Tag Archives: Live Music

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Two Chances to Catch Now, Now Live in Brooklyn This Week

February 14th, 2018

About 15 years ago, Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar and keys) and Bradley Hale (drums and vocals) met while in the marching band of a suburban Minneapolis high school and eventually began writing songs together and playing them with a rotating group of musicians. After a name change, the duo finally settled on Now, Now, and inspired by ’90s alternative rock, they’ve released two LPs, including 2012’s Threads (stream it below), several EPs and a pair of remixed albums, all filled with acoustic guitar and fuzzy synths. But after recently releasing some punchier pop singles, Now, Now (above, performing “SGL” live in studio for KCMP FM the Current) are back out on the road, and they’ve got two appearances this weekend in Kings County. See them opening for X Ambassadors on Friday at Brooklyn Steel and then headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, with the four-piece Mothers opening.

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Børns on 2/16

February 13th, 2018

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With the current tour behind his second studio full-length album, Blue Madonna, ending soon, Børns comes to New York City this week to play Brooklyn Steel on Thursday and Terminal 5 on Friday. And even though both dates sold out quickly, you’ve still got a chance to attend one by trying to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List to see Børns on Friday night. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Børns, 2/16) and a brief message explaining your favorite Winter Olympics sport. Eddie Bruiser, who’s probably watching right now, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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Shake It into the Weekend with the Funk Hunters at Rough Trade NYC

February 9th, 2018

Vancouver, B.C., DJ duo the Funk Hunters—Duncan Smith and Nick Middleton—have been mashing together old-school funk, disco, hip-hop and soul with new-school electronic music to make their own winning future-funk sounds that have been featured on big festival stages across the world for close to a decade. When they first began performing live, it was just mixers, turntables and video software, but somewhere along the way they started to occasionally add live instrumentation to the mix, to great effect. But either way, they’ll get you to the dance floor. And with just a few dates left on their winter tour, the Funk Hunters play Rough Trade NYC tonight, with the bass-heavy Defunk opening.

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J. Roddy Walston and the Business – Brooklyn Steel – February 7, 2018

February 8th, 2018


Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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Girlpool Bring Hooks and Harmonies Aplenty to Brooklyn Steel

February 7th, 2018

Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker make riveting music together as Girlpool (above, performing “Powerplant” for World Cafe). They established themselves just a few years ago with a straightforward DIY punk-inspired minimalism, featuring their oft-unison vocals dead center. Their early songs are intense and direct but have an edge of sweetness. But for their second full-length record, the Pitchfork-praised Powerplant (stream it below), released last year, Tividad and Tucker softened the edges a bit more, incorporating upbeat harmonies and whimsical instrumentation, yet their unique musical style still abounds. In interviews, Girlpool have spoken about their belief in conveying radical vulnerability and honesty through their music and lyrics. Despite their age (Tividad and Tucker are both in their early 20s), they come across as wise and worldly. And with Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, what better way to get radically in touch with your own complicated emotions than to spend the night with Girlpool tomorrow at Brooklyn Steel. And even if you’re too cool to be affected by that cloying Hallmark holiday, then you’ll still appreciate swaying along to Girlpool’s catchy hooks. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

 

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Hippo Campus on 2/10

February 6th, 2018

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Touring behind their acclaimed debut full-length, Landmark, Twin Cities pop four-piece Hippo Campus come back to Brooklyn this weekend to play the big stage at Brooklyn Steel on Saturday night. And while the show is already sold out, you can try to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List. It’s actually pretty easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Hippo Campus, 2/10) and a brief message explaining your favorite tune on Landmark. Eddie Bruiser, who just finished listening to the album all the way through, will notify the winner by Friday afternoon. Good luck.

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Rock Out with J. Roddy Walston and the Business on Wednesday Night

February 6th, 2018

Finally off the road after touring behind Essential Tremors (stream it below) for two-and-a-half years, raucous blues-rock four-piece J. Roddy Walston and the Business—J. Roddy Walston (vocals, piano and guitar), Billy Gordon (guitar and vocals), Logan Davis (bass and vocals) and Steve Colmus (drums)—had to figure out what came next: “When we got back it was just like, ‘Alright, we gotta really pump the brake here,” Walston told Billboard. “There was no plan. There was no direction. There was nothing. It was just like, ‘Let’s start writing a record.’ Which was really freeing, but also pretty daunting.” So they converted an old grenade factory at home in Richmond, Va., into a studio to focus on writing and recording at their own pace. “Loud rock and roll music has become less relevant because it’s just been on a loop,” said Walston to American Songwriter. “If there was any rule on this record, it was, let’s be a part of music right now. I want to be part of living music in this moment.” The result is something a little bit different, but a smashing success nonetheless. Their fourth studio album, Destroyers of the Soft Life (stream it below), came out last September to raves. “They set out to create a massive record, one that would transform their raucous, Southern barroom boogie into anthemic arena rock, brimming with vocal hooks and sporting crystalline production to match,” said Billboard. “Indeed, Destroyers of the Soft Life sounds like an honest album—but it also sounds like a modern album, one that fleshes out the band’s hard-rocking roots with elements of country, soul and straight-up pop.” Not to be outdone, “Walston and company have made another major stride forward in redefining their sound as well as the conventions of what Southern rock is supposed to sound like,” gushed PopMatters. “It serves as a message to the South and to rock music in general that renovation and modernization can lead to something dynamic and beautiful.” And live, J. Roddy Walston and the Business (above, doing “The Wanting” live on Conan) still continue to put on a ripper of a show. See them headline Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday night. Chicago DIY psych five-piece Post Animal open.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Brooklyn Steel – February 2, 2018

February 5th, 2018


Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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Catch Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons Tuesday at Rough Trade NYC

February 5th, 2018

Jerry Joseph is an old-school rock iconoclast, the type for whom opinionated is a politely remote descriptor, but then fades away into a hail of guitar and the spiked delivery of a particularly on-point lyric. And when he’s on—and with his trio, the Jackmormons, there’s no fear of off—he’s a ferocious live show, like Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty fronting Crazy Horse, and with a world-weary purview that’s emotional, heavy and leaves just enough room for slivers of optimism. Joseph is above all prolific. He has more than 30 albums to his name and some 250 potent original songs, which will form the bulk of what’s sure to be a barn burner of a set at Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. This time around, he and his Jackmormons (above, performing “Savage Garden”)—Steven James Wright on bass and Steve Drizos on drums—come slinging Weird Blood (stream it below), Joseph’s third album in as many years with Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools as a shrewd producer. Joseph is the first to admit the Weird Blood songs evoke a time of year and a state of mind. “I rented a tiny house about a mile from my home so I could write but be home for dinner and kid bedtime,” he writes in the album’s accompanying notes. “I ended up writing a fistful of songs. It was cold early January but a perfect place to write. Weird stuff was happening in general, one of those weeks where I had my copy of Black Star and David Bowie died. I tend to do the mad scribble thing when I write.” Indeed, Weird Blood runs the Josephian gamut: “Sweet Baba Jay” and its spooked folk rock, “3-7-77,” which feels like it’s trying to escape from its own untidy blues-rock framework, “Wild Wild West,” a tune of his that’s been around for more than two decades and really unfolds live, and “Think On These Things,” a common Joseph show opener but tender enough an anthemic rock song that it’s willing to let in just enough light to be called uplifting. You’ll get a range of styles, plus snatches of songs from one or more of Joseph’s constellation of influences, from Leonard Cohen to Bob Marley. But most of all you’ll get Joseph, who’s earned the right to be called an original, and if you’re in the right frame of mind, could front the best band in the world on any given night. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

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Why? Return to NYC to Headline Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday

February 2nd, 2018

Why? are a band that defies easy categorization—or categorization of any kind, for that matter. Maybe you could mash together two genres and throw in a dash, but what the fuck is rap–indie rock anyway? Why? (above, performing “Easy” for the Wild Honey Pie) began as the brainchild of Yoni Wolf, first as a solo rap act before morphing into a full-fledged four-piece band, which includes his brother and collaborator, Josiah, on drums, Doug McDiarmid on keys and Matt Meldon on guitar and bass. Before that he helped found Anticon, the rap-heavy indie record label based out of the Bay Area. In the time since, Yoni Wolf has returned to his hometown, Cincinnati—or in his own words, “the land of Procter & Gamble and cop scandals.” Sonically, Why? leapfrog from sound to sound with each album, but the frontman’s expert wordsmith abilities, equal parts confessional, personal, wry, whimsical and trippy, are constant throughout. Their latest album, Moh Llean (stream it below), came out last March, their first released material in four years. The LP comes oozing with ear-candy melodies, something Yoni has always had a knack for but has fine-tuned over the years. You can catch the Wolf brothers and company on Monday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Los Angeles art rapper Open Mike Eagle opens the show. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

 

 

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Black Label Society – PlayStation Theater – January 31, 2018

February 1st, 2018


Photos courtesy of Marc Millman Photography | www.marcmillmanphotos.com

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Wafia Brings New Music to Rough Trade NYC on Thursday Night

January 31st, 2018

Born in the Netherlands but raised Down Under in Brisbane, Australia—and doing business by just her first name—singer-songwriter Wafia Al-Rikabi has been known for her soulful, brooding take on electronic R&B ever since she began releasing original music in 2015. Her third extended play, VIII (stream it below), dropped earlier this year. “Using metaphors and allusions, Wafia subtly reveals the emotions behind her words without specifically commenting on the political issues that swirl around her,” says Purple Sneakers. “While still relatively early on in her career, Wafia has found a passionate audience for her work thanks to her dreamy voice and perceptive songwriting. Brimming with heartbreak and the possibility of redemption, the VIII EP is her most sophisticated release yet.” And as her current North American tour winds down this week, Wafia (above, performing “Meet in the Middle” with Ta-ku at the Sydney Opera House) plays Rough Trade NYC on Thursday night with Jaira Burns opening the show.

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Kimbra – Brooklyn Steel – January 29, 2018

January 30th, 2018


Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Typhoon Make Sold-Out Music Hall of Williamsburg Feel Intimate

January 29th, 2018

Typhoon – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 27, 2018


“My friends, how are you?” inquired frontman Kyle Morton of the Music Hall of Williamsburg audience as Typhoon took the stage. The outsize band with an outsize sound before a sold-out room on a Saturday night somehow immediately turned the show small and intimate. That was the mood of the evening, big swells of sound coupled with moments of quiet introspection. To pull it off, the sound needed to be just right—each lyric as important to hear as the swaths of violin and guitars winding their way through an ecstatic two-drummer rhythm section. With their dedicated sound system taking up valuable real estate in the middle of the packed room, this was not a problem. So when they opened with “Common Sentiments,” off the 2013 release White Lighter, lines like “I began hearing these voices in the dial tone” were as clear as Shannon Steele’s emotive violin playing, with the crowd already singing along to make the band feel even bigger.

At times Typhoon felt like a big folk band that had fallen, comic book–style, into a vat of acid, taking on superhuman strength in the process. “Hunger and Thirst” was explosive in its two-guitar-two-drummer chug. Other times, they were more like a prog-rock band with plainspoken, poetic lyrics, complex orchestral dynamics paired with a heavy dose of humanity. Despite a brand new album, Offerings, just a few weeks out of the bag, the set list was democratic in its selections from the band’s history. Regardless of new or old, the audience was eager to participate, dancing, singing and clapping along at the right moment, calling out requests in anticipation of the next song.

The band goofed on starting “Possible Deaths” over and over again throughout the set, half tease and half prank as a nice change of pace for a group whose music feels quite serious all of the time. The set found its powerful climax with “Empircist,” off the new record, everything about the preceding set, rolled into one piece. Morton and Co. paired quiet and loud, big and small, heavy rock with beautiful violin melodies and moved through multiple sections, each their own composition, the crowd singing along at times, at others taking in lyrics like “So blow out your past lives like they’re candles on the cake” clear and as intimate as a “How are you?” from a friend. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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MØ – Brooklyn Steel – January 26, 2018

January 29th, 2018

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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