Tag Archives: Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Bully Ratchet Up the Energy at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday

November 14th, 2017

Bully – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 13, 2017

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

In an era when we’re all coming to realize that women have a million reasons to angrily shout, Bully frontwoman Alicia Bognanno might just rock one of the best screams in all of rock music. Her vocal chords come with a built-in distortion pedal. It’s a slight miracle she can tour playing night after night with her gravely scream on full blast. At other times her voice is filled with tenderness—it takes a certain chorus or bridge to flick a switch then suddenly the same voice isn’t just cutting like a knife, it’s cutting you open. “I am trying to stay focused,” screamed Bognanno on repeat at a fever pitch for the final lines of “Focused,” each refrain ratcheting up the energy levels at Music Hall of Williamsburg, far higher than you’d think possible on a Monday night.

Not all of their songs hit so heavy: “I Feel the Same” came with a bouncy feel to it, with Bognanno flanked on both sides by pogoing guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus. The latter dedicated the set to two friends in the audience celebrating their two-year anniversary. “I don’t want to sing the saddest song we have after that. I’ll jinx this,” said Bognanno leading into “Blame.” But it was easily one of their best songs of the night, oscillating between soft contemplation and fury-filled choruses. “Milkman” one of their first-ever recorded tracks, had the whole band packing serious punch, with Lazarus’ thudding bassline doing the walloping. The show ended with “I Remember,” a tight number already trimmed of any fat whatsoever, played in warp speed. No better way to end the night than with a knockout blow. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

 

 

 

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Alex Clare Brings New Material to Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 13th, 2017

English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Clare’s Tail of Lions (stream it below) just came out recently in the U.S., striking “an enjoyable balance on his third full-length,” according to AllMusic, “with a further evolution of a sound that shines the spotlight on his voice.” The title, Clare (above, performing “Basic”)—who moved with his family from London to Jerusalem two years ago—tells the Independent, refers to an ancient Jewish Proverb: “‘It is better to be a tail to a lion than a head to a fox’ means that it is better to follow someone who is truly great, than to lead something negative and crooked.” Per the Line of Best Fit, “Deeply rooted in religious literature, [the album’s] other influences range from mental illness to the current political climate, making it an engaging listen from one of Britain’s most distinctive male vocalists.” Clare’s current North American tour touches down in Brooklyn on Tuesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini and Brooklyn five-piece Elijah open the show.

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All Them Witches – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 8, 2017

November 9th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Two Nights of the Shadowboxers in New York City This Weekend

November 9th, 2017

Layering pitch-perfect three-part harmonies over soulful pop, funky folk and stadium rock channeled through an R&B lens, the Shadowboxers—original members Adam Hoffman (vocals and guitar), Matt Lipkins (vocals and keys) and Scott Tyler (vocals and guitar) with Cole McSween (drums) and Carlos Enamorado (bass)—have been winning over fans with their fun-loving, captivating live performances since forming in college seven years ago in Atlanta. But first they won over Indigo GirlsEmily Saliers, who’d caught one of their shows at Emory University, which led to the Shadowboxers (above, playing “Build the Beat” for WRLT FM) touring and performing with Indigo Girls. Now based in Nashville, Tenn., the group’s Kickstarter-funded Red Room arrived in 2013. To thank donors, the band recorded several cover songs and posted them to their YouTube channel. Their version of “Pusher Love Girl” so impressed Justin Timberlake that he’s since taken them under his wing and signed them to Villa 40, his artist-development company. Following the release of several singles, including “Hot Damn,” and with a new album on the horizon, the Shadowboxers, who have been compared to the Temptations and Maroon 5, have hit the road. Their November tour brings them to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (with Blonde Maze opening) and The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (with the Rooks opening).

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Blitzen Trapper Return to Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday

November 8th, 2017

And so we find ourselves in November, halfway between the cold canned beers of summer and the sweater-and-overcoat chill of winter, a perfect time to listen to Blitzen Trapper. The Portland, Ore., band’s music fits right into this seasonal space with thoughtful storytelling and a progressive country-folk-funk sound. Right on cue, they have just released their ninth studio album, Wild and Reckless (stream it below), and will be headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night (with Nashville, Tenn., singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt opening). After some dabbles with a more experimental sound, Blitzen Trapper (above, performing “No Man’s Land” for KINK FM) are in a mature and confident space on the new record, concentrating on the songs themselves. The material will only bolster their already formidable live repertoire that, along with its subtleties and idiosyncrasies, totally rocks in concert, in November or any other time of year. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Torres – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 27, 2017

October 30th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Protomartyr Finish American Tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg

October 27th, 2017

Joe Casey (vocals), Alex Leonard (drums), Greg Ahee (guitar) and Scott Davidson (bass) have been making top-quality post-punk as Protomartyr (above, performing “The Devil in His Youth” for Pitchfork) since forming the band seven years ago in Detroit, trafficking in energetic yet melancholic songs—with frontman Casey earning comparisons to Nick Cave and Ian Curtis along the way. The quartet’s fourth long-player, Relatives in Descent (stream it below), came out about a month ago to raves: “Alex Leonard pounds the skins and shifts through impressively complex percussive work, while Scott Davidson provides chugging grounded bass below Greg Ahee’s dissonant and virtuosic post-punk wailings. It’s Joe Casey’s driven melismatic, charismatic and poetic crooning however that adorns and brings each fragmented arrangement to life,” gushes the Line of Best Fit. “It really is about time we all sat up and started to take Protomartyr seriously. Their quality of music and precision is outstanding.” And not to be outdone, the Guardian calls it “sensational, bloodied but unbowed post-punk.” Find out how it all comes together live (spoiler alert: pretty great) when they close our their American tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night. D.C. trio Flasher and Brooklyn quartet Weeping Icon open the show.

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Two Chances to Catch Up-and-Comer Whethan This Week in NYC

October 24th, 2017

It was just a couple of years ago that Chicago DJ and producer Ethan Snoreck began using GarageBand on his iPad to create music as Whethan, and now at the ripe old age of 18, AllMusic already calls him an “electronic wunderkind.” Influenced by the likes of Skrillex, Whethan (above, his newest release, “Enemy”) has gained admirers of his recorded material with the release of several singles and remixes on Soundcloud, and he’s gotten fans enamored with his live performances thanks to an opening slot on the road with the Chainsmokers. Currently headlining his own Good Nights tour, the rising star comes to New York City this week to play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday. Saint Wknd and Ashe open both shows.

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Black Lips – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 5, 2017

October 6th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Two Nights of Metz and Their New Album This Week in New York City

October 3rd, 2017

Alex Edkins (vocals and guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) formed the fuzz-laden noise-rock punk trio Metz almost 10 years ago in Toronto. Their self-titled debut album (stream it below) arrived on Sub Pop in 2012. Sure, it was loud, but the A.V. Club proclaimed, “For all it’s abrasion and denatured noise, Metz isn’t a statement of nihilism or finality; it’s a bright, exploratory scalpel making the first of hopefully many incisions.” Fortunately, Metz (above, their video for “Acetate”) have indeed made more incisions. Their sophomore LP, the aptly named II (stream it below), came out in 2015 and has a clearer sound. Per Drowned in Sound, “There’s more space, and a better sense of dynamics as well. It’s a subtle change (if anything about Metz can be said to be subtle) but there’s a greater feel of depth here, the songs have more interesting journeys….” And furthermore: “Beautifully brutal weirdo punk.”

Their third full-length, Stranger Peace (stream it below), recorded with acclaimed producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Pixies), came out just two weeks ago to some rave reviews. “The Toronto-based trio Metz have incorporated harmony into their heavy sound on their third full-length. They shift away from all-out abrasion, adding color to their eruptions,” according to Pitchfork. “To be clear, Metz haven’t turned into a pop band. They’ve actually done the opposite, incorporating harmony without going soft. The fact that so few heavy bands have been able to pull that off attests to how difficult it is. With Strange Peace, Metz make it sound easy.” Out on the road, they play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday and The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Two Brooklyn acts—a duo, Uniform, and a trio, Bambara—open both shows.


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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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Together Pangea Headline Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday

September 28th, 2017

Together Pangea have been doing their own take on noisy garage punk since forming more than a decade ago in Los Angeles when singer-guitarist William Keegan, bassist Danny Bengston and drummer Erik Jimenez met while at Cal Arts. (It wasn’t until several years later that Roland Cosio joined the band.) They’ve put out four EPs to match four LPs, the most recent of which, Bulls and Roosters (stream it below), arrived last month. The Waster calls it “a wiser album that finds the band cooling off just enough for listeners not to burn their tongue.” Further adding: “The sticky melodies have all the muscle to roundhouse their way into your ear. On Bulls and Roosters, the four-piece make the hooks sweeter without losing the punch they’ve had since Day One.” Now touring the country in support of the new album, Together Pangea (above, doing “Better Find Out” live for Jam in the Van) play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tall Juan and Nashville, Tenn., trio Daddy Issues open the show.

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Montreal Four-Piece Tops Come to Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday

September 27th, 2017

Tops—original members Jane Penny (vocals and keys), David Carriere (guitar) and Riley Fleck (drums) now joined by Jackson Macintosh (bass) and Marta Cikojevic (keys)—are part of Montreal’s vibrant D.I.Y. music scene, releasing several EPs, singles and full-lengths over the past five years. Their acclaimed third studio LP, Sugar at the Gate (stream it below), recorded in a former Los Angeles brothel, came out just before this past summer. “Their music is undeniably beautiful and, for all its subtleties, often immediately rewarding,” says Exclaim. While Pitchfork adds that they “have sharpened their hooks and clarified their aesthetic. These slyly produced soft rock tunes carry a plush atmosphere and vintage warmth. Catch Tops (above, their video for “Petals”) live Friday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. And don’t miss avant-garde Montreal singer-songwriter Ellise Barbara’s Black Space opening the show.

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Rostam Brings Debut Solo Album to Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 25th, 2017

The story of Rostam Batmanglij is one of continuation and staying on his creative toes. With an open mind and an open heart he’s thrown himself into each expression and partnership without getting bogged down. There was some level of redefinition in order when the instant but unsustainable starburst of his former band, Vampire Weekend, leveled out a bit, at least beyond their base following. But it was inevitable that he’d forge his own path. With inherent musical proclivity, it was just a matter of discovering new outlets. And he’s certainly found them. Along with lending his enlivening sense of melody and world rhythm to the production of acts including Frank Ocean, Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen—and oh, by the way, writing original music for the reprise of Kenneth Lonergan’s classic Broadway play This Is Our Youth—Rostam struck collaborative gold last year when he buddied up with Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser to gift us with the rollicking resplendence of I Had a Dream That You Were Mine (stream it below).

The volume of his work keeping him limber, he was prime to really hit a graceful, ground-covering stride on his first proper solo affair, Half-Light (stream it below). Just released this month, the effort carries that extraspecial glow and pop of every fifth firework. From the moment his Panda Bear–esque vocals sail into the album entrance of “Sumer,” a feeling of bright-eyed anticipation of what follows keeps afloat like an air-blasted ping pong ball. A youthful blend of vulnerability and moxie suspend in a seasoned weave of production that takes cues from all directions. There are even melodic allusions to the coiled-spring bop of Vampire Weekend, yet they’re shrewdly integrated, as in “Wood,” with cleanly bowed strings jumping into the gaps formed from the seductive Eastern percussion. When hearing the melodious, uplifting cheer of what can be construed as Rostam’s prideful retort to the chirping birds comes through his cry of “Please don’t let it get to you/ Even if you don’t realize it/ It’s still all up to you,” you’ll feel like running out buck naked to take on the world. He’s arrived at that point of confident eloquence, tightly embracing what made him and what moves him—and letting the tracks fall where they may.

Rostam once said that he’s interested in inclusion rather than exclusion, that his goal is to make music that can move anybody. His solo album easily surpasses this goal, and when performed live, the vibe pulses through the crowd. There’s that inestimable moment in time when a beloved honorary New Yorker who has contributed richly to this city’s music scene returns to play under a spotlight that is all his. That rare moment comes Wednesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. You’ll be able to reach up and touch the electricity in the atmosphere on the night. Among the devoted and adoring Vampire Weekenders and newly blossomed fans of his duet album with Hamilton Leithauser, others, picked up along his musical path where the scenery has never been dull, will join in on the anticipation of a prolific artist, who many leap at the chance to work alongside, finally having his own moment in the spotlight. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

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Middle Kids – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 16, 2017

September 18th, 2017



Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.com