Tag Archives: Preview

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NYC Trio City of the Sun Headline Brooklyn Steel on Friday Night

February 22nd, 2018

The genre-blending City of the SunJohn Pita (guitar), Avi Snow (guitar) and Zach Para (percussion)—aren’t concerned about sticking to one style of music. They acoustically work through flamenco, psychedelic folk, indie rock and gypsy jazz, having honed their sound busking on New York City streets. They’ve made a name for themselves with stirring live performances around town and on festival stages, and their first LP, To the Sun and All the Cities in Between (stream it below), arrived in 2016. “They bring two acoustic guitars and a box of various percussion to make a sound that is as eclectic as their backgrounds, coming from Ecuador, Israel and Seattle,” according to Our Musical Journal. “It is hard to adequately describe their amazing sound, but if you are a fan of Tycho, El Ten Eleven or Rodrigo y Gabriella, then you really need to hear City of the Sun on their debut full-length studio album.” Listen to it below, watch City of the Sun, above, performing “Everything” (for Baeble Music), and then go see them live at Brooklyn Steel tomorrow night. Michael Blume and IRO open the show.

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Awolnation Bring Brand-New Music to Terminal 5 Tomorrow Night

February 21st, 2018

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Aaron Bruno has been fronting the genre-mixing electronic-pop outfit Awolnation since forming the band eight years ago in Los Angeles. The lineup has changed over the years, but thanks to the recently married Bruno’s presence, singular vision and deftly mixing electronic elements, live instrumentation and forward-thinking production, the band sounds as terrific as ever. Their third studio album, Here Come the Runts (stream it below), which AllMusic calls “a further exercise in toying with arena-filling vocal melodies, razor-sharp synths and invigorating electro-pop,” dropped just a couple of weeks ago. And now touring behind it, Awolnation (above, performing “Handyman” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!) play Terminal 5 on Thursday night. A pair of five-pieces—Nothing but Thieves and Irontom—open the show.

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Get Loose with StéLouse on Thursday Night at Rough Trade NYC

February 21st, 2018

Denver DJ and producer Ross Ryan grew up playing in rock bands, influenced by the likes of Metallica, Tool and the Prodigy—one of those bands even earned an opening spot on Jane’s Addiction’s 20th-anniversary tour for Nothing’s Shocking and a monetary prize, thanks to winning a Guitar Center contest. Ryan invested his share of the winnings in a laptop and music-production programs and committed himself to learning the ins and outs of electronic music before posting remixes of songs—as StéLouse (pronounced: “stay loose”)—in 2013, followed by his debut EP, the rock-influenced Home (stream it below), a year later. Last spring, he put out an eponymous long-player (stream it below): “StéLouse took the initiative to combine his background in live instrumentation with his passion for all varieties of music to create his new self-titled LP,” according to Your EDM. “A compilation showcasing the producer’s talent and new direction, StéLouse combines elements from his old production with blissful organic sounds and teams with some of the hottest vocalists to create a whole vibe reminiscent of indie meets R&B with some electronic future touches added in.” See StéLouse (above, performing “Plastic” with Madi and Said the Sky) live on Thursday at Rough Trade NYC. No Sleep opens the show.

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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

February 19th, 2018

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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Idan Raichel Brings His Soul-Stirring Music to the Beacon Theatre

February 19th, 2018

Following a stint in a rock band while in the Israeli army, producer, keyboardist, lyricist, composer and performer Idan Raichel began learning about the diverse cultures within his homeland thanks to working at a boarding school for immigrant kids. While drawing on elements from Israel, the rest of the Middle East, Ethiopia and India, he’s been a global-music ambassador of sorts ever since. First, Raichel (above, performing “Mi’Ma’amakim”) worked as a sideman for big-time Israeli acts, making friends and taking notes along the way. And eventually he began to do his own thing as the Idan Raichel Project and under his own name, winning over fans abroad, across Europe, North America and Southeast Asia. His most recent album, Piano-Songs (stream it below), is a live release. And touring behind it, Raichel plays the Beacon Theatre on Wednesday night.

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Galactic Bring a Taste of Mardi Gras to Brooklyn Steel on Saturday

February 16th, 2018

With Fat Tuesday earlier in the week, NOLA instrumental-jazz-funk outfit Galactic bring the sounds of Mardi Gras, not to mention their shake-your-hips music, to Brooklyn this weekend. Jeff Raines (guitar), Stanton Moore (drums), Robert Mercurio (bass), Ben Ellman (sax) and Richard Vogel (keys) have been willing and able New Orleans musical ambassadors for just about 25 years, known for their fiery, leave-it-all-onstage performances while still making time for nuanced recordings. Their eighth studio full-length, Into the Deep (stream it below), arrived in 2015. It “expands an already eclectic palette based in funk but that also includes liberal doses of hip-hop, jazz, soul, blues and even electronica. Galactic is blissfully unconcerned that every track is different enough to almost obscure their own identity as they continue to create music that’s fun, superbly crafted and wildly eclectic,” according to American Songwriter. “Give credit to the band’s founders and coproducers, bassist Robert Mercurio and saxist Ben Ellman, who molded this album and show that Galactic doesn’t need a stable front person, or even a singular approach, to make their dynamic music connect with playful passion and vibrant integrity.” Of course, the best way for you to connect with that music and passion is to see them live, and to that end, Galactic (above, doing “Chasing Rainbows” for Jam in the Van), having just launched their winter tour, play Brooklyn Steel on Saturday night. Brooklyn’s Rubblebucket and Richmond, Va., five-piece Butcher Brown open the show.

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Up-and-Coming L.A. Four-Piece Starcrawler Play Rough Trade NYC

February 15th, 2018

Influenced by the likes of the Runaways, high school friends Arrow de Wilde (vocals), Henri Cash (guitar), Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass) have been doing their own take on post-punk since forming Starcrawler—“a hard-swinging stoner-metal quartet with a taste for ’70s glam and dazed SoCal sleaze,” per the Los Angeles Times—three years ago in L.A. Their catchy singles and feisty live shows (in Europe and at home) have earned praise from Dave Grohl, Elton John and Ryan Adams, the last of whom produced the band’s self-titled debut full-length (stream it below), out last month on Rough Trade Records. “They are raw, have attitude and strut with brazen impunity. For all their unabashed posturing, they could very well be the millennial Stooges; they’ve certainly got the demeanor,” said Exclaim. “In an industry littered with sycophants, Starcrawler’s brand of exuberant noise is refreshing. The future may be bright for these young guns.” Currently making their way across North America, Starcrawler (above, performing “I Love LA”) play Rough Trade NYC on Friday night. Sundown Club and Dr. Danny open the show.

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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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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

February 12th, 2018

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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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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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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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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Hear Some of the Bands You Can See This Week

February 5th, 2018

Hear some of the bands you can see this week.

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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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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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