Tag Archives: Rough Trade NYC

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Modern English Play Rough Trade NYC the Night Before Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2017

The post-punk/New Wave outfit Modern English became known across the world following the 1982 release of “I Melt with You” (above, live for Kink FM) their second single off their second full-length, After the Snow (stream it below). Despite that song’s upbeat vibe, the band—original members Robbie Grey (vocals), Gary McDowell (guitar and vocals) and Mick Conroy (bass and vocals), now with Stephen Walker (guitar) and Roy Martin (drums)—was originally influenced by the likes of Joy Division and Bauhaus. Following a couple of breakups over the years, Modern English began performing again in 2010, and earlier this year, they put out a brand-new studio LP, Take Me to the Trees (stream it below). “Listeners who thought McDowell’s electric work on the early albums was too low in the mix should be thrilled with the presence it has here, cutting and slashing through the most inspired moments,” said AllMusic. “A slightly baleful, almost submerged feeling from front to back adds extra allure to what is, at its core, a set of solid material untainted by nostalgia.” The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is often one of the most fun nights of the year. Give it something extra by seeing Modern English close out their fall tour live at Rough Trade NYC. Raleigh, N.C., five-piece the Veldt open the show.


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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Stars on 11/18

November 14th, 2017

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Thanks to their recently released ninth studio album, Montreal rock outfit Stars are back in New York City this week to play Rough Trade NYC on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All three dates are already sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets to Saturday’s show. Don’t have any of your own and still want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Stars, 11/18) and a brief message explaining your favorite song on There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of Canadian rock in general, will notify the winner by Friday.

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Julia Jacklin Launches New Tour Monday at Rough Trade NYC

November 10th, 2017

Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin (above, performing “Don’t Let the Kids Win” in studio for Triple J) has been compared to Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, thanks to what AllMusic calls her “seamless meld of dreamy indie folk-pop and confessional alt-country.” Jacklin’s debut full-length, Don’t Let the Kids Win (stream it below), dropped last fall, pleasing critics and fans alike. Consequence of Sound said it “works like a musical punch to the gut, a tearjerker that makes even the most public of spaces ready sobbing spots. Each of the album’s 11 songs sounds effortlessly polished, her voice seasoned with the emotion of an entire lifetime.” The Guardian added: “Don’t Let the Kids Win feels very much like one of those albums that will slowly creep into the affections of a large number of people; it’s that lovely.” Having recently released two new singles, Julia Jacklin kicks off a quick North American tour on Monday at Rough Trade NYC. Atlanta folk singer-songwriter Faye Webster and Brooklyn singer-songwriter Aerial East open the show.

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David Bazan Goes Deep at Rough Trade NYC on Thursday

November 10th, 2017

David Bazan – Rough Trade NYC – November 9, 2017


The opening verse of “Magazine” pretty much sums up the inner conflict that singer-songwriter David Bazan—of the beloved indie-rock outfit Pedro the Lion—has been struggling through his entire career. Once an evangelical Christian, he’s challenged his faith with each release in a way that never pulls any punches. After four full-lengths and five EPs, Bazan decided to retire the band name in order to go solo and explore his relationship with faith without the religious baggage his old band carried. Any longtime fan of his songwriting would be able to tell you that his relationship to the church was never an issue. As a lyricist, Bazan has always been able to pull apart the complex equations that everyday people spend their entire lives trying to solve. In the years since Pedro’s demise, he’s remained prolific, releasing albums and singles under his own name as well as launching many different side projects (his group Lo Tom, played Rough Trade NYC over the summer). Last month, Bazan announced that he would be reviving Pedro for a string of reunion shows this winter as well as plans to record and tour again as a working unit.

But before he can get to work on that, Bazan is finishing up promoting his most recent solo album, Care, which brought his tour to Brooklyn to play Rough Trade NYC last night along with singer-songwriter Michael Nau of Page France. Nau set the tone with a short set of laid-back songs accompanied by a lead guitarist, upright bassist and a drum machine that he’d program in between numbers. His material took on a trance-inducing quality that recalled Lambchop at their most ethereal with lyrics that seemed heartbreakinghly personal. Shortly after, Bazan took the stage backed by a three-piece. And for the most part, he and his band kept it “strictly business” as they plowed through material from Care and his 2016 LP, Blanco, with little talking in between songs, aside from a brief intermission when he took questions from the crowd. Both albums had been a slight sonic departure for Bazan, as they each strictly used synths and drum machines—so it was great to hear these songs getting the heavier band treatment live. He delighted the crowd with a few old Pedro songs, like “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run” and “Penetration,” and even dusted off the old Headphones tune “Gas and Matches.”

For the encore, Bazan took questions for the second time of the night. As expected, most of them had to do with the Pedro reunion, and he was frank and honest with his answers, explaining that the decision was made in order to tour and record music “as a band” again and to bring his music to a much larger audience. For a sometimes frustratingly overlooked force in the world of indie rock, it’s hard to blame him. He also assured the crowd that the Pedro tour would make its way to New York City in the future but would have to keep us in suspense as to when. He and his band then closed with the opening song off of Pedro’s final album, Achilles Heel, “Bands With Managers,” which had everyone singing along in unison. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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See Diane Coffee Play Rough Trade NYC on Wednesday Night

November 7th, 2017

Shaun Fleming grew up in Los Angeles working on a variety of movies, TV shows and video games as a voice actor. Eventually he became Foxygen’s touring drummer, before Fleming launched his own solo musical project, Diane Coffee, upon relocating to New York City five years ago, when a vicious flu strain kept him homebound for several weeks in his new apartment. Drawing on what AllMusic calls “the same enormous canon of ’60s folk-pop, doo wop and bubblegum influences that inspired Foxygen and other like-minded contemporaries,” Fleming wrote and recorded the first Diane Coffee album, My Friend Fish (stream it below), which came out in 2013. “Packed with peace, love and jangly guitars, Diane Coffee’s debut LP, My Friend Fish, is an irresistible ode to ’60s psychedelia. After only a few listens, it’s hard not to slip into dreams of floral-crown-wearing hippies and cozy Haight-Ashbury cafés,” according to Paste magazine. “Lucky for us, his miserable experience created a 10-track collection filled with organs that hark to both a traditional gospel concert and a jubilant acid trip.” A second full-length, Everybody’s a Good Dog (stream it below), arrived in 2015. “Working with a large group of collaborators, including his Foxygen bandmates, and a larger palette of instruments that includes horns and strings, Fleming takes the intimate, loosely warped pop of My Friend Fish and blows it up into an expansive rainbow that includes elements of Motown, dub reggae, classic ’60s bubblepop, ’70s glam rock and psychedelic R&B,” per AllMusic. “An album this crazy and good deserves nothing but praise and adulation.” Fleming recently released a two-song 7″ called Peel and has hit the road. Catch Diane Coffee (above, doing “Mayflower” for KEXP FM) tomorrow at Rough Trade NYC. Vancouver, B.C., four-piece Peach Pit open the show.

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Lee Ann Womack Plays Intimate Show Tuesday at Rough Trade NYC

November 6th, 2017

After penning work for others as a professional songwriter, Lee Ann Womack burst onto the country scene with the release of her self-titled debut (stream it below) in 1997. She became a crossover sensation with the arrival of I Hope You Dance (stream it below) in 2000, knocking ’NSync off the charts in the process, before embracing traditional Americana, which makes up the majority of her newest studio album, produced by her husband, Frank Liddell, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone (stream it below), which came out two weeks ago. “Womack is in terrific voice throughout, the songs—including her co-writes—are top notch and with Liddell’s sympathetic backing and production, it’s hard to imagine how anything could be improved. It’s a late-breaking short list nominee for 2017’s album of the year,” raves American Songwriter. “She may have danced with the devil in Nashville to become a big success, but now she’s asking for salvation by getting back to her roots in Texas. Why the hell not, as the former Lone Star gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman used to ask. She really doesn’t have anything to be forgiven for, and her new album redeems her from the curse of being overly popular by being so damn good,” adds PopMatters. In support of her new material, Womack (above, performing “All the Trouble”) puts on a very intimate perfromance tomorrow night at Rough Trade NYC. Local country singer-songwriter Zephaniah OHora opens the show.

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The Rural Alberta Advantage Spend the Weekend in New York City

November 2nd, 2017

After forming in Toronto in 2005, the Rural Alberta AdvantageNils Edenloff (vocals and guitar) and Paul Banwatt (drums) now with Robin Hatch (keys, bass and vocals)—began releasing emotional folkish music, which led to a fair amount of Internet intrigue. Their debut full-length, Hometowns (stream it below), came out in 2008 (and was rereleased a year later). AllMusic rang in: “With a name like the Rural Alberta Advantage and a debut album called Hometowns, one would hope for an unpretentious collection of amiable indie pop tunes filtered through the wistful lens of a Wes Anderson film, and that’s exactly what you get.” The band followed that in 2011 with Departing (stream it below), and PopMatters was impressed: “The Rural Alberta Advantage have delivered a rarity: An album that remarkably stuns, even though its world view is largely seen from a car stuck in the middle of snow bank on the side of the road.” The trio returned in 2014 with their third album, the terrific Mended with Gold (stream it below), about which Consequence of Sound said, “The band is in a groove, churning out good to great songs with a distinguishable aesthetic.” Just a few weeks ago, the RAA (above, performing “White Lights” for CIND FM) dropped their fourth long-player, The Wild (stream it below), which “maintains a real sense of spontaneity, a sound in keeping with their manic folk impulses and the heady adrenaline rush that frequently drives their songs to euphoric highs,” per Paste magazine. “Consider this both edgy and essential.” Their new tour brings them to Rough Trade NYC on Friday and The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday. Five-piece Yukon Blonde open both shows.



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Spend Halloween with the Multitalented Pell at Rough Trade NYC

October 30th, 2017

After Hurricane Katrina hit, Jared Pellerin and his family left New Orleans for Jackson, Miss., and he began making beats, allowing him to make friends, gain confidence and eventually begin performing, which continued while at Mississippi State University. Pellerin ultimately decided to halt his studies and after putting out several singles as the rapper-singer-songwriter-producer Pell, he self-released Floating While Dreaming (stream it below) in 2014. “The 22-year old rapper and singer has a distinct style that blends the old with the new,” said Hip-Hop DX. “He is a storyteller, weaving his life experiences with melodic beats. The album’s title describes how he lives his dreams and inspires others to chase their own.” Pell (above, performing “Runaway”) has remained busy ever since, putting out singles, collaborating with the likes of G Eazy and Big Gigantic and honing his live performances. And to that end, in mid-tour form, Pell comes to Rough Trade NYC tomoroow night. Brooklyn rapper Jimi Tents opens the show.

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A Willie Watson and Colter Wall Sing-Along at Rough Trade NYC

October 26th, 2017

Willie Watson and Colter Hall – Rough Trade NYC – October 25, 2017


Sometimes at a concert you get a real feel for what things were like back when. Sometimes it’s because of the room: Walk into Carnegie Hall or Village Vanguard and you are transported back through decades of New York City live-music history. Other times it’s the performers themselves who seem to transport you back to a past heyday. Last night at Rough Trade NYC featured two such performers who transported the crowd back in time, evoking a country and folk music of another era as if it were brand-new today.

Colter Wall is a Canadian singer from Saskatchewan who evokes a country music of a time gone by. He began his set solo, with just enough croak in his vintage voice and acoustic guitar, singing, “If I’m being truthful, I only live at night” and covering Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” like he’d written it on his way from Canada. He was joined by a band—mandolin, dobro, bass—and continued to mix old-school covers by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Hank Williams with originals from his self-titled debut that evoked the same spirit with a little updating along the way. A cover of Blaze Foley’s “Oval Room,” perfectly fit into the set and had the crowd whooping and hollering. Audiences will clap or sing along and this one did that aplenty, but the stomp along is a bit rarer and felt natural at several points during Wall’s performance—you could imagine yourself back when in a barn somewhere hearing murder ballads like his “Kate McCannon” and stomping along.

Willie Watson has a voice and a love for folk music and, let’s face it, a name that makes it easy to imagine sitting around a campfire or revival tent hearing gospel numbers and old-timey songs mixed with storytelling and off-center humor. He opened with “Take This Hammer,” his voice infused with a slight warble as he stretched out syllables, letting them fill the room. “If you know this one, sing along” seemed to be implied from the start of his set, and the crowd joined in as he worked his way through a musical time warp. Watson has been playing and touring and recording these old folk songs for years—his new album is simply and aptly titled Folk Singer Vol. 2—and he sings them possessed of their original spirit. Tunes like “Samson and Delilah,” “Gallows Pole” and “Midnight Special” in their original form before they were turned into modern-day rock songs were stripped to their original bare essence in Watson’s hands. Switching between guitar and banjo (giving the audience what he referred to as a proper dose of “vitamin B”), the set was both raucous and poignant. Like any good folk show, there were sing-alongs, like “Stewball,” and murder ballads, like “Frankie and Johnny,” and, of course, songs about the feats of John Henry. Through them all, Watson’s love for the music and performing it shined through, taking the audience to way back when for just one night. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

(Tonight’s Willie Watson and Colter Hall show at Mercury Lounge is sold out.)       

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Elvis Perkins Celebrates an Album Milestone at Rough Trade NYC

October 23rd, 2017

Elvis Perkins – Rough Trade NYC – October 20, 2017


Family reunions can be planned or impromptu, times of joy and nostalgia or pain and remembrance, barbecues or funerals. Elvis Perkins’ music has always been a mix of melancholy and jubilance, and so it was perfect for a “reunion” on Friday night in Brooklyn at Rough Trade NYC. The appearance was one of two anniversary shows (the other in L.A.) celebrating the 10th anniversary of Perkins’ breakout album, Ash Wednesday. For the show he assembled most of the original musicians and more, musical cousins and brothers and sisters joining together once again to make music and share memories and maybe make some new ones as well.

Like the album—and, really, like most gatherings of old friends—the show began with its most powerful, emotional moment. “While You Were Sleeping” started, as it always has, with Perkins solo, singing, “Time flew, the phone rang/ There was a silence when the kitchen sang/ Its songs competed like kids for space/ We stared for hours in our maker’s face.” One by one the musicians came onstage and began playing, bass and drums and backup singers and then horns and a four-piece strings section, the family together again and a wave of emotion swelling inside the room. To me, the album was always one of the more poignant responses to 9/11, but its happiness-from-sadness energy resonated just as strongly on Friday. The full complement of strings seemed to generate much of the emotion, at times eerie or chilling or sobbing.

With the massive band and the range of feelings coming from the stage, the centerpiece was still Perkins’ songs—lyrics as poetic and meaningful as ever—like “It’s Only Me”: “The white noise falls away to reveal the perfect day/ Where roses bloomed out of thin air and music rose from down the buried stairs.” After closing with a penetrating version of “Good Friday,” Perkins introducing the full band, goodbyes imminent, they added an encore of “Doomsday” from the Elvis Perkins in Dearland album, an unplanned moment, perhaps not everyone knowing the song but happy to linger and enjoy one another’s company for just a bit longer. Like most reunions, the event felt all the more significant by the uncertainty of when we all might meet again. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

 

 

 

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The Soft Moon Wind Down U.S. Tour Tuesday at Rough Trade NYC

October 20th, 2017

Making experimental-guitar pop punk, the Soft Moon began as Luis Vasquez’s side project eight years ago. It started with a couple of singles and then a self-titled LP (stream it below) and an EP, Total Decay (stream it below), earning heady comparisons to the likes of Joy Division. Pitchfork said the music draws “from the coldest, most metallic zeniths of post-punk and industrial rock.” The material is the product of Vasquez—“I’m Cuban, so I grew up with a lot of Afro-Cuban funk”—and his surroundings—“There are no straight lines in San Francisco.” But while it’s a one-man band when it comes to recorded material, live, the Soft Moon (above, performing “Tell” live in studio for KEXP FM) are a three-piece, with the addition of Luigi Pianezzola on bass and Matteo Vallicelli on drums. Their most recent full-length, Deeper (stream it below), came out in 2015, and in a glowing review, NPR Music called it a “stunning new album” before suggesting, “The result is unnerving, but it’s also tenderly, eerily gorgeous.” With a new LP, Criminal, due to arrive next February, the band winds down a short American tour on Tuesday at Rough Trade NYC. As an added bonus, the duo Horoscope opens the show.

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A Margo Price Storm Blows Through Rough Trade NYC on Thursday

October 20th, 2017

Margo Price – Rough Trade NYC – October 19, 2017


Predicting the next big music star is just about as easy as predicting the weather. Even with a lifetime of knowledge and the best instruments, you still get it wrong just as often as you get it right. But sometimes the barometer, thermometer, hygrometer and the Doppler radar all point to one obvious conclusion: It’s gonna rain. And for the crowd lucky enough to make it in for her All American Made album-release show at Rough Trade NYC last night, there was no doubt about the forecast, that’s Margo Price coming over the plain, a drought-killing downpour of talent and charm. Opening with “Nowhere Fast,” she perhaps subtly, perhaps subconsciously, was dressed as the Woman in Black, a modern-day outlaw country, with a more-than-meets-the-eye mix of soul, gospel, blues and funk to go along with the band’s considerable honky-tonk roots.

Price led her secret-weapons-grade band through the new album, the track order shuffled expertly to maximize the live-show experience. Pedal-steel-infused boot stompers like “Weakness” mixed in with gorgeous ballads. “Learning to Lose” hushed the hepped up crowd to near silence with Price’s voice filling the room, complemented by pretty guitar and pedal steel solos. She sneaked in the caveat that it was the first time playing a lot of the material live, but there was little sign of tentativeness or rust, quite the contrary. The songs showed off a bit of depth, both in sound—“Cocaine Cowboys” was as much Little Feat as Willie Nelson and “All American Made” was as much in the tradition of Neil Young as Loretta Lynn—and subject matter, songs about love lost and found replaced by deep storytelling with some social commentary proudly thrown in.

The band picked up steam and Price’s voice gained some extra torrential-rain power as they built the set to a head, finishing the album material with strong versions of “Loner” and the title track and then offering some crowd-pleasers to the already-quite-pleased sold-out crowd in “Tennessee Song” and “Paper Cowboy.” Here the band really flexed their muscles, drums and bass providing the thunder and lightning in a set-closing maelstrom, Price leaving the stage to applause while they rocked out for several minutes, just in case you hadn’t already appreciated their effort throughout the performance. That storm had passed as quickly as it had come, but for Margo Price, it’s easy to predict that it’s still just getting going. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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Weaves Bring Brand-New Album to Rough Trade NYC Tonight

October 17th, 2017

Upon bonding over music after meeting at one of her solo performances, Jasmyn Burke (vocals) and Morgan Waters (guitar) began recording demos in the former’s Chinatown apartment in Toronto. As they continued to flesh out more and more material, the twosome became a foursome with the addition of Spencer Cole (drums) and Zach Bines (bass), broadening their sound and launching Weaves with the release of several singles in spring 2013. The four-piece soon became an important member of TO’s thriving DIY scene, AllMusic calling their music “sharp and angular, but with a genuine sense of fun and exploration.” Their eponymous debut long-player (stream it below) arrived last year. “Exciting Toronto outfit builds on deconstruction, a remarkable feat of explosive chemistry,” said Consequence of Sound. “Weaves have put themselves at a compelling intersection of pop, noise and rock. They’ve created their own unique sound, and their self-titled record features more than a handful of fun, exciting songs.” Weaves (above, performing “#53” and “Walkaway” for Stiegl Hidden Sessions Studio) returned with their sophomore LP, Wide Open (stream it below), last week, finding the “quartet immersed in the world of stadium rock, cribbing plenty of influence from the likes of Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen,” said Exclaim. “It’s a fairly drastic change, but one they’re able to effectively reconcile with their latent avant-garde tendencies.” The good people at DIY were also impressed: “Flinging open the entrance to yet more invention, there’s no stopping this lot spinning their oddball yarn.” Weaves make their last U.S. stop on their North American tour in Brooklyn tonight at Rough Trade NYC. Tancred open the show.

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Daniel Norgren Ends U.S. Tour with Two Shows in NYC This Weekend

October 11th, 2017

Inspired by his dad’s local rock career—and by the romantic picture of America portrayed in movies—Swedish singer-songwriter Daniel Norgren (above, performing “People Are Good” at last year’s Pickathon) has been doing his own winning take on Southern-fried Americana, folk rock and bluesy country for more than a decade. (NPR Music says, “His rock-steady ragtime piano playing has a chooglin’ ease, and his voice would be right at home echoing off the walls of Levon Helm’s barn.”) Thanks to his engaging live performances and his recorded catalog, including 2015’s The Green Stone (stream it below) and Alabursy (stream it below), Norgren has already made a name for himself in Europe, and he’s currently out on the road doing the very same thing in the United States. His American tour closes out in New York City this weekend with two shows, on Friday at The Bowery Ballroom (with William Tyler Band doing a full-quartet appearance) and on Saturday at Rough Trade NYC (with Odetta Hartman).

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Widowspeak Come Home to Rough Trade NYC on Friday Night

October 10th, 2017

Some bands grab you from the get-go and some sneak up on you, a slow-moving rainstorm or a creeping sadness. Widowspeak (above, performing “Right On” for Audtiotree Live) have always been in the latter category, their music a narcotic blend of indie and dream and a somewhat surprising dose of country twang. Mollie Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas have a growing catalog that, without warning, has filled out into an impressive collection, inhabiting its own sonic space, equal parts mood mover and rock and roll. Their new album, Expect the Best (stream it below), is the sound fully realized, the group operating in the studio for the first time with their touring quartet. In the live setting, Widowspeak’s slow grab is even more powerful, the atmospheric melancholy unleashed into something quite rocking. They play Rough Trade NYC this Friday for a hometown appearnce that, despite the warning, still has a good chance of sneaking up on you. Chicago trio Clearance and Brooklyn four-piece Air Waves open the show. —A. Stein | @Neddyo