Tag Archives: Real Estate
Alex Bleeker (bass), Martin Courtney (vocals and guitar) and Matt Mondanile (guitar) grew up together in Ridgewood, N.J. “We all went to high school together. And we’ve been playing together forever,” says frontman and former Titus Andronicus member Courtney. So they logically formed a band, Real Estate, and were eventually joined by Jonah Mauer (keys) and Jackson Pollis (drums). Over the course of two equally well-received spare, lo-fi albums, a self-titled debut (stream it below) in 2009 and 2011’s Days (stream it below), they’ve made lush, rolling soundscapes of dreamy psychedelic surf rock you could easily get lost in. But on their third album, last spring’s Atlas (stream it below), Real Estate (above, playing “Criminal”) have gone a bit mellower and more nuanced. Pitchfork says the band’s sound hasn’t changed, but their mood has: “The result is at once their most forlorn album and their most beautiful.” Find out for yourself tomorrow at Terminal 5.
Real Estate have a brand new album, Atlas, and they’re playing a couple of hometown shows this weekend, on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg and on Saturday at Webster Hall. The bad news is that both are sold out, but the good news is that The House List is giving away two tickets to Saturday’s show. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair of tickets. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to buy tickets for (Real Estate, 4/5) and a brief message telling us who you think will emerge as the champion of the Final Four. Eddie Bruiser, who doesn’t like any of the remaining four teams, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Real Estate – The Bowery Ballroom – October 17, 2013
Somewhere between the two worlds of being awake and being asleep lies the sound that Real Estate have mastered over the past two albums. Smooth, dreamy and free-flowing, the sound has led countless music writers to compare them to or make mention of the ocean, beach, summer weather and being underwater.
Last night, Real Estate premiered a bunch of new material at their sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom among fans, friends and family (three of the band members hail from nearby Ridgewood, N.J.). It’s safe to say the new music is just as fantastic as the band’s past material, falling comfortably within the spectrum of “that Real Estate sound.” Whereas a massive sonic shift would equate to that awful feeling of leaving a warm bed on a cold morning, this new material (due for release early next year) feels like merely repositioning into a more comfortable resting position and smacking down on that beloved snooze button for a cherished few moments back into the world that’s not quite dream-filled sleep, not quite awakened consciousness. It’s a sound that leads crowds deep into the transient “Real Estate dance,” an eyes-closed gentle shuffle involving a slow shift of weight from one leg to the other as the wonderfully crafted guitar tones wash over you like ocean waves (see, even I had to mention the ocean).
Nonetheless, there have been a few changes in Real Estate’s signature style. Singer-guitarist Martin Courtney brought out the acoustic guitar for a good number of new songs. And in a welcome addition, for the first time a keyboardist joined them onstage to fill out those undertones their guitars gently touch upon on songs both new and old. The best moments fell toward the end of their songs: Real Estate know when they’ve hit the perfect groove, and it’s in these moments that you wish their fluid jams could last forever. Time’s an illusive beast when you’re half-conscious, someone find me the snooze button, because whoever wants to wake up? —Dan Rickershauser
Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com
Popular New Jersey quintet Real Estate play The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. And despite all the craziness involved with this week’s CMJ Music Marathon, the show sold out quickly. But The House List just so happens to be giving away two tickets. So if you’d like to Grow a Pair of them for a free night out, just complete the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Real Estate, 10/17) and a brief message explaining which band playing a CMJ you’re most excited to see. Eddie Bruiser, who lives for this week, will notify the winner by Thursday. Good luck.
Woods – The Bowery Ballroom – July 27, 2013
“Get ready for the harmonica,” said a friend when I told him I’d be seeing Woods at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday. But bassist Kevin Morby brought out his mounted harmonica only once, as if in a nod to the Newport Folk Fest happening at the same time a few hundred miles away, for the sun-dappled sway of the set opener, “Pushing Onlys.” The rest of the time, the Brooklyn-based psychedelic folkies hypnotized the comfortably packed room with heavy drones and raga freak-outs, the swirling visuals of inkblots and kaleidoscopic geometry behind the stage casting a candy-colored shadow over them.
On record, Woods allow their skillful manipulation of guitar textures and tones to dominate. As with many bands, more often than not the rhythmic section is more of a means to an end than the centerpiece. Live, however, Morby and drummer Aaron Neveu led the proceedings with a relentless thumping and pounding that took the songs off Bend Beyond to the next level. The title track, “Size Meets the Sound” and “Find Them Empty,” in particular, spiraled into trance-inducing jam sessions with enough different noodlings to keep them interesting without losing the propulsive power of the bass and drums. That’s not to say the guitarists colored within the lines: On “Is It Honest?” Jarvis Taveniere thrashed out so hard during a solo that he knocked over his microphone stand, sending it spinning into the audience.
But all good things must come to an end, and after about an hour, Woods finished their set. They came back on after a mercifully brief interlude for a two-song encore, starting with the wistful acoustic number “It Ain’t Easy.” For the final song, they pulled on Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker, whose band Alex Bleeker and the Freaks served as one of the openers. After some instrumental switches, Bleeker and Woods launched into a fairly faithful cover of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” with the audience joyfully singing along. —Harley Oliver Brown
Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com
Tags: Aaron Neveu, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, Bend Beyond, Bowery Ballroom, Jarvis Taveniere, Kevin Morby, Newport Folk Fest, Photos, Real Estate, Review, Woods
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Philip Glass, Real Estate and Friends – Music Hall of Williamsburg – May 19, 2013
The Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Festival, a weeklong series of events organized around Williamsburg by the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, Calif., brought together iconic modern composer Philip Glass along with a well-curated bevy of local musical talents at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night for the festival’s closing concert. Many of the evening’s performers cited the influence and inspiration that Glass’s music has had on their own—and this is perhaps most apparent in the music of pianist and composer Nico Muhly, who performed movements from his dynamic composition “Drones & Piano” with the help of violinist Tim Fain, violist Nadia Sirota and guitarist Bryce Dessner, of the National, who took a cue from the others and used a bow on the strings of his guitar.
Citing Glass’s ability to “do so much with so little,” Dessner also performed a solo guitar improvisation wherein he drew sound from his electric guitar without ever touching the strings. Holding his guitar upside down, Dessner masterfully manipulated the instrument utilizing distortion pedals and feedback, banging and scraping the neck of the guitar on the floor, and using his hands to tap out rhythms on the back, managing to craft an impressively cohesive piece, sans strings.
Rounding out the evening’s contributors were Real Estate, doing a melodic, mellow performance, and wry-pop songwriter Sondre Lerche, who self-deprecatingly asked, “What am I doing here?” while treating the crowd to a lively set that included “Sleep on Needles,” which the singer noted was a song Glass seemed to enjoy during sound check. With the rest of the artists having set the mood for the arrival of Philip Glass, the composer was warmly welcomed onstage, and began by collaborating with Fain for a rendition of “Pendulum.” Glass then brought out everyone else to perform “The Chase,” from his opera Orphée, announcing somewhat amazed: “We actually figured a piece that we can all play together.” Indeed, like much of Glass’s work, the up-tempo piece was hypnotic and lively, and had a unique edge due to the electric-guitar heavy band. For the encore, Glass appeared alone at his piano, closing the show with the fittingly titled “Closing.” The song was spare and beautiful, and along with the tributes from the other performers, an example of his singular talent and profound influence. —Alena Kastin
Tags: Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge Festival, Bryce Dessner, Henry Miller Memorial Library, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Nadia Sirota, Nico Muhly, Orphée, Philip Glass, Real Estate, Review, Sondre Lerche, the National, Tim Fain
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As 2012 winds down, there’s still a whole lot of nightlife left, which means you very well might want to fit in more than one concert a night. So whether you’re hitting My Morning Jacket, Phish or something else, Mercury Lounge and Dog Gone Blog have your back. Saturday night, they welcome Prince Rupert’s Drops and Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker’s solo offshoot, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks (above, doing “Never Goin’ Back” for the Fader Fort). The Village Voice says of their psychedelic-tinged folk: “The melodies now have a campfire quality that adds a new layer to the nostalgic pop we’ve come to expect.” And Sunday, Antibalas tenor saxophonist Stuart D. Bogie brings Superhuman Happiness to Mercury Lounge. The seven-piece band (below, doing “Needles & Pins” for the Bridge Sessions), known for high energy shows, will certainly have you spending your last Saturday night/early Sunday morning of 2012 dancing along to their joyful noise.
Tags: Alex Bleeker, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, Antibalas, Dog Gone Blog, Mercury Lounge, My Morning Jacket, Phish, Preview, Prince Rupert’s Drops, Real Estate, Stuart D. Bogie, Superhuman Happiness, Video
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Real Estate – Webster Hall – August 11, 2012
Here to rescue you from the summer doldrums is the go-to band for evoking the sunny nostalgia of the season’s better intentions. There’s no group better at pumping out sounds reminiscent of all things enjoyable about the warmest months of the year. Just try explaining what Real Estate sound like without using the words beach, surf, chill or vibes. For their show at Webster Hall on Saturday night, even the venue came complete with all the fixings of an impromptu suburban backyard party. The stage was lit with white Christmas lights hanging from garden trellises, the bassist was toting a fifth of Jameson and tables in the VIP sections upstairs labeled REAL ESTATE FAMILY were surrounded by dancing mothers and fathers.
The band hit most of the favorites off their latest release, Days, including “It’s Real,” which came with the subtly hilarious scene of hundreds of people singing along to its chorus chanting, “Oh, it’s real.” Tucked into the middle of their set was a new song that ended in a long and twisting psych-rock guitar jam. Despite the fact that Real Estate sound punchier live than their recordings would suggest the conclusion of this new song is like nothing we’ve ever heard from them previously. Their opener, the eclectic singer-songwriter, living legend and Santa Claus lookalike R. Stevie Moore, came out for the crowd favorite “Beach Comber,” adding his own tambourine part. “Thanks for not leaving,” said ever-mellow lead singer Martin Courtney as the band returned for the encore. Thanks for inviting us over. —Dan Rickershauser
Alex Bleeker (bass), Martin Courtney (vocals and guitar) and Matt Mondanile (guitar) grew up together in Ridgewood, N.J. “We all went to high school together. And we’ve been playing together forever,” says frontman and former Titus Andronicus member Courtney. So they logically formed a band, Real Estate, and were eventually joined by Jonah Mauer (keys) and Jackson Pollis (drums). Over the course of two equally well-received lo-fi albums, a self-titled debut in 2009 and last year’s Days, they’ve made lush, dreamy music along the lines psychedelic surf rock. And you can get lost in the band’s rolling soundscapes when Real Estate (above, doing “Green Aisles” for In Sound Studio Sessions) plays Webster Hall tomorrow night.
Lotus Plaza – Mercury Lounge – July 18, 2012
It’s obvious, but I’ll write it anyway: What I hear is not what you hear. My ears are different than yours. Recently, I’ve felt a small pressurized balloon squeeze against my right cochlea. I pinch my nose and blow out through my ears to clear the tubes. I get a pop, crackle and then nothing. It stays the same. So, what I’m about to tell you is what I heard.
Live, Lotus Plaza is dense. It doesn’t necessarily follow from the latest album, Spooky Action at a Distance. On it, Lockett Pundt, guitarist for Deerhunter and project manager of Lotus Plaza, balances vocal melodies and guitar work. The result is a somewhat heavy, often breezy set of songs, kissing cousins with Real Estate’s surf-rock update. That was not so much the case live. From the wailing guitar bends on show-opener “White Galactic One” onward, the four-man stage crew supporting Lotus Plaza buried Pundt’s vocals in a downpour of instrumentation. Gone was the light touch that gave Spooky Action at a Distance a summer-soaked feel—in its place was a broad sonic singularity.
A blanket of sound covered the audience by the time the band got to “Strangers.” I felt reverberations at the edge of my skin and on the back of my head. And while a machine-gun cadence of drums periodically peaked out of the mix, the music echoed the lighting: a soft red glow, which left the room mostly dark but with a hint of visibility. My mind wandered to visions of fields and ocean, which seemed like the point. If shoegaze, a working title for Lotus Plaza’s brand of music, is taken literally, you look down and get lost in your thoughts and the floor. You’re locked into a rhythm, so your head starts to bob. It is loud, hypnotic music for daydreamers. And it sounded good to me. —Jared Levy
Alex Bleeker and the Freaks/La Big Vic – Mercury Lounge – February 4, 2012
After a reverb-heavy swinging set from Family Portrait on Saturday night at Mercury Lounge, next up came Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, a spin-off from indie-jammers Real Estate, the Frasier to their Cheers. Bleeker, who plays bass in Real Estate but naturally moves to guitar and lead vocals in his own band, requested dim purple lights as the group tuned up with psychedelic swirls behind him. A quick-hit love song made way for a pitch-perfect Grateful Dead transition jam with two lead guitars fluttering around each other like playful birds. It was an impressive “our second team can beat your starters” stretch of music, all loose and nebulous. As the jam melted into more terrestrial roots rock, the ragged nature persisted, giving a cozy just-friends-watching-a-rehearsal feel for the crowd.
La Big Vic finished the night. Gone were the dim purples, in fact, gone was all color whatsoever. In lieu of lights, the band projected images from a laptop on a white sheet. The images were completely black and white giving the whole band in front of it a drained-of-color look. The music was a hypnotic, electronic after-midnight collection of synthesizers, violin, trumpet and guitar burying Emilie Friedland’s voice. As gray digital jellyfish swam across the back wall, the music was equally aquatic, the kind of buzz-enhancing trip-hop you might stumble upon in some early-morning subterranean club scene. —A. Stein
There’s a great triple bill at Terminal 5 on Saturday with Girls, Real Estate and King Krule playing. The show is already sold out, but you’ve still got a chance to go because The House List is giving away two tickets. So 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 (Girls, 1/14) and a brief message explaining why you like Girls so much. Eddie Bruiser, a big fan, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
There were no opening bands on Friday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, just an amazing self-contained festival on one stage. Woodsist Records packed the bill, and no one was going to miss any of these acts. The balcony tables were secured long before Moon Duo took the stage to deliver their screaming fuzz-guitar and organ jams. It was something of a milestone, bringing these acts together. From the West Coast, San Francisco-based Moon Duo, Sic Alps and the Fresh and Onlys bonded with Brooklyn’s own Woods’ and Real Estate’s sunny vibes. Hearing them all together like this, there’s no doubt they’re all rooted in those ’60s mind-altering sounds, relying heavily on effects and abstract melody.
Sic Alps, which just recently opened for Pavement and Sonic Youth, brought heavy guitar experimentation to the table, drawing out their hazy blues into laid-back explorations in scuzzy feedback. Whatever song structure they originally had was abandoned, and they repeatedly broke them down with ear-splitting volume. Up next, the Fresh and Onlys took a traditional garage-pop approach to the swirl of effects, favoring a catchy melody over an extended jam. Tim Cohen, a friendly flannel frontman, cracked jokes and led the four-piece in tracks off their self-titled release, which leans toward a dense, smooth harmony-laden good time.
Woods played with their trademark blend of high falsetto and the mysterious technical wizardry of G. Lucas Crane. They were taking obvious pleasure in teasing out the tracks into oblivion and reeling them back again long into the night. Finally, Real Estate, with themes of nostalgia for the Jersey Shore, was completely at home onstage before a packed audience. Matt Mondanile and Martin Courtney on guitar, playing off each other’s surf-inspired melodies, was the key to Real Estate’s lighthearted summer jams, with rivers and beaches making their way into the lyrics if you weren’t already staring into the sun. The band left the satisfied crowd to walk out into the humid night, with a comfortable dream-pop soundtrack for those slow 8 mm films of the boardwalk, the jerky home movies of friends running into the surf under the blinking lights of a run-down casino. —Jason Dean