Tag Archives: Video

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Kick Off the Last Weekend of the Year with I Am the Avalanche

December 24th, 2014

Following the breakup of a band, the Movielife, and a relationship, Vinnie Caruana (vocals and guitar) formed the post-hardcore outfit I Am the Avalanche a decade ago. Their self-titled debut (stream it below) arrived in 2005. Absolute Punk declared, “If you’re a fan of passionate vocals mixed with rocking guitars, this is also for you. I Am the Avalanche have the potential to be better than the Movielife and go places that Vinnie’s former band never went. Vinnie Caruana is back, and I couldn’t be any more excited.” The Brooklyn outfit—rounded out by Brandon “Aggro” Swanson (guitar), Brett “the Ratt” Romnes (drums) and John Oliva (bass)—put out their third full-length, Wolverines (stream it below), back in March. Billboard labeled it “an album with claws.” And Absolute Punk called the LP the band’s “most tight-knit and explosive set of songs yet…. Just like the three-eyed beast that graces the cover, Wolverines is a mean and lean punk rock record that sets the bar once again.” While I Am the Avalanche (above, performing “177” live for an official video) work on new songs throughout the winter, they won’t be playing live very much. But you’ve still got one more chance to see them, on Friday at The Bowery Ballroom for Swanson’s last performance with the band.

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Sing Along with Johnnyswim at The Bowery Ballroom Tonight

December 17th, 2014

Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano are more than just harmonizing singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists mining blues, country, folk, pop and soul as the duo Johnnyswim. They’re also husband and wife—plus Sudano happens to be the daughter of Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano. The two met at church in Nashville and shortly afterward began writing songs together. Since then, they’ve released several EPs, gotten married and left Music City for the City of Angels. “The more songs we wrote together,
the more time we spent alone together, which is really all I was interested in. The more songs were good, the more chance of making out we had,” Ramirez told NPR. And earlier this year, Johnnyswim (above, performing “Home” on Late Show with David Letterman) put out their debut full-length, the anthemic Diamonds (stream it below). PopMatters mentioned, “catchy songs sung with deep hooks, intense emotions and passionate beating hearts,” before adding, “The words and music may be simple, but they also have an electrifying effect. This is true for all of the songs on the record. Johnnyswim kicks serious butt.” So come sing along when they play The Bowery Ballroom tonight, especially because tomorrow’s show is already sold out.

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Two Chances to Catch Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue

December 12th, 2014

Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nick Lowe has been a big part of British music—specifically rock, power pop and New Wave—since the ’70s, steadily releasing music and delighting fans across the globe. And despite the fact that his Christmas album, last year’s terrific Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family (stream it below), received terrific reviews—per Relix, “While Lowe’s recent critically acclaimed CDs have mined a mellow, melancholic mood, Quality Street sparkles with holiday cheer”—Lowe (above, performing “Christmas at the Airport” live in studio for WFUV FM) never toured in support of it … until now. In fact, Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue (which includes Los Straitjackets and the Cactus Blossoms) hit the road last week, and they’re headed our way not once but twice, on Sunday at The Bowery Ballroom and on 12/20 at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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Up-and-Comer Your Old Droog Headlines Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 11th, 2014

Unaccompanied by any biographical information, the debut EP Your Old Droog arrived seemingly out of nowhere on SoundCloud this past spring, with a slow-building air of mystery following it. Who is this guy? No one knew—or if they did, they weren’t saying. People speculated, and thanks to raspy vocals and easy flow, many began to think it was Nas using an alias. But it turns out Your Old Droog is his own man. In August, he revealed himself to the New Yorker as a 25-year-old rapper from Coney Island. And in October, Rolling Stone, labeled Your Old Droog a New Artist You Need to Know, citing his “arch rhymes, brain-breaking puns and effortless delivery,” adding that he sounds like “chops-heavy, pun-soaked true school New York hip-hop made to break the rewind button on
your Walkman.” A self-titled LP (stream it below) arrived in November to some considerable acclaim. NPR gave it a glowing review: “The songs are short and sharp, and all the hoopla around Your Old Droog has turned out to be decidedly beside the point…. The way this album is constructed lets you watch a talent mature.” Your Old Droog (above, in the video for “Nutty Bars” and, below, freestyling) told RS that people “think they got me pegged, but they don’t know how I really get down.” Perhaps you can see how he gets down live when he plays a hometown show at Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night. Spanish Harlem rapper Dave East opens the show.

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The Aimee Mann Christmas Show Comes to Town for Two Nights

December 11th, 2014

After a three-year hiatus, singer-songwriter Aimee Mann’s annual Christmas tour returns, and this time she’s bringing fellow singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ted Leo, her bandmate in the Both (above, doing a medley of TV show themes for Vulture), along with her. With such talented, funny people at the helm, it’s safe to expect a variety show with Christmas classics, original music, video, sketches and all sorts of music and comedy guests over the course of two nights, at the Space at Westbury on Friday and Town Hall on Saturday night. And while most of each night’s guests are of the surprise, to-be-announced variety, we can say that the BanglesSusanna Hoffs, singer-songwriter Jonthan Coulton and—straddling the Venn diagram overlap of comedian and musician—Fred Armisen will join Mann and Leon at Saturday’s performance. The holiday season is here, and this is a pretty great way to embrace it.

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Double Down with Two Nights of Flosstradamus at Terminal 5

December 10th, 2014

J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) teamed up to form Flosstradamus eight years ago in Chicago. Mashing up house, techno, electro and R&B, they quickly won over fans around town—and then the country—with their all-inclusive dance parties. One of their many strengths is that they know how to have a good time, and that comes across when they perform live, which is probably why the progressive-dance DJs have earned the reputation as party starters, whether it’s in a small club or on a big festival stage. They’ve been busy recently traveling across America, but before their tour ends, Flosstradamus hit New York City for two nights to play Terminal 5 on Friday and Saturday. So come join the dance party. GTA and Curtis Williams with Two-9 open both shows.

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Two Chances to Say Goodbye to Centro-matic This Week

December 9th, 2014

Will Johnson, equally talented and prolific, is a busy man. He’s been a member of several bands and has recorded on his own, which is why he formed Centro-matic as a solo project back in 1995. But after releasing a few singles, the project blossomed into a full-time band two years later, when Scott Danbom (cello, violin), Mark Hedman (bass) and Matt Pence (drums) came aboard. And ever since the North Texas four-piece has been extremely busy, touring extensively—bringing catchy alt-country and jangly rock that’s often compared to Neil Young and Crazy Horse across North America and Europe—and recording seven EPs and 11 LPs, including this year’s highly regarded Take Pride in Your Long Odds (stream it below). “Fast forward nearly two decades since the auspicious solo project that was Johnson’s apprenticeship mining Robert Pollard-esque lyrics and lo-fi recording techniques to today’s Take Pride in Your Long Odds,” said PopMatters, “and you’ll find a band with honed instincts still operating with reckless abandon.” And while Centro-matic (above, performing “Reset Anytime” for KXT FM) are out on the road in support of their new album and in as fine form as ever, it turns out that this is also a farewell tour. According to Johnson, “I can write with no hint of drama that our December tour will be the last Centro-matic tour for the indefinite and foreseeable future. For a handful of reasons, the time finally feels right to celebrate the existence of this thing, then let it rest.” But before they’re gone for good, you’ve got two chances to say goodbye, on Thursday at Rough Trade NYC and on Friday at Mercury Lounge.

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Har Mar Superstar and the Pizza Underground Tonight on the LES

December 3rd, 2014

For more than 10 years, Har Mar Superstar (above, performing “Lady You Shot Me” on French television) has been known for his onstage antics—whether it’s slowly stripping or break dancing or even doing both at the same time—at his sex-charged energetic live shows. But what’s most noticeable about him is that he’s a supremely talented singer and songwriter, aptly evident on his fifth album, last year’s Bye Bye 17 (stream it below). According to Filter, Har Mar’s “silken, Otis Redding–reminiscent vocals anchor funky, horn-driven R&B beats that match the swagger of Motown.” Emerging from the anti-folk scene, comedy-rock outfit the Pizza UndergroundMacaulay Culkin (kazoo, percussion and vocals), Austin Kilham (tambourine and vocals), Deenah Vollmer (percussion and vocals), Matt Colbourn (guitar and vocals) and Phoebe Kreutz (glockenspiel and vocals)—do parody versions of Velvet Underground material with pizza-themed song names and lyrics. The New York City five-piece has been out on the road with Har Mar Superstar, and they all return home, alongside singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Toby Goodshank, to play The Bowery Ballroom tonight.

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Catch the Funk Army Turkuaz on Saturday in Williamsburg

November 26th, 2014

Dave Brandwein (vocals and guitar) and Taylor Shell (bass) formed the nine-piece funk orchestra Turkuaz—rounded out by Craig Brodhead (guitar and synths), Chris Brouwers (trumpet and keys), Greg Sanderson (sax), Joshua Schwartz (sax and vocals), Michelangelo Carubba (drums) and Sammi Garett (tambourine and vocals)—in 2008. Mixing Funk, R&B and Motown with world-music flourishes, Turkuaz (above, performing “Future 86” live at Brooklyn Bowl) take cues from bands like Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone and Talking Heads. Their most recent album, Future 86 (stream it below), came out in April, and it’s filled with the psychedelic funk and brassy soul that’s become one of the funk army’s calling cards. Another is their electric stage performances: “If you’re a good live band, you’ve got to get out and play. That’s really all there is to it,” Brandwein told Relix. See for yourself on Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Energetic Baltimore five-piece Pigeons Playing Ping Pong opens the show.

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The Reunited Death from Above 1979 Play Terminal 5 on Friday

November 26th, 2014

Sebastien Grainger (vocals and drums) and Jesse F. Keeler (bass, synths and vocals) formed the punk duo Death from Above 1979 at the turn of the millennium in Toronto. They put out a couple of EPs and then an explosive debut full-length, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine (stream it below), arrived in 2004. The album earned Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” label and a glowing review: “By turning the rock knob down a notch, DFA79 have kept You’re a Woman loud and nasty and ensured a cohesion and unusual degree of listenability.” They were off to a hot start, but two years later, the band called it quits siting disagreements and too much travel as problems. Fortunately, it didn’t take permanently, and Death from Above 1979 (above, doing “Trainwreck 1979” on Late Show with David Letterman) reunited in 2011. And as an added bonus, just playing live wasn’t enough, so they released their sophomore LP, The Physical World (stream it below), almost three months ago. Critics again were floored. NME called it “magnificent” and went on to gush, “After a decade away, the noisy Toronto duo are back to give modern technology a glorious kicking…. They clearly haven’t forgotten the pounding thrash that made them great, but it’s not all cheap thrills and weighty beats. What makes it such a rewarding repeat listen are the layers of meaning that emerge like Renaissance paintings appearing in television static.” And with just a few shows remaining on their American tour, Death from Above 1979 headline Terminal 5 on Friday night.

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Two Nights of Two Bands That Like to Get the People Moving

November 25th, 2014

Brooklyn’s Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds—Arleigh Kincheloe and her big voice backed by “a flock of eight men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies”—released their first soul-funk-filled album, a self-titled affair, in 2010. And although the LP was received well, it was the group’s high-energy live shows that really got them noticed. A second album, the tight and funky Pound of Dirt (stream it below), came out in 2012. And according to the Washington Post, “Brooklyn-bred and Memphis-inspired, the nine-piece band revels in unvarnished funk, the grittier the better.” But, nevertheless, the best way to experience Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds (above, performing “Boogie Man” at this year’s Mountain Jam) is live and in person.

The Pimps of Joytime formed in 2007, and their sound, influenced by Brooklyn DJ culture, is a musical stew of rock, soul, Afrobeat, salsa, electronica, rap and infectious Latin grooves. In other words, it’s got something for everyone. Led by the charismatic, soulful Brian J—and vocalists Chauncey Yearwood and Mayteana Morales—the Brooklyn-based band has steadily played club and festival gigs, leaving smiling, sweaty people in their wake each time. Their most recent album, Janxta Funk! (stream it below), is what the Guardian calls “a no-nonsense distillation of the most infectious elements of party funk, with a welcoming approach that emphasizes peaceful good times.” And now you can cut loose in person with the Pimps of Joytime (above, doing a stripped-down version of “The Jump” for MoBoogie) and Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds when the road-tested groove machines play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday and Saturday.

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The Kin Return Home to Headline Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 25th, 2014

Australian brothers (and vocalists) Isaac (keys) and Thorald Koren (guitar) had played with a number of other musicians before they teamed up with Buffalo’s bare-knuckle drummer Mark Nicosia, who goes by Shakerleg. Together, they’re the Kin, and the power trio has been known to stage musical robberies, by striding into a location—a deli, a bar, an airport—and shouting, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a musical robbery” before winning over the crowd with an original tune. “We’re looking to surprise people and give them a musical experience,” says Isaac. The Kin (above, performing “On the Rise” on Conan) have been touring behind last year’s debut EP, Get On It (stream it below), while readying a proper full-length. And they return home to headline Music Hall of Williamsbug tomorrow night. Soulful rocker Matt MacKelcan opens the show.

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The Wytches End American Tour Tonight at Mercury Lounge

November 24th, 2014

Kristian Bell (vocals and guitar), Gianni Honey (drums) and Daniel Rumsey (bass and vocals) have been making doomy yet infectious music as the Wytches for three years. Based on the south coast of England, the surf-psych trio began to gain a following in the U.K.—including shout-outs from the Guardian and NME—thanks in part to the release of their debut single, “Digsaw,” an EP and because of their mesmerizing live shows. Their impressive debut full-length, Annabel Dream Reader, came out this past August, and NME made comparisons to Nirvana and Black Sabbath while mentioning “exceptional songs full of both melody and menace.” The Wytches (above, doing “Darker,” live in studio for WFUV FM) have been traveling the country in support of their new album, and that tour ends in New York City tonight at the early show at Mercury Lounge. A pair of Brooklyn bands, neo noir punk trio Lodro and doo-wop garage quartet the Teen Age, open the show.

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The Barr Brothers Return with New Music at The Bowery Ballroom

November 20th, 2014

Brothers Andrew (drums and percussion) and Brad (vocals, guitar and keys) Barr, who have been members of the Slip and Surprise Me Mr. Davis, moved to Montreal after one of the brothers fell for a local waitress. Early on, Brad and neighbor Sarah Page (harp) could hear each other playing through the walls and struck up a musical friendship. Then, following the addition of Andres Vial (keys, pump organ and bass), the Barr Brothers were born. The folk quartet’s self-titled debut album (stream it below) came out in 2011. “The Barr Brothers are a different kind of folk group,” announced AllMusic, “bringing in unusual instrumentation and performing in a manner that draws the listener into a special musical world.” The Barr Brothers (above, playing “Even the Darkness Has Arms” on Late Show with David Letterman) released their second full-length, Sleeping Operator (stream it below), last month. And the good folks at Relix were impressed: “A product of both invention and intuition, the appropriately dubbed Sleeping Operator isn’t anything less than a dazzling delight.” See them headline The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night. Bluesy folk singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk, also from Montreal, opens the show.

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EOTO Will Have You Dancing at Stage 48 Tomorrow Night

November 20th, 2014

Back in 2006 the String Cheese Incident’s Michael Travis (drums and multiple instruments) and Jason Hann (vocals and percussion) formed the jammy electronic-dance duo EOTO. Playing “all improvised, all the time,” the two make their way through a litany of dance genres—including drum and bass, dubstep, house—by looping live guitar, bass and synths alongside their own live drums and vocals, without using any backing tracks or prerecorded loops. Hann and Travis remain busy with SCI, so their most recent LP, Fire the Lazers!!! (stream it below), came out in 2009. But let’s be honest, EOTO (above, performing one of their never-the-same shows) are a band best experienced live. So come be part of their dance party tomorrow night at Stage 48. And arrive early enough to catch VibeSquad.