Tag Archives: Harry Nilsson

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Thank You Scientist and Bent Knee Play Rough Trade NYC Thursday

December 12th, 2017

Influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Harry Nilsson and Frank Zappa, the guys in Thank You Scientist—original members Salvatore Marrano (vocals) and Tom Monda (guitar, synths and vocals) now with Ben Karas (violin), Cody McCorry (bass, theremin and saw), Joe Fadem (drums), Sam Greenfield (sax) and Joe Gullace (trumpet)—met as part of the music program at Montclair State University and began making progressive rock together in 2009. Their debut full-length, Maps of Non-Existent Places (stream it below), dropped three years later. “To say there’s very little Thank You Scientist can do to improve is an absolute credit to the musicianship of this spectacular septet and every bit indicative that they should be an absolute pleasure to observe as they develop over time. Get in on the ground floor now or kick yourself later,” said Sputnik Music. Thank You Scientist (above, performing “The Amateur Arsonist’s Handbook” for Audiotree TV) returned with their sophomore release, Stranger Heads Prevail (stream it below), in 2016. Consequence of Sound called the it a “wild ride of an prog-rock album,” adding that the LP is “for fans of Coheed and Cambria and comprehensive mind-fucks.”


Another large group founded at a school in 2009, Bent Knee—Courtney Swain (vocals and keys), Ben Levin (guitar and vocals), Chris Baum (violin and vocals), Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth (drums), Jessica Kion (bass and vocals) and Vince Welch (synths)—formed in Boston at the Berklee College of Music. The experimental art-rock sextet (above, doing “Way Too Long” for Audiotree TV) has put out four albums, including this past summer’s Land Animal (stream it below), which shows “how fearless the six-piece is in grabbing hold of different sounds and making them their own,” raved Consequence of Sound. “The band has used Land Animal to look at the state of the world and figure out how to reconcile all the darkness with art.” Get your weekend started early when both of these terrific acts lay it down live on Thursday night at Rough Trade NYC.

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Nick Hakim Launches Tour on Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 29th, 2017

He grew up in Washington, D.C., raised by Chilean and Peruvian parents, listening to folk, go-go, hip-hop and soul—and he now makes his home in Brooklyn. So it should come as no surprise that talented singer-songwriter Nick Hakim isn’t tied down to just one genre. And thanks to the release of two excellent EPs, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 (stream both below), in 2014, Hakim (above, performing “Cuffed” for KCRW FM)—channeling Marvin Gaye and Harry Nilsson—quickly earned the reputation of a powerful, refined crooner with an old soul. His first full-length, Green Twins (stream it below), arrived this past spring. “The album’s potent mix of soul-searching lyrics and spaced-out sonics lends itself to deep thought and accompanied stargazing,” said AllMusic. While Pitchfork added that Hakim “puts a modern spin on classic concepts. His genre-bending debut operates at a fever pitch.” But it’s his live shows—including a stint opening for Maxwell—that have really won over fans. And to that end, Hakim kicks off a new tour on Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Evian opens the show. Come see what the fuss is all about.

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Psychic TV Celebrate New Album Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 14th, 2016

When English industrial-rock group Throbbing Gristle broke up in 1981, the following year, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and performing artist Genesis P-Orridge and video director and multi-instrumentalist Peter Christopherson launched the multimedia avant-garde collective Psychic TV, influenced by the likes of William S. Burroughs, Philip K. Dick and the Marquis de Sade—“encompassing melodic pop, barely listenable white noise, gentle ballads, industrial found-sound collages, spoken word pieces, and experiments with ethnic instruments and world music, all tied together by a Dadaist sensibility,” according to AllMusic. Psychic TV (above, covering Harry Nilsson’s “Jump into the Fire”) will reissue their debut album, Force the Hand of Chance, later this year. And with the arrival of their newest, Alienist, a couple of weeks back, Psychic TV celebrate its release on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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BC Camplight Brings Terrific New Music to Rough Trade NYC

June 3rd, 2015

Inspired by the likes of Burt Bacharach and Harry Nilsson, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Christinzio released his first one-man-band BC Camplight album, the piano-driven psych-pop Hide, Run Away (stream it below), in 2005. AllMusic compared the dark material with a sunny sound to the New Pornographers and Ben Folds. Another LP followed, but then … not much else. Fighting depression, he’d occasionally perform with the War on Drugs and he appeared on a Sharon Van Etten album. But thinking of himself as “the guy who blew it” and realizing he’d “be dead or in jail if I stayed” in Philadelphia, Christinzio left the United States and settled in Manchester, England, in 2012. He began playing music again and now, eight years since his previous release, BC Camplight (above, doing “Grim Cinema” for WFUV FM) has a new album, How to Die in the North (stream it below), released this past January. Per AllMusic, it “sounds like the product of an artist restored. Bold, beautiful, campy, heartbreaking and flush with moxie, Christinzio’s third outing is a left-field gem.” See him Friday night at Rough Trade NYC. Local quartet the Rally and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tall Juan open the show.

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Soulful Nick Hakim Kicks Off Residency at Mercury Lounge Tonight

January 6th, 2015

He grew up in Washington, D.C., raised by Chilean and Peruvian parents, listening to folk, go-go, hip-hop and soul—and he now makes his home in Brooklyn. So it should come as no surprise that talented singer-songwriter Nick Hakim isn’t tied down to just one genre. And thanks to the release of two excellent EPs, Where Will We Go, Pt. 1 and Where Will We Go, Pt. 2 (stream both below), last year, Hakim (above, performing “The Green Twins” for Sofar Sounds), channeling Marvin Gaye and Harry Nilsson, has quickly earned the reputation of a powerful, refined crooner with an old soul. But it’s his live shows—including a stint opening for Maxwell—that have really won over fans. And to that end, tonight at Mercury Lounge, Hakim kicks off a January residency, playing every Tuesday this month. Come see what the fuss is all about.

(Nick Hakim also plays Mercury Lounge on 1/13, 1/20 and 1/27.)

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Father John Misty Plays a Pair of Weekend Solo Shows

October 16th, 2013

Chances are that prior to last year you either knew of Joshua Tillman as the drummer for Fleet Foxes or as the solo artist J. Tillman. But things blew up for him in 2012 with the release of the Jonathan Wilson–produced Fear Fun (stream it below) under the name Father John Misty. Playing a freak folk smoothed out with a little bit of California sunshine—no doubt a direct result of leaving Seattle for L.A.’s Laurel Canyon (“Look out, Hollywood, here I come,” he sings in “Funtimes in Babylon”)—Tillman enjoyed the best reviews of his career, invoking heady comparisons to Gram Parsons and Harry Nilsson, in making the kind of music the Consequence of Sound says provides “an aural parallel to a drug and whiskey afterglow.” Since debuting at Mercury Lounge last May, Father John Misty (above, performing “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” for Minnesota Public Radio) has steadily grown in popularity. And now he’s back in town for two solo shows, bringing his hip-shaking, pelvic-thrusting good times to Town Hall on Friday night and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night.

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Catch Father John Misty Tomorrow Night at Terminal 5

July 23rd, 2013

Chances are that prior to last year you either knew of Joshua Tillman as the drummer for Fleet Foxes or as the solo artist J. Tillman. But things blew up for him in 2012 with the release of the Jonathan Wilson–produced Fear Fun (stream it below) under the name Father John Misty. Playing a freak folk smoothed out with a little bit of California sunshine—no doubt a direct result of leaving Seattle for L.A.’s Laurel Canyon (“Look out, Hollywood, here I come,” he sings in “Funtimes in Babylon”)—Tillman enjoyed the best reviews of his career, invoking heady comparisons to Gram Parsons and Harry Nilsson, in making music the Consequence of Sound says provides “an aural parallel to a drug and whiskey afterglow.” Since debuting at Mercury Lounge last May, Father John Misty (above, performing “Nancy from Now On” on Conan, and, below, covering the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize” for the A.V. Club) has played a bigger venue upon each subsequent New York City visit: Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom and then Webster Hall. And now he’s back in town, bringing his hip-shaking, pelvic-thrusting good time to Terminal 5 tomorrow night.