RSVP HERE: Bad Waitress play Mercury Lounge + MORE

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE – your source for the best NYC shows and interviews with some of our favorite local live bands.

photo credit: Michael Amaral

I first heard about Bad Waitress from a friend who described their live set as “a 100mph party train ride,” and they have been on my radar to see their next grand return to NYC ever since. Hailing from Toronto, ON, Bad Waitress are Canada’s premiere alt-punk party band consisting of Kali-Ann Butala (vox/guitar), Katelyn Molgard (guitar), Nicole Cain (bass) and Eva Moon (drums). Today they have released “That Sedative,” their first single and video since 2018 (watch below), and this week they will be rocking NYC at Mercury Lounge on January 22nd with Castle Rat and Old Lady. We chatted with them about their experiences touring in the US vs. Canada and their upcoming trip to Las Vegas.

AF: What is the difference between touring in Canada vs touring the US?

BW: US has shorter drives… and a lot of signs for selling fireworks and Jesus.

AF: What are your favorite cities to play in the US and Canada? What’s the craziest drive you’ve ever done on tour? Craziest tour story in general?

BW: It’s hard to choose really! Every city has its own place in our hearts but so far Detroit, Brooklyn, and Montreal have been major highlights. Our craziest drive hands down was straight from Toronto to Saskatoon which lasted 32 hours. Still have nightmares of that… woof!

We have so many crazy stories. One that sticks out is the mysterious black eye Kali got after our weekend playing Fest in Gainesville. Still don’t know to this day! Playing Crystal Lake fest two years ago was insane too. Katelyn met a woman who was former world champion body builder and ended up crashing at a Christian retreat owned by said body builder’s father while Kali disappeared into the woods while on acid to softly fall asleep in a nest of pine needles.

AF: You’re playing Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas next May. What bands are you most excited to see? 

BW: We’re definitely stoked for Lunachicks. They are clearly a huge inspiration for our drummer Eva’s fashion sense. Haha. Also Cock Sparrer and Propaghandi.

AF: What other plans do you have for 2020 post-record release?

BW: We are playing at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan January 22 and also playing New Colossus in Brooklyn in March as well as SXSW and Pouzza in Montreal! So much to do!

RSVP HERE for Bad Waitress, Castle Rat, and Old Lady @ Mercury Lounge on 1/22. 21+ / $10 / Early Show (6:30pm)

More great shows this week:

1/17 Big Bliss, Parlor Walls, Painted Zeros, Free $$$ @ Alphaville. 21+ / $10-12 RSVP HERE

1/18 Nation of Language, Lou Tides, and Cutouts @ Baby’s All Right. 21+ / $10-12 RSVP HERE

1/18 NY Night Train Soul Clap & Dance-Off with Jonathan Toubin and Lenny Kaye @ Market Hotel. All Ages / $10 RSVP HERE

1/18 The Hum Presents: Greta Kline (of Frankie Cosmos), Jillian Medford (of Ian Sweet), Emily Yacina @ National Sawdust. 21+ / $18 RSVP HERE

1/18 YACHT, Juiceboxxx @ Rough Trade. 21+ / $17-20 RSVP HERE.

1/19 Caroline Polachek (solo keyboard set + signing) @ Rough Trade. All Ages / Free / 2pm / RSVP HERE

1/21 Frankie Rose, Brandy @ Union Pool. 21+ / Free RSVP HERE

1/23 Water From Your Eyes, Sean Henry, Shadow Year, Sourdoe @ Trans-Pecos. All Ages / $10 RSVP HERE 


LIVE REVIEW: Guerilla Toss at Union Pool

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All Photos by Sarah Knoll

The New York based genre bending band Guerilla Toss established a month-long residency at Brooklyn’s Union Pool. Playing every Tuesday in June, residencies like this make me question how a band with such a high energy and stamina like Guerilla Toss could keep up with the same performance every week. However, attending the last performance of their residency on June 26th with opener Kalbells, Guerilla Toss did not disappoint.

Opener Kallbells is actually the synth-pop project from lead singer of Rubblebucket, Kamila Traver. Her jumpy and energetic presence was quite shocking compared to her chillaxed presence observed at the bar of Union Pool earlier in the night. With an army of synthesizers played by Kamila and two other band members, Kalbells seems like Kamila’s bedroom diary.

A collective of sounds similar to Rubblebucket but with their own flavor, Kalbells’ performance was one of extreme interest and sensibility, creating a dialogue with the audience and speaking to them in an open context about song’s meaning. Such as in the song “1,2,3,4,5,6”, Kamila ended the song saying “this song is about orgasms, multiple of them” The all femme band is one to not sleep on, the dynamic of Kalbells is one of mutual respect for each other’s individual talent that they bring to the table. This band is a great blend between the 90’s girl riot bedroom pop and the synth pop wave of our contemporary time.







The Brooklyn based band Guerilla Toss was a band that has been hyped about for a long time. Their release of “GT Ultra” in 2017 was a sweet treat after their debut LP “Eraser Stargazer” in 2016. The band’s blend of poppy guitar riffs, intense synth parts and a complex bass line, the instrumentation of Guerilla Toss alone holds up to the band’s name. Lead singer Kassie Carlson sported an innocent look of overalls, but once she grabbed the mic, her vocals roared. Kassie does use some pedal effects to enhance her vocal quality to almost have an instrument of her own.

Her voice cuts through the heavy synth and bass and creates its own character to play a role in the narratives of Guerilla Toss’s sound. Playing songs off both of their releases such as “Betty Dreams of Green Man” and “Eraser Stargazer Forever”, the instrumental performance held far above the performance of the vocals. The vocals held their own means of necessity to carry the songs, but weren’t too memorable in comparison to the recordings. The small stage of Union Pool seemed to limit Kassie’s ability to be more energetic and dance around. Had there been more room, the band’s performance energy may have been higher. However, considering that this was week 4 of their 4-week residency at the Williamsburg centered bar and venue, it doesn’t come to shock that the energy was a bit lower than expected.

Maybe the band’s energy was a little low, but the crowd was anything but lackluster. A giant mosh pit formed almost as the band began their first song. It was not a friendly one though and made a lot of the show-goer’s uncomfortable. Shoving a lot of people whose faces from smiles turned to frowns. Even witnessing a couple who decided to leave the show from discomfort. Under no circumstances should a mosh pit be like that at all. It showed no respect and etiquette for the people around them, trying to enjoy the show. Swaying their bodies all across the middle of the room. It’s okay to dance, it’s okay to jump around, but for the sake of the other’s around, please do not throw yourself to start to engulf the whole middle of the venue. It was very unpleasant and put a damper on the show’s overall energy and safety.

Despite that, Guerilla Toss invited a bunch of brass players to play a couple of songs on stage. Making for a performance that sounded more similar to the recordings. Although it crowded up the stage even further, it did make for a more energetic performance just by the amount of sounds alone. Guerilla Toss definitely holds to its name but needs a push to translate the recordings to the performance.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

EVENT PREVIEW: AudioFemme Holiday Show

Audiofemme Holiday Flyer

Join us this Wednesday, 12/21 for the annual AudioFemme holiday party! As well as live music and drinks, there’ll be stickers, Xmas cookies, your favorite Femmes and a killer afterparty.

We’ll see you at Union Pool at 8pm.  Doors are at 8pm, the show starts at 9pm and tickets are $10; Purchase them in advance and RSVP here so we’ll know you’re coming! The party will feature live performances by:

  • Gold Child: Created by Brooklyn musician Emily Fehler, Gold Child injects a burst of energy and melodic sweetness into country music, updating the genre by mixing it with psych-folk elements. Listen to their debut single, “Tides,” below.

  • Von SellDavid Von Sell is an electro-pop artist originally from Berlin. He crafts mellow yet interesting tracks draped in layers of reverb heavy vocals that range from shimmery and upbeat to bittersweet and atmospheric. Check out his track “Miss Me” below:

After the live performances, the after party begins at 11pm with DJ sets by:

  • BEARCAT:   BEARCAT is a multidisciplinary artist whose music reaches into her Jamaican roots and time spent making dance floors shake in all corners of the world. Check out “Radar 111,” an invigorating blend of heavy rhythms.

  • SHYBOIThis DJ’s sets are bursting with barely-contained energy, making Yulan Grant a critical addition to the all-women NYC DJ collective known as Discwoman. Her songs will keep you on your toes, both literally and figuratively.

LIVE REVIEW: The Juan MacLean @ Union Pool


I’ll be honest: when I hear the genres “house,” “techno,” or “dance” being used to describe a band, I picture a couple of dudes posturing behind laptops. But when The Juan MacLean took the stage at Union Pool on Thursday, I knew this show would be different. John MacLean, the core of the project, immediately put to use a theremin attached to his keyboard stand. Nancy Whang, of LCD Soundsystem, gripped the mic and sang brooding vocals, over endless synths and a beat by a drummer, who, though seriously overworked, never seemed to tire.

Apparently, MacLean decided after the first song that we weren’t dancing enough. “It’s very Thursday night in here,” he taunted the crowd, who countered with whistles and shouts. “It’s a very thirsty night in here,” Whang shot back, chugging a water bottle. The group had recently played three nights at the Cameo gallery, and on their first of three shows at Union Pool, they weren’t satisfied with just easing into their set, or letting the audience do so either.

Whang played percussion with a serious, stony look on her face. It never wavered, even when hitting a springy, rattling instrument earned her cheers. “That was a vibraslap,” she deadpanned, to more cheers. When she and Maclean began to trade vocal lines on “One Day,” it felt like at any minute the band was going to break into “Don’t You Want Me Baby”– they had all of the epic synths and a tense, emotional performance that had the whole room dancing as hard as they could, but none of the song’s cheesiness. And, no laptops.

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