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1_Tobias Jesso Jr

You may have heard a thing or two about hot rising star Tobias Jesso Jr. in 2014. The online music community has had nothing but heavy praise for the 29-year-old, who has only released a couple of songs officially. Even so, the Vancouver-native played the closing night of Pitchfork Paris and worked with producers such as Jr White (formerly of Girls), The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, and Ariel Rechtshaid. That’s saying something.

So I was quite stoked when I received an invitation to check out a intimate performance from Jesso last month at a loft in Williamsburg. It was Jesso’s 6th ever live performance, and the third night in a row that he delighted New York members lucky enough to be in attendance (mostly industry related folk).
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New Myths at Glasslands (November 18, 2014)

By Anthony Bauer, December 19th 2014

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All photos by Anthony Bauer

Manhattan may have a variety¬†of wonderful venues both big & small, but Brooklyn really shines against its counterpart in its exceptional choices of truly diverse DIY venues. While the many of those DIY venues will be closing at the end of this year (or have already closed), one venue that has been a central figure since 2006 has been Glasslands Gallery. It’s a wonderful space to see live music, and it’s a complete shame that it will be closing. I had promised myself I’d see a few more shows before Glasslands closes at the end of this year, and when I heard New Myths were playing a headlining set, I knew where I was going to be on November 18th.
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Future Islands at Death By Audio (November 18, 2014)

By Will Oliver, December 18th 2014

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On November 18 Future Islands were the secret guests at Death By Audio. Once word spread that it was them, it didn’t take much for a huge line to form all the way down to Kent Ave. It’s funny because Future Islands played DBA almost the same time a year ago to the date, but their following has grown quite substansially with the breakout year that they had this year thanks to the release of Singles.

Openers included Adam Schatz & The Farewell to Death by Audio Suite (Adam also plays in Man Man + Landlady), DJ Dog Dick and The Immaculates (DBA’s Matt Conboy along with Jay Heiselmann and Cyrus Lubin). Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington joined The Immaculates for a cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing My Down,” which was an epic, but bittersweet moment for all.

It didn’t take long for the room to get packed for Future Islands, which was even weirder considering that during the opening sets the now prolific Sam Herring and the rest of Future Islands were walking around the venue just like the rest of us. As they took the stage Sam reminisced about their first show at Death By Audio back in 2007. Their popularity has grown quite a bit since then (they’re playing two nights at Terminal 5 in January) but Future Islands are still very much the same great band.

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Herring was as energetic and emotional as ever, if not a little bit more for this special occasion, which surely hit close to home for him. The crowd went absolutely apeshit during the entire duration of the bands 14-song set, pushing and shoving in what resulted into a constant battle of position. You had people shoving, dancing, and crowd surfing. Hell, I even got kicked in the mouth by a tumbling crowdsurfer during the epic culmination of set-closer “Vireo’s Eye,” which saw the release of pink balloons into the crowd, as well as bassist William Cashion who surfed into our arms.

Calling the performance great is letting it down easy. It was my favorite damn concert of the entire year.

Photos and setlist posted below.

Setlist:

1. Back in the Tall Grass
2. A Dream of You and Me
3. Walking Through That Door
4. Balance
5. Before The Bridge
6. Doves
7. Heart Grows Old
8. A Song for Our Grandfathers
9. Light House
10. Seasons (Waiting on You)
11. Tin Man
12. Long Flight
13. Spirit
14. Vireo’s Eye

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1_New Pornos_Hammerstein

The New Pornographers latest release Brill Bruisers is an extremely well crafted album of indie rock songs built with smart, strong, pop melodies. I feel like people weren’t talking about it enough through the year, and it seems to be missing on a lot of best of 2014 lists. With that said, it’s been a album I’ve been spinning non-stop since its August release date.

I finally caught the indie super-group over the summer at their secret show at The Brill Building where they celebrated the album’s release. They made their live return to NYC on November 17 where they played Hammerstein Ballroom.
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1_Johnny Marr_MHOW

You probably know legendary guitarist Johnny Marr best as one of the members of The Smiths. But he also has participated in many other acts such as Electric, The Cribs, and Modest Mouse. Recently Marr has embarked on a solo career of his own. On November 15 he stopped by Brooklyn to play a sold out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in support of his new album Playland.

Marr had terrific control over the room, bringing his music to life in on his own terms. As a frontman he’s engaging and certainly holds is own vocally. He played lots of new material from Playland (his sophomore solo effort) as well as cuts from his solo debut, The Messenger. Going into the show I hoped to hear a few of The Smiths songs thrown in there, and thankfully he did more than that. He played a handful of Smiths favorites such as “Panic,” “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” and “The Headmaster Ritual.” He also played “Getting Away With It” from Electronic.

Marr really surprised the crowd by bringing out Kirk Douglas of The Roots to play guitar on “How Soon Is Now?,” an unexpected treat to say the least. The encore brought a heartwarming performance of “Still Ill” as well as “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” which was sung by the entire crowd at remarkable levels.

I may never get to see The Smiths (or Morrissey) but at least I am able to have caught the wonderful Johnny Marr.

Setlist:

1. Playland
2. Panic (The Smiths)
3. The Right Thing Right
4. Easy Money
5. 25 Hours
6. New Town Velocity
7. The Headmaster Ritual (The Smiths)
8. Back in the Box
9. Speak Out Reach Out
10. Generate! Generate!
11. Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths)
12. Boys Get Straight
13. Candidate
14. Getting Away with It (Electronic)
15. How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths) w/ Kirk Douglas of The Roots on guitar

Encore:

16. Still Ill (The Smiths)
17. Dynamo
18. Lust For Life (Iggy Pop cover)
19. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)

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Ty Segall at Death By Audio (November 14, 2014)

By Will Oliver, December 17th 2014

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November 14 was a quiet day, until Mikal Cronin tweeted out a photo of him and the rest of The Ty Segall band at Grand Central Station, confirming suspicions that Ty was the secret performer at Death By Audio that night.

I got there an hour before doors and although it was already a decently long line, I was pretty confident with the spot so I wasn’t too worried about getting in. Within 10 minutes the line grew tremendously, as word of Ty playing the tiny DBA started to spread. By the time I got in, I heard that the line had reached Kent Ave, likely with many disappointed fans who didn’t get in.

The bill featured opening sets from The Numerators and Guantanamo Baywatch who got the crowd warmed up. By the time Ty took the stage, there was a feeling of tension in the air that was just waiting to be unleashed.

Ty started the set with a rather touching thank you to Edan and the rest of DBA, reminiscing about their first show in NYC, which of course, was at DBA (as well as with Thee Oh Sees!) and had maybe 75 people in attendance. He also joked about owing the pedal company some royalties. It was a touching moment, a calm before the storm that broke out with the opening bits of heaving hitter “Wave Goodbye.”

From there it was typically glorious set of rock and roll from Ty and the band. It was great to see them at such an intimate setting, as now they’re big enough to play (and sell out) spaces like Webster Hall. Ty did some fun riffage on songs like “Wild Thing” and “Louie Louie” as well as “Californication” which he apologized for putting us through.

During “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart” Ty challenged 100 people to crowdsurf at once, or else they would stop playing. That wasn’t quite possible, but it resulted in a giant pool of crowdsurfers colliding into one enough, with Ty eventually joining the action briefly. He then called for us to crowdsurf Edan, which he did, from the front of the stage, all the way to the back. It was pretty incredible.

It was one of the final shows I would get to see at DBA, and one of the best experiences of the year.

Setlist and photos below.

1. Wave Goodbye
2. You’re the Doctor
3. Slaughterhouse
4. Tall Man Skinny Lady
5. Wild Thing / Louie Louie
6. Feel
7. Skin
8. Finger / + brief joke “Californication” Cover
9. Standing at the Station
10. Oh Mary
11. Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart
12. The Drag
13. It’s Over

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1_The RAA_Bowery Ballroom

On Thursday, November 13, I headed into Bowery Ballroom to catch a set from the always reliable The Rural Alberta Advantage. The tour was in support of their sold new album Mended With Gold, which was released this fall via Saddle Creek.

Going into the show I wasn’t familiar with opener July Talk, but I ended up being blown away by the Toronto-based band. Quite frankly, they came close to stealing the entire show. The group is fronted by duel vocalists (and couple) Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay. They gave a frenzied sexual performance that was gloriously in your face and memorable. Fay ventured in the crowd finding fans to dance with, and even stole someones hat (she returned it after fondling it a bit). July Talk hit hard with strong riffage and raspy vocals from Dreimanis, countered by the softer vocals of Fay. Keep an eye on these guys, they’re going places.

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1_CYHSY_Brooklyn Bowl

These days Alec Ounsworth is the only original remaining member of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It’s an odd thing to see, as the debut album that they original lineup release was for sure one of the reasons I’m doing what I do now on this blog. Either way, I’m just happy that Ounsworth has kept the band going, releasing a new album called Only Run earlier this year.
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Will Butler at Baby’s All Right (November 12, 2014)

By Will Oliver, December 16th 2014

1_Will Butler_Baby's All Right

You may know Will Butler best as a member of Arcade Fire, brother of frontman, Win Butler. Make way guys, Will is stepping out on his own, grabbing some spotlight as a solo act. He’ll release his debut album Policy on March 10 via Merge Records

Last month (before the album was announced) Butler stopped by Baby’s All Right for a first look at the album, playing 10 tracks, which we can only assume are all off the record (though no official tracklist has been shared). Will rocked the stage along with two female singers, one of which was his wife Jenny Shore. His son Alvin was also watching within the crowd (with a cute set of ear-protecting earphones – photo below).
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