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January 25, 2015

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

The Sidekicks / All Dogs @ Baby's All Right - 1/23/15
The Sidekicks
All Dogs

The Sidekicks released their fourth album, Runners in the Nerved World, last week on Epitaph and began their tour in support of it with a BrooklynVegan-presented release show in NYC on Friday (1/23) at Baby's All Right with Cayetana, All Dogs and Roger Harvey.

Roger, who only has a few songs out at the moment, kicked off the show and took the chance to preview a handful of songs from his TBA debut album. Recorded, Roger has a lot more layers and instrumentation (that sound most directly influenced by Neutral Milk Hotel, who he covered at the show), but live they were mostly a standard rock trio, save four the two songs they brought out a trumpet player on.

All Dogs were next, with the most traditionally "punk" set of the evening. We were just saying the other day how diverse singer Maryn Jones is with her various projects, but All Dogs gives her the chance to just rock the hardest. We got some highlights off their EPs, their new single "Georgia," and one song ended with Maryn incorporating a punked-up rendition of the chorus to Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs." They were great, and the place was packed for them.

Cayetana
Cayetana

It stayed packed for their past tourmates Cayetana, who really do just get better every time I see them. Their live show is so sharp, and singer Augusta Koch's voice cuts through over the music in a way that indie rock bands of their style can tend to shy away from. They played most of their 2014 debut, Nervous Like Me, and included a cover of New Order's "Age of Consent," which they said they'd never played live before. They did that cover again at their Philly show the following night, which you can watch a video of below.

Finally The Sidekicks wrapped up the night with their headlining set that began on a high note (new album opener "Hell Is Warm") and pretty much stayed on that level the whole time. The crowd actually seemed a little smaller for them than Cayetana and All Dogs, but The Sidekicks also had the biggest fans -- a handful of people up front were pushing/moshing and yelling along the whole time. Their new album is a new direction from the band, ditching their punk roots more than ever before (not that 2012's Awkward Breeds is exactly a Ramones album or anything), and sounding more like the first two Band of Horses and first three Shins albums. But unlike most bands who came in Band of Horses' wake, The Sidekicks do have that strong punk background and it made their live show all the more exciting. They mastered the art of being a live band years ago, but adding in the widescreen grandiosity of these new songs made for the most unstoppable Sidekicks set I've seen yet.

More pictures from Baby's, and the Cayetana video from Philly, below...

Continue reading "The Sidekicks played Baby's with Roger Harvey, All Dogs and Cayetana, who covered New Order (video, pics)"

January 23, 2015

photos by Sean Madden

"Last night was really incredible for us...much luv to all you who came out, and to our friends @kevinmorby & Nude Beach, thank you xx" - Amen Dunes

".@AmenDunes delivered a trance like performance tonight at @BoweryBallroom. Beautiful stuff!" - Will Oliver

Amen Dunes / Kevin Morby
Amen Dunes
Kevin Morby

Brooklyn psych outfit Amen Dunes came to Bowery Ballroom last night (1/22) with Kevin Morby and local power-poppers Nude Beach in support of his new Cowboy Worship EP. Last night's show was a one-off in his hometown, but Amen Dunes is heading out on a longer tour this spring and you can check out the dates for that below. Were you there? What did you think? Pictures are in this post.

As discussed, Kevin Morby is also touring and stopping back in NYC at Baby's All Right on March 15 with psych-folk singer Ryley Walker. Tickets for that show are still available.

Nude Beach also have other dates coming up, including two shows in NYC. As discussed, they're playing the first of the three Don Giovanni showcases at Knitting Factory on February 6 with Shellshag, The Hamiltons, Mal Blum, Black Wine, Crow Bait and host Chris Gethard (tix), and coming to Bell House on April 3 with White Hills (tix).

More pictures from last night, and the list of Amen Dunes dates, below...

Continue reading "Amen Dunes, Kevin Morby & Nude Beach @ Bowery Ballroom (pics)"

photos by Gretchen Robinette, words by Andrew Sacher & friends.

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac's classic lineup brought their ongoing tour to Madison Square Garden last night (1/22), their first of four NYC-area shows on this tour. From the opening harmonies of show starter "The Chain," it was clear that having Christine McVie back in the fold makes a huge difference. They were great at Jones Beach in 2013 with just Stevie and Lindsey singing, but their three voices together is such a vital part of Fleetwood Mac. Having Christine back (MSG was Chrstine's 44th show since rejoining, according to Stevie during her monologue before "Dreams") also of course meant getting a handful of songs the band couldn't play without her, which included "You Make Loving Fun," "Everywhere," "Say You Love," "Over My Head," "Little Lies," and her show-closing, solo grand piano performance of "Songbird."

Like their other recent tours, they played almost all of the legendary Rumours and otherwise stuck to the other four '70s and '80s albums this lineup made together. As a band still playing arenas 40 years after their first album together can do, they peppered their set (and ended it) with a few stories from the band members. Stevie gave multiple shout-outs to Hoda from the Today Show and to the show American Horror Story on which she appeared. Stevie introduced "Gypsy" with a story of being in San Francisco clothing store The Velvet Underground (not to be confused with the band, who were named after the book) "where all the rock and roll women bought their clothes" in the late '60s. It was in that store, over the painted floor where Janis Joplin stood before her that she had a premonition of something big which she realized years later was, of course, Fleetwood Mac. This many years later, Stevie Nicks is still the kind of rock and roll woman her premonition told her she'd be: decked out in signature flowy layers, waving scarves with her tambourine, and doing hippie dances in a gold shawl during "Gold Dust Woman." Without a doubt, she's the most entrancing member of the band, and the one the crowd really freaks out over.

On the other hand, Lindsey Buckingham is the band's rock star and lifeforce, running around the stage like he's half his actual age and shredding away at his truly awesome guitar solos. As Mick noted towards the end of the show, he basically never left the stage. The extended solo at the end of "I'm So Afraid" was particularly epic -- so much so that it seemed like the finale of the pre-encore set, but of course that would be "Go Your Own Way." That one had the whole crowd on their feet, ready for the band to come back for more, and not one but two encores followed. Christine ended the night perfectly, at her piano with Lindsey by her side, but what may have been the night's most powerful moment came during the first encore. It's no secret that she does this at (probably all of) their shows, but at the end of "Silver Springs" when Stevie turns to make eye contact with Lindsey -- who the song is obviously about -- howling "I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you / you'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you," it never fails to fill the room with that kind of tension that fueled the song 38 years ago. Maybe it's just performance at this point, but damn if it doesn't feel real.

Other highlights included monster Mick's drum solo ("Don't be shy. Don't be shy... Are you with me? Are you with me?"), being brought back to the 80's with "Little Lies" and "Everywhere", and hearing Stevie do "Rhiannon" with her band after just hearing her do it with Deer Tick.

Christine, who the band acknowledged being back multiple times throughout the night, was the last to sing, but not the last to talk. Despite the older age of the sometimes-yawning crowd, MSG was still packed with people on their feet as Fleetwood Mac ended their final song after 11pm on a school night. (There were a lot of 30-and-20-somethings too, it should be said.) Very few people left early, but everyone was ready to go home. That didn't stop Stevie from grabbing the mic post-encore and commanding the entire crowd's attention for another few minutes, as she yet again talked about Christine being back in the band, though with somewhat awkward details, like how they sent Christine to a trainer to make sure she had the stamina after being gone 16 years. BUT WAIT, much like this paragraph, the show still wasn't over. Then came Mick who truly had the last word, spending another few minutes, false endings included, telling us in his charming accent how much he loved us, that he hopes he sees us again, and that "The Mac is back!" They definitely did not give the impression that this would be their "last act".

The Mac's tour continues with two more NYC-area shows this weekend, Saturday (1/24) at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall and Sunday (1/25) at Nassau Coliseum, and comes back around on February 8 at Prudential Center. Tickets for those are still available.

More pictures, some videos and the setlist from MSG below...

Continue reading "Fleetwood Mac began NYC-area run at Madison Square Garden (pics, review, video & setlist)"

January 20, 2015

photos by Gretchen Robinette; words by Nick Masi

Savages @ Baby's All Right 1/19/2015
Savages
Savages

Savages' second week of their nine-show, three-venue NYC residency happened last night (1/19), like the previous Monday, at Baby's All Right. This was the first of their residency shows that didn't open with "Something New" or something else new. Here, they ripped right into "City's Full" from Silence Yourself and that set the tone for the night. It was heavier, faster-paced and it seems like they are beginning to hit their stride. The set was also broken up a lot more and didn't have as many new songs played in a row. Which is good.

A few songs in, singer Jehnny Beth hopped in the crowd, told them to move up, and was generally more talkative than last week. She also joked around, said she is working on song introductions, after her intro for now a mid-set "Something New" fell flat: "We needed to change locations. We were tired of London. We needed something new, this song is called something new...I'm working on song introductions and that one obviously won't be used again." They stuck with the same closing: "Fuckers" and "Husbands." The band were definitely more comfortable after a week of shows. By Week 3 they will be a well oiled machine...they aren't that far off, as is.

Opening the show was German expat (and Mykki Blanco collaborator) No Bra (who has opened for Savages before). Pictures of the whole show are in this post.

Savages' fifth residency show happens on Wednesday (1/21) at Mercury Lounge and is sold out. Pics from Savages first Baby's show are here, and pics from Saturday's Saint Vitus show are here. More pics and their setlist from the 1/19 Baby's show, below...

Continue reading "Savages second week of NYC residency began at Baby's All Right with No Bra (pics / setlist)"

January 19, 2015

photos by Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Sleater Kinney

Sleater-Kinney, whose great new album No Cities to Love is out this week via Sub Pop, were in NYC on Friday (1/16) to be interviewed by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of Broad City at Ace Hotel for NPR. The interview will be up on NPR this week, but while you wait for that, here's some highlights via Flavorwire:

3. Sleater-Kinney members are sick of having their gender pointed out -- like in the New York Times.

Weiss admitted frustration with seeing terms like "all-female band" show up in New York Times articles. (A recent Times profile also felt the need to dedicate three sentences comparing and contrasting members' looks.) Brownstein pointed out the absurdity of another aspect of the job: "No one's ever asked the question, 'Why did you decide to be in a band with all men?'"

Weiss called it the "Women in Rock" ghetto, referring to some publications' perception of women musicians as a specialized interest, and only comparing them to other bands with female members. "Who wants to be a white male? I don't," Brownstein added.

4. Likewise, Ilana is tired of Broad City being compared to Girls.

Brownstein related, wisely surmising, "If you're an 'other,' they want you to beat up the other 'other.'"

5. Don't expect to see Sleater-Kinney to play the festival circuit.

While festivals have grown into one of the music industry's few saving graces during S-K's decade off, don't expect to see the group making the rounds, especially not billed as a reunion. They view their shows as events, and they lose that excitement at a festival.

Read seven other highlights here. Pictures of the interview are in this post.

As discussed, Sleater-Kinney will be touring soon (with Katie from Sky Larkin as a live member), and since we last spoke, Minneapolis rapper Lizzo was added as an opener to several dates, including both sold-out Terminal 5 shows in NYC. Updated dates are listed below.

If you're a satellite radio subscriber, tune in to XMU to hear Sleater-Kinney members guest co-hosting during the afternoon all week.

Meanwhile, Broad City Season 2 premiered last week on Comedy Central and included a very funny clip where they deal with just about every bad NYC subway experience all in one ride. Watch that video, with more pictures from the S-K interview, below...

Continue reading "Sleater-Kinney interviewed by Broad City (pics), who took on NYC subway nightmares in their S2 premiere (watch)"

photos by Gretchen Robinette

The Vaselines @ The Bell House 1/16/2014
Amanda X

Kelly was toned down in a striped shirt and jeans, while McKee sported a fringed leather jacket -- a holdover from the last album cover -- and a skirt slashed to the thigh. "It's my Dr. Spock-meets-David Bowie look," she told the audience. "More like British Airways circa 1985." Kelly countered, and they took a vote from the audience to determine who was right. McKee won, and retained the upper hand in the duo's innuendo-heavy back-and-forth throughout the entire set.

With song titles like "Sex Sux" and "Monsterpussy," we all know that the Vaselines enjoy juvenile humor. Live, they take this to another level, ribbing each other about their sexual prowess (they split up in 1989), discussing Kelly's "organ," cracking jokes that go from hilarious to feet-shiftingly awkward, and elevating squabbling to an art form. - [Village Voice]

Scottish indie rock royalty The Vaselines played The Bell House on Friday night (1/16), part of their tour supporting new album V is for Vaselines. As usual, the bawdy banter between founders Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly rivals their great catalog of songs (which included most of their classics on Friday).

Philly's Amanda X opened the show with a set of '90s-influenced indie rock, making for a good double bill. More pictures of both bands, and The Vaselines' setlist, below...

Continue reading "The Vaselines played Bell House with Amanda X (pics, setlist)"

photos by Greg Cristman, words by Bill Pearis

Savages @ Saint Vitus 1/17/2015
Savages

UK band Savages wrapped up the first week of their nine-show NYC residency on Saturday (1/17) with their first of three shows at Saint Vitus. They're over testing out new material for their second album and their Vitus set was pretty similar to their Baby's All Right show last Monday (1/12), swapping out "Shut Up" for a different Silence Yourself cut ("City's Full") and playing a couple different new songs as well. Unlike the vivid, fog-filled light show at Baby's, Savages played mostly in the dark at Vitus. Also, about 20 tickets were released for the show when doors opened, so it might be worth following Savages' Twitter for similar opportunities. Setlist and pictures from Saint Vitus are in this post.

Opening for Savages at Vitus was singer Johnny Hostile, who runs the Pop Noire label with Savages singer Jehnny Beth. Pics from his set are below. John + Jehn also make music together and played Baby's All Right last night (1/18) as part of the DFA Winter Workout. Anybody go to that?

Tonight (1/19), Savages return to Baby's All Right for their second of three shows there. No Bra, who has played with Savages in NYC before, will open -- imagine The Fall and LCD Soundsystem condensed into one (topless) German singer -- that's a pretty accurate description of what she does. If you're going to this sold-out show, her set is worth showing up early for.

More pics and Savages setlist, below...

Continue reading "Savages played Saint Vitus, their third residency show (pics w/ opener Johnny Hostile); No Bra opens tonight @ Baby's"

January 16, 2015

photos by Mimi Hong, words by Andrew Sacher

Joyce Manor
Joyce Manor

Cali punks Joyce Manor are currently in the midst of a four-night NYC-area run, which kicked off on Wednesday (1/14) in Asbury Park and hit Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (1/15) for a free Converse Rubber Tracks show. The place was packed for them at MHOW, and the fists-raised crowd was screaming every word for the whole 16-song set (which was over in about 30-35 minutes). Like most of their recent shows, they split the set mostly between their 2011 debut album and last year's Never Hungover Again, but also gave us "Violent Inside" from their second album, a new song, a cover of Weezer's "You Gave Your Love To Me Softly" (they joked that their next NYC show would be a full set of Weezer covers), and ended with live staple "Five Beer Plan" from their 2010 EP.

The drummer of Hop Along (who played NYC two days earlier and just announced a tour with The War on Drugs) could be spotted singing along from the side of the stage, and at one point Joyce Manor singer Barry Johnson asked the crowd, "Are you guys excited for the new Hop Along record?" which got a lot of cheers. (You may also remember that the cover art for Never Hungover Again features a photo of Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan.) Pictures of the whole show, including openers The Weaks (who I missed), are in this post.

Joyce Manor's run continues tonight (1/16) in Kingston with Laura Stevenson and Quarterbacks, and wraps up Saturday (1/17) in Amityville with Mitski and Oso Oso. Both are sold out. In April, they'll be at Coachella.

More pictures from MHOW, and Joyce Manor's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Joyce Manor and The Weaks packed MHOW (pics & setlist)"

January 14, 2015

photos by Ryan Muir, words by Pink Baby

Hop Along / Beach Slang / Ryley Walker / Aye Nako
Hop Along
Beach Slang
Ryley Walker
Aye Nako

The latest BrooklynVegan-curated installment of Red Bull Sound Select happened at Brooklyn's Baby's All Right last night (1/13) with Hop Along, Beach Slang, Ryley Walker and Aye Nako.

The place was already pretty full before Aye Nako's opening set, and remained that way throughout the $3-with-RSVP show. The local punk band played a few favorites off their 2013 debut LP, Unleash Yourself, and like they've been doing lately, took the chance to preview a handful of new ones. From the sounds of a couple of those, it looks like their next record may be a bit heavier than their debut. Looking forward to finding out.

Next up was Ryley Walker, the Chicago psychedelic folk singer, who's got a new LP on the way via Dead Oceans. He flew in for this show. It was just him on acoustic guitar and vocals, accompanied by a standup bassist, and while that could seem out of place on this punk/indie rock bill, Ryley was too intense not to fit in. Rather than performing as a hushed folk singer, Ryley howled and had no trouble filling that venue with his huge voice. He and the bassist are also highly talented players and fed off each other like crazy on their extended, mesmerizing jams. Ryley will be back at Baby's soon as part of his tour with Kevin Morby.

After Ryley it was back to the rock, with the first of the two co-headliners, Beach Slang, taking the stage. It was clear that plenty of people were there for them -- this was maybe the most amount of people at once singing along and pushing around to Beach Slang we've seen yet. They gave us one new song, "Ride the Wild Haze," which sounded as awesome as all their others and will most likely appear on their debut full length, due out at some point this year. Other than that we got all eight songs from their two EPs, sounding as cathartic and downright fun as always. As of today, those EPs are also available on one cassette via Business Casual Records. Catch Beach Slang again on tour with Cursive.

Lastly, fellow Philly band Hop Along wrapped up the night, and also had the place full of people who were going nuts and yelling every word. We got the live staples from 2012's Get Disowned that we usually do like "Kids on the Boardwalk," "Young and Happy!" and "Tibetan Pop Stars," the 2013 one-off single "Sister Cities," and some new ones from their upcoming LP on Saddle Creek. The old favorites just seem to get better every time we hear them, and those new songs sound great too, which is making the anticipation for this new album pretty high. Keep your eyes out for that.

All door money went to CancerCare. Thanks to all the bands, Red Bull, Baby's, and everyone who came out to what was an epic night of music (DJ sets between bands by Andrew Sacher included). If you were one of the first 100 in, did you enjoy the free sweet potato fries? We hope you also grabbed one of the free limited edition posters on the way out.

The next two NYC Red Bull Sound Select shows will take place February 10th (curated by Popgun Presents) and March 10th (curated by Afropunk). Both are at Baby's again. After that BrooklynVegan is up again with an April 14th show at a TBD venue. No lineups for any of those shows have been announced yet.

More pictures from the show (including portraits of the bands) below...

Continue reading "Hop Along, Beach Slang, Ryley Walker & Aye Nako played the BV-RBSS show at Baby's All Right (pics)"

January 13, 2015

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Savages @ Baby's All Right 1/12/2014
Savages
Savages

"We're not quite finished writing our new album," admitted Savages singer Jehnny Beth. "So we thought we'd come here and try some things. We'll work it out together." Such is the premise for Savages' nine-show NYC residency, which began last night (1/12) at Baby's All Right. Appropriately, the first words sung by Jehnny Beth were a repeated mantra of "I need something new," as the rest of the band slowly built up the kind of dark atmospherics Savages are known for. We got five new songs right out of the gate, none of which strayed too far from the post-punk sounds of their debut. "No" was the best of the bunch, offering the biggest and most memorable hooks (an area, I'd argue, that is Savages' one weak link).

Despite what Jehnny Beth said to us, the new material seemed fully formed -- only on "Adore" (which she dedicated to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris) did she pull out a lyric notebook to crib from. The band were tight as usual, and I'd really missed watching powerhouse rhythm section (bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Fay Milton) lay down the groove. (I hadn't seen them since Bowery in March 2013.) At this point we got a couple songs from Silence Yourself before a couple more new ones -- "This Is What You Get" was the other clear winner of the night -- before wrapping things up with the big bang of "Husbands" and "Fuckers."

It was boiling in Baby's -- my coat was off the second song and my sweater not long after -- and the fog machine was thick. "There goes the drummer," Jehnny joked after one blast obscured the kit completely. It was good to see them again (when the smoke cleared), and it will be interesting to see how these shows vary from venue to venue as we go along. They play Wednesday (1/14) at Mercury Lounge and then Saturday (1/17) at Saint Vitus, both of which are sold out (as is the entire residency). If you're going to one (or more of these), they're selling a cool limited-edition poster, designed by Matthew Vidalis, for the series at the merch booth. Look out for that.

Opening the night was Swans' guitarist Norman Westberg who performed a solo set. I missed that but pictures of his set, along with more from Savages and their setlist, are below...

Continue reading "Savages began their nine-show NYC residency at Baby's All Right with Swans' Norman Westberg (pics, setlist)"

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