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1_Sunflower Bean_Bowery Ballroom

If you’ve been paying attention to the live music scene in New York for the past two years, then chances are very high that you’ve come across young local trio Sunflower Bean. The rock group has made quite the name for themselves here based on a hard work ethic, and of course, a great set of tunes.

They started 2016 off right with the release of their strong debut album Human Ceremony, released via Fat Possum Records. They came back home on February 25 to celebrate the release of the album, with a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom, along with fellow New York groups Honduras and Future Punx.

It was a great night of rock and roll that also acted as a showcase for the future of the local scene. With bands like Sunflower Bean rising up the ranks, things are going to be alright.

Find photos of all three acts posted below.
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1_Animal Collective_Irving Plaza

It’s hard to believe that this year’s Painting With is Animal Collective’s tenth studio album. The record is a solid return to form after the somewhat lacking Centipede HZ.

The band which is back to the trio of Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist, returned to New York to share tracks from the Domino Records released album, as well as the typically off-beat selections throughout their eccentric career. Sure we got “Daily Routine,” and “FloriDada,” but there were also cuts such as “Alvin Row” and “Loch Raven.” Animal Collective always play what they want, and not the hits, which at the very least always makes for a well delivered performance.

Find some photos from their set posted below, and go grab a download of NYC Taper’s typically great recording of the entire show right here.
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1_Julia Holter_Bowery Ballroom

Last fall Los Angeles’ Julia Holter released her breathtaking fourth album Have You in My Wilderness (released via Domino Records). It was as gorgeous of an effort as she’s ever released, landing high on many best of 2015 year end list, including our own.

She returned to New York earlier this year on February 23 for a stunning performance at Bowery Ballroom that perfectly captured all the passion and otherworldliness of her music. It was true escape from real life for a solid 90 minutes of pure bliss. Not to mention a lovely opening performance from from harpist Mary Lttimore

Find photos of both artists performances that night posted below.
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1_Unknown Mortal Orchestra_Irving Plaza

On February 19, New Zealand rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra returned to New York for a sold out performance at Irving Plaza.

The show came in support of their typically terrific new album Multi-Love, released via Jagjaguwar. The bands funk-inspired rock jams sounded larger than ever before. Somehow frontman Ruban Nielson and the rest of the expanding live lineup continue to get tighter and find new ways to impress.

Find photos of their performance posted below, along with Lower Dens, who opened the show with an abbreviated lineup featuring just frontwoman Jana Hunter and drummer Nate Nelson.
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Total Slacker – “Turn On The Lights”

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2016

Total Slacker

No strangers to the New York live scene, if you frequent shows out here, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen Brooklyn natives Total Slacker play at some point. The group, led by Tucker Rountree, have been going at it for some time, but based on their great new single “Turn On The Lights,” it seems like they’re only getting started.

“Turn On The Lights” is the bands most immediate moment to date, a track that kicks off hard right from the getgo and keeps on chugging with delightful riffs. The band has never sound better produced or mixed, and although that DIY style is still in their DNA, they sound cleaned up and shiny, and its a great look for them.

“Turn On The Lights” is off the groups new album Parallels which will be released on August 19, via ONErpm. It’s available to pre-order from the label here. The single is available to stream below.
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Hoops – “Cool 2”

By Will Oliver, June 29th 2016

Hoops

(Photo by Daniel Topete)

Hoops are a up-and-coming four-piece out of Indiana, and recently signees to the always reliable Fat Possum Records, who will release the groups self-titled debut EP on August 26.

Ahead of the EPs release the group has shared the stunning opening cut “Cool 2.” It has the shimmering quality and vocal style of Ariel Pink and guitar riffs that remind of everyones best buddy, Mac DeMarco. The track comes just shy of lasting 2-minutes, but boy do they make every second count. If the rest of the EP is this tight, we’re looking at quite the debut offering.

Stream “Cool 2” below and pre-order the EP (on clear vinyl!) over at Fat Possum.
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Governors Ball 2016 Day 2 Recap

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016

1_M83_Governors Ball 2016

M83 at Governors Ball 2016

After a great day 1 of Governors Ball 2016, we arrived bright an early with a whole day ahead of us. Although we lucked out with minimal rain on day 1, our luck ran dry on day 2 with the 2nd half of the day plagued by some heavy rainfall that would go on to be a bad omen for the final day of the festival, which would eventually get cancelled altogether.

We started the day off with an early set from Holly Miranda whose band eased us into the day with a graceful set full of different stylings. Things got a little bit harder with punk rockers Nothing, who weren’t too happy with Miranda’s set time somewhat leaking into theirs. I could’ve down without the aggressive comment about her set, as there’s not much to be done with so many sets happening so close to one another. Things got back on track right after with a typically powerful performance from New York’s very own Torres, who always leaves me in awe with her raw intensity that is second to none.
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Governors Ball 2016 Day 1 Recap

By Will Oliver, June 25th 2016

1_The Strokes_Governors Ball 2016

The Strokes at Governors Ball

For me, summer is officially in full swing with the arrival of the Governors Ball Music Festival, a staple of our summer here for the last few summers, although it’s hard to imagine a time without the festival. This year the festival was once again plagued by the ominous threat of rain and storms (with day 3 unfortunately being cancelled altogether), but we still made the best of the two great days that the festival gave us, and saw many different bands and artists across all genres.

We kicked off Friday, Day 1, with a set from young New York rockers Public Access T.V., who are definitely ones to watch, along with hot rising pop singer Meg Mac who performed right after.
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