PREVIEW: Julianna Barwick @ Terminal 5 on 9/22

julianna barwick

Brooklyn-based singer Julianna Barwick will be sharing her lustrous voice with the city at Terminal 5 on Thursday, Sept. 22nd, opening for mellow post-rockers Explosions in the Sky.

Earlier this year, the celestial songstress released her third album titled Will. The album is angelic and full of tiny intimacies. Will is largely a product of ups and downs, a reflection of a life lived somewhere in between transience and standing still.

All vocalists use their voices as their own humanly instrument, but Barwick masters this in a way most don’t, using a unique system of loops and occasional piano and percussion to build each song into a swirling mass of lush, atmospheric folk.

This show is all ages, and you purchase your ticket here. Also, check out the sweet video for “Nebula” off of her album Will.


Pop ETC-10

POP ETC got the night started right at Terminal 5, opening for The Wombats.

The band, formerly known as The Morning Benders, consists of brothers Chris (vocals, guitar), Jon Chu (synth), and Julian Harmon (drums).

After playing a new track called “Vice” off their upcoming album, Chris thanked New Yorkers for having a bit more fun with the music. The band just toured in Japan, where, he said, “it was so silent that you could hear a pin drop in between songs.”

Still, while I was having a good time, I felt like I was getting dirty looks for dancing. I am a huge fan of The Wombats, but in my experience at their shows, it doesn’t seem like anyone comes to dance around.

The band’s charm certainly helped get the energy up a little, with Chris complimenting the “attractive audience” on our hair, calling us “well-groomed.” They seem like such a sweet group of guys.

I have to admit that prior to seeing them live, I was hardly impressed by their self-titled first album. As a whole, the sound was almost overwhelmingly electronic for an indie band, crossing the line of being overproduced. It was great to see songs from POP ETC like “Keep It For Your Own” translate better into a live performance.

Judging by tracks like “Bad Break” and “Vice,” whatever changes the band has gone through in the last few years has taken them in a new direction, and they’re sounding more like early Depeche Mode, which works much better.

Their follow-up album, entitled Souvenir, will be released on January 29, 2016.

Pop ETC-2

Pop ETC-10

Pop ETC-5

Pop ETC-3

Pop ETC-7

All photos by Tim Toda for AudioFemme.

LIVE REVIEW: Lolo, The Griswolds, New Politics, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness @ Terminal 5



Any show at Terminal 5 is always a big one, so when I came to see the four-artist, co-headlined Wilderness Politics tour, I knew I was in for one hell of a party.

First up was LOLO, a young Brooklyn native with a lot of soul. Getting on her knees with passion, it was clear she was having the time of her life, commanding the stage with her ability to belt and hold some strong high notes.

The Griswolds have the look of your favorite early 2000’s pop-punk groups with a nice danceable flavor. They put out happy vibes with their upbeat songs. The energy during the quick set was irresistible — “If You Wanna Stay” was especially fun for dancing along.



Here’s what’s curious about The Griswolds — in spite of their incredibly fun tempos, giving the crowd all kinds of excuses to scream and dance, in songs like “16 Years,” lyrics like “I’m half the man I used to be/Tequila, lust and gambling/Oh, mama, I need rescuing” aren’t exactly the happiest upon closer listen.


In any case, there’s no need for anything flashy to enjoy a Griswolds show — they’re simply a group of charming Aussie guys wowing the crowd by having the time of their lives.


Journeys, the show’s sponsor, is holding a contest to win a pair of shoes hand-decorated by the band themselves.   Enter here!



I was almost caught off guard when David Boyd burst out waving a bright red New Politics flag, displaying their tally mark logo.

Boyd (vocals) and Søren Hansen (guitar) originally hail from Copenhagen, but Boyd called Terminal 5 a hometown show, trying to get the New Yorkers to be the loudest crowd yet. They’ve been living in Williamsburg since ’09, and met current drummer “Long Island Louis” Vecchio here in the city.


Boyd, a breakdancer, made the most of the beats center stage to showcase his skills, even if it doesn’t quite match up with the pop punk sound.


For the crowd favorite “Fall Into these Arms,” Boyd came out to the audience’s hands to dance and surf the crowd right back to the stage, leading into the multitalented Hansen performing a powerful solo on the piano. “Girl Crush” brought the energy back up with Andrew McMahon joining the band on stage.


The former lead singer for Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, Andrew McMahon now performs solo under the moniker of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. The set design, consisting of grass platforms for the keyboard and drums, and some turf to top the piano, was a rare display of greenery in the city, though it felt a little more like a suburban backyard, minus the picket fence.


McMahon performed a diverse set of songs from his previous bands and solo work. Fans responded well to songs like Something Corporate’s “I Woke Up In A Car” and “Punk Rock Princess,” evident as everyone seemed to know all the words.  It felt as if you could hear the echo of the audience for the duration of the set.


When I first walked into the venue, I was approached to have my cheek swabbed by volunteers of the Love Hope Strength foundation to register for bone marrow donation.  McMahon took time out of the show to talk about his own experience with cancer, having been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2005.  He announced that this marks ten years of being cancer-free, before performing the Jack’s Mannequin song “Swim” for “anybody who’s going through something.”


There certainly were crazier moments during the show, like McMahon crowd surfing his way down to the bar to get a shot of Jäger. The highlight, however, was the childlike joy that fell across the room during the performance of “Cecilia and the Satellite,” penned for his daughter.  He brought everyone back to elementary school with a giant parachute, making for the perfect encore.


All photos shot by Ysabella Monton for AudioFemme.

INTERVIEW: The Intelligence


The Intelligence Vintage Future album cover

Imagine that aliens have invaded; they’re taking control, except instead of ruling the planet, what they really want is to jam in your garage.  What you’ve got then is The Intelligence, an LA-based post-punk band that grows more and more with each new album (and they’ve had eight great ones, it’s hard to keep up).  Just a week or so after the release of their latest LP Vintage Future, I got to speak with founding member, lead singer, and resident genius Lars Finberg via e-mail.

“I think maybe we have tried to have a foot in the future and one in the past?” says Finberg, in terms of where exactly this extraterrestrial sound comes from.  “I am a fan of antiquated rickety presentations of the future like Buck Rogers or Joe Meek.”

The influence is clear – it’s like Meek’s I Hear a New World got a bit of a modern upgrade on Vintage Future.  The album’s title track especially emphasizes this imagery, starting with an other-worldly ringing and ending with a robotic voice whining, “But I was just learning how to love.”  A tragedy indeed.

The fantastic production value of this record makes for a clear vision of what exactly a vintage future might be.  Says Finberg, “I think our engineer/producer/recordist Chris Woodhouse improves from greatness with each record he makes.”

A clean and cohesive lo-fi sound coupled with simple, catchy lyrics capitalize the band’s thematic lyrical poignancy, as well as their ability to be unforgivingly and cohesively strange.  These lyrics and themes have a way of creeping into your brain, and it’s brilliant to see Finberg keep coming up with more and more, seemingly never running out of new ideas.

“I X-ray what’s inside me and try to read the blueprints as clearly as I can,” he says.  “If it sounds like someone else’s X-ray I’m not afraid to use white out or tape or glue to make it newer to me.”

A standout for me is “Dieu Merci Pour La Fixation De La Machine a Coudre,” which is a near-translation of a track on 2009’s Fake Surfers record, “Thank You God For Fixing The Tape Machine.”

While the original track fits right in with their garage rock sound, the latter is a slower serenade. Lyrics like “In the moonlight/Out of the cruel light/I’ve been mesmerized/I think I almost feel right” backed by a swoon-worthy guitar make you want to go for a tango in Paris.  Though the songs sound worlds apart, Finberg calls the connection between the two “a secret puzzle.”

“Cool you noticed that,” he says. “The Fake Surfers song was related to a tape machine and love.  The Vintage Future update was inspired in France at a club called ‘Machine a Coudre’ or sewing machine, and love. Or some kind of version of it in either case.”

And it all seems strange to us from the outside, but that’s part of the magic in listening to The Intelligence – wanting to understand just what’s going on in Finberg’s brain.  “To quote Mitch Hedberg,” he says, “‘Come inside my head and tell me that doesn’t make sense.'”

Catch The Intelligence supporting Franz Ferdinand + Sparks at Terminal 5 on October 6.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

LIVE REVIEW: Courtney Barnett @ Terminal 5


Since the March release of her first full-length album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, Courtney Barnett has become pretty popular. Popular enough that on Wednesday she both headlined and sold out a show at Manhattan’s Terminal 5, which has a capacity of roughly 3,000 people. The Australian rocker was supported by Torres and Speedy Ortiz, who recently released their own albums, Sprinter and Foil Deer.

Barnett opened her set with a drawn-out, solo version of “Anonymous Club.” Her endearing voice filled every inch of the venue until even the drunk dudes using the quiet to shout catcalls with fake Australian accents were silenced. When she wasn’t at the mic she reeled around the stage, whipping her hair and strumming furiously. On recordings, her drawl is relaxed, shifting from weary to playful, but on stage, the lyrics come spilling out. At key crescendos she’d replace syllables and whole words a shout or roar, the only thing that could match the intensity on songs like her encore of “History Eraser.”

The best part of the show (besides the music, obviously) was seeing the huge, three-tier venue completely packed for a show fronted by female guitarists. Not guitarists in the sense that they’re strumming a few chords while they sing- they’re rocking strats and telecasters, pushing their instruments and voices to the limit. Sadie Dupuis (of Speedy Ortiz) forgoes any delicate melodies in favor of harsh guitar lines that leave a jagged edge as they cut through swaggering songs. Mackenzie Scott, aka Torres, accompanies herself on guitar with a steady, loping beat- her tone is serious, focused, and slightly dangerous. One of the show’s best moments was during her song “Strange Hellos.” It’s cathartic enough as a recording, but she suddenly let out a chilling shriek in between choruses: “I was all for being real/ But if I don’t believe then no one will.”

When I saw Courtney Barnett a year ago, her set had energy and charisma, but seemed rushed. This time around, she brought a new intensity and confidence to her performance. Before, I remember her ending her set by disappearing from the stage. On Wednesday, however, she dropped her guitar and walked off as the feedback shrieked and wailed at the audience. Maybe it’s because she wasn’t headlining then or her fame was relatively new, but now, she seems to have settled into a more natural, comfortable position: a total rockstar.

If you missed the show, check out a live version of Courtney Barnett’s “Pedestrian At Best” below!

LIVE REVIEW: Toro y Moi @ Terminal 5

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Toro y Moi
Toro y Moi

Typically, listening to music is a personal experience. Many of us walk around with our headphones in our ears, allowing our music of choice to affect us personally, whether we use it to transport ourselves into a safety zone while riding the subway or to pump us up as a soundtrack for exercise or countless other situations. Mostly, it’s just you and the music. Attending a concert is, in its nature, an experience where you open up that environment to others, where it is not you alone with the artist, but a group of people experiencing the same music in their own personal way. This affects the way you think about that music, whether positively or negatively. You could have a great experience watching a mediocre show or a bad experience watching a great show, depending on the environment. While it’s not necessarily the top influence, it’s certainly a contributing factor. The environment at Terminal 5 for Toro y Moi’s concert sadly had a negative effect on my view of the live show.

Attending a concert at Terminal 5 for the first time provided an experience itself. For some reason, I had pictured a bigger venue in my mind beforehand, but accepted the space as it was. Not a problem. As The Sea and Cake walked onstage, the crowd continued to grow in anticipation of the main show, Toro y Moi. The Sea and Cake’s live performance lacked luster. In short, it was a group of middle-aged men playing the music they recorded. Very minimal communication with the crowd, very minimal energy from the band and very minimal interest from the audience. The band’s sound is slow-burn rock that, while nice to listen to on an album, is very different translated into a live reproduction. Pretty disappointing.

However, it wasn’t until the end of The Sea and Cake’s performance that I noticed the environmental influence that would make it difficult for me to enjoy the concert. Near the front of the stage, I began to see an occasional puff of smoke. I thought it was weird, but I put it out of my mind because it was pretty far away, and at that point I was just anxious for Chaz Bundick and the band to get onstage for the main performance after the drab opener. However, as Bundick’s crew prepared the stage for the dazzling electronic performance, I noticed the puffs of smoke multiplying. By the time Bundick began his set, there were a dozen found throughout the room. And it began to smell like there were a dozen puffs of smoke throughout the room. Fifteen minutes in, I found it hard to concentrate on the performance because of the pungent smell. Which is a shame, because Bundick did a great job of keeping up the energy with the rest of the band, mixing beats as he performed his cool, funky mixes.

Really, the performance was well done, with Bundick jamming to his songs, including hits “Harm in Change,” “Say That,” and “So Many Details.” Bundick released his fourth full-length album this year with a more electronic-centered sound definitely suited for the loud, alcohol-filled atmosphere of the clubs. Fittingly the crowd became a huge dance party. He plays music that brings people together and, most of all, is irresistibly catchy. Bundick stood in front of a mixer, playing the cool DJ as well as the singer, while his bandmates provided backup scattered throughout the stage area. Multi-colored lights flashed, complimenting the beat, and became more dramatic whenever the music swelled into a frenzy.

Unfortunately, the puffs of smoke eventually reached the area where I was standing and I decided to abandon my spot in favor of a view toward the exit, which contained fresh air. There I was able to watch from afar while Bundick played the rest of his entrancing performance. Overall, I learned that sometimes I prefer to experience an artist’s music in an environment I can control, even if that means skipping out on a potentially cool live show.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] [retweet][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]