Music Festival

1_Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks_4Knots Music Festival 2015

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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Happyness at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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English rock trio Happyness made their live return to New York for the 4Knots Music Festival, marking my first time seeing them since their stop at Pianos during CMJ last fall. The stop came in support of their rather lovely debut album Weird Little Birthday, which got released in the U.S. this year via Bar/None Records, even though it was originally released last year in the UK.

The group were a perfect fit for a bill at 4Knots, with their dreamy, somewhat leisurely chill brand of English rock, fitting in all too well. The group seemed to get even better and more confident since CMJ, which only has me more excited for album number two. Don’t sleep on these guys, their up to plenty good.

Find some more photo from their 4Knots performance posted below.
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Meatbodies at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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Last time I saw Meatbodies was during the final month of shows at Death By Audio last November. So seeing them play 4Knots alongisde a giant boat under the sun was a bit of a different atmoshpere, but the band still rocked just as hard, if not more so.

The group, which used to be known as Chad and The Meatbodies, has really became a full band effort, ripping through the tracks of their 2014 s/t debut album (released via In the Red) with purpose, getting the faithful crowd the rowdiest it had been up to that moment. Their set was most memorable, and one of the first great sets of the young afternoon.

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

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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Michigan psych-trio Heaters delivered a simmering set at 4Knots Festival this year, a perfect partner in crime for the blistering summer heat that greeted us that date. The group are no strangers to the scene, but I believe that they’re about to make a real break out very soon.

They’ll release their new album Holy Water Pool on September 25 via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond. Based on dreamy as all hell single “Gum Drop,” it’s going to be a good one.

Find some more photos from their 4Knots performance below, and check out a stream of “Gum Drop.”
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Heaven at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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Local rockers Heaven were second on the 4Knots bill this year and they delivered a dreamy set of guitar rock goodness that may be better suited for a late night set in the dark, but it still found a way to hit home. This was my first time seeing them play, but I hope to see them again sometime soon.

Find some more photos of their performance at 4Knots posted below.
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Surfbort at 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, August 27th 2015

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4Knots Music Festival was kicked off with an early afternoon performance from Brooklyn rock band Surfbort. Although the crowd was just beginning to file in, the group didn’t let that hold them back in any way. Although their craziest antics came after their set, when their guitarist Matty jumped off the VIP boat into the Hudson river. Now that’s wild.

Find some more photos from their performance posted below.

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1_Viet Cong_MHOW

I closed out the 2015 Northside Festival with a sold out performance from Canadian rockers Viet Cong at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was the second of a two night sold out run at the venue, an impressive feat considering that they played a sold out Mercury Lounge just back in January.

Now that the controversy over their name has somewhat died down, the band have been able to just focus on playing their music live on tour. Their self-titled debut album (released via Jagjaguwar) is a quick but efficient bit of edgy freak-rock that really is a thing within itself, and one of my favorite records of the year so far.

It’s a different beast live, using space and different speeds and tempos to exaggerate its purpose to delightful effect. Highlights such as “Bunker Buster” and “Continental Shelf” sounded monstrous live, leaving many left picking their jaws off of the floor. I only wish they had more songs because their set was over just as the going was really getting good with the extended monster of a jam that is the album closer “Death.”

They’ll be back in New York on September 11 for a performance at Basilica Soundscape in Hudson, New York.

Find photos from their Northside performance posted below, along with the setlist.
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