Sir Richard Bishop: April 10, 2015 Union Pool – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 28, 2015

Sir Richard Bishop
[Photo from Boston 2011 by Tim Bugbee/tinnitus photography]

To say Rick Bishop is peerless among contemporary guitarists is a bit of a half-truth. Along with his brother Alan Bishop (aka Alvarius B), they continue in the tradition of their long-running band Sun City Girls, who covered every genre of music imaginable. Rick Bishop’s solo music isn’t quite as wide-ranging but his body of work is massive, composed largely of solo guitar songs often steeped in the inflections of Indian and Middle Eastern music. And yet he always sounds like himself—his playing with Sun City Girls, as a solo guitarist, and as one-third of Rangda is inimitable. In a recent interview with Premier Guitar, he says of his craft: “My style is a mish-mash that comes out of improvisation, with mistakes and everything along the way. I never worry about what the style is, and whatever comes out, comes out.” Born of a love affair with a nineteenth-century guitar, his latest album for Drag City, Tangier Sessions, features seven improvised songs recorded in a room in the Moroccan city on a handheld Sony PCM D50 digital recorder. It’s a true collaboration, not between musicians but between a musician and the history of a truly singular instrument. The story of the album is the story of how Bishop was bewitched by this guitar and he’s spoken about it recently in interviews as well as in the appropriately titled “Guitar Talk” video promoting the album.

Bishop stopped by Brooklyn’s Union Pool on his ongoing tour for Tangier Sessions, bringing along the famed instrument. To see and hear Bishop play this guitar in person is simply jawdropping. His guitar musings, whether structured songs that have appeared on albums or in-the-moment improvisations, are brought to life in vivid detail by this guitar and his deft playing. Bishop improvises often, sometimes trading on a phrase or theme of a recorded song, and I’ve done my best to identify what I could. The most recognizable tracks are “Safe House” off Tangier Sessions and “Abydos” off Fingering the Devil. “Maqam” (if I hear him correctly) appears to be an improvisation named after a type of melody in Arabic music.

In addition to playing improvisations and a couple of his solo tracks, Bishop treats us to three Sun City Girls songs and each is indicative of that band’s irreverent humor: “Porno Shop” (from Horse Cock Phepner)  is about the closing of a porno shop for ostensibly moral reasons; in “Six Kids of Mine” (from Dante’s Disneyland Inferno) a father at the end of his rope resorts to infanticide; and in “Bitter Cold Countryside” (also from Dante’s Disneyland Inferno) a town bands together to murder a carpetbagging preacher. From Bishop’s “NPR shit” (his words!) to the absurdity of the Sun City Girls tracks, the crowd is with him all the way knowing full well that it’s not often you get to see a Sir Richard Bishop show like this.

I recorded this set with the AKGs mounted to the balcony and a board feed from Union Pool FOH Leah. Despite some ambient noise from the bar—inevitable for a quiet show like this—the sound is excellent and I only hope that it does justice to Bishop and his guitar. Enjoy!

Bishop is currently rounding out his US tour and will hit Europe next. Dates here.

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Sir Richard Bishop
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Leah) + AKG C480B/CK61 (FOB, LOC, PAS) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, balance, compression, mixdown) > Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, fades, downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [55:10]
01. [Untitled]
02. [banter/tuning]
03. [Untitled]
04. [tuning]
05. [Untitled]
06. Porno Shop [Sun City Girls]
07. Six Kids of Mine [Sun City Girls]
08. Safe House
09. [Untitled]
10. [Untitled]
11. Bitter Cold Countryside [Sun City Girls]
12. Maqam
13. Abydos

Support Sir Richard Bishop: WebsiteFacebookBuy Tangier Sessions from Drag City

Tyvek: April 11, 2015 Silent Barn – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 24, 2015


Though entirely reductive, it’s tempting to read into Tyvek’s music the state of post-crash Detroit—to hear in the songs’ disintegrating fidelity that city’s crumbling infrastructure. But if Tyvek aims to critique Detroit, they also look to celebrate it. There’s a lot of hope and optimism in their music and that’s what was most apparent when Tyvek stopped by Silent Barn on their short April tour. The band played to the diehards upfront who sang along to every lyric and reacted to every song as if Tyvek main-man Kevin Boyer was speaking some spiritual truth, every lyric an indispensable wisdom. Whether it’s navigating the city’s geography (new song “Gridlock”), playing shows and crashing in basements (“Midwest Basements”), or feeling awkward at parties (“Scaling”), in each song there’s a resonant experience for a mid-twentysomething or mid-thirtysomething.

The front half of this set is devoted to songs off Tyvek’s upcoming record, while the back half delivers on the hits. New songs include “Gridlock,” “A Form Outside,” “The Origin of What,” “Tip to Tail,” and “Count It Off,” some of which will appear on the next Tyvek album. The rest of the set is devoted to all—okay, many—of the songs on any Tyvek fan’s wishlist: “Underwater,” “Midwest Basements,” “Scaling,” and crowd-favorites “Air Conditioner” and “Give It Up” from their earliest recordings.

Perhaps Tyvek’s best-known song, ”Frustration Rock” caps the set off and concludes with an extended outro of “Henry My Son,” a traditional English folk song which was later popularized by Pete Seeger on his Childrens Concert at Town Hall album. It’s a puzzling—yet somehow entirely appropriate—performance of the song. A childrens’ parodic corruption of a traditional (according to Seeger’s telling), it narrates a child’s accounting to his mother of his day spent in the woods eating eels. Ultimately I’m not sure if this choice of covers reveals anything about Tyvek’s music—but I’m also not convinced that it isn’t somehow to the key to it all.

I recorded this set with the AKG’s in front of the soundboard at about 11’ high along with a soundboard feed. The fidelity falls slightly this side of raw, but it matches Tyvek’s aesthetic nicely. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Silent Barn
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Yaman Palak) + AKG C480B/CK61 (FOB, LOC, PAS) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, balance, mixdown) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression, tape exciter) > Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, fades, downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [45:17]
01. Gridlock
02. A Form Outside
03. The Origin of What
04. Underwater
05. Tip to Tail
06. Midwest Basements
07. Count It Off
08. Scaling
09. Air Conditioner
10. Give It Up
11. What Were They Thinking
12. Stop Start
13. Returns
14. Frustration Rock > Henry My Son [traditional]

Support Tyvek: FacebookBuy On Triple Beams and Nothing Fits from In the Red

Blitzen Trapper: April 17, 2015 City Winery – Flac/MP3/Streaming (Neil Young Harvest show)

April 23, 2015

BT City Winery
[screen shot from this video]

Blitzen Trapper has always been a band who embraces their influences. Whether it be country-folk, 70s rock or even Zep, we’ve seen the band play some pointed covers over the years. I even had the pleasure of seeing lead singer Eric Early perform an outstanding mini-Dylan set at the Complete Last Waltz show in 2013.

For this year’s Record Store Day, Blitzen Trapper took it to the next level — releasing a limited edition vinyl of a complete performance of Neil Young’s Harvest recorded live in Portland last Fall. Accompanying the release, the band went on a small tour playing Harvest along with a selection of their own material. We caught the early show at City Winery on Friday, a venue that so impressed us during last weekend’s Mountain Goats shows. Despite the still-daylight starting time, the band came out ready to play with four of the own songs right out of the gate. The set’s centerpiece piece began with the familiar opening chords of the plaintive “Out on the Weekend” (streaming below), a performance so spot-on that we knew this would be a pleasure to behold. The remainder of Harvest was equally impressive — extraordinarily faithful to the original renditions while adding a very Trapper-like flavor to each number. The rest of the set was equally well played as the band worked through a fine selection of BT classics, highlighted by the well-jammed ten-minute “Thirsty Man” and a terrific version of “Furr” that we’re also streaming below.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps cards mounted on a pole about 10 feet in front of the soundboard and mixed with an excellent feed provided by the band’s touring FOH Engineer Nathan Vanderpool. The sound quality is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream “Out on the Weekend” (Neil Young cover):

Stream “Furr”:

Blitzen Trapper
(Early Show)
City Winery
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer Nathan Vanderpool] + 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 1:24:06]
01 Black River Killer
02 Not Your Lover
03 Love The Way You Walk Away
04 Lady on the Water
05 Out on the Weekend
06 Harvest
07 [banter – record store day]
08 A Man Needs a Maid
09 Heart of Gold
10 Are You Ready for the Country
11 Old Man
12 There’s a World
13 Alabama
14 The Needle and the Damage Done
15 Words (Between the Lines of Age)
16 Fletcher
17 Thirsty Man
18 [encore break]
19 The Man Who Would Speak True
20 Furr
21 [banter – NY]
22 Might Find It Cheap

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, PLEASE support Blitzen Trapper, visit their website, and purchase their official release from the Store at their website [HERE].

Ex Hex: April 18, 2015 Chaz’s Bull City Records (Durham, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 22, 2015

photo by PJ Sykes
[photos courtesy of PJ Sykes via Merge Records]

Yeah, I’ve heard the dings on Record Store Day. That it detracts from the record-buying impulse of the other 363 days of the year (since there are two RSDs). That it’s just record companies creating fake scarcity to move often second-tier product. That it’s overly dominated by corporate artists and Jack White hawking his latest gimmick releases, and that those big artists gum up the pressing plants for everyone else. That the no-returns system and opaque distribution system hurt the record stores more than they can help.

To which all I can say is, come out on RSD to a store like Chaz’s Bull City Records in Durham, NC, and leave your politics and preconceptions at home. Here’s what I saw: a line down the street to get into a small, independent record store on an unassuming block of Durham. Shelves stuffed to the max with RSD releases and other material half-empty by five hours in. Oh, and then there was the matter of the Merge Records show held in the parking lot, with Lagunitas providing beer-by-donation in the parking lot, NYCTaper recording the live sound, and our friends at WXDU streaming the site’s live mix. Maybe Record Store Day isn’t the only day of the year when a small independent record store ought to have a line out the door and three killer bands playing to hundreds of people in its parking lot. But it sure was a good excuse for it.

The day’s biggest draw, the Ex Hex, came out absolutely on fire. Out in front, Mary Timony and Betsy Wright fully committed to the band’s garage-rock aesthetic, making that modest parking lot stage feel like something much more. The 40-minute set covered most of the band’s very-well-regarded 2014 Merge release Rips, as well as a new song. Ex Hex made for the perfect draw for the day, with a sound that looks to vinyl’s 70s heyday without remaining mired in it. Almost every single one of the Rips songs is an upbeat earworm, from the bouncy leadoff to the set, “Don’t Wanna Lose” to the pop-rock of “Radio On”. But if the set showed off the band’s skill at the three-minute song, it also gave the ladies at least one opportunity to really shred, as “Beast” exploded the album version into a long-form rocker with a formidable guitar jam. Whether you were at Chaz’s for the records, or just for the live music, it was a hell of a day to celebrate music.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from engineer John Koelle combined with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones at the stage lip. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Huge thanks to Ex Hex, Merge Records, Chaz’s Bull City Records, WXDU, Lagunitas, and everyone who came out for this event.

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show: 

Ex Hex
Chaz’s Bull City Records
Durham, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: John Koelle) + Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 39:34]
01 Don’t Wanna Lose
02 Waterfall
03 [new song]
04 Waste Your Time
05 How You Got That Girl
06 New Kid
07 Hot and Cold
08 Beast
09 Radio On
10 You Fell Apart
11 Outro
12 Everywhere

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ex Hex, visit their website, and buy Rips directly from Merge.

photo by PJ Sykes

Hiss Golden Messenger: April 17, 2015 Haw River Ballroom (NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 20, 2015


The best Hiss Golden Messenger songs are the ones about a search for spiritual peace as well as life’s basic comforts, the ones that revel in doubt. I thought a lot about that as I watched the band play their first hometown gig in quite a while. The band’s most recent EP is called Southern Grammar, after the song originally featured on their Merge Records release Lateness of Dancers, and that got me to thinking what “Southern grammar” could mean. The language of the modern South is one of a stubborn constancy bred with ecstatic change, and nowhere is that more evident than in North Carolina, and even more specifically, at this picturesque complex along the Haw river. After driving through miles of deep country, you come upon a collection of structures that includes a “general store“/gas station stocked with a deep microbrew selection and gourmet food, a puppeteering center, a “butchery” (they sell a delicious hot dog with a schmear of pimento and cheese and bacon slivers), a pub, a brewpub specializing in “farmhouse ales“, some luxury condos down the street in a renovated cotton mill and dye house, and finally, the crown jewel of it all, the 800-capacity Haw River Ballroom, which the band sold out on this Friday night.

Does that remind you of anywhere? If you live in Brooklyn, you might be thinking of Williamsburg Bushwick Bed-Stuy Crown Heights almost any neighborhood. But that’s in New York City, where sentimentality has always taken a back seat to the imperatives of commerce. Historically, at least, the South has been a more hidebound place. The rural parts of it, for sure.

What does any of that have to do with Hiss Golden Messenger? Well, like this resurgent part of their adopted home region, Hiss Golden Messenger changes quickly without abandoning tradition. They’re a band who, after Taylor described my September 2014 recording as “what we sound like now”, sounded only part-way similar on this day in April of 2015. The “new” South changes its clothes, changes its tune, to a degree, but in what is new, there will always be those deep strains of something old. Same with this band.

In the case of HGM circa-this-week in 2015, the something old is ’70s AOR, the country-flavored, jammy rock of Creedence Clearwater Revival and the like. Joined by Nashville’s finest living guitarist William Tyler as a special guest, along with Brad and Phil Cook of Megafaun on guitar and bass, and Matt McCaughan on drums, the fivesome rocked the Haw River Ballroom in the way that’s only right for a hometown show. With regular saxophonist Matt Douglas on tour with the Mountain Goats, the guitars redoubled their efforts in his stead. The net effect was songs more muscular and immediate, a musical place where a song like “I’m A Raven (Shake Children)” has absolutely never sounded better, and the deep sadness of “Call Him Daylight” found itself taking a back seat to the insistence of the honky-tonk guitars. Several of the band’s big tent numbers felt more prominent: “Saturday’s Song” and “I’ve Got A Name for the Newborn Child” in particular sidling up to a brand-new one tentatively titled “Say It Like You Mean It” that added some heavier guitars to the proceedings, with Tyler adding his own psychedelic wash to the mix. I’ll admit, I missed the more measured pace of previous versions of “Daylight”, where the words get more space, but that’s alright; if you don’t quite connect with any particular version of an HGM song, there’ll always be another on the way.

That doesn’t mean, by any stretch, that this show was all good times and fluff. There was the opening number, “Brother, Do You Know the Road” (featured on Southern Grammar), whose call and response was more poignant than ever. It’s about the way out out of a sense of worthlessness, about the storm that’s passed over, but not before the rain was found. By the time the main set closed with “Southern Grammar” we were meditating on that road again, the flashes of darkness evident even through the song’s feel-good sound.

The encore brought it all together, with Taylor dedicating “Red Rose Nantahala” to the state’s Tea Party governor, Patt McCrory, whose recent back-tracking does little to hide his past agenda. There stood Taylor on his home turf, pleading “Well let me be the one I want / well let me love the one I want”, and you felt that same question rising from the hearts of so many people in this fine state that have had their basic decency denied them under that false mantra of “tradition”. But before things got too heavy-handed, Taylor shifted gears as he does so well, ending the night with a disco ball and Sam Cooke’s “Having A Party”, as if reminding us all that we were all friends, here at least.

In all, this was the longest HGM set I’ve been in attendance for, and one delivered with the confidence that comes not only with success, but being at home. It laid bare HGM’s own tensions between tradition and evolution, and that revealed something else worth knowing about this still-growing band. That they not only have the capacity to change, but the urgency to. They’ll keep traveling the unfamiliar country, and keep taking the long way home.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones and a soundboard feed provided by the Haw River Ballroom staff, with the generous assistance of my friend and prolific North Carolina taper Dan Schram. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC

Stream the complete show: 

Hiss Golden Messenger
Haw River Ballroom
Saxapahaw, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Tracks [Total Time 1:25:46]
01 Brother, Do You Know the Road?
02 [banter]
03 Call Him Daylight
04 Saturday’s Song
05 Say It Like You Mean It [new/working title]
06 [banter2]
07 Mahogany Dread
08 [banter3]
09 I’ve Got A Name For the Newborn Child
10 Day O Day (A Love So Free)
11 Lucia
12 [banter4]>Blue Country Mystic
13 I’m A Raven (Shake Children)
14 Southern Grammar
15 [encore break]
16 Red Rose Nantahala
17 [banter5]
18 Having A Party [Sam Cooke]

M.C. Taylor – Vocals, Guitar
William Tyler – Guitar
Matt McCaughan – Drums
Phil Cook – Bass, Vocals
Brad Cook – Guitar

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT by buying Hiss Golden Messenger’s records from Paradise of Bachelors and Merge Records, as well as HGM’s online store.

The Hum Residency: April 13, 2015 Manhattan Inn – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 19, 2015

[Elizabeth & the Catapult. All photography courtesy of David Andrako]

If you caught last week’s post about week one of the Hum Residency, you already know the deal — Hypnocraft Presents brings us a monthlong, Monday night series held at the Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint, featuring musical collaborations among a diverse range of predominantly women artists, together with live projections. By design, the events have a spontaneous, free-flowing feel to them, with the artists wedged in around the centerpiece of the restaurant’s back room, a large white piano, used intermittently by the bands. Surrounding the artist on all sides are the fans, unsure of exactly what to expect, but knowing it should be something interesting and important.

The second week’s lineup was especially diverse, featuring songwriter Deli & Ashley Jackson on harp, the violist and singer Hannah Epperson, folk pop from Elizabeth & the Catapult, and an abstract guitar performance from Indigo Street of Shy Hunters and Shelley Burgon on harp, all of it backed by lush projections by Sofy Yuditskaya.

Ashley Jackson began with two solo harp pieces, the second a fascinating version of Angelica Negron’s “Technicolor” with loops added in. Jackson was then joined by singer-songwriter Deli Neblett. Deli, of Nashville, began her very first New York show (!) with a set of guitar songs that felt even more delicate when backed by Jackson’s harp, as Neblett’s voice looped in the background to provide a ghostly ambiance to her arrangements. Her songs have a stylistic daring to them that sets her apart from her peers; the phrasing in “Boating” is hers and hers alone. “Grown Again” may remind you a little of Grouper, but it has a more organic sensibility than her work, despite the loops. Neblett’s future NYC shows should be worth a look.

Stream Deli & Ashley Jackson

[Hannah Epperson]

Violinist and vocalist Hannah Epperson felt in command of the situation from the get-go, promising to tame her usual volubility. I’d have been happy to hear her talk more, personally, but her playing belonged as the highlight. Of her two songs, the expressive “Farthest Distance Apart” really nailed it for me, with Epperson’s vocals about the transient nature of attention in modern society sure to hit home with most of us.

Stream Hannah Epperson:

Then came time for Elizabeth & the Catapult (in this case, the “Catapult” was guitarist/vocalist Chris Cubeta), who let loose with a rollicking, devil-may care kind of a set that found Elizabeth moving between the piano and wandering the stage with her guitar, joining her musical partner for vocals on “Go Away My Lover”, which we first experienced at Elizabeth’s Backyard Brunch Session a couple years ago. Here, Elizabeth sounded more forceful and assured than ever, earning plaudits as well as some deserved laughs for both her all-too-recognizable lyrics about relationships and her equally-deserved hate for hashtagging. Elizabeth & the Catapult’s set was so on point, in fact, that she even got an “encore” of sorts, turning her song “More Than Enough” into a crowd singalong.

Stream Elizabeth & the Catapult:

Perhaps the evening’s most surprising set came from Indigo Street and Shelley Burgon, who closed things down with an intense set of ambient instrumental music that created the perfect vibe for ending the night. Their choices — Burgon’s “Time Between Times Variation Three” and the theme from “To Kill A Mockingbird” — were cerebral, cinematic numbers that were a joy to see being created. They truly created the sort of “hum” this event is about, a warming of the heart, brain and soul, an oasis of reflection capable of taking place even in a crowded bar. It was something special.

Stream Indigo Street and Shelley Burgon:

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed together with Audio Technica 4051 cardiod microphones up close on the performers. While some ambient noise can be heard from the crowded bar up front, as well as bits of DI hum here and there, overall the sound quality of the sets is quite good. Enjoy!

Download all four sets: [MP3] | [FLAC]


The Hum Residency
Manhattan Inn
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Audio Technica 4051>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, adjust levels, align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, imaging, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Ashley Jackson
01 John Riley [Kati Agocs]
02 Technicolor [Angelica Negron]
03 [banter]

Deli and Ashley Jackson
04 Sepiatoned Rainbow
05 Boating
06 Grown Again

Deli Neblett – vocals, guitar
Ashley Jackson – harp
Hannah Epperson

01 Catenary
02 Farthest Distance Apart


Elizabeth & the Catapult

01 [intro/Happy Birthday]
02 Thank You For Nothing
03 Happy Pop
04 Go Away My Love
05 When My Time Comes
06 [banter]
07 Secrets
08 [banter2]
09 More Than Enough

Elizabeth Ziman – Vocals, piano, guitar
Chris Cubeta – guitar, vocals


Indigo Street and Shelley Burgon

01 Time Between Times Variation Three
02 Theme From To Kill A Mockingbird

Learn more about these great bands and buy their records: Deli | Ashley JacksonHannah Epperson | Elizabeth & the Catapult | Shy Hunters | Shelley Burgon


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