Posts Tagged ‘ Music ’

Hungry Fleet of New Yorkers Flock For Foxes

Event Date: May 18, 2011
Venue: United Palace Theater
Performer: Fleet Foxes

For almost every artist, band, or musician it is a dream to play the Big Apple when touring in support of an album. According to critics, Fleet Foxes’ current release, Helplessness Blues, seems to be anything but a sophomore slump. If a double sold-out New York affair is any indication of their growing popularity, then humble beginnings will turn these young kits into full-grown foxes in no time.

The choice of venue for Fleet Foxes was the meticulously restored “Cambodian neo-Classical” United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights. The performance space melded perfectly with the organic-sounding 19-song folk set.  Appearing with no projections in the background, as if to perform for a high school recital, the timorous sextet walked onto the stage looking as if they just exited their rehearsal garage dressed not to impress, but to just jam for the electrified and intimidating New York audience.

Drummer, Joshua Tillman, was placed in the center of the stage while lead guitarist, Skyler Skjelset, and bassist, Christian Wargo, stood beside him at each side. To the left, and surrounded by multiple keyboards, was keyboardist Casey Wescott. Opposite Wescott and behind a cello was multi-instrumentalist Morgan Henderson, who is responsible for most of the band’s arrangements. The last to appear on the stage was lead vocalist and guitarist, Robin Pecknold, who wore a skullcap that displayed the band’s record label, Sub Pop.

The Oregon-based group opened with their acoustic song, “The Cascades”, which sounded oddly reminiscent of “Blackbird” by The Beatles. However, in every respect Pecknold’s tenor voice echoed of Graham Nash of folk-rock band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

The audience remained calm and at times appeared hypnotized while lead singer Robin Pecknold sang with his eyes shut. However, once the band’s intertwined harmonies stopped and the entrancing spell was broken, the audience took it upon themselves to wholeheartedly shout anything from, “We love you” to, “Take off your pants!”  They even went as far as giving the group a sustained robust standing ovation after the Helplessness Blues wistful opening number, “Montezuma”. Continue reading

Pipers, Better Than Peppers

Event Date: September 7, 2010
Venue: B. B. Kings Blues Club
Bands:  Red Hot Chilli Pipers (Main); GIRSA (Opener)

When telling people that I was off to see the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, I was first met with a flurry of jealous looks and then confusion, as the phonemes caught up with the temporal lobe. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are not peppers, they are Pipers, and they certainly earned the capital letter I just bequeathed upon them.

On September 7th, this band (used semantically to represent a great number of people come together for a single purpose, rather than a few guys who decided to play music together) graced the stage of B.B. King’s to bring to New York a spectacular set of Bagpipe Rock, and Folk, and what have you. Continue reading

‘Orphaned’ No Longer

Event Date: March 8, 2010
Venue: B. B. Kings Blues Club
Bands: Orphaned Land,
Suidakra, Gwynbleidd

I’ve seen a lot of bands over the course of my metal reporting years (as brief a time as it has been), and very few of them I would classify as “must-see”.  I must say that Orphaned Land has turned out to be one of those must-see bands.

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Enter the Asylum: Long-Awaited Emilie Autumn, in NYC

(Editor: I screwed up the passes so our awesome photographer, Frenchie, with her DSLR camera, couldn’t take pics. These are shots with a regular handheld courtesy of Thomas. Thanks man.)

A long line stood outside the Highline Ballroom on the night of October 13th, 2009. They weren’t waiting for a concert, however…they were waiting to enter the asylum. Emilie Autumn fell upon New York City with all of the grace and costumed pageantry that one would expect of a young woman from the Victorian Era.

The stage was adorned with everything one would need for a tea party at the asylum. Cakes, cookies, tea pots, dolls, skulls, and rats, all lit by candle light, created the perfect atmosphere for the macabre performance still to come. As the lights dimmed the enthusiastic screams of dozens of wayward girls filled the Highline. Their long wait to see Emilie Autumn on her first ever North American tour was finally was over (this after a cancellation months ago).

A spot of tea and cookies with The Bloody Crumpets

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VNV Nation at Nokia Theatre

Ronan Harris of VNV Nation

Ronan Harris of VNV Nation

I have a very definite opinion about music. Mainly, that it should make you feel something, anything. This is clearly an opinion shared by the members of VNV Nation; the duo being the Irish born Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson of Great Britian. Together they’ve become the most popular creators of a music genre called “futurepop”. For them, it’s not about the money, the fame, or even the art of creating the music itself; it’s about how that art can make people feel and that’s exactly why they’ve been so successful. It also doesn’t hurt that they make music almost certain to get you moving; losing yourself you feel inspired by the hope that Ronan’s voice and lyrics bring. Continue reading

Wednesday: Reading. Friday: Rocking– With AFP

Show date: June 5, 2009
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Bands: Amanda Palmer, The Lisps, Emilyn Brodsky, Abby Ahmad


AFP''s blurry self-portrait before the show. Due to battery fail, this is all the photography you're gettin'. And it ain't even ours.

The night opened up with Abby Ahmad, a one-woman vocal powerhouse. She appeared on stage as a little surprise (she was unbilled), but quickly won me over with her fun, rhythmic guitar and her amazing voice. Deep and rich, she had to back at least a yard away from the mic in order to belt out some stanzas without blowing speaker cones or ear drums. Sadly she only played three songs, but they ran the gamut from emotional (i.e., recovering from a breakup) to tongue-in-cheek (i.e., reminder that a woman can have fun between the sheets all by herself). Continue reading

Vast and Into The Presence

Show date: May 8th, 2009
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Bands: V.A.S.T., Into The Presence
Photography by: Frenchie

Jon Crosby of Vast

Jon Crosby of Vast

VAST was a band I randomly found about a few years ago from a friend who randomly found out about it from a friend. This is how Jon Crosby would have wanted it. The band, consisting basically of Job Crosby, but which has finally established a consistent support in the form of Michael Cry, Ben Fenton, Tabber Millard and Ernesto J. Ponce has had a tumultuous relationship with record labels and has gotten some radio play and big media exposure in its formative years. Of late, VAST has been the underground band Crosby has always wanted it to be, with the direction and vision of the music entirely in his capable hands. Continue reading