Recent Posts in Contests
July 27, 2015
words and photos by Klaus Kinski
Roger Waters @ Newport Folk Festival 7/24/2015
The 2015 Newport Folk Festival was definitely one for the history books. For example, this year's festival marked the 50th anniversary of when some man named Bob Dylan (in)famously decided to go electric. This move totally flipped the wigs of many of his deadbeat hippie/beat fans and created a deep chasm among his many devotees. As a matter of fact, on Saturday July 25, exactly 50 years to the day that Bob went electric at the Festival, the very Fender Stratocaster that Dylan used back 1965 to go electric made an appearance at the festival. The guitar, which Dylan left on an airplane like a doofus back in 1965, ended up in the hands of the plane's pilot until 2012. In 2013 the pilot's daughter put it up for auction where it fetched almost a million US dollars and ended up in the hands of Indianapolis Colts football team owner Jim Irsay.
Cool story bro. However, for me, the festival was all about the highly anticipated and very surprising headlining set by former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters. The Newport Folk Festival is notorious for selling out before the line-up is even announced. So when the Fest announced that Waters would be headlining opening day of the festival (Friday July 24), a lot of people in possession of Friday tickets were extremely stoked, while millions of Roger Waters/Pink Floyd fans without tickets were extremely bummed out. I was one of the bummed out legion until fate intervened on my behalf and I miraculously found myself in attendance.
When Roger announced on facebook on May 21, 2015 that he would be participating in the 2015 Newport Folk Festival and promised "an intimate appearance specifically crafted for Newport Folk," the ambiguity of his declaration had Floyd-heads reeling at the possibilities. Would he be doing a full scale performance of "Dark Side" or "The Wall"? Or even stripped-down versions? Would he be performing his seminal 1992 album Amused to Death in full? After all, Friday July 24 also happened to be the day "Amused to Death" would see a large-scale, multi-format re-release.
What the Festival audience ended up getting from Waters was better than any of the above, in my opinion. For rather than use his headlining slot as an opportunity to remind us of his immense back catalog, both as a solo artist and as Pink Floyd's primary creative force, Waters took the opportunity to deliver a diverse setlist that not only gave a hearty nod to his work with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, but he used the opportunity to pay homage to the festival's history, the legacy of folk music, and to hit us with the ultimate double-whammy; performing a brand new, never-before-heard song while playing piano in front of a crowd, according to Waters, "for the first time ever."
Waters was preceded by a scorching eight-song set by My Morning Jacket. As the dust settled from their 8th song, MMJ remained on stage as Roger Waters sauntered out with Amy Helm (daughter of the late Levon Helm), G.E. Smith as well as Lucius and Sara Watkins. These folks, combined with My Morning Jacket, banded together and served as Roger's explosive and unbelievable back-up band.
Roger kicked things off by performing that new, powerful, and no doubt provocative, song called "Crystal Clear Brooks," which has its origins as a poem penned by Waters that he brought to light back in 2014. He followed that with the Pink Floyd classic "Mother" which segued into one of my personal favorites from Amused to Death, "The Bravery of Being Out of Range." At this point in the set, he switched gears and performed a really great cover of John Prine's "Hello in There" which is a sad reflection on aging and the fact that life is basically one long casting off. Sort of a cross between "Death of a Salesman" and Hanson Towne's "Around The Corner." Ugh, get me a pistol. Anyhow, from there they moved into Floyd territory and unleashed another song about loss and longing; the classic "Wish You Were Here."
At this point, the rain was REALLY coming down and besides being soaked to the bone and shivering like an orphaned dog, I was also officially coming to terms with how well-crafted and totally unpredictable this set was. He followed "Wish You Were Here" with Buddy Miller's "Wide River to Cross," a song completely foreign to me but played beautifully by the assembled musicians and expressed superbly through Waters' vocals. The next three songs were completely Waters territory; the band tore into the title track from "Amused to Death" with staggering results and then headed into "Dark Side" territory with flawless renditions of "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." They company closed out the set appropriately and paid tribute to The Newport Folk Festival in general and Bob Dylan in particular with a version of Planet Waves' "Forever Young."
At some point towards the tail end of this magnificent set, the rain tapered off, the clouds began to part, and the sun finally began to reappear again. Roger Waters had assembled an amazing crew of musicians and pulled off a truly amazing, unpredictable, and fulfilling performance that lacked ego and pretension.
Unfortunately, Roger doesn't have many live dates coming up in the near future. However, he will be performing at Dar, Constitution Hall, in Washington DC on Friday October 16, 2015. Billed as "Music Heals" the concert will feature Roger Waters, the musicians of MusiCorps, and will feature special guests Bill Corgan, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello. More info:
Music Heals: an exceptional one night only concert where some of the world's biggest recording artists will join forces to raise money for MusiCorps - a charity supporting injured service men and women and their families. The MusiCorps Band is made up of injured service members who have learned, and in some cases relearned, how to play instruments through the charity. MusiCorps is a non-profit charitable organization which helps wounded veterans play music and recover their lives. Praised by the Wall Street Journal as "revolutionary," the conservatory-level program enables the wounded to learn, relearn, and perform music as a core part of their rehabilitation.Tickets for this show are on sale now.
In honor of the re-release of Roger Waters' 1992 solo album Amused to Death, we are giving away a limited edition 2xLP picture disc to one lucky person. Details on how to win are below.
Pics, videos, and setlist below.
July 24, 2015
by Bill Pearis
photo: Matthew E White @ Baby's All Right in April (more by PSquared)
Matthew E White has released a deluxe version of his Fresh Blood LP that comes with what he's calling the "No Skin" version of the album, which has it stripped of strings, horns, and choirs. (Which he and his band usually, but not always, do it live.) It's still a pretty lush listen without all that, and you can stream the "no skin" version of "Rock n' Roll is Cold" from it below.
Meanwhile, White has a new video for Fresh Blood cut "Vision." Directed by Clara Aranovich, the video features feminist commentator Caitlin Stasey and actor Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class) exploring the trials of living with blindness. Watch it below.
All Matthew E. White tour dates are listed, along with the "Rock n' Roll is Cold" stream and "Vision" video, below...
July 21, 2015
Fresh off her appearance at this past weekend's Pitchfork Fest, Courtney Barnett is back in NYC for Wednesday night's sold-out show at Terminal 5. Before that, she'll be displaying some of the photographs she's taken on her current tour as well as some of her artwork at a private gallery exhibition TONIGHT in NYC featuring DJ sets by Torres and Speedy Ortiz's DJ SAD13, both of whom are opening for Courtney at T5. Again, this event -- which goes from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM in Manhattan -- is private but if you'd like to go we have a few guest list spots to give away. Enter to win below...
July 8, 2015
photo: Rainer Maria at Bowery Ballroom on NYE (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Rainer Maria have been taking their reunion pretty slow, playing shows here and there rather than going on a big tour. Their next two are in their hometown of NYC this week: Friday (7/10) at Saint Vitus and Saturday (7/11) at Shea Stadium with SoftSpot. Vitus is sold out, but the Shea show is still on sale and we're also giving away a pair of tickets. Head below to enter the contest.
July 6, 2015
Albarn being carried off stage at Roskilde 2015
Damon Albarn played Denmark's Roskilde Festival over the weekend (7/4) as part of Africa Express, the project he founded that brings together Western and African musicians. Where most festival sets keep things short and sweet, sticking to the hits, the Blur and Gorillaz frontman -- along with Songhoy Blues, Nick Zinner, Jeff Wootton, and Seye Adelekan -- played a marathon five-hour (!) set that also featured appearances from Blur's Graham Coxon, Laura Mvula and more. When the 4 AM curfew hit, Albarn still wasn't ready to get off stage and launched into a cover of The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" That question was answered by security who carried him offstage while he was still singing. Video of that, plus Africa Express performing Gorillaz's "Clint Eastwood" and a song with Coxon/Mvula, below.
Albarn will be in the U.S. with Blur this fall, playing the Hollywood Bowl (10/20) and NYC's Madison Square Garden (10/23) with opener Courtney Barnett. Tickets to MSG are still available but if you'd like to go for free we've got a pair to give away and as a bonus it comes with a vinyl copy of Blur's The Magic Whip. Entry form is below.
photo: Courtney Barnett at Bowery Ballroom in May (more by PSquared)
To follow their (very tiny) first NYC show since 2003, Blur are returning for much larger US shows at LA's Hollywood Bowl on October 20 and NYC's Madison Square Garden on October 23. If that wasn't exciting enough, those shows just got a pretty awesome opener: fast-rising indie rocker of the moment, Courtney Barnett.
Courtney has other dates, and will be in NYC for a headlining show this month at Terminal 5 (7/22) with Speedy Ortiz (who also play NYC with Waxahatchee) and Torres (who also plays NYC with Garbage). That show is sold out.
All Courtney dates are listed, with the video for "Pedestrian At Best" off her great new album, below...
June 30, 2015
As previously mentioned, NJ punks The Bouncing Souls are playing a big home state show on July 17 at Starland Ballroom with killer support from Andrew Jackson Jihad, Screaming Females, and Seaside Caves. Since we last spoke, the band revealed that they'll be playing 2001's great How I Spent My Summer Vacation in full at the show. Tickets are still available, and we're giving away a pair. Details below.
The day after the show, Bouncing Souls singer Greg Attonito and his wife Shanti Wintergate's children's music duo Play Date play an afternoon NJ show.
Stream How I Spent My Summer Vacation in full, with the contest details, below...
June 19, 2015
So far this has been a pretty good year for films revolving around music, both in documentary and dramatic form. The Wrecking Crew and Love and Mercy to name two. Adding to those and opening today (6/19) on select cities is Eden, a drama that centers around young DJ, Paul, and his friend Stan as they travail through life and the budding '90s "French Touch" electronic scene through its growth to the present. The film is directed by Mia Hansen-Løve, who got her start acting in future husband Olivier Assayas' wonderful 1998 film Late August, Early September. Moving into directing, this is her fourth film and most accomplished yet. (You would be well worth checking out her last film as well, 2011's very heavily French New Wave inspired Goodbye First Love.)
Much of the authenticity and excitement in many of the scenes derives from the fact that the film was co-written by Mia's brother Sven who was a DJ on the front lines right from the beginning. While not strictly autobiographical, there is no denying the story comes from someone who was right there as it was happening. For example, marvel at the moment early on when a young Daft Punk plays "Da Funk" for the first time at a Parisian house party. Recommended, especially if you are a fan of the music. In NYC it's playing at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. Watch the trailer below.
Speaking of music, the 2-CD soundtrack is fantastic, featuring the music that had this scene cooking, including songs from Jaydee, Frankie Knuckles, Joe Smooth, Cheek and of course the aforementioned Daft Punk and more. Tracklist, and a Rdio playlist with most of the songs is below. If you want the real thing: Broad Green Pictures and BrooklynVegan have five copies of the soundtrack to give away. Details below.
June 10, 2015
photo: Beach Slang at Skate & Surf 2015 (more by Mimi Hong)
We already knew Beach Slang were playing the stacked third day of Brooklyn's Gigawatts Festival (7/26) with Braid, Swearin', Laura Stevenson, Cheap Girls, Chumped, and more; and they've now announced a tour surrounding that. The tour includes two other shows in the area right before the Brooklyn date: Long Island's Amityville Music Hall on July 24 with Iron Chic, Broadcaster and Scout Boys ($10 at door, more info hereAsbury Lanes on July 25 (tickets).
Tickets for all three days of Gigawatts (also including Black Lips, Liturgy, Anamanaguchi and more) are still available, and we're also giving away a pair. Details below.
Their debut LP will be out later this year on Polyvinyl, but most details still TBA. Meanwhile, listen to last year's two EPs, with their list of dates, below...
June 8, 2015
Toronto's Doomsquad have made a video for "Two-Way Mirror" from their Pageantry Suite EP which came out last month via Hand Drawn Dracula. The video, directed by Chris Boni, was filmed around Roswell, NM and involves aliens and ice cream. It's more of a short film than your standard music video and you can watch it below.
As mentioned, Doomsquad will be in NYC this week for Northside Festival, playing a late show Saturday (6/13) at Rough Trade with PINS. 10:30 PM doors for that one and tickets are still available, or you can get in with a Northside badge. After that, they'll be on tour with Fucked Up as part of their 'Zodiac' big band. That tour comes to Brooklyn's The Wick on June 26 (tickets) and WFMU Monty Hall in NJ on June 27 (tickets). If you'd like to go to the Wick show for free, we're also giving away a pair of tickets. Details, plus a list of Doomsquad tour dates, below...