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The Bright Light Social Hour Debut New Music at Mercury Lounge

March 9th, 2015

The Bright Light Social Hour – Mercury Lounge – March 6, 2015

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“Let’s have some fun!” That’s how bassist Jack O’Brien began the late show at Mercury Lounge on Friday night, and for the Bright Light Social Hour, is there any other way? The Austin, Texas, quartet has always been an instant party in a bottle, a genie of good times ready to be released on command. The clock had just nudged past midnight and the sold-out crowd was cocked and ready to fire as the band opened with “Sweet Madeline,” the lead track off their new album, Space Is Still the Place. The LP’s title may reference Sun Ra, but the BLSH source material is Southern rock meets the discotheque with jam sensibilities, and the opening songs highlighted all of these influences, Curtis Roush singing like a young Gregg Allman while playing a cosmic slide guitar, and Joseph Mirasole mixing techno beats with rock-out power.

The new material added subtleties to the Social Hour live show, many of the songs having quieter moments to offset and accentuate the high-energy rock and roll. The band played with veteran confidence, debuting soon-to-be-released tunes to the NYC audience like they’ve already been playing them for years. When the group finally broke the ice and busted out an old favorite, “Shanty,” the crowd responded with a surge, Edward Braillif laying down the irresistible synth hook, Roush building an expert slide solo and O’Brien bouncing around the stage with infectious glee. “I Need Your Love” was quintessential BLSH: blues with a funky inside, featuring tremendous drumming throughout from Mirasole, the party in full swing with everyone in the room singing along at the top of their weekend-ready lungs and getting their boogie on in between verses.

By midway through the set, the entire crowd was sucked into the resistance-is-futile party and the band went in for the kill. “Infinite Cities” felt completely like the “first single,” a groovy space-pop declaration of where the Bright Light Social Hour are right now, the entire band contributing and the audience responding in kind. “In and Out” pushed the room to its inevitable climax before the four-piece ended with the new album’s final two songs, “The Moon” and “Escape Velocity,” the latter featuring an excellent cruising-altitude jam. O’Brien said the closing pair described “orgies from the future,” which might have made an excellent alternative title for the funk-blues-dance-jam-groove-rock-and-roll party that is the Bright Light Social Hour. —A Stein | @Neddyo

 

 

 

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

March 9th, 2015

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Hundred Waters – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 5, 2015

March 6th, 2015

Hundred Waters - Music Hall of Williamsburg - March 5, 2015

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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Three Nights of Gov’t Mule with John Scofield Coming Our Way

March 6th, 2015

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Warren Haynes is one of the hardest working musicians in show business. He’s been a solo performer in addition to his work with a variety of groups, including the Dickey Betts Band, the Allman Brothers Band, the Dead and, of course, Gov’t Mule, the blues-rock power trio he founded with bassist Allen Woody and drummer Matt Abts back in 1994. Following Woody’s tragic death in 2000, the band used a rotating group of bassists (including Andy Hess for five years) before settling in as a four-piece with keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson. In 2014, Gov’t Mule kicked off a 20th-anniversary celebration with a series of live recordings highlighting their impressive two decades of work. The most recent archival release, the stellar Sco-Mule (stream it above), out earlier this year, was recorded at two 1999 shows in Atlanta that featured dazzling jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield. And while the album is terrific, Scofield and the Mule have hit the road together bringing their cool, unique live sound to the masses. Their tour is now winding down, but you can still catch them on Sunday at the Space at Westbury and then their two final shows, next Friday and Saturday at the Capitol Theatre.

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Dry the River Kick Off Tour Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg

March 5th, 2015

Peter Liddle (guitar and vocals) began Dry the River as a solo project. But wanting a bigger sound, he invited Will Harvey (violin and keys)—who has since left the band—Scott Miller (bass and vocals), Matt Taylor (guitar, keys and vocals) and Jon Warren (drums and percussion) to join him in making what he calls “folkie gospel music played by a post-punk band.” Early appearances at Glastonbury and SXSW earned Dry the River (above, doing “Alarms in the Heart” for Amazing Radio) comparisons to Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons. Their second full-length, Alarms in the Heart (stream it below), came out last year, winning over critics and fans alike in the process. According to AllMusic, the album offers “ten lush slabs of audio finery that blend the bucolic art-pop of Stornoway with the ceiling-peeling arena rock of the Killers” and it “always feels like it’s coming directly from the heart, even as it’s set to explode.” The London four-piece kicks off a new U.S. tour on Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Oklahoma City five-piece Horse Thief and local quartet Regret the Hour open the show.

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Three Shows, Two Nights, One Craig Ferguson This Weekend

March 4th, 2015

After 10 years hosting the Peabody Award–winning The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Craig Ferguson has returned to his standup-comedy roots. His most recent comedy album, I’m Here to Help (stream it below) came out in 2013. But now without the time constraints of doing a nightly talk show, the Scottish-American comedian can do a proper North American (Hot & Grumpy) tour, which brings him to our fair town to perform at Town Hall on Friday and twice, early and late, on Saturday.

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Celebrate Texas Independence Day on Saturday at Terminal 5

March 4th, 2015

This week marks the 179th anniversary of Texas Independence Day—and this Saturday at Terminal 5 is the seventh anniversary of us celebrating it in style. Inspired by Lonestar musical royalty like Waylon Jennings, Robert Earl Keen and Willie Nelson, singer-songwriter Pat Green has been making Texas country music since 1995, while he was still in college. And he’s been fairly prolific ever since graduating, releasing nine studio albums and a pair of live LPs, in addition to becoming known as an energetic live performer, all of which has made him very popular in his home state. Green’s most recent album, Songs We Wish We’d Written II (stream it below), highlighted by covers of “Even the Losers” and “Soulshine,” came out in 2012, but he’s currently working his way up and down the East Coast. And you can see Green (above, performing “Wave on Wave” for Texas Music Scene) on Saturday at Terminal 5, alongside the like-minded Josh Abbott BandCasey Donahew Band and Hudson Moore. And as an added bonus, any patron at least 21 years old with a Texas-related tattoo or wearing an article of clothing with a logo from a Texas college on it will receive one complimentary drink.

Contest: Win a Spring Season Pass from Us and Shake Shack

March 3rd, 2015

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Seeing how bitter the air is outside, we’ve teamed up with Shake Shack to offer something sweet: We’re giving you a chance to win a springtime season pass of tickets from us, plus dinner from the Shack. To enter, follow both @bowerypresents and @shakeshack on Instagram, and then tag a friend in the comments of the above photo. And then we’ll choose a lucky fan to win two tickets to Dry the River on 3/7, Moon Duo on 3/9, Alvvays on 4/2 and Walk the Moon on 4/15—and a $50 Shake Shack gift card.
 

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Cursive on 3/10

March 3rd, 2015

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Saddle Creek Records favorites Cursive are currently out on the road in support of their recently reissued acclaimed 2003 album, The Ugly Organ. They make their way to the East Coast and New York City next week, when they’ll play The Bowery Ballroom on 3/10 and 3/11. Both shows are already sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets to see the Omaha, Neb., four-piece next Tuesday. 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 (Cursive, 3/10) and a brief message explaining why you’re excited to spring forward this weekend. Eddie Bruiser, who hates leaving work after the sun sets, will notify the winner by next Tuesday. Good luck.

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Two Chances to See the Bright Light Social Hour at Mercury Lounge

March 3rd, 2015

The Bright Light Social Hour began as a post-hardcore rock collective more than 10 years ago in Austin, Texas. And thanks to their incendiary, high-energy live performances, they’d already become well known across the South prior to releasing their acclaimed self-titled debut full-length (stream it below), filled with a deft mix of psychedelic Southern rock and bluesy soul, in 2010. Since then, the foursome—Curtis Roush (vocals and guitar), Edward Braillif (synths and guitar), Jack O’Brien (bass and vocals) and Joseph Mirasole (drums)—has continued to be known for leaving it all onstage every night. Their second LP, Space Is Still the Place, comes out next Tuesday, and ahead of its arrival, the Bright Light Social Hour (above, doing “Infinite Cities”) play Mercury Lounge twice later this week, the early show on Thursday and the late show on Friday.

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The Gaslight Anthem – Terminal 5 – February 28, 2015

March 2nd, 2015

The Gaslight Anthem – Terminal 5 – February 28, 2015

Photos courtesy of Greg Pallante | gregpallante.com

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

March 2nd, 2015

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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JD McPherson – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 28, 2015

March 2nd, 2015

JD McPherson - Music Hall of Williamsburg - February 28, 2015

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

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North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne Put on Marathon Show

February 27th, 2015

NMO – the Space at Westbury – February 26, 2015

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It was a night of beginnings at the Space at Westbury on Thursday. With a stage packed with two drum kits and more guitars than fingers to count them with, the marathon show officially began with Luther Dickinson and Anders Osborne as a duet, playfully matching slide guitars in each other’s faces, singing “Let It Roll.” As the two hugged and Osborne left the stage to applause, Dickinson announced the evening as the “North Mississippi Anders Osborne Experience” before inviting his “brothers,” Cody Dickinson and Lightnin’ Malcolm, to kick off things once again with a few North Mississippi Allstars songs. But things didn’t really get rolling until Luther coaxed everyone out of their seats, filling in the space in front of the stage and in the aisles while the trio matched the energy with their bread-and-butter material, including “Shake ’Em on Down,” “Drinking Muddy Water” and “KC Jones (On the Road Again).” The trio flexed their Delta blues–rock muscles with Luther strutting his superlative slide playing and Cody shuffling along in time.

Throughout the night, one song’s ending was another’s beginning, and as the NMA mini-set closed, the entire trio banging away on a drum as Osborne and the rest of his trio—Carl Dufresne and Brady Blade—hopped onstage with their own percussion in hand, Cody Dickinson got the party started, singing “Granny Does Your Dog Bite” and getting the audience to sing along. Before long, the six musicians were on the floor marching through the crowd like New Orleans was on Long Island. Again, it felt like things were coming to an end, but the night was just pushing off from shore as NMA ceded the stage to Osborne and with a soulful moan in his voice and his slide, he took the helm. It seemed like the volume was raised a couple of clicks for this portion of the show with Osborne’s trio in fine form. Antics and marching bands are all in good fun, but the audience certainly was hungry for some red-meat rock and roll, which Osborne delivered. The highlight of the night featured his band rounded out to a quartet with Luther on acoustic guitar for a bang-bang-bang stretch of “Mind of a Junkie,” “Back on Dumaine” and “On the Road to Charlie Parker.” Again, each tune bubbled up out of the predecessor’s ending. The first featured a narcotic Neil Young–esque slow-burn guitar jam with Osborne as soulful as ever. “Dumaine” dissolved into a hair-raising improv with Osborne’s guitar channeling Jerry Garcia and Luther matching with an almost-Latin flair of acoustic guitar picking. Finally “Charlie Parker” was a powerhouse of New Orleans–infused rock and roll that easily could’ve ended the night, but, naturally, they were still just getting going.

From there, it would take a slide rule and a spreadsheet to properly keep track of the permutations of musicians and instruments. There was a trio version of the classic “Junco Pardna,” the Dickinson brothers and Osborne doing justice to the source material. Oh, did they mention that they have a new album out together? Finally, after about 90 minutes of soul-warming Southern rock, they got around to playing material from the new release, Freedom & Dreams, like everything else leading up to it had been a rehearsal. Combined as a massive six-piece, looking and sounding a bit like an updated version of the Allman Brothers Band, NMO proper began their night. “Back Together” stood out here, featuring count-’em three overlapping and interweaving guitar solos. Before the night came to a real, honest-to-goodness close, Cody Dickinson took a washboard solo, complete with wild flashing white lights that seemed to turn the band inside out, Malcolm ending up on the drums, Dufresne on the guitar and Luther on the bass. At one point earlier in the two-plus-hour show, Osborne mentioned the writing of a new song, “Westbury Blues,” joking it wasn’t ready … but maybe for the “next album.” From the sounds of it, for NMO, this is only the beginning. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

(North Misissippi Allstars and Anders Osborne play the Capitol Theatre tonight.)

 

 

 

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Sleater-Kinney Make a Triumphant Return to New York City

February 27th, 2015

Sleater-Kinney – Terminal 5 – February 26, 2015

Sleater-Kinney – Terminal 5 – February 26, 2015
Midway through Sleater-Kinney’s sold-out show last night at Terminal 5, drummer Janet Weiss pounded out the intro to “Entertain,” a song from the group’s seventh LP, the 2005 record The Woods, and the energy that had been pulsing and bubbling throughout the crowd surged to its highest point yet. Perhaps this overwhelming response was something of a collective sigh of relief, for until Sleater-Kinney’s recent reunion and the release of a new album, No Cities to Love, it seemed that The Woods might be the band’s final musical statement. And yet fortunately, here we all were. Of course, there’s also the fact that it’s just a really fantastic song—catchy, sharp, imbued with a sense of immediacy—the quintessential Sleater-Kinney sound.

Throughout the show, Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker treated the audience to older favorites like “Oh!,” “Get Up,” “Youth Decay,” “The End of You” and “What’s Mine Is Yours” (complete with windmill guitar strums by Brownstein). Songs from Sleater-Kinney’s excellent new album were also well represented, and witnessing them perform numbers like “Bury Our Friends” and “No Anthems,” it’s clear that the passion and conviction that drove their previous output is still fueling the jagged guitar lines, driving drums and sing-shout vocals.

Sleater-Kinney have also always been driven by their dedication to political and feminist issues, and during the band’s encore, Tucker thanked Planned Parenthood, which has partnered with the trio to provide outreach and information to concertgoers for the duration of their tour. “Reproductive health is just a part of … health. And quite frankly, we are tired of asking for it,” proclaimed Tucker. With that, the band ripped into new song “Gimme Love,” which was quite fitting as New York City definitely had lot of love for Sleater-Kinney last night. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com