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Concert Preview: The Hold Steady / Old 97’s / Illinois at 7 World Trade Center

September 7, 2007

In the most recent Upcoming nyctaper Events, I added the Hold Steady concert scheduled for September 17. The very act of typing “World Trade Center” evoked an odd set of emotions. Even six years hence, the very idea that 7 WTC will host a concert series is both empowering and bittersweet. As have many New Yorkers, I directly witnessed, and was personally, physically and financially effected by 9/11.

Music Downtown is the brainchild of Wall Street Rising and Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf. In a well-guided effort to help revitalize the WTC downtown area, Music Downtown is producing three free concerts in the week after the 9/11 anniversary. The site is straightforward in its mission: “not only will Music Downtown increase critically needed foot traffic to the area, but it will also help to plant new seeds for Lower Manhattan’s economic and cultural growth”. This is a mission which directly touches nyctaper, as my office is one block from 7 World Trade.

All three of these concerts feature outstanding artists of varied genres. nyctaper has received permission to record the first night, September 17, which features The Hold Steady, Old 97’s, and Illinois. Artists featured on the 18th and 19th include Victoria Williams, Nick Lowe and Ollabelle.

Brooklyn-based The Hold Steady produced one of the best albums of 2006, Boys and Girls in America, and were indeed Blender Magazine’s 2006 Band of the Year.

Originally from Texas, Old 97’s are veterans of alt-country’s pop wing. They have produced 8 major releases, and are a rollicking live band.

Upcoming nyctaper Events

September 5, 2007

Kria Brekkan:
September 9, 2007, Posted Above

The Hold Steady / Old 97’s:
September 17, 2007, Posted Above / Posted Above

Bjorkestra / Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey:
September 22, 2007, Posted Above / Posted Above

September 24, 2007, Posted Above

Animal Collective:
September 30, 2007, Webster Hall NYC
October 1, 2007, Webster Hall NYC
Animal Collective Tickets at Webster Hall

The Mekons:
October 3, 2007, Gramercy Theater NYC

Fiery Furnaces:
October 6, 2007, Sound Fix Records, Brooklyn, NY (8:00 pm)

Sigur Ros:
October 6, 2007, Florence Gould Hall, NYC (12:00 am)

Of Montreal:
October 13, 2007, Of Montreal Tickets at Roseland Ballroom

Regina Spektor:
October 15, 2007, Regina Spektor Tickets at Hammerstein Ballroom

Bruce Springsteen:
October 18, 2007, Madison Square Garden, NYC

October 22, 2007, Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC

The Shins:
October 24, 2007, Terminal Five, NYC

The Decemberists:
November 1, 2007
November 2, 2007, Terminal Five, NYC

Phil Lesh and Friends:
November 8, 2007, Phil Lesh Tickets at Nokia Theatre Times Square

November 9, 2007, Church of St. Paul NYC
November 10, 2007, Society for Ethical Culture Concert Hall NYC

Pierce Turner:
December 2, 2007, Joe’s Pub NYC
December 9, 2007, Joe’s Pub NYC

I am disappointed, but must announce that I will not be attending the Virgin Festival in Toronto this weekend.

Recordings will be posted at this site for each of those concerts that nyctaper attends and records. As with any future plans, some of these concerts may not be attended or recorded by nyctaper, for reasons out of my control. Please check back to the site often for updates as other concerts will be added.

I have received numerous requests to attend and record certain specific events. Please bear in mind that my time and energy are limited. Specific requests are more likely to be successful if accompanied by a guest list pass, complimentary ticket or other incentives.

Bjork May 2, 2007 Radio City – Remastered – Lossless Download

September 4, 2007

Bjork began her 18-month worldwide tour in promotion of the new album Volta with a week of three concerts in three different venues in New York. The first night at Radio City was her first concert in the U.S. in almost four years, and with new material and an all new band, the result was the most restrained of the three NYC shows. Nevertheless, the concert was a triumphant return to the stage for Bjork, with several pleasant surprises in the setlist.

I recorded this concert from a prime location with pro-quality DPA microphones. However, in my rush to upload this concert to a bit torrent site within 3 hours of the end of the show, I did not perform any post-production work. The remaster posted below was the result of many hours of post-production work in Soundforge which improved the initial recording drastically. The volume levels were increased significantly and balanced, dozens of instances of close clapping or other audience noise were softened or removed, and the high-end peaks were accentuated through equalization.

This recording is dedicated to my friends in the Bjork Hub, the most reliable and dedicated fans of any artist anywhere.

This recording is in an indirect way responsible for the existence of the nyctaper website. Prior to the establishment of this site, I posted my masters on various bit torrent trackers, and in several instances my recordings were then compressed to low-quality mp3s and re-posted without any credit or attribution on bottom-feeder blogs.

In this case of this recording, the blogger not only failed to give credit, but also deleted my comments and insulted me when I sought credit. One of those insults ironically “suggested” that I create my own blog where I could host lossless downloads and pay the server fees. Eight days later, I did.

Download the complete performance in FLAC [HERE].

Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Recorded from Front of Board Center
Orchestra Row PP, Seat 509

DPA 4021’s > Marantz PMD-660 (Oade BCM) > Soundforge (Remaster) > flac

Recorded and Produced and
Remastered by

01 Earth Intruders*
02 Venus as a Boy
03 Aurora
04 I See Who You Are**
05 Oceania
06 Dull Flame of Desire***
07 All is Full of Love
08 The Pleasure is All Mine
09 Pagan Poetry
10 Jóga
11 Where is the Line
12 Army of Me
13 Innocence
14 Wanderlust
15 Pluto
16 [encore break]
17 [band introductions]
18 Anchor Song
19 Declare Independence

*With Konono N°1
**With Min Xiao-Fen
***With Antony Hegarty

As with all artists featured at this site, PLEASE SUPPORT this wonderful and unique artist and visit her web page and purchase Volta:

Mike Watt October 16, 1998 Knitting Factory – Lossless Download

September 3, 2007

Mike Watt is one of my favorite people in the entire music industry. His “resume” is one of the most impressive in rock history–co-founder of the legendary Minutemen, co-founder of the excellent fIREHOSE, a laundry list of collaborations, and current bass player for the re-formed Stooges–and yet he remains an engaging and personable character.

Contemplating the Engine Room (1997) was Mike Watt’s second solo album. Watt formed the band the “Black Gang” and toured the album in 1998. The second leg of the tour featured über-guitarist Nels Cline, then a fairly obscure local LA performer who has now become the permanent lead guitarist for Wilco (read more Cline). The album is a broad allegory in part for Watt’s Minutemen experience, and was performed start-to-finish as the first set for the tour.

Watt also permits open taping, trading and archival of his concerts. Throughout many of the Engine Room tour dates, fans were permitted to plug into the soundboard as you’ll hear in the download offered below. After the Knitting Factory concert, Mike Watt sat on the edge of the stage, chatted with fans, and sold merch. After I bought the tour t-shirt, I told Watt about my experience of seeing the Minutemen at the Ritz in 1985. Watt’s eyes lit up, and I felt a certain kinship with this man, who has spent his entire post-Minutemen career making his late best friend D. Boon proud.

This recording is now available as a direct download at (here)

Mike Watt & The Black Gang
The Knitting Factory
New York, NY USA

Digital Soundboard Recording
Soundboard > Sony M-1 DAT Master

Premiere Download offered at

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Engine Room Set:
01 In The Engine Room
02 Red Bluff
03 The Bluejacket’s Manual
04 Pedro Bound!
05 The Boilerman
06 Black Gang Coffee
07 Topsiders
08 No One Says Old Man
09 Fireman Hurley
10 Liberty Calls!
11 In The Bunk Room / Navy Wife
12 Crossing The Equator
13 Breaking The Choke Hold
14 Wrapped Around The Screw
15 Shore Duty
16 Rebel Girl
17 Forever… One Reporter’s Opinion
18 I Have Always Been Here Before
19 Friction
20 Little Johnny Jewel
21 Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend
22 The Red And The Black
23 This Is A Prayer
24 Drove Up From Pedro
25 Tuff Gnarl

As with all artists featured at this site, PLEASE SUPPORT Mike Watt and visit his web page, or click the link below to purchase Contemplating the Engine Room:

Meat Puppets August 30, 2007 Knitting Factory – Lossless Download

August 31, 2007

The new Meat Puppets album Rise to Your Knees is a too-modest assessment of the current state of this band. The powerful performance at the Knitting Factory last night was a clear indication that this band has risen to heights that no rational fan could have anticipated after a decade of discord, drugs, death and detention. The 2007 version of the Meat Puppets is tight, engaged, and thoroughly enjoying the return to the spotlight.

The Knitting Factory has been one of the most innovative and superb venues for live music in New York for over two decades. The Leonard Street location continues to grow in stature, with a complete upgrade and overhaul of the facility nearly complete. They have also recently installed a state of the art recording system, which initially led to their reluctance to permit my open recording of this show. To the credit of this venue, the two highly professional and courteous managers discussed the situation with me, and ultimately permitted my recording after the Meat Puppets agreed. I was ultimately able to set up in a prime location next to the soundboard, with the assistance of the sound engineer.

As you will hear in the download featured below, the Knitting Factory engineer mixed this band to perfection. This recording is perhaps the best one ever offered at this site.

This recording is now available for download in FLAC and MP3 at [HERE].

More about FLAC

Meat Puppets
Knitting Factory
New York, NY USA

Digital Master Audience Recording
Recorded from Balcony Railing
Inside Soundboard Section
Dead Center approximately 30 feet
eye Level with PA stacks

Neumann KM-150’s (AK-50 Hypercardiod Capsules) > Apogee Minime >
digital coaxial > M-Audio Microtrack > flac

Premiere Download offered at

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

[total time 1:33:37]
01 Sam
02 Touchdown King
03 Snow
04 Up On The Sun
05 Plateau
06 Look at the Rain
07 Lost
08 Working on a Building
09 The Whistling Song
10 Flaming Heart
11 My Baby’s Gone
12 Station
13 Box of Limes
14 Oh, Me
15 Comin’ Down
16 Never To Be Found
17 The Wind and the Rain
18 Severed Goddess Hand
19 Lake of Fire
20 Climbing
21 Backwater

As with all artists featured at this site, PLEASE SUPPORT Meat Puppets and visit their web page, and purchase their new release :

Pat McGee Band August 24, 2007 Dewey Beach – Lossless Download

August 29, 2007

Pat McGee Band is back, and if the Dewey Beach show is any indication, this version of the band is better than ever. Following a year of extreme loss–the tragic and untimely death of original drummer Chris Williams, and setback–the end of their record contract with Kirtland (the Warner/Giant contract ended in 2004), PMB is performing with nothing to lose. Without the shackles of expectations and labels, they are now free to be exactly who they are–a rollicking and rocking fun live act.

The Bottle & Cork is the premiere music venue in the Delaware/Maryland shore area, and one of the best concert halls in the entire Mid-Atlantic region. The venue offers two distinct locations to enjoy the music, the main hall and the patio area, and both afford excellent viewing positions. The sound system is excellent, the staff are courteous and helpful, and there are 5 bars for easy access to drinks.

My personal experience at the Bottle & Cork was made more excellent by the Stage Manager of the venue who invited me to record from the private soundboard booth upstairs. As a result, the raucous crowd does not interfere with the recording, and I was afforded a straight line at the PA stacks.

Unfortunately, I did not anticipate that the Bottle & Cork was partially an outdoor venue, and I neglected to bring my microphone wind screens. The windy Delaware shore made its presence known that night. There were many instances of wind noise on this recording, most of which have been softened in post-production. What is offered below is a fine but slightly flawed recording, and probably not the best I have offered on this site. However, its certainly an enjoyable listen, and Pat McGee Band absolutely ripped the joint. Download is encouraged to experience this excellent live act.

Pat McGee Band will tour this Fall, and the NYC date is at the Bowery Ballroom on September 20. Their new independent release These Days (The Virginia Sessions) is available for purchase here, or as a direct flac or mp3 download here.

This recording is now available for download in FLAC and MP3 at [HERE].

More about FLAC

Pat McGee Band
Cork & Bottle
Dewey Beach, Delaware USA

Digital Audience Master Recording
Recorded from Inside the Soundboard Booth
Dead Center, approximately 30 feet from the PA
One Level above the Floor

Neumann KM-150’s (AK-50 Hypercardiod Capsules) > Apogee Minime > digital coaxial > M-Audio Microtrack > flac

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Set 1:
01 Guess We Were
02 Girl From Athens
03 Lost
04 Beautiful Ways
05 Haven’t Seen For A While
06 Must Have Been Love
07 Elizabeth
08 Come Back Home
09 Running on Empty

Set 2:
01 Fine
02 [stage banter]
03 I Don’t Think I’m Listening
04 Runaway
05 Annabel
06 You and I
07 Piano Man
08 Maybe Its Time
09 Stuck in Middle With You*
10 Rebecca
11 Passion
12 American Girl
13 I Want You to Want Me

*with one verse of Roadhouse Blues

As with all artists featured on this site, if you download this recording please support this outstanding band and visit the Pat McGee Band website, follow the information above, or and purchase their official releases:

Fiery Furnaces August 26, 2007 – Socrates Sculpture Park – Lossless Download

August 26, 2007

Oh, what a perfect day. The Fiery Furnaces played for free in a beautiful park on a beautiful day, and all was right with the world. The crowd had a buzz, but remained attentive and supportive. The band sounded terrific and performed a short but tight set. With the East River behind them, and Socrates Sculpture Park before them, the Fiery Furnaces whirled through the live Bitter Tea suite, before closing out with a 30-minute medley of older songs. Eleanor was strong of voice, as the band was driven by the unique beats of double percussionists and anchored by Matt’s direction and keys.

My recording conditions were also ideal. Many thanks to Spencer, the admin from forum, both the band and management approved my recording. As a result, I was able to utilize my best equipment from the perfect location–centered directly in front of the soundboard, 25 feet from the stage and PA speakers. As you’ll hear in the download below, the results are truly profound.

This Fall, the Fiery Furnaces will release their new album Widow City, and will embark on a tour across the country. The NYC date is November 3 at Hiro Ballroom.

The complete show in FLAC files available [HERE].

More about FLAC

Fiery Furnaces
Socrates Sculpture Park
Queens, New York USA

Digital Master Recording
Recorded from in Front of the Soundboard Booth
Dead Center approximately 25 feet from PA
8 foot Microphone Stand

Neumann KM-150’s (AK-50 Hypercardiod Capsules) > Apogee Minime > digital coaxial > M-Audio Microtrack > flac

Premiere Download offered at

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:11:10]
01 [Introduction]
02 In My Little Thatched Hut
03 I’m in No Mood to Comb My Hair
04 Black-Hearted Boy
05 Bitter Tea
06 I’m Waiting to Know You
07 The Vietnamese Telephone Ministry
08 Oh Sweet Woods
09 Borneo
10 Benton Harbor Blues
11 Whistle Rhapsody
12 Teach Me Sweetheart
13 Bitter Tea
14 [stage banter]
15 Single Again
16 Wicker Whatnots
17 Quay Cur
18 I’m Gonna Run
19 Here Comes the Summer
20 Blueberry Boat
21 Tropical Ice-Land
22 Spaniolated
23 Name Game
24 Birdie Brain
25 1917

As with all artists featured on this site, if you download this recording please click the link below to purchase official Fiery Furnaces releases

The National August 17, 2007 Pier 17 – Lossless Download

August 18, 2007

The National deserved better. The afternoon saw persistent rain that fortunately let up near the end of the opening set, and stayed clear throughout the entire National set. Unfortunately, there was some problem with the sound system, and in particular Matt Berninger’s lead vocal microphone that caused crackling every time he tried to raise the volume of his voice to match the level of the music.

All that aside, the performance was energetic and tight. I’ve never seen The National live before, but based upon the new album Boxer, which sounds very much like Tindersticks to me, I expected a more dirge-like performance. Instead, the band rocked and Matt wailed. The live National reminds very much of early Echo & the Bunnymen or PC&L-era New Order.

I recorded from an excellent position, about 30 feet in front of the stacks using the DPA uni-directional microphones. This position gave me a direct line to the sound, and avoided the pratfalls of an outdoor show, particularly one in rainy conditions and on the river. There is absolutely no wind noise on this recording. Again, the sound system let us down. At louder moments during vocals, the crackling is quite evident. During the completely instrumental moments, and quite parts of the show, the recording is outstanding.

This recording is now available to download in FLAC and MP3 at [HERE].

More about FLAC

The National
Seaport Music Festival
Pier 17
New York, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Recorded from 30 Feet
in Front of Right PA Stacks

DPA 4021’s > Marantz PMD-660 (Oade BCM) > flac

Premiere Download offered at

Recorded and Produced by
nyctaper 2007-08-18

01 Start a War
02 Mistaken for Strangers
03 Secret Meeting
04 Brainy
05 Baby, We’ll Be Fine
06 Slow Show
07 Abel
08 Squalor Victoria
09 Racing Like A Pro
10 Apartment Story
11 Daughters Of The Soho Riots
12 Fake Empire
13 Mr. November
14 Murder Me Rachael
15 About Today

16 Bonus Track (final song from The Forms set)

As with all artists featured on this site, if you download this recording please purchase The National’s new album Boxer:

Disco Biscuits August 15, 2007 – McCarren Pool – Lossless Download

August 17, 2007

As a warm-up to their annual “Camp Bisco“, the Disco Biscuits performed a fairly short and tame two-hour set on Wednesday night. However, the ambient and trance jams were on full display at several points during the show, and the crowd energy, the outdoor pool setting, and sound quality were all quite outstanding.

This recording was made from the exact same location and with the exact same equipment as the Umphrey’s opening set–optimal equipment in an optimal setting. Enjoy!

This recording is now available for download in FLAC and MP3 on [HERE].

More about FLAC

Disco Biscuits
McCarren Pool
Brooklyn, New York USA

Digital Master Recording
Front of Board Center

Neumann KM-150’s (AK-50 Hypercardiod Capsules) > Apogee Minime >
digital coaxial > M-Audio Microtrack > flac

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:53:56]
01 The Safety Dance
02 Trucker’s Choice
03 Terrapin Station (piano instrumental) >
04 Spaga >
05 Abraxas >
06 Spaga
07 Onamae Wa >
08 Crickets >
09 Jam > Highwire >
10 I Remember When
11 [encore break]
12 Woman at Home With Termites
13 I Wanna Be Sedated

As with all artists featured on this site, if you download this recording please purchase the Disco Biscuits newest release.

Umphrey’s McGee August 15, 2007 McCarren Pool – Lossless Download

August 16, 2007

Its not often when the opening act of a concert performs a 90 minute set, and the crowd is thoroughly engaged. The Umphrey’s McGee set last night was the rarest of beasts, a tight “jam band” set full of prog-rock twists and turns.

Umphrey’s “taper-friendly” approach allowed a group of a half-dozen recordists to position themselves directly in front of the soundboard in the center. I was fortunate to be in that group, and used my best equipment. The result is an outstanding recording, with rich bass presence and excellent clarity.

The Disco Biscuits set from this concert will be posted within the next 24 hours.

This recording is now available for download in FLAC and MP3 at [HERE].

More about FLAC

Umphrey’s McGee
McCarren Pool
Brooklyn, New York USA

Digital Master Recording
Front of Board Center

Neumann KM-150’s (AK-50 Hypercardiod Capsules) > Apogee Minime > digital coaxial > M-Audio Microtrack > flac

[Total Time 1:29:08]
01 Prowler
02 Pipeline
03 Plunger
04 Higgins
05 Plunger
06 Atmosfarag
07 Roulette
08 Utopian Fir
09 All in Time

As with all artists featured on this site, if you download this recording please purchase Umphrey’s McGee’s latest CD:

Support nyctaper

DISCLAIMER and LEGAL NOTICE 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 as live recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. Section 106, et. seq. Redistribution of nyctaper recordings without consent of is strictly prohibited. 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.