Tag Archives: Williamsburg

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Big Thief Celebrate New Album’s Release at Rough Trade NYC

June 12th, 2017

Big Thief – Rough Trade NYC – June 9, 2017


Rough Trade NYC filled up quickly on Friday night, and the expectations were high for the headliners, Big Thief, as well as the opening acts, Mega Bog and Really Big Pinecone. The latter—a trio with disarming charm—took the stage first. Their smart lyrics and self-deprecating humor were an intoxicating little combination. The band’s acclaimed sophomore album, What I Said About the Pinecone, came out last fall. Mega Bog, a jaunty rock act fronted by multi-instrumentalist Erin Birgy, followed with signature spacey sounds. Their songs sent an eerie yet cheery chill down my back, her bright voice mingling with the group’s shape-shifting psychedelic guitar riffs and kicky drums from their 2017 album, Happy Together. Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief joined them for a song mid-set to add yet another layer to the band’s freewheeling sound.

Big Thief came onstage to the tune of some particularly uproarious applause, undoubtedly because some of us had already listened to their brand-new second album, Capacity (which had come out earlier that day)—and it’s incredible. The band’s sensitive, poignant sound brings life to stories of love, death and the family history in a devastatingly real way. What’s more, singer-guitarist Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, drummer James Krivchenia and bassist Max Oleartchik put such care and compassion into being onstage together. It’s heartening to see such a thing these days.

Big Thief played their new album almost all the way through—“Pretty Things,” “Masterpiece” and “Mythological Beauty” rang out, and Lenker paused in the middle, joking, “We’d need this time to flip the record.” Capacity’s intimacy was really magnified live. Its quiet yet ecstatic energy delivered a punch to the stomach that hurt so good. The band is just beginning a summer tour of the world, and future Big Thief concertgoers beware: You’re in for an unbelievably ride that will take you deep into the crevasses of love, pain, light and dark. —Schulyer Rooth | @SchuylerSpeak

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Spend the Weekend with Singer-Songwriter Chuck Ragan

June 9th, 2017

When Gainesville, Fla., punk band Hot Water Music amicably broke up in 2006—although they’ve since just as amicably reunited—singer-songwriter-guitarist Chuck Ragan (above, playing “Bedroll Lullaby” for Out of the Ordinary) chose a different musical path, launching a solo career as a folk musician, telling evocative tales in his exceptional gravelly voice. Eventually he decided to put together the Revival Tour, which grouped together like-minded musicians traveling the country (and Europe) making and playing music together as they go. Ragan has continued to remain busy with a variety of well-received projects—with solo albums, the most recent of which Till Midnight (stream it below), came out in 2014; live albums, including last year’s The Winter Haul Live (stream it below); and movie soundtracks like 2016’s The Flame in the Flood (stream it below). But the thing about him is that no matter how terrific his recorded material is, Chuck Ragan is best experienced live, which works out great locally because he plays the early show tomorrow at Mercury Lounge and then on Sunday at Rough Trade NYC.

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Jay Som Thrills Sold-Out Rough Trade NYC with New Songs

June 7th, 2017

Jay Som – Rough Trade NYC – June 6, 2017


Better known by the stage name Jay Som, DIY wunderkind Melina Duterte crafts melodic, fuzzy masterpieces from her bedroom in Oakland, Calif,—and she released her debut full-length album, Everybody Works, in March to glowing reviews. NPR described it as a “gorgeous and messy intimacy [that] has the capacity to forge connections with those who might be going through similar uncertainty and tough times.” After touring with fellow Asian-American female singers Mitski and Japanese Breakfast last summer, Duterte headlined a sold-out Rough Trade NYC last night in support of her latest release.

Guitarist Oliver Pannell, bassist Dylan Allard and drummer Zachary Thomas Elsasser joined the singer onstage to open with “One More Time, Please.” Her compositions really flourished with a full band, as Allard added heavy basslines on the Fleetwood Mac–sounding “Turn Into.” Four songs in, Duterte joked that “Take It” would be the last tune, eliciting a roomful of grumbling quickly followed by laughter. The Left Coaster continued her playful banter, asking folks about who was gainfully employed and lauded them with a “sick” reply in admiration, a nice segue into the title track.

“Baybee” played up the pop influences, which perhaps were derived from her listening to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion while writing her recent album. Fan fave “The Bus Song” had the packed crowd singing, “But I hate the bus,” before Duterte cooed the chorus of “Take time to figure it out.” The short but ethereal “Lipstick Stains” performed solo had the audience rapt, and the performance culminated with an encore featuring the uproarious “1 Billion Dogs,” in which Pannell and Duterte exchanged licks in a dueling guitar battle. —Sharlene Chiu

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A Double Dose of Circa Waves’ New Music This Week

June 6th, 2017

Influenced by bands like the Strokes and Arctic Monkeys and formed in the Beatles’ hometown, Kieran Shudall (vocals and guitar) and Sam Rourke (bass), Colin Jones (drums) and Joe Falconer (guitar) formed the lively, melodic quartet Circa Waves four years ago in Liverpool, England. Their debut full-length, Young Chasers (stream it below), came out in 2015. “A gleefully frenetic, youthfully exuberant collection of catchy, guitar-based indie rock,” described AllMusic. “They make an urgent, angular style of stripped-down pop that touches upon ’80s dance-punk and ’90s slacker rock without ever giving in too much to either.” Circa Waves (above, performing “Fire That Burns” for BBC Radio 1) returned with their follow-up release, the weightier Different Creatures (stream it below), this past March, again impressing AllMusic: “Part of what makes Circa Waves so compelling is that they are able to match the sound of their influences while still believably making the results sound their own. They’ve grown into an assured rock entity, but they’ve retained their fundamental sense of working-class Liverpudlian blues.” Back in America, they play Rough Trade NYC on Wednesday and Mercury Lounge on Thursday.

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Benjamin Booker – Rough Trade NYC – June 5, 2017

June 6th, 2017


(Benjamin Booker returns to New York City to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/22. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.)

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Big Thief on 6/9

June 6th, 2017

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Big Thief’s highly anticipated second album, Capacity, comes out on Friday. And as part of this week’s Northside Festival, the Brooklyn four-piece celebrates its arrival that night at Rough Trade NYC. They’re also doing an Evening with Big Thief and Friends on Saturday at Park Church Co-op, but if you want to catch them at Friday’s sold-out show, you just might have to try to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List. 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 (Big Thief, 6/9) and a brief message explaining what you love so much about music festivals. Eddie Bruiser, who’s been streaming the long-player, will notify the winner by Friday afternoon. Good luck.

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Don’t Miss These Northside Festival Shows This Week in Brooklyn

June 5th, 2017

Beginning on Wednesday, the ninth annual Northside Festival will bring thousands of people to Brooklyn—specifically Williamsburg and Greenpoint—“to uncover the future of music, innovation and content.” And with music as part of the equation, you just know that The Bowery Presents is gonna be involved. Although Mary Timony playing Helium at Rough Trade NYC on Thursday and Big Thief (above, performing “Paul” for NPR Music at this year’s SXSW) at Rough Trade NYC on Friday are already sold out, fortunately some tickets still remain for these other stellar shows:

Thursday
Mild High Club (with Cut Worms and Aerial East) at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Friday
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart with Beverly and Ablebody at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday

Saturday
An Evening with Big Thief and Friends (Friends = Twain, Relatives and the Brother Brothers) at Park Church Co-op

Timber Timbre and Ohtis at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Lower Dens performing songs from ABBA’s Gold: Greatest Hits, Tony Molina performing songs from Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me and Tredici Bacci String Quartet performing songs from Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. soundtrack

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The Lemon Twigs – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 1, 2017

June 2nd, 2017


Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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The Lemon Twigs’ Modern Take on a Throwback Sound in Brooklyn

May 30th, 2017

Teen brothers Brian D’Addario (vocals and multiple instruments) and Michael D’Addario (vocals and multiple instruments) formed the baroque-pop group the Lemon Twigs with fellow Long Island high school classmates Megan Zeankowski (bass) and Danny Ayala (keys) two years ago. Their debut full-length, Do Hollywood (stream it below), produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, came out last fall to considerable acclaim for their modern take on a throwback sound. “They grew up obsessively ingesting records by the Beach Boys and the Beatles, but you have to think somewhere in there Ariel Pink, Sparks and even the Mothers of Invention were cunningly slipped in, because the Lemon Twigs aren’t afraid to let their freak flag fly,” said Exclaim. “The goal seems to be to write timeless pop songs, but also to not let a good tangent go to waste.” The Guardian referred to it “like a missing Todd Rundgren album from 1972,” while the Line of Best Fit added: “It’s an endlessly exciting, slightly surreal trip through some of the 20th century’s best sounds.” And before heading to Europe later in June, the Lemon Twigs (above, performing “I Wanna Prove to You” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) kick off an American tour on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. New York City’s Sam Doom open the show.

Kamasi Washington Collaborator Miles Mosley at Rough Trade NYC

May 25th, 2017

When it comes to a wide range of music, from jazz to rock to soul to hip-hop, Mike Mosley does it all: singing, writing, composing, band-leading, producing and playing multiple instruments, most notably (and inventively) the standup bass, which he describes “as if Jimi Hendrix played upright bass in Prince’s band.” So far, Mosley (above, performing “Abraham”) is best known for his work with others, featuring on big albums like Chris Cornell’s Carry On, Kendrick Lamar’s Pimp a Butterfly and Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, and as part of the influential Los Angeles jazz-fusion collective West Coast Get Down—who’ve been compared to the Wu-Tang Clan—since Mosley, Washington and others were just young teens. So when it came time to do what would become the acclaimed triple album The Epic, as part of a month of 14-hour recording sessions, various West Coast Get Down members pitched in and all came out with new albums, Washington’s getting released first. Earlier this year, Mosley’s solo debut, Uprising (stream it below), arrived second, sounding like “Lenny Kravitz backed by a killer jazz crew,” according to Rolling Stone. “Here, Mosley leads the troupe on a funk, rock and jazz excursion marked by his honest and emotive vocals and deeply metaphorical lyrics.” And just like with Washington’s, Mosley’s work is best experienced live. So go see Miles Mosley and West Coast Get Down tomorrow night at Rough Trade NYC. Antibalas bassist Nikhil P. Yerawadekar & Low Mentality open the show.

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Delta Rae – The Bowery Ballroom – May 22, 2017

May 23rd, 2017


(Delta Rae play Music Hall of Williamsburg on 8/15, tickets on sale tomorrow at noon.)

Photos courtesy of Marc Millman Photography | www.marcmillmanphotos.com/music

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Pantha du Prince Brings Experimental Electronic Music to Williamsburg

May 22nd, 2017

German composer, conceptual artist and experimental-electronic producer Hendrik Weber has worked under various names for more than a decade in the music industry, but he’s most known for making “sleek, pared-down techno” as Pantha du Prince (above, performing The Triad for Boiler Room), earning acclaim from critics, raves from fans and collaborations with indie rockers thanks to what AllMusic calls his “post-punk/shoegaze-inspired approach.” Pantha du Prince’s fifth studio full-length, The Triad (stream it below), came out last year. “That’s just what this album’s got,” said the Line of Best Fit. “A heart. Mathematical, mechanical parts that once evoked landscapes, snowscapes, a view frozen in time now evoke emotions and memories. Fleshy stuff, any mistakes made with a smile. It’s that searched for human touch, something no mere tin man could create.” Pitchfork weighed in, too: “The Triad sounds more like the work of a full band than one guy with a laptop, and it’s better for it. Compositions unfurl slowly, starting as sketches before layers of instrumentation blanket one another in unpredictable ways.” Find out just how unpredictable in person, tomorrow night at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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Bishop Briggs – The Bowery Ballroom – May 9, 2017

May 10th, 2017


(Bishop Briggs plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight.)

Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Pond – Music Hall of Williamsburg – May 9, 2017

May 10th, 2017


(Pond play The Bowery Ballroom tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Pond Celebrate New Album with a Pair of NYC Shows Next Week

May 4th, 2017

When you think about psychedelic rock from Perth, Australia—assuming you do think about psychedelic rock from Perth, Australia—Tame Impala probably come to mind first. And so a pair of touring members of Kevin Parker’s acclaimed outfit, Nick Allbrook (vocals, guitar and keys) and Jay Watson (guitar, vocals and drums), teamed up with Joe Ryan (guitar, bass and vocals) and Jamie Terry (keys, synths and bass) to form the psych collective Pond nine years ago in order to play with anybody they wanted. The band began releasing a host of singles, EPs and LPs in 2009, and their sixth full-length studio album, Man It Feels Like Space Again (stream it below), came out two years ago to some considerable acclaim. “Classic rock touchstones are intrinsic to Pond, but they shove them into futuristic territory—gifted musicians unafraid to indulge their flights of fancy,” said Rolling Stone. “This balance of playfulness and serious is Pond’s carnival act, but it’s their mastery of it on Man It Feels Like Space Again that makes it so damn fun—and Pond so very exciting.” Their newest album, The Weather (produced by Parker), comes out tomorrow. “The Weather is chaotic, confrontational and compelling,” says the AU Review. “Episodes of chaos are met with equal parts clarity and discovery, as we navigate through Pond’s transportive world of psychedelic rock.” And Pond (above, performing “30,000 Megatons” live for the French televison series Le Grand Journal) celebrate its release on Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg and then again on Wednesday at The Bowery Ballroom. Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J Callinan opens both shows.