Recent Posts in pictures
November 28, 2014
photos by P Squared Photography
Polaris @ Knitting Factory -- 11/21/2014
Polaris helped 'Pete and Pete' fans get nostalgic while helping Knitting Factory Brooklyn celebrate five years of existence in Williamsburg last week (11/21). The sold out show was also part of a larger tour for the Nickelodeon show band who by mid May will have played NYC three times in less than a year after spending more than ten years not existing at all. Baeble has a review:
Frontman Mark Mulcahy traipsed around the stage like an overgrown Puck gone strange with age, his lips turned up devilishly at the corners, his footwork spry despite the weight and years. His reedy voice sounded no less pained than it did all those years ago when he first sang "Hey, Sandy" and defined the Saturday morning of a generation or mooned through the drunken stumble of "She is Staggering" and gave a group of children their first look at the best and the worst of the intoxications of infatuation.The setlist, which you can look at below, was long and everyone knew all the words. Mark, whose stage banter was funny and great, also played some Miracle Legion songs Pictures from Knitting Factory are in this post.
Ski Lodge, who since also played a show at the closing-Glasslands, opened the BrooklynVegan-presented night. Check out more pictures from the Williamsburg show, including the headliner's merch and setlist, below...
November 26, 2014
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Julian / Blood Orange (via Jeanette Diaz)
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz brought their tour to the Strokes frontman's former hometown of NYC at Hammerstein Ballroom last night (11/25) in support of their zany debut album, Tyranny. While Julian's most known (and most loved) for his Velvet Underground/Television-inspired leather jacket rockers, and has since also ventured into synth pop and new wave, his new album with The Voidz has him making weirdo out-there psychedelic pop that has more in common with Ariel Pink than Lou Reed. They played most of the album, but did dip into Julian's solo career for "River of Brakelights" and into The Strokes' catalog for two off 2005's First Impressions of Earth, "Ize of the World" and "You Only Live Once," the latter of which saw Dev Hynes joining the band on vocals (video below).
Dev also opened the show with his Blood Orange project, and was sporting a shirt emblazoned with "BLACK LIVES MATTER," the hashtag that's been trending since the Ferguson case ruling was announced. Julian mentioned Ferguson on stage too, and after the show Dev took to Twitter to reflect:
Tonight I got to sing with a hero onstage in the city I love on a day I woke up alive and well. This is luck. It's all luck. We are told that our lives don't matter. Daily. Not just in situations like this that bring it to light. Let's look after ourselves. Let's look after each other. We are all we have and we have to stand up for ourselves & our neighbors. All lives matter. DO NOT FORGET. I know some of you feel this deep sadness. Like a fist pushing you down. Others may just feel bummed out for a day, but to those who have lived with this constant scrutiny & lack of importance in these eyes of others, it's more than a news story to us. Keep that in mind.Shabazz Palaces, who have been on tour with Julian, played after Blood Orange, adding a dose of hip hop to the bill. They've also got a new album to support, and mixed stuff off that with stuff off their 2011 debut Black Up. Shabazz also joined Julian as guest musicians on "Father Electricity" during his set, but SP's Ishmael Butler didn't take over on lead vocals this time like he did in Montreal.
Unfortunately our photographer missed the openers, but more pictures of The Voidz, plus video of the Julian/Dev collab, a few other Voidz videos and their setlist, below...
photos by Alex Olsen
Future Islands @ Death by Audio last week
Future Islands's "Seasons" topped NME's Tracks of 2014 list and will likely be on others before best-of list season is over. The band just released a "reinterpretation" of the song by avant-jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD, who turn it into a '70s-style soul/funk jam. That band's bassist, Chester Hansen, talks a little about what they did with "Seasons":
We all love the original version of the song, and we were honored to have the opportunity to try and remix it. We heard Sam's isolated singing and realized how soulful and emotive it was and what seemed to sound the best was re-harmonizing the chords and taking it in a soul direction. We came up with a slow groove for the verse that let the vocals breathe, and played the chorus double time to make it more powerful. After we laid down the rhythm track, we overdubbed guitar, keys and a bunch of other parts to fill it out. We're very proud of it and so excited to share it with everyone.You can stream BADBADNOTGOOD's "Seasons" remix below and you can download it from Amazon today for free.
Future Islands were one of the many bands who said goodbye to Death by Audio last week, playing last Tuesday (11/18) with The Immaculates (with Tim Harrington on one song), DJ Dog Dick and Adam Schatz & The Farewell to Death by Audio Suite. We already posted one set of pics from that show and we've got a second set in this post.
Future Islands' next shows in NYC are somewhere much bigger (with slightly nicer bathrooms), Terminal 5 on January 8 & 9. Tickets are still available for the 1/8 show (the 1/9 show is sold out). All tour dates are listed, along with the "Seasons" reinterpretation and more pics from DbA, below...
November 25, 2014
photos by Adela Loconte
Interpol, free of snow, brought their tour to NYC for the first show in a sold-out three-night run at Terminal 5 last night (11/24). They're supporting their new album El Pintor, and they played a good chunk of that, otherwise focusing mostly on their first two records, Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics, and only offering a song each from the others. Their tourmates Hundred Waters, also with a new album to support, opened the show. Pictures are in this post.
The three-night run continues tonight, with Hundred Waters going off on their own to headline Rough Trade with support from Mutual Benefit's Jordan Lee (tickets), and Interpol will instead be joined by NYC's Lip Talk at Terminal 5. Interpol and Hundred Waters team up again to conclude the run on Wednesday (11/26). Again, both upcoming T5 shows are sold out. Hundred Waters will also be back on their own on a headlining tour in 2015.
Before Interpol's T5 show, they also performed "Everything Is Wrong" from the new album on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Video of that, with more pictures, Interpol's setlist and a video from T5, below...
November 24, 2014
photos by P Squared Photography; words by Bill Pearis
Lightning Bolt / APTBS / JEFF @ DbA's final night
When Lightning Bolt's set ended at around 2 AM Saturday night (11/22), the floor of Death by Audio was littered with beer cans and ripped-up issues of Vice magazine. Their set, which was the last to ever be played at DbA, was one of the wildest I've ever seen at the now-closed DIY showspace. It was a turbulent sea with constant crowdsurfers. I saw many smiling sweaty people afterwards with blood all over their tshirts. (There was also a kid on top the crowd eating a burrito which was amazing.) Among those on top the crowd: DbA co-founder Edan Wilbur who was wearing a homemade shirt that read "START YOUR OWN FUCKING SHOWSPACE." The crowd would not let him down, and much like Ty Segall a week before, he had a massive grin plastered to his face. It was a perfect way (and the perfect band) for DbA to go out.
Admittedly, the final night didn't start off quite as perfectly. The line for the final show started forming around 3 PM and by 5 PM was at Kent -- which was usually the cutoff point for who got in on the previous nights -- and it eventually went past Glasslands. (They did give away free hot chocolate for folks in line.) The paid list for friends and family (which, I won't deny, included the guy writing this) was big, and there was also the problem of rampant space-holding by folks in line.
The main space was full of folks that looked like DbA regulars to me by the time openers Grooms took the stage, and what weird vibes there were lifted when they started to play. (Grooms have basically practiced at DbA since they began as Muggabears and have played there many many times over the last seven years.) Singer Travis Johnson was definitely holding back tears at first and gave a nice tribute to the space and Edan: "If more people cared as much about music and as little about actually making money as Edan, the world would be a better place." Guitarist Jay Heiselmann, meanwhile, may hold the record for most shows at DbA's final stand, having also played with Roya, The Immaculates, French Miami, and Fuckton. The night also marked the return of original member Emily Ambruso who is apparently back in the band these days.
Next up were Nashville's JEFF the Brotherhood who played in their original Jake-and-Jamin two-piece configuration as a throwback to their first-ever NYC show... which was at DbA. (A lot of bands' first shows were at DbA.) They are basically DbA family and it would've been more of a surprise if they didn't play. Not that I dislike the expanded lineup, but Jake and Jamin are such a killer locked groove, they don't need others so much. They were great on Saturday and the pit rivaled Lightning Bolt's with people banging into each other in the crowd and on top. When their set ended and the crowd screamed for more, Jake reminded folks "opening bands don't do encores!"
Oliver Ackerman and his birthday pie
Irony of ironies, Saturday was also the birthday of Death by Audio owner / pedalmaker / bartender Oliver Ackerman who also fronts noisemakers A Place to Bury Strangers. He was presented with candle-covered pies right before APTBS' set and the whole place sang "Happy Birthday." It was a nice moment. He blew out the candles and the band started the set which was white noise sensory deprivation with smoke machines, strobes, and lasers on full blast. The only time I saw a member of the band during their set was when bassist Dion Lunadon leapt onto the crowd still playing his bass.
There was a dance party in "The Ranch" in the back and people just hung out and talked till basically the sun came up. (I left about 5 AM.) Thanks again to Edan, Matt and Oliver and everyone else who worked there and made it special.
Matt Conboy and Edan Wilbur post-show
More pics from Death by Audio's final show, plus video of all four bands' sets (via unARTigNYC), below...
photos by Greg Cristman
"@nilsfrahm was just absolutely beautiful & captivating last night. lost my breath a few times. so very moving and powerful. in complete awe." - Mike Servito
"An incredible show & standing ovation - a great almost-end to an amazing #tour this year @nilsfrahm. Happy memories!" - Manners McDade
"Watching @nilsfrahm can't even believe how much beauty my brain is taking in right now" - Heba Kadry
Nils Frahm / Dawn of Midi
Classical/electronic composer Nils Frahm brought his tour with the likeminded Dawn of Midi to NYC for a very packed show at the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew last Friday (11/21), following a Glasslands show Nils played without Dawn of Midi the night earlier. Nils' acoustic/electronic blend was well complemented by Dawn of Midi, who played entirely acoustic instruments but created clicks and glitch-like sounds not unlike the ones usually associated with electronic music.
Check out more pictures from the show along with a video from Nils' set below...
November 22, 2014
by Bill Pearis
It is cliche and hyperbole to say a band destroyed a place, but it's a very apt word for what Toronto's METZ did to Death by Audio last night as the venue's "Top Secret!" headliners for the penultimate show at the DIY venue. At one point, vocalist/guitarist Alex Edkins pulled down one of the ratty tiles from the drop ceiling and flung it at the crowd. "Think about where you are right now. Think about where you'll be next week," Edkins told the crowd. "Make it count." The crowd and the band (who played their first NYC show at DbA) were amped and sweaty and a lot of shoes were in the air, mostly still attached to feet. They also dropped a killer cover of The Damned's "Neat Neat Neat." A crazy, amazing set -- video from it is below.
Another band that drove a long way just for DbA's next-to-last show were Detroit's Protomartyr, who's first NYC show was also at DbA (opening at Parquet Courts' Light Up Gold release party.) Sardonic as always, frontman Joe Casey greeted the crowd with "This place is great. I predict a long future." Showbooker, soundman and all-around sweet guy Edan Wilbur (who was wearing a homemade "NO HINTS LET'S PARTY" shirt) asked then band to play some deep cuts from early 7"s (like "Baseball Bat" from their Colpi Proibiti EP), which made for a punkier, harder-hitting (if less familiar) set. Protomartyr also played a new one last night for the first time. A short clip of that, and full video of a couple other songs, below.
Nots @ DbA 11/21/2014
Memphis quartet Nots, who seemed likely to play, were a little late for their set -- their van broke down outside of Cleveland. They managed to fix it, drove straight to the show, climbed through the stage window and immediately started their set, which was their NYC live debut. (Nots, however, feature members of Coasting and Ex Cult who have played DbA tons of times.) The band's snarling, aggressive sound is definitely punk but they're not afraid of synthesizers either. (They would fit in well with the Melbourne, Australia bands that have cropped up around Total Control's Mikey Young.) They were awesome. There's video of most of their short set below and you can catch Nots again in Brooklyn at Palisades on Sunday (11/23).
Predictions that Shellshag would open this, the second-to last-night, were incorrect (nice diversion, Screaming Females), and in fact was opened by Brooklyn's Sleepies which count at least one DbA employee as a member. Video from their set last night is below too. They also fit in well with the night's postpunk/sludgepunk lineup. This was a just about perfect Death by Audio show, with most of the folks inside seeming like regulars who were not disappointed to learn it was METZ and Protomartyr playing, not, say, DOA and Interpol or whatever. While everyone knew there was just one night after this, just about everyone seemed to be very very happy they were there.
late-night Fuckton set in 'Death by Art' space
After METZ finished sometime around 1 AM, more secrets unveiled themselves in the form of late night noise/drone sets in "the ranch" / Death by Art part of DbA, including Greg Fox (Liturgy/Guardian Alien), Dubknowdub, and Fuckton which features both DbA's Matt Conboy and Edan Wilbur, along with Travis from Grooms and Jay from French Miami/Grooms/Immaculates/Roya. Smoke machines and strobes were cranked to 11 and the night ended around 3:30 AM, properly weird.
Tonight (11/22) is the last night of Death by Audio. As to who's playing tonight, Edan and Matt are offering no clues today on DbA's website, only saying, "Thanks for everything! Seriously! See You Tonight!" For guesses... anyone who's expecting some giant band tonight doesn't understand Death by Audio very well. Sure, Future Islands, Thee Oh Sees, Dan Deacon, Les Savy Fav, and Ty Segall can all play places much, much bigger but their roots are at places like DbA who supported them from the start. Will there be cool, crazy surprises? Undoubtably. But they'll be things that make sense within what they've always done and who they've supported over the years. Which is what made DbA special.
Video (by Unartig) and more pics/instagrams from Death by Audio's penultimate night, below...
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...