Tag Archives: Lower East Side

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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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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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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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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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Spend the Weekend with Singer-Songwriter Chuck Ragan

June 9th, 2017

When Gainesville, Fla., punk band Hot Water Music amicably broke up in 2006—although they’ve since just as amicably reunited—singer-songwriter-guitarist Chuck Ragan (above, playing “Bedroll Lullaby” for Out of the Ordinary) chose a different musical path, launching a solo career as a folk musician, telling evocative tales in his exceptional gravelly voice. Eventually he decided to put together the Revival Tour, which grouped together like-minded musicians traveling the country (and Europe) making and playing music together as they go. Ragan has continued to remain busy with a variety of well-received projects—with solo albums, the most recent of which Till Midnight (stream it below), came out in 2014; live albums, including last year’s The Winter Haul Live (stream it below); and movie soundtracks like 2016’s The Flame in the Flood (stream it below). But the thing about him is that no matter how terrific his recorded material is, Chuck Ragan is best experienced live, which works out great locally because he plays the early show tomorrow at Mercury Lounge and then on Sunday at Rough Trade NYC.

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John Moreland Converts the Masses at The Bowery Ballroom

June 8th, 2017

John Moreland – The Bowery Ballroom – June 7, 2017


John Moreland writes songs of redemption, songs written for the downtrodden that are so white hot with purpose they straddle the line between cautionary tales and gospel. Armed with a voice that conjures up how the Boss might sound after a bad night and the vindicated pessimism of Townes Van Zandt, Moreland doesn’t tug at your heartstrings as much as he eviscerates them. In his interview on the podcast Walking the Floor with Foo Fighters lead guitarist—and country music aficionado—Chris Shilett, Moreland explained that he had cut his teeth on punk and hardcore early in life, but everything had changed as soon as he heard the music of Steve Earle. After listening, Moreland quickly got it into his head that he could write songs that could equal Earle’s power and started recording and touring the country nonstop. After years of paying his dues, the Tulsa, Okla., singer-songwriter recently signed with 4AD for his third album, Big Bad Luv, and brought his tour to a packed Bowery Ballroom last night.

Will Johnson played solo to open the show. With a deep D-tuned guitar and a voice as rough as a tree trunk after a chainsaw exposed its bare wood, he mesmerized the audience with songs from his solo career as well as his criminally underrated band Centro-matic. The highlight was his meditation on loss, “Just to Know What You’ve Been Dreaming,” with the refrain “But when you’re not around, nothing makes a sound” landing like a slow moving haymaker. And then when John Moreland began, you could practically hear teardrops falling into beer glasses between the notes throughout the Bowery Ballroom. Accompanied by fellow singer-songwriter John Calvin Abney on lead guitar, harmonica and piano, Moreland ran through his songbook with efficiency, barely taking the time to address the crowd. Not that the audience needed anything more from him as everyone in the venue was completely captivated as soon as he sat down in his chair to play.

Moreland’s songs did the heavy lifting, and he showcased old favorites from In the Throes, High on Tulsa Heat as well as Luv. The best song of his main set was the new song “Lies I Chose to Believe,” which took on a new life live, stripping away the full-band arrangement and allowing his words to dig in deeper than they could on record. Moreland’s brief encore consisted of two songs from his breakthrough, In the Throes, “Break My Heart Sweetly” and “I Need You to Tell Me Who I Am,” which had the crowd clamoring for more. After the show, the audience quickly formed a massive line heading down to the merch table on the first floor. It was easy to see that if anyone had never heard of Moreland before this show, they had just been converted. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing

 

 

 

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A Rowdy Night of Real-Deal Country Music with Wheeler Walker Jr.

June 7th, 2017

Wheeler Walker Jr. – The Bowery Ballroom – June 6, 2017

(Photo: Courtesy of Thirty Tigers)

Is the country music of today really country? Sure, the artists all over CMT and country radio are crammed down our throats with that label bedazzled onto their artificially frayed denim vests, but calling these artists real country is as backward as the Bud Light trucker hats these musicians sport in their gaudy music videos. The Outlaws have been replaced by the Bros, and it’s safe to say that Nashville needs a hero to bust down the saloon doors to dole out some serious comeuppance to the perpetrators at the top of the charts. That hero is Wheeler Walker Jr. and bringing real country music to New York City was his goal when he played The Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night. Well, sort of anyways. (More on that later.) Opening the show, Nashville’s Republican Hair treated the crowd to a short but fun set that equally paid homage and skewered some of the touchstones of ’80s rock radio: A little dash of Rick Springfield here, a little sprinkle of the Cars and Prince there. Wild frontman Luke Dick whipped the crowd into a frenzy as he performed their final songs within the audience. Once their time was up, the band (excluding Dick) made a quick costume change into some proper honky-tonk attire and assumed the role of the backing band for the artist with the biggest print on the marquee.

Fans roared with excitement as Wheeler Walker Jr. took the stage, and their enthusiasm never faded throughout his hour-long set. A provocateur and world-class shit-talker, Walker Jr. (the alias of comedian Ben Hoffman of the short-lived Comedy Central Show The Ben Show) has been taking Music City to task ever since the release of his debut Redneck Shit last year and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down on his brand-new album, Ol’ Wheeler. Throughout the music, he takes shots at all of the front-runners in the biz and manages to sneak in some twisted ballads in between. If you’re in on the joke, it’s an absolute laugh riot. But having said that, his songwriting chops are palpable, and superproducer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell) brings a real-deal authenticity to his recordings. If you’re not paying attention, a song like “Fuck You Bitch” might just sound like one of the best country ballads of the past few years.

Walker Jr. treated the crowd to a mix of both of his albums, and it was a trip to see fans with their fists in the air singing along to the likes of “Better Off Beatin’ Off” and “Eatin’ Pussy/Kickin’ Ass.” His band was top-notch and could have just as easily melted your heart with delicate pedal-steel guitar on one song and then set the room ablaze on the next. The crowd was fully onboard, chanting, “Wheeler” and even flinging half-empty beers onto the stage in between songs. At one point, as Walker introduced the new song “Poon,” a takedown of Nashville’s top-tier recording artists, he was greeted by some boos when he described his intense hatred of the band Florida Georgia Line. But he quickly felt the need to clarify his reasoning: “I’m sorry,” said Walker Jr. as he took a sip from a can of Tecate, “but if you play country and you’re name ain’t me, then fuck you.” The crowd was won back in a flash and sang along loud enough to fill the Bowery up to its rafters. It was a rowdy night of red-blooded real-deal country music that was truly one to remember. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing

 

 

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A Double Dose of Circa Waves’ New Music This Week

June 6th, 2017

Influenced by bands like the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys and formed in the Beatles’ hometown, Kieran Shudall (vocals and guitar) and Sam Rourke (bass), Colin Jones (drums) and Joe Falconer (guitar) formed the lively, melodic quartet Circa Waves four years ago in Liverpool, England. Their debut full-length, Young Chasers (stream it below), came out in 2015. “A gleefully frenetic, youthfully exuberant collection of catchy, guitar-based indie rock,” described AllMusic. “They make an urgent, angular style of stripped-down pop that touches upon ’80s dance-punk and ’90s slacker rock without ever giving in too much to either.” Circa Waves (above, performing “Fire That Burns” for BBC Radio 1) returned with their follow-up release, the weightier Different Creatures (stream it below), this past March, again impressing AllMusic: “Part of what makes Circa Waves so compelling is that they are able to match the sound of their influences while still believably making the results sound their own. They’ve grown into an assured rock entity, but they’ve retained their fundamental sense of working-class Liverpudlian blues.” Back in America, they play Rough Trade NYC on Wednesday and Mercury Lounge on Thursday.

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Brother Ali – The Bowery Ballroom – May 31, 2017

June 1st, 2017


Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Reeve Carney Returns to NYC to Headline The Bowery Ballroom

May 31st, 2017

Singer-songwriter Reeve Carney (above, performing “Truth” for Balcony TV, and, below, covering “Hallelujah”) grew up in the West Village equally interested in music and acting. So it’s as likely you’d know him for starring in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway or as Dorian Gray on Penny Dreadful as you would for touring as part of Jonny Lang’s band or fronting the L.A. quartet Carney, mixing pop and rock with what AllMusic calls “California psychedelia and Southern-styled stomp.” Last year, Carney—the man, not the band—put out his debut solo album, the pop- and blues-infused Youth Is Wasted (stream it below). And his North American tour in support of it brings him back to New York City to play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.

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Catch the Suitcase Junket Early at Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

May 31st, 2017

For singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz just about anything can be musical. As the old school one-man band the Suitcase Junket, Lorenz makes a bluesy joyful noise with a beaten-up guitar rescued from a dumpster and his raspy, lived-in voice, plus just about anything else, including repurposed objects like banged-up pots and empty gas cans. Lorenz performs and records solo, and his fourth LP, Pile Driver (stream it below), came out about a month ago. “Lorenz’s musical interests turn out to be as diverse as his instrument collection, and Pile Driver runs a wide gamut of styles over its 12 songs,” says PopMatters. “The variety and songwriting are what make Pile Driver a thoroughly entertaining record. Lorenz manages to do a lot of different things with his set up and he does most of them well.” Catch the Suitcase Junket (above, doing “Earth Apple” for Folk Alley Sessions) live at tomorrow’s early show at Mercury Lounge. Singer-songwriter Caroline Rose opens.

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Kevin Morby Sells Out The Bowery Ballroom Ahead of New Album

May 25th, 2017

Kevin Morby – The Bowery Ballroom – May 24, 2017


Kevin Morby’s upcoming album, City Music, is an ode to this country’s metropolises, especially New York City. Fulfilling a “dream come true,” he played a packed Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, featuring many songs from the new record and filling them with the tangled, contradictory energy of the city. Morby opened with the title track, singing, “Oh that city music, oh that city sound,” two guitars jostling like taxis down an avenue, the music setting the audience in that liminal space between sway and dance before finally kicking into a double-time, double-energy finish that pushed things over the edge. The rest of the show seemed to teeter like this, Morby and the band itself like a city between night and day, romance and stoicism, dreams and reality.

Morby got his start in Woods and it felt appropriate that his band was made up of musicians who either came from other groups or are on their way to solo careers, including Nick Kinsey (Kinsey) on drums, Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) on lead guitar and Cyrus Gengras on bass. Together they were formidable, as equally comfortable creating hypnotic soundscapes as they were unleashing full-on guitar jams. The highlights featured all facets and more, like “Destroyer,” “Harlem River” and “I Have Been to the Mountain,” each opening into a variety of surprises, funky or thoughtful or full-on psychedelic. As inspired as the band was, Morby’s songs stood on their own and “Beautiful Strangers,” played solo “for Manchester,” resonated with every lyric.

I couldn’t have been the only one in the sold-out room who picked up on shades of Bob Dylan and Lou Reed in Morby’s songwriting and voice as he sang songs about New York City, like “Parade” and the album-closing “Downtown’s Lights,” in New York City. So, it was not a surprise, but no less satisfying when he covered a song by each, closing the set solo on a Dylan-birthday tribute of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” and finishing the three-song encore with a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll.” For the latter, Morby brought out Sam Cohen on third guitar, creating an appropriately city-sized noise to end the night. —A. Stein | @Neddyo