Tag Archives: Brooklyn Steel

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

March 19th, 2018

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Beth Ditto Is a Force to Be Reckoned with at Brooklyn Steel

March 15th, 2018

Beth Ditto – Brooklyn Steel – March 14, 2018


Beth Ditto is a force to be reckoned with as she sets forth sans her former band, Gossip. Pulling from her Southern roots for her first solo album, Fake Sugar, Ditto leaves behind power dance-punk for a more pop-rock sound that continues to showcase the “fat, feminist, lesbian from Arkansas” (her words). NPR Music put it best: “It’s become standard procedure to look askance at underground artists who take big swings at stardom. But if Beth Ditto becomes a full-blown mainstream star—as a queer plus-sized outspoken feminist with her own fashion line—it’ll come at the expense of every norm she’s spent her career working to tear down. Fake Sugar may be just the Trojan horse she needs.”

After an unfortunate cancelation of last year’s Rough Trade NYC appearance, Ditto returned healthy and ready to go for her show at Brooklyn Steel last night. Dressed in what she described was a “harlequin frog” jumpsuit, hammering basslines made way for the opener, “Oh My God.” The performance was a mix of the siren’s solo work and her past catalog with Gossip. “In and Out,” with harmonies that reminded me of Lucius, was a break from the largely dance-heavy set list, thanks to old favorite “Yr Mangled Heart” as well as new gems “Ooh La La” and the synth beats of “Open Heart Surgery.” As the spunky singer delighted the crowd with her humor, Ditto jiggled and pranced onstage affectionately referencing the burrito she had for dinner.

After reciting the tenets of a “Beth sentence”—never take yourself seriously and don’t do well in school—she led the audience in a sing-along of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One.” All kidding aside, Ditto has used her music to define moments. Telling her story about being in London when the news of Trump’s presidential win hit, the Southern woman exclaimed that it’s the people who keeping moving on that define the times. “Power to the people,” declared Ditto before ending her set with “Standing in the Way of Control.” Following a brief stage exit only to return in gold sequins, the firecracker encored with a trio of “Heavy Cross,” “Fire” and a cover of “Dream a Little Dream.” —Sharlene Chiu

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Mike Gordon Dazzles Brooklyn Steel with Two Sets on Saturday Night

March 12th, 2018

Mike Gordon – Brooklyn Steel – March 10, 2018


Photos courtesy of Dan Salimbene | northfieldproductions.com

A happy byproduct of Phish’s now-nine-year 3.0 incarnation is that the mighty band’s resurgence has left enough creative fuel in the tank to support other projects too. Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman have all been busy—or will be, as the case may be—with non-Phish projects, but the band that really became a band in this era is Mike Gordon’s group, which played two sparkly weird and high-energy sets Saturday night at Brooklyn Steel. His solo compositions tend to step up to and peer down the rabbit hole, just short of falling down it. They’re a little—OK, a lot—quirky and often free associative, but they’re not often big, psychedelic, nebulous maybe-statements so much as they’re left-of-center pop and indie-rock tunes, delivered compactly.

OGOGO, which arrived last fall as his fifth solo album, has some angst to even out its breezier, groovier tracks. Gordon doesn’t mind things a little heavy—he’s a bass player after all, and not a shy one—and it comes through in tunes like “Victim,” “Crazy Sometimes,” “Marissa” and “Steps,” without weighing down their bendy, bug-eyed cool. Live, however, is when these tunes come delivered with some muscle—sinewy jams that pull at their already loose edges and drive the band into downright Phish-y territory at times, and into Brooklyn-y indie-rock crew with a synth-guitar-jamming jones in others. Almost every tune Saturday landed at that balance, from the opening “Victim” and an audience-participation oddity called “Trapezoidal Sunshine” to crowd-stoking versions of Phish’s “Destiny Unbound,” Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” and, in a nicely explored veer into left field, Fiona Apple’s “Sleep to Dream.”

The band is the not-so-secret ace, and Gordon’s been telling us that all along. He yields often to guitarist, singer and longtime partner-in-crime Scott Murawski (still going strong in Max Creek and other bands) and/or to keyboard professor Robert Walter, who picks his spots in this band and, among other highlights, turned the first set’s “Got to Be More Careful” into a showcase of whirling organ. And that’s before you get to the drums-and-percussion corps—John Morgan Kimock and Craig Myers—who have a lot of firepower between them and, you soon come to realize, are asked for all of it in the span of a Gordon show. Each was doing his thing and doing it well, all night, and in the end of the first set came “Tiny Little World,” about as good a capture of what Mike Gordon’s band sounds like these days. All the parts working, Gordon at the center playing stabbing bass, singing about how “nothing’s making sense/ So I shake and make it saucy.” It’s a fun world to visit. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Two Nights of Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Brooklyn Steel

March 9th, 2018

Going to a Godspeed You! Black Emperor show is about as close as you can get to hearing the soundtrack of the apocalypse in real time. For those unfamiliar with the Montreal band’s signature brand of slow-boiling fury, their song “East Hastings” provided much of the soundtrack to the white-knuckle end-of days-zombie flick 28 Days Later. But it would be unfair to reduce Godspeed You! Black Emperor to just that credit. The long-running orchestral post-rock collective have made an impact on underground music in their 20-year career, and many dub their debut, F A(stream it below), a classic. Godspeed You! are known to bring an almost overwhelming amount of intensity onstage. The band is currently on the road, touring in support of their 2017 release, Luciferian Towers (stream it below), and will be rolling through New York City next week for back-to-back appearances at Brooklyn Steel on Monday and Tuesday. Danish saxophonist Liberty and Asheville, N.C. (by way of Bhutan) guitarist Tashi Dorji open both shows. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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Elvis Costello & the Imposters – Brooklyn Steel – March 7, 2018

March 8th, 2018


(Elvis Costello & the Imposters play the Capitol Theatre tonight, tomorrow and Sunday.)

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Tune-Yards on 3/9

March 6th, 2018

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Nearly two months ago, Tune-Yards’ fourth LP, I Can Feel You Creep into My Private Life, arrived to rave reviews. And this week, the band returns to NYC to close out their North American tour on Friday night at Brooklyn Steel. Although the show is already sold out, The House List is giving away two tickets. And if you want them to be yours, try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Tune-Yards, 3/9) and a brief message explaining why you’re looking forward to daylight saving time. Eddie Bruiser, who never bothered to change his clocks last time, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Jawbreaker Take No Prisoners at Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday Night

February 28th, 2018

Jawbreaker – Brooklyn Steel – February 27, 2018


Photos courtesy of Greg Pallante | gregpallante.com

Out of all of the beloved disbanded cult groups of the ’90s, Jawbreaker seemed like the last ones holding out on a reunion. But that all changed last summer, as the influential Bay Area punks reunited to headline Chicago’s annual Riot Fest to thousands of fans, many of them not even alive during the band’s initial tenure. In their absence, Jawbreaker’s legacy as one of punk’s most sacred best-kept secrets has grown into monolithic proportions. If you bring up their names in conversation, chances are the person you’re talking to has either never heard of them or they are that person’s favorite band. A friend of mine once drunkenly declared that Jawbreaker’s chief songwriter, Blake Schwarzenbach, was his Dylan.

Prior to Riot Fest, Schwarzenbach hinted that there was a 90-percent chance the band would be playing NYC after the festival. And so tickets went insanely fast once this three-night run at Brooklyn Steel was announced, as fans from all over hoped to flock to see the Jawbreaker reunion no one ever thought would happen. Tuesday was their second night in Kings County, supported by local comedian Clare O’Kane and a “surprise guest,” which turned out to be Waxahatchee, a perfect fit, as singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield has always had the same kind of world-weary emotional detail to her lyrics as Schwarzenbach does. Along with a four-piece band, including her sister Allison on guitar and keyboards, they played a short set running through most of last year’s great Out in the Storm.

A giant Jawbreaker banner was raised, and eager fans could finally rest assured that this was all really happening, as Schwarzenbach, bassist Chris Bauermeister and drummer Adam Pfahler walked onstage. The sold-out crowd, bathed in the house lights, exploded as Schwarzenbach strummed the opening riff to the classic single “Boxcar,” and from then on, the band took no prisoners. The set was mainly comprised of songs from their two best-loved albums, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy and their one dance with major-label success, Dear You. Jawbreaker sounded fantastic as they ripped through songs like “Save Your Generation,” “Jinx Removing” and “Sluttering (May 4th),” like they were long-lost anthems from a parallel world where there was a healthy sense of justice. Schwarzenbach joked throughout that they were filming the show as a “Netflix comedy special,” and with how funny some of his banter was, it didn’t seem too unrealistic.

Jawbreaker closed the main set with a blistering version of “Condition Oakland” and returned to play a couple more. They opened their encore with one of their earliest songs, “Want,” which had the entire crowd singing it’s “Ay-yay-yay-yay I want you” chorus in complete unison. The band then closed out the performance with their brilliant ode to drunken, unrequited love, “Kiss the Bottle,” with Clare O’Kane resurfacing from backstage to crowd-surf on top of the passionate audience. When it was all over, fans poured out onto the streets still amazed by what they had just seen. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Rhye on 3/2

February 27th, 2018

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With his first new full-length album in five years, Blood, released earlier this month, Rhye is currently crisscrossing North America in support of it, which brings him to Brooklyn Steel on Friday night. The show sold out pretty quickly, but The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go and don’t have any of your own? No worries. Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Rhye, 3/2) and a brief message explaining why you deserve to win. Eddie Bruiser, who’s just back from the Olympics, will notify the winner no later than Friday afternoon. Good luck.

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NYC Trio City of the Sun Headline Brooklyn Steel on Friday Night

February 22nd, 2018

The genre-blending City of the SunJohn Pita (guitar), Avi Snow (guitar) and Zach Para (percussion)—aren’t concerned about sticking to one style of music. They acoustically work through flamenco, psychedelic folk, indie rock and gypsy jazz, having honed their sound busking on New York City streets. They’ve made a name for themselves with stirring live performances around town and on festival stages, and their first LP, To the Sun and All the Cities in Between (stream it below), arrived in 2016. “They bring two acoustic guitars and a box of various percussion to make a sound that is as eclectic as their backgrounds, coming from Ecuador, Israel and Seattle,” according to Our Musical Journal. “It is hard to adequately describe their amazing sound, but if you are a fan of Tycho, El Ten Eleven or Rodrigo y Gabriella, then you really need to hear City of the Sun on their debut full-length studio album.” Listen to it below, watch City of the Sun, above, performing “Everything” (for Baeble Music), and then go see them live at Brooklyn Steel tomorrow night. Michael Blume and IRO open the show.

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At Brooklyn Steel, Not Much Has Changed for Portugal. The Man

February 21st, 2018

Portugal. The Man – Brooklyn Steel – February 20,2018


Somewhere in the middle of last night’s set at Brooklyn Steel, Portugal. The Man frontman John Gourley sang, “We won’t sell you nothing you can’t use” as part of “Modern Jesus,” which just about perfectly summed up a show that had so much coming at those in the sold-out crowd: lasers and other assorted psychedelic imagery, an onstage dance duo, a Grammy-winning song, deftly placed covers, cheeky humor projected on the backdrop and as much guitars, bass, drums, keys and vocals as the room could handle. Portugal. The Man served up quite a bit over the course of the show and yet, for everyone in attendance, there was nothing there that wasn’t put to good use.

By the time they had gotten to “Modern Jesus” so much had already transpired. With both “Don’t Sleep Till Brooklyn” and “Unchained Melody” playing in full over the PA before the band even took the stage, and then a lengthy hard-core opening jam that weaved through Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” the opening “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” already felt like an explosive release for the audience. The song’s title used to accurately describe their show’s visual color palette, but Tuesday the display featured lasers of nearly every hue bouncing over the heads of the crowd. Even with the success of an all-timer breakout hit, not much has changed for PTM.

In fact, it was less surprising that they had a Grammy-winning song to anchor the midpoint of the set than the fact that it fit right in with some of their most far-reaching material, transitioning directly with little distinction into “All Your Light,” which, in recent years, has swallowed some of their oldest jams and repurposed them for the big rooms. Alternatively, “So American” and “People Say” both drew a powerful response from the audience and felt just as award-worthy. By the time the band reached the too-soon encore, “Holy Roller” encompassed it all, laser-abetted Floydian-freak-outs and chest-thumping metal meltdowns that still, somehow, perfectly accommodated breakdancing onstage. It’s a formula that keeps working for Portugal. The Man, as Gourley also sings in “Modern Jesus”: “The only faith we have is faith in us.” —A. Stein | @Neddyo     

 

 

 

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X Ambassadors – Brooklyn Steel – February 16, 2018

February 20th, 2018


Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Galactic Bring a Taste of Mardi Gras to Brooklyn Steel on Saturday

February 16th, 2018

With Fat Tuesday earlier in the week, NOLA instrumental-jazz-funk outfit Galactic bring the sounds of Mardi Gras, not to mention their shake-your-hips music, to Brooklyn this weekend. Jeff Raines (guitar), Stanton Moore (drums), Robert Mercurio (bass), Ben Ellman (sax) and Richard Vogel (keys) have been willing and able New Orleans musical ambassadors for just about 25 years, known for their fiery, leave-it-all-onstage performances while still making time for nuanced recordings. Their eighth studio full-length, Into the Deep (stream it below), arrived in 2015. It “expands an already eclectic palette based in funk but that also includes liberal doses of hip-hop, jazz, soul, blues and even electronica. Galactic is blissfully unconcerned that every track is different enough to almost obscure their own identity as they continue to create music that’s fun, superbly crafted and wildly eclectic,” according to American Songwriter. “Give credit to the band’s founders and coproducers, bassist Robert Mercurio and saxist Ben Ellman, who molded this album and show that Galactic doesn’t need a stable front person, or even a singular approach, to make their dynamic music connect with playful passion and vibrant integrity.” Of course, the best way for you to connect with that music and passion is to see them live, and to that end, Galactic (above, doing “Chasing Rainbows” for Jam in the Van), having just launched their winter tour, play Brooklyn Steel on Saturday night. Brooklyn’s Rubblebucket and Richmond, Va., five-piece Butcher Brown open the show.

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Sleigh Bells – Brooklyn Steel – February 13, 2018

February 14th, 2018


Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com

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Two Chances to Catch Now, Now Live in Brooklyn This Week

February 14th, 2018

About 15 years ago, Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar and keys) and Bradley Hale (drums and vocals) met while in the marching band of a suburban Minneapolis high school and eventually began writing songs together and playing them with a rotating group of musicians. After a name change, the duo finally settled on Now, Now, and inspired by ’90s alternative rock, they’ve released two LPs, including 2012’s Threads (stream it below), several EPs and a pair of remixed albums, all filled with acoustic guitar and fuzzy synths. But after recently releasing some punchier pop singles, Now, Now (above, performing “SGL” live in studio for KCMP FM the Current) are back out on the road, and they’ve got two appearances this weekend in Kings County. See them opening for X Ambassadors on Friday at Brooklyn Steel and then headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, with the four-piece Mothers opening.

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Børns on 2/16

February 13th, 2018

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With the current tour behind his second studio full-length album, Blue Madonna, ending soon, Børns comes to New York City this week to play Brooklyn Steel on Thursday and Terminal 5 on Friday. And even though both dates sold out quickly, you’ve still got a chance to attend one by trying to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List to see Børns on Friday night. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Børns, 2/16) and a brief message explaining your favorite Winter Olympics sport. Eddie Bruiser, who’s probably watching right now, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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