Tag Archives: Tanlines


Tanlines Come Home

November 30th, 2012

Tanlines – Webster Hall – November 29, 2012

Scanning through TanlinesTwitter feed to do research, I repeatedly encountered a strange emoticon, the winky sad. Of course, I had absolutely no idea what Jesse Cohen (percussion) and Eric Emm (guitars and vocals) were trying to get across by using this weird symbol. I found it completely indecipherable—take, for example, this gem about taking the sticker off of an apple—and furthermore, utterly un-Googleable. The cynical New Yorker in me assumed that it was a weak attempt at ironic humor, which would have been an unforgivable offense in my eyes. But I wanted to give the celebrated duo a fair shot, so I asked my Facebook friends if they could figure out the answer. And as it turns out, the sad-winky is a thoroughly practical emoticon—it denotes making a joke about something that is decidedly sad.

Instead of using irony to deflect criticism and cover up insecurity, Cohen and Emm are embracing their lameness and displaying it for all the world to see. Essentially, they’re just two guys trying to have fun and make music free of pretension. That’s exactly how their debut full-length, Mixed Emotions, came off, and that’s exactly how they sound live. “This is our homecoming show,” Cohen told the absolutely packed house toward the beginning of the set last night. “We’ve been gone all year, and I’m glad everyone came.” You could truly sense the sincere joy they felt in being back in New York City. Later, Cohen even spoke about how nice it was to be able to walk down the street and get a bowl of borscht.

That happiness bled through into the songs throughout their short, punchy set. The hoard of rabid fans ate it up, singing along to “Not the Same” and vigorously nodding their heads in unison during “All of Me.” Finally, during “Real Life,” the last song of the night, the crowd erupted, transforming Webster Hall into a full-on dance club—the balcony where I stood undulated like Gallopin’ Gertie from the synchronized jumping of the audience. And if that’s my greatest work hazard, I know I’m in the right profession. —Alex Kapelman

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com


Brooklyn Duo Tanlines Play Webster Hall Tomorrow Night

November 28th, 2012

Initially sidemen-turned-producers Eric Emm (vocals, guitar, keys) and Jesse Cohen (drums, keys, bass) were interested in a remix project, with friends putting vocals over their music. But they decided their tunes—an eclectic mix of electro-pop, rock, dance and world music—were so good they wanted to keep them for themselves. So in 2010, the duo put out a praised-by-Pitchfork EP, Settings, as Tanlines. Later that year they released a compilation album, which also received some critical love, Volume On, filled with all of their released music plus some remixes and other odds and ends. Earlier this year, Tanlines (above, in one of Vice’s Creators Project sessions) put out their first proper LP, Mixed Emotions (stream it below), of which the AV Club says, “There’s no question that Tanlines have found their path forward.” And you can see them tomorrow night at Webster Hall.


See Yeasayer Tomorrow in Central Park on a Beautiful Night

September 11th, 2012

Yeasayer (core members: Chris Keating on keys and vocals, Anand Wilder on guitars, keys and vocals, and Ira Wolf Tuton on bass and backing vocals) formed in 2006 and began to gain attention the following year with the release of All Hour Cymbals. But things really began to blow up for the Brooklyn experimental rockers when their second album, Odd Blood, came out in 2010. Sometimes it’s difficult to follow up such a successful album with another one, but that’s just what Yeasayer (above, playing “Longevity”) have done with this year’s Fragrant World (stream “Henrietta,” below). The Los Angeles Times calls it “their most synthetic record yet, and while it’s impossible to tell how much was played live, prerecorded or somewhere in between, the fact that Yeasayer obscured its mechanics while remaining an absolute party band is a major accomplishment.” Last month they celebrated its release with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg that streamed live on The Bowery Presents Live. (Watch nine songs from that show.) See them, with Tanlines and Daedelus, tomorrow night at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous late-summer night.


Tanlines – The Bowery Ballroom – April 12, 2012

April 13th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.com


Julian Casablancas Returns Home

January 15th, 2010

Julian Casablancas – Terminal 5 – January 14, 2010

Julian Casablancas - Terminal 5 - January 14, 2010
Everyone was calling Julian Casablancas by just his first name. Near the ticket window it was “Julian” and upstairs in VIP it was a more familiar “Jules.” Opener Tanlines even referred to him as the vaguely messianic “JC.” Apparently New York City assumed it was on a first name basis with the guy who allegedly saved rock and roll from the Lower East Side in 2001. As if winking at 3,000 people at once, Casablancas opened with “Ludlow St.,” an overly sentimental ode to the street he helped make famous. Of course it was also to say that if we thought we knew him, he most assuredly knew us better.

Casablancas, dressed almost head to foot in black leather came to the stage last, a subtle tip to the significance of his return to the city that bore him. After “Ludlow St.,” he directed the band in the wailing and enormous “River of Brakelights,” a song that few outside the first 20 rows grasped or reacted to appropriately. Following quickly with “11th Dimension,” Casablancas turned Terminal 5 into a sea of jumping heads and bobbing angular haircuts. And during “Out of the Blue,” he whipped around the microphone by its cord before ripping through the last chorus. It was the kind of maneuver that said, “I’ve still got it” and “I never really left.”

Of course this return couldn’t be complete without an unscripted ending. After closing his first encore with “4 Chords of the Apocalypse,” Casablancas slammed the microphone to the stage and reached into the crowd with all the magnanimous effect of a messiah. The crowd pushed toward its hero and he seemed visibly affected by this display. Terminal 5 turned on the music and the crowd was supposed to leave. But no one moved. So Casablancas returned, rather sheepishly, saying, “We really were done.” He then played “Tourist,” as if to indicate that even the messiah feels a little weird when everyone tries to know his name. And the crowd, unabashedly, sang along with their Julian. —Geoff Nelson

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | www.gregggreenwood.com