Tag Archives: Lower East Side

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Spend the Weekend with the Afghan Whigs in New York City

September 14th, 2017

The Afghan Whigs formed while still in college and launched out of Cincinnati in the mid-’80s, making the kind of amped-up garage rock that would earn them comparisons to the likes of the Replacements and Dinosaur Jr.—and gain them a cult following thanks to what AllMusic calls frontman “Greg Dulli’s tortured, angst-ridden tales of broken relationships and self-loathing.” They released six albums between 1988 and 1998 before amicably breaking up three years later. But you can’t keep a good band down, and so the Afghan Whigs (above, performing “Algiers” for KEXP FM) returned in 2012. Their seventh long-player, Do the Beast (stream it below), arrived two years later. “Do to the Beast leaves you emotionally wrought. Where Dulli had previously played the sleaze we reveled in living vicariously through, here he has us choking back tears for him, the violent aggressor,” said the Line of Best Fit. “The album has an air of closure, the Whigs pull out all their musical stops and Dulli seems to find an end, albeit not the happiest one.” And this past May, the band put out another well-received full-length, In Spades (stream it below). “Bolstered again by the louche and ravaged voice of singer Greg Dulli,” said Pitchfork, “the latest from the indie rock icons is delightfully stuffed with romance and rancor.” Having just launched a new tour, the Afghan Whigs come to The Bowery Ballroom on Friday to play In Spades in its entirety followed by a second set and then hit Brooklyn Steel on Saturday. Former New Yorker Har Mar Superstar opens both shows.

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A Double Shot of Soul with Durand Jones & the Indications Next Week

August 25th, 2017

Like someone out of a CCR song, soul singer Durand Jones was born on the bayou in New Orleans and raised in rural Louisiana. Influenced by the likes of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Al Green, he sang so much at home that his grandmother forced him to join their church’s choir. Eventually Durand decamped to Bloomington, Ind., for college and began collaborating with Aaron Frazer (drums) and Blake Rhein (guitar), writing and recording numbers about “the party, political and social consciousness, and love songs,” Durand told the Something Else. The first Durand Jones & the Indications album, a self-titled EP (stream it below), arrived in 2016. It hearkens “back to a time when soul was recorded, performed and (if possible) heard live. Their music is markedly different from most stuff of its ilk coming out today in that, if there is some electronic wizardry going on under the hood, it’s kept very far away from the musical performance—it’s the kind of thing which should be completely reproducible live, all performed and no sampling or remixing,” according to PopMatters. Winding down their summer tour, Durand Jones & the Indications (above doing “Smile” for Spectra Sonic Sound Sessions) stop in New York City next week to play Mercury Lounge on Monday and Rough Trade NYC on Tuesday.

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Two Nights of Dark Pop with In the Valley Below in NYC This Week

August 16th, 2017

As In the Valley Below, Jeffrey Jacob (vocals and guitar) and Angela Gail (vocals and keys) are what AllMusic calls “a Los Angeles–based duo with a penchant for crafting stylish, noir-kissed blasts of dark electro-pop.” Their debut full-length, The Belt (stream it below), arrived in 2014. “Belts can hurt you if used as a weapon, but they can also hold your pants up, and In the Valley Below do a deft job of exploring both polarities with their music,” said PopMatters. About a month ago, In the Valley Below (above, performing “Peaches” live for Wilcox Sessions) put out their fourth EP, Elephant (stream it below). “With so much going wrong in the world today, there are a plethora of songs inspired by the darker side of life. The uniqueness of In the Valley Below is that they do not phone in the music or the message when they create their art,” rang in Impose. “They believe that in order to have the most effect, they must reach the largest audience with genuinely good music, and it shows. This EP comes from a authentic mindset, raising awareness for important issues, and it doesn’t hurt that the songs are great to listen to.” They’re also great to experience live, which you can do on Thursday at Mercury Lounge and on Saturday at Rough Trade NYC. Electronic five-piece Flagship open both shows.

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A Night of Cool R&B with Amir Obè at The Bowery Ballroom

August 14th, 2017

Rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Amir Obeid—DBA Amir Obè—grew up in Detroit, heavily influenced by the likes of Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and Michael Jackson. He began making his own hip-hop and R&B in his teens before temporarily moving back to Brooklyn (his place of birth) after high school. Representing Detroit and Brooklyn, or Detrooklyn, he’s worked with others, like Drake, producing the If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late track “Star67,” and on his own, Obè (above, his video for “I Am Def Jam”) has released a slew of mixtapes, singles and EPs, including None of the Clocks Work (stream it below), which dropped this past spring. “Consisting of seven tracks, the set finds the enigmatic artist delving into a world where emotions trump material possessions,” according to Billboard. And Fader says “that it’s still possible to make icy, atmospheric R&B sound fresh.” Winding down an August tour, Obè plays The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. Seattle singer-songwriter EMI opens the show.

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Zeshan B Brings a Unique Take on Soul to Mercury Lounge on Friday

August 10th, 2017

Zeshan Bagewadi grew up in Chicago, the son of Indian immigrants, picking up blues, funk, rock and soul courtesy of his dad’s music collection. But he’s not only into the hard-driving rhythms and horn-heavy sounds of the ’60s and ’70s—he’s also equally interested in that period’s social activism. And as a result, the debut Zeshan B (above, performing “Ain’t No Love (In the Heart of the City)”) studio full-length, Vetted (stream it below), arrived earlier this year as “the full encompassment of Zeshan B’s vision for an album depicting his life as a Muslim and Indian-American in the Trump era,” according to PopMatters. “He does so with undeniable heart-rending soul. Vetted is an album for the awoken, as well as those who still need to be shaken by the shoulders a bit to wake up.” Don’t miss this unique, talented voice live at the late show on Friday at Mercury Lounge.

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Catch Future Thieves Early at Mercury Lounge on Tuesday Night

August 7th, 2017

Elliot Collett (vocals and guitar), Austin McCool (guitar), Nick Goss (drums) and Gianni Gibson (drums) have been making ethereal alternative rock—in the vein of Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket and Delta Spirit—ever since forming Future Thieves four years ago in Nashville, Tenn. Their debut full-length, Horizon Line (stream it below), arrived in 2015. And earlier this year, Future Thieves (above, performing “Soon”) put out Live at Blue Rock (stream it below), which Guitar World calls a “collection of turbo-charged Americana tunes.” Now out on the road, they play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Funky Bronx four-piece Thelvnguage open the show.

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Grace Mitchell – Mercury Lounge – August 2, 2017

August 3rd, 2017

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Tweed and the McLovins Play Late at Mercury Lounge This Weekend

August 3rd, 2017

Philly four-piece Tweed—AJ DiBiase (guitar and vocals), Joe Vela (drums), Jon Tomczak (synths and vocals) and Dan McDonald (bass and vocals)—have been getting people to the dance floor with their infectious mash-up of funk, rock and electronics, not to mention their improvisation-filled high-energy live performances. And following Phish at the Garden, you can keep the good times going with Tweed (above, covering “You Can Call Me Al”) playing late night at Mercury Lounge on Friday night. Brooklyn progressive-funk quartet the Phryg open the show.

Another improvisational quartet, the McLovins (above, doing “Buildin’ It Up”)—Jake Huffman (drums and vocals), Jason Ott (bass and vocals), Justin Berger (guitar and vocals) and Atticus Kelly (keys and vocals)—also do late-night duty after Phish this weekend, playing Mercury Lounge on Saturday night. The Hartford band’s most recent album, a self-titled affair (stream it below), out in 2015, is filled with the progressive mix of rock, funk, jazz and soul you can expect to witness live on Saturday night.

 

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Mew Play The Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg

August 2nd, 2017

Vocalist-keyboardist-guitarist Jonas Bjerre, bassist Johan Wohlert and drummer Silas Graae have been making their own brand of dreamy space rock since forming Mew more than two decades ago in the Danish suburbs outside of Copenhagen, ably employing what AllMusic calls “expansive pop dramatics, intricate passages and shimmering atmospheric sound.” Original guitarist Bo Madsen left the band two years ago, and Mew (above, performing “In a Better Place,” “85 Videos,” “Twist Quest,” “Satellites” and “Wake of Your Life” live for Low Four TV) put out their seventh studio release—and first without Madsen—Visuals (stream it below), this past spring to acclaim across the world. “The album captures just about everything that’s always made Mew special, so it also serves as a strong battle cry of a band that refuses to let a recent loss get in the way of their magic,” says PopMatters. “There’s still no other band quite like Mew, and this seventh studio outing is a victory not only within itself, but also as a declaration of how strong and special Mew remain.” The band kicks off an American tour this week in New York City, playing The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday.

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Grace Mitchell Makes Her NYC Headlining Debut at Mercury Lounge

August 1st, 2017

Portland, Ore., singer-songwriter and mult-instrumentalist Grace Mitchell (above, peforming “Kids (Ain’t All Right)”) quickly earned comparisons to Halsey, Lorde and Lana Del Rey when, still in her mid-teens, she put out a pair of EPs, Design (stream it below) and Raceday (stream it below), in 2014-15, filled with electronic- and R&B-fueled pop. The genre-bending musician has recently been releasing singles, and with a debut long-player due to arrive later this year, she makes her New York City headlining debut tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Local electro-pop duo Frances Rose open the show.

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Jaymes Young Broods at The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday Night

July 28th, 2017

Jaymes Young – The Bowery Ballroom – July 27, 2017


Music about love and heartbreak has an age-old, powerful way of attracting a crowd. So it’s no surprise then that The Bowery Ballroom was packed to the gills last night for Jaymes Young and Matt Maeson, a pair of singer-songwriters with an uncanny knack for folding their love-fueled memories into music with unfaltering sincerity. Maeson delivered his opening set with just a guitar in tow and shared music from his debut EP, Who Killed Matt Maeson. A rendition of his first single, “Cringe,” a tale of isolation and a big loss of innocence, got plenty of people singing along. Maeson was raised largely on Christian music but sought out the likes of Jeff Buckley and Johnny Cash when he began writing his own music. Maeson’s songs have a roots-inspired feel and they’re filled with alt-rock beats and jaunty pop hooks. We’ll likely be hearing more infectious music from him as he prepares to release a full-length album.

Young and his band hit the stage to uproarious applause and broke into “Tied Down,” the alluring opening track from his debut album, Feel Something. Jaymes Young’s storytelling is deeply personal and confessional, and listening to it live almost felt voyeuristic. But the sold-out crowd helped diffuse that feeling. He had the audience singing along at several points throughout the night. Young wrote Feel Something largely on his own, holed up in a studio and putting his openhearted ponderings to music. The result is a swath of ballads both dark and light that explore the depths of growing up and heartbreak. Wondering ballads like “Moondust” and “Northern Lights” rang out in all their synth-filled glory.

Young made a point of saying hi to his mother before he sang the yearning-filled single “Habits of My Heart.” “I love making moms swear,” he coyly joked after encouraging everyone to sing along. Young’s style is graceful yet powerful—his sweet-sounding voice clashes in the best way with lyrics about lost love, moving on and mistakes. And he’s fostered a strong connection with fans by sharing mail he’s received over the years on his Tumblr. Young closed out the performance with the oh-so-tender “I’ll Be Good,” which has amassed more than 20 million streams on Spotify. It seems there’s no shortage of poignant music from this young, brooding gentleman. —Schuyler Rooth | @SchuylerSpeak

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Aussie Bluesman C.W. Stoneking Plays Mercury Lounge Tomorrow

July 26th, 2017

Australian blues musician C.W. Stoneking already had two solid albums behind him by the time he released Gon’ Boogaloo (stream it below) in 2014, the record that revealed the deeper, darker mojo of his sound that the first two only nodded toward. Undoubtedly it felt heavier. Stoneking went toward an electric six-string approach—favoring a Fender Jazzmaster—rather than the National steel and banjo formats from earlier. But he framed those gnarlier guitar sonics still in the gospel, ragtime and swaggering Delta blues he loves, and sweetened it a bit with backup singers. Stoneking is pure old-timey mojo. It takes a certain someone with a certain something to acquit numbers like “The Zombie” (performed live, above) or lines like “Down where the drums go boom, baba-boom, baba-boom, mm-mm/ Anybody see me, sure ’bout to meet their doom” and not have it sound like some kind of Cab Calloway–aping approximation of bullshit hoodoo or junior-league Tom Waits. Instead, thanks to Stoneking’s style and distinctive voice, it’s awesome, haunting and thick with tension, while not so self-serious that it loses the entertainment value—Stoneking once admitted that his song “Jungle Blues” was inspired as much by the keyboard in 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” as it was 1920 and 1930s hellhound-on-trail stuff—or devolves into lo-fi howling just ’cause there might be a full moon tonight. “I take inspiration from all sorts of music, from locations all around the world and different time periods,” he told PopMatters in 2016. “I make my own thing, which, depending on your frame of reference might sound like any one of those but to me, knowing my process, it’s a different thing altogether.” Stoneking plays the early show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday. Get there early for Moist Paula’s Bliss Station, featuring bari saxophonist extraordinare Moist Paula (Moisturizer, Rev. Vince Anderson, Binky Griptite and many more) in a sax-bass-drums format. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Jaymes Young on 7/27

July 25th, 2017

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Jaymes Young’s debut full-length dropped about a month ago, and the Seattle singer-songwriter comes through New York City this week in support of it to play The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. The show sold out in advance, but The House List is giving away two tickets. Don’t have any and still 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 (Jaymes Young, 7/27) and a brief message explaining why you’re looking forward to August’s arrival. Eddie Bruiser, who’s looking forward to a long vacation next month, will notify the winner by Thursday. Good luck.

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Thurston Moore Group – The Bowery Ballroom – July 21, 2017

July 24th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Jesse Malin and Juliana Hatfield Play The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday

July 21st, 2017

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jesse Malin (above, performing “Meet Me at the End of the World” for Paste Studios) has been a fixture on the downtown music scene—as a bandleader and a solo artist—since the ’80s. The prolific performer’ recent release, an EP, Meet Me at the End of the World (stream it above), came out at the end of June. And on Saturday night at The Bowery Ballroom, he teams up with another singer-songwriter and guitarist with a new album, Juliana Hatfield (below, performing “I Wanna Be Your Disease” also for Paste Studios), whose Pussycat (stream it below) was inspired by last year’s presidential election: “All of these songs just started pouring out of me. And I felt an urgency to record them.” Matthew Ryan opens the show.