Tag Archives: Rough Trade


Khruangbin’s Groovy, Funky New York City Debut

March 16th, 2016

Khruangbin – Rough Trade NYC – March 15, 2016

“The ’60s” are an all-too-common reference for music that continues to persist even now, 50 years later. “This sounds like music from the ’60s” can mean just about anything. But watching Khruangbin play last night at Rough Trade NYC with the old school liquid-light display from Drippy Eye Projections bubbling behind them, I truly felt like I had been transported to a time when “free love” was a way of life and people said things like “groovy, baby!” Because if Khruangbin are anything, they’re incredibly groovy.

Tuesday night’s show was Khruangbin’s NYC debut, and they explained from the outset that it was one of their bigger U.S. shows to date. If they were nervous, the giddy, sold-out crowd made them feel at home right away as they worked their way through much of last year’s debut album, The Universe Smiles Upon You. Laura Lee’s bass and Mark Speer’s guitar were entwined in a musical romance on songs like “Mr. White,” laying down minimalist instrumental funk with flirtatious melodies and a slow-grind low end. Like his bandmates, Donald Johnson subscribed to a less-is-more style of drumming, settling into a groove and just letting things develop at their own pace. That pace was, by and large, very groovy and very sexy. Dressed in Day-Glo pants and moving as one with her bass playing, Lee blended right in with the undulating colors on the screen behind her.

Midway through the set, Khruangbin strayed from the album material, slowly morphing into a modern-day Meters, Speer’s floral guitar tone gaining a greasy-funk edge to it and finding some room to explore and offering a glimpse at the band’s exciting future potential. But mostly they stuck to their signature boogie-lubricant sound, as addictive for their beautiful restraint as for their deep, unflappable funk. Each song seemed to earn a louder applause from the crowd until Khruangbin ran out of material to play (“We just make this up in the studio … and then we have to learn it again”), but somehow found “one more” to close out the show—and then another for an audience-demanded encore: a Latin-spy-surf jam with rapid-fire guitar riffs while Lee and Johnson kept that characteristic make-love-not-war groove going. It was a heck of a coming out party for Khruangbin and their truly timeless music. —A. Stein | @Neddyo


Our CMJ Music Marathon Shows This Week

October 12th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 1.25.57 PM

The 35th annual CMJ Music Marathon kicks off tomorrow and lasts through Saturday. And The Bowery Presents has you covered each night—and during the day on Saturday. Check out the showcases at our venues—plus Pianos—this week (that aren’t already sold out).

Mercury Lounge: Firekid

Rough Trade NYC: Paradigm, Am Only and the Windish Agency present Vaults, Methyl Ethel, Gilligan Moss, Steven A Clark, Leikeli47 and No Wyld

Mercury Lounge: CMJ Official Showcase with Oberhofer, Superfood, Bird Dog, Frankie and Marlon Williams

Rough Trade NYC: Rough Trade presents John Grant, Ezra Furman, Georgia, Shopping and Hooton Tennis Club

Rough Trade NYC: BBC Introducing & PRS for Music Foundation present Clean Cut Kid, the Big Moon, Pretty Vicious, Georgia and the Jacques

Rough Trade NYC: Bella Union and Iceland Airwaves present Mammut, Doomsquad, Landshapes, Fufanu and DJ Flugvel og Geimskip

Mercury Lounge: Ruen Brothers, Susto and Zachary Cale

Rough Trade NYC: Aquarium Drunkard presents: No Jacket Required with Protomartyr, Omni, Lemon Twigs, Drinks, Yoko and the Oh No’s, Mothers, Car Seat Headrest and Modern Vices

Pianos (beginning at noon), FREE: the Lemon Twigs, Whitney, Methyl Ethyl, Bayonne, Aquilo, Mild High Club, Ben Abraham, Fraser A Gorman, Zachary Cale, Hooton Tennis Club and Car Seat Headrest

Rough Trade NYC: Levitation & Alisa Loog present Ringo Deathstarr, Shannon and the Clams, Drinks, Mild High Club, Whitney

Mercury Lounge: MezzoForte presents Lev,  Powwowwer, Pompeya, Sphynx, Young Empires, Teen Commandments, Velo and Holiday Mountain


Two Chances to See Howler Play Live

May 13th, 2014

Jordan Gatesmith (vocals and guitar) had been a part of a variety of other bands that didn’t stick together before he and a friend (who has since departed) formed Howler in 2010. Now rounded out by Rory MacMurdo (drums), Ian Nygaard (guitar) and Max Petrek (bass and keys), they play the kind of fuzzy guitar pop that calls to mind the likes of the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and the Strokes. After getting signed overseas, by Rough Trade, the Minneapolis group began to make waves in Europe—NME named them one of best new bands of 2011. Howler (above, performing “Indictment” live in studio for Radio K) then began to gain attention in the U.S. following the release of their debut, America Give Up (stream it below), in 2012. The A.V. Club says the album “practically glows with youthful energy” and that it’s “about woo-oo-oo choruses and fuzz-laden, spiky guitar chords, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” The band’s follow-up, World of Joy (stream it below), arrived earlier this spring. And NME remains a fan: “The difference between this record and its predecessor, however, is akin to the difference between a young athlete with plenty of potential but little nous or experience, and that same athlete after a couple of years of intensive self-improvement: Everything is that much bigger, faster, smarter and stronger. Tearing through its 10 songs in a shade under 28 minutes, World of Joy sounds like a band straining themselves to top a personal best. Happily, they’ve managed it.” See them tonight at Rough Trade NYC or tomorrow at Mercury Lounge.


The Bowery Presents Teams Up with Rough Trade in Brooklyn

September 17th, 2013

Beloved London music retailer Rough Trade is finally coming to our shores to open its flagship U.S. store in Brooklyn (specifically Williamsburg) on 11/25. Not only will the 15,000-square-foot shop sell new music in multiple formats, but it will also house a music venue for free in-store performances plus plenty of ticketed shows brought to you by The Bowery Presents. “The emphasis will be on music the art, not the commodity,” says Rough Trade co-president Stephen Godfroy. “In that respect, it will be true to our London stores, places where music and culture lovers of all ages and taste congregate and celebrate what it means to be independent.” Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information as it becomes available.