Shake me up, shake me down: Try to define the Growlers’ sound and multiple genres will come to mind, which is exactly what makes them so special. Their sonic melting pot ranges from psychedelic rock to indie pop and from surf rock to beach Goth, all while Brooks Nielsen’s distinctive raspy voice croons about love, life and everyday hardships. Over the course of more than a decade, the Dana Point, Calif., band has released numerous well-received singles, EPs and albums, including last year’s City Club (stream it below), which AllMusic dubbed their “most immediate and accessible collection of songs to date.” Plus, they’ve toured with renowned acts like the Black Keys, Julian Casablancas and Devendra Banhart. The Growlers (above, doing “I’ll Be Around” live in studio for KEXP FM) have gone through a transformation with City Club—produced by Casablancas and Shawn Everett (best known for working with Alabama Shakes and Weezer)—making their sound more concise, with upbeat tempos and perhaps a dose of New York City attitude added to their sunny, laid-back California vibes. Now in fine mid-tour form, the Growlers play Terminal 5 on Saturday night. —Karen Silva | @ClassicKaren
Tag Archives: Devendra Banhart
Devendra Banhart’s ninth studio album, Ape in Pink Marble, drops on Friday, and the freak-folk singer-songwriter celebrates its release with an intimate show that night at Rough Trade NYC. It sold out very quickly, but The House List is giving away two tickets. 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, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Devendra Banhart, 9/23) and a brief explanation of why you’re happy about fall’s arrival. Eddie Bruiser, who’s more of an endless-summer kind of guy, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Tags: Ape in Pink Marble, Brooklyn, Contest, Devendra Banhart, Eddie Bruiser, Free Tickets, Grow a Pair, Live Music, Music, New York City, Rough Trade NYC, Williamsburg
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Rodrigo Amarante – Rough Trade NYC – July 25, 2015
Some languages beautifully translate into song, and Portuguese is definitely one of them—from the bossa nova sway to the melancholic fado. Of course, most folks are familiar with the João Gilberto classic, “The Girl from Ipanema,” and even contemporary artists like Devendra Banhart have sung folk songs in this romance language. On Brazilian Rodrigo Amarante’s first solo album, Cavalo, Banhart took second fiddle providing guest vocals. But it’s easy to see why a bigger name in the American-music vernacular would take the supporting role. Amarante has had an eclectic career, first leading Los Hermanos in his homeland before forming the indie three-piece Little Joy with the Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti and Binki Shapiro, in addition to his acclaimed solo work. The trio was my first introduction to Amarante, leaving me a fan ever since, so when he rolled into Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC on Saturday night, I was there no questions asked.
“You came!” exclaimed Amarante, his arms raised in triumph, as he took the stage. It was the final performance on his tour in which he would play his solo album in its entirety. The largely Brazilian crowd sang along from the beginning, with the calming nah nah nahs in “Nada Em Vão.” When he moved on to the French song “Mon Nom,” Amarante thanked the audience with a “merci” upon its completion. For this non- Portuguese speaker, the evening felt like being transported to a small club in São Paulo. The humming intro of “Tardei” quickly coaxed a choral repetition like waves crashing against a beach. A gaggle of gals behind me harmonized to the fado-esque “Irene,” and then Amarante broke the take-us-on-a-trip spell by covering Angel Olsen’s “Unfucktheworld,” about which he confessed his great admiration for her song-writing talents.
The amiable artist offered a story about his numerous interactions with U.S. customs while tuning his white guitar. After several conversations about the reason for his travels to America as a musician, Amarante has concluded the password for the States is jazz. It’s the perfect fast pass through the border after a 10-plus hour flight. The set continued with more from his debut album, including the percussion-heavy “Maná” and the plaintive “The Ribbon.” And the encore had fans samba-ing to a Los Hermanos favorite, which incited a stream of claps, before Amarante sent fans, this one especially, happily home to bed with the Little Joy lullaby “Evaporar.” —Sharlene Chiu
Tags: Angel Olsen, Binki Shapiro, Cavalo, Devendra Banhart, Fabrizo Moretti, João Gilberto, Little Joy, Live Music, Los Hermanos, Music, Review, Rodrigo Amarante, Rough Trade NYC, Sharlene Chiu, Strokes
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CocoRosie – Webster Hall – October 12, 2013
For a decade, sisters Bianca “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie” Casady have performed under the combined moniker CocoRosie. Even before Joanna Newsom or Devendra Banhart came onto the scene, these two were early proponents of freak folk, which could be traced back to their estranged father’s fascination with American Indian religion and vision quests. Bianca’s vocals sound a lot like Newsom’s nasal delivery or even Karin Dreijer Andersson’s (of the Knife and Fever Ray), while Sierra offers more of a choral sound. As they took the stage at a sold-out Webster Hall on Saturday night, the sisters Casady brought with them material from their latest release, Tales of a GrassWidow.
The stage was furnished with a vanity table and a clothesline with clothes pinned to it. The articles of clothing would serve as added costumes and props for the evening. With the bass rattling the rafters, older sister Sierra bounced behind her keyboard, pumping up the crowd. Little sis Bianca soon followed, singing the opening to “Child Bride.” Although the sisters and beat-boxer extraordinaire Tez and multi-instrumentalist Tak were all clad in black-and-white-striped tunics, Bianca was the first to discard the piece to reveal a fairytale–like ball gown underneath—just one of her several costume changes.
The many layers of CocoRosie’s compositions were best exemplified with “Harmless Monster” as a gloomy piano accompaniment to Bianca’s singing was heightened with Sierra’s backing vocal and the delicate rhythm of manmade beats. Although original collaborator Anthony Hegarty wasn’t present, their rendition of “Tearz for Animals” elicited cheers as Sierra plucked the first string on her electric blue harp. Halfway through, Tez showcased his beat-boxing prowess. Sierra reemerged with a black tutu and hot pink one-legged tights to croon an Auto-Tuned “Villain.” Moving to older material for the latter part of the set, Bianca had fans bumping to the hip-hop influenced “Smokey Taboo,” from their previous album Grey Oceans. Fans weren’t disappointed when CocoRosie returned for not one but two encores, playing old favorite “Werewolf” and a cover of “Kevin Lyttle’s Turn Me On.” True to the final lyrics of the song, “You got me going crazy,” the ladies had the Webster Hall crowd in a frenzy. —Sharlene Chiu
Photos courtesy of Mina K
Tags: Anthony Hegarty, Biana Casady, CocoRosie, Devendra Banhart, Feve Ray, Grety Oceans, Joanna Newsome, Kevin Lyttle, Photos, Review, Rosie Casady, Tak, Tales of a GrassWidow, Tez, the Knife, Webster Hall
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Devendra Banhart and the Grogs – Terminal 5 – August 19, 2010
Devendra Banhart and the Grogs opened their set last night at Terminal 5 with Cripple Crow’s “Long Haired Child.” Fans who have followed Banhart’s music over the years likely associate the artist himself as a long-haired child—originally gaining popularity as a bohemian, shaggy-locked musician, prone to singing winding freak-folk tales over a gently plucked guitar. Yet the Banhart who appeared onstage last night, hair and beard trimmed short, dressed sharply in a tailored blazer, spent the night defying expectations.
In addition to performing tracks like “Angelika” and “First Song for B” from his latest release, What Will Be, a collection of mellow folk peppered with Latin influences, Banhart enjoyed shifting among different sounds, genres and moods throughout the show. He hammed it up as frontman, strutting and dancing around the stage during songs like “Baby,” and then Banhart picked up his guitar and revisited older favorites, with delicate solo renditions of “The Body Breaks” and “A Sight to Behold,” the latter as lovely and mournful as ever. When the band returned to the stage, Banhart shifted gears yet again, performing an intense, snarling cover of Johnny Thunders’ “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” an extended classic-rock-style jam of “Seahorse” and an ebullient “Carmensita.”
Although perhaps neither fans nor the shaggy, psych folk-leaning Banhart of yesteryear would have predicted that by 2010 he would be clean-shaven and dancing goofily while performing a rocking cover of the 1988 Taylor Dane hit “Tell It to My Heart”—perhaps the night’s biggest surprise—I’m guessing if Banhart saw how much fun he’d be having, the long-haired child would approve. —Alena Kastin
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com
Alternative folkie Devendra Banhart (above, performing “Sight to Behold” on Later…with Jools Holland) is back in town, playing Terminal 5 tomorrow night. And the even better news is that The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Then fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Devendra Banhart, 8/19) and a brief message explaining why you deserve a free Thursday night at Terminal 5. The winner will be notified tomorrow.