Tag Archives: Brooklyn

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Silversun Pickups – Terminal 5 – November 15, 2017

November 16th, 2017

(Silversun Pickups and Minus the Bear play Brooklyn Steel on Friday night.)

Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com

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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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Bully Ratchet Up the Energy at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday

November 14th, 2017

Bully – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 13, 2017

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

In an era when we’re all coming to realize that women have a million reasons to angrily shout, Bully frontwoman Alicia Bognanno might just rock one of the best screams in all of rock music. Her vocal chords come with a built-in distortion pedal. It’s a slight miracle she can tour playing night after night with her gravely scream on full blast. At other times her voice is filled with tenderness—it takes a certain chorus or bridge to flick a switch then suddenly the same voice isn’t just cutting like a knife, it’s cutting you open. “I am trying to stay focused,” screamed Bognanno on repeat at a fever pitch for the final lines of “Focused,” each refrain ratcheting up the energy levels at Music Hall of Williamsburg, far higher than you’d think possible on a Monday night.

Not all of their songs hit so heavy: “I Feel the Same” came with a bouncy feel to it, with Bognanno flanked on both sides by pogoing guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus. The latter dedicated the set to two friends in the audience celebrating their two-year anniversary. “I don’t want to sing the saddest song we have after that. I’ll jinx this,” said Bognanno leading into “Blame.” But it was easily one of their best songs of the night, oscillating between soft contemplation and fury-filled choruses. “Milkman” one of their first-ever recorded tracks, had the whole band packing serious punch, with Lazarus’ thudding bassline doing the walloping. The show ended with “I Remember,” a tight number already trimmed of any fat whatsoever, played in warp speed. No better way to end the night than with a knockout blow. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

 

 

 

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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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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Stars on 11/18

November 14th, 2017

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Thanks to their recently released ninth studio album, Montreal rock outfit Stars are back in New York City this week to play Rough Trade NYC on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All three dates are already sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets to Saturday’s show. Don’t have any of your own 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, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Stars, 11/18) and a brief message explaining your favorite song on There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of Canadian rock in general, will notify the winner by Friday.

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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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A Sunday Sing-Along with the Mountain Goats at Brooklyn Steel

November 13th, 2017

The Mountain Goats – Brooklyn Steel – November 12, 2017


John Darnielle might be the hardest-working man in indie rock. This is not to say he comes from the same school as Bruce Springsteen—playing epic four-hour shows every night with sweat soaking through his American flag bandanna. But as the singer-songwriter of the beloved band the Mountain Goats, he’s consistently churned out a thoughtful and varied body of work at such a dependable pace that you might take him for granted. While other prolific artists may have a high volume of toss-away moments in their catalogs, Darnielle’s lyrics have always seemed intensely labored over and essential. Once called “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist” by The New Yorker, he’s able to cover an impossible amount of ground from verse to verse, all while releasing albums with the band and somehow also managing to write two critically acclaimed novels. How about that for work ethic?

The band’s latest album, Goths, was released this year, and the Mountain Goats’ tour brought them to town for a packed show at Brooklyn Steel on Sunday night. The LP explores Darnielle’s early ’80s teen fascination with this genre in the same way that 2015’s Beat the Champ paid tribute to his heroes of professional wrestling. In pure Mountain Goats fashion: always sincere and never with irony. Mothers, out of Athens, Ga., opened the show with a brief yet powerful set. Afterward, fans roared as Darnielle and Co. walked onstage. Backed by longtime bassist Peter Hughes, multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas and indie-rock drum royalty (and half of the comedy duo Scharpling & Wurster) Jon Wurster, the band leaned heavily on Goths, pulling off the new songs’ complex instrumentation with finesse. As this material is much more layered than the Mountain Goats’ usual bare-bones acoustic-punk material, Darnielle mostly stuck to playing the tunes on a Rhodes keyboard while Douglas would fill in the space with reverbed-out flourishes on either tenor sax or flute, eliciting huge crowd reactions in response. It was a thrill to watch the band gracefully pull off these new tunes live.

Some of the best moments of the night, however, were when Darnielle picked up his acoustic guitar to dust off some of the old sing-alongs from the band’s long career. Songs like “This Year” and “Against Pollution” had everyone at Brooklyn Steel singing in unison with Darnielle as he marched back and forth across the stage like an unplugged Angus Young. For the final number of their second encore, the Mountain Goats played a full-band version of the All Hail West Texas masterpiece “Best Ever Death Metal Band out of Denton,” with its rallying cry of “Hail Satan” filling the rafters and the hearts of everyone in the room. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

 

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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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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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David Bazan Goes Deep at Rough Trade NYC on Thursday

November 10th, 2017

David Bazan – Rough Trade NYC – November 9, 2017


The opening verse of “Magazine” pretty much sums up the inner conflict that singer-songwriter David Bazan—of the beloved indie-rock outfit Pedro the Lion—has been struggling through his entire career. Once an evangelical Christian, he’s challenged his faith with each release in a way that never pulls any punches. After four full-lengths and five EPs, Bazan decided to retire the band name in order to go solo and explore his relationship with faith without the religious baggage his old band carried. Any longtime fan of his songwriting would be able to tell you that his relationship to the church was never an issue. As a lyricist, Bazan has always been able to pull apart the complex equations that everyday people spend their entire lives trying to solve. In the years since Pedro’s demise, he’s remained prolific, releasing albums and singles under his own name as well as launching many different side projects (his group Lo Tom, played Rough Trade NYC over the summer). Last month, Bazan announced that he would be reviving Pedro for a string of reunion shows this winter as well as plans to record and tour again as a working unit.

But before he can get to work on that, Bazan is finishing up promoting his most recent solo album, Care, which brought his tour to Brooklyn to play Rough Trade NYC last night along with singer-songwriter Michael Nau of Page France. Nau set the tone with a short set of laid-back songs accompanied by a lead guitarist, upright bassist and a drum machine that he’d program in between numbers. His material took on a trance-inducing quality that recalled Lambchop at their most ethereal with lyrics that seemed heartbreakinghly personal. Shortly after, Bazan took the stage backed by a three-piece. And for the most part, he and his band kept it “strictly business” as they plowed through material from Care and his 2016 LP, Blanco, with little talking in between songs, aside from a brief intermission when he took questions from the crowd. Both albums had been a slight sonic departure for Bazan, as they each strictly used synths and drum machines—so it was great to hear these songs getting the heavier band treatment live. He delighted the crowd with a few old Pedro songs, like “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run” and “Penetration,” and even dusted off the old Headphones tune “Gas and Matches.”

For the encore, Bazan took questions for the second time of the night. As expected, most of them had to do with the Pedro reunion, and he was frank and honest with his answers, explaining that the decision was made in order to tour and record music “as a band” again and to bring his music to a much larger audience. For a sometimes frustratingly overlooked force in the world of indie rock, it’s hard to blame him. He also assured the crowd that the Pedro tour would make its way to New York City in the future but would have to keep us in suspense as to when. He and his band then closed with the opening song off of Pedro’s final album, Achilles Heel, “Bands With Managers,” which had everyone singing along in unison. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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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.

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All Them Witches – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 8, 2017

November 9th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Two Nights of the Shadowboxers in New York City This Weekend

November 9th, 2017

Layering pitch-perfect three-part harmonies over soulful pop, funky folk and stadium rock channeled through an R&B lens, the Shadowboxers—original members Adam Hoffman (vocals and guitar), Matt Lipkins (vocals and keys) and Scott Tyler (vocals and guitar) with Cole McSween (drums) and Carlos Enamorado (bass)—have been winning over fans with their fun-loving, captivating live performances since forming in college seven years ago in Atlanta. But first they won over Indigo GirlsEmily Saliers, who’d caught one of their shows at Emory University, which led to the Shadowboxers (above, playing “Build the Beat” for WRLT FM) touring and performing with Indigo Girls. Now based in Nashville, Tenn., the group’s Kickstarter-funded Red Room arrived in 2013. To thank donors, the band recorded several cover songs and posted them to their YouTube channel. Their version of “Pusher Love Girl” so impressed Justin Timberlake that he’s since taken them under his wing and signed them to Villa 40, his artist-development company. Following the release of several singles, including “Hot Damn,” and with a new album on the horizon, the Shadowboxers, who have been compared to the Temptations and Maroon 5, have hit the road. Their November tour brings them to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (with Blonde Maze opening) and The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (with the Rooks opening).

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Kings Theatre – November 7, 2017

November 8th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Blitzen Trapper Return to Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday

November 8th, 2017

And so we find ourselves in November, halfway between the cold canned beers of summer and the sweater-and-overcoat chill of winter, a perfect time to listen to Blitzen Trapper. The Portland, Ore., band’s music fits right into this seasonal space with thoughtful storytelling and a progressive country-folk-funk sound. Right on cue, they have just released their ninth studio album, Wild and Reckless (stream it below), and will be headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night (with Nashville, Tenn., singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt opening). After some dabbles with a more experimental sound, Blitzen Trapper (above, performing “No Man’s Land” for KINK FM) are in a mature and confident space on the new record, concentrating on the songs themselves. The material will only bolster their already formidable live repertoire that, along with its subtleties and idiosyncrasies, totally rocks in concert, in November or any other time of year. —A. Stein | @Neddyo