Blog Archives

Suuns: February 11, 2017 Saint Vitus (Early Show)

February 14, 2017
By


It’s not easy to be a live band like Suuns. When you make spare, often trancelike music that relies on repetition, fueled by loops and electronics as well as live players, you need to be more than competent on your instruments; you need to be technically almost flawless. Their music can indeed put you in a trance, but the communion is broken if anything — almost anything — is out of time or introduced at the wrong moment. The amazing thing about Suuns is that nothing ever is — if “precision” was their band name instead, it wouldn’t be wrong. Their latest album Hold/Still continues their streak of infallible, tight production, made all the more impressive this time by the fact that they reputedly recorded most of it live. Hearing the songs live, it’s somewhat easier to believe. Suuns songs often tend toward modern paranoia and anxiety, but in execution of them, the band members’ melding of the human and technological is at ease.

On this winter night, the band played two full sold-out sets at Saint Vitus, an intimate, appropriate clime for the band’s dark, almost claustrophobic sound. Drawing on elements of krautrock and electronic music, Suuns’ sound is as distinct as it is penetrating. If escapist fare like “La La Land” and whatever pabulum won most Grammys last night is hailed as the right cultural output for our times precisely due to its unreality, Suuns owes equal claim to the title precisely because it sounds like just this moment. When vocalist Ben Shemie intones the single lyric from “Resistance,” over a fractured guitar line and its vaguely militaristic backbeat, you almost forget that this song was actually written in 2015. It meant something different to me when I first saw it, nearly two years ago to the date.

To that end, another exciting song to see come to fruition was “Infinity,” a number the band has worked on in various forms for several years, but finally laid down for Hold/Still. After a solid dose of newer material for the bulk of the set, Suuns took us back to their first record, Zeroes QC, for a bit, with “Arena” making an appearance, and the set closing with one of their best early songs, “Pie IX.” If Hold/Still is any guide, this band’s next few years are going to be equally fertile ones.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones and a soundboard feed. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/Apple Lossless]

Stream the complete show:

Suuns
2017-02-11
Saint Vitus
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity 2.0.5>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:01:12]
01 Images du Futur
02 Music Won’t Save You
03 Powers of Ten
04 Instrument
05 Translate
06 2020
07 Resistance
08 Infinity
09 Paralyzer
10 Arena
11 Edie’s Dream
12 Pie IX

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Suuns, visit their Facebook page, and buy their albums on their bandcamp site or from Secretly Canadian.

Bridget St. John: October 21, 2016 Schoolhouse

February 9, 2017
By

It was a rare treat when Avant Ghetto Presents brought the British folk legend Bridget St. John to Brooklyn, regaling a crowd of dedicated onlookers with tales from the center of the folk revolution and a compliment of her and others’ finest work. In today’s America, St. John may not be quite the household name of some of her best-known British folk peers, having largely withdrawn from the music scene after her fourth album, 1974’s Jumble Queen. But, for real aficionados of the modern folk tradition — this show’s sponsor among them — St. John is a leading figure.

This crowd, at the Schoolhouse in Brooklyn, treated St. John with the reverence she deserved. The space may not have been an actual Greenwich Village club circa 1970, of course, but the space and vibe felt like its obvious heir, a group of people bound by something more than inhabiting the same room, searching for the same enlightenment. As St. John covered songs from musical fellow-travelers of hers like John Martyn and Michael Chapman — with both of whom she has recorded — she transported us to a time that birthed a generation, one that feels increasingly distant. As she introduced “Just Like A Woman,” she said “it’s taken me a long time to find my space” in the work, but now, she has. The choice felt especially significant, pre-election, at a time when the role of women has been so much-discussed. Listening to it again now, its resonance is changed, perhaps more powerful.

Of her major period albums, St. John focused especially on her first and third, 1969’s Ask Me No Questions and 1972’s Thank You For in the setlist, but we also heard several numbers, like “Castaway,” “Mon Gala Papillons,” and “The Hole In Your Heart” that she recorded in connection with a tour of Japan in 2010. Seven years after that, and the re-release of her first three albums, we hope that St. John’s contributions will continue to receive the greater attention they deserve.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed together with Schoeps MK4V microphones at the stage lip. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Thanks to Jeff Conklin of Avant Ghetto Presents for sponsoring and inviting us to the show. Check out Jeff’s WFMU radio show here.

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Bridget St. John
2016-10-21
Schoolhouse
Brooklyn, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (onstage)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, align, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ,
effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 Castaway
02 [banter1]
03 Back to Stay [John Martyn]
04 Lizard-Long-Tongue-Boy
05 Nice
06 [banter2]
07 Just Like A Woman [Dylan]
08 [banter3]
09 Mon Gala Papillons
10 Hole In Your Heart
11 [banter4]
12 Rabbit Hills [Michael Chapman]
13 [banter5]
14 Fly High
15 [banter6]
16 Lazarus [traditional]
17 [banter7]
18 Ask Me No Questions

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Bridget St. John: Twitter | Buy Her Records

Dump: January 25, 2017 Union Pool

February 7, 2017
By

James McNew’s Dump is a project that gives a certain kind of joy. It gives the listener a chance to both appreciate McNew’s contributions to Yo La Tengo — where he’s played bass for more than two decades — and to hear what’s going on in his head and his alone. McNew’s songs — and his well-chosen covers — rest on a skillfully crafted series of loops and samples rather than a band, and show off what’s going on in his head and his alone. “Modest” is a word that gets thrown around in reviews of Dump material, and it’s true that McNew’s presentation is as unflashy as they come (though he did, deadpan, introduce the “band” as “we”), but these songs go well beyond the scope of mere bedroom recordings.

Witness McNew’s opening number at this Union Pool show, which was his version of Bobby Charles’ country-blues number “I Hope”. The song is a gem — also covered by Elvis Costello on National Ransom — but McNew’s version is a more radical departure from the original, with the backdrop formed by a shimmering loop that adds to the melancholy of the lyrics. We also heard some new numbers, “Weather Blues” (which had the strongest echoes of James’ other band) and “Feelings 2,” which were followed by a classic Dump cover from 1993, “So Sedimentary” (originally from Faith and John Hubley’s 1972 film Dig). The night ended with another Dump classic, the title track from Superpowerless. 

I recorded this set with Union Pool engineer Robert’s house mix, plus Schoeps MK5 cardiod microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

 Stream and download this recording at our bandcamp page:

 

Dump
2017-01-25
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: Robert) + Schoeps MK5c (at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mixdown)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 I Hope [Bobby Charles]>
02 Weather Blues>
03 Feelings 2
04 So Sedimentary
05 Superpowerless

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Dump, follow James on Twitter, and buy Dump’s LPs from Amazonfrom Discogs, on iTunes, or from your local music retailer.

Lake Mary: October 21, 2016 The Schoolhouse

January 10, 2017
By

img_0237

Lake Mary, aka Chaz Prymek, of Denver, hasn’t been as much a regular in our personal orbit as his East Coast-based peers, but this relatively rare treat of a show made up for it. This show at the Schoolhouse, a low-key, living-room style DIY venue in Bushwick, provided the perfect intimate setting for Prymek’s talents. The fingerstyle guitarist played a total of four compositions, including an as-yet-unnamed new number. The opener of “Everything the Light Touched,” with Prymek accompanied on accordion, proved the perfect, ethereal kickoff to a night that also included performances by Dylan Golden Aycock and Bridget St. John (those recordings coming soon). Prymek’s style has a welcoming, unforced quality to it that suggests that he is more interested in communicating the emotions in his music than his ability to play guitar. It’s the type of experience that sticks with you, even if it’s your first time seeing him; he leaves a warmth behind. So if you find Lake Mary in your town, make sure to make the trip to see him.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones at the stage lip and a soundboard feed. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Thanks to Jeff Conklin of Avant Ghetto Presents for sponsoring and inviting us to the show. Check out Jeff’s WFMU radio show here.

Stream and download the complete show from our bandcamp page:

Lake Mary
2016-10-21
The Schoolhouse
Brooklyn, NY

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (onstage)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, align, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 Everything the Light Touched>[new]
02 [banter]
03 Blue Spruce
04 [banter2]
05 Porch Music

Support Lake Mary at his Bandcamp page

Bardo Pond: November 18, 2016 Union Pool

December 14, 2016
By


[photo by Greg Cristman for BrooklynVegan. Used with permission.]

Despite being from nearby Philly, Bardo Pond don’t make it to New York nearly as often as I would like. Or maybe my version of “often” is too frequent. Either way, the band continue to prove their vitality and consistency into their third decade. This show at Union Pool began with one of their more recent favorites of mine, “Kali Yuga Blues” from Peace on Venus, but spread across the spectrum of the band’s career, from the Lapsed classic “Straw Dog” to several brand-new songs that haven’t made their way onto official releases yet.  Of the new ones, it was my first time hearing, “My Eyes Out,” a heavy, relatively fast-burning scorcher of a tune. It’s equally hard to deny the band’s new more exploratory number, “Moment to Moment,” which closed out this show for fourteen mind-bending minutes. If there was any regret about this show, it was that the show’s tight timetable meant that it couldn’t go on longer. Judging by the band’s appearances this year, they are feeling more artistically vital than ever, and ready to prove it. Hope to see them again soon.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from Union Pool engineer Robert (which fades in after about 50 seconds), together with Schoeps MK4V microphones. The only other flaw in the sound is the hiss of the smoke machine, but it’s less a true flaw than “atmospherics.” Overall, the sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream and download this recording from our bandcamp page – pay what you want (all $$ to Bardo Pond)

Bardo Pond 
2016-11-18
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: Robert) + Schoeps MK4V (at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:08:31]
01 Kula Yuga Blues
02 Taste
03 Be A Fish
04 Two Planes
05 Crossover
06 Out of Reach
07 Straw Dog
08 My Eyes Out
09 Under the Pines
10 Moment to Moment

SUPPORT Bardo Pond: Website | Three Lobed Recordings | Fire Records

Steve Gunn: December 9, 2016 Bell House

December 11, 2016
By



Watching Steve Gunn and his latest band play this performance at The Bell House reminded me of the below Gunn performance with Alex Bleeker & the Freaks at the “Play Dead” show that we captured in 2015. Gunn’s music at the time — consisting of solo guitar records, his duo work in Gunn-Truscinski Duo, and his two Paradise of Bachelors LPs, Time Off and Way Out Weather — wasn’t necessarily the work of someone who revered the Dead. But as he and Bleeker’s band played “Wharf Rat” that night, it all clicked. Part of what continues to make the Grateful Dead so special is that there are multiple entry points to the band, a whole universe of styles and vibes contained within individual tours and individual shows and, even, individual songs. Gunn wasn’t a person who mimicked the band’s style(s), at all, but he had absorbed many of their lessons. And this show, more than most of his I have seen, proved it.

This show, the band’s final of the year after a long slog of touring and greatly increased exposure thanks to Gunn’s Matador Records debut, Eyes On the Lines, was my first time seeing most of Eyes On the Lines in the live setting, despite having seen Gunn several times this year. Maybe it was the hometown crowd, whose love is unconditional and the opposite of the “play the hits” mentality of the festival crowds, maybe it was the finely honed interplay among the musicians, maybe it was just them saying “fuck it” and doing things the way they wanted — whatever it was, Gunn and Co. came out and turned even some of the relatively concise material of Eyes On the Lines into life-affirming jams that both challenged and enlightened. What’s most gratifying about watching an artist that you’ve followed for a while keep doing this after achieving his greatest commercial popularity to date is to know how unafraid of it he is, how resolutely true to himself.

Gunn bookended the show with stripped-down songs, starting things off with a fourteen-minute solo acoustic “Old Strange” that was a classic mix of Gunn’s earnest lyrics and desert blues guitar, with the “Wildwood” encore with James Elkington on the electric and Steve on the acoustic. While hearing the new songs — especially a personal favorite, “Ancient Jules” — was a blast, what also stuck me was once again how the music cut through the heaviness of the political moment without flinching from it. Gunn’s impassioned intro to “Park Bench Smile” about inclusion and “fighting what the fuck’s happening” hit its mark, but the song, as rendered, spoke for itself. A noisy, messy, emphatic rendition of the song, it felt like so much of this moment, chaotic but, ultimately, resolved into something hopeful, defiant, and right. What a way to end a year.

I recorded this set with engineer David Hurtgen’s house mix combined with Schoeps MK41V hypercardiod microphones. David’s regular work with the venue shows here, as the sound is dialed in and excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Steve Gunn
2016-12-09
The Bell House
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: David Hurtgen) + Schoeps MK41V (at SBD, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:26:57]
01 [intro]
02 Old Strange [solo acoustic]
03 Way Out Weather
04 Conditions Wild
05 [banter]
06 Ancient Jules
07 Night Wander
08 Full Moon Tide
09 [banter2]
10 Ark
11 [banter3]
12 Park Bench Smile
13 [encore break]
14 Wildwood [duo w/ Elkington]

Band:
Steve Gunn
James Elkington – Guitar
Jason Meagher – Bass
John Truscinski – Drums

PLEASE SUPPORT STEVE GUNN: Go to matadorrecords.com or your local record store and buy Eyes On the Lines. 

And then, please consider donating to local organizations that support freedom and fair treatment for all, such as the New York Civil Liberties Union and the New York Immigration Coalition.

Herbcraft: November 13, 2016 Trans-Pecos

November 30, 2016
By

herbcraft-1

The first time I saw Herbcraft, I had no idea who they were, had barely gotten set up, and had no idea what to expect. Two years later, I can say that that show by the Portland, Maine band remains one of the true gems of my entire recording “career,” and one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve ever come across from a live band period, let alone an opener. The band’s fluid, almost entirely improvisational sets are a thing of cosmic beauty, taking you to that comfortable yet foreign place where your mind and music unite. This set at Trans-Pecos, opening for MV & EE, continued in that vein, as the band played an extended thirty minute improv that even they couldn’t give a name to. This afternoon set required neither fancy lights nor the cover of darkness to take us back to that place, to open our minds and our imaginations to a better world that is not quite our own. Dig in.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones in the audience and Naiant X-X omnidirectional microphones split onstage. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream the complete set below. You can download it on a “Pay What You Will” basis from our bandcamp site if you click through.

Herbcraft
2016-11-13
Trans-Pecos
Queens, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC)>KCY>Z-PFA + Naiant X-X (split onstage)>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 Live at Trans-Pecos

PLEASE SUPPORT Herbcraft: Bandcamp | Facebook | Woodsist

MV & EE: November 13, 2016 Trans-Pecos

November 22, 2016
By

mvee_starno
[photo by Sierra Starno. See more of her great work on her Instagram page]

Matt Valentine and Erika Elder, aka MV & EE, have a prolific output of records — 147 releases, if Discogs can be believed — that spans everything from proper albums to live CDRs to all manner of weird EPs and one-offs. But their most recent release, Root/Void, has been one of the most notable. The band’s first record for WoodsistRoot/Void has some of the band’s most focused songwriting to date, without losing the cosmic, herbal flow that gives this couple such a unique musical voice. The band’s latest isn’t missing the homegrown quality that makes MV & EE feel like a perpetually well-kept secret, but it will probably rope in some newcomers along the way.

This show at Trans-Pecos, presented by nyctaper, was pleasantly devoid of political conversation, though by virtue of existing, its politics were evident. Held on a bracing but sunny afternoon in Ridgewood, a like-minded group of souls gathered around the stage as Valentine and Elder pulled out a jam-heavy (even by their standards) hour-plus long set that covered recent road favorites like “Tea Devil” as well as some of the new album’s best jams. Perhaps the winner on that front would be “Roll On,” which arrived here as a furious, 16-minute squall that flowed into “Love Lemma” to close out the show. It was as “rock n’ roll” as this band gets, and it befitted the moment, as the sun fell in the afternoon sky, casting colored shadows on the two players as they did what they do best.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed, together with Schoeps MK4V microphones in the crowd and Naiant X-X microphones onstage. Matt Valentine was kind enough to mix the sources to his specifications, and the result is a true MV & EE burner.  We are offering this recording in a new format that we believe will benefit both the artists and the fans — our new “official” bandcamp page. The downloads are offered in every format on a “pay what you will” basis, and streaming remains free via the bandcamp page and their handy mobile app. We hope you are as proud of the new effort as we are. Enjoy!

Stream and download this show from our new bandcamp page:

MV & EE
2016-11-13
Trans-Pecos
Queens, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper bandcamp
Recorded by acidjack
Produced by Matt Valentine

Soundboard (mono) + Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC)>KCY>Z-PFA + Naiant X-X (split omni, onstage)>>Zoom F8>3x24bit/48kHz WAV>Matt’s wizardry>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:08:22]
01 Much Obliged
02 Stars Are In Your Eyes
03 Coot Moon Rap
04 No $>Shit’s Creek
05 Tea Devil>Tea Jam
06 Shout Outs Rap
07 Roll On>jam>Love Lemma

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT MV & EE: Their Website | Buy Root/Void from Woodsist | Twitter

Ryley Walker: November 3, 2016 Villain

November 16, 2016
By

ryley_sierra_starno

[Photo by Sierra Starno on Instagram]

The second time I saw Ryley Walker happened to be not long after I had received some bad news. I had immersed myself in his music since encountering him at Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh some months before. This time, I knew what to expect from him, but on a personal level, I felt unmoored in a way that I hadn’t in years. What struck me as he poured himself into “Summer Dress” that afternoon at Rough Trade in 2014 was not that the actual words he was saying necessarily spoke to my condition, but the way they sounded. Part of the beauty of Walker’s work is that his often-obtuse lyrics can be a blank canvas, albeit one surrounded by a complex web of sound. I couldn’t speculate what Ryley had experienced in order to pen these songs, but whatever it was, somehow, hearing him experience it made me feel better.

This show, at the multipurpose Williamburg venue Villain (relocated from the temporarily re-shuttered Market Hotel), took place less than week before what would become the most catastrophic political event in my lifetime, so I can’t say that it gave me the same level of comfort at the time. Listening back to this performance now, though, I think this music once again serves the same purpose. Even in the darkest of times, there are voices that speak to us, that lift us up, that remind us why it’s worth it to go on.

This set came at the rollicking end of the band’s U.S. tour. And I do mean band. As has been the case with recent shows I’ve seen, Ryley arrived with not only the stalwarts Ryan Jewell on drums and Anton Hatwich on bass, but he also had sometime musical partner Bill MacKay there to do double duty with him on guitar. It befitted not only this larger room (you can hear its size in the recording) but the direction Ryley has preferred of late, with his album songwriting serving as more of a jumping off point to dense psychedelic folk jams, Grateful Dead-style, than as pieces to stand by themselves. To wit, this show of just four songs was the longest I’ve seen by Walker yet–over 80 minutes long.

One of Walker’s more interesting paradoxes is how different his between-song persona is from the music he plays. To the same degree that his songs drift toward melancholy and darkness, the guy that shows up in between traffics in an exuberant, could-give-a-fuck abandon, cracking jokes about showing up at the wrong kind of “improv” party, talking about his band of accomplished jazz players as if they’re no different than the twenty-year-old punk knuckleheads down the block. Maybe that’s right–maybe they’re not. Music itself may often be serious, but it doesn’t have to be somber, at least in a room of friends.

My favorite of this night’s numbers was a song from Ryley’s latest, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, that I hadn’t seen live yet. This twenty-three minute version of “Age Old Tale” began with a sustained ambient noise jam that paid homage to this neighborhood’s roots (“this is where you’d have gone to see a noise band fifteen years ago” Ryley said of the room, or something approximate). If you’d walked in during this song, you might have had no idea that the best comparison that certain corporate publications can come up with for Ryley is Van Morrison. It might be true of his albums, to a point, but what you experience in the room is something else entirely, and a sustaining reason why I personally never miss his shows. We need music right now. We especially need music like this.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from the FOH Ryan together with Schoeps MK4V microphones back by the soundboard. If I do say so myself, it’s pretty fucking cool that I got a shoutout from stage during the process of recording this. This isn’t one of the easier rooms, sound-wise, but based on the music alone, this recording should be a must-add to your collection.

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

Stream the complete show:

Ryley Walker
2016-11-03
Villain
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: Ryan) + Schoeps MK4V (DFC, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 [intro banter]
02 The Roundabout
03 [banter2]
04 Sullen Mind
05 [banter3]
06 Age Old Tale
07 [banter4]
08 Funny Thing She Said

Band
Ryley Walker
Bill MacKay – Guitar
Anton Hatwich – Bass
Ryan Jewell – Drums

PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker: Website | Twitter | “Ryley Walker Bootlegs” (his word, not ours)

Lambchop: September 8, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC)

November 14, 2016
By

img_1451

By now, Lambchop fans have had a chance to hear the band’s daring new record, FLOTUS, a critically-acclaimed shot across the bow to anyone who would dare claim a classic artist can’t reinvent themselves. But back in September, at the Hopscotch Music Festival, fans were probably more ready for a show like the one we witnessed there in 2012, or any number of the band’s lauded full-band shows whose cast can stretch to over a dozen people.  So when Kurt Wagner sang the first Vocoder-enhanced lines of “NIV” — a song nobody there had heard before — a fan might have been forgiven for being freaked out. When the entire show, including pre-FLOTUS material, continued in that vein, you have to imagine more than a few WTFs were exchanged. But that would have been a serious mistake, as not only are these new songs compelling in their own right, but the very fact of their existence says something special, too. Artists in the third decade of their career don’t often make these kinds of stylistic moves, and when they do, they often ring hollow. Wagner had already experimented with an electronic sound with his side project HeCTA in 2015, but for that to migrate to his main act represents an additional leap.

Wagner, on the other hand, has made a stripped-down, gorgeous album whose songwriting, pacing and structure (bookended by two epic-length tracks) are as equally of note as the dedication to the vocoder. The new sound echoes something essential about our era, taking a style once so resolutely organic and making it largely electronic. You feel both excited by the new possibility, yet threatened by the loss of something more natural, more human.

Here, in Raleigh’s comfortable Fletcher Opera Theater, those electronic tones were warmed up by not only the band’s physical presence, but Wagner and his bandmates’ banter, which alone was worth the price of admission. If he gets tired of music, pianist Tony Crow might well have a career in front of him as a comic sideman, as he traded jokes with Wagner throughout the night. Though this was the first time that many of these songs saw the light of day, it turns out that these versions are faithful to the album versions. Equally interesting were the FLOTUS-fied versions of earlier material like the standout Mr. M track “If Not I’ll Just Die” and several of its fellow Mr. M tracks. Stripped of that album’s lush arrangements, we’re left with arctic tone of Wagner’s altered words. The effect was unsettling but lovely, adding focus to Wagner’s words.

If you haven’t heard FLOTUS yet, I’d encourage you to give it a shot. Whether you knew Lambchop before or not, the album, and the quality of its songs, stands on its own as an of-the-moment document by an artist who has followed his own muse for decades. Also, I’d like to thank our friends at Merge Records for letting us post this recording. As eager as we were to share it with the world, both Merge and we thought the best thing was to hold back this live show of a large chunk of the new album until fans have gotten to hear it for themselves. Now, you can compare the two side by side.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed and Schoeps MK4V microphones. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/Apple Lossless]

Stream the complete show:

Lambchop
2016-09-08
Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

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

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (ROC, at SBD)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 NIV
02 The Hustle
03 [banter]
04 Poor Bastard
05 Old Masters
06 If Not I’ll Just Die
07 [banter2]
08 Gone Tomorrow
09 In Care of 8675309
10 [banter3]
11 Nice Without Mercy
12 [banter4]
13 Directions To the Can
14 [encore break]
15 When You Were Mine

PLEASE SUPPORT Lambchop: Website | Merge Records

Support nyctaper

DISCLAIMER and LEGAL NOTICE

nyctaper.com is a live music blog that offers a new paradigm of music distribution on the web. The recordings are offered for free on this site as are the music posts, reviews and links to artist sites. All recordings are posted with artist permission or artists with an existing pro-taping policy.

All recordings and original content posted on this site are @nyctaper.com as live recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. Section 106, et. seq. Redistribution of nyctaper recordings without consent of nyctaper.com is strictly prohibited.

nyctaper.com hereby waives all copyright claims to any and all recordings posted on this site to THE PERFORMERS ONLY. If any artist posted on this site requests that recordings be removed, those recordings will be removed forthwith.