Tag Archives: Deer Tick
Since forming in Southern California four years ago, the guys in Dawes—Taylor Goldsmith (vocals and guitar), Wylie Gelber (bass), Griffin Goldsmith (drums) and Tay Strathairn (keys)—have won over fans across the land with their high-energy live shows and three albums—North Hills, Nothing Is Wrong and this year’s Stories Don’t End (stream it below)—filled with tightly written songs, quality harmonies and some good old-fashioned guitar love. But one of the most interesting things about Dawes (above, doing “If I Wanted Someone” at last year’s Lollapalooza) is the vast array of bands and musicians with whom they’ve been associated. They’ve been compared to the Band, for their lyrics, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, for their harmonies. They’ve crisscrossed the country and teamed up with their musical brothers-in-arms, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit. And in the band’s infancy, they took part in jam sessions at Jonathan Wilson’s house with the likes of Chris Robinson, Benmont Tench and Conor Oberst. But after finding success, Dawes went on to back some of the biggest names in rock royalty, Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty. Plus, at the most epic night of music The House List has ever had the privilege to witness, they inspired one of the loudest sing-alongs Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble had seen with their anthemic “When My Time Comes.” But, really, why are we telling you all this? So you don’t miss them with talented indie-folk duo Shovels & Rope tomorrow night at Terminal 5.
Tags: Benmont Tench, Cary Ann Hearst, Chris Robinson, Conor Oberst, Crosby Stills & Nash, Dawes, Deer Tick, Delta Spirit, Griffin Goldsmith, Jackson Browne, Jonathan Wilson, Levon Helm, Michael Trent, North Hills, North Hils, Nothing Is Wrong, Preview, Robbie Robertson, Shovels & Rope, Stories Don’t End, Tay Strathairn, Taylor Goldsmith, Terminal 5, the Band, Video, Wylie Gelber
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My Morning Jacket – the Capitol Theatre – December 27, 2012
Last night was a bring-your-own-seat-belt kind of affair as My Morning Jacket played a thrill-ride roller coaster, the first of three sold-out shows at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. Before the main event began, though, Deer Tick treated the crowd to an opening set that felt more like a second headliner. With their keyboardist “on a plane,” the Providence, R.I., band coalesced in quartet form, tight and rocking and totally polished. The set was an open-the-next-beer-before-finishing-the-last kind, constantly propelling through songs like “The Bump” and “Main Street” before exploding with a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” the audience singing along, and finally closing with “Born at Zero.”
With that, the stage was reset and MMJ came out loud, frenetic and intense from the get-go. The superlative light show at the Cap includes lifelike projections on the venue’s walls, which can suggest an alternate reality for those inside. The music dutifully provided an otherworldly soundtrack: When the walls showed a spooky, psychedelic, come-to-life forest, “Outta My System” delved deep into a dark guitar jam and later, the walls literally went to steam as the band chugged through “Steam Engine.” Throughout there were plenty of wonderfully disassociated moments—jams in stretched-out intros or outros or just standing alone as heady instrumental moments between songs. Jacket classics like “The Way That He Sings” and “Off the Record” were glued together with blistering ad hoc guitar riffs, ambient-noise jams and techno-tinged grooves.
The band has promised no repeats for this three-night run, providing some free-form fun in the set list, which was up and down while maintaining a glorious MMJ intensity all the while. Slower songs like the red-lit “Strangulation” seemed to build to heavy hitter at a perfect pace and eventually segued into a mallet-to-the-head “Smokin’ from Shootin’.” A late-set take on Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone” was a highlight. Here, the walls seemed to go to oil slick, shimmering alive with liquid rainbow colors while the band slow-burned a long, groovy space jam to match.
The set peaked more than 100 minutes in with a monster feedback jam that fed into a loop-de-loop “Mahgeetah.” Still, plenty of track remained for Jim James and Co. as they came out and did a mini-set encore that encapsulated the energy of the show with another 40 minutes of music that included a quieter acoustic-guitar section highlighted by a solo version of “Bermuda Highway,” James ensconced in spotlight, his voice carrying the room. As the night came to a close, the walls went spacey, stars flying by at unnatural speeds as MMJ went into an intergalactic “Gideon.” The song built to yet another climax, entire galaxies floating by the audience. There were only a few questions to be answered: Were we returning to terra firma after a cosmic journey or had we finally left the atmosphere? And more important: Was your seat belt still buckled? —A. Stein
The Sinclair, a 525-person live-music venue in the heart of Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., opened last week with Concrete Blonde. The gem of a room is filled with different levels and balconies, plus state-of-the-art lights and sound system. The Boston Globe says, “It has some of the best sight lines of any local venue, with three balconies of varying heights. Get here early to stake out a spot in the middle platform, which offers a prime spot to stare down the bands.” And the Phoenix calls that same perch: “the best view in a house that has no bad views.”
The Sinclair, however, isn’t just about great shows—although it will have a full calendar, highlighted by Deer Tick’s sold-out New Year’s Eve show. In addition to live music, this venue will house a Michael Schlow–helmed restaurant. “Music is inextricably linked to the dining experience,” says the acclaimed chef. And although the eatery will only have a small menu on show nights until after the New Year, once its fully up and running, concertgoers and foodies alike will want to stop in for anything from small bites and snacks to big plates and full meals. Because if you like food and music, this must be the place.
Middle Brother/Dawes/Deer Tick – The Bowery Ballroom – March 6, 2011
Is March still part of the winter or is it spring? Should we be happy that it’s getting warmer or depressed because it was raining all day? Is Sunday night the end of the weekend or the beginning of the next week? Is Middle Brother a side project, a supergroup or just another band? These were some of the questions hanging in the air at The Bowery Ballroom on a rainy Sunday night in March. The answer to all of them is, of course, “somewhere in between,” which gives the band’s moniker some extra meaning.
Middle Brother, being bits of Dawes, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit, was only part of the story, though. Usually projects like these are meant to get the musicians away from their normal bands for some extracurricular activity. But the gig on Sunday was more of an extra kind of thing with the entirety of Dawes and Deer Tick playing their own full-strength sets as well. These weren’t opening slots, but part of an overall-show arc, with both bands playing in as-good-as-I’ve-seen-’em form. Despite having their bags stolen the night before, Dawes was as alive as ever with their superb polished-for-radio sound. Frontman Taylor Goldsmith extolled the beauty of support and collaboration with fellow musicians, setting the tone for the evening. He then brought out Johnny Corndawg for a mini-set of country-flavored fun. The closing number, “When My Time Comes,” had Corndawg and the Middle Brother cohorts singing along in unified awesomeness.
With their double blasts of guitar and a bottle of Maker’s Mark to pass around onstage, Deer Tick was a raging contrast of raw bar-band rock and roll. Their set included more guest turns and a massive jam with three guitars and eight total musicians as well as a fantastic five-part harmony on “Dirty Dishes.” By the time the quote-unquote headliner took the stage, the crowd had already gotten their money’s worth, but there was plenty more to come. In rock and roll mathematics, the sum of Goldsmith, Deer Tick’s John McCauley and Delta Sprit’s Matt Vasquez is roughly the average of proto-supergroups Crosby, Stills and Nash and Blind Faith: lush harmonies, touching, self-aware songwriting and plenty of build-to-climax raging rock. Rotating in guests from the rest of the night, they hit most of their self-titled debut in fine fashion. There was plenty of joking and back-slapping and free-for-all fun onstage and hooting, hollering and heckling in the crowd. As the clock approached midnight, the band handed out masks with ugly pictures of themselves for those in the audience to hold up—for no reason at all. Was it the weekend or the start of the week? Somewhere in between. —A. Stein
A fantastic musical revue is coming our way this weekend. Middle Brother, comprised of the frontmen of three talented bands—John McCauley (Deer Tick), Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit) and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes)—plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday and The Bowery Ballroom on Sunday. Each night will packed with great music, featuring sets by Middle Brother (above, doing “Me Me Me”), Deer Tick and Dawes. It’s sure to be a blast, but be aware that Saturday’s show is already sold out and Sunday’s show could, too. So act fast! In the meantime, McCauley was kind enough to answer Five Questions for The House List.
What’s the last band you paid to see live?
Oh man, I haven’t paid for a show in a long time…. Maybe Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons; one of my favorite bands. They’re out of Providence.
What’s the toughest part of playing New York City?
Not being able to smoke indoors.
Where do you like to hang out in NYC? And do you ever feel like you could live here?
I love Red Hook. I did live in New York for a bit, but it wasn’t for me.
What music or song always makes you dance?
“Jump Jive an’ Wail” by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Your after-party is at a bar with a great jukebox, and The House List gives you a buck. Which three songs are you playing?
AC/DC’s “T.N.T.,” the Beatles’ “Dig a Pony” and the Replacements’ “I Won’t.” —R. Zizmor
Tags: Bowery Ballroom, Dawes, Deer Tick, Five Questions, John McCauley, Matt Vasquez, Middle Brother, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Preview, Taylor Goldsmith, Video
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Deer Tick – Webster Hall – August 13, 2010
Friday the Thirteenth proved to be a lucky night to be at Webster Hall. The crowd enthusiastically greeted Delta Spirit frontman Matt Vasquez (“I’m not anything without my band”) as he opened with a short set of his own songs plus covers of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Neil Young. Then, playing their last U.S. show before heading overseas next month, Deer Tick was fittingly welcomed to the stage with an air horn. The Providence, R.I., quintet went right into “Choir of Angels,” the opening track from their terrific new album, The Black Dirt Sessions.
The disc is notable for a change in Deer Tick personnel, with guitarist Ian O’Neil, formerly of Titus Andronicus, and keyboardist Rob Crowell joining the band. O’Neil is a big addition with his songwriting (“Hope Is Big”), singing and frenetic guitar playing, clearly evident onstage during “Baltimore Blues No. 1,” which has been reworked with Christopher Ryan’s ’50s-coffehouse-bassline opening. Crowell’s influence was most obvious on an ambling version of “Ashamed,” as he effortlessly shifted from keys to sax mid-song (while ringleader John McCauley slid from crooner mode to keys player) as the crowd throatily sang the chorus.
Of course McCauley, his voice endearingly ragged on “Christ Jesus,” was his usual engaging presence, cracking jokes, singing to girls and sharing his bottle of Jack with the audience—plus he even played a little air horn when just he and drummer Dennis Ryan returned to the stage following the encore break. The other guys eventually joined them on an upbeat “Easy.” And then as people sprayed band-supplied Silly String into the air, it seemed like the show would close with the rambling honky-tonk of “Mange,” but the group responded to the loud crowd and returned with one more, a heartfelt a cappella “Dirty Dishes” before closing out their tour. Look out, Europe: Deer Tick is coming. —R. Zizmor
Friday the 13th is just three days away, but there’s no reason for it to be unlucky because The House List is giving away two tickets to see Deer Tick (with Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez opening) play Webster Hall that night. In concert, the band is like a live wire, and they’ve recently released a great new album, The Black Dirt Sessions. The show is sure to be a blast. Want to go? Then try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Deer Tick, 8/13) and a brief message explaining why your favorite Deer Tick song is just that. Eddie Bruiser, who can’t pick just one, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Dr. Dog, a pop-rock quintet based in Philadelphia, openly embraces lo-fi production and the upbeat, late-’60s sounds of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Two frontmen, bassist Toby Leaman and lead guitarist Scott McMicken, lead them—although the whole band harmonizes throughout their shows. The group formed in 1999 and has toured extensively over the years, earning wider acclaim opening for the Raconteurs, the Black Keys and My Morning Jacket. Although the lineup has changed over the years, Dr. Dog (above, playing “The Rabbit, the Bat and the Reindeer” on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson) still put out six albums since 2001. Their most recent effort, Shame Shame, came out last month. And they’ve been on the road with Deer Tick ever since. That tour ends tomorrow night at Terminal 5.
What began as a solo project for the ferociously talented John McCauley has blossomed into the five-man full-band sound of Deer Tick. Their third studio album, The Black Dirt Sessions, comes out next month but has already earned praise—plus their most notable fan is Brian Williams. And as terrific as the band’s recorded take on Americana music is, the best way to experience Deer Tick (below, playing “Easy” on KEXP) is to see them live. As singer-guitarist McCauley says, “Our live shows sometimes tend to go a bit haywire. We like to put on memorable shows, the kind of shows that you don’t see very often. If you don’t want to get covered in beer or confetti at one of our shows, I’d suggest not standing up in the front.” So do yourself a favor and make sure you go to Terminal 5 mañana.
Sandwiched between a set by Dawes and one by Delta Spirit, three frontmen—John McCauley (Deer Tick), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) and Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit)—plus Dawes drummer Griffin Goldsmith and Delta Spirit keyboardist Kelly Winrich played live for the very first time under the name MG and V. The vocalists wrote a bunch of material earlier in the year while holed up in Nashville, and they debuted four songs here at the IFC Crossroads House. McCauley, who played bass, sang “Daydreaming” with its fantastic opening line, “Listening to the neighbors having sex.” Vasquez took the next tune. No one said the name of the upbeat song, but it might’ve been called “Some Day.” Taylor sang lead next on “Thanks for Nothing.” And then all three singers traded verses on “Million Dollar Bill.” Good shit. Delta Spirit up next. Stream it here! —R. Zizmor
Halloween is about tricks or treats, but why settle for just one when The Bowery Presents is offering a night filled with plenty of both? Deer Tick is playing the songs of the Sex Pistols at Brooklyn Bowl. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing this band live, you already know that with their three-pronged guitar attack and frontman Jon McCauley snarling Johnny Rotten’s vocals that this will be “Anarchy in the BK” done right.
If the Sex Pistols aren’t your thing, but you still want some classic rock—and who could blame you?—then head to Music Hall of Williamsburg to see Lez Zeppelin. Their tagline is All Girls. All Zeppelin. And these girls are fierce (especially Leesa Squyres as John Bonham)! If you still want covers, but are looking to get down, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will be doing a tribute to Michael Jackson at The Bowery Ballroom. And if you like a dance party with a slight political bent, then shake it all night at Terminal 5 with D.C.’s Thievery Corporation.
Of course, there are also other options. If you’re looking for some catchy-and-contemplative music, we’ve got that too: Tegan and Sara at Town Hall. And if good old-fashioned storytelling is your thing, hightail it to The Wellmont Theatre to see the engaging Robert Earl Keen and Todd Snider. And, finally, if you’re looking to check out several bands with some “high-octane punk rock with swagger” then check out Mercury Lounge’s lineup, led by Black Taxi. (Plus, there’s even a costume contest.) Do what you like, but do see some music on Halloween!
Tags: Black Taxi, Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Bowl, Deer Tick, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Lez Zeppelin, Mercury Lounge, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Robert Earl Kean, Tegan and Sara, Terminal 5, The Wellmont Theatre, Thievery Corporation, Todd Snyder, Town Hall
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Deer Tick – The Bowery Ballroom – October 22, 2009
Not to be confused with Deerhoof, Deerhunter or the Dear Hunter, Deer Tick, led by the ferociously talented, no-longer-mustachioed John McCauley, is a band rooted in Providence, R.I., with a sound rooted somewhere safely below the Mason Dixon Line. They’ve put out two excellent albums—War Elephant is more subdued than its livelier follow-up, Born on Flag Day. But when heard live, the recorded material, like a fine wine, opens up into something bigger. McCauley has an engaging—if not drunken—stage presence, and with his vivid songwriting and lived-in vocals, even when things go off the rails, it’s still raw and real and never manufactured. It’s a refreshing change. And more than that, it’s a lot of fun.
Headlining a CMJ Music Marathon show on Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom, Deer Tick, wearing Jason Vorhees-style goalie masks, finally took the stage at 12:15 and opened with a soulful, a cappella “Dirty Dishes.” “How you doin’ tonight?” asked McCauley, greeting the sold-out crowd. “Yo, tonight rules!” From then on, the band played nearly two hours of original material dotted with plenty of stage banter, a hard-driving version of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?,” a sped-up, guitar-driven take on Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” and possibly the first ever appearance of “Air Force Porn,” when a fleet of paper airplanes made from porno-magazine pages descended upon the audience.
Onstage, they guys in Deer Tick smoke, drink and carry on—they even threw glitter and shot Silly String into the crowd. That party atmosphere was infectious—the good kind—which carried over to the concertgoers, who stomped, sang, danced and clapped along. Late in the set, when McCauley invited “everyone who wants to come onstage to come onstage,” the band was joined by at least 30 people who were drunk enough or needy enough to do so. As Deer Tick played “City of Sin” and the rollicking love song “These Old Shoes,” several girls draped themselves across the frontman, who didn’t seem to mind.
After clearing the stage (“I need some alone time”), McCauley performed several songs accompanied by just his guitar and harmonica. When the full band eventually joined him, many in what was left of the crowd pogoed up and down with sparklers held aloft to the strains of Deer Tick’s traditional closer, a cover of “La Bamba.” And then the house lights came on, revealing a floor littered with cups, glitter and porn. —R. Zizmor
(Deer Tick plays the songs of the Sex Pistols on Halloween at Brooklyn Bowl.)
The CMJ Music Marathon starts today, and The Bowery Presents has plenty of choices for you with multiple shows all week long at The Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Check out what some of the people at The House List are most excited to see:
Having had “Crystalised” playing on repeat for at least two straight weeks, it’s an understatement to say that I am looking forward to watching the xx perform at CMJ (Music Hall of Williamsburg, Friday). I have also heard there is some great hair I should try to catch on camera. ZAZA is on the wish list because I have yet to witness the atmospheric magic spun by my enchanting friend Jennie. I’ll also try to make the Screaming Females show (Mercury Lounge, Wednesday). I saw them last on Valentine’s Day, when that itty-bitty girl shredded her guitar into itty-bitty heart-shaped pieces. Her vocals hark back to the Dead Kennedys, which wins my deepest reverence. —Mina Kim, Photographer
I’ve got a list of bands I will try to see, among them Bang Bang Eche, an energetic electro-rock group from New Zealand. Check out their new single, “Fistful of Dollars,” and you can catch them around town on Wednesday. (Plus they’ve got shows next week at Music Hall, October 26th, and Mercury Lounge, October 27th.) Fanfarlo’s dreamy melodies and aching lyrics should be a big hit this year. They’re playing Music Hall tonight and The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow. The other group I am desperate to see is School of Seven Bells—playing Music Hall on Friday—who will blow your mind live. This band put out one of my favorite albums last year and is definitely worth checking out if you can make it. —Anna Loosli, Writer
I’m most excited for two Bowery Ballroom shows—Deer Tick on Thursday and then Portugal. The Man on Friday. I must admit that I love Deer Tick. With their tight songwriting and loose live performances, they’re a must-see band every time they play NYC. I’ve only had the chance to see Portugal. The Man twice, at Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, but each time I’ve found them eminently listenable and intriguing, and not just because of their strangely punctuated band name. —R. Zizmor, Editor
Tags: Bang Bang Eche, Bowery Ballroom, Deer Tick, Fanfarlo, Mercury Lounge, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Portugal. The Man, School of Seven Bells, Screaming Females, the XX, ZAZA
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Deer Tick – The Bowery Ballroom – July 24, 2009
Deer Tick had been on the road steadily since early June—including more than 20 dates with Dawes—before closing their tour in rowdy style at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom on Friday night. Playing tracks from their debut album, War Elephant, and their follow-up disc, Born on Flag Day, released about a month ago, Deer Tick began the show with a brief drums interlude and then firmly took hold of the audience with two hours of gritty, sweaty rock and roll.
Drummer Dennis Ryan, whose tour beard compared favorably to the Geico Caveman’s, his bassist brother, Chris, and guitarist Andy Tobiassen are talented musicians, but Deer Tick’s heart and soul is clearly John McCauley’s raspy, evocative voice. The frontman was chatty and affable throughout. (And possibly drunk. Although he’s not a haphazard drinker: He kept his beers cool in a koozie all night.) Before going into “Baltimore Blues No. 1,” McCauley said, “I wrote these fucking songs in my bedroom when I was 17 or 18 years old. And there were never this many people there. But if there were, we would’ve had a great time.” Those in the audience happily agreed as they stomped, clapped and sang along to songs like “These Old Shoes” and “Little White Lies,” plus a terrific cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Breakdown.”
As the show—and tour—wound down, members of both opening bands, Dawes and These United States, who had been singing along from the side of the stage, joined Deer Tick onstage. The mood was loud and rambunctious, like rolling thunder, as they drank, hugged, danced and took turns trading solos on a ripping version of “La Bamba.” Many young bands’ live performances sound remarkably similar to their recorded work, but Deer Tick’s live show breathed new life into their already-heady stuff, turning earnest music into something dirtier (in a good way). Like the recorded takes were just the beginning, a blueprint to build on. Hopefully they will. They’re off to an awfully good start. —R. Zizmor