nyctaper Recordings

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Ryley Walker, Steve Gunn & Ryan Jewell Trio: March 5, 2019 Union Pool

March 7, 2019
By
Photo by Drew Gardner

Ryley Walker led off his March 2019 Union Pool residency with a shot of his usual self-deprecating humor, telling us he just got dumped and that this was his first show as a New Yorker (he’s lived here for months and performed quite a few sets here since). For those of us who’ve followed his career for the past five-plus years, we knew at least one thing to expect next: Ryley’s music is as serious as his stage persona is flippant.

Still, that couldn’t quite prepare us for the trio set with Steve Gunn and Ryan Jewell that followed. This trio could have done any number of things well, but what we ended up with reminded me tonally of Gunn’s collaborations with the drummer John Truscinski — with a hundred percent more guitar. Over the course of this 50 minute improvisational piece (titled by yours truly given the lack of a given one), I was struck by how, in the right hands, an instrument can be a person’s voice. Take Walker at his word — or put yourselves in the shoes of almost anyone who first moves to NYC from their hometown — and you knew what kind of energy he was working with: frenetic, exuberant and relentless. He played like a person aching to be seen, announcing themselves in an unfamiliar place. It wasn’t his first show as a New Yorker, but it might be the first one with that alchemical mix of awe, anxiety and urgency that turns you into the kind of person who belongs here.

Gunn’s trademark guitar tone undergirds the entire piece, a beacon for what’s to come. There’s a sweetness and calm to even Gunn’s noisiest work that’s of a piece to his own stage persona: confident but laid-back about it, extraordinary without overreaching. Like his recent guest appearance with William Tyler, this collaboration with Walker made for an incredible combination of peer guitarists operating at their creative and artistic peaks (not to say they won’t enjoy more). Likewise the conservatory-trained Jewell, an almost-constant among Ryley’s touring bandmates, who comes in and out of the foreground of this extended improv at the right moments, adding drone-style percussion at critical ebbs in the volume.

From his noise roots to his folk-leaning earlier albums to his wholly-new current material, Walker proves over and over that he refuses not to stretch himself artistically. It was hard to take photos of this show. You could get a clear shot of Steve, eyeing Ryley from stage left. But Ryley Walker, he was a blur, especially at this piece’s final, ecstatic climax. Like a true New Yorker, he never stops moving.

I recorded this set with a flawless feed from Union Pool’s engineer Doug Graham, together with Schoeps MK5 microphones at the soundboard. The quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Thanks as always to the artists and the Union Pool team for having us.

Download the complete show from its Live Music Archive page.

Ryley Walker, Steve Gunn & Ryan Jewell Trio
2019-03-05
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY  USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Doug Graham) + Schoeps MK5 (XY, at SBD, DFC)>KC5>CMC6>>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 polyWAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity 2.2.2>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 51:41]
01 [Chicago rap]
02 Exodus 2 Brooklyn pt 1
03 Exodus 2 Brooklyn pt 2
04 Exodus 2 Brooklyn pt 3

Ryley Walker – guitar
Steve Gunn – guitar
Ryan Jewell – drums

William Tyler: February 26, 2019 (Le) Poisson Rouge

March 6, 2019
By

Here’s a nice companion to William Tyler’s record release show last month at Rough Trade NYC. That show was the start of his tour for Goes West and as it turns out, was only a small preview of what he’s been up to. For the (Le) Poisson Rouge crowd, Tyler pulled out all the stops, playing acoustic and electric songs, and inviting locals Steve Gunn and Ryan Sawyer to join in for a few. Gunn plays on “High Anxiety” from Modern Country and contributes guitar and vocals to a cover of Michael Chapman’s “Among the Trees.” Things kick into high gear when Ryan Sawyer joins Tyler for “Whole New Dude” from the Lost Colony EP. They make an outstanding duo and the energy on that song is just incredible. Is there hope someday for a Tyler-Gunn-Sawyer jam sesh? Let’s plant the seed.

I recorded this set with the MBHO hypercardioids, combined with a board feed courtesy of the venue and engineer, Jason. The sound is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download MP3/FLAC


William Tyler
2019-02-26
(Le) Poisson Rouge
New York, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Jason) + MBHO KA500HN/603A (at SBD) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [1:16:04]
01. Intro
02. Man in a Hurry
03. Fail Safe Intro
04. Fail Safe
05. I’m Gonna Live Forever (If It Kills Me)
06. Eventual Surrender Intro
07. Eventual Surrender
08. Gone Clear Intro
09. Gone Clear
10. We Can’t Go Home Again Intro
11. We Can’t Go Home Again
12. Our Lady of the Desert
13. Highway Anxiety Intro
14. Highway Anxiety
15. Among the Trees Intro
16. Among the Trees [Michael Chapman]
17. Whole New Dude Intro
18. Whole New Dude

14, 16 with Steve Gunn
18 with Ryan Sawyer

Buy William Tyler’s records, including Goes West and Modern Country at Merge

Sunwatchers: February 22, 2019 The Glove

March 1, 2019
By

Sunwatchers make no secret of their politics — heck, they’re written right on the cover of their previous album, II. They’re far from the only “rock” band (if you can even call them that) to use a saxophone, of course, but in Jeff Tobias’ hands, the instrument itself becomes political, recalling elements of spiritual and free jazz. Peter Kerlin, Jason Robira and Jim McHugh make a hell of an avant-rock trio, but it’s the defiant tone of that sax, the holy cry, that seals the band’s sound.

This show, held at the DIY outpost The Glove (so DIY that they don’t publish its address) on the Bushwick/Bed-Stuy border, celebrated the band’s second Trouble In Mind release, Illegal Moves. The ecstatic light show from Macrodose lined up the set and setting nicely for what was to come, including an Alice Coltrane cover (“Ptah, the El Daod”) and several songs we’d heard previewed back in December at Baby’s All Right. There was at least one song (“Sunwatchers vs. Tooth Decay”) that even post-dates the latest record (I think), so that gives us even more to anticipate in the future. Sunwatchers have built their fan base slowly and steadily (and deservedly). Looking at this crowd, it seemed clear that the secret is out.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V mics at a nice up front (and relatively out of the way) position in the room. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the show from its page on the Live Music Archive

Sunwatchers
2019-02-22
The Glove
Brooklyn, NY  USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB, ROC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 WAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity 2.2.2>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 1:06:26]
01 New Dad Blues
02 Beautiful Chrystals
03 Sunwatchers vs. Tooth Decay
04 [banter]
05 Everybody Play!
06 Green Eyed Pigmen(Get the Blade)
07 [banter2]
08 Ptah, the El Daod [Alice Coltrane]
09 [banter3]
10 Love Paste/Brown Ice
11 [banter4]
12 Psychic Driving
13 Strollin Coma Blues
14 [encore break]
15 The Worm Store

If you dig this recording, here’s how to support Sunwatchers: Buy their records on bandcamp| Buy their records from Trouble In Mind

Willie Lane: February 7, 2019 Union Pool

February 21, 2019
By
Photos by Drew Gardner

Willie Lane has long been something of a mystery, appearing sporadically on live MV/EE CD-R’s and quietly self-releasing tiny pressings of highly-coveted solo guitar records. Until recently, you couldn’t even find them online, having to resort to in-the-know record stores that would stock these rarities. But recently a Willie Lane Bandcamp page appeared with digital downloads of his three LPs and one single, followed by a reissue of the long-scarce Known Quantity from Feeding Tube. Already down to the last box of that one, the reissues will keep coming in March when they put Guitar Army of One back out into the world. Meanwhile, on The Avant Ghetto, Jeff Conklin played an awesome live set from Scratch Ticket (Lane on guitar, Rob Thomas on bass, and John Moloney on drums), stoking excitement at the possibility Lane would down to NYC for a gig.

For this performance, Lane recruited local drummer-of-record Ryan Jewell for a mix of rehearsed material and improvisation. Though quite different from the stark, lonesome guitar on his records, their set manages to conjure those same slanted vibes.

Extra thanks to Jeff Conklin and The Avant Ghetto Presents for getting Willie Lane out to NYC and for inviting us down. Check out his show on WFMU for the good stuff!

I recorded this set with the MBHO cardioids set up in stereo DIN configuration, combined with a board feed courtesy of Union Pool FOH Doug. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download MP3/FLAC


Willie Lane
2019-02-07
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com
Photos by Drew Gardner

Soundboard (engineer: Doug) + 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 [36:40]
01. Poolside Jam
02. Lower Life Forms
03. Bottles & Cans > Improvised Interlude > Blister Pack
04. Sorry Wicks

Willie Lane: guitar, vocals
Ryan Jewell: drums

Buy Known Quantity and Guitar Army of One at Feeding Tube

William Tyler: January 23, 2019 Rough Trade NYC

February 18, 2019
By
Photos by @qbertplaya

Howdy guitar-heads, and just-plain-old-heads! One of our favorite travelers, William Tyler, Goes West on his new LP, out now on Merge. He’s currently touring the U.S. into March and Europe in April, so do check out his full tour dates for your local gig. Here in NYC, Tyler appears at (Le) Poisson Rouge on February 26. It’s a sure bet he’ll be slinging some tunes old and new, so grab your tickets.

We got a lucky chance to hear Tyler preview the new album at Rough Trade NYC last month, as well as play some songs from Modern Country. In typical fashion he was nice and chatty, sharing some anecdotes between songs and being an all around positive guy. Meanwhile, Tyler also penned an essay about Cosmic Pastoral music for Aquarium Drunkard—more evidence that he’s one of the most interesting and thoughtful voices on instrumental guitar.

I recorded this set with the MBHO cardioids set up in stereo DIN configuration, combined with a board feed courtesy of Rough Trade FOH Jeremy Rychard Snyder. The sound is outstanding thanks to Jeremy and a quiet crowd. Enjoy!

Download MP3/FLAC


William Tyler
2019-01-23
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

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

Tracks [34:26]
01. Man in a Hurry
02. Call Me When I’m Breathing Again
03. Eventual Surrender
04. Virginia is For Loners Intro
05. Virginia is For Loners
06. Gone Clear Intro
07. Gone Clear
08. Not in Our Stars
09. Rebecca
10. Sunken Garden

Buy William Tyler’s records, including Goes West and Modern Country at Merge

Dire Wolves: February 7, 2019 Union Pool

February 15, 2019
By
Photos by Drew Gardner

San Francisco’s Dire Wolves don’t come around too often, but when they do they bring the heat. This one features the Wolves’ Jeffrey Alexander backed by what he calls a “strange” version of the band: Jesse Sheppard (Elkhorn) on bass, Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers) on sax, and Scott Verrastro (Bardo Pond) on drums. What results is the Wolves’ shaggy psych mixed with jazzy excursions.

Speaking of which, it’s Excursions to Cloudland, released on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, that hipped me to Dire Wolves. And then there’s also this fantastic split with Headroom that I’ve gravitated towards when looking for a fix. Dire Wolves will have another one out with BBiB sometime soon so stay tuned to find out what new lands they’ve got in store.

Thanks to Jeff Conklin for putting on this awesome bill. Tune in to The Avant Ghetto on WFMU for more of the goods!

I recorded this set with our usual setup for Union Pool: a board feed from FOH extraordinaire Doug combined with the MBHOs in DIN configuration at the board. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Download MP3/FLAC


Dire Wolves (Inspiration Family Band)
2019-02-07
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

Soundboard (engineer: Doug) + 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 [55:32]
01. Grow Towards The Light
02. Transmigrations
03. Enter Quietly > Take A Step Back
04. West Ellet Fadeaway

Buy Dire Wolves music via Bandcamp
• •
Buy Excursions to Cloudland via Beyond Beyond is Beyond

Big Ups: January 18, 2019 The Bowery Ballroom (Final Show!)

January 30, 2019
By
Photo courtesy of Edwina Hay

Big Ups began its life as a band in 2010 and ended on this very night in 2019. In a scene with hundreds of bands, many vying for attention in the same overall lane, Big Ups always stood out. I first saw them hot off the release of their first LP, Eighteen Hours of Static, at the now-defunct DIY venue Shea Stadium, and the experience stuck with me long after the feedback, and even the venue, faded. A DIY scene is ephemeral by definition–dozens of venues opened and closed during this band’s run, not to mention the number of bands who did the same. Big Ups persisted through it all, and they deserved to. Up through this very last night, at the very un-DIY Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, they made better music, played better shows, and earned better fans.

No matter what type of Big Ups fan you were, this show offered something. The setlist served as a ready-made career retrospective, spanning the band’s earliest EPs through their final, and most intricate, release, Two Parts Together. If you’d never seen Joe Galarraga, Brendan Finn, Amar Lal, and Carlos Salguero Jr. play together before, well, now you got it (if too late). For the rest of us, we were reminded why this band was a can’t-miss on any night of the week. Their particular flavor of “post-hardcore” music, steeped in the soft/loud dynamic, relied on precision as well as Galarraga’s hyperkinetic stage presence. No matter how many times you’d seen and heard them perform something, it landed hard, straight in the gut. The words were direct, the music was explosive, and the crowd was always, always with them. Tonight, it was no different, with a teeming pit that gave the Bowery Ballroom floor more resemblance to a place like Shea Stadium that it seems possible to have.

A band’s last show has a nasty habit of inviting too much nostalgia, both about them, and about the scene from whence they came. It’s without dispute that the scene “isn’t what it used to be” — because it isn’t supposed to be. A music community is an organism that thrives on change, and this is one of them. Bands like Big Ups, and the places they play, set the tone, and then, eventually, the hand off the torch. Keeping that sentiment as literal as possible, the band ended their set with “Not Over Yet” (ironically, from one of their early EPs). “Even if I never sing this song again / you know I won’t forget” Galarraga sings — and I believe it.

I recorded this set with a feed of RJ Gordon’s house mix, together with Schoeps MK4V microphones mounted at the soundboard. The sound quality is outstanding. Thanks to RJ for the feed, and best of luck to everyone in Big Ups on the next chapter.

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

Big Ups
2019-01-18 [Final Show]
The Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: RJ Gordon) + Schoeps MK4V (at SBD, slightly LOC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Sound Devices MixPre 6>24/48 polyWAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity 2.3>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:05:38]
01 Body Parts
02 Justice
03 Not Today
04 In the Shade
05 Hard To Care
06 Meet Where We Are
07 Grin
08 Knight
09 Goes Black
10 Hope For Someone
11 National Parks
12 Dogs
13 T.M.I.
14 [banter]
15 Wool
16 [encore break]
17 Fear
18 Stressed/Pressed
19 No Plan
20 Not Over Yet

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Big Ups, visit their websitelike them on Facebook and buy their records from Exploding In Sound. Also, support your local music scene!

Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven: January 20, 2019 Sony Hall

January 28, 2019
By

Last weekend I braved the frigid NYC temperatures—and that wind! and that fearsome moon!—for January’s traditional Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven tour. This was my first time seeing either band, unlikely to be my last. I wasn’t super familiar with Camper Van beforehand, but songs like “Too High for the Love-In” and their cover of Status Quo’s “Picture of Matchstick Men” are pretty irresistible.

Cracker played second, which was perfect because the crowd got good and loose during the set break. Anyone who was teenager in 1993/1994 has Cracker’s “Low” seared into their brains, and I really don’t want to out myself as a poser but seeing them play it live was the highlight for me. Don’t @ me. Lots of other great songs in this set, particular highlights for me being “How Can I Live Without You,” “Almond Grove,” and “Teen Angst.” Hopefully the tradition continues and I’ll see you there in January 2020.

I recorded this set with the MBHO cardoids run high, from a little right of the soundboard where the venue staff set me up in a nice booth. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Downloads available at the Live Music Archive: Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven

Cracker:

Camper Van Beethoven:

Cracker
2019-01-20
Sony Hall
New York, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

MBHO KA200N/603A (ROC, PAS) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks: [1:18:32]
01. Been Around the World
02. Mr. Wrong
03. Seven Days
04. How Can I Live Without You
05. Get Off This
06. The Good Life
07. Sweet Thistle Pie
08. California Country Boy
09. King of Bakersfield
10. Low
11. Almond Grove
12. One Fine Day
13. Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)
14. I See the Light
15. El Comandante
16. Beautiful

Camper Van Beethoven
2019-01-20
Sony Hall
New York, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com

MBHO KA200N/603A (ROC, PAS) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks: [58:07]
01. Northern California Girls
02. Pictures of Matchstick Men
03. Tania
04. Eye of Fatima
05. All Her Favorite Fruit
06. Good Guys & Bad Guys
07. Take the Skinheads Bowling
08. Sad Lovers Waltz
09. Summer Days
10. S.P. 37957 Medley
11. Too High For the Love-In

Buy music and merch, check tour dates, connect:
Cracker Website
• • Camper Van Beethoven Website

Heron Oblivion: December 9, 2018 Baby’s All Right

January 22, 2019
By
Photos by Michael Baca

Last month, the East Coast got a rare dose of live Heron Oblivion action in which Brooklyn lucked into this soaring seventy-minute set that includes five new songs. Holy cow! Hard to believe it’s been nearly three years since Heron Oblivion released their self-titled record. Since then they put out The Chapel, a live album recorded in January 2017 with a new, untitled song (the same one we heard back in 2016 at Union Pool) and a cover of Doug Sahm’s “At the Crossroads.” More recently, they’ve been quietly touring a set full of new songs that hopefully will see the light of day on LP2. All signs point to more greatness to come!

I recorded this set with a pair of MBHO omnidirectional mics on stage, plus a board feed from the Baby’s crew. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Downloads available at the Live Music Archive

Heron Oblivion
2018-12-09
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com
Additional mixing by acidjack
Photos by Michael Baca

Soundboard + MBHO KA100N/603A (on stage, DFC) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks: [1:09:59]
01. Oriar
02. Untitled 1
03. Untitled 2
04. Untitled 3
05. Untitled 4
06. Sudden Lament
07. Untitled 5
08. Faro
09. Rama
10. At the Crossroads [Doug Sahm]

Buy Heron Oblivion via Sub Pop
• • Connect with the band on Facebook
• • • Buy assorted Howlin Rain, Comets on Fire, and Feral Ohms music via Silver Current
• • • • Buy Meg Baird’s solo LP Don’t Weigh Down the Light via Drag City
• • • • • Buy Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound records via Tee Pee

Sunwatchers: December 9, 2018 Baby’s All Right

January 16, 2019
By
Photos by Michael Baca

Plenty of new Sunwatchers action out there for the years old and new. First up there’s the killer collab with Eugene Chadbourne, 3 Characters, out on Amish Records last year. The gang cover a bunch of Minutemen tunes on the first disc, followed by some Doug Sahm and Henry Flynt tunes on the second. It’s a trip! Then there’s Sunwatchers’ third LP, Illegal Moves, which is gonna blow some minds—just check out that cover! We’ve heard many of the new tunes live this past year and there’s no doubt this is going to be stratospheric.

Speaking of seeing Sunwatchers live, here’s a nice set from last month at Baby’s All Right. The foursome break out a still-untitled new tune along with previewing some tracks from Illegal Moves.

I recorded this with the MBHO omniderectional mics on stage, combined with a board feed from the Baby’s crew. The sound is outstanding. Enjoy!

Downloads available at the Live Music Archive



Sunwatchers
2018-12-09
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for nyctaper.com
Photos by Michael Baca

Soundboard + MBHO KA100N/603A (on stage, DFC) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks: [37:37]
01. Beautiful Crystals
02. Untitled
03. Greeneyed Pigmen (Get the Blade)
04. Everybody Play
05. The Works
06. Strollin Coma Blues

Band:
Peter Kerlin
Jim McHugh
Jeff Tobias
Jason Robira

Preorder Illegal Moves
• • Buy 3 Characters via Amish Records

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