Entries tagged with: Webster Hall

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photos by Brook Bobbins

Art Brut @ Webster Hall - March 4, 2011
Art Brut

Hello. We're Art Brut.

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...

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".

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...

Continue reading "Art Brut releasing new stuff, touring North America, played Webster Hall w/ White Demim, A-Trak & more (pics & dates)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Bill Pearis


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....

Continue reading " Destroyer played Webster Hall w/ War on Drugs (pics, setlist)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

Lupe Fiasco

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."

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]

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.

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...

Continue reading "Lupe Fiasco played Webster Hall w/ help from Black Milk, John Legend, Sway & Dosage (pics & setlist)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Beach House

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.

Beach House's upcoming gigs include Sasquatch and the Portishead-curated ATP in the UK (maybe they'll add them in the U.S.A. too?).

Papercut's upcoming gigs include tours with Still Corners and Banjo or Freakout. Those dates include Mercury Lounge on March 26th. More pictures from Webster Hall, below...

Continue reading "Beach House & Papercuts @ Webster Hall (night 2 pics, setlist)"

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....

Continue reading "A-Trak helped Chromeo DJ their party @ Webster Hall (pics)"


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.

Continue reading "Leftfield (sans Paul Daley) playing NYC after Coachella"

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
Best Coast

"The '90s are back, and along with flannel, environmentalism and 20-something ennui, the resurgence has brought some great self-deprecating rock songs.

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]

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.

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...

Continue reading "Best Coast, Wavves & No Joy played 9:30 Club (stream it) and Webster Hall (pics) -- MHOW tonight"

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).

A-Trak is also on board for this year's sold-out Cochella Fest, playing not only as A-Trak, but also two days later as part of Duck Sauce (his project with Armand Van Helden).

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.

Continue reading "A-Trak playing Coachella & another Downtown Records Party (w/ the Suzan, Lissy Trullie, White Denim & ART BRUT)"

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...

Continue reading "The Jayhawks performed 'Tomorrow the Green Grass' @ Webster Hall (more pics from night 1 & night 2 setlist)"

photos by Chris Becker

Radio Department

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?

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.

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.

Braids opened for the band at Bowery Ballroom, like they did at Knitting Factory. More pictures from Bowery and all Radio Dept dates below...

Continue reading "The Radio Dept played Bowery Ballroom w/ Braids (pics), add Webster Hall show (updated dates)"

the current issue of FADER
Lykke Li

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...

Continue reading "Lykke Li adds another show & stuff (updated dates, etc..)"

photos by Tracy Allison, words by Erin Allison

Delta Spirit at Webster Hall

Tuesday night Delta Spirit played to a packed house at Webster Hall, their biggest headlining show to date. Darker My Love and The Fling opened, as they will for the remaining dates on this tour.

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...

Continue reading "Delta Spirit, Darker My Love & the Fling @ Webster Hall (pics)"

photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by Rachel Kowal

Andrea joins the Morning Benders on Stage
The Morning Benders

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...

Continue reading "The Morning Benders, Twin Sister & Cults @ Webster Hall ---- (pics & setlist) "

photos by Erez Avissar

Ariel Pink
Os Mutantes

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.

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.
[Philadelphia Inquirer]

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).

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...

Continue reading "Os Mutantes, Ariel Pink & Diva played Webster Hall (pics)"

words and photos by Chris Gersbeck

Blonde Redhead

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...

Continue reading "Blonde Redhead & Pantha Du Prince played Webster Hall --- (pics, video, setlist) "

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

Matt & Kim

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.

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]

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.

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...

Continue reading "Matt & Kim played 2 nights @ Webster Hall w/ the So So Glos & Donnis (pics & video ) "

photos by Greg Cristman, words by BBG

Matt Pike of High on Fire @ Webster Hall
High On Fire

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.

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]

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.

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....

Continue reading "High on Fire & Kylesa @ Webster Hall (pics, video, setlist)"

photos by Greg Cristman, words by BBG


The Aquarian: How was the Floor reunion for you?

Steve Brooks of Torche/Floor: It was great ...The Floor shows were the best Floor shows we ever played, and there was an audience. Normally, back then, we'd just be playing in front of the other bands or friends. The biggest audience Floor ever played for, too.

The Aquarian: I was at the Brooklyn show, and it was amazed to see people singing along and jumping around. I imagine it was cool to play for.

Steve Brooks of Torche/Floor: Yeah, it was pretty mindblowing. We're like, "What? Huh?" (Laughs)

The Aquarian: Do you feel like Torche has taken what Floor started and brought it to fruition?

Steve Brooks of Torche/Floor: It's a different beast. Floor was only going to go so far, I think. I played in that band for over a decade and it was just time to move forward ...I went full-force with this one, where Floor, we didn't really go full-force as far as touring and everything, until 2001. We did one little tour in '96, but none of us had the confidence. We thought it was pretty much a project, and some of us relocated and stuff like that, but we didn't really tour where we should have back then. It probably would have been a lot different for us. But Torche... is also a learning experience as we went along, but I've gone further with this band than I have with any other band, and I'm 36 years old. I'm still doing it. It's pretty awesome.

Floor has only one date left on their calendar, at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin next weekend (11/5 - 11/7, tickets), but Torche is still on the road.

Torche played NYC for the second time in three months, and the third time in five months, when they played with High On Fire and Kylesa at Webster Hall Sunday night. Torche drummer Rick Smith was not at the Webster show due to a family emergency, and was replaced by former Kylesa skinsman and current Shitstorm/Capsule member Eric Hernandez.

On Monday, Torche appeared on Red Eye on Fox News (after cancelling their Generation Records appearance). On the show, Governor Mike Huckabee said he is a Torche fan.That video with more pictures, video and the setlist from Webster, below...

Continue reading "Torche played Webster Hall, appeared on Red Eye (pics, setlist, video) "

photos by Amanda Hatfield


"I had never seen Deerhunter or even heard one of their records but I really enjoyed their powerful but dreamy and spacious sounds. Half of Williamsburg made the L train trek over to the island for this (I thought I was on Bedford Av) and the sold out show sure pleased everyone. The four Athens-originating Atlanta-based musicians had good stage presence and attitude and to me sounded a lot more interesting and original than a lot of other indie rock bands out there right now."
[Mark Urselli]
Deerhunter headlined their 2nd NYC in two weeks at Webster Hall on Friday night (10/15). The first was a shorter and more random appearance at the Apple Store on the release date of of their new album. Friday night's show was a much larger event and a stop on their ongoing tour with Real Estate and Casino vs Japan. More pictures from that one, some Big Ass Lens video, Deerhunter's setlist, with Diplo & Lunice's awesome new remix of "Helicopter" (streamable and downloadable), below...

Continue reading "Deerhunter played Webster Hall w/ Real Estate (pics, video & setlist), got remixed by Diplo & Lunice (MP3)"

photos by Jessica Amaya, words by Rachel Kowal

DOWNLOAD: S. Carey - In the Dirt (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: S. Carey - In the Stream (MP3)

The Tallest Man On Earth

Even if you don't know much about S. Carey's background, it probably wouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that he wrote much of the material for his debut album while on the road with Bon Iver. Sean Carey possesses the kind of slow, steady vocals that make you weak in the knees, and the accompanying music benefits from a collection of classy instruments like the upright bass, saxophone, and vibraphone. The set began with a hushed, melodic opening that gradually crescendoed when Carey came in on vocals midway through the song. For once, earplugs weren't necessary - at least for the majority of the set Monday night at Webster Hall (9/27).

S. Carey did make one notable departure from the tranquil presentation. Fitting for its title, "Action" featured a surprisingly rowdy segment as each of the musicians contributed to the song's chaotic and frenzied conclusion.

Considering the fact that S. Carey has never played a show in New York, Webster Hall is a pretty impressive place to start. The sheer size of the venue typically makes it an inhospitable setting for quieter acts, but both S. Carey and Tallest Man on Earth effortlessly captured the attention of the mild-mannered and appreciative crowd.

When it came time for The Tallest Man on Earth to play, the stage had been stripped down to a single mic stand, a simple brown wooden chair, and a guitar rack. Kristian Matsson walked on stage to what sounded like a Swedish song playing in the background. Without a word of introduction, he began singing "A Field of Birds." Whenever he wasn't required to be at the mic, Matsson paced around the stage, sometimes running back over just in time to sing.

"Thank you so much New York. I'm glad to be back. I might have played that song a bit too fast, but don't judge me. This is a big place," Matsson sheepishly confessed after a couple of songs. Matsson's distinctively gruff voice provides an interesting contrast to the melodic strains of his guitar. Though he didn't have a backing band, Matsson's music impressively resonated throughout the large space and the reverent sold-out audience.

The magical star-lit backdrop lining the stage seemed to be perfectly suited for a man whose songs feature motifs like love, the beautiful Scandinavian landscape, and of course - birds. At one point, someone in the crowd asked him about the mysterious message emblazoned in blue on his T-shirt. "Good question. Thank you so much for asking and not yelling something like 'Fuck you.'" He countered. "It's Leksand Delarna. It's where I'm from. It's my home town." He briefly reflected on his homesickness before momentarily turning his back on the crowd and walking over to get a closer look at the celestial backdrop, as if marveling at the beautiful Swedish night sky.

After playing a couple of songs about the ups and downs of love, he returned to the topic of his homeland and the album artwork it inspired. "So I have a new EP. It's only 5 songs. But the cover is awesome... it's like a chimney and a field house... go to the merch. You don't have to buy it. Just check it out." And with that, he launched into "Like the Wheel."

Though the show featured a number of pauses as Matsson stopped to tune a guitar or communicated with the sound technician, this attention to detail paid off and made for quite a robust sound (and the most beautiful and complicated guitar tuning technique I've ever heard).

Matsson capped off his initial set with "Thrown Right at Me," a lovely duet featuring Amanda Bergman (aka Jaw Lesson) (previously Hajen) on vocals. He then returned to wild applause to wrap up with an impassioned three-song encore.

The Tallest Man and S. Carey are on tour (S. Carey will be back for CMJ too). Updated dates, the full Tallest Man setlist, and more pictures from the NYC show, below...

Continue reading "The Tallest Man On Earth & S. Carey played Webster Hall, NYC (pics & setlist) "

by BBG

Boys Noize at HARD NYC (more by Zachary Alex Stern)
Boys Noize

Boys Noize will team up with Rusko for a date at Webster Hall on 10/29. The two electronic artists, who both just played Electric Zoo (and who both played different dates on the recent HARD tour), are criscrossing in NYC, but each are hitting the road for much larger separate tours in promotion of their latest LPs, Power and O.M.G.! respectively. Full tour dates for both are below.

Three weeks after Boys Noize/Rusko, look for Z-Trip to bring his cornucopia of beats to Webster Hall (11/19), his only East Coast date so far. Full dates are below, as well as a recent (and awesome) Marvin Gaye/2Pac blend by Z-Trip commissioned by Afeni Shakur.

Continue reading "Boys Noize, Rusko & Z-Trip are playing NYC shows & touring (not together)"

photos by kolored

"Titus andronicus never fail to be impressive. Clap on bros, clap on." -KrissyRubbles

"Titus Andronicus is still the best band in the world.
Webster Hall cannot contain them." -totale

Patrick Stickles on stage @ Webster Saturday night
Titus Andronicsus

"Lead singer Patrick Stickles made it clear that Saturday night's show was a special one for the band. It was the last show of their current tour; it was a near-hometown concert (the band is from New Jersey) and thus many family members were in the audience. Stickles especially pointed out his father, standing in the front row of the balcony right in front of the stage. The presence of his father seemed to fit perfectly with the night, as Titus Andronicus came off as that loveable little band that started in obscurity and is getting bigger and bigger with each go-around. You couldn't help but feel a bit of pride, even if you had nothing to do with the band's growth." [Muzzle of Bees]
Titus Andronicus played Webster Hall Saturday night (9/25) with an impressive supporting cast of Free Energy and Screaming Females. The show completed a touring cycle for TA and FE that kicked off with a zillion degree show at Glasslands (without FE) and a show at Maxwell's (with FE) in mid-August.

Unlike Free Energy and Screaming Females, Titus Andronicus don't have many upcoming shows on their schedule at the moment, but they do have at least one. Catch them with Adam Haworth Stephens and The Felice Brothers at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY on October 30th, Mischief Night 2010. Tickets are on sale.

More pictures from Webster Hall, below...

Continue reading "Titus Andronicus headlined Webster Hall (pics), playing The Chance in Poughkeepsie (tix)"

photos by kolored

Free Energy

After Screaming Females, came a set by Free Energy at Webster Hall on Saturday night. Free Energy were 2nd on the bill. Their tour-mates Titus Andronicus headlined the show.

Free Energy are in China this weekend (!), but head back to the US to play a string of dates before hooking up with Foxy Shazam for a tour that includes two more NYC shows in late November: at Bowery Ballroom (11/24) and Music Hall of Williamsburg (11/26). Stay tuned for ticket info.

All dates and more pictures from Webster Hall, below...

Continue reading "Free Energy played Webster Hall w/ Titus (pics) announce tour w/ Foxy Shazam (dates) "

photos by kolored

DOWNLOAD: Screaming Females - I Don't Mind It (new MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Noun (Marissa solo) - Holy Hell (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Noun (Marissa solo) - Brother (MP3)

Marissa Paternoster screaming @ Webster Hall Saturday evening
Screaming Females

"The Females pick the strongest parts of indie, alt, punk and classic rock to gracefully create something timeless, singular and powerful. The trio's vocals, riffs, hooks, baselines and beats are live wires touching raw nerves. But the Females' biggest draw is Paternoster's impressive instrumental dexterity. Her frequent solos and leads are hooky without being showy, using the art of the shred to support the songs rather than distract from them. You can hear shades of Skynyrd, the White Stripes and countless other genre-defining greats -- but that's under Paternoster's distinctive caterwauling vocals, a sound that's undeniably aggressive.

The Black Cat is promoting Paternoster as "the new guitar God of the rock scene," while the Village Voice named the lifelong suburbanite 2009's Best Shredder in New York City.

Take it from the old guitar God of the rock scene: Last year the Screaming Females were thrilled to learn that J Mascis had placed an order for a disc on their website. A few days later, Mascis offered Screaming Females the opening slot at a Dinosaur Jr show in Brooklyn. [Washington Post]

To quote photographer Paul Birman (kolored) who was seeing the band for the first time at Webster Hall Saturday night (9/25), "screaming females are incredible." If you went to the show, hopefully you got there early. They were first of three on the bill headlined by Titus Andronicus. Free Energy were 2nd.

Now, after playing that Webster Hall show which came after a giant leg of a tour that included three NYC-area shows including a headlining record release party at Knitting Factory earlier this month (more dates below), it can finally be announced that Screaming Females are the unannounced band playing the BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 21st. So the Thursday night BV show looks like this:

* The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
* The Blow
* Screaming Females
* Yuck
* Young Man
Tickets are still on sale.

More pictures from the Webster Hall show, including one of their setlist, and more tour dates (they still have tons to go) below...

Continue reading "Screaming Females played Webster Hall, playing BV CMJ"

photos by Kam Tambini

"floor at webster hall about to collapse for caribou" - t m


Though Caribou was shortlisted for the 2010 Polaris Prize, the highest honor went to another:

Montreal indie rock act Karkwa took home the Polaris Music Prize for its fourth album, "Les Chemins de Verre" or "The Glass Paths" (Audiogram)...The band received $20,000 Canadian ($19,415).

"Les Chemins de Verre" was recorded in part at La Frette studios in Paris during breaks on their French tour. "It's an unbelievable thing to win this prize," said the band in a statement. "We have a lot of respect for this contest and we think they do it for the right reason (music)."
Oh well. Daniel Snaith probably didn't have a chance anyway, since Caribou already won it in 2008.

Caribou is currently on the road and will stay there until the middle of December. Daniel and and his live band played Webster Hall in NYC on Wednesday (9/22) with help from Emeralds and Arp. No Emeralds/Arp pictures, but a few more Caribou ones, with a video, and the band's exhausting-looking tour schedule, below...

Continue reading "Caribou played Webster Hall (pics), didn't win the Polaris, and is now on tour (dates) "