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If Ruban Nielson and his fantastic genre-defying band Unknown Mortal Orchestra are playing live in New York, you can bet on me being in attendance. The band seem to find new avenues and sounds on every album, and expand upon them even further during their exciting live shows. They’re performance at Irving Plaza earlier this year was an early highlight during the first quarter of the year.

They’re still hard at working touring last year’s Multi-Love (released via Jagjaguwar), and return to us in New York for a free performance tomorrow evening at Central Park Summerstage. As if they aren’t enough of a draw, we also get opening sets from Empress Of and Klaus Johann Grobe. It will be a great night for music of all different sorts of genres, now lets hope the weather holds out for us.
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1_Jose Gonzalez_Beacon Theatre

This spring the talented Jose Gonzalez went on tour with NYC six-peace classical music group yMusic, who seem to be playing with just about everyone these days. They came to New York on March 24 for a stop in at the always beautiful Beacon Theatre. It was a fitting spot for Gonzalez and yMusic who also opened the show up.

Gonzalez began the show with a few solo songs, before being joined by yMusic for performances of his solo songs, Junip songs, and covers of Arthur Russell’s “This Is How We Walk On The Moon” and of course, The Knife’s “Heartbeats.” It was a beautiful evening of music that left the entire audience in awe.

Find the setlist posted below, along with a gallery of photos from the performance.

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1_Radiohead_Madison Square Garden

It’s hard to believe that before Radiohead’s sold out run at Madison Square Garden this past Tuesday and Wednesday, that they haven’t played a large-scale headlining show in New York since their run at MSG in 2003. Sure there was All Points West (RIP), the very intimate pair of shows at Roseland (also RIP) in 2012, and a few arena shows in New Jersey, but nothing at the worlds most famous arena, hollowed ground where they could arguably headline and sell out as many shows as they would allow. But this just made their past two-night run that much more special, yielding some truly spellbinding results over the course of the unforgettable two nights.
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Fear Of Men at Rough Trade NYC (March 22, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 26th 2016

1_Fear Of Men_Rough Trade NYC

On March 22 Brighton indie-rockers Fear Of Men brought their blend of dream pop to Brooklyn for a sold out performance at Rough Trade NYC. The show served as a preview of fresh songs from their new album Fall Forever, which Kanine Records released this spring. The set was a good balanced mix of both new songs and familiar favorites like “Luna” + “Alta/Waterfall” that mixed in nicely with their evolving sound.

The set was kicked off my the exciting hotly tipped New York punk rockers Wall, who have garnered a lot of attention early on this year for their ferocious debut self-titled EP released via Wharf Cat Records.

Find photos of both Fear Of Men and Wall posted below, along with Fear Of Men’s setlist that night.
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Beach House at Knockdown Center (March 22, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 20th 2016

1_Beach House_Knockdown Center

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.

2_Beach House_Knockdown Center

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

1_Oscar_Baby's All Right

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 »





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