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The Weather Station Come to Rough Trade NYC Tomorrow Night

November 27th, 2017

For more than a decade, singer-songwriter-actress Tamara Lindeman has led the Toronto folk outfit the Weather Station (above, performing “Thirty” live for eTown), surrounded by a rotating group of band members, now made up of Ben Whiteley (bass), Adrian Cook (pedal steel) and Ian Kehoe (drums). The band’s self-titled rock-leaning album (stream it below) arrived this past September to rave reviews: “The Weather Station is Lindeman’s loosest, most confident album yet, but it may also prove to be her most deeply psychological; she doesn’t hold back,” exclaimed Exclaim. “Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman self-produced her bold fourth LP. From front-to-back, this is the first Weather Station album that sounds as fleshed-out and powerful as the world it contains,” said Pitchfork. “I’ve been a fan of the Weather Station for a while now and always quite enjoyed her albums, but this one is on another level,” added NPR’s Bob Boilen. “These songs sit in a place between thought and expression, where the music flows confidently from heart to tongue.” Catch the Weather Station live at Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. James Elkington and Adeline Hotel open the show.

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Headline Brooklyn Steel on Friday Night

November 22nd, 2017

Greg Ormont (vocals and guitar), Jeremy Schon (guitar and vocals) and Ben Carrey (bass and vocals) met eight years ago while at the University of Maryland—in 2015 Alex Petropulos replaced original drummer Dan Schwartz—and what began as a dorm project has become a full-time job, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. Mixing psychedelic funk, fun-loving enthusiastic live performances, a healthy dose of improvisational jamming and a straight-up cool light show has earned the Baltimore band fans across the country, often appearing at bigger venues each time they return to a city. But they’re not only known for playing live. In fact, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (above, doing “Sunny Day”) put out their fourth LP, Pizazz (stream it below), about a month ago, which has again prompted them to hit the road. Extend your Thanksgiving festivities and see them on Friday night at Brooklyn SteelFlamingosis opens the show with funky hip-hop beats.

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Shake Off Thanksgiving with Cut Copy at Terminal 5 on Friday Night

November 21st, 2017

What began as a solo project for DJ-producer Dan Whitford blossomed into a trio with guitarist Tom Hoey and drummer Mitchell Scott onboard for the 2004 release of debut full-length Bright Like Neon Love (stream it below) and then turned into a four-piece with bassist Ben Browning joining Cut Copy (above, performing “Future” live in studio for KCRW FM) for their third LP, 2011’s Zonoscope (stream it below). And by then the band’s deft mix of classic disco and electronic pop had people making comparisons to LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk. The Melbourne, Australia, dance outfit’s fifth long-player, Haiku from Zero (stream it below), came out two months ago. “Cut Copy always seem to discover new ways to fine-tune their inclusive dance music and keep it sounding fresh and vibrant,” said Exclaim. “Cut Copy are a band that know how to make distinctive, original electronica that—crucially—sounds like them,” added the Line of Best Fit. “It’s pretty and smooth; the shimmers and reverb of their earlier records have been compressed into a concentrated essence of what made them great in the first place.” Dance off any lingering Thanksgiving excess and catch Cut Copy live at Terminal 5 on Friday night.



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Modern English Play Rough Trade NYC the Night Before Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2017

The post-punk/New Wave outfit Modern English became known across the world following the 1982 release of “I Melt with You” (above, live for Kink FM) their second single off their second full-length, After the Snow (stream it below). Despite that song’s upbeat vibe, the band—original members Robbie Grey (vocals), Gary McDowell (guitar and vocals) and Mick Conroy (bass and vocals), now with Stephen Walker (guitar) and Roy Martin (drums)—was originally influenced by the likes of Joy Division and Bauhaus. Following a couple of breakups over the years, Modern English began performing again in 2010, and earlier this year, they put out a brand-new studio LP, Take Me to the Trees (stream it below). “Listeners who thought McDowell’s electric work on the early albums was too low in the mix should be thrilled with the presence it has here, cutting and slashing through the most inspired moments,” said AllMusic. “A slightly baleful, almost submerged feeling from front to back adds extra allure to what is, at its core, a set of solid material untainted by nostalgia.” The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is often one of the most fun nights of the year. Give it something extra by seeing Modern English close out their fall tour live at Rough Trade NYC. Raleigh, N.C., five-piece the Veldt open the show.


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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

November 20th, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Five Questions with Kamasi Washington

November 17th, 2017

Back in 2015, saxophonist extraordinaire Kamasi Washington (above, performing “Re Run” live in studio for KEXP FM) put out the aptly named triple album The Epic (stream it below) to universal acclaim—becoming one of the hottest jazz musicians on earth in the process. He’s since toured the world and then returned this past September with the impressive EP Harmony of Difference (stream it below). Now out on the road, crisscrossing America’s highways and byways, Washington, with pedal-steel virtuoso Robert Randolph as a special guest, plays Terminal 5 next Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving. (Local favorites—and feisty live performers—Break Science open the show.) Last weekend, Washington (below, doing “The Next Step” live for Paste Studios) rang up The House List from Cleveland to answer Five Questions.

As a touring musician do you notice if your music is received any differently in New York city than it is elsewhere? I feel like the response has been pretty universal for me, but I’ve always gotten a lot of love in New York, which is a huge honor because you see everything there. And it humbles me every time. New York has an energy that’s unlike any place in the world. There’s just so much going on that you get supercharged.

Once material is recorded, does it stay that way permanently? Or as you play songs live do they continue to stretch and grow? They stretch and grow and change every night, basically. The recording is the version I heard in my head. It’s the definitive version, but live we do it different every time.

As a jazz musician, you appear at nontraditional venues and you’ve played huge festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. Was this part of your plan all along to cross over? Or has it just been a natural progression of where your music’s taken you? It’s where my music naturally wants to live. It’s definitely rooted in jazz. It’s my foundation. But there’s lots of other kinds of music in there. And it doesn’t really fit into one box very well. We definitely still play jazz clubs, but it’s natural to jump to different kinds of clubs and audiences—different experiences, sitting down in one place and standing in another. It’s options: Every day do something different.

You’ve appeared on albums by Kendrick Lamar, Run the Jewels and, back in the day, Ryan Adams. Is that something you’re still looking to do? And now that you’ve made such a name for yourself is there any chance you’d look for some of them to appear on your albums? Yeah, man. I’m always open to adding people to my music and I still love working with other artists. But I’m enjoying focusing on my own music and collaborating with my friends. I always leave it up to the music. The music dictates to me what to do with it. If it feels like it needs this or that, I’ll try to get it. But I never try to force it.

For someone who’s never seen you perform before, how would you describe a live Kamasi Washington show? It’s different every time. I try to connect to the room and the vibe, a journey we all go on together. I hope what it feels like is very inclusive. The music connects us and we all push the night in the same direction. And by the end we’re all together in one place. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

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American Football Return to NYC to Play Brooklyn Steel on Sunday

November 16th, 2017

Mike Kinsella (vocals, bass and guitar), Steve Lamos (drums and trumpet) and Steve Holmes (guitar) were just three college kids enjoying the summer when they formed the emo/math-rock band American Football outside of Chicago in 1997. A self-titled EP (stream it below) arrived in 1998, with an acclaimed eponymous full-length (stream it below), filled with uncommon time signatures and jazz-influenced chords, released the following year. But then that was pretty much it, with each member going off to do his own thing afterward. And that’s where this story would end if the influential American Football (above, performing “Born to Lose” live in studio for WNYC FM) hadn’t reunited—with the addition of Mike’s cousin Nate Kinsella (bass)—in 2014 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their LP, which was rereleased with bonus tracks and demo recordings. According to Paste magazine, “The album serves as what indie rock should be about, synthesizing the musical world around us, not dividing and separating,” and per the A.V. Club: “American Football proved that a brief existence doesn’t preclude a band from casting a long shadow.” Things went so well that the band put out another crowd-pleasing full-length named—you guessed it—American Football (stream it below) last fall. “While the record is rooted in nostalgia, so much so the cover features the same iconic house as their debut, it also manages to feel fresh and tentatively exciting, something that’s a result of the band exploring new ideas or looking at old ones from different perspectives,” said Drowned in Sound in a rave review. “Time has only strengthened the chemistry of the band, distilling its essence in to something much purer than its base product. In a year of excellent records, American Football have quite possibly made the best.” See them live at Brooklyn Steel on Sunday night. Land of Talk and Pure Bathing Culture open the show.

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Experience John Carpenter’s Spooky Soundtracks Live at Terminal 5

November 15th, 2017

Halloween may have come and gone, but for those who wish they could experience just a few more spine-tingling moments before we succumb to the more cheerful holiday season, you’re in luck. Often referred to as the “Master of Horror,” director and composer John Carpenter will bring a live performance of his famously chilling film scores to Terminal 5 on Thursday. In conjunction with a new release that collects his film music on one album for the first time, Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 (stream it below), Carpenter will perform his iconic synth-driven pieces from such classic films as Halloween, They Live, The Fog and Christine. There’s no better time to dust off those VHS tapes and take a moment to revisit Carpenter’s filmography (above, the Escape from New York main-title theme live in studio) in preparation for what promises to be a memorable (and spooky) night of music. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

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The Drums Play a Hometown Show at Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday

November 14th, 2017

What began nearly 10 years ago as a duo and blossomed into a quartet has more recently become a one-man band with Jonny Pierce doing all of the writing and producing on Abysmal Thoughts (stream it below), the fourth studio album from the Brooklyn band the Drums, out earlier this summer. “The new sounds heighten the bittersweet flavor, as Pierce opens up about feeling lonely, stupid, betrayed, empty, and at times, hopeful. If his life hasn’t exactly gotten easier, his music has never been better,” said the A.V. Club. And Paste magazine was equally impressed: “Don’t let the title fool you. Abysmal Thoughts is a fun, lovely record, radiating sunshine in every melody and shadows in the lyrics. It’s whole and complex and captivating, a treasure chest of an album in which you’ll find something different and unique hiding within each listen.” Catch the Drums (above, doing “Days” live in concert for KEXP FM) when they return home on Wednesday at Brooklyn Steel. Australian four-piece Methyl Ethel open the show.

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Two Nights of Silversun Pickups in New York City This Week

November 14th, 2017

Brian Aubert (vocals and guitar), Chris Guanlao (drums), Joe Lester (keys and samples) and Nikki Monninger (bass and vocals) knew one another from playing in various bands before forming Silversun Pickups 15 years ago in Los Angeles. Their atmospheric sound, layered melodies and spellbinding dreamy pop immediately drew comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and the Smashing Pumpkins with the release of their 2005 debut EP, Pikul (stream it below), and 2006 debut LP, Carnavas (stream it below), “the sort of record that brings something new to discover with each listen,” according to AllMusic. “Thus, listen one is as enjoyable as listen five or 10, but probably for entirely different reasons, since unique bits continuously appear from the band’s dream haze of accessibly textured indie rock.” Their fourth studio album, the synths-filled Better Nature (stream it below), came out in 2015. Despite referring to it as a “transitional record,” Sputnik Music called the long-player “a gorgeous if slightly safe album that proves this band hasn’t lost their edge when it comes to making captivating music.” And live, Silversun Pickups (above, performing “Panic Switch”) are just as exceptional as ever. Catch them on Wednesday at Terminal 5 and on Friday at Brooklyn Steel. Seattle’s Minus the Bear open both shows.



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Alex Clare Brings New Material to Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 13th, 2017

English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Clare’s Tail of Lions (stream it below) just came out recently in the U.S., striking “an enjoyable balance on his third full-length,” according to AllMusic, “with a further evolution of a sound that shines the spotlight on his voice.” The title, Clare (above, performing “Basic”)—who moved with his family from London to Jerusalem two years ago—tells the Independent, refers to an ancient Jewish Proverb: “‘It is better to be a tail to a lion than a head to a fox’ means that it is better to follow someone who is truly great, than to lead something negative and crooked.” Per the Line of Best Fit, “Deeply rooted in religious literature, [the album’s] other influences range from mental illness to the current political climate, making it an engaging listen from one of Britain’s most distinctive male vocalists.” Clare’s current North American tour touches down in Brooklyn on Tuesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini and Brooklyn five-piece Elijah open the show.

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

November 13th, 2017

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Julia Jacklin Launches New Tour Monday at Rough Trade NYC

November 10th, 2017

Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin (above, performing “Don’t Let the Kids Win” in studio for Triple J) has been compared to Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, thanks to what AllMusic calls her “seamless meld of dreamy indie folk-pop and confessional alt-country.” Jacklin’s debut full-length, Don’t Let the Kids Win (stream it below), dropped last fall, pleasing critics and fans alike. Consequence of Sound said it “works like a musical punch to the gut, a tearjerker that makes even the most public of spaces ready sobbing spots. Each of the album’s 11 songs sounds effortlessly polished, her voice seasoned with the emotion of an entire lifetime.” The Guardian added: “Don’t Let the Kids Win feels very much like one of those albums that will slowly creep into the affections of a large number of people; it’s that lovely.” Having recently released two new singles, Julia Jacklin kicks off a quick North American tour on Monday at Rough Trade NYC. Atlanta folk singer-songwriter Faye Webster and Brooklyn singer-songwriter Aerial East open the show.

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Slowdive Are Back with Their First New Album in Twenty-Two Years

November 10th, 2017

Shoegaze pioneers Slowdive—now Rachel Goswell (vocals, guitar and keys), Neil Halstead (vocals, guitar and keys), Nick Chaplin (bass), Christian Savill (guitar) and Simon Scott (drums)—formed in Reading, in South East England, back in ’89. They’d go on to employ what AllMusic calls “atmospheric harmonies, rippling processed guitars and an ambient production sensibility” in releasing three beloved albums, Just for a Day (stream it below), Souvlaki (stream it below) and Pygmalion (stream it below), between 1991 and 1995. But afterward, with Britpop on the rise, Slowdive (above, performing “No Longer Making Time” live in studio for KCRW FM) took a break with members engaging in an assortment of musical endeavors. But a few years ago, a rumbling began: a world tour in 2014 followed by working on new material in 2016. And this May, the band put out a self-titled LP (stream it below) on Dead Oceans. “It’s strange to call Slowdive a comeback album, because it seems so sure of itself. Instead, it feels like a completely logical next step in their discography,” according to Consequence of Sound. “The record fits snugly inside the band’s canon, so much so that it makes the 22 years since Pygmalion all the more difficult to believe.” And per PopMatters, “Beneath all the stylish and escapist waves of sound and texture, there is a profoundly human core waiting to be sought out and unearthed.” Make your weekend last a little longer when Slowdive return to New York City to play Terminal 5 on Sunday night. L.A. noise-pop outfit Cherry Glazerr open the show.




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Make It a Funky Saturday Night with Turkuaz at Brooklyn Steel

November 9th, 2017

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), Sammi Garett (tambourine and vocals) and Shira Elias (vocals)—in 2008. Mixing Funk, R&B and Motown with world-music flourishes, Turkuaz (above, performing “Chatte Lunatique” at this year’s Mountain Jam) take cues from bands like Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone and Talking Heads. Their most recent album, Digitonium (stream it below), which came out in 2015, “showcases the band’s deep playbook and versatility within the genre, dialing back the clock for a classic-sounding funk record,” according to Live for Live Music. It’s filled with the psychedelic funk and brassy soul that’s become one of the funk army’s calling cards. Another is their high-octane stage performances. See Turkuaz live when their fall tour brings them home to play Brooklyn Steel on Saturday night. Houston eight-piece the Suffers open the show with a dose of Gulf Coast soul. And then as an added bonus, Turkuaz return in two weeks with Tauksgiving at The Bowery Ballroom on 11/24.