Tag Archives: Live Music

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Aimee Mann – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 26, 2017

June 27th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.com

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Up-and-Coming Folkies Kacy & Clayton Play Mercury Lounge Friday

June 23rd, 2017

Canadian cousins singer-songwriter Kacy Anderson and Deep Dark Woods guitarist Clayton Linthicum grew up just a few miles apart in Saskatchewan with a keen interest in British folk music. Initially they began performing together in a local bar, but as the word got out, their stages grew larger. Their debut album, The Day Is Past & Gone (stream it below), arrived in 2013. “We can indeed be very glad for this disc. It’s remarkable to think that Kacy is just 16 and Clayton 19. Let’s hope they get to take this act on the road,” said Exclaim. That’s exactly what they did. And last year, Kacy & Clayton (above, doing “Brunswick Stew” for CKUA FM) returned with their sophomore release, Strange Country (stream it below). “On this set, Kacy & Clayton have melded the rootsy overtones of vintage North American folk-revival albums of the ’60s with the passionate traditionalism of British folk-rock,” offered AllMusic. “Strange Country is a mysteriously and profoundly pleasing piece of work, and if Kacy & Clayton can create a few more albums this strong, they have the potential to be the new heroes of the North American folk community.” Jeff Tweedy was such a fan of the LP that he produced the duo’s upcoming release, The Siren’s Song, out in August. Catch them live tonight at Mercury Lounge. As an added bonus, Nashville singer-songwriter Andrew Combs opens the show.

 

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Evan Dando Celebrates Album Reissue at The Bowery Ballroom

June 23rd, 2017

Evan Dando first burst into the mainstream fronting the Boston band the Lemonheads as the ’90s stalwarts’ singer, songwriter and guitarist—and occasionally as their drummer. Landing in the sweet spot between indie rock and melodic punk, the prolific group put out seven full-length albums between 1987 and 1996 before going on an extended hiatus two years later. Eventually they’d get back together, but before doing so, Dando (above, performing “Hard Drive” live in New York City), mixing power pop and country-rock, put out his solo debut LP, Baby I’m Bored (stream it below), in 2003. “Lots of low-key, three-chord songs, sung in his achingly lovely voice and lasting not a second more than need be,” according to AllMusic. “Even if it seems unassuming and underwhelming upon its first listen, Baby I’m Bored with each spin reveals the uniform strength of the songs and the sweet, understated charms of Dando as a performer.” Earlier this year, on Record Store Day, the album was reissued with the addition of outtakes, covers and B-sides. “The songs on Baby I’m Bored show an artist venturing deeper into himself than ever before to produce some of his most magnetic, vulnerable work,” says Paste. “Once the needle hits the record, it’s hard to imagine any committed listener turning away.” And to celebrate the album’s reissue, Dando plays The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night. Another Boston singer-songwriter, Jason Lowenstein, opens the show.

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Pissed Jeans Bring New Music to Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

June 22nd, 2017

The first thing I learned about Pissed Jeans was that you apparently can’t write the word “pissed” in The New York Times. The second thing I learned about Pissed Jeans, going to see them for the first time in 2008 after reading the Times review calling them “***** Jeans,” was that they can raise quite a ruckus: wrathful, spike-edged, hilarious, somehow charming in a wet-smack-to-the-head way. These guys are ferocious—you’d call them a Pennsylvania-based sludge punk band and be technically accurate but only that—and they await the kind of amped-up, late-night crowd they’ll no doubt receive Friday night (late!) at Mercury Lounge (alongside San Francisco trio Feral Ohms, with Philly duo Pinkwash opening). Pissed Jeans’ fifth album, Why Love Now (stream it below), is just about perfect for these fraught, fractious times: taut yet messy, rampaging yet focused, full of swagger and the Jeans’ typically potent blend of acidic humor and forceful frankness. There are songs called “(Won’t Tell You) My Sign,” “The Bar Is Low” (watch its official video, above) “I’m a Man” and “Worldwide Marine Asset Financial Analyst,” because of course there are. They’re meant to unsettle you a bit and land some punk angst not in a neat package but in kind of a rumpled heap. Some of it’s dirge-y, some of it’s ferocious, and all of it’s direct, knowing and self-assessing. Coproducers are Arthur Rizk, well-known to fans of thrash metal and of Philadelphia music that likes to surf the big waves out on the edges of sanity, and the one and only Lydia Lunch, icon of no wave. Shirts will come off at the Merc. Beer will be spilled. There’ll be some scary-funny laughter, surely. “What I’ve always gotten from punk rock is to question the status quo,” said singer Matt Korvette. “Just being kind of self-aware. Don’t take accepted answers as gospel.… I think I’ve maybe got some more immature things squared away. I’m not an insecure 24-year-old anymore.” He’s actually a 35-year-old insurance adjuster. And we’re betting that he’s a good one. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Portugal. The Man – Rough Trade NYC – June 20, 2017

June 21st, 2017


Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See AJR on 6/21

June 20th, 2017

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Eclectic brother trio AJR released their second album, The Click, just a couple of weeks ago and they celebrate its release with a hometown appearance tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. The show is sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (AJR, 6/21) and a brief message explaining why you’re eagerly looking forward to the summer solstice. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of all solstices, will notify the winner by tomorrow.

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Magic Giant Headline The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow Night

June 19th, 2017

Austin Bisnow (vocals and guitar), Zambricki Li (banjo, mandolin and fiddle) and Brian Zaghi (bass and guitar) formed the folk-revival outfit Magic Giant three years years ago in Los Angeles. Mixing acoustic instruments with electronics into a sort of folk-rave sound, the engaging trio has won over crowds with their hook-laden anthemic songs, inspiring sing-alongs wherever they play—their energetic live shows usually turning into a foot-stomping dance party, earning comparisons to Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers in the process. Magic Giant’s debut full-length, In the Wind (stream it below), dropped last month. “The band blends folk and pop in equal doses, creating killer harmonies, intriguing instrumental accompaniment, literally using any instrument they happen to find, including drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin and more,” says PopMatters. “Their sound is huge and features melodies that soar to majestic heights, and the way the album was created has a lot to do with that.” Making their way across America in support of the new tunes, Magic Giant (above, performing “Set on Fire” in studio for JBTV) headline The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. Local six-piece the Ludlow Thieves open the show.

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The Shins – Celebrate Brooklyn – June 15, 2017

June 16th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Dawes – Brooklyn Steel – June 14, 2017

June 15th, 2017


(Dawes play the Capitol Theatre tomorrow night.)

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.com

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Great Good Fine OK Play Two Hometown Shows This Weekend

June 15th, 2017

Influenced by the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson and Chaka Khan, Jon Sandler and Luke Moellman—who met through a friend in common—have been deftly mixing disco, pop and synths as the Brooklyn electronic duo Great Good Fine OK (above, performing “Always” live for Baeble Music) since forming in 2013. Their newest EP, III (stream it below), arrived just after the start of the New Year. And they’re finally back in their hometown this week for a pair of shows, tomorrow at Rough Trade NYC and then at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night. Soulful singer-songwriter Morgxn opens each performance.

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The Avalanches Throw a Dance Party at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 14th, 2017

The Avalanches – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 13, 2017


Over the past 17 years, the Avalanches have carved out a strange and mysterious world for themselves. The Australian DJ collective appeared out of obscurity in 2000 with their classic album, Since I Left You, and it’s remained a gold standard in the world of sampling. The album brimmed with ideas in the same way as Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique or DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing—and it still sounds just as fresh today as it did upon its release. The band remained silent to their fans as the years went by and their legend only grew larger and larger. That all changed in 2016 with the release of their highly anticipated follow-up, Wildflower. It was well worth the wait. With the group’s core lineup now down to the two principal members, Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi, Wildflower is packed with the same mosaic sample style and emphasis on old school drum samples that made Since I Left You such a cohesive masterpiece.

The Avalanches made their long-awaited return to New York City during Governors Ball a couple of weeks back, but decided to add a last-minute stop to Music Hall of Williamsburg last night to return the love. To no surprise, the show was sold out and the room was packed with eager fans not willing to miss out on seeing them. After all, who knows when the next Avalanches album might come out? The anticipation in the moments before they took the stage could be felt in the room like the heavy air outside. Everyone knew this was going to be special and, man, did they deliver. Di Blasi and Chater ran through the hits off of Since I Left You and Wildflower with the help of a dynamite band consisting of Paris Jeffree holding the groove on drums, singer Eliza Wolfgramm covering the hooks and MC Spank Rock taking care of the guest rap spots. They moved from song to song with an insane amount of proficiency that barely gave the audience time to settle down in between tracks. Di Blasi stuck to the electronic triggering of the songs with a huge smile plastered on his face for the entire show, and Chater mainly played guitar jumping up and down during each tune like the rhythm guitarist in a pop-punk band.

The joy coming from stage was infectious and the crowd gave it back tenfold as Music Hall was transformed into one massive dance party. Wolfgramm’s soulful support on the hooks was impeccable and even more impressive was how she danced around while wearing a neck brace for most of the show. It didn’t slow her down for a second and she led the crowd through a fantastic cover of the Clash’s classic “Guns of Brixton” while swinging a baseball bat over her head like a slow-moving helicopter blade. MC Spank Rock did the material justice as well as he easily covered the wide variety of guest rappers’ styles. He was even able to imitate Danny Brown’s verse on the Wildflower track “Frankie Sinatra,” which is no small feat. The biggest reaction of the night came from the Avalanches’ biggest hit, “Frontier Psychiatrist,” its patchwork samples and blasting operatic chorus sounding larger than life. The band played a two-song encore, ending on Since I Left You’s title track. It’s refrain “Since I left you/ I found the world so new” took on a new meaning as much has changed in the world since most of us had last seen the Avalanches in action, but the world seems a little better having them back. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Los Colognes Play the Early Show at Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

June 14th, 2017

Nashville, Tenn., five-piece Los Colognes—Jay Rutherford (vocals and guitar), Aaron Mortenson (drums and vocals), Gordon Persha (bass), Micah Hulscher (keys) and Chuck Foster (keys)—released their third studio full-length, The Wave, (stream it below), about a month ago. The album comes on the heels of a pair of well-received long-players—by fans and critics alike—2013’s Working Together (stream it below) and 2015’s aptly titled Dos (stream it below). After recording live to tape in studios on their previous efforts, Los Colognes (above, their video for the single “Unspoken”) primarily worked from their garage practice space this time around, earning comparisons to JJ Cale to Dire Straits to the Grateful Dead to Pink Floyd in the process. And out on the road, they play the early show tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.

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Feist Takes Town Hall on an Evocative Journey of Feelings and Sounds

June 13th, 2017

Feist – Town Hall – June 12, 2107


The prolific Leslie Feist has always been in touch with her emotions (she wrote a song entitled “I Feel It All,” after all), and on her new album, the evocatively titled Pleasure, the Canadian musician is again focused on channeling some big feelings into her music. On Monday night, the last of three consecutive shows at Town Hall, Feist and her band played the new record from start to finish, taking the crowd on an impassioned voyage both musical and emotional. Following the piercingly sad “Wish I Didn’t Miss You,” the singer-songwriter set the scene for the next number: “After that, you kind of need to chill out and, like, go to a lake and sit at the end of a dock and write a song like this,” she explained, shifting gears into the mellow and groovy “Get Not High, Get Not Low.”

Before performing “Lost Dreams,” Feist instructed us to think of an old dream or idea that may have been holding us back and to shake it off. Later, as she introduced the wistful “Any Party” (a song that contains the excellent lyrics “You know I’d leave any party for you/ ’Cause no party’s so sweet as a party of two”), we were asked to think of the show as an awesome party (not difficult to do), to consider the person we wanted to leave with and to “fortify that intention” as we sang along. But the participation didn’t end there—volunteers were later invited onstage to slow dance to the cautiously optimistic album-closing “Young Up.” Pleasure’s lyrical ups and downs were mirrored through Feist’s vocals and body language, punctuating lines with a yelp or a jump, lowering her voice to a near-whisper and cracking an occasional playful smile. Even the stage lights pulsed and flickered along with the musical dynamics.

After the conclusion of Pleasure, Feist dug into her back catalog, performing crowd favorites like “My Moon My Man,” “Sea Lion Woman,” “Anti-Poineer” and “Let It Die”—a collection of songs bursting with many of the same feelings as her new material: pain, joy, sadness, curiosity. Part of the pleasure for the listener was simply being taken along on Feist’s journey as she sorted through it all, transforming big feelings into beautiful sounds. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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James Vincent McMorrow Brings Brand-New Tunes to Brooklyn Steel

June 13th, 2017

There’s something about Ireland that breeds singer-songwriters, like Damien Rice, Villagers and Hozier. Enter James Vincent McMorrow. Having only picked up a guitar at the age of 19, the late boomer quickly tried to master other instruments in order to create richer layers of composition. Like a Celtic Bon Iver, he trapped himself in a house on an Irish coast to produce his 2010 debut, Early in the Morning (stream it below). McMorrow didn’t return with the follow-up, Post Tropical (stream it below), which shined more on his R&B and soul influences rather than folk music, for nearly four years. But he’s been downright prolific ever since. In fact McMorrow’s fourth full-length—and third in four years—True Care (stream it below), suddenly arrived just a few weeks ago. The Irish Times says, “McMorrow presents 15 new tunes that further consolidate his position as a songwriter of meaningful, depth-charged soul music.” While the Irish Examiner calls the album “a sublime, abstracted gift that keeps on giving.” And having just kicked off a North American tour in support of the new LP, McMorrow (above, performing “Get Low,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and, below, covering “Purple Rain”) returns to NYC to play Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night. —Sharlene Chiu

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Big Thief Celebrate New Album’s Release at Rough Trade NYC

June 12th, 2017

Big Thief – Rough Trade NYC – June 9, 2017


Rough Trade NYC filled up quickly on Friday night, and the expectations were high for the headliners, Big Thief, as well as the opening acts, Mega Bog and Really Big Pinecone. The latter—a trio with disarming charm—took the stage first. Their smart lyrics and self-deprecating humor were an intoxicating little combination. The band’s acclaimed sophomore album, What I Said About the Pinecone, came out last fall. Mega Bog, a jaunty rock act fronted by multi-instrumentalist Erin Birgy, followed with signature spacey sounds. Their songs sent an eerie yet cheery chill down my back, her bright voice mingling with the group’s shape-shifting psychedelic guitar riffs and kicky drums from their 2017 album, Happy Together. Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief joined them for a song mid-set to add yet another layer to the band’s freewheeling sound.

Big Thief came onstage to the tune of some particularly uproarious applause, undoubtedly because some of us had already listened to their brand-new second album, Capacity (which had come out earlier that day)—and it’s incredible. The band’s sensitive, poignant sound brings life to stories of love, death and the family history in a devastatingly real way. What’s more, singer-guitarist Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, drummer James Krivchenia and bassist Max Oleartchik put such care and compassion into being onstage together. It’s heartening to see such a thing these days.

Big Thief played their new album almost all the way through—“Pretty Things,” “Masterpiece” and “Mythological Beauty” rang out, and Lenker paused in the middle, joking, “We’d need this time to flip the record.” Capacity’s intimacy was really magnified live. Its quiet yet ecstatic energy delivered a punch to the stomach that hurt so good. The band is just beginning a summer tour of the world, and future Big Thief concertgoers beware: You’re in for an unbelievably ride that will take you deep into the crevasses of love, pain, light and dark. —Schulyer Rooth | @SchuylerSpeak

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com