Tag Archives: Music Hall of Williamsburg


Flying Lotus: Commander of the Afterlife

October 16th, 2014

Flying Lotus – Terminal 5 – October 15, 2014

Flying Lotus - Terminal 5 - October 15, 2014
“I have come to inform you that, you’re fuckin’ dead,” said Flying Lotus last night to a sold-out Terminal 5 crowd, stated in the most matter-of-fact way possible, thus kicking off the all-senses barrage that is a Flying Lotus show. With glowing bright yellow eyes and sitting in the midst of an inverted cube bathed in shape-shifting projections, Flying Lotus provided a symphony of his own creation. Further driving home the afterlife theme, someone dressed as the Grim Reaper menaced the audience for a few songs. But those sounds were not of this world. There was bass so heavy you could not only feel it but also sort of taste it, almost as if Flying Lotus had turned an intensity dial up to 11 and then the dial broke, so he just said, “Fuck it” and left it there.

But there was also a top on this, a weird calming sense of meditative contemplation. And those two things don’t often work together. Some jazz has been able to do it, although it’s rare. But Flying Lotus is related to Coltranes, which may partially explain his mystical musical powers, but to nail it down in a different genre—electronic music—is a noteworthy innovation. Of course, the visuals were extravagant enough to make up half of the show’s overall experience. Think of Flying Lotus’s amazing album covers but always morphing. It was like a trippy three-dimensional stream constantly flowing through the stage, with a mere silhouette pushing buttons, moving dials, throwing his hands up and dancing.

For a few songs, Flying Lotus popped out of the inverted projection cube of awesome to rap a few songs as his alter ego, Captain Murphy, right into the first few rows of audience. After the set ended he returned, saying he’d see some of the crowd on Thursday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It’s remarkable how trailblazing Flying Lotus’s sound has become, especially in an era when people are racing to find that next big thing, the last morsel of underutilized electronic sounds that could (potentially) change everything. Only recently are others catching up to FlyLo, in a rush to appropriate, integrate and collaborate with that sound he’s pioneered for years. It’s like he’s turned around to ask, “Where have y’all been?” But by the time the rest of the world finally catches up, we may all well be dead. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Andie Diemer | issuu.com/andiediemer/docs/portfolio


Sam Amidon Brings Reimagined Folk Tunes to Williamsburg

October 15th, 2014

Singer, songwriter, fiddler, banjo player and guitarist Sam Amidon grew up in Vermont listening to a variety of folk music, thanks to his musician parents. And, fittingly, his most recent release—his fifth LP—Lily-O (stream it below), is filled with reimagined folk songs. Amidon (above, performing “Walkin’ Boss” for Radio Woodstock) recorded the album in Iceland with jazz guitarist and composer Bill Frisell (whom Amidon calls “one of my major heroes. It’s, like, Miles Davis, an Irish fiddler named Tommy Peoples and Bill Frisell”), bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Chris Vatalaro. The Guardian calls Lily-O “a compellingly quiet, intense affair that is remarkable both for the power of his understated, no-nonsense and often mournful vocals, and for the subtle arrangements that bring an urgency to his mostly traditional American songs and hymns.” Amidon is currently touring the country in support of the album, and he plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night, alongside Frisell and Ismaily.


Foxygen – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 8, 2014

October 9th, 2014

Foxygen - Music Hall of Williamsburg - October 8, 2014

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com


Rocktober Contest: Win Free Beer, Burgers and Beats

October 8th, 2014

FREE BEER. FREE BURGERS. FREE BEATS. We’ve teamed up with @ShakeShack and @BrooklynBrewery to give away a Rocktober concert pass plus a whole lot more! One winner will receive two tickets to Generationals at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/12, Zeus at Mercury Lounge on 1018, RAC at Terminal 5 on 10/23 and Streets of Laredo at Mercury Lounge on 10/29, a $50 Shack gift card, a Small Batch Brooklyn Brewery tour and 18 Brewery tokens. To enter: Follow all three Instagram accounts and tag a friend in the comments. Must be 21+ to enter.


Kick Off Your Weekend with Buke and Gase in Williamsburg

October 8th, 2014

Not only are Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez talented musicians, but they also created the instruments they play as part of their experimental duo, Buke and Gase (formerly Buke and Gass). Dyer, the singer, had “some form of carpel tunnel in my wrist that was aggravated by a normal-size instrument,” so she created her buke by taking “a crappy baritone ukulele” and turning it into a six-string. Not to be outdone, Sanchez’s gase “started out as an overachieving bass, desiring to move up out of the low end. Now it’s starting to find itself somewhere between a bass and a guitar without really being either.” Despite having just two members, they make a whole lot of noise, which you can discover on their full-length albums, 2010’s Riposte (stream it below)—about which AllMusic said the “folk-infused and punk-inspired sound is thrashing, yet jubilant”—and last year’s General Dome (stream it below)—per AllMusic, “they’ve achieved a more refined sense of balance, knowing exactly where and when to push the limits while still keeping the sound grounded enough that the listener is able to get lost in the song rather than the concept.” Watch Buke and Gase, above, playing “Hiccup” for Studio Q, and then kick off your weekend with them at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night.

Contest: Win Free Tickets to Kaytranada and More

October 6th, 2014

We’ve got two great shows with Kaytranada this week, on Wednesday at The Bowery Ballroom and on Thursday at Music Hall of Williamsburg (which is already sold out), and you can enter to win free tickets plus some sweet prizes from our homies at Mishka. Just repost this photo, follow @bowerypresents and @mishkagram and use #kaytranadabowery.
Good luck! #bowerypresents


The Afghan Whigs – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 5, 2014

October 6th, 2014

The Afghan Whigs - Music Hall of Williamsburg - October 5, 2014

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


Black Lips – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 1, 2014

October 2nd, 2014

Black Lips - Music Hall of Williamsburg - October 1, 2014

Photos courtesy of Greg Pallante | gregpallante.com


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Odesza on 10/3

September 30th, 2014


Seattle electronic duo Odesza are currently traveling across North America, and their tour brings them to New York City for two shows, on Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom and on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. And even though they’re both already sold out, The House List is giving away two tickets to see them on 10/3. Want to go? Then 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 (Odesza, 10/3) and a brief message explaining what’s happened with you recently that you deserve free tickets. Eddie Bruiser, who would sincerely like to know, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Panda Bear Plays New Material at Music Hall of Williambsurg

September 23rd, 2014

Panda Bear – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 22, 2013

Panda Bear - Music Hall of Williamsburg - September 22, 2013
Flanked by two large blinking strobe lights, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) stood behind an elaborate console last night at a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg. At times, as bright, undulating video projections (designed by longtime collaborator Danny Perez) beamed upon the stage, Lennox, in his white T-shirt, nearly blended in with his surroundings. Of course, even when overtaken by pulsing patterns and colors, Panda Bear commands attention, singing earnestly while managing to craft elaborate layers of sampled sound, manipulating beats and looping vocals.

A new full-length album, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, is slated for release later this year (although details are scarce), and Panda Bear performed several new tunes last night, mixing in a few crowd favorites from 2011’s Tomboy, like “Last Night at the Jetty” and “You Can Count on Me.” Many Panda Bear songs center around a repeated lyrical refrain, which Lennox sings over and over as music ebbs and flows around it, subtly shifting gears or abruptly changing course. As the projections flashed between disparate images—ice cream, lizard eyes, anemone, bunch of grapes, hypnotic dancing bald women—Lennox repeated the line, “Don’t ask why.”

It’s a treat to experience Panda Bear’s new material in the live format, where he seemed to relish the freedom to experiment and to witness the response from a crowd hearing the music with fresh ears. It shifted organically, ranging from haunting and spare to playful and pulsating, and although the grim reaper referenced in the upcoming album’s title did pay us a visit via projector, we emerged unscathed and fully entertained. —Alena Kastin

Photos courtesy of Lina Shteyn | www.linashteyn.com


Glass Animals – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 15, 2014

September 16th, 2014

Glass Animals - Music Hall of Williamsburg - September 15, 2014

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyphotography.tumblr.com

(Glass Animals play a free show tonight at Rough Trade NYC.)


White Denim Are Red Hot at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 12th, 2014

White Denim – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 11, 2014

White Denim – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 11, 2014
The headlines kind of write themselves: White Denim burn down Music Hall of Williamsburg or White Denim play blazing show in Brooklyn. Thankfully, despite an unplanned fire drill midway through their set, there was no literal fire in Williamsburg last night. Metaphorically, however, the headlines stand up pretty well. Playing the middle show of a three-night run at Music Hall, White Denim were hotter than hell, setting the room on fire, downright blazing and any other cliché you can think of. They began the set with a smoldering, soulful “A Place to Start,” the last track off their most recent LP, Corsicana Lemonade, and then hopped into that album’s opener, “At Night in Dreams,” a heavy-duty dose of concentrated Allmans, with James Petralli and Austin Jenkins giving a preview of what would be a night full of two-guitar prowess. “At Night” kicked off a multisong medley, the first of many such signature excursions: two or three songs with instrumental interludes, quick-stop segues and check-your-baggage jam-outs. This first one ended with a stretched-out version of “Drug,” off their 2011 breakthrough album, D.

With White Denim, each show feels like the best they’ve ever played, and the best they’ve ever played and Thursday felt no different, although years of touring in their now-steady quartet form seems to have elevated and matured their jazz-metered, free-form Southern-rock sound. Select tunes were slowed or mellowed a bit, providing room for more interesting dynamics. “River to Consider” was a good example, as its normal breakneck pace was given a more deliberate rendering that allowed for a tremendous slow-build jam. Shortly thereafter, as the band tried a similar trick with “Anvil Everything,” the fire alarm sounded and the room was cleared (I must say in a very orderly fashion). Following a 20 minute smoke-’em-if-you’ve-got-’em intermission on the sidewalk of N. 6th St., NYC’s Bravest gave the all clear and the crowd returned with a little fresh-air buzz.

The break seemed to have a filter effect on the audience, those who were there to drink and be social went off to a bar somewhere, and the remaining crowd was smaller, but a bit rowdier with room to boogie and throw fists in the air. White Denim gave plenty of reason to do both, launching a few more highlight-reel sections starting with another medley that began with a restarted “Anvil Everything” and ending with a stretched-out, swallow-everything version of “I Start to Run.” Things turned looser as the show came to its furious conclusion, large swaths of the band’s last few albums coming together in exciting combinations. The pairing of the acrobatic instrumental “At the Farm” and a beautiful, stripped-bare “Keys” was an inspired moment among many. When everyone filed out the front doors for the second time, giddy, glazed looks in their eyes, there was no doubt that White Denim had, indeed, set the building on fire. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Five Questions with … White Denim’s James Petralli

September 10th, 2014

House List favorites White Denim (above, performing “Pretty Green” on Late Show with David Letterman) are back in town this week for three shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Friday’s is already sold out, but tickets still remain to see the engaging Austin, Texas, four-piece tonight and tomorrow. And last week frontman James Petralli checked in from the road to answer Five Questions.

You guys have played New York City for several years now. Are there certain places you like to revisit when you return? And do you ever feel like you could live here?
There are so many great places in NYC, and we are always so busy when we come to work that I generally hit new places every time I visit. One place I always find myself, though, is La Esquina—great food there. I’ve never done any of the popular tourist destinations or visited any of the multitudes of museums and galleries either. It is kind of a shame really. I need a few days off there someday. I could live in NYC, but I couldn’t see myself settling there. I need to have fast access to the countryside. (Preferably the Texas countryside.)

And do you notice your music being received differently in New York City?
There are so many things to do in the city each night that we feel honored to have developed a loyal audience there. People are pretty similar everywhere you go, in a good way. Except for Lufkin, Texas—terrible, villainous folks in Lufkin. Kidding.

Do you have any crutches when writing a song—are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much?
I am not always great at writing bridges or getting past a first chorus. I always have to force myself to write a third part and sometimes it takes long enough to lose interest in the tune entirely. I have hard drives full of single verses and choruses. I’m also probably either too oblique or too bang on in my lyrical approach. Still looking for balance there.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?
No, but I do believe it helps. I think that actual experience can really help a performer connect with the material and thereby have a more significant impact on an audience. As far as writing goes, though, I think it behooves one to be as imaginative as possible. I’m told research and observation can be nearly as effective as actual experience.

It’s 4 a.m. and last call has come and gone. What’s your next move?
Bust out the flask and keep my eyes out for a cool place to barf. —R. Zizmor



A Garage Rock Double Bill with Total Slacker and Paws

September 3rd, 2014

Total Slacker’s roots began with a chance meeting between Tucker Rountree (vocals and guitar) and Emily Oppenheimer (bass and vocals) in a New York City Laundromat. The duo eventually became a trio with Terence Connor on drums, and after their ’90s-nostalgia-laden debut full-length Thrashin’ (stream it below) came out in 2011, Total Slacker (above, performing “Keep the Ships at Bay” and “Out of Body Experience” for Newtown Radio) earned the reputation of high-energy road warriors, playing hundreds of shows a year. Following Connor’s tragic hit-and-run death two years ago, Rountree and Oppenheimer added David Anthony (guitar) and Zoë Brecher (drums) to the mix. The garage-rock quartet released their second LP, Slip Away (stream it below), this past winter.

Phillip Taylor (vocals and guitar), Matt Scott (bass) and Josh Swinney (drums) formed Paws in Glasgow, Scotland, four years ago. And like Total Slacker, this garage-rock trio, mining plenty of ’90s influences, first became popular at home before touring relentlessly and releasing a pair of full-lengths, 2012’s Cokefloat! (stream it below) and this year’s subtler Youth Culture Forever (stream it below). And now Paws (above, doing “Let’s All Go Live” live in studio for KEXP FM) have teamed up with Total Slacker, and you can see both bands on Friday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.


Blonde Redhead – Rough Trade NYC – September 2, 2014

September 3rd, 2014

Blonde Redhead - Rough Trade NYC - September 2, 2014

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com

(Blonde Redhead play The Bowery Ballroom on 11/25-26 and then Music Hall of Williamsburg on 12/2.)