Planetarium is the album and collaborative project of Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner (of The National), Nico Muhly, and James McAlister. The debut album (released via 4AD) sees them mesh their talents to one unique whole, with an album about the many planets and universes, connected to universal human themes as well.

This summer only saw a few select live tour dates for the group, which included a performance in Brooklyn on July 18 at Prospect Park for the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.

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It’s no secret here in the New York City area that there are plenty of chances to see legendary Hoboken indie rockers Yo La Tengo perform. Even still, I had managed to somehow go this long without seeing them perform. Just a case of me missing them and realizing “I can always see them next time,” until next time keeps becoming next time….you know how it goes.

When the group announced that they would perform a free performance at Central Park Summerstage on July 17, I made sure that I no longer deprived myself of seeing Yo La Tengo live in the flesh. The fact that the awesome English rockers Ultimate Painting were announced as the opening act was the cherry on top.

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All photos by Joe Saturday

Katie Crutchfield and Waxahatchee returned in big fashion this year with the rock solid new album Out In The Storm, released via Merge Records on July 14.

Just one day later, they came to Brooklyn to celebrate the release of the album with support coming from both Cayetana and Snail Mail.

Our photographer Joe Saturday was there to capture all the action from all three acts, find them all posted in the gallery below, along with the setlist.

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(Solange)

All photos by Bryan Lasky

The 2017 Pitchfork Music Festival closed up shop on Sunday with what looked like it was going to be a rainy dreary day, but thankfully the weather held out. The crowds weren’t as big as the previous two days, but it was still very well attended. The festival suffered a big blow that day, with The Avalanches having to cancel only a few hours before their set due to a family member being sick. Jamila Woods won out though being able to play right before Solange, but missing The Avalanches hurt.

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If it seems like My Morning Jacket never take a break from touring, that’s because it’s true. The Louisville rockers released The Waterfall back in 2015 and have seemingly been touring in support ever since. On July 15 they continued the run with a big time New York show at Forest Hills Stadium along with Gary Clark Jr. And who said rock music was dead?
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Attention New York City: there’s a new band that needs to be on your radar. Cape Francis is the solo project of Kevin Henthorn, formerly of the band Stone Cold Fox. On Friday, July 14th, Henthorn debuted songs live for the first time as Cape Francis, surrounded by a backing band of five. In fact, the group had only played the songs together earlier in the week. He warned us about how much of an experiment this all would be, but there was no warning necessary. This experiment was a resounding success.

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(A Tribe Called Quest)

All photos by Bryan Lasky

Saturday was a hot one, and many opted to sit in the shade and relax while the music played. Another eclectic bill from top to bottom took to the park, all starting with a rousing set from Vagabon and her band. The crowd was all in from the moment she stepped on the stage and she gave everything she had. Jeff Rosenstock was the happiest person on the planet when he took the stage. His energy was infectious and the crowd wildly approved his entire punk rock and new wave infused set. He joked about how much money the band was paid to play the fest as well as helped destroy a Trump piñata, much to the crowds adoration.

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(LCD Soundsystem)

All photos by Bryan Lasky

Having never been to Pitchfork Music Festival, I was excited to get in and find how small the park is that the festival takes place in. Being able to go to all the stages with such ease was just fantastic and made photographing the festival a breeze. The lineup for Pitchfork is always great and this year was no different. With a heavy dose all weekend of local acts, rap, and women taking control of the stage, this festival does everything correctly.

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When The National return with new music, it tends to be a good year. I guess it’s a good year, as they’re back with their long-awaited new album Sleep Well Beast on September 8 via 4AD. They gave fans a sneak preview of the album at Basilica Hudson on July 14 and 15 (we caught the first show on the 14th), much smaller shows that their upcoming performance at Forest Hills Stadium.

This wasn’t just any ordinary show, as it was titled a Guilty Party (taken from the recently released song of the same name) that featured opening sets from friends of the band that included: Buke & Gase, Nadia Sirota, Mouse on Mars, and SO Percussion. They used the setting of Basilica Hudson to put on a special show, with The National set up in the round in the middle of the room, while each of the openers were given a mini-stage in a corner where they each had a chance to shine.

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