Tag Archives: Lower East Side

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Ages and Ages Play Mercury Lounge with Skyway Man Tomorrow

July 19th, 2017

On Ages and Ages’ newest album, Something to Ruin (stream it above), the Portland, Ore., band takes upbeat and inspiring choral pop to some dark places. Oh, you know, just the collapse of Western civilization, done in by consumerism and neglect. Their music retains its uplifting openheartedness, a modern-day gospel with a progressive spirit. Ages and Ages (above, performing “As It Is” for WFUV FM) bring their communal energy—shared vocals, thoughtful melodies and an abundance of handclaps—to Mercury Lounge on Thursday. The early show will kick off with Skyway Man (below, doing “We Both Have Nothing to Fear”), the creative effort of Nashville, Tenn., singer-songwriter James Wallace. He’ll be playing music from the recently released Seen Comin’ from a Mighty Eye (stream it below), an under-the-radar sci-fi folk epic recorded with Matthew E. White in his Spacebomb Studios. The combined bill will be rife with excellent songs, some unique sounds and plenty to contemplate: past, present and future. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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The Cactus Blossoms Keep Mercury Lounge Cool on a Hot Night

July 13th, 2017

The Cactus Blossoms – Mercury Lounge – July 12, 2017


Honky-tonk noir anyone? Well you’re in luck because Minnesotan brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum are serving up just what you’re craving as the Cactus Blossoms. They resemble a blend of vintage sibling pairs, with the harmonies of the Everly Brothers and the bittersweet waltz of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk.” It’s not surprising that the two made their national-TV debut on the recently rebooted Twin Peaks: The Return, playing the melancholic “Mississippi” as the third-episode outro. After a string of Midwestern dates opening for Jenny Lewis, the duo returned Stateside following a quick European tour to grace Mercury Lounge with a late-night session on Thursday.

Playing to a sold-out crowd, Torrey hit the stage last apologizing for the late start as he was locked in the bathroom. Thankfully freed, the reunion produced an evening of sweet Southern charm as the Cactus Blossoms played a large portion of their debut full-length album, You’re Dreaming. The title track had the crowd soaring to the brothers’ harmonies, followed by the eerily haunting track featured on Twin Peaks. Drummer Alex Hall literally wheeled up to the stage with suitcase in hand to relieve his stand-in, Grant. Turns out Hall’s flight had been delayed 12 hours. But the consummate professionals rolled with the punches, noting that as musicians, it’s rare when things go as planned.

The Cactus Blossoms treated devoted fans to cuts from their back catalog, including the farewell tune, “Adios Maria,” which was less about a woman and more about parting with a place. After a new song, they covered the Kinks“Who’ll Be Next in Line,” paying homage to a fellow sibling pair, and dedicated “Happy Man on a Gloomy Day” to an unfortunately canceled Spain show. A previously requested “Spotlight Kisses” was happily applauded, and the country waltz of “Powder Blue” had everyone in the room swaying in delight. With the encore imminent, Torrey announced it was “too hot to rock,” instead concluding the evening with a slow one, “Travelers Paradise.” It was a fitting adieu on a steamy night. —Sharlene Chiu

 

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Woods Bring Feel-Good Music Home to The Bowery Ballroom

July 13th, 2017

Plenty of artists have, for better or worse, found inspiration in today’s headlines, much of the resulting music reflecting a dark view on the news of the day. When Woods felt compelled to enter the studio to capture the current mood, the resulting songs were much more optimistic in tone. The mini-album, Love Is Love (stream it below), recorded and released earlier this year, conveys its message in its title track. Taking their evolved sound from last year’s City Sun Eater in the River of Light (stream it below) even further, the new record is awash in pastoral psych-folk amidst upbeat jazz-funk horn fills. Woods (above, performing “Creature Comfort” in studio for KEXP FM) bring the new material and a hefty back catalog of inspired songwriting and spinout jams—and maybe some catharsis—back to The Bowery Ballroom for a Saturday night homecoming. It’ll be a family affair, with John Andrews and the Yawns (plus Cut Worms) opening. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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The Kickback Celebrate a New Album Thursday at Mercury Lounge

July 12th, 2017

Now based in Chicago, Billy Yost (vocals and guitar), Jonny Ifergan (guitar) and Daniel Leu (bass) have been making eclectic music together since forming the Kickback close to 10 years ago. Following the release of several EPs, their catchy debut full-length, Sorry All Over the Place (stream it below), dropped two years ago. “The Kickback turn Sorry All Over the Place into a whimsical and ambitious fit of rock potpourri,” reported Consequence of Sound. “The band squeezes the pop-rock template dry, milking that broad category for its many musical riches.” Their sophomore LP, Weddings & Funerals, arrives on Friday, but the Kickback (above, doing “White Lodge” for Jam in the Van) celebrate its release a night early, on Thursday at Mercury Lounge.

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A Double Dose of Pokey LaFarge in New York City This Week

July 11th, 2017

Pokey LaFarge, born Andrew Heissler, is what you might call an old soul. You could imagine him, plucking away with that whipcrack band, at the Cotton Club or some other bygone temple of ancient, potent music, stirring up impure thoughts and a hankering for more gin or whiskey. He’s on tour again, this time behind Manic Revelations (stream it below), which fleshes out his sepia-toned blues, rockabilly and Western swing with Memphis soul and gospel elements, complete with horns—and a framing of current political themes. The first place to start is “Riot in the Streets,” which the New York Times was right in calling “like an explanation of now, delivered in an ancient language.” A St. Louis native, LaFarge (above, performing “Bad Dreams” for KCMP FM) addresses the death of Michael Brown, police victimization and media bias. “What I wanted to convey was the desperation people feel when they have been pushed to brink,” he told the Huffington Post in May. “No more talking. No more waiting. No more silence. Sometimes you have to fight.” You get him twice this week: Wednesday at The Bowery Ballroom and Thursday at Rough Trade NYC. And you can expect a healthy focus on the 10 outstanding Manic tracks with a judicious sampling of material going back to his 2006 debut. His band is the South City Three, including bass, harmonica, electric guitar, drums, clarinet, sax and trumpet, with a few other variables as they see fit. Go from there and relish the retro flavor. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

 

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See 2 Dope Queens on 7/17

July 11th, 2017

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Next Monday at The Bowery Ballroom, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson (and guest comedians) will do two—early and late—live versions of their much-loved podcast, 2 Dope Queens, covering stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in NYC, Billy Joel and lots more. Both shows sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets to the performance of the winner’s choice. 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 (2 Dope Queens, early or late) and a brief message explaining what you love so much about the podcast. Eddie Bruiser, who will check out both performances, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Catch the Cave Singers Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

July 11th, 2017

When his previous band, Pretty Girls Make Graves, called it quits in 2007, guitarist Derek Fudesco teamed up with former Cobra High drummer Marty Lund and former Hint Hint singer Pete Quirk to start a new one, the Cave Singers, to make rock music with a folk bent (think: Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie). The Seattle three-piece had enough material for their first album, Invitation Songs (stream it below), within months of forming. A second disc, Welcome Joy (stream it below), followed two years later, and after the third, the-more-electric-than-acoustic No Witch (stream it below), was released in 2011, the trio became a four-piece with the addition of Fleet Foxes multi-instrumentalist Morgan Henderson on bass. Their first album as a quartet, the terrific Naomi (stream it below)—perhaps heavier on the rock than the folk—came out in 2013, and the Cave Singers (above, performing “That’s Why” live in studio for KEXP FM) followed that with their fifth LP, last year’s Banshee (stream it below). “The finished product shows the group understands very well what works for them,” said AllMusic. “Banshee is a smart and impressive piece of work that speaks to the mind and the soul with similar clarity.” The Cave Singers kick off their new tour tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Brooklyn’s LAPêCHE open the show.

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Sir Sly Bring Brand-New Album to The Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday

July 10th, 2017

Singer Landon Jacobs, keyboardist Jason Suwito and drummer Hayden Coplen formed the alternative-rock trio Sir Sly (above, performing “You Haunt Me” on Conan) five years ago in Los Angeles. Their first full-length, You Haunt Me (stream it below), came out in 2014. The band “lays down a strong foundation, announcing their presence with 11 somber yet danceable earworms that are sure to set the hype machine on overload now that listeners actually know who is making the music and anticipate the follow-up,” according to Glide Magazine. That anticipated follow-up, Don’t You Worry, Honey (stream it below), arrived just a few weeks ago, and Atwood Magazine immediately named it one of the best albums of the year, noting that they’re “expanding their musical palette through a daringly diverse, yet surprisingly concise set of songs that stays faithful to, and builds upon, Sir Sly’s unique blend of electronic, gospel and hip-hop influence.” With a new album comes a new tour, and Sir Sly headline The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. The D.C. trio Shaed opens.

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Mother Mother Headline The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday Night

July 6th, 2017

Supporting their newly released full-length, No Culture (stream it below), which combines everyday-life issues with self-exploration, Vancouver, B.C., synth-rock band Mother Mother (above, performing “The Drugs”) will fabulously rock the stage at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night (with Brooklyn pop quintet Pavo Pavo opening). The album cover itself is open for interpretation, its serious tone colliding with an in-your-face attitude devoid of any apologies. The group’s frontman and songwriter, Ryan Guldemond, isn’t afraid to put Mother Mother’s thought-provoking takes on exploring identity through culture and how it fits into our differences and similarities on display. No Culture, their sixth long-player, continues the band’s distinctive, fast-paced synth sounds. Guldemond has discovered that by opening up his writing with personal stories that it’s become even easier for fans to connect with them. The songs have always had a nostalgic, captivating element with fast tempos and catchy lyrics, and they’ve evolved with a more intense, hard rock sound. Mother Mother’s onstage energy matches their upbeat songs, like “Hayloft.” Experience if for yourself on Saturday night. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren

 

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VHS Collection Play a Hometown Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 28th, 2017

Influenced by rock, disco and electronic music, childhood friends James Bohannon (vocals), Conor Cook (guitar) and Nils Varnderlip (synths) began making music together as the indie act VHS Collection just a few years ago right here in NYC. Their sound is “a little dark, fun, dance-y,” Bohannon told DuJour. “We’re able to filter pop-nuance through the VHS sound, but we have a good combination between dark vocals, synth and guitar.” After releasing several singles on streaming sites, they started performing live, winning over increasingly larger crowds with their energetic stage performances. The group’s EP Stereo Hype (stream it below) arrived last year and VHS Collection (above, doing “Ghost” at The Bowery Ballroom) say a full-length is on the way. But in the meantime, they return to Music Hall of Williamsbur on Thursday night. And local duo Eighty Ninety open the show.

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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.