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Clearance: October 13, 2017 Rough Trade NYC

October 20, 2017
By

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]

Clearance
2017-10-13
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com

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
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

PLEASE SUPPORT CLEARANCE: bandcampFacebook 

Widowspeak: October 13, 2017 Rough Trade NYC

October 17, 2017
By


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]

Widowspeak
2017-10-13
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com

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
By

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
2017-09-08
Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree
King’s
Raleigh, NC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack
Hosted at nyctaper.com

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 )

Tracks
01 Blank Range
02 [untitled for now]
03 Freshfaced

SUPPORT NATHAN BOWLES: Pay to download this recording | Website | Bandcamp | Paradise of Bachelors

Songs: Molina: September 8, 2017 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC)

October 12, 2017
By

After attending one of the four 2014 Jason Molina tributes put on by his former bandmates and special guests, I wasn’t sure whether the tradition would continue. Thankfully, many of those same former Magnolia Electric Co. bandmates (as well as Mike Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger) were on hand for this extremely special evening at Hopscotch Music Festival (you can see the full lineup of people below). It’s not possible to replicate what Molina had, that injured moan of a voice with such depth behind it, but as these folks have proven, it is possible for his indelible songwriting to live on through others. Molina was much more than a performer or songwriter; he was a poet of the human condition and a penetrating chronicler of his own struggles.

Though a different vibe than the intimate Hideout in Chicago, this set established its own tension between celebration and mourning. Each musician onstage was connected with Molina in some way, and the set spanned several of Molina’s projects, from Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. to his solo work. No matter what flavor or style of Molina’s work you enjoyed most, there was something for you, from the countrified “Old Black Hen” and “Hope Dies Last” to more rocking numbers like “Hot Black Silk” and the “The Dark Don’t Hide It.” But as is so often the case for me personally, it was the two closing songs from 2003’s landmark Magnolia Electric Co. that got to me most — the impeccable, powerful statement of endurance and resurrection that is “Farewell Transmission,” followed by the elegiac “Hold On Magnolia,” an anticipation of an eventual end, abetted by its desperate plea to hold on a bit longer. Molina’s music is eternal, whether or not it continues to be performed live, but my hope is that it continues to be, by this cast of characters or a similar one. He was a singular presence in music, worthy of paragraphs (and indeed, an excellent bio). But really, his music speaks for itself. So go enjoy it.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones from the floor, together with a soundboard feed. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show from its Live Music Archive page: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Songs: Molina
2017-09-08
Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com

Schoeps MK4V (LOC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard>>Zoom F8 (24/48 WAV files)>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:37:54]
01 Whip-Poor-Will
02 Hammer Down
03 Just Be Simple
04 Old Black Hen
05 O! Grace
06 North Star
07 Cross the Road
08 [banter1]
09 Leave the City
10 Alone With the Owl
11 Hard to Love A Man
12 Shenandoah
13 What Comes After the Blues
14 Hope Dies Last
15 31 Seasons In the Minor Leagues
16 Northstar Blues
17 The Dark Don’t Hide It
18 Two Blue Lights
19 Hot Black Silk
20 Lioness
21 [banter2]
22 Farewell Transmission
23 Hold On Magnolia

Band:
Wallace Cochran – vocals
Jason Evans Groth – guitar and vocals
Skylar Gudasz – vocals
Michael Kapinus – keyboard and vocals
Joseph O’Connell – guitar, bass, vocals
Mark Rice – drums and vocals
Pete Schreiner – bass, guitar, vocals
MC Taylor – vocals and guitar
Casey Toll – bass

If you enjoyed this recording, you ought to purchase the music by many of these fine musicians, including Songs: OhiaMagnolia Electric Co., Hiss Golden Messenger.

Kevin Morby: September 9, 2017 Hopscotch Music Festival, King’s (Raleigh, NC)

October 10, 2017
By

Kevin Morby’s star continues to rise, and deservedly so, with his latest album City Music continuing the confident vein of his previous work. Like most of Kevin’s recent shows that I’ve attended, this headlining night at King’s during Hopscotch Music Festival was packed. I’m not sure how much of a contribution the Volvo commercial has made to Kevin’s popularity, but anything that gets more people in the door for him, I’ll take it. Certainly, Morby is now far beyond the “formerly of Woods” label; he’s a big deal in his own right.

This being the end of the night, the crowd was fired up and rowdy, and Morby and his band handled that gamely, putting on a loose-but-rocking set to go with the overall mood. Morby kept the set focused on the new record, while sprinkling it with some of his best-loved songs, including “Harlem River” from Kevin’s first album, of the same name, plus “I Have Been to the Mountain,” “Dorothy,” and “Destroyer” from Singing Saw. But it was the “encore” portion of this show that will probably be best remembered, as Morby took us through his version of reggae-rockers Sublime’s mid-90s classic, “What I Got,” followed by his special version of the Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll.” It was the perfect kind of end-of-festival show, with a meeting of the minds between performer and audience that benefited both.

I recorded this set with our friend Randy’s installed AKG 460 microphones in the “FOB/DFC” position, plus a feed of Evan Lamb’s house mix. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

You can catch Kevin on his fall tour of Europe right now. See the dates on his website here.

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

Kevin Morby
2017-09-09
Hopscotch Music Festival
King’s
Raleigh, NC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Evan Lamb) + AKG 460/CK61>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAVs>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:01:00]
01 intro>City Music
02 Crybaby
03 [banter1]
04 Aboard My Train
05 Harlem River
06 Destroyer
07 I Have Been to the Mountain
08 [banter2]
09 Dry Your Eyes
10 Dorothy
11 What I Got [Sublime]
12 Rock & Roll [Velvet Underground]

PLEASE SUPPORT Kevin Morby: Facebook | Website | Store

Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band: September 21, 2017 Union Pool

October 9, 2017
By

No matter how many times we see Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, we always have something new to look forward to. This set celebrated the official release on No Quarter records of Dreaming In the Non-Dream, whose material we had heard live in various stages of completion over the past year. The outstanding final album versions are a can’t miss, so it was interesting for us to see how they’ve evolved live since the album’s release. This show at Union Pool covered three quarters of the album (meaning, three out of four songs) as well as two favorites from The Rarity of Experience, “High Castle Rock” and set-closer “The First Ten Minutes of Cocksucker Blues.” Forsyth broke this show into three parts, which he characterized as the “high-impact instrumental section, the singing section, and the long section.” As Forsyth regulars, we were jazzed to get a rare cover — Neil Young’s “Don’t Be Denied” as part of the vocal portion. But really, any appointment with Chris and his excellent band is one worth keeping. Catch them out on the road stateside for a few November shows, including November 18 at Brooklyn Steel with Luna.

I recorded this set with MBHO cardiod microphones, together with Doug’s house. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band
2017-09-21
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

MBHO MBP603/KA200N (at SBD, PAS) + Soundboard (engineer: Doug)>Sound Devices MixPre6 (24bit/48kHz WAV)>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 History & Science Fiction
02 High Castle Rock
03 Have We Mistaken the Bottle for the Whiskey Inside
04 Don’t Be Denied [Neil Young]
05 Dreaming In the Non-Dream
06 The First Ten Minutes of Cocksucker Blues

SUPPORT Chris Forsyth: Website | Bandcamp

Nest Egg: September 7, 2017 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC)

October 6, 2017
By

Like any well-curated music festival, Hopscotch is very much an national and even global gathering, bringing in bands who otherwise might not make Raleigh, North Carolina one of their tour stops. But as much as Hopscotch should be celebrated for the riches it brings to the hometown crowd, it’s equally if not more responsible for giving a bigger platform to local and regional talent. To wit, on a stage that found Oh Sees and The Brian Jonestown Massacre headlining the night, the festival placed one of my favorite new bands of the festival, Asheville, North Carolina’s Nest Egg. With a dark, krautrock-inspired sound, Nest Egg went perfectly with the spooky light show and the “basement” (the giant bottom floor of the Raleigh Convention Center) setting. It’s hard to fully capture the effect of seeing this band live, but in person, the difference between them and the “merely OK” was evident; their sound is driving and delivered with precision, and that amplifies the already-considerable intensity of their music. In that respect, they remind me in a good way of the recently-disbanded Disappears, a longtime favorite of ours. Have a look at Nest Egg’s current material, and be on the lookout for future stuff from this outstanding band.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41V microphones inside the soundboard cage, coupled with a soundboard feed. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Nest Egg
2017-09-07
Hopscotch Music Festival
“The Basement”
Raleigh, NC USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack
Hosted at nyctaper.com

Schoeps MK4V (at SBD, DFC)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard>Zoom F8 (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 )

Tracks
01 Eraser
02 Smgfx
03 Booze Your Illusion
04 Gore ’92
05 Nfo
06 Gocg
07 Dmtiv

SUPPORT NEST EGG: Pay to download this recording, and buy their records on bandcamp

Dire Wolves: September 21, 2017 Union Pool

October 4, 2017
By

If one thing has felt consistent in the world in the past year, it’s been Beyond Is Beyond Is Beyond records and their roster of incredible acts. If you’ve got a predilection for all things psychedelic, you absolutely can’t miss one of their releases. In a crowded field of standouts this year, the label released Dire Wolves‘ Excursions to Cloudland, and I was hooked from the first note. The San Francisco band doesn’t make it out east all that often, and that made me even more pumped for this Union Pool show — their first NYC show in eight years. The three-song set (their songs are long) didn’t disappoint, with the band’s expansive jamming on full display on three songs I hadn’t heard before. Not only is Dire Wolves one of relatively few bands of their type with a string section, but the current lineup also features two vocalists (Georgia and Rachael) whose voices meld seamlessly into the sonic tapestry, more as additional instruments within the whole rather than the traditional rock vocal format. Don’t confuse the album title with the band’s vibe; there is a tension, a darkness even, that flows through these songs, particularly the set closer, “Absolutely Perfect Sisters.” Their music creates a journey, but it’s more saga than fairytale, with brooding and ecstasy in equal measures. In the end, though, seeing a band this good is always a pleasure trip, no matter what the exact themes. Get acquainted.

I recorded this set with MBHO microphones and the house mix by Doug. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

It’s very cool that this bandcamp release has already made a 2017 Uncut playlist. If you’re not familiar with Uncut, check it out.

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Dire Wolves
2017-09-21
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

MBHO MBP603/KA200N (at SBD, PAS) + Soundboard (engineer: Doug)>Sound Devices MixPre6 (24bit/48kHz WAV)>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 I Control the Weather
02 Crone In the Mud
03 Absolutely Perfect Sisters

SUPPORT DIRE WOLVES: Website | Facebook | buy their records

Dinosaur Jr.: October 2, 2017 Brooklyn Bowl (Night One)

October 3, 2017
By


[Photos courtesy of Omar Kasrawi and Pancakes and Whiskey]

The return of the original lineup of Dinosaur Jr. continues to be a good thing for fans, as the band’s vitality has never been stronger. Backed by his usual wall of amps, J. Mascis led the band through the first of two nights at Brooklyn Bowl like the pro that he is, delivering the scorching riffs for which he’s known on classic after classic. Lou Barlow whips his voluminous hair around like a man half his age; if you don’t see his face much these days, his stage presence is impossible to miss. Still on the road for their latest, Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not, the new material slots in with classics like “In A Jar” better than ever. Early in the set, we got both the winning “Lost All Day” and the Barlow-led “Left/Right,” which couldn’t help but sound a bit like a much-heavier Sebadoh. Given the likely generation of the crowd, it’s no shock that a mid-set “Feel the Pain” earned some of the most frenzied reaction, but it was a less-heard track from Where You Been, “Get Me” that was the real treat. The back half of the set continued in strong form, with a memorable “Freak Scene” and a one-two punch of an encore, with the other most popular Where You Been track “Out There” followed by an anarchic cover of The Stooges’ “TV Eye” with John Brannon of Negative Approach (and the night’s openers, Easy Action). The biggest challenge for this band, at least here in Brooklyn, will be topping themselves tonight.

I recorded this set from an “FOB” position along the right-side rail with MBHO microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Dinosaur Jr.
2017-10-02
Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn, NY USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com

MBHO 603A/KA200N (FOB, ROC)>Zoom F8 (24/48)>WAV>Adobe Audition CC (fades, limiter, light compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, image, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:38:03]
01 The Lung
02 Goin Down
03 Lost All Day
04 Left/Right
05 In A Jar
06 Watch the Corners
07 [tuning]
08 Crumble
09 Feel the Pain
10 Get Me
11 [tuning2]
12 The Wagon
13 Tarpit
14 Start Choppin’
15 Lose
16 Freak Scene
17 Forget the Swan
18 [encore break]
19 Out There
20 TV Eye [The Stooges]*

* w/ John Brannon

SUPPORT Dinosaur Jr.: Facebook | Website | Buy Their Records

Chuck Johnson: September 8, 2017 Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree (Raleigh, NC)

October 1, 2017
By

As a multitalented musician — a soundtrack composer, rock guitarist, and solo guitarist, among other things — it was nonetheless an exciting turn when the Bay Area (by way of NC) artist Chuck Johnson released Balsams, an album of pedal steel compositions that invented what Pitchfork rightly deemed a new genre unto itself: “country post-rock.” This being the annual Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree at King’s in Raleigh, NC, Johnson did the only-partly-expected, playing a Balsams track, “Riga Black,” but reworking the original into an extended ambient meditation. There’s an undeniable grace and peace to the work that melded perfectly with the afternoon’s inclusive, forward-looking vibe. We never miss a chance to see Chuck in action, and Balsams is yet another evolution the career of a gifted and visionary artist.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage plus a soundboard feed of Evan Lamb’s house mix. The sound quality is outstanding! Note: If you purchased an earlier version (before 10/1/2017) of this from bandcamp, go back and snag this version, as it has been re-mastered to remove some glitches from the original.

Chuck performs at the Ambient Church in Brooklyn this Friday with Windy & Carl. Check it out.

Chuck Johnson
2017-09-08
Three Lobed / WXDU Hopscotch Afternoon Jamboree
King’s
Raleigh, NC USA

Schoeps MK4V (onstage, DFC)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Evan Lamb)>Zoom F8 (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 )

Tracks
01 Riga Black

PLEASE SUPPORT Chuck Johnson: Buy this recording via the bandcamp link above, and buy his other recordings on his bandcamp page | Buy Balsams via an independent retailer

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