Tag Archives: Berklee College of Music

cat_reviews

Big Thief Close Out Two-Night Run Back at Home in Brooklyn

September 13th, 2017

Big Thief – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 12, 2017

Big Thief, a local Brooklyn band, have done a lot in two years, from releasing a debut album, Masterpiece, in spring 2016 to dropping their follow-up LP, Capacity, just this past June. Lead vocalist Adrianne Lenker’s song delivery anchors the band, while guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik and drummer James Krivchenia provide the exclamation marks. They’ve been touring nonstop this summer in support of the latest release, including their recent debut at the Newport Folk Festival and a swing through Europe.

Last night, Big Thief played the second of two shows this week at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Lenker wore denim overalls, while Meek favored a more traditional tweed vest and pants combo. The band had the crowd rapt early as they offered up two favorites, the slow-burning “Masterpiece” and the longingly aching “Shoulders.” There was little banter from the soft-spoken lead singer, but her musical voice said enough.

Lenker’s attempts to fill the space between numbers became odd ruminations on dinner, so instead she stuck to her plaintive songs to charge the room. A preemptive surge of applause greeted the first chords of “Mythological Beauty,” and the second album’s title song earned an equally fine reception. The set concluded with the delicate lullaby “Orange,” which was followed by an encore with a guitar-less Lenker crooning “Mary.” —Sharlene Chiu

cat_preview

Natalie Prass Comes to Music Hall of Williamsburg Tomorrow Night

November 9th, 2015

Natalie Prass grew up around Virginia Beach with an affinity for music and art, which led to her attending the famed Berklee College of Music. But it didn’t exactly take, so she left Boston and ultimately settled in Nashville. Music City ended up being the perfect home for the singer-songwriter, who, while biding her time, had ample opportunities to work on her craft. She’s previously hit the road backing Jenny Lewis, but back in January, Prass (above, performing “Why Don’t You Believe in Me” at SXSW for WFUV FM) saw her long- awaited, acclaimed self-titled debut full-length (stream it below) on Matthew E. White’s Spacebomb Records—although the album was actually finished in 2012. (Prass and White were childhood friends.) Despite the wait, critics have been absolutely knocked out. Pitchfork gave the LP its Best New Music label, and Paste magazine declared, “Over nine songs, Prass shows a range in songwriting, from anthems to confident R&B burners to whimsical prairie folk to theatrical grandeur. It is the debut of a songwriter not struggling to find a voice, but fully formed and confident as all hell. She makes knowing nods to Joni Mitchell, Lesley Gore, Diana Ross and Joanna Newsom, all while seeming natural and instinctual. She is the product of her influences and still original.” Currently winding down her most recent tour, Natalie Prass plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night. Loamlands, out of Durham, N.C., open the show.

cat_preview

Lost in the Trees Celebrate New Album Tonight

February 19th, 2014

Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Ari Picker, the four-piece Lost in the Trees, makes a winning mix of choral pop and folk music. Picker was raised in Chapel Hill, N.C., but studied music at Berklee College of Music. So when he returned home, he began collaborating with other like-minded musicians. Their previous album, A Church That Fits Our Needs (stream it below), ostensibly about Picker’s mother committing suicide, was a dark—albeit eminently listenable—tale. But Past Life (stream it below), out yesterday, finds Lost in the Trees (above, performing “Past Life”) in a better mood: And according to Consequence of Sound, “Past Life is a major stride forward for a very talented group who have until now only teased their potential.” See them play The Bowery Ballroom tonight.

cat_reviews

Lucius Return Home, Close Tour at The Bowery Ballroom

December 9th, 2013

Lucius – The Bowery Ballroom –  December 7, 2013


Having met while majoring in voice at Berklee College of Music, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig seemed destined to join forces, thanks to their complementary wall-of-sound voices and a similar unabashed sense of fashion. So it was no surprise that they became bandmates, along with drummer Dan Molad and guitarists Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri, in the Brooklyn outfit Lucius. “Their charisma and charm helps turn good pop songwriting into an endearing performance,” extolled NPR’s Bob Boilen.

That praise wasn’t in question on Saturday night, the first of two sold-out Bowery Ballroom shows over the weekend. After opening with an interlude of the Beatles’ “Free as a Bird,” the five-piece continued to enthrall fans with “Don’t Just Sit There,” the singers in matching dresses and sporting asymmetrical bobs. Large black-and-white silhouettes facing each other in a perfect yin and yang served as an appropriate backdrop. Treating longtime admirers to “Geneieve,” off their self-titled EP, the vocalists howled, “All you had to do was shut your mouth, GENEIEVE!” And Laessig exclaimed how happy Lucius were to return home to close out their 2013 tour.

The tenor thuds were in full force for “Tempest,” followed by “Monsters” with Jeff Taylor accompanying on whistling duties. The crowd really got into “Until We Get There,” clapping along to the rhythm. But the meat of set came toward the latter half, as Lucius doled out the percussion-heavy tUnE-yArDs-sounding “Nothing Ordinary,” fan-favorite “Go Home” and their full-length album’s title track, “Wildewoman.” However, Saturday’s show was not to end so quickly as Lucius promptly returned for an encore of “Turn It Around” and “Two of Us on the Run” before joining the audience on the floor for a seasonal surprise, an acoustic rendition of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” with fans hovering around them as if encircling a campfire. One couldn’t think of a more fitting ending. —Sharlene Chiu