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H is for Hundred Thousand Fireflies — Prolific writer sings his greatest song at last.
The trio of songs this Brooklyn group showcased from their 2014 debut LP Careers all profited from the forceful foursome’s potent punch and Drew Citron’s spirited, sweetly-lilted singing. But I was equally knocked out by the batch of new and/or unfamiliar songs they played.
A fully arrived performer is greeted by smiling strangers, watched by a few less than billions of eyes.
Let’s count the ways Ben Gibbard is like Neil Tennant. His eternally boyish and sedate voice has logged enough years to be beyond the reach of detractors, at last.
The Pixies had a most triumphant homecoming, Jack Black played Jack Black, and both TV On The Radio and St. Vincent transmitted from an exotic, remote location.
Perhaps Philadelphia won this week’s Twin Cities sweepstakes by hosting The Replacements three days earlier, but BNLX ensured that New York received a similarly raucous and riveting runner-up.
Photos from Day 2 of Boston Calling, featuring My Morning Jacket, Ben Harper and St. Vincent
The Spring edition Boston Calling kicks off with a shimmying set by Beck and a slightly dozy performance by Tame Impala.
With temperatures hovering around 0°F, New London, CT chanteuse Martin ensured that this show was worth the wearying weeknight trek and fleeting flirtations with frostbite.
I know it’s only April and it snowed a little today but it still feels like summer because Best Coast just played my town.
Hearing that Kasso’s victim kept insisting, while being stabbed to death, that he loved his mother, is heartbreaking, and no less so because I can imagine myself as a young man somewhere in this story, myself.
The entire production was rather like a stoned symphony, with Kilbey as the ringmaster.
The Chesterfield, NJ foursome played a blowout, 18-song opening set, including a handful from their fantastic new 2014 fifth album Captains of Industry, Captains of War.
If this show at this long-running beachfront venue was not quite as epic in scope as their October 2011 show at NYC’s Irving Plaza, when they tore through their 1977 debut Damned Damned Damned and 1980 fourth LP The Black Album in their entireties, it was still just as scorching.
By showcasing four up-and-coming, under-the-radar bands – all of which had new releases reviewed by energetic editor Jack Rabid in the mag’s last two issues – the night was as equally entertaining as The Big Takeover’s blowout, 15-band, two-day 30th anniversary festival at Brooklyn’s Bell House.
Compared to their triumphant free show at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park the previous June, the Dum Dums’ follow-up NYC gig at this spacious Williamsburg venue/restaurant/bowling alley was a more low-key affair. But it was still heaps of fun, not least because it took place on the night before Halloween.
This Toronto five-piece whipped through a short but sweet set, hitting every one of the their shimmering, surf-splashed self-titled debut LP’s songs save its closer “Red Planet.”
If I’d designed the variables and controls myself, I couldn’t have come up with any better experiment to discover a general principle of aging among touring artists.
Since it opened, Beast of Bourbon in Bed-Stuy has proved to be not only an enticing neighborhood bar, but a great venue for events as well, so, logically, it was the spot of choice for New Year’s Eve, with no knowledge of what would be in store.
Poi Dog Pondering recently wrapped a four-night stand at City Winery Chicago in support of new project Everybody’s Got a Star. Rock photographer Philamonjaro was on hand to document night three.
While the long trek from New Jersey to Queens during Friday rush hour was a drag, and the outdoor stadium’s 10 o’clock curfew left the band scrambling for time, this show by these reunited Minneapolis marvels more than exceeded my expectations.
This free mid-summer River Rocks soiree was a Murderer’s Row of Fanclub favorites, all dripping with their trademark three-part harmonies and Byrds-ian melodies.
Did the Welsh settle America? Find out what Prince Madog and John Evans have been up to.
In which Segall christens the remodeled Turf’s most distinctive and enduring feature and re-inaugurates the club as vital.
The very roots of metal, on display in two different forms.
“Music is just because you have to have it,” says the songwriter.
Van Etten has also grown better at projecting her voice to fill larger venues in a way that doesn’t seem forced but more emotionally in depth in a way that makes the songs greater than ever. When she thanks her audience for coming, it’s just as heartfelt.
Like he did playing with X a few blocks away at the Wonder Bar in December 2012, Doe still sounds every bit as revitalized as the formerly decrepit, once again hopping Asbury Park beachfront.
After seeing this ethereal Brooklyn five-piece twice before at mammoth-sized Manhattan venues, it was nice to finally get to see them up close and personal at this much smaller, superb-sounding space, doing one of their own headlining shows.
Has an artist ever played such a wide selection of her back catalog, containing so many words and lines of melody, on one tour?
With 17 of the night’s 18 songs coming from the Glasgow band’s last three (of five) excellent albums – including seven from their newest LP Desire Lines – this was an embarrassment of riches.
British folkie Garrie was only allotted 30 minutes, so this set opening for Dutch baroque popster/psych rocker Gardner couldn’t match his hour-plus long headlining show last year at Joe’s Pub. But this was still worth venturing across two rivers from New Jersey!
Hot on the tail of their Southeastern US tour, World War IX returned to New York with a vengeance.
Ecstatically opposed to a high concept approach, but with visual sense, and moments.
This Newcastle, UK quintet played a terrific show, even if the set’s inclusion of ten new LP songs undercut some of the band’s typical rapid-fire, crackling pace.
When two of pop music’s best songwriters, Pernice Brothers/Scud Mountain Boys’ Joe Pernice and Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, come through town to perform acoustically as The New Mendicants, you drop everything and go.
11pm may seem like a strange time for an entire show to start, but when a phenomenal band from the Shanghai, China scene pairs up with the monsters of Kabuki surf punk, attendance becomes imperative.
A night of planet engulfing reverb—the mortal bewilderment of Benji couldn’t be smothered with any less.
This Philadelphia quartet’s My Bloody Valentine-esque onslaught continued through eight explosive tunes, which often flew by in a tumultuous blur. Don’t be misled by the unassuming moniker; on this night, Nothing was really something.
It sure was strange to see NYC’s poppy Pains for this fifth occasion, as frontman Kip Berman was backed by a completely different lineup than the familiar one that played the other four!
I missed London’s Toy when they played this superb-sounding tombstone store turned music venue back in January, so I was grateful to have this chance at redemption four months later. As expected, it was easy to lose oneself in a head-bobbing haze.
In a word, their hour long set was epic. We overuse that word in the human race just like we wear out words like amazing but nonetheless if you were hesitating even in the slightest about seeing them as they embark on their upcoming tour, think again. It could easily be the best show you’ve seen all year and one you’ll remember and cherish for decades to come. It will make any doubters a believer in the blissful power of shoegaze music.
It is strange to be anything at all and still we’re all glad for the shared experience of hearing someone like Jeff Mangum who is not like anyone else we’ve ever known.
England’s Factory Floor three piece started out slow but pretty soon female lead singer Nik Colk was starting to dance to her own rhythms as the heightened sense of beats took over the crowd and made for an awesome beginning set for many people. Some fans were even so appreciative of the beats by live drummer Gabriel Gurnsey that they started crowdsurfing!
Not content to put on a run-of-the-mill gig, this elusive, secretive seven-member Swedish collective delivered another energetic, elaborate, and exhausting extravaganza.
The classic lineup rolls on like an out of control freight train, only on roller coaster rails with insane grip.