Tag Archives: Caveman


Frightened Rabbit Put on a Barn Burner at Terminal 5

May 6th, 2016

Frightened Rabbit – Terminal 5 – May 5, 2016

Frightened Rabbit - Terminal 5 - May 5, 2016
From the Department of Nobody Feels Sorry for You: I limped into Terminal 5 last night to see Frightened Rabbit banged up from a solid week of having too much fun and not enough sleep, unsure of how long I’d last. But then a funny thing happened on my way to find a place to lean. Watching the band take the stage in almost total darkness and open with a one-two punch of “Get Out,” off the just-released Painting of a Panic Attack, and “Holy,” from 2013’s Pedestrian Verse, I began to perk up thanks to their uplifting songs about downer topics. Five albums in, and Frightened Rabbit—Scott Hutchison (vocals and guitar) and brother Grant Hutchison (drums and vocals), plus Billy Kennedy (bass, guitar and keys), Andy Monaghan (guitar and keys) and Simon Liddell (guitar and keys)—now have a considerable catalog of passionately rambunctious anthems of heartache and pain, fighting and fucking, and, of course, getting fucked up. But it’s too many songs to play in one night.

“I don’t have whatever drugs Bruce Springsteen has. I can do a 90-minute show, maybe an hour-forty-five. I only have regular-person drugs,” said the affable frontman before the band launched into The Midnight Organ Fight’s “The Modern Leper.” It was the first time—but not the last—the packed crowd would enthusiastically sing along. And so, regardless of my disposition upon arrival, it was impossible to not get swept up in the building wave of emotion. Resistance was futile. I quickly surrendered, and then my lingering fog began to do the same. By the sixth song, “Living in Colour,” off The Winter of Mixed Drinks, shafts of blues and reds, and, later on, strobe lights, cracked through the darkness—my own and the venue’s—more clearly revealing a giant version of the new album’s cover as the stage backdrop. Throughout the performance, Scott Hutchison’s endearing chattiness, rolling Scottish brogue and easygoing comfort lent the show an intimacy despite the size of the room.

Although Frightened Rabbit didn’t play anything from their debut full-length, Sing the Greys, the set was an even mix of their other four albums. The newer stuff relies more on electronics than their previous material. So some songs featured three synths, like “Lump Street”—which proved to be one of the more jammed-out songs of the night—while others were driven by three guitars. And at the heart of the matter, that’s really what makes Frightened Rabbit go: the guitar. It’s soaring, melancholic arena rock with literary lyrics that stay with you. Not many bands could have nearly 3,000 people singing, “It takes more than fucking someone you don’t know to keep warm.” But there we were as the five-piece closed out the set with The Midnight Organ Fight’s “Keep Yourself Warm.” They quickly returned for a three-song encore: Scott doing a solo acoustic “Die Like a Rich Boy”—the line “Want to die like a rich boy/ Even if we’re as poor as we are now” eliciting hardy applause—and then full-band takes on “The Woodpile,” perhaps their most well-known tune, and “The Loneliness and the Scream,” the audience so lustily clapping, stomping and singing along, it felt more like an amped-up crowd at a rowdy soccer match. And so it was only fitting that live music, which had kept me out too late too many nights in a row, would rescue me in the end. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


Sing Along with Frightened Rabbit Tomorrow Night at Terminal 5

May 4th, 2016

It began as a solo project that soon enough blossomed into a family affair before becoming a full-fledged band. Scott Hutchison (vocals and guitar) launched Frightened Rabbit—his mom’s nickname for him thanks to his childhood shyness—as a stage name for his one-man shows in Southeastern Scotland more than a decade ago. The solo act became a duo when Scott’s brother, Grant Hutchison (drums and vocals), joined in 2004, and then Billy Kennedy (bass and guitar), came on two years later in time for the band’s promising debut full-length, Sing the Greys (stream it below). AllMusic said, “Sing the Greys isn’t a landmark album by any means, but it’s got all of the ingredients for a follow-up that kicks open the door instead of pushing it just enough to get a good look.” And that’s exactly what happened: With the release of each subsequent album, Frightened Rabbit (above, doing “Break” late in March at Rough Trade NYC for WFUV FM) have revealed more and more about their upbeat music about downer topics, or what Pitchfork dubbed “ramshackle anthems of heartbreak and hangovers.”

The A.V. Club called their acclaimed 2008 breakup album, The Midnight Organ Fight (stream it below), “the emotional apex of the Scottish band’s dark, terrific second album, which circles the drain of failed relationships and bad sex—and somehow finds sparks of hope in mountains of crushing hopelessness.” AllMusic, again, weighed in on 2010’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks (stream it below), “With each release, Frightened Rabbit’s music grows by leaps and bounds…. On The Winter of Mixed Drinks, they focus and polish Organ Fight’s epics—and add a healthy dose of optimism.” The rave reviews continued with 2013’s Pedestrian Verse (stream it below). “The result is a collection of stirring, instant anthems to get fists pumping in the air and swaying crowds singing along,” according to the Guardian. “Frontman Scott Hutchison—a tempest of a man whose voice may well have been crafted by yelling from the tops of mountains—has a gripping, literary style of lyric writing, and you can lose yourself in his dark, yet uplifting tales.”

The Glasgow-based band—now rounded out by Andy Monaghan (guitar and keys) and Simon Liddell (guitar)—released their fifth studio LP, the electronics-enhanced Painting of a Panic Attack (stream it below), produced by the National’s Aaron Dessner, just last month. “‘Evolution’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the music industry; bands are expected to grow with each release as stagnancy is frowned upon,” wrote Paste magazine. “Frightened Rabbit evolve the right way with this release, changing their sound, but not so much that they lose their trademark sound. This is still the Frightened Rabbit we all know and love, as gloomy as we last heard from them.” Plus, they’re still just as rowdy and rambunctious as ever when performing live, and they headline Terminal 5 tomorrow night. Local four-piece Caveman open the show.


Two Nights of Rogue Wave (Plus Caveman) This Weekend

June 21st, 2013

Like a lot of people, Zach Schwartz (d/b/a Zach Rogue) lost his dot-com job in 2002. But rather than wallowing in misery, he saw it as an opportunity. So he left Northern California to record music with friends in New York City. And by the time he returned to the West Coast, he had enough material to fill out the first Rogue Wave album, 2004’s Out of the Shadow, praised by Pitchfork for reflecting “both a lush, sunny ‘California Dreamin’’ temperament and Gotham’s grimy, melancholic disposition.” But despite writing and recording the LP by himself, Schwartz wasn’t looking for his new endeavor to be a solo act, so he sought out likeminded musicians on Craigslist to perform the material live. Other than drummer Patrick Sturgeon, the rest of the lineup has been a bit of a revolving door over the years. Masanori Christianson (bass), Rob Easson (synths and guitar) and Dan Iead (guitar and vocals) came aboard for the newest album, the recently released Nightingale Floors (stream it below). And now Rogue Wave (above, playing “Used to It” for Pandora Whiteboard Sessions) are out on the road, which brings them to New York City this weekend for two shows, with local favorites Caveman, tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg and tomorrow at The Bowery Ballroom.


Caveman – Webster Hall – April 10, 2013

April 11th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Peter Senzamici | petersenzamici.com


Caveman – Ace Hotel – October 3, 2012

October 4th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Chris Reddish


Caveman/Frankie Rose – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 15, 2012

June 18th, 2012


Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.com


Four Nights of the Northside Festival

June 13th, 2012

Brooklyn’s Northside Festival—eight days of music, art, film and entrepreneurship in Greenpoint and Williamsburg—is back, beginning tomorrow. The festival’s music portion runs through Sunday, and Music Hall of Williamsburg hosts four great, wide-ranging shows: GZA performing his critically acclaimed second album, Liquid Swords, tomorrow, Caveman (above, playing “My Room” for The Bowery Presents Live) and local singer-songwriter Frankie Rose—a Brooklyn Vegan showcase—on Friday, the psychedelic Olivia Tremor Control on Saturday and, finally, the Bronx’s own Ultramagnetic MC’s closing out things on Sunday night. You can’t beat a local music festival.

The Bowery Presents Live Features Caveman

April 12th, 2012

Brooklyn’s Caveman—Jeff Berrall (bass), Jimmy “Cobra” Carbonetti (guitar), Sam Hopkins (guitar), Matthew Iwanusa (vocals and guitar) and Stefan Marolachkis (drums)—released their debut LP, the guitar-filled CoCo Beware, last year. And today, they’re featured on The Bowery Presents Live. Watch them, above, playing “My Room,” and then check out an interview and some choice cuts. And make sure you subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to stay in touch.


The War on Drugs Provide Easter Treats

April 9th, 2012

The War on Drugs – The Bowery Ballroom – April 9, 2012

I’m guessing it’s not easy to sell out a show on Easter Sunday, but Philly’s the War on Drugs did just that and gave the Bowery Ballroom audience a basketful of treats in the process. Opening with “Arms Like Boulders” off 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues, Adam Granduciel and the band showed the tightness of a group that claimed to have been on an eight-month multicontinental tour. Early on it was David Hartley’s tumbling, deep-throated bass that supplied the bounce to Granduciel’s troubadour lyrics and vocals. But the band proved to be a musical Easter egg and cracked open its songwriter shell to reveal, gooey, psychedelic stretches, with resonating guitar and Day-Glo jams.

Appropriate for the holiday weekend, the band was in a friendly mood, dedicating several songs to friends and members of the audience, including “Comin’ Through” to Dan “NYC Taper” Lynch, recording up in the balcony. Here, the lights went full-on psychedelic pastel, with the War on Drugs playing from inside an Easter egg as the guitar reverberated into the room. From there, things got impressively weirder, with songs melting into one another, echoing trumpets going intergalactic and the lights swirling into UFO shapes bounding behind the band. Later, they brought out friends Doug Keith and Jimmy Carbonetti of Caveman to beef up the big guitar jam in “Brothers.” Granduciel has a distinct guitar tone with gnarled toeholds that help his solos climb otherwise unwieldy mountains.

As the set wore on, the music seemed to get louder and more intense, but the sound in the room was perfectly balanced and crisp throughout, allowing each nuance of the full-band jams—and they were certainly jamming at this point—to be digested. The lone cover of the night saw a switch to 12-string acoustic, which brought a hypnotic dream-like quality to the Waterboys“A Pagan Place.” The set ended appropriately with a big psych jam, heavy with drums, double keyboards, looping guitar and feedback all ensconced in rainbow lights, like an overturned Easter basket of sound. Like the show itself, the three-song encore started as a perfectly formed chocolate bunny, but the band nibbled at it until it became a surrealistic, unrecognizable, truly delicious mass of sound. And the closing number, “It’s Your Destiny,” built into an awe-inspiring outer-space free-for-all. —A. Stein


The Bowery Presents Live Is Live

February 13th, 2012

The Bowery Presents’ newest venue is online, youtube.com/thebowerypresents. If you’re looking for live-streaming shows and intimate performances and interviews from big-name bands and the next big things, subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live. We’ll live-stream one show each month, starting with Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells, live from Terminal 5 on Friday, 2/17, at 10:30 p.m. EST. Although the show is sold out, you won’t be left out because you can watch it as it happens on The Bowery Presents Live. But you don’t have to wait until Friday to check out bands like the Antlers, Caveman, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Alabama Shakes because they’re playing our newest venue right now.


Caveman’s Evolution

January 23rd, 2012

Caveman – The Bowery Ballroom – January 20, 2012

Surfing an ever-growing tidal wave of buzz around debut album Coco Beware, Caveman headlined a sold-out Bowery Ballroom on Friday night, displaying musical chops and hometown pride in equal measure. “We used to come to shows here in high school,” reminisced lead singer-guitarist Matthew Iwanusa between songs. He later, in true New York City spirit, asked, “Anybody know if the Knicks won tonight?”

In addition to all the NYC shout-outs during the set, songs like “Old Friend” and “December 28th” contained references to a range of other contemporary New York City bands like Interpol, Grizzly Bear and the Walkmen. Of course, the Brooklyn quintet adds its own spin to these pedigreed musical influences, most notably the penchant for throwing in extended instrumental jams, filled with screeching distortion and hazy feedback—a loud but pleasing wall of sound, in peak form during “Vampirer.” The impressive effects the band wrings out of its guitars can be attributed in part to the unique instruments themselves, personally crafted by Jimmy Carbonetti, one of the guitarists. Just as cavemen crafted their own tools, so too does Caveman, albeit in a bit more evolved way.

The expert guitar work was enhanced by washes of dreamy synth, powerful drumming and well-crafted vocal harmonies, demonstrated on songs like “Thankful,” “Decide,” and “A Country’s King of Dreams.” Although the group was clearly humbled to be headlining the venue (“The first show we ever played was here, and now … we’re doing this,” remarked Iwanusa) Caveman’s polished, bravado-filled performance was up to the honor. —Alena Kastin


CMJ Music Marathon Starts Today

October 18th, 2011

It’s that time of year again: 20-minute sets; in midtown one minute, the Lower East Side the next; scarfing down food with minutes to spare before the next show. From Mercury Lounge to The Bowery Ballroom and beyond, the CMJ Music Marathon is upon us. Here’re which bands we’re specifically looking forward to seeing play live. New York City quintet Caveman transfers any pop sensibilities into a dreamy landscape of lush indie harmonies through love, nostalgia and other sentiments. In support of their debut, CoCo Beware, Caveman will play 10 shows during CMJ, including the Bowery Presents showcase on 10/22 at Pianos. —Tina Benitez

The CMJ Music Marathon, now in its 31st year, is back to make five days in October seem impossible to navigate. Expect packed lineups at each venue because every band you ever wanted to see is in town. The supergroup Wild Flag, featuring Mary Timony, from Helium, and Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater Kinney among others, kicks off things tonight at The Bowery Ballroom. And at the same time Afro-punk Presents Death to Hip-Hop, featuring technical death-metal pioneers Death and Brooklyn’s own skate-pizza punk, Cerebral Ballzy, whose name really says it all. Wednesday’s pick has to be the ever-controversial indie rap group Odd Future at Terminal 5. Then on Thursday try to get into the sold-out lineup at Mercury Lounge, with garage-rock Xray Eyeballs and Florida’s Jacuzzi Boys, followed by Memoryhouse’s atmospheric shoegaze and finally, J. Mascis. You will show up at 6:30 and stay the entire night. Friday has more fuzzed-out pop with Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles at The Bowery Ballroom, and if you sleep over, on Saturday, Gang Gang Dance’s experimental electronic beats just might give you a chance to recover. And then sleep on Sunday for 24 hours before work. That’s your CMJ. —Jason Dean

Last year I spent the majority of CMJ camped out at Terminal 5 for My Morning Jacket. But this year I plan to get around. Not everyone has an abundance of free time, so if you can only hit one show, my money’s on the High Road Touring showcase at The Bowery Ballroom on 10/20. And despite it being a stellar lineup from top to bottom, for me the No. 1 band to check out during the whole festival is Alabama Shakes (above, playing “I Found You” for Live from the Shoals). The quartet, out of small-town Athens, Ala., has a four-song EP and an incredible bluesy-soul sound. You won’t want to miss Brittany Howard’s voice. Sure, she’s a postal worker by day, but she’s a bona fide rock star by night. Don’t miss this. You’ll be able to tell your friends you saw this band at the very beginning. —R. Zizmor


Caveman Sells Out

September 16th, 2011

Caveman – Mercury Lounge – September 15, 2011

(Photo: Kate Edwards

A fan, brimming with excitement, approached me right before Caveman began last night at Mercury Lounge. “Have you heard these guys before? They are dynamite! Dynamite! Nice guys too. Dynamite!” The word dynamite was used a lot and I’ve got to say, he was onto something. Caveman has only been around for a short while, having been formed in early 2010, but these guys have got it going on.

The group, Matthew Iwanusa, Jimmy Carbonetti, Stefan Marolachakis Sam Hopkins and Jeff Berrall, appeared as dark silhouettes against awesome projected art, producing a trippy, hallucinatory feel. The quintet dazed the audience by playing the entirety of their just-released debut album, Coco. Soothing harmonies created a moody lullaby affect. And when accompanied by spaced-out guitars and the methodic rhythm of a whole lot of drumming, the sound transformed into a dreamlike state—not a scary dream, but a rather good one.

That tranquilizing sound was apparent in “December 28th,” which began as a flutter of keys. Quietly, delicate harmonies and meditative drumming were added as if not to disturb. And the result was effortless and airy as if floating through space. The vocals in “Great Life” were as sweet and intricate as the instruments, while the guitars and drumming in “Easy Water” were slightly more frantic, creating an edge to the otherwise serene melody. However, although “Vampirer” contained a touch of darkness with the use of synths and a more sinister sounding guitar, it still flowed. And throughout the sold-out show, the attentive audience was respectfully quiet during songs but came alive as the last notes of each tune ended. Dynamite! —Kristen Ferreira