Posts Tagged ‘ brooklyn ’

OPTO S: February 9, 2024 Rubulad

February 22, 2024
Photo by Claire Hewer

Brooklyn’s OPTO S remind me of filthy subway cars, John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, and streets at nighttime shiny with recent rainfall. Musically, they sound indebted to Suicide and the No Wave bands of the early 80s. Which is appropriate considering their name refers MTA subway nomenclature specifying a type of train operation—they’re a New York band through and through.

We caught OPTO S earlier this month opening for the mighty Oneida at Bushwick venue Rubulad. The band are no strangers to live recordings, having released Human Indictive / Live on ESP Disk (also available on vinyl at Forced Exposure), recorded before the pandemic but released as things shut down. A few years later now, the band are playing some promising new material, including “Dead Skunk,” “Lucy 2,” and “Going Down the Wrong Path.” You heard them here first! Meanwhile, the band is in the midst of doing some live dates. Catch them soon in Philadelphia on March 1st at Century Bar and back in NYC on March 29th at Berlin. Check their Facebook for details.

Stream and download at

Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC + Izotope Ozone 5 > Audacity 2.4.2 > FLAC

Tracks [33:11]
01. Carmine Street
02. Before My Eyes
03. Dead Skunk
04. Lucy 2
05. Spinning Gears
06. Going Down the Wrong Path
07. Something Crazy

Sky Furrows: February 9, 2024 Rubulad

February 20, 2024

Sky Furrows is the meeting of Albany’s Burnt Hills and writer-poet Karen Schoemer. They sound something like Sonic Youth, Slint, and Kinski in a blender—psych- and post-rock instrumentals buffeted by Schoemer’s sung-shouted intonations. While Phil Donnelly (drums), Mike Griffin (guitar), and Eric Hardiman (bass) keep a tight rhythm section, Schoemer recites stories, dreams, and observations. From “Shopping Bags,” off of Reflect and Oppose: “A man and a woman in a suit and gown pose for a photographer in front of the river. They look as though they’re dressed for a wedding. People do that, they get dressed days beforehand and pose as if it’s the actual ceremony.” On their own, the music and vocals would be equally of interest, but brought together there’s a tension that makes Sky Furrows so unique and compelling.

Earlier this month, we caught up with Sky Furrows opening for Oneida at Bushwick’s Rubulad. I was immediately enthralled with the band and picked up their most recent record, Reflect and Oppose, a joint release between Feeding Tube and Cardinal Fuzz so you know to expect quality. The record, I have to say, is even better than the show (partly because you get a lyric sheet to follow along) but the live set you’re hopefully about to listen to is a great entry to the band. If you’re in Catskill, NY on March 8th I recommend catching them with Oneida again at the Avalon Lounge. Tickets here. See you there!

Stream and Download at

Sky Furrows
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC + Izotope Ozone 5 > Audacity 2.4.2 > FLAC

Tracks [34:00]
01. Wearing Rug
02. He Calls Me
03. Jenni
04. Shopping Bags
05. Three Husbands
06. Old Morality
07. Humor Whisky
08. Koba Grozny

Phil Donnelly - drums
Mike Griffin - guitars
Eric Hardiman - bass
Karen Schoemer - voice 

Seawind of Battery & ragenap: October 27, 2023 Troost

December 4, 2023

Our friend and fellow taper noah_s caught Seawind of Battery and ragenap live at Troost a few weeks back. We were excited to to post his recording and in the meantime Mike and Joel were similarly excited—so much so that they released this recording on Eiderdown Records as Chaos LIVE Preserver which you can grab at Bandcamp. Here’s the review and recording from noah_s:

Full Disclosure: I have been one of ragenap’s (Joel Berk) beta listeners since he began putting his jams into recorded form. I would listen to demos & rough mixes he recorded the night before early in the morning while I had my coffee. I once described his music as feeling as if a can of Coke had been opened in my head and I could feel the bubbles fizzing through my brain as I woke up while listening. 

On Friday 10/27/23 at Troost in Greenpoint I finally got to see the live version. Paired up with Seawind of Battery (Mike Horn) – and celebrating the release of their tape Chaos Life Preserver on Eiderdown Records – the duo gave us 35 minutes of droney spacey improvised bliss.They built their set up from a looped riff started by Horn to a joyous and bright section that reminded me of staying up all night to watch a sunrise. Layers of guitar and bass VI worked through an array of never-ending delays and reverbs filled the small bar that was packed with friends, family and Halloween weekenders alike. They built this zone up for about half the set and then spent the other half slowly devolving it while also adding flourishes and delay whips before sticking the landing like a moon lander floating down into low gravity. I know I’m not alone in hoping these two make a lot more music together both in the studio and live.

For this recording I used my CA-11 cardioid mics for the first time and I’m extremely happy with how it came out. I was set up on a tripod near the bar about 15 feet back from where the band set up and as centered as I could be without blocking people from walking in/out.

Fiery Furnaces: November 13, 2021 Brooklyn Steel

October 3, 2022
Photo Courtesy of Edwina Hay

Our live experiences with the Fiery Furnaces date back to the earliest days of this website. It would be fair to say that this band was in part responsible for the growth of the site circa 2007-2008, as we recorded them all around the area, from multiple times at Maxwell’s, Mercury, Bowery, and Music Hall, to singular shows at Sound Fix Records on Bedford (RIP), Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, LPR, Southpaw (RIP), East River Park Bandshell (RIP), and Hiro Ballroom (RIP). We recorded them so often that we ended up getting credited as an “engineer” for the Fiery Furnaces live album Remember, which used some of our recordings. The attraction was natural for we live music fans — the band never played any of their shows or songs the same way twice, they consistently invited superb musicians to join them on tours, and the music was always challenging and cerebral. We couldn’t get enough of them.

But in 2011, the band’s core siblings Eleanor and Matt Friedberger decided to take a hiatus. I expected a few years of time away, a solo album or two and then a return. I didn’t expect the break to take a decade, but in 2020 the reunion was finally announced and well, you know what happened then.

Last November at Brooklyn Steel, the wait was over. Fiery Furnaces were back for a “hometown” show at long last. To be honest, I didn’t really know what entirely to expect. The two stalwarts of the band from last decade (Jason Loewenstein and Bob D’Amico) were not joining in the reunion, and of the new band members, we only were familiar with the most excellent Emily Lee (Shearwater, and others). But what I did expect was a new take on classic material, and likely the new single from 2020 (“Down At The So And So And Somewhere”). And in that respect, this show was entirely what I had hoped to see. The setlist contained a healthy dose from all of the band’s releases, of course segued with unexpected twists and turns — but always anchored by Eleanor’s meticulously delivered tongue-twisters and turns of phrase. Matt’s keyboard rack was liberally employed throughout and jibed perfectly with Emily electric piano — check out the interplay in a tasty “Benton Harbor Blues”, and the rocking “Ex-Guru”. The entire ninety-minute set worked like that, with no lulls, plenty of highlights, and no dip in energy throughout. It was great to have Fiery Furnaces back, even if for just one night. We hope it isn’t another decade before they return.

I recorded this set with the Neumann hypers set up at the Soundboard and mixed with a board feed. We are extremely happy with the results, and are pleased to offer this high quality download. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

nyctaper · Fiery Furnaces – Live at Brooklyn Steel Nov 13 2021

Fiery Furnaces
Brooklyn Steel
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Neumann KM-150s > 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

[Total Time 1:22:52]
01 Leaky Tunnel
02 Single Again
03 Two Fat Feet
04 I’m Going Away
05 Benton Harbor Blues
06 [checklist]
07 My Dog Was Lost but Now He’s Found
08 The Garfield El
09 Chief Inspector Blancheflower
10 I’m in No Mood
11 Don’t Dance Her Down
12 The Vietnamese Telephone Ministry
13 Down At The So And So And Somewhere
14 Duplexes of the Dead
15 Automatic Husband
16 Ex-Guru
17 Quay Cur
18 Tropical Ice-Land
19 [encore break]
20 Here Comes the Summer
21 My Egyptian Grammar
22 Chris Michaels

SUPPORT Fiery Furnaces: Bandcamp / Thrill Jockey page / Third Man Records page

Taper’s Choice: April 24, 2022 The Sultan Room Rooftop

June 6, 2022
Photos by Jefe

Billing themselves as “Not the Jam Band We Need But the Jam Band We Deserve,” Taper’s Choice are somewhat mysterious newcomers to the scene—and they’re sure having fun with it. Here’s what we know: the band is a jam supergroup comprised of Dave Harrington (Darkside), Chris Tomson (Vampire Weekend), Alex Bleeker (Real Estate), and Zach Tenorio (Arc Iris). Beyond that scant info, it wasn’t until recently that tunes have emerged. Previously available only at merch tables at the band’s few California shows earlier this year, the cassette-only Choice Tapes Vol. 1 circulated word-of-mouth for a while before finally landing on Bandcamp along with Choice Tapes Vol. 2. (I hear Vol. 3 is in the works.) Songs on the tapes are titled only with single or double curly quotes on both volumes but if you listen hard maybe you’ll hear some similarities to jams circulating in “trader” circles on the Live Music Archive.

We were fortunate to get invited out to the band’s exclusive (and sold out) first show in New York (or Jam Hollywood to those in the know). Two sets under the stars at Brooklyn’s Sultan Room (one of the premier destinations for jams in the borough) and we were sold 100% on Taper’s Choice. These guys even have their own festival! Take that Phish. And go buy some tickets to Choice Fest.

Stream and download at the Live Music Archive

Taper's Choice
The Sultan Room Rooftop
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

MBHO KA200N/603A > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC + Izotope Ozone 5 > Audacity 3.0.2 > FLAC

Set 1:
01. Running From the Rain
02. Lick the Toad 
03. The Dave Test (Yes) >
04. Walkin’ Around 
05. Darkness on the Edge of Midtown*

Set 2:
06. Above the Timberline  
07. Every Bubble >
08. Born to Burst*
09. Lilac Palace 
10. Low Era*^
11. Döner Wrap

*with Stuart Bogie - sax
^Geese cover with Cameron Winter (lead singer of Geese)
Kenny Wollesen - percussion on all of second set

Taper's Choice is:
Dave Harrington, Alex Bleeker, Chris Tomson, Zach Tenorio-Miller

David Grubbs & Ryley Walker: December 12, 2021 Public Records

January 9, 2022

Way back in September, which is about a decade ago according to my experience of time, David Grubbs and Ryley Walker got together to release a fantastic collaborative album, A Tap on the Shoulder, via Ryley’s Husky Pants label. The album brings the two former Chicagoans together for the first time for seven loose, explorative guitar tracks with Grubbs also contributing some piano.

Though the pair won’t be touring behind the record (for now, anyway), they did get together last month for a one-off record release show at Public Records in Brooklyn. For fifty minutes they alternate between ruminative wanderings and dizzying freakouts, neither soloing or overwhelming the other. It sounds like they’re listening to each other just as much as they’re playing their own guitars. You don’t see two performers of this caliber get together very often, and I’m glad we were there to capture it.

Ryley Walker isn’t touring with David Grubbs, but you can still catch him live this month and beyond. Check the dates over at his website!

I recorded this show with a pair of MBHO omnidirectional mics positioned at the stage lip. The sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Stream and download the show at the Live Music Archive.

David Grubbs & Ryley Walker
Public Records
Brooklyn, NY

Recorded and produced by Eric PH for

MBHO KA100DK/603A (stage lip) > Naiant PFA >> Sound Devices MixPre-6 > WAV (24/48) > Audacity 3.0.2 > FLAC


  1. Live at Public Records 2021 (53:12)

Elkhorn: August 31, 2021 Valentino Park Red Hook

December 8, 2021

A few weeks back Elkhorn released The Golden Lag on Blue Hole Recordings, a two-sided cassette of two medium length instrumental tracks consistent with what we’ve come to expect from this ultra-talented guitar duo. This motivated me to finally finish the edit on the recording of this amazing day in the park from August.

Due mostly to the indefatigable efforts of Aaron Stein, the NYC Freaks Day Out pop-up concerts have created magical experiences for the tuned in. Nestled in a corner of Valentino Park in Red Hook, the artists playing these events are presented in a most natural atmosphere and with fans on blankets or beach chairs, and the feel of the event is like a family reunion of the most knowledgeable music fans NYC has to offer. On this beautiful day in August, it all came together for Elkhorn and the Freaks and all was right with the world for a few hours.

In our previous experiences with Elkhorn, the band has played as a guitar duo featuring Jesse Sheppard on a 12-string acoustic guitar and Drew Gardner on primarily electric guitar. The intricate interplay between Jesse’s melodic lines and Drew’s crunchy strat is both mesmerizing and compelling. On this particular day, the band added Ian McColm on drums, a sought-after talent who has appeared elsewhere on these pages. The first set was familiar to fans with the guitar interplay supplemented by Ian’s tasty fills. A thirty minute piece of pure bliss, it was one of those time-stands-still kind of sets that you never want to end.

But it was the second set that threw us for a bit of a loop. Jesse strapped on an electric bass and proceeded to riff on a funky groove and Drew worked the wah wah to perfection. The thirty minute set weaved in and out of a few different themes but ultimately proved that this band has an infinite number of genres to explore in its future and we’ll be happy to capture them all.

I recorded this set with the outdoor-friendly large diaphragm Neumann microphones set up directly center in front of the band, and the sound quality is stunning. Sure there are a few dog barks and children, but that’s exactly the atmosphere of this terrific day and we are so happy with this recording. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

nyctaper · Elkhorn – Live in Red Hook Aug 29 2021

Valentino Park – Red Hook
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
On Stage

Neumann KLM-102s > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Set 1 [Total Time 30:07]
01 Improvisation 1
Set 2 [Total Time 31:41]
02 Improvisation 2
03 Improvisation 3

Jesse Sheppard: acoustic guitar, bass
Drew Gardner: electric guitar
Ian McColm: drums

SUPPORT ELKHORN: website / bandcamp

Chris Forsyth: August 4, 2021 Sultan Room

August 15, 2021
Photo by nyctaper

Chris Forsyth returned to live performance in the most exactly perfect way possible. Like most performers, he hasn’t played a proper show in more than a year, but for his two-show return last week, Chris compiled an incendiary quartet of top notch musicians, all of whom are quite familiar to these pages. Tom Malach is a founder and lead guitarist of site favorites Garcia Peoples, Ryan Jewell has appeared here about a dozen different formats, mainly with Ryley Walker, and Doug McCombs has appeared here with the seminal Tortoise and with his Brokeback project. Forsyth himself has appeared many times on this site, and always brings the goods. But this show was an entirely different animal.

If this performance was an indication, Chris Forsyth emerged from lockdown with well honed new material and having maintained the precision of his playing. The quartet that performed at Sultan Room last week (and Philly the following night) were tight, focused, and thoroughly in sync. The four new songs (and new cover) were presented in almost completed form (except for the working titles) and as if these four musicians had been playing the compositions regularly. That is to say that this show flowed from start to finish and left the boisterous and rapt crowd frankly stunned at the quality of the performance.

I recorded this set with the outdoor-friendly large diaphragm Neumann microphones set up front and center of the stage and mixed with a soundboard feed provided by the most excellent Imoni Cole Palmer. I’m extremely pleased with the quality of this recording and hope you enjoy as much as the sold out crowd and I did that night.

Chris Forsyth is returning to the West Coast for a show on October 9, 2021 at the Crystal Cavern in Oakland. The band will include Doug McCombs and Ryan Jewell. This is Chris’s first show in California since 2014. Tickets are available [here].

Download the Complete Show in MP3 and FLAC at [HERE]

Stream the Complete Show:

Chris Forsyth
Sultan Room
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
On Stage Audience + Soundboard

Neumann TLM-102 Large Diaphragm Cardioids + Soundboard > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Set 1
[Total Time 57:19]
01 You’re Going to Need Somebody [Richard Thompson]
02 Tomorrow Might as Well Be Today
03 Mystic Mountain
04 Blackbird Jungle*
05 Experimental Professional

Set 2
[Total Time 1:02:48]
06 Dreaming in the Non-Dream
07 [band introductions]
08 Dream Song
09 Evolution Here I Come*
10 Robot Energy Machine*

*working title

Chris Forsyth: guitar
Tom Malach: guitar
Doug McCombs: bass
Ryan Jewell: percussion

PLEASE SUPPORT This Artist: Chris Forsyth

Garcia Peoples: June 4, 2021 Industry City

June 16, 2021
photo by nyctaper

Welcome back! Its been a hellish 16 months for everyone we know. No one was spared, and many friends of the site went through trauma that no person should have to endure. But as far as we can tell, this existential nightmare seems to be coming to close. Today New York State celebrated a 70% vaccination rate, and much of the City is re-opening, including live performances.

Last weekend we experienced our first real “concert” event in forever, and it could not have been a more spiritually and emotionally fulfilling night. Garcia Peoples are obviously one of the site’s favorite bands, and most importantly a favorite set of people, so it was quite appropriate that this would be the NYCTaper coming out party. In the open air at Industry City, and with GP as a soundtrack, we grooved while smiling at friends we haven’t seen in months and months, shook hands, hugged, and generally felt true enjoyment. For their part, the band debuted a bunch of outstanding new material, jammed on some classics, and sounded tight and focused. They are truly back and we couldn’t be happier.

Garcia Peoples are adding new shows to their touring schedule on a regular basis. At this point, they are playing 3 dates in consecutive months at Turk’s Inn (Sultan Room roof) in Brooklyn, beginning with a show next week (June 23) and then appearances at the Treefort Festival and Lockn Fest. Dates are being added, check out their bandcamp page for updates.

This show was recorded with Schoeps cards set up at the soundboard tent, and mixed with a board feed. There were issues with the elements and a humming noise from a generator, but overall we’re pretty pleased with the sound quality. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Industry City Show from [HERE]

Stream the Complete Industry City Show:

Garcia Peoples
Industry City
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
Audience + Soundboard

Schoeps CCM4u’s + Soundboard > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

[Total Time 1:15:01]
01 False Company
02 Cold Dice
03 Tough Freaks
04 Stray Cats
05 Painting A Vision That Carries
06 Heart and Soul
07 A Reckoning
08 Fire of The Now
09 Cassandra
10 Fill Your Cup
11 World’s Illusion


Jonathan Kane and Jim McHugh: October 11, 2020 Richards Street Brooklyn

October 19, 2020

I read somewhere recently that your talent is your salve. That by doing the things you do best, you can help heal the psychic damage from this awful year. After an aborted attempt to capture a “drive-in” show last month, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience and record a pop-up outdoor event last weekend and it was as glorious as the pedigree of the two musicians who performed. Jim McHugh will be quite familiar to readers of this site as the founder and lead guitarist of Sunwatchers, while Jonathan Kane is a downtown music scene fixture for decades who is perhaps best known as the founding drummer of Swans.

In the Northeast section of Red Hook, a couple of hundred yards from the Battery Tunnel, there’s a few blocks of old industrial buildings that have been transformed into studios. At the corner of Commerce and Richards, there’s an art studio that has hosted these pop-up outdoor events while the weather cooperated. Last weekend, the Kane McHugh duo played a 30-minute set of two distinct improvisational pieces. The first number had a psych-blues vibe with Kane’s looped guitar providing a base for the two to work over, with McHugh’s rock guitar and Kane’s ubiquitous percussion hitting several peaks. The second piece began quietly with some tasty slide guitar licks before the two took it out into a full swampy meltdown — a truly magical climax to a short but truly sweet collaborative set.

I recorded this set with the outdoor-friendly large diaphragm Neumann’s set up immediately in front of the band, and the sound quality is quite superb. Enjoy!

Download the Complete Show [MP3] [FLAC]

Stream the Complete Show:

nyctaper · Jonathan Kane and Jim McHugh Live on Richards Oct 11 2020

Kane McHugh
Richards Street
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
On Stage

Neumann KLM-102s > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (post production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

[Total Time 27:17]
01 Improvisation 1
02 Improvisation 2

Jonathan Kane – drums, percussion, guitar loop
Jim McHugh – guitar, slide guitar

PLEASE SUPPORT These amazing artists: Kane Facebook and Sunwatchers Bandcamp


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