Photos + Words by Omar Kasrawi

Have you ever seen lightning strike indoors? Where the electricity is being shot off stage and surging throughout the audience. The kind of energy that no matter how thick the four walls are, or how sturdy the floors remain, or how well built the roof is, or no amount of soundproofing can help to contain. Well, that’s the kind of maelstrom Black Pistol Fire unleashed the Music Hall of Williamsburg last Wednesday.

Evan Konrad

First up was Canadian Evan Konrad who was the calm before the storm. Konrad cultivated a moody and deliberate atmosphere. There’s an emotional chord that is evident in not just his lyrics, but the music they manifest in. Konrad just released his debut single, “The Long Way Out” earlier this year and plans to follow it up with more music throughout the year.

Emily Wolfe

And after that, the storm really began to come at the audience. Austin’s Emily Wolfe brought her full throttle shredding and bluesy rock in waves. Wolfe has a mastery of her guitar and the howling vocals to match. She strutted back and forth across the stage as she veered in between delta blues and “I’ll melt your face off guitar licks”. And for good measure, she made Lemmy and Motorhead proud with her cover of “Ace of Spades”. Wolfe’s energy and sounds are not to be missed and for this night she was the perfect jolt to prime the audience for what was next.

Then it was a blur. There was one moment of calm that was Kevin McKeown and Eric Owen of Black Pistol walking out on stage, and then it was no mercy. They say Canadians are supposed to be nice, but this duo didn’t let their fans catch a breath during their category five set.

Black Pistol Fire

The band may be only two men, but they manage to make sounds that seem to be the work of many more. Remember when Marty McFly sent himself flying in front of that giant speaker at the start of “Back to the Future”? Well, that’s child play compared to the sound McKeown and Owen are able to summon up.

Black Pistol Fire

This is a band that is built around speed. McKeown moves and plays with a blurry quickness while Owen is the ferocious demolisher of drum kits. But even with all that speed, they never seem to lose track of the song or their audience. McKeown is also the instigator of the band. Whipping the crowd into a moshing frenzy right before he either jumps on top of them and crowd surfs his way around the venue, or when he’s right in the middle of the pit.

Black Pistol Fire gets more impressive with each successive concert and are continually refining their blues-influenced rock with every new song they deliver. This is the kind of band you have to catch whenever they come to your town.

Evan Konrad:

Emily Wolfe:

Black Pistol Fire:

Photos by Dana Pacifico

Native New Yorker Teyana Taylor returned to New York on May 15th for a special performance at the Grand Ballroom at Hammerstein Ballroom as a part of the Red Bull Music Festival. The special performance dubbed “House of Petunia” featured an elaborate stage design. over 25 dancers and an audio-visual experience that saw Taylor bring out guests such as Method Man and her husband and NBA player Iman Shumpert.

Our photographer Dana Pacifico was there to capture photos from the performance, all of which can be found posted in the gallery below.
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Sharon Van Etten continued her impeccable winning album streak with the release of Remind Me Tomorrow earlier this year via Jagjaguwar. She’s been touring hard in support of the album all year and returned for another headlining show (following Beacon Theatre earlier this year), this time at Webster Hall on May 4th. This was our first time seeing the singer-songwriter perform since her performance at Governors Ball back in 2015 and our first time back to the newly reopened and renovated Webster Hall.
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Jonah Yano & BADBADNOTGOOD – “Nervous”

By Will Oliver, May 9th 2019

(Photo by Kyle Berger)

BADBADNOTGOOD are always keeping things interesting and fresh, not just sonically but with their use of collaborations and teamwork.

Their latest collab is “Nervous” a brand new song they recently released with Japanese-Canadian artist Jonah Yano. “Nervous” is as smooth as silk, effortlessly blending elements of r&b, indie rock and soul into something that is very much unique to both Yano and the band’s identities. So much so that it’s surprising to hear that it’s just the fifth song that Yano has written, one that is apparently influenced by Joni Mitchell.
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Katie Toupin – “Magnetic Moves”

By Will Oliver, May 3rd 2019

Katie Toupin is best known formerly as a member of Houndmouth but for the past couple of years has been building her solo career. This year we will finally get to hear her debut album Magnetic Moves out on June 14th via Symphonic Distribution, and based on the excellent single and title track “Magnetic Moves,” it’s looking to be a good one.

Today saw the release of the official music video for the triumphant track, directed by Greg Sheppard and Chad Blevins of Primary Forms. It captures the building grandiose nature of the track which goes for a much bigger, catchier sound than we’ve heard from the singer to date, while still keeping the heart and soul of her sound intact.

Enjoy the music video below, along with a list of upcoming tour dates.
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No Suits in Miami – “Kollektivtrafik”

By Will Oliver, April 29th 2019

No Suits in Miami are an indie rock band from Lund, Sweden who have recently released their brand new album I Hope That No One Sees Me.

The album is packed with dreamy elements of 80s rock with some of those larger than life emotional choruses that you find in some 90s shoegaze. Take for instance the lush and bountiful album cut “Kollektivtrafik” that hits with some uplifting melodic rises and vocal delivery that is a match made in heaven and hits all the right notes.

Enjoy a listen to “Kollektivtrafik” below and find the entire album streaming now on their Soundcloud.
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Are you at a great concert and want to record a short video clip that you can upload to social media? As you may have noticed recording videos at concerts using your mobile phone isn’t easy, and in many cases the results will leave a lot to be desired.

If you want to improve the concert videos that you’re able to record using your phone, there are 3 great tips that could help quite a bit:

Try to focus on keeping the camera steady

Keeping the camera (i.e. your phone) steady while you record videos during a concert isn’t easy – especially if you’re in the standing section. However you should try your best, as it can have a significant impact on how clear the video looks.

As much as it may be tempting to raise your phone above your head to record the video – it is best not to do that. Instead raise your camera just enough so that you can record the stage, but at the same time keep it close enough that you can support your arms with your sides.

Muffle the microphone with your hand

The audio on many concert videos recorded using mobile phones is really quite awful. That is partly because the music and crowd are loud to begin with, and because the microphone on mobile phones isn’t really that great.

One way that you can improve it is to muffle the microphone by placing your hand over it. That may seem counterintuitive, but it will help to make the audio a bit more palatable.

Of course using an external shotgun microphone would produce far better audio – but odds are you don’t want to lug one with you to a concert.

Don’t use the digital zoom

Zooming in for a close-up of the artist that is performing may seem like a good idea – but it really isn’t. The fact of the matter is that digital zoom just enlarges the image, which makes its quality much poorer.

Unfortunately there is no easy alternative unless you happen to be able to move closer to the stage. Overall however you’d be much better off with a video that doesn’t use the zoom – and can always crop and enlarge it yourself later if you want to.

The exception to this rule is if you happen to have a phone with a telephoto lens – in which case you may be able to use its optical zoom instead.

After you record your video try to make it a point to edit it using Movavi Video Editor. Due to how user-friendly it is it makes video editing for everyone seem easy. At the same time it has features you can use to enhance the video quality, improve the audio, stabilize shaky videos, trim out unwanted parts, and more.

All in all you should end up with a much more decent concert video if you use the tips listed above. Be sure that you temper your expectations however, as there is really only so much you can improve concert videos recorded using mobile phones.

Monday Morning Matinee

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