Posts Tagged ‘ acidjack ’

Grooms: February 17, 2015 Music Hall of Williamsburg – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

March 3, 2015


Many bands are forced to admit that their best album was probably their first. Grooms can take pleasure in having just released their high watermark four albums in. That album, Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair, marries their sense of melody and pop appeal to a level of musical skill befitting a band that has stayed together long enough to see personnel come and go, but emerge stronger in the process. A three-piece, Grooms manage to make their music rhythmically complex (thanks in no small part to drummer Steve Levine, who recently enjoyed notoriety on TV’s Better Call Saul) without overcomplicating it, and that works especially well live. Watching the three men onstage, you more appreciate how their arrangements leave room to feel what each player is doing.

This show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, on a bill shared with A Place to Bury Strangers (that set here), celebrated the new record’s release, but didn’t park the setlist there. Starting with a rapid succession of new songs, Grooms then dug back in to 2013’s under-toured Infinity Caller and even their debut Rejoicer, the band gave us a sense of the continuity in their music as well as some of the new ideas percolating in Comb the Feelings. While the album itself is the band’s best-produced to date, adding lush electronics to the band’s guitar-bass-drums mix, the live versions proved that the record isn’t just a success on that account. Songs like the title track are more than just well put together; they’re just good songs. Grooms were one of many bands tied to Death By Audio (including A Place to Bury Strangers), and now, like their scene itself, they will enter a different phase. So far, it’s working for them.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 microphones in the soundboard cage. The sound quality is quite good for a straight audience recording. Enjoy!

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

Stream “Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair”

Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41 (DFC, at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ, imaging)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust levels)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 37:30]
01 Bed Version
02 Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair
03 Infinity Caller
04 [banter1]
05 Grenadine Scene From Inside
06 Doctor M
07 Lion Name
08 Foster Sister
09 [banter2]
10 Cross Off

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Grooms, visit their Facebook page, and buy Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair here.

This Will Destroy You: February 27, 2015 Saint Vitus – FLAC/MP3/Streaming/Video

March 1, 2015


This Will Destroy You, of San Marcos, TX, just crossed the decade mark as a band last year, with the excellent record Another Language. In the broad sense, they share company with the dynamic instrumental bands that get lumped together as “post-rock” — Mogwai, Explosions In the Sky, Caspian, etc. But if this two-night stand of shows presented by BrooklynVegan at Saint Vitus proved anything, it’s that they don’t let labels stop them. Saint Vitus, best-known as NYC’s destination for the heaviest of heavy music, made a good fit for the band, as they led off with the thunderous “Little Smoke” that pummeled us from start to finish. TWDY may not be a black metal band, but their sonics are definitely toward the darker end of the spectrum, a kind of soundtrack to the end of the world.

But just when you think you’re going to get nothing but 80 minutes of soft-loud dynamics and blaring guitars, TWDY changes things up. Bursts of electronics seep in, between the ratcheting drumbeats and the mournful guitars of “A Three-Legged Workhorse”. Or there’s “Grandfather Clock”, basically a full-on IDM track, followed by the texturally dense standout track from Another Language, “Dustism”. But if the band proved there was more to them than just getting loud, when they were loud, they made it count, as on the climax to “Black Dunes” or “There Are Some Remedies Worse Than The Disease”. This show ran a touch longer than the previous night’s effort, closing with the ironically-titled “Quiet”. This burner of a Friday night show had been anything but.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones and a soundboard feed of the mix by TWDY’s engineer (if you have his name, please give him a shout out). As with everything at Saint Vitus, the sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Video of the complete show:

This Will Destroy You
St. Vitus
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (LOC, at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineers: Nick + TWDY’s engineer (please provide name if you have it))>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust levels)>Izotope Ozone 5 (harmonic exciter, EQ, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:23:24]
01 Little Smoke
02 A Three-Legged Workhorse
03 War Prayer
04 Burial On the Presidio Banks
05 Grandfather Clock
06 Dustism
07 Black Dunes
08 There Are Some Remedies Worse Than the Disease
09 Communal Blood
10 [banter]
11 New Topia
12 Quiet

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT This Will Destroy You, visit their website, and buy Another Language here.

M.C. Taylor & Friends: January 18, 2015 NARAL NC Benefit, The Pinhook (Durham, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 27, 2015

[Screen shot from this YouTube video by Dan Schram]


M.C. Taylor, aka Hiss Golden Messenger, had a hell of a 2014. Among his accomplishments — signing with Merge Records, who released Lateness of Dancers to critical acclaim; appearing on Letterman; touring the U.S. and Europe extensively; serving as de facto lead vocalist for the Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. tribute shows in honor of Jason Molina; and producing and appearing on Alice Gerrard‘s Grammy-nominated Follow the Music. After being everywhere in 2014, Taylor inaugurated 2015 back on his home turf, with an extravaganza of a show that combined a bunch of his recent activities into one wild ride of an evening. As Hiss Golden Messenger now tours as a full unit, Taylor decided to bill this as “M.C. Taylor and Friends” rather than the band name; the night’s main lineup included some, but not all, of HGM’s touring component. This special show was a benefit for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, who have been leading the ongoing fight for choice in North Carolina.

After kicking off with a couple of Poor Moon classics, the “friends” started to come out in force. Gerrard joined Taylor for three numbers, including a cover of Merle Haggard’s “You Take Me For Granted”. Then it was Phil Cook‘s chance at the vocal mike, a turnabout from his normal role in HGM. The lucky crowd then got a second look at Taylor’s collaboration on the Songs: Ohia / Magnolia Electric Co. material, which was first debuted in the Triangle last January. Magnolia Electric Co.’s Jason Groth came up onstage for those three songs, including perhaps Molina’s finest number, “Final Transmission.” Then it was back to HGM for a bit, until the night’s final number, Taylor’s first known cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” shown on the video above.

This performance was recorded by my friend and prolific Triangle-area recordist Dan Schram, whose video is showing below. Dan kindly provided me the audio files, to which I applied a little additional mastering and mixing “sparkle”. The sound quality is outstanding. We hope you enjoy it, and more importantly, that you will support the cause for which the music was made, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

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

Stream and download individual tracks:

Watch “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” on YouTube:

M.C.Taylor and Friends
NARAL NC Benefit
The Pinhook
Durham, NC USA

Recorded by Dan Schram
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard + Rode NT5>Tascam DR-680>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression, reverb on SBD)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 [intro]
02 Call Him Daylight [Hiss Golden Messenger]
03 [banter1]
04 Blue Country Mystic [Hiss Golden Messenger]
05 [banter2]
06 Get Up and Do Right [Alice Gerrard]*
07 [banter3]
08 Follow the Music [Alice Gerrard]*
09 You Take Me For Granted [Merle Haggard]*
10 If I Play With Fire [Alice Gerrard]*
11 [banter4]
12 Leave It There [Charles A. Tindley]
13 Ain’t It Sweet [Phil Cook]&
14 [banter5]
15 What Comes After the Blues [Magnolia Electric Co.]^
16 [banter6]
17 Talk To Me Devin, Again [Magnolia Electric Co.]^
18 Farewell Transmission [Songs: Ohia]^
19 [banter7]
20 Southern Grammar [Hiss Golden Messenger]
21 [encore break]
22 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door [Bob Dylan]

M.C. Taylor – vocals, guitar
Kyle Keegan – drums
Brad Cook – bass
Matt Douglas – saxophone

* w/ Alice Gerrard – vocals
& w/ Phil Cook – vocals, guitar
^ w/ Jason Groth

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. You can buy Hiss Golden Messenger’s records from Paradise of Bachelors and Merge Records, as well as HGM’s online store.

Nathan Bowles: February 12, 2015 Union Pool and January 31, 2015 Silent Barn – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 22, 2015


An canny, skilled and unpretentious kind of player, Nathan Bowles is nonetheless important not because of how he plays, but what he plays. There’s no shortage of banjo music circulating these days — the jam-band scene is filled with bands playing their own pabulum and covering the classic rock hits with the instrument, using it to deliver a little authenticity from the extra twang. Bowles’ career is the exact opposite of all of that — not only does he bring a new style and sound to Appalachian music, but he has an intrinsic knowledge of what a worthy song is, whatever its era.

First as a member of legendary Pelt, the multi-instrumentalist helped to make drone-based music that changed the conversation about what “folk” could be. With the Black Twig Pickers, he and his bandmates have gone deep into American history, both excavating and elevating lost and under-appreciated old-time music. Fitting, then, that his solo work, in particular 2014’s Nansemond, does some of both, giving us traditional Appalachian and Piedmont string music that’s infused with the sound and spirit of the modern avant-garde. Though “solo” in name, Nansemond is a full-band effort, allowing Bowles to produce tunes like the album’s bookends, “Sleepy Lake Bike Club” and “Sleepy Lake Tire Swing” that weave rich guitar textures around his virtuosic banjo work.

These sets at Union Pool and Silent Barn were true solo affairs, with Bowles the support act for Joan Shelley and Elisa Ambrogio, respectively. In front of two crowds that couldn’t have been more different, Bowles performed sets that delivered the full range of what’s meaningful about Nansemond. Both were all-Nansemond affairs that included the “Sleepy Lake” pieces and his straightforward medley of “Jonah and the Whale” and “Poor Liza Jane”. At Union Pool we got “Moonshine Is the Sunshine”, closer to the former numbers in tone, while at Silent Barn, Bowles added something more experimental to the reportoire, with Chuckatuck”, a song in which Tom Carter’s guitar work figures prominently on the record. You could’ve heard a pin drop among the Union Pool crowd, who Nathan thanked, almost baffled, for how respectful they were. If playing for the younger crowd at Silent Barn — who’d already been treated to a couple of punk bands — represented an uphill climb, Bowles didn’t show it; if anything, the spare arrangement of “Chuckatuck”, extended by three minutes versus the album version, ought to go down as one of that song’s best takes.

The Union Pool set was recorded with a soundboard feed from the house engineer Rob together with my Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones, while Eric PH recorded the Silent Barn gig with a straight soundboard feed from the engineer Mike, with only a tiny amount of his AKG 480 cardiods mixed in.

Download the Union Pool show [FLAC] | [MP3]

Download the Silent Barn show [FLAC] | [MP3]

Stream the Union Pool show:

Stream the Silent Barn show:

Nathan Bowles
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Rob) + Schoeps MK41 (PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 >> Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, compression, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 [intro]
02 Sleepy Lake Bike Club
03 [banter1]
04 Moonshine is the Sunshine [Jeffrey Cain]
05 [banter2]
06 Jonah and the Whale [traditional] / folk medley
07 [banter3]
08 Sleepy Lake Tire Swing

Nathan Bowles
Silent Barn
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Mike) + AKG C480B/CK61 (FOB, PAS) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV(24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown) > Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, fades, downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (level 8)

Tracks [45:13]
01. Sleepy Lake Bike Club
02. [banter/tuning]
03. Jonah/Poor Liza Jane
04. [banter/tuning]
05. Sleepy Lake Tire Swing
06. [banter/tuning]
07. Chuckatuck

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Nathan Bowles, visit his website, and buy Nansemond from Paradise of Bachelors.


A Place to Bury Strangers: February 17, 2015 Music Hall of Williamsburg – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 18, 2015

[photos by acidjack]

A Place to Bury Strangers are one of several bands that incubated in the scene (and the sound) that grew up around Death By Audio and its line of effects pedals, making it fitting that they headlined Music Hall of Williamsburg just months after that venue’s untimely end. Though the band arrived on the scene just over ten years ago (in 2003), it feels like it’s been eons in musical terms. Today, their dark tone, blown out guitar sound, and relentless, ambitious live show feels vaguely foreign to the current indie mainstream, but that is as it should be. This kind of music may or may not always be a “trend”, but it will always have the ability to seize a crowd, and keep it.

It’s fitting that the band opened with “We’ve Come So Far”: The number comes from Transfixiation, the brand-new album whose release was being celebrated that night, and it also describes this band’s history. With only one consistent member throughout (frontman Oliver Ackermann), the now-trio has continued to hone a sound much more consistent than its personnel changes would suggest. From the obvious MBV homage of their self-titled 2007 debut, the band has both added layers and stripped them away, leaving them at the more tightly focused Transfixiation, which takes a few steps back from the wall of noise to find some new melodies — and a bit of extra weirdness — underneath.

Not that you’d have been able to tell at the album release show. From the first peals of guitar noise to the militaristic percussion of “So Far Away”, the band blanketed itself in noise, barely pausing between songs. Ackerman, drummer Robi Gonzalez and bassist Dion Lunadon were only intermittently visible in a sea of smoke, pierced by a frenetic light show and backed by abstract visuals. Ackermann and Lunadon hurled themselves around the stage as a mosh pit that churned below them; this was no polite Tuesday night show. It might be fair to say you can’t really get APTBS until you’ve seen them live, or at least, it’s very hard to convey the feeling of their music through a home stereo or some iPhone headphones. APTBS’ sound demands darkness, attention and crowd participation to fully land, and over and over on this night, it did.

Band and crowd literally became one during the encore portion of the set, when the band set up just in front of the venue’s soundboard to play three more songs as the audience closed in around them, the flashes of smartphone cameras replacing the strobe lights that had been up on the stage. If it didn’t quite replicate the intimacy of Death By Audio, it showed that this band deserved to grow to a level well beyond it, and to keep going. They’re the kind of band live music was made for, and they did right by us tonight.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones set up inside the soundboard cage. APTBS’ FOH, Lex, was in charge of the house mix. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set: 

A Place to Bury Strangers
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41 (DFC, at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ, imaging)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (adjust levels)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 57:01]
01 We’ve Come So Far
02 I’m So Clean
03 Drill It Up
04 Fill the Void
05 Deadbeat
06 [instrumental]
07 Love High
08 Now It’s Over
09 I’ve Lived My Life to Stand In the Shadow of Your Heart
10 You Are the One [played from the floor]
11 Straight [played from the floor]
12 So Far Away [played from the floor]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT A Place to Bury Strangers, visit their website, and buy Transfixiation from Dead Oceans here.


Honey: January 28, 2015 Union Pool – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 12, 2015

[photos courtesy of P Squared Photography]

Honey are a relatively new band who showed up hungry as the openers for Viet Cong at Union Pool recently. Composed of Cory Feierman on bass/vocals, Dan Wise on guitar/vocals and Will Schmiechen on drums, these guys showed up ready to play, putting even the very talented headliners on notice that mediocrity would not be accepted. The band members’ skill reflects some their resumes; one or more of them have been part of Amen Dunes, Psychic Ills and Stupid Party. Likewise, early invites to play with the likes of J Mascis, King Tuff, Endless Boogie, Crystal Stilts and Destruction Unit tell us that other bands are taking notice.

The band plays hard-charging rock n’ roll with a punk edge, reminiscent of an early, less self-serious Soundgarden.  After choosing the bold leadoff of a cover of Can’s “Connection”, the highlights of this set for me were “Monk”, a pounding number that made a fine lead-in to “Motherfucker Longhair”. Wise got his best showcase on “Enough”, where he was left plenty of room to solo despite the abbreviated set time. Honey expects to have a new LP release in the next couple of months, which should only continue to raise their profile in 2015.

I recorded the set with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from house engineer Doug. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set:

Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK4V (FOB, DFC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Doug)>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, tape effect, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 Connection [Can]
02 Monk
03 Motherfucker Longhair
04 Enough
05 Comes Down
06 Drive

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Honey, like them on facebook, and visit their bandcamp page to buy their album.

Parquet Courts: February 9, 2015 Palisades – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 10, 2015

PQ 1
[screen capture from this recent YouTube video. Other photos on this page are acidjack’s shots from the show]

Each succeeding year that we’ve seen Parquet Courts, they’ve become more and more assured and impressive. The Brooklyn band — who are now “big” enough to have headlined Webster Hall at the end of last year — decided to end their latest stint on the road in the best possible way. The foursome landed this time at Bushwick’s Palisades, a resolutely scrappy DIY venue where the room is spare, the drinks are cheap and the vibe is warm (even if the temperature is not) for a two-night stint. This level of ticket sell-out reminded me of the best days of 285 Kent (also, not coincidentally, booked by legend-in-the-making Ric Leichtung‘s Ad Hoc), with wall-to-wall bodies flooding the front, each step closer to the stage a squeeze you just might not be able to make.

Parquet Courts inspires that kind of loyalty, and deserves to. Their style may be rooted in garage and punk, but they play like serious musicians, shredding their way through material from both of their 2014 records, Sunbathing Animal and the newer Content Nausea (released under the name “Parkay Quarts”). Besides Andrew Savage’s lead vocals that are easy to actually make out (and display his obvious sense of humor), the band’s most notable calling card is their ability to construct earworm riffs that make you remember songs of theirs even if you’ve only heard them once. This set did a fine job of mixing up short masterpieces of the band’s like “Light Up Gold II” and “Careers In Combat” with pieces that give Savage, guitarist Austin Brown, bassist Sean Yeaton and drummer Max Savage a chance to stretch out and show their chops, especially the “Instant Disassembly” that came earlier in the set. At times it felt like the band wasn’t even taking a breath between songs, with the riff of the next number cranking up at the last downbeat of the one before. It made for a kind of momentum that reminded me of Parquet Courts’ current career.

Befitting their love for the hometown crowd, the set we got here was longer than than other recent shows, and included a new song mix, including a cover. At first, the Monday night crowd felt a little sedate, to the point that you can hear a fan screaming “Wake the fuck up!” at least once on this recording. But the only blame for that can go to how densely packed it was in there — sardines can’t dance, either. By mid-set, the true believers had assumed their rightful places up front, and the pogoing and pit were in effect. The band kept joking with the crowd about how any of us got tickets in the first place. But that’s one advantage of having your tour-ending shows at Palisades on a Monday and Tuesday night — you can make a pretty educated guess that the people who choose to be there are the ones that actually give a shit.

The band is off to Australia and New Zealand, and then the festival circuit, in March. At their current pace, they may as well have another album done by summer. Until then, we wish them well. Success sits well with them.

I recorded this set with spaced DPA 4061 omnidirectional microphones on a post right at the front of the venue (see the photo below), plus a soundboard feed set up by Ben of Palisades, with the mix created by Parquet Courts’ touring engineer (whose name I would appreciate having). The sound quality is in-your-face excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show: 

Parquet Courts
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

DPA 4061 (FOB, spaced on pole, slightly ROC)>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: [Parquet Courts FOH — please share his name if you have it])>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (compression on SBD and AUD sources, channel adjustments, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, tape exciter, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:08:31]
01 You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now
02 Bodies Made Of
03 Black and White
04 Instant Disassembly
05 Always Back in Town
06 Ducking and Dodging
07 New Age [Blitz]
08 [banter1]
09 Everyday It Starts
10 Master of My Craft
11 Borrowed Time
12 Careers In Combat
13 Dear Ramona
14 [banter2]
15 What Color Is Blood
16 No Ideas
17 Pretty Machines
18 Psycho Structures
19 Content Nausea
20 Light Up Gold II
21 Sunbathing Animal

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Parquet Courts, visit their website, and buy their albums here.


Ryley Walker: January 13, 2015 Baby’s All Right – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 5, 2015

[photo from October 2014 Rough Trade show by acidjack]

Ryley Walker will be a breakout star this year, and the reason won’t just be his forthcoming album, Primrose Green. Walker has been touring hard, working out the new material, and consistently wowing audiences. BrooklynVegan brought him to New York for a Red Bull Sound Select event at Baby’s All Right, and we couldn’t have been happier, having seen Walker last in a similar two-man configuration back in October at Rough Trade.

Once Primrose Green hits shelves, those versions of Walker’s songs might well seem polite by comparison. The title track’s single, available on Soundcloud and on other streaming services, is a fine version, but pales when up against Walker’s fierce version on this night, a ten-minute ramble through his mind featuring an elongated intro and a virtuosic guitar playing that mimicked some of the dissociative elements of the alcoholic beverage for which the song is titled. But if I had to pick from among Walker’s post-All Kinds of You material, I think it’s “Summer Dress” that will go down as his signature song, as it begins with its loping guitar line under a vocal turn in which Walker yelps, deploys falsetto, flirts with chaos. Watching Walker, you get the sense that he’s not even trying to play these songs to please you, but he does anyway. There’s a sense of abandon to his work that can’t help but grab you; he’s feral up there, without anchor. He makes many of the greats to whom he’s compared — Bert Jansch, for one — sound like choirboys. As to other distinctions, this set boasted a new song, “Funny Thing She Said”, as well as a cover of Van Morrison’s “Fair Play” from Veedon Fleece, the latter a worthwhile reimagining that again places Walker right up there with the rarefied company that came before him.

This set was recorded by Baby’s engineer Rubes, whose dedication to craft is obvious in his flawless mix of his board feed with the house mics. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Walker will be back at Baby’s All Right on March 15 with another of our favorites, Kevin Morby. Get tickets here.

Stream the complete show and download individual tracks:

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

Ryley Walker
Baby’s All Right (sponsored by BrooklynVegan)
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded by Rubes
Produced by acidjack

Soundboard (engineer: Rubes) + Audio Technica 4051>digital multitrack>SD card>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down individual tracks, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, compression, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.5 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downwsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Note that two tags of the FLAC and MP3 files need updating]
01 Funny Thing She Said
02 [banter1]
03 Summer Dress
04 [banter2]
05 Primrose Green
06 On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee
07 Fair Play [Van Morrison]
08 [banter3]
09 Sweet Satisfaction

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ryley Walker, like him on Facebook, and buy Primrose Green from Dead Oceans.

Viet Cong: January 28, 2015 Union Pool – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

February 1, 2015

[photos courtesy of P Squared Photography]

Sometimes there’s something to the wisdom of crowds. Viet Cong, from Canada’s less-celebrated center (Calgary, to be exact) sold out this Union Pool show long before the not-at-all-catastrophic snowstorm hit New York City this week. Still, it takes something special to pack in almost any room on a slushy, freezing night in January, and Viet Cong had the place well past capacity. Half-composed of former members of the band Women, who we were lucky enough to see in their prime, Viet Cong continues that band’s art-rock mission, if not expands it. What makes the band’s live show flat-out better than their very-well-regarded debut LP is simply that watching them put this music together gives you a clearer sense of how much is going on. The interplay between guitarists isn’t simply your usual rhythm/lead dichotomy; guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen’s instruments are almost in opposition to each other at points, at others answering each other note-for-note. Both guitarists double up on keys as well, but don’t think vocalist/bassist Matt Flegel isn’t producing himself. Granted, some of the members have history together, but this is still an incredibly tight unit for a band with only the Cassette EP and the new album to their credit.

The band’s sound mimics the bleak landscape of their hometown at times; the show, and the album closed with a ten-plus minute dirge named “Death”.  But there’s also humor running through Flegel’s lyrics, when you can make them out, and the Cassette songs, especially, have a more straightforward appeal. Ultimately, though, what comes across most about this band is just how effing good they are. The complexity of their work may suggest that this is music for musicians, but what Viet Cong do so well is make that complex music relatable, even fun, to listen to. This show will set a high bar for the rest of 2015, in the best possible way.

I recorded this set at the soundboard with Schoeps MK4V microphones and a stereo feed from Union Pool engineer Doug. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show/download individual songs: 

Viet Cong
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schleps MK4V (FOB, DFC, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Doug)>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, compression, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, tape effect, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 49:00]
01 Silhouettes
02 Bunker Buster
03 March of Progress
04 Oxygen Feed
05 Unconscious Melody
06 Pointless Experience
07 Continental Shelf
08 Death

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Viet Cong by buying their albums here, or on Amazon for vinyl.


Alex Calder: January 11, 2015 Rough Trade – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

January 29, 2015


Alex Calder has done it the classic Captured Tracks way — starting out as a solo artist working on his own, expanding as his songs grew more complex into a full band. Calder took the stage for Rough Trade’s first anniversary with a crack band that, like the re-released version of his latest album Strange Dreams, took his sound to the next level. Calder’s songs, both from his 2015 re-release Strange Dreams to his earlier work, crackled as live versions, waking this early afternoon Rough Trade crowd up immediately. Calder has an obvious love for many generations and styles of popular music, from ’60s surf and garage to the faster-paced punk and softer-edged pop work that appeared in the late ’70s and early ’80s. An added bonus of this set was what appeared to be some new songs, each well in keeping with the quality of Calder’s current output. We hope to see another record from him this year, if we’re lucky.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from house engineer Kyle. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Alex Calder
Rough Trade
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

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

01 [unknown1]
02 [unknown2]
03 Suki and Me
04 Location
05 Strange Dreams
06 Someone
07 [unknown3]
08 Marcel
09 Time

If you enjoyed this recording, visit Alex Calder’s Facebook page and buy his records from Captured Tracks here.

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