Minus the Bear have been making their unique mix of math, prog, dance, indie and more for years now, and this year’s VOIDS is yet another winner. They’re on tour now in support of it, and they hit NYC for their first of two shows here last night (3/28). That was at Webster Hall, with killer direct support from Beach Slang, plus opener Bayonne. Pictures are in the gallery above.
MTB will hit Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (3/29) with Bayonne and Wild Arrows. Tickets are still available.
Both Minus the Bear and Beach Slang played the BrooklynVegan/Sound on Sound-presented Lost Weekend in Austin during SXSW. Pics here and here.
Illegal Civilization Presents: Show Me the Body, Leven Kali, Taco
The Studio at Webster Hall
8 p.m., $20
Illegal Civilization is a LA-based skate crew who make videos and put on shows. They’ll be in New York this week, premiering a film featuring the rapper Mac Miller, and hosting this show at Webster Hall. Headlining is the New York punk trio Show Me the Body, whose excellent debut album Body War, released last year, showed off their diverse influences, from hip hop to hardcore to blues, and their furious live energy.
Q: What is Gilda’s Club? Gilda’s Club NYC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support, educate and empower cancer patients and their families. Q: What kinds of support do they offer? Gilda’s Club offers support groups for men, women, teens and children living with a cancer diagnosis as well as their family members, friends and caregivers. Additionally, members can participate in various workshops that promote stress reduction, body movement, creative expression and education. Q: How old do I have to be to become a member? Our program is open to individuals 5 years and older. We also offer a separate program for children and teens. Q: What kinds of cancer do you provide support for? Our program is for any and all types of cancer. Our focus is on the emotional and social effects of cancer as oppose to the diagnosis itself. Q: Is it a place just for women? No. Our program is to men and women of all ages. Q: What does it cost to join? FREE! Our program is offered at no charge. We understand that cancer can be costly and we believe that a community of support shouldn’t have to add to those costs.
Well, that’s one guy you wouldn’t expect to see at an Ed Sheeran concert.
Tom Hiddleston stopped by The Studio at Webster Hall on Monday night to check out a so-called “secret” performance by Sheeran, hosted at a surprise venue by SiriusXM radio for subscribers. Despite their slightly awkward shared connection to Taylor Swift — Sheeran is her longtime pal and collaborator, while Hiddleston is her most recent high-profile ex — the Brits squashed any concerns of possible bad blood with a chummy photo backstage.
Although this reporter didn’t catch a glimpse of the Kong: Skull Island star in the throngs of shrieking, beer-sipping concertgoers, other Hiddlestoners fared better.
Tom Hiddleston is here at the @edsheeran show sippin from a red solo cup & bopping his head along, in case you care bout that sort of thing.
Hiddleston wasn’t the only one who got up close and personal with Sheeran during the hour-long acoustic set, which featured a mix of fan favorites and new songs from his third album, Divide, released last week. Moments into a performance of I’m a Mess, the ginger troubadour asked for a chair to be placed in the middle of the crowd, where he paced and played four songs including Supermarket Flowers, Perfect and Eraser.
When he wasn’t drowned out by shouts of “I love you” and “He’s so hot” by overeager twentysomethings, Sheeran managed to croon some of his most popular hits. The highlights were stripped-down takes on Multiply tracks Don’t and Thinking Out Loud, and his current No. 1, Shape of You.
On the heels of his latest album crushing — no, but seriously, crushing — Spotify streaming records following its release as well as a Sunday night performance of his first Billboard Hot 100 No.1 “Shape Of You” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, Ed Sheeran took over the stage of The Studio at New York City’s Webster Hall for an intimate, inspired concert on Monday night.
Sheeran took the stage at the Studio at Webster Hall, just down the stairs from the larger Webster Hall. The venue holds 400 people, though it feels like less, and the vibe is more “friend’s basement that’s way cooler than yours” than your average concert venue. It’s a favorite of the Sirius XM “Secret Show” series; Grouplove played their set there in 2012, as did Cage the Elephant in 2013 and Young the Giant in 2014.
Bond St District plays Friends Records Showcase w/ Wing Dam, Natural Velvet, Blacksage in the Studio on March 16th. Bond St District is DDM and Paul Hutson
Whats your guilty pleasure?
DDM: Love And Hip Hop Atlanta
PAUL:Taking ridiculously long showers.
How would you spend a billion dollars?
DDM: I would probably give away most of it.
Paul: Take a 1/4 of it and invest it immediately so I would never work another day in my life. Take another 1/4 and buy a house, some land for myself and for my family. I’d take the last 1/2 and dedicate it to aiding pre-existing charities while also starting my own charity benefitting cancer research, and another benefitting medical marijuana research as it relates to pain management and seizure reduction.
How do you want to be remembered?
DDM: As somebody who continued to evolve throughout my entire life and inspired innovation.
PAUL: I want to be remembered as a person who lived his dream while using the platform I’ve been given to enact positive change in the world.
Whats your worst habit?
DDM: I bite my nails
PAUL: Smoking cigarettes.
Most embarrassing moment?
DDM: Falling asleep in the backyard after drinking 12 shots of tequila then being awakened by the lawn sprinklers.
PAUL: In our first year as a group I had trouble being confident on the mic. We had a show in DC for the grand opening of Maketto and I decided that I was going to be blindly confident since I didn’t know anyone in the crowd. When it was my turn to do my verse, I confidently strutted to the front of the stage, mic in hand, cocky as sh*t, and the instant I opened my mouth to start my verse the power to the stage completely shorted out. In the moment I opened my mouth it went from lights, loud music, and a crowd of dancing people, to darkness, silence, and a crowd of people awkwardly looking at me like “what did you do???” Luckily Unkle Lulu is a constant professional and did my verse a cappella, got the crowd to do a call and response, and by the time he finished the song with the crowd I had everything back up and running. But that moment where everything shut off instantly leaving me facing a crowd full of people feeling like i just showed up to the party naked was terrifying and hilarious.
How would your best friends describe you?
PAUL: Goofy, a dork, and driven
Where do you go to get the best bagel in NYC?
PAUL: Being an out of towner makes me really nervous to answer this question. I’m going to plead the 5th…
Whats your go to drink?
PAUL: Beer or bourbon
Early bird or night owl?
PAUL: Night owl for sure
Do you speak any other languages?
PAUL: I know enough Spanish to order tacos from an authentic taco spot but thats about it.
Rod Townsend (aka our commenter Momo), sometimes receives telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembers where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.
“Love, life, and laughter is all I be-lee-heeve…”
“This is The Past?”
“I never learned how to hold love … Yeah, dude. It’s me. Golly, sweet-n-ho, I think I might be in love.”
“Golly? Love? Okay, I’ve asked you not to call me when you’re on drugs.”
“I’m not high. It’s just that there was this dreamy guy I met at Webster Hall’s Makeup Room.”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just that you didn’t sound like yourself. You met someone.”
“Yeah. Tia, Paolo, and I went out. We started early over at that dump, Dick’s. There’s a mannequin head there on top of one of the speakers that we like to call Delish, because she looks like this tranny of the same name who sort of disappeared last year just after she got all fierce on a dress that Tia wore to Tunnel. Our story is that Tia lopped off her head and left it at Dick’s, so we like to visit her every once in a while. The fact that it’s just a block away from their apartment helps. Her head looks so pretty surrounded by all the Christmas lights and cobwebs.”
“That’s kind of sick. Decapitation? Really?”
“Oh, it’s just a joke, jazzyjizz. Anyway, then we went over to Webster Hall, went down to the basement for that hip-hop party that’s always empty and to check in on our favorite bathroom attendant. We chatted up Miss Understood for 10 minutes and then went up to the balcony. Omigod, there were a Susie and a Marcy, just begging Chris Couture to let them up to Makeup Room and Ms. Couture was all, ‘I’m not high and it’s not your birthday.'”
“Wait. A Susie and a Marcy?”
“Susie and Marcies. Girls from Jersey. The kind who are always in the bathroom stalls, like, peeing and shitting, and talking to each other. All ‘Hey Sooooosie. You in dehre?’ And whatever? It’s great that they pay cover and all, but they are so obnoxious and freak-out-y when we’re all hanging in the loo, you know? Granted we get them back by stealing their drinks off the bar when we don’t have drink tickets handy.”
“So they pay admission but can’t come up to the party?”
“Oh god no. See, Makeup Room is on the balcony level where there’s a private bar that’s just for the gays and the freaks. Reign Voltaire promotes it and it’s truly the funnest of crowds. Steve Travolta came out of the booth to kiss cheeks and then we went down to the stage on the main floor through the dressing room stairwell. Tia was doing runway with TJ Mozzarella when I saw him.”
“This guy you’re in love with.”
“Totally. He’s kind of a little Latin guy, but wears these really high lace-up platform boots that actually make him taller than me. He’s all bedecked in black leather and denim and wears these gigantic wings. He was all, ‘I’ve seen you around, but we’ve never talked,’ and I was all like, ‘Yeah, why is that?’ even though I knew the answer.”
“Because my friends all say he’s bad news. And they say he’s straight. But I still think he has pretty eyes. Anyway, he gave me a bump…”
“Hey. You told me you weren’t high!”
“Spinchtermunch. A bump doesn’t get you high. A bump gets you going. Anyway, he was all like, ‘See me later if you need some more, baby.’ Granted, I didn’t see him again tonight, but I so want to. He’s sort of dangerous and dreamy all wrapped together.”
“Um, listen. How do I ask this… Was his name Angel?”
“Omigod! Yes! Do you know about him? Is he some clubland superstar in the future? Is he my boyfriend?!?”
“Oh, wow. I can’t say anymore. It could change the future and, well, Wilson Cruz doesn’t get a lot of roles.”
“Wilson … Huh? You mean Ricky from My So Called Life? What’s he got to do with Angel?”
“I think I should just hang up. Just be careful and call me next week, okay?”
Aaron West & the Roaring Twenties is the folky solo project of Wonder Years singer Dan Campbell, though for their current tour they’re playing as a seven-piece band. They began the tour last night (3/1) at NYC’s Studio at Webster Hall, where Dan was backed by a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and three horn players (including Sorority Noise/Old Gray singer Cam Boucher). They sounded excellent and super full, and the packed crowd ate up every second of it. There were maybe two times that Dan asked the audience to sing along but he never needed to. They were yelling the words louder than he was from start to finish.
He played stuff off last year’s Bittersweet EP, some older songs, and his covers of The Mountain Goats’ “Going to Georgia” and The Weakerthans’ “My Favourite Chords.” The latter was recently released on Bandcamp, and proceeds go to the ACLU.
Opening the show, which was already full before anyone took the stage, was NJ’s Dryjacket, who recently released the very good For Posterity. They do the Kinsella-style mathy emo thing (and all four members of the band really have the chops to pull it off), but they don’t let the complexities get in the way of big hooks. After them it was pop-soul band Empty Houses, whose lineup includes former members of Fireworks.
Our photographer was at the Laura Marling show first and missed Dryjacket, but pictures of Aaron West and Empty Houses are in the gallery above. Here’s a couple Instagrams of Dryjacket: