Posts Tagged ‘ sharon van etten ’

Sharon Van Etten: October 9, 2010 Mercury Lounge – FLAC/MP3/Streaming Full Set [From the archives]

July 8, 2014
By

SVE-2010-mastrangelo
[Photos courtesy of Dominick Mastrangelo Photography for BrooklynVegan]

NYCTaper’s love affair with Sharon Van Etten has been long, going back all the way to a Piano’s performance back in summer of 2008. In the intervening six years, Van Etten has transformed from the prodigious but slightly awkward performer we saw then into a commercial success and confident headliner of large venues, culminating as of late with NYC shows headlining Bowery Ballroom (our recording here) and Music Hall of Williamsburg. This pristine soundboard recording from the Mercury Lounge in 2010, which we unearthed recently, finds Van Etten charging ahead with the release of her breakthrough album, Epic, which would set the stage for the career-defining Tramp and everything that has come since. Sharon had only recently begun playing with a full band (the first such show which we captured), and this show reflects the transition, with a mix of full-band and solo material. We have already shared the Epic release show from the night before at Rock Shop; now you can check out Van Etten’s follow-up to that from Mercury, where Kyp Malone opened and Cat Martino once again gave the assist on vocals for half the set. This show provides an interesting midpoint between Sharon’s early innocence and future poise; the performance is resolute even if her crowd banter reveals how young she still is as an artist. While the longer Rock Shop recording, which adds audience microphones to the soundboard mix, is arguably the one to have of the two, one can never have enough Sharon. You can stream and download the entire set via the links below.

Download the complete show from archive.org: [FLAC] | [MP3]

Stream the complete show:

SVE-2010-mastrangelo-2

Sharon Van Etten
2010-10-09
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

Hosted at nyctaper.com
Produced by acidjack

Midas Verona Soundboard>Tascam CD–RW900SL>AAC>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, imaging, EQ, exciter)>Audacity 2.0.3 (tracking, fades, amplify, balance, upsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

*Note on source: The CD was destroyed by the original recordist before ever being copied losslessly. The single AAC file which I tracked and edited is the only existing source

Tracks [Total Time 44:40]
01 [intro]
02 Don’t Do It
03 [banter]
04 One day
05 [untitled]
06 [banter2]
07 Love More
08 For You
09 I’m Wrong
10 Holding Out
11 [encore break]
12 [unknown1]

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Sharon Van Etten, visit her website, and purchase Are We There from the Jagjaguwar Records website [HERE].

Sharon Van Etten: June 13, 2014 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

June 20, 2014
By

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[photos by PSquared Photography]

It is possible to virtually follow the evolution of the career of Sharon Van Etten by reading the the pages of this site. Our first experience with Sharon was over six years ago, during the period when it was just her, one guitar and a small amp. The Van Etten catalog from that period consisted primarily of folk songs about real pain and heartache and the singer’s live shows were excruciatingly raw and tender explications of that pain in small venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. I found myself literally brought to tears several times during this period by the sheer beauty of the songcraft and its brutally honest expression. We were also there during the period when her solo star shone bright enough to land her an opening gig at Bowery Ballroom, and headlining gigs at larger venues. The natural growth of Sharon’s music was to add a band, and we also captured her her first full band show, her first Bowery headline show, and the Bowery show on the Tramp tour. These days, Sharon still writes about the pain of love but from the perspective of the natural difficulties of a mature relationship. While I certainly miss the intimacy of the early years, its both comforting and rewarding to realize that the performer herself is in a much better place personally. Its also a relief as a fan to see that her own personal happiness has not compromised her ability to write beautifully honest music about human relationships. Sharon’s new album Are We There is her most accomplished work and is the natural next step for a performer who is constitutionally incapable of writing music that is not inherently honest. In the case of Are We There, its the complications in relationships that result from the baggage that we all bring to them. In the live setting, Sharon’s music is performed these days with a band of ultra-talented friends. The current live band includes Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and new additions Brad Cook (Megafaun) and Darren Jessee (Ben Folds Five, Hotel Lights). At Bowery Ballroom on Friday night, the band’s recent run through Europe tightened the sound and we were treated to most of the new album and a few old songs. We are streaming “Tarifa”, which begins with the classic Van Etten solo folk style before the full band joins and it becomes a contemporary piece. Sharon’s current tour continues throughout much of the US and Canada before returning to Europe this Summer — dates here.

I recorded this show from our usual balcony rail position with the Sennheiser cards. Since the feed was not available to us on this night, this is a straight two channel audience recording. Nevertheless, the mix by Sharon’s current FOH Martin Gonzalez was outstanding and this is a superb recording. Enjoy!

Stream “Tarifa”:

This Show is now Available for Download in FLAC and MP3 and to Stream at Archive.org [HERE].

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.

Sharon Van Etten
2014-06-13
Bowery Ballroom
New York NY

Digital Master Audience Recording

Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 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 1:11:01]
01 Afraid of Nothing
02 Taking Chances
03 Tarifa
04 [banter – talking shop]
05 Nothing Will Change
06 Break Me
07 Don’t Do It
08 [banter – whistling]
09 Give Out
10 You Know Me Well
11 [band introductions]
12 Serpents
13 Your Love Is Killing Me
14 [encore break]
15 I Know
16 I Love You But I’m Lost
17 Every Time The Sun Comes Up

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Sharon Van Etten, visit her website, and purchase Are We There from the Jagjaguwar Records website [HERE].

Sharon Van Etten: December 15, 2012 Cameo Gallery – Flac/MP3/Streaming

December 16, 2012
By

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[photo courtesy of Amanda Hatfield]

Apparently, you can go home again. As she returned to her old haunts, Sharon Van Etten played a semi-secret show at Cameo Gallery that brought everyone in the packed room back five years to the days when she charmed small crowds at the various local venues. Zebulon is now closed, Monkeytown is long gone, and Galapagos is now Public Assembly, but the passing of time was irrelevant last night. It was the performer and her magic voice playing songs that propelled her to her current lofty status that had the room enchanted. Sharon was joined for much of the set by current band member Heather Woods Broderick, who provided beautiful harmonies. The set consisted of a nice mix of older numbers (“Consolation Prize” is streaming below), her current repertoire and some fairly obscure early numbers. But through it all Sharon proved that even though her gigs are now at venues like Town Hall and Beacon Theatre, she is still the same unassuming and modest young woman that charmed us all back then. “I miss the old days”, Sharon said late in the show. So do we.

I recorded this set with the Sennheiser cards mounted front and center of the soundboard and mixed with an excellent board feed. The quiet music on stage is subject to some of the ambient noise of the room (bottles, doors, etc), but overall the sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream “Consolation Prize”:

This Recording is now available to Download in FLAC and MP3 and to Stream at Archive.org [HERE].

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.

Sharon Van Etten
2012-12-15
Cameo Gallery
Brooklyn, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Recorded from Center Balcony Rail

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

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper
2012-12-16

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:11:28]
01 [introduction]
02 Kevin’s
03 Leonard
04 I Fold
05 Have You Seen
06 All I Can
07 You Really Didn’t Do That
08 [banter – Santa Con]
09 Consolation Prize
10 [banter – parent’s basement]
11 Tornado
12 Give Out
13 Damn Right [aborted]
14 Heart In The Ground
15 Oh My Love

If you download this recording from NYCTaper we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Sharon Van Etten, visit her website, and purchase Tramp directly from Jagjaguwar Records [HERE]

Mike Watt & Friends: May 2, 2012 Le Poisson Rouge – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

May 24, 2012
By


[Photos courtesy of Robert Kidd.  See more of his excellent work HERE.]

To paraphrase the late Jerry Garcia, not everybody knows who Mike Watt is, but those who do really appreciate Mike Watt.  Having long been established as an elder statesman of punk, post-punk and alternative rock starting with the seminal Minutemen and the inspired fIREHOSE, his versatility has allowed him to play with many musicians of different stripes and genres.  He’s a bass player’s bass player; the go-to guy who you know will hold down the low-end duties superbly and is not afraid of working hard.  If it doesn’t already, his business card should read, “Have bass, will travel.”  That’s why when people in the know hear that Watt is coming to town, they run and don’t walk to get to the gig.

Initially announced as the NYC launch of his new book, ‘Mike Watt: On and Off Bass‘, and calling the event “Mike Watt & Friends”, word had it that he was also planning to dust off the Hellride East moniker (one of his many projects) and play Stooges tunes with J Mascis and Murph from Dinosaur Jr.  After an interview session with noted music writer Byron Coley, the music kicked off and it was indeed The Stooges from their first two excellent albums.  In his element, clearly enjoying himself and fingers hammering the strings, Watt and Mascis were the only two constant musicians during the set.  At any given time the drummers were rotating between Murph, John Maloney and Sonic Youth‘s Steve Shelley.  SY’s Thurston Moore took a turn or two on vocals as did Don Fleming, John Petkovic (also playing clarinet), Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile, Byron Coley and Noel Ford, the former soundman from the Continental (and current one for Dinosaur Jr.) or so I was told.  It was a whirlwind trying to keep up with the cavalcade of performers who kept jumping on stage.  With the pervasive sense of “what’s next?” in the air and the close proximity of all these great artists, the small Le Poisson Rouge felt more like a party at a friend’s house with a killer band than a concert.  That atmosphere prevailed even more so when the music ended and everyone milled around chatting and drinking while the guest of honor signed copies of his book and greeted all comers with a handshake.  A truly unique evening and, personally, I can’t wait for Mike to pop up here in our city again.  Wondering in just what permutation that will be should prove almost as much fun.

This night at Le Poisson Rouge presented a unique recording opportunity for us.  Rather than having to set up towards the back of the room so as not to be in the way, we were able to park our rig right at the stage lip and nearly dead center.  Recording in this manner makes the separation of the instruments and where they were on stage very distinct.  A monitor was just off to our right so while the vocals aren’t entirely centered, the overall effect is really cool and the next closest thing to being right up front at the show.  We hope you like what you hear as much as we did.  Enjoy!

Special thanks to Mike Watt and all the performers for making this recording possible, and to Frankie, Bernie and the staff at Le Poisson Rouge for their courtesy and cooperation.

Stream “T.V. Eye”:

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Download the FLAC/MP3 files and stream this entire show on the Live Music Archive [HERE]

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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.

Mike Watt & Friends
(billed as Hellride East)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Le Poisson Rouge
New York, NY, USA

Source: AUD > Audio-Technica AT3031’s > Sound Devices MixPre > Roland R-05 (WAV @ 24-bit/48kHz)
Lineage: R-05 > PC > Adobe Audition (mixdown, downsample, dither, tracking) > WAV (16-bit/44.1kHz) > TLH (check/fix SBE’s, FLAC conversion) > FLAC ( level 8 )
Recorded and produced by: Johnny Fried Chicken Boy

TRACKLIST:
[Total time: 1:20:43]
00. Mike Watt interviewed by Byron Coley
01. Real Cool Time  [Don Fleming (vocals), Murph (drums)]
02. T.V. Eye  [John Petkovic (vocals), John Maloney (drums)]
03. Loose  [Thurston Moore (vocals), John Maloney (drums)]
04. Dirt  [Sharon Van Etten (vocals), Steve Shelley (drums)]
05. Not Right  [John Maloney (drums)]
06. Down on the Street  [Thurston Moore (vocals), Murph (drums)]
07. No Fun  [Kurt Vile (vocals), Murph (drums)]
08. 1970  [Noel (vocals), Steve Shelley (drums)]
09. Little Doll  [Steve Shelley (drums)]
10. encore break / banter
11. Fun House  [Thurston Moore (vocals), John Petkovic (clarinet), Murph (drums)]
12. L.A. Blues  [Byron Coley (vocals), John Petkovic (clarinet), Murph & John Maloney (drums)]

If you download this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Mike Watt, the performers and their projects, go see their shows, visit their websites (Mike’s is HERE), and purchase some of their official releases and merchandise [HERE] and [HERE].

Sharon Van Etten: February 26, 2012 Bowery Ballroom – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs

February 28, 2012
By


[photo courtesy of Chris at Fucking Nostalgic]

Tramp is the next stage in the continued ascent of the career of Sharon Van Etten. If 2010’s Epic was the introduction of this immensely talented artist to a wide audience, her new release and first for Jagjaguwar Records is the here-to-stay moment. The album is a mix her strengths — intelligent and heartfelt lyrics and a wide range of vocal approaches. There is a nod to her solo folk past (“Joke or a Lie”), and some straight forward indie-pop (“Serpents”), but the vast majority of the record are superb songs mixed to perfection. The presence of producer Aaron Dessner (from The National) compliments and draws out Sharon’s strengths while enriching the melodies. In particular, “Give Out” (streaming below), which debuted live as a solo acoustic number several years ago, is now a fully formed song with layered vocals and a sparse but effective instrumental accompaniment. At Bowery Ballroom on Sunday, Sharon Van Etten played the final show of three consecutive sold out shows. Her triumphant return to NYC after an extensive tour was met with crowds filled with family and friends, and gave the locals a chance to see the Tramp live band operating on all cylinders. The work of multi-instrumentalists Heather Woods Broderick and Doug Keith is supplemented by the tasteful percussion of Zeke Hutchins, and on this night Aaron Dessner joined for half the set on guitar. The band breathes life into the songs while staying faithful to the recorded versions. The camaraderie among the players was also obvious on this night, as the banter was often hilarious. Sharon worked through a set heavy on Tramp material (10 of the 12 songs), but which also contained much of Epic and one neat cover (streaming below). Sharon Van Etten continues on tour, with a week in Europe followed by a West coast swing, and a trip through the South.

I recorded this set with a new set of Sennheiser microphones supplemented with a soundboard feed. The Sennheiser MKH-8040 is a sleek new cardioid microphones with clarity, warmth and a crisp bottom end that I had not previously experienced prior to this night. At the best sounding room in town, these microphones absolutely shined, and as a result the mix is about 75% room and 25% board, in order to maximize the beauty of the live sound. This is one of the best recordings we’ve ever featured on this site. Enjoy!

Stream “Give Out”:

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Stream “Loving Her Was Easier” [Kris Kristofferson]:

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This recording is now available for download in FLAC or MP3 from Archive.org [HERE].

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.

Sharon Van Etten
2012-02-26
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Sennheiser 8040 Cardioids > 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 2012-02-26

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:32:12]
01 Warsaw
02 Peace Signs
03 Save Yourself
04 Kevin’s
05 Magic Chords
06 Don’t Do It
07 [banter – Shearwater message]
08 Give Out
09 [Aaron Dessner intro]
10 In Line
11 Leonard
12 Serpents
13 [band introductions]
14 I’m Wrong
15 Joke Or A Lie
16 [encore break]
17 All I Can
18 Loving Her Was Easier [Kris Kristofferson]
19 [banter – thanks]
20 Love More

If you download this recording from NYCTaper we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Sharon Van Etten, visit her website, and purchase Tramp directly from Jagjaguwar Records [HERE]

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]

2011_01_08_WarOnDrugs002

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]

SP_2011-10-21_c

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]

8. DELETED

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.

yolatengobyrnejapan

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]

bill-callahan_dana

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]

holdsteady1

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]

tristen01

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!

Sharon Van Etten: April 16, 2011 Music Hall of Williamsburg – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

April 17, 2011
By


[photos by Amanda Hatfield]

After months on the road playing to bigger crowds in bigger venues than she has ever seen, Sharon Van Etten came home last night to a vocally adoring local crowd. Music Hall of Williamsburg was sold out (as she had done at Bowery in January), and the floor was packed. From my vantage point in the front right of the balcony, I could see the faces of the rapt fans in the first ten rows. On this recording, you can hear the calls of adoration in between each song. Sharon’s music has always spoken (almost brutally) honestly about real emotions, and as her popularity grows its inevitable that she’s going to connect on a deeper level with fans who relate to those emotions. But fortunately for Sharon, she seems to have truly grasped a perspective on this phenomenon both on stage and off, and keeps a healthy distance from the adoration. Last night’s set contained most of what has catapulted her to this success, the 2010 release Epic, along with an abundant amount of strong new material and some solo classics. The night also featured two special guests — Jessica Larabee from show opener She Keeps Bees (recording of their set coming soon) on “Save Yourself”, and Aly Spaltro (Lady Lamb The Beekeeper) on “For You”. I am privy to some news about Sharon, but can only say to expect an exciting announcement from the Van Etten camp soon. In that vein, we’re streaming one of the newer songs “Tell Me”, which has developed since its August debut into a powerful number that will likely be featured on any new release.

I recorded this set from the front right of the balcony about fifteen feet from the right PA speaker, and used the hyper-directional Neumanns for what is known as a “stack tape”. The clarity is outstanding, but there is less depth than the recording from January. Additionally, the balcony at Music Hall has always had lower vocals in the mix than can be heard on the floor, and this recording is no exception. With those caveats, enjoy!

Stream “Tell Me”:

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This Recording is now available to Download in FLAC and MP3 at Archive.org [HERE].

Sharon Van Etten
2011-04-16
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY USA

Digital Master Audience Recording
Recorded from Balcony Rail
Far Right 15 feet from Stacks

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

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper
2011-04-17

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:17:42]
01 Heart In The Ground
02 I Am Bad
03 [banter]
04 Peace Signs
05 Save Yourself
06 Don’t Do It
07 [banter2]
08 One Day
09 [banter3]
10 Tell Me
11 [banter4]
12 Tornado
13 [banter5]
14 All I Can
15 [banter6]
16 For You
17 [banter7]
18 Love More
19 [encore break]
20 Damn Right
21 Kevin’s
22 [banter8]
23 A Joke Or A Lie

If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Sharon Van Etten, visit her website, and purchase her new CD epic from Bada Bing Records [HERE].

Our Top 25 Concert Moments of 2010 (with MP3 Download and Streaming Songs)

December 31, 2010
By

We were treated to a lot of amazing music this year, and the site has continued to grow. This year, we reached our 600th recording posted since 2007 – a pretty incredible number considering that this is only the fourth year of the site.  As a final New Year’s treat to our readers, we thought we would share a “mixtape” with you of some of our favorite concert moments of 2010.

Out of the two hundred-plus shows that we saw, we selected 25 moments that we thought were particularly memorable (among the shows we recorded, at least). There is a wide range of music, styles and artists represented: folk, rock, Scandinavian pop, punk and much more. There are new bands who are just breaking into the mainstream, as well as mainstream acts continuing to perform at a high level. The only consistent theme is that these artists all touched us in some way, giving performances that stayed with us long after the last notes were played.

The following list is in no particular order. Links to download the entire compilation, as well as selected numbers streaming, are below.

Want to keep up with the latest concert updates and recordings on the site? Follow @nyctaper and @acidjacknyc on Twitter.

Download the entire mixtape [HERE]

1. Built to Spill – “Carry The Zero” – September 20, 2010 Rocks Off Concert Cruise. This show was nuts – on a boat, with a tiny main floor, with a crowd that was loud, drunken and rowdy, and a veteran band doing what they do best. We saw Built to Spill a ton of times over the past two years, but this show was the clear standout.

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2. Oh Land – “Lean On Me” – November 8, 2010 Brooklyn Bowl. We first saw this young Danish artist play Brooklyn Bowl back in July. Although she was still getting comfortable with her new material, her talent and unique stage presence were already on display. After seeing her again at the Backyard Brunch Sessions, we caught her again a month later at Brooklyn Bowl. Her evolution blew us away – displaying newfound poise and confidence, designer clothing and a new percussionist, Nanna dominated the stage. Though many of her songs lend themselves to dancing, I have always been partial to this more precious number. She may now be the face of Missoni, but Oh Land is far, far more than a pretty face.

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3. John Vanderslice – “The Parade” – October 21, 2010 Mercury Lounge. On the night after our Unofficial CMJ Day Party at Cake Shop, we caught one of our favorite acts, the inimitable songwriter John Vanderslice at Mercury Lounge. John has always been a supporter and friend of the site, but we were especially gratified by his heartfelt intro to this song when he thanked nyctaper from the stage.

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4. The Dirty Projectors – “As I Went Out One Morning [Bob Dylan]” – September 11, 2010 Terminal 5. After this band blew us away at the tail end of 2009, we were thrilled that Johnny Fried Chicken Boy was able to catch their show at the massive Terminal 5. This Dylan cover was among many special songs played during another show that wowed us with its musical skill.

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5. Pavement – “Fight this Generation” – September 19, 2010 Williamsburg Waterfront. Pavement‘s return was probably my personal musical highlight of the year – nobody ever thought it would happen, and when it did, they were exactly as nonchalant about the whole thing as you would expect. Everything went right at their first NYC show in ten years, and the irony of Pavement – an iconic band for Generation X – playing “Fight This Generation” on the Williamsburg waterfront to an entirely new generation of fans was perfect. This loose, jammy rendition killed, too.

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6. Superchunk – “Digging For Something” – September 19, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. While I was checking out Pavement, nyctaper was down the street taking in an equally amazing performance from another 90s indie darling, Superchunk. Supporting their first new album in almost a decade, Superchunk gave us even more than we could have imagined when special guest John Darnielle joined them for this number.

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7. John Roderick w/ Nada Surf – “The Commander Thinks Aloud” – March 26, 2010 Bell House. Nada Surf‘s multi-night series of full album performances had many memorable moments, but my favorite of all came from John Roderick of The Long Winters, the opening act at the Bell House/The Weight Is A Gift show. With Nada Surf as his backing band, Roderick capped off his acoustic set by tearing through a fully electric version of this big number that showcases Roderick’s unique voice. You can stream and download this song, and the entire show, on the Live Music Archive [HERE].

8. Natureboy – “I’ll Keep It With Mine” – May 15, 2010 Piano’s. This show was a special day for us, as we celebrated the third anniversary of the site with some of our favorite bands. Natureboy drew a strong crowd as our first act of that evening, and they made our night by performing, our request, their cover of this Dylan-via-Nico classic.

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9. Fucked Up – “Son the Father” – February 18, 2010 Maxwell’s. I had the pleasure of seeing Fucked Up three times this year, and each show was awe-inspiring. Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham is a punk rock showman without parallel: on the mic, he is extremely hardcore; in between songs, he chats up the crowd like each person is his best bud. “Son the Father” is one of the band’s best songs, and it was at about this point during the Maxwell’s show that (as has to be the case at every Fucked Up show) all hell broke loose.

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10. The Black Keys – “Same Old Thing” – July 28, 2010 Terminal 5. There was a huge response to our post of The Black Keys‘ show at Terminal 5, and for good reason – it is an excellent recording of a band that is rapidly ingratiating itself with the mainstream. This song is a four-piece version of this song, with Leon Michaels on keyboards and Nick Movshon on bass.

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11. Panda Bear – “Song For Ariel (Guys Eyes)” – September 11, 2010 Governor’s Island. On the same day as the epic Dirty Projectors show back in Manhattan, Panda Bear was giving a magical performance on Governor’s Island that blew our minds both for the incredible quality of the sound (which did not always receive such good reviews for other shows) and the clarity and focus of the performance. This guitar-heavy and reworked version of this song was one of many highlights of an amazing show that also featured some new songs.

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12. Soft Black – “I’m Not Afraid of You” – August 7, 2010 A Backyard in Bushwick. This whole show was a testament to the power of the local music community and the DIY spirit of the moment. Soft Black were supposed to be playing on a rooftop elsewhere in the ‘hood as part of a benefit show for the people of the Gaza Strip. That show was shut down by the cops three acts in, while it was still light outside. But instead of giving up and calling it a night, the fans and bands rallied to move the show to one of the musicians’ backyard. Soft Black dedicated this haunting song, with its defiant refrain, to a kid who got arrested when the police shut down the rooftop show. The song itself is quite dark, but the moment was joyful, and powerful, in a way that I will never forget.

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13. Real Estate – “Reservoir” – June 25, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. Real Estate is another band that has wowed us both with their consistent playing as well as their respect for their fans. We had seen them open for labelmates Woods a number of times, but this time, they found themselves as the headliner of the Woodsist showcase at the Northside Festival. This showcase was one of the best experiences of the entire Northside Festival, but Real Estate’s set in particular stood out, as the more mature band showed off some new songs, including the excellent “Reservoir.” Download the entire set [HERE].

14. Maps & Atlases – “Solid Ground” – August 12, 2010 Mercury Lounge. I caught Maps & Atlases back in 2009 touring behind their previous record, the EP You, Me and the Mountain. I liked what I saw – the unusual combination of freak folk and math rock, vocalist Dave Davison’s vocals, the dual percussionists – but they didn’t seem quite there yet. For one, while I liked their sound, I wasn’t completely blown away by the songs. That all changed with the release of this year’s Perch Patchwork, which was one of my favorite records of the year, and a massive leap forward artistically. For this show, the band was greeted by a spirited crowd literally screaming for more, and in particular, this song (you can hear a drunk dude yelling “Solid Ground!” in between every other song on the set before they finally play it). When the band finally played the song, the payoff was huge, and the jam at the end clinches it. After an outstanding set, Maps broke down their gear and put some chairs and drums in the center of the floor and played an acoustic set for those willing to wait. The performance was not only the most improved of any band that I saw this year, but also one of the flat-out best. It didn’t hurt any that the recording came out flawlessly, too. Download the entire set [HERE].

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15. Holly Miranda – “I’d Rather Go Blind [Etta James]” – May 26, 2010 Bowery Ballroom. A Bowery Ballroom headlining gig has become a barometer of a band’s success these days – for a New York band on their way up, there is your time on the scene before Bowery, and your time after, and after, things are never the same. This show represented Holly Miranda’s Bowery breakout, and she treated the event with the reverence due it as she ripped off a lengthy set representing her latest record The Magician’s Private Library, and played two covers, including this jaw-dropping rendition of an Etta James classic.

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16. Wilco – “Thank You, Friends” – April 2, 2010 Wellmont Theatre. The challenging acoustics of this venue did not deter Wilco from delivering one of the most epic sets we have seen of theirs (well over three hours long). This Big Star cover played tribute to their singular frontman, singer and songwriter Alex Chilton, who sadly passed away this March. Alex and his many contributions to rock music will be dearly missed.

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17. Sharon Van Etten – “One Day” – October 8, 2010 Rock Shop. It is no secret that this site has been a huge booster for Sharon Van Etten, and we are thrilled to see her career taking off in a big way (you can hear one of her songs, “I Fold” in the closing sequence in a recent episode of the Showtime series The Big C). In the two shows she played at Rock Shop this year, Sharon’s maturity and outstanding songwriting made us fall in love with her music all over again.

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18. Woods – “Bend Beyond” – May 13, 2010 Abrons Arts Center. In a music scene that is strong but fragmented, Woods have emerged as bi-coastal scene godfathers of sorts, in the way that Sonic Youth have been for a generation. The Woodsist label, for which the band is the anchor, has produced a roster of like-minded acts from the East and West Coasts that share a common affinity for the psychedelic, folk-influenced sound the label is known for. While they have been building a formidable presence with the label, Woods themselves have evolved far beyond the “freak folk” tag into a full-blown indie rock jam band of sorts, turning four-minute album tracks into epics that showcase their virtuosity on their instruments. This show, featuring the band backed by the Joshua Light Show, was especially sprawling, and never moreso than on this nearly twenty minute “Bend Beyond.” This show proved that this was a very different band than the act I saw opening for Dungen in 2009 – that band was a great “freak folk” act, if you will. This band is legendary.

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19. Spoon – “Car Radio” – September 13, 2010 Cake Shop. After we caught their set opening for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden, we weren’t sure we would have another chance to record Spoon this year. But then along came this secret show at Cake Shop, a live video recording for “Nobody Gets Me But You,” that proved to be one of the most exciting and intimate performances we saw all year. These guys remember where they came from (Austin) and we trust that they will never stop being one of the most consistent, most fan-friendly acts in the country. Download the entire set [HERE].

20. The Loom – “The First Freeze” – October 10, 2010 Backyard Brunch Sessions. We enjoyed many of the Backyard Brunch Sessions sets we saw this summer and fall, but perhaps none more than this performance by our friends The Loom, who proved that great musicians do not need extra amplification or trickery to make powerful music. Set up in a humble backyard in Bushwick, rocking a homemade bass made out of a washtub, they wowed us with their modern, folk-influenced sound. This song was my favorite of all, not least of which because of the added humor of some rowdy neighbors making noise in the background (who cannot be heard on the recording) – making a bunch of noise right before this (the quietest song of the set) song began. Once it got going, it was the most mesmerizing vocal performance of the day.

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21. Yo La Tengo – “Little Eyes” – December 7, 2010 Maxwell’s. If you have read this site once in December, you know that Yo La Tengo’s 2010 Hanukkah shows have been our main focus this month. These eight nights of unique setlists, special guests, and fan camaraderie at one of our favorite venues in the city, Maxwell’s, are some of the best nights of the year every time that YLT decides to do them. This song, from the Summer Sun album, is an expanded version augmented by the guitar wizardry of the legendary Nels Cline, who joined the band for most of this night’s set. Although we loved the December 5 show featuring Mission of Burma, this show on the 7th turned out to be our favorite of them all – a perfect balance of the band’s harder and softer dynamics that showcased them at the height of their powers.

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22. Bear In Heaven – “Lovesick Teenager” – November 19, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. Bear In Heaven was another band that stepped up in a big way in 2010. A year’s worth of touring took what had been a great album act but somewhat uneven live band and turned them into the juggernaut that we witnessed at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Whereas previous shows had always faced technical limitations (primarily with respect to sound), everything was perfectly dialed in for this show, with the Music Hall sound system delivering crystal clear sound and a light show that dazzled the sold-out crowd. Not but twelve months ago this band was playing the cozy Zebulon down the street. This show was obviously this band’s “Bowery moment.”

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23. The Joy Formidable – “Austere” – January 12, 2010 Pianos. Whereas a Bowery Ballroom show tends to cement a band’s status in the scene, Pianos is Manhattan’s best incubator. Shows there tend to capture the nervous energy of bands trying to make their break who know that this could be it. We are pleased to say that since this show, The Joy Formidable did make it in a big way (including their own Bowery moment), playing tons of NY-area shows (almost all of which we saw) and bringing their music to new fans each time. Their massively loud sound is probably better suited a bigger venue, but we loved this Pianos show best of them all (and our recording sounded great).

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24. The National – “Terrible Love” – December 8, 2010 Maxwell’s. Though it borders on heresy (and is not an opinion shared by all who work on this site), I was not an instant convert to The National‘s critically acclaimed High Violet. I didn’t hate the album, but after a three year break from recording, I was not sure what I should expect from the band. High Violet didn’t grab me in the way that earlier records like Alligator did, and it didn’t help that I first saw the songs live in the sonically deficient Terminal 5, where the sound was so poor that even The National’s sound engineer commiserated with us about the venue’s challenges. Luckily, I was given a second chance at this rare set opening in the (relatively) tiny Maxwell’s for Yo La Tengo on the final night of their Hanukkah shows. This time, in this intimate setting, the subtle beauty of the High Violet songs shone through, especially on the set’s closer, this fantastic rendition of “Terrible Love.”

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25. We Were Promised Jetpacks – “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” – February 15, 2010 Knitting Factory. I went to this show on a lark, having never heard this Scottish trio before. Apparently I had missed the memo, as the Knitting Factory was so packed I was literally crushed against the soundboard. In the best of ways, We Were Promised Jetpacks are what I like to call Scotland’s answer to U2 – their songs rely on anthemic riffs and vocalist Adam Thompson’s throaty choruses. The band worked this crowd into a froth, the energy seething through the room, as Thompson belted out song after song in a way that could have melted the ice outside. In a show full of them, this song was a particularly stirring anthem.

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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 2011. Happy New Year!

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