When it comes to talented singer-songwriter Nikki Lane, AllMusic says it best: “Nikki Lane reinvents the nostalgic sounds of 1960s country music for a modern audience, mixing Southern twang with lush orchestral arrangements and the occasional pop/rock hook.” She dropped out of high school in South Carolina before hightailing it to Los Angeles to work as a fashion designer. Later, she moved to New York City where she began making acoustic country songs following a bad breakup, before ultimately settling in Nashville, where her career would eventually take off. Her first full-length, Walk of Shame (stream it below), came out in 2011, earning her comparisons to Wanda Jackson and Neko Case. All or Nothin’ (stream it below), produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, followed in 2014. “If Lana Del Rey had pores, bodily fluids or even the rare hair out of place, she might be Nikki Lane, the East Nashville firebrand who understands sangfroid is a lot more explosive when you roughen up the edges and throw down a gauntlet,” raved Paste. Lane (above, performing “Jackpot” live in studio for WRLT FM) returned with her third full-length, Highway Queen (stream it below), just a couple of weeks ago. “Three albums into her career, Lane remains true to her vision of classic country by way of alt-rock—a pigeonhole she seems happy to inhabit,” according to Exclaim. “This is her best album yet.” Find out how it sounds live when Nikki Lane plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night. A pair of singer-songwriters, Brent Cobb and Jonathan Tyler, open the show.
Tag Archives: Dan Auerbach
Summer doesn’t actually arrive for another five weeks or so, but the summer-music season gets kicked off next week in a very big way.
Bowling Green, Ky., quartet Cage the Elephant’s fourth studio album, Tell Me I’m Pretty (stream it below), produced by Dan Auerbach, came out last December, impressing Exclaim!: “If your sister were Anita Miller from Almost Famous, she might tell you to listen to Tell Me I’m Pretty with a candle burning. Matthew Shultz has hit the mark lyrically and vocally here, inviting listeners into the emotionally charged and honest world that Cage the Elephant inhabit. Although we still hear his lo-fi, distorted vocals throughout the record, many moments are left confidently unadorned and clear.” Known for their fiery live performances, Cage the Elephant play SummerStage, alongside Portugal. The Man and Broncho, on Monday and Tuesday.
From the land of Britpop, in Manchester, England, the 1975 (above, performing “Love Me” earlier this year on Saturday Night Live) have risen up as a band with global appeal. Their second LP, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It (stream it below), arrived in February, topping the charts here and across the Atlantic. “When a band conquers the charts with a fun but inoffensive debut album, you don’t expect them to return with a 17-track follow-up that tempers pop tunes with swampy post-rock instrumentals and references mental health, religion, addiction, loneliness and fame. But the 1975, whose self-titled debut hit number one in 2013, aren’t concerned with playing it safe,” raves NME. They bring their arena-ready rock to Barclays Center on Tuesday night. Wolf Alice and the Japanese House open the show.
Another English band to hit No. 1, Rudimental, the London four-piece, have been making shake-it-don’t-break-it electronic music for just a few years, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming wildly popular. Their sophomore studio album, We the Generation (stream it below), recorded in Jamaica, came out last fall. The Evening Standard noted its “positive vibes” and “their sunny reworking of dingy old drum and bass.” And on Wednesday at SummerStage, they kick off a short tour with the like-minded North London electronic duo Gorgon City. Brooklyn duo Walker & Royce open the show.
Tags: Adam Hann, Almost Famous, Amir Amor, Anita Miller, Barclays Center, Ben King, Brad Shultz, Broncho, Cage the Elephant, Dan Auerbach, Daniel Tichenor, Double Vanity, Evil Friends, George Daniel, Gorgon City, Jared Champion, John Gourley, Joy Division, Kesi Dryden, Kye Gibbon, Kyle O’Quin, Leon Rolle, Like It When You Sleep for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, Matt Robson-Scott, Matthew Healey, Matthew Shultz, Nathan Price, Oasis, Penny Pitchlynn, Piers Agget, Portugal. The Man, Ross MacDonald, Rudimental, Ryan Lindsey, SummerStage, Tell Me I’m Pretty, the 1975, the Japanese House, Walker & Royce, We the Generation, Wolf Alice, Zachary Carothers, Zoe Manville
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Originally from South Carolina but now doing work out of Nashville, singer-songwriter Nikki Lane has been reimagining 1960s country music with a modern sound for five years, “mixing Southern twang with lush orchestral arrangements and the occasional pop/rock hook,” according to AllMusic. Her debut album, Walk of Shame (stream it below), out in 2011, “is full of songs about love and lust, heartbreak, longing for the right man and the occasional one-night stand. Her honesty is what allows her to fit right into a classic country setting,” per Paste magazine. Lane (above, performing “Right Time” for WFUV FM) released her second full-length, All or Nothin’ (stream it below), produced by Dan Auerbach, last year, impressing PopMatters in the process: “This is a smoldering album of invention, and successfully marries both the rock and country sides of the equation, with just a little bit of pop sheen as an added touch. Anyone who simply loves good music—regardless of genre—will find much to be rewarded by here, and Lane is definitely a towering performer that should be watched closely.” In fact, you can watch her tonight at The Bowery Ballroom. Clear Plastic Masks and Frankie Lee open the show.
Spanish Gold – Mercury Lounge – June 3, 2014
As a freelancer, you’re constantly answering questions like “Where are you working now?” and “What’s next?”—or even “How do you keep all that straight?” These questions are something I’d imagine Spanish Gold’s Dante Schwebel and Patrick Hallahan are also used to answering, considering they’ve been a part of a number of different bands over the past few years, all which led them here.
Schwebel bounced around the country with Texas rockers Hacienda for a few years, recently opened for Pink with City and Colour, and he also toured as Dan Auerbach’s lead guitarist (a tour that stopped at Webster Hall in 2009). Hallahan, who is better known for his role as My Morning Jacket’s rhythm keeper, manned drums and percussion on that tour. The two added another killer lead guitarist in Adrian Quesada, plus a bassist and two singers (one on keys, one on percussion), and voilà: Spanish Gold.
Last night, the experienced musicians sounded far better than a new band normally does, and the Southwestern-rock sound had Mercury Lounge in party mode from the first song to the last, a surprising yet remarkable cover of Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” (Schwebel joked that since they had run out of songs to play they might as well do something with some “funk.”) The room was just about completely full for the late-night set thanks in part to the band’s origin story, but they all certainly seemed happy to keep jamming in this current arrangement for a while to come. If not, at least we’ll know it won’t be long before we get to see the members of Spanish Gold rock out as something else. —Sean O’Kane
Tags: Bell Biv Devoe, City and Colour, Dan Auerbach, Dante Schwebel, Hacienda, Mercury Lounge, My Morning Jacket, Patrick Hallahan, Photos, Pink, Review, Spanish Gold
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Hanni El Khatib grew up obsessed with skateboarding and ’50s and ’60s pop culture, which led to a keen interest in the blues and garage rock of that time. As a talented one-man band, the multi-instrumentalist writes, produces and sings his own songs—although he performs live with a full band. But before he’d released anything beyond a pair of singles, an opening slot for Florence and the Machine and appearances at SXSW and Bonnaroo earned him some buzz. The raves continued with the release of Will the Guns Come Out in 2011. El Khatib (above, performing “You Rascal You” live in studio for KEXP FM) returned earlier this year with his second LP, the well-received, Dan Auerbach–produced Head in the Dirt (stream it below). And you can kick off your weekend with some grimy, garage-rock blues when Hanni El Khatib takes the stage at The Bowery Ballroom on Friday. Get there early enough to check out openers Bass Drum of Death.
The Bowery Presents extends warm congratulations to every 2013 Grammy winner (and nominee). And if you take a look at those who took home awards, it’s like a who’s who list of acts that have recently played our venues, including:
the Black Keys: Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album
Gotye: Record of the Year (featuring Kimbra), Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (featuring Kimbra), Best Alternative Music Album
fun.: Song of the Year (featuring Janelle Monáe), Best New Artist
Skrillex (featuring Sirah): Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album
Frank Ocean: Best Urban Contemporary Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (Kanye West and Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean and the-Dream)
Mumford & Sons: Album of the Year
Adele: Best Solo Pop Performance
Bonnie Raitt: Best Americana Album
Dan Auerbach: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Miguel: Best R&B Song
Kelly Clarkson: Best Pop Vocal Album
the Civil Wars (and Taylor Swift): Best Song Written for Visual Media
Halestorm: Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Tags: 2013 Grammys, Adele, Bonnie Raitt, Dan Auerbach, Frank Ocean, fun., Gotye, Halestorm, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Kimra, Miguel, Mumford & Sons, Skrillex, Taylor Swift, the Black Keys, the Civil Wars, the-Dream
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Brooks Nielsen (vocals), Anthony Braun Perry (bass), Scott Montoya (drums), Kyle Straka (keyboards, guitar) and Matt Taylor (lead guitar) formed the Growlers in 2006, playing their own version of slowed-down psychedelic surf pop. Their first two albums—2009’s Are You in or Are You Out? and 2010’s Hot Tropics—dealt with themes of death, but the Orange County, Calif., five-piece’s third LP, Hung at Heart, due out next month, is a less somber affair: “There is a lot of everything,” says Nielsen, “but definitely more happy songs and love songs.” The album was produced by Dan Auerbach in his Nashville studio. And the Growlers (above, doing “Acid Rain” for Dickies Sounds) play Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night.
Tags: Anthony Braun Perry, Are You in or Are You Out?, Brooks Nielsen, Dan Auerbach, Hot Tropics, Hung at Heart, Kyle Straka, Matt Taylor, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Preview, Scott Montoya, the Growlers, Video
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Michael Kiwanuka – Webster Hall – September 18, 2012
Throwback is the perfect definition for British soul artist Michael Kiwanuka, who has cited influences from Bill Withers to Otis Redding. His delicate guitar strums brightened a rather stormy Tuesday evening and for the Webster Hall crowd that braved the rain and wind, Kiwanuka was in fine form. Stepping onstage, he welcomed the audience with “I’ll Get Along” and followed up with “Tell Me a Tale,” which he described “as a tune you might know.” Taking up his acoustic guitar for the latter, the rhythm section came in with a percussion-heavy interlude. Kiwanuka played largely from his debut album, Home Again, enamoring his fans with “Bones.” The single is a gospel-y, upbeat tune with underhanded morose lyrics—truly a sad-song-makes-me-happy tune.
At the middle of his set, Kiwanuka drew attention to the night’s date, the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death. As a dedication, he covered “May This Be Love (Waterfall)” with his guitarist in character, donning a feather necklace and fringed guitar strap. Trading in the electric for the acoustic, the singer-songwriter played recent single “I’m Getting Ready” and stripped down the band to just his bassist, Pete Randall, for “Rest,” a country-twinged, heartache-y song showcasing Kiwanuka’s vocals. And although “Home Again” had some ringing feedback, he mollified it with soothing lyrics: “Movin’ on / So I’ll close my eyes / Won’t look behind.”
The end of the evening really brought out Kiwanuka’s gems with a new song, “If You Dare,” reminiscent of the Temptations’ downtempo swagger mixed with the first few chords of Redding’s “Sittin’ On (The Dock of the Bay).” Coincidentally (or not), he continued with a cover of Redding’s “I Don’t Know.” The audience joined in, clapping and singing along, “I just don’t know oh oh.” For the encore, Kiwanuka and Randall concluded the evening with “Lasan,” originally a collaboration with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Kiwanuka hoped it would send the onlookers “softly and soulfully into the night.” It certainly did. —Sharlene Chiu
(Michael Kiwanuka plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday.)
Tags: Bill Withers, Dan Auerbach, Home Again, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Kiwanuka, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Otis Redding, Pete Randall, the Black Keys, the Temptations
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Hacienda—three Villanueva brothers (Rene, on bass and vocals, Abraham, on piano and vocals, and Jaime, on drums and vocals) and one Schwebel cousin (Dante, on guitar and vocals)—caught an early break when Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys got a hold of their six-song demo. One thing led to another and eventually the band finished an album at his studio. Auerbach enjoyed working with them so much that he had them (along with My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan) back him on his Keep It Hid tour. As the four-piece has gained wider exposure, they’ve opened for the likes of the Black Keys, My Morning Jacket and Dr. Dog. And now Hacienda and Auerbach have again combined forces. He produced and cowrote their upcoming album, Shakedown. And as today’s featured band on The Bowery Presents Live, they perform one of the new disc’s tracks, “Savage,” in the kitchen at Terminal 5, and discuss nonstop touring and making music with Auerbach. For more videos like this and live-streamed shows, cool performances and intimate interviews, make sure you subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live.
Tags: Abraham Villanueva, Dan Auerbach, Dante Schwebel, Dr. Dog, Hacienda, Jaime Villanueva, My Morning Jacket, Patrick Hallahan, Rene Villanueva, Shakedown, the Black Keys
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Dan Auerbach – Webster Hall – November 11, 2009
Just as Jack White has done work outside of the White Stripes, first with the Raconteurs and now the Dead Weather, Dan Auerbach, one half of the power-blues machine that is the Black Keys, also fronts a second band with a bigger sound. His backing band, the Fast Five, is made up of the San Antonio rock group Hacienda—Antonio Abraham Villanueva on keys, Dante Schwebel on guitar, Jaime Villanueva on drums and Rene Villanueva on bass—plus My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan on drums and percussion. (Hallahan, eyes closed and mouth open, played the maracas and the triangle with the unrestrained mirth of a small child.)
Last night at a crowded Webster Hall, Auerbach and Co. made their way through Auerbach’s solo album, Keep It Hid, released in February, plus a few other songs, including a cover of Rocking Horse’s “Oh Carol.” The show began with some relatively quiet harmonizing before kicking into a higher, louder gear. They played more than an hour of a winning combo of gritty blues and dirty rock and roll, including “My Last Mistake,” “Money and Trouble” and “When the Night Comes.”
The encore began with Rene Villanueva, whose bass thumped ferociously all night, laying down a dancing bassline. As the audience enthusiastically clapped along, the band shifted into a tight blues riff that blew up into raging mayhem. When the song ended, just Auerbach remained onstage. “Thank you for coming out tonight,” he said before launching into the last song, “Goin’ Home.” The line “be thankful for all you got” drew cheers and applause. And then he finished with “So long/ I’m going/ I’m going home,” and then the crowd went wild and the stage went dark. —R. Zizmor