Tag Archives: Williamsburg

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Violents and Monica Martin Bring Their Dream Pop to Brooklyn

April 27th, 2017

Violents and Monica Martin – Rough Trade NYC – April 26, 2017


Collaboration (noun): the action of working with someone to produce or create something. Jeremy Larson is a master collaborator and the man behind the indie collective Violents. The multi-instrumentalist not only plays all the music he has composed, but he also writes all of the lyrics. The hitch is that he partners with a female vocalist to bring each of these pieces to fruition. Previous collaborators have included Stacy King (Eisley, Sucre), Olga Yagolnikov (Kye Kye) and Nashville, Tenn., singer Annie Williams. For the first full-length record, Awake and Pretty Much Sober, Larson enlisted Phox frontwoman Monica Martin to flesh out his compositions with her sultry vocals.

Two days before the release of the album, Violents and Monica Martin played their first performance during an afternoon session at the Paste Studios before gracing the stage of Rough Trade NYC last night for their debut concert. Accompanied by the string quartet Rootstock Republic and a drummer (Joe), the duo opened with the glittering “Equal Power,” the first of four tracks released prior to the album. The performance would debut six additional songs, from the come-hither lullaby “Line Lie” to the trip-hop groove of “It Won’t Stop.” Throughout the set, clips of cinematic scenes played, including the iconic dance sequence from House Party providing the backdrop for “Hue.”

Midway through the show, Larson told the story of how the partnership formed after being a long admirer of Martin’s. He confessed he was a little cocky writing songs especially meant for her to sing before ever meeting the vocalist. Luckily a mutual friend got them connected and the rest is history. Martin added that a “shared insecurity” manifested with her singing lyrics she hadn’t written and Larson relinquishing vocal duties. As if new songs weren’t enough to satisfy the crowd, Martin proceeded to cover Frank Ocean’s “Self Control.” The evening was a reverie of dream pop that concluded with the title track and the apt closer “How It Left.” —Sharlene Chiu

 

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Ra Ra Riot – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 22, 2017

April 24th, 2017

Ra Ra Riot - Music Hall of Williamsburg - April 22, 2017

Photos courtesy of Annie Kane | anniekane.work

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Acid Dad – Rough Trade NYC – April 22, 2017

April 24th, 2017

Acid Dad - Rough Trade NYC - April 22, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Record Store Day – Rough Trade NYC – April 22, 2017

April 24th, 2017

Steve Earle - Rough Trade NYC - April 22, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Overcoats Sound Right at Home at Sold-Out Rough Trade NYC

April 21st, 2017

Overcoats – Rough Trade NYC – April 20, 2017

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Sisterhood runs deep between best friends Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, a bond so strong it’s birthed a band, Overcoats. The New York City–based duo’s debut, Young, is a reverie of R&B soul folktronica coproduced by Nicolas Vernhes (Daughter, Torres, Dirty Projectors, Cass McCombs) and fellow singer-songwriter Autre Ne Veut. NPR’s Bob Boilen recently described the record as “driven by ambition and passion, not craft … the emotion in their harmonies and the space they give each other is filled with compassion.” Last night, the inseparable pair graced a sold-out Rough Trade NYC on the eve of their new EP’s release, donning white jumpsuits and silver platform boots. Microphone stands adorned with flowers and garlands of cameo silhouettes set the stage as their first headlining tour opened with the rhythmic “Smaller Than My Mother.” The crowd swayed to the lullaby of “Hold Me Close” before Elion exclaimed, “We are so fucking excited to be here.”

Covering the entirety of their album with the exception of one track (“Father”), the kindred spirits garnered much love from fans as the mutual admiration between each singer was palpable. They embraced often in between songs and danced side by side without a care in the world. When introducing the debut single “Little Memory,” Elion confessed it was the first one the girls had written together. The duo covered Hozier’s “Cherry Wine” midway through the set. Elion laid her head on Mitchell’s shoulder to preface “Siren,” as she proceeded to sing, “I feel many weights of many worlds on my shoulders.” In a speech that was carved out on the set list, Mitchell offered their gratitude to touring drummer Joao Gonzalez, Andy on sound and their agents. An overwhelming acknowledgement of the upcoming year ahead left the women truly humbled before an encore of the hymnal “Mother” and the rollicking “Leave the Light On” concluded the performance with a fever pitch of participatory claps. —Sharlene Chiu

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Surfer Blood Bring New Music to Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday

April 17th, 2017

Bands get formed for all kinds of reasons, but those who started Surfer Blood did it to play music as much as possible—to record an album and tour nonstop. They made a name for themselves, locally at least, during CMJ Music Marathon 2009, and then even more so with the arrival of their well-received debut, Astro Coast (stream it below), in 2010. The band “has become a standard bearer of the wi-fi lo-fi era in short order,” proclaimed PopMatters. “The highest praise you can give an album like Astro Coast is that it sounds like something completely familiar that you haven’t heard before.” Surfer Blood (above, doing “Six Flags in F or G” for KEXP FM) have remained busy touring and recording ever since. And although group has dealt with death and lineup changes, they continue to persevere. Their fourth studio album, Snowdonia (stream it below), came out this past February. “There’s a clear sense of melancholy and yearning, but there’s also optimism spilling out from the edges,” according to the Line of Best Fit. “Grief and hardship have changed Surfer Blood, there’s no denying that. But they deserve praise for making a record that still has its own joie de vivre and doesn’t completely overhaul the alphabet that has made the band a success in the first place.” See them on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Brooklyn trio Lazyeyes open the show.

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Get a Dose of String Music with Mipso at Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 17th, 2017

Jacob Sharp (mandolin and vocals) and Joseph Terrell (guitar and vocals) first teamed up musically while students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Wanting to form a band focusing on bluegrass and Appalachian folk, they added Wood Robinson (bass and vocals), and two became three. With their sound still evolving, a couple of years ago, Mipso (above, performing “Coming Down the Mountain” for 89.3 FM the Current) blossomed from a trio into a quartet with the addition of Libby Rodenbough (fiddle and vocals). Their fourth LP, Coming Down the Mountain (stream it below), was released just a few weeks ago. Roots-music journal No Depression says it’s “an album of 10 tunes that explore that tender spot just past the midpoint of your 20s, where the band now resides, when you’re taking stock of the past while looking to the future. Just as in that stage of life, the album exudes a sense of wistfulness among moments of joy, a few worries amid youthful confidence. Some regrets mingle with a wide-open view of the future.” Now touring behind their new material, Mipso play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday night, and the like-minded 10 String Symphony open the show.

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Sundara Karma – Rough Trade NYC – April 13, 2017

April 13th, 2017

Sundara Karma - Rough Trade NYC - April 13, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Another Chance to See Big Wild Live in New York City

April 12th, 2017

Composer, DJ, engineer and producer Jackson Stell has been making hip-hop-influenced beats since his teenage years in Massachusetts, but he didn’t begin doing it under the name Big Wild until he’d relocated to the sunny climes of the Golden State in his twenties. Things began to take off for him once in Los Angeles—thanks to the release of several well-received singles—and the electronic musician toured with the likes of Odesza, Tycho, Pretty Lights and Bassnectar. Earlier this year, Big Wild (above, his video for “Aftergold”) released his first EP, Invincible (stream it below). “Critics have been lauding title track and first single ‘Invincible’ as being distinctly his own: lush and soaring, lithe chimes crowded out by fat brass on the chorus, hits of keys and burgeoning strings filling the in-between and the punch of Ida Hawk’s vocals atop it all,” according to Exclaim. “The track is good—really good—but second single ‘I Just Wanna’ throws down like no other, its slow, thick beat, chopped, repetitive vocals, blown-out synth breakdown and piano flourishes making it impossible to overlook.” So don’t overlook Big Wild when he plays The Bowery Ballroom on Friday night. Tennyson and IHF (Imagined Herbal Flowers) open the show. (Saturday’s appearance at Music Hall of Williamsburg is already sold out.)

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Cold War Kids – Rough Trade NYC – April 10, 2017

April 11th, 2017

Cold War Kids - Rough Trade NYC - April 10, 2017
(Cold War Kids open for Young the Giant at SummerStage on 9/13.)

Photos courtesy of Annie Kane | anniekane.work

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Maggie Rogers on 4/12

April 11th, 2017

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Acclaimed singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers returns home this week to play The Bowery Ballroom tonight and Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow. Both appearances sold out quickly, but The House List is giving away two tickets to Wednesday’s show. Don’t have any and still want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Maggie Rogers, 4/12) and a brief message explaining your best idea of how to take advantage of this current run of warm weather. Eddie Bruiser, who’s always looking for a good idea, will notify the winner tomorrow. Good luck.

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The Weeks – Rough Trade NYC – April 4, 2017

April 5th, 2017

The Weeks - Rough Trade NYC - April 4, 2017

Photos courtesy of Annie Kane | anniekane.work

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Jain on 4/8

April 4th, 2017

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Her North American tour winding down, singer-songwriter Jain comes through New York City this week to play The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday. Both appearances sold out well in advance, but The House List is giving away two tickets to the Brooklyn show. Want to go but don’t have tickets of your own? Then try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Jain, 4/8) and a brief message explaining your favorite song on her debut album. Eddie Bruiser, who just listened to the LP all the way through, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Two Nights of Crystal Fighters at Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 3rd, 2017

Sebastian Pringle (vocals and guitar) and Gilbert Vierich (electronics, guitar and percussion) knew each other from way back. The latter separately met Graham Dickson (guitar and txalaparta), and once he moved to London, the three of them began to make music together, experimenting with different genres, from lo-fi R&B to metal and synth music. But then (now former member) Laure Stockley visited her reclusive grandfather’s Basque country home and discovered an unfinished opera with a section that roughly translates to Crystal Fighters. The opera opened the group to new ideas and the world of Basque folk music. Soon enough, Crystal Fighters had a new folktronic sound combining Spanish folk instruments with heavy synths, booming bass and drum loops. Their third full-length, Everything Is My Family (stream it below), came out last fall. “Crystal Fighters are an eclectic bunch, and their third record—opening with a multilingual spoken-word track—is predictably bonkers and brilliant,” raved the Line of Best Fit. “Crystal Fighters have matured from the erratic mania of their youth into a band whose distinctive sound now has direction and purpose, and what a joyful purpose it is.” Winding down an American tour, Crystal Fighters play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday and Thursday. L.A. synth-pop band Machineheart open both shows.

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Catch Weyes Blood Tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg

March 30th, 2017

Natalie Mering’s arresting voice doesn’t sound as if it’s emanating from a person as much as from a lineage. As Weyes Blood, she even looks the part of the “atemporal” enchantress—to use the description of her record label, Mexican Summer—whose songwriting has an “ancient resonance,” almost as if she were passed into this time through the wardrobe door. And there’s as pretty of a sadness you’d ever want to hear generating her songs. Something transformative took hold of her sound on last year’s exquisite Front Row Seat to Earth (stream it below), her second proper Weyes Blood full-length. Reiterations of Judy Collins, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell were elevated to a contemporary clarity, as if their classic folk songs of longing had undergone inventive remastering. On the closing of “Be Free” (above, performed live for Issue magazine) the eerie and delicate lift of Mering’s voice in slow waltzing lockstep with forlorn trombones makes you want to give her a grateful hug. And when “Generation Why” transforms from a somber piece of folk into a rising futuristic star with undercurrents of Enya and Giorgio Moroder and Klaus Doldinger, there’s a realization of being in the presence of something beautifully strange. Mering cherishes the art form while seizing it for her own design. Along with her latest recordings with Ariel Pink (including Myths 002, stream it below) to add to her discography, Weyes Blood has plenty to draw from for prime performances that may exist only in the timeless vacuum of Mering’s exposition, to which she has extended invitation. Essentially, it’s those artists like Weyes Blood who keep the lifeblood of alternative music pumping, so it hovers in mist over the high frequency electric bandwidth of excess, just above the glow of the streetlight, which is comforting to know. Walk into the dark of a park and you can reach up and touch it. And you can do the same when Weyes Blood plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. Big-voiced singer-songwriter and guitarist Julie Byrne opens the show. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly