Tag Archives: Lower East Side

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Don’t Miss Vera Blue at Tonight’s Early Show at Mercury Lounge

March 29th, 2017

Sydney singer-songwriter Celia Pavey broke into the mainstream in her native country as part of the 2013 season of The Voice Australia. And in addition to putting out folkish music under her own name, Pavey’s also known for her Vera Blue project, thanks to the release of the well-received EP Fingertips (stream it below) in 2016. “Vera Blue delivers a compelling blend of electro-pop and folk-pop,” according to Renowned for Sound. “Pavey has exhibited a burgeoning maturity and artistry, and it will be neither surprising nor disappointing to hear her voice with increasing frequency.” The easiest way to up your frequency of hearing her is to go see Vera Blue (above, performing “Hold” live in studio for Triple J) tonight at Mercury Lounge. Taryn Randall’s Cote opens the show.

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Hayley Kiyoko – The Bowery Ballroom – March 27, 2017

March 28th, 2017

Hayley Kiyoko - The Bowery Ballroom - March 27, 2017

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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The Regrettes Come to the Lower East Side and Williamsburg

March 24th, 2017

Lydia Night (vocals), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Nicole (bass) and Maxx Morando (drums) formed the energetic punk-rock quartet the Regrettes a little more than a year ago in Los Angeles, and earlier this year, the band’s first full-length studio album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! (stream it below)—influenced by ’50s rockers like Buddy Holly and the Ronettes—arrived on Warner Bros. Records. According to Teen Vogue, “Their music sounds like a lively blend of lo-fi surf rock meets the Strokes with a strong female lead.” And per AllMusic, “The Regrettes thread feminism, sneering angst and ecstasy. All these intertwined emotions give the album an emotional punch that complements its musical rush, a confluence of nervy energy that could easily be interpreted as a reflection of the Regrettes’ youth. Perhaps the quartet members are all in their teens but they’re preternaturally gifted as musicians, so Feel Your Feelings Fool! offers the best of both worlds: craft that endures combined with boundless excitement.” You’ve got two chances to catch the Regrettes (above, doing “A Living Human Girl” for Jam in the Van) locally, tonight at Mercury Lounge and on Monday night at Rough Trade NYC.

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A Double Dose of Alex Lahey in New York City This Weekend

March 24th, 2017

Alex Lahey, a favorite of Australia’s influential Triple J radio, finds songwriting cathartic: “I’m not a runner at all, but I can imagine it is a really similar experience to someone that enjoys running. It’s challenging, but it’s rewarding, and there are probably a lot of endorphins at the end. I imagine it’s something like that. It’s really challenging, but it’s a challenge that I’m willing to accept.” Before it was rereleased on Dead Oceans earlier this year, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter and guitarist self-released her debut EP, B-Grade University (stream it below), last summer. In naming the Melbourne, Australia, native an Artist to Watch, Stereogum proclaimed, “Lahey charges full-speed ahead into explorations of post-collegiate career anxiety (‘Ivy League’), blissful romantic fixation (‘Wes Anderson’), and youthful indiscretions (‘Let’s Go Out’) among other adventures.” She’s even since more recently made a name for herself with several buzzed-about sets at this year’s SXSW, and now Lahey (above, doing “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” for Balcony TV) is amidst a swing up the East Coast, which brings her to Rough Trade NYC tonight and Mercury Lounge tomorrow.

 

 

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Kick Off the Weekend with Noam Pikelny at The Bowery Ballroom

March 22nd, 2017

Call him “Pickles” or call him the banjo player from the Punch Brothers or maybe the inaugural winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass in 2010 or any number of superlatives he’s garnered over the years. Or maybe just call him Noam Pikelny. Whatever name you choose, no matter, the banjo player extraordinaire is sure to entertain and inspire. He’s just put out his first truly solo debut on Rounder Records, Universal Favorite (stream it below), a totally unaccompanied and honest record. Pikelny (above, performing “Redbud” for Fretboard Journal) plays The Bowery Ballroom on Friday (with limited seating available, first come, first served), expect originals and covers, bluegrass instrumentals and yes, some singing; some top-notch deadpan comedy and banjo playing that, by any other name, would sound as sweet. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Don’t Miss José James This Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom

March 21st, 2017

“A jazz singer for the hip-hop generation, New York City–based vocalist José James has combined jazz, soul, drum ’n’ bass and spoken word into his own unique brand of vocal jazz,” according to AllMusic. Known equally for his acclaimed recorded work as he is for his fiery live performances, James (above, the video for “Always There”) released his most recent LP, the aptly named Love in a Time of Madness (stream it below), earlier this year. “On his fourth album for the Blue Note label, James deftly underlines jazz’s flexibility in relation to new pop trends, the way Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis did in the past,” says Pitchfork. Making his last East Coast appearance—before heading across the country and then on to Europe—José James plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. His band includes drummer, producer, composer and songwriter Nate Smith, and local versatile musician Corey King opens the show.

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Jens Lekman Offers an Antidote to NYC’s Winter on Saturday night

March 20th, 2017

Jens Lekman – The Bowery Ballroom – March 18, 2017

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

(Photo: Andie Diemer)


(Jens Lekman performs live at Rough Trade NYC tonight.)

Given New York City’s week of Swedish weather, with gray days and precipitation falling within the never land between rain and snow, it must have felt like home for one of Sweden’s great pop troubadours, Jens Lekman, who, before returning to Europe, ruled the weekend here in the city, playing The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday—plus he’s at Rough Trade Trade NYC tonight. His Saturday show began with just him and an acoustic guitar, performing “To Know Your Mission” and “Evening Prayer,” off his latest album, the fantastic and much-acclaimed Life Will See You Now. The latter track was particularly Jens-ian, a tender yet optimistically upbeat tune about worrying and carrying for a friend going through chemotherapy.

“Who here is seeing Jens Lekman for the first time tonight?” asked Lekman to a handful of cheers. Going back all the way, he then went through every one of his local shows, even asking who was at his 2005 Mercury Lounge appearance. “I like growing older with you guys. I want this thing to last forever,” he said. The rest of the band then joined him onstage for “What’s That Perfume That You Where?” about memories triggered by a scent. After an amp malfunction that cut the song short, Lekman began again, playing through on acoustic guitar, somehow sounding even better the second time around: Nothing can hold back those danceable Lekman grooves. There’s a heartfelt warmth to his music that even permeated how he performed. For the end of “The Opposite of Hallelujah,” Lekman pantomimed the xylophone notes in front of him like falling snowflakes.

He introduced “I Know What Love Isn’t” as something he wrote during a cynical time of his life, but even this song brought forth a sense of cheeriness. Perhaps cynical New Yorkers have our taste for cynicism skewed too far to recognize the finer nuances of Scandinavian cynicism. Lekman introduced “Dandelion Seed” as the last song, realizing as he said it that the audience wouldn’t let things end there. The band returned for Lekman classics “Maple Leaves” and “A Postcard to Nina.” And when even that wasn’t enough, the affable performer returned solo yet again for “I Want a Pair of Cowboy Boots” and “Pocketful of Money.” “I’ll come runnin’ with a heart on fire,” sang the packed crowd with Lekman repeating the chorus over the audience, delivered like a high-pitched plea. There’s no better antidote to the dregs of a New York City winter than huge moments like these. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nricks

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Aquilo Bring Acclaimed New Music to The Bowery Ballroom Monday

March 17th, 2017

Four years ago, in northwest England, Ben Fletcher and Tom Higham teamed up to make atmospheric, melancholy down-tempo electronic pop songs about heartbreak, loss and regret as the band Aquilo. After releasing a series of singles and EPs, the duo’s first studio full-length, Silhouettes (stream it below), arrived this past January. “It’s a work of art sewn together with a mesmerizing voice, a vocal that stops you in your tracks and forces you to listen,” according to Clash. “Crafted to perfection, Silhouettes is outstanding in its audible beauty.” And after a couple of American shows in Los Angeles and at SXSW, Aquilo (above, performing “Sorry”) play The Bowery Ballroom on Monday night.

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Jens Lekman on 3/18

March 14th, 2017

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Jens Lekman is known across the world for keen pop hooks and a witty sense of humor. With a new album out, Life Will See You Now, the Swedish singer-songwriter has been back on our shores traveling the country, and his tour closes with three shows in NYC. A few tickets still remain for next Monday’s solo show at Rough Trade NYC, but his appearances at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday are already sold out. That’s the bad news. However, the good news is that The House List is giving away two tickets to see Jens Lekman on Saturday at The Bowery Ballroom. Want to get in on the fun but got shut out of tickets? Try to Grow a Pair of them. 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 (Jens Lekman, 3/18) and your favorite thing about Swedish music. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of Scandinavian rock, will notify the winner by Friday. Lycka till.

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All Them Witches – The Bowery Ballroom – March 10, 2017

March 13th, 2017

All Them Witches - The Bowery Ballroom - March 10, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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The Radio Dept. Make It Seem Effortless at The Bowery Ballroom

March 9th, 2017

The Radio Dept. – The Bowery Ballroom – March 8, 2017

The Radio Dept. – The Bowery Ballroom – March 8, 2017
The Radio Dept. speak the wispy language of dream pop, straddling the spaces between badass and poignant, in the middle of My Bloody Valentine jacked up on something and Stereolab with highlights of ’80s-synth sentimentality à la Pet Shop Boys. There’s no question the band’s influences are long and distinguished, it’s just that because of the inflection and swerve, you only hear them. Last night the benevolent Swedes graced The Bowery Ballroom with a methodically expert set. Select songs from their catalog of rock electronica dating back to 2001 were played as an almost continuous DJ set come to life. Their return to New York City promised a devoted turnout, and the room was filled with fans spanning from old faithful to newly enchanted.

“Sloboda Narodu,” the glorious tribal synth anthem from last year’s Running out of Love, opened the proceedings, immediately putting the crowd in the palm of the band’s hands, which were steady as a surgeon’s. A self-assuredness propelled the performance, with members handling their contribution to each song like a tactician whose measures are second nature. This amounted to a natural flow, with attendees instinctually following along. More than anything, the Radio Dept. just wanted to jam—that much was evident. They’ve never been afraid to embellish in flowing blankets of up-tempo, electronically contoured instrumentation. This holds true onstage, and as they leaned into every groove, the Radio Dept. made it seem effortless.

Sometimes frontman Johan Duncanson sounded like Euro contemporary Markus Acher of the Notwist. The messages of political awareness were there yet felt like they were absorbed subliminally, in hushed expression that blended into the nebulous formations of sound. You’re reminded of the import of content amidst the spell they cast when Duncanson momentarily mentioned, “This next one is called ‘Death to Fascism.’” The Radio Dept. quite simply have a knack for pushing out immaculate, steady and uninterrupted rhythms whether on record or onstage. And last night’s winding journey through more than 15 years of vibrant, animated music was a gratifying retrospective. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Jesca Hoop Proves to Be a True Original at Mercury Lounge

March 9th, 2017

Jesca Hoop – Mercury Lounge – March 8, 2017

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Jesca Hoop was once a nanny to Tom Waits’ kids, and she’s worked with everyone from Blake Mills and Stewart Copeland to Sam Beam, with whom the singer-songwriter released a gorgeous duets album in 2016 and subsequently toured. Hoop has signed to Sub Pop, and she’s a touch mystical—a vocalist and soothsayer from some faraway, possibly not terrestrial place—but she can tell a bar joke with the best of ’em. She’s accessible and impenetrable at the same time. An artist like that, you’d think, would be someone more written about than listened to, but listening to Hoop’s music is only the beginning of the larger embrace. Live, she’s quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) devastating. She formed a deep and detailed bond with an audience over the course of a 75-minute set at Mercury Lounge last night, framed by the recently released Memories Are Now, a collection of new Hoop songs that reveal more with each subsequent listen.

What do we call this? Hoop arrived as part of a four-piece band that included drums, bass, harmony vocals and other effects. Her music could sound trance-folkie, as in the opening one-two of “Songs of Old” and “Animal Kingdom Chaotic.” It could sound bittersweet and kind of country, as in “Peacemaker.” It could creep up and then, well, overcome you, as in “The Coming,” which thanks to some spectral-sounding guitar in its intro sounded distant and then was upon you. It’s cinematic—panoramic even—as Hoop created little worlds out of lyrics. “I refuse to think that my best friend’s going to hell anymore” is what might be called a classic Jesca Hoop line. So is “And now you gotta get it with what you’ve got/ With what you’ve been given or not” (from the late-in-set standout “Born To”). And so is “You say it’s impossible/ But your dumb computer says no.”

Hoop’s an artist in whom you can hear what you want to in her forbearers and potential influences. The mind drifts to Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush, Björk and plenty of others. When the mind settles, however—and you can really pause to hear and absorb the nuances when in the thrall of Hoop and band in the live setting—you feel like you’re hearing a true original. No one else quite sounds like this, and you’re thirsting for more when an unhurried set still goes by like a finger snap. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury Brings His Sam Patch Project to NYC

March 8th, 2017

Following Arcade Fire’s world tour in support of their fourth studio album, Reflektor, Tim Kingsbury—the band’s guitarist and bassist—launched a side project called Sam Patch. Inspired by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Leonard Cohen and ABBA, Kingsbury released the debut Sam Patch album, Yeah You, and I (stream it below), last month. It’s “a winning, engaging solo project full of analog synths and killer hooks,” according to PopMatters. “The songs have an innocent directness that’s welcoming and refreshing.” Kingsbury recently launched a short North American tour in support of the new tunes, which brings Sam Patch (above, the album’s second single “Listening”) to Mercury Lounge on Friday night. New York City singer-songwriter Miles Francis opens the show.

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Montreal Trio Heat Bring New Music to Mercury Lounge Tomorrow

March 8th, 2017

After doing time in other bands, Susil Sharma (vocals, guitar and synths) recorded the noisy, melodic demos that would become the original basis for the Montreal rock trio Heat, eventually joined by Matthew Fiorentino (guitar and synths) and Raphaël Bussières (bass). Their debut EP, Rooms (stream it below), arrived in 2014 and was rereleased the following year, earning the band comparisons to Pavement and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Taking a sonic leap forward, Heat (above, a video for “Lush”) returned with their debut full-length, Overnight (stream it below)—“heavy on melody and hooks, but with brash, shadowy undertones,” according to AllMusic—in January. And they play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. NYC pop quintet Navy Gangs open the show.

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Springtime Carnivore Plays the Early Show Tuesday at Mercury Lounge

March 6th, 2017

After the breakup of prior bands, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Greta Morgan began artfully mixing psychedelia with sunny pop and folk rock as Springtime Carnivore a few years ago. A self-titled debut full-length (stream it below) came out in 2014. “This collection of warm, fuzzy indie pop, rock and psychedelic-tinged numbers represents a true new start for Morgan,” according to Paste. “The best of these songs transcend her previous work and hint toward new vistas that she’s clearly hoping to explore, and we’ll happily look in on her journey.” That journey continued with the 2016 release of Midnight Room (stream it below). The A.V. Club compared Springtime Carnivore (above, performing “Nude Polaroids” in studio for KEXP FM) to Neko Case & Her Boyfriends and Jenny Lewis and mentioned the album’s “beautiful, self-assured identity”—adding: “From the opening title track and its delicate blend of subdued synths, a brisk guitar rhythm and a lofty chorus, the record is emotionally adrift, wafting through comfortless heartbreak, warm nostalgia, and the alternative stargazing flourishes of fantasy and fatalistic wariness of delusion. The vehicle for all this is measured, glossy dream pop, polished with smooth, lush electronics and chilled with airy acoustic tones.” In mid-tour form, Springtime Carnivore plays Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Terribly Yours open the show.