Tag Archives: Mitski Miyawaki
Mitski – Union Transfer – July 7, 2017
Toward the end of show-opener Half Waif’s set, frontwoman Nandi Rose Plunkett mentioned speaking with headliner Mitski in the green room, saying a 30-minute set is like all the good parts of a relationship. It was a clever remark and many laughed, but it was also something to think about when taking stock of the talented lineup at Friday night’s sold-out show at Union Transfer. All three acts shared their unique, intimate selves and left like a perfect affair. Half Waif with dazzling and self-confident songs from her EP, Form/a, and Julia Jacklin with a hushed, solo electric guitar set, blending melancholic music with a soft yet powerful country-twanged voice. Each built on the other until Mitski, on bass and vocals, arrived with her two bandmates on guitar and drums. Then it was a great romance.
Mitski, playing coy, barely addressed the audience until she stepped forward with the spotlight shining on her. She wore a white dress, about which she later said, “Do I look like a princess? If I’m living my dream, I should do it up.” This kind of blunt vulnerability and dark sense of humor comes out on her most recent album, Puberty 2, and especially in the standout track “Your Best American Girl,” in which she sings, “If I could, I’d be your little spoon/ And kiss your fingers forevermore.” On the bass drum was the word HAPPY in reference to Puberty 2’s opening track. And while many of Mitski’s songs deal in darker times, at least when sharing these experiences, she found a deep connection with her audience. In that sense, like all of the performers, she found a way to have all the best parts of a relationship. —Jared Levy | @Playtonic
Tags: Form/a, Half Waif, Jared Levy, Julia Jacklin, Live Music, Mitski, Mitski Miyawaki, Music, Nandi Rose Plunkett, Philadelphia, Puberty 2, Union Transfer
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Mitski – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 27, 2016
In the unassuming manner that parallels the approach to her craft, Mitski Miyawaki took the stage last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg with just her trusty guitar and drummer. From the sight of the sold-out crowd of onlookers tightly pressing toward the front, you’d have thought some enthralling spectacle was about to begin, yet the rapt attraction was for a lone voice that has quietly become a sensation in the indie-music universe. The quaver of that voice, tenderly riding the smartly arranged songs she’s written, had the aesthetic of nimbly skimming above the babbles and currents of her guitar, like a darting river bird just above the surface of the water. It also revealed the raw emotional investment in the conception of the lyrics it delivers—lyrics that carry things from parts of self that don’t come out in the daylight, in a voice that is speaking to people in a manner transparently identifiable and profound.
Such have been the characteristics linked to Mitski’s since she composed her first two albums as music-school projects. Now, with her newest work, Puberty 2, a personal tour de force that has everyone gushing, her songwriting’s reach has extended, firmly grabbing hold of listeners. There’s irony in the sense received that the meaning she derives from the music she plays may be greater in isolation, in an empty room and as a means to cope. But Mitski’s first address of the crowd debunked this notion: “Thank you for letting my music be part of your lives…. Thank you for giving my music meaning.”
Over steady feedback buzz running in the background, Mitski coursed through a quick set of well-chosen songs that got right to the point of her purpose. It was a reminder that amidst all of the common hoopla of live performance, the bells and whistles of display and texture and atmosphere building, all you may really need is singular emotion on a stage, communicated through a telepathic syncing of guitar-and-drum pattern. Mitski showed that engaging mixture of vulnerability with badass posturing, at one point letting down her hair as the torment of her expression reached its peak. Although these were songs distinctly from a young woman’s perspective, everyone was equally transfixed, subdued by the power of songwriting that stands on its own. Mitski is Sharon Van Etten with bruised elbows, inspiring through resilient defiance in song. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly
Photos courtesy of Julia Berke | juliaberkephoto.com
Touring behind her acclaimed new LP, Puberty 2, Mitski plays Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night. The album is terrific and the show sold out quickly. But even if you don’t have tickets, you can try to Grow a Pair from The House List. 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 (Mitski, 7/27) and a brief message explaining your favorite song on the album. Eddie Bruiser, who’s sitting on a block of ice, will notify the winner by tomorrow.
Tags: Brooklyn, Contest, Eddie Bruiser, Free Tickets, Grow a Pair, Live Music, Mitski, Mitski Miyawaki, Music, Music Hall of Williamsburg, New York City, Puberty 2
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Mitski – The Bowery Ballroom – June 20, 2016
An unlikely girl graces the cover of this month’s Brooklyn Magazine. Her name is Mitski Miyawaki and the said publication has touted her as the next big thing to take over the music world. She’s garnered a lot of fans in the press, including NPR—which offered Mitski their coveted headline slot at this year’s SXSW showcase—and NME. The singer has captured critics’ hearts with not only her deft guitar prowess but also her thoughtful, crisp lyrics. Although a nomad of sorts (she’s lived in Japan, the Republic of Congo, Turkey and China), the world traveler has called New York City home since graduating from SUNY Purchase. Fresh off the release of her fourth studio album, Puberty 2, Mitski took the stage at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom last night, donning a business-casual ensemble, consisting of a knit top and pencil skirt. She later referred to her outfit as her best attempt at a Cruel Intentions look.
Mitski blended new stuff with old pieces from her breakout album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek. Beginning with a crowd favorite, “Townie,” she quickly had the room in the palm of her hand as she introduced the newer “Thursday Girl.” The latter had her sounding a bit like an angelic Florence Welch with a guttural chorus of “Tell me no, tell me no” against drum machine–produced beats. Mitski dropped a gem with a cover of Calvin Harris’s “How Deep Is Your Love,” which she coyly stated was the only song she would sing written by a guy who makes a ton of money.
Everyone in the room sang along and swayed to single “Your Best American Girl” as the crescendoing chorus elicited the front row to head bang to the waves of riffs. With a trio of fierce screams of “Cry,” the set was punctuated with the appropriate finale song, “Fireworks.” Mitski returned solo to encore with a pair, “A Burning Hill” and “Last Words of a Shooting Star.” It’s rare when The Bowery Ballroom becomes so quiet and every person is rapt in awe. Last night was one of those rare evenings—on the summer solstice no less and during a Strawberry Moon. —Sharlene Chiu
Tags: Bowery Ballroom, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Calvin Harris, Cruel Intentions, Florence Welch, Julia Berke, Live Music, Lower East Side, Mitski, Mitski Miyawaki, Music, New York City, Photos, Puberty 2, Review, Sharlene Chiu
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Speedy Ortiz – The Bowery Ballroom – April 25, 2015
Without stepping into an easy band-name pun, it’s recently been a remarkably quick rise to indie-rock stardom for the Massachusetts four-piece Speedy Ortiz. After passing through The Bowery Ballroom as the opener several times over the past few years, Speedy Ortiz sold out the venerable venue on Saturday night as the headliner—and fresh off the heels of their sophomore LP release, Foil Deer. The room felt packed to its gills even before the first band hit the stage, fellow Bay Staters and shrill rockers Krill, who did a killer (Kriller?) set of their own. Amongst the sea of Speedy fans (can we call them Speedsters?) was a who’s who of indie-rock royalty, including Dylan Baldi, lead man of Cloud Nothings (and significant other to Speedy Ortiz lead woman Sadie Dupuis), and Joseph D’Agostino of Cymbals Eat Guitar. Mitski Miyawaki of the second opener, appropriately named Mitski, after mentioning an earlier phone call from her mom, had the audience chew on the fact that we all had someone guide us through “helpless baby years,” and that someone out there fended for all of us at one point. Dupuis followed up on this sentiment, dedicating the night to her own father, a fellow New Yorker and rock royalty in his own right, who had passed away earlier this spring.
Speedy’s set drew heavily from Foil Deer, beginning the show with the LP’s first two singles, “The Graduates” and “Raising the Skate.” “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss,” sang Dupuis on the latter, an appropriate proclamation on a night that felt something like a victory lap for the band. Dupuis crafts sharp, witty songs—with a background in poetry, she writes some of the best lyrics in rock right now. But if her words offered bite, the guitar riffs left the sting. The lyrics felt at the forefront in part because the guitars gave them punch, both Dupuis’ own and those from fellow riffster Devin McKnight, sporting an epic head of hair, backlit throughout the night by the neon stage lights. The raw energy made for a fast-moving set. The band, deciding planned encores were cheesy, announced what would be considered their encore and plowed right on through it to the end of their show. And to paraphrase Ferris Bueller, Speedy Ortiz sets move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and listen to the music once in a while, you could miss it. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks
Tags: Bowery Ballroom, Cloud Nothings, Devin McKnight, Dylan Baldi, Foil Deer, Joseph D’Agostino, Krill, Mitski Miyawaki, Review, Sadie Dupuis, Speedy Ortiz
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