Tag Archives: Preview

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Two Nights of Two Bands That Like to Get the People Moving

November 25th, 2014

Brooklyn’s Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds—Arleigh Kincheloe and her big voice backed by “a flock of eight men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies”—released their first soul-funk-filled album, a self-titled affair, in 2010. And although the LP was received well, it was the group’s high-energy live shows that really got them noticed. A second album, the tight and funky Pound of Dirt (stream it below), came out in 2012. And according to the Washington Post, “Brooklyn-bred and Memphis-inspired, the nine-piece band revels in unvarnished funk, the grittier the better.” But, nevertheless, the best way to experience Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds (above, performing “Boogie Man” at this year’s Mountain Jam) is live and in person.

The Pimps of Joytime formed in 2007, and their sound, influenced by Brooklyn DJ culture, is a musical stew of rock, soul, Afrobeat, salsa, electronica, rap and infectious Latin grooves. In other words, it’s got something for everyone. Led by the charismatic, soulful Brian J—and vocalists Chauncey Yearwood and Mayteana Morales—the Brooklyn-based band has steadily played club and festival gigs, leaving smiling, sweaty people in their wake each time. Their most recent album, Janxta Funk! (stream it below), is what the Guardian calls “a no-nonsense distillation of the most infectious elements of party funk, with a welcoming approach that emphasizes peaceful good times.” And now you can cut loose in person with the Pimps of Joytime (above, doing a stripped-down version of “The Jump” for MoBoogie) and Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds when the road-tested groove machines play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday and Saturday.

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The Kin Return Home to Headline Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 25th, 2014

Australian brothers (and vocalists) Isaac (keys) and Thorald Koren (guitar) had played with a number of other musicians before they teamed up with Buffalo’s bare-knuckle drummer Mark Nicosia, who goes by Shakerleg. Together, they’re the Kin, and the power trio has been known to stage musical robberies, by striding into a location—a deli, a bar, an airport—and shouting, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a musical robbery” before winning over the crowd with an original tune. “We’re looking to surprise people and give them a musical experience,” says Isaac. The Kin (above, performing “On the Rise” on Conan) have been touring behind last year’s debut EP, Get On It (stream it below), while readying a proper full-length. And they return home to headline Music Hall of Williamsbug tomorrow night. Soulful rocker Matt MacKelcan opens the show.

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The Wytches End American Tour Tonight at Mercury Lounge

November 24th, 2014

Kristian Bell (vocals and guitar), Gianni Honey (drums) and Daniel Rumsey (bass and vocals) have been making doomy yet infectious music as the Wytches for three years. Based on the south coast of England, the surf-psych trio began to gain a following in the U.K.—including shout-outs from the Guardian and NME—thanks in part to the release of their debut single, “Digsaw,” an EP and because of their mesmerizing live shows. Their impressive debut full-length, Annabel Dream Reader, came out this past August, and NME made comparisons to Nirvana and Black Sabbath while mentioning “exceptional songs full of both melody and menace.” The Wytches (above, doing “Darker,” live in studio for WFUV FM) have been traveling the country in support of their new album, and that tour ends in New York City tonight at the early show at Mercury Lounge. A pair of Brooklyn bands, neo noir punk trio Lodro and doo-wop garage quartet the Teen Age, open the show.

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

November 24th, 2014

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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The Barr Brothers Return with New Music at The Bowery Ballroom

November 20th, 2014

Brothers Andrew (drums and percussion) and Brad (vocals, guitar and keys) Barr, who have been members of the Slip and Surprise Me Mr. Davis, moved to Montreal after one of the brothers fell for a local waitress. Early on, Brad and neighbor Sarah Page (harp) could hear each other playing through the walls and struck up a musical friendship. Then, following the addition of Andres Vial (keys, pump organ and bass), the Barr Brothers were born. The folk quartet’s self-titled debut album (stream it below) came out in 2011. “The Barr Brothers are a different kind of folk group,” announced AllMusic, “bringing in unusual instrumentation and performing in a manner that draws the listener into a special musical world.” The Barr Brothers (above, playing “Even the Darkness Has Arms” on Late Show with David Letterman) released their second full-length, Sleeping Operator (stream it below), last month. And the good folks at Relix were impressed: “A product of both invention and intuition, the appropriately dubbed Sleeping Operator isn’t anything less than a dazzling delight.” See them headline The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. Bluesy folk singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk, also from Montreal, opens the show.

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EOTO Will Have You Dancing at Stage 48 Tomorrow Night

November 20th, 2014

Back in 2006 the String Cheese Incident’s Michael Travis (drums and multiple instruments) and Jason Hann (vocals and percussion) formed the jammy electronic-dance duo EOTO. Playing “all improvised, all the time,” the two make their way through a litany of dance genres—including drum and bass, dubstep, house—by looping live guitar, bass and synths alongside their own live drums and vocals, without using any backing tracks or prerecorded loops. Hann and Travis remain busy with SCI, so their most recent LP, Fire the Lazers!!! (stream it below), came out in 2009. But let’s be honest, EOTO (above, performing one of their never-the-same shows) are a band best experienced live. So come be part of their dance party tomorrow night at Stage 48. And arrive early enough to catch VibeSquad.

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Joywave Hit Rough Trade NYC Tomorrow Night

November 19th, 2014

Daniel Armbruster (vocals), Benjamin Bailey (keys), Joseph Morinelli (guitar), Paul Brenner (drums) and Sean Donnelly (bass) formed Joywave four years ago in Rochester, N.Y. Deftly mixing indie rock and electronic music, the group started to gain attention after they’d begun releasing mixtapes online, mashing together their own music with other bands’. Their debut EP, Koda Vista (stream it below), arrived in 2012, packed with “’80s-inspired synth pop, bright vocals and scenic lyrical portraits,” according to Filter magazine. Joywave (above, performing “Traveling at the Speed of Life”for Audiotree Live) released another EP, they catchy, dance-y How Do You Feel? (stream it below), earlier this year. Find out for yourself how all of this music sounds live when Joywave play Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. Singer-songwriter Vérité and another Rochester outfit, experimental-dance four-piece Kopps, open the show.

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Don’t Miss Delicate Steve Playing the Late Show at Mercury Lounge

November 19th, 2014

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Marion had been in other bands when one day he decided to record his own material at home. It eventually became the first Delicate Steve album, Wondervisions (stream it below). Released by David Byrne’s label, Luaka Bop, in 2011, the LP earned Marion comparisons to Pavement, Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors. In a glowing review, PopMusic declared that the album “treads beautifully this line between meaningless emotion and unfeeling precision…. The precise subject of these visions is hard to say—it is, quite simply, the kind of thing you do not describe with words.” The next year, Delicate Steve (above, performing “Afria Talks to You”) put out their follow-up, Positive Force (stream it below). And again critics and fans alike were impressed. Paste rang in: “What’s notable about Delicate Steve is not necessarily guitarist Steve Marion’s apt electronic contribution, but his songwriting and reference to earlier musicality that could be easily overlooked. Delicate Steve understands and is equally intrigued by what you can do with a great vintage synthesizer, but his George Harrison/Eric Clapton-esque guitar melodies are what make this album worth listening to.” See Delicate Steve play the late show tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. And don’t miss the opener, singer-songwriter Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic).

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Thee Oh Sees Appear Twice in New York City This Week

November 18th, 2014

John Dwyer (vocals and guitar) formed Thee Oh Sees in late-’90s San Francisco, playing psychedelic garage rock that sounds “a bit like the Mamas & the Papas run through a seriously bent garage blender,” according to AllMusic. Dwyer and a changing lineup have recently been prolific, releasing at least an album a year since 2008. So much material provides the opportunity to go from pop to rock to experimental to punk over the course of their catalog. And on their two past two LPs—each of them terrific—last year’s Floating Coffin (stream it below) and this year’s Drop (stream it below), Thee Oh Sees (above, performing “I Come from the Mountain” for Culturebox) have edged away from guitar freak-outs, sticking to hard rock on Floating Coffin and pop on Drop. Of course, another benefit of so much recorded output is that Thee Oh Sees tour often and are a finely tuned live band. See them tonight at The Bowery Ballroom (Jack Name and Economy Punk open) and on Friday at Warsaw (Jack Name and Ice Balloons open).

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

November 17th, 2014

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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A Double Bill of Sallie Ford and Crooked Fingers at Rough Trade NYC

November 14th, 2014

Before going solo, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sallie Ford (vocals and guitar) fronted the retro-flavored Sound Outside. Eventually she just wanted to do something more contemporary and different, so she’s teamed up with Cristina Cano (keys), Anita Lee Elliott (bass) and Amanda Spring (drums). “I found my new band because I asked my friends in the [Portland, Ore.] music scene to suggest any cool female musicians they knew of to play with,” the big-voiced Ford told PopMatters. Under the name Sallie Ford (above performing “Coulda Been”), the foursome put out the full-length Slap Back (stream it below), produced by the Decemberists’ Chris Funk, a month ago. AllMusic says, “Slap Back sounds like a fresh and satisfying new beginning for Sallie Ford,” and Paste opines that the album “is a solid extension of Ford’s well-noted laissez-faire disposition, even while invoking equality empowerment with a quiver of raucous, garage-y rock tunes about love, sex and everything in between.”

Eric Bachmann (vocals and guitar) served as the Archers of Loaf frontman for most of the ’90s, but when they broke up near the turn of the century (they’ve since reunited), he shifted his efforts toward the solo project Crooked Fingers (above, playing “Bad Blood” live in studio for KEXP FM), trading in the former band’s edgy, noisy sound for something more melancholic. His sixth and most recent Crooked Fingers album, Breaks in the Armor (stream it below), came out in 2011. And it’s safe to say Consequence of Sound was impressed: “This is a set of dynamic, well paced and beautifully rendered rock music…. Bachmann’s voice is virtuosic here, soaring high above gorgeous, finger-picked acoustic guitar, screeching electrics, weighty piano, vital percussion, bells, chimes, static, muffled audio samples and lovely female backing vocals.” And tonight at Rough Trade NYC, Sallie Ford and Crooked Fingers team up for a terrific double bill. And the Kids, and their “accessible unconscious existential indie glitter popsicle crisis music,” open the show.

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Caroline Smith Plays the Late Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

November 14th, 2014

Caroline Smith (vocals and guitar) leads the Minneapolis folk band Caroline Smith and the Good Nights. But after releasing a few well-regarded albums, she decided to go solo, in name at least—she’s still joined by Arlen Peiffer (drums) and Jesse Schuster (bass), and also performs live with additional vocalists, keyboardists and guitarists. The soul- and R&B-inflected Half About Being a Woman (stream it below), which showcases Smith’s big voice, came out last year. But her new music all comes together live, and you can see Caroline Smith (above, performing “Half About Being a Woman” for Audiotree Live) tonight at the late show at Mercury Lounge. Arrive early for the psych-pop band Lip Talk.

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Caroline Rose Plays the Late Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

November 13th, 2014

Caroline Rose grew up in an East Coast seaside town with a restless spirit, which perhaps led to her feeling comfortable on the road. But traveling across the country wasn’t just good for her soul, it’s also helped form her music. Mining the rich terrain of rockabilly, blues and country, Rose’s 2014 release, I Will Not Be Afraid (stream it below), impresses upon its very first listen. “Along with her powerful, smoky and soulful voice, Rose’s songs are bursting with personality,” according to Glide Magazine. “Her range is wide here, and it does not go unnoticed. She injects a sense of humor into her singing, utilizing her voice to its full potential.” Rose (above, doing “America Religious” for Ear Candy) records and performs with multi-instrumentalist Jer Coons, guitarist Brett Lanier and bassist Pat Melvin, and you can see them live tonight at Mercury LoungeWild Leaves, a psych-folk five-piece, open the show.

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Ani DiFranco Brings New Music to Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 12th, 2014

As a supremely talented singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, label head, entrepreneur, activist and all around D.I.Y. queen, Ani DiFranco has been making her own music on her own terms for nearly twenty-five years. During that time, she’s covered a variety of musical genres, including punk, blues, folk, jazz and electronic-tinged rock. Her 18th studio album, Allergic to Water (stream it below)—recorded while she was pregnant in her adopted hometown of New Orleans—came out last week on DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. The Guardian calls it “funny and furiously energetic.” And AllMusic says, “DiFranco’s mix, for all its space and texture, is one of tasteful restraint. It allows melodic and rhythmic invention to shine through, underscoring the skill in her composing and the quality of the instrumental performances. In a catalog that contains over 20 studio albums, Allergic to Water is exemplary for its craft.” Out on tour, DiFranco (above, performing “Allergic to Water”) plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night. Jenny Scheinman, who played the violin and provided backing vocals on Allergic to Water, opens the show.

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A Double Shot of the Rural Alberta Advantage on the Lower East Side

November 12th, 2014

After forming in Toronto in 2005, the Rural Alberta AdvantageNils Edenloff (vocals and guitar), Paul Banwatt (drums) and Amy Cole (keys and vocals)—began releasing emotional folkish music, which led to a fair amount of Internet intrigue. Their debut full-length, Hometowns (stream it below), came out in 2008 (and was rereleased a year later). AllMusic rang in: “With a name like the Rural Alberta Advantage and a debut album called Hometowns, one would hope for an unpretentious collection of amiable indie pop tunes filtered through the wistful lens of a Wes Anderson film, and that’s exactly what you get.” The band followed that in 2011 with Departing (stream it below), and PopMatters was impressed: “The Rural Alberta Advantage have delivered a rarity: An album that remarkably stuns, even though its world view is largely seen from a car stuck in the middle of snow bank on the side of the road.” The Rural Alberta Advantage (above, performing “Terrified” for AudioTree Live) returned this year with their third album, the terrific Mended with Gold (stream it below), about which Consequence of Sound says, “The band is in a groove, churning out good to great songs with a distinguishable aesthetic.” Despite their impressive recorded work, RRA are best experienced live. See them tomorrow and Friday at The Bowery Ballroom.