Tag Archives: New York City

cat_preview

The Specials – Brooklyn Steel – June 9, 2017

June 12th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

cat_preview

Spend the Weekend with Singer-Songwriter Chuck Ragan

June 9th, 2017

When Gainesville, Fla., punk band Hot Water Music amicably broke up in 2006—although they’ve since just as amicably reunited—singer-songwriter-guitarist Chuck Ragan (above, playing “Bedroll Lullaby” for Out of the Ordinary) chose a different musical path, launching a solo career as a folk musician, telling evocative tales in his exceptional gravelly voice. Eventually he decided to put together the Revival Tour, which grouped together like-minded musicians traveling the country (and Europe) making and playing music together as they go. Ragan has continued to remain busy with a variety of well-received projects—with solo albums, the most recent of which Till Midnight (stream it below), came out in 2014; live albums, including last year’s The Winter Haul Live (stream it below); and movie soundtracks like 2016’s The Flame in the Flood (stream it below). But the thing about him is that no matter how terrific his recorded material is, Chuck Ragan is best experienced live, which works out great locally because he plays the early show tomorrow at Mercury Lounge and then on Sunday at Rough Trade NYC.

cat_reviews

John Moreland Converts the Masses at The Bowery Ballroom

June 8th, 2017

John Moreland – The Bowery Ballroom – June 7, 2017


John Moreland writes songs of redemption, songs written for the downtrodden that are so white hot with purpose they straddle the line between cautionary tales and gospel. Armed with a voice that conjures up how the Boss might sound after a bad night and the vindicated pessimism of Townes Van Zandt, Moreland doesn’t tug at your heartstrings as much as he eviscerates them. In his interview on the podcast Walking the Floor with Foo Fighters lead guitarist—and country music aficionado—Chris Shilett, Moreland explained that he had cut his teeth on punk and hardcore early in life, but everything had changed as soon as he heard the music of Steve Earle. After listening, Moreland quickly got it into his head that he could write songs that could equal Earle’s power and started recording and touring the country nonstop. After years of paying his dues, the Tulsa, Okla., singer-songwriter recently signed with 4AD for his third album, Big Bad Luv, and brought his tour to a packed Bowery Ballroom last night.

Will Johnson played solo to open the show. With a deep D-tuned guitar and a voice as rough as a tree trunk after a chainsaw exposed its bare wood, he mesmerized the audience with songs from his solo career as well as his criminally underrated band Centro-matic. The highlight was his meditation on loss, “Just to Know What You’ve Been Dreaming,” with the refrain “But when you’re not around, nothing makes a sound” landing like a slow moving haymaker. And then when John Moreland began, you could practically hear teardrops falling into beer glasses between the notes throughout the Bowery Ballroom. Accompanied by fellow singer-songwriter John Calvin Abney on lead guitar, harmonica and piano, Moreland ran through his songbook with efficiency, barely taking the time to address the crowd. Not that the audience needed anything more from him as everyone in the venue was completely captivated as soon as he sat down in his chair to play.

Moreland’s songs did the heavy lifting, and he showcased old favorites from In the Throes, High on Tulsa Heat as well as Luv. The best song of his main set was the new song “Lies I Chose to Believe,” which took on a new life live, stripping away the full-band arrangement and allowing his words to dig in deeper than they could on record. Moreland’s brief encore consisted of two songs from his breakthrough, In the Throes, “Break My Heart Sweetly” and “I Need You to Tell Me Who I Am,” which had the crowd clamoring for more. After the show, the audience quickly formed a massive line heading down to the merch table on the first floor. It was easy to see that if anyone had never heard of Moreland before this show, they had just been converted. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing

 

 

 

cat_preview

Kick Off Your Weekend with the Specials at Brooklyn Steel on Friday

June 8th, 2017

There’s so much that can be said about the legendary U.K. band the Specials that it’s almost unfair to simply credit them as forefathers of the second wave of ska. Formed in 1977, the band fused together Jamaican reggae and ska rhythms with a punk sneer, adding highly political lyrics tackling both racism and class issues. Their self-titled Elvis Costello–produced debut (stream it below) is a stone-cold classic of the era with hits like “Nite Klub,” “Gangsters” and a cover of Dandy Livingstone’s “A Message to You Rudy” that all transcend the 2 Tone genre and still sound visceral and full of life today. With many lineup changes over the years and a lengthy hiatus, the Specials got back together as a touring unit in 2008 and have been moving crowds ever since. Back in America, the Specials (above, performing “Ghost Town” for BBC Radio 6) bring their joyous sound to Brooklyn Steel this Friday for what is bound to be an epic party. Kings County five-piece the Far East open the show. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing

cat_reviews

A Rowdy Night of Real-Deal Country Music with Wheeler Walker Jr.

June 7th, 2017

Wheeler Walker Jr. – The Bowery Ballroom – June 6, 2017

(Photo: Courtesy of Thirty Tigers)

Is the country music of today really country? Sure, the artists all over CMT and country radio are crammed down our throats with that label bedazzled onto their artificially frayed denim vests, but calling these artists real country is as backward as the Bud Light trucker hats these musicians sport in their gaudy music videos. The Outlaws have been replaced by the Bros, and it’s safe to say that Nashville needs a hero to bust down the saloon doors to dole out some serious comeuppance to the perpetrators at the top of the charts. That hero is Wheeler Walker Jr. and bringing real country music to New York City was his goal when he played The Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night. Well, sort of anyways. (More on that later.) Opening the show, Nashville’s Republican Hair treated the crowd to a short but fun set that equally paid homage and skewered some of the touchstones of ’80s rock radio: A little dash of Rick Springfield here, a little sprinkle of the Cars and Prince there. Wild frontman Luke Dick whipped the crowd into a frenzy as he performed their final songs within the audience. Once their time was up, the band (excluding Dick) made a quick costume change into some proper honky-tonk attire and assumed the role of the backing band for the artist with the biggest print on the marquee.

Fans roared with excitement as Wheeler Walker Jr. took the stage, and their enthusiasm never faded throughout his hour-long set. A provocateur and world-class shit-talker, Walker Jr. (the alias of comedian Ben Hoffman of the short-lived Comedy Central Show The Ben Show) has been taking Music City to task ever since the release of his debut Redneck Shit last year and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down on his brand-new album, Ol’ Wheeler. Throughout the music, he takes shots at all of the front-runners in the biz and manages to sneak in some twisted ballads in between. If you’re in on the joke, it’s an absolute laugh riot. But having said that, his songwriting chops are palpable, and superproducer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell) brings a real-deal authenticity to his recordings. If you’re not paying attention, a song like “Fuck You Bitch” might just sound like one of the best country ballads of the past few years.

Walker Jr. treated the crowd to a mix of both of his albums, and it was a trip to see fans with their fists in the air singing along to the likes of “Better Off Beatin’ Off” and “Eatin’ Pussy/Kickin’ Ass.” His band was top-notch and could have just as easily melted your heart with delicate pedal-steel guitar on one song and then set the room ablaze on the next. The crowd was fully onboard, chanting, “Wheeler” and even flinging half-empty beers onto the stage in between songs. At one point, as Walker introduced the new song “Poon,” a takedown of Nashville’s top-tier recording artists, he was greeted by some boos when he described his intense hatred of the band Florida Georgia Line. But he quickly felt the need to clarify his reasoning: “I’m sorry,” said Walker Jr. as he took a sip from a can of Tecate, “but if you play country and you’re name ain’t me, then fuck you.” The crowd was won back in a flash and sang along loud enough to fill the Bowery up to its rafters. It was a rowdy night of red-blooded real-deal country music that was truly one to remember. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing

 

 

cat_preview

Portugal. The Man – Terminal 5 – June 6, 2017

June 7th, 2017


(Portugal. The Man play Terminal 5 again tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

cat_preview

Jay Som Thrills Sold-Out Rough Trade NYC with New Songs

June 7th, 2017

Jay Som – Rough Trade NYC – June 6, 2017


Better known by the stage name Jay Som, DIY wunderkind Melina Duterte crafts melodic, fuzzy masterpieces from her bedroom in Oakland, Calif,—and she released her debut full-length album, Everybody Works, in March to glowing reviews. NPR described it as a “gorgeous and messy intimacy [that] has the capacity to forge connections with those who might be going through similar uncertainty and tough times.” After touring with fellow Asian-American female singers Mitski and Japanese Breakfast last summer, Duterte headlined a sold-out Rough Trade NYC last night in support of her latest release.

Guitarist Oliver Pannell, bassist Dylan Allard and drummer Zachary Thomas Elsasser joined the singer onstage to open with “One More Time, Please.” Her compositions really flourished with a full band, as Allard added heavy basslines on the Fleetwood Mac–sounding “Turn Into.” Four songs in, Duterte joked that “Take It” would be the last tune, eliciting a roomful of grumbling quickly followed by laughter. The Left Coaster continued her playful banter, asking folks about who was gainfully employed and lauded them with a “sick” reply in admiration, a nice segue into the title track.

“Baybee” played up the pop influences, which perhaps were derived from her listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion while writing her recent album. Fan fave “The Bus Song” had the packed crowd singing, “But I hate the bus,” before Duterte cooed the chorus of “Take time to figure it out.” The short but ethereal “Lipstick Stains” performed solo had the audience rapt, and the performance culminated with an encore featuring the uproarious “1 Billion Dogs,” in which Pannell and Duterte exchanged licks in a dueling guitar battle. —Sharlene Chiu

cat_preview

A Double Dose of Circa Waves’ New Music This Week

June 6th, 2017

Influenced by bands like the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys and formed in the Beatles’ hometown, Kieran Shudall (vocals and guitar) and Sam Rourke (bass), Colin Jones (drums) and Joe Falconer (guitar) formed the lively, melodic quartet Circa Waves four years ago in Liverpool, England. Their debut full-length, Young Chasers (stream it below), came out in 2015. “A gleefully frenetic, youthfully exuberant collection of catchy, guitar-based indie rock,” described AllMusic. “They make an urgent, angular style of stripped-down pop that touches upon ’80s dance-punk and ’90s slacker rock without ever giving in too much to either.” Circa Waves (above, performing “Fire That Burns” for BBC Radio 1) returned with their follow-up release, the weightier Different Creatures (stream it below), this past March, again impressing AllMusic: “Part of what makes Circa Waves so compelling is that they are able to match the sound of their influences while still believably making the results sound their own. They’ve grown into an assured rock entity, but they’ve retained their fundamental sense of working-class Liverpudlian blues.” Back in America, they play Rough Trade NYC on Wednesday and Mercury Lounge on Thursday.

cat_preview

Benjamin Booker – Rough Trade NYC – June 5, 2017

June 6th, 2017


(Benjamin Booker returns to New York City to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/22. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.)

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Big Thief on 6/9

June 6th, 2017

1

Big Thief’s highly anticipated second album, Capacity, comes out on Friday. And as part of this week’s Northside Festival, the Brooklyn four-piece celebrates its arrival that night at Rough Trade NYC. They’re also doing an Evening with Big Thief and Friends on Saturday at Park Church Co-op, but if you want to catch them at Friday’s sold-out show, you just might have to try to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List. 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 (Big Thief, 6/9) and a brief message explaining what you love so much about music festivals. Eddie Bruiser, who’s been streaming the long-player, will notify the winner by Friday afternoon. Good luck.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

cat_preview

Don’t Miss These Northside Festival Shows This Week in Brooklyn

June 5th, 2017

Beginning on Wednesday, the ninth annual Northside Festival will bring thousands of people to Brooklyn—specifically Williamsburg and Greenpoint—“to uncover the future of music, innovation and content.” And with music as part of the equation, you just know that The Bowery Presents is gonna be involved. Although Mary Timony playing Helium at Rough Trade NYC on Thursday and Big Thief (above, performing “Paul” for NPR Music at this year’s SXSW) at Rough Trade NYC on Friday are already sold out, fortunately some tickets still remain for these other stellar shows:

Thursday
Mild High Club (with Cut Worms and Aerial East) at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Friday
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart with Beverly and Ablebody at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday

Saturday
An Evening with Big Thief and Friends (Friends = Twain, Relatives and the Brother Brothers) at Park Church Co-op

Timber Timbre and Ohtis at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Lower Dens performing songs from ABBA’s Gold: Greatest Hits, Tony Molina performing songs from Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me and Tredici Bacci String Quartet performing songs from Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. soundtrack

cat_preview

A Double Shot of Portugal. The Man at Terminal 5 This Week

June 5th, 2017

Next week, Portugal. The ManJohn Gourley (guitar and vocals), Zachary Carothers (bass and vocals), Kyle O’Quin (guitar, keys and vocals), Eric Howk (guitar) and Jason Sechrist (drums)—will release their newest album, Woodstock, which features, among others, Richie Havens, Son Little and Fargo’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead. It’s the band’s eighth long-player, but their first in more than four years. And while four years might not feel like too long, in Portugal. The Man years, it’s close to a geological epoch. With the lead single, “Feel It Still” (above, performed live on KEXP FM), already making waves—its soulful psych-pop working it to the top of the alt-rock charts and its politically charged video drawing the ire of certain media types—the anticipation for Woodstock is high. New York City will get an extra-special preview of songs new and old when Portugal. The Man stop by for two appearances at Terminal 5 this week, tomorrow and Wednesday. (L.A. duo Electric Guest and the Bronx’s own Kemba open each night.) PTM shows are always don’t-miss affairs, combining sing-along hooks, dense, Pink Floyd-ian space-outs and usually a surprise or two. So do yourself a favor: Don’t miss. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

cat_preview

The Lemon Twigs – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 1, 2017

June 2nd, 2017


Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

cat_preview

Brother Ali – The Bowery Ballroom – May 31, 2017

June 1st, 2017


Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

cat_preview

Reeve Carney Returns to NYC to Headline The Bowery Ballroom

May 31st, 2017

Singer-songwriter Reeve Carney (above, performing “Truth” for Balcony TV, and, below, covering “Hallelujah”) grew up in the West Village equally interested in music and acting. So it’s as likely you’d know him for starring in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway or as Dorian Gray on Penny Dreadful as you would for touring as part of Jonny Lang’s band or fronting the L.A. quartet Carney, mixing pop and rock with what AllMusic calls “California psychedelia and Southern-styled stomp.” Last year, Carney—the man, not the band—put out his debut solo album, the pop- and blues-infused Youth Is Wasted (stream it below). And his North American tour in support of it brings him back to New York City to play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.