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November 19, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Future Islands / The Immaculates & Tim Harrington / horn section in the net
"I'm only here because I heard Fugazi were playing," joked Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring at the beginning of their last-ever show at Death by Audio where they were the night's "top secret" special guests. Before "Seasons" and their new album Singles catapulted the Baltimore band to wide popularity (they're playing two nights at Terminal 5 in January), Future Islands were regulars at DbA, having played repeatedly at the DIY venue which closes for good on Saturday. "The first time we played DbA was July 2007 with Dan Deacon," Herring told the crowd. "It was so hot and so packed, people had to crowd surf to get in the main room." It wasn't quite that nuts last night, but a lack of cellphones aloft may have had something to do with people not being able to move their arms in the ebbing, swelling crowd. The band played what I think was the longest set I've sever seen at DbA, maybe 75 minutes, and finished with "Vireo's Eye," the release of a few dozen pink balloons and bassist William Cashion floating atop the crowd.
As the first of the five final "top secret" shows at the space, there were a lot of fun surprises. Soul trio The Immaculates (who played Dead Herring's final show) were the main undercard and features a home team of DbA co-runner Matt Conboy, Famous Class Records' Cyrus Lubin, and Jay Heiselmann (Grooms, French Miami, Roya) who came through the crowd with a cape and a handler, a la James Brown. They finished their set with a cover of LCD Soundsystem's "NY I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," with help from Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington who had "SUCK IT VICE" scrawled across his biceps and chest. It was his second visit to DbA's stage in four days.
The night opened with Adam Schatz & The Farewell to Death by Audio Suite. Schatz, who plays in Landlady, Man Man and a bunch of other groups (like Blast Off who played DbA's 'The Maze' -- remember 'The Maze'?), composed special music just for the occasion, assembling a dozen or so musicians (on the stage and floor) to perform it. Schatz led a few of the other other horn players throughout DbA's space before returning to the main room for a little interactive finale with the crowd. Right before the show, Schatz released a nice tribute to DbA and you can read that in full below.
Though he spent a portion of his time huddled over a case of electronics with his back to the crowd, DJ Dog Dick put on a nice, beat-heavy set in between Schatz and The Immaculates.
Four nights of Death by Audio left, tonight featuring Junkyard, Guerrilla Toss, and some other mystery guests. More pictures from Future Islands, The Immacualtes, Tim Harrington, DJ Dog Dick and Adam Schatz etc, and FI's setlist and a video from their set, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"Would it be cool if @TheNewPornos play for too long tonight in NYC? I'm thinking we should really wear out our welcome." - AC Newman
New Pornographers / TPOBPAH @ Hammerstein Ballroom 11/17/2014
Carl Newman wasn't kidding about a lengthy set. The New Pornographers have been playing upwards of 30 songs on their current tour, and did so at Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday (11/17), including 10 of Brill Bruisers' 13 songs. With Neko Case and Dan Bejar both on this tour, it's made for a very fan-friendly, hit-filled time.
Opening this show and the whole tour were The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, whose lineup currently features frontman Kip Berman's cousin Elspeth on backing vocals. Pictures of both bands from the Hammerstein show are in this post.
You can catch TPOBPAH again in NYC soon -- they play Glasslands on Monday (11/24) with Hooray For Earth, GABI, and related band Ablebody. Tickets are still available and it's one of the special shows Glasslands is doing before they close at the end of the year.
More pictures from Hammerstein and New Pornographers' setlist, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Modern Lovers frontman turned quirky solo artist Jonathan Richman brought his current tour to NYC last night (11/18) for his first of two Bell House shows this week. As his shows often are these days, it was a humorous, super casual set pulling from a wide range of his material with lots of fun anecdotes thrown in between songs. Pictures of the night are in this post.
Jonathan does it again tonight (11/19), and tickets are still available.
More pictures below...
November 18, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Future Punx / Priests / Downtown Boys @ DbA 11/17/2014
Monday night (11/17) was the last show on Death by Audio's schedule that had a posted lineup, and with no "special guests" it was also probably the last one to feel like a regular night at DbA before these final, possible bananas shows begin. Which is to say, a lot of fun with a great lineup of bands. DC quartet Priests were officially the undercard of the night but felt like headliners -- it was the most packed, with the most crowd reaction of the evening -- and they certainly have the skills and stage presence to carry a show. I've seen some less-than-awesome Priests shows but they were on fire last night. Priests' sound is a danceable mix of punk, post-punk and new wave styles and they do it very well, plus singer Katie Alice Glass has the kind of magnetism that was made for fronting a band like this. A knockout set.
Priests also benefited from a great lead-in, Providence< RI's Downtown Boys who share a label (Sister Polygon/Don Giovanni), sound and ideology. Downtown Boys are definitely more politically minded and their idealism, passion and spirit was carried the day. The X-Ray Spex/Romeo Void style saxophones didn't hurt either.
Following Priests is no easy thing to do but Future Punx kept the night going with pure fun, thanks to their update of Devo/Oingo Boingo hyper-new wave. With black lights, projects and heavy fog completing the picture, it was a great way to end the night. The show doubled as a release party for their brand new EP, I'm So Inspired, which is out via Dull Tools and streamable below.
The night started with duo Pinkwash who are also on Sister Polygon/Don Giovanni and make noisy punk with some mathy/proggy bits to augment the shouting; and openers B Boys who at times sounded so much like Chairs Missing-era Wire that I thought the last song might be a cover. Pictures from the whole night are in this post.
This show followed Fiasco on Sunday, Les Savy Fav on Saturday, and a handful of other bigger shows including Parquet Courts, Deerhoof, Woods, Screaming Females, Ted Leo, Speedy Ortiz, Dirty on Purpose, JEFF the Brotherhood, venue co-founders and residents A Place to Bury Strangers, Ty Segall, and Dan Deacon. Tonight begins the last five nights at DbA, all of which are "Top Secret!" lineups.
More pictures of Future Punx/Priests/etc below...
Les Savy Fav were the "super secret headliner" at the eighth to last Death by Audio show on Saturday (11/15) that was already stacked with great local openers who have all frequented the venue -- Yvette, Big Ups and Ovlov -- handpicked by the headliners themselves. Doors opened at 8, and even a half hour beforehand the line outside was down the block. Once they opened it moved pretty quickly though, and we heard it sold out during or right after Ovlov's opening set.
Ovlov brought their usual enjoyable set of Dinosaur Jr-isms, and (as you can see pictured below), they also brought their friend and former Exploding In Sound labelmate Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz to sing guest vocals on their last song. That was the second appearance Sadie made during DbA's final run, having played with Speedy Ortiz earlier that week.
Big Ups, another band in the EIS family, followed, pulling from the same era of American indie as Ovlov but from Dischord/Touch & Go style post-hardcore rather than the latter's SST love. They were great, and as always their singer was a thrill to watch.
Yvette were the most intense band of the night, playing in white light and powering through their industrial/noise-infected jams. The whole thing was a total sensory overload. They don't usually say much during their sets, but took the time to say thank you to a list of names associated with the closing venue.
Then came the night's secret headliner (though not a secret anymore at that point), Les Savy Fav who haven't played a show in a while. Before they went on, Syd Butler (who just ran the NYC Marathon!) said his dad was at the show, at which point Tim entered the stage dressed as a graying old man. That was only one of Tim's costumes for the night. He also appeared as a superhero not long after, and of course was shirtless for much of it. As you'd expect from a LSF show at DbA, the place was nuts for them the whole time. (It felt less overpacked than Ty Segall the night before, however.) The whole front half of the room was just a sea of bodies jumping up and down and pushed in every direction. Tim was everywhere himself too, whether he was running to the back of the crowd and back to the stage, crowdsurfing, popping back into the green room, unwinding the Christmas lights over the entrance door, or headed upstairs. Here's hoping that was not the beginning and end of Les Savy Fav's return, though we know they don't all live in the same city anymore, and Syd is especially busy with other projects (like running Frenchkiss Records and being a member of the Late Night band which LSF's Seth is also in).
If you were there, or at any of these other final shows, have you checked out the "Death by Art" exhibition they have set up? The whole thing is pretty nuts and a lot of it is interactive. In addition to the art on display, make sure to check out those little rooms in the back -- different surprises in every one! There's also a net to hang out on, and a bar in the back, which as you can see in the pictures below features Death By Audio co-founder/APTBS frontman Oliver Ackermann as bartender.
Merch for sale includes special "Goodbye Death By Audio" t-shirts, posters from previous nights, and the poster for that night which in this case was designed by Tim Harrington. it's pictured below.
Death by Audio now has only FIVE NIGHTS LEFT. Future Punx, Priests, Downtown Boys, Pinkwash and B-Boys played last night, and Fiasco headlined the night before that (which was one night after Les Savy Fav). The rest are all top secret.
Other bigger artists who played final DbA shows include Parquet Courts, Deerhoof, Woods, Screaming Females, Ted Leo, Speedy Ortiz, Dirty on Purpose, JEFF the Brotherhood, venue co-founders and residents A Place to Bury Strangers, Ty Segall, and Dan Deacon.
More pictures and some video from the Saturday night show, below...
photos by PSquared
The Dream Syndicate @ Rough Trade 11/15/2014
"When we started out, I think we were influenced by all the best stuff and at the same time, a lot of our role models were bands that weren't appreciated in their time either," he said. "Nobody loved Big Star and The Stooges and The Modern Lovers and Television and The Velvet Underground, and all those bands I just named are considered to be eternal bands that weren't really racking up the numbers when they started. There's something about this music that's meant to last, as opposed to music that's just meant to be fashionable at the moment, and it allows you to revisit it years later. I think we're that kind of band." - [Examiner]Reunited paisley underground vets The Dream Syndicate played their first NYC shows since the Reagan years, parking at Rough Trade for two sold-out shows over the weekend. We hit the first show (Saturday, 11/15) show which was with local jangle-pop band EZTV. The crowd was full of die hards and frontman Steve Wynn was pretty chatty, telling stories about playing NYC in the past. Pictures and setlist are in this post.
November 17, 2014
photos by Greg Cristman
Johnny Marr @ MHOW 11/15/2014
While Marr's live show primarily draws on songs from "The Messenger" and "Playland," he does pepper the set with Smiths tunes. When he kicked off his run of American dates on Nov. 9 at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club, there were reportedly five Smiths songs: "Panic," "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "How Soon is Now?" "Still Ill" and "There is a Light That Never Goes Out."Johnny Marr's tour with Meredith Sheldon was in the NYC area for three shows last week, finishing up at Music Hal of Williamsburg on Saturday night (11/15). Like his shows last year, Johnny mixed up songs from throughout his career, including a handful of Smiths songs. Smiths bassist Andy Rourke (who played with Peter Hook last week), was at the show, but didn't join Johnny on stage like last time. Setlist and pictures from the show are in this post.
"The decision to do those songs was really very easy, something of a no-brainer," Marr said. "It'd be kind of weird if someone came to see me and I didn't play 'How Soon is Now?' in this day and age."
Marr said he chose to include Smiths songs in his solo show when he was on the road in support of his first solo album last year. "When we got to tour 'The Messenger' and we played all 12 songs, it was only natural that you give the audience some stuff that they know and, in my case, have grown up with and loved.
"And you know, that's a really, really nice thing. If you get to a certain age and you're (messed) up about your back catalog, then you're just thinking too much. Because, if you've got songs that you're known for 30 years after you started, then you're lucky." - [Asbury Park Press]
While in town, Johnny stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon where he played The Smiths' "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" and "Easy Money" off his new album, Playland. Watch both, and check out more pics from MHOW, below....
photos by Greg Cristman
Year of No Light @ Saint Vitus - 11/14/14
French post-metal greats Year of No Light have been at it for years but they had never played the US until this month. They just wrapped up their first-ever US tour which culminated in a two-night stand at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus, both shows with excellent and different local openers. We caught the second night (Friday, 11/14) with black metallers Vilkacis, noisemakers Gnaw, and probably the most like-minded to YONL of all of them, Sannhet, who recently signed to The Flenser for their upcoming LP. As you'd hope, YONL were tremendous.
More pictures from the show, and a couple videos of YONL's set, below...
November 14, 2014
photos by P Squared Photography
Mark Lanegan Band
Former Screaming Trees frontman, Queens of the Stone Age member and all-around alternative rock renaissance man Mark Lanegan recently put out his newest solo album, Phantom Radio, this third in three years and ninth overall. He recently wrapped up a tour supporting it which hit NYC on November 8 at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall with fellow '90s vets Cobra Verde and Lyenn, aka Fred Lyenn who also plays in the Mark Lanegan Band. The show was mostly split between his newest LP and his 2012 LP, Blues Funeral, but also included a Screaming Trees song, his cover of Leaving Trains' "Creeping Coastline of Lights" from last year's covers LP, and a few more.
More pictures from the show, including shots of Mark's and Cobra Verde's setlists, below...
photos by Mimi Hong
Title Fight @ Best Buy Theater - 11/11/14
Title Fight signed to ANTI- and have a new Will Yip-produced album on the way (most details still TBA), but ahead of that they've been on a tour opening for Circa Survive which hit NYC this past Tuesday (11/11) at Best Buy Theater. TF played a 15-song set, mostly focused on favorites from 2012's Floral Green like "Secret Society," "Numb, But I Still Feel It," "Lefty," "Head in the Ceiling Fan" and more, as well as a couple from their 2013 EP and a few earlier cuts too.
Math rockers Tera Melos opened the show but unfortunately we missed them. More pictures of the other two bands, plus TF's setlist and a couple videos from their set, below...