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by Sachyn Mital

11 May 2016


As Tegan and Sara were quick to note, before the end of the second song, their joke bickering could have been construed as a “fight” by a reviewer. The salacious details of the rift between the two would spread far and wide before the night was out. However, there would be nothing further from the truth. Instead, the sisters bantered playfully off each other frequently and extensively throughout the night—as Tegan noted early on, the audience ought to expect thirty minutes of chatter. They discussed their middle school and high school eras (some game called raft which was really just charades but on a raft in a living room), their hair styles (Tegan didn’t seem satisfied with hers) and their fashion (few could see Sara’s fantastic shoes as she unfortunately noted). A particular highlight was Sara’s wonderment (and possible disgust) over the couch people had brought to sit on while they waited in line to get into the show—fans were in line as early as noon it seems—given the effort and the possibility of bedbugs it may hold.

Ultimately though the evening allowed Tegan and Sara the opportunity to share their music in an intimate setting with their fans. Within a set which opened and closed with two acoustic numbers, Tegan and Sara performed career highlights, including several off their previous earworm Heartthrob (one of my favorite pop records of the past decade) and several powerful new tracks, like “Boyfriend” and “Stop Desire”, from their forthcoming Love You to Death (June 3rd; Warner Brothers). Supporting them where two musicians new to their crew, Brendan Buckley on drums and Gabriel McNair on keys, who will also be gearing up with them for a huge North American tour at the end of summer. Their four intimate shows were tough tickets to get but Tegan and Sara then took a more populist approach to spreading their music by performing “Boyfriend” live on Jimmy Fallon’s show the next night. Video of the song and photos from the show follow below.

by Sachyn Mital

10 May 2016


It’s been eight years since Ben Harper had played with the Innocent Criminals live but the band came together in 2015 to record a new album Call It What It Is. On the eve of the album’s release, Harper and the Criminals performed a rousing set at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Opening up for them was NYC based singer-songwriter Christoper Paul Stelling, a live favorite of mine given his penchant for performing within the crowd. While Stelling didn’t have his full band in tow unfortunately, there was a good chunk of the theatre already filled to watch him perform. And those folks were very into his set, rising up from their seats to enjoy his set, a rare sight for an opener.

The main course for the evening arrived not long after Stelling departed the stage (unfortunately not while strumming through the crowd). Harper and the band, including drummer Oliver Charles, percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, guitarist Michael Ward and Jason Yates on keys, took the stage to hearty applause and what they witnessed was one of the most sincere, heartfelt performances that any musician ever could give. The group performed a smattering of their classics interspersed with tracks from Call It What It Is. It was a real pleasure to hear Harper croon “Diamonds on the Inside” and follow it up the tender “Deeper and Deeper”. “Excuse Me Mr.”, “Burn One Down” and “Steal My Kisses” were other awesome classic to hear live. During the show, Harper went solo for a couple of songs in the middle and people frequently rose from their seats to dance. It was a smouldering performance of bluesy, reggae-tinged rock that showed the remarkably rich heart of Harper and a fine evening. Catch Harper on tour throughout the summer. Dates follow a photo set from the Beacon Theatre below.

by Sachyn Mital

26 Apr 2016


Over at BrooklynVegan, Klaus Kinski expressed how he felt some concern ahead of the new release from one of the pioneers of electronic dance music, Underworld. He ended up realizing, “[T]hey still deliver records with as much energy and intensity as ever as evidenced by their newest release Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future. When artists I love are in the grips of old age, I am always prepared to be disappointed by their latter day releases. I don’t know why I do this… But once again they delivered an item of vintage Underworld sound.”

by Sachyn Mital

15 Apr 2016


Iggy Pop’s latest album Post Pop Depression, made in collaboration with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, may be his last according to him. But even if that is the case, at 68-years-old, Pop has made one of the strong albums of his career and a rock album that all others will have to live up to in 2015. Currently on tour in support of the record, Pop has taken Homme (guitar, bass, keys), and other album collaborators, including QOTSA’s Dean Fertita (guitar, keys), Matt Helders (drums) of Arctic Monkeys and Those musicians, as well as QOTSA/A Perfect Circle’s Troy Van Leeuwen Matt Sweeney from Chavez, on the road with him.

Though the set avoided any Stooges songs, Pop dazzled fans with numerous other classics and the full weight of the songs from Post Pop. As Radio.com noted, “this show saw an artist who became a legend by challenging his audience, challenging them one more time. Happily, the fans were up for it: like a jazz legend, he wasn’t just playing the songs that blew our minds in the first place. He reminded that he can still blow our minds today, and that’s a bit more satisfying.”

by Sachyn Mital

14 Apr 2016


Gaz Coombes’ first solo US tour included two very well attended, if not sold out, nights at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Coombes is supporting his latest release, Matador which had been nominated for a Mercury Prize last year. On hand to open both nights was Piney Gir, who introduced herself as hailing from Kansas originally but now London based, performing her delightful pop songs, including tracks from her sixth album mR. hYDE’S wILD rIDE.

Coombes sounded fantastic, his solo efforts were as grand as the originally fully band Supergrass material. As the Examiner noted, “Though the production and arrangements on Here Come the Bombs and Matador are anything but organic, Coombes showcased his material quite sparingly in this intimate setting, performing solo with an occasional loop to assist him. One might assume that watching Coombes perform on his own with nothing but guitars, loops and keyboards as accompaniment would be lacking in energy. Hardly. What quickly became apparent is that not only is Coombes’ voice still in fine form and incredibly strong after all these years, but that the structure of his songs is durable enough to withstand being stripped down to its bare bones.”

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The Specter of Multiplayer Hangs Over 'Door Kickers'

// Moving Pixels

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