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by Sachyn Mital

8 Apr 2016


RNDM, the band featuring Joseph Arthur, Richard Stuverud and Jeff Ament (of Pearl Jam), went on tour to support their latest album Ghost Riding with a short string of dates across the United States in early March. Ament had been kind enough to speak to PopMatters about the recording process and the band’s expanded sound ahead of the show (in case you missed the interview, you can find it here) and of course we went to check out the versatile group’s performance. Photos are below.

At the same time I was taking the photos, Joseph Arthur’s friend, videographer Ehud Lazin and his crew were capturing the event across multiple cameras. He and the band were kind enough to allow us to premiere the live video of “Trouble” from the Gramercy Theatre show here. Since their RNDM tour ended, Arthur has announced a forthcoming solo record The Family (which is now available for pre-order) and will hit the road later this month. Ament too will be touring, but this time he sets out for arena shows with Pearl Jam, beginning their tour tonight in Florida. Their respective tour dates follow below.

by Ryan Dieringer

23 Mar 2016


PHOTO CREDITS: JULIA ANRATHER

“It used to make me sad, now I just like it,” said the girl next to me during Lower Dens’ set, perfectly summing up everyone’s relationship with indie music. And it was in fact a string of sad days for Jana Hunter and Lower Dens, as their van had been stolen a couple of weeks prior (coincidence or not, in Ted Cruz’s home state). They’re two thirds of the way through their fundraising campaign for getting some of it back—go help out! The set, besides comprising heavily of bass and synth backing tracks that it would have been a pleasure to see performed, was a laid back, Hunter-being-herself playing the tunes kind of set. Happened to be extra special due to her iridescent thrift store shirt, worn, apparently, in honor of Ruban Nielson’s birthday.

by Sachyn Mital

22 Mar 2016


Watching Wagakki Band‘s New York City performance last week, one thing was certain. There are few shows like this and half the fun in attending was to see something totally unique. Even the security guards at Irving Plaza were transfixed by the band’s show. Wagakki Band fuse traditional Japanese instruments together with guitars and other “Western” elements to create a powerful show. Even the band’s costumes were a powerful vision. Some were in traditional garb while the drummer(s) appeared to be in plated armor straight out of a Final Fantasy game. Check out exclusive photos of the band’s performance and a video clip below.

by Sachyn Mital

17 Mar 2016


Over at New Music Matters, writer Jane Jansen Seymour noted that it was her first time catching the legendary New Order live (as it was mine). I’m not super familiar with their back catalog (outside their hits) but I do appreciate Get Ready and their newest album Music Complete, the two new millennium albums that Gillian Gilbert contributed to. As Seymore aptly noted, “it was clearly the older tunes that the crowd was waiting for to dance and sing along. “Temptation”, “Ceremony”, “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “Age of Consent” were all rolled out, along with “You Silent Face,” the composition that Moby has remarked how it proved electronic music could be beautiful in its own right. The busy projections behind the musicians competed with the audience attention, but acoustically there could be no complaints—the sound was perfectly supplemented by plenty of prerecorded tracks.”

Beyond those New Order hits, the band included, in their encore, two Joy Division songs, “Atmosphere” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, before they ran into curfew and had to cut out before they could conclude with “Blue Monday” (the song was noted on the setlist). They’ve got a few more dates of their US tour still to come before they run the gamut of European festivals in the summer. Check out some photos of Bernard Sumner and the band below.

by David Chiu

17 Mar 2016


Daryl Hall and John Oates’ performance at New York City’s Madison Square Garden for the first time in over three decades seemed to be a further extension of the momentum they had built in the last ten years. While they’ll always be forever associated with the ‘80s, the period of their greatest commercial success, the two have experienced a renewed appreciation for their music mostly due to Hall’s web music performance series “Live From Daryl’s House”, and their much-belated induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Amid the constant changing trends and styles in music, Hall and Oates have become fashionable again.

That was clearly the case at the sold-out Garden show in February, a mostly rock and soul affair, with guests Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Mayer Hawthorne opening for the duo. While the gig drew mostly older fans now in their ‘50s and ‘60s, there were also a few younger ones in attendance—a testament of Hall and Oates’ continued appeal to different generations, as hits like “Rich Girl”, “She’s Gone”, “Kiss on My List” and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” still get airplay decades later.

A packed house in “the worlds’s most famous arena” must have felt like old times for both the headliners and longtime fans circa 1984. Hall and Oates hearkened back that feeling when they finally got on stage and performed strictly the hits and then some—kicking it off with “Out of Touch” and followed by such classics as “Maneater”, “Say It Isn’t So”, “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”. They and the band also unearthed some of the lesser-known hits including “Family Man” and “Did It in a Minute”, along with deeper cuts from the ‘70s like “Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)” and “Do What You Want, Be What You Are”. Appropriately, Hall and Oates paid homage to another blue-eyed soul duo, the Righteous Brothers, with their cover of “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’”, written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil—songwriters linked to New York City’s Brill Building sound.

Those songs and the other bigger hits performed later in the show, including “Kiss on My List” and “Private Eyes”, sounded looser and more organic in a live setting than their original studio incarnations, giving more of an opportunity for the band to stretch out musically. For example “I Can’t Go for That” became like an extended funk jam highlighted by longtime member Charlie DeChant’s saxophone playing. At the end of the show, Hall and Oates brought out Sharon Jones and Mayer Hawthorne in which they all performed the Delfonics’ classic “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”—fittingly bringing the proceedings to their soulful conclusion.

In the last couple of years, Hall and Oates have worked on their own individual solo projects, but there’s still something special when the two get together. Hall acted the role of a charismatic evangelist at times with his gritty voice, while Oates provided the counterpoint with his soulful lead and harmony singing as well. Backed by a solid band, the duo sounded fresh during the Garden show, not bad for an act that is approaching 50 years and still enjoying a renaissance late in their career. These days, it’s kind of hip to be a Hall and Oates fan.

Set List

Out of Touch
Family Man
Maneater
Did It in a Minute
Say It Isn’t So
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)
She’s Gone
Sara Smile
Do What You Want, Be What You Are
I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
Rich Girl
You Make My Dreams

Encore

Kiss on My List
Private Eyes
Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” (with Sharon Jones and Mayer Hawthorne)

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