Stream Charli XCX’s ‘What I Like’ + Performance at Club de Ville for SXSW 2013
Earlier this month Charli XCX played a whirlwind of gigs in Austin for SXSW, one of which was a late night gig at Club de Ville that I attended.
Last year I caught one of Charli XCX’s very first New York City gigs (which coincidentally took place during SXSW), and the growth in her live performance and music since then is immense. I’d actually planned to take my friend to see see her again at ASOS’s music lounge during the festival but her gear apparently went up in flames.
Her set was definitely a highlight of SXSW and I’m looking forward to the release of her full-length album True Romance released on April 16th. Check out more pictures from the performance here.
Niki & The Dove Soar at San Francisco Gig at the Independent
After many missed opportunities, I finally got the chance to experience Swedish duo Niki & the Dove’s live performance last week at San Francisco’s awesome venue The Independent.
Their 2012 album Instinct was such a beautiful collection of varying textures, sounds, and melodies, which could also be said about their live performance. Singer Malin Dahlström’s voice, stage presence, and style is like a fusion of The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson, Cyndi Lauper, and Courtney Love…and I mean that in the most flattering way.
Jessie Ware Ends Her First US Tour at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco + Video
Nearly two months ago I was lucky enough to catch Jessie Ware’s first ever American show at the posh Lower East Side speakeasy, The Box. At the time Jessie was simply excited to play her first stateside gig. However, onstage at the last show of her first US tour at San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop she expressed a series of mixed emotions at the tour’s conclusion. San Francisco showed Jessie a lot of love in response.
Jessie did make the official onstage announcement of her Coachella appearance (the lineup was announced shortly before the show), and promised to visit the Bay Area again very soon. I look forward to seeing Jessie Ware hit the festival stage this spring at Primavera Sound in Barcelona (I swear I’m not stalking her tour).
I must also add that the Popscene DJs who played between opening set from Rochelle Jordan (also one to look out for) and Jessie Ware really got the crowd moving!
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball Live at The Staples Center in Los Angeles
Two Sundays ago I spent the last night of my vacation in Los Angeles at the Staples Center with fellow blogger Michael of PopBytes. We had the pleasure of hanging out in the Skype Lounge at the venue before Gaga took the stage promptly at 8:45 (shocker!)
The 2-hour show kicked off with Highway Unicorn (Road to Love) and featured a space renegade storyline narrated by Mother G.O.A.T. (read all about that here). As expected the show was a dazzling spectacle with Gaga wielding a direct connection to her fans, which consequently brought many little monsters to tears. It was heartwarming and inspiring, yet still overwhelmingly celebratory.
My favorite moment from the Born This Way Ball (there were many) happened when Gaga unexpectedly recreated her infamous motorcycle artwork for Heavy Metal Lover. The only thing I might suggest Gaga reconsider about the show is the medieval backdrop, which started to become a visual bore after awhile.
Many thanks to PopBytes and Skype for the invite, this was the perfect ending to a much needed vacation. Check out Michael’s coverage of the show here and the full gallery from the show here.
Last Monday night South London’s Jessie Ware made her stateside debut at the Lower East Side speakeasy The Box. In the extremely intimate show Jessie jokingly shared insight into the 110% sample clearance debacle, the fact that her sister (a recent New Yorker) had “nicked a willie” from said venue, and that Jessie Ware is basically a cover band.
Jessie’s hypnotic 10-song performance in fact did include 2 covers, Brownstone’s If You Love Me (reincarnated with BenZel earlier this year - video below) and the Sampha-produced cover of Bobby Caldwell’s What You Won’t Do For Love. Check out Jessie Ware’s video for Sweet Talk along with the newly-released collaboration with Katy B called Aaliyah. More iPhone pictures from the show here.
Set List: Devotion // Night Light // 110% // If You Love Me (Brownstone Cover) // Sweet Talk // Swansong // What You Won’t Do For Love // No to Love / I Want You // Wildest Moments // Running
Jessie Ware will head out on a short U.S. tour in January. Dates:
1/14 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair 1/15 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club 1/17 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom 1/18 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer 1/23 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater 1/24 San Francisco, CA @ Popscene @ Rickshaw Stop 2/13 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar
Last month I caught Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd’s second sold out New York show at Terminal 5. Call me ignorant but I had no idea how big of a following Tesfaye had. While I was entranced by the impressive light, video, and audio show happening onstage, the entire venue sang along to every word projected from his mouth. (It’s important to note that The Weeknd hasn’t even made his major label debut yet).
On the heels of closing out his set, the Smiths-inspired track Enemy hit the internet. Check out the track along with a few highlights I collected from the show below. The Weeknd’s Trilogy is available next week via Universal Republic.
Cat Power aka Chan Marshall played her first New York City-area show in years last month at Hammerstein Ballroom. Chan played an amazing live set the last time I saw her at McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg circa 2007, but I could barely recognize the woman onstage at Hammerstein Ballroom 5 years later.
As you may have heard, her shows as of late have gotten mixed reviews. Despite releasing an amazing new album Sun (one of my favorites of 2012), things just didn’t seem quite right. There were moments that went from bad to painful, but when Chan finally found her groove it was a thing of beauty. There were redeeming moments in the show. I refuse to give up on you Chan, but truly wish you would get it together.
If you know me, you know that The Smiths are one of my all time faves. If you know music, you know that The Smiths no longer exist, nor will they ever get back together. However, Morrissey to me still embodies everything that drew me to the band in college.
Earlier this month, out of obligation to the music I purchased a ticket for Morrissey’s gig at Radio Music Hall - one of three sold out NYC shows. As always Morrissey delivered 150%, but what made my year was hearing him perform Still Ill and I Know It’s Over…check it out below!
Earlier this year Fiona Apple released one of the greatest albums of 2012, The Idler Wheel… (short for The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do).
Fiona played two sold out shows at Terminal 5 earlier this month in support of her highly-anticipated, critically acclaimed album. I was lucky enough to attend the second night, my first time ever seeing her live (finally). Though thin and frail looking, Fiona’s presence was reinforced with powerful vocal delivery and an entrancing performance. It was truly inspiring to see an artist baring their soul and truly losing themselves in the moment. The show got off to a late start, and due to venue curfew I will assume this was the reason an encore and Criminal were omitted.