Tag Archives: Fleetwood Mac

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Phox Say Goodbye (For Now) at Music Hall of Williamsburg

January 30th, 2017

Phox – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 28, 2017

(Photo: Sharon Vanorny)

(Photo: Sharon Vanorny)

Amidst an indie-pop music landscape saturated with bands, the Wisconsin-based Phox spent half of a decade delighting fans with their whimsical melodies. Ascending a stage at a local festival, Boo Bash, the members played for the first time in May 2011 for what they thought would be a one-off performance. From there they became the darlings of Baraboo, Wisc., releasing the Confetti EP in 2013 and then their self-titled full-length, recorded in Justin Vernon’s studio the following year. Last fall the band announced that members had agreed to take a “hiatus” to allow for other creative pursuits, from film to graphic novels. For the occasion, the quintet embarked on their Goodbye (For Now) tour, which rolled into a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night.

Taking the stage to an opening composed by guitarist Matthew Holmen, the five-piece filed in with their phoxy lead singer, Monica Martin, clad in a shoulder-baring black top and high-waisted acid-washed jeans. She quickly began with the breezy “Leisure,” and keyboardist Matteo Roberts offered his vocals on the opening of “1936” before Martin took back the reins. The crowd participated in a chorus of “Wah oh oh” on “Evil,” which wouldn’t be the only time audience erupted. A cadence of claps was inevitable during fan-favorite “Slow Motion,” and many joined in, singing, “Everything I do, I do in slow motion.” The evening spotlighted Martin, who recently recorded the hypnotic “Equal Powers” with Jeremy Larson’s Violents.

A solo section showcased new material, including a ballad entitled “Make Believe,” and another song served as a cautionary tale about road trips with strangers. The little-sung “Laura” was hard to perform in the past Martin confessed because it was about the relationship with her mother. Saving the best for last, Phox covered the rhythmic chords of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” and Holman offered a blistering guitar solo on “Noble Heart” to punctuate the set’s end. The band would return to encore with another cover. This time it was Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody.” The bittersweet farewell ended with “Espeon” dedicated to Martin’s younger sister in the audience. And as it neared midnight, fans left dreaming of Phox’s swift return in the (hopefully) near future. Sharlene Chiu

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A Psychedelic Saturday with Mystic Braves at Rough Trade NYC

September 19th, 2016

Mystic Braves – Rough Trade NYC – September 17, 2016

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Brooklyn got a glimpse of two sides of Los Angeles on Saturday night with an entertaining bill at Rough Trade NYC. After a warm-up from local rockers the Colorines, the crowd was treated to Jeffertitti Moon’s new project, the Dream Ride. He self-describes the music as “electro-magnetic dream-disco,” and I don’t think I could improve much on that. The set felt like listening in on dance music from the very near future. Style was as important as sound, Moon dressed in a bedazzled white suit, tie-dyed sci-fi images projected on the screen behind him. With a drummer and dueling keys/synth players, and Moon’s vocals getting a dose of reverb and digital effects, the music had a funky warmth. He revealed they had been detained at the Canadian border, indeed thrown in a cell, and joked that they wrote a couple of songs while locked up, which turned out to be covers of “Crimson and Clover” and later a fun take on Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

I was surprised to learn that his backing band featured members of the headliner, Mystic Braves, when he introduced them. That gave the between-set transition an almost Clark Kent–in-a-phone-booth feel as the deep synth transformed into the Mystic Braves unmistakably throwback ’60s psychedelic palette. There are many bands working with in this sound, but typically there is some qualifier, some update or twist. With these Angelenos, the only qualifier is that you didn’t need to invent a time machine to hear it. With shaggy haircuts, beautiful vintage guitar and basses, and songs like “Desert Island,” the quintet was a perfect simulacrum of a summer-of-love rock band, nailing the surf-psych-garage sound to exhilarating effect.

Each song featured almost constant guitar-noodle rips, packing a wealth of notes and layers of sound into each without meandering or lollygagging. The set picked up steam as it went along, hitting on material from all three of their releases, the influences of the Beatles and the Byrds on, for example, “Spanish Rain,” eventually providing a launching point for more psychedelic explorations. The final half of the show was filled with musical twists and turns, the after-midnight crowd finding their dancing feet. “Cloud Nine” was a centerpiece, with a central-casting organ whirl and a double-time guitar solo folded in the middle. The show culminated in a raucous full-band jam to close out “Bright Blue Day Haze,” a final glimpse of days long gone and a small slice of L.A. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

 

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Five Questions with Savoir Adore’s Paul Hammer

August 10th, 2016

Savoir Adore (above, performing “Giants” for We Found New Music) play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday night, and The House List recently reached out to the band’s leader, Paul Hammer, to discuss a new lineup, a new album, The Love That Remains—which comes out on Friday—and to answer Five Questions.

Your show at The Bowery Ballroom celebrates the release of The Love That Remains. What can we expect that night? Will you play the whole album? We’ll be playing most of it, yes! It’s a strange new (good) problem to have for us—figuring out a set list with three albums is a whole new challenge. This will also be the first time we’re playing most of these songs, so it’s exciting for us on that level too. 

For some bands, touring is like a theater piece in that the set list doesn’t change too much from show to show, but everyone onstage is aware of the different nuances in each performance. But for others, every night has a totally different set list and feel. Where do you land in that spectrum? I think a little bit of both, but definitely leaning toward the theater-piece approach. We have a pretty specific flow and idea for transitions, and our sound is also very electronic and sequenced at times. That’s the tricky part about being an electronic band without the ability to hire a nine-piece traveling group. Would love to have three dedicated synth players in the future, but for now we’ll give a little bit of the work to Mr. Ableton.

How has a change in the band’s lineup changed things? It’s interesting ’cause it’s obviously different with a different group of people, but in some ways it hasn’t changed much at all. We’ve also been a band that’s sort of evolved and changed lineups over the years, so in that sense we’ve become a bit used to it. But I think the biggest change is just that I’m more in a position of being the sole leader now. It’s a pressure that was pretty overwhelming for a long while, but now that I’m used to it, it’s actually really liberating. 

As a Brooklyn band, what does it mean to do an album-release show at home in NYC? And is there any personal significance to playing The Bowery Ballroom? Big time. It means a lot. Honestly, most of my favorite shows in New York have been at The Bowery Ballroom, and I often call my happy place the upstairs bar looking out at the arched window. As soon as I started writing this record I knew I wanted to have the release show here, and this being our first time headlining makes it even more special. 

Friday’s show has ended, and at the after-party we give you a buck for the jukebox. Which three songs do you choose? Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime,” Tom Petty, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy.” Then again, if this was a party of some kind, I might pick different songs. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

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Dinosaur Jr. Celebrate New Album’s Release at Rough Trade NYC

August 8th, 2016

Dinosaur Jr. – Rough Trade NYC – August 5, 2016

Dinosaur Jr. – Rough Trade NYC – August 5, 2016
Forget about the Olympics. Anyone looking for a classic example of people getting together to produce greatness despite their differences need look no further than J Mascis and Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. Their historic infighting dissolved the band in the late ’90s in what was bound to remain a tale of what could have been. Yet against the odds, they reunited in 2005 sounding as good as ever, putting out album after album like nothing had changed. And in a way, things haven’t: They still don’t get along. Barlow recently admitted that he’s hardly on speaking terms with frontman Mascis. They’re like an indie-rock Fleetwood Mac minus the mountains of cocaine and intraband romances.

Friday night at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC marked the release and celebration of Dinosaur Jr.’s fourth post-reunion full-length, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Notanother ear-splitting album to add to the band’s canon. The humbly introverted Mascis nestled into his stack of Marshall amps while sporting a giant blue Cookie Monster T-shirt. They kicked off the set with the muddy classic “The Lung,” with Barlow’s heavy slaps of bass crashing down like his Muppet mop of hair. The new album’s first track, “Goin’ Down,” followed with Mascis providing buzzsaw riffs reminiscent of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades.” “I don’t think we’ve made it through this song one time,” said Barlow, introducing “Love Is….” And if not for the squelching Mascis guitar solo in the middle of it, the tune could have easily been mistaken for one by Barlow’s other band, Sebadoh.

Mascis’ noodling appeared as effortless as ever—no one shreds as nonchalantly as he does, and it’s not even close. The soloing outro of “I Walk for Miles” was enough to burn down the venue, and even if it had, Mascis would’ve probably just stood there like the This Is Fine dog. The set closed with a tear through the classics, “Start Choppin’,” “Freak Scene” and a massive “Gargoyle” jam, plus a two-song encore of “The Wagon” and “Out There.” Some people believe God scattered dinosaur bones around the planet to confuse us about evolution, to test our faith. Those people are fucking crazy, but not as crazy as the fact that after all these years, Dinosaur Jr. are still together, and not just together but still insanely good. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nricks

Photos courtesy of Pat Tabb | pattabb.com

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Aubrie Sellers Confidently Walks the Line at Rough Trade NYC

May 18th, 2016

Aubrie Sellers – Rough Trade NYC – May 17, 2016

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Aubrie Sellers has described what she does as “garage country,” and that’s on point. It’s not that her music sounds bashed out or particularly raw, but it’s clear from the first notes—and even in her tenderest songs—that we’re not dealing with the side of Nashville that favors slickness, polish and a packaged sound. No, in Sellers’ hands, country songs get nice and scuffed, sometimes with a honky-tonk bent, sometimes with an infusion of indie rock, sometimes with punk’s burnt edges, sometimes mindful of ’70s AM rock and sounding perhaps a few clicks over from Fleetwood Mac. She’s part of a six-piece band, but there isn’t a keyboard, or a fiddle, in sight, and a whole lot of guitars kicking up some principled racket. There’s a steel player—used to great effect during last night’s set at Rough Trade NYC—but he’s just as likely to blow harp through a tricked-out microphone made from what appears to be an old telephone receiver. Cool. 

These distinctions are important because Sellers, who’ll be described here and probably in every profile, feature and review for years as the daughter of Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers, knowingly put extra pressure on herself by following her parents into the biz. But she’s neither a Nashville country supplicant nor a rebel. The songs on her debut album, New City Blues, walk the line between both of these poles. Over the course of an hour’s headlining set, Sellers tried them out on us: winking blues rock in “Sit Here and Cry,” sweet yearning in “Something Special,” moody country angst in “Light of Day,” cautioned romance in “Just to Be with You.”

Sellers explained that most of her set is usually sad or sarcastic songs but then sneaked in some reservedly happy ones. She pulled in a few covers, some obvious (Buck Owens’ “My Heart Skips a Beat”) and some far less so, but well chosen, including the Beach Boys’ “In My Room,” which the band turned into a misty-morning electric-folk song while Sellers mined its sensitive beauty. Throughout, and in any of those modes, she displayed able command of a big-sound band, knowing when to keep a tight rein so her vocals could be the main focus and when to let those gnarly guitars overwhelm her singing a bit. The confidence in that balance is working for her. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Tor Miller Returns to Mercury Lounge to Play the Late Show Tonight

March 4th, 2016

Thanks to his parents, native New Yorker Tor Miller grew up with a keen appreciation for classic rock, like David Bowie, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac. And after taking up the piano as a kid, Miller (above, performing his new single, “Carter and Cash” for Mahogany Sessions) began singing and writing original material. Eventually he headed to NYU to study music. But Miller spent so much time working on songs in his dorm’s basement and performing at local clubs that he eventually ended up leaving school. The upside was that thanks to the buzz he’d generated, the smooth-voiced singer-songwriter signed with Glassnote Records. His debut EP, the terrific four-track Headlights (stream it below), came out a little more than a year ago. And in heaping him with praise, the Guardian said, “There’s a real take-me-to-church quality to his tone.” Of course, you can find out for yourself because, after time overseas, Miller comes home to kick off a new tour on tonight at Mercury Lounge. Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sean McVerry opens the show.

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Jenny Lewis and Friends Charm Sold-Out Beacon Theatre

February 5th, 2016

Jenny Lewis – Beacon Theatre – February 4, 2016

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Track-by-track celebrations of iconic albums have a way of turning into respectful museum visits: look, nod, appreciate the graceful aging, shrug. So perhaps the most remarkable thing about Jenny Lewis’s salute to Rabbit Fur Coat at the Beacon Theatre last night is how immediate, how engrossing and how alive and un-nostalgic it felt. The exceptionally charming Lewis was already indie-rock royalty by the time she joined hands with the Watson Twins and M. Ward for Rabbit, but to hear the reunited ensemble—Lewis and the Watsons, with Ward ducking in and out to color and shade certain songs—tackled its 12 selections a decade later suggested even greater layers of depth to a collection of music that was already cavernous.

Rabbit Fur Coat is an album you take your time with, and it’s interesting to note how many critics back in 2006 were respectfully pleased but not gushing in their initial praise. The LP has soul, country and antsy indie-rock shades. It has lovely bluegrass-style harmonies. It sounds pastoral, almost twee, but you listen through that initial reaction and you hear the humor, the melancholy and the haunted aspects. Flow-wise, the show was the same as it’s been all tour: performing Rabbit Fur Coat start to finish, followed by an intermission and then a second set drawing on other Lewis albums, Rilo Kiley material and a stray cover or two. Dressing up the Beacon Theatre beyond its usual majestic charms seems like gilding the lily, but not in this case: warm purples, vibrant, sparkly outfits, rainbow-colored and wave-textured this and that.

From the start, the mood was spiritual. Lewis and the twins walked to the stage, singing “Run Devil Run,” using the Beacon’s natural acoustics, and then proceeded to balance the sometimes-overlapping tones of the church and the barroom, whether in Ward providing spindly guitar on “Happy” (and the audience joining a sing-along during its reprise eight songs later), or the spooked waltz of the title track played with the barest accompaniment, or the country-gallop-’60s-girl-group-psychedelic-folk mélange of “You Are What You Love,” or the now-famous cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle with Care” that infused more Laurel Canyon soul into the original while keeping its edges rightfully burnt. As ever, Lewis sang lines like “Are we killing time?/ Are we killing each other?” like they couldn’t come from anyone else: sad, philosophical, determined, faintly wry, probably all of those things. The standouts among Lewis and team’s superb second frame included “I Never,” a beloved Rilo Kiley number, and “Red Bull and Hennessy,” a newer tune that’s been rightfully compared to Fleetwood Mac. By the end, it was a choose-your-own-highlight” kind of night—the best kind, with much to consider.
—Chad Berndtson | @cberndtson

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Houndmouth Are Unrelentingly Energetic at Union Transfer

April 6th, 2015

Houndmouth – Union Transfer – April 4, 2015

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During the second chorus of “Sedona,” it struck me: I hadn’t listened too closely to Houndmouth’s lyrics prior to seeing them on Saturday at Union Transfer, but that night the words had direct meaning. As the band sang, “I remember, I remember when the neon used to burn so bright and pink/ A Saturday night kind of pink,” a neon pink sign reading HOUNDMOUTH glowed atop the stage—and it was a Saturday night. The only other time reference was when drummer-singer Shane Cody called out that Wisconsin had beaten Kentucky in the Final Four.

Otherwise, Houndmouth played in a time warp. The guys—guitarist-singer Matt Myers, bassist-singer Zak Appleby and Cody—wore eccentric vintage outfits with deep V-neck shirts while keyboardist-singer Katie Toupin donned a shimmering blue dress. At times,
it seemed like they were trying to approximate Fleetwood Mac’s aesthetic. Toupin looked and sounded the part of an ethereal songstress while Myers stood at the front of the stage, high-kicking during solos. It worked for them, though, and throughout a set list comprised of material from their first album and their newest, Little Neon Limelight, Houndmouth were unrelentingly energetic.

Most of the songs sounded like they should be played in front of an audience rather than in a studio, especially when they climaxed with instrumental swells and big harmonies. But there were quiet moments too, like when Toupin played guitar and sweetly sang, “Gasoline.” And even if they wear their influences on their sleeves, quite literally, as the classic-rock costumes indicated, Houndmouth don’t come across as overly sentimental, and it’s appreciated. The quartet gave shout-outs to some of the Philadelphia bands they admire, especially Dr. Dog. And despite not sounding alike, both groups approach a live show similarly: work hard, have fun and relax. —Jared Levy | @Playtonic

 

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Haim Pack Webster Hall

September 4th, 2013

Haim – Webster Hall – September 3, 2013


The iconic long blonde locks of Californian lasses have been idolized in music from the Beach Boys to Girls (Christopher Owens). However, a trio of brunette sisters, Este, Danielle and Alana Haim, might be changing the West Coast lexicon. Playing collectively as Haim, these siblings evoke R&B into folk-pop heavy compositions. While fans await the release of their full-length album, Days Are Gone, later this month, the sisters headlined a sold-out Webster Hall last night. Having been to quite a few sold-out shows at the venue, I’ve never seen the rafters so overfilled with onlookers or a bottleneck at the entrance for the floor. The sisters definitely took notice, exclaiming “This is the craziest thing.”

Haim treated the crowd early on with fan faves “Better Off” and “The Wire.” The latter was reminiscent of M. Ward’s “Never Had Nobody Like You” with a noticeably similar rollick. There was no doubt that when Danielle’s guitar shredded the familiar chords of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” that this wasn’t any ordinary rendition. Her skills confirmed why the likes of Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas asked the middle Haim sister to tour with them. Early ’90s R&B influences were best heard on “Falling,” where the audience joined in to sing “Don’t stop, no one’s ever enough/ I’ll never look back, never give up/ And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough/ But now I’m falling.”

The youngest Haim, Alana, couldn’t withhold her glee from announcing the gig was better than her 21st birthday to jumping around onstage to incite the front row. As the set neared its end, Danielle commanded for “the ceiling to fall down,” as she barreled into “Forever” and Este’s heavily laid basslines caused an eruption of claps. The trio returned for a one-song encore and delivered a venomous “Let Me Go.” The evening concluded with the sisters in a drum triangle, beating down on the skins as if they were taiko performers. There’s no question that Haim stamped their names on New York City. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com

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A Wild Night of Music at Mercury Lounge

July 3rd, 2013

Noah and the Megafauna/Jenny O. – Mercury Lounge – July 2, 2013


What do you call the Tuesday night of a three-day workweek? Regardless, it can throw the week off-kilter a bit, which is fine, because the music onstage last night at Mercury Lounge was also slightly off-kilter, in a very good way. Noah and the Megafauna headlined the early show, bringing to mind some sort of biblical flooding and pairs of animals crammed onto a boat. Well, there was plenty of cramming going on, with 10 musicians onstage, including a pair of guitars, a violin and a three-person reed section. The musical mix was about as motley as the ark must have been, a salad of gypsy jazz, Dixieland and baroque pop, surprisingly swinging and lots of fun. Definitely not the kind of sound the Merc is accustomed to, but maybe that was the point. Probably those left off the ark would’ve enjoyed it best. This was a set of songs for sinners, like “Moan All Night” with a dark, Arabian energy featuring solos from pretty much everyone. In between songs, the eponymous Noah sipped beer with one hand and did shots with the other, running the band like a mishmash jam session at a house party in ’30s Paris. After one slowed-down song in the middle of the show, things picked up with a series of exotic grooves, the band clicking on “On and On” amongst others.

The late-show headliner, Jenny O., is from Los Angeles by way of the “tri-state area,” which I believe is a euphemism for Long Island. Her music was a mélange of influences and styles, evoking Fleetwood Mac, Edie Brickell and Creedence Clearwater Revival throughout the set. She opened with “Learned My Lessons,” featuring a Simon & Garfunkel–feelin’ groovy vibe and followed it up with the dreamy, twangy title track off her wonderful new album, Automechanic. Jenny O. had a two-shots-and-two-tokes kind of giddiness going on, teetering a bit at the start, whether part of her thing or not. The band, dubbed the High Society, kept that precipice-dangling energy and focused it admirably. I was absolutely flummoxed when she announced a few songs later that this was actually her first time playing with them—and that they had only met a few hours earlier.

As the set unfolded, mostly with material off the new album, Jenny O. sharpened considerably, switching to electric guitar for some added ferocity. After a couple of solo acoustic numbers, including a cover of the Whigs’ “Rock and Roll Forever,” the show really got moving. “Come Get Me” was high-energy fun with a rocking guitar solo, and “Lazy Jane” was a highlight, the band tight as a veteran touring act and Jenny O. sounding like a slow-burning Stevie Nicks. The singer-songwriter’s voice was like a chameleon, her banter flavored with a mix of Southern, Los Angeles and New York accents, and her singing almost beautiful but absolutely enchanting. When the band exhausted all their prepared material, she returned for a solo encore, fulfilling the request for “Won’t Let You Leave” with her strongest vocal performance of the night and adding an unwound cover
of Paul Simon’s “Peace Like a River,” perfectly capping off this rare Thednesday night. —A. Stein