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Pond Celebrate New Album with a Pair of NYC Shows Next Week

May 4th, 2017

When you think about psychedelic rock from Perth, Australia—assuming you do think about psychedelic rock from Perth, Australia—Tame Impala probably come to mind first. And so a pair of touring members of Kevin Parker’s acclaimed outfit, Nick Allbrook (vocals, guitar and keys) and Jay Watson (guitar, vocals and drums), teamed up with Joe Ryan (guitar, bass and vocals) and Jamie Terry (keys, synths and bass) to form the psych collective Pond nine years ago in order to play with anybody they wanted. The band began releasing a host of singles, EPs and LPs in 2009, and their sixth full-length studio album, Man It Feels Like Space Again (stream it below), came out two years ago to some considerable acclaim. “Classic rock touchstones are intrinsic to Pond, but they shove them into futuristic territory—gifted musicians unafraid to indulge their flights of fancy,” said Rolling Stone. “This balance of playfulness and serious is Pond’s carnival act, but it’s their mastery of it on Man It Feels Like Space Again that makes it so damn fun—and Pond so very exciting.” Their newest album, The Weather (produced by Parker), comes out tomorrow. “The Weather is chaotic, confrontational and compelling,” says the AU Review. “Episodes of chaos are met with equal parts clarity and discovery, as we navigate through Pond’s transportive world of psychedelic rock.” And Pond (above, performing “30,000 Megatons” live for the French televison series Le Grand Journal) celebrate its release on Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg and then again on Wednesday at The Bowery Ballroom. Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J Callinan opens both shows.

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You Me at Six Bring a New Album to The Bowery Ballroom on Monday

May 4th, 2017

Formed in Southeast England in 2004, You Me at Six—Josh Franceschi (vocals), Max Helyer (guitar), Chris Miller (guitar), Matt Barnes (bass) and Dan Flint (drums)—broke into the mainstream with the release of their first full-length, Take Off Your Colours (stream it below), four years later. The Guardian compared them to Fall Out Boy, adding, “The world may be ever-changing, but teenage angst is common to every generation. Surrey emo kids You Me At Six wear theirs with pride.” Earlier this year, the band (above, performing “Swear” for BBC Radio 1) put out their fifth studio album, Night People (stream it below), which finds them in darker, heavier territory. “Perhaps Night People isn’t the album we were expecting from YMAS, but it is the one they wanted (and arguably needed) to make right now. Crammed with skyscraping melodies and moments of spine-tingling poignancy, it stands them in the best possible stead for packing out stadiums and headlining festivals in the near future,” said Rock Sound. “They’ve fulfilled their side of the bargain with these 10 songs. Your move, world.” Touring America in support of their new music, You Me at Six play The Bowery Ballroom on Monday night. And the Score open the show.

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The Fab Faux Do Never-Before-Seen Tribute at the Capitol Theatre

May 3rd, 2017

Individually, former Late Show with David Letterman bassist Will Lee (vocals, bass and keys), Conan house-band leader and guitarist Jimmy Vivino (vocals, guitar and keys), in-demand Rich Pagano (vocals and drums), accomplished songwriter Frank Agnello (vocals and guitars) and multi-instrumentalist Jack Petruzzelli (vocals, keys and guitars) are each known as incredibly hard-working and fantastically talented musicians. And together, they combine to join forces as the Fab Faux, which Rolling Stone’s David Fricke calls “the greatest Beatles cover band—without the wigs.” Of course, the Fab Faux (above, performing “Tomorrow Never Knows”) are much more than a cover band. No, they don’t look like the Beatles, but thanks to their love of the Fab Four and their attention to every little detail, they sound remarkably like them. See them perform a never-before-seen tribute of The Beatles’ Second Album and Yesterday and Today on Saturday night at the Capitol Theatre. (The Fab Faux will return to play the Westbury Theater on 6/10 and then the Beacon Theatre on 11/4.)

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Sam Evian and Uni Ika Ai Keep It Local at Rough Trade NYC Saturday

May 3rd, 2017

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Owens is known for fronting Brooklyn trio Celestial Shore, but he does the solo thing as Sam Evian (above, the video for “Sleep Easy”). And to that end, his debut long-player, Premium (stream it below), inspired by the likes of Shuggie Otis, Jackson Browne and Cass McCombs, came out last summer. AllMusic said it’s a “seductive listen that’s equally suited for early morning hangovers and late, late nights.” While No Depression added: “Premium is a spaced-out gem of trippy, layered instrumental arrangements and Evian’s smooth, creamy harmonies. And it is the perfect soundtrack for you last days of summer, with its beachy, bright coolness.”

Brooklyn dream-pop act Uni Ika AiMaia Friedman (vocals, synths and guitar), Peter Lalish (guitar and synths), Tom Deis (keys, bass and vocals) and Dan Drohan (drums and percussion)—also put out a first LP, Keeping a Golden Bullseye in the Corner of My Mind (stream it above), last year. In dubbing it a “stunning debut album,” the Wild Honey Pie went on to say, “The songs are dreamy without becoming cloudy—they exist within a comfortable haze and tempo, but don’t succumb to feeling lethargic or apathetic. The vocals and instrumentals push forward with ease, creating tracks that feel steady but triumphant, relaxed but purposeful.” Uni Ika Ai (below, doing “Mexico” for Sofar Sounds) have teamed up with Sam Evian for a few shows this week, and you can catch them both on Saturday night at Rough Trade NYC. A third Brooklyn act, Wilder Maker, opens.

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Nao Closes Out Her Tour on Friday Night at Brooklyn Steel

May 3rd, 2017

Neo Joshua grew up in East London studying vocal jazz. She’s since gone on to make what she calls “wonky funk”—a winning amalgamation of electronic music, R&B, soul and funk—as Nao, earning comparisons to FKA Twigs in the process. After doing time as a backup singer (for Jarvis Cocker no less) and putting out a couple of EPs, her first full-length, For All We Know (stream it below), came out last summer to near universal acclaim. “Nao’s debut album certainly isn’t shy about setting her out as one of the UK’s brightest new talents,” said NME. “The first thing you notice is her voice, a fluttery but punchy thing with a propulsive kind of power.” And Spin added: “Whether or not Nao is ‘Girlfriend’ material—to cite the demure-yet-hopeful ballad that closes this sensational debut—she’s evolving into an artist serious pop listeners can commit to.” You can also commit to seeing her in person because Nao (above, performing “Bad Blood” live in studio for KEXP FM) closes out her American tour on Friday night at Brooklyn Steel. And Brooklyn’s Brasstracks open the show.

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Transatlantic Sessions Comes to Town Hall on Thursday Night

May 2nd, 2017

For more than two decades, Transatlanic Sessions has periodically been bringing together a gathering of folk heroes for collaborative live performances by leading folk and country musicians from Scottland, Ireland and North America, as part of an award-winning BBC TV series. And now going on its seventh season, Transatlantic Sessions begins a new chapter with a U.S. tour with the likes of Jerry Douglas (above, performing “Route Irish”) and Aly Bain, featuring such special guests as Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Paul White, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, Declan O’Rourke and Karen Matheson. And while this might sound like the kind of thing you could only see on PBS, you can actually watch this incredible mix of traditional and contemporary music with elements of country, bluegrass, Cajun and Celtic folk live tomorrow night at Town Hall.

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Former Vampire Weekend Member Rostam Plays The Bowery Ballroom

May 2nd, 2017

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij first burst onto the music scene as the guitarist-keyboardist for Vampire Weekend—he also produced the band’s first two albums. Batmanglji amicably left the group early last year to launch a solo career as Rostam. I Had a Dream That You Were Mine (stream it below), a collaborative effort with former Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser, arrived last September. “Leithauser and Rostam take their flair for reimagining classic sounds with postmodern glee to new levels,” said AllMusic. And with a full-length solo album due later this year, Rostam (above, the video for his brand-new single, “Gwan”) plays The Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday. Former Dirty Projectors bassist, keyboardist and vocalist Deradoorian opens the show.

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The Black Angels Bring New Music to Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday

May 1st, 2017

Taking their name from the Velvet Underground tune “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” the psychedelic garage-rock band the Black Angels formed more than a decade ago in Austin, Texas. The group—Stephanie Bailey (drums), Christian Bland (guitar, drone machine and organ), Alex Maas (vocals, bass, drone machine and organ), Kyle Hunt (keys, percussion, bass and guitar) and Jake Garcia (guitar)—recently released their fifth long-player, Death Song (stream it below), to some considerable praise. Paste says it “is both unlike anything they’ve done before and also the most purely Black Angels album they have released. It’s as if the Texas psych-garage mainstays have now fully mapped the edges of their sound and that this process has allowed them to return with an extreme vengeance to the dead center of what they are.” And the Guardian calls the full-length “a menacing return to form,” while Glide adds: “The album gains momentum with each song and gets better with each subsequent listen.” Touring behind the new music, the Black Angels (above, performing “Half Believing” live on French TV) play Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday, and Brooklyn trio A Place to Bury Strangers open the show.

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

May 1st, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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A Double Dose of the Wild Reeds in New York City This Week

May 1st, 2017

Individually they’re known as Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe and Sharon Silva, but collectively the three are known as the Wild Reeds (above, performing “Patience” for KRCC FM), the L.A. band deftly mixing straight-up rock, ethereal folk and twangy country, all beneath three distinct voices joined in harmony. Their second full-length, The World We Built (stream it below), came out last month. NPR Music compares the trio to Crosby, Stills & Nash, adding that the album “is underpinned by brash guitar textures, harmonium and a killer rhythm section. The Wild Reeds grasp the wonder of song.” In New York City this week, they play tomorrow at Rough Trade NYC and on Wednesday at Mercury Lounge. Nashville, Tenn., rock five-piece Blank Range open both shows.

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Jamestown Revival Come to Brooklyn Steel on Sunday Night

April 28th, 2017

Zach Chance (vocals and piano) and Jonathan Clay (vocals and guitar) met as teens in Texas and bonded over a wide array of music. Eventually, each launched a solo singer-songwriter career, sometimes harmonizing together while on tour. Thanks to the enthusiastic crowd response to their combined vocals, Chance and Clay formed Jamestown Revival six years ago, making Southern-tinged Americana featuring their harmonies. Their first album, Utah (stream it below), burst onto the scene in 2014, offering “up a big, bright, and mellifluous set of meticulously honed, radio-ready, country-folk confections that blend tight Everly/Avett Brothers harmonies with breezy West Coast melodies that invoke names like the Lumineers, Blitzen Trapper, Band of Horses and Belle Brigade,” according to AllMusic. Jamestown Revival (above, performing “Love Is a Burden” live in studio for KUTX FM) returned last year with their sophomore effort, The Education of a Wandering Man (stream it below), which PopMatters called “an upbeat road album filled with rich harmonies.” Going on to add: “While Jamestown Revival’s harmonies are the constant that provides cohesion, it’s their melding of influences that makes The Education of a Wandering Man stand out in a sea of post-Black Crowes country-rock outfits.” See Jamestown Revival play live on Sunday at Brooklyn Steel. Maine holler-folk four-piece Ghost of Paul Revere open the show.

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Sweet Crude Bring Uniquely New Orleans Sound to Mercury Lounge

April 26th, 2017

Sweet Crude—a collection of friends and relatives: Jack Craft, Sam Craft, Stephen MacDonald, Alexis Marceaux, Dave Shirley and Skyler Stroup—are a uniquely New Orleans band, a six-piece with lyrics written in a mix of English and Cajun French, working in tune with five-part harmonies, tribal rhythms and pop hooks. According to the-Times Picayune, “The musicians of Sweet Crude are bilingual because the music is, and not the other way around. Writing in Cajun French connects Marceaux and the Crafts to their heritage, but it also opens up an expansive other world of sound; a whole other dictionary to play rhyming games with, for one.” Their debut full-length, Sweet Créatures (stream it below), came out just last week. And Consequence of Sound calls it: “An alluring indie pop record filled with playful rhythms and a genuine love for the Louisiana city. Touring North America in support of their new music, Sweet Crude (above, performing “Mon Esprit” for New Orleans Live) play Mercury Lounge on Friday night. The NOLA five-piece Motel Radio open the show.

(And if you find yourself in New Orleans for Jazz Fest, see Sweet Crude open for Lake Street Dive at the Civic Theatre on 5/6.)

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Balkan Beat Box Bring Their Unique Dance Party to Brooklyn Steel

April 25th, 2017

Firewater members producer-drummer Tamir Muskat and producer-saxophonist Ori Kaplan (also formerly of Gogol Bordello) were born in Israel and met in Brooklyn. United by a love of music, and playing together—as Balkan Beat Box—they blend Balkan, klezmer and Mediterranean sounds with dub, electronica and hip-hop. They perform live joined by a rotating group of musicians, but singer-percussionist Tomer Yosef has officially joined them as the third member of the band. Their fifth full-length, Shout It Out (stream it below), out last year, finds the band “as wild as ever,” according to Relix. “Shout It Out is spicy and exotic—but even a pop-radio audience could get behind it.” You can get behind it yourself when Balkan Beat Box (above, doing “I Trusted U” at Paste Studios) play Brooklyn Steel on Friday night. Das Racist’s Heems opens the show.

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Fenech-Soler and Knox Hamilton Play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday

April 25th, 2017

With infectious electronic indie-pop tunes, Fenech-Soler have risen out of the ashes of the MySpace era like a millennial phoenix. Hailing from Northampshire, England, they’ve consistently created catchy, captivating songs, releasing six EPs and three full-length albums since their first single, “Lies,” debuted in 2009. Two of the group’s founding members departed last year, leaving behind brothers Ross and Ben Duffy, who have been able to breathe new sonic life into Fenech-Soler, experimental enough to incorporate the essence of the band’s original sound while creating a distinctive new one to set them apart. On their third LP, Zilla (stream it above), released earlier this year, the brothers Duffy have also taken on a new image thanks to the interactive 360° video for “Conversation” (above), beautifully blending together technology and their appearance. And to support the new album, Fenech-Soler have hit the road with the Little Rock, Ark., pop outfit Knox Hamilton (below, performing “Work It Out” for Jam in the Van), known for a melting pot of influences. Their debut full-length, The Heights (stream it below), is filled with rhythmic sounds, lively drumbeats and upbeat lyrics sure to remind you of summertime adventures. See them together on Friday night at The Bowery Ballroom. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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Don’t Miss Juliana Hatfield on Thursday Night at Mercury Lounge

April 24th, 2017

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Juliana Hatfield has had a long, distinguished career in alternative rock, doing time with the Lemonheads, Blake Babies, Some Girls, Minor Alps and the Juliana Hatfield Three in addition to her much-acclaimed work as a solo performer. And despite thinking her songwriting career was on hiatus, or perhaps even finished, she found herself inspired by last year’s presidential election: “All of these songs just started pouring out of me. And I felt an urgency to record them.” As a result, Hatfield (above, her video for new single “Short Fingered Man”) has a new album, Pussycat, out on Friday, and she celebrates its arrival with a pair of shows this week at Mercury Lounge—the first on Wednesday night, which is already sold out, and then again on Thursday. Singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson opens each performance.