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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

June 5th, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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A Double Shot of Portugal. The Man at Terminal 5 This Week

June 5th, 2017

Next week, Portugal. The ManJohn Gourley (guitar and vocals), Zachary Carothers (bass and vocals), Kyle O’Quin (guitar, keys and vocals), Eric Howk (guitar) and Jason Sechrist (drums)—will release their newest album, Woodstock, which features, among others, Richie Havens, Son Little and Fargo’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead. It’s the band’s eighth long-player, but their first in more than four years. And while four years might not feel like too long, in Portugal. The Man years, it’s close to a geological epoch. With the lead single, “Feel It Still” (above, performed live on KEXP FM), already making waves—its soulful psych-pop working it to the top of the alt-rock charts and its politically charged video drawing the ire of certain media types—the anticipation for Woodstock is high. New York City will get an extra-special preview of songs new and old when Portugal. The Man stop by for two appearances at Terminal 5 this week, tomorrow and Wednesday. (L.A. duo Electric Guest and the Bronx’s own Kemba open each night.) PTM shows are always don’t-miss affairs, combining sing-along hooks, dense, Pink Floyd-ian space-outs and usually a surprise or two. So do yourself a favor: Don’t miss. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Reeve Carney Returns to NYC to Headline The Bowery Ballroom

May 31st, 2017

Singer-songwriter Reeve Carney (above, performing “Truth” for Balcony TV, and, below, covering “Hallelujah”) grew up in the West Village equally interested in music and acting. So it’s as likely you’d know him for starring in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway or as Dorian Gray on Penny Dreadful as you would for touring as part of Jonny Lang’s band or fronting the L.A. quartet Carney, mixing pop and rock with what AllMusic calls “California psychedelia and Southern-styled stomp.” Last year, Carney—the man, not the band—put out his debut solo album, the pop- and blues-infused Youth Is Wasted (stream it below). And his North American tour in support of it brings him back to New York City to play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.

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Catch the Suitcase Junket Early at Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

May 31st, 2017

For singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz just about anything can be musical. As the old school one-man band the Suitcase Junket, Lorenz makes a bluesy joyful noise with a beaten-up guitar rescued from a dumpster and his raspy, lived-in voice, plus just about anything else, including repurposed objects like banged-up pots and empty gas cans. Lorenz performs and records solo, and his fourth LP, Pile Driver (stream it below), came out about a month ago. “Lorenz’s musical interests turn out to be as diverse as his instrument collection, and Pile Driver runs a wide gamut of styles over its 12 songs,” says PopMatters. “The variety and songwriting are what make Pile Driver a thoroughly entertaining record. Lorenz manages to do a lot of different things with his set up and he does most of them well.” Catch the Suitcase Junket (above, doing “Earth Apple” for Folk Alley Sessions) live at tomorrow’s early show at Mercury Lounge. Singer-songwriter Caroline Rose opens.

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The Lemon Twigs’ Modern Take on a Throwback Sound in Brooklyn

May 30th, 2017

Teen brothers Brian D’Addario (vocals and multiple instruments) and Michael D’Addario (vocals and multiple instruments) formed the baroque-pop group the Lemon Twigs with fellow Long Island high school classmates Megan Zeankowski (bass) and Danny Ayala (keys) two years ago. Their debut full-length, Do Hollywood (stream it below), produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, came out last fall to considerable acclaim for their modern take on a throwback sound. “They grew up obsessively ingesting records by the Beach Boys and the Beatles, but you have to think somewhere in there Ariel Pink, Sparks and even the Mothers of Invention were cunningly slipped in, because the Lemon Twigs aren’t afraid to let their freak flag fly,” said Exclaim. “The goal seems to be to write timeless pop songs, but also to not let a good tangent go to waste.” The Guardian referred to it “like a missing Todd Rundgren album from 1972,” while the Line of Best Fit added: “It’s an endlessly exciting, slightly surreal trip through some of the 20th century’s best sounds.” And before heading to Europe later in June, the Lemon Twigs (above, performing “I Wanna Prove to You” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) kick off an American tour on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. New York City’s Sam Doom open the show.

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

May 29th, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Five Questions with Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison

May 26th, 2017

For more than a decade, Frightened RabbitScott Hutchison (vocals and guitar), brother Grant Hutchison (drums), Billy Kennedy (guitar and bass), Andy Monaghan (guitar and keys) and Simon Liddell (guitar)—have been making global noise on the strength of soaring, melancholic arena rock with resonant lyrics that stay with you. Since then, the Scottish rockers (above, doing “I Wish That I Was Sober” live for KTBG FM) have become as equally well known for their fiery live performances as for their recorded output. The band’s fifth LP, Painting of a Panic Attack (stream it below), which came out last spring, was produced by the National’s Aaron Dessner. “Though Hutchison’s talent for crafting beautifully dark stories hasn’t changed much, Frightened Rabbit’s sound most definitely has, thanks in part to Dessner behind the mixing desk,” said the Line of Best Fit. “The usual aching melancholy that has the capability to flip to captivating exuberance at a moment’s notice is ever present but Dessner’s experience with the National gives a whole new, often gloomy, depth to their sound.” Frightened Rabbit play Brooklyn Steel next Tuesday. And ahead of the band’s North American tour, The House List contacted the frontman to answer Five Questions.

Painting of a Panic Attack features electronics more than your other albums. Was that a conscious choice ahead of time or is that just the way things went as you wrote? I think we all wanted to move in that direction a little more with this album, but it wasn’t forced. Through necessity, I was figuring out how to use music software for the first time and exploring the raft of sounds held in Logic. Andy has always been interested in electronic music, so for him it was a natural place to go.

So many Frightened Rabbit songs are anthemic, somehow sounding like upbeat tales even when they’re about downer topics—not many bands could get crowds to lustily belt out lyrics about loneliness or “It takes more than fucking someone you don’t know to keep warm.” Is that something you set out to do? I’ve always been looking for that contrast within the songs. From very early on I knew I wanted the melodic qualities of the music to act like an open door, warm and welcoming, sometimes anthemic. Then once you’re in the room, you hear all these dark lines and it might be a little jarring, but we’ve already shut the door behind you. Ha!

What’s your process for recording new material? Is everything written and fleshed out in advance of going into the studio? Or do you just have sketches and ideas of songs ready to go? We’re usually relatively well prepared but recently we’ve enjoyed developing songs from rough sketches in the studio. Being overprepared or too certain of the songs can result in losing those little moments of studio magic. That’s our excuse for not knowing what the fuck we’re doing.

Once a track is recorded and released, does it stay like that in perpetuity, or do songs grow as you play them live? They always grow, they absolutely should. Often it’s just through boredom within the band, but sometimes the audience drives it forward. I never thought “The Loneliness and the Scream” would be a set-closer, but that had nothing to do with us. It was the crowds latching on to a melody and sticking with it. That was a surprise.

Do you have any crutches when writing a song—are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much? Absolutely. It’s a big danger and I’ve caught myself repeating themes again and again. However, I do think it’s important to develop your own world within the songs, and repeated lyrical themes are a big part of that. And the thing is: I am still a bit of a drunken failure. I’m not making it up. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

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A Reunited Piebald Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Tomorrow Night

May 24th, 2017

Travis Shettel (vocals and guitar), Andrew Bonner (bass), Aaron Stuart (guitar) and Luke Garro (drums)—ultimately replaced by Luke Garro—were in high school outside of Andover, Mass., when they formed the emo, post-hardcore band Piebald more than 20 years ago, combining “a goofy sense of sarcasm and wit with big, fuzzy guitars and hooks aplenty,” according to Stereogum. They quickly became a prominent presence in Boston’s indie-rock scene thanks to their upbeat live performances. Piebald (above, doing “American Hearts”) put out five studio full-lengths, the last of which, Accidental Gentleman (stream it below), came out 10 years ago, before amicably breaking up in 2008 (playing one of their last shows at The Bowery Ballroom). They briefly got together to play Bamboozle in 2010, but last year they returned with a reunion tour, and as part of an East Coast run, Piebald play Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night.

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Catch Urban Cone and Nightly Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

May 24th, 2017

Thanks to their energetic electronic-pop music, Urban ConeRasmus Flyckt (vocals and keys), Tim Formgren (guitar), Emil Gustafsson (bass) and Jacob William Sjöberg (keys)—have been getting people to the dance floor ever since forming in Stockholm a little more than five years ago. Urban Cone (above, performing “Old School” at the Swedish Grammys) are working on a third album to follow the release of the arena-ready Polaroid Memories (stream it below), which came out in 2015. “You just can’t make music that connects with people if your intention is to be superficial, and if the surface of Polaroid Memories gleams with polish, Urban Cone prove themselves to be the musical equivalent of marble cutters,” said Diffuser.

Urban Cone are currently out on the road with the cousin duo Nightly (below, doing “XO” live in Los Angeles earlier this year). Vocalist Jonathan Capeci and guitarist Joey Beretta’s debut EP, Honest (stream it above), came out last year. And you can see them alongside Urban Cone tomorrow night at the early show Mercury Lounge.

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

May 22nd, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Pantha du Prince Brings Experimental Electronic Music to Williamsburg

May 22nd, 2017

German composer, conceptual artist and experimental-electronic producer Hendrik Weber has worked under various names for more than a decade in the music industry, but he’s most known for making “sleek, pared-down techno” as Pantha du Prince (above, performing The Triad for Boiler Room), earning acclaim from critics, raves from fans and collaborations with indie rockers thanks to what AllMusic calls his “post-punk/shoegaze-inspired approach.” Pantha du Prince’s fifth studio full-length, The Triad (stream it below), came out last year. “That’s just what this album’s got,” said the Line of Best Fit. “A heart. Mathematical, mechanical parts that once evoked landscapes, snowscapes, a view frozen in time now evoke emotions and memories. Fleshy stuff, any mistakes made with a smile. It’s that searched for human touch, something no mere tin man could create.” Pitchfork weighed in, too: “The Triad sounds more like the work of a full band than one guy with a laptop, and it’s better for it. Compositions unfurl slowly, starting as sketches before layers of instrumentation blanket one another in unpredictable ways.” Find out just how unpredictable in person, tomorrow night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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Whitehorse Play the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Monday

May 19th, 2017

Before forming the Canadian folk-roots duo Whitehorse six years ago, singer-songwriters (and husband and wife) Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland had successful solo careers. Their eponymous debut full-length (stream it below) arrived in 2011. “Their self-titled debut record manages to amplify the musical personalities of both artists successfully,” according to AllMusic. “McClelland and Doucet had each been tending their own solo careers for a decade or so before starting Whitehorse, and both artists had been making their own inroads on the Canadian roots music scene, but these tracks find them crafting a more forceful, visceral sound together.” Whitehorse (above, performing “Tame as the Wild One”) have remained busy touring and recording ever since. Their most recent release, the blues-covers album Northern South Vol. 1 (stream it below), came out last summer. “Through the use of multi-tracking, the two can really build a song with a thick slab made of many layers. Rather than drone, Whitehorse adds color to the material through innovative arrangements to cover the chug-chug-chugging beat, which can range from affected vocals to fuzzy electric guitar riffs,” per PopMatters. “The two players understand the primal underpinnings of desire expressed in this music, ensuring that the songs come from the body more than the heart or mind. Whitehorse should be felt more than heard to be appreciated. Crank it up!” Hear them live at the early show at Mercury Lounge on Monday night. Singer-songwriter Brian Dunne opens.

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The Growlers’ Spring Tour Comes Through Terminal on Saturday

May 18th, 2017

Shake me up, shake me down: Try to define the Growlers’ sound and multiple genres will come to mind, which is exactly what makes them so special. Their sonic melting pot ranges from psychedelic rock to indie pop and from surf rock to beach Goth, all while Brooks Nielsen’s distinctive raspy voice croons about love, life and everyday hardships. Over the course of more than a decade, the Dana Point, Calif., band has released numerous well-received singles, EPs and albums, including last year’s City Club (stream it below), which AllMusic dubbed their “most immediate and accessible collection of songs to date.” Plus, they’ve toured with renowned acts like the Black Keys, Julian Casablancas and Devendra Banhart. The Growlers (above, doing “I’ll Be Around” live in studio for KEXP FM) have gone through a transformation with City Club—produced by Casablancas and Shawn Everett (best known for working with Alabama Shakes and Weezer)—making their sound more concise, with upbeat tempos and perhaps a dose of New York City attitude added to their sunny, laid-back California vibes. Now in fine mid-tour form, the Growlers play Terminal 5 on Saturday night. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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Holy Fuck Close Out Run of Shows Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom

May 17th, 2017

Without using laptops or programmed backing tracks, Toronto electronic-rock ensemble Holy Fuck—currently Brian Borcherdt (keys and effects) and Graham Walsh (keys and effects) with Matt McQuaid (bass) and Matt Schulz (drums)—have been getting fans to the dance floor with their (often improvised) lo-fi electronic performances since forming back in 2004. Holy Fuck’s first recorded work, an eponymous LP (stream it below), came out a year later. “In a style of music that’s mostly created by pressing buttons and manipulating touch screens, the drummer-powered, live-in-the-studio feel of Holy Fuck provides both musical excitement and textural variety missing from most similar electro-dance albums,” per AllMusic. Last year, Holy Fuck (above, performing “Tom Tom” for KEXP FM) released their fourth full-length—the first since 2010. “Here we have Congrats, a record which sees them perfectly, finally, in balance between their jazzy, wiggy madness and their strangely melodic sensibilities,” gushed Drowned in Sound. “It’s good to have you back, Holy Fuck, and it’s a relief to say that the six-year wait for Congrats is most definitely worth it. For all their weirdo mangled machine noise, it feels like they’ve reached a beautiful plateau, a perfect crossroads between all their disparate elements, finely tuned and full of vigour.” They close out their May tour on Thursday night at The Bowery Ballroom. Toronto trio Odonis Odonis open the show.

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Gov’t Mule and Chris Robinson Brotherhood Come to SummerStage

May 16th, 2017

Local guitar hero Warren Haynes (vocals and guitar) doesn’t know how to sit still. He’s seemingly always performing, recording, touring or sitting in with someone else. And with a new Gov’t Mule album, the politically charged Revolution Come … Revolution Go, recorded last year on Election Day, due to arrive in just a few weeks, one of the hardest working men in show business is back out on the road with comrades in bluesy Southern-rock jam-band arms Matt Abts (drums and vocals), Danny Louis (keys and vocals) and Jorgen Carlsson (bass). Tomorrow night at SummerStage in Central Park, Gov’t Mule (above, performing “Blind Man in the Dark” at Lockn’) arrive with the like-minded Chris Robinson Brotherhood—the former Black Crowes frontman (vocals and guitar) alongside Neal Casal (guitar and vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys and vocals), Tony Leone (drums) and Jeff Hill (bass). The CRB’s most recent release, Betty’s Self-Rising Southern Blends, Vol. 3 (stream it below), out in March, is filled with live soundboard mixes by famed Grateful Dead audio engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson, terrifically capturing the band live, which just so happens to be the best way to experience Gov’t Mule and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. So don’t miss them live tomorrow night at SummerStage.