Hiss Golden Messenger: December 8, 2017 The Bowery Ballroom

December 12, 2017
By


Hiss Golden Messenger’s second night at The Bowery Ballroom not only picked up where the first two-hour show left off, but gathered steam. If the first night–in front of a slew of friends and local musicians–felt like a more intimate, freewheeling affair, this show situated the current version of the band as the confident rock n’ roll outfit they are, playing about fifty percent different material from the first show, improving on several of the repeats, and delivering crowd-pleasing covers that are red meat to a weekend crowd. After opening with the contemplative “When the Wall Comes Down” from Hallelujah Anyhow, the tempo picked up and stayed hot through the first hour. I was moved by this version of “Blue Country Mystic,” which hewed closer in tempo and style to the Poor Moon original than some of the recent versions I’ve seen, and likewise, the “Red Rose Nantahala” we saw both tonight and the night before felt closer to the version from Haw than some of the recent versions we’ve heard. The new songs haven’t given the band as many chances at new arrangements, but it’s safe to say that “Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer,” shows great potential as a mid-set jam song.

After a heartfelt mid-set version of “Caledonia, My Love” — introduced by Phil Cook as his favorite HGM song — it was back to the rock, with the band letting loose with a fine cover of “I Won’t Back Down” followed by “Lost Out In the Darkness” and the party jam “I’m A Raven (Shake Children).” This is a band that knows their crowd, and the upbeat rockers matched the mood in the room, as the weekend warriors and the repeat customers from last night both had come ready to celebrate the weekend and the band’s success. Instead of last night’s heartfelt retelling of the band’s origin story, we got some hilarious riffs about the band’s long night out last night, including an encounter with some pretzel chips. But if they were physically running on fumes, HGM didn’t show it. If anything, I found most versions of what they played even sharper and more emphatic than the previous show. In lieu of an encore break, the band accepted some pretzel chips from a fan and passed them around the crowd, ending the night with Pops Staples’ “Friendship” followed by “Drum.” This wasn’t quite the end of HGM year — they headed to Philly the following night, and D.C. after that — but it felt valedictory nonetheless, an exclamation point on a year well spent.

I recorded this set in the same manner as the previous night, with a soundboard feed from the band’s engineer Tim and Schoeps MK22 microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Hiss Golden Messenger
2017-12-08
The Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK22 (at SBD, PAS bar)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Tim)>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 2:02:30]
01 When the Wall Comes Down
02 Saturday’s Song
03 Jenny of the Roses
04 [banter1]
05 Biloxi
06 Gulfport You’ve Been On My Mind
07 Blue Country Mystic
08 Mahogany Dread
09 Don’t Let Me Down [Beatles]
10 Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer
11 Red Rose Nantahala
12 [banter2]
13 Highland Grace
14 [banter3]
15 Caledonia, My Love
16 Domino
17 I Won’t Back Down [Tom Petty]
18 Lost Out In the Darkness
19 I’m A Raven (Shake Children)
20 I Am the Song
21 [banter4-band intros]
22 Southern Grammar
23 [banter5]
24 John the Gun
25 [pretzel break]
26 Friendship [Pops Staples]
27 Drum

Band:
M.C. Taylor – vocals, guitar
Phil Cook – keyboards, harmonica
Mike Lewis – saxophone
Skylar Gudasz – vocals
James Wallace – organ, percussion
Ryan Gustafson – guitar
Michael Libramento – bass
Darren Jesse – drums

PLEASE SUPPORT Hiss Golden Messenger: WebsiteTwitter | Buy Hallelujah Anyhow

Hiss Golden Messenger: December 7, 2017 The Bowery Ballroom

December 10, 2017
By

Children are essential to the origin story of Hiss Golden Messenger, and they’ve been a recurring theme in Mike “M.C.” Taylor’s songs since the beginning. Taylor introduced “Drum” on this night by telling the story in full, of a loser (his words) washed up from music, left out of life, sitting in a cabin next to a newborn, wondering about the future. Contemplating his life as he sat next to his newborn son Elijah, Taylor started to make music again. For him that child wasn’t just a literal birth; it was his personal rebirth, too. It was there that he wrote my favorite of all his songs, “Call Him Daylight,” which tackles the ambiguity of forces greater than us (some would view that as “God,” though I don’t think you have to). To that entity he says at one point, “Some call you destroyer, some Daylight.” It’s a fundamental paradox of many world religions — you’re asked to revere god as your creator, but also your ultimate destroyer. Which kept me thinking about children, and this band’s particular choices in 2017.

The righteous anger of musicians (not to mention the rest of us) toward the current regime is hardly news at this point, and it’s been reflected in many, many albums this year. If you follow the man on Twitter, you might expect the same from Taylor. But the latest Hiss Golden Messenger album does perhaps the braver thing, certainly the rarer thing. It’s announced by the title, Hallelujah Anyhow. A child who wakes up alive for the first time tomorrow here in America won’t know the name of anyone in the current administration, won’t harbor rage toward the rich or the indecent or the greedy, won’t know about hate, won’t worry about global warming, won’t fear misogyny or racism, won’t know war. In a child’s eyes the world is all beauty. In a child’s eyes this world is all they’ve known.

Taylor and a stacked band of Triangle locals (Phil Cook, Skylar Gudasz, Darren Jesse, Ryan Gustafson, Mike Lewis, James Wallace, Michael Libramento) brought that ethos to the Bowery Ballroom for this first of two nights, giving us two hours of inclusive, upbeat Hallelujah songs as well as a well-chosen selection of favorites. The past two years have seen this band release not less than three complete albums — the band hit another high point with 2016’s Heart Like A Levee and companion album Vestapol — which has stacked the catalog with new material. If you missed the outstanding Music Hall of Williamsburg show the band did in 2016 (which I unfortunately did) this could well have been your first time hearing many of these songs live. It’s striking how cohesive the Merge-era, bigger-room-oriented material is with itself, but there’s also that constant thread that reaches all the way back to Bad Debt. Compare the two songs that Taylor played as a duo with Cook —  “Drum” (a very old one) and “Caledonia, My Love” (a new one) — and it’s clear that Taylor’s heart remains where it has been, in a purgatory between light and darkness. Each of those songs may have been an outlier on their respective albums, but side by side, they make sense.

Still, this was a positive night, a two-hour “evening with,” and there was plenty of party music to celebrate with, including the band’s semi-regular cover of Sam Cooke’s “Having A Party” and the main set closers “Domino” followed by the already-classic “Southern Grammar.” Having seen these songs performed many times now, by a variety of personnel, I’ve come to appreciate the variations in Taylor’s performances of his work. Songs, too, are a kind of offspring, an evolving gift to a wider world, and Taylor has continued to help these songs grow into new and different entities than what they were. Taylor’s restless tinkering with this music seems almost calculated to keep you in that state, able to see his music as brand-new even if you’ve seen him a dozen or more times before. If you’re lucky you’ll listen long enough that you find yourself, however briefly, like that open-hearted child again, able to say that simple word, hallelujah. You stand there inside the Bowery Ballroom, and it’s the holiday season, it’s New York City, and you’re alive. So hallelujah, anyhow.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK22 open cardiod microphones mounted at the soundboard, with a feed of the PA mix from the band’s dapper sound engineer Tim. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Thanks, as always, to Mike Taylor and to Merge Records. 

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

Hiss Golden Messenger
2017-12-07
The Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK22 (at SBD, ORTF)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Tim)>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro]
02 Call Him Daylight
03 Biloxi
04 Jenny of the Roses
05 I Am the Song
06 Gulfport You’ve Been On My Mind
07 Say It Like You Mean It
08 Lost Out In the Darkness
09 Tell Her I’m Just Dancing
10 Red Rose Nantahala
11 Heart Like A Levee
12 [banter-the story of HGM]
13 Drum*
14 [banter2]
15 Caledonia, My Love*
16 I’ve Got A Name for the Newborn Child
17 Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer
18 I’m A Raven (Shake Children)
19 Lucia
20 Having A Party [Sam Cooke]
21 Harder Rain
22 Domino
23 [banter3–band intros]
24 Southern Grammar
25 [encore break]
26 Friendship [Pops Staples]

Band:
M.C. Taylor – vocals, guitar
Phil Cook – keyboards, harmonica
Mike Lewis – saxophone
Skylar Gudasz – vocals
James Wallace – organ, percussion
Ryan Gustafson – guitar
Michael Libramento – bass
Darren Jesse – drums

*M.C. Taylor/Phil Cook Duo

PLEASE SUPPORT Hiss Golden Messenger: WebsiteTwitter | Buy Hallelujah Anyhow

Dream Syndicate: December 2, 2017 Bowery Ballroom

December 7, 2017
By


[photo by Marcus Slade]

There was a point early during Saturday night’s Dream Syndicate show at Bowery Ballroom when I thought to myself, I can not believe that is only the second show of the band’s current tour. The amazement was based on the fact that the band was just so damned tight. Its true that Steve Wynn and guitarist Jason Victor have played together regularly for more than a decade, but Dream Syndicate was not that long ago a “reunion” band. A band coming back together after years apart isn’t supposed to sound this in-sync. But over the last couple of years the band started recording again, and the result was an excellent new album called How Did I Find Myself Here (Anti).

The Dream Syndicate is currently on an extensive tour to support the new record, and if the Bowery show is any indication, this tour is destined for legendary status. The set mixed in material old and new and was clearly high energy from the start. The band didn’t take many breaks between songs to banter, but just rolled on one ripping track after another. Its says a lot about the new record that the show-stopping number was a twelve-minute version of the title track that was absolutely shredded. But the classic material was also on display and an all-timer version of “Days Of Wine and Roses” ended the main set in furious fashion before the band returned for three encores. Don’t miss this tour. All dates are (here).

I recorded this set in our usual fashion in this venue mixing the strategically placed Schoeps with an excellent soundboard feed from the band’s touring FOH. Unfortunately, I inexplicably lost power for about thirty seconds during the second song, which now contains a noticeable splice. Otherwise, the quality is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

Dream Syndicate
2017-12-02
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

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:39:36]
01 [introduction]
02 Halloween
03 The Circle
04 80 West
05 Armed With An Empty Gun
06 Like Mary
07 Out of My Head
08 [banter – NYC]
09 Filter Me Through You
10 Burn
11 Whatever You Please
12 The Medicine Show
13 How Did I Find Myself Here
14 [band introductions]
15 Forest for the Trees
16 That’s What You Always Say
17 The Days of Wine and Roses
18 [encore break]
19 When You Smile
20 Tell Me When It’s Over
21 [banter – thanks]
22 Glide

SUPPORT The Dream Syndicate: Website | Anti Records Site | Buy How Did I Find Myself Here?

the Mountain Goats: November 10, 2017 White Eagle Hall, Jersey City NJ

December 4, 2017
By


[photos by Greg Cristman]

I’ve never been to a Mountain Goats concert quite like this one. Generally speaking, the fans of the Mountain Goats are universally involved in the show. Sure, they shout out obscure requests but the people at these unique shows are there for the artist, for the music, and for the experience. There’s normally almost no chatter at a Mountain Goats show that’s unrelated to the music. Just listen to the recording we just recently posted from Brooklyn Steel, a large venue with a very large crowd and not a peep during the quiet moments. That Brooklyn crowd was at that show for all the right reasons, and the band seemed to feel it.

At White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, the front half of the crowd was the usual engaged Mountain Goats fans, but the back half of the sold out venue were almost defiantly yapping over the music. It was troubling and odd and I think it knocked the band off a kilter a couple of times. John specifically called out “hey talking guys, I’m trying to play guitar here”. I don’t have any explanation for this crowd that isn’t going to read as arrogant, so I’ll just attribute it to a Friday night, a sold out venue, and too-efficient bartenders.

Sadly, this is the reality for many events these days — the chatterers don’t really care. But this was a really solid show that I’m simply going to have to get over the crowd issues. For devotees to The Sunset Tree, however, this show is a must-listen. Along with regulars “This Year” and “Up The Wolves”, we were treated to infrequently performed versions of “You Or Your Memory” and “Broom People”. The balance of the setlist offered a slate of the new songs (from Goths) performed regularly on this tour and a couple of more surprises — “I’ve Got The Sex” and the return of “Beautiful Gas Mask” to the rotation. There are only three more dates on this tour — so get out and see the band, but please don’t talk over the music!

I recorded this set with the fortunate use of Brandon’s excellent board feed mixed with some of the room mics mounted inside the board area centered in the balcony. Other than the crowd din recognizable during quiet moments, this recording is quite good. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

Mountain Goats
2017-11-10
White Eagle Hall
Jersey City NJ

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer: Brandon Eggleston] + 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

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:43:39]
01 [Vivaldi introduction]
02 The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement
03 Cotton
04 In the Craters on the Moon
05 Beautiful Gas Mask
06 [banter – Debbie snorts coke]
07 Unicorn Tolerance
08 Rain in Soho
09 Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds
10 Night Light
11 Moon Over Goldsboro
12 I’ve Got The Sex
13 Snow Crush Killing Song
14 [banter – Fenders]
15 Paid in Cocaine
16 Shelved
17 Birth Of Serpents
18 Broom People
19 Harlem Roulette
20 Against Pollution
21 Spent Gladiator 2
22 [encore break]
23 The Diaz Brothers
24 Up the Wolves
25 This Year
26 [second encore break]
27 See America Right
28 You Or Your Memory
29 The Young Thousands

SUPPORT the Mountain Goats: Website | Twitter | Buy Official Releases | Tour Dates

Circuit des Yeux: November 15, 2017 Rough Trade NYC

November 29, 2017
By

Of all the many, many standout shows I’ve seen this year, Haley Fohr is responsible for two of them, both at Rough Trade NYC. There was the Jackie Lynn set from back in April, and now this full-band Circuit des Yeux burner from the current Reaching For Indigo tour. I’m a fan, obviously, but everyone I’ve talked to who saw this or another show from the tour have all been completely blown away. Fohr and her band play the album all the way through and even if you’ve fully absorbed the studio recordings you’ll be ecstatic to hear this ten-minute, rocking rendition of “A Story of This World Part II.” Circuit des Yeux hits the West Coast in January followed by some European dates in February—check all listings over at Drag City.

I recorded this from the soundboard cage with MBHOs combined with a board feed courtesy of FOH Dustin Myers. The sound is terrific. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [FLAC/MP3]

Stream the complete show:

Circuit des Yeux
2017-11-15
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Dustin Myers) + MBHO MBP603/KA200N > Zoom F8 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [46:35]
01. Brainshift
02. Black Fly
03. Philo
04. Paper Bag
05. A Story of This World Part II
06. Geyser
07. Falling Blonde

Website
• • Buy Reaching For Indigo at Drag City

Luna: November 18, 2017 Brooklyn Steel

November 27, 2017
By


[photos by Will from We All Want Someone blog]

At some point in the last three years, Luna transitioned from a “reunion” to an actively recording and touring band. This year saw two new Luna releases, a full album of eclectic covers (A Sentimental Education) and an all-instrumental EP (A Place Of Greater Safety). For A Sentimental Education, the band placed their own unique stamp on an interesting selection of covers. It was the first new Luna album in 13 years and it hit all the right buttons — 70s and 80s influences and one 90s contemporary. The selection of songs are for the connoisseur, no obvious tracks to be found.

The final night of Luna’s most recent tour reached Brooklyn Steel two Saturdays ago. This was the largest venue the band had played in NYC maybe ever, and a healthy crowd showed up in support. The band began the night with opening track from Greater Safety and proceeded to treat the fans to a nice selection of classic material mixed with the new versions of memorable tracks from Sentimental. Indeed the set ended with an inspired performance of Mercury Rev’s “Car Wash Hair” followed by a series of encores. On this night, the rarity was an infrequent appearance of the Galaxie 500 classic “Tugboat”.

I recorded this set with the Neumann hypercards mounted at the soundboard and mixed with a superb feed mixed by the band’s outstanding FOH Paul. The blend of the two sources produced perhaps the best of our many recordings of Luna to appear on this site. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

Luna
2017-11-18
Brooklyn Steel
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer: Paul] + Neumann KM-150s > 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

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:31:50]
01 GTX3
02 Gin [Willy Loco Alexander]
03 Sideshow by the Seashore
04 Bobby Peru
05 Fire in Cairo [Cure]
06 Malibu Love Nest
07 Tracy I Love You
08 Still at Home
09 Freakin and Peakin
10 One Fine Summer Morning [Evie Sands]
11 Chinatown
12 Friendly Advice
13 I Want Everything
14 Car Wash Hair [Mercury Rev]
15 [encore break]
16 Tugboat
17 23 Minutes in Brussels
18 [second encore break]
19 Moon Palace

SUPPORT Luna:  Website | Bandcamp | Buy A Sentimental Education

Support nyctaper

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