Tag Archives: The Bowery Presents Live

Exclusive Video: Diamond Rings Goes Acoustic

July 11th, 2013

When the post-punk quartet the D’Urbervilles took a break in 2008, singer-guitarist John O’Regan began working on the solo project Diamond Rings. And even though he became known for channeling the glam androgyny of David Bowie and Annie Lennox, the raw but hook-laden synth-pop of his 2010 album, Special Affections, spoke for itself. Diamond Rings returned last year with a bigger and bolder follow-up, Free Dimensional. But it’s still his songwriting that shines through, even when stripped of all the trappings of modern pop, never more apparent than in this take on “All the Time” in a SoHo apartment.

You can see Diamond Rings in person when he opens for OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) next Wednesday at Terminal 5. And for even more John O, watch his acoustic performance of “Put Me On” and check out his wide-ranging interview about his first solo song, his first musical memory and plenty more.


A Cathartic Night with Daughter at The Bowery Ballroom

May 1st, 2013

Daughter – The Bowery Ballroom – April 30, 2013

When Katy Perry name-drops one of your tracks in a tweet about her recent breakup with serial dater John Mayer, people will take notice. The British trio Daughter emerged with lead singer Elena Tonra’s delicately acoustic songs and bloomed with the addition of guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. Playing the first of two sold-out shows at The Bowery Ballroom last night, Tonra remarked, “I’m going to make sure I’m in tune.” The three began the evening with “In the Shallows” and followed with the appropriately celebratory “Candles,” on the day their debut album, If You Leave, was released.

The group’s music melds heart-aching lyrics with a slow build of discontent into a crescendo of fury and hate. On “Still,” Tonra chanted: “Two feet standing on a principle/ Two hands longing for each others warmth/ Cold smoke seeping out of colder throats/ Darkness falling, leaves nowhere to go,” while Aguilella thumped on the kick drum and Haefeli created a chamber of reverb from his electric guitar. The crowd erupted for the aforementioned celebrity breakup song, “Landfill.” And in between thanking the audience, Tonra confessed that on her trip over to the States she came close to popping her eardrum. She hadn’t, thankfully, and was supplied with some medication that left her in a euphoric mood, which was quite the antithesis of the songs “Run” and “Smother.”

As the show neared its end, the best was saved for last as fan-favorite “Youth” drew in the onlookers to sing along to a chorus of “You caused it.” Closing the set with “Home,” the choral echoes of “Take me, take me, home” reminded me of the Welsh artist “Jem’s Save Me,” with its similar repetitive phrasing delivered in an almost yodel. The threesome returned for a special encore—a mash-up of Bon Iver’s “Perth and Hot Chip’s “Ready for the Floor,” which beautifully reimagined the two tracks as a slow dance party in a log cabin. Although the night was a downtempo breakup extravaganza, no one left with a broken heart as couples exited hand in hand from the instant catharsis. —Sharlene Chiu

(Watch Daughter do a stripped-down version of “Youth” and an interview with The Bowery Presents Live.)


A Big Sound in a Small Room

April 18th, 2013

The Joy Formidable – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 17, 2013

Now known very well for their dreamy brand of ear-shaking indie rock, the Joy Formidable spent their first night of two in New York City playing a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday. The Welsh band sped through their set at a torrid pace, only letting up here and there to engage the crowd. In tandem with the ongoing musical mayhem, the whole show was accompanied by a wide range of visuals projected behind the trio, ranging from black-and-white desert scenery to colorful graphics to a clip of willing-to-eat-anything Internet star Shoenice during the loudest parts of “Maw Maw Song.”

Lead singer Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan strutted across the stage in all sorts of quirky ways, especially when she wanted to accent a different part of the song she was playing. And while the Joy Formidable are perhaps most recognizable for their thrashiest, distortion- laden spacey guitar parts, this atypically small-sized show helped them display their dynamic side. During the new song “Silent Treatment,” bassist Rhydian Dafydd switched to an incredibly roomy-sounding acoustic guitar—and a few songs from their very first EP particularly showed from where the band’s musical depth comes. Of course, they returned to their anthemic ways, closing the set and bookending that shift with their biggest hit, “Whirring,” which helped send home a happy Brooklyn crowd, including many who will surely return on night two at Webster Hall. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.com

(Watch an interview with the Joy formidable and see them play “Silent Treatment” in a hotel room for The Bowery Presents Live.)


The Joy Formidable Go Acoustic in an East Village Hotel Room

April 9th, 2013

(Go see the Joy Formidable play Webster Hall on 4/18.)

Welsh rockers the Joy Formidable found international acclaim—and some rock star love from Dave Grohl—with their ethereal debut full-length, The Big Roar. And while busy touring the world in support of it, they still managed to find time to work on its follow-up, the recently released Wolf’s Law. No sophomore slump here. In fact, The Guardian says, “This is one for speakers, not headphones, a great dense whoosh of music that makes you feel like the bloke in the old Maxell tapes advert.” That even remains true in this stripped-down, emotional, acoustic version of one of the LP’s singles, “Silent Treatment,” done in an East Village hotel room.

In a room at the Bowery Hotel, the Joy Formidable’s singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd discuss writing all the time, personal turbulence and the differences between their previous album and their newest release, out now on Canvasback/Atlantic Records. Watch the interview: http://tbp.im/146KIOO. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live for more intimate performances and revealing interviews.


Local Favorites Caveman Play Webster Hall Tomorrow Night

April 9th, 2013

Caveman—Jeff Berrall (bass), Jimmy “Cobra” Carbonetti (guitar), Sam Hopkins (guitar), Matthew Iwanusa (vocals and guitar) and Stefan Marolachkis (drums)—received a tidal wave of buzz with the release of their debut LP, the guitar-filled CoCo Beware, in 2011. Their live shows, filled with layered harmonies, tribal drums, a double dose of distortion and hazy guitar feedback, also earned the Brooklyn band notice, including from The Bowery Presents Live, which hosted them for a Track + Field session, playing an acoustic version of “My Room,” above, and an interview. Since then Caveman have gone on to record a second album, an equally well received self-titled affair (stream it below), which Filter says is “both more refined and more expansive” than CoCo Beware. The five-piece also continues to grow as a live band, which you can see firsthand when Caveman play Webster Hall tomorrow night.


Don’t Miss Little Green Cars Tonight at Music Hall (Seriously)

March 26th, 2013

They’re barely out of their teens, but the five members of Dublin’s Little Green Cars—Stevie Appleby (vocals and guitar), Faye O’Rourke (vocals and guitar), Dylan Lynch (drums and vocals), Adam O’Regan (guitar and vocals) and Donagh Seaver O’Leary (bass and vocals)—have already been making music together for five years, a lively brand of folk-tinged rock filled with five-part harmonies and stirring melodies. But it’s an urban brand of roots rock, according to The Guardian, “more Brooklyn than Nashville or Texas.” Their debut album, Absolute Zero, arrives this summer on Glassnote, home to Mumford & Sons, Phoenix and Two Door Cinema Club. But you don’t need to wait that long to hear some of their new tunes because Little Green Cars (above, doing a soaring a cappella version of “Red” for The Bowery Presents Live) play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight.

(Watch an interview with Little Green Cars and see them perform “The Consequences of Not Sleeping” exclusively for The Bowery Presents Live.)


Another Milestone for Alt-J

March 25th, 2013

Alt-J – Terminal 5 – March 24, 2013

Alt-J revealed that last night’s sold-out show at Terminal 5 was their biggest audience to date. This admission came directly on the heels of the band’s third song of the evening, “Something Good,” which had directly followed the deeply haunting “Tessellate,” both of which had already removed any doubt that Alt-J, the quirky foursome from Leeds, could handle themselves in a room of any size. Surrounded by marine-style light fixtures—the kind of superfluity that Canvasback Music buys for you when you’re playing Webster Hall on Friday with a Terminal 5 chaser to close the weekend—the band then played “Buffalo,” a song from the Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack, another relatively small project that, like Alt-J, exploded into the hearts of many over the past calendar year.

The middle of the set contained “Dissolve Me,” both buzzing and brightly sanctimonious in its final moments. Next, “Fitzpleasure,” a song matched with a strobe and roving red tracer lighting, traded some of the mournful for more of the deeply tribal. With the low end of the arrangement firmly moving the audience, the band screamed their haunting harmonies into the rafters. Slowing toward the end of the main set, Alt-J played the charming “Matilda,” “Bloodflood,” which always sounds a bit like a cold-medicine “Baba O’Riley” live, and the methodical and chilling “MS,” featuring its eerie lyric “the dark seeks dark.”

The set closed with the figuratively murderous and cannibalistic “Breezeblocks.” Those in the audience moved around dutifully, fully in on the joke: No one was really going to die here, even in the dark, all together, singing along about a murder. Closing their encore with the predictably awesome and vaguely Eastern “Taro,” Alt-J left the stage, magnanimous to the end in their T-shirts and jeans, heirs to a growing sense of purpose and size. If this was their biggest gig to date, Terminal 5 represented nothing of a confine. Rather, on this night, it was merely the next spatial iteration for a group of incomparably talented songwriters and performers, likely, on their way to something even larger than three floors worth of 3,000 people. —Geoff Nelson

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

(Watch an interview with Alt-J and see them perform “Matilda” and “Ripe & Ruin” for The Bowery Presents Live.)


With a Brand New Album, Ex Cops Play Mercury Lounge Tomorrow

February 14th, 2013

Ex Cops began when former Hymns frontman Brian Harding (vocals, keys and guitar) moved in with Dan Shapiro, a recent music-school graduate interested in producing. They originally put out an EP, White Women, filled with sunny music and a lo-fi sound. And then the band began to grow, with Amalie Bruun adding another voice and then more additions: Sam Bair on drums, Leif Huckman on bass and Kai Kennedy on guitar. A few weeks ago, Ex Cops (above, playing “Millionaire” for their Track + Field session for The Bowery Presents Live) finally released their debut LP, the dream-pop-filled True Hallucinations. Check them out discussing making music and why sometimes trying isn’t the best policy, and then go see them play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night.

(Amalie Bruun opens for the Friendly Echo tonight at Mercury Lounge.)


A Rubberband Is an Unlikely Instrument

February 8th, 2013

The Bowery Presents and production partner Show Cobra are proud to support the theatrical run of A Rubberband Is an Unlikely Instrument. The film, a New York Times Critics’ Pick, is directed by Matt Boyd and it tells the tale of Walter Baker, an eccentric multi-instrumentalist struggling to create art and make ends meet while raising a son with his third wife, in Brooklyn. And tonight, the documentary begins a weeklong run at Dumbo’s reRun Theater (http://rubberband.eventbrite.com), presented by the IFP and Factory 25. Screenings will include music by Baker and some of the Track + Field sessions Matt directed for The Bowery Presents Live, like Alt-J, Metric, Daughter, Little Green Cars, Virgin Forest and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Local Natives Stream Live from Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday

January 28th, 2013

Local Natives come to New York City this week to play three shows, including Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday, which will stream live on The Bowery Presents Live in full HD at 10 p.m. EST. Here, they play a live version of “Ceilings,” off their about-to-be-released second album, Hummingbird, out tomorrow on Frenchkiss Records.

Camera: Andrea Nakhla
Camera: Zivi Krieger
Camera: Kelsey Tucker
Editor: Max Sweeney
Sound: Chad Carlisle
Filmed at Origami Vinyl in Los Angeles

Exclusive Video: Calexico Play a Song from Their New Album

January 25th, 2013

Emblematic of the California border town from which they take their name, Calexico have long fused together Americana and Latin music to make their own unique sound. And while the group has recorded most of their albums in Tucson, Ariz., they decamped to New Orleans to craft Algiers, their seventh LP, which, according to the AV Club is filled with “strange, sad tales told as sparse vignettes.” Here, Calexico perform one of its singles, “Maybe on Monday,” in a Lower Manhattan studio for The Bowery Presents Live.

While the band plays an instrumental version of “Fortune Teller,” Calexico frontman Joey Burns discusses their writing process being backward, recording their new album in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, and that city’s connection to Havana. Watch the video: http://tbp.im/RXkWos. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to watch more performances and interviews like these, and the latest info on our next live-streaming show.


Ra Ra Riot – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 22, 2013

January 23rd, 2013

(Watch all of last night’s show, streamed live from Music Hall of Williamsburg on The Bowery Presents Live, on demand until 9 a.m. EST on Friday.)

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

Exclusive Video: Ivan & Alyosha Perform in a Hat Shop

January 16th, 2013

Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary originally teamed up as a duo in 2007, making feel-good folk music and taking the name Ivan & Alyosha from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamzov. Since then, the band has become a quartet, and, according to NPR, their music is filled with “Beatles-esque harmonies and infectious guitar hooks.” And while they may hail from rain-soaked Seattle, their sunny California vocals shine through in this acoustic version of “Be Your Man” exclusively for The Bowery Presents Live.

While trying on hats at Victor Osborne’s on the Lower East Side, the guys in Ivan & Alyosha discuss the band’s name, spirituality in their music and how they collaborate. Watch the interview: http://tbp.im/13DAlix. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live for more cool performances and revealing interviews, plus the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows, like Ra Ra Riot next Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg.


Bloc Party – The Wellmont Theatre – January 11, 2013

January 14th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

(Watch eight songs from Bloc Party’s Terminal 5 show that streamed live on The Bowery Presents Live.)


Hospitality Leaves Them Smiling

January 11th, 2013

Hospitality – The Bowery Ballroom – January 10, 2013

Seeing some things onstage just make me smile, like a light blue Fender guitar or a Paul McCartney–style Hofner bass. Hospitality sported both of those things and more last night at their Bowery Ballroom gig that was originally scheduled for the week after Hurricane Sandy, but mostly it was the music that had me and the better-late-than-never audience smiling from ear to ear. Drawing largely from their self-titled full-length debut , the quartet was immediately at ease in their own music. Lead singer Amber Papini (she of blue guitar fame) has a distinctive voice that characterizes the sound—a sort of female David Byrne that’s part sweet, part quirky.

The album material was strong. “Eighth Avenue,” “Friends of Friends” and “Betty Wang” were clear highlights of the early set. Listening to the album, you get the sense that Hospitality is a sound: a happy, breezy, intelligent indie pop. But watching it unfold in real time onstage, it was clear that Hospitality is a band—Papini on guitar and vocals, Nathan Michel on drums, Brian Betancourt on bass and David Christian on lead guitar—that is sneaky talented and operating perfectly within their comfort zone. Listening to them interact with one another through tempo shifts, thematic curvatures and well-constructed peak-to-valley compositions was listening to a high-end jazz combo that happens to play highly listenable, groovy pop music.

Each member displayed impeccable chops and interacted fully with the others to bring out a lush, bouncy sound on every song. The group’s strengths became clear in the new material, which had a distinctly heavier and more rock and roll edge to it, a clear break from the stuff off the album. One was a perfect Jagger-less Rolling Stones knockoff. But whether playing old or new songs, they were fully in their range, like a bird hopping out of a nest fully confident it can fly safely to its next landing spot. Hospitality made it look easy, which was plenty to smile about. —A. Stein

(Watch Hospitality perform “The Birthday” exclusively for The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube and discuss why music is necessary.)