When Webster Hall invites you to a party, you don’t say “no.” You put on your dancing shoes, and fucking go. So Friday, November 14, I went to represent Pancakes and Whiskey at the massive all house celebration of Webster Hall’s return to Independence with an A+ lineup.

Proof of how excited people were about this night were three sold out shows in each room, and long lines at all entrances at 7 pm already. Where to go first? What to do? So many choices. To get a good spot in the Grand Ballroom for the electronic shows I decided to go upstairs and started out my night with the beautiful spheric tunes of Jessy Lanza. Armed with two synthesizers and a MacBook Pro, Lanza entranced the rapidly growing audience with her beat heavy fairy pop. Her voice, not unlike that of fellow electronic songstress Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, tumbled in the highest heights using it like one of her synths.

Meanwhile in the Marlin Room at ground level, Echosmith was tearing it up. The four siblings from Los Angeles drew the crowd in with their sparkling indie pop and their bubbly energy. At the same time in the studio, Brooklyn’s own Sandflower took over the more pop focused part of the evening. Her bubbly performance matched her gorgeous outfit – this one might be one we’re going to hear more of in the pop world.

But back to the Grand Ballroom, where Caribou was ending the night with a blast. As you might expect from a musician like Dan Snaith, there wasn’t much standing space, so dancing was a hard endeavor, but not impossible. With a light show and a stage presence similar to Kraftwerk, he took the crowd by storm.

It was an amazing night with amazing shows. Webster Hall has always been one of my favorite venues in this city, because of the history it encompasses, and how great watching shows is at the space. Thanks for having me – I had a blast.

Bands in The Grand Ballroom
Jessy Lanza

Bands in the Marlin Room
Madi Diaz

Bands in the Studio
Craig Stickland
Kat Dahlia

Article by: Julia Maehner

Highly Confident in His Own Catalog – NEW YORK TIMES

Robin Schulz Plays Webster Hall’s Girls & Boys Party

Robin Schulz during his 90-minute set on Saturday night at Webster Hall’s Girls & Boys party. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

At around 3 in the morning on Saturday, near the end of Robin Schulz’s 90-minute set at Webster Hall, he looked, more or less, like the archetypical superstar D.J. aspirant. He had stepped out from behind his turntable setup to assess the crowd. There was a video camera attached to an elaborate contraption that dangled it in front of his face. He was holding a bottle of champagne. A cluster of red balloons dropped from the ceiling, and he perfunctorily sprayed the champagne out over the crowd.

The song playing at the time was “Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Remix)” by Lilly Wood & the Prick, one of a string of remixes by Mr. Schulz in the last year or so that have sped his clubland rise — some ecstatic, some lumbering. He was playing at Webster Hall’s weekly Girls & Boys party, a fairly democratic mainstream show, not nightclub as subculture but as big tent, once-a-month amateurs mingling with house bros and posh clubbers and brightly dressed nu-ravers.

Mr. Schulz, who gravitates to songs with strong melodies, is a good fit for this approach. In his set you’ll likely to hear familiar voices like Florence Welch (from Florence and the Machine). And you’ll probably hear familiar refrains, like “We don’t have to take our clothes off/ To have a good time,” which originated with Jermaine Stewart almost 30 years ago but was heard here as the anchor phrase of a remake of Mr. Stewart’s song by Lexer & Nico Pusch.

That song appears on Mr. Schulz’s debut album, “Prayer” (Tonspiel), which was released in September, and includes most of his hits, including a remix of Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars” that cast a fog over this room when he dropped it. Too often Mr. Schulz overlooked the fact that a familiar song, no matter how reworked, does not a great dance floor moment make.

There are, of course, characteristics that differentiate a mediocre D.J. set, which this was, from something more cohesive, something that seems effortless but requires a great deal of work. Mr. Schulz pinballed from style to style — a song with a slow build into something with hard edges, a song with roots in soulful house into something far more clinical. It was dizzying. The Girls & Boys resident D.J.’s, who played both before and after Mr. Schulz, were uniformly more adept.

They also had the freedom to be D.J.’s. Mr. Schulz, his stock on the rise, left some room for others — like the slinky, rubbery “They Don’t Know” by Disciples — but focused mostly on his own catalog, spending maybe half of his time on it, from the clinically chill “Sun Goes Down” to his limp edit of Lykke Li’s “No Rest For the Wicked.” These were the moments when he was also the most confident. When he dropped his remix of David Guetta’s “Dangerous,” he pulled out a cigarette and lit it, seemingly pleased with himself.

And he positively glowed when he played his remix of Mr. Probz’s “Waves” — easily Mr. Schulz’s best production. The song was reflective, exuberant, almost tropical house, exceedingly welcome given that it was around 20 degrees outside. Here, too, Mr. Schulz stepped out in front of his turntables and let the crowd adore him. He looked off into the distance and gave a little half wave as if he were Miss America, which for a few minutes here and there, he was.

GlobalFEST Village Voice Pick – VILLAGE VOICE


7:00 p.m. January 11

Tickets Webster Hall
125 E. 11th St. New York, NY

Price: $45

An international music festival crammed into a single evening thanks to the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ annual Manhattan confab, GlobalFest serves up a dozen acts only hardcore National Public Radio junkies will likely have encountered previously. Headliners of a sort, Congolese-Belgian artist Marie Daulne’s formerly a cappella group Zap Mama returns augmented by local Afrobeat juggernaut Antibalas, with whom they’ll be touring this spring. Tonight also marks the local debut of Sam Lee, the youngish, stylish baritone singer and song collector with a unique take on British Isles traditionalism. GlobalFest’s other picks to click include the brassy yet subtle ten-piece Brazilian Afrobeat group Bixiga 70; Nairobi, Kenya’s highly stylized (yet modestly monikered) Afrosoul conglomerate Just a Band; and Riyaaz Qawwali, a multinational U.S.-based Sufi-sounds collective.

Richard Gehr

Skrillex and Diplo interview: ‘Right now we want to get people dancing’ – TIME OUT NY

Are you ready to party?! EDM kings Skrillex and Diplo are. And they have their sights set on NYC.
By Kevin Dickson Tue Dec 23 2014

Diplo and Skrillex are having a moment. In anticipation of the electro duo’s ringing-in-the-New-Year gig at Madison Square Garden, we ask them about their favorite New Year’s Eve bash. A simple enough question. Skrillex smirks, looks knowingly at his pal and begins, trying to sound sincere, “The best one ever was that time we were in, um, Trinidad and we deejayed on top of this…

“Mountain,” Diplo adds. “And it was on fire.”

A volley back to Skrillex: “It was crazy, we…”

“…literally had a party inside a volcano,” Diplo chimes in. “And we had these special space suits on so we could breathe oxygen. And it was actually raining in the volcano, and we were like…”

“What the fuck?”

It goes on like this, all ceaseless goofiness and beaming smiles. The 26-year-old Skrillex (real name: Sonny Moore) and 36-year-old Diplo (Wesley Pentz) are, to be sure, in a bromance.

The pair’s current project, Jack Ü, is an irresistibly heady amphetamine rush of EDM insanity that’s headed to your ears early next year. The hot and heavy duo have been collaborating with each other and guests ranging from huge stars like Usher and Justin Bieber to unknowns. Jack Ü performed live for the first time earlier this fall and is making its NYC debut at the Garden. It’s an ambitious project by two of electronic music’s biggest names—not that the two seem to be feeling the pressure. A few minutes after their New Year’s Eve tale, the guys crack up and launch into another impromptu bit, this one about a party where they got high off of termite spray. It’s…kinda cute.

Is it because club culture is too ADD?
Skrillex: You need an in-house curator to book a club and keep it vital. In New York, Webster Hall has done that. You have good rap nights, you have Girls & Boys on Friday nights, and that’s where a lot of new electronic acts break. It’s such good in-house curation. That’s why Fabric in London or XOYO or Avalon in L.A. have a vibe around them.
Diplo: In New York, it’s students, and it’s not just students from downtown; it’s kids from Harlem and the Bronx and Queens, it’s Dominican kids, and it’s whole crews coming out. New York feels like the whole city is into dance music. That’s not how it felt when I was younger. There was more of a hipster scene. Now it feels citywide.

How can New York get a scene back?
Skrillex: When I go through New York, I have such a diverse network in that city. I did a Brooklyn tour earlier this year. I played Brooklyn Bowl, some random-ass warehouse, all different clubs. If you have someone like me or Wes play, with our extended network, you’ll get a vibe, you’ll get a scene around that show. It’s tangible at the right places. They need a person to bring it all together.
Diplo: The moral of all of this is that people need to start their own party. Even if it starts with 20 people at your house and you’re only playing go-go music or ’90s hip-hop, develop that. And when it starts to ignite, control it and let it build more. There’s a great party at Webster Hall that I love on Thursday night. Everyone comes in from Philly. That’s the best party in New York now. They just have to control it and keep the identity strong and make the image strong. It will grow.

Read the full interview here

The Top 50 NYC Shows of 2014 – OH MY ROCKNESS

December 15, 2014

We’ve been all about pulling the stats lately. We already told you about the Top 10 Hardest Working Bands in NYC which you read and cherished. You want more dynamic stats like that? You got it! Our calculator can crunch all day, baby.

Below is a list of the Top 50 Shows in NYC in 2014. What does that mean? Not a good question, a GREAT one. Here’s how this sausage was made. We sorted allllll the thousands (yes, thousands) of shows we listed this year (by hand!) by how many times you guys saved them using your “My Rockness” accounts.

#9: Caribou, Jessy Lanza @ Webster Hall on 11/14/14
#15: Caribou, Jessy Lanza @ Webster Hall on 11/12/14
#22: Ty Segall, WAND, Axis:sovA @ Webster Hall on 9/17/14
#25: Parquet Courts, Blues Control, PC Worship @ Webster Hall on 12/11/14
#34: The Black Lips, Natural Child @ Webster Hall on 4/17/14
#48: Warpaint, Liam Finn, Guy Blakeslee @ Webster Hall on 10/14/14
#50: Neutral Milk Hotel @ Webster Hall on 1/27/14

Michael Stipe Returns to Stage as Patti Smith’s Surprise Opening Act – ROLLING STONE

Singer takes on R.E.M. songs, covers in first substantial live appearance in almost four years

Daniel Kreps |

In an interview with CBS This Morning in early-December, Michael Stipe proclaimed, “I think I’ll sing again.” Stipe had only made a few appearances behind the microphone since R.E.M. disbanded in 2011, but at Patti Smith’s concert at New York’s Webster Hall Monday night, Stipe served as the surprise opening act, delivering his first substantial performance in nearly four years and making his debut as a solo artist.

Stipe’s six-song set was mixed with R.E.M. songs and unlikely covers. Stipe opened up with a rendition of Vic Chesnutt’s “Lucinda Williams” before launching into the “Theme From ‘New York, New York’.” Stipe, who performed on keyboards for the performance, next shared his version of Smith’s “Wing,” which was followed by R.E.M.’s Reveal cut “Saturn Return” and a surprise cover of Perfume Genius’ 2012 single “Hood.”

“Patti asked me to talk a lot so that I could take up some time,” Stipe joked before closing out his unannounced set with “New Test Leper” off R.E.M.’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi. Check out audio of the performance courtesy of Slicing Up Eyeballs.

After Stipe revealed that he planned on singing again in the CBS This Morning interview, the former R.E.M. frontman added “Not soon.” “I love my voice and I think it’s still… I think it actually got better as I got older,” Stipe said. “I sing in the shower. And I’m not bad. You would be surprised at my playlist.”

The set marked Stipe’s first significant live public performance since he made a cameo at the 12-12-12 benefit concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden to sing “Everybody Hurts” alongside Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Smith will perform again Tuesday night at Webster Hall, though there’s no word yet whether Stipe will appear.

The 11 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 12/15/14 – VILLAGE VOICE

Thursday, 12/18

Thievery Corporation

Webster Hall
8 p.m., $49.50

After two decades of lacing records teetering on the edge of trip-hop with samples and guest singers of unexpected far-flung provenance, Thievery Corporation‘s latest album explicitly focuses on drawing inspiration from Brazil, and for the trouble becomes one of their most sedate and coherent outings, if not necessarily the most exciting or elaborate. Maybe getting older has just chilled them out a bit — ironic for a band once explicitly marketed as “chillout music” — but either way, D.C. electronica’s most celebrated crate-diggers have at least finally settled on a less grueling flight plan. — By Vijith Assar

Get tickets here

Parquet Courts live up to the hype at Manhattan’s Webster Hall – ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

By Eric Renner Brown on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:31PM @ericrennerbrown

Ten-dollar beers, rigid set times, and impersonal festival circuits: Modern music sometimes lacks spontaneity. Although Manhattan’s Webster Hall sold beers for eight bucks Thursday night, Parquet Courts—a group that nostalgically sang about “the last classic rock band’s last solid record” earlier this year—made live music thrilling again, rattling off a 24-song set that barely resembled 2014. People even kept their phones in their pockets.

Since rock fans rushed to praise New York’s early-aughts garage explosion—the one championed by Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Strokes—they’ve thought twice about preemptively labeling artists rock ‘n’ roll saviors. Did you listen to the solo records Karen O or Julian Casablancas put out this year? Those groups weren’t built for longevity.

With Parquet Courts, that rock savior mentality has started to creep back. The band has released two stellar records—2013’s Light Up Gold and this year’s Sunbathing Animal—as well as one under its barely-pseudonym Parkay Quarts, October’s Content Nausea. These 40 songs, clocking in at just under two hours, are a blend of squalling distortion, barreling power-punk, and slow-burning, Southern-fried rockabilly. With the precision of the Strokes and the looseness of the Stones, some have wondered if Parquet Courts are “the last great New York band.”

“Last”? Hopefully not. But at Webster Hall, Parquet Courts certainly lived up to the rest of the hype. Dual frontmen Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, buddies since attending Denton’s University of North Texas, alternated between singing and lead guitar. With poofy hair, and a short-sleeved, button-down shirt tucked into navy slacks, Savage played the nerd. Brown, with his bargain-bin sweater and long, blond hair, was Savage’s cool guy foil.

They have natural chemistry. “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth” doesn’t initially require Brown’s slide guitar ornamentation—so he lit a cigarette, popped a bottle of wine, and swigged and smoked until he balanced the still-smoldering butt in his strings to play his part.

Afterward, Brown observed the audience’s reaction: “If a bottle of wine gets about half the applause that a song gets… we could just sit up here and drink bottles of wine all night?”

Perhaps—but that would’ve been a shame. Parquet Courts slipped into a rootsy groove on Content Nausea tracks “Southern Myth” and “Pretty Machines,” bolstered by guest musicians on saxophones and a Hammond organ. They also decimated their signature frenetic cuts. “Ducking & Dodging” masterfully updated the Pixies’ loud-soft dynamic, while the raucous crowd boiled over during main set closer “Sunbathing Animal.”

In the past, the centerpiece of a Parquet Courts set was their best song, “Stoned & Starving,” which they’d morph into a wild guitar assault. They don’t play that track live anymore—it attracted too many “Joe College” types, says Savage—so the night’s crowning moment came mid-set, with two-minute rager “Borrowed Time.” It’s an infectious cut that could fit equally well in a punk club or a car commercial, despite its melancholy core.”It seems these days I’m captive in this borrowed time,” Savage sings, nailing youthful malaise.

Like many great New York bands, Parquet Courts understand the existential troubles associated with young, urban living. Maybe self-awareness explains Savage’s early warning not to “do the Evangelical hand in the air” because it “bummed him out.” But if Parquet Courts keep turning in performances like Thursday’s, he should get used to that type of devotion.

Thurston Moore playing free Pandora show; The Hold Steady add 2nd Brooklyn show, play free Pandora show Friday – BROOKLYN VEGAN

Thurston Moore Band at Saint Vitus in October (more by PSquared)

The Thurston Moore Band — aka Thurston, his former Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley on drums, My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe on bass, and guitarist James Sedwards — put out their SY-esque The Best Day earlier this year and recently toured it, hitting NYC twice. They have more dates coming up, including a return to NYC on December 11 at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall. That’s a free show presented by Norton Antivirus and Pandora, but you have to RSVP to get in. All Thurston dates are listed below.

Speaking of Pandora shows, the previously discussed Pandora-presented Hold Steady show at Long Island’s Space at Westbury happens this Wednesday (11/19). That’s also free with RSVP.

The Hold Steady have also expanded their New Year’s Eve celebration. The NYE show at MHOW sold out long ago, but they’ve now added a second show happening the night before (12/30) at the same venue. Both are with The So So Glos. Tickets for the 12/30 show go on sale at noon on Friday (11/21) with AmEx and artist presales starting at noon on Wednesday (11/19).


Night Life DECEMBER 15, 2014 ISSUE

Two local bands revive the city’s rock scene.


The New York bands Parquet Courts and PC Worship are friends and occasional collaborators; they’ve recorded and still play live together, which affords them the chance to call their supergroup PCPC. Between them, they ably cherry-pick from thirty years of New York City rock history without sounding like revivalists. Only a grouch would begrudge them their appropriations from bands gone by, because there’s a lot at play in both acts that was not happening in the city circa 1979.

Parquet Courts and PC Worship, at Webster Hall, ably cherry-pick from thirty years of rock history.

PC Worship sides with chaos; Parquet Courts favors clarity. Andrew Savage, the singer in Parquet Courts, is often tied to Television, the elegant abstractionists of the seventies, and Pavement, their nineties counterparts. It is not faint praise to say that his band might well carry on in this tradition. The guitars are clean, the mood is controlled, and the lyrics describe concrete situations with just one or two details twisted. On “Instant Disassembly,” the band lopes and chimes, never interfering with Savage’s plea to someone who’s either leaving or has already left: “Mamacita, I’ve prepared my defense, flawed as ever in the drunkest tense. Kept repeating, kept repeating myself, in my native tongue, the parlance of the problem itself.” The band’s strength is in the writing, which lets each guitar line and lyric make its way to you unimpeded.

Justin Frye and his band PC Worship are fans of murk and thunder, and most of their lyrics get lost in the ecstatic sprawl. There are hints of simple, electric brutality, as in early Swans and Sonic Youth, and forays into acoustic folk that blends violins and horns and tape loops. The joy of PC Worship is in the glee of disorientation and the unexpected eruptions of rude beauty. On Dec. 11, at Webster Hall, the two bands provide a cross-section of the city’s living strata. We have plenty to be proud of. ♦



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