[Photos courtesy of David Andrako]
The Men are one of those bands that have earned their critical darling status, not only by being a great live act, but by never standing still. Their 2012 effort on Sacred Bones Records, Open Your Heart, deservedly earned “Best New Music” status, softening some of the hard edges of the previous year’s dirge-y (if solid) effort Leave Home. With 2013′s New Moon, the band didn’t abandon their original sound, but they certainly took it in a rootsier direction, willing to indulge their Neil Young and Americana influences to a greater degree than ever before.
This show at Bowery Ballroom not only found the Brooklyn band delivering on the promise of New Moon live, but it also represented a further expansion of The Men’s horizons. Showing up armed with a horn section, they played a 17-song set that featured three new songs, plus some incredible versions of material from their three current releases. The beginning of the set was a three-song summary of the band’s output to date: A lengthy guitar intro turned into “( )” from Leave Home was followed by a searing Without A Face from Open Your Heart, and then the rootsier “The Seeds” from New Moon. The new material suggested that the band won’t stop expanding their horizons; those horns, which particularly complemented the new numbers, might have looked out of place at a 285 Kent show, but totally worked with the evolution of their sound. As if to drive home the point that they have no intention of staying within genre confines, the band played an extra-long nearly 90 minutes, each of them worth it. The Men are going to keep taking chances, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they head next.
I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 supercardiod microphones and a soundboard feed from the Bowery house engineer, Kenny. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
Thanks to Sacred Bones Records and The Men for permitting this recording. At the band’s request, this is being offered streaming-only and will not be available for download.
New York, NY USA
Recorded and produced by acidjack for nyctaper.com
Schoeps MK41 (DINa)>KCY>Z-PFA + Soundboard (engineer: Kenny)>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down)>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, tape exciter, imaging)>Audacity 3.0 (fades, tracking, amplify, balance, parallel compression, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )
02 ( )
04 Without A Face
05 The Seeds
06 I Saw Her Face
07 Open Your Heart
08 [new song 1]
10 Turn It Around
11 [new song 2]
12 [new song 3]
13 The Brass
14 Night Landing
15 [encore break]
16 Bird Song