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1_Sufjan Stevens_Loew's Jersey Theatre

On Halloween 2015, I made my first ever first to the Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey, to see Sufjan Stevens one more time before he wrapped up the first leg of the tour for his stunning 2015 album, Carrie & Lowell (released via Asthmatic Kitty).

Even though I saw him three times earlier this year (at the Beacon Theatre, Kings Theatre, and Newport Folk Festival respectively) the Loew’s show was able to stand out on its own, just as all the other shows did. Although a majority of the songs we got were the same, their impact and emotional weight changed for both Sufjan and the audience. These are songs that speak to you differently based on your own emotional state and being, which makes their impact one that evolves and is forever changing. It also helps that the band give the material a more grand and experimental take live that is vastly different from the more stripped down recorded versions.
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Preview: MS MR at Studio E This Saturday

By Will Oliver, February 25th 2016

MS MR

This Saturday night New York electronic group MS MR will return to New York with a headlining performance at Studio E that is the inaugural kickoff of Jukely’s new Sound Projects live concert series. While most of the Jukely shows were exclusive to their subscription members only, this is the first show where non-Jukely members can also buy a ticket. In addition to MS MR, the show will also feature performances from YACHT and San Fermin, making it a great night of music all around.

Tickets are still on sale, but they’re currently on pricing level 3, at $38. Once that sells out it goes up to $43. So move fast if you’re thinking of grabbing a ticket, or you can always get a subscription to Jukely.

If you haven’t already, check out MS MR’s video for their smooth single “Criminals” below.
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[music video]: Oscar – “Sometimes”

By Will Oliver, February 22nd 2016

Oscar - Sometimes Video

One of our favorite up-and-coming artists in recent years is Oscar, the exciting British rock project of Oscar Scheller, who is gearing up the release for his debut album Cut and Paste, which will be released on May 13 via Wichita Recordings.

Today he released his great new music video for single “Sometimes,” an older song of his that was also featured on his debut EP. The video, which was wonderfully directed by Bryan Schlam and features Oscar hanging out with various groups of people he hangs out with throughout small town America, including a lowriders club, a vape club, and model train enthusiasts. Schlam’s direction does have a bit of a Wes Anderson style to it, which is always welcome in my book.

Enjoy the video below, and be sure to catch Oscar when he returns to New York City on March 21 for a headlining performance at Baby’s All Right. You can still grab tickets here and pre-order Cut & Paste here.
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Harriet Releases Debut Album ‘American Appetite’

By Will Oliver, February 2nd 2016

Harriet - American Appetite

We’re only 33 days into 2016, but we’ve already been graced with some awesome albums. This includes American Appetite, the debut album from Los Angeles band Harriet, a release four years in the making.

You see, I first posted about Harriet late in 2011, after becoming fascinate with their debut single “I Slept With All Your Mothers.” It was included on their debut EP, and had me readily waiting to see what they had up their sleeves for their debut.

Only, aside from founder Alex Casnoff (who formerly played piano with Dawes and Papa) and drummer Henry Kwapis, the lineup kept changing and time went on and the wait for the album continued. This wasn’t a bad thing, as Casnoff and the rest of the group smartly took their time with the release, carefully putting together all the right ingredients and pieces, releasing songs and videos one by one, and signing to the small but impressive roster of Harvest Records. Ultimately this helped them to prepare for the release of American Appetite, doing it their own way.

I got to watch the band grow in real time, so it’s almost hard for me to believe that their album is actually here. But it is indeed a real thing, and as great of a first document of the band as I could’ve hoped. At their core, Harriet is built around the songwriting prowess of Casnoff. But they’re far from folk or an americana rock band, even if those elements are found throughout the 12 songs that make up American Appetite. As the years passed, they evolved as a band, showing an ability to take these songs and add a shiny pop or even dance guise, as evident on “Ten Steps” the unshakeable second track on the album.

All in all, the debut offering from Harriet feels far too polished and readymade to be a debut. They group have managed to do the unthinkable and deliver a first time release that seems like it has come from seasoned veterans. It may have been a long time coming, but American Appetite was well worth the wait, and is proof that Harriet are very much a band to watch in the future. Big things are on the way.

Today they released a brand new video for ““Inheritance,” which serves as a short heist-film with some messages about the music industry that are pretty clear. Check it out via Billboard.

American Appetite is available to purchase right here.

[music video]: Bitter’s Kiss – “No One Will”

By Will Oliver, January 29th 2016 — with 1 comment

bitter's kiss promo

Last year up-and-coming New Jersey singer-songwriter Chloe Baker released her self-titled debut album as Bitter’s Kiss, gaining many news fans along the way. We were one of them, sharing the albums stunning single “The Rope” last summer.

She kicked off the new year with a brand new video for the equally impressive “No One Will.” Showing off her impressive vocals, she gives off a Regina Spektor vibe and a feeling of positivity and elegance. The video was shot in Cork, Ireland and produced by EPIC Productions Ireland.

Enjoy the video below.
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Introducing: LNZNDRF

By Will Oliver, January 13th 2016

LNZNDRF

At first glance LNZNDRF may look like a jumble of letters, but fans of The National and Beirut should immediately take note. It’s the new project of Scott and Bryan Devendorf of The National, and Ben Lanz of Beirut (he also plays with The National live). Together, the trio form LNZNDRF and like Matt Berninger did last year, they look to make a name for themselves in 2016.

The group will release their self-titled debut album via 4AD on February 19. It was recorded over two and a half days at a Cincinnati church, with songs improvised from the old spirit that made them want to make music in the first place,

They’ve given us a preview of what is to come with a set of three live songs from the album (it looks like they’re joined by Beirut’s Aaron Arntz live), and the results are rather stunning. “Beneath The Black Sea” sounds like it could have come from New Order or Joy Division, they dive into dream-laden psych territory that reminds of My Bloody Valentine at times with “Mt. Storm,” and the experimental “King Things” has a experimental world-influence that isn’t easy to pin down to just one idea or genre. It’s safe to say that LNZNDRF isn’t just a one-off solo project, but a fully formed idea ready to take over our minds.

Enjoy all three of the live performances posted below. The album is available to pre-order now, with a limited clear vinyl pressing still available. The band will make their NYC live debut at the Mercury Lounge on Saturday, March 5, with an early and late show.
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R.I.P. David Bowie

By Will Oliver, January 11th 2016

Legendary artist David Bowie has passed away, losing an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69. This sad news comes just days after Bowie’s 69th birthday on Friday, which also saw the release of his fantastic new, and now final album, Blackstar.

The shocking news was revealed today through his facebook page:

January 10 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with…

Posted by David Bowie on Sunday, January 10, 2016



In all honestly, there’s not much I can say to truly capture the essence of what Bowie meant to so many people. He wasn’t just one of the greatest musicians of all time, but one of the great visionaries and artists in so many different fields and mediums.

He will truly be missed. Blast Bowie loud and proud today.

R.I.P. David Bowie

[new]: The Last Shadow Puppets – “Bad Habits”

By Will Oliver, January 10th 2016 — with 1 comment

The Last Shadow Puppets - Bad Habits

This year brings the long-awaited reunion of The Last Shadow Puppets, the glorious team-up between Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and their unofficial 5th member, Miles Kane. Their only release was their 2008 debut The Age of the Understatement, so fans have been eagerly awaiting their return for some time.

They’ve been hinting at a new record for months now, releasing short teaser videos as well as an inclusion on this year’s Coachella lineup. Tonight they took a big step towards the new album with a surprise release of a new song by the name of “Bad Habits.” No one was expecting to hear a new song so soon, let alone late on a Sunday night, but new music from these guys is certainly most welcome.

A few early spins to “Bad Habits” and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt. It seemed more of a Miles Kane solo song with The Last Shadow Puppets orchestrated string-section. It’s a dark and gritty track that digs a little bit deeper under the fingernails, really letting Miles Kane shine. At first I didn’t quite love it as much as I expected, but it seems like with every listen it’s starting to have its way with me. It may be a bit of a future grower that may work a lot better under the context of the rest of the eventual sophomore release. But one things for sure, this one is going to kick a lot of ass live.

Stream “Bad Habits” below with it’s official music video, which was directed by Ben Chappell.
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Premiere: Sam Seeger – “Empty Mind Man” Music Video

By Will Oliver, January 4th 2016 — with 1 comment

Sam Seeger - Empty Mind Man Video

Today I have the honor of having the exclusive premiere of Sam Seeger’s new music video for “Empty Mind Man.” The thunderous cut of garage rock is taken from Seeger’s debut solo EP Coffin Fashion, which we shared with you guys in the introducing feature on Sam that we posted last month.

The crafty and stylish video features Seeger along with drummer Rosie Slater (of New Myths) and was directed by Seeger, allowing him to perfectly capture the dirty, gritty feel of the song. Seeger swiftly proves that not only is he a talent behind the guitar, but also behind the lens (along with his brother Ben Seeger). As the director and artist himself, he’s able to capture and fine tune his aesthetic as an artist, building something memorable along the way.

Enjoy the music video below, and be sure to catch his upcoming free performance at Pete’s Candy Store next Saturday, January 16 at 8 pm and find his EP available for purchase on iTunes.
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Preview: Barbez Tonight At Joe’s Pub

By Will Oliver, January 2nd 2016

Barbez
Welcome to 2016. Need a last minute plan to kick off your show-going habit for the new year?

We got one for you. Tonight Brooklyn-based ensemble Barbez will be playing at Joe’s Pub, performing new pieces from their new album White Phosphorous, a new album that ruminates on the wars at uprisings in the Middle East post-9/11.

Tickets for the show are still on sale ahead of the show tonight, and some will still be available at the door. Grab a taste of their 2013 track “Bella Ciao” with it’s video, which is posted below.
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