Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jessica Newham grew up in Sydney, but headed to the U.S. as a teen to attend a performing-arts school in Michigan and then the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She began playing live when she was just 16 and then, channeling popular ’80s influences and synth pop reminiscent of M83 and MGMT, started releasing music as Betty Who just a few years later. After early buzz for a pair of acclaimed EPs and opening for Katy Perry’s Down Under tour, her debut full-length, Take Me When You Go (stream it below), arrived in 2014. Betty Who (above, the video for “Mama Say”) returned this past spring with her sophomore effort, The Valley (stream it below), which has a more modern sound, but is as life-affirming as her other work. Catch her life-affirming music live tomorrow night at Brooklyn Steel. Another synth-pop act, Geographer, opens.
Tag Archives: Katy Perry
Jordan Houston, who writes, raps and produces as Juicy J, is most well known as one of the founding members of the Academy Award–winning hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia. But he’s been increasingly making a name for himself as a solo artist thanks to collaborations with the likes of Katy Perry and Usher and his 2012 strip-club friendly “Bandz a Make Her Dance” with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. His third solo album, Stay Trippy (stream it below), arrived last year. AllMusic proclaimed it “a pimp party of the highest order.” But despite being so closely associated with partying—he’s out on the road on his Never Sober tour—and strip clubs, Juicy J (above, doing “Bounce It” live on The Aresenio Hall Show) isn’t just about having a good time: “I’ve got a lot of songs about having fun and partying, but it’s a lot of work. Sometimes, I make 50 songs and pick out the best 10. I’ve been in the studio all day, all night, making the beat, writing the raps. You never know what’s gonna be a hit,” he tells Time Out New York. See him play Terminal 5 tomorrow night. Juicy J’s older brother, Memphis rapper Project Pat, opens the show.
John Mayer/Phillip Phillips – Barclays Center – December 17, 2013
Barclays Center welcomed thousands last night for the final performance of John Mayer’s Born and Raised tour. Phillip Phillips kicked off the night with some standout numbers from his debut album, World from the Side of the Moon. It’s no wonder he took the title of American Idol in the show’s eleventh season. Phillips’ stage presence instantly won over the audience, as did his soulful warbling. “Home” and “Where We Came From,” two crowd favorites, highlighted the set. Phillips also gave a husky-voiced performance of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” which got the crowd singing along before he did some serious justice to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” by lending his throaty twang to the rapper’s anthem.
Mayer strode onstage flanked by some exceptionally talented musicians and supporting vocalists. The stage was backlit with a brilliant landscape depicting a desert at dusk, which morphed throughout the performance. The band launched into “Queen of California.” Mayer expressed that had created a set list that would take us on a journey, and he emphasized his gratitude for his talented bandmates. “Half of My Heart” and “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)” followed, punctuated by Mayer’s extensive guitar solos. “Why Georgia” brought on a wave of nostalgic cheers, and Mayer directed the song’s chorus to the audience, asking, “Are you living it right?” He then brandished a harmonica for the forlorn ballad “Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey.” “Who Says” and “Speak for Me” provided an optimistic upswing as the band hit their stride in the extensive set. “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” briefly dipped back into melancholy before the cheerful melodies and earnest crooning in “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967” and “Wildfire” swept us up once again. “Waiting on the World to Change” had the audience cheering instantly, to which Mayer gratefully responded, “I don’t know what I did to deserve you all.” An elongated “If I Ever Get Around to Living” ended with Mayer playing two guitars at once. And then the band closed the set with “The Age of Worry” and “Dear Marie.”
The crowd wasted no time cheering for an encore and voicing their enthusiasm for a certain special guest: Katy Perry. The pop songstress and Mayer had just released a music video for “Who You Love,” and the real-life couple have an easygoing kind of chemistry onstage that is much more relatable than their über-romantic onscreen version. Perry quickly kissed Mayer goodbye as he played a Christmas medley and rounded out the night with a triumphant rendition of “Gravity.” At the end of it all, Mayer was hunched over his guitar on the floor of the stage, beaming at the audience. And as someone who saw him perform more than a decade ago toward the beginning of his career, I can say without a doubt that he’s grown to be one of the best live performers out there. —Schuyler Rooth
Yoann Lemoine is a man of many hats: He’s a music-video director, a graphic designer and a singer-songwriter. Born in Lyon, France, Lemoine spent time studying in London before relocating to Paris. And while he was busy working with the likes of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey, Lemoine still found time to write and record a pair of atmospheric-pop EPs under the name Woodkid. His debut full-length, The Golden Age (stream it below), out this past spring, is a lush, orchestral concept album about the life of a young boy. And Woodkid (above, performing “I Love You”) is now out touring the world in support of it, which brings him to Webster Hall tonight.
Daughter – The Bowery Ballroom – April 30, 2013
When Katy Perry name-drops one of your tracks in a tweet about her recent breakup with serial dater John Mayer, people will take notice. The British trio Daughter emerged with lead singer Elena Tonra’s delicately acoustic songs and bloomed with the addition of guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. Playing the first of two sold-out shows at The Bowery Ballroom last night, Tonra remarked, “I’m going to make sure I’m in tune.” The three began the evening with “In the Shallows” and followed with the appropriately celebratory “Candles,” on the day their debut album, If You Leave, was released.
The group’s music melds heart-aching lyrics with a slow build of discontent into a crescendo of fury and hate. On “Still,” Tonra chanted: “Two feet standing on a principle/ Two hands longing for each others warmth/ Cold smoke seeping out of colder throats/ Darkness falling, leaves nowhere to go,” while Aguilella thumped on the kick drum and Haefeli created a chamber of reverb from his electric guitar. The crowd erupted for the aforementioned celebrity breakup song, “Landfill.” And in between thanking the audience, Tonra confessed that on her trip over to the States she came close to popping her eardrum. She hadn’t, thankfully, and was supplied with some medication that left her in a euphoric mood, which was quite the antithesis of the songs “Run” and “Smother.”
As the show neared its end, the best was saved for last as fan-favorite “Youth” drew in the onlookers to sing along to a chorus of “You caused it.” Closing the set with “Home,” the choral echoes of “Take me, take me, home” reminded me of the Welsh artist “Jem’s Save Me,” with its similar repetitive phrasing delivered in an almost yodel. The threesome returned for a special encore—a mash-up of Bon Iver’s “Perth” and Hot Chip’s “Ready for the Floor,” which beautifully reimagined the two tracks as a slow dance party in a log cabin. Although the night was a downtempo breakup extravaganza, no one left with a broken heart as couples exited hand in hand from the instant catharsis. —Sharlene Chiu
Tags: Bon Iver, Bowery Ballroom, Daughter, Elena Tonra, Hot Chip, If You Leave, Igor Haefeli, Jem, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Remi Aguilella, Review, The Bowery Presents Live
Posted in House List, Reviews No Comments »