Tag Archives: the Antlers
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.
Tags: Aaron Dessner, Beck, Brad Cook, Bryce Dessner, Jenn Wasner, John Moloney, Megafaun, Peter Silberman, Preview, Sea Change, Sharon Van Etten, the Antlers, the National, Thurston Moore, Town Hall, Tramp, Video, Wye Oak
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The Bowery Presents Live features the Antlers today. Watch the band, above, discussing their writing process, how traveling affects the kind of music they make and their open-minded fans. But don’t stop there when you can also check out the Brooklyn trio’s Track + Field session, doing “I Don’t Want Love” alone in Webster Hall, plus a playlist of videos, live songs and interviews. And make sure to subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to keep up with what’s new on the channel.
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
The Bowery Presents’ newest venue is online, youtube.com/thebowerypresents. If you’re looking for live-streaming shows and intimate performances and interviews from big-name bands and the next big things, subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live. We’ll live-stream one show each month, starting with Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells, live from Terminal 5 on Friday, 2/17, at 10:30 p.m. EST. Although the show is sold out, you won’t be left out because you can watch it as it happens on The Bowery Presents Live. But you don’t have to wait until Friday to check out bands like the Antlers, Caveman, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Alabama Shakes because they’re playing our newest venue right now.
The Antlers – Webster Hall – December 10, 2011
Saturday night was really the first night we’ve had in New York City that felt like the harsh and relentless winter to which we’re all accustomed. Maybe it was the biting cold air or maybe it was the thousands of drunken Santa Clauses strewn across the city. Whatever marked the occasion, there couldn’t be a more appropriate soundtrack to changing seasons than the music of the Antlers. Not just because of the band’s unintentionally festive name, but because the Antlers’ unique brand of fragile harmonies and heartfelt songwriting perfectly reflects the subtle splendor of winter that just barely makes the season bearable.
Their music showcases a unique type of beauty, one that rises from singer Peter Silberman’s dark songwriting. The group’s critically acclaimed 2009 release, Hospice, told the story of an emotionally abusive relationship through the analogy of a hospice worker and a patient. If that sounds depressing, the music Silberman’s crafted around the theme is anything but. For the Brooklyn-based Antlers, Saturday’s show at Webster Hall was a homecoming of sorts, returning to the U.S. from a long string of performances across Europe. The set was comprised mostly of songs off their latest release, the also critically acclaimed Burst Apart. And the defining moments were the songs that required careful listening before rewarding listeners by upping the volume and intensity to play out the final moments.
This was especially true with “Rolled Together,” which started softly and gently before a climactic crescendo. The band finished with a ghostly rendition of “Putting the Dog to Sleep” before returning to play a three-song encore. “The difference between now and a couple years ago is not lost on us,” remarked Silberman of a sold-out Webster Hall before finishing the encore with “Epilogue” (I dare you to find a more appropriately titled finale). With the goose-bump inducing nature of Silberman’s sharp falsetto serenades, it was a perfect capstone to a compelling show, by chance scheduled at the most perfect time of the year to hear it. —Dan Rickershauser
The Antlers play two hometown sold-out shows this week. And if you’d like to see them on Friday at The Bowery Ballroom but don’t have tickets, you’ve got one more chance because The House List is giving away two of them. Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, and be sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (the Antlers, 5/20) and a brief message explaining what you like so much about the band’s new disc, Burst Apart. Eddie Bruiser, a big fan, will notify the winner by Friday.
The National – Radio City Music Hall – June 16, 2010
Just three songs into the National’s sold-out show at Radio City Music Hall last night, lead singer Matt Berninger jumped off the stage and into the crowd. After a strong opening set by the Antlers, the National started with “Mistaken for Strangers,” followed by “Anyone’s Ghost,” from recent release High Violet. As he sang, Berninger displayed his distinctive stage behavior, pacing, wringing his hands and clapping to himself along with drummer Bryan Devendorf’s frantic beats—a controlled mass of pent-up energy. It was halfway through “Bloodbuzz Ohio” when Berninger, no longer able to hold it in, jumped down to be alongside his hyper fans as he sang angst-ridden lyrics touching upon love, debt and failure.
The National easily filled the cavernous venue with their dynamic orchestral arrangements of songs like “Squalor Victoria,” “England,” “Runaway” and “Little Faith,” but were quick to acknowledge their more humble beginnings, dedicating “Secret Meeting” from their 2005 album, Alligator, to The Bowery Presents’ own Johnny Beach, who they note got them their very first show. The National seemed to want to remind hometown fans that while they may be playing bigger and bigger venues these days, we need not fret because this is weird for them, too.
For his part, Berninger continued to breach the stage/audience boundaries, and during the climatic “Mr. November,” made his way all the way up to the mezzanine, his microphone cord trailing behind him, as audience members helped pass it over their heads to follow the singer. Since the National’s emotive, lush music is no longer a wonderful shared secret among a select group of savvy listeners, it is likely that the venues they play in will continue to grow in size. But luckily, at last night’s show, Berninger seemed to prove that as the band’s popularity rises, he, too, will rise up to the highest balcony and sing beside more and more members of the crowd, the place where he is perhaps most comfortable. —Alena Kastin
Photos courtesy of Mina K
We’re bringing music to the Crossroads House in conjunction with the IFC, above, plus we’ve got our own showcase on Thursday night at Emo’s, below. Don’t be a stranger. Come check us out!
Tags: Adam Green, Broken Social Scene, Crossroads House, Dawes, Delta Spirit, Drive-By Truckers, Emo's, IFC, Local Natives, Miles Kurosky, Peter Wolf Crier, Rogue Wave, the Antlers, the Walkmen
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Editors – Terminal 5 – February 19, 2010
After a two-year absence from playing in New York City, Editors returned to Terminal 5 on Friday night with a great set and a ton of passion. Following two stellar opening performances by the Dig and the Antlers, lead singer Tom Smith warmed the crowd with a sharp, nearly totally instrumental opening song. When moving to the second song, “Lights,” he laughed off how out of tune his guitar was, grabbing another from his tech. And as they jaunted through their set, it was easy to tell just how focused they were on pleasing the crowd, something that went over well with the packed house.
Their music, familiar to most New Yorkers, thanks to the presence of hometown rockers like Interpol, had the crowd’s attention for the entire hour-and-a-half set. Drummer Ed Lay mixed in heavy doses of a drum machine with his actual drumming, strengthening the band’s modern take on the ’80s Brit-rock sound that borrowed heavily from bands like Joy Division and the Cure. Smith never stayed static, even while at his piano, switching microphones and never giving the crowd the same look twice from song to song. Still doing all they could to please by the end, Editors finished their set with the hit “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors,” and then taking their encore past the posted 11:00 p.m. curfew. —Sean O’Kane
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com
The post-punk UK band Editors—singer-guitarist Tom Smith, guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, bassist Russell Leetch and drummer Ed Lay—released their first album, The Back Room, in 2005. The buzz from that earned them appearances at Coachella and Lollapalooza the following year. The band’s second disc, An End Has a Start, released in 2007, went platinum in the UK the very day it was released. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, the guys in Editors (above, playing “Papillon” on Later…with Jools Holland) opted to take their sound in a different direction in choosing to use synthesizers on 2009’s In This Light and on This Evening rather than sticking with the dark guitar rock they’d employed on their previous two albums. But you can judge which style you like best when Editors (with the Antlers and the Dig) play Terminal 5 tomorrow night.
Want to go but don’t have tickets? Then try to win two from The House List. Just fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re to win tickets to (Editors, 2/19) and a brief message explaining which Winter Olympic sport is your favorite and why. Eddie Bruiser, who does not care for figure skating, will notify the winner tomorrow. Good luck.
The Antlers – The Bowery Ballroom – December 15, 2009
As the year draws to a close, reflection is both natural and expected. The desire to contextualize events focuses our understanding of the past. Notably, in 2009, numerous bands rose to prominence by way of file sharing and blogs. These ever-expanding media outlets continue to expose music listeners to a host of new artists and groups. Among this year’s breakthrough performers, the Antlers, with their sophomore record, Hopsice, are an immediate standout.
With honest narratives and beautiful vocals, the album effectively captures the emotional toll involved with terminal illness. Consequently, the band and disc have garnered many fans and much praise. What is refreshing is that this does not appear to spoil the Brooklyn trio. During their packed show last night at The Bowery, frontman Peter Silberman earnestly and graciously proclaimed, “This is hands down the best year of my life.” It was abundantly clear that he and his bandmates, drummer Michael Lerner and keyboardist Darby Cicci, embraced their homecoming after a rigorous year of touring.
Admittedly, it felt a bit strange to see Silberman share such personal songs in the public realm. To go from the intimacy of experiencing the album on headphones to watching the Antlers live is a bit jarring. For their set, they carefully worked through the majority of Hospice, injecting distortion-saturated breaks between songs, which seemed overdone at times. But it appeared to engage the crowd throughout the show. The best moments came when Silberman’s vocals soared above the cymbal crashes and ambient melodies. The band transformed the folk-rock ballad “Two” into a powerful electric version, and much of the set shared this sonic quality, soft-to-loud musical movements. It is this dynamic that captures rise of the Antlers. —Jared Levy
Photos courtesy of Jen Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com
Johnny Beach is a Renaissance man. He has been in his current position as The Bowery Ballroom talent buyer for more than two years. Prior to that, he served as Mercury Lounge talent buyer for four years. But he’s been shotgunning beers for considerably longer. Check out his insight below.
The Middle East, The Recordings of the Middle East
They are called the Middle East, but they’re from Australia. (Not sure how that came about.) While they are still virtually unknown here in the States—which will all change very soon—the Middle East is starting to make a name for themselves in their homeland. Spunk Records (home of Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, the Shins, M. Ward in Australia and New Zealand) recently released their debut EP. Listen to the song “Blood” and you’ll become a believer.
The Antlers, Hospice
They self-released the best record of an NYC band so far this year, which will receive a proper release via FrenchKiss Records later this summer. This captivating three-piece band sounds completely at home on the haunting “Kettering” as well as the more rocking “Syliva” and “Two.” They’ve recently supported the Walkmen, Vetiver, White Rabbits and others, but they should be headlining shows in the not-too-distant future. Plus, these guys are improving their ability to shotgun beers.
Centro-matic, Love You Just the Same
This record is by no means a new one, but I cannot help but include it. It’s safe to say that Centro-matic is the most underrated band in America. I got to see Will Johnson play two solo sets recently and it further proves that he has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. He is quite the prolific songwriter—in Centro-matic, South San Gabriel and also on a few records just as Will Johnson. So while you should go out and spend $150 now to buy his entire catalog, this one might be the best place to start.
Manchester Orchestra, Mean Everything to Nothing
They hail from Atlanta, and while they are still quite young, they already have some sweet beardage and are a well-oiled rock machine. They’ve toured a lot in the emo-kiddie world, but they would be equally at home opening for the likes of My Morning Jacket. Their new record is stacked with a bunch of sweet jams—check out “The Only One” and “I’ve Got Friends” and the more mellow but equally awesome “I Can Feel a Hot One.” They’ll be touring with Silversun Pickups throughout August.
This record has really grown on me in the past couple of months and now it’s in constant rotation. It’s basically just a 21-year-old dude named Michael Lerner, and Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie produced it. I saw them live for the first time recently, but became quite worried a few days before the gig when I found out the drummer sings. (I am still plagued by weekly Phil Collins nightmares.) But I was pleasantly surprised when Telekinesis pulled it off quite well. The disc is filled with sweet, straight-up-catchy pop songs. And who can argue with that?
And also my top-five beers to shotgun:
2. Pabst Blue Ribbon
4. King Cobra
Tags: Centro-matic, Hospice, Love You Just the Same, Manchester Orchestra, Mean Everything to Nothing, My Five, Telekinesis, the Antlers, the Middle East, The Recordings of the Middle East
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Last night at Mercury Lounge, the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., duo, Phantogram (formerly known as Charlie Everywhere) opened as the first of four bands. Onstage, it’s just friends-since-high-school Sara Barthel on synthesizer, Josh Carter on guitar, and a Mac laptop—kind of like a latter-day two turntables and a microphone.
The band’s name fits them to a T because a phantogram is a two-dimensional image that’s distorted so it appears to viewers in 3D. And with the twosome’s engaging light show behind their urban-beats-and-psychedelic-melodies soundscape, they appear and sound much larger than they really are. Although some songs have a heavier, industrial sound, Josh and Sara seem destined to become the king and queen of good-times late-night dance parties.
The Antlers, the third band to perform last night, are a trio—guitar, drums and keys—and without the thump, thump, thump of a bass, their set began with a quiet, slow-building sound that progressively opened up, becoming almost dreamy as they continued. Singer-songwriter Peter Silberman’s voice is, well, lovely, even when singing about “getting fucked and unfucked.” And on the band’s final song, “Cold War,” his vocals were like something out of Jeff Buckley’s far-reaching upper register. And then their sweeping sound slowly dissipated until it was still, quiet, finished. —R. Zizmor