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.
Tag Archives: Mothers
The Mountain Goats – Brooklyn Steel – November 12, 2017
John Darnielle might be the hardest-working man in indie rock. This is not to say he comes from the same school as Bruce Springsteen—playing epic four-hour shows every night with sweat soaking through his American flag bandanna. But as the singer-songwriter of the beloved band the Mountain Goats, he’s consistently churned out a thoughtful and varied body of work at such a dependable pace that you might take him for granted. While other prolific artists may have a high volume of toss-away moments in their catalogs, Darnielle’s lyrics have always seemed intensely labored over and essential. Once called “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricist” by The New Yorker, he’s able to cover an impossible amount of ground from verse to verse, all while releasing albums with the band and somehow also managing to write two critically acclaimed novels. How about that for work ethic?
The band’s latest album, Goths, was released this year, and the Mountain Goats’ tour brought them to town for a packed show at Brooklyn Steel on Sunday night. The LP explores Darnielle’s early ’80s teen fascination with this genre in the same way that 2015’s Beat the Champ paid tribute to his heroes of professional wrestling. In pure Mountain Goats fashion: always sincere and never with irony. Mothers, out of Athens, Ga., opened the show with a brief yet powerful set. Afterward, fans roared as Darnielle and Co. walked onstage. Backed by longtime bassist Peter Hughes, multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas and indie-rock drum royalty (and half of the comedy duo Scharpling & Wurster) Jon Wurster, the band leaned heavily on Goths, pulling off the new songs’ complex instrumentation with finesse. As this material is much more layered than the Mountain Goats’ usual bare-bones acoustic-punk material, Darnielle mostly stuck to playing the tunes on a Rhodes keyboard while Douglas would fill in the space with reverbed-out flourishes on either tenor sax or flute, eliciting huge crowd reactions in response. It was a thrill to watch the band gracefully pull off these new tunes live.
Some of the best moments of the night, however, were when Darnielle picked up his acoustic guitar to dust off some of the old sing-alongs from the band’s long career. Songs like “This Year” and “Against Pollution” had everyone at Brooklyn Steel singing in unison with Darnielle as he marched back and forth across the stage like an unplugged Angus Young. For the final number of their second encore, the Mountain Goats played a full-band version of the All Hail West Texas masterpiece “Best Ever Death Metal Band out of Denton,” with its rallying cry of “Hail Satan” filling the rafters and the hearts of everyone in the room. —Pat King | @MrPatKing
Tags: All Hail West Texas, Angus Young, Beat the Champ, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Bruce Springsteen, Goths, John Darnielle, Jon Wurster, Live Music, Matt Douglas, Mothers, Mountain Goats, Music, New York City, Pat King, Peter Hughes, Review, Scharpling & Wurster
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The English trio Fleeing New York—Matt Hayward (drums), Russell Marsden (guitar and vocals) and Emma Richardson (bass and vocals)—began playing shows around London more than a decade ago. At first blush, their songs might have come across as just your standard guitar-drums-and-bass fare. But the music was like a restaurant with a straightforward menu comprised of high-quality ingredients. And so what seemed simple was actually a bit more complex. This really began to become obvious following the group’s 2008 name change to Band of Skulls (above, doing “So Good”) and the release of their debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey (in 2009; stream it below), with its lead single “Light of the Morning,” which later appeared in a Mustang commercial. They’ve been growing bigger ever since while still sticking to what AllMusic calls “gritty, ferociously heavy indie rock and roll out of the mist of blues history.” Their fourth studio album, By Default (stream it below), came out this past May. “Generally speaking, By Default feels like a huge step up for Band of Skulls,” says Renowned for Sound. “The production, performance and writing holds up across the entire album, and very rarely will you even consider skipping to the next track. Band of Skulls have hit it out of the park the fourth time around.” See them tomorrow night at Terminal 5. Drowners and Mothers open.
Tags: Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, Band of Skulls, Drowners, Emma Richardson, Live Music, Matt Hayward, Mothers, Music, Preview, Russell Marsden, Terminal 5, Video
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The 35th annual CMJ Music Marathon kicks off tomorrow and lasts through Saturday. And The Bowery Presents has you covered each night—and during the day on Saturday. Check out the showcases at our venues—plus Pianos—this week (that aren’t already sold out).
Mercury Lounge: Firekid
Rough Trade NYC: Paradigm, Am Only and the Windish Agency present Vaults, Methyl Ethel, Gilligan Moss, Steven A Clark, Leikeli47 and No Wyld
Mercury Lounge: CMJ Official Showcase with Oberhofer, Superfood, Bird Dog, Frankie and Marlon Williams
Rough Trade NYC: Rough Trade presents John Grant, Ezra Furman, Georgia, Shopping and Hooton Tennis Club
Mercury Lounge: Ruen Brothers, Susto and Zachary Cale
Pianos (beginning at noon), FREE: the Lemon Twigs, Whitney, Methyl Ethyl, Bayonne, Aquilo, Mild High Club, Ben Abraham, Fraser A Gorman, Zachary Cale, Hooton Tennis Club and Car Seat Headrest
Tags: AM Only, Aquarium Drunkard, BBC, Bella Union, Bird Dog, Bowery Ballroom, Car Seat Headrest, Clean Cut Kid, CMJ, CMJ Music Marathon, DJ Flugvel og Geimskip, Doomsquad, Drinks, Ezra Furman, Frankie, Fufanu, Georgia, Gilligan Moss, Holiday Mountain, Hooton Tennis Club, Iceland Airwaves, John Grant, Landshapes, Leikeli47, Lemon Twigs, Lev, Live Music, Mammut, Marlon Williams, Mercury Lounge, Methyl Ethel, MezzoForte, Mothers, Music, Music Hall of Williamsburg, No Wyld, Oberhofer, Omni, Paradigm, Piano's, Pompeya, Powwowwer, Pretty Vicious, Preview, Protomartyr, PRS for Music Foundation, Rough Trade, Rough Trade NYC, Ruen Brothers, Shopping, Sphynx, Steven A. Clark, Superfood, Susto, Teen Commandments, the Big Moon, the Jacques, Vaults, Velo, Windish Agency, Yoko and the Oh No’s, Young Empires, Zachary Cale
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