Tashi Dorji: September 11, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 7, 2015


It’s no secret to followers of this site that we are big guitar fans — we’ve covered the heroes of the new American guitar movement, from the neo-traditionalists to the most avant-garde experimenters, with some regularity. Tashi Dorji, currently of Asheville, NC, is one of the finest in the latter category, and we finally got a chance to check him out live at the Hopscotch Music Festival, where in addition to his set with Elisa Ambrogio and Ben Chasny earlier in the day, he delivered a mesmerizing set at the Kennedy Theatre later that night. As Dorji progresses through the set, you almost forget that he is improvising every note, or that he is just one player, alone onstage. Dorji, even more than most, has forged his own path in life, teaching himself the guitar in his home country of Bhutan before he moved to the United States for college. Once here, he moved beyond the stratified realm of traditional rock into the alien terrain he occupies now, where he rarely if ever plays what the traditional boundaries of music require. “Alien” could describe the sounds of this set as well, as Dorji turns a single guitar into a mini-orchestra of sound, with insect-like finger-picked high notes combining with looping bass notes to create a wall of sound. The Kennedy Theatre is a perfect venue for this sort of thing — it can get dark in there, very dark, and it is cool and spacious enough to allow listeners to sprawl on the floor, eyes on the lone-lit player, bathed in music. Dorji has released several notable records, particularly this year’s Appa on the Asheville label Bathetic, but watching him create live gives a much clearer understanding of his magic. He did all of this with just one guitar and four pedals, and even watching it live, you couldn’t quite grasp where it all came from.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from the always-excellent NC-based engineer Wayne, together with Audio Technica 4051 microphones. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set:

Tashi Dorji
Hopscotch Music Festival
Kennedy Theatre
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Wayne) + Audio Technica 4051 (at SBD, DFC, PAS)>Edirol R-44>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Tashi Dorji, visit his website, and buy his latest albums from Bathetic Records.

Phil Cook: September 23, 2015 Rough Trade NYC + September 10, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival (Raleigh, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 7, 2015

[Hopscotch photo courtesy of Kenneth Bachor]

Phil Cook is a very easy person to like. If there’s a musician — or heck, a human in general — who is more affable, good-hearted and filled with positivity, I have yet to see them. Cook has been the dutiful bassist, the cheerful sidekick, the go-to-guy for a slew of bands, including Megafaun, with his brother Brad, Hiss Golden Messenger, Akron/Family, Gayngs, and DeYarmond Edison. As Phil pointed out himself, he’s had a long career of doing what other people told him — showing up on time, hitting the right notes, being a get-along guy. The new album Southland Mission represents his first foray into the world of the frontman. The microphone is his now, and the shots are his to call. So he’s assembled an eight-piece band, complete with backup singers, bass, second guitar, and keys, and he’s the one who decides when practice is, where to go, what to do. Suffice it say, most of us would be lucky to have such a genial boss. Southland Mission wears its influences on its sleeve — much as Cook literally wore a Staples Singers shirt this night — and Cook’s devotion to the gospel, soul, R&B and blues music of an earlier era is both obvious and genuine. “Lowly Road” offers a gospel-style chorus, while the loping blues of “Sitting On A Fence” could’ve come from Chicago in the 1960s.

These sets followed a relatively similar course, though with somewhat different vibes. The first, at Hopscotch, came on the day before the release of Southland Mission, and was the first time that Cook played the material in public, together with his band The Guitarheels. Staged in the grand Fletcher Opera Theater, with a band banner at his back (along with an inappropriately large ad for festival sponsor Mini), the setting felt appropriate to the moment. Packed with a fawning hometown crowd, Cook’s material was greeted at every step with roars and encouraging shouts from people he probably sees at the same shows every night (I had to reduce between-song volume to account for it, but trust me). When the band kicked off with one of the album’s most direct and best tunes, “Ain’t It Sweet,” the easy answer had to be yes — and the applause showed it. All of Southland Mission was played, not quite in album order, and the band chose to close with a country song, Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Northeast Texas Women.” As he would in New York, Cook complimented the band profusely, calling them a collection of the finest musicians he had worked with. It being the insular Triangle scene, it’s a reasonable guess that many of the people in the crowd knew them, too. Appropriate to the location, the show’s pace was leisurely and relaxed, with long breaks between songs that felt like Phil having a chat with friends. Both “Great Tide” and “Sitting on a Fence” proved to be opportunities for the band to stretch its legs, with guitar breakdowns that took them into longer territory than the tight album versions.

In New York, Phil and the Guitarheels could still welcome a crowd of friends from previous work, though in the club-like, intimate atmosphere of Rough Trade NYC. Phil may have had to exhort this crowd to stop standing so still (clearly he hasn’t seen as many shows in New York as I have), but against the odds, he got what he asked for. It remained an intimate and chatty show, and Phil’s own speech about getting to finally “be the frontman” was a touching one. Similarly, true to the album’s roots, Cook also talked a good bit about his love for the Staples singers (even wearing the T-shirt), and that’s another influence you can feel throughout these songs. For ease of listening, most of the banter tracks aren’t on the streaming versions below, but I’d urge you to download the full sets to get a better flavor of what Cook is about. While there are only so many ways to mix up the tracks on a single album, we got two brand-new covers this time: first, the Blind Boys of Alabama’s “Take Your Burden To the Lord and Leave It There,” and then Curtis Mayfield’s “Talking About My Baby.” Throughout this show, as in North Carolina, you couldn’t have forced the broad smile off of Phil Cook’s face at gunpoint. If there’s a world where nice guys finish first, well, Phil Cook is in pole position, folks.

I recorded the NYC set with a soundboard feed from Rough Trade engineer Danielle DePalma and Schoeps MK4V microphones; the Hopscotch set was recorded by our friend Larry Tucker with Peluso wide-cardiod microphones. The sound quality of both recordings is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the Rough Trade NYC set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Download the Hopscotch set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the Rough Trade NYC set:

Stream the Hopscotch set: 

Phil Cook
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Danielle DePalma) + Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Edirol R-44>24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, dither, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 1:10:38]
01 Ain’t It Sweet
02 [banter1]
03 1922
04 [banter2]
05 Belong
06 Sitting On A Fence
07 [banter3-band intros]
08 Time To Wake
09 Anybody Else
10 [banter4]
11 Gone
12 [banter5–speech]
13 Lowly Road
14 [banter6]
15 Great Tide
16 [encore break]
17 Take Your Burden To The Lord and Leave It There [Blind Boys of Alabama]
18 Talking About My Baby [Curtis Mayfield]

Phil Cook
Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by Larry Tucker
Produced by acidjack

Peluso CEMC6-CK21 (subcardiod) (Room center hung from balcony rail)>Fostex FR2-LE>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Ain’t It Sweet
02 1922
03 Belong
04 [banter1]
05 Sitting On A Fence
06 [banter2]
07 Lowly Road
08 [banter3]
09 Time To Wake
10 Anybody Else
11 [banter4]
12 Gone
13 [banter5]
14 Great Tide
15 [banter6]
16 Northeast Texas Women [Jerry Jeff Walker]

If you enjoyed these recordings, PLEASE SUPPORT Phil Cook, visit his website, and buy Southland Mission from his online store.


Destroyer: October 4, 2015 Webster Hall – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 6, 2015

[photos by P Squared Photography]

With the newly-released double LP Poison Season, Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer, has absolutely outdone himself. His finest album to date, Poison Season is a lush exploration of Bejar’s psyche, the melancholia of his words a perfect compliment to the abundance of wistful, purposeful arrangements of strings and brass. But if you talk to long time fans, what impresses them most about Destroyer in 2015 is how incredible the live show has become.

This set at Webster Hall couldn’t have been better timed, coming on a Sunday night the day after Bejar’s birthday. His evident good spirits — buoyed by fans singing “Happy Birthday” in the crowd — elevated what already promised to be a memorable evening in front of a sold out crowd. Destroyer on this tour is a full eight-piece band capable of rendering even the most intricate Poison Season arrangements with beautiful detail, as Bejar swoops about the stage in his loose beige overcoat, microphone in hand. His songs, bathed in the soft rock and smooth jazz sounds of the 70s and 80s, have always existed apart from the current moment. It might be that — and the crystal-clear detail and wit of his lyrics — that makes Destroyer so memorable to fans. Rarely if ever do I see grown men singing along with the passion of teenage girls at a Dashboard Confessional show circa 2004, but that’s what Bejar inspired in more than a few pockets of this crowd. Compared to our last outing with the band, at Webster Hall in 2011, this set felt even more confident, complete and assured, with Bejar firmly in command of his vocals without the assistance of the backup singer he had last time. Poison Season is of course the star of this tour, but each night’s setlists bring gems from all over the catalog. In this case, for example: “Rubies” and “European Oils” from 2006’s Destroyer’s Rubies and of course, “Kaputt,” “Savage Night at the Opera” and “Chinatown” from 2011’s Kaputt, and “Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night’s Ape)” from the band’s 2008 record Trouble In Dreams.

This was one of those shows where there wasn’t a literal or figurative note out of place, as impressive a technical achievement in the live setting as the production of Poison Season is on the album. It’s hard to pick one or two moment of this over others; what mattered was the cohesion, the progression and the sense of straight-up rightness this set had with it. A band feeling their game, an adoring crowd who knows what they want and is loving getting it, and songs that either revealed new angles or rewarded those who’d studied them for years. Destroyer doesn’t tour often, making each one a treat. This particular outing continues down the East Coast and then on to the West Coast and Europe (check the dates here). However the rest of this goes, it’ll be hard to top this night in New York City.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from Destroyer’s FOH (please send his name if you have it) and the Webster house engineer Raphael, combined with Schoeps MK41V supercardiod microphones. The sound quality is exceptional. Enjoy!

Thanks to Merge Records and Dan Bejar for permitting this recording. 

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

Stream the complete show:

Webster Hall
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Thanks to Merge Records and Dan Bejar

Soundboard (engineers: Raphael and [if you have Destroy engineer’s name, please send!]) + Schoeps MK41V (at SBD, DFC)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Edirol R-44>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, align, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, compression)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:12:34]
01 Bangkok
02 Forces From Above
03 Savage Night at the Opera
04 European Oils
05 Sun In the Sky
06 Chinatown
07 Midnight Meet the Rain
08 Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night’s Ape)
09 Times Square
10 Poor In Love
11 Hell
12 Kaputt
13 Dream Lover
14 [encore break]
15 Girl In A Sling
16 Rubies

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Destroyer, like them on facebook, and buy Poison Season and their other records from Merge Records.


Built To Spill: September 25, 2015 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

October 5, 2015

BTS Will
[photo courtesy of Will at We All Want Someone To Shout For blog]

In the lead up to this show I realized that in a few months, it will be twenty years since the first time I saw Built To Spill live. That early 1996 show at the late great Tramps was a revelation — I mean, who knew that a band of guitar wizards could come from a place like Idaho. But from that day forward I’ve followed Built To Spill and seen them live consistently ever since, close to thirty times. Indeed, they’ve been on NYCTaper fourteen times. So I think I have a pretty good idea of when the band is playing well and whether a particular show is a good one. Last Friday at Bowery Ballroom, I’m pretty sure I saw one of the best BTS shows of all of them. This was a night that started with a “wow” version of “Time Trap” and never let up. The band is currently on tour in support of their new album Untethered Moon — their first new release in six years. Perhaps its the excitement of the addition of the new songs to the setlist, but there seemed to be a renewed energy on stage, and in the crowd the energy was returned. You can hear from this recording how engaged was the Bowery faithful. We are streaming two highlights from this show (of many). At eight minutes in length, “Velvet Waltz” is one of the longest tracks on one of our favorite BTS albums (Perfect From Now On), and on this night the closing jam just went bonkers and kept the song going for twelve minutes. In the encore segment, the persistent fans who had been calling all night for “Joyride” were treated to an scorching version of one of the band’s earliest singles — it was Doug Martsch’s best solo in a night filled with them.

I recorded this set from our standard Bowery location. But this one is special. It was mixed perfectly by the band’s tour FOH Eric and we used primarily the room mics in this mix. There’s about 25% of the board feed to supplement the vocals and overall the sound quality is quite superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream “Velvet Waltz”:

Stream “Joyride”:

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, and feel free to repost the Soundcloud links.

Built To Spill
Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer: Eric Gilbert] + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:41:02]
01 Time Trap
02 Strange
03 Living Zoo
04 Nowhere Nothin Fuckup
05 Made-Up Dreams
06 Velvet Waltz
07 Heart
08 So
09 Liar
10 Mess With Time
11 Never Be The Same
12 Big Dipper
13 Carry the Zero
14 [encore break]
15 Reasons
16 Joyride
17 [thanks]
18 Goin Against Your Mind

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Built to Spill, visit their website and purchase their new album Untethered Moon from Warner Music [HERE]. 

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: September 30, 2015 Music Hall of Williamburg – Flac/MP3/Streaming

October 4, 2015

[photos by PSquared Photography – full set at brooklynvegan]

A month ago we posted Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s performance at the Hopscotch Festival. It was a strange night for acidjack — as the outdoor venue and the pouring rain created a surreal experience for GYBE show. As a nice bookend of the Canadian band’s month-long tour of the US East coast, we caught one of the NYC appearances at the intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (they also played Terminal 5 and Warsaw last week).

The MHOW show was more a “traditional” GYBE show as the band’s projectionist was able to provide a stunning backdrop to the thematic post-rock being orchestrated from the stage. Additionally, the venue was the perfect size for an attentive crowd — there was virtually no chatter and the audience was fully engaged in the show. The result was virtually the perfect concert experience. If so inclined, it was literally possible to get lost in the music, as GYBE played straight through without a break and the show flowed flawlessly. This show lasted well over two hours, but if you were engaged in the music the time was immaterial. The GYBE setlist was fairly consistent with the shows of this tour with a “Hope Drone” opener and a complete run through the band’s new album Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress included. This particular show also added “Gathering Storm” early in the set and late in the show featured one of the two new songs that have appeared on this tour. The show closed with twenty-minutes of “The Sad Mafioso” that faded into a long drone where each of the band members exited the stage before guitarist Efrim Menuck returned to the stage to turn off all of the amps and end the night. It was a subtle closing of a very intense evening but seemed completely apt.

Godspeed’s US tour is complete, but the band will spend the next six weeks touring throughout Europe, dates here.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps set up on the floor inside of a nook at the front of the soundboard booth. The sound in the venue was superb and this recording captures it equally well. Enjoy!

Thanks to Tim for his tremendous help throughout the week in making this recording happen in the fashion that it did!

This Recording is Available for Download in FLAC and MP3 at Archive.org [HERE].

Stream the Complete Show via Archive.org:


Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Recorded FOB

Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

[Total Time 2:09:19]
01 Hope Drone
02 Gathering Storm
03 Peasantry or Light Inside of Light
04 Lambs Breath
05 Asunder Sweet
06 Piss Crowns Are Trebled
07 Moya
08 [New Song]
09 The Sad Mafioso

If you download or stream this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Godspeed You! Black Emperor, visit their website, and purchase their new album Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress from Constellation Records [HERE].


Birds of Avalon: September 12, 2015 Hopscotch Music Festival – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 2, 2015


Birds of Avalon are the best kind of local heroes — a band of serious players whose main reason for not being more prolific is simply that they’re too busy doing other things. That makes each of their appearances a special treat, and the crowd spilling down the street from the overstuffed Pour House attested to what a draw they were. Cheetie Kumar, Paul Siler, David Mueller, Missy Thangs and the dual-drummer attack of Jason Alyward and Scott Nurkin kicked off this Hopscotch Music Festival set with a vengeance, tearing into the longform, unreleased jammer “Emblems” before settling into the brand-new “Goin’ Under” from their newly-released seven-inch of the same name. With their last full-length LP having dropped in 2010, the band brought out lots of new material to sate those who waited, including most of the Disappearance EP, which like the “Goin’ Under” seven-inch is available from Third Uncle Records. The band plays loud, fast guitar rock n’ roll with distinct psychedelic overtones, and that and the vocal harmonies echo classic bands like Shocking Blue. Siler and Kumar (a husband and wife team who also own local club King’s and the restaurant Garland) were in the well-loved local band Cherry Valence, and the influence of that work is felt here as well. This set was made extra-special by the appearance of improviser-in-residence and one of NYC’s most outstanding experimental drummers, Greg Fox, on “Wasted Hours.” I’ll dedicate this recording to the many Triangle denizens who tried to squeeze into the Pour House too late and missed this one — hope this recording can be a decent substitute!

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41V microphones at the soundboard cage, together with a soundboard feed from Pour House’s veteran sound engineer, Jack. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

 Thanks to Missy Thangs for the setlist and approving the recording.

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

Stream the complete show:

Birds of Avalon
Hopscotch Music Festival
Pour House
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41V (LOC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Jack)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ, imagage)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 40:15]
01 Emblems [new]
02 Goin’ Under
03 Guffaws
04 Disappearance
05 Come Loose
06 Eyesore
07 Over Your Shoulder
08 [Greg Fox comes onstage]
09 Wasted Hours

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Birds of Avalon, visit their website, like them on Facebook, and buy the Disappearance EP and “Goin’ Under” 7″ from Third Uncle.

[photo courtesy of “Chauncy Buttertooth”]

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