Tag Archives: Video

cat_preview

Rostam Brings Debut Solo Album to Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 25th, 2017

The story of Rostam Batmanglij is one of continuation and staying on his creative toes. With an open mind and an open heart he’s thrown himself into each expression and partnership without getting bogged down. There was some level of redefinition in order when the instant but unsustainable starburst of his former band, Vampire Weekend, leveled out a bit, at least beyond their base following. But it was inevitable that he’d forge his own path. With inherent musical proclivity, it was just a matter of discovering new outlets. And he’s certainly found them. Along with lending his enlivening sense of melody and world rhythm to the production of acts including Frank Ocean, Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen—and oh, by the way, writing original music for the reprise of Kenneth Lonergan’s classic Broadway play This Is Our Youth—Rostam struck collaborative gold last year when he buddied up with Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser to gift us with the rollicking resplendence of I Had a Dream That You Were Mine (stream it below).

The volume of his work keeping him limber, he was prime to really hit a graceful, ground-covering stride on his first proper solo affair, Half-Light (stream it below). Just released this month, the effort carries that extraspecial glow and pop of every fifth firework. From the moment his Panda Bear–esque vocals sail into the album entrance of “Sumer,” a feeling of bright-eyed anticipation of what follows keeps afloat like an air-blasted ping pong ball. A youthful blend of vulnerability and moxie suspend in a seasoned weave of production that takes cues from all directions. There are even melodic allusions to the coiled-spring bop of Vampire Weekend, yet they’re shrewdly integrated, as in “Wood,” with cleanly bowed strings jumping into the gaps formed from the seductive Eastern percussion. When hearing the melodious, uplifting cheer of what can be construed as Rostam’s prideful retort to the chirping birds comes through his cry of “Please don’t let it get to you/ Even if you don’t realize it/ It’s still all up to you,” you’ll feel like running out buck naked to take on the world. He’s arrived at that point of confident eloquence, tightly embracing what made him and what moves him—and letting the tracks fall where they may.

Rostam once said that he’s interested in inclusion rather than exclusion, that his goal is to make music that can move anybody. His solo album easily surpasses this goal, and when performed live, the vibe pulses through the crowd. There’s that inestimable moment in time when a beloved honorary New Yorker who has contributed richly to this city’s music scene returns to play under a spotlight that is all his. That rare moment comes Wednesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. You’ll be able to reach up and touch the electricity in the atmosphere on the night. Among the devoted and adoring Vampire Weekenders and newly blossomed fans of his duet album with Hamilton Leithauser, others, picked up along his musical path where the scenery has never been dull, will join in on the anticipation of a prolific artist, who many leap at the chance to work alongside, finally having his own moment in the spotlight. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

cat_preview

Mac DeMarco Kicks Off the Weekend on Friday Night at Radio City

September 21st, 2017

Goofy yet sensitive troubadour Mac DeMarco’s third full-length album, This Old Dog (stream it below), came out this past May to rave reviews. “With a fresh approach and a renewed outlook on life, DeMarco reaches a whole other level of cool, lush calm as well as an unprecedented degree of maturity and introspection,” says Exclaim. “But as he reflects deeply and meaningfully on family, love, relationships, life and near-death throughout his songs, DeMarco shows us that he’s a lot more complicated than he seems.” The singer-songwriter recently released the video for the new album’s title song (above), an innovative virtual reality eyeball-bender full of warped landscapes and floating Hypercolor images. For all the merits of virtual reality, there’s still nothing quite like a good old-fashioned performance in the flesh. Fans of DeMarco’s hazy, lazy melodies will get their chance to see the scruffy artist on the regal stage of Radio City Music Hall on Friday, supported by the punky SoCal twins who perform as the Garden. Despite the lack of VR effects that exist in plain old, regular reality, DeMarco is known for performing with plenty of antics up his sleeve—and coupled with the chance to hear songs like “Salad Days” and “My Kind of Woman” live, the experience promises to be just as mind expanding as any technological trickery may be. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

cat_preview

Alison Wonderland Brings Her Dance Party to Terminal 5 on Thursday

September 20th, 2017

Alex Sholler entered the music world as a cellist in the Sydney Youth Orchestra, but she’s since been doing work as the EDM DJ and producer Alison Wonderland. The Australian’s initial single, “Get Ready,” dropped in 2013, followed a year later by her debut EP, Calm Down (stream it below), which “has a split personality—straddling trashy club release and clever EDM. Either way, listeners should find something to love between Alex Sholler’s use of adventurous, solemn strings and her punchy, stop-start beats,” according to the Music. Her first full-length album, Run (stream it below), featuring the Flaming LipsWayne Coyne, arrived in 2015. Per Rolling Stone, the LP hits “the sweet spot where dance-floor ready meets radio friendly.” Now crisscrossing the country, bringing her mobile dance party to the land of the free and the home of the brave, Alison Wonderland (above, performing “U Don’t Know”) comes to Terminal 5 on Thursday night. Los Angeles electronic-pop singer-songwriter Elohim opens the show.

cat_preview

Tei Shi Plays a Hometown Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 19th, 2017

Singer-songwriter Valerie Teicher grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, and Vancouver, B.C., before heading to Boston to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music. She’s since brought her keen pop sensibilities to Brooklyn, recording and performing as Tei Shi. And after gaining notice with the release of several singles and a pair of EPs, her acclaimed debut full-length, Crawl Space (stream it below), was released this past March. “Loaded with vocal hooks, sassy, R&B-infused performances and textured, groove-powered tunes, it’s a hypnotic set that’s definitely got its own thing going on,” says AllMusic. “Her bijou brand of left-field R&B shares space with Chairlift or Little Dragon,” adds the Observer. Now out on the road in support of the LP, Tei Shi (above, performing “Say You Do” live in studio for KEXP FM) comes home to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday night. Los Angeles singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lawrence Rothman opens.

cat_preview

Mutemath Bring New Album to Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday

September 18th, 2017

Influenced by the soulful sounds of the ’60s and ’70s and alternative rock of the past (think: Air, Radiohead, New Order), Mutemath (above, doing “War”) formed a decade-and-a-half ago in New Orleans. The band—now Paul Meany (vocals and keys), Jonathan Allen (bass) and Todd Gummerman (guitar)—has since been equally known for engaging live performances and their recorded output, including full-lengths, EPs and live releases. Their fifth studio long-player, Play Dead (stream it below), came out earlier this month, and their tour in support of it rolls through Kings County to play Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday night. Franklin, Tenn., four-piece Colony House and Toronto quartet Romes open the show.

cat_preview

A Double Dose of the War on Drugs in New York City Next Week

September 15th, 2017

Philadelphia’s the War on Drugs craft songs with momentum. The synths underlying “Holding On” (above, performed live on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), off their latest release, A Deeper Understanding (stream it below), chug along like a runaway train. Over the band’s four full-length albums, songwriter Adam Granduciel and Co. have fine-tuned what was already a well-oiled machine right out of the gates. They enlisted the production help of L.A. engineer Shawn Everett, known for his work on the Alabama Shakes’ masterful Sound & Color, for their first major-label record. A Deeper Understanding takes the War on Drugs’ signature expansive sound and pushes it, well, deeper into new terrains. On “Nothing to Find,” the beats plow through gorgeous swirling soundscapes of analog synths, and Granduciel’s vocals at the end sound like he’s howling into a massive canyon the song’s just blown into the earth. The War on Drugs’ music feels both large and personal, with softer numbers still showcasing a tenderness that sounds just as grandiose. The album’s gorgeously produced, and any little snippet of its soundscapes risks working its way into your head and never leaving. As their sound has grown bigger, so too has the group’s following, snowballing off the success of 2014’s much-acclaimed Lost in the Dream (stream it below). One album later and the New Yorker is ready to propose that they’re rock’s next torchbearers. The War on Drugs will make their case and then some when they return to New York City next week to play Terminal 5 on Tuesday and SummerStage on Friday. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

cat_preview

Two Chances to Catch the Horrors at Rough Trade NYC Next Week

September 15th, 2017

Inspired by garage rock, post-punk and New Wave, Faris Badwan (vocals), Joseph Spurgeon (drums), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (keys) and Rhys Webb (bass) formed the Horrors more than a decade ago in Essex, England. Their debut full-length, Strange House (stream it below), officially announced their arrival upon its release in 2007. “The Horrors bring a dose of dark glamour to an increasingly anodyne British alternative music scene too heavily indebted either to Oasis and the Libertines, or earnest post-punk,” opined PopMatters. “They blend their twin influences of early ’80s Goth and ’60s garage to startling effect.” The Horrors (above, performing “So Now You Know”) have remained busy touring and recording ever since. The band’s fifth album, the aptly titled V—which, according to the Guardian, “drags their grand, gothic, garage-y noise from the shadows and recasts it in throbbing electronics, drum-machine pulses and the most fully formed pop of their career”—drops next Friday, but you won’t have to wait that long to hear the new tunes because the Horrors play Rough Trade NYC on Monday and Tuesday.

cat_preview

Aussie Trio Middle Kids Play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday

September 14th, 2017

After a solo stint, singer Hannah Joy joined forces with guitarist Tim Fritz and drummer Harry Day to form the deliciously addictive Middle Kids. In the spring of 2016, their debut single, “Edge of Town” (above, performed on Conan), made an impressive impact, garnering praise from none other than Elton John and heavy play on Triple J in their native Australia. The three have since released a self-titled debut EP (stream it below) earlier this year and have been busy touring Australia, America and Europe. Back in April, Rolling Stone shortlisted the group as one of the 10 New Artists You Need to Know, describing their sound as “heartfelt, clever ruminations at the intersection of indie rock and alt-country.” NPR listeners also placed the group on the recent “Your Favorite New Artists of 2017 (So Far).” So don’t sleep on your chance to catch this rising act before they release their forthcoming debut album. Middle Kids play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ski Lodge opens. —Sharlene Chiu

 

cat_preview

Spend the Weekend with the Afghan Whigs in New York City

September 14th, 2017

The Afghan Whigs formed while still in college and launched out of Cincinnati in the mid-’80s, making the kind of amped-up garage rock that would earn them comparisons to the likes of the Replacements and Dinosaur Jr.—and gain them a cult following thanks to what AllMusic calls frontman “Greg Dulli’s tortured, angst-ridden tales of broken relationships and self-loathing.” They released six albums between 1988 and 1998 before amicably breaking up three years later. But you can’t keep a good band down, and so the Afghan Whigs (above, performing “Algiers” for KEXP FM) returned in 2012. Their seventh long-player, Do the Beast (stream it below), arrived two years later. “Do to the Beast leaves you emotionally wrought. Where Dulli had previously played the sleaze we reveled in living vicariously through, here he has us choking back tears for him, the violent aggressor,” said the Line of Best Fit. “The album has an air of closure, the Whigs pull out all their musical stops and Dulli seems to find an end, albeit not the happiest one.” And this past May, the band put out another well-received full-length, In Spades (stream it below). “Bolstered again by the louche and ravaged voice of singer Greg Dulli,” said Pitchfork, “the latest from the indie rock icons is delightfully stuffed with romance and rancor.” Having just launched a new tour, the Afghan Whigs come to The Bowery Ballroom on Friday to play In Spades in its entirety followed by a second set and then hit Brooklyn Steel on Saturday. Former New Yorker Har Mar Superstar opens both shows.

cat_preview

Blanck Mass Brings New Music to Rough Trade NYC on Thursday

September 12th, 2017

Benjamin John Powers is known as half of the English experimental drone duo Fuck Buttons. But he’s been doing his own electronic project as Blanck Mass (above, the official video for “Please”) since an ambient, droning eponymous debut full-length (stream it below)—recorded in his apartment and inspired by Carl Sagan and Ennio Morricone— arrived in 2011. “The shadow of his other band always feels like it’s on his shoulder, but that tension between his past and present guises is what makes this work so well,” said Pitchfork. “Blanck Mass is all about Power excavating new domains while still working wit.” The third Blanck Mass LP, World Eater (stream it below), dropped this past spring, winning over AllMusic: “Considering his legacy, it’s all the more impressive that Power found even more challenging places to go with his music, but World Eater’s focused chaos is some of his finest work yet.” In the middle of his North American tour, Blanck Mass plays Rough Trade NYC on Thursday night, and Egyptrixx opens the show.

cat_preview

Extend Your Weekend with Birdtalker at Rough Trade NYC Sunday

September 8th, 2017

Shortly after marrying five years ago, Zack Green (vocals and guitar) and Dani Green (vocals and keys) began writing songs together. It went pretty well, so they wrote some more. Soon enough, Zack’s friend Andy Hubright (drums) joined in on the fun, and the tunes sounded better with three people. Brian Seligman (guitar, mandolin and vocals) caught them playing outside and liked what he heard, and then they sounded even better with four people. So they became a quartet called Birdtalker. And a year later, the Nashville, Tenn., band was a five-piece with the addition of Jesse Baker (bass and vocals). Their first EP, the Americana- and contemporary-folk-filled Just This (stream it below), came out last year. “This is an intriguing collection of songs that very much reward close attention. And that is because there is so much in these six songs that you discover something more each time,” according to No Depression. “It’s not just the two founders but the whole band who blend these songs of several layers to maximum effect with great emotion. It’s a team effort. Haunting and different at the same time.” Check out the team in person when Birdtalker (above, performing “Heavy”) play Rough Trade NYC on Sunday night. Singer-songwriter Becca Mancari opens the show.

cat_preview

Ought Frontman Tim Darcy Brings Solo Album to Rough Trade NYC

September 7th, 2017

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Tim Darcy is perhaps most known for fronting the energetic post-punk Montreal quartet Ought. But recently he’s begun crafting more introspective music as a solo artist, earning comparisons to David Byrne and Lou Reed in the process. His debut full-length, Saturday Night (stream it below), came out this past winter. “Saturday Night is a confident debut from a creator who’s best when he seems uncomfortable,” said Exclaim. “So long as he keeps evading his comfort zone, Darcy’s songwriting should remain potent for years to come.” Pitchfork rang in, too: “On the one hand, Saturday Night does exactly what you expect a solo record from a member of a raucous rock band to do: It’s more off the cuff and rougher around the edges, and showcases a more introspective side than the day job normally allows. On the other hand, it’s an assault on that very idea. Over its 11 songs (including one hidden one), Darcy slowly dismantles the confessional crooner archetype until he’s just messing around with the raw materials, transforming himself from singer-songwriter to sound sculptor.” His new tour just kicked off yesterday, and you can catch Tim Darcy (above, performing “Still Waking Up” for KUTX FM) live in Brooklyn tomorrow night at Rough Trade NYC.

cat_preview

Catch Betty Who Live at Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday Night

September 5th, 2017

Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jessica Newham grew up in Sydney, but headed to the U.S. as a teen to attend a performing-arts school in Michigan and then the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She began playing live when she was just 16 and then, channeling popular ’80s influences and synth pop reminiscent of M83 and MGMT, started releasing music as Betty Who just a few years later. After early buzz for a pair of acclaimed EPs and opening for Katy Perry’s Down Under tour, her debut full-length, Take Me When You Go (stream it below), arrived in 2014. Betty Who (above, the video for “Mama Say”) returned this past spring with her sophomore effort, The Valley (stream it below), which has a more modern sound, but is as life-affirming as her other work. Catch her life-affirming music live tomorrow night at Brooklyn Steel. Another synth-pop act, Geographer, opens.

cat_preview

Two Nights of Psychedelic Pioneer Roky Erickson at Rough Trade NYC

September 1st, 2017

Formed in Austin, Texas, in 1965, the 13th Floor Elevators were psychedelic pioneers, influencing the likes of the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, “led by outsider genius Roky Erickson, who combined offbeat spiritualism with crude R&B,” according to Allmusic. “Many have cited them as the first true psychedelic rock band, and if they weren’t, they certainly predated most of the San Francisco bands that gave the sound a global audience. The Elevators played a bracing fusion of garage rock and genre-defying musical exploration powered by Roky Erickson’s feral vocals and rhythm guitar.” Erickson and his bandmates were known as vocal proponents of mind-expanding drugs, and when the frontman was arrested in Texas for the possession of just one joint, he pleaded insanity rather than go to jail for up to a decade. Erickson spent three-and-a-half years in a mental institution and was subjected to electroshock therapy and Thorazine treatments before being released in 1972. He eventually became a notable recluse along the lines of Syd Barrett, Brian Wilson, Daniel Johnston and Skip Spence. But Erickson (above, performing “Don’t Shake Me Lucifer” and “Two Headed Dog”) still occasionally found time to record and even tour. His most recent solo release, True Love Cast Out All Evil (stream it below), backed by Okkervil River, came out in 2010. “A tumultuous history hasn’t stopped the former 13th Floor Elevator from achieving greatness,” said NME. And Pitchfork added: “On this affecting and ultimately triumphant album, Erickson comes out on top.” His new tour launches today, and Erickson plays Rough Trade NYC on Tuesday and Wednesday. L.A. experimental rockers Death Valley Girls open both shows.

cat_preview

Aussie Duo Vallis Alps Kick Off Tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 1st, 2017

Vocalist Parissa Tosif (from Canberra, Australia) and producer David Ansari (out of Seattle) first met while on a gap year in Israel. They began to collaborate, expertly mixing downtempo synth pop with hip-hop influences, in person and over the Internet before forming Vallis Alps a few years ago in Sydney. They’ve since released a pair of EPs: A self-titled affair (stream it below) arrived in 2015. “The newcomers explore a shadowy soundscape on their impeccable debut—seamlessly blending acoustic guitar, chimes and the odd piano key with drowsy synths,” said Idolator. Vallis Alps (above, performing “Fading” for Triple J) returned with their second extended play, Fable (stream it below), earlier this year. “The two-piece have continued to use their signature silky production and soothing vocals on their latest project to create a moving, minimalistic body of work,” according to Best Before. “Despite only being a brief EP, Fable is marked by a cohesion and depth that seamlessly ties together to create Vallis Alps’ rounded, colorful sound. Nothing on Fable feels disingenuous; it extends a hand out to the listener in the hope of creating an authentic connection and a mutual understanding.” Understand for yourself when Vallis Alps launch their American tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night. Two local duos, Salt Cathedral and Glassio, open the show.