Muse

Florence and the Machine

All photos by Dana Pacifico

On Thursday night, New York-based rock station ALT 92.3 hosted a holiday concert dubbed Not So Silent Night, featuring a mini-festival lineup of some big names in the world of indie and mainstream rock. The lineup featured the likes of Muse, Florence and The Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, CHVRCHES and Bastille.

Our photographer Dana Pacifico was there to capture photos from their performances, all of which you can find posted in the gallery below.

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Cleveland rockers Cloud Nothings don’t get nearly enough credit for how hard working of a band that they are. They’ve released five albums in the past seven years, with each one taking a new shape. It’s hard to imagine the more power-pop days of their debut when you hear the punishing rock sounds that make up their new album Last Building Burning, which was released on October 19 via Carpark Records.

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Peter, Bjorn and John

Georgi Kay

On November 30 Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John returned to New York for a pair of shows in New York that kicked off with a slightly more intimate performance at Rough Trade NYC (they played Bowery Ballroom the next night).

Georgi Kay

Night 1 featured an opening set from Australian indie pop musician Georgi Kay, who is supporting her debut album Where I Go to Disappear, which she recently released via Monoki Records. Kay performed just by herself and commanded the room with her performance, featuring just a laptop, an electronic drum pad, and her strong vocals. In-between her anthemic electro-pop songs, Kay engaged with some information about herself and the songs off her album which she shared with us in a lively fashion that night. Admittedly, Kay’s sound was not one that you’d automatically pair with an opening slot for Peter, Bjorn and John, but the fact she not only warmed up the crowd but won them over, speaks to her talent as an artist.

Peter, Bjorn and John

Up next was Peter, Bjorn and John, who we last saw in 2016 at Webster Hall (as well as Baby’s All Right), who are currently touring America in support of their new album Darker Days, which was released in October via Ingrid.

Getting to see the band operate in the confines of a room like Rough Trade NYC was a real treat, with all the new songs blending so well with older material, especially now-classic material like “Teen Love,” “Up Against The Wall,” and of course, “Young Folks.” Singer and guitarist Peter Morén had total command of the room, not only navigating the stage with confidence, but also bringing the show into the audience on multiple occasions.

Between the performances from both Kay and PB&ampJ, it was a picture-perfect night of music

Georgi Kay:

Peter Bjorn and John:

Peter Bjorn and John setlist:

1. Call it off
2. Far Away, By My Side
3. Do-Si-Do
4. Living a Dream
5. Gut Feeling
6. Amsterdam
7. In This Town
8. Wrapped Around the Axle
9. One for the Team
10. Dig a Little Deeper
11. Teen Love
12. Second Chance
13. Down Like Me

Encore:

14. Breakin’ Point
15. Young Folks
16. Up Against the Wall
17. Lies

Last year Brigid Dawson and Oh Sees’ John Dwyer came together last year to release a new OCS record, Memory of a Cut off Head. Next week they will bring the album to life at Mumrr Theatre on Saturday, December 15, that will feature Dwyer and Dawson leading an 8-piece band including current Oh Sees live members Tim Hellman, Paul Quattrone, as well as members of strings.

We recently had the chance to speak to Dawson ahead of the show to discuss the album, her working partnership with Dwyer, what fans can expect from the performance at the Mumrr Theatre, and what else fans can look forward to in the future.

Will: Hi Brigid, how are you today? Where are you located at the moment?

Brigid: Hi there Will, I’m good today. It’s my day off, I’m in San Francisco, and I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house, and rented a couple of movies for tonight. I think it’s going to be What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?…I just saw The Nanny with John when I was in LA, and it was wonderful. Bette Davis is so creepy in it.

W: Before the release of the new OCS record last year, it had been a while since Oh Sees/OCS fans had heard from you. What have you been up to of late?

Well, I’ve still been singing on most of the Oh Sees records, and one of John’s Damaged Bug records, since I stopped touring. I’ve been doing some writing and recording of my own too this year. I’ve been painting and Drawing as usual. And also just learning how to be at home again after ten years spent mostly on the road.

W: Can you tell us about how you and John working together to record Memory of a Cut Off Head and how that album came together?

B: In the beginning of 2017, he asked me if I wanted to make an OCS record with him, I said yes, of course..and it was just a series of really nice visits to his lovely home and studio in Los Angeles, hanging out with the dogs and cats, lots of spectacular sunsets. We did it on his Tascam 388, and he brought some songs, and I brought a few, and we just worked through the singing parts and arrangements together.

W: How does it compare to make a quieter & stranger records with John compared to the more aggressive music that you guys have also made together? Can you discuss the difference in the process?

We had more time doing this record than we ever did before, I feel like most of Thee Oh Sees records were pretty rapid affairs, partly because we were so rehearsed from the road, partly because we recorded live all together mostly, so they would go quick. But Memory of a Cut off Head, was great to record because we had more time to do it, fool around with layering vocals, different voices (trying to sing like a Viking on “On and On Corridor”), and of course all the instrumentation, the Strings, Patrick Mullins coming in with his Saw, and the Synth and Noise bits that he and John did.

W: Your vocals have always been a great compliment to John’s and vice versa. Can you talk about your songwriting relationship and how it has grown to its strongest point with this latest OCS release?

B: Thank you very much, that’s lovely to hear. I love singing with John, and from the beginning of joining OCS, I have trusted his vision completely, really. I knew I was joining a band, that when I was old, regardless of weather anyone I knew liked it or not (and thankfully they did, mostly), I would be proud of the music we made.

John and I have played together for 13 years now, and I think we read each other pretty well. When I first started playing with John, I would would write my own parts, harmony’s, keyboard lines. Often John would have suggestions too about what he wanted to hear. With this record, it was a more shared process, with both of us writing the songs.

W:  Do you miss playing Oh Sees material with John, Pete, and Mike and do you think you guys will ever come back together someday in the future?

B: I do, they are like brothers, and it has been a complete honor to get to play music with them all.

As for if we will all play together again, I cannot say, I have no idea. I think we all just keep moving forward don’t we? Even if you are lovingly casting one eye backwards over your shoulder to the past…

W: You have the upcoming show in Brooklyn at Murmrr Theatre with an 8-piece band. What can fans expect from these shows each night?

B: Probably quite a lot of high-class repartee on Johns part…you can expect Shannon Lay in the opening set, whose voice and playing is utterly showstopping and beautiful, and she may sing a few with us too. And you can expect some real old OCS songs, and maybe a surprise at the end..

W: Are there any plans in the future for more OCS releases with John?

B: I hope so.

W: And finally, what other future projects do you have coming up that fans can look forward to?

B: An album I’ve been recording this year, I’m mixing it now..it should be out next year sometime. It will be my first, on my own, and it’s very exciting.

All photos by Dutch Doscher

Austrialian indie rockers Middle Kids have been touring hard this year in support of their debut album Lost Friends, which was released via Domino Records. We previously caught a pre-release show back in May at Public Arts but really the group have been touring seemingly nonstop going way back to last April when we caught them at Baby’s All Right.

They’re at the tail end of the U.S. tour in support of the record this year, which brought them back to New York for a headlining performance at Bowery Ballroom on November 30th along with openers The Shacks.

Our photographer Dutch Doscher was there to capture photos from both performances, all of which you can find posted in the photo gallery below, along with the setlist.

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Kurt Vile returned this year with new album Bottle It In (released via Matador Records), yet another mighty fine effort from the ever-reliable Philly singer-songwriter. He’s currently on tour in support of the new record, which included a two-night run at Brooklyn Steel.

Frankie Cosmos

We caught night two of the run on November 29th, which featured an opening performance from Frankie Cosmos, who we just saw at Bowery Ballroom back in October. They too are touring in support of their new album, Vessel, which was their first release for Sub Pop. They shared a handful of those songs during their set, along with a few new songs that they tested on the audience.

Kurt Vile

It was a year ago that we last caught a live performance from Vile, during his tour with Courtney Barnett, but it has been nearly two years since we’ve caught a performance from him along with The Violators. As Vile’s career has grown, he and the band’s live chops have only grown along with it, finding a strong balance between sounding loose and free, yet impeccably tight musicianship.

The setlist was mainly split between new offerings from Bottle It In as well as B’lieve I’m Goin Down…, with a few welcome old favorites for diehards thrown in-between to give the setlist a nice balanced feel. It’s quite remarkable how he and the band are able to shift gears between rocking guitar rock and some more jammy aspects that the lines almost become blurred between the two once you get lose and in the zone at his shows.

Find a full set of photos from both Kurt Vile and Frankie Cosmos below.

Frankie Cosmos:

Kurt Vile:

Local New Yorker Noah Chenfeld has returned with a fantastic raw performance of his new song “Wind Speed.”

The track has an old NYC folk styling that Chenfeld confidently molds into his own, with a fitting video showing him performing the track live, paired with other visuals of him and New York. This a different sound that we are used to from Chenfeld, but it’s a welcome mature approach that shows a bright promising future for the songwriter.

Enjoy the video for “Wind Speed” below and kick off the New Year strong by catching Chenfeld’s live performance at Mercury Lounge on January 9th. Tickets are available to purchase here.

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Protomartyr

Preoccupations

Protomartyr and Preoccupations are currently on the homestretch of their tour together, a fitting one considering they put out a split 7″ single together where they covered each other’s songs. On November 28th their tour came to Brooklyn for a performance at Warsaw.

Preoccupations

Preoccupations, who released their third album New Material back in March via Jagjaguwar, kicked things off and it just so happens that Warsaw was where we last caught the band play, back in October 2016. Their brand of post-punk sounded tight as always, definitely a good fit alongside Protomartyr.

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All photos by Brianna DiGioia

The Hold Steady hosted their third annual Massive Nights post-Thanksgiving set of sold out shows at Brooklyn Bowl, kicking things off on November 28th with an opening performance from Ted Leo who also joined them during the encore for a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Cowboy Song.”

The show was a continuation of their 10th-anniversary celebration of Stay Positive, which they played in full (just like they did when we caught them at White Eagle Hall this summer) along with all the expected The Hold Steady classics you would expect.

Our photographer Brianna DiGioia was there to capture photos from both The Hold Steady and Ted Leo, all of which can be found below along with the setlist.

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On November 27th, Andy Shauf made his return to New York City for the second of a two night sold out run at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust. Shauf has been on the road for a small stretch of solo acoustic dates in which he’s been playing a mix of old songs, new songs and more. Along for the ride and opening things up for the night was Fenne Lily.

Fenne Lilly

The last time we saw Shauf was back in May of 2017 at Music Hall of Williamsburg when he was on the road in support of his last fantastic full length from 2016, The Party (released via ANTI-). What made this show a little different was that it was just him, so he had to rework a handful of the songs for a solo acoustic setting. Speaking of setting, I couldn’t have pictured a more perfect pairing of artist and venue than this one. National Sawdust is a stunning venue with impeccable sound, and getting to hear just one voice and one instrument in that space was something truly special. So special that at one point someone’s camera flash went off  in between songs while Shauf was tuning, the person yelled “sorry about the flash!” to which Shauf replied back “its okay, I didn’t notice, I was in the zone.”

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