Tag Archives: Rough Trade NYC

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Haerts – Rough Trade NYC – December 8, 2017

December 11th, 2017


Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | dac.photography

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Chad VanGaalen’s Unique Voice Is in Fine Form at Rough Trade NYC

December 7th, 2017

Chad VanGaalen – Rough Trade NYC – December 6, 2017


Since 2004, Canadian singer-songwriter Chad VanGaalen has been churning out records on his own terms. He generally plays all of the instruments, records the songs and even does the artwork for his albums. In fact, he may be more well known for his art as he is an award-winning illustrator and has animated all of his own music videos, plus some for other bands like J Mascis, Timber Timbre and Love as Laughter. Both VanGaalen’s music and his artwork take on a morbid sensibility as you can spot one of his songs right away from its detuned guitars, homespun recording quality and his high voice that often quivers like Neil Young’s ghost haunting an off season waterpark. He is truly a unique voice in today’s indie-rock scene and has put out a tremendous body of work that deserves more recognition. Playing New York City is generally pretty rare for VanGaalen, so his sold-out stop at Rough Trade NYC last night seemed all the more special.

The soul and post-punk fusion group Un Blonde opened the show, led by the eccentric guitarist and singer Jean-Sebastien Audet, who would stop his band at the drop of a dime with a single gesture and could ring out every ounce of soul from each song’s melody. They were extremely tight and VanGaalen even joined them toward the end of their set on flute for an extended free-jazz jam. And as soon as he returned for the headlining set, you could tell VanGaalen and his band were there to have fun. “We went to an arcade and got fucking wasted,” he joked with a playful smirk on his face. “We didn’t even play pinball! So is it cool if we just chill out?” From that declaration, it would be safe to think that this might be an off night for VanGaalen and Co. As It turned out, it was anything but.

The band played loose and heavy giving his bedroom DIY songs Sonic Youth–styled makeovers. VanGaalen’s voice was also in tremendous form, eliciting chills when he hit the height of his register. The singer-songwriter treated the crowd to much of his new album, Light Information, as well as career-spanning hits like “Clinically Dead” and “Heavy Stones.” VanGaalen’s main set ended with an extended noise jam during the Diaper Island track “Peace on the Rise,” which felt transcendent and inspired. For the encore, he played two numbers off his 2008 album, Soft Airplane, “City of Electric Light” and “Rabid Bits of Time.” The latter’s chorus, “No one knows where we go/ When we’re dead or when we’re dreaming,” sounded more triumphant than on record and was a truly powerful way to end the night. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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Haerts Play a Hometown Show at Rough Trade NYC on Friday Night

December 7th, 2017

After performing in Munich as Nini & Ben, childhood friends Nini Fabi (vocals) and Benjamin Gebert (keys) moved to Greenpoint in Brooklyn seven years ago and began recording and performing as the dreamy electronic-pop duo Haerts (above, performing “Wings” live in studio for KEXP FM). Their self-titled debut full-length (stream it below) dropped in 2014. Paste (and others) compared Fabi to Stevie Nicks, while AllMusic added: “It’s Haerts’ combination of straightforward, rootsy melodicism and more experimental, ambient inclinations that helps them grab your ear and your heart.” Recently, the band’s been working on new songs, and you just might here some of that music on Friday night at Rough Trade NYC. NYC trio Wilsen open the show.

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Have a Foot-Stomping Good Time with the Ghost of Paul Revere

November 30th, 2017

Deftly layering three-part harmonies over a mix of bluegrass, roots, rock and Americana, childhood friends Griffin Sherry (guitar and vocals), Max Davis (banjo and vocals) and Sean McCarthy (bass and vocals) formed the Ghost of Paul Revere six years ago in Buxton, Maine. Ever since, they’ve been winning over fans one show at a time with their fiery, foot-stomping holler-folk music, earning comparisons to Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers in the process. The band released their second full-length, Monarch (stream it below)—which deals with turning heartbreak into metamorphosis—last month. “The gift of Monarch lies in its honest simplicity. It appeals to the sunshine that lives in most of us and dares to try to brighten the gray skies that hold others hostage,” says American Blues Scene. “It succeeds in lifting up all those it reaches out to.” But be proactive: Reach out to the Ghost of Paul Revere (above, performing “Montreal”) yourself when they play Rough Trade NYC on Saturday night. Jersey rock quartet Wyland open the show.

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Catch the Suitcase Junket at Wednesday Night at Rough Trade NYC

November 28th, 2017

For singer-songwriter Matt Lorenz just about anything can be musical. As the old school one-man band the Suitcase Junket, Lorenz makes a bluesy joyful noise with a beaten-up guitar rescued from a dumpster and his raspy, lived-in voice, plus just about anything else, including repurposed objects like banged-up pots and empty gas cans. Lorenz performs and records solo, and his fourth LP, Pile Driver (stream it below), came out this past spring. “Lorenz’s musical interests turn out to be as diverse as his instrument collection, and Pile Driver runs a wide gamut of styles over its 12 songs,” said PopMatters. “The variety and songwriting are what make Pile Driver a thoroughly entertaining record. Lorenz manages to do a lot of different things with his set up and he does most of them well.” Catch the Suitcase Junket (above, doing “Earth Apple” for Folk Alley Sessions) live at Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. New Paltz seven-piece Upstate Rubdown open the show.

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The Weather Station Come to Rough Trade NYC Tomorrow Night

November 27th, 2017

For more than a decade, singer-songwriter-actress Tamara Lindeman has led the Toronto folk outfit the Weather Station (above, performing “Thirty” live for eTown), surrounded by a rotating group of band members, now made up of Ben Whiteley (bass), Adrian Cook (pedal steel) and Ian Kehoe (drums). The band’s self-titled rock-leaning album (stream it below) arrived this past September to rave reviews: “The Weather Station is Lindeman’s loosest, most confident album yet, but it may also prove to be her most deeply psychological; she doesn’t hold back,” exclaimed Exclaim. “Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman self-produced her bold fourth LP. From front-to-back, this is the first Weather Station album that sounds as fleshed-out and powerful as the world it contains,” said Pitchfork. “I’ve been a fan of the Weather Station for a while now and always quite enjoyed her albums, but this one is on another level,” added NPR’s Bob Boilen. “These songs sit in a place between thought and expression, where the music flows confidently from heart to tongue.” Catch the Weather Station live at Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. James Elkington and Adeline Hotel open the show.

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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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