After becoming heavily influenced by Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” DJ and multi-instrumentalist Kamtin Mohager launched the post-funk electronic-dance project the Chain Gang of 1974 about a decade ago, earning comparisons to Daft Punk, New Order and Passion Pit with the release of Wayward Fire (stream it below) in 2011—“A bright, hook-laden, bouncy affair that takes your face and rubs it in its subwoofer big beats,” according to PopMatters—and Daydream Forever (stream it below), which per AllMusic has “even more attention to hooks and beefed-up production that thickens the pop sheen with a heavy electronic backbone,” in 2014. With new music on the horizon, the Chain Gang of 1974 (above, performing “Sleepwalking”) play Rough Trade NYC on Friday night. Bel Heir, a Philly trio, open the show.
Tag Archives: Tears for Fears
Mayer Hawthrone – Terminal 5 – June 24, 2016
Ladies, you have been warned: The smooth stylings of one Mayer Hawthorne will undoubtedly enamor you. The swoon-worthy crooner’s rise to heartthrob status came not as a member of a boy band, but as a DJ in the clubs of Detroit and Los Angeles. Despite no vocal training, fellow producer—and head of Stones Throw Records—Peanut Butter Wolf insisted Hawthorne cut an album after hearing tracks he had produced for sampling purposes. The reluctant singer only conceded when the request for his first single to be pressed as a heart-shaped record was fulfilled. With the spring release of Man About Town, Hawthorne returned following a three-year break between studio albums.
Taking a place on a stool with his back to the crowd sipping one could only guess was “Henny & Gingerale,” the suave entertainer lifted his falsetto to open Friday evening’s show at Terminal 5 with “Breakfast in Bed.” Hawthorne quickly got down to business, explaining that with four albums, he had a lot of songs to sing so he would ease up on the banter. Hawthorne broke from his feverish song output to tell a story about hitting the beach in Malibu, Calif., which slyly gave way to sirens and a perfect intro to “Crime.” An instrumental interlude provided a moment for a wardrobe change, as Hawthorne returned donning his signature glasses and a gold blazer with matching oxfords.
After a rendition of “Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’,” there was a great desire for “soul Mayer,” which the singer happily obliged, asking his band to kick it up to “James Brown–jumpsuit speed.” What proceeded was a Motown-inspired trifecta of “You Called Me,” “Hooked” and “The Ills.” In another exceptional moment near the set’s end, a cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” was cleverly mashed-up with “The Walk” and then into another cover, Brenton Wood’s “Gimme Little Sign.” It’s easy to hear the DJ’s craft on the set. For his encore, the disco ball was lit to set the appropriate scenery for “Cosmic Love,” and another outfit was revealed to the delight of female admirers. This time an open checker satin button-down was accessorized with a gold chain. Hawthorne capped off the night with a final cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” that had revelers happily flooding out into Hell’s Kitchen. —Sharlene Chiu
Tags: Aerosmith, Brenton Wood, James Brown, Live Music, Man About Town, Mayer Hawthorne, Music, New York City, Peanut Butter Wolf, Review, Sharlene Chiu, Stones Throw Records, Tears for Fears, Terminal 5
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Wildcat! Wildcat! – The Bowery Ballroom – November 24, 2014
Despite taking their name from a reference to Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Wildcat! Wildcat! don’t sound anything like that film’s soundtrack, but rather they produce hazy tracks perfect for long drives around their home city, Los Angeles. Bassist Jesse Taylor, keyboardist Michael Wilson and drummer Jesse Carmichael garnered plenty of buzz for their early releases, a sold-out 7″ and a self-titled debut EP. And following a busy 2013 touring and supporting Alt-J and Portugal. The Man, the lads released their first full-length album, No Moon at All, this past August.
On an unseasonably warm Monday in New York City, the sunny tracks provided a perfect (if temporary) send-off to the autumn chills. Southern Californians turned The Bowery Ballroom into a party beginning with the slow burner “Tower // W.O.H.L.” Its quiet, starry intro burst into a kaleidoscope of dance beats and an echo of “put your head down low.” The vibe continued with the glimmering guitar lines against floating falsetto on “Garden Grays.” Although they almost played their album in its entirety, Wildcat! Wildcat! made sure to pepper the set with tracks from earlier in their catalog to delight fans.
Notably, Taylor admitted that they hadn’t played “The Chief” in some time, but those in the audience couldn’t tell a bit. Having dropped a cover of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” on Baeble Music earlier in the day, the trio played their rendition live for the first time. And on a night when Carmichael hacked through not one but two sets of drumsticks, it seemed like nothing could limit the exuberance in the crowded room. Wildcat! Wildcat! ended the show and their tour with an encore of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” —Sharlene Chiu
Tags: Alt-J, Bowery Ballroom, Jesse Carmichael, Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson, No Moon at All, Paula Abdul, Portugal. The Man, Review, Tears for Fears, The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson, Wildcat! Wildcat!
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Diane Birch – The Bowery Ballroom – January 22, 2014
Raised in the church, the daughter of a preacher man, singer-songwriter Diane Birch infuses soul into everything she plays. Her debut album, Bible Belt, introduced an artist with a resemblance to Carole King, but on her sophomore effort, Speak a Little Louder, Birch employs shadows and dance beats against her newer compositions. It’s as if she’s morphed into Kate Bush’s or Florence Welch’s little sister. The ’80s have undoubtedly influenced her follow-up: “I’m supernostalgic,” said the 30-year-old to the New York Daily News. “I have a hard time with things that are new. I actually used to think I was from another time, trapped in the modern world.”
After postponing shows in Boston the night before due to Winter Storm Janus, the Brooklyn-based singer played The Bowery Ballroom last night as her first performance of 2014. Coming from a Late Night with Jimmy Fallon taping, Birch donned gold hot pants, which warmed up those in the crowd who had braved the wintry elements. Opening with “Pretty in Pain,” she set the venue back in time—straight to the era of Flashdance. Birch played largely from her sophomore album, including its title track, but she did offer one off her debut, “Nothing but a Miracle,” delighting longtime fans.
Birch continued with a pair of covers, Sade’s “Smooth Operator” and Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” For the latter, the lady of the evening requested the lights be dimmed in order to set the proper mood. She dedicated “Superstars” to her fellow singer-songwriters that have yet to reach the limelight before ending her set with the dance-beat-heavy “Lighthouse.” With the audience begging for more, Birch returned with “It Plays On” before sending everyone off warmed with soulful pop. —Sharlene Chiu
After making music together for 11 years, Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano) and Dave King (drummer), formed the Bad Plus in 2000. The Minnesota trio deftly mix rock, pop and avant-garde jazz, to craft their own unique sound, and in the process, reach a wider audience than traditional jazz usually does. Playing live, the Bad Plus (above, doing Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”) mix originals from their deep catalog with covers of bands like Pink Floyd and Nirvana. And with a brand new album, Made Possible—which employs a broader palette of sounds—out today, they play tonight at Mercury Lounge and tomorrow at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Tags: Dave King, Ethan Iverson, Made Possible, Mercury Lounge, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Preview, Reid Anderson, Tears for Fears, the Bad Plus, Video
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