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Spacin’ & Purling Hiss: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Tir na Nog, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 17, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

Day two of the Hopscotch Music Festival was one filled with surprises. I started the day with the Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show and its many one-off collaborations, and ended with this last-minute collision between Philadelphia’s twin scuzz-rock juggernauts. Purling Hiss and Spacin‘ are the best kind of kindred spirits, band that crank their amps to eleven and check any and all pretension at the door. The combined band played two originals each, plus Spacin’s classic cover of MC5’s “American Ruse”. The five songs stretched for a total of forty-five minutes, offering ample opportunities for guitar pyrotechnics from all. If minds hadn’t been blown enough already, the band was joined for the final number, Hiss’ “Almost Washed My Hair”, by North Carolina harpist Mary Lattimore (fresh from her Three Lobed/WXDU collab with Thurston Moore) and Steve Gunn (similarly on deck after an epic performance with William Tyler and members of Yo La Tengo, which is posted here). If you doubt how a harpist can make her presence felt with four blaring guitars already on stage, well, you ought to get to know Lattimore, who added a layer of musical complexity to the roaring proceedings. If today was the day of collaborations, there couldn’t have been a better way to end it.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from Tir Na Nog engineer Brandon plus Audio Technica 3031 microphones back by the board. Unfortunately, my request to place the mics onstage was denied, meaning they were fairly far back in an echo-y room. As our recordings go on this site, the quality is not the best, but the vibe comes through loud and clear. As the band’s own albums hew to a “lo-fi” aesthetic, perhaps in some ways the recording is true to that. With that caveat, enjoy this exceptional performance!

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

Stream the complete show:

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

Spacin’/Purling Hiss
Hopscotch Music Festival
Tir na Nog
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
recorded and produced by acidjack

Audio Technica 3031 (at SBD, ROC)+Soundboard (engineer: Brandon)>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, levels, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, fades, dither and downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 45:49]
01 Sunshine No Shoes [Spacin’]
02 Titchy [Spacin’]
03 American Ruse [MC5]
04 Run From the City [Purling Hiss]
05 [tuning]
06 Almost Washed My Hair [Purling Hiss]*

* with Mary Lattimore on harp and Steve Gunn on guitar

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT these musicians. You can pick up Spacin’s records at their bandcamp page, and Purling Hiss’s records at their bandcamp page and their latest Weirdon over at Drag City.

Daniel Bachman and Nathan Bowles: September 5, 2014 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 16, 2014

"photo by PJ Sykes"
[Photo by PJ Sykes]

As I said in our last post about the co-sponsored Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show during Hopscotch Music Festival, one of the things that made this best-curated-of-the-fest day so special were the number of one-off collaborations that went down. Nathan Bowles has been all around the scene for a while now, lending his banjo and other skills to such diverse acts as the drone wizards Pelt, the Appalachian-influenced Black Twig Pickers, Steve Gunn, plus his solo work. Daniel Bachman, who has been on the site twice, is as prolific as he is talented. His latest release, Orange Co. Serenade appeared on the tiny North Carolina imprint Bathetic Records around the same time that the Virginian chose to relocate to Durham, NC.

For this very special first-time collaboration, Bachman and Bowles (joined by local guitarist Zeke Graves) chose to pay tribute to classic southern sounds, first serving up an acoustic version of Jeffrey Cain’s “Moonshine Is the Sunshine” from his 1970 album For You, followed by the legendary North Carolina guitarist Link Wray’s “Waterboy”, which turned into a massive sixteen-minute guitar freakout with Graves and Bachman’s dueling electric guitars backed by Bowles doing a turn on percussion. From the day’s first act, we ended up hearing one of the highlights of the entire show.

I recorded this set, as with all of these sets, with Schoeps MK4V microphones on stage and a soundboard feed from the King’s staff. The sound quality, particularly on the Link Wray song, is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the recording: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set:

Daniel Bachman and Nathaniel Bowles
Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Day Show
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (on stage pair)>KC5>CMC6>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, fade, amplify, balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 32:10]
01 [intro]
02 Moonshine Is the Sunshine [Jeffrey Cain]
03 Waterboy [Link Wray]

Musicians (in alphabetical order)
Daniel Bachman – acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
Nathaniel Bowles – banjo, percussion, vocals
Zeke Graves – electric guitar, sruti box

If you enjoyed this recording, SUPPORT these musicians by visiting their sites and buying their stuff. You can find Nathan Bowles here and buy his stuff here; Daniel Bachman’s latest can be purchased from Bathetic Records here.

Spoon: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, NC – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Set

September 15, 2014

[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]

Even before they were popular and therefore backlash-ready, Spoon caught flack for not being “interesting” enough. Their music has a consistency to it that I find oddly divisive. Most bands would be lucky to have one sequence of tunes as good as their high watermark, Gimme Fiction, while Spoon has come close to that feat on almost every record. Maybe this year’s They Want My Soul will be applauded as the stylistic tweak that convinces the doubters, but who’s to say for sure. If you wanted experimental music, Hopscotch Music Festival offered lots of excellent examples. But if you’re an organizer trying to pack in your festival’s public stage on a Friday night, the right move is a band so dialed in at their craft that they’re a sure thing that’s nevertheless a thrill. Spoon aren’t a flashy band, or a gimmicky one. They’re in that rare category of music’s winners, whose success is hard-earned and whose work still deserves the love. If consistency is a sin, then let’s let more bands sin the way they do.

Spoon packed Raleigh, North Carolina’s City Plaza on the festival’s penultimate night more than any other band would or did. It’s safe to guess that most of this crowd had not heard the new material live, so they gave it to us right away with “Knock Knock Knock” and “Rent I Pay” before dishing up the last-decade classic “Don’t You Evah”. The band’s cadence never wavered, and the crowd showed as much love to each of the new songs as to Gimme Fiction mainstays like “The Beast and the Dragon Adored” and “I Turn My Camera On”. The former song gives the band a new North Carolina connection, as Hiss Golden Messenger recently covered the track, with Raleigh-area mainstay and touring member Matt Douglas on keys.

One had to grin at “Outlier”, from They Want My Soul, a key-driven song that’s the most stylistically au courant of the new material, and one that might be interpreted as a question mark to rock fans themselves. It also drops the album’s best line, which gives Spoon’s own view about bland “indie” tropes: “And I remember when you walked out of Garden State / ’cause you had taste, you had taste / you had no time to waste”. When they followed that with “The Underdog”, warning its subject that having no fear of the underdog is a mistake, you had to think this was the part of the set that frontman Britt Daniel had reserved to talk about his own band. The band’s brief encore consisted of with “Inside Out” from the new record, “The Way We Get By” and the closer, “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”, sending the festivalgoers into a night of music that was just getting started.

It’s worth noting that Spoon owe a good bit of their success to one of North Carolina’s finest institutions, the Durham, NC-based Merge Records, a little label whose cultural reach makes you sometimes forget how small and independent they really are. It was on Merge that Spoon hit their groove and found their broadest audience. Being here in Raleigh, on the fifth anniversary of a festival that serves as the entire state’s musical ambassador, felt necessary and right.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones just in front of the board dead center. While you can hear some people chattering at points on headphones, the sound quality is overall excellent. Enjoy!

Download the set from the Live Music Archive: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full show from the Live Music Archive:

[crowd shot by acidjack]

Hopscotch Music Festival
City Plaza
Raleigh, NC USA

Hosted at
recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB/DFC)>KC5>CMC6>Roland R-26>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:10:57]
01 [intro music]
02 Knock Knock Knock>
03 Rent I Pay
04 Don’t You Evah
05 Small Stakes
06 Who Makes Your Money
07 Don’t Make Me a Target
08 Do You
09 The Beast and Dragon, Adored
10 I Turn My Camera On
11 I Summon You
12 Outlier
13 The Underdog
14 Got Nuffin
15 Black Like Me
16 [encore break]
17 Inside Out
18 The Way We Get By
19 You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Spoon, visit their website, and buy their records in their store and at Merge Records.



Little Black Egg Big Band (feat. Steve Gunn, Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew, Letha Rodman Melchior and William Tyler): September 5, 2014 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC (Donation Download)

September 9, 2014

photo by PJ Sykes
[photo courtesy of PJ Sykes]


This year’s third Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU co-produced Day Show during the Hopscotch Music Festival was an embarrassment of riches once again, featuring a number of one-time-only collaborations. But perhaps nothing was more hotly anticipated than the brief spring into existence of the Little Black Egg Big Band, named after Georgia Hubley’s solo guitar project Little Black Egg, which she has performed only rarely:  guitar luminaries Steve Gunn and William Tyler together with Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew of Yo La TengoLetha Rodman Melchior also provided the pre-recorded material that was mixed and manipulated into the live recording.

Hubley, Kaplan and McNew’s participation in this event was brought about in part by their desire to support Melchior, a friend and fellow musician who hoped to join for the day show but was physically unable. Melchior, who has played music under her own name as well as under the alias Tretetam, and in the band Ruby Falls, was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in 2010, which she has documented on a personal blog. Melchior’s illness has produced considerable financial hardship for her and husband Dan Melchior in addition to the agony of her cancer. An effort to offer further support to Melchior is also the reason why we are honored to offer this performance to the wider world today.

What the fans in the room at King’s in Raleigh saw at the show (along with those who heard it on the stream by Duke University’s WXDU) were five masterful musicians collaborating in real time on an at-times brooding, but oddly hopeful soundscape. Instead of soloing all over each other, each artist blended into a whole that spoke with one voice. Over its nearly forty minutes, the piece gains on itself in increments, with the bed of guitars and Melchior’s pre-recorded effects manipulated by McNew, a technique familiar to anyone who has seen him perform as Dump.

The piece honored Melchior as well as the spirit of the entire event, which celebrated the power of experimental music, the validity of independent labels and college radio, artist-run venues like King’s, and the ever-present, unquenchable thirst that the best artists have to evolve, change, and create. Three Lobed has a fan base primed to understand that this particular grouping probably wouldn’t be playing YLT classics like “Big Day Coming” with a bunch of extra guitars added in. What was expected, and what was received, was a unique offering that could exist only in this single moment. It was a performance for the benefit of people who believe the best artists never stop taking chances and are as generous with the product of their minds as they are with their time. People like the ones sitting on that stage.

This recording was made with Schoeps MK4V microphones in the center of the stage, combined with a stereo soundboard feed by the King’s staff. Because this download is offered for donation only, we are not streaming it, but you can trust me that the quality has been approved by the artists and is excellent. We are deeply grateful to all of the five artists involved for playing this show and for giving us the opportunity to help benefit Melchior and share this music with the wider world.

Thanks to Cory Rayborn, Ross Grady, Kelly Davis (and everyone else at WXDU), Paul Siler of King’s Barcade, Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, James McNew, Steve Gunn and William Tyler for making this possible.


This recording raised approximately $4,000 in seven days for a worthy cause. We thank the artists and the others noted above, as well as all who participated, for their support of Letha Rodman Melchior. 

Rodney Bowles LBEBB -1
[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]

Little Black Egg Big Band
Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Day Show
Hopscotch Music Festival
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted for donation only at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (onstage pair)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, light compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (adjust stereo image, light EQ, light harmonic effects)>xAct (tagging and conversions)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 38:28]
01 improvisation

Musicians (in alphabetical order)
Steve Gunn
Georgia Hubley
Ira Kaplan
James McNew
Letha Rodman Melchior (pre-recorded material mixed and incorporated into the performance)
William Tyler

Along with supporting Letha Rodman Melchior, please support these musicians. You can buy Steve Gunn’s albums from Three Lobed and Paradise of Bachelors, Yo La Tengo’s recordings from their website and Matador Records, and William Tyler’s latest work from Merge Records.  

Rodney Bowles LBEBB-2
[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]

Yvette: September 4, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, CAM Raleigh, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 9, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

Yvette represent the best things about New York, including their creative daring, uncompromising sound, and their homegrown fledgling label Godmode. When Pitchfork anointed their album Process with a positive an accurate review last year, the site’s Stuart Berman accurately described the duo as sounding “like an army”. Indeed, between drummer Dale Eisinger and vocalist/guitarist Noah Kardos-Fein produce a kind of high-intensity noise that brings to mind everything from mechanical sounds to the foreboding tones heard in certain kinds of Hollywood disaster films — if they were made by an industrial art-punk band.

This set took place at CAM Raleigh on the Hopscotch Music Festival’s first night, and despite the torrential downpour and the far-flung location, the band brought a dedicated crowd to the art museum’s cavernous performance space. This mix of new material and songs from their 2013 record Process was delivered as a seamless piece, further proving the duo’s impeccable timing. The set proved an emotionally taut thirty minutes, with dissonance tones flowing in and out of the frame, the sound hitting screeching climaxes before retreating into shadowed valleys. Yvette fall into that group of bands who are probably best experienced in the live setting, where the listener can’t flip away from band to band. You need to follow Yvette where they’re going, for the duration, to capture just how good they are at what they do. Thurston Moore was up next in an improvised set with Steve Shelley. Yvette gave him a tough act to follow.

I recorded this set with Audio Technica cardiod microphones split wide at the stage lip together with a soundboard feed. There stereo separation and sound quality in general are outstanding, among the very best of my recordings from the festival. This is offered as a streaming full set as well as a download below. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we respectfully 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.


Hopscotch Music Festival
CAM Raleigh
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Audio Technica 3031 (onstage pair)+Soundboard>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (volume adjustments, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (adjust stereo image, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (amplify, track, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Pure Pleasure
02 Radiation
03 [untitled]
04 Carbon Copy
05 [untitled]
06 Mirrored Walls
07 Absolutes
08 Cuts Me In Half

If you enjoy this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Yvette, visit their bandcamp page, and buy Process from Godmode here.

The War on Drugs: September 4, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 8, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

The Hopscotch Music Festival, held in Raleigh, North Carolina, has made it five years — not quite an eternity in a world of corporate music festivals like SXSW and Lollapalooza, but a rare achievement for an organically grown festival in a “midsize market” that has proven over and over that they are willing to take chances. Hopscotch is the festival willing to put a heavy metal band on its largest, outdoor, downtown stage on its Saturday night, rather than a more accessible mainstream act.  Hopscotch dedicates entire venues, at various times, to genres like experimental noise, ambient, thrash, black metal, and indie hip-hop. It is hosted in a city whose good humor and kindness borders upon unreal, sprawled across a fast-growing downtown, and unlike the best-known festival that attempts to use an entire city’s music venues as part of its sprawl, it opens everything to everyone, not reserving entry to “the big stuff” for the connected and the corporate.

Hopscotch, then, has much in common with The War on Drugs. I’ll make this bold claim now: they are the best rock act who has released an album this year. They didn’t get to that point quickly, or with flash, or with marketing, or even at times with buzz, though we did our best over here at this site. Three years ago, we caught them opening at Bowery Ballroom for Sharon Van Etten, another artist whose acclaim grew slowly on the back of honesty and hard work. This band grew on the back of the validity of their mission, the honesty of their approach, and their hard, hard work. Just like Hopscotch.

Adam Granduciel’s herculean writing and arranging on Lost In the Dream is well documented. He has applied that same intensity to the expanded live show for this tour, which we first caught on back to back dates in March, including the band’s rather hyped cover of “Mind Games”. Not every band’s play for the big time might include a bunch of double-radio-length songs, but not every band is The War on Drugs. What we got here at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre was a set that resembled some of what we heard back in March, including the expanded band that includes Jon Natchez on keyboards. A packed and somewhat chatty room got to see the band joined by local music maven Brad Cook of Megafaun on “Ocean” followed by a searing rendition of “Red Eyes” and closing the main set on the album’s title track. The highlight of the encore was another rare cover, Bill Fay’s “I Hear You Calling”, which ended my first night of Hopscotch in exactly the right way. If you don’t see another act this year, go see The War on Drugs, a band whose heart matches their massive sound, bound for the arenas they deserve.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones at the soundboard rather than our preferred spot in Lincoln Theatre that is a bit closer. Due to technical issues a soundboard feed was not available, and there is some enthusiastic audience chatter on this that makes the sound inferior to the two recordings from March, though still quite good. Plenty more Hopscotch recordings will be coming 0ver the next month or so as well. Keep your eyes on this space.

This recording is now hosted on the Live Music Archive.  Download the complete show via these links: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream “I Hear You Calling” [Bill Fay]

Stream the full set:

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.


The War on Drugs
Hopscotch Music Festival
Lincoln Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41 (DINa, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, mix down, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:32:48]
01 Burning
02 Comin’ Through
03 Eyes to the Wind
04 Under the Pressure
05 In Reverse>
06 An Ocean In Between the Waves
07 [banter]
08 Brothers [with Brad Cook of Megafaun]
09 Baby Missiles>
10 Suffering
11 [banter2]
12 Red Eyes
13 Lost in the Dream
14 [encore break and segue music]
15 Disappearing
16 Your Love Is Calling My Name
17 I Hear You Calling [Bill Fay]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT The War on Drugs, visit their website, and buy Lost In the Dream from Secretly Canadian

Heroes of Toolik: May 14, 2014 Cameo Gallery – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

August 28, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

Heroes of Toolik are an art rock band from the New York/New Jersey area comprised of veteran players – Peter Zummo (trombone) is an avant jazzer (ex-Lounge Lizards), while Arad Evans (guitar/vocals) has toured with avant-noise luminaries Rhys Chatham and is a current member of the Glenn Branca Ensemble. Ernie Brooks (bass) was in the original Modern Lovers, while Jennifer Coates (violin/vocals) is an accomplished old style country fiddler with her own band, Jenny Gets Around. What comes together among the group of them is a brand of well-informed rock n’ roll that draws on these influences without over-complicating itself.

This show at Cameo Gallery served as a warmup for Heroes of Toolik’s just-released Aquarium School seven-inch, and found the band previewing that material alongside work from their 2012 debut LP Winter Moon. The band performs with the cohesive, relaxed vibe you’d expect of accomplished musicians, and the stylistic palette of these tunes reflected artists from the Velvet Underground to Zappa and Beefheart to hints (for me) of the Grateful Dead. The band gave us two takes of “Aquarium School”, which was also being filmed for video, the better of which came at the end of the set and is the version recorded here. We recommend you check out their upcoming gig on September 24 at the Zurcher Gallery in Manhattan, which should be a fine combination of an art rock band playing among visual artwork. The gallery is featuring work by Michael Dotson and Irena Jurek from now through just after the date of the show.

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

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

Stream the complete show: 

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

Heroes of Toolik
Cameo Gallery
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard>>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 Young Venus
02 Something Like Night
03 Blind Man’s Stare
04 Yellow-Haired Sea
05 Lou Reed
06 Perfect
07 Aquarium School
08 F String

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Heroes of Toolik, like them on Facebook, and buy the Aquarium School 7″ here.

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
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
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
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].

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