Recent Posts in music

March 27, 2015

Swervedriver at BV-SXSW 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Swervedriver

You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...

Swervedriver, Gateway Drugs @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Arguably the heaviest, most rocking of the original UK shoegaze acts, Swervedriver returned this year with their first new album since the '90s -- and it's pretty damn good. But expect to hear favorites like "Duel" and "Rave Down," too, at their NYC shows this weekend.

Patti Smith & Jesse Smith @ Le Poisson Rouge
Punk pioneer and NYC icon Patti Smith has been giving a variety of performances lately, and this one's a collaboration with her daughter Jesse for the "Hands On Live" benefit concert, which raises funds for Terakoya, "a new naturopathy clinic/workshop to be built in the upstate Catskill Mountains."

The Get Up Kids, PUP, Restorations @ Stone Pony
Nineties-era greats The Get Up Kids last reunited in NYC before every '90s emo band you could think of started doing the same thing, and now they're finally back for another round. They don't hit NYC proper, but will be in NJ tonight and Long Island tomorrow. Great openers too: poppy Canadian punks PUP and Philly's heart-on-sleeve rockers Restorations.

La Dispute, Title Fight, The Hotelier @ Webster Hall
This is a killer triple bill with two always-progressing co-headliners -- La Dispute whose newest stuff is progressive post-hardcore with a hint of spoken word, and Title Fight who are currently toeing the line between punk and shoegaze. Cathartic emo band The Hotelier open the show. Sold out.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion @ The Point
The JSBX released their cracking new album Freedom Tower: No Wave Dance Party 2015 this week and are celebrating by playing shows in every borough. Tonight takes them to the Bronx where they'll play a benefit for Hunts Point community center The Point.

Diamond Rugs, New Madrid, Justin Collins @ Bowery Ballroom
This supergroup -- featuring John McCauley & Robbie Cowell of Deer Tick, Ian Saint Pe formerly of Black Lips, T. Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and Bryan Dufresne of Six Finger Satellite -- released their  second album this year and bring their good-time rock n' roll to NYC tonight.

Har Mar Superstar, Kahli Abdu, VHS Safari @ Knitting Factory
A fearless and funny performer, Har Mar Superstar brings the party -- and his R&B/rock/pop songs -- to wherever he plays. This one starts at 11:30 PM and will go late.

Untold, Egyptrixx, Tessela (DJ Set) @ The Wick
The "Tinnitus" series continues tonight, pairing together UK bass producer Untold with Canada's UK-inspired Egyptrixx.

Ikonika, Jubilee, DJ HVAD, Tripletrain, Geng, Dave Q, "Very Special Guest" @ Palisades
UK Hyperdub-signed producer Ikonika (aka Sara Abdel-Hamid) makes the kind of dubstep her label's best known for, with releases dating back to 2008. Tonight's show has a "Very Special Guest." Any guesses?

Sannhet, Kayo Dot, Oneirogen @ Saint Vitus
Brooklyn trio Sannhet make crushing instrumental post-metal and their live show (killer light show included) can really overwhelm you if you let it. Tonight's their release show for Revisionist, and it's a great bill all around with Toby Driver's genre-less collective Kayo Dot and one man metal band Oneirogen.

Tobias Jesso Jr., Okay Kaya @ Baby's All Right
Canadian singer-songwriter TJJ recalls the early-'70s days of Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and John Lennon on his new album, Goon. Will he live up to the hype?

Teen Suicide, LVL UP, Amanda X, Crying, Flagland, Washer @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
This whole bill is a pretty great showcase of the burgeoning Northeast indie rock scene, with Ricky Eat Acid's punk band Teen Suicide, '90s-esque rockers LVL UP, punky indie rock trio Amanda X, chiptune-gone-Rush trio Crying, garage rockers Flagland, and the shambolic sounds of Washer.

The Budos Band, Spires @ Brooklyn Bowl
Where their first three albums traffiked in funky afropop, the Budos Band went heavy (as in almost proto-metal) on last year's Burnt Offering which works a lot more organically than you might think. This is their first of two

Shakey Graves, Nikki Lane @ Warsaw
Quickly-rising Austin folk singer Shakey Graves plays his second of two NYC shows with Nikki Lane tonight.

Hallelujah the Hills, Adam Schatz (of Landlady) @ Bell House
Boston cult indie rockers Hallelujah the Hills have been at it for ten years, developing a very loyal fan base. Anthemic choruses abound.

Dropdead, Fucking Invincible, V-Sect, Narcoleptics @ The Acheron
Providence hardcore vets Dropdead have been going strong since '91 with most of their original lineup, and their newest material is just as crushing as their classic stuff. Fucking Invincible are not to miss either.

Las Rosas, Boytoy, Threats (members of Drowners), Winstons @ Alphaville
It's a gaggle of garage rock in the back room of Bushwick bar Alphaville tonight, headlined by the very '60s-ish Las Rosas

Baked, Bueno, Leapling, Weed Hounds, Pupppy @ Shea Stadium
Tonight's Shea show brings together a handful of regulars on Brooklyn's current indie rock scene.

Deborah Harry @ Cafe Carlyle
Blondie singer Deborah Harry continues her residency at Upper East side cabaret supper club Cafe Carlyle tonight. It runs through April 4.

Bob's Burger's Live @ Beacon Theater
The entire main cast of FOX's charming animated sitcom are on hand for this event tonight for individual standup segments, a table read of an upcoming episode and an audience Q&A.

For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.

For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.

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March 26, 2015

photos by Tim Griffin, words by Andrew Sacher

Rat Fist / Pianos Become The Teeth / Single Mothers
20150320 - BrooklynVegan Day Party - Friday - SXSW 2015
20150320 - BrooklynVegan Day Party - Friday - SXSW 2015
20150320 - BrooklynVegan Day Party - Friday - SXSW 2015

The three 2015 BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 continued on Friday (3/20), once again bringing a handful of bands to the venue's two stages from noon to 6 PM. Unfortunately, Walter Schreifels' band Vanishing Life had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, so Creepoid were moved from the outside stage to the inside stage and the show got a slightly later start. But other than that (and some rain), day 2 went off without a hitch.

Philly's Creepoid, who since ran into some legal trouble, started the day on a psychedelic note, with hazy smoke machines filling the room and their bass and their swirly logo (emblazoned on their bass drum) lit up from inside the drum. It was the perfect setting for their rocking shoegaze. After them it was Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band. The band's currently a power trio, and while Kevin's equally (or better) known for acoustic singer/songwriter stuff, they stuck mostly to their harder material which was a great fit for the day's bill. After them was The Velvet Teen, the shapeshifting rock band who are about to release their first full length in nine years on Topshelf. They played mostly stuff off that album, and the new songs sound good: like a mix of their indie rock early years and the artier tendencies they took on later on.

Power Trip
20150320 - BrooklynVegan Day Party - Friday - SXSW 2015

After Velvet Teen, the inside stage went officially into heavy mode with Canadian punks Single Mothers. They were in beast mode as usual and got a good amount of the crowd rowdy as well, with a handful of people up front shouting along. Then came their Canadian neighbors KEN mode who have a new bassist and a new album on the way that they previewed a handful of songs from. The new stuff has them sounding a little less metallic and a little more AmRep noise rock. It sounded great. They were followed by Power Trip, who recall a handful of early thrash and crossover bands but sound way too urgent to come off as retro. Like they tend to do, they had the whole room turned into a total madhouse. Wrapping up the inside stage was United Nations, one of Geoff Rickly's current bands. Their album makes a joke out of punk rock (while also being a killer punk album), and they did the same at their show, pairing their crushing set with stage banter that sarcastically poked fun at things like McDonald's' presence at SXSW. And for one song, Geoff broke out his old mask.

Meanwhile, the outside stage, co-presented with Invisible Oranges, began around 12:30 with Rat Fist, a trio featuring members of No Age and Pissed Jeans who played a solid set indebted to garage and early punk. They were followed by Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, who are currently on their first US tour and were one of the bands we were very excited to finally check out. They sounded great, and their singer's excitable stage presence was fun to watch too. Then came their Run for Cover labelmates Pity Sex, whose hard-hitting shoegaze sounded as good as ever. Up next was Pianos Become the Teeth (who share a rhythm section with United Nations), who played an intense set pulling almost entirely from their newest album, the post-hardcore band's first without screaming. Then the day ended with two veterans: first Mac McCaughan of Superchunk who previewed his upcoming debut solo album, and then shoegazers Swervedriver who just put out their first album since 1998 that (perhaps thanks to bands like Pity Sex and Creepoid) doesn't sound dated at all.

Swervedriver
20150320 - BrooklynVegan Day Party - Friday - SXSW 2015

Thanks to our sponsors Dropkloud, Esurance (who let 30 people skip the line each day) and MailChimp for helping make the party possible. If you unlocked our party playlsts on your phone with the DropKloud app, you can go listen to them now. If you're still in Austin, you can still unlock them when at Red 7 with the app installed on your phone. Thanks also to Sailor Jerry for helping keep our artists relaxed.

Pictures from Thursday HERE. Saturday coming shortly. More from Friday below...

Continue reading "BV-SXSW Friday @ Red 7 in pics --- Power Trip, Swervedriver, Makthaverskan, Mac McCaughan, Single Mothers & more"

photo: Public Access TV @ BVSXSW 2015 (via @brooklynvegan)
IMAGE

Amongst the tenants of one of the buildings on 2nd Ave that was destroyed today in to the giant explosion and fire this afternoon are the band Public Access TV. They were not in building, thankfully, as they're currently on tour on the West Coast. But they let everyone know they were ok on Facebook:

We've got a lot of messages about our apartment burning down in New York today. We are all safe. Very very lucky. Thoughts go out to everyone else affected by it and the firefighters.
Thanks for checking in, guys. It was just Saturday (3/21) when Public Access TV played BrooklynVegan's SXSW day party at Red 7.

John Renbourn

Folk legend John Renbourn sadly passed away at his home in Hawick, Scotland, The Guardian reports. He was 70.

In addition to releasing a large amount of solo albums from 1965 through 2011, John was a founding member of the great British folk-jazz band Pentangle, along with Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson, Terry Cox, and Bert Jansch (who we lost in 2011). John contributed guitar and vocals to the band, as well as other stringed instruments including sitar and banjo.

Rest in peace, John. You'll be missed and your contributions to music won't be forgotten.

Listen to Pentangle's arrangement of the traditional "Cruel Sister," the title track to their 1970 epic, below...

Continue reading "John Renbourn, RIP"

"Well an entire BUILDING just collapsed on 2nd Avenue and 7th street in the #EastVillage!!" - mikenouveau

Building

Firefighters were on the scene of an apparent explosion on Thursday afternoon in the East Village, and a building at the site appeared to have been partly destroyed while another building was engulfed in flames.

Francis X. Gribbon, the chief spokesman for the New York Fire Department, said the preliminary indication was that some kind of gas explosion preceded the inferno.

"It was probably a gas thing, it looks like," he said. "But that's not confirmed."

He said one injury had been confirmed so far: a critical injury. He said it was not immediately clear if the buildings were occupied.

By 4:05 p.m., Mr. Gribbon said, the event was in the seventh alarm, meaning that roughly 250 firefighters were on the location from about 50 Fire Department units. The buildings are at 121 and 123 Second Avenue. [NY Times]

Gothamist says, "The FDNY has now confirmed there are multiple injuries at the scene. The residential building has a nail salon (E-Nail) and a women's clothing store (Enz's); it is right next door to vegetarian mainstay B&H Dairy" and that "the neighboring building is also engulfed in flames", and that "According to various people at the scene, the second building (which is reportedly 121 E 2nd Street) has collapsed completely. That building contains Sushi Park; Eater reports that Sushi Park was destroyed, but neighboring Pomme Fritte is still in one piece." UPDATE: Eater now reports that the building that housed Pomme Fritte is gone too.

The site of the explosion, 2nd Ave between St. Mark's and 7th, is an area long-associated with music and counter-culture history. The corner of St. Mark's and 2nd Ave, currently Gem Spa Magazines, was the corner where the photo on the back cover of the first New York Dolls' album cover was taken. B&H Dairy is one of the most old-school vegetarian restaurants in NYC. 125 2nd Ave was the home of underground rock record store Wowsville (which closed in 2004 with a show Black Lips played). 119 2nd Ave at the corner of 7th St was the home of vintage clothing and collectables store Love Saves The Day. Across the street from where the explosion happened is the old Orpheum Theatre, which is currently the location of STOMP.

UPDATE 2: As of 4:30 PM, NY1 reported that there are 12 injured and three in critical addition. No fatalities have been reported.

UPDATE 3: NBC New York now confirms that it was a gas line, which construction workers accidentally hit in the sushi restaurant.

UPDATE 4: Gothamist reports that Mayor de Blasio said, "The actual explosion occurred at 121, which caused it to partially collapse, and 123 collapsed as well." 119 and 125 2nd Ave were also both affected.

As of this post. 2nd Ave is now closed from 14th St to Houston.

UPDATE: The band Public Access TV lived in one of the buildings.

Continue reading "East Village building collapses, huge fire after explosion"

photos by P Squared Photography; words by Bill Pearis

Kate Tempest @ Mercury Lounge 3/24/2015
Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest

"Don't clap, it'll make it cheesy," Kate Tempest told the crowd at Rough Trade, heartfelt, as she enthused about playing her first show in Brooklyn, home to heroes like Mos Def and Biggie. This was the last show of her first American tour -- "a trip that absolutely changed my life" -- and she was positively beaming onstage. You couldn't help but smile or shout back at her genuine enthusiasm. Backed by an excellent band that included her producer/collaborator Dan Carey on synthesizers, a drummer (everything seemed to be played live to me) and a backing vocalist, Tempest absolutely mesmerized from the second she hit the stage. It is hands-down the best live performance I've seen this year.

She is not the female version of The Streets. She is not Lady Sovereign. See her live and you'll know. The songs on her debut album, Everybody Down (based on her new novel, Hold Your Own) and are detail-rich stories of everyday people trying to connect in a world of constant distractions. Being human to each other, doing things that matter, never giving up -- subjects that are not new but Tempest delivered with passion and conviction and serious flow. We need more like her.

Interesting side note: one of the things that gives Kate Tempest's album such a distinctive sound, musically, is the use of the ribbon-controlled Swarmatron analog synthesizer, which Dan Carey played last night. Leon Dewan, creator of the machine, was at the Rough Trade show and Kate gave him a big shout-out from the stage.

Kate played Mercury Lounge with opener Jack Garratt on Tuesday (3/24) and pictures from that show are in this post. NYC has one last chance to catch Kate Tempest this go-round, albeit in a different format. She'll be at the WORD bookstore in Greenpoint tonight (3/26) at 7 PM to celebrate the US release of her books Brand New Ancients and Hold Your Own. It's free, but WORD is small so get there early.

Kate will be back in May, playing Governors Ball. More pics from Kate Tempest's Mercury Lounge show, plus setlists from both NYC shows, below...

Continue reading "Kate Tempest played Mercury Lounge (pics) & Rough Trade (review), doing free reading in Brooklyn tonight"

photo: Dead Heavens at Saint Vitus in February (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Dead Heavens

Walter Schreifels' new-ish garage/psych band Dead Heavens have had no lack of hometown NYC shows lately, and they've currently got three more coming up. First is their Saint Vitus show on April 16 with Philly riffers Ruby the Hatchet (which Sweden's Blues Pills unfortunately dropped off), and then they play two nights at Bowery Electric, May 14 and 21. The first of those is with opener Slonk Donkerson and the second is with Slavve. Tickets for the Vitus and Bowery Electric shows are on sale now.

Those Bowery Electric shows happen just before they head across the country to open for the reunited Rocket From the Crypt and The Bronx in California (tickets). That's one of three upcoming dates for RFTC, the other two being Houston's Free Press Summer Fest and Montreal's Heavy Montreal.

Stream Dead Heavens' recent "History In My Hands" / "36 Chambers" single below...

Continue reading "Walter Schreifels & the Dead Heavens playing 3 NYC shows before California w/ Rocket From the Crypt & The Bronx"

by Bill Pearis

HtH

Anthemic Boston indie rockers Hallelujah the Hills released their fifth full-length, Have You Ever Done Anything Evil?, last year but it is just now getting a vinyl release. In support the band have made a video for album track "Destroy This Poem." Written and directed by Ryan Hamilton Walsh, it's a funny look at social media technology going horribly wrong and you can watch it, and listen to the whole album, below.

Also in celebration of the vinyl release, Hallelujah the Hills are playing a few East Coast shows, including Brooklyn's The Bell House on Friday (3/27) with a opening solo set from Adam Schatz. Tickets are on sale. The band have a few other dates and all are listed below.

Continue reading "Hallelujah the Hills share new video, touring, playing The Bell House with Adam Schatz (dates, streams)"

Heartless Bastards at Willie Nelson's Ranch during SXSW (via)
Heartless Bastards

Bluesy garage rockers Heartless Bastards will release the followup to 2012's Arrow with Restless Ones on June 16 via Partisan. The album was produced by John Congleton, who's recently helmed records by St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Swans, Cloud Nothings and others. You can hear a few clips at restlessones.net.

The band also announced a tour with support from Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn taking place June into early July. Craig's on almost every show, but not the one in NYC, which happens June 15 at Webster Hall. Stay tuned to find out who's opening that one. Tickets for it go on sale Friday (3/27) at 10 AM.

The band were just in Austin for SXSW last week. Watch a video of them playing an acoustic WFUV session that was taped down there, with their list of dates, below...

Continue reading "Heartless Bastards announced a new album & tour with Craig Finn, played SXSW (dates, video)"

photo by Katie Hovland
Local H

Long-running Chicago rockers Local H are still going strong, and celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band this year. They're releasing their eighth album, Hey, Killer, on April 14 via G&P Records (pre-order via their Pledgemusic page), and just premiered the riffy single "The Misanthrope" over at Loudwire. Listen below.

Local H will also do some extensive touring, beginning in mid-April and continuing through July. The tour hits NYC on June 19 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

All dates are listed, with the new song stream, below...

Continue reading "Local H share new song, announce tour (dates & stream)"

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