Back in 2014, American Football reunited playing shows for the first time in 15 years, including a performance at Webster Hall. At the time I figured it was a one and done sort of deal, and that we probably wouldn’t hear from them for a while. But in 2016 the group returned again, but this time for real, with a brand new album once again self-titled and released on Polyvinyl Records.

They haven’t been doing much touring for the album, but the group did bring the show to New York for a show at Terminal 5 on January 28. Support came Athens’ Mothers, who seem to have been touring non-stop since we first saw them at CMJ 2015, as well as Joan Of Arc, the Chicago band fronted by Tim Kinsella, brother of Mike from American Football.

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All photos by Ross Bernhardt

“Tip your bartenders. Punch a nazi. I love you.”

Those three phrases were the last that Monica Martin, lead vocalist for Wisconsin indie darlings PHOX, uttered to a sold-out crowd at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg (where we last saw them in 2015) on Saturday, January 28th. It also might be the last phrases that Martin says to New Yorkers as part of PHOX for a very long time.

As of February 4th, after a farewell show in their hometown of Baraboo, the orchestral folk group are taking an indefinite hiatus to focus on individual projects. As Martin said at one point during the show, it was a bittersweet concert. For fans of the group, this is especially true. PHOX leaves us with just one complete album, 2014’s self-titled debut, and it was as confident an introduction as I’ve heard in quite some time. However, we’ll have to wait a lot longer than we would like to hear new material from these midwesterners.

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With her new album Not Even Happiness (released via Ba Da Bing! Records), singer-songwriter Julie Byrne has already released one of the most beautiful albums you’ll hear all year. It’s a fragile, hypnotic record that’s stirring with lush imagery and romantic arrangements that will leave you in awe. So it was no surprise that the songs were even more heartbreaking in person during her performance at Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn on January 27, which served as the release party for the album.

Kicking off the show was first opener Suno Deko was the Atlanta-based electronic project of David Courtright, who created dreamy sounds that were accompanied by visuals presented by the constant loop of a projector. Following their lead, the local performance group Infinity’s Song. They performed a mix of covers and originals, winning the crowd over with some great vocals and a knack for performance. They weren’t quite what you would expect from an opener at a Julie Byrne show, but that was a total welcome surprise.

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Cate Le Bon at Bowery Ballroom (January 26, 2017)

By Will Oliver, February 15th 2017 — with 1 comment Concert Photos Concert Reviews Listen Stream

On January 26, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon took to New York for a performance at Bowery Ballroom, along with her partner in crime, Tim Presley (of White Fence), who opened the show. Le Bon brought the songs off her 2016 album Crab Day (released via Drag City) as well as her recently released companion EP Rock Pool.

Le Bon and Presley have recently become a formidable duo, combining forces for their new band Drinks, and also have helped each other out with their recent solo work, with Le Bon producing Presley’s 2016 solo offering, The Wink. She helped out on guitar during Presley’s opening set, and Presley offered some guitar during Le Bon’s performance of “What’s Not Mine.”

Le Bon delivered a rocking 16-song performance that weaved in and out of her four albums, with all of their material colliding to create one delicious whole. Her two-song encore featured a hat tip to Presley, with a cover of White Fence’s “Chairs In The Dark,” and then the show concluded with a memorable performance of her own “Are You With Me Now?”

Find her full setlist posted below, along with photos of both her performance and Presley’s. And you can ever relive the whole set thanks to our friends at NYCTaper.
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In 2007, a young Canadian rock group named Tokyo Police Club came sprinting out of the gate with their energetic debut EP A Lesson In Crime. It’s been a full decade since then, and although Tokyo Police Club may not have reached the impossible expectations unfairly put on them back in ’07, they’ve since churned out a bunch of good albums and continue to chug on with the band throughout the years. It’s a rare bit of  longevity, when most bands that exploded on the blog scene with them have since perished.

They celebrated the 10th anniversary of A Lesson In Crime with a special tour that saw them play the EP in full, along with a set of new songs and old favorites, a full reflection of their career of sorts. The tour stopped into New York for a pair of shows at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg.

We caught the Bowery show on January 20, which featured an opening performance from the young but hot-rising Brooklyn band Charly Bliss. The young crowd was very much into their set of 90s-inspired grunge rock, and even had a section of the crowd in the front section moving. They’re set to release their debut album Guppy on April 21 via Barsuk Records.

Find photos of both their set and Tokyo Police Club’s posted below, along with TPC’s setlist.

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Shy Girls, the project of Portland-native singer/producer Dan Vidmar released his debut album Salt earlier this year via Hit City U.S.A.. He’s currently on the road in support of the album, bringing its sounds for a small East Coast tour this week.

Shy Girls will bring the action to New York tomorrow night, for a performance in Brooklyn at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Support will come from openers Flamingosis and NOIA.

Tickets for the sure are currently still on sale, and stay tuned, as we will have coverage of the show coming very soon.
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Los Angeles rock outfit Cherry Glazerr released new album Apocalipstick on January 20 via Secretly Canadian. The record is the sophomore release for the group, which is led by 19-year-old frontwoman Clementine Creevy. On January 18, they brought their “Pussy Bites Back” tour to New York for a performance at Bowery Ballroom. Opening the show was Los Angeles’ Slow Hollows and Brooklyn’s Mega Bog.

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5 Ways to Save On Concert Tickets

By Will Oliver, February 6th 2017 Editorial

Woman giving tickets

Although it might seem like the busiest concert season is still far away, you should start planning for your music schedule already. Concert tickets are not cheap and they can be especially costly if you leave everything to the last minute. Luckily, you can snatch a few good deals without paying yourself sick if you just follow these simple tricks and tips. With the help of these five ways, you can save on concert tickets and add one more concert to your list this year!

Buying At The Right Time From Major Ticket Outlets

Let’s face it. Most of us simply head down to Ticketmaster when it comes to buying concert tickets. The website is the most famous and often the most convenient way of finding tickets for all sorts of events. But it can be a bit pricey, although you can cut costs by being smart with your timing.

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It was only fitting that my first show of the new year came from Forth Wanderers, a band that we will be seeing much of in the near future. Forth Wanderers are a group from Montclair, New Jersey, who came together a few years ago while still in high school, and still going strong as each of its members are finishing up college. In between semesters they return to the band, touring and releasing promising new songs such as their great Slop EP, which Father/Daughter Records released last fall.

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Artwork courtesy of Anthony Bauer
2016 was as busy as any other year in recent memory with the constant release of new albums. It seemed like every week we were bombarded with a surprise album drop from a big star, a long overdue follow-up, or promising debut album that came out of thin air. It was a bit overwhelming, but a damn good problem to have. We lost a few heroes in David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, but gained a few instant classics that served to preserve their memory with an amazing sendoff. Radiohead, A Tribe Called Quest, The Avalanches, and The Last Shadow Puppets all finally returned to us. Frank Ocean delivered not one, but two albums.

There was no shortage of music to be found, especially good music. Below, you can find 50 favorites from 2016, including a few honorable mentions. Believe it or not, there were albums I left off that I would’ve gladly liked to at least mention to you, as they’re all worth your time. That’s saying something.

Call it what you want, best, top or favorites. Either way, these were the 50 albums that helped me get through 2016.

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