Tag Archives: Rough Trade NYC

Injury Reserve Close February with a Wild Show at Rough Trade NYC

March 1st, 2018

Injury Reserve – Rough Trade NYC – February 28, 2018

(Photo: Matt Kaplan)

There’s still room in rap for surprises and an Injury Reserve show is chock full of them. Last night, the Phoenix rap trio (two rappers and a redhead on beats) took to the Rough Trade NYC stage hiding beneath sheets, rapping through some verses over a haunted, witchy beat. The surprise here wasn’t that they were hiding under those sheets but that when they dropped a beat, jumped out and launched into “Oh Shit!!!,” the venue broke out into one giant mosh pit like a bomb had gone off in the place. Oh shit, indeed.

Injury Reserve may have the craziest white-boy fans of any group in any genre right now. Second song into the set and multiple guys already had their shirts off. The moshing occurred for more numbers than it didn’t, even for slower ones like “Washed Up.” Songs would begin, a circle would open and at the drop it would collapse into a pile of sweat, spit, limbs and fans spitting bars. This energy even took Injury Reserve a little by surprise—at one point Parker Corey took out his phone to record videos of the crowd. After a tiny intermission, the trio returned for a slowed-down jazzy rap version of “S on Ya Chest” then sped up the song in its second half. There’s something pretty hilarious about watching the audience selectively sing along to the lines: “What you know about a young nigga like this? What you know about a young neighbor like this? I did the second one for the white kids, ’cause I know you want to say it, but that ain’t right kid.”

Injury Reserve’s Stepa J. Groggs and Ritchie with a T beautifully complement each other, with the former’s loud boom of a voice contrasting with latter’s raps like yin and yang. But Corey’s beats are the secret sauce that brings the dish together, weird when it’s needed, hook-y on songs that call for a sing-along chorus. The rest of the show was one hard-hitting hit after another, running through “Boom (x3),“Yo,” “Ttktv” and, after tossing out a stack of money into the audience, ending with “All this Money.” There just might have been a riot if they hadn’t returned for an encore, so Injury Reserve (with a shirtless Groggs) came back for an even more amped-up version of “Oh Shit!!!” If the night had any overarching theme it was definitely no shirts and oh shits. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks


Joan as Police Woman Celebrates New Album at Rough Trade NYC

February 27th, 2018

Joan as Police Woman – Rough Trade NYC – February 26, 2018

(Photo: David A. Fitschen)

Joan Wasser has been creating music by the stage name Joan as Police Woman for more than a decade, but her life before then was already remarkable. Largely a violinist, first with the Dambuilders, she joined Antony and the Johnsons and then toured with the likes of Rufus Wainwright and Joseph Arthur. Her voyage into solo work was largely an answer to the sudden death of then boyfriend Jeff Buckley—more than two decades ago—as a coping mechanism. Fast-forward to Wasser’s fifth studio album, Damned Devotion, which she celebrated with an album-release party last night at Rough Trade NYC.

Playing the newly released record front to back, the singer-songwriter donned red leather pants and opened with the downtempo groove of “Wonderful.” It was refreshing to see a seasoned artist in her element sharing her latest work without too much nervousness, but rather a genuine thankfulness for the collective that helped produced the work. Throughout the set, she expressed her gratitude for everyone from session players to those who helped with videos and artwork.

Wasser also shared inspirations for songs, like how a recording from last year’s Women’s March turned into “The Silence” and a quote from her dad, who passed last year, became “What Was It Like.” Music has indeed become the solace for loved ones who have died. Her all-male band of drummer Parker Kindred, bassist Jacob Silver, and keyboardist Jared Samuels provided a backing choir on the album’s closing tracks. Without leaving the stage, an encore of fan favorites “Eternal Flame” and “Run For Love” concluded the festivities. —Sharlene Chiu





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.


Starcrawler – Rough Trade NYC – February 16, 2018

February 20th, 2018

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com


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.


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.


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


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.


Octave Cat Close Out Tour on Saturday Night at Rough Trade NYC

January 26th, 2018

After bonding over a shared love of old-school keys and analog synths and then fleshing out a couple of songs together, Lotus bassist Jesse Miller and Dopapod keyboardist Eli Winderman teamed up with in-demand drummer Charlie Patierno to form the experimental, jazz-oriented Octave Cat. “The music is funky, catchy, melodic, jazzy. There’s definitely inspiration from late-’70s fusion, but also some analog techno and dub approaches to the sound and arrangements,” Winderman told Live for Live Music. Despite their busy schedules, the trio’s eponymous debut (stream it below) arrived last spring. “We started sending around demos and beats we had made individually then building out from those basic pieces. I would have Eli over at my home studio tracking keyboards and then I could spend a couple days editing,” said Miller to the Jamwich. “Then when we had finalized arrangements, Charlie and I went to Rittenhouse Soundworks to track the drum and bass parts live. We finished off by mixing at Miner Street Studio in Philly.” Now out on the road, Octave Cat (above, performing “TitTat”) wind down a short East Coast swing on Saturday night at Rough Trade NYC. Grimace Federation—another Philly trio—open.


Glen Hansard – Brooklyn Steel – January 21, 2018

January 22nd, 2018

(Glen Hansard does an in-store performance tonight at Rough Trade NYC.)

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com


Krystle Warren Headlines Rough Trade NYC on Thursday Night

January 17th, 2018

Krystle Warren grew up in Kansas City, Mo., but she began to make a name for herself upon moving to Paris in her 20s. The sultry-voiced singer and multi-instrumentalist’s “uncut soul and spirited R&B” has earned comparisons to Nina Simone and Tracy Chapman. Her most recent release, Three the Hard Way (stream it below)—which “swirls with R&B, folk music, jazz, hip-hop, blues, gospel strains and yet is entirely original in its sound and scope, which ranges from spirituality and love to the effects of social media on our lives and gentrification,” according to the Urban Music Scene—arrived last summer. And Warren (above, performing “So Say We” live in studio for KTBG FM) plays Rough Trade NYC tomorrow night. Zach Djanikian, another singer and multi-instrumentalist, will be part of her backing band and open the show.


Calpurnia Leave Them Screaming for More at Rough Trade NYC

January 16th, 2018

Calpurnia – Rough Trade NYC – January 12, 2017

If you’re Finn Wolfhard, life is pretty great. From playing Mike Wheeler on the Netflix binge-worthy series Stranger Things to a starring role in last summer’s cinematic reboot of Stephen King’s It, the 15 year old is riding high, but it doesn’t stop there. Boy signed a deal with Royal Mountain Records in late November for his band, Calpurnia. As they’re currently recording their debut EP, what they played at a sold-out Rough Trade NYC on Friday night was an evening of surprises. To fully set the scene, a gaggle of preteen girls lined the entrance to the performance space in the back. When the doors opened to the stage, the screams were palpable and would go on throughout the short, yet varied set. Although bassist Jack Anderson and rhythm guitarist Wolfhard took the lead addressing the crowd, lead guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe stood out thanks to her impressive prowess. Her look and skills had me thinking she could be the new baby Haim sister.

The Vancouver, B.C., quartet debuted material from their forthcoming EP, including the punky “Wasting Time,” and played a slew of covers. The Velvet Underground’s “Here She Comes Now” was dedicated to Lou Reed and Hulk Hogan. I doubt half of those in attendance knew who Reed was. Certainly not the young ladies in the front swooning over the actor-singer, but perhaps their supportive parents in the back. Wolfhard confessed Calpurnia’s shared love for Twin Peaks before the band honored their label-mates with a take on “Butterfly.” The crowd sang along to Pixies“Where Is My Mind” in between extended squeals, of course. And Anderson throbbed the bass on a rendition of Weezer’s “El Scorcho” to close the set. A resounding “one more song” chant called the young band back to the stage to encore with a new original tune. Oh, what it’s like to be a teen again. —Sharlene Chiu



Ahead of New Album, Oshun Play the Late Show at Rough Trade NYC

January 8th, 2018

Expertly blending hip-hop with neo-soul, Washington, D.C., natives Thandiwe and Niambi Sala, who actually met at NYU, make what they call “Floetry meets Lauryn Hill meets Chief Keef” as the soulful R&B duo Oshun. “Niambi’s fast-punching lyricism weaves in and out of Thandi’s smooth, honey-like harmonies, creating something that neither one of them could have formed without the other,” says Fader. “The two friends use their music to share their reality, and no topic is left uncovered. Over subtle melodies that give a sense of steady calm, they expound upon current events, knowing your history, and the triumphs and tribulations of being young black women growing up in today’s society.” They put out several singles last year, including “Not My President.” And with their album, Bittersweet, Vol. 1, due to arrive, Oshun (above, performing “Gods” for KUTX FM), play the late show at Rough Trade NYC on Friday with High Class Hoodlums opening.


It’s the End of the Year as We Know It

December 28th, 2017

With 2018 fast approaching, The House List takes a look back at 2017.

Adela Loconte, Photographer @adelaloconte
Top Five Favorite Shows
At the Drive-In, Terminal 5, March 22
2. Arca & Jesse Kanda Live, Brooklyn Steel, July 6
3. The Flaming Lips, Terminal 5, March 9
4. PJ Harvey, Brooklyn Steel, April 20
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings Theatre, November 7

Chad Berndtson, Writer @cberndtson
Top Five Favorite Shows
No music fan sees everything, and so much depends on the time, the night, the conditions—my ephemeral joys might be your disappointments. That’s part of the fun, right? Among scores of shows I saw in 2017, here are five nights that stuck with me.
1. Drive By Truckers, The Space at Westbury, February 10
One of the great live bands of the last 20 years has gotten leaner and meaner, unafraid of political jabs or paint-peeler guitar solos.
2. Explosions in the Sky, Capitol Theatre, April 22
Ominous music, loaded with portent, staring into the abyss or looking with a smile at some triumph high in the sky. Heavy, cinematic and deep.
3. Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons, Mercury Lounge, April 30
A master class in old-school, highly emotional rock energy. Still don’t understand why more people don’t know him, 30-plus years into a career of rough-scuffed folk rock delivered sometimes with tenderness and sometimes with Crazy Horse–like abandon.
4. The xx, Forest Hills Stadium, May 19
OK, I’m buying: Hipster as hell, but what they did was paint an outdoor venue in darkly beautiful soundscapes. The most fun I’ve had getting lost in a band in some time. They turn large, unforgiving venues into intimate listening rooms—and get you dancing.
5. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Music Hall of Williamsburg, November 20
Nelson has learned a lot from two musical dads: his actual dad, Willie, and also Neil Young, whom the Promise of the Real have backed on and off for years now. The type of show that defines the word swagger—a generous meal of rock, country, folk, blues and R&B by an old-school showman barely in his prime.

Dan Rickershauser, Writer @d4nricks
Top Five Favorite Albums
Big Thief, Capacity
The one record I found myself returning to again and again. It was a shitty year, but something about this album soothed my sorrows. Adrianne Lenker’s songs feel personal yet completely pull you in. May she never let go.
2. Kendrick Lamar, Damn.
This may be my least favorite Kendrick Lamar record to date and yet it’s still the second best album that came out this year. The man’s a legend and the world seems to know it. It’s a good thing he’s so humble.
3. The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
Adam Granduciel, the obsessive studio wizard, put out another beauty, this record even more gorgeous than the last. It’s the sound of rock perfection from a perfectionist.
4. Waxahatchee, Out in the Storm
Katie Crutchfield’s songwriting just keeps getting better. She comes out of the gates swinging with some dangerously catchy jams.
5. Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins
Of all the great indie bands of the late Aughts returning with new albums this year, Grizzly Bear’s takes the cake. Way too many critics slept on this one!

Pat King, Writer @mrpatking
Top Five Favorite Albums
1. Jens Lekman, Life Will See You Now
I had never really given Jens Lekman a chance as a songwriter, but this year it finally clicked for me in a big way. I got laid off from a job that I thought I loved early on in 2017 and was feeling pretty lost and listless in life. I was taking the train from the city to upstate New York to help my dad with a few big projects and was feeling incredibly low sitting alone on Metro North. All of the sudden, I heard “To Know Your Mission” and was completely overcome with emotion. It was the perfect tune for me at that time and each song that followed helped me understand my situation a little more clearly. I couldn’t believe how wise and endearing Lekman is as a lyricist.
2. Mark Mulcahy, The Possum in the Driveway
Whenever the discussion veers toward musicians who have not been given their just dues, I always think of Mark Mulcahy. As the frontman of Miracle Legion and the Nickelodeon-sponsored Polaris (“ay-yay-yay-yi, Hey Sandy”), Mulcahy had been known for a certain type of feel-good college jangle pop that was certainly a product of the ’90s. What many people may not realize is that his solo releases have been more emotionally and musically rewarding than either of those old projects, and he’s been one of few artists who each album he releases is better than his last. Over the past couple of decades he has reinvented himself as one of the great American balladeers, with lyrics and a voice that can cut you down to the bone. This year’s the Possum in the Driveway is a brilliant testament to his powers as a songwriter and one that proves he is in a league of his own.
3. Pallbearer, Heartless
Pallbearer have always shown promise of being one the best doom-metal bands around. But with their self-titled third album, they’ve transcended the genre and gelled into one of today’s most exciting rock bands. The songs are slightly shorter (although still around eight minutes) but have somehow intensified their scope in a more epic way. With this LP, Brett Campbell has made his case for being one of the best singers in heavy music. His lines never reach the outrageous heights of some of his peers in metal but bring enough power to stop you in your tracks. The same goes for this record’s instrumentation. The songs never feel like they have too many parts or get played out to the point of metal parody. It’s just a front-to-back banger that finally cemented Pallbearer as one of the best around.
4. Björk, Utopia
There aren’t many artists who you could say are peerless in popular music. Björk is definitely one of those artists. Every time she releases a new album, fans wait with anticipation to see where she if she will be able to clear the bar she set for herself on the one before. Utopia is such a statement as a complete work as she tries to understand and find happiness in her life after exploring decimating heartbreak on her last release, Vulnicura. It’s amazing to hear her reach the same breathtaking heights as a visionary artist this far into her career. Bow down and give respect.
5. Robyn Hitchcock, Robyn Hitchcock
Robyn Hitchcock delivered the back-to-basics Soft Boys–style album that many of his fans had been longing for for years. Teaming up with producer (and ex-Raconteur) Brendan Benson, Hitchcock turned up the amps and delivered 10 near-flawless rock songs that reminded us why he is one of the most inventive songwriters around. His wit as a lyricist is still ever-present, but hearing him deliver guitar parts reminiscent of Underwater Moonlight on songs like “I Want to Tell You What I Want” and “Mad Shelley’s Letterbox” was one of the most welcome surprises of 2017 for me.
Pat King’s Top 20 Best of 2017 Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/126049064/playlist/2idgUHVCiGSJqKkwkfex8v?si=wewT–RFRfWWxEVV3rmWsQ.

Sharlene Chiu, Writer
Top Five Favorite Shows with “New” Artists
1. SZA, Brooklyn Steel, December 10

So if you haven’t yet heard of SZA, you won’t be able to escape her name anytime soon. Riding a debut album that has already produced two platinum singles, the singer played a very sold-out Brooklyn Steel the night after performing on SNL. Her vibrant stage presence was supported by the Sing Harlem Choir. Girl’s going places and you’ll see her next year at the Grammy’s, where she’s the most nominated woman with five nods.
2. Maggie Rogers, The Bowery Ballroom, April 11
When a video of Pharrell’s reaction to Ms. Rogers’ demo of “Alaska” went viral, she was on the up-and-up. Her performance at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom was not only a homecoming, but it was also a beginning of bigger stages and larger audiences. She became teary and confessional near the end of the set, reminiscing about the previous times she’d been to the venue as an audience member. After her pair of Bowery shows, she set off on a whirlwind international tour taking her to Europe, Australia and Japan.
3. The Cactus Blossoms, Mercury Lounge, July 12
The first time I caught the Cactus Blossoms’ noir-infused honky-tonk was at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco last year. When I saw they would be playing a late show at Mercury Lounge, I had to be there. Friends, I do not go out late on school nights, but for brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey, I made an exception. Their languid waltzes were the perfect soundtrack for steamy July.
4. Jay Som, Rough Trade NYC, June 6
A triad of Asian-American songwriters, including Mitski, Japanese Breakfast and Jay Som have been self-producing music since last year. The latter rolled into a sold-out Rough Trade NYC to charm the crowd with not only her skilled musicianship, but also with her charming wit. Som was recently shortlisted by NPR’s All Songs Considered in their year-end best of 2017.
5. Violents and Monica Martin, Rough Trade NYC, April 26
OK, this one isn’t technically new, but the pairing was. Monica Martin, best known as the frontwoman for the now-on-hiatus Phox, and producer Jeremy Larson aka Violents teamed up for this rare tour. Larson has collaborated with female vocalists before, but this one was special. Songs were paired with cinematic footage ranging from scenes from House Party to sweeping black-and-white scenery. What still sticks in my memory was a haunting cover of Frank Ocean’s “Self Control.”






The Pink Spiders Bring New Tunes to Rough Trade NYC on Tuesday

December 15th, 2017

Making punky pop-inflected garage rock, Matt Friction (vocals and guitar), Jon Decious (bass) and Bob Ferrari (drums) formed the Pink Spiders nearly 15 years ago in Nashville, Tenn. Before going on an extended hiatus in 2009, they put out three studio albums in as many years, including 2006’s Ric Ocasek–produced Teenage Graffiti (stream it below). “The Pink Spiders have a rather unique sound for today, when every band sounds like Fall Out Boy, the Pink Spiders mix classic punk, rock and roll, power pop and pop punk,” said Sputnik Music. “This album is full of youthful energy and is extremely catchy. Every song has the capability to stick in your head all day.” The band reunited in the summer of 2016 (above) to celebrate the LP’s 10th anniversary, and with talk of a new album, the Pink Spiders have released some new singles and embarked on a December tour, which brings them to Rough Trade NYC on Tuesday night. Lancaster, Pa., post-hardcore five-piece Carousel Kings and Baltimore rad-pop quartet the Great Heights Band open the show.