Know What Love Isn’t” as something he wrote during a cynical time of his life, but even this song brought forth a sense of cheeriness. Perhaps cynical New Yorkers have our taste for cynicism skewed too far to recognize the finer nuances of Scandinavian cynicism. Lekman introduced “Dandelion Seed” as the last song, realizing as he said it that the audience wouldn’t let things end there. The band returned for Lekman classics “Maple Leaves” and “A Postcard to Nina.” And when even that wasn’t enough, the affable performer returned solo yet again for “I Want a Pair of Cowboy Boots” and “Pocketful of Money.” “I’ll come runnin’ with a heart on fire,” sang the packed crowd with Lekman repeating the chorus over the audience, delivered like a high-pitched plea. There’s no better antidote to the dregs of a New York City winter than huge moments like these. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nricks

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

March 20th, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Aquilo Bring Acclaimed New Music to The Bowery Ballroom Monday

March 17th, 2017

Four years ago, in northwest England, Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham teamed up to make atmospheric, melancholy down-tempo electronic pop songs about heartbreak, loss and regret as the band Aquilo. After releasing a series of singles and EPs, the duo’s first studio full-length, Silhouettes (stream it below), arrived this past January. “It’s a work of art sewn together with a mesmerizing voice, a vocal that stops you in your tracks and forces you to listen,” according to Clash. “Crafted to perfection, Silhouettes is outstanding in its audible beauty.” And after a couple of American shows in Los Angeles and at SXSW, Aquilo (above, performing “Sorry”) play The Bowery Ballroom on Monday night.

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Green Day/Against Me! – Barclays Center – March 15, 2017

March 16th, 2017

Green Day/Against Me! - Barclays Center - March 15, 2017

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Spend Saturday Night with Ezra Furman at Rough Trade NYC

March 15th, 2017

Regardless of whether Chicago singer-songwriter Ezra Furman (above, doing “Teddy I’m Ready” live in studio for KEXP FM) is fronting a band or doing solo work, his calling card has become unpretentious music that’s raw and sentimental and what the Guardian calls “lyrics that burst out like water through an opened dam.” His most recent solo release, Big Fugitive Life (stream it below), came out last year. Clash called it “an enthralling EP that contains some of his finest work to date.” And “Ezra Furman maintains his perpetual motion,” added the Line of Best Fit. “The lyrics are endlessly quotable throughout.” Catch the free-spirited performer on Saturday night at Rough Trade NYC. Brooklyn garage-post-wave-psych band Monograms open the show.

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Jens Lekman on 3/18

March 14th, 2017

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Jens Lekman is known across the world for keen pop hooks and a witty sense of humor. With a new album out, Life Will See You Now, the Swedish singer-songwriter has been back on our shores traveling the country, and his tour closes with three shows in NYC. A few tickets still remain for next Monday’s solo show at Rough Trade NYC, but his appearances at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday are already sold out. That’s the bad news. However, the good news is that The House List is giving away two tickets to see Jens Lekman on Saturday at The Bowery Ballroom. Want to get in on the fun but got shut out of tickets? Try to Grow a Pair of them. 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 (Jens Lekman, 3/18) and your favorite thing about Swedish music. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of Scandinavian rock, will notify the winner by Friday. Lycka till.

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