14 Live Performances By Cincinnati Musicians You Can Stream This Week


COVID-19 social distancing efforts have put a lasting hold on local music events, adding a financial strain on the musicians that depend on live shows as a main source of income. Although we can’t huddle in local venues for live shows right now, we can still experience the sense of community that local music brings by supporting artists virtually.

Below is a compiled list of a handful of online performances by Cincinnati-area artists going down this week. Many of them are available to view for free on Facebook Live or on the Queen City-based music site, Cincy Music. Below, find a variety of acts – ranging from folk to hip hop – for your Cincinnati music-viewing pleasure.

Wednesday (April 1)

Thursday (April 2)

Friday (April 3)

  • Cincy Groove Music Festival: David Gans at 6 pm (EST), Tim Easton at 6:30 pm (EST), Noah Smith at 7 pm (EST), Scott Risner from Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle at 7:30 pm (EST), Steven Gregory at 8 pm (EST), Shiny and the Spoon at 9 pm (EST), and Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle’s Casey Campbell at 9:30 pm (EST), with more artists to be announced, via CincyMusic LIVE
  • Dreampop band MultiMagic at 2 pm (EST) via CincyMusic LIVE
  • Katie Pritchard at 7 pm (EST) via Facebook Live

Saturday (April 4)

  • Cincy Groove Music Festival: Lauren Schloemer at 6 pm (EST), Jim Pelz at 6:30 pm (EST), Scott Carnder at 7 pm (EST), Chelsea Ford and The Trouble at 7:30 (EST), Ed McGee Music at 8 pm (EST), Mike Oberst of The Trillers at 8:30 pm (EST), Jeremy Francis at 9 pm (EST), Veronica Grim at 9:30 (EST), Ben Lavin at 10 pm (EST), and Kelly Thomas and Jeremy Smart at 10:30 pm (EST), with more artists to be announced, via  CincyMusic LIVE
  • Soul singer Jess Lamb at 7 pm (EST) via CincyMusic LIVE
  • Rapper AP Counterfeit at 9 pm (EST) via CincyMusic LIVE
  • Synth-pop duo Malibu Wild at 7:30 pm (EST) via CincyMusic LIVE

Sunday (April 5)

  • Electronic-jazz DJ Danbient at 6 pm (EST) via CincyMusic LIVE
  • Cincy Groove Music Festival: Shawn Patrick Bracken Music at 6 pm (EST), Matt Baumann Music at 6:30 pm (EST), Chicago Farmer at 7 pm (EST), Edward David Anderson at 7:30 pm (EST), Joe Wunderle at 8 pm (EST), and Joe Marcheret at 8:30 pm (EST), with more artists to be announced, via CincyMusic LIVE

Monday (April 6)

Tuesday (April 7)

AF 2017 IN REVIEW: The Best Live Shows of 2017

Austra @Warsaw

This was my first show of 2017, unless you count sets by Janelle Monae, Alicia Keys, and Indigo Girls that dotted the Women’s March on Washington days prior. I may have been late to the game regarding Austra, a beloved Toronto band already two albums into their career, and it wasn’t even their music that first grabbed my attention. It was the striking artwork for their third record, Future Politics. On its cover, a woman leads a handsome mare, cloaked in Austra’s signature shade of red. As it turned out, the album was as slick and strong as its imagery.

I sought out this strength one night at Greenpoint’s Warsaw, where Austra moved the whole room to dance with abandon. Lead singer Katie Stelmanis was captivating, her soaring voice sounding miraculously better than on the record. If it weren’t for her obvious talents as a pop star, Stelmanis would have an easy time making it as a stage actor or Broadway diva. The band plowed through the new album’s heavy hitters like “We Were Alive,” “Future Politics” and “Utopia,” sprinkling older favorites throughout the set.

Just days after Donald Trump had been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, Austra made the Warsaw crowd believe that if we sweat hard enough, we could construct our own utopia right there on the dance floor.

Girl Band @Saint Vitus

Girl Band, Dublin’s all-boy noise foursome, rarely leave the stage without first inciting a small riot. They’re one of the few bands I’ve seen that can touch something primal in audiences, waking them from their New York, no-dance comas. This spring show at Saint Vitus was no different. The crowd was a little rigid initially, but once Girl Band slammed into “Paul” off of 2015’s Holding Hands With Jamie we all went wild. Daniel Fox’s warbled bass line whipped us into a swirling frenzy. We attempted to scream along with lead singer Dara Kiley, but our sweat and thrashing limbs did most of the talking.

Perfume Genius @Brooklyn Steel

This gig was without a doubt my favorite live performance of the year – and I almost didn’t go. Audiofemme’s own Lindsey Rhoades, who could not make it that evening, asked if I would go in her absence. “Sure,” I said, having no clue of the treat in store. I’d listened to the record, and was of course proud of the Seattle band’s success being from Washington myself, but the sheer magnetism of PG mastermind Mike Hadreas blew me away. He slinked and slithered through each song, howling like a hellhound one minute and whispering like seraph the next. In those moments onstage, Hadreas seemed to be Bowie’s heir apparent. He certainly had a Ziggy Stardust-worthy outfit.

Blanck Mass @RBMA/Sacred Bones

It didn’t hurt that as Blanck Mass’ Benjamin John Power was whipping up beats, Björk was head banging by the PA system… in a hot pink clown suit. But even without Our Lady of Iceland publicly endorsing the set, Power’s gut rattling music had me enraptured. Power always performs in total darkness, giving shape and weight to his intense soundscapes. You can almost feel his songs wrap around you like a python beginning to squeeze. When he cued up “Please” – my #2 favorite song of 2017 – I suddenly understood what it’s supposed to feel like when you get the good MDMA. I’d only ever had the bad shit.

Aldous Harding @Park Church Co-op/Baby’s All Right

I saw Aldous Harding twice within a week at 2017’s Northside Festival. The first time was at Park Church Co-op in Greenpoint. Harding wore an all-white suit, conjuring the combined spirits of Tom Wolfe, David Byrne, and Jerry Hall. She was otherworldly, contorting her voice to reach the vaulted ceiling, then summoning it down low, to rattle the wooden pews we sat on.

The second time was at Baby’s All Right, a far less romantic locale. Still, Harding bewitched me with her strange posturing and mythological voice. As she sunk into the lovelorn depths of “Horizon,” I was near tears. I closed my eyes. I mouthed the words, “Here is your princess/And here is the horizon.” And then a sharp splat cut through the room. The crowd parted like the red sea, and there at the center was not Moses, but a 60-year-old, portly man, barfing all down his t-shirt. After a period of bug-eyed shock, Harding laughed and returned to her set. I went outside to breathe better air.

Bing & Ruth @Basilica Soundscape

There was so much to see at Basilica Soundscape this summer, and yet the first band that played on the festival’s opening night is what stuck with me the most. Bing & Ruth’s David Moore seemed to be painting with his piano keys, while the accompanying cellist and clarinet player extracted color from their own instruments. They invoked a staggering beauty that went unmatched for the remainder of the weekend, in my opinion. Bing & Ruth make music that’s incredibly difficult to describe, but I feel lucky I was able to hear and feel it in person.

Sean Nicholas Savage and Dinner @Baby’s All Right

This was not my first Sean Nicholas Savage rodeo, but it was by far the finest, largely due to opening act Dinner’s inspiring performance. Danish singer/songwriter Anders Rhedin knows how to work a crowd, and does so with a divine combination of goofball and deadpan tactics. He had us sitting on the ground like school children, clapping like a gospel choir, and dancing like disco wildcats. It was a nice round of cardio before Sean Nicholas Savage began his vocal calisthenics. We swayed for Dinner, but we swooned for Savage.

Diamanda Galás @Murmrr Theater

I couldn’t have imagined a better Halloween. After walking a mile through Fort Greene, squeezing past trails of children in Halloween costumes, candy spilling from their cloth sacks, I approached Prospect Heights’ Murmrr Theatre. The stage and pews were cloaked in red light, and the baby grand piano was the requisite black. It was a fitting atmosphere for Diamanda Galás, the singer, composer, and pianist I recently crowned as the Queen of Halloween.

Galás was bewitching. Her piano seemed to awaken the ghost of Thelonious Monk and Satan himself, while her voice was alight with several spirits; some crooning, some growling, some downright shrieking. Galás is a medium above all else, and this last Halloween, she seemed to communicate with other worlds.

Swans @Warsaw

This was another show I almost didn’t attend. I’d already seen these noise dinosaurs two summers ago, and didn’t plan on showing up for their goodbye gig at Warsaw last month. But when a good friend got the flu and offered up his ticket gratis, how could I pass? I got to the venue in time for a plate of pierogis and kielbasa, and through some fortunate twist of fate, had a pair of earplugs in my purse. This was a very good thing considering Swans were playing at decibel levels strong enough for sonic warfare. As Thor smashed his gong, I felt like I was inside of a tank as it unloaded ammunition. Even my feet were vibrating.

Animal Collective @Knockdown Center

Nothing could’ve prepared me for how mesmerizing Animal Collective’s set at Knockdown Center was a couple of weeks ago. The evening’s objective was for Avey Tare and Panda Bear to perform 2004’s Sung Tongs in full. I entered Queens’ Knockdown Center full of skepticism; how exactly, were they going to summon that wall of sound with just two dudes?

I still don’t know the exact answer to that question, but the task was accomplished. After ample fiddling by roadies (one of whom sported a biker jacket and looked like he was named Butch) the stage was set, and the travel-sized version of Animal Collective settled into their chairs. What transpired over the next hour plus was a village of sound supplied by two men, four microphones, and some expert pedal work. Whatever their process was, it blew me away. I was wrapped in surround sound, every blip, crack, and whir massaging my body with the tiniest pulses.

ONLY NOISE: Falling in Love With Punk Rock Through Secondhand Smoke

You probably remember the years leading up to the nationwide smoking ban.  It was oddly enough Ireland-home of the dingy pub, that first did away with smoking sections in bars and restaurants.  Today it seems unspeakable that non-smokers and babies alike were once held captive in the local diner, forced to ingest a carcinogenic smog alongside their meal.  It is easy to look back on those days as less healthy time, an indulgent, old fashioned era, but I think of them only in a positive light.  Those were the years I discovered punk rock, live punk rock-surrounded by clouds of billowing nicotine no less.

In the early 2000’s, I didn’t smoke, but years before the ban took effect I’d manage to concoct a very romantic idea of cigarettes, one that I may shamefully still possess today.  I could perhaps attribute it to the particular sect of middle schoolers that piled in cars after class, filled up the largest booth Arlington’s Denny’s had to offer, and chain smoked while downing bottomless coffee.  They sat for hours, never ordered anything requiring a plate, and would most often leave without tipping, sometimes without paying at all.  They left ashtrays exploding with crinkled butts in their wake, and though I didn’t agree with their table manners I was transfixed by their tight black clothing, their angular haircuts, and the identical white skull they all seemed to sport on t-shirts and book bags.

These kids, punks though they were, remained oddly exclusive.  They held court at Denny’s, and were selective with their invitations.  Perhaps I was too young, or didn’t have the right outfit, or any cigarettes to spare.  But they had something I wanted, yet would never acquire from them-nor from Denny’s for that matter.  They had subculture, a community, a tribe.

The clan I lacked seemed as though it would never be found, at least not in Snohomish County.  But it was waiting for me at Graceland, now El Corazon, a smokey club just off of I-5 in downtown Seattle.  It had gone through many iterations as a nightspot in prior years-The Off Ramp, Sub-Zero and Au Go Go to name a few.  Those who saw the venue in its pre-Graceland days were witness to Pearl Jam’s earliest gigs, Nirvana’s first Seattle show, and numerous sets from the likes of Mudhoney and Soundgarden.

Though my time at Graceland didn’t boast the same historical gravitas, on a personal level it is a fixed point in memory; the nucleus of an entire period of musical education.  Mine wasn’t a lesson in grunge, but punk rock, and it began on Valentine’s Day in sixth grade.

Up to this point, my introduction to punk rock had been piecemeal and happenstance.  The older sibling model for cultural osmosis did not apply, because my only live-in sister was entrenched in the rave scene, which at 12 perplexed me.  I wouldn’t understand music sans guitars for years to come.

I’m not certain what it was that drew me to punk initially – maybe it was that naive idea kids have that we can actually achieve individuality by adhering to a subculture, by wearing the uniform and honoring the customs.  Or was it the rebellious allure of the Denny’s set?  Perhaps I just wanted to believe there was more to talk about than Pokemon and Beanie Babies.

More than anything I suspect it was the clutch of a gnawing preteen anger that made punk so attractive to me.  I felt at odds with my peers, simultaneously despising them and wanting their affection.  I therefore needed a mode of aggression, a manifesto to legitimize my ambivalent rage.  Punk seemed to be the only club accepting of such antisocial sentiments, a therapy that didn’t ask why you were furious, but simply handed you the boxing gloves.

Despite the driving emotions, my entree into punk music wasn’t as badass as I’d like you to believe.  There was Sum 41, and Greenday, and Blink 182, and Rancid.  The latter was casually recommended to me by Amy, the teenage shopgirl at my dad’s mercantile.  My long term love affair with Social Distortion also came about by chance.  My cousin’s then-boyfriend was getting rid of CDs by the boxful, and among those disks was the band’s 1998 release Live At The Roxy.

It was an album I played on repeat for months.  To this day I can’t put my finger on what it stoked in me.  By later comparison it is nothing revolutionary-a pretty mild, straightforward rock n’ roll record with a few f-bombs and a guitar solo backing every bridge.  Maybe your first favorite band is more about timing and convenience than it is choice-like your first crush at school.

Before Graceland I had been dipping my toes into punk; after I was fully submerged.  According to an archive page from punknews.org, 2.14.2002 was in fact the date of my first punk show, which was a compilation gig embarrassingly titled: Punks vs. Psychos.  The original bill was Tiger Army, Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards, Nekromantix, and the Distillers.  The idea being that half of the bill were punk bands, and half psychobilly, a sped-up version of rockabilly with horror film lyrics.

Having caught wind of my burgeoning musical interests, family friends Shannon and Steve rode in to the rescue: the Punks vs. Psychos gig was entirely their idea  It’s funny how the adults who have known you since infancy suddenly become shepherds of cool.  These guys had seen The Clash, been to England, and had a seemingly limitless supply of secondhand Doc Martens to gift me.   They even had a nephew, Keenan, who quickly became my accomplice in the search for anything punk as fuck in our sleepy cow town.  They were like punk rock fairy godparents.

It took over an hour to drive into Seattle.  The evening was particularly thrilling not only for the culture shock, but for the taboo: it was a school night.  Before door time, Shannon, Steve, Keenan and I made a pit stop at Dick’s Drive-In, an institution well known by Washingtonians.  Dick’s is a golden-era burger joint that’s been around since 1954-which is truly arcane for the West Coast.  They serve greasy fare impervious to requests of  customization.  No add this, no hold that.  It’s the opposite of Burger King.  Want it your way?  Fuck off.  Come to think of it, Dick’s is more punk rock than I ever realized.

Being a drive-in Dick’s had no place to sit, so we took our feast to the car, American Graffiti style.  We each devoured the divine trio of cheeseburger, french fries and milkshake.  Despite the sating meal I was wracked with nerves, expecting the kind of rejection I’d found at Denny’s-or worse.  As we pulled past Graceland to park the car I saw a slew of punks lined up alongside the venue’s exterior, which was painted a menacing combination of red and black.  All against the wall were ornate biker jackets overpopulated with shining silver spikes crowding the shoulders like barnacles on the hull of a ship.  Mohawks, Docs, torn jeans; the whole stereotypical bit.  Then of course there were the psychobilly kids: men with slicked-back ducktails and cuffed jeans, and chicks touting Rita Hayworth hair and red lipstick.  The aesthetic dissonance between the two clans made me feel like I was witnessing The Outsiders or West Side Story.

As we hitched ourselves to the end of the line I could feel curious stares from all around.  It was an all ages show, but it still must have been odd to see two 12-year-olds in attendance, and goofy looking ones at that.  My jeans were too baggy.  My leather jacket was all wrong, more bomber than biker.  And, in a sad attempt to get a pixie cut, I’d been left with a dense pompadour dyed “chocolate cherry” via Feria boxed color.  I’d heard it was dark inside, and I was looking forward to it.

Even better, the audience was shrouded in smoke, a welcomed invisibility cloak for me.  It was difficult to see anything in fact, given the atmospheric fog, but also because everyone was much older, much taller, and their hairdos added a decent four to six inches on top of that.  I’d never seen anything like it.  I thought punks-actual punks-had died out in the 80s, when they became two-dimensional villains in b-movies.

It wasn’t long before word got around the venue that half of the bands for the evening had cancelled.  The bill turned out to be near punk-less as both The Distillers and Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards had cancelled.  Local punk-ish band Mea Culpa had been tacked on last minute, but  what was supposed to be my first punk show ended up being my first psychobilly show, which I was excited about because I knew no one at school would know what the fuck that was.

A large portion of the set is blurry to me, perhaps because the air itself was blurred by all that smoke.  Or it could have been the impromptu bloody nose that was summoned by the dryness in the room (this was a great thing because all of the girls in the bathroom assumed I’d been punched).  But I sharply remember the moment Nekromantix took stage, all armed with instruments like I’d never seen.  Frontman Kim Nekroman’s upright bass was an enormous coffin crowned with a cross headstock.  I remember how menacing they seemed to me at the time, singing freely of murdering cheerleaders, necrophilia, and the underground muse to many artists, Bela Lugosi.

The very chord of their first song hurled the crowd into a fit.  The room began to churn in a circle  pit, fists flailing in every direction and girls and boys alike tumbling to the floor repeatedly.  In hindsight it’s all camp, but at the time it was equally thrilling and terrifying.  The seemingly pointless aggression intrigued me, and I knew in that moment there was no going back.

CMJ 2015: Bands to Hear

CMJ Music Marathon 2015 is here. With an overwhelming abundance of artist to sort through, we made your life easier by providing you with a list of a few can’t-miss bands to hear. Read on.

Cosmo Sheldrake

Cosmo Sheldrake

Rare is the mere mortal who can play more instruments than years they’ve lived. Cosmo Sheldrake is such a human (though I’m convinced some dealings with the devil are at play here). At 25 Sheldrake has scored films, composed music for a series of Samuel Beckett plays, and given a performance at TEDxWhitechapel entitled “Interspecies Collaboration.” Oh, and, you know, he plays over 30 instruments. Piano? Check. Drums? Check? Didgeridoo? Mmhm. Sousaphone, penny whistle, Mongolian throat singing, Tibetan chanting, computer? Yup.

I’m not sure how Sheldrake will get all this gear from London to Piano’s this Tuesday, but I am certain there will be an intriguing performance in store. While Sheldrake’s resume can leave us fearing overwrought and un-listenable prog rock, I can assure you that his sound is nothing short of delightful. His technical ability is matched by a penchant for catchy, beautifully textured songs that venture on the Baroque and folk corners of pop.

Cosmo Sheldrake:

Tuesday 10/13 @Piano’s 5:30pm



Ezra Furman

We’ve sung his praise before, and we’re not finished. The cross-dressing troubadour plays a vigorous set, spits a mean lyric, and looks a hell of a lot better in a frock than I do. Riding on the warm reception of his latest release Perpetual Motion People, Furman will be here by way of London, San Francisco, St. Paul, and lord knows where else. Expect manic folk, mangled vocals, doo-wop croons, punk rock, lipstick and plenty of saxophone. If you long to move this CMJ, but don’t have the taste for late night EDM, I assure you there will be sufficient dancing at the Ezra Furman gig.

If you’re schedule’s pretty full-up, worry not; Ezra is playing four dates next week. Though if I may recommend one above the rest it’s his headlining gig at Knitting Factory, where Juan Waters, Slim Twig and Drinks-among many others-will share the bill. Don’t miss it!


Ezra Furman:

Wednesday 10/14 @Knitting Factory 7pm (Juan Waters, Slim Twig, Drinks)

Thursday 10/15 @Rough Trade 4pm

Thursday 10/15 @le Poisson Rouge 10pm

Friday 10/16 @Baby’s All Right 2pm



Sean Nicholas Savage

Where Cosmo Sheldrake can be measured in instruments, Montreal’s Sean Nicholas Savage can be measured in albums. At 29 he’s released 11 studio LPs in a span of eight years. His latest record Other Death surfaced just last month on his Alma Mater Arbutus Records, home to fellow Canadians TOPS, Grimes and Doldrums.

With the guise of a shadier Morrissey, Savage’s music is at peace with sorrow, his signature crooning falsetto wavers over hushed keys and papery drums. His vocal range reaches heights that one might find unlikely from a live performance, but trust me, I’ve seen him pull it off on the spot to an even greater effect than his recordings. He’s a humble, somewhat shy performer, but a captivating one nonetheless. And if it’s charisma you’re looking for, he’s got that in spades.


Sean Nicholas Savage:

Thursday 10/15 @Silent Barn 8pm

Friday 10/16 @Arlene’s Grocery 8p



Miya Folick

Resting somewhere between balladeer folk and dream pop, Miya Folick‘s latest EP Strange Darling is nothing short of mesmerizing.  There is a sweet sadness at play here that stabs pretty deep.  It’s a far cry from other music coming out of Los Angeles right now, which is often sun-bleached and relentlessly up-tempo.  Folick’s sound, while beautiful and fragile, is also haunting and morose.  There is an eerie quality to her which sets her apart from the crowd.

If you’re into Cat Power, Beach House, Hope Sandoval, etc, Folick is well worth your time this CMJ.


Miya Folick:

Tuesday 10/13 @Cakeshop 9pm

Wednesday 10/14@The Flat 8:15pm


Phony PPL

If I had to describe Brooklyn’s Phony PPL in one sentence it would read thus: late 70s Stevie Wonder has a hip hop group. I like both of those things. Mixing jazz fusion arrangements, R&B rhythms and rap vocal stylings, Phony PPL’s latest release Yesterday’s Tomorrow is already dotting some year-end lists. You may even remember seeing the boys on Jimmy Kimmel Live in June, standing in as Fetty Wap’s backing band for “Trap Queen.”

It’s not too often you come by a hip hop group that is a proper band. This is no discredit to the genre, which is heavily reliant on brilliant producers and session musicians. But the rarity of Phony PPl’s musical fluency is part of their appeal, aside from being fantastic songwriters, and, let’s face it, adorable.


Phony PPL:

Wednesday 10/14 @Arlene’s Grocery 5pm

Friday 10/16 @The Wick 6pm



Hooton Tennis Club

 While the U.K. once spat out its best music draped in a Union Jack, our friends across the pond seem to be peeking at our back catalogue for their latest inspirations. Hooton Tennis Club may be a British Pop band, but they are certainly not a Britpop band. Instead these Wirral four would sit more comfortably next to your Deerhunter and Pavement than your Blur and Suede.

Having just released their debut record The Highest Point in Cliff Town on the reputable Heavenly Recordings, Hooton have been on the tour circuit for quite some time, made an appearance on BBC Radio 6, and were featured in NME’s “New Band of the Week” column. Not bad for four lads from Wirral.


Hooton Tennis Club:

Tuesday 10/13 @Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. 5pm

Wednesday 10/14 @Cakeshop 7pm



Kamasi Washington

You may have not heard of Kamasi Washington, but you’ve probably heard him. He wrote most of the arrangements on this little record called To Pimp a Butterfly by some guy named Kendrick Lamar.

Washington is a man of many talents. A saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, he has performed and recorded with the likes of Thundercat, Broken Bells, Stanley Clarke and Snoop Dogg. Though his credits as collaborator and contributor finally gave way to a headlining title with the release of his LP The Epic this May. Epic is no understatement-the album clocks in just under three hours and has a transcendent quality to it. This is textured, full-bodied jazz with elements of gospel, funk and soul. What’s not to like?


Kamasi Washington:

Thursday 10/15 @BRIC House 7:30pm

Friday 10/16 @Le Poisson Rouge 6:30pm




Another U.K. band (we can’t help ourselves!) Landshapes merge noisy psych rock with pop-punk tempos and infectious melodies.  Originally called Lulu and the Lampshades, a Paris venue misspelled “Lampshades” as “Landshapes” and a new moniker was born.

Signed to the influential Bella Union label, Landshapes just released their second record Heyoon in May and it’s a rip-roaring slice of sound.  There is a bit of the odd in their music for sure as the band’s influences would have us believe.  Take the album’s first single lead single “Moongee,” a song inspired by a tale by 17th century Bishop Francis Godwin.  I hope their live show is as bizarre as their references!



Wednesday 10/14 @Palisades 10pm

Thursday 10/15 @Le Poisson Rouge 9pm

Saturday 10/17 @Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 7pm




Whether it’s Manchester or Sheffield, the North of England seems to have a penchant for churning out great bands. Outfit is no exception. Originally from Liverpool, Outfit are only two albums deep in their catalogue, but quality is shouting louder than quantity in this case. Slowness, their latest LP, is a study in subtlety, drifting between melancholy and melody with a sophisticated ease for such a young band. To me they sound like a drowsy Prefab Sprout, so you can expect masterfully constructed pop songs that verge on the edge of bizarre.

More frequently Outfit is compared to Hot Chip, though I’m not hearing this so much, save for the fact that lead singer Andrew Hunt does sound oddly like Chip’s Alexis Taylor on a couple of tracks. Either way, Outfit is a band worth hearing.



Wednesday 10/14 @Passenger Bar 9pm

Saturday 10/17 @Pianos (Upstairs) 8:10pm




In the broadest of terms, Protomartyr is a punk band from Detroit. Though listening closer you’ll discover a group with far more depth than that description. Piloted by singer/songwriter Joe Casey, Protomartyr exude a dark pensiveness akin to The Minutemen with swaths of aggressive post punk coating discordant melodies – if you can call them melodies.

Despite occupying a genre often bound by obscurity, Protomartyr have a decent following under their belt. Signed to Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art records, the foursome just released their third record The Agent Intellect today. What better way to celebrate their new LP than to catch them live next week?


Wednesday 10/14 @Santo’s Party House 11:15pm

Friday 10/16 @Rough Trade 7pm (with Drinks, Mothers, Car Seat Headreast, Modern Vices)


VIDEO REVIEW: Cass McCombs “Unearthed”

The contents of Cass McCombs‘ long and winding double album Big Wheel and Others fall into one of two categories. About half are capital-s Songs, with verses and choruses, beginnings, middles, and ends. The rest of the collection expands, with mesmerizing slowness, to fill less rigidly constructed boundaries. These are not tracks, they’re drive-by moments that feel like scenes instead of performances, as if their gently cycling vocals and accompanying acoustic guitar lines had always been going on, and snippets of it happened to be recorded and tossed together into a collection. “Unearthed” falls into the second category

The video for the song consists of just two images–a wintery mountain scene and a climber crouching on his stomach in the snow–and for much of the song the shots stay so still that they could easily be pictures instead of film. Like the song, the video focuses on the small changes that take place in a mostly-empty environment, drawing focus to little shifts like the soft billowing of a cloud or small changes in the mountaineer’s gaze up the mountain.

Cass McCombs will bring his stark brand of musical hypnosis to the Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight, with Endless Boogie. Check back for my coverage of the show, but don’t stop there–you can still grab your tickets by going here. Watch the video for “Unearthed” below!

Unearthed by Cass McCombs from Eric Fensler on Vimeo.