Recent Posts in pictures
August 30, 2014
photos by Tim Griffin
Mineral @ Mohawk - 8/17/2014
Veteran emo band Mineral are reuniting for their first tour in 17 years, which begins with four sold-out NYC shows next week (starting 9/4). However, like American Football did in Chicago, the Austin band decided to bless their hometown with a surprise show last night (8/29). Billed as "The Parking Lot" (whose name is a Mineral song and whose logo resembled The Power of Failing's artwork), Mineral strongly hinted on their Facebook that it would be them, and opener Jess Williamson later revealed it on Instagram, writing:
The secret's out: I'm very honored to announce that tonight I will be opening for "The Parking Lot" which is all the members of Mineral playing Mineral songs. Just me and my band at 10 and then they play at 11. EndSerenading was one of my favorite records as a wee little 14 year old girl trying to find my angsty place in the word. You can probably still email me at email@example.com. so honored and excited for tonight!!Doors for the show opened at 9 PM, and the line was already down the block by 7. The show (a benefit for SXSW Cares) took place in the venue's smaller indoor room, and was (of course) entirely sold out. Mineral split the set pretty evenly between their two full lengths, though leaned a little more heavily on EndSerenading, and also included both sides of the "February / M.D." single. Were you one of the lucky ones who got in? How was it?
Mineral's tour begins in proper at NYC's Saint Vitus on September 4, followed by three nights at Bowery Ballroom. All four of those NYC shows are sold out, but you can get tickets to most other tour stops (including the New Haven, CT stop) at their website.
More pictures of Mineral's first show in 17 years, including one of the setlist, below...
August 28, 2014
photos by Greg Cristman
Falls of Rauros @ Union Pool - 8/27/14
Two excellent New England black metal bands joined forces in NYC last night (8/27), as Maine's Falls of Rauros and Masachusetts' Obsidian Tongue played an Invisible Oranges-presented show along with NY-based experimental metal composer Oneirogen at Union Pool. The two bands were well-paired, as both deal in the rustic-sounding atmospheric black metal that is associated with the pacific northwest, and both do it very well. Falls have a new album on the way and treated the crowd to some of that, as well as old stuff too.
More pictures from the show, below...
photos by PSquared
Lansing-Dreiden / Weyes Blood at Mexican Summer Five, 2013
Mexican Summer threw the two-day Mexican Summer Five fest in Red Hook last year to celebrate their half decade of existence. This year, they'll be doing it again, albeit on a slightly smaller scale with two back-to-back shows at Williamsburg venues. On October 15 at Glasslands its Jorge Elbrecht's Lansing-Dreiden, who have only played a handful of live shows ever. (Jorge is also in other bands like Violens and the new Coral Cross.) Also notable is the first US show by Chilean psych rock outfit La Hell Gang, whose new album Thru Me Again just came out on the label. (Stream a few tracks below.) Arp and new Mexican Summer signee Jefre Cantu-Ledesma round out the bill.
Then on October 16 at Baby's All Right, Connan Mockasin headlines a line-up that also includes Boston's Quilt and Weyes Blood (whose new album will be out the week after this show). The Baby's show is also a benefit for the Shoe4Africa charity which "facilitates health, social and educational programming within East African communities."
Tickets for both shows are on sale now. Flyers for both nights, plus (very) belated sets of pics of Lansing-Dreiden and Weyes Blood from Mexican Summer Five and La Hell Gang streams, below...
August 27, 2014
photos by Dylan Johnson, words by Andrew Sacher
Perfect Pussy / Joanna Gruesome @ Shea - 8/26/14
The stacked Perfect Pussy / Joanna Gruesome / Potty Mouth / The Love of Everything tour kicked off last night (8/26) with a sold out show at Brooklyn's tiny Shea Stadium. It was a great show all around, and packed almost the entire time. Pictures are in this post.
The Love of Everything, aka Joan of Arc's Bobby Burg, kicked things off with a one-man-band set consisting of Bobby's voice, guitar, bass, synths, and a crude drum machine all going through a loop pedal. In a way, Love of Everything was the odd band out on the bill. It was the only one that wasn't a "band" in the traditional sense, and the only one whose songs didn't revolve around briskly strummed distorted guitars. But what he did have in common with the rest of the bill is his music came from a place of rawness and passion, rather than a traditional idea of "technique," something Bobby is undeniably a veteran of.
The energy level began to rise when Potty Mouth followed with their set of poppy punk, but really rose once Joanna Gruesome took the stage for one of the best sets I've seen of theirs yet. Joanna Gruesome are equal parts twee pop and more aggressive punk, but the energy of the latter is what wins out at their shows. All band members thrash around the stage like a hardcore band while singer Alanna McCardle stands at the mic, commanding the crowd with ease. For one song during this set, she took her mic off the stand and gave her wildest performance of the night. The rowdiness of the crowd matched that of the band, at one point causing Alanna to ask them to chill with the moshing ("that's fun for about five of you... and there's way more than five of you here").
There was a pause in the show after Joanna Gruesome, because Perfect Pussy were running late. But once they finally got there, they ran up on stage without a soundcheck and got the room going as nuts as it was for JG. Perfect Pussy's sets are short, but they pack more uninhibited aggression in 15 minutes than many rock bands can in double or triple that time. Last night was no exception, as the band went hard with minimal breaks from start to finish, and it ended with noise guy Sean Sutkus making controlled feedback minutes after the rest of the band had left the stage.
The tour continues, and splits this Friday (8/29), as Joanna Gruesome return to NYC on their own to headline a free South Street Seaport show with Big Ups, and Perfect Pussy/Potty Mouth play Asbury Park. Potty Mouth will also be back for a Cake Shop (9/3) show next week.
More pictures from Shea, below...
photos by Adela Loconte
Interpol @ Mack Sennett Studios 8/26/2014
Interpol played LA's Mack Sennett Studios last night (8/26), a special concert presented by KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. The show celebrated the forthcoming release of the long-running NYC band's new album, El Pintor, which is out next week via Matador. (Stream it at NPR.) That album's "Breaker 1" and "Same Town, New Story" made their live debut last night. Full video, pics and setlist from the KCRW show are in this post.
NYC, meanwhile, will get two El Pintor release shows next week: The Met's Temple of Dendur on September 2 (sold out) and Bowery Ballroom on September 4 (tickets on sale Thursday [8/28] at noon). And they'll be back this fall for two sold-out Terminal 5 shows.
Video and more pics from Interpol's KCRW show below...
photos by Mathieu Bredeau, words by Rob Sperry-Fromm
Sleep @ Stage 48 - 8/25/14
Soon after releasing their first new music in 20 years, stoner-doom icons Sleep took their tour to NYC this past weekend, playing Stage 48 on August 25 with support from Holy Suns (the first Bowery Presents show at the Manhattan venue). Pictures of the show are in this post.
Holy Sons, a project of Al Cisneros's OM bandmate Emil Amos, kicked things off at the neon-lit Stage 48. With a large crowd already packing in to the generous space, Amos ran through a bunch of gloomily melodic material that the project is known for, with a lineup that was making its live debut adding heft to the few songs from earlier in his career that he played. The set was mostly made up of new, heavier material from the band. The effect was chunky while still maintaining the hypnotizing quality of the Holy Sons brand. It was a strong set, but by the end you could feel the crowd basically shaking in anticipation of Sleep.
Flanked by cosmic graphics on the many-layered onstage screens, Sleep proceeded to generally melt the crowd down for an hour and a half. I've seen both High on Fire and Om live multiple times, but nothing compares to seeing one of the best guitar/bass combo this side of Butler and Iommi hitting the stage together. Musical ubuntu this beautiful simply doesn't come about very often, and with the addition of Neurosis's Jason Roeder on drums, this current incarnation of Sleep has every bit of the brutality and loose-limbed grooviness that one could hope for. It's a treat to hear metal that's jammy and done this well, where the pleasure comes from a place of pure instrumental interplay rather than ornate composition. Pike and Cisneros are in such perfect sync that you could listen (and probably have listened) to them playing the same riff for multiple hours, such is their command of dynamics.
Sleep ripped through classics like "Sonic Titan" "Aquarian," and "The Druid," without breaking the mood by way of speech. Cisneros, who is currently heavily bearded, was a picture of controlled fury, his head bobbing and gazing upward as he played with the lightest possible touch up on the neck of his Rickenbacker. Pike tones down High On Fire's headbanging antics, clearly enjoying the chance to cut loose on the simpler tones that Sleep offers. Stage 48 might not be as grimy (or smoky) as one would like at a Sleep show, but the sound is pristine, and this band is a tone monster. The moments when Pike stops playing chords for one of his trademark ripping solos, and Cisneros moves his right hand from the neck down to the bridge and just starts to shred, are some of the most truly awesome things I've ever had the pleasure of catching live. The band closed with an extended version of their new song "The Clarity" bleeding into "Cultivator" and it fit in seamlessly with the proceedings. Om and High on Fire have kept them fresh, and Sleep haven't missed a beat.
More pictures from Stage 48 below...
August 26, 2014
photos by Adela Loconte
The Strokes / Grimes / Boris
[Slowdive's] entire audience appears to be holding its breath, immersed in the British shoegaze band's ocean of sound. The three guitarists--Neil Halstead, Christian Savill, and Rachel Goswell--are urged on by the warm throb of Nick Chaplin's bass and the vigorous drumming of Simon Scott. It's a relief to hear a drummer at the festival who isn't playing in boring old 4/4. Goswell, resplendent in a silver dress and smiling shyly, sings the hook to "Crazy for You," its circular guitar figure still captivating 20 years later. Unfortunately, her pretty voice sounds paper thin in the mix of "Machine Gun" but the reverb-y guitars sound great. During "Souvlaki Space Station," left-handed Savill plays a solo in which his slide guitar sighs as if in post-coital bliss.LA's 2014 FYF Fest went down over the weekend (Saturday, 8/23 & Sunday, 8/24) with a killer lineup that included Phoenix, The Strokes, Interpol, Grimes, Slowdive, Slint, The Blood Brothers, Future Islands, Against Me!, Ty Segall, Boris, Run the Jewels, Darkside, Flying Lotus, Blood Orange, Haim, Murder City Devils, Four Tet, The Bronx, Deafheaven, La Dispute, Joyce Manor, Joanna Gruesome, Angel Olsen and many more. We've got pictures of a handful of the bands from both days, in this post.
One wonders whether most of these teens and twentysomethings have any idea who Slowdive is. After all, the band broke up--or, more accurately morphed into Mojave 3--when many of the attendees were in diapers. Is Slowdive cashing in on the reunion dollar or will they produce new material? One hopes for the latter. The band's multiple guitargasms are indescribably majestic and beautiful. The five-piece doesn't take the opportunity to play "Visions of LA," but "Alison" and a cover of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair" end the set on a highpoint. Before they depart, Goswell announces they'll be back in November. Can't wait. [Under the Radar]
More pics, with a stream of a new song by rapper Kosha Dillz where he namedrops 60 bands that played FYF, below...
Outkast / Janelle Monae / Blood Orange
Earlier this month, we sent longtime BrooklynVegan contributor Dominick Mastrangelo to the three-day 2014 Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Here's his report and photos from Day 3...
The final day of Flow began with a lunchtime party for those of us in the press corps, hosted by Radio Helsinki at their offices a short walk away from the festival grounds. The party was co-hosted by Nordic Playlist and Music Finland. (Nordic Playlist offers weekly curated playlists by artists and tastemakers covering Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. Here are a couple of playlists including the Flow playlist by Flow Festival artistic director, Tuomas Kallio.) There was easy conversation over fish hot dogs and sparkling white wine, as people recounted afterparty adventures, shared highlights of the festival and tipped their selections for Day 3.
It was another pristine summer day in Helsinki and things kicked off a littler earlier with the catchy/swooning pop of Iisa, lead singer of Finnish band Regina, over at the Main Stage. Then it was on to Finnish electro-pop duo Sin Cos Tan, comprised of Jori Hulkkonen and Juho Paalosmaa (whose voice is a dead ringer for the Cure's Robert Smith), at the Black Tent.
After a little bit of downtime, I headed over to the Blue Tent for Blood Orange. Dev Hynes hobbled out on a crutch, his left knee secured in a black brace following the alleged assault on him and girlfriend, Samantha Urbani, at Lollapalooza the weekend before. Hynes apologized for not being as mobile as he usually is before the band started their set.
I stuck around for a few minutes before dashing over to catch a little bit of the UK's Jungle in the Black Tent. But my time there was short as well because I didn't want to miss any of Janelle Monáe on the Main Stage. I approached the photo pit just as a straight jacket-clad Monáe was being delivered via dolly front and center. This was the soul singer's second time at Flow - she graced the Blue Tent back in 2011 - but it was my first time seeing her and I was won over in the first couple minutes. Monáe is the consummate performer and her energy was so damn infectious. She tireless worked the stage, the crowd, danced with her band, who were all effortlessly cool. If she had been the headliner on the Main Stage instead of OutKast, I'm not sure anyone would have minded.
With Janelle Monáe looking on André 3000 and Big Boi came out to a bass so thumping loud for "B.O.B." my shirt was fluttering from my body. Except for a clever/not clever refrain of "What the Helllllllsinki," that grew tiresome between almost every song, their set was one big party. They rolled through hits like "Ms. Jackson," "Roses" and "The Way You Move." Girls were called for and duly took the stage to dance along to "Hey Ya!" which was always going to be the highlight of the set. Was anybody not singing or dancing? If so, I didn't see them.
I stuck around for a couple more songs and then made my way to the Black Tent for my final band of the festival - Slowdive. I just saw the English shoegazers at Pitchfork Festival a few weeks ago, but seeing them inside the tent at night (where there was more of a club show vibe) as opposed to the piercing late-afternoon Chicago sun, made it seem more epic. And indeed, as the band crescendoed through the five-minute outro of Golden Hair with lights flashing all over the stage and out into the crowd to cap a brilliant set, I couldn't think of a better way to end the festival.
In the end, there were a little over 57,000 people who attended the three days of Flow and it's easily the best outdoor music festival I've attended. There's really nothing like it in the States. From the setting, to the city, to the curation and social responsibility... And I didn't even talk about how chill pretty much most of the festival attendees were. No douchebaggery and drunkenness was at a minimum. And except for my frustration at people talking during Bill Callahan's set on Saturday, the crowds were entirely warm, enthusiastic and respectful. If we could get just one festival like Flow over here I'd be there in a heartbeat. As it is, I'll just have to wait another year to return to Helsinki.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The National / How to Dress Well / the scene
Earlier this month, we sent longtime BrooklynVegan contributor Dominick Mastrangelo to the 2014 Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Here's his report and photos from Day 2...
Flow Festival Day 2 ended up leaning heavily toward American bands. It wasn't planned, but with The Horrors canceling a couple days earlier and some scheduling conflicts, it's just how it played out. And not that it was necessarily a bad thing. There's definitely something cool and pleasantly disjointing about seeing bands you've seen stateside in a time zone seven hours away.
But the day did start out with two really solid Finnish bands back to back: The electro-pop of Shivan Dragn and prog-rock instrumentalists - and Spencer Krug collaborators - Siinai.
With a bit of time to kill I venture to the Main Stage to see Les Ambassadeurs led by Salif Keita. The catchy Afro-pop of the ensemble provided an enjoyable, uplifting respite before a run of bands in quick succession.
I caught a brief bit of How To Dress Well. My first time seeing Tom Krell since Pitchfork in 2011 and I was struck by how intense his live set had become. A much more assured and visceral performance than before -- eschewing the string quartet he had with him at Pitchfork in favor of a more straightforward live performance.
From there it was over to the Blue Tent for Bill Callahan, one of the artists I was truly jazzed about seeing in Helsinki. Callahan always seems to come across as the coolest guy in the room and as great as his set was, I was disappointed that much of the crowd chose to talk during his set. (Apparently, this is not a problem exclusive to concerts and festivals in the States.) But I maneuvered to a spot close up where the attention was more rapt and mesmerized by Callahan's smooth bass-baritone and stayed for the entire set; the first band whose set I stayed from start to finish.
I managed to catch a few songs of Danish pop-songstress, MØ at the Black Tent. It was a high-energy set and Karen Ørsted was dressed appropriately in boxing trunks and black tank top, bouncing from stage to speakers and whipping the crowd into a frenzy as us photographers in the pit worked hard to keep up with her.
After a bit of a break, I ventured over to the Balloon 360 stage to see Marissa Nadler. The stage-in-the-round setup, where the sound seemingly comes from everywhere, was perfect for Nadler's haunting, airy songs. It was simply beautiful.
The Main Stage was the next stop for The National. I'd mentioned earlier how wonderfully disjointing it was to see bands across the pond and maybe the The National were more so than any of the American-based bands I saw on the weekend. My first National show was seeing them open for John Vanderslice at a tiny rock club in Denton, TX nearly ten years ago. I've seen them at various points since on their upward trajectory so it was only fitting that I see them headline a festival in Europe. From Denton to Helsinki in a decade.
I finished off my night back at the Balloon Stage for Poliça. Drummers Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu faced each other and singer Channy Leaneagh and bassist Chris Bierden took up opposing spots with producer Ryan Olson on the edge of the stage running production. It was hypnotic as the glow of the balloon and hazy LED lights provided dreamy ambiance for rhythmic drum beats and the effects-laden voice of Leaneagh. With Jamie xx performing in the Black Tent and French electronic mastermind Kavinsky in the Blue Tent at the same time as Poliça it was impossible to be everywhere, so I opted to stay outside under the cozy environs of the balloon.
The evening continued at a techno club where we drank cider and beer and danced to generally undanceable songs before spilling out into the brisk Helsinki night and heading to another summer-specific after party out at the water. There young locals were hanging out drinking and chatting in a mashup of languages: Finnish, German, French, English... Some opted for an early morning swim, stripping down and flinging themselves off the dock into the chill. Some drifting way, way out into the dark.
As I rolled up to my hotel in the early morning hours of Sunday, with the sky brightening in the east, I got that feeling you get when you're having an absolute blast somewhere that you don't call home.
I didn't want to leave.
August 25, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Body Count / Bad Brains / hula hoopers
After weeks of will-he-or-won't-he speculation, enigmatic R&B recluse D'Angelo made good on his promise to headline the 2014 Afropunk festival in Brooklyn on Sunday night. But not without keeping people guessing until the moment he stepped on stage.The free 2014 Afropunk Festival went down over the weekend in Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park on Saturday (8/23) and Sunday (8/24). The festival included a large variety of music from D'Angelo to Body Count to Fishbone to Shabazz Palaces to Sharon Jones to King Britt to Trash Talk and still plenty more. There was also a set from Bad Brains (sans HR), and as we spectulated, Cro-Mags singer John Joseph joined them (Cro-Mags played their own set as well), as did Living Colour's Corey Glover, rapper Murs (who's in White Mandingos with Darryl of Bad Brains), and Jesse Royal. Plus, mayor Bill de Blasio's metal-loving daughter Chiara introduced the Bad Brains' set (Bill was there too). Cold Specks was supposed to play too but unfortunately couldn't make it due to visa issues. Hopefully things will turn out better for her fall tour.
It was announced with much fanfare in June that he would headline the two-day music event devoted to black rock, punk, soul, art and skate culture, but in the weeks leading up to the event - which draws thousands each year - D'Angelo's name had disappeared from promotional material. Instead, the audience was promised only a "special guest" headliner. Until he appeared on stage an hour late, backed by members of the Roots, there were concerns in the crowd that D'Angelo would not show at all.
...Sunday's songs were mostly unfamiliar to the crowd who, if they came expecting hits, may have been disappointed. Even the covers he performed were relative deep cuts: one highlight was his take on Sly and the Family Stone's 1973 Thankful n' Thoughtful, in which D'Angelo played a funky clavinet over Roots bassist Mark Kelley's deep-in-the-pocket thump.
"Sunday morning, I forgot my prayer/ I should have been happy, to still be there," Sly sang then, lyrics all the more poignant coming from a man prone to silence and sabbaticals. The crowd was thankful to have him, too. [The Guardian]
More pictures and videos from Afropunk (though unfortunately we weren't able to get pics of D'Angelo or Bad Brains' guests) below...