Blog Archives

Wet Tuna: December 10, 2017 Trans-Pecos

March 20, 2018

What’s better than an early Sunday evening kickin’ it with the deep space musings of Matt “MV” Valentine? How about Matt plus PG Six, aka Pat Gubler, who’ve been touring (and are about to put out a record) together as Wet Tuna? The pair of guitarists (plus some pre-recorded beats) were in NYC for a pair of shows, the first night (recorded) at Brooklyn’s Ceremony, the second this jaunt at the revitalized Trans-Pecos.

Given that the night kicked off with a DJ set from WFMU’s DJ Jeff Conklin, whose beloved Avant Ghetto show is a must-listen for fans of this kind of music, it felt appropriate for the Tuna to launch with “I Know You Rider,” the traditional blues song popularized by the Grateful Dead. From there, we got two more sick covers – Michael Hurley’s “Water Train” followed by Incredible String Band’s “Empty Pocket Blues,” which flowed into the Livin’ the Die track “New York Street.” Along with this performance with the Tuna, we’ve also caught Matt on some recent solo outings — so stay tuned for that as well.

This set was recorded directly from the Trans-Pecos soundboard. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Wet Tuna
Queens, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard (house PA mix saved to SanDisk thumb drive)>16/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, fades)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 I Know You Rider [Grateful Dead version]
02 Water Train [Michael Hurley]
03 Empty Pocket Blues [Clive Palmer/Incredible String Band]>Empty Mood Jam>Space/Drums>New York Street

SUPPORT WET TUNA: Buy Livin’ The Die from them right here.

Bardo Pond: February 17, 2018 Union Pool

March 6, 2018

If Williamsburg venue Union Pool is better-known among the GenZ semi-grownups that populate the nabe’s bars these days, don’t tell the people who crowded the room for the Bardo Pond show on this snowy Saturday night — many of us grinning as the hookup-seeking set turned away from door not only by the “SOLD OUT” sign but also the deep noise emanating from behind it.

Bardo Pond is one of those bands that will always cast a deep but not wide net, nestling in the psyche of those able and open to embracing them. Their massive oeuvre — their latest and misleadingly titled Volume 8 is far from only their 8th record — attests to fans’ insatiable desire for what they’re into. Tonight’s set, short on number of songs but long on jams, was anchored by a sprawler from the new album, “And I Will” along with some recent tour favorites. The night capped with a longtime band classic, “Tommy Gun Angel,” putting an exclamation point on the idea that whatever other fleeting things might pass on that Saturday night in that room, this band always leaves echoes long after they’ve left the building.

I recorded this set with Lesley’s house PA feed together with Schoeps MK5 cardiod microphones. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream and download the complete show (and donate to the band) from our bandcamp page:

Bardo Pond
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK5c (at SBD, PAS)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard (engineer: Lesley)>>Sound Devices MixPre6>2×24/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Kali Yuga Blues
02 Out of Reach
03 My Eyes Out
04 Under the Pines
05 And I Will
06 Tommy Gun Angel

SUPPORT BARDO POND: Website | Buy Volume 8

Desertion Trio: February 2, 2018 Trans-Pecos

February 5, 2018

Desertion Trio joined us at newly-licensed Trans-Pecos this past Friday to celebrate the release of their new album, Midtown Tilt, having done the same in their hometown of Philadelphia the night before. The album picks up in many ways where their excellent 2016 effort, Desertion, left off, oscillating between focused riffage and freeform jazz improv. This set showed off not only bandleader Nick Millevoi’s ample guitar skills, but gave broad berth to guest keyboardist Jamie Saft, who appears on both of the band’s albums, adding tremendous depth in the process. Of course, the focus of this one-hour sessions was on Midtown Tilt, including an outstanding rendition of “Jai Alai Noon” that gave Saft ample room to run., while set closer “Numbers Maker” coalesced into an extended freakout before tapering off into its final minutes. For those of us who’d seen the band before, there was much to love about this version of “Desertion and Arsonist’s Match,” which departed from earlier, Saft-less renditions we’ve featured but kept the song’s essential nature as a palette for extended interaction. As we’ve pointed out before, all of these fine musicians contribute to the music world in so many ways, so it is a special pleasure to see them come together here in New York. Check out Midtown Tilt, which is available directly from the band now.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK22 microphones at the stage lip, together with a soundboard feed. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Desertion Trio
Queens, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK22 (stage lip, ORTC)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard>>Sound Devices MixPre6>24/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC (fades, mixdown, compression, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:02:10]
01 It’s A Hard World For the Little Things
02 Midtown Tilt
03 Jai Alai Noon
04 Where They Do Their Capers
05 Desertion and the Arsonist’s Match
06 The Carideon
07 Fascination Fadeaway
08 Numbers Maker

Nick Millevoi – Guitar
Johnny DeBlase – Bass
Jamie Saft – Organ
Kevin Shea – Drums

PLEASE SUPPORT Desertion Trio – visit their bandcamp page.

Hiss Golden Messenger: December 8, 2017 The Bowery Ballroom

December 12, 2017

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
The Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
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

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

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
The Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
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 )

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]

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

Wilco: March 24, 2017 Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, TN)

October 27, 2017

© Copyright David Simchock. Provided with permission by Big Ears Festival.

Wilco is the kind of popular band that is perfectly suited to a festival like Big Ears. For the past several years, the Knoxville, TN-based festival has put on the kind of genre-agnostic, fan-focused, music-focused event that is an increasing rarity in a festival environment where the top-line band is invariably a mainstream hip-hop act or LCD Soundsystem. Wilco have been called “dad-rock” and a variety of other things like it, but there’s nothing embarrassing about liking a band that has continued to focus on songwriting and continued trying to do something new. If you don’t believe that, you obviously didn’t see, or hear about, Jeff Tweedy’s experimental set during this festival with Chikamorachi (we hope to share that soon).

On this night, Wilco took the stage at the Tennessee Theatre and played a set true to the festival’s style, cranking out several extended noise-jam numbers including “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” and caterwauling “Impossible Germany.” If this didn’t offer quite the novelty of the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot set at Solid Sound later in the year, this set was nonetheless a special one, including starting with the fairly-rarely-played “Radio Cure.” The set doesn’t so much flow as exist as a series of climaxes and valleys, though the noise outro from “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” into a furious “Art of Almost” is a particular pleasure. Schmilco and its several obligatory appearances gave several points in the set a more sedate feel, as none of these songs seem to have yet established themselves as live breakouts, though “Locator” feels like the most obvious candidate to get there (and is easily the best of the Schmilco songs played at this show). Wilco ended the night with a lesser-played number of 2017, “A Shot In the Arm,” whose coda could as easily have been a message to the music festival world at large: “What you once were isn’t what you want to be any more.” Indeed, if you’re in the business of attending or putting on music festivals, I’d recommend a look at Big Ears.

This set was recorded by Matt Honkonen of the Big Ears staff with a Zoom H6 and was provided to us by Big Ears. The sound quality is a bit compressed at points, but the fairly ideal location of the recorder in the theater yields an overall pleasing result. Enjoy!

Speaking of Big Ears, we’re going to be posting a bunch of sets from the 2017 festival in the upcoming weeks in anticipation of the 2018 festival. The initial lineup announcement comes November 1 and tickets are onsale November 3. 

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


Big Ears Festival
Tennessee Theatre
Knoxville, TN USA

Recorded by Matt Honkonen
Produced by acidjack

Zoom H6 (internal mics, at SBD)>WAV (16/48)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Adobe Audition CC (compression, amplification)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 1:58:16]
01 Radio Cure
02 If I Ever Was a Child
03 Cry All Day
04 I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
05 Art of Almost
06 Pickled Ginger
07 Misunderstood
08 Someone to Lose
09 War on War
10 Via Chicago
11 Bull Black Nova
12 Reservations
13 Impossible Germany
14 We Aren’t the World (Safety Girl)
15 Box Full of Letters
16 Heavy Metal Drummer
17 I’m the Man Who Loves You
18 Hummingbird
19 [banter]
20 The Late Greats
21 [encore break]
22 Random Name Generator
23 Jesus, Etc.
24 Locator
25 Spiders (Kidsmoke)
26 A Shot in the Arm

PLEASE SUPPORT Wilco, visit their website, and purchase their Star Wars and their other releases from their website [HERE]

Robyn Hitchcock: March 24, 2017 Big Ears Festival (Early and Late Shows)

October 24, 2017

[Photo by Bill Johnson. From Robyn Hitchcock’s Facebook page]

Not long after we caught Robyn Hitchcock on two nights with Yo La Tengo as his backing band, Robyn made his way up to what is likely America’s most musically adventurous music festival, Big Ears, which has enthralled listeners down in Knoxville, Tennessee for the past few years. The independent festival has continued to grow in stature while retaining a unique musical character; there’s room in its lineups for rock, experimental noise, classical, folk, and more, but you’ll find an admirable absence of the Top 40-type bands that are now the main draws of almost every major U.S. festival. Robyn’s sets at this year’s festival were divided into an early and late show, and each has its pleasures. Both sets opened with Dylan covers (“Chimes of Freedom” and “Not Dark Yet”). The early set continued in the covers vein, with Robyn lighting up songs by the Beatles (“Dear Prudence”) and Syd Barrett (“Terrapin”) and closing with the Soft Boys’ “I Wanna Destroy You,” that last one being a particularly interesting feat for a solo singer/guitarist. As you might expect, the late show took on a more freewheeling character, with Robyn giving songs like “I Often Dream of Trains” and “Adventure Rocket Ship” extended and hilarious introductions.

As longtime Robyn fans, we’re thrilled that the Big Ears team provided us with access to these recordings. We look forward to partnering with the Big Ears crew in 2018.

The next Big Ears Festival begins on March 22, 2018. Watch for the lineup to be announced next week!

Early Show: [LMA Page] | [Direct MP3] | [Direct FLAC]
Late show: [LMA Page] | [Direct MP3] | [Direct FLAC]



Robyn Hitchcock
2017-03-24 (early show)
Big Ears Festival
The Standard
Knoxville, TN USA

Produced by acidjack

Zoom H6>WAV (16/48)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Adobe Audition CC (compression, amplification)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Chimes of Freedom [Dylan]
02 Dear Prudence [Beatles]
03 Terrapin [Syd Barrett]
04 My Wife and My Dead Wife
05 [banter1]
06 Saturday Groovers
07 [banter2]
08 Fifty Two Stations
09 Full Moon In My Soul
10 Raymond Chandler Evening
11 I Want To Tell You About What I Want
12 I Wanna Destroy You [Soft Boys]

Robyn Hitchcock
2017-03-24 (late show)
Big Ears Festival
The Standard
Knoxville, TN USA

Produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Zoom H6 (internal mics, at SBD)>WAV (16/48)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Adobe Audition CC (compression, amplification)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Not Dark Yet [Bob Dylan]
02 I Pray When I’m Drunk
03 Madonna of the Wasps
04 [banter]
05 The Devil’s Coachman
06 Serpent at the Gates of Wisdom
07 N.Y. Doll
08 [banter2]
09 I Often Dream of Trains
10 [banter3]
11 Adventure Rocket Ship
12 [banter4]
13 I’m Only You
14 [banter5]
15 Mad Shelley’s Letterbox

PLEASE SUPPORT Robyn Hitchcock: Website | Twitter | Buy Official Releases

Clearance: October 13, 2017 Rough Trade NYC

October 20, 2017

The Chicago band Clearance have been at it for a few years now, having first gained broader notice with a track debut from their current full-length, Rapid Rewards, on Stereogum. Various corners of the Internet have compared them to Pavement, having more (to this listener) to do with their wry sense of humor than their exact musical style, which falls into the broad camp of “indie rock” or “alt-rock” or “garage-rock” or whatever you want to call guitar-driven music that isn’t made by meatheads these days, but is delivered, at this stage, with a certain professionalism that wasn’t Pavement’s stock-in-trade until career end.

This set at Rough Trade NYC represents a solid eleven (with one additional that was aborted) song introduction to the band, including “You’ve Been Pre-Approved.” But among the set, I was most taken with the band’s latest single, “Are You Aware,” an upbeat burst of optimism that might fit less within the “ironic slacker” framework, but is just the dash of musical Prozac you want on a Friday after a wearying week. By the time the song downshifts in its final segment, you’re feeling the relaxation wash over you. We also got some new songs in the mix, including “Chances Are” and “Haven’t You Got the Time,” the latter of which has a bit more of a 90s Britpop feel than some of the band’s other songs. The band closed with the short-burst anthem “She’s A Peach,” which ended abruptly in under two minutes. At first it seemed like a mistake or a joke, but then it became clear — the song had said all it needed to say. Clearance are that kind of band.

I recorded this set in the same manner as the Widowspeak set, with Schoeps MK5 microphones and a soundboard feed from Jeremy. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Jeremy) + Schoeps MK5 (DFC, at SBD, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>>Sound Devices MixPre6 (24/48)>polyWAV file>Adobe
Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, dither, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Had A Fantastic
02 The Prospect
03 Destination Wedding
04 Frozen Orange / No Wonder
05 Gallery Glare
06 Are You Aware
07 You’ve Been Pre-Approved
08 Owner/Operator
09 Chances Are
10 Haven’t You Got The Time?
11 Another Arrow [stops]
12 She’s A Peach


Widowspeak: October 13, 2017 Rough Trade NYC

October 17, 2017

Widowspeak just released their fourth album, Expect the Best. It gave me a little jolt of nostalgia to see what’s now by any definition a veteran band taking the stage in Brooklyn again, six years after I caught one of their earliest shows at Glasslands. It also gave me hope: Here’s a band that has thrived from day one on the very simple proposition of writing good songs and performing them well, and continues to be well-received.

This show at Rough Trade marked the end of the band’s recent tour in support of Expect the Best, and it had that triumphal homecoming feel about it, from the crowd of friends and showgoing regulars to the career-spanning setlist. After all, it’s not like Widowspeak need to hunt around Brooklyn for converts. Expect the Best feels like a darker, slightly less pop-driven record than 2015’s All Yours, as befits the times and singer Molly Hamilton’s recent decamping to her home in the Pacific Northwest. Likewise, the new record also has more of a “live” sound to it, a bit looser than the band’s recent efforts, and that also works to the advantage of these songs like, particularly the set opener, “Right On,” which reminded us that despite the association of this band with more of a hazy, laid-back sound, they are more than capable of rocking out. As noted, the set also reached back to the band’s first album for three of their best-loved numbers, the unforgettable “In the Pines,” “Gun Shy” and Hamilton’s Pacific Northwest in-joke “Harsh Realm.” Hearing those songs played by a tightly-knit four-piece — a much fuller sound than the trio had back in 2011 — only reminded me again that some things do improve with time. Widowspeak are one of those bands that has not only stayed consistent, but keeps putting out great new music. That album title they chose this time says it all.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from house engineer Jeremy combined with Schoeps MK5 microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Jeremy) + Schoeps MK5 (DFC, at SBD, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>>Sound Devices MixPre6 (24/48)>polyWAV file>Adobe
Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify,
dither, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:13:35]
01 Right On
02 Perennials
03 Warmer
04 In the Pines
05 Narrows
06 All Yours
07 [banter1]
08 Ballad of the Golden Hour
09 The Dream
10 Expect the Best
11 Gun Shy
12 [banter2]
13 Dog
14 The Swamps
15 Harsh Realm
16 Fly On the Wall
17 [banter3]
18 Coke Bottle Green

PLEASE SUPPORT Widowspeak: Facebook | Captured Tracks | Bandcamp


Nathan Bowles Trio: September 8, 2017 Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree (Raleigh, NC)

October 16, 2017

It’s an article of faith that artists who are friends of Three Lobed Recordings always bring their best for the label’s annual Hopscotch day show showcase, co-sponsored with Durham’s WXDU. Nathan Bowles, a multi-year veteran of the event, outdid himself this year, choosing to use this platform to debut his new trio with Casey Toll on double bass and Rex McMurry on drums. Although this was the trio’s very first show, you wouldn’t necessarily have known it, as Bowles and the new band added new heft to what were originally his solo songs (“Blank Range”) as well as coming out strong with new ones (one untitled, one known as “Freshfaced”). Bowles’ current music has already redefined and expanded the notion of modern banjo music, but the trio promises to push things even further, offering the opportunity to head in directions he hasn’t yet contemplated in other groups in which he participates, such as the Black Twig Pickers. For one, these songs feel a bit more like rock songs, with McMurry’s drumming pushing a faster tempo and an overall heavier direction, particularly on the new song. “Freshfaced.” Seeing Nathan Bowles is always a treat — and it’s something we do as often as we can — and this trio only adds to the anticipation of what he’s up to next. Bowles has a few shows around the southern U.S. this month, so go have a listen if you can.

I recorded this set with Evan Lamb’s house mix, plus an additional soundboard feed of the banjo, together wtih Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage, and AKG 460 cardiod mics hung over the audience. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Nathan Bowles Trio
Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree
Raleigh, NC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack
Hosted at

Soundboard (engineer: Evan Lamb)+Schoeps MK4V (onstage)>KCY>Z-PFA>AKG 460/CK61 (FOB, DFC)>(24bit/48kHz WAV files)>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Blank Range
02 [untitled for now]
03 Freshfaced

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