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February 9, 2016


Last year, NYC got its first-ever three-day country music festival, FarmBorough. It was recently announced that it would return in 2016, but now it's been cancelled. They write:

FarmBorough Festival will not return to Randall's Island in June of 2016.

All of us at FarmBorough Festival appreciate the support we have received, but conditions dictate that we redirect our energy at this time.

We appreciate the opportunity you afforded us to present FarmBorough in New York City, and apologize for any inconvenience.

Info on refunds here.

This is a rough blow to the founders, whose are already up against Panorama Fest coming in to compete with their established Governors Ball. Earlier today, GovBall revealed its daily lineups.

Scott Aukerman Paul f Tompkins

As mentioned Scott Aukerman is taking Comedy Bang! Bang! on the road with Paul F. Tompkins, Lauren Lapkus, and Neil Campbell along with him and dates include an early and a late show at NYC's Gramercy Theatre on May 13. Demand is high -- our presale sold out -- and they've added a second night at Gramercy Theater on May 14 with an early and a late show too. Tickets for the 3/14 EARLY SHOW and LATE SHOW are also on BrooklynVegan presale -- use code BVBANGBANG.

Tickets for both nights (four shows total) go on sale to the general public on Friday (2/12) at noon.

photo: Battles at Saint Vitus in 2015 (more by Greg Cristman)

Math rockers Battles are playing shows in 2016 behind last year's La Di Da Di. They're heading on a big European tour before they come back to the U.S. and play NYC's Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 26. That's right before they play Boston Calling. Tickets for the MHOW show go on sale Friday (2/12) at noon.

Check out all tour dates and the video for "The Yabba" below...

Continue reading "Battles touring, playing NYC before Boston Calling (dates)"

photo: Charles Bradley at Bowery Ballroom in 2015 (more by PSquared)
Charles Bradley

Soul great Charles Bradley releases a new DVD Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band - Live From The House Of Soul this Friday (2/12) via Daptone. Here's the description:

The first installment of Daptone Records' new video series, Live From The House Of Soul. Directed by Poull Brien and shot in the backyard of Daptone's House of Soul in Bushwick, Brooklyn, features Charles Bradley at his best with the Menahan Street Band. Charles Bradley's voice has evolved from a lifetime of paying dues, having nomadically labored for decades at various day jobs from Maine to Alaska - singing and performing in his spare time - before re-settling in his hometown Brooklyn and eventually finding a musical home at Dunham. In his distinctively rough-hewn timbre one hears the unmistakable voice of experience - each note and gruff inflection a reflection of his extended, sometimes rocky, personal path. It's only fitting that producer, Brenneck (also a member of The Dap-Kings and The Budos Band), would recognize in Bradley a kindred musical spirit - a singer whose performances exude both raw power and poignant beauty.
To get an early taste of that, we're premiering a clip of Charles playing "Confusion" from the film, where he sounds great as ever. Check it out below.

As you may know, he's also got a new album and tour on the way.

Continue reading "Charles Bradley releasing a live DVD this week (watch a clip)"

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

Silkken / Pith and the Parenchymas / Claude Munson @ Megaphono 2/4/2016
Megaphono 2016 Day 3
Megaphono 2016 Day 3
Megaphono 2016 Day 3

My Day 3 of Ottawa music conference/festival Megaphono began in earnest at The Record Centre - a record shop trafficking in new and used records, guitars, audio equipment and turntables - and a pleasant afternoon of alternative-folk bands presented by Music Ontario.

I walked into the americana sounds of the John Punch Band. Having developed a devoted following over ten years together with a blend of socially-conscious gospel-tinged, alt-country, they debuted their first full-length just last year. Singer-songwriter Jillian Kerr followed and despite battling a lingering cold, still belted out simple, melancholy songs about heartbreak with a raspy voice that sounded a bit like Lydia Loveless. The real find of the afternoon was the last act, Claude Munson. A singer-songwriter from Ottawa, his distinct, plaintive voice soared over beautiful, ambient folk-pop textures. I ventured to the back of the record shop and sat down, content to let myself be immersed in the moment.

From there it was a quick bite to eat and then over to Happy Goat Coffee where I caught a set by Travis Kinnear who goes by Fire Antlers. Think Mac Demarco and you're almost there, think Real Estate too and you pretty much have Fire Antlers in a nutshell. It was a pleasant set, but there are so many bands out there putting out the same kind of music that it struggled to hold my attention.

With temperatures dropping into the bitter range, I hoofed it over to House of Common to try and catch the quirky keyboard-driven, electronic pop of Toronto duo Ice Cream. I spent two songs outside as the venue was at capacity but made it in for the last song. Instead of rushing back to the Happy Goat, I opted to stay warm where I was and catch Pith and the Parenchymas. It was a loud, menacing set of freakish pop that started out a little rough. So much so, I wasn't sure what to make of it but by the middle of their set I was won over. But it was also so loud that even with earplugs it was uncomfortable and I left to the relative quiet and emptiness of Babylon, the last stop of the evening.

The venue was pretty much empty when I arrived but filled in nicely for the evening's headliner, Silkken, a project featuring members of The Acorn. A straight-up dance party is what the night turned into as Silkken's electronica/dance-pop had the crowd bouncing about, and, for the second night in a row, found some of the audience up on stage dancing along.

Recap and pictures from Megaphono day 1 are HERE and day 2 are HERE. More pics from day 3 are below...

Continue reading "Megaphono fest day 3 pics/review: The Acorn side project Silkken, Pith and the Parenchymas, Claude Munson & more"

photo: Lamb of God at Hammerstein Ballroom in January (more by Nick Karp)
Lamb of God

After finishing up their tour with Anthrax, Deafheaven and Power Trip, Lamb of God are heading out on another major tour with very cool openers. They'll be joined by Corrosion of Conformity and Clutch for that run, and they'll be in the NYC-area for a Long Island show at The Paramount on May 17. Tickets go on Citi presale today (2/9) at 2 PM, on LiveNation presale Wednesday (2/10) at 10 AM, and on sale to the general public Friday (2/12) at 10 AM.

Check out those tour dates and music from all three bands below...

Continue reading "Lamb of God, Corrosion of Conformity & Clutch announce tour"

by Andrew Sacher

Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are unquestionably one of America's biggest legacy bands, but music nerds of a certain variety know they're also way more than that. They weren't just a fun-in-the-sun band that churned out hits in the early '60s and lived off of them for the rest of their career; they were a challenging pop band who broke boundaries and released music that still sounds vital today. Forget Beatles vs Stones; when it comes to all-time groundbreaking pop, it's Beatles vs Beach Boys.

Pet Sounds is their obvious classic, and it turns 50 this May. The band's mastermind Brian Wilson is playing the album in full on a tour this year that hits Red Bank in NJ, Levitation fest in Austin, Primavera Sound in Spain, and many more spots.

The great and storied (and eventually released) Smile was supposed to follow that, but was aborted after Mike Love's objection to it and the label's demand for a deadline. Brian's mental health also got in the way.

Their power was in more than just those two albums though. There are hardly any Beach Boys albums that don't have at least one worthy song, and as far as this list is concerned, they've got 28 albums. (We're counting Smile and not counting Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, as it's just re-recordings of older songs. No compilations, live albums or strictly-covers albums either.)

Even by The Beatles' breakup, The Beach Boys had released more, and they've currently put out more than The Rolling Stones. They were an unfuckwithable force in pop music into the early '70s, and a few moments of greatness even existed after that. With this list, we attempt to rank the discography of one of pop's greatest bands from worst to best. Let us know how you agree or disagree in the comments, and read on...

Continue reading "Beach Boys Albums Ranked Worst to Best"

by Dominick Mastrangelo

Andy Shauf / Duchess Says @ Megaphono 2/3/2016
Megaphono 2016 Day 2
Megaphono 2016 Day 2

I was told throughout the week that the Ottawa winter I had entered was mild by their standards. And rushing past the sad, completely empty Rideau Canal - usually bustling with ice skaters - on the way to the keynote address on Day One drove that point home.

So, waking up on Day Two of Megaphono and seeing a dusting of snow, the streets and sidewalks already slushy from the morning commute, was a reminder that snowy and bitterly cold are very much synonymous with Ottawa and Canada in general.

After participating in panels and networking events during the day, my show-going began at Pressed Cafe, a coffee and sandwich shop and the Folk Music Ontario-presented showcase featuring three singer-songwriters: Danielle Allard, Amanda Lowe, and Michael Feuerstack. Megaphono is heavily focused on Ottawa talent and thus I had only heard of a few bands heading into the festival and seen only one of them previously and that was Feuerstack.

Leading off the afternoon session was Danielle Allard. Through most of her set, especially the ones where she was playing guitar, I kept thinking how much she reminded me of Ingrid Michaelson, with an engaging voice that lies somewhere between Michaelson and Jenny Lewis. Allard's humor and self-effacing nature made her set a winning start to a long evening of shows.

Sri Lankan singer-songwriter Amanda Lowe was next and played sweet and sad songs about ex-lovers. Feuerstack rounded out the afternoon singing smartly-worded songs over hushed acoustic guitar melodies. "You turn your head for half a second / And someone's carrying them away to make somebody stay," he sang on "Flowers in the City." It was good to see him perform again having last seen him at Pop Montreal a few years ago.

Megaphono 2016 Day 2

From there it was back to St. Alban's Church where I caught former Timber Timbre violinist Mika Posen and her new solo project Merganzer. The church was the perfect setting for her haunting experimental pop, backed with a band and her own mellotron-like "mikatron" providing loops and samples.

Headlining the sold-out showcase was Andy Shauf, a singer-songwriter whose easy-going '70s soft rock is layered with a pleasing voice that drifts heavily toward Elliott Smith. I could have stayed but I wanted to catch Boyhood over at the Dominion Tavern so I ducked out a bit early.

Arriving at "The Dirty Dom" they were near capacity as Boyhood, led by Caylie Runciman, powered through scruffy alt-pop songs with her band. It was a slightly ramshackle but completely winning set and I enjoyed it immensely.

I escaped the crowd for a bit, heading next door to Zaphod Beeblebrox to catch The Pep Tides, an effervescent collective glammed-up in B-52's-esque outfits singing theatrical pop songs. I stayed for a few numbers. It was fun but I wanted to make sure I had a decent spot for the last show of the night, Duchess Says, so I headed back over to The Dom.

BV's given Duchess Says a lot of love over the years and I'd somehow never managed to catch their live set. Annie-Claude Deschenes was more ringleader than frontwoman, cajoling the crowd to get down on the floor, covering them in a clear plastic tarp at one point, she hopped into the crowd at another and took a swig out of someone's beer. People danced on the stage as Deschenes screamed and howled and made terrifying faces. In a dive like the Dominion Tavern with the crowd pressed up close, it was intense and feverish and a great end to the second day of Megaphono.

Pictures and recap of Megaphono's first day are HERE. More pic from day 2 are below...

Continue reading "Megaphono fest day 2 pics/review: Duchess Says, Andy Shauf, Boyhood, Michael Feuerstack, Merganzer & more"

by Bill Pearis

Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby has released the first single from his upcoming third album, Singing Saw. Punctuated with Spanish horns, a choir and a killer bassline, "I Have Been To The Mountain" is a great first taste of the LP. (Lyrically, it's about Eric Garner who died tragically after being put in a police chokehold.) The video, directed by Phillip Lopez and starring dancer Nathan Mitchell, posits that death may not be the end. It's sad and fanciful all at once. Watch that below.

Morby has expanded his 2016 tour, adding many new dates, including a run with Jaye Bartell. That leg includes a stop in NYC at Rough Trade on June 22. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/12) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (2/10) at noon.

Kevin will also be in NYC this weekend, taking part in the Planned Parenthood benefit Valentine's Day show at Music Hall of Williamsburg that also features Mac DeMarco, Mark Eitzel, Boss Hog, Delicate Steve and more. Tickets are still available.

He also plays a collaborative show with Eric D Johnson (Fruit Bats) and Sam Cohen this weekend.

All Kevin Morby tour dates are listed, along with the new video and song stream, below...

Continue reading "Kevin Morby shares first single and video from new album, expands tour (updated dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

Sarah P

As you may know, Keep Shelly In Athens singer Sarah P left the band in 2014 and their last album, 2015's Now I'm Ready, brought in new singer Myrtha. Now Sarah P has gone solo and recently released her debut EP, Free. It's up a similar alley to KSIA: ambient, electronic pop. We've got the premiere of the video for "I'd Go" off that EP, which you can check out below. Here's what Sarah says about it:

This is obviously a homemade video (the song is also homemade, btw - I recorded its vocals at home with my phone). The past two years I've been constantly searching for the home I've come to find in Berlin. Now, all happy and settled, I'm celebrating by sharing my music and a video that's showing the real me. I'm not the "mystery girl", I'm not the "mysterious Sarah P." - I never was. I'm a childish woman and nobody can stop me from being one. If there's anything I stand for with all my heart is the "Go be you" motto!
Watch it, and stream the whole EP, below...

Continue reading "former Keep Shelly In Athens singer Sarah P went solo, made a video for "I'd Go" (watch)"