Category Archives: TVD New York City

TVD Live Shots: Richard Ashcroft at Terminal 5, 3/27

Touring to support his latest solo release These People, Richard Ashcroft, former frontman of The Verve, performed at New York’s Terminal 5 on Monday evening and treated a packed house of dedicated fans to a night of music that spanned the prolific artist’s catalog—both old and new.

To say the New York stop on Ashcroft’s current tour was an excellent, flawless performance would be a dramatic understatement. Nearly every song in Ashcroft’s set on Monday had some degree of improvisation lending his live show a genuinely unique tone and experience as he led his backing band in a myriad of directions.

Ashcroft himself stated at the beginning of his set that watching some bands perform you’d do just as well watching a hologram, and given Monday’s performance, by comparison I’d have to agree. Ashcroft truly gave his New York fans a gift that will linger in memories for some time. I only hope he returns to play again.

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TVD Live Shots: Big Wreck at the Gramercy Theatre, 3/3

Photographed by Jason Miller_-11

Big Wreck is a very special kind of band. One that has a truly unique sound, an unrivaled live show, and a frontman who does a remarkable job transporting the listener through storytelling and thought-provoking lyrics.

Formed by Ian Thornley in Boston back in 1994, Big Wreck released a stellar piece of work in the form of their debut album In Loving Memory Of. This record spawned a couple of minor radio hits for the band. The folks who got it know that Big Wreck never really got their fair share in the clouded and confused major label clusterfuck of mediocre rock at the time. But more importantly, it was just enough to lay a foundation for the band to build upon for the next decade.

I haven’t seen Big Wreck since 1994 back in my hometown of St. Louis as the band rarely tours the lower States because they remain quite popular in Canada and the New York/ New England area with a rabid fan base. During a business trip to New York City last week I saw that the band was playing a show at the Gramercy. I extended my trip by one day to see this one, and holy hell was it worth it.

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TVD Live Shots: ZZ Top at Beacon Theatre, 3/1

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 50 years since ZZ Top formed back in Houston Texas. For one reason or another, I’ve never seen the band live and thought it was about time I do so. That opportunity came during a recent work trip to New York City where I found out the band would be playing at the legendary Beacon Theater. Even though I had to deliver a speech the next day at a tech marketing conference, I jumped on the opportunity. On top of that, I was able to score a photo pass to get my gear inside.

Having never shot at the Beacon before, to say that it was a challenge is an understatement. We were limited to the far sides of the stage and with all the photogs piled up on one side, I ran to the other and had stage left all to myself. I quickly realized that the duo of Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons tend to cater toward stage right, so I was in quite a difficult position. Regardless, I did what I had to do to get some decent shots. Did I miss the big EPIC ones? Yeah, maybe. But there were half a dozen photogs on the other side to get those shots. I was going to pull a George Constanza (and do the opposite).

Photographed by Jason Miller_-2

You would never guess that these guys have been jamming for close to five decades as they came out on fire with “Got Me Under Pressure” as the opener. Up next was “Waitin’ for the Bus,” right into “Jesus Just Left Chicago.” Then it was time for a couple of hits before diving into a blues extravaganza including a slowed down, boozy version of the Hendrix classic “Foxy Lady.” The rest of the set was a jam-palooza of ZZ Top staples old and new, topped off with a finale of the King’s signature track “Jailhouse Rock.”

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Delicate Steve guides us through his new album This Is Steve

A few weeks ago, we sat down with Delicate Steve and listened to his new album start to finish, talking process and inspiration.

This Is Steve launches with a riff straight from the gut. Day 1 in the studio, he walked up to the mic and thought, “Tame Impala is a big band,” and let it rip. After 5 years, 3 studios and still unsatisfied with the results, Steve Marion, aka Delicate Steve, had arrived at Outlier Studios in June of 2015 intentionally cold with nothing written, embarking on a journey of automatic writing, musical free association.

He’d come to realize he felt most happy with the first Delicate Steve album, and it had been recorded with the simple goal of finishing an album within a set period of time. Thus was the mantra at Outlier. “I’m going to go up there and just do the first thing that comes to mind. I need to finish this album because I know if I don’t finish it, I’ll get in my head.”

We were floored by this idea. Jeff literally stopped the record, exclaiming, “Are you kidding me? That’s f’ing crazy? Are you hearing this?” Obviously this could have easily backfired, and you end up like Some Kind of Monster-era Metallica standing around in the studio without a single lick. We are often trying to remember that place in the mind where the songwriting spark happens. It’s hard to recall, vague and illusive, but here it is captured on tape.

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TVD Live Shots: Ace Frehley at B.B. King Blues Club, 4/12

So I’m in New York City for a speaking gig at a marketing conference called ClickZ Live, and Ace Frehley is playing down the street at B.B. King in Times Square. Having just witnessed the epic David Gilmour show the night before, I think what the hell, I’ve got to keep the rock ‘n’ roll momentum alive. What better way to do that then to see one of the greatest guitar players of all time?

I’ve been a KISS fan since I was a kid, 27 years a card-carrying member of the KISS Army. Growing up I actually thought that these guys had superpowers. Any why wouldn’t I? No one had ever seen KISS without their makeup in the ’70s, something that will never happen again in this real-time media world where virtually every person on the planet has a media studio in their back pocket. In the case of KISS though, they had the songs and the musical chops to not only sustain that mystique, but to take it to another level—and Ace was my favorite member.

It’s the second night of two gigs at B.B. King and the place is pretty jam-packed. The guy in front of me is wearing a GnR shirt from the shows last weekend in Vegas—he’s from Spain and went to both, and now he’s front row for Ace. That’s a fucking rock ‘n’ roll trooper for ya. He tells me there is a rumor that Paul Stanley is going to make an appearance, something that turned out to be just that, a rumor.

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TVD Live Shots: David Gilmour at Madison Square Garden, 4/11

David Gilmour

Will David Gilmour and Roger Waters ever tour together again as Pink Floyd? Gilmour famously said he is “done with Pink Floyd” during an interview in 2014, but dammit, if Axl and Slash can share a stage in 2016 then there really is no reason why Gilmour and Waters can’t put aside their differences. That’s just wishful thinking of course, but in the meantime, I’m quite happy with what Mr. Gilmour has going on currently.

A brilliant new record titled Rattle the Lock (released in September of 2015) and a handful of tour dates featuring songs from Rattle along with a slew of Pink Floyd classics. I was in New York earlier this week and caught the show at the legendary Madison Square Garden.

David Gilmour-2

This was my first time to MSG and surprisingly the first time I’ve seen David Gilmour live. I’ve seen Roger Waters several times before, then again he tours much more frequently. Another thing to note is that as a photojournalist I absolutely refuse to use stock photo in my reviews and for the first time in several years I didn’t have a photo pass for this show. Apparently they are just impossible to come by. (For the record, Roger has always been very photog friendly so I’m not sure why management was so strict. Furthermore, I have no idea what the benefit is of having one photographer shoot every show.)

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A jaunt around NYC’s Other Music with The Ludlow Thieves’ Dan Teicher

A short while back I went record-shopping with Dan Teicher, guitarist-producer-founder of pop-rock-plus-strings band The Ludlow Thieves. We decided to hit up Other Music, a high-end music store in Manhattan’s NoHo area.

The store takes vinyl seriously, selling brand-new records (amongst other items) of masterwork albums from yesteryear and yesterday, at exorbitant prices. Well, exorbitant for us vinyl enthusiasts whose sense of pricing halted its modernization when our musical taste did—i.e. 1994. Still, Other Music deserves kudos for matching lofty price tags with lofty musical principles, offering up a vinyl selection that Rob of High Fidelity could, theoretically, be proud of.

Teicher is quite into vinyl and quite into music history, which is evident in both his solo visual media scoring and the collective musical journey of his burgeoning band The Ludlow Thieves. He is the guitar guy and producer for the group—a band that has headlined the major venues in New York City.

The Thieves, an ensemble-first band that counts two vocalists and a violinist amongst its members, recently released their EP “Skyline” and will be celebrating yet another EP release entitled “Sing Me Back” this Friday with a performance at Webster Hall.

But there is more too—much more!—on the way. Teicher, like many of us, sees both the upsides and downsides of the digital age and its effects on musical consumption. Amidst our jaunt around Other Music, these up and downsides were discussed, as were the Thieves’ main influences, why modern-day listeners prefer intro-less songs, and what to do when your parents neglect to properly care for their own vinyl collections—the bastards.

Dan Teicher: I assume you must be a vinyl nut.

Well yes, but I don’t buy as many new records as I would like to—only because, look at these prices. Thirty dollars for one album? Like, what?!

It’s so cool to have vinyl. But—it’s hard to justify getting a new album unless you’re trying to seriously support a new band. My record player’s a shitty little record player too. It’s like a classic old-school player, and I’m trying to figure out a way to involve it in my studio set-up to get a better sound quality out of it. I’d almost rather listen to a CD if I’m going to support a band because for me and my audio set-up, a CD would have better sound quality. However, I’m all about raiding the racks for one-dollar used records. But it doesn’t look like they have too many of those here…

Yeah, this is pretty high-end. Which in theory is super cool—taking vinyl seriously. How did your band, The Ludlow Thieves, get started?

Well, I started performing under the name Ludlow Thieves by myself. I recorded something which will never see the light of day that I sang on. About two weeks after I recorded it, I listened to it with fresh ears and was like “Oh, I should not be singing at all.”

I tend to like guitarists’ voices though, even when they’re not typical singers, like when Keith Richards sings.

You like when Keith sings? Well, you know what—when we get to that Rolling Stones point, when we all go do our solo albums, maybe I’ll reconsider.

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Mellow Obsessions: The Record Store of the Mind by Josh Rosenthal

So nice, we read it twice. —Ed.

Genre-wise, Josh Rosenthal’s new book is a medley of memoir, music criticism, and a how-to guide on music listening.

Entitled The Record Store of the Mind, it loosely tells the story of Rosenthal’s musical life from his origins as a PolyGram intern right up until his recent-ish (2005) founding of Tompkins Square Records. Along that route, he had stints at larger operations—Columbia and Sony.

Rosenthal’s releases through Tompkins Square over the past ten years have largely consisted of reissued and long-forgotten musical material (i.e. Roland White’s 1976 album I Wasn’t Born to Rock’n Roll) and never-before-released-but-should-have-been-long-ago material (i.e. Tim Buckley’s Live at the Folklore Center, NYC – March 6, 1967). This chosen focus stays true to Rosenthal’s record collector character—forever seeking out a classic bit of vinyl that people have forgotten about and need to hear again right away.

This kind of mindset places worth upon history, it places worth upon the effects of passed time on a work of art. It places worth upon the voice of a narrow perspective that spoke directly from a given year, a year during which a myriad of events occurred, a year that was defined by statistics which determined its color and taste, statistics that could never be reproduced in that same way ever again.

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TVD Live Shots: Lalah Hathaway at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 9/23

TVD’s Doug Seymour was dispatched to Lalah Hathaway’s performance at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on September 23rd to photograph the show and behind the scenes.

The two time Grammy Award winner is preparing to release Lalah Hathaway Live on October 30th—available on vinyl, CD, and DVD from Hathaway Entertainment with distribution by eOne Music. This album was recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles this past April. It’s the same stage upon which her father, Donny Hathaway, recorded his Live album in 1972.

Several surprise guests joined LaLah Hathaway in NYC—jazz legend Chick Corea, Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson), Freddie Jackson, Jonathan McReynolds, and songwriter James Day.

Check out Hathaway’s new video “Little Ghetto Boy” from her forthcoming Lalah Hathaway Live.

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TVD Live: AC/DC at MetLife Stadium, 8/26

PHOTOS: DAVE BARNHOUSER | In the world of rock music today, there are a scant few bands still touring who can be categorized as “living legends.” The Stones. The Boss. McCartney. Yet even with the legendary history behind those great artists, none today have the sheer power—dare I say the “high voltage rock and roll”—of the mighty AC/DC. After four decades of the purest, no-frills heavy rock on the planet, the band is still at it and as heavy as ever.

On this stop at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the faces had changed a bit, but the rock stayed the same. Former drummer (Razor’s Edge-era) Chris Slade has rejoined the fold, stepping behind the kit for longtime drummer Phil Rudd, who is under house arrest due to some, well, legal issues.

The other change in the lineup, and the most disappointing one, would be the absence of founding member and band leader Malcolm Young. Retired due to debilitating health issues, the band kept it in the family, recruiting nephew Stevie Young to fill the void at stage right on rhythm guitar.

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