Posts Tagged ‘ acidjack ’

Ex Hex: April 18, 2015 Chaz’s Bull City Records (Durham, NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 22, 2015
By

photo by PJ Sykes
[photos courtesy of PJ Sykes via Merge Records]

Yeah, I’ve heard the dings on Record Store Day. That it detracts from the record-buying impulse of the other 363 days of the year (since there are two RSDs). That it’s just record companies creating fake scarcity to move often second-tier product. That it’s overly dominated by corporate artists and Jack White hawking his latest gimmick releases, and that those big artists gum up the pressing plants for everyone else. That the no-returns system and opaque distribution system hurt the record stores more than they can help.

To which all I can say is, come out on RSD to a store like Chaz’s Bull City Records in Durham, NC, and leave your politics and preconceptions at home. Here’s what I saw: a line down the street to get into a small, independent record store on an unassuming block of Durham. Shelves stuffed to the max with RSD releases and other material half-empty by five hours in. Oh, and then there was the matter of the Merge Records show held in the parking lot, with Lagunitas providing beer-by-donation in the parking lot, NYCTaper recording the live sound, and our friends at WXDU streaming the site’s live mix. Maybe Record Store Day isn’t the only day of the year when a small independent record store ought to have a line out the door and three killer bands playing to hundreds of people in its parking lot. But it sure was a good excuse for it.

The day’s biggest draw, the Ex Hex, came out absolutely on fire. Out in front, Mary Timony and Betsy Wright fully committed to the band’s garage-rock aesthetic, making that modest parking lot stage feel like something much more. The 40-minute set covered most of the band’s very-well-regarded 2014 Merge release Rips, as well as a new song. Ex Hex made for the perfect draw for the day, with a sound that looks to vinyl’s 70s heyday without remaining mired in it. Almost every single one of the Rips songs is an upbeat earworm, from the bouncy leadoff to the set, “Don’t Wanna Lose” to the pop-rock of “Radio On”. But if the set showed off the band’s skill at the three-minute song, it also gave the ladies at least one opportunity to really shred, as “Beast” exploded the album version into a long-form rocker with a formidable guitar jam. Whether you were at Chaz’s for the records, or just for the live music, it was a hell of a day to celebrate music.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed from engineer John Koelle combined with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones at the stage lip. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Huge thanks to Ex Hex, Merge Records, Chaz’s Bull City Records, WXDU, Lagunitas, and everyone who came out for this event.

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

Stream the complete show: 

Ex Hex
2015-04-18
Chaz’s Bull City Records
Durham, NC USA

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

Soundboard (engineer: John Koelle) + Schoeps MK4V (stage lip)>KC5>CMC6>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 39:34]
01 Don’t Wanna Lose
02 Waterfall
03 [new song]
04 Waste Your Time
05 How You Got That Girl
06 New Kid
07 Hot and Cold
08 Beast
09 Radio On
10 You Fell Apart
11 Outro
12 Everywhere

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Ex Hex, visit their website, and buy Rips directly from Merge.

photo by PJ Sykes

Hiss Golden Messenger: April 17, 2015 Haw River Ballroom (NC) – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 20, 2015
By

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The best Hiss Golden Messenger songs are the ones about a search for spiritual peace as well as life’s basic comforts, the ones that revel in doubt. I thought a lot about that as I watched the band play their first hometown gig in quite a while. The band’s most recent EP is called Southern Grammar, after the song originally featured on their Merge Records release Lateness of Dancers, and that got me to thinking what “Southern grammar” could mean. The language of the modern South is one of a stubborn constancy bred with ecstatic change, and nowhere is that more evident than in North Carolina, and even more specifically, at this picturesque complex along the Haw river. After driving through miles of deep country, you come upon a collection of structures that includes a “general store“/gas station stocked with a deep microbrew selection and gourmet food, a puppeteering center, a “butchery” (they sell a delicious hot dog with a schmear of pimento and cheese and bacon slivers), a pub, a brewpub specializing in “farmhouse ales“, some luxury condos down the street in a renovated cotton mill and dye house, and finally, the crown jewel of it all, the 800-capacity Haw River Ballroom, which the band sold out on this Friday night.

Does that remind you of anywhere? If you live in Brooklyn, you might be thinking of Williamsburg Bushwick Bed-Stuy Crown Heights almost any neighborhood. But that’s in New York City, where sentimentality has always taken a back seat to the imperatives of commerce. Historically, at least, the South has been a more hidebound place. The rural parts of it, for sure.

What does any of that have to do with Hiss Golden Messenger? Well, like this resurgent part of their adopted home region, Hiss Golden Messenger changes quickly without abandoning tradition. They’re a band who, after Taylor described my September 2014 recording as “what we sound like now”, sounded only part-way similar on this day in April of 2015. The “new” South changes its clothes, changes its tune, to a degree, but in what is new, there will always be those deep strains of something old. Same with this band.

In the case of HGM circa-this-week in 2015, the something old is ’70s AOR, the country-flavored, jammy rock of Creedence Clearwater Revival and the like. Joined by Nashville’s finest living guitarist William Tyler as a special guest, along with Brad and Phil Cook of Megafaun on guitar and bass, and Matt McCaughan on drums, the fivesome rocked the Haw River Ballroom in the way that’s only right for a hometown show. With regular saxophonist Matt Douglas on tour with the Mountain Goats, the guitars redoubled their efforts in his stead. The net effect was songs more muscular and immediate, a musical place where a song like “I’m A Raven (Shake Children)” has absolutely never sounded better, and the deep sadness of “Call Him Daylight” found itself taking a back seat to the insistence of the honky-tonk guitars. Several of the band’s big tent numbers felt more prominent: “Saturday’s Song” and “I’ve Got A Name for the Newborn Child” in particular sidling up to a brand-new one tentatively titled “Say It Like You Mean It” that added some heavier guitars to the proceedings, with Tyler adding his own psychedelic wash to the mix. I’ll admit, I missed the more measured pace of previous versions of “Daylight”, where the words get more space, but that’s alright; if you don’t quite connect with any particular version of an HGM song, there’ll always be another on the way.

That doesn’t mean, by any stretch, that this show was all good times and fluff. There was the opening number, “Brother, Do You Know the Road” (featured on Southern Grammar), whose call and response was more poignant than ever. It’s about the way out out of a sense of worthlessness, about the storm that’s passed over, but not before the rain was found. By the time the main set closed with “Southern Grammar” we were meditating on that road again, the flashes of darkness evident even through the song’s feel-good sound.

The encore brought it all together, with Taylor dedicating “Red Rose Nantahala” to the state’s Tea Party governor, Patt McCrory, whose recent back-tracking does little to hide his past agenda. There stood Taylor on his home turf, pleading “Well let me be the one I want / well let me love the one I want”, and you felt that same question rising from the hearts of so many people in this fine state that have had their basic decency denied them under that false mantra of “tradition”. But before things got too heavy-handed, Taylor shifted gears as he does so well, ending the night with a disco ball and Sam Cooke’s “Having A Party”, as if reminding us all that we were all friends, here at least.

In all, this was the longest HGM set I’ve been in attendance for, and one delivered with the confidence that comes not only with success, but being at home. It laid bare HGM’s own tensions between tradition and evolution, and that revealed something else worth knowing about this still-growing band. That they not only have the capacity to change, but the urgency to. They’ll keep traveling the unfamiliar country, and keep taking the long way home.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V cardiod microphones and a soundboard feed provided by the Haw River Ballroom staff, with the generous assistance of my friend and prolific North Carolina taper Dan Schram. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3] | [FLAC

Stream the complete show: 

Hiss Golden Messenger
2015-04-17
Haw River Ballroom
Saxapahaw, NC USA

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

Tracks [Total Time 1:25:46]
01 Brother, Do You Know the Road?
02 [banter]
03 Call Him Daylight
04 Saturday’s Song
05 Say It Like You Mean It [new/working title]
06 [banter2]
07 Mahogany Dread
08 [banter3]
09 I’ve Got A Name For the Newborn Child
10 Day O Day (A Love So Free)
11 Lucia
12 [banter4]>Blue Country Mystic
13 I’m A Raven (Shake Children)
14 Southern Grammar
15 [encore break]
16 Red Rose Nantahala
17 [banter5]
18 Having A Party [Sam Cooke]

Band:
M.C. Taylor – Vocals, Guitar
William Tyler – Guitar
Matt McCaughan – Drums
Phil Cook – Bass, Vocals
Brad Cook – Guitar

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT by buying Hiss Golden Messenger’s records from Paradise of Bachelors and Merge Records, as well as HGM’s online store.

The Hum Residency: April 13, 2015 Manhattan Inn – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 19, 2015
By

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[Elizabeth & the Catapult. All photography courtesy of David Andrako]

If you caught last week’s post about week one of the Hum Residency, you already know the deal — Hypnocraft Presents brings us a monthlong, Monday night series held at the Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint, featuring musical collaborations among a diverse range of predominantly women artists, together with live projections. By design, the events have a spontaneous, free-flowing feel to them, with the artists wedged in around the centerpiece of the restaurant’s back room, a large white piano, used intermittently by the bands. Surrounding the artist on all sides are the fans, unsure of exactly what to expect, but knowing it should be something interesting and important.

The second week’s lineup was especially diverse, featuring songwriter Deli & Ashley Jackson on harp, the violist and singer Hannah Epperson, folk pop from Elizabeth & the Catapult, and an abstract guitar performance from Indigo Street of Shy Hunters and Shelley Burgon on harp, all of it backed by lush projections by Sofy Yuditskaya.

Ashley Jackson began with two solo harp pieces, the second a fascinating version of Angelica Negron’s “Technicolor” with loops added in. Jackson was then joined by singer-songwriter Deli Neblett. Deli, of Nashville, began her very first New York show (!) with a set of guitar songs that felt even more delicate when backed by Jackson’s harp, as Neblett’s voice looped in the background to provide a ghostly ambiance to her arrangements. Her songs have a stylistic daring to them that sets her apart from her peers; the phrasing in “Boating” is hers and hers alone. “Grown Again” may remind you a little of Grouper, but it has a more organic sensibility than her work, despite the loops. Neblett’s future NYC shows should be worth a look.

Stream Deli & Ashley Jackson

[Hannah Epperson]

Violinist and vocalist Hannah Epperson felt in command of the situation from the get-go, promising to tame her usual volubility. I’d have been happy to hear her talk more, personally, but her playing belonged as the highlight. Of her two songs, the expressive “Farthest Distance Apart” really nailed it for me, with Epperson’s vocals about the transient nature of attention in modern society sure to hit home with most of us.

Stream Hannah Epperson:

Then came time for Elizabeth & the Catapult (in this case, the “Catapult” was guitarist/vocalist Chris Cubeta), who let loose with a rollicking, devil-may care kind of a set that found Elizabeth moving between the piano and wandering the stage with her guitar, joining her musical partner for vocals on “Go Away My Lover”, which we first experienced at Elizabeth’s Backyard Brunch Session a couple years ago. Here, Elizabeth sounded more forceful and assured than ever, earning plaudits as well as some deserved laughs for both her all-too-recognizable lyrics about relationships and her equally-deserved hate for hashtagging. Elizabeth & the Catapult’s set was so on point, in fact, that she even got an “encore” of sorts, turning her song “More Than Enough” into a crowd singalong.

Stream Elizabeth & the Catapult:

Perhaps the evening’s most surprising set came from Indigo Street and Shelley Burgon, who closed things down with an intense set of ambient instrumental music that created the perfect vibe for ending the night. Their choices — Burgon’s “Time Between Times Variation Three” and the theme from “To Kill A Mockingbird” — were cerebral, cinematic numbers that were a joy to see being created. They truly created the sort of “hum” this event is about, a warming of the heart, brain and soul, an oasis of reflection capable of taking place even in a crowded bar. It was something special.

Stream Indigo Street and Shelley Burgon:

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed together with Audio Technica 4051 cardiod microphones up close on the performers. While some ambient noise can be heard from the crowded bar up front, as well as bits of DI hum here and there, overall the sound quality of the sets is quite good. Enjoy!

Download all four sets: [MP3] | [FLAC]

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The Hum Residency
2015-04-13
Manhattan Inn
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard + Audio Technica 4051>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (fades, adjust levels, align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, imaging, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Ashley Jackson
01 John Riley [Kati Agocs]
02 Technicolor [Angelica Negron]
03 [banter]

Deli and Ashley Jackson
04 Sepiatoned Rainbow
05 Boating
06 Grown Again

Musicians:
Deli Neblett – vocals, guitar
Ashley Jackson – harp
__________________________________
Hannah Epperson

Tracks
01 Catenary
02 Farthest Distance Apart

__________________________________

Elizabeth & the Catapult

01 [intro/Happy Birthday]
02 Thank You For Nothing
03 Happy Pop
04 Go Away My Love
05 When My Time Comes
06 [banter]
07 Secrets
08 [banter2]
09 More Than Enough

Musicians:
Elizabeth Ziman – Vocals, piano, guitar
Chris Cubeta – guitar, vocals

__________________________________

Indigo Street and Shelley Burgon

01 Time Between Times Variation Three
02 Theme From To Kill A Mockingbird

Learn more about these great bands and buy their records: Deli | Ashley JacksonHannah Epperson | Elizabeth & the Catapult | Shy Hunters | Shelley Burgon

 

The Mountain Goats: April 11, 2015 City Winery – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 12, 2015
By

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John Darnielle possesses the writer’s gift of universality. From his very specific songs come truths that touch the hearts of listeners who have never lived his life. You may never have felt the humiliation of being a burned out tweaker, sweating it out in a dingy hotel room, but you understand what it means to feel you’re at rock bottom. You know what it is to be dumb and wild and free. You know what it is to desperately, desperately, survive a year that hasn’t gone the way you hoped. In John’s quirky  new songs about wrestling from Beat the Champ there are classic themes about underdogs and alienation, themes that you don’t need to wear a mask to understand. The Mountain Goats built their fervent fan base not on the strength of riffs but on words. Listening to Darnielle’s stories, feeling the emotions he projects, his heart becomes your heart; his trials, yours.

The Mountain Goats played NYC shows on this tour both at Webster Hall and two nights at City Winery, in lieu of a single large show at Terminal 5 or a similar venue. For that, we can be grateful, as City Winery — where as John said, he could actually see the back of the venue from the stage — vibed perfectly with what he wanted. For this tour, the regular trio of Darnielle, Jon Wurster and Peter Hughes is joined by the NC-based journeyman and Swiss army knife of a musician Matt Douglas, who has now appeared on this site with three different bands, if you count his solo show. The addition of Douglas on sax, guitar, horns and keys adds welcome texture and complexity to the full-band numbers, and takes some pressure off of Darnielle, whose massive catalog is always a challenge on tour. The intimate room amplified the songs’ emotional heft; it was a joy to see the rather well-heeled crowd of (probably) former nerds, geeks and rejects sing along to one of Darnielle’s most approachable verses:

people were mean to you
but i always thought you were cool
clicking down the concrete hallways
in your spiked heels
back in high school

That’s Darnielle’s magic, distilled: A song about a single person that many of us could see in ourselves, even if what made us different had nothing to do with spiked heels. If proof were ever needed of the value of being yourself, Darnielle and his slow-burning but runaway success would be the best of it. That he has created an entire community of people who feel the same way is his gift to all of us. Happiness isn’t conformity, or cowing to others’ idea of who you ought to be. It’s doing every stupid thing that makes you feel alive, and the joy you feel at coming out on the other side, still breathing. Long live The Mountain Goats.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones in a position forward of the board, along with a stereo feed of The Mountain Goats’ engineer Brandon Eggleston’s excellent house mix. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the entire set:

The Mountain Goats
2015-04-11
City Winery
New York, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK41 (FOB, ROC, PAS)>KC5>CMC6>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Brandon Eggleston)>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust levels, fades, downsample)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:33:56]
01 [intro]
02 Get Lonely
03 The Ballad of Bull Ramos
04 Love Love Love
05 [banter1]
06 Palmcorder Yajna
07 Animal Mask
08 [banter2]
09 Luna
10 Deuteronomy 2:10
11 [banter3]
12 Beyond the Mysterious Beyond
13 Raja Vocative
14 Woke Up New
15 Steal Smoked Fish
16 Never Quite Free
17 Song for Dennis Brown
18 Stabbed to Death Outside of San Juan
19 Foreign Object
20 This Year
21 The Legend of Chavo Guerrero
22 [encore break]
23 You Were Cool
24 Southwestern Territory
25 Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
26 [encore break 2]/piano jam
27 No Children

Band:
John Darnielle – Vocals, guitar, keys
Matt Douglas – saxophone, guitar, keys, horns
Peter Hughes – Bass
Jon Wurster – Drums

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT The Mountain Goats, visit their website, and buy their records from their online store.

Makthaverskan: April 6, 2015 Saint Vitus – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 7, 2015
By

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As is all-too-common these days, Makthaverskan had a difficult journey to the U.S. from Sweden for this gig, having canceled at least two New York dates last month due to visa issues. By the time they rolled into Saint Vitus for this sold-out headlining gig, the band needed to be worth the wait. They’re a young band, in age and in feel, with frontwoman Maja Milner’s lyrics the stuff of youthful confusion, heartbreak, and rage. Compared to the twee, prettified sound more commonly associated with their hometown of Gothenburg, Makthaverskan have a harder edge, but while they may be heavier and more aggressive than, say, Always, they aren’t exactly Pharmakon, either. That’s to say, Makthaverskan’s music is angry without being ugly, a dose of dream-pop with Milner’s belted “fuck yous” on top.

The band whipped through this set, a mix of material from their latest record II and their debut. Milner proved more than able to push that voice of hers live, and the band had no problem filling what’s usually New York’s top metal venue with a wall of sound to go with it. The standouts included early-set favorite “Antabus”, as well as the band’s latest single “Witness”, both not coincidentally chances for Milner to let loose. I was equally impressed, though, with the straight-up dream-pop number “Asleep” that would have closed the set. The song gives a large nod to Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and their fellow late-80s English indie poppers (and thus, indirectly, to Makthaverskan’s hometown), and that’s not a bad thing. This crowd agreed, chanting for an encore until we got “Inside of Me” from their debut album. It’s about, in broad strokes, not wanting someone to leave, and that’s also how we felt about Makthaverskan. They’ve got plenty more to show us.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones inside the soundboard area, together with a board feed provided by Saint Vitus engineer Jeff. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set: 

Makthaverskan
2015-04-06
Saint Vitus
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK4V (DFC, at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Soundboard (engineer: Jeff))>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust levels, fades, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (harmonic exciter, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 38:44]
01 Outshine
02 Vi Var Manniskor Fran Borjan
03 Antabus
04 Slowly Sinking
05 It’s You And It’s I
06 Witness
07 No Mercy
08 Something More
09 Asleep
10 [encore break]
11 Inside of Me

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Makthaverskan, like them on facebook, and buy their records directly from the band here

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Steve Gunn: April 1, 2015 Baby’s All Right – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

April 5, 2015
By

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Steve Gunn is having a blockbuster spring, having signed recently to Matador Records, and announcing that he’ll be joining Wilco on their spring tour. Gunn’s music has been one of building slowly but methodically as he nurtured different aspects of his talent, from his early solo work, to his partnership with John Truscinski on two outstanding records, to his second solo phase represented by Time Off and Way Out Weather, two fine records that have launched him onto the bigger stages he deserves. This show at Baby’s All Right represented the end of Steve’s recent tour with the “Way Out Band” comprised of site favorite Nathan Bowles on drums, Jason Meagher on bass, and Paul Sukeena on guitar, and it may be the last proper club show for Gunn for a while.

While Steve’s tours have been increasingly turning up newcomers, there to see what the buzz is about, this show was all about the hometown crowd, with the front rows lined with Steve’s personal friends and musical associates, alternating love and tipsy-but-gentle heckling. The set reflected the mood, with the band serving up long-form, loose versions of Time Off and Way Out Weather regulars. “Old Strange” set the tone, with its hypnotic opening riff, and the songs that joined it kept up its feel, with Gunn and Sukeena trading guitar lines while Bowles and Meagher kept the beat. If the slightly different band (trading Sukeena for Jim Elkington) at the 2014 Rough Trade show felt like a band growing into itself, this one was that almost-same group spreading its wings, even more road-confident than when they returned to the area back then. “Street Keeper” was a new addition I hadn’t heard at recent NY shows, making this a winner setlist- as as well as performance-wise.

You can catch Steve Gunn this spring with Wilco; please show up early and make him feel welcome in those large arenas!

Kevin Mazzarelli mixed this live set and recorded various tracks to Pro Tools; I mixed and mastered them. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set and download individual tracks:

Steve Gunn
2015-04-01
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and live engineered by Kevin Mazzarelli
Produced by acidjack

6 digital soundboard tracks + Audio Technica 4051>Pro Tools>8x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, hard limiter, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total time: 57:14]
01 Old Strange
02 Water Wheel
03 [banter]
04 Wildwood
05 [banter2]
06 Milly’s Garden
07 [banter3]
08 Street Keeper
09 [banter4]
10 Way Out Weather
11 Tommy’s Congo

Band:
Steve Gunn – vocals, guitar
Paul Sukeena – guitar
Jason Meagher – bass
Nathan Bowles – drums

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Steve Gunn, visit his website, and buy his albums, all of which have “buy” links here.

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Wand: Mercury Lounge 2015 + SXSW 2015 + Webster Hall 2014 – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

March 31, 2015
By

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[photo by Jono Bernstein]

Add Wand to the list of bands best realized as a live act. Not to disrespect their two most recent albums, this year’s Golem and last year’s Ganglion Reef, both fine efforts in the lazily-named “garage-psych” canon that add the band’s wizards-and-warlocks imagery to the mix of guitar pyrotechnics and punk urgency that characterize, to some degree, the efforts of regular tourmate Ty Segall and others. Heard in the vacuum of headphones or home speakers, alone, it’s too easy to lump them in with the other bands whose names you know and move on.

But live, there are clearer nods to the band’s actual influences: Rainbow, T. Rex, Bowie, early period Zeppelin — some of the bands that influenced the much-derided L.A. “glam” scene of the 1980s. Wand owe a very much larger debt to these bands than their contemporaries, and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, the glammy sensibility Wand brings to the table serves as a reminder that the wholesale death of the L.A. scene at the hands of grunge was a bit of a throwing out of the baby with the bathwater. If those seventies touchstones can be blamed for giving us Poison and Warrant, it’s worth remembering that the better attitudes they embodied were being unafraid to have style or show off how well you can play, and to make each performance a true performance. Wand may not wear makeup or tight clothing, but their show brings with it some of that theatrical feel that makes them stand out. That’s what made them darlings at South By Southwest, where one of us captured their burner of a set at the Panache Booking-sponsored Hotel Vegas show and deemed it the best thing he saw all festival.

We’ll let you judge for yourself, with a three-fer of Wand shows in a range of situations. There’s that SXSW show and a September 2014 show opening for Ty Segall at Webster Hall, together with the most recent appearance by the band in NYC, an hourlong headlining gig at Mercury Lounge. I caught the Mercury show, and was taken straight away by the band’s command of the stage. Songs from their two albums enjoyed a range of reinterpretations and rocked-out treatments, while frontman Cory Thomas Hanson gave us the kind of vocal performance we’re just not used to hearing anymore. I appreciated that amidst the pounding — and the band also comes across much heavier and less spacey live than on record — the band slowed things down from time to time, such as when they lead us into the cosmic swirl of “Melted Rope.” Each of these three shows ends on the same number, the band’s most reliable “jam” song “Generator Larping”, which is as sure a recipe for a great end to the night as anything I’ve heard this year.

These sets are all combinations of soundboard feeds with high-quality audience microphones, and each of them is of excellent quality. Enjoy!

Downloads: Mercury Lounge [MP3] | [FLAC] || SXSW [MP3] | [FLAC] || Webster Hall [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream the complete Mercury Lounge show:

Stream “Generator Larping” from SXSW:

Wand
2015-03-29
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK41 (PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Aerco MP-2 + Soundboard (engineer: Dave Lefcourt)>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades, limiter)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, imaging)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time: 58:00]
01 The Unexplored Map
02 Self Hypnosis In 3 Days
03 [unknown1]
04 Floating Head
05 Melted Rope
06 Fire On the Mountain I-II-III
07 Flying Golem
08 Reaper Invert
09 Planet Golem
10 Generator Larping
_______________________________________
Wand
2015-03-20
Hotel Vegas – Panache SXSW
Austin, TX USA

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Sennheiser MKH-8040 Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 40:07]
01 The Unexplored Map
02 Self Hypnosis in 3 Days
03 Floating Head
04 Fire On The Mountain
05 Flying Golem
06 Planet Golem
07 Generator Larping
_______________________________________
Wand
2014-09-17
Webster Hall
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard [engineer: Rafael] + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, EQ, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 37:41]
01 Send Receive (Mind)
02 [new song]
03 Fire On The Mountain
04 Broken Candle
05 Flying Golem
06 [new song 2]
07 [banter – last night]
08 Generator Larping

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Wand, visit their website, and buy Golem here and Ganglion Reef from Drag City here.

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[photo by acidjack]

Moon Duo: March 10, 2015 Rough Trade NYC – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set

March 27, 2015
By

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Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada have been making music as Moon Duo for a while now, churning out consistent albums on Sacred Bones (and earlier, Woodsist) that have delighted both Wooden Shjips fans and those who were drawn to the more organ-driven sound led by Yamada. With Shadow of the Sun, and this latest tour, the band has swung a bit more to the rock side of the things, bringing on drummer John Jeffrey, who appeared on the Live in Ravenna album as well. If Shadow represents yet another refinement rather than a quantum leap, the addition of the live drumming is noticeable, and even more so in the actual concert space — compare this set, for example, with the set I recorded in 2010.

Fans of the Ravenna live set would agree that this set at Rough Trade NYC built on some of the good things you can see there, with the live drums adding viscosity and punch to the band’s hypnotic flow. The set consisted of just under half-Shadow of the Sun material. “Wilding” made for as good a kickoff for the live set as it did for the album, while “Thieves” gave Ripley an opportunity for a hardcore guitar freakout. The trio were barely visible most of the time, shrouded by an electric light show that matched the pace and vibe of the setlist. The seventy minutes ended on a high note, with an extended “Set It On Fire” that, by the time it ended, made you feel almost as if you’d woken from a dream. This band can do that to you.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones mounted inside the soundboard cage, together with engineer Nick Cameron. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete show:

Moon Duo
2015-03-10
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Soundboard [Engineer: Nick] + Schoeps MK4V (inside SBD cage, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>Aerco MP-2>> Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, limiter, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:10:00]
01 Wilding
02 I Been Gone
03 Circles
04 Free the Skull
05 Night Beat
06 Thieves
07 In the Sun
08 Motorcycle, I Love You
09 Goners
10 Animal
11 Set It On Fire

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Moon Duo, visit their website, and buy their records from Sacred Bones Records.

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Tom Carter / Barry Weisblat Duo: February 24, 2015 FLAC/MP3/Streaming

March 24, 2015
By

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The guitarist Tom Carter has made a couple of appearances on this site, being one of this city’s most exciting innovators on the instrument. While Carter was already known for his eclectic tastes, both as a solo act and with Charalambides, this combination of Carter and the multi-instrumentalist Barry Weisblat took things further into the out realm. The two appeared at last month’s installment of the “Music From NY Underground: On the Way Out” event held monthly at Freddy’s Bar in Park Slope, and produced an improvisational composition worthy of that title. Weisblat arrived armed with a host of obscure devices able to create a host of tones and textures, to which Carter overlaid his signature guitar sound. The end result was a thought-provoking, almost cinematic drone sequence that was revelatory to see created, but will reward patient repeat listening even more. We are excited to have been able to witness and capture this unique musical interaction, and hope you feel the same.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK5 microphones in the ORTF configuration near the performers, together with a feed from the small PA system mixer. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

For those interested, the next installment of this series happens tonight (March 24, 2015) at Freddy’s. Check it out.

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

Stream the complete set:

Tom Carter/Barry Weisblat Duo
2015-02-24
Freddy’s
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

Schoeps MK5 (cardiod, DFC, ORTF)>KC5>CMC6 + Soundboard>>Roland R-26>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (mix down, fades)>Izotope Ozone 5 (light effects and EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (amplify, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 33:28]
01 improvisation

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Tom Carter by buying his music from Wholly Other, the “Buy Music” links at the Help Tom Carter page and visiting the Tom Carter page maintained by Kranky, and please support Barry Weisblat by visiting the Q-02 page for him and checking out his work on the Free Music Archive.

 

Ryley Walker: March 15, 2015 Baby’s All Right – FLAC/MP3/ALAC/Streaming Set

March 22, 2015
By

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[photos by Jill Harrison]

There are many good singers, many more good writers of songs. More than enough to fill entire festivals with them year-round, to stuff streaming sites with more than anyone can listen to. But among that vast number, there are a tiny few in whom you can sense that something else, that spark, that undergirding realness, that makes their performance more than just-singing or just-playing-guitar. To see Ryley Walker perform is to experience a man singing to somewhere else, sending sound out to and for souls long since gone. That voice, that sound of his, the ecstatic yelps, those long, punch-drunk runs, threatening to split apart but never quite doing it, is singular. It may resonate with you, or it may not, but if it doesn’t, the thing missing in the equation is what you’re putting into it, not him.

This show at Baby’s All Right, our fourth time seeing Ryley in the last twelve months, finds him at an interesting point. Primrose Green, his tour-de-force second record, releases at month end, and has already found itself hailed in all the right places, turning Walker into a critical darling seemingly overnight. He’ll be at this summer’s Pitchfork Festival, at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival, at Levitation in Vancouver, and any number of other places in the U.S. and Europe where of-the-moment acts can be seen. It’s hard to know what the effect of the crowds might be on this man, this music that requires him to give so much of himself emotionally every night. There are too many tales about how this part of the music world has split women and men in half.

But our best evidence about Ryley’s part of this story is this night at Baby’s All Right, in a jammed show room on a Sunday night. The 38 minutes of this set consist of just four songs, played this time with a band consisting of Ryley’s Chicago-based musician colleagues on second guitar, upright bass, and keys (over half of the band that we first saw perform in Raleigh back in September). The foursome appeared, as far as I know, only in Chicago and at this New York date — D.C. two nights before was a threesome (minus upright bass), as was Philadelphia just before the Brooklyn show — but their playing reminds you how well they know this material. The band weaved around Ryley’s lead as they reinterpreted Primrose Green songs that most of these fans probably haven’t heard original versions of yet on record. These weren’t idle-minded jams, either, but successful experiments, one after the other, from the new “Funny Thing She Said”, to tour staple “Summer Dress”, to “Primrose Green” to Ryley’s go-to cover song of late, Van Morrison’s “Fair Play” from Veedon Fleece. Shaved, hair clipped, wearing a collar and sweater that even had Ryley laughing at himself, Walker played with all the intensity he’s mustered every time we’ve seen him, but there was a new assuredness there, too, an ability to pull back just when he needed to. These thirty-eight minutes were like all of his sets I have seen: a thing of beauty, something memorable, something unique.

If you go to see one new artist this year because you read about them on this site, I hope Ryley Walker is the one. Nobody, not even him, knows where his story is headed. But this set proved once again where he deserves to be.

Baby’s All Right engineer Harrison Fore recorded and mixed this set live; I mixed this and the house-installed audience mics and mastered the recording in post. The sound quality is outstanding, equal to the quality of the performer you’re listening to. Enjoy.

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

Stream the complete show: 

Ryley Walker
2015-03-15
Baby’s All Right
Brooklyn, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and live mixed by Harrison Fore
Produced by acidjack

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

Tracks [Total Time: 38:06]
01 Funny Thing She Said
02 Summer Dress
03 [banter]
04 Primrose Green
05 [banter2]
06 Fair Play [Van Morrison]

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

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