Blog Archives

Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society: June 7, 2019 Union Pool

July 1, 2019
By
Photo by Bryon Whitley

First off, a very important heads up: Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society are playing tonight, July 1, at Roulette with 75 Dollar Bill! This is going to be a special show, in celebration of the release 75DB’s latest record I Was Real, and a rare opportunity to catch Joshua Abrams and NIS in Brooklyn. Grab tickets here!

Mandatory Reality, the latest double-LP from Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society, sounds like a band erasing borders. The second track, “Finite,” approaches 40 minutes, testing the limits of physical media as well as the listener’s compass. On some other plane (I’m convinced) it must loop back on itself to continue on forever in its meditative rhythms, an endless groove. Confined to the physical world, the album nevertheless seems to have no beginnings or endings, but drops you in media res, as the poets do, filling in the geographical landmarks and relief as it goes. Titling a 40 minute song “Finite” is a promise to the wayward traveler.

Last month’s Union Pool gig was my first chance to see Abrams and company live. The experience is like being let on something intimate, a sacred ritual opened up to new members. For 50 minutes we were collectively transported into the world of Natural Information Society. Capturing the ecstatic sounds for later transmission couldn’t possibly contain the multitudes of their performance, but does offer a glimpse of Abrams’ vision. Again, I’m going to strongly urge you to go see (and hear) for yourself tonight at Roulette. Spread the word!

I recorded this from our usual spot at Union Pool, room mics mixed with a board feed. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download: [MP3/FLAC]



Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society
2019-06-07
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard + MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone (EQ, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [48:07]
01. Live at Union Pool

• Buy Mandatory Reality: Vinyl via Eremite Records / Digital via Bandcamp
• •
NaturalInformationSociety.com

SUSS: May 21, 2019 Union Pool

June 23, 2019
By

SUSS is a new musical collaboration from some old hands—Gary Leib, Pat Irwin, Jonathan Gregg and William Garrett, under the general direction of Bob Holmes. Between them there are too many credentials to list, all over the map and everywhere in between. Straddling the intersection of ambient and country/western music, SUSS sound like the future and the past, sci-fi folded over on spaghetti westerns. It’s music that would be appropriate for both a trip to Death Valley and aboard the International Space Station; however, your living room will do in a pinch.

SUSS have played a few shows lately supporting last year’s Ghost Box, released by the reliably adventurous New York label, Northern Spy Records. They’ve got a new 7″ as well, “Chisholm Trail” b/w “Aurora,” the latter previewed last month live at Union Pool, the vinyl due out this Friday. SUSS take it low and slow here, measuring out improvised passages blending into the album’s compositions. In person, the interior Brooklyn environs melted away as the band mapped desert territories under the stars. This recording will take you partway there, but I also recommend heading out to see them live your first opportunity. Do also head over to Bandcamp, where you can pick up the record and single.

I recorded this from our usual spot at Union Pool, an expert board mix from FOH Leslie Wolf combined with room mics. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download: [MP3/FLAC]



SUSS
2019-05-21
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Leslie Wolf) + MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, limiter, compression, normalize, fades) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [47:14]
01. Wichita
02. Big Sky
03. Late Night Call
04. Steam
05. Aurora
06. Gunfighter
07. Canyonlands (Return to Wichita)
08. After the Storm

Buy Ghost Box and Chisholm Trail b/w Aurora via Bandcamp

David Nance Group: June 8, 2019 Union Pool

June 18, 2019
By

With no slight intended to Nebraskans, David Nance arrived seemingly out of nowhere last year with Peaced and Slightly Pulverized. But in reality he’s been highly prolific, furiously releasing original material alongside wonderfully-dazed full album covers of classics like Berlin, Goat’s Head Soup, and the gloriously-descriptive Doug Sahm and Band Do 90% of the Cocaine in the World in 1972 and Make a Record. Nance doesn’t seem overly precious about handling his or others’ music—preferring the energy of basement recordings to studio perfection—but clearly he has great reverence for it. His guitar playing and finely wrought lyrics are often disguised by an effortlessness that makes them all the more charming. That is, your typical David Nance song is baked, but not half-baked. For the recently released “Meanwhile” b/w “Credit Line” 7″ on Third Man Records, the two short cuts come off as ragged, bottled lightning, gone before you know it. But that’s Nance’s aesthetic, his nonchalance masking a gift for finding the sublime in the awful and mundane (see “Credit Line” or “In Her Kingdom”).

I missed Nance and band at Union Pool last year when they toured for the album and vowed not to do it again when they came around a couple weeks back. This set rests heavily on new material, with only “Poison” representing Peaced and Slightly Pulverized, plus “Meanwhile” and “Credit Line” from his recent single rounding out the released songs. Sometimes you just want to hear the songs you know, but I was mildly prepared for the new stuff from listening to this live compilation from his Bandcamp page. “Cure Vs. Disease” and “Give It Some Time” are earworms for sure, with Nance’s irresistible vocals providing the hard sell. The only question is when’s the next one coming and where do I send my money?

I recorded this from our usual setup at Union Pool, room mics combined with a board feed from FOH Robert. It retains all the grit you’d want from this band, and sounds excellent. Enjoy!

Download: [MP3/FLAC]



David Nance Group
2019-06-08
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Doug) + MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, imaging, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [39:09]
01. More Than Enough
02. Credit Line
03. Cure Vs. Disease
04. Poison
05. Give It Some Time
06. Your Name
07. Meanwhile
08. What Could I Do? [Reigning Sound]
09. Pure Evil

Buy Peaced and Slightly Pulverized and more via Bandcamp

Chuck Johnson: May 21, 2019 Union Pool

June 11, 2019
By

Spending an evening with Chuck Johnson and his pedal steel guitar is a welcome respite from our over-scheduled, always-on age. The music drifts in open spaces, not hurried to any destination. Changes are subtle enough that you find yourself somewhere new without recalling how exactly you got there. It’s an overused metaphor surely, but in Chuck Johnson’s music the journey’s the thing.

Chuck’s recent set at Union Pool, opening for Suss, finds him mixing material from Balsams (one of them being “Calamus”) with some newer compositions—as with all his most recent work, boundaries are blurry. Midway through he introduces a loping percussive low end that orients the music without pushing too hard to get somewhere. The measured gait instead suggests an ever-present here—it’s a good place to spend some time.

For even more recent excursions from Chuck Johnson, check out his Bandcamp page for a few live recordings and even some music composed for PBS’s Food Town.

I recorded this from our usual location at Union Pool, room mics combined with a board feed from FOH Leslie Wolf. Thanks to her excellent mix and a quiet crowd, the sound is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download: [MP3/FLAC]



Chuck Johnson
2019-05-21
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Leslie Wolf) + MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, limiter, normalize, fades) > xAct > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [34:23]
01. Live at Union Pool 2019

Chuck Johnson: Website | Bandcamp

Sunwatchers & Eugene Chadbourne: May 10, 2019 Nublu Classic

June 4, 2019
By

Last month, Sunwatchers and Eugene Chadbourne played Nublu Classic in belated support of 3 Characters, their collaborative double-LP of Minutemen and Doug Sahm covers. The album was released in November, but perhaps due to scheduling they didn’t get the properly inaugurate it into the world until May. Last time we got to see Sunwatchers and Doc Chad play live, they did a trio of Chuck Berry tunes (he had recently passed) plus covers of songs by Sonny Rollins, Love, and John Lee Hooker. This time it’s all Minutemen and Doug Sahm songs, with a writing assist from Albert Alyer on the mashup “Joe McCarthy’s Ghost(s).” Perhaps it’s from the rigors of recording, or a whole lot of practice, but they’ve got these songs down tight. The only one not recorded for the album (and maybe the highlight of this set) is their delightful take on “Stoned Faces Don’t Lie,” a Doug Sahm number from way back with the Sir Douglas Quintet. It’s a shame that one didn’t make it onto the album, but better maybe that it’s just incentive for Sunwatchers and Eugene Chadbourne to ride again!

Speaking of Sunwatchers, grab tickets for their upcoming Rocks Off Cruise gig with Garcia Peoples. Yes, that’s Sunwatchers and Garcia Peoples on a boat. June 15th. Go for it.

Downloads available at the Live Music Archive

Sunwatchers and Eugene Chadbourne
2019-05-10
Nublu Classic
New York, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com
MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [58:52]
01. I Felt Like a Gringo [Minutemen]
02. Themselves [Minutemen]
03. Political Song For Michael Jackson to Sing [Minutemen]
04. It’s Gonna Be Easy [Doug Sahm]
05. Joe McCarthy’s Ghost(s) [Minutemen/Albert Ayler]
06. The Product [Minutemen]
07. The Anchor [Minutemen]
08. This Ain’t No Picnic [Minutemen]
09. The Price of Paradise [Minutemen]
10. Too Many Docile(d) Minds [Doug Sahm]
11. Uncle Sam Do [Doug Sahm]
12. Stoned Faces Don’t Lie [Doug Sahm]

Buy 3 Characters via Bandcamp

Dire Wolves: May 10, 2019 Nublu Classic

May 21, 2019
By
Photo by Jesse Jarnow

Dire Wolves have a new record coming on Beyond Beyond is Beyond next month. It’s called Grow Towards the Light (which you might remember as a song title from February’s Union Pool show) and it’s available for preorder now.

Their gig from Nublu Classic doesn’t directly feature any songs from the record, but as you’ll find with the ‘Wolves their live performances often weave in and out of album material. “Dire Spires” is a new song/improvisation we haven’t heard before, while “Enter Quietly” takes on the opening track from Excursions to Cloudland. The centerpiece of this show is their own chaotic version of Faust’s “It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl” which takes the hypnotic song (from So Far) and swirls it into the type of frenzy Dire Wolves do best.

I recorded this set in good old tapers section fashion, which just a pair of mics flown beside the soundboard. The small Nublu Classic room sounds good for its size and this recording will take you right up front. Enjoy!

Downloads available at the Live Music Archive

Dire Wolves (Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band)
2019-05-10
Nublu Classic
New York, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com
Photo by Jesse Jarnow

MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [41:43]
01. Dire Spires
02. It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl [Faust]
03. Enter Quietly

Preorder Grow Towards the Light from Beyond Beyond is Beyond

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore: April 26, 2019 Union Pool

May 16, 2019
By

For years, Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore have charted adjacent zones both musical and geographical. Listening to their eventual meeting/melding last year on Ghost Forests, you wonder how a collaboration so obviously natural didn’t spring up sooner. Baird’s guitar/voice and Lattimore’s harp are the immediately recognizable components of the album, but combined they forge new pathways. The album is best when the two find some space to meander, like on album opener “Between Two Worlds” where the hook resists easy discovery.

Last month Baird and Lattimore brought their Ghost Forests to Union Pool for a couple nights and we caught the first. They play most of Ghost Forests, adding “Stairs Climb Up the Vine” from Baird’s Seasons on Earth and take on the Neil Young (by way of Emmylou Harris) song “Wrecking Ball.”

Download: [MP3/FLAC]

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore
2019-04-26
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Terry) + MBHO KA500/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [53:32]
01. Between Two Worlds
02. In Cedars
03. Painter of Tygers
04. Damaged Sunset
05. Stars Climb Up the Vine
06. Fair Annie
07. Wrecking Ball [Neil Young]

Buy Ghost Forests from Three Lobed Recordings

Kinloch Nelson: April 8, 2019 Troost

May 13, 2019
By

Kinloch Nelson’s Partly on Time: Recordings 1968–1970 is the latest archival release from the very home of solo guitar music, Tompkins Square. After some near misses and narrow escapes, these recordings are finally available after remaining unheard for 50 years. Once close to being released in a record deal that fell through, then almost lost forever when the tapes were in a car accident in 1970, the music sounds like a lost chapter in what we now call American Primitive.

Supporting Partly on Time, Nelson did a short East Coast tour, playing material from the album, covers, and more. His NYC stop was at Greenpoint’s Troost, an unassuming beer bar perhaps best known in music circles for 75 Dollar Bill’s frequent workouts there. Stationed in the corner near the door, with the Monday night bustle of Manhattan Avenue outside, Nelson played two sets, with each song punctuated by his tales about the histories of the songs he wrote and his relationship with each of the covers. The resulting portrait is one not only of himself but also of the circuitous routes of guitar music over the past half-century. When he talks of Partly on Time, there is a genuine wonder that not only are they finally available, but also that there persists an audience for solo guitar records that has grown in the intervening years. As it turns out, Kinloch Nelson might have arrived at just the right moment.

Download: [MP3/FLAC]

Kinloch Nelson
2019-04-08
Troost
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH
Additional editing by Kinloch Nelson

MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC

Set One:
01. Secret Love (S Fain & P Webster)
02. banter (America’s Sweetheart)
03. Tennessee Waltz (PW King & R Stewart)
04. banter (It’s about gratitude)
05. Afterthoughts (K. Nelson)
06. banter (in a closet full of shoes)
07. Kittens (K. Nelson)
08. banter (Martha Stewart, American Primitive guitar)
09. Funky Susan (K Nelson & Carter Redd)
10. banter (What is a harp guitar? Minimalist music)
11. The Eyes Of The Fair Molly (K. Nelson)
12. banter (Tonto, Lenny Breau and Jethro Tull)
13. On A Bach Bouree (JS Bach)
14. banter (45 and 33.3 RPM time warp)
15. Apache (J Lorden)

Set Two:
16. banter (Number one hits and a bowl of meat with noodles)
17. Sukiyaki/Buckeroo/Embryonic Journey (Nakamura/Morris /Kaukonen)
18. banter (a bonafide hit)
19. Land Of Make Believe (C Mangione)
20. banter (What are the songs about?)
21. Solitudes (K. Nelson)
22. banter (family, sailing, a big lake, a beautiful evening)
23. Oh Lovely Is The Evening/Tom Seibert’s Boat/Winnepesaukee Night (K. Nelson)
24. banter (Skyline Drive to Peru Thank you Tompkins Square)
25. Summer Farewell (K. Nelson)

Buy Partly on Time: Recordings 1968–1970 via Tompkins Square

Headroom: March 27, 2019 Lodge Room, Los Angeles (California Flashback)

May 8, 2019
By
[Headroom at Baby’s All Right, photo by Michael Baca]

Here’s a tape courtesy of our buddy anazgnos, who hit up both nights of the L.A. California Flashback shows, put on by Black Editions to promote the latest volume of Tokyo Flashback. Headroom opened up night two with a burst of guitar pyrotechnics courtesy of Kryssi Battalene. In this context you can feel the connection between her distortion-drenched sound and the early wave of heavy Japanese psych like High Rise and Acid Mothers Temple.

Headroom have got a new EP out, New Heaven, in addition to a repressing (finally!) of Head in the Clouds, which disappeared rather quickly in its original release. Do pick up both those treasures, and enjoy some live Headroom too while you’re at it!

Download: [MP3/FLAC]

Headroom
2019-03-27
Lodge Room
Los Angeles, CA

Recorded by anazgnos
Produced by Eric PH

Zoom H4N Pro > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 7 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [28:23]
01. How to Grow Evil Flowers
02. Millers Pond
03. Skyliner

Buy New Heaven via Bandcamp
Buy Head in the Clouds via Bandcamp

Chris Forsyth: April 29, 2019 Rough Trade NYC

April 30, 2019
By

A few weeks ago, the internet buzzed with discussion of “indie jam,” the term coined by Steven Hyden at Uproxx and referring, as many noted in response, to a constellation of bands advanced largely by Jeff Conklin on The Avant Ghetto. (We at NYCTaper are acknowledged by Hyden too, I’m obliged to mention.) In the article, musicians like Chris Forsyth (along with Garcia Peoples, Sunwatchers, Ryley Walker, William Tyler, and many others) are credited with “an inclination to meld all kinds of music — including indie, post-rock, folk, country, jazz fusion, and, yes, punk — and take it in adventurous and often improvised directions.”

“Indie jam”—or whatever you want to call it—surely wasn’t born in an out-of-the-way amphitheater in Raleigh, NC. But in September 2013, when we were first introduced to Forsyth’s far-out jams that were clearly referencing the Grateful Dead and Television, something was afoot. Is it time for us shrug off the legacy of Kurt Cobain’s distaste for the Dead and acknowledge the ongoing intersections of indie rock and jambands? Across the aisle, jamband fans are approaching the same questions, as the podcast Beyond the Pond seeks to introduce Phish fans to music outside the jamband ecosystem.

In the meantime, while the heads have been catching up to him, Chris Forsyth has released a series of increasingly great albums. The latest is All Time Present, in which Forsyth’s singular guitar playing weaves effortlessly between varied genres, from psych rock to, yes, even dance.

On Monday night we caught Forsyth’s Brooklyn record release show, appropriately opening for Träd, Gräs och Stenar. Joined by the latest edition of the Solar Motel Band, Peter Kerlin on bass and Ryan Jewell on drums, the trio play “Tomorrow Might as Well Be Today” and “Mystic Mountain” before being joined by Pat Gubler (P.G. Six/Wet Tuna) on keys for “Dream Song” and an absolutely epic performance of “Dreaming in the Non-Dream.” Returning the favor from last month’s Garcia Peoples record release show, the Solar Moteliers are joined by Tom Malach, Danny Arakaki, and Cesar Arakaki to complete the circle with “Techno Top.”

Chris Forsyth, Garcia Peoples, Dire Wolves, and Weak Signal play Market Hotel on July 27. You can find out what magic is in store from this insanely great lineup by grabbing a ticket.

Downloads available at the Live Music Archive

Chris Forsyth
2019-04-29
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Terry) + MBHO KA200N/603A (DIN) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [59:36]
01. Tomorrow Might as Well Be Today
02. Mystic Mountain
03. Dream Song
04. Dreaming in the Non-Dream
05. Techno Top

Solar Motel Band:
Chris Forsyth
Peter Kerlin
Ryan Jewell

3-5 with Pat Gubler
5 with Tom Malach, Danny Arakaki, and Cesar Arakaki of Garcia Peoples

Website | Facebook | Buy All Time Present via Bandamp

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