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New Year's Eve Bash - Beast of Bourbon (Brooklyn) December 31, 2014

7 January 2015

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 – City Winery (Chicago, IL) – Sunday, December 28, 2014

30 December 2014

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.

The Replacements – Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (Forest Hills, Queens, NY) – Friday, September 19, 2014

21 November 2014

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.

Teenage Fanclub – Hudson River Park @ Pier 84 (New York, NY) – Thursday, July 24, 2014

14 November 2014

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.

Gruff Rhys - Brighton Music Hall - Friday, November 7, 2014

13 November 2014

Did the Welsh settle America? Find out what Prince Madog and John Evans have been up to.

Ty Segall 9/24/14

Ty Segall with La Luz – Turf Club (St. Paul, MN) – Wednesday, September 24, 2014

11 November 2014

In which Segall christens the remodeled Turf’s most distinctive and enduring feature and re-inaugurates the club as vital.

Pentagram, Bang, and Kings Destroy @ The Met - Providence, RI - Sunday, November 2, 2014

8 November 2014

The very roots of metal, on display in two different forms.

Mary Gauthier 9/14/14

Mary Gauthier and Sam Baker – Cedar Cultural Center (Minneapolis, MN) – Sunday, September 14, 2014

1 November 2014

“Music is just because you have to have it,” says the songwriter.

Live Review and Photos: Sharon Van Etten @ Thalia Hall in Chicago 10/10/2014

12 October 2014

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.

John Doe – Asbury Lanes (Asbury Park, NJ) – Sunday, June 22, 2014

3 October 2014

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.

DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith @ MHOW

DIIV – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY) – Friday, July 11, 2014

23 September 2014

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.

Tori Amos 8/3/14

Tori Amos – The O’Shaughnessy (St. Paul, MN) – Sunday, August 3, 2014

22 September 2014

Has an artist ever played such a wide selection of her back catalog, containing so many words and lines of melody, on one tour?

Camera Obscura's Carey Lander & Tracyanne Campbell @ Le Poisson Rouge

Camera Obscura with Laura Cantrell – Le Poisson Rouge (New York, NY) – Tuesday, July 15, 2014

17 September 2014

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.

Nick Garrie @ Baby's All Right

Nick Garrie with Jacco Gardner and EZTV – Baby’s All Right (Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY) – Saturday, August 16, 2014

5 September 2014

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!

World War IX ABC No Rio

World War IX - ABC No Rio (New York City) August 30, 2014

5 September 2014

Hot on the tail of their Southeastern US tour, World War IX returned to New York with a vengeance.

Tune-Yards 7/17/14

Tune-Yards – First Avenue (Minneapolis, MN) – Thursday, July 17, 2014

31 August 2014

Ecstatically opposed to a high concept approach, but with visual sense, and moments.

Maximo Park's Paul Smith & Tom English @ Gramercy Theater

Maxïmo Park with Jeffrey Lewis & the Jrams – Gramercy Theater (New York, NY) – Friday, May 23, 2014

30 August 2014

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.

New Mendicants' Norman Blake & Joe Pernice @ Mercury Lounge

The New Mendicants – Mercury Lounge (New York, NY) – Thursday, May 1, 2014

22 August 2014

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.

Round Eye Knitting Factory

Round Eye and Daikaiju - The Knitting Factory (Brooklyn, NY) Friday, August 15, 2014

20 August 2014

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.

Sun Kil Moon 7/16/14

Sun Kil Moon – Varsity Theater (Minneapolis, MN) – Wednesday, July 16, 2014

17 August 2014

A night of planet engulfing reverb—the mortal bewilderment of Benji couldn’t be smothered with any less.

Nothing's Domenic Palermo @ Webster Hall Studio

Nothing – The Studio at Webster Hall (New York, NY) – Saturday, June 14, 2014

14 August 2014

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.

Pains of Being Pure at Heart's Kip Berman @ Rough Trade NYC

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Rough Trade NYC (Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY) – Friday, March 28, 2014

5 August 2014

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!

Toy's Dominic O'Dair, Tom Dougall & Maxim Barron @ Mercury Lounge

Toy with Heaven – Mercury Lounge (New York, NY) – Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2 August 2014

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.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2014: Slowdive Sunday

21 July 2014

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.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2014: Saturday Highlights

20 July 2014

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.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2014: Friday Highlights

19 July 2014

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!

Goat @ Webster Hall

Goat – Webster Hall (New York, NY) – Wednesday, June 18, 2014

17 July 2014

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.

Guided By Voices with Crystal Stilts - The Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA) - Saturday, July 12, 2014

14 July 2014

The classic lineup rolls on like an out of control freight train, only on roller coaster rails with insane grip.

Pitchfork Preview 2014 Recommendations

13 July 2014

If there’s no other Pitchfork festival band that you check out the full set for, make it Slowdive and you won’t regret it!

Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee & Sandy @ Prospect Park

Dum Dum Girls with Blouse – Bowery Ballroom (New York, NY) – Tuesday, March 25, 2014; with Hospitality – Prospect Park Bandshell (Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY) – Saturday, June 21, 2014

6 July 2014

After their breakthrough third LP Too True and a Late Show with David Letterman appearance, Dum Dum Girls played two of their biggest headlining shows in NYC.

Local H 6/6/14

Local H – Triple Rock Social Club (Minneapolis, MN) – Friday, June 6, 2014

6 July 2014

Midwestern rock duo makes music increasingly ravaged by winter, plays a show at the end of the worst one yet.

Rock The Garden (Minneapolis, MN) – Saturday-Sunday, June 21-22, 2014

28 June 2014

Two days, ten acts: Lizzo, Jeremy Messersmith, Best Coast, Matt and Kim, De La Soul, Valerie June, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Dessa, Guided by Voices, and Spoon.

Madeleine Jurkiewicz, Lily Jurkiewicz & Shannon Hayden @ Joe's Pub

Lily & Madeleine – Joe’s Pub (New York, NY) – Wednesday, April 30, 2014

28 June 2014

Was it worth schlepping from New Jersey to Manhattan on the night of the city’s tenth-highest rainfall total in record-keeping history, to see these golden-voiced teenaged sisters from Indianapolis trill together? In a word: yes!

Devo – Best Buy Theater (New York, NY) – Thursday, June 19, 2014

23 June 2014

The Spudboys from Ohio land in the Big Apple and go down a storm, playing material recorded from 1974-1977.

Kishi Bashi 5/30/14

Kishi Bashi with Busman’s Holiday – Fine Line Music Café (Minneapolis, MN) – Friday, May 30, 2014

21 June 2014

An incomparable showman handles the violin with the light and playful manner his celebration rock requires.

Gary Klebe and John Murphy of Shoes

Brooklyn Power Pop Festival, The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY, May 9-10, 2014

5 June 2014

Seven bands, two nights, thirty five bucks. What a bargain!

Matt Pond PA 5/12/14

Matt Pond PA – Turf Club (St. Paul, MN) – Monday, May 12, 2014

2 June 2014

On the Emblems anniversary tour, the band is determined to articulate every sound as powerfully as possible, as if the songs, ten years older but ten times more vivid, can be made new again.

Boston Calling 2014: Sunday (Day 3)

26 May 2014

Day 3 of Boston Calling, featuring Modest Mouse, Brand New, Tegan and Sara, Phosphorescent, Kurt Vile, Built To Spill and more.

Karl Wallinger of World Party

World Party with Gabriel Kelley, Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA May 25, 2014

26 May 2014

Karl’s voice is undiminished in its power and clarity after all these years, a time which included a brain aneurysm which left him with the inability to speak. That he recovered so well is a testament to his passion and drive as a musician.

Boston Calling 2014: Saturday (Day 2)

26 May 2014

Day 2 of Boston Calling, including sets from Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists, Warpaint and more.

Angel Olsen 5/1/14

Angel Olsen – Cedar Cultural Center (Minneapolis, MN) – Thursday, May 1, 2014

25 May 2014

Everything profound she follows with a laugh, sometimes in the middle of a song if she can break its spell.

Boston Calling 2014: Friday (Day 1)

25 May 2014

Day 1 of the Spring edition of Boston Calling, featuring Jack Johnson, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Cass McCombs.

Kristin Hersh & Tanya Donelly @ Bowery Ballroom

Throwing Muses with Tanya Donelly – Bowery Ballroom (New York, NY) – Sunday, March 9, 2014

21 May 2014

This show spotlighted the veteran trio’s new 32-song tenth LP Purgatory/Paradise, while Muses co-founder Donelly joined her half-sister Hersh on stage for five older numbers.

Live Review and Photos: Elbow @ House of Blues in Chicago 5/19/2014

20 May 2014

Yes, the night has darkness on it’s side but Elbow makes it all the more brighter and worth living, even if we still end up on the losing side.

Linda Draper @ Manhattan Inn

Linda Draper with Kath Bloom – The Manhattan Inn (Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY) – Sunday, March 9, 2014

11 May 2014

This cozy mid-afternoon Greenpoint brunch gig, opening for veteran CT folkie Kath Bloom, was ideally suited to Draper’s soothing approach.

St. Vincent 4/3/14

St. Vincent – State Theatre (Minneapolis, MN) – Thursday, April 3, 2014

8 May 2014

Annie Clark enacts a kind of science fiction story told in the relationship between herself and her guitar.