Tag Archives: Mercury Lounge


Dead Coast – Mercury Lounge – March 2, 2017

March 3rd, 2017

Dead Coast - Mercury Lounge - March 2, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com


London’s Jamie Isaac Brings Blissed-Out Tunes to Mercury Lounge

March 2nd, 2017

Inspired by a host of disparate influences—from Dave Brubeck to the Beach Boys to Chopin—South London–based singer and producer Jamie Isaac has been doing his own take on what the Guardian calls “magisterial, ambient dub sulk” for about five years. He’s been known to collaborate with King Krule, and after releasing several singles and a pair of EPs, Isaac (above, performing “Pigeon” for Distiller TV) put out his debut full-length, Couch Baby (stream it below), last year. The Line of Best Fit says the LP “presents him as a unique, intelligent and talented musician with a bright future.” And Noisey takes things further: “I guess what we’re saying is: This is the quintessential ‘sitting at home and smoking weed with your friends record.’ It is the new king of the hill. More than sounding like a modern-day classic for every red-eyed and cotched-out music fan though, Couch Baby is also a triumphant achievement in blissed-out ambience and is, perhaps, the greatest album of its kind we’ve heard so far this year.” Check out how the tunes sound live tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Mothica opens the show.


Leif Vollebekk Investigates the Blank Spaces at Mercury Lounge

March 1st, 2017

Leif Vollebekk – Mercury Lounge – February 28, 2017

Leif Vollebekk opened his performance at Mercury Lounge on Tuesday recalling an earlier trip to NYC when his show sold exactly one advanced ticket and was canceled. That seems highly unlikely to happen again as Vollebekk and his trio kept the roomful of paying customers rapt and enthusiastic for the better part of 80 minutes last night. The set opened with “Vancouver Time” off of his just-released-album, Twin Solitude. Backed by just a bassist and a drummer, the band playing together for the first time in a crowded Mercury Lounge, doing brand-new songs, you could forgive him for being a bit nervous, but Vollebekk sounded at ease, beginning on the electric piano, his words taking center stage from the start. Throughout the night there were almost too many great lyrics, each song crammed with several phrases you just wanted to write down. The opening number featured lovely imagery, like “buffalo clouds over the plain,” and real emotions, like “I’m only leaving because I can’t stay.”

Often when songwriters are capable of delivering lyrics like Vollebekk can, the tendency is to cram as many words into a line as possible. But he is the opposite: His songs are filled with pauses, the blank spaces allowing the words to linger and to let the music seep in to accentuate, drums and bass adding weight while Vollebekk added electric piano or guitar or harmonica. He was equally adept at filling the spaces between songs, joking around and drawing in the audience with his banter, endearing himself to the room. A riff about Neil Young’s tuning became an impromptu half cover of “Cowgirl in the Sand” that actually sounded like it might have legs for a bit.

The set was mostly anchored by the new material and was better for it. The theme of many of the songs seemed to be that of place, not just the settings—Vancouver, Michigan, Telluride, Colo.—but of the coming and going to each. In a way, it was road-trip music, not necessarily music for listening to in transit, but more about it, the gaps and empty spaces to fill with thoughts and images and music. Vollebekk sang the word “Telluride” almost like it was three—“Tell you right”—and on “Michigan,” he sang, “You and me, Robert, we ramble on,” which I want to believe is a Zeppelin reference as well as the snow piling up behind him in the rearview mirror. The trio encored with “Into the Ether,” Vollebekk picking up a violin to add some atmospheric loops, the spaces between lyrics filled to capacity, the room equally so. —A. Stein | @Neddyo


Tash Sultana – Mercury Lounge – February 15, 2017

February 16th, 2017

Tash Sultana - Mercury Lounge - February 15, 2017
(Tash Sultana’s show at Rough Trade NYC tomorrow is sold out, but she returns to NYC to play The Bowery Ballroom on 10/2 and Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/3.)

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Tash Sultana on 2/17

February 14th, 2017


Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist and looping artist Tash Sultana plays twice in New York City this week, tomorrow at Mercury Lounge and on Friday at Rough Trade NYC. Both shows are already sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets to her second appearance. Don’t have any and still want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. 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 (Tash Sultana, 2/17) and a brief message explaining the best way to spend Sundays now that there’s no football. Eddie Bruiser, who’s got some time to kill, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

(Tash Sultana returns to NYC to play The Bowery Ballroom on 10/2 and Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/3.)

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Gang of Youths Kick Off February Residency on Monday Night

February 10th, 2017

Although they hail from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and the United States, Max Dunn (bass), Jung Kim (guitar and keys), David Le’aupepe (vocals and keys), Joji Malani (guitar) and Donnie Borzestowski (drums) formed the baroque-pop five-piece Gang of Youths five years ago in Sydney. Rolling Stone called their first full-length, The Positions (stream it below)—a vivid celebration of life following some seriously dark times—an “emotionally charged debut” and made comparisons to Kings of Leon and Bruce Springsteen. Last year, Gang of Youths (above, performing “Poison Drum” for World Cafe) returned with the EP Let Me Be Clear (stream it below). “The expectation of a sophomore slump can be enough by itself to throw off the career of the most promising bands, and it would have been easy for Gang of Youths to keep churning out string-tinged rock songs,” according to Sputnik Music. “Instead … they’ve shown an insatiable thirst to keep building and transforming their sound.” Find out how they sound live when Gang of Horses play Mercury Lounge on 2/13 and 2/20 and Rough Trade NYC on 2/27.


P.O.S Brings New Music to Rough Trade NYC and Mercury Lounge

February 6th, 2017

Rapper, singer, self-taught multi-instrumentalist and producer Stefon Alexander has been doing business as the punk-influenced underground hip-hop artist P.O.S in Minneapolis since around the turn of the century. He’s one of the founding members of hip-hop collective Doomtree, while also finding time to be part of a punk band, Building Better Bombs, and another Twin Cities collective, indie rockers Gayngs. Fortunately, P.O.S (above, performing “Sleepdrone” live in studio for KEXP FM) continues to do solo work. His fifth full-length studio album, Chill, Dummy (stream it below), which features guest vocals by Justin Vernon, came out at the end of January. A.V. Club calls it “a record about surviving, living and battling for every little thing you’ve got—something P.O.S knows his fair share about.” And Pitchfork says Alexander “is still all about his consciousness, and usefully motivated by anger. But on Chill, Dummy, he embraces a freed-up feel, with some grooves you might hear in a club.” Now out on the road, the lyrical bomb-thrower plays Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night and Mercury Lounge on Wednesday. Rappers Ceschi Ramos and Transit22 open both shows.


Icelandic Singer-Songwriter Ólöf Arnalds Plays Mercury Lounge

February 3rd, 2017

Despite her instrumental prowess—classically trained on violin and viola and self-taught on guitar and charangoÓlöf Arnalds’ calling card is her crystalline voice. She was already fairly well-known in Iceland’s music scene by the time her debut solo release, Við Og Við (stream it below), arrived in 2007, going on to win Record of the Year and Best Alternative Album at the Icelandic Music Awards. When the LP came out in the U.S. three years later, Paste declared, “Earnest, heartfelt declarations of love are a welcome change from the too-cool posturing of so much of today’s popular music. Familial affection will never go out of style; neither will deftly plucked stringed instruments, subtle orchestral swells and a songbird lilt this impossibly lovely.” The singer-songwriter has since toured with the likes of Björk, Jonathan Richman and Dirty Projectors and released several more EPs and full-players, including 2014’s Palme (stream it below). It’s “as pure as powdered snow, yet bubbling over with fairy mischief,” proclaimed AllMusic. Arnalds (above, performing an Icelandic version of “Turtledove” for the Line of Best Fit and, below, covering “Mr. Tambourine Man”) “is a weaver of ephemera, and with each new collection of music, she both defines herself and furthers her own mythology, a mythology that’s wholly intertwined with the lore of her Nordic homeland.” See her play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Alternative-folk trio Cold Weather Company open the show.



Two Chances to See Joan of Arc Perform Live This Weekend

January 27th, 2017

Expertly blending punk’s volume and dynamics with post-rocks atmospherics, Joan of Arc have been anchored by Tim Kinsella (vocals and guitar) ever since forming more than two decades ago in Chicago. He’s currently backed by an original member, Jeremy Boyle (guitar), and Bobby Burg (bass), Melina Ausikaitis (guitar and vocals) and Theo Katsaounis (drums)—and the band’s first new full-length album in five years, He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands (stream it below), just came out last week. Joan of Arc (above, their new video for “Two-Toothed Troll”) “ask a very timely question: ‘What the fuck? Rarely have they had their finger so squarely on the pulse,” says PopMatters. “Patience and collaboration continue to focus and invigorate Joan of Arc.” And with new music comes a new tour. Catch them opening for American Football on Saturday at Terminal 5 and playing the early show at Mercury Lounge on Sunday.


Ahead of New Album, Fenech-Soler Play Mercury Lounge Tonight

January 25th, 2017

Influenced by Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, Ben Duffy (vocals), Ross Duffy (guitar), Daniel Soler (bass and keys) and Andrew Lindsay (percussion) formed the English electropop band Fenech-Soler more than 10 years ago, making music in the vein of Klaxons, Two Door Cinema Club and Friendly Fires. They’ve already released two full-lengths, including 2013’s Rituals (stream it below). And while Soler and Lindsay have since amicably departed, the band continues on with the Duffy brothers, releasing the EP Kaleidoscope (stream it below), with “a slick new synthpop sound,” last year. A third long-player, Zilla, comes out next week, but you won’t have to wait that long to hear new tunes from Fenech-Soler (above, performng “Kaleidoscope” live) because they play Mercury Lounge tonight. Brooklyn’s Glassio open the show.


Susto Play the Early Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

January 24th, 2017

Formed by Justin Osborne (vocals and guitar) a few years back, Susto—rounded out by Corey Campbell (keys and guitar), Marshall Hudson (drums), Jenna Desmond (bass) and Dries Vandenberg (guitar)—make a similar kind of crowd-pleasing folkish alt-country music as acts like the Lumineers, Shovels & Rope and Band of Horses. The Charleston, S.C., group’s fan base has steadily grown thanks to energetic live performances at festivals like Austin City Limits and Stagecoach. And having just released their second album, & I’m Fine Today (stream it below)—“swaying between country-tinged rock, contemplative pop ballads and any number of other genres that exist somewhere within the expansive fabric of Southern music,” according to Consequence of Sound. “It can seem like a pretty hopeless world out there sometimes, but this is the kind of music that just hits in the right way on those long, dark nights of the soul”—Susto (above, “Hard Drugs” for Audiotree Live) play Mercury Lounge tonight, and Heyrocco open the show.


Two Chances to Catch Palmistry Live in New York City

January 18th, 2017

South London vocalist-producer Benjy Keating has been doing his own bedroom-pop take on dancehall, deftly mixing ambient synths, contemporary Caribbean rhythms and melancholic lyrics with grime and R&B as Palmistry for several years now. And following the release of a few EPs and mixtapes, his debut full-length, Pagan (stream it below), came out last year to rave reviews. “These are performative anthems, which use the sonic and effective history of their sounds to construct towering emotional peaks,” according to Tiny Mix Tapes. “It is essential inasmuch as it succeeds in touching on something inherent, drawing from a preconscious set of sounds to create music that is as striking as it is affecting.” Currently on an East Coast swing, Palmistry (above, his official video for “Club Aso”) plays Rough Trade NYC tonight and Mercury Lounge tomorrow. Singer-songwriter Kahli Abdu opens both shows.


Liza Anne Plays the Early Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

January 3rd, 2017

When Nashville, Tenn., folk-rock singer-songwriter Liza Anne (above, doing “Room” for Audiotree Live) put out her debut album, The Colder Months (stream it below), in 2014, “she appeared to be headed on a straight trajectory toward strummy folk in the standard confessional style, save for tasteful sprinklings of roots and country,” according to Diffuser. But on her follow-up, last year’s Two (stream it below), “Anne sounds determined to forge her own musical voice. She’s found it. And given where she has been, Two fosters a distinct sensation of ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore.’” Fortunately for us, neither is Liza Anne. See her at the early show tonight at Mercury Lounge. Keenan O’Meara opens.


The Hotelier Play the Early Show Tomorrow at Mercury Lounge

December 30th, 2016

Christian Holden (vocals and bass), Chris Hoffman (guitar and vocals) and Sam Frederick (drums) launched to punk-pop band the Hotelier seven years ago in Worcester, Mass., becoming one of the driving forces behind emo’s revival. Their acclaimed third album, Goodness (stream it below), came out this past May. “Here, the Hotelier showcase their growth, emphasizing how they have changed and developed as humans and as musicians,” gushed Exclaim. “They’re learning to let go of the past and appreciate the present. Goodness is the next step on that journey—and a beautiful one, at that.” And before they head to Europe in a few weeks, the Hotelier (above, doing “Your Deep Rest”) play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Oso Oso and Born Without Bones open the show.


David Wax Museum Play the Early Show Tomorrow at Mercury Lounge

December 29th, 2016

Singer-songwriter David Wax bonded over music with singer-fiddler Suz Slezak close to a decade ago in Cambridge, Mass. And with a healthy dash of pop added to his interest in Mexican folk and her take on Appalachian-inspired American folk, their band, David Wax Museum, was born. They’ve steadily recorded and toured ever since, and things have gone so well that the two eventually married and began a family. Following the release of 2015’s Guesthouse (stream it below), David Wax Museum (above, performing “Guesthouse” live in concert for WXPN FM) just put out a new EP, A La Rumba Rumba (stream it below)—“a colorful exploration of the Latin American folk music that has inspired us over the years”—last month. See them tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. Auld Lang Syne, out of Rochester, N.Y., open the show.