Tag Archives: Mercury Lounge


CMJ Music Marathon Kicks Off Today

October 21st, 2014


For more than three decades the annual CMJ Music Marathon has been one of the most important outlets for shining the spotlight on new music from across the country and even around the world. The five-day (and night) festival kicks off today, which means the city’s venues—traditional and otherwise—will be jam packed with stacked lineups and fans chasing bands that might possibly become the next big thing. And, of course, The Bowery Presents has plenty of great shows, big and small:

1. Tom Vek and Olga Bell at Mercury Lounge EARLY SHOW
2. Oh Land, Walking Shapes, Corbu, Sons of an Illustrious Father at The Bowery Ballroom
3. the Crookes, Money, Spring King and Longfellow at Rough Trade NYC FREE
4. Cold War Kids, Aurora, Chief Scout, the Big P.A. at Brooklyn Bowl
5. Ming City Rockers, Made Violent, Slothrust, Børns at Mercury Lounge LATE SHOW
6. the Horrors and Moon Duo at Stage 48

1. Spookyland and Mighty Oaks at Mercury Lounge EARLY SHOW
2. Ryn Weaver, Circa Waves, Public Access T.V., Step Rockets and Sway Clarke II at The Bowery Ballroom
3. Teen Daze, Mothxr, Vérité, Carousel, Ayer and guest DJ Dart Party at Brooklyn Bowl
4. Bombay Bicycle Club, Milo Greene and Luxley at Terminal 5
5. Cold War Kids, Elliot Moss, Moses Sumney, Little May and Doe Paoro at Rough Trade NYC SOLD OUT
6. Young Magic, Saint Pepsi, Popstrangers, Dog Bite and Chandos at Mercury Lounge LATE SHOW

1. Twin Peaks, Happyness, the Wytches, Spring King and Nai Harvest at Rough Trade NYC FREE DAYTIME SHOW
2. Heat, Avid Dancer, Trixie Whitley, Cheerleader, Tor Miller, Bully and Bee Caves at Mercury Lounge EARLY SHOW
3. Beach Fossils and Small Black at Brooklyn Bowl
4. RAC, the Kooks and Speak at Terminal 5
5. the Kills, Moon Duo, Nuns and Slothrust at The Bowery Ballroom SOLD OUT
6. Moses Sumney, Adult Jazz, J. Fernandez and George Maple at Rough Trade NYC
7. the Big Sleep and Haven at Mercury Lounge FREE LATE SHOW

1. Special Guest TBA, Oscar, Pinact and September Girls FREE DAYTIME SHOW
2. Mexican Golden Girls, DMA’s, Bear’s Den, Peter Matthew Bauer, Little May, Chief Scout and Colony House at Mercury Lounge EARLY SHOW
3. Kevin Morby (full band), Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, Twin Peaks, Springtime Carnivore, Modern Vices, Ryley Walker, Geronimo Getty and guest DJ Mondo Boys at Rough Trade NYC

1. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, the Wytches, Circa Waves, Water Liars, DMA’s, Springtime Carnivore, Public Access T.V., Spookyland, Amason, Little May, the Bright Light Social Hour and Ryley Walker at Pianos FREE DAYTIME SHOW
2. the Paperhead, Ultimate Painting, Doug Tuttle, Estrogen Highs and Negative Scanner at Rough Trade NYC FREE DAYTIME SHOW
3. Teen Commandments, Sphynx, the Ocean Blues, Wild Adriatic, Walker Lukens, Saskwatch, Pree, New Myths and No Way Josie at Mercury Lounge
4. A Place to Bury Strangers, White Fence, Moon Duo, Prince Rama, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Wampire, Young Magic, No Ningen, Spires, the Wytches and the Paperhead at Rough Trade NYC
5. DJ Dodger Stadium, Special Guest TBA, Blue Hawaii, Adult Jazz, Aurora and Casual Sex at Brooklyn Bowl
6. Slowdive and Low at Terminal 5 SOLD OUT
7. Sam Roberts Band, Water Liars, Springtime Carnivore, Dilly Dally and Knox Hamilton at The Bowery Ballroom


Zeus Use Democratic Effort to Wow Late Mercury Lounge Crowd

October 20th, 2014

Zeus – Mercury Lounge – October 17, 2014

(Photo: Sean O’Kane)

(Photo: Sean O’Kane)

Sometimes we speak of a rock band being democratic, meaning that everyone in the band has a voice. But there are always degrees to this, and usually there’s a frontman rock god pulling the levers. Watching the Toronto quintet (recently grown from a foursome) Zeus bound across the stage late on Saturday night at Mercury Lounge felt like observing a true musical democracy at work (ironically despite the deity band name). Who is the lead guitarist in Zeus? Who is the lead singer? All of them and none of them. Must be a Canadian thing—their universal health care is much more universal than ours too.

Promoting their new album, Classic Zeus, and mixing in plenty of older, classic Zeus, they declared their love for New York City: “You always know how to treat a band!” The feeling was mutual. A core of die-hard fans tried their darndest to keep up with the kinetic energy onstage. There was constant motion as Zeus rocked new tunes like “Miss My Friends” with its breezy ’60s pop sound and older favorites like “Heavy on Me,” off their debut release, Say Us. This motion included gyrating and head-banging from all, particularly (mostly) bassist Carlin Nicholson, as well as song-to-song instrument switching so that everyone got their hands on the guitars, bass and electric piano without a lapse in the set’s continuously improving energy.

Zeus were even democratic in their rock clichés, mastering the good ones (share-a- microphone harmonies, two-guitar dueling solos, timely cowbell) and avoiding the bad ones. Mostly their set was superlative rock songs played by a bunch of guys having a whole lot of fun. As they out-classic-rocked classic rock with their raging “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?” everyone in the crowd was in thrall, having whole lot of fun, themselves. There is something irresistible about watching a band wear their emotions on their sleeves. In Zeus’ case the overall emotion was “hell yeah,” which seemed to be the democratic consensus of all in attendance. —A. Stein


Priory Celebrate New Album Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

October 14th, 2014

Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears had been working on a variety of music projects before finally starting their own band, Priory, three years ago in Portland, Ore. They put out a folk-tinged self-titled album (stream it below) in 2011, but it wasn’t quite what the two wanted. “We had fun,” said Rush, “but at the same time, we were touring on a record that we had outgrown. We felt like it was time to write more honest music.” So they pared down from a bigger sound to just the two of them, embraced more pop-oriented music and began to catch fire. Their new sound—combining electronic music, folk guitar and harmonies—is featured on their brand new EP, the anthemic Weekend (stream it below), out today. And Priory (above, their video for “Weekend”) celebrate its release tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Brooklyn three-piece Relations open the show.


Two Nights of the Fauntleroys and Their Rock and Roll Swagger

October 7th, 2014

Longtime friends Alejandro Escovedo (vocals and bass), Ivan Julian (guitar and vocals) and Nicholas Tremulis (guitar and vocals) had never done much together musically prior to coming together in Julian’s Lower East Side recording studio (just a block from The Bowery Presents’ office). Needing to round out the rhythm section, the trio added Linda Pitmon (drums) and became a quartet, the Fauntleroys. In a matter of days they’d written and recorded several songs, which are featured on the band’s debut EP, Below the Pink Pony (stream it below), out last month. AllMusic calls it a “quick, dirty and rewarding debut,” while mentioning that the Fauntleroys (above, doing “I’m in Love with Everything”) “have an appetite for serious rock swagger and big, dirty guitar riffs.” Experience that swagger for yourself live and in person tomorrow at Mercury Lounge and on Thursday at Rough Trade NYC.


Barcelona Play the Late Show Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

October 3rd, 2014

Brian Fennell (vocals and guitar), Branden Cate (keys and vocals) and Rhett Stonelake (drums and vocals)—have been making harmonious, melodic rock as Barcelona for nearly a decade. Their debut full-length, Absolutes, was released in 2007 and rereleased two years later. Per Absolute Punk, “Absolutes is a stunning movement of intelligent, atmospheric, and hey!, catchy pop music.” Their follow-up, Not Quite Yours (stream it below), out in 2012, involved more of the Seattle trio’s soulful, sultry rock. But Barcelona (above, performing “Fall in Love” for Audiotree Live) have moved in a different direction with the R&B-inflected Melodrama, three EPs released earlier this year “that explore the landscape of learning to love and be loved.” See them play the late show tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Arrive early to catch the Philly trio Bel Heir.


Teleman Impress in Their First Visit to America

September 26th, 2014

Teleman – Mercury Lounge – September 25, 2014


If last night’s Mercury Lounge crowd had—as English four piece Teleman suggest on “23 Floors Up”—their “conscience stuck 23 floors up,” their superegos would have been stuck on the roof of the 22-floor luxury apartment complex the Ludlow that now towers above the Houston Street venue. It would have also left nothing but unrestrained id on the ground floor, sort of an odd image for a band as methodical and fastidious as the elegant Teleman. Plunging down from towering heights through the layers and layers of Pottery Barn dwarfing the memory of the Lower East Side, the audience and band resembled a different, more generative lyric from “23 Floors Up”: “The city below is anywhere you like.”

With songs that lack a similar discernible quality, Teleman bounded through cuts off their debut LP, Breakfast, before a crowd that showed a similar level of careful enthusiasm. It was, they told the audience, their “first time in America.” The band opened with “In Your Fur” and its repeated chorus, “We’re on the strangest ride,” a subtle irony for a band that crafts such straightforward, satisfying pop songs. Emblematic of this impulse, “Skeleton Dance” and “Cristina,” a pair of tunes about different ways of getting down in the bedroom, populated the middle of the set.

Consistent, wry commentary sprang from the stage, like lead singer Thomas Sanders introducing “Cristina”: “This song is called ‘Cristina.’ It’s about a girl named Cristina from America. It’s our only tie to your country.” The blithe discourse continued on the night’s closing number, “Travel Song,” and its final, repeated promise—“I’m not in control.” This was, in part, the joke. Teleman were masterfully in command the whole time, from the roof all the way down to the ground level. —Geoff Nelson


A Celebration Record-Release Party at Mercury Lounge

September 25th, 2014

Married couple Katrina Ford (vocals and percussion) and Sean Antanaitis (multiple instruments) began making music together in Ann Arbor, Mich., before trying out Chicago and then New Orleans prior to settling into Baltimore’s rich local music scene. Once there, they teamed up with David Bergander (drums) to form Celebration—Tony Drummond (keys), Tommy Rouse (guitar) and Walker Teret (bass) have since joined the band. The group’s brooding self-titled debut album, produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, came out in 2005. AllMusic weighed in: “Theatrical and heartfelt, Celebration is a fully realized debut that promises even better things to come.” Last month the six-piece (above, doing “Tomorrow’s Here Today” for WTMD FM) released their fourth studio LP, Albumin (stream it below), filled with psychedelic rock and soul. AllMusic said, “They take their massive sound in directions that show they can do much more than glowering post-punk and glowing dream pop.” Join the party when Celebration, well, celebrate the new album’s release tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Keeping it in Charm City, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat opens the show with a heavy dose of drum, bass and reverb.


Rootsy Folk Trio the Ballroom Thieves Play Mercury Lounge Tonight

September 19th, 2014

Martin Earley (guitar and vocals), Devin Mauch (percussion and vocals) and Calin Peters (cello and vocals) formed the rootsy folk trio the Ballroom Thieves three years ago in Boston. But they burst onto the scene—first in their hometown and then throughout the region—when their five-song debut EP, The Devil & the Deep (stream it below), filled with foot-stomping energy and three-part harmonies, came out in 2012. A four-track self-titled EP (stream it below) followed in 2013, and thanks to their rousing performances, unique instrumentation and topnotch songwriting, the Ballroom Thieves (above, doing “Coward’s Son” for Audiotree Live) are now making a name for themselves beyond New England. Find out for yourself why tonight at Mercury Lounge. Soulful psychedelic-blues four-piece the Tontons, out of Houston, open the show.


Double Your Pleasure with Two Nights of the Cave Singers

September 18th, 2014

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 last year, and the Cave Singers (above, doing “Shine” live in studio for KEXP FM) are currently touring the East Coast. Catch one of their high-energy live show tomorrow at Mercury Lounge or, alongside psychedelic-soul four-piece Ghostpal, on Saturday at Rough Trade NYC.


Lia Ices Celebrates New Album Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

September 16th, 2014

Lia Ices writes, sings and plays the piano. She grew up in Connecticut but began making music in Brooklyn. And thanks to her voice, she was quickly compared to Tori Amos and Cat Power. Ices (above, performing “Love Is Won” for indieATL) signed with Jagjaguwar in 2010 and the label released her second album, Grown Unknown (stream it below)— which featured a duet with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon—the following year. Spin proclaimed, “Ices’ lush melodies and dreamy voice will convert skeptics and mesmerize supporters of Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom.” But as she began working on her next batch of songs, Ices was in flux: “I was beginning a gradual move to California, constantly traveling back and forth from New York. I was experimenting. I was falling in love. Our studio in the Hudson Valley was full of electronics and computers and the sounds of future ships sailing through the vastness of space, and I sometimes forgot where I was. The first songs we wrote were called ‘Flying 1,’ then ‘Flying 2,’ and so on, which eventually evolved into songs on the album. Flight became a metaphor for the ignition of the imagination. The process created a lightness in me, a freedom and positive energy that I’d never before felt or explored.” And what she ended up with was her third album, Ices (stream it below), out today, which the Guardian, in a five-star review, notes for its “luxurious fusion of spacious electronica, playful tribal pop and layers of breathy vocals.” Lia Ices celebrates her new album tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.


A Double Dose of Marco Benevento This Week

September 15th, 2014

For NYC music fans of a certain age and musical taste, it may be surprising to realize that it’s been more than a decade since Marco Benevento arrived on the scene as the organ half of the groundbreaking Benevento Russo Duo. Still, it’s no surprise that Benevento has been able to combine his knack with keyboards, composition and collaboration to establish a unique signature sound that’s equal parts electronica groove, jammy jazz, post-rock anthem and catchy-as-hell pop hook. His road-tested trio (above, performing “Escape Horse”), rounded out by Dave Dreiwitz on bass and Andy Borger on drums, returns for two homecoming shows this week, to celebrate the release of his excellent new album, Swift (stream a track from it below), which finds Benevento adding vocals to his many talents. Check him out tomorrow at Mercury Lounge or on Wednesday at Rough Trade NYC. Expect some singing and some dancing and some rocking and plenty of shenanigans … oh, and maybe a piano solo or two. —A. Stein


Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons Play Mercury Lounge Tonight

September 10th, 2014

Prolific singer-songwriter Jerry Joseph, a musician’s musician, began his music career more than three decades ago when he formed the reggae-tinged rock band Little Women in 1982. Since then, he’s done plenty of solo work and he’s been involved with and associated with a variety of bands, including Stockholm Syndrome and Widespread Panic (and even Woody Harrelson). But he’s most well known for fronting Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons (above, doing “Amazing Grace”). Their most recent album—actually a double album—Happy Book (stream it below), came out in 2012, and Relix called it “one of Joseph’s finest efforts to date.” But a new LP, Singing in the Rain, is due out next month. And backed by guitarist Jeff Crosby, drummer Steve Drizos and bassist Stevie James Wright, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons play the early show tonight at Mercury Lounge.


Tits of Clay – Mercury Lounge – September 4, 2014

September 5th, 2014

Tits of Clay - Mercury Lounge - September 4, 2014

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Papercuts Play the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday

September 4th, 2014

Jason Quever is a busy dude. He’s got a home studio in San Francisco and works as a singer, songwriter and producer. On top of that, he’s collaborated with all sorts of other musicians, including Cass McCombs, plus he fronts his own indie-pop musical collective, Papercuts. The band’s first album, the lush Mockingbird (stream it below), arrived in 2004. But it was Can’t Go Back (stream it below), released three years later, which put Papercuts (above, doing “Future Primitive” live in studio for KEXP FM) on the map. Pitchfork approved: “West Coast to the core, it’s music for the journey, not for the arrival, the soundtrack to getting somewhere else rather than music to get lost to. Or maybe both.” Their most recent full-length, Life Among the Savages (stream it below), came out this past May. And again, critics, were impressed. Per PopMatters, “Jason Quever’s Papercuts has crafted a near-perfect collection of contemporary baroque pop ruminations on the modern condition, one of isolation, sadness and an affectation that requires us to present an outward façade not generally indicative of the emotional turmoil raging within.” And you can see Papercuts live on Saturday night at Mercury Lounge.


See Thumpers Play the Late Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

August 27th, 2014

Friends since childhood, Marcus Pepperell (vocals, guitar and keys) and John Hamson Jr. (drums, vocals and bass) each played in various London bands before teaming up for the synth-pop duo Thumpers three years ago. The project initially began through e-mail correspondence, but once they began writing and recording together in 2012, their catchy, exuberant recordings instantly caught on via the Internet. And then thanks to just a few tunes, Thumpers (above, performing “Together Now” for KEXP FM) signed with Sub Pop. Their debut full-length, the polished Galore (stream it below), arrived in North America this past winter, and AllMusic was impressed: “Thumpers manage to tuck a wide scope of ideas and sounds into their songs without ever feeling too overbearing or crowded…. Constructed with flawlessness in mind, Galore succeeds in its ability to sound intensely produced and polished but never sterile. The same strong heartbeat that makes acts like Dirty Projectors, Phoenix, Suckers and the like equally human and precise beats inside Thumpers’ best songs as well.” See them play the late show tonight at Mercury Lounge.