Posts Tagged ‘ tortoise ’

Tortoise: March 25, 2017 Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, TN)

October 26, 2017

[Photo by David Simchock]

Earlier this year, we caught both of Tortoise’s Brooklyn dates on their second round of tour support for The Catastrophist. But you know we can never get enough Tortoise, and when the folks at Big Ears opened up their archives to us, we just couldn’t resist. So here’s Tortoise playing the Mill & Mine in Knoxville, TN as part of 2017’s Big Ears Festival. Enjoy!

Speaking of Big Ears, we’re going to be posting a bunch of sets from the 2017 festival in the upcoming weeks in anticipation of their 2018 festival. The initial lineup announcement comes November 1 and tickets are onsale November 3. I’ve been (in 2014) and it’s truly an awesome good time.

Download the complete show at the Live Music Archive.

Stream the complete show:

Big Ears Festival
The Mill & Mine
Knoxville, TN

Soundboard + Zoom H6 > Audacity > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Recorded by Matt Honkonen
Tracked by Eric PH
Photo by David Simchock

Tracks [1:19:02]
01. The Catastrophist
02. Gigantes
03. The Suspension Bridge at Iguazu Falls
04. Eros
05. High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In
06. I Set My Face to the Hillside
07. Gesceap
08. Dot/Eyes
09. Monica
10. In Sarah, Mencken, Christ, and Beethoven There Were Women and Men
11. Shake Hands With Danger
12. Crest
13. Yonder Blue
14. Prepare Your Coffin

Tortoise: Website | Facebook | Buy The Catastrophist and more via Thrill Jockey

Brokeback: May 4, 2017 Union Pool

May 9, 2017

It doesn’t take too much digging to trace the cartography of Americana in Brokeback or their new album, Illinois River Valley Blues. For it’s in Illinois that Doug McCombs finds a microcosm of the American west and there the influence of the Spanish countryside. Outside Murphysboro, IL is home to the Little Grand Canyon; meanwhile, “Andalusia, IL,” the song, would clearly have you recall both the south of Spain and its like-named Illinois counterpart. Within the songs, the map gets folded in ways that bring the two Grand Canyons together, that position Andalusia, IL somewhere in the Spanish region. Roads are traced on guitar strings; routes and motifs are circuitous and repeating. Brokeback always take the back roads.

I recorded this from our usual outpost at Union Pool, combined with a board feed courtesy of the venue’s FOH, Doug, and touring engineer, Nick. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Brokeback continue their tour with a Chicago gig later this month and then off to the west coast. Check tour dates via Thrill Jockey.

Download: [MP3/FLAC]


Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

Soundboard (engineer: Nick) + AKG C480B/CK61 > Zoom F8 > 2 x WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [38:44]
01. The Canyons of Illinois
02. Rise, Fernanda, Rise!
03. Ride Ahead and Light the Way For Me
04. Spanish Venus
05. Andalusia, IL
06. Ursula
07. Cairo Levee
08. Night Falls on Chillicothe

Douglas McCombs: guitar
James Elkington: guitar, harmonica
Pete Croke: bass
Areif Sless-Kitain: drums

• Buy Illinois River Valley Blues and other Brokeback albums via Thrill Jockey

Tortoise: March 16, 2017 Hall at MP

March 22, 2017

Seeing Tortoise is one thing. Seeing them up close, watching the synchronous drumming, the members swapping instruments song to song, playing in perfect time, is really seeing Tortoise. This was far from my first time with them, but it was my first time at the distance you see above, and it was incredible. Still on a high from last year’s The Catastrophist, the band felt less bound this time around to showcase those songs, instead delving back particularly hard into their landmark album TNT, among other corners of their catalog.

The Hall at MP, a relatively new below-ground venue paired with a Michael Psilakis restaurant up top, proved a good venue for these guys, with a broad stage that could accommodate all those instrument changes. One notable change toward the end of the set was a guest appearance by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley, who joined the band for “Yonder Blue,” the song on which she provided vocals for The Catastrophist.

In terms of the rest of the set, what constituted a “highlight” probably had as much to do with your introduction to the band and the set list of the last show you saw than the actual quality of the music, all of which was high. As Eric noted in his review of the previous night’s show, this band has been a gateway drug of sorts for many of us who grew into independent music that went beyond verse-chorus-verse, guitar-and-vocal sounds. What’s so notable about Tortoise is that they’ve probably kept doing that for so, so many more over the ensuing years.

I recorded this set with a soundboard feed of Tortoise engineer Elliott Dicks’ mix, coupled with Schoeps MK5 cardioid microphones in “X-Y” position onstage. The sound quality is truly outstanding. Enjoy!

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

Stream the complete set:

Hall at MP
Brooklyn, NY

Hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Tortoise live engineer: Elliot Dicks
Hall at MP engineer: Karl Schwarz

Soundboard + Schoeps MK5c (onstage, DFC, X-Y)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (light EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:26:31]
01 The Catastrophist
02 Prepare Your Coffin
03 Monica
04 In Sarah, Mencken, Christ, And Beethoven There Where Women And Men
05 I Set My Face to the Hillside
06 The Clearing Fills
07 Eros
08 [tuning]
09 Tesseract
10 [banter]
11 Ten-Day Interval
12 Swung From the Gutters
13 The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls
14 At Odds With Logic
15 [encore break 1]
16 Yonder Blue (w/ Georgia Hubley)
17 Gesceap
18 [encore break 2]
19 Salt the Skies

Support Tortoise: Website | Facebook | Buy The Catastrophist and more via Thrill Jockey

Tortoise: March 15, 2017 (Le) Poisson Rouge

March 20, 2017

[Photo by David C/@castleone]

Almost exactly a year since we last saw Tortoise, the band rolled back into town for a two-night stand at (le) Poisson Rouge and the Hall at MP. The great thing about seeing Tortoise—and it’s why I come back year after year—is that they’ve got such a vast catalog that there’s always new material to hear along with a revolving cast of deep cuts the band brings out on tour. Like last year’s setlist, this one from (le) Poisson Rouge airs a batch of newer songs off last year’s The Catastrophist, including the title track, “Hot Coffee,” “Shake Hands With Danger,” and again brings out Georgia Hubley to sing on “Yonder Blue.” Adding a few songs we hadn’t heard last year like “Ten-Day Interval,” “Crest,” and “Dot/Eyes,” the band also goes super-deep with “Tin Cans & Twine” from the very first Tortoise album.

I recorded this set with the AKG hypercards clamped in front of the soundboard, combined with a board feed courtesy of the LPR crew. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show at the Live Music Archive.

Stream the complete show:

(Le) Poisson Rouge
New York, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

Tortoise’s engineer: Elliot Dicks
Venue engineers: Jay Eigenmann, Bernie Girman, and Gabe Montesi Garskoff
Photo: David C

Soundboard + AKG C480B/CK63 > Zoom F8 > 2 x WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown compression, normalize, fades) + Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (tracking, tagging) > FLAC (24/48, level 8)

Tracks [1:25:27]
01. Gigantes
02. Hot Coffee
03. The Catastrophist
04. The Suspension Bridge at Iguazu Falls
05. Eros
06. Gesceap
07. Yonder Blue (with Georgia Hubley)
08. High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In
09. Tin Cans & Twine
10. [technical difficulties]
11. Ten-Day Interval
12. Shake Hands With Danger
13. Crest
14. [encore break]
15. Dot/Eyes
16. Seneca

Tortoise: Website | Facebook | Buy The Catastrophist and more via Thrill Jockey

Tortoise: March 17, 2016 Littlefield

March 20, 2016

[Photo from Le Poisson Rouge by PSquared Photography]

There are a lot of twentieth anniversaries going around these days: 2016 marks twenty years since Tortoise’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die cemented their place in the annals of indie-slash-post-rock. And the last time the band played New York, it was for Thrill Jockey’s twentieth anniversary show at Webster Hall in 2012.

Tortoise’s return to New York after a four-year absence was a significantly more intimate one, playing the tiny Littlefield in front of a packed, sold-out crowd. And the band didn’t do much looking back, as the set focuses most heavily on their new album, The Catastrophist—their first since 2009’s rock-y Beacons of Ancestorship. While nothing played dates further back than 1998’s TNT, that doesn’t mean Tortoise didn’t play the hits. Ask anyone what their favorite Tortoise album is and you’ll receive a variety of answers, the most likely being Millions… and TNT; however you’re also likely to hear votes for Standards and I’ll go ahead and stump for the underrated (and perhaps maligned) It’s All Around You. Listen to this recording of “Salt the Skies” and then give It’s All Around You another listen if you don’t believe me. Other modern classics played include “Seneca” with it’s signature dual-drummer intro, the slinky “Monica,” and the rocking “Prepare Your Coffin.”

At this point it’s worth mentioning that the Littlefield crowd got to see what could turn out to be the most special moment of Tortoise’s current tour, when the band was joined onstage by Georgia Hubley (of Yo La Tengo fame, of course) to sing “Yonder Blue.” Hubley guests on that track on The Catastrophist and it’s pure geographical luck that the Brooklyn crowd got to experience the collaboration live.

I recorded this set with the AKGs clamped to the soundboard cage, at about 10 feet high. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Thanks to Littlefield FOH Todd and the rest of their production team for their help in making this recording happen.

Tortoise are still on tour through at least July and you can see their full listing of dates here.

Download the complete show at the Live Music Archive.

Stream the complete show:

Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

AKG C480B/CK63 (ROC, FOB, PAS) > Roland R-26 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [01:33:45]
01. [Intro]
02. The Catastrophist
03. Prepare Your Coffin
04. Tesseract
05. Monica
06. In Sarah, Mencken, Christ, and Beethoven There Were Women and Men
07. Hot Coffee
08. Gesceap
09. Blackjack
10. At Odds With Logic
11. Gigantes
12. Eros
13. Salt the Skies
14. [encore break]
15. Yonder Blue (with Georgia Hubley)
16. Seneca
17. [encore break]
18. Shake Hands With Danger
19. High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In

Support Tortoise: Website | Facebook | Buy The Catastrophist and more via Thrill Jockey

Brokeback: November 8, 2011 Bowery Ballroom – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

November 22, 2011

[iPhone photo by acidjack]

After I posted my recording of The Sea and Cake at Bowery Ballroom earlier this month, I received an unusual number of requests to also post my recording of the second opener, Brokeback. I can’t say I was surprised. This band, a side project of Tortoise bassist Doug McCombs, released several records on Thrill Jockey in the late 90s and early 2000s, but has been in hibernation since 2008. This reconstituted 2011 version of the band is rehearsing new songs for a record, and playing shows around the country to work out the new material. In short, McCombs’ guitar-based compositions are stunning stuff, at turns heavy and cinematic but also referencing some of Tortoise’s more restrained, jazzy qualities. As these were all-new songs, I’m afraid I don’t have a setlist at all, but I am deeply grateful to both Doug and Thrill Jockey giving the site permission to share this recording. This is an exciting preview of what is sure to be a great new release – keep an eye out for it! If you do happen to know any of these song titles, please help us fill them in.

I recorded this set from our usual location in the Bowery Ballroom with the DPA microphones and a very transparent Sound Devices preamp, just as I did with the Sea and Cake recording. This recording has a similarly crisp, dry quality and is an excellent listen. Enjoy!

Stream Track #2

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Direct download of MP3 files [HERE] | Direct Download of the FLAC files [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.

Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY USA

An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack for

DPA 4021 (Slightly LOC, balcony, POS)>Sound Devices USBPre2>Sony PCM-M10 (24/44.1)>24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Audacity (set fades, tracking, amplify and balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Please help with the setlist if you know any of these songs]
04 [banter]
06 [banter]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Brokeback by visiting their Thrill Jockey Records page, where you can find out more info about their forthcoming album and purchase their current releases, including their latest, Looks at the Bird.

Tortoise: July 21, 2009 Le Poisson Rouge – Flac and MP3 Downloads

July 24, 2009

[photo courtesy of Nick at Life of The Mind – more excellent shots here]

Post-rock pioneers Tortoise are back with a vengeance. Their June 2009 release Beacons of Ancestorship is easily their most powerful album since 2001’s Standard. The recent reports from the 2009 shows have been glowing, and on Tuesday night at Le Poisson Rouge, those reports were confirmed and more. Tortoise performed a stunning seventeen songs, including an unheard-of two encore segments of five total songs. The set consisted primarily of Beacons material with a nice selection of older material towards the end of the set.

We seriously acknowledge the continued excellence of Le Poisson Rouge as a venue. Their diverse and eclectic artist bookings continue to impress, and their sound system has continued to improve in quality. Additionally, the venue has been incredibly nice and cooperative to the nyctaper site in many ways, including permitting Acidjack to enter the venue early for this show to set up. The result is perhaps his finest recorded contribution to this site, a recording of outstanding balance and clarity with a remarkable bass response. Thanks again to all involved in the production of this superb listen. Enjoy!

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

Le Poisson Rouge
New York, NY

An ACIDJACK master recording

Recorded and produced by acidjack
Hosted by nyctaper

Recorded from the front of the soundboard, mics mounted 11′ up on either side of center post.

DPA 4061 (Coresound “High-End Binaurals”)>R-09HR (24/48)>Audacity (tracking, amplify to -0.1dB, set fades, downsample to 16bit/44.1kHz)>FLAC (level eight)

01 Prepare Your Coffin
02 High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In
03 Minors
04 TNT
05 The Suspension Bridge At Iguazu Falls
06 Eros
07 crowd
08 Charteroak Foundation
09 Dot/Eyes
10 Crest
11 Yinxianghechengqi
12 Swung From the Gutters
13 Gigantes
14 encore break #1
15 Benway
16 Monica
17 In Sarah, Mencken, Christ, There Were Women and Men
18 encore break #2
19 Salt the Skies
20 Seneca

If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Tortoise, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from the discography page at their site or directly from Thrill Jockey Records.

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