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Mother Falcon @ LittleField

Mother Falcon, Austin’s 18-piece baroque pop collective, who recently released their sophomore album, ‘You Knew,’ is wrapping up their NYC residency this weekend. I was able to catch one of their Brooklyn shows where they not only played their original music, but performed Radiohead’s infamous album, ‘Ok Computer.’  Mother Falcon is extremely talented and versatile to say the least…between members switching instruments and vocals, to exciting the crowd enough to get them dancing to almost lulling them to sleep the next minute.

I have to admit, I was partial to the ‘Ok Computer’ part of their set, but, their personality and playfulness with the audience was more present while they were performing their own material (makes sense).  Also, in all fairness, I was not too familiar with ‘You Knew,’ prior to the show…but I’m happy I was acquainted with those songs in a live setting.

Mother Falcon is still touring, and I highly recommend checking them out.

Mother Falcon performing Radiohead’s, “No Surprises.”

‘You Knew’ album stream below:

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Pleased To Meet You: Highly Suspect

I am usually a little skeptical when a friend wants me to check out their friend’s band/music because like, they are really amazing. This time however, I was pleasantly surprised because I was introduced to the Brooklyn based three-piece, Highly Suspect. I listened to a few tracks off their EP (see below) and was rather intrigued by their style and sound so I went to see them play at Trash Bar. It’s a small venue and the crowd was sparse, however, their energy certainly filled the room, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. These are definitely some talented fellas and are sporting a fresh sound. If Highly Suspect passes through your town or if you happen to live in Brooklyn where they play often, I recommend checking them out…they’re playing NorthSide Festival this weekend.

Also, if you have Spotify, you can stream Highly Suspect’s full-length album (I’m kind of partial to “Then Mickey” and “Gang Lion”).

Delicate Steve @ 285 Kent

Going to see Delicate Steve last night might be one of the best spur-of-the-moment decisions I have made in regards to live music. I had suspected that their music would be better appreciated live, but I was not expecting to get my socks blown the f*#k off.  When describing the band to my plus one prior to the concert, I said, “It’s weird, they are primarily instrumental but it always sounds like someone or something is singing…I think you will dig it.”

The tiny, smoked out venue was more crowded than I had expected, and we found out later through Steve’s announcement that this was the band’s first sold out show – though I highly doubt it will be their last.  Delicate Steve is one of the most in-sync bands that I’ve ever seen…they play not only with each other, but off each other rather intuitively.  They were rowdy yet patient, playful yet focused and the lighting worked perfectly with the music.  There were a lot of eyes closed during this show, because it’s the kind of music you can feel without needing to look.  Their set seamlessly flowed, there was never a dull moment and the crowd was hooked.  Basically, Delicate Steve killed it.

There was a moment during their encore when they all just stopped playing mid song and froze for what had to be a good minute.  The crowd couldn’t handle it, people started begging and pleading for them to stop teasing – was a pretty cool energy to experience.

I must say, Delicate Steve is one of the best bands that I have seen live, and highly recommend checking them out if they pass through your town.

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Small Black – “Free At Dawn”

“Free At Dawn” is the first single from Small Black’s forthcoming album, ‘Limits Of Desire,’ which is due out on May 14th via Jagjaguwar.

Take A Listen: Free At Dawn from Small Black

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Ra Ra Riot @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg

On the day of their new album’s release (Beta Love), Ra Ra Riot, played for a sold out crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. A show that was also taped for a live stream – if you missed it, you can still check it out here.

The band kicked off the set with “Too Too Too Fast” then followed it up with a much more mellow tune, “Shadow Casting,” after that, you could sense the crowd warming up, literally and figuratively. “Beta Love” and “Angel, Please” were two of the standout songs from their new material; they got the crowd bouncing. While the show moved along swiftly with a setlist that included songs such as, “Too Dramatic”, “Boy”, and “Ghost Under Rocks,” I would say one of the highlights came in the form of “Can You Tell.”

When the band ended their set, nobody even budged because it was obvious the show hadn’t concluded, come on, we all knew “Dying Is Fine” had to be played, and it was. The last song of the night was the apropos, “I Shut Off.”

Overall it was a fun night, Ra Ra Riot certainly seemed to please the crowd, and their music sounded great in a live setting. Also the opening band, Savoir Adore, definitely intrigued me enough to look them up after the show.  Ra Ra Riot is still on tour…I recommend checking them out if they’re in your hood.

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Frightened Rabbit @ Bowery Ballroom

Frightened Rabbit holds a very special place in my heart, well more specifically, ‘The Midnight Organ Fight.’ That album was the soundtrack to one of the most significant times in my life – magic/soul encompassing love, heartache, more love, gut wrenching agony – you know how that story goes. Basically, Scott Hutchinson is the ideal playmate for longing, misery, sadness, and whiskey hangovers…all the good stuff. I saw Frightened Rabbit a few years back, before ‘The Winter of Mixed Drink,’ which is a slightly more cheery set of songs than its predecessor. Going into this show, I expected to indulge in meaningful lyrics and attached memories with the sold out crowd in NYC – and check.

This show was definitely more lively and upbeat than anticipated. After opening the show with “The Modern Leper” Hutchinson confessed to the crowd (while holding up his pants) that he forgot to buy a belt, this is when a very nice crowd dweller offered up his own, and the lead singer took him up of the kind gesture. The show moved right along with a setlist that included some dance happy tunes like, “Old, Old Fashion”, “The Twist”, “Music Now” as well as a couple from their latest, “State Hospital” and “Boxing Night.” While it might be like a mother picking her favorite child (yes, it is exactly like this), the rendition of “My Backwards Walk” definitely resonated with me that particular evening, such a raw passing of emotion.

Then for the initial portion of the first encore Hutchinson took the stage alone, with his acoustic guitar and gave an expectedly depressing (but oh so lovely) performance of “Poke” and “Good Arms vs. Bad Arms.” But the crowd, chanting for more, obviously didn’t want to leave this moment behind…so Frightened Rabbit obliged and ended the evening with one last song, “Keep Yourself Warm” (“It Takes More Than Fucking Someone, To Keep Yourself Warm”…and goodnight).

Overall, this was a fantastic show, had just enough sadness and plenty of fun.

The band is still touring, and I highly recommend checking them out if they pass through your neck of the woods.

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