Tag Archives: Williamsburg

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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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A Raucous 40th-Anniversary Party at Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 1st, 2017

L.A.M.F. 4oth Anniversary – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 30, 2017


There’s a lot of talk about how the Lower East Side is not same as it used to be. Hell, the name of The Bowery Presents hearkens back to the glory days of the late ’70s when a few bands set the town—and the world—ablaze with a new kind of fury that hadn’t been witnessed before. Bands like Ramones, Television and the Patti Smith Group all turned rock and roll in on itself, showing how bloated it had become. This new class would behead bands with 100-piece drum kits and 15-minute flute-driven epics about mystical creatures to bring the genre back to its sneering basics. Punk made the Bowery famous worldwide, and one of its hometown heroes was Johnny Thunders and his band the Heartbreakers. With their seminal trash-rock opus, L.A.M.F., Thunders and his band were probably the most rock and roll out of any of the ’77 class. They stuck to the same basics that had been taught to millions by Chuck Berry while adding some of the era’s reckless abandon. (The band also took advantage of their junk-saturated environment more than their peers, and Thunders passed away in 1991.)

Last year, keeper of the NYC rock flame, Jesse Malin, assembled an all-star tribute to play the L.A.M.F. record in full. Needless to say it was a boozed-up blast. This year marks the album’s 40th anniversary and they pulled out all the stops to do it again at a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. With a lineup of original Heartbreaker guitarist Walter Lure, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and Social Distortion singer-guitarist Mike Ness, the band ripped through the full LP, trading off vocal duties throughout. Malin (who also opened the show) joined them for a few numbers but seemed to know his place and cleared the stage so these punk legends could hold court.

The band was loose and some numbers ended in charmingly sloppy ways. You could tell this was getting Burke a little agitated, but in defense of the Heartbreakers’ reckless spirit, Ness said that no one cared if the songs came out perfect. The band left the stage once they completed the album and came back to do an encore of Heartbreakers rarities and even a couple of Thunders solo tunes. Malin returned to sing “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” from So Alone, and Ness took on that album’s slow-brooding title track immediately afterward. The show ended with Lure singing the Heartbreakers song “Too Much Junky Business.” It was a great night that transported everyone to a more dangerous and unpredictable era of rock and roll. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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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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Bully Ratchet Up the Energy at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday

November 14th, 2017

Bully – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 13, 2017

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

In an era when we’re all coming to realize that women have a million reasons to angrily shout, Bully frontwoman Alicia Bognanno might just rock one of the best screams in all of rock music. Her vocal chords come with a built-in distortion pedal. It’s a slight miracle she can tour playing night after night with her gravely scream on full blast. At other times her voice is filled with tenderness—it takes a certain chorus or bridge to flick a switch then suddenly the same voice isn’t just cutting like a knife, it’s cutting you open. “I am trying to stay focused,” screamed Bognanno on repeat at a fever pitch for the final lines of “Focused,” each refrain ratcheting up the energy levels at Music Hall of Williamsburg, far higher than you’d think possible on a Monday night.

Not all of their songs hit so heavy: “I Feel the Same” came with a bouncy feel to it, with Bognanno flanked on both sides by pogoing guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus. The latter dedicated the set to two friends in the audience celebrating their two-year anniversary. “I don’t want to sing the saddest song we have after that. I’ll jinx this,” said Bognanno leading into “Blame.” But it was easily one of their best songs of the night, oscillating between soft contemplation and fury-filled choruses. “Milkman” one of their first-ever recorded tracks, had the whole band packing serious punch, with Lazarus’ thudding bassline doing the walloping. The show ended with “I Remember,” a tight number already trimmed of any fat whatsoever, played in warp speed. No better way to end the night than with a knockout blow. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

 

 

 

Contest

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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Alex Clare Brings New Material to Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 13th, 2017

English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Clare’s Tail of Lions (stream it below) just came out recently in the U.S., striking “an enjoyable balance on his third full-length,” according to AllMusic, “with a further evolution of a sound that shines the spotlight on his voice.” The title, Clare (above, performing “Basic”)—who moved with his family from London to Jerusalem two years ago—tells the Independent, refers to an ancient Jewish Proverb: “‘It is better to be a tail to a lion than a head to a fox’ means that it is better to follow someone who is truly great, than to lead something negative and crooked.” Per the Line of Best Fit, “Deeply rooted in religious literature, [the album’s] other influences range from mental illness to the current political climate, making it an engaging listen from one of Britain’s most distinctive male vocalists.” Clare’s current North American tour touches down in Brooklyn on Tuesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini and Brooklyn five-piece Elijah open the show.

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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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Two Nights of the Shadowboxers in New York City This Weekend

November 9th, 2017

Layering pitch-perfect three-part harmonies over soulful pop, funky folk and stadium rock channeled through an R&B lens, the Shadowboxers—original members Adam Hoffman (vocals and guitar), Matt Lipkins (vocals and keys) and Scott Tyler (vocals and guitar) with Cole McSween (drums) and Carlos Enamorado (bass)—have been winning over fans with their fun-loving, captivating live performances since forming in college seven years ago in Atlanta. But first they won over Indigo GirlsEmily Saliers, who’d caught one of their shows at Emory University, which led to the Shadowboxers (above, playing “Build the Beat” for WRLT FM) touring and performing with Indigo Girls. Now based in Nashville, Tenn., the group’s Kickstarter-funded Red Room arrived in 2013. To thank donors, the band recorded several cover songs and posted them to their YouTube channel. Their version of “Pusher Love Girl” so impressed Justin Timberlake that he’s since taken them under his wing and signed them to Villa 40, his artist-development company. Following the release of several singles, including “Hot Damn,” and with a new album on the horizon, the Shadowboxers, who have been compared to the Temptations and Maroon 5, have hit the road. Their November tour brings them to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (with Blonde Maze opening) and The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (with the Rooks opening).

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Blitzen Trapper Return to Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday

November 8th, 2017

And so we find ourselves in November, halfway between the cold canned beers of summer and the sweater-and-overcoat chill of winter, a perfect time to listen to Blitzen Trapper. The Portland, Ore., band’s music fits right into this seasonal space with thoughtful storytelling and a progressive country-folk-funk sound. Right on cue, they have just released their ninth studio album, Wild and Reckless (stream it below), and will be headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night (with Nashville, Tenn., singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt opening). After some dabbles with a more experimental sound, Blitzen Trapper (above, performing “No Man’s Land” for KINK FM) are in a mature and confident space on the new record, concentrating on the songs themselves. The material will only bolster their already formidable live repertoire that, along with its subtleties and idiosyncrasies, totally rocks in concert, in November or any other time of year. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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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.