Posts Tagged ‘ Cass McCombs ’

Cass McCombs: January 7, 2016 Bowery Ballroom

January 11, 2016
By

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[photos by Will Oliver]

The timing was excellent. My first show of the new year took place at the legendary Bowery Ballroom and featured one of my favorite artists. And did Cass McCombs ever deliver. We’ve seen Cass perform intense shows, fun shows, and even split shows with the Meat Puppets. But what Cass and his band did on Thursday night was one for the ages — an over two-hour epic night that featured a nice cross-section of material from his healthy catalog. Ostensibly Cass is on tour in support of his new album A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, Etc., which as its title makes clear, is a compilation. But the band only played a couple of songs from the new album, instead treating us to some inspired versions of older Cass material. Of note were the last two songs played — a huge thirteen-minute version of “County Line” and the finale, a fourteen minute take on “Dreams Come True Girl”, which also included a dual drum solo. The band this time out included the addition of two drummers (Jesse Lee and Ryan Sawyer) to replace Joe Russo (currently on tour with JRAD), and Cass regulars Dan Iead on guitar and Jon Shaw on bass. With several years together, the unit was both tight when necessary and also capable of letting loose for extended segments (see above) which ultimately provided us with a lengthy show that literally never lagged and was chock full of highlights.

I recorded this set from our usual location in this venue and the sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show [minus banter tracks]:

Cass McCombs
2016-01-07
Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Schoeps CCM4u 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 2:02:28]
01 [intro]
02 Night Of The World
03 Big Wheel
04 [new song – River of Blood]
05 Brighter
06 [band introductions]
07 Name Written In Water
08 My Sister My Spouse
09 [new song – I Want to Know]
10 Robin Egg Blue
11 Aeon of Aquarius Blues
12 I Cannot Lie
13 Morning Star
14 Prima Donna
15 [new song – Why Does it Rain]
16 Home on the Range
17 County Line
18 [band intro – encore break]
19 Dreams Come True Girl

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, PLEASE SUPPORT Cass McCombs, visit his website, and purchase A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, Etc. from the Domino Records website [HERE].

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Cass McCombs: November 1 and October 31, 2014 Rough Trade – FLAC/MP3/Streaming

November 16, 2014
By


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[photos by acidjack]

On night two of the Cass McCombs / Meat Puppets stand at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade, the order was switched, with McCombs the “headliner” playing the longer set. Since his breakout moment a few years ago, McCombs has shifted direction a bit, turning his sound toward the jammier side of things with an expanded band. We pointed this out last year when McCombs first brought his material from Big Wheel and Others to the stage at Bowery Ballroom. This time, Cass had a new band in tow but a similar attitude, letting songs proceed at a languid pace that gave the band time to grow into the tunes. In that sense, the two shows offer a bit of a contrast, as the Halloween show finds the band self-editing a bit to make the time requirements, while the November 1st show gives you a full-on jamfest, including a very extended version of “County Line” from 2011’s breakout Wit’s End as an encore. Once again it was arguably the Halloween show that once again took the cake, as the reduced set time both focused Cass’ energies and also yielded a unique cover of Metallica’s “The Unforgiven”. Whatever your Cass preferences, this twofer tour with the Meat Puppets is a can’t miss. The bands are finishing up this year on the West Coast, with the tour dates here.

Each of these sets were recorded in the same manner as Eric PH’s and my respective sets from Halloween. The November 1st set was recorded with Schoeps MK41 microphones and a soundboard feed from Kyle of Rough Trade, while the Halloween show is Audio Technica 3031 microphones and Kyle’s feed. Both are excellent. Enjoy!

Download acidjack’s 11/1 show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Download Eric’s 10/31 show: [MP3] | [FLAC]

Stream “The Unforgiven” [Metallica] from 10/31:

Stream the full 11/1 show:

Cass McCombs
2014-11-01
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY USA

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

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

Tracks [total time: 1:35:42]
01 Big Wheel
02 Morning Star
03 A
04 Home On the Range
05 Angel Blood
06 Brighter!
07 Buried Alive
08 Lionkiller
09 [banter]
10 Multiple Suns
11 Everything Has to Be Just So
12 The Same Thing
13 Not the Way
14 [encore break]
15 County Line
______________________________________
Cass McCombs
October 31, 2014
Rough Trade NYC
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Audio Technica 3031 + Soundboard > Roland R-26 > 2x24bit/48kHz WAV > Audacity 2.0.5 (set fades, mixdown, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (level 8)

01. That’s That
02. Equinox
03. Big Wheel
04. Sooner Cheat Death Than Fool Love
05. Aeon of Aquarius Blues
06. Brighter!
07. Robin Egg Blue
08. Dreams Come True Girl
09. [Instrumental]
10. Love Thine Enemy
11. Name Written in Water
12. City of Brotherly Love
13. The Unforgiven [Metallica]

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, PLEASE SUPPORT Cass McCombs, visit his website, and purchase Big Wheel And Others from the Domino Records website [HERE].

Cass McCombs: December 12, 2013 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

December 18, 2013
By

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[photo by Will Oliver at We All Want Someone To Shout For]

Cass McCombs new album Big Wheel and Others is a real departure from his recent work. In 2011, he released both Wit’s End and Humor Risk and both albums owed much to the influence of the more sleepy Laurel Canyon music school. The shows in support of those albums were compellingly mellow and in particular the Bowery show in 2011 was one of the best shows we saw all that year. But Big Wheel is anything but sleepy — its pretty much a straight rock album and an ambitious double album at that. The tour in support of the album has been a lengthy cross-country trip that arrived at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. Cass’s band is a quartet of individual renowned in their own right, with the drums manned by Joe Russo, whose name has popped up often on this site in 2013. Dan Iead from the late great powerpop band The Broken West played both lead guitar and pedal steal, with versatile Portlander Jon Shaw (Battle Hymns and Gardens, Ez Weiss Quartet) (correction, thanks to comment: “Wolf!, Shpongle, Nicole Atkins, The Broken West, The Complete Last Waltz, etc”) on bass. The strength of the band was obvious from the start, as the album opener led off the set with a burst of energy. We’re streaming that track below. The balance of the set was a nice mix of material young and old — there were just six of the nineteen Big Wheel songs along with a democratic selection from each of Cass’s prior records. The Cass McCombs US tour is over, but he’ll be in Europe for six weeks in January and February.

I recorded this set with the Sennheiser Cards mounted at our usual spot in the center balcony. The room mix was quite superb with kudos to Cass’s tour FOH Chris Preston. We mixed in a very conservative amount of board feed to supplement the room mics and the sound quality is quite excellent. Enjoy!

Stream “Big Wheel”:

Download the Complete 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.

Cass McCombs
2013-12-12
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:35:01]
01 Big Wheel
02 There Can Be Only One
03 Love Thine Enemy
04 Crick in My Neck
05 Morning Star
06 Angel Blood
07 Aeon of Aquarius Blues
08 Dreams Come True Girl
09 Lionkiller
10 The Burning of the Temple 2012
11 You Saved My Life
12 What Isn’t Nature
13 The Same Thing
14 County Line
15 That’s That
16 [band intro/encore break]
17 Sacred Heart

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Cass McCombs, visit his website, and purchase Big Wheel And Others from the Domino Records website [HERE].

The Complete Last Waltz: November 27, 2013 Capitol Theatre Portchester – Flac/MP3/Streaming

December 1, 2013
By

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[photos by Joe Madonna Photography]

It took place on Thanksgiving night 1976, and it is perhaps the greatest rock and roll concert ever — certainly in the top ten. As a concert, The Band’s The Last Waltz featured one of the premiere acts in the history of rock music retiring from touring in their prime and playing their greatest material accompanied by a who’s-who of guests. This isn’t just a few cameos from some big names — these are all-time performances from the greatest of the great. Dylan, Clapton, Neil, Van, Joni, and many others including everyone from Neil Diamond to Muddy Waters. The movie was directed by Scorcese is also perhaps the best concert film ever recorded. As a tribute to this remarkable and historical event in music history, The Complete Last Waltz is a project of tremendous ambition and respect for the history of the event. Last year the project was performed in San Francisco, but this year it moved East to the Capitol Theatre in Portchester on Thanksgiving Eve. The house band presented a bookend of sorts for this year for me personally, as the musicians were in large part the same group that had performed so admirably for Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at Brooklyn Bowl in January. On this night, the band lead was taken by Sam Cohen and he did an extraordinary job both performing the songs to which he was assigned and passing the spotlight to the queue of outstanding guests. For this four-hour event it would be unwise to summarize every highlight, as there were plenty. I’ve chosen to stream four tracks from this event, which were personal favorites. Eric D. Johnson of the Fruit Bats (RIP) performed Van Morrison’s “Caravan” with Van’s 70s energy and his clothing outfit, including the bell bottom jeans. Eric Earley, from nyctaper-faves Blitzen Trapper, performed the entire Dylan suite impeccably with “I Don’t Believe You” echoing the career highlight of the Dylan & The Band collaboration, the 1966 tour. Another site favorite Cass McCombs played three Band songs, of which we thought he completely nailed “Stage Fright”. Finally, Kenny Siegel of whom we were not previously familiar summoned the ghost of Richard Manuel for a perfect rendition of “The Shape I’m In”. But those four songs are just a sample of the amazing music made that night. If you were there (and listening) you know from what I speak, if you were not there please download and experience this show.

I recorded this set with the four-mic rig from the unfortunate official taping location in this venue, which is situated behind the soundboard and about 30 feet back from the balcony overhang. The other unfortunate circumstance at this show was the outrageous persistent yapping from much of the crowd — I mean people just would not stop talking. This despite a very nicely worded request on page two of the official Program asking people to refrain from talking or move the lobby. With those two very big caveats, please enjoy this recording!

Stream “The Shape I’m In” (Kenny Siegel):

Stream “Stage Fright” (Cass McCombs):

Stream “Caravan” (Eric D. Johnson):

Stream “I Don’t Believe You” (Eric Earley):

Download the Complete Show [MP3] or [MP3] / [FLAC] or [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.

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Complete Last Waltz
2013-11-27
Capitol Theatre
Portchester, NY

Digital Master
Four-Track Audience Recording
Recorded from Behind the Soundboard Booth

Sennheiser MKH-8040 Cardioids + Neumann KM-150s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2x 24bit 48kHz wav file > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 3:25:37]
01 Last Waltz Theme (Antibalas horns)
02 Up On Cripple Creek (Sam Cohen)
03 The Shape I’m In (Kenny Siegel)
04 Life Is A Carnival (Ryan Miller)
05 W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (Alec Ounsworth)
06 Georgia on My Mind (Alecia Chakour)
07 Ophelia (Scott Metzger)
08 Rag Mama Rag (Marc Black)
09 King Harvest (Jeremy Black and Jared Samuel)
10 Mystery Train (Matt Vasquez)
11 Who Do You Love (Matt Vasquez)
12 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Cass McCombs)
13 Stage Fright (Cass McCombs)
14 It Makes No Difference (Cass McCombs)
15 Such a Night (Marco Benevento)
16 Down South in New Orleans (Andy Cabic)
17 This Wheel’s On Fire (Andy Cabic)
18 [Nels rap]
19 Further On Up the Road (Nels Cline)
20 All Our Past Times (Nels Cline)
21 Helpless (Nicole Atkins)
22 Four Strong Winds (Nicole Atkins)
23 Coyote (Jocie Adams)
24 Furry Sings the Blues (Jocie Adams)
25 Dry Your Eyes (John Roderick)
26 Mannish Boy (Binky Griptite)
27 Caledonia (Binky Griptite)
28 Tura Lura Lural (Eric D. Johnson and Ryan Miller)
29 Caravan (Eric D. Johnson)
30 The Genetic Method (Ensemble)
31 Chest Fever (Kenny Siegel)
32 Evangeline (Parkington Sisters)
33 Acadian Driftwood (Parkington Sisters)
34 The Weight (Ensemble)
35 Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Eric Earley)
36 Hazel (Eric Earley)
37 I Don’t Believe You (Eric Earley)
38 Forever Young (Eric Earley)
39 Baby Let Me Follow You Down Reprise (Eric Earley)
40 I Shall Be Released (Ensemble)
41 [encore break]
42 Don’t Do It (Alecia Chakour and Scott Metzger)

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The Complete Last Waltz, visit the Facebook page, and support the many artists by following the links on the setlist to purchase their official material, for instance at the Royal Potato Family Records site where several artists reside [HERE].

Complete Last Waltz Playbill

NYCTaper Top 25 Concert Moments of 2011: MP3 Downloads and Streaming Songs

December 23, 2011
By

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Live music in 2011 saw several newer bands consolidate their hold on greatness, while well-established acts from the 90s brought out crowds for reunion shows and, sadly, farewells. For those of us at the site, we were inspired by crowds of people who were, in a lot of cases, younger than we were checking out bands like Archers of Loaf live for the first time, or finally gaining appreciation for the work of artists like Cass McCombs and Bill Callahan. At the same time, favorite new or new-er bands like Widowspeak, The War on Drugs, White Fence and Mr. Dream, each of whom we saw multiple times, saw their fanbases grow quickly. If you heard their music for the first time on this site, and liked it enough to give them a look for yourself, well, we are all the more honored and grateful.

With four tapers contributing recordings to the site on a regular basis, picking the “best” 25 moments of an entire year is practically impossible. Looking back on another great year for the site, though, each of these particular moments from a show we recorded stands out in some particular way (though they are in particular order). A complete seamless mix is available for download below, plus streaming selections of each. We hope you enjoy our picks, and look forward to sharing more great artist-approved recordings in 2012.

Want the first word about recordings in 2012 (including in-show updates)? Follow nyctaper and acidjack on Twitter, and like NYCTaper on Facebook.

DOWNLOAD A FULL SET OF ALL 31 SONGS IN MP3 FORMAT [HERE]

1. Sonic Youth – “Inhuman” (Williamsburg Waterfront, August 12)

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Well-publicized changes in the personal lives of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, the reigning king and queen of indie rock for the past two decades, may mean that Sonic Youth‘s performance at the Williamsburg Waterfront in August was their last NYC show. We hope that’s not the case. But if it is, wow, this band went out in as massive a style as possible, delivering a set full of rarities with the energy of 18-year-old punks instead of “elder” statesmen. The night closed with the apocalyptic noise squall of “Inhuman”, an at-times brutal piece of music that highlighted Sonic Youth’s roots as an art-punk noise band. While it is probably the worst quality recording of anything in this top 25, this blowout show closer, with its blasts of feedback, was easily one of the most memorable. Maybe there was something even more personal in those screams and feedback than we realized at the time.

Full post of this show [HERE]

2. The War on Drugs – “Arms Like Boulders” ( Bowery Ballroom, January 8 )

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The War on Drugs were a band we unabashedly fell in love with this year. An act that we first saw as an opening band, and who we saw in a huge range of venues this year (from Cameo Gallery to Webster Hall), these guys have earned their acclaim the old-fashioned way. First, their 2011 album Slave Ambient was an instant classic, a Dylanesque masterpiece. Second, they played a flat-out great live show, and they just kept getting better as the year went on. We chose this recording from the Bowery Ballroom because, well, it’s Bowery, and that place always sounds amazing.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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3. Deerhunter – “Flourescent Grey” (Webster Hall, August 23).

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Although Deerhunter and Atlas Sound had appeared on this site several times, I (not speaking for the others from the site) counted myself as a Bradford Cox skeptic. That is, until Bradford and the band led off this show at Webster Hall with this song. The band’s sound became a living alien beast, breathing and hissing as the stage was bathed in an eerie green glow. The effect was aurally and visually arresting, and the show didn’t slow down a bit from there. I count myself a believer now.

Full post of this show [HERE]

4. Cass McCombs – “County Line” (Bowery Ballroom, May 12)

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The American songwriter Cass McCombs is a critical darling, and has been since his first releases early last decade. Humor Risk, his new release on Domino Records, seems like the record that will make Cass a favorite with fans as well as critics. We know for sure that he sold out this show at Bowery quite handily, and Wit’s End has made an appearance on many a year-end list. This song, in particular, is a highlight, and this beautiful recording is a nearly flawless capture of Cass at his best.

Full post of this show [HERE]

5. The Psychic Paramount – “Ddb” (Union Pool, July 26)

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The Psychic Paramount provided me with one of those classic moments where an opening band completely overshadows the headliner, and wins a ton of new fans in the process. I caught the band this summer at Union Pool after reading some positive notice for their latest record, II. The album is an excellent work of psychedelic instrumental rock, but the live show – with the band shrouded in a stream of thick smoke, shredding on their guitars – took the experience to the next level.

Full post of this show [HERE]

6. The Smashing Pumpkins – “Muzzle” (Terminal 5, October 18)

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The latest addition to our team, hi and lo, is a longtime Smashing Pumpkins taper who has crisscrossed the country covering the band. This was another act that I admittedly had somewhat given up on after their late-90s release Machina failed to ignite. Once again I was more than happy to be proven wrong, and reminded of the original greatness of this band. hi and lo invited the entire crew to this show, and it was one of the best we saw this year – a powerfully delivered, rocking performance that rivaled this band at their stadium rock peak in the mid-90s. The Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness track “Muzzle” – slightly lesser known but one of that album’s best – was a highlight in a show that was filled with them.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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7. Low – “Witches” (Bowery Ballroom, April 27)

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Low are a longstanding band who recently proved that they may yet hit their critical peak. Their 2011 release, C’mon, was outstanding – an artistic triumph, and one of their best since their inception in 1993. This show, as I put it then, demonstrated the value of speaking softly, as the band delivered a set of understated grace and majesty. The song “Witches”, with its somber guitar riff, is one of my favorite on the new record, and was one of the highlights of the night.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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9. Lucero – “Across the River” (Mercury Lounge, July 23)

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Johnny Fried Chicken Boy went to see “Nobody’s Darlings” booked as the late show at Mercury Lounge knowing full well that who this mystery band would be. Taking a pause from their stint on the Warped Tour, Lucero rocked an appreciative and typically rowdy weekend Mercury crowd with a 100-minute, free-ranging set. This is the kind of band that defines live rock n’ roll – great players who sound natural, relaxed and like they’re having as good a time as you are. Since first seeing this band as an opener for The Black Keys back in 2009, we have watched their star continue to rise. With a headlining show coming up the day before New Year’s Eve at Brooklyn Bowl, you can be sure Lucero has plenty left in the tank for this year.

Full post of this show [HERE]

10. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – “World Police and Friendly Fire” (Brooklyn Masonic Temple, March 16)

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I wrote what I thought was my best review that year on my iPhone during the first run-through of this song I heard the night before – so inspired by what I was seeing and hearing I had to capture my thoughts that instant. Of the show, I said in part: “GYBE are an unabashedly political band, and their music, as well as the intense visuals that their live performances soundtrack, are political in a mostly-abstract way. The visuals are mash-ups that evoke the world’s extremes; majesty and beauty in the midst of nascent dread. Here you see the fires of smoldering factories soundtracked by a plaintive surge of sound, where the sound of even the lowly triangle can take on menace. But there is beauty there, as there is in an unmolested glen; in a snippet of a nostalgic ramble that is both endearing and creepy. During the two and a half hour opus that was this phenomenal return to Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple … we were reminded that out of each paroxysm of suffering and bout of anxiety, there remains the zeal and fervor of hope.”

Full post of this show [HERE]

GYSBE

11. Yo La Tengo feat. David Byrne – “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel [Talking Heads]” (Maxwell’s, March 23)

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Our original goal for this post was not to repeat any bands that made the list last year, but Yo La Tengo deliver something so special at every show, it was impossible to ignore this once-in-a-lifetime happening. Musicians across New York and the United States were moved to help their brethren in Japan after the terrible damage wrought by the tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdowns. Yo La Tengo did their part by throwing this very special benefit show at their homebase venue of Maxwell’s, with all proceeds going to Peace Winds Japan. David Byrne appeared with the band and performed a special rendition of this Talking Heads classic. A direct donation to Peace Winds Japan was required to be able to download this set, and through those donations, we have raised over $5,000 for the organization to date.

Full post of this show [HERE]  donation to Peace Winds Japan is required to download the show.

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12. Destroyer “Kaputt” (Webster Hall, April 3)

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Pitchfork may have ultimately handed the #1 spot on their year-end best-of to Bon Iver, but I called it back in April that Destroyer’s Kaputt would be close. A weird, wonderful album that resurrected the saxophone for new generation of rock fans, as I put it back then, “…Bejar’s music is almost radically foreign to what else is going on in American music today. Which is to say, Kaputtisn’t really dance music, nor can it be considered “rock” of most common varieties, and neither is it some fist-pumping, amped-up hybrid of the two. Bejar’s edges are soft, his choruses delivered on a silky train of trumpet and sax trills in a moderate, almost diffident tone. If the common mode for today’s bands is a marriage of post-punk and hard dance music, 2011’s Destroyer could be, well, “indie rock and smooth jazz…” This live show at Webster Hall was a hotly anticipated one this year, and Bejar nailed it.

Full post of this show [HERE]

13. The Antlers – “Putting the Dog To Sleep” ( Knitting Factory, May 8 )

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The Antlers continued their rise in the ranks of local bands this year with the release of their new album, Burst Apart. We were fortunate enough to catch a very special secret show at The Knitting Factory sponsored by BrooklynVegan, at which the band played the entire new album for a group of hardcore fans. This was the first time we had heard a number of these songs live, and it was evident from the start that Burst Apart was a huge creative leap forward for the band.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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14. Wye Oak – “The Alter” (Rock Shop, January 27)

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It was absolutely freezing out when I went to see Wye Oak, performing a special invite-only show after opening for The Decemberists the night before. The band was on the cusp of releasing Civilian, an album destined for many best-of lists, and they were surrounded by friends and family to debut many of its songs live. The intimate jewel box of Rock Shop was the perfect place to do it, feeling like our personal living room as we watched the duo play. After going through the experience of being an opening act at the Beacon Theatre the night before, I’m sure it felt like a sort of homecoming for the Baltimore natives.

Full post of this show [HERE]

15. White Fence – “Baxter Corner” (Bowery Ballroom, August 13)

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Our first exposure to White Fence came as they opened for Woods at Bowery Ballroom, on a night when the NYCTaper crew decided to team up and use a combination of our finest equipment. Not only is our capture one of our best recordings of the year, but this new “band” (basically the solo artist Tim Presley, with members of Woods and drummer Nick Murray as his backing band) blew us away with its catchy garage-psych tunes.

Full post of this show [HERE]

16. Family Band – “Again” (Backyard Brunch Sessions, July 23)

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Our friends at the Backyard Brunch Sessions held another successful summer season of intimate outdoor shows. Not only did they give the NYCTaper team the chance to show off what we can do recording-wise, but they introduced us to some fantastic new talent. Of all the acts hosted at the BBS this summer, Family Band was probably my single favorite. Lead by the husband and wife team of Jonny Olsin and Kim Krans, the band played a mesmerizing set on this sweltering midsummer afternoon. They call their music “death prom,” and indeed, it is downbeat, but its pastoral quality is one of its greatest strengths, well earned in the band’s upstate Catskills recording location.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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17. Blitzen Trapper – “Good Times Bad Times [Led Zeppein]” (Maxwell’s, December 9)

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Blitzen Trapper were out east from Portland for a live appearance on Letterman, and decided to grace their big fans with a Maxwell’s show while they were at it. The tight, energetic and totally fired-up crowd lapped up the 25-song set, which culminated with a ripping cover of “Good Times Bad Times” by the mighty Led Zeppelin.

Full post of this show [HERE]

18. Bill Callahan – “Say Valley Maker” (Bowery Ballroom, July 12)

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Bill Callahan is an uncanny musician – with songwriting chops, unique phrasing and a distinctly American style that is both timeless and timely. His new record Apocalypse is but one of a long run of critical and fan favorites from the songwriter, who recorded during most of the 90s under the moniker Smog.  This show found Callahan combining a set heavy on new material with some of his earlier favorites.  Callahan and his band performed a rich set that found some numbers stretching into lengthy instrumental meditations, and none so much as this nearly 10-minute rendition of “Say Valley Maker” from his 2010 effort, Rough Travel for a Rare Thing.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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19. The Hold Steady – “How A Resurrection Really Feels” (Beekman Beer Garden, September 17)

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Four years to the day that the site first covered The Hold Steady, we caught them again at an outdoor show that took full advantage of Craig Finn’s barroom-friendly tunes. We saw the Hold Steady twice this year, and both times the band continued to capture the magic they’ve had since their inception. Finn slows no sign of slowing down – or selling out.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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20. Fucked Up – “Running On Nothing” (Warsaw, November 15)

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In some ways, it’s appropriate that Fucked Up would follow The Hold Steady on this list – both are known for raucous, exceptionally fun live shows. Fucked Up is my one repeat choice from last year, and the reason I chose them again is simple: Once again, they have transcended the confines of their ostensibly “punk” roots to deliver an album of exceptional complexity and bravado. This show at Warsaw was a complete run-through of that album, David Comes to Life, and this song, with its dueling guitars, was one of the highlights.

Full post of this show [HERE]

21. Tristen – “Doomsday” (NYCTaper CMJ Day Party at Cake Shop, October 21)

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For the last several years, NYCTaper has thrown an unofficial “day party” during the CMJ Music Festival – an opportunity for us to get drunk throw a concert for artists we appreciate and make some damn fine recordings, too. Tristen released a new record this year, earned lots of good reviews, but hadn’t really hit the NYC scene very hard, despite the immediate accessibility of her country-tinged indie-folk. Several people thanked us for urging them not to miss her set at our show at Cake Shop. But if you did, here’s a second chance – don’t miss Tristen.

Full post of this show [HERE]

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22. Jessica Lea Mayfield – “Run Myself Into the Ground” (Glasslands, November 17)

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Glasslands was my most common haunt this year for a couple of obvious reasons – the semi-DIY Williamsburg venue and its partnership with PopGun Booking continue to bring in some of the best up-and-coming talent in this city in an artful, relaxed environment – and it sounds great most nights, thanks to current house engineer Josh Thiel. As to Jessica Lea Mayfield, we’ve caught her in fancier environs like Bowery, but this intimate, packed and sold-out show was the best of hers that we’ve seen. It was hard to pick a single favorite of the many revelatory shows I saw at Glasslands, but this one is certainly in my top few.

Full post of this show [HERE]

23. Archers of Loaf – “Dead Red Eyes” (Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 25)

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Archers of Loaf had been gone long enough at this point that some original fans had forgotten to even miss them. Well, that’s OK – there were plenty of new ones to take their place at this show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Screaming out for songs they’d never heard live, singing along with lyrics, plenty of new fans showed up for this gig. Plenty of veterans did, too – after reliving this band’s greatness on records like Vee Vee and Icky Mettle. Frontman Eric Bachmann hasn’t stopped making music (he’s Crooked Fingers more often these days), and it showed in his instant poise once back together with his old bandmates. This slow burner was one of many memorable moments of a night that made us hope Archers of Loaf would stick around awhile.

Full post of this show [HERE]

24. Guided by Voices – “Don’t Stop Now” (McCarren Park, June 18)

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The NYCTaper crew contributed this recording as an official release that is for sale on the Guided by Voices website. In case you were wondering, we weren’t paid for doing it – our goal was only to make the definitive recording of this legendary band. “Definitive” or not, I think this one is very good – and a perfect representation of the highlight show of this year’s Northside Festival.

This show for sale at gbvdigital.com [HERE]

GBV-Ventrice

25. Mountain Goats – “This Year [with Craig Finn]” (Bowery Ballroom, March 28)

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Appropriately, our year-end compilation ends with John Darnielle and guest Craig Finn singing the perfect sendoff to 2011. “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me” could mean a lot of things, but for us, we’re fortunate that we were able to continue to do what we love doing as a hobby, without financial support, and to – yeah – be able to continue to treat this thing that we do as a hobby rather than a job. Bands like the Mountain Goats, and their consistently surprising, fan-friendly performances are a big part of what makes this site worth doing. The other part is of course you, our readers. Happy New Year!

Full post of this show [HERE]

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Lemonheads – “My Drug Buddy” (Bowery Ballroom, October 10)

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Sebadoh – “Willing to Wait” (Maxwell’s, November 11)

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Deer Tick – “Bastards of Young [The Replacements]” (Webster Hall, November 20)

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Hoop Dreams – “Home Alone” (Glasslands, August 2)

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Sharon Van Etten – “Love More [w/ Peter Silberman]” ( Bowery Ballroom, January 8 )

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Melvins – “Second Coming>The Ballad of Dwight Frye” (Music Hall of Williamsburg, June 6)

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Special thanks to all of the artists, management, labels, photographers and other music sites that have supported NYCTaper this year. And of course, a huge thank you to our readers, who we hope to continue to provide with high-quality, artist-sanctioned recordings, reviews and photos throughout 2012. Happy New Year!

Cass McCombs: May 12, 2011 Bowery Ballroom – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

May 15, 2011
By


[photos by John Ruscher for Eardrum NYC]

Cass McCombs has created and performed superb music for nearly a decade. As he has recorded in locations from Baltimore to Southern California to Michigan to Chicago absorbing all of the musical influences that inform his songcraft, Cass remains an enigmatic and solitary performer whose music is as compelling as it is dark. The release of the brilliant Wit’s End (Domino Records) last month has gathered the standard critical praise for McCombs’ work. But Wit’s End is perhaps the album that will ultimately expose him to the wider audience that he has eluded over the last ten years. At a sold out Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night, the good and bad of that fate was obvious from the outset. A talkative and insufficiently attentive audience missed large portions of what was undoubtedly one of the best shows we’ll see all year. This is music that does not jump out at you, as the songs require concentration and close listening to appreciate the musical and lyrical subtleties. Cass requested that the lights be turned all the way down after the first song, and the stage illuminated the band only by the odd wall-of-lightbulbs backdrop thereafter. The band opened the set with the first three songs from Wit’s End — the Laurel Canyon-esque “County Line” is streaming below — and then performed a democratic selection of material from all of Cass’s releases, highlighted by “Don’t Vote”, “Equinox”, and reaching as far back as the title track from his debut EP “Not The Way”. The band matched the mood of the material perfectly and while there were abundant solos and extended jams (“Harmonia” extended past ten minutes), there were no flourishes or inauthentic stage theatrics. After a brief thanks to the crowd, Cass closed the set with a powerful eight-minute version of “Bobby, King of Boy’s Town” before the lights quickly came up. As the crowd filtered out, I couldn’t help but think that half of them had missed a truly great show.

I recorded this set from the balcony rail with the four-microphone rig and the sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Thanks to Cass and Domino Records for their courtesy and permission to record this show.

Stream “County Line”:

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Direct download of complete show in MP3 files (HERE)

Download the Complete show in FLAC [HERE].

Cass McCombs
2011-05-12
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

Four-Track Digital Master Recording
Recorded at the Balcony Railing

Neumann KM-150s + DPA 4021’s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries) > flac

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper
2011-05-14

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:28:04]
01 Buried Alive
02 The Lonely Doll
03 County Line
04 Meet Me Here At Dawn
05 Prima Donna
06 Pregnant Pause
07 Harmonia
08 Meet Me At the Mannequin Gallery [new song]
09 Equinox
10 Don’t Vote
11 Not the Way
12 Aids in Africa
13 When the Bible Was Wrote
14 Bobby, King of Boy’s Town

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Cass McCombs, visit his website, and purchase Wit’s End from the Domino website [HERE].

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