The Set List: Live Music on the L.E.S.

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Here’s TLD Contributor Flora Theden’s weekly run-down of the best live music on the Lower East Side.

Thursday – Pushmethod

In collaboration with Okayplayer and the Hoodie Shop, New York hip-hop rock band Pushmethod  is raising hoodies for the homeless. On Thursday, locals can bring their worn, but clean, hoodies, or brand new ones, to the Hoodie Shop for donations. There will be a special guest appearance from Questlove and a live performance from the band.

Listen to: Box Me Up

The Hoodie Shop // February 6th // 6pm // Free

Friday – Dear Comrade

The Brooklyn-based eclectic indie band has a solid sound and great energy. Their music varies in mood and texture, but is always earnest and thought provoking.

Listen to: Hard Times

Piano’s  //  February 6th // 10pm  // $10

Saturday – Pale Lights

Brooklyn-based indiepop band Pale Lights, which features sometimes Comet Gain member Phil Sutton and Crystal Stilts‘ Andy Adler, released a new 7″ titled Fourteen Stories Tall at the tail-end of 2014. This show is part of The Big Takeover magazine’s 35th anniversary party, and will feature other dreamy indiepop bands The New Lines, Jet Black and Soft Science. 

Listen to: Manhattan

Cake Shop  // February 7th // 8pm  // $8

*Tuesday – The Districts 

By far the best show to see this week, this indie rock band from a small town in Pennsylvania releases their second album, Flourish and a Spoil, the same day as their Bowery Ballroom debut. You can listen to a preview of the album here: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/01/381570079/first-listen-the-districts-a-flourish-and-a-spoil

Listen to: Funeral Beds

Bowery Ballroom  // February 10th // 6:30pm  // $10 advance, $12 day of show

Wednesday – Wardell

A brother/sister duo consisting of Steven Spielberg’s kids, Theo and Sasha, Wardell is a folksy indie rock outfit with a sleepy, calm sound reminiscent of She & Him. Check out their aptly-named 2013 EP, Brother/Sister.

Listen to: Opossum

Mercury Lounge  // February 11th // 6:30pm  // $10 advance, $12 day of show

 

Flora Theden lives and works in the Lower East Side. She is an Account Executive in the Hospitality Division of Brandsway Creative, a Public Relations, Marketing and Branding firm.

Pushmethod + Questlove to Host “Hoodies for the Homeless” This Thursday

 Hoodies For the Homeless
 In collaboration with Okayplayer and the Hoodie Shop, New York hip-hop rock band PushMethod is collecting hoodies for the homeless. On Thursday, February 5th, locals can donate their worn, but clean, hoodies (or brand new ones) to the Hoodie Shop. The event, which will take place at 181 Orchard Street from 6pm to 10pm, will include a special guest appearance with Questlove and a live performance from the band.
Inspired by an exchange he had with a homeless man he encountered trying to keep warm near his neighborhood’s sewer cap, Pushmethod bandleader Tavis Sage Eaton wanted to do more for the man than give him loose change and a handshake. PushMethod’s hope is for “Hoodies For The Homeless” to become a movement that helps keep New York City’s homeless warm this winter, as well as for many winters to come.
 
All proceeds will be donated to the Bowery Mission and New York City Rescue Mission. In addition, clothing brands Azul, Alternative and HONNS will be making contributions, and #hashtaglunchbag will be donating lunches to the shelters. #Hashtaglunchbag is a movement dedicated to utilizing social media to bring awareness to and eliminate hunger in local communities. 
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Pushmethod is Tavis Sage Eaton (vocals), Michael Dustin Youree (vocals, guitar, keys), Michael Lapke (drums) and Dan Hymson (bass). The Brooklyn-based band has collaborated with numerous acts, and is known for its volunteer and activist work in the music community.
For those who are interested in making contributions but are unable to attend the event, please mail hoodies to:
Tavis Sage Eaton
Havas World Wide
200 Hudson
New York, NY 10013

 

The Set List: Live Music on the L.E.S.

Wildhoney

Wildhoney

Here’s TLD Contributor Flora Theden’s weekly run-down of the best live music on the Lower East Side.

Thursday – Melanie Martinez

If you like Lana Del Rey, you’ll love Melanie Martinez. A native of Baldwin, NY, Martinez is a pop singer/songwriter with a sultry voice and lyrics that lean towards dark and alternative.

Listen to: Bittersweet Tragedy

Bowery Ballroom // January 29th // 8pm // $17

Friday – Air for Ants

The progressive pop band has been playing all over Manhattan and Brooklyn since releasing their EP in October. No so much “pop” in the Lady Gaga sense, Air for Ants is more “catchy rock” with jazz and funk influences.  You can also catch them at Rockwood Music Hall on February 14th.

Listen to: We Think It Was Raised by Wolves 

The Bitter End // January 30th // 7pm // Free

Saturday – The Glazzies

Alternative Rock duo The Glazzies consists of singer/guitarist Peter Landi and drummer Dave Horn. Influenced by Dinosaur Jr, Nirvana and Local H, the duo from Sag Harbor, NY has made a lot of sound for just two guys and they’re expected to release a full-length album this year. 

Listen to: Time Bomb Love

Cake Shop // January 31st // 9:30pm // $5

Monday – First Monday Bluegrass Jam at Rockwood Music Hall

Hosted by Michael Daves since 2005, the First Monday Bluegrass Jam is an event every Lower East Sider (and New Yorker for that matter) needs to catch at least once. Stop by to hear pickers of all levels come together and jam on a great repertoire of classic bluegrass music. Past sit-ins have included Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor, Noam Pikelny and many others.

Rockwood Music Hall // February 2nd // 9:30pm //$5 Suggested Donation

Wednesday – Wildhoney

If you’re going to see one live show this week, make it Wildhoney at Cake Shop. The five-person band plays sleepy shoegaze alt-rock that’s just edgy enough to keep them from going mainstream, but with catchy riffs and an overall dream-pop vibe. The “Baltimore Noise Pop” group released their debut album Sleep Through It this month.

Listen to: Seventeen Forever

Cake Shop // February 4th // 8pm // $8

Get Tickets Now!

Tickets go on sale on Friday at 12pm for electronic/experimental musician Ricky Eat Acid at Mercury Lounge. Hosted by music blog Pigeons and Planes, you’ll want to snag tickets before they sell out. Get tickets here.

Emo rock band Cursive is playing two nights at Bowery Ballroom and the Tuesday night show is already sold out. Tickets are still available for March 11th.

Flora Theden lives and works in the Lower East Side. She is an Account Executive in the Hospitality Division of Brandsway Creative, a Public Relations, Marketing and Branding firm. 

The Set List: Live Music on the L.E.S.

www.alexmsmithphoto.com

Vomitface, photo by Alex M. Smith – www.alexmsmithphoto.com

Here’s TLD Contributor Flora Theden’s weekly run-down of the best live music on the Lower East Side.

Thursday – Surf Rock is Dead

Formed in 2014, Surf Rock is Dead made waves in the New York music scene when they landed a January residency in the Piano’s showroom. The two Brooklyn residents celebrate the Surf Rock genre in a paradoxical way, with a dreamy pop sound reminiscent of bands like The Drums. 

Listen to: Equinox

Piano’s // January 22nd  // 10pm //$8

Friday – SugarBad

The fierce funk/soul group is celebrating the release of their newest album, Up in the Clouds, with a release party open to the public. Combining funk, rock and soul, SugarBad channels artists such as Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Janelle Monae, but have more rock ‘n’ roll energy than the typical funk-soul acts.

Listen to: In Case

Rockwood Music Hall // January 23rd // 10:15pm // Free

Friday – Uzimon

Uzimon has been blazing a trail with his own original blend of reggae dancehall and hyper-roots-rock style since 2009. Straight out of Bermuda, he’s known for wild stage antics, outrageous lyrics and inexorable dedication to the true sound of reggae.

Listen to: Champion Sound

Mercury Lounge // January 23rd // 10:30pm // $10 in advance, $12 day of

Saturday – The Whigs

The Athens-bred/Nashville-based alt-rock trio recently released their fifth album after over a decade together. Get there in time to see Streets of Laredo, one of the openers, an energetic seven-piece indie-folk group.

Listen to: Hit Me

Bowery Ballroom // January 24th // 9pm // $15

Monday – Great Caesar

Great Caesar aims for the heart with a vulnerable blend of brass, voice, and indie rock, drawing from acts like Arcade Fire and Beirut to create music that confronts the things that really matter: love, legacy, and the complexity of human relationships. Bonus: They’ll be playing new music at Monday’s show.

Listen to: Don’t Ask Me Why

Mercury Lounge // January 26th // 8:30pm // $10

Monday – Vomitface

Make sure to catch the last night of their Cake Shop residency! Vomitface is bringing grunge back, and having a lot of fun doing it. Punk rock, sludge stoner metal and black-surf are all ways to describe the band, whose residency at Cake Shop was recently featured on OhMyRockness as one of the top shows to see in New York City.

Listen to:  Sloppy Joes

Mercury Lounge // January 26th // 9:30pm // $7

 

Flora Theden lives and works in the Lower East Side. She is an Account Executive in the Hospitality Division of Brandsway Creative, a Public Relations, Marketing and Branding firm.

 

 

The Set List: Live Music on the L.E.S.

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Catch B.I.C. at Arlene’s Grocery next Tuesday

Here’s TLD Contributor Flora Theden’s weekly run-down of the best live music on the Lower East Side.

Wednesday – Canon Logic  

The Brooklyn-based indie rock quintet is an up-and-coming band not to be missed. Their sound is complex, whimsical and joyful. Reminiscent of bands like Talking Heads and Arcade Fire, Canon Logic’s lyrics have a literary feel to them, with intricate story lines weaved throughout crisp vocals and a melodic sound.

Listen to: WYLD

Piano’s // January 14th // 8pm // $8

Thursday – The Black Cadillacs .

Good ‘ole Southern rock ‘n roll is always a good time. The Black Cadillacs are a blues-based indie rock group from Knoxville, TN, and with members from each of Tennessee’s major cities, the state’s famous sounds are well represented. Nashville’s recent brand of rock ‘n’ roll revival, Memphis’ soul, and Knoxville’s roots music combine to form an authentic sound.

Listen to: Choke

Rockwood Music Hall // January 15th // 9pm // $10

Sunday – The Pleasures of a Normal Man

The Stone is a not-for-profit performance space dedicated to the experimental and avant-garde. Each month, a different musician is responsible for curating the programs with 100% of the nightly revenue going directly to the musicians. That being said, some of their music – often jazz – isn’t for everyone. If you’re curious about the experimental scene and want to ease into it, check out The Pleasures of a Normal Man, an up-and-coming alternative rock band who recently performed at the Bowery Electric.

Listen to: Coupe

The Stone // January 18th // 8pm // $15

Monday – Vomitface

Vomitface is bringing grunge back, and having a lot of fun doing it. Punk rock, sludge stoner metal and black-surf are all ways to describe the band, whose January residency at Cake Shop was recently featured on OhMyRockness as one of the top shows to see in New York City.

Listen to: Sloppy Joes

Cake Shop // January 19th // 8pm // $7

Tuesday – B.I.C. (Bitches is Crazy)

If you wish there were more live hip hop shows on the LES, don’t miss Faded Royalty Presents: Screw York, featuring rappers Dave East, Emilio Rojas and Most, in addition to B.I.C. Hailing from the Bronx, B.I.C. creates rhythmic beats coupled with intelligent lyrics.Their motto says it all, “We are B.I.C. and we do our best to make good hip-hop.” They’re doing just that, and the energy is sure to be high for this LES show.

Listen to: Love Me

Arlene’s Grocery / January 20th // 8pm // $25

 

Flora Theden lives and works in the Lower East Side. She is an Account Executive in the Hospitality Division of Brandsway Creative, a Public Relations, Marketing and Branding firm.

The Set List: Live Music on the LES

Ravi Shavi

Ravi Shavi

TLD Contributor Flora Theden is kicking off a weekly run-down of the best live music on the Lower East Side.

Wednesday – Milkweed

Hailing from Binghamton, NY, Milkweed sounds exactly like their name. Soulful Americana and bluegrass emanates from the banjo, bass, fiddle, and guitar, and harmonizes with catchy folk vocals.

Listen: Luckiest Man

Rockwood Music Hall // January 7th // 11pm // Free

Thursday – The Rooks

If you’re looking for funky, vibrant, live music on the LES, make sure to check out The Rooks during a month-long residency at Arlene’s Grocery. A guaranteed feel-good concert that will have the crowd breaking a sweat and singing along, The Rooks are an indie-soul sextet with rock, R&B and hip-hop influences.

Listen to: Twister

Arlene’s Grocery // January 8th // 8:30pm // Free

Friday – The Bottom Dollars

A solid rock ‘n’ roll band from Brooklyn, NY, The Bottom Dollars are a high-energy trio with catchy guitar riffs that will make you want to tap your feet and throw back a beer. The band is known for lively performances and their blues-and-soul tinged sound.

Listen: Prizefighter

Bowery Ballroom // January 9th // 8pm // $12 in Advance, $15 Day Of

Saturday – Syvia

Syvia is alternative electronic rock/pop that evokes a world beyond this one, where the Northern lights meet the steel skyscrapers of NYC. If you like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Little Dragon, you’ll love this synth-filled show in the Showroom at Pianos.

Listen: Hideout

Pianos // January  10th // 9pm // $10

Sunday – Ravi Shavi

To sum it up: Deer Tick’s John McCauley did a stage dive at Ravi Shavi’s 2013 release party for their debut album. Reminiscent of rockers like Jack White and Surfer Blood, Ravi Shavi plays new wave/garage pop with a refreshing new take on the genre.

Listen: Indecisions

Cake Shop / January 11th  // 8pm Doors //$7

Tuesday – Nick Hakim

Don’t miss Nick Hakim’s January residency at Mercury Lounge, where the singer-songwriter will perform his emotionally rich R&B/Jazz/Electronic tunes. If you like Bon Iver or Devendra Banhart, listen to his album Where Will We Go Pt. 2 (2014) , then go check out this show.

Listen: I Don’t Know

Mercury Lounge / January 13th  // 9pm Doors //$13 in Advance, $15 at the Door

Get Tickets Now

Theophilus London tickets are sale now for his February 16th show at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are $26. London is currently touring to support his new album, Vibes, which was produced by Kanye West and is a collage of experimental pop and R&B with an ‘80s new wave influence.

 

Flora Theden lives and works in the Lower East Side. She is an Account Executive in the Hospitality Division of Brandsway Creative, a Public Relations, Marketing and Branding firm. 

The CBGB Music & Film Festival Starts Today

CBGBTaking place today through Sunday, October 12th, the massive CBGB Festival presents music, films, industry talks and special events at a variety of venues throughout New York City, including many on the Lower East Side.

The CBGB Gallery at Center548, is showcasing photographs of the musicians who gave CBGB & OMFUG their original names, allowing visitors to “peek into the past life of CBGB.”

The CBGB Gallery show highlights the ‘birthplace of punk’ and features artists ranging from the former CBGB door man, to some of the most well-known and respected photographers in the music industry today. Artists on display include: GODLIS, Andy Shernoff, Paul Kostabi, Ebet Roberts, Roberta Bayley, Michael Lavine, and Gina LeVay.

Covering the birth years of the punk rock and new wave movements up to the current decade, their photography and paintings highlight the culture of CBGB in its various stages.

Festival tickets are available for purchase in the gallery space throughout the festival.

 

Seattle-based Trio, Barcelona, Comes to Mercury Lounge

Barcelona

Dance-rock, indie pop and electronica are all ways to describe the catchy sounds of Seattle-based trio, Barcelona. The group has been recording music for nine years, and is known for their melodic, dance-rock sound, although the overall sound has evolved to a more synthesizer-heavy, dream-pop, which can be heard in their latest EP series, ‘The Melodrama.” (Listen here)

TLD contributor Flora Theden caught up with lead singer and guitarist, Brian Fennell, to talk about their upcoming show at Mercury Lounge – the last East Coast date of the band’s national tour promoting the new EP series.

Is this your first show at Mercury Lounge?

Yes it is. We love playing in NYC. We’ve had the chance to play some great rooms. The first time we played in the city was at Arlene’s Grocery back in 2007 or something. There is always so much going on at any given point in NYC, and to be one of those little things is a strange excitement.

What song are you most excited to play?

I always enjoy playing “Fall in Love.” People seem to like it as well, so that’s nice.

What’s the writing process like for your songs?

I do most of the writing, but we work together when it comes to creating the overall imagery for the music (literally and figuratively). Seattle is the perfect city to be from, inspiration wise. I love being home to write.

What are you listening to right now?

Our tastes are a bit ADD. We have been enjoying Flume, Chet Faker, Jungle, Glass Animals. The new Alt-J is fantastic as well. The newish track from The Weeknd called “Often” is catchy as hell. And also Anaconda (Nicki Minaj).

How has your sound evolved since releasing your first record?

Our sound seems to morph every time we release a record. I think many bands/artists tend to be shaped by whatever they are inspired by at the time when they write, whether that’s music, film, relationships, whatever. We are no different. Our lives and tastes change and we continue to grow.

Our first record is what most people know of us, so that “rainy Seattle” sound is what mostly gets ascribed to us. Our second record was recorded mostly live and very raw, with not many similarities to the first, which I think threw a lot of people off.

That experience was good for us in many ways because we were able to let go of what we thought people might think if we “changed the sound” in the future. So we changed the sound again. Now we sound like a much different band from when we started. Some people are turned off by that.

 

Saturday, October 4th  // $15 // 10:30pm // 217 East Houston Street

Purchase Tickets Here.

 

Music Notes: Animal Years Returns to Rockwood for Album Release Party

Animal Years

Brooklyn-based band, Animal Years, considers Rockwood Music Hall their ‘home base.’ A combination of indie rock, folk and Americana, the group has a melodious sound comparable to Kings of Leon. They are celebrating their second album release tomorrow night at 9:30pm at the LES venue. Lead singer, Mike McFadden, says he enjoys the sound of the space and overall atmosphere of the intimate performance areas; it was a natural fit for their album release fete.

Animal Years is on the cusp of being a highly buzzed about band, and the release of their sophomore album, Sun Will Rise, is sure to have a big impact on the future of the group.

A Brooklyn band by way of Baltimore, McFadden says the move to New York has given him more confidence to embrace what he was already doing. “The competitive music scene here only helps me. The hardest working people are the ones that actually do something worth listening to. I love that about Brooklyn.”

McFadden had been writing and recording solo albums for nine years, but when he moved to New York, he found musicians who wanted to get involved with his music career and make it something more than just a solo project.

Tomorrow night, he’s most looking forward to playing the band’s new song, Leah, that they have yet to perform live. “It’s been doing really well on the blogs and we want to see how it sounds at the venues. It’s exciting to play the new stuff,” says McFadden.

So far, as the lead vocalist and guitarist, McFadden has written all of the bands’ material on his own. “I’ll bring a fully thought out or basic idea to the band and they’ll help me arrange it. Our first album was done in Baltimore so we really haven’t had a chance to figure out how to write songs as a band, ” he says.

McFadden talks openly about the struggles in his music career and says that funding has been difficult to come by in year’s past. For the past nine years, he has worked manual labor jobs in addition to the 40 hours or more a week he spent on his music career.

“I’m excited to say that next year will probably be my first year working solely on music,” says McFadden.

The group has upcoming tour dates in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, as well as an upcoming cameo performance in an indie movie, Hard Sell.

Saturday, May 10 // $10 // 9:30pm // 196 Allen Street 

Music Notes: The Montauk Project Released “Belly of the Beast” with Lively Party at Piano’s

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Montauk-based beach grunge rockers, The Montauk Project, filled the back room of Piano’s last Saturday night to celebrate the release of their debut album, Belly of the Beast. Fresh off the heels of performances at Austin’s South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival, the group radiated an infectious energy that spread through the crowd and kept fans jumping, dancing and singing along throughout the show.

The four rockers – Mark Schiavoni on vocals and guitar, Jasper Conroy on drums and vocals, Chris Wood on bass, and Jack Marshall on lead guitar and vocals – oozed a grungy vibe with plaid button-ups and wavy, flowing hair. And despite the rainy, cold weather outside, the throng seemed as though they’d come straight from a beach bonfire out East. With Hawaiian shirts and long, beachy hair undulating in the crowd, The Montauk Project played hypnotic riffs that blended psychedelic and classic rock for an overall authentic and soulful sound.

When initially listening to the group, it’s difficult to differentiate them from other up-and-coming grunge rockers. The loud, hardcore guitar and dark vocals sound a bit like unorganized noise on a few of the group’s tracks, so it was surprising to see the energy and cohesion that their live performance produced. The new album is solid but lacks the “catchy” riffs and melodies that might attract a larger fan base. The attendees of Saturday’s record release show seemed mainly to be a close-knit group of fans, friends and family, sweetly including some of the band member’s mothers. One of the best songs was the cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” for show’s encore, which sent the crowd into a dancing, head banging tizzy.

The group built their own studio out in Montauk where they self-produced, engineered, and recorded Belly of the Beast.  The album features a  harmonious union of ’90s grunge influences like Alice in Chains, and ’70s rock riffs reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. The single off the album, Lady in White, flows with a sludgy delta blues groove, reverberating vocals and intricate guitar work. The suggestive chorus pleads, “make me dance till I close my eyes and you’re gone.”

Having worked the New York City club circuit (Webster Hall, Arlene’s Grocery) and beyond, The Montauk Project will perform again in the LES at The Bowery Electric on April 30th.Wednesday,

April 30// Show at 9pm // 327 Bowery 

Arts Watch: PT Walkley Celebrates New Album Release at Joe’s Pub

PT Walkley

Local musician PT Walkley (recently featured in our My LES column) and his band will be celebrating the release of their latest album, Shoulders, with a performance at Joe’s Pub tomorrow night. Touted as a combination of power pop-rock and classic R&B, the album plays as a song cycle, based around an emotional year in which Walkley’s son was born and his best friend passed away.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit New York’s oldest preschool, Little Missionary’s Day Nursery, and the school’s plans for expansion, which include doubling its capacity and full restoration of the historic landmark building at 93 St. Marks Place to serve more of the city’s youngest learners.

Tuesday, March 25 // $14 // Doors at 6:00pm, show at 7:30pm // 425 Lafayette Street

Music Pick: Indie Band “Yuck” Returns to Bowery Ballroom Saturday Night

yuck

Straight off the heels of releasing the first song from their latest EP and kicking off an international tour, London-based indie rock group, Yuck, will visit Bowery Ballroom this Saturday night.

Having released their self-titled album in 2011 to acclaim from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, Yuck’s sophomore album, “Glow and Behold,” solidified the band’s status as one of the most notable names on the indie rock scene. Released in 2013 on southern record label Fat Possom, “Glow and Behold” has a catchy, fuzz rock sound that was a departure from their first album, which boasted grungy jams like “Get Away” alongside dreamy SoCal tunes like “Shook Down.”

Formed by longtime friends Max Bloom and Daniel Blumberg, who formed Cajun Dance Party in high school and released an album in 2008, Yuck has come a long way and endured some serious transitions, including the loss of Blumberg, the band’s frontman. After announcing in April 2013 that Blumberg would pursue other projects, Bloom took over as frontman and singer. The indie rock outfit seems to be doing just fine after weathering a storm that would usually dissolve an up-and-coming band.

Now Yuck is gearing up for the release of their four song EP, “Southern Skies,” and plans to keep their momentum going by recording more tracks as soon as they have down time in London.

The 2014 EP was self-produced and recorded over Christmas in the band’s rehearsal studio in Stoke Newington, London, and Bloom says he’s extremely proud of what the group has accomplished.

“It feels like a big step in a new direction for the band,” he said.

“Athena,” the first song on the EP, released at the end of January, is more dreamy than the group’s earlier grungy tunes. Reminiscent of Beach House’s wistful, sleepy melodies, “Athena” illustrates the band’s transition from a ’90’s grunge rock sound to softer vocals that are comparable to Sonic Youth.

2014 is sure to be a definitive year for the band with the release of “Southern Skies” and more in the shoot. “Where we see the band heading sound-wise is a mystery even to myself. Only time will tell,” says Bloom.

This will be the group’s second time playing at the Bowery Ballroom, and Bloom notes that they’re extremely excited to perform at the venue again, especially because they mixed their latest album at a studio close to the space and have “a lot of love for the Lower East Side.”

“We’re looking forward to playing some new songs and seeing how people react to the old ones as well,” says Bloom.

Saturday, February 15 // 8pm // $15 in advance and $17 at the door.

Ken’s Music Pick: Leon Redbone at the Abrons

Leon Redbone

The true International Man of Mystery – Leon Redbone – has no past. None that he’ll discuss, anyway. He prefers to deal in the present only. Which is to ignore the obvious irony that his 40 year career is wholly tied to his faithful renditions of early American Ragtime ditties.

Leon Redbone

Ken’s Music Pick: Jody Mulgrew at the Living Room

Jody Mulgrew

West Coast songwriter Jody Mulgrew originally began building his musical foundation as a formally trained vocalist, performing with several respected jazz and classical ensembles across the country. Eventually however, Mulgrew fell for the dusty dance hall sounds of American Country and Rhythm & Blues.

Jody Mulgrew

Right outa the gate, Mulgrew began to cause a stir. His first independent venture, the duo The Johnny Starlings with Yohei Shikano, yielded an E.P., a full length album, and a song, “Slow-Dance,” featured on the nationally syndicated radio program A Prairie Home Companion.

Now, as a solo artist, Jody released his own debut album “Rocket Ship” in the fall of last year. While still very much steeped in the traditions of Americana and Country with the likes of “My Love Won’t Reach” & “Rocket Ship,” the album also steps beyond that circle a bit, with songs like “California Time,” that are more contemporary in their sound and context.

Music Pick: Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons

Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons are a band after mine own heart. Twangy, dirty, singing about drunkenness and loser-dom, and the various women who instigate both those conditions.

Since their 2007 debut Bury Your Problems, on through 2010’s White Lighter, the group has had a rotating line-up of  talented musicians coming in and out, with the one constant being Fletcher himself. He writes from a very specific place – that of a guy who has seen few highs and many lows. A bad-luck character who has plenty of times been asked to leave a pool hall, and other times been forcefully escorted. Maybe he flirted with the wrong girl? Maybe 2/5 of a straight flush tumbled out of his sleeve.