NYC Shows This Week!

MONDAY

 

J. Roddy Walston and The Business, These United States, MyNameIsJohnMichael
@ Brooklyn Bowl

Le Sphinxxx, Ah, Moskva!, The Magick Report, Great Republic of Rough and Ready, Great Republic of Rough and Ready, Sonia Megias
@ Cake Shop

TUESDAY

 

Vivian Girls, Widowspeak, Colleen Green @ 285 Kent Avenue

 

Urge Overkill, Blackbells @ Bowery Ballroom

 

Project Jenny / Project Jan, Murder Mystery @ Mercury Lounge

 

The Head and the Heart, Luke Rathborne (early show) @ Mercury Lounge

 

Cassettes Won’t Listen, The Freeze Tag, Turnbull Green, Grimace, Eka, Echoes Alike @ The Rock Shop

 

Lykke Li, Grimes @ Webster Hall

 

WEDNESDAY

Sam Roberts Band, The Rassle, Anthony D’amato @  Bowery Ballroom

 

Dustin Wong, Hear Hums, Emily Reo, Dark Sea of Awareness,             Philip Seymour Hoffman  @ Silent Barn

The Felice Brothers, Shovels and Rope, RIG 1 @ The Bell House

 

Elvis Costello and the Imposters @ The Wellmont Theatre

 

Fleet Foxes, The Cave Singers @ United Palace Theatre

 

Lykke Li, Grimes @ Webster Hall

 

THURSDAY

 

Adele, Civil Wars @ Beacon Theater

 

Junip, Acrylics, High Highs @ Bowery Ballroom

 

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Dream Diary, Sea Lions, Gold-Bears, Amida, Pet Milk @ Cake Shop

 

The Antlers, Little Scream @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

 

Cave In, Make Do and Mend, Janes Plotkin @ Santos Party House

 

White Lies, School of Seven Bells, Sun Airway @ Terminal 5

 

The Felice Brothers, Tom Brosseau @ The Bell House

 

Fleet Foxes, The Cave Singers @ United Palace Theatre

FRIDAY

The Antlers, Little Scream @ Bowery Ballroom

Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Yellow Dogs, Mirror Mirror, Radical Dads @ Glasslands

Dan Deacon, Hesta Prynn (DJ Set) @ Museum of Natural History

Thurston Moore, Eileen Myles, I Feel Tractor @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Real Estate, Julian Lynch, Big Troubles, Family Portrait @ The Bell House

Robbers on High Street, Underthings, The Totallys @ The Gutter

 

 

of Montreal @ Webster Hall, NYC – April 30, 2011


More Photos HERE.
For those who know of Montreal might know them as a super flamboyant troupe that can round up a crowd of sweet smelling pretty girls and boys who lust after lead singer Kevin Barnes’ sexual copiousness. It wasn’t always this way, but as time went by members disbanded, got married, rehabilitated, and regrouped. In between, I guess you could say they found the voice they were looking for all those years. With over a decades worth of albums, of Montreal have traveled a lengthy journey to where they are now. Ten years ago you could listen to Kevin sing about fairies living life through an unconscious slumber (see album Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse) and before that of Montreal was part of The Gay Parade. (The album is a personal favorite of mine, but it’s narrative style seems to be a bit much for newer of Montreal fans. I still say it would make for a great play). It wasn’t until their 2004 release “Satanic Panic in the Attic” that the pieces started to stay glued together, and the songs became more like a journal for Kevin Barnes’ personal afflictions and affections . Now, of Montreal are an unstoppable traveling circus, and you’d better hope you have tickets to the greatest show on earth when they come to your town, because it is a show not to be missed!

The show featured opening band Painted Palms, a dreamy synth-pop collective that started the night amidst yellow, green and blue lights. Their psychedelic bass thumping tunes from their current release Canopy will get you lost in the woods on a breezy summer afternoon right by a water fall, even in a hot stuffy music venue in New York City.

The follow up to this scene was quite the opposite. It began with the entrance of of Montreal aficionado and Kevin’s brother David Barnes revving up the crowd in a suit. This was followed by some scantily clad ladies in flesh-tone unitards, and men baring capes and colors of the American flag. The set started with the tune “L’age D’or” off their latest E.P. thecontrollersphere. “For Our Elegant Caste” followed as Kevin sang the first line “We can do it softcore if you want/but you should know I take it both ways”. It’s actually Kevin’s alter ego “Georgie Fruit” who is the protagonist in the story, not Kevin himself, but that doesn’t stop the girls and guys from screaming their heads off.

The theatrics continued through out the night as they performed songs mostly from Skeletal Lamping, and “False Priest”, with an interlude of “My Bloody Valentine” performed by drummer Clayton Rychlik. You name it, it was on the stage, Painted Palms even joined in for a few songs and skits. Some of the stagecraft includes lucha-libre stylized mask and wrestling matches, a reenacted wedding, men in nude big breasted costumes, pig faces, booty shaking girls (and boys), balloons, streamers, and that’s not even everything!

Even with all antics on the stage, they performed an unyielding set without missing a beat.
Towards the end of the encore Kevin threw on a mask and pinned down some opponents which was followed by members of the band crowd surfing. Finally, at the end of the show, multi-instrumentalist K Ishibashi performed “America the Beautiful” solo on the violin while the audience sang only to have it turn into an official hoedown on the stage moments later. Though the photos capture a play by play of the show, it is nothing compared to the spectacle everyone witnessed. Wherever this journey continues to take of Montreal, I will be right there with them, and from the looks of it they are going to continue to flourish no matter where it is the freak train drops them off. Perhaps I should invest in a feathered boa and some glitter huh?

Words and photos by Cienna Wills

Delta Spirit @ Webster Hall, NYC – November 23, 2010


Last night I hoped a train down to Webster Hall to check out Delta Spirit. The band is out of San Diego, California and can be described as a “hybrid of rock and northern soul” and they brought both in spades. I arrived as Darker My Love was about halfway through their set. Darker My Love had a great, bright country mixed with psychedelic sound but was visibly upset after lead singer and guitarist Tim Presley spilled a beer into his Vox amp. He asked the crowd if it sounded all right and I yelled to assure him it sounded great (It really did!) .

After they wrapped up their set, I actually got a chance to meet Tim Presley himself outside. We talked guitars for a bit and exchanged emails so I could send him addresses of repair shops. Hopefully they can get their gear in line before getting out for the rest of the tour. We said goodbyes and I hurried back in to catch the Delta Spirit start their show.

This guy was so excited he passed out.  He was escorted out as the band was coming on, little did I know this would be a hint to their massive energy and power. The band opened with ‘White Table’ multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich backing the band up on orchaestral drums. The song was a powerful slow build to ‘Golden State’, a catchy as hell bumping and grooving song, which would come to be a hallmark of the show overall. ‘9-11’ followed, punctuated perfectly by the great lyrics and comfortable voice of singer Matt Vasquez. They were constantly engaging the audience, a very welcome break from the stand with arms folded shows I’ve been attending. Even when the band would take things down a notch on ballads like ‘Ransom Man’ they had the audience totally engrossed. The song was a slow burn to an epic noisy freakout, and it was awesome to see the guys let loose.

The energy carried them to rocking and rollicking ‘Streetwalker’ featuring Winrich on some mean organ parts. ‘Parade” featured some smooth bass grooves from 4 string maestro Jon Jameson. Vasquez dedicated the song to all the out of towners like himself and the band set into ‘St. Francis.’ The crowd got so excited the song even had a stage diver! I wouldn’t say he dived as much as skanked as if “he was at a ska show in 1995” (Kelly Winrich’s words, not mine) The band was fair enough to dedicated a song to the local crowd and played ‘Bushwick Blues’ next, an ode to hopping n the L train and living the hipster life up. This song was actually proceeded by my favorite moment of the night. Vasquez begas a story with “So the second time I dropped acid I walked into my friends bathroom and started playing this song” which lead to a piano and vocal cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here (gleefully joined in on vocals by happy rock fans like me in the crowd) into my personal favorite ‘Trashcan’. If that song has somehow missed your ears I pity you.

Before wrapping up, the Band launched into ‘People C’Mon’, another crowd favorite off the band’s first LP “Ode to Sunshine,” Then went into ‘Childrens’ which I was lucky enough to capture a bit of below. I wanted to get some video of the crowd in action.

The band closed up with the closing track off their latest album, “History From Below,” the ballad ‘History.’ Vasquez said the song was inspired by a man who killed his wife’s lover. I don’t know if I can say it ended the night on a high note but the song cemented the band’s set as a serious statement that they will return soon with more rollicking tunes and good times.

The Morning Benders @ Webster Hall, NYC – November 18, 2010


The Morning Benders are a band I first encountered at The Market Place Hotel (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn supporting Surfer Blood (also that evening playing alongside bands such as Grooms, Turbo Fruits, and Beach Fossils) and I’ll admit at first I wasn’t impressed, but there was a certain charm their stage presence put out that has stuck with me. The band not only seemed incredibly young but ripe for the journey most aspiring musicians cannot even comprehend, fast forward to where we are today, the bands sophomore record Big Echo is destined to make many top 10 list, they have already supported Ra Ra Riot, White Rabbits, MGMT, Yeasayer, and The Black Keys, and after all of that the band have set out on their first headlining tour. Not bad for the four little guys who played Market Hotel earlier this year.

The bands performance really surprised me. Its unbelievable how much a band can change in the span of a year but The Morning Benders make it a feat to show that they’ve been doing nothing but learning. Chris Chu fronts the band with a relaxed talent but isn’t afraid to get into his tunes, while his brother Jon Chu backs him up with a rhythm guitar which could be named precision. After the third track Chris Chu proclaimed “Earlier this year we released an album called Big Echo! We’re going to play a lot of tracks from it to thank all of you for the year we had!” I was lucky enough to capture their show at Webster Hall (along with photos of opening act Twin Sister).

Photos from the show can be viewed here.

Concert Photos of CMJ 2010

For a New Yorker such as myself who is deeply into modern music and the direction its headed, there simply is no time greater in the year then CMJ. Last year was my first taste of the five day long Music/Film festival and despite photographing musicians for a full year prior to the festival, never have I experienced such respect, access, and simple gratefulness from musicians for coming out and seeing them perform. What also made this an exciting time was interacting with fellow music fans from all over the world! 2010’s CMJ has ended and though it is sad to imagine such an amazing event being over I was lucky to capture some amazing moments during the concerts of the festival.

For me the festival started on Tuesday (the 19th) where I headed to Music Hall of Williamsburg. Not only did I get to photograph a Kevin Devine headlining gig (who in my opinion is one of the most talented musicians you can find) but since it was CMJ the support list was varied and filled with musicians I’ve never heard of. This gave me the privilege to photograph artists such as:

Oh Land. A Danish electro/pop duo.

Death On Two Wheels. A Georgian hard rock outfit which wears confidence on their sleeves.

River City Extension. An orchestral indie band who make sure their listeners are fully engulfed into their tunes.

Miniature Tigers. Festival favorites who stressed the importance of singing along to their songs.

and of course our hometown favorite, Kevin Devine.

The following day featured me and my girlfriend venturing to Madison Square Garden for a highly anticipated show. Indie heroes Phoenix were to grace the stage to celebrate their widely received album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. To everyones surprise old friends of theirs took the stage with them to everyones delight.

WAVVES kept everyones attention afloat with their infectious garage energy.

Dirty Projectors kept the momentum up with an Arcade Fire esque stage presence.

Phoenix and Daft Punk took the entire arena by surprise!

The excitement of CMJ just ran more rampant within me as a band I have been in love with all year finally made their way to the city. Two Door Cinema Club is the most recent export from Northern Ireland, a country which is considered a personal mecca to me in terms of music. Their Webster Hall gig totally sold out quickly and impressed everyone who attended, and I dare say even amaze also.

Grouplove redefined the word enthusiasm as they played through their set. Its always great to see a band thats truly thankful to be there.

Penguin Prison smoothed the crowd with their jazz toned vocals. Dancing was a must as this band made the stage their own.

"Holy shit New York! I can feel the fucking ground shaking from here from all your dancing!" shouted Alex Trimble as the band went into their hit single "Undercover Martyn"

The exhaustion of CMJ was beginning to seep in as I headed to my final gig of the festival. It also felt fitting having it take place in Music Hall of Williamsburg again. What kept me excited was seeing British newcomers Everything Everything. Their debut album Man Alive is certainly one of the most addictive releases of 2010 so far and highly recommended.

Porcelain Raft

Dominant Legs

Mr.Johnny Flynn definitely wins the award for making the most women swoon during CMJ. His honest and well constructed songs are also a firm plus.

Chapel Club aimed to pave the way for British indie bands in New York and surprisingly enough I'd say they were successful in stirring interest.

I clearly wasn't the only concert goer who was tired from the weeks activities, but the energy and stage presence of Everything Everything made us all forget for 30 minutes how tired we were.

Blood Red Shoes filled the room with smoke and ended the night with an explosive set that no one saw coming (or at least being as wicked as it was!)

And that is my recount of CMJ 2010. This has been my second year of taking part of the festival and it truly is a privilege not only to see these acts perform but to interact with these musicians and help spread the word about them. For more photos be sure to go here to enjoy a full gallery of each show I covered.