Zula: August 7, 2014 Shea Stadium – Interview/FLAC/MP3/Full Stream

August 26, 2014

[Photo from the band's Facebook page]

Zula released one of the more underrated albums of 2013, the spry This Hopeful, a sweet and well-produced pop album with electronic flourishes. The record was a damn fine confection of a debut LP, with just about everything you could want in such a debut. It had solid hooks, yet room to grow.

Brand-new correspondent but veteran music writer Emilio Herce sat down with the band earlier this month. His interview is below, along with a full MP3 and FLAC download and stream of the show, below after the interview. I mixed down Shea’s multitrack audio, and the audio quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Zula Interview, by Emilio Herce

Zula’s music has been described by the New York Times as “pointillistic structures with a mainspring of minimalism.” New York locals and cousins, Nate and Henry Terepka, took a couple moments before playing their tour kick off show at Shea Stadium to talk to me about their writing process, Arto Lindsay, and touring with site friends Friend Roulette

NYCTaper: How did you decide upon “This Hopeful” as the title for the latest record? Was that an easy choice to make for the band?

Henry Terepka: It wasn’t an easy choice. [Laughs] It took a few months of brain storming, and living with a few different ideas.

Nate Terepka: That was one of the last things we figured out for the record, I feel like.

HT: Yeah, it’s hard, it’s like the way we wrote those songs, they were kind of each on their own, as individual moments, individual feelings, and so it was one of those albums, it was kind of ‘these are the songs we’ve got.”

NYCTaper: Did you have other songs that didn’t make the record; are you saving those for later?

HT: Yeah, we kind of have a surplus of material in general as a band. The big challenge for us in terms of picking the songs was which were going to make it on the specific vinyl format, which has a time constraint on it, which I didn’t know about going into the process.

NYCT: Your songs and the stories in them all have a hopeful bent, but the universe they exist in has this sort of anxious cloud hanging over it. Is this a unifying theme in the music of Zula, or were there events surrounding the writing of the first album that shaped the record’s outlook?

NT: I think our writing is reflective of our internal space when we’re writing a song. I think we both write sort of stream of conscious with our lyrics, and I think we both feel hopeful and anxious.

HT: Yeah, that’s definitely something that’s not going to go away from our music anytime soon. I think those sentiments are important to, I guess, our perspective, our worldview.

NYCT: When do you consider a song to be “done”?

NT: I think that song and recording are two different things.

HT: There’s like a complete idea, thinking about what’s a complete idea, and then there’s thinking about how to present an idea in a way that does justice to that idea. Sometimes those processes get mixed up a little bit.

NYCT: Do you consider the songs on the last record done, or are they still changing?

HT: They’re always changing in live performance. We try to keep things fresh, you know, to keep being in the moment. I think compositionally, we’re pretty happy with where they ended up.

NT: Yeah, I don’t know. That’s an interesting thought. ‘Done’ seems intense in a way. I’m happy with the recordings. I think those recordings are complete, but I’d like to think that songs can take on new life or if they’re not taking on new life you can put them aside.

NYCT: How important is improvisation in your work, like on stage? Is that a part of it or do you pretty much play the songs as they are on the record?

NT: I’d say it’s very important. I think that certain things, structures end up getting a little cemented, but we try to work things into our arrangements where rather than “we’re going to do this for a certain number of measures,” one of us will cue something and then give ourselves the space to stretch out, and I think in general we welcome people trying new lines or messing around if they’re inspired in the moment. We embrace the roughness and magic that can sort of pop up in the moment of playing a song.

NYCT: You often play, and have recently toured with the band Friend Roulette, another band known for their rhythmic and dynamic ability. Has playing with them affected your approach to music? Are there any stories you’d like to share from the tour?

HT: It was really fun getting to know that band, hanging out with them, and soaking up their vibe. I though that one impression they made, is just that over time they were really kind of putting a world together. You could, you know, have whatever feeling you wanted about it, they weren’t asking you to feel one particular thing about it.

NT: Yeah it was really cool getting to know them. I always liked them, but I liked them more and more, seeing them play more shows and spending time with them because I think something what’s not apparent right away is just how that band goes back really far. They’re all very close friends, and that’s very much a band of friends that’s sort of in their own world and vision.  They have a really strong vibe that maybe’s a little hard to penetrate at first.

NYCT: Is that something you try to go after yourself? Your songs are pretty straightforward and accessible, but there’s something to be said about listening to them over and over again.

HT: I think we write more complicated songs than we intend to, but we’re not necessarily as good at intentionally withholding pleasure in the way that I’d like to be a little better at.

NT: Yeah, I mean we don’t want our songs to be difficult I don’t think. Pop satisfaction and approachability is something that we aspire to. At the same time there’s a slot of things, a lot of conventions towards accessibility that are a little bit boring and I think we try to do the best that we can to balance accessibility with surprising ideas.

NYCT: The band has always been able to recreate live the sounds on the record, no easy feat. Have you ever written songs, or parts of songs, which have proven difficult to perform on stage?

HT: Our process is pretty oriented towards our live performance as a band, and I think that at least for the last few album projects we’ve been doing our recordings have followed our live arrangements, or come after our live arrangements, but I’m interested to try those approaches. Both Nate and I come from multi-tracking backgrounds, layering stuff and doing stuff that like is not playable live necessarily.

NT: But I also think that we don’t get attached to the specific sound source of a part, more so the role that it plays in a song. So if in the process of recording for a record we end up tracking this part that we can’t reproduce live exactly because of the sound source or whatever, whatever role that part ended up playing in the composition might come into our live set but it’ll be different.

NYCT: In a recent interview, Arto Lindsay, a fellow New York musician, and pioneer in the No Wave movement during the late 70s and 80s said: “Everywhere I go people think I’m too cynical or my humor’s too negative or I treat my friends badly, and I say, ‘That’s the way we do it in New York!’” It seems like Lindsay was being facetious, but do you think there’s any truth to this? How does it compare to your experience as New York based musicians?

HT: I work for a music publisher and we had a composer come in once, an older gentleman who had extensive plastic surgery. He made a kind of odd impression on my staff, but one of the things he said during the course of his interview, he was talking about getting ripped off for music by a company. He was like “So I’m from New York, so like fuck you!,” and that was his whole thing, like you’re from New York, so like fuck you I’m going to beat you up, but I think that that’s a little antiquated.

NYCT: You think that’s old school?

HT: Yeah, I think that’s old school and I think that New York City more than anything is defined by multiple identities, not having one particular identity that you can pin down, but Arto Lindsay’s got a really interesting perspective and certainly we try to take cues from the way he presents himself, and there’s a long tradition of like sarcastic and sort of pessimistic… because in New York things are real, that’s one thing I think is like a legit assumption about New York as opposed to other places.

NYCT: What do you mean by real?

HT: People are open about what they want, so if that means expressing negativity, then that’s totally appropriate, because that’s within the healthy bounds of human emotion.

Direct download of the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Shea Stadium
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by Emilio Herce and Shea Stadium
Produced by acidjack

Multitrack digital soundboard>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects on individual tracks, compression, spacing, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Lucy Loops
02 Basketball
03 Getting Warm
04 [tuning]
05 Be Around
06 [tuning2]
07 Speeding Towards the Arctic

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Zula, like them on Facebook, and buy This Hopeful here.

J Fernandez: March 15, 2014 Post-SXSW Private Show (Dripping Springs, TX) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

August 20, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

We first caught up with J Fernandez at our CMJ show back in 2013, and were pumped to run into them again on the tail end of their SXSW journey at this private show an hour away from the madness. Here, the band performed a stripped-down set that included new material as well as offerings from their excellent two-EP collection of No Luck and Olympic Village. Though run ragged from a very busy schedule over the week, J Fernandez played this private show with real panache, with these songs coming to life as live numbers in a way that distinguished them from their lo-fi EP counterparts. The band, like most of their counterparts, has been on the festival circuit heavily this summer, most recently hitting Canada with comrades Alvvays, and returning to that country next month for POP Montreal. We can’t wait to see what this guys will do next.

As you can see in the photo, I recorded this set simply, with Schoeps MK4V microphones right in front of the band. The vocals are a touch low in places owing to the DIY setup, but overall the sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Thanks to J. Fernandez for permitting this recording.

Download the complete set: [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. Please feel free to re-post the Soundcloud links.


J Fernandez
Private Ranch
Dripping Springs, TX USA

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

Schoeps MK4V>KC5>PFA>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, parallel compression, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Fading Out
02 [unknown1]
03 Read My Mind
04 [unknown2]
05 Between the Channels
06 No Luck

If you download this recording from NYCTaper PLEASE SUPPORT J Fernandez, visit his blog, and purchase No Luck / Olympic Village from the links at Soundcloud [HERE] or on iTunes.

Marah: July 26, 2014 XPonential Music Festival, Marina Stage (Camden, NJ) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

August 15, 2014

[photos courtesy of WXPN]

Marah‘s latest album, Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania, represents an audacious turn for the Philadelphia-based roots rock band, as the band decided to bring folk songs discovered in the 1930s screaming into the 21st century more or less intact (you can read more in our post from last month, here). For a band willing to do that, I guess having a ten-year-old join the band as a permanent member — on fiddle as well as guitar no less — seemed like an achievable feat.

If part of this audience at the XPonential Music Festival, presented by WXPN, came to take in the novelty of watching young Gus Tritsch take the stage, they stayed because he and the band were setting the entire outdoor Marina Stage on fire. In addition to rockified versions of the Mountain Minstrelsy songs, the band served up classics from their catalog like 2000′s “The Catfisherman” and the acoustic “City of Dreams”, about vocalist David Bielanko’s hometown of Philadelphia. As with the Bowery Electric show, we got to experience some of the band’s fiercest jamming on the hard-charging version of “Rattlesnake” transformed a great deal from the short-but-sweet album version into an epic sendoff. 

I recorded this set with a flawless soundboard feed from the local engineer Tom, combined with Schoeps MK5 microphones flying back at the board. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!


Direct download of complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set:

XPonential Music Festival, Marina Stage
Camden, NJ USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: Tom) + Schoeps MK5c (PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Sound Devices USBPre2>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, adjust levels, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, fades, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 [WXPN Intro]>Highlander intro
02 A Melody of Rain
03 The Catfisherman
04 Limb
05 [banter1]
06 City Of Dreams
07 Barstool
08 Ten Cents at the Gate
09 Rattlesnake

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Marah, visit their website, and purchase Marah Presents Mountain Minstrelsy from the Merchandise link at their Website [HERE].

Cross Record: March 14, 2014 Ba Da Bing / Northern Spy SXSW Showcase, Palm Door (Austin, TX) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

August 13, 2014

[photo by acidjack]

Before we caught up with Austin’s Cross Record at the private ranch show on the last day of SXSW (that recording here), the band played a full set to the Ba Da Bing / Northern Spy Records showcase back at the festival that showed a less intimate but somewhat bigger-sounding side of the band. Although it was easier to digest the band’s slowcore approach among the rapt die-hards at the ranch, this set found them sitting nicely alongside acts with a somewhat less reserved approach. Lead singer/songwriter Emily Cross gave a poised, poignant vocal performance, while the band, consisting of husband Dan Duszynski and Peter Frederiksen on guitar, made just the right amount of noise to make for a well-balanced and engaging set. While our recording was previously streamed in full over at Impose Magazine after the festival, we are pleased to offer it for download here for those who want it.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from the Palm Door staff coupled with Schoeps MK4V microphones. While some crowd noise is a distraction at points, the sound quality is otherwise quite good. Enjoy!

Stream “Wasp In A Jar”

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC

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 download links or the files on other sites without our permission. Feel free to re-post the Soundcloud link. Please respect our request.

Cross Record
Ba Da Bing / Northern Spy SXSW Showcase
Palm Door
Austin, TX USA

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

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (FOB/DFC)>KC5>PFA>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust image, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Steady Waves
02 [banter1]
03 I Can’t Hold Myself in Line ( Merle Haggard )
04 Crazy
05 Cups In the Sink
06 Wasp In A Jar

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Cross Record, like them on Facebookbuy Be Good from Ba Da Bing Records and buy their other records from their bandcamp page.

Gringo Star: June 14, 2014 Mercury Lounge – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

August 11, 2014

[band promo photo]

Gringo Star‘s formula ain’t hard to figure out, nor is it foreign to fans of the stellar garage rock that’s been pouring out of the Atlanta, GA area for the past several years. Helmed by the Furgiuele brothers — Nick and Peter – Gringo Star plays fun-loving, to-the-point tunes that find them in good company with other recent site favorites like fellow Atlantans The Coathangers and the West Coasters Night Beats. This late-night set at Mercury Lounge proved to be the kind of free-for-all you might expect, with the band as ringleaders. Their latest album, Floating Out to See, finds them in a slightly mellower, more textured mode on the LP, but in the tight confines of Mercury it all came out pure party music. I can only hope the after party was as much of a scorcher as this set. 

This set was recorded by the Mercury staff directly from the soundboard and provided to us. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the full set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set:

Gringo Star
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Produced by acidjack

Midas Verona Soundboard>Tascam CD–RW900SL>CD-R>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, imaging, EQ, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, fades, amplify, balance, upsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [cuts in after first song]
01 100 Miles
02 Find A Love
03 Make You Mine
04 The Start
05 Ask Me Why
06 Look For More
07 Count Yer Lucky Stars
08 Going Way Out
09 Mexican Coma
10 You Want It
11 Come Back Home
12 All Y’All
13 Shadow

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Gringo Star, visit their website, and buy Floating Out to See on iTunes or Amazon.

Commonwealth Choir: July 26, 2014 XPonential Fest – Flac/MP3/Streaming

August 7, 2014

[photos courtesy of WXPN]


It must be a difficult task to be the opening band of a festival at the bright hour of twelve-thirty p.m. There’s the simple fact that many of the crowd may not have yet reached the venue and also the struggle to get the early-arrivers rocking when its barely afternoon. But the XPonential Festival chose well on Saturday when the Commonwealth Choir opened the show at the River Stage. The band is originally from Doylestown PA but have moved 30 miles down the road into the City of Philadelphia, the skyline of which was outlined behind the stage. Commonwealth Choir are five young men with unbridled energy and that served them well for this early set. As you can tell from the recording, the band was eager to start and made quite an impression in their too-brief thirty minute set. But by the third song, the pit filled quickly and people were moving to the music. Commonwealth Choir released an EP Shirtless in the Fall, and WXPN featured the song “Rest” in their regular rotation. We’re streaming that track below. Its pretty easy to predict that Commonwealth Choir is going places — their infectious power-pop and charismatic stage presence bodes well for future success.

I recorded this set in the same manner as the Hurray For The Riff Raff set and the sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream “Rest”:

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

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

Commonwealth Choir
XPonential Festival
Camden, NJ

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Schoeps CCM4U’s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

[Total Time 29:18]
01 Palace
02 Let’s Make It Right
03 Pacers
04 Epic
05 Peak
06 [banter]
07 Rest
08 Shirtless

If you Download this recording from nyctaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Commonwealth Choir, like their Facebook page, and purchase Shirtless from their Bandcamp page [HERE].


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