Posts Tagged ‘ acidjack ’

Hiss Golden Messenger: September 18, 2014 Rough Trade NYC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 19, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

I have only seen Hiss Golden Messenger once before with a full band, a revelatory performance at the 2012 Hopscotch Music Festival. Since then, I have caught Mike Taylor several times in what one might call his de facto state, as the solo artist on his own, playing songs the way he did for his stripped-down, four-track album Bad Debt. In my time following Taylor’s work, I have come to see HGM as the embodiment of two different instincts — one, the band-leading artist drawing on his love of audience-pleasing, crowd-moving southern rock and gospel found in particular on Haw and Country Hai East Cotton; the other a man alone in a kitchen beside a sleeping baby, wrestling with his demons as the tape spools away like time. The challenge, and the reward, of Hiss Golden Messenger is the ability to reconcile those impulses.

This set at Rough Trade NYC, sponsored by Aquarium Drunkard, began with one of my all-time favorite HGM numbers, “Red Rose Nantahala” from Haw. As that song segued into the upbeat “Saturday’s Song” from Taylor’s Merge debut, Lateness of Dancers, it almost told the story of the latter-day band in two songs. The first finds Taylor pleading “Oh Lord, let me be happy” and “let me be the one I want”. The next, from an album that by all rights should take HGM to the “next level“, is a grown-up father’s song, about wanting to cut loose on the weekend, drink some whiskey, Sunday hangover be damned. The character in that song seems resolutely himself. Content at last, hangover be damned.

After that second song, Taylor slapped his guitar and noted that a Hiss Golden Messenger tour used to just be him and that single instrument (that’d be as recently as March, when he played a tour de force performance at Mercury Lounge). Today the band is a five-piece that features longtime collaborator Scott Hirsch on bass, Matt Douglas on saxophone, vocals and guitars, Megafaun‘s Phil Cook on keys, banjo and vocals, and Matt McCaughan (Rosebuds, Portastatic, Bon Iver) on drums. In some ways, the band reflects Mike’s changing circumstances, not only as a more known musician, but as an ever-more-firmly entrenched member of the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina music scene whose players pop up as regularly on each other’s records as they do at one another’s shows. Lateness feels less like a purely Mike Taylor album and more like a Triangle music album circa 2014, at a time when the scene is flourishing in all sorts of ways, but also ever-more-mindful of its roots. It leans, then, more toward Mike’s country-rock and gospel impulses, and that’s a fine thing.

So when we heard the Poor Moon classics “Blue Country Mystic” and “Call Him Daylight” in this new configuration, they were part of the “dance portion” of the set, an entire concept new to HGM sets that I’ve seen. “Daylight”, in particular, became a twangier, country-funk number, and as Douglas’ sax breakdown hit, the most striking thing of all was that people actually did dance. I shook my head a tad at a reckoning with god inspiring that reaction in people, but when Taylor hit the song’s final, climactic verse, the chills were there. As far as southern rock-via-HGM goes, it’s hard to beat “Lucia” from Lateness, or the equally compelling “Raven (Snake Children” that followed. This was my first time hearing both of these songs live, and they seemed to benefit most from the band and this setup (which isn’t surprising, since these players recorded them). Similarly, the Lateness material I had heard live before — “Southern Grammar” and “Chapter & Verse” — sounded better-realized than ever.

In another sign that today’s HGM is a more collaborative effort these days, the show’s final song was played on the floor, unamplified, with Taylor and the band pressed in on all sides by fans, performing “Drum” as the crowd added its own percussion and sang along. “Take the good news / and carry it away”, the crowd sang, rendering Mike’s voice just one among many. Hiss Golden Messenger has grown from one man and one instrument to a true band, and the good news for us is, they’ve got many miles left to travel. “We’re going to play a lot of shows this year. I guess everybody up here needs to get ready for that,” Taylor told us earlier in the set. That goes for you fans out there, too — here are the current tour dates.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones at the soundboard and a stereo feed from house engineer Cameron. The sound quality is outstanding, though of course note that “Drum” was sung on the floor unamplified, so it sounds like that. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [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.

Hiss Golden Messenger
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (inside SBD cage, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Cameron)>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust levels, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (light EQ, imaging, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Red Rose Nantahala
02 Saturday’s Song
03 [banter]
04 Mahogany Dread
05 Day O Day (A Love So Free)
06 [banter2]
07 Busted Note
08 [banter3]
09 Blue Country Mystic
10 [banter4]
11 Call Him Daylight
12 [banter5]
13 I’ve Got A Name for the Newborn Child
14 [banter6]
15 Lucia
16 I’m A Raven (Snake Children)
17 [banter7]
18 Southern Grammar
19 [encore break]
20 Chapter & Verse (Ione’s Song)
21 [banter8]
22 Drum [played on the floor]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Hiss Golden Messenger, visit his website, and buy Lateness of Dancers from Merge Records and his other records from his shop. And see the band on tour.


Greensky Bluegrass: September 13, 2014 Gramercy Theatre – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

September 18, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

As was pointed out in our previous review of Greensky Bluegrass, not a ton of bluegrass makes it onto this site, despite the growing popularity of the “newgrass” genre that has spread around the country, but especially in its heartland. We have had a few since then — the Infamous Stringdusters and North Carolina’s Chatham County Line — but the genre remains outside of our main focus. So, it was something a bit different to brave a Saturday night crowd for Greensky at the Gramercy Theatre, a comfortable and nice-sounding venue that nonetheless has been as foreign to this site as bluegrass itself. Well, we can hope that changes, too.

Greensky showed up at Gramercy ready and pumped for a full house clearly drinking for the weekend, as their crowds are wont to do. The band has a new album just out, If Sorrows Swim, and shared a good chunk of it. These two sets ran nice and Saturday-night long, bookended between the two by an extended cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” followed by an exploratory take on “Don’t Lie” from their 2011 record Handguns. The band were exactly as Michigan-nice as you’d expect, grateful to be there, bantering amiably with the crowd, and giving generously to the crowd. If anything, their set gave us good evidence of how this classic American genre can be tweaked to appeal to a modern audience, and it deserves the attention it has received, with these guys at the forefront.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones at the soundboard, as high as they would go, pointed at the stacks. Despite a chatty Saturday night crowd, these narrow-patterned mics avoided that and provided gobs of direct sound. The result is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show from the Live Music Archive:


Greensky Bluegrass
Gramercy Theatre
New York, NY USA

Hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41 (at SBD, DFC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 2:23:19]
Set One
01 [intro]
02 Burn Them
03 The Four
04 Lose My Way
05 Wheel Hoss
06 [banter1]
07 Reverend
08 Kerosene
09 3-3-4-4-3
10 Worried About the Weather
11 [banter2]
12 Jaywalking
13 When Doves Cry [Prince]

Set 2
14 [intro jam]
15 Don’t Lie
16 I’d Probably Kill You
17 Send Me Your Address From Heaven
18 Dustbowl
19 Windshield
20 Shape I’m In
21 [banter3]
22 Old Barns
23 Clinch Mountain Backstep
24 Leap Year
25 [encore break]
26 Atlantic City

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Greensky Bluegrass, visit their website, and order If Sorrows Swim and buy their other records in their store.

Spacin’ & Purling Hiss: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Tir na Nog, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 17, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

Day two of the Hopscotch Music Festival was one filled with surprises. I started the day with the Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show and its many one-off collaborations, and ended with this last-minute collision between Philadelphia’s twin scuzz-rock juggernauts. Purling Hiss and Spacin‘ are the best kind of kindred spirits, both being offshoots of the band Birds of Maya. That, and each of them crank their amps to eleven and check any and all pretension at the door. The combined band played three of each others’ songs each, including Spacin’s classic cover of MC5’s “American Ruse”. The six songs stretched for a total of forty-five minutes, offering ample opportunities for guitar pyrotechnics from all. If minds hadn’t been blown enough already, the band was joined for the final number, Hiss’ “Almost Washed My Hair”, by Philadelphia harpist Mary Lattimore (fresh from her Three Lobed/WXDU collab with Thurston Moore) and Steve Gunn (similarly on deck after an epic performance with William Tyler and members of Yo La Tengo, which is posted here). If you doubt how a harpist can make her presence felt with four blaring guitars already on stage, well, you ought to get to know Lattimore, who added a layer of musical complexity to the roaring proceedings. If today was the day of collaborations, there couldn’t have been a better way to end it.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from Tir Na Nog engineer Brandon plus Audio Technica 3031 microphones back by the board. Unfortunately, my request to place the mics onstage was denied, meaning they were fairly far back in an echo-y room. As our recordings go on this site, the quality is not the best, but the vibe comes through loud and clear. As the band’s own albums hew to a “lo-fi” aesthetic, perhaps in some ways the recording is true to that. With that caveat, enjoy this exceptional performance!

Download the complete show: [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.

Spacin’/Purling Hiss
Hopscotch Music Festival
Tir na Nog
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
recorded and produced by acidjack

Audio Technica 3031 (at SBD, ROC)+Soundboard (engineer: Brandon)>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, levels, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, fades, dither and downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 45:49]
01 Sunshine No Shoes [Spacin’]
02 Titchy [Spacin’]>American Ruse [MC5]
03 Learning Slowly [Purling Hiss]
04 Run From the City [Purling Hiss]
05 [tuning]
06 Almost Washed My Hair [Purling Hiss]*

* with Mary Lattimore on harp and Steve Gunn on guitar

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT these musicians. You can pick up Spacin’s records at their bandcamp page, and Purling Hiss’s records at their bandcamp page and their latest Weirdon over at Drag City.

Daniel Bachman and Nathan Bowles: September 5, 2014 Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 16, 2014

"photo by PJ Sykes"
[Photo by PJ Sykes]

As I said in our last post about the co-sponsored Three Lobed / WXDU Day Show during Hopscotch Music Festival, one of the things that made this best-curated-of-the-fest day so special were the number of one-off collaborations that went down. Nathan Bowles has been all around the scene for a while now, lending his banjo and other skills to such diverse acts as the drone wizards Pelt, the Appalachian-influenced Black Twig Pickers, Steve Gunn, plus his solo work. Daniel Bachman, who has been on the site twice, is as prolific as he is talented. His latest release, Orange Co. Serenade appeared on the tiny North Carolina imprint Bathetic Records around the same time that the Virginian chose to relocate to Durham, NC.

For this very special first-time collaboration, Bachman and Bowles (joined by local guitarist Zeke Graves) chose to pay tribute to classic southern sounds, first serving up an acoustic version of Jeffrey Cain’s “Moonshine Is the Sunshine” from his 1970 album For You, followed by the legendary North Carolina guitarist Link Wray’s “Waterboy”, which turned into a massive sixteen-minute guitar freakout with Graves and Bachman’s dueling electric guitars backed by Bowles doing a turn on percussion. From the day’s first act, we ended up hearing one of the highlights of the entire show.

I recorded this set, as with all of these sets, with Schoeps MK4V microphones on stage and a soundboard feed from the King’s staff. The sound quality, particularly on the Link Wray song, is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the recording: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full set:

Daniel Bachman and Nathaniel Bowles
Three Lobed Recordings / WXDU Day Show
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (on stage pair)>KC5>CMC6>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, fade, amplify, balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 32:10]
01 [intro]
02 Moonshine Is the Sunshine [Jeffrey Cain]
03 Waterboy [Link Wray]

Musicians (in alphabetical order)
Daniel Bachman – acoustic and electric guitars, vocals
Nathaniel Bowles – banjo, percussion, vocals
Zeke Graves – electric guitar, sruti box

If you enjoyed this recording, SUPPORT these musicians by visiting their sites and buying their stuff. You can find Nathan Bowles here and buy his stuff here; Daniel Bachman’s latest can be purchased from Bathetic Records here.

Spoon: September 5, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Raleigh, NC – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Set

September 15, 2014

[Photo courtesy of Rodney Boles]

Even before they were popular and therefore backlash-ready, Spoon caught flack for not being “interesting” enough. Their music has a consistency to it that I find oddly divisive. Most bands would be lucky to have one sequence of tunes as good as their high watermark, Gimme Fiction, while Spoon has come close to that feat on almost every record. Maybe this year’s They Want My Soul will be applauded as the stylistic tweak that convinces the doubters, but who’s to say for sure. If you wanted experimental music, Hopscotch Music Festival offered lots of excellent examples. But if you’re an organizer trying to pack in your festival’s public stage on a Friday night, the right move is a band so dialed in at their craft that they’re a sure thing that’s nevertheless a thrill. Spoon aren’t a flashy band, or a gimmicky one. They’re in that rare category of music’s winners, whose success is hard-earned and whose work still deserves the love. If consistency is a sin, then let’s let more bands sin the way they do.

Spoon packed Raleigh, North Carolina’s City Plaza on the festival’s penultimate night more than any other band would or did. It’s safe to guess that most of this crowd had not heard the new material live, so they gave it to us right away with “Knock Knock Knock” and “Rent I Pay” before dishing up the last-decade classic “Don’t You Evah”. The band’s cadence never wavered, and the crowd showed as much love to each of the new songs as to Gimme Fiction mainstays like “The Beast and the Dragon Adored” and “I Turn My Camera On”. The former song gives the band a new North Carolina connection, as Hiss Golden Messenger recently covered the track, with Raleigh-area mainstay and touring member Matt Douglas on keys.

One had to grin at “Outlier”, from They Want My Soul, a key-driven song that’s the most stylistically au courant of the new material, and one that might be interpreted as a question mark to rock fans themselves. It also drops the album’s best line, which gives Spoon’s own view about bland “indie” tropes: “And I remember when you walked out of Garden State / ’cause you had taste, you had taste / you had no time to waste”. When they followed that with “The Underdog”, warning its subject that having no fear of the underdog is a mistake, you had to think this was the part of the set that frontman Britt Daniel had reserved to talk about his own band. The band’s brief encore consisted of with “Inside Out” from the new record, “The Way We Get By” and the closer, “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”, sending the festivalgoers into a night of music that was just getting started.

It’s worth noting that Spoon owe a good bit of their success to one of North Carolina’s finest institutions, the Durham, NC-based Merge Records, a little label whose cultural reach makes you sometimes forget how small and independent they really are. It was on Merge that Spoon hit their groove and found their broadest audience. Being here in Raleigh, on the fifth anniversary of a festival that serves as the entire state’s musical ambassador, felt necessary and right.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones just in front of the board dead center. While you can hear some people chattering at points on headphones, the sound quality is overall excellent. Enjoy!

Download the set from the Live Music Archive: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the full show from the Live Music Archive:

[crowd shot by acidjack]

Hopscotch Music Festival
City Plaza
Raleigh, NC USA

Hosted at
recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB/DFC)>KC5>CMC6>Roland R-26>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:10:57]
01 [intro music]
02 Knock Knock Knock>
03 Rent I Pay
04 Don’t You Evah
05 Small Stakes
06 Who Makes Your Money
07 Don’t Make Me a Target
08 Do You
09 The Beast and Dragon, Adored
10 I Turn My Camera On
11 I Summon You
12 Outlier
13 The Underdog
14 Got Nuffin
15 Black Like Me
16 [encore break]
17 Inside Out
18 The Way We Get By
19 You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Spoon, visit their website, and buy their records in their store and at Merge Records.



White Lung: September 3, 2014 Glasslands and September 6, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

September 11, 2014

White Lung ChadKam
[photo courtesy of Chad Kamenshine - complete set at The Artistree]

The band White Lungs have been floating around for a few years, garnering positive review more than well-deserved. Their third LP Deep Fantasy (Domino Records) manages to improve on 2012’s Sorry, a considerable feat considering how strong this act was the last time around. Frontwoman Mish Way usually wins plaudits as the band’s special sauce, taking some of the best things we all used to like about Courtney Love (strong voice, personality, pop sensibility, distinctive look) and putting them out there in a more-focused package. But one ought not to lose sight of Kenneth William, without whose guitar playing this excellent band couldn’t be quite where it is, which is clearly a peak. As more than the sum of some quality parts, White Lung straddles that line between accessible punk and non in the best of ways, and the feeling is even better felt live. You don’t have to be a fan of this music, even, to be impressed by the tenacity and poise with which they do it.

Both of the site’s editors caught the band in the same week — first nyctaper in New York at beloved Glasslands, then acidjack as his final performance of the Hopscotch Music Festival in North Carolina, where the band proved that they were a righteous choice for the traditionally-strong spot of final night headliner in one of the festival’s many venues.

The Glasslands set was recorded with our installed Naiant cardioid rig mixed with a superb soundboard feed provided by house FOH Josh. The Hopscotch set was recorded with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from the Hopscotch veteran engineer Wayne of Roanoke, VA, a man whose understanding of this high-ceilinged space deserves plaudits. Both sound excellent. Pick your poison, or do the right thing and download both. Enjoy!

Stream “Down it Goes” from Glasslands:

Stream “Face Down” from Hopscotch:

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

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

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.

[photo by acidjack]

White Lung
Glasslands Gallery
Brooklyn, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer Josh Thiel] + Naiant X-R Cardioid > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, set fades, downsample) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and Tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

[Total Time 38:49]
01 Drown With the Monster
02 Face Down
03 [banter - hi Amy]
04 Syncophant
05 Bad Way
06 Bag
07 Wrong Star
08 Thick Lip
09 Two of You
10 Blow It South
11 Snake Jaw
12 Just For You
13 I Believe You
14 Down It Goes
15 Take The Mirror

White Lung
Hopscotch Music Festival
Kennedy Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41 (at SBD, DINa)>KCY>Z-PFA+Soundboard (engineer: Wayne)>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades, adjust levels, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 34:35]
01 Drown With The Monster
02 Face Down
03 Syncophant
04 Bad Way
05 Bag
06 Wrong Star
07 [banter - bright]
08 Thick Lip >
09 Two Of You
10 Blow It South
11 Snake Jaw
12 Just For You
13 I Believe You
14 Down It Goes
15 Take The Mirror

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT White Lung, visit their website, and purchase the Deep Fantasy from the Domino Records website [HERE].

Yvette: September 4, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, CAM Raleigh, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 9, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

Yvette represent the best things about New York, including their creative daring, uncompromising sound, and their homegrown fledgling label Godmode. When Pitchfork anointed their album Process with a positive an accurate review last year, the site’s Stuart Berman accurately described the duo as sounding “like an army”. Indeed, between drummer Dale Eisinger and vocalist/guitarist Noah Kardos-Fein produce a kind of high-intensity noise that brings to mind everything from mechanical sounds to the foreboding tones heard in certain kinds of Hollywood disaster films — if they were made by an industrial art-punk band.

This set took place at CAM Raleigh on the Hopscotch Music Festival’s first night, and despite the torrential downpour and the far-flung location, the band brought a dedicated crowd to the art museum’s cavernous performance space. This mix of new material and songs from their 2013 record Process was delivered as a seamless piece, further proving the duo’s impeccable timing. The set proved an emotionally taut thirty minutes, with dissonance tones flowing in and out of the frame, the sound hitting screeching climaxes before retreating into shadowed valleys. Yvette fall into that group of bands who are probably best experienced in the live setting, where the listener can’t flip away from band to band. You need to follow Yvette where they’re going, for the duration, to capture just how good they are at what they do. Thurston Moore was up next in an improvised set with Steve Shelley. Yvette gave him a tough act to follow.

I recorded this set with Audio Technica cardiod microphones split wide at the stage lip together with a soundboard feed. There stereo separation and sound quality in general are outstanding, among the very best of my recordings from the festival. This is offered as a streaming full set as well as a download below. Enjoy!

Direct download of the complete show: [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 respectfully 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. Please feel free to re-post the Soundcloud links.


Hopscotch Music Festival
CAM Raleigh
Raleigh, NC USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Audio Technica 3031 (onstage pair)+Soundboard>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (volume adjustments, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (adjust stereo image, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (amplify, track, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Pure Pleasure
02 Radiation
03 [untitled]
04 Carbon Copy
05 [untitled]
06 Mirrored Walls
07 Absolutes
08 Cuts Me In Half

If you enjoy this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Yvette, visit their bandcamp page, and buy Process from Godmode here.

The War on Drugs: September 4, 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC (FLAC/MP3/Streaming)

September 8, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

The Hopscotch Music Festival, held in Raleigh, North Carolina, has made it five years — not quite an eternity in a world of corporate music festivals like SXSW and Lollapalooza, but a rare achievement for an organically grown festival in a “midsize market” that has proven over and over that they are willing to take chances. Hopscotch is the festival willing to put a heavy metal band on its largest, outdoor, downtown stage on its Saturday night, rather than a more accessible mainstream act.  Hopscotch dedicates entire venues, at various times, to genres like experimental noise, ambient, thrash, black metal, and indie hip-hop. It is hosted in a city whose good humor and kindness borders upon unreal, sprawled across a fast-growing downtown, and unlike the best-known festival that attempts to use an entire city’s music venues as part of its sprawl, it opens everything to everyone, not reserving entry to “the big stuff” for the connected and the corporate.

Hopscotch, then, has much in common with The War on Drugs. I’ll make this bold claim now: they are the best rock act who has released an album this year. They didn’t get to that point quickly, or with flash, or with marketing, or even at times with buzz, though we did our best over here at this site. Three years ago, we caught them opening at Bowery Ballroom for Sharon Van Etten, another artist whose acclaim grew slowly on the back of honesty and hard work. This band grew on the back of the validity of their mission, the honesty of their approach, and their hard, hard work. Just like Hopscotch.

Adam Granduciel’s herculean writing and arranging on Lost In the Dream is well documented. He has applied that same intensity to the expanded live show for this tour, which we first caught on back to back dates in March, including the band’s rather hyped cover of “Mind Games”. Not every band’s play for the big time might include a bunch of double-radio-length songs, but not every band is The War on Drugs. What we got here at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre was a set that resembled some of what we heard back in March, including the expanded band that includes Jon Natchez on keyboards. A packed and somewhat chatty room got to see the band joined by local music maven Brad Cook of Megafaun on “Ocean” followed by a searing rendition of “Red Eyes” and closing the main set on the album’s title track. The highlight of the encore was another rare cover, Bill Fay’s “I Hear You Calling”, which ended my first night of Hopscotch in exactly the right way. If you don’t see another act this year, go see The War on Drugs, a band whose heart matches their massive sound, bound for the arenas they deserve.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones at the soundboard rather than our preferred spot in Lincoln Theatre that is a bit closer. Due to technical issues a soundboard feed was not available, and there is some enthusiastic audience chatter on this that makes the sound inferior to the two recordings from March, though still quite good. Plenty more Hopscotch recordings will be coming 0ver the next month or so as well. Keep your eyes on this space.

This recording is now hosted on the Live Music Archive.  Download the complete show via these links: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream “I Hear You Calling” [Bill Fay]

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.


The War on Drugs
Hopscotch Music Festival
Lincoln Theater
Raleigh, NC USA

Hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41 (DINa, at SBD)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, mix down, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:32:48]
01 Burning
02 Comin’ Through
03 Eyes to the Wind
04 Under the Pressure
05 In Reverse>
06 An Ocean In Between the Waves
07 [banter]
08 Brothers [with Brad Cook of Megafaun]
09 Baby Missiles>
10 Suffering
11 [banter2]
12 Red Eyes
13 Lost in the Dream
14 [encore break and segue music]
15 Disappearing
16 Your Love Is Calling My Name
17 I Hear You Calling [Bill Fay]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT The War on Drugs, visit their website, and buy Lost In the Dream from Secretly Canadian

Heroes of Toolik: May 14, 2014 Cameo Gallery – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

August 28, 2014

[photos by acidjack]

Heroes of Toolik are an art rock band from the New York/New Jersey area comprised of veteran players – Peter Zummo (trombone) is an avant jazzer (ex-Lounge Lizards), while Arad Evans (guitar/vocals) has toured with avant-noise luminaries Rhys Chatham and is a current member of the Glenn Branca Ensemble. Ernie Brooks (bass) was in the original Modern Lovers, while Jennifer Coates (violin/vocals) is an accomplished old style country fiddler with her own band, Jenny Gets Around. What comes together among the group of them is a brand of well-informed rock n’ roll that draws on these influences without over-complicating itself.

This show at Cameo Gallery served as a warmup for Heroes of Toolik’s just-released Aquarium School seven-inch, and found the band previewing that material alongside work from their 2012 debut LP Winter Moon. The band performs with the cohesive, relaxed vibe you’d expect of accomplished musicians, and the stylistic palette of these tunes reflected artists from the Velvet Underground to Zappa and Beefheart to hints (for me) of the Grateful Dead. The band gave us two takes of “Aquarium School”, which was also being filmed for video, the better of which came at the end of the set and is the version recorded here. We recommend you check out their upcoming gig on September 24 at the Zurcher Gallery in Manhattan, which should be a fine combination of an art rock band playing among visual artwork. The gallery is featuring work by Michael Dotson and Irena Jurek from now through just after the date of the show.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones and a soundboard feed. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [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.

Heroes of Toolik
Cameo Gallery
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, adjust levels, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, fades, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Young Venus
02 Something Like Night
03 Blind Man’s Stare
04 Yellow-Haired Sea
05 Lou Reed
06 Perfect
07 Aquarium School
08 F String

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Heroes of Toolik, like them on Facebook, and buy the Aquarium School 7″ here.

Zula: August 7, 2014 Shea Stadium – Interview/FLAC/MP3/Full Stream

August 26, 2014

[Photo from the band's Facebook page]

Zula released one of the more underrated albums of 2013, the spry This Hopeful, a sweet and well-produced pop album with electronic flourishes. The record was a damn fine confection of a debut LP, with just about everything you could want in such a debut. It had solid hooks, yet room to grow.

Brand-new correspondent but veteran music writer Emilio Herce sat down with the band earlier this month. His interview is below, along with a full MP3 and FLAC download and stream of the show, below after the interview. I mixed down Shea’s multitrack audio, and the audio quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Zula Interview, by Emilio Herce

Zula’s music has been described by the New York Times as “pointillistic structures with a mainspring of minimalism.” New York locals and cousins, Nate and Henry Terepka, took a couple moments before playing their tour kick off show at Shea Stadium to talk to me about their writing process, Arto Lindsay, and touring with site friends Friend Roulette

NYCTaper: How did you decide upon “This Hopeful” as the title for the latest record? Was that an easy choice to make for the band?

Henry Terepka: It wasn’t an easy choice. [Laughs] It took a few months of brain storming, and living with a few different ideas.

Nate Terepka: That was one of the last things we figured out for the record, I feel like.

HT: Yeah, it’s hard, it’s like the way we wrote those songs, they were kind of each on their own, as individual moments, individual feelings, and so it was one of those albums, it was kind of ‘these are the songs we’ve got.”

NYCTaper: Did you have other songs that didn’t make the record; are you saving those for later?

HT: Yeah, we kind of have a surplus of material in general as a band. The big challenge for us in terms of picking the songs was which were going to make it on the specific vinyl format, which has a time constraint on it, which I didn’t know about going into the process.

NYCT: Your songs and the stories in them all have a hopeful bent, but the universe they exist in has this sort of anxious cloud hanging over it. Is this a unifying theme in the music of Zula, or were there events surrounding the writing of the first album that shaped the record’s outlook?

NT: I think our writing is reflective of our internal space when we’re writing a song. I think we both write sort of stream of conscious with our lyrics, and I think we both feel hopeful and anxious.

HT: Yeah, that’s definitely something that’s not going to go away from our music anytime soon. I think those sentiments are important to, I guess, our perspective, our worldview.

NYCT: When do you consider a song to be “done”?

NT: I think that song and recording are two different things.

HT: There’s like a complete idea, thinking about what’s a complete idea, and then there’s thinking about how to present an idea in a way that does justice to that idea. Sometimes those processes get mixed up a little bit.

NYCT: Do you consider the songs on the last record done, or are they still changing?

HT: They’re always changing in live performance. We try to keep things fresh, you know, to keep being in the moment. I think compositionally, we’re pretty happy with where they ended up.

NT: Yeah, I don’t know. That’s an interesting thought. ‘Done’ seems intense in a way. I’m happy with the recordings. I think those recordings are complete, but I’d like to think that songs can take on new life or if they’re not taking on new life you can put them aside.

NYCT: How important is improvisation in your work, like on stage? Is that a part of it or do you pretty much play the songs as they are on the record?

NT: I’d say it’s very important. I think that certain things, structures end up getting a little cemented, but we try to work things into our arrangements where rather than “we’re going to do this for a certain number of measures,” one of us will cue something and then give ourselves the space to stretch out, and I think in general we welcome people trying new lines or messing around if they’re inspired in the moment. We embrace the roughness and magic that can sort of pop up in the moment of playing a song.

NYCT: You often play, and have recently toured with the band Friend Roulette, another band known for their rhythmic and dynamic ability. Has playing with them affected your approach to music? Are there any stories you’d like to share from the tour?

HT: It was really fun getting to know that band, hanging out with them, and soaking up their vibe. I though that one impression they made, is just that over time they were really kind of putting a world together. You could, you know, have whatever feeling you wanted about it, they weren’t asking you to feel one particular thing about it.

NT: Yeah it was really cool getting to know them. I always liked them, but I liked them more and more, seeing them play more shows and spending time with them because I think something what’s not apparent right away is just how that band goes back really far. They’re all very close friends, and that’s very much a band of friends that’s sort of in their own world and vision.  They have a really strong vibe that maybe’s a little hard to penetrate at first.

NYCT: Is that something you try to go after yourself? Your songs are pretty straightforward and accessible, but there’s something to be said about listening to them over and over again.

HT: I think we write more complicated songs than we intend to, but we’re not necessarily as good at intentionally withholding pleasure in the way that I’d like to be a little better at.

NT: Yeah, I mean we don’t want our songs to be difficult I don’t think. Pop satisfaction and approachability is something that we aspire to. At the same time there’s a slot of things, a lot of conventions towards accessibility that are a little bit boring and I think we try to do the best that we can to balance accessibility with surprising ideas.

NYCT: The band has always been able to recreate live the sounds on the record, no easy feat. Have you ever written songs, or parts of songs, which have proven difficult to perform on stage?

HT: Our process is pretty oriented towards our live performance as a band, and I think that at least for the last few album projects we’ve been doing our recordings have followed our live arrangements, or come after our live arrangements, but I’m interested to try those approaches. Both Nate and I come from multi-tracking backgrounds, layering stuff and doing stuff that like is not playable live necessarily.

NT: But I also think that we don’t get attached to the specific sound source of a part, more so the role that it plays in a song. So if in the process of recording for a record we end up tracking this part that we can’t reproduce live exactly because of the sound source or whatever, whatever role that part ended up playing in the composition might come into our live set but it’ll be different.

NYCT: In a recent interview, Arto Lindsay, a fellow New York musician, and pioneer in the No Wave movement during the late 70s and 80s said: “Everywhere I go people think I’m too cynical or my humor’s too negative or I treat my friends badly, and I say, ‘That’s the way we do it in New York!’” It seems like Lindsay was being facetious, but do you think there’s any truth to this? How does it compare to your experience as New York based musicians?

HT: I work for a music publisher and we had a composer come in once, an older gentleman who had extensive plastic surgery. He made a kind of odd impression on my staff, but one of the things he said during the course of his interview, he was talking about getting ripped off for music by a company. He was like “So I’m from New York, so like fuck you!,” and that was his whole thing, like you’re from New York, so like fuck you I’m going to beat you up, but I think that that’s a little antiquated.

NYCT: You think that’s old school?

HT: Yeah, I think that’s old school and I think that New York City more than anything is defined by multiple identities, not having one particular identity that you can pin down, but Arto Lindsay’s got a really interesting perspective and certainly we try to take cues from the way he presents himself, and there’s a long tradition of like sarcastic and sort of pessimistic… because in New York things are real, that’s one thing I think is like a legit assumption about New York as opposed to other places.

NYCT: What do you mean by real?

HT: People are open about what they want, so if that means expressing negativity, then that’s totally appropriate, because that’s within the healthy bounds of human emotion.

Direct download of the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Shea Stadium
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
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, spacing, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Lucy Loops
02 Basketball
03 Getting Warm
04 [tuning]
05 Be Around
06 [tuning2]
07 Speeding Towards the Arctic

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Zula, like them on Facebook, and buy This Hopeful here.

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