Recent Posts in pictures
April 18, 2014
photos by Debi Del Grande;
Mac DeMarco / FIDLAR / together PANGEA / White Fang
On Sunday, Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco was preparing for his set in the green room when we caught up with him. "I used to think Burger was just garage, but it's more 'anything goes' nowadays," said DeMarco. His set on the main stage bounced between funky guitars that shimmered and dipped low during a spaced-out rendition of "Ode to Viceroy," where DeMarco celebrated his favorite brand of cigarettes through song...In addition to Georgia soul singer Curtis Harding, the second day (3/23) of Burgerama III in Santa Ana, CA featured a lot of wild, widely diverse sets -- FIDLAR, Mac DeMarco, metal band Sleep, together PANGEA, White Fang and more all wound up the party-hardy throngs of crowd-surfers. Belated pics from Burgerama III day 2 are in this post.
..."I just want to get really high, smoke weed until I die," sang [FIDLAR singer Zac] Carper, who banged up his knees pretty badly early in the set. The letters for FIDLAR appeared above the stage in flaming letters that resembled the Vegas skyline on the Fourth of July, while the band scared the shit out of everyone by tossing small firecrackers into a puddle of water and beer that covered the stage - which at times, looked like it was ready to go up in flames. At points, the entire surrounding area smelled like gun powder, cheap beer, and weed. - [LA Weekly]
White Fang, meanwhile, bring their tour with fellow Burger band Denney & the Jets to Brooklyn's Glasslands on Saturday (4/19) with Hector's Pets on the bill as well. Tickets to that show are still available.
photos by Debi Del Grande; words by Bill Pearis
Curtis Harding @ Burgerama III, 3/23/2013
Atlanta's Curtis Harding played one of my favorite sets I saw during SXSW where his "magnetism, pipes and chops were evident from note one." The guy's the real deal. Harding will release his debut album, Soul Power, on May 6 via Burger Records. You can check out the video for horn-fueled first single "Keep on Shining" below.
Right after SXSW, Curtis headed to Santa Ana, CA for Burgerama III where he played day 2 (3/23). A belated set of pictures from his set there are in this post. The rest of the day 2 pics are here, and day 1 pics are here.
More of those pics, plus the video, album art and tracklist, below...
photos by Debi Del Grande
Black Lips / Coathangers / NOBUNNY / Burger
Burgerama III happened last month at Santa Ana, CA's The Observatory featuring a whole lot of bands on Burger Records' extensive, denim-clad roster. Day 1 (3/22) featured Black Lips and The Coathangers, both of whom played NYC last night (4/17) at Webster Hall and Baby's All Right, respectively. Day one also featured sets from sleazo punks The Dwarves, sleazo bubblegarage dude NOBUNNY, Detroit protopunk band Death, LA teens Cherry Glazzer, more bands, much crowdsurfing and general insanity. A belated set of pics from day 1 are in this post. And check out day 2 pics here.
More pics from Burgerama III Day 1 are below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
FKA twigs @ The Westway - 4/17/14
At this, her first New York show, her opening whisper was a perhaps inadvertent reminder of this tension in her music. It came at the beginning of "Weak Spot," which seems like a love song but is really something of a taunt. Both to the audience and to the target of the song, she seemed to be saying: Look how little it takes to get your attention.The very-hyped London artist FKA twigs (real name Tahliah Barnett) just wrapped up a short run of North American dates, including her first-ever NYC shows at Glasslands on Wednesday (4/16) and at The Westway last night (4/17) (both sold out). She had two EPs to pull from, and according to Chris Payne, The Westway show included at least three new songs, whereas the Glasslands show included only one (video of that one below). The crowd at The Westway was loving it -- girls shrieking, etc -- and as the above NY Times review of the Glasslands show points out, Tahliah can really dance. As that review also points out, her singing is often a whisper and she kept both shows dimly lit.
She mostly held it during this show, which was performed in vague light, as if she only wanted to give out part of herself visually, too. She was backed by three musicians -- two on drum machines, one alternating between drum machines and guitar -- who barely moved as well. (At one point, she asked for more light onstage because "my band can't see the pads.")
Where she wasn't stingy was with her body. Ms. Barnett is trained as a dancer: Before she gained attention as a singer, she appeared in a handful of music videos as a backup dancer; on Instagram, she often posts videos of her rehearsals. Frequently, she appears to be experiencing her music more vividly through her body than through her voice. [NY Times]
Pictures of The Westway show are in this post. They continue, with a video of the new song played at Glasslands, below...
April 16, 2014
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Motörhead / Chance the Rapper / Little Dragon / Toy Dolls
However, Sunday's lineup thankfully featured some guitar-brandishing acts, besides Motörhead, who proved that rock is not dead at Coachella -- or in general. For instance, British punk veterans the Toy Dolls pulled a respectable crowd to the Mojave Tent (opposite the very different Calvin Harris's set) and kept a proper counter-clockwise, Doc-Martens-kicking-up-dust slam pit going at full churn throughout their high-energy performance. "Do you think I'm getting too old for this?" spiky-haired frontman Michael "Olga" Algar asked the crowd. It was likely a rhetorical question, but fans ceased their slam-dancing just long enough to shout back, "Noooooo!" - [Yahoo! Music]The first weekend of Coachella 2014 wrapped up Sunday night (4/13) with dance music and Arcade Fire, but there was lots of other stuff going on too. Motörhead, with Lemmy back in action after some health issues, was there to show them how it's done and brought out Slash for a few songs; punk pranksters Toy Dolls and indie rock vets Superchunk both played a high energy set that would tire bands 20 years their junior; and Chicago's Chance the Rapper brought out, um, Justin Beiber.
There were also Swedish pop charmers Little Dragon, Australia's very talented Courtney Barnett, photoshy North Carolinians Neutral Milk Hotel, industrial-techno outfit Factory Floor, and lots lots more. Pictures from Coachella weekend 1, day 3 are in this post.
We already posted day 1 pictures and day 2 pictures of the first weekend of Coachella 2014, and a set of day 3 is HERE, but here's a separate set of pics of Arcade Fire's headlining set that day. We already talked about their set, including the fact that Blondie singer Debbie Harry joined them for a cover of her own band's "Heart of Glass" and stayed to sing backup on "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." We also mentioned that Barack Obama bobbleheads and Pope Francis bobbleheads (which debuted in Austin) joined them, but what we didn't know is the actual person wearing the Pope Francis bobblehead was Aaron Paul, aka Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman, who was one of the many celebrities at the festival. That's a picture of Jesse with the Pope bobblehead above, via CoS, via Arcade Fire's manager.
More pictures of Arcade Fire's Coachella set below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Pharrell / Future Islands / Ty Segall / mean girls
Watching Ty Segall at the Outdoor Theatre to kick off my Saturday drove home a 2014 Coachella reality: the relative lack of noisy, guitar-driven bands. While the bill is loaded with synthy, electronic-leaning indie types, traditional rock acts are few and far between this year. As if to illustrate the point, late in his gloriously loud and raucous set, Segall covered "Mötörhead" by Mötörhead, one of a handful of truly heavy bands at the fest.Coachella 2014 recently wrapped up its first of two weekends. You already saw pictures of day 1, and we've got a set of day 2 pics in this post, including shots of Pet Shop Boys, Pharrell, Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies, Fatboy Slim, Lorde, Future Islands, Warpaint, Julian Casablancas, Ty Segall, Graveyard, Foxygen, Laura Mvula and more.
...I arrived 20 minutes early Saturday night [for the Pixies], just in case, but while the Mojave eventually filled and then some, things never got ugly. As for the set itself, I doubt I'll ever adjust to seeing Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering on a stage without Kim Deal, but the new-look Pixies produced a quality set nonetheless, bashing out extra-ferocious versions of "Gouge Away," "Nimrod's Son," "Crackity Jones" and more. [Las Vegas Weekly]
Of course there's too much to catch everything, but many other great artists played the second day too, including Solange whose sister Beyonce came on stage to dance with her (video below), Nas whose frenemy Jay Z joined him for "Dead Presidents II" and "Where I'm From" and Diddy (I mean Puff Daddy) joined him for "Hate Me Now" (full set video below), indie legends The Dismemberment Plan, post-rock vets Mogwai, plus sets from MGMT, Washed Out, Bombay Bicycle Club, Holy Ghost and many more.
One of the big talks of the day was Pharrell (and his hat), who brought out loads of guests who reminded the crowd that Pharrell wasn't a nobody before "Happy," "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" (all three of which he played). He produced or co-produced huge hits for Snoop Dogg ("Drop It Like It's Hot"), Gwen Stefani ("Hollaback Girl"), Busta Rhymes ("Pass the Courvoisier") and Nelly ("Hot in Herre"), all of who joined him for said songs. A few videos from his set below.
April 14, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield
James Vincent McMorrow @ MHOW - 4/11/14
McMorrow garnered the best response from Cavalier, which fuses his gloomy folk-mindedness with lethargic, hip-hop undertones. When McMorrow's crackling alto reaches the utmost limits of his vocal range with lyrics, "I remember my first love," young girls fidget excitedly and grown men get teary-eyed. McMorrow is at his best when all other distractions are eliminated: the pyramid light fixtures, the laser projections, the supporting band. With nothing but a keyboard, he crooned out a blueprint rendition of the last track on Post Tropical, Outside, Digging. When he articulated the hard-sounding syllables, flecks of spit dance above his head like swirling dust motes in the spotlight. [CMJ]Dublin singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow brought his North American tour to NYC for three shows, including Bowery Ballroom last Wednesday (4/9), Gigstock at The Green Space on Thursday, and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday. Like he's been doing on this tour, he split the sets pretty evenly between his Bon Iver-esque 2010 LP Early in the Morning and his Bon Iver & James Blake-esque 2014 LP Post Tropical. Opening the Bowery and MHOW shows was Canadian songwriter Aidan Knight. The above review is of the Bowery show and pictures from MHOW are in this post.
words and photos by Joshua Ford
Upon his return home to Paris after the 2014 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN (and after touching down on four continents in just four weeks, a NYC show at Baby's All Right included), Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))), Nazoranai and countless other projects, graciously took some time to discuss his three performances at this exceptional U.S. festival with Joshua Ford.
Friday's lineup at Big Ears had O'Malley performing a solo set, focused on the volume/tone/drone aspects of his body of work most commonly associated with Sunn O))). On Saturday the festival reached critical mass at one o'clock am with O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi and Keiji Haino performing a smoldering improvisational set as Nazoranai (who play the Wick in Brooklyn on May 21). A scant nine hours later, at noon on Sunday, O'Malley and Ambarchi switched gears and performed two written compositions by modern composers Alvin Lucier and Iancu Dumitrescu.
FORD: How did your involvement with Big Ears come about? Was it the plan from square one to have you be involved in that capacity, on multiple days, and have you play three sets?
SOMA: We got an offer for Nazoranai to play, but at the time we didn't have any other things going on in the states, so it would have been very expensive to fly everyone over. I'm American but I live in Paris; flying myself from Europe, Mr. Haino from Japan and Oren from Australia to play one show is pretty expensive. You know, it's to the advantage of the festival to try and get more out of it. We all play in different formations, we're up for that, and it gives a chance to stay for the weekend. It kind of blossomed from there, and I'm really glad that happened.
Austin photos by Tim Griffin
Arcade Fire w/ Debbie Harry / mirror man @ Coachella / "Obama" in Austin
Arcade Fire were introduced by a man wearing a suit made of shattered mirrors and opened up their set with 'Reflektor', with Chassagne shining mirror discs strapped onto her hands into the crowd. "Alright guys, we're gonna give you every ounce of what we've got if you give it back to us," said frontman Butler before 'Rebellion (Lies)'.Coachella wrapped up its first weekend yesterday (4/13), after kicking off this past Friday (day 1 pics). Among the day 3 performers were Arcade Fire, who have played Coachella before, but this was their first time there as headliners. Among the bobbleheads that Arcade Fire have been featuring in their shows were President Obama and Pope Francis, who both made their debuts at Arcade Fire's recent show in Austin. Also like at that show, they played a cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" into the similarly '70s new wave-style "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." But this time was more exciting because they were joined by Blondie singer Debbie Harry who was a guest singer at SXSW for the Dum Dum Girls (who also played Coachella). Debbie sang "Heart of Glass" with them, and she stuck around to sing backup on "Sprawl II" too. Watch a full set video of Arcade Fire's Coachella set, along with their setlist, below.
Butler later railed against the various VIP areas at the festival to cheers from the crowd, commenting: "I just want to say that there's a lot of fake VIP room bullshit happening at this festival, and sometimes people dream of being there - but it super sucks in there, so don't worry about it." He also made a sly dig about the electronica/EDM heavy aspect of the festival, giving a "shout out to all the bands playing instruments this weekend" at the end of the set. [NME]
Speaking of Debbie Harry and covers, she's on the cover of the May issue of MOJO which is available now. Pictures of Coachella day 3 are coming soon, but meanwhile you can check out some pics from the recent Austin show (Obama bobblehead included) in this post. More below and many more at BV Austin.