Tag Archives: the Walkmen


Hamilton Leithauser Kicks Off the Weekend at The Bowery Ballroom

January 28th, 2015

For more than a decade, Hamilton Leithauser has been known as the frontman of turn-of-the-century NYC rockers the Walkmen. But that band went on an “extreme hiatus” in late 2013 following a tour in support of their seventh studio album, Heaven. Not one to sit idly by, Leithauser (above, performing “5 AM” live in studio for WFUV FM) put out his first solo full-length, the Frank Sinatra–inspired Black Hours (stream it below), late last spring. It’s safe to say that critics were impressed. “In the hands of a less capable fontman and songwriter, Black Hours could have turned out as a cheesy attempt at ’50s pastiche. Instead, it’s a lively, confident and charming first effort,” said the A.V. Club. And Leithauser kicks off the weekend by entertaining his hometown fans on Friday night at
The Bowery Ballroom
. But arrive early because the big-voiced Elle King opens the show.


Broken Bells Play Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on Friday Night

September 24th, 2014

Brian Burton—aka Danger Mouse—was already renowned for his considerable production work and being one half of Gnarls Barkley, and James Mercer was best known for fronting the Shins when the two combined forces to form Broken Bells in 2010. In calling their self-titled debut album (stream it below) “a sweet ’n’ sour and head-spinningly trippy set,” BBC Music declared, “Rarely have such brooding sentiments sounded so alluring.” And while some thought this would only be a one-off, Burton and Mercer remained true to their word about forming a band rather than making an album together just once. In fact they returned this past winter with their sophomore effort, After the Disco (stream it below). Spin mentioned “the idea of Broken Bells as a partnership built on the past’s vision of the future” and also called it “the rare, superior sequel—think Toy Story 2.” And although Broken Bells (above, doing “Perfect World” on Live on Letterman) record as a duo, they perform live as a full band. Go see them outside on Friday night at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser opens the show.


Quentin Stoltzfus’s New Band, Light Heat, Plays Mercury Lounge

June 26th, 2013

We haven’t heard much from Philadelphia musician Quentin Stoltzfus since his psych-pop project Mazarin released We’re Already Here in 2005, prompting Pitchfork to rave: “For real, it’s hard to find a track on this record that isn’t at once impressive in its craft and deeply lovable on a sensual level; you don’t even need to skip around to sing its virtues, you can just go down the track list in order.” Fortunately, in the eight years since, Stoltzfus found time amidst building studios and producing albums to write and record (and even record again) a batch of new material alongside friends like Matt Barrick, Peter Bauer, Paul Maroon, Walter Martin—better known as four-fifths of the Walkmen. (“It’s great to have good friends who are incredibly competent and who support and understand your ideas,” says Stoltzfus.) The end result is a band called Light Heat (above, their video for “And the Birds…”), and their debut self-titled album (stream it below) just came out on Tuesday. Interview calls it “a profound work that radiates a hip pop classicism, as much Dylan as it is Velvet Underground.” So don’t miss them tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.


Boston’s Calling …

May 24th, 2013

While summer doesn’t technically start ’til June 21st, the summer season kicks off today, with the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. And what better way to do that with a music festival featuring a lineup that kicks all 11 kinds of ass over the course of two days and nights at the Boston Calling Music Festival. Tomorrow’s docket includes fun. (above, performing “Some Nights” on Saturday Night Live), the Shins, Marina and the Diamonds, Matt & Kim, Portugal. The Man, Cults, MS MR, St. Lucia and Bad Rabbits. Not to be outdone, Sunday features the National (below, doing “Bloodbuzz Ohio”), Of Monsters and Men, Young the Giant, Andrew Bird, Dirty Projectors, Ra Ra Riot, the Walkmen, Youth Lagoon and Caspian. Pretty great, right? So what are you waiting for? Head directly to Beantown and spend your weekend rocking out.




You Can Go Home Again

October 19th, 2012

The Walkmen – Terminal 5 – October 18, 2012

“This is a real homecoming show for all of us,” announced Hamilton Leithauser, frontman of the Walkmen, to the crowd at Terminal 5 last night, adding, somewhat wistfully, “We don’t all live here anymore.” Indeed, times have changed since the band debuted at the start of the millennium, often unwittingly grouped with a plethora of guitar-driven bands comprising the so-called “new” New York City music scene.

Now with seven studio albums (including their latest release, Heaven) to their credit, it’s easy to see why the Walkmen may have resented initial comparisons to other of-the-moment bands—although they certainly have attitude, style and the kind of punchy guitar lines that can rile up a crowd. But since their inception, the band has taken pains to set them apart: crafting their songs with erudite lyrics, shifting dynamics and intricate compositions, often using vintage instruments.

In particular, the Walkmen excel at experimenting with the opposing forces of restraint and excess, frequently illustrated during last night’s show. Leithauser relished in the measured delivery of slow-building numbers like “138th Street” and “In the New Year,” while during more unhinged songs like “All Hands and the Cook,” “Angela Surf City” and “The Rat,” he shout-sang lyrics with unbridled immediacy. The Walkmen closed out the night with a hit from their 2002 debut album, the piano-tinged “We’ve Been Had.” It’s a song with lyrics brimming with nostalgia, and a fitting finish for an accomplished band returning to their formative city. —Alena Kastin 



The Walkmen – The Bowery Ballroom – June 6, 2012

June 7th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesolivierphoto.com


The Walkmen – Terminal 5 – December 2, 2010

December 3rd, 2010

The Walkmen - Terminal 5 - December 2, 2010

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | www.gregggreenwood.com


Tennis Anyone?

December 2nd, 2010

Tennis – Mercury Lounge – December 1, 2010

Tennis - Mercury Lounge - December 1, 2010
With just a solitary 7″ single on Underwater Peoples Records, Tennis has already made a name for itself, headlining last night at Mercury Lounge. But how did two people who met just a short time ago leave everything behind to buy a sailboat and travel for almost a year and then end up here? Maybe it’s the mythology of the husband-and-wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moor venturing out on the open sea and coming back with these songs that got the sold-out crowd’s attention—or more likely it’s that the sound born on that trip is exactly like you’d imagine: equal parts dreamy shoegaze and echo surf pop.

Riley, looking like he’d just stepped off deck, with his bleached-blond hair and polo shirt, cranked the warm, delayed reverb borrowing from the wet-amp settings of Dick Dale. Moor played synth and sang in a fragile vibrato, with an inherent optimism about the journey, from the coves and tides in “Marathon” to the squalls and lees in “South Carolina.” The nearly conceptual album, Cape Dory, which hits stores next month, is inspired by their idiosyncratic nautical observations.

There are clear comparisons to another female-fronted indie band, Beach House, with similar haunting lead vocals and swirling fuzz. But in Tennis’ case, thanks to the couple’s carefree open-ocean lifestyle, the tracks have a decidedly sunny outlook. It’s pure homage to classic oldies radio, and fitting that their debut was pressed as a 45, right in line with the recent pillaging and rediscovery of those ’60s girl groups and that Top 40 sound. Turns out, it was an ill-fated set of near disasters at sea one night that led Riley and Moor to shore for a drink at a seaside bar to hear, of all things, the Ronettes on the jukebox. Little by little, the couple bought back the instruments they had sold for the trip and combined that sound with an epic odyssey. And the rest is barely history. —Jason Dean

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.blogspot.com

(Tennis and School of Seven Bells open for the Walkmen tonight at Terminal 5.)


See the Walkmen and Try to Win Free Tickets

November 30th, 2010

Five guys grew up together in Washington, D.C., and, over time, made their way to New York City. Eventually, they left their previous bands, Jonathan Fire*Eater and the Recoys, and started the Walkmen. Ten years—and six albums (the most recent of which, Lisbon, came out this past September)—later, they’re still going strong. How strong? Find out for yourself when the Walkmen (above, doing “Blue as Your Blood” for Chicago’s WXRT FM) play Terminal 5 on Thursday. Want to go but don’t have tickets? Then try to win a couple of them. Fill out the form below, including your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (the Walkmen, 12/2) and a brief message explaining your favorite song off the new disc. The winner will be notified by Thursday.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

IFC Crossroads House – March 17, 2010

March 18th, 2010

Neon Indian

Photos courtesy of Chris Reddish

The Bowery Presents Heads to Austin, Tejas

March 16th, 2010


We’re bringing music to the Crossroads House in conjunction with the IFC, above, plus we’ve got our own showcase on Thursday night at Emo’s, below. Don’t be a stranger. Come check us out!


Five Questions with…Pete Bauer

April 15th, 2009

The Walkmen

The Walkmen hit Webster Hall tomorrow night for a sold-out hometown show before beginning an arena tour with Kings of Leon. Pete Bauer, the bass and organ player, kindly took time to exchange e-mails with The House List to answer five questions.

What’s the last band you paid to see?
I think I actually paid to see Pearl Jam because my wife is some kind of crazed superfan. There have been several disagreements about this around the house, especially with the Eddie Vedder solo shows.

Which bands that you listened to growing up do you still listen to?
I still listen to the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison and all those sort of golden oldies. I have also been listening to the Nation of Ulysses a lot again recently, which is something I listened to often growing up. I heard some of Extra Width by Jon Spencer on the radio the other day, which I hadn’t heard in years, but they cut the song off in the middle, which was weird.

Who are your inspirations outside of the music world?
I don’t know. I guess I like several writers a good amount. I always really loved Jorge Luis Borges and have really dug in deep with him for years. He is a real constant.

What’s the toughest part of playing New York City?
Historically, I would say it was always loading out. Putting all our crap back in our studio was always a disaster because everyone wants to go out and have a good time and someone always gets stuck with the piano. We solved this problem by getting equipment insurance and leaving everything in an unlocked van.

Have you ever experienced fear onstage?
The first time I ever had a show with my old band, the Recoys, I threw up as we went on. —R. Zizmor