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Beach House at Knockdown Center (March 22, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 20th 2016

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Following their set of shows at Webster Hall, Beach House announced a special set of “Installation Shows” at secret venues across various cities, including two nights in New York. These special shows were meant to strip down the Beach House live show to the bare minimal, playing continuous sets at unusual venues such as art venues and community centers, sharing songs from their self-titled debut, breakthrough sophomore album Devotion, as well as one of two new albums that they released last year, Thank Your Lucky Stars (released via Sub Pop).

The chance to see Beach House at a small unusual place and to hear older material that I never got to see performed live for the most part was too inticing to pass up. The shows sold out in mere minutes, to the surprise of no one, so clearly I wasn’t alone. When I got to the venue, I immediately got the sense that this would be something different. We were lined up inside the Knockdown Center, waiting to be allowed into the “performance space.”

Once we past a flurry of no photography signs, we were led into the small room which was dark and smokey, with a silky screen draped over the stage, putting a direct barrier between us and the band. Upon announcing the shows the band advised us to bring pillows to sit on, and it was very clear why. The crowd was forced to sit down on the floor, in a tight cramped space that my 6’6 frame didn’t quite appreciate it. Once you got used to both feet going numb from falling asleep, it wasn’t all that bad.

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After reminding us again not to take any photos until after the performance, the band took the stage and began their performance with “”Saltwalter,” the opening track of their debut album. It was great to hear such an old song performed from such a well seasoned version of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. But instantly, there was just something off and slightly disconnecting from seeing the band perform behind a screen. They still sounded great, but I just felt so far away. Which was odd considering how intimate the space was. There was a beautiful art exhibit and projections that were cast alongside the band, but it wasn’t quite enough to truly put me into heart of the shore.

Getting to hear old favorites like “D.A.R.L.I.N.G.,” “Turtle Island,” and “Tokyo Witch’ was great, but the performance just left something to be desired which oddly enough has never been something I’ve had an issue with when seeing them live. It was a great idea and cool experiment, but I don’t know if installation shows are quite the best way to take in a Beach House performance.

Find the setlist and some photos of the exhibit post show (taken via iPhone) posted below.

Beach House Setlist:

1. Saltwater
2. D.A.R.L.I.N.G.
3. The Traveller
4. Apple Orchard
5. Turtle Island
6. One Thing
7. 10:37
8. She’s So Lovely
9. House on the Hill
10. Master Of None
11. On the Sea
12. Tokyo Witch
13. Rough Song
14. Somewhere Tonight

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Oscar at Baby’s All Right (March 21, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 20th 2016

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On March 21, the talented rising British star Oscar returned to New York for his first headlining show here at Baby’s All Right, in support of his great debut album Cut & Paste, which was released this spring via Wichita Recordings.

I got to spend some time behind the scenes with Oscar, sitting in on his soundcheck before the show, grabbing some dinner at the fantastic restaurant Diner near the venue, captured all the show action stageside, and then celebrated when it was all said and done.

Find a gallery of photos from the unforgettable evening posted below.
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Recap: SXSW 2016

By Collin Quinlivan, July 20th 2016

SXSW

South by Southwest, the crown jewel and gold standard of American arts festivals. Spanning almost two weeks, it covers music, film, interactive, and gaming. Thousands of savvy young professionals descend upon Austin, TX like a swarm of bees trying to find, or be, the next big buzz.  I was originally intending to mainly cover the film portion and do music on the side, but that didn’t go down so well. I may touch on this later, but I think that the festival has possibly become a bit too big for its britches. But through all of the pomp and circumstance, there still lies an unforgettable experience…you just need to know where to look.

After a great deal of trouble with some shoddy airplanes, I finally made it to Austin. I always expect the worst, so the extra six hours of travel time, two of which were confined to a metal tube full of gross people (I’m kidding, your B.O. masked with 80’s-porn-director-cologne smelled amazing), weren’t that big of a deal. But just from the way my extremely late-night flight was full to capacity with 20-somethings, I knew we were all headed to the same place. Read the rest of this entry »

1_My Brightest Diamond_BRIC House

On March 18 the super talented Shara Nova (formerly known as Shara Worden) took us through a unique and imaginative journey at the BRIC House via the sounds of her wonderful band My Brightest Diamond. It was my first time catching her live (as well as a show at the BRIC House), and what a treat it was. Although she has no new album yet, she gave us delightful renditions of material from her 2014 album This Is My Hand (released via Asthmatic Kitty) as well as her older albums.

Find some shots form her performance posted below, along with the setlist.

My Brightest Diamond Setlist:

1. I Am Not the Bad Guy
2. Before the Words
3. Lover Killer
4. Be Brave
5. High Low Middle
6. Apples
7. Bronze Head
8. Resonance
9. I Have Never Loved Someone
10. Apparition
11. Ice & Storm
12. Workhorse
13. Inside a Boy
14. Freak Out

Encore:

15. Fever (Peggy Lee)

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1_Those Darlins_Baby's All Right

On March 17 we said goodbye to Nashville rock group Those Darlins who played their final show as a band at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. Their last performance was originally supposed to be in Nashville, but poor weather for the original NYC date caused them to push the show to the 17th, making it their final performance as a band.

Although an emotional time for all involved, the group still delivered a rocking performance that was more than a perfect farewell. By the time the show finished, the group hugged it out on stage, pleased with the mighty fine career that they had, ending things on their own terms. I was just glad to be a part of it and to capture some of the action in photos.

Find some shots of Those Darlins final performance below, along with some pictures of fellow Nashville opener, Idle Bloom.
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Nas at House of Vans (March 16, 2016)

By Anthony Bauer, July 19th 2016

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It may be hard to believe, but beloved shoe brand Vans turned 50 this year and celebrated in the best way possible – by throwing parities all over the world at their House Of Vans locations. These parties celebrated everything vans represents: skateboarding, art and of course, music. The event Vans threw on March 16th was a special one as not only was it their first on the celebration tour, but it was also the exact date Vans started as a company which truly made this the 50th anniversary party for the brand. To celebrate at the Brooklyn HOV event, Vans brought along Brooklyn’s own Yeasayer and ended the night with a set from the one and only NAS.

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We’ve been to plenty of events at HOV before, but this one was something truly special. Walking up to the venue you already knew that this night was going to be something special. The facade was decked out with the 50th anniversary logo as well as projections of videos from Vans team riders. Walking into the entrance was like walking into a time capsule – on display were shoes and memorabilia of the brand throughout the years really truly showcasing how far they’ve come from.
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Bloc Party at Irving Plaza (March 16, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 19th 2016

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Ten years ago, it was impossible to imagine getting to see Bloc Party play a smaller place like Irving Plaza. But a lot has changed since the release of their classic debut Silent Alarm, including half of the original lineups departure (Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are the only original members remaining, with Justin Harris and Louise Bartle replacing Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong), and a rather disappointing new album this year with Hymns (released via Vagrant Records).

Although I’m not a fan of their new output, there’s still plenty of reason to see Bloc Party live, when you still get to hear great performances of tracks like “Banquet,” “Positive Tension,” and “Helicopter” that sound just as urgent and passionate as ever before. While the set sadly missed “Like Eating Glass,” we did get to hear a well received cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” which opened the encore well.

Find the setlist posted below, along with some photos from their performance.
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Beach House at Webster Hall (March 14, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 19th 2016

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On March 14 Beach House kicked off their sold out three-night run at Webster Hall, in support of Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, the two albums they released in 2015 (both via Sub Pop).

The set featured a good mix of songs form both albums, plus a fair share of fan favorites, both old and new. Find the setlist posted below, along with photos of Beach House’s set and Moss Of Aura, the electronic solo project of Future Islands’ bassist Gerrit Welmers oepned the show.
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Shearwater at The Bell House (March 12, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 19th 2016

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With their rather under-appreciated new album Jet Plane and Oxbow released via Sub Pop earlier this year, Shearwater returned to New York for a sold out performance at Brooklyn venue The Bell House.

The performance included some of their covers from David Bowie’s Lodger, which they’d cover in its entirety a few days later for free at Rough Trade NYC.

Find a few shots from their stop at The Bell House posted below.
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