July 27, 2015
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Porches played what was probably their biggest show to date in Prospect Park on Saturday night. Lines for the show, which was headlined by North Carolina electropop duo Sylvan Esso, were wrapped around Prospect Park in multiple directions before doors, and that meant a capacity crowd for an opening band. Thousands of Sylvan Esso fans were waiting for their headliner to come on, inside and outside the "Celebrate Brooklyn" gates. That could be a disaster for an opening band, but it definitely worked in the NY band's favor, which was clear by the loud applause during and after their set. They did in fact sound great. Sylvan Esso, who covered Porches last year, also expressed their fandom and apprecation later in the show.
Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos was on bass and some vocals for the show, but sadly that will never be true again. Greta confirms she is leaving Porches to focus more on Frankie Cosmos.
Like we guessed they might be, Porches were added to one of the Brooklyn dates of the Exploding In Sound extended weekend. Porches play 8/20 at Baby's All Right with their former EIS labelmates Pile, Grass Is Green, Two Inch Astronaut and Washer. Tickets are still available.
Pics of Sylvan Esso at Prospect Park coming soon. More pics of Porches below...
Total Control's tour starts this weekend, and they'll be in NYC at the end of the week to play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday (8/1) with Lust For Youth, Sannhet, and Flesh World. Tickets are still available. They've just added a second NYC show, playing Palisades the day before (Friday, July 31) with Crazy Spirit and Nandas. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Updated tour dates and a stream of last year's Typical System, below...
photo: Youth Lagoon in Chicago in 2013 (more by Cory Dewald)
Youth Lagoon already announced a small NYC show for 9/21 at Rough Trade, which unsurprisingly sold out quickly, and now he announced several more tour dates including a much larger show here.
The tour is in support of Youth Lagoon's upcoming album, Savage Hills Ballroom. Listen to "The Knower" from that album, with the list of tour dates, below...
by Bill Pearis
Featuring original Soundgarden bassist Hiro Yamamoto and ex-Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel, '90s Seattle band Truly was primarily driven by singer/guitarist Robert Roth and together they crafted heavy psych that was tied to grunge but pretty unlike anything else going on at the time. The band released an EP on Sub Pop in 1991 but didn't get around to making their debut album, the conceptual Fast Stories...From Kid Coma till 1995 which was released by Capitol Records. It's a real lost gem from that era, employing keyboards, strings and other then out-of-fashion elements, while still being heavy and melodic. A YouTube stream of the album is below.
Truly, who reformed in 2008 and have been performing live sporadically ever since, will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Fast Stories with a fall tour that kicks off at NYC's Mercury Lounge on September 22. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
photo: Cymbals Eat Guitars at Best Buy Theater earlier this month (more by Mimi Hong)
Cymbals Eat Guitars are currently on the road with Say Anything (pics from NYC), and they'll wrap that tour up in Las Vegas this Friday (7/31). After that CEG have dates of their own, including a return to Brooklyn in the fall. That show happens November 7 at Rough Trade with Solvey and Painted Zeros. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday at noon.
All dates are listed, with the video for "Warning" off last year's great LOSE, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Joe Plummer, who you know as drummer for Modest Mouse, The Shins, The Black Heart Procession, Mister Heavenly and Cold War Kids, now has a new project called Built In Sun, which his him and his former Black Heart Procession bandmate Pall Jenkins (vocals). They're set to release their self-titled debut album on August 7 (pre-order), and we've got the premiere of its new single "V."
If you like any of the bands Joe also plays/played in, you'll probably dig this too. It's warm indie rock with some Loaded-era VU influence, and it's no surprise that two indie veterans pull stuff like this off with ease. Listen, along with other album tracks "Honeybear" and "Due to Rain," below.
words and photos by Klaus Kinski
Roger Waters @ Newport Folk Festival 7/24/2015
The 2015 Newport Folk Festival was definitely one for the history books. For example, this year's festival marked the 50th anniversary of when some man named Bob Dylan (in)famously decided to go electric. This move totally flipped the wigs of many of his deadbeat hippie/beat fans and created a deep chasm among his many devotees. As a matter of fact, on Saturday July 25, exactly 50 years to the day that Bob went electric at the Festival, the very Fender Stratocaster that Dylan used back 1965 to go electric made an appearance at the festival. The guitar, which Dylan left on an airplane like a doofus back in 1965, ended up in the hands of the plane's pilot until 2012. In 2013 the pilot's daughter put it up for auction where it fetched almost a million US dollars and ended up in the hands of Indianapolis Colts football team owner Jim Irsay.
Cool story bro. However, for me, the festival was all about the highly anticipated and very surprising headlining set by former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters. The Newport Folk Festival is notorious for selling out before the line-up is even announced. So when the Fest announced that Waters would be headlining opening day of the festival (Friday July 24), a lot of people in possession of Friday tickets were extremely stoked, while millions of Roger Waters/Pink Floyd fans without tickets were extremely bummed out. I was one of the bummed out legion until fate intervened on my behalf and I miraculously found myself in attendance.
When Roger announced on facebook on May 21, 2015 that he would be participating in the 2015 Newport Folk Festival and promised "an intimate appearance specifically crafted for Newport Folk," the ambiguity of his declaration had Floyd-heads reeling at the possibilities. Would he be doing a full scale performance of "Dark Side" or "The Wall"? Or even stripped-down versions? Would he be performing his seminal 1992 album Amused to Death in full? After all, Friday July 24 also happened to be the day "Amused to Death" would see a large-scale, multi-format re-release.
What the Festival audience ended up getting from Waters was better than any of the above, in my opinion. For rather than use his headlining slot as an opportunity to remind us of his immense back catalog, both as a solo artist and as Pink Floyd's primary creative force, Waters took the opportunity to deliver a diverse setlist that not only gave a hearty nod to his work with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, but he used the opportunity to pay homage to the festival's history, the legacy of folk music, and to hit us with the ultimate double-whammy; performing a brand new, never-before-heard song while playing piano in front of a crowd, according to Waters, "for the first time ever."
Waters was preceded by a scorching eight-song set by My Morning Jacket. As the dust settled from their 8th song, MMJ remained on stage as Roger Waters sauntered out with Amy Helm (daughter of the late Levon Helm), G.E. Smith as well as Lucius and Sara Watkins. These folks, combined with My Morning Jacket, banded together and served as Roger's explosive and unbelievable back-up band.
Roger kicked things off by performing that new, powerful, and no doubt provocative, song called "Crystal Clear Brooks," which has its origins as a poem penned by Waters that he brought to light back in 2014. He followed that with the Pink Floyd classic "Mother" which segued into one of my personal favorites from Amused to Death, "The Bravery of Being Out of Range." At this point in the set, he switched gears and performed a really great cover of John Prine's "Hello in There" which is a sad reflection on aging and the fact that life is basically one long casting off. Sort of a cross between "Death of a Salesman" and Hanson Towne's "Around The Corner." Ugh, get me a pistol. Anyhow, from there they moved into Floyd territory and unleashed another song about loss and longing; the classic "Wish You Were Here."
At this point, the rain was REALLY coming down and besides being soaked to the bone and shivering like an orphaned dog, I was also officially coming to terms with how well-crafted and totally unpredictable this set was. He followed "Wish You Were Here" with Buddy Miller's "Wide River to Cross," a song completely foreign to me but played beautifully by the assembled musicians and expressed superbly through Waters' vocals. The next three songs were completely Waters territory; the band tore into the title track from "Amused to Death" with staggering results and then headed into "Dark Side" territory with flawless renditions of "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." They company closed out the set appropriately and paid tribute to The Newport Folk Festival in general and Bob Dylan in particular with a version of Planet Waves' "Forever Young."
At some point towards the tail end of this magnificent set, the rain tapered off, the clouds began to part, and the sun finally began to reappear again. Roger Waters had assembled an amazing crew of musicians and pulled off a truly amazing, unpredictable, and fulfilling performance that lacked ego and pretension.
Unfortunately, Roger doesn't have many live dates coming up in the near future. However, he will be performing at Dar, Constitution Hall, in Washington DC on Friday October 16, 2015. Billed as "Music Heals" the concert will feature Roger Waters, the musicians of MusiCorps, and will feature special guests Bill Corgan, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello. More info:
Music Heals: an exceptional one night only concert where some of the world's biggest recording artists will join forces to raise money for MusiCorps - a charity supporting injured service men and women and their families. The MusiCorps Band is made up of injured service members who have learned, and in some cases relearned, how to play instruments through the charity. MusiCorps is a non-profit charitable organization which helps wounded veterans play music and recover their lives. Praised by the Wall Street Journal as "revolutionary," the conservatory-level program enables the wounded to learn, relearn, and perform music as a core part of their rehabilitation.Tickets for this show are on sale now.
In honor of the re-release of Roger Waters' 1992 solo album Amused to Death, we are giving away a limited edition 2xLP picture disc to one lucky person. Details on how to win are below.
Pics, videos, and setlist below.
words and photos by Klaus Kinski
My Morning Jacket / Tallest Man on Earth @ Newport Folk Fest 7/24/2015
The 2015 Newport Folk Festival once again took over Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI from Friday July 24 through Sunday July 26 and delivered tens of thousands of concert-goers an ecclectic line-up of acts presented upon four stages scattered across the sprawling 216 year old former US Army complex. Your man Klaus was (inexplicably) handed a coupla tickets and a photopass to the Friday July 24 installment of the fest. So I grabbed my crappy camera (and my comparatively questionable photography skills), packed a backpack, met up with Brother Klaus, drove up to Jamestown, RI, hopped on an early AM ferry, and spent the next 12 hours on Fort Adams taking in what is one of the most famous music festivals in the world.
As a person prone to depression, anxiety, claustrophobia, fear of crowds, an unpredictable temper, a disdain for heat, and a generally erratic mood spectrum that most people find repellant and troubling, any summer festival scenario is a potential perfect storm for lunacy and meltdown for me. But from the second I stepped onto that AM ferry bound for Fort Adams to the second I stepped off the ferry back in Jamestown that evening, I experienced a sustained sense of happiness, contentment, and wonder that I probably haven't felt since some Christmas day way back in my early childhood a million years ago. First off, for almost the entire day, the weather was absolutely stunning. The thermometer barely broke the 78 degree mark and there was zero humidity in the air which made any shady areas feel like springtime and a welcome respite from the direct sunlight. The air was so crisp and dry that the generally cloudless sky was a smurfy blue and everything around me looked high-definition. And being on a sort of peninsula, Fort Adams enjoys sea breezes from three different directions that always seemed to keep the heat at bay. In addition to that, the festival grounds are so sprawling and so rife with attractions that there is plenty of room for everyone and plenty of places off the beaten path to explore. The only bummer weather moment came towards the tail end of My Morning Jacket's set when it started to drizzle. The drizzle turned into a downpour of thick, shotglass sized raindrops that lasted well into Roger Waters' set. However, by the close of Roger's set the storm had broken and sunlight began streaming through the clouds in way that evoked High Renaissance paintings. The sky then morphed into the pinkest/purplest, most beautiful sunset your man Klaus has ever seen.
Although the "Fort Stage" is the main and largest venue of the festival, I tended to spend most of my time wandering around the perimeter of the superbly curated and constantly jam-packed "Quad Stage." The Quad Stage is the second largest performance venue of the festival and is located in the expansive, walled-in grounds in the heart of the fort that I believe were historically regarded as the parade grounds. The Goodbye Girls and Bahamas were the first two bands booked at the Quad Stage, but I spent most of their time slots simply exploring Fort Adams. However, I made sure I was at the Quad Stage in time for the retro-R&B stylings of the great Leon Bridges. Hitting the stage at 1:35 PM on the nose, Leon and company tore through an immaculate 50-minute set of vintage Motown-esque soul numbers that the crowd could not get enough of. If you filmed his set in black and white, added some grain, and told me that I was watching footage from the 60s, I'd believe you. He and his bandmates use instruments and wear clothing reminiscent of the classic R&B era, but they pull it off so expertly that it never feels corny or vaudeville. This is earnest, well executed, vintage R&B, and though it isn't my thing, I thought it was fantastic.
After pouring a few beers and some water down my throat it was back to the Quad Stage to check out Calexico. Calexico is a band I have very mixed feelings about; their recorded material puts me to sleep. People tell me "But you gotta see them live" which is a cop-out that I despise. But there they were, and there I was, and you know what? It was flippin great! This is Newport Folk Festival, and Calexico are definitely folky, but they employ dashes of rock and country so well that, live, it really floated my boat. Maybe it's my younger years as a ska aficionado rearing its ugly head, but I really loved the horn arrangements. Among the tunes they played, "Falling From The Sky", "Fortune Teller", and "He Lays in the Reins" (performed with Iron & Wine) really brought it. If it wasn't for this fest, I probably would have died never seeing Calexico live, but I am really glad I caught them.
After Calexico, I headed out to the main "Fort Stage," where I planned to set up shop for the rest of the evening's performances. At 4 PM sharp, The Tallest Man on Earth took the stage for a fantastic hour-long full-band set. I've only seen The Tallest Man on Earth, aka Kristian Matsson, once before a few years back and at the time time he was performing solo (like he did at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival). This time around, backed by a full-band, he brought a sound that had no problem filling the expansive main stage area while still maintaining a major sense of intimacy with the space. Matsson is a phenomenal lyricist and guitar player, but he's also an extremely funny and animated performer. NPR has the entire performance and you can stream it below.
There was about a 30-minute intermission between The Tallest Man on Earth and My Morning Jacket, so as Tallest Man was wrapping up I waddled back over to the Quad Stage to have some beverages and to catch up with a friend. At that time, Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell were in the middle of their set. As my friend and I were talking, I noticed that Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell were playing a song called "There's No Way Out of Here" that not only appeared on Unicorn's David Gilmour-produced 1976 album "Too Many Crooks" but which David Gilmour also performed on his 1978 solo effort "David Gilmour" and which basically clammed in Europe but became sort of a radio hit here in the states. Ironic, considering David Gilmour's former bandmate Roger Waters was headlining this very festival.
The 5:30 PM main stage slot remained unannounced by festival organizers, so when My Morning Jacket took the stage at 5:30 PM, the crowd went absolutely batshit (especially ones who don't read this website). People were even more batshit surprised eight MMJ songs later when they remained on stage and were joined Roger Waters, Amy Helm (daughter of the late Levon Helm), G.E. Smith as well as Lucius and Sara Watkins who all served as Roger's back-up band. More on that later though. I honestly haven't seen or paid much attention to My Morning Jacket since I saw them at Webster Hall 10 years ago; a show I left feeling bored and uninspired. But whoa jeez their set at the Newport Folk Fest absolutely crushed. Nobody told me they got good. For me, "Believe (Nobody Knows)," "Compound Fracture," "Tropics," and "In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)" from their album The Waterfall absolutely blazed. Their sound was epic and they elevated the energy level to a fever pitch, just in time for Roger Waters' highly anticipated 2015 Newport Folk Festival debut.
More photos from Tallest Man on Earth and MMJ at Newport Folk Fest day 1, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
The legendary Dr. John saw his 40+ year reinvigorated this current decade with the release of 2012's Dan Auerbach-produced Locked Down. (He since followed it with a Louie Armstrong tribute album last year.) He's on tour now, having just hit the NYC-area for two Long Island shows over the weekend: The Space at Westbury on Saturday (7/25) and Westhampton Beach PAC on Sunday (7/26). We caught the latter, which gave us some of Locked Down, some Louis Armstrong, and also classics like "Walk On Guilded Splinters" and "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya." Pictures of that one are in this post.
Dr. John's tour continues, hitting Connecticut on Tuesday (7/28), and comes to NYC proper for a free Central Park SummerStage show on Saturday (8/1). That's a daytime show (3 PM) and Amy Helm (who backed Roger Waters at Newport Folk Fest over the weekend) is opening. All of Dr. John's dates are listed, with more pictures, below.
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
Titus Andronicus @ Shea Stadium
Titus Andronicus' ambitious new 29-song rock opera takes them through a ton of different sounds, all while keeping the aesthetic of raw garage punk band. Night 4 of their sold-out 5-night run at Shea Stadium.
Culture Club @ Beacon Theater
The original lineup of '80s icons Culture Club didn't make it over as planned last fall but are here now for their first of two nights at Beacon Theatre. Expect multiple costume changes, plus all the hits and probably a few songs from their new album, Tribes, that's due out early next year.
The English Beat @ City Winery
If you aren't too concerned that Dave Wakeling is the only original member of the band, and don't mind hearing General Public songs too (and maybe even "She's Having a Baby"), you'll probably have a good time singing along to "Save it for Later," "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Tenderness."
U2 @ MSG
Rock and pop superstars U2 are now a little more than halfway through their eight-show run at Madison Square Garden. As you may have heard, Bono, The Edge and crew have managed to reinvent the stadium spectacle for this tour -- which is just what you'd expect from them (and these ticket prices).
Dawes, First Aid Kit, Andy Shauf @ Central Park SummerStage
For a good triple bill of folk music, Central Park is pretty much the place to be tonight. Three different nationalities will be represented, with LA's Dawes, Sweden's First Aid Kit, and Canada's Andy Shauf.
Krallice, Radiation Blackbody, Feast of the Epiphany @ Acheron
Local black metal greats Krallice appear to be teasing a new album, but while we don't have any real details on that, we do know they and their related projects remain active as a live band.
Mas Ysa, Kelsey Lu, Michael Beharie, Wish @ Baby's All Right
Once a fixture on the Brooklyn DIY scene, Mas Ysa (aka Thomas Arsenault) now lives in Upstate NY. His danceable debut album, Seraph, just came out and he celebrates tonight in his former home.
Nels Cline & Scott Amendola with the Les Paul Trio @ Iridium
There's rarely a lack of chances to catch guitar great Nels Cline in NYC. Tonight he's with The Les Paul Trio at the Iridium for two shows (8 PM and 10 PM).
Night Train w/ Aparna Nancherla @ Littlefield
Aparna Nancherla fills in for regular Night Train host Wyatt Cenac and welcomes guests Rob Cantrell, Ayanna Dookie, Guy Branum, and Robert Dean.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
Follow BrooklynVegan on instagram.