Four years has passed since Alaska rockers Portugal. The Man released Evil Friends, making the arrival of new album Woodstock (via Atlantic Records) the longest wait between albums of their career. But it seems to have paid off, as current single “Feel It Still” has done extremely well, landing a #1 placement on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart as well as #2 on the Alternative songs chart.



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It seems like everyday I read a new think-piece or drab facebook status about how rock is dead. Yet, half of the reason I’m still going with this here blog and life in general is because of getting to see rock bands like Franz Ferdinand put on great rock shows that prove that the genre is anything but dead.

On June 6 they performed to a sold out crowd at Warsaw, as a part of an intimate Governors Ball after dark performance, just one day after performing at the festival.



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(Tool)

The third final day of Governors Ball (Day 1 coverage, Day 2 coverage) had the strongest chance of rain out of the entire weekend, but aside from some light drizzle early on in the day, the weather held out. Based on the acts that I caught on Sunday, this was the “rock day” of the festival, featuring a heavy dose of bands with guitars. There was still of course plenty to see in other genres, but it’s safe to say that any day that is headlined by Tool is probably heavy on the rock.

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(Childish Gambino)

After an exhausting but fun first day of Governors Ball, I grabbed my usual pregame fuel of a bacon egg and cheese and iced coffee and descended backed to the hollow grounds of Randalls Island for Day 2 of the festival.

(Car Seat Headrest)

What better way to start than to see a midday set from Car Seat Headrest. I saw them quite a few times over the past year (Bowery Ballroom in September ’16 being the last time) yet I’m still not tired of seeing Will Toledo and the rest of the band rock out.

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When I think of summer coming into bloom, I think of the Governors Ball Music Festival. At least for me, it’s usually the first music festival of the summer I’ll attend, and having it so close to home makes it special. After attending this year’s edition, I have now attended all six editions of the fest since it moved to its not permanent home of Randalls Island, watching it gradually grow in size each year. Although rain once again threatened in the days ahead of the festival, we lucked out with some great weather, with only a few light drizzles throughout the weekend.

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If I’m going purely by play counts, not many 2017 releases have been spun more by me than White Reaper’s sophomore album The World’s Best American Band (released via Polyvinyl Records).

While it’s title (which is in contention for best album title of the year), may come off as cocky, the band have the chops to back it up. The record dives deep to the glam of arena rock of the 70’s, cheesy in the best way possible. At just 30 minutes it delivers some infectious rock and roll that I’ll be spinning even more constantly during these warm summer months.

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All photos by Rachel Barrish

Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit released their new album Painting of a Panic Attack last year via Atlantic Records.

We caught them twice last year, at Terminal 5 and then at Newport Folk Festival. They’re still hard at work in support of the record, returning back to us here in New York for a performance at Brooklyn Steel along with openers Torres and Bel Aviv.

Our photographer Rachel Barrish was there to capture photos from both Torres and Frightened Rabbit, find them posted in the gallery below.

Frightened Rabbit Setlist:

1. Get Out
2. Holy
3. The Modern Leper
4. I Wish I Was Sober
5. Living in Colour
6. Blood Under the Bridge
7. Head Rolls Off
8. Woke Up Hurting
9. Fast Blood
10. My Backwards Walk (Scott solo)
11. Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
12. The Oil Slick
13. Square 9
14. The Woodpile
15. Lump Street
16. Death Dream
17. Keep Yourself Warm

Torres:

Frightened Rabbit:

London indie-pop duo Oh Wonder (the duo of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West) are returning in July with new album Ultralife (via Republic Records). The record isn’t out for another month, but the duo have been out on the road sharing some of the new material in-between their many festival dates. This included a small show on May 25 at Rough Trade NYC, the same place that they made their live debut here back in 2015.

A lot has changed for the group since then, included a much bigger audience (they last played T5 and will return to Brooklyn Steel this fall), so to see them delight the sold out crowd in a space like Rough Trade was a real treat (we previously caught them at MHOW). I am not normally into pop music (as anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time knows) but the joyous and infectious music that Vander Gucht and West churn out is infectious and undeniably wins you over in no time.

Find photos from their performance, as well as opener Charlotte Cardin, posted below, along with the setlist.

Oh Wonder Setlist:

1. Livewire
2. Without You
3. Shark
4. Dazzle
5. Lose It
6. Ultralife
7. All We Do
8. Landslide
9. High on Humans
10. Body Gold
11. Lifetimes
12. Drive

Encore:

13. Midnight Moon
14. Technicolour Beat

Charlotte Cardin:

Oh Wonder:

Alabama Shakes are a hot ticket these days. That’s what happens after you release two killer albums and win a few Grammy’s along the way. Which made the fact that they would play a free show on May 24 on the freaking U.S.S. Intrepid pretty damn incredible.

The special event was put on by Sailor Jerry as a part of Fleet Week, celebrating all those brave men and women who keep us safe. With free rum flowing, along with some great food, there was plenty of good vibes in the air by the time Alabama Shakes took the stage.

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