Tag Archives: Sharon Van Etten

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Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders Play Rough Trade NYC Tomorrow

March 25th, 2015

Known for his low voice and a dark sense of humor, Australian singer-songwriter-guitarist Tim Rogers has been winning over fans—and earning comparisons to Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan—for a decade under the name Jack Ladder. He began making acoustic music prior to turning toward New Wave and then ultimately deciding to go in a bolder, more cinematic direction with the help of a new backing band, the Dreamlanders: Donny Benét (bass), Kirin Callinan (guitar), Laurenz Pike (drums) and Frank Sutherland (synths). Their latest effort, Playmates (stream it below), featuring Sharon Van Etten, came out in the States on Fat Possum Records last month. Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and mentioned “Ladder’s dark baritone sounds freshly liberated and focused.” Fresh off this year’s SXSW, Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders (above, performing “Hurtsville” live in concert for MoshCam) play Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. Brooklyn psych-pop trio Invisible Familiars and talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cohen, also of Kings County (and Yellowbirds fame), open the show.

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Sharon Van Etten Captivates the Hometown Crowd at Warsaw

February 19th, 2015

Sharon Van Etten – Warsaw – February 18, 2015

Sharon Van Etten – Warsaw – February 18, 2015
Sharon Van Etten is known and appreciated for her powerful voice and ability to craft evocative and often haunting songs like “Your Love Is Killing Me,” a blunt title with equally disquieting lyrics. So, it can be a illuminating experience to witness the author of such bleak sentiments in a live setting—as a sold-out crowd did last night at Warsaw—and realize that Van Etten also happens to be quite funny, self-deprecating and downright cheerful, even while singing lines like “I wanted to try for you/ Wanted to die for you/ Dramatic things” from “Leonard.”

The act of performing may be therapeutic, but it’s also clearly just a lot of fun for Van Etten, and she gave her hometown Brooklyn crowd a set that touched on material from her most recent album, Are We There, like “Tarifa,” “Taking Chances” and “Break Me,” as well as numbers from records both previous and forthcoming, “Love More,” “I Don’t Want to Let You Down,” plus even a lovely cover of Damien Jurado’s “Museum of Flight.” (“To those of you who know this song, air high five!”) Van Etten’s vocals were beautifully complemented by backup singer Heather Woods Broderick and rounded out with instrumentation that included flourishes of saxophone and harmonium.

The night’s final song began with a false start due to a guitar-tuning snafu, after which Van Etten charmingly poked fun at herself, and upon regaining composure (and finding the right key), the singer-songwriter and her band proceeded to play a searing version of “Serpents,” perhaps the set’s most intense and raw song. For her part, Van Etten seemed at home making lighthearted banter with the crowd and with the visceral bite of the song, while the audience was simply captivated by it all. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

Photos courtesy of Lina Shteyn | www.linashteyn.com

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Leon Bridges Brings Raw, Timeless Soul to Mercury Lounge

February 18th, 2015

Leon Bridges – Mercury Lounge – February 17, 2015

Leon Bridges – Mercury Lounge – February 17, 2015
On the strength of just two songs—produced by White Denim guitarist Austin Jenkins and drummer Josh Block—posted to his Soundcloud, Leon Bridges announced his considerable talents to the world a few months back. Not much was known about him beyond his name and that he hailed from Fort Worth, Texas—and oh, yeah, his gospel-meets-soul vocals reminiscent of Sam Cooke’s. And from there things began to build. Bridges was signed to Columbia Records (a full-length album is due later this year), and he further made a name for himself performing alongside much bigger acts at a Nina Simone tribute at Sundance last month. This week he arrived in New York City for a pair of dates supporting Sharon Van Etten at Warsaw, plus his very own headlining show at Mercury Lounge last night, which sold out well in advance.

Bridges took the stage, stylishly dressed to match his timeless sound, modern while evoking the past, joined by Jenkins and Block, plus another guitarist, a bassist and a sax player, all dressed in suits, and two backing singers in dresses. It’s probably safe to assume that the majority of the people in the room only knew, at best, two songs. And the eight-piece kicked off the set with one of them, “Better Man.” Bridges is still relatively new to touring and performing—he didn’t even introduce the band—so he didn’t chat too much between songs, although he did say, “This next one’s dedicated to Rosario Dawson” before they launched into “Brown Skin Girl.”

The second tune everyone seemed to know, “Coming Home,” had the swaying crowd singing along. Bridges gave others their own moments to shine, especially Block, who, resembling a young Levon Helm, held together everything over the course of the 50-minute performance. The stage cleared after the 12th song, but after some hearty applause, Bridges returned on guitar backed by just the two singers for a gorgeous “River,” eliciting some of the loudest crowd response of the night and smiles across the packed room. It was the perfect musical antidote to the cold, snowy night. The singer-songwriter is still raw, he’s not even six months removed from bussing tables, but big things await Leon Bridges.
—R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog


Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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Sharon Van Etten – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 12, 2014

June 13th, 2014

Sharon Van Etten - Music Hall of Williamsburg - June 12, 2014

Photos courtesy of Ahron Foster | ahronfoster.com

(Both Sharon Van Etten weekend shows at The Bowery Ballroom are sold out.)

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Matthe E. White and the Spacebomb Revue Come to Williamsburg

December 4th, 2013

Make no mistake: Matthew E. White is a musician. He’s a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger, and he even founded his own label in Richmond, Va., Spacebomb Records, which uses a house band—led by White on guitar, Cameron Ralston on bass and Pinson Chanselle on drums—for all of its work. Growing up in Virginia Beach and the Philippines, White listened to the likes of the Band, Curtis Mayfield, Brian Wilson and Stax-era R&B, and he has worked with Justin Vernon, Megafaun, the Mountain Goats and Sharon Van Etten, in addition to leading the avant-garde jazz big band Fight the Big Bull. In theory, that should really be enough for just one guy. But for Matthew E. White, it wasn’t. So last year, Spacebomb Records put out his acclaimed debut full-length, the soulful Big Inner (stream it below), reminding many of Randy Newman’s early work, thanks to White’s unique take on things. And upon the album’s release in the UK last winter, The Guardian said it “feels like a genuine revelation.” White (above, doing “Big Love” earlier this year at The Bowery Ballroom for Moshcam) is currently on tour with the Spacebomb Revue, which brings him, alongside electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist Dosh and Howard Ivans—a dance project led by the Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard—to Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night.

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Matthew E. White Headlines The Bowery Ballroom on Monday

May 10th, 2013

Make no mistake: Matthew E. White is a musician. He’s a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger—and he even founded his own label, Spacebomb Records, which uses a house band—led by White on guitar, Cameron Ralston on bass and Pinson Chanselle on drums—for all of its work. Growing up in Virginia Beach and the Philippines, White listened to the likes of the Band, Curtis Mayfield, Brian Wilson and Stax-era R&B, and he has worked with Justin Vernon, Megafaun, the Mountain Goats and Sharon Van Etten, in addition to leading the avant-garde jazz big band Fight the Big Bull. In theory, that should really be enough for just one guy. But for Matthew E. White, it wasn’t. So last year, Spacebomb Records put out his acclaimed debut full-length, Big Inner (stream it below), reminding many of Randy Newman’s early work, thanks to White’s unique take on things. And upon the album’s release in the UK this past winter, The Guardian said it “feels like a genuine revelation.” White (above, doing “Will You Love Me” for WFUV FM) has spent the past month touring Europe, but you can see him on Monday night at The Bowery Ballroom.

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Sharon Van Etten – Town Hall – November 15, 2012

November 16th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

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Sharon Van Etten and Friends Play Town Hall Tomorrow Night

November 14th, 2012

Like many before her, Sharon Van Etten came to New York City from New Jersey in order to make music. And despite her East Coast upbringing, Van Etten sings of Middle American—universal, even—themes, but she does so in her uniquely powerful voice. The talented singer-songwriter has put out three folkie albums, including this year’s acclaimed Tramp, which Rolling Stone says “plays like a female version of Beck’s Sea Change.” The album was a bit of an all-star affair, with appearances by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and a host of others. And when Van Etten (above, doing “Give Out” for Minnesota Public Radio) plays Town Hall tomorrow night, she’ll be joined by Aaron Dessner and Wasner, plus Thurston Moore, John Moloney, the Antlers’ Peter Silberman and Megafaun’s Brad Cook.

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Sharon Van Etten Charms The Bowery Ballroom

February 27th, 2012

Sharon Van Etten – The Bowery Ballroom – February 25, 2012


Sharon Van Etten looks different. She doesn’t usually wear dresses. And especially not heels. All her tattoos are visible: Two bold lines wrap around the flesh of her left forearm, a bird sits near her right biceps and a guitar’s sound hole and strings are on the tracks of her veins. In other words, she is exposed. But exposure is central to Van Etten’s music. Many singer-songwriters tap into heartbreak as a resource for material. Few, however, do it as effectively as she. With emotional honesty, beautiful counterpoint harmonies and simple, catchy melodies, Van Etten takes the individual experience of lost love and makes it accessible. Pain pop.

The crowd was especially receptive at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, perhaps because it was the singer’s 31st birthday. Her family was in the audience and made it known, shouting encouragement in between songs. Van Etten kindly responded, half embarrassed and half pleased to have material for stage banter. Because impromptu speaking doesn’t come easy to her and there are tense silences—but her kind ethos made up for it. She is, simply, charming.

Congeniality is important when playing songs with such emotional heft. You don’t want people to get the wrong idea when singing, “Serpents in my mind, looking for your crimes.” The songs may be dark, but goodness permeates Van Eetten’s demeanor. The Antlers gave her a giant balloon man made out of balloons for her birthday and she proudly displays it onstage. She is confident; more confident than earlier concerts and albums. She looks different. She sounds great. —Jared Levy

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Sharon Van Etten on 2/25

February 21st, 2012

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The oh, so talented Sharon Van Etten plays three sold-out shows this weekend. And The House List is giving away two tickets to Saturday’s show at The Bowery Ballroom. 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 (Sharon Van Etten, 2/25) and a brief message explaining your favorite song off Van Etten’s new album, Tramp. Eddie Bruiser, who’s recently been listening to the disc nonstop, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Devastatingly Beautiful Music Chases Away the Rain

April 18th, 2011

Sharon Van Etten – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 16, 2011


April showers make it difficult to go to concerts. The urge to stay in and watch bad TV is strongest when the weather is least inviting. But with determination and proper rain gear, a lazy, waterlogged night is avoidable. And when a musician can make you forget the dreary conditions, seemingly transporting you away, a concert feels like the perfect haven from the elements.

On Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Sharon Van Etten, supported by guest vocalists and a backing band, transfixed an audience of weather-tested fans. Poised with a candy red Gibson guitar slung over her shoulder, Van Etten used both her incredibly powerful voice and earnest guitar work to enliven many beloved songs from her new album, Epic, as well as earlier demos.

Her songs, impressive as recorded material, are devastatingly beautiful in person. From the initial lyrics of her opening song to her solitary encore performance of “Damn Right,” Van Etten mystified the crowd, silencing all with the force and passion of her singing. And although some audience members called out requests between songs, Van Etten showed only appreciation and kindness toward all those in attendance. Even as a fan insistently yelled out some inaudible message, she cheerfully dedicated the next song, “One Day,” to that person. And over the course of the show, Van Etten proved she’s one of the select few singer-songwriters who can make the rain go away. —Jared Levy

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The House List Is Heading Back to SXSW

March 8th, 2011


March has begun, which means a few things: We change the clocks soon, the NCAA Tournament is fast approaching and The House List is headed back to SXSW next week. We’ll be setting up camp again at IFC’s Crossroads House on Sixth and Brazos, and we’ll be keeping you up to date with everything happening 3/16-18. We’ve got a great lineup of interviews and performances, including Brett Dennen, Portugal. The Man, Lupe Fiasco, Young the Giant, City and Colour, Little Dragon, Emmylou Harris, Fitz and the Tantrums, Liz Phair, Sharon Van Etten, the Rural Alberta Advantage and Wild Flag. And we’ll have links to live streams, interviews and plenty of photos. So make sure you tune in! In the meantime, check out Broken Social Scene, above, playing “Texico Bitches” at last year’s SXSW.

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Sharon Van Etten – The Bowery Ballroom – January 8, 2010

January 10th, 2011

Sharon Van Etten - The Bowery Ballroom - January 8, 2010

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | www.mikebenigno.wordpress.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Sharon Van Etten on 1/8

January 6th, 2011

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Sharon Van Etten plays The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday. The show isn’t quite sold out yet, but it will. If you get shut out, you’ve still got a chance to go because The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to Grow a Pair? It’s easy. Fill out the form below, including your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Sharon Van Etten, 1/8) and a brief message explaining how you plan to cut loose on the first Saturday of the New Year. Eddie Bruiser, who’s still searching for a New Year’s resolution, will notify the winner tomorrow.

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