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Reptar at Rough Trade NYC (July 17, 2015)

By Will Oliver, September 1st 2015

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On July 17 Athens, Georgia rockers Reptar played a late night set at Rough Trade NYC, showing off some of the material from their most recent release, Lurid Glow, which was released earlier this year via Joyful Noise Recordings.

Their unique and energetic blend of weirdo rock was a unstoppable ball of energy live. Their sound was raised to another level live thanks to a horn section that played by their side, which sometimes included members of Rubblebucket, who occasionally joined to add on to the already stacked arsenal. It was a delightfully fun set that was perfectly appropriate to let out past midnight.

Find some photos from their performance posted below.
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Ratatat at Webster Hall (July 17, 2015)

By Will Oliver, September 1st 2015

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Not too long after their performance at Governors Ball, electronic-rock duo Ratatat returned to New York for a very sold out performance at Webster Hall on July 17. The show served as the official release show for their new album Magnifique, which was released that same day via XL Recordings.

There’s no doubt that the duo of Mike Stroud and Evan Mast would have no problem filling out a larger space such as Terminal 5 with their electronic rock instrumentals. So geting to see them comfortably play a place like Webster Hall was most certainly a treat.

The group play with a deep fog hanging above them, but dazzle the audience with a jaw-dropping laser show that coincides way too well with their grooves. The band have a way of connecting to fans in a unique way, with crowd response heightening with every big bass hit or memorable guitar riff. Crowd favorites “Seventeen Years” and “Wildcat” were particular highlights of the night, with no lull in the gratifying 19-song effort.

The stage will certainly be much bigger the next time Ratatat come around, but there is no doubt that it won’t still be a most electric evening.

Find more photos from their performance at Webster Hall posted below, along with their setlist.
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Leave it to longstanding rockers Foo Fighters to turn a bad situation such as their frontman Dave Grohl breaking his leg before a massive tour, only to return with a Game Of Thrones inspired throne (with guitar necks instead of swords), able to take him from the back of the stage to the front of the crowd while he’s sitting down, all with the help of modern technology. Then again, the Foo Fighters just always seem to find a way to succeed, don’t they?

Not many modern bands are capable of truly selling out a major stadium. Don’t tell that to the Foo Fighters, who sold out not one, but two nights at Citi Field, just one of the many stadiums that they rocked this summer for their Sonic Highways tour. They brought along rising British duo Royal Blood to open up the pair of shows at Citi Field.

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SOAK at Le Poisson Rogue (July 14, 2015)

By Will Oliver, September 1st 2015

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In mid July Bridie Monds-Watson, an 18-year-old singer from Ireland, better known as SOAK, wrapped up her American tour with a performance in New York at Le Poisson Rogue. The LPR stage was converted to a circle in the middle of the venue, creating a strange set up for Monds-Watson, who admitting it was a first for her.

Playing tracks from her beautiful debut album Before We Forgot How to Dream (released via Rough Trade), Monds-Watson delighted the hushed New York crowd. Her songs are honest reflections about coming of age, delivering with the same honesty that caught our attention to begin with. It’s amazing to hear such a young talent seem so mature and fully realized so soon. Things are only going to get bigger and better for SOAK in the immedaitely future, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Find some photos from her performance, as well as opener Beau posted below.
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Preview: Basilica Soundscape 2015

By Will Oliver, August 28th 2015

Basilica

It’s only fitting that the Basilica Soundscape festival takes place as summer turns to fall, as this festival is much different than the large-scale festivals that take place across the country during the summer. Not only is it’s location in the industrial Basilica Hudson building in Hudson, New York a much more intimate affair in set up, but it’s lineup is as unique as you’ll find at any festival out there.

This year the festival sports a lineup as diverse and interesting as they come: The Haxan Cloak, HEALTH, Perfume Genius, Viet Cong, Jenny Hval, Lydia Ainsworth, Weyes Blood, Actress, Wolf Eyes, and many more. The festival, in it’s 4th year, features curation from Basilica Hudson’s founders, Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone, along with Pitchfork managing editor Brandon Stosuy and Brian DeRan of Leg Up Management.

Last year was my first time up to the festival (as well as Hudson, New York – a 2 hour train ride, or drive from the city), and I was impressed in every way imaginable. Not only does it features a wide range of artists, but there’s something cool about seeing bands in an industrial building. Everyone there is for the music, enjoying a bite to eat, a beer, or taking in some art. There are no flags, flower crowns, or go pros. It’s a festival without all the music festival headaches.

You can find photos and a recap of last year’s festival right here. Both two-day, and single day tckets for the festival are still currently available at this link. You can find more information about the festival at their website, facebook, instagram and twitter.

I’ve also shared the lineup and set times in full below.
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Natalie Prass at Bowery Ballroom (July 13, 2015)

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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Last month Natalie Prass played to a sold out Bowery Ballroom, the rescheduled show from her postponed performance in May, which she had to cancel right during doors because of an illness that left her unable to perform. It wasn’t too long a wait, and if anything, the show had one of those “we’re all in it together” sort of feelings which always makes any show better.

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Brooklyn band Wilder Maker opened the show, as they were originally booked to in May as well. They joked about finally getting to play the show, and were just happy for it to finally arrive. They delivered a warm set of indie-folk, with a calming, almost timeless factor to it. They delivered it in a tight fashion, impressing all those lucky enough to arrive early enough for their set.

Even though I just saw Natalie Prass perform at Rough Trade NYC not all that long ago, I had to catch her again. Her self-titled album (released via Spacebomb Records/Columbia Records) has served as her breakthrough, captivating large-scale audiences such as Bowery Ballroom.

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With more time with the record, the Bowery crowd was singing along to every word, making Prass feel right at home. Her record pops out of the speakers live, working it’s magic all over again. Songs like “Bird Of Play” and the almost too good to be true “Why Don’t You Believe in Me ” come to a crisper, fuller realization when played live. She worked in her scarily good cover of Janet Jackson’s “Any Time, Any Place” and showcased a few new songs. She even was kind enough to throw out a bunch of bananas to fans who were in need. What else could you ask from a Monday night?

Find the setlist posted below, along with photos of both Natalie Prass, and Wilder Maker.
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Over the years you can always rely on 4Knots Festival (as well as the Siren Music Festival before the change) to book some great classic rock bands. Last year we got Dinosaur Jr. and one of the headliners this year was Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks.

It was my frist time seeing Malkmus play in any capacity, a little bit of redemption after missing Pavement’s reunion shows thanks to college, although that one will always hurt. But it was great to see the master at work, effortlessly breezing through his catalog, including his latest effort, Wig Out at Jagbags, which Matador released last year.

Find some more photos from their 4Knots performance posted below.
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Twin Peaks at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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One of the sets I was most looking forward to at 4Knots this year was from the exciting as all hell Chicago rockers Twin Peaks. It’s scary to think that these guys are really only getting started, as they’re one of my favorite up and coming rockers in the game at the moment.

Not only did Twin Peaks, who extended their lineup to a 5-piece, live up to my lofty expectations, but they somehow went beyond it. The group ripped through a set, sending all the youngsters in the front rows into a blissful shitshow. Twin Peaks made it look so easy, and so fun. The set was my favorite performance of the entire day, which is saying something considering that Stephen Malkmus and Super Furry Animals were still on deck. But when a show ends with the group going into the photo pit as they finish their last riff, it’s a pretty difficult thing to top.

Twin Peaks are currently recording their new album, which will be released soon enough via Fat Possum. They’ll return to New York soon enough for a supporting slot

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Mikal Cronin at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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I missed Mikal Cronin’s previous performance at Bowery Ballroom this spring, making his stop in at 4Knots this summer as convenient as they come. He an his band ran through the offerings from his most recent album MCIII, released via Merge Records.

After seeing Cronin play alongside Ty Segall countless number of times, it’s always a treat to see him leading the pack. The California singer’s anthem’s sounded brisk and full of the west coast air, fitting for the California-esque heat that cast down on Pier 84 that day.

Cronin will return to New York soon for a performance at Brooklyn Bowl on September 19. Tickets are still on sale.

Find more photos from his 4Knots performance below.
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Screaming Females at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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It’s hard to believe the last time that I saw Screaming Females was when they opened for Arctic Monkeys in 2009, during the Humbug tour, back when Arctic Monkeys could still play a place like Terminal 5 (for two night, but still). I don’t know how I went six years without seeing Screaming Females shred, but it’s a mistake I won’t make again.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey trio of Marissa Paternoster, Jarrett Dougherty, and King Mike have been relentlessly touring in support of new album Rose Mountain, which was released earlier this year via Don Giovanni Records. The group ripped into track after track of thunderous garage rock goodness, the sort of face melting stuff that just doesn’t come around anymore.

My apologies, Screaming Females. Next time you’re in New York, you’ll see me there.
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