001_Jessica Pratt_Union Pool

It didn’t take much for San Francisco singer Jessica Pratt to take hold of the tiny, but packed space at Union Pool, which serves up the perfect setting for fragile folk performers such as Pratt. Her sophomore album On Your Own Love Again was released just this January by Drag City, a stunning record from start to finish. She brought the album to life with the same sincerity, captivating the room entirely, leaving us in breathless awe.

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1_Passion Pit_Kings Theatre

The newly restored Kings Theatre wouldn’t have been my first guess for the New York live return of Passion Pit, who last played New York in September 2013 (and who I last saw at Governors Ball 2012). But then again, this is a band that has constantly rose above their given expectations, they did play Madison Square Garden after all.

The night was also a series of fresh starts, both for the beautiful revamped Kings Theatre, and Passion Pit. Gone completely are all the fresh-faced members of the band’s original lineup. Only founder and brainchild Michael Angelakos remains. Joining him for the Kindred-era of Passion Pit are Giuliano Pizzulo (of Incan Abraham), Pete Carafella (of Supersystem and Shy Child), and Ray Suen and Chris Hartz (who both play in Childish Gambino’s band). This was a jarring discovery, as I had become so accustomed to the previous installment of Passion Pit whose members I also associated with the band, even if the group has always been Angelakos at the end of the day.

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The Tins

Buffalo rock trio The Tins are in the midst of making their second studio album. To help fund it, as well as an accompanying documentary film, they launched a kickstarter with variety of cool rewards for fans that donate at a certain level.

It’s the last hour, with about 12 hours to go, and I’m proud to announce that The Tins have successfully reached their kickstarter goal. But even so, every little bit will still help them out with the recording and documentary, as well as future tours and the like. It’s also the last chance to snag any of the rewards.

You only have 12 hours, so if you want to help The Tins and support a hard working independant band, head to their kickstarter page and help send The Tins on their way. We can’t wait to hear what they share with us on this new record.

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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.

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1_Noel Gallagher_Webster Hall

Last night Noel Gallagher returned to New York along with his High Flying Birds for a special (very) sold out performance at Webster Hall, ahead of their performance at Governors Ball next month. The show came in support of Chasing Yesterday, Gallgher’s sophomore record with the High Flying Birds. It was released earlier this year via his own Sour Mash Records, but it’s Gallgher’s first New York stop as a part of his Keep It Dangerous tour. The show was billed as “An Evening w/ Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,” and that’s exactly what we got. There was no opener to be found, just a rock solid night of music from Noel Gallagher and company.
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1_Florence and the Machine_MHOW

With new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful set for release later this month (May 29 via Island Records), Florence and the Machine is scheduled to appear as the musical guest for the season finale episode of Saturday Night Live this week. So while in town she announced that she would be playing a surprise show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, in a show co-sponsored by Governors Ball (which she’ll be playing next month) and Bowery Presents. Fans were understandably very excited by this announcement, as it’s not everyday you get a chance to see a major star like Florence and The Machine in a 550-person venue such as MHOW. Tickets were hard to come by, but for those lucky enough to get in, they were treated to a once in a lifetime show from the British pop-star.

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Sufjan 1

What’s there to say about Sufjan Stevens and his beautiful new album Carrie & Lowell that hasn’t been said by everyone else? My love for the album is no secret, it’s already a heavy favorite to be my album of the year, and it’s only May. Of course things can change from now until December, but it’s going to take one hell of an album to dethrone Stevens’ latest masterpiece. Last month Stevens performed the first of his New York shows at at The Beacon Theatre, a performance so good that I made sure to catch one of his two return shows, this time at the newly opened and restored Kings Theatre in Brooklyn.

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1_Toro y Moi_Terminal 5

It’s hard to think back to the initial days of Chaz Bundick and his now highly successful project Toro y Moi. The days of him taking over blogs as the one of the purveyors of chillwave are now a thing of the past (as is chillwave in general). With the release of his new album What For? (out via Carpark Records), Bundick has officially taken his project to a full band sound, a place where it seemed destined to grow from the start. And grown it has, taking his project to a nearly sold out crowd at Terminal 5 last Friday night. This was a big difference from the previous – and only – time that I saw Toro y Moi live, at the drastically smaller Mercury Lounge in 2011 (along with Indian Rebound + Cloud Nothings!). Man, where has the time gone?

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On April 24, I was sent the lineup of artists set to appear to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. When I saw that Blur were listed as the musical performers for Thursday, I realized that Blur were probably going to play a surprise show in New York City surrounding that performance (some proof via twitter). After going to shows regularly in this city for long enough, you look to find any hints of these surprise shows, and it all made sense. They were releasing their new album The Magic Whip that week, they were in New York for Fallon. Why not play a show? Even with all the signs pointing towards a surprise appearance, I kept myself grounded, knowing that it was also a complete shot in the dark.


Four days later my vision came true; Blur announced that they would indeed be playing a live show in New York. Not only that, but it was a free show, sponsored by Converse Rubber Tracks, at the way too tiny Music Hall of Williamsburg. Now that, I never could have predicted. It was too good to be true. Alas, so was getting these free tickets. But sometimes, you just get a little lucky.

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