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by Sachyn Mital

25 May 2017


For me, the time between falling in love with an album (and possibly hearing the band for the first time, to be honest) and seeing that band perform live, has probably never been shorter than it was for Slowdive. Their 2017 come-back, self-titled release is one of my favorites of the year and one of PopMatters’ Picks. Right from the get-go, with the first track “Slomo”, Slowdive had me hooked on a band over two decades old.

Fortunately, the band had scheduled shows to support the album including two nights at Brooklyn Steel. When the group finally took the stage after 9 pm, the audience collectively stood poised at attention. And Slowdive kicked off the show with “Slomo” but sadly, a couple of minutes in, one of the sound guys came on and pulled the band off-stage—there was an issue with a monitor or something. So I didn’t get the full cathartic experience of “Slomo” at the beginning, but I did hear a lot of powerful songs from their back catalog and the new gems, like “Sugar for the Pill”. And I wondered if the band would have made something as great if they had remained together for most of the past two decades.

by Sachyn Mital

29 Mar 2017


The new (to me) Infinity Music Hall in Hartford played host to Brooklyn dhol and brass band Red Baraat on a post-show Saturday during March Madness. Those two factors likely had a measurable impact on the attendance, but those faithful fans who made it out were seriously into the music. Some were even families with kids—and all were dancing unabashedly to the bhangra fusion.

by Sachyn Mital

22 Mar 2017


Photo credits: Getty Images for Tibet House US

The 30th anniversary benefit concert for the Tibet House US organization was the gemstone in a slew of events celebrating the 80th birthday of Philip Glass. Glass is the artistic director for the annual benefit shows and this year’s slate featured many familiar faces from recent years including Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Scorchio Quartet, Lavinia Meijer and Laurie Anderson. It also included the Alabama Shakes and New Order.

The latter’s Bernard Sumner joined Pop for “Stray Dog” and Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control”. Sufjan Stevens was introduced by the Executive Director of the ACLU Anthony Romero before he spoke briefly about love then performed “The Star Spangled Banner” with the aid of the Scorchio Quartet. Patti Smith wrapped up the evening with a cover of Dylan’s “Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall” and led nearly all the musicians in a rousing “People have the Power” set. Smith’s final words to the audience were rousing—she implored, “Use your voice, be vigilant, be strong, be happy.”

by Sachyn Mital

28 Feb 2017


Drive-By Truckers wrapped up their 17 date winter tour with a three night run in their hometown of Athens, Georgia. Just before that however, the band played a two hour set to a capacity crowd at New York’s Webster Hall. Kyle Craft kicked off the night around 7:30 before Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Brad Morgan, Jay Gonzalez, Matt Patton wasted no time once they began around 8:30 quickly filling the venue with their scuzzy guitars and generously liberal political message.

Drive-By Truckers most recent album American Band (ATO Records) is their most political yet and has drawn a slew of critical adoration. The band led the show with two of the new tracks, “Surrender Under Protest” and “Darkened Flags on the Cusp of Dawn”, making it transparent they had a message to share. Introducing the racial-discussion of “What It Means”, Hood spoke on how he wrote the song a couple of years back using the murder of Michael Brown as some sort of guidance. But Hood admitted he finds the song is more relevant now given the remarkable rise in incidents of police shooting and killing black people. The lines “I mean Barack Obama won / And you can choose where to eat / But you don’t see too many white kids lying / Bleeding on the street” was even more tragic in the light of a Trump victory and the presumption he will reduce or destabilize gun control efforts.

by Steve Horowitz

29 Dec 2016


Press photo from Georgica Pond release

One of the highlights on the newly released Johnnyswim album, Georgica Pond, is the lovely song about solitude and yearning, “Lonely Night in Georgia”. The Nashville-based duo was joined by country legend Vince Gill who helped co-write and sing on the track.

Gill was nowhere to be found at Johnnyswim’s Atlanta, Georgia gig, but it didn’t really matter. The sold out show at the newly refurbished Buckhead Theater was packed with fans who knew every word to the song even though the album it appears on is less than a month old. Johnnyswim were having whatever is the opposite of a lonely night in the Peach State. On a balmy Southern night in November, Johnnyswim was in good company.

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