Tag Archives: Everly Brothers

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Brendan Canning: Worth the Wait

January 27th, 2014

Brendan Canning – Mercury Lounge – January 24, 2014


The jokes kind of write themselves: Canadian musician postpones show due to visa issues, comes “down South” to New York City in January during a historic cold snap instead of October when climes may have better suited him. But as Brendan Canning explained at Mercury Lounge on Friday night, it was all for the best—the delay had given him time to tweak his band and the music, and judging by the resulting set, who am I to argue?

Looking every part the veteran and an elder statesman of the Toronto music scene, Broken Social Scene’s Canning and Co. opened with a wash of spacey instrumentals, his band, a full guitar-heavy sextet, trending toward the subtle and the beautiful. The wall of sound eventually turned into tracks from Canning’s new album, You Gots 2 Chill. It’s filled with lo-fi songs and ideas, many sounding almost like he had made them lovingly, in his bedroom. Live, though, the band added an oomph and a measured interplay to the material, each song sounding like it could just keep going forever without complaint from musicians or the audience. Random film clips were projected on the back wall, giving the impression that the band was playing on that magical other side of a movie screen, perhaps an entire other audience out there unaware of the cinematic music being made.

Late in the show, when Canning had loosened up with the banter, he gave a helpful recap of the set: “spacey intro, first songs off You Gots 2 Chill, old Broken Social Scene, album material, new songs,” and that’s pretty much how it went. But song selection was only part of the appeal, the band felt totally frictionless, free to glide unimpeded in any direction. “However Long” was a highlight, stripped of the electronic bleeps on the studio version, the band dug into the breezy melody with vigor. It’s always a pleasure to see a band of this caliber deliver quality new material, and Canning didn’t disappoint. “Once I Was a Runner” was an indie-rock keeper with a jangly mellow outro. “Hey Marika,” advertised as a cross between the Everly Brothers and the Grateful Dead, didn’t disappoint with a rollicking jam that Canning hoped might get them into Bonnaroo. The final song, “Your Turn,” kept that open-ended theme going, starting sweetly and then building to a big BSS-esque finish while the projection turned appropriately to a rocket blasting into orbit. Canning stayed onstage with his acoustic guitar plucking a beautiful little instrumental solo to end a night well worth the wait. —A. Stein

 

 

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Brooklyn Country Music Hits The Bowery Ballroom

February 6th, 2013

The Lone Bellow – The Bowery Ballroom – February 5, 2013


Remember how Bon Iver’s heartbreak record, For Emma, Forever Ago, became part of indie-rock lore, straight from a Wisconsin cabin into an awkward Grammy speech? Zach Williams, lead singer of the Lone Bellow, may give Justin Vernon a run for his money with his own self-titled album. Williams was encouraged by a friend to write when his wife suffered a near-paralyzing fall from a horse. And early journal entries became the foundation for songs that grace his album. Williams has said of his work, “We write songs from personal experiences in our lives. Tragedy, hope, betrayal and redemption ebb and flow throughout this record.” He and his band even went up to a cabin in upstate New York to film a video for “Two Sides of Lonely.”

With mandolinist Kanene Pipkin and guitarist Brian Elmquist, the Lone Bellow created a robust hug of harmonies around the audience of The Bowery Ballroom on a chilly Tuesday evening. The band sauntered onstage to the Everly Brothers’ “Wake Up Little Suzy,” and the audience joined in with uproarious cheers and applause as they began their set with “You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional.” Williams offered “another sad country” as an introduction to “Two Sides of Lonely,” in which one onlooker yelled, “Make me cry!” A cadence of hand claps erupted for the rollicking favorite, “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold.” In a playful interlude, Williams and Co. covered Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and bits of Brian McKnight’s “Back to One.” Returning to a country croon, the Bellows continued with “Bleeding Out” and a steel-pedal accompanied “Looking for You.” Williams proposed a new song, with opening chords similar to Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” which (you guessed it) they played. It seems as though the Lone Bellow has quite the repertoire of ’90s R&B tunes.

As the end of the night neared, “Teach Me to Know” closed the set with the group’s fans singing along. For an encore, the Lone Bellows covered John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” before finishing with “The One You Should’ve Let Go,” and The Bowery Ballroom was transformed into the set of Nashville, with feet stomping and the crowd chanting: “Come on, my love / I’m not the one that you were looking for / I’m not the shoulder you should cry on / I am the one you should’ve let go.” But despite those lyrics, the Lone Bellow won’t be let go anytime soon. —Sharlene Chiu

(The Lone Bellow play the Beacon Theatre with Brandi Carlile on 3/22 and 3/23.)

 

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Christopher Owens Lets His Music Talk for Him

January 23rd, 2013

Christopher Owens – The Bowery Ballroom – January 22, 2013


Maybe you’ve heard the fable of one Christopher Owens. Reared in the Children of God cult and later “rescued” by Texan oil tycoon Stanley Marsh III, Owens now resides in San Francisco, where he formed the recently disbanded Girls. As if his fortunes weren’t promising enough, he was announced as the face of the Yves Saint Laurent spring/summer campaign. And although he’s concluded his work with Girls, Owens’ solo album, Lysandre, remains confessional, telling the story of a French woman he fell in love with while on tour with his former band.

Playing his latest album completely in order last night, Owens shuffled onto the stage at The Bowery Ballroom with a band of seven. Parking himself in a seat, he wore a suit and tie for the occasion. As those in attendance held their breath for Owens’ first words, his simple “hey” would set the tone for the night. There was little chitchat, and in its place were the repetitive chords of “Lysandre’s Theme.” Bouncing from reflective narrative with “A Broken Heart” to upbeat “Here We Go Again,” Owens let his songs do the talking. He earnestly sang, “What if everybody just thinks I’m a phony/What if nobody ever gets it/Well, some people never get anything/And I shouldn’t care what people think” on “Love Is in the Ear of the Listener.” In response, onlookers offered shouts of encouragement. Singing pensively about the dissolution of his French romance on “Everywhere You Knew,” a lone lighter was raised in the crowd.

For the encore, Owens and Co. returned for a set of covers starting with the first song he ever learned to play, Cat Stevens’ “Wild World,” followed by Donovan’s “Lalena.” With the freezing temperatures, Simon & Garfunkel’s lyrics “Where the New York City winters aren’t bleeding me” from “The Boxer” were quite appropriate. Topping it off, Owens resurrected the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” Flowers were passed to the front row and Owens pulled out his iPod to record the audience’s applause. This was a memorable evening for him as well as those who braved the arctic chill to hear him. —Sharlene Chiu

 

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Get Your Weekend Started with the Raveonettes at Webster Hall

October 3rd, 2012

Sune Rose Wagner (vocals and guitar) and Sharin Foo (bass, guitar and vocals) formed the Raveonettes in Copenhagen more than a decade ago, earning some interesting comparisons in the process: the Everly Brothers because of their harmonies, the Jesus and Mary Chain because of their noisy guitars and the Velvet Underground because of their dark lyrics. Last month, the influential duo (above, performing “Railroad Tracks”) released their sixth album (stream it here), about which Rolling Stone says, “With its fuzzed-out haze settling over much of the record, Observator is filled with upbeat pop cuts.” In support of the stripped-down, more intimate new LP, the Raveonettes are working their way across the country. See them play Webster Hall on Friday night.