Pics from 2014: Karen O at the McKittrick Hotel – September 11


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.

Pics from 2014: Doldrums & Moon King at Baby’s All Right – June 5

South Williamsburg’s Babys All Right hosted a killer line up back in June, bringing together Airick Woodhead’s band Doldrums on the same bill for the first time with his brother Daniel Benjamin’s band Moon King. Additional support came from Eola and a DJ set from Empress Of – who was fearless amazing enough to play a track from Mariah Carey’s latest album.

Daniel played the opening slot for Doldrums, then returned to the stage with Doldrums. Along with Airick’s sick wardrobe, the TLC FanMail image in his gear is highly commendable!




Pics from 2014: BANKS at Irving Plaza – June 4


I caught BANKS onstage at a tiny outdoor venue during SXSW earlier this year, a performance that caused a frustrated fan to leave mid-show (even after waiting hours and hours in achey shoes) due to unfortunate mic issues. I cut BANKS some slack and attended her show at Irving Plaza back in June. She performed songs from her lush debut album Goddess to a sold out audience, thankfully with much better sound quality. BANKS went on to sell out Terminal 5 later in the year, an impressive with only one full-length under her belt.

Check out the Tom Demac remix of Drowning below, one of my favorite mixes of the year.

Pics from 2014: Sky Ferreira & DIIV at Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 9


I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Sky Ferreira since the release of her 2013 masterpiece of an album Night Time, My Time (you can check my last.fm, one year later I still listen to this album regularly). However, I can say with confidence that each performance was even better than the last. It’s been so great to see her grow as an artist, hitting bigger and bigger stages each time.

Back in July she was joined by her equally talented boyfriend Zachary Cole Smith’s band DIIV in support of the David Lynch Foundation. The show sold out instantly, and rightfully so. Check out additional pictures from the show here.



Pics from 2014: Majical Cloudz at Webster Hall – June 6

Before embarking on their major arena tour with Lorde, Montreal’s Majical Cloudz played 2 shows at Webster Hall in the first half of 2014. The second show (a part of Pitchfork / Jim Beam’s NightCap collaboration, an after party for Governor’s Ball) took place just a few days after my birthday. I brought someone I’d been seeing at the time, ugh. In hindsight, it was an interesting experience to watch Devon’s wholehearted performance onstage (as always) contrast the passionless relationship I was in during that period.

The duo played brand new songs slated to appear on their upcoming follow up to 2013’s fantastic Impersonator. Seriously can’t wait to what they’re serving up in 2015. Landmarking their successful tour with Lorde, Majical Cloudz released a re-recorded version of Your Eyes from 2011’s II (embedded below). Though II is entirely ignored in their sets, I’d really really love to hear Francisco performed live (also posted below for your enjoyment).



Majical Cloudz Performs “Turns Turns Turns” from Pitchfork TV on Vimeo.

Blood Orange at Central Park SummerStage

As summer winds down in New York, us city dwellers were given a real treat when Blood Orange (Devonté Hynes) headlined Central Park’s SummerStage (for a free show nonetheless) with a slew of special guests that included openers Moses Sumney and Sean Nicholas Savage.

 

Dev opened the set with Champagne Coast (from 2011’s amazing yet very highly-underappreciated Coastal Grooves) and lusciously worked his way through a majority of Cupid Deluxe, b-sides, and covers for good measure. Along with a full band, the Blood Orange ensemble was completed with guest performances from Skepta, Caroline Polachek (Chairlift, Ramona Lisa), and Samantha Urbani (Friends) his partner and frequent collaborator as heard on the Cupid Deluxe.

 

It was truly a magical experience to see such a great album brought to life onstage, and a definite highlight for the year. The full set list can be seen below thanks to Setlist.fm. More pictures from the show can be seen here.

 

Setlist: Champagne Coast  // Heartbreak Hotel  (Elvis Presley cover) // Chamakay  (with Caroline Polachek) // You’re Not Good Enough  // Bad Girls //  It Is What It Is  // High Street  (with Skepta) // On The Line  // Chosen //  Sutphin Boulevard //  Always Let U Down  // No Right Thing  // Uncle ACE //  Time Will Tell



Lykke Li at The Apollo Theater, May 2014

Nearly two years ago to the date of Lykke Li‘s headlining show at the Apollo Theater, I was holding her hand as she sang alongside Miike Snow and Peter, Bjorn  & John at a very intimate and unannounced Bowery Hotel show for the launch of the INGRD label. So intimate that there wasn’t even a stage in fact.

 

Since then Lykke Li released her critically-acclaimed third album I Never Learn, the final release in the artist’s trilogy that includes Youth Novels (2008) and Wounded Rhymes (2011).  While onstage at the legendary Harlem venue, Lykke Li took a candid opportunity to address any naysayers: “I have to admit, my album is a bit of a bummer but I’ve got to stand by my art”

 

…I’m not gonna lie, there was a moment during Silver Line and Sleeping Alone where there may or may not have been tears shed from yours truly. This is still up for debate. There were a lot of great moments during the show (for example: a cover of Drunk in Love and  dancing offstage while The Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down played at the show’s conclusion), a celebration of melancholy, confidence, vulnerability, optimism and everything in between. I am anxious to see Lykke Li scale up for her biggest New York show ever at Radio City Music Hall in October. Setlist from the show can be seen below as captured from Setlist.FM along with some video snippets I captured during the show. More pictures can be seen here.

 

Setlist: I Never Learn // Love out of Lust // Just Like a Dream // No Rest for the Wicked // Jerome // Hanging High // Never Gonna Love Again // Little Bit // Gunshot // Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone // Sleeping Alone // I Follow Rivers // Rich Kids Blues // Heart of Steel // Youth Knows No Pain + Drunk in Love // Get Some//  Encore: Du Är Den Ende (Lill Lindfors cover) // Sadness Is a Blessing



Lykke Li covering Drunk in Love

Supreme Cuts Live at Baby’s All Right + Envision Music Video (Featuring Channy of Poliça )

Last weekend Chicago production team Supreme Cuts made a stop on their Divine Ecstasy tour at Baby’s All Right in South Williamsburg. The duo performed in front of trippy, tumblr-friendly projections for a crowd of New Yorkers who braved the icy Saturday weather (a struggle but definitely worth it).

Check out more pictures from the show here, along with a stream of their Dummy Magazine mix, and the music video for Envision which features gorgeous vocals by Channy of Poliça.



Dev Hynes and Samantha Urbani (GAYER) Live at Trans Pecos

Before the end of last year, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and Samantha Urbani (Friends) announced a one-off show at Todd P’s latest venue Trans Pecos located in Ridgewood. The duo performed a 20 minute metal set as GAYER (a play on Slayer) before switching gears at the end of the set with a cover of Eminem’s Rap God.

Check out a video of the cover along with pictures from the show. Also on the bill were Mndsgn, Lord RAJA, Tallesin, and DJ Weird Magic. Read more about the show over at Brooklyn Vegan.