PUP: October 22, 2016 Bowery Ballroom

October 24, 2016

[photos by Amanda Fotes – follow her on Instagram]

PUP‘s latest album The Dream is Over (SideOneDummy) is on my short list of best albums of the year. The record captures the manic energy of this Toronto quartet with a collection of songs that exhibit the band’s ability to craft punk rock anthems of angst with a bit of excess and plenty of humor. Dream also brings out the deeper side of PUP with tracks such as “The Coast” and “Pine Point” that delve into that special brand of Canadian loneliness. The album has earned PUP a nomination for a Polaris prize, and universal praise worldwide.

The concept of the album’s production was to bottle up the energy of a live PUP show and put that on a record. This is a band that is in the midst of playing 100 total shows in 2016 where the PUP magic takes place virtually on a nightly basis. But since the last time I saw PUP live was almost three years ago at a modestly attended show at Cameo Gallery before either of their records were released, I wasn’t quite keyed into the true contemporary live PUP experience. That is, until this past Saturday night at Bowery Ballroom.

From the very outset of the show’s opening number “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will”, this very sold-out crowd at Bowery was one massive syncopated group of heads and arms and legs. From our usual vantage point at the front of the balcony, we get a clear bird’s eye view of the floor, and this PUP crowd never stopped dancing, surfing and singing along to every song. We haven’t seen a crowd this animated in a long time or a band as motivated to drive that energy. PUP’s set drew upon both of their albums pretty equally, with nine of the sixteen songs performed coming from Dream and the other seven songs from their self-titled debut album. The crazy energy culminated in lead singer Stefan Babcock literally crowd-surfing the entire floor to the back bar where, while elevated, he downed a shot of whiskey and returned surfing the entire crowd back onto the stage. It was an accomplishment only made possible by the sheer will of the fans and their utter faith in this band.

PUP’s current US and Canadian tour dates continue into mid-December, before the band goes to England in early 2017, all dates [here].

I recorded this set with the Schoeps cards in our usual location and mixed with Kenny’s excellent feed. There are some drum level adjustments in the first two tracks, but afterwards the sound is completely dialed-in and is quite an excellent capture of the amazing energy at this show. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer: Kenny] + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 59:53]
01 If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You I Will
02 DVP
03 Dark Days
04 Lionheart
05 My Life Is Over and I Couldn’t Be Happier
06 Doubts
07 Back Against the Wall
08 Guilt Trip
09 Can’t Win
10 Familiar Patterns
11 [banter – ex-punks]
12 Mabu
13 Sleep in the Heat
14 The Coast
15 [banter – tour]
16 Reservoir
17 [banter – Stefan stage dive]
18 Old Wounds
19 [encore break]
20 Factories

SUPPORT PUP: Website | Bandcamp | Buy The Dream is Over from SideOneDummy Records


James Jackson Toth & William Fowler Collins: October 5, 2016 Park Church Co-op

October 20, 2016


There’s nothing like a church performance to put a fine point on the meditative-spiritual practice of listening to music. Earlier this year James Jackson Toth (aka Wooden Wand) teamed up with drone/ambient musician William Fowler Collins for an album of modern pastorals, Under Stars and Smoke. Over three tracks, the album is stark and intimate, something you might listen to on headphones late at night when no one else is around. The inner workings of the collaboration are a mystery in terms of who-plays-what and how the duo’s individual contributions form the whole. Seeing them live, though, you can start to piece together a more complete picture of the composition. The performance we captured here, part of the excellent Music off McGolrick series at the Park Church Co-op in Greenpoint, finds the duo recreating most of album live in a single piece. Collins plays guitar throughout (often played with a brush), while Toth contributes vocals, harmonium, and guitar. Their performance comes off on the shorter side at under twenty-five minutes, but it’s riveting all the way through.

I recorded this with the mics way up close, capturing the music clearly as well as some of the unique acoustics of the church. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download: [FLAC/MP3]


James Jackson Toth & William Fowler Collins
Park Church Co-op
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

AKG C480B/CK61 > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (balance, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [23:39]
01. Live at Park Church Co-op

• Buy Under Stars and Smoke digitally from Bandcamp or on vinyl from Bear Tree Records
• • Buy Toth’s new tape Kilim at Bandcamp
• • • Buy William Fowler Collins music at Bandcamp

Phish: October 15, 2016 North Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC

October 17, 2016


Whether this second night of Phish‘s 2016 fall run appealed to you or not, it wasn’t a night for the fans who love the big rockers, or the hits. It’s no surprise that the band’s latest album Big Boat saw heavy representation, including a debut of “I Always Wanted It This Way.” There’s considerable pressure on acts in the fourth decade of their career to “play the hits,” and while Phish may not have “hits” in the same way as some other bands, they still have those tour staples that the fans expect to see in regular rotation. While those classics were present from time to time in this set — “Maze,” “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Possum,” “Twist,” and “Carini,” for example — the songs just named were about it. If the band wanted to send the message that “Phish 3.0” still believes that it has new music worth making, they did that on this night.

Any Phish show is likely to have its fanboys and its detractors, and part of the fun of a band like this is that one person’s relative bummer of a set can fall firmly in another dozen’s wheelhouse. That said, people who have attended far more shows than I have can better describe the alchemy of a transcendent Phish set, and most longtime fans I spoke with admitted that this unevenly-paced one at the North Charleston Coliseum didn’t quite have it. It’s not unfair to say that some of these Big Boat and Fuego songs need more road time to come into their own, though the saccharine “Joy” has had since 2009 and doesn’t seem likely to. In addition to the selection of material, there was the pacing, as the first set started off with a string of mostly-mediocre material before “Maze” came along to refocus everyone’s attention. Even a solid “Carini” (though marred by childish screaming during the chorus) couldn’t quite make that first set make sense, especially as it was led into by the gimmicky, off-key and quite frankly annoying “Ass Handed” interlude.

The second set overall was much better, with the non-album track “Mercury,” leading off as an absolute highlight, followed by “Twist” into the extremely strong debut of “I Always Wanted It This Way.” The proggy, synth-led track felt like the kind of new music you hope a band makes at this point in their career, representing such an evolution that it made the song feel like a familiar-sounding cover. Unfortunately, things went back off the rails after that, as the buzz-killing “Miss You” was followed by the milquetoast “Fuego.” After a killer “Sand” put things back on the right track, we got plunged back into ballad territory with “Joy” before “Possum” closed things out on a high note. The one-song encore nodded toward another of the band’s strongest traits, as they delivered a rollicking “Good Times, Bad Times,” that found Trey taking his best shot at Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at once.

Nonetheless, there’s plenty to like about this tour so far. Mainly because it’s not a greatest-hits tour–this band is actually trying to make something new, after all this time. If this part of the tour has a few stutter-steps, or a few shows that are slightly less-than, you still have to reward this band for being what it is. For trying.

I recorded this set at the soundboard with Schoeps MK41V supercardiods into an Aeta PSP3 preamp. The right channel of “Blaze” was patched from the left channel during most of the song, but the remainder of the show’s sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/ALAC]

Stream the complete show:

North Charleston Coliseum
Charleston, SC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41V>KC5>CMC6>Aeta PSP3>Roland R-26>24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity (patch right channel for 4min of first song, fades, track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 2:40:23]
Set I
01 Blaze On
02 What’s the Use?
03 Martian Monster
04 Devotion to a Dream
05 Waking Up Dead
06 Timber [Josh White]
07 Things People Do
08 Let Me Lie
09 Maze
10 Ass Handed
11 Carini
12 Wolfman’s Brother

Set II
13 Mercury>
14 Twist
15 I Always Wanted It This Way
16 Miss You
17 Fuego>
18 Sand
19 Joy
20 Possum

21 Good Times Bad Times [Led Zeppelin]

Teenage Fanclub: October 15, 2016 Bowery Ballroom

October 16, 2016

[photos by PSquared Photography]

The legend goes that in 1991, SPIN Magazine selected Teenage Fanclub’s album Bandwagonesque as its record of the year ahead of such luminaries as REM’s Out of Time, Nirvana’s Nevermind and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Over the years, that choice has been ridiculed in certain circles, but twenty-five years later the selection is rather prescient. My Bloody Valentine didn’t make another album after Loveless until twenty-two years later, REM never made another album that approached the quality of Out of Time, and of course Nirvana was over less than three years later. As careers go, Teenage Fanclub has been the most consistent of the four bands and produced the largest quality catalog in the years since SPIN took heat for them.

This year Teenage Fanclub released their eleventh album and first since 2010. Here (Merge Records) is a record of significant maturity and focus — the band is producing songs as strong as ever and the group harmonies are as sweet as ever. The band has now embarked on a US tour in support of the album and NYC enjoyed two shows this weekend, including Brooklyn last night and the Bowery Ballroom show we caught on Saturday night. Teenage Fanclub live was as compelling and impressive as the new album. This is a band that is both fully committed and comfortable and the show was just one peak after another. The setlist drew fairly democratically from the band’s full catalog and with just five songs from Here, was not overly weighted to push new material. And twenty-five years on, the only two tracks from Bandwagonesque played were given center stage, with a perfect version of the classic “The Concept” closing the main set.

Teenage Fanclub plays Boston tonight and the tour continues through six more October US dates before the band returns to Europe in November, all dates here.

I recorded this set in our usual manner in this venue, with the Schoeps mounted at the balcony rail mixed with a fine feed from the band’s touring FOH. The sound quality is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Set:


Teenage Fanclub
Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:30:23]
01 Start Again
02 I Need Direction
03 Verisimilitude
04 I Don’t Want Control of You
05 [tuning music]
06 Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything
07 Hold On
08 It’s All in My Mind
09 Thin Air
10 About You
11 The Darkest Part of the Night
12 Don’t Look Back
13 Can’t Feel My Soul
14 I Have Nothing More to Say
15 I’m In Love
16 Star Sign
17 [banter – thanks]
18 The Concept
19 [encore break]
20 Did I Say
21 Radio
22 Your Love Is the Place Where I Come From
23 Everything Flows

SUPPORT Teenage Fanclub: Website | Facebook | Purchase Here from Merge Records


Bill Nace: September 9, 2016 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s (Raleigh, NC)

October 14, 2016


Bill Nace‘s reputation among noise aficionados is a well-deserved one, with him having collaborated with the likes of Okkyung Lee, Chris Corsano, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, and Paul Flaherty. If his work with Gordon in Body/Head is his best known, that still means Nace’s experimental guitar work still resonates with a relatively specific (but dedicated) portion of the music-loving population. Among a diverse bill, perhaps Nace’s appearance most drove home what sets Three Lobed Recordings apart even from its brethren among small labels.  On a day that spanned Watery Love’s scuzzy hardcore to Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore’s delicate folk, Nace’s set nonetheless stood out as a testament to music’s outer boundaries. The abstract, hypnotic and deeply felt composition that Nace wove on this afternoon was one of those things that leaves each listener open to interpret it how they wish; for me, a reward of this type of music is the way that it forces the listener to decide what it is, rather than interpret more direct expressions like lyrics. While sometimes a recording cannot fully capture what it meant to experience something live at the time, I submit that this is almost the reverse — on headphones, in a car or some other enclosed, personal space, this set is even better to engage with.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage and Brad Womack’s house mix. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/ALAC]

Stream the complete show:

Bill Nace
Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Brad Womack) + Schoeps MK4V (stage lip, DFC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>3x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation

PLEASE SUPPORT BILL NACE — Buy his other records here and get Body/Head material here.

Barbara Manning: July 3, 2016 Union Hall

October 12, 2016

[photo by neild]

neild reports:

Though I’d been a fan of her music for years before, my first time seeing Barbara Manning live was in 2001, when she put on a blistering performance with her then-band the Go-Luckys at the late, lamented Tonic. She was going to be playing again a couple of nights later at the (even more lamented) Maxwell’s, but I figured I’d skip it and catch her the next time around.

Bad planning: Manning more or less dropped off the touring map after that, disappearing into schoolwork and eventually a career as a high-school science teacher in Southern California. Though she continued to write and record music (available on Bandcamp as the outstanding album Chico Daze), her live appearances became few and far between: a one-off in Philadelphia one year, Boston the next, Oregon the year after. Though she showed up in 2012 at one of the final Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows at Maxwell’s (performing a cover of “Christmas Is Lonely (When You’re A Jew)”) and in 2014 at a Chickfactor show in Brooklyn, until this summer Manning hadn’t played a headlining set in New York since that Tonic show way back when.

Fortunately, her latest jaunt took her on a two-stop tour of the east: a record store show in Philly, and a couple of nights before that, an appearance at Brooklyn’s Union Hall, with Hamish Kilgour opening. Manning was sans band this time, just her amazing voice and her guitar, but that was all she needed, transfixing the crowd with a set that ran from her earliest songs (“Breathe Lies”) to her most recent (“Tape You to a Star”), as well as with her relentlessly hilarious stage banter, including a story about performing with the krautrock band Faust that ended up leading to the audience mooing at her for much of the show (It’ll make sense once you hear it). By the final audience singalong on her trademark song “Scissors,” everyone within earshot was hoping that Barbara Manning appearances become less of a rarity in coming years.

This show was recorded with AT-853 cardioid mics suspended from the Union Hall ceiling, mixed with a multitrack soundboard recording provided via the kind help of Union Hall’s booking agent Shannon Manning and soundfolk Gary and Alex. And much thanks of course to Barbara Manning as well — you can thank her, and reward yourself, by picking up her music either at her Bandcamp site or wherever finer indie rock is sold.

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream “Life/Luck”:

Barbara Manning
Union Hall
Brooklyn NY

Soundboard + Audience Matrix

AT-853 Cardioid + Soundboard > Sony PCM-M10 > WAV (24/48) + AT853 cardioid mics > SP-SPSB-1 battery box > Sony PCM-M10 > WAV (24/48) > Sound Studio (light dynamic compression and mixing) > FLAC (16/44.1) > Tag > FLAC

Recorded and mastered by neil d

01 Intro
02 Breathe Lies
03 B4 We Go Under
04 Buds Won’t Bud
05 I Insist
06 Coy Tongue
07 Dreaming
08 Haze is Free
09 Sympathy Wreath
10 Life Luck
11 Never Park
12 Bold Letters
13 Better By Bounds
14 Tape You to a Star
15 Deep Sea Diver
16 Someone Wants You Dead
17 Scissors

SUPPORT Barbara Manning: Facebook | Bandcamp | Discogs

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