Tag Archives: Karen Silva

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The Growlers’ Spring Tour Comes Through Terminal on Saturday

May 18th, 2017

Shake me up, shake me down: Try to define the Growlers’ sound and multiple genres will come to mind, which is exactly what makes them so special. Their sonic melting pot ranges from psychedelic rock to indie pop and from surf rock to beach Goth, all while Brooks Nielsen’s distinctive raspy voice croons about love, life and everyday hardships. Over the course of more than a decade, the Dana Point, Calif., band has released numerous well-received singles, EPs and albums, including last year’s City Club (stream it below), which AllMusic dubbed their “most immediate and accessible collection of songs to date.” Plus, they’ve toured with renowned acts like the Black Keys, Julian Casablancas and Devendra Banhart. The Growlers (above, doing “I’ll Be Around” live in studio for KEXP FM) have gone through a transformation with City Club—produced by Casablancas and Shawn Everett (best known for working with Alabama Shakes and Weezer)—making their sound more concise, with upbeat tempos and perhaps a dose of New York City attitude added to their sunny, laid-back California vibes. Now in fine mid-tour form, the Growlers play Terminal 5 on Saturday night. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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The Dig Charm Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday Night

February 27th, 2017

The Dig – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 25, 2017

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The Dig have been making a name for themselves in the New York City music scene for more than five years, and Saturday’s performance at Music Hall of Williamsburg was proof of why—the band closing the show with disco lights and a wildly excited crowd. With their addictive shoegaze rock, the Dig had everyone in the audience smiling and dancing along. The local quartet has been touring in support of their recent release, Bloodshot Toyko, a bewitching album that hooks in listeners from beginning to end.

Thanks to their melting pot of sounds—deftly mixing garage punk, shoegaze lyrics and alt-rock vibes—the Dig have, unsurprisingly, toured with some big names like the Lumineers and Portugal. The Man. On Saturday night, they rocked across the stage and filled the Brooklyn venue with reverberating bass and drums, also playing material from their You & I EP. The Dig’s vocalist and bassist, Emile Mosseri, displayed an impressive vocal range, going from slow and soft to high and captivating. By keeping the show upbeat, taking selfies with fans while playing and using a disco ball to beautifully light the floor, the Dig kept things interestingthey never disappoint. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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The Moth & the Flame Light Up Mercury Lounge

November 30th, 2016

The Moth & the Flame – Mercury Lounge – November 29, 2016

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An upside down ampersand symbol lit up Mercury Lounge last night as the Los Angeles quartet the Moth & the Flame set up onstage. Brewing a melting pot of alternative-rock sounds, they began their performance with tracks from their second full-length album, Young & Unafraid. Ranging from slow, thoughtful songs like “Wishing Well” to energetic numbers like “Red Flag,” the Moth & the Flame take you through a roller coaster of emotions. There were certain moments when the bassline was pure perfection and the drums echoed through the mesmerized crowd.

There’s something about how singer Brandon Robbins’ voice hits a low pitch and then rises higher, like on their most popular song, “Young & Unafraid,” a bittersweet tale of youth and taking risks. As the crowd loudly sang along, the ampersand changed colors. Young & Unafraid was made with the help of Tony Hoffer and producer-mixer Peter Katis—best known for his work with bands like Interpol and the National. It’s no wonder why the Moth & the Flame lit up Mercury Lounge on a rainy night. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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STRFKR Headline a Night of Dancing at Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 28th, 2016

STRFKR – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 25, 2016

STRFKR - Music Hall of Williamsburg - November 25, 2016
Friday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg was the perfect way to dance off the excess of Thanksgiving—the venue’s incredible acoustics will make any performance more than memorable. The show began with Brooklyn psychedelic-pop duo Psychic Twin. Both members, Erin Fein and Rosana Caban, wore intergalactic-inspired outfits, which perfectly complemented material from their debut album, Strange Diary. Having an ’80s synth-pop style is what makes Psychic Twin’s music addictive to listen and also see live, and there’s a vibrant, danceable side to dark songs like “Lose Myself.”

Continuing the dance-filled night, Minneapolis-based DJ Gigamesh played his neo disco and rhythmic dance beats against a screen projecting eye-catching imagery. Beginning his set with numbers off his debut album, Time Travel, Vol. 1, got the crowd dancing from the outset. Playing remixes in between songs was refreshing because it added an element of surprise. The crowd went wild, singing along to his remixes of Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied,” Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” and by the end, the audience was completely his.

The crowd’s anticipation increased as the venue grew more crowded. And then the lights dimmed and STRFKR—in drag—appeared, surrounded by dancing astronauts and green strobe lights, but it was just the beginning of the fun. They played such older favorites as “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second” mixed with material off their fourth album, Being No One, Going Nowhere, like “Never Ever,” and confetti and lasers made the night even more special. All three artists exceeded expectations, and friends and memories were made on the dance floor. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

Photos courtesy of Julia Berke | juliaberkephoto.com

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Ours Mix New and Old at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday

November 21st, 2016

Ours – The Bowery Ballroom – November 19, 2016

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Known for its classy, sultry aesthetic, The Bowery Ballroom was perfectly suited for the amazing talents of Zane Carney and the incredible Ours on Saturday night. Ours, the headliner, are fronted by New Jersey native Jimmy Gnecco, a force to be reckoned with best known for his multioctave vocal range and taking personal experience and raw emotion to create meaningful songs. He introduced Hannah Gernand to accompany him on a new song from their forthcoming album due next spring. And earlier, she beautifully sang Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’s “Pure Imagination” with a modern rock twist.

Ours performed an array of new songs mixed with older stuff like “Bleed.” Their magnetic stage presence transcended beyond words with loud-as-hell drums and guitar riffs. Each member—Static (guitar), April Bauer (piano), Chris Goodlof (bass), Race (guitar and keys) and Shane Rozum (drums)—brought something special. And despite some interpreting their lyrics as despondent, the band’s songs speak of everyday situations everyone can identify with. Ours are the charismatic alternative rockers you can see hundreds of times live and each show is something different. With a vast catalog of impressive songs, they passionately prove that anything can be accomplished. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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MOTHXR Hypnotize The Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday Night

September 29th, 2016

MOTHXR – The Bowery Ballroom – September 28, 2016

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Brooklyn’s MOTHXR (not to mention openers Behaviors and Black Coast) heated up a chilly Wednesday night at The Bowery Ballroom, performing in support of their debut album, Centerfold. Initially the band was a fun passion project, but after the release of the single “Easy,” the guys in MOTHXR knew they were on to something. Last night’s performance began with their hit song, “She Can’t Tell,” and as frontman Penn Badgley crooned, “I wake up in strange place,” the crowd went wild and sang along.

MOTHXR’s music is interesting: minimalist funk, dark lyrics and danceable beats. And with their suave and mysterious presence perfectly matching their persona, it’s difficult not to love their fresh sound. Rich guitar riffs and bright lights filled the room during “Impossible,” a wonderful, eclectic mix of R&B and indie rock that made it nearly impossible not to dance. MOTHXR will exceed any expectations live, Badgley surely knows how to hit some high notes, reminiscent of Prince. The band proves that sometimes taking a chance for passion is completely worthwhile. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

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The Kills Seduce Terminal 5 on Friday Night

September 26th, 2016

The Kills – Terminal 5 – September 23, 2016

The Kills - Terminal 5 - September 23, 2016
If sexy garage punk were to become its own genre, the Kills would be the ambassador. The duo formed nearly 15 years ago, and while their dark and broody style remains the same, their sound is ever evolving, as the sold-out crowd at Terminal 5 learned on Friday night. The show began with the heavy “Heart of a Dog,” off their fifth full-length, this year’s Ash & Ice, but the set list included a mix of songs from previous albums, like “U.R.A. Fever,” “Baby Says” and “Siberian Nights.”

The backdrop of a volcano and palm trees complemented the Kills’ dynamic, fiery performance. Alison Mosshart was a force to be reckoned with, thrashing across the stage and switching instruments in between songs. And Jamie Hince’s composed, laid-back guitar playing perfectly balanced her wildness. Throughout the set, their refreshing chemistry was obvious with smiles across the stage as they each played and sang.

There were several moments that induced goose bumps, especially during “Heart of a Dog” when Mosshart belted out, “I’m loyal/ I got the heart of a dog.” The Kills have a strong stage presence with a never-ending energy, and their devil-may-care attitude adds a special something to the gritty, sultry post-blues punk sound. They certainly know how to seduce a crowd. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Legs Make Mercury Lounge Feel Alive on Saturday Night

September 12th, 2016

Legs – Mercury Lounge – September 10, 2016

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The neon cocktail sign shone brightly at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night as people walked in and out, fighting the rising temperature with cold drinks and plenty of water. Legs, now based in Brooklyn, came onstage and, thanks to their addictive energy, immediately had everyone in the crowd dancing to an eclectic, lively mix of indie pop. They formed three years ago in Seattle and have been getting lots of notice and praise ever since. The sky’s the limit for Legs.

Everybody was sweating, singing and dancing together to songs from Legs’ self-titled EP and debut LP, Altitud. Legs have a wonderful stage presence, and you can see that the band members really love what they do. Pro tip: Make sure to wear your dancing shoes any time you see them because Legs are definitely a band to check out regardless of your mood. They’ll make you feel alive. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

 

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Zane Carney Wins Over Mercury Lounge Crowd with Passion

July 1st, 2016

Zane Carney – Mercury Lounge – June 30, 2016

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Nothing like spending a sweet summer night with the very talented singer-songwriter and oh, so smooth guitarist Zane Carney. He’s known for his work with John Mayer, the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the band Carney, alongside his brother, Reeve. Plus, his guitar work and songwriting skills have afforded him the opportunity to play with an enviable list of musicians.

As he went onstage last night at Mercury Lounge, the lights dimmed to an appropriately dusky fade. Carney played the intro to “You’re Not the One” and the crowd fell into silence, a shivers-down-the-spine moment. He spoke of a new, polished look, which was a recent haircut—beyond his musical skills, Carney had been most known for his long locks.

Playing material from his debut EP, Confluence, and a few new songs he hadn’t previously performed, Carney used various guitar pedals to make rhythmic loops while expertly wailing on his guitar and adding a touch of that D’Angelo neo soul. Flowing from one song into the next, he covered Johns Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” injecting his own sound while keeping the original’s bittersweet melancholy. And by the end of the night, Carney had won over everyone there with his passionate performance. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren