Muse at Webster Hall (May 8, 2015)

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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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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

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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.

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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.

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

Real Estate at Music Hall of Williamsburg (December 18, 2014)

By Will Oliver, December 31st 2014 — with 1 comment

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I saw Real Estate a lot this year. They toured almost all year in support of Atlas, which included a warm up show early in the year at Baby’s All Right, as well as performances near the record’s release at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Webster Hall. Then there was their biggest headlining show to date at Terminal 5, which was only a few months ago. I figured that would be the last time we would we see them this year, but then Converse Rubber Tracks announced that Real Estate would be playing one of their free shows at MHOW on December 18.
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We Are Scientists at Brooklyn Bowl (November 20, 2014)

By Will Oliver, December 22nd 2014

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If We Are Scientists are playing NYC, I’m there. These days the duo of Keith Murray and Chris Cain are joined by Keith Carne, who is the current live drummer (though Andy Burrows is still billed as their official one). Earlier in the year they released their new record TV en Français, and they stopped by New York last month for a grand old time at Brooklyn Bowl.

I missed openers TEEN + Cookies as I was checking out Tobias Jesso Jr. a couple blocks away, but I got there just in time for We Are Scientists, of course.

They played some tracks off TV en Français but mostly stuck to tried and true fan favorites such as “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt,” which made an unexpectedly early appearance in the set. Murray and Cain mixed in their usual comedic banter in-between songs, when they weren’t taking swings out of a giant bottle of alcohol. A highlight of the show was seeing Murray come into the crowd, even hamming it up for a selfie that a fan took during the process. That and seeing Tim Wheeler from Ash (who as we learned was Murray’s old guitar teacher!) come out to cover Stone Temple Pilots’ “Interstate Love Song,” with the band. He stuck around for “After Hours,” which has appropriately become their go-to closer live.

If you want to see a rock show that is just fun in every way imagine, go see We Are Scientists. You’ll never leave disappointed.

Photos posted below.

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