Celebration: September 26, 2014 Mercury Lounge – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 16, 2014


Celebration easily wins for a band with an apt-sounding (if not optimally Google-able) name. Their upbeat sound threads the needle between organic and electronic in a way that invites a host of meaningless microgenre phrases like “psychedelic soul” and “cabaret-punk”. Whatever you want to call it, the root of the matter is that the band’s key appeal rests on two pillars — the voice of Katrina Ford and the sounds made by multi-instrumentalist Sean Antanaitis, the one most responsible for the band’s hard-to-classify sound. By this point, the Baltimore band has been at it a full decade, yet the only really clear thing I’ve read about them is that they’re friends with TV on the Radio. Such is their blessing and curse — Celebration don’t fit into many neat boxes or narratives, the less so the longer they’ve been around.

This show at Mercury Lounge was styled as a bit of a release party for the band, being the New York debut of the material from their 2014 LP, Albumin, along with some numbers even newer than the current releases. If you didn’t know the band at all up until the first song played, that album’s track “Razor’s Edge” might have convinced you that they were standard-bearing shoegazers, leaving the confusion at the door. But that was just the first song. “Tomorrow’s Here Today” — next up on the album as well as at the show — takes things in a completely different direction, drawing inspiration from New Wave. Owing perhaps to being the anchor act on a late-going bill, the band kept things loose, taking their time between songs and playing the new material unselfconsciously.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from Mercury production manager Dave Lefcourt. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show: 

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.

Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK41 (ROC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Dave Lefcourt)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 53:25]
01 Razor’s Edge
02 [banter1]
03 Tomorrow’s Here Today
04 In This Land
05 [banter2]
06 Freedom Ring
07 Blood Is the Brine
08 Chariot
09 [banter3]
10 Walk On
11 [banter4]
12 [new song 1]
13 Heartbreak
14 I Got Sol

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Celebration, visit their website, and buy Albumin here.

Ought: October 14, 2014 Bowery Ballroom – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 16, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

It only took one listen to Ought‘s debut album, More Than Any Other Day to understand that they are a young band of uncommon musical ambition and scope. They play a brand of rhythmically complex art-punk that incorporates elements of the “math rock” sound that rose to prominence in the 1990s, while still maintaining a great ability to make melodies you might hum. Formed in Montreal during a period of civil unrest by a group of young men mostly from somewhere else, their songs brim with disaffection as well as hope, a sort of post-OWS sensation that no matter how difficult things may seem, a way forward still exists. The album title, then, says a lot about where they are philosophically.

As a live band, Ought more than do their recorded output justice. They took the stage at Bowery Ballroom in a relatively quiet pre-CMJ week and stormed through most of their album plus a new song. The whole band has significant musical chops; drummer Tim Keen deserves a lot of the credit for keeping things tight, just as Tim Keeler’s sneering vocals give a memorable voice to the band’s vision. Listening to the eight songs live, some of which got the extended treatment (especially “Forgiveness”) it was striking how single-worthy almost every one of these tracks was, as well as how distinct each song was from the other. Pitchfork’s very positive review rightly pointed out that Ought’s more immediate style made them an odd bedfellow with the roster they share with Godspeed You Black Emperor and Colin Stetson, but I think Constellation Records knows what they’re up to. If the label’s goal is to cull the very best of the band’s adopted city, putting ambition at the forefront of any particular genre, then Ought fit right in. These guys are going places. And if you want to watch them do it, catch some of their upcoming tour dates, including Washington, DC tonight and Purchase, NY tomorrow.

I recorded this set in our usual manner for the venue, with Schoeps MK5 cardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from Bowery legend Kenny. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Direct download of full set: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set:

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.


Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK5 (at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Kenny (house) and Ought engineer (name?)>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Today More Than Any Other Day
02 The Weather Song
03 Clarity!
04 Habit
05 Pleasant Heart
06 Forgiveness
07 [banter1]
08 Gemini
09 Beautiful Blue Sky

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ought, like them on Facebook, and buy their releases from Constellation Records.

NYCTaper Upcoming Schedule: Fall and Winter 2014-15

October 15, 2014

taper larger

With the change of season and CMJ upon us, it seems like a good time to update our calendar.

Caveat: Below is the updated schedule. We expect to attend and record these events. However, circumstances will prevent some of these from being done, and others will be added in the meantime. Feel free to make suggestions or point out shows we missed.


White Fence:
October 13, 2014 Baby’s All Right Brooklyn

October 14, 2014 Bowery Ballroom NYC

October 15, 2014 Baby’s All Right Brooklyn

J Mascis:
October 17, 2014 Bowery Ballroom NYC

Paul Collins Beat:
October 18, 2014 Cake Shop NYC

Thurston Moore:
October 21, 2014 Saint Vitus Brooklyn

NYCTaper CMJ Show:
October 23, 2014 Cake Shop NYC

Thurston Moore:
October 26, 2014 Rough Trade Brooklyn

Panache CMJ Hangover Brunch (White Fence, King Gizzard, etc):
October 26, 2014 Baby’s All Right BK

Additional CMJ shows will be attended and recorded

October 28 29 30, 2014 Capitol Theatre Portchester NY

Cass McCombs / Meat Puppets:
November 1, 2014 Rough Trade Brooklyn

Big Ups:
November 2, 2014 Mercury Lounge NYC

Kevin Devine:
November 3, 2014 HiFi Bar NYC (formerly Brownies)

November 7, 2014 Mercury Lounge NYC

Dream Syndicate:
November 15 and November 16, 2014 Rough Trade Brooklyn

Thee Oh Sees:
November 18, 2014 Bowery Ballroom NYC

Yo La Tengo / Antietam:
December 6, 2014 Trocadero Philadelphia PA

Medeski Martin and Wood:
December 11, 2014 Terminal 5 NYC

December 18, 2014 Saint Vitus Brooklyn

January 17, 2015 TBA NYC

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead:
January 23 and January 24, 2015 Brooklyn Bowl

Ryley Walker: September 6, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Full Set Streaming)

October 15, 2014

[Screen capture by Dan Schram]

Maybe that whole “old soul” saw is lame. Does a man need to have aged many decades to have lived hard, or to have seen the world through enough other people’s eyes? Does a man need to have suffered the physical indignities of age for his voice to be mournful? Is twenty-four too young to really know evil, to make heartbreak sound believable? Ryley Walker is that age. Define it by whatever trope you must, but Ryley Walker performs with a rugged grace and gut-wrenching, soul-searching level of realness that don’t come to men his age all that often. He sat down, at the rightmost end of a semicircle on Fletcher Opera Theater’s broad stage, as the final act to play there during this Hopscotch Music Festival. By the time he got up I felt a way that I hadn’t quite since seeing Hiss Golden Messenger take that same stage with a large band two years before. I don’t put any artist in the company of HGM lightly, but there I believe Ryley sits. He’s that good, the real deal, all of the great things it’s even possible to be when you’re sitting on just one album of “this kind” of material (Ryley’s previous work fell more to the experimental/noise end of the spectrum).

That LP, All Kinds of You, just arrived on Tompkins Square this April, but that material has new company in the incredibly strong output which dominated this set. Walker led off with a new song, followed by his first single, “The West Wind”, before heading into the gorgeous “Primrose Green”. Walker has already earned comparisons to Bert Jansch and Tim Buckley, and his current sound has a classicism to it that makes that fair. Walker huddled in his chair like an older man, taking long breaks between songs to get his tuning right, maybe set his head straight for the next song. Walker sings with depth, in a way that makes each song seem like it takes its own reserve of him. Away from the mic, he’s as amiable as a person comes; faced with his songs he’s transformed. These are songs that operate at some remove from even updated versions of traditional sounds; they seem almost unconcerned with modern flourishes. Kudos belong to Walker’s band, too, which includes a killer roster of players who give these songs not only shape but a live fluidity that makes them all the more special.

But don’t take our word for it. Walker will be appearing at CMJ on Friday, October 24 at an Aquarium Drunkard-sponsored showcase at Rough Trade. Don’t miss it, as the lineup contains many veterans of this site as well as special new bands.

We owe a large dose of gratitude to North Carolina-based taper Larry Tucker for recording and contributing this outstanding capture, made with Peluso American-made cardiod microphones and a soundboard feed. The quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Direct download of full set: [MP3 (faster)] [MP3 (permanent)] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set

Ryley Walker
Hopscotch Music Festival
Fletcher Opera Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Larry Tucker

Peluso CEMC6-CK4 (Room center hung from balcony rail)>Fostex FR2-LE @ 24/48 + Soundboard> Edirol R09-HR @ 24/24>Adobe Audition (Mixing)>Izotope Ozone 5 (multi-band compression>lower sample rate> CD Wave>Flac

01 Summer Dress
02 The West Wind
03 Primrose Green
04 Hide In the Roses
05 Love Can Be Cruel
06 On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee
07 Same Minds
08 Sweet Satisfaction

Ryley Walker – vocals, guitar
Ben Boye – keys
Anton Hatwich – bass
Brian Sulpizio – electric guitar
Frank Rosaly – drums
Jeb Bishop – trombone on final song

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker, like him on Facebook, and buy his records here.

Steve Gunn: October 12, 2014 Rough Trade NYC – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

October 14, 2014


Steve Gunn‘s tenacity and prolific output have paid off. When I saw the man mentioned in Rolling Stone in conjunction with his latest, Way Out Weather, which also received favorable notice in all the right places, I felt that sense of vindication that sometimes the mainstream gets it right. Properly hailed in that magazine as a “six-string legend”, what is perhaps more notable about Gunn’s recent turns is his growth as a vocalist. More than a few guitarists’ careers have foundered when the man stepped to the microphone, but Gunn’s vocal turns, particularly on his last two records, have only broadened his appeal. You’d be mistaken if you ignored instrumental triumphs like Boerum Palace and Ocean Parkway (or his Golden Gunn effort with Hiss Golden Messenger), but Gunn has established himself now as a capable traditional frontman as well as one of the most exciting guitarists of his generation.

This show celebrated the release of Way Out Weather in Gunn’s hometown, and he and the band arrived exhausted but loose from a too-long stint on the parking lot of I-95. The show began almost informally, with the band’s soundcheck seguing into a jam that became “Water Wheel” from Time Off, followed by “Old Strange” from that album in a similar, extra-extended mode. Gunn took his time between tracks to chat about the meanings of songs (“Wildwood” came from a lot of time on the Jersey shore as a kid; “Milly’s Garden” arose out of conflict with a nosy neighbor) and joke with the crowd. The vibe was both homecoming and celebration, as it should have been. The title track and “Tommy’s Congo” already feel like live show standards, offering Gunn ample opportunities to shred on guitar. Likewise, he and the band didn’t hold back on the encore number, “Lurker”, a song celebrated for a while now as one of the best examples of Gunn’s vintage blues. Gunn’s exposure to the world has been a bit like his music, unfolding without hurry, at his own pace. Here’s to more people spreading the word.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from Rough Trade engineer in our usual location in the venue. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the full set (minus banter tracks):

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.


Steve Gunn
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK41 (DFC, PAS, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Nick)>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:15:25]
01 intro jam>Water Wheel
02 [banter1]
03 Old Strange
04 [banter2]
05 Wildwood
06 [banter3]
07 Shadow Bros
08 [banter4]
09 Milly’s Garden
10 Way Out Weather
11 [banter5]
12 Tommy’s Congo
13 [encore break]
14 Lurker

Steve Gunn – Vocals, guitar
Nathan Bowles – Banjo, drums
Jim Elkington – Guitar
Jason Meagher – Drums, bass

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Steve Gunn, visit his website, and buy his releases from Paradise of Bachelors and Three Lobed Recordings

The Gradients: September 5, 2014 Shea Stadium Interview/FLAC/MP3/Streaming

October 14, 2014

[Photo from the Studio at Webster Hall show by Stephen Balser, as featured on the band's facebook page]

The night of their self-titled and debut record release at Shea Stadium, Emilio Herce sat down with The Gradients, comprised of Charlie DY, Sammy Weissberg, Luca Ba, and J Boxer, to talk to us about their song writing process, touring down to SXSW, and the DIY ethic they bring to their live shows. Featured with this interview is a full live set for streaming and download. You can catch The Gradients’ next show at Palisades this Thursday.

NYCTaper: All of you play in different bands. Do you ever had a moment when you’re writing a song, but you decided, ‘hey, maybe I want to save it for this other band’”?

Sammy: Not for me, this is the only band I write music in. I also play in Bluffing and Le Rug. But Bluffing’s all John.

J. Boxer (John): Nah, I definitely know. There’s definitely stuff that I write where I’m like ‘this would be really weird for Gradients.’

NYCT: The Gradients have four songwriters, most bands have only one or two, so how does the song writing process work? Does everyone have equal input, or does someone bring in a skeleton and then lead in the process of building it?

Luca Ba: I mean, usually one or two people will have an individual thing that they bring in.

NYCT: Like a riff? Do you ever bring in a complete song?

Luca: Some people have.

Charlie: A lot of times it’s a song that gets changed, like as a band we’ll work on it. Also it’s funny that you say that cause like, we have a lot of trouble naming our songs, and a lot of the time they wind up being labeled as whoever brought it in, like ‘Sammy New,’ or ‘Charlie New,’ or ‘Luca New,’ ‘John New,’ but I wouldn’t say that any of those songs truly belong to that person.

Sammy: I think in this band you can’t really bring in a song, and like anything is subject to change. Every song I’ve brought in has basically just ended up different.

NYCT: You guys are releasing a four track EP, each of you writing one song. Are those songs written yet, are you still working on them?

Sammy: We’re playing two of them tonight. One is pretty close to being done. I guess the fourth one we haven’t even started yet.

Charlie: Mine is in the lab.

NYCT: At what point do you feel comfortable performing a song. When it’s fleshed out entirely?

Luca: I think often it’s not.

NYCT: So the writing process happens on stage too.

J Boxer: We know we’re not playing it the way it’s going to be, the finished product or whatever, and there’s kind fear or nervousness about it, but that’s what you have to do.

Sammy: Just play it over and over again, that’s kind of how I write songs anyway. Usually when I write something, I play it every day, like multiple times a day and over a long period of time things start to develop. I think that repetition is a good way to develop ideas, if you just have it in your ear.

J Boxer:  I feel good about the two new ones that we have.

Charlie: The first show that we ever played as a band, way before John was in the band, we got offered a show and we weren’t ready, but we just played it.  We were just like ‘why not, we were going to open the show.’ It came together on stage, and I feel like that vibe carried out into our band in general. You know a lot of times, like honestly, we’ll play a song, and the lyrics aren’t completely finished, but they’ll even grow from what we come up with, when we play it.

NYCT: Was this years South By your first tour experience as a band? How was that?

Luca: We became a family with the other members of Bluffing, Heeney and Slonk Donkerson. I’d say that those four bands are joined forever.

Charlie: It was a pretty magical time in Austin. I mean it was a great experience, and we played a lot of great shows, but it really almost felt like a musical vacation.

Sammy: It wasn’t the most organized show.

Charlie: The last tour we went on was like totally just you know play, go to the next place.  Austin, we played a bunch of shows getting down there, and we got to Austin an we kind of went nuts. A lot of bonding and hanging out.

NYCT: Are you going to do anything differently in the studio this time around? Did you learn anything last time, that you’re not going to do this time, or is there anything that you’re going to bring over from the last record?

Luca: Ideally it won’t take as long to come out, I would say.

Sammy: I think I learned a lot about overdubs, like what sounds good, and what doesn’t and I couldn’t really explain it any more than that, but there are things on the record that obviously bug me, so you’re not going to be totally satisfied.

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

Stream the complete show:

The Gradients
Shea Stadium
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded by Emilio Herce and Shea Stadium
Produced by acidjack

Multitrack digital soundboard>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects on individual tracks, compression, imaging, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Growing Pile>
02 Boxed In
03 [new song 1]
04 Gradients
05 [new song 2]
06 I’ll Find Your Grave
07 In Perspective
08 Charlie 182
09 Shelf
10 Something to Blame

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT The Gradients by visiting their bandcamp page, where you can buy their debut album release.

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