Posts Tagged ‘Babys All Right’

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Ty Segall can seemingly transform his music from Glam Rock God to Grunge Rocker at will, but the prolific rocker can do just about anything well, and that includes intimate stripped down acoustic sets . In the Summer, Segall went on a short tour of solo acoustic shows in various New York City venues accompanied by Wand’s Cory Hanson, and it was a very different concert experience from the usual Segall stomp-fest, but it sounded just as good. It’s no secret that Segall is a huge Neil Young fan . He even has a tattoo of Young’s name on his right arm on the Wednesday night at Baby’s All Right, he trotted out a cover of Neil Young’s “For The Turnstiles.” At the Mercury Lounge on the Friday night, he played an entirely new song live, hilariously introducing it as a song “about a tree growing inside of an airplane” before admitting after playing it that “I lied, it’s a love song.” It’s not clear if it was written as an acoustic song or just adapted with the rest of his stuff for the show, but it sounds great either way. Also at the Mercury Lounge he played the Cars’ “My Best Friend’s Girl.”

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The prolific Segall released an EP and two live records—one with the Ty Segall Band and another that was a split with King Tuff . Earlier this year, In the Red revealed plans to release albums by Segall’s bands Fuzz and The Traditional Fools .

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Sunflower Bean is a band consisting of three people barely scratching the age of 20, but their grasp of neo-psych rock influences and their tightness as a unit belies their age. This is a band that looks, acts, and performs as if they were a veteran unit in their thirties. Perhaps this is because Sunflower Bean is also relentless in playing live — , they are statistically the hardest working band in NYC in 2014 having played the highest number of live gigs. We caught one of those gigs back in November when they opened for Dream Syndicate and really knocked it out of the park in a pretty sizeable venue and a notable gig. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long before they showed up on this excellent bill at Baby’s All Right, opening for Fat White Family and PC Worship . I decided it was a good idea to check them out from up close at the stage lip and see if my first instincts were correct — and yes, they were. Julia Cumming and Nick Kliven share the vocals and each delivers a different but effective edge to the material. Kliven’s tasty multi-pedaled guitar work is supplemented with Cumming’s powerful bass and anchored by Jacob Farber’s meticulous percussion. Sunflower Bean is just a damned good band and there’s really no telling how far they can go. They will release their debut EP “Show Me Your Seven Secrets” in January and the EP release show will be at Baby’s All Right 

Sunflower Bean
20/12/2014 at the venue Babys All Right Brooklyn, NY USA

Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 31:20]
01 [new song]
02 Tame Impala
03 I’m A Ghost
04 Call The Doctor
05 Wall Watcher
06 Rock and Roll Heathen
07 Tarot Card

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Kevin Morby continued his run of excellent New York performances back in March with this show at Baby’s All Right. Morby’s “Still Life” has been a hit with fans, and he has honed the live versions into entities of their own. This show was thronged, bodies pushing all the way to the back of the room and spilling into the bar area. Morby seemed at ease with the crowd, and he ought to be; being a former New Yorker, Morby’s reception should be as strong here as in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles. It has taken us a bit longer than usual to share this performance, but that’s in no way a reflection of how strong it was. Morby closed out with a song we first saw tested out last year, Bill Fay’s “I Hear You Calling”, which transitioned into Morby’s own “Parade”.

Tracks [Total Time 1:02:41]
01 The Dead They Don’t Come Back
02 Reign
03 Sucker in the Void
04 Harlem River
05 [banter1]
06 All of My Life
07 Motors Runnin
08 Amen
09 Miles, Miles, Miles
10 My Name
11 If You Leave and If You Marry
12 [encore break]
13 I Hear You Calling [Bill Fay]>Parade

Baby’s All Right engineer Harrison Fore recorded this set; I mixed it down and finalized the tracks. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

 

 

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Ryley Walker will be a star this year, and the reason won’t just be his forthcoming album, “Primrose Green”. Ryley Walker has been touring hard, working out the new material, and consistently wowing audiences. BrooklynVegan brought him to New York for a Red Bull Sound Select event at Baby’s All Right, and we couldn’t have been happier,

Once Primrose Green hits shelves, those versions of Ryley Walker’s songs might well seem polite by comparison. The title track’s single, available on Soundcloud and on other streaming services, is a fine version, but pales when up against Walker’s fierce version on this night, a ten-minute ramble through his mind featuring an elongated intro and a virtuosic guitar playing that mimicked some of the dissociative elements of the alcoholic beverage for which the song is titled.

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Ryley Walker’s post-All Kinds of You album material, I think it’s “Summer Dress” that will go down as his signature song, as it begins with its loping guitar line under a vocal turn in which Walker yelps, deploys falsetto, flirts with chaos. Watching Walker, you get the sense that he’s not even trying to play these songs to please you, but he does anyway. There’s a sense of abandon to his work that can’t help but grab you; he’s feral up there, without anchor. He makes many of the greats to whom he’s compared — Bert Jansch, for one — sound like choirboys. As to other distinctions, this set boasted a new song, “Funny Thing She Said”, as well as a cover of Van Morrison’s “Fair Play” from Veedon Fleece, the latter a worthwhile reimagining that again places Walker right up there with the rarefied company that came before him.

Tracks [Note that two tags of the FLAC and MP3 files need updating]
01 Funny Thing She Said
02 [banter1]
03 Summer Dress
04 [banter2]
05 Primrose Green
06 On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee
07 Fair Play [Van Morrison]
08 [banter3]
09 Sweet Satisfaction

This set was recorded by Baby’s engineer Rubes, whose dedication to craft is obvious in his flawless mix of his board feed with the house mics. The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!…………..thanks to the nyctaper words and music

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late December,British post-punk quartet Savages said they would be playing nine shows in January, spread out across 19 days and three New York venues at Baby’s All Right, Mercury Lounge, and Saint Vitus with three shows at each.  By now it is clear Savages are one of the great rock bands to emerge in this decade. Though I adored the group’s 2013 debut “Silence Yourself”, seeing the band live is a total experience. Savages has been out of the public eye for nearly a year. The band’s now back with new material, hence the New York residency.

As Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth once sang, “Let’s get it started (ha!) / Let’s get it started / In here.” Allons-y.

SHOW ONE: MONDAY, JANUARY 12 AT BABY’S ALL RIGHT,

On the 12th evening of the year, down Bedford Avenue, It’s rainy but not raining.
Norman Westberg, of Swans, is in the middle of an opening set, standing at attention over a guitar, goatee spiking downwards.
Baby’s All Right, is excruciatingly hot when it gets when packed. But it is conveniently located, intimate, and host to a pretty wide range of excellent acts. Dylan The Doorman says he’ll be seeing all three Savages sets at Baby’s, The Electro clash fades, a gurgling techno theme takes over, and Savages is onstage by 10:17.

“I need something new… in my eaaaars,” vocalist Jehnny Beth howls, which seems like a statement of purpose but turns out to be the opening line of a new song, “I Need Something New.” There’s a maelstrom of bass rumbles and tom-tom-heavy drum maneuvers from Fay Milton, a creeping build-up, then a quick pause and another new song: a droning blare of a punk track called “The Answer,” with machine-gun guitar blasts and a high, sing-songy vocal line. Within five minutes, any ambivalence fades. Savages is phenomenal. They’re not a “great new band,” or “great English band,” or “great all-female band,” an angle that’s commonly emphasized in press. They’re one of the best bands around, full stop. Abrasive, slicing, and climax-driven, Savages’ live chemistry is extraordinary, and while their appearance not infrequently draws them parallels to riot grrrl acts, the band’s best songs have a rhythmic, creeping dread that owes much more to early-’80s post-punk.
Each member is integral. Even when reading lyrics off a printed sheet, frontwoman Beth’s studied intensity runs in her facial expressions, her oddly frenetic motions her vocal delivery, which shifts between a low, menacing murmur to a formidable howl. Gemma Thompson is the unsung hero: though her stage presence is subdued, she’s the rare guitarist who is capable of adding texture and melodic accompaniment simultaneously, alternating between thick, roaring feedback (see: “I Am Here”) and demented surf riffs. Bassist Ayse Hassan studiously holds it together, and gets her moment of glory at the start of “Shut Up,” a consistent show-stopper. The crowd’s odd swaying mirrors Savages’ anxious, stuttering energy. During that song’s climax, I look out and see Norman Westberg standing perfectly still, towering above the crowd, eyes glazed over.

Mostly—with the exception of “No Face” and the hysterical “Husbands,” a personal favorite—the rest of the set consists of new material. Savages has only one album out and the group’s new songs are immediately, strikingly excellent. “We haven’t finished writing our new songs,” Beth explains,”and we figured, what the hell, let’s just play them.” The last song, “Fuckers,” is not entirely new (it dates back to a 2014 live single). It begins with repeating, single-note bass plunks and eventually flames out in a thrashing, full-band drone. The song’s ten minutes revolve around one chord and, mostly, one all-consuming command (“Don’t let the fuckers get you down”). There’s no encore.

Setlist: I Need Something New / The Answer / No / When In Love / Surrender / Adore / Shut Up / No Face / This Is What You Get / Sad Person / Husbands / Fuckers

Overheard: “It’s my favorite record store in the city, and no one even goes there!”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth: “Do you know a sad person?” [crowd cheers] “This song is for them. This song is called ‘Sad Person.’”

SHOW TWO: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14 AT MERCURY LOUNGE

It’s cold as hell outside, the show starts in and out before 9:30.

Brian Chase, of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame, is tapping a snare drum with what appears to be a pencil, then gently adjusting the snare itself in such a way that I can’t tell if it’s part of the performance or a mid-show adjustment. Savages is cleverly avoiding full-band openers; the effect prevents some middling rock act from having to compete with the London group’s assault, and helps bring out Savages’ atmospheric side.
Clad entirely in black—a motif that sticks for the rest of the residency Savages emerge at 8:02. close enough to reach out and fiddle with Gemma Thompson’s effects board, k. From such a spot the band’s volume almost seems too crushing for such a small space; Ayse Hassan’s bass licks pulse through my body, and Thompson’s feedback squalls overwhelm on tracks like “I Am Here.” (Every other song seems to open with this same formless guitar rumble. It’s like the Savages equivalent of generic tuning sounds.
The set is nearly identical to Monday night’s, the audience markedly less so. Mercury Lounge isn’t that much smaller than Baby’s, but it feels more intimate, and a shade older—lots of bald heads and grey hair in the audience. That’s probably a result of the early set time, though it could also have something to do with Mercury’s less fashionable location, in Manhattan a block east of touristy landmark Katz’s Deli. this one’s packed. There is more audience–band interaction, an even stronger sense that Savages is playing a club far smaller than their abilities. Jehnny Beth is leaning further out from the stage, shaking hands, acknowledging fans. “You guys are fucking cool!” one crowd-member shouts,
The set’s familiar, That white-hot burst of recognition at the start of “Shut Up” is a visceral treat. New addition “City’s Full”—an obvious Silence Yourself highlight—is a flailing shot of adrenaline. I’m struck by the confidence of the new songs,These songs are full of veering, chaotic verses and weirdly quotable choruses. There is “No,” an off-kilter, start-stoppy anthem that goes, “I asked the world and the world said, No,” and then there is “Sad Person,” which takes on a menacing, accusatory tone: “You are, you are! / A sad, sad person!” “Adore” is a low, moody build-up that Beth previously dedicated to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It’s as close as Savages comes to conventional balladry, and the most powerful song in the band’s brief catalog. “I adore life / Do you adore life?” Beth repeats as the song lurches towards its immense apex. Nothing about the material seems tentative, half-formed, uncertain; the tracks are as tightly wound as the debut’s fiercest anthems, though maybe more cerebral.

Jehnny Beth’s stage presence remains a remarkable thing, her wild-eyed exertions and utterances a throwback to when rock singers were expected to be a little bit menacing and mysterious. Her hair is short, her arms constantly waving out from her body. I notice how many of the songs reflect the vocalist’s tendency to choose an ambiguously simple, evocative snatch of language and build a song around its repetition in such a way that you wonder how the hell nobody has thought to make this a song before (the obvious example: “I am here! I am here! I am here! I am here!”). You know how when you repeat a word or phrase over and over it loses shape and sounds like gibberish? That’s the way of these new Savages tracks. One goes: “I adore life! Do you adore life! I adore life! Do you adore life!” Another: “Don’t let the fuckers bring you down / Don’t let the fuckers bring you down. Don’t let the fuckers bring you down. Don’t let the fuckers bring you down.” (Clearly, yes, there’s a lyrical motif of triumph, as seedy as these songs sound.)

Again, no encore. Everything’s done by 9:30. No one seems especially bothered by that. “Fuckers,” which again pounds out for seven or eight minutes at least, is better than any encore would be.

Setlist: I Need Something New / The Answer / No / City’s Full / Surrender / Adore / Shut Up / No Face / This Is What You Get / When In Love / I Am Here / Sad Person / Husbands / Fuckers

Overheard: [dude talking loudly to his girlfriend after show] “Well, they’re so bass-driven that they can’t help but be Fugazi-esque, in a sense. Cuz, like, Fugazi’s songs are so bass-driven.”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth: “Is it too early? I think it is. I just woke up.”

SHOW THREE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 17th AT SAINT VITUS

The third Savages I know what the rest of the set will be. “The next song is called ‘Sad Person.’” “Okay, now they’re going to play ‘Husbands.’” the manic tenor of Jehnny Beth’s delivery—“Huz-bins! Huz-bins! Huz-bins!” anyway: Savages has only been playing about half of Silence Yourself at each show. The same half. I keep hoping they’ll perform the rest of the tracks (how about “Hit Me”? Holy fuck I’d love to hear “Marshal Dear”), but hope seems increasingly futile. It’s OK: I’d gleefully attend if the show were “Husbands” performed 20 staggering: those distant guitar squalls, those pounding, teasing tom-tom stutters. And, at least, the stage banter varies: “It would be appropriate to tell me to ‘Shut Up’ right now,” Beth joke before commencing “Shut Up.”

But there isn’t so much banter. Even the band seems a bit fatigued this time; they perform entirely in the dark and with markedly less interaction with the audience. What does get uttered has a slightly more sarcastic edge. “The effects of coffee on Jehnny Beth…Saint Vitus is the most punk-oriented of the three venues, and with its bottleneck design seems the least suited to the sizable crowds Savages attracts. The show audience spills out into the bar area, and there’s no proper backstage, so Savages themselves have to push through a male-heavy crowd simply to take the stage.

I’ve learned the new songs well enough to recognize them by name and intro, so I spend much of the set mentally ranking them. “Adore,” clearly, is every show’s centerpiece. A groaning warning of a bassline, and each time I’m torn apart by the quiet terror of its build-up. It’s typical Savages to merge ostensibly uplifting lyrics with immensely ominous instrumentation; one lyric in particular strikes: “I know evil when I see it / I know good and I just do it!” (Beth spits out the last two words like it’s code for a violent crime.) Next best new track—if it counts as new—is “Fuckers,” followed closely by “The Answer,” is now something of a revelation, combining a pummeling roar of guitar with an eerie, almost keening vocal melody.

There is also a taut, unsettling post-punk song called “Surrender” and a punkish tantrum called “This Is What You Get,” while “When In Love” is bouncy and the slightest bit New Wave-y. Oh: and there is also a new new song added to the show this time. It is alternately titled “Change” or “Evil” on setlists; the verses feature the sort of outright disco beat Savages have previously only hinted at, while the chorus refrain goes “Don’t try to change! / Don’t try to change!” Aside from this track, Saturday’s set was mostly predictable,

Setlist: I Need Something New / The Answer / No / City’s Full / Surrender / Adore / Shut Up / No Face / This Is What You Get / Change / When In Love / I Am Here / Sad Person / Husbands / Fuckers

Overheard: “We were just talking about music, it was awesome, she’s into like No Age and—”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth: “Are you okay? I can’t see you very much.” Dude in audience: “We can’t see you very much either!” Jehnny Beth: “Yeah, I know. That was intentional.”

SHOW FOUR: MONDAY, JANUARY 19 AT BABY’S ALL RIGHT

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Another Savages show. Another Monday night. Another Baby’s All Right gig. But it’s not all the same shit.

For one thing, the support act, No Bra, is the oddest and most entertaining pick yet. No Bra is the project of performer Susanne Oberbeck. She is onstage in just a pair of shorts, alternately mumbling, shouting, and rambling along with some pre-recorded, tacky-as-Karaoke backing tracks. Oberbeck’s grim, German-accented delivery gives an unsettling edge to what might otherwise be a hilarious aesthetic. The best bit, “Munchausen,” which dates back to 2005, features her reciting a two-sided, cooler-than-thou conversation that name-checks both Kathleen Hanna and Stockhausen while featuring the excellent boast “I was cremated once!”

Tonight Savages’ manager, John Best, who flew in from London in time for Saturday night’s show and is still quite jetlagged. He is a charming, smiley Brit wearing a scarf indoors. He is attending three of the nine shows,

John Best, who also manages Sigur Ros and Cat’s Eyes, has said he thinks Savages’ new material is “more sophisticated,” though he didn’t enjoy Saturday’s show, at least compared to the last time he saw them perform these new songs in England just before Christmas. “I came in fully expecting awesome, and I didn’t get awesome,” he says. “It was like, ‘What the fuck?’” Nonetheless, he would go to all nine shows if he lived in New York. The album will be out at the end of summer and will “maybe” be called The Answer, he adds that “no one knows what it’s going to be called.” When I ask if he has any role in the creative process, he gets irate. “They won’t let me!” he responds. “I’d love to! This is my fucking job, I should be interfering!”

The show itself, by the way, is a fantastic one. A new week seems to have reenergized the band. “This is the second week of our New York residency!” Jehnny Beth announces, as if tracking progress for me personally, then throws herself into the proceedings. She spends the set stalking the stage, posing questions to the audience, signaling for people to move closer. During “I Need Something New,” I glance up and she’s not in sight; she’s jumped from the stage and started pushing her way through the crowd.

Oh, plus: new setlist. Or revised order, at least. Hearing something other than “I Need Something New” opens the set . “City’s Full” fills the opening slot admirably (a good thing), and “Surrender” is gone (a bad thing). “Adore” stills arrives around the midpoint, and Jehnny Beth dedicates it to Martin Luther King Day. “I think it’s an appropriate day for it,” she says. “The message is: love, not hate.”

Setlist: City’s Full / No / Change / I Need Something New / The Answer / When In Love / This Is What You Get / I Am Here / Adore / Shut Up / No Face / Sad Person / Husbands / Fuckers

Overheard: “This is better than Terminal 5!”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth: “We came to New York because we needed something new. And this song is called ‘I Need Something New.’ [pause] That’s the worst introduction ever.”

SHOW FIVE: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21 AT MERCURY LOUNGE

Instead, at the Mercury Lounge early enough to catch an opening set by Savages friend and collaborator Johnny Hostile, né Nico Congé. Paris-based Hostile opened up Saturday’s show (I only caught a few songs), runs the Pop Noire label, and produced Silence Yourself. In a previous life, he comprised half the duo John & Jen, with Jehnny Beth. Pale, gaunt, and very Parisian, he’s onstage in a leather jacket shrieking and sulking about “hours, days, and weeeeks!” with just a bass and drum machine for accompaniment. In one track, there are recordings of what sounds like a porn star discussing her craft. The set reminds me of 1980s Berlin, though in fairness I wasn’t alive in the 80s and have never been to Berlin.

Once it ends, Savages publicist Jackie is down in the wine cellar, and fits Hostile’s style nicely. There, the Pop Noire founder takes questions. “It’s not a career,” Hostile corrects in a thick French accent when I ask about his solo career. “I do this show cuz the girls asked me to do it.” He designed the set specifically for their shows, . “The mood, the aesthetic is similar… Everything is important in terms of aesthetic for Savages. So I designed it for them.” He’s not involved in their creative process, but is here “to observe” and get ready for recording Album Number Two. The best song? “‘Adore’ is amazing,” he raves. “‘Adore’ is, like, really touching people’s hearts straight away.”

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From Hostile, Savages are spending the month living by the Graham Ave. L stop, which is pretty close to me. “We’re like animals, We hunt and look for food. That’s the only thing we do [during the daytime].” Our interview is interrupted by the sound of Savages shouting the chorus of “I Am Here” from their dressing room down the hall, like some bizarre warm-up ritual. That turns out to be the opener of their set, From the back of Mercury Lounge.

The highlights of the set, then, The climax of “Adore” is one. On the last syllable of the song, Jehnny Beth stretches out the word “Life” and circles around the note itself. “Fuckers,” meanwhile, is purged from the set, and remains absent for most of the remaining shows; in its stead, “No Face,” “This Is What You Get,” and “Husbands” make up an unholy triumvirate of fast, brash set-closers. If you are in a punk band, you should strive to close your sets with a song half as twisted and bizarre as “Husbands.”

“Don’t let the fuckers bring you down,” I mumble, dragging myself up towards the L Train before I pass out on First Avenue.

Setlist: I Am Here / I Need Something New / The Answer / City’s Full / No / Change / Adore / Fuckers / When In Love / Shut Up / Sad Person / No Face / This Is What You Get / Husbands

Overheard: Guy talking to his date after the show: “I knew like four of their songs well, but I generally liked the vibe, man.”

Best stage banter: Audience member: “She Will!” Jehnny Beth: “She won’t right now.”

SHOW SIX: SATURDAY, JANUARY 24th AT SAINT VITUS

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Here’s the thing. Savages are astounding. Those aborted plans—they wouldn’t have been half as good as the opening blast of “City’s Full.” No other band playing in New York tonight captures the weird, menacing swagger of “Sad Person.”

“Adore,” besides being consistently incredible, gets a new spoken introduction at nearly every show. This time Jehnny Beth explains that it was inspired by a poet who was married and had two kids until “one day she day she discovered she was a lesbian.” She wrote a book called Crime Against Nature, Beth says, and I later learn that poet is Minnie Bruce Pratt.  There’s a new new song. It’s an overtly funky track called “Slowing Down the World,” and it closes with an extended, guttural wail that sounds like something snatched from an early PJ Harvey record.

Setlist: City’s Full / I Need Something New / The Answer / No / Change / Slowing Down the World / Adore / I Am Here / When In Love / Shut Up / Sad Person / No Face / This Is What You Get / Husbands

Overheard: [after the show] “Their bass player is the best fucking bass player of all time. The bass player is the fucking anchor of that band.”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth: “We want your honest response. If it’s crap, you throw things at us.” [a few songs later] “You aren’t throwing anything.”

SHOW SEVEN: MONDAY, JANUARY 26th AT BABY’S ALL RIGHT

Here I was hoping to recount a dramatic tale of trekking to Baby’s All Right in the middle of a historic blizzard, my hair frozen and fingers raw with frostbite, only to arrive and see Jehnny Beth and co. performing to a mostly empty room consisting of me and their manager Instead, the blizzard proved disappointing as shit, but still ominous enough for Baby’s All Right to postpone the show until Thursday.

SHOW SEVEN, ACTUALLY: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28th AT MERCURY LOUNGE

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The setlist doesn’t vary all that much, but the venue and audience does. Rarely, though, is anyone in the audience obnoxious enough to hinder the show itself. The last Mercury Lounge gig is an exception. There’s one jerk who lightly heckles the band, shouting out crap like “The drummer’s sexy!” and boasting about how far he’d traveled.

At one point, it even seems to disturb the band’s concentration; drummer Milton and bassist Hassan fumble the start of “Slowing Down the World” twice before giving up and moving on to “Surrender.” Audience woes aside, the set’s a good one, if astoundingly sweaty. Its striking that the three instrumentalists maintain a stoic, workmanlike stage presence while their vocalist is a furious bolt of post-punk energy. “The favorite new track was the one with relentless, fast guitar-playing triplets,” most likely referring to “The Answer.” “It sounded like horses racing.”

Setlist: I Am Here / Sad Person / City’s Full / No / When In Love / Slowing Down the World (aborted intro) / Surrender / Adore / I Need Something New / The Answer / Shut Up / Evil (or Change?) / No Face / This Is What You Get / Husbands

Overheard: “…yeah, well, AdAge fucks everyone over all the time.”

Best stage banter: Some asshole in the audience: “The drummer’s sexy!” Jehnny Beth: “What about the songs? That’s why we’re here—to play songs.”

SHOW EIGHT: THURSDAY, JANUARY 29th (OR, TECHNICALLY, EARLY MORNING 30th) AT BABY’S ALL RIGHT

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Savages goes on at 1:00 AM. Here’s a play-by-play.

On The Merch table, CDs and vinyl. Silence Yourself and the “Fuckers”/”Dream Baby Dream” single. A cool poster. 8.4, Best New Merch Table. The merch seller is named Rebecca. What’s it like working merch for Savages? “Really good.” Did she catch the previous shows? “I’ve seen a few songs,” but mostly she’s been running merch. “We’re pretty much out of a lot of sizes!” she exclaims, pointing to a $50 limited edition sweatshirt.

Savages launches into a taut, frenetic “City’s Full” and then “I Need Something New,” with a crescendo that’s even more pounding than usual. It’s a speedy, workmanlike set; of course the band doesn’t seem remotely tired. “Shut Up” is—as ever—a charging flare-up of a song. the set has a half-faded, dreamlike quality. “Are we making you happy?” Jehnny Beth wonders aloud. They are. The band plays the new song it couldn’t get through the previous night. (Official title: “Slowing Down the World.”) This time they conquer it without incident; there’s that piercing vocal wail at the end, and Jenny Beth’s stage moves resemble The Macarena as performed by someone who has never seen it before and is receiving instructions over a walkie-talkie.

Some shoving breaks out during “I Am Here.” It’s tough to tell if it’s hostile or playfully; either way, a Savages show is an awful setting for cagey male aggression. Jehnny Beth: “You know that feeling when you’re in love and you don’t know how to feel? No matter what you do, you’re in the wrong? Well, don’t fucking listen to that. Just do it.” Cue “This Is What You Get.” Soon you’ll be in bed,” Jehnny Beth quips. “But now you’re not in bed. So let’s dance.” (Is “Husbands”—now the de facto set-closer—even more breathless and frantic than usual,

Setlist: City’s Full / I Need Something New / The Answer / No / Shut Up / Slowing Down the World / Adore / I Am Here / When In Love / No Face / Sad Person / Evil [previously listed as

“Change”] / This Is What You Get / Husbands

Overheard: [possibly referring to Johnny Hostile] “He’s, like, actually big in France. Johannes was telling me.”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth, just before “No Face”: “All right, let me see your faces. Closer. Another step. And from the back. No more fear.”

SHOW NINE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 31st AT SAINT VITUS

This is the end the last show.

It’s the last Savages set, as Jehnny Beth repeatedly exclaims (Again, it’s like she’s addressing me personally: “This is the end of the residency. You fucking killed it!”), and the lengthiest one (“Slowing Down the World” and “Fuckers” coexist, for the first time on a setlist, because nothing besides “Fuckers” can close out this residency. It’s also the most crowded set, perhaps because of weekend New York Times coverage of the band, though that theory makes little sense, considering the show was entirely sold out beforehand.

The end of “I Need Something New” triggers a sort of Pavlovian craving for “The Answer,” and when “Sad Person” isn’t immediately followed by “Husbands,” it all feels unsettling. To change things up, I stand in the back and watch Johnny Hostile run the soundboard, to see what it’s like to run sound for Savages. This turns out to be as boring as watching me during a Savages show, “Fuckers” goes on forever, with its brutal, atonal death-groove of a climax, but then it stops. And then I take the B-43 bus home, and think about how much I’ll miss this shit.

Setlist: City’s Full / I Need Something New / The Answer / No / Shut Up / Slowing Down the World / Adore / I Am Here / When In Love / No Face / Sad Person / Change or Evil / This Is What You Get / Husbands / Fuckers

Brief tally of Savages songs never played during the entire residency: “Strife,” “Waiting for a Sign,” “Dead Nature,” “She Will,” “Hit Me,” “Dream Baby Dream” (suicide cover), “Flying to Berlin,” “Words to the Blind.”

Overheard: Absurdly Tall Man, after being asked to move over: “It’s a concert. Just fucking deal with it.”

Best stage banter: Jehnny Beth: “This song is called ‘Fuckers.’ [pause] There are plenty of motherfuckers out there, so just pick one.”

Big Thanks for the words from Zach Schonfeld

Savages

 


Savages

“We’re not quite finished writing our new album,” admitted Savages singer Jehnny Beth. “So we thought we’d come here and try some things. We’ll work it out together.” Such is the premise for Savages’ nine-show NYC residency, which began last night 12th January at Baby’s All Right. Appropriately, the first words sung by Jehnny Beth were a repeated mantra of “I need something new,” as the rest of the band slowly built up the kind of dark atmospherics Savages are known for. We got five new songs right out of the gate, none of which strayed too far from the post-punk sounds of their debut. “No” was the best of the bunch, offering the biggest and most memorable hooks  Despite what Jehnny Beth said to us, the new material seemed fully formed — only on “Adore” (which she dedicated to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris) did she pull out a lyric notebook to crib from. The band were tight as usual, and I’d really missed watching powerhouse rhythm section bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Fay Milton lay down the groove.At this point we got a couple songs from Silence Yourself before a couple more new ones — “This Is What You Get” was the other clear winner of the night — before wrapping things up with the big bang of “Husbands” and “Fuckers.”

the fog machine was thick. “There goes the drummer,” Jehnny joked after one blast obscured the kit completely. It was good to see them again when the smoke cleared, and it will be interesting to see how these shows vary from venue to venue as we go along. They play Wednesday (1/14) at Mercury Lounge and then Saturday (1/17) at Saint Vitus, both of which are sold out as is the entire New York City residency. If you’re going to one or more of these, they’re selling a cool limited-edition poster, designed by Matthew Vidalis, for the series at the merch booth.

 

savages-poster

SETLIST: Savages @ Baby’s All Right 1/12/2014
The Answer
No
When in Love
Surrender
Adore
Shut Up
No Face
This is What You Get
Sad Person
Husbands
Fuckers

NYC Shows
Jan 12 Brooklyn, NY: Baby’s All Right (sold out)
Jan 14 NYC, NY: Mercury Lounge (sold out)
Jan 17 Brooklyn, NY: St Vitus (sold out)
Jan 19 Brooklyn, NY: Baby’s All Right (sold out)
Jan 21 NYC, NY: Mercury Lounge (sold out)
Jan 24 Brooklyn, NY: St Vitus (sold out)
Jan 26 Brooklyn, NY: Baby’s All Right (sold out)
Jan 28 NYC, NY: Mercury Lounge (sold out)
Jan 31 Brooklyn, NY: St Vitus (sold out)

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Fat White Family is not a subtle band. In an era of “chill wave” and “chamber pop” and “nu gaze”, these former South London squatters are loud, rude, and beholden to no artificially-defined style. If you want to know what type of music they make, just consult one of the band’s song titles — “I Am Mark E. Smith”. And while the music of The Fall is clearly an influence, Fat White Family doesn’t simply sneer. They sweat, spit, expose themselves and generally make a depraved mess of the whole thing. But don’t let the stage antics hide that musically, Fat White Family is an entertaining band playing a contemporary British garage rock. Their debut album Champagne Holocaust was originally self-released but after gaining some notoriety in the UK — positively and negatively, the album has been released in the US by Fat Possum Records. The band was in the States for a while in the Fall and made a splash during CMJ for not only their music but the stage antics. In December, Fat White Family did a two-week residence at Baby’s All Right . This set is a full one and perhaps the longest time-wise of all of the recent US shows, encompassing basically all of the songs the band worked up for the live show which includes much of Champagne Holocaust and only two older tracks, the aforementioned “Smith” and the band-name-generating “Bomb Disneyland”. We’re streaming “Heaven on Earth” which begins and carries through with a familiar surf-garage guitar line that makes the song perhaps the most accessible of the set. Fat White Family will return to the US in March and we’d recommend catching their highly entertaining show at least once.

thanks to http://www.nyctaper.com/