Tag Archives: Lower East Side

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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

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Catch Urban Cone and Nightly Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

May 24th, 2017

Thanks to their energetic electronic-pop music, Urban ConeRasmus Flyckt (vocals and keys), Tim Formgren (guitar), Emil Gustafsson (bass) and Jacob William Sjöberg (keys)—have been getting people to the dance floor ever since forming in Stockholm a little more than five years ago. Urban Cone (above, performing “Old School” at the Swedish Grammys) are working on a third album to follow the release of the arena-ready Polaroid Memories (stream it below), which came out in 2015. “You just can’t make music that connects with people if your intention is to be superficial, and if the surface of Polaroid Memories gleams with polish, Urban Cone prove themselves to be the musical equivalent of marble cutters,” said Diffuser.

Urban Cone are currently out on the road with the cousin duo Nightly (below, doing “XO” live in Los Angeles earlier this year). Vocalist Jonathan Capeci and guitarist Joey Beretta’s debut EP, Honest (stream it above), came out last year. And you can see them alongside Urban Cone tomorrow night at the early show Mercury Lounge.

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Delta Rae – The Bowery Ballroom – May 22, 2017

May 23rd, 2017


(Delta Rae play Music Hall of Williamsburg on 8/15, tickets on sale tomorrow at noon.)

Photos courtesy of Marc Millman Photography | www.marcmillmanphotos.com/music

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Whitehorse Play the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Monday

May 19th, 2017

Before forming the Canadian folk-roots duo Whitehorse six years ago, singer-songwriters (and husband and wife) Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland had successful solo careers. Their eponymous debut full-length (stream it below) arrived in 2011. “Their self-titled debut record manages to amplify the musical personalities of both artists successfully,” according to AllMusic. “McClelland and Doucet had each been tending their own solo careers for a decade or so before starting Whitehorse, and both artists had been making their own inroads on the Canadian roots music scene, but these tracks find them crafting a more forceful, visceral sound together.” Whitehorse (above, performing “Tame as the Wild One”) have remained busy touring and recording ever since. Their most recent release, the blues-covers album Northern South Vol. 1 (stream it below), came out last summer. “Through the use of multi-tracking, the two can really build a song with a thick slab made of many layers. Rather than drone, Whitehorse adds color to the material through innovative arrangements to cover the chug-chug-chugging beat, which can range from affected vocals to fuzzy electric guitar riffs,” per PopMatters. “The two players understand the primal underpinnings of desire expressed in this music, ensuring that the songs come from the body more than the heart or mind. Whitehorse should be felt more than heard to be appreciated. Crank it up!” Hear them live at the early show at Mercury Lounge on Monday night. Singer-songwriter Brian Dunne opens.

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Nick Hakim Celebrates New Album at The Bowery Ballroom

May 18th, 2017

Nick Hakim – The Bowery Ballroom – May 17, 2017


Brooklyn-based Nick Hakim grew up in Washington, D.C., and matriculated from the famed Berklee College of Music before settling in New York City. He has a throwback feel to his vocals, with R&B grooves and good ol’ Motown sensibilities. Jazz influences are also heard, which makes sense as he recently completed a short residency at the Blue Note. And his pair of EPs, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, have garnered considerable praise. Hakim’s upcoming full-length album, Green Twins, was born in a Brooklyn bedroom, and he’s described its influences as “if RZA had produced a Portishead album.”

Last night—two days before his LP’s release—Hakim graced the stage of The Bowery Ballroom. Opening with the title track, he quickly enraptured fans as his mellifluous voice lulled the room. The singer-songwriter managed to dip into his older material, producing “Cold” and the crowd-pleasing “I Don’t Know.” Hakim had lost his glasses and remarked that he couldn’t see, but who needs to see when you have an R&B voice that transmutes hefty doses of soul. Guitarist Joe Harrison took the “oldie” away with a soaring solo.

Midway through the set, pianist Jake Sherman offered up a heavily Auto-Tuned rendition of the Beatles“Yesterday.” The remainder of the performance was largely an introduction to his soon-to-be release, from the lilting “Needy Bees” to “Farmissplease,” which had the audience bopping to the percussion. There would not be an encore, but it’s plain to hear that the the Brooklynite’s neo-soul styling’s ushered in a unique take for this summer’s soundtrack. —Sharlene Chiu

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Holy Fuck Close Out Run of Shows Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom

May 17th, 2017

Without using laptops or programmed backing tracks, Toronto electronic-rock ensemble Holy Fuck—currently Brian Borcherdt (keys and effects) and Graham Walsh (keys and effects) with Matt McQuaid (bass) and Matt Schulz (drums)—have been getting fans to the dance floor with their (often improvised) lo-fi electronic performances since forming back in 2004. Holy Fuck’s first recorded work, an eponymous LP (stream it below), came out a year later. “In a style of music that’s mostly created by pressing buttons and manipulating touch screens, the drummer-powered, live-in-the-studio feel of Holy Fuck provides both musical excitement and textural variety missing from most similar electro-dance albums,” per AllMusic. Last year, Holy Fuck (above, performing “Tom Tom” for KEXP FM) released their fourth full-length—the first since 2010. “Here we have Congrats, a record which sees them perfectly, finally, in balance between their jazzy, wiggy madness and their strangely melodic sensibilities,” gushed Drowned in Sound. “It’s good to have you back, Holy Fuck, and it’s a relief to say that the six-year wait for Congrats is most definitely worth it. For all their weirdo mangled machine noise, it feels like they’ve reached a beautiful plateau, a perfect crossroads between all their disparate elements, finely tuned and full of vigour.” They close out their May tour on Thursday night at The Bowery Ballroom. Toronto trio Odonis Odonis open the show.

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Texas Five-Piece the Unlikely Candidates Play Mercury Lounge

May 11th, 2017

Kyle Morris (vocals) and Cole Male (guitar) initially formed the Unlikely Candidates (above, performing “Your Love Could Start a War”) as an acoustic duo close to 10 years ago in Fort Worth, Texas. They’ve since expanded their catchy, sprawling sound with the addition of Brenton Carney (guitar), Kevin Goddard (drums) and Jared Hornbeek (bass). Their second EP, Bed of Liars (stream it below), came out earlier this year. “Despite the short track listing, every song stands on its own with catchy hooks and beats,” says Literally, Darling. “This second release from the Unlikely Candidates serves as a perfect example of how much the band has grown into their sound.” Find out for yourself at Thursday’s early show at Mercury Lounge. Brother duo the Fame Riot open.

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Low Cut Connie – Mercury Lounge – May 9, 2017

May 10th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Bishop Briggs – The Bowery Ballroom – May 9, 2017

May 10th, 2017


(Bishop Briggs plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight.)

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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North Mississippi Allstars Play The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow Night

May 10th, 2017

In baseball, you’ve got your all-stars and you’ve got your veteran journeymen. In Southern rock, you’ve got North Mississippi Allstars (above, performing “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” for Jam in the Van), who after two decades of nearly constant round-the-world-several-times-over touring, playing and recording—together and apart—collaborating with other musicians or just straight-up, are still in the upper echelon of the genre. The brothers Dickinson, Luther and Cody, show no signs of losing their edge, back with their potent, swampy blues on their upcoming album Prayer for Peace, out next month. They return to The Bowery Ballroom Thursday night, and you should expect the wily moves of a crafty veteran and the long-ball power of the game’s best. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Pond – Music Hall of Williamsburg – May 9, 2017

May 10th, 2017


(Pond play The Bowery Ballroom tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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The Palms Play the Late Show on Monday at Mercury Lounge

May 5th, 2017

Ben Rothbard (vocals and guitar) and Johnny Zambetti (guitar and vocals) are part of the L.A. five-piece Terraplane Sun, but they formed the band the Palms toward creating music without barriers. Their debut EP, Sway (stream it below), came out last year. Interview called it “catchy as pop, yet melded with poignant elements of blues, hip-hop, rock and reggae. Rothbard’s distinct vocals also invite the listener into each track, allowing the duo’s intended messages to come through while simultaneously leaving space for individual interpretations.” And now the Palms (above, performing “Stupid LA Love Song” in studio for WEQX FM) launch a brief East Coast tour at tonight’s late show at Mercury Lounge. Local ethereal garage-pop duo Me Not You open the show.

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Courtney Marie Andrews Plays Early on Monday at Mercury Lounge

May 5th, 2017

Talented singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews began playing guitar and writing her own original songs while just a teenager in Phoenix, and she began performing live before graduating high school. Soon enough Andrews (above, performing “Table for One” live in studio for KEXP FM) became a backup singer and session guitarist for numerous artists, including the likes of Damien Jurado and Jimmy Eat World. But thanks to her own work, combining country, folk and pop, she’s earned the reputation of a songwriter’s songwriter. Andrews’ most recent release, Honest Life (stream it below)—which she considers a coming-of-age record—came out last year. It’s “an album at once elegant and deeply moving,” said Paste in a review comparing her to Emmylou Harris and Neko Case. “They’re excellent songs, expertly written, but Andrews’ voice is what makes them unforgettable.” Experience that voice live when Courtney Marie Andrews plays the early show on Monday night at Mercury Lounge.

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Pond Celebrate New Album with a Pair of NYC Shows Next Week

May 4th, 2017

When you think about psychedelic rock from Perth, Australia—assuming you do think about psychedelic rock from Perth, Australia—Tame Impala probably come to mind first. And so a pair of touring members of Kevin Parker’s acclaimed outfit, Nick Allbrook (vocals, guitar and keys) and Jay Watson (guitar, vocals and drums), teamed up with Joe Ryan (guitar, bass and vocals) and Jamie Terry (keys, synths and bass) to form the psych collective Pond nine years ago in order to play with anybody they wanted. The band began releasing a host of singles, EPs and LPs in 2009, and their sixth full-length studio album, Man It Feels Like Space Again (stream it below), came out two years ago to some considerable acclaim. “Classic rock touchstones are intrinsic to Pond, but they shove them into futuristic territory—gifted musicians unafraid to indulge their flights of fancy,” said Rolling Stone. “This balance of playfulness and serious is Pond’s carnival act, but it’s their mastery of it on Man It Feels Like Space Again that makes it so damn fun—and Pond so very exciting.” Their newest album, The Weather (produced by Parker), comes out tomorrow. “The Weather is chaotic, confrontational and compelling,” says the AU Review. “Episodes of chaos are met with equal parts clarity and discovery, as we navigate through Pond’s transportive world of psychedelic rock.” And Pond (above, performing “30,000 Megatons” live for the French televison series Le Grand Journal) celebrate its release on Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg and then again on Wednesday at The Bowery Ballroom. Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J Callinan opens both shows.

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You Me at Six Bring a New Album to The Bowery Ballroom on Monday

May 4th, 2017

Formed in Southeast England in 2004, You Me at Six—Josh Franceschi (vocals), Max Helyer (guitar), Chris Miller (guitar), Matt Barnes (bass) and Dan Flint (drums)—broke into the mainstream with the release of their first full-length, Take Off Your Colours (stream it below), four years later. The Guardian compared them to Fall Out Boy, adding, “The world may be ever-changing, but teenage angst is common to every generation. Surrey emo kids You Me At Six wear theirs with pride.” Earlier this year, the band (above, performing “Swear” for BBC Radio 1) put out their fifth studio album, Night People (stream it below), which finds them in darker, heavier territory. “Perhaps Night People isn’t the album we were expecting from YMAS, but it is the one they wanted (and arguably needed) to make right now. Crammed with skyscraping melodies and moments of spine-tingling poignancy, it stands them in the best possible stead for packing out stadiums and headlining festivals in the near future,” said Rock Sound. “They’ve fulfilled their side of the bargain with these 10 songs. Your move, world.” Touring America in support of their new music, You Me at Six play The Bowery Ballroom on Monday night. And the Score open the show.