Tag Archives: Strokes

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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.

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The Regrettes Come to the Lower East Side and Williamsburg

March 24th, 2017

Lydia Night (vocals), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Sage Nicole (bass) and Maxx Morando (drums) formed the energetic punk-rock quartet the Regrettes a little more than a year ago in Los Angeles, and earlier this year, the band’s first full-length studio album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! (stream it below)—influenced by ’50s rockers like Buddy Holly and the Ronettes—arrived on Warner Bros. Records. According to Teen Vogue, “Their music sounds like a lively blend of lo-fi surf rock meets the Strokes with a strong female lead.” And per AllMusic, “The Regrettes thread feminism, sneering angst and ecstasy. All these intertwined emotions give the album an emotional punch that complements its musical rush, a confluence of nervy energy that could easily be interpreted as a reflection of the Regrettes’ youth. Perhaps the quartet members are all in their teens but they’re preternaturally gifted as musicians, so Feel Your Feelings Fool! offers the best of both worlds: craft that endures combined with boundless excitement.” You’ve got two chances to catch the Regrettes (above, doing “A Living Human Girl” for Jam in the Van) locally, tonight at Mercury Lounge and on Monday night at Rough Trade NYC.

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CRX – The Bowery Ballroom – November 18, 2016

November 21st, 2016

CRX - The Bowery Ballroom - November 18, 2016

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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Rodrigo Amarante Sends Them Home Happy on Saturday Night

July 27th, 2015

Rodrigo Amarante – Rough Trade NYC – July 25, 2015

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Some languages beautifully translate into song, and Portuguese is definitely one of them—from the bossa nova sway to the melancholic fado. Of course, most folks are familiar with the João Gilberto classic, “The Girl from Ipanema,” and even contemporary artists like Devendra Banhart have sung folk songs in this romance language. On Brazilian Rodrigo Amarante’s first solo album, Cavalo, Banhart took second fiddle providing guest vocals. But it’s easy to see why a bigger name in the American-music vernacular would take the supporting role. Amarante has had an eclectic career, first leading Los Hermanos in his homeland before forming the indie three-piece Little Joy with the Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti and Binki Shapiro, in addition to his acclaimed solo work. The trio was my first introduction to Amarante, leaving me a fan ever since, so when he rolled into Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC on Saturday night, I was there no questions asked.

“You came!” exclaimed Amarante, his arms raised in triumph, as he took the stage. It was the final performance on his tour in which he would play his solo album in its entirety. The largely Brazilian crowd sang along from the beginning, with the calming nah nah nahs in “Nada Em Vão.” When he moved on to the French song “Mon Nom,” Amarante thanked the audience with a “merci” upon its completion. For this non- Portuguese speaker, the evening felt like being transported to a small club in São Paulo. The humming intro of “Tardei” quickly coaxed a choral repetition like waves crashing against a beach. A gaggle of gals behind me harmonized to the fado-esque “Irene,” and then Amarante broke the take-us-on-a-trip spell by covering Angel Olsen’s “Unfucktheworld,” about which he confessed his great admiration for her song-writing talents.

The amiable artist offered a story about his numerous interactions with U.S. customs while tuning his white guitar. After several conversations about the reason for his travels to America as a musician, Amarante has concluded the password for the States is jazz. It’s the perfect fast pass through the border after a 10-plus hour flight. The set continued with more from his debut album, including the percussion-heavy “Maná” and the plaintive “The Ribbon.” And the encore had fans samba-ing to a Los Hermanos favorite, which incited a stream of claps, before Amarante sent fans, this one especially, happily home to bed with the Little Joy lullaby “Evaporar.” —Sharlene Chiu

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TV on the Radio End Tour at Home at Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 24th, 2014

TV on the Radio – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 22, 2014

TV on the Radio – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 22, 2014
There was a time when Williamsburg was still an affordable place to live, before New York City’s music scene exploded with a handful of bands that would go on to define indie-rock music at the turn of the millennium—the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and TV on the Radio. That last group had their gestation period take place in Williamsburg, so it makes sense that they’d wrap up their latest tour in their home base. Still absolutely adored here, the band easily sold out three local shows (plus a free in-store appearance at Rough Trade NYC), with their final appearance taking place at a packed Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night. The performance kicked off with one of TV on the Radio’s very first songs, an unraveling expansive soundscape that slowly evolved its way toward the introductory vocal coos of “Young Liars.” Its energy notched up incrementally until dissipating into the taut funkiness of “Golden Age.”

Singer Tunde Adebimpe was a stage-performing spectacle. Whichever hand wasn’t holding his microphone was almost always miming out the song, sometimes reaching out to the audience as if to lend them a hand into the tune. “The age of miracles/ The age of sound/ Well there’s a Golden Age/ Comin’ round, comin’ round, comin’ round,” Adebimpe sang in “Golden Age,” spiraling his hand in the air before extending it out to the audience: Grab my hand, hop on board and let’s check it out. Then there was the near constant harmonizing with Kyp Malone, and if there’s one thing that’s instantly recognizable as TV on the Radio, it’s the two of them singing together, with Malone always several octaves higher in the highest of falsettos. It splits the expressive possibilities of their songs in half, and in it’s best moments the two of them sing the same lyrics with different emotions. On “Careful You,” off their new album, Seeds, one seems to be singing a statement and the other a plea.

The older numbers had a more abrasive edge than the newer ones. “I Was a Lover,” with all its jittery, stuttering rhythm, encapsulates the Bush-era anxieties of the mid-’00s as well as any other song of that time. On “Wolf Like Me,” the band made things as loud as possible. Dave Sitek even brought out a four-foot wind chime, rattling the hell out of it as the song finished. Contrast that with the new tune that followed, “Trouble,” and its reassurances in the chorus of “‘Everything’s gonna be OK/ Oh, I keep telling myself, ‘Don’t worry, be happy’/ Oh, you keep telling yourself.” TV on the Radio’s encore kicked off with “Forgotten,” off Nine Types of Light, Adebimpe leading the audience in chanting, “Light,” to combat life’s darkness. The set closed with “Staring at the Sun,” their first single, the perfect finish to a tour-ending show in their hometown, where once upon a time it had all begun. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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Two Chances to See Howler Play Live

May 13th, 2014

Jordan Gatesmith (vocals and guitar) had been a part of a variety of other bands that didn’t stick together before he and a friend (who has since departed) formed Howler in 2010. Now rounded out by Rory MacMurdo (drums), Ian Nygaard (guitar) and Max Petrek (bass and keys), they play the kind of fuzzy guitar pop that calls to mind the likes of the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and the Strokes. After getting signed overseas, by Rough Trade, the Minneapolis group began to make waves in Europe—NME named them one of best new bands of 2011. Howler (above, performing “Indictment” live in studio for Radio K) then began to gain attention in the U.S. following the release of their debut, America Give Up (stream it below), in 2012. The A.V. Club says the album “practically glows with youthful energy” and that it’s “about woo-oo-oo choruses and fuzz-laden, spiky guitar chords, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” The band’s follow-up, World of Joy (stream it below), arrived earlier this spring. And NME remains a fan: “The difference between this record and its predecessor, however, is akin to the difference between a young athlete with plenty of potential but little nous or experience, and that same athlete after a couple of years of intensive self-improvement: Everything is that much bigger, faster, smarter and stronger. Tearing through its 10 songs in a shade under 28 minutes, World of Joy sounds like a band straining themselves to top a personal best. Happily, they’ve managed it.” See them tonight at Rough Trade NYC or tomorrow at Mercury Lounge.

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A New Band with Plenty of Confidence

August 30th, 2013

Blue & Gold – Mercury Lounge – August 29, 2013


It’s often hard to embrace excitement about new rock bands in New York City since they can appear and disappear in less than the blink of an eye, but here’s hoping that the young rockers of the four-piece Blue & Gold will be able to stick around much longer than that. Led by singers-and-guitarists Chloe Raynes and (House List writer) Alex Kapelman, the brand-new band filled Mercury Lounge last night with friends, family and some already-adoring fans in what was their biggest show so far in their short span.

Armed with great dual vocals, some killer clean and fuzzy guitar tones, plus a bundle of confidence, the quartet showed few signs of new-band jitters. They also displayed some personality, which always goes a long way when a crowd might not know just who the hell you are. Blue & Gold’s sound is tailor made for the New York City music scene, with a bit of that White Stripes minimalism, a few Strokes-esque melodies and the Black Keys’ brashness (all simultaneously on display during “It’s Only You”).

But the best parts of the set were when they showed that they’re not just another Keys-ian rock and roll band. Raynes and Kapelman traded well-trained licks during their more psychedelic-rock songs, like “Anything for Love,” and when the two harmonized together, the venue got a glimpse of what might yet be their biggest strength. And after their terrific 45-minute set ended, it seemed pretty clear that they’ll have some more time in the coming years to show it all off. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com