1_The Oh Hellos_Bowery Ballroom

All words and photos by Ross Bernhardt

Earlier this summer, when Texas folk band The Oh Hellos released the first single off their upcoming second full-length album Dear Wormwood, a lofty comparison entered my mind. Sonically, the group reminds me of Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men, a band that is a folk-giant at this point. But both groups have a lot of similarities beyond their epic sounds. Both released their debut albums in 2012. Both of those first releases were jubilant efforts that had more joyous fare. Both released their follow-ups in 2015. Both albums explored darker themes than the first, and both offered up a much more diverse array of sonic landscapes.

When The Oh Hellos travelled to New York City for a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom on Monday, November 9, with support from acts Family and Friends and Cereus Bright, I was anxious to see how the stage show might change for the group with the new music. I was introduced to this band’s music at the Newport Folk Festival in 2014. Their set was one of the highlights of the entire weekend, a joyful, raucous hootenanny filled with leaping, dancing, harmonizing and beautiful music.

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1_Hot Chip_Baby's All Right

Baby’s All Right has not so quietly become the place to see shows in New York. I’d even go so far as to crown it as the best venue in New York at the moment. So when I saw that Hot Chip were playing the amazing and intimate Baby’s, I knew that it was going to be one of the most unforgettable shows of the year (I last saw them this summer at Governors Ball). The performance was a special Jukely Members Only performance, available only to members of the show subscription service whose presence has grown tremendous lengths over the past few months. It also came the day before the first of two sold out shows that the band had booked at the much larger Webster Hall.

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Opening the show, just like the shows at Webster, was young rising English artist, Georgia. The multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter release her self-titled debut album on Domino the week of the show, and has received well deserved acclaim for both her album and live show throughout the year. Strangely her set was limited to just a couple songs and just her on stage, as Hot Chip’s gear simply didn’t allow for much else due to the limited size of Baby’s stage. But she left a memorable impression, and thankfully I was able to catch a full set from her the next night at Webster.

Getting to Baby’s, I saw a giant truck and a mini bus sitting outside of Baby’s, which I only assumed was Hot Chips. Seeing the massive truck sitting outside the venue was an unforgettable image, one that summed up the concept of Hot Chip playing a 280-person capacity venue in Brooklyn. Taking the stage, the group had to squeeze into their positions, between the limited space not taken up by their various instruments, and of course, themselves. They found it just as funny as we did, and used the intimate nature to help them launch into the larger than life opening bits of “Huarache Lights.”

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Being a somewhat “private” show, I was wondering if we’d get a somewhat truncated set, as that sometimes is the case. Thankfully the group were kind enough to give us a a full 15-song set, full of favorites both old and new, such as “One Life Stand,” “Flutes,” “Over and Over,” “Ready For The Floor” and “I Feel Better.” They even played their incredible cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark,” with a little bit of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” mixed in there, led by former LCD Soundsystem member Al Doyle.

As I look back on 2015 I have no doubts that seeing Hot Chip at Baby’s All Right was a special treat, one that will go down as one of the best memories of the entire year. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see them play at a more intimate place ever again.


1. Huarache Lights
2. One Life Stand
3. Night & Day
4. Easy to Get
5. Started Right
6. Flutes
7. Over & Over
8. Alley Cats
9. Cry 4 You
10. Need You Now
11. Ready for the Floor
12. I Feel Better


13. Look at Where We Are
14. I Was a Boy from School
15. Dancing in the Dark (w/ “All My Friends”)


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Hot Chip:

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Fuzz, the trio of Ty Segall (on drums and vocals), Charlie Moothart and Roland Cosio released their new self-titled album (their 2nd) late last month via In The Red Records. This Sunday night they’re going to bring their garage rock fury to Manhattan, for a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom, along with The Men and Walter, who will open the show.

This will be the first stop of their tour in New York City, and my first time seeing them since their performance at Mercury Lounge in October 2013. This time around the room is much larger, and one can expect plenty of movement with the crowd, and plenty of crowd-surfers and stage-divers to keep you on your toes.

If you can find away into this sold out show, it’s going to be one of the best rock shows you’ll see all month, if not year.

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This Wednesday night, Austin rocker Alejandro Rose-Garcia, better known to us in the music world as Shakey Graves, will return to New York for a performance at Terminal 5. The large venue would seem like a task to most artists, but based on the impressive performance I saw from him earlier this year at the Newport Folk Festival (which is where the photo above is taken from), he has no problem making a large scale performance seem intimate and personal.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with his music, he’s the sort of performer that you should take a risk on. He won me over with his live performance alone, and I’ve become a fan ever since. If you’re willing to give him a try, the same may happen to you.

Tickets for the show are still on sale, and feature opening sets from The Oh Hellos and Those Darlins

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Avenue is the relatively new project of Sam Willows, a 21-year-old out of Toronto. Under this moniker, he’s making some great remixes that have caught a lot of attention. Well now he’s decide to make something of his own, and make his mark with his own songs.

One listen to his new single “Hot Slow Wind” will have you hooked. It’s tailor made for some late night listening, appropriate for a late night drive down the highway, or even alone in your room with your favorite headphones on. It’s the sort of song that feels fresh but also familiar, in the most welcoming sense of the word. This one just grooves and grooves. Those seductive driving synths remind me a great deal of some of Chromatics work. A compliment in the fullest degree.

It will be included on his debut EP Keep Counting, which will be released at the top of 2016 on January 8, via Dine Alone Records. Enjoy a stream, posted below.

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37_Everyone_Neil Fest_Bowery Ballroom

Back on a Sunday night in September, seemingly most of the musical talent that happened to be in New York that weekend converged to Bowery Ballroom for the first night of Neilfest, a tribute to the great Neil Young put on by The Best Fest. Not only was it a grand old celebration of a musical genius, but it served as a benefit to the Sweet Relief charity. So not only did you get some amazing artists, old and new, covering Neil Young, but it was all for a good cause. What’s not to love?

Cabin Down Below Band served as the backing house band for all the guests, and these guys are veterans of these sort of things by now, also serving as the backing band for the previously held Dylan Fest, Petty Fest and Stones Fest. They kicked things off with “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown,” and then handed the torch to a different band or artist to take over the song, and then pass the torch down the respective line.
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1_Clap Your Hands Say Yeah_Bowery Ballroom

It’s hard to believe it’s been a full decade since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah released their unforgettable, and still phenomenal, self-titled debut album. I was about 15 years old at the time, just beginning to discover music blogs, as well as the depths of the indie music world. Seeing the reaction and general excitement that blogs had surrounding the release made me interested in this world, and was a definite influence in starting a blog of my own. So in many ways, I owe a lot of what has happened with We All Want Someone to Alec Ounsworth and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

This summer Clap Your Hands Say Yeah toured in support of their debut album, playing the entire album from start to finish, and then finishing off with other favorites from their career, both old and new. They stopped in to play the album in early August, with a pair of sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom.

I caught the second show, which was opened by Wilmington, Delaware group Teen Men, the new group of The Spinto Band’s Nick Krill (as well as former members Joe Hobson and Albert Birney, along with Krill’s wife Catharine Maloney) who also happens to play guitar and keyboards these days in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. These days, Ounsworth is the only original member from the band’s debut album days, with the rest of the group filled out by Matt Wong (bass) and Patrick Berkery (drums)

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1_Alex G_Brooklyn Flea

In early August, the hardworking Alex G returned to New York for a free performance at 50 Kent in Williamsburg, as a part of the free concert series put on by Brooklyn Flea. The show also featured opening sets from both Pinegrove and Snoozer.

It was one of my his many New York performances this year, yet another enjoyable set of raw songwriting that hit home. He returned a few more times later in the year in support of his newly released Beach Music, his first release on Domino Records.

Find some photos from his performance posted below.

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On August 1 the Brooklyn Mirage was turned into a beach scene ready to celebrate electronic music for the fifth annual Full Moon Festival. This was the festival’s first time in Bushwick, after previously been held at Governors Island for four years.

Photographer Leah Runyon was on hand that day capturing some of the sweaty electronic action on our behalf. Find some belated photos from the festival posted below.

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1_Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin_The Studio at Webster Hall

In early August Springfield, Missouri rockers Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin returned to New York for an intimate performance at The Studio at Webster Hall (I last saw them here in 2013, upstairs at The Marlin Room). Also opening the show were Philadelphia’s Joy Riding and local Brooklyn group Portuguese Bend.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin returned with new album The High Country in May, released via Polyvinyl Records. The group, led by frontman Philip Dickey, powered through an energetic performance of their indie-pop gems, consisting of songs both old and new. Although the presence of former singer and bandmate John Robert Cardwell was missed at moments, the return of founding member Tom Hembree is certainly welcome.

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