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Beirut at Bowery Ballroom (June 21, 2015)

By Will Oliver, August 25th 2015

1_Beirut_Bowery Ballroom

On September 11 the alway reliable Beirut will grace us with a brand new album called No No No, which will be released by 4AD. Along with the announcement came new tour dates, with a stop in New York at the prestigious Radio City Music Hall on October 1. But they didn’t make us wait that long. A few weeks later the band would announce a slightly more intimate last minute performance at Bowery Ballroom on June 21, on fathers day.

I went in expecting Zach Condon and the rest of Beirut to share a majority of the new album, and just hoped for a couple of old favorites as well. Only, it turned out to be the opposite, as only two songs from the new record were shared: title track and first single “No No No” (which they played last summer at their Northside appearance) and “August Holland.”

2_Beirut_Bowery Ballroom

The rest of the night saw Beirut dip into select favorites from each album, leaving fans with no choice but to sing along to every word. Usually when a band enters a new album cycle you’re hoping to get a few songs you know, but this show was the rare show where you got to hear every song that you wanted. The band seemed happy just to be playing again. The return to Bowery caused Condon to reflect a bit, including his realization that it has been nearly a decade since the release of his breakthrough piece, “Postcards From Italy,” which had everyone in attendance singing along.

I was glad I was able to see Beirut dazzle in a small venue one last time. Although Radio City will certainly be a special show in its own right, I don’t think it can quite match getting to see them at the Bowery. No doubt it will be one of the most special shows I’ll see this year.

Find photos of Beirut and opener Helado Negro below, along with Beirut’s setlist.
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1_Noel Gallagher_Governors Ball 2015

A month prior to Noel Gallgher’s High Flying Birds performance at Governors Ball, I caught them play a much smaller show at Webster Hall. Certainly there was no way Governors Ball would compare, but there’s something fitting about seeing Gallagher perform to a large crowd of fans, a sort of natural environment for him, as he’s been doing consistently for about two decades now.

Gallagher took over the main stage along with his High Flying Birds, playing a similar set to what he played at Webster. He played through all the best of his most recent album Chasing Yesterday (out via Sour Mash Records), as well as the inclusion of Oasis’ “Whatever” to go along with “Fade Away,” “Champagne Supernova,” “Digsy’s Dinner,” “The Masterplan,” and of course, “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” which closed out his set.
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Muse at Webster Hall (May 8, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 9th 2015 — with 1 comment

1_Muse_Webster Hall

The last time I saw Muse was in August 2007, their first time playing Madison Square Garden, and ultimately the start of their jaunt as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. I was able to score general admission tickets for it, and spent a good chunk of that hot day waiting in line in order to get as close to the stage as possible. It was well worth it, as that performace still remains one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. It would end up being the last time I saw them play, a result of me being away at college whenever they played New York, as well as the fact that a lot of their newer material didn’t quite do it for me.

When I saw that they announced a show at Webster Hall as a warmup tour for their new album Drones, I just had to be there. Getting to see Muse in a 1,500 capacity room, and the probability that they’d play a lot of what the die-hard fans really want to hear, was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

3_Muse_Webster Hall
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1_The Juan Maclean_Union Pool

On Friday, April 24, DFA disco-rock outfit The Juan Maclean played the tiny Union Pool for the fifth show of their six show Brooklyn residency that lasted two weeks. The residency began with three shows at Cameo Gallery, and played three more last weekend at Union Pool. These were the first shows from The Juan Maclean in six years, making them a very special occasion on all accounts.

Along with brain child John Maclean, The Juan Maclean includes singer Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem), keyboardist Monika Heidemann (who opened the show under her solo-moniker, Heidemann). Together they played many of their modern takes of disco with space-filled elements with dreamy synths and hypnotic vocals from Whang, whose presence in the band has never felt stronger.

This wasn’t an electronic-band that just hid behind a laptop and danced behind it. No, every member of The Juan Maclean was constant playing an instrument or contributing to vocals. This made their live performance rich and fuller sound, sending everyone jam packed into Union Pool into a glorious dance haze well into the night. The dual vocal duties split between Maclean and Whang provided an interesting contrast, but it was when they sang together that they were at their best.

The Juan Maclean are back, and better than ever. Hopefully we won’t have to wait as long for their next shows, but maybe they’ll be back again for a proper tour before we know it.
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The Mountain Goats at City Winery (April 12, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 21st 2015

1_The Mountain Goats_City Winery

The Mountain Goats are a band that needs to introduction. The group, led by frontman John Darnielle, has released 15 albums during its impressive two decade career, never quite slowing down. Each record tells its own memorable story, making a lasting impression in its own unique way. Their latest record, Beat The Champ (released via Merge Records) is a special one, as it’s an album themed around professional wresting, a passion of Darnielle’s that serves as an effective means to write about personal matters through a fun subject. On Sunday April 12, The Mountain Goats played a sold out City Winery, the 2nd show of their two night run there, and their third New York City show of the week, with a sold out show at Webster Hall coming a few days prior.
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Diarrhea Planet at Bowery Ballroom (April 4, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 15th 2015

1_Diarrhea Planet_Bowery Ballroom

If Diarrhea Planet are playing live, there’s no reason not go. The rowdy six-piece garage rockers from Nashville have earned every bit of their reputation as one of the wildest live shows you can find. I’ve seen them nearly a half a dozen times live now, and each time is just as fun and memorable as the last. On April 4 the group played their largest New York show to date (not counting last year’s Governors Ball performance of course) with a sold out performance at Bowery Ballroom.
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2_Cold War Kids_Terminal 5

One of the reasons We All Want Someone exists is because of bands like Cold War Kids. Looking back at the California band’s now impressive ten year history, they got a big boost from music blogs that helped jump start their young career. Watching the effect that blogs had on bands like Cold War Kids made me want to be a part of this culture. Ironically enough, one of the first posts that I did was about the release of “Something Is Not Right With Me.” It was the first post to garner even the slightest bit of attention, and gave me a well needed push to believe that I could actually do something with the blog, and here we are today.

Somehow seven years have passed since that moment, and Cold War Kids are still very much alive and kicking. Last night they sold out Terminal 5 along with tourmate Elliot Moss and showed that there’s plenty of gas left in the tank.
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The Cribs at Mercury Lounge (March 11, 2015)

By Will Oliver, March 12th 2015 — with 1 comment

1_The Cribs_Mercury Lounge

Man was it good to finally catch The Cribs live again. Before last nights intimate showing at Mercury Lounge, the last time I caught the British trio was in 2007, a hearty eight years ago. A lot of time has passed since then, but The Cribs have stayed strong throughout, expanding their sound in more ways than I ever expected.

The Jarman brother trio are gearing up to release their brand new album (their sixth) For All My Sisters on March 24 via Arts & Crafts. The show at Mercury Lounge was their first show in New York in three years, and the first of a sold out three night run, with the other shows happening at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right and Saint Vitus, on Friday and Saturday respectfully.

1_Cold Fronts_Mercury Lounge
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[new]: Palma Violets – “Danger In The Club”

By Will Oliver, February 24th 2015

Palma Violets

Brit-rockers Palma Violets will return with new album Danger In The Club on May 5 via Rough Trade.

They’ve let go of the first single and title track “Danger In The Club” in the form of a rather epic music video shot showing the band playing in a rowdy pub. This is a rowdy little anthem that quickly builds up steam and lets loose in a big, big, way. I’m already looking forward to hearing this one live when they return to New York for a show at Baby’s All Right, which tickets are still on sale for.

Check out the video below and check out their mini leg of U.S. dates and the album’s tracklisting.

Tracklisting:
1. Sweet Violets
2. Hollywood (I Got It)
3. Girl, you couldn’t do much better (On The Beach)
4. Danger in the Club
5. Coming Over to My Place
6. Secrets of America
7. The Jacket Song
8. Matador
9. Gout! Gang! Go!
10. Walking Home
11. Peter and the Gun
12. No Money Honey
13. English Tongue

Tour Dates:

March 16th – NYC – Baby’s All Right
March 18th-21st – SXSW
March 24th – SF – Rickshaw Stop
March 25th – LA – Echo
March 28th – Burgerama Fest





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