Recent Posts in pictures
December 6, 2013
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Ceremony / White Lung @ NYU - 12/5/13
Before NYU heads into finals week, they threw a semester-end show last night (that was also open to the public) in the Kimmel Center's E&L Auditorium with four killer punk bands -- Ceremony, White Lung, Perfect Pussy, and Sleepies. The tidy and spacious auditorium may not have been everyone's ideal way of seeing this show that sounds like it'd happen in a dingy DIY space, but what's more punk than putting on a cheap show in a school?
Brooklyn's Sleepies kicked things off with the tamest set of the night, but still a rippin' one that saw them going through tracks off their 2012 Weird Wild World LP that The Men's Ben Greenberg produced, and from the way they play you can tell why a member of The Men would work with them.
Up next was Perfect Pussy, fresh off their signing to Captured Tracks, which was announced earlier that day. There's been a lot of talk about Perfect Pussy lately, thanks in part to their solid EP, but their live show is really where it's at. Singer Meredith Graves is a total force and an entertaining performer, and though when someone with that level of charisma fronts a band the attention can be entirely on her, with Perfect Pussy that's not the case. The whole band goes nuts, even the dude whose job it is to make noise with his electronics, and they are LOUD. Don't miss out on seeing this band if you can help it.
They were followed by White Lung, who were joined by Wax Idols singer Hether Fortune on bass, like they were at Fun Fun Fun Fest and the rest of their tour. As always, White Lung put on a great show, and they used their last live appearance of 2013 to showcase some of their new material, including the stuff on their recent single. From the sound of that and the other new material they played last night, a new album from this band is much anticipated.
Once powerviolence, now garage punk band Ceremony wrapped up the show, and as always, the place went nuts for them with moshers and stage divers taking over the whole front half of the venue.
Pictures of all four bands are in this post. They continue below...
December 5, 2013
photos by Lukas Hodge; words by Bill Pearis
King Krule @ Webster Hall, 12/4/2013
Gangly and dressed like he just came from church, King Krule is an unlikely heartthrob, but there was definitely swooning going on at last night's show at a very packed Webster Hall (12/4), part of his current tour. Archy Marshall is still only 19 but comes off like a person floating out of time, with an appealingly croaky voice that sounds 20 years his elder, and a style that seems equal parts folk troubadour and hip hop MC (with a love of acid jazz), with an impenetrable South London accent straight out of a Ken Loach or Mike Leigh film. It shouldn't work, but it does, probably because he's not thinking about it too much -- for me, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon is one of this year's most appealing debuts. Live, King Krule is a four-piece and Marshall has a talented band (a very good drummer) capable of pulling off the album's lopey swagger. Folks were hanging on every marble-mouthed word.
Opening last night's show was rap trio Ratking, a pairing that isn't as odd as it might seem on record. Pictures and KK's setlist from Webster Hall are in this post.
December 4, 2013
photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis
John Grant @ Rough Trade, 12/3/2012
John Grant's second solo album, Pale Green Ghosts, has been appearing on a lot of best-of lists this year, and it landed in the top spot of Rough Trade Shops' Top Albums of 2013. Grant returned the favor last night by playing an in-store at the brand-new Brooklyn location and admission was free with purchase of the new record. This was the second of two Brooklyn gigs -- he played a seated show at Music Hall of Williamsburg the night before (12/2).
Both shows were in "stripped down" mode, which is the only way I've ever seen Grant -- him with accompaniment from a second keyboardist and an acoustic guitarist. He doesn't really need much else, with his songwriting very much in the mid-'70s Elton John / David Bowie / Paul Williams style, plus his voice (and stage presence) are already pretty widescreen. The Rough Trade set was fantastic, if short, maybe eight songs but he played pretty much all my favorites: "Sigourney Weaver," "Where Dreams Go to Die," "It Doesn't Matter to Him," "You Don't Have To," and his real showstopper, "GMF" (aka "Greatest Motherfucker"). Pictures from the Rough Trade show are in this post.
The NYC shows were a short stop for Grant before his European tour. Hopefully he'll come back soon. More pics from Rough Trade below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ida Maria @ Mercury Lounge - 12/3/13
Ida Maria, about six years after breaking out with "Oh My God," returned with a new album and some shows, including two in NYC this week. The first of those shows was at Mercury Lounge last night (12/3), and it was fun show, free of incidents, with a lot of the crowd singing along. Opening the show was NYC's leather jacket rockers Foley, and pictures of both bands (including one of Ida's setlist) are in this post.
Meanwhile, Foley plays Glasslands tonight (12/4), but most interestingly, it's also the delayed NYC debut of Canadian punks The Dirty Nil, who were supposed to play here in october but had to cancel. The Dirty Nil don't have too much material to their name, but just about everything they've got is pretty rippin'. We called "Nicotine," the single off their upcoming Smite EP, "an under-2-minute blast of punk speed and aggression with a quick mid-section of J Mascis-worthy riffage." You can check out that song's video below. Also on tonight's Glasslands show is Shy Hunters and Tyburn Saints, and tickets are available.
More pics from Mercury Lounge, along with the Dirty Nil video, below...
December 3, 2013
photos by Chris La Putt
Nicole Atkins @ South St. Seaport, 11/29/2013
The annual tree-lighting at the Seaport went down over the weekend (11/29) with Nicole Atkins and "It's My Party" singer Lesley Gore singing, along with appearances from comedian Dave Heenan, Swingadelic and more. Pictures of the celebration are in this post.
Nicole Atkins, whose new album Slow Phaser will be out February 4, will play a record release show on February 13 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (12/6) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (12/4) at noon.
More pictures from the tree-lighting below...
photos by PSquared Photography, words by Andrew Sacher
Linda Perhacs @ Mexican Summer 5
One of my personal favorite rediscovered gems from the late '60s/early '70s psych-folk era is Linda Perhacs' Paralellograms, an album quite literally ahead of its time that mixed the contemporary folk sounds of that era with eerie layers of dissonance that didn't become commonplace in folk music until decades later. Linda's been slowly gaining recognition and reigniting her career in recent times, having just made her NY debut at the Mexican Summer 5th Anniversary that took place in October. I unfortunately missed that show, but BV's Bill Pearis was there and said she had probably the biggest crowd of the day, seemed taken aback by all the love from the audience, and sounded great. Durga McBroom, who has also done backup for Pink Floyd, sang with her at the show, and some of Linda's well-known fans like Devendra Banhart (pictured below) were in the audience. Pictures and videos of her set from that show are in this post.
Now, after talking about it for some time, Linda has finally announced that she'll release The Soul of All Natural Things, the loooong-awaited followup to Parallelograms, on March 4, roughly 44 years after its predecessor initially came out. The album is coming out via Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label, and as discussed, features contributions from Nite Jewel and Julia Holter. The new album's first single is "Freely," a song that picks up right where Parallelograms left off and still sounds entirely of the moment considering artists like Marissa Nadler, Jessica Pratt, Mariee Sioux and others are keeping this sound alive. Her voice is still in fine form too.
Watch the video for the new song, along with the album's tracklist and more pics/videos from Mexican Summer 5, below...
photos by Caroline Harrison; words by Doug Moore
Slayer @ Theater at MSB
Thrash metal institution Slayer brought their "old-school set" tour with Gojira and 4Arm to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden last Wednesday (11/27).
Despite the fact that the city had emptied out considerably for the Thanksgiving holiday (which fell on the following day), and despite the considerable aspersions that certain quarters cast on the current Hanneman/Lombardo-less iteration of the band, the show drew a strong and enthusiastic crowd. And deservedly so; both Slayer and Gojira ripped it. Slayer's set in particular took on a considerable emotional charge -- this tour is not only their first since Hanneman's death, but also marks their first appearance at MSG since the early '90s. From our extensive writeup at Invisible Oranges:
The attendees of this packed NYC show were clearly glad that Slayer still exists in some form. This band continues to inspire the kind of borderline-pathological enthusiasm that is normally reserved for acts like Phish and Jimmy Buffett. Metal's unspoken law against sporting the logo of the band you're seeing has no force at Slayer shows. We saw Slayer shirts without number; Slayer hats; Slayer hoodies; Slayer jackets; Slayer tattoos; even multiple pairs of sexy Slayer/American flag leggings. (The trendy Slayer Christmas sweater was notably absent). I planned to keep track of how many times I heard people spontaneously scream "SLAYER!" between bands, but I lost count before I got past the beer line.We also touched on the flack that the band has caught for carrying on in the wake of Hanneman's passing and Lombardo's departure:
Putting aside the unknowable details of the Lombardo split, suppose that Araya and King's decision to continue as Slayer is purely financial. Do you blame them? If you were in their position, would you set aside the creative business that you'd helped to build for your entire adult life in favor of the nebulous cause of artistic integrity? Or would you do as they've done, and keep reigning?Check out the whole review and an extensive Slayer/Gojira picture set (we missed 4Arm) over at IO and we've got a few more pics in this post. If you need more Slayer-related reading material after that, consider purchasing the extensive Slayer 66 2/3: The Jeff and Dave Years for a thematically appropriate $6.66.
Also, Slayer's classic debut Show No Mercy turns 30 today (12/3). You can stream that via YouTube and check out more pics from Slayer's Theatre @ MSG show below...
December 2, 2013
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Marissa Nadler @ Rough Trade - 11/30/13
Right before Phosphorescent's in-store at the new Rough Trade NYC on Saturday (11/30), Marissa Nadler did an in-store of her own. Marissa has a new album, July, coming out this February on her new home of Sacred Bones, and she used the in-store as an opportunity to preview some of those songs live for the first time. She was playing stripped down versions of the songs that she said were really meant to be backed by a band, but they sounded lovely nonetheless. Pictures of her set are in this post.
They continue below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Phosphorescent @ Rough Trade NYC - 11/30/13
Phosphorescent, the indie folk collective fronted by Matthew Houck, has been having an excellent year with Muchacho already ending up on year-end lists. He's got three sold-out full band shows at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg and a not sold-out solo show at that venue coming up, but to preface that, Matthew took Thanksgiving weekend as an opportunity to play a mostly-solo show at Brooklyn's new Rough Trade NYC. It was one of the venue's free in-stores and happened this past Saturday (11/30) with Matthew being joined by a keyboard player for a couple songs and otherwise playing by himself. Pictures of that in-store are in this post.
It was the same day as an in-store from Marissa Nadler and also the second night of Television's 2-night run which we caught night 1 of. If you haven't already, you can read our initial thoughts on the venue.
More pictures below...
November 30, 2013
photos by Greg Cristman; words by Bill Pearis
Television @ Rough Trade, 11/29/2013
"Next time, we're bringing a road crew," Tom Verlaine joked as he fumbled with knotted guitar cord, finally throwing the thing to an audience member to undo while he fiddled with other gear. Even a master of tangled guitar solos needs help sometimes. Once that was straightened out (literally), Television got down to business for their first NYC show in six years years, and first of two at the new Rough Trade.
The sound at the new venue, this being its first ticketed show, was crystal clear (though maybe not loud enough for some), perfect for the guitar interplay Television are known for. I never got to see the original line-up but I thought Richard Lloyd's replacement Jimmy Rip did a fine job on the bands' signature songs "I See No Evil" and "Marquee Moon." I was happy to hear "1880 Or So" from their 1992 comeback album as well, as part of their 80-minute or so set. A new album, their first since then, is promised soon.
Gambles (aka former Levy member Matthew Daniel Siskin) opened the night, playing a Jonathan Richman-y set with just acoustic guitar. Much of that was done on the floor in the middle of the crowd -- including a cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day," a pretty ballsy move, whether it was successful or not.
Both Television and Gambles play Rough Trade again tonight (11/30), which is sold out. You can, however, hit RT for a couple free shows today: Marissa Nadler plays at 1 PM and Phosphorescent is on at 3 PM.
Rough Trade, the store, seems to have filled out it's stock a bit since I was there on Monday, and still had quite a bit of Record Store Day Black Friday items. I eyed that Stiff Records 7" boxset but couldn't pull the trigger. I did, however, pick up an import copy of the new book from Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley titled Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. Their book collection has definitely filled-out and is pretty impressive.
More pics from Television and Gambles below...