Music Festival

Panorama 2016

After months of speculation, the Panorama Music Festival has finally been announced. It’s taking place on Randall’s Island Park on the weekend of Friday, July 22 though Sunday July 24. The festival was brought together by Goldenvoice, the same company behind Coachella.

The impressive set of headliners includes LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Foals, Alabama Shakes, Run The Jewels, Sia, Blood Orange, A$AP Rocky, Major Lazer, Kurt Vile & The Violators, FKA Twigs, Grace Potter and Silversun Pickups. The rest of the lineup features highlights such as Broken Social Scene, Daughter, Anderson Paak ^& The Free Nationals, Mike D, Schoolboy Q, AlunaGeorge, Flatbush Zombies, The Front Bottoms, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jai Wolf, The Julie Ruin, SZA, Holy Ghost!, Tourist, Ex Hex, Oh Wonder, Madlib, Here We Go Magic, Caveman, Algiers, White Lung and more.

There was once a point where NYC lacked any prominent music festivals, and now we have two. Fans of live music in New York sure aren’t complaining, I know I’m not. I can’t wait to see what Panorama has to offer, and to see return performances from Arcade Fire, The National, and of course, LCD Soundsystem.
Three-day tickets for the festival go on sale this Friday (March 4) at noon.

Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary at Webster Hall (December 2, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016 — with 1 comment

1_Parquet Courts_Webster Hall

On December 2, booking agency Ground Control Touring threw a giant party at Webster Hall celebrating their 15th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than taking up all three venues of Webster Hall (the main room, Marlin Room and The Studio at Webster Hall) and filling them up with all the great talent on your own roster.

The mini-festival of sorts was a cool idea that took advantage of the Webster Hall layout. Only, it was definitely way oversold and unless you camped out at one stage or left very early in the middle of a performance, you had no shot of getting anywhere close to the stage. So in that sense, it definitely was very reminiscent of a music festival.

But it’s hard to complain when you got to see Parquet Courts and Lee Ranaldo play some Sonic Youth together, or see bands like Superchunk, Kurt Vile, Woods, Screaming Females, Porches and Frankie Cosmos all within a couple of hours of each other.

It may be another couple of years until we see Ground Control back at it again for their 20th, but it will be interesting to see if any other companies follow suite in the next couple of months.

Find shot of all the artists I was able to catch posted in the photo gallery below.
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Django Django at Verboten (November 7, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016

1_Django Django_Verboten

On November On November 7, London’s Django Django returned to New York (they played Webster Hall in July) in support of new album Born Under Saturn (released via Ribbon Music) to play at Verboten as a part of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival. It was both my first time at the venue and taking part in the festival, while this was a much different environment than that show, the band still sounded great as ever.

Find some photos from their Verboten performance posted below.
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John Grant at Le Poisson Rouge (October 17, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016 — with 1 comment

1_John Grant_Le Poisson Rouge

Hanging around at Baby’s All right all day for the free Brooklyn Vegan showcase wasn’t enough. After years of hearing nothing but critical acclaim, I made sure to finally catch John Grant live when he performed at Le Poisson Rouge for a headlining show of his own after some CMJ showcase performances.

The stop came as a part of his tour for his acclaimed new album Grey Tickles, Black Pressure (out via Bella Union). Le Poisson Rouge was as packed all the way to the back, with a much older crowd than usual, not a bad thing, as they gave him the silent respect that he deserved to showcase his magic.

Find some shots of his performance posted below.
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Shannon and the Clams at Music Hall of Williamsburg (October 16, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016 — with 1 comment

1_Shannon and the Clams_Music Hall of Williamsburg

After a hectic day of CMJ show hopping, I found the strength to attend a regular concert, featuring a pretty stacked triple bill of Shannon and the Clams, Sheer Mag, and Shopping (all bands that start with an S). It was my first time catching all three acts, bands that I had heard nothing but high praise about over the year (and years for Shannon).

Shopping got the night started with bouncy and effective post-punk with heavy dance grooves. Then came the heavy-hitting riffs of Sheer Mag, a group that is keeping 70s classic rock alive and well. The crowd lost it at their arrival, and rightfully so. Sheer Mag are the real deal, living proof that somehow in the year 2016, rock and roll isn’t dead (despite what those pesky teenagers say).

Shannon and the Clams also brought an older sounds of 50s-60s doo-wop and old-school rock and roll with a slight punk edge. I say slight, but the kids at Music Hall that night were anything but calm. It was a wild performance so good that I even ended up running into Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, just hours after catching her wild set as Thunderbitch at Knitting Factory. As I complimented her on her own performance, she thanked me but was quick to point out how insane Shannon and the Clams sounded as well. She wasn’t wrong.

Find photos from all three bands posted below.
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CMJ 2015 – Day 4 (October 16, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016 — with 2 comments

1_Thunderbitch_Knitting Factory

(Thunderbitch at Knitting Factory)

After a somewhat quieter day three of CMJ (for me at least), I went and overdid it as usual, catching an insane amount of music from about noon to the deep dark ungodly hour of the night.

I started the day early making my way to Baby’s All Right for the annual Brooklynvegan day party where I started my day nicely with sets from The Album Leaf, Ezra Furman, Car Seat Headrest, Makthaverskan and Porches before heading to Knitting Factory for the ATO Records showcase where I caught promising talent Margaret Glaspy, as well as a rare performance from Thunderbitch, the side-project of Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard. Getting to see an undeniable talent such as Howard play a rare Thunderbitch show in an intimate room such as Knitting Factory was one of the highlights of my entire CMJ.

From there I ran over to Fader Fort to catch some songs from Martin Courtney, before heading to check out a great triple bill at Music Hall of Williamsburg featuring Shannon and the Clams, Sheer Mag and Shopping, before somehow finding the energy to run back over to Baby’s again to see Stealing Sheep, Drinks, and Palehound, wrapping up a long and intense day of music. It was great.

Find a photo gallery of this entire day posted below.
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1_Tobias Jesso Jr_Music Hall of Williamsburg

One of 2015’s true delights in Goon, the debut album (released via True Panther) from L.A. songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. I was fortunate to catch one of his first ever shows in 2014, when he played an intimate show at a Williamsburg loft.

Then earlier in 2015 I caught his performance at Baby’s All Right, an intimate affair packed to the brim with fans who already knew the words to each and every one of his songs. It made perfect sense to seem him play a pair of bigger shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg in October during CMJ.
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CMJ 2015 – Day 3 (October 15, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016 — with 1 comment

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(Mothers at Rockwood Music Hall)

After a rather busy second day of CMJ, day three was somewhat mellower. I got a late start to the day, catching a set from the much buzzed about Car Seat Headrest, a band who probably played more CMJ shows in ’15 than anyone else. The performance was a part of NYC Taper’s annual showcase at Cake Shop.

I then caught a set from Mothers, a band out of Athens, Georgia that many were praising at the festival. They delighted a small but interested crowd at Rockwood Music Hall. They were one of my favorite discoveries at the time, and are about to release their debut album When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired at the end of this month via Grand Jury Music.
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Neon Indian at Webster Hall (October 14, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016

1_Neon Indian_Webster Hall

Midway through my second whirlwind day of CMJ 2015, I headed to Webster Hall to catch the live return of Alan Palomo’s Neon Indian to NYC. The performance tied in perfectly to the release of his funky new album Vega Intl. Night School (released via Mom + Pop Music).

With a new live band and an impressive light display, this was truly Neon Indian version 2.0. The new songs popped live, and old tracks were given a new lease of life. Webster Hall was in the palm of Palomo’s hand, and he ran away with it.

Find some more shots of the performance posted below.
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