Archive for the ‘Union Transfer’ Category

[ATTENDED: May 27, 2023] Le Tigre

Le Tigre’s song “Deceptacon” became a huge viral Tik Tok sensation last year.  I remembered the song from the 90s.  I was interested in Le Tigre because Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna was involved.

I liked it enough, but I found it so simplistic and repetitive that I didn’t really enjoy the album all that much.  I grabbed their second album, but didn’t follow through with them after that.  They put out one more album and then broke up.

Then they announced a reunion tour.  My daughter really wanted to see them.  The first date was at Union Transfer and then they were going to Europe.

I snagged two tickets as soon as I could and, amazingly, we would see Kathleen Hannah twice in two months.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 27, 2023] Shamir

I was supposed to see Shamir on several different occasions, but it never happened.

So I was really quite pleased to see that they were announced as the opening act for this Le Tigre show.

Shamir is a Philly based singer songwriter.  When they first released “On My Own” I was so intrigued by the song.  Shamir’s voice soars to really high notes.  The song is very poppy, but with some great rocking guitars and full-on band.

Later Shamir released an album called Heterosexuality which explored personal issues with songs like “Gay Agenda” and “Cisgender.”

When Shamir came out, the crowd was immediately supportive.  When they asked who here is gay?  90% of the crowd waved their hands.  Which was good because the first song “Gay Agenda.”

Shamir’s band was great.  Rhea on drums and Grant on bass added a ton of accompaniment to Shamir’s relatively quite guitar playing.

The album has a lot more synthy sounds that fill in the songs.  Live, it was just the three of them with Grant’s basswork really shining.  And the songs rocked a lot harder with Rhea really smashing the drums.

I was pleased that they sang “On Mu Own” especially now that I see that Heterosexuality is their eighth album!  It sounded pretty different, a bit more gritty.  Shamir said it was an introverts anthem and when someone guessed that it was an asexual anthem, well, Shamir was fine with that.

They played the first single from the soon to be released album on Kill Rock Stars called “Oversized Sweater.”  I’m curious to hear what this new phase of Shamir’s career will bring.

On a few songs Shamir’s voice dipped into a low growl which was especially effective on “Other Side” –the “metal portion of the show.”

As the set neared the end, Shamir busted out an amazing version of “Cisgender.”  It was full of so much rawness–much more powerful than the recorded version.

And the set ended with “Our Song” (not the Taylor Swift song).  It’s about a couple who lives above a record store (based on a show he saw in England).  It was a great ending.

Shamir’s voice is pretty incredible and they can hold a note like few singers I know.

  1. Gay Agenda
  2. Reproductive
  3. On My Own §
  4. Oversized Sweater £ (first time played)
  5. Other Side §
  6. Appetizer
  7. TEARS
  8. Cisgender
  9. Our Song £

£ New album (2023)
⊕ Heterosexuality (2022)
§ Shamir

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 24, 2023] Nekrogoblikon / Inferi / Aether Realm / Hunt the Dinosaur

I don’t know a ton about Nekrogoblikon, but I do know enough to know that they would be super fun to see live.  I mean, they have a goblin in the band, after all.

When this show was announced, I asked my son if he wanted to go.  He surprised me by saying that his friend Ty had already gotten tickets for the both of them.  And they wanted to drive to Union Transfer with no adult supervision.  [Even after the stupidly late night in NYC].

Well, we had been a few times recently and I showed him how to get there and the best place to park and when the night came up, he did great and got the free parking and arrived with enough time to buy merch and still be fairly close to the stage.

Suffice to say that if I didn’t really know the headliners, I sure did know the support bands.  Ty was a fan of the headliners and Aether Realm, but didn’t know the other two bands.

So after the show I asked for their reviews.

Neither of them liked Hunt the Dinosaur, a Dallas based “Progressive Deathcore” band.  Although the clips I’ve just listened to sound like heavy low end with occasional squeals of guitar and a lot of growled inaudible vocals.  It could get old fast, even after a 20 minute set.

Æther Realm is an American heavy metal band from Greenville, North Carolina. Their music is a blend of melodic death metal and folk metal, with lyrical themes of fantasy and mythology.  I can see how this band would be more palatable to them (and to me).  I like the melodic components and I enjoy the weird folk metal genre.  The vocals are still pretty growly, which is not my cup of tea, but it seems like the words are actually audible.

Neither of them much likes Inferi a technical melodic death metal band from Nashville. I always think I’d like this genre.  As I like technical and melodic, bit the death metal component usually doesn’t do it for me.  So these songs have long, pretty guitar parts and super fast but strangely muted double bass drums and then after a lengthy intro when the singer comes in, the vocals are growled and inaudible, which seems kind of pointless to me, but whatever.

They both enjoyed Nekrogoblikon who are also a growly band (but a goblin kind of growling).  And I enjoyed looking at the pictures and videos.

It sounded like a pretty good night.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 23, 2023] Indigo De Souza / Sluice

Here was the fourth time that this show was scheduled.

And by now, Indigo de Souza has become even more popular.  So much so that this show is sold out.

Unfortunately, the timing of this show didn’t work out for me.

I had been planning to go but then a show with Pup, Beach Bunny and Pool Kids was scheduled for the same night.  So I grabbed tickets for me and my kids and we headed for New York City.

I wrote this blurb about a year ago (when the first show was postponed):

Indigo De Souza is a new (to me) musician who I heard about on NPR music.  Her song “Kill Me” is outstanding.  A great dynamic of sounds, very funny lyrics and memorable hooks.  I loved it immediately.  She announced a tour soon after I’d heard it and I grabbed a ticket to see her headline tour (!).

She’s been making music since she was like 9 with a few EPs and a previous album.  I imagine she’ll be a fun and wild performer.

Sluice is folk music from North Carolina singer-songwriter Justin Morris.  Pitchfork notes that the songs are “without a hook or central focus” which I agree with, although they gave his album 7 out of 10.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 18, 2023] The New Pornographers / Wild Pink

I saw New Pornographers’ back in 2019 (I didn’t realize it was quite so long ago).  I enjoyed the show quite a lot.  And almost wondered if I didn’t need to see them again since they played pretty much everything I wanted to see.

But when they announced this show (in the same place), I immediately grabbed a ticket.

But then May 18 proved to be a hugely popular night for shows.  There was Richard Thompson, Kevin Devine and, most importantly, Acid Mothers Temple.

I have seen AMT more than New Pornographers, but it’s such a fun treat for AMT to come to the States (they had several shows cancelled because of the pandemic), that I couldn’t pass it up.

So even though I heard  the New Pornographers show was great (by all accounts), I was pretty pleased with the AMT show.

Wild Pink plays pleasant but kind of dull music.  I listened to a few songs and kind of forgot that they were on.  So it felt like a push towards Acid Mothers Temple.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 13, 2023] Shame / Been Stellar

I hadn’t heard of Shame before this show, although apparently they are quite legendary for their live shows.  When this show was announced there was much hype.  And for a change, I didn’t buy into it.

So I didn’t get tickets, but I have heard some great things about the show.

Indeed, according to Brooklyn Vegan, their show the day before at Irving Plaza

frontman Charlie Steen in typical give-it-all performance mode, much of it spent in — and on top of — the audience. For final song “Gold Hole,” Steen climbed atop the crowd, up to the second floor balcony rail, and plunged again into the teeming mass who carried him back to the stage.

I don’t see any reviews of this Union Transfer show, but I imagine it was similarly wild.

They seem suitably energetic and fun without being unpleasantly noisy and crazy.

Been Stellar (name inspired by Ben Stiller) is a New York band that (according to Fader) plays “timeless alt-rock sound–a mix of anthemic choruses and nonchalant guitars that combine to create something both deeply considered and effortlessly cool.”  I’ve listened to a couple of songs and I really like them.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 5, 2023] David Cross / Sean Patton

My wife and I saw David Cross back in 2016.  He was hilarious.

He’s consistently one of my favorite comedians.  I have enjoyed David Cross since the old days of Mr. Show, and the as Tobias on Arrested Development and even in Alvin and the, well, actually I’m just happy for him that he got a lot of money for it.

It was really puzzling that this show was at Union Transfer (as opposed to a seated venue).  I assume that they put in seats-who wants to stand up for a stand up?

This show was scheduled for the same night as Yves Tumor who I had very much wanted to see.  So David didn’t get my ticket purchase.  But the show sold out so he doesn’t care.

Sean Patton opened.  He’s a comedian I’d never heard of.  He had a special on Peacock, with a theme about people being broken.  People are like glow sticks–you gotta break them before they can shine.  He sounds dark but optimistic.

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[ATTENDED: May 4, 2023] The Walkmen

When I got a ticket to this show, I was swept up in the excitement of this reunion tour.  I didn’t really know The Walkmen, but I knew of them.  I mostly knew Hamilton Leithauser from his solo work.  But I was also very familiar with their hit “The Rat.”

They announced two shows at Union Transfer and then added a third one because the first two sold so quickly. So I was caught up and bought a ticket.  Although I’m quite certain this last night did not sell out.

As the day approached, I wasn’t even entirely sure I was going to go to this show because I was going out tomorrow night as well.

But I decided to head out and not feel like I missed anything.

I got there much earlier than I intended so I was right up front, which was cool.

After a time, the band came out and wow were they different from the wild chaos of Liily.

So the band was the classic lineup: drummer Matt Barrick, guitarist Paul Maroon, and multi-instrumentalist Walter Martin [all former members of Jonathan Fire*Eater–I had no idea] and bassist/organist Peter Matthew Bauer and singer Hamilton Leithauser [who playd in The Recoys]. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 4, 2023] Liily

I wasn’t even entirely sure I was going to go to this show.  I only really knew one song by The Walkmen.  But I decided that I wouldn’t stay home.  I’d go check out this reunion show.

The opening band was Liily who I had not heard of before.  They came out–a four-piece from L.A.–and Charlie Anastasis the bassist (who had an awesome mop of curly hair), played a chord that rung out and feedbacked for about 90 seconds.  All the while the singer Dylan Nash stood at the front of the stage kind of confrontationally.

Then the band kicked into “Wash.”  It had a stomping bass and squealing guitars from Sam De La Torre.  But it was drummer Maxx Morando who soon claimed all my attention. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 2-3 2023] The Walkmen / Lilly

When the Walkmen announced this ten year reunion tour I must have missed it entirely, because by the time I heard of it, these first two shows were sold out and they had announced a third.

When I got a ticket to this show, I was swept up in the excitement of this reunion tour.  I didn’t really know The Walkmen, but I knew of them.  I mostly knew Hamilton Leithauser from his solo work.  But I was also very familiar with their hit “The Rat.”

The third night proved to be plenty of fun and I really enjoyed the opening band Lilly.

From what I can see, it looks like The Walkmen played an extra song on the second night.  But I think we got the best Lilly set.

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