Arca‘s critically-acclaimed debut album Xen has been on heavy rotation since its release toward the end of 2014. Leading up to his first proper headlining show in NYC at Bowery Ballroom in April, he performed with Bjork for a number of shows and dj-ed alongside $hane of Hood By Air at Home Sweet Home.
For the Bowery show Arca gracefully switched between dj/producer mode behind the turntables and full-on performance mode, complete with eye-popping fetish wear. Helping to bring the full vision to life was Arca’s collaborator, multimedia artist Jesse Kanda. The night’s most remarkable moment was during the performance of Sad Bitch (a personal favorite of mine), where both Arca and Xen danced together in unison with their backs to the crowd.
On my way home from work on Tuesday of this week, I encountered a very subtle online rumbling about a Florence + the Machine show the following day (one month ahead of her Governor’s Ball performance). Obviously my plans for the next day were entirely rearranged on the pretense of securing tickets, which we did luckily!
After a leg injury during her Coachella performance (which was f###ing insane-amazing!!!), Florence has restrained to a stool but this has in no way impacted that voice and stage presence that we all love. Tickets were purposefully scarce for the intimate show, which consisted of super-fans and press only. What a night!
View the rest of the pictures here and some videos I sleuthed below.
After an eye-opening 10-year anniversary retrospective interview with Rolling Stone on Arular and stepping out with a sport-chic look on the red carpet of Elle’s Fashion Awards back in February, it seems as if M.I.A. has something in the works.
Yesterday Mathangi teased the general public on Twitter saying that she would post a new demo if she remembered her password, and thankfully she has! Check out the song below and stay tuned for what she up her sleeves(??)!
If I find my soundcloud password I’ll upload today’s demo
Better late than never…and in this case pretty damn late. I attended SXSW for a third consecutive time earlier this year. There was a lot of opinions in the air following the very corporate vibe of SXSW last year, so it seemed as if this year the goal was to shift the focus back on music.
I’ve captured nearly all of the artists I caught at the festival in the gallery above, the standouts being:
Dinner at the Central Presbyterian Church – I’d never heard of him before stopping by to catch his set. I was pleasantly surprised by his vocals and performance, which included dancing up and down the aisles and rolling around on the floor (see below).
QT at Red Eyed Fly – I love the whole concept about QT (the drink and persona). Earlier in the week I caught QT’s set at Fader Fort where she played sped up versions of Katy Perry and Charli XCX before prancing offstage. Her set at Red Eyed Fly was an amazing closer for my experience, and I got an actual IRL can of QT (and a photo with her)!
GFOTY – such a bizarre yet intriguing performance!
Kate Boy – Finally caught her live show, so great. <3<3<3
Twin Shadow – at a very vulnerable moment of exhaustion and wanting to go back home after 2 weeks at the festival, Twin Shadow gave me all of the feels during his acoustic set.
Years & Years – I had no clue that the lead singer had such a great voice, caught them twice!
Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD – I’m a kid from the 90’s so this was super nostalgic and amazing to see live.
Doldrums and Samantha recently collaborated on a bonus track for the Loser Edition of his album called IDONTWANNABEDELETED. It’s a great track and a new anthem for our times. Check out the stream below along with the video for Loops, and Samantha Urbani’s funky recent track 1 2 3 4.
Today, the noise-making Brooklyn trio bottoms released their Goodbye Cruel World EP via Atlas Chair (stream below). This Friday they celebrate the release of their first 12″ at Secret Robot Project, following up their gig at Palisades last weekend with US Girls. Find all the details on Facebook and buy your tickets here.
I first heard the news of Glasslands closing while on a gratuitously long sabbatical in the UK. With the closing of 285 Kent, indieScreen, and Death by Audio all on Kent Avenue it was truly only a matter of time that Glasslands would be forced to shut down.
My last show at Glasslands would be TR/ST aka Trust with Beacon, just two days before the venue closed its doors forever. Frontman Robert Alfons dressed in black from head-to-toe and debuted a buzzcut for the performance which, suitably for the occasion, was as deliciously dark and moody as you’d imagine.
On a much different note (acoustic to be more specific), a week prior I caught Waxahatchee with at Glasslands Goodbye Party with Steve Gunn and Weyes Blood. It’s sad to see so many of these venues disappearing at once, but thankfully we still have Palisades and Market Hotel (reopening very soon)…I still have faith in you New York!
A last minute business trip brought me to DC in September, which aligned to The Drums‘ stop on their Encyclopedia Tour with Beverly. Greeting me upon entering the 930 Club (my first show ever at the legendary venue) was Roseanne’s Darlene emblazoned on a Beverly t-shirt. Best merch ever!
Beverly, who joined The Drums on their US/UK tour, released their debut album Careers last summer via Kanine Records, and played the last ever show at Glasslands (RIP) with Sky Ferreira and DIIV on New Years Eve.
Many years have passed since I’d last seen The Drums onstage (Bowery Ballroom? Mercury Lounge?) and with that a much bigger catalog of songs to perform live. The boys performed a staggering 21 songs live at full energy, recalling a rollercoaster of feelings of nostalgia, joy, heartbreak, etc. Can’t wait to see them next! Check out the full setlist below thanks to setlist.fm.
(Side note to self: I just recalled my first intro to Beverly by word of mouth from band member Scott Rosenthal (also of Class Actress) at an Avan Lava show at the downstairs bar of Music Hall of Williamsburg a few years back.)
The Drums Set list: Bell Laboratories // Let Me // Me and the Moon // Days I Can’t Pretend // Kiss Me Again // Book of Stories // Best Friend // Money // U.S. National Park // Book of Revelation // Face of God // I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him // I Need a Doctor // How It Ended // Wild Geese // Encore: Don’t Be a Jerk, Johnny // Make You Mine // Let’s Go Surfing // Saddest Summer // Down by the Water
Before the close of 2014, How to Dress Well (Tom Krell) played his last few New York shows in support of his third album What is This Heart? The first of these shows was at Glasslands with Porcelain Raft, followed by a one off show with Com Truise at Verboten for #connectsessions. At the latter show Krell performed in front of a gorgeous backdrop of black and white clouds and swirls of static controlled by the gesture-recognizing Kinect technology (a collaboration with TRUSST), making for a truly musically and visually stunning experience.
Next up for How to Dress Well is a slew of gigs abroad before hitting the festival circuit. Check out those dates here. Stream HTDW’s most recent mix tape “you and i are the same” below.
Yo if u took dope pics at verboten tonight DM em to my IG howtodresswell I wan post some pretty ones — what a beautiful night!
On September 11th, the McKittrick Hotel / Manderlay Bar was the perfect venue for Karen O. to perform songs from her solo album Crush Songs. The absolutely gorgeous setting, home to the long-running eerily interactive Sleep No More show, was dressed in billowing smoke and a heart-shaped neon sign that read Crush Palace.
Karen took the stage after midnight, joined by an ensemble band consisting of Moses Sumney, Holly Miranda, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmate Nick Zinner. The charming hour long performance of material felt so intimate that it was almost as if Karen were reading pages aloud from her diary.