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by Sachyn Mital

22 Dec 2015


Foals’ 2015 album What Went Down came out in August and earned the band many positive reviews (though not so much here). But reviews of an album don’t impact how much fun a show is and as Foals loyal fans know, the band’s shows are a real blast.

Front man Yannis Philippakis is a wild one and he inspires fans to behave similarly, crowd surfing and, as one fan did, jumping from the stage. But of course, Philippakis one-upped them all as he took a leap from the second floor of Terminal 5 onto the outstretched arms of the audience during the encore of “Two Steps, Twice”. Photos of his leap, the band and the fans are below.

by Sachyn Mital

22 Dec 2015


Just hours after Sleater-Kinney rocked The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (the taping, not the broadcast) the trio hit the stage at Irving Plaza, the third night of their five night run in New York City. The tour was “shrinking” in that each venue the band played was smaller than the one preceding it. Drummer Janet Weiss told The New York Times, “Everything felt like, really scrappy and sort of wild, slightly out of control,” Ms. Weiss said. “It’s a smaller, more live-sounding stage, so it was loud and super raw sounding.”

Check out some clips from the show below photos of the energetic show. And make sure to read why No Cities was one of PopMatters favorite albums of 2015.

by Sachyn Mital

17 Dec 2015


There are some people who can’t get past the name. Narc Twain. A simple play off the name of the celebrated author. But it might be a re-imagining of history for the band who go by the name. In the past of their dystopian future, could that celebrated jumping frog competition in Calaveras County have really been a ruse to catch people gambling illegally? Well, no matter the case, from my perspective, the band’s name is clever and fun. But I have to confess I posted on my blog ‘Felonious Monk’ for several years.

Narc Twain is a project from Jukebox the Ghost/Drunken Sufis singer/guitarist Tommy Siegel along with drummer/producer John Thayer, guitarist Aaron Leeder, keyboardist/backup vocalist Dave Cohen and bassist Brett Niederman. The band’s debut self-titled EP (streaming below) was released earlier this month and celebrated with a release show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. Without a physical release, the merch table consisted of posters and homemade t-shirts that included downloads of the album.

by Sachyn Mital

14 Dec 2015


Glen Hansard recently earned a Grammy nomination in the category of “Best Folk Album” for his second solo album Didn’t He Ramble. The Irish singer has been touring hard to support the album and recently did two shows in New York City, the second of which, at the Beacon Theatre, was sold out (the first night at Kings Theatre wasn’t).

Hansard did much of the same set as he did at Kings, including several of the same stories, but since his music is so enjoyable, it was great to see him perform again, as he includes several of his The Swell Season favorites into the set. Check out photos, a video clip (cameras were frowned upon) and the setlist from the show below.

by Sachyn Mital

7 Dec 2015


When I first heard about the Winter Hoot ahead of the 2015 event, I pictured a lot of bearded Brooklyn transplants hanging out, drinking craft beers and listening to music on wooden benches. I didn’t anticipate that it would be a family friendly affair with lots of parents and their tots in tow or in slings listening to music sitting on wooden benches. The Winter Hoot is an annual event thrown by the Mike + Ruthy Band that will be returning for its fourth iteration in January. The Hoot will have fun for all ages including, “the ever-popular blacksmithing demos, sledding, all-ages crafts in the FiberFlame room (leave your child for an additional childcare fee), an array of upstairs parent-child activities, an instrument petting zoo by Hungry For Music (please bring an instrument to donate to kids in need) and intimate mini-concerts in the Pewter Shop filmed and recorded by Beehive Productions.” The Pewter Sessions were a particular highlight, I caught David Wax Museum there and the Hoot has archived some clips on YouTube here.

I really enjoyed their vibrant folk sound when I saw them, so much so that I went to catch Mike + Ruthy perform in New York City twice afterwards including once at a Fracking awareness show at Brooklyn Bowl and another time at Rockwood Music Hall in July, where they performed songs from their newest album Bright As You Can and invited friends like Aoife O’Donovan on stage to join them. A particularly large crowd gathered on stage near the end of the show as everyone took part in a sing-along of “On My Way Home” (which I captured as video below). Their shows are fun, friendly and intimate and anyone who likes their home-spun Americana served with jollity would be wise to catch them live.

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