Recent Posts in pictures

February 26, 2015

by Keith Marlowe

Swami John Reis & Blind Shake @ Saint Vitus, 2/25/2015
Blind Shake

On tour from Minneapolis, a city with a rich surfing tradition, Minneapolis' The Blind Shake played St Vitus last night (2/25) with John Reis (RFTC, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, the Sultans, Pitchfork, etc) who recorded an album called Modern Surf Classics with the band last year and is on tour with them. Pictures from the show are in this post.

They blasted an hour's worth of blistering surf rock at the packed crowd. The band consists of three guitars, a sax, and drummer. No bass, no vocals, just serious riffs and a rolling drumbeat. Reis introduced a few of the songs with their origin stories, one of them called "Kooks on the Face". He told about being in Hawaii on tour with a band. They were on a beach without a change of clothes, so they stripped down to their underwear and were "frolicking " in the waves. Some kids were bodysurfing on plastic food trays from a restaurant, and as they rode in, one kid asked another if he wanted to go back out to catch another wave. The kid looked at the almost naked band and replied, "naw, there's too many kooks on the face." Reis announced, "that was us, we were the Kooks on the Face."

Tonight (2/26), they play an early show at Mercury Lounge (tickets), again with The So So Glos who opened at Vitus. They play D.C. on Friday and Philadelphia on Saturday. The Blind Shake will will also be heading to Austin for SXSW again (maybe you caught them there last year?).

More pictures from the Brooklyn show below...

Continue reading "John Reis & the Blind Shake on tour, surfed with the So So Glos @ Saint Vitus (pics)"

photos by Greg Cristman

1349 / Origin @ Gramercy Theatre - 2/23/15
1349
Origin

The half black metal, half death metal tour of 1349 & Wolvhammer and Origin & Abysmal Dawn, respectively, rolled into NYC on Monday (2/23) at Gramercy Theatre. The crowd seemed biggest for Origin, and the mosh pits were the craziest during their set and Abysmal Dawn's. At one point during Origin's set, the singer lined up a wall of death, pitting the black metal fans on one side against the death metal fans on the other.

If you went, what did you think? Which side of the wall of death were you on? More pictures below...

Continue reading "1349, Origin, Abysmal Dawn & Wolvhammer played Gramercy Theatre (pics)"

February 25, 2015

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"Still blown away by the 1-2 punch of Port St. Willow and The Twilight Sad last night. Intense." - Jared Dionne

The Twilight Sad @ Baby's All Right, 2/24/2015
The Twilight Sad

Scotland's The Twilight Sad came to Baby's All Right on Tuesday night (2/25) as part of their current North American tour with Port St. Willow. The Twilight Sad brought the energy, which came in no small part from lead vocalist James Graham who gesticulated emphatically over the cheering pack of fans crowding the front of the stage.  Pictures, setlist and video of "I Became a Prostitute" from the show are in this post.

Port St. Willow, meanwhile, are rolling with some new members -- including a horn/keyboard player -- who really filled out Nicholas Principe's songs, and the band sounded huge at Baby's. Pictures of their set, plus more of The Twilight Sad, below...

Continue reading "The Twilight Sad played Baby's All Right w/ Port St. Willow (pics, video, setlist)"

February 23, 2015

photos by Greg Cristman

Hull at their final show
Hull

"Did we finally sell out a show after eleven years?" asked guitarist Nick Palmirotto from the stage. "I'm gonna fucking cry."

Snow, slush, and wintry rain couldn't keep a throng of metalheads from packing the house at CoCo 66 Saturday night to bid farewell to Hull. The progressive sludge band has been a staple of the Brooklyn metal scene for the past eleven years but have decided to disband as life takes each member in new directions.

...The band played a deliberately unhurried, two-hour set, pausing between songs to thank individuals in the audience for being part of Hull's history. (During one break, someone in the audience grabbed a mic to say, "You guys have been up here thanking everyone, and I think everyone should thank you guys.") The set featured tunes from the full catalog, stretching back to the epic one-song Viking Funeral LP from 2007. Sound guru Sean Ray of Stray Audio was on deck, mixing and recording the gig in addition to lending extra equipment to the band to ensure optimal sound, and the results were appreciable. About midway through, the third founding guitarist Drew Mack, who left the band in 2012, stepped onstage to revive the triple-ax attack of the original lineup. [Village Voice]

Beloved Brooklyn sludge band Hull has now officially called it quits, but went out with a bang at their sold-out final show at Coco 66 on Saturday (2/21). The review quoted above is full of praise, and we couldn't agree more. It's sad to see them go, but they were great as ever on Saturday, and so were all three openers: Elder, Wizard Rifle and Cleanteeth. More pictures of all the bands, and setlists, below...

Continue reading "Hull played their final show at Coco 66 with Elder, Wizard and Cleanteeth (pics & setlist)"

photos by Mimi Hong, words by Andrew Sacher

You Blew It! @ The Studio at Webster Hall - 2/20/2015
You Blew It!
You Blew It!
You Blew It!

'90s-style emo revivalists You Blew It! brought their current tour in support of their new Pioneer of Nothing EP on Jade Tree to NYC over the weekend, hitting The Studio at Webster Hall (2/20) with tourmates Tiny Moving Parts, Sorority Noise and Rozwell Kid. I missed the openers (but caught TMP and Sorority Noise last time they played Webster together), but did show up just in time for You Blew It!, who I'd still never managed to catch before despite many recent chances.

The place wasn't 100% sold out, but it was really close, and the packed crowd was definitely loving every second of their set. If your criticism of a "revival" band like You Blew It! is that they don't bring enough new to the table, one thing you can't deny is that they bring a genuine energy to the live shows for the kids who weren't around to catch Braid and Cap'n Jazz in their prime. Or Weezer for that matter, whose "My Name Is Jonas" You Blew It! covered to end their set.

Our photographer did catch every band, and more pictures from the whole show continue below...

Continue reading "You Blew It!, Tiny Moving Parts, Sorority Noise & Rozwell Kid played The Studio at Webster Hall (pics)"

February 20, 2015

photos by David Andrako

Helado Negro @ thingNY @ Ecstatic Music Festival, 2/18/2015
Helado Negro

It was a whimsical, theatrical night at the Ecstatic Music Festival on Wednesday (2/18) when Helado Negro (aka Roberto Carlos Lange) teamed with collective thingNY at Merkin Concert Hall. For his piece, "Brain Finger Composition," Lange conducted / controlled musicians via tethered yarn. Meanwhile, thingNY gave a preview of their upcoming opera "This takes place close by." Pictures from the night are in this post and you can listen to the concert over at WNYC.

You can also check out pics of EMF's 2/12 show with John Zorn and Taleo Ensemble. Next up at Ecstatic Music Festival: Julia Holter, Alex Temple & Spektral Quartet on Wednesday (2/25). Tickets are still available.

Helado Negro will hit the road later this year as an opener on Sufjan Stevens' tour, but he's not announced for Sufjan's NYC dates (no one else is either). More pics from his show with thingNY, below...

Continue reading "Helado Negro & thingNY played the Ecstatic Music Festival (pics & stream)"

photos by David Andrako

John Zorn w/ Talea Ensemble @ Ecstatic Music Festival, 2/12/2015
Ecstatic Music Festival - Talea Ensemble and Special Guests - all works by John Zor

A relatively short but satisfying and energizing immersion in Mr. Zorn's myriad styles, the evening was organized by the dazzling Talea Ensemble. The chronology ranged from "Hockey" to the premieres of two 2014 works and touched on jazz, electronics, wild and woolly Modernist sounds, Beethoven, Wagner, Debussy, Stravinsky, elegy and horror.

Most stimulating was the sustained sensitivity of Mr. Zorn's instrumental writing. "The Prophetic Mysteries of Angels, Witches and Demons" (2007) for flute (Barry Crawford), amplified percussion (Matthew Gold and Mr. Lipowski) and ominous live electronics (Ikue Mori), joined a sinuous flute line to fanciful percussion effects, like the sound of writing and the slamming of a door. Hands rhythmically plopped in a tub of water; rustling white noise emerged from an old phonograph. -[NY Times]

Following a couple free shows last month at Brookfield Place, the 2015 edition of the Ecstatic Music Festival, which mixes pop with composers and avant garde musicians, kicked off properly last week (2/12) at the Kaufman Center's Merkin Concert Hall. The fest welcomed welcomed the great John Zorn on February 12 as part of an evening curated by the Talea Ensemble that also featured drummers Tyshawn Sorey and Ikue Mori. The evening included two of Zorn's "game" pieces, "Rugby" and "Hockey," the latter having John Zorn on saxophone.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2015 Ecstatic Music Festival. More pictures and the program listing from 2/12 performance are below....

Continue reading "John Zorn, the Talea Ensemble & more played the 2015 Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall (pics)"

photos by Greg Cristman

"Well, @sharonvanetten just killed it last night at Warsaw. What a gorgeous show." - Aoife O'Donovan

"Sharon Van Etten was fantastic! Magical voice and a lively stage presence!" - Ansh

"And to finish off the night..Sharon Van Etten. She gets me every time." - Erica Johnstone

"Sharon Van Etten from her 2nd Sold Out show at Brooklyn's Warsaw Ballroom. Such a fantastic show!" - Simon Clark

Sharon at Warsaw - 2/18/15
Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten brought her tour to Greenpoint's Warsaw for two sold-out shows this week, last night (2/19) and Wednesday (2/18). Both shows were great, with a good mix of her 2014 album and earlier material, and also a little bit of brand new stuff. At the second show, a man passed out about halfway through the set and Sharon stopped the show to check on him after he was carried out of the venue, but luckily he was okay. When she got back on stage, she thanked everyone at the venue, and before continuing her set said, "Now I'll continue playing sad songs knowing nothing sad is happening."

Opening both nights was Leon Bridges, who had a smooth New Orleans-style blues sound. He was backed by a saxist and two backing vocalists, who occasionally played percussion too. He also headlined a sold-out Mercury Lounge show on Tuesday (2/17) before the shows with SVE. Anyone catch that?

More pictures from Wednesday's Warsaw show, and Sharon and Leon's setlists from that night, below...

Continue reading "Sharon Van Etten played Warsaw twice w/ Leon Bridges (pics and setlist)"

photos by Mathieu Bredeau

Helmet @ Bowery Ballroom - 2/18/15
Helmet

"That album was the sound of us being obscure and weird," he says. "And one thing I've found from doing these Betty shows is it's also a difficult album to play live. A song like 'Sam Hell,' where it's just me alone, and I'm essentially playing this blues groove and singing? That was nerve-racking at first. But it's been a great challenge, and apparently the music means something to people. So I'm happy to do it." [Page Hamilton talking to Rolling Stone]
NYC alt-metal vets Helmet are currently on tour playing their boundary-pushing third album, Betty, in full for its twentieth anniversary. The quote above is from singer Page Hamilton's interview with Rolling Stone, where he also included a retrospective track-by-track breakdown of the album. The tour began in Helmet's hometown with a sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday (2/18). They opened by playing the album in full, and then followed it with 16 more songs from throughout their career.

The tour comes back to NYC on Saturday (2/21) at Bowery Ballroom and Sunday (2/22) at Saint Vitus, which are both also sold out. More pictures and the full setlist from Wednesday's show, below...

Continue reading "Helmet began their 'Betty' tour at Bowery Ballroom (pics and setlist), two more NYC shows to go"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Swearin' / The Goodbye Party at Baby's All Right - 2/19/15
Swearin'
The Goodbye Party

This spring, half of Swearin' will hit the road as members of Waxahatchee's band, but they decided to squeeze in two of their own shows ahead of that, the first of which was in NYC at Baby's All Right on Thursday night (2/19). It was an all-in-the-family show, with a full-band opening set from The Goodbye Party (the project of ex-Ambulars member Michael Cantor) that included Swearin's Kyle Gilbride and Radiator Hospital singer Sam Cook-Parrott. Radiator Hospital also share a drummer with Swearin', and their bassist Jon Rybicki's other band Attendant opened the night. Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield (whose twin sister Allison is in Swearin') could also be seen watching from the side of the stage. Great show all around. Pictures are in this post and continue below...

Continue reading "Swearin', The Goodbye Party & Attendant @ Baby's (pics)"

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