MAKE: September 9, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival, Pour House (Raleigh, NC)

September 29, 2016


MAKE represent another of my favorite recent finds from the Triangle in North Carolina. The three-piece, consisting of Scott Endres, Luke Herbst and Spencer Lee, make the kind of intense, loud-as-hell, but thoughtful metal that, with doom, black, and stoner elements, and a decent dose of flat-out classic rock, puts them in a category beyond a single niche scene. Like more than a few bands in the area, MAKE has been fighting hard against North Carolina’s bigoted HB2 law, including with their most on-the-nose contribution, the song “Human Garbage,” featuring Governor Pat McCrory’s face on the cover. That song made the rotation during this Hopscotch Music Festival show at the Pour House in Raleigh, which remains one of the best places in the area to see heavy music.

The band’s performance, kicking off the night in the venue, shook the rafters with Endres and Lee’s deep riffage, bringing the heaviest elements of the band’s sound to the fore. That’s in keeping with their latest album, Pilgrimage of Loathing, which (perhaps reflecting their view of the political situation) is a harder-edged and more rage-fueled affair than 2015’s The Golden Veil, which keeps company at many points with an entirely different group of bands (Sleep, Om, Arbouretum) than the references you might hear on Pilgrimage. The juxtaposition was thrilling live — experience the whip-turn from “The Somnabulist” and “Human Garbage” to “The Absurdist” and “The Architect” from The Golden Veil. It showed, in a relatively short set, how versatile, and how enjoyable, this band can be, and one would hope to see them around this part of the world (paging Saint Vitus) sooner rather than later.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V at the soundboard booth. The vocals are a bit quieter than I would like in the recording, but otherwise this is an excellent representation of this band. Check out Pilgrimage of Loathing on bandcamp, which is also streaming below, and the band’s other records. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Check out Pilgrimage of Loathing:

Hopscotch Music Festival
Pour House
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (LOC, at SBD)>KC5>CMC6>Zoom F8>24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (hard limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 The Somnambulist
02 Human Garbage
03 The Absurdist
04 [banter]
05 Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You>
06 The Architect

PLEASE SUPPORT MAKE: Facebook | Bandcamp


Al Riggs: September 9, 2016 Hopscotch Music Festival, Deep South (Raleigh, NC)

September 28, 2016

[Screen capture from this video]

As happens more and more frequently these days in North Carolina, Al Riggs dedicated one of his songs — “Carolina Peacemaker” — to the state’s governor Pat McCrory, whose brazenly incompetent and offensive campaign against LGBTQ people has lost the state several major concerts, the NCAA tournament, a major PayPal facility, and the NBA All-Star Game, among other things. As he detailed in an interview this summer, Riggs, who is gay, didn’t set out to make his music political, at least not about that topic. But he, like many of his fellow citizens, has found that if you live under this regime, you no longer have a choice.

If you leave out the political stuff, the most notable detail about Riggs is the volume of his output, made mostly by himself, mostly using his iPhone or laptop. His work (he was heading up to record a new album the following week in New York) finds its moment when he decides, rather than the practicalities of a “release schedule” or studio time or the various other trappings of most musicians’ lives. As a result, he’s able and willing to share his ideas at a furious pace, about whatever topic suits him — from state politics to the (very) unfortunately (since re-)  named Durham restaurant “Hattie Mae Williams Called Me Captain.”

Being a festival-length set, this Hopscotch Music Festival performance at Deep South the Bar could hardly do justice to Riggs’ entire body of work, but it gave those of us who hadn’t seen him live a flavor of what he’s capable of. Riggs, with a sing-speak delivery that purposefully doesn’t obscure his words, lives in both the rock and folk worlds, able to deliver a forceful choogler like “Afraid of Heaven” with the same degree of skill he brings to more subtle tunes like “All The Cells” — a song, he said, “for every queer kid’s parents who are trying to figure out what to do next.” Even if this set was billed simply as “Al Riggs,” one has to give  credit to his band, the Inconveniences,” who appear on his most recent album (though it’s hard to keep up) Night Freedom. While Riggs has been successful at recording on his own, there’s no denying the additional power of the live act, and his music and this modest-but-accommodating venue were a natural fit. It’s not really worth leaving New York to see the bands that play here all the time (which is most of them). It’s the shows like this, by the local gems that you’d hate to miss, that make the trip.

I recorded this set with a relatively modest setup, Audio Technica AT 853 cardiod microphones mounted in the center of the room. While there are some occasional spots of crowd noise here and there, the sound quality of this recording is overall quite strong. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Al Riggs
Hopscotch Music Festival
Deep South
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Audio Technica 853c (2’ split, DFC)>CA-UBB>Sony PCM-10>24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Don’t Smoke In Bed
02 [banter]
03 Young Hegelians
04 Afraid of Heaven
05 Reagan Slain By Hero Cop
06 All The Cells
07 [banter2]
08 Carolina Peacemaker
09 [banter3]
10 Tunnel of Gore
11 [banter4]
12 Hungry Months


LVL UP: September 24, 2016 Market Hotel

September 27, 2016

[photo courtesy of Rob from House Of Nod]

On Friday LVL UP released their new album Return To Love, their first for legendary record label Sub Pop. The album is a superb collection of songs from the band’s three songwriters that indicate a large mix of influences but ultimately seems utterly original. The day after the band released the album, LVL UP celebrated with a sold-out show at Market Hotel that was as joyous as it was well-deserved.

LVL UP are four friends who’ve played music together since college, put together a record label for their own releases and for the release of their friends, moved to NYC and played a lot of shows. And at Market, it was clear just how many friends they’ve made — between the advanced ticket sales, the packed crowd, and the idea that most of these fans seemed to know each other (the band’s parents were even there). LVL UP responded with a set that was both high on energy and also showed that the guys were moved by the outpouring of support. But this was a record release show after all and LVL UP did not disappoint. They played “side one” of the album straight through to start the show and then played a few older numbers. LVL UP then finished the set with “side two” of the album before being called back for a couple of encores.

LVL UP will tour across the US throughout the months of September and October and through to the middle of November, including a date opening for Bear Vs Shark at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. All dates are here.

I recorded this set with the installed AT Mics mixed with Jason Kelly’s excellent feed. The sound is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

Market Hotel
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Upfront Audience

Soundboard [Engineer: Jason Kelly] + Audio Technica 4051 > 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 59:12]
01 Hidden Driver
02 Blur
03 She Sustains Us
04 Spirit Was
05 Pain
06 Annie’s A Witch
07 Angel From Space
08 I Feel OK
09 [banter – thanks]
10 The Closing Door
11 Five Men on the Ridge
12 Cut from the Vine
13 I
14 Naked in the River with the Creator
15 [encore break]
16 I Feel Extra-Natural
17 Bro Chillers

SUPPORT LVL UP: Tumblr | Bandcamp | Purchase Return to Love from Sub Pop

The Dead C: September 20, 2016 First Unitarian Congregational Society

September 25, 2016

The Dead C
[Photo via]

Do The Dead C need any introduction? The band’s status among devotees of noise and Kiwi rock is near mythological. And their long absence from performing in the U.S. has confounded younger listeners who might have discovered the band in the mid-aughts when Ba Da Bing issued the compilation Vain, Erudite, and Stupid and then started reissuing long-out-of-print classics like DR503 and Eusa Kills. This year saw the release of Trouble, comprised of five twitching, droning, and pummeling tracks that thwart any attempt at dissection or categorization. Having long abandoned any semblance of traditional song structure in favor of visceral, blown-eardrum improvisation resembling the band’s most famed track “Driver UFO,” Trouble might yet be The Dead C’s rock opus. So to say the anticipation for their brief September tour (hitting only Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Louisville’s Cropped Out Festival, and Los Angeles) was high would be to massively understate it. Despite the absence of drummer Robbie Yeats, who unfortunately was unable to make the tour, this hour-plus set from Michael Morley and Bruce Russell is a tribute to the band’s endurance. Backed with crashing and ebbing prerecorded drum tracks from Yeats, the duo stretch the bounds of guitar-based music, resulting in a performance that is utterly and uniquely The Dead C.

Acidjack and I recorded this from a central location in the church, combined with a board feed from the engineer Gus. The sound is outstanding; the performance extraordinary. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [FLAC] [MP3]

Stream the complete show:

The Dead C
First Unitarian Congregational Society
Brooklyn, NY USA

Recorded by acidjack and Eric PH
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Gus) + Schoeps MK22 (FOB, DFC, PAS)>KCY>Aeta PSP3>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades, normalize)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>xAct 2.36 (tags, encode)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation

Buy Trouble and other Dead C releases via Ba Da Bing/Grapefruit
• • Buy Harsh 70s Reality via Siltbreeze

MANAS: September 9, 2016 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s (Raleigh, NC)

September 23, 2016


We were floored by Tashi Dorji‘s performance at Hopscotch Music Festival last year, so it seemed almost inevitable that the relentless guitar improviser would somehow become part of our favorite of the weekend’s events, the the annual Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show at King’s, the following year. This very special show featured the band MANAS, which is normally a collaboration between Dorji and Thom Nguyen on drums. For this show, the band was joined by Tyler Damon on an additional drum kit. Like Dorji’s solo work, many MANAS performances are fully improvised, and this was no exception. This twenty-five minute performance rose and fell, with the tinkling percussion that began it giving way to Dorji’s initial guitar meditations before exploding into a furious, expanding universe of sound. Dorji’s performances have a way of hitting you differently the more times you listen to them; he has a way of producing a tangle of emotions with his instrument. This performance began the day, and set a high bar for what was to come. It was work to be admired, and in true Three Lobed tradition, that made you think.

I recorded this set with Brad Womack’s soundboard feed together with Schoeps MK4V microphones onstage. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC/ALAC]

Stream the complete show:

Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (stage lip, DFC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard (engineer: Brad Womack)>Zoom F8>3x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 improvisation

Tashi Dorji – Guitar
Thom Nguyen – Drums
Tyler Damon – Drums

PLEASE SUPPORT MANAS: Bandcamp | Dorji-Damon Collaborations | Feeding Tube Records | New Body Tapes | Korper Leib

Matthew Shipp and Bobby Kapp: September 17, 2016 Trans Pecos

September 22, 2016

[photos by nyctaper]

If there is a valid criticism of this site’s work, its our paucity of recordings of NYC’s vibrant modern and avant jazz community. We have been steadfast (particularly since EricPH joined the crew) in our documentation of the local noise scene, which has on occasion crossed the line into jazz (Zs at Bowery) but when it comes to the legendary performers playing in our midst, we’ve been remiss. But what we experienced and captured on Saturday at Trans-Pecos should go a long way towards rectifying the slight.

Matthew Shipp has been a fixture in the NYC jazz scene for more than three decades. His solo work has been lauded since he became a regular in the downtown new jazz clubs in the early 90s for his unique expressive freeform style. He’s also been a collaborative performer most notably as a longtime member of the David S. Ware group. My first experience seeing Shipp live was at the old Knitting Factory on Leonard Street in the late 90s at a show where he teamed with frequent partner bassist (and current Trans-Pecos curator) William Parker.

Bobby Kapp too has a long and storied history in NYC jazz that dates even further back, as Kapp first came onto the scene in the 1960s, most notably as the drummer for the great and recently-departed Gato Barbieri’s on his first album, the 1967 classic In Search of the Mystery. Kapp’s lengthy musical journey now finds him in San Miguel De Allende, the artistic center of Mexico City. In between, Bobby Kapp has appeared on countless albums, played on several continents, and indeed has been recognized by the US State Department officially as the “Ambassador of Jazz”.

Matthew Shipp and Bobby Kapp first collaborated for Kapp’s 2014 EP Themes 4 Transmutation in a quartet. But earlier this year, the two met as a duo for an improvisation session that became Cactus, an album ultimately released on Northern Spy Records on September 16. The following day, this Trans-Pecos performance operated as the official CD release event. But instead of attempting to recreate the Cactus session, the duo instead performed a nearly fifty-minute new improvisational session that the artists have entitled “Live at Trans Pecos”. The piece offers a unique opportunity to experience the live creation of once-only music by two jazz legends. The ability of Shipp to construct melodies and then meticulously descontruct them is matched by Kapp’s profound touch on the drums — the on-the-dime movement from subtle taps on the cymbals to crashing snares perfectly in sync with Shipp’s journey. I’ve now listened to this piece four times and I’m still flabbergasted at the ability of these two artists to work so well in tandem and produce such breathtakingly moving music.

I recorded this set with the Neumann LD’s mounted in front of the stage to capture the drums in stereo and mixed with two separate feeds of the piano mics. The sound quality is superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Set [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Set:

Matthew Shipp and Bobby Kapp
Trans Pecos
Queens NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + On-Stage Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Neumann TLM-102s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 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 47:36]
01 Live at Trans Pecos

Support Matthew Shipp: Website | Purchase Cactus from Northern Spy
Support Bobby Kapp: Website | Purchase Cactus from Northern Spy


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