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The Head and the Heart – SummerStage – September 21, 2017

September 22nd, 2017


Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Mutemath – Brooklyn Steel – September 20, 2017

September 21st, 2017


Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Alison Wonderland Brings Her Dance Party to Terminal 5 on Thursday

September 20th, 2017

Alex Sholler entered the music world as a cellist in the Sydney Youth Orchestra, but she’s since been doing work as the EDM DJ and producer Alison Wonderland. The Australian’s initial single, “Get Ready,” dropped in 2013, followed a year later by her debut EP, Calm Down (stream it below), which “has a split personality—straddling trashy club release and clever EDM. Either way, listeners should find something to love between Alex Sholler’s use of adventurous, solemn strings and her punchy, stop-start beats,” according to the Music. Her first full-length album, Run (stream it below), featuring the Flaming LipsWayne Coyne, arrived in 2015. Per Rolling Stone, the LP hits “the sweet spot where dance-floor ready meets radio friendly.” Now crisscrossing the country, bringing her mobile dance party to the land of the free and the home of the brave, Alison Wonderland (above, performing “U Don’t Know”) comes to Terminal 5 on Thursday night. Los Angeles electronic-pop singer-songwriter Elohim opens the show.

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The War on Drugs – Terminal 5 – September 19, 2017

September 20th, 2017


(Try to Grow a Pair of tickets to Friday’s sold-out War on Drugs show at SummerStage.)

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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The Horrors – Rough Trade NYC – September 18, 2017

September 19th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Dana (distortion) Yavin | distortionpix.com

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Tei Shi Plays a Hometown Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 19th, 2017

Singer-songwriter Valerie Teicher grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, and Vancouver, B.C., before heading to Boston to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music. She’s since brought her keen pop sensibilities to Brooklyn, recording and performing as Tei Shi. And after gaining notice with the release of several singles and a pair of EPs, her acclaimed debut full-length, Crawl Space (stream it below), was released this past March. “Loaded with vocal hooks, sassy, R&B-infused performances and textured, groove-powered tunes, it’s a hypnotic set that’s definitely got its own thing going on,” says AllMusic. “Her bijou brand of left-field R&B shares space with Chairlift or Little Dragon,” adds the Observer. Now out on the road in support of the LP, Tei Shi (above, performing “Say You Do” live in studio for KEXP FM) comes home to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday night. Los Angeles singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lawrence Rothman opens.

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See the War on Drugs on 9/22

September 19th, 2017

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Touring behind their standout fourth studio album, A Deeper Understanding, the War on Drugs land in New York City this week for two shows. A few tickets still remain to see them tonight at Terminal 5, but their show on Friday at SummerStage is already sold out. But the good news is that The House List is giving away two tickets to see them in Central Park. Want to go? 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 (War on Drugs, 9/22) and a brief message explaining your favorite tune on the new LP. Eddie Bruiser, who’s been listening to it on a loop, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Catch the Tallest Man on Earth with yMusic Live at Pioneer Works

September 18th, 2017

Although diminutive in stature, Kristian Matsson is the Tallest Man on Earth with a booming voice that commands even the biggest of stages. The Swede has a knack for luring in listeners with his delicate, composed songs that are often accompanied by just a guitar or a piano. It’s no wonder Justin Vernon plucked him out of relative obscurity to tour with him in 2008, an opening slot that led to the first solo Tallest Man on Earth American tour. Since then the singer-songwriter has produced four studio full-lengths and his latest release is a gem of an EP with the chamber ensemble yMusic, aptly titled The Tallest Man on Earth with yMusic (stream it below). The album revisits material from Matsson’s There’s No Leaving Now (stream it below) and The Wild Hunt (stream it below) LPs, as well as a cover of Joan Baez’s “East Virginia.” Matsson first played with the genre-straddling collective back at the 2015 Eaux Claire Festival in Wisconsin. (Watch the Tallest Man on Earth performing “Rivers” with yMusic, above.) He has no plans to release a new long-player this year or to do much touring, but he will make a rare live appearance with yMusic at Pioneer Works on Wednesday and Thursday (the latter is already sold out). —Sharlene Chiu

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Middle Kids – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 16, 2017

September 18th, 2017



Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.com

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

September 18th, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Joseph Entertain Music Hall of Williamsburg with New Music

September 18th, 2017

Joseph – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 15, 2017


Sisterly vocals aren’t exactly a new thing. In fact, there’s already the Andrew Sisters, the Secret Sisters, First Aid Kit, the Staves, Haim and plenty more. So what’s another band of sisters to add to the ever-growing group? The sisters Closner—Natalie, Allison and Meegan—formed a trio when then solo Natalie (now Schepman) recruited her twin sisters to join her on the new project that birthed Joseph. Hailing from Portland, Ore., their namesake also comes from the band’s home state and the town where their grandfather lived. The sisters swung into Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night after a recent release of their Stay Awake EP earlier this month.

Against a backdrop featuring the band’s name, the siblings charged the stage with “All,” off the latest release, followed by the soaring harmonies of “Lifted Away.” The EP was played in its entirety, as well as several tracks from their sophomore full-length album, last year’s I’m Alone, No You’re Not. Whether intentional or not, the sisters dressed differently, perhaps to reveal their unique personalities: Allison in an oversized white button down and lined pants; Meegan in all black cropped top and high-waisted pants; and Natalie in a flowing blouse and ripped jeans. This mesh of fashion could be translated in their music from the dance-pop “SOS (Overboard)” to the bittersweet ballad “I Don’t Mind,” sung to aching perfection by Meegan. Natalie shined on protest-worthy “White Flag,” emphatically stamping her feet to the chanting chorus.

Newer material like “50, 60, 80” was welcomed, while two covers especially enraptured the crowd. A rendition of Tears for Fears“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was in response to our current state of affairs. Natalie explained in an interview to NPR: “In all honesty, it feels like the house is falling down around us, but the lyric ‘holding hands while the walls come tumbling down’ resounds in our minds. We hope that our music can be a force of togetherness when it seems like everything’s trying to divide us.” The sisters added their own lyrics to the ’80s hit to bring positivity to our embattled nation: “Make the most of freedom and pleasure/ All I know is take care of each other/ An open door, a seat at the table, there’s enough to go around.” After opening the show, Bailen returned to the stage for a closing cover of the Rolling Stones“Moonlight Mile,” and the sisters put the night to bed with an encore of “Sweet Dreams.” —Sharlene Chiu

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Mutemath Bring New Album to Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday

September 18th, 2017

Influenced by the soulful sounds of the ’60s and ’70s and alternative rock of the past (think: Air, Radiohead, New Order), Mutemath (above, doing “War”) formed a decade-and-a-half ago in New Orleans. The band—now Paul Meany (vocals and keys), Jonathan Allen (bass) and Todd Gummerman (guitar)—has since been equally known for engaging live performances and their recorded output, including full-lengths, EPs and live releases. Their fifth studio long-player, Play Dead (stream it below), came out earlier this month, and their tour in support of it rolls through Kings County to play Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday night. Franklin, Tenn., four-piece Colony House and Toronto quartet Romes open the show.

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A Double Dose of the War on Drugs in New York City Next Week

September 15th, 2017

Philadelphia’s the War on Drugs craft songs with momentum. The synths underlying “Holding On” (above, performed live on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), off their latest release, A Deeper Understanding (stream it below), chug along like a runaway train. Over the band’s four full-length albums, songwriter Adam Granduciel and Co. have fine-tuned what was already a well-oiled machine right out of the gates. They enlisted the production help of L.A. engineer Shawn Everett, known for his work on the Alabama Shakes’ masterful Sound & Color, for their first major-label record. A Deeper Understanding takes the War on Drugs’ signature expansive sound and pushes it, well, deeper into new terrains. On “Nothing to Find,” the beats plow through gorgeous swirling soundscapes of analog synths, and Granduciel’s vocals at the end sound like he’s howling into a massive canyon the song’s just blown into the earth. The War on Drugs’ music feels both large and personal, with softer numbers still showcasing a tenderness that sounds just as grandiose. The album’s gorgeously produced, and any little snippet of its soundscapes risks working its way into your head and never leaving. As their sound has grown bigger, so too has the group’s following, snowballing off the success of 2014’s much-acclaimed Lost in the Dream (stream it below). One album later and the New Yorker is ready to propose that they’re rock’s next torchbearers. The War on Drugs will make their case and then some when they return to New York City next week to play Terminal 5 on Tuesday and SummerStage on Friday. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

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Patti Smith Celebrates and Pays Tribute at SummerStage on Thursday

September 15th, 2017

Patti Smith and Her Band – SummerStage – September 14, 2017

“Most of these songs I wrote for Fred, with Fred or about Fred,” said Patti Smith last night on Central Park’s SummerStage. It would have been the 69th birthday of Fred “Sonic” Smith, Patti’s late husband and the father of her two children, Jackson Smith and Jesse Paris Smith. Patti Smith has been part of New York City royalty for decades now, her role in the art world, contributions to music and writing, her ability to find herself by chance in the midst of history’s cool and famous since she first stepped foot here in the late ’60s. But the intimate knowledge of her personal life is relatively recent news for her fans. Smith’s memoirs, Just Kids and M Train, share stories about the love and loss of her best friend, Robert Mapplethorpe, and her husband. They also let in the world on the person behind the art, her uncanny ability to find the sacred in everything and even just a good cup of coffee in a local diner. Knowing this is how she experiences the world made a noteworthy performance to honor and remember her late husband all the more special and intimate.

With her son on guitar and daughter on keyboards, Smith played through a catalog inspired by or written with her husband, gone since 1994 but an inspiration ever since. “Fred, this is the product of many day dreams,” she said as an introduction to “Because the Night” (written with Bruce Springsteen). Smith shared how “Looking For You (I Was)” was penned for their anniversary, a love song written for the city of Detroit, her home in the early years of her married life, written while she was in NYC. The show was full of memorials for others, too. Smith dedicated “Ghost Dance” to the activists who took a stand at Standing Rock; “Dancing Barefoot” to Amy Winehouse, who would have turned 34 on Thursday; “Peaceable Kingdom,” to Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart, who passed away earlier in the day; “Pissing in a River” dedicated to legendary writer Sam Shepard, a close friend who passed away earlier this year. Despite all of these memorials, the performance never stopped feeling like a celebration. Messages sprinkled throughout were delivered with a sense of urgency: “We are free!” and “The people have the power!” Later, triumphantly holding aloft her guitar, Smith yelled, “This is the only fucking weapon we need!”

These are the messages Patti Smith was born to spread. Joined by her now adult children, she  took some moments to try to embarrass them a little, noting her daughter’s willingness to always give her mom her bobby pins. She’s also still wickedly funny, ending some stage banter with: “What am I talking about? I just turned 70. You know when you turn 70 your mind works … in mysterious ways.” But she remains the no-bullshit punk rocker she always was, bringing out the rock and roll animal inside her to dominate the stage for the set-closing “Land.” Even when performing other people’s songs, like Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the message felt as much hers as theirs. R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, a longtime fan and friend, joined Smith to sing happy birthday to Fred and also to close the show with “People Have the Power.” It was a perfect way to end a night that remembered a powerful artist and reminded everyone there of the most powerful message of all—delivered by the woman he loved. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Two Chances to Catch the Horrors at Rough Trade NYC Next Week

September 15th, 2017

Inspired by garage rock, post-punk and New Wave, Faris Badwan (vocals), Joseph Spurgeon (drums), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (keys) and Rhys Webb (bass) formed the Horrors more than a decade ago in Essex, England. Their debut full-length, Strange House (stream it below), officially announced their arrival upon its release in 2007. “The Horrors bring a dose of dark glamour to an increasingly anodyne British alternative music scene too heavily indebted either to Oasis and the Libertines, or earnest post-punk,” opined PopMatters. “They blend their twin influences of early ’80s Goth and ’60s garage to startling effect.” The Horrors (above, performing “So Now You Know”) have remained busy touring and recording ever since. The band’s fifth album, the aptly titled V—which, according to the Guardian, “drags their grand, gothic, garage-y noise from the shadows and recasts it in throbbing electronics, drum-machine pulses and the most fully formed pop of their career”—drops next Friday, but you won’t have to wait that long to hear the new tunes because the Horrors play Rough Trade NYC on Monday and Tuesday.