PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Mayer Hawthorne + Questlove: 15 July 2013 - New York (Photos)

On the eve of the release of his new album, Where Does This Door Go, Mayer Hawthorne celebrated, drink in hand, in New York City.


Mayer Hawthorne + Questlove

City: New York
Venue: Bowery Ballroom
Date: 2013-07-15

Mayer Hawthorne deviates a bit from the retro-soul formula that made him a success on his previous two albums for his new release, Where Does This Door Go. The artist's different sound, and slightly more serious approach with Pharrell Williams as the producer, is a solid effort in its own right. And with just a few hours before the new album's release, Hawthorne brought the celebration to New York (instead of his native urban environment of Detroit). But then again, his parents were in the audience, so it probably felt like a homecoming for Hawthorne.

The warm up act was none other than the the Roots' drummer and DJ, Questlove, who is all over NYC these days DJing the night away. His set included a lot of classic soul tracks, some contemporary R&B and a lot more over the course of almost an hour and a half. When a brief technical glitch forced him to reboot his computer, Questlove suggested the audience turn the venue into a "live version of Facebook. Poke each other," before thinking better of it and adding "Nah, don't that's sexual harassment". He wrapped up the rest of his set (unfortunately) without incident and without anyone in the crowd screaming they've been poked (both fortunately).

When Hawthorne made his way onto stage, after his backup band had begun a brief jam (they weren't called 'The County' as far as I could tell), he did so with a drink in hand. It became a prop to introduce the song, "Henny & Gingerale" off of his second album, How Do You Do. But not before he told the crowd, "It's a very special night tonight. My brand new album comes out worldwide in two hours".

Throughout the night, new songs mixed with the old. On the new side, Hawthorne threw in a few fun surprises. As the band performed "Her Favorite Song", a surprise guest, Large Professor bounded onto stage to rhyme a few verses. At the end of the song "Crime" (one of my new favorites), the band tagged on a boisterous rendition of "Sound of Da Police" that got the crowd jumping. From his first two albums, Hawthorne pulled out his many hits including "I Wish it would Rain" teaching the audience to waggle their fingers and move their arms like the titular precipitation. "No Strings" from the second album was an early crowd pleaser in the night. But the combination of "Maybe So, Maybe No" and "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothing'" that had the crowd dancing ferociously.

All in all, Hawthorne's impromptu "homecoming" show was a celebration that demonstrated the artist's absorbed musical influences and showed that his new material is just as groovy as his old, even if he's changed up the template a little bit.

Check out more photos of Mayer Hawthorne and Questlove over at PopMatters' Facebook page!

Mayer Hawthorne:


Setlist (via):

Robot Love

Henny & Gingerale

Back Seat Lover

A Long Time

Finally Falling

Love in Motion

No Strings


Wine Glass Woman

Designer Drug w/ Poison (tease)

Get to Know You

I Wish It Would Rain

Crime / Sound of Da Police (tease)

The Stars Are Ours

Corsican Rosé

Her Favorite Song (feat. Large Professor)

Maybe So, Maybe No

Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'

The Walk

The Price is Right Theme

Playing Your Game, Baby

Just Ain't Gonna Work Out

Reach Out Richard

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.