Recent Posts in pictures
July 23, 2014
photos by Chris La Putt
Speedy Ortiz @ 4Knots 2014
Modern Life Is War recently announced two club dates to happen this summer at Philly's First Unitarian Church on 8/29 and NYC's Bowery Ballroom on 8/30. Since we last spoke, openers have been announced for both shows. Direct support on the Philly date will come from MLIW's Deathwish labelmates Self Defense Family, and on the NYC show it's heavy shoegazers Nothing (who were in NYC a few days ago for a free show with Ceremony and Iron Lung). Opening both dates will be DC punks Give and Iowa psychedelic band Land of Blood & Sunshine. Tickets for Philly and NYC are on sale now.
Speaking of bands who just played free NYC shows being added as openers to hardcore shows, Speedy Ortiz, who just played 4Knots, were added to the Fucked Up show happening at Irving Plaza on September 6. Tickets for that show are still available. Speedy will return to NYC not long after that for two shows on their tour with Ex Hex.
We already posted one set of pictures of 4Knots, and another batch of Speedy's set is in this post. They continue, with lists of Speedy and Nothing dates, below...
"there is a 2 year old up in the balcony rocking out harder than most people at Joyce Manor right now." - Jenna L
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
It was technically an "in-store," which at Rough Trade still means it happens in their concert room, but all you had to do get in was buy the record at the store and the band played an early opener-less show that started just after 7 and was over by 8. One might assume an early show like that would be a calmer one, but that wasn't the case. Joyce Manor went from 0 to 60, beginning their set with "Catalina Fight Song," the first single and most aggressive song off the new LP, and the crowd was already ready to raise fists and yell back every word. The next few songs came with maybe a second of space between them, packing one minute and a half punch after another.
The band split their set pretty evenly between the new album and their 2011 self-titled debut (and with the lengths of their songs, they got to play almost all of both), but threw in some treats too. The last time I saw them, "Violent Inside" was the only song played off their under-appreciated second album, and that was played last night but so was a revved up version of that album's "See How Tame I Can Be," which the band pointed out they've only ever played a few times before. They reached back to their 2010 EP for early fan favorite "Five Beer Plan" too. The wildest moments came from S/T standouts "Leather Jacket" and "Constant Headache," which by far triggered the most stage diving of the night and ended up with both singers' mics in the crowd, but the response for the new material was great too. Perhaps the reason Joyce Manor don't play much of their second LP live is that they see the more ambitious record as more of a studio project, but the new album successfully combines the first two. It gives them the chance to rock out like their earlier material, but it was clear hearing a song like "Schley" next to a song like "Constant Nothing" that their songwriting and structures are continuing to progress.
More pictures from Rough Trade below...
July 22, 2014
words by Andrew Sacher, photos by Chris La Putt
Nude Beach at 4Knots earlier this month
We mentioned not long ago that local power popsters Nude Beach signed to Don Giovanni, and the band have now announced that the label will release their new album, 77 (which may or may not be a reference to the year many of their influences were released), on October 21. Its first single is the track "I Can't Keep The Tears From Falling" and if you liked their last album, or power pop from 1977, you'll likely dig this too. Check it out below.
No upcoming dates at the moment, but they did play their hometown earlier this month at the 4Knots Festival. We already posted one set of pictures from that festival, and there's another set of Nude Beach in this post. More, with the new song stream, below...
photos and video by Greg Cristman, words by Ian Chainey
Black Anvil @ Saint Vitus 7/20/2014
Blackened thrashers Black Anvil celebrated their new album, Hail Death, by playing it in its entirety at NYC's Saint Vitus on Sunday (7/20). Bathed in red light and the flicker of a few candles, the NYC-based quartet featuring ex-members of gimmick-less NYHC band Kill Your Idols seemed to tower over the crowd as shadows, unleashing ferocious trem after ferocious trem. Vocalist/bassist Paul Delaney threw his body into the groove, inciting the crowd to do the same. The guitarists, Sos and Gary Bennett, flanked Delaney and drummer Raeph Glicken, one covered in grime, the other hidden in a hood. During "My Hate is Pure," John Chernack of openers Fantom Warior jumped to the stage for a guest spot. For fans of their newer material like "Still Reborn," which Joseph Schafer called ". . . the best thing Black Anvil have ever written" in his Invisible Oranges review, it was an exhilarating night.
Black Anvil shared the Saint Vitus stage with three others. Yellow Eyes, the buzzy black metal trio who have been gigging often, demonstrated why they've built a dedicated following off the backs of 2013's Hammer of the Night and their January-released single The Desert Mourns. Jersey cult thrashers Fantom Warior followed. Reformed in 2012, they're giving hope to old-school metalheads that a follow-up to their 1987 album Fantasy or Reality might be closer to the second word in that title. Psalm Zero, the experimental duo featuring Charlie Looker (Zs) and Andrew Hock (Castevet), moved in near synchronicity while backed by a drum machine, offering intense takes on the blackened/industrial amalgam that's their adventurous debut LP The Drain. Though all the performances were strong, the night belonged to Black Anvil. Hail Death indeed.
Pics from the whole night, plus videos for Psalm Zero and Black Anvil, below...
July 21, 2014
Grimes / Kendrick Lamar / Slowdive
The 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival wrapped up yesterday (7/20) after two previous days of fun in Chicago's Union Park. It was an especially diverse day with plenty of hip hop (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Isaiah Rashad), flourishes of heavy offerings (Deafheaven, Perfect Pussy), a highly anticipated reunion from Slowdive, plenty of indie rock/pop (Grimes, Majical Cloudz, DIIV, Real Estate, Dum Dum Girls, Speedy Ortiz) and even more. Here's how the Sunday of Pitchfork Fest went down...
By the time I arrived on Sunday, Speedy Ortiz were well into their set on the Blue stage and playing the fan favorite "Taylor Swift." Speedy's recorded material has always oozed personality and attitude, and their live show does as well. Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis comfortably ad libbed lyrics with various shouts and word extensions throughout their set. The band polished off their live-wire performance with a couple of tunes from their Real Hair EP and their new song "Bigger Party." -ZP
Over on the Green stage, Bandcamp sweethearts Mutual Benefit simultaneously opened up the fest's final day with a few of their sweet, melodic tunes. With an entire live band backing frontman Jordan Lee's soft-spoken, almost falsetto vocal range and feather light lyrics. The crowd was surprisingly full for the early afternoon set, and many closer to the band seemed to know every word off of its debut studio album Love's Crushing Diamond. Highlights included a heartfelt rendition of "Golden Wake" and a take on "Advanced Falconry" perfect for warming people up for the rest of the day. -AG
DIIV kicked off the first show on the Red stage yesterday and played for a fairly large early afternoon crowd, beginning their set with a new song called Follow . The band jangly guitar indie pop made for some excellent summer jams. Keeping with that theme, they played a few tracks that showed hints of surf rock, and the lead singer Zachary Cole Smith wore a colorful flamenco looking shirt that Prince might be proud of. -MM
Syracuse rockers Perfect Pussy drew a huge crowd on Sunday, surprising even lead singer Meredith Graves. Their set was short but powerful, not unusual for a band whose last record, 2014's Say Yes To Love, clocks in at around twenty one minutes. After a lengthy sound check, a rarity for the band, they didn't waste time getting into their set. While they sounded excellent, the real highlight of the show was, as always, Graves' fantastic performance as a vocalist and frontwoman. Her theatrical dancing stood in delicious contrast to the pure energy of each song. The crowd barely got a chance to calm down from one pit before another song crashed down, opening up an even bigger floor. Although the band seemed a bit flustered by the crowd and the midday heat, they never let up, quickly running through hits off of their debut album and demo, touching on fan favorites such as "Interference Fits," "Advance Upon The Real," "I," and "II." -AG
Next up were Deafheaven on the Green stage. The California crew began their set with the glimmering Sunbather opener "Dream House," and proceeded to match the weather with equal parts soaring shoegaze and metal assault. Lead guitarist Kerry McCoy expertly segued the band into "Irresistible," and then to "Sunbather." That block was followed by their spacey new tune "From The Kettle Unto The Coil," which contains a traditional metal breakdown in the middle. George Clark's guttural shrieks glided effortlessly over the riffage, and he's quite the frontman too, thrashing about the stage. Deafheaven closed their incredibly moving performance with "Unrequited" off of 2011's Roads to Judah. Not all "metal" acts are appropriate for a daytime slot, but Deafheaven were damn near a perfect fit. -ZP
After Deafheaven, I headed over to the blue stage to catch a bit of Isaiah Rashad's set. As one of three TDE rappers of the day (along with Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q), Rashad stood out with his southern flow, relaxed vibe, and raspy delivery. He drew a huge crowd, who danced and sang along to "Heavenly Father" and "Menthol" off of this year's Cilvia Demo. You can hear a bit of guys like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper in Rashad's delivery, and with the amount that the crowd was feeling it, it'll only be a matter of time before he rises up to their level. -ZP
Continuing the hip hop block, next up was Earl Sweatshirt on the red stage. His DJ played a few songs before Earl came out -- Chief Keef's "3Hunna," Tyler the Creator's "Sandwitches," etc. -- and when he finally took the stage, Earl had the crowd sing along to about half of "Don't Stop Believin'" as it played over the PA. When he actually got started, the first song Earl played was "20 Wave," accompanied by Odd Future associate Domo Genesis. Downtempo tunes from Doris hit much harder than I expected them to, and the crowd was hyped on it. He took things to another level by playing the very heavy "Kill" from his debut album Earl. Earl's been touring quite a bit lately and that definitely showed in his live performance -- he's become a showman and has so much control over the audience. Before playing "Molasses," he had the crowd repeat its hook back -- "Ima fuck the freckles off your face, bitch." -ZP
Dum Dum Girls had some minor technical difficulties before starting their set, but once things got going they sounded great. As usual, they were in matching outfits, and played a mix of the old and new. My personal favorite from the set was "Rimbaud Eyes", an excellent single from their recent Too True LP. -MM
One of the most anticipated sets of the day by many was Schoolboy Q's late afternoon performance on the Green stage. The party rapper got things started with his hit "Hands on the Wheel," and then jumped to 2014's Oxymoron for "What They Want" and "Gangsta." He reached back to his debut studio album Setbacks for "Druggys wit Hoes," and the crowd went nuts. Q's a fine addition to any festival, offering hyped-up vibes and heavy beats. -ZP
Craving some shade, I went to check out Jon Hopkins over at the Blue stage. His seemingly dance-focused set was based upon a series of glitchy Immunity tracks, including bits of "We Disappear," "Open Eye Signal," "Breathe This Air," and others. The Blue stage was simultaneously the place for those who wanted to dance and others who'd rather take a seat and nod their heads along. -ZP
I was fortunate to see Majical Cloudz perform as an opener for The Soft Moon a few years ago and it was great seeing how much more confident the duo had become since then. Frontman Devon Welsh sported his never changing plain white tee and black pants and started a few songs with countdowns that the crowd enthusiastically chanted along with. I was hoping Welsh would later join Grimes on stage during her set to play their collaborative "Nightmusic" from Grimes' Visions album, or maybe their recently unearthed demo about an obese cat. Grimes played the former, but Welsh was nowhere in sight. -MM
Shoegaze legends Slowdive played their first U.S. show as a reunited band this Sunday. While the crowd seemed to mostly be waiting for headliner Kendrick Lamar, who was playing on the same stage a few hours later, their true fans did make themselves known, responding enthusiastically to classics off of their unforgettable 1993 release, Souvlaki. Slowdive lived up to the precedent set by fellow reunited UK shoegazers, My Bloody Valentine, playing a loud, intense set. Songs like "When the Sun Hits," gained a heavy, aggressive edge, giving Deafheaven a run for its money in respect to ferocity. Softer tunes like "Allison" lulled the crowd into a collective bliss. -AG
After that on the Blue stage it was DJ Spinn, who was initially going to perform with his collaborator DJ Rashad before Rashad's untimely passing, but decided to stay on the festival and perform his own set which Chicago Tribute called "a thrilling display of the "ghetto house" sound that has thrived in the city's South Side neighborhoods for the better part of two decades."
Canadian pop sensation Grimes was the penultimate performer of Pitchfork 2014, an honor she did not take lightly. In addition to running through classics, Grimes treated the crowd to two relatively new songs and one for which she was still working out the lyrics. She had seemingly boundless energy, dancing feverishly throughout her entire set. She seemed to be having the time of her life, playing with multiple synthesizers and vocal reverb to create the image of DJ set. This was clearly a different Grimes than we have seen in the past - she was confident, loud, and ready to party with the audience. Fans went crazy for Grimes classics such as "Circumambient" and "Oblivion," and stayed dancing even for her lesser-known songs, such as "Be a Body." However, the highlight of the set was undoubtedly the last few songs. After premiering a new song on which she had just completed production to a rousing response from the audience, Grimes treated the crowd to "Phone Sex," a Blood Diamonds song on which she is featured. She then broke out her dance floor-ready hit, "Go," to the delight of the audience. It was clear when the drop hit in "Go" that this was a new, supersized Grimes, ready to take the world's dance clubs by storm and become the next EDM sweetheart. Always the performer, she closed out her set with her biggest hit to date, 2012's "Genesis." -AG
Sunday headliner and festival bookend Kendrick Lamar put on a helluva show with his excellent four-piece band behind him. Lamar began to hold court with the good vibes "Money Trees" and very live "Backseat Freestyle" off of good kid, m.A.A.d city. The pro band managed to handle every little nuance contained in Kendrick's beats, and there are plenty of 'em. Unlike most of his peers, Lamar isn't much for cutting songs halfway through. Almost all tunes, with the exception of "The Art of Peer Pressure," were performed in their entirety. Virtually undisputed party song "Swimming Pools (Drank)" came next, followed by the boom bap of "m.A.A.d city." The last tune I heard before splitting was the chilled out "Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst." Kendrick provided the perfect ending to the day and the entire festival. -ZP
photos by Ryan Muir
Jones cutting a rug w/ audience member @ Lowdown Hudson Blues Fest
Jones waltzed through her catalog with tight vocal technique, annunciation and grit on her fast paced jams and sweet flow on her ballads. She covered Gladys Knight and humorously imitated Tina Turner. Jones had it all - humor, personality, moves, energy and incredible talent. - The ExaminerModern soul purveyors Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings played a triumphant set last week, closing out the first night of the Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival at Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza in downtown Manhattan. The crowd was eating it up, and she even brought up a couple audience members to dance onstage. We've got pictures of the show -- including opening sets from the No BS Brass Band and Lake Street Dive -- in this post.
Meanwhile, Jones's label Daptone has a bunch of stuff going on these days. NYC funk chameleons The Budos Band are prepping a new album called Burnt Offering, out 10/21, and have have just released a single called "The Sticks," which supposedly takes its inspiration from Black Sabbath and Pentagram, which strange as it may sound is a pretty good look for them. Budos Band have a tour coming up and they'll play in NYC at The Wick on October 25. tickets are available now. All dates are listed below.
Labelmate Naomi Shelton also has a new release on the way, with Cold World coming out on July 29. She'll also be playing that free Rough Trade show we told you about on the day the album drops. All dates are listed below.
Finally, Charles Bradley, another Daptone artist, has a new single out with LaRose Jackson that's exclusive to 7". Its called "Luv Jones" and it can be previewed below and ordered here. Bradley will be on tour for much of the rest of this year, including a couple NYC shows that we've already mentioned -- a free Llincoln Center Out of Doors show on 8/10 and a Beacon Theatre show in October with the Afghan Whigs. Check out the full list of Bradley dates below.
More pictures from Night 1 of the Lowdown Hudson Blues Fest, as well as streams for the new Budos Band song, the Charles Bradley preview, and upcoming dates for Budos Band, Naomi Shelton, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Charles Bradley, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Calvin Love / Las Rosas @ Seaport Music Fest 7/18/2014
With spiky hair and a black jacket with flower-accented lapels, Calvin Love looks like a character out of Less Than Zero. His music fits that too, dusty desert rock, heavy on the ethereal synths. Which made for pretty good setting sun music at the Seaport Music Fest this past Friday (7/18). He played a few new songs, hopefully he'll announce a new record soon.
Opening the night was local band Las Rosas who I had somehow managed to never see before Friday, despite playing all the time. Glad to have finally caught them: as far as '60s-style groovy surf/psych, Las Rosas do it very well, and look the part too. They're maybe NYC's version of the Allah-Las. Pictures from the night are in this post.
Like we said, Las Rosas play a lot and there are a few chances to catch them in NYC: July 31 at Glasslands with Juan Wauters and Cassie Ramone (tickets); then August 19 at Union Pool with Spider Bags (tickets). They also play two NYC shows with Shannon & the Clams: September 9 at Union Pool and September 12 at Palisades (tickets).
All Las Rosas dates are listed, plus more pics of their and Calvin Love's Seaport Music Fest show, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Ume @ Pianos - 7/18/14
Austin guitar shredders/hair whippers Ume put out a new album this year and have been on tour in support of that. The tour included a run opening for post-hardcore prog rockers Circa Survive which hit NYC last Thursday (7/17) at Bowery Ballroom. Ume then stuck around the city to play a smaller show at Pianos (7/18) the next night with UK electropop quartet CYMBALS. We caught Ume's sets at both of those shows, and pictures of both are in this post.
More, with their list of remaining tour dates, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Oneida w/ James McNew @ Glasslands 7/17/2014
Joining the band for this show, as he did at Glasslands last year, was James McNew of Yo La Tengo and Dump, whose bass playing mingled nicely with the swirling controlled chaos on the stage. Although technically a four-song "set", this set had a similar structure, with a 40-minute sequence of "Cedars" into "Economy Travel" adding two shorter songs, "Cock Fight" and "You Get Brighter" (a 48-minute version of which appeared at the 2013 Glasslands show) to round it out. We expect to see some of these compositions whittled down to album length for a future release, but in a way that'd be a shame. This act's sound cannot be contained on a few pieces of plastic, nor can their songs properly be culled to one right "version". The beauty is in the expression of it at a given time on a given night-the very reason live recordings exist in the first place. - [NYC Taper]Oneida, augmented by Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew, played Glasslands on Thursday (7/17), the first date of a short summer tour. Pictures from their set are in this post and you can stream the whole thing below, and download it over at NYC Taper.
Opening the night was noise-n-rhythm trio, Beech Creeps, the current band of ex Ex Models' Zach Lehrhoff that also features Luke Fasano (Yeasayer / People Get Ready) and Mark Shue (The Library is on Fire, Monster Crunch). You can catch Beech Creeps in a couple weeks when they play Rockaways spot Rippers on August 9 with Call Of The Wild and Giggly Boys. That's a free afternoon show.
Dysrythmia @ Glasslands
In betweeen were another trio, instrumental metallers Dysrythmia, one of Kevin Hufnagel's many projects that also features Colin Marsten. Dysrythmia's next scheduled show is playing the second night of Virus' two night stand at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus on October 25 (tickets).
More pictures from the show and the Oneida set stream, below....
July 20, 2014
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Zach Pollack and Milos Markicevic
Neutral Milk Hotel / St. Vincent / Danny Brown @ P4K Fest 7/19/2014
Day 2 of the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival featured a headlining set by Neutral Milk Hotel, plus sets from St. Vincent, Wild Beasts, Danny Brown, FKA Twigs, tUnE-yArDs and more. Pictures and field report from Saturday's goings-on are in this post. Here we go...
Day 2 began with an early afternoon set from locals Twin Peaks. Although guitarist/main vocalist Cadien Lake James was confined to a wheelchair due to a recent leg injury, the band still managed to put on the kind of appropriately rowdy performance that they've become known for. James and co. got things started with the Sunken standout "Stand in the Sand," and they also played their great, newish single "Flavor" off of their forthcoming LP Wild Onion. James traded lead vocals with fellow guitarist Clay Frankel and bassist Jack Dolan throughout the set. Before playing their final tune, James seemed to be feeling reflective -- he offered, "This is definitely our high point so far in our... whatever the fuck this is." -ZP
After Twin Peaks, I moved over to the nearby red stage to catch the Chicago debut of Brooklyn-based rapper Ka. Ka was able to hold a sizable crowd with his down-tempo beats and methodical delivery. His slow-moving tunes contain rich lyrical content and are undeniably impactful. Before playing the somber cut "Summer," he spoke about how the season in his Brownsville neighborhood isn't full of bikinis and BBQs, but rather an increased level of violence -- he also acknowledged that we've got a very similar summer landscape here in Chicago. Memorable numbers from his performance include "Our Father" and "Jungle." -ZP
Saturday's P4K-goers were treated not to one, but two Elephant Six Collective bands, both of whom have been touring together. Circulatory System was the first of the two, (the other being the day's headliner Neutral Milk Hotel) playing a solid set of '60s-influenced indie rock under the cool shade of the Blue Stage. Each of the band's members played multiple instruments, casually adding everything from a clarinet to a xylophone, with frontman Will Cullen Hart even contributing some additional drumming. One highlight was an excellent instrumental interlude, a duet between the band's violinist and cellist. The band played some new songs off their most recent release, Mosaics within Mosaics, which was released earlier last month. Fans of Yo La Tengo had a lot to enjoy here. - MM
Back over at the Red Stage, Merrill Garbus and the rest of tUnE-yArDs were a few songs into their set and playing "Hey Life" off of their 2014 LP Nikki Nack. In addition to bassist Nate Brenner, two backup vocalists and a percussionist rounded out the band. This allowed for expanded versions of Whokill favorites "Gangsta" and "Bizness." The additional members took a breather during "Powa," providing the room for Garbus and Brenner to experiment a bit. Though the project is now more pop-forward, tUnE-yArDs' funky and jammy backbone was still able to peek through. -ZP
Danny Brown intended to throw a party during his Pitchfork Fest set. The Detroit rapper sprinted back and forth across the stage while performing fan favorites like "Break It (Go)," "Smokin' and Drinkin'," "I Will," "Bruiser Brigade," and "Kush Coma." It was without a doubt the funnest set of the day, and Brown appeared to be having just as much fun as the massive crowd watching him perform. -ZP
Swedish techno minimalist The Field played a largely ambient set to a crowd that was eager to get out of the sun and recharge before the day's headliners played. The set started slow but progressively built up to include a live drummer. Generously borrowing stylistic cues from early Warp Record signees like Aphex Twin, The Field kept things simple and steady, opting for a more IDM approach. The set might have been better suited for a venue with less light, but listeners, myself included, were entranced throughout. - MM
St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) brought her now-choreographed performance to Pitchfork Festival for an evening set on the red stage. The choreography only enhances and doesn't hinder her guitar heroics and pitch perfect vocals. Clark and her band began their set by playing "Rattlesnake" into "Digital Witness" into "Cruel." For "Cheerleader," she mounted her podium-like setup and the song was played slower than usual, reminding me of "We Are The Champions." During "Birth in Reverse" the band left room for a freak-out section, and Clark ended up kneeling on the stage to headbutt her drummer's bass drum. Clark has consistently reinvented what St. Vincent is from album to album, and has now honed the live chops to be able to play to whichever attribute she'd like. -ZP
Headliners for the night were storied indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel whose two '90s album have become massively influential since main man Jeff Mangum dropped out the music world shortly after making 1998's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That has turned the band into a huge draw for their current reunion tour and his songs still hold power. The fests big projection TV screens were turned off for the performance that showcased favorites from the band's two albums. (Setlist is below.) NYC can expect the same when Neutral Milk Hotel play Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park on Tuesday (7/22) and Wednesday (7/23). Tickets are still available for Tuesday's show.
Pictures from Day 1 of Pitchfork Fest are HERE and HERE and a second set from Day 2 (including FKA Twigs) are HERE and Day 3 are HERE. More of Day 2, including sets from Pusha T, Empress Of, and Wild Beasts, below...