Tag Archives: Music

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Gillian Welch Digs Deep at the Beacon Theatre

August 3rd, 2017

Gillian Welch – Beacon Theatre – August 2, 2017


Recently NPR released an article on the Top 150 Albums Made by Women spanning all genres of music from folk, soul, rock, pop and more. Gillian Welch at No. 39 was a particular gem sandwiched between the Staples Singers and Odetta. Welch’s rise came after a resurgence of country-blues thanks to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and has stood the test of time with her continuous touring. It’s been more than five years since the release of The Harrow and the Harvest, and that milestone perpetuated the singer to tour in support of a special vinyl release. Welch and longtime musical partner David Rawlings rolled into the ornate Beacon Theatre Wednesday evening to regale fans by playing the album in full.

Literally going from the opening track, “Scarlet Town,” to the fittingly conclusive “The Way the Whole Thing Ends,” the pair apologized for the many minor-key songs, but no one in the audience seemed to mind in the least. The singer charmed with her footwork on “Six White Horses,” as her two-step served as percussion for the rollicking number. A short intermission followed the conclusion of the album’s completion, and the duo returned to serenade the room with more woeful ditties, including “Wayside/Back in Time” and the ultimate crowd-pleaser, “Revelator.” Welch’s magic is truly in her partnership with Rawlings, whose mastery of the guitar perfectly phrases her heartbreaking lyrics. The guitarist took center stage to debut a new track from his upcoming release, Poor David’s Almanack, which the two will be touring behind next.

Many of their recordings have been touched by greats like Johnny Cash, who inspired “Dry Town,” and Doc Watson, whom the songstress addressed before performing the traditional “Make Me a Pallet on the Floor” during the encore. Welch saved the best for last with the aching “Orphan Girl,” and Rawlings’s fluttering guitar showcased on “Look at Miss Ohio.” The pair dug deep into their musical roots for the hymnal “I’ll Fly Away” by Albert E. Brumley, which evoked handclaps all the way up to the balcony. To wrap the evening with a proper farewell, the two covered the famed June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash hit “Jackson.” From one timeless country union to another, Welch and Rawlings continue their more-than-two-decade partnership with no end in sight. —Sharlene Chiu

 

 

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Fleet Foxes – Celebrate Brooklyn – August 2, 2017

August 3rd, 2017


Photos courtesy of Marc Millman Photography | www.marcmillmanphotos.com/music

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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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All Time Low – SummerStage – July 31, 2017

August 1st, 2017


Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com

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Dashboard Confessional Play SummerStage on Thursday Night

August 1st, 2017

Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional—rounded out by bassist Scott Schoenbeck, guitarist Armon Jay and drummer Ben Homola—began making emotionally raw acoustic music out of South Florida at the turn of the century. The band released six full-lengths between 2000 and 2009—bursting into the mainstream with 2003’s A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar (stream it below) and 2006’s Dusk and Summer (stream it below)—before going on hiatus from 2011 to 2015. Dashboard Confessional (above, performing “Hands Down” for Paste Studios) put out a new EP, Covered and Taped (stream it below), earlier this year, covering Justin Bieber, the 1975, Julien Baker and Sorority Noise. Currently out on the road, they play SummerStage in Central Park on Thursday night. And as an added bonus, the All-American Rejects open the show.

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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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Liam Gallagher Thrills Intimate Sunday Crowd at Rough Trade NYC

July 31st, 2017

Liam Gallagher – Rough Trade NYC – July 30, 2017

(Photo: Dana Distortion)

It was Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg, and all Liam Gallagher wanted was to buy a pack of cigarettes. It should have been a seamless transaction, right? The most cocksure frontman in rock and roll slowly waddles into a deli, slams his money down and walks back out presumably with a limp smoke barely dangling out of the front of his mouth. But as his Twitter pointed out, things were not so easy for our boy. “I’ve just been told I can’t buy cigs unless I got ID im 4FUKIN4 has the world gone mad,” he proclaimed. Rallying against the world at large has pretty much defined Gallagher’s life after the demise of his once world-dominating band, Oasis.

As the main songwriter, his brother, Noel, was the brains behind the operation, as to where Liam had always personified an area a little farther down South in its figurative anatomy. Aside from getting carded at local bodegas, he was in town this week for two small shows to promote the release of his first ever-solo album, As You Were. The gig Friday night was a secret show at McKittrick Hotel in Manhattan, and his band headed across the river Sunday afternoon to play an in-store at Rough Trade NYC for a small group of fans who had preordered the new record. The tiny back room was packed tight for the 5:30 p.m. show and the air felt heavy with anticipation. The lights went down as the PA blasted the Oasis song “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” (a pretty bold move) and out waltzed Liam Gallagher and his band. Decked out in a parka and athletic shorts with a look of profoundly cool ambivalence, he greeted the hysteric crowd with the shake of his tambourine and launched right into the Oasis classic “Rock ’n’ Roll Star.” He followed that with “Morning Glory,” which had everyone in the room bouncing and shout-singing in unison.

In his age, Gallagher’s voice has become a strong yet weathered instrument—always raggedly on key. After the initial one-two punch, he and his band ripped through some As You Were tracks. Singles like “Wall of Glass” and “Chinatown” had dedicated fans singing along like they were hundreds of yards from the stage viewing the show on a JumboTron. In between new songs, he found time to treat the crowd to some A+ banter. After seeing a guy wearing a Manchester United scarf, Gallagher singled him out, asking, “You wanna hear a joke?” Answering immediately, “Man United. Funniest joke ever.” Fans also came to their hero’s rescue by throwing packs of cigarettes from the crowd. The gesture seemed to be greatly appreciated. To close it out, Gallagher and Co. bookended the set with two more Oasis songs: “Be Here Now” and “Wonderwall.” As he sang the final chorus, Gallagher advised the crowd to “take care of each other” and unplugged the microphone, handing it to a lucky fan in the front row. He then tossed his tambourine to a group of sweaty dudes and walked offstage with the swagger of a tough old rooster. Over at the merch table, they were proudly displaying some Oasis reissues along with the new record. The shirt on sale was one of those designs that was a play on the popular Cards Against Humanity font. You’ve probably seen them, those shirts that list the first names of each member of a band? Liam Gallagher had a few names listed on his shirt as well. But they were all his own:

Liam
John
Paul
Gallagher.

As you were, Liam. —Pat King |@MrPatKing

 

 

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band Deliver a Taste of New Orleans

July 31st, 2017

Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Space at Westbury – July 28, 2017


The Preservation Hall Jazz Band means tradition so deeply felt that when you see and hear them in action, you’re reminded that even your most cinematic visions of New Orleans jazz pale in comparison. They’re what you feel like you want to remember—any more might complicate their down-home charm—and all while balancing virtuosic musical chops with big smiles and a well-honed feel for how to compose a show and keep an audience brimming. They’re showmen. They come across smooth, soulful and liberated. Laissez le bon temps rouler at the Space at Westbury or anywhere else they come to hang.

One of the less-discussed aspects of the current version of Pres Hall is how deftly bassist, tuba player and creative director Ben Jaffe has steered them into a modern era, with younger players gradually replacing the veterans in the road band. Along with Jaffe, the lineup features saxophonist Clint Maedgen, trombonist Ronell Johnson, trumpet player Branden Lewis, drummer Walter Harris and keyboardist Kyle Roussel. More than half of the touring group has come on over the last five years. The roots of Pres Hall are well preserved, but Jaffe and team have prevented the band from becoming a museum piece—quite the opposite, as evidenced by how hot they cook when they really get going. In recent years, they’ve collaborated everywhere, from TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek producing this year’s So It Is—astonishingly, the first Preservation Hall Jazz Band album of original music—to guest appearances with everyone from Dave Grohl and My Morning Jacket to Maren Morris and Beck. Their authentic vibe is deep and homey, and everyone wants a piece of it. And what’s more, the band’s infused that vibe into So It Is, which plays up the potent connections between Crescent City and Cuba.

On Friday night, they were equal parts Mardi Gras rave-up and Havana street scene, intermixing ageless NOLA classics like “Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing” with So It Is cuts like “Santiago” and “La Malanga.” The horn players took turns fronting the band, delivering sizzling solos, stoking the crowd, riding grooves that were straight-ahead, or slow-and-serpentine or viscous. If you were expecting a polite supper-club crowd clapping along to “Basin Street Blues,” you instead got pulsating jams—some downright ferocious, like late night at a Frenchmen Street club or, well, Preservation Hall itself. At the outset of the encore, Johnson and Jaffe paired off as a duo of ’bone and tuba for a sing-along “That Bucket’s Got a Hole in It.” And before that came an impassioned speech from Jaffe filled with childhood memories of family members on Long Island, but more important, a capture of what this band was, is and remains: “Those are real instruments played by real people, y’all.” As if we needed to be reminded. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Fleet Foxes Return to Brooklyn This Week for Two Shows

July 31st, 2017

Fleet Foxes really know how to lay it on thick. Well, let me rephrase that: Fleet Foxes (above, performing “Fool’s Errand” for CBS This Morning) really know how to build a song. Ever since their first release, the EP Sun Giant (stream it below), in 2008, they have set the bar with their lush pastoral-folk sound beneath their signature stacked angelic harmonies. The group’s leader and frontman, Robin Pecknold, has remained a true perfectionist in their time as a band. Intensely laboring over the crafting of these intricate tunes, they have only released three full-length albums in almost a decade. Their newest, this year’s Crack-Up (stream it below), was released after a six-year silence, and it’s safe to say that it was well worth the wait. The LP’s dense, vibrant textures act like a tall drink of water for salivating fans who have been craving new material since the band’s last release, 2011’s Helplessness Blues (stream it below). Fleet Foxes bring their tour to the Prospect Park Bandshell for two BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn shows this week that are sure to be epic: tomorrow (which is already sold out) and again on Wednesday. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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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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Regina Spektor – SummerStage – July 27, 2017

July 28th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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Sylvan Esso Triumphantly Return to Celebrate Brooklyn

July 27th, 2017

Sylvan Esso – Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell – July 26, 2017


(Sylvan Esso play My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday on 3/2-6.)

Killer squirrels be damned, last night Sylvan Esso returned to Prospect Park, almost two years to the day since they’d last performed there. Not even signs around the park warning of our now infamous and unusually aggressive squirrel with a taste for human flesh could tamp down the mood of an otherwise beautiful night for music. “We had a lovely weekend in your city. Last night we saw Phish. It was my first time,” said singer Amelia Meath. “And my 22nd,” added Sylvan Esso producer and beat-master Nick Sanborn. “I get it, I got it, I got it. I think I got it,” said Meath, referring to the Phish “thing.”

For anyone unfamiliar with a Sylvan Esso live show, it’s important to note that Meath can fucking dance. “Man, she’s GOING for it,” said a woman next to me two songs into the set. Slithering, snaking her body through a web of beats, whipping around a ponytail, Meath can make a big stage seem somehow not big enough for two people: They own it. Outdoor shows can make everything seem bigger, but providing the backdrop for this dance-y performance mutated their bedroom pop songs into downright pop anthems—and they’re pop anthems the world seems to need right now.

“This song is about feeling good and making yourself feel good. Whether it’s in your own skin or your mother-fucking country, we stand with you everyday,” said Meath introducing “Dress.” Something about this musical duo has made sense from Day One. Meath’s silky smooth voice contrasts beautifully against Sanborn’s choppy, scattered beats. “Signal,” maybe the craziest beat of any of their songs, had Meath’s voice split into octaves harmonizing with itself. Their megahit, “Coffee,” came out as the mid-set stimulant, complete with “get up, get down” sing-alongs. Just two albums in and Sylvan Esso already have an impressive roster of insanely catchy songs, like “Just Dancing,” “Hey Mami” and “H.S.K.T.” The twosome closed the set with their first single off their second album, “Radio.” It’s a huge amount of pop songs to be written by a duo. Most other pop acts get, at best, a few singles off each album, worked many times over by massive teams of the world’s most renowned producers in music. But Sylan Esso are a David in a world of pop Goliaths, and Goddamn can that David dance. —Dan Rickershauser |@D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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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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