Tag: Music Hall of Williamsburg

Live Footage: The Mystery Lights Perform Material off “Too Much Tension!” at Paste Studios

Comprised of founding members Mike Brandon and L.A. Solano with Alex Q. Amini and Zach Butler, the New York-based quartet The Mystery Lights have received attention across the blogosphere for an old-timey garage rock/garage psych sound and aesthetic that recalls The Who Sings My Generation-era The Who, The Animals, Raccoon Fighter, The Black Angels and 70s art punk — and for being the the first rock act to sign with Daptone Records subsidiary Wick Records.

Interestingly, the band can trace its origins back to Salinas, CA where Brandon and Solano grew up, met and played in a nubmer of different local bands in their teens before relocating to New York. The band’s lineup solidified with the addition of Alex Amini, Kevin Harris and Noah Kohll. And despite lineup changes, the band initially developed a word-of-mouth reputation over the period of a few years for explosive live shows across town. Naturally, those live shows helped the band develop their sound and approach. 

2016 saw the release of the band’s self-titled debut, which they supposed with a wild array of touring, including the now-prerequisite stop at SXSW. Over the past couple of years, the members of The Mystery Lights have been relentlessly playing shows everywhere — and they’ve been busy writing and recording, their Wayne Gordon-produced sophomore album Too Much Tension! Recorded at Daptone Records’ famed House of Soul Studios, the recently released album finds the band digging deeper into their influences to enrich their sound — without echoing the past. Thematically, the album touches upon substance abuse, self-care and the recognition of happiness only once it’s lost, imbued with a post-modern anxiety.  

The New York-based band was recently invited to Paste Studios at Manhattan Center to perform material off the new album that included the fed-up anthem “I’m So Tired (of Living in the City),” the tense and uneasy “Someone Else Is In Control,” the slow-burning The Animals-like ballad “Watching the News, Gives Me The Blues,” and the rollocking “Traces” — and all of the tracks performed at the live session were delivered with the raw, fiery intensity of their live set.

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New Audio: JOVM Mainstays The Budos Band Release a Forceful and Funky New Track

Over the past handful of years, I’ve written about and photographed the acclaimed Staten Island-based instrumental act and JOVM mainstays The Budos Band a number of times. And as you may recall, the act, which is comprised of Jared Tankel (baritone sax), Tom Brenneck (guitar), John Carbonella (congas, drums), Mike Deller (organ), Daniel Folder (bass), Andrew Greene (trumpet), Rob Lombardo (bongos, congas), Brian Profilio (drums) and Dame Rodriguez (percussion) initially developed a reputation for a sound that they described as “Afro Soul,” which draws from Ethiopian music, classic soul and funk; however, with the most band’s most recent releases, their sound has evolved towards what they’ve referred to as “70s Psychedelic Instrumental Music.”Now, as you may recall, the acclaimed Staten Island-based act’s fifth full-length album, the aptly titled V is slated for release next week through their longtime label home Daptone Records, and as the band’s Tom Brenneck says in press notes, the band’s forthcoming album feels like the truest sonic representation of the band as the material possesses the rock ‘n’ roll/heavy metal elements off of 2014’s Burnt Offering, as well as songs that could have easily been found on their first three albums.  The album’s first single “Arcane Rambler” featured a composition that nodded at hip-hop, 70s fuck, Afro funk and psych rock — and in a way that found them at arguably their loosest and trippiest.  V‘s second single was the Ennio Morricone-like “Veil of Shadows,” a composition that’s centered around reverb-drenched guitar, shimmering and soaring organs and a big Western/Mexican-like horn arrangement — and as a result, the track possesses a cinematic quality; in fact, to my ears, it sounds as though it should have been part of the soundtrack for Kill Bill.Just before their two night NYC area run — April 5, 2019 at the Bowery Ballroom and April 6, 2019 at Music Hall of Williamsburg — the Staten Island-based JOVM mainstays released V’s third and latest single, the menacing “Maelstrom” brings several disparate things to mind — the Fela meets Black Sabbath power chord-based arrangements of Here Lies Man, a lysergic-tinged Morricone meets Quentin Tarantino Western.  The expansive composition features their imitable and explosive horn line, reverb-drenched guitar and a propulsive rhythm section, giving the track a forceful yet funky muscle.  

New Audio: The Budos Band Return with an Ennio Morricone-like New Single

I’ve written and photographed the acclaimed Staten Island-based instrumental act The Budos Band a number of times over the years, and the act which is comprised of Jared Tankel (baritone sax), Tom Brenneck (guitar), John Carbonella (congas, drums), Mike Deller (organ), Daniel Folder (bass), Andrew Greene (trumpet), Rob Lombardo (bongos, congas), Brian Profilio (drums) and Dame Rodriguez (percussion) initially developed a reputation for a sound that they described as “Afro Soul,” which draws from Ethiopian music with a soul undercurrent, and some sound of the sounds of the 60s; however, with the most band’s most recent releases, their sound has evolved towards what they’ve referred to as “70s Psychedelic Instrumental Music.”

Now, as you may recall, the acclaimed Staten Island-based act’s fifth full-length album, the aptly titled V is slated for an April 12, 2019 release through their longtime label home Daptone Records, and as the band’s Tom Brenneck says in press notes, the band’s forthcoming album feels like the truest sonic representation of the band as the material possesses the rock ‘n’ roll/heavy metal elements off of 2014’s Burnt Offering, as well as songs that could have easily been found on their first three albums.  The album’s first single “Arcane Rambler” featured a composition that nodded at hip-hop, 70s fuck, Afro funk and psych rock — and in a way that found them at arguably their loosest and trippiest.  V’s latest single is the Ennio Morricone-like “Veil of Shadows,” a composition that’s centered around reverb-drenched guitar, shimmering and soaring organs and a big Western/Mexican-like horn arrangement — and as a result, the track possesses a cinematic quality; in fact, to my ears, it sounds as though it should have been part of the soundtrack for Kill Bill. 

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Supergroup Mini Mansions Release a Glittering Disco-Tinged Visual for “GummyBear”

Comprised of Michael Shuman, Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford, the Los Angeles-based indie rock supergroup Mini Mansions features a collection of highly acclaimed musicians, as the side project features members of Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets. Tracing their origins to when Queens of the Stone Age went on a hiatus in 2009, the trio of Shuman, Dawes and Parkford have released three EPs and two full-length albums —  2009’s self-titled and self-released EP,  2010’s self-titled full-length, 2012’s . . . Besides . . ., 2015’s The Great Pretenders and 2018’s Works Every Time EP all of which have established them for a sound that has been compared favorably by critics and fans to the likes of The Beatles, Elliot Smith, and Fountains of Wayne among others. 

Slated for a July 26, 2019 release through Fiction Records, the Shuman and Cian Riordan co-produced third album, Guy Walks Into A Bar finds Shuman relinquishing his drummer role to fully focus on vocals and lyrics with his Queens of the Stone Age bandmate Jon Theodore taking up drumming duties for the album. Interestingly, the album reportedly features some of Shuman’s most self-reflective and honest work he’s written, as the album’s lyrics are informed by a whirlwind relationship that he began with his ex-fiancee, who he met during a night out at a bar — with the album detailing aeach stage of the relationship from the beginning in which you’ve connected with someone and think they’re attractive and interested to falling in love to dramatically falling out of love. And the material may also arguably be he most pop leaning and sleekest material they’ve written to date. 

Interestingly, Guy Walks Into A Bar’s latest single is the slinky, dance floor friendly synth pop jam “GummyBear,” a track that sounds indebted to 80s synth funk and Giorgio Moroder-era disco and LCD Soundsystem, as the track is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line and some complex polyrhythm. The recently released Liam Lynch-directed video further emphasizes the dance floor vibes, as it features a shit ton of neon and glitter drenched visuals. As Shuman remarks on the video ” We made a video for new single ‘GummyBear’ with our friend and comedic legend, Liam Lynch. Inspired by Saturday Night Fever and the classic videos of the early 2000’s, we created some serious visual eye candy for a song that sonically tastes the same. Pun intended.”

Liam Lynch says in press notes, “I’ve known Mike Shuman for over ten years, through my work with Queens of the Stone Age. When he asked me if I’d do a video for Mini Mansions, I was happy to do so. To me, this song really straddles being sort of 70’s and 80’s at the same time. I kept coming back to this BeeGee’s feeling but it was more like a realm in between. This got me thinking about the gateway door on the album cover and maybe that was a doorway to this in-between realm. So this video is a collage and mish-mash of elements but they sort of come together in their bar, disco, neon, and city lights to support the vibe.”

New Audio: The Budos Band Release a Funky and Cinematic New Single

I’ve written and photographed the acclaimed Staten Island-based instrumental act The Budos Band a number of times over the years, and as you may recall the which is comprised of Jared Tankel (baritone sax), Tom Brenneck (guitar), John Carbonella (congas, drums), Mike Deller (organ), Daniel Folder (bass), Andrew Greene (trumpet), Rob Lombardo (bongos, congas), Brian Profilio (drums) and Dame Rodriguez (percussion) initially developed a reputation for a sound that they described as “Afro Soul,” which draws from Ethiopian music with a soul undercurrent, and some sound of the sounds of the 60s; however, with the band’s most recent releases, they’ve moved towards what they’ve referred to as “70s Psychedelic Instrumental Music.” 

The acclaimed instrumental act’s fifth album, aptly titled V is slated for an April 12, 2019 release through their longtime label home Daptone Records, and as the band’s Tom Brenneck says in press notes, the band’s forthcoming album feels like the truest sonic representation of the band as the material possesses the rock ‘n’ roll/heavy metal elements off of 2014’s Burnt Offering, as well as songs that could have easily been found on their first three albums.  The album’s latest single, the cinematic  “Arcane Rambler” is centered around a looping and whirring guitar line, boom bap-like percussion, an enormous horn line and a propulsive and incredibly tight groove — and interestingly enough, the composition, which nods at hip-hop, 70s funk and psych rock finds the members of the collective at arguably their loosest and trippiest.

New Audio: Good Fuck Returns with an Atmospheric New Single

Late last year, I wrote about Good Fuck, a self-described exploration of experimental literary techniques and adventurous production and beats, comprised of Tim Kinsella, a Chicago, IL-based musician, author and film director, who’s best known for stints in a number of bands, including Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, Make Believe, Owls, Friend/Enemy, Everyoned and others, and for an extensive solo career, releasing material under the name Tim Kinsella(s) and Jenny Pulse an electronic music producer and artist, who has released two full-length albums — 2017’s Spa Moans/Obedient Vibrations and  Marmalade, which was released earlier this year. 

Seeking an intimate creative environment to develop their aesthetic and sound, the duo decided that they needed to be in total isolation. “We packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist’s colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest,” Kinsella says in press notes. As soon as they arrived, the couple devised a unique artistic process to work from. Described by Kinsella as a “collaborative conscious alignment,” lyric writing was centered around 12 books, including Don Quixote, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and others that the couple felt were relevant. Then they came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations. The result was a sort of literary mash up in which content and structure were scrambled into a totally new product. “We might take the form of an Eskimo genesis myth, but use words from Anaïs Nin,” Kinsella explains.

Sonically speaking, the project draws from Kinsella’s extensive background in genre-pushing rock and Pulse’s ear for minimalist electronic sounds — and interestingly enough, they managed such an artistic symbiosis together that “To a large degree we don’t even know who programmed what beat, and who programmed what synth line,” Kinsella reflects.  According to Kinsella, he and Pulse were “stunned” by what they had created, the entire process was far from perfect. “Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out,” Kinsella says. 

Now, as you may recall, the self titled album’s first single “Secret Meetings” was centered around a minimalist electronic production featuring whirring, buzzing and industrial clang and clatter, brief blasts of arpeggiated synths, chanted lyrics and a sensual and sweaty groove — with the end result being a track that was esoteric and cryptic, wildly adventurous and yet accessible. Interestingly, “Jenny Dreams of Pies,” the self-titled album’s second and latest single is a slow-burning, atmospheric track with thumping beats and glitchy electronics. Sonically speaking the song nods at The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails and The Beat Escape’s Life’s Short The Answer is Long — but while superficially placid, the song possesses a tense and anxious undertone, that gives the song a nightmarish feel. 

New Audio: Hamilton Ontario’s Ellevator Releases a Dramatic and Bittersweet New Single

Earlier this year, I caught the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based indie rock quartet Ellevator on a bill that featured JOVM mainstay Rich Aucoin. And as you amy recall, the band which is comprised of Nabi Sue Bersche, Elliot Gwynne, Michael Boyd, and Tyler Bersche specialize in a muscular yet meticulous take on pop centered around Nabi Sue Bersche’s raw lyricism and an incredibly cinematic sound.

2018 has been a big year for the Hamilton, Ontario-based quartet: they’ve amassed over a million streams across all the streaming platforms, and they’ve gone on a run of successful tours across North America opening for Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good and BANNERS, as well as a stadium show with Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs and Arkells. And adding to a successful year, Ellevator will be opening for Amber Run during their December North American tour, which includes a December 8, 2018 stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg. You can check out the tour dates below. 

“The Storm,” the Canadian indie quartet’s new single is centered by Nabi Sue Bersche’s tender and aching vocals, an enormous, power chord-led hook, arpeggiated synths and a propulsive rhythm section and a deliberate attention to craft that recalls 70s AM rock — with a slick, contemporary vibe. As the band explains, the single is “an apology and an explanation. It’s the turmoil in our personal skies caused by ending the relationship. It’s a reminder that I care about you, and that you can’t seek comfort in me anymore. Trust that I know you well enough to rightly believe we’re not each other’s sun and stars – but don’t trust me – because I’m breaking your heart.” The song possesses the bittersweet air of a relationship at its inevitable end and an uncertain but necessary future. 

New Video: Future Generations Hook-Driven 80s Synth Pop Take on Indie Rock

Currently comprised of longtime friends, including founding trio Eddie Gore (vocals, keys, guitar), Mike Sansevere (synths, guitar, percussion) and Eric Grossman (guitar), with newest members Devon Sheridan (bass), the Brooklyn-based indie act Future Generations can trace their origins to when its founding members met while attending Fordham University. The trio of Gore, Sansevere and Grossman wrote and recorded an EP that included their breakthrough single “Stars,” which caught the attention of Frenchkiss Records before they had finished school. And as a trio, they also quickly wrote and recorded their 2016 full-length, self-titled debut. Interestingly, Sheridan, was invited to join the band after Gore met him while waiting in line at a school dance — while Wells was a lucky Craigslist find. 

After graduating, the members of Future Generations moved to Brooklyn, where they quickly split their time between music, their day jobs and hanging out — and live together. “Some people might think, ‘Don’t you guys get sick of each other?’ But even though we live together and work on music together and tour together, I don’t ever feel like I’ve had too much of anybody,” Gore says in press notes. As he notes, the Future Generations home life is always kept colorful by the band members’ varying obsessions. “Eric loves good food, he’s always cooking these very intricate things for us,” says Gore. As for the others, “Devon is always illegally streaming NBA games and Dylan is very talented when it comes to betting on horse races.”

Released earlier this year, the Brooklyn-based indie quintet’s Justin Garish-produced sophomore album Landscape is the first recorded output with the band’s full-lineup finds the band expanding upon their sound with some free-form, mischievous experimentation that included recording guitar riffs and guitar lines from the receiving end of phone calls, using a vintage synthesizer called the Fun Machine, building percussion tracks by sampling a batch of drum circle recordings with a deliberate attention to a greater emotional intensity — while retaining the pop-leaning, hook-driven sensibility that won the band attention across the blogosphere. “The title partly came from ending the first significant relationship of my life, and with the band’s move to Brooklyn, we were all put into this world we’d never experienced—living on our own and navigating the landscape of being in New York City,” the band’s Eddie Gore explains in press notes. Making this album was the most creative time we’d ever experienced together,” Gore adds. “I remember after the ninth day of recording, we were all walking to the subway together to go home, and we just stopped and looked at each other like, ‘This is crazy, what’s happening here.’ It was this euphoric experience; the energy in the studio was completely palpable.”

Landscape’s latest single is album title track “Landscape,” a track centered around a lush, arpeggiated synth line, propulsive yet skittering percussion and a rousingly infectious hook that nods a bit of post-punk, 80s synth rock and contemporary indie rock but with an earnest look at themselves, their lives and their relationships as they get older — and as life becomes much more uncertain and confusing.

Directed by Kenny Polyak and Drew Lewis, the recently released video for “Landscape” mischievously draws from the opening sequences of bad 80s and 90s sitcoms — particularly Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers. As the band says of the video treatment ““You know that feeling when you’re two hours into a YouTube session and you come across a legendary Sizzler commercial from the 90s and you decide your next music video has to be a tribute to it? Thats how this all got started.”