Entries tagged with: Bowery Ballroom
Nat Baldwin, David Longstreth and Brian McOmber play Black FlagNo, that's not a list of what happened in a weird dream last night. That is the LINEUP of a NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on May 22nd in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Michael Azerrad's "classic history of the '80s indie underground", Our Band Could Be Your Life (a book everyone reading this site should probably own!)
Delicate Steve plays the Minutemen
Ted Leo plays Minor Threat
Titus Andronicus plays the Replacements
Tune-Yards plays Sonic Youth
Dan Deacon plays the Butthole Surfers
St. Vincent plays Big Black
Wye Oak plays Dinosaur Jr
Buke & Gass plays Fugazi
To quote show co-presenter Tiger Mountain Presents, "some of the best bands in contemporary indie music will play songs by each of the 13 bands in the book."
"For years, all kinds of people -- musicians, people who run labels, concert promoters, journalists, whatever -- have told me that they've been very inspired by Our Band Could Be Your Life and the bands it profiles, which is incredibly gratifying and totally unexpected," says Azerrad. "The tenth anniversary of the book was a great occasion for the current generation of bands to celebrate these pioneers."More bands & guest hosts TBA. Tickets are $25 & go on sale Friday, 3/11 at noon.
Meanwhile the book will also be the topic of a panel discussion at SXSW that Merrill Garbus aka tUnE-yArDs (who is also playing the festival) will speak on.
Delicate Steve and Wye Oak are going to SXSW too. Wye Oak can be found at the BV/KF/Partisan day party at Swan Dive on Friday, 3/18. Wye Oak will also play Bowery Ballroom as part of a tour in April.
St. Vincent plays Big Black. I just felt like saying it again!
photos by Amanda Hatfield
"Dum Dum Girls take their minimalism seriously, from their stripped-down girl-group rock to their decision to limit their stage names to a single invented moniker. Singer Dee Dee, guitarist Jules, bassist Bambi, and drummer Sandy barely acknowledged the sold-out crowd at Johnny Brenda's on Saturday night, or each other, for that matter. Dee Dee, whose real name is Kristin Gundred, parted with a few words at the beginning and end of the hour-long set, but other than that, she was all business.One night before the Philly show Dum Dum Girls brought their tour with Dirty Beaches to Bowery Ballroom. As you know, a new iteration of Frankie Rose was also on the bill, as was MINKS who played the same venue with Wild Nothing and Abe Vigoda not long ago. More pictures from the Friday night NYC show, including a semi-legible one of the DDG setlist, are below...
Business, it turned out, was good, good enough to justify the ferocious buzz that has built around the band since it released its first album, I Will Be, last year." [Philadelphia Inquirer]
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
"The set was a kind of live greatest hits, with Jackson tearing through countless signature tunes like "Mean Mean Man" and "Funnel Of Love." A few selections from The Party Ain't Over included "Shakin' All Over" and "You Know I'm No Good," which was impressive to hear rearranged for a four-piece band without a horn section. As she mentioned in regards to her new album, Wanda's performance was a showcase for all the different points of her career. Starting in country, moving to rock, then back to country, then gospel; Wanda has tackled them all and brought that variety to her show. Her backing group, The Lustre Kings, gave Jackson plenty of room to dominate the spotlight. This show belonged to Wanda, but she was plenty willing to share the fun." [Ugly Rumors]That review comes from the 2/22 Philly show at World Cafe Live. Wanda Jackson & the Lustre Kings continued their tour at Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (2/24). Unlike in Brooklyn or on Letterman, Jack White and friends were not the backing band this time, but the show was sold out nonetheless (just not as fast). More pictures from the Bowery show below...
For a sold-out show, the audience was oddly quiet and subdued for much the evening, but the laid back atmosphere was a perfect match for the first band of the evening, MINKS. As the members of MINKS walked on stage, they casually surveyed the crowd and began to play without uttering a single word. At their posts, they stood as still as stick figures, virtually motionless.
For such pleasantly upbeat music, the surprisingly lively "Cemetery Rain" aside, their performance was surprisingly deadpan - even with additional musicians helping out. (Are you really 'happy' to be playing, Sean Kilfoyle? Really?) They were a morose version of the Crayon Fields (but with female vocals added to the mix). Singer Amalie Bruun may be the most listless tambourine player I've ever witnessed, but I found myself oddly drawn to her. (Would she start to dance? Maybe smile a little? Open up between songs? No. Not so much.)
Up next was Abe Vigoda who immediately imbued the room with a bit of life, thanks largely to the poppy keyboard solo in their opening number, "Dream of My Love." Throughout their set, the LA group kept things interesting by switching instruments - often mid song. The drummer was especially good at jumping around on stage from instrument to instrument. The audience, however, remained largely reserved. "What? Are you scared to dance?" asked the keyboard player after a few songs. "It's fun."
As if responding to the challenge, one audience member tried half-heartedly to get a mosh pit going, but the movement didn't catch on. People did at least loosen up a bit though - especially by the time Wild Nothing began to play.
Like MINKS, Wild Nothing is a fun blend of sunny pop and subdued shoegaze, but they were definitely peppier than their opener. They even had girls dancing on stage for the beginning of their set.
"You're very polite and quiet and it freaks me out," admitted front man Jack Tatum. He was right. It was kind of weird. Much of the room seemed to be under a trance. (Maybe it was the combination of it being a Sunday and the night before Valentine's Day.)
After playing a few newer songs and a brief cover (Primal Scream's "Velocity Girl"), Wild Nothing closed their initial set with "Summer Holiday," which actually got more than a few people dancing. Following the warm applause from the crowd, they returned for a quick encore - the song "Bored Game," which seemed appropriate, given the lyrics ("I don't feel right without you") and the number of couples in the room.
Abe Vigoda played in Manhattan again last night (Valentine's Day) at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the venue's "Radio Happy Hour" series. Abe and Wild Nothing play a recently-added Brooklyn show at 285 Kent tonight (2/15). Fergus & Geronimo has been added as opener and advanced tickets are on sale at Desert Island Books (540 Metropolitan Ave | 718.388.5087). MINKS' next NYC show is with Dirty Beaches and Dum Dum Girls who they head out on tour with this month. After Brooklyn, Abe and Wild Nothing continue on tour together. All remaining dates and more pictures from Bowery Ballroom, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Friendly Fires paid a visit to NYC to play a headlining show to an energetic crowd at Bowery Ballroom Monday night (2/7). They played a mix of old and new songs - about seven new songs, or eight if you count "Kiss of Life". Their new album is out this spring. The full Bowery setlist is below.
On Wednesday they hit LA, and then that's it for the UK band this time around. They return for SXSW in March, but don't do a proper tour until May which is when they're back in NYC to headline Webster Hall.
No opener has been announced for the upcoming tour, NYC show included, but The Hundred in the Hands were the support last night at Bowery. More pictures from the show and tour dates below...
words & photos by Chris Gersbeck
The British music press would have you believe that the Vaccines' first U.S. appearance would be akin to that of the Beatles'. Was it? No, of course not. But it was a good debut performance, albeit a short one.
Mississippi's Young Buffalo opened the night (not to be confused with Young the Giant who were playing over at Mercury Lounge), with their guitarist and drummer switching instruments halfway through. Both members were great on each. Think the Dodos, but with a greater emphasis on guitar. Brooklyn's Oberhofer were next, playing a frenetic and layered performance as the crowd at the Bowery thickened. Oddly, it seemed like the audience didn't quite know what to make of them. Songs would end and there would be a sort of awkward pause before any kind of response, but that could just be because their songs generally ended with feedback. Though Oberhofer's (ultra) quiet-loud-quiet dynamic definitely got the crowd's attention more than a few times.
As skeptical as I try to be about shows like this, I have to admit--you could feel a sort of anxious vibe in the air awaiting the Vaccines' arrival. They didn't disappoint. The Vaccines' songs were uniquely structured, played with the intensity and precision of a band that's been around for years (they only just formed last year). It's "garage rock" that we may have heard before, but that didn't make it any less fun. Ending their 30 minute set with the Standells' "Good Guys Don't Wear White", most memorably covered by Minor Threat, cemented my opinion that this is a band worth checking out again.
The Vaccines and Oberhofer do it again Saturday night at Glasslands (sold out), and look for both bands at SXSW in March as well. More pictures (including the written setlist) and a video (of the band covering Minor Threat) from the Bowery show, and some other videos, below...
New York Dolls at Irving Plaza (more by Tim Griffin)
Mick Burgess: As far as style goes Cause I Sez So was probably the most varied New York Dolls release to date and in many cases was quite a departure from your rock`n`roll roots. Will you be spreading your musical net widely again or will you be keeping things simple and direct?New York Dolls are welcoming their follow-up to Cuz I Sez So, fifth LP and third since reuniting, Dancing Backwards in High Heels on March 15th via 429 Records. The band have scheduled a show for the following day to celebrate; Bowery Ballroom is the location for the March 16th party. Tickets go on sale Friday (1/21) at noon. The show is the band's lone 2011 date thus far.
Sylvain Sylvain: What they love us for is "Personality Crisis", "Looking For A Kiss", "Trash" and stuff like that but we've already done that. We don't have to make records. We have a name which we can use and perform probably for the rest of our lives. That's not the kind of musicians and performers that we are. We're doomed to write songs whether they are good or not, are well received or not, or flop like they did in the beginning. We were told that we didn't know how to sing, we didn't know how to write and we couldn't tune a guitar so why even bother, but you know what? We thought we looked pretty damned good doing that, even if it was a big crash. We had the last laugh though. It's like those guys that'll say "You only had one hit" but at least we got there once!!
The tracklisting and album art for the new LP which was produced by Louis XIV's Jason Hill, and some videos, below...
photos by Ryan Muir
"Honus Honus and Nick Thorburn shared vocal duties, creating a unique blend of sounds. The juxtaposition of their very different vocals is totally to their advantage. That is the same type of thing that makes Wolf Parade work so well. The songs had a lot of energy and bite on stage, and hopefully the energy doesn't get lost on the album. They seemed to be loose and having fun on stage, sipping Makers Mark and joking with the crowd. Cera played a great bass, even if his back was turned away from the crowd most of time. He seemed to shy away from the attention, which one can understand. Even with his celebrity status he was an integral component of the band that fit in well." [WAWSTSF]Speaking of Scott Pilgrim, Michael Cera was in fact playing bass last night for Mister Heavenly at Bowery Ballroom. More pictures from the show, including of the setlist, below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Lee Fields & the Expressions
Throughout the 1970s, North Carolina's Lee Fields was better known as "Little JB," owing to his considerable debt to James Brown's indomitable presence both onstage and on record. Sporting a similar coif and husky singing voice as Mr. Dynamite (as well as some of his fancy footwork), Mr. Fields failed to make much of a dent outside of the South, cutting one album in the 1970s and bouncing around through the next two decades. But with the soul revival at the end of the 20th century (see his tourmate, Sharon Jones), Mr. Fields has stepped outside the shadows of obscurity. On such albums as "Let's Get a Groove On" and 2009's "My World," he reveals himself as having quite the range: handling drum-fueled soul cries, tender ballads and slinky funk expertly.-[Wall Street Journal]One night before Sharon Van Etten filled the room, Lee Fields & The Expressions linked up with Michael Leonhart & The Avramina 7 for a soulful show at Bowery Ballroom. The Friday night (1/7) show was a one off show for both bands. Pictures from it, with both setlists, below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
Though I only caught Sharon Van Etten due to dinner plans that went longer than expected (everyone was raving about opener The War on Drugs though), I can say that Saturday night's show at Bowery Ballroom was an amazing and extremely emotional one. I knew it would be a special show. Headlining, not to mention selling out, the approx-600-capacity Bowery Ballroom is a milestone in an artist's career. It means even more when it happens to a beloved, local and talented artist who has worked her way up and truly deserves it. I didn't want to miss it.
The moment was not lost on Sharon either. In the most sincerest of ways, Sharon fought back crying (the crowd didn't always have as much luck) and often addressed her family, who not only seemed to be taking up one side of the entire balcony (with her parents in front), but were also peppered throughout the front of the crowd (most notably her cousin who made her voice heard more than one). Sharon often spoke to and thanked the entire crowd, and she played songs - new songs, very old rare and solo songs, and the 'hits' off her 2010 Badabing release 'Epic.'
If you've seen her lately, you know about the full band she now plays with (she mentioned that it was the band's first time playing Bowery Ballroom) (she has opened for other people there). The band, complete with a new keyboard player and the similarly-hair-styled Cat Martino on backing vocals, really round out her sound in a grand way. Megafaun's Brad Cook also played on some songs, and the Antlers' Peter Silberman sang one with her as the rest of the Antlers watched from the audience (she sang with the Antlers when she opened for them on the same stage, and she mentioned that Megafaun was the first band to ever back her on her transition from solo artist to full band).
But don't take my word for it... listen to/relive the whold show courtesy of NYC Taper's recording that you can download now.
The show closed with the most perfect cover of R.E.M.'s "Strange Currencies". Video of that, with more pictures from the whole show, and her (and opener Sebastian Blank's) setlist, and an updated set of Sharon's tour dates, below...
"Impassioned enviro rant by Patti Smith near the end of her concert last night at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Happy b-day, Patti." - TheEcoist
"patti smith @ bowery ballroom = one of the best concerts
i've ever seen" - beatrice rothbaum
Patti Smith celebrated her 64th birthday at Bowery Ballroom last night, 12/30. It was her second of three shows in a row. The third happens tonight, 12/31 - Patti's 12th New Years Eve show at the venue in a row. How were the shows so far this year?
On February 16th Patti makes another NYC appearance, but this time it looks like it will be more speaking than singing...
In celebration of her memoir Just Kids, Patti Smith takes center stage for this solo event where she discusses this impactful book, recollections of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and remembrances of New York City in the late '60s and '70s. The legendary American artist offers a never before-seen glimpse of her moving story of youth, friendship and sings some songs. Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has the rest of her formidable body of work--from her influential 1975 album, Horses, to her visual art and poetry.Tickets are on sale for the 92Y event.
A book signing will follow this event.
Earlier this month Patti made an appearance on the Colbert Report. As Colbert's website described it, "Patti Smith gives advice to young people who decide to throw away their lives and become artists." Check out video of that, below...
photos by Lionel Bergeron
"[Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.] played a short set of about 8 songs, most of them from their released EP from this year. They have a new album coming out this spring and it's just in time since they only have "like 3 CDs left," as the lead singer said during the show. They played a new track and it's definitely darker than the previous release, maybe they're spending too much time being depressed and lonely on the road...More pictures, and a video of the mask part, of Friday night's show, below....
...Live, they are quite entertaining. They dress in Nascar race suits and look like they're headed to get some "tires to the face" at a local track. They have some great lighted decorations that add to their fun showmanship. You can see it in "Vocal Chords" below, and it by far was my favorite song of the night.
Of course there were some entertaining moments when they invited some buddies to share the stage. They're definitely having fun with being musicians. [notes by spark]"
photos by Chris Becker
NY Press: You seem to be in a great place as a band right now. You're popular around the world, but still not so massive that connecting with your fans is a challenge. Do you have any fear that if you become bigger your music will become less meaningful?So far The Radio Dept made it through sold out shows at Knitting Factory and Bowery Ballroom. Hopefully Webster Hall on February 3rd isn't the one that kills them. Tickets for the new NYC show go on sale Friday at noon.
Johan Duncanson of The Radio Dept: Yes, it's been our biggest fear since our first single in 2002. We've never been interested in 'making it.' We just want to create something strong, meaningful and different--something that matters to us. We're shy people and not very confident on stage. When the band grows you start attracting the kind of people who expect you to act out when you're playing live. The rock audience. That's what will kill us in the end.
Braids opened for the band at Bowery Ballroom, like they did at Knitting Factory. More pictures from Bowery and all Radio Dept dates below...
Jeff Tweedy at Bowery Ballroom (via)
"The sound in the Bowery Ballroom was really excellent - A perfect place to see Jeff Tweedy solo. The crowd had been drinking pretty steadily for about 1 1/2 hours by the time Autumn Defense started their excellent set, and there was a lot of loud talking and a general "night out at the bar while a band plays in the background" atmosphere. John even made some snarky remarks to the tune of (not exact quotes) "Thanks for listening, the two of you" and that the Autumn Defense was a rock band "sort of", just loud enough that you could still "talk over them". This made me a bit nervous, because by the time Jeff took the stage, around 10:40, after what seemed to be an equipment issue delay, I wasn't certain that the liquored-up crowd would be able to quiet down. When Jeff first appeared, picked up his guitar and started picking the intro to Spiders, which were practically inaudible due to clapping/talking, I was even more nervous, but the crowd quieted down, and the few remaining talkers were forcefully and repeatedly shushed. Talking was not much of an issue throughout the rest of the show. At one point, Jeff thanked the crowd for being conscientious and quiet, to which somebody shouted "Should we get loud?". Jeff replied "Do you want to get loud?" to enthusiastic cheering to which he responded "Well, you came to the wrong show". Classic." [dvigs24]One night after Jeff Tweedy showed off his guest-starring abilities in honor of the Jewish holidays, the Wilco honcho performed another solo set at the sold-out Bowery Ballroom with The Autumn Defense (featuring Wilco bandmates John Stirratt and Pat Sansone). As you can see from the above picture, Stirratt & Sansone joined Tweedy on stage, assisting in the performance of "California Stars" and "I Got You" as part of the first encore. Full setlist from the Saturday night show is below.
The Autumn Defense also played the Living Room last night (12/5). How was that? Did Tweedy make another guest appearance?
Jeff Tweedy & The Autumn Defense continue their tour together and play Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY tonight (12/6). The show is sold-out, but there are still tickets available for Wilco member Nels Cline's Yuka Honda show at Le Poisson Rouge which is also happening tonight.
Bowery Ballroom setlist below (with some Maxwell's videos)...
photos by Lionel Bergeron
[At their first of two shows at Bowery Ballroom (11/18)], Tame Impala wowed a very sold out crowd... Though lead singer, Kevin Parker, gripped his throat throughout the set due to his strained voice, no one could complain about the band's gripping presence... Coupled with a stellar projector show of squiggles that danced to Parker's riffs, the band completely blew everyone's collective wig off with grinding guitar squeals and hardened, rhythmic percussion... Had Parker's voice been in perfect form, no one would have noticed. Lyrics are back-benched here in favor of psychedelic washes of sound. There was a wall of finely controlled squall that held us all rapt. [A Heart is a Spade]I have to agree with the band blowing everyone's wigs off, though I saw Tame Impala's second Bowery Ballroom show which took place one night later (11/19). We already posted pictures from the first night. This set of pictures is from night two which Stardeath & White Dwarfs and Kuroma also opened. All three bands are still on tour.
More Bowery pictures and some videos below...
"Great show. Though, totally unnecessary 3+ hour wait to get in." - Anonymous
Nicki Minaj & Kanye West @ Bowery Ballroom (photo by Questlove)
Kanye West played his entire new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy from start to finish, followed by a four song encore Tuesday night at the intimate Bowery Ballroom in NYC where Kanye literally brought in "all of the lights" (there were lots of lights). The show started with people who weren't Diddy (he walked right in) waiting on a long line. The show ended with Kanye going on a rant about racism, George Bush, Taylor Swift, the Today Show, etc. Audio of that final portion can be streamed below.
Album guest stars Kid Cudi, Raekwon, Jay-Z and RZA were nowhere to be found, but Terena Taylor, Bon Iver aka Justin Vernon (who might appear again with Kanye in the Thanksgiving Day Parade), Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj (who plays Hammerstein Ballroom on Thanksgiving), Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz, and John Legend (whose friend Questlove was in the balcony taking pictures) all performed at the show that started around 12:40am and was was over by around 2:15. Full setlist, videos and that audio below...
"Kanye reacts to getting a 10.0" (pic by Hipster Runoff)
As I retweeted earlier Monday night, TEYANA M.J. TAYLOR (who is "all over his new album") spilled the beans. "Just got to rehersals for my performance with mr Ye West tomorrow at the Bowery Ballroom 2morr. Dark Fantasy Baby!!!," she wrote. She since followed it up with a retweet of her own too. "At rehearsals with @TEYANATAYLOR & @KANYEWEST for their show tomorrow. They both just sat here and made another hit too..smh GENIUS," said Mo-Barz. And if rumors are true, it will be a full album performance of his (perfect?) new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. How does one get in?
That I have no idea (at the moment anyway). UPDATE: There are tickets.
photos by Diana Wong, words by Jared Levy
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, last summer feels more and more like a distant memory. So, how can a collection of bands whose music felt topical a few months ago sustain interest in the late fall and winter? In the service of answering this question and building on their success this year, the Spanish Balearic band Delorean, along with True Panther label mates Lemonade and Chicago indie-rockers Light Pollution, added a stop at the Bowery Ballroom, the perfect NYC venue to gauge their current appeal. And, judging by the near capacity crowd gathered as Delorean eased into their set, either New Yorkers cannot let go of breezy pop or these bands offer an infectious sound irrespective of season.
Speaking to the latter, the Brooklyn band Lemonade opened in a style befitting the night. With drums, bass, and electronics, the trio focused on explosive rhythms and playful samples of four-on-the-floor style dance music. In support, members of Delorean stood on the side, dancing and, in the case of one member of Delorean, wearing a sharpie penned Lemonade fan t-shirt. These bands are kindred spirits of sorts and their mutual support lent a familial feel to the show.
Following Lemonade, Delorean issued a quick sound check as the crowd packed in. Once on the stage, guitarist and sampler artist Guillermo Astrain triggered an ambient loop, presumably easing the audience into Subiza stand-out "Stay Close." This loop, however played far longer than expected, and after an apology for the uncertain glitch, the familiar vocal sample kicked in, sign posting the larger than expected opening song. Immediately the band embraced the energy of the room, with keyboardist Unai Lazcano shifting and jostling his set-up to the rhythm and drummer Igor Escudeo switching in and out of double time.
Where Subiza can feel a bit hollow, tracks such as "Real Love" sounded richer from lead singer and bassist Ekhi Lopetegi's melodic accompaniment. At times Lopetegi's voice got swallowed in the mix, highlighting the group's frustrating tendency to indecipherably blend song parts and sounds together, but Escudeo's precise drumming kept the crowd and band perpetually engaged. Also, between songs, an airhorn blast, reminiscent of being at a European football match, cut through the silence, another reminder of the band's foreign culture and approach.
Regardless of the temperature or one's temperament, Delorean makes effective dance pop. The crowd ecstatically clapped, jumped, and grinded throughout the show, displaying if for nothing else that Delorean creates music that moves bodies. But, beyond the revelry, Delorean taps into a sound that produces moments, rather than having context dictate its appropriateness. And, when judging the merits of a band, longevity beyond a limited seasonal window surely speaks to strong song writing and staying power.
More pictures from Bowery Ballroom below...
Sharon Van Etten at Bruar Falls (more by Jessica Amaya)
Sharon Van Etten just released a new 7" via Polyvinyl and is currently on the road with Junip. In December she plays some shows in Japan! In 2011 she'll return to the stage for a hometown show at Bowery Ballroom on January 8th! It's always exciting to watch someone book their first show at the 600+ capacity venue, especially when they can probably already list every other smaller NYC venue on their resume (and bigger ones too - as opener). Tickets go on sale at noon today (11/19). Let's pack the room.
Van Etten's current tourmates will be in NYC much much sooner, but she isn't opening the show. Junip (Jose Gonzalez's band) play Irving Plaza on November 24th but with Lost in the Trees. Tickets are still available.
Later in January Sharon will play even more US dates, and then in February she heads to Europe to open shows for the National.
Tour dates for both bands and some videos below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
"I'm glad I scrapped 6 different remixes for Tame Impala, because the one I have almost finished is 1000 times better then the last one" - Erol Alkan
"why the fuck would anyone even bother remixing tame impala? its like saying "this 1990 La Tâche would be better with more bubbles"" - Acid Jacks
DOWNLOAD: Tame Impala - Lucidity (Pilooski Remix) (MP3)
"head hurts from headbanging so much tonite @ tame impala/stardeath. pa' la cama to have sweet psyched out dreams of swimming in guitar riffs" - [cheep de ville]Tame Impala, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, and Kuroma played their first of two NYC shows at Bowery Ballroom last night (11/18). All reports say it was a fantastic show. More pictures from it, TI's setlist included, below...
Land of Talk
Living in Brooklyn, it's all too easy to get swept up in the thriving local music scene. After all, bands seem to be coming into existence faster than bedbugs in Bushwick. But Saturday night at the Bowery Ballroom featured tunes from another exciting musical oasis: Montreal, the home of all three of the evening's artists.
First on the bill was Little Scream, the captivating project of singer-songwriter Laurel Sprengelmeyer. Even her sparkly black leggings were outshone by her innovative songs, which seemed to constantly switch tempo and require a different series of emotions to pull off. She may have been alone on stage, but Sprengelmeyer's ferocious foot tapping took on the feel of a bass line, and her presence was easily impressive enough to fill the space.
Up next was the CMJ veterans Suuns. Unlike many of their musical peers, the guys from Suuns do not completely cocoon their music in reverb, distortion, and effects (though these things do have an undeniable presence in their music). Instead, guitar riffs and synth lines are provided with ample breathing room and remain distinct. Suuns may be feel repetitive to some but their music is a well-executed exercise in minimalism.
Suuns were not the main act, but its members seemed to get in the most stage time since Land of Talk's Lizzie Powell borrowed multiple Suuns members for help during her set, relying especially on Joe Yarmush on bass.
Of course, the spotlight was unmistakably on Powell... and her short, white lacey dress. With her pleasant (and dare I say wholesome?) voice, Powell could have easily forged a career at the top of the adult contemporary charts, but instead, she chose to use her voice and her songwriting skills for good. The combination of Powell's pensive melancholic lyrics and assertive guitar riffs is arresting. Here's a woman who seems to be equally comfortable with bearing her soul and shredding - often within the same song.
After allegedly playing a bajillion times at the Mercury Lounge, Powell repeatedly conveyed her excitement to be playing at the Bowery Ballroom. "I feel like I'm graduating," she joked at one point. "I'm dressed for the occasion," she said.
After concluding their initial set with a rowdier number, Powell prompted a change of pace for the encore upon seeing a pocket of fans start to dance/trample their fellow concert-goers.
Look alive, Brooklyn. Montreal is bringing the A game.
More pictures and Land of Talk's setlist from the show, below...
Robert Plant @ Bowery Ballroom on 9/12 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Missed Robert Plant's recent show at Bowery Ballroom? Listen to the whole thing below courtesy of NPR...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Ra Ra Riot
Syracuse, N.Y., band Ra Ra Riot borrowed elements from the Cure, the Smiths and New Order -- though much less morose -- and molded them into a string-filled sound that embodied indie rock at its best. Their upbeat energy lifted the packed all-ages crowd at the Nike Sportswear Stage. Beats were propelled by bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci and drummer Gabriel Duquette, but it was the engaging vocals of singer Wes Miles that moved this group. His emotive, high voice drew the crowd closer, and his ever thankful politeness -- he thanked the crowd numerous times throughout the hour-long set -- made him a fit for a young crowd he called "very attentive."...The above review comes from a recent Portland, Oregon show that was part of Music Fest NW, where Ra Ra Riot also shared a bill with Phantogram, like they did last night at Bowery Ballroom (9/21).
The group played copiously from its two albums, "The Rhumb Line" and the just-released "The Orchard." Their indie pop sound shined on tunes like "Boy," "Shadowcasting" and the uber-catchy "Too Dramatic." Their sound was less shoegazing indie and more celebratory pop, making for a strong start to the festival. Heck, some tunes would have even fit neatly into a Molly Ringwald-John Hughes movie.
New York synth-dance electro duo Phantogram proved a worthy warmup. Sarah Barthel's sweet voice floated over ethereal '80s and '90s style synth pop as guitarist Josh Carter used heavy effects to create solid grooves and a nightclub vibe. -[The Oregonian]
Last night was also Ra Ra Riot's first of four NYC shows and one of two sold-out shows at Bowery Ballroom (they play there again tonight with Lower Dens). On Thursday, RRR head over the river to Music Hall of Williamsburg for a pair of shows, with tickets to the first night (on Thursday 9/23 with North Highlands & We Barbarians) still available, though the second night (9/24) is sold out. After NYC, Ra Ra heads out on a bigger tour with more assorted openers.
The show was a tour kick-off for Phantogram who hit Rochester tonight and eventually make their way back to NYC for an October 29th show at Music Hall of Williamsburg with their tour-mate Josiah Wolf (of Why?). Tickets for the Brooklyn show are still on sale. Updated dates below.
More pictures from Bowery Ballroom, the headliner's setlist, and some videos from the show, with the dates, below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Patricia Scull
Dan Black @ Bowery Ballroom
Dan Black headlined Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night (9/10), one night before he played a pair of Fashion's Night Out events. Dan returns to play a dancey BMI & SPIN CMJ showcase at Highline Ballroom on on October 19th, eleven days after he is scheduled to play Austin City Limits 2010. Also playing that CMJ show are The Golden Filter, Neon Hitch, Boy Crisis, Body Language, and The Chain Gang of 1974. Tickets are on sale for those who don't have and/or want to chance getting in with a CMJ badge.
Pictures and a review of the Bowery Ballroom show, continue below...