Entries tagged with: Webster Hall
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
That so many of the characters in Greg Dulli's songs are met by misfortune (often self-inflicted) and find themselves in questionable circumstances, it was fitting that he and his Twilight Singers rolled into New York City on a Friday the 13th. Though anyone expecting something to go wrong during their feverish 21-song set were left disappointed.
"It's my birthday... three days later," Dulli joked at one point, but the entire 90-minute set seemed like a party. Nobody was having more fun than Dulli, who with this year's Dynamite Steps has released as many records as a Twilight Singer/solo artist as he did fronting the Afghan Whigs.
Early on, before a punishing version of "Bonnie Brae" (made popular by its inclusion in the television show "Rescue Me"), he accepted flowers from a fan in the front row, stepped to the mic and said, "You sure know how to make a man feel like Neil Diamond."
His voice was expectedly and delightfully off-key and his band sounded great, especially drummer Greg Wieczorek, "the best drummer I've ever seen," said Dulli during his band introductions. Erik Kang of openers Margot & the Nuclear So and So's (more on them in a second) came out to play pedal steel and violin later in the set.
As thunderstorms, porn theaters and other ominous images appeared on the screen behind them, set highlights included "Teenage Wristband", the cover of Martin Topley-Bird's "Too Tough To Die" and "On the Corner", "The Beginning of the End" and "Get Lucky" all from Dynamite Steps.
"Ladies and gentleman, The Killer," Dulli proclaimed, as a photo of that song's protagonist, Jerry Lee Lewis, and 13-year-old wife (and first cousin once removed) Myra Gale Brown loomed on the screen. It was the first song of a three-song encore and "The Killer" grooved and wailed better than anything else they played that night. Dulli closed with a ramped up version of "Esta Noche" ("This is the motherfucking finish line") that ended in a refrain of Carl Carlton's "Everlasting Love."
Margot and the Nukes' opening slot for the Twilight Singers made a lot of sense considering that bandleader Richard Edwards' songs traffic in a milder, Dulli-esque world of bruised and mis-handled relationships, but armed with Rachel's review of a show from last fall, I approached their set with trepidation. Then something happened when I got to the venue - I didn't care about any of that stuff. Bands shed and add members all the time and you either stick with them or you don't and I was just excited to see a band that I've adored since The Dust of Retreat. Sure, like a lot of people I'm nostalgic for the old version of Margot and (having seen them four times previous) missed seeing some familiar faces who were germane to a pretty great live show. But the version that recorded last year's Buzzard needed to be taken for the band it is now.
Ultimately, where the earlier Margot was more a chamber pop collective - this retooled lineup is a solid, straightforward rock band. "If you want to stay/Shut up. If you want to go/Get lost," Edwards snarled on Margot's set opener, the excellent "Claws Off" And then later in the song, "get lost" becomes "get fucked." But there are some lovely melodies in the earlier material, which was showcased on the stripped down version of "Broadripple Is Burning" complete with audience members singing along. There's still plenty of common ground to be found in their live show for fans of both incarnations.
The Twilight Singers and Margot are still on tour. A list of all upcoming TS dates, more pictures and the setlist from the Webster Hall show, and a video of the band playing Letterman in April too, below...
NYC did just get two nights of Paul Simon at the fabulous Beacon Theater, but I still couldn't help feeling left out since the March announcement of rare Paul Simon club dates. Seattle, LA, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, DC and even Boston were given chances to experience Paul up close and personal . NYC wasn't included... until now. BrooklynVegan is proud to present Paul Simon at Webster Hall on June 6! (at 8pm)
Tickets for the NYC club date will go on sale to the public on May 25 at 10am (via Ticketmaster), but there will also be a presale beginning exactly 24 hours earlier. Check in right here on BrooklynVegan.com on the morning of May 24 for presale details and a password.
UPDATE: Password HERE.
You can also try and WIN two tickets on the BrooklynVegan Facebook page now. All tour dates, Philadelphia on June 4 & 5 included, are listed below.
Paul's Chicago club show happened on Monday at the Vic. Greg Kot was there...
"Paul Simon has played stadiums and festivals. He's done Central Park. So it was a treat Monday to see one of the most venerated songwriters of the last half-century turn the relatively intimate, sold-out Vic Theatre into his living room.The full Chicago setlist, all tour dates, and videos of Paul performing new songs "Rewrite" and "So Beautiful or So What" on Saturday Night Live over the weekend (Ed Helms was the host), below...
The 69-year-old singer-songwriter dressed for the occasion in loose-fitting jeans and black T-shirt underneath an unbuttoned shirt. His eight-piece multi-culti band framed him, with Simon at times resembling a crossing guard at a three-way intersection as he directed musical traffic. His foot tapped, his arms waved, he crouched and jutted a guitar toward his musicians, he even played an air washboard solo...
Toro Y Moi at Bowery Ballroom (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Shortly after enjoying a relatively leisurely summer compared to his year so far (SXSW, Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge) , Toro Y Moi will hit the road after Labor Day for a string of U.S. dates that will include a stop at Webster Hall on 9/14 with Ava Luna. Tickets for Chazwick Bundick's biggest NYC show yet go on sale at noon on Friday (5/20).
Toro Y Moi welcomed the Underneath The Pine LP in February, and will follow it up with the Still Sound Remix 12" via Amazing Sounds on June 13.
Toro Y Moi recently made a mixtape featuring awesome names like King Tubby, Dorothy Ashby, Ennio Morricone, and Goblin. In related news, Goblin's Claudio Simonetti will play Santos Party House on May 24th as part of Daemonia, his metal band that updates classic songs by Goblin. They'll be joined by Wolf Eyes and tickets are still available.
All tour dates and some video is below.
* Modeselektor photo by Emma Gutteridge
A night of bass in all its wide-ranging permutations! MODESELEKTOR bring their hotly anticipated Modeselektion night to the Metropolis. The "no holds barred" German duo will be DJing alongside their selected guests, including mysterious industrial-dubstep duo ANSTAM, New York garage revivalist FALTYDL, Montreal bass producer JACQUESGREENE, and high-end electro maven SIRIUSMO.The June 3rd event at Webster Hall has almost the same lineup, but includes KRSN instead of JACQUESGREENE and FALTYDL. Both events will have Pfadfinderei Visuals. Unfortunately, the NYC show is also a Friday night "Girls & Boys" party at Webster Hall. Fortuntunately, that means it's only $5 with RSVP if you arrive before midnight.
Modeselektion, the night, is branded to match Modeselektion the mixtape series. Modeselektion Vol. 1 was released on November 5, via Monkeytown, and the tracklist (which you can see in full below), includes Siriusmo. Falty DL appears on Modeselektion Vol. 01 - Bonus Tracks & Versions which was released in December.
The NYC flyer, all Modeselektor dates, the CD tracklist, and some videos, below....
RJD2 at Webster Hall (more by Chris Doss)
A little more than a year after he last played the venue, RJD2 will return to Webster Hall again on Sept 2nd, but this time as part of the club's Friday night "Girls & Boys" party (aka more club night than concert). RSVP and get in for $5 before midnight ("Neat and trendy appearence a must"). Flyer below.
photos by Winnie Cheung
Appearing as a five-piece following the addition of guitarist Christoph Hocheim, The Pains' live performance largely eschewed excessive bombast and theatrics in favor of sharply-written and arranged shoegaze-inspired songs awash with passion and an understated intensity. The band's romantic, major chord-driven melancholic pop retained the low-key yet dramatic sensibilities of their recent records, with singer Kip Berman's gentle, whispered vocals proving the perfect counterpoint to dense, fuzz drenched guitars and synthesizer hooks.The review comes from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart/Twin Shadow tour stop at Daniel Street in Milford, CT on May 2nd, four days before the tour ended in NYC at Webster Hall (on May 6th). Pictures from Webster Hall, opener Big Troubles included, are in this post.
The band's 13-song set was almost evenly divided between their first and second albums, as early singles "Teenager in Love" and "Come Saturday" brimmed with an indelible youthful energy. But The Pains were especially engaged and confident on songs from their recently-released album Belong. The synth-driven dream pop of "The Body," the Ride-influenced "Heaven's Gonna Happen Now" and the album's dynamic title track easily stood as highlights of the evening and demonstrated a marked evolution in the group's skills as composers and performers. -[kevchino]
The Webster show was one day after Twin Shadow played an NYU show at LPR with the Thermals which was the same night Twin Shadow appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform "Castles in the Snow," and web-exclusive "I Can't Wait." Both videos are below.
Twin Shadow and Pains will cross paths again at the Osheaga Festival in Montreal at the end of July. All upcoming tour dates for both bands, and more pictures and those videos, below...
YACHT at Coachella 2011 (more)
The previously discussed YACHT tour continues until middle May, and the crew is poised to tear down Webster Hall with Light Asylum and Bobby Birdman in NYC tonight (4/27). Tickets are still available, or you can try your luck at winning one of three pairs of tickets we're giving away! Details on how are at the bottom of this post.
YACHT recently made a remix of the Classixx track "Into The Valley" (featuring Karl Dixon) for Green Label Sound (download/stream it below), and the LA production and DJ duo will be in NYC this week and at Webster Hall too. Just two days from today (on 4/29), Classixx will play as part of the Girls & Boys party with Nancy Whang (of Holy Ghost!, the Juan Maclean, and the now defunct LCD Soundsystem) and guests. Tickets are still available and doors open at 10PM.
All tour dates, contest details and that Yacht remix is below.
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
"Last night Yawn opened for Yuck. Indie rock has officially become an Abbott and Costello routine." - Simon Vozick-Levinson
"Had this awesome dream where Tame Impala covered Angel by Massive Attack. No wait...that actually happened." - Peter Sununu
Tame Impala @ Webster Hall
Tame Impala and Yuck and less-advertised opener Yawn brought their tour to a sold out Webster Hall in NYC last night (4/25). It was the headliner's only NYC show this time around, though Yuck will be back soon to headline their own show at Bowery Ballroom on May 27th. Tickets are still on sale for that. Oh, AND Yuck play a free in-store at Other Music TONIGHT.
About last night...
"[Tame Impala] had 9 flat screen monitors behind them that featured a light show that responded to the music. As you can imagine, it was a pychedelic delight. Aside from "I Don't Really Mind," Tame Impala played the entire "Innerspeaker" album as well as a cover of Massive Attack's "Angel." They even dug deep and played "Skeleton Tiger" and "Half Full Glass of Wine" off their debut EP (which is quite hard to find in the United States). The set was just about 70 minutes long and it was awesome." [According to G]The full setlist and more pictures from the whole show, below...
photos by Brook Bobbins
Art Brut @ Webster Hall - March 4, 2011
Hello. We're Art Brut.Art Brut are currently seeking donations in various increments and offering everything from a private live show to a digital download as repayment. Everyone who donates will receive a free live EP and a portion of the proceeds will go toward "housing and homeless charity Shelter, who do incredible work helping to alleviate the massive distress that being homeless, or having a difficult housing situation, can cause".
We've completed the recording of our new album 'Brilliant! Tragic!' and working alongside PledgeMusic, we'd like give you a little more than usual and help us go to places Art Brut have never been.
PledgeMusic allows you to pledge towards Art Brut's dream of touring places that have yet to enjoy the live Art Brut experience. You can get a signed CD or Vinyl before 'Brilliant! Tragic!' reaches the stores. But we're also offering weirder and more wonderful options to a limited number of Art Brut aficionados. What about Art Brut karaoke with Eddie or the whole band playing in your front room...
An exclusive new song "Unprofessional Wrestling" (it won't be on the new album) is also available for free download NOW for the price of an email address. The list of songs that will be on the new album is below, along with the Brilliant! Tragic! cover art (the LP is out May 24 via Cooking Vinyl/The End Records).
Art Brut is plotting a return to North America in June. The band will play NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 23rd Tickets for that show go on AmEx presale Wed at noon, and regular sale on Friday. All dates are listed below.
Art Brut were here earlier this year to play the Downtown Records celebration at Webster Hall with The Suzan, A-Trak (whose next NYC show is at Terminal 5), White Denim, & Lissy Trullie. Pictures from that show, album info and tour dates, below...
Destroyer's new album, Kaputt, is Dan Bejar's grandest musical statement to date, resplendent with horns and bubbling sequencers, bringing to mind Roxy Music, The Blue Nile and even Steely Dan. In order to replicate Kaputt's lush sound, Bejar put together the "Destroyer Orchestra," an eight member band more than up to the task, as heard last night (4/3) at Webster Hall.
Much credit for this should be given to saxophonist/flautist Joseph Shabason and, in particular, trumpet player J.P. Carter who is like the Kevin Shields of trumpet players. Carter ran his instrument through a couple delay/loop pedals, making it sound epic and weird and amazing. It mixed with the sax and lead guitar to form this sonic swarm that hovered around the songs all night. It was rather magical, so much so that Bejar spent much of the time not singing crouched down, swigging his drink and quietly digging this world of sound he helped orchestrate.
The rest of the band brought the laid back groove, so prevalent on Kaputt of which we got all but two songs (No "Savage Night at the Opera" or "Poor in Love.") "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker" and Kaputt's title track were especially good. The expanded line-up also elevated older songs in the set like "Painter in Your Pocket" that was transformed into a lost Al Stewart single from 1978. (Dan Bejar has always kinda been the indie Al Stewart.) The only thing missing was Sibel Thrasher, whose vocals are such a big part of Kaputt. Keyboardist Larrisa Loyva sang her parts ably, but lacked Thrasher's gravitas and soul.
The night's showstopper came with the encore -- the nearly 15 minute "Bay of Pigs" which was released as a single in 2009 and closes the album. Bejar needed a lyrics sheet, but much of the crowd didn't. A group of girls next to me shouted out the lyrics with the kind of enthusiasm you half expect the taciturn Bejar to display. I'm pretty sure it was that group of girls who launched a pair of undies onto the stage. Bejar smiled, and gave them to the saxophonist who proceeded to throw them back into the crowd. He's just not that kind of frontman.
The War on Drugs opened, but I missed them entirely. We have pictures of them though, More pictures from the whole night, Destroyer's setlist and video of "Painter in Your Pocket", below....
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Lupe Fiasco's "Lasers" album finally will be released to the public this Tuesday. It's been a long time coming -- his last record was "The Cool" in 2007 -- but it's not at all the album the Chicago rapper wanted to make. His valiant attempts to buck up and promote it are downbeat and disheartening. When I first chatted with Fiasco during some down time last week in New York City, I congratulated him on the album's first single, "The Show Goes On," which had just gone gold (selling 500,000 singles). He huffed, his whole attitude was "whatever" as he responded: "It's their record. My words, their music. They forced this song to be a No. 1 single, and that's what they got. I can't take any credit for it."Regardless of Lupe Fiasco's feelings on Lasers, the Chicago MC gave a highly-energetic performance as he celebrated its release last night, 3/7, at a sold-out headlining NYC show at Webster Hall. Special guests included John Legend, Sway, and Dosage. Black Milk, who also opens the upcoming Roseland show, opened the night.
He's referring to Atlantic Records, the once historic label (founded by Ahmet Ertegun) that is now a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group. According to Fiasco, various players at Atlantic thwarted his artistic mission on this, his third album for the label -- a process that dragged on for three years and ended only when several hundred fans scheduled a protest last October in downtown Chicago and outside the label's New York City offices. -[Chicago Sun-Times]
Lupe also recently played a sponsored event at the smaller Music Hall of Williamsburg. His next show may be the Atlantic Records showcase (he can't be that angry) with Wiz Khalifa and Cee-Lo at SXSW.
More pictures from Webster Hall, setlist included, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Beach House and Papercuts played their second of two shows at Webster Hall on Friday (2/25). The first was two days earlier, and the tour came to an end Saturday night in DC. Pictures and the setlist from the 2nd NYC show are in this post.
photos by Brook Bobbins
A-Trak & Dave 1 @ Webster Hall Friday
In a new Valentine's Day feature posted over at Hearty Magazine, "eligible bachelor" A-Trak says he is "rambunctious" in the sack and hopes not to spend Valentine's Day on an airplane (ok, it's a pretty boring interview actually). On Friday night, after checking out his brother's show at Terminal 5 with The Suzan (who are signed to A-Trak's label Fool's Gold), A-Trak helped his brother DJ at the Chromeo afterparty at Webster Hall (where A-Trak is officially playing with The Suzan on March 4th).
Mr. Oizo played the party too, but Brook wasn't there for his set. More pictures and a couple of video from the Chromeo/A-Trak part (there's a shot of Alex English in there too), below....
The production team which brought house music back from the brink of commercial mediocrity, Leftfield made it safe for artistic producers to begin working in a new vein termed progressive house. Paul Daley (a former member of A Man Called Adam and the Brand New Heavies) and programmer Neil Barnes combined the classic soul of early Chicago and New York house with the growing Artificial Intelligence school of album-oriented techno to create classic, intelligent dance music. [After a series of well-recieved singles, Leftfield released] their debut LP, Leftism... in 1995; the long-awaited Rhythm and Stealth followed four years later. With only two albums under their belt, Leftfield decided to split in early 2002 to focus on solo projects. -[Allmusic]Neil Barnes resurrected Leftfield last year, and though founding member Paul Daley is not on board, he has been replaced by original vocalists Djum Djum, Earl 16 and Cheshire Cat plus Adam Wren (keyboards), Kwes Sey (keyboards and computers) Jess Mills (vocals) and Sebastian Beresford on drums. The electronic [now] crew is scheduled to play a few shows in Australia in March and, at the moment, two US dates in April. One is at the sold-out Coachella and the other is right afterwards on April 19th at Webster Hall in NYC. Tickets for that show go on AMEX presale Wednesday, 2/7, at noon, and then general sale starts Friday.
All tour dates (more to be announced?) and some videos below.
photos by Chris Gersbeck
"Off to Wavves and Best Coast -
maybe I'll show up on Hipster Runoff tomorrow" - Wesley Barrow
"At best coast/wavves, 99 percent of people here
follow best coast's cat on twitter" - WiLD ViBES
Best Coast @ Webster Hall
"The '90s are back, and along with flannel, environmentalism and 20-something ennui, the resurgence has brought some great self-deprecating rock songs.You won't be able to see the stage, but the entire DC show is streaming at NPR. It took place the same night Best Coast's Letterman's appearance aired.
Best Coast and Wavves are responsible for the best of them. The two young bands performed at the 9:30 Club on Monday night, singing about California boredom and slacker romance - the latter made all the more intriguing by the fact that Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino and Wavves singer Nathan Williams are a couple.
And while the neo-grunge lovebirds have both toured doggedly (and separately) in support of their both-excellent 2010 albums, Monday's gig proved that neither act has quite figured out how to translate the heroic loserdom of their recordings to the stage.
Still, these losers have been wildly successful." [Washington Post]
Two nights after DC, last night (2/2), Best Coast, Wavves, and tour-opener No Joy played a sold out show at Webster Hall, and they do it again tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. More pictures from Webster Hall are below...
Alt-bros Dave 1 and A-Trak (more by Brook Bobbins)
Miike Snow/Major Lazer/Santigold/etc. at Terminal 5 on March 5th (on sale now) isn't the only birthday party Downtown Records is throwing for itself. They're also hosting A-Trak, Art Brut, White Denim, Lissy Trullie, and The Suzan at Webster Hall on March 4th. Tickets for that first part of the two-day celebration go on sale Saturday (1/29).
The Suzan is hitting the road with Chromeo (also are playing Coachella this year) and MNDR for US dates next week. The tour hits a sold-out Terminal 5 on Feb 4th (the afterparty is at Webster Hall). The Fool's Gold-signed Suzan recently dropped a pair of releases in Japan, a live iTunes only LP and a CD+DVD combo of Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat.
No more Art Brut dates to report at the moment. All A-Trak and Suzan tour dates and some videos below.
photos by Kurt Christensen
"[The Jayhawks] followed up Town Hall with 1995's Tomorrow the Green Grass, the Jayhawks' signature record. Opening with Olson's masterpiece "Blue," which cracked the Top 40 in Canada, the record is dominated by genius offerings from Olson, especially the shit-kickin' country-rocker "Miss Williams Guitar" (named after Olson's then-girlfriend Victoria Wilson), the melancholy "Ann Jane," and "Blue's" downbeat, somber counterpart, "Over My Shoulder." Louris was no ghost on Green Grass, adding gorgeous harmonies to Olson's songs, as well as lush compositions like "I'd Run Away" and "Nothing Left to Borrow." Despite some success north of the border, the reaction stateside was lukewarm at best. The band had overspent on the recording of Green Grass and the CD receipts could not recoup the cost..." [Bill Reese]The Jayhawks also followed up their performance of Hollywood Town Hall Thursday night at Webster Hall, with a performance of Tomorrow the Green Grass at Webster Hall on Friday night (1/21). Both NYC shows were part of a short and ongoing tour that is coinciding with the reissue of both classic albums.
A second set of pictures from the first night (by Kurt instead of Chris), along with a video and the setlist from night two, and remaining tour dates, below...
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...
the current issue of FADER
It's all about Lykke Li all of a sudden. There she is on the cover of the new issue of FADER which has appeared not long after the recent release of her new single and video which was followed by the announcement that she...
"...is set to release her highly-anticipated sophomore album, Wounded Rhymes, on her label LL Recordings on March 1st, 2011. Produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn & John and recorded in Stockholm, Wounded Rhymes is the follow up to Lykke Li's critically-acclaimed debut, Youth Novels.And that album release comes with a May tour which came with a May 17th Webster Hall show which must be close to selling out because she added a May 18th show at the same venue (it goes on AmEx presale Wednesday at noon).
On top of all that, Lykke is now in NYC for a one-off, pre-tour, pre-album, very-sold-out show at Le Poisson Rouge which goes down tonight, 12/1, with the recent addition of DJ Scribe on the bill. AND, we spent some time in the past few days prepping an interview which we'll be conducting along with a video team from Kanon Organic Vodka who are sponsoring both the show and the afterparty which Lykke Li is DJing at SoHo Grand Hotel after the show. Stay tuned for that along with pictures and a review from LPR.
Updated Lykke Li tour dates below...
photos by Tracy Allison, words by Erin Allison
Long Beach natives The Fling opened the show around 8 p.m., playing a short but sweet 30 minute set. They were followed by Darker My Love (also California natives) who took the stage at 8:45 p.m. Darker My Love took small breaks in between songs to announce that there was no use in crying over spilled beer on their amp, and to thank Delta Spirit for playing the show with them. Their 9 song set included songs off their most recent album Alive as You Are, which was released this past summer.
By 10 p.m. the members of Delta Spirit started appearing on stage. The venue was packed wall-to-wall with a rambunctious, shouting audience. The band played off the crowd's energy and brought plenty of their own. Between dancing around the stage, encouraging sing alongs, copious amounts of hand clapping and a very enthusiastic fan up on stage, Delta Spirit kept the floor shaking throughout the entire set, which included a Pink Floyd cover and songs off their albums Ode to Sunshine and History From Below. Their just released five song EP entiltled The Waits Room was available as limited edition vinyl at the merch table.
Singer Matt Vasquez, who got some practice playing to the large Webster Hall crowd when he opened solo for Deer Tick on 8/13, expressed his gratitude and excitement about playing for the New York audience. Before playing "Bushwick Blues", he announced it was "for Bushwick" and dedicated "St. Francis" to non-native New Yorkers. Towards the end of the set, the enthusiasm that the audience felt became visible, with every person in attendance vigorously dancing and clapping along with the band. By 11 p.m. Delta Spirit had left the stage, but not a single person in the crowd was ready to leave and when fans demanded more music, they obliged with a two song encore consisting of "Motivation" and "People Turn Around".
More pictures from the show below...
Andrea joins the Morning Benders on Stage
I was somewhat surprised to learn that The Morning Benders were playing Webster Hall, but the large space was densely packed by 8:00 for the early string of shows.
Having missed Cults during CMJ, I was thankful for a second chance. At its core, Cults is the project of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, but for their show, the duo had expanded. Fitting for their name, it looked as if Oblivion and Follin had chosen the additional four musicians based on their Manson family-esque appearance. All but one wore their dark hair long and a bit tussled.
"Hi. We're Cultssss," said Follin, dramatically drawing out the 's.' Like many young bands, Cults seems to lack a singular focus in their music, but their live show is the better for it. Over the course of their brief 25-minute set, they covered everything from slow, sexy songs to peppy, poppy dance numbers like the "Go Outside," which is perhaps their biggest hit to date.
Sure, Cults' set was a bit sloppy at times, but their music has all the right ingredients. They just need to let the dough settle for a bit so the yeast can do its thing.
Up next was Twin Sister. In addition to singer Andrea Estella's arresting appearance (Is that a parka? A wig? Or did she just tease her hair into a giant platinum mass?), it's easy to get lost in the band's mellow melodies and hushed vocals. The members of Twin Sister seemed to be in a perpetual state of bliss that had a calming effect on their music. Typically, stand out tracks are a band's more upbeat songs, but in the case of Twin Sister, it doesn't get much better than the smooth, slowly building "I Want a House" or the hazy jam "Lady Daydream."
The Morning Benders were met by a loud den of high-pitched cheers as they walked on stage. With singer Chris Chu's boyish good looks and the bands buoyant melodies, it should come as no surprise that their most ravenous fans are female. Throughout the evening, Chu spouted praises and niceties, which his eager fan base gladly absorbed. He could nonchalantly whisper "I love you" into the mic and at least 50 girls would turn to their boyfriends and dump them on the spot.
The band has apparently had a busy year. Chu estimated that Thursday night's show marked their 146th since March. Somehow, despite the heavy touring, the band didn't seem to be sick of the songs from their popular sophomore release, Big Echo, and nearly all of their set was lifted from the album. Of course, they did manage to work in a few other songs, like a Fleetwood Mac cover ("Dreams"), which featured guest vocals from Twin Sister's Andrea Estella.
Early in the show, Chu made a passing comment to get people dancing, but given the modest results, he repeated the sentiment before launching into the short, peppy song "Waiting For a War." "I gave you a chance to dance a couple of times, but you didn't really deliver [...] you guys could really go wild and express yourself. Feel free."
Then, as if all they were waiting for was permission, people started bopping along. Though the movement was a bit timid at first, as I watched from my perch in the balcony, I began to see subtle undulations on the floor as the crowd loosened up and seemed to move as one.
For "Excuses," the last song of their initial set, Chu put down his guitar, picked up a shaker, and walked to the edge of the stage, grabbing the hands of fans as he went. "Let's do this. Let's create a memory together, guys [...] let's get everyone singing." Sure enough, the house lights came on and nearly everyone sang along to the "dum du-dum's" of the chorus, including the other three members of the band. As the vocals continued on loop at the end of the song, Chu leaned over and started fiddling with pedals, and for a minute or so, the sunny melodies were shrouded in eerie overtones and discordant noise before he stripped it all away again, leaving the unadulterated group vocals to repeat a few more times before the screams and cheers from the audience became too overwhelming to hear the fade out.
Even if The Morning Benders don't appeal to you, it's hard to deny the gem of a song that is "Excuses" - so simple yet unbelievably catchy. Then you have the lyrics - not sexy enough to be dangerous or intimidating, but not completely innocent either. Take the first couple of lines: "You tried to taste me / And I taped my tongue to the southern tip of your body." (Whoa. Did I just blush typing that?)
As he walked off stage, Chris Chu uttered one last promise. "We'll be back soon with a new album." Then as if giving us a sneak peak, the band returned for one last song, a new one entitled "Virgins."
More pictures from the tour-ending show and the headliner's setlist, below...
photos by Erez Avissar
On his records, [Ariel Pink] disguises himself in swaths of lo-fi tape hiss, but live he must get creative... His five-piece Haunted Graffiti opens with "Beverly Kills" from this year's major-indie debut Before Today and it is striking how close the band sounds to the record. Even with five people juggling Pink's self-made duties, details, and voiceovers, it is hard to imagine that learning this stuff was easy.That review comes from the Friday night, 11/12, Os Mutantes and Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti show at the Trocadero in Philadelphia. The two bands then played Webster Hall in NYC with (a horned) Diva, one night later, Saturday night, 11/13. The pictures in this post are from that NYC show - both from in front of the stage, and some taken behind it (pictures from last time Os Mutantes played Webster Hall are HERE).
But as they continue into "L'Estat (Acc. to the Maid)," the details quickly succumb to the limitations of the [venue]: Guitar surfs and slides become difficult to catch, and all the tempo changes melt together. Some of the tunes that follow, like "Menopause," sound like songs by Yes. Luckily, the new-wave itch of "Fright Night" and celestial four-man chorus on "Round and Round" manage to poke through beautifully.
The co-headliners for this show, Brazil's legendary band, Os Mutantes, were an odd fit for this pairing, but being odd is the only thing that is ever fit them.
Pink's homemade productions race back to the '80s, '70s and '60s, but Os Mutantes, in the '60s themselves, redefined psychedelic futurism. Sérgio Dias and company do not disappoint on the Salvador Dali front, all dressed in caftans (save Bia Mendes in a short black jacket) with a flutist in tow, dabbing Tropicália rhythms with flourishes of English folk and opera betwixt drum breaks worthy of James Brown.
Os Mutantes and Ariel Pink have the night off tonight (11/15), but will play Montreal Tuesday before heading back in to the US by the end of the week. Both recently played Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin Texas as part of their tour together. All dates HERE. More pictures below...
words and photos by Chris Gersbeck
Blonde Redhead played their first of two shows at Webster Hall last night (11/3) with Pantha Du Prince. The party continues tonight (11/4) with Rain Machine (and not Taken by Trees or Pantha Du Prince). Tickets are still available.
There was a line outside of Webster Hall before doors opened shortly after 7pm that nearly reached the movie theater on Third Ave. Though I had read there were still tickets available on my way to the venue, I heard murmurs that it was sold out from people being turned away at the box office. Clearly, Blonde Redhead's two night stay in New York City, their first official show in the area since playing Prospect Park in '09 (they played private shows at 92Y Tribeca in August and Tribeca Grand after that), has been greeted with much anticipation following the release of Penny Sparkle.
Despite the line, the crowd was sparse all the way up until the beginning of Pantha Du Prince's set. I was somewhat familiar with the German musician's latest album Black Noise, but as usual I never know what to expect from a one-man act/producer whose primary instruments are electronic. Pantha took the stage right at 8pm, cloaked in his hoodie on a dimly lit stage, and quickly began tapping various pads and adjusting knobs creating an atmospheric layer of sound. Though he did have a laptop on stage, nothing about it seemed pre-recorded or staged. I've seen his music described as "minimalist", but as the set went on and his sounds became deeper and blanketed, his performance was anything but minimal. While there would often be a four-on-the-floor beat, on top of that would be a complex layer of synth and percussion, and occasionally a looped pre-recorded vocal track. Oddly enough, as his set was coming to a close and his wall of sound was hanging on a note, something abruptly happened and his sound was shut off, leaving a bit of an awkward silence followed by an enthusiastic response from the crowd. By this point, Webster Hall was completely full, and everyone was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the headliner. It's worth noting that when Radiohead's Myxomatosis was played on the P.A., the crowd let out a collective cheer. Note to Radiohead: new album and tour please...
The audience didn't have to wait long for the main act, as Blonde Redhead stuck to the set times and took the stage shortly after 9pm. Hidden behind a long white mask burgeoning with tufts of long blonde hair, Kazu Makino set the tone for the rest of their set: mysterious, somber, calculated and beautiful. The band started off slow, as Amedeo and Simone Pace, both incredible musicians in their own right, passionately tore through openers (and new songs) "Black Guitar" and "Here Sometimes" while Kazu enigmatically danced around on stage. Joined by a fourth multi-instrumentalist member, their songs stayed true to their studio counterparts; Blonde Redhead sounded as tight as ever.
There were some pauses in between the first few songs that I think made everyone a little nervous. The band quickly tried to switch from keyboard to guitar, from guitar to keyboard, from mask to no mask, but that's what happens when a band takes itself this seriously and doesn't exactly acknowledge the audience. Not that anyone seemed to care. As soon as Amedeo teased the audience with the guitar riff from "Falling Man" the crowd responded enthusiastically before being pummeled with some of the tightest rhythm work I've heard from a band in a while.
Simone Pace' sdrums can sometimes sound sequenced on recording, but not a song passed where I didn't recognize how integral a part he plays in this band's sound. It also became apparent as the set went on how seamlessly the band can go from a beautifully arranged synth-heavy song like "23" with Kazu solely on vocals, then watch her strap on a guitar and suddenly, they're a punk band. After two(!) encores, the band left for good. I'm quite certain tonight's audience will consist of many repeat fans.
Blonde Redhead are touring in support of their new LP, Penny Sparkle, out now via 4AD. If you are on the West Coast/Southwest, catch 'em on tour with Olof Arnolds.
More pictures, the setlist and video from Webster Hall last night, below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
"Matt & Kim shuttin it down!! @ Webster Hall" - Bryan Lam
"Matt and Kim concert. It's time to get crazy in NYC!" - Erik Segura
Despite their constant movement into the audience, onto their equipment and up the scaffolding that held up their light setup, Matt & Kim placed their instruments as close together as the 9:30 Club stage would allow. Their hyperactivity made Sleigh Bells look like slackers and the onstage chemistry was oh-so-cute -- except when it wasn't.The above quote comes from Matt & Kim's DC show which took place on 10/22 at 9:30 Club, a few days before the band began its two day reign at the 1400+ capacity Webster Hall (where will they headline next? Terminal 5?) with The So So Glos and Donnis (10/26 and 10/27). The pictures in this post are from the 2nd show, where, as usual, the kids ate it up, and just generally went nuts. Not news, but Matt & Kim's days of ruling the DIY Todd P scene are a thing of the past. Their choice of The So So Glos, who helped found the now-closed Market Hotel, as opener was one reminder though, of their pre-VMA/mega-sponsored life.
After a short time, it became clear that although Matt & Kim have released two albums and have material ready for a third, all of their songs are pretty much variations on their big hits, "Yea Yeah" and "It's a Fact." All have loud and fast drumbeats, loud and fast keyboards and loud and fast keyboards -- usually with the same chord progressions. But in case anyone got sick of hearing the same "BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM" over and over again, Matt & Kim broke up their own set with samples from stadium staples like Biz Markie's "Just a Friend" and DJ Kool's "Let Me Clear My Throat." Adding the jock jams seemed appropriate given that Matt Johnson kept breathing heavily between songs, as if constantly between sprints. The band's bright light setup also added to the illusion that we were really at some overstimulating pep rally. -[DCist]
Matt & Kim's spunky NYC run is over (they're in Rochester tonight) (all dates below), but The So So Glos have another date in town tonight (10/28): they play a free show at Matchless with Titus Andronicus.
Matt & Kim's new album Sidewalks is out 11/2 (iTunes). "Matt and Kim fans around the country have been busy creating art on these postcards, distributed at festivals over the Summer, and sending them into m and k headquarters." Those postcards were compiled into a promotional video which you can watch under the rest of the pictures and videos from Webster Hall, and other stuff, below...
photos by Greg Cristman, words by BBG
Matt Pike of High on Fire @ Webster Hall
High on Fire descended upon a packed Grog Shop Friday night on top of a diverse three-band hard-rock bill and staked a powerful claim to the heavy metal throne with an hour-long display of brutally intelligent music.We've seen a lot of Torche lately, and it wasn't that long before their headlining show at Webster Hall on Sunday night that we saw High on Fire either. The band played Gramercy and Music Hall of Williamsburg earlier this year, but we were happy to have them back.
Singer and guitarist extraordinaire Matt Pike is finally starting to show some signs of wear and tear on his face after about two decades of nonstop touring. So maybe he's not literally immortal. We watched him effortlessly switch from the slower, spacier stoner-rock of the recent Sleep reunion to High on Fire's relentless heavy metal in the space of just a few weeks. So we'd have to say he's probably at least a demi-god.
[a review from the Cleveland show]
Kylesa, who opened the Webster Hall show, on the other hand hadn't played NYC since supporting Mastodon at Irving/MHOW in May of last year. And all three bands had the next night off of their tour together, which prompted Kylesa to schedule a surprise Monday show at Public Assembly. Pictures from that Brooklyn show with Hull are forthcoming, but you can dig on the rest of the Webster Hall pictures (Torche ones HERE), some video, and the setlists, below....