Entries tagged with: Celebrate Brooklyn

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photos by Jessica Amaya

Laura Marling at Prospect Park - 6/14/12
Laura Marling

Laura Marling brought her tour to NYC for a free show at Prospect Park last night (6/14) with Michael Kiwanuka and Willy Mason. Here are some pictures from what was a perfect night outdoors.

Willy opened the show with a short set at 7pm sharp followed by crowdpleaser Michael Kiwanuka, who like Laura was here visiting from the UK, and who had played a sold out show at Highline Ballroom just one night earlier. To quote NPR (who will also be streaming some of the Celebrate Brooklyn shows this year), "Michael Kiwanuka combines roots and soul with such old-school, retro-sounding verve, it's hard to believe he's still a rising star -- let alone a 24-year-old." He was backed by a full band and his set included a Jimi Hendrix cover (one of his inspirations to play guitar).

I was afraid that Laura had to follow him, but those fears were washed away seconds into her set; she need not ever fear being the headliner. Captivating the crowd for over an hour (With no encore. She doesn't do encores), the 22 year old British singer-songwriter ended her set just after 10pm with an extremely moving rendition of "I Speak Because I Can". As promised, there was very little banter, except when she introduced her band and asked them to each tell us a "fact". The band member, who in his English accent said the Celebrate Brooklyn sound booth reminded him of a "walker" from Return of the Jedi, and that him thinking about that caused him to almost miss the start of one song, won in the story department. Laura, who stayed seated all night, won in the "I can command a giant field of people by just singing into my mic and looking toward the sky" department (though the best songs were the ones she played with her full band. She did a few new songs and one cover solo on the stage that was, as she pointed out, a bit too big for that.). Amazing show.

Celebrate Brooklyn began this year in Prospect Park with a show by Jimmy Cliff and continues tonight (6/15) with "Geri Allen & Carrie Mae Weems: Slow Fade To Black With ESPERANZA SPALDING / TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON / LIZZ WRIGHT / PATRICE RUSHEN AND MORE".

More pictures and some videos from Thursday's free show, below

Continue reading "Laura Marling played Prospect Park w/ Michael Kiwanuka & Willy Mason (Celebrate Brooklyn pics & video)"

photos by Ryan Muir

Jimmy Cliff at Prospect Park - 6/5/12
Jimmy Cliff

The 2012 Celebrate Brooklyn series at Prospect Park kicked off on June 5 with Jimmy Cliff. Pictures from that show are in this post.

JImmy Cliff is planning to release a full album with Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong this July called Rebirth. It follows the Sacred Fire EP that the two did together last year. Jimmy was just interviewed about that and going back to his reggae roots for Chicago Tribune:

"We were planning to look back," says Cliff, 64, by phone from a tour stop near Connecticut, "but when I arrived, it was really satisfying, and I felt, 'I have to tap into this again.'"

What Armstrong and Cliff came up with, late last year, was "Sacred Fire," an EP with roots-reggae versions of The Clash's "Guns of Brixton," Rancid's "Ruby Soho," Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and Cliff's "Ship Is Sailing." It's the first glimpse of Cliff's new direction with producer Armstrong -- they're planning a full album, "Rebirth," in mid-July. "He made me reflect and remember the values of those things that we did then. He opened that for me and allowed me to look into that again," Cliff says. "There's a tendency to move on and create something new."

Jimmy will return to NYC next month for Groovin in the Park.

Celebrate Brooklyn continues this week with a free Laura Marling show TONIGHT (6/14). That show also includes Michael Kiwanuka and Willy Mason. On Friday (6/15), it's a free show with Geri Allen, Carrie Mae Weems, Esperanza Spalding, and more. And on Saturday (6/16), its another free one with Balkan Beat Box, Chico Trujillo, and Nation Beat. Check out the full 2012 schedule here.

More pics from Jimmy Cliff's show are below...

Continue reading "Celebrate Brooklyn kicked off w/ Jimmy Cliff (pics), continues w/ Laura Marling, Balkan Beat Box, Esperanza Spalding, more"

Purity Ring video

One of the most anticipated debuts of the year has to be Purity Ring's Shines which will be birthed on July 24th via 4AD. The first single is a remixed/remastered version of "Belispeak," which originally came out last year as a split 7" with Braids. The band just released the video for the song which drops Megan James into a dark and stormy ocean full of creepy, sinewy things. You can watch it at the bottom of this post.

Purity Ring have a summer full of touring ahead of them, first with Dirty Projectors -- including the Celebrate Brooklyn show on July 10 with Wye Oak as well that is not sold out as of this posting -- and then with Evian Christ (no NYC dates unfortunately). All upcoming Purity Ring dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Purity Ring reveal first 'Shrines' video: "Belispeak" (watch)"

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: Spirit Family Reunion - "I Want To Be Relieved" (MP3)

Spirit Family Reunion

Brooklyn old-time folkies Spirit Family Reunion will release their debut album, No Separation, on June 15. Steeped in the sound of old midwestern country and bluegrass and the rowdiness of other revival bands like The Felice Brothers and Deer Tick, Spirit Family Reunion fit right in with the bands they'll be sharing the stage with at this year's Newport Folk Festival. You can stream three tracks below and download a new one, "I Want to Be Relieved," which is making its premiere in this post above.

Spirit Family Reunion are playing a free show in NYC TONIGHT (5/14) at Living Room. It's their last local show before they hit the road for the next month, returning for a record release show with Hurray for the Riff Raff on June 15 at Mercury Lounge, the day that No Separation comes out. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show go on sale Friday (5/18) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (5/16) at noon. They've also got another free show coming up as part of Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park on August 4 with bluegrass vets The Del McCoury Band and revivalist duo Cahalen Morrison and Eli West.

All dates and streams below...

Continue reading "Spirit Family Reunion releasing 'No Separation' (MP3), touring (dates), playing shows (including a free one tonight)"

Tragedy at Red 7 last week (more by Tim Griffin)

Portland d-beat favorites Tragedy return to NYC with a whallop of a supporting cast in The Boston Strangler, Sickoids and Perdition at Le Poisson Rouge Saturday (5/12). Tickets are still available. The band is touring in support of their new sludge-infested LP Darker Days Ahead out now at their shows and available via a distro near you in the near future. Check out more pictures from their recent Austin show HERE.

In case you were curious, no Portland's Tragedy will NOT be opening for a screening of Saturday Night Fever at Prospect Park on 7/14 but Tragedy, the "all metal tribute to the Bee Gees" will. The full Celebrate Brooklyn Prospect Park concert schedule was announced earlier this week and also includes a Mission of Burma show among many others.

Check out some live video of the Portland Tragedy in action below.

Continue reading "Tragedy are at Le Poisson Rouge Saturday, but not opening for Saturday Night Fever at Prospect Park"

Ghostface at Rock The Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

Lyricist Lounge will celebrate 20 years of events and releases with a free Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on June 23rd. Ghostface Killah (who celebrated his birthday yesterday, May 9th!) will join the kings of "Luchini" Camp Lo, Astro, and more for this FREE event that kicks off at 7:30. Ghostdeini currently has no other US dates planned, but will go on the road for a string of Australian dates at the beginning of June. Details are below. Check out the full Celebrate Brooklyn schedule HERE.

In other classic hip hop news, Prodigy of Mobb Deep will team up with The Beatnuts, Heems of Das Racist, DJ Rob Swift, Big Baby Gandhi and more as part of an event called "Queens Day" on 6/19 at Irving Plaza. Tickets are still available. Prodigy recently completed recording of his new album HNIC3, which is due for release on July 3rd. Stream the recent track "Gangsta Love" featuring Esther below.

All Ghostface Killah dates, some video, and that Prodigy stream is below. Pay close attention to the tail end of that "Luchini" video and you'll see Butterfly of Digable Planets (aka Ishmael Butler) drop a verse from Camp Lo's "Swing". Butler's new project Shabazz Palaces play Williamsburg Park this summer.

Continue reading "Ghostface & Camp Lo celebrate 20 years of Lyricist Lounge; Prodigy & The Beatnuts celebrate Queens day"

Little Dragon @ Le Baron (as seen on the BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Little Dragon

Little Dragon, who were just in town to play and record a show at Le Baron (picture above), will headline a free Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park on Friday, August 10 (five days after they play Lollapalooza) with Frankie Rose and a DJ set by Voices of Black.

Meanwhile, Frankie Rose, who just played a show at Mercury Lounge with DIIV (who she also played Chicago and Austin with), will co-headline the BrooklynVegan Northside Festival showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg (more details TBA).

Frankie is also on the lineup of the just-announced, multi-venue Pygmalion Music Festival in the Chicago area (September 27-29, 2012). Also on that lineup are Grizzly Bear, Dinosaur Jr., Cloud Nothings, Tennis, Owen, Willis Earl Beal, and many more.

All Little Dragon dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Little Dragon playing Prospect Park w/ Frankie Rose who's playing a BrooklynVegan Northside show"

Mission of Burma

That's the cover art of the new Mission of Burma album called Unsound which will be out July 9, 2012 via Fire Records. The tracklist, featuring some songs you may recognize from their recent shows is below along with a stream of new song "Dust Devil".

Mission of Burma return to Brooklyn on August 3rd when they'll share a bill with Wild Flag as part of a free Celebrate Brooklyn show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. It's one of three upcoming Wild Flag shows which are listed, along with the MoB album info, below...

Continue reading "Mission of Burma reveal new album info, playing Prospect Park with Wild Flag"

celebrate brooklyn (more by Ryan Muir)
Celebrate Brooklyn

The entire 2012 lineup of free concerts in Prospect Park is announced.

The free shows include Jimmy Cliff, Laura Marling, Little Dragon/Frankie Rose, Wild Flag/Mission of Burma, and The Head and the Heart/Lost in the Trees.

Pay shows include Wilco, Sigur Ros, M Ward/Yo La Tengo, Dirty Projectors/Purity Ring/Wye Oak, Hot Chip/Gang Gang Dance

Wilco in Chicago (more by Matt Zeigler)

"Levon was the glue, not just in The Band, but in all of what people think of when they think of North American music. He was a great unifier; a great glue. He unified blues and country, rural and city, and even North and South. Luckily he showed us all the way to keep it together and let it swing."- Jeff Tweedy
RIP Levon.

Wilco, missing Levon like the rest of us, have announced even more tour dates including two Celebrate Brooklyn shows at the Prospect Park Bandshell which happen right between the previously announced Camden and Rhode Island shows. The Brooklyn dates and openers are July 23 with Lee Fields & The Expressions and July 24 with Lee Ranaldo Band (of Sonic Youth). Tickets will go on pre-sale on May 2nd at 10AM EDT and regular sale on Friday at 10AM EDT.

Lee Ranaldo Band are doing a other few dates on the Wilco tour too and touring with M.Ward (who they play a sold out Webster Hall with). M. Ward also plays Prospect Park this summer, but with Yo La Tengo.

All tour dates for Lee Fields, Lee Ranaldo and Wilco are below, along with a recent video of Ranaldo interviewed/performing at his record release.

Continue reading "Wilco adds two Prospect Park shows, one at Hollywood Bowl & more tour dates"

Wiz Khalifa on stage w/ Snoop @ Coachella last weekend

If Wiz Khalifa couldn't play on 4/20, he could at least put tickets on sale on the date. Wiz is headlining Jones Beach (WOAH!) on 8/2. Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar (who also played with Snoop & Dre at Coachella) will open. Tickets on sale at noon

Schoolboy Q (and Danny Brown) also opens for Childish Gambino (who also had Kendrick Lamar (and Danny Brown) as a guest on stage at Coacehlla) at Summerstage and at Celebrate Brooklyn.

Tickets are also on sale at noon for Sigur Ros's Celebrate Brooklyn show.

Tickets are also on sale at noon for M. Ward/Yo La Tengo's Celebrate Brooklyn show. Yo La Tengo played a surprise show at Le Poisson Rouge last night.

Tickets are also on sale at noon for Glassjaw's full album show at Irving Plaza.

Tickets on sale at noon for Bloc Party at Terminal 5 with The Drums who headline Webster Hall this weekend.

Sigur Ros

After multiple quickly-sold-out pre-sales, tickets for Sigur Ros's Prospect Park Bandshell show will go on sale to the general public at noon today (4/20).

Since we last posted Sigur Ros dates, there have been two festival developments. Sigur Ros were announced on the lineup of Outside Lands which is on sale now, and Lollapalooza announced who was playing each day and put single day tickets on sale (Sigur Ros play on the Sunday).

In related news, Sigur Ros will be releasing two exclusive and limited vinyl pressings for Record Store Day Saturday.

Updated Sigur Ros tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Sigur Ros Celebrate Brooklyn tickets; Lollapalooza & Outside Lands on sale too"

M. Ward at Newport Folk Fest 2011 (more by Jim Brueckner)
M Ward

As mentioned, M. Ward is set to kick off a tour with Lee Ranaldo in May which comes to NYC for a sold out show at Webster Hall on May 11. If you weren't able to get tickets to that show, he'll be back in NYC for a much larger show at Prospect Park on August 7, one of the ticketed Celebrate Brooklyn shows. Lee Ranaldo won't open this one (neither will fIREHOSE), but keeping the trend of having clasic 80s/90s indie rock bands on the bill, Yo La Tengo will. Tickets go on sale Friday (4/20) at noon.

Meanwhile, M. Ward, like fIREHOSE, played Coachella this past weekend and will again next week. Check out a video from his performance below.

He also released his new album, A Wasteland Companion, earlier this month via Merge. You can stream the entire thing below.

Updated dates, video, and album stream below...

Continue reading "M. Ward playing Prospect Park w/ Yo La Tengo, played Coachella (updated dates & video)"

photos by Julie Schabel

"Always a good time at @SOBs. Schoolboy Q show was ill." - Robby Rav

"At sobs watching schoolboy q go the fuck in." - Curtis Williams

Schoolboy Q

Schoolboy Q stopped by NYC for a sold out show at SOB's Wednesday night (4/11) ahead of his tour with Ab-Soul. While on stage at SOB's, he called Kendrick Lamar and put him on speakerphone. Here's what Complex had to say about it:

The night's coolest, if not most awkward, moment came when Q telephoned his Black Hippy teammate Kendrick Lamar and put him on speakerphone. A major proving ground for new talents, S.O.B.'s has a way of demanding a little extra star power. Though Lamar couldn't be present physically--he's currently bunkered down recording his debut album--he did the next best thing. Q asked him what he should perform next. Lamar suggested "A.D.H.D," a fan favorite.
More pictures and videos from the show are below.

Schoolboy Q will return to NYC in June to play Central Park Summerstage on June 25 and Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell on June 26 with Danny Brown and Childish Gambino. Tickets for the Brooklyn show are still available. Updated dates are listed below.

The SOB's show was opened by Nemo Achida, Iron Solomon, and Curtains, though Julie missed the first one because she was at the Lil B NYU lecture which was the same night.

More pics and videos from SOB's and dates below...

Continue reading "Schoolboy Q played SOB's (pics & video), playing Summerstage & Celebrate Brooklyn (with Childish Gambino & Danny Brown)"

Jonsi of Sigur Ros at Hammerstein Ballroom (more by Vincent Cornelli)

In addition to the previously discussed dates at festivals including Lollapalooza, Sigur Ros has added a few other dates including a show at Prospect Park Bandshell on July 31! Tickets go on AMEX/BRIC presale on Wednesday 4/18 at noon and regular sale on 4/20.

As discussed and as you can tell here, Sigur Ros's hiatus is officially over especially considering the band's new LP Valtari on the way via EMI/XL on May 29th. All known world tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Sigur Ros add dates, including Prospect Park!"

Purity Ring @ SXSW 2012 (photo by SRGN)
Purity Ring SXSW

Purity Ring, currently finishing a post-SXSW tour with Neon Indian in NC tonight, will open for Dirty Projectors at Celebrate Brooklyn on 7/10, as with Wye Oak. UPDATE: I'm told these openers are "not 100% confirmed". Tickets are still on sale. The Prospect Park show is still Dirty Projectors' only announced date.

If you're in DC, catch Purity Ring on Thursday at Red Palace with Ava Luna. Ava Luna's next currently scheduled Brooklyn show is at BAM for the National's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" fest on 5/4 (single day tickets recently went on sale).

Wye Oak's only other announced show at the moment is the National's ATP in the UK in December.

All tour dates for these bands are listed below...

Continue reading "Purity Ring & Wye Oak opening for Dirty Projectors"


Tickets for many of the just-announced Hot Chip shows are on pre-sale now including the July 18th Brooklyn show in Prospect Park which Gang Gang Dance is opening. Tickets ($35 advance / $40 day of show) go on general sale Friday at noon.

Gang Gang Dance is also playing the Symbiosis Gathering in Nevada in May, during a solar eclipse, with James Blake, Little Dragon, and many more.

Hot Chip

As predicated, Hot Chip have scheduled a few more U.S. dates around their appearance at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer, and those dates included July 18th in Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The band also posted a new song from their fortchoming album to YouTube. Watch/listen with all dates below...

Continue reading "Hot Chip release new song, announce dates, Prospect Park show"

Laura Marling at the McKittrick Hotel in 2011 (more by Chris La Putt)
Laura Marling

Laura Marling will be coming to the US in April to support Andrew Bird on a short tour surrounding both musicians' appearances at Coachella. She'll be playing solo like she did on her last North American tour which brought her to NYC in December.

The April tour includes no east coast dates, but she'll be returning to North America in June for a full band tour which kicks off with Bonnaroo and hits NYC for a free show on June 14 for Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park. It's the second free Celebrate Brooklyn show announced so far (Jimmy Cliff was the first) and third overall, including the not free Dirty Projectors show.

Speaking of Andrew Bird, who just played the Bell House, you can stream his new album, Break It Yourself, on NPR.

All dates and Laura's video for "I Was Just A Card" below...

Continue reading "Laura Marling announces tour, free Prospect Park show (dates)"

Dirty Projectors @ Lollapalooza 2010 (more by Josh Darr)
Dirty Projectors

Jimmy Cliff will be playing the first free Celebrate Brooklyn show at the Prospect Park Bandshell this summer. Dirty Projectors will play the first-announced pay show on July 10th. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon. General sale begins Friday.

Jimmy Cliff

Celebrate Brooklyn, aka the mostly-free concerts at the Prospect Park bandshell, announce:


Evening Begins with Opening Night Gala Benefiting Free Summer Performing Arts Festival

Brooklyn | February 27, 2012 - BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn is pleased to announce that reggae legend Jimmy Cliff will open the 2012 Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival on Tuesday, June 5 in a free performance at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Throughout the past 50 years, Cliff has helped shape modern music with his influential and socially conscious work. This year marks the 40th anniversary of his landmark hits, "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "The Harder They Come," which helped to make reggae mainstream throughout the world. He is the only living musician to hold Jamaica's Order of Merit, the highest honor granted for achievement in the arts and sciences. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence and Cliff's performance will pay tribute, not only to his origins, but to the great Jamaican population of Brooklyn.

The free concert by Cliff starts at 8:00 P.M. It will kick off the 34th season of free Celebrate Brooklyn! performances presented by BRIC in Prospect Park. Announcement of other performers at the Festival will come later this spring.

Stay tuned for more lineup announcements.

Meanwhile, those heading to Austin in March can catch Jimmy Cliff at SXSW. He's playing one of the free shows at Waterloo Records and the official Gorilla Vs Bear showcase at Hype Hotel.

He's also playing Coachellas this year.

A set of European tour dates is listed below...

Continue reading "Jimmy Cliff playing opening night @ Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, Coachella & SXSW"

photos by Ryan Muir

Jose G on stage w/ The Books
The Books

One of the best concerts of summer 2011 was probably the one by The Books in Prospect Park (maybe you saw Beirut that night instead). One of the highlights of that show was when Jose Gonzalez, whose band Junip opened, joined the headliners on stage to perform "Cello Song" which is a collaboration the two artists released as part of the "Dark Was the Night" compilation. I just realized we had these unposted pictures, so here they are...

Continue reading "The Books @ Celebrate Brooklyn (belated pics) "

photos by Jessica Amaya

"Cut copy in prospect park was AMAZING! So good in fact that I woke up with a fever today and my head feels like it may explode. OUCH" - Jackie

"Perfect night for a little cut copy in prospect park.
They're killing it! #celebratebrooklyn" - Ana Maria Lopez

"So much love for Brooklyn. A show we will never forget! Thanks for spending the night in the park with us. X" - Cut Copy

Cut Copy

Cut Copy headlined a sold out Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on Thursday (8/11) with Midnight Magic and Foster the People (who have TWO SOLD OUT Terminal 5 shows coming up with Reptar). Cut Copy focused mainly on stuff off their two most recent albums, opening up strong with favorites "Feel the Love" and "Take Me Over."

Cut Copy team up with Midnight Magic again on a tour with Washed Out. You can catch them on September 13 at The Wellmont Theatre. Tickets are still available.

More pictures from the Brooklyn show below...

Continue reading "Cut Copy, Foster the People & Midnight Magic played Prospect Park (pics)"

photos by Amanda M. Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Bon Iver

Justin Vernon walked onto the dimly lit stage at the sold out Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park last night (8/10) with his 9-piece Bon Iver, picked up his guitar, and quietly began playing the guitar riff of album opener "Perth." The band slowly began building the song into its borderline-heavy metal ending, letting us know immediately that Bon Iver are not a 9-piece band for no reason. Justin's obviously a guy who has been part of a lot of collaborations (though he needs a break from all of that), but this new lineup is far more than another collab for the record books. I mean these guys sound huge. What started out as a folk-leaning, acoustic guitar based project with sparse accompaniment from other instruments, is almost entirely the opposite now. The band that was once backed mainly by a bass drum now has two drummers behind fully structured kits and an auxiliary percussionist. Fluttering horn lines that are often indiscernible on their own, come together to create deftly beautiful atmospheres throughout the songs. Justin also now has the freedom to make as much noise as he wants on his guitar, and he definitely uses it.

On the album's second track, "Minnesota, WI," Justin was joined by the crowd on the "never gonna break" refrains, before taking the song into the funk-edged middle section driven by Colin Stetson's bass sax and pounding drums from Matt McCaughan and Sean Carey. Skipping "Holocene," the band continued to play straight through the album for a couple more songs, touching on the country-tinged "Towers" and the eye-watering beauty of "Michicant." Justin and band then took a break from the new material to dive into some older stuff. They fleshed out the older songs to fit in with the new setup, adding textures and dynamics not heard on the original recording, and managed to not lose any of its delicacy. Lead by band member Reginald Pace on trombone, the band delivered a soulful soft-rock interpretation of For Emma, Forever Ago's "Creature Fear." By the song's building second chorus, when it would normally fade into the companion track "Team," they took the song in an entirely different direction with explosive post-rock crescendos and layers of noise guitar from Justin and Mike Noyce. The band amped the older material up even more later on when they went into "Blood Bank" off the 2009 EP of the same name. The members were soaked in red light as they propelled into a heavy distortion-ridden rendition of the track. They kicked things up even harder at the end when they took the song into a double time rock bit with more noise guitar from Justin.

After "Blood Bank," they calmed things down with the much-anticipated "Holocene" that was skipped earlier on. The audience piped in on, "And at once I knew I was not magnificent," and "I could see for miles, miles, miles." Then the entire band except Justin left the stage, and with no more than an electric guitar he played the For Emma, Forever Ago closing track, "re: stacks." As a musician whose romanticized backstory is centered around lonesomeness, taking relief from the now-large band to perform with the vulnerability that his first album was written with made as large of an impact as the orchestrations of the rest of the set did. After the song, Justin was again joined by his band for "Flume" and "Calgary" before an audible count-in lead into the new album's closing track "Beth/Rest." Say what you will about this song and its '80s lite.fm-leaning tendencies, the performance was absolutely beautiful. The band played with far too much confidence to call it "ironic" and too much genuine emotion to call it "cheesy." About halfway through, Justin stretched the song a bit with some reverb-laden vocal scat before going into the guitar/sax solos that take up the ending. He then thanked the crowd, took a bow with the band and left the stage.

The stage crew wasted no time preparing the set for 9-piece Bon Iver's rendering of "Skinny Love." Once that preparation was complete, the guys walked back out on stage to tremendous applause, Justin sat down with his resonator guitar, Matt McCaughan and Sean Carey sat behind their drum kits, and the other six members took to microphones for backup vocals, stomps and claps. The song comes off as something the band knows they can just have a ton of fun with, and that's totally fine, because with an hour and a half of really heady melancholic music, nothing is wrong with three minutes of fun. The band members then all returned to their instruments and covered Bjork's "Who Is It," like they'd been doing on tour. Reginald Pace handled the blips and clicks with some pretty impressive beat-boxing and the horn and string players interpreted Bjork's electronic textures, as Justin strongly delivered Bjork's vocal parts. The band ended the encore with the crowd sing-along "The Wolves (Act I and II)" and again bowed and left the stage. Though the "Skinny Love" setup assured us of the first encore, much to my surprise, the band returned for a second encore to play one last song -- "For Emma." The song, which is already the fullest of all the For Emma, Forever Ago tracks, fit so perfectly with the new material, that it would have convincingly been a b-side to the new album if the song had never been heard before.

The show began with a great opening set by The Rosebuds. They were joined by Justin Vernon on guitar and backup vocals for the song "Leaves Do Fall" off 2005's Birds Make Good Neighbors. Justin's bandmate Mike Noyce also came out towards the end of the song to help out with more backing vocals. Bon Iver bassist Mike Lewis also joined the band later on for a song. Their set wasn't too long, but every song was solid and the guest appearances were the perfect way to warm the crowd up for Bon Iver's headlining set.

More pictures and the setlist from the show below...

Continue reading "Bon Iver & The Rosebuds played Prospect Park ------------------ (pics, review & setlist)"

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Andrew Sacher

"The highlight had to be Ra Ra Riot coming
on stage to "Raining Blood" \m/" - Debbie Encalada

Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot played a free Celebrate Brooklyn show, the second to last one of the summer, in Prospect Park Friday night (8/5) with support from Buke & Gass and Delicate Steve.

Buke & Gass kicked things off with their unique brand of avant-pop, driven by their self-built instruments and whatever percussion the duo can manage to pull off with their feet. The circumstances definitely weren't the best for the Brooklyn-based band, who were opening a large, sparsely filled out venue for a much poppier act. But given the attention they deserved, Buke & Gass were able to prove that they've got some really interesting material. The duo focus more on rhythm than melody (which are usually far off-kilter) and are able to loop you in to hypnotic patterns, somewhat similarly to tUnE-yArDs, who they have opened for. On top of the attractively unsettling chord progressions, singer Arone Dyer delivers with a surprisingly beautiful voice, unlike the howls of the aforementioned tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus. As I said, the circumstances were not ideal, but I was definitely won over by their set and look forward to hopefully catching them in a smaller venue.

Their set was followed by Delicate Steve, who I first saw when they opened for Yeasayer at Governors Island last summer, and they haven't changed a bit. They played a mainly instrumental set which was sonically more fit for the jam scene, except for the fact that everything felt way too scripted. The band's bland chord progressions and overused jungle drum beats were added to only by uninspired, repetitive guitar solos.

At around 9 PM, the lights completely darkened and Slayer's "Raining Blood" blasted through the PA system as Ra Ra Riot ran out onto the stage. WIthout saying a word, Slayer faded out and Ra Ra Riot went directly into "Too Too Too Fast" off 2008's The Rhumb Line. The band played what they said may have been their longest set ever, which included most of both full lengths, a track off their self titled EP, and two covers. Save for a few exceptions, The Rhumb Line tracks stood out pretty significantly among the rest. The Orchard is a solid album start to finish, but many of the songs lack the urgency of their earlier material, which resonates so strongly in a live setting. When the band powered through classics like "Can You Tell," "Oh La," and "Ghost Under Rocks," the members were having so much fun on stage that you couldn't help but join them. They did hit some highs with the newer material though, notably on the Alexandra Lawn-fronted slow-burner "You And I Know" and when they closed their set with the frantic pop of "Boy." The band opened their two song encore with a cover of Steve Winwood's "Valerie," before diving into another standout, "Dying Is Fine," which saw singer Wes Miles run through the audience.

More pictures, videos, and Ra Ra's setlist from the show below...

Continue reading "Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve & Buke & Gass played Celebrate Brooklyn (pics, video & setlist)"