Tag Archives: Video

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Common Kings Bring Brand-New Music to The Bowery Ballroom

February 14th, 2017

Inspired by R&B, soul and reggae—and their Polynesian roots—JR King (vocals), Taumata Grey (guitar), Ivan Kirimaua (bass) and Jerome Taito (drums) began jamming together a few years ago while attending Orange Coast College, which led to them later forming the pop-rock four-piece Common Kings in Orange County, Calif. After putting out several EPs and singles, their impressive debut full-length, the catchy, upbeat Lost in Paradise (stream it below), arrived earlier this month. And touring behind the new tunes, Common Kings (above, their official video for “Lost in Paradise”) play The Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night. Miami hip-hop group ¡Mayday! and big-wave surfer and reggae-pop singer-songwriter Makua Rothman open the show.

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Gang of Youths Kick Off February Residency on Monday Night

February 10th, 2017

Although they hail from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and the United States, Max Dunn (bass), Jung Kim (guitar and keys), David Le’aupepe (vocals and keys), Joji Malani (guitar) and Donnie Borzestowski (drums) formed the baroque-pop five-piece Gang of Youths five years ago in Sydney. Rolling Stone called their first full-length, The Positions (stream it below)—a vivid celebration of life following some seriously dark times—an “emotionally charged debut” and made comparisons to Kings of Leon and Bruce Springsteen. Last year, Gang of Youths (above, performing “Poison Drum” for World Cafe) returned with the EP Let Me Be Clear (stream it below). “The expectation of a sophomore slump can be enough by itself to throw off the career of the most promising bands, and it would have been easy for Gang of Youths to keep churning out string-tinged rock songs,” according to Sputnik Music. “Instead … they’ve shown an insatiable thirst to keep building and transforming their sound.” Find out how they sound live when Gang of Horses play Mercury Lounge on 2/13 and 2/20 and Rough Trade NYC on 2/27.

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Shy Girls and Flamingosis End Tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg

February 8th, 2017

Dan Vidmar grew up in State College, Pa., and played in local rock bands while attending Penn State. Upon graduation, he moved to Portland, Ore., and became interested in what some call PBR&B. Some singles and a pair of EPs under the name Shy Girls led to collaborations and work with the likes of Haim, Odesza, Maxwell and Jagwar Ma. His first full-length, Salt (stream it below), arrived last month. “As soon as Dan Vidmar hits you with those soft falsettos, it’s all over,” says Nylon. “The album is soaking with smooth and sophisticated power ballads supported by a resilient force of production.”

Hailing from Morristown, N.J.—and influenced by the likes of J Dilla, Flying Lotus and vintage funk and disco—producer, beatboxer and DJ Aaron Velasquez makes funky hip-hop beats under the name Flamingosis (the name comes from a freestyle Frisbee move his dad invented). On his most recent release, last year’s Bright Moments (stream it below), he “flawlessy fuses hip-hop and funk,” according to Hype Beast. “The producer’s new album weaves smooth 1970s and 1980s samples into perfect grooves,” per MTV. Come shake your way into the weekend when Shy Girls and Flamingosis close out their tour on Friday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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P.O.S Brings New Music to Rough Trade NYC and Mercury Lounge

February 6th, 2017

Rapper, singer, self-taught multi-instrumentalist and producer Stefon Alexander has been doing business as the punk-influenced underground hip-hop artist P.O.S in Minneapolis since around the turn of the century. He’s one of the founding members of hip-hop collective Doomtree, while also finding time to be part of a punk band, Building Better Bombs, and another Twin Cities collective, indie rockers Gayngs. Fortunately, P.O.S (above, performing “Sleepdrone” live in studio for KEXP FM) continues to do solo work. His fifth full-length studio album, Chill, Dummy (stream it below), which features guest vocals by Justin Vernon, came out at the end of January. A.V. Club calls it “a record about surviving, living and battling for every little thing you’ve got—something P.O.S knows his fair share about.” And Pitchfork says Alexander “is still all about his consciousness, and usefully motivated by anger. But on Chill, Dummy, he embraces a freed-up feel, with some grooves you might hear in a club.” Now out on the road, the lyrical bomb-thrower plays Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night and Mercury Lounge on Wednesday. Rappers Ceschi Ramos and Transit22 open both shows.

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Icelandic Singer-Songwriter Ólöf Arnalds Plays Mercury Lounge

February 3rd, 2017

Despite her instrumental prowess—classically trained on violin and viola and self-taught on guitar and charangoÓlöf Arnalds’ calling card is her crystalline voice. She was already fairly well-known in Iceland’s music scene by the time her debut solo release, Við Og Við (stream it below), arrived in 2007, going on to win Record of the Year and Best Alternative Album at the Icelandic Music Awards. When the LP came out in the U.S. three years later, Paste declared, “Earnest, heartfelt declarations of love are a welcome change from the too-cool posturing of so much of today’s popular music. Familial affection will never go out of style; neither will deftly plucked stringed instruments, subtle orchestral swells and a songbird lilt this impossibly lovely.” The singer-songwriter has since toured with the likes of Björk, Jonathan Richman and Dirty Projectors and released several more EPs and full-players, including 2014’s Palme (stream it below). It’s “as pure as powdered snow, yet bubbling over with fairy mischief,” proclaimed AllMusic. Arnalds (above, performing an Icelandic version of “Turtledove” for the Line of Best Fit and, below, covering “Mr. Tambourine Man”) “is a weaver of ephemera, and with each new collection of music, she both defines herself and furthers her own mythology, a mythology that’s wholly intertwined with the lore of her Nordic homeland.” See her play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. Alternative-folk trio Cold Weather Company open the show.

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The Chain Gang of 1974 Kick Off the Weekend at Rough Trade NYC

February 1st, 2017

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.

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Two Chances to See Joan of Arc Perform Live This Weekend

January 27th, 2017

Expertly blending punk’s volume and dynamics with post-rocks atmospherics, Joan of Arc have been anchored by Tim Kinsella (vocals and guitar) ever since forming more than two decades ago in Chicago. He’s currently backed by an original member, Jeremy Boyle (guitar), and Bobby Burg (bass), Melina Ausikaitis (guitar and vocals) and Theo Katsaounis (drums)—and the band’s first new full-length album in five years, He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands (stream it below), just came out last week. Joan of Arc (above, their new video for “Two-Toothed Troll”) “ask a very timely question: ‘What the fuck? Rarely have they had their finger so squarely on the pulse,” says PopMatters. “Patience and collaboration continue to focus and invigorate Joan of Arc.” And with new music comes a new tour. Catch them opening for American Football on Saturday at Terminal 5 and playing the early show at Mercury Lounge on Sunday.

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The Devil Makes Three Return to Play Terminal 5 on Friday Night

January 26th, 2017

The Devil Makes Three are an enigmatic band. First of all, they have no drummer. And despite the group’s three members—Pete Bernhard (vocals and guitar), Cooper McBean (banjo and vocals) and Lucia Turino (upright bass and vocals)—making their home in Santa Cruz, Calif., they each originally hail from New England. Plus, let’s face it, for a band based in California, they have an undoubtedly nuanced Southern sound, layering rhythm and harmonies over blues, bluegrass, country, ragtime and rockabilly to make their own unique folk-punk blend, garnering comparisons to Steve EarleViolent Femmes and the White Stripes in the process. Thanks to their high-energy live performances, the Devil Makes Three (above, performing “Stranger” for Pandora) have earned a reputation on the festival circuit as a band not to miss. But they still spend time recording in the studio: The trio’s most recent release, the covers- and guest-filled Redemption & Ruin (stream it below), came out late last summer. American Songwriter called it “a wonderfully successful foray that solidifies and expands the band’s already impressive credentials around a concept that’s a natural extension from their existing catalog of originals.” And with their tour winding down, the Devil Makes Three play Terminal 5 on Friday night. Lost Dog Street Band, a husband-and-wife duo, open the show.

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Julie Byrne Celebrates New Album Tomorrow at Rough Trade NYC

January 26th, 2017

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Julie Byrne gets around: She grew up in Buffalo and at 18 moved to Chicago and then to Seattle with stops in Pittsburgh, Northampton, Mass., New Orleans and Lawrence, Kan.—plus plenty of time performing on the road crisscrossing the country—before landing in Brooklyn last year. Who knows how long her NYC stay will last, but Byrne’s made time to work as a seasonal park ranger in Central Park when she’s not touring. Byrne (above, playing “Natural Blue” for the Line of Best Fit) returned home—not just to Buffalo, but to the house she was raised in—to record the follow-up to her terrific psych- and folk-filled debut, 2014’s Rooms with Walls and Windows (stream it below), which earned her frequent comparisons to Joni Mitchell. Not Even Happiness, which Stereogum calls “a top-shelf winter album,” arrives tomorrow on Ba Da Bing. “We can think of few better ways to treat your mind and soul than with Not Even Happiness,” according to NME. Decide for yourself tomorrow night at Rough Trade NYC. Infinity’s Song and Suno Deko open the show.

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Ahead of New Album, Fenech-Soler Play Mercury Lounge Tonight

January 25th, 2017

Influenced by Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, Ben Duffy (vocals), Ross Duffy (guitar), Daniel Soler (bass and keys) and Andrew Lindsay (percussion) formed the English electropop band Fenech-Soler more than 10 years ago, making music in the vein of Klaxons, Two Door Cinema Club and Friendly Fires. They’ve already released two full-lengths, including 2013’s Rituals (stream it below). And while Soler and Lindsay have since amicably departed, the band continues on with the Duffy brothers, releasing the EP Kaleidoscope (stream it below), with “a slick new synthpop sound,” last year. A third long-player, Zilla, comes out next week, but you won’t have to wait that long to hear new tunes from Fenech-Soler (above, performng “Kaleidoscope” live) because they play Mercury Lounge tonight. Brooklyn’s Glassio open the show.

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Susto Play the Early Show Tonight at Mercury Lounge

January 24th, 2017

Formed by Justin Osborne (vocals and guitar) a few years back, Susto—rounded out by Corey Campbell (keys and guitar), Marshall Hudson (drums), Jenna Desmond (bass) and Dries Vandenberg (guitar)—make a similar kind of crowd-pleasing folkish alt-country music as acts like the Lumineers, Shovels & Rope and Band of Horses. The Charleston, S.C., group’s fan base has steadily grown thanks to energetic live performances at festivals like Austin City Limits and Stagecoach. And having just released their second album, & I’m Fine Today (stream it below)—“swaying between country-tinged rock, contemplative pop ballads and any number of other genres that exist somewhere within the expansive fabric of Southern music,” according to Consequence of Sound. “It can seem like a pretty hopeless world out there sometimes, but this is the kind of music that just hits in the right way on those long, dark nights of the soul”—Susto (above, “Hard Drugs” for Audiotree Live) play Mercury Lounge tonight, and Heyrocco open the show.

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Two Chances to Catch Palmistry Live in New York City

January 18th, 2017

South London vocalist-producer Benjy Keating has been doing his own bedroom-pop take on dancehall, deftly mixing ambient synths, contemporary Caribbean rhythms and melancholic lyrics with grime and R&B as Palmistry for several years now. And following the release of a few EPs and mixtapes, his debut full-length, Pagan (stream it below), came out last year to rave reviews. “These are performative anthems, which use the sonic and effective history of their sounds to construct towering emotional peaks,” according to Tiny Mix Tapes. “It is essential inasmuch as it succeeds in touching on something inherent, drawing from a preconscious set of sounds to create music that is as striking as it is affecting.” Currently on an East Coast swing, Palmistry (above, his official video for “Club Aso”) plays Rough Trade NYC tonight and Mercury Lounge tomorrow. Singer-songwriter Kahli Abdu opens both shows.

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One OK Rock Celebrate New Album Sunday Night at Terminal 5

January 13th, 2017

Influenced by bands like Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Good Charlotte and Japanese punk-rockers Ellegarden, the post-hardcore group One OK Rock formed more than 10 years ago in Tokyo when Takahiro Moriuchi (vocals), Toru Yamashita (guitar and vocals) and Ryota Kohama (bass and vocals) were still in high school. (The name comes from the time the band would practice.) Tomoya Kanki (drums) joined a year later, and then their debut full-length, Zeitakubyō (stream it below), arrived in 2007 with an accompanying nationwide tour of Japan. Since then, One OK Rock (above, performing “Mighty Long Fall”) have remained busy, steadily touring—playing stadiums in Japan and South America and crisscrossing the U.S. on 2014’s Vans Warped Tour—and recording. Their eighth studio long-player, Ambitions (stream it below), filled with soaring hooks and catchy melodies, comes out today on Fueled by Ramen. Don’t miss them on Sunday night at Terminal 5. Philly trio Cruisr open the show.

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Bobby Long Plays the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday

January 12th, 2017

Bobby Long grew up outside Manchester, England, with a deep interest in folk, country, Americana and acoustic rock. He began playing local clubs while in school in London, and before graduating, Long (above, doing an acoustic rendition of “Worry About That Now”) had a song, “Let Me Sign,” appear on the Twilight soundtrack. Once out of college, he jumped into music full-time, performing across the U.S. thanks to people knowing his name because of Twilight. After self-releasing several albums, A Winter’s Tale (stream it below)—about which Exclaim! exclaimed, “Listen to this voice. Let its soul seep into your soul. It’s time well spent”—arrived on ATO Records in 2011. Wishbone (stream it below) followed two years later. “It is a bracing, refreshing next step, and easily his strongest offering to date,” according to AllMusic. “In terms of delivering on focus and creativity, Long succeeds in spades.” Since then, the singer-songwriter moved to New York City and signed with Compass Records, which released 2015’s Ode to Thinking (stream it below). “This record deserves to be heard and should be recognized for its sincerity and successful folk simplicity,” said PopMatters. “Bobby Long is the kind of artist people root for, he’s candid, gracious and unobtrusive.” See him play the early show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night. Local singer-songwriter Clarence Bucaro opens.

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Frankie Ballard Brings Country Music to The Bowery Ballroom

January 11th, 2017

Frankie Ballard didn’t get his first guitar until he was 18, which is pretty surprising considering how accomplished of a guitarist he’s since become—although the country-pop singer-singer-songwriter is just as well-known for his gritty vocals as his guitar prowess. Ballard (above, doing “It All Started with a Beer” for Live at the Grand Ole Opry) began to make a name for himself with vibrant live sets opening for the likes of Bob Seger, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line. But he’s also released some impressive recorded material. A self-titled debut (stream it below) arrived in 2011, followed by Sunshine & Whiskey (stream it below), which Rolling Stone called “required listening,” three years later. Ballard returned last year with another full-length, El Rio (stream it below), and again Rolling Stone weighed in: “Frankie Ballard’s third album packs plenty of country-rock punch, with lyrics that reference Guns N’ Roses and songs that evoke the rootsy sweep of the American heartland.” Don’t miss him tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. The Last Bandoleros open the show.