Tag Archives: Nada Surf


Nada Surf Celebrate Acclaimed Album’s Anniversary at Brooklyn Steel

March 6th, 2018

Matthew Caws (vocals and guitar) and Daniel Lorca (bass) met in school in New York City and formed Nada Surf in the early ’90s. Drummer Ira Elliott joined in 1995, and the trio’s first LP, the Ric Ocasek–produced High/Low (stream it below), arrived the following year, with lead single “Popular” quickly becoming a big hit. (They became a four-piece in 2012 with the addition of former Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard: “The veteran player adds so much more punch and beauty to Nada Surf,” per Paste.) But it was thanks to their third full-length, Let Go (stream it below)—which came out in the U.S. in 2003—that the band (above, performing “Happy Kid”) broke into the mainstream. “Virtually every song on Let Go hits its mark in one way or another, dispensing consistently remarkable moments that range from the sweet minor-key swoon of ‘Blizzard of ’77’ and ‘Neither Heaven Nor Space’ to the sleek, bouncy new wave of ‘Hi-Speed Soul,’raved the A.V. Club. “Examining relationships, fruit-fly swarms and Cheap Trick lyrics with equally keen understanding, all while dispensing a disarming array of subtly endearing hooks, Nada Surf complete the evolution into a smart pop marvel before most listeners knew it had begun.” The band is traveling the world in celebration of the acclaimed album’s 15th anniversary, and the North American leg of the tour brings them to Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night.


Rocky Votolato Celebrates Anniversary at Mercury Lounge on Friday

September 19th, 2016

Rocky Votolato – Mercury Lounge – September 16, 2016

Perhaps unknown to some, Rocky Votolato has been making music for more than 15 years. He honed his craft in the Pacific Northwest during an era when punk and indie-folk artists collided in a musical hotbed. He found a delicate balance between both, collaborating with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Pedro the Lion. His seminal album, Makers, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and fittingly the singer embarked on a tour to perform it in its entirety. Friday night at Mercury Lounge, Votolato’s faithful fans were quickly treated to longtime favorite “Portland Is Leaving” as the flood of nostalgia encased the room.

It’s a different show when everyone comes for an artist who’s left an indelible mark on their memories. A perfect example of this lasting impression was the dedication of “White Daisy Passing” to Tony, a fan who had shared the story of how the song accompanied him while he had been traveling years ago after a loved one had passed. Votolato joked that he wasn’t in the music business for fame or riches. He has neither, but in seriousness, the value was the family and community he has built with his songs.

Formerly a “one-man wolf pack,” Votolato is joined by guitarist and lap-steel player Matt Batey, a drummer and a bassist for this celebratory tour. The normally intimate tracks sounded bigger thanks to the musical additions—and even a sampled drum effect was afforded for “Where We Left Off.” Oh, how times have changed! Votolato remarked on how 10 years ago he had flown to New York City upon Makers’ release to open for Nada Surf at Mercury Lounge. He also added that the title track was written here and was inspired by an Allen Ginsberg poem. After covering the full album, the Left Coaster added older material from Suicide Medicine, plus “Boxcutter,” off his latest, Hospital Handshakes. The cozy venue offered little escape for Votolato, who encored with a pair of songs, including “Montana,” leaving no fan unsatisfied. —Sharlene Chiu


A Double Dose of Nada Surf’s New Music This Weekend

September 15th, 2016

Matthew Caws (vocals and guitar) and Daniel Lorca (bass) met in school in New York City and formed Nada Surf in the early ’90s. Drummer Ira Elliott joined in 1995, and the trio’s first LP, High/Low (stream it below), arrived the following year, with lead single “Popular” quickly becoming a big hit. Nada Surf (above, playing “Believe You’re Mine” live in studio for KEXP FM) became a four-piece in 2012 with the addition of former Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard (“The veteran player adds so much more punch and beauty to Nada Surf,” per Paste), the same year their previous album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, came out. The band’s newest full-length, You Know Who You Are (stream it below), was released this past March. “It’s as perfect a pop album as you’re going to get this year,” gushed Paste. “Savor every last bit of it.” And before hitting the road to tour through December, Nada Surf stay home to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday and The Bowery Ballroom on Sunday.


Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws Are Minor Alps

November 19th, 2013

Singer-songwriters Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws have each been successful for more than two decades—Hatfield, as a solo artist and with Blake Babies and Some Girls, in Boston, and Caws, fronting Nada Surf, in New York City. The two remained in touch after meeting at a Nada Surf show close to 20 years ago, and, much later, they “eventually asked each other to sing harmonies on songs on each other’s records,” Caws told Paste. “Over the last few years, we’ve taken turns suggesting we do something together. The timing was right for both of us this year, so away we went.” And where they arrived was the album Get There (stream it below) under the name Minor Alps. NME said Hatfield and Caws “have discovered they’re a perfect pairing” and that they “made a gorgeous debut that sounds as if they’ve recorded it in each other’s pockets, their tones exquisitely matched, the songs intimate.” The LP came out three weeks ago, and even though Minor Alps (above, rehearsing “I Want to Take You Home”) are now winding down their tour, you can still catch them, with Sylvan Esso opening, tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.


Double Your Pleasure with Two Nada Surf Shows

April 3rd, 2012

Matthew Caws (vocals and guitar) and Daniel Lorca (bass) first met at a French private school in New York City. Together they formed Nada Surf in the early ’90s, and the band went through two other drummers before settling in with Ira Elliott in 1995. The trio’s first LP, High/Low, came out in 1996 and the single “Popular” quickly became a big hit. Despite the weight of having a summer anthem and the group’s label wanting them to duplicate it, Nada Surf (above, playing “Hi-Speed Soul” at The Bowery Ballroom) kept at it, touring and making new music. The newest music is their seventh LP, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, which came out in January. Experience some of it live (Saturday at Webster Hall is sold out) on Sunday at Music Hall of Williamsburg.


Nada Surf – The Bowery Ballroom – January 24, 2012

January 25th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Alexis Maindrault | rockinpix.com


CMJ Music Marathon Starts Today

October 19th, 2010

For some people, the CMJ Music Marathon, which starts today and runs through Saturday, is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s lots of live music to go around, so you know The Bowery Presents will be involved. Mercury Lounge—with the likes of Harper Blynn, John Vanderslice, Nada Surf, and Gordon Gano (formerly of Violent Femmes) and the Ryans—has a deep, disparate lineup throughout the festival.

But it’s not like The Bowery Ballroom is slacking this week, with seven bands filling the room on Thursday, including the Jezabels, a coed quartet from Sydney making their U.S. debut. Friday brings Dean Wareham, Crocodiles and Wakey! Wakey! to the venue, and Saturday is just crazy with Surfer Blood, Neon Indian, DOM and eight other cool groups. Plus there will even be a free afternoon party on Saturday at Piano’s, with six bands upstairs and five downstairs.

Of course, all of that is in Manhattan. In Brooklyn, Music Hall of Williamsburg will be doing plenty of entertaining of its own, with Kevin Devine and the Goddamn band headlining tonight, Head Automatica taking the lead tomorrow and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart as part of the Brooklyn Vegan showcase on Thursday. Blue Flowers, which began as a night of stellar music in West London and has blossomed into much more, hosts Friday’s showcase, bringing two of the hottest acts coming out of the UK right now, Chapel Club and Everything Everything—above, playing “Tin (Man Hole)” for Little Noise Sessions—to our shores.

So you’ve got an abundance of options. If you find that overwhelming and don’t know what to see, Mercury Lounge talent buyer Jay Belin offered some suggestions to NBC New York.


Nada Surf – The Bowery Ballroom – March 25, 2010

March 26th, 2010

Nada Surf - The Bowery Ballroom - March 25, 2010

Photos courtesy of Greg Notch | photography.notch.org/music


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Nada Surf on 3/27

March 23rd, 2010


Their new album comes out later this year, but it will be available for purchase before its official release when Nada Surf plays two sold-out NYC dates this week—on Thursday at The Bowery Ballroom and on Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. But even if you don’t already have tickets, you’ve still got a chance to go because The House List is giving away two to see Nada Surf’s Music Hall of Williamsburg show. Want to Grow a Pair of tickets? Then fill out the form below, including your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Nada Surf, 3/27) and a brief message explaining who you think will win the NCAA tournament. Eddie Bruiser, who’s rooting for anyone other than Duke, will notify the winner on Friday. Good luck.

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They Might Be Giants/Nada Surf/Charles Bissell – Music Hall – October 28, 2009

October 29th, 2009

They Might Be Giants - Music Hall of Williamsburg - October 28, 2009

Photos courtesy of Greg Notch | photography.notch.org/music


Five Questions with…Matthew Caws (Plus Win Tickets for a Great Cause)

October 23rd, 2009
Matthew Caws

Matthew Caws

Nada Surf, They Might Be Giants and Charles Bissell (of the Wrens) play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday, October 28th. The show is entitled Raise the Roof: a Benefit for the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center, and 100 percent of ticket sales go toward the cause. Nada Surf will close the show with a full-on electric performance, and in an effort to get out the word, the band’s singer and guitarist, Matthew Caws, took the time to answer five questions for The House List.

Which band have you seen play live the most often (excluding bands you’ve toured with)?
Probably Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians. When Fegmania came out, I’d already been turned into a fan by my sister, so I went to every area show for a few years. So maybe 18 shows? Then friends’ shows: Tom Beaujour (Communist Manifesto, Soulcraft, Shake Appeal, True Love), Phil Yanos (the Accidents, Dangaru, Driver X), Lianne Smith, Marykate O’Neil and Chavez.

Which band (or bands) that you listened to growing up do you still listen to?
The Beatles, the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, David Bowie, Talking Heads, R.E.M., Elliott Smith and Fugazi. Those last couple were in my 20s, but we’re still growing up then, aren’t we?

Do you have any crutches when writing a song—are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much?
I keep accidentally lifting Brian Eno melodies. OK, two so far, but still, I gotta stop.

Your after-party is at Hi-Fi, the Avenue A bar known for its endless jukebox, and The House List gives you a buck. Which three songs are you playing?
“Kamloops,” by Flin Flon, “Glow Girl,” by the Who and “The Puppet,” by Echo and the Bunnymen.

It’s 4 a.m. and last call has come and gone. What’s your next move?
It’s not over until the deli guy sings, and he never does. That being said, at 4, I’m probably headed to bed or at least seriously considering it. —R. Zizmor


Try to win a pair of tickets for a great cause and a night of killer music. Just fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Raise the Roof, 10/28) and a brief message telling us why you want to go. Eddie Bruiser will notify the winner by noon on Wednesday, October 28th. Good luck.

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