Recent Posts in pictures
August 20, 2014
words by Klaus Kinski, photos courtesy of Converse
High on Fire @ MHOW - 8/15/14
The first-ever Converse Rubber Tracks Live tour roared into NYC on Friday (8/15) at Music Hall of Williamsburg, bringing along with them a whopper of a free showcase featuring metal Gods High on Fire and Brooklyn chaos outfit Blackest.
Unfortunately, for one reason or another your man Klaus completely missed Blackest. As a matter of fact, I got to the venue just as the lights were being dimmed for High On Fire's absolutely crushing set. I really wanted to see Blackest. They are heavy, aggressive, and as musicians they are tighter than a baby rabbit's b-hole. Did you see them? How was their set? Fortunately for me and other New Yorkers, they play ABC No Rio on Saturday (8/23) as part of a hardcore oriented matinee (which is also a stop on Dangers and Graf Orlock's tour).
As usual, High On Fire delivered a flawless and brutal dose of riffcentric sludge that brought the room's humidity and stank level to a solid 100%. Though derivative to a certain extent in their own right (but who isn't), High on Fire are so influential and so often imitated by lesser cretins that when you actually see them live you can't help but immediately come to the realization that they are simply impeccable; Gods of the genre. Throughout the entire set, which consisted of tunes new and old, the crowd was 110% into it. Some shoving, lots of fist pumping, and copious amounts of singing along made this one of the funnest sausage fests I have been to in ages. They bookended the show with classics, "Fury Whip" and "Snakes for the Divine" and included crushers "Baghdad," "Fertile Green," "Mouth of the Architect," "Devilution," "Rumors of War," and "Fireface," among others. If you were a newbie to High on Fire, this show was a perfect orientation. If you were a veteran fan, the show was a great homage to a staggering career. If you were an idiot, you were elsewhere.
More pictures from the show, below...
August 19, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Beverly @ Rough Trade 8/15/2014
Beverly has been playing a ton of local shows in the wake of their debut album. Most recently, Bev played Rough Trade on Friday (8/15) with Earthy Babes and Truthers. Pictures of the show in this post (though we missed Truthers). Since losing cofounder Frankie Rose (who moved to California), Drew and the new Beverly lineup have come into their own and Friday played a tight, crunchy set featuring most of their debut plus a still unnamed "new Beverly slow jam."
Beverly will soon be on the road with The Drums, including two NYC shows. More pics and Beverly's setlist from Rough Trade below...
August 18, 2014
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Bill Pearis
Boogarins / Jacco Gardner @ South Street Seaport - 8/15/14
It was two sides of a psychedelic coin on Friday (8/15) as the Seaport Music Festival brought in two young bands from around the world for one of the best nights there this summer. Looking a bit like Beck in a courderoy jacket and leather hat, Netherlands singer Jacco Gardner and a new version of his band gave us their baroque paisley pop, including a few songs from his upcoming second album. His band is tight and they pull off the harmonies effortlessly. (That said, they were even better at Baby's All Right on Saturday.) Brazil's Boogarins, meanwhile, are more on the guitar-heavy groovy tip, with a little Os Mutantes tropicalia in there for good measure. They clearly enjoying playing, and singer Fernando Almeida had a joyous smile on his face too. They also played some new material from their second album which is already in the can. Unlike last week when most folks stayed seated on the astroturf, people were on their feet for both bands. A really fun night.
This Friday's Seaport Music Fest features Oxford, Mississippi's Dead Gaze, Mystery Lights and one more TBA. More pics from Boogarins and Jacco Gardner below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
"Both talented and righteous, Dev Hynes made sweet soul music AND denounced the police state at #Summerstage/#OKPat15 tonight" - Michael Azzerad
Blood Orange / Sean Nicholas Savage
In the latter half of the set, after dedicating "Chosen" to Michael Brown and two others, Devontè Hynes had to have a say about what's been happening recently in the world. "I hate what's happening in Ferguson right now. F-k Ferguson. F-k Lollapalooza. I hate this f-cking police state we're living in - not New York, I mean the world. I'm going after Lollapalooza and I'm going to f-cking destroy them." Really, he explained, that he just wanted to dance and couldn't because of the pain in his leg, ostensibly caused by he and his girlfriend being attacked by a security guard at Lollapalooza in retaliation for Hynes speaking out against racism and police brutality. [FDRMX]
Dev Hynes' Blood Orange project played a free Central Park Summerstage show on Saturday (8/16). It was opened by Arbutus-signed prolific lo-fi pop songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage (who played Death by Audio a night earlier) and Moses Sumney whose one-man/loop-pedal set included a Majical Cloudz cover. Blood Orange played to a capacity crowd, bringing out frequent collaborator Samantha Urbani for a few songs, Charlift's Caroline Polachek for "Chamaky," and grime vet Skepta for "High Street." As you can read in the quote above, Dev gave some politically charged speeches in between songs, as he was clearly emotional about the situation in Ferguson as well as his brush with police at Lollapalooza, where he was wearing a shirt emblazoned with the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and others.
Pictures of the show are in this post and continue below...
photos by P Squared Photography
Chicago's Twin Peaks were in town at the end of last week on their tour with The Lemons, hitting Mercury Lounge (8/13) and Baby's All Right (8/14). We caught the Baby's show which was one of the wildest shows there probably since Mac DeMarco. They literally tore the roof off the place, with Baby's acoustic tiling being a casualty of rock n' roll. A video of the roof being ripped off and pictures of the hot, sweaty mayhem, including ones of their tourmates The Lemons and opening band Winstons (not Public Access TV who dropped off the show to play with Weezer instead), are in this post.
Twin Peaks played Pitchfork Fest in mid-July. A video of bassist Jack Dolan buying records with $20 a Chicago paper gave him at the fest, can also be watched below. A full, recent KEXP performance and more pics from Baby's down there too.
Photos by Greg Cristman
Echo & the Bunnymen @ Irving Plaza 8/16/2014
During Echo & the Bunnymen's 90-minute set Friday night at the Orpheum Theatre, singer Ian McCulloch evoked the spirits of Jim Morrison, James Brown, Lou Reed, Nat King Cole and Wilson Pickett by including snippets of their famous songs in the middle of the Bunnymen's own classics.Echo & the Bunnymen are currently touring their new album, Meteorites, and hit NYC for two shows at Irving Plaza on Saturday (8/16) and Sunday (8/17). (The review above is from their LA show.) Despite a new album to plug, setlists for both shows were pretty much an '80s hitfest, with classics like "Rescue," "Never Stop," "All My Colours," "Over the Wall," "The Killing Moon" and "Lips Like Sugar." The band is touring as a six-piece with frontman Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant being the only two original members. Pictures from Saturday's sold-out show are in this post. We don't have the exact setlist for Saturday (anyone know it?), but Sunday's setlist is in the post as well.
Some might argue that the '80s stalwarts don't deserve a place next to such esteemed company, but McCulloch wouldn't be one of them. The Bunnymen frontman, once dubbed "Mac the Mouth" by the British press, is his own biggest fan known for spouting off such pronouncements as calling the band's "The Killing Moon" "the greatest song ever written" and saying that in the Bunnymen's prime, "It felt like we were the best band in the world."
At times Friday night the Bunnymen came close to McCulloch's lofty aspirations. Performing as a sextet with guitarist Will Sergeant as the only other original member, the band played a set of their greatest hits and obscurities, but true to McCulloch's supreme confidence, they opened not with a familiar song, but the title track from their new album, Meteorites. With McCulloch's aching and longing vocals and Sergeant's tasteful guitar figures, it didn't sound unlike past Bunnymen classics. But the crowd didn't fully light up until the band ripped into "Rescue," from their 1980 debut Crocodiles, and followed that up with "Villiers Terrance" from the same set. - [The Hollywood Reporter]
The band will also be on The Late Show with David Letterman this Thursday (8/21) to perform Meteorites' "Holy Moses." Pictures from Saturday's Irving Plaza show, opener Mikky Ekko included, below...
August 15, 2014
photos by Gretchen Robinette
The Rock*A*Teens @ LPR 8/10/2014
I often make the outrageous drunken claim that the Rock*A*Teens were the best rock and roll band of the 1990s. It's sort of ridiculous to say, but as I write this sentence stone sober and drinking a glass of juice, I still kind of believe it. I keep waiting to not believe it, as I very frequently don't believe all kinds of outrageous claims that I make, but I just cross-referenced with all the other 1990s rock and roll bands in my iTunes (we're talking bands here, not singer-songwriters - and rock, not hip-hop which I think was way more important than rock in the 90s anyway) and I'm pretty much ready to double down; this disastrously scrappy Atlanta band with their not-very-good-sounding recordings and their name half-swiped from a 50's rockabilly outfit were...okay, let's not say the "best," because I don't really believe there's any objective truth when it comes to evaluating music - let's say they were my favorite. They had more great records than Nirvana (although no defining masterpiece), were (a tiny bit) smarter and had more at stake than Pavement, were more consistent than Guided By Voices, and had better all-around songs than Galaxie 500. So, though I love all those other bands, I'm going with them.Okkervil River's Will Sheff got to fulfill a fan's dream of opening for his '90s heroes The Rock*A*Teens who reformed for Merge Records' 25th Anniversary last month. The Le Poisson Rouge show on Monday (8/10) was the second of their two NYC show (the first was at Glasslands). Before this tour, the band hadn't played live in 13 years but frontman Chris Lopez is still a howlin' sweaty true-believer as these photos attest. Other superfans in the audience: AC Newman (New Pornographers), Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), and Chunklet founder Henry Owings.
- Will Sheff
As for Sheff, his band included Takka Takka drummer and National sometimes-co-drummer Conrad Doucette and Craig Montoro on bass and the set included Okkervil River songs plus a Rock*A*Teens cover.. Will's girlfriend, Beth Wawerna, is also a huge R*A*T fan and her band Bird of Youth (named after R*A*T's 2000 album, Sweet Bird of Youth) opened the Glasslands show. Pictures of Will's LPR set and more of Rock*A*Teens' (we missed opener Ricer) are below...
photos by Debi Del Grande
"Death from Above 1979 tonight. I've been waiting for this since high school" - Kevin
Death From Above 1979, reunited and gearing up for a huge tour, played an intimate one-off show in LA at The Troubadour on August 14 with Big Black Delta. We've got pics of that show in this post. It was something of a warmup for the upcoming world tour in support of their long-awaited second album, The Physical World, which is coming out ten years after their first (9/9 via Last Gang). They debuted some stuff from that record at the show too. A video of "Right On, Frankenstein" had surfaced but is now deleted, but you can watch a video of them playing the album's single, "Trainwreck 1979," below.
As we mentioned, DFA 1979's tour will be hit NYC's Terminal 5 on November 28. Tickets for that show are still available.
More pictures from the show (including one of the setlist), and that video, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Frankie cosmos & the gang giving me some serious chills at their moma performance today <3 <3 got stars in my eyes - Shriya
Completely loved seeing @FrankieCosmos perform her beautiful songs today at MOMA. Perfect summer afternoon surprise. - Mary Steenburgen
NYC-based twee pop/anti-folk-inspired singer/songwriter Frankie Cosmos (aka Greta Kline) recently returned home from tour and last night (8/14) she graced her hometown with an early evening, outdoor show at MoMA, part of their ongoing MoMA Nights series. We're used to seeing her in DIY NYC venues like Shea Stadium and Silent Barn, so this was a special show, seeing Greta and her band -- Porches. frontman Aaron Maine, his brother David, and Eskimeaux (aka Gabby Smith) -- in MoMA's gorgeous courtyard. (It was also a far cry from the frat she played at University of Chicago on tour.) In the audience, her father Kevin Kline could be spotted, as could fellow actor Mary Steenburgen (who tweeted her review, as you can see above). Did you go? What did you think?
More pictures from the evening, below...
August 14, 2014
Nina Persson, Jessie Ware & Fans @ Flow Fest (8/8/14)
The first day of Flow Festival began with a cruise around the Helsinki archipelago. The folks at Visit Helsinki invited press on an hour-long cruise that circled Suomenlinna (where I visited the day before) and stopped on Lonna Island, once home to a 19th Century Russian mine storage that was re-opened to the public in May.
From there it was on to Suvilahti, a power plant which closed nearly 40 years ago, which Flow Festival calls home. 'Flow Talks' were in progress when we arrived. I took some time to explore the grounds and get a lay of the land. The thing you quickly learn about Flow is that it's manageable. There's plenty to see and do but getting from one place to another is not as overwhelming (or impossible) as say Lollapalooza.
My festival began outright with three Finnish bands. I made a quick stop by the Main Stage to catch a bit of alternative rock band Risto before hustling over to the Blue Tent for the penultimate performance by Magenta Skycode. The Turku-based band is calling it a day and this was their final performance in Helsinki. For me, their blend of atmospheric, guitar-driven rock, and soaring vocals was the highlight of the day. Talking with Finns afterward, I learned there was a lot of nostalgia and a sense that they would be missed.
At the Other Sounds indoor stage was Finnish singer-songwriter, Joose Keskitalo. Keskitalo's easy set was a mix of hushed folk and old-timey songs and was a nice and marked contrast to both of the previous bands.
The Main Stage featured two solo singers back-to-back with The Cardigan's Nina Persson and UK pop chanteuse Jessie Ware. Between the two, Ware's performance was the better as she assuredly moved across the stage, engaging the gathering crowd. She also sprinkled her set with new songs from her forthcoming sophomore record.
I left Persson's set early to catch Slint who are back together after another hiatus. Their droning post-rock set was perfect for the dark environs of the Black Tent.
My festival night ended at Flow's most intriguing and beautiful stage - the Balloon 360-degree Stage. The crowd swayed in unison under the colorful glow of the giant ball to the hypnotic, guitar-inflected songs of Tuareg outfit, Tinariwen.
The night didn't end there though. A bunch of us ventured off to an afterparty behind Suvilhati right out by the water where a DIY sauna was located. DJs played a range of dance music deep into the night. Beer was sold out of a van, three cans for 10 euros. Some people sprawled out on the asphalt while others jumped into the water for a late-night swim after hitting up the sauna. As I left, the sun was coming up and the party was still going. But at least a few hours of sleep were needed if I wanted to be at all functional for Day 2.
Day 1 final thoughts:
One thing I noticed in my walkabout at the Main Stage were the no alcohol signs as you approach. If you want to drink, that's fine, just don't expect to get close to your favorite main stage artist. Alcohol is not allowed inside a roughly 50-yard perimeter. So, inside the alcohol-prohibited area you have plenty of space, especially toward the back to enjoy the show and not worry about people perilously holding three beers and two gin and tonics trying to maneuver their way through a packed crowd to friends at the front. I can't even begin to express how nice that is.
The other thing you notice is the trash on the festival grounds. Or I should say lack thereof. Reading about Flow prior to leaving for Helsinki I came across this stat: "In 2013 out of all the waste created at the festival 95% was recycled." 95%. That's mind-boggling.
And the grounds reflected it. As I moved among the crowd, I was genuinely startled if I stepped on a plastic cup or accidentally kicked an empty beer can because it was the exception and not the rule. The level of social responsibility at Flow far surpasses that of any festival in the United States. Or at least any U.S. festival I've attended.
Pictures from Day 1 continue below...